The Senate Will Convene At 10:00 AM Today
Senate Session - February 24, 2014
Video not available at this time
Speakers:
Time
Action
  • 02:02:06 PM

    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.

    Show Full Text
  • 02:02:33 PM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE LEADERSHIP TIME IS RESERVED. AND PURSUANT TO…

    UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE LEADERSHIP TIME IS RESERVED. AND PURSUANT TO THE ORDER OF THE SENATE OF JANUARY 24, 1901 AS AMENDED BY THE ORDER OF FEBRUARY 10, 2014, THE SENATOR FROM MAINE, MR. KING, WILL NOW READ WASHINGTON'S FAREWELL ADDRESS. SENATOR KING.

    Show Full Text
  • 02:03:11 PM

    MR. KING

    STATES. FRIENDS AND FELLOW CITIZENS: THE PERIOD FOR A NEW ELECTION OF A…

    STATES. FRIENDS AND FELLOW CITIZENS: THE PERIOD FOR A NEW ELECTION OF A CITIZEN TO ADMINISTER THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES BEING NOT FAR DISTANT, AND THE TIME ACTUALLY ARRIVED WHEN YOUR THOUGHTS MUST BE EMPLOYED IN DESIGNATING THE PERSON WHO IS TO BE CLOTHED WITH THAT IMPORTANT TRUST, IT APPEARS TO ME PROPER, ESPECIALLY AS IT MAY CONDUCE TO A MORE DISTINCT EXPRESSION OF THE PUBLIC VOICE, THAT I SHOULD NOW APPRISE YOU OF THE RESOLUTION I HAVE FORMED TO DECLINE BEING CONSIDERED AMONG THE NUMBER OF THOSE OUT OF WHOM A CHOICE IS TO BE MADE. I BEG YOU, AT THE SAME TIME, TO DO ME THE JUSTICE TO BE ASSURED THAT THIS RESOLUTION HAS NOT BEEN TAKEN WITHOUT A STRICT REGARD TO ALL THE CONSIDERATIONS APPERTAINING TO THE RELATION WHICH BINDS A DUTIFUL CITIZEN TO HIS COUNTRY; AND THAT IN WITHDRAWING THE TENDER OF SERVICE, WHICH SILENCE IN MY SITUATION MIGHT IMPLY, I AM INFLUENCED BY NO DIMINUTION OF ZEAL FOR YOUR FUTURE INTEREST, NO DEFICIENCY OF GRATEFUL RESPECT FOR YOUR PAST KINDNESS, BUT AM SUPPORTED BY A FULL CONVICTION THAT THE STEP IS COMPATIBLE WITH BOTH. THE ACCEPTANCE OF AND CONTINUANCE HITHERTO IN THE OFFICE TO WHICH YOUR SUFFRAGES HAVE TWICE CALLED ME HAVE BEEN A UNIFORM SACRIFICE OF INCLINATION TO THE OPINION OF DUTY AND TO A DEFERENCE FOR WHAT APPEARED TO BE YOUR DESIRE. I CONSTANTLY HOPED THAT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN MUCH EARLIER IN MY POWER, CONSISTENTLY WITH MOTIVES WHICH I WAS NOT AT LIBERTY TO DISREGARD, TO RETURN TO THAT RETIREMENT FROM WHICH I HAD BEEN RELUCTANTLY DRAWN. THE STRENGTH OF MY INCLINATION TO DO THIS PREVIOUS TO THE LAST ELECTION HAD EVEN LED TO THE PREPARATION OF AN ADDRESS TO DECLARE IT TO YOU; BUT MATURE REFLECTION ON THE THEN-PERPLEXED AND CRITICAL POSTURE OF OUR AFFAIRS WITH FOREIGN NATIONS, AND THE UNANIMOUS ADVICE OF PERSONS ENTITLED TO MY CONFIDENCE, IMPELLED ME TO ABANDON THE IDEA. I REJOICE THAT THE STATE OF YOUR CONCERNS, EXTERNAL AS WELL AS INTERNAL, NO LONGER RENDERS THE PURSUIT OF INCLINATION INCOMPATIBLE WITH THE SENTIMENT OF DUTY OR PROPRIETY AND AM PERSUADED, WHATEVER PARTIALITY MAY BE RETAINED FOR MY SERVICES, THAT IN THE PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES OF OUR COUNTRY YOU WILL NOT DISAPPROVE MY DETERMINATION TO RETIRE. THE IMPRESSIONS WITH WHICH I FIRST UNDERTOOK THE ARDUOUS TRUST WERE EXPLAINED ON THE PROPER OCCASION. IN THE DISCHARGE OF THIS TRUST, I WILL ONLY SAY THAT I HAVE, WITH GOOD INTENTIONS, CONTRIBUTED TOWARD THE ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT THE BEST EXERTIONS OF WHICH A VERY FALLIBLE JUDGMENT WAS CAPABLE. NOT UNCONSCIOUS IN THE OUTSET OF THE INFERIORITY OF MY QUALIFICATIONS, EXPERIENCE IN MY OWN EYES, PERHAPS STILL MORE IN THE EYES OF OTHERS, HAS STRENGTHENED THE MOTIVES TO DIFFIDENCE OF MYSELF; AND EVERY DAY THE INCREASING WEIGHT OF YEARS ADMONISHES ME MORE AND MORE THAT THE SHADE OF RETIREMENT IS AS NECESSARY TO ME AS IT WILL BE WELCOME. SATISFIED THAT IF ANY CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE GIVEN PECULIAR VALUE TO MY SERVICES THEY WERE TEMPORARY, I HAVE THE CONSOLATION TO BELIEVE THAT WHILE CHOICE AND PRUDENCE INVITE ME TO QUIT THE POLITICAL SCENE, PATRIOTISM DOES NOT FORBID IT. IN LOOKING FORWARD TO THE MOMENT WHICH IS INTENDED TO TERMINATE THE CAREER OF MY POLITICAL LIFE, MY FEELINGS DO NOT PERMIT ME TO SUSPEND THE DEEP ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THAT DEBT OF GRATITUDE WHICH I OWE TO MY BELOVED COUNTRY FOR THE MANY HONORS IT HAS CONFERRED UPON ME; STILL MORE FOR THE STEADFAST CONFIDENCE WITH WHICH IT HAS SUPPORTED ME; AND FOR THE OPPORTUNITIES I HAVE THENCE ENJOYED OF MANIFESTING MY INVIOLABLE ATTACHMENT BY SERVICES FAITHFUL AND PERSEVERING, THOUGH IN USEFULNESS UNEQUAL TO MY ZEAL. IF BENEFITS HAVE RESULTED TO OUR COUNTRY FROM THESE SERVICES, LET IT ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED TO YOUR PRAISE, AND AS AN INSTRUCTIVE EXAMPLE IN OUR ANNALS, THAT UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH THE PASSIONS, AGITATED IN EVERY DIRECTION, WERE LIABLE TO MISLEAD -- AMIDST APPEARANCES SOMETIMES DUBIOUS, VICISSITUDES OF FORTUNE OFTEN DISCOURAGING, IN SITUATIONS IN WHICH, NOT INFREQUENTLY, WANT OF SUCCESS HAS COUNTENANCED THE SPIRIT OF CRITICISM -- THE CONSTANCY OF YOUR SUPPORT WAS THE ESSENTIAL PROP OF THE EFFORTS AND A GUARANTY OF THE PLANS BY WHICH THEY WERE EFFECTUAL. PROFOUNDLY PENETRATED WITH THIS IDEA, I SHALL CARRY IT WITH ME TO MY GRAVE AS A STRONG INCITEMENT TO UNCEASING VOWS THAT HEAVEN MAY CONTINUE TO YOU THE CHOICEST TOKENS OF I BENEFICENCE; THAT YOUR UNION AND BROTHERLY AFFECTION MAY BE PERPETUAL; THAT THE FREE CONSTITUTION, WHICH IS THE WORK OF YOUR HANDS, MAY BE SACREDLY MAINTAINED; THAT ITS ADMINISTRATION IN EVERY DEPARTMENT MAY BE STAMPED WITH WISDOM AND VIRTUE; THAT, IN FINE, THE HAPPINESS OF THE PEOPLE OF THESE STATES, UNDER THE AUSPICES OF LIBERTY, MAY BE MADE COMPLETE BY SO CAREFUL A PRESERVATION AND SO PRUDENT A USE OF THIS BLESSING AS WILL ACQUIRE TO THEN THE GLORY OF RECOMMENDING IT TO THE APPLAUSE, THE AFFECTION, AND ADOPTION OF EVERY NATION WHICH IS YET A STRANGER TO IT. HERE, PERHAPS, I OUGHT TO STOP. BUT A SOLICITUDE FOR YOUR WELFARE, WHICH CANNOT END BUT WITH MY LIFE, AND THE APPREHENSION OF DANGER NATURAL TO THAT SOLICITUDE URGE ME, ON AN OCCASION LIKE THE PRESENT, TO OFFER TO YOUR SOLEMN CONTEMPLATION AND TO RECOMMEND TO YOUR FREQUENT REVIEW SOME SENTIMENTS WHICH ARE THE RESULT OF MUCH REFLECTION, OF NO INCONSIDERABLE OBSERVATION, AND WHICH APPEAR TO ME ALL IMPORTANT TO THE PERMANENCY OF YOUR FELICITY AS A PEOPLE. THESE WILL BE OFFERED TO YOU WITH THE MORE FREEDOM, AS YOU CAN ONLY SEE IN THEM THE DISINTERESTED WARNINGS OF A PARTING FRIEND WHO CAN POSSIBLY HAVE NO PERSONAL MOTIVE TO BIAS HIS COUNSEL. NOR CAN I FORGET, AS AN ENCOURAGEMENT TO IT, YOUR INDULGENT RECEPTION OF MY SENTIMENTS ON A FORMER AND NOT DISSIMILAR OCCASION. INTERWOVEN AS IS THE LOVE OF LIBERTY WITH EVERY LIGAMENT OF YOUR HEARTS, NO RECOMMENDATION OF MINE IS NECESSARY TO FORTIFY OR CONFIRM THE ATTACHMENT. THE UNITY OF GOVERNMENT, WHICH CONSTITUTES YOU ONE PEOPLE, IS ALSO NOW DEAR TO YOU. IT IS JUSTLY SO; FOR IT IS A MAIN PILLAR IN THE EDIFICE OF YOUR REAL INDEPENDENCE, THE SUPPORT OF YOUR TRANQUILITY AT HOME, YOUR PEACE ABROAD, OF YOUR SAFETY, OF YOUR PROSPERITY, OF THAT VERY LIBERTY WHICH YOU SO HIGHLY PRIZE. BUT AS IT IS EASY TO FORESEE THAT FROM DIFFERENT CAUSES AND FROM DIFFERENT QUARTERS MUCH PAINS WILL BE TAKEN, MANY ARTIFICES EMPLOYED, TO WEAKEN IN YOUR MINDS THE CONVICTION OF THIS TRUTH -- AS THIS IS THE POINT IN YOUR POLITICAL FORTRESS AGAINST WHICH THE BATTERIES OF INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL ENEMIES WILL BE MOST CONSTANTLY AND ACTIVELY (THOUGH OFTEN COVERTLY AND INSIDIOUSLY) BE DIRECTED -- IT IS OF INFINITE MOMENT THAT YOU SHOULD PROPERLY ESTIMATE THE IMMENSE VALUE OF YOUR NATIONAL UNION TO YOUR COLLECTIVE AND INDIVIDUAL HAPPINESS; THAT YOU SHOULD CHERISH A CORDIAL, HABITUAL, AND IMMOVABLE ATTACHMENT TO IT; ACCUSTOMING YOURSELVES TO THINK AND SPEAK OF IT AS OF THE PALLADIUM OF YOUR POLITICAL SAFETY AND PROSPERITY; WATCHING FOR ITS PRESERVATION WITH JEALOUS ANXIETY; DISCOUNTENANCING WHATEVER MAY SUGGEST EVEN A SUSPICION THAT IT CAN IN ANY EVENT BE ABANDONED; AND INDIGNANTLY FROWNING UPON THE FIRST DAWNING OF EVERY ATTEMPT TO ALIENATE ANY PORTION OF OUR COUNTRY FROM THE REST OR TO ENFEEBLE THE SACRED TIES WHICH NOW LINK TOGETHER THE VARIOUS PARTS. FOR THIS YOU HAVE EVERY INDUCEMENT OF SYMPATHY AND SELF-INTEREST. CITIZENS -- BY BIRTH OR CHOICE -- OF A COMMON COUNTRY, THAT COUNTRY HAS A RIGHT TO CONCENTRATE YOUR AFFECTIONS. THE NAME OF AMERICAN, WHICH BELONGS TO YOU IN YOUR NATIONAL CAPACITY, MUST ALWAYS EXALT THE JUST PRIDE OF PATRIOTISM MORE THAN ANY APPELLATION DERIVED FROM LOCAL DISCRIMINATIONS. WITH SLIGHT SHADES OF DIFFERENCE, YOU HAVE THE SAME RELIGION, MANNERS, HABITS, AND POLITICAL PRINCIPLES. YOU HAVE, IN A COMMON CAUSE, FOUGHT AND TRIUMPHED TOGETHER. THE INDEPENDENCE AND LIBERTY YOU POSSESS ARE THE WORK OF JOINT COUNCILS AND JOINT EFFORTS, OF COMMON DANGERS, SUFFERINGS, AND SUCCESSES. BUT THESE CONSIDERATIONS, HOWEVER POWERFULLY THEY ADDRESS THEMSELVES TO YOUR SENSIBILITY, ARE GREATLY OUTWEIGHED BY THOSE WHICH APPLY MORE IMMEDIATELY TO YOUR INTEREST. HERE EVERY PORTION OF OUR COUNTRY FINDS THE MOST COMMANDING MOTIVES FOR CAREFULLY GUARDING AND PRESERVING THE UNION OF THE WHOLE. THE NORTH, IN AN UNRESTRAINED INTERCOURSE WITH THE SOUTH, PROTECTED BY THE EQUAL LAWS OF A COMMON GOVERNMENT, FINDS IN THE PRODUCTIONS OF THE LATTER GREAT ADDITIONAL RESOURCES OF MARITIME AND COMMERCIAL ENTERPRISE AND PRECIOUS MATERIALS OF MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY. THE SOUTH, IN THE SAME INTERCOURSE, BENEFITING BY THE SAME AGENCY OF THE NORTH, SEES ITS AGRICULTURE GROW AND ITS S COMMERCE EXPAND. TURNING PARTLY INTO ITS OWN CHANNELS THE SEAMEN OF THE NORTH, IT FINDS ITS PARTICULAR NAVIGATION INVIGORATED; AND WHILE IT CONTRIBUTES IN DIFFERENT WAYS TO NOURISH AND INCREASE THE GENERAL MASS OF THE NATIONAL NAVIGATION, IT LOOKS FORWARD TO THE PROTECTION OF A MARITIME STRENGTH TO WHICH ITSELF IS UNEQUALLY ADAPTED. THE EAST, IN A LIKE INTERCOURSE WITH THE WEST, ALREADY FINDS, AND IN THE PROGRESSIVE IMPROVEMENT OF INTERIOR COMMUNICATIONS BY LAND AND WATER WILL MORE AND MORE FIND, A VALUABLE VENT FOR THE COMMODITIES WHICH IT BRINGS FROM ABROAD OR MANUFACTURES AT HOME. THE WEST DERIVES FROM THE EAST SUPPLIES REQUISITE TO ITS GROWTH AND COMFORT, AND WHAT IS PERHAPS OF STILL GREATER CONSEQUENCE, IT MUST OF NECESSITY OWE THE SECURE ENJOYMENT OF INDISPENSABLE OUTLETS FOR ITS OWN PRODUCTIONS TO THE WEIGHT, INFLUENCE, AND THE FUTURE MARITIME STRENGTH OF THE ATLANTIC SIDE OF THE UNION, DIRECTED BY AN INDISSOLUBLE COMMUNITY OF INTEREST AS ONE NATION. ANY OTHER TENURE BY WHICH THE WEST CAN HOLD THIS ESSENTIAL ADVANTAGE, WHETHER DERIVED FROM ITS OWN SEPARATE STRENGTH OR FROM AN APOSTATE AND UNNATURAL CONNECTION WITH ANY FOREIGN POWER, MUST BE INTRINSICALLY PRECARIOUS. WHILE, THEN, EVERY PART OF OUR COUNTRY THUS FEELS AN IMMEDIATE AND PARTICULAR INTEREST IN UNION, ALL THE PARTS COMBINED CANNOT FAIL TO FIND IN THE UNITED MASS OF MEANS AND EFFORTS GREATER STRENGTH, GREATER RESOURCE, PROPORTIONABLY GREATER SECURITY FROM EXTERNAL DANGER, A LESS FREQUENT INTERRUPTION OF THEIR PEACE BY FOREIGN NATIONS, AND, WHAT IS OF INESTIMABLE VALUE, THEY MUST DERIVE FROM UNION AN EXEMPTION FROM THOSE BROILS AND WARS BETWEEN THEMSELVES WHICH SO FREQUENTLY AFFLICT NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES NOT TIED TOGETHER BY THE SAME GOVERNMENTS, WHICH THEIR OWN RIVALSHIPS ALONE WOULD BE SUFFICIENT TO PRODUCE, BUT WHICH OPPOSITE FOREIGN ALLIANCES, ATTACHMENTS, AND INTRIGUES WOULD STIMULATE AND EMBITTER. HENCE, LIKEWISE, THEY WILL AVOID THE NECESSITY OF THOSE OVERGROWN MILITARY ESTABLISHMENTS WHICH, UNDER ANY FORM OF GOVERNMENT, ARE INAUSPICIOUS TO LIBERTY AND WHICH ARE TO BE REGARDED AS PARTICULARLY HOSTILE TO REPUBLICAN LIBERTY. IN THIS SENSE, IT IS THAT YOUR UNION OUGHT TO BE CONSIDERED AS A MAIN PROP OF YOUR LIBERTY AND THAT THE LOVE OF THE ONE OUGHT TO ENDEAR TO YOU THE PRESERVATION OF THE OTHER. THESE CONSIDERATIONS SPEAK A PERSUASIVE LANGUAGE TO EVERY REFLECTING AND VIRTUOUS MIND AND EXHIBIT THE CONTINUANCE OF THE UNION AS A PRIMARY OBJECT OF PATRIOTIC DESIRE. IS THERE A DOUBT WHETHER A COMMON GOVERNMENT CAN EMBRACE SO LARGE A SPHERE? LET EXPERIENCE SOLVE IT. TO LISTEN TO MERE SPECULATION IN SUCH A CASE WERE CRIMINAL. WE ARE AUTHORIZED TO HOPE THAT A PROPER ORGANIZATION OF THE WHOLE, WITH THE AUXILIARY AGENCY OF GOVERNMENTS FOR THE RESPECTIVE SUBDIVISIONS, WILL AFFORD A HAPPY ISSUE TO THE EXPERIMENT. IT IS WELL WORTH A FAIR AND FULL EXPERIMENT. WITH SUCH POWERFUL AND OBVIOUS MOTIVES TO UNION AFFECTING ALL PARTS OF OUR COUNTRY, WHILE EXPERIENCE SHALL NOT HAVE DEMONSTRATED ITS IMPRACTICABILITY, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE REASON TO DISTRUST THE PATRIOTISM OF THOSE WHO, IN ANY QUARTER, MAY ENDEAVOR TO WEAKEN ITS HANDS. IN CONTEMPLATING THE CAUSES WHICH MAY DISTURB OUR UNION, IT OCCURS AS MATTER OF SERIOUS CONCERN THAT ANY GROUND SHOULD HAVE BEEN FURNISHED FOR CHARACTERIZING PARTIES BY GEOGRAPHICAL DISCRIMINATIONS -- NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN, ATLANTIC AND WESTERN -- WHENCE DESIGNING MEN MAY ENDEAVOR TO EXCITE A BELIEF THAT THERE IS A REAL DIFFERENCE OF LOCAL INTERESTS AND VIEWS. ONE OF THE EXPEDIENTS OF PARTY TO ACQUIRE INFLUENCE WITHIN PARTICULAR DISTRICTS IS TO MISREPRESENT THE OPINIONS AND AIMS OF OTHER DISTRICTS. YOU CANNOT SHIELD YOURSELVES TOO MUCH AGAINST THE JEALOUSIES AND HEARTBURNINGS WHICH SPRING FROM THESE MISREPRESENTATIONS; THEY TEND TO RENDER ALIEN TO EACH OTHER THOSE WHO OUGHT TO BE BOUND TOGETHER BY FRATERNAL AFFECTION. THE INHABITANTS OF OUR WESTERN COUNTRY HAVE LATELY HAD A USEFUL LESSON ON THIS HEAD. THEY HAVE SEEN IN THE NEGOTIATION BY THE EXECUTIVE AND IN THE UNANIMOUS RATIFICATION BY THE SENATE OF THE TREATY WITH SPAIN, AND IN THE UNIVERSAL SATISFACTION AT THAT EVENT THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES, A DECISIVE PROOF HOW UNFOUNDED WERE THE SUSPICIONS PROPAGATED AMONG THEM OF A POLICY IN THE GENERAL GOVERNMENT AND IN THE ATLANTIC STATES UNFRIENDLY TO THEIR INTERESTS IN REGARD TO THE MISSISSIPPI. THEY HAVE BEEN WITNESSES TO THE FORMATION OF TWO TREATIES -- THAT WITH GREAT BRITAIN AND THAT WITH SPAIN -- WHICH SECURE TO THEM EVERYTHING THEY COULD DESIRE IN RESPECT TO OUR FOREIGN RELATIONS TOWARD CONFIRMING THEIR PROSPERITY. WILL IT NOT BE THEIR WISDOM TO RELY FOR THE PRESERVATION OF THESE ADVANTAGES ON THE UNION BY WHICH THEY WERE PROCURED? WILL THEY NOT HENCEFORTH BE DEAF TO THOSE ADVISORS, IF SUCH THERE ARE, WHO WOULD SEVER THEM FROM THEIR BRETHREN AND CONNECT THEM WITH ALIENS? TO THE EFFICACY AND PERMANENCY OF YOUR UNION, A GOVERNMENT FOR THE WHOLE IS INDISPENSABLE. NO ALLIANCES, HOWEVER STRICT, BETWEEN THE PARTS CAN BE AN ADEQUATE SUBSTITUTE. THEY MUST INEVITABLY EXPERIENCE THE INFRACTIONS AND INTERRUPTIONS WHICH ALL ALLIANCES IN ALL TIMES HAVE EXPERIENCED. SENSIBLE OF THIS MOMENTOUS TRUTH, YOU HAVE IMPROVED UPON YOUR FIRST ESSAY BY THE ADOPTION OF A CONSTITUTION OF GOVERNMENT, BETTER CALCULATED THAN YOUR FORMER, FOR AN INTIMATE UNION AND FOR THE EFFICACIOUS MANAGEMENT OF YOUR COMMON CONCERNS. THIS GOVERNMENT, THE OFFSPRING OF OUR OWN CHOICE, UNINFLUENCED AND UNAWED, ADOPTED UPON FULL INVESTIGATION AND MATURE DELIBERATION COMPLETELY FREE IN ITS PRINCIPLES, IN THE DISTRIBUTION OF ITS POWERS, UNITING SECURITY WITH ENERGY, AND CONTAINING WITHIN ITSELF A PROVISION FOR ITS OWN AMENDMENT, HAS A JUST CLAIM TO YOUR CONFIDENCE AND YOUR SUPPORT. RESPECT FOR ITS AUTHORITY, COMPLIANCE WITH ITS LAWS, ACQUIESCENCE IN ITS MEASURES, ARE DUTIES ENJOINED BY THE FUNDAMENTAL MAXIMS OF TRUE LIBERTY. THE BASIS OF OUR POLITICAL SYSTEMS IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO MAKE AND TO ALTER THEIR CONSTITUTIONS OF GOVERNMENT. BUT THE CONSTITUTION WHICH AT ANY TIME EXISTS, TILL CHANGED BY AN EXPLICIT AND AUTHENTIC ACT OF THE WHOLE PEOPLE, IS SACREDLY OBLIGATORY UPON ALL. THE VERY IDEA OF THE POWER AND THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ESTABLISH GOVERNMENT PRESUPPOSES THE DUTY OF EVERY INDIVIDUAL TO OBEY THE ESTABLISHED GOVERNMENT. ALL OBSTRUCTIONS TO THE EXECUTION OF THE LAWS, ALL COMBINATIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS, UNDER WHATEVER PLAUSIBLE CHARACTER, WITH THE REAL DESIGN TO DIRECT, CONTROL, COUNTERACT, OR AWE THE REGULAR DELIBERATION AND ACTION OF THE CONSTITUTED AUTHORITIES, ARE DESTRUCTIVE OF THIS FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE AND OF FATAL TENDENCY. THEY SERVE TO ORGANIZE FACTION; TO GIVE IT AN ARTIFICIAL AND EXTRAORDINARY FORCE; TO PUT IN THE PLACE OF THE DELEGATED WILL OF THE NATION THE WILL OF A PARTY, OFTEN A SMALL BUT ARTFUL AND ENTERPRISING MINORITY OF THE COMMUNITY; AND, ACCORDING TO THE ALTERNATE TRIUMPHS OF DIFFERENT PARTIES, TO MAKE THE PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION THE MIRROR OF THE ILL-CONCERTED AND INCONGRUOUS PROJECTS OF FACTION RATHER THAN THE ORGAN OF CONSISTENT AND WHOLESOME PLANS DIGESTED BY COMMON COUNSELS AND MODIFIED BY MUTUAL INTERESTS. HOWEVER COMBINATIONS OR ASSOCIATIONS OF THE ABOVE DESCRIPTION MAY NOW AND THEN ANSWER POPULAR ENDS, THEY ARE LIKELY, IN THE COURSE OF TIME AND THINGS, TO BECOME POTENT ENGINES BY WHICH CUNNING, AMBITIOUS, AND UNPRINCIPLED MEN WILL BE ENABLED TO SUBVERT THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE AND TO USURP FOR THEMSELVES THE REINS OF GOVERNMENT, DESTROYING AFTERWARDS THE VERY ENGINES WHICH HAVE LIFTED THEM TO UNJUST DOMINION. TOWARD THE PRESERVATION OF YOUR GOVERNMENT AND THE PERMANENCY OF YOUR PRESENT HAPPY STATE, IT IS REQUISITE NOT ONLY THAT YOU STEADILY DISCOUNTENANCE IRREGULAR OPPOSITIONS TO ITS ACKNOWLEDGED AUTHORITY, BUT ALSO THAT YOU RESIST WITH CARE THE SPIRIT OF INNOVATION UPON ITS PRINCIPLES, HOWEVER SPECIOUS THE PRETEXTS. ONE METHOD OF ASSAULT MAY BE TO EFFECT, IN THE FORMS OF THE CONSTITUTION, ALTERATIONS WHICH WILL IMPAIR THE ENERGY OF THE SYSTEM AND, THUS, TO UNDERMINE WHAT CANNOT BE DIRECTLY OVERTHROWN. IN ALL THE CHANGES TO WHICH YOU MAY BE INVITED, REMEMBER THAT TIME AND HABIT ARE AT LEAST AS NECESSARY TO FIX THE TRUE CHARACTER OF GOVERNMENTS AS OF OTHER HUMAN INSTITUTIONS; THAT EXPERIENCE IS THE SUREST STANDARD BY WHICH TO TEST THE REAL TENDENCY OF THE EXISTING CONSTITUTION OF A COUNTRY; THAT FACILITY IN CHANGES UPON THE CREDIT OF MERE HYPOTHESIS AND OPINION EXPOSES TO PERPETUAL CHANGE FROM THE ENDLESS VARIETY OF HYPOTHESIS AND OPINION; AND REMEMBER ESPECIALLY, THAT FOR THE EFFICIENT MANAGEMENT OF YOUR COMMON INTERESTS IN A COUNTRY SO EXTENSIVE AS OURS, A GOVERNMENT OF AS MUCH VIGOR AS IS CONSISTENT WITH THE PERFECT SECURITY OF LIBERTY IS INDISPENSABLE. LIBERTY ITSELF WILL FIND IN SUCH A GOVERNMENT, WITH POWERS PROPERLY DISTRIBUTED AND ADJUSTED, ITS SUREST GUARDIAN. IT IS, INDEED, LITTLE ELSE THAN A NAME WHERE THE GOVERNMENT IS TOO FEEBLE TO WITHSTAND THE ENTERPRISES OF FACTION, TO CONFINE EACH MEMBER OF THE SOCIETY WITHIN THE LIMITS PRESCRIBED BY THE LAWS, AND TO MAINTAIN ALL IN THE SECURE AND TRANQUIL ENJOYMENT OF THE RIGHTS OF PERSON AND PROPERTY. I HAVE ALREADY INTIMATED TO YOU THE DANGER OF PARTIES IN THE STATE WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO THE FOUNDING OF THEM ON GEOGRAPHICAL DISCRIMINATIONS. LET ME NOW TAKE A MORE COMPREHENSIVE VIEW AND WARN YOU IN THE MOST SOLEMN MANNER AGAINST THE BANEFUL EFFECTS OF THE SPIRIT OF PARTY GENERALLY. THIS SPIRIT, UNFORTUNATELY, IS INSEPARABLE FROM OUR NATURE, HAVING ITS ROOT IN THE STRONGEST PASSIONS OF THE HUMAN MIND. IT EXISTS UNDER DIFFERENT SHAPES IN ALL GOVERNMENTS, MORE OR LESS STIFLED, CONTROLLED, OR REPRESSED; BUT IN THOSE OF THE POPULAR FORM, IT IS SEEN IN ITS GREATEST RANKNESS AND IS TRULY THEIR WORST ENEMY. THE ALTERNATE DOMINATION OF ONE FACTION OVER ANOTHER, SHARPENED BY THE SPIRIT OF REVENGE NATURAL TO PARTY DISSENSION, WHICH IN DIFFERENT AGES AND COUNTRIES HAS PERPETRATED THE MOST HORRID ENORMITIES, IS ITSELF A FRIGHTFUL DESPOTISM. BUT THIS LEADS AT LENGTH TO A MORE FORMAL AND PERMANENT DESPOTISM. THE DISORDERS AND MISERIES WHICH RESULT GRADUALLY INCLINE THE MINDS OF MEN TO SEEK SECURITY AND REPOSE IN THE ABSOLUTE POWER OF AN INDIVIDUAL; AND, SOONER OR LATER, THE CHIEF OF SOME PREVAILING FACTION, MORE ABLE OR MORE FORTUNATE THAN HIS COMPETITORS, TURNS THIS DISPOSITION TO THE PURPOSE OF HIS OWN ELEVATION ON THE RUINS OF PUBLIC LIBERTY. WITHOUT LOOKING FORWARD TO AN EXTREMITY OF THIS KIND (WHICH NEVERTHELESS OUGHT NOT TO BE ENTIRELY OUT OF SIGHT), THE COMMON AND CONTINUAL MISCHIEFS OF THE SPIRIT OF PARTY ARE SUFFICIENT TO MAKE IT THE INTEREST AND DUTY OF A WISE PEOPLE TO DISCOURAGE AND RESTRAIN IT. IT SERVES ALWAYS TO DISTRACT THE PUBLIC COUNCILS AND ENFEEBLE THE PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION. IT AGITATES THE COMMUNITY WITH ILL-FOUNDED JEALOUSIES AND FALSE ALARMS; KINDLES THE ANIMOSITY OF ONE PART AGAINST ANOTHER; FOMENTS OCCASIONALLY RIOT AND INSURRECTION. IT OPENS THE DOOR TO FOREIGN INFLUENCE AND CORRUPTION, WHICH FIND A FACILITATED ACCESS TO THE GOVERNMENT ITSELF THROUGH THE CHANNELS OF PARTY PASSION. THUS, THE POLICY AND THE WILL OF ONE COUNTRY ARE SUBJECTED TO THE POLICY AND WILL OF ANOTHER. THERE IS AN OPINION THAT PARTIES IN FREE COUNTRIES ARE USEFUL CHECKS UPON THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT AND SERVE TO KEEP ALIVE THE SPIRIT OF LIBERTY. THIS, WITHIN CERTAIN LIMITS, IS PROBABLY TRUE; AND IN GOVERNMENTS OF A MONARCHIAL CAST, PATRIOTISM MAY LOOK WITH INDULGENCE, IF NOT WITH FAVOR, UPON THE SPIRIT OF PARTY. BUT IN THOSE OF THE POPULAR CHARACTER, IN GOVERNMENTS PURELY ELECTIVE, IT IS A SPIRIT NOT TO BE ENCOURAGED. FROM THEIR NATURAL TENDENCY, IT IS CERTAIN THERE WILL ALWAYS BE ENOUGH OF THAT SPIRIT FOR EVERY SALUTARY PURPOSE; AND THERE BEING CONSTANT DANGER OF EXCESS, THE EFFORT OUGHT TO BE, BY FORCE OF PUBLIC OPINION, TO MITIGATE AND ASSUAGE IT. A FIRE NOT TO BE QUENCHED, IT DEMANDS A UNIFORM VIGILANCE TO PREVENT ITS BURSTING INTO A FLAME, LEST INSTEAD OF WARMING, IT SHOULD CONSUME. IT IS IMPORTANT, LIKEWISE, THAT THE HABITS OF THINKING IN A FREE COUNTRY SHOULD INSPIRE CAUTION IN THOSE ENTRUSTED WITH ITS ADMINISTRATION TO CONFINE THEMSELVES WITHIN THEIR RESPECTIVE CONSTITUTIONAL SPHERES, AVOIDING IN THE EXERCISE OF THE POWERS OF ONE DEPARTMENT TO ENCROACH UPON ANOTHER. THE SPIRIT OF ENCROACHMENT TENDS TO CONSOLIDATE THE POWERS OF ALL THE DEPARTMENTS IN ONE AND, THUS, TO CREATE, WHATEVER THE FORM OF GOVERNMENT, A REAL DESPOTISM. A JUST ESTIMATE OF THAT LOVE OF POWER AND PRONENESS TO ABUSE IT, WHICH PREDOMINATES IN THE HUMAN HEART, IS SUFFICIENT TO SATISFY US OF THE TRUTH OF THIS POSITION. THE NECESSITY OF RECIPROCAL CHECKS IN THE EXERCISE OF POLITICAL POWER, BY DIVIDING AND DISTRIBUTING IT INTO DIFFERENT DEPOSITORIES AND CONSTITUTING EACH THE GUARDIAN OF THE PUBLIC WEAL AGAINST INVASIONS BY THE OTHERS, HAS BEEN EVINCED BY EXPERIMENTS ANCIENT AND MODERN, SOME OF THEM IN OUR COUNTRY AND UNDER OUR OWN EYES. TO PRESERVE THEM MUST BE AS NECESSARY AS TO INSTITUTE THEM. IF, IN THE OPINION OF THE PEOPLE, THE DISTRIBUTION OR MODIFICATION OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL POWERS BE IN ANY PARTICULAR WRONG, LET IT BE CORRECTED BY AN AMENDMENT IN THE WAY WHICH THE CONSTITUTION DESIGNATES. BUT LET THERE BE NO CHANGE BY USURPATION; FOR THOUGH THIS, IN ONE INSTANCE, MAY BE THE INSTRUMENT OF GOOD, IT IS THE CUSTOMARY WEAPON BY WHICH FREE GOVERNMENTS ARE DESTROYED. THE PRECEDENT MUST ALWAYS GREATLY OVERBALANCE IN PERMANENT EVIL ANY PARTIAL OR TRANSIENT BENEFIT WHICH THE USE CAN AT ANY TIME YIELD. OF ALL THE DISPOSITIONS AND HABITS WHICH LEAD TO POLITICAL PROSPERITY, RELIGION AND MORALITY ARE INDISPENSABLE SUPPORTS. IN VAIN WOULD THAT MAN CLAIM THE TRIBUTE OF PATRIOTISM WHO SHOULD LABOR TO SUBVERT THESE GREAT PILLARS OF HUMAN HAPPINESS -- THESE FIRMEST PROPS OF THE DUTIES OF MEN AND CITIZENS. THE MERE POLITICIAN, EQUALLY WITH THE PIOUS MAN, OUGHT TO RESPECT AND TO CHERISH THEM. A VOLUME COULD NOT TRACE ALL THEIR CONNECTIONS WITH PRIVATE AND PUBLIC FELICITY. LET IT SIMPLY BE ASKED, WHERE IS THE SECURITY FOR PROPERTY, FOR REPUTATION, FOR LIFE, IF THE SENSE OF RELIGIOUS OBLIGATION DESERT THE OATHS WHICH ARE THE INSTRUMENTS OF INVESTIGATION IN COURTS OF JUSTICE? AND LET US WITH CAUTION INDULGE THE SUPPOSITION THAT MORALITY CAN BE MAINTAINED WITHOUT RELIGION. WHATEVER MAY BE CONCEDED TO THE INFLUENCE OF REFINED EDUCATION ON MINDS OF PECULIAR STRUCTURE, REASON AND EXPERIENCE BOTH FORBID US TO EXPECT THAT NATIONAL MORALITY CAN PREVAIL IN EXCLUSION OF RELIGIOUS PRINCIPLE. IT IS SUBSTANTIALLY TRUE THAT VIRTUE OR MORALITY IS A NECESSARY SPRING OF POPULAR GOVERNMENT. THE RULE, INDEED, EXTENDS WITH MORE OR LESS FORCE TO EVERY SPECIES OF FREE GOVERNMENT. WHO THAT IS A SINCERE FRIEND TO IT CAN LOOK WITH INDIFFERENCE UPON ATTEMPTS TO SHAKE THE FOUNDATION OF THE FABRIC? PROMOTE, THEN, AS AN OBJECT OF PRIMARY IMPORTANCE, INSTITUTIONS FOR THE GENERAL DIFFUSION OF KNOWLEDGE. IN PROPORTION AS THE STRUCTURE OF A GOVERNMENT GIVES FORCE TO PUBLIC OPINION, IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT PUBLIC OPINION SHOULD BE ENLIGHTENED. AS A VERY IMPORTANT SOURCE OF STRENGTH AND SECURITY, CHERISH PUBLIC CREDIT. ONE METHOD OF PRESERVING IT IS TO USE IT AS SPARINGLY AS POSSIBLE, AVOIDING OCCASIONS OF EXPENSE BY CULTIVATING PEACE, BUT REMEMBERING ALSO THAT TIMELY DISBURSEMENTS TO PREPARE FOR DANGER FREQUENTLY PREVENT MUCH GREATER DISBURSEMENTS TO REPEL IT; AVOIDING, LIKEWISE THE ACCUMULATION OF DEBT, NOT ONLY BY SHUNNING OCCASIONS OF EXPENSE BUT BY VIGOROUS EXERTIONS IN TIME OF PEACE TO DISCHARGE THE DEBTS WHICH UNAVOIDABLE WARS HAVE OCCASIONED, NOT UNGENEROUSLY THROWING UPON POSTERITY THE BURDEN WHICH WE OURSELVES OUGHT TO BEAR. THE EXECUTION OF THESE MAXIMS BELONGS TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVES; BUT IT IS NECESSARY THAT PUBLIC OPINION SHOULD COOPERATE. TO FACILITATE TO THEM THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTY, IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT YOU SHOULD PRACTICALLY BEAR IN MIND THAT TOWARD THE PAYMENT OF DEBTS THERE MUST BE REVENUE; THAT TO HAVE REVENUE THERE MUST BE TAXES; THAT NO TAXES CAN BE DEVISED WHICH ARE NOT MORE OR LESS INCONVENIENT AND UNPLEASANT; THAT THE INTRINSIC EMBARRASSMENT INSEPARABLE FROM THE SELECTION OF THE PROPER OBJECTS (WHICH IS ALWAYS A CHOICE OF DIFFICULTIES) OUGHT TO BE A DECISIVE MOTIVE FOR A CANDID CONSTRUCTION OF THE CONDUCT OF THE GOVERNMENT IN MAKING IT AND FOR A SPIRIT OF ACQUIESCENCE IN THE MEASURES FOR OBTAINING REVENUE, WHICH THE PUBLIC EXIGENCIES MAY AT ANY TIME DICTATE. OBSERVE GOOD FAITH AND JUSTICE TOWARD ALL NATIONS. CULTIVATE PEACE AND HARMONY WITH ALL. RELIGION AND MORALITY ENJOIN THIS CONDUCT. AND CAN IT BE THAT GOOD POLICY DOES NOT EQUALLY ENJOIN IT? IT WILL BE WORTHY OF A FREE, ENLIGHTENED, AND, AT NO DISTANT PERIOD, A GREAT NATION TO GIVE TO MANKIND THE MAGNANIMOUS AND TOO NOVEL EXAMPLE OF A PEOPLE ALWAYS GUIDED BY AN EXALTED JUSTICE AND BENEVOLENCE. WHO CAN DOUBT THAT IN THE COURSE OF TIME AND THINGS THE FRUITS OF SUCH A PLAN WOULD RICHLY REPAY ANY TEMPORARY ADVANTAGES WHICH MIGHT BE LOST BY A STEADY ADHERENCE TO IT? CAN IT BE THAT PROVIDENCE HAS NOT CONNECTED THE PERMANENT FELICITY OF A NATION WITH ITS VIRTUE? THE EXPERIMENT, AT LEAST, IS RECOMMENDED BY EVERY SENTIMENT WHICH ENNOBLES HUMAN NATURE. ALAS! IS IT RENDERED IMPOSSIBLE BY ITS VICES? IN THE EXECUTION OF SUCH A PLAN, NOTHING IS MORE ESSENTIAL THAN THAT PERMANENT, INVETERATE ANTIPATHIES AGAINST PARTICULAR NATIONS AND PASSIONATE ATTACHMENTS FOR OTHERS SHOULD BE EXCLUDED, AND THAT IN PLACE OF THEM, JUST AND AMICABLE FEELINGS TOWARD ALL SHOULD BE CULTIVATED. THE NATION WHICH INDULGES TOWARD ANOTHER AN HABITUAL HATRED OR AN HABITUAL FONDNESS IS, IN SOME DEGREE, A SLAVE. IT IS A SLAVE TO ITS ANIMOSITY OR TO ITS AFFECTION, EITHER OF WHICH IS SUFFICIENT TO LEAD IT ASTRAY FROM ITS DUTY AND ITS INTEREST. ANTIPATHY IN ONE NATION AGAINST ANOTHER DISPOSES EACH MORE READILY TO OFFER INSULT AND INJURY, TO LAY HOLD OF SLIGHT CAUSES OF UMBRAGE, AND TO BE HAUGHTY AND INTRACTABLE WHEN ACCIDENTAL OR TRIFLING OCCASIONS OF DISPUTE OCCUR. HENCE FREQUENT COLLISIONS, OBSTINATE, ENVENOMED, AND BLOODY CONTESTS. THE NATION PROMPTED BY ILL WILL AND RESENTMENT SOMETIMES IMPELS TO WAR THE GOVERNMENT, CONTRARY TO THE BEST CALCULATIONS OF POLICY. THE GOVERNMENT SOMETIMES PARTICIPATES IN THE NATIONAL PROPENSITY AND ADOPTS THROUGH PASSION WHAT REASON WOULD REJECT. AT OTHER TIMES IT MAKES THE ANIMOSITY OF THE NATION SUBSERVIENT TO PROJECTS OF HOSTILITY, INSTIGATED BY PRIDE, AMBITION, AND OTHER SINISTER AND PERNICIOUS MOTIVES. THE PEACE OFTEN, SOMETIMES PERHAPS THE LIBERTY, OF NATIONS HAS BEEN THE VICTIM. SO, LIKEWISE, A PASSIONATE ATTACHMENT OF ONE NATION FOR ANOTHER PRODUCES A VARIETY OF EVILS. SYMPATHY FOR THE FAVORITE NATION, FACILITATING THE ILLUSION OF AN IMAGINARY COMMON INTEREST IN CASES WHERE NO REAL COMMON INTEREST EXISTS, AND INFUSING INTO ONE THE ENMITIES OF THE OTHER, BETRAYS THE FORMER INTO A PARTICIPATION IN THE QUARRELS AND WARS OF THE LATTER WITHOUT ADEQUATE INDUCEMENT OR JUSTIFICATION. IT LEADS ALSO TO CONCESSIONS TO THE FAVORITE NATION OF PRIVILEGES DENIED TO OTHERS, WHICH IS APT DOUBLY TO INJURE THE NATION MAKING THE CONCESSIONS BY UNNECESSARILY PARTING WITH WHAT OUGHT TO HAVE BEEN RETAINED AND BY EXCITING JEALOUSY, ILL WILL, AND A DISPOSITION TO RETALIATE IN THE PARTIES FROM WHOM EQUAL PRIVILEGES ARE WITHHELD; AND IT GIVES TO AMBITIOUS, CORRUPTED, OR DELUDED CITIZENS (WHO DEVOTE THEMSELVES TO THE FAVORITE NATION) FACILITY TO BETRAY OR SACRIFICE THE INTERESTS OF THEIR OWN COUNTRY WITHOUT ODIUM, SOMETIMES EVEN WITH POPULARITY, GILDING WITH THE APPEARANCES OF A VIRTUOUS SENSE OF OBLIGATION, A COMMENDABLE DEFERENCE FOR PUBLIC OPINION, OR A LAUDABLE ZEAL FOR PUBLIC GOOD THE BASE OR FOOLISH COMPLIANCES OF AMBITION, CORRUPTION, OR INFATUATION. AS AVENUES TO FOREIGN INFLUENCE IN INNUMERABLE WAYS, SUCH ATTACHMENTS ARE PARTICULARLY ALARMING TO THE TRULY ENLIGHTENED AND INDEPENDENT PATRIOT. HOW MANY OPPORTUNITIES DO THEY AFFORD TO TAMPER WITH DOMESTIC FACTIONS, TO PRACTICE THE ARTS OF SEDUCTION, TO MISLEAD PUBLIC OPINION, TO INFLUENCE OR AWE THE PUBLIC COUNCILS! SUCH AN ATTACHMENT OF A SMALL OR WEAK TOWARD A GREAT AND POWERFUL NATION DOOMS THE FORMER TO BE THE SATELLITE OF THE LATTER. AGAINST THE INSIDIOUS WILES OF FOREIGN INFLUENCE (I CONJURE YOU TO BELIEVE ME, FELLOW CITIZENS) THE JEALOUSY OF A FREE PEOPLE OUGHT TO BE CONSTANTLY AWAKE, SINCE HISTORY AND EXPERIENCE PROVE THAT FOREIGN INFLUENCE IS ONE OF THE MOST BANEFUL FOES OF REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT. BUT THAT JEALOUSY, TO BE USEFUL, MUST BE IMPARTIAL, ELSE IT BECOMES THE INSTRUMENT OF THE VERY INFLUENCE TO BE AVOIDED INSTEAD OF A DEFENSE AGAINST IT. EXCESSIVE PARTIALITY FOR ONE FOREIGN NATION AND EXCESSIVE DISLIKE OF ANOTHER CAUSE THOSE WHOM THEY ACTUATE TO SEE DANGER ONLY ON ONE SIDE AND SERVE TO VEIL AND EVEN SECOND THE ARTS OF INFLUENCE ON THE OTHER. REAL PATRIOTS, WHO MAY RESIST THE INTRIGUES OF THE FAVORITE, ARE LIABLE TO BECOME SUSPECTED AND ODIOUS, WHILE ITS TOOLS AND DUPES USURP THE APPLAUSE AND CONFIDENCE OF THE PEOPLE TO SURRENDER THEIR INTERESTS. THE GREAT RULE OF CONDUCT FOR US IN REGARD TO FOREIGN NATIONS IS IN EXTENDING OUR COMMERCIAL RELATIONS, TO HAVE WITH THEM AS LITTLE POLITICAL CONNECTION AS POSSIBLE. SO FAR AS WE HAVE ALREADY FORMED ENGAGEMENTS, LET THEM BE FULFILLED WITH PERFECT GOOD FAITH. HERE LET US STOP. EUROPE HAS A SET OF PRIMARY INTERESTS, WHICH TO US HAVE NONE OR A VERY REMOTE RELATION. HENCE, SHE MUST BE ENGAGED IN FREQUENT CONTROVERSIES, THE CAUSES OF WHICH ARE ESSENTIALLY FOREIGN TO OUR CONCERNS. HENCE, THEREFORE, IT MUST BE UNWISE IN US TO IMPLICATE OURSELVES BY ARTIFICIAL TIES IN THE ORDINARY VICISSITUDES OF HER POLITICS OR THE ORDINARY COMBINATIONS AND COLLISIONS OF HER FRIENDSHIPS OR ENMITIES. OUR DETACHED AND DISTANT SITUATION INVITES AND ENABLES US TO PURSUE A DIFFERENT COURSE. IF WE REMAIN ONE PEOPLE UNDER AN EFFICIENT GOVERNMENT, THE PERIOD IS NOT FAR OFF WHEN WE MAY DEFY MATERIAL INJURY FROM EXTERNAL ANNOYANCE; WHEN WE MAY TAKE SUCH AN ATTITUDE AS WILL CAUSE THE NEUTRALITY WE MAY AT ANY TIME RESOLVE UPON TO BE SCRUPULOUSLY RESPECTED; WHEN BELLIGERENT NATIONS, UNDER THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF MAKING ACQUISITIONS UPON US, WILL NOT LIGHTLY HAZARD THE GIVING US PROVOCATION; WHEN WE MAY CHOOSE PEACE OR WAR, AS OUR INTEREST, GUIDED BY JUSTICE, SHALL COUNSEL. WHY FOREGO THE ADVANTAGES OF SO PECULIAR A SITUATION? WHY QUIT OUR OWN TO STAND UPON FOREIGN GROUND? WHY, BY INTERWEAVING OUR DESTINY WITH THAT OF ANY PART OF EUROPE, ENTANGLE OUR PEACE AND PROSPERITY IN THE TOILS OF EUROPEAN AMBITION, RIVALSHIP, INTEREST, HUMOR, OR CAPRICE? IT IS OUR TRUE POLICY TO STEER CLEAR OF PERMANENT ALLIANCES WITH ANY PORTION OF THE FOREIGN WORLD, SO FAR, I MEAN, AS WE ARE NOW AT LIBERTY TO DO IT; FOR LET ME NOT BE UNDERSTOOD AS CAPABLE OF PATRONIZING INFIDELITY TO EXISTING ENGAGEMENTS. I HOLD THE MAXIM NO LESS APPLICABLE TO PUBLIC THAN TO PRIVATE AFFAIRS THAT HONESTY IS ALWAYS THE BEST POLICY. I REPEAT, THEREFORE, LET THOSE ENGAGEMENTS BE OBSERVED IN THEIR GENUINE SENSE. BUT, IN MY OPINION, IT IS UNNECESSARY AND WOULD BE UNWISE TO EXTEND THEM. TAKING CARE ALWAYS TO KEEP OURSELVES BY SUITABLE ESTABLISHMENTS ON A RESPECTABLE DEFENSIVE POSTURE, WE MAY SAFELY TRUST TO TEMPORARY ALLIANCES FOR EXTRAORDINARY EMERGENCIES. HARMONY AND A LIBERAL INTERCOURSE WITH ALL NATIONS ARE RECOMMENDED BY POLICY, HUMANITY, AND INTEREST. BUT EVEN OUR COMMERCIAL POLICY SHOULD HOLD AN EQUAL AND IMPARTIAL HAND, NEITHER SEEKING NOR GRANTING EXCLUSIVE FAVORS OR PREFERENCES; CONSULTING THE NATURAL COURSE OF THINGS; DIFFUSING AND DIVERSIFYING BY GENTLE MEANS THE STREAMS OF COMMERCE, BUT FORCING NOTHING; ESTABLISHING WITH POWERS SO DISPOSED, IN ORDER TO GIVE TRADE A STABLE COURSE, TO DEFINE THE RIGHTS OF OUR MERCHANTS, AND TO ENABLE THE GOVERNMENT TO SUPPORT THEM, CONVENTIONAL RULES OF INTERCOURSE, THE BEST THAT PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES AND MUTUAL OPINION WILL PERMIT, BUT TEMPORARY AND LIABLE TO BE, FROM TIME TO TIME, ABANDONED OR VARIED AS EXPERIENCE AND CIRCUMSTANCES SHALL DICTATE; CONSTANTLY KEEPING IN VIEW THAT IT IS FOLLY IN ONE NATION TO LOOK FOR DISINTERESTED FAVORS FROM ANOTHER; THAT IT MUST PAY WITH A PORTION OF ITS INDEPENDENCE FOR WHATEVER IT MAY ACCEPT UNDER THAT CHARACTER; THAT, BY SUCH ACCEPTANCE, IT MAY PLACE ITSELF IN THE CONDITION OF HAVING GIVEN EQUIVALENTS FOR NOMINAL FAVORS AND YET OF BEING REPROACHED WITH INGRATITUDE FOR NOT GIVING MORE. THERE CAN BE NO GREATER ERROR THAN TO EXPECT OR CALCULATE UPON REAL FAVORS FROM NATION TO NATION. IT IS AN ILLUSION WHICH EXPERIENCE MUST CURE, WHICH A JUST PRIDE OUGHT TO DISCARD. IN OFFERING TO YOU, MY COUNTRYMEN, THESE COUNSELS OF AN OLD AND AFFECTIONATE FRIEND, I DARE NOT HOPE THEY WILL MAKE THE STRONG AND LASTING IMPRESSION I COULD WISH -- THAT THEY WILL CONTROL THE USUAL CURRENT OF THE PASSIONS OR PREVENT OUR NATION FROM RUNNING THE COURSE WHICH HAS HITHERTO MARKED THE DESTINY OF NATIONS. BUT IF I MAY EVEN FLATTER MYSELF THAT THEY MAY BE PRODUCTIVE OF SOME PARTIAL BENEFIT, SOME OCCASIONAL GOOD -- THAT THEY MAY NOW AND THEN RECUR TO MODERATE THE FURY OF PARTY SPIRIT, TO WARN AGAINST THE MISCHIEFS OF FOREIGN INTRIGUE, TO GUARD AGAINST THE IMPOSTURES OF PRETENDED PATRIOTISM -- THIS HOPE WILL BE A FULL RECOMPENSE FOR THE SOLICITUDE FOR YOUR WELFARE BY WHICH THEY HAVE BEEN DICTATED. HOW FAR IN THE DISCHARGE OF MY OFFICIAL DUTIES I HAVE BEEN GUIDED BY THE PRINCIPLES WHICH HAVE BEEN DELINEATED THE PUBLIC RECORDS AND OTHER EVIDENCES OF MY CONDUCT MUST WITNESS TO YOU AND TO THE WORLD. TO MYSELF, THE ASSURANCE OF MY OWN CONSCIENCE IS THAT I HAVE AT LEAST BELIEVED MYSELF TO BE GUIDED BY THEM. IN RELATION TO THE STILL-SUBSISTING WAR IN EUROPE, MY PROCLAMATION OF THE 22nd OF APRIL, 1793, IS THE INDEX TO MY PLAN. SANCTIONED BY YOUR APPROVING VOICE AND BY THAT OF YOUR REPRESENTATIVES IN BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS, THE SPIRIT OF THAT MEASURE HAS CONTINUALLY GOVERNED ME, UNINFLUENCED BY ANY ATTEMPTS TO DETER OR DIVERT ME FROM IT. AFTER DELIBERATE EXAMINATION, WITH THE AID OF THE BEST LIGHTS I COULD OBTAIN, I WAS WELL SATISFIED THAT OUR COUNTRY, UNDER ALL THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE, HAD A RIGHT TO TAKE, AND WAS BOUND IN DUTY AND INTEREST TO TAKE, A NEUTRAL POSITION. HAVING TAKEN IT, I DETERMINED, AS FAR AS SHOULD DEPEND UPON ME, TO MAINTAIN IT WITH MODERATION, PERSEVERANCE, AND FIRMNESS. THE CONSIDERATIONS WHICH RESPECT THE RIGHT TO HOLD THIS CONDUCT IT IS NOT NECESSARY ON THIS OCCASION TO DETAIL. I WILL ONLY OBSERVE THAT, ACCORDING TO MY UNDERSTANDING OF THE MATTER, THAT RIGHT, SO FAR FROM BEING DENIED BY ANY OF THE BELLIGERENT POWERS, HAS BEEN VIRTUALLY ADMITTED BY ALL. THE DUTY OF HOLDING A NEUTRAL CONDUCT MAY BE INFERRED, WITHOUT ANYTHING MORE, FROM THE OBLIGATION WHICH JUSTICE AND HUMANITY IMPOSE ON EVERY NATION, IN CASES IN WHICH IT IS FREE TO ACT, TO MAINTAIN INVIOLATE THE RELATIONS OF PEACE AND AMITY TOWARD OTHER NATIONS. THE INDUCEMENTS OF INTEREST FOR OBSERVING THAT CONDUCT WILL BEST BE REFERRED TO YOUR OWN REFLECTIONS AND EXPERIENCE. WITH ME, A PREDOMINANT MOTIVE HAS BEEN TO ENDEAVOR TO GAIN TIME TO OUR COUNTRY TO SETTLE AND MATURE ITS YET RECENT INSTITUTIONS AND TO PROGRESS, WITHOUT INTERRUPTION, TO THAT DEGREE OF STRENGTH AND CONSISTENCY WHICH IS NECESSARY TO GIVE IT, HUMANLY SPEAKING, THE COMMAND OF ITS OWN FORTUNES. THOUGH IN REVIEWING THE INCIDENTS OF MY ADMINISTRATION I AM UNCONSCIOUS OF INTENTIONAL ERROR, I AM NEVERTHELESS TOO SENSIBLE OF MY DEFECTS NOT TO THINK IT PROBABLE THAT I MAY HAVE COMMITTED MANY ERRORS. WHATEVER THEY MAY BE, I FERVENTLY BESEECH THE ALMIGHTY TO AVERT OR MITIGATE THE EVILS TO WHICH THEY MAY TEND. I SHALL ALSO CARRY WITH ME THE HOPE THAT MY COUNTRY WILL NEVER CEASE TO VIEW THEM WITH INDULGENCE AND THAT, AFTER 45 YEARS OF MY LIFE DEDICATED TO ITS SERVICE WITH AN UPRIGHT ZEAL, THE FAULTS OF INCOMPETENT ABILITIES WILL BE CONSIGNED TO OBLIVION, AS MYSELF MUST SOON BE TO THE MANSIONS OF REST. RELYING ON ITS KINDNESS IN THIS, AS IN OTHER THINGS, AND ACTUATED BY THAT FERVENT LOVE TOWARD IT, WHICH IS SO NATURAL TO A MAN WHO VIEWS IN IT THE NATIVE SOIL OF HIMSELF AND HIS PROGENITORS FOR SEVERAL GENERATIONS, I ANTICIPATE WITH PLEASING EXPECTATION THAT RETREAT IN WHICH I PROMISE MYSELF TO REALIZE, WITHOUT ALLOY, THE SWEET ENJOYMENT OF PARTAKING IN THE MIDST OF MY FELLOW CITIZENS THE BENIGN INFLUENCE OF GOOD LAWS UNDER A FREE GOVERNMENT -- THE EVER-FAVORITE OBJECT OF MY HEART, AND THE HAPPY REWARD, AS I TRUST, OF OUR MUTUAL CARES, LABORS, AND DANGERS. GEORGE WASHINGTON. UNITED STATES. 17th SEPTEMBER, 1796. MR. REID: MR. PRESIDENT, I NOTE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

    Show Full Text
  • 02:52:38 PM

    MR. REID

  • 02:52:39 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 02:53:05 PM

    MR. REID

  • 02:53:06 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 02:53:07 PM

    MR. REID

    OF THE QUORUM BE TERMINATED. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE…

    OF THE QUORUM BE TERMINATED. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE QUORUM CALL BE SUSPENDED. MR. REID:

    Show Full Text
  • 02:53:10 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    QUORUM CALL BE SUSPENDED. MR. REID: MR. PRESIDENT, I THANK VERY, VERY MUCH…

    QUORUM CALL BE SUSPENDED. MR. REID: MR. PRESIDENT, I THANK VERY, VERY MUCH THE SENATOR FROM MAINE, SENATOR KINK FOR HIS FLUENT READING OF PRESIDENT GEORGE WASHINGTON'S FAREWELL ADDRESS.

    Show Full Text
  • 02:53:14 PM

    MR. REID

    MUCH THE SENATOR FROM MAINE, SENATOR KINK FOR HIS FLUENT READING OF…

    MUCH THE SENATOR FROM MAINE, SENATOR KINK FOR HIS FLUENT READING OF PRESIDENT GEORGE WASHINGTON'S FAREWELL ADDRESS. THE MESSAGE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AT THE CLOSE OF HIS GREAT PRESIDENCY, THE FIRST PRESIDENCY. THE ANNUAL READING OF THE FAREWELL ADDRESS IS ONE OF THE THE SENATE'S LONG-STANDING TRADITIONS. THE CUSTOM BEGAN GAN IN 1862 AS A COMMEMORATION OF THE 130th ANNIVERSARY OF PRESIDENT WASHINGTON'S BIRTH. IT WAS INTENDED TO BOOST MORALE DURING IS THE CIVIL WAR AND THEN -- AS THEN SENATOR ANDREW JOHNSON -- BY THE WAY, I HAVE GREAT PAINTING OF PRESIDENT JOHNSON IN MY OFFICE. I ALWAYS TELL PEOPLE COME TO MY OFFICE TO CONTRAST THAT WITH THE STATUE OF PRESIDENT JOHNSON WHEN HE BECAME -- WHEN HE WAS VICE PRESIDENT IN MY OFFICE, MR. PRESIDENT, I HAVE THE GOOD FORTUNE OF HAVING ANDREW JOHNSON'S DESK WHEN LINCOLN WAS ASSASSINATED. I HAVE THAT BEAUTIFUL PIECE OF FURNITURE IN MY DESK. IT'S STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL AND I HAVEN'T HAD A CHANCE TO TALK ABOUT IT BEFORE SO I TOOK THIS. AS THEN-SENATOR ANDREW JOHNSON OF TENNESSEE SAID BEFORE THE FIRST RECITATION OF THE ADDRESS -- QUOTE -- "THE TIME HAS ARRIVED WHEN WE SHOULD RECUR BACK TO THE DAYS THE TIMES AND THE DOINGS OF WASHINGTON AND THE PATRIOTS OF THE REVOLUTION WHO FOUNDED THE GOVERNMENT UNDER WHICH WE LIVE" -- CLOSE QUOTE. IN 1888, THE 100th ANNIVERSARY OF THE CONSTITUTION'S RATIFICATION THE SENATE AGAIN OBSERVED THE RITUAL AND EVERY YEAR SINCE 1986 THE UNITED STATES SENATOR HAS MARKED WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY, HONORED HIS LEGACY AND RECURRED BACK TO THOSE WHO FOUNDED THE GOVERNMENT UNDER WHICH WE LIVE AS WE DID TODAY WITH A READING OF WASHINGTON'S FAREWELL ADDRESS. AS SENATOR KING MENTIONED, PRESIDENT WASHINGTON PREPARED THE ADDRESS WITH INPUT FROM JAMES MADISON, AMERICA'S FOURTH PRESIDENT, AS WELL AS ALEXANDER HAMILTON, THE NATION'S FIRST TREASURY SECRETARY. LIKE OUR NATION'S FOUNDING DOCUMENTS THE FAREWELL ADDRESS WAS A COLLABORATION BETWEEN THE GREAT MINDS OF OUR COUNTRY'S FORMATIVE YEARS. EACH YEAR FOR 118 YEARS THE SENATE SELECTS ONE OF ITS MEMBERS ALTERNATING PARTY TO DELIVER THESE VAL DICT TRI REMARKS. I'M PLEASED THE SENATOR FROM MAINE, AN AVID STUDENT OF HISTORY AND HE REALLY IS, WAS ABLE TO CARRY ON THIS IMPORTANT TRADITION TODAY. SENATOR KING HAS DELIVERED UNIQUE ASPECTS OF HISTORY TO OUR CAUCUS AND, OF COURSE, ON THE SENATE FLOOR. HE HAS NO PARALLEL TO HIS BEING ABLE TO PINPOINT TIMES OF HISTORY. I ADMIRE HIM VERY MUCH AS WE ALL DO. MR. PRESIDENT, WITH THIS BIPARTISAN CUSTOM HONORING OUR NATION'S FOUNDER, FRESH ON IN OUR MINDS, THE SENATE EMBARKS ON A FRESH WORK PERIOD TODAY. I HOPE THIS SESSION WILL BE MARKED BY A TONE OF COOPERATION. WASHINGTON'S COLLABORATION WITH MADISON AND HAMILTON AMONG OTHERS IS PROOF ENOUGH THAT WHEN PATRIOTS COLLABORATE WITH THE COUNTRY'S GOOD IN MIND, THE PRODUCT IS VASTLY IMPROVED. TOO OFTEN OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS OUR PARTIES HAVE FOUND THEMSELVES WORKING AT ODDS INSTEAD OF PULLING TOGETHER FOR A COMMON PURPOSE. I HOPE TO CHANGE THAT THIS WORK PERIOD. IN ADDITION TO CONSIDERING A NUMBER OF IMPORTANT NOMINATIONS THE SENATE WILL CONSIDER LEGISLATION THAT SHOULD DRAW OVERWHELMING SUPPORT FROM MEMBERS OF BOTH PARTIES, BILLS SPONSORED BY SENATOR SANDERS WHICH EXPANDS HEALTH CARE TO OUR NATION'S VETERANS. I HOME DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS WORK TOGETHER TO PASS THE CHILDCARE BLOCK DEVELOPMENT GRANT BILL THIS WORK PERIOD. IT'S BIPARTISAN IN NATURE, I THINK IT SHOULD PASS. THIS MEASURE ENSURES WORKING FAMILIES HAVE SAFE CHILDCARE OPTIONS PROTECTING BOTH CHILDREN'S AND -- CHILDREN AND WORKING PARENTS. AS WELL AS THIS VETERANS MEASURE WILL OFFER TIEWNTSZ FOR DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS TO FIND COMMON GROUND AND WORK TOGETHER. I NOW MOVER TO PROCEED TO CALENDAR NUMBER 301. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL REPORT. THE

    Show Full Text
  • 02:57:47 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    REPORT. THE CLERK: MR. REID: THIS

  • 02:57:58 PM

    MR. REID

    1982. THE CLERK: MOTIONS TO PROCEED TO CALENDAR NUMBER 301, A BILL TO…

    1982. THE CLERK: MOTIONS TO PROCEED TO CALENDAR NUMBER 301, A BILL TO IMPROVE THE PROVISION OF MEDICAL SERVICES AND BENEFITS TO VETERANS AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

    Show Full Text
  • 02:58:01 PM

    THE CLERK

    301, A BILL TO IMPROVE THE PROVISION OF MEDICAL SERVICES AND BENEFITS TO…

    301, A BILL TO IMPROVE THE PROVISION OF MEDICAL SERVICES AND BENEFITS TO VETERANS AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

    Show Full Text
  • 02:58:08 PM

    MR. REID

    FOLLOWING MY REMARKS AND THOSE OF THE REPUBLICAN LEADER, IF ANY, THE…

    FOLLOWING MY REMARKS AND THOSE OF THE REPUBLICAN LEADER, IF ANY, THE SENATE WIN IN A PERIOD OF MORNING BUSINESS UNTIL 5:00 THIS AFTERNOON, SENATORS DURING THAT PERIOD OF TIME WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK UP TO 10 MINUTES. AT 5:00 THIS AFTERNOON THE SENATE WILL PROCEED TO EXECUTIVE SESSION TO CONSIDER THE NOMINATION OF JEFFREY ALKER MEYER TO BE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE FOR THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT. AT 5:30 THERE WILL BE A CLOTURE VOTE ON THE MEYER NOMINATION, ADDITIONAL VOTES ON NOMINATIONS THIS EVENING. IT'S MY UNDERSTANDING S. 2024 IS AT THE DESK DUE FOR A SECOND READING. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL READ THE TITLE OF THE BILL FOR THE SECOND TIME. THE

    Show Full Text
  • 02:58:44 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    TITLE OF THE BILL FOR THE SECOND TIME. THE CLERK: S. 23024, A

  • 02:58:49 PM

    THE CLERK

    AMEND CHAPTER 1 OF TITLE 1, UNITED STATES CODE WITH REGARD TO THE…

    AMEND CHAPTER 1 OF TITLE 1, UNITED STATES CODE WITH REGARD TO THE DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE AND SPOUSE, FOR FEDERAL PURPOSES AND ENSURE RESPECT FOR STATE REGULATION OF MARRIAGE.

    Show Full Text
  • 02:59:03 PM

    MR. REID

    FURTHER PROCEEDINGS WITH RESPECT TO THIS LEGISLATION AT THIS TIME. THE…

    FURTHER PROCEEDINGS WITH RESPECT TO THIS LEGISLATION AT THIS TIME. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: OBJECTION IS HEARD. THE BILL WILL BE PLACED ON THE CALENDAR. THE PRESIDING

    Show Full Text
  • 02:59:07 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IS HEARD. THE BILL WILL BE PLACED ON THE CALENDAR. THE PRESIDING OFFICER:…

    IS HEARD. THE BILL WILL BE PLACED ON THE CALENDAR. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM MAINE. MR. KING:

    Show Full Text
  • 02:59:19 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MAINE. MR. KING: I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO ADDRESS THE SENATE FOR 10…

    MAINE. MR. KING: I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO ADDRESS THE SENATE FOR 10 MINUTES. THE

    Show Full Text
  • 02:59:21 PM

    MR. KING

    THE SENATE FOR 10 MINUTES. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: IF THE SENATOR WILL…

    THE SENATE FOR 10 MINUTES. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: IF THE SENATOR WILL HOLD. UNDER THE PREVIOUS

    Show Full Text
  • 02:59:25 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    HOLD. UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE SENATE WILL BE IN A PERIOD OF MORNING…

    HOLD. UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE SENATE WILL BE IN A PERIOD OF MORNING BUSINESS UNTIL 5:00 P.M. WITH SENATORS PERMITTED TO SPEAK THEREIN FOR TEN MINUTES EACH. THE SENATOR FROM MAINE. MR.

    Show Full Text
  • 02:59:36 PM

    MR. KING

    PRIVILEGE FOR ME A FEW MOMENTS AGO TO READ GEORGE WASHINGTON'S FAIRWELL…

    PRIVILEGE FOR ME A FEW MOMENTS AGO TO READ GEORGE WASHINGTON'S FAIRWELL ADDRESS FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS. ONE, WE LEARNED IN DOING A LITTLE RESEARCH ON THIS PRACTICE WHICH IS, AS THE MAJORITY LEADER INDICATED, GOES BACK MORE THAN A HUNDRED YEARS, THE LAST SENATOR FROM MAINE TO READ THE PRESIDENT WASHINGTON'S FAREWELL ADDRESS WAS SENATOR ED MUSKY OF MAINE WHO READ IT ON THIS FLOOR EXACTLY 50 YEARS AGO. THE LAST SENATOR TO READ BEFORE HIM FROM MAINE WAS A FRESHMAN SENATOR IN 1949, ONE MARGARET CHASE SMITH. SO IF YOU BELIEVE THAT I AM HONORED AND HAMBGLED TO BE FOLLOWING IN THOSE FOOTSTEPS, YOU'D BE CORRECT. MR. PRESIDENT, THIS IS ONE OF THE SEMINAL DOCUMENTS IN AMERICAN HISTORY. IT RANKS WITH THE FEDERALIST PAPERS, THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION ITSELF AS THE MAJORITY LEADER INDICATED, IT WASN'T SIMPLY -- DIDN'T SPRING FROM WASHINGTON'S MIND, IT ACTUALLY HAS AN INTERESTING HISTORY, IT WAS ORIGINALLY DRAFTED IN 1792 AT THE END OF WASHINGTON'S FIRST TERM WHEN HE INTENDED TO RETIRE. HE KEPT WANTING TO RETIRE ALL THE WAY FROM THE END OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR AND THE PUBLIC KEPT CALLING HIM BACK INTO SERVICE. AT THE FIRST SPEEMP IN 1792 WAS DRAFTED BY JAMES MADISON WHO WAS THE FATHER OF OUR CONSTITUTION. MADISON AND HAMILTON AND JEFFREY JEFFREY -- JEFFERSON CONVINCED WASHINGTON HE COULDN'T LEAVE THE FIRST TEMPLE BECAUSE THE COUNTRY WAS IN ITS FORM TIFF YEARS AND PATRIOTISM REQUIRED HIM TO STAY FOR A SECOND TERM WHICH HE RELUCTANTLY DID SO THIS SPEECH WAS THEN DELIVERED IN SEPTEMBER OF 1796 AT THE END OF WASHINGTON'S SECOND TERM, AND IT WAS BASED UPON THE ORIGINAL MADISON DRAFT, EDITED AND UPDATED BY ALEXANDER HAMILTON. NOW, I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU, MR. PRESIDENT, BUT I WOULDN'T MIND HAVING MADISON AND HAMILTON BE MY GHOST WRITERS. TWO OF THE GREATEST MINDS IN AMERICAN HISTORY, AND MINDS WHICH DIDN'T ALWAYS AGREE ABOUT ALL THE PRINCIPLES OF WHAT THE COUNTRY SHOULD WORK TOWARD BUT THEY AGREED TO WORK WITH WASHINGTON ON THIS REMARKABLE ADDRESS. I'D ALSO LIKE TO TAKE A MOMENT TO TALK ABOUT WASHINGTON'S IMPORTANCE. I USED TO TEACH ABOUT LEADERSHIP AND ONE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES THAT I USED TO POUND INTO MY STUDENTS WAS THAT EXECUTION IS AS IMPORTANT AS VISION, THAT HAVING A GOOD IDEA AND A CONCEPT IS NOT ENOUGH. IT HAS TO BE EXECUTED WELL IN ORDER TO TAKE ROOT AND ACTUALLY ACHIEVE THE BENEFITS THAT IS -- THAT ARE INTENDED. WASHINGTON WAS THE EXECUTION OF THE VISION OF THE CONSTITUTION. WHEN HE TOOK OFFICE, THERE WAS NO UNITED STATES. THERE WAS AN IDEA, THERE WAS A VISION, THERE WAS A CONCEPT, BUT HOW IT WAS ACTUALLY PUT INTO PRACTICE WAS SO MUCH IN -- IN THE CONSEQUENCES OF WASHINGTON'S DECISIONS ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS, STARTING WITH ONLY RUNNING FOR TWO TERMS, STARTING WITH WHEN THEY ASKED HIM WHAT THE PRESIDENT SHOULD BE CALLED -- AND, OF COURSE, IN EUROPE, IT WAS "YOUR EXCELLENCY" AND ALL THESE FANCY TITLES, AND HE SAID, "MR. PRESIDENT" IS THE PROP APPELLATION FOR AN EXECUTIVE IN A REPUBLICAN FORM OF GOVERNMENT. BUT WASHINGTON WAS ESSENTIAL TO THE SUCCESS OF THIS COUNTRY BECAUSE OF HIS ROLE AS THE PERSON WHO DID THE EXECUTING OF THE VISION EMBODIED IN THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION. THE SPEECH ITSELF IS AMAZING. IN MANY PARTS IT COULD HAVE BEEN WRITTEN LAST WEEK. SEVERAL THINGS COME THROUGH TO ME VERY QUICKLY. ONE IS HIS WONDERFUL, INSPIRING, POWERFUL, PASSIONATE COMMITMENT TO PUBLIC SERVICE. HE TALKED ABOUT HIS -- HIS HUMBLENESS, HIS -- HIS PATRIOTISM, HIS FEELING OF DUTY IN ORDER TO SERVE HIS COUNTY. NEXT HE'S PASSIONATE ABOUT NATIONAL UNITY AND, INDEED, HIS COMMENTS FORESHADOWED THE CIVIL WAR. HE TALKED ABOUT REGIONAL DIFFERENCES AND THE IMPORTANCE OF UNITY NOT ONLY TO THE COUNTRY AS A WHOLE BUT AS BENEFITS TO THE REGIONS THEMSELVES. HE TALKS ABOUT THE NORTH AND THE SOUTH AND THE EAST AND THE ATLANTIC AND -- AND ONE OF HIS -- HE'S -- HE'S PRESAGING THE ARGUMENTS OF THE 1830'S, 1940'S, AND 1850'S THAT LED TO THE ATTEMPTED DISILLUSION OF THE COUNTRY NOT ONLY AS AN ABSTRACT PRINCIPLE BUT IN OUR MATERIAL, CONCRETE INTEREST HOW IMPORTANT UNION WAS. AND OF COURSE AS ONE OF THE TWO INDEPENDENTS IN THIS BODY, IT WOULD BE UNBECOMING TO ME TO DWELL AT TOO GREAT LENGTH ABOUT THE DANGERS OF ONLY TWO PARTIES TO OUR SOCIETY. I'LL LET THEM SPEAK FOR HIMSELF. BUT HE WAS VERY WORRIED ABOUT WHAT HE CALLED FACTION AND RARITY ON IN THE ADDRESS ACTUALLY REFERS TO AS PARTIES. HE ALSO TALKS ABOUT THE DANGERS OF CONCENTRATION OF POWERS AND THE USURPATION OF POWER BY ONE BRANCH OR ANOTHER OF THE GOVERNMENT. AGAIN, A FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE AND THE REALIZATION OF THE IMPORTANT ROLE THAT THE CONSTITUTION PLAYED IN DIVIDING POWERS BETWEEN THE -- THE -- WHAT HE CALLS THE SEGMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT. I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS THAT COMES THROUGH IN THIS DOCUMENT, AS IT DOES COME THROUGH IN THE FEDERALIST PAIRNTIONZ WHICH IS "FEDERALIST PAPERS" WHICH IS WHAT THE OTHER SEMINAL EXPLANATION OF HOW OUR COUNTRY CAME TO BE AND WHAT THE THINKING IS, IS A BRILLIANT, IN-DEPTH UNDERSTANDING OF HUMAN NATURE. HE'S TALKS TO THE AGES IN THIS -- HE'S TALKING TO THE AGES IN THIS SPEECH. HE'S NOT TALKING TO THE POLITICS OF 1796 OR THE POLITICS OF 1800 OR THE POLITICS OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR. HE'S TALKING ABOUT HUMAN NATURE AND THE TENDENCY TOWARDS DESPOTISM, THE TENDENCY TOWARDS USURPATION, THE TENDENCY TOWARD POWER BEING ACCUMULATED IN ONE PLACE, AND THAT COMES THROUGH, OFTEN HE TALKS ABOUT HUMAN NATURE, AND THAT WAS I THINK ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT AND MOST SALIENT CHARACTERISTICS OF ALL OF THE FOUNDING -- THE INDIVIDUALS WHO FOUNDED THIS COUNTRY. A VERY INTERESTING PROVISION ON RELIGION, EXPRESSLY STATING THAT RELIGION IS PART OF OUR HERITAGE AND THAT MORALITY IS PART OF OUR HERITAGE AND HE HAS AN INTERESTING IMAGE, HOW CAN AN OATH MEAN ANYTHING IF RELIJ RE -- RELIGION DOESN'T MEAN ANYTHING? AND THEN FINALLY, A SHORT BUT POWERFUL PASSAGE ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION. HE CALLS IT THE GENERAL DIFFUSION OF KNOWLEDGE. THAT'S PUBLIC EDUCATION. THE GENERAL, THAT MEANS EVERYBODY, NOT JUST THE ELITE. AND THAT'S ONE OF THE SECRETS OF AMERICA, THE GENERAL DIFFUSION OF KNOWLEDGE. AND, OF COURSE, ONE THAT SPEAKS TO US TODAY IS HIS ADMONITION TO CHERISH THE PUBLIC CREDIT AND NOT GET INTO DEBT. AND IF YOU GET INTO DEBT BECAUSE OF A WAR, ENDEAVOR DURING PEACETIME TO PAY OFF THE DEBT. AND I THINK, MR. PRESIDENT, THAT'S SOMETHING WE REALLY NEED TO TAKE TO HEART AND THINK ABOUT LEST OUR DEBT SWAMP US IN THE FUTURE. HE USES I THINK A PHRASE -- AND I COULDN'T HELP BUT EMPHASIZE IT WHEN I READ THE SPEECH -- THAT WE SHOULD NOT UNGENEROUSLY THROW UPON POSTERITY THE BURDEN WHICH WE OURSELVES OUT TO BEAR. IN OTHER WORDS, WE OUGHT TO PAY OUR OWN BILLS AND RIGHT NOW IN THIS COUNTRY WE'RE NOT DOING THAT. HE ALSO HAS A SORT OF A AMUSING PASSAGE ABOUT TAXES, SAYING NOBODY LIKES TAXES. THEY'RE NEVER GOOD. THEY'RE NEVER FUN. THEY'RE ALWAYS INCONVENIENT. BUT THEY'RE NECESSARY. AND HE TALKS ABOUT HOW THE MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNMENT HAVE TO PREPARE THE PUBLIC FOR THE IDEA THAT THEY HAVE TO PAY FOR THOSE EXPENDITURES THAT ARE GOING TO BE ENTAILED IN THE PURSUIT OF ANY GOVERNMENTAL ENTERPRISE. FINALLY, HE TALKS ABOUT FOREIGN ENTANGLEMENTS, PROBABLY THE MOST FAMOUS PORTION OF THE SPEECH, WHERE HE TALKS ABOUT BEING NEUTRAL AND THE LUXURY THAT WE HAVE BEING PROTECTED BY HUGE OCEANS AND THAT WE SHOULD REALLY AVOID FOREIGN ENTANGLEMENTS. INTERESTINGLY, ON THAT PROVISION I WENT BACK AND READ THE COMMENTS. EACH TIME A SENATOR READS THAT SPEECH, THERE'S A LEATHERBOUND BOOK THAT THEY PUT THEIR NOTES IN, WHICH I'M GOING TO BE DOING IN A FEW MINUTES, AND I WENT BACK AND READ THE NOTES OF ED MUSKIE AND MARGARET CHASE SMITH AND MARGARET CHASE SMITH WROTE IN HER NOTE -- AND REMEMBER, THIS WAS FEBRUARY OF 1949 -- SHE SAYS, "I WONDER IF WE SHOULD BE ENTERING INTO NATO," WHICH, INDEED, WAS THE FIRST MAJOR FOREIGN COMMITMENT OF AMERICAN ENTERPRISE AFTER WASHINGTON'S SPEECH. AND MARGARET CHASE SMITH OBVIOUSLY HAD SECOND THOUGHTS AFTER SHE -- AFTER SHE HAD READ THE SPEECH HERE ON THE SENATE FLOOR IN 1949. FINALLY, MR. PRESIDENT, THIS SPEECH IS SO POWERFUL I THINK BECAUSE IT'S SO FRESH AND IT TALKS -- IT SPEAKS TO US TODAY. MY FAVORITE QUOTE FROM MARK TWAIN -- AND THERE ARE MANY -- AND ONE WHICH I SUSPECT I WILL REPEAT ON THIS FLOOR HALF A DOZEN TIMES AT LEAST DURING MY TENURE HERE, MARK TWAIN ONCE SAID, "HISTORY DOESN'T ALWAYS REPEAT ITSELF BUT IT USUALLY RHYMES." "HISTORY DOESN'T ALWAYS REPEAT ITSELF BUT IT USUALLY RHYMES. OF" AND I THINK IN THIS CASE, THE THEMES THAT WASHINGTON IS TELLING US IN THE -- IN THE FALL OF 1796 RHYME, THEY -- THEY HELP US TO THINK THROUGH SOME AND MANY OF THE ISSUES THAT ARE CONFRONTING US HERE TODAY AND THE WISDOM OF WASHINGTON EXPRESSING IT -- AND REMEMBER, TWO OF THE MOST BRILLIANT MINDS OF THAT PERIOD, HAMILTON AND MADISON PARTICIPATED IN THE DRAFTING OF THE SPEECH -- WORDS WELL WORTH REMEMBERING. A WONDERFUL CONTRIBUTION TO THE LIFE OF OUR COUNTRY AND I WANT TO THANK THE MAJORITY LEADER AND THE LEADERSHIP FOR GIVING ME THE PRIVILEGE AND THE HONOR TO READ THE SPEECH TODAY ON BEHALF OF MY COLLEAGUES. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT.

    Show Full Text
  • 03:10:35 PM

    MR. McCONNELL

    SPENT THE MORNING OVER AT THE SUPREME COURT. I WAS THERE TO SUPPORT THE…

    SPENT THE MORNING OVER AT THE SUPREME COURT. I WAS THERE TO SUPPORT THE PLAINTIFFS IN A VERY IMPORTANT CASE AGAINST OVERREACH BY THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY. AND HERE'S WHAT I SAY THIS -- WHY I SAY THIS CASE IS IMPORTANT. NOT ONLY FOR KENTUCKY BUT FOR THE ENTIRE COUNTRY. FIRST OF ALL, IT INVOLVES THE ALL-IMPORTANT QUESTION OF WHETHER ELECTIONS ACTUALLY STILL MATTER IN OUR COUNTRY. I SAY THAT BECAUSE FOUR YEARS AGO, PRESIDENT OBAMA TRIED TO PUSH FAR-REACHING ENERGY REGULATING LEGISLATION THROUGH A CONGRESS THAT WAS ACTUALLY AT THE TIME COMPLETELY DOMINATED BY HIS OWN PARTY. HE HAD A 40-SEAT MAJORITY IN THE HOUSE, HE HAD 60 VOTES IN THE SENATE. THE CAP AND TRADE BILL PASSED THE HOUSE BUT DID NOT PASS THE SENATE. BUT EVEN WITH THEN-SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI AND A DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY LEADER IN THE SENATE, JUST COULDN'T GET THE VOTES TO ENACT THE CAP AND TRADE BILL. A DEMOCRATIC-CONTROLLED CONGRESS BEAT BACK THE PRESIDENT'S PLAN TO RADICALLY UPEND ENERGY REGULATION IN OUR COUNTRY. THEY STOPPED THE NATIONAL ENERGY TAX. JUST A FEW MONTHS LATER, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE RENDERED A HARSH VERDICT ON THE OBAMA AGENDA, AN ELECTION WIPEOUT THAT THE PRESIDENT HIMSELF REFERRED TO AS A SHELLACKING. S OTHERS HAVE DESCRIBED THE NOVEMBER 2010 MIDTERM ELECTIONS AS A NATIONAL RESTRAINING ORDER. MY POINT HERE IS THAT THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE END OF THE STORY ON THE PRESIDENT'S ENERGY REGULATION PLAN. INSTEAD, IT WAS JUST THE BEGINNING. THE PRESIDENT'S BASE WAS ABOUT TO BACK OFF FROM DIVISIVE POLICIES, THEY WEREN'T GOING TO BACK OFF FROM THESE DIVISIVE POLICIES JUST BECAUSE THEY COULDN'T ACHIEVE THEM LEGISLATIVELY SO THE FAR LEFT FRINGE PRESSURED THE WHITE HOUSE TO PUSH SIMILAR REGULATIONS THROUGH THE BACK DOOR TO ACHIEVE THROUGH PRESIDENTIAL FIAT WHAT THEY COULD NOT ACHIEVE THROUGH LEGISLATION. AND THAT'S, OF COURSE, JUST WHAT THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION HAS DONE. THE ADMINISTRATION HAS ATTEMPTED TO USE STATUTES LIKE THE CLEAN AIR ACT TO REGULATE THINGS THAT THOSE LAWS WERE NEVER INTENDED TO REGULATE, DON'T EVEN MENTION. AND THE ADMINISTRATION ITSELF EFFECTIVELY ACKNOWLEDGES THAT IF IT ACTUALLY, ACTUALLY FOLLOWED THE PLAIN LANGUAGE OF THE CLEAN AIR ACT IN REGULATING CARBON EMISSIONS, THAT THAT WOULD LEAD TO -- QUOTE -- "ABSURD RESULTS." THIS IS THE ADMINISTRATION ITSELF SAYS IF THEY ACTUALLY FOLLOWED THE PLAIN LANGUAGE OF THE CLEAN AIR ACT IN REGULATING CARBON EMISSIONS, IT WOULD LEAD TO -- QUOTE -- "ABSURD RESULTS." SO HERE'S WHAT THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION DECIDED TO DO ABOUT THE ABSURDITY. JUST UNILATERALLY REWRITE PARTS OF THE LAW IT DIDN'T LIKE ON ITS OWN, WITHOUT THE INPUT OF CONGRESS, THE BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT THAT'S SUPPOSED TO WRITE OUR LAWS. THIS KIND OF PRESIDENTIAL OVERREACH IS SOMETHING THAT SHOULD CONCERN EVERY MEMBER OF THIS BODY, REGARDLESS OF PARTY. AND FROM A CONSTITUTIONAL PERSPECTIVE, THIS IS A WHOLLY TROUBLING PRACTICE THAT NEEDS TO BE RECTIFIED BY THE HIGH COURT. BUT THIS CASE IS ABOUT MORE THAN JUST CONSTITUTIONAL THEORY, IT'S ALSO ABOUT PEOPLE'S LIVES. REGARDLESS OF THEIR CONSTITUTIONALITY, THE ENERGY REGULATIONS IMPOSED BY THE ADMINISTRATION ARE SIMPLY BAD POLICY. COUPLED WITH CHEAPER NATURAL GAS, THE ADMINISTRATION'S REGULATIONS HAVE HELPED FOSTER HARDSHIP IN MANY OF AMERICA'S COAL COMMUNITIES. HARDSHIP THAT'S RUINED LIVES, IT'S HURT SOME OF THE MOST VULNERABLE PEOPLE IN OUR COUNTRY COUNTRY, AND IN KENTUCKY THESE REGULATIONS HAVE HELPED DEVASTATE FAMILIES WHO HAVEN'T DONE ANYTHING WRONG OTHER THAN TO BE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF A CERTAIN SET OF LIBERALS WHO DON'T SEEM TO APPROVE OF THE HARD WORK THEY DO TO SUPPORT THEIR FAMILIES. WHEN PRESIDENT OBAMA TOOK OFFICE OFFICE, THERE WERE MORE THAN 18,000 COAL JOBS IN KENTUCKY. AT LAST COUNT, THAT FIGURE HAS DROPPED TO LESS THAN 12,000. WITH EASTERN KENTUCKY COAL EMPLOYMENT DROPPING BY 23.4% JUST THIS LAST YEAR ALONE. A 23.4% DROP IN EASTERN KENTUCKY COAL JOBS JUST IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS. SO LET'S BE CLEAR, THESE REGULATIONS ARE UNFAIR AND THEY REPRESENT THE CONQUEST OF LIBERALLY LEGALITIESLIBERAL ELITES IMPOSING THEIR WILL ON WORKING-CLASS KENTUCKIANS WHO JUST WANT TO FEED THEIR FAMILIES. THAT'S WHY I FILED AN AMICUS BRIEF IN THE CASE THAT I WAS REFERRING TO. IT'S ON BEEN HALF OF THE KENTUCKIANS WHO ARE VOICELESS IN THIS DEBATE AND FAMILIES THAT FIND THEMSELVES ON THE LOSING END OF A -- QUOTE, UNQUOTE -- "WAR THAT'S BEEN DECLARED ON THEM BY THEIR OWN GOVERNMENT." I HELD A LISTENING SESSION ON THESE E.P.A. REGULATIONS WITH COAL MINERS BACK IN DECEMBER AND MANY OF THEIR STORIES WERE HEARTBREAKING. JUST LISTEN TO WHAT HOWARD ABSHER OF FED'S CREEK HAD TO SAY. QUOT "I SAY TO YOU, MR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, WE'RE HURTING. YOU SAY YOU'RE THE PRESIDENT OF THE PEOPLE. WELL, WE'RE PEOPLE, TOO. NO ONE LOVES THE MOUNTAINS MORE THAN WE DO. WE LIVE HERE. WE CRAWL BETWEEN THEM. WE GET UP EVERYTHING MORNING AND GO ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN IN A STRIP JOB IN THE COLD RAIN TO PUT BREAD ON THE TABLE. LOOK AT OUR LITTLE CHILDREN AND PEOPLE, MR. PRESIDENT. YOU'RE NOT HURTING FOR A JOB. YOU'VE GOT ONE. I DON'T HAVE ONE." I HOPE THE PRESIDENT IS LISTENING. AS SPHAERAS FAR AS THE SUPREME COURT IS CONCERNED, IT NOW HAS THE ABILITY TO END THIS LATEST ABUSE BY THE CONSTITUTION. I'M GOING TO KEEP FIGHTING. I HAVE ALREADY FILED A PROPOSAL THAT WOULD ALLOW CONGRESS TO HAVE SAY ON THE ADMINISTRATION'S JOB-KILLING REGULATIONS, AND IT IS TIME FOR WASHINGTON TO THINK ABOUT WAYS TO HELP INSTEAD OF HURTING THE HARDWORKING POME OF EASTERN AND WESTERN KENTUCKY. MR. PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR. I SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM. OFFICER SPHIR THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL.

    Show Full Text
  • 03:16:53 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE ROLL. QUORUM CALL: QUORUM CALL:

  • 03:16:58 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 03:31:39 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    SENATOR FROM KANSAS.

  • 03:31:42 PM

    MR. ROBERTS

    QUORUM CALL BE DISPENSED WITH. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION,…

    QUORUM CALL BE DISPENSED WITH. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE QUORUM CALL WILL BE SUSPENDED.

    Show Full Text
  • 03:31:45 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE QUORUM CALL WILL BE SUSPENDED.

  • 03:31:50 PM

    MR. ROBERTS

    MY PUBLIC SERVICE CAREER FIGHTING FOR RURAL HEALTH. I HAVE A STATE THAT…

    MY PUBLIC SERVICE CAREER FIGHTING FOR RURAL HEALTH. I HAVE A STATE THAT HAS MANY RURAL HOSPITALS. THE RURAL HEALTH CARE DELIVERY SYSTEM IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT TO KANSAS. ONE OF MY FIRST SPEECHES WAS TO RURAL HOSPITALS, AND SINCE THAT TIME I HAVE BEEN BEATING THE DRUM, SO TO SPEAK, FOR OUR RURAL AREAS ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO FOCUS BE ON RURAL HEALTH. I HAVE ALWAYS SAID THAT PEOPLE IN RURAL TOWNS DESERVE THE SAME ACCESS TO CARE AND LEVEL OF TREATMENT AS THEIR URBAN COUNTERPARTS. I'VE MADE IT MY MISSION TO PROTECT OUR RURAL HEALTH CARE SYSTEM AND PATIENT ACCESS TO THE BEST AND POSSIBLE CARE. I'M HONORED TO SERVE FOR THE COCHAIR OF THE CENTER FOR RURAL HEALTH CARE CAUCUS WHERE I WORK WITH MY COLLEAGUES TO FIGHT FOR OUR RURAL HEALTH CARE SYSTEM EVERY DAY. UNUNFORTUNATELY THESE DAYS IT FEELS LIKE RURAL HEALTH CARE, ALL THOSE INVOLVED FACE AN UPHILL BATTLE. OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS THE RURAL HEALTH SYSTEM HAS CONTINUED TO FACE EVEN MORE CHALLENGES. FUNDING FOR RURAL HEALTH CARE PROGRAMS HAVE BEEN TARGETED AGAIN AND AGAIN. THIS YEAR THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE HELD A MARKUP WITH REGULAR ORDER, REGULAR ORDER WHERE WE CONSIDERED SOME OF THE RURAL EXTENDERS THAT ARE ABSOLUTELY VITAL TO OUR RURAL COMMUNITIES. REGRETTABLY, WE HAVE MORE WORK TO DO. WE HAVE TO CONVINCE AND EDUCATE OUR COLLEAGUES, THIS ADMINISTRATION AND EVERYONE ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF RURAL HEALTH CARE. WE HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN PROTECTING SOME OF THE IDEAS THAT I HAVE CHAMPIONED, ESPECIALLY ON THE RURAL EXTENDERS SIDE, BUT WE HAVE MORE WORK TO DO. AS THIS PROCESS MOVES FORWARD, WE NEED TO ENSURE WE FOLLOW REGULAR ORDER ON THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE AND FOR ANY PAY-FORS FOR THE DOC FIX PACKAGE. WHILE I WAS PLEASED WITH SOME OF THE ADDITIONS THAT ADDRESSED RURAL HEALTH CARE IN THAT PACKAGE THAT PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE, I HAVE CONCERNS THAT THESE ISSUES WERE NOT INCLUDED OR ADDRESSED IN THE MOST RECENT PACKAGE INTRODUCED IN THE HOUSE AND IN THE SENATE. IN ADDITION TO ENSURING RURAL HEALTH AS PART OF ANY MOVING LEGISLATION, I WANT TO ENSURE IT IS A PACKAGE THAT IS OFFSET AND PAID FOR, AND THIS HAS TO BE DONE BEFORE I CAN SUPPORT IT. BUT THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT WE, THE SENATE, WE NEED TO RETURN TO REGULAR ORDER AND ENSURE THAT THAT PRACTICE DOES CONTINUE. LIKE MANY IN THE SENATE, I WILL CONTINUE TO VIGOROUSLY FIGHT TO REIN IN FEDERAL SPENDING AND TO REDUCE THE DEFICIT. NOW IN ORDER TO ADDRESS THIS FISCAL CRISIS, I THINK CONGRESS MUST ENACT BASIC STRUCTURAL CHANGES TO ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS THAT WILL STRENGTHEN AND PRESERVE THESE PROGRAMS FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS WHILE PROTECTING CURRENT PARTICIPANTS. WITHOUT REAL TANGIBLE REFORM AND CUTS IN FEDERAL SPENDING, WE WILL BANKRUPT THE COUNTRY. AT THE SAME TIME, AT THE SAME TIME WE NEED TO ENSURE THAT ANY OF THOSE POLICIES THAT WE DO PUT IN PLACE DO NOT RESULT IN A DISPROPORTIONATE IMPACT ON OUR RURAL HEALTH CARE SYSTEM OR RESTRICT PATIENTS' ACCESS TO THE CARE THAT THEY NEED. AS I STARTED OUT SAYING TODAY, THIS IS GOING TO BE AN UPHILL BATTLE, BUT I FOR ONE AM READY TO LEAD THE CHARGE. AS A MEMBER OF BOTH THE FINANCE AND HELP COMMITTEES AS WELL AS THE COCHAIR OF THE WORLD HEALTH CARE CAUCUS, I TRY TO BE A LEADER IN THE DISCUSSION ABOUT THE NEED TO ADDRESS THE ENTIRE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM. I'VE MADE IT A POINT THAT WITHIN OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM DISCUSSIONS, WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN OUR RURAL AREAS AND THE CARE AND TREATMENT PROVIDED IN THOSE RURAL SETTINGS AND THEIR URBAN COUNTERPARTS. WE NEED TO ADDRESS COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT FUNDI CHALLENGES IN RURAL COMMUNITIES BEFORE TAKING A LIZZIE BORDEN AX TO THE FUNDING STREAMS. THROUGHOUT MY CAREER IN PUBLIC OFFICE, I HAVE MADE IT A POINT TO ALWAYS FIGHT FOR KANSAS AND RURAL HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS. THIS HAS BEEN ONE OF MY TOP PRIORITIES IN THE CONGRESS. I UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANT ROLE OF RURAL HEALTH IN AMERICA AND CONTINUE TO ADVOCATE FOR POLICIES THAT PROTECT AND PRESERVE THESE BENEFITS. MOST RECENTLY, THE CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES, C.M.S., HAS MADE SOME CHANGES THAT WILL BE PARTICULARLY HARMFUL TO RURAL HEALTH. MORE SPECIFICALLY, THEIR CHANGES WILL FORCE DOCTORS INTO A GUESSING GAME ABOUT THEIR PATIENTS. MR. PRESIDENT, THE CONDITION OF PAYMENT CHANGES KR-PLTS IS MAKING -- C.M.S. IS MAKING WOULD REQUIRE THE PHYSICIAN AND NO OTHER LEVEL PROVIDER TO NOT ONLY PREDICT AT THE TIME OF ADMISSION TO THE CRITICAL ACCESS HOSPITAL THAT THE PATIENT WILL REQUIRE HOSPITAL CARE FOR MORE THAN TWO MIDNIGHTS, BUT ALSO THAT THE PATIENT CAN BE CARED FOR AND DISCHARGED IN LESS THAN 96 HOURS. NOW THIS IS AN EXTREMELY NARROW C.M.S. WINDOW FOR THE PHYSICIAN TO MAKE A DETERMINATION ABOUT THAT PATIENT'S FUTURE NEEDS. EXTREMELY DIFFICULT, IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE. A PHYSICIAN MAY CERTIFY THEY EXPECT A PATIENT TO BE TREATED AND DISCHARGED WITHIN 96 HOURS, BUT UNFORTUNATELY THE PATIENT SITUATION MAY CHANGE AND THEY MAY NEED TO BE KEPT LONGER. THE PHYSICIAN' CONCERN WILL BE THAT THEY HAVE FAILED TO MEET THE TERMS OF THEIR CERTIFICATION, ACCORDING TO C.M.S., THIS IS LIKELY TO LEAD TO PREMATURE DISCHARGES AND READMISSIONS BOTH OF WHICH C.M.S. HAS TA EUBGEN ACTIONS -- TAKEN ACTIONS TO MINIMIZE. A C.E.O. IN KANSAS WRITES THE FOLLOWING: THIS NEW CONDITION OF PAYMENT RULE CAUSES POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF WHAT IS BEST FOR THE PATIENT, CAUSES ISSUES FOR THE PHYSICIAN IN HAVING TO PREDICT OUTCOMES AND ADMISSION IN COMPLEX CASES AND MAY CAUSE INCREASED EXPANSE FOR MEDICALLY UNNECESSARY TRANSFERS TO MORE COSTLY CARE CENTERS. SO TODAY I AM INTRODUCING THE CRITICAL ACCESS HOSPITAL RELIEF ACT OF 2014. MY BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION WOULD REMOVE THE CONDITION OF PAYMENT FOR CRITICAL ACCESS HOSPITALS THAT REQUIRES A PHYSICIAN TO CERTIFY THAT EACH PATIENT WILL BE DISCHARGED OR TRANSFERRED IN LESS THAN 96 HOURS. THIS IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF HAVING TO TELL C.M.S. IF IT ISN'T BROKEN THAT THERE'S NO NEED TO FIX IT. WE NEED TO FOCUS ON ENSURING RURAL PATIENTS HAVE ACCESS TO THEIR HEALTH SYSTEM, NOT COMING UP WITH BUREAUCRATIC WAYS, MR. PRESIDENT, TO MAKE IT HARDER FOR PATIENTS IN RURAL AREAS TO GET QUALITY CARE FROM THEIR DOCTORS. I URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO COSPONSOR THE CRITICAL ACCESS HOSPITAL RELIEF ACT OF 2014. IT WOULD APPEAR, MR. PRESIDENT, THAT WE DO NOT HAVE A QUORUM.

    Show Full Text
  • 03:39:31 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

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

  • 03:39:38 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 03:45:50 PM

    MR. MORAN

  • 03:45:51 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    KANSAS. MR. MORAN: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I'D ASK WHAT NATURE OF BUSINESS…

    KANSAS. MR. MORAN: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I'D ASK WHAT NATURE OF BUSINESS THE SENATE IS IN. THE PRESIDING

    Show Full Text
  • 03:45:53 PM

    MR. MORAN

    ASK WHAT NATURE OF BUSINESS THE SENATE IS IN. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE…

    ASK WHAT NATURE OF BUSINESS THE SENATE IS IN. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATE IS IN A QUORUM CALL. MR. MORAN:

    Show Full Text
  • 03:45:57 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    QUORUM CALL. MR. MORAN: I ASK THE QUORUM CALL BE LIFTED.

  • 03:46:00 PM

    MR. MORAN

    BE LIFTED.

  • 03:46:02 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION. MR. MORAN: I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO ADDRESS THE SENATE. THE…

    OBJECTION. MR. MORAN: I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO ADDRESS THE SENATE. THE PRESIDING OFFICER:

    Show Full Text
  • 03:46:04 PM

    MR. MORAN

    THE SENATE. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 03:46:06 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 03:46:07 PM

    MR. MORAN

    YOU VERY MUCH. I ALONG WITH MY COLLEAGUES HAVE BEEN IN PLACES ACROSS THE…

    YOU VERY MUCH. I ALONG WITH MY COLLEAGUES HAVE BEEN IN PLACES ACROSS THE COUNTRY THIS PAST WEEK, MOST OF MY TIME WAS SPENT IN KANSAS, AND CERTAINLY KANSANS HAD A GOOD OPPORTUNITY TO EXPRESS TO ME SOME OF THEIR WORRIES AND CONCERNS ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON IN WASHINGTON, D.C. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT'S BECOME VERY DOMINANT IN THOSE CONVERSATIONS IS THE CONCERN THAT THIS ADMINISTRATION OF WASHINGTON, D.C., THAT THE CONSTITUTION AS WE LEARNED IT AS WE WERE TAUGHT IN EVEN HIGH SCHOOL GOVERNMENT CLASS DOESN'T SEEM TO BE BEING COMPLIED WITH AND THE CONCERN IS THE CONSTANT EFFORTS BY THIS ADMINISTRATION TO DO THINGS UNILATERALLY. TO OFFER EXECUTIVE ORDERS TO PUT THERE IN PLACE EXECUTIVE ORDERS AND POLICIES, REGULATIONS, AND THIS HAS BECOME A COMMON CONVERSATION AND IT'S PEELING TO ME, IT'S PLEASING TO ME THAT KANSANS CARE SO MUCH ABOUT THE STRUCTURE OF OUR GOVERNMENT, THE FOUNDATION THAT WAS CREATED BY THE FRAMERS OF OUR CONSTITUTION, AND THE GENUINE CONCERN THAT THE CONSTITUTION IS BEING VIOLATED. OFTEN THE CONVERSATION IS WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT IT? AND THE TOPIC I WANT TO TALK ABOUT TODAY IS JUST ONE MORE EXAMPLE. THIS ONE HAS A REASONNINGLY BLI POSITIVE ENDING BUT I WANT TO HIGHLIGHT SOMETHING THAT HAS TRANSPIRED IN WASHINGTON, D.C. THAT STARTED LAST MAY AT THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION. AND I JUST LEARNED ABOUT THIS RECENTLY AND IT BECAME MUCH MORE COMMON TOPIC WITH KNOWLEDGE ACROSS THE COUNTRY AS A RESULT OF ONE OF THE F.E.C. COMMISSIONER'S OPINION PISS THAT APPEARED OVER THE PAST FEW DAYS IN -- OPINION PISS THAT APPEARED. WHAT WE LEARNED WAS THAT THE FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION WAS CONSIDERING -- CONSIDERED, PUT IN PLACE A PROGRAM IN WHICH THEY WERE GOING TO SURVEY THE BROADCASTERS THAT THEY REGULATE. AND THEY HIRED AN OUTSIDE FIRM AS I UNDERSTAND IT, AND QUESTIONS WERE PREPARED THAT WERE GOING TO BE ASKED OF PEOPLE IN NEWS ROOMS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THE PILOT PROGRAM WAS ORGANIZED TO OCCUR IN SOUTH CAROLINA, AND AMONG THE KINDS OF QUESTIONS THAT WERE GOING TO BE ASKED IN NEWSROOMS ACROSS THE COUNTRY BY THE F.E.C. WAS WHAT IS THE NEWS PHILOSOPHY OF THIS STATION? A WHO DECIDES WHICH STORIES ARE COVERED? WHETHER A REPORTER EVER WANTED TO COVER A STORY AND WAS TOLD THEY COULDN'T DO SO. IT SEEMS TO ME WHETHER YOU HAVE A CONSERVATIVE OR LIBERAL BENT OR YOU'RE DOWN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD YOU ALL TO HAVE GREAT CONCERN WHEN THE AGENCY THAT REGULATES THE BROADCASTERS DECIDES THEY WANT TO GET INTO THE NEWSROOM TO DISOFER HOW NEWS IS DEVELOPED AT THAT STATION. THAT'S NOT PART OF WHAT THE MANDATE OF THE F.E.C. IS, AND IT OUGHT TO RAISE GENUINE CONCERNS ABOUT THOSE WHO CARE ABOUT FREE SPEECH. IT CERTAINLY RAISED THOSE CONCERNS WITH ME, AND I CAME BACK TO WASHINGTON, D.C. TODAY WITH THE INTENTION OF HIGHLIGHTING THIS ISSUE FOR MY COLLEAGUES, MAKING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE MORE AWARE OF THIS TREMENDOUS AFFRONT TO THE FIRST AMENDMENT TO TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT CHAIRMAN WHEELER AT THE S.E.C. ANNOUNCED JUST A COUPLE DAYS AGO THAT THIS PROPOSAL AS IT INCLUDED QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW NEWS WAS DEVELOPED WAS BEING WITHDRAWN. AND SO IN PART I'M HERE TO EXPRESS MY GENUINE CONCERN ABOUT HOW DID WE GET SO FAR AS FOR ANYONE AT THE F.E.C. OR THEIR CONTRACTOR TO THINK THIS IS APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR FOR A REGULATOR AND SECONDLY TO SAY THAT I'M RELIEVED AND PLEASED THAT CHAIRMAN WHEELER HAS STEPPED IN TO WITHDRAW THAT THOSE KINDS OF QUESTIONS. THE ARGUMENT WAS MADE THIS IS A VOLUNTARY SURVEY, BUT AS COMMISSIONER PIE INDICATED IN HIS OPINION PIECE IN "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL" IT'S HARD TO SEE HOW SOMETHING THE F.E.C. IS -- F.E.C. IS ASKING OF A REGULATED BROADCASTER WOULD REALLY BE CONSIDERED VOLUNTARY. THE COMMISSIONER SAYS UNLIKE THE OPINION SURVEYS MANY RECEIVE IN THE PHONE OR THE MAIL IN WHICH WE CAN HANG UP OR NOT ANSWER THE PHONE OR TOSS THE SURVEY INTO THE TRASH WHEN THE F.C.C. SENDS SOMEONE TO YOUR STATION TO ASK YOU QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW NEWS IS DEVELOPED, HARD FOR YOU TO SAY I'M NOT GOING TO ANSWER THE QUESTION WHEN THE F.C.C. HAS CONTROL OVER YOUR LICENSE. SO I'M HERE TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT THIS KIND OF APPROACH IS SOMETHING THAT IS IN THE PAST, AND I SERVE ON THE APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE THAT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE F.C.C.'S BUDGET. WHEN THEY COME TO TELL US ABOUT THEIR APPROPRIATIONS REQUEST, I WANT TO -- AGAIN I WILL THANK CHAIRMAN WHEELER FOR WITHDRAWING THESE QUESTIONS BUT I WANT TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT THERE IS A GENUINE CONCERN ON BEHALF OF ALL OF US IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE, REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS, WHATEVER BRAND OF PHILOSOPHY YOU CLAIM TO ESPOUSE OR BELIEVE, YOU OUGHT TO BE WORRIED WHEN THE F.C.C. IS MAKING INROADS INTO HOW NEWS AND OPINION IS FORMULATED AT BROADCASTING STATIONS, TELEVISION AND RADIO ACROSS THE COUNTRY. SO, MR. PRESIDENT, THE SPEECH I'D INTENDED TO GIVE RAISING THIS TOPIC IS ONLY GIVEN NOW IN PART, AND IT'S MY VIEW THAT EVERY AMERICAN CITIZEN HAS CERTAIN CIVIC RESPONSIBILITIES, NONE OF US MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE, EVERY AMERICAN CITIZEN'S PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY AS A CITIZEN IS TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT WE PASS ON TO THE NEXT GENERATION OF AMERICANS A COUNTRY IN WHICH THE FREEDOMS AND LIBERTIES GUARANTEED BY OUR CONSTITUTION ARE PROTECTED THROUGHOUT THE HISTORY OF OUR NATION INTO THE FUTURE AND SO I ASK THAT MY COLLEAGUES BE EVER VIGILANT AS WE SEE JUST AN EVER-ENCROACHING WASHINGTON, D.C. ADMINISTRATION, EVEN CONGRESS, INTRUDING IN THE LIVES OF THE AMERICAN CITIZEN PARTICULARLY AS IT RELATES TO THEIR OPPORTUNITIES FOR FREE SPEECH. I'LL BE BACK LATER IN THE WEEK TO TALK ABOUT OTHER INTRUSIONS BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT INTO FREE SPEECH AND POLITICAL ADVOCACY BUT THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE ON THE SENATE FLOOR TODAY TO HIGHLIGHT WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN AN EGREGIOUS VIOLATION OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION BY ONE OF OUR FEDERAL AGENCIES. MR. PRESIDENT, I WOULD YIELD THE FLOOR. MR. PRESIDENT, I WOULD NOTICE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL.

    Show Full Text
  • 03:53:21 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    ROLL. QUORUM CALL: QUORUM CALL:

  • 03:53:28 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 04:04:20 PM

    MR. REID

  • 04:04:21 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MAJORITY LEADER. MR. REID: IS THE SENATE IN A QUORUM CALL? THE PRESIDING…

    MAJORITY LEADER. MR. REID: IS THE SENATE IN A QUORUM CALL? THE PRESIDING OFFICER: IT IS.

    Show Full Text
  • 04:04:23 PM

    MR. REID

    QUORUM CALL? THE PRESIDING OFFICER: IT IS.

  • 04:04:25 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 04:04:26 PM

    MR. REID

    IT BE RESCINDED. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR.

  • 04:04:28 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION. MR. REID: MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT AT A TIME…

    OBJECTION. MR. REID: MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT AT A TIME TO BE DETERMINED BY ME, AFTER CONSULTATION WITH SENATOR McCONNELL, THE SENATE PROCEED TO CALENDAR NUMBER 251, THAT IF CLOTURE -- THAT IF A CLOTURE MOTION IS FILED, THERE BE TWO HOURS OF DEBATE ON S. 1752 AND

    Show Full Text
  • 04:04:30 PM

    MR. REID

    CONSENT THAT AT A TIME TO BE DETERMINED BY ME, AFTER CONSULTATION WITH…

    CONSENT THAT AT A TIME TO BE DETERMINED BY ME, AFTER CONSULTATION WITH SENATOR McCONNELL, THE SENATE PROCEED TO CALENDAR NUMBER 251, THAT IF CLOTURE -- THAT IF A CLOTURE MOTION IS FILED, THERE BE TWO HOURS OF DEBATE ON S. 1752 AND S. 1917 EQUALLY DIVIDED BETWEEN THE TWO LEADERS OR THEIR DESIGNEES. THAT UPON THE USE OR YIELDING BACK OF THAT TIME, THE SENATE PROCEED TO VOTE ON THE MOTION TO INVOKE CLOTURE. THAT IF CLOTURE IS INVOKED, ALL TIME BE YEEMEDDED BACK AND THE SENATE -- YIELDED BACK AND THE SENATE IMMEDIATELY MOVE TO VOTE ON THE BILL. THAT NO MOTIONS OR POINTS OF ORDER BE ALLOWED PRIOR TO THE FINAL VOTE. THE BILL BE RETURN TO THE CALENDAR, THAT UPON THE DISPOSITION OF S. 1752, THE SENATE IMMEDIATELY PROCEED TO THE CONSIDERATION OF CALENDAR NUMBER 293, S. 1917, THAT IF CLOTURE -- THAT IF A CLOTURE MOTION IS FILED ON THE BILL, THE SENATE PROCEED TO VOTE ON THE MOTION TO INVOKE CLOTURE. THAT IF CLOTURE IS INVOKED, ALL POSTCLOTURE TIME BE YIELDED BACK AND THE SENATE PROCEED TO VOTE ON PASSAGE OF THE BILL. THAT NO AMENDMENTS, POINTS OF ORDER OR MOTIONS BE IN ORDER TO THE BILL PRIOR TO THE VOTE ON PASSAGE THAT. IF A MOTION TO INVOKE CLOTURE ON S. 1917 IS NOT AGREED TO, THE BILL BE RETURNED TO THE CALENDAR. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: IS THERE OBJECTION? A SENATOR: RESERVING THE RIGHT TO OBJECT. THE PRESIDING OFFICER:

    Show Full Text
  • 04:05:46 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION? A SENATOR: RESERVING THE RIGHT TO OBJECT. THE PRESIDING…

    OBJECTION? A SENATOR: RESERVING THE RIGHT TO OBJECT. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM KANSAS.

    Show Full Text
  • 04:05:50 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    KANSAS. MR. A SENATOR: THE AMENDMENTS WERE FILED TO THE DEFENSE…

    KANSAS. MR. A SENATOR: THE AMENDMENTS WERE FILED TO THE DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION BILL THAT THE SENATE PASSED IN DECEMBER OF LAST YEAR. MR. MORAN: THEY EACH

    Show Full Text
  • 04:05:58 PM

    MR. A SENATOR

    AUTHORIZATION BILL THAT THE SENATE PASSED IN DECEMBER OF LAST YEAR. MR.…

    AUTHORIZATION BILL THAT THE SENATE PASSED IN DECEMBER OF LAST YEAR. MR. MORAN: THEY EACH HAVE SIGNIFICANT BIPARTISAN SUPPORT.

    Show Full Text
  • 04:06:04 PM

    MR. MORAN

    SUPPORT. THE MAJORITY LEADER FILLED THE TREE ON THAT BILL AND BLOCKED OUT…

    SUPPORT. THE MAJORITY LEADER FILLED THE TREE ON THAT BILL AND BLOCKED OUT AMENDMENTS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE AND, THEREFORE, THE SENATE DID NOT VOTE ON THESE BILLS LAST YEAR. THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF OTHER AMENDMENTS THAT WERE ALSO BLOCKED. WOULD THE SENATOR MODIFY THIS REQUEST TO INCLUDE A VOTE AT A 60-VOTE THRESHOLD ON ANOTHER PROPOSAL THAT WAS BLOCKED FROM CONSIDERATION? THE KIRK AMENDMENT, 2295, WAS FILED TO THE DEFENSE BILL. IT WOULD IMPOSE ADDITIONAL SANCTIONS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT OF IRAN IF IT VIOLATES THE INTERIM AGREEMENT WITH THE UNITED STATES. WILL THE SENATOR INCLUDE A VOTE ON THE KIRK AMENDMENT AS PART OF THIS AGREEMENT? MR. REID: MR. PRESIDENT? I WOULD RESERVE THE RIGHT TO OBJECT.

    Show Full Text
  • 04:06:47 PM

    MR. REID

    RESERVE THE RIGHT TO OBJECT.

  • 04:06:50 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    AGREE TO THE MODIFICATION? MR. REID: I WOULD RESERVE THE RIGHT TO OBJECT.…

    AGREE TO THE MODIFICATION? MR. REID: I WOULD RESERVE THE RIGHT TO OBJECT. MR. PRESIDENT, THERE'S NO MORE

    Show Full Text
  • 04:06:54 PM

    MR. REID

    MR. PRESIDENT, THERE'S NO MORE IMPORTANT NATIONAL SECURITY CONCERN TODAY…

    MR. PRESIDENT, THERE'S NO MORE IMPORTANT NATIONAL SECURITY CONCERN TODAY THAN KEEPING IRAN FROM GETTING NUCLEAR WEAPONS CAPABILITY. FOR ONE, NATIONAL SECURITY, AND FOR THAT OF ISRAEL, OUR ALLY. WE'RE COMMITTED TO STOPPING IRAN FROM GETTING THAT CAPABILITY. THAT'S WHY PRESIDENT OBAMA'S ENTERED INTO INTERNATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS WITH IRAN. THE SENATE HAS A LONG TRADITION OF BIPARTISANSHIP ON THIS ISSUE, INCLUDING NUMEROUS STRONG, BIPARTISAN VOTES THAT WE PUT IN PLACE TO INITIATE THE VERY SANCTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN BROUGHT IRAN TO THE NEGOTIATING TABLE. SO, MR. PRESIDENT, IN SUMMATION, I'M TERRIBLY DISAPPOINTED THAT MY REPUBLICAN FRIENDS ARE TRYING TO TURN THIS VITAL NATIONAL SECURITY CONCERN INTO A PARTISAN ISSUE BY TRYING TO INJECT INTO IT A SETTING WHERE IT'S CLEARLY NOT RELEVANT. I OBJECT. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: OBJECTION IS HEARD.

    Show Full Text
  • 04:07:48 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IS HEARD. IS THERE OBJECTION TO THE ORIGINAL REQUEST? MR. MORAN: I OBJECT.

  • 04:07:55 PM

    MR. MORAN

  • 04:07:56 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IS HEARD. MR.

  • 04:08:14 PM

    MR. HARKIN

  • 04:08:15 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IOWA. MR. HARKIN: MR. PRESIDENT, FIRST AWB THAT LAWRENCE ARKI -- AWNS I…

    IOWA. MR. HARKIN: MR. PRESIDENT, FIRST AWB THAT LAWRENCE ARKI -- AWNS I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT LAWRENCE ARKENSIAN BE GRANTED FLOOR PRIVILEGES FOR TODAY'S SESSION. THE PRESIDING

    Show Full Text
  • 04:08:17 PM

    MR. HARKIN

    THAT LAWRENCE ARKI -- AWNS I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT LAWRENCE ARKENSIAN…

    THAT LAWRENCE ARKI -- AWNS I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT LAWRENCE ARKENSIAN BE GRANTED FLOOR PRIVILEGES FOR TODAY'S SESSION. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION.

    Show Full Text
  • 04:08:29 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION.

  • 04:08:32 PM

    MR. HARKIN

    TODAY TO SPEAK ABOUT MY TWO RECENT FACT-FINDING TRIPS TO CUBA. DURING THE…

    TODAY TO SPEAK ABOUT MY TWO RECENT FACT-FINDING TRIPS TO CUBA. DURING THE FIRST TRIP, WHICH WAS AN INCREDIBLE JOURNEY CROSS THE NATION OF CUBA, I HAD CONVERSATIONS WITH CUBAN CITIZENS, FARMERS, DOCTORS, NURSES, STUDENTS, JUST A VERY BROAD CROSS-SECTION OF THE CUBAN CITIZENRY. ALSO SOME GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, TOO. THE SECOND TRIP WAS -- INVOLVED A ONE-DAY VISIT TO THE U.S. DETENTION CENTER AT GUANTANAMO BAY. FIRST I'D LIKE TO BEGIN WITH DETAILS OF MY FIRST TRIP WHICH TOOK PLACE DURING JANUARY'S RECESS HERE IN THE SENATE. FIRST, I WANT TO PUBLICLY THANK AMBASSADOR CABANIAS, THE CUBAN CUBAN -- WELL, I GUESS SINCE WE DON'T HAVE AN EMBASSY, HE HAS THE RANK OF AMBASSADOR BUT HE IS IN CHARGE OF THE CUBAN INTEREST SECTION HERE -- I WANT TO THANK HIM AND HIS STAFF PERSONALLY FOR ARRANGING THIS AND OVERCOMING A LOT OF DIFFERENT OBSTACLES TO MAKE SURE THAT WE COULD TAKE THIS TRIP. IT'S -- I GUESS I AM THE FIRST SENATOR OR CONGRESSMAN TO DO THIS KIND OF A TRIP. WE WENT -- FIRST WE FLEW FROM MIAMI DOWN TO SANTIAGO DE DE CUBA. AND WE SPENT A FEW DAYS THERE AND THEN WE DROVE FROM SANTIAGO TO HOLGUIN, CAMAQUEY, SANTA CLARA AND THEN TO HAVANA. WE SAW MOST OF THE ENTIRE NATION OF CUBA. ONE REMAINS I HAVEN'T SEEN. I'VE NEVER BEEN OUT TO THE PINO DELL RIO OUT HERE IN THE WESTERN PART. THAT'S ONE PART I HAVEN'T BEEN. I HAD VISITED HAVANA AS A SENATOR 11 YEARS BEFORE BUT THAT WAS ONLY IN HAVANA. THIS TIME I WANTED TO SEE THE COUNTRY. I WANTED TO SEE ORDINARY CUBANS IN SMALL TOWNS AND COMMUNITIES TO GET A FEEL FOR WHAT IT WAS LIKE IN THE REST OF THE COUNTRY. MOST PEOPLE JUST GO TO HAVANA. WELL, THAT'S LIKE GOING TO NEW YORK CITY AND SAYING YOU'VE BEEN TO AMERICA. IT'S JUST NOT THE SAME. IT'S JUST NOT THE SAME. THERE'S A LOT MORE COUNTRY TO CUBA, A LOT MORE THINGS GOING ON THAN JUST -- JUST IN HAVANA. WELL, IT WAS CLEAR TO ME THAT THIS TRIP WOULD BE AN IMPORTANT MOMENT IN CUBAN-AMERICAN RELATIONS -- RELATIONSHIP, NOT THE TRIP BUT THIS IS A TIME, I WANT TO SAY, OF -- THAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT IN CUBAN-AMERICAN RELATIONS. AND SO I JUST WANTED TO SHARE SOME OF THE INSIGHTS I GAINED DURING MY TRAVELS ACROSS THIS NATION OF 11 MILLION PEOPLE. AS I SAID, I ARRIVED IN SANTIAGO ON JANUARY THE 17th AND OVER THE COURSE OF THE WEEK, WE TRAVELED UP THROUGH THE COUNTRYSIDE. AND, AGAIN, I WANT TO THANK BERNARDO TOSCANO, A CUBAN WHO HAD BEEN HERE IN THE UNITED STATES I THINK THREE OR FOUR TIMES BEFORE -- HE'D BEEN HERE IN WASHINGTON TWO OR THREE TIMES WORKING IN THE -- IN IN THEIR INTEREST SECTION HERE AND I THINK ONCE OR TWICE IN NEW YORK WITH THEIR INTEREST SECTION IN NEW YORK. AND SO WE MET HIM AND HE CAME WITH US TO SANTIAGO AND THEN SORT OF WAS OUR HOST OR WITH US ALL DURING OUR TRIP. BERNARDO, I ALWAYS SAY HE'S AN ITALIAN-CUBAN. BERNARDO TOSCANO? AGAIN, ANOTHER INDICATION THAT THERE ARE A LOT OF DIFFERENT NATIONALITIES IN PEOPLE OF CUBA THAN IN THE PAST. BUT BERNARDO WAS JUST SO GRACIOUS, SO KIND, INFORMATIVE IN TAKING CARE OF THINGS FOR US. HE INFORMED US THAT HE HAD BEEN TO VISIT 20 STATES IN THE UNITED STATES SO HE'S BEEN TO 20 STATES YET A U.S. CITIZEN CANNOT GO TO CUBA TO SEE CUBA. I'LL HAVE MORE TO SAY ABOUT THAT LATER. BUT THE TRIP WE TOOK WAS FASCINATING. AND, YOU KNOW, ALL ALONG THE WAY WAY, IN SANTIAGO ALL UP THE WAY, WE SAW TOUR BUSES. TOUR BUSES WITH PEOPLE. WELL, THEY LOOKED LIKE NORTH AMERICANOS BUT, IN FACT, THEY WERE FROM ENGLAND AND GERMANY AND SWEDEN AND CANADA, MOSTLY CANADA. A LOT OF CANADIANS. BUT THERE WERE PEOPLE TRAVELING, VISITING DIFFERENT THINGS. CANADA RIGHT NOW, THEY HAVE A DIRECT FLIGHT FROM TORONTO TO SANTA CLARA, A DIRECT FIGHT. AND THEN GET ON A BUS AND GO OUT HERE TO THESE WONDERFUL BEACHES OUT HERE, WHICH WE DIDN'T VISIT, BUT A LOT OF CANADIANS AND A LOT OF EUROPEANS GO THERE. BUT NOT AMERICANS. NOT AMERICANS. AND I'M GOING TO HAVE MORE TO SAY ABOUT THAT. BUT AGAIN, I WANT TO THANK SO MANY PEOPLE OF CUBA, SO MANY PEOPLE I SAW, FOR THEIR WARM WELCOME, THE HOSPITALITY THEY EXTENDED TO ME, MY WIFE, MY TRAVELING EXAN JOHNS MY STAFF AS -- COMPANIONS AND MY STAFF AS WE TRAVELED THROUGHOUT THEIR COUNTRY. AND I JUST MIGHT ADD THAT PRIOR TO MY ELECTION -- LONG BEFORE MY ELECTION TO THE CONGRESS, I WAS A NAVY PILOT STATIONED AT GUANTANAMO BAY FOR 18 MONTHS. SO THIS WAS INTERESTING TO SEE THE REST OF CUBA OTHER THAN JUST GUANTANAMO BAY, WHICH IS RIGHT DOWN HERE. THIS IS THE GUANTANAMO BAY AREA. SO IT'S RIGHT NEAR SANTIAGO DE CUBA. IN FACT, LANDING AT THE AIRPORT IN SANITY OF SANITY SANTIAGO WAS QUITE TRAVELING. INTERESTING. THE TRAVELING COMPANION WAS THE NAVY PILOT WHO WAS WITH ME WHEN I WAS STATIONED AT GUANTANAMO. AND HE IS CUBAN-AMERICAN. AND WE REMEMBERED HOW WE WERE ALWAYS KIND OF WARNED WHEN WE WERE OUT FLYING NOT TO GET MISTAKEN BETWEEN SANTIAGO AND GUANTANAMO BECAUSE THE RUNWAYS LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME. THEY'RE BOTH EAST-WEST RUNWAYS, THEY'RE RIGHT THERE ON THE OCEAN, THERE'S A BAY ON BOTH OF THEM. AND IF YOU WEREN'T CAREFUL, YOU MIGHT LAND AT ONE RATHER THAN THE OTHER. SO ALL THAT TIME THAT WE WERE FLYING OUT OF THERE, WE -- WE NEVER WENT TO SANTIAGO, OF COURSE. WE COULDN'T. BUT WE USED TO SEE IT AS WE PATROLLED THE SKIES. NOW LANDING AT SANDIA GOA WAS KIND OF AN INTERESTING FLASHBACK IN TIME WHEN YOU I WAS A YOUNG NAVY PILOT. I WANTED TO GET A FIRSTHAND LOOK AT LIFE OF THE ORDINARY PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF HAVANA, AND PARTICULARLY I HAVE LONG ADVOCATED IN THIS COUNTRY FOR A STRONG PUBLIC HEALTH INFRASTRUCTURE. AND I WANTED TO EXAMINE THE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF CUBA'S PUBLIC HEALTH SYSTEM. SO, AS I SAID, THAT'S WHAT I DID MOST OF THE TIME WHEN I WAS THERE. WHEN WE FIRST ARRIVED IN SANTIAGO, WE WENT TO VISIT THE CANCER HOSPITAL WHICH PROVIDES TREATMENT FOR PEOPLE FROM ACROSS THE ENTIRE COUNTRY. I FOUND THE DOCTORS THERE AND THE LEADERS OF THAT HOSPITAL TO BE VERY DEDICATED PUBLIC SERVANT SERVANTS. THE INSTITUTION HAS STRUGGLED TO OVERCOME THE DEVASTATION OF HURRICANE SANDY WHICH REALLY HIT SANTIA GHOA VERY, VERY HARD. IT WOULD BE MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL FOR BOTH CUBA AND THE U.S. IF WE HAD BETTER RELATIONS, IF WE HAD BETTER TRADE RELATIONS WITH CUBA, WHERE THEY MIGHT NEED SOME MEDICAL EQUIPMENT THAT WE HAVE BUT WHERE WE COULD ALSO LEARN FROM THEM ON SOME OF THE PROCESSES AND PROCEDURES THEY USE IN TREATING CANCER PATIENTS. I WAS STRUCK BY ONE THING. THIS WAS FRIDAY AFTERNOON, SO WE'RE GOING THROUGH THIS HOSPITAL, AND, YES, THEY HAVE GOT ALL THE NECESSARY EQUIPMENT. THEY HAVE THE RAID RADIATION MACHINES AND ALL THE EQUIPMENT THAT YOU NEED TO DO RADIATION AND INFUSION FOR CHEMOTHERAPY. THEY'VE GOT ALL THAT. AS I SAID, THE HOSPITAL SUFFERED SOME DAMAGE FROM SANDY. THAT HASN'T BEEN FIXED UP ALL YET. AS I WAS GOING THROUGH THE HOSPITAL, I NOTICED A LOT OF EMPTY BEDS, AND SOY WE WERE LEAVING -- AND SO AS WE WERE LEESK THE HOSPITAL,LEAVING THE HOSPITAL, SAID TO THE DIRECTOR, WHERE ARE ALL THE PEOPLE SNUFF A GOT A LOT OF EMPTY BEDS? IT'S FRIDAY AFTERNOON. WE SENT THEM HOME FOR THE WEEKEND. I SAID, REALLY? SHE SAID A VERY INTERESTING THING TO MEEVMENT SHE SAID, YES, YOU COME TO THE HOSPITAL TO GET CURED BUT YOU GO HOME TO GET WELL. I THOUGHT ABOUT THAT. BECAUSE JUST NOT TOO LONG AGO I HAD AN INSTANCE IN DES MOINES, IOWA, WHERE I HAD VISIT ADD FRIEND OF MINE WHO WAS SEAR YAWSLY ILL WITH CANCER. HE HAS SINCE PASSED AWAY. BUT HE WANTED TO LEAVE -- LITERALLY WANTED TO LEAVE THE HOSPITAL FOR A SUNDAY MEETING OF THE METHODIST CHURCH. HE WAS A MYTH DIFFICULTY MINISTER, AND THE HOSPITAL WOULDN'T LET HIM LEAVE. THEY SAID, IF YOU LEAVE, THEN YOU HAVE A GOT TO BE ALL READMITTED AGAIN THROUGH MEDICARE, AND MEDICARE WILL CUT OFF THE PAYMENTS AND ALL THAT. THEY WOULDN'T EVEN LET HIM LEAVE FOR A FEW HOURS TO GO HALFWAY ACROSS THE CITY TOO PARTAKE IN A AN AWARD THAT HE WAS RECEIVED TO RECEIVE. I THOUGHT ABOUT THAT WHEN I SAW THIS HOSPITAL. JUST INTERESTING THINGS LIKE THAT THAT YOU PICK UP. SO I THINK THERE IS THERE WOULD BE JUST A LOT THAT THE TWO OF US COULD LEARN TOGETHER. AND COMOGUAY, WE ALSO STOPPED IN A SMALL RORAL COMMUNITY WITH A VERY COMPREHENSIVE CLINIC SYSTEM IN HOLGUIN. AS WE DROVE ON UP THE CAME TO CAMAGUEY. WE VISITED THE HOME OF A DOCTOR, A DR. CARLOS FINLEY. SOME PEOPLE SAY THE MY, WHO IS DR. CARRDR. CARLOS FINLEY? HE DISCOVERED THE ORIGIN OF YELLOW FEVER, TRANSMITTED BY A CERTAIN MOSQUITO. A LOT OF PEOPLE JUST DIDN'T BELIEVE IT. YOUBUT HE PERSEVERED. LATER ON IT WAS A PERSON SORT OF FAMOUS AROUND HERE -- AT LEAST WE KNOW THE NAME,

    Show Full Text
  • 04:19:37 PM

    MR. WALSH

    WALTER REED, WHO WHEN THEY WERE BUILDING THE PANAMA CANAL DISCOVERED THAT…

    WALTER REED, WHO WHEN THEY WERE BUILDING THE PANAMA CANAL DISCOVERED THAT DR. FINLEY WAS RIGHT. IT WAS TRANSMISSION BY MOSQUITOES. SO WE WERE ABLE TO VISIT HIS HOME AND THERE IS AGAIN A WHOLE CADRE OF PEOPLE THERE HOG RESEARCH -- DOING RESEARCH ON OTHER TRANSMISSIONS OF ILLNESSES ILLNESSES. FOR EXAMPLE, THE TRANSMISSION OF SIRCH DISEASES BY -- DIFFERENT DISEASES BY MOSQUITOES. BUT AGAIN HEAVY FOCUS ON MEDICAL RESEARCH. WHEN WE WENT TO SANTA CLARA, WE VISITED ANOTHER CLINIC THERE. THEY CALL THEM POLYCLINICS, THEY DO A LOT OF DIFFERENT THINGS. IT IS SORT OF WHAT WE MIGHT THINK OF IN THIS COUNTRY AS A COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER. A COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER. UNLIKE OUR COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS, PEOPLE DON'T HAVE TO GO THERE TO SEEK HELP. THE COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS, THE POLYCLINICS GO OUT THERE, AND THEY GO OUT IN VERY RURAL AREAS TO MAKE SURE THAT KIDS HAVE THEIR SACK SIN VACCINATIONS, MAKE SURE PEOPLE HAVE CHECKUPS. ONE OF THE REASONS THEY HAVE SUCH A LOW INFANT MORTALITY RATE, WHICH SOME HAVE SAID IS LOWER THAN OURS IS IN FACT ONE OF THE LOWEST IN THE WORLD, AND THEY HAVE ONE OF THE LOWEST RATES OF MORTALITY OF CHILDREN 0-5 IS BECAUSE WHEN A WOMAN GETS PREGNANT IN CUBA, SHE GETS VISITED IMMEDIATELY -- WELL, SENIOR SENATORASSOON AS THEY KNOW T THEY GETTED VISITS BY HEALTH OFFICIALS WHO PUT HER ON A BETTER DIET, MAKE SURE SHE DOESN'T SMOKE, PROVIDE SUPPORTIVE SERVICES FOR HER DURING HER PREGNANCY, MAKE SURE THAT THERE'S SOMEONE THERE FOR THE BIRTH, AND THAT CHILD IS -- EVERYTHING IS JUST COVERED FROM THE EARLIEST TIME OF PREGNANCY THROUGH EARLY CHILDHOOD. AND IT IS A HANDS-ON APPROACH. IT IS A HANDS-ON -- AND IT'S GOING OUT SERVING PEOPLE RATHER THAN MAKING PEOPLE COME IN TO THEM. AND THIS REALLY, I THINK, IS ONE OF THE -- ONE OF THE KEY FEATURES OF WHAT CUBA HAS DONE IS THEY HAVE MADE THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE A PUBLIC SERVICE, A PUBLIC SERVICE. IN ALL ASPECTS, WHETHER YOU ARE A DOCTOR OR A SURGEON OR A NURSE OR VARIOUS OTHER HEALTH PRACTITIONERS. IT IS A PUBLIC SERVICE. AND CUBA HAS PUT A GREAT DEAL OF EMPHASIS ON PREVENTION. PREVENTION OF ILLNESS. IN FACT, I MUST SAY THAT I WAS SURPRISED IN CUBA THIS HE THAT THEY'VE GONE HON AN ANTISMOKING CAMPAIGN. MR. PRESIDENT, I WAS OUT ONE NIGHT IN SANTIAGO, AND WE -- AFTER DINNER, WE CAME BACK. TWASESIT WAS ABOUT 10:00 AT NIEVMENT I NOTICED A STREET WAS BLOCKED O THERE WERE A LOT OF PEOPLE OUT THERE. I ASKED MR. TOSCANA WHAT THAT WAS? IN SANTIAGO EVERILY FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT THEY BLOCK OFF LONG STREETS AND HAVE FESTIVALS, STREET PARTIES. SO I SAID, WELL, I WANT TO GO THERE. SO WE PARKED OUR CAR AND WE WALKED OUT. WE DIDN'T HAVE ANY GUARDS OR ANYBODY AROUND US. WE JUST WALKED DOWN THE STREET, ABOUT A MILE LONG. THIS WAS A LONG STREET, ABOUT A MILE, LATE AT NIGHT. YOU GO DOWN THE STREET AND ALONG THE SIDES OF THE STREET THERE PEOPLE COOKING FOORKSD COOKING FOOD, LITTLE KIOSKS, FAMILIES WITH KIDS OUT THERE. A LOT OF YOUNG PEOPLE. A LOT OF YOUNG PEOPLE OUT THERE LOOKING FOR OTHER YOUNG PEOPLE ON SATURDAY NIGHT. MUSIC -- BUT EVERY OTHER BLOCK HAD SOME MUSIC, AND IT WAS JUST KIND OF A WONDERFUL ATMOSPHERE. AND I NOTICED TWO THINGS THAT I WAS KIND OF LOOKING FOR DURING MY WALK DOWN AND BACK. HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE SMOKING. I COUNTED FOUR PEOPLE WERE SMOKING. THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE UP AND DOWN THESE STREETS AND I COUNTED FOUR PEOPLE SMOKING. THERE MABE MAY HAVE BEEN MORE, BUT THAT'S ALL I COULD FIND. DURING THIS ENTIRE WALK WITH ALL THESE PEOPLE OUT ON THE STREET, I SAW ONE POLICEMAN -- ONE POLICEMAN. AND HE DIDN'T HAVE ANY ARMS. HE JUST HAD A STICK. HE WAS KIND OF WALKING AROUND WITH A STICK. SO THERE WAS THIS KIND OF A WONDERFUL THING. BUT THE IDEA THAT CAN NO ONE WAS SMOKING, WHICH KIND OF FASCINATED ME. SANTIAGO -- I ALWAYS SAY, IF YOU GO -- IF ANYONE EVER GOES TO CUBA, TRY TO GO TO SANTIAGO. IT'S SO DIFFERENT. PEOPLE ARE LIVELY, WHAT A WONDERFUL ATMOSPHERE IN THAT PART OF CUBA. BUT, I DIGRESS. I WANTED TO SAY ABOUT THE COMMUNITY-BASED HEALTH SYSTEM AND KEEPING PEOPLE HEALTHY. WHAT THEY HAVE SAID IS THAT IT'S NOT JUST THE DOCTOR'S OFFICE. THEY SAY, IT'S NOT JUST THE DOCTOR'S OFFICE. THAT'S JUST ONE COMPONENT OF KEEPING PEOPLE HEALTHY. IT'S THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY, THE SCHOOLS, COMMUNITY-BASED APPROACH THAT KEEPS PEOPLE HEALTHY. AND THAT I THINK, IS SOMETHING THAT WE COULD LEARN FROM AND DO HERE IN THIS COUNTRY. DURING MY VISIT WITH HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS, THEY EXPLAINED THAT IN THE EARLY 1980'S CUBA MOVED TO EXPAND A COMPREHENSIVE FAMILY PRACTICE MODEL THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY WITH DOCTORS AND NURSES, OTHER HEALTH PROFESSIONALS WORKING IN TEAMS, INTEGRATED INTO THE NEIGHBORHOODS WHERE THEY LIVE AND WORK. AND THIS HAS BECOME THE PILLAR OF PRIMARY HEALTH CARE IN CUBA, AND OBVIOUSLY HAS CONTRIBUTED TO SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENTS IN HEALTH OUTCOMES. I THINK THEIR LONGEVITY -- LIFESPAN IS NOW EVEN LONGER THAN OURS IN THE UNITED STATES. SO THESE CHANGES AND OTHERS HAVE HELICOPTER CUBA IMPROVE -- HAVE HELPED CUBA IMPROVE ITS HEALTH CARE SYSTEM. THERE ARE SEVERAL INDICATOR OF THERE. FOR INSTANCE, BY THE END OF 2013, CUBA REPORT THAITSD INFANT MORTALITY RATE HAD DECLEANED TO 4.1.2. ALSO OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF DECADES SCUBA HAS INCREASED THE NUMBER OF MEDICAL PERSONNEL IT SENDS ABROAD TO SERVE ON MEDICAL MISSIONS. FILLING CRIT QUAL NEEDS IN UNDERSERVED COUNTRIES. THERE ARE CURRENTLY NEARLY 44,000 CUBAN MEDICAL PERSONNEL WORKING IN MANY COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD. LAST YEAR I TOOK A TRIP TO SOUTH AFRICA -- WELL, NAMIBIA AND SOUTH AFRICA, AND I SAW CUBAN DOCTORS WORKING THERE. ACTUALLY, SOMETIMES ALONG OUR OWN DOCTORS FROM THE CENTER OF DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION. INTERESTING... WE CAN WORK WITH THEM THERE BUT WE CAN'T WORK WITH THEM HERE, I GUESS. ALSO IN HAVANA, I VISITED A VERY INTERESTING PLACE CALLED THE LATIN AMERICAN MEDICAL SCHOOL. THE LATIN AMERICAN MEDICAL SCHOOL RIGHT OUTSIDE OF HAVANA, 20 MILES WEST OF HAVANA, AND IT WAS AN OLD NAVY BASE, NAVY -- WHAT AM I TRYING -- NAVAL ACADEMY. AND EVIDENTLY, PRESIDENT CASTRO DECIDED THEY DIDN'T REALLY NEED A NAVAL ACADEMY, SO THEY CLOSED IT DOWN AND MARRIED IT A MEDICAL SCOOVMENT -- AND MADE IT A MEDICAL SCHOOL. PEOPLE COME FROM ALL OVER TO GO TO MEDICAL SCHOOL. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THERE ARE STUDENTS FROM AMERICA GOING TO SCHOOL IN HAVANA -- GOING TO MEDICAL SCHOOL. MR. PRESIDENT, THIS JUST BLEW MY MIND. I NEVER HEARD OF SUCH A THIFNLG HERE'S WHAT I FOUND OWVMENT I FOUND OUT THAT IN THE YEAR 2000, THE CONGRESSIONAL BLACK KAW CHOSE A TRIP TO CAY VAN NAVMENT DURING THAT TRIP THEY MET WITH PRESIDENT CASTRO. ONE OF THE CONGRESSMEN, BENNY THOMPSON FROM MISSISSIPPI, HAD SAID SOMETHING ABOUT HOW DIFFICULT IT WAS FOR THEM TO GET PEOPLE IN CERTAIN AREAS OF MISSISSIPPI. HE SAID THERE WERE LARGE AREAS IN HIS HOME DISTRICT THAT DIDN'T HAVE A SINGLE PHYSICIAN. AND ALSO THEY TALKED ABOUT HOW EXPENSIVE TWS TO GO TO MEDICAL SCHOOL. SO PRESIDENT CASTRO INVITED AMERICAN STUDENTS TO GO IN AND THEY WORKED IT OUT. I THINK THE FIRST CLASS STARTED IN 2002. AND NOW, BELIEVING BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THERE ARE 108 U.S. STUDENTS GOING TO THIS SCHOOL. WELL, I DIDN'T SEE THEM ALL BECAUSE A LOT OF PEOPLE DURING THEIR SCHOOLING GO OUT AND WORK IN HOSPITALS AND CLINICS AND DIFFERENT THINGS LIKE THAT. SO I JUST MET WITH SIX OF THEM. AND IT WAS JUST VERY INTERESTING. THERE WAS -- LET'S CY SEE -- MICHAEL FROM CALIFORNIA, NICK LIE FROM QUEENS IN NEW YORK, KIMBERLY ALSO FROM NORTHERN QUAFL, ARIALAS FROM MICHIGAN, SARAH FROM NEW MEXICO. NOW, ALL OF THEM ARE FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS EXCEPT FOR SARAH, WHO IS A THIRD-YEAR STUDENT IS AND IS SORT OF THEIR -- WHAT DO YOU CALL IT? -- WATCHES OVER THEM. I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU CALL IT. THEIR TUTOR OR LEADER. SO I MITT WITH THEM AND IT WAS VERY INTERESTING. THE ONLY REQUIREMENT -- THERE ARE REQUIREMENTS REQUIREMENTS. BEFORE YOU CAN GO THERE, YOU HAVE TO BE FROM AN EXTREMELY LOW-INCOME FAMILY, CAN'T AFFORD TO GO TO MEDICAL SCHOOL. YOU HAVE TO BE A COLLEGE GRADUATE, SO YOU HAVE TO HAVE GRADUATED IN ONE OF THE SCIENCES LIKE BIOLOGY OR ONE OF THE PHYSICAL SCIENCES, SOMETHING LIKE THAT. SO YOU HAVE TO HAVE GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE. AND, THIRD, YOU HAVE TO AGREE THAT WHEN YOU GRADUATE YOU ARE GOING TO COME BACK TO AMERICA AND WORK IN AN UNDERSERVED EAMPLETAREA.HERE'S THE DEAL: EVERY ONE OF THESE STUDENTS ARE GOING TO MEDICAL SCHOOL. YOU KNOW WHAT IT COSTS THEM? ZERO. NOT ONE CENT. 108 STUDENTS ARE THERE, PAY NOTHING. WE HAVE OVER 90 GRADUATES OF THIS SCHOOL BACK HERE IN AMERICA RIGHT NOW. AND THAT'S ANOTHER THING. WHENEVER WE TRAVELED ALL OVER CUBA, I WENT TO THE CLINICS AND I TALKED TO HEALTH PEOPLE. I ALWAYS ASKED THEM, WHAT DID IT COST YOU TO GO TO SCHOOL? YOU HAVE STUDENT DEBT? NO. MEDICAL SCHOOL IS FREE. THERE IS NO COST TO GOING TO MEDICAL SCHOOL. NONE WHATSOEVER. SO HERE ARE THESE STUDENTS THAT WOULD NEVER BE ABLE TO GO TO MEDICAL SCHOOL AND ABSORB THAT COST, BUT HERE THEY'RE GETTING A FREE MEDICAL EDUCATION. AND SO AGAIN, ANOTHER ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE COULD BE WORKING WITH CUBA ON IF WE HAD A LITTLE BIT BETTER POLICY WITH CUBA. THE SIX STUDENTS I MET WITH WERE HAPPY, GRATEFUL TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY. THEY WERE JUST OUT OF THEIR FIRST SIX MONTHS. THESE ARE ALL FRESHMEN. THEY WERE OUT OF SIX MONTHS, AND FOR THE FIRST SIX MONTHS ALL THEY DO IS LEARN SPANISH. SPANISH IMMERSION. AND THEY JUST FINISHED THAT AND WERE VERY HAPPY ABOUT THAT. BUT NOW WE'RE GOING TO ACTUALLY START STUDYING MEDICINE. AGAIN, SO MANY DIFFERENT THINGS, BUT FOCUSED MOSTLY ON HEALTH CARE AND WHAT THEY WERE DOING ON HEALTH CARE. I ALSO MET WITH FOREIGN MINISTER BRUNO RODRIGUEZ, HAD A LONG LUNCH WITH HIM. AGAIN, FORMER, THEIR FORMER AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS. HE IS NOW THEIR FOREIGN MINISTER. WE HAD A LONG DISCUSSION ABOUT OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH CUBA. I HOPE I'M NOT IN ANY WAY DISCUSSING ANY PRIVATE CONVERSATIONS, BUT BASICALLY I THINK I CAN SAY THAT HE HIMSELF SAID IT'S TIME THAT WE HAVE A NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNITED STATES. IT'S TIME FOR A NEW COURSE. WE CAN'T BE BOUND BY OLD HISTORY. WE NEED TO MAKE NEW HISTORY. AND SO I THINK THAT'S WHAT I WOULD JUST LIKE TO ECHO HERE, IS THAT WE DO HAVE A CONSTRUCTIVE NEW POLICY BETWEEN CUBA AND AMERICA. THE LAST THING I DID WAS I PAID A VISIT TO MR. ALAN GROSS, RIGHT HERE. MR. ALAN GROSS. THIS IS MY STAFF MEMBER, ROSEMARY GUTIERREZ WHO WENT WITH US ON OUR TRIP AND MADE SURE WHAT I WAS HEARING WAS CORRECT IN TERMS OF SPANISH SINCE I DON'T SPEAK SPANISH FLUENTLY. MR. GROSS, AS YOU KNOW, HAS BEEN IN PRISON NOW FOR OVER FOUR YEARS. I AM HOPEFUL THAT HE'LL BE RELEASED SOON ON HUMANITARIAN GROUNDS. I'M GOING TO BE WORKING WITH OUR GOVERNMENT TO ENGAGE WITH THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT IN SERIOUS AND SUSTAINED TALKS TO RESOLVE HIS SITUATION AND OTHER RELATED ISSUES. I MIGHT JUST ADD WHAT WE'RE HOLDING HERE IS A LITTLE, WHAT HE DOES IN HIS SPARE TIME, HE PUTS THINGS TOGETHER OUT OF BOTTLE CAPS, PLASTIC BOTTLE CAPS. HE'S NOW SERVING A 15-YEAR PRISON SENTENCE. I SPENT OVER AN HOUR WITH HIM. I THINK HE'S HOLDING UP PRETTY WELL UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES. OBVIOUSLY HE'S NOT VERY HAPPY. WHO WOULD BE HAPPY BEING LOCKED UP LIKE THAT? HE'S CONFINED TO HIS ROOM FOR 23 HOURS A DAY. BUT HE'S ALLOWED OUTSIDE. HE TOLD ME HE WALKS 10,000 STEPS A DAY. HE DOES 50 PULLUPS FOR AN HOUR EACH DAY. SO HE MAKES THESE BRACE LETS OUT OF THE RINGS OUT OF WATER BOTTLES. HE READS HE WATCHES TELEVISION. HE SAYS HE HAS A TELEVISION, HAS THINGS TO READ. I KNOW OTHER SENATORS HERE HAVE VISITED WITH HIM IN HAVANA. BUT IT'S TIME TO BRING MR. GROSS HOME. IT'S TIME TO END IT. IT'S TIME THAT WE DO SOME DEALINGS WITH THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT ON HIS ISSUE AND ON SOME OTHER RELATED ISSUES THAT I DON'T NEED TO GO INTO RIGHT NOW, BUT THE ADMINISTRATION KNOWS OF WHICH I SPEAK. THERE'S NO REASON WHY WE CAN'T RETURN MR. GROSS TO THIS COUNTRY THIS YEAR. I AM HOPEFUL THAT THAT WILL BE DONE. IT'S TIME TO RECOGNIZE THAT CUBA IS OUR NEIGHBOR, THAT IT'S NOT ONLY OUR NEIGHBOR BUT IS A SOVEREIGN NATION. AND WE HAVE TO WORK TO IMPROVE THIS RELATIONSHIP, 90 MILES FROM OUR SHORES. IT'S OBVIOUS TO VISITORS THAT THE CUBAN PEOPLE AND AMERICAN HAVE A GREAT DEAL IN COMMON. I WANT TO SAY ONE OTHER THING. IN ALL MY TRAVEL THROUGH CUBA, WE STOPPED AT VARIOUS PLACES, STOPPED TO HAVE REFRESHMENTS AT A COUPLE OF BARS HERE AND THERE, STOPPED IN SMALL COMMUNITIES. EVERY SMALL TOWN WE WENT THROUGH OR BY HAS A BASEBALL DIAMOND OR MAYBE TWO BASEBALL DIAMONDS. IT'S AMAZING HOW MANY PEOPLE PLAY BASEBALL IN CUBA. THEY HAVE TOWN TEAMS AND TOWNS WILL HAVE TWO TEAMS, ONE SECTION OF TOWN AGAINST THE OTHER SECTION OF TOWN. KIDS ALL PLAY BASEBALL. WOULDN'T IT BE GREAT IF WE HAVE SOME KIND OF RELATIONSHIP WITH SOME OF OUR SMALL BASEBALL TEAMS IN THE UNITED STATES CAN GO TO CUBA AND STPHRAEU -- CUBA AND PLAY? WE KNOW THEY'VE GOT SOME PRETTY GOOD PLAYERS BECAUSE SOME OF THEM HAVE PLAYED IN OUR MAJOR LEAGUES. AT EVERY PLACE WE STOPPED, PEOPLE I TALKED TO, I NEVER HEARD ONE CUBAN, NOT ONE EVER SAY A BAD THING ABOUT THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA OR ABOUT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. I JUST NEVER HEARD IT. I EXPECTED SOME WOULD SAY, YOU KNOW, YOU'RE DOING BAD THINGS TO CUBA WITH YOUR EMBARGO AND WE DON'T LIKE AMERICANS FOR THIS. I EXPECTED TO HEAR THAT. I NEVER HEARD IT ONCE. YOU KNOW WHAT THE MOST OFTEN THING I HEARD FROM ORDINARY CUBANS? WHERE ARE YOU FROM? WELL, I SAID, WELL, I'M FROM IOWA, AND I WORK IN WASHINGTON, D.C.. AND HERE'S THE RESPONSE I GOT WAS, OH, DO YOU KNOW MY COUSIN SO AND SO WHO LIVES IN ST. LOUIS OR MY COUSIN SO AND SO WHO LIVES THERE. SEEMS LIKE EVERY CUBAN HAS A COUSIN IN AMERICA SOMEPLACE. ONE WOMAN SAID HER SON LIVES IN MICHIGAN. BUT THERE'S THIS SENSE THAT WE JUST HAVE A LOT IN COMMON, AND I JUST NEVER FELT ANY ANIMOSITY WHATSOEVER. IT'S CLEAR THAT WE HAVE A LOT IN COMMON. WE'RE BOTH HARDWORKING PEOPLE, ACCESS TO BASIC HEALTH CARE, GOOD EDUCATION FOR THEIR KIDS. THAT'S ANOTHER THING. I DIDN'T SPEND A LOT OF TIME LOOKING AT EDUCATION BUT IT IS CLEAR TO ME THAT THE LITERACY RATE IN CUBA IS VERY HIGH. SOME HAVE SAID IT IS THE HIGHEST IN ALL LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRIES. I CAN'T ATTEST TO THAT. I DON'T KNOW. BUT IT IS CLEAR THAT EDUCATION IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE CUBAN STRUCTURE. OVER THE YEARS I MET WITH MANY IOWANS, DIPLOMATS WHO WANT TO IMPROVE OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH CUBA, FACILITATE MORE TRADE, MORE TRAVEL WITH OUR NEIGHBORS. EVEN WITH THE LIMITED OPENING OF CUBA'S MARKETS WE HAVE SEEN TREMENDOUS BENEFITS FROM AGRICULTURAL EXPORTS TO CUBA FROM MY STATE OF IOWA AND OTHER PARTS OF THE UNITED STATES. IT'S ONLY OUR OFFICIAL POLICY THAT STANDS IN THE WAY OF MUCH GREATER EXPORTS OF U.S. COMMODITIES AND FOOD PRODUCTS PLUS RELATED AGRICULTURAL MACHINERY, TECHNOLOGY AND SO FORTH. ANOTHER THING I NOTICED, WE WENT THROUGH A LOT OF FARMS. WE SAW A LOT OF AGRICULTURE. MOSTLY SUGAR CANE BUT OTHER THINGS TOO. A LOT OF CATTLE. THIS WHOLE SECTION OF CUBA HERE IN THIS AREA HERE, JUST ALMOST ALL CATTLE, LIVESTOCK, GOATS AND CATTLE AND OTHER AGRICULTURE. I WANT TO SAY THIS. THIS IS THE FIRST AND ONLY COUNTRY I HAVE EVER VISITED WHERE I WENT OUT TO SEE AGRICULTURE ENTITIES, IT IS THE ONLY COUNTRY WHERE I'VE NEVER SEEN A JOHN DEERE TRACTOR OR A JOHN DEERE IMPLEMENT OF ANY KIND. I CAN GO TO CHINA. I WENT TO WILL BE THE TIBETAN BORDER IN CHINA, THERE IS JOHN DEERE EQUIPMENT. JOHN DEERE EQUIPMENT IN AFRICA. JOHN DEERE EQUIPMENT IN PAKISTAN, INDIA. IF WE HAD BETTER TRADE WE MIGHT SEE JOHN DEERE IMPLEMENTS IN CUBA WHICH WOULD BE GREAT FOR THEIR PRODUCTTY. WE WOULD ALSO BENEFIT. THERE ARE MANY THINGS IN CUBA WE HAVE APPETITE FOR. VEGETABLES, FRESH FRUITS THAT CONSUMERS IN OUR COUNTRY WANT. I THINK AMERICANS REALLY DO WANT TO CHANGE OUR POLICY. I HAVE HERE THE ATLANTIC COUNCIL. ON FEBRUARY 11 THEY RELEASED RESULTS OF THIS LATEST POLL THAT FOUND THAT 56% OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SUPPORT THE NORMALIZATION OF RELATIONS WITH CUBA, INCLUDING 63% OF FLORIDIANS THAT WANT TO NORMALIZE RELATIONS WITH CUBA. I THINK WE'VE HAD A POLICY OF ISOLATION FOR FAR TOO LONG. AND AS THIS LATEST POLL INDICATES, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THINK SO TOO. AFTER BEING IN PLACE FOR OVER 50 YEARS, THIS EMBARGO HAS NOT BEEN EFFECTIVE IN ANY WAY. OUR POLICY HAS BENEFITED NEITHER THE CUBAN PEOPLE NOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. BOTH THE U.S. AND CUBA HAVE RECENTLY TAKEN STEPS TO ALLOW FOR GREATER TRAVEL. IT IS A SIGNIFICANT STEP FORWARD. THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT HAS ELIMINATED ITS LONG-STANDING POLICY OF REQUIRING AN EXIT PERMIT AND LETTER OF INVITATION FOR CUBANS TO TRAVEL ABROAD. THIS CHANGE IN POLICY HAS ALLOWED FOR PROMINENT DISSIDENTS AND HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS TO TRAVEL ABROAD FROM CUBA. ADDITIONALLY, RESTRICTIONS ON REMITTANCES HAVE BEEN LIFTED. I THINK REMITTANCES NOW FROM AMERICA, CUBAN AMERICANS TO THEIR FAMILIES, I THINK NOW IS THEIR SECOND-LARGEST EXPORT EARNER. SECOND TO SUGAR. THE UNITED STATES AND CUBA RESUMED LOW-LEVEL TALKS ON MIGRATION, SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATIONS, OTHER ISSUES. I MIGHT MENTION ONE OTHER. WHEN I WAS IN GUANTANAMO A WEEK OR SO AGO WITH, LED BY SENATOR TESTER, IT WAS CAPTAIN NETTL NETTLETON, THE BASE COMMANDER, TOOK ME AROUND THE BASE. I HAD BEEN STATIONED THERE, AS I SAID, ABOUT 53 YEARS AGO. SO I KIND OF WANTED TO SEE SOME OF THE OLD PLACES. AS HE WAS DRIVING ME AROUND, HE TOOK ME UP THE GATE, COMING BACK I SAID DO YOU EVER HAVE CONTACT WITH CUBANS? HE SAID OH YES, WE DO. IN FACT, TWO YEARS AGO THE LAST OF THE CUBANS RETIRED WORKING AT GUANTANAMO. THEY LIVE IN CUBA BUT WORKED ON GUANTANAMO JUST UNTIL TWO YEARS AGO. BUT HE TOLD ME THAT RECENTLY HE WENT TO VISIT THE HOSPITAL IN GUANTANAMO CITY. THAT'S NOT ON THE MAP BUT IT'S DOWN HERE. IT'S RIGHT OUTSIDE OF GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE. HE WENT TO VISIT THE HOSPITAL THERE BECAUSE THEY HAVE A BURN UNIT. THEY DO NOT HAVE A BURN UNIT ON GUANTANAMO AT OUR FACILITY. AND SO THEY MADE A HANDSHAKE DEAL, AN AGREEMENT THAT IF WE HAVE BURN VICTIMS ON GUANTANAMO, WE CAN TAKE THEM TO THE HOSPITAL IN GUANTANAMO CITY. AMAZING. SO LITTLE THINGS LIKE THAT ARE HAPPENING. THINGS LIKE THAT THAT ARE HAPPENING THAT ARE KIND OF OPENING THE DOOR. SO WE SHOULD BUILD ON THESE SMALL BUT POSITIVE CHANGES ON OUR RELATIONSHIP. THE U.S. SHOULD ABANDON OUR POLICY OF SEEKING CUBA'S ISOLATION. WE SHOULD LIFT ALL RESTRICTIONS ON TRAVEL TO CUBA. WHAT IS OUR JUSTIFICATION FOR DENYING AMERICANS THE RIGHT TO TRAVEL TO CUBA? WE SHOULD ALLOW FOR ALL U.S. CITIZENS WISHING TO GO TO CUBA TO DO SO. THIS WOULD EXPOSE MORE CUBANS TO OUR YOUNG PEOPLE, OUR IDEAS, INTERACTIONS. YOU GO THERE, YOU SEE A LOT OF CANADIANS, A LOT OF EUROPEANS. AND NOW CUBAN-AMERICANS CAN GO TO CUBA FREELY. IF YOU'RE CUBAN-AMERICAN, YOU CAN GET ON ONE OF, I THINK THERE ARE ABOUT FOUR OR FIVE, MAYBE FOUR TO SEVEN DAILY FLIGHTS FROM FORT LAUDERDALE, MIAMI AND KEY WEST TO CUBA. IF YOU'RE A U.S. CITIZEN, YOU CAN'T GET ON ONE OF THOSE UNLESS YOU HAVE A PERMIT WITH THE U.S. GOVERNMENT. BUT IF YOU'RE A CUBAN-AMERICAN, YOU CAN GET ON THE PLANE AND GO TO CUBA AND COME BACK. AND MORE AND MORE ARE DOING SO. NOW AS OF LAST YEAR, AMERICANS, I BELIEVE NOW ARE THE SECOND-LARGEST GROUP TO VISIT CUBA. BUT THEY'RE ALL CUBAN-AMERICANS. SO WE HAVE THIS CRAZY POLICY. IF YOU'RE CUBAN-AMERICAN, YOU CAN GO TO CUBA. BUT IF YOU'RE NOT, YOU CAN'T. SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN THAT ONE TO ME. WELL, MR. PRESIDENT, IT'S TIME FOR US TO CHART A NEW COURSE. OUR RELATIONSHIP IS FROZEN IN A COLD WAR MENTALITY THAT'S NOT ACHIEVED ITS GOALS. IT'S MADE IT DIFFICULT TO MOVE FORWARD ON ISSUES THAT ENCOURAGE MORE TRADE AND TRAVEL BETWEEN OUR TWO COUNTRIES. OUR POLICY ALSO FAILS TO PROMOTE MORE OPENNESS AND RESPECT FOR INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED HUMAN RIGHTS. MULTIPLE LAYERS OF SANCTIONS REMAIN IN PLACE, MAKING IT DIFFICULT FOR U.S. BUSINESSES TO TRADE WITH CUBA. BOTH THE CUBAN PEOPLE AND U.S. NATIONAL INTERESTS WOULD BENEFIT FROM A MODERNIZED AND SENSIBLE POLICY. NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO BE BOUND AND HELD BACK BY HISTORY. IT'S TIME TO MAKE NEW HISTORY. IT IS TIME TO BEGIN A NEW CHAPTER IN THE RELATIONS OF OUR TWO COUNTRIES. I HOPE THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION AND THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT WILL SEIZE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO DO JUST THAT, TO MODERNIZE, MOVE AHEAD AND RECOGNIZING ALWAYS AND FOREMOST THAT CUBA IS A SOVEREIGN NATION. THEY WILL NOT BE DOMINATED BY AMERICA OR ANY OTHER COUNTRY. AND THAT WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH THEM JUST AS WE DO ANY OTHER SOVEREIGN NATION. I MIGHT JUST CONCLUDE, MR. PRESIDENT, BY SAYING I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY ON A TRIP LED BY SENATOR TESTER, AND WE HAD TWO OTHER SENATORS ON THE TRIP, TO VISIT GUANTANAMO BAY, THE DETENTION CENTER. WE TOURED CAMPS 5 AND 6, WHICH HOUSE A MAJORITY OF THE DETAINEES HELD AT GUANTANAMO. WE ALSO HAD A TOUR OF THE FACILITIES THAT HOLD HIGH-VALUED DETAINEES, INCLUDING KHALID SHEIK MOHAMMED. BASED ON MY OWN OBSERVATION FROM MY TOUR OF GUANTANAMO, IT DOES APPEAR THAT DETAINEES ARE BEING TREATED MORE HUMANELY NOW THAN PREVIOUSLY AND CONDITIONS AT GUANTANAMO ARE IN LINE WITH HOW THE DETAINEES WOULD BE TREATED AS IF THEY WERE HELD IN A U.S. PRISON. HOWEVER, THIS TRIP REINFORCED MY LONG-HELD CONVICTION THAT THE DETENTION FACILITY AT GUANTANAMO SHOULD BE CLOSED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. IT'S VERY -- ITS VERY EXISTENCE, REMOTE, OFFSHORE, NOT SUBJECT TO THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE TO JUSTIFY ITS EXISTENCE. THAT'S WHY I INTRODUCED A BILL TO CLOSE THE FACILITY AS FAR BACK AS 2007. IT'S WHY I CONTINUE TO BELIEVE THAT FEDERAL COURTS AND FEDERAL PRISONS ARE FULLY CAPABLE OF DEALING WITH THESE DETAINEES. THE INDEFINITE DETENTION OF HUNDREDS OF INDIVIDUALS SOME FOR OVER 13 YEARS AT THIS POINT HAS HARMED OUR IMAGE ABROAD, COMPLICATED RELATIONS WITH FRIENDLY COUNTRIES AND I THINK VIOLATES THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF OUR CONSTITUTION. IT'S NOT ACCEPTABLE AND THE EXISTENCE OF THIS FACILITY CANNOT BE JUSTIFIED WHEN THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE. AND THERE IS. AND I'M NOT ALONE IN ADVOCATING FOR THIS PRISON'S CLOTURE. MILITARY AND FOREIGN POLICY OFFICIALS ACROSS THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM HAVE MADE IT CLEAR WE MUST CLOSE THE DETENTION CENTER AT GUANTANAMO. LEADERS INCLUDING COLIN POWELL, HENRY KISSINGER, WARREN CHRISTOPHER, ROBERT GATES, DAVID PETRAEUS HAVE ALL SAID CLOSING THE DETENTION CENTER AT GUANTANAMO IS CRITICAL, CRITICAL TO OUR NATIONAL SECURITY. AGAIN, I HAVE NO ILLUSIONS REGARDING THESE DETAINEES. SOME ARE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS TERRORISTS WITH THE DETERMINATION AND ABILITY IF GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY INTO FLICT GREAT HARM ON THE UNITED STATES AND ITS CITIZENS. BUT INDEED PROPS IN THE UNITED STATES ARE HOLDING MANY OF THE WORLD'S MOST DANGEROUS TERRORISTS, CRIMINALS FOUND GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW. THESE INCLUDE RAMSEY YOUSEF, THE MASTERMIND OF THE 199 WORLD TRADE CENTER CENTER, ZACARIAS MUSCATATUCK, THE 9/11 COCONSPIRATOR, RICHARD REID. IF WE CAN HOLD THESE IN OUR PRISONS WE CAN DO THE SAME WITH THE GUANTANAMO DETAINEES. SO IN CLOSING, MR. PRESIDENT, I THINK IT'S LONG PAST DUE THAT WE REEXAMINE OUR POLICY TOWARD CUBA. I CALL UPON OUR OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO NOT WASTE ANY MORE TIME, GET TO IT, LET'S CHANGE OUR POLICY. LET'S START MAKING NEW HISTORY. NOT BE DETAINED BY THE OLD HISTORY. AND SECONDLY, IT'S TIME THAT WE CLOSE THE PRISON IN GUANTANAMO. MR. PRESIDENT, WITH THAT I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

    Show Full Text
  • 04:48:54 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    FROM PENNSYLVANIA. MR. CASEY: MR. PRESIDENT, I WOULD ASK CONSENT TO SPEAK…

    FROM PENNSYLVANIA. MR. CASEY: MR. PRESIDENT, I WOULD ASK CONSENT TO SPEAK AS IF IN MORNING BUSINESS. THE

    Show Full Text
  • 04:48:58 PM

    MR. CASEY

    WOULD ASK CONSENT TO SPEAK AS IF IN MORNING BUSINESS. THE PRESIDING…

    WOULD ASK CONSENT TO SPEAK AS IF IN MORNING BUSINESS. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATE IS CURRENTLY IN MORNING BUSINESS.

    Show Full Text
  • 04:49:02 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    CURRENTLY IN MORNING BUSINESS.

  • 04:49:04 PM

    MR. CASEY

  • 04:59:07 PM

    MR. RUBIO

  • 04:59:08 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    FROM FLORIDA.

  • 04:59:11 PM

    MR. RUBIO

    THE RULES BE WAIVED AND I BE ALLOWED TO SPEAK AS IF IN MORNING BUSINESS…

    THE RULES BE WAIVED AND I BE ALLOWED TO SPEAK AS IF IN MORNING BUSINESS FOR UP TO 12 MINUTES. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR. RUBIO: THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT.

    Show Full Text
  • 04:59:18 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 04:59:19 PM

    MR. RUBIO

    A FEW MOMENTS AGO THE BODY WAS TREATED TO A REPORT FROM THE SENATOR FROM…

    A FEW MOMENTS AGO THE BODY WAS TREATED TO A REPORT FROM THE SENATOR FROM IOWA ABOUT HIS RECENT TRIP TO CUBA. SOUNDED LIKE HE HAD HAD A WONDERFUL TRIP VISITING WHAT HE DESCRIBED AS A REAL PARADISE. HE BRAGGED ABOUT A NUMBER OF THINGS HE LEARNED ON HIS TRIP TO CUBA I'D LIKE TO ADDRESS BRIEFLY. HE BRAGGED ABOUT THEIR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM. MEDICAL SCHOOL IS FREE, DOCTORS ARE FREE, THEIR INFANT MORTALITY RATE MAY BE EVEN LOWER THAN OURS. I WONDER IF THE SENATOR WAS INFORMED NUMBER ONE THAT THE INFANT MORTALITY RATE OF CUBA IS CALCULATED ON FIGURES PROVIDED BY THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT AND, BY THE WAY, TOTALITARIAN COMMUNIST REGIMES INTOANT DON'T HAVE THE BEST HISTORY OF ACCURATELY REPORTING THINGS. I WONDER IF HE WAS INFORMED THAT THE FORECAST WAS CUBA WAS 13th IN THE WORLD IN INFANT MORTALITY, I WONDER IF THE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WHO HOSTED HIM INFORMED HIM THAT IN CUBA THERE ARE INSTANCES REPORTED INCLUDING BY DEFECTORS IF A CHILD ONLY LIVES A FEW HOURS AFTER BIRTH, THEY'RE NOT COUNTED AS A PERSON WHO EVER LIVED AND DON'T COUNT AGAINST THE MORTALITY RATE. I WONDER IF THE VISITORS WERE INFORMED THAT IN CUBA ANY TIME THERE IS ANY SORT OF PROBLEM WITH THE CHILD IN UTERO THEY ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO UNDERGO ABORTIONS AND THAT'S WHY THEY HAVE AN ABORTION RATE THAT'S THAT SKYROCKETS AND SOME SAY IS PERHAPS THE HIGH NEST THE WORLD. I HEARD HIM ALSO TALK ABOUT THESE GREAT DOCTORS THEY HAVE IN CUBA. I HAVE NO DOUBT THEY'RE TALENTED. MIGHT HAVE MET MANY OF THEM. YOU KNOW WHERE I MET THEM? IN THE UNITED STATES BECAUSE THEY DEAFFECTED. -- DFECTED. I WONDER IF THEY SPOKE TO HIM ABOUT THE OUTBREAK OF CHOLERA THAT THEY'VE BEEN UNABLE TO CONTROL OR ABOUT THE THREE-TIERED HEALTH CARE SYSTEM THAT EXISTS WHERE FOREIGNERS AND GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS GET HEALTH CARE MUCH BETTER THAN THAT THAT'S AVAILABLE TO THE GENERAL POPULATION. I ALSO HEARD HIM SPEAK ABOUT BASEBALL AND I KNOW THAT CUBANS LOVE BASEBALL SINCE MY PARENTS WERE FROM FROM AND THERE. HE TALKED ABOUT THESE GREAT BASEBALL PLAYERS COMING FROM CUBA AND THEY ARE. BUT I WONDER IF THEY INFORMED HIM -- IN FACT, I BET YOU THEY DIDN'T TALK TO THOSE PAIRS ABOUT HIM --HIM ABOUTTHOSE -- BECAUSE EVERY ONE OF THOSE PLAYERS PLAYING BASEBALL DEFECTED TO PLAY HERE. I BETTER NOBODY SAID ANYTHING NEGATIVE ABOUT AMERICA. NOBODY CAME UP TO HIM SAY, "YOU AMERICANS, YOUR EMBARGO IS HURTING US." I'M GLAD TO HEAR THAT. BECAUSE EVERYONE WHO WANTS TO LIFT THE EMBARGO IS CONSTANTLY TELLING US THAT CASTRO IS USING THAT TO TURN THE PEOPLE. SO OBVIOUSLY THAT'S NOT TRUE. SO I'M GLAD TO HEAR CONFIRMATION OF WHAT I ALREADY KNEW TO BE TRUE. I HEARD ABOUT THEIR WONDERFUL LITERACY RATE, HOW EVERYONE IN CUBA KNOWS HOW TO READ. THAT'S FANTASTIC. HERE'S THE PROBLEM. THEY CAN ONLY READ CENSORED STUFF. THEY'RE NOT ALLOWED ACCESS TO THE INTERNET. THE ONLY NEWSPAPERS THEY'RE ALLOWED TO READ ARE "GRANDMA" OR THE ONES PRODUCED BY THE GOVERNMENT. I WISH THAT SOMEONE ON THAT TRIP WOULD HAVE ASKED THE AVERAGE CUBAN, WITH YOUR WONDERFUL LITERACY SKILLS, ARE YOU ALLOWED TO READ "THE NEW YORK TIMES" OR THE "WALL STREET JOURNAL" OR ANY BLOG, FOR THAT MATTER? BECAUSE THE ANSWER'S NO. SO IT'S GREAT TO HAVE LITERACY BUT IF YOU DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO THE INFORMATION, WHAT'S THE POINT OF IT? SO I WISH SOMEBODY WOULD HAVE ASKED ABOUT THAT ON THAT TRIP. WE HEARD ABOUT MR. GROSS, WHO IS NOT IN JAIL. HE'S NOT A PRISONER. HE IS A HOSTAGE. HE IS A HOSTAGE. AND IN THE SPEECH I HEARD A MOMENT AGO, I HEARD ALLUSIONS TO THE IDEA THAT MAYBE WE SHOULD -- HE DIDN'T SAY IT BUT I KNOW THE LANGUAGE AND CODE, THAT MAYBE THERE SHOULD BE A SPY SWAP. HERE'S THE PROBLEM. MR. GROSS IS NOT A SPY. DO YOU KNOW WHAT HIS CRIME WAS, IF YOU CAN CALL IT THAT WAY? YOU WENT TO CUBA TO HAND OUT SATELLITE RADIOS TO THE JEWISH COMMUNITY B. WE'RE GLAD TO HEAR THE CUBANS ARE SO NICE TO HIM THAT THEY LET HIM WALK 10,000 STEPS A DAY AND DO PULL-UPS AND LET HIM BUILD A NECKLACE OUT OF BOTTLECAP TOPS. HOW GENEROUS OF THEM TO ALLOW HIM TO DO THOSE KIND OF THINGS. I WONDER IF ANYBODY ASKED ABOUT TERRORISM BECAUSE CUBA IS A STATE SPONSOR OF TERRORISM. I WONDER IF ANYBODY ASKED ABOUT THE FACT THAT JUST A FEW MONTHS AGO A NORTH KOREAN SHIP GOING FROM CUBA TO NORTH KOREA WAS STOPPED IN THE PANAMA CANAL AND IT CONTAINED ITEMS IN VIOLATION OF INTERNATIONAL SANCTIONS IN NORTH KOREA THAT HAS DEATH CAMPS AND PRISON CAMPS AND THE CUBANS ARE ALLOWING THEM TO EVADE THESE SANCTIONS. DID THAT COME UP IN ANY OF THE WONDERFUL CONVERSATIONS IN THIS SOCIALIST PARADISE IN THE CARIBBEAN? I BET YOU IT DIDN'T. LET ME TELL YOU WHAT THE CUBANS ARE REALLY GOOD AT. THEY DON'T KNOW THOUSAND RUN THEIR ECONOMY -- KNOW HOW TO RUN THEIR ECONOMY, THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO BUILD A COUNTRY OR GOVERN A PEOPLE, WHAT THEY ARE REALLY GOOD AT IS REPRESSION OF THE WHAT THEY ARE REALLY GOOD AT IS SHUTTING OFF INFORMATION TO THE INTEREST NET AND TO RADIO AND TELEVISION AND SOCIAL MEDIA. THAT'S WHAT THEY'RE REALLY GOOD AT. AND THEY'RE NOT JUST GOOD AT IT DOMESTICALLY, THEY'RE GOOD EXPORTERS OF THESE THINGS. AND YOU WANT TO SEE EXHIBIT A, B, C AND D? I'M GOING TO SHOW YOU THEM RIGHT NOW. THEY HAVE EXPORTED REPRESSION IN REALTIME IN OUR HEMISPHERE RIGHT NOW. LET ME SHOW YOU THE FIRST SLIDE HERE. THIS GENTLEMAN HERE IS THE FORMER MAYOR OF A MUNICIPALITY IN CAN CARACAS. THIS IS THE NATIONAL GUARD OF VENEZUELA PULLING HIM INTO AN ARMORED TRUCK LAST WEEK. YOU KNOW WHY? BECAUSE HE'S PROTESTING AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT. HE'S PROTESTING AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT OF VENEZUELA, WHICH ARE PUPPETS OF HAVANA, COMPLETELY INFILTRATED BY CUBANS AND AGENTS FROM HAVANA. NOT AGENTS, OPENLY, FOREIGN MILITARY AFFAIRS OFFICIALS INVOLVED IN VENEZUELA. YOU KNOW WHY? BECAUSE THE VENSAN THE THE VENEZUELA GOVERNMENT IS GIVING THEM FREE AND CHEAP OIL. SO HE'S SITTING IN JAIL RIGHT NOW BECAUSE HE'S PROTESTING AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT. THIS IS J GENESIS CARMONA. SHE'S A BEAUTY QUEEN AND A STUDENT IN A CITY CALLED HAVE A LENSCALLEDVALENCIA. SHE'S ON THAT MOTORCYCLE BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT IN VENEZUELA AND THESE THUGS, THESE SO-CALLED CIVILIAN GROUPS THAT THEY'VE ARMED, THEY SHOT HER IN THE HEAD. SHE DIED LAST WEEK. THIS IS THE GOVERNMENT THAT THE CUBANS SUPPORT. NOT JUST VERBALLY, NOT JUST EMOTIONALLY BUT WITH TRAINING AND TACTICS. THIS IS WHO THEY EXPORT -- THIS IS WHAT THEY DO. AND SHE'S DEAD. AND THIS IS HER BEING TAKEN ON A MOTORCYCLE TO THE HOSPITAL WHERE THEY WERE UNABLE TO SAVE HER LIFE BECAUSE SHE WAS SHOT IN THE HEAD BY VENEZUELAN SECURITY FORCES. HERE'S ANOTHER SLIDE. THESE ARE -- REMEMBER I SHOWED YOU MR. LOPEZ? THESE ARE HIS SUPPORTERS BEING HIT WITH WATER CANNONS -- BY WATER CANONS IN THE STREET BECAUSE THEY'RE PROTESTING AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT. THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON NOW FOR TWO WEEKS. THIS IS THE ALLIES OF CUBA, VENEZUELA, THE PUPPETS OF CUBA. AND THIS IS WHAT THEY DO TO THEIR OWN PEOPLE. WATER CANNONS KNOCKING PEOPLE TO THE GROUND. WHY? BECAUSE THEY'RE PROTESTING THE GOVERNMENT. LET ME SHOW YOU THE NEXT SLIDE. HERE'S A DEMONSTRATOR DETAINED BY POLICE. LOOK HOW THEY DRAG HIM THROUGH THE STREETS. THIS IS IN CARACAS, VENEZUELA. LET ME SHOW YOU ANOTHER DEMONSTRATOR. THIS IS A STUDENT -- BY THE WAY, THESE ARE ALL STUDENTS IN THE STREET. YOU SEE THIS YOUNG MAN SNEER -- MAN HERE? HE WAS ALSO SHOT IN THE HEAD BY SECURITY FORCES AND PRO-GOVERNMENT GROUPS IN CARACAS. THIS HAPPENED ON FEBRUARY 11. THIS IS WHAT THEY DO IN VENEZUELA. THIS IS WHAT THE ALLIES OF THE CASTRO REGIME DOES, THIS IS WHAT THEY EXPORT. THIS IS WHAT THEY TEACH. THIS IS WHAT THEY SUPPORT. AND IT DOESN'T STOP HERE. WHO ARE CUBA'S ALLIES IN THE WORLD? NORTH KOREA. BEFORE HE FELL, THE DICTATOR IN LIBYA, THE DICTATOR IN SYRIA, THE TYRANT IN MOSCOW. THIS IS WHO THEY LINE UP WITH. THIS IS THIS WONDERFUL PARADISE? BY THE WAY, THIS IN AND OF ITSELF DESERVES ATTENTION, WHAT'S HAPPENING IN VENEZUELA, IN OUR OWN HEMISPHERE OF THE IT IS SHAMEFUL THAT ONLY THREE HEADS OF STATE IN THIS HEMISPHERE HAVE SPOKEN OUT FORCEFULLY AGAINST WHAT'S HAPPENING. IT IS SHAMEFUL THAT MANY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS WHO TRAVELED TO VENS AND WERE FRIENDLY WITH CHAVEZ, SOME EVEN WENT TO HIS FUNERAL, SIT BY SAYING NOTHING WHILE THIS IS HAPPENING IN OUR OWN HEMISPHERE. AND THIS WONDERFUL CUBAN PARADISE GOVERNMENT THAT WE HEARD ABOUT? THIS IS WHAT THEY SUPPORT. JUST THIS MORNING, THE DICTATOR THAT CALLS HIMSELF A PRESIDENT -- NEVER BEEN ELECTED TO ANYTHING, RAUL CASTRO -- ANNOUNCED HE IS THERE FOR WHATEVER THEY NEED TO HELP THEM DO THIS. I LISTENED TO THIS STUFF ABOUT CUBA AND I LISTEN TO WHAT'S HAPPENING IN VENEZUELA, THEY'RE VERY SIMILAR. NOT JUST IN THE REPRESSION PART BUT THE ECONOMICS PART. YOU KNOW VENEZUELA'S AN OIL-RICH COUNTRY WITH HARDWORKING PEOPLE? THEY HAVE A SHORTAGE -- WE DON'T HAVE AN EMBARGO AGAINST VENEZUELA. THEY HAVE A SHORTAGE OF TOILET PAPER AND TEUT PASTE. TOOTH PASTE. WHY? BECAUSE THEY ARE INCOMPETENT, COMMUNISM DOESN'T WORK. THEY LOOK MORE AND MORE LIKE CUBA ECONOMICALLY AND POLITICALLY EVERY SINGLE DAY. WHAT'S THE FIRST THING THE VENEZUELAN GOVERNMENT DID WHEN THESE BROKE OUT? THEY CUT OFF ACCESS TO TWITTER AND FACEBOOK AND THE INTERNET, THEY RAN CNN OUT OF THERE, THEY CLOAD DOWN THE ONLY CLOM -- CLOSED DOWN THE ONLY COLOMBIAN STAYING. YEARS BEFORE THEY HAD TO CLOSE DOWN ALL THE MEDIA OUTLETS THAT CRITICIZED THE GOVERNMENT. WHERE DID THAT LEARN THAT FROM? FROM CUBA. AND YET WE HAVE TO LISTEN TO WHAT A PARADISE CUBA IS. WELL, I WONDER HOW COME I NEVER READ ABOUT BOATLOADS OF AMERICAN REFUGEES GOING TO CUBA? WHY HAVE CLOSE TO 1 THAT 1 1/2 NIL MILLION PEOPLE HAVE LEFT CUBA TO COME HERE? WHY? HOW COME NO AMERICAN BASEBALL PLAYERS DEFECT TO CUBA? WHY DON'T ANY AMERICAN DOCK COMMITTEESDOCTORSDEFECT TO CUBA? I WANT A DEMOCRATIC AND FREE CUBA. BUT YOU WANT US TO REACH OUT AND DEVELOP FRIENDLY RELATIONSHIPS WITH A SERIAL VIOLATOR OF HUMAN RIGHTS, WHO SUPPORTS WHAT'S GOING ON IN VENEZUELA AND EVERY OTHER ATROCITY ON THE PLANET? ON ISSUE AFTER ISSUE, THEY ARE ALWAYS ON THE SIDE OF THE TYRANTS. LOOK IT UP. AND THIS IS WHO WE SHOULD BE OPENING UP TO? WHY DON'T THEY CHANGE IN? WHY DOESN'T THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT CHANGE? WHY DOESN'T THE VENEZUELAN GOVERNMENT CHANGE? THROUGHOUT THIS WEEK, I WILL BE OUTLINING PROPOSALS AND IDEAS ABOUT WHAT WE NEED TO DO, THE SANCTIONS WE SHOULD BE PURSUING AGAINST THE INDIVIDUALS RESPONSIBLE FOR THESE ATROCITIES. SO WITH NORTH KOREA, WE HAVE SANCTIONS. WHY? BECAUSE THEY'RE A TERRORIST GOVERNMENT AND AN ILL LEGITIMATE ONE, AGAINST IRAN WE HAVE SANCTIONS. WHY? BECAUSE THEY SUPPORT TERRORISM AND THEY'RE AN ILLEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT. AND AGAINST THE CUBANS WE HAVE SANCTIONS Y.? WELL,SANCTIONS. WHY? WELL, YOU JUST SAW WHY. SANCTIONS ARE A TOOL IN OUR FOREIGN POLICY TOOLBOX AND WE, AS THE FREEST NATION ON EARTH, ARE LOOKED TO BY PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY AND ALL AROUND THE WORLD TO STAND BY THEM IN THEIR MOMENT OF NEED WHEN THEY CLAMOR FOR FREEDOM AND LIBERTY AND HUMAN RIGHTS. THEY LOOK FOR AMERICA TO BE ON THEIR SIDE, NOT FOR AMERICA TO BE CUTTING GEOPOLITICAL DEALS OR MAKING IT EASIER TO SELL TRACTORS TO THE GOVERNMENT THERE THERE. WE SHOULD BE CLEAR ABOUT THESE THINGS. BUT HERE'S THE GREAT NEWS. I DON'T KNOW IF THEY GET C-SPAN IN CUBA. I BET YOU THE GOVERNMENT PEOPLE DO. I HOPE YOU SEE THAT IN AMERICA, WE'RE A FREE SOCIETY. YOU'RE ALLOWED TO COME ON THE FLOOR AND YOU'RE ALLOWED TO SAY AND SPREAD WHATEVER YOU WANT. YOU THINK CUBA'S A PARADISE, YOU THINK IT'S AN EXAMPLE AND A MODEL THAT WE SHOULD BE FOLLOWING? YOU'RE FREE TO SAY THAT, HERE, IN THE PRESS AND ANYWHERE YOU WANT. BUT WE'RE ALSO FREE TO COME HERE AND TELL THE TRUTH. WE'RE ALSO FREE TO COME HERE AND DENOUNCE THE VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND BRUTALITY. AND I WOULD SUGGEST TO MY COLLEAGUES THE NEXT TIME THEY GO TO CUBA, ASK TO MEET WITH THE LADIES IN WHITE, ASK TO MEET WITH THE IRANI SANCHEZ, ASK TO MEET WITH THE DISSIDENTS AND THE HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVE THAISES ARE JAILED AND RE -- ACTIVISTS THAT ARE JAILED AND REPRESSED AND EXILED. ASK TO MEET WITH THEM. I BET YOU'RE GOING TO HEAR SOMETHING VERY DIFFERENT THAN WHAT YOU GOT FROM YOUR HOSTS ON YOUR LAST TRIP TO WONDERFUL CUBA, THIS EXTRAORDINARY SOCIALIST PARADISE. BECAUSE IT'S A JOKE. IT'S A FARCE. AND I DON'T THINK WE SHOULD STAND BY HERE WITH OUR ARMS CROSSED WATCHING THESE THINGS HAPPEN IN OUR HEMISPHERE AND SAY NOTHING ABOUT THEM. I CAN CLOSE BY SAYING THIS. OVER THE LAST WEEK, I HAVE TWEETED ABOUT THESE ISSUES, I GET THOUSANDS OF RETWEETS FROM STUDENTS AND YOUNG PEOPLE UNTIL THEY SHUT THEM OUT IN VENEZUELA WHO ARE ENCOURAGED BY THE FACT THAT WE ARE ON THEIR SIDE. WHAT THEY WANT IS WHAT WE HAVE, THE FREEDOM AND THE LIBERTY. THAT'S WHAT ALL PEOPLE WANT. AND IF AMERICA AND ITS POLICY-MAKERS ARE NOT GOING TO BE FIRMLY ON THE SIDE OF FREEDOM AND LIBERTY, WHO IN THE WORLD IS? WHO ON THIS PLANET WILL? IF THIS NATION IS NOT FIRMLY ON THE SIDE OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOM AND THE DIGNITY OF ALL PEOPLE, WHAT NATION ON THE EARTH WILL? AND IF WE'RE PREPARED TO WALK AWAY FROM THAT, THEN I SUBMIT TO YOU THAT THIS CENTURY IS GOING TO BE A DANGEROUS AND DARK ONE. BUT I DON'T BELIEVE THAT'S WHAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT FROM US. NOR THE MAJORITY OF MY COLLEAGUES. SO THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE THESE THOUGHTS. AND, MR. PRESIDENT, I SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WILL THE SENATOR SUSPEND HIS REQUEST? MR.

    Show Full Text
  • 05:13:43 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    HIS REQUEST? MR. RUBIO: YES, I SUSPEND MY REQUEST. THE PRESIDING OFFICER:

  • 05:13:48 PM

    MR. RUBIO

    REQUEST. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: MORNING BUSINESS IS CLOSED, UNDER THE…

    REQUEST. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: MORNING BUSINESS IS CLOSED, UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE SENATE WILL PROCEED TO EXECUTIVE SESSION TO CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING NOMINATION, WHICH THE CLERK WILL REPORT. THE

    Show Full Text
  • 05:13:50 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE SENATE WILL PROCEED TO EXECUTIVE SESSION TO…

    THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE SENATE WILL PROCEED TO EXECUTIVE SESSION TO CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING NOMINATION, WHICH THE CLERK WILL REPORT. THE CLERK: NOMINATION, THE JUDICIARY, JEFFREY MEYER OF CONNECTICUT TO BE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE FOR THE DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT.

    Show Full Text
  • 05:13:58 PM

    THE CLERK

    JUDICIARY, JEFFREY MEYER OF CONNECTICUT TO BE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE…

    JUDICIARY, JEFFREY MEYER OF CONNECTICUT TO BE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE FOR THE DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT.

    Show Full Text
  • 05:14:07 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    UNTIL 5:30 P.M. WILL BE EQUALLY DIVIDED AND CONTROLLED IN THE USUAL FORM.…

    UNTIL 5:30 P.M. WILL BE EQUALLY DIVIDED AND CONTROLLED IN THE USUAL FORM. MR. RUBIO: MR. PRESIDENT, NOW I SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

    Show Full Text
  • 05:14:24 PM

    MR. RUBIO

    SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

  • 05:14:27 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    ROLL. QUORUM CALL: QUORUM CALL: MRS.

  • 05:16:13 PM

    MRS. GILLIBRAND

    ASK THAT THE QUORUM CALL BE VITIATED.

  • 05:16:15 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION.

  • 05:16:20 PM

    MRS. GILLIBRAND

    THE U.S. SENATE. WHAT DOES IT SAY ABOUT A BODY THAT, AFTER HAVING SEEN SO…

    THE U.S. SENATE. WHAT DOES IT SAY ABOUT A BODY THAT, AFTER HAVING SEEN SO MANY BRAVE SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT IN THE MILITARY WALK THROUGH THE HALLS OF THIS CONGRESS FOR OVER A YEAR NOW, WE CAN'T EVEN GIVE THEM THE DECENCY OF A DEBATE ON THE REFORM THEY SO DEEPLY BELIEVE IN? A REFORM THEY BELIEVE IN SO DEEPLY THAT THEY HAVE SELFLESSLY RETOLD THEIR STORIES, RELIVING SOME OF THE WORST MOMENTS OF THEIR LIVES, ALL SO HOPEFULLY SOMEONE ELSE DOESN'T HAVE TO SUFFER WHAT THEY DID. THEY MAY NOT WEAR THE UNIFORM ANYMORE, BUT YOU CAN'T TELL ME THEY AREN'T STILL SERVING THEIR COUNTRY THROUGH THEIR SACRIFICE. AND WE CAN'T EVEN AGREE TO VOTE FOR MOVING FORWARD TO THE DEBATE OF THE ISSUE. THEY DESERVE A VOTE. THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO SERVE IN OUR ARMED FORCES DESERVE A VOTE. ANYONE WHO HAS BEEN LISTENING HAS HEARD OVER AND OVER AGAIN FROM SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT IN THE MILITARY HOW THE DECK HAS BEEN STACKED AGAINST THEM, AND FOR TWO FULL DECADES THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN UNABLE TO UPHOLD ITS CONTINUED FAILED PROMISES OF ZERO TOLERANCE FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT. BUT WHEN THE SENATE CAN'T EVEN AGREE TO DEBATE THE ONE REFORM THAT SURVIVES HAVE CONSISTENTLY SAID IS NEEDED TO SOLVE THIS CRISIS, WE ARE TELLING THOSE VICTIMS THAT THE DECK IS STACKED AGAINST THEM RIGHT HERE IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE, TOO. LAST MONTH THIS CONGRESS RUSHED WITH GREAT SPEED TO REMOVE A REDUCTION IN MILITARY PENSIONS NOT SLATED TO BEGIN UNTIL 2015, A FIX I FULLY SUPPORTED. LEGISLATIVE ACTION WAS SWIFT, AND IT WAS JUST. BUT I WILL ASK, WHERE IS THE SAME URGENCY TO HELP STEM THE CRISIS OF MILITARY SEXUAL ASSAULT, AN EPIDEMIC THAT IS HAPPENING TODAY? HOW IS IT WE CAN'T WAIT ANOTHER WEEK TO STOP A SO LA REDUCTION IN PENSIONS, BUT A REFORM THAT WILL LEAD TO MORE RAPISTED AND PREDATORS BEHIND BARS WAITS INDEFINITELY. WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOR 20 YEARS NOW. ALL THE WAY BACK SINCE 1992 WHEN SECRETARY OF DEFENSE DICK CHENEY STATED, ZERO TOLERANCE IN THE WAKE OF TAILHOOK. AS MANY OF YOU LIKELY SAW, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS REVEALED NEW EVIDENCE LAST MONTH THAT TOOK YEARS OF FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUESTS TO OBTAIN. AFTER REVIEWING THE DOCUMENTS FROM OKINAWA, JAPAN, THE A.P. DESCRIBED THE HANDLING OF CASES AS CHAOTIC, WHERE COMMANDERS REFER RULED RECOMMENDATIONS TO PROSECUTE OR DROP CHARGES ALTOGETHER. AMONG THE A.P.'S FINDINGS IS THAT -- QUOTE -- "VICTIMS INCREASINGLY DECLINED TO COOPERATE WITH INVESTIGATORS OR RECANTED, A SIGN THAT THEY MAY HAVE BEEN LOSING CONFIDENCE IN THE SYSTEM." NOW, IF THAT SOUNDS FAMILIAR, IT'S BECAUSE THAT IS A FACT THAT TODAY'S MILITARY LEADERS OPENLY ADMIT THEMSELVES. AS COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS JAMES AMOS PUT IT, "WHY WOULDN'T FEMALE VICTIMS COME FORWARD? BECAUSE THEY DON'T TRUST US. THEY DON'T TRUST THE CHAIN OF COMMAND. THEY DON'T TRUST THE LEADERSHIP. CLOSE QUOTE. THAT'S WHAT WE HAVE A CHANCE TO CORRECT RIGHT HERE TODAY. BUT WE ARE LETTING IT PASS US BY BECAUSE SOME HERE BELIEVE THAT IT IS NOT EVEN WORTHY OF DEBATE. THIS WAS NEVER ABOUT BEING A DEMOCRATIC IDEA OR A REPUBLICAN IDEA. IT'S JUST ABOUT DOING THE RIGHT THING. THETHAT PEOPLE OF GOOD FAITH FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE FROM BOTH PARTIES CAN UNITE OVER TO DELIVERING AN INDEPENDENT, OBJECTIVE AND NONBIASED MILITARY JUSTICE SYSTEM THAT'S WORTHY OF THE SACRIFICE THE MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM MAKE EVERY DAY. IT'S TAKEN US A LONG TIME TO GET TO THIS POINT -- TOO LONG, IN FACT. AND EVERY DAY WE WAIT, IT'S ANOTHER DECK -- IT'S ANOTHER DAY THE DECK REMAINS STACKED AGAINST SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIMS IN OUR MILITARY, ANOTHER DAY WHEN STATISTICALLY IT'S ESTIMATED THAT OVER 70 INCIDENTS OF UNWANTED SEXUAL CONTACT OCCUR, AND NEARLY NINE OUT OF TEN GOES UNREPORTED. NOWHERE ELSE IN AMERICA WOULD WE ALLOW A BOSS TO DECIDE IF AN EMPLOYEE WAS SEXUALLY ASSAULTED EXCEPT IN THE U.S. MILITARY. THE MEN AND WOMEN OF OUR MILITARY DESERVE TO HAVE UNBIASED, TRAINED MILITARY PROSECUTORS REVIEWING THEIR CASES AND MAKING THE ULTIMATE DECISIONS ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT TO GO TO TRIAL SOLELY ON THE MERITS OF THE EVIDENCE. THEY DESERVE A FAIR SHOT AT JUSTICE TODAY, NOT AFTER ANOTHER YEAR OF THE SYSTEM THAT'S BROKEN UNDER ANY METRIC. THEY DESERVE A VOTE THAT A BIPARTISAN MAJORITY OF THE SENATE SUPPORTS, AND THEY DESERVE THAT VOTE NOW. I SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL.

    Show Full Text
  • 05:22:17 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WILL CALL THE ROLL. QUORUM CALL:

  • 05:22:29 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    CONNECTICUT. MR. BLUMENTHAL: THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. I ASK THAT THE…

    CONNECTICUT. MR. BLUMENTHAL: THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. I ASK THAT THE QUORUM CALL BE LIFTED. OFFICER SPHE WITHOUT

    Show Full Text
  • 05:22:31 PM

    MR. BLUMENTHAL

    I ASK THAT THE QUORUM CALL BE LIFTED. OFFICER SPHE WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR.…

    I ASK THAT THE QUORUM CALL BE LIFTED. OFFICER SPHE WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR. BLUMENTHAL: THANK YOU. I AM HERE VERY PROUDLY AND GRATEFULLY TO SUPPORT THE NOMINATION OF JEFFREY MEYER AS UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE IN CONNECTICUT, AND I'M PROUD BECAUSE OF HIS EXTRAORDINARY CREDENTIALS, I'M GRATEFUL TO PRESIDENT OBAMA AND HOPEFULLY TO THIS BODY FOR GIVING CONNECTICUT THE SERVICES OF A PROFESSOR, LITIGATOR, PROSECUTOR, AND A PERSON OF EXTRAORDINARY INTEGRITY AND ABILITY.

    Show Full Text
  • 05:22:36 PM

    MR. BLUMENTHAL

    HERE VERY PROUDLY AND GRATEFULLY TO SUPPORT THE NOMINATION OF JEFFREY…

    HERE VERY PROUDLY AND GRATEFULLY TO SUPPORT THE NOMINATION OF JEFFREY MEYER AS UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE IN CONNECTICUT, AND I'M PROUD BECAUSE OF HIS EXTRAORDINARY CREDENTIALS, I'M GRATEFUL TO PRESIDENT OBAMA AND HOPEFULLY TO THIS BODY FOR GIVING CONNECTICUT THE SERVICES OF A PROFESSOR, LITIGATOR, PROSECUTOR, AND A PERSON OF EXTRAORDINARY INTEGRITY AND ABILITY. JEFFREY MEYER HAS ALL OF THE QUALIFICATIONS IN EXTRAORDINARY DEPTH AND QUALITY TO BE A GREAT JUDGE. HE IS TRULY A LAWYER'S LAWYER. HE IS A PROSECUTOR'S PROSECUTOR, HE WILL BE A JUDGE'S JUDGE. HE SERVED AS A LEGAL AID LAWYER IN VERMONT FOR VERMONT LEGAL AID, AS AN ASSOCIATE OF TWO D.C. LAW FIRMS BUT REALLY HAS MADE HIS MARK HAS A PROSECUTOR IN THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE IN CONNECTICUT, WHERE HE SERVED FOR TEN YEARS -- FIVE OF THEM AS APPEALS CHIEF. HE ALSO WAS A LAW CLERK TO JUDGE OAKS ON THE SECOND DISTRICT. HE HAS A GROUNDING IN ACADEMICIA, SERVED AS SUPREME COURT ADVOCACY TEACHER AT YALE WHERE HE'S ALSO BEEN A VISITING PROFESSOR SINCE 2010. I AM APREIFIATING AND SUMMARIZING HIS CREE DEPTIONS BECAUSE THEY ARE WELL-DOCUMENTED WELL-DOCUMENTED. WHAT CAN'T BE SUMMARIZED SO EASILY IS THE QUALITY OF JUDGMENT THAT HE HAS AND THAT BEFITS A JUDGE ON THE FEDERAL COURT. JUDGES ON THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, AS I KNOW FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCE, HAVING LITIGATED FOR QUITE A FEW YEARS, ARE OFTEN THE LAST POINT OF JUSTICE FOR MANY PEOPLE IN OUR COUNTRY. THEY ARE THE VOICE AND FACE OF JUSTICE FOR SO MANY PEOPLE WHO MAY NOT HAVE THE MEANS OR THE PERSISTENCE TO APPEAL FURTHER. AND FOR MOST LITIGANTS, HE WILL BE THE VOICE AND FACE OF JUSTICE BEFORE HIS COURT. THAT'S A VERY SOLEMN RESPONSIBILITY, AND IT IS A RESPONSIBILITY FOR LIFE. THESE DECISIONS THAT WE MAKE ABOUT WHO WILL SERVE ON THE DISTRICT COURT ARE AMONG THE MOST IMPORTANT THAT WE MAKE HERE IN THIS BODY, AND SO WE APPROACH IT SERIOUSLY AND THOUGHTFULLY. AND BY THE HIGHEST STANDARDS WE COULD IMPOSE, JEFFREY MEYER APTLY AND ABUNDANTLY MEETS THE TEST FOR SERVING AS UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT. HIS BACKGROUND IN LITIGATION, HIS EXPERIENCE IN ACTUALLY TRYING CASES, HIS BACKGROUND AS AN ACADEMIC, IN THINKING THROUGH SOME OF THE TOUGHEST ISSUES OF THE LAW AND TEACHING OTHERS HOW TO DO IT, HOW TO ACTUALLY BE A LAWYER, AND, OF COURSE, HIS JUDGMENT AND HIS SENSE OF PERSPECTIVE, AND MOST IMPORTANT, HIS INTEGRITY. I'VE WORKED WITH JEFF MEYER. I KNOW OF HIS DEDICATION TO HIS CLIENTS. I'VE WORKED WITH HIM IN VERY TOUGH PERSONAL SITUATIONS WHERE HIS ADVICE TO A CLIENT WOULD MAKE A CRITICAL DIFFERENCE IN THAT PERSON'S LIFE. AND I KNOW HE HAS THE HUMAN QUALITY OF COMPASSION AND INSIGHT THAT IS REALLY NECESSARY TO MAKE JUDGMENTS ABOUT CREDIBILITY, WHEN HE HAS TO JUDGE THE CREDIBILITY OF A WITNESS ON THE STAND, WHEN HE HAS TO SENTENCE AN INDIVIDUAL WHO MAY HAVE BROKEN THE LAW BUT HAS MITIGATING FACTORS TO PRESENT. ANYBODY WHO SPENDS TIME IN A TRIAL COURT KNOWS THAT JUDGES HAVE TO MAKE SPLIT-SECOND DECISIONS BASED ON THEIR KNOWLEDGE OF THE LAW BUT ALSO ON THEIR INSTINCTS, ON WHAT THEY SENSE IS RIGHT. AND JEFF MEYER HAS THAT QUALITY OF JUDGMENT THAT MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD. SOME PEOPLE HAVE IT, EVEN IF THEY HAVEN'T GRADUATEED, AS JEFF MEYER DID, FROM SOME OF THE BEST SCHOOLS IN THE COUNTRY, AND SOME PEOPLE DON'T, EVEN WHEN THEY HAVE ALL THE DEGREES IN THE WORLD. MAYBE IT IS COMMON SENSE OR HORSE SENSE OR GOOD INSTINCTS OR CHARACTERISTIC. IT IS VERY HARD FOR ANYONE WHO SAY WHO HAS IT WITHOUT MEETING THEM AND KNOWING THEM, AS WE DID ON THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE. AND IRPT I WANT TO THANK THE CHAIRMAN OF THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE, MY GREAT FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE, SENATOR LEAHY, FOR CHAMPIONING PEOPLE OF THIS GREAT ABILITY. HE HAS DEVOTED HIS LIFETIME TO THE QUALITY OF OUR FEDERAL JUDICIARY, AND IT HAS BEEN IMMENSELY BENEFICIAL TO OUR JUDICIARY AND TO ALL WHO APPEAR BEFORE OUR FEDERAL JUDGES TO HAVE A CHAMPION LIKE SENATOR LEAHY OF VERMONT. THERE ARE NOW 96 VACANCIES IN OUR FEDERAL COURT. 39 OF THOSE VACANCIES HAVE BEEN CLASSIFIED AGES AS JUDICIAL EMERGENCIES. LET US GET ON WITH OUR TASK ON THE ONEANDOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE SURE THAT JUSTICE IS NOT DELAYED IN THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD BECAUSE WE KNOW SO OFTEN JUSTICE DELAYED IS IN FACT JUSTIFIED DENIED. THAT MAY BE TRUE OF THE LEAST SEEMINGLY IMPORTANT CASE THAT MATTERS SO GREATLY TO THE PERSON WHOSE LIFE IS AT STAKE, OR IT MAY BE AN ISSUE OF GREAT MOMENT TO THE NATION'S FUTURE. BUT ONE WAY OR THE OH, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE RELY ON US TO MAKE SURE JUSTICE IS DONE, THAT JUDGES ARE NOMINATED AND CONFIRMED, AND THAT WE ENABLE EVERY AMERICAN TO HAVE ACCESS TO JUDGES WHO WILL DECIDE FAIRLY AND WISELY THE MERITS OF THEIR CASE. WHETHER IT IS IN A TRIAL OR A MOTION, JUSTICE IS WHAT MAKES OUR NATION ONE OF THE GREATEST -- THE GREATEST, IN FACT, IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. AND I'LL VERY PROUD AND GRATEFUL FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SUPPORT JEFF MEYER TO BE A UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT IN CONNECTICUT, AND I YIELD THE FLOOR. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT.

    Show Full Text
  • 05:30:12 PM

    MR. LEAHY

  • 05:30:13 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    SENATOR FROM VERMONT. MR. LEAHY: MR. PRESIDENT, I THANK THE DISTINGUISHED…

    SENATOR FROM VERMONT. MR. LEAHY: MR. PRESIDENT, I THANK THE DISTINGUISHED SENIOR SENATOR FROM CONNECTICUT FOR HIS KIND WORDS.

    Show Full Text
  • 05:30:15 PM

    MR. LEAHY

    DISTINGUISHED SENIOR SENATOR FROM CONNECTICUT FOR HIS KIND WORDS. HE…

    DISTINGUISHED SENIOR SENATOR FROM CONNECTICUT FOR HIS KIND WORDS. HE UNDERSTANDS VERY MUCH, AS HAVING SERVED AS ATTORNEY GENERAL OF HIS STATE AND VARIOUS OTHER ROLES IN OUR COURTS, HE UNDERSTANDS VERY MUCH WHEN HE SAYS JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED, WHETHER YOU'RE A PLAINTIFF OR DEFENDANT, THAT'S TRUE. IN FACT, I EXPRESS MY HOPE THAT WE SET ASIDE OUR DIFFERENCES -- I ASK CONSENT THAT WE CONTINUE FOR FIVE MINUTES FOR ME AND FIVE MINUTES FOR SENATOR MURPHY OF CONNECTICUT. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR.

    Show Full Text
  • 05:30:53 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION. MR. LEAHY: I'VE BEGUN THE YEAR EXPRESSING MY HOPE THAT WE SET…

    OBJECTION. MR. LEAHY: I'VE BEGUN THE YEAR EXPRESSING MY HOPE THAT WE SET ASIDE OUR DIFFERENCES, DO WHAT'S BEST FOR OUR COUNTRY BY CONFIRMING QUALIFIED NOMINEES TO FILL THESE CRITICAL VACANCIES FACING OUR FEDERAL JUDICIARY.

    Show Full Text
  • 05:30:57 PM

    MR. LEAHY

    HOPE THAT WE SET ASIDE OUR DIFFERENCES, DO WHAT'S BEST FOR OUR COUNTRY BY…

    HOPE THAT WE SET ASIDE OUR DIFFERENCES, DO WHAT'S BEST FOR OUR COUNTRY BY CONFIRMING QUALIFIED NOMINEES TO FILL THESE CRITICAL VACANCIES FACING OUR FEDERAL JUDICIARY. SINCE SENATE REPUBLICANS FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE I'VE BEEN HERE -- AND I'M IN MY 40th YEAR. I'VE BEEN HERE WITH REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP, REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTS. NEVER HAVE I SEEN SUCH AN EFFORT TO EXPLOIT EVERY MEANS OF DELAY FOR EVERY JUDICIAL NOMINATION, EVEN WHEN A NOMINEE IS SUPPORTED BY BOTH REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS AND SUPPORTED BY THEIR HOME STATE SENATORS. NEVER SINCE I'VE BEEN HERE, PRESIDENT FORD, PRESIDENT CARTER, WITH PRESIDENT REAGAN, WITH PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH, WITH PRESIDENT CLINTON, WITH PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH. THIS PRESIDENT IS TREATED DIFFERENTLY. NOW I'VE HEARD SOME SENATE REPUBLICANS CLAIM THE MAJORITY LEADER CAN SIMPLY BRING UP THESE NOMINATIONS FOR A VOTE WHENEVER HE CHOOSES TO DO SO. I THINK THAT'S DONE TO HOPE THAT MAYBE SOME IN THE PRESS OR SOME PEOPLE WATCHING MAY NOT UNDERSTAND THEY'RE HIDING FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THE FACT THEY'RE NOT LETTING HIM BRING THEM UP FOR A VOTE. IN FACT, IF THAT WERE THE CASE WE'D BE VOTING TO CONFIRM FOUR DISTRICT COURT JUDGES TONIGHT. INSTEAD THE SENATE REPUBLICANS ARE DELIBERATELY OBSTRUCTING AND PLACING ROADBLOCKS AND EACH AND EVERY CONFIRMATION TAKES LONGER. IT'S VERY SIMILAR TO WHAT THEY DID WHEN THEY DID THE NEEDLESS AND COSTLY PARTIAL SHUTDOWN OF THE GOVERNMENT. THEY SHUT DOWN GOVERNMENT. HERE THEY'RE TRYING TO SHUT DOWN THE JUDICIARY, AND THIS POINTLESS OBSTRUCTION IS WHY CONGRESS IS SO UNPOPULAR WITH THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. THEY MAKE IT AS DIFFICULT AS POSSIBLE TO RESPOND TO THE NEEDS OF OUR FEDERAL JUDICIARY. AND THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON SINCE PRESIDENT OBAMA FIRST TOOK OFFICE IN 2009. IN FACT, A SHORT TIME AFTER THE PRESIDENT WAS SWORN IN, REPUBLICANS FILIBUSTERED HIS VERY FIRST JUDICIAL NOMINEE. THAT'S NEVER BEEN DONE. NEVER EVER FOR ANY PRESIDENT OF EITHER PARTY. INCIDENTALLY, THAT JUDICIAL NOMINEE HAD THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE RATING, HAD THE STRONG SUPPORT OF THE SENIOR SENATOR FROM HIS STATE WHO WAS ALSO THE SENIOR REPUBLICAN THEN SERVING IN THE SENATE. THE MOST SENIOR REPUBLICAN SENATOR SUPPORTED THE NOMINATION. BUT THE REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP SAID NO, WE HAVE TO FILIBUSTER AND BLOCK THE NOMINATION BECAUSE, AFTER AURBLGS IT -- ALL, IT WAS PRESIDENT OBAMA'S NOMINATION. NOT PRESIDENT BUSH'S NOMINATION. IT WAS AROUND THIS TIME THE REPUBLICAN LEADER SAID HIS PRIMARY GOAL WAS FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA TO FAIL. NOW COME ON, A DEMOCRAT SAID THAT ABOUT A REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT, WE WOULD HAVE HEARD ABOUT IT AD INFINITUM. WE HAD TO CHANGE THE RULES HERE, SOMETHING I WAS VERY RELUCTANT TO SEE DONE. BUT WE DID IT BECAUSE YOU'VE GOT TO GET PAST THIS. OTHERWISE OUR FEDERAL JUDICIARY IS GOING TO GRIND TO A HALT IN MANY PARTS OF THE COUNTRY. AND THE WORST PART ABOUT IT IS IT'S JUDGES SUPPORTED BY BOTH REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC SENATORS, BUT A TINY GROUP IN OUR LEADERSHIP SAYS OH, NO, WE CAN'T POSSIBLY VOTE ON THESE. IT MIGHT GIVE PRESIDENT OBAMA A VICTORY. IT KIND OF IGNORES THE FACT HE WAS ELECTED TWICE BY PRETTY SIGNIFICANT MARGINS. IT ALSO IGNORES THE FACT THAT THE FEDERAL JUDICIARY HAS ALWAYS BEEN KEPT OUT OF PARTISAN POLITICS. INSTEAD IT IS DOING MORE TO POLITICIZE THE FEDERAL JUDICIARY THAN I'VE SEEN IN MY 40 YEARS HERE. IT'S A SHAME. IT SHOULD STOP. LET'S START ACTING LIKE GROWNUPS IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE, NOT LIKE CHILDREN FIGHTING IN A SANDBOX. AND THEN THEY WONDER WHY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE SO TURNED OFF. FIRST THEY CLOSE DOWN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. NOW THEY'RE BY INCREMENTS CLOSING DOWN THE FEDERAL COURTS. I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR:

    Show Full Text
  • 05:35:37 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    CONNECTICUT. MUST HAVEMR. MURPHY: I JOIN MY COLLEAGUES IN SUPPORT OF THE…

    CONNECTICUT. MUST HAVEMR. MURPHY: I JOIN MY COLLEAGUES IN SUPPORT OF THE NOMINATION OF JEFFREY MEYER TO BE FEDERAL DISTRICT JUDGE OF THE DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT. THANK THE SENATOR FOR HIS HARD WORK AND THANK MY COLLEAGUES AND LEADERSHIP FOR BRINGING IT TO THE FLOOR TODAY. BEFORE I MAKE BRIEF REMARKS IN SUPPORT SPECIFICALLY OF JEFF MYERS' NOMINATION I WANT TO ASSOCIATE MYSELF WITH THE REMARKS OF SENATOR LEAHY AND SENATOR BLUMENTHAL. THERE ARE ESSENTIALLY TWO WAYS TO TRY TO SHUT DOWN THE GOVERNMENT FROM WITHIN. YOU CAN TRY TO DEFUND IT AND WE HAVE SEEN THAT EFFORT PLAY OUT IN REAL TERMS AT GREAT COST TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OVER THE LAST YEAR AND A HALF. AND YOU CAN ALSO TRY TO DEPOPULATE IT. YOU CAN TRY TO VERY SLOWLY AND METHODICALLY TAKE PEOPLE OUT OF POSITIONS BY EITHER DENYING THEM NOMINATION INTO THE ADMINISTRATION, AS WE HAVE SEEN AS A LONG LIST OF NOMINEES TO AGENCIES THROUGHOUT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ARE BEING DELAYED BY REPUBLICANS. OR YOU CAN TRY TO KEEP THE JUDICIARY UNDERSTAFFED SO THAT IT CAN'T DO ITS WORK AS WELL. SO I UNFORTUNATELY BELIEVE THIS IS PART OF A PRETTY METHODICAL POLICY AND STRATEGY ON BEHALF OF THOSE WHO FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE BEEN ELECTED TO DESTROY GOVERNMENT FROM WITHIN TO BOTH TRY TO DEFUND THE ORGANS OF GOVERNMENT AND DEPOPULATE ITS RANKS. THAT IS PART OF THE REASON I THINK WHICH WE ARE LABORING UNDER DELAY TACTIC AFTER DELAY TACTIC WHEN IT COMES TO OUR FEDERAL JUDICIARY. TODAY, THOUGH, HOPEFULLY WE CAN UNITE AROUND A NOMINEE WHO IS SINGULARLY QUALIFIED TO SERVE STKROEUPBGT COURT. I'M PROUD -- ON THE DISTRICT COURT. I'M PROUD TO SUPPORT JEFF MEYER'S NOMINATION. MR. MYERS WORKS IN THE LEGAL SYSTEM, BUT ALSO HAS A HISTORY OF HELPING THE POOR AND THE VOICELESS IN CONNECTICUT THROUGHOUT HIS CAREER. BOTH SENATOR BLUMENTHAL AND I KNOW HIS FATHER WELL, ED MEYER, WHO SERVED WITH ME IN THE CONNECTICUT STATE SENATE. JEFF MEYER COMES FROM A WORLD-CLASS EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND, IN PART BECAUSE HE GOT A LOT OF IT IN CONNECTICUT. HE'S A GRADUATE OF BOTH THE COLLEGE AND LAW SCHOOL AT YALE, HAD EXTENSIVE ACADEMIC AND TEACHING BACKGROUND. AFTER HE GRADUATED LAW SCHOOL MR. MEYER CLERKED AT THE SUPREME COURT FOR JUSTICE BLACKMUN AND JAMES OAKS. CURRENTLY HE TEACHES THE SUPREME COURT ADVOCACY CLINIC AT YALE LAW SCHOOL WHERE HE PROVIDES PRO BONO LEGAL SERVICES. BEFORE THAT HE TAUGHT AT PONTIAC LAW SCHOOL WHERE HE WAS HONORED WITH THE EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING AWARD. MORE IMPRESSIVE THAN HIS ACADEMIC BACKGROUND HISTORY IS HIS LONG HISTORY IN WORKING FOR A FAIR AND LEGAL FRAMEWORK. AS A LAW STUDENT JEFF MEYER WAS SHOWING A COMMITMENT TO WORKING WITH DISADVANTAGED GROUPS BY GIVING LEGAL ASSISTANCE TO HOMELESS CLIENTS THROUGH THE YALE LAW CLINIC. HE RECEIVED AN AWARD FOR HIS WORK THERE FROM THE CITY OF NEW HAVEN. HE WORKED AS A STAFF ATTORNEY IN SENATOR LEAHY'S HOME STATE OF VERMONT AT VERMONT LEGAL AID. AND IN CONNECTICUT, HE HELPED OUR STATE KEEP SAFE BY SERVING AS AN ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEY FOR NINE YEARS. SINCE 2008, HE SERVED ON THE CONNECTICUT JUDICIAL ETHICS COMMITTEE, A FAIRLY THANKLESS TASK AND SERVED ON OTHER STATE AND LOCAL COMMITTEES INCLUDING THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE FOR THE SELECTION OF CONNECTICUT PUBLIC DEFENDER, THE ADVISORY COUNCIL FOR NEW HAVEN'S POLICE DEPARTMENT AND THE URBAN YOUTH TASK FORCE. ASIDE FROM HIS ACADEMIC AND COMMUNITY WORK, JEFF MEYER HAS ALSO FOUND TIME IN BETWEEN TO FIND TIME TO MANAGE TO LITIGATE COMPLEX COMMERCIAL ISSUES AND INVESTIGATE FOREIGN AID ISSUES. HE SERVED AS A COUNSELOR FOR THE INDEPENDENT PANEL REVIEW OF THE WORLD BANK DEPARTMENT OF INSTITUTIONAL INTEGRITY AND HE DID AN INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT TOUR OF DUTY AS A SENATOR COUNSEL ON THE INDEPENDENT INQUIRY COMMITTEE INTO THE UNITED NATIONS OIL FOR FOOD PROGRAM. HE ALSO WROTE A BOOK ON THE U.N. OIL FOR FOOD SCANDAL. ALONG WITH HIS BOOK, MR. MEYER HAS AN IMPRESSIVE BODY OF LEGAL SCHOLARSHIP THAT INCLUDES OPINION PIECES ON TOPICS RANGING FROM CRIMINAL JUSTICE ISSUES TO FOREIGN AID TO WORKPLACE SAFETY. I'LL JUST POINT OUT THAT JEFF MEYER IS EXCEPTIONAL IN THE SENSE THAT HE HAS SOUGHT OUT WORK THAT OTHERS IN THE LEGAL COMMUNITY MIGHT AVOID, THE WORK THAT HE HAS DONE ON CONNECTICUT'S JUDICIAL ETHICS COMMITTEE OR IN THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW PROCESS OF THE NEW HAVEN POLICE DEPARTMENT OR EVEN IN HIS WORK INVESTIGATING THE OIL FOR FOOD PROGRAM, WAS TOUGH STUFF. ISSUES THAT WERE CONTROVERSIAL, THAT SOME OTHER LAWYERS MAY HAVE AVOIDED. BUT JEFF MEYER HAS SOUGHT OUT PLACES IN WHICH HIS TALENTS WERE NEEDED AND AREAS IN WHICH OTHERS MAY HAVE LOOKED THE OTHER WAY. THE DISTRICT IN CONNECTICUT IS CURRENTLY ABOUT 13% UNDERSTAFFED, AND THIS CONFIRMATION WOULD FILL A VACANCY THAT HAS EXIST TPHOUD FOR -- EXISTED NOW FOR ALMOST TWO YEARS. BECAUSE JEFF MEYER HAS SUCH STELLAR QUALIFICATIONS I CAN'T THINK OF ANY REASON WHY PEOPLE WOULD OPPOSE HIS NOMINATION AND I URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO REPORT HIM. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL REPORT THE MOTION TO INVOKE CLOTURE.

    Show Full Text
  • 05:40:53 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    TO INVOKE CLOTURE.

  • 05:40:55 PM

    THE CLERK

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

    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 THE NOMINATION OF JEFFREY MEYER OF CONNECTICUT TO BE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE FOR THE DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT SIGNED BY 19 SENATORS. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: BY UNANIMOUS CONSENT, THE MANDATORY QUORUM CALL HAS BEEN WAIVED. THE QUESTION

    Show Full Text
  • 05:41:12 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    CONSENT, THE MANDATORY QUORUM CALL HAS BEEN WAIVED. THE QUESTION IS, IS IT…

    CONSENT, THE MANDATORY QUORUM CALL HAS BEEN WAIVED. THE QUESTION IS, IS IT THE SENSE OF THE SENATE THAT DEBATE ON THE NOMINATION OF JEFFREY MEYER OF CONNECTICUT TO BE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE FOR THE DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT SHALL BE BROUGHT TO A CLOSE. THE YEAS AND NAYS ARE MANDATORY UNDER THE RULE. THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. VOTE: VOTE: VOTE:

    Show Full Text
  • 05:41:35 PM
  • 06:12:41 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    SENATORS WISHING TO VOTE OR WISHING TO CHANGE THEIR VOTE? IF NOT, THE YEAS…

    SENATORS WISHING TO VOTE OR WISHING TO CHANGE THEIR VOTE? IF NOT, THE YEAS ARE 55, THE NAYS ARE 37 AND ONE SENATOR VOTING PRESENT. THE MOTION IS AGREED TO. PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF S. RES. 15 OF THE 113th CONGRESS, THERE WILL BE UP TO TWO HOURS OF POSTCLOTURE CONSIDERATION OF THE NOMINATION EQUALLY DIVIDED IN THE USUAL FORM. THE MAJORITY LEADER.

    Show Full Text
  • 06:13:11 PM

    MR. REID

    MAJORITY I YIELD BACK 58 MINUTES. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATE WILL…

    MAJORITY I YIELD BACK 58 MINUTES. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATE WILL BE IN ORDER. THE MAJORITY LEADER. MR. REID: ON BEHALF OF

    Show Full Text
  • 06:13:15 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE MAJORITY LEADER. MR. REID: ON BEHALF OF THE MAJORITY I YIELD BACK 58…

    THE MAJORITY LEADER. MR. REID: ON BEHALF OF THE MAJORITY I YIELD BACK 58 MINUTES. THE PRESIDING

    Show Full Text
  • 06:13:19 PM

    MR. REID

    58 MINUTES. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: TIME IS SO YIELDED. A

  • 06:13:21 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    SO YIELDED. A SENATOR:

  • 06:13:32 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    SENATOR FROM IOWA.

  • 06:13:39 PM

    MR. GRASSLEY

    TOMORROW THE SENATE WILL CONSIDER SEVERAL DISTRICT COURT NOMINEES. THESE…

    TOMORROW THE SENATE WILL CONSIDER SEVERAL DISTRICT COURT NOMINEES. THESE NOMINEES WILL BE BROUGHT UP, CONSIDERED BY THE SENATE, AND IN ALL LIKELIHOOD CONFIRMED IN VERY SHORT ORDER. AS I'VE MENTIONED SEVERAL TIMES, THIS IS A PROCEDURE THAT THE DEMOCRATS VOTED TO PURSUE IN NOVEMBER WHEN THEY VOTED FOR THE SO-CALLED NUCLEAR OPTION. THE MAJORITY VOTED TO ELIMINATE THE FILIBUSTER ON NOMINATIONS AND TO CUT THE MINORITY, US REPUBLICANS, OUT OF THE PROCESS. SO WHILE THE SENATE IS DEBATING THESE DISTRICT COURT NOMINEES, IT GIVES ME A GOOD OPPORTUNITY TO CONTINUE THE DISCUSSION ABOUT HOW THE SENATE OUGHT TO BE FUNCTIONING IN THE CONSTITUTIONAL WAY DETERMINED BY OUR CONSTITUTIONAL WRITERS. THERE'S NO DEBATE THAT THE SENATE ISN'T FUNCTIONING PROPERLY, AND WE'VE BEEN TREATED TO RELENTLESS FINGER POINTING FROM THE OTHER SIDE REGARDING --.

    Show Full Text
  • 06:14:49 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    ORDER. THE SENATOR FROM IOWA.

  • 06:14:55 PM

    MR. GRASSLEY

    TO RELENTLESS FINGER POINTING FROM THE OTHER SIDE REGARDING WHO IS TO…

    TO RELENTLESS FINGER POINTING FROM THE OTHER SIDE REGARDING WHO IS TO BLAME. UNLESS WE CAN ESTABLISH A NONPARTISAN ACCOUNT OF HOW THE SENATE OUGHT TO FUNCTION, THIS DEBATE WILL AMOUNT TO NOTHING MORE THAN A KINDERGARTEN SHOUTING MATCH. SO I WOULD LIKE TO RETURN TO THE FEDERALIST PAPERS, WHICH ARE THE MOST DETAILED ACCOUNT FROM THE TIME THE CONSTITUTION WAS BEING RATIFIED ABOUT HOW OUR INSTITUTION, THIS SENATE, WAS INTENDED TO OPERATE. ALTHOUGH THESE FEDERALIST PAPERS WERE WRITTEN OVER 200 YEARS AGO, THE PRINCIPLES OF THOSE PAPERS ARTICULATE TIMELESSLY AND THE PROBLEMS THAT THEY HIGHLIGHT ARE STRIKINGLY RELEVANT TO THIS VERY DAY. THE LAST TIME I ADDRESSED THE SENATE ON THIS SUBJECT, I QUOTED AT LENGTH FROM A PASSAGE IN FEDERALIST "NO" 62. ALTHOUGH "THE FEDERALIST" PAPERS WERE PUBLISHED UNDER THE PSEUDONYM OF PUGH LIST, WE KNOW THAT THEY WERE WRITTEN BY THREE OF OUR FOUNDING FATHERS: JAMES MADISON, ALEXANDER HAMILTON AND JOHN JAY. FEDERALIST 62 HAS BEEN ATTRIBUTED TO THE FATHER OF THE CONSTITUTION, JAMES MADISON. IN IT, HE LISTS SEVERAL PROBLEMS THAT CAN BE ENCOUNTERED BY A REPUBLIC THAT THE U.S. SENATE WAS SPECIFICALLY UNDER THE CONSTITUTION DESIGNED TO COUNTERACT. THE FIRST POINT MADISON MAKES IS THAT HAVING A SECOND CHAMBER -- MEANING THE SENATE -- COMPOSED DIMPLY THAN THE HOUSE -- DIFFERENTLY THAN THE HOUSE MAKES IT LESS LIKELY THAT ONE FACTION WILL BE ABLE TO TAKE OVER AND ENACT AN AGENDA OUT OF STEP WITH THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. THE SECOND POINT DEALS WITH THE TENDENCY OF A UNICAMERAL LEGISLATURES TO YIELD TO SUDDEN AND POPULAR IMPULSES AND PASS WHAT HE CALLED INTEMPERATE AND PERNICIOUS RESOLUTIONS. THE THIRD POINT IS THAT BASED ON THE EXPERIENCE OF THE EARLY UNICAMERAL STATE LEGISLATURES, A SECOND CHAMBER WITH LONGER TERMS LIKE THE SENATE AND A MORE DELIBERATIVE PROCESS LIKE THE SENATE IS SUPPOSED TO BE WILL MAKE SURE THAT ANY LAWS PASSED ARE WELL-THOUGHT-OUT. THE FRAMERS OF OUR CONSTITUTION DETERMINED THAT IT WAS BETTER TO GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME THAN TO SUBJECT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO THE UPHEAVALS CAUSED BY THE NEED TO FIX POORLY CONCEIVED LAWS. MADISON TALKS ABOUT THE EARLY AMERICAN EXPERIENCE WITH -- QUOTE -- "ALL THE REPEALING, EXPLAINING, AND AMENDING LAWS" -- END OF QUOTE -- WHICH HE CALLS -- AND I QUOTE AGAIN -- "MONUMENTS OF DEFICIENT WISDOM, SO MANY IMPEACHMENTS EXHIBITED BY EACH SUCCEEDING BY EACH PRECEDING SESSION, SO MANY ADMONITIONS TO THE PEOPLE OF THE VALUE OF THOSE AIDS BY MAY BE EXPECTED FROM A WELL-CONSTITUTED SENATE." END OF QUOTE. IN MY LAST SPEECH, I DID NOT GET MADISON'S -- GET TO MADISON'S FOURTH AND FINAL POINT IN FEDERALIST PAPER 62, WHICH IS QUITE LONG AND DESERVES TO BE EXAMINED IN DETAIL, AND THAT'S MY MAIN PURPOSE TODAY. MADISON CONCLUDES FEDERALIST 62 WITH AN EXTENSIVE DISCUSSION OF THE IMPORTANCE OF STABILITY TO GOOD GOVERNMENT AND THE DANGER TO RULE OF LAW FROM CONSTANT CHANGE. SO HE'S TALKING ABOUT THE PURPOSE INTENDED FOR THE UNITED STATES SENATE. THIS SECTION STARTS, AND I QUOTE, BECAUSE THIS IS THE FOURTH POINT STARTING MY QUOTE -- "FOURTHLY, THE MUTABILITY IN THE PUBLIC COUNSELS ARISE FROM A RAPID SUCCESSION OF NEW MEMBERS HOWEVER QUALIFIED THEY MAY BE, POINTS OUT IN THE STRONGEST MANNER THE NECESSITY OF SOME STABLE INSTITUTION IN THE GOVERNMENT. EVERY NEW ELECTION IN THE STATES IS FOUND TO CHANGE ONE HALF OF THE REPRESENTATIVES. FROM THIS CHANGE OF MEN MUST PROCEED A CHANGE OF OPINIONS, AND FROM A CHANGE OF OPINIONS A CHANGE OF MEASURES. BUT A CONTINUAL CHANGE, EVEN OF GOOD MEASURES, IS INCONSISTENT WITH EVERY RULE OF PRUDENCE AND EVERY PROSPECT OF SUCCESS. THE REMARK IS VERIFIED IN PRIVATE LIFE AND BECOMES MORE JUST AS WELL AS MORE IMPORTANT IN NATIONAL TRANSACTIONS." END OF THAT QUOTE. NOW HERE, MADISON IS MAKING A CASE OF STABLE GOVERNMENT INSTEAD OF CON CONSTANT CHANGE. HE SAYS THAT CONSTANT CHANGE, EVEN WITH GOOD IDEAS, WILL NOT PRODUCE POSITIVE RESULTS. MADISON THEN ELABORATES ON THE VARIOUS PROBLEMS CAUSED BY AN UNSTABLE GOVERNMENT. HE FIRST SAYS ABOUT A COUNTRY THAT IS CONSTANTLY CHANGING ITS LAWS THAT -- QUOTE -- "SHE IS HELD IN NO RESPECT BY HER FRIENDS, THAT SHE IS THE DERISION OF THEIR EN ENEMIES, AND THAT SHE IS PREY TO EVERY NATION WHICH HAS AN INTEREST IN SPECULATING ON HER FLUCTUATING COUNSELS ON THE ONE HANDCOUNSELS AND EMBARRASSED AFAIMPLETS" MADISON THEN MAKES THE CASE THAT THE DOMESTIC RAM IF I REAGANRAMIFICATIONS OF A CONSTANTLY ENACTING AND CHANGING LAWS -- QUOTE -- "POISONS THE BLESSINGS OF LIBERTY ITSELF." BUT HE GOES ON TO EXPLAIN, "IT WILL BE OF LITTLE AVAIL TO THE PEOPLE THAT THE LAWS ARE MADE BY MEN OF THEIR OWN CHOICE, IF THE LAWS BE SO VOLUMINOUS THAT THEY CANNOT BE READ OR SO INCOHERENT THAT THEY CANNOT BE UNDERSTOOD, IF THEY BE REPEALED OR REVISED BEFORE THEIR PROMULGATED OR UNDERGO SUCH INSISTENT CHANGES THAT NO MAN WHO KNOWS WHAT THE LAW IS TODAY CAN GUESS WHAT IT WILL BE TOMORROW." END OF QUOTE. NOW, THIS SOUNDS A LITTLE BIT LIKE WE'RE FINDING THE HEALTH CARE LAW TODAY, WHICH IS BEING REWRITTEN DAILY AND ON THE FLY BY THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION. THAT LAW HAS BEEN CHANGED BY THE PRESIDENT 29 TIMES SO FAR, BUT IT'S PART OF A BIGGER PROBLEM WE FACE WITH NEW LAWS AND REGULATIONS FROM AGENCIES WHICH HAVE THE FORCE OF LAW BEING CHURNED OUT IN SUCH VOLUME THAT NO AMERICAN CAN POSSIBLY KNOW WHAT ALL THOSE REGULATIONS ARE. JUST BASED UPON PROBABILITY, AMERICANS ARE LIKELY TO VIOLATE SOME REGULATION OR SOME OTHER LAW WITHOUT KNOWING IT AT THE TIME. MADISON THEN IN FEDERALIST PAPER IS MAKING A CASE NOT JUST FOR MORE THOUGHTFUL LAWS BUT FEWER LAWS. WHEN THE MAJORITY LEADER AND MANY IN THE MEDIA COMPLAIN THAT THE SENATE SHOULD BE PASSING LAWS AT A HIGHER RATE, THOSE PEOPLE MISS THE POINT ENTIRELY. TO LISTEN TO SOME MEMBERS OF THE MAJORITY -- AND EVEN MORE SO IN THE MEDIA OF AMERICA -- YOU WOULD THINK THE SUCCESS OF A SESSION OF CONGRESS WAS MEASURED SOLELY ON THE SHEER NUMBER OF LAWS PASSED AND NOT ON THE QUALITY OF THOSE LAWS THAT IT PASSES. SO COMMON SENSE TELLS ALL OF US THAT THE SENATE WAS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED TO SLOW DOWN THE PROCESS AND TO MAKE SURE THAT CONGRESS PASSES FEWER BUT BETTER LAWS. MADISON THEN ELABORATES FURTHER ON WHY FEWER LAWS ARE BETTER IN A PASSAGE THAN IS EXTREMELY RELEVANT TODAY. QUOTE -- "ANOTHER EFFECT OF PUBLIC INSTABILITY IS THE UNREASONABLE ADVANTAGE IT GIVES TO THE SAGACIOUS, THE ENTERPRISING AND THE MONEYED FEW FOR THE INDUSTRIOUS AND UNIFORMED MASSES -- OR UNINFORMED MASSES OF THE PEOPLE PEOPLE." CONTINUING TO QUOTE, "EVERY NEW REGULATION CONCERNING CONGRESS OR REVENUE OR IN ANY WAY AFFECTING THE VALUE OF THE DIFFERENT SPECIES OF PROPERTY PRESENTS A NEW HARVEST TO THOSE WHO WATCH THE CHANGE AND CAN TRACE ITS CONSEQUENCES. A HARVEST REARED NOT BY THEMSELVES BUT BY THE TOILS AND CARES OF A GREAT BODY OF THEIR FELLOW CITIZENS." END OF QUOTE. IN OTHER WORDS, A SITUATION WHERE CONGRESS IS CONSTANTLY CHANGING THE LAWS GIVES MORE INFLUENCE TO THOSE WHO CAN HIRE LAWYERS TO KEEP ON TOP OF THE CHANGES AND LOBBYISTS WHO INFLUENCE THEM VERSUS THE LITTLE GUY WHO IS OUT THERE ON HIS OWN. IT IS SOMETIMES SAID THAT BIG BUSINESSES DON'T LIKE REGULATIONS, BUT THAT ISN'T MY EXPERIENCE IN MANY INSTANCES. THE BIGGER OR WEALTHIER A UNION OR OTHER SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS, THE BETTER CHANCE THEY HAVE TO SHAPE A NEW LAW OR REGULATION AND THE MORE PEOPLE THEY CAN HIRE TO HELP THEM COMPLY. ON THE OTHER HAND, SMALL BUSINESSES AND ANY INDIVIDUAL, THESE PEOPLE CAN'T HIRE A TEAM OF LAWYERS TO READ THE LATEST LAWS AND REGULATIONS AND FILL OUT THE PROPER PAPERWORK. SMALL BUSINESSES AND INDIVIDUALS ARE THE ONES SQUEEZED OUT OF THE MARKETPLACE BY THE CONSTANT FLOW OF NEW LAWS. AND OVERACTIVE BENEFITS GOVERNMENT BENEFITS THE BIG GUYS. IF YOU THINK THAT FACT IS LOST ON THE BIG GUYS AND THEIR LOBBYISTS WHEN THEY COME TO CONGRESS, YOU WOULD IN FACT BE VERY BADLY MISTAKEN. SO AS JAMES MADISON SO WISELY NOTED, AN OVERACTIVE GOVERNMENT IS ANNVITATION TO THE RICH -- IS AN INVITATION TO THE RICH AND POWERFUL TO USE GOVERNMENT TO THEIR BENEFITS AND THE DETRIMENT OF THEIR COMPETITORS. THAT GOES TO SHOW THAT THERE'S A GREAT BENEFIT TO STABILITY IN LAWS AS OPPOSED TO CONSTANT CHANGE. THE VERY PURPOSE THAT MADISON SETS OUT FOR THE UNITED STATES SENATE. A CORNERSTONE OF LIBERTY IS A RULE OF LAW, MEANING THE LAW IS TRANSPARENT AND NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW. IF YOU LOOK AROUND THE WORLD TODAY, THE POOREST AND LEAST FREE COUNTRIES ARE THE ONES WHERE THERE IS NO RULE OF LAW. IF SOMEONE CAN TAKE WHAT YOU'VE EARNED THROUGH FORCE AND YOU HAVE NO LEGAL RECOURSE, THAT'S AN EXAMPLE WHERE THERE IS NO RULE OF LAW. IF THE RICH AND THE POWERFUL GET SPECIAL PRIVILEGES, THAT'S AN EXAMPLE OF WHERE THE RULE OF LAW HAS BROKEN DOWN. THE RULE OF LAW IS ONE OF THE PRINCIPLES OUR COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED UPON. BUT WHEN THERE ARE SO MANY RULES AND THEY ARE CHANGING SO QUICKLY THAT THE AVERAGE CITIZEN CANNOT KEEP UP, THAT UNDERMINES THE RULES OF THE LAW. OF COURSE, THE SITUATION IS ONLY MADE WORSE WHEN THE RULES ALREADY ON THE BOOKS ARE WAIVED FOR THE POLITICALLY CONNECTED. AND, OF COURSE, THAT'S ANOTHER PROBLEM BUT ONE THAT HAS BECOME ALL TOO COMMON UNDER THIS ADMINISTRATION, PARTICULARLY WITH THE HEALTH CARE REFORM LAW WHERE 29 CHANGES HAVE ALREADY BEEN MADE BY THE PRESIDENT ON HIS OWN VOLITION AND SOME OF US BELIEVE, EVEN CONTRARY TO LAW ENFORCEMENT.I'VE EVEN HEARD SOME DEMOCRATIC SENATORS SAY, HOW CAN THE PRESIDENT MADE THE CHANGE ON EMPLOYER MANDATE, AS AN EXAMPLE. AND OF COURSE THE SENATE IS SUPPOSED -- GOING BACK TO THE SENATE'S ROLE, I'M NOT MAKING A CASE FOR DOING NOTHING OR THAT WE SHOULD BE HAPPY WITH THE FAILURE OF THE SENATE TO DEBATE LEGISLATION. THE SENATE IS THE SUPPOSED TO BE SLOW AND DELIBERATIVE, NOT STOPPED. THAT'S WHY WE'RE CALLED THE GREATEST DELIBERATIVE BODY IN THE WORLD. STILL, IT IS IMPORTANT TO GET AWAY FROM THIS NOTION THAT SOMEHOW THE FAILURE TO RAM LEGISLATION THROUGH THE SENATE WITH NO DEBATE AND NO AMENDMENT IS A PROBLEM. THE REASON THE SENATE DOESN'T FUNCTION WHEN THE MAJORITY LEADER TRIES TO RUN IT THAT WAY IS VERY SIMPLE. THE SENATE WAS NOT DESIGNED TO DO BUSINESS THAT WAY. THE SENATE WAS INTENDED TO BE THAT DELIBERATIVE BODY THAT WE PRAISE AND HAS BEEN FOR MOST OF ITS HISTORY. IT HAS NOW BECOME ROUTINE FOR THE LEADERSHIP TO FILE CLOTURE TO END CONSIDERATION OF A MATTER IMMEDIATELY UPON MOVING TO IT. BY CONTRARVEGHTS THE CONTRAST, THE REGULAR ORDER IS FOR THE SENATE TO CONSIDER A MATTER FOR SOME PERIOD OF TIME. HOW LONG WOULD VARY. BUT ALLOWING SENATORS FROM ALL PARTIES TO WEIGH IN BEFORE CLOTURE IS EVEN CONTEMPLATED. CLOTURE WAS INVENTED TO ALLOW THE SENATE TO END CONSIDERATION OF A MATTER AFTER THE VAST MAJORITY OF SENATORS HAD CONCLUDED IT HAD RECEIVED SUFFICIENT CONSIDERATION. PRIOR TO THAT, THERE WAS NO WAY TO END DEBATE, AS LONG AS AT LEAST ONE SENATOR WISHED TO KEEP DELIBERATING. CLOTURE WAS A COMPROMISE BETWEEN THE DESIRE TO MOVE THINGS ALONG AND THE PRINCIPLE THAT EACH SENATOR HAS A REPRESENTATIVE OF HIS OR HER RESPECTIVE STATES HAS THE RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE FULLY IN THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS. THE COMPROMISE WAS ORIGINALLY THE TWO-THIRDS SENATORS VOTING HAD TO BE SATISFIED THAT THE MATTER HAD RECEIVED SUFFICIENT CONSIDERATION. THAT WAS REDUCED TO THREE-FIFTHS OF ALL SENATORS. EACH TIME THIS MATTER IS RENEGOTIATED, THE COMPROMISE LEANS MORE IN FAVOR OF SPEEDING UP THE PROCESS AT THE EXPENSE OF ALLOWING SENATORS TO FULLY REPRESENT THE PEOPLE OF THEIR RESPECTIVE STATES. NOW THE MAJORITY LEADERSHIP ROUTINELY FILES CLOTURE IMMEDIATELY UPON PROCEEDING TO A MATTER. AGAIN, CLOTURE IS A TOOL TO CUT OFF FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF A MATTER WHEN IT APPEARS THAT IT IS DRAGGING ON TOO LONG. YOU CAN HARDLY CLAIM THAT THE SENATE HAS TAKEN TOO MUCH TIME TO DELIBERATE OVER SOMETHING WHEN IT HASN'T EVEN BEGUN CONSIDERATION AND DEBATE OF THAT SPECIFIC MATTER. ACCORDING TO DATA FROM THE CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE, THERE WERE ONLY SEVEN TIMES DURING THE FIRST SESSION OF THIS CURRENT CONGRESS THAT THE SENATE STARTED TO CONSIDER A BILL FOR A DAY OR MORE BEFORE CLOTURE WAS FILED. THAT WAS OUT OF 34 CLOTURE MOTIONS RELATED TO THE LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS. THE NUMBER OF THE SAME DAY CLOTURE FILINGS HAS MORE THAN DOUBLED COMPARED TO WHEN REPUBLICANS LAST CONTROLLED THE SENATE. MOREOVER, THE TOTAL NUMBER OF CLOTURE MOTIONS FILED EACH SESSION OF CONGRESS UNDER THIS MAJORITY LEADERSHIP HAS ROUGHLY DOUBLED COMPARED TO THE PERIOD FROM 1991 TO THE YEAR 2006 UNDER MAJORITY LEADERS OF BOTH POLITICAL PARTIES. BEFORE THAT PERIOD OF TIME, MEANING BEFORE 1991, CLOTURE WAS EVEN MORE RARE. THIS IS A SIGN THAT CLOTURE IS BEING OVERUSED. EVEN ABUSED BY THE MAJORITY. STILL IF THIS ALARMING RISE IN CLOTURE MOTIONS WAS A LEGITIMATE RESPONSE TO A MINORITY OF SENATORS INSISTING ON EXTENDED DEBATE TO DELAY PROCEEDINGS BEYOND WHAT'S NECESSARY FOR REASONABLE DELIBERATION OTHERWISE KNOWN AS A FILIBUSTER, THEN, OF COURSE, IT WOULD BE VERY JUSTIFIED. THAT'S CLEARLY NOT THE CASE. WHEN THE OVERWHELMING NUMBER OF MOTIONS TO CUT OFF DEBATE ARE MADE BEFORE DEBATE HAS EVEN STARTED. WHAT AMOUNT OF TIME IS NECESSARY FOR DELIBERATION? AND WHAT IS PURELY DILATORY IN ANY PARTICULAR CASE IS, OF COURSE, A SUBJECTIVE DETERMINATION. HOWEVER, THE PRACTICE OF ROUTINELY MOVING TO CUT OFF CONSIDERATION OF VIRTUALLY EVERY MEASURE WHEN THERE HAS NOT EVEN YET BEEN ANY DELIBERATION CANNOT BE JUSTIFIED IN A BODY THAT'S TERMED THE MOST DELIBERATIVE BODY IN THE WORLD, THAT BEING THE UNITED STATES SENATE. SO WE'RE IN A SITUATION WHERE THERE IS VERY MUCH AN ABUSE OF THE CLOTURE MOTION, ALONG WITH THE ROUTINE BLOCKING OF AMENDMENTS, CLOTURE ABUSE IS PREVENTING SENATORS FROM DOING WHAT WE'RE PAID TO DO. THAT'S TO REPRESENT THE PEOPLE OF OUR STATE. SHUTTING SENATORS OUT OF THE DELIBERATIVE PROCESS ISN'T JUST AN ARGUMENT ABOUT DRY SENATE PROCEDURES, AS THE MAJORITY LEADER HAS TRIED TO SUGGEST IN RESPONSE TO CRITICISM. WHEN SENATORS ARE BLOCKED FROM PARTICIPATING IN THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS, THE PEOPLE THEY REPRESENT THEN ARE EFFECTIVELY DISENFRANCHISED. WHEN I SAY THE PEOPLE ARE DISENFRANCHISED WHEN THE MAJORITY LEADERSHIP SHUTS SENATORS OUT OF THE PROCESS, I DON'T JUST MEAN THE CITIZENS OF THE 45 STATES THAT ELECTED REPUBLICAN SENATORS. THE CITIZENS OF STATES THAT ELECTED DEMOCRAT SENATORS ALSO EXPECT THOSE SENATORS TO OFFER AMENDMENTS AND ENGAGE WITH THEIR COLLEAGUES FROM DIFFERENT PARTIES. SHUTTING DOWN CONSIDERATION OF A BILL BEFORE IT HAS EVEN BEEN CONSIDERED PREVENTS EVEN MEMBERS OF THE MAJORITY PARTY FROM OFFERING AMENDMENTS THAT MAY BE IMPORTANT TO THE PEOPLE OF THEIR RESPECTIVE STATES. VOTERS HAVE A RIGHT TO EXPECT THE PEOPLE THEY ELECT TO ACTUALLY DO THE HARD WORK OF REPRESENTING THEM NOT JUST BE A RUBBER STAMP FOR THEIR LEGISLATIVE AGENDA, OR LEADERSHIP LEGISLATIVE AGENDA. SENATORS WHO GO ALONG WITH TACTICS THAT DISENFRANCHISE THEIR OWN CONSTITUENTS SHOULD HAVE TO ANSWER TO THOSE WHO VOTED THEM INTO OFFICE AS TO WHY THEY AREN'T WILLING TO DO THE JOB THEY WERE ELECTED TO DO. THAT JOB INCLUDES NOT JUST OFFERING AMENDMENTS WHEN APPROPRIATE, BUT AT THE SAME TIME EXPECTING TO TAKE TOUGH VOTES THAT REVEAL TO YOUR CONSTITUENTS WHERE THAT SENATOR STANDS. THE MAJORITY LEADER NOW HAS GONE OUT OF HIS WAY TO SHIELD MEMBERS OF HIS CAUCUS FROM TAKING VOTES THAT MAY HURT THEM BACK HOME. SENATORS DON'T HAVE ANY RIGHT TO AVOID TOUGH VOTES. THAT'S NOT THE DELIBERATIVE PROCESS THAT JAMES MADISON ENVISIONED IN THE WRITING AND EXPRESSED IN THE WRITINGS OF THE "FEDERALIST PAPERS". IF WE'RE GOING TO HAVE GOOD LAWS THAT CAN STAND THE TEST OF TIME, THE SENATE MUST BE ALLOWED TO FUNCTION AS IT WAS INTENDED TO FUNCTION. ONE ASPECT OF WHAT'S NEEDED TO RETURN THE SENATE TO A PROPER FUNCTION IS A DELIBERATIVE BODY -- AS A DELIBERATIVE BODY IS TO END CLOTURE ABUSE. I WOULD ASK MY COLLEAGUES TO REFLECT ON ALL THE CHANGES TO THE SENATE RECENTLY, INCLUDING THOSE NEGOTIATED BETWEEN THE TWO LEADERS A YEAR AGO IN RETURN FOR A PROMISE THAT WAS NOT KEPT NOT TO USE THE NUCLEAR OPTION, AS WELL AS SUBSEQUENT USE OF THE NUCLEAR OPTION YET TEN MONTHS LATER, JUST LAST NOVEMBER. THOSE REFORMS, IF YOU CAN CALL THEM REFORMS, HAVE BEEN IN THE DIRECTION OF REDUCING THE ABILITY OF INDIVIDUAL SENATORS TO REPRESENT THE PEOPLE OF THEIR STATES AND AT THE SAME TIME CONCENTRATING POWER WITH THE MAJORITY LEADERSHIP. IT'S TIME THAT WE HAD SOME REFORMS TO GET THE SENATE BACK FUNCTIONING AS A DELIBERATIVE BODY LIKE WAS INTENDED UNDER THE CONSTITUTION. THE SENATE IS SUPPOSED TO BE A PLACE WHERE ALL VOICES ARE HEARD AND REASON CAN RISE ABOVE PARTISANSHIP. I WOULD URGE ALL MY COLLEAGUES TO REFLECT ON THESE THOUGHTS AND THINK ABOUT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO THE PEOPLE OF YOUR STATE. IF WE DO THAT, I'M SURE THAT WE CAN COME UP WITH SOME SENSIBLE REFORMS TO END THE ABUSE OF CLOTURE AND RESTORE THE SENATE TO THE DELIBERATIVE BODY THE FRAMERS OF THE CONSTITUTION INTENDED IT TO BE, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, AS EXPRESSED BY JAMES MADISON. I'LL BE THINKING ABOUT THAT, AND I WOULD ENCOURAGE ALL OF MY COLLEAGUES TO DO THE SAME. I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR:

    Show Full Text
  • 06:38:34 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    FROM

  • 06:38:38 PM

    MR. WICKER

    PRESIDENT. THE DISTINGUISHED THE SENATOR FROM IOWA TALKS CONVINCINGLY AND…

    PRESIDENT. THE DISTINGUISHED THE SENATOR FROM IOWA TALKS CONVINCINGLY AND PERSUASIVELY ABOUT SO MANY TIMES WHEN MEMBERS ARE SHUT OUT OF THE PROCESS. CERTAINLY CHIEF AMONG THOSE WOULD HAVE BEEN 2009 WHEN WE COULD HAVE USED THE EXPERTISE OF SENATOR GRASSLEY HAD OUR COLLEAGUES ACROSS THE AISLE BEEN WILLING TO WORK WITH HIM IN A BIPARTISAN FASHION TO WRITE A BIPARTISAN HEALTH CARE BILL THAT EMPLOYED MARKET PRINCIPLES IN COMPETITION. INSTEAD, JUST AS HE MENTIONED IN HIS REMARKS, HE WAS SHUT OUT OF THE PROCESS, AS WERE ALL REPUBLICANS. AND SO WE HAVE AN OBAMACARE LAW ON THE BOOKS NOW SUPPORTED BY EVERY DEMOCRAT IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE AND SUPPORTED BY NO REPUBLICANS. SOME 18% OF OUR GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT TURNED ON ITS HEAD BY THIS LEGISLATION, AND IT WAS NOT DONE IN A BIPARTISAN FASHION, THAT ANYTHING SHOULD BE DONE. THE GENTLEMAN IS CORRECT, AND I APPRECIATE HIM MENTIONING THE LARGER SENSE IN WHICH MEMBERS FEEL THAT THEY ARE BEING SHUT OUT OF THE PROCESS. I WANT TO PARTICULARLY TONIGHT, MR. PRESIDENT, CALL MEMBERS' ATTENTION TO AN OP-ED IN TODAY'S "WALL STREET JOURNAL," MONDAY, FEBRUARY 24, PAGE A-15 ENTITLED "OBAMACARE AND MY MOTHER'S CANCER MEDICINE," BY STEVEN BLACKWOOD. TPHO EUF IDEA ANYTHING ABOUT STEVEN -- I HAVE NO IDEA ANYTHING ABOUT STEVEN BLACKWOOD'S POLITICS. THE ARTICLE AT THE END SAYS MR. BLACKWOOD IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE RALSTON PLANNED COLLEGE OF ARTS INSTITUTE IN SAVANNAH, GEORGIA. I KNOW HE COMES FROM THE ACADEMIA AND LOVES HIS MOTHER AND IS CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT OBAMACARE HAS DONE TO HIS MOTHER'S CANCER COVERAGE. THE STORY THAT MR. BLACKWOOD TELLS ABOUT HIS MOTHER CATHERINE, IT REFLECTS THE VERY REAL LIFE OR DEATH CONSEQUENCES OF THE PRESIDENT'S HEALTH CARE LAW. MANY OF US WHO OPPOSE THE LAW OFTEN POINT OUT TO THE FINANCIAL COST, THE DELAYS AND THE FLAWED IMPLEMENTATION, BUT THE HUMAN ASPECT IS MUCH MORE TRAGIC. IN RELAYING HIS FAMILY'S CURRENT SITUATION IN THIS OP-ED IN THE "WALL STREET JOURNAL" TODAY, MR. BLACKWOOD DEPICTS THE LAW'S DEVASTATING EFFECT ON INDIVIDUAL AMERICANS. HE BEGINS BY SAYING "WHEN MY MOTHER WAS DIAGNOSED WITH CARCANOID CANCER IN 2005 WHEN SHE WAS 49, IT CAME AS A LIGHTNING SHOCK. AND I KNOW IT WOULD TO ANY FAMILY." HE GOES ON TO SAY LATER ON, "ANYONE WHO'S BEEN THERE KNOWS THAT A CANCER DIAGNOSIS IS TERRIFYING." HE EXPLAINS LATER ON IN THE OP-ED THAT CARCINOID, A FORM OF NEUROENDOCRINE CANCER IS A DISEASE THAT GENERALLY RESPONDS WELL TO TREATMENT BY SANDOSTATIN, A DRUG THAT SLOWS TUMOR GROWTH AND REDUCES BUT DOES ELIMINATE THE SYMPTOMS OF FATIGUE, NAUSEA AND GASTRO INTESTINAL FUNCTION. MR. BLACKWOOD SAYS MY MOTHER RECEIVES A PAINFUL SHOT TWICE A MONTH AND OFTEN COULDN'T SITCOM FOR THEABLY FOR DAYS AFTERWARDS -- COMFORTABLY FOR DAYS AFTERWARDS. THERE HAVE BEEN SEVERAL MORE SURGERIES, METASTASES, BONE DETERIORATION, A TERRIBLE BOUT OF INFLAMMATION OF THE THYROID GLAND AND MUCH MORE. BUT HE DOES POINT OUT THIS. HE SAYS "MY MOTHER KEPT FIGHTING DETERMINED TO MAKE THE MOST OF LIFE NO MATTER WHAT IT BRINGS. SHE HAS INDOMITABLE WILL AND IS BY FAR THE TOUGHEST PERSON I'VE EVER MET. BUT SHE WOULDN'T BE HERE WITHOUT THE SEMIMONTHLY SANDO STATIN SHOT THAT SLOWS THE ONSLAUGHT OF HER DISEASE." AND THEN IN NOVEMBER, SAYS MR. BLACKWOOD, "ALONG WITH MILLIONS OF OTHER AMERICANS, SHE LOST HER HEALTH INSURANCE. SHE HAD A BLUE CROSS-BLUE SHIELD PLAN FOR NEARLY 20 YEARS. IT WAS EXPENSIVE BUT GIVEN IT COVERED HER VERY EXPENSIVE TREATMENT, IT WAS A TERRIFIC PLAN. IT GAVE HER ACCESS TO ANY SPECIALIST OR SURGEON AND TO THE SANDOSTATIN AND OTHER MEDICATIONS THAT WERE KEEPING HER ALIVE. AND THEN THE OP-ED SAYS THIS: AND THEN BECAUSE OUR LAWMAKERS AND THE PRESIDENT THOUGHT THEY COULD DO BETTER, SHE HAD NOTHING. HER OLD PLAN NOW CONSIDERED ILLEGAL UNDER THE NEW HEALTH LAW HAD BEEN CANCELED. BECAUSE THE EXCHANGE WEB SITE IN HER STATE OF VIRGINIA WAS NOT WORKING, SHE WENT DIRECTLY TO THE INSURERS WEB SITES AND TELEPHONED THEM ONE BY ONE. THIS IS A WOMAN WITH CARCINOID CANCER WHOSE POLICY HAS BEEN CANCELED BECAUSE OF OBAMACARE. SHE'S GOING ONE BY ONE OVER DOZENS OF HOURS. IT TURNS OUT THAT MRS. BLACKWOOD HAD EXPERIENCE IN THIS FIELD. SHE WAS A MEDICAL OFFICE MANAGER. SHE HAD DECADES OF EXPERIENCE NAVIGATING THE ENORMOUS PROBLEMS. AND EVEN WITH THAT, SHE HAD TROUBLE WITH THE REPEATED AND PROLONGED PHONE WAITS WHICH MR. BLACKWOOD DESCRIBED AS SISYPHUSIAN. IN THE END SHE WAS TOLD SHE COULD PURCHASE A HUMANA POLICY. THE ENROLLMENT AGENT SAID THAT AFTER SHE MET HER DEDUCTIBLE IN ALL TREATMENTS AND MEDICATIONS INCLUDING THOSE FOR CANCER, SHE WOULD BE COVERED 100%. BECAUSE, HOWEVER, THE ENROLLMENT AGENTS DID NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THE COVERAGE FORM YOU'LL AIRIES FOR THE PLANS THEY WERE SELLING THEY SAID THE ONLY WAY TO FIND OUT IN DETAIL WHAT WAS IN THE PLAN WAS TO BUY THE PLAN. DOES THAT SOUND FAMILIAR? IT SOUNDS LIKE WHAT THE FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE, NANCY PELOSI, FAMOUSLY TOLD US IN 2009, WE HAVE TO HURRY UP AND PASS THE BILL SO YOU CAN FIND OUT WHAT'S IN IT. IN THIS CASE MRS. BLACKWOOD NEEDED TO HURRY UP AND BUY THE SLOORNS PLAN, PAY THE PREMIUMS SO SHE COULD THEN FIND OUT WHETHER SHE WAS COVERED, AND IT TURNS OUT SHE WAS NOT COVERED. THE COST OF THE SANDOSTATIN ALONE SINCE JANUARY 1 OF THIS YEAR WAS $14,000, AND THE COMPANY WAS REFUSING TO PAY. TO QUOTE MR. BLACKWOOD FURTHER, THE NEWS WAS DUMBFOUNDING. THIS IS A WOMAN WHO HAD AN AFFORDABLE HEALTH PLAN THAT COVERED HER CONDITION. OUR LAWMAKERS WEREN'T HAPPY WITH THAT BECAUSE THEY WANTED PLANS THAT WERE AFFORDABLE AND COVERED HER CONDITION, SO THEY GAVE HER A NEW ONE. IT DOESN'T COVER HER CONDITION, AND IT'S COMPLETELY UNAFFORDABLE. HE GOES ON TO SAY THOUGH I'M NO EXPERT IN OBAMACARE, OVER 10,000 PAGES, WHO COULD BE, I UNDERSTAND THAT THE INTENTION OR AT LEAST THE RHETORICAL JUSTIFICATION OF THIS LEGISLATION WAS TO PROVIDE COVERAGE FOR THOSE WHO DIDN'T HAVE IT. BUT THERE IS SOMETHING DEEPLY AND INCONTESTABLY PERVERSE ABOUT A LAW THAT SO DISTORTS AND UNDERMINES THE FREE ACTIVITY OF INDIVIDUALS THAT THEY CAN NO LONGER BUY AND SELL THE GOODS AND SERVICES THAT KEEP THEM ALIVE. OBAMACARE MADE MY MOTHER'S OLD PLAN ILLEGAL AND IT FORCED HER TO BUY A NEW PLAN THAT WOULD ACCELERATE HER DISEASE AND DEATH. SHE AWAITS AN APPEAL FROM HER INSURER. WILL THIS INJUSTICE BE REMEDIED, MR. BLACKWOOD ASKS, FOR HER OR FOR MILLIONS OF OTHERS OR IS MY MOTHER TO DIE BECAUSE SHE CAN NO LONGER AFFORD THE TREATMENT THAT KEEPS HER ALIVE? EVERY AMERICAN -- LIKE EVERY AMERICAN, I WANT AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE AND I'M OPENING TO INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS OF ALL KINDS. INDIVIDUAL, CORPORATE, FOR-PROFIT, NONPROFIT, AND PUBLIC. IT WILL TAKE ALL OF THESE AND ALL OF THE INTELLIGENCE, CREATIVITY AND SELF-DISCIPLINE WE HAVE AS WELL AS EVERYTHING WE CAN OFFER ONE ANOTHER AS FAMILIES, NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS AND CITIZENS AND IT STILL WON'T BE PERFECT, BUT IT IS PRECISELY BECAUSE HEALTH CARE FOR 300 MILLION PEOPLE IS SO COMPLICATED IT CANNOT BE CENTRALLY MANAGED. MR. BLACKWOOD CONCLUDES THIS MR. PRESIDENT -- THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT IS A BRUTAL DISASTER, IN PRINCIPLE IT VIOLATES THE IRREDUCIBLE PARTICULARITY OF HUMAN LIFE AND IN PRACTICE WILL CAUSE MANY INDIVIDUALS TO SUFFER AND DIE. WE CAN DO BETTER AND WE MUST DO BETTER. AT THIS POINT, MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THIS OPINION PIECE BY STEVEN BLACKWOOD BE ENTERED INTO THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD IN ITS ENTIRETY. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR. WICKER: THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. YOU KNOW,

    Show Full Text
  • 06:49:16 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 06:49:17 PM

    MR. WICKER

    MR. PRESIDENT. YOU KNOW, WE TALK A LOT ABOUT THE FAILURES OF THE…

    MR. PRESIDENT. YOU KNOW, WE TALK A LOT ABOUT THE FAILURES OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. BECAUSE OF OBAMACARE, SEVEN MILLION PEOPLE ARE EXPECTED TO LOSE THEIR EMPLOYER SPONSORED HEALTH INSURANCE BY 2024. ANOTHER FIVE MILLION AMERICANS HAVE SEEN THEIR HEALTH CARE PLANS CANCELED, AND ONE OF THEM IS MRS. BLACKWOOD. I WOULD SAY TO MY COLLEAGUES, AND I WOULD SAY TO EVERYONE WITHIN THE SOUND OF MY VOICE, AGAIN, I DON'T KNOW THE POLITICS OF THE BLACKWOOD FAMILY. THEY HAD AN INSURANCE POLICY THAT WORKED FOR MRS. BLACKWOOD. IT COVERED A VITAL DRUG, SANDOSTATIN THAT KEPT HER ALIVE FROM THE DISEASE OF CARCINOID CANCER AND SHE'S LOST THAT COVERAGE BECAUSE OF THE VERY ACT THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO HELP PEOPLE. MR. BLACKWOOD SAYS WE CAN DO BETTER, AND I SUGGEST THAT WE CAN DO BETTER. WE NEED TO REPEAL THIS ILL-CONSIDERED LAW WHICH HAS CAUSED SO MUCH PAIN FOR MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF AMERICANS, AND STILL LEFT 31 MILLION UNCOVERED, AND WE NEED TO WORK TOGETHER ACROSS THE AISLE IN A BIPARTISAN WAY TO FIX THIS SYSTEM AND TO HAVE A SYSTEM THAT DOESN'T THROW INNOCENT AND SICK PEOPLE OUT OF THEIR INSURANCE COVERAGE AND THREATEN THEIR HEALTH AND THEIR VERY LIVES. I AT THIS POINT YIELD THE FLOOR AND SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

    Show Full Text
  • 06:51:15 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    ROLL. QUORUM CALL:

  • 06:51:21 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 07:00:17 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    SENATOR FROM VERMONT. MR. LEAHY: I ASK THE CALL OF THE QUORUM BE DISPENSED…

    SENATOR FROM VERMONT. MR. LEAHY: I ASK THE CALL OF THE QUORUM BE DISPENSED WITH. THE PRESIDING

    Show Full Text
  • 07:00:20 PM

    MR. LEAHY

    QUORUM BE DISPENSED WITH. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR.…

    QUORUM BE DISPENSED WITH. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR. LEAHY:

    Show Full Text
  • 07:00:23 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION. MR. LEAHY: MR. PRESIDENT, I SEE THE MAJORITY LEADER ON THE…

    OBJECTION. MR. LEAHY: MR. PRESIDENT, I SEE THE MAJORITY LEADER ON THE FLOOR. OBVIOUSLY,

    Show Full Text
  • 07:00:25 PM

    MR. LEAHY

    MAJORITY LEADER ON THE FLOOR. OBVIOUSLY, IF HE IS SEEKING RECOGNITION, I…

    MAJORITY LEADER ON THE FLOOR. OBVIOUSLY, IF HE IS SEEKING RECOGNITION, I -- MR. REID: I JUST WANT TO -- IF MY FRIEND, THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE, WOULD WAIT FOR JUST A MINUTE, I WILL TELL EVERYBODY WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO THIS EVENING. THE PRESIDING

    Show Full Text
  • 07:00:32 PM

    MR. REID

    MY FRIEND, THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE, WOULD WAIT FOR JUST A MINUTE, I WILL…

    MY FRIEND, THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE, WOULD WAIT FOR JUST A MINUTE, I WILL TELL EVERYBODY WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO THIS EVENING. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE MAJORITY LEADER. MR.

    Show Full Text
  • 07:00:40 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    LEADER. MR. REID: WE HAVE TWO MORE VOTES TONIGHT.

  • 07:00:44 PM

    MR. REID

    TONIGHT. AND I ASK CONSENT THAT IF CLOTURE IS INVOKED ON EXECUTIVE…

    TONIGHT. AND I ASK CONSENT THAT IF CLOTURE IS INVOKED ON EXECUTIVE CALENDAR NUMBER 70, AT 11:15 TOMORROW, THE SENATE PROCEED TO EXECUTIVE SESSION AND THAT ALL POSTCLOTURE TIME WITH RESPECT TO CALENDAR NUMBER 570 BE DISPENSED WITH. THE SENATE PROCEED TO VOTE ON THAT CONFIRMATION. FURTHER FOLLOWING DISPOSITION OF CALENDAR NUMBER 570, THE SENATE PROCEED TO VOTE ON CLOTURE ON CALENDAR NUMBER 566. IF CLOTURE IS INVOKED, BOTH CLOTURE TIME BE DISPENSED AND THE SENATE PROCEED TO VOTE ON CONFIRMATION OF CALENDAR NUMBER 566. FURTHER, UPON DISPOSITION OF CALENDAR NUMBER 566, THE SENATE PROCEED TO VOTE ON CLOTURE OF CALENDAR NUMBER 567. IF CLOTURE IS INVOKED, ALL POSTCLOTURE TIME BE DISPENSED WITH, THE SENATE PROCEED TO VOTE ON CONFIRMATION OF CALENDAR NUMBER 567, THAT ALL AFTER THE FIRST VOTE ON TUESDAY BE TEN MINUTES IN LENGTH, THAT WITH RESPECT TO THE ABOVE NOMINATIONS, THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER BE CONSIDERED MADE AND LAID ON THE TABLE WITH NO INTERVENING ACTION OR DEBATE AND THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA BE IMMEDIATELY NOTIFIED OF THE SENATE'S ACTION, THE SENATE THEN RESUME LEGISLATIVE SESSION. AND I EXPRESS APPRECIATION TO MY FRIEND FOR YIELDING TO ME. I ASK CONSENT THAT THERE BE -- THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR. REID: I ASK CONSENT

    Show Full Text
  • 07:02:00 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION. MR. REID: I ASK CONSENT THAT THERE BE TWO MINUTES FOR DEBATE…

    OBJECTION. MR. REID: I ASK CONSENT THAT THERE BE TWO MINUTES FOR DEBATE EQUALLY DIVIDED IN THE USUAL FORM PRIOR TO THE SECOND ROLL CALL VOTE TONIGHT.

    Show Full Text
  • 07:02:02 PM

    MR. REID

  • 07:02:07 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR. LEAHY: MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 07:02:10 PM

    MR. LEAHY

  • 07:02:11 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    SENATOR FROM VERMONT. MR. LEAHY: MR. PRESIDENT, I UNDERSTOOD EARLIER THAT…

    SENATOR FROM VERMONT. MR. LEAHY: MR. PRESIDENT, I UNDERSTOOD EARLIER THAT I HAD AN HOUR TO RESPOND TO THE REPUBLICANS ON THE OTHER SIDE, BUT I UNDERSTAND OUR STAFF -- OR THE LEADERSHIP STAFF HAS YIELDED BACK 58 MINUTES OF MY HOUR.

    Show Full Text
  • 07:02:14 PM

    MR. LEAHY

    THAT I HAD AN HOUR TO RESPOND TO THE REPUBLICANS ON THE OTHER SIDE, BUT I…

    THAT I HAD AN HOUR TO RESPOND TO THE REPUBLICANS ON THE OTHER SIDE, BUT I UNDERSTAND OUR STAFF -- OR THE LEADERSHIP STAFF HAS YIELDED BACK 58 MINUTES OF MY HOUR. APPARENTLY, THIS WAS A PROCEDURE AFTER 40 YEARS HERE I WAS NOT AWARE OF, BUT HAVING BEEN SAID, IT'S DONE. LET ME SIMPLY SAY THIS -- WHEN I WAS IN THIRD GRADE, I READ ALL OF DICKENS AND MOST -- AND ALL OF ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON. I REMEMBER TWO WORDS THAT REALLY STRUCK ME DURING THAT TIME, THE WORDS PEDAPHOGERY AND BALDERDASH. I HAVE HEARD MORE PEDAPHOGERY AND BALDERDASH FROM THE OTHER SIDE THIS EVENING THAN I CAN IMAGINE. THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THIS -- THE REPUBLICAN PARTY -- AND MANY OF THEM ARE DEAR FRIENDS OF MINE -- DID A PARTIAL SHUTDOWN OF THE SENATE -- OF THE GOVERNMENT LAST YEAR. IT COST THE TAXPAYERS TENS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS AND ACCOMPLISHED NOTHING. WELL, I SHOULDN'T SAY IT ACCOMPLISHED NOTHING. IT STOPPED CANCER RESEARCH AND A NUMBER OF OTHER THINGS. NOW THEY ARE TRYING THE SAME THING WITH THE FEDERAL JUDICIARY BY TAKING JUDGES THAT HAD PASSED OUT OF THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE UNANIMOUSLY AND DOING WHAT THE REPUBLICANS DID ON THE VERY FIRST, THE VERY FIRST NOMINEE OF PRESIDENT OBAMA'S THAT CAME UP, THEY FILIBUSTERED HIM, SOMETHING THAT HAD NOT BEEN DONE EVER IN MY 40 YEARS HERE WITH EITHER A REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT, EVER. AND THIS WAS A JUDGE SUPPORTED BY THE MOST SENIOR REPUBLICAN IN THE SENATE. SHORTLY AFTER THAT, THE REPUBLICAN LEADER SAID HIS PRIMARY GOAL IS FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA TO FAIL. WELL, UNFORTUNATELY, HE DIDN'T FOR THEM. HE WAS RE-ELECTED RESOUNDINGLY. BUT THEY HAVE NOW ACHIEVED A PARTIAL SHUTDOWN OF THE FEDERAL JUDICIARY BY BLOCKING THESE JUDGES. IT IS BALDERDASH AND PETTIFOGGERY. I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

    Show Full Text
  • 07:04:55 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    ARKANSAS. MR. BOOZMAN: I YIELD BACK THE BALANCE OF MY TIME.

  • 07:04:59 PM

    MR. BOOZMAN

  • 07:05:00 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION, THE TIME IS YIELDED BACK. THE QUESTION OCCURS ON THE NOMINATION…

    OBJECTION, THE TIME IS YIELDED BACK. THE QUESTION OCCURS ON THE NOMINATION --

    Show Full Text
  • 07:05:09 PM

    MR. BOOZMAN

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

    NAYS. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: IS THERE A SUFFICIENT SECOND? THERE APPEARS TO BE. THERE

    Show Full Text
  • 07:05:11 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

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

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

    Show Full Text
  • 07:05:35 PM
  • 07:30:35 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THERE ANY SENATORS WISHING TO VOTE OR WISHING TO CHANGE THEIR VOTE? IF…

    THERE ANY SENATORS WISHING TO VOTE OR WISHING TO CHANGE THEIR VOTE? IF NOT, THE AYES ARE 91. THE NAYS ARE 2. THE NOMINATION IS CONFIRMED. THERE ARE NOW TWO MINUTES EQUALLY DIVIDED PRIOR TO THE NEXT VOTE. THE MAJORITY LEADER. THE SENATE WILL BE IN ORDER. MR. REID: MOTION TO RECONSIDER BE CONSIDERED MADE AND LAID ON THE TABLE.

    Show Full Text
  • 07:31:05 PM

    MR. REID

    MADE AND LAID ON THE TABLE. PRESIDENT OBAMA BE IMMEDIATELY NOTIFIED OF THE…

    MADE AND LAID ON THE TABLE. PRESIDENT OBAMA BE IMMEDIATELY NOTIFIED OF THE SENATE'S ACTION. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION. A

    Show Full Text
  • 07:31:11 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 07:31:15 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    FROM ARKANSAS. MR. PRYOR: MR. PRESIDENT, I RISE TODAY TO ENCOURAGE MY…

    FROM ARKANSAS. MR. PRYOR: MR. PRESIDENT, I RISE TODAY TO ENCOURAGE MY COLLEAGUES TO SUPPORT THE NOMINATION OF JAMES M.

    Show Full Text
  • 07:31:19 PM

    MR. PRYOR

    TO ENCOURAGE MY COLLEAGUES TO SUPPORT THE NOMINATION OF JAMES M. MOODY FOR…

    TO ENCOURAGE MY COLLEAGUES TO SUPPORT THE NOMINATION OF JAMES M. MOODY FOR -- THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THERE WILL BE ORDER IN THE HOUSE. THE

    Show Full Text
  • 07:31:28 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IN THE HOUSE. THE SENATE. AND IN THE HOUSE. MR. PRYOR: THANK YOU, MADAM…

    IN THE HOUSE. THE SENATE. AND IN THE HOUSE. MR. PRYOR: THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. I ENCOURAGE MY COLLEAGUES TO VOTE FOR THE NOMINATION OF JAMES M. MOODY,

    Show Full Text
  • 07:31:32 PM

    MR. PRYOR

    MADAM PRESIDENT?

  • 07:31:54 PM

    MR. LEAHY

  • 07:31:55 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    SENATOR FROM VERMONT. MR. LEAHY: MADAM PRESIDENT, THIS IS JUST ONE MORE OF…

    SENATOR FROM VERMONT. MR. LEAHY: MADAM PRESIDENT, THIS IS JUST ONE MORE OF THOSE JUDGES -- IT IS JUST ONE MORE OF THOSE JUDGES THAT PASSED UNANIMOUSLY FROM THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE. EVERY

    Show Full Text
  • 07:31:57 PM

    MR. LEAHY

    MORE OF THOSE JUDGES -- IT IS JUST ONE MORE OF THOSE JUDGES THAT PASSED…

    MORE OF THOSE JUDGES -- IT IS JUST ONE MORE OF THOSE JUDGES THAT PASSED UNANIMOUSLY FROM THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE. EVERY REPUBLICAN, EVERY DEMOCRAT VOTED FOR HIM AND IT'S BEEN HELD UP AND DELAYED BY REPUBLICANS WHO I'M AFRAID ARE TRYING TO DO THE SAME THING TO THE FEDERAL JUDICIARY THEY DID TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BY CLOSING IT DOWN. I YIELD THE FLOOR. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WHO YIELDS TIME? THE TIME IS YIELDED BACK. THE CLERK

    Show Full Text
  • 07:32:25 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    YIELDS TIME? THE TIME IS YIELDED BACK. THE CLERK WILL REPORT THE MOTION TO…

    YIELDS TIME? THE TIME IS YIELDED BACK. THE CLERK WILL REPORT THE MOTION TO INVOKE CLOTURE. THE CLERK: WE THE UNDERSIGNED SENATORS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF RULE 22 OF THE STANDING RULES OF THE SENATE MOVE TO BRING TO A CLOSE DEBATE ON THE NOMINATION OF JAMES MAXWELL MOODY JR.

    Show Full Text
  • 07:32:43 PM

    THE CLERK

    IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF RULE 22 OF THE STANDING RULES OF THE…

    IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF RULE 22 OF THE STANDING RULES OF THE SENATE MOVE TO BRING TO A CLOSE DEBATE ON THE NOMINATION OF JAMES MAXWELL MOODY JR. OF ARKANSAS TO BE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS, SIGNED BY 18 SENATORS. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: BY UNANIMOUS CONSENT, THE MANDATORY QUORUM CALL HAS BEEN WAIVED.

    Show Full Text
  • 07:33:02 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    CONSENT, THE MANDATORY QUORUM CALL HAS BEEN WAIVED. THE QUESTION IS, IS IT…

    CONSENT, THE MANDATORY QUORUM CALL HAS BEEN WAIVED. THE QUESTION IS, IS IT THE SENSE OF THE SENATE THAT DEBATE ON THE NOMINATION OF JAMES MAXWELL MOODY JR. OF ARKANSAS TO BE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS SHALL BE BROUGHT TO A CLOSE. THE YEAS AND NAYS ARE MANDATORY UNDER THE RULE. THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. VOTE: VOTE:

    Show Full Text
  • 07:33:41 PM
  • 07:53:03 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WISHING TO VOTE OR CHANGE THEIR VOTE? IF NOT, THE YEAS ARE 58, THE NAYS…

    WISHING TO VOTE OR CHANGE THEIR VOTE? IF NOT, THE YEAS ARE 58, THE NAYS ARE 34, ONE SENATOR RESPONDED PRESENT. THE MOTION IS AGREED TO.

    Show Full Text
  • 07:54:30 PM

    MR. PRYOR

  • 07:54:31 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    FROM ARKANSAS. MR. PRYOR: I ASK CONSENT THE SENATE RESUME LEGISLATIVE…

    FROM ARKANSAS. MR. PRYOR: I ASK CONSENT THE SENATE RESUME LEGISLATIVE SESSION. THE PRESIDING

    Show Full Text
  • 07:54:35 PM

    MR. PRYOR

    RESUME LEGISLATIVE SESSION. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR.…

    RESUME LEGISLATIVE SESSION. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR. PRYOR: I ASK

    Show Full Text
  • 07:54:38 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION. MR. PRYOR: I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE SENATE PROCEED TO A…

    OBJECTION. MR. PRYOR: I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE SENATE PROCEED TO A PERIOD OF MORNING BUSINESS WITH SENATORS PERMITTED TO SPEAK THEREIN FOR TEN MINUTES EACH. THE PRESIDING OFFICER:

    Show Full Text
  • 07:54:40 PM

    MR. PRYOR

    PROCEED TO A PERIOD OF MORNING BUSINESS WITH SENATORS PERMITTED TO SPEAK…

    PROCEED TO A PERIOD OF MORNING BUSINESS WITH SENATORS PERMITTED TO SPEAK THEREIN FOR TEN MINUTES EACH. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR. PRYOR: I ASK

    Show Full Text
  • 07:54:46 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION. MR. PRYOR: I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE SENATE PROCEED TO THE…

    OBJECTION. MR. PRYOR: I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE SENATE PROCEED TO THE CONSIDERATION OF S. RES.

    Show Full Text
  • 07:54:49 PM

    MR. PRYOR

    SENATE PROCEED TO THE CONSIDERATION OF S. RES. 360 WHICH WAS SUBMITTED…

    SENATE PROCEED TO THE CONSIDERATION OF S. RES. 360 WHICH WAS SUBMITTED EARLIER TODAY. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL REPORT. THE CLERK: S. RES.

    Show Full Text
  • 07:54:57 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 07:54:59 PM

    THE CLERK

    AUTHORIZE TESTIMONY AND REPRESENTATION IN UNITED STATES VS. ONSTAD. THE…

    AUTHORIZE TESTIMONY AND REPRESENTATION IN UNITED STATES VS. ONSTAD. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: IS THERE OBJECTION TO PROCEEDING TO THE MEASURE? WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR.

    Show Full Text
  • 07:55:07 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PROCEEDING TO THE MEASURE? WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR. PRYOR: I ASK UNANIMOUS…

    PROCEEDING TO THE MEASURE? WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR. PRYOR: I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE RESOLUTION BE AGREED TO, THE PREAMBLE BE AGREED TO, AND THE MOTIONS TO RECONSIDER BE LAID UPON THE TABLE WITH NO INTERVENING ACTION OR DEBATE.

    Show Full Text
  • 07:55:11 PM

    MR. PRYOR

    THE RESOLUTION BE AGREED TO, THE PREAMBLE BE AGREED TO, AND THE MOTIONS TO…

    THE RESOLUTION BE AGREED TO, THE PREAMBLE BE AGREED TO, AND THE MOTIONS TO RECONSIDER BE LAID UPON THE TABLE WITH NO INTERVENING ACTION OR DEBATE.

    Show Full Text
  • 07:55:20 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION. MR. PRYOR: I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT WHEN THE SENATE…

    OBJECTION. MR. PRYOR: I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT WHEN THE SENATE COMPLETES ITS BUSINESS TODAY IT ADJOURN UNTIL 10:00 A.M.

    Show Full Text
  • 07:55:24 PM

    MR. PRYOR

    CONSENT THAT WHEN THE SENATE COMPLETES ITS BUSINESS TODAY IT ADJOURN UNTIL…

    CONSENT THAT WHEN THE SENATE COMPLETES ITS BUSINESS TODAY IT ADJOURN UNTIL 10:00 A.M. ON TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2014, FOLLOWING THE PRAYER AND PLEDGE, THE JOURNAL BE APPROVED TO DATE, AND THE TIME FOR THE TWO LEADERS BE RESEARCHED FOR THEIR USE LATER IN THE DAY, FOLLOWING ANY LEADER REMARKS THE SENATE WILL BE IN A PERIOD OF MORNING BUSINESS UNTIL 11:05 WITH SENATORS PERMITTED TO SPEAK THEREIN FOR UP TO 10 MINUTES EACH WITH THE TIME EQUALLY DIVIDED AND CONTROLLED BETWEEN THE TWO LEADERS OR THEIR DESIGNEES WITH MAJORITY CONTROLLING THE FIRST HALF AND THE REPUBLICANS CONTROLLING THE FINAL HALF, AND THAT AT 11:05 A.M. THE SENATE RESUME EXECUTIVE SESSION TO CONSIDER THE NOMINATION OF JAMES MOODY TO BE U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE IN ARKANSAS WITH THE TIME UNTIL 11: 15 EQUALLY DIVIDED AND CONTROLLED IN THE USUAL FORM AND THAT FOLLOWING DISPOSITION OF THE FREEMAN NOMINATION AND THE RESUMPTION OF LEGISLATIVE SESSION, THE SENATE RECESS UNTIL 2:15 FOM ALLOW FOR THE WEEKLY CAUCUS MEETINGS. AT 2:15 THERE WILL BE UP TO 30 MINUTES OF DEBATE, EQUALLY DIVIDED AND CONTROLLED BY THE TWO LEADERS AND THEIR DESIGNEES PRIOR TO THE CLOTURE VOTE ON THE MOTION TO PROCEED ON S. 1892, THE VETERANS' BENEFITS BILL. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION.

    Show Full Text
  • 07:56:49 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 07:56:50 PM

    MR. PRYOR

    THE SENATE STANDS ADJOURNED

  • 07:57:04 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    STANDS ADJOURNED

Briefings for February 24, 2014

  • No Briefings Covered
View all Congressional News Conferences

Hearings for February 24, 2014

Today
  • No Hearings Covered
View All Senate Hearings

Statistics

115th Congress - Senate
Total Hours: 2039 (After 654 days)
  • Debate1175 Hours
  • Quorum Calls474 Hours
  • Votes333 Hours

Click a category within the legend to toggle its visibility.

Source: Resume of Congressional Activity (senate.gov)