Senate Passes Resolution Opposing Russian Offer to Question U.S. Officials, 98-0
Senate Session - July 12, 2018

The Senate confirmed Paul Ney's nomination for Defense Department general counsel.

Speakers:
Time
Action
  • 10:00:28 AM

    TEMPORE

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

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

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  • 10:02:05 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

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

    PLEASE JOIN ME IN RECITING THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO OUR FLAG. I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AND TO THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. .

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  • 10:02:52 AM

    MR. McCONNELL

  • 10:08:43 AM

    MEANS

    TO ATTACK OR DEFEAT A NOMINEE OR CANDIDATE FOR PUBLIC OFFICE UNFAIRLY…

    TO ATTACK OR DEFEAT A NOMINEE OR CANDIDATE FOR PUBLIC OFFICE UNFAIRLY THROUGH AN ORGANIZED CAMPAIGN OF HARSH PUBLIC CRITICISM ORVILLEIFICATION -- OR VILIFICATION. TO BE BORKED IS NOW IN THE DICTIONARY. COMPLETELY UNFAIR VILIFICATION. LOOKING BACK, MOST PEOPLE AGREE NOW THAT THIS EPISODE WAS GROSSLY, GROSSLY UNFAIR, INSULTED THE INTELLIGENCE OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND STAINED THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE. JEFFREY ROSEN WAS A DEMOCRAT WHO WORKED IN SENATOR BIDEN'S OFFICE ON THE DEMOCRAT SIDE DURING THAT EPISODE. HERE'S WHAT HE WROTE A FEW YEARS AGO. HE SAID I REMEMBER FEELING THAT THE NOMINEE WAS BEING TREATED UNFAIRLY. SENATOR KENNEDY SET THE TONE WITH A DEMAGOGIC ATTACK. BORK'S RECORD WAS DISTORTED BEYOND RECOGNITION. IT WAS BAD FOR THE COUNTRY. THIS WAS A MAN NAMED JEFFREY ROSEN, A DEMOCRAT WHO WORKED IN SENATOR BIDEN'S OFFICE DURING THIS EPISODE. AND HERE'S WHAT A LAWYER WHO HELPED LEAD THE ANTI-BORK EFFORT WROTE JUST LAST YEAR. I REGRET, HE SAID, I REGRET MY PART IN WHAT I NOW REGARD AS A TERRIBLE POLITICAL MISTAKE. SEIZED WITH GUILT AFTER ALL THESE YEARS OF HAVING PARTICIPATED IN THIS BORKING. BECAUSE OF THAT EPISODE, HE GOES ON,, QUOTE, WE HAVE UNDERMINED PUBLIC CONFIDENCE IN THE JUDICIARY. SO THERE'S WIDESPREAD AND BIPARTISAN AGREEMENT THAT TRYING TO BORK JUDICIAL NOMINEES IS HARMFUL TO OUR DEMOCRATIC PROCESS AND TO OUR JUDICIARY. JUDGE KAVANAUGH'S IMPRESSIVE RECORD, IMPECCABLE CREDENTIALS, AND HIS ENORMOUS BIPARTISAN FAN CLUB OF JUDICIAL PEERS AND LEGAL SCHOLARS ALL ATTEST TO THE OUTSTANDING SERVICE HE WOULD RENDER ON THE SUPREME COURT. I'M GLAD THAT OUTSIDE FACT CHECKERS ARE ALREADY SWATTING DOWN DEMOCRATS' DESPERATE ATTACKS ON HIS NOMINATION. IN A BREAKING NEWS BOMBSHELL REPORT JUST LAST NIGHT, WE LEARNED THAT JUDGE KAVANAUGH ENJOYS AMERICA'S PAST TIME. INVESTIGATIVE REPORTERS SCOURED HIS FINANCIAL DISCLOSURES AND LEARNED THAT HE AND HIS FRIENDS BUY TICKETS TO BASEBALL GAMES AND THAT HE PAYS HIS BILLS. SO THERE'S STILL PLENTY OF SILLINESS TO GO AROUND. I URGE EVERY ONE OF MY COLLEAGUES TO TREAT JUDGE KAVANAUGH'S RECORD TRUTHFULLY, TREAT THE CONFIRMATION PROCESS WITH THE RESPECT THAT IT AND THIS INSTITUTION IN WHICH WE SERVE DESERVES. WE NEED TO ACT LIKE A RESPONSIBLE UNITED STATES SENATE. GOING THROUGH A CONFIRMATION PROCESS TO THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT. NOW, MADAM PRESIDENT, ON ANOTHER MATTER, WHILE JUDGE KAVANAUGH'S NOMINATION HAS FILLED UP THE HEADLINES THIS WEEK, THE SENATE CONTINUED TO ATTEND TO IMPORTANT BUSINESS. YESTERDAY THE SENATE VOTED TO PROCEED TO CONFERENCE WITH THE HOUSE ON THE FIRST THREE OF THIS YEAR'S APPROPRIATIONS BILL. I UNDERSTAND THE CONFEREES ARE PLANNING TO MEET AS SOON AS TODAY. THE DAY BEFORE WE VOTED TO GO TO CONFERENCE ON THIS YEAR'S DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION BILL, AND SOON WE'LL DO THE SAME WITH RESPECT TO THE FARM BILL. I'M PROUD THAT WE'RE CONTINUING TO DELIVER ON OUR COMMITMENT TO BRING REGULAR ORDER BACK TO THE APPROPRIATIONS PROCESS ALONG WITH ATTENDING TO THE NEEDS OF OUR ARMED FORCES AND CONFIRMING MORE OF THE PRESIDENT'S NOMINEES. LET'S KEEP THIS MOMENTUM GOING. I HOPE THE COLLABORATIVE BIPARTISAN APPROACH OF CHAIRMAN SHELBY AND SENATOR LEAHY AND OUR SUBCOMMITTEE CHAIRMEN HAVE BROUGHT TO THE APPROPRIATIONS PROCESS WILL CONTINUE TO CHARACTERIZE OUR PROGRESS HERE ON THE FLOOR AS WELL. WITH CONTINUED HARD WORK AND STEADY COOPERATION, WE CAN ACHIEVE OUR SHARED GOAL OF FUNDING OUR GOVERNMENT THROUGH THE REGULAR APPROPRIATIONS PROCESS. NOW BE -- NOW ONE FINAL MATTER, THE EVIDENCE KEEPS MOUNTING THAT WITH REPUBLICANS AT THE HELM IN THE WHITE HOUSE, THE HOUSE AND SENATE, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE ENJOYING WHAT AMOUNTS TO THE MOST PROWORKER, OPPORTUNITY ECONOMIC MOMENT IN RECENT HISTORY. ALREADY IN 2018, THE NUMBER OF AMERICANS WHO SAY IT'S A GOOD TIME TO FIND A QUALITY JOB HAS RISEN TO ITS HIGHEST LEVEL IN AT LEAST 17 YEARS OF DATA ON RECORD. THE JOBS REPORT RELEASED LAST WEEK SHOWED IN JUNE THAT THE RATE OF HIRING THROUGHOUT THE U.S. HIT AN 11-YEAR HIGH. AND INTERESTINGLY, AMERICAN WORKERS VOLUNTARILY -- VOLUNTARILY LEFT THEIR JOBS AT THE HIGHEST RATE IN 17 YEARS. WHAT THAT MEANS IS -- AND I'D LIKE TO DRILL DOWN ON THAT POINT FOR A MOMENT -- IS THAT DURING THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, WE HEARD A GREAT DEAL OF TALK FROM OUR DEMOCRATIC FRIENDS ABOUT A PHENOMENON THEY CALLED JOB LOCK. THE IDEA WAS THAT MANY WORKERS WERE TRAPPED IN JOBS THAT DID NOT PAY ENOUGH OR DIDN'T TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF THEIR SKILLS BECAUSE THERE WEREN'T ENOUGH OPEN OPPORTUNITIES TO JUSTIFY TAKING THE LEAP AND LOOKING FOR A BETTER POSITION. WELL, REPUBLICANS AGREED WITH OUR DEMOCRATIC COLLEAGUES THAT WE COULD BUILD A BETTER ECONOMY FOR MIDDLE-CLASS WORKERS. WE JUST DIDN'T THINK THE TAX INCREASES AND MASSIVE NEW REGULATIONS WERE THE WAY TO DO IT. AND NOW FOLLOWING A YEAR AND A HALF OF REPUBLICAN POLICIES INCLUDING HISTORIC TAX REFORM, THE VOLUNTARY QUIT RATE HIT 17-YEAR HIGH. WORKERS NOW FEEL FREE TO CLIMB UP THE LADDER AND MOVE ON TO BIGGER AND BETTER THINGS. JUST ONE MORE DATA POINT. THIS ECONOMY IS THRIVING, AND REPUBLICANS' BOLD AGENDA IS HELPING MAKE IT HAPPEN.

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  • 10:16:26 AM

    CALL

  • 10:16:27 AM

    Quorum Call

  • 10:30:01 AM

    CALL

  • 10:30:02 AM

    Quorum Call

  • 10:45:11 AM

    CALL

  • 10:45:12 AM

    Quorum Call

  • 10:59:54 AM

    CALL

    A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT.

  • 10:59:55 AM

    Quorum Call

  • 11:07:49 AM

    MR. CARDIN

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH. MADAM PRESIDENT, I RISE TODAY TO DISCUSS A TOPIC FAR…

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH. MADAM PRESIDENT, I RISE TODAY TO DISCUSS A TOPIC FAR TOO MANY OF MY COLLEAGUES ALSO HAD TO FACE, YET ANOTHER FATAL MASS SHOOTING IN THEIR STATE. THIS TIME, IT WAS IN ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND, OUR STATE CAPITAL. EXACTLY TWO WEEKS AGO ON JUNE 28 AT ABOUT 2:30 P.M., A 38-YEAR-OLD MAN WHO HAD A LONG-STANDING GRUDGE AGAINST THE "CAPITAL GAZETTE" NEWSPAPER MADE GOOD ON HIS SWORN THREATS. HE ENTERED THE NEWSPAPER OFFICES, HEADED TO THE NEWSROOM, AND BY THE TIME HE WAS DONE, HE HAD SHOT AND KILLED FIVE EMPLOYEES OF THIS COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER. "THE CAPITAL GAZETTE" IS THE LOCAL PAPER OF RECORD IN ANNAPOLIS. IT IS ONE OF THE OLDEST CONTINUOUSLY PUBLISHED NEWSPAPERS IN THE UNITED STATES. IT TRACES ITS ROOTS BACK TO THE "MARYLAND GAZETTE" AND" THE CAPITAL" WAS FOUNDED IN 1884. THIS LOSS OF LIFE IS PERSONAL TO SO MANY IN ANNAPOLIS AND AROUND OUR STATE. YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT "THE CAPITAL GAZETTE" IS AS MUCH A PART OF THE FABRIC OF ANNAPOLIS AS THE STATE GOVERNMENT IT COVERS. IT IS PERHAPS EMBODIED IN THOMAS JEFFERSON'S FAMOUS QUOTE -- WERE IT LEFT TO ME TO DECIDE WHETHER WE SHOULD HAVE A GOVERNMENT WITHOUT NEWSPAPERS OR A NEWSPAPER WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, I SHOULD NOT HESITATE A MOMENT TO PREFER THE LATTER. SO JUST TWO WEEKS AGO, A MAN WITH A SHOTGUN, A MAN WHO HAD MADE KNOWN HIS THREATS AGAINST THIS PAPER PURPOSELY ENTERED THE BUILDING WHICH HOUSES "THE CAPITAL GAZETTE" TO KILL PEOPLE. LET ME TAKE A MOMENT TO MOURN THOSE LOST AND TO THANK THE FIRST RESPONDERS WHO FIRST APPEARED ON THE SCENE LITERALLY 60 SECONDS AFTER THE FIRST 9/11 CALL. LOCATION MEANS EVERYTHING IN SO MANY AREAS. THIS DAY TWO WEEKS AGO, THE FACT THAT THERE WERE RURNL RURNL POLICE OFFICERS DOWN THE STREET FROM "THE CAPITAL GAZETTE" OFFICES DOWN THE STREET AT THE TIME THE SHOOTING STARTED MOST DEFINITELY SAVED LIVES. ACCORDING TO THE ANNAPOLIS POLICE CHIEF TIMOTHY ALTEMEYER, WITHIN TWO MINUTES, THE ANNAPOLIS POLICE DEPARTMENT, THE ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT RUSHED INTO THE OFFICES AND INTO THE NEWSROOM TO APPREHEND THE GUNMAN. STATE AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT PRESENCE INCLUDING THE F.B.I., A.T.F., AND MANY OTHERS SOON ARRIVED TO SUPPORT LOCAL OFFICIALS IN THEIR EFFORTS TO CLEAR THE BUILDING AND METICULOUSLY INVESTIGATE THE SCENE. I WANT TO THANK EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THOSE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS FROM THE INDIVIDUALS WHO RUSHED INTO THE NEWSROOM, NOT KNOWING WHAT DANGER THEY MIGHT ENCOUNTER TO THOSE HELPING TO GET OTHERS TO SAFETY, THOSE GATHERING EVIDENCE TO ENSURE NOTHING WAS LOST IN THE BUSTLE AND CHAOS OF THE MOMENT TO THOSE DIVERTING TRAFFIC SO PEOPLE COULD BE SAFELY EVACUATED AND THE INVESTIGATORS COULD DO THEIR JOB SAFELY. I THANK EACH AND EVERY PROFESSIONAL WHO DID THEIR JOB AND CONTRIBUTED TO THIS EMERGENCY RESPONSE. WE SAY OFTEN THAT OUR FIRST RESPONDERS WHEN WE RUN FROM TROUBLE, THEY RUN TO IT IN ORDER TO SAVE OUR LIVES. THE MANNER IN WHICH THESE FIRST RESPONDERS HANDLED THIS ASSIGNMENT UNDER EXTREME CIRCUMSTANCES, WE OWE THEM OUR THANKS AND OUR ADMIRATION. UNFORTUNATELY, WHEN FACED WITH AN INDIVIDUAL INTENT ON KILLING, LIVES WERE LOST DESPITE THE SWIFT RESPONSE BY LAW ENFORCEMENT. AMONG THEM WAS GERALD FISCHMAN, 61, WHO WAS AN EDITOR WITH MORE THAN 25 YEARS OF SERVICE WITH "THE CAPITAL GAZETTE QQ HE WAS KNOWN AT THE NEWSPAPER AND THROUGHOUT THE COMMUNITY FOR HIS BRILLIANT MIND AND WRITING. MOST OFTEN, IT WAS HIS VOICE AND INSIGHTFULNESS THAT CAME THROUGH ON THE EDITORIAL PAGES OF "THE CAPITAL GAZETTE." FISCHMAN WAS DESCRIBED AS SOMEONE WHOSE LIFE WAS COMMITTED TO PROTECTING OUR COMMUNITY BY TELLING HARD TRUTHS. ROB HIAASEN, 59, AS A COLUMNIST, EDITOR, TEACHER, AND STORYTELLER WHO BROUGHT COMPASSION AND HUMOR TO HIS COMMUNITY-FOCUSED REPORTING. ROB WAS DESCRIBED AS THE COACH AND MENTOR TO MANY. ACCORDING TO FORMER ""BALTIMORE SUN """ COLUMNIST SUSAN RYMER, HE WAS SO HAPPY WORKING WITH YOUNG JOURNALISTS, HE WANTED TO CREATE A NEWSROOM WHERE EVERYONE WAS GROWING. JOHN McNAMARA, 56, WAS A SKILLED WRITER AND AVID SPORTS FAN. HE COMBINED THESE PASSIONS IN HIS 24-YEAR CAREER AS A SPORTS REPORTER AT "THE CAPITAL GAZETTE." FORMER SPORTS EDITOR JERRY JACKSON SAID OF McIN A MARCH A, HE COULD WRITE, HE COULD EDIT, HE COULD DESIGN PAGES. HE WAS JUST A JACK-OF-ALL-TRADES AND A FANTASTIC PERSON. REBECCA SMITH, AGE 34, WHO WAS A NEWLY HIRED SALES ASSISTANT KNOWN FOR HER KINDNESS, COMPASSION, AND LOVE FOR HER FAMILY. BECCA WAS DESCRIBED BY A FRIEND OF HERS -- A FRIEND OF HER FIANCEE AS THE ABSOLUTE MOST BEAUTIFUL PERSON WITH THE BIGGEST HEART AND CALLED HER DEATH A GREAT LOSS TO TH WORLD. WENDI WINTERS, AGE 65, WAS A TALENTED WRITER. BUILT HER CAREER ON A PUBLIC RELATIONS PROFESSION AND JOURNALIST. SHE WAS WELL KNOWN FOR HER REPORTING ON THE LIVES AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF PEOPLE WITHIN THE COMMUNITY. SHE WAS A PROUD NAVY MOM AND DAUGHTER. AS WE LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DETAILS OF THE SHOOTING FROM THE SURVIVORS, IT IS CLEAR THAT WENDI HERSELF SAVED LIVES DURING THE ATTACK. ACCORDING TO "THE CAPITAL GAZETTE"'S EDITORIAL THAT RAN THIS PAST TUESDAY, WENDI CONFRONTED AND DISTRACTED THE GUNMAN WITH WHATEVER SHE COULD FIND AROUND HER. THE PAPER NOTED THAT WENDI DIED PROTECTING HER FRIENDS, BUT ALSO IN DEFIANCE OF HER NEWSROOM FROM THE MURDEROUS ASSAULT. WENDI DIED PROTECTING FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. MY HEARTFELT CONDOLENCES AND PRAYERS CONTINUE TO GO OUT TO THE FAMILIES OF THOSE WHO WERE KILLED IN THIS ATTACK. THEY DO NOT SEND THEIR LOVED ONES OFF TO WORK THAT DAY KNOWING IT WILL BE THE LAST DAY THAT THEY WOULD SEE THEM ALIVE. IT ISN'T RIGHT, AND IT JEFFREY SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED. THE SURVIVING STAFF MEMBERS ALSO DESERVE OUR PRAISE FOR THEIR RESILIENCE AND DEDICATION TO THEIR MISSION AS JOURNALISTS AND RESPECT FOR THE FALLEN COLLEAGUES. DURING AND AFTER THE ATTACK, STAFF CONTINUED TO REPORT BY TWEETS, SHARING INFORMATION TO THOSE OUTSIDE, TAKING PHOTOS AND DOCUMENTING INFORMATION AS THEY COULD AT OTHER CRIME SCENES. DESPITE THE GRIEF, SHOCK, ANGER, AND MOURNING, SURVIVING STAFF WITH THE HELP FROM THEIR SISTER PUBLICATION "THE BALTIMORE SUN," "CAPITAL GAZETTE" AND OTHER REPORTERS WHO WANTED TO LEND A HAND IN HELPING JOURNALISTS, THEY PUT OUT A PAPER THE FOLLOWING DAY, FRIDAY, AND THEY HAVE DONE SO EVERY DAY SINCE. THIS WAS KNOWN AS GRACE UNDER PRESSURE. FITTINGLY, THE EDITORIAL PAGE THE DAY AFTER THE SHOOTING WAS PURPOSELY LEFT BLANK WITH JUST A FEW WORDS. THE FEW WORDS WERE TODAY WE ARE SPEECHLESS. THIS PAGE IS INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK TO COMMEMORATE THE VICTIMS OF THURSDAY'S SHOOTING AT OUR OFFICE. THE STAFF PROMISED THAT ON SATURDAY, THE PAGE WOULD RETURN TO ITS STEADY PURPOSE OF OFFERING OUR READERS INFORMED OPINIONS ABOUT THE WORLD AROUND THEM, AND THEY MIGHT -- AND THAT THEY MIGHT BE BETTER CITIZENS. IT HAS BEEN INCREDIBLE TO WITNESS THE RESILIENCE OF "THE CAPITAL GAZETTE" STAFF, THE CITY OF ANNAPOLIS AND AN RUNEDLE COUNTY. I WANT TO REPEAT SOMETHING FROM "THE CAPITAL GAZETTE." WENDI DIED PROTECTING HER FRIENDS BUT ALSO IN DEFIANCE OF A NEWSROOM UNDER MURDEROUS ASSAULT. WENDI DIED PROTECTING THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. AS AMERICANS WE HAVE A CERTAIN RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES GRANTED TO US THROUGH THE CONSTITUTION WHICH ESTABLISHES THE RULE OF LAW IN THIS COUNTRY. FREEDOM OF THE PRESS IS CENTRAL TO THE VERY FIRST AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION, AND IT IS -- HAS OFTEN BEEN FLAGRANTLY UNDER ATTACK SINCE OUR NATION'S FOUNDING. TODAY THOSE ATTACKS HAVE BECOME MORE FREQUENT AND LITERAL SPURRED ON BY DANGEROUS RHETORIC THAT HAS AN OPEN SEASON PREVENTING THE MEDIA FROM DOING THEIR JOB, INVESTIGATING THE STORIES THAT NEEDED TO BE UNCOVERED AND BRINGING TRANSPARENCY TO THE HAAS OF POWER WHETHER THEY ARE IN ANNAPOLIS, WASHINGTON, D.C., OR ELSEWHERE AROUND THE WORLD. JOURNALISTS, LIKE ALL AMERICANS, SHOULD BE FREE FROM THE FEAR OF BEING VIOLENTLY ATTACKED WHILE DOING THEIR JOB. ON THIS DAY TWO WEEKS AGO, JUST AS THE PUBLIC WAS LEARNING ABOUT THE SHOOTING AT "THE CAPITAL GAZETTE," I STOPPED INTO A MEETING THAT MY STAFFERS WERE HAVING WITH A GROUP OF STUDENTS ABOUT GUN VIOLENCE AND SCHOOL SAFETY. SINCE WHAT HAPPENED IN PARKLAND AND THE EPISODE IN MY OWN STATE, I HAVE BEEN MEETING WITH STUDENTS ON A FREQUENT BASIS TO HEAR THEIR CONCERNS. IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES THE STUDENTS HAVE EXPRESSED TO ME THEIR FEAR AND FRUSTRATION AS TO THE SAFETY WITHIN THEIR SCHOOLS. SOME ARE ANGRY AND ALL WANT TO KNOW WHEN ADULTS WILL FINALLY START ACTING LIKE ADULTS AND DO SOMETHING TO KEEP THEM AND THEIR COUNTRY FACE. WITHOUT FAIL STUDENTS HAVE TOLD ME THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE SIMPLY NOT ENOUGH. THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS WILL NOT PROTECT THEM FROM BULLETS AND THEY WANT CONGRESS TO ACT. SOME OF MY COLLEAGUES HAVE BROUGHT INTO THE FALSE RHETORIC THAT THERE'S NOTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT THE RANDOM ACTS OF GUN VIOLENCE. STUDENTS IN MARYLAND AND AND YOUR THE COUNTRY KNOW THIS IS NOT TRUE. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ALSO KNOW THIS IS NOT TRUE. A RECENT CNN POLL FOUND THAT 70 AMERICANS BACK STRONGER GUN SAFETY LAWS. CONGRESS MUST ACT NOW TO ADDRESS THE EPIDEMIC OF GUN VIOLENCE. WE CAN BAN BUMP STOCKS NOW. LET US ASSURE THAT ALL GUN PURCHASES HAVE COMPLETED BACKGROUND CHECKS. MADAM PRESIDENT, I UNDERSTAND THE WEAPON USED IN THE ANAP SIS SHOOTING WAS A SHOOT GUN. IT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN COVERED UNDER THE NEW LAWS. BUT IF WE PASS SENSIBLE BEGUN SAFETY -- GUN SAFETY LAWS, WE WILL SAVE LIVES. I DO WANT TO SAY CLEARLY THAT DOING SOMETHING DOES NOT MEAN ARMING EDUCATORS OR BRINGING MORE ARMS INTO OUR SCHOOLS. TEACHERS ARE HIRED TO TEACH, NOT TO BE SECURITY GUARDS. INSTEAD OF PUTTING GUNS IN THE HANDS OF EDUCATORS, WE NEED TO GET THEM OUT OF THE HANDS OF ATTACKERS IN THE FIRST PLACE. LET ME CONCLUDE WITH THESE WORDS OF ONE OF THE SURVIVORS OF "THE CAPITAL GAZETTE" SHOOTING. ARE SHE SHARED HER THOUGHTS ON THE JULY 1 OPINION PIECE. SHE SHARED PRETTY SUCCINCTLY WHAT SHE THINKS NEEDS TO HAPPEN NEXT IN THIS COUNTRY. SHE WROTE, I WATCHED JOHN MCNAMARA DIE, I HAD TO STEP OVER WENTI WINTERS TO ESCAPE. WHAT I WANT IS ACTION. I -- I'M NOT JUST TALKING TO THE PRESIDENT OR OUR GOVERNOR OR OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS, I'M TALKING TO EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THIS NATION. WE MUST DO BETTER. WE MUST VOTE BETTER. WE MUST PUSH FOR LEGISLATION SO THIS DOESN'T FEEL NORMAL. ROB HASSAN, GERALD FISHMAN, REBECCA SMITH, AND WENDY WINTERS IS DEAD BECAUSE OF SHOOTINGS THAT I HAVE LIVED THROUGH. THE MAN BOUGHT THIS GUN LEGALLY. HIS RECORD OF STALKING HAD BEEN EXPUNGED. EVEN IF HE HADN'T BEEN HE COULD HAVE BOUGHT THE GUN HE USED. THIS SHNOT POLITICAL. I'M NOT ASKING FOR CHANGE AS A LIBERAL MEDIA PUPPET. I'M ASKING FOR SOMETHING TO BE DONE FOR THE SAKE OF OUR HUMANITY. I THINK, QUITE FRANKLY, SELENA IS SPEAKING FOR MANY, MANY PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY. WE NEED TO ACT FOR REBECCA, WENDI, JOHN, GERALD, AND JOHN, AND THOUSANDS WHO HAVE BEEN LOST TO NEEDLESS GUN VIOLENCE, CONGRESS MUST ACT. WE NEED TO PROTECT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WHICH IS PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT TASK WE HAVE AS LAWMAKERS MANY WE CANNOT STAND BY AND PRETEND WE ARE HELPLESS AND POWERLESS TO PREVENT A TRAGEDY. WE CAN DO SOMETHING POWERFUL TODAY. WITH THAT, MR. PRESIDENT, I SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

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  • 11:20:46 AM

    CALL

  • 11:20:47 AM

    Quorum Call

  • 11:30:17 AM

    CALL

  • 11:33:19 AM

    MR. VAN HOLLEN

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I RISE TODAY TO HONOR THE VICTIMS AND THE…

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I RISE TODAY TO HONOR THE VICTIMS AND THE SURVIVORS OF THE TERRIBLE SHOOTING AT THE CAPITAL GAZETTE NEWSPAPER THAT OCCURRED ON JUNE 28. AND I WANT TO THANK MY FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE, SENATOR CARDIN FOR HIS REMARKS EARLIER TODAY ON THIS FLOOR AND THANK THE SENATE FOR TAKING UP A RESOLUTION IN MEMORY OF THE VICTIMS. OUR STATE OF MARYLAND AND THE COUNTRY WERE HORRIFIED BY THE TRAGIC ATTACKS ON ONE OF OUR GREAT MARYLAND INSTITUTIONS, "THE CAPITAL GAZETTE" NEWSPAPER, THE LOCAL NEWSPAPER OF OUR STATE CAPITOL IN ANNAPOLIS THAT HAS BEEN OPERATING SINCE 1827. IT IS YOUR QUINTESSENTIAL SMALLTOWN NEWSPAPER THAT SERVES ANNAPOLIS, SERVES ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, BUT IS ALSO A NEWSPAPER READ THROUGHOUT THE STATE OF MARYLAND. IN THAT AWFUL SHOOTING, WE LOST FIVE MEMBERS OF "THE CAPITAL GAZETTE." GERALD PHISHMAN, ROB HIAASEN, JOHN MCNAMARA, WENDI WINTERS AND REBECCA SMITH. GERALD PHISHMAN WAS AN EDITORIAL PAPER. HE SHED LIGHT ON COMMUNITY ISSUES. HE WAS WELL KNOWN FOR HIS INSEICHABLE CURIOSITY AND HIS LOVE FOR FAMILY AND HIS TALENT OF WRITING EXTENDED TO POEMS HE COMPOSED FOR HIS WIFE, ERICA. ROB HIAASEN WAS A BIG MAN WITH A BIG PRESENCE WHO APPLIED HIS CONSIDERABLE SKILLS AS A JOURNALIST TO MENTOR OTHERS, BUT FELLOW REPORTERS AND STUDENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND COLLEGE OF JOURNALISM. HE GAVE OF HIS TIME AND HE GAVE OF HIS TALENT. JOHN MCNAMARA WAS A SPORTS WRITER AND SPORTS FAN, BIG FAN OF THE UNIVERSE R UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND TERPS. HE COVERED EVERYTHING FROM THE ORIOLES TO LOCAL LITTLE LEAGUE. HE WAS ALSO ALWAYS GENEROUS WITH HIS TIME AND KNOWN TO MANY WHO FOLLOW SPORTS AROUND THE COUNTRY. SALES ASSISTANT REBECCA SMITH WAS STRONG AND SMART AND A FIXTURE AT HER FIANCE DWAYNE'S SOFTBALL TOURNAMENTS. SHE WAS ALSO KNOWN TO BE UNFLAILINGLY KIND AND ALWAYS SOMEBODY WHO TOOK THE TIME TO MAKE PEOPLE FEEL AT HOME AT THE GAZETTE. WENDI WINTERS HAD A GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR AND AN INCREDIBLE ABILITY TO PULL STORIES OUT OF JUST ABOUT ANYONE. HER COLLEAGUES SAY SHE CHARGED AT THE SHOOTER, DISPLAYING THE BRAVERY AND DETERMINATION THAT SHE HAD SO MANY TIMES BEFORE IN HER LIFE IN SAVING THE LIVES OF OTHERS AT THE NEWSPAPER IN THE PROCESS. MR. PRESIDENT, COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS LIKE "THE CAPITAL" ARE MORE THAN JUST SOURCES OF NEWS. THEY REPRESENT THE LIFEBLOOD OF OUR COMMUNITIES AROUND THE COUNTRY AND OF OUR NATION. THEY REPORT ON EVERYTHING, BIG ISSUES AND SMALL ISSUES BECAUSE NO ISSUE IS TOO SMALL IF IT AFFECTS PEOPLE IN A PARTICULAR COMMUNITY. I THINK ALL OF US KNOW THAT THESE ARE THE REPORTERS THAT STAY OUT LATE AT LOCAL COUNCIL MEETINGS. THEY ARE THE FOLKS WHO ARE AT THE P.T.A. MEETINGS. THEY ARE THE FOLKS WHO ARE BUSY COLLECTING NEWS THAT'S IMPORTANT TO PEOPLE IN A LOCAL COMMUNITY. AND THIS IS A NEWSPAPER THAT HAS BEEN AT THIS FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS. MR. PRESIDENT, EVEN AFTER THAT AWFUL SHOOTING THAT DAY, THE NEXT DAY "THE CAPITAL GAZETTE" PUT OUT A NEWSPAPER. THEY PUT OUT A NEWSPAPER AS THEY HAVE EVERY DAY SINCE THEN WITH THE HELP OF FELLOW JOURNALISTS AT "BALTIMORE SUN" AND ELSEWHERE. THEY PUT OUT A NEWSPAPER THAT TALKED ABOUT THE TERRIBLE SHOOTING THAT THEY EXPERIENCED AT "THE CAPITAL GAZETTE" AND A NUMBER THAT REMEMBERED THE VICTIMS AND THANKED THE FIRST RESPONDERS. MR. PRESIDENT, I DO ALSO WANT TO SALUTE THE FIRST RESPONDERS, AN INCREDIBLE AND BRAVE RESPONSE FROM LOCAL, STATE, AND FEDERAL AGENCIES. AT THE LOCAL LEVEL THEY WERE ON THE SCENE WITHIN 60 TO 90 SECONDS. HAD THAT NOT HAPPENED, YOU WOULD HAVE EVEN MORE THAN THE TERRIBLE LOSS THAT WE SAW THAT AWFUL DAY. MR. PRESIDENT, IT ALSO SHOULD CAUSE ALL OF US TO THINK AGAIN ABOUT MEASURES WE CAN TAKE IN OUR COMMUNITIES, IN OUR STATES, AND AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL ABOUT STOPPING THE VIOLENCE. ONE OF THE VICTIMS, GERALD FISCHMAN WHO HAD BEEN AN EDITORIAL WRITER THERE HAD WRITTEN EARLIER IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE TERRIBLE SHOOTING AT THE PULSE NIGHTCLUB IN ORLANDO. HERE'S WHAT GERALD FISCHMAN WROTE AT THAT TIME. QUOTE, OF ALL THE WORDS THIS WEEK, HOPELESSNESS MAY BE THE MOST DANGEROUS. WE MUST BELIEVE THERE IS A SOLUTION, A WAY TO PREVENT ANOTHER MASS SHOOTING. WE MUST BELIEVE THAT WE CAN FIND IT IF ONLY WE TRY A LITTLE HARDER. MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK EVERY MEMBER OF THE SENATE, EVERY MEMBER OF THIS CONGRESS, EVERY ELECTED OFFICIAL AND EVERY CITIZEN, LET'S WORK HARDER TO FIND A WAY TO END THE VIOLENCE. THERE ARE THINGS WE CAN DO TO MAKE SURE THAT WE REDUCED THE CHANCES AND REDUCE THE AWFUL LOSS THAT WE'RE SEEING AROUND OUR COUNTRY BOTH IN MASS SHOOTINGS AND DAILY VIOLENCE. AND SO AS WE REMEMBER THESE VICTIMS, I ASK THAT WE DEDICATE OURSELVES TO THE MISSION OF ENDING THE VIOLENCE. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I NOTE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

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  • 11:40:21 AM

    Quorum Call

  • 11:46:25 AM

    MR. CORNYN

    MR. PRESIDENT, YESTERDAY I HAD THE CHANCE TO MEET WITH THE PRESIDENT'S…

    MR. PRESIDENT, YESTERDAY I HAD THE CHANCE TO MEET WITH THE PRESIDENT'S NOMINEE TO FILL THE VACANCY LEFT BY THE RETIREMENT OF JUSTICE ANTHONY KENNEDY ON THE SUPREME COURT. AND I'M PLEASED WITH THE NOMINEE THAT THE PRESIDENT HAS CHOSEN AND AFTER TALKING TO HIM YESTERDAY MORNING, I LOOK FORWARD TO SUPPORTING HIS NOMINATION AND DOING WHATEVER I CAN TO ENSURE HIS BIPARTISAN CONFIRMATION. MY CONVERSATION WITH JUDGE KAVANAUGH REFRESHED MY MEMORY THAT WE ACTUALLY HAD MET BACK IN 2000 WHEN I WAS ATTORNEY GENERAL OF TEXAS, AND I WAS PREPARING TO -- PREPARING TO DELIVER AN ORAL ARGUMENT BEFORE THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT, SOMETHING I'D NEVER DONE BEFORE, BUT THANKS TO JUDGE KAVANAUGH, HE WASN'T A JUDGE AT THE TIME, PAUL CLEMEN AND TED OLSON, BOTH OF WHOM HAD BEEN SOLICITOR GENERAL OF THE UNTIL, THEY HELPED ME GET PREPARED AND DO THE BEST JOB I COULD DO, WAS CAPABLE OF DOING BEFORE THE COURT, PROVIDING ME A MOOT COURT OPPORTUNITY. SO IT WAS GOOD TO CATCH UP WITH JUDGE KAVANAUGH. I FOLLOWED HIS CAREER CLOSELY. IN THE INTERIM, OBVIOUSLY, HE SERVED AS A CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE ON THE D.C. CIRCUIT COURT. SOME MIGHT CALL IT THE SECOND MOST IMPORTANT COURT IN THE NATION. AND THAT'S PRIMARILY BECAUSE IT'S LOCATED HERE IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND MOST OF THE MAJOR CASES INVOLVING ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY, FEDERAL POWER END UP FINDING THEIR WAY ONE WAY OR THE OTHER THROUGH THE D.C. CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS. SO HE'S HAD A GREAT JUDICIAL CAREER OVER THE LAST 12 YEARS, WRITTEN ON A VARIETY OF TOPICS. I WOULD SAY THAT HE'S A PRETTY WELL KNOWN QUANTITY. WHILE YOU'RE GOING TO HEAR A LOT OF DEMANDS FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, AND I'M ALL FOR AS MUCH TRANSPARENCY AS CAN BE PROVIDED AND SENATORS CERTAINLY HAVE A RIGHT TO GET THEIR HANDS ON AS MUCH INFORMATION ABOUT THE NOMINEE AND HIS QUALIFICATIONS, HIS BACKGROUND, HOW HE MIGHT PERFORM AS A SUPREME COURT JUSTICE. I HOPE THIS DOESN'T TURN INTO A DELAY OF GAME TACTIC. HE'S HAD A LONG CAREER IN THE GOVERNMENT, WORKED AT THE WHITE HOUSE AS STAFF SECRETARY, WHICH FOR THOSE WHO AREN'T FAMILIAR WITH THAT MEANS HE'S THE LAST PERSON WHO SEES A PIECE OF PAPER BEFORE IT'S PRESENTED TO THE PRESIDENT FOR SIGNATURE. THAT DOESN'T MENSA THE PUBLISHER OR THE AUTHOR OF THAT PAPER. AND MANY TIMES IT'S REALLY TO MAKE SURE IS THAT THE -- THAT IT'S CORRECT, THAT IT'S ACCURATE, THAT IT'S BEEN VERIFIED AND AUTHENTICATE AND THAT HE'S THE ONE WHO DECIDES TO TURN IT TO THE -- OVER TO THE PRESIDENT FOR THE PRESIDENT TO SIGN. AND IT COULD BE MAJOR MATTERS OR MINOR MATTERS BUT I HOPE WE DON'T GET TO AT THAT POINT WHERE PEOPLE SAY EVERY DOCUMENT OR E-MAIL THAT HE HAPPENS TO HAVE BEEN COPIED ON OR HAVE SEEN SOMEHOW BECOMES ESSENTIAL FOR A SENATOR BEFORE THEY CAN DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT TO SUPPORT HIS CONFIRMATION. AND I'M -- I WANT TO ALSO ADD THAT WE'VE ALSO HAD SOME SENATORS COME OUT AND ANNOUNCE THEIR OPPOSITION TO THE NOMINEE BEFORE HE WAS EVEN ANNOUNCED. I THINK OUR FRIEND FROM PENNSYLVANIA DID THAT. IN OTHER WORDS, ANNOUNCED HIS OPPOSITION TO ANYBODY THAT THIS PRESIDENT MIGHT NOMINATE TO FILL THE VACANCY OF AN ON THIS KENNEDY. I HOPE WE DON'T HEAR FROM PEOPLE LIKE THAT THAT. THEY'VE ALREADY MADE THEIR DECISION AND IT REALLY IS JUST A WASTE OF EVERYBODY'S TIME AND REALLY AN INSULT TO THE REST OF THE SENATORS WHO ARE DOING THEIR DUE DILIGENCE AND TRYING TO PERFORM THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES WHEN IT COMES TO PROVIDING ADVICE AND CONSENT ON A NOMINEE TO THE HIGHEST COURT IN THE COUNTRY. MANY PEOPLE ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE ARC OF JUDGE CALF KNAUSS CAREER BUT LET ME JUST HELPINGS A FEW THINGS, LEST IT NOT BE LOST IN ALL OF THE NOISE. HE GRADUATE WITH HONORS FROM YALE AND ATTENDED YALE SCHOOL, ONE OF THE ELITE UNIVERSITIES AND LAW SCHOOLS IN THE COUNTRY AND CLERKED FOR TWO FEDERAL APPELLATE JUDGES. THOSE ARE THE TYPES OF JOBS AS THE PRESIDING OFFICER KNOWS THAT ARE HIGHLY COMPETITIVE AND ONLY THE BEST OF THE BEST GET ASKED TO SERVE AS LAW CLERKS TO FEDERAL APPELLATE JUDGES AND CERTAINLY TO THE SUPREME COURT. AND THEN HE WENT IN PRIVATE PRACTICE AND WORKED IN THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL'S OFFICE THEREAFTER AND FINALLY AS STAFF SECRETARY THAT I MENTIONED A FEW MOMENTS AGO BEFORE BEING CONFIRMED TO THE FEDERAL BENCH HERE IN WASHINGTON. BUT I WANT TO JUST STEP BACK FOR A MOMENT BECAUSE IN THE WEEKS AHEAD, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO TALK ABOUT HIS CREDENTIALS AND HIS EXPERIENCE AND HIS DECISIONS AND WE'LL HAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO PARSE ALL OF THE DISSENTS, THE CONCURRENCES SHALL THE MAJORITY OPINIONS HE HAS WRITTEN ON THE D.C. CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS BUT I THINK IT IS ALSO IMPORTANT TO KNOW THE MAN, TO KNOW THE PERSON BECAUSE UNFORTUNATELY WASHINGTON, D.C., HAS A WAY OF CHEWING UP PEOPLE AND THAT BECAUSE THEIR PERSONALITY AND THEIR HUMANITY BECOMES SEPARATED FROM THE POLITICAL BASIS OR IDEOLOGICAL BASIS UPON WHICH PEOPLE MAY OPPOSE THEM. SO I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO KNOW THE QUALITIES OF THIS MAN AND BECAUSE IT INFORMS US ABOUT HIS CHARACTER, WHICH I HOPE WE WOULD ALL AGREE IS AN IMPORTANT ELEMENT IN THE QUALIFICATIONS OF A FEDERAL JUDGE. WELL, JUDGE KAVANAUGH IS ONE THAT IS ACTIVE IN HIS COMMUNITY, AS WE HEARD ON THE NIGHT HIS ANNOUNCEMENT -- THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF HIS NOMINATION WAS MADE. HE'S KNOWN AS COACH "K" ON HIS DAUGHTER'S BASKETBALL TEAM AND ACTS AS A LECTURE AT HIS CHURCH, FEEDS MEALS TO NEEDY FAMILIES AND STEWARTS CHILDREN AT LOCAL -- AND TUTORS CHILDREN AT A LOCAL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. I DON'T KNOW WHERE FINDS THE TIME TO DO ALL OF THOSE THINGS. ONE FRIEND CALLED HIM A REGULAR OLD CAR POOL DAD. I THINK WE ALL KNOW WHAT THAT IS. IT'S A DAD THAT DRIVES THE KIDS TO SCHOOL. THAT COMMENT WAS REPORTED IN "THE WASHINGTON POST." THIS FRIEND WROTE THAT THOSE WHO KNOW JUDGE KAVANAUGH'S CHARACTER WOULD RENDER A UNANIMOUS VERDICT IN HIS FAVOR. HE'S THE FORMER CAPTAIN OF HIS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL TEAM, RUN THE BOSTON MARATHON, SOMETHING I ASPIRE TO DO -- I JUST MADE IT THROUGH A HALF-MARATHON, NEVER A FULL MARATHON, MUCH LESS THE BOSTON MARATHON -- AND HE'S WON HIS COURT'S ANNUAL 5K RACES. I'VE SEEN HIM OVER IN ANACOSTIA WHEN WE'VE A RACE FOR CHARITY THAT MANY OF OUR SENATE OFFICES PARTICIPATE IN, AND I BELIEVE I'VE SEEN HIM RUN IN THOSE 5K RACES WITH HIS TEAM. PROFESSIONALLY JUDGE KAVANAU KNOWN AS A DISTINGUISHED LEGAL PROFESSIONAL. BUT IT'S IMPORTANT TO KNOW THAT EVEN AMIDST THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE OF A HIGH-POWERED LEGAL CAREER, HE FOUND TIME TO DO A REALLY LOT IMPORTANT THINGS. WHILE IN PRIVATE PRACTICE HE WAS HEAD OF A PRACTICE GROUP DEVOTED TO PROTECTING RELIGIOUS LIBERTIES. YOU KNOW, YOU DON'T EARN A BIG FEE AS A LAWYER BY ADVOCATING IN CASES INVOLVING RELIGIOUS LIBERTIES. TYPICALLY THESE ARE CASES WHERE YOU VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME BECAUSE YOU BELIEVE IN THE RIGHT OF THE CITIZEN TO HAVE THEIR CASE HEARD BY THE COURTS. AND PARTICULARLY WHEN IT COMES TO RELIGIOUS LIBERTIES, JUDGE KAVANAUGH'S RECORD IS VERY CRYSTAL CLEAR, BUT HE HAS ADVOCATED ON BEHALF OF THOSE REGARDLESS OF THEIR ABILITY TO PAY WHOSE RELIGIOUS LIBERTIES WERE AT RISK. HE ALSO WROTE TWO BRIEFS FOR THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES SUPPORTING THE CAUSE OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY, INCLUDING I BELIEVE THE CASE I MENTIONED EARLIER THAT I ARGUED IN THE SUPREME COURT INVOLVING THE SANTA FE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT THAT WAS SUED BY THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION TO PREVENT THEM FROM ALLOWING A STUDENT TO VOLUNTEER THEIR TIME TO OFFER AN INSPIRATIONAL SAYING OR A PRAYER BEFORE A FOOTBALL GAME IN TEXAS. HE AUTHORED AN AMICUS BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF THAT CASE. AND WHEN HE'S NOT VOLUNTEERING FOR CAUSES HE BELIEVES IN, OBVIOUSLY HE IS THE FATHER OF TWO DAUGHTERS, SOMETHING NEAR TO MY HEART, AS THE PRESIDING OFFICER I KNOW HAS TWO DAUGHTERS AS WELL. AND HE'S BEEN A MENTOR TO MANY LAW STUDENTS THAT HE'S TAUGHT OVER THE YEARS. HIS COLLEAGUE JACK GOLDSMITH, A DISTINGUISHED LAWYER IN HIS OWN RIGHT, AT HARVARD DESCRIBED HIM AS BEING MANY, MANY CONSIDERABLE STRENGTHS AS A JUDGE AND MOW TENSION JUSTICE AND ALSO AS A PERSON. HIS FORMER PROFESSOR AKEEL AMAR, WHO SUPPORTED HILLARY CLINTON IN THE LAST WREAKS, WROTE IN THE "NEW YORK TIMES" THAT JUDGE KAVANAUGH IS A SUPERB NOMINEE WHO HAS ALREADY SHOWN FLASHES OF GREATNESS. I BELIEVE THE HEADLINE OF THAT OP-ED PIECE BY PROFESSOR AMAR TALKED ABOUT THE LIBERAL CASE FOR BRETT KAVANAUGH, AND I APPRECIATE HIS WILLINGNESS TO TALK ABOUT THE MAN AND HIS PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIALS AND NOT GET BOGGED DOWN IN THE POLARIZED POLITICS OF JUDICIAL CONFIRMATIONS HERE IN WASHINGTON. HE CALLED THE NOMINATION OF JUDGE KAVANAUGH PRESIDENT PRESIDENT TRUMP'S FINEST HOUR, HIS CLASSIEST MOVE. THAT'S PRETTY IMPRESSIVE. THESE JUST A FEW OF THE REASONS WHY HERE IN THE SENATE WE NEED TO NOW MOVE FORWARD CONFIDENTLY AND DELIBERATELY WITH THE CONFIRMATION PROCESS. WE WILL PROCEED THOROUGHLY BUT WITH EXPEDITION. IT IS, AFTER ALL, OUR CONSTITUTIONAL ROLE NOW THE PRESIDENT HAS DISCHARGED HIS CONSTITUTIONAL ROLE TO OFFER ADVICE AND CONSENT ON THE PRESIDENT'S NOMINEE. THE PRESIDENT, I BELIEVE, HAS CHOSEN WISELY, JUST AS HE DID FOR THE VACANCY CREATED BY THE UNFORTUNATE DEATH OF JUSTICE SCALIA AND NEIL GORSUCH. -- IN NEIL GORSUCH. THE PRESIDENT HAS CHOSEN WISELY AGAIN AND I BELIEVE THIS HONOREE IS DESERVING OF THIS. THERE ARE SOME WHO SAID WE 00 NEED TO WAIT OR THAT THERE'S NOT ENOUGH TIME BEFORE THE MIDTERM ELECTION TO CONFIRM JUDGE KAVANAUGH. WELL, THAT'S A PRETTY TRANSPARENT STALLING TACTIC. JUSTICE KENNEDY SAID HE IS VACATING THE BENCH AT THE END OF THIS MONTH. SO WHEN THE SUPREME COURT RECONVENES ON OCTOBER 1, I BELIEVE IT IS THE FIRST MONDAY IN OCTOBER, IT WOULD BE GOOD TO HAVE THAT VACANCY LEFT BY THE RETIREMENT OF JUDGE KENNEDY FILLED WITH THIS NOMINEE. SO THE IDEA THAT WE CAN SOMEHOW PUT THIS OFF UNTIL AFTER THE MIDTERM ELECTIONS I THINK MAKES NO SENSE, OR IF IT MAKES SENSE, IT MAKES SENSE ONLY FROM THE STANDPOINT OF STALLING THE CONFIRMATION PROCESS. I AGREE WITH OUR FRIEND FROM CONNECTICUT, THE SENIOR SENATOR FROM CONNECTICUT, WHO SAID RECENTLY THAT THE SENATE SHOULD DO NOTHING TO ARTIFICIALLY DELAY CONSIDERATION OF THE NEXT JUSTICE. I AGREE WITH HIM. SINCE JUSTICE GORSUCH AND JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR WERE CONFIRMED JUST 66 DAYS FROM THE TIME THEY WERE NOMINATED, A SIMILAR AMOUNT OF TIME SHOULD NOT BE UNREASONABLE FOR JUDGE KAVANAUGH. AND I AM NOT SUGGESTING IT BE EXACTLY 66 DAYS. IT MIGHT BE A FEW DAYS EARLIER OR A FEW DAYS LATER, BUT JUST TO SORT OF ORIENT EVERYBODY AS TO WHAT THE TIME FRAME WE'RE TALKING ABOUT, IF IT WERE HE HAVE DAYS, LIKE JUSTICE GORSUCH AND JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR, THAT WOULD MEAN WE WOULD VOTE TO CONFIRM JUDGE KAVANAUGH ON SEPTEMBER 13, IF MY MATH IS CORRECT. WELL, WE KNOW THAT THESE JUDICIAL NOMINATIONS, PARTICULARLY FOR THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, ARE HOTLY CONTESTED. AND THAT'S BECAUSE ON THE LEFT THEY SEE THE COURT AS AN END RUN AROUND THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS. THAT'S -- IN OTHER WORDS, WHAT YOU CAN'T WIN IN AN ELECTION AND WHAT YOU CAN'T WIN IN A DEBATE AND VOTE OF CONGRESS, WELL, IF YOU CAN GET THE COURT TO DO IT, UNELECTED, LIFETIME APPOINTED JUDGES, THEN YOU'VE BASICALLY WON IN ADVANCING YOUR POLICY POSITION AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL. AND I WOULD SAY THAT THE OPPOSITE PHILOSOPHY IS ONE THAT WAS EMBRACED BY HAMILTON AND MADISON WHO VIEWED COURTS AS WHAT THEY CALLED THE LEAST DANGEROUS BRANCH BECAUSE THEY VIEWED THE COURTS AS NOT BEING POLITICAL AND JUDGES BEING IMPARTIAL ARBITERS OF THE LAW. AND LETTING THE CHIPS FALL WHERE THEY MAY. BUT ON THE LEFT IF THEY CAN'T ACHIEVE THEIR DESIRED POLICY OUTCOMES THROUGH THE NORMAL LEGISLATIVE PROCESS, WELL, DOING IT BY LAWSUIT AND BY COURT DECISION BECOMES THE MEANS TO THEIR END. THAT'S WHY THEY ARE SO UPSET. I THINK ABOUT THIS PRESIDENT'S NOMINEE, BECAUSE HE IS WHAT I WOULD CALL A TRADITIONAL JUDGE IN THE JAMES MADISON-ALEXANDER HAMILTON MOLD. SOME BELIEVE JUDGES HAVE A VERY IMPORTANT JOB IN OUR GOVERNMENT, BUT IT IS A LIMITED JOB AND ROLE. IN OTHER WORDS, THE MAIN RESPONSIBILITY FOR MAKING PUBLIC POLICY SHOULD FALL ON THE SHOULDERS OF MEMBERS OF CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT BECAUSE WE STAND FOR ELECTION. AND IF PEOPLE DON'T LIKE WHAT THEY'RE DOING, THEY CAN COME KNOCK ON OUR DOOR AND THEY CAN SAY SENATOR, WE DON'T LIKE WHAT YOU'RE DOING. WE WANT YOU TO CHANGE YOUR VOTE OR YOUR POINT OF VIEW. AND THAT'S ENTIRELY APPROPRIATE. AND IF WE DON'T, THEN THEY RESERVE THE TIME-HONORED RIGHT TO THROW THE RASCALS OUT. BUT YOU CAN'T DO THAT FOR A FEDERAL JUDGE. AND THAT'S WHY THEIR ROLE UNDER THE CONSTITUTION IS CIRCUMSCRIBED AS INTERPRETING THE LAW AND APPLYING THE FACTS TO SAID LAW. BUT I UNDERSTAND WHY OUR FRIENDS ACROSS THE AISLE ARE DISAPPOINTED. THEY WERE HOPING THAT PRESIDENT HILLARY CLINTON WOULD BE FILLING THIS VACANCY AND THEY WERE HOPING THAT MAJORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER WOULD BE THE ONE GUIDING THAT NOMINATION THROUGH THE SENATE. INSTEAD, THEY WERE DISAPPOINTED, AND I UNDERSTAND IT. IT'S A NORMAL HUMAN REACTION THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP WON SO HE'S THE ONE MAKING THE NOMINATION AND THAT A REPUBLICAN SENATE LED BY MAJORITY LEADER McCONNELL IS THE ONE GUIDING THIS NOMINATION THROUGH. I CAN UNDERSTAND THEIR DISAPPOINTMENT. BUT IT'S NO REASON TO DRAG YOUR FEET OR TO OBSTRUCT AN ORDERLY AND THOUGHTFUL DELIBERATIVE PROCESS WHEN IT COMES TO FILLING THIS VACANCY. MADAM PRESIDENT, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A CHANCE TO TALK ABOUT THIS TOPIC A LOT IN THE COMING WEEKS, BUT ON A SEPARATE NOTE, I WANT TO ADDRESS THE SITUATION UNFOLDING ON THE U.S.-MEXICO BORDER. AS OF 7:00 A.M. THIS MORNING, WE HEARD THAT THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION HAS NOW COMPLIED WITH A COURT ORDER AND COMPLETED THE REUNIFICATION OF THOSE CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF FIVE WHO IMMIGRATED HERE WITH THEIR PARENTS UNLAWFULLY. NOW THOSE CHILDREN HAVE BEEN REUNITED WITH THEIR PARENTS WHICH I THINK WE ALL SHOULD BE GRATEFUL FOR. SECRETARY AZAR OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, SECRETARY NIELSEN, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY, ATTORNEY GENERAL SESSIONS AND ALL THOSE OFFICIALS AT THE DEPARTMENTS OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, HOMELAND SECURITY AND JUSTICE HAVE BEEN WORKING TIRELESSLY TO COMPLETE THESE INITIAL REUNIFICATIONS. THEIR GOAL HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE WELL-BEING OF THESE CHILDREN AND RETURNING THEM TO A SAFE ENVIRONMENT. AS WE CAN SEE FROM THIS MORNING'S REPORT, THE ADMINISTRATION CLEARLY NEEDS THE TIME TO VET ALL THE PEOPLE. IN FACT, IN SOME INSTANCES, THEY ACTUALLY HAVE TO TAKE D.N.A. TESTS TO CONFIRM THE CLAIM THAT THE ADULT WOULD BROUGHT THE CHILD ACROSS IS IN FACT THEIR BIOLOGICAL PARENT. BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT THE CARTELS, THE HUMAN TRAFFICKERS ARE VERY SOPHISTICATED, AND IF THEY COULD SIMPLY PAIR UP AN UNACCOMPANIED CHILD WITH AN ADULT AND SEND THEM ACROSS THE BORDER CLAIMING TO BE A FAMILY UNIT, THEY COULD BASICALLY NAVIGATE THE GAPS IN OUR LEGAL ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM AGAINST ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS, WE KNOW FEDERAL OFFICIALS WILL BE WORKING TO REUNITE ALL OTHER SEPARATED FAMILIES AS THEY SHOULD. THIS IS ONE THING THAT WE ALL AGREE ON, REPUBLICAN, DEMOCRAT ALIKE. THESE FAMILIES SHOULD BE KEPT TOGETHER. THIS IS CONSISTENT WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP'S EXECUTIVE ORDER AS WELL AS A BILL THAT I'VE INTRODUCED ALONG WITH OTHER COLLEAGUES CALLED KEEP FAMILIES TOGETHER AND ENFORCE THE LAW ACT. AS THAT BILL SUGGESTS, THERE ARE TWO PARTS TO IT. ONE IS TREATING FAMILIES WITH COMPASSION BY ALLOWING THEM TO REMAIN TOGETHER. AND ALSO ENFORCING THE IMMIGRATION LAWS ON OUR BOOKS. THEY DON'T HAVE TO BE MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE. AND OUR BILL WILL ENSURE THAT THEY AREN'T. IT WILL ALLOW PARENTS TO STAY WITH THEIR CHILDREN IN A SAFE FACILITY WHILE AWAITING THEIR COURT PROCEEDINGS. IN OTHER WORDS, A NUMBER OF THESE CHILDREN AND THESE ADULTS ARE CLAIMING ASYLUM IN THE UNITED STATES. THAT COULD ONLY BE FINALLY DECIDED BY AN IMMIGRATION JUDGE. SO WHAT WE'D LIKE TO DO IS MOVE THEM TO THE HEAD OF THE LINE AND GET THEM A HEARING IN FRONT OF AN IMMIGRATION JUDGE ON A TIMELY BASIS. OUR BILL WOULD ALSO SET MANDATORY STANDARDS OF CARE FOR FAMILY RESIDENTIAL CENTERS AND KEEP CHILDREN SAFE BY REQUIRING THEY BE REMOVED FROM THE CARE OF AN INDIVIDUAL THAT ENDANGERS THEIR SAFETY. BUT I WOULD JUST SAY IN CONCLUSION, MADAM PRESIDENT, THIS IS NOT A NEW PROBLEM. WE KNOW THAT THE -- SEVERAL OF THE COUNTRIES IN CENTRAL AMERICA ARE BASICALLY IN A MELTDOWN MODE. IN OTHER WORDS, GANGS, VIOLENT ORGANIZATIONS ARE THREATENING THE SAFETY AND WELFARE OF FAMILIES IN THESE CENTRAL AMERICAN COUNTRIES. AND WHAT WE SAW IN 2014 IS WHAT PRESIDENT OBAMA CALLED A HUMANITARIAN CRISIS WHEN TENS OF THOUSANDS OF THESE CHILDREN UNACCOMPANIED BY A PARENT WERE TURNED OVER TO THESE CRIMINAL ORGANIZATIONS AND TRANSPORTED FROM CENTRAL AMERICA ALL THE WAY THROUGH MEXICO INTO THE UNITED STATES WHERE THEY WERE THEN PROCESSED AND PLACED WITH A SPONSOR HERE IN THE UNITED STATES CONSISTENT WITH THE LAW CURRENTLY IN EFFECT. BUT THIS IS NOT A NEW SCENARIO. IT'S JUST THAT THE CARTELS, THE CRIMINAL ORGANIZATIONS HAVE FOUND A NEW WAY TO SIR CUP VENT -- CIRCUMVENT AMERICAN LAW UNLESS WE CHANGE IT, UNLESS WE FIX IT. AND WHAT THEY ARE HOPING FOR ULTIMATELY IS THAT RESTORATION OF THE CATCH AND RELEASE POLICIES OF THE PAST. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PEOPLE ARE NOT DETAINED, WHEN THEY'RE NOT PRESENTED BEFORE AN IMMIGRATION JUDGE ON A TIMELY BASIS IS THEY'RE GIVEN A NOTICE TO APPEAR IN THE FUTURE AND TOLD COME BACK FOR YOUR HEARING IN MONTHS AND MAYBE YEARS LATER. WELL, IT SHOULD SURPRISE NO ONE THAT THE VAST MAJORITY OF THOSE PEOPLE DON'T SHOW BACK UP FOR THEIR HEARING. AND SO WHAT'S HAPPENED IS THE CRIMINAL ORGANIZATIONS WHO PROFIT FROM THIS BUSINESS MODEL AND THE PEOPLE WHO ILLEGALLY IMMIGRATE INTO THE UNITED STATES HAVE BASICALLY GAMED THE SYSTEM. AND UNLESS WE'RE WILLING TO STAND UP AND TO FIX IT, THEN SHAME ON US. SO THIS IS REALLY ABOUT TWO ISSUES. ONE IS COMPASSIONATE TREATMENT OF THE CHILDREN, TREATING THE ADULTS WITH DIGNITY AND PROVIDING THEM A SAFE PLACE, BUT ALSO MAKING SURE THAT OUR LAWS ARE ENFORCED. SOME OF OUR COLLEAGUES ACROSS THE AISLE HAVE SAID, WELL, LET'S JUST ABOLISH LAW ENFORCEMENT AT THE BORDER. LET'S ABOLISH IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT, ABOLISH I.C.E. AS IT'S COLD. WELL, THAT WOULD BE A DISASTER OF THE FIRST ORDER. AND HOW WOULD WE BE MAINTAINING FIDELITY WITH OUR OATH TO SUPPORT THE CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES IF WE WOULD NOT SEE TO IT THAT OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES LIKE I.C.E. THAT PERFORM IMPORTANT AND NECESSARY DUTIES ALONG THE BORDER AND THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY WERE NOT THERE WITH OUR SUPPORT TO DO THE JOB WE'VE ASKED THEM TO DO. SO, MADAM PRESIDENT, I KNOW THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF DISCUSSION ABOUT THIS LEGISLATION, BUT AT SOME POINT PATIENCE CEASES TO BE A VIRTUE. AND I WOULD EXPECT AT SOME POINT THERE MAY WELL BE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ONE OR MORE SENATORS TO COME TO THE FLOOR AND OFFER THIS LEGISLATION BY UNANIMOUS CONSENT. AND WE'LL SEE WHO WANTS TO BE A CONSTRUCTIVE PLAYER IN THIS PROCESS AND WHO WANTS TO OBJECT AND OBSTRUCT OUR ABILITY TO FIX THIS CRISIS AT THE BORDER. A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT?

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  • 12:09:26 PM

    MR. GRASSLEY

    BEFORE -- FROM IOWA. GRASS BEFORE I SPEAK, I HAVE A MOTION APPROVED BY THE…

    BEFORE -- FROM IOWA. GRASS BEFORE I SPEAK, I HAVE A MOTION APPROVED BY THE MAJORITY AND MINORITY LEADERS FOR FIVE REQUESTS FOR COMMITTEES TO MEET DURING TODAY'S SESSION OF THE SENATE. THAT'S ASKING UNANIMOUS CONSENT.

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  • 12:09:49 PM

    MR. GRASSLEY

    MADAM PRESIDENT, AS WE ALL KNOW, THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION IS A…

    MADAM PRESIDENT, AS WE ALL KNOW, THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION IS A COMPONENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. IT IS FREQUENTLY DESCRIBED AS THE PREMIER LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY IN THE COUNTRY. THE F.B.I.'S INVESTIGATIVE AUTHORITY HAS ONLY GROWN AND GROWN TREMENDOUSLY SINCE ITS CREATION ALMOST A HUNDRED YEARS AGO. THE BUREAU NOW COVERS EVERYTHING FROM KIDNAPPING TO COUNTERINTELLIGENCE, PUBLIC CORRUPTION TO BANK ROBBERY AND MAYBE A LOT OF THINGS IN BETWEEN. ITS POWER IS VERY SUBSTANTIAL. AND ITS JURISDICTION IS FAR-REACHING. IT'S A VERY IMPORTANT AGENCY. BECAUSE OF THAT, THE F.B.I. IS SUBJECT TO A LOT OF SCRUTINY. LATELY WE'VE HAD A LOT OF FOLKS AROUND HERE SEEM TO BE MISTAKEN -- MISTAKING THE WORD "SCRUTINY" OF THE BUREAU WITH THE WORD ATTACKS ON THE BUREAU. BUT THE OVERSIGHT OF THE F.B.I. IS NOT NEW AND IT'S A CONSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CONGRESS AT LEAST TO DO OVERSIGHT OF EVERY AGENCY AND THE F.B.I. CAN'T BE EXCEPTED. SO FAR FROM BEING OUT OF BOUNDS, IT'S THEN ESSENTIAL UNDER OVERSIGHT FOR THE PEOPLE'S ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES HERE IN THE CONGRESS TO PUT THE F.B.I. UNDER A MICROSCOPE. THAT IS DOUBLY TRUE WHEN THE F.B.I. GETS INVOLVED IN ELECTION DON'T CONTROVERSIES. THE MORE POWER THE F.B.I. CLAIMS TO CARRY OUT ITS RESPONSIBILITIES, THE MORE CLOSELY IT OUGHT TO BE WATCHED. UNDER OUR GOVERNMENT WHERE THE PUBLIC I.S. BUSINESS OUGHT TO BE PUBLIC, THAT STATEMENT I MADE -- JUST MADE OUGHT TO BE COMMON SENSE TO EVERYBODY. IN ITS CRIMINAL WORK, THE F.B.I. IS HELD ACCOUNTABLE PRIMARILY BY THE COURT SYSTEM. BUT WHEN THE F.B.I. SECRETLY GATHERS INFORMATION FOR INTELLIGENCE PURPOSES, THE RISK OF IMPROPRIETY SKYROCKETS. IF THE INFORMATION IS NEVER GOING TO BE PRESENTED IN THE COURTS, LIKE IN A CRIMINAL MATTER, THEN WHO IS GOING TO BE WATCHING TO MAKE SURE THAT THE POWER TOGETHER AND USE IT IS NOT BEING ABUSED? THAT'S WHY WE NEED VIGOROUS CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT AND STRONG INSPECTOR GENERAL SCRUTINY. LOTS OF PEOPLE SAY THAT THE F.B.I. SHOULD BE INDEPENDENT. I DISAGREE. THE F.B.I. NEEDS TO BE OBJECTIVE AND NONPARTISAN. IT SHOULD BE INSULATED FROM UNDUE POLITICAL PRESSURE. IF YOU WANT TO CALL THAT INDEPENDENCE, THEN I'LL USE THAT WORD. BUT IT CANNOT BE INDEPENDENT OF ACCOUNTABILITY TO THE PEOPLE'S ELECTED LEADERS. CIVILIAN CONTROL OF THE MILITARY HAS ALWAYS BEEN A KEY SAFEGUARD TO LIBERTY FOR THE SAME REASONS. FREEDOM IS AT RISK IF THE F.B.I. CAN BECOME A DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE SERVICE WITH FREE REIN TO -- FREE REIGN TO WEAPONIZE INFORMATION IN SECRET. WE'VE SEEN THE RISK OF THAT IN THE TEXT MESSAGES OF PETER STRONG AND LISA PAIGE. THEIR CONTEMPT FOR BOTH THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY AND PARTICULARLY THEIR ELECTED LEADERS SHOULD DISTURB EVERYONE. ABUSES OF POWER AT THE F.B.I. ARE WHY WE HAVE A TERM LIMIT FOR THE DIRECTOR OF THE F.B.I. THAT TERM LIMIT IS NOT THERE TO PROTECT THE F.B.I.'S INDEPENDENCE. IT IS THERE TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE FROM THE ABUSES THAT J. EDGAR HOOVER COMMITTED BECAUSE HE BECAME TOO INDEPENDENT. HE WAS ACCOUNTABLE TO NO ONE. J. EDGAR HOOVER WAS FEARED BY PRESIDENTS, SENATORS, AND CONGRESSMEN. WHILE THE DIRECTOR ORIGINALLY WAS SELECTED BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, IN 1968 CONGRESS MADE THE POSITION SUBJECT TO PRESIDENTIAL APPOINTMENT AND SENATE CONFIRMATION. IN 1976 THE CONGRESS ESTABLISHED A NONRENEWABLE 10-YEAR TERM FOR THE DIRECTOR. THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE PUBLISHED A COMMITTEE REPORT ON THAT BILL LIMITING THE 10-YEAR TERM IN 1974. IT TOOK A COUPLE OF YEARS FOR THE BILL TO PASS THE HOUSE. I WANT TO QUOTE FROM THAT REPORT. THE PURPOSE OF THE BILL IS TO ACHIEVE TWO COMPLEMENTARY OBJECTIVES. THE FIRST IS TO INSULATE THE DIRECTOR OF THE F.B.I. FROM UNIQUE PRESSURE BEING EXERTED UPON HIM FROM SUPERIORS IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH. THE SECOND IS TO PROTECT AGAINST AN F.B.I. DIRECTOR BECOMING TOO INDEPENDENT AND UNRESPONSIVE. END OF QUOTE. AT THE TIME, CONGRESS WAS GRAPPLING WITH THE FALLOUT OF WATERGATE AND THE DECADES OF CORRUPTION AND CIVIL LIBERTIES ABUSES BY THAT FIRST DIRECTOR OF THE F.B.I. J. EDGAR HOOVER, SO HENCE THE LEGISLATION. CONGRESS KNEW THE F.B.I. HAD TO BE ABLE TO OPERATE FREE OF PARTISAN INTERFERENCE BUT STILL BE ACCOUNTABLE TO THE DULY ELECTED LEADERSHIP OF THE COUNTRY INCLUDING EVERY MEMBER OF CONGRESS IN THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL ROLE OF OVERSIGHT. CERTAINLY THE F.B.I. DIRECTOR CAN'T BE A POLITICIAN STOOGE, BUT HISTORY TELLS US THAT THE BIGGER RISK IS IN THE OTHER DIRECTION. WHOEVER ABUSED HIS POWERS TO INTIMIDATE POLITICIANS AND OTHER POLITICAL LEADERS. IN A DEMOCRACY, ALL OF OUR LEADERS ARE ULTIMATELY ACCOUNTABLE TO THE PEOPLE. ACCESS TO INFORMATION ABOUT WHAT AGENCIES LIKE THE F.B.I. ARE DOING IS ESSENTIAL TO HOLDING THEM ACCOUNTABLE. TRANSPARENCY BRINGS ACCOUNTABILITY. ABUSES MULTIPLY IN SECRET. THAT'S WHY CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT, A RESPONSIBILITY OF CONGRESS UNDER THE CONSTITUTION, IS KEY. THE RECENT REPORT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE'S INSPECTOR GENERAL IS A VERY GOOD EXAMPLE. IT DESCRIBES BEHAVIOR DONE IN SECRET AT THE F.B.I. THAT SIMPLY CANNOT BE DEFENDED WHEN BROUGHT TO LIGHT. FIRST, THE INSPECTOR GENERAL'S REPORT IDENTIFIED UNACCEPTABLE MESSAGES SENT ON F.B.I. MOBILE DEVICES AND COMPUTER SYSTEMS BY FIVE OF THE 15 F.B.I. EMPLOYEES ON THE CLINTON E-MAIL INVESTIGATION. THOSE MESSAGES WREAK WITH POLITICAL BIAS. THE REPORT FOUND THAT THROUGH SUCH MESSAGES, THESE EMPLOYEES -- AND I QUOTE -- BROUGHT DISCREDIT TO THEMSELVES, SO SOWED DOUBT ABOUT THE HANDINGELING OF THE INVESTIGATION AND IMPACTED THE REPUTATION OF THE F.B.I. END OF QUOTE. ONE MESSAGE EXPLICITLY SUGGEST THED A WILLINGNESS TO TAKE OFFICIAL INVESTIGATIVE STEPS FOR PARTISAN REASONS, WHERE THERE SHOULD BE NO PARTISANSHIP. THAT MESSAGE VOWED TO STOP THE ELECTION OF DONALD TRUMP. CAN YOU IMAGINE AN F.B.I. EMPLOYEE IN OFFICIAL CAPACITY ON OFFICIAL DEVICES TAKING THAT APPROACH AND THEN CLAIMING TO BE -- NOT TO BE BIASED? BECAUSE OF THAT MESSAGE, THE I.G. WAS UNABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT THE F.B.I.'S INACTION ON THE CLINTON E-MAIL MATTER FOR NEARLY A MONTH PRIOR TO THE ELECTION WAS FREE FROM PARTISAN BIAS. THE I.G. REFERRED ALL FIVE EMPLOYEES WHO EXPRESSED PARTISAN BIAS TO THE BUREAU FOR THE F.B.I. TO CONSIDER POTENTIAL DISCIPLINARY ACTION. THOSE MESSAGES SHOW A BUREAU PLAGUED BY ARROGANCE, DISRESPECT FOR POLICY AND NORMS, AND DISGUST OF DEMOCRATIC ACCOUNTABILITY. THE REPORT FOUND DIRECTOR COMEY'S ACTIONS USURPED THE DEPARTMENT'S AUTHORITY. IT CALLED HIS DECISION TO PUBLICLY ANNOUNCE SECRETARY CLINTON WOULD NOT BE PROSECUTED AS EXTRAORDINARY AND INSUBORDINATE -- AND THOSE TWO WORDS ARE QUOTES FROM THE INSPECTOR GENERAL. DIRECTOR COMEY ACTED AS IF HE WAS ACCOUNTABLE TO NO ONE EXCEPT HIMSELF. HIS SUBORDINATES ALSO APPEARED CONTENT TO IGNORE BUREAU AND DEPARTMENTAL POLICY AND GUIDANCE, SOME APPARENTLY FOR THEIR OWN PERSONAL INTEREST. THE INSPECTOR GENERAL ALSO RECENTLY CONCLUDED THAT THE F.B.I.'S FORMER DEPUTY, ANDREW McCABE, AUTHORIZED THE DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION TO A REPORTER. THAT IS INFORMATION CONFIRMED THE EXISTENCE OF AN ONGOING INVESTIGATION. THE I.G. REPORT FAULTED McCABE FOR VIOLATING LONG-STANDING DEPARTMENT AND BUREAU POLICY. THERE IS A PUBLIC INTEREST EXCEPTION TO THAT POLICY, BUT THE INSPECTOR GENERAL FOUND McCABE AUTHORIZED DISCLOSURE OF THE INFORMATION TO MAKE HIMSELF, McCABE, LOOK GOOD. NOW, McCABE CLAIMS COMEY KNEW ABOUT IT. BUT THE F.B.I. WILL NOT RELEASE INFORMATION THAT SUPPOSEDLY SUPPORTS THAT CLAIM. THE F.B.I. DID LITTLE TO NOTHING TO ADDRESS WHAT NOW APPEARS TO BE A CULTURE OF UNAUTHORIZED CONTACT WITH THE MEDIA. YET SOMEHOW EVERY DAY YOU READ IN THE NEWSPAPERS THE F.B.I. STIFF-ARMING CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT AT EVERY TURN. GO TO THE NEWSPAPERS, OKAY. CONGRESS WANTS THE SAME INFORMATION, NO. AS AN EXAMPLE, ON THE ONE HAND THE F.B.I. STONE WALLS LEGITIMATE REQUESTS FROM THE PEOPLE'S ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES WHOM THEY HATE, IN THE WORDS OF AGENT STRZOK. ON THE OTHER HAND, F.B.I. EMPLOYEES ARE ACCEPTING MEALS, SPORTS TICKETS AND GOLF OUTINGS FROM REPORTERS. NOW THE DEPARTMENT AND THE F.B.I. ARE REFUSING TO COMPLY WITH CONGRESSIONAL SUBPOENAS WHILE LECTURING CONGRESS ABOUT THE NEED TO CONTROL ACCESS TO SENSITIVE INFORMATION. AND WHILE THE F.B.I. AGENTS ARE BREAKING THE RULES BY TALKING TO REPORTERS LEFT AND RIGHT, THE BUREAU GOES AFTER LEGITIMATE WHISTLE-BLOWERS WHO DISCLOSE WASTE, FRAUD, AND ABUSE, ACCORDING TO LAW. THE LEVEL OF HYPOCRISY IS STAGGERING. THE BUREAU WAS INVESTIGATING SECRETARY CLINTON FOR HER USE OF PRIVATE COMMUNICATIONS TO TRANSACT PUBLIC BUSINESS. BUT THE EMPLOYEES IN THE BUREAU WHO WERE HANDLING THAT VERY INVESTIGATION, INCLUDING THE DIRECTOR, DID EXACTLY THE SAME THING. OF COURSE, THESE EMPLOYEES WERE NOT EXCLUSIVELY USING A PRIVATE SERVER THAT WAS HIGHLY VULNERABLE TO OUTSIDE ATTACKS. THERE IS -- THERE TRULY IS A DIFFERENCE IN THE ORDER OF MAGNITUDE. BUT THE F.B.I.'S EMPLOYEES' BEHAVIOR COULD HELP EXPLAIN THEIR APPARENT LACK OF ENTHUSIASM FOR INVESTIGATING CLINTON'S CLEAR ALIENATION OF THE FEDERAL RECORDS. AFTER ALL, HOW COULD THEY ACCUSE HER OF VIOLATING THE FEDERAL RECORDS ACT WHEN IT APPEARS THEY MAY HAVE ALSO BEEN VIOLATING THE VERY SAME LAW? THESE ARE ONLY SOME OF THE EXAMPLES IN THE INSPECTOR GENERAL'S LATEST REPORT THAT WE HAD A HEARING ON BEFORE MY JUDICIARY COMMITTEE A COUPLE WEEKS AGO. FORMER DIRECTOR COMEY SAID HIS PEOPLE DIDN'T GIVE A RIP ABOUT POLITICS, GIVE A RIP ABOUT POLITICS IS WORDS FROM HIS MOUTH WE CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW THAT THAT IS JUST NOT TRUE. AT LEAST NOT FOR FIVE TOP INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED IN THIS VERY HIGH-PROFILE, VERY IMPORTANT INVESTIGATION. NOW THEY NEED TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS. THERE IS NO PLACE IN THE F.B.I. FOR THE KIND OF ARROGANCE DISPLAYED IN THOSE TEXT MESSAGES. THERE IS NO PLACE IN THE F.B.I. FOR THE KIND OF POLITICAL TIMING AND CALCULATIONS MADE BY THE FORMER DIRECTOR. HIS SUBORDINATES OPENLY DISCUSSED THE ENORMOUS PRESSURE THEY WERE UNDER TO CLOSE THE CLINTON E-MAIL INVESTIGATION BEFORE THE POLITICAL CONVENTIONS THAT WAS COMPLETELY IMPROPER. DECISIONS AT THE F.B.I. NEED TO BE MADE ON MERIT, NOT ON A POLITICAL CALENDAR. THE F.B.I. NEEDS TO STAY OUT OF POLITICS. THEY NEED TO SUBMIT TO OVERSIGHT AND THEY NEED TO FOCUS ON DOING ITS JOB TO REGAIN ITS REPUTATION FOR OBJECTIVITY. NO ONE IN THIS COUNTRY IS ABOVE THE LAW. NO ONE SHOULD BE INDEPENDENT OF ACCOUNTABILITY. ESPECIALLY NOT THE F.B.I. I YIELD THE FLOOR AND SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

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  • 12:27:18 PM

    CALL

    QUORUM CALL: A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT.

  • 12:30:08 PM

    CALL

    A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT.

  • 12:32:43 PM

    MR. MARKEY

    THANK YOU. THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. THE RETIREMENT OF SUPREME COURT…

    THANK YOU. THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. THE RETIREMENT OF SUPREME COURT JUSTICE ANTHONY KENNEDY HAS CREATED ONE OF THE MOST CONSEQUENTIAL VACANCIES ON THE HIGH COURT THAT THIS COUNTRY HAS EVER SEEN. THERE IS A REASON PUNDITS HAVE OFTEN REFERRED TO THE SUPREME COURT AS THE KENNEDY COURT. HIS INFLUENCE ON SO MANY POLITICALLY SALIENT CASES CANNOT BE OVERSTATED. DURING HIS 30 YEARS ON THE SUPREME COURT, JUSTICE KENNEDY WAS OFTEN THE SWING VOTE IN DECISIONS DECIDED 5-4 ON A DIVIDED BENCH OF THE SUPREME COURT. THESE INCLUDE SOME OF THE MOST HISTORIC CASES IN OUR NATION'S HISTORY. ON A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO CHOOSE, ON ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTIONS, ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. IN 1992, JUSTICE KENNEDY WROTE THE CONTROLLING OPINION IN PLANNED PARENTHOOD V. CASEY WHICH REAFFIRMED ROE V. WADE'S CORE HOLDING THAT THE CONSTITUTION PROTECTS A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO MAKE A FUNDAMENTAL DECISION ABOUT HER OWN HEALTH CARE, INCLUDING A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO CHOOSE. IN 2007, JUSTICE KENNEDY JOINED A 5-4 OPINION IN MASSACHUSETTS V. THE E.P.A. WHICH HELD THAT GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS ARE POLLUTANTS UNDER THE CLEAN AIR ACT AND THAT THE E.P.A. MUST REGULATE THOSE EMISSIONS UNDER THAT STATUTE UNLESS IT CAN PROVIDE A SCIENTIFIC BASIS FOR ITS REFUSAL TO DO SO. IN 2013, JUSTICE KENNEDY WROTE THE MAJORITY OPINION IN UNITED STATES VERSUS WINSOR STRIKING DOWN AS UNCONSTITUTIONAL THE MARRIAGE ACT BECAUSE IT VIOLATED BASIC DUE PROCESS AND EQUAL PROTECTION PRINCIPLES BY EXTENDING CERTAIN FEDERAL BENEFITS TO OPPOSE-SECTION MARRIED KUPLS -- COUPLES BUT DENYING THOSE BENEFITS TO SAME-SEX MARRIED COUPLES. IN 2015 JUSTICE KENNEDY WROTE THE LANDMARK OPINION IN SAME-SEX MARRIAGE IN OBERGEFELL VERSUS HODGES WHICH GUARANTEES SAME-SEX COUPLES THE RIGHT TO MARRY. AND IN 2016, JUSTICE KENNEDY WROTE THE MAJORITY OPINION IN WHOLE WOMAN'S HEALTH VERSUS HELLERSTEDT WHICH STRUCK DOWN A RESTRICTIVE ANTI-CHOICE LAW IN TEXAS BECAUSE IT PUT AN UNDUE BURDEN ON WOMEN'S ACCESS TO REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE SERVICES. ALL OF THESE DECISIONS WERE DECIDED BY THE SINGLE VOTE OF A SINGLE SUPREME COURT JUSTICE. THAT JUSTICE WAS ANTHONY KENNEDY. THE JUSTICE WHO SUCCEEDS ANTHONY KENNEDY ON THE SUPREME COURT WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEAVE A DEEP AND LASTING MARK ON ISSUES OF THE HIGHEST CONSTITUTIONAL MAGNITUDE, ISSUES THAT IMPACT THE HEALTH AND FREEDOM OF WOMEN, THE ENVIRONMENT, LGBTQ RIGHTS, CONSUMER PROTECTION, LABOR PROTECTIONS, AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, CRIMINAL JUSTICE, GUN SAFETY, AND MORE. THERE ARE, WITHOUT A DOUBT, IMPORTANT ISSUES THAT WILL BE DECIDED. THESE WILL BE THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISIONS OF OUR GENERATION, AND THIS SUPREME COURT WILL BE IN A POSITION TO MAKE THAT HISTORY. JUSTICE KENNEDY'S RETIREMENT HANDED PRESIDENT TRUMP THE OPPORTUNITY TO FULFILL HIS CAMPAIGN PROMISE TO SHIFT THE BALANCE OF POWER ON THE SUPREME COURT TO THE FAR RIGHT ON THESE ISSUES. SO THE PRESIDENT DUSTED OFF A PREAPPROVED LIST OF CANDIDATES FOR THE HIGH COURT, A WISH LIST PREPARED AND PRESENTED TO HIM BY THE ULTRACONSERVATIVE FEDERALIST SOCIETY. THIS IS THE SAME LIST OF CANDIDATES THAT THE FEDERALIST SOCIETY ASSURED PRESIDENT TRUMP WOULD SATISFY HIS LITMUS TEST OF OVERTURNING ROE V. WADE AND STRIKING DOWN CRITICAL HEALTH CARE PROTECTIONS. THIS IS THE SAME SET OF CANDIDATES FROM WHICH THE PRESIDENT SELECTED NEIL GORSUCH TO FILL THE LATE JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA'S SEAT ON THE SUPREME COURT, THE SEAT THAT SENATE REPUBLICANS STALLED WHEN THEY VIOLATED ALL NORMS OF SENATE PROCEDURE BY REFUSING EVEN TO HOLD A HEARING ON PRESIDENT OBAMA'S NOMINEE MERRICK GARLAND. IN THE SHORT TIME THAT JUSTICE GORSUCH HAS BEEN ON THE SUPREME COURT, HE HAS PROVEN HIMSELF TO BE EVERY BIT OF THE FAR RIGHT CONSERVATIVE JUSTICE THAT THE FEDERALIST SOCIETY PROMISED THAT HE WOULD BE. D.C. CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE BRETT KAVANAUGH'S NAME WAS ON THAT FEDERALIST SOCIETY WISH LIST AS WELL. AND WITH THE PRESIDENT'S NOMINATION OF HIM TO THE NATION'S HIGHEST COURT, THE PRESIDENT HAS FOUND ANOTHER FEDERALIST SOCIETY APPROVED JURIST WHO HE BELIEVES WILL PASS HIS LITMUS TEST, AND THAT SHOULD CONCERN EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN. BRETT KAVANAUGH IS A JUDICIAL CONSERVATIVE'S DREAM COME TRUE. A YOUNG JURIST WHO WILL PUSH THE SUPREME COURT TO THE RIGHT FOR DECADES TO COME. HIS RECORD ON ISSUES SUCH AS ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE, CONSUMER AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTIONS, AND A FREE AND OPEN INTERNET PORTEND A RUBBER STAMP FOR A CONSERVATIVE RIGHT WING AGENDA THAT WOULD MOVE US BACKWARDS AS A NATION. AT THE SAME TIME IT IS VERY CONCERNING THAT JUDGE KAVANAUGH, WHO ONCE SERVED AS KEN STARR'S TOP DEPUTY IN THE WHITEWATER AND MONICA LEWINSKY INVESTIGATIONS OF PRESIDENT CLINTON, HAS SINCE WRITTEN THAT A SITTING PRESIDENT SHOULD NOT BE INVESTIGATED FOR ALLEGATIONS OF WRONGDOING. SHOULD NOT BE INDICTED OR TRIED WHILE HE IS IN OFFICE, AND SHOULD NOT HAVE TO PARTICIPATE IN CIVIL LEGAL PROCEEDINGS UNTIL HE LEAVES OFFICE. THIS FROM A VETERAN OF KEN STARR'S STAFF. LEADING THE INVESTIGATION AGAINST PRESIDENT CLINTON THROUGHOUT THE MONICA LEWINSKY INVESTIGATIONS. IT IS NO COINCIDENCE, THEREFORE, THAT A PRESIDENT WHO NOW FEARS ALL OF THESE LEGAL ACTIONS WOULD NOMINATE A JUDGE WHO COULD SHIELD HIM FROM THOSE LEGAL ACTIONS. BUT PERHAPS THE GRAVEST CONCERN THAT THE KAVANAUGH NOMINATION RAISES IS THE FATE OF ROE V. WADE. FOR 45 YEARS ROE HAS NOT JUST PROTECTED ACCESS TO SAFE AND LEGAL PROCEDURES FOR WOMEN IN OUR COUNTRY, IT HAS AFFIRMED THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO PRIVACY. ROE RECOGNIZES THAT ALL AMERICANS MUST BE ABLE TO MAKE THEIR OWN PERSONAL HEALTH DECISIONS BASED ON THEIR OWN BELIEFS, NEEDS, AND CIRCUMSTANCES. JUDGE KAVANAUGH'S RECORD ON THE D.C. CIRCUIT INSPIRES NO CONFIDENCE THAT HE WILL PROTECT THIS FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT. HE HAS SUPPORTED RESTRICTING ACCESS TO CONTRACEPTION AND HE RECENTLY WOULD HAVE FORCED AN UNDOCUMENTED MINOR IN TEXAS TO DELAY RECEIVING A SAFE AND LEGAL TERMINATION OF A PREGNANCY DESPITE HER TAKING ALL OF THE NECESSARY STEPS TO ACCESS THAT PROCEDURE UNDER TEXAS STATE LAW. IF CONFIRMED, JUDGE KAVANAUGH WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY HAVE MORE OPPORTUNITIES TO INJECT THE GOVERNMENT INTO WOMEN'S DECISIONS ABOUT THEIR OWN BODIES. OVER RECENT YEARS STATE LEGISLATORS ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND THEIR ALLIES HAVE PUSHED THE BOUNDARIES OF RESTRICTIONS ON LEGAL ABORTION. CHALLENGES TO THESE LAWS ARE WINDING THEIR WAY THROUGH THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM NOW AND COULD CERTAINLY LAND IN THE WELCOMING ARMS OF A NOMINEE WHOM THE FEDERALIST SOCIETY HAVE ASSURED THE PRESIDENT WOULD REVERSE ROE V. WADE. CONFIRMING JUDGE KAVANAUGH IS AN INVITATION FOR ABG VISITS TO CONTINUE -- ACTIVISTS TO CONTINUE THEIR CRUSADE FOR WOMEN FROM MAKING CHOICES THEY CHOOSE TO MAKE, TURNING BACK THE CLOCK ON WOMEN'S HEALTH FREEDOM AND ECONOMIC SECURITY. AND LET'S BE CLEAR, OVERTURNING ROE WOULDN'T END THESE PROCEDURES ACROSS THIS COUNTRY. IT WOULD JUST END SAFE ABORTIONS THAT WOMEN WOULD HAVE ACCESS TO. THOSE ACROSS THE COUNTRY WHO CARE ABOUT PROTECTING INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY AND AUTONOMY IN HEALTH CARE DECISIONS, INCLUDING ACCESS TO SAFE AND LEGAL PROCEDURES, ARE GALVANIZED AND MOBILIZED POLITICALLY IN A WAY WE HAVEN'T SEEN IN A GENERATION. THEY ARE ORGANIZED, AND I BELIEVE THEY WILL BRING THAT POLITICAL POWER TO BEAR IN OPPOSITION TO THE KAVANAUGH NOMINATION. OUR JUDICIAL SYSTEM, BUT THE SUPREME COURT IN PARTICULAR, HAS A SPECIAL ROLE IN OUR DEMOCRACY AS A NEUTRAL ARBITER OF THE LAW. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE MUST HAVE FAITH THAT THIS INSTITUTION AND ITS JUSTICES WILL UPHOLD THIS SACRED RESPONSIBILITY. AND STEPPING BACK FROM A LARGER PERSPECTIVE, LOOKING AT THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, WE HAVE TO ENSURE THAT ULTIMATELY PROTECTIONS FOR THOSE WITH PREEXISTING CONDITIONS IN THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM THAT ARE GUARANTEED UNDER OBAMACARE ARE CONTINUED. EVERY FAMILY IN OUR COUNTRY HAS SOMEBODY WITH A PREEXISTING CONDITION, AND WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT THIS NOMINATION DOES NOT LEAD TO SUCH FUNDAMENTAL CHANGES IN THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT THAT THOSE PROTECTIONS, THOSE RIGHTS ARE EVISCERATED. THE PRESIDENT HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO CHOOSE A NOMINEE THAT WOULD UNIFY THIS COUNTRY AND ASSURE THE PUBLIC OF THE FAIRNESS AND INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIAL BRANCH. INSTEAD HE SHAMELESSLY IN A PARTISAN WAY PICKED SOMEONE WHO WILL ONLY SERVE TO PROPEL OUR HIGHEST COURT INTO A FAR RIGHT ORTHODOXY FOR GENERATIONS TO COME. IT WOULD BECOME THE SUPREME RIGHT WING COURT. IF JUDGE KAVANAUGH IS CONFIRMED, WOMEN'S FREEDOM TO MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT THEIR BODIES, REFORMS TO OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, THE QUALITY OF OUR AIR AND WATER, AND MUCH MORE WILL BE AT RISK. THIS IS A CRITICAL MOMENT FOR OUR COUNTRY, MUCH TOO IMPORTANT FOR ANY SENATOR TO RUBBER STAMP THIS NOMINEE IN THE NAME OF DEFERENCE TO THE PRESIDENT. SO I AM GOING TO FIGHT THIS NOMINEE EVERY STEP OF THE WAY, AND I ASK EVERY AMERICAN TO JOIN ME IN THIS FIGHT. WE WILL NEED ALL AMERICANS TO ORGANIZE, TO MARCH, TO RAISE THEIR VOICES TO SAY THAT JUDGE KAVANAUGH DOES NOT REPRESENT THE VALUES WE NEED ON THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. AND I YIELD BACK. A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT.

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  • 12:45:49 PM

    MR. GARDNER

    THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. I COME TO THE FLOOR TODAY TO TALK ABOUT FIRES…

    THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. I COME TO THE FLOOR TODAY TO TALK ABOUT FIRES RIGHT NOW THAT COLORADO FACES, SOME OF THE MOST DEVASTATING FIRES IN COLORADO HISTORY. AS OF THE WRITING OF OUR COMMENTS THIS MORNING, THERE WERE 40 FIRES SO FAR IN 2018, AND THIS IS ONE OF THEM. I THINK THIS IS THE 416 FIRE I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO. THIS PAST WEEK, I WAS IN COLORADO WHERE WE WERE ABLE TO SEE THE SUGAR LOAF FIRE, DROVE BY THE WESTERN PACIFIER. THIS IS SOME DISTANCE AWAY FROM THE CHRISTINE LAKE FIRE AND OBVIOUSLY THE SPRING CREEK FIRE IN COLORADO. AS A RESULT OF THESE FIRES, OVER 355,000 ACRES IN COLORADO HAVE BURNED. THAT'S SIMPLY DEVASTATING RIGHT NOW. BUT CONGRESS HAS NOT BEEN INATTENTIVE TO THE NEEDS OF OUR FORESTS. WE HAVE PASSED OVER THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS LEGISLATION THAT WOULD FIX THE FIRE BORROWING CRISIS THAT HAD GRIPPED THE FOREST SERVICE. THAT WAS SOMETHING THAT WAS FORCING THEM TO CANNIBALIZE DOLLARS THAT COULD BE USED TO REDUCE THE NEXT YEAR'S FOREST FIRES ON THIS YEAR'S FOREST FIRES. WE HAVE FIXED THAT. WE HAVE PUT FIXES IN PLACE FOR THAT. WE ALSO PASSED LEGISLATION THAT WOULD GIVE OUR LAND MANAGERS MORE TOOLS TO HELP ADDRESS DEAD TREES, INSECT DISEASE-RIDDEN FORESTS SO THAT WE CAN HAVE HEALTHIER FORESTS. I HOPE THAT THE WORK WE DO ON HEALTHY FOREST POLICIES WILL CONTINUE IN THIS CONGRESS THAT WE HAVE MADE GREAT PROGRESS ON. THESE FIRES CERTAINLY ARE DEVASTATING. THESE COMMUNITIES REMAIN OPEN. NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE IN THE COUNTRY, IF YOU HAVE A SUMMER VACATION IN COLORADO, I HOPE YOU WILL STILL COME. THESE COMMUNITIES NEED YOU NOW MORE THAN EVER. THEY NEED YOUR DOLLARS. THEY NEED YOUR RESOURCES. THEY WANT YOU TO COME VISIT. IN THE MEANTIME, WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE WE PROVIDE OUR FIREFIGHTERS, THE GREAT MEN AND WOMEN ON THE FRONT LINES OF THESE FIRES, THE TOOLS THEY NEED TO PROTECT OUR COMMUNITIES BUT ALSO THE TOOLS OUR LAND MANAGERS NEED TO MAKE SURE THEY CAN PREVENT THESE FIRES FROM HAPPENING. WE HAVE ALSO ADDRESSED THIS CONGRESS POLICIES ADDRESSING CATEGORICAL EXCLUSIONS. THAT'S A FANCY WAY OF SAYING IT GIVES LAND MANAGERS TOOLS TO HELP REDUCE THE FIRE RISK IN CERTAIN AREAS. WE HAVE HELPED TO PROVIDE TOOLS IN FIRE REGIMES ONE, TWO, AND THREE. THERE ARE FIVE FIRE REGIMES, FIRE REGIME ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, AND FIVE. THEY ALL KIND OF ARE DEFINED BY HOW LIKELY THEY ARE TO BURN, HOW FREQUENT THEY ARE TO BURN IN CERTAIN CONDITIONS. MUCH OF THE WEST, THOUGH, IS WHAT'S CALLED FIRE REGIME FOUR AND FIVE. YOU CAN SEE THE COLORS OF FIRE REGIME FOUR AND FIVE, THE ORANGE OR REDDISH COLOR, AND THE PURPLE COLOR. THE LIGHT GREEN, THE YELLOWISH COLORS, THEY ARE ONE, TWO, THREE. WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO PROVIDE NEW TOOLS FOR FIRE REGIMES ONE, TWO, THREE, BUT WE HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO PROVIDE AS MANY TOOLS IN REGIMES FOUR AND FIVE. THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS TO BE A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF THE WEST. THAT'S WHERE MOST OF THE BEATLE AND OTHER -- BEETLE AND OTHER INSECT KILL HAS OCCURRED IN COLORADO. WHEN A TREE IS KILLED, IT CREATES A SIGNIFICANT FIRE HAZARD. WE HAVE ALSO BEEN ABLE TO PROVIDE AMENDMENTS WE HAVE FILED TO THE FARM BILL. UNFORTUNATELY IT DIDN'T SUCCEED. I HOPE WE CAN GET THEM THROUGH TO PROVIDE HELP IN THESE HIGH-RISK AREAS OF DISEASE AND INSECT-RIDDEN FORESTS. PAST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES HAVE CREATED CONDITIONS WHERE WE MAY HAVE MONO CULTURE FORESTS WHERE YOU HAVE A VERY -- A FOREST WITH THE SAME AGE OF TREES. YOU HAVE SAME CONDITIONS THAT ALLOW THEM TO BE SUSCEPTIBLE TO THE SAME INSECTS, SAME DISEASES, AND YOU END UP WITH THOUSANDS OF ACRES THAT ARE SUSCEPTIBLE TO CATASTROPHIC WILDFIRE. NOW, WHERE A LOT OF COLORADO'S BEETLE KILL INSECT CAN BE FOUND, THEY ARE ALSO THE HEADWATERS OF SOME OFF OUR NATION'S MOST SIGNIFICANT WATER SOURCES. COLORADO IS THE ONLY STATE IN THE COUNTRY WHERE ALL WATER FLOWS OUT OF AND NO WATER FLOWS INTO. I KNOW THE PRESIDING OFFICER IS A BENEFICIARY OF COLORADO WATER AS WELL. PROBABLY NOT ENOUGH OF IT, SHE WOULD SAY, BUT IT'S IMPORTANT TO NEBRASKA THAT WE PROTECT COLORADO FORESTS, BECAUSE THE HEADWATERS OF THE PLATTE RIVER ARE IN COLORADO. THE NORTH PLATTE, THE SOUTH PLATTE, THE WORK THAT WE HAVE TO BE DOING TO MAKE SURE THAT WE PROTECT THESE -- THESE WATERSHEDS. BUS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A FOREST BURNS, YOU END UP WITH HEIGHT ROW PHOBIC -- WITH HYDROPHOBIC SOIL CONDITIONS. THE RUNOFF GOES DIRECTLY INTO THE WATER. IT DESTROYS THE WATERSHED. IF YOU HAVE A FOREST THAT HAS FOUR OR FIVE TIMES THE UNDERGROWTH THAT IT SHOULD, THEN THAT TAKES MORE WATER OUT OF WHAT WOULD NATURALLY GO TO THE WATERWAY AND THE WATERSHED, MEANING THERE IS LESS WATER AVAILABLE FOR OTHER USES DOWNSTREAM. AND SO IF YOU COULD GO TO THE NEXT SLIDE, I WANT TO TALK ABOUT SOME MORE OF THAT FOREST MANAGEMENT. WE HAD ANOTHER FIRE IN COLORADO CALLED THE BUFFALO FIRE IN SUMMIT, COLORADO. IF YOU HAVE EVER DRIVEN UP I-70 THROUGH THE EISENHOWER TUNNEL TOWARD BRECKENRIDGE, YOU WILL GO BY A TOWN, SILVERTHORN. YOU CAN SEE IN SUMMIT COUNTY, THE BUFFALO FIRE ACTUALLY THREATENED 1,400 HOMES. 1,400 HOMES WERE EVACUATED AS A RESULT OF THIS FIRE. NOW, THE FIRE WAS 91 ACRES. IT'S ABOUT 95% CONTAINMENT. THIS RISK THAT IT POSED WAS SIGNIFICANT BECAUSE IT HAD A VERY DENSELY POPULATED AREA OF THE MOUNTAINS, A COMMUNITY, HOMEOWNERS THAT WERE RIGHT THERE, 1,400 HOMES EVACUATED. THEY HAD A LOT OF HIGH-RISK FUELS, BUT WHAT THIS COMMUNITY HAD DONE WAS SOMETHING WE SHOULD BRAG ABOUT ALL OVER THE WEST, ALL OVER OUR FORESTS. THEY ACTUALLY HAD INCREDIBLE COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS WITH STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN THIS AREA. THEY WERE ABLE TO DEVELOP FUEL TREATMENT TO HELP MODERATE THE FIRE ACTIVITY. THIS WAS AGAIN A VERY CHALLENGING FIRE. WE HAVE EXTREME FIRE BEHAVIOR IN COLORADO THIS YEAR, BUT BECAUSE OF THE WORK THAT THEY HAD DONE, THE COLLABORATIVE WORK THEY HAD DONE TO HELP REDUCE THE RISK, TO HELP THIN FORESTS, TO HELP REDUCE THE FUEL, TO CREATE THE FIRE BREAKS, THEY WERE ABLE TO KEEP THIS FIRE FROM REACHING THOSE HOMES. THE FIRE TREATMENT WORKED. THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF A PROCESS THAT WE OUGHT TO BE SPREADING AND LOOKING AT TO HELP REDUCE HAZARDOUS FUELS AROUND THE WEST TO MAKE SURE THAT WE DON'T LOSE OUR COMMUNITIES WHEN WE HAVE THESE DEVASTATING FIRES. THIS WAS JUST WEST OF SILVERTHORN. THESE FUEL REDUCTION PROJECTS, THEY HELP CREATE FIRE BREAKS, PRESCRIBED BURNS HELP CONTAIN A FIRE WITH EXTREME BEHAVIOR THAT COULD BE SIMPLY DEVASTATING. THIS FIRE WASN'T TOO FAR AWAY FROM DYLAN RESERVOIR, WHICH IS A KEY SOURCE OF WATER FOR COLORADO. I WANT TO GO TO THE NEXT SLIDE AS WELL. WE GOT LANGUAGE INTO THE FARM BILL THAT ADDRESSES VEGETABLE LAITION MANAGEMENT. NOW, THIS PICTURE SHOWS WHAT HAPPENED AFTER A FOREST FIRE. THIS IS A POWER LINE, OBVIOUSLY. YOU CAN SEE THE POWER LINES GOING THROUGH IT. SO WE HAVE RISK TO OUR FORESTS, WE HAVE RISKS TO OUR COMMUNITIES, OUR HOMES, WE HAVE RISKS TO OUR WATERSHEDS. WE ALSO HAVE RISKS TO OUR POWER SUPPLY SYSTEMS. YOU CAN SEE THAT THIS POLE HAS BEEN SIMPLY DISINTEGRATED AS A RESULT OF THE FIRE. THIS HAS COST AT LEAST ONE UTILITY OVER $10 MILLION IN THE BASSALT AREA AS A RESULT OF THE FIRE. SO WE ARE WORKING ON LANGUAGE DEALING WITH VEGETATION MANAGEMENT. SENATOR BENNET AND I SPONSORED LANGUAGE THAT WOULD ALLOW UTILITIES TO DO WORK ON THEIR OWN DIME OUTSIDE OF THE RIGHT-OF-WAYS BECAUSE THEY COULD HELP PREVENT THIS KIND OF FIRE FROM HAPPENING AND IMPACTING OUR ELECTRICITY AND ENERGY SYSTEMS. THE LAKE CHRISTINE FIRE WHICH IS NEAR BASALT PUT OUT OF COMMISSION A LOT OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF ELECTRIC INFRASTRUCTURE. THIS UTILITY I AM CONSTITUENTING WILL BE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FOR REPAIR. IT JUST MAKES SENSE FOR US TO GIVE TOOLS TO THESE UTILITIES ON THEIR OWN DIME TO PREVENT THIS KIND OF DAMAGE, BECAUSE THEY WOULD BE CREATING FIREBREAKS, THEY WOULD BE CREATING MORE RESILIENT SYSTEMS THAT WOULD ALLOW OUR COMMUNITIES A LITTLE BIT MORE, I GUESS, SECURITY IN KNOWING THAT THEIR ELECTRIC SYSTEMS, ELECTRICITY SYSTEMS WOULD BE PROTECTED AND SAFE. SO THESE KINDS OF BILLS THAT WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO PRODUCE HAVE HAD AND WILL HAVE GREAT IMPACT ON HOW WE CAN PREVENT AND HOW WE RESPOND TO CATASTROPHIC WILDFIRE. AND CERTAINLY A $10 MILLION COST FROM ONE FIRE, THERE IS GOING TO BE OTHER COSTS, WILL INCREASE RATES. IT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO INCREASE RATES DRAMATICALLY IF WE CAN'T GET A HANDLE ON THE RIGHT KINDS OF POLICIES. AND FINALLY, I WANT TO TURN TO ANOTHER DISTURBING ASPECT OF WHAT WE HAVE SEEN IN COLORADO WITH THESE FOREST FIRES. WE HAVE SEEN AN UPTICK IN DRONE FLYING OVERACTIVE FOREST FIRES IN FIREFIGHTING AREAS. LOOK, IF YOU GO OUT AND FLY A DRONE AND YOU DO THAT WITHOUT INTERFERING WITH THE FIREFIGHTER AND YOU'RE FOLLOWING ALL THE RULES, I DON'T THINK ANYBODY HAS A PROBLEM WITH IT. BUT IF YOU'RE FLYING A DRONE AND YOU'RE VIOLATING THE RULES AND YOU'RE FLYING IT OVER AN ACTIVE FIRE, STOP IT. I HAVE TALKED TO FAR TOO MANY INCIDENT COMMANDERS RIGHT NOW WHO HAVE HAD TO CALL OFF AIR TANKERS BECAUSE THERE IS A DRONE IN THE AREA. IN FACT, THERE IS A VIDEO ON YOUTUBE RIGHT NOW WHERE YOU CAN SEE THE DRONE COMING IN -- THE DRONE FOOTAGE, FOOTAGE FROM THE DRONE TAKING A PICTURE OF THE FOREST WHILE YOU SEE THE SHADOW OF A TANKER ON THE GROUND BECAUSE THE TANKER WENT RIGHT OVER IT. THE PILOTS OF THAT TANKER WERE ASKED DID YOU SEE THE DRONE, AND THEY SAID NO. WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF THAT DRONE WOULD HAVE HIT THAT PLANE? PERHAPS CAUSING AN ACCIDENT, PERHAPS COSTING LIVES, PERHAPS STARTING A NEW FIRE BECAUSE THE PLANE HAD TO CRASH. NOW, WHAT HAPPENS -- COULD HAVE CRASHED AS A RESULT. NOW, WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU CALL OFF AN AIR TANKER THAT'S ALREADY IN THE AIR, THAT TANKER CAN'T LAND WITH THE SLURRY THAT IT HAS ON BOARD ALREADY, SO THE FIRE TANKER THAT -- THE AIR TANKER GETS CALLED OFF, IT THEN HAS TO GO DUMP THE SLURRY SOMEWHERE ELSE. THAT COULD BE $10,000, $20,000 OF SLURRY WASTED. $10,000, $20,000 AT A TIME WASTED BECAUSE THEY GOT CALLED OFF BECAUSE SOMEBODY DECIDED THAT THEY WOULD RATHER FLY THEIR DRONE AND GET VIDEOS THAT THEY CAN POST ON YOUTUBE.INSTEAD OF ALLOWING FIREFIGHTERS TO DO THEIR JOB. THIS IS WHAT THE FOREST SERVICE HAS PUT OUT. IF YOU FLY, WE CAN'T. YOU HAVE 105,000, 110,000-ACRE FIRE IN THE SPRING CREEK FIRE RIGHT NOW. OVER 200 HOMES LOST. AN HOUR A DAY WITHOUT SUPERTANKERS, WITHOUT AIR TANKERS IS A BIG PROBLEM FOR THOSE COMMUNITIES AND THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE PUTTING THEIR LIVES AT RISK TRYING TO DEFEND AND PROTECT OUR FORESTS AND OUR COMMUNITIES. SO I JUST HOPE THAT PEOPLE WILL USE A LITTLE BIT OF COMMON SENSE AND NOT FLY THEIR DRONES OVER AN ACTIVE FIREFIGHTING. I HAVE INTRODUCED LEGISLATION WITH SENATOR BENNET AND CONGRESSMAN TIPTON TO MAKE IT A FELONY TO INTERFERE WITH A FIREFIGHTING OPERATION OVER A FOREST FIRE IF YOU'RE FLYING A DRONE ILLEGALLY. SO TO THE MEN AND WOMEN ACROSS COLORADO, ACROSS THIS COUNTRY, WE MET WITH INDIVIDUALS FROM OREGON, FROM ALL OVER THE WEST WHEN I VISITED THE FIRE AT THE INCIDENT COMMAND CENTER IN SOUTHERN COLORADO, WHEN WE VISITED THE SPRING CREEK FIRE. WE TALKED TO FIRE MEN AND WOMEN WHO SPENT THEIR 4TH OF JULY NOT WATCHING FIREWORKS OR PICNICKING WITH THEIR FAMILY, BUT OUT DEFENDING AND PROTECTING OUR COMMUNITIES IN COLORADO. THANK YOU FOR THEIR WORK. THANK YOU FOR THEIR TIRELESS EFFORTS AND SACRIFICE. IT'S DANGEROUS. IN FACT, JUST LAST WEEK AS WE WERE AT THE FIRE ON FRIDAY, WE COMMEMORATED AND RECOGNIZED THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE STORM KING MOUNTAIN AND THOSE WHO WERE KILLED, 14, NEAR GLENWOOD SPRINGS ABOUT 24 YEARS BEFORE. AND SO THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS FIRE SEASON, AND THANKFULLY WE HAVE SERIOUS POLICIES IN PLACE THAT ARE ADDRESSING IT, BUT THERE IS NOR WORK THAT WE CAN DO. -- MORE WORK THAT WE CAN DO. I THANK MY COLLEAGUES. MADAM PRESIDENT, I COME TO THE FLOOR ALSO TODAY TO TALK ABOUT A BILL IN A COMMITTEE HEARING THAT WE HAD YESTERDAY BEFORE THE ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE CALLED THE RESTORE OUR PARKS ACT, LEGISLATION THAT WOULD PROVIDE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO ADDRESS THE MOST PRESSING MAINTENANCE NEEDS AT OUR NATION'S NATIONAL PARK UNITS. NATIONAL PARKS AND MONUMENTS ARE AN IMPORTANT PART OF COLORADO'S HISTORY. IT'S HERITAGE TO OUR NATION'S SHARED LOVE OF OUR PUBLIC LAND SYSTEM. WE KNOW IN 2016, THE YEAR THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE WAS CELEBRATING ITS CENTENNIAL, THAT COLORADO'S 12 UNITS MANAGED BY THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE SAW OVER 7.5 MILLION VISITORS. 7.5 MILLION ADVICERS TO WHO -- VISITORS WHO SPENT AROUND $485 MILLION VISITING OUR NATIONAL PARKS IN COLORADO. BUT AFTER YEARS OF INCREASING VISITATION POPULARITY, NATIONAL PARK UNITS ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE SHOWING SIGNS OF STRESS AND OVERUSE FOR WHICH PROGRAMMATIC FUNDING HAS NOT KEPT UP. NATIONAL PARK UNITS IN COLORADO ACCOUNT FOR OVER $230 MILLION OF THE $11.6 BILLION IN MAINTENANCE NEEDS THAT OUR NATIONAL PARKS NOW FACE. ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK WHICH IS ONE OF THE NATION'S MOST VISITED PARKS IN THE COUNTRY AND BOASTS THE HIGHEST ALTITUDE PAVED ROAD IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES HAS $84 MILLION ALONE IN MAINTENANCE -- DEFERRED MAINTENANCE NEEDS. MESA VERDE, COLORADO'S OLDEST NATIONAL PARK AND THE FIRST ESTABLISHED TO PROTECT THE WORKS OF MAN, NEEDS $70 MILLION TO ADDRESS ITS DEFERRED MAINTENANCE BACKLOGS. THESE ARE THE CLIFF DWELLINGS THAT PEOPLE SEE. THE LIST GOES ON FOR DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT, THE GREAT SANDS, AND EVEN B ENTS OLD FORTH. I HAVE JOINED WITH COLLEAGUES TO CRAFT AND ADVANCE LEGISLATION THAT FULFILLS OUR PROMISE, FULFILLS OUR PROMISE TO PUBLIC LAND THAT WILL KEEP THE UPKEEP OF OUR PUBLIC LANDS A PRIORITY. I'M ALSO PLEASED THAT IT'S BASED OFF OF A FUNDING MODEL THAT HAS WORKED SO SUCCESSFULLY FOR THE LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND. THE LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND, ONE OF THE CROWN JEWELS, THE CROWN JEWEL OF OUR NATION'S CONSERVATION PROGRAMS. I WOULD POINT OUT THAT WE'RE ABOUT A LITTLE OVER 20 DAYS FROM ANOTHER GROUP OF BIPARTISAN SENATORS, JUST 20 DAYS AGO HOLDING A PRESS CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTING THE NEED TO REAUTHORIZE LWCF IN THE NEXT 100 DAYS BEFORE THAT AUTHORIZATION LAPSES. I WAS A PART OF THAT GROUP. WE TALKED ABOUT THE NEED TO HAVE THIS PROGRAM REAUTHORIZED AGAIN BEFORE IT EXPIRES. THE DEADLINE IS NOW JUST ABOUT 78 DAYS AWAY. I MUST ALSO MENTION THAT WE HAVE YET TO FULFILL OUR PROMISE ON FUNDING FOR LWCF. WE NEED TO FULLY FUND THE PROGRAM, SOMETHING I HOPE WE CAN DO IN THE NEAR FUTURE. WHILE I BELIEVE OUR BILL IS SUFFICIENT THAT THE SAME WILL NOT HAPPEN HERE, WE NEED TO ASSURE -- ENSURE A FUEL COMMITMENT TO THE NEW EFFORT TO MAKE SURE WE HAVE THE FUNDING PROCESS FROM CONGRESS. I URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO FIND A PATH FORWARD TO PERMANENTLY YOU AUTHORIZE -- PERMANENTLY AUTHORIZE THE LAND AND CONSERVATION FUND. BECAUSE ACCESS TO THE LANDS WE'RE TRYING TO MAINTAIN IS AS IMPORTANT AS THE PARKS THEMSELVES. I THANK MY COLLEAGUES FOR COMING TOGETHER ON THE RESTORE OUR PARKS ACT. THIS BACKLOG HAS PERSISTED FOR FAR TOO MANY YEARS. THANK YOU, UP A, AND I NOTE -- NOTE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

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  • 01:01:05 PM

    CALL

    QUORUM CALL:

  • 01:01:06 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 01:30:05 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION. ALL TIME IS EXPIRED. THE QUESTION IS ON THE NOMINATION.…

    WITHOUT OBJECTION. ALL TIME IS EXPIRED. THE QUESTION IS ON THE NOMINATION. IS THERE A SUFFICIENT SECOND? THERE APPEARS TO BE. THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. VOTE: VOTE: VOTE: VOTE:

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  • 01:30:11 PM

    Senate Vote 154 - On the Nomination PN1438

    Nomination Confirmed (70 - 23)
    Yea
    Nay

    Vote Details: Yea - 70
    Republican - 44
    Democratic - 25
    Independent - 1

    Vote Details: Nay - 23
    Democratic - 20
    Republican - 2
    Independent - 1

    Vote Details: Not Voting - 7
    Republican - 5
    Democratic - 2

  • 02:03:01 PM

    THE CLERK

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

    CLOTURE MOTION. WE, THE UNDERSIGNED SENATORS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF RULE 22 OF THE STANDING RULES OF THE SENATE, DO HEREBY MOVE TO BRING TO A CLOSE DEBATE ON THE NOMINATION OF RANDAL QUARLES OF COLORADO TO BE A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM, SIGNED BY 17 SENATORS AS FOLLOWS.

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  • 02:03:46 PM

    THE CLERK

    NOMINATION, THE JUDICIARY, ANDREW S.FULSOME OF TEXAS TO BE DISTRICT JUDGE…

    NOMINATION, THE JUDICIARY, ANDREW S.FULSOME OF TEXAS TO BE DISTRICT JUDGE OF THE SIXTH CIRCUIT.

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  • 02:05:02 PM

    THE CLERK

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

    CLOTURE MOTION. WE, THE UNDERSIGNED SENATORS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF RULE 22 OF THE STANDING RULES OF THE SENATE, DO HEREBY MOVE TO BRING TO A CLOSE DEBATE ON THE NOMINATION OF RYAN WESLEY BOUNDS OFFERING TO BE NINTH CIRCUIT JUDGE OF OREGON SIGNED BY 17 SENATORS AS FOLLOWS --

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  • 02:05:30 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 02:07:36 PM

    MR. FLAKE

    MR. PRESIDENT, I RISE TODAYS TO DISCUSS -- TODAY TO DISCUSS A MATTER OF…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I RISE TODAYS TO DISCUSS -- TODAY TO DISCUSS A MATTER OF GREAT IMPORT BE GIVEN THE EVENTS OF THE PAST FEW DAYS IN EUROPE AS IT RELATES TO FRIENDS, FOES, AND PEACE. GLOBAL PEACE IS NOT A ZERO-SUM GAME, AND GLOBAL ALLIANCES OUGHT NOT TO BE THE SUBJECT TO WHIM, IMPULSE, OPAQUE MACHINATIONS, OR MERCURIAL THREATS OF CANCELLATION OVER INTERNAL DISAGREEMENTS. THE WORLD RELIES ON THE UNITED STATES FOR STABLE AND RELIABLE LEADERSHIP, AND WE HAVE IN TURN BENEFITED GREATLY IN THE PEACE AND STABILITY FOR WHICH WE HAVE BEEN THE CHIEF GUARANTORS. THIS IS NOT A SUBJECT THAT IS EVEN DEBATABLE. LATELY, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES HAS BEEN CHARACTERIZING OUR MOST VITAL RELATIONSHIPS AROUND THE WORLD IN PURELY TRANSACTIONAL TERMS, ASSERTING THAT AMERICA HAS BEEN TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF. HE HAS GONE SO FAR AS TO SUGGEST THAT WHEN IT COMES TO OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR NATO PARTNERS, WE GET NOTHING FOR OUR TROUBLES. NOTHING FOR A STABLE AND PEACEFUL EUROPE? THIS IS THE DANGER IN VIEWING THESE RELATIONSHIPS AS MERE TRANSACTIONS, ABSENT OUR SHARED VALUES, ABSENT VALUES THE WORLD IS NOTHING BUT A CRUEL AND COLD PLACE OF WARRING CAMPS AND TERRITORIAL AMBITIONS AND NO DURABLE ALLIANCES WHATSOEVER. TO VIEW THE WORLD THIS WAY REQUIRES A FRIGHTENING UNAWARENESS OF THE POST-WAR SECURITY ORDER THAT WE OURSELVES CREATED. AND THIS POSTURE OF ANTAGONISM AND SUSPICION TOWARD OUR PARTNERS IN PEACE CAN ONLY BE HELD WHEN YOU BLOT OUT 70 OF THE MOST CONSEQUENTIAL YEARS IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. APART FROM OUR SHARED SACRIFICE AND OUR SHARED SECURITY, WHAT WE HAVE BEEN THROUGH TOGETHER OVER THOSE 70 YEARS CANNOT ADEQUATELY BE REFLECTED ON ANY LEDGER OR LIST OF PETTY GRIEVANCES, AND A SEEMING IGNORANCE OF THE SCALE OF THAT HISTORY IS BLUNDERING AND STRANGE. THE MINDSET THAT COMPREHENSIVE TRADE DEFICIT AS A GRIEVOUS OFFENSE OR AN UNFAIR ACT OF AGGRESSION IS THE SAME MIND SET THAT CAN UPEND VITAL SECURITY RELATIONSHIPS THAT HAVE BEEN SIMILARLY MISPERCEIVED. SOMETIMES IF I DIDN'T KNOW BETTER, I MIGHT SAY THAT WE ARE PURPOSEFULLY TRYING TO DESTABILIZE THE WESTERN ALLIANCE AND TO TURN THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN. I MIGHT COME TO THIS CONCLUSION BECAUSE BY A PROCESS OF ELIMINATION, NO OTHER ANSWER WOULD MAKE ANY SENSE. MR. PRESIDENT, IF THIS IS SOME KIND OF STRATAGEM, WHAT GOOD COULD POSSIBLY BE ACHIEVED BY HEEDLESSLY MAKING FRIENDS INTO ENEMIES, AND WHO EXACTLY WOULD BENEFIT? WHAT WOULD THIS PRESIDENT REPLACE THE WESTERN ALLIANCE WITH? THERE SIMPLY IS NO BETTER ORDER THAT COULD BE ACHIEVED BY THIS DESTABILIZATION. TODAY I RISE TO POSE A FEW QUESTIONS, AND I BELIEVE THERE IS MUCH RIDING ON THE ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS. A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES SAID THAT HIS UPCOMING MEETING WITH THE RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN WOULD LIKELY BE EASIER THAN HIS MEETING WITH AMERICA'S MOST IMPORTANT ALLIES AT THE NATO SUMMIT. WHY WOULD A PRESIDENT, ANY PRESIDENT, SAY SUCH A THING? THE RUSSIAN PRESIDENT AT THE VERY LEAST PERSONALLY DIRECTED A PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN AND AN EXTRAORDINARILY AMBITIOUS SERIES OF SALES TAX AIMED AT THE INTEGRITY OF OUR ELECTIONS IN 2016, AND WE HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT THESE ATTACKS ARE CONTINUING. HE HAS SHOWN NO SIGNS WHATSOEVER OF CHANGING HIS BEHAVIOR. THE RUSSIAN PRESIDENT IS A MAN SCHOOLED IN TREACHERY AND ESPIONAGE. HE JAILS AND MURDERS HIS OPPONENTS, PRESIDES OVER A MAFIA STATE, AND HE IS AN ENEMY OF DEMOCRACY. WHY WOULD A MEETING WITH PUTIN BE EASIER THAN A MEETING WITH THE ALLIES THAT WE RELY ON MOST TO BE A BULWARK AGAINST HIM? VLADIMIR PUTIN IS NOT FINE, AS THE PRESIDENT RECENTLY ASSERTED, AND SINGING HIS PRAISES FOR NO GOOD REASON SENDS A TERRIFYING MESSAGE TO OUR ALLIES, ESPECIALLY THOSE COUNTRIES THAT SHARE A BORDER WITH RUSSIA. FLATTERING SUCH A MAN WHO HAS DEMONSTRATED HIS HOSTILITY TOWARD US AND CONTEMPT FOR OUR VALUES AND HAS RECENTLY ANNEXED PART OF NEIGHBORING SOVEREIGN COUNTRIES IS SIMPLY BIZARRE. YET THE ADMIRATION -- THAT THE ADMIRATION COMES FROM AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT, WELL, THAT IS UNCONSCIONABLE. THE PRESIDENT, OF COURSE, CONTINUES TO ENTERTAIN MR. PUTIN'S DENIAL OF ELECTION INTERFERENCE AND OTHERWISE HARDLY MENTIONS RUSSIAN ATTACKS ON US OTHER THAN TO TALK ABOUT THE RUSSIA HOAX OR TO REFER TO MR. MUELLER'S INVESTIGATION INTO THE ATTACKS AS A WITCH HUNT. THIS IN SPITE OF CONCLUSIVE AND OVERWHELMING PROOF OF RUSSIAN INVOLVEMENT GENERATED FROM INVESTIGATIONS CONDUCTED BY HIS OWN GOVERNMENT. WHY? THEN BEFORE A RECENT G-7 MEETING, THE PRESIDENT CALLED FOR RUSSIA TO BE READMITTED TO THE G-7. IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT MOSCOW CONTINUES TO OCCUPY CRIMEA AND HAS SHOWN NO REMORSE WHATSOEVER FOR ITS BEHAVIOR TOWARD THE UNITED STATES. WHY? THEN YESTERDAY IN BRUSSELS, THE PRESIDENT OFFERED A TWISTED INTERPRETATION OF HOW NATO WORKS AND HOW IT IS FINANCED IN ORDER TO FRAME A GRIEVANCE AGAINST OUR NATO ALLIES, SUPPOSEDLY ON BEHALF OF THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER. WHY? WHY WOULD AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT CREATE SUCH CONFLICT? AND WHY, MR. PRESIDENT, DOES THE PRESIDENT'S COMPLAINT ABOUT OUR CLOSEST FRIENDS ON THE GLOBAL STAGE UNNERVINGLY ECHO THE RUSSIAN POSITION? MR. PUTIN'S SINGULAR FOREIGN POLICY GOAL IS TO WEAKEN DEMOCRACIES AND DESTROY THE WESTERN ALLIANCE. COULD WE POSSIBLY BE HELPING HIM ANY MORE IN HIS QUEST THAN BY BASELESSLY ATTACKING OUR OWN ALLIES? THIS ANTIPATHY AND HOSTILITY TOWARD OUR FRIENDS AND ALLIES IS SIMPLY INEXPLICABLE, BUT IT IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR US TO JUST SAY THAT. IT IS OUR JOB AND OBLIGATION HERE IN THIS BODY TO TRY TO END IT, TO REASSURE OUR ALLIES THAT THEY ARE STILL OUR ALLIES. OVER THE INDEPENDENCE DAY HOLIDAY, I HAD THE PRIVILEGE TO LEAD A BIPARTISAN AND BICAMERAL DELEGATION TO THE IN ORDERRIC AND BATTLIC STATES TO -- TO THE NORDIC AND BATTLIC STATES WHOSE VIEW OF THE RUSSIAN THREAT IS, IS MUCH MORE INTIMATE THAN OURS, TO HEAR OF THE CONCERNS OF THE LEADERS THERE, NATO ALLIES AND PARTNERS. WE WANTED TO ASSESS THE THREAT FOR OURSELVES. IN LATVIA WHERE 40% OF THE POPULATION IS ETHNIC RUSSIAN, THE PROPAGANDA FOR MOSCOW IS STRONG AND UNRELENTING. THE NATO ALLIANCE IS WEAK. IT WON'T LAST. THE UNITED STATES IS AN UNRELIABLE ALLY. THESE THEMES HAVE LATELY BECOME VERY FAMILIAR ON THIS SIDE OF THE ATLANTIC AS WELL. THE PEOPLE OF LATIVA, ETHNIC RUSSIANS AND OTHERWISE, PAY CLOSE ATTENTION WHEN A PRESIDENT SAYS CRIMEA IS PART OF RUSSIA BECAUSE PEOPLE IN CRY HAD MIA -- CRIMEA SPEAK RUSSIAN. THERE IS A LOT OF RUSSIAN SPOKEN IN LATIVA. DOES THAT MEAN THIS IS THE NAME VLADIMIR PUTIN PRESIDES DICKERLY HE OVER THE REMAINS OF COLLAPSED EMPIRE. ALL HE HAS IS NATIONALISM AND TERRITORIAL AMBITIONS AND NOSTALGIC APPEALS TO FORMER GLORY. HE IS NOT A STRONG LEADER FOR HIS PEOPLE ANYMORE THAN KIM JONG-UN'S PEOPLE LOVE THEIR DICTATOR. IF WE FAIL TO SEE THESE THINGS CLEARLY, WE FAIL THE WORLD AND OURSELVES AND WE DISHONOR THOSE FROM OUR ALLIED COUNTRIES WHO KEPT THE SOVIETS AT BAY FOR HALF A CENTURY AS THE WORLD HUNG IN THE BALANCE. WE'RE NOW TOLD THE PRESIDENT WILL BE MEETING ONE-ON-ONE WITH MR. PUTIN WITH NO STAFF PRESENT, NO PRESS, NO ONE TO MAKE A ARE RECORD -- MAKE A RECORD OF THE EVENT. WHY? IF THE WHITE HOUSE IS AS CONFUSED ABOUT THE NATURE OF THE THREAT WE FACE FROM MR. PUTIN AS IT SEEMS TO BE, A MEETING BETWEEN THE RUSSIAN PRESIDENT AND HIS COUNTERPART COULD NOT BE MORE CONCERNING. IT IS VITAL THAT EVEN THE MOST PRIVATE MEETINGS BETWEEN LEADERS NOT BE LOST TO HISTORY ESPECIALLY WHEN ONCE AGAIN THE WORLD SEEMS TON HANGING IN THE -- SEEMS TO BE HANGING IN THE BALANCE. NATO IS ONE OF THE GREATEST INVESTMENTS OUR NATION HAS EVER MADE. ANY COUNTERNARRATIVE ABOUT NATO IS WILLFULLY DESTRUCTIVE AND DOES REAL AND LASTING DAMAGE TO US AND THE WORLD. I JOIN MY SENIOR SENATOR JOHN McCAIN IN THE SENTIMENTS HE EXPRESSED JUST WEEKS AGO. TO OUR ALLIES, BIPARTISAN MAJORITIES OF BOTH PARTIES SUPPORT OUR ALLIANCES BASED ON 70 YEARS OF SHARED VALUES. AMERICANS STAND WITH YOU. NOW, I WOULD BE REMISS IF I DID NOT HERE TODAY REMIND MY COLLEAGUES THAT THE ONLY TIME ARTICLE 5 OF THE NATO CHARTER HAS BEEN INVOKED HAS BEEN BY THE UNITED STATES AFTER THE ATTACKS OF 9/11 IN 2001. OUR ALLIES ACCOMPANIED US INTO BATTLE TO DEFEND OUR COUNTRY AND OUR WAY OF LIFE AND THEY PAID AN ETERNAL PRICE FOR THEIR COMMITMENT TO OUR SHARED SECURITY. OF THE MORE THAN 3,500 CASUALTIES SUSTAINED THUS FAR IN AFGHANISTAN, ROUGHLY A THIRD ARE THE SONS, THE DAUGHTERS, THE HUSBANDS, AND WIVES OF OUR NATO ALLIES. IN THE SPIRIT OF NATO, MR. PRESIDENT, THOSE CASUALTIES ARE OUR CASUALTIES. WE CHERISH THEM. WE CHERISH THEM AND THEIR SACRIFICE AS IF THEY WERE OUR OWN BECAUSE THEY ARE OUR OWN. LET US HONOR THEM NOT JUST IN MEMORY BUT, INDEED, IN THE WAY WE CONDUCT OURSELVES HERE IN THIS PLACE. AND OUR COMMITMENT FOR THE VALUES FOR WHICH THEY DIED, IN THE CLARITY OF OUR PURPOSE, AND, ULTIMATELY, IN OUR BASIC ABILITY TO TELL RIGHT FROM WRONG NO MATTER THE COST. I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT.

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  • 02:19:53 PM

    CALL

    THEY DESERVE A WHOLE LOT BETTER THAN WHAT THOSE COMMENTS I JUST REFERRED…

    THEY DESERVE A WHOLE LOT BETTER THAN WHAT THOSE COMMENTS I JUST REFERRED TO REFLECT. SEE MAC I REGRET THE SYSTEM OF THOSE TEXT. TWO, I DISAGREE COMPLETELY WITH YOUR ATTRIBUTION OF MY VIEWS OF TRUMP'S SUPPORTERS. THERE ARE MILLIONS AND BILLIONS OF AMERICANS WHO ARE THERE.

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  • 02:24:07 PM

    >>

    YOU TOLD MR. PAIGE AND I WILL QUOTE HERE. I LOATHE CONGRESS AND SHE…

    YOU TOLD MR. PAIGE AND I WILL QUOTE HERE. I LOATHE CONGRESS AND SHE AGREED. A SURVEY I SAW A WHILE BACK ABOUT CONGRESS FOUND THAT IT'S AS POPULAR THAN THOSE THINGS. THIS IS NOT ABOUT US. ITS IT'S VALUE AND WHETHER OR NOT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE CAN HAVE THE CONFIDENCE THAT YOU ARE INVOLVED IN.

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  • 02:24:47 PM

    >>

    I APPRECIATE THAT CONCERN VERY MUCH. I HAVE THE UTMOST RESPECT FOR…

    I APPRECIATE THAT CONCERN VERY MUCH. I HAVE THE UTMOST RESPECT FOR CONGRESS AND ITS ROLE IN OVERSIGHT FOR PASSING LAWS ANY OF THE FUNCTIONS. BUT I WAS SITTING IN THAT COMMENT WAS THE EFFORTS BY SOME TO TURN LEGITIMATE OVERSIGHT ACTIVITY INTO UNWARRANTED ACTIVITY.

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  • 02:25:09 PM

    >>

    THERE ARE A LOT OF US UP HERE THAT DON'T LIKE CONGRESS PARTICULARLY ALSO.…

    THERE ARE A LOT OF US UP HERE THAT DON'T LIKE CONGRESS PARTICULARLY ALSO. YOU WEREN'T REMOVED FROM THE INVESTIGATION.

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  • 02:25:24 PM

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    ALL OF THE OTHERS THAT WERE THERE ARE STILL THERE. LET ME TELL YOU WHO…

    ALL OF THE OTHERS THAT WERE THERE ARE STILL THERE. LET ME TELL YOU WHO THEY ARE. HE GAVE A THOUSAND DOLLARS TO THE DEMOCRAT HOLDING THAT SEAT. AND ZERO TO THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN. AND RUSH ADKINSON WHO DONATED TO THE CLINTON CAMPAIGN HE IS STILL THERE. AND KAYLEE FREE ME IN THE HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN AND ZERO TO THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN. STILL THERE AND ANDREW GOLDSTEIN WHO'D DONATED $3,300 TO BOTH OBAMA CAMPAIGNS. THEY CONTRIBUTED TO BOTH OF THE CAMPAIGNS STILL THERE. AND THEY HAVE THE CAMPAIGNS OF DUKAKIS. I DID CONTRIBUTE THE FORMER CONGRESSMAN BUT HE CONTRIBUTED 20,000 TO THE DEMOCRATIC AND SENATE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEES I COULD GO ON BUT I'M JUST ABOUT TO RUN OUT OF TIME. SUFFICE IT TO SAY THAT NINE OF THE 16 INVESTIGATORS STILL ON THE CASE GAVE TO HILLARY CLINTON OR TO BOTH AND NONE GAVE IT TO TRUMP. SHOULDN'T SUCH A WIDE DISPARITY OF ONE AMERICAN PEOPLE CONCERNED THAT EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE OFF THE TEAM THAT THE FAIRNESS AND LACK OF BIAS THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP DESERVES. IT MIGHT JUST BE LACKING HERE.

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  • 02:27:05 PM

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    SIR WHAT I TELL YOU IS THIS. I HAVE AND HAD NO IDEA WHAT CONTRIBUTIONS…

    SIR WHAT I TELL YOU IS THIS. I HAVE AND HAD NO IDEA WHAT CONTRIBUTIONS WERE MADE BY ANYBODY STAFFING IN THE SPECIAL COUNSEL'S OFFICE. WHAT I WOULD ASK YOU TO RELAY AS THE MEN AND WOMEN THAT I SAW THE ATTORNEYS THE AGENTS THE ANALYST WHERE THE MOST REMARKABLE, BRIGHT, PATRIOTIC, HARD-WORKING PEOPLE THAT I'VE HAVE THE HONOR OF WORKING WITH. I WANT YOU TO KNOW I WAS ABSOLUTELY AND REMAIN ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED THAT THE EFFORTS AND THE PERSONNEL THAT MAKE UP THE OFFICE ARE THE BEST IN AMERICA. THEY WILL ARRIVE AT THE TRUTH AND THEY WILL DO THAT WELL. WE YELLED BACK. THANK YOU MISTER CHAIR. I DON'T KNOW WHERE TO START. IF I COULD GIVE YOU A PURPLE HEART, I WOULD. YOU DESERVE ONE. THIS HAS BEEN AN ATTACK ON YOU IN A WAY TO ATTACK MISTER MUELLER IN THE INVESTIGATION THAT IS TO GET THE RUSSIA COLLUSION INVOLVED IN OUR ELECTION. IT IS WHAT THIS COMMITTEE SHOULD BE LOOKING AT. I DIRECT STRIKE AT DEMOCRACY AND WHAT THIS COUNTRY IS ABOUT. NOT OUR COMPETITOR OUR FOE. I JUST RETURNED FROM THE OSCE IN BERLIN. AND THERE WAS LITTLE QUESTION AMONG OUR ALLIES AND PEOPLE AND DIPLOMATS THROUGHOUT EUROPE THAT RUSSIA IS IN ANTAGONISTIC COUNTRY THAT IS TRYING TO WREAK HAVOC IN THE BALTICS, AND THEY TRIED TO USE ASSASSINATION TO TRY TO INFLUENCE THE ELECTION. THEY ARE THE BAD GUYS. AND YOU HAD DEDICATED MOST OF YOUR LIFE TO WORKING IN COUNTERINTELLIGENCE AND ONE OF YOUR BIG CASES I THINK IT WAS DONALD HEATHFIELD. HOW MANY RUSSIAN FOLKS DID YOU EXPOSE AND BRING TO JUSTICE.

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  • 02:29:26 PM

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    THERE WERE TEN ROUGHLY RUSSIA LEGAL -- RUSSIAN LEGALS THAT WERE HERE. IF…

    THERE WERE TEN ROUGHLY RUSSIA LEGAL -- RUSSIAN LEGALS THAT WERE HERE. IF MEMBERS SIR. SERVE. TEN OR 11. AT THAT TIME EARLY ON YES. THERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU CAN TELL US ABOUT THE RUSSIANS BEFORE THEY MEET WITH A VERY GOOD FRIEND AND HE CANNOT SAY ANYTHING BAD ABOUT HIM. I CAN SPEAK TO MY EXPERIENCE AS A NATIONAL SECURITY PROFESSOR. THE RUSSIANS ARE TOP RATE ADVERSARIES IN TERMS OF THEIR FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SERVICE. IN TERMS OF HOW COMPETENTLY THEY ARE ABLE TO USE THAT TO HAVE THEIR FOREIGN POLICY. MANY OF WHICH YOU REFERENCE. THE DESIRE TO UNDERMINE THE WESTERN ALLIANCE AND MINIMIZE THE ROLE AND INFLUENCE AND LEADERSHIP AROUND THE WORLD. ATTEMPTING TO MINIMIZE AND UNDERMINE THE EXTRAORDINARY GREATNESS OF OUR DEMOCRACY TO MAKE IT SEEM PEDESTRIAN NOTHING SPECIAL WERE ON PAR. THAT IS MY INTELLIGENCE PERSPECTIVE I WOULDN'T PRESUME TO GET INTO THAT POLICY.

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  • 02:31:02 PM

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    YES.

  • 02:33:30 PM

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    DID THEY YOU EVER TALK TO YOU ABOUT THIS ISSUE. DID THEY EVER COME TO YOU.…

    DID THEY YOU EVER TALK TO YOU ABOUT THIS ISSUE. DID THEY EVER COME TO YOU. DID YOU TALK TO THEM THAT THEY EVER COME TO YOU ABOUT ANYTHING RELATED TO THAT. I RECEIVED A NUMBER OF CALLS FROM VARIOUS MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA PARTICULARLY WHEN I RETURNED FROM THE OFFICE OF AGILE COUNSEL. DID YOU GET ANY INQUIRIES FROM THE PRESS THAT YOU TOOK. I REFERRED THEM TO THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS. AND EURO ABOUT YOU WROTE ABOUT IT ALSO.

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  • 02:34:16 PM

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    WE GOT AN E-MAIL THAT IT SHOULD BE PRESENTED THERE. I WANT YOU TO TAKE A…

    WE GOT AN E-MAIL THAT IT SHOULD BE PRESENTED THERE. I WANT YOU TO TAKE A LOOK THIS. THIS IS AN E-MAIL HE WROTE TO LISA PAGE. SUBJECT LINE IS THE BUZZ FEED. ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THIS E-MAIL. IT SAYS THIS. COMPARING NOW THE SET IS ONLY IDENTICAL TO WHAT MCCAIN HAD HAS DIFFERENCES FROM WHAT WAS GIVEN TO US BY KORN AND SIMPSON. DID YOU WRITE ALL OF THAT?

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  • 02:34:42 PM

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    CONGRESSMAN TOMMY ANSWER IT THIS WAY. IF I COULD ADDRESS THE CHAIRMAN.…

    CONGRESSMAN TOMMY ANSWER IT THIS WAY. IF I COULD ADDRESS THE CHAIRMAN. OVER THE BREAK I WAS AUTHORIZED BY THE GENERAL COUNSEL AT DOG DOG AND COME TOGETHER. IS THERE QUESTION YOU WANT TO DIRECT. BASED ON SOMETHING I HAD BEEN TOLD BY THE FBI. I THINK I'M AWARE OF WHAT THE FBI TOLD YOU AND YOU AND I WILL HAVE ANOTHER CHANCE TO TALK ABOUT THAT. RIGHT NOW THE JOB AND FROM OHIO CONTROLS THE TIME. YOU WROTE THIS. YOU SEE THE FROM LINE?

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  • 02:35:27 PM

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    THEN IT SAYS TOO. A WHOLE BUNCH OF OTHER KEY PEOPLE AT THE FBI. LET ME ASK…

    THEN IT SAYS TOO. A WHOLE BUNCH OF OTHER KEY PEOPLE AT THE FBI. LET ME ASK YOU A COUPLE QUESTIONS ABOUT IT. IT HAS DIFFERENCES FROM WHAT WAS GIVEN TO US BY KORN AND SIMPSON. WHO'S CORN. AND I WOULD LOVE TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION IN EVERY PART OF MY I CANNOT ANSWER THAT QUESTION WHO'S CORN AND DIRT SIMPSON. I'M NOT ABLE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS YOU'RE REFERENCING THREE COPIES OF THE DOSSIER AND THE ONE YOU SAID YOU GOT FROM CORN AND SIMPSON. THEY ARE IDENTICAL IN YOUR WORDS BUT THEY HAVE THE CORN AND SOME SIMPSON ONE THAT IS DIFFERENT. IT IS IMPORTANT AND I WANT TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION HERE IS A POSITION I'M IN. THE GENTLEMAN FROM OHIO CONTROLS THE TIME. I HAD BEEN DIRECTED THAT I MAY STATE THAT I HAVE READ THE DOSSIER THAT I REST READ AS IT CAME IN PARTS AND PIECES WHAT I'M TELLING YOU IS THAT I HAD BEEN DIRECTED I MAY NOT STATE THE VARIOUS PLACES. DID YOU EVER COMMUNICATE WITH DAVID CORN. DID YOU EVER COMMUNICATE WITH NELLIE OR. WHEN DID YOU COMMUNICATE WITH BRUCE OR. SOMEWHERE BETWEEN THREE OR FOUR TIMES IN THE LATE 200060 16 EARLY 2017 TIMEFRAME. DID YOU TALK ABOUT THE INVESTIGATION WE'RE FOCUSED ON HERE. MY DIRECTION FROM THE FBI I CANNOT ANSWER THAT QUESTION. ARE THERE THREE COPIES OF THE DOSSIER AS EVIDENCED BY WHAT YOU SAID I'M ON A I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THIS E-MAIL ARE THE THREE COPIES. THE MOST I CAN SAY IS WE RECEIVED A VARIETY OF COPIES LET ME ASK YOU ONE OTHER QUESTION. THEY TESTIFIED IN FRONT OF THE COMMITTEE ON AUGUST 22. DID ANYONE FROM FUSION EVER COMMUNICATE WITH THE FBI. HIS RESPONSE, NO. NO ONE FROM FUSION EVER SPOKE WITH THE FBI'S SO HERE'S ARE HAVING TROUBLE UNDERSTANDING. HOW IS IT THAT YOU HAVE A COPY OF THE DOSSIER FROM SIMPSON. I CAN TELL YOU I NEVER HAD CONTACT WITH FUSION AND AGAIN SIR. THEY WILL HAVE A FEW MORE SECONDS AS HE WAS INTERRUPTED. THIS IS THE FRUSTRATION THAT THEY FEEL. WHEN THEY WON'T ANSWER THAT. ANSWER FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS THE GUY HE REFERENCES IN AN E-MAIL IT WON'T TELL ME WHO THEY ARE. THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE. BUT THAT'S WHAT IT'S GOT TO NOW. AND IT'S AS FRUSTRATING AS IT CAN GET. IT'S AS FRUSTRATING TO ME AS IT IS TO YOU. I CAN TELL YOU SIR.

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  • 02:39:57 PM

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    PLEASE STOP BADGERING. WE ARE ABOUT TO MOVE ON. WE ARE ABOUT TO MOVE ON…

    PLEASE STOP BADGERING. WE ARE ABOUT TO MOVE ON. WE ARE ABOUT TO MOVE ON WHERE MR. STRUCK CAN ON ADVICE OF COUNSEL. I'M GOING TO YIELD TO HIM FOR THE PURPOSE OF DOING THAT RIGHT NOW. I WOULD LOVE TO DO THAT. THERE IS AN APPROPRIATE TIME FOR OVERSIGHT AND AS YOU WILL KNOW THAT IS AT THE END OF AN INVESTIGATION ONCE ITS CONCLUSION. I'M CERTAIN THAT THEY WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO LOOK AT ANY INVESTIGATION THAT IS CLOSE. AND I WOULD LOVE TO ANSWER EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOUR QUESTIONS YOU HAVE ALREADY BEEN ADVISED THAT YOU CAN'T ANSWER THE QUESTION. THIS IS THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS. NOT UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF A FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION.

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  • 02:41:01 PM

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    INVESTIGATION.

  • 02:44:59 PM

    CALL

  • 02:45:00 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 03:00:10 PM

    CALL

  • 03:00:11 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 03:15:33 PM

    CALL

    I HOPE THAT WE WILL BE. A THAT QUORUM CALL: QUORUM CALL:

  • 03:15:34 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 03:34:59 PM

    CALL

    QUORUM CALL:

  • 03:35:00 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 03:49:36 PM

    MR. PORTMAN

    MR. PRESIDENT, I RISE TODAY TO TALK ABOUT A COUPLE OF TOPICS, AND I ASK…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I RISE TODAY TO TALK ABOUT A COUPLE OF TOPICS, AND I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THEY BE DIVIDED IN THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD. I FIRST WANT TO TALK ABOUT BRETT KAVANAUGH. BRETT KAVANAUGH IS THE PRESIDENT'S NOMINEE TO BE A NEW JUSTICE ON THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT. YESTERDAY I HAD THE CHANCE TO SIT DOWN WITH JUDGE KAVANAUGH IN MY OFFICE AND TALK ABOUT HIS JUDICIAL PHILOSOPHY, HIS VIEW OF THE ROLE OF THE COURTS AND HOW HE WOULD APPROACH SOME OF THE TOUGH ISSUES THAT THE COURT IS LIKELY TO FACE. FRANKLY, I CANNOT THINK OF ANYBODY WHO'S MORE QUALIFIED TO SERVE AS THE NEXT ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT. THIS GUY'S BACKGROUND IS INCREDIBLY IMPRESSIVE AS IS HIS RECORD, WHICH I WILL GET TO IN A MINUTE. BUT AS IMPORTANT TO ME IS BRETT KAVANAUGH THE PERSON. LET ME SPEAK BRIEFLY ABOUT BRETT BECAUSE I HAVE KNOWN HIM FOR OVER 15 YEARS. I HAVE GOTTEN TO KNOW HIM AND HIS WIFE. I WORKED WITH HIM IN THE GEORGE W. BUSH WHITE HOUSE. I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK WITH HIS WIFE BECAUSE HE WAS -- SHE WAS THE PERSONAL ASSISTANT TO GEORGE W. BUSH. THEY ARE BOTH WONDERFUL PEOPLE AND BRETT KAVANAUGH IS A PERSON I HAVE GOTTEN TO KNOW NOT P -- NOT SO MUCH AS A LEGAL SCHOLAR AND JUDGE BUT AS A FRIEND AND WATCHED HIM AS A FATHER AND A HUSBAND. HE'S A GUY WITH GREAT COMPASSION, GREAT HUMILITY AND A BIG HEART. IN HIS REMARKS ON MONDAY AT THE WHITE HOUSE HE TALKED A LITTLE ABOUT HIS LIFE OUTSIDE OF BEING A JUDGE, HE TALKED ABOUT COACHING HIS DAUGHTER'S BASKETBALL TEAM. MANY OF US WHO HAVE BEEN COACHES FOR OUR HIGH SCHOOL AND GRADE SCHOOL KIDS PROBABLY WERE ABLE TO RELATE TO THAT. I'M KIND OF GLAD MY KIDS GOT OLD ENOUGH SO THEY COULD GET BETTER COACHING SO THEY WOULDN'T HAVE THE BAD HABITS THAT I PROBABLY TAUGHT THEM. THE FACT IS THAT'S WHO HE IS, HE COACHES HIS DAUGHTER AND MAKES THAT A PRIORITY. HE ALSO TALKED ABOUT TUTORING AND TUTORING UNDERPRIVILEGED KIDS. THAT'S SOMETHING HE DOES QUIETLY ON HIS OWN TIME AND FEELS STRONGLY ABOUT. FINALLY, HE TALKED A LITTLE ABOUT HOW HE PERHAPS AND SERVES MEALS TO HOMELESS PEOPLE WHO ARE CONNECTED THROUGH HIS CHURCH. HE TALKED ABOUT THE PRIESTS WHO HE WORKS WITH ON THAT, AND I TALKED TO THE PRIEST AFTERWARDS, AND THE PRIEST SAID, IN FACT, WE DO THIS REGULARLY. IN FACT, WE'RE GOING TO BE SERVING A MEAL TOGETHER ON WEDNESDAY. AND YOU NEVER HEARD BRETT KAVANAUGH TALK ABOUT THAT. IN FACT, IN MY MEETING WITH BRETT KAVANAUGH YESTERDAY, HE WAS GOING STRAIGHT FROM MY MEETING WITH HIM TO SERVE MEALS TO THE HOMELESS. I FOUND OUT AFTER THE FACT WHEN SOMEONE BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION ON TWITTER THAT THERE WAS SOMEBODY WHO WAS THERE AND TAKEN A PHOTOGRAPH OF HIM IN THE BACKGROUND WITH A BALL CAP ON. IT'S NOT SOMETHING HE BRAGS ABOUT. IT'S NOT SOMETHING HE TOLD ME ABOUT. IT'S NOT SOMETHING HE DOES BECAUSE IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES. HE DOES IT BECAUSE IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO AS A CHRISTIAN AND AS SOMEONE WHO CARES ABOUT HIS COMMUNITY AND THAT'S THE BRETT KAVANAUGH I KNOW. AND I HOPE THAT OTHERS WILL SEE THESE SIDES OF BRETT KAVANAUGH AS HE GOES THROUGH THE CONFIRMATION PROCESS. AS PEOPLE GET TO KNOW HIM THROUGH THAT, THEY ARE GOING TO BE VERY IMPRESSED AND THINK THAT JUDICIAL PHILOSOPHY, PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DIFFER SOME, BUT WITH REGARD TO WHAT KIND OF PERSON YOU WOULD WANT TO SEE ON SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES TO LOOK AT WHAT WILL BE A DIFFICULT ISSUE THAT WILL COME BEFORE THAT COURT, YOU WANT SOMEBODY WHO HAS A BIG HEART AND HAS THAT COMPASSION AND WHO IS HUMBLE AND HAS THE ABILITY TO LISTEN. BRET KAVANAUGH IS A GOOD LISTENER. HE'S ALSO GOT A VERY DISTINGUISHED LEGAL RECORD. SO, YOU KNOW, THERE'S SOME GREAT JUDGES OUT THERE, BUT I DON'T THINK, AGAIN, ANYBODY HAS QUALIFICATIONS BETTER THAN BRETT KAVANAUGH. HE IS CLEARLY QUALIFIED TO SIT ON THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT. OFTENTIMES PEOPLE CALL THE D.C. CIRCUIT THE SECOND HIGHEST COURT IN THE LAND AND THAT'S THE COURT HE SITS ON ALREADY. HE'S EARNED THE RESPECT THERE SERVING ON THE COURT OF JUSTICES ACROSS THE SPECTRUM, JUDGES ON THE RIGHT, JUDGES ON THE LEFT. HE'S HAD A NUMBER OF LAW CLERKS GO THROUGH HIS PROCESS WHO END UP CLERKING MAYBE FOR THE SUPREME COURT OR GOING TO PRIVATE PRACTICE OR PRO BONO WORK OR WITH THE GOVERNMENT AND EVERY ONE OF THEM THAT I'VE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO KNOW OR TO TALK TO HAS GLOWING THINGS TO SAY ABOUT HIM. ONE WAS MY COUNSEL IN MY OWN OFFICE AND HE'S EARNED THE RESPECT OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE TOUCHED -- WHO'S LIVES HE HAS TOUCHED AND WHO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO WORK WITH HIM. HE'S GOT A GREAT LEGAL EDUCATION. HE GRADUATED FROM YALE LAW SCHOOL AND CLERKED FOR JUSTICE P ANTHONY KENNEDY. THIS IS THE JUSTICE HE WOULD REPLACE IF IS HE CONFIRMED. JUSTICE KENNEDY WAS A CONSENSUS BUILDER, BRETT KAVANAUGH IS A CONSENSUS JUSTICE. BRETT KAVANAUGH APPLIES THE LAW FAIRLY, IMPARTIALLY. HE IS INDEPENDENT, IMPARTIAL, AND SMART. HE INTERPRETS THE LAW AND THE CONSTITUTION RATHER THAN TRYING TO LEGISLATE FROM THE BENCH, WHICH IS VERY IMPORTANT. I THINK SOMETIMES WE FORGET ABOUT THE SEPARATION OF POWERS, AND THIS IS WHERE PEOPLE ARE ACCOUNTABLE TO THE VOTERS AND WHERE WE LEGISLATE AND THE MEMBERS OF THE SUPREME COURT AND THE LOWER COURTS, AS WELL, ARE MEANT TO INTERPRET THOSE LAWS, AND, OF COURSE, TAKE OUR GREAT CONSTITUTION AND FAITHFULLY INTERPRET THAT AS WELL. I THINK THAT'S ALE REALLY IMPORTANT JUDICIAL PHILOSOPHY AND ONE THAT I THINK MOST PEOPLE WANT. THAT'S WHAT THEY ARE LOOKING FOR IN A JUDGE, TO FAIRLY AND IMPARTIALLY APPLY THE LAW AND PROTECT THE RIGHTS GUARANTEED BY OUR CONSTITUTION AND NOT ADVANCE PERSONAL POLICY GOALS FROM THE BENCH. HE HAS EMBRACED THIS HIS ENTIRE CAREER AS A JUDGE. PROFESSOR KAVANAUGH AS HE IS KNOWN AT HARVARD LAW SCHOOL WHERE HE TAUGHT FOR TEN YEARS IS SO COMMITTED TO THE CONSTITUTION THAT HIS STUDENTS SAY THAT HE CARRIES A COPY OF IT IN HIS POCKET. IT'S A WELL-WORN COPY BECAUSE WHEN HE PULLS IT OUT IT IS ALMOST FALLING APART. IT IS THE CONSTITUTION HE IS LOYAL TO, NOT PARTISAN POLITICS. ACCORDING TO ONE STUDENT FROM HARVARD LAW SCHOOL, AND I QUOTE, IF YOU DIDN'T KNOW HIS BACKGROUND THAT PARTISAN WOULDN'T COME ACROSS. YOU WOULDN'T KNOW HE WAS A REPUBLICAN OR CONSERVATIVE. HE WASN'T TO -- HE WAS THERE TO TALK ABOUT THE LAW. I DON'T SEE HIM AS SOMEONE MOTIVATED OUTCOMES BUT AS SOMEONE MOTIVATED IN FINDING OUT WHAT THE LAW IS AND WHAT THE LAW SAYS. END QUOTE. I THINK THAT'S A BIG PART OF THE REASON WHY HE'S SUCH A WIDELY RESPECTED JUDGE, AND WHY HE'S SO WIDELY CITED BY OTHER COURTS, INCLUDING THE SUPREME COURT. THEY HAVE ENDORSED HIS OPINIONS MORE THAN A DOZEN TIMES IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, INCLUDING SOME OF HIS DISSENTS THAT HAVE THEN BECOME THE LAW OF THE LAND. THEY PICK UP HIS DISSENT IN THE D.C. CIRCUIT AND USE THAT IN THE SUPREME COURT AS A REASON FOR A DECISION FOR THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT. THAT IS HIGHLY UNUNUSUAL AND -- UNUSUAL. I THINK THAT SPEAKS TO HIS CREDIBILITY, HIS LEGAL COMPETENCE, AND ALSO HIS HARD WORK. HE'S A HARD WORKER WHO FOCUSES ON ENSURING THAT HE'S FULLY PREPARED. HE'S ALSO JUST A DEDICATED PUBLIC SERVANT. HE HAS CHOSEN TO SPEND 25 OF HIS LAST 28 YEARS SERVING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE IN VARIOUS JOBS. FOR ALL OF THESE REASONS HE IS A GREAT PICK. HE HAS THE EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS, HE UNDERSTANDS THE APPROPRIATE ROLE OF THE JUDICIARY AND PUTS IT INTO PRACTICE ON THE BENCH, HE HAS A RECORD TO LOOK AT. JUST AS IMPORTANTLY TO ME THOUGH, AGAIN, HE IS A GOOD PERSON. I'M PROUD TO SUPPORT BRETT KAVANAUGH'S NOMINATION TO THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT. I HOPE THAT MY COLLEAGUES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE WILL KEEP AN OPEN MIND AND GET TO KNOW BRETT KAVANAUGH AS I HAVE GOTTEN TO KNOW HIM AND AS I HOPE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL GET TO KNOW HIM AS THEY MAKE A JUDGMENT. AND MY HOPE IS THAT BRETT KAVANAUGH WILL BECOME A SUPREME COURT JUSTICE WHO WILL MAKE US ALL PROUD. MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE NEXT COMMENTS BE A SEPARATE ENTRY IN THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD.

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  • 03:58:31 PM

    MR. PORTMAN

    MR. PRESIDENT, I ALSO WANT TO TALK ABOUT ANOTHER IMPORTANT TOPIC, WHICH…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I ALSO WANT TO TALK ABOUT ANOTHER IMPORTANT TOPIC, WHICH ARE OUR NATIONAL PARKS. OUR PARKS ARE AN ABSOLUTE TREASURE FOR OUR COUNTRY. THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL PLACES, BEAUTIFUL PUBLIC LANDS. AS IMPORTANT THEY ARE PART OF OUR AMERICAN CULTURE AND IT IS IMPORTANT TO RESERVE -- PRESERVE THAT LEG SIT. AS AN EXAMPLE IN OHIO WE HAVE THE WRIGHT BROTHERS SHOP AND HOME IN DAYTON,OHIO. IT STANDS AS AN INSPIRATION TO ANYBODY WHO DREAMS BIG DREAMS BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT THESE TWO BROTHERS DID. YOU CAN SEE WHERE THESE TWO OHIO BROTHERS CHANGED THE WORLD AND OTHERWISE, FRANKLY, THEY LIVED A PRETTY ORDINARY LIFE AND PRESERVING THEIR HOME AND THAT SHOP IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO SEE THAT. ANYBODY CAN DREAM BIG AND MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE. WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO PRESERVE THAT SITE AND SO MANY OTHERS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO OUR HISTORY FOR GENERATIONS TO COME. THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM INCLUDES MORE THAN 84 MILLION ACRES OF PARKS AND HISTORICAL SITES THAT NOW ATTRACT MORE THAN 330 MILLION VISITORS ANNUALLY. IT'S AN AMAZING SYSTEM. BY THE WAY, I WAS TOLD YESTERDAY THAT ONLY ONE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS MORE ASSETS THAN THE NATIONAL PARK, AND THAT'S THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE WITH ALL OF THE MILITARY BASES AND ALL OF THE PHYSICAL ASSETS THEY HAVE, OTHERWISE IT'S THE PARKS. THE PARKS HAVE AN ENORMOUS NUMBER OF BUILDINGS, ROADS, BRIDGES, WATER SYSTEMS, AND VISITOR CENTERS AND SO ON. AND IN MY HOME STATE OF OHIO WE'VE GOT EIGHT OF THOSE NATIONAL PARKS INCLUDING CUIAHOGA NATIONAL PARK WHICH IS THE 13th MOST VISITED PARK IN THE UNITED STATES. WHERTS IT'S BIKING OR HIKING OR FISHING OR KAYAKING, I'M ONE OF THOSE 2.7 MILLION VISITORS IN OHIO'S NATIONAL PARKS EVERY YEAR. I'LL BE AT THE CUYAHOGA NATIONAL PARK WITH MY WIFE ENJOYING THAT BEAUTIFUL PARK. SO THESE PARKS ARE TREASURES AND THEY HAVE SO MANY WONDERFUL FACILITIES, BUT THE PROBLEM IS THAT OVER TIME, WE'VE ALLOWED A MAINTENANCE BACKLOG TO BUILD UP, MEANING SO MANY OF THESE BUILDINGS AND INFRASTRUCTURE, ROADS, BRIDGES, WATER SYSTEMS I TALKED ABOUT BE DETERIORATING TO THE POINT THAT SOME OF THEM ARE ACTUALLY NOT BEING USED. SO IF YOU GO TO A NATIONAL PARK, YOU MAY SEE THAT A TRAIL IS CLOSED OR A VISITORS' CENTER CAN'T BE VISITED. YOU MAY SEE SOME OF THE FACILITIES THAT PROVIDE OVERNIGHT LODGING AREN'T AVAILABLE. WHY? BECAUSE OUR PARKS ARE KIND OF CRUMBLING FROM WITHIN. THEY MAY LOOK GREAT ON THE OUTSIDE AND THEY'RE BEAUTIFUL, BUT THERE IS NOW A $12 BILLION BACKLOG OF DEFERRED MAINTENANCE AT OUR PARKS. NOW, THIS HAS BECOME A REAL PROBLEM. BY THE WAY, THAT'S EQUAL TO NEARLY FOUR TIMES THE ANNUAL BUDGET OF THE PARKS. THEY JUST DON'T HAVE THE RESOURCES TO KEEP UP WITH THESE DEFERRED MAINTENANCE COSTS WHICH TEND TO BE LONG TER-TERM COSTS, MORE EXPENSIVE, IN FACT, NOT AS INTERESTING TO FUND. YOU KNOW, IT'S -- IT'S NOT AS INTERESTING FOR CONGRESS TO FUND THE FIXING THE ROOF ON THE MAINTENANCE BUILDING AT YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK AS IT IS TO SET UP A NEW NATURE PROGRAM FOR VISITORS. SO THIS HAS BECOME A PROBLEM. AND YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR OWN HOME. IF YOU ALLOW DEFERRED MAINTENANCE TO BUILD UP, YOU DON'T TAKE CARE OF THE ROOF, FOR INSTANCE, WHAT HAPPENS? YOU GET A LEAK IN YOUR ROOF. AND THEN YOU FIND OUT THE DRYWALL IS RUINED OR THE PAINT IS RUINED OR THE FLOOR IS RUINED. AND THE COSTS MOUNT UP. THAT'S WHAT'S HAPPENING IN OUR PARKS RIGHT NOW. AND WHEN MAINTENANCE PROJECTS AREN'T COMPLETED ON TIME, IT'S CALLED GETTING DELAYED OR GETTING DEFERRED. THAT'S WHAT WE'RE FOCUSED ON. BY THE WAY, NEARLY TWO-THIRDS OF THAT DEFERRED MAINTENANCE IS ATTRIBUTABLE TO OUR NATIONAL PARKS' AGING INFRASTRUCTURE. SO THIS WOULD BE AGAIN ROADS AND BRIDGES AND BUILDINGS AND SO ON. THE NATIONAL PARRINGS JUST CELEBRATED ITS 100th BIRTHDAY IN 2016. SO A LOT OF US WERE VERY EXCITED ABOUT THAT. A HUNDRED YEARS OF THESE BEAUTIFUL NATIONAL TREASURES, BUT MANY OF THE FACILITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY, THEREFORE, ARE VERY OLD. A LOT EVER MORE THAN 80 YEARS OLD. SOME ARE ALMOST A HUNDRED YEARS OLD AND A LOT ARE IN NEED OF REPAIR, IN BADLY NEED OF REPAIR. VISIT TAITION AT OUR PARKS HAS INCREASED IN RECENT YEARS. THIS HAS ADDED TO THIS BURDEN. IT'S NOT ONLY THAT THERE WERE DEFERRED MAINTENANCE COSTS, THINGS BEING PUT OFF, BUT WITH MORE AND MORE VISITORS, THERE'S MORE AND MORE PRESSURE ON THE PARKS. FROM 2006 UNTIL 2017, TEN YEARS, IN THAT PERIOD ALONE, ANNUAL VISITATION TO OUR NATIONAL PARKS INCREASED BY MORE THAN 58 MILLION PEOPLE. THAT'S A GOOD THING. TO ME IT'S A GOOD THING. MORE PEOPLE GETTING OUTDOORS, PARTICULARLY FAMILIES TAKING THEIR KIDS OUTDOORS AND ENJOYING THE PARKS AND LEARNING MORE ABOUT NATURE AND ABOUT OUR HISTORY. BUT IT'S PUT MORE AND MORE PRESSURE ON THE PARKS. THE CHALLENGES OF KEEPING UP WITH THIS AGING INFRASTRUCTURE AND INCREASED VISIT TAITION HAS -- VISITATION HAS STRETCHED THE PARK SERVICE THIN AND REQUIRED THIS EMTO FOCUS ON JUST THE VERY IMMEDIATE MAINTENANCE NEEDS THEY HAVE AND DELAYING THE PROJECTS THAT CAN'T BE COMPLETED ON SCHEDULE. WE CAN'T KEEP OUR PARKS IN CONDITION THROUGH BAND AIDS. SOME OF THIS WILL PLAN YEARS OF WORK AND PLANNING THAT GOES INTO IT WHICH REQUIRES CERTAINTY AND CONSISTENCY ABOUT FUNDING. WHEN YOU DO THE ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS PROCESS, AS YOU KNOW, IT'S YEAR TO YEAR. YOU DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH MONEY YOU'LL GET. YOU HAVE TO CUT BACK. THERE IS SOME CERTAINTY TO BE ABLE TO MAKE SOME OF THESE MUCH NEEDED REPAIRS TO OUR PARKS. UNLESS WE TAKE ACTION, OF COURSE, IT'S JUST GOING TO GET WORSE. WE TALKED ABOUT THAT, WHEN YOU DON'T DEAL WITH DEFERRED MINT NANTZ, IT TENDS TO BUILD UP AND BECOMES WORSE. THE $12 BILLION BACKLOG IS INCREASING AT A RATE ABOUT 3% PER YEAR. THAT'S BECAUSE AS THE EXPERTS TOLD US, IT'S A COMPOUNDING ISSUE, MEANING MAINTENANCE PROJECTS THAT GO UNADDRESSED OFTEN CREATE THESE OTHER PROBLEMS. IT CREATES MORE COST TO REPAIR. THE SPIKE IN VISITATION AT NATIONAL PARKS OVER RECENT YEARS PUTS MORE PRESSURE ON, AND THE LONGER WE WAIT, THE MORE EXPENSIVE IT GETS. FOR THE TAXPAYERS, BETTER TO MOVE NOW TO ADDRESS THESE MAINTENANCE NEEDS THAN TO WAIT AS THEY BECOME MORE AND MORE EXPENSIVE. WHEN ROADS, BRIDGES, PARKING LOTS, PATHWAYS DECAY, PEOPLE ARE NOT ABLE TO VISIT THOSE SITES OFTEN. AGAIN, SOME ARE EVEN SHUT DOWN. I MENTIONED THAT THERE WERE 330 MILLION PEOPLE A YEAR THAT VISIT OUR PARKS. THERE ARE ALSO 330 MILLION PEOPLE, THEREFORE, THAT ARE SPENDING MONEY AROUND OUR PARKS. SO IT'S A HUGE ECONOMIC DRIVER FOR THOSE LISTENING WHO COME FROM STATES LIKE MINE WHERE WE HAVE BIG NATIONAL PARKS LIKE CUYAHOGA NATIONAL PARK, THOSE COMMUNITIES REALLY WANT TO BE SURE THAT WE CONTINUE TO HAVE VIBRANT PARKS AND THAT PEOPLE CONTINUE TO WANT TO VISIT AND CAN VISIT IN ORDER TO GET THE BROADER ECONOMIC BENEFIT. THIS IS IMPORTANT ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. IN MY STATE OF OHIO WHERE WE DON'T HAVE THE BIG PARKS LIKE YELLOWSTONE OR YOSEMITE BUT WE HAVE SOME GREAT PARKS. THERE IS SOME $100 MILLION OVERDUE MAINTENANCE. IN CUYAHOGA NATIONAL PARK, THERE'S MORE THAN $45 MILLION OF BACKLOG. IN COMPLETING THESE LONG OVERDO PROJECTS WILL MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE FOR THE VISITOR EXPERIENCE. THE NEEDED MAINTENANCE INCLUDES $875,000 FOR BADLY NEEDED RENOVATIONS FOR THE WELCOME CENTER. I'VE BEEN THERE. I'VE SEEN IT. THEY NEED THE HELP. $274,000 FOR RENOVATIONS TO A SHELTER, $6 MILLION IN RENOVATIONS FOR ROADS, PARKING LOTS TO ENSURE PEOPLE HAVE PARKING, WATER INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS WHICH, YOU KNOW, WATER INFRASTRUCTURE NOT MAYBE THE SEXIEST PROJECT TO SUPPORT BUT A REALLY IMPORTANT ONE, REALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE ENSURE THAT WE HAVE THIS INFRASTRUCTURE IN PLACE. IT'S THE CONSERVATIVE THING TO DO. HELPING OUR PARK SERVICE HAS LONG BEEN A PRIORITY OF MINE AND DEALING WITH THIS BACKLOG AS WELL. ABOUT 12 YEARS AGO WHEN I SERVED AS THE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET IN THE GEORGE W. BUSH ADMINISTRATION, I LAUNCHED IN OUR BUDGET SOMETHING THAT PRESIDENT BUSH AND MRS. BUSH WERE STRONGLY SUPPORTIVE OF WHICH WAS A CENTENNIAL ISSUE. THINKING THE CENTENNIAL WAS COMING UP IN 2016, TEN YEARS LATER, WE WANTED TO PUT IN PLACE THE IDEA TO BE ABLE TO USE PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS TO FUND THE PARKS. WE WERE SUCCESSFUL IN GETTING SOME OF THAT STARTED BUT FRANKLY THE CONGRESS DID NOT PASS THE LEGISLATION TO DO IT, BUT I CONTINUED THAT EFFORT WHEN I WAS HERE AS UNITED STATES SENATOR AS COCHAIR OF THE CONGRESSIONAL FRIENDS OF THE NATIONAL PARKS FOR ITS CENTENNIAL. I AUTHORED A BILL THAT WE SET UP IN 2006 THAT FINALLY CREATED THIS ENDOCUMENT MUND -- ENDOWMENT FUND TO BE ABLE TO TAKE PRIVATE-PUBLIC PARTNERSHIPS. THAT BILL CALLED THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE CENTENNIAL ACT WAS SIGNED INTO LAW ON THE YEAR OF THE NATIONAL PARKS SEEN TEN ANNIVERSARY AND HAS NOW PROVIDED MORE THAN $200 MILLION TO ADDRESS MAINTENANCE BACKLOG. BY THE WAY, MORE THAN 125 MILLION OF THAT HAS BEEN PRIVATE DOLLARS, NON-FEDERAL DOLLARS. AGAIN, THE IDEA WAS TO.THE FEDERAL MATCH TO ENCOURAGE MORE PEOPLE WHO LOVED THE PARKS TO BE ABLE TO CONTRIBUTE. WE DID BETTER THAN THE LEGISLATION REQUIRED WHICH WAS A ONE-TO-ONE MATCH, $200 MILLION, $125 MILLION OF WHICH COMES FROM NON-FEDERAL SOURCES. THAT FUNDING HELPS. I'M PROUD OF THAT. FRANKLY, AS I MENTIONED EARLIER, A $12 BILLION BACKLOG, MAINTENANCE BACKLOG, REQUIRES EVEN MORE. AND AS SOON AS WE'RE ABLE TO DO THAT, WE NEED TO DO IT BECAUSE THE COSTS ARE JUST GOING UP. I RECENTLY AUTHORED LEGISLATION WITH THREE OF MY COLLEAGUES, SENATOR MARK WARNER, LAMAR ALEXANDER, ANGUS KING, TWO REPUBLICANS, ONE DEMOCRAT, ONE INDEPENDENT. IT'S CALLED RESTORE OUR PARKS ACT. THE BILL NOW HAS EIGHT ADDITIONAL COSPONSORS BOTH DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS AND I'M HOPEFUL THAT MANY MORE OF MY COLLEAGUES WILL JOIN US AS WELL. THE LEGISLATION IS THE PRODUCT OF BIPARTISAN AGREEMENT ON CONSENSUS LEGISLATION THAT COMBINES TWO STILL LAR -- SIMILAR BILLS THAT WERE ALREADY INTRODUCED. ONE WAS WITH SENATOR WARNER AND MYSELF, ONE WITH SENATOR ALEXANDER AND SENATOR KING. THE RESTORE OUR PARKS ACT IS A COMMONSENSE SOLUTION TO THIS $12 BILLION IN LONG OVERDUE PROJECTS AND ENSURE WE CAN DO THE MAINTENANCE TO KEEP THE PARKS UP TO SPED. IT CREATES A LEGACY RESTORATION FUND WHICH WILL GET HALF OF ALL THE ENERGY REVENUES OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS THAT ARE NOT OTHERWISE ALLOCATED TO BE USED FOR PRIORITY DEFERRED MAINTENANCE PROJECTS. THIS IS FUNDING, ROYALTIES ON OFFSHORE LEASES, LET'S SAY AND ONSHORE ENERGY PROJECTS. SOME OF THE FUNDING GOES TO LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND, WILL CONTINUE TO GO THERE. THESE ARE FUNDS THAT ARE OTHERWISE ARE UNOBLIGATED. THE BILL CAPS AND DEPOSITS INTO THE FUND AT $1.3 BILLION A YEAR WHICH WOULD WRITE A TOTAL OF $6.5 BILLION FOR DEFERRED MAINTENANCE PROJECTS AT OUR PARKS OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS. IT'S NOT THE WHOLE AMOUNT NOW BUT IT'S HISTORIC. WE'VE NEVER HAD THIS MUCH FUNDING BEING PUT INTO THE PARKS AT THIS TIME AND PROVIDES AGAIN THAT CERTAINTY TO KNOW IT'S GOING TO BE THERE YEAR AFTER YEAR AND FOR THIS PURPOSE ONLY. ABOUT TWO-THIRDS OF THOSE FUNDS WILL GO TOWARDS BUILDINGS, UTILITIES, VISITOR FACILITIES AND ABOUT ONE-THIRD WILL GO TO TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS LIKE ROADS AND PATHWAYS. THROUGH SIMPLY USING FUNDS THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS ALREADY TAKEN IN FROM THESE ON AND OFFSHORE DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS AND NOT DEPOSITING THEM IN THE GENERAL TREASURY, WE CAN TUT OUR NATIONAL PARKS -- CUT OUR NATIONAL PARKS LONG OVERDUE MAINTENANCE BACKLOG IN HALF. THIS IS EXCITING BECAUSE ABOUT HALF OF THESE PROJECTS, ABOUT $6 BILLION OF THE $12 BILLION ARE WHAT THE PARK SERVICE CALLS URGENT PROJECTS, URGENT PRIORITIES. SO WE WILL AT LEAST HAVE THE CERTAINTY TO KNOW THE FUNDS WILL BE THERE FOR THE LARGER PROJECTS THAT NEED TO GET DONE AND CERTAINTY THAT WE'LL NEVER FIND THROUGH THE END OF THE APPROPRIATIONS PROCESS. WE'LL BE ABLE TO GET SOME OF THE BIGGER, LONGER TERM MAINTENANCE PROJECTS DONE TO RESTORE THE BEAUTY OF OUR PARKS WHERE NEEDED. THE LEGISLATION IS BROADLY SUPPORTED, THE SECRETARY AND TRUMP ADMINISTRATION SUPPORT IT. I WANT TO THANK SECRETARY ZINKE PERSONALLY BECAUSE HE HAS COMMITTED HIMSELF TO THIS ISSUE. WHEN HE WENT THROUGH THE CONFIRMATION PROCESS, WE TALKED ABOUT THE MAINTENANCE ISSUE AT THE PARKS. HE SAID THIS NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED AND ADDRESSED NOW. OTHERWISE IT'S GOING TO GET WORSE AND WORSE. INSTEAD OF ADDING MORE TO THE PARKS, GIVING THEM MORE RESPONSIBILITIES, LET'S BE BETTER STEWARDS OF WHAT WE HAVE. I AGREE WITH THAT PHILOSOPHY AND COMMEND HIM FOR THAT AND FOR HIS SUPPORT AND HELP TO ENSURE THAT THE ADMINISTRATION SUPPORTS IT. MICK MULVANEY HAS ALSO BEEN VERY HELPFUL TO ENSURE WE CAN USE THIS FUNDING SOURCE AND THEY CAN BE SUPPORTIVE OF IT. WE HAVE SUPPORT FROM SO MANY OUTSIDE GROUPS. I CAN'T NAME THEM ALL BUT I WANT TO MENTION THE NATIONAL PARK PRESERVATION ASSOCIATION, THE OUTDOOR INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION, MANY MORE HAVE ENDORSED IT. JUST YESTERDAY WE HAD A HEARING ON THE LEGISLATION IN THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON PARKS CHAIRED BY STEVE DAINES FROM MONTANA WHO IS ONE OF THE COSPONSORS OF THIS LEGISLATION. AND AGAIN STEVE DAINES IS A GUY WITH A PERSONAL PASSION FOR THE PARKS, HAVING GROWN UP IN THE SHADOW OF YELLOWSTONE PARK. WE HAD EXPERTS, WE HAD CONSERVATION GROUP, ALL VOICING THEIR SUPPORT FOR THIS LEGISLATION AT OUR HEARING. THE DIRECTOR OF THE CHARITABLE TRUST SAID SUPPORTING THIS BIPARTISAN BILL IS A WISE INVESTMENT FOR OUR NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM AND HAS OVERWHELMING SUPPORT FROM THE GENERAL PUBLIC, GENERATES HUNDREDS OF JOBS AND BILLIONS OF DOLLARS FOR THE ECONOMY EACH YEAR AND PROVIDES WORLD CLASS RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES AND PRESERVE OUR HISTORY. THE C.E.O. OF THE CONSERVANCY FOR CUYAHOGA NATIONAL PARK AND PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ALL THE FRIENDS GROUPS FOR THE PARKS SAID AND I QUOTE, SUPPORTERS OF OUR NATIONAL PARKS ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE THRILLED WITH THIS BILL. ADDRESSING DEFERRED MAINTENANCE WILL GO A LONG WAY TOWARD PROTECTING HISTORIC AND NATIONAL RESOURCES AT OUR PARKS. THIS BILL MAKES SENSE. IT WILL HELP MAKE OUR NATIONAL PARKS EVEN BETTER FOR THE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF VISITORS EVERY YEAR WHO TAKE IN THEIR BEAUTY AND THEIR HISTORY. I URGE THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES TO APPROVE THIS BILL QUICKLY. I KNOW SENATOR MURKOWSKI IS A STRONG SUPPORTER OF OUR PARKS AND WILL BE SUPPORTIVE OF MOVING FORWARD AS CHAIR OF THE COMMITTEE. AND I HOPE THE FULL SENATE WILL VOTE ON THIS LEGISLATION SOON AND VOTE ON IT NOW SO THAT WE CAN MOVE FORWARD QUICKLY. WE WANT TO MAKE THE SECOND HUNDRED YEARS OF OUR NATIONAL PARKS AS MAGNIFICENT AND SUCCESSFUL AS THE FIRST HUNDRED YEARS HAS BEEN. THIS BILL IS NECESSARY TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT. AND I URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO JOIN ME IN SUPPORTING THIS LEGISLATION. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I YIELD BACK MY TIME.

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  • 04:14:27 PM

    MR. SULLIVAN

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I WANT TO COMMEND MY COLLEAGUE FROM OHIO ON HIS…

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I WANT TO COMMEND MY COLLEAGUE FROM OHIO ON HIS LEGISLATION. THE NATIONAL PARKS MEANS SO MUCH TO US AND ALASKA. I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING ON THAT BILL AS A COSPONSOR OF A VERY IMPORTANT PIECE OF LEGISLATION. SO ONCE AGAIN, SENATOR PORTMAN IS LEADING THE WAY IN THE SENATE ON SO MANY ISSUES. BUT, MR. PRESIDENT, WHAT I WANT TO DO THIS AFTERNOON WAS SAY A FEW WORDS ABOUT THE PRESIDENT'S VISIT TO NATO AND THE NATO MEETING THAT WE JUST HAD AND TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF ALLIANCES AND OUR ALLIES. I THINK IF YOU READ IN THE PRESS NOW, I THINK OVERALL YOU SEE THIS TRIP, YOU SEE THE MEETING. THE PRESIDENT MET WITH ALL THE NATO LEADERS IN BRUSSELS, THAT OVERALL WAS A GOOD TRIP. THERE'S BEEN THIS COMMITMENT BY NATO MEMBERS SINCE AT LEAST 2014, BUT IT REALLY GOES WAY EARLIER THAN 2014 FOR EACH COUNTRY TO SPEND 2% OR MORE OF THEIR G.D.P. ON DEFENSE SPENDING. SO WE SHARE THE BURDENS OF DEFENSE. NOW, THE UNITED STATES HAS SLINGS ALWAYS -- -- HAS ESSENTIALLY ALWAYS, ALWAYS, MET THIS TARGET, EASILY MET THIS TARGET, BUT A LOT OF OTHER COUNTRIES HAVEN'T. AND THEY'VE HEARD TIME AND TIME AGAIN FROM PRESIDENTS AND YET THEY'VE KIND OF IGNORED IT. THE SUCCESS OF THIS TRIP IS THAT IT LOOKS LIKE, FOR THE FIRST TIME REALLY IN YEARS, NATO COUNTRIES ARE MOVING AWAY FROM CUTS IN DEFENSE SPENDING. BY THE WAY, INCLUDING THE UNITED STATES, FROM 2010 TO 2016, WE WERE CUTTING OUR DEFENSE SPEND, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS WAY ABOVE 2%, WE CUT IT BY 25%. WE SAW A HUGE CHANGE IN READINESS BUT WE'RE CHANGING THAT. BUT ALMOST ALL NATO COUNTRIES ARE STARTING TO ADD BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF DEFENSE SPENDING, AND I THINK THE PRESIDENT DESERVES A LOT OF THE CREDIT FOR REALLY PRESSING THIS ISSUE. OTHER PRESIDENTS, OTHER U.S. PRESIDENTS HAVE PRESSED IT AND THE EUROPEANS HAVE KIND OF IGNORED IT AND IT SEEMED TO GO AWAY. AND WE'RE STARTING TO SEE A SHIRKS AND I THINK -- AND WE'RE STARTING TO SEE A SHIFT, AND I THINK THE PRESIDENT DESERVES CREDIT. SOMETHING THAT SHOULD GET A LOT OF ATTENTION IS ENERGY, PARTICULARLY NATURAL GAS, AND HOW RUSSIA FEEDS A LOT OF EUROPE, PARTICULARLY IN THIS CASE, GERMANY, AND YET THAT UNDERMINES ENERGY SECURITY AND NATIONAL SECURITY IN EUROPE, IN NATO. AND IT'S A CONTROVERSIAL TOPIC. A LOT OF COUNTRIES IN EUROPE DON'T LIKE THE FACT THAT GERMANY IS SPENDING SO MUCH TO IMPORT RUSSIAN GAS WHEN NATO IS ACTUALLY FOCUSED ON DEFENDING EUROPE AGAINST RUSSIA. SO I THINK THE PRESIDENT ALSO DID A GOOD JOB OF HIGHLIGHTING THIS ISSUE AND HOW WE NEED TO FOCUS ON THIS. YOU KNOW, MR. PRESIDENT, YOU'RE SEEING IT. SOME EUROPEANS ARE PROTESTING THE VISIT OF OUR PRESIDENT, BUT I WILL SAY THIS -- AND YOU DON'T READ ABOUT THIS A LOT -- THERE'S BEEN NO WESTERN LEADER WHO'S DONE MORE TO UNDERMINE WESTERN INTERESTS AND WESTERN NATIONAL SECURITY AND EUROPEAN ENERGY SECURITY THAN THE FORMER CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY, GERHARDT SCHROEDER, THE FORMER CHANCE LETTER OF GORM. HE WAS THE CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY. WHEN HE LEFT, WHAT DID HE DO? HE IMMEDIATELY WENT TO WORK FOR GAZPROM TO SELL NATURAL GAS TO EUROPEAN COUNTRIES, INCLUDING HIS OWN GOVERNMENT, HIS OWN COUNTRY, GERMANY. SO, TO ME, THAT REPRESENTS A REMARKABLE BETRAYAL OF WESTERN VALUES, NATO SECURITY, EUROPEAN ENERGY SECURITY. DOESN'T GET HIGHLIGHTED, BUT FOR OUR GERMAN FRIENDS, AND THEY ARE OUR GOOD, CLOSE ALLIES, IT IS ONE THING TO PROTEST OUR PRESIDENT BUT TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR FORMER CHANCELLOR. HE IS DOING MORE DAMAGE TO THE NATIONAL SECURITY OF EUROPE, THE ENERGY SECURITY OF GERMANY, AND OUR ALLIES THAN PROBABLY ANYBODY ELSE IN EUROPE. BUT THE BOTTOM LINE, MR. PRESIDENT, THIS 2% ENERGY -- THIS 2% G.D.P. GOAL, THIS CONCERN THAT WE HAVE WITH RUSSIAN ENERGY INTO EUROPEAN CAPITALS, THESE HAVE BEEN BIPARTISAN CONCERNS OF DEMOCRAT AND REPUBLICAN ADMINISTRATIONS FROM THE UNITED STATES FOR DECADES, AND I THINK THIS NATO SUMMIT WE'RE STARTING TO SEE SOME GOOD PROGRESS. THE PRESIDENT ENDED THE NATO MEETING BY SAYING, QUOTE, THE UNITED STATES COMMITMENT TO NATO IS VERY STRONG, REMAINS VERY STRONG, AND THE SPIRIT OF COUNTRIES WILLING TO SPEND ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS OF MONEY IS AMAZING TO SEE, TO SEE THAT LEVEL OF SPIRIT IN THE ROOM OF ALL THE LEADERS IS INCREDIBLE. THAT'S WHAT THE PRESIDENT SAID TODAY. AND I THINK THAT WAS A GOOD MESSAGE TO END THIS NATO LEADERS ' SUMMIT IN BRUSSELS. BUT, MR. PRESIDENT, I WANT TO EMPHASIZE ANOTHER POINT ABOUT OUR ALLIANCES, ABOUT NATO. IT'S ALSO IMPORTANT TO KNOW THAT NATO IS NOT JUST THE SUM OF THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT COUNTRIES SPEND. THAT'S IMPORTANT. THERE'S NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. BUT THIS ALLIANCE, WHICH MANY HAVE VIEWED AS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL MILITARY A-- ALLIANCE IN HISTORY, IS A LOT MORE THAN JUST MONEY. AT ITS HEART, IT'S ABOUT COMMON VALUES. AT ITS HEART, IT'S ABOUT COUNTRIES COMING TOGETHER TO DEFEND DEMOCRACY. AT ITS HEART, IT'S ABOUT COUNTRIES THAT HAVE THE SAME CORE NATIONAL SECURITY INTERESTS. AND, MR. PRESIDENT, THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. AT IT'S ARCTIC IT'S ABOUT SHARED -- AT IT'S HEART, IT'S ABOUT SHARED SACRIFICE -- SHARED SACRIFICE. YES, THERE'S SHARED SACRIFICE IN THE CHECKBOOK, BUT IT GOES WAY, WAY BEYOND THIS. IT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT ARTICLE 5 OF THE NATO TREATY, WHICH IS THE TREATY BY WHICH COUNTRIES INVOKE THE COMMON DEFENSE -- WHEN YOU INVOKE ARTICLE 5, THAT MEANS, HEY, ALL THE OTHER ALLIES ARE COMING TO HELP YOU. ALL THE OTHER ALLIES ARE COMING TO DEFEND YOU. ARTICLE 5 HAS BEEN INVOKED IN THE NATO TREATY, WHICH WAS PASSED BY THIS BODY IN 1949, ONE TIME, ONE TIME. WHEN WAS IT INVOKED? AFTER THE TERRORIST ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001. OUR NATO ALLIES SAID, WE'RE GOING TO HELP DEFEND AMERICA. THAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT, AND THEY DID. AND THEY DID. AGAIN, WE TALK TOO MUCH ABOUT DOLLARS -- AND, AGAIN, I COMMEND THE PRESIDENT FOR WHAT HE'S DONE -- BUT LET'S TALK ABOUT OTHER SHARED SACRIFICE. THE ALLIANCES THAT WE HAVE AROUND THE WORLD AREN'T JUST ABOUT MONEY. SINCE 9/11 IT OVER 1,000 NON-U.S. NATO TROOPS HAVE BEEN KILLED IN ACTION IN AFGHANISTAN COMING TO OUR DEFENSE AFTER 9/11 GOING AFTER THE TERRORISTS WHO KILLED OVER 3,000 AMERICANS ON 9/11. OVER 1,000 NATO SOLDIERS, NON-AMERICAN NATO SOLDIERS, HAVE PAID THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE BECAUSE OF THE ALLIANCE THEY HAD WITH THE UNITED STATES. YOU CAN'T PUT A PRICE TAG ON THAT. YOU CAN'T PUT A PRICE TAG ON THAT. SOME SACRIFICES ARE MORE THAN JUST DOLLARS. SOME SACRIFICES CAN'T BE MEASURED IN DOLLARS, AND I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT FOR ALL OF US HERE IN THE SENATE, FOR THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION, AND FOR ALL AMERICANS TO REMEMBER THAT TO REMEMBER THAT. AND I WANT TO THANK THE FAMILIES OF THOSE OVER 1,000 NATO ALLIANCE MEMBER SOLDIERS WHO'VE BEEN KILLED IN ACTION -- AND, BY THE WAY, MR. PRESIDENT, THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS MORE WOUNDED IN ACTION IN AFGHANISTAN, HUNTING DOWN TERRORISTS WHO KILLED OUR CITIZENS. IT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT. BOTTOM LINE, MR. PRESIDENT -- WHEN THIS COMES TO ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT AND ENDURING STRATEGIC ADVANTAGES WE HAVE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD%, IT'S THIS -- WE ARE AN ALLY-RICH NATION AND OUR ADVERSARIES, LIKE RUSSIA, LIKE NORTH KOREA, LIKE IRAN, AND OUR POTENTIAL ADVERSARIES, LIKE CHINA, ARE ALLY-POOR. WE ARE ALLY-RICH. COUNTRIES TRUST US. COUNTRIES WANT TO JOIN ALLIANCES WITH THE UNITED STATES. AND OUR ADVERSARIES AND POTENTIAL ADVERSARIES ARE ALLY-POOR. IN THAT SYSTEM OF ALLIANCES THAT'S BEEN BUILT OVER 70 YEARS THROUGH THE HARD WORK OF DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS, PRESIDENTS, SECRETARIES OF STATE AND DEFENSE, U.S. SENATORS, THAT HAS BEEN A JOINT COLLECTIVE EFFORT. AND HERE'S SOMETHING ELSE THAT'S IMPORTANT TO KNOW. OUR ADVERSARIES AND POTENTIAL ADVERSARIES KNOW THAT THIS IS THE MOST, ONE OF THE MOST, IF NOT THE MOST STRATEGIC IMPORTANT ADVANTAGE WE HAVE OVER ANY OTHER COUNTRY, AND THAT IS WHY FOR YEARS -- FOR DECADES -- COUNTRIES LIKE RUSSIA AND CHINA AND IRAN AND NORTH KOREA HAVE TRIED TO SPLIT UP OUR ALLIANCES. WE SHOULDN'T LET THAT HAPPEN. WE SHOULDN'T LET THAT HAPPEN. AND IT'S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THIS AS WE CONTINUE TO DEAL WITH THESE COUNTRIES, AND I THINK THAT THIS NATO SUMMIT SENT A STRONG MESSAGE THAT WE'RE GOING TO STAND TOGETHER FOR DECADES MORE TO COME. AND WHEN IT COMES TO ALLIANCES, MR. PRESIDENT, THIS BODY IN PARTICULAR, PURSUANT TO THE U.S. CONSTITUTION, PLAYS A VERY IMPORTANT ROLE. THE ALLIANCES THAT I'VE TALKED ABOUT, INCLUDING ESPECIALLY THIS WEEK NATO, CAME TO THE UNITED STATES SENATE FOR RATIFICATION. SO, AGAIN, IT IS IMPORTANT AS WE TALK ABOUT NATIONAL SECURITY -- AND WE TALK ABOUT IT% AND WE TALK ABOUT -- AND WE TALK ABOUT 2% AND WE TALK ABOUT BURDEN-SHARING, YES, WE NEED FROM OUR ALLIES. BUT WE ALSO NEED TO REMEMBER THAT OUR ALLIANCES GO WELL BEYOND THE CHECKBOOK. COMMON VALUES, SHARED SACRIFICE, AND SOMETIMES THAT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE TO REMEMBER AS WE CONTINUE TO DEEPEN OUR ALLIANCES AND EXPAND THEM THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, WHICH IS THE BEST WAY TO KEEP PEACE AND PROSPERITY, NOT JUST FOR US BUT FOR THE ENTIRE WORLD. MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK THAT MY FOLLOWING REMARKS APPEAR IN A DIFFERENT SECTION OF THE "CONGRESSIONAL RECORD."

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  • 04:27:14 PM

    MR. SULLIVAN

    MR. PRESIDENT, IT'S THURSDAY AFTERNOON, AND FOR THE NEW PAGES HERE, YOU…

    MR. PRESIDENT, IT'S THURSDAY AFTERNOON, AND FOR THE NEW PAGES HERE, YOU WILL HOPEFULLY SEE THAT THIS IS CERTAINLY ONE OF MY FAVORITE MOMENTS IN THE SENATE. I KNOW IT'S THE PRESIDING OFFICER WHO GETS TO SEE THE ALASKAN OF THE WEEK EVERY WEEK AROUND THIS TIME. BUT I GUARANTEE THE YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE DOING A GREAT JOB AS OUR PAGES, THEY'RE GOING TO START TO VIEW THIS AS THEIR FAVORITE TIME, TOO, BECAUSE YOU GET TO HEAR ABOUT ALASKA, AND YOU GET TO HEAR STORIES ABOUT EXAMPLE ARKANSAS, AND YOU GET TO HEAR ABOUT GREAT PEOPLE, WONDERFUL PEOPLE. AND THE GREAT STATE OF ALASKA HAS BEEN DOING GREAT THINGS FOR THEIR COMMUNITY, THEIR STATE, THEIR COUNTRY. WE CALL THAT PERSON OUR ALASKAN OF THE WEEK. NOW, FROM THE ON-SET, WE'VE TRIED TO FOCUS ON PEOPLE GENERALLY WHO ARE UNSUNG HEROES IN THEIR COMMUNITIES. PEOPLE WHO HAVE WORKED DILIGENTLY A LOT OF TIMES WITHOUT A LOT OF RECOGNITION, AND I GET TO, WITH MY COLLEAGUES, COME DOWN HERE AND TELL STORIES ABOUT WHAT THEY'VE DONE FOR THEIR COMMUNITY OR THEIR STATE OR EVEN THEIR COUNTRY. BUT OTHER TIMES WE'VE RECOGNIZED SOMEONE IN OUR STATE WHO HAS MADE THE HEADLINES, SOMEONE WHOSE CONTRIBUTIONS ARE WELL-KNOWN THROUGH ALL PARTS OF THE STATE, AND WE JUST DO BECAUSE IT WE WANT TO REEMPHASIZE IT, BECAUSE IT'S IMPORTANT. TODAY WE'RE GOING TO RECOGNIZE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO'S WELL-KNOWN IN ALASKA BUT WE THINK IS WORTHY CERTAINLY OF THE TITLE ALASKAN OF THE WEEK BECAUSE OF ALL HE HAS DONALD TRUMP HIS NAME IS BILL SHEFFIELD WHO WAS OUR STATE'S GOVERNOR IN 19 HE 82 AND HAS SPENT HIS ADULT LIFE MAKING ALASKA A BETTER PLACE FOR ALL OF US. NOW, GOVERNOR SHEFFIELD'S STORY IN ALASKA EMBODIES WHAT MANY OF US LOVE ABOUT OUR GREAT STATE. IT DOESN'T MATTERRER WITH YOU COME FROM, OR YOUR SOCIAL STATUS. IN ALASKA, IF YOU HAVE GRIT AND TENACITY AND DETERMINATION AND A SERVANT'S HEART, NOTHING CAN HOLD YOU BACK. GOVERNOR SHEFFIELD WAS BORN IN SPOKANE, WASHINGTON WHEN THE DEPRESSION HIT, HIS FAMILY HAD TO GROW AND SELL VEGETABLES TO SURVIVE. IT WAS DURING THIS TIME THAT HE SAW FIRSTHAND HOW PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT'S NEW DEAL PASSED BY THIS BODY HELPED PEOPLE, INCLUDING HIS FATHER WHO WAS STRUGGLING, AND THE IDEA THAT GOVERNMENT WAS THERE TO HELP PEOPLE STAYED WITH HIM AND TURNED HIM INTO A LIFELONG DEMOCRAT. HE JOINED THE AIR FORCE AND AFTER HIS RELEASE JOINED SEARS AND ROEBUCK AND IN 1952 MOVED TO THE GREAT STATE OF ALASKA TO WORK FOR THE COMPANY AS IT EXPANDED THROUGHOUT THE STATE. HE REPAIRED TELEVISIONS AND APPLIANCES AND TOOK ON SALES ROLES EXCELLING IN BOTH REPAIRS AND SALES. NOW, MR. PRESIDENT, HE DID THIS ALL THE WHILE SUFFERING FROM A SERIOUS, DIFFICULT STUTTER, ONE THAT HE HAD CARRIED WITH HIM THROUGHOUT HIS CHILDHOOD. WHEN HE WAS A CHILD, HE SAID HE SIMPLY COULDN'T OR WOULDN'T TALK. I HAD TO POINT TO PICTURES, HE TOLD ONE INTERVIEWER. BUT HIS STUTTER LANDED HIM TREMENDOUS EMPATHY AND ALSO STEELED HIS DETERMINATION TO WORK HARD, OVERCOME OBSTACLES AND SUCCEED. AND SUCCEED HE DID. HE GOT INTO THE HOTEL BUSINESS, EVENTUALLY OWNING A CHAIN OF 19 HOTELS ACROSS ALASKA, BUT HE STILL WANTED SOMETHING MORE. HE WANTED TO GIVE BACK TO HIS COMMUNITY MORE. AND SO IN 1982 AS A LONG SHOT POLITICIAN, HE RAN FOR GOVERNOR. AND THE LONG SHOT CAME IN. AND HE WON. HE ALWAYS UNDERSTOOD AND STILL DOES THAT INFRASTRUCTURE IS THE KEY TO CREATING A PATH FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH IN ALASKA. WE ARE A RESOURCE RICH BUT INFRASTRUCTURE POOR STATE. AND THE POLICIES THAT HE UNDERTOOK AS GOVERNOR AND THE PROJECTS THAT WERE BUILT DURING HIS ADMINISTRATION, LIKELY MORE INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS THAN ANY OTHER GOVERNOR, STILL HAVE A HUGE IMPACT ON OUR STATE TODAY. LET ME JUST MENTION A FEW OF THEM. THE LARGEST ZINC MINE, ZINC AND LEAD MINE LITERALLY IN THE WORLD, THE RED DOG MINE IN NORTHWEST, ALASKA WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY HIS HARD WORK AND COUNTLESS OTHER ALASKANS. THE KETCHIKAN SHIPYARD WAS BUILD DURING THE SHEFFIELD ADMINISTRATION, A CONSTRUCTION ROAD PROGRAM WAS UNDERTAKEN THROUGHOUT THE STATE AND PARTICULARLY IN THE CITY OF ANCHORAGE. THE BRADLEY LAKE HYDROPROJECT NEAR HOMER WAS BUILT DURING HIS ADMINISTRATION ALONG WITH SEVERAL OTHER HYDROPROJECTS THROUGHOUT SOUTHEAST ALASKA. HE TRAVELED EXTENSIVELY THROUGHOUT RURAL ALASKA. HE GOT TO ALMOST EVERY SINGLE VILLAGE IN OUR STATE. WE HAVE OVER 200 THAT ARE NOT CONNECTED BY ROADS. THAT'S MARRED TO -- THAT'S HARD TO DO. ALMOST EVERY ONE WAS VISITED BY OUR GOVERNOR. BUT HIS CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT WAS THE PURCHASE OF THE ALASKA RAILROAD. WHEN HE FIRST BECAME GOVERNOR, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WHICH HAD OWNED THE RAILROAD WAS THREATENING TO SHUT IT DOWN, WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN DEVASTATING TO OUR STATE. THERE WERE NO PRIVATE BUYERS SO GOVERNOR SHEFFIELD WORKED WITH THE STATE LEGISLATURE AND THE CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO BUY THE RAILROAD FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. THEN THEY CREATED A STATE-OWNED CORPORATION DESIGNED TO BE OPERATED LIKE A PRIVATE BUSINESS. AND THAT RAILROAD, THE ALASKA RAILROAD, STILL SERVES AS A CRITICAL TRANSPORTATION LINK FOR GOODS AND PEOPLE THROUGHOUT ALASKA. SINCE HIS TIME IN OFFICE, GOVERNOR CHEF -- SHEFFIELD HAS CONTINUED HIS TIES TO THE RAILROAD AS C.E.O. AND CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD. HE ALSO CONTINUED TO SERVE IN OTHER PUBLIC SERVICE CAPACITIES, LIKE THE PORT DIRECTOR IN ANCHORAGE AND HAS CONTRIBUTED TO NUMEROUS CAUSES, SERVED ON MANY CHARITABLE BOARDS LIKE THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION BOARD AND HAS RECEIVED COUNTLESS AWARDS AND RECOGNITION FOR HIS PUBLIC SERVICE. BUT WHAT REALLY MAKES GOVERNOR SHEFFIELD SO SPECIAL TO SO MANY IS THAT HE IS JUST A KIND, WARM PERSON. HE'S ALWAYS LENDING A HAND TO OTHERS. HE'S ALWAYS THERE FOR MANY WHEN HE'S NEEDED. AND HE DOES THIS WITHOUT REGARD FOR POLITICAL AFFILIATION. HIS HOUSE IS ALWAYS FULL OF REPUBLICANS, DEMOCRATS, LIBERTARIANS. LAST YEAR I WAS AT A GREAT EVENT AT HIS HOUSE WHERE HE HONORED THE COAST GUARD FOUNDATION. MANY MEMBERS BOTH CURRENT AND PAST ON BOTH SIDES OF THE PLIFT CAL AISLE -- OF THE POLITICAL AISLE INCLUDING FROM THIS BODY HAVE EATEN WONDERFUL DINNERS IN HIS HOME, INCLUDING MY GOOD FRIEND SENATOR JOHN McCAIN WHO HAD DINNER IN GOVERNOR SHEFFIELD'S HOUSE WITH SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON. NOW THAT'S BIPARTISANSHIP. WHERE HE OPENS ALL HIS DOORS IN HIS BEAUTIFUL HOME, ALL ARE WELCOME. MR. PRESIDENT, GOVERNOR SHEFFIELD RECENTLY CELEBRATED HIS 90th BIRTHDAY WITH A PARTY IN ANCHORAGE. UNFORTUNATELY, I WAS NOT ABLE TO ATTEND, BUT I HEARD IT WAS ONE FOR THE AGES. HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE SHOWING UP. PEOPLE FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE, ALL POLITICAL AFFILIATIONS WERE THERE, ALL OF THEM SHARING DEEP AFFECTION FOR ONE OF OUR STATE'S GIANTS, A MAN WITH A HUGE HEART WHO'S MADE LIFE BETTER FOR COUNTLESS ALASKANS. SO GOVERNOR SHEFFIELD, FROM THE SENATE HAPPY 90th BIRTHDAY. THANKS FOR YOUR GREAT SERVICE TO OUR GREAT STATE AND ALL YOU'VE DONE AND CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING OUR ALASKAN OF THE WEEK. I YIELD THE FLOOR. I NOTE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

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  • 04:36:08 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK SHALL CALL THE ROLL. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 04:40:20 PM

    MR. RUBIO

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 05:06:31 PM

    MR. RUBIO

    MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE SENATE VOTE ON THE…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE SENATE VOTE ON THE NOMINATION WITH NO INTERVENING ACTION OR DEBATE, THAT IF CONFIRMED THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER BE CONSIDERED MADE AND LAID UPON THE TABLE, THE PRESIDENT BE IMMEDIATELY NOTIFIED OF THE SENATE'S ACTION, THAT NO FURTHER MOTIONS BE IN ORDER AND THAT ANY STATEMENTS RELATING TO THE NOMINATION BE PRINTED IN THE RECORD.

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  • 05:06:48 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IS THERE OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION. THE QUESTION IS ON THE NOMINATION.…

    IS THERE OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION. THE QUESTION IS ON THE NOMINATION. ALL IN FAVOR SAY AYE. ALL OPPOSED, NO. THE AYES APPEAR TO HAVE IT. THE AYES DO HAVE IT. THE NOMINATION IS CONFIRMED.

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  • 05:07:57 PM

    THE CLERK

    NOMINATION, DEPARTMENT OF STATE. GEORGETT MOSBACHER OF FLORIDA TO BE…

    NOMINATION, DEPARTMENT OF STATE. GEORGETT MOSBACHER OF FLORIDA TO BE AMBASSADOR EXTRAORDINARY TO POLAND.

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  • 05:10:34 PM

    MR. RUBIO

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT WHEN THE SENATE COMPLETES ITS BUSINESS TODAY…

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT WHEN THE SENATE COMPLETES ITS BUSINESS TODAY IT ADJOURN UNTIL 3:00 P.M., MONDAY, JULY 16, FURTHER THAT FOLLOWING THE PRAYER AND PLEDGE, THE MORNING HOUR DEEMED EXPIRED, THE JOURNAL OF PROCEEDINGS BE APPROVED TO DATE, THE TIME FOR THE TWO LEADERS BE RESERVED FOR USE LATER IN THE DAY AND MORNING BUSINESS BE CLOSED. I ASK THAT FOLLOWING LEADER REMARKS THE SENATE PROCEED TO EXECUTIVE SESSION TO CONSIDER EXECUTIVE CALENDAR 936, SCOTT STUMP AND THAT THE TIME UNTIL 5:30 P.M. BE EQUALLY DIVIDED BETWEEN THE TWO LEADERS OR THEIR DESIGNEES AND THAT THE SENATE THEN VOTE ON CONFIRMATION OF THE NOMINATION WITH NO INTERVENING ACTION OR DEBATE. FURTHER, THAT IF CONFIRMED, THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER BE CONSIDERED MADE AND LAID UPON THE TABLE AND THE PRESIDENT BE IMMEDIATELY NOTIFIED OF THE SENATE'S ACTION.

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

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Source: Resume of Congressional Activity (senate.gov)