tv U.S. Senate CSPAN May 20, 2015 10:00am-8:01pm EDT
dollar is a global currency. in fact, it is the primary reserve currency in the world and it's value has an impact on markets everywhere. so for the united states the question as to what is a domestic monetary policy and what is not is up to a lot of debate and i don't think any of us want those debates being resolved in some international trade tribunal which is what is going to happen. moreover contrary to what many of my colleagues seem to be arguing, no one in international trade -- not the treasury, not the i.m.f., not the g-7 not the g-20 -- not anyone in the world has accurate tools in place to measure what is and what is not currency manipulation or what is purely domestic policy and what is intended to be international. even if we demanded enforceable currency standards in our trade
agreements, this simple fact will not change. basing trade sanctions on existing methods which thus far have proved to be unreliable is fraught with risks we should not under take. i.m.f. models recently showed in 2013 japan's currency was anywhere between around 15% undervalued and 15% overvalued. given that range, what is an international trade tribunal to do if asked to set trade sanctions based on allegations of currency manipulation? who in the heck knows. but if we insert these standards into our trade agreements, we would not only subject our trading partners to possible trade sanctions based on indefinite standards the u.s. would face similar risks. this is a recipe for trade and currency wars, something i think
we'd all like to avoid. third, under this amendment -- that is the portman-stabenow amendment -- the traditional role of the u.s. treasury in setting u.s. exchange rate policies would be watered down and potentially overruled in international trade tribunals. do we want that? thus adoption of the portman-stabenow negotiating objectives seems indefensive and full authority not only the federal reserve but exchange for the treasury. fourth it would create incentives for trade partners to avoid transparency of exchange rate policies. if currency standards become enforceable and immediately subject to sanctions under a trade agreement parties to that agreement would almost certainly start withholding full participation in reporting and
monitoring mechanisms that would yoar wise enable us to identify exchange rate interventions and work against them. put simply, we cannot enforce rules against unfair exchange rate practices. if we do not have information about them, we can't enforce the rules. under the portman-stabenow amendment, our trading partners are far more likely to engage in interventions in the shadows hiding from detection out of fear that they could end up being subjected to trade sanctions. i don't think anybody wants that but that's what's going to happen. mr. president, for these reasons and others, the portman-stabenow amendment is the wrong approach. still, i do recognize that currency manipulation is a legitimate concern and one that we need to address in a serious thoughtful way. toward that end senator wyden and i have filed an amendment
that would expand on the currency negotiating objective that is already in the t.p.a. bill to give our country more tools to address currency, to address currency manipulation, that is, without the problems and risks that would come part and parcel with the portman-stabenow amendment. the portman-stabenow amendment would provide a single tool to address currency manipulation enforceable rules subject to sanctions. i think i've demonstrated this for a variety reasons, is a pretty blunt unreliable and imprecise instrument given the relates of the -- realityies of the goabl commit. -- the global economy. the hatch-wyden calls for disclosure monitoring, cooperate mechanisms as well as enforceable rules. our amendment which would
provide maximum flexibility is a better alternative for addressing currency manipulation for a number of reasons. first, it would preserve the integrity of our current trade negotiations. once again if we insert an absolute requirement for enforceable currency rules and require sanctions into the ongoing t.p.p. negotiations, many if not all of our negotiating partners will almost certainly walk away. the hatch-wyden amendment would pose no threat to the t.p.p. negotiations or any other trade deals. second our amendment would not threaten the independence of the federal reserve or subject our own monetary and exchange rate policies to possible sanctions based on indefinite standards. unlike the portman-stabenow amendment, it does not give other countries a road map to accuse the u.s. of using its policies and count it fordow
mesk growth and stability as tools for currency manipulation. third, it would increase transparency and accountability of our trading partners' currency practices. this is absolutely crucial. put simply, you cannot counteract practices that you cannot readily observe. the portman-stabenow amendment would tell our trading partners that if you engage in full reporting and transparency, you run the risk of having an international tribunal detect your actions in ways that will generate trade sanctions. the incentive then is for countries not to be transparent and instead to put their currency policies further in the shadows hiding away information that could end up being used in trade disputes. our trade agreements should provide incentives for countries to go the opposite direction. fool disclosure and accountability of -- full
disclosure and accountability of currency practices. the hatch-wyden amendment would provide a more incentive and structure. in the current context most importantly the hatch-wyden amendment will not result in a veto of the t.p.a. bill. it is supported by the obama administration not to mention business and agriculture stakeholders across the country. i suppose you could say we've come full circle, mr. president. after what i hope has been an interesting discussion and important policy considerations, we're back at the simple, uncomplicated truth. if nothing i've said here today about the complexities of currency and monetary policies has resonated with my colleagues this fact remains: a vote for portman-stabenow, the portman-stabenow amendment is a vote to kill t.p.a. i'm sure that sounds good to some of my colleagues who are
fundamentally opposed to what we're trying to do here. but for those who support free trade, open markets and high-paying jobs for american workers, this truth is ultimately inescapable. once again this doesn't mean we should stand by and do nothing about currency manipulation. the hatch-wyden amendment will provide an effective path to improve transparency, measurement and monitoring of our trading partners' currency practices and effective and transparent ways to counteract anyone seeking to manipulate currencies for unfair trade advantage. the hatch-wyden amendment will allow congress to speak forcefully on the issue of currency manipulation without putting our trade agreements and domestic policies in limbo. for senators who are sincerely concerned about currency manipulation -- and i'm one of those senators -- the hatch-wyden amendment would address these issues in a far more productive way.
so mr. president, at this point the choice should be pretty clear. we have strong indications that the house cannot pass a t.p.a. bill with the portman-stabenow language. and even if it could pass the house, secretary lew has made it clear that including that language in the bill would compel president obama to veto it. the hatch-wyden amendment on the other hand would strengthen our hand by providing a workable set of tools to counteract manipulation in a way that would protect our interests and achieve real results. and most importantly, it will preserve our ability to enact t.p.a. so that we can negotiate strong trade agreements that will help grow our economy and create jobs. that is a choice we face with these two amendments. there are colleagues who support t.p.a. who oppose the amendment and support the hatch-wyden alternative. and with that, i yield the floor. mr. wyden: mr. president? the presiding officer: the
senator from oregon. mr. wyden: mr. president first of all, i want colleagues to know that i think chairman hatch has made some very important points with respect to the currency issue and for colleagues to know that what the chairman and i are doing in our approach is to make sure we can have tough enforceable currency rules without doing the damage to american monetary policy or the ability to fight big economic challenges in the days ahead that we think would come about with the amendment offered by the senator from ohio, senator portman. and, by the way, i want colleagues to know that currency is going to be in the customs conference. chairman hatch and i have discussed this point as well. we felt very strongly about making sure that there is a
customs conference. it goes right to the heart of the enforcement agenda. and in that customs conference -- and the chairman and i have been able to secure a commitment from the president from chairman ryan -- that customs conference is going to take place right when we get back. and the president of the united states indicated last night that he wants us to get this done in june. so we are going to have a chance to tackle currency in that conference. senator bennet worked closely with the chairman and myself so that we got something in the committee that we thought was a smart, practical step. the chairman and i are talking today about something that is also strong and enforceable that won't produce the down side that i've outlined. and so i want colleagues to understand that there is an
opportunity, particularly on the currency issue very quickly to put in place very tough practical rules that get us the upside in terms of protecting the american economy without some of the downsides that i've outlined and chairman hatch has described as well. what i wanted to do particularly this morning mr. president is given yesterday to talk about some of the positive developments that we saw yesterday. and i want to express my appreciation to chairman hatch again for working closely with me on it. and i'll start by talking about senator menendez. senator menendez, like many of us feels very strongly about human trafficking about compelled labor for -- compelled labor or commercial sex.
he has made it very clear that he wants to stop trafficking and he wants us to come up with a fresh policy. so he offered an amendment in the finance committee mr. president s. and it passed. and all over the press for the next few days -- and chairman hatch remembers this -- where accounts poison pill. poison pill is going to end the possibility of finding a way forward on the trade promotion act. and the headlines were everywhere. and the general view was in the press, western is civilization was about to end because of the adoption of the menendez amendment. well senator menendez believes in legislating. he believes what we ought to be doing when there are important issues contentious issues, that you need to find a way to bring
everyone together. and so what senator menendez did -- and i was very pleased to be able to play a modest role in this -- is he brought together all the groups. he brought together the administration. he brought together the u.s. trade representative. he brought together outstanding organizations that we have that fight trafficking. and without any headlines and without any drama did the nuts and bolts work to make sure that now we are going to have a new process a new process that ensures that the president is going to report to the congress on the concrete steps that countries take to crack down on trafficking. now, it didn't make headlines this morning mr. president. it doesn't make headlines when you work with both sides and all the parties outside of the
bright lights. but today we now have an opportunity to move forward in a bipartisan way on an issue that a couple of weeks ago was described as a poison pill the end of t.p.a., causing the entire senate to be paralyzed because it wouldn't be possible to move forward. and i bring this up only by way of saying that i hope today -- and i'm going to be here throughout the day trying to work with both sides both sides to try to find a way to get amendments considered and to do, like senator menendez did over the last ten days or so to actually solve a problem and make it possible for us to especially the ante-against this
plague of trafficking but also make it possible to move forward on this legislation. and i just also would like to note mr. president that all this work went on when everyone understood that senator menendez has been opposed to the legislation and chairman hatch and i have been for it. but the idea was both sides care about trying to fight trafficking. both sides understood that if we worked together, there was an opportunity to really solve a problem. and, in my view, senator menendez deserves great credit for doing what the most important work here is in the senate and that's legislating and trying to bring people together of disparate views. and in doing so, what senator
menendez accomplished was show the country and show the senate that we can take another step for trade done right. trade done right is my vision of where we ought to go. we've heard about free trade and fair trade. what we want is trade done right. and because senator menendez is willing to put in all this time on his trafficking bill, we took on a bipartisan basis an issue that was a poison pill whenever it was discussed just about anywhere in the country and we turned it into a better afroach fight-- better approach to fight trafficking and we advanced the cause to move forward and i look forward to seeing that passed. now, a second area where we made
a lot of progress yesterday mr. president, was on enforcing our trade laws. i felt particularly important about this because virtually every time i have ever talked about promoting trade -- which is pretty important in my state one out of five jobs depend on trade -- i have said that passing new trade agreements and doing a better job of enforcing the trade laws are two sides of the same coin. and the reason i reached that judgment mr. president was because what a number of skeptics about this issue bring up. and i think it is a legitimate concern, is so why is everybody in washington, d.c., talking about new trade laws when they're not doing everything to enforce the laws we've got on the books?
and chairman hatch and i talked about this many, many times and both of us agreed that we needed a robust enforcement package. now, we were able to get important measures into our finance bill, measures that were sought by a number of our colleagues. senator brown had a number of provisions. i was particularly interested in what's called the enforce act. this is something that i developed back when i was chair of the trade subcommittee and we had put together a sting operation to catch scofflaws overseas who are trying to avoid our trade laws. and, in effect, what they were doing was merchandise laundering. what they would do is they would be found in violation of our
dumping of trade rules in one country and they would just move to another and try to move it through another nation. and we caught them on it. many parties responded to the sting operation saying, we're in we're anxious to do this merchandise laundering. so i don't take a back seat to anybody in terms of enforcing our trade laws. so after chairman hatch and i got that through the finance committee, the second step was we had a separate vote here in the senate on a very strong customs and enforcement package. so that was step number two. but at that time, mr. president a number of observers said, well nothing is going to happen. it got passed here in the senate but that bill is not going anywhere. not going to happen. that's the end of the topic.
well chairman hatch and i working together with chairman ryan said, of course, we're going to have a conference. we feel very strongly about this. so we put out a statement early this week saying, you bet there's going to be a conference in june, and we are committed to getting this done. chairman ryan has indicated that he's going to take each of the trade bills -- all four of them -- up on the same day in the other body. he's going to pass them all. and then we'll have a conference. well then, after that happened, mr. president, i was told, well, that sounds good, but we're still not going to have much is the administration going to be for it? so yesterday mr. president in consultation with chairman hatch and myself and others, the president put out a very strong
statement explicitly stating what he wanted in that conference and he wanted it in june. he talked again about senator brown's measures, 301 and the level playing field and the enforce act. i was very pleased that he mentioned child labor. so mr. president -- and this tough, strong enforcement package is going to happen. i'm going to insist it happens. chairman hatch has pledged to me that he's going to insist on it of the and allandall that was essentially nailed down here in the last 24 hours. so two big issues, two very significant issues which were both considered to be show who have-- to beshow-stoppers. the menendez amendment fixed all the headlines about poison pills.
no longer valid. senator menendez has fixed it. chairman hatch to his credit, has been willing to work with me and with the president. we are going to have a strong enforcement package and we are going to have it in june, and it is going to become law as part of the customs conference. now, the senate spent a lot of time yesterday debating an important issue, which is the future of the export-import bank. and i want to thank my pacific northwest colleague and friend, senator can't we cantwell, for all of her leadership -- all of her leadership over the years -- in trying to renew the export-import bank. she has been the one mr. president, who's pointed out, if you have trade laws -- which we are trying to promote
with the trade promotion act -- but you aren't using the tools you aren't using the tools that you into he had to get the maximum value wring the maximum value out of those new laws, you are missing opportunities that are important for our nation. so i urge the majority leader to work closely with senator cantwell to make that happen. now, finally i've been pleased mr. president, to see a robust debate on a number of issues, particularly issues that have been important to senator warren and senator brown. what i said from the very beginning, mr. president and what i'm going to be here all day working on is that there are senators who feel strongly about promoting the trade promotion
act; there are senators that are opposed to it; i am obviously for the agreement; but i am every single day looking for opportunities for both sides to be heard, to be able to advance their ideas ideas. it started long before we actually had votes in the senate finance committee and it is going to continue every single day that i have the opportunity to serve here in the senate. these are important issues. i thought it was particularly important that senator warren's investor state provision be able to get a vote early on in the proceedings. obviously an issue that there has been great debate on. and there are many more important amendments to this package. so i want colleagues on both sides of the aisle to know that
i am going to be here throughout the day throughout the day looking for ways that all senators all senators, whether they're for the agreement or against the agreement can have an opportunity to have their priorities considered on this trade legislation and i'll just wrap up, you know, colleagues, by way of saying that the reason that this issue is so important is we debate continually about how to get more high-wage jobs in our country. continually we debate that because we want higher wages for our constituents. the evidence is, that trade jobs pay better than do the non-trade jobs. we need more of them. there was a report this morning that my state has a significant
trade surplus and we're very proud of that. there are other states that don't but promote legislation that allows us to secure more exports, particularly in the developing world where there are going to be a billion middle-class consumers in 2025. we want them to buy america because when they do, it creates the opportunity for us to have more of those export value-added, high-productivity jobs that pay our workers better wages, that strengthen our middle class. it's going to be a busy day mr. president. i look forward to working again, with both sides so that senators whether they are for the t.p.a. or whether they're against it, feel that they've had a chance to raise their issues and have been treated fairly. with that, i yield the floor. mr. barrasso: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: thank you
mr. president. i ask unanimous consent to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. barrasso: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, today president obama is heading to connecticut where i understand he's going to be addressing the graduates at the coast guard academy. he plans to talk about threats to our national security. i think many americans would be astonished to learn that the president's planned discussion on national security is going to center on climate change. after all americans understand that there are much more immediate threats facing our nation: the fall of ramadi in iraq, the brutal terroristate tax deduction by isis. these are clear examples of the real threats that must be addressed by president obama. i'd encourage the president to spend his time today addressing america's most pressing national security threats. the president and his national security team must deliver strong leadership and an effective strategy, a strategy to fight the terrorists who want
to attack our country and kill more americans. this should be the focus of the president's speech today. this should be our most pressing national security concern. mr. president, i'd also like to talk about an important issue that's facing americans and they'll soon need to be seeing, which is that next month the supreme court is expected to announce a decision in the case of king v. burwell. this is the case that has been brought on before of millions of americans who have been harmed by the president's unlawful expansion of his unworkable and unaffordable health care law. sometime before the end of june, the court is going to announce if the law passed by congress means what it says or if it means what the president wishes it has said. the law written by democrats in congress written behind closed doors, only authorized insurance subsidies for one group and the
president had the i.r.s. pay subsidies to another group. the president gave bureaucrats much more power to control the health care choices and decisions of people who never should have been caught under the law. the supreme court should strike down this alarming overreach by the president. if it does, that will give congress an opportunity to address some of the devastating problems that the health care law has caused. it seems like every week, mr. president, we see another headline about another damaging side effect of the president's health care law. here's one example from a story yesterday morning front page "investors business daily" obama care rates will soar in 2016. average 18.6% hike proposed. it's an astonishing fact that people are facing. increasing rates soaring again
in 2016. insurance companies that sell plans in the obamacare exchange are starting to set their rates for next year. there's another article a series of articles that continue to come out. one says the top obamacare exchange insures in six different states, where the 2016 rate requests have already been filed -- and they'll come in every state -- are seeking rate changes average 18.6% just next year alone. early reports range from an alarming 36% hike sought by the dominant insurer in tennessee to a 23% average increase requested by oregon insurers. people across the country saw these rates go up at the beginning of this year. now they're facing it again. they're starting to learn that there wasn't just a one-year deal. there's another story that came out may 7 in "the connecticut
mirror." the article states "insurance companies selling health plans through the state's health insurance exchange are seeking to raise rates next year with an average increase of somewhere between 2% and nearly 14%." you take a look, it's outrageous mr. president. now, i know that the senator from connecticut has come to the floor saying that we should be celebrating obamacare. obamacare it, he said. well with these rate increases for families in connecticut it looks to me like the party is over. obamacare was supposed to bring costs down. that's what the president promised. he said the premiums would go down by an average of $2,500 per year per family. it hasn't happened. for an average family that gets coverage through their work, the premiums have gone up about $3,500 since the president took office in 2009. why do we still see headlines
about premiums going up by 14% or even 2%? why are they going up at all? why are the promises that democrats made about the health care law not coming true? why are obamacare rates set to soar again in 2016? why are people in places like connecticut still seeing headlines about their costs going up by 14%? a few weeks ago the democrat leader said on the floor that obamacare is a smashing success. stood right over there and said it it's a smashing success. is there a democrat who thinks that a 14% increase for families in connecticut is a smashing success or an 18.6% average across the country a smashing success? we're going to see this same story about soaring insurance rates repeated all across america. it's not just the obamacare premiums that are causing problems for families. here's a headline from "the washington post" on friday.
"insured but still not able to afford care. for one in four who bought health coverage, some costs remain too high." so they have insurance but they're still not able to get care. people who have insurance have been avoiding going to see the doctor. that's according to a new study by the liberal advocacy group called families u.s.a. this was an advocacy group that was a huge supporter of the president's health care law and a huge supporter of the president. and even this group has to admit that coverage does not equal care. there is a difference. the group's executive director is quoted in this article in "the washington post" as saying "the key culprit as to why people have been unable to afford medical care despite coverage is high deductibles." well i agree. many people, these deductibles
are too high. the reason the deductibles have gotten so high and so out-of-hand all of a sudden is because the health care law included so many coverage mandates. democrats who voted for this said they know better than the people at home what kind of insurance they need. that's what the president said. the president says i know better than you do. i know what your family needs. you do not. that's why the deductibles are so high. insurance had to raise their premiums to cover the costs of all these new washington mandates. they had to raise deductibles as well. this year the average deductible for an obamacare silver plan is almost $3,000 for a single person. more than $6,000 for a family. people have washington hurricane irene -- people have washington mandated coverage but they still can't afford to get care. so people are putting off going to the doctor. they're skipping tests. they're skipping follow-up care because of the high deductibles
and co-pays. why are the people across the country having to put off getting the care? it's because they can't afford it. is that what democrats mean when they say the law has been a smashing success? when the minority leader comes to the floor and said it's a smashing success? all across the country americans are struggling under the costs of health care under this health care law. a study out this morning, in the paper "the hill," underinsured population has doubled doubled in the united states to 31 million. one-quarter of people, it says, with health care coverage are paying so much for deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses that they are considered underinsured 31 million americans. rising deductibles even under obamacare, it says, are the biggest problem for most people who are considered underinsured.
doubled number of underinsured people, under the health care law now doubled. people are paying more as a result of the democrats' health care law and they're going to be paying even more next year and the year after that until we're able to do something to stop it. republicans are offering real solutions that will end these destructive and expensive obamacare side effects. that means giving americans and giving states the freedom the choice and the control over their health care decisions once again. republicans understand that coverage does not equal care. republicans understand what american families were asking for before this health care law was ever passed. and that's what they're still asking for today. it's time for democrats to admit that their health care law did not work. it did not work out like they promised. and to start working with republicans on reforms that will give people the care they need
from a doctor they choose at lower costs. thank you mr. president. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. merkley: thank you mr. president. returning to the discussion about trade policy and its l impact on businesses, president kennedy once said "the trade of a nation expresses in a very concrete way its aims and its aspirations." well, what are our aims and aspirations in crafting a new trade structure? the president says that his aim and aspiration is to be the writer of the rules for trade in asia. i have a different aspiration. my aspiration is that we create trade that creates living-wage jobs in america that puts people to work making things in
america. if we don't make things in america, we will not have a middle class in america. so as we contemplate a massive new trade deal -- the trans-pacific partnership -- and the bill before us to fast track the consideration of the trans-pacific partnership, we should ask ourselves the question: is this about the geo strategic goal in being the leader of writing the rules or is it about writing rules that actually work for working americans? because, you see working america has done very poorly under this goal of geostrategic influence. yeah, we had nafta north american free trade greavment. we had cafta the central american free trade agreement. and what was the result of that? well we lost five million jobs
in america. we lost five million jobs. we lost 50,000 factories. if you go around oregon, you can see these factory sites. i was out recently to visit the blue herring site. a few years ago there were hundreds and hundreds of workers at the blue heron paper factory but under the structure of one agreement, w.t.o., those jobs went to china. paper manufacturing went to china. and the equipment was pulled up out of that factory leaving a big hole and shipped overseas. that's what happened. we lost our factories. we lost our jobs. now, there's been a lot of discussion that this is a new trade agreement that it establishes enforceable standards for labor. welshes perhaps -- welshes perhaps the most single porn --
important standard is minimum wage. it is about exploiting the full race to the bottom. so, of course, i'm sure the proponents would say well, of course we've addressed that. that's central. that was the central ingredient, is to make sure there's not a race to the bottom and that we address the fact that every nation will be part of this agreement will have to have a minimum wage, a minimum wage that rises over time, a minimum wage that provides a basic standard of living so that we do not have conditions of full exploitation miserable sweatshops if you will, that are producing the goods that we're buying here in america under this agreement. so, it may come as a shock to people across america that this most fundamental standard of minimum wage is not addressed in this agreement. what do we have right now? we have 12 countries, we have
two countries -- brunei and singapore -- no minimum-wage standard at all. then we have mexico at 66 cents and vietnam -- for vietnam they set a monthly minimum wage. and they set it regionally, so the number varies according to how you calculate it. some would call it 57 cents. others would say 74 cents. let's put it this way. the minimum wage in vietnam is way under $1 per hour. malaysia $1.54. peru $1.55. chile $2.25. so does this trans-pacific partnership have a requirement that there be a minimum wage that will rise up workers and stop these sweatshops across the world so that we're not buying
products from sweatshops with miserable slave-like conditions? it does not. it has no such provision. it has no minimum wage, which leads us to another fundamental observation. what this trade agreement does is set up a dynamic between these very low-wage countries and countries that are developed and aspiring to create living-wage jobs here. but what happens when you have manufacturing that is in these high-wage countries high-environmental standard countries, high-labor standard countries and high-enforcement countries and the manufacturer looks out and sees a competitor in a free trade regime in these very low-wage, low-labor low environmental and low-enforcement countries. well it's obvious. the manufacturing migrates to
places cheapest. that's the way free enterprise works. it goes to where you can make the most profit. so it's not some absurd, unexpected result that nafta resulted in the loss of five million good-paying jobs in america. it's not some unexpected result that we lost 50,000 factories. ross perot when he was campaigning for president said if you adopt nafta, you will hear the sound of the jobs leaving america m. and that's exactly what happened. exactly what happened. so is it the fact that this new generation trade agreement actually addresses this core problem? welshes -- well, the answer it does not. it does not do anything to address this disparity between
very low wages and prosperous countries. this is going to be, as ross perot put it, another situation with a giant sucking sound of jobs leaving america. now, proponents of this treaty say, well, we've done something very significant. we have taken the labor and environmental side agreements, and we've put them in the center of the agreement. this is pretty much like moving deck chairs on the titanic. you move them from one location to another location. how does that change the outcome? well it doesn't. it just means that they're printed in a different part of the text. that's not very good news, if you will, to workers across the united states of america who've been assured that there's something fundamentally different about this agreement. now, these labor standards and
these environmental standards that are in the agreement we've heard a lot about enforcement and there is nothing new to enforce these labor and environmental standards. now, i want to take a little detour here because there are some important enforcement standards that my colleagues have put forward. my colleague from oregon has put forward the phoners act. this is -- has put forward the enforce act. this is important for enforcing tariffs. this is important for enforcing the movement of goods illegally by third parties in order to bypass tariffs into the united states. and that's a good step forward. but that does not address the core of this issue, which is enforcement of the labor and environmental standards. now, we have the same basic standards in various trade agreements and they're never
enforced because there is no effective mechanism for enforcement. now, let me expand a little bit on what's gone wrong and then point out that nothing has been done to fix it. you essentially have a set of standards -- and these standards are the international labor organization standards i.l.o. standards, and these i.l.o. standards address a series of things. these i.l.o. standards are things such as child labor -- that's a bad idea; it should stop. it addresses that union organizing should be allowed and that's a good thing. so the standards themselves are solid and respectable. but when a nation becomes party to the trade agreement how do you have them enforce those standards? and that's what's missing. no enforcement for these standards. now, there is a government-to-government process
for consultations when the united states is upset that someone is not enforcing and ultimately they can file a case and that case can take years and years and years to adjudicate. and it never gets done. the number of labor standard enforcement actions that have been completed is zero. the number of environmental enforcement the standards that have been completed is zero. zero zero. so if we take a broken system from existing trade treaties and ship it into a new trade treaty, what is the expected result? no enforcement of these standards. all the parties know that. they can put the laws in the book but they're not going to be enforced. there is one case, one case alone, that we have sought to proceed to enforce and that was with guatemala. so with guatemala, they have massive labor vials. they're not -- massive labor violations. they're not making the slightest
attempt to follow the i.l.o. and we had consultations and more consultations and more consultations and finally filed a case, and it's gone on and on and onment never on. never gotten to a conclusion. so we still have zero, zero enforcement. one reason it doesn't get to a conclusion is because there's no enthusiasm behind any form of enforcement, and why is that? well first our government says well, if we try to enforce it it'll create ripples in the relationshipment that, you -- in the relationship. that you know, that country will be upset if we try to enforce a labor or environmental standards. second we say, there will be retaliation. they'll file suits and we'll have to spend all this time responding. and what's the point of that? we say they're not meeting it. they say we're not meeting it. and, third the companies that have invested under that trade
agreement in that nation, they come out and tell the government, what are you doing? the goal of the trade agreement was to create a stable environment for in investment. you're destabilizing that by filing a grievance against this country. so don't do it. in the end if you ever got to an enforcement action, well, that would hurt us because we put our factory there. now we'd be subject to tariffs. now, this combination means that that structure is completely dysfunctional and that structure is exactly what's in t.p.p. so, this is why we are coming forward and saying that now is the time to fully debate, how do we tackle this problem so that we can stop pontificating about strong labor and environment aal standards and actually have a structure that creates that within the 12 nations that are considered being part of t.p.p. so that is the distinction.
significant, valuable attention is being paid to enforcement of tariffs and efforts to bypass through third-party shipments or customs structure and that's important. but the labor standards and the environmental standards standards -- enforcement is zero and that same broken system is being imported into the t.p.p. now, yesterday i came to the floor and i tried to pull up amendments. and we're being told that the leaders on this bill, they want to choose and pluck and pick just the amendments that they want to allow to be debated. unlike in the past, where we've had a situation where people have been invited to come to the floor and make their amendments pending and then we've worked through those amendments, so we've spent time addressing the issues that senators thought
were important. that's a robust and open process process. but, despite the promises of the majority leader for an open and robust amendment process we do not have that. we have a behind-the-scenes negotiation with amendments picked and plucked according to what the proponents of this deal want to have, and the rest of us are out in the cold. so i have these four amendments that i'd be happy to pull up at any time that that was allowed. i already tried yesterday so i won't try to do it again. but let me tell you the types of things they dreavment they address. one, it takes on the core deficiency in the trans-pacific partnership, which is that it does not have any minimum wage. so it sumly simply says that forempt for -- for agreements that subject u.s. workers, it shall not apply to an implemented bill submitted with respect through -- unless it establishes a minimum wage
that each party of the agreement must establish and maintain prior to the trade agreement being implemented. so it is not something done down the road. it is done before it is implemented. and, cede, that the minimum wage required will increase over time to continue reduce to disparity -- let pee go back to the disparity here. between the minimum wage and these in -- in these very low countries and these very high countries. the disparity currently is about tenfold. here we are mexico at 66 cents the united states at over $7. mexico's minimum wage is 9% of our minimum wage. one-tenth -- so of course it made sense that factories would be shipped from the united states to mexico. if not only do you have poor enforcement, poor environmental standards that are not enforced, but you have a minimum wage that is one-tenth of what it is in
the united states. so i don't specify in this amendment that the minimum wage has to be set at any particular level. that can be the subject of the negotiations. i don't specify that it has to be raised by 10% a year to narrow the difference between the very low countries and the higher countries so that we reduce the disparity. this is like taking a playing field that is tilted 10-1 against the workers of the united states of america 10-1. itit is not close to a level playing field. american minimum wage more than ten times the mexican minimum wage. 10-1 disadvantage to american workers. that's what we're talking about. the proponents are talking about embedding into this trade agreement. so i'm suggesting, okay, at a minimum, gort negotiate a process where that playing field is gradually brought to a more level situation where the
disparity is decreased. shouldn't that be a primary negotiating objective of the united states in these agreements? and aren't we right now talking about explaining to the administration what they should negotiate in this agreement? my colleague from utah spoke earlier about a provision regarding currency manipulation and explained why he thought it would be unproductive to have it here while it was a very important thing -- unproductive to have the amendment that shaheen and portman my colleagues are presenting. but that is the purpose of this debate on the floor is to allow that amendment to be up, to hear the views for it, to hear the views against it and to lay out our vision to the administration. now, my colleague pointed out that the administration has said it will not accept establishing a goal of enforceable currency manipulation provisions.
and why is that? i can tell you because the administration told me. they said, if we had put this on the table in theaise it and have it be part of the conversations. but, you see, we have already negotiated this agreement. it is 95% to 98% done, and so we can't possibly introduce something new into this process. that would disrupt all the groundwork we've laid. so this is where the cart came before the horse. the treaty was negotiated without consultation with congress about what should be in it. so we all understand that currency manipulation is a form of tariff. it is a form of tariff and subsidy. when i came into the u.s. senate china's currency manipulation was calculated to be equal to a 25% tariff on american products going to china and a 25% subsidy to chinese
products coming to the united states. well, that is a huge tariff. combine the two together, 50% differential. that's not fair and appropriate in a trade agreement that was supposed to reduce under the w.t.o. reduce barriers. no and so we know it's a problem. why not fix it? why not address it? why not debate it? why not discuss it? why not struggle to find a solution in that's what senator shaheen and portman are saying. that that is an important amendment related to this unbalanced situation that's going to remove jobs from the united states. i'm pointing out another deficiency. that is that there is no minimum wage that we're starting out with a 10-1 differential with mexico, approximately a 10-1 differential with vietnam that there should be a minimum wage so we stop the race to the bottom and it should be
gradually raised to decrease the disparity. that is an issue worthy of debate. but i can't get that debate on to this floor because the proants don't want -- proponents don't want to allow these amendments. they just want to choose and pick the subjects they want to be allowed to be debated not the ones that the senators want to be allowed to be debated. that is a robust and open amendment process. now, there is another flaw in this t.p.a. which is it has negotiating objectives. now, an objective is simply a wish a hope. it is a desire. it is an inclination. but an objective is not an actual provision. so we can say all the beautiful things we want about what we should -- our objective should be but instead we should be saying, what are the standards? what is the standard that needs to be in the treaty that's
brought in order to benefit from fast-track? [inaudible] -- in an agreement that is brought back to the senate under fast-track, because fast-track gives special privileges on the floor of the senate. so setting an objective doesn't do the work, because it doesn't define what will come back to this body under this special privileges. we should convert those objectives into actual requirements. that's what one of my amendments does. and then we can turn to the situation where the t.p.a. has another deep flaw that many have pointed out that hasn't been addressed, and this deep flaw is it sets up an international tribunal an international
tribunal that can essentially assess fines on our local government it can assess fines on our state government, it can assess fines on the u.s. government unless our local government or the state government or the federal government change their laws. now, establishing a judicial organization with no accountability no accountability to the u.s. judiciary, that's a grant of sovereignty. that's our core sovereignty being shipped to a tribunal of three corporate lawyers who get to decide whether there are massive fines levied against our local, state and national government. well that certainly is something that should be deeply concerning to us. the goal of this was to have some sort of judicial process substitute in countries that
have a dysfunctional judicial process and thereby encourage international investment. and so you could have a situation where vietnam or malaysia say we know that our judicial organization is corrupt or dysfunctional so we will opt in to this dispute resolution structure because we want investment to come to our country. but why would we give away u.s. judicial powers to an international tribunal of three corporate lawyers? corporate lawyers for whom there is no conflict of interest standard. so they can be the advocates on one case and the judge on the next. that's really not in accordance with our norms of judicial conduct. we aren't even requiring our norms of judicial conduct to be applied to this international tribunal. well and furthermore when we pass at the state or local or national level laws designed to
protect the health and safety of our citizens, foreign investors are granted special privileges under this agreement because they can file and say your laws for consumer protection or the health and welfare of your citizens to take on significant environmental hazards have hurt our investment and we want to be compensated and that's just wrong. sure if there was an unfair expropriation of someone's assets that's judeicable under american law. it doesn't require an international tribunal. when something is done for the safety -- we tried to regulate asbestos in 1991. it was the last time nip toxic chemical was considered under the toxic chemicals act. we've done nothing in the intervening years. but let's say we get over the hurdles that existed in 1991, we have a new law a new
process such as debated in the environment committee if we create that structure and regulate asbestos, now the foreign investor says, oh, we have an asbestos factory. you have to compensate us. now, that's a privilege that the domestic -- the the united states the red white and blue investor would not have. or let's say we regulate e-cigarettes, an effort by the tobacco company to addict our children to become lifetime users of nicotine and to do so through fancy chocolate every flavor on earth every candy strawberry cotton candy you name it, they've got a flavor of e-cigarette liquid designed to addict our children. so we ban that and the foreign investor gets special privileges and say oh, well i set up a factory and i was going to take a billion dollars the next 20
years, so i need a billion dollars of compensation. that's the type of structure that is embedded in here. so let's not at a minimum -- i don't think this international tribunal i think it should be opt in. if we want to attract investment and have a moore judicial system opt in to this tribunal. maybe it's a win-win for an investor who wants a strong way to make sure their rights are protected but the united states would not opt in because we don't have a dysfunctional judicial system. however, since maybe that is further, here's a narrower provision. this narrow provision is to say when we do laws at the local state or federal level that are about consumer protection and stripping predatory loans, for example, we ended those loans we don't want a foreign investor saying our business was built on
that you owe us a billion dollars. no because we are ending predatory wealth-stripping practices and replacing them with fairer, 30-year am more tieing mortgages with no kickbacks. they were called -- with no kickbacks called steering payments. and this issue over e-cigarettes we're ending an effort to addict our children which is terrible for their health and certainly terrible for the cost of our health care system. it's a lose-lose. we should be regulate, we passed a law to regulate it. the f.d.a. has completeed those regulations, shipped them to o.m.b. we hope someday that regulation will be in place. when it is in place a foreign investor should not have special privileges to be compensated because we are protecting our citizens. so therefore we should carve out and say that our laws related to the environment and public health and consumer protection
cannot be subject of isds, that is the name of the tribunal, isds attacks. and then let's look at basic consumer information such as the labeling of products. now, a lot of manufacturers they don't like it when products are labeled. they consider that that labeling might have information that might be prejudicial because consumers might prefer the content of one product honestly labeled over the product of another. now, we had a law in oregon that took on growth hormones in milk. and basically the compromise was that we printed on every package of milk if it had growth hormone, it had to say it contained growth hormone and had a clause, not shown to show ill health effects. but consumers wanted to choose the milk that didn't have the growth hormone in it. that was the value of labeling.
it powered choice by the individual to exercise their rights what they put in their body what they feed their children. and we have a very similar situation in regard to meat. americans often want to know whether or not their meat was made or grown in america. and so we have a law called cool country of origin labeling. cool is very well received. people like to choose meat grown in america. not everyone cares but some do. that's that are right because they know there are different standards for how animals are treated overseas. there's different rules for what type of ingredients go into the feed in other nations. and so wanting to support good practices -- they might choose american meat, wanting to
support something healthy for their children they might want to choose american meat and what happened this week? one of these tribunals in a different trade agreement struck down america's country of origin labeling law. that's what i'm talking about when i say that we are giving our sovereignty of our judicial branch away to an international tribunal of corporate lawyers who can make decisions that affect our fundamental rights. and that is simply wrong. we must fix this. so i have an amendment that i'd like to hear debated on this floor. others may disagree with me. we've been elected to carry our views forward. there will be people here who say no, it's fine that we strip consumers of the ability to know where their meat is grown that it's fine to strip consumers of the knowledge of what ingredients have gone into their milk, if milk is imported and so on and so forth.
i fundamentally disagree. i want to see us debate it. that's what we're here for to debate. let's get these amendments up, let's debate them, let's quit stalling let's quit engaging in this process of trying to rush this through in a matter where these -- manner where these fundamental issues not have been addressed like the fact that there's no minimum wage in this agreement. and that the playing field is tilted deeply against manufacturing in america. fundamental issues like there are negotiating objectives that should be negotiating requirements for a bill to have the privilege of getting fast-track here on the floor of the senate. fundamental deals like we should not have our environmental public health, and consumer laws subject to an international tribunal. fundamental issues like americans should have the right to label their products the way that they decide according to their statutes and not have that overruled by an international
group. i would love to see us -- a senate function and actually debate these amendments. i hope that happens and any effort to shove this bill through without having those types of debates is certainly not the open and robust amendment process that was promised by the majority leader. thank you mr. president. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: i ask to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: while reading through the pages of "the wall street journal" last week, i was overcome with a sense of deja vu. as many of my colleagues have heard me speak on the senate floor many times each year over the last several years about ethanol and about misconceptions about that, these misconceptions showed up in an op-ed piece in "the wall street
journal" last week. so once again in this case it happens to be chain restaurants and chicken producers are teaming up to smear homegrown biofuel producers at the expense of energy independence and cleaner air. it seems like every couple of years food producers and grocery manufacturers team up with big oil to try to undermine the extremely successful renewable fuel standard. a little history for you all. in 2008, it was a big food -- the big food producers led by the grocery manufacturers association because presumably in our economy and our society grocery manufacturers have more prestige than big oil. in 2010 and 2012, it was the global integrated meat producers
led by smithfield foods and the american meat institute. presumably they have more prestige than big oil. the opinion piece that i'm referring to in "the wall street journal" this time was written by the head of the national chicken council and the national council of chain restaurants. and under these circumstances compared to the other two instances i gave you it's really no different. they have prestige that big oil doesn't have. so this article makes many of the same erroneous and intellectually dishonest claims that we've heard dozens of times before. i'm going to take this opportunity, then, to do a simple fact check of some of the most egregious claims.
first, these two authors claim that since 2005, when the renewable fuel standard was first adopted costs of vital food moves including corn -- commodities, including corn, oil seeds poultry eggs and dairy, have risen dramatically. pure myth. the fact is, consumer food prices have increased by an annual rate of 2.68% since 2005. now, in contrast, food prices increased by an average of 3.47% in the 25 years leading up to passage of the renewable fuel standard in 2005. prices for chicken breasts have been nearly flat over the past
seven years averaging $3.43 per pound in 2007, and just three pennies more to $3.46 per pound in you 2014. corn prices are expected to average $3.50 per bushel this year according to the department of agriculture. this would be the lowest price in nearly ten years and 17% below the average price of $4.20 a bushel in 2007 when the renewable fuel standard was enacted. now, that's a fact. with ethanol production at record levels today, corn prices are lower now than they were in 2007 but i don't know how many times over the last several years i've listened to this business about ethanol causing corn prices to go up and
food prices would go up and food prices went up, but when corn is $3.50 you don't see food prices come down. it's been n proven time and again by the e.p.a., by the usda and others. there is no correlation between corn prices or ethanol production and retail food inflation or food prices. once again just a simple fact. second these authors claim that as a result of the renewable fuel standard, corn is being --quote, unquote -- diverted from livestock feed to ethanol. again, this claim is pure falsehood. corn used for ethanol has come from the significant increase in corn production since 2005.
in 2005, american farmers produced 11.1 billion bushels of corn. in 2014, they produced 14.1 billion bushels of corn. do you know why? because the market responds and the farmers respond to the increased use of corn, and they will meet it, whether it's for biofuels or anything else. now, here's something very significant. one-third of the corn used for ethanol production is returned to the market as animal feed. the amount of corn and corn coproducts available for feed use is larger today than any time in history. so it's hardly being diverted, but time after time a prestigious newspaper like "the
wall street journal" continues to tell the people of this country that 40% of corn production goes to make ethanol. they are right. 40% goes to the ethanol plant. but out of a 56-bushel -- pound bushel of corn, 18 pounds is left over for animal feed and very efficient animal feed, let me say. badly in need. and welcomed by farmers. in fact, some of it is even exported. but does "the wall street journal" ever make that clear that it isn't 40% of corn that's used for ethanol it's 26% or 27% that's used for ethanol. now, just as i said that this is -- so corn is not being
diverted the same can be said for their misleading claim that ethanol production has contributed to global food scarcity. in the 15 years prior to the enactment of the renewable fuels standard in 2005, u.s. corn exports averaged 1.8 billion bushels per year. in the ten years since renewable fuels standard passage corn experts have averaged yet more. not a whole lot more but 1.84 billion bushels. so with 14.3 billion gallons of corn ethanol corn exports are slightly higher than they were prior to the renewable fuel standard another fact check. the authors of the opinion piece also claim that corn ethanol has
resulted in a significant increase in the volatility of food costs which has left prices higher, they say. so i looked into the average food inflation going back to 1970. during the 1970's, food inflation averaged 7.8%. in the 1980's, it was 4.6%. in the 1990's, it was 2.8%. in the 2000's, it was 2.9%. so far this decade, it's been 2.2% or the lowest rate of increase at the same time that were -- that we're producing record amounts of corn ethanol. finally, these two writers for the chain restaurants and for the chicken people claim the increases in feed costs have affected the american production of beef, pork and chicken.
they state that production had increased consistently over the past 30 years but has now leveled off due to the higher cost of feed. again, this is nowhere near reality, so again let's check the facts. the reality is that the department of agriculture is projecting red meat and poultry production of 95.2 billion pounds this year, up 10% from 2005. more growth is yet expected. department of tour's -- torture's projected production of red meat in 2014 with 96.8 billion pounds, up 14% from 2005. now, just a few years ago when corn prices had peaked at more
than $7.50 a bushel, grocers food producers and restaurants were claiming, as i said once before but let me emphasize that food inflation would approach 10% because of the renewable fuel standard. they warned then that they would be forced to pass those higher costs on to consumers immediately. well as indicated before, today the price of corn is $3.50 half -- less than half of what it was. in fact, one dollar below the cost of production. well with lower corn prices, have consumers been -- have consumers seen a dramatic reduction in retail food prices? in other words are the benefits of lower grain prices being passed on to the consumer by big
food? obviously not. ask any person shopping in the grocery stores. corn prices have come down by more than half in the past two and a half years so why are food producers holding prices steady or even increasing them? we accuse big oil of gouging. isn't it about time with $3.50 corn that we accuse big food of price gouging? the fact is domestic renewable fuel producers are feeding and fueling the world at the same time. the 14.3 billion gallons of ethanol that was produced in the united states could more than displace the gasoline refined from all of the oil imported from saudi arabia. and where would you rather get your energy from?
the volatile parts of the middle east or from producers right here in the united states? and i say that not only for ethanol, i say that for oil i say that for coal, i say that for nuclear and i say that for all sorts of alternative energy. we should be proud of our nation's farmers and biofuel producers. efficiency gained have allowed farmers to produce ever-increasing yields with greater environmental stewardship, including using less water and less fertilizer. ethanol production has also seen efficiency gains. these facts. in 1982, one bushel of corn produced about 2-b .5 gallons of ethanol. today's ethanol plants are producing more than 2-7b .8 billion gallons of ethanol. we have got a plant in ida county iowa, that can get you
almost to three gallons of ethanol from one bushel of corn. according to the u.s. energy administration if ethanol yields per bushel had remained at the 1997 levels, it would have required 343 million bushels or 7% more corn to produce the same amount of fuel this year -- or last year. that corn would have required the u.s. of 2.2 million additional acres or approximately half of the state of emergency just to keep up when we had the inefficient production of ethanol. home-grown biofuels are extending our fuel supply and lowering prices at the pump for consumers. biofuels account for 10% of our transportation fuel today. this economic activity supports
american farmers rural economies, keeps the money at home rather than sending it abroad. in recent years our national security and economic well-being has been too dependent on oil imports. and where from? tinhorn dictators and regimes that are always trying to harm americans. we don't need to put a navy fleet in harm's way to protect shipping lanes from the middle east for the biofuels that come right out of the midwest of the united states. our country needs a true above -- true above -- let me start over again. our country needs a true all of the above energy policies that we all talk about and biofuels are an important component of that policy. do you know what's really wrong with the people that talk about
all of the above the way i see it sometimes by different segments of energy? there's people that say they're for all of the above but they're for none of the below the ground. and then there is people that say they're for all of the above but they're for all below the ground but not the things that come from above the ground like solar energy producing corn that produces ethanol as an example or wind. in 2005 and again in 2007, the federal government made a commitment to home-grown renewable energy when congress passed the renewable fuel standard. the policy's working. i intend to defend all attacks against this successful program whether they come from big oil the e.p.a., big foods big restaurants or others.
i want to ask unanimous consent to put this article from the "des moines register" in the paper. and secondly, i tried to do some fact checking by a mr. brown and a mr. green that wrote that article, and i'm not very good at -- at saying exactly whether they ought to have one pinocchio or four, but they ought to look at having a pinocchio because they are wrong on so many instances. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: without objection, the materials will be placed in the record. mr. cornyn: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority whip. mr. cornyn: mr. president i come to the floor today to talk about the latest example of president obama's failure to lead in the international arena to the detriment of our national security and the security of our
allies. over the weekend the iraqi city of ramadi in anbar province, which is about 70 miles from baghdad, fell to isil. once a hotbed of al qaeda activity ramadi had been won back and pacified at great cost in 2006 and 2007. that accomplishment was made possible due to the heroic efforts of some great americans like navy seal chris kyl a texan who al qaeda called the devil of ramadi and whose service was chronicled in the book and the movie "american sniper." and people like army lieutenant general sean mcfarland whose soldiers implemented a brilliant counterinsurgency strategy to win over the local population. and drive out al qaeda in the process. by the way we're proud to have general mcfarland today
serving as commanding general of three-cor at fort hood, texas. but isil's latest capture of ramadi is a significant setback for all of us who seek a stable and prosperous iraq, and it represents this terrorist army's biggest military victory this year. reports of the isil takeover of ramadi are staggering. faced with the oncoming isil forces hundreds of ramadi police and security officials fled the city, leaving behind the american-made military equipment, including as many as 50 vehicles now in the hands of our enemies. those who managed to escape reported that many security officials, government workers and even civilians were quickly killed execution style. in response, the iraqi government deployed its shiite paramilitary troops to the province a move that some
experts believe could lead to even more sectarian strife. the iraqis are looking for support almost anywhere they can get it, and in the vacuum left by president obama's poor leadership and indecision, iran is more than happy to fill that vacuum and take up the slack. so it should come as no surprise on monday the day after the fall of ramadi, iran's defense minister arrived in baghdad to hold consultations with the iraqi minister of defense. well obviously i'm frustrated by the president's lack of leadership and by the obama administration's failure to put together a strong and cohesive strategy to combat isil, but it's more serious than that. it's about what we've squandered in iraq, what we bought with the blood of americans and the
money that came out of the pockets of american citizens. since isil began taking large swaths of territory last summer, this administration has taken an approach of paralysis by analysis. in other words doing nothing. when they do take action, it seems ad hoc and piecemeal and not driven by overarching objectives or any strategy that is apparent to me. now, i'm not the only one who believes that we don't have a strategy in the middle east. this president's own former secretary of defense bob gates, said yesterday -- and i quote -- "we're basically sort of playing in instability in the middle east day to day. after affirming his belief that we have enduring interests in the region, secretary gates then added "but i certainly don't think we have a strategy." i couldn't agree more with him.
and, unfortunately this takeover of ramadi serves as just the latest example of a president whose policies are altogether rudderless in the middle east, even as that region is riled with growing instability and grotesque violence. now, we can trace that that -- what happened in the area just a few years ago. i alluded to this a moment ago. in 2011 after the president ended negotiations with the iraqis on status of forces agreement, the obama administration proceeded with the misguided plan to pull the plug on american presence in that country. in doing so, he squandered the blood and treasure of americans who fought to give the people of iraq a chance. while it's true that the iraqis had not agreed to to the u.s. conditions to enduring american presence including legal immunity for our troops, this administration gave up and
failed to expand the political capital -- expend the political capital in necessary to secure a status of forces agreement and keep the security gains we had made together with our allies in iraq. well, as a result, those security gains made in many areas of iraq since the height of violence in 2005 and 2006 have evaporated. and in 2012 as terrorist groups were flourishing in syria, the president refused to initiate a program to arm vetted moderate syrian rebels. disregarding the recommendations made by his most senior advisors including then-c.i.a. director david 1993 trace and secretary of state hillary clinton and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, martin democratsy and secretary of defense leon panetta. he rejected the advise from -- advice from his most senior
national security advisors. instead the president publicly remarked in january of last year that isil was the j.v. team of terrorist groups. and just a few months ago president obama boldly said that isil was -- quote -- "on the defensive" -- close quote. let me repeat that. just a few months ago president obama claimed isil was on the defensive. well that's not exactly the case today, nor was it really then. and it's not exactly the picture of the kind of leadership that we need from our commander in chief. by giving our troops a difficult mission to degrade and ultimately destroy isil but not providing them with a strategy and the resources they need to do so, the president is essentially making them operate with one more hand tied behind their back. now, we know we have the most capable military in the world.
but we can't win a fight with our hand tied behind our back. or with these constraints politically correct restrains the president wants to make and not commit the resources and the tragic streaming and the focus we need to actually win. so i hope the president will reconsider after this latest dramatic setback in ramadi. i hope president obama will provide us with a strategy to degrade and destroy isil. in ramadi, the major city and capital of iraq's largest province we see much more than a symbolic setback and i believe chief of staff dempsey wishes he could take those words back when he called it merely symbolic. we see a dangerous development and a great obstacle to a more stable iraq and thus a more stable middle east. but this is what gets to me.
we had more than a thousand brave american troops die in anbar province during combat operations since 2003. and i don't want to see their lives having been given in vain and squandered. so i hope this is a wake-up call to the obama administration and that they will provide the congress and the american people and our troops a clear path forward to defeat isil and to rid the world of this terror army. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. president, i have 11 unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. this request has been approved by both the majority and minority leaders and i'd ask unanimous consent that these requests be agreed to and be
printed in the record. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. cornyn: thank you mr. president. now i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from washington. ms. cantwell: mr. president four years ago i joined by meetings in the senate finance committee and voted to give the president of the united states trade promotion authority. four years ago. so i have been a supporter of trade promotion authority for a long time. but i also realize when it comes to trade that there are issues that we have to work on together. so we're add a juncture now where it's hard to move forward here in the united states senate and i would say to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle that there are basic things about the future of america in a global economy that the american people want to be assured that there are going to be tools for
them to compete. so the fact that the finance committee and the negotiators of trade promotion authority spent months and months and months and months and months and months over whether we were going to have trade -- t.a.a., a program that helps workers laid off by impact of trade because some house conservatives didn't support trade adjustment authority, workers being retrained when they are affected by trade agreements. we spent months and months and months because some conservatives in the house don't believe in government and don't believe in something called this program that helps supported laid-off workers. then we had to spend weeks and weeks and weeks out here because people on the other side of the aisle, again at the behest of conservatives in the house didn't want to support
enforcement. and now we're at this juncture because, again the same conservatives, because of an ideological belief by the heritage foundation, not something about business and labor, actually business and labor support export tools like a credit agency that helps them sell their products, again this conservative group is holding up trade legislation because they don't think it meets their political standards as my colleague from south carolina said senator graham, that is all about some private organization that they are trying to politically atone to. so i would say to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle i have been a supporter of t.p.a. for a long time but i don't plan to support a cloture motion and i don't plan to start moving ahead until we stop catering to this minority group that doesn't support the basic tools that the american people want to see when it comes to trade. they want to know if they lose
their job they can get retrained. they want to know if export markets are opened they'll get some ability to sell those products to those developing markets that may not have a bank there but can help get the financial support by a bank in the u.s. with the help of a federal export credit agency. and yes, we have to have some basic tools on enforcement. so if the other side of the aisle wants to resolve these problems and move ahead on a trade agreement, they have to stop catering to the conservatives in the house who probably some of them don't even support trade overall and start working with the people who do support trade. these policies, as i said, four years ago in the finance committee when i supported t.a.a. authority are important tools for the united states economy. i feel strongly that in the developing world that trade can be a great asset in helping stabilize regions. i don't want to hold down other
growing middle classes around the globe but we don't want to lose jobs here in the united states because of it. so let's have the tools that go along with trade and get these bills passed. but if we're going to continue to cater to a group in the house that claims they don't want government, i don't see how we're going to give the american people the tools that will give them security in this debate. i thank the president and i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north dakota. ms. heitkamp: mr. president first i would like to offer my great thank you to the senator from washington for advancing this very important bipartisan bill. we have worked long and hard in my office and with senator kirk to try and fashion a bill that addresses the vast majority of issues that so many people have or allege to have had about the export import bank. at the same time that we're
stalling that critical piece of infrastructure in our trade apparatus china and india are pouring billions of dollars into their similar institution to recruit and to invest in other countries to make sure that their manufacturers and make sure that the jobs in their country are safe. we are unilaterally disarming and taking huge chances by not moving forward on the extraordinary import bank. and i share my colleague's comment that who are we listening to? this is one of those rare moments, rare issues where we have the american business community, the chamber of commerce american manufacturers, all the people on that side of the issue and american labor together. so what is the issue? the issue is scoring by conservative groups. the issue is you might not get the check mark behind your name if you support american workers, american jobs and american manufacturing.
this is an issue we are passionate about and i stand with senator cantwell from washington and support her that until we know that there's a path forward and we do not expire the charter for the ex-im bank that we don't play chicken with our economy and with our exports until we know that there is a path forward. then how can we really say we're pro-trade? how can we really stand on the floor here as we're discussing trade and trade implications of t.p.a. and t.p.p. and all of the initials ttip, isds, all of the things that people might be listening to say what are they talking about? well these are important tools and important apparatus and they represent a huge part of what we need to do when 95% of all consumers live outside this country. but we need top do it in a way that recognizes that american workers are part of this
structure and that we have to have the tools that other countries utilize in order to make sure that we are moving forward. so i want to give my great public thanks to senator cantwell for her brave fight and know that as the chief democratic sponsor of the bill that we're promoting that i stand with her. i stand with her today. i also want to talk today about an issue that's important to north dakota, and it's interesting we're talking about eliminating trade barriers and improving opportunities for access to markets when we have a self-imposed access to market problem and that is the trade embassy on cuba. it's a barrier our government puts on our own farmers and ranchers and it holds back their ability to export and hurts their bottom line. i'm talking about the embassy with cuba, specifically our restrictions on private -- private, private private private -- business activities that could enhance the sale of
our agricultural goods to cuba. my friend from arkansas, senator boozman and i introduced an amendment that would free our exporters to free our private -- private private private, no risk to the taxpayers -- for agricultural products to cuba. we had a hearing on this in the agricultural committee and i will tell you it was the single issue raised by the experts in how we could open up our exports to cuba if we would allow private-sponsored credit for these exports. and so this is a simple change to our regulation that will make our agricultural exporters more competitive against rice growers in vietnam and corn growers in brazil. you know, you look at where -- where cuba today is buying their products. we know where the highest quality producer of agricultural products many of them grown in my great state of north dakota, but yet we don't have access to that market because cuban purchasers don't have access to
credit. so unfortunately under the current regulations our government's erected a trade barrier. and so while we talk about t.p.a., trade promotion authority, and increasing export opportunities, we need to look here right now at what we can do to increase our opportunity for our own producers. it takes no long, drawnout negotiation and costs no money and it just makes sense. and so i would urge my colleagues to join with me and senator boozman in this important effort to remove our self-imposed trade barriers on our agricultural producers and to allow a private investment and sponsorship of the purchase of agricultural products in cuba. with that, mr. president i yield the floor. mr. enzi: mr. president. the presiding officer: the
senator from wyoming. mr. enzi: mr. president it has been an interesting few days here as we see the senate operate as it was probably designed to operate. it's not supposed to be the fastest legislative body in the world. it's supposed to be one that takes things slowly, gives them full consideration and i'm so pleased that the bill before us has been through the committee process. it's been years since we got to see many bills come through that committee process. this year virtually all of the bills are coming through the committee process. that means that several hundred amendments have been already offered to this bill and considered -- a lot of them were considered in committee. some of them were considered duplicative, of course, but it brought this bill to the floor which is very important for the the -- for the economy of the united states. and so i'm hoping that we can work through the process get the bill finished. in fact, i'm relatively certain that we will. it isn't the prettiest way of doing it, but it's the way that
it gets done and has been getting done for centuries in the united states. what i really want to talk to you about today though, is the importance of a balanced budget. over the past few weeks, we have seen america reacting to congress and especially the senate, which is back to work doing the people's business. the basic task of governing seems toffee lewded this normal legislative body over the past eight years and has decimated the faith and trust of hardworking americans who yearn for a government that's both accountable and effective. that's why passing a balanced budget represented an important step forward. here are just a few of the headlines from around the nation. senate passes first joint congressional budget in six years. senate passes cost-cutting budget plan. budget -- a feat of considerable importance. balanced budget will focus on every dollar spent. or balanced budget a step forward. or congress approves the first ten-year balanced budget since 2001. we know that passing a budget
was important because it symbolizes a government that's back to work, but it's also important to understand why passing a balanced budget is so vital to our nation. what's the process? the senate budget committee is tasked with the responsibility of setting spending goals. congress has other committees that authorize government programs and are charged with overseeing their efficiency and effectiveness. we also have committees that allocate the exact dollars for these programs every year, but the senate budget committee sets the spending goals. in other words we set limits. this is why passing a budget is so important for our nation. it lets the congressional policymakers who actually allocate the dollars get to work immediately by following our spending limits. this year, we're giving them an early start. leader mcconnell has committed to allowing the senate to do its job, and that means debate and votes on all 12 appropriation bills. what's the importance of a balanced budget? a balanced budget approved by congress will play a crucial
role to help make government live within its means and set spending limits for our nation. a balanced budget will allow americans to spend more time working hard to grow their businesses or to advance in their jobs instead of worrying about taxes and inefficient and ineffective regulations. most importantly it means every american who wants to find a good-paying job and a fulfilling career has the opportunity to do just that. a balanced budget will also boost the nation's economic output but first we must get our overspending under control because congress is already spending more tax revenue than at any time in history. if we can do that, we can help boost the economy and expand opportunity for each and every american. the big question is what happens if interest rates go to their normal historical level? a balanced budget provides congress and the nation with a fiscal blueprint that challenges lawmakers to examine every dollar we spend.
this is crucial because we currently spend about $230 billion in interest on our debt every year, and that's historically low interest rate at 1.7%. the congressional budget office tells us that for every one percentage point that our interest rates rise, it will increase america's overspending, it will increase america's overspending by 1,745 billion over the next ten years. that's a huge hit. to provide a clearer picture of how dire our fiscal outlook is we have a debt on its way to to $27 trillion. if the interest rate were to go to a modest 5%, we would owe $875 billion a year just for interest. which doesn't buy us anything. that's more than we spend on defense. that's more than we spend on other government agencies. interest on the debt could soon
put america out of business of funding defense and education and highways and everything else that we do. it's time to get serious. it's time that both parties get serious about addressing our nation's chronic overspending. in the budget, defense was given $90 billion more than the budget caps $38 billion more than the president requested. we know that both sides want the caps from the budget control act removed, but at what price for our nation and its hardworking taxpayers? our military leaders have already told us that the debt is a threat to national security. removing the threat of sequester by raising these debt caps without increasing the debt in the short term would require raising taxes. when it comes to defense we're literally trying to outbid the president who with the democrat congress raised taxes to get his budget to that level. last year, congress funded items the department of defense didn't
approve or ask for and costs for major equipment exceeded approved amounts by billions. that's with a b. i know small businesses that were deprived of bids by companies that provided products different from the specs with no consequences. that isn't fair, to our troops or to our taxpayers. we should get what we ordered. and somebody needs to make sure that happens. it's time for congress to truly work together to tackle our overspending and achieve real results and real progress for american families who are counting on us. so how do we boost economic growth? american families understand that you can't spend what you don't have and expect us to scrutinize every dollar we spend just like they have to and must do. in many ways, if government would get out of the way we could increase jobs by expanding the economy. a boost in economic growth means more real jobs from the private
sector and small businesses across the nation, not government make-work jobs. in fact, the congressional budget office tells us that if we were to increase the gross domestic product that's the private sector growth, by 1%, that would provide an average of nearly $300 billion in additional tax revenue every year. how do we do that? one way is to reverse some of the many regulations that burden families and small businesses that provide little or no benefit. for many of these policies and regulations, we need to return to common sense and that just isn't being done today. when we continually overspend year after year, we have the opposite effect on private sector jobs and economic growth that can actually lead to more sales and more jobs. expanding the economy is the best way to raise money for government services, not by
raising more taxes. another important way to help the growth of our economy is to make government more effective. if government programs are not delivering results they should be improved, or if they're not needed they ought to be eliminated. we need to be looking at those. government has to expect the same tough decisions that hardworking taxpayers are making every day. of course, this is small business week, and i want to mention my appreciation for craig kerrigan of the oregon trail bank in wyoming for writing a little article about the real issues for small business. small business is the motor that drives this economy. he said if they can't make a profit, this is the reality. they will tell you the biggest threats and challenges they face in today's economy are health care taxes and excessive regulations. a regulation affects the small business much more than it does
a big business because they don't have a lot of people to spread the work over. going back, they want to provide competitive salaries and benefits. in most cases they do. but any cost that's forced upon them they either pass on to the consumer or they go out of business. it's interesting to note that those who force those costs upon small businesses are not the ones paying for them, and it's always easier spending other people's money. i'd ask unanimous consent that the entire letter by craig kerrigan be in the record following my speech. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. enzi: so how do we get a more effective government? one of the first places congress should start is by reviewing the 260 programs whose authorization -- that's their right to spend more money -- has expired. 260 programs whose authorization the right to spend money has expired. some of these programs expired
as long ago as 1983. but we're still spending money on them every year. that means we have been paying for these expired programs for more than 30 years. and it's not just the length of time that these programs have overstayed their welcome. the funds we allocated to them every year are more than what the law called for. in some cases that means we are spending as much as four times what we should be. you have to take care of your own doorstep. yesterday i did an oversight hearing for the congressional budget office which comes under the direction of the budget committee. it was the first oversight hearing in 33 years. so everybody needs to take a look at the programs that they're in charge of and see if there aren't some changes that ought to be made since you know the invention of the mobile phone maybe. of course, that was a mobile phone about that big. the 260 programs that have expired are costing us
$293 billion a year. that's over 2,935 billion or $2.9 trillion over ten years. eliminating these programs alone would almost balance the budget. in business, programs are reviewed every year or sometimes every week to see if they still contribute to the business and its strategic plan and if there isn't some improvement that will make things work better. they often look for small savings to help strengthen the organization and contribute to its bottom line, but in washington programs aren't reviewed let alone questioned let alone scrutinized. not even big amounts are questioned. just think of how long it's been since we've taken a close examination of what we're spending money on. in 1983, the return of the jedi was the top movie and america was obsessed with the rubik's cube. savings are usually found in the
spending details but congress hasn't examined the details. it just has the big picture which was painted long ago and has now expired. so it's time for each committee to take a look at these programs and decide if they're even worth funding anymore. after all a project not worth doing at all wouldn't be worth doing well. or wouldn't be worth continuing funding for. but how would committees know if they haven't looked at the program in years? how would they know if they don't have a way to measure how well the programs are working? when i first came to the senate, yellowstone park was going broke and threatening to shut down. every year, they said they were running out of money in august, and that's the prime time for the season there. i checked the spending bill covering the park and i found out that it only lists how many employees and the total millions of dollars to be spent there. i asked for the details. both the spending committee and the department of interior told me that was as much detail as
they had. so i asked for a printout of how the money was spent in the previous year. they said that wasn't available. i heard about millions of dollars in delayed maintenance. i asked for a list. of what that consisted of o'and i was spent a list of new buildings they wanted to construct. that's not delayed maintenance. in 1999 the park service was cited by the wyoming department of environmental quality for raw sewage flowing into the madison service which prompted the request for emergency funds. i asked why that wasn't taken out of the park service emergency budget budget. there was a budget with plenty of money immediately at that time. i didn't get an answer but i found out they got more by asking for additional funding at a time of crisis. that's not how government is supposed to be done. that's why we need to have a balanced budget.
that's why we need to have people scrutinizing the things that are under their committees. a balanced budget amendment that's what a bunch of the states are working on. we better show congress is committed to a balanced budget to make its government more effective because we're running out of time. not just because of the increase in the interest rates that are possible there but currently lawmakers in 27 states have passed applications for a constitutional convention to approve a balanced budget amendment, and there are new applications in nine other states that are close behind. now, seven of those nine states approved moving forward on the balanced budget issue it would bring the total number of states to 34 states. that would meet the two-thirds requirement under article 5 of the constitution and force congress to take action on a balanced budget amendment. if this happened, one of the most important functions of congress the power of the purse, would be drastically
curtailed because there would be a new constitutional limit on what congress would be allowed to borrow. i mentioned before i think we've been overspending. we're scheduled to overspend by $468 billion this year. how much do we get to actually make decisions on? 1100 billion. if we were to balance the budget we would have to do a 50% cut in everything we do. and that's without an increase in interest rates. in conclusion, americans are working harder than ever to make ends meet. shouldn't their elected officials be willing to work harder too? we need to pass a balanced budget as an important step, but not just a first step, and unfortunately, that was the easy part. congress has to get serious about tackling its addiction to overspending and once again become good fiscal stewards of the taxes paid by each and every hardworking american taxpayer.
earlier this month on the 70th anniversary of the victory in europe day v.e. day our nation's capital had the privilege of seeing the arsenal of democracy fly over the national mall and the u.s. capitol building. this flight and these planes remind us as a nation we rise together or we fall together. those planes also remind us that when we work together, we succeed together. let's commit to working together to end our overspending and balance our budget. i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from hawaii. mr. schatz: thank you madam president. i want to join my colleagues in voicing my opposition to
granting fast-track authority. i oppose the procedures contained in the bill and i'm seriously concerned about using fast-track to pass trade agreements that don't reflect the best interests of the american people and can undermine the prerogatives of the congress. some who support fast-track would have you believe that opposing this bill and t.p.p. means opposition to a free market to trade and to commerce but that's not true. commerce is essential and we should be promoting it. but corporate interests should not be the driving force for public policy decisions on public health, consumer safety and the environment. just this week a w.t.o. ruling on our country of origin food labeling law provided a striking example of how what is called free trade can be used to erode consumer protection. the country of origin labeling law was passed by congress and it requires producers of meat
and chicken to provide information to consumers on where the animal was raised and slaughtered. if you ask most people they would say they want to know if their beef is from texas or from taiwan and even if one isn't particularly passionate about that issue i think most people would agree that is squarely within the prerogatives and the constitutional duties of the united states congress to decide. consumers in the u.s. want to know where their food comes from. through a legitimate democratic process, we passed a law to provide consumers with this information. but no matter how we have revised the rule pursuant to the law, it is apparently still not in compliance with our w.t.o. commitments. it seems that we will have to repeal the law to avoid trade sanctions. while our w.t.o. obligations are not the same as our commitments under a free trade agreement it doesn't require too much imagination to see how other
u.s. laws will buckle under future trade agreements. this is why the deal breaker for me is the investor state dispute settlement or isds for short. isds provides a special forum outside of our well established court system that is just for foreign investors. these investors are given the right to sue governments over laws and regulations that impact their businesses. a legal right not granted to anyone else. this forum is not available to anyone other than for investors. it's not open to domestic businesses it's not open to labor unions, civil society groups or individuals that allege a violation of a treaty obligation. the arbitrators that preside over these cases are literally not accountable to anyone. and their decisions cannot be appealed.
to date, nearly 600 isds cases have been filed. of the 274 cases that have been concluded, almost 60% have settled or been decided in favor of the investor. it's true that when a tribunal rules in favor of the investor, the arbitrators can't force the government to change its law but they can order the government to pay the investor which has the same effect. there is no limit to what compensation foreign investors can demand. the largest award to date was more than $2 billion. for a developing country that must pay this award sometimes it's represents up to a third of their g.d.p. most governments cannot risk such a settlement and end up avoiding this kind of conflict altogether. the government often agrees to change the law or regulation that's being challenged and still pays some compensation.
the threat of a case can be enough to convince a government to back away from legitimate public health, safety, or environmental policies. isds cases cost millions of dollars to defend and take years to reach their final conclusion. the high-profile cases filed by philip morris international challenging cigarette packaging laws have had a chilling effect around the world. several countries have been intimidated to holding off passing their own laws to reduce smoking. every year of delay is a victory for tobacco companies. they get one more year to attract new young smokers. in the case of tobacco the cost of isds could be human life. i would hope if we empower corporations to challenge democratically elected laws and regulations we would be doing so for an extremely compelling
reason but here's the thing -- the rationale behind isds is extremely thin. advocates claim that investor protections like isds draw foreign investment into a country. but no one has actually been able to demonstrate that this link exists. studies not have been able to show a significant correlation between investor protections and the level of foreign investment in that country. instead of driving decisions to invest isds provisions are being manipulated by multinational corporations. some companies seem to be setting up complex corporate structures explicitly for the purpose of taking advantage of existing isds provisions. this is what australia is alleging that philip morris did to challenge australia's tobacco laws. philip morris hong kong entity bought shares in philip morris' australian entity 10 months
after australia announced plain packaging rules. it seems philip morris did this for no other purpose than to gain access to the isds provision in the hong kong-australia bilateral investment treaty. isds is just another arrow in the quiver of legal options available to multinational corporations and no other entity or person. the consequences for public health safety, and the environment far outweigh any real or imagined benefit of isds. and for these reasons i oppose fast-track and any trade agreement that contains an isds provision. thank you madam president. i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum is. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
senator from oregon. mr. wyden: i ask unanimous consent to vacate the quorum call. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. wyden: madam president i talked a little bit this morning about this whole issue and a very serious issue it is, of currency manipulation. and in effect, we're going to have two choices with respect to this issue. one offered by the chairman of the finance committee and myself senator hatch and one offered by senator portman and others. and i want to just take a few minutes and raise what are my biggest concerns with respect to the amendment offered by the senator from ohio, senator portman, and try to put this issue in context. what is particularly troubling to me, madam president is it seems to me that the portman
amendment would outsource the question of the federal reserve's intent in decision making to the whims of an international tribunal. and i think that is very troubling and it's why chairman hatch and i have sought to take a more flexible approach. so i'm going to out line how i have reached that judgment so that colleagues that turn to this question of currency have a bit more awareness of what's at stake. and as i indicated already this morning, madam president, we will be discussing this, particularly in the conference committee that is going to take place next month when the house and the senate get together to talk about currency and other critically important enforcement issues. now, madam president i fully agree with my colleagues who have been saying this is a very
important issue and our government must do more to target countries that harm our economy by artificially deflating their currency. what's at issue is making sure we proceed in a way that really redounds to the benefit of our country, our workers and our business. in the process of taking aim at foreign currency manipulators, it's especially important to make sure that this senate does not cause collateral damage for the federal reserve and our dollar. we all understand the federal reserve uses monetary policy as a tool to stabilize prices and boost employment. the right solution is to make sure that our country gets the
upsideal going after those that manipulate currency and avoids the downside of restricting the tools that janet yellen and those in charge of monetary policy may want to use. the bipartisan trade promotion act bill now before the senate includes a first. many firsts but one in particular is for the first time currency will be a principal negotiating objective and what we have sought to do, cairm hatch and i is to strengthen that and take yet another step. we direct the administration to hold our trading partners accountable when they manipulate currencies by using the most effective tools available
transparency reporting monitoring and a variety of cooperative mechanisms. my view is that what chairman hatch and i are seeking to do here strikes the right balance. we get the upside of confronting unfair currency manipulation, and we don't pick up the downside madam president of trying our hands with respect to policy options that are completely legitimate and important, and one of those policy options that i feel especially strongly about madam president, is ensuring that the fed has the ability to use policies to strive towards full employment. so for me, this issue really comes down to making sure we have all the tools at the fed and elsewhere for helping create
good jobs and economic stability, jobs that pay higher wages and help our communities prosper. now, the portman amendment is very different than what i and chairman hatch have been talking about. under the portman amendment our country would be subject to dispute settlement in an international tribunal which means that there would be trade sanctions. now, federal chair janet yellen has expressed serious concern that this type of provision could hamper -- these are her words, janet yellen's words. this type of provision could hamper or even hobble monetary policy. the chair's concern janet yellen's concern is because monetary policy can impact currency valuation we could end up tying our hands and in effect
taking one of the fed's important tools out of their economic toolbox. for example a number of countries have argued that the fed's quantitative easting policy unfairly valued our dollar. now, i want it understood, i think those countries are dead wrong, dead wrong in making that argument but we ought to realize that those countries have sought to cry foul, argue that what the fed did to bring down the unemployment rate was in effect an unfair strategy for increasing exports. colleagues as we think about this currency issue consider what could happen if the united states was subject to dispute settlement by an international
tribunal on this issue. that's why i'm concerned that taking the path of the portman amendment would as i have described, outsource the question of the federal reserve's intent in decisionmaking to the whims of an international tribunal. and i think americans are going to be very skeptical of the idea that in effect we're going to have this international tribunal trying to divine essentially what the federal reserve's intent was and i personally do not like the idea at all of outsourcing this judgment to an international tribunal, and i think it would have very detrimental consequences, both to the cause of trade and to our economy. just yesterday treasury secretary mr. lew said he would
recommend a veto of a t.p.a. package that included this type of amendment because he, too thought it would threaten our nation's ability to respond to a financial crisis. so it's going to be important to get this right make sure that our trade agreements have the upside of being strong in the fight against currency manipulation but make sure that we also avoid the downside of restricting our monetary policy tools. i hope my colleagues will think about the unintended consequences of the portman amendment. if we were to have another unfortunate financial crisis, no one wants that. we all want to make sure that the federal reserve has the full
array of economic tools to get our economy moving again and to keep workers on the job. so we're going to be faced with this judgment, and i hope my colleagues will say that the approach chairman hatch and i have offered is one that will allow us to build on the first-ever negotiating objective for currency -- that's in the bill -- and accept our amendment and recognize that as i stated earlier we are going to have another bite at the apple when currency is certain to be an important part of a customs conference between the house and the senate in june. with that, madam president i yield the floor. i note my colleagues are here and i yield the floor. a senator: madam president.
the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: madam president let me first say that i thank senator wyden for his hard work. i'm one of those who believe that it's important for congress to pass trade promotion authority. i don't believe we can complete the t.p.p. without the trade promotion authority and i think t.p.p. is an important strategic partnership for the united states as well as an economic partnership for the united states. but having said that, i listened very carefully to senator wyden where the administration has raised an objection to a particular amendment and it's saying if that gets on the bill, they would veto the trade promotion authority. i say that because many of us who support t.p.a. have said look let's make sure we get it right. let's make sure that we have an open amendment process so that we can try to make this the strongest possible bill because we don't get that many opportunities to take up trade legislation. so i just mention that because
yes, i come to the floor to say that we need trade promotion authority. when you look at the fact that we are a democracy with separation of branches of government we cannot negotiate 535 of us with our trading partners and enter into an agreement. we have to delegate that negotiating authority and that's what t.p.a. does. by the time we delegate that, we also must make it clear what our trade objectives are about and we also must take advantage of that opportunity to protect workers' rights legitimately and to make sure that we have a level playing field for american companies. that's i think our responsibility. and in the discussion on this bill i want to acknowledge that we do have part of this the t.a.a. to american workers. we have customs legislation that i wish was in this bill because i am concerned as to whether both reach the finishing line.
but it deals with strong enforcement, level the playing field, currency issues are all dealt with in a separate bill that we passed earlier i guess last week we passed the legislation on the customs. so let me just talk a moment about trade adjustment assistance -- about trade promotion authority and say we have to be very clear about our expectations. i want to compliment senator wyden and senator hatch and the senate finance committee because in reading this legislation -- and i hope you all have had a chance to do it. you're going to find that this really does take our delegation of authority and our expectations to a much higher level than we have ever done on areas that have not been traditionally as clear on congress. i just want to mention a few of those. our overall trading objective is very clear to deal with labor standards. and quoting from the bill that's before us on the overall negotiating objectives. to promote respect for workers' rights and the rights of
children consistent with core labor standards of the i.l.o. set out in section 117. we define the international labor organization. and understanding the relationship between trade and workers' rights. to promote universal ratification of full compliance with the i.l.o. convention number 182 concerning the prohibition and immediate action for elimination of the worst forms of child labor. that's in our overall objectives but i want to talk a moment about the principal negotiating objectives because there's greater consequence to the principal negotiating objectives. and there are provisions included in the principal negotiating objectives that are different than we've done in any other t.p.a. bill. first, yes it does deal with the core labor rights. the principal negotiating objectives that the administration must show us that they've done deals with the adopt and maintain measures implementing internationally recognized core labor standards. that's included in there. included in the principal
negotiating objectives is the requirement for environmental law. it's environmental laws in a manner that cannot weaken or reduce the protections afforded to those laws in a manner affecting trade or investment between the united states and that party. so what we have done -- and then we also put in there that it cannot fail to effectively enforce its environmental or labor laws through a sustained or recurring course of action or inaction. madam president, i read that into the record because i want to make it clear that if you believe we should be negotiating trade agreements and you believe that it only can be done through the administration, it can't be done through members of congress individually negotiating a trade agreement and you believe we need to be clear as to what we expect the principal negotiating objectives is where you include that language. and we have been very clear in the principal negotiating objectives in regards to core labor standards and environmental standards because we know that if we're going to have a level playing field, that the countries that we're negotiating with do not have the
same high standards that we have for labor do not have the same high standards we have for environment, and we want to make sure we're not placed at a disadvantage. so it's in the principal negotiating objectives. but we've gone further than that. and the principal negotiating -- in the principal negotiating objectives we put for the first time anticorruption provisions. this is in the principal negotiating objectives. to obtain high standards and effective domestic enforcement mechanisms to prohibit such attempts to influence acts, decisions where emissions of foreign government officials or secure just improper advantage. these are anticorruption provisions. to ensure that standard level for playing field for persons in international trade and investment. why is this important? because in some countries including those countries that we are negotiating with, there are practices that companies that want to participate in
government contracts that they have to deal with kickbacks or have to deal with bribery. well american companies can't do that. we have laws that prohibit that. but there shouldn't be anyone dealing with that. in the principal negotiating objectives we instruct our negotiators to deal with these anticorruption issues. the administration must show that we've made progress. not only progress, that we have enforceable standards against corruption that would disadvantage american companies doing business in these countries. that's a huge step forward on our anticorruption issues. but we go further than that, and i'm very proud of an amendment that i offered that was adopted to the trade promotional authority dealing with good governments, transparency, the effect of operation of legal regimes and the rule of law of trading partners. this is, again a principal negotiating objective which says we have to strengthen good
governance transparency, the effect of operation of legal regimes and the rule of law of trading partners of the united states through capacity building and other appropriate means and create a more open democratic society and -- let me add this. this is in the bill -- to promote respect for internationally recognized human rights. that's a principal negotiating objective. we're talking about freedom of speech freedom of assembly, association, religious freedom. we have instructed the administration that they accept our bill and sign into law to come back to us how we have dealt with advancing good governments, transparency and respect for internationally recognized human rights in the trade agreement that we brought forward. madam president, this is the first time we've included anything similar to this in a trade promotional authority act. this is a new level of
expectation of what we expect to do in our trade agreements. and i really want to emphasize that because we haven't been bashful in the past in using trade to promote human rights. we usually do it when we have a specific opportunity. we did it well before our time in congress when jackson-vak nick was -- jackson-vanik was passed. we used traid as a ham ner -- hammer to bring down apartheid in south africa. most recently when we needed to deal with russia with regard to w.t.o. issues where we attached the magnitsky law with it that i was proud to work with senator mccain and i thank senator mccain for his strong leadership on the magnitsky law. we used that opportunity a trade bill to advance international human rights issues in holding russia
accountable to its standards and what it did in regard to sergai magnitsky. so we should take advantage of the trade promotional authority act to advance basic human rights particularly when we're dealing with countries that, quite frankly are challenged in that regard. i want to read one other provision that's in the current bill dealing with trade promotional authority and dealing with the principal negotiating objectives. it spells out very clearly that if it's a principal negotiating objective, we have enforcement in it. it sais to seek provisions that treats united states negotiating object ives equally with respect to the ability to resort to dispute settlement under the applicable agreements, the availability of equivalent dispute settlement procedures and the availability of the equivalent remedies. what does that mean? madam president, what that means is that this is not a nafta agreement. in nafta we did make advancements on labor and
environment, but we didn't include it in the core agreement. it was not effective. we had no enforcement. we had these side bar agreements. and we learned that that was not the way to do it. well this t.p.a. says that in regards to human rights and good governance, in regard to labor and environment that they're in the principal negotiating objectives and there will be trade sanctions with regard to violations if there are violations. we hope there are not. we hope they make progress but we have effective ways of dealing with our principal negotiating objectives that include the good governance issues that i think are important. i started my remarks by saying thank you to senator wyden. i thank him very much because he's really done an incredible job in where we are today. and he points out that we're not there yet and i agree with him we're not there yet. we need an open amendment process here. we need to take up more amendments on the floor of the united states senate. i say that as one of those members who have not been
bashful about trying to change the rules of the senate. i'm told by people who have been here longer than i that the rules of the senate work. you just have to be a little patient. okay, we'll be a little patient but let's figure out a way that we can have more votes on the floor of the senate in regards to this bill. because we don't get a chance to take up trade bills very often. i have an amendment that i want to see acted upon. i don't think it's controversial, but it's extremely important. what that amendment would do would require the president before commencing negotiations with potential trading partners, to take into account whether that potential trading partner has engaged in a consistent pattern of gross violations of international recognized human rights. this amendment appropriately puts gross violations of human rights on par with pre-- pre-- negotiating requirements of other principal negotiating objectives. so that before we start picking
countries in which we're going to do trade agreements, let's make sure they're not gross violators of human rights. now, so everybody doesn't get nervous because t.p.p. is so far advanced, it wouldn't be possible to have the prenegotiating objectives cert it fied by the president -- certified by the president on t.p.a. there is a blanket exemption in t.p.a. in that regard which applies also to the amendment that i'm being offered. but i would hope that my colleagues would agree that moving forward that we would want the president to take that into consideration to make sure that we have a game plan if we're dealing with a country that's violated human rights as to how we're going to correct that activity through the opening up of trade. trade with our countries of benefit and it should be with countries that share our basic values. lowering trade barriers should come with further commitments to our basic values, and that's what my amendment would do. i would urge my colleagues at
the appropriate time to make sure this amendment is considered, and i would ask their support on this amendment. let's continue to work through the process. let's continue to improve the bill and hopefully we can reach a point where we can send to the president the appropriate legislation. with that, madam president, i would yield the floor. mr. wyden: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: no more than two minutes. before my colleague leaves the floor, i just want it understood here in this body that senator cardin has championed for decades the cause of labor rights environmental rights, human rights. and i so appreciate his leadership in this area. and for the first time as a result of senator cardin's work, human rights will be a principal negotiating objective because senator cardin has been spot on in saying that trade must be about human rights. that's number one. point number two my colleague is absolutely right in saying how important it is that we have more votes here.
that's why i'm going to be spend all day and into the night trying to bring that about and i want my colleague to know i will also be very interested in working with him on this additional amendment he has to further build on what we have in the bill. i thank my colleagues for their patience. i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: i ask unanimous consent to address the senate as if in morning business. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. mccain: when the senator from south carolina arrives engage in a colloquy with the senator from south carolina, senator graham. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mccain: today the black flags of isil fly over the city of ramamadi. an br was once a symbol of iraqis working together with brave young americans in uniform to defeat al qaeda. today it appears fob a sad reminder -- to be a sad reminder of this administration's
indecisive air campaign in iraq and syria and a broader lack of strategy to achieve its stated objective of degrading and destroying isil. equally disturbing, reports indicate over 75,000 iranian-backed shiite militias are preparing to launch a counteroffensive in the largely sunni province. whatever the operational success shia militias may have in anbar may be exceeded by the strategic damage caused by violent sectarianism and the fear and suspicion it breeds among iraqi sunnis. moreover the prominent role of these militias continue to feed the perception of a baghdad government unable or unwilling to protect sunnis. this is devastating to the political reconciliation efforts that must be central to ensuring a united iraq can rid itself of isil. shiite militias and iranian meddling will only foster the
conditions that gave birth to isil in the first place. liberating ram mahdi and defeating isil require empowering sunnis want to rise up and fight isil themselves including integrating them into iraq security forces providing more robust american military assistance. indeed the obama administration and its spokes persons must try to save face for its failed policies by diminishing the importance of ramadi to the campaign against isil and the future of iraq. as isil forces captured in ramadi the pentagon's news page ran a story with a headline strategy to defeat isil is working. secretary john kerry, secretary of state said ramadi was a mere, quote, target of opportunity. white house press secretary josh errant said yesterday -- josh ernest said yesterday that we
should not -- quote -- "light our hair on fire every time there is a setback in the campaign against isil." meanwhile ramadi, iraq and the region are on fire. how could anyone -- how could anyone say that we shouldn't light our hair on fire when news reports clearly indicate that the there are burning bodies in the streets of ramadi that isil are going from house to house seeking out people and executing them. tens of thousands of people are refugees. and what does the president's spokesman say? that we shouldn't light our hair on fire every time there is a setback. the secretary of state of the united states of america said
ramadi was a mere -- quote -- "target of opportunity." have we completely lost? have we completely lost our sense of any moral caring and concern about thousands and thousands of people who are murdered, who are made refugees, who are dying as we speak? and the secretary of state says that we should not light our hair on fire. and what does the president have to say today? the president of the united states today says, well, its climate change that we have to worry about. i'm worried about climate change. do we give a damn about what's happening in the streets of ramadi and the thousands of refugees and the people and innocent men, women and children that are dying and being executed and their bodies burned in the streets? a few weeks ago as isil closed in on ramadi, the chairman of
the joint chief of staffs said the city is not symbolic in any way and is -- quote -- "not central to the future of iraq," the capital of the anbar province, the place where we lost the lives of some 400 brave americans and some 1,000 wounded in the first battle of ramadi during the surge. bodies -- quote --. from the media reports bodies burned as mass killings of iraq security forces and civilians. islamic state militants searched door to door for policemen and pro-government fighters and threw bodies in the euphrates river in a bloody purge monday after capturing the strategic city of ramadi, some 500
civilians and soldiers died in the extremists killing spree. they said isis militants were going door to door with lists of government sympathizers and were breaking into the homes of policemen and pro-government tribesmen. the chairman of the joint chief of staffs said its not symbolic in any way not central to the future of iraq. it was in response to those comments that debbie lee sent a letter to general dempsey. debbie's son mark allen lee was the first navy seal killed in the iraq war. for his bravery, he was awarded the silver star and his comrades renamed their base in ramadi camp mark allen lee. -- quote -- "i am shaking and tears running down my throat as i watch the news and listen to the pain-inflicting comments by you in regards to the fall of
ramadi" debbie wrote general dempsey. "my son and many others gave their future in ramadi. many say as goes ramadi, so goes iraq. debbie lee is right. ramadi does matter. it matters to the families of 1 187,000 brave americans and another 1,150 who were wounded. some of them still residing at walter reed hospital. they were wounded fighting to rid ramadi of al qaeda from august 2005 to march 2007. and it matters to the hundreds of thousands of iraqis, mostly sunnis who call ramadi home, who were forced to flee their homes and feel their government cannot protect them against isil's terror.
a mi didramadi's fall is a significant defeat and one that should lead our nation's leaders to reconsider an indecisive and a total lack of strategy that has done little to roll back isil and has strengthened the maligned sectarian influence of iran. you'd like toi'd like to go back -- by the way, yesterday as i meptioned press secretary josh irnan said, are we going to light our hair on fire every time there is a setback? one of the more absurd comments i've heard a press secretary make. "the new york times" headline was, "iraq sunni strategy collapses." "the washington post," "fall of ramadi reflects failure of strategy."
"u.s. rethinks strategy after setback in ramadi." "route in ramadi calls strategy into question. "islamic state victory threatens to unravel iraq strategy." there is no strategy to unravel. "isis counterpunch stuns u.s. in iraq." the united nations says it's rushing tied nearly 25,000 people fleeing ramadi for the second in the meantime a month. the u.n. reported 115,000 people fled a ramadi in april. the u.n. says it has helped more than 130,000 people over the past. bodies some burned, literatered the streets as local officials reported mass killings of iraqi security forces and civilians. it goes on and on. i just want to, before i turn to my friend from south carolina, i
just want to point out my friends, this did not have to happen. this is a result of a failed, feckless policy that called for against all reason the total and complete withdrawal from iraq after we had won with an enormous expenditure of american blood and treasure, including 187 of them in the battle of ramadi. in 2011, senator lieberman and graham and i argued that the completely pullout from iraq would, -- quote -- "needlessly put at risk all of the hard-won gains that the united states has achieved there at enormous cost in blood and treasure and potentially be a very serious forch policy and national security mistake for our country." we vote a lopping article in "the washington post." in october 2011en the day president obama announced the total withdrawal of troops from iraq senator mccain called the decision -- quote -- "a strategic victory for ouren miss
in the middle east, especially the iranian regime and warned, i fear that all of the gains made possible by these brave americans in iraq, at such brave cost are now at risk." that was in 2011. in december 2011, senator mccain and graham pre-deducted that in iraq slid back into sectarian violence due to the u.s. pullout "the consequences will be catastrophic for the iraqi people and u.s. interests in the middle east and a clear victory for al qaeda and iran." it goes on and on. time after time, senator graham and i warned exactly what was going to happen in iraq. it was not necessary to happen. it's because of this president's refusal to leave a force behind. and now my friends i just, before i turn to my friend from south carolina, what w's said at the same time that senator graham and senator lieberman and
i were warning of this catastrophe? february 2010, vice president biden, "i'm very optimistic about iraq. i think it's going to be one of the great achievement of this administration. you're going to see a stable government in iraq that is actually moving toured a representative government." december 230111 at a fort bragg events be, marking the end of iraq war, president obama said, "we're leaving behind a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant iraq. this is an extraordinary achievement nearly nine years in the making." march 2012, this is perhaps my favorite "tony blinken then national security advisor to the vice president biden stated, "iraq today -- this is march 2012. -- "iraq today is less violent and more prosperous than at any time in recent history." november 2012, president obama on the presidential campaign
trail, "the war in iraq is over. the war in afghanistan is winding down. al qaeda has been decimated. osama bin laden is dead, so we've made real progress these last four years." january 2014, president obama -- i guess this is my favorite. january 2014, president obama on isis -- this is january 2014 -- "the analogy we use around here sometimes, and i think it is accurate is if a j.v. team puts on lakers' uniform that doesn't make them qobe bryon." he was talking about isis, the analogy we use around here stiernlings and i think it is accurate is if a j.v. team puts on lakers' uniform that doesn't make them kobe bryon." we are seeing a dark chapter in
american history. and it's getting darker, because in response to a slaughter in rama -- the answer seems to be, "let's not set our hair on fire by the president's statesman that ramadi isn't important at all for the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. this is a -- quote -- "temporary setback." this is a, cog according to the secretary of state a target of opportunity. where is our morality? where is our decency? where is our concern? -- where is our concern about these thousands of people that are being slaughterrered and displaced and their lives destroyed, and we shouldn't set our hair on fire? outrageous. i ask my friend, senator graham, what we should do next. mr. graham: wlg, we should understand that the direct threat to the homeland is growing by the day. if you want to be indifferent to what's going on to iraq and say
people are dying all over the world, that's no reason for us to care and get involved because we can't be everywhere all the time doing everything for everybody, i would suggest to you that isil in syria and iraq represents a growing threat to our homeland, but you don't have to believe me. ask our intelligence community. over 10,000 foreign fighters have gone into syria in support of isil over the last few months. their goal is to hit the american homeland. so this jayvee team is becoming an extensiona real threat to the american homeland. ramaramadi is a big victory for them. they've been able to stawnldz to constant air assault by the american forces and and they're surviving and thriving. if you want to stop the flow of
foreign fighters into the arms of isil, you have to deliver a stinging defeat on the battlefield. not only are they stronger today in syria and iraq than they have been in quite a while, they are expanding their influence to libya, afghanistan and throughout the region. all i can tell you is their agenda includes three things. the purification of their religion which means 3-year-old little girls are executed. just hear what i said. they executed a 3-year-old little girl. they're enslaving women by the thousands as sex slaves under some twisted version of islam. what they're doing to people, we can't really talk about on the floor because i think it would just be beyond our ability to comprehend. the second thing they want to do is drive out all western influence and create a caliphate where our allies have no place.
the king of jordan would be deposed. all of the friends of the united states and people who could live in peace with israel, they fall. and in their place becomes the most radical islamic regime known in the history of the world who will destroy israel if they can. purify their religion, destroy israel and come after us. president obama -- president bush made mistakes. he adjusted. you're not. president bush had a defining moment in his presidency in 2006. the iraq war was going very poorly. we had just gotten beaten on the republican side and the iraq war was one of the reasons we lost at the ballot box. mr. mccain: could i interrupt my friend and point out that both of us, because of our perception that we were losing in iraq, under our republican president called for the resignation of the secretary of defense and a new strategy
because we saw with our own party in the white house that we were failing in iraq and we could not succeed. mr. graham: i remember very vividly going to the white house after ultimate many visits to iraq and telling president bush, when wu'er people tell you this is just a few dead enders and it is the result of bad reporting by the media, they are a wrong. it wasn't stuff happens, it was that we had it wrong. the strategy we had in place up to 2006 was failing and the wait you know it was failing is that you go there often enough. i remember the first trip we took in iraq after baghdad fell. we were in three s.u.v.'s,ence with downtown shopping, met with some leaders and every time we went thereafter, it was always a bit worse to the point that we were inside of a tank virtually to go outside the wire. and it was clear to anybody who was paying any attention at all
in iraq that it was not working and i remember talking to a sergeant at one of the mess halls and asked him sergeant, how is it going over here? and he says, well, not very well. we just drive around getting our ass shot o about a year later maybe two years later we went back to the same unit, different sergeant after the surge and i asked another sergeant, how is it going? sir, we're kicking their ass. so at the bottom line here, i think senator mccain an i have been more right than wrong but we're willing to tell our own president it wasn't working. he did make mistakes. we all have. it's not about the mistakes you make. it's about how you correct your own mistakes. this president, president obama you're at a defining moment in your presidency. if you don't change your strategy regarding isil in iraq and syria -- because it's one in the same -- then this country is very likely to get attacked in
another 9/11 fashion. you need to listen to the people in the intelligence community and those in the military who've been in iraq for a very long time. you're about to make a huge mistake if you don't change your strategy. i know americans are war-weary but let me just say this to the american people: the current strategy is going to fail and one of the consequences of failure is the likelihood of our country or a lice getting hit and hit hard. we don't have enough american forces in iraq to change the tide of battle. we need more american trainers, advisors special forces forces units afford air controllers to make sure the iraqi army can wing any engagement against isil. if we keep the configuration we have today, it is just going to result in more losses over time. why do we need thousands of soldiers over there? to protect millions of us here. and the only reason i would ever ask any soldier to go back
overseas for any purpose is if i believed it was important to protect our homeland, and i do. so this strategy that we have in place is a complete failure inside of syria particularly, and it is not working inside of iraq and we're on borrowed time senator mccain. president obama you need to listen to sound military advice. you need to build up the iraqi military by having more of us on the ground to help them and turn the tide of battle before isil gets even stronger and when they hit us here. if you don't adjust, the price that we're going to pay as a nation is, i believe another attack on the homeland. so, at the end of the day, you can blame bush, you can blame obama, you can blame me, you can blame senator mccannes. we are where we are. and i am convincinged, if we left a residual force in iraq, we would not be here today. president bush, like every other leader in the world had certain
information, some of which proved to be faulty. he maudehe made his fair share of mistakes but adjusted. president obama had good, sound advice in front of him to leave a residual force behind. decided to go in a different direction. when they tell you at the white house, well, the iraqis didn't want us to stay, that is complete absolutely fabrication and rewriting of history. president obama, vice president biden got the answer they wanted. they made a campaign promise to end the war in iraq. they fulfilled that promise. but what they actually have done is lost the war in iraq. and the war in iraq and what happens in syria is directly tied to our own national security. so i hope the president will seize this opportunity to come up with a new strategy that will protect the homeland and reset order. radical islam is running wild in the mideast. and as it runs wild over there as they rape and murder, plunder and kill and crucify, to think
that those people will not eventually harm us, i think is naive. the only way we're going to stop isil and people like isil to come up with a strategy that will allow us to win. the strategy we have in place today will ensure the existence of isil as far as the eye can see. the fracturing of ironing -- fracturing of iraq and syria all of this is preventable with a new strategy. the presiding strategy. -- mr. mccain: senator graham and i and many others have a message for the mother of the first navy seal killed in the iraq war who for bravery was awarded the silver star. and 186 other mothers who lost their sons in the battle for
ramadi. i will never stop. i will never stop until we have avenged their deaths, and we will bring freedom and democracy to iraq. but more importantly than that is the threat that this radical islam and the iranians holds to our nation and the young men and women who are serving in the military. as a result of this president's feckless policies, we have put the lives of the men and women who are serving in the military in much greater danger. and my highest obligation is to do everything in my power to see that this situation is reversed and they get the support and they get the equipment and most of all they get a policy and a strategy that will succeed and defeat isis and iran in their
hegemonic ambitions. mr. president, i yield the floor . ms. warren: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. ms. warren: mr. president i come to the floor in support of an amendment i filed with senators merkley baldwin and blumenthal. the amendment is simple. it says that congress shouldn't make it easy to pass any trade deal that weakens our financial rules. mr. president, in 2008, we suffered through the worst financial crisis in generations. millions of families lost their homes. millions of people lost their jobs. millions lost their retirement savings. and they watched as the government spent hundreds of billions of their tax dollars to bail out the giant banks. in response, congress passed commonsense financial reforms: the dodd-frank act. these rules crack down on the cheating and lying in the financial marketplace. they required the big banks to
raise more capital so they wouldn't need a bailout if they started to stumble. and they gave our regulators new tools to oversee the biggest banks to make sure that the rules were followed. now it's no surprise that the giant banks don't like the new rules. so for five years now they have been on the attack. they've sent their armies of lobbyists and lawyers and their republican friends in congress to try to roll back the rules to let the giants of wall street run free again. democrats have stood strong to fight off these attacks because we knew that thoughtful rules can help stop the next financial crisis and protect our working families from another great recession. but now if this fast-track bill passes democrats will be handing republicans a powerful tool they can use to weaken our financial rules. here's how it works. this fast-track bill applies to
any trade bill presented to congress in the next six years. that's through the end of the obama presidency, through the entirety of the next presidency and into the presidency after that. fast-track prevents anyone in congress from offering any amendments to a trade bill. and in the senate, with fast-track, a trade bill can pass with just 51 votes not the 60 typically required for major bills. so what if we have a republican president in 2016 or 2020? oops i hopes that's not the case but this is a democracy and it's not up to me. most republicans including ones currently running for president are committed to rolling back financial reforms. with fast-track, they could weaken our financial rules in a trade deal and then ram it through congress with just 51 votes in the senate. that is a lot easier than the 60 votes needed for a head-on
attack on the financial rules through the normal legislative process. this is a real risk. we are already deep into negotiations with the european union over a massive trade demon. the european negotiators are pressing hard to include financial reforms as part of that trade deal. and lobbyists from the u.s. have recognized that the european trade deal is a great diewnt to weaken -- opportunity to weaken america's financial reforms. here's what a member of the european parliament said a few months ago -- quote -- "i have been approached by lobbyists that have clearly argued they want to have a weak european regulation,. reark than dodd-frank, in order to use that afterwards as a level to undercut or undermine dodd-frank in the trans-atlantic negotiations. the big banks on both sides of the atlantic are pushing for
changes too. a letter from some of the largest financial industry groups in europe and the united states called for -- quote -- "an ambitious chapter on financial regulations in the european trade deal." i don't think they're looking to make our regulations stronger. michael barr, a former senior obama official at the treasury department and one of the architects of dodd-frank, said that the risk to dodd-frank in a european trade deal is -- quote -- "real and meaningful and worth worrying about." barr has noted that european officials are -- quote -- "barn storming the u.s., looking for support to include financial services as part of the talks on the proposed trans-atlantic trade and investment partnership while the financial industry looks to use talks to 'overturn the pesky and highly effective
rules being implemented in the u.s. under the dodd-frank act.'" the imoamed to -- the obama administration stood strong against such acts. jack lew noted that there is -- quote -- "pressure to lower the standards" on things like financial regulations and trade deals but that the administration believes that is not -- quote -- "not acceptable." our lead negotiators u.s. trade representative michael froman has said that the u.s. is -- quote -- "not open to creating any process designed to reopen, weaken or undermine implementation of dodd-frank." and president obama's administration says that our trade deals should not include regulation of financial services. i agree. but this president won't be president in 18 months, and there's nothing this president can do to stop the next
president from reversing direction in the european negotiations. senator mcconnell certainly knows this. that's why he's telling republicans -- quote -- "if we want the next republican president to have a chance to do trade agreements with the rest of the world this bill is about what that president as well as this one." and that's why i'm proposing this amendment to make sure that no future president can fast track a trade agreement that weakens our financial regulations. all of my colleagues who believe in holding the big banks accountable and keeping our financial system safe should support this amendment. thank you mr. president. i yield. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. portman portman i ask unanimous consent to -- mr. portman: i ask unanimous consent to address the senate as if morning business. i've come to the floor several times to talk about the trade issue and now we're addressing
that legislation. i put up the signs because it is being used by folks on our side of the aisle to talk about this agreement. it talks about a free and fair trade, agreement for a healthy economy. i agree we need it to be fair and i agree we need to expand exports. i support for the first time in seven years giving the united states government the ability to knock down barriers to our farmers, our service providers so we can get a fair shake. we've got to be sure it's fair. to my colleagues who put the sign up and oppose the amendment i'm talking about i hope they'll expand on the fair part expelz the expansion -- as well as the c expansion of trade. there has been a lot of talk about a particular amendment that has to do with currency manipulation. turns out everyone is against currency manipulation. the question is whether it should be enforceable or not. there has been a lot of discussion on the floor about the amendment i'm offering with senator stabenow and frankly there has been misinformation
out here i'd like to clarify if i could. first i want to talk about what these two amendments do. they're very similar with one exception. the amendment being offered by senator hatch and senator wyden do not include enforcement. so they say this is terrible. we ought not to have currency manipulation, but the amendment does not have the courage of its convictions. it doesn't say we should do anything about it. here's the language. first, both have basically the same definition. targeting protracted large-scale intervention in the trade markets by party to a trade agreement to gain an unfair advantage. what that means basically is people lower their currency deliberately by intervening in order to make their exports less expensive to the united states and make our exports to them more expensive. that's not fair. basically we both identify the same problem and ensure that we are focused on this issue of real currency manipulation. second the amendment that i'm offering has a specific exemption for what we call macroeconomic policy, or
specifically domestic monetary policy. in other words qe-1, 2 3 those would not be affected by our amendment. the hatch-cornyn folks are saying they're concerned about that in our amendment that it might affect domestic policy and monetary policy, ne don't have it in their amendment. we have it in others. we define currency manipulation so it is clear that it conforms to the standards the international monetary fund requires. it also explicitly says in ours this shall not be construed to reflect the exercise of domestic monetary policy. therefore, ours is a stronger amendment with regard to that issue. i also notice something about their amendment that's interesting. they say that theirs has to be consistent with the existing obligations of the united states as a member of the i.m.f. and the w.t.o., the world trade organization. our says the same thing except consistent with existing pridges and agreements -- principles and
agreements meaning the other countries have to live up to their agreements also. i'm not sure why they don't think other countries should have to live up to their obligations because when you sign up with the i.m.f. and sign up with the w.t.o. you are required not to manipulate their currency. yet people do it because there is no enforcement. have it be consistent with the obligations these countries have already undertaken. finally and of course the most important part is the enforceability. there's 60 united states senators who in 2013 signed a letter and the letter went to the president regarding trade agreements and currency manipulation. and it said we need to have enforceable currency manipulation provisions. 60 senators. a number of the senators are still here in the united states senate, of course. i think they were genuine in sending that letter. i was one of them. i certainly was. i'm also a signatory to other legislation, have been working on this issue for a long time.
ten years ago i testified in this congress about this very issue. but i hope that those 60 senators understand that they said they wanted it to be enforceable. ours is enforceable. it says it should be enforceable like anything else like intellectual property protection like what the tariff level ought to be, like labor and environment standards. and it's up to the administration to determine exactly how to proceed with that. that flexibility is in here. it's a trade negotiating objective. that's appropriate too in my view. i'm a former u.s. trade representative. i used to negotiate these agreements the trade negotiating objectives are something we took seriously but we were given flexibility. this amendment provides that flexibility. finally, i would just say there's been a lot of discussion about poison pill. as i have joked this is more like a vitamin than a poison pill because this would actually help strengthen this underlying agreement and help us to get more support for trade. the polling data on this is overwhelming. nine out of ten americans agree that we've got to deal with currency manipulation. nine out of ten.
why? because they think it's wrong. it is wrong. so i've heard it's a poison pill first because it might hurt us here in the senate. just the opposite is true. there are senators who said they would like to support trade promotion authority but they need something to help them get there. the vote in the house is tough to come by for t.p.a. i hope it does end up being a t.p.a. that can pass the senate and the house. as i said earlier, i think it is the right thing for the workers i represent to expand those markets overseas. but this will help, it won't hurt. because this again will give republicans interest my home state of ohio and around the country the ability to go home appeared look their workers in the eye and say you know what? we've focused on the fair part here. we focused on ensuring that if you worked hard and played by the rules, you would have a chance to compete and a chance to win. finally, they say it's a poison pill because of the white house because there was a veto threat recommended by the secretary of the treasury yesterday. well, it was a recommendation.
it was a statement of administration policy. i would just reference the president's own statements on this. i know how he feels about t he is against currency manipulation. said "on the that he wants to make sure any trade agreement is measured not just administration commits but instead against the rights of memps to protection from unfair trade practices including currency manipulation." he said he couldn't vote for a strayed agreement without enforceable practices on currency manipulation. enforcing so that the rights of americans could be protected. so i know where the president is on it and i hope that he will remember that this is about expanding trade and that's good. we need to do that but at the same time ensuring that we have a more level playing field fl finally, people said, well, it's a poison pill because some of our partners in t.p.p. don't want to have to live up to their obligations under the international monetary fund. well to my colleagues, i would just say that should concern
us. the last thing we want to do is complete an agreement called the trans-pacific partnership and find out after the fact, well, guess what? all of these nontariff barriers that got knocked down, they didn't matter much because these same countries decided they were going to manipulate their currency which undoes the benefits. it should concern fuss our trading partners aren't interested. two of them, japan and malaysia, have engaged in currency manipulation in the past. are they doing it now? in my view, no. but they have. japan hasn't done it since 20010 10. why wouldn't we want to have a provision that say you know what i know you haven't done it
now. let's be sure you don't do it in the future and undo all of these gangs. why would they be worried about that? why would they not sign up? why wouldn't the united states sign up appeared all the other countries? malaysia has manipulated its currency in the past. if they are refusing to do so, if this is considered a poison pill for that reason, we should be worried about it. i thank you for giving me the time to clarify some of the statements made earler why. i hope that every member of the united states senate will decide as they talk about the need ford more enforcement this is what we're talking about. and they will ensure that this trade promotion authority representing the views of the congress includes real enforcement and real help health, education, labor, and pensions for the works -- and real help for the workers we help. -- we represent uvmentd. mr. paul: mr. president there comes to a time in the history of nations when fear and complacency allow power to
accumulate and liberty and privacy to suffer. that time is now. and i will not let the patriot act, the most un-patriotic of acts go unchallenged. at the very least we should debate, we should debate whether or not we are going to relinquish our rights or whether or not we are going to have a full and able debate over whronts we can live within -- whether or not we can live within the constitution or whether or not we have to go around the constitution. the bulk collection of all americans' phone records all of the time is a direct violation of the fourth amendment. the second appeals court has ruled till legal. the president began this program by executive order. he should immediately end it through executive order. for over a year now he has said the program is illegal and yet
he does nothing. he says, well, congress can get rid of the patriot act. congress can get rid of the bulk collection. and yet he has the power to do it at his fingertips. he began this illegal program. the court has informed him that the program is illegal. he has every power to stop it and yet the president does nothing. justice brandeis wrote that the right to be left alone is the most cherished of rights most prized among civilized men. the fourth amendment incorporates this right to privacy. the fourth amendment incorporates this right to be left alone. when we think about the bulk collection of records you might ask, well, maybe i'm willing to give up my freedom for security. maybe if i just give up a little freedom i'll be more safe. well most of the information
that comes on whether you're a sufficient or not comes from people who have secret information that you're not allowed to look at. so you have to trust the people. you have to trust those in our intellectual intends community that they're being honest with you, that when they tell you how important these programs are and that you must give up your freedoms you must give up part of the fourth amendment when they tell you this, you have to trust them. the problem is that we're having a great deal of difficulty trusting these people. when james clapper the head of the intelligence agency, the director of national intelligence was asked point-blank, are you collecting the records of americans' phone records in bulk, he said no. it turns out that that was dishonest. and yet president obama still has him in place. so when they say oh, how important these programs are how they're keeping us safe from
terrorists we're having to trust someone who lied to a congressional committee. it's a felony to lie to a congressional committee and nothing has been done about this. so about a year ago we began having this debate. here is a warrant for all of the phone records from verizon. and you say well, maybe they have evidence that people at verizon were doing something wrong. there's no evidence. this is -- they want everyone's phone records. i don't have a problem with going after terrorists and getting their records. but you should call a judge. you should say the name of the terrorist and you get their records, as much as you want. if i'm the judge and they ask him for the tsarnaev boy's record the boston bomber, the russians had investigated him. he had gone back to chechnya, and yet nobody ever asked for a
warrant to look at his stuff. then we had the disaster of the boston marathon. i would make the argument that we spend so much time getting the haystack bigger and bigger and bigger that we can't find the needle because the haystack is too darn big. we keep making it bigger and bigger and we're taking resources away from the human analysts who should be looking and seeing when tsarnaev travels outside of our country. we recently had another terrorist travel from phoenix to texas. we had arrested him previously. my guess is there was sufficient cause, probable cause for a real warrant to lack look at his activities and we should. but i don't think we're any safer looking at every american's records. in fact, when this came up, the government said, well, we've captured 52 terrorists because of this. when the president's own privacy commission looked at all 52 of
them, there was a debate about whether maybe one had been aid but not found by these records and would have been found by other records. we have too decide as a country -- we we have to decide as a country whether we value our bill of rights, our privacy or whether we're willing to give that up to feel safer because i am a note sure you can argue that we are safer but people will argue that they feel safer. but think about it. is the standard to be if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear but that everything should be exposed to the government, that all of your records can be collected? now, some will say these are just boring old business records. why would you care if they could find out who called and how long you spoke on the phone? well two stanford students did a study of this. they got an app and they put the app on the phone voluntarily for
500 people and these people then made phone calls and all they looked at was how long they spoke, metadata, and who they spoke torque the phone number they were connected to of the and what they found was is that without any other information 85% of the time they could tell what their religion was. more than 70% of the time they could tell who their doctor was. they could tell what medications they took. they could tell what diseases they had. the government shouldn't have the ability to get that information unless they have suspicion, unless they have probable cause that you've committed a crime. the appeals court when they looked at this was flabbergasted that the government wroo make the argument that this was somehow relevant to an investigation, because that's what the standard is. under the constitution, the standard is probable cause. which means there's some evidence or suspicion that you've done something illegal. but the standard now is
relevance, which means is it relevant to an investigation? but the court said, even that looser standard of relevance they said it completely destroys any meaning of any words if we're going to say every american's phone records in the whole country is somehow relevant to an investigation. but it gets worse. they don't even have to prove it. the government says to the court that they think it's relevant, but there is no challenge. there is no debate. it's just taken at face value. or at least it was until this court ruling was appealed. so you know now have the second appeals court that said this bulk collection of phone records is illegal. there are many different programs going on. this is the only one we know about that our government is collecting our records and the only reason we know about it is not because the government was
honest with you. the government was dishonest. the director of national intelligence tried to basically lie to the american people and say it didn't exist. so we know about this one but what other programs are out there? there's something called executive order 12333. there's some who believe that this is just the tip of the iceberg, the bulk collection, that there is an enormous amount of data being collected on people through this other program. one question is, if there is no fourth amendment protection to your records are they collecting your credit card bills? i don't know the truth of that. i would sure like to know. i don't know whether to collect their answer if i asked them, if they'll be honest with us. and people might say well, your credit card records are just boring old business records. why would you care? but think about t if the
government has your visa bill, they can tell whether you drink whether you smoke what restaurantsrestaurants you go to, what magazines or books do you read? what doctors do you see? do you buy medicine? do you gamble? all of these things can be determined. not only can they determine things directly from your phone bill and visa bill, they now have the ability to merge all of this information. parntsly, they have the ability -- apparently they have the ability to collect your contact list and sometimes they're collecting this in a way that's somehow nefarious. we're supposed to be spying on foreigners foreigners that might attack us. i'm all for that. but what happens is the there's a lot of data that goes in and out of the country. in fact, sometimes an e-mail from new jersey to colorado might go through a server in brazil. once it gets to a server in brazil, they cannot only look at your metadata, how long and who
you tooked to, the content is now available. it all gets scooped up. it is all being analyzed. they're doing the social network of who your friends are. some have said that this could potentially have a chilling effect on the first amendment. there was a time in our country not too long ago in the lifetime of most of us, when if you had called the naacp that you might not want your neighbors to know. if you were a member of the naacp, you might not want your maygnashes to know. if you were calling the aclu, you might not want your may neighbors to know. it can have a chilling effect on your expression of your speech, who you associate with and whether or not you are fearful to have association with people because you're fearful that that knowledge might be known by the government. people say well, certainly that would never happen. during the civil rights era
many of the civil rights leaders were spied upon illegally by the government through illegal wiretaps. many vietnam war protesters were also spied upon illegally by the government. the reason we have the fourth amendment is to have checks and balances. everything that's great about our country are checks and balances. so when you -- let's say you have a rapist or a murderer in washington, d.c. today and let's say it's 3:00 in the morning and police come to the house and think the rapeist or murderer is inside. they don't break the door down. if there is no noise or imminent danger they stand outside and get on their cell phone and call a judge. and almost always the judge grants a warrant and then the police go in. but why do you want that to happen? sometimes people come up to me and say i'm a policeman, i work for the f.b.i., my friends are policemen, don't you trust us?
it isn't about the individual. laws aren't about whether we trust one person or your brother is a policeman or your brother would never do anything wrong. it's not about your brother. it's not about your friend. it's about the potential for there being a rotten apple someone who other take that power and abuse their power. we have laws not nor most of us it's for the exception. it's for the something out of the ordinary. but it's also to prevent systemic bias from entering into the situation. so, for example, there was a time in the south when it might have been that a white person from the government might have decided they were going into the home of a black person just because of racial bias. you get rid of bias by having checks and balances, by always saying you have to ask somebody else for permission. when we were leading up to the war for our independence in about 1761, i believe james
otis was arguing before the courts and he was arguing against something called writs of assistance. writs of assistance were a type of warrant but they were a generalized warrant. no one's name was on there they just said you're welcome to search anybody's house to make sure they're paying for the stamp tax. you wonder why the colonists hated the stamp tax? it wasn't just the tax. it was the fact that the government could break the door down and come in and rachel through their papers. -- rifle through their papers. writs of assistance were something called a general warrant. this same battle had gone on in common law in england and developed as one of our precious rights we kept from the english tradition. john adams wrote about james out it's talking about these writs of assistance and said it was the spark that led to the american revolution.
this is how important this is. the fourth amendment was a big big deal to our founders. the right to privacy as justice brandeis said, the most cherished of rights, is a big big deal. we shouldn't be so fearful that we're willing to relinquish our rights without a spirited debate. the debate over the patriot act, which enshrines all of this and got this started. goes on about every three years or so. it has a sunset provision. it is set to expire in the next few days. but we are mired in a debate over trade. there's another debate over the highway bill and the word is we won't get any time to actually debate whether or not we're going to abridge the fourth amendment. whether or not we're going to accept something that one of the highest courts in our land has said is illegal. are we going to accept that
without any debate? i for one say that there needs to be a thorough debate, a authorize he and complete debate about whether or not we should allow our government to collect all of our phone records all of the time. in england about the time of james otis there was another man by the name of john wilkes. and i learned about this story in reading my colleague senator lee's book recently. john wilkes was -- he was a rabble rouser, he was a dissenter, some called him a libertine. i don't know about his morals but he wasn't afraid of the king. and the king was becoming more and more powerful at that time, one of the complaints we had as well. and so john wilkes began his own newspaper and it was called the north briton and he labeled the numbers. the one became the north briton
number 45, became so famous throughout england it was also part of our idiom part of our language in the united states. everybody knew what 45 was if you mentioned it. but he wrote something about the king. he basically wrote what would be an op-ed in our day and he made the mistake of sort of saying that the king's behavior, the prime minister's behavior was the equivalent of prostitution. this did not make the king very happy. and so the king wrote out a warrant for the arrest of anybody that had to do with the writing of this north briton number 45. but the warrant didn't have anybody's name on it. it was a generalized warrant. he said arrest anybody. so they broke down john wilkes' door they rifles through and ruined the con contents of his house, arrested him put him in irons and took him to the tower of london. they did the same to 49 other people.
but john wilkes wasn't about to take this lying down so john wilkes actually then decided that he would sue the king. i tried doing the same thing but i tried suing the the president. it happened gone so well. but the thing is that everybody ought to think that they have the ability and the equality to sue even our leaders. so he sued the king but something remarkable happened. this is in the early 17 60's. when he sued the king, actually won. i think the award was like a thousand pounds, which would be a significant sum of money for us in today's terms. but it was a big victory. it was part of the discussion going on simultaneously over here with james otis. it was a big big deal. so often my party we do such a great job talking about the second amendment and the right to bear arms and i'm all for that. but the thing is, i don't think you can adequately protect the
second amendment unless you protect the fourth amendment. the right to privacy the right to in your house your house is your castle, the right to not have your castle invaded is so important. i'll give you an example. a few years ago a lot of people think we'll be safer if we collect gun records so they collected all the gun records and had them in westchester county near new york city. but then a newspaper decided they would just publish them. they really didn't think this through but you can see the danger what happens when the government has records and then releases them to everybody. imagine if you're a woman who has been abused or beaten by her husband, has left him lives in fear of him finding her and now the registration comes out and says where she lives and that she has a gun or worse yet, where she lives and that she doesn't have a gun.
think of our prosecutors and our judges. i know then of them who put bad people away and many of them have concealed carry. many of them travel to work, the security meets them in the parking lot and they go to work but they worry. we've had sheriffs and we've had prosecutors killed in kentucky because the criminals were angry they were locked up. we don't want all of our records by the government to be put out there in public for everybody to know where we live and whether we have a gun or not. so you can see why the issue of privacy is not a small issue. it is a big issue incredibly important to our founding fathers. some have said it's too late, it's too late to even get this back. there have been articles written in the last few weeks that say whether the patriot act expires or not, the government will just keep on doing what they're doing. in fact, there is a provision in the patriot act that says any
investigation already begun before the deadline can go on in perpetuity. the other thing is that there are people now writing -- there was a john nappier thyme the internet watchdog for this program, who wrote that he believes that the executive order 12333 is really allowing all this bulk collection under what the president says are article 2 authorities. now, article 2 gives the president, the executive branch, different powers. but these aren't unlimited powers. some think they are. some say the president has the absolute power when it comes to war. well actually article 2 actually comes after article 1 and in article 1 section 8 the president was told that he doesn't get to initiate war. the most basic of powers with regard to war we're not actually given to the president, they were given to congress.
what is sad about this, what's going on now is that congress hasn't shown i think sufficient interest in what the executive branch does on a host of things whether it be regulation,whether it be the enormous bureaucracy but so much power has shifted and gone from congress and wound up in the executive. it's the same way with intelligence. we have intelligence committees but the question is are they asking sufficient questions. now, there are some, senator wyden has been a leader in this and he and i have worked together but he's really been the leader because he's been on the intelligence committee and he has more information really than the rest of us do. but he's at times been hamstrung because once you know information, if it's told to you in a classified setting you're not allowed to talk about it. sometimes it actually makes sense if you want to speak out not to actually learn through
the official channels but read on the internet because if you learn about it through official channels you didn't say anything about it even if the government is lying about it. we're talking about an enormous amount of information. we're talking about all of your phone records all of the time. now, recently there was some complaint by people in the newspaper and they said, well, the government's really only getting a third of your records, they're not getting enough of your records. some want them to get more of your records. the objective evidence shows though we really have never gotten anyone independently not found any terrorist independently of this. but still some people are so fearful they're like how could we get terrorists, we'll be overrun with terrorists and isis will be in every drugstore and in every house in america if we don't get rid of the constitution if we don't let the fourth amendment lapse if we don't just let everybody pass out warrants.
that's what we do under the patriot act. the patriot act allows the police to write their own warrants. this was one of the fundamental separations that we did with the fourth amendment. this was probably the most important thing we did was to separate police power from the judiciary, to have a check and a bam so you would never get systemic bias, you would never get political or religious or racial bias in your judicial system. we separated these powers. but we now let the police write their own warts. it's a special form of police, the f.b.i., but they are domestic police. the f.b.i. is allowed to write their own warrants. these are called national security letters and they don't have to be signed by a judge. there is no probable cause. if they come into your house there is no ability for you to complain. in fact, sometimes they are now coming into our houses without
us knowing about it. this is called a sneak and peek warrant. and like everything else the government says we'll be run run with terrorists if we don't let the government quietly sneak into your house when urine gone and put listening devices search through your papers and read all your stuff while you're gone. you don't have to have probable cause necessarily for these. it's a lower standard. but we're letting the f.b.i. write this without a judge reviewing it. i have a friend who is an f.b.i. apartment. i play government with pip. he's like don't you trust him? i do, i trust him but i don't trust everybody. madison said if government were comprised of angels, we wouldn't need laws. patrick henry said the constitution is about restraining the power of government. it isn't about the vast majority
of good people who work in government. it's about preventing the bad apple, it's about preventing the one bad person that might get into government and decide to abuse the rights of individuals. some say well, the n.s.a. has never abused anyone's rights. that may or may not be true. they're giving us the information. we don't get to independently look at the information. it's the same group they saying they weren't doing bulk collection of data at all but presuming they are telling us the truth it isn't really the end of the story because the story should be that we don't what allow the abuse of power to happen. as the debate unfolded the first time for the patriot act something occurred that happens frequently around here. there's not enough time. hurry up, hurry up, there's not enough time. it's kind of like the debate right now. the patriot act i'm not sure
unless we insert ourselves at this moment -- that we'll have any debate over it. it's been set to expire for three years. we've known it was coming. and the question is, do we not have enough time because we just don't care enough? we're going to relinquish our rights or constrict our rights through the bill of rights even though we know it's coming up and have to do something else that occupies all of our time? senator wydñ -- wyden and i have a series of amendments. our amendments would try to reform some of this. our amendments would say that n.s.l.'s, national security letters, can't be just signed by the police, that they would have to go to a judge. and people argue well, how would we catch terrorists? the same way we catch other people who are dangerous murders and rapists and anybody in our society. in fact, when you look at the warrant process for criminal warrants warrants are almost never turned down, but just that
simple check and balance of having the police call a judge is one of the fundamental aspects of our jurisprudence. we gave it up so quickly. we gave it up so quickly on the heels of 9/11 in the fear. but the thing is when the patriot act came forward most people didn't even read it. there was a committee bill, this and that and there was a last-minute substitution. it was given hours and it was simply passed in fear, in a spate of fear. as we look at what happened at that time, i think we now have the ability to look backwards and say is there another way. when we start with the doctrine that a man's house or a woman's house is their castle, it was a very old notion, maybe even dating back to the times of magna carta.
our castle now in our papers are a little bit different now and the supreme court hasn't quite caught up to where we are technologically. they're getting there but this really needs to be debated and discussed at the supreme court level. because the thing is we don't keep our papers in our house anymore. in fact, we've gone to such a paperless society that 90% of your paper or if you're under 30 years old 100% of your paper is held somewhere else. but the question we have to ask is do you retain a privacy interest in your records? when the phone company holds your records do they have an obligation to keep them private? do you retain a privacy interest? if the government wants the records from the phone company should they be allowed to write the name verizon and get all of the records for verizon? i frankly think that if john smith has his phone service with verizon and he is a terrorist
the warrant should say john smith and go to verizon but it's an individualized warrant. i don't think we should have generalized warrants. there are some who want to replace now the bulk collection of records with a different system where the government doesn't hold the records but the phone company holds the records. i am also concerned about this. for one big reason. the recent court case has said now that the patriot act does not justify the collection of records, that it's actually illegal under that. i'm concerned that since the court is now saying that section 215 doesn't allow bulk collection that in trying to reform this, what's called the u.s.a. freedom act by trying to reform this, we actually will be granting new four to section 215 that the court says is not there. the court is saying that it stands logic on its head to say that relevance means nothing that everybody's record in the
whole country could be relevant. we have even changed over time the investigations, whether or not there is a full-blown investigation, the beginning of an investigation. who gets to decide or divine what an investigation is? the bottom line is though as we look at this and as we move forward, we have to decide whether our fear is going to get the better of us. once upon a time, we had a standard in our country that was innocent until proven guilty. we've given up on so much. now people are talking about a standard that is if you have nothing to hide, you have to -- nothing to fear. think about it. is that the standard we're willing to live under? think about whether your records as held by the credit card companies, your bank or the phone company whether you believe that you still have a privacy interest in these.
in the patriot act they did something to make it easier to collect records and to override your privacy agreement. if you read the nitty-gritty of any of these agreements that you have when you use a search engine or you're on the internet you do voluntarily say your information will be shared in an anonymous way but they promise they're not giving your name to somebody. the phone company has the same sort of privacy arrangements, privacy agreements. but what has happened is through the patriot act, we have given them liability protection. and at first blush you might say we have too many damn lawsuits. i'm kind of that way. i'm a physician. we have way too many lawsuits. i'm for cutting back on lawsuits. but at the same time if you give the phone company or the internet company or the credit card company immunity to ignore your privacy agreement, they will. so the new system is instead of the government storing billions and billions of records in utah,
we're still going to store billions and billions of records in the phone company but still the question is will we access them in a general way. it says we're going to do a specific person, but if you look where a person is defined a person could be a corporation. i don't think you should have a warrant that says verizon and gets all the records for all of the customers. the other thing that's been going on they haven't been completely honest with, and we have some data on, is that the government is going inside of the software. they're asking people like facebook or demanding people like facebook that they give them access through their source codes so the government can get in. now, to facebook's credit, facebook is fighting them and i think more companies now are standing up and trying to fight against this, but the government is going in and in a nefarious way into the code of facebook and then inserting malware into other people's facebook and spreading it throughout the
internet. the government also is looking at communication between two modes. so let's say you communicate with google and it's encrypted but when google has a data center that talks to another data center, there is a place that is nonencrypted and the government is just simply hooking up to the cable and siphoning off records. there is a danger that you'll have no privacy left in the end of this. the fourth amendment's very specific. the fourth amendment says you have to individualize a warrant you have to put a name on the warrant. you have to say specifically what records you want. you have to say where they're located, and then you have to ask a judge for permission. the sneak and peek warrants that i was talking about before is section 213. it's now permanent law. we don't even get a chance to talk about it. we could repeal it, and i will have an amendment to repeal it. this is where the government goes in secretly, and they say
well we need this lower standard because terrorists will get us if we don't. well we've now had it on the books for a decade, and do you know who they're getting? drug people. people either buying, selling or using drugs. that's a domestic crime. which also leads me to something else about the patriot act that really bothers me, is that when we first started talking about the standards going from probable cause, which is what the constitution has to articulatable suspicions down to relevant we say well, we're going to lower standards because we're going after foreigners. they're not americans and they're not here, we're going to lower the standard, and really there can be some debate in favor of that. when we first did it, though, we said that you couldn't use that information for a domestic crime. and again sort of an example. and i asked one of the intelligence folks at one time
to answer this and was dissatisfied with the response. let's say the government comes into a sneak and peek warrant. they don't tell you they're in your house. they find out guess what, you're not a terrorist but you have paint in your house that you bought through your office, business spence, and you're painting your house at home, which is a tax violation. it's a domestic crime but they got into your house through false pretenses. they said you were a terrorist they just were wrong but they found out that you're not being perfectly honest with your taxes. they've gotten in through a lower standard. so ultimately if we let them collect all of your records and we let domestic crime be prosecuted by this, we could have the government sifting through your credit card records because they say the fourth amendment doesn't protect records, or your phone records. not the content just all of this data, putting it together and meshing it and deciding that maybe you're somebody who runs traffic lights by the -- by
the -- your footprint your digital footprint. the thing is, is now we're then taking something that was intended to capture foreigners and we're going to capture people domestically and prosecute them for domestic crime. the specific thing they promised us never to do. so things morph and they get bigger and bigger. we could have a valid debate about whether we have gone too far, but we ought to at least have a debate. shouldn't we get together and say let's have a debate, let's devote all week to this. i have been asking for a while to have a full day and have five or six amendments that senator wyden and i could put forward and have a full-fledged debate over whether or not the bulk collection of our records is something we should continue to do. now, i think if you look at this and you say where are the american people on this, well, there has been poll after poll. well over half the people, maybe
well over 60% of the people think the government's gone too far. but if you want an example of why the senate or congress doesn't represent the people very well or why we're maybe a decade behind, i'll bet you it's 20% of the people here would vote to stop this, to truly just stop it. at the most, where is it 60% or 70% of the public would stop these things. you're not well represented. what's happened is i think the congress is maybe a decade behind the people. i think this is an argument for why we should limit terms. i thits an argument for why we should have more turnover in office because we get up here and we stay too long and we get separated from the people. the people don't want the bulk collection of their records. and if we were listening, we'd hear that. the vote in the house while i don't think the bill is perfect
and i think it may well continue bulk collection, was over 300 votes to end this program to say we're no longer going to have bulk collection. and yet it looks like the majority in this body still says we need bulk collection. in fact, the biggest complaint from the majority in this body is that we're not collecting enough records that we need to collect more records. can you have security and liberty at the same time? i had breakfast with a high-ranking official from our intelligence community oh, maybe six months ago and i asked him how much information do you get from metadata and how much do you end up getting from a warrant? he says without question, you get more from a warrant. people talk about whether we can go one hop or two hop. that means if someone's -- if you're suspected of terrorism and you called 100 people, if we look at your records that's one
hop. if we look at the records of the next 100, that's a second hop. so as you go in, this pyramid gets bigger and bigger until you talk about tens of thousands of people. but as you're getting farther and farther away from the suspect, i see no reason why you couldn't keep getting warrants. if they say the warrants are slow and laborious and there is not a judge put more judges on the court. if they say they need them at 3:00 in the morning put the judges on 24-hour alert you can call them at 3:00 in the morning. we do it every night all across america, we call judges for a warrant in the middle of the night. i see no reason why you can't have security and the constitution at the same time. the president instituted a -- it's called the privacy and civil rights board and they went through a lot of this, and some of the things that they came up with i think were truly astounding. the amount of information i think, is mind-boggling of what's being sucked up in this.
there's something called section 702 of fisa and this has allowed them to collect information on americans who might have been communicating with a foreigner. they say well, that american is probably suspicious. well it goes out in ripples and it just becomes this enormous amount this enormous cache of information. when "the washington post" looked at this, they found that nine of ten intercepted conversations were not the intended target. so i think there was one estimate that in the last year we had 89,000 targets but if you multiply that and say that's only 1/10 of what we actually take you're now looking at 900,000 records of people that had nothing to do with terrorism. didn't really talk to the person. they incidentally talked to a person who talked to a person. it could be the terrorist called papa john's and you called papa john's you're now in the same phone tree network. so it can ripple out in ways.
that information shouldn't be collected, it shouldn't be put in a database and it shouldn't be stored because ultimately we're collecting so much information that it's all of your information. one thing that should concern us about simply going from a system where the government collects all these records and stores them in utah to one where the phone companies are going to do it is actually some people in the n.s.a. are action questioning and saying not so bad. that concerns me that the n.s.a. is saying not so bad. it concerns me that we're still going to have bulk collection. the debate we really need to have is whether or not your records if someone else is holding them if you still have any privacy any kind of privacy interest in your records. i personally think that your phone records are still partially yours in a way or that you have a privacy interest in them. this is going to become very important because your records
ultimately they probably won't be any records in your house they're going to be on your phone and then your phone records are connected to the company who owns them. do you have a right to privacy in those records? i think you can have security and freedom at the same time. but i think if we're not careful if is going to get away from us. when they found out that nine out of ten intercepts were not the intended target, just ancillary targets they picked up they also found that 350% contained e-mail addresses that were u.s. citizens. let's say you collect a million pieces of information and you're just goring this up and you're intended to go after foreign targets who might be terrorists but over half of this information, much of it incidentally gained are actually u.s. citizens. so what this is, it's sort of
an end run they call it backdoor searches, sort of an end run that has gone around the constitution gone around the fourth amendment to collect information that we've actually said should be illegal to be collected that way but we're doing it because we've done an end run around. also realize that you can send an email from virginia to south carolina and it might go over a server in brazil. if your email goes over a foreign server, all of a sudden boom everything's done, the constitution's out the door, they can collect that, even the content. it's never revealed to you nothing is ever presented to you, it's all done within the executive branch with no advocate on your side. there are several programs that came out through this that are being collected. it's not just the bulk collection. there's a program called prism
that's been out there for a while. and there's another one called upstream. in prism it's a surveillance program that collects internet communications of northern nationals from at least nine major internet companies. now, i think this wouldn't have happened if the internet companies were not given liability protection. i think what would have happened is they would have said we're violating our obligations to our customer and we're going to fight against this. but the patriot act even made it worse. the patriot act made it a crime to reveal that you'd been served with a warrant. so we've gone way beyond any typical constitutional mechanisms. in the upstream program a similar thing happens.
but this is when the data is collected as it moves across u.s. junctions. the problem is not so much going after foreign communications but going after incidental and collecting incidental communications that involve american citizens. john nappier thyme was a section chief of the internet freedom in the state department's bureau of democracies. he was going to give a speech and i think this is very telling. this is reported in "the washington post." so he had written his speech out and sent it for review. in his speech he said if u.s. citizens disagree with congressional and executive determination about the proper scope of intelligence activities they have the opportunity to change policy through democratic process. you'd think who could object to that? what would his censor say how
can they say we don't have the right through democratic process to change policies? they him strike through "intelligence processes" because i guess they apparently think we don't have the democratic ability to change these things. and the sad truth is, it may be true. because a lot of this is being done by executive order. executive order 12333 has no congressional oversight. in fact, the question was asked recently of one of the senate leaders, will you investigate this? now, there may well be a secret investigation going on you there about was some indication it was really outside of our purview. i don't think anything the executive branch does should be outside our purview. the whole idea of having co-equal branches was to have checks and balances. one of the biggest problems i find in washington is that sometimes the opposition
party -- if you have a democrat president and a republican congress you'll get a little bit of adversity and a little bit of pitting ambition against ambition and check and balance. but the party that is the same party as the president just doesn't sound -- tend to push back probably for partisan reasons. that's not just the other party, it happens when republicans are in power also. what happens is the political party that's the same power as the president tends to sort of be open to letting things move on just letting the president accumulate more power. but i think this should be telling, that when he said we could change things through democratic action, president obama's white house counsel told him that no, that wasn't true, he was instructed to amend the line and make a general reference to our laws and policies but to leave out intelligence policies as if we don't really get a say in what they do as far as what information they collect from
us. john nappier thy goes on to warn us. he says unlike section 215 executive order 12333 authorizes collection of the content of communications not just metadata. even for u.s. citizens. so quite often we're told that -- we were told for years don't worry they're not collecting your data, they're just collecting the data of foreigners. turns out that wasn't true. now the big thing they tell us is well, we're not collecting the content we're just collecting the numbers. but when you read john napier thai the executive order authorizes the content of the communications as well, not just metadata and also for u.s. persons. so the question is, if we get rid of pulling collection will
the executive continue to do it anyway? the other question is, why doesn't the executive stop this? it was started by executive action it could be ended by executive action at any time. where is the executive? how come the press give him a free pass just to say congress needs to fix this? sure i messed it up, i broke it i'm doing something the second appeals court said is illegal and i'm going to keep on doing it until congress does something. why don't we see any questions from the press? why don't we see anybody from the media saying, mr. president, it's illegal you started it, you are performing a program that is collecting all of the phone records from all americans it's been declared illegal from the second highest court in the land why don't you stop? i'm -- i've not ever heard him asked the question.
with the executive order apparently because they say it's article 2 and that article 2 to them means they can do whatever they want without any oversight by congress, the conclusion by john napier thai there is nothing to prevent the n.s.a. from collecting and storing all communications. this concerns me. the president instituted or brought together a group called the review group on intelligence and communication technologies. and in it they came forward with some recommendations. recommendation number 12 was that all of this data, all this incidental data that's becoming part of these databases that is collected under these authorities, the executive order, should be immediately purged unless there is a foreign intelligence component to it.
the review group further recommended that a u.s. persons' incidentally collected data should never be used in a criminal proceeding against that person. so now we're talking about what i was talking about earlier. if you're going to go away from the constitution, if you're going to say to catch bad guys we can't really have the constitution we're going to have to have a bar that's easier to cross and allows us to do kind of what we want, wouldn't you want to exclude american citizens from being convicted or put in jail for a crime under a lower standard? it's kind of like this -- the question is, if the government can come in without a valid search warrant without announcing that they're in your house, collect all of your data, would you want them to have hours and hours in your house without any probable cause and a then start arresting you for this? there are rumors that we are doing this.
there are resumers that denies -- rumors that intelligence warrants are being used to get regular criminals. what they do is collect information through data, metadata analysis, they get all of this, get enough to convince -- be convinced you're a drug dealer and then arrest arrest you using a traditional warrant. section 213 this sneak and peek where they go in without announcing 99.5% of the people arrested are actually people who committed a domestic crime. they're not terrorists. so we're told have you to have a patriot act to get terrorists and yet what by really find is that they're using it in a way that was not honest. they're using a lower standard, a standard less than the constitution and they're use ing that standard then to
arrest people for basic domestic crime. the president's review commission that in recommendation number 12 recommended that this incidentally collected data not be used criminally against anybody, they gave the recommendations to the white house. the white house stated that the adoption of these recommendations that they had requested would require significant changes. and indicated that it had no plans to make any changes. so the president's open review commission says there's great danger in using a lower less than constitutional standard to collect great amounts of information that can be searched there's a great danger to privacy. there's also great danger to using information collected outside of the constitution, there's great danger in then
using that for domestic prosecution. and the president said he has no intention of any changes. when i think of this president it's probably what dispoints me -- disappoints me most. there were times there were fleeting times when this president was in the u.s. senate that he stood up for the constitution. in fact, there's a quote from the president when he was running for office, there are many quotes but one quote saying that the warrants that are issued by police, national security letters, should be signed by a judge the very amendment that i will try to get a vote on, he seemed to have supported. but now his administration is issuing hundreds of thousands starts out with a few 47, a couple hundred now it's in the thousands.
any time you give power to government they love it and they will accumulate more. any time you give power to government and expect them to live within the confines of the power, they will not live within the confines of power unless you watch them. like a hawk. you've got to watch them. you have to have oversight. we are at a point now where we have enormous bulk collection, enormous collection of american citizens' data, one program we know almost nothing about and yet it goes on with no debate. the executive order from 1981 has been transformed into a monster with tentacles that reaches into every home in our country. the collection of records that is going on is beyond your imagination and we need to know about it. there needs to be a public
debate. it's become even more pressing that we have this public debate because the problem is that you have the president and you have the congress and you have the intelligence community not being honest with us. so the fact that the director of national intelligence would come to congress and lie and say they're not collecting this information and then when they do admit to it say oh, by the way, it's working really well, we're capturing all kinds of terrorists but they withhold all of the informs we rely on them to be honest, present truthful information to us. this is a big problem. currently, the courts haven't i think, brought their rulings up to date. the debate, though, has been going on for a long time. in 1928, there was the olmstead case. the olmstead case went against
those of us who believe in privacy, and i believe that that case still lingers on even though it's been reversed. in the olmstead case, ray olmstead was a bootlegger and the government decided to eavesdrop on his conversations but they did it without a warrant. they could have gotten a warrant. who knows why they didn't get the warrant but they didn't get a warrant. but the court ended up ruling that phone conversations were not protected by the fourth amendment. this was a sad day in our history when this happened in 1928. the dissent in that case was justice brandeis, and as so often occurs in our history sometimes the dissent becomes the majority opinion and becomes profound because it was there at the time. harland's dissent in plus e.v. ferguson is the same way. nobody refers to the majority in
saying separate is equal. they were wrong. same way with the olmstead case. people now remember justice brandeis. it is probably one of the most famous quotes in jurisprudence that the right to be left alone is the most cherished of rights, that it's the most valued among civilized men. we have this debate still sometimes, though, because some conservatives say well, there is no right to privacy. i don't see it in the constitution. conservatives who argue there is no right to privacy aren't remembered the ninth and tenth amendment very well, particularly the ninth amendment. the ninth amendment says that all the rights aren't listed, but those that aren't listed are not to be disparaged. even our founding fathers worried about this. our founding fathers came forward and they at first thought we would do just the constitution without the bill of
rights. and some of them worried they said if we do the bill of rights people will think that's all we have. if we list ten different amendments they'll think that's all of our rights. and so they finally convinced everybody to go along with it by saying we'll put in the ninth and tenth amendments. the tenth amendment limiting the powers and saying only the powers enumerated are given to the federal government. everything else is left to the states and the people respectively but the ninth amendment, which is in many ways sort of the stepchild of our amendments hasn't been adequately i think adhered to or recognized. it says those rights not listed are not to be disparaged. sometimes we have this discussion because some people say what has to be enumerated. i agree completely if we're talking about the powers given to government should be enumerated. they're few.
few and limited the powers given to the government. but it's the opposite with your rights. your rights are many and infinite. your rights are unenumerated and you do have a right to privacy. so while the word privacy is not in the constitution, in the fourth amendment though, they do talk a lot about your privacy. it's about your home. it's about your home is your castle. the exact words of the fourth amendment are the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation. and particularly describing the place to be searched and the person and things to be seized. the reason why we should worry
about whether or not a warrant is individualized is we've had some tragic times in our history. during world war ii, we didn't individualize the arrest of japanese americans. we didn't say that is so and so who lives in california and we think they are communicating with japan and telling our secrets. we indiscriminately rounded up all of the japanese and incarcerated them. there have been times in our history when we haven't acted in an individualized manner. it happened throughout the south in the old jim crow south. we told people that we were going to relegate them to a certain status based on a general category. so when we talk about individualizing warrants, we're talking about trying to prevent bias from occurring. now, bias can occur for a lot of different reasons. i tell people you can be a minority because of the color of your skin or the shade of your
ideology. you can be a minority because of your religion. you can be a minority because you home school. but the thing is, is that if you are a minority, if you are a dissenter, if you dissent from the majority, you need to be very very aware of your constitutional rights, very, very aware of the bill of rights. the bill of rights isn't so much for the prom queen. the bill of rights isn't so much for the high school quarterback. many people in life always seem to be treated fairly. the bill of rights is for those who are less fortunate, for those who might be a minority of thought, deed or race. we have to be concerned about the individualization of our policies or we run the risk, we run the risk and the danger of people being treated in categories. right now we're treating every american in one category. there is a general veil of
suspicion that is placed on every american now. every american is somehow said to be under suspicion because we're collecting the records of every american. when we talk about metadata and whether or not or how much it means and what the government thinks they can determine from metadata the people who say don't worry it's just your phone logs, it's no big deal, it's just boring old business records should be a little bit concerned by the words of one former intelligence officer who said that we kill people based on metadata. he wasn't referring to americans. he's talking about terrorists. but we should be concerned that they are so confident of metadata that they would kill someone. so instead of us believing that metadata's no big deal and it just should be public
information and anybody can have it realize that your government is so certain of metadata that they would kill an individual over it. that seems to me to make the point that metadata's incredibly important if we would make a decision to kill someone based on their metadata. the electronic frontier foundation has done a lot of work for privacy and deserves a lot of credit. mark jacox rights in an issue from last year that it is likely that the n.s.a. conducts much more of its spying power under the president's claimed inherent powers and only governed by a document originally improved by an executive order. so while we're superficially having a debate over the bulk collection of records that some claim were authorized under the
patriot act section 215 there's a whole other section that some privacy advocates are worried about that's even bigger. i had a meeting recently with one of the founders of one of the huge social communication companies, and he told me that he thinks that we're missing some of the debate here because he says everybody's talking about bulk collection of your phone records. he's convinced that there's ever so much more being collected through back-door channels. these back-door channels can occur in two ways. they can occur one way by going and looking at foreigners' information, and then coming through the back door back into our country and looking at americans' information but then that american information has tentacles and spreads and becomes this enormous grouping of incidental information. in fact, some have said that
it's nine out of ten pieces of data pulled in aren't about a terrorist, they're just incidental stuff. what the president's review commission said is we should delete that. once we find it's not relevant to an investigation the amazing thing to me is, is that even people who support the patriot act -- and i don't. i think the patriot act lowers the constitutional standards and risks our freedom and our liberty, but even for those who think the patriot act is fine, they say that the patriot act never was intended to do this. so if you want to ask yourself is the government overstepping, even the authors of the patriot act are now telling us that the overstepping is to such a degree that they think the patriot act doesn't justify it. in fact, that's really what the court ruled recently.
i had hoped the court would rule that the bulk collection, the grabbing up of all your records that it was unconstitutional, but they actually simply ruled that the patriot act does not sanction it. the patriot act does not give the authority to the government to do this. and so it's a pretty amazing sort of set of circumstances, is that the government has taken something that was intended in one way completely transformed it and then when they are rebuked by the court they're not chastened at all. so i still wonder why no one has had the guts or the wherewithal to ask the president why doesn't he stop this now? the president could today listen to this speech on the floor of the senate and he could change his mind. he could this afternoon with his pen -- he says he has his pen and his cell phone -- he could immediately stop the bulk collection of data. in fact, all of the alternatives
he could probably do now. he could also say that he's going to collect the data with a warrant. he has all of that power. someone should ask the president, mr. president why do you keep doing something the court has said is illegal? why do you continue doing this, and why won't you stop, and how can we possibly think that it is a responsible answer to say oh, i'll stop when they make me? his own privacy commission says that what he is doing is illegal and should stop. one of the things that people are worried about is that the government is forcing their way into the code source of different, facebook, google, different internet companies. there's a couple of things that are occurring because of this. if you live in europe, if you're angela merkel or anybody in america, you might not want
american stuff anymore. so there are already rumors in discussion that billions of dollars -- there have been some estimating that over a hundred billion dollars have been lost to where we have been a dynamic leader in software and hardware, in the internet. people don't want our stuff because they don't trust us anymore. one of the reasons they don't trust us is this. we have a group called the tailored access operation targets system administrators and installs malware while masquerading as facebook servers. that's a little scary, that you go on facebook and somehow malware is getting into your computer and then searching and allowing them to know everything that you're doing on your computer. if you have a warrant you could -- to my mind, you can do a host of these things, but do it to someone you have suspicion of. i think we've made the haystack so big no one's ever getting through the haystack to find the needle. what we really need to do is
isolate the haystack into a group of suspicious people and spend enormous resources looking at suspicious people, people who we have probable cause. if you think of almost every instance -- i mean, go back to 9/11. you'll have people come forward with the ridiculous assumption that if we had the patriot act we wouldn't have had 9/11. they say oh, we would have caught those two terrorists in san diego. and i'm like, you mean the two terrorists that were living with a confidential informant for a year? we knew who these people were. they weren't talking to each other. it wasn't for a lack of gathering information. all this incidental and all this grabbing up of bulk records that isn't what we needed. we needed the c.i.a. to call the f.b.i. we needed further the f.b.i. to call washington and for somebody to be listen to them. the 20th hijacker, a guy named moussaoui, was captured a month in advance. we've got him in minnesota we've got his computer. he was captured because people
said he was from a foreign country and he was attempting to learn to take off planes but not land them. the f.b.i. agent there ought to be given a medal of honor. instead of giving the medal of honor to the head of the f.b.i., we should have fired the head of the f.b.i. and this f.b.i. agent should have been made the head of the f.b.i. he wrote 70 letters to his superiors. he caught the 20th hijacker. he should be a well-known hero on the lips of every american. but his superior got 70 letters and did squat. i have no idea what happened to his superiors but nobody ever was fired for 9/11. instead of firing the people that didn't do a good job we gave them medals. the guy who did a good job, i don't know what happened to him. and what we did is we decided we would collect everybody's information. that we'd sort of scrap the bill of rights. i've met a lot of our wounded
soldiers. i've met young men that have lost two three arms; two three limbs, four limbs sometimes. i've met people who are paralyzed. to a person, when i ask them what were you fighting for they tell me the constitution. they tell me our way of life, for our bill of rights. don't you think they'd be disappointed to find out that they went over and they risked life and limb and give up part of their bodies and came home and while they were gone we gutted the bill of rights. not only did we gut it, but we don't have time to debate it. we just willy-nilly say that's fine. we don't have time to debate it. we've known for three years this debate was coming up, and yet we squash a bunch of bills in the last week and we've got no time for the debate, no time for amendments. no time to discuss whether or not we're willing to trade our liberty for security.
franklin said, those who trade their liberty for security may wind up with neither. this is a very important debate that we need to have in the public, in the open. we worry about -- or some of us worry that just in discussion of bulk records we may not get to other programs the government just simply won't tell us about. a lot of them are written about though. in another episode of the electronic frontier foundation's newsletter, they talk about a program called muscular. muscular is a program that is siphoning off data between different data centers like yahoo and google sometimes have have -- at least did have communication between them that was encrypted. your information was encrypted going to the data center but in between data centers they weren't encrypted and the government is siphoning all of this off through executive
order. i don't know whether it's foreign. i don't know whether it's incidental american. i don't know what's being collected and we have no oversight, no ability to vote on whether or not we continue this program or discontinue this program. the companies are sometimes not notified of the warrants. or if they are notified of the warrants are told that they can't talk about them. they're gagged. this is the kind of stuff that we need to have in the open. some of the information that people are talking about that the n.s.a. collects on americans are contacts from your address book buddy lists calling records, phone records e-mails. and then they put it all into a data and i think the program is called snacks. they put it all into this data program and develop a network of who you are and who your friends are through all the interconnection of all your contacts and friends. and if you ask them is any of this protected by the fourth
amendment, the answer you'll get is the fourth amendment doesn't protect third-party records. so really, we're going to have to have this go to the supreme court. i said earlier in the olmstead case in 1928, justice brandeis is in the dissent. the vote is 6-3, i believe. and the court rules that phone conversations have no protection. so we started out with a bad history. the phone was just coming around becoming commonplace and the supreme court said your conversations don't have any protection. this went on for 40-some-odd years until we get to the late 1960's, i think 1968 in the katz case and then they say there is an expectation of privacy. so that was a big blow for those of us who believe in privacy that we finally decided your phone conversations are private and that you have an expectation of privacy and that it should take a warrant with your name on it individualized with probable
cause. but we go another dozen years 10 to 12 years and we get another court case called maryland vs. smith. and in it here, though, the court rules that your conversations are protected from the government, that the government has to have a valid warrant. but they end up saying that your records don't and that the government is allowed to eavesdrop and pick up and accumulate records about your phone calls without a warrant. i think this was a big mistake. the case in maryland vs. smith though is one sort of petty criminal and a few records over a few-day period. the question that i'd like to see before the supreme court would be: is that equivalent to all americans all americans' phone records all of the time? there was at least some kind of investigation going on of this person. they didn't do it the right way. i think they should have gotten
a warrant. but there this case what the government is arguing is that every one of you are somehow relevant to an investigation for terrorism. that's absurd. and finally we get to the appellate court last week, and the appellate court says that, they say frankly, it is absurd to say that everybody in america is relevant to an investigation. not only is it absurd. not only is it trifling with your privacy and your right to be left alone but it takes our eye off the prize. why do you think it is that there's not enough human analysts to know that tsarnaev, the boston bomber, was plotting to bomb the boston marathon? why did we not know he got on a plane to go to chechnya. one of the things we were told at least in the newspaper was that he had an alternate spelling of his name.
so we went 15 years and we can't figure out that sometimes these named are spelled a little different and we didn't know he flew back and was radicalized in another country? i'm for spending more time and more money on analysts to investigate and look at the data connected to people of suspicion. but i don't want to spend a penny on collecting all the information from all of the innocent americans and giving up who we are in the process. we have to fight against terrorism. we have to protect ourselves. but if we give up who we are in the process has it been worth it? are you really willing to give up your liberty for security? what if the security you're getting is not even real? they said the 52 people they caught through the bulk collection program the president's privacy his own privacy group investigated and said not one person was captured
captured -- a possibility of one but they already had information on him from some other source. under the executive order we're still not talking about the patriot act. we're talking about something nobody knows much about at all. no common member has been, to my knowledge, informed of what's going on in this program. none of those not on the intelligence committee. but they have something called, with this information called the special procedures governing communications metadata analysis. this is allowing the n.s.a. to use your metadata, phone records, et cetera, who you call, how long you speak under the patriot act and section 702 to create social networks of americans. so not only are we collecting your data because the government says and realize this, many of your elected officials are saying this, that you have no right to privacy. the constitution be doesn't
protect your records. they're collecting all of your records, some of it incidental, but they're creating these enormous data banks. but then they're connecting metadata to other metadata to create social networks of who you are. you should be alarmed. you should be in open rebellion saying enough's enough. we're not going to take it anymore. we should be in rebellion saying to our government that the constitution thatting protects our freedoms -- that the constitution that protects our freedoms must be obeyed. where's the out rage? i tend to think young people get it. young people, you see them, their lives revolve around their cell phone. they realize if i want to know about their life, i collect data from their phone. not the content of their phone calls, if i collect the data from their phones that i can know virtually everything about them. do we want to live in a world where the government knows
everything about us? do we want to live in a world where the government has us under constant surveillance? they'll say we're not looking at it. we're just keeping it in case we want to look at it. the danger is too great to let government collect your information. and i think there is a valid question whether or not simply the collecting of your information is something that goes against the constitution. one of the other areas where we're seeing collection of data -- i mean, it would boggle your mind. we're not talking about just one, one program. we're talking about dozens of programs the government has instituted to look at your stuff. there's another group called epic. electronic privacy information center. and they talk about suspicious activity reports. these are reports that your bank
has to file whenever you deal in cash at the bank. there are certain dollar limits. and they think well, gosh, someone is probably a bad person if they're putting $9,500 in cash in the bank. well turns out a lot of honest, law-abiding people do that. not too long ago there was a korean husband and wife, they owned a grocery store they dealt in a lot of cash and they were very successful and they deposited three times a day over $9,000 $8,000 to $10,000. they tried to stay under $10,000 because there was all kinds of paperwork if you're over $10,000. the government said you're structuring your deposits to evade the people. you must be guilty of something. the government then can accuse people of a crime and take their stuff. there's something called civil asset forfeiture. it doesn't require that you be convicted. it doesn't even require that you be accused of something.
there was a story not too long ago in philadelphia, christo surrelovelos. the teenager was selling drugs out of the back of the parents' house, so they caught the kid and they were punishing him. but they decided they would punish the parents too. they confiscated the parents' house, evicted the family. teenager makes a mistake selling drugs. what does the government do? they take the parents' house. you think that is going to help the kid or help anybody get better in the situation by taking the house? but here's the rub. the kid didn't have to be convicted of anything. the kid didn't own the house; he was just their kid. if we allow all kinds of data to be out there to catch people and then we're not even going to require that you're convicted of a crime before we take your stuff, you can see the danger of allowing so much data to be collected. but we are currently convicting and taking people's stuff or their money simply based on what
they're using it for. "the washington post" did a series of articles on this. it turns out that most people having their stuff taken are poor often african-american, often hispanic. but for the most part, poor. one guy was here in washington, had $10,000 and he was going to buy equipment like a refrigerator commercial oven or something for his restaurant. they took his money took him years to get it back and he only got it back because the institute of justice defended him in getting it back. but it turns justice on his head because he was basically considered to be guilty until he could prove himself innocent. realize then that people like this are sometimes being picked up because of something called suspicious activity reports. suspicious activity reports makes your bank into a policeman or policewoman. when you deposit things, they are obligated to report you to
the police. i mean, to the government. does it sound something like 1984? does it sound like when you have informants out there everywhere, see something say something that your banker is going to call the government if you put cash in to the bank? the burden should always be on the government to prove that you're guilty of something. you should never be convicted you should never be punished without there first being a trial, without there first being evidence, without there first being a trial with a lawyer with a verdict. some of this is gone into the war on drugs. and the war on drugs has a lot of problems, but part of it has been the abuse of our civil liberties. but also part of the war on drugs has been that there's been a disparate racial outcome.
what do i mean by that? there have been instances where -- and if you look at the statistics, three out of four people in prison are black or brown for nonviolent drug use. but if you look at the surveys and you ask yourself are white kids using drugs the same as black kids? it's equal. the white kids are 80% of the public. how did we get the reverse? we're 80% of the -- where 80% of the population in jail are black or brown. it is a problem and if we can't figure it out you're going to have to continue to realize why people are unhappy. if you want to know why there is unhappiness in some of our cities read the new yorker. they did a story about khaliff browder, a teenager from the bronx. he lived in a poor situation his family had no money. he had been in trouble before. but he was arrested and sent to reicher's island. 16 years old arrested, sent to rikers island, his bail was
$3,000. his family couldn't come up with $3,000 and he was kept for three years without a trial. at least some of it was in solitaire confinement. he tried to commit suicide. can you imagine how he must feel? can you imagine how his pairpts must feel? can you imagine how his friends might feel? do you think they think justice is occurring in our country? we have to be careful we don't let slip away who we are in the fight against terrorism against drugs. because what happens is people take things that are bad -- terrorism is bad drugs are bad. but we take the fight against something that's bad we forget about the process and rule of law and we forget who we are in the process. but if you want to know why people are unhappy in some of our big cities, you want to see that unhappiness in the street, i.t. because some people don't think they're getting justice and i frankly agree with them.
think there isn't justice in our country when this occurs. originally we had the constitution. en this after 9/11 we got the patriot act. the biggest change between the constitution which provided protection from people, bad people for 200 years or more. the biggest deal is we changed the difference between how we would give out warrants. i remember having this debate about three years ago when we talked about the patriot act, i was walking along and talking to another sthor and he senator and eaves -- and he was alarmed that the patriot act would expire at midnight. what would we do? and i was like, couldn't we just live under the constitution? we have all kind of tools. there is a he almost no judge in
the land that's going to turn down a warrant. the fisa warrants, the ones they give for security, it's 99.9% of them are approved. couldn't we give out out warrants? they say it takes too long. in the blinks of an eye if john smith is thought to be a terrorist and he called is 00 people in the blink of an -- in the blink of an eye, i could look at the list. are any of them from a foreign country? are any of them on another list from somebody calling from a foreign country? there are ways to look at this where we would sumly get a warrant and the next hop and the next hop. there's no reason why we can't catch terrorists the same way we catch other bad people in our society, by using the constitution. initially the government had to show evidence that you were an agent of a foreign power. this is no longer true. now all you have to do is make a broad assertion that the request
is related to an ongoing terrorism investigation. the problem in the fisa court is that when they take to you this court, it's secret, you don't get your own lawyer, and basically the government says to the fisa government judge the government says, its related to an investigation but i don't believe they're forced to give information showing that it's related to the investigation. and in some ways i think we've gone too far because what you end up having is you have people who are saying it's related but the question is, is there any evidence that there's a relation to it and how could there be a relationship of ive everybody in america to an investigation? we also often have given gag orders. this is one of the big complaints of the internet companies. they get order after order after order, national security letter, they get all of these success spish list warrants -- suspicion
list warrants and then they are told they can't talk about it or they would go to jail. there are some people who get gag warrants who were librarians who for decades couldn't talk about it. the american civil liberties union has written that the patriot act violates the fourth amendment which says the government cannot conduct a search without obtaining obtaining a warrant and show probable cause. the aclu goes on to say that it violates the first amendment's garnet of speerchtion of free speech by prohibiting the recipients of search orders from telling others. these are the gag orders. they also say that it violates the first amendment by effectively authorizing the f.b.i. to launch investigations of american citizens in part for exercising their freedom of
speech. now, they went back in and they wrote the rules and said, oh, you're not supposed to do it if it violates someone's freedom of speech. but the bottom line is that the opening that we've given to the intelligence community is so wide that there are for all practical purposes, no limitations on the gathering of your information. in the maryland v. sminl case we kind of get to the point where we have said that telephone conversations are protected but we said trace-and-trap and pen register where they collect your data by phone calls is not. the problem is -- and this is a problem that needs to be corrected by the courts -- at this point they're essentially nonexistent. there are no protections in the court for any kind of warrant that has to be gotten for any
kind of metadata. the f.b.i. need not show probable cause or even reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. it must only certify to a judge without having to prove it, that such a warrant would be relevant to an ongoing investigation. also typically in the past when we gave warrants for wiretaps, they were to entities. you had to name the entity. but now we're giving the abet -- the ability to collect data, trace-and-trap pen register nationwide, this is a severe departure from what we had had in the past because typically warrants were given under the judge's jurisdiction. so within a region. but now we have a blanket order that says we can collect any of your phone records anywhere any of the time across the whole country. and this goes against the history of the way we have had jurisprudence. we talk a lot about phone data,
but your e-mails are in there too. interestingly, your e-mails after six months, have no protection at all. so any e-mail that you have on your computer after six months has no protection at all. up to six months, there's a little bit of protection, but the government is allowed to look at, without a probable cause warrant is able to look at who you're communicating with and the header on the subject line. the government is also able it look at through metadata the web sites that you visit. you can see how -- that various groups would say that that might be an infringement of their first amendment because let's say the government now knows that i go to electronic frontier foundation or i go to aclu. i'm concerned with civil liberties. am i a potential problem to the government? i'm concerned and i'm a critic of the government.
is it a problem that the government noe now knows what web web sites i go to? the government would say no that's not what we're doing. here's the other -- the other part of that question is maybe not yet. maybe not now. but you can also squelch and severely restrict first amendment practices if just simply the fear of the government looking at it is changing my behavior. there's already evidence -- there have been surveys -- saying that 20%-25% of people doing things online are changing their behavior because they are frayed of the government. -- afraid of the government. the government argues that the list of web sites web sites addresses, are simply transactional data. but i think there's much more you can garner from this data. the patriot act that is due to
expire is just three sections. interestingly, the complaints that i have are a lot over section 215 which the government claims is their justification for collecting all of your phone records. now, the courts have said oissments the appeal court last week said that the business records does not give them the authority to collect your records. in fact, the court has been very specific that it's illegal. the president is currently ignoring the court and the president continues to collect your phone data, all of your phone data, all the tiernls as much as they can get. they have not changed any of their behavior that i know of since it was declared to be illegal. some of the chaiption -- i would repeal the whole thing. i would repeal the whole patriot act. but some of the chaiption that i would favor if we were allowed to change it, if we could get a consensus in this body that would mirror the chan consensus that i think is in america, with once
you get outside the beltway of washington and go back into america and ask them, are they for this, the vast majority of people think the government shouldn't collect all of their phone records all of the time. but there are some changes we could make in this. i think the first thing we ought to do is not replace the system but to basically say that we're not going to collect data in bulk. that we're not going to collect your phone records your credit card information your e-mails where you go on the web. we're not going to collect that in bulk. i think we could change the patriot act to say we're only going to collect data that has to do with someone who's suspicious that we have presented some suspicion to a judge and that the judge says that there's probable cause. the standard is not that hard. it's hard for me to imagine, in fact a judge saying no. judges almost always say yes. if at 3:00 in the morning
tonight there is a murderer inside a house in d.c., what do you think the odds are that when the police call for the warrant that the judge says "no"? virtually nonexistent. most of us want the gunnel to give them permission. -- most of us want the judge to give them permission. but it is the checks and balances that we want so that we don't have police who operate on bias or bigotry or religious discrimination. we want people to be bound by the rule of law. and it is kind of interesting because you you'll hear republicans sometimes give lip service to the rule of law but in giving lip service to the rule of law what happens is they seem to forget the whole idea of privacy. they're for it in economic transactions but not so much with regard to personal liberty. "the new york times" has written
and talked about some of the economic effects of this. in an article by scott shane a couple of years ago he talks about the idea that foreign citizens many of whom rely on american companies for e-mail and internet services, are concerned about their privacy. you can say you don't care about foreigners -- and you know, they don't get the same standard as we get. you can understand maybe there is a lower standard. but realize if we're going to say the standard is quite a bit different and that there are no protection for anybody's data on the internet, realize that that standard is going to scare people in other countries away from our stuff. it's going to scare peopleway from our e-mail companies scare people away from our search engines, and i think if you'll talk to any of these companies out there and some of these companies are the greatest success stories in our country. you think of the internet revolution and you think how america has really led this.
america has been the leader in this. we've created you know, hundreds of thousands of jobs, billions of dollars of profit, and in our zealousness to grab up every information and in our zealousness to ignore basically the constitution, we're grabbing up so much stuff we're scaring people to death. there's already been billions of dollars lost to american companies because of this. because europeans asians they don't want our stuff anymore. they don't want things with our hardware. they don't want to deal with our services because they're fearful that the u.s. government is looking at all their transactions. and the government is pretty clueless over this. recently one of the members of president obama's administration came out drve in -- in fact, several members of them -- and they're complaining about encryption. we're going to have to have some laws to prevent these companies from incrypting things. it's like, don't you get it?
don't you get why companies -- the encryption is a response to government. the encryption is a response to a government that's gone and run amok basically collecting our information. collecting all of our information and so if you're an american internet company if you are an american search engine an american e-mail company, what do you think you're saying? you're saying, the only way i'm getting europeans back, the only way i'm getting asians back is to say that i'm going to protect them from my government. isn't that a sad state of affairs? people say well, how will you get terrorists if everything is encrypted? everett snow den was using -- snowden was use not an encrypted email server and the company housing him particularly -- specifically the genre of their business. many of them were legitimate,
business personal reasons. when they came to get eric snowden's email they didn't ask just to get his email they wanted the encryption keys for the entire business. this is the problem. you have to realize the zealots who don't seem too concerned with your privacy rights, imagine what they're going to do if they say to apple we don't want just the encryption or you to let us in one time to see john smith who we think is a terrorist, we want you to let us in all of our products. if they force a good company like apple to do that, who in the world would want anything from apple anywhere in the world? there is a danger that we will destroy great american companies by forcing this surveillance into their products. senator wyden has also made a good point. if the government is going to mandate backdoor -- access to
the code source and the government is going to say facebook or google has to let them in a back door, that's a window that's a breach of the wall it's a breach of protection and senator wyden and others have made a good point. he said if you do that, you're actually weakening these companies to attacks of cybersecurity because if somebody can get in, somebody else who is smart can get in as well. so there is a danger to letting the government in. there are dozens and dozens of these programs. the n.s.a. has something called the dish fire database, stores years and years of text messages from around the world. which might be fine except for it ends up trapping people who are also american citizens as well. it ends up tracking and trapping purely domestic texts that are
retransmitted outside the country. they have a program called track fin that collects gigabytes of credit card purchases. for some reason i'm more appalled by the credit card purchases than i am the phone. because i think of all the stuff you can buy with your credit card and what it indicates about you. with phones you can find out a lot, with phone records. i think when the stanford students looked at phone records, 85% of the time they could tell your religion by looking at the phone records the vast majority of the time tell your doctors could tell what disease you had the vast majority of time the government can then also connect you through social networking and tell an extraordinary amount about you. but with a credit card, it's even more explicit than that. they can tell do you drink, do you smoke, how much what magazines do you buy what books do you read, what
medicines do you take? all that's on your credit card and we're more and more that society. we're less and less the society of cash and more a society where everything is on paper. that should worry us. it should worry us the government has access to all of our records all of the time. it should concern us that the government also says when you ask them -- and this is an important point -- that your records when held by a third party are not protected at all. that's debatable whether that's true or not. i think it needs to be looked at again by the court and i think there are those in the court who will say your third-party records are. the maryland decision was 6-3, justice marshall felt that your third-party records should be protected. he specifically mentioned that
there was a potential stifling effect for association there was a potential stifling effect for speech, and he was quite concerned that the government should really have a warrant to look at your records. my hope is that someday the marylands have smith case is relegated to the dust bin of history in the same dust bin we put olmstead in. in olmstead they said you couldn't have any protection for your phone records went on for 40 years. i think we still live with some of that because we've trained and taught the phone companies not to be great advocates for your privacy. and there doesn't appear to be seen a great deal of fighting on the part of the phone companies in advocating for you. some of the internet companies have begun to step up, but i'd like to see both phone companies and internet companies stand up and say we're not going to do it. we're not going to give you
access to it and water going to have to take us all the way to the supreme court. if we did if there was unified resistance among the consumer and among the companies to say we're not going to let you have our data without a fight and that you're going to have to prove suspicion and you're going to have get a specific warrant i think then we might be able to get back to a more constitutional scenario. there have also been within the n.s.a. evidence of installing filters in the facilities of internet and telecommunication companies, serving them with court orders and building back doors into the software and requiring keys to break their encryption. if this becomes the norm, you can see how people will flee american products. and people will say i'm not
going to use american things. there's an enormous beyond imagination, economic punishment to our country that is occurring now and going to continue and worsen if we don't wise up and send a signal. so for those in this body who say we need to collect more information, we're not getting enough information warrants be damned, i don't care what they do take all of my information, get as much as you want, those people will have to explain why they're destroying an american industry and why people around the world are going to say we are alarmed at that and we want some protections. if we're going to use american products if we're going to use american email, we want to know there is not going to be indiscriminate collection of our information.
bill bine was probably or is one of the highest ranking whistle-blowers from the n.s.a. and the things he has to say should disturb us because he probably knows more about this than any of us will ever know. bill binney said without new leadership -- this is in our intelligence agencies -- new laws and top to bottom reform, the agency, the n.s.a., will represent a threat of turnkey totalitarian it. the capability to turn its awesome power not directed mainly against other countries will now be turned on the american public. originally all of these intelligence forays were to get
foreigners and we lowered the standards saying they don't live here these are potentially terrorists we're going to have a lower standard. and they started out as foreign searches. in fact, the that was originally intended to search for foreigners. and to search the information of foreigners. and i'm not opposed to that. in fact, i was on one of the sunday morning programs this week and they said are you for eliminating the n.s.a.? i said of course not. i'm for the n.s.a. i want the n.s.a. to do surveillance that will help to protect us from attack. not only am i for surveillance, i am for looking as deep as it takes. but i want some suspicion. i want decision that -- suspicion that this person, this john doe that there is some evidence -- you don't have to prove they're guilty, just have something that points toward them being suspicious. you go to the judge,about the
judge says here's a warrant. if there is evidence the people he called are suspicious, go back to the judge get another warrant, go deeper and deeper. there's no reason why this couldn't be done nearly instantly, no reason it couldn't be done 24 hours a day and no reason why we can't have security and the constitution as well. this battle has not been just about records. it's also been about another key part of the bill of rights, which is the right to a trial by jury. the right to do due process. the right of habeas corpus. the fifth and sixth amendments that i see are amendments with regard to your person and whether or not you're treated justly by your government. as we became fearful of
terrorists, we said we're just going to capture people and we will just hold them indefinitely. now, it's one thing to catch someone on a battlefield in a foreign land shooting at us, and i've said repeatedly people in battle don't get due process but people outside of battle, particularly american citizens, should. but in some of these cases were talking about american citizens accused of a crime perhaps terrorism, caught in our country and we're going to say they don't deserve trials, they don't deserve lawyers. in fact, one senator said recently -- i find this really hard to believe -- he said, well when they ask you for a judge, just drone them. ha ha. same guy said when they ask you for a lawyer, tell them to shut up. about ten years ago richard jewell was thought to be the
olympic bomber. everybody said he did it. tv convicted him within minutes. everybody said he was the olympic bomber. he fit the profile. he wore glasses. he was an introvert had a backpack and seemed real helpful. somehow that was the profile. everybody said he did it. the only problem was he didn't do it. here he was he was accused of being a terrorist of exploding something and killing -- doing something terrible, killing innocent people and i think to myself if he had been a black man in the south in 1920, what would have happened to him? or if he had been any american in this century if the people who believe in no jurisprudence were really in charge, we should be afraid of ever letting these people get in charge of our government because the thing is that richard jewell was innocent. people say well, these aren't just american citizens, they're enemy combatants.
and we don't give any kind of jurors prostitution, they're enemy pants. that begs the question. who gets to decide who is an enemy combatant and who is an american citizen? are we really so frightened and so easily frightened that we would give up a thousand-year history, magna charta, even before we had juries, greek and roman times we had juries, are we willing to give that up, give people a classification that the government assesses them cannot be challenged, people don't get a lawyer, don't get presented to the john told why they're being held and we would hold them forever? and the response i got during the debate over this -- this was the debate over indefinite detention -- the response i got was, well, yeah, we would keep them. send them to guantanamo bay an
american zen sure, if they're dangerous. kind of begs the question, doesn't it? who gets to decide who's dangerous and who's not? when this finally made it to the supreme court and whether or not you can hold an american citizen, the supreme court rejected the administration's claim they were not entitled to judicial review. it took years and years to finally have the supreme court tell people that the bill of rights was still in effect, that if you're an american citizen accused of a crime in our country no matter how heinous, you do have a right to trial by jury, you do have the right to a lawyer, you do have the right to habeas corpus, you do have all of the rights of an american citizen. and then no one can arbitrarily take those away from you. and if you don't think that's potentially a problem think of the south in the 1920's.
think of what would have happened if richard jewell were a black man in the 1920's. he might not have lived the day. think of richard jewell had been a japanese american during world war ii when we decided that the right of habeas corpus didn't apply to you if your parents were from japan. or if your grandparents were from japan. there was an experiment i remember in -- i think in college, a psychology experiment and they put a patient -- or a person in a room and they said this person has information and we're going to shock them just a little bit. here's the dial. you get to decide. and they wanted to ask how would people turn up the dial. and it was pretty scary that a good amount of people that you would imagine are normal, respectable people, how high they would turn the dial to shock somebody or to torture
somebody. so we think that wouldn't happen but it does. any time you make an analogy to horrific people in history mussolini or hitler, people say oh you're exaggerating, you're talking about it's hyperbole. maybe it is. particularly to accuse anybody of that is a horrific analogy and i'm not doing that, but what i would say is that if you are not concerned that democracy could produce bad people, i don't think you're really thinking this through too much, and that if you're not concerned about procedural protections procedural protections are how evidence is gathered, how evidence is taken from your house, what rules the police have to obey, and people don't quite get this. we don't have a mature discussion on this, because any time we try to say well, this is to stop someone who could be a bad policeman the media dumb it down and say you're saying
policemen are bad. no it's the opposite. 98%, 99% of policemen are good. in fact, of the general public, it's pretty close to that. but the thing is you have the rules in place for the exception to the rule, and so you have these procedures in place because maybe it isn't tomorrow we decide that we're going to round up all the japanese americans again and put them in internment camps but maybe next time it's arab americans. so the thing is we have to be concerned with this because you don't know who the next group is that's unpopular. the bill of rights isn't for the prom screen. the bill of rights isn't for the high school quarterback. the bill of rights is for the least among us. the bill of rights is for minorities. the bill of rights is for those who have minority opinions. the bill of rights is those who are odd balls those are aren't accepted those who have
unconventional thinking. but if we are so frightened that we're going to throw all the rules out and we're just going to say here's my liberty take it. here are my records. i didn't do anything wrong. i don't mind if you look at all my records. if you say the standard will now be if i have nothing to hide, i have nothing to fear, look at everything i do, there will be a time, there will be a danger that in giving up your freedom giving up your privacy that you'll find that the world you live in is not the world you intended. there have been good folks within the national security agency who have talked about and have pointed out that we've gone
too far. bill benning was one of those. he was a high-ranking n.s.a. official who decided that they had gone too far. there was an interview -- it's probably been a year or two with bill binney that was in "frontline." one of the first questions was what a lot of people in government will say is that you don't understand we're still at war. remember we lost 3,000 people on 9/11. this is a very important program, talking about the warrantless collection of all records. it has saved thousands of lives as cheney said at one point. there are multiple plots that
have been stopped because of this program. you've got to be very careful about what you wish for because if you do, you might have another attack. you might have blood on your hands, fear. what is your reaction to this question about the effectiveness of what has been done? binney replied, first of all they like to lump it in as one program and say you can't cancel the program. in fact, binhney was famous because he had been working on a program that did investigate terrorists but protected american information and deleted american information from incidental collection. so he said it's false to begin with. it's multiple programs. the one program that dealt with domestic spying was called stellar wind. stellar wind was one that was created also by executive order and was done without the permission of congress before the patriot act. they had the other foreign ones. you mentioned the names. there were other names that were
listed in the prison program that were dealing with foreign intelligence. there were a whole bunch of these programs, not just one. so the point is that you stop the intelligence, the domestic intelligence program period. so binney's opinion was -- this is a guy who vote a lot of the original programs. bill binney said he would continue gathering the information on foreigners. this is a guy who worked for 30 years for the n.s.a. he is not some dove who doesn't want to do anything about terrorists. bill binney worked for 30 years to develop the programs that help us catch terrorists, but he felt like it wasn't proper or constitutional to collect americans' records without a warrant. he said if we get incidental records, destroy them, don't collect them. he says eliminate them. the records of americans are irrelevant to anything that -- the incidental collection that is going on. all the terrorists would have been caught by the process that we put in place for thin thread.
thin thread was a program that they had before they went to the unconstitutional program. it was looking in and focusing in on the groups of individuals that we already had identified, and anybody in close proximity to them in the social graph plus anybody. the other simple rules like anybody who was looking at jihadi web sites, et cetera. that would get them all. and you didn't have to do the collection of all this other data that requires all that storage, transport of information to the storage maintenance of it, interrogation programs all of that added expense that they're incurring as part of it over the last ten years. you wouldn't have had to have any of that. "frontline" then asks this problem of haystacks how big a problem is it? is that what we've done? we've created a situation where the haystacks are bigger and it's almost impossible to find? this is "frontline"'s question, and it's a question i have been asking also.
if you collect all of americans' records all the time, if we collect all of your phone records, can we possibly look at them? now, computers are getting better but still there has to be a human involved. i think we're overwhelmed with the data. at one point in time, about a year ago i remember an article where i think they have collected millions and millions of audio hours. they have just been collecting. they are vacuuming up everything. and i think they had only been able to listen to about 25% of it. so the thing is, is that there is information that we need to get and we should get. when the the boston bomber goes to chechnya, we need to know that. we need to see if there is evidence that we can take to a judge to continue to investigate him. so we do need surveillance, but what we don't need is indiscriminate surveillance and
we don't need the haystack to get so big that we can never find the terrorist in the stack. binney responds, well, what it means simply is you use the traditional argument, they say we're trying to find a needle in a haystack. it doesn't help to make the haystack orders of magnitude larger because it makes orders of magnitude more difficult to find that needle in the haystack. "frontline." is that what they have done? they have made the haystack so large that we're actually trouble catching terrorists because we're swooping up all of america's data? binney -- that's what they've done. now they are looking at things like game playing and things like people doing that. i mean, this is ridiculous. how relevant that to anything? "frontline" -- but they say they are computers, they are in utah. they will be able to take all the stored data. they will be able to go through
all of it. they will be able to connect the dots connect the dots. that's what everybody wanted them to do after 9/11. bill binney, the former senior n.s.a. see, that's always been possible. before 9/11, we were doing that. that was already happening. we already had that program. that wasn't an issue at all. that's why we should have picked this out from the beginning. we should have implemented it, this thin thread program that we had already been working on, connect the dots. but we didn't. that's why we failed. it wasn't a matter of not having the program. it was a matter of not implementing what we had. when 9/11 came, we gave medals to the heads of our intelligence agencies. no one was ever fired. and yet the 20th hijacker was caught a month in advance. moussaoui was caught in minnesota for trying to take off
planes but not land them. the f.b.i. agent there wrote 70 letters to his superior trying to get a warrant. it wasn't that we had to dumb down and take away the procedural protections of warrants. the world wasn't denied -- the warrant wasn't denied. they would have a much stronger argument if they could say well, we tried to catch the terrorists but the judges kept saying no to warrants. it's absolutely not true. they didn't have the judge for warrants so the 70 requests in washington sat at f.b.i. headquarters and weren't requested. you also had another hijacker in arizona trained to take planes off. once again the f.b.i. agent there doing a great job in sending the information to washington and people not talking to each other. it had nothing to do with saying the constitutional is too strong, we have to weaken the constitution or we'll never catch terrorists. it had nothing to do with that,
but that's precisely the argument we had. in the aftermath of 9/11, the patriot act was rushed to the floor. several hundred pages. nobody read it. it didn't come out of the -- there was one out of the committee. they didn't use that. they rushed a substitute to the floor, and no one had time to read it, but people voted because they were fearful and people said there could be another attack and americans will blame me if i don't vote on this. but we're now at a stage where we should say are we willing to give up our liberty for security? can you not have both? can you not have the constitution and your security? i think you can. several agents other than bill binney have also said, several national security officials
that the powers granted the n.s.a. go far beyond the expanded counterterrorism powers granted by congress under the patriot act. the court now agrees with that. and any time someone tries to tell you that metadata is meaningless, don't worry it's just cause it's just phone records, it's not a big deal, realize we kill people based on metadata. so they must be pretty darn certain that they think they know something based on metadata. these ostensibly are presumably terrorists that are being killed but what i would say is that if they're killing people based on metadata, i would think you would want your own metadata pretty well protected.
to give you an example of how representatives are sometimes getting it right, in the house of representatives they have seen and responded to the people. thomas massey and representative lofgren, introducing an amendment to the bill last year, this amendment would have defunded the warrantless back-door searches, what they're doing through 702, which is an amendment to the fisa act. this is where we say we're investigating a foreigner but the foreigner talks to an american who talks to other americans and ripples out into enormous amounts of incidental information. the information from 702 when you analyze it, nine out of ten bits of information that are cleblghted are not about the person we've targeted. they are incidentally collected about other individuals. but when representative massey
and representative lofgren introduced their amendment to defund the back-door searches, and to tell the c.i.a. and n.s.a. that they cannot mandate that companies give a back-door entry into their product the amendment passed 293-123.. but just to show you that no good deed goes unpunished and just to show you the arrogance of the body, the vast majority of people don't want their phone records collected without a warrant. but what do they do when this passed 293-123? they stripped it out in secret in conference committee and it was gone. and the reason it was gone is like everything else around here. you wonder why your government's completely broken? we lurch from deadline to deadline -- and it's on purpose
really. we do deadline to deadline because we've got to go. it's spring break and we're going to be late for spring break and we've got to go, so we've got to finish this up before we go. it's how the budget is done. no one votes on how we're going to spend "x" or "y." they put the whole budget into 2,000 pages. nobody reads it. it's placed on our desk that day. nobody has any idea what's in it. none of your concerns about your government are ever addressed. we pass, boom, the whole thing and it's out the door. it's the same way with these kind of things. because there's a deadline -- and this amendment was passed 293-123 saying that we shouldn't fund these illegal searches and that we should stop the bulk collection of records it's passed overwhelmingly, and yet in secret somehow it's taken back out of the bill and never becomes law. while i don't agree completely
or really at all with the reform that's come forward out of the house, it is at least evidence that they're link. they have a bill that would end the bulk collection of records but would replace it with maybe another form of bulk collection. it passed overwhelmingly, 300-some-odd votes. but you know what you hear when it gets over here? they say the senate is distanced more from the people and not as responsive. absolutely true, and sometimes to the detriment of the public. because the thing is that while it's overwhelmingly popular with the american people that we shouldn't be collecting phone records without a warrant without a warrant with your name on it, and the house has recognized this and passed something overwhelmingly to try to fix it, the first thing that i hear over here from people is, well we're not collecting enough of your phone records. they're disappointed that the government isn't getting -- they have access and they claim they can get they gain access to
everything. the government's really not collecting all of it, so people over here are disappointed; they want to collect more. the american people say enough's enough. we want our privacy protected. we want the government to take less of our records. congress recognizes that. the house of representatives. then it comes over to the senate and the senate says oh, my goodness we want to collect more of your records. we don't think we're getting enough into your privacy. we don't think we completely trashed the bill of rights enough. let's try to gain more of your records. one of the other things that the massey-lofgren amendment did that did pass over there was fo get rid of and say that no funds would go to mandate or request that a person alter his product or service to permit electronic surveillance. see, this is what's going on and it is pretty nefarious and really i think antithey the cal to freedom -- antithetical is
the government is telling facebook and google, they're forcing them to let them have access to their product. everyone knows this is going on. it is no secret. it is killing these companies in their worldwide market because they are afraid the government has forced their way into all their transmissions. non-americans don't want to use their e-mail. there's currently another bill in the house put in by representatives massey, grayson and mcgovern that would repeal the entire thing repeals the patriot act and fisa amendments of 2008, permits the court to appoint experts permits the courts to have appeal; basically tries to make our intelligence courts a little bit more like an american court or american jurisprudence.
epic is the electronic privacy information center, and they talk some about these national security letters that i mentioned earlier. national security letters, there are now hundreds of thousands of these, and these are letters that are not -- they're warrants. they're not signed by judges. they're actually signed by the police. and this goes against sort of a fundamental precept of our jurisprudence. the fundamental aspect was that 2003 divided police from the judiciary. and it's supposed to be a check and balance in case of a local policeman had some sort of bias, always had to call somebody else. it's not perfect but it's a lot better than not having a check and balance. when we got to n.s.l.'s -- this comes out of the patriot act -- they start out with a few
thousand. they grow and grow and grow. now there's hundreds of thousands of them. but realize that the national security letter is similar to what we fought the revolution over. we fought the revolution over writs of assistance, which are basically generalized warrants, but they were also written by british soldiers. and we were offended, you know, that a soldier would come into our house with a self-written permit. a lot of reaction and the reason we wrote the bill of rights the way we did is that we were concerned with british abuses. we were concerned with the idea of general warrants. so when we wrote the fourth amendment, we said that it had to be specific to an individual. we said that you had to name the individual. and that's one of the real problems with the bulk collection of records, is that they're not really based on
suspicion of an individual because basically the government is collecting all of your records. indiscriminately. the government's not even obeying the loose restrictions they put in place. so the constitution says you have to have probable cause. you have to present some evidence to a judge. you don't have to approve that they're guilty but you have to have enough evidence that the judge says it looks like that person could be guilty of a crime. so with the patriot act we lowered that standard and then lowered it again. for collecting information under the patriot act all you have to do is say that the information you want is relevant to an investigation. when this gets to the court the court basically says this is absurd. so two weeks ago the court just below the supreme court says it is absurd to say that every american -- every american's
phone record is somehow relevant to a terrorist investigation. they said that it takes the meaning of the word "relevant" and basically destroys any concept that the word has meaning at all. so the patriot act went to a much lower standard. not probable cause but just that it might be relevant to an investigation. and even with that lower standard the court said that's absurd. so the president -- how does the president respond? the president responds by doing nothing. the president could end this program tomorrow. so every one of your phone records are being collected without suspicion without relevance in contradiction to even what the patriot act says your records are being collected.
the second-highest court in the land has said this is illegal and the president does nothing. the president says to congress, oh yeah, i'll do it if congress will do it. well it's a bit disingeneral with us, mr. president -- a bit disingenuous, mr. president. the patriot act, according to records doesn't even justify this. we're looking at telephone records, we're looking at e-mail records. epic electronic privacy information center, has another big complaint about this, that people were put forward and then told that they couldn't even talk about the fact that they had been given a warrant. they were threatened with five years in pron -- prison for even
mentioning that they had been served a warrant. this is in obvious contradiction to the first amendment. so we have legislation that contradicts the fourth and the first amendment. the national security letters in three years from 2003 to 2005 -- these are the warrants that are written by f.b.i. agents not written by a judge -- there was 143,000 warrants given out in our country to americans without a warrant, with a warrant written by the police. "the new york times" has talked about this, and charlie savage in a report last year reported
that the justice department had to apologize to a federal appeals court for providing inaccurate information about a central case challenging the constitutionality. now what is truth and what isn't truth? when you go to a court it's like when your kids fight; there's two sides to everything. one child has one argument. the other child has got the other argument. the truth is listening to both sides and trying to figure out what the truth is. the court is no different. but in these courts, you're only hearing one side. only the government represents their case. so if the government says that we want all the phone records because they're relevant, no one stands up on the other side and says i object. that's one of the reforms that senator wyden and i have talked about, is having somebody represent the accused somebody to stand up and say maybe all the phone records in the country are not relevant. maybe they're not relevant to an investigation.
it would be absurd to say every american would be relevant. or that every american's records would be relevant. probably no one in america knows more about this subject than senator wyden, who i see has come to the floor. senator wyden knows more about this because he's been on the intelligence committee for several years and there's two tiers within congress. there's a great deal of information that i've never told. even though i was represented -- elected to represent kentucky, i'm not allowed to know a lot of things that happens in the intelligence committee. the down side for senator wyden is he's allowed to know more but then he's not allowed to talk about it, which makes it a problem because it's hard to have dissent in our country if i'm not given the information how can i complain about it? and if he's given the information and then not allowed to complain about it? so these are the things we struggle with in trying to find
truth. mr. wyden: would the senator from kentucky yield for a question without losing his right to the floor? mr. paul: yes. mr. wyden: i thank my colleague. it is good to be back on the floor with him once again on this topic. as we have indicated, this will not be the last time that we are back on the floor. my colleague has made a number of very important points already. i was especially pleased my colleague brought to light something that is little known that the attorney general of the united states is interested in -- excuse me. the f.b.i. director is interested in requiring companies to build weaknesses into their products. in other words, we have had
companies interested in encryption as my colleague has mentioned, and what's happened as a result of that encryption, they had a chance to start getting the confidence of consumers both in the united states and worldwide back, and then the f.b.i. director has been interested in in effect requiring companies to build a back door into their systems. and this, once again, kind of defies common sense because the keys won't just be out there for the good guys. they will also be available to the bad guys. i'm very pleased that my colleague from kentucky highlighted one particular new development in this debate, and i have sought as a member of the intelligence committee for some time to come up with an approach
that once again demonstrates that security and liberty are not mutually exclusive. we can have both. but we're certainly not going fof -- to have both as my colleague touched on in his statement, if the policy of the f.b.i. director is to require companies to build a back door into their products, build weaknesses into their products. now, the senator from kentucky is very much aware that my staff and a number of senators are currently working through a number of issues and amendments related to the question of how we can pass trade legislation and get more family-wage jobs for our people through exports. and a number of us -- myself specifically -- have been concerned that the majority leader and other supporters of
business as usual on bulk collection of all of these phone records would somehow try to take advantage of our current discussions and try to, in effect sneak through a motion to extend section 215 of the u.s.a. patriot act. as long as the senator from kentucky has the floor that cannot happen. and my hope is, once our colleagues have agreed on a path to go forward with job-creating, export-oriented trade legislation, it will be possible to resume our work on that very important bill. in the meantime, my question for my colleague pertains to an issue that he noted i have been at for sometime. as my colleague knows, i have been trying to end the bulk
phone record collection program since 2006. and the reason i have is that what this bulk phone record collection program is is a federal human relations database. when the federal government knows who you've called, when you've called, and often where you have called from -- which is the case certainly if somebody calls from a landline and somebody has a phone book -- the government has a lot of private and intimate information about you. if the government knows that you called a psychiatrist three times, for example in 36 hours twice after midnight, the government doesn't have to be listening to that call. the government knows a whole lot about what most americans would consider to be very private. so this has been an important
issue. my colleague from kentucky has been an invaluable ally on this particular cause since he arrived in the senate. and i just want to give a little bit more background and then get my colleague's reaction to this question. i've seen cephal of my colleagues come -- i've seen several of my colleagues come to the floor of the senate talking about why we ought to keep bulk phone record collection. and the statement has somehow been that this is absolutely key for strong counterterror. that is a baffling assertion, i would say to my colleague from kentucky because even the director of national intelligence and the attorney general are saying that it
isn't. so what we have is members of the senate saying that bulk collection some of them, ought to be preserved in order to fight terror, and the director of national intelligence and the attorney general two individuals who are not exactly soft on terror, saying that i.t. not. -- that it's not. now, if senators and those who might be following this debate are seeking a more detailed analysis i hope that they'll check out the very lengthy report on surveillance that was issued by the president's review group. this group's members have some very impressive national security credentials. i mean, these are not people who are soft on fighting, you know, terror. one of them was the senior counterterror advisor to both president clinton and president
bush. another served as acting director of the c.i.a. and this review group a review group led by individuals with pristine anti-terror credential credentials, said on page 104 of their report -- staff sometimes kids me; i'm sure this is the case for the senator from kentucky because i always say "page 104". a quote here, "the information contributed to terrorist investigations by the use of section 215 bulk telephon knee metadata was not essential to essential topreventing attacks and could readily have been obtained in a timely manner using individual section 215 orders." so what this distinguished group
of experts said supports what thethe senator from kentucky is saying what i and others have been saying for sometime. so the senator from kentucky, you know, pointed out my service on the intelligence committee. i think senator feinstein and i are two of the five longest-serving members in the committee's history. we didn't find out about bulk collection until it had been under way for quite sometime because it was concealed from most members of the intelligence committee for several years. but given the fact that we began to see in 2006 and early 2007 what's at stake this has been a fight that has been going on for eight years. and one of the reasons -- an additional reason that i
appreciate the senator from kentucky being here now is that for these eight years in multiple reauthorization it's always been the same pattern. it was always like the night follows the day. those who are in favor of drag-- in favor of dragnet surveillance in effect wait until the very last minute. they wait until the last minute and then they say oh, my goodness, it is a dangerous world. we've got to continue this program just the way it is. well i tell my colleague from kentucky -- and i know he shares my view on this -- there is no question that it is a very dangerous world. anybody who has served on the intelligence committee as i have for more than 14 years and goes into those classified meetings you know, weekly, does not walk out of there without the judgment that it is a very
dangerous world. but what doesn't make sense is to be pursuing approaches that don't make us safer and compromise our liberties. that's what doesn't make sense. and so last year, along with my colleagues senator heinrich and senator mark udall i filed a brief in a case that was before the court of appeals for the second circuit. it is an important court one of the highest in our country. in the brief we said -- and i quote -- "we have reviewed the surveillance extensively and have seen no evidence that the bulk collection of americans' phone records has provided any intelligence of value that could not have been gathered through means that caused far less harm to the privacy interests of millions of americans." and i'd say to my colleague what we are talking about are
in effect, conventional approaches with respect to court orders and then there are emergency circumstances -- emergency circumstances -- so when the government believes it has got to act to protect the american people, it can move quickly and then, in effect, come back and settle up later. but the conclusion that we reached after reviewing bulk collection very carefully was based on eight years' worth of work and, of course, we've recently had this court declare bulk collection to be illegal. so my question -- my first question is, does the senator from kentucky agree that there is no evidence that dragnet surveillance now makes america
any safer? mr. paul: well, i think it's a great question, and i think it's also very difficult to prove these things one way or another sometimes. we're at a great disadvantage because a lot of times they hold all of the information. so i think it was nothing short of miraculous that you and others were able to investigate this and show that, in reality all of these folks that they allege could have been caught would have been caught through traditional surveillance, through traditional warrants. and i think this is a pretty important point because they want us to live in fear and give up the fourth amendment but it turns out even the practical argument isn't an accurate one because it turns out that almost always if not always, the terrorists seem to be caught through sort of the normal channels of human intelligence,
suspicion, you know, finding something out about them that causes us to investigate them. and i like the senator from oregon do want to watch terrorists and i also want to keep our freedom at the same time. and i think it was a pretty important conclusion, not only by the review board but also by the -- you know, the privacy and civil liberties panel -- two groups of folks from the administration. and one question that i would be interested in also from the senator from oregon is, in an op-ed in december, senator wyden wrote in "the l.a. times," that building a back door into every cell phone tablet or lab top means deliberately creating weaknesses that hackers and foreign governments can exploit. but i would be interested in entertain ago question concerning that. -- entertaining a question concerning that.
imr. wyden: could my colleague restate that. mr. paul: this was in an op-ed in "the l.a. times" in december. "building a back door into every cell phone tablet, or laptop means deliberately creating weaknesses that hackers and foreign governments can exploit." and i think ex-spantdzing expanding upon that in the form after question would help us to understand exactly what you mean by that. mr. wyden: what the senator is asking about is a statement made by the f.b.i. director, mr. comey -- and it was not some kind of hidden article, it was on the front painls of pages of all our papers that really deserves as my colleague is suggesting, some consideration. one of the last thing i did as chairman of the senate finance
committee -- had a relatively short tenure there -- in 2014 was to hold a workshop in silicon valley on this issue. the problem stems from the fact that, with the n.s.a. overreach taking a huge toll on our companies and the confidence that consumers both here and around the world had in the privacy of their products, these companies said, we've got to figure out a way to make sure that consumers here and around the world understand that we are going to protect their privacy. so they decided to put in place products that had strong encryption. they felt that that was important to be able to assure their consumers that when they sold something that their privacy rights were protected.
in doing so, of course, they also made it clear that, as hauls beenhasalways been the case, when the government believes that -- as has always been the case, when the government believes that an individual could put us at risk, get a court order use emergency circumstances, and you could still get access to information. and the response by our government which contributed mightily to the problem by the n.s.a.'s overreach in the first place, was our government saying nope. you're not going to be able to use that encryption to bring back the confidence that merntionamericans have in your products and people around the world. and there were pro-yekses, i would tell my -- and there were pro-ex-js, i would tell my colleague, that these companies were already losing billions and billions of dollars in terms of the consequences of loss of
privacy. the response of the government was to say, we are looking at requiring you to build weaknesses into your products and, in effect, create a back door so we can get easy entry. and i know at town meetings at home -- town hall meetings at home in oregon i have talked about the concept of our government requiring companies to build weaknesses into their products and people just slap their forehead. they say what's that all about? it's your job to make sure that we have policies that both secure our liberty and keep us safe. it's not your job to tell companies to build weaknesses into their products, in effect you're going to throw up your hands and say we can't do it so the companies ought to build weaknesses into their products and as my colleague said, i pointed out that once you do
that it won't just be the good guys who will have the keys, it will be bad guys who have the keys at a time when we are so concerned about cybersecurity. might i ask my colleague another question on one other topic he and i have talked about at great length. is the senator from kentucky troubled by the fact that a number of high-ranging intelligence officials not have been forthright in recent years with respect to this bulk collection and the collecting of data on millions or hundreds of millions of americans? as my colleague knows i've been particularly troubled by this and i ask the question because my colleague and i have pointed out that we have enormous admiration for the rank-and-file in the intelligence field. these are individuals who day in
and day out get up in the morning and contribute enormously to the well-being of the american people. and we have enormous respect for them we are grateful to them, they are patriots and they serve us every day well. i personally do not think they have been well served by the fact that a host of high-level intelligence officials have not exactly been straight or forthright with the congress and the american people on these issues. and i would be interested in my colleague's view on that because we have discussed this at some length and i'm glad to be able to put it in the context of making sure that americans know that the two of us greatly respect the thousands of people who work in the intelligence field, serve us well, do the things necessary to apprehend
and bill kill bin laden -- and kill bin laden but we are concerned about the question of the vary asty, the forthrightness of some of the members of the intelligence community at the highest levels. what's my colleague's reaction to that? mr. paul: i think the vast majority of the intelligence community, like the vast majority of policemen, are good people trying to do what's best for the country they're patriotic people, and they're really trying to do things within the confines of the law. but the thing is that the intelligence community has such vast power and a lot of it's secret power so you have to have a great deal of trust for hose who run the agency because we've entrusted them with such enormous power to look through information that if we lose the trust at the top then when they come to us and say well, you have to give up a little more liberty you have to give up a little bit more in order to
get security, we have to trust the information because they control all the information they give us, and that we find when you ask a high-ranking official in the committee whether or not they were doing bulk collection of data, and the answer was not true that they said we weren't doing something that we obviously are doing it makes us distrust the whole apparatus. but i agree with you the vast majority of law enforcement and community, they're good people patriotic. they want to stop terrorism we all do. but what we're arguing about is the process and the law and the constitution and trying to do it within the confines of the constitution but when you have someone at the very top who doesn't tell the truth in an open hearing under oath, that's very troubling and makes it difficult. machine wyden: i
mr. wyden: i appreciate my colleague's assessment of that. and he knows that it was very troubling that in 2012 and 2013 we just weren't able to get straight answers to this question of collecting data on millions or hundreds of millions of americans. as my colleague will recall, the former n.s.a. director said that he had been to a conference, and that he was not involved in collecting dossiers on millions of americans. and having been on the committee at that point for over a dozen years, i said gee i'm not exactly sure what a dossier means in that context. so we began to ask questions both public ones, to the extent you could and private ones, about exactly what that meant
and we couldn't get answers to those questions. just couldn't get answers. so the intelligence committee traditionally doesn't have many open hearings. by my calculus we probably get to ask questions in an open hearing for maybe 20 minutes maximum a year. so after months and months of trying to find out exactly what was meant we felt it was important to ask the director of national intelligence exactly what it was meant by these dossiers and the government collecting data and the like. so at our open hearing, i said i'm going to have to ask the director of national
intelligence about it. because i've long felt that it was important not to try to trick people or ambush them or anything of the sort, we sent the question in advance to the head of national intelligence. we sent the exact question, does the government collect any type of data at all on millions of americans. and we asked it so that he would have plenty of time to reflect on it. and we waited to see if the director got back and said please don't ask it, there's always been a kind of informal, you know, tradition in the community being respectful of that, we didn't get that request request. so i asked it. and the director said when i asked does the government collect any type of data at all on millions of americans the director said no.
and i knew that that wasn't accurate. that watts not a forthright, straightforward, truthful answer. so we asked for a correction. couldn't get a correction. i would say to my colleague since that time the director or his representatives have given five different reasons why they responded as they did. further raising questions in my mind with respect not to the rank and file of the community the thousands and thousands of hardworking members of the intelligence community that my colleague and i feel so strongly about and respect so greatly. so i'd like to ask just one other question with respect to where we are at this point and
what's ahead. as long as the senator from kentucky holds the floor no one would be able to offer a motion to consider an extension of the u.s.a. patriot act. but at some point in the near future whether it's this weekend or next week or next month, my analysis is the proponents of bulk phone record collection are going to seek a vote in the senate to continue what i consider to be this invasion of privacy of millions and millions of law-abiding americans. when that happens i intend to use every procedural tool available to me to block that extension. and at least -- and if at least 41 senators stand together, we can block that extension and
block it indefinitely. if 41 senators stick together, there isn't going to be any short-term extension and finally, after something like eight years of working on this issue, finally we will be saying no to bulk phone record collection. i'm certain i know the answer to this question, but i think we both want to be on the record on this matter. when that vote comes the senator is going to be one of the 41 senators who is going to block that extension. i have appreciated his leadership and i would just like his reaction to our efforts to go forward once again when we
have to do it with proponents of mass surveillance seeking an actual vote to continue business as usual with respect to dragnet surveillance. mr. paul: i think the american people are with us. i think the american people don't like the idea of the bulk collection. i think the american people are horrified and i think it will go down in history as one of the most important questions we've asked in a generation when you ask the director of national intelligence are you gathering bulk -- are you gathering in bulk the phone records of americans, and when he didn't tell the truth and then when the president kept him in office and how this led to this great debate we're having now, i think the american people are with us. i don't think that those inside washington are listening very well. so i think those in washington not have come to the conclusion
yet but i think you're right there may be enough of us now to say hey, wait a minute, you're not going to steamroll through once again something that really isn't even doing what you said it was going to do. no one said at the time of the patriot act that it meant we could collect all the records of all the americans all the time. in fact, in the house one of the cosponsors of the bill, james sensenbrenner he knew all about the patriot act. he was a proponent of the patriot act and he said never in his wildest dreams did what he vote for, did he ever think that that would say that we could gather all the records all the time. but i am interested in another question and this would be whether the senator from oregon has a question that will help us better to understand if we were to stop bulk collection tomorrow if we were going to eliminate what's called section 215 of the patriot act if we were to do that, is there still
concern and worry about what's called executive order? what's called executive order 12333. i'm not aware whether you can or can't talk about this or what is public. what i have read in public and from what one of the insightful articles was from, john napier thai in the state department bureau has written that his concern is this executive order may allow a lot of bulk collection that is not justified and not given sanction under the patriot act. if you have a question that might help the american public to understand that. mr. wyden: i would just say to my colleague that we always have to be vigilant about secret law, and we have in effect found our way in this ominous
cul-de-sac you and i have been describing here this afternoon really because of secret law. and i want the american people as i wrap up with this question here my colleague's concern about it which is at the heart of his question, that secret law is what the interpretation is in the intelligence community of the laws written by the congress and very, very often those secret interpretations are very different than what an american will read if they use their ipad or their laptop. for example on section 215 bulk phone record collection, i don't think very many people in kentucky or oregon sat and took
out their laptop and read the patriot act and said, oh, that authorizes collecting all the phone records on millions of law-abiding americans. there's nothing that even suggests something like that. but that was a secret interpretation. so i am very glad that the senator from kentucky has chosen to have us wrap up at least this part of our discussion with the questions that we have directed to each other on this question of secret law. because, as my colleague from kentucky and i have talked about, we both feel that operations of the intelligence community, what are called sources and methods they absolutely have to be secret and classified because if they're not, americans could die.
patriotic americans who work in the intelligence community could suffer grievous harm if sources and methods and the actual operations were in some way leaked to the public. but the law should never be secret. the american people should always know what the law means. and yet, with respect to bulk collection and why that court decision was so important, what happened was a program that had been kept secret, that had been dropped up by secret law was declared illegal by an important court. so i will just wrap up by way of saying the senator from kentucky and i have always done a little kidding over the years about our informer ben franklin caucus. ben franklin always talking about anybody who gave up their
liberty for security didn't deserve either. i was always wanting to tell my colleague that i'm very appreciative of his involvement in this from the time that my colleague came to the senate. he has been a very valuable ally in this effort, and my colleague recognized this was not about balance, this program. this is a program that doesn't make us safer but compromises our liberty. it's not about balance. in page 104, you can read that the president's own advisors say that. so i'm very pleased that the informer ben franklin caucus is back in action this afternoon. i look forward to working closely with my colleague on this. and as i indicated by my question i expect we'll be back on the floor of this wonderful body here before long having to
once again tackle this question of whether it ought to be just business as usual and re-up of a flawed law. my colleague and i aren't going to accept that, and i thank him for his work -- work today in these discussions and being on your feet hour after hour are not for the fainthearted. and i appreciate my colleague's leadership, and i once again yield the floor back to him. mr. paul: mr. president i would like to thank the senator from oregon and i'd also like to point out to the american people that people are always crying out and they are saying why can't you work together. why can't you work with the other side? and i think we have a false understanding sometimes of compromise. the senator from oregon is from the opposite party. we are on two opposite parties and we don't agree on every issue, but when it comes to privacy and the bill of rights and what we need to do to protect the fourth amendment we're not splitting the
difference to try to find a middle ground between us. we both believe in the fourth amendment. we both believe in protecting the fourth amendment and protecting your right to privacy. so bipartisanship can be about two people believing in the same thing, just being in different parties. it means we may not believe on 100% of issues, but on a few we're exactly together, and we don't split the difference. it isn't always about splitting the difference. you can have true healthy bipartisanship republican, democrat independent coming together about a constitutional principle. coming together about something that's important. and i didn't come to the floor today because you know, i want to get you know, some money for one individual project for one person. i came because i want something for everybody. i want freedom for everybody and i want the protection of the individual -- i want protection against the government's
invasion into your privacy. so i thank the senator from oregon for his insightful questions. one of the things that we talked a little bit about as senator wyden and i were going through a series of questions was some of the different boards that have been put in place by the president, and have come out with and said that the program -- the executive order -- -- the president put in place two sort of panels. a review panel and another one called the privacy and civil
liberties oversight board. interestingly, both panels told him the same thing that what he was doing was illegal and wrong and it ought to stop. and then the president will come out and say that's great but then he just keeps doing it, so i don't quite understand because i like the president and i take him at his word and he says well yes i'm balancing this and that and they told me this. yes, if congress stops it, i will obey congress. it's like we didn't start this. the president started this program by himself. he didn't tell us about it. maybe one or two people knew about it. almost all of your representatives didn't know about it. no americans knew about it. then when we asked them about it they lied to us and said they weren't doing it. so the president has two official panels and they both say it's illegal and ought to stop and that the patriot act even the patriot act doesn't justify what they're doing and that this was all created by executive order. so what is the president's response? he just keeps collecting your
records. does nobody in america think that this is strange or unusual? that the president will continue a program that his own advisors tell him is illegal, that the courts have now said is illegal and he goes on. but this isn't all one-sided. that's for one political party but in my political party, there are people saying hmm, the president's advisors say it's illegal, the courts say it's illegal, but man they're not collecting enough, i just wish they were collecting more of americans' records without a warrant. what a bizarre world that people don't seem to be listening either to the courts, to the experts or to the constitution. the privacy and civil liberties oversight board though, i think really had some insightful comments here. they give a description, first of all of collecting all of your phone records.
i like the way they put it. they said an order was given for the n.s.a. to collect nearly all generated records by certain telephone companies in the united states. sometimes you read a sentence and you don't quite get to the importance. nearly all. so we're not talking about a thousand records. we're talking about a million records. we're talking about nearly all of the records in the entire united states. there's probably over 100 million phones, i would think, in the united states. 100 million records. every record has got thousands of pieces of information in it. so we're talking about billions of bits of information that the government's collecting, and i don't have a problem if they want to collect the phone data of terrorists. in fact, i want them to.
i don't have a problem if they go 100 hops into the data if they have a warrant. if john doe has a warrant look at all of his records. if the 100 people that he called there are people you have suspicion on, call them, too. get a warrant for them. go to the next hop go to the next hop. there is no limit. but just do it appropriately with a warrant with somebody's name on it. i see why reason why we can't do this with the constitution. we are now collecting the records of hundreds of millions of people without a warrant and i think it needs to stop. the president's own commission says it should stop. here's what the commission said. from 2001 through early 2006, the n.s.a. collected bulk data based on a presidential authorization. so interestingly -- and this ought to scare you too.
they didn't even use the patriot act in the beginning at all. the president just wrote a note to the head of the n.s.a. and said just start collecting all their stuff without any kind of warrant, and then later on they started saying well, maybe the patriot act justifies this, but for five years they collected data with no warrant and with no legal justification and they do it through something they call the inherent powers of the president. article 2 powers. article 2 is a section of the constitution that gives the president powers. we designate what the president can do. article 1 designates what we can do. interestingly, our framers put article 1 first and those of us in congress think that maybe they thought the powers of congress were closer to the people and more important and they gave delegated powers to us and they were very, very specific. but what concerns me about the bulk collection is that for five years it wasn't even done with regard to the patriot act.
i'm guessing it was done under the executive order. so as much as i don't like the patriot act and i would like to repeal the patriot act and simply use the constitution, i'm afraid that even if we repeal the patriot act they would still do what they want. your government's run amok. things are run away and the government really is not paying attention to the rule of law. for the first time in 2006, is when the court got involved. the intelligent court at that time finally gives the first order under section 215 so for five years they were collecting all the phone records with just a presidential order. now we do it under the patriot act. but the rule of law is about checks and balances. it's about balancing the executive branch and the legislative branch, the judiciary branch. it's about balancing the police
and the judiciary. we talked about warrants and the police not writing warrants. and i see on the floor one of probably the nation's leading experts in the fourth amendment and the constitution who has recently written a book on this, and i was a -- i've told him recently i have been stealing his story and at least half the time giving him credit for it, but i talked earlier on the floor about the story of john wilkes and if the senator from utah's interested in telling us a little bit of the story we would probably like to hear a little bit from his angle or in the form of a question any other question he has. mr. lee: let me be clear at the outset that while the senator from kentucky and i come to different conclusions with regard to the specific question as to whether we should allow section 215 of the patriot act to expire, i absolutely stand with the junior senator from kentucky and more importantly i stand with the american people
with regard to the need for a transparent, open amendment process and for an open, honest debate in front of the american people on the important issues facing our nation, including this one. and i certainly agree with the senator from kentucky that the american people deserve better than what they're getting and quite frankly it's time that they expect more from the united states senate. on issues important as this one. on issues as important as the right to privacy of our citizens and our national security. this is not time for more cliffs more secrecy and more 11th hour back-room deals that are designed amidst conflict, amidst crisis in a previously arranged time crunch in which
the american people are presented with something where they don't really have any real options. it's time for the kind of bipartisan bicameral consensus that i believe is embodied in the u.s.a. freedom act. while i often criticized congress for our economic deficits our financial deficits the core of this current challenge we face is centered around the congress' deficit of trust and in this particular circumstance, the senate's deficit of trust. members of our body routinely tell the american people to just trust us, just trust us, we'll get it right. just trust us, we'll appropriately balance all the competing concerns. i think it's time that we trust the american people by having an honest discussion with them emanating from right here on the floor of the united states senate. it's time to discuss and to debate and to amend the house-passed u.s.a. freedom act.
i'm confident that senator paul and others among my colleagues who have different ideas from mine will be happy to offer and debate amendments to improve it and to make it something perhaps that they could even support. as far as i'm aware senator paul and others have amendments that they're eager anxious and willing to present and to have discussed here on the floor and voted on right here of the floor of the united states senate. first, i'm calling on my republican and democratic colleagues to help repair the dysfunctional legislative branch we've inherited to rebuild the senate's reputation as not only our nation's, but the world's greatest deliberative body and by extension slowly restore the public's confidence in who we are and what we're here to do here in the united states senate. the greatest challenge to policy-making today is perhaps distrust. the american people distrust
their government and they distrust congress in particular and it's not without reason. for their party washington policy-makers seem to distrust the people. and almost as pressing for the new majority here in the united states senate, the distrust that now exists between grass roots conservative activists and elected republican leaders can be particularly toxic. leaders can respond to this kind of distrust in one of two ways. one option involves the bare-knuckled kind of partisanship that the previous senate leadership exhibited over the last eight years twisting rules, blocking debate and blocking amendments while systematically disenfranchising hundreds of millions of americans from meaningful political representation right here in this chamber. but this is no choice at all. contempt for the american people and for the democratic process
is something republicans should oppose in principle. in fact, it is something we oppose in principle. we should throw open the doors of congress, throw open the doors of the senate and restore genuine representative democracy to the american republic. what does this mean? well, it be means no more cliff crises. no more secret negotiations. no more take-it-or-leave it deadline deals. no more passing bills without reading them. no more procedural manipulation to block debate and compromise. these are the abuses that are created today's status quo the very same status quo that republicans have been elected to correct. what too few in washington appreciate and what the new republican majority in congress must appreciate if we hope to succeed is that the american people's distrust of their
public institutions is totally justified. there is no misunderstanding here. americans are fed up with washington and they have every right to be. the exploitive status quo in washington has corrupted americans' economy and their government and its entrenched defenders powerful and sometimes rich in the process. this situation was created by both parties but repairing it is now going to fall to those of us in this body right now. it's our job to win back the public's trust and that can't be done simply by passing bills or even better bills. the only way to gain trust is to be trustworthy. i think that means that we have to invite the people back into the process to give the bills we do pass the moral legitimacy that congress alone no longer
confers. so in order to restore this trust, members will have to expose themselves to inconvenient amendment votes. inconvenient debate and discussion and scrutiny of legislation that we're considering. the results of some votes and the fates of certain bills may indeed prove unpredictable but the cost of an open-source transare parent process are worth it -- transparent process are worth it for the the opportunity such a process would offer to rebuild the internal and the external trust needed