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tv   [untitled]    March 2, 2016 6:01pm-7:29pm EST

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will reduce overprescribing, it will crack down on fraud. i'm pleased we have bipartisan support for this commonsense makers but this amendment, this bill is our first step. we need a comprehensive approach at that addresses the entire spectrum. i've introduced this afnlgt it will impost prevention efforts, expand access to treatment. it will provide support for lifelong recovery. addiction is chronic and it doesn't mean when somebody overcomes their addiction and seems to defeat it that it doesn't come back later in lievment if we're serious about fighting this epidemic, we have to be willing to make sure the serious investment will deliver results long term. my colleague, senator shaheen of new hampshire, and senator whitehouse of rhode island introduced an amendment that would have provided $600 million to fight this epidemic, would have gone directly to public health workers, directly to law
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enforcement officials who are working on the front lines of this battle every day. it would have shown constituents we're serious about addressing this crisis. i was disappointed, though, that this body was unwilling and unable to find the money necessary to address these problems. this legislation is a good bill. without the money, it is a good bill. but it's only kind of half a good bill because my colleagues are simply unwilling -- maybe it is the tea party influence, maybe they're afraid of a republican right-wing primary, whatever it is, they were unwilling to ante-up the dollars that would actually fully help us deal with this especially dependic. you can't do this without annvestment. i -- i met with a number of tuberculosis experts in my office today. we've been success l in eliminating small pox, eliminating polio, keeping ebola from being contracted in the u.s. and killing any americans. we've done all of that because
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we invested in our public health system. we can't address this opioid epidemic without dollars, yet my colleagues will simply always back off and say, well, we can't afford to do this. they can afford tax cuts for wealthy people, they can continue to pump money into expensive weapon as many as, but they won't spend money to address probably the most serious public health crisis we've seen in this country in years. i return, mr. president -- it should not be easier for morons to get their hands on -- for americans to get their hands on opioids than it is to get help to treat their addiction. this congress should get serious about this. we should pass this bill to be sure, but there's so much else. and i'm descried distressed to y colleagues are unwilling to step up to the plate. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to smeek therein for up to ten minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the consideration of s. res. 384, submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 384, designating march 2, 2016, as read across america day. is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i now ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business tatted it adjourn until
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9:30 a.m. tomorrow, thursday, march 3. following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, and the time for the two leaders be reserve the for their use later in the day. further, following leader remarks, the senate resume can of is $524. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. mcconnell: if ness to further business to come before the senate, i ask it stand adjourned under the previous order following the remarks of senators casey and bennet. the presiding officer: without objection..
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the presiding officer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. mr. bennet: thank you, mr. president. i'm here tonight to discuss the supreme court vacancy caused by justice antonin scalia's death. first, i think it's important to reflect on justice scalia's life and profound contribution and profound influence on the court and our country.
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he was one of the largest serving justices in our nation's history and as far as i can tell, every single day he served he applied his considerable intellect, integrity and wit to the work before him. and although i disagreed with many of thinks decisions, i -- many of his decisions, i never doubted his commitment to the rule of law. he was a principled originalist. he was loyal to his country. by all accounts, including moving testimony from his children, he was devoted to his family and to his friends, including to justice ruth bader ginsburg, with whom he often disagreed. judge scalia's judicial philosophy was well understood when president reagan nominated him to the supreme court in 19 1986. many senators then opposed his judicial approach. but in an echoing indictment of today's senate and its partisanship, 30 years ago the
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united states senate confirmed justice scalia 98-0. a vote that testifies to justice scalia's qualifications and to the integrity of members of this body who disagreed with his vision of the constitution but exercising their constitutional duty, refused to we would their support for -- refused to withhold their support for a qualified nominee. here's what article 2, section 2, clause 2 says about our and the president's duty. the president shall nominate and by and with the advice and consent of the senate shall appoint judges of the supreme court. when a vacancy arises, the president shall nominate a replacement and the senate shall advise and consent by voting on that nominee. that is what the plain language of the constitution requires,
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mr. president, and that is what presidents and the senate have done throughout our history. that is why in the past 100 years, the senate has taken action on every single supreme court nominee, even those made during a presidential election year. throughout our history, there have been at least 17 nominees confirmed by the senate in presidential election years. the last of these was justice kennedy in 1988. this history reveals that when the chairman of the judiciary committee said last week -- quote -- "the fact of the matter is that it's been standard practice over the last 80 years to not confirm supreme court nominees during a presidential election year." he was incorrect.
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the fact of the matter is that since the founding of this country, the senate has done its job even in an election year. in fact, during one election year, the senate voted to confirm not just one but three justices to fill vacancies on the court. the president was none other than george washington and he was in the fourth year of his second term when that happened. that included some of the our founders, delegates to the constitutional convention. but come to think about it, what did they really know about the constitution? on that subject, by the way, it has been incredible in the truest sense of the word, to hear senators and even candidates for president who claim to be, as justice scalia surely was, constitutional
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originalists or textualist, willfully ignore the plain meaning of the constitution in favor of this so-called -- quot" that's not a form of constitutional interpretation with which i'm familiar but it seems to be guiding the majority leader and the chairman of the judiciary committee away from the text they claim to revere. they croat together in "the washington post" -- quote -- "it is today the american people, rather than a lame-duck president, whose priorities and policies they just rejected in the most recent national election, who should be afforded the opportunity to replace justice scalia." i have a chart, mr. president. i took the actual words -- i red-lined the actual words of the constitution with their claim, the claim of the majority
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leader and the chairman of judiciary committee. you can see they bear no relationship to one another. in fact, only seven words, the words that are the black words, remain from the original constitutional text, including in those seven words a conjunction, a definite article and a preposition, otherwise known as "and, be and of." and, oh, by the way, if we want to talk about real standard practice, the president only becomes a lame duck after the election that's coming up. and only until the inauguration. when you look at the history, it is telling that almost all our -- i'm sorry. it's telling that unlike almost all our other work, the senate's consideration of supreme court nominees has been remarkably expeditious. on average, the senate has voted
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70 days after the president's nomination. when justice scalia died, 342 days remained in the president's term, nearly a full quarter of his final term in office. why has the senate, notorious for its glacial slowness, historically acted with such deliberate speed when it comes to our consideration of supreme court justices? i suspect there are three principal reasons. first, the constitutional clarity that commands us. second, the unique nature of the responsibility. no one else, including the house of representatives, can exercise it. and, third, the essential importance of the supreme court's composition. with respect to the supreme court's composition, no less of an authority than justice scalia himself explained it well. asked to recuse himself from a case involving vice president
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cheney, justice scalia rejected the suggestion that he should -- quote -- "resolve any doubts in favor of recusal." he observed that such a standard might be appropriate if he were on the court of appeals, where, in quotes, "his place would be taken by another judge and the case would proceed normally." "on the supreme court, however, justice scalia continued, the consequence is different. the court proceeds with eight justices, raising the possibility that by reason of a tie vote, it will find itself unable to resolve the significant legal issues presented by the case." justice scalia then quoted the supreme court's own recusal policy, observing that -- quote -- "even one" -- "even one unnecessary recusal impairs the functioning of the court." if even one unnecessary recusal
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impairs the court, imagine what 14 months vacancy would do. imagine if in 2016 we had a repeat of 2000, when the supreme court decided bush v. gore, except with only eight justices on the bench. imagine the constitutional crisis our nation would have to endure. i know, mr. president, i know it has become fashionable for washington politicians to tear down rather than work to improve the democratic institutions generations of americans have built. but to impair so cavalierly the judicial branch of our government is pathetic. it is a standard one would expect of a lawless nation rather than a nation committed to the rule of law. it is the behavior of a petty kangaroo court, not of the united states senate.
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and it threatens to deny justice to millions of americans in the name of petty politics. it is time for the senate to do its job as every senate before us has done. i'm not asking my colleagues to support the nominee. that's a matter of conscience for each of us. but what is unconscionable is that the majority if it keeps its word will have no hearing, will hold no vote, and refuse even the courtesy of a meeting with the president's nominee. and speaking of doing our job, mr. president, in view of the seriousness of the court's nomination, we should reconsider the majority's proposed seven-week summer recess for the senate. in july and august alone, we are barely in session for eight days. unlike our responsibility to vote on supreme court nominees, the senate's schedule is not
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enshrined in the constitution. it is set by the majority. and in that connection, i'm glad to invite any of my colleagues to my office to watch a video of a constituent of mine whom i met two weeks ago in pueblo west. she manages a retail store and struggles every month to keep it going. unlike the senate, she has 22 vacation days a year, not a month. instead she works a second job to pay for child care so she can keep her main job. millions of americans are watching the united states senate take the entire summer off and claim that there isn't time to do our job. that doesn't meet the standard of a great nation or a great parliamentarian body. what's worse is this whole charade has become an extension of playground politics. the child yes pettiness that's
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ma t.s.a. tiesed in this presidential primary season. how far have we drifted from our simple constitutional ob tkpwaeubgss when one side -- obligation when one side refuses to even meet with any prospective nominee? what messaging does that send to the people of colorado and across the country? where i come from taking your ball and going home isn't acceptable behavior on the play ground. how could it possibly be acceptable in the united states senate? senate greatness, the national interests as a legislative guide, maturity and calmty will not be restored overnight or with a single decision. it has taken far too long for us to travel down this tkpwrubgtive -- disinstructive road of bitter
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partnership for restoration of greatness of the senate to occur quickly. but we should begin, we must begin and we can begin with our treatment of some of our most serious, even sacred duties. the confirmation of the next justice of the supreme court. we are not here to pacify a political base or satisfy one or more special constituencies orally our political parties. we are here to elevate our republic to make it a beacon for the world, to demonstrate how mature representatives of sovereign states govern a mature nation. this supreme court nomination is not a test of strength between the executive and legislative branches. it is a test of our strength as leaders with an honorable history and a heritage of wisdom
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and maturity. how we manage our constitutional duty to provide serious consideration and deliberation to a rare appointment to the nation's highest judicial office will determine whether we deserve the respect of americans who rightly expect us to exhibit dignity, mutual respect, and wisdom on their behalf. mr. president, i yield the floor. # a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. a senator: mr. president, i ask consent to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. a senator: thank you, mr. president. i too, rise this evening to discuss the vacancy on the supreme court and the need for the senate to do its job and give fair consideration to any nominee made by president obama to fill this seat on the supreme
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court. mr. casey: many of my republican colleagues have vowed to block any nominee out of hand, and every single republican member of the judiciary committee has likewise vowed to refuse any nominee a fair hearing. the senate majority leader along with several other republican senators went as far as to say they would not even meet with the nominee, not even meet with the nominee. i'm not sure i've ever heard anything like that in my nine years in the senate going on ten. this is inconsistent, totally inconsistent with our duty as united states senators. so let me start tonight by saying to my republican colleagues respectfully do your
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job. do your job. consider this nominee and then vote however way you want. we know that the supreme court cannot permanently function as the constitution intends with only eight members. last week i asked questions of a panel of experts, constitutional scholars, including georgetown law professor peter aidleman at a hearing here in the senate. these constitutional experts confirmed that because of split decisions -- i should say that because split decisions defer to the holding of the lower court, it's entirely possible that we could see a string of split decisions that would undermine the primary purpose of the supreme court. and that is to resolve differences in the opinions
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coming out of the various circuit courts across the country. this is no doubt why the constitution provides specific instructions on filling supreme court vacancies. article 2, section 2 of the constitution states in part -- quote -- "the president shall nominate and by and with the advice and consent of the senate shall appoint justices of the supreme court", unquote. in both instance, the word "shall" is used. the president shall nominate and the president shall -- or the senate with the advice and consent of the senate, there shall be an appointment. there's no aoe kweuf indication -- kweuf indication. it doesn't say shall appoint at
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a certain point in a presidency or may appoint. it's very clear from the constitution what the senate must do and what the president must do. barack obama is the president of the united states and according to the constitution in the event of a vacancy on the u.s. supreme court, the president of the united states shall nominate a replacement. nothing more needs to be said to counter the -- what i would argue are outrageous calls for the president to refrain from nominating a replacement simply because his 323 days left in office are fewer than 365 days. to refrain -- to refrain would violate the letter of the constitution. republican senators for whatever reason seem to disagree with the original intent of the framers in this situation. often those same republican
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senators come to the floor and make floor statements about -- and citing the constitution, but now they would ignore, completely ignore a constitutional directive. the constitution is also clear with respect to the senate's duty to advise and consent on the president's nominee. no sincere reading could lead to the conclusion that the senate would be within its rights and upholding its responsibility if it refuses -- refuses any potential nominee fair consideration. my republican colleagues argue that they are absolved of their responsibility to give fair consideration to a nominee simply because the senate is constitutionally allowed to with hold its consent.
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that's one argument. it doesn't make sense, but that's the argument that they make. the other argument is that -- quote -- "we should -- we should -- quote -- "let the people decide" -- by refusing to consider any nominee till the next president takes office. this denies precedent. justice kennedy was confirmed in the last year of president ronald reagan's final term under a democratic senate. and the senate has confirmed 17 supreme court nominees in presidential election years. this point of view also neglects the obvious fact that the american people already decided in twice electing barack obama to be our president. both the president and his office deserve to be treated with respect. denying the president's
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legitimate authority to nominate a candidate for supreme court is more than just an irresponsible attempt to score political points. it's a distortion of the separation of powers, unprecedented in modern times. senate republicans have been -- senate republicans have not been granted authority to prematurely nominate -- i should say to prematurely terminate presidential powers. they've not been granted that authority. the senate has taken action on every supreme court nominee in the last hundred years regardless of whether the nomination was made in a presidential election year and not since the civil war has the senate taken longer than a year to fill a supreme court vacancy. these nominees have always been seen as entitled to timely
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consideration as well. since 1975 the senate has taken an average of just 70 days from the date of nomination to the date of confirmation. like many senators here, virtually every senator who serves in this body, we receive mail all the time from our constituents. and on this issue i've received thousands of letters urging the senate to fulfill its duty and give fair consideration to the supreme court nominee that the president chooses. one particular letter came from a woman by the name of jane from southeastern pennsylvania just outside a -- a community just outside philadelphia. the letter that jane sent me was profound in its simplicity. jane said that having an understaffed court would be -- quote -- "unfair to the process
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of justice," unquote. jane's words, not mine. a fully functioning supreme court is not about obscure details of senate procedure to jane. it's about something more than that. and it's also to her one of my constituents, it's also not about who said what ten years ago or -- nor, i should say, is it about presidential politics. it's about something else. access to justice is what matters to jane. and it's what should matter to every senator. jane ended this letter that she sent me with a reminder that i'll repeat in the hope that my republican colleagues will take it to heart as i did. jane said -- quote -- "the opportunity to take part in a justice's nomination is a privilege and deserves respect."
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i agree. consideration and casting a vote regarding a supreme court nominee nominated by the president of the united states to serve as just one of only nine justices on the supreme court, you bet that is a privilege and it deserves respect. so to my republican colleagues, i say again do your job as i must do my job and give this duty that you have, the duty to consider and to vote on a supreme court nominee, give this duty, this rare privilege the respect that it deserves. mr. president, thank you, and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senate is adjourned till
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objection. mr. whitehouse: thank you. we rise, we are here today to express our disappointment with what just took place. i am one of the authors of the underlying bill. i think it is a very good piece of legislation, but it would make a really significant difference if it had some funding. and the simple fact that we have to face is that this bill >> >> i know the colleagues on the other side has say there is funding 80,000,400,000,000 but a point of fact and must
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disagree. and i will show why there is no funding up to this point but first film to be passed out of the appropriations subcommittee seven months before this bill even had its marco. with an astonishing feat of prediction. if that were not clear enough there was a change in the bill between then and now. because the bulk of the bill was written by the subcommittee me only changed this saw in january in response to the republican objections so be rerouted the new program to existing programs landed in -- that
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is when it became of labor hhs bill. moreover to go to the agency libido pass this bill or if we do there will put it out to be spent a they will have to get is spent under existing law but you can't say with a straight face it is the fundamental the only way it is funded is to rob the accounts that is put out u.k. and say it would be better spent i am for the bill all the way through but
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you can't say there is funding. this is a problem we have done it before. when it was this line flew we appropriated $2 billion if you say now something has changed we have to pay for it a penny per milligram of opioid. and what this tragedy could contribute but rather than allow this program to be expedited with 47,000 low we have done is protect the pharmaceutical industry from having to pay any share of the solution. i yield to a colleague's.
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>> mr. president i appreciate the comments from my colleague that is the author of the comprehensive addiction and recovery act. with that bill we tried to amend and i would point out that the honorable chairman of the budget committee said the emergency supplemental funding amendment that we introduced is very specific about where the funding goes. it goes to programs that are addressed the substance abuse block grant that go to be distributed funding through law enforcement that are very specific how they can be used to fight heroin
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and '08 -- zero pureed abuse i am disappointed but not surprised. by very much appreciate those who voted those on the other side who are willing to step forward to say if we would address this probe - - problem we have to provide the resources to fight this addiction. and the question i have those it did not vote to support this amendment is how many more people have to die before we are willing to provide the resources needed to fight this epidemic? 47,000 people in 2014. ian did new hampshire we're losing more than one person
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per day in 2014 we lost over 400 people to the overdose death from the opioid and heroin. three times as many as traffic accidents. county communities will be ravaged because we're not willing to commit their resources for this pandemic? what do we tell the families of those who have overdosed? to talk about the difficulties of getting hurt treated before she overdosed i met a man had a treatment center in lebanon new hampshire in a recovery in and out of prison.
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that it takes $35,000 to keep them in prison wouldn't make more sense to put those dollars into treatment because it is less expensive for using opioids and heron to put them in jail. i am disappointed that i am not defeated this is coming back with the appropriations process sanded will come back at every opportunity because i would not quit on those families in new hampshire who need help i will not quit on the treatment professionals to
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are trying to get treatment. i will not quit for the sheriff and all the people in and law-enforcement to put the pressure is behind the bars and off the streets. and i hope to some point the rest of the members will take up this cause to provide the resources that people in need because it is worth it to address the 47,000 that we lost we were willing to put 5.4 billion to fighting ebola and we lost one person. into putting swine flu with 2 billion and lost 12,000 with an epidemic. we have not been willing to put funding to the tens of
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thousands of people we're losing each year. we will keep at it and keep fighting until we get the resources that families and communities need to fight this. mr. president i yield to my colleague from maine and sari from rhode island. as a leader to address this issue. >> i rise in disappointment and surprising and confusion that we have this bill. i went to the judiciary committee the vote came not unanimously with tremendous interest in this subject i have said to my people this is something that we can do. every member is affected by
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this tragedy in our country. we can do this together and we have. repast good amendments this is important work but it has to be funded. put your money where your mouth is. i was on a teleconference with the folks in maine to hours ago talking about this one of the chief of police said it is timed to move from talking about interested in this to investing in it. we cannot solve this problem without many. did it is nice if we could but there's a dramatic shortage of treatment facilities the only way to do it is to pay for it. point of order on the
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budget. and $680 billion where was that point of order than? one guy was not funded. it was over written so fast nobody noticed. so we straightneck the gnats and we swallow camels. $680 billion of unfunded tax extenders and we cannot solve that to bring that into our hearts to save lives for 11,000 of that amount. 500 million now i'm confused by this i don't understand
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and by the way 47,000 people that sell is like a law but since the debate started at 2:00 this afternoon than people have died. 10 people have died in the last two hours. that is life people every hour 365 days a year. it is said abstractions but people's lives and what i consider what i have seen seriously the worse in my state. we talk about these challenges the yet this kills five people per hour. we're not willing to put in the funds to do it. it is a false promise the bill will do a law of good but not meet the promise we are making to american
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people and that we will do something about it. but we will not do enough because in order to provide treatment i talked about this this morning the tragedy if someone is ready for change to treat the awful disease they cannot find a place to give them treatment. i was at a detox center turning away 100 people per month from the detox center not even treatment because they don't have the beds. there is a law of good in
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that with a bipartisan bill but to venture off to this problem then step away because we're not willing to pay in my mind whether the most serious emergencies we face it is disappointing and it is a great missed opportunity for the country i join my colleagues in regretting the decision just made. was an opportunity we could have spoken as one to realistically to attack the scourged that is devastating our people. we're squandering treasurer in breaking hearts feel the way to solve this problem to make a dent is to provide the wherewithal that a
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struggling to defeat it. >> the senator from ohio. >> i will speak for a moment to those comments that were just made with the legislation before us to address this horrible problem with the addictions caused by heroin and prescription drugs about 100 people will die a today. with the families torn apart in communities decimated. this was drafted by myself and other members of the body including those five summits to put in experts all of the country for treatment and recovery
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dealing with law-enforcement and to help to get prescription drugs off the shelves with a comprehensive approach. i do disagree little with my co-author of my colleagues said if we could pass the bill very be no funding. senator whitehouse announced them to be sure with the judiciary committee we work hard to draft legislation there would be funding this is the authorization bill? and directs all money will be spent. has supported the efforts for additional resources and
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that is saying a law as a fiscal conservative because it is such an urgent need. we have done this with health care emergencies when we have like ebola crisis claimed a co-sponsor of the amendment but i don't support the efforts that say somehow there is no money in here. this is the first that not just this year but into the future. that is the point for the drug free community act. $13 billion has been spent with those coalitions including every state
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representative in this body. it was an authorization based on research and effort evidence based practices that is what this is. to the next level specifically directed as my good friend just mentioned the detox centers not have room to get into treatment these are real problems right now. nudges the appropriation for one year but by changing the law for the future if we do this right then we will spend even more will over $2 billion spent that would not have gone out otherwise because of this legislation so he does strongly support this bill as it is evidence base to make sure it is money well spent this bill
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is really important i appreciate the support of my colleagues for the we have been at this a few years together it is the right thing to do for our country when we face a crisis. i will support the additional spending because this is so critical let's not go forward that somehow this doesn't matter. it does it did a very big way it is unnecessary for step to increase funding dramatically not 1 penny is outlaid i believe anything we could get done this year would be funding this to the first seven months that
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right now as i have done to go to the appropriation committee let's make sure we have the entire bill funded but add a minimum of let's get this done it is an opportunity to help people who are crying out for our help. i appreciate the fact the senator made her best effort today. she was right in my view but let's work together to get this legislation passed let's get the bill passed to ensure going into the future we increase the funding. i appreciate my colleague from nevada and sari to take so much of his time. i yield fat.
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>>. >> would like to end this conversation on a happy note to express my appreciation to the senator for his work over many years to get this bill to where it is on the senate floor and voting on the amendment and for publicly pledging to get funding for this bill into the appropriations process under way right now. file a forward to working with him on all of those endeavors i do believe we missed as a big opportunity and with that i yield.
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>> mr. president occurrence said it democratic leader once said nowhere in the constitution doesn't say the senate has the duty to give presidential nominees a vote in coming senate democratic leader did not even wait until the last president serve to declare they should not confirm a supreme court nominee unless extreme circumstances we all know what vice president biden said when he chaired the judiciary committee. it would be our pragmatic conclusion once the political season is under way, with the supreme court nomination to be put off until after the election campaign is over. that is the essence of the abided rule procrastinated chairman of the judiciary
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committee i reiterated to president obama we will observe the abided rule. the american people deserve to be heard as the most reasonable approach voters have begun to choose an ex-president who in turn will nominate the next supreme court justice is important decision justice scalia said setting aside personal views as a primary qualification to follow the constitution even if he disagreed politically with the outcome. we saw that with the protesters burning american flag you have to resign yourself to the fact you're not always going to like the conclusions that you reach. fish to be fair and impartial arbiters to apply the constitution equally to all and is written not as
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they wish it were. most agree the judge should be committed to the constitution's everyone who walks into a court room knows they will have a fair shake. but there is another view of the role of the judge promoted by the current president with the empathy standard that judges pietas -- parotitis above the law but it is only good in the courtroom if you are lucky enough to he has empathy for. this is something the american people should decide obama still has every right to nominate someone on his way out the door the senate has every right to withhold its consent. that is the bided rule we
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will revisit the matter after mayor kenny lex their new president. this isn't the only issue we addressed yesterday that with that discussion of other epidemic sweeping the country in the bill will continue to consider to help address that. the act is bipartisan legislation that targets set every level with a host of supporters including 42 bipartisan co-sponsors and 130 groups dedicated to combat the epidemic while this is an important authorization bill congress has appropriated $400 million to opioid programs already those funds still remain available to be
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spent today. that's right the funds are still available and we will have more opportunities to address through the process this spring. the administration director of national drug control policy thing says for including funding to say we appreciate that congress provided more than 300 million especially or specifically to address the opioid epidemic an increase of 100 million for the previous year the one on to say there is clear evidence it is tremendously important their provisions are critically important in terms of the epidemic.
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let's not allow this issue also those to take their lives back and help keep families together to prevent more americans from suffering at the hayden of addiction. to put politics aside to work the comprehensive addiction in recovery active important step forward fighting our national crisis. >> people that watch us on television should understand everything we do is not dour but there are times when we
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are away from the cameras and get along well in hand have a good time with no better example than at this point. every week faded cloth of the morning of wednesday we meet downstairs for the senate prayer breakfast. i go there is often as they can. i'm glad i go every time i go. but today was especially good because the junior senator from minnesota was there. even though there was the opening and closing prayer with talk in between his presentation was terrific. of course, we all know al franken so i went everyone
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watching to know we're not always dower we do smile and have a good time. but i so wiedmaier to save your friends for not just political friends from when i was injured year ago he was an ophthalmologist in reached out to me with his advice in half of which i am grateful for. to find such relationships with the senior senator from nevada.
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mr. president. now we have a new rule called the bided rule which i guess was invented this morning. what happens the senator biden did not say that but at the end of the speech senator biden said it is a responsible course for the white house if the senate consulted and cooperates then the that is what this is all about. he never said there were not
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be any nominations approved. that was evident in the oval office yesterday. in vice president biden told the story to the lead judiciary committee. i have 10 names from a piece of paper. these are people that a republican president presented to the democratic chair to say give me your impression of these people. in the same thing happened yesterday in the white house. obama said the you have any names for me?
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there is no binding rule -- biden rule. and we approve in any presidential election year we never have not had a double negative we always take care of the nomination we have never not done that. now the other thing is we keep talking about political things but we have an obligation based on the constitution of the united states to do something of these nominations we have a constitutional duty to do our jobs. to give advice in the end
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consent which we will have in the week or so. did we do that quickly the president called to block any nominee has never ever been done before. to talk about the statements i made of course, we made statements. to all people listening to slow down what president bush would do. nt in the process was able to present the nominations and look them over. in to now we have a new
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standard whoever this new person is we don't get a vote and that is wrong. >> mr. president here is something that appeared in the "washington post" headline with the frankenstein monster this was the headline of "the washington post" offered by robert k. given -- taken now with the brookings institute. she it -- she is the republican party's frankenstein building piece by piece the establishment acts like it is surprised. their outrage of the demagogues and somehow with
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a party that has spent years for kodak surprised when the republican voters are flocking to those leaders who will support a man who refuses to distance himself from the kkk. that day trump those taunts even as they denied a fair hearing for the first time ever in history they should be surprised they spent eight years with the groundwork. the reality is that as was said their own political crimes are set from a group
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tragedy. '' for '07 years ago obama was the illegitimate president. clever policies they would oppose them and instead they only had one objective to keep obama from being elected but in order to do that to refuse to engage the president the matter how dire the crisis to look at that achievement. mr. president can we have order please? >> willis and it come to
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order please? >> it is difficult to make a presentation with the deal going on across the way. and a matter how dire the crisis republican leaders decided to deny a obama of the achievement to even the gauge the american recovery investment the economy was in a nosedive. remember? that month that was elected a hundred thousand jobs in one month. through the throes of a great recession.
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in with the stimulus. with health care there were 50 million americans without health insurance in since and 20 million more have health coverage. if you are covered with insurance. today with the rate is below 10% and would not work with democrats despite the best efforts. >> with that debate started
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as they acted interested in the nation's health care system but republican leadership twisted their arms to abandon any hope of bipartisanship. the senator voted for the bill in the finance committee. doesn't that sound like something donald trump would do? and wall street crash. a wonderful man secretary paulson in with the is the policy.
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the democrats control the body and republicans would not work of financial institutions. time and time again to block any positive legislation and to see the respect that it deserves is six years with
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more than 500 filibusters had overcome to filibusters. far more than anyone ever imagines. and it sends a clear in a simple message. but instead of working for the american people to prevent criminals and in tears from buying guns. with common sense campaign finance reform. and then to allow some disclosure with these huge
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amounts of money. not a single republican. the republicans voted in a block to increase the minimum wage they blocked efforts of student loans fell blocking the nominee of the supreme court that is just a short list is to set the tromps standard. but now donald trump is doing the same thing as a fear monger. the republican party spent years going against latinos and immigrants the congressman from iowa called the undocumented immigrants as drug dealers.
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now donald trump says the same thing. but to be frank is the only trump senator cruz senator cruz is senator rubio are basically saying the same thing. oh with those activist it is hard to believe. even with that establishment republican leadership is still supporting him. the senate republican leaders and is the nominee publicly. with the


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