tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 17, 2016 5:02am-10:01am EDT
number 19, amendment number 19 and the clerk will designate the amendment. >> amendment number 19 offered by mr. mcdermott relating to affordable health care coverage. >> the gentleman from washington state has recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we've taken the food out of the poor children's mouth, so there is money for this bill to be balanced. for those of you who need that report. this amendment is just another example of the attitude of the majority. that is, at all ought to be user fees. if you don't get any benefit from it why should we pay for it? that sounds pretty good on roads, but talk about health care for amendment. if you get sick, you're on your own, right? we don't care. we don't want everybody to of health insurance.
is that what republicans are saying? over 20 million previously uninsured americans have gotten coverage under the aca. that's choke .7 million americans enrolled in the marketplace plans, 83% are consumers who qualify are tax credits valued around $300 a month. anybody who knows anything about the insurance market knows that the average family of four can't go out and buy health insurance. and that's why the credits are there. this provision in the budget that tears up those credits is simply taking away coverage for millions of people, because they will not be able to afford it. if you don't pay a premium each month to the insurance company, they close your account. you get sick, you are on your
own, maybe. this was an attempt by democrats to figure out to use the private sector, for heaven's sake. everybody wants to talk about the private sector, and the free enterprise system. we use the insurance companies and we used all the mechanisms of the private sector and we said, but it isn't going to work this people have to a little subsidy or they can't afford the premium your for their to be a provision in this bill to take away that is simply to transport aca. i understand what you were doing. when those people lose their health care coverage because interest compass didn't get paid, remember this money doesn't go to the individual. it goes straight to the federal government to the insurance company as a subsidy on the premium. the end of the taxpayer does nothing think about, they don't ever see a check, they don't touch anything.
they don't sign anything. they simply will lose their coverage. and this, if you care about your neighbor, when he or she gets sick, you want them to have insurance. so you ought to vote for this amendment to make sure he can buy insurance. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. >> i hope you recognize me because i do in fact care about my neighbor. what i would say to my friend from a purely parochial standpoint, not one man or woman in georgia chose this path. folks at policies that they wanted and that they lost, and this is not one of these $2 billion amendments, it's not even one of the $150 million amendments. this is $625 billion that we are talking about.
i happen to come from a state that didn't expand medicaid. so if you're a two-week low income earner in the georgia you get nothing. you earn a little more, you know began to access tax credits. that's not fair. it's not there. rather than taking $625 billion perpetuating that unfairness, i want to see that $625 billion remake enhance the georgia taxpayers, citizens, so we can solve this together. i have no doubt my friend is concerned about providing high quality care to folks. i share that concern but we don't have $625 billion to spend to support other jurisdictions. and i will take my particular congressional district largest recipient of medicare, these tax subsidies in the state, still not the right into. i would like to yield some who knows more about this from a committee of jurisdiction, the
gentleman from ohio, mr. renacci. >> it's interesting because as i will agree i also do care about my neighbor. one of the things my neighbor came and said to me the other day is now that the afford will contract is in place and the employer mandate penalty, employers have shifted, my employer has shifted my hours to part-time. and now the affordable track requires me to have to pay for a premium i can't afford. but what's worse, it makes be pay for a deductible that i can't afford as well. that what seems to be happening as we continue to move down this path, even for those with subsidy to i know subsidies are covered by those working poor, those hard-working americans, those husbands and wives working to try to make ends meet are having trouble now with the affordable care act. the one thing i would say is a little bit disingenuous. you talk about pain, you talked about paying for those with the
same ideas that you talked about for a number of some of these other bills. and begin to disingenuous in the sense that even the ceo bonuses of $1 million from the tax code section 162 limits the amount of deduction competition a company can pay to a ceo and top or other highly paid officers to 1 million annually. so it conflicts with what you're saying as one of the pay-fors. so again as my colleague said, six out of $25 billion being spent your i'm a cpa, a practicing cpa who can tell you that all of these funny money gimmicks that we use all the time in washington will not pay for these subsidies that you're talking about. and again many of these are just funny money when you talk about them and continue to use them not only for payment year but for paper on the last amendment.
again we might as will just keep throwing them out because they are painful and it's one of the recent what our debt is a 19 trillion growing. i yield back. >> this is one of those other circumstances where there is room for us to work together to provide real solutions to american families. this just isn't that right solution but i look forward to working with my colleague from washington going forward. i yield back. >> dr. mcdermott is recognized one minute to close. >> i appreciate my good friend from georgia said he would like to work together. if you guys would ever put anything out on the table to make coverage universal in this country, i would be willing to work with you night and day to make past. but you will never do. i just want to point out that georgia is 48th in the country in the highest rates of uninsured. the only worse states are florida, which is 49, and texas
which is 51. now, your governors are to be credited with the decision-making. the fact that they don't take medicare or don't take medicaid and adults set up exchange is is just another example of the fact that the party that you represent talks one way, you talk like you care about people, and i believe you actually do, but you never put your money -- >> the gentleman's time has expired. the question is the amendment offered by mr. mcdermott. all those say aye? the gentleman request of a quarter vote the clerk will call the roll. [roll call]
>> have all members voted? the clerk will report. >> mr. chairman, on that vote the ayes are 13 and the nose or 21. >> the amendment is not adopted. and the next amendment is number 22, number 22. >> amendment never 22 offered i ms. lee relating to overseas contingency operations. >> the lady is recognized for three minutes. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. once again of course this budget we all know will balance the
budget act on the backs of the most horrible. that's a given, but i'm really saddened but not surprised to see that once again you are using these sham accounting mechanisms by leaving the overseas contingency operations loopholes in order to get around the spending caps in your budget. my amendment would add enforcement language that says the budget committee chair will not adjust the appropriations committees allocations for oco about the level of the bipartisan budget act. this would prevent oco from being used as a budget gimmick which it's useful to get around the budget cap. over the years there has been bipartisan agreement over concerns regarding his slush fund and it is being used as a source of our long-term pentagon spending. yes your budget before us assumed that 23 million of the
74 million oco funding provided in the budget deal is for base budget activities at the pentagon your that's a clear violation of budget agreement that congress passed just a few short months ago. even former chair paul ryan our speaker has stated that on a bipartisan basis the budget committee has expressed concern that this budget has been misused i both administration and the previous administration in terms of the oco account. we no, it's expand away be on any reasonable measure of what a contingency fund should be initially at blackbox with no oversight. now with another war underway in iraq, intensive, afghanistan can a war that congress mind you has yet to debate and vote on as required by the constitution, this account continues to grow. in recent years we have paid nearly all wartime operations out of a fund that was meant to
be a small emergency fund. this practice have resulted in less oversight come less certainty and higher levels of weight. the oco account no longer serves its intended purpose. now is the time to end this loophole that allows the pentagon to hide the true cost of having these wars without end. yet instead were considering a budget that includes an oco backdoor loophole to get around the agreed upon budget cap. this is just the opposite of making the budget process more deliberative and transparent, and it's just plain wrong. we will also add to the fact, let me just add to the fact it's really time to audit the pentagon. it hasn't been audited it is beyond comprehension that the pentagon has lost tens of billions of dollars to waste, fraud, and abuse while we sit idly by making more slush funds available --
>> that gentle ladies time has expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the threats facing this nation and the world right now are vast, real and expanding. isis has proclaimed a caliphate in the middle east and its delicate expand into other countries. russia is making headlines with aggression and invasion into ukraine and the surrounding areas. china continues to build its military as he gains more power globally and the unstable leader of north korea claims to have detonated a hydrogen bomb and that the of the building to but this let you into a nuclear warhead while launching ballistic missiles just recently. it's important to understand we don't necessarily know what's next. we don't know where we will be needed next but we do know that the threats are growing and we have to have the capability to meet them. that is what is contingency funding is that it allows us to plan for the unknown silicon overseas contingency operations for a reason. the last time i checked the middle east was overseas.
russia, we had to go overseas. we have more troops near russia now. china is overseas. rebuilding of our navy in that area because of it. north korea is overseas and we are having some military operations in that area. these are legitimate use of taxpayer dollars to provide common defense to present the overseas operations that are country is engaged in to keep our country safe. we are charged with providing for the common defense given the size come region and increase on beautiful nature of the threats we face we should be obliged to make sure we create a budget that gives our military the tools necessary to address today's threats and be fully prepared address the threats tomorrow. we are not talking about a backdoor loophole. we're talking about making sure our military is able to do what is needed to keep americans everywhere safe. now i'm going to yield one minute each to two of my colleagues who are veterans,
colonel womack. >> thank you for the time. this congress should never play around with national security. and you don't have to have been around too long to know that we have any evolving proliferation of the threat around the globe. and '80s because of this type environment we currently operate in that it is absolutely essential that we have the ability to respond when we need to respond without being logged jammed, if you will, by a lot of discussion about whether or not it should be funded, et cetera. so if we were to adopt this
amendment would preclude us from the apple to adjust to the unforeseen that goes on around the world. so it's for that reason that i would urge a no vote and recommend the we turn this into mr. cantor i want to yield to the gentleman from ohio mr. johnson. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. you are exactly right. my colleague is exactly right, both of them. the world is a changing dynamic place. in fact, if we were to adopt this amendment it would preclude us from being able to adjust to unforeseen circumstances. general martin dempsey, the former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, testified that the global security environment is as uncertain as i've ever seen. the world is rapidly changing everywhere and we're -- we are seeing significant shift in already complex strategic landscape. this budget is in line with a
bipartisan budget act we are oco is concerned, and i urge a no vote on this amendment. >> the gentleman's time has expired. ms. lee is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. chairman. you all have tried to unfortunately really changed this debate around and this represent what this is about. all of us come democrats and republicans are concerned about the threats faced to our nation. i will remind my colleagues i am the daughter of a pattern 25 years. i served on them milk, subcommittee so i understand these threats. however, what this issue is about is our budget and transparency and accountability and oversight. and leaving the door open to using this account to plus-up safe level funding is just downright wrong. the president and the defense department have provided
congress with the funding request that they feel is justified to meet our needs. so let's be for real and let's talk about the issues, not the threats. we are talking about the way this account has been presented and the base funding of the pentagon's budget. and so if we are really serious about deficit reduction and dollars budget vote for this. >> all those in favor? opposed? in the opinion of the chair the no's have it. >> roll call vote, please. >> the clerk will call the roll. [roll call]
on that vote the ayes are 15 and donoso 21. >> be amended is not adopted. amendment number 23. the clerk will designate the amendment. >> offered b by mr. ryan relatig to the was manufacturing. >> mr. ryan is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we know manufacturing is a big component of what we do in the united states, and our different areas of manufacturing that are springing up all over the world. the question will be whether or not they have states of america takes the lead and what is to come. this amendment provides $3.141 billion to establish a scale up manufacturing investment initiative and the united states and expand the national network of manufacturing institutes.
this is a public-private partnership that unfortunately under the republican budget presented in the cuts to the department of commerce the department of commerce and the white house during the question and answer period with the staff that america makes in this national network of innovation and manufacturing is actually on the chopping block. so this is 3-d printing, additive manufactured come in the next generation of jobs. this industry is projected to grow in the next 10 years by 25% a year. these are the areas we need to invest in. public-private partnerships. the first institute's in downtown youngstown, ohio, in my congressional district. we now have boeing, lockheed martin, siemens, all involved in many, many other companies big and small in this network are going out how to innovate in the field of met additive
manufacturing and reduce the cost of these products for the military. so you don't have to buy huge amounts of a product. you can actually print products up and even put them up in the field like we print on desktop computers today. desktop printers to be. we know manufacturing is a huge component of our economy. we know that my and your faction has one of the biggest multipliers for every job and manufacturing you create or find new jobs. this is the future of our country and here's why i said that this entire budget is about deferred maintenance. we have always been successful in the united states because we made investments worth it was the space program, whether it was the department of energy where congressman johnson and i come from in eastern ohio we have and i know this is a huge issue, fracking big the issue of fracking and the technology that came out of that was a public-private partnership over 30 years that allowed us to
develop the technology through the department of energy and private sector folks to be able to figure out to extract the energy out of the ground. that's because we had the foresight to make the investment and use public dollars in order to make this happen. this network is the next generation of manufacturing. hud going to happen in the united states or it's going to happen in china or in india. our kids and grandkids going to look back and say what was the china congress doing at that point was we will say we were slashing this program instead of putting three or $4 billion into it and being competitive. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> i thank the chairman for yielding and i would like to yield to the gentleman from new hampshire. >> thanks very much. and again thank you for your interest in putting some thoughts and resources into manufacturing, in this country, $2 trillion of our economy is
impacted by this industry, almost 20 million jobs. it certainly is an important component of our economy. here's what i differ with your amendment. you've identified an expectation of growth at 25% are i won't be right now in this economy in the industry would love to anything near 25% without public input. secondly, i think this is closer to what we would consider a business or government subsidy to the private sector and that's not necessarily i think the direction we want to go in. again i will be brief. i understand the passion to support the manufacturing industry. i think we all want to see manufacturing growth. the way to provide support and enhance the industry in the united states i think is to take up what the president said in a state of union. let's reduce regulation and he did say that this year because that is the number one erect impact on manufacturing decline. if we can focus on that and
focus on reforming our tax codei think you'll have a far better impact than providing drug subsidies to some companies in a foreign country and i yield back. >> i think my friend for yielding. i just talk to the gentleman from alabama about the energy costs in this country as headline last summer in "fortune" magazine talking about american manufacturing costs beginning to rival chinese manufacturing cost. why? not because of a $3 billion incentive program like you're talking about although it may well be meritorious but because of lower energy costs. i cannot help but note just this week the president has decided not to open up more offshore drilling opportunities for us it. every once in in gasoline production is a billion dollar tax cut, a stimulus package to the american economy.
to our ways to make america competitive. we would pay for this competitive initiative as the jungle the amendment passes by taxing job creators as if the way to great jobs in this country is to tax the people who create jobs. i would say to my friend that i am a huge supporter a public-private partnership. we seen an expansion of those in the transportation to we passed out of here and get his been signed into law. at a time when america has the least competitive tax code on the planet we cannot, we cannot raise taxes fo further on thoseb creators even if it is for meritorious or pulls out the gentleman suggested and with that i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman. >> if there is a billion dollar investment for everyone set against i hope my friends on the other side will give president obama the credit from going from $4 in gas down to $1.29 at one point in ohio. because i know you would certainly blame it cast with up
to $8 say maybe want to give them some credit. is all i want to say. i don't mean to be a jerk, but i just feel like you guys don't get it. i'm not talking about an industry that needs regulated. this industry hasn't even grown yet. i'm talking about growing and industry, and that takes public investment. if you look at what happened with nasa, what sprung out of their, there were private corporations doing the work. it was massive government commitment long-term for the industry. and these industries sprung up and where benefiting from the debate from cell phones to fuel cells and everything else. we can't lay small ball anymore and is going to take the government getting behind some of these ideas. >> the gentleman's time has expired. i would just note that nasa was discretionary spending. the question is on a green to the amendment offered by
historically my state of new mexico was on the top of the list the highest rates of job growth and employment in the u.s. however, the recession and the sequestered have devastated the new mexico economy. we are still trying to recover. now new mexico is on the bottom of the list for a range of numerous economic indicators. in mexico is a vice unemployment rate in the nation at 6.7 present which has been steadily increasing since last year. more than 20% of new mexicans and 30% of children live in poverty. highest rates in the country. we are ranked 48th for the number of high school students who graduate on time. 49th for young adults have an associates degree or higher. one out of every three children is a risk for hunger which is the fourth highest in the nation. frankly, the record-setting cuts included in the budget will devastate new mexico and other communities in states that are still struggling to new mexico, west virginia, georgia, alabama.
states represented members of this committee on both sides of the aisle still have persistently high poverty level. by expand and making improvements in the promise zone's initiatives are the community develop a block grant program might and then it would focus resources on families and communities that need it most. these programs are hatless for economic growth. they leverage funds for essential infrastructure improvement projects, expand educational opportunities, address housing needs and revitalize economies. fundamentally to establish partnerships between the federal government, local communities and businesses to comprehensive and address the needs of poor and underserved communities. all of us are aware of speaker brined task force on poverty. the chairman is a member of the task force. at the of the task forces goals are to strengthen america's social safety net to better help those in need, and prepare
america's youth to be successful in school, and increased flexibility to state and local governments to foster cooperation among assistance programs. i support speaker ryan's task force and a mobile it develops we'll solution for expanding opportunities and investing in the 45 million americans currently living in poverty. i introduce my commitment in the same spirit of this task force and urge my colleagues to support it. ideal to back. >> the gentleman from virginia is recognized for four minutes. >> i thank you for offering your amendment o. like my colleagues across the aisle i trust her to do a good job helping people get jobs in her home state, the localities, the states, but one group i don't trust is the federal government. the federal government does not have a good track record to a to keeping track of the money flowing through us which is
supposed to make it down to the folks at it does have a good record of job creation in the first place. we all know too often we start off with the best of intentions but the money makes it eventually the special interests. it's interesting that the paper, i agree with my colleague, closing the special interest tax loopholes, we hear about that from the leader and other loopholes. i'm all for the. i'm not a crony capitalist that i met adam smith free capital guy. just back to the basics, you talk about the recession. the recession was caused by federal policy that just wind him up. i don't think there's any debate on the. started with housing and housing disaster come housing doesn't going to disaster on its own. never had to by the way. that was the backstop of all u.s. economy. the premise of the '07-'08 financial problem come housing was the one thing never gone wrong ever. it was the ultimate financial backstop until what happened? until the federal government got
involved. then the one piece of equity that had never been in question throughout u.s. american history, federal government gets involved and collapse. same with this on job creation i wish you the best war on poverty, johnson, self-sufficiency was going up, up, up. poverty was going down down down. johnson put in his war on poverty and he comes to in about five years after he puts in a federal program. that was his goal, his data was to reach self-sufficiency. so if that's what other subnets in my i'm all for it. but the recession and the sequestered et cetera, the problem is federal government is in the way right now. we are doing $540 billion in deficit spending this year. that's a sugar high. economy, if the federal government had anything do with them we are borrowing from next generation of kids to the tune
of 540 billion this year. that should be a sugar high. if that's not enough, by the way the federal reserve has $4 trillion on their balance sheets in bank vaults right now with zero interest policy and printing money. likely it hasn't turned into money supply or we would have even bigger problems. we've got 500 billion in deficit spending stimulus, 4 trillion the federal reserve banks stimulus. the federal government is not the solution, it's a problem that it's the cause of our problems. i know folks disagree on that but that's the fundamental premise. i'm all in favor of helping with job creation i think the solution again to be a broken record is k-12 education. the are plenty we can agree on and if you want to get serious about getting ceos and business folks into the k-12 classroom and to mentor programs and i kind of thing and say this is a good thing and this is the solution, i'm all on board and that's that. thank you very much for the amendment. >> gentleman yields back you.
gentlewoman from new mexicans recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i with all due respect completely disagree about the premise of the statements by my republican colleague that the federal government is always the source of the problem. quite frankly private sector was a huge factor in the recession and the resulting sequestered. it was their own housing and securities markets aspect. the reality is that the defense contractors every single one of those private business in my state will take you that leveraging productive partnerships have made a difference in our economy from the very beginning. so mr. chairman, i oppose the deep cuts this budget makes for some of the most successful antipoverty programs that we have to i hope we can find some common ground on this amendment which focuses resources and strategies that have been proven end up in supported in the past by bipartisan efforts not on from this committee but the
entire congress. for example, every dollar in the community develop block grant program stimulates almost $4 of investment from the public and private resources. i yield back. >> the question is on amendment 24. all those in favor? opposed? >> the opinion of the chair the no's have it. number 24 is not adopted. you request a recorded vote? the question is on a recorded vote. would you call the roll? [roll call] [roll call]
>> the clerk will report. >> on that vote the ayes of 14 and then those are 21. >> the amendment is not adopted. is there a amendment at the desk? the clerk will designate the amendment. >> number 25 offered by ms. dingell put into long-term care service and other support for seniors and other americans. >> the gentle it is recognized for three minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. my voice is almost gone but i hope that this is one thank you, mr. chairman we can all agree on. long-term care is a concern that affects all americans and i know we all have loved ones who have or will face the possibility of needing long-term services and
supports. in fact as our nation continues to age the demand for long-term care is expected to double in the next 40 years. we spent a lot of time talking about medicare and medicaid but the reality is neither one of them is designed to help seniors with the tasks of daily living, like assistance with getting dressed, bathing or eating your medicaid is the largest payer of long-term care costs covering about 42% of a long-term care expenditures but it has very strict income eligibility limits. medicare provides skilled nursing services and home health care services for very limited periods of time. as part of a patient's recovery from an acute health episode and was not designed for indefinite long-term care. private long-term care insurance
is not affordable by too many were even available. and even when people have it, the exhaust their benefits to quickly. family caregivers are often called upon to support people during time of need. however, the typical family caregiver spends about 20 hours per week providing unpaid care to a family member for nearly five years totaling a massive amount of unreimbursed time and energy. it's clear that comprehensive policy change is needed. this amendment allows, it doesn't require, it does not require the house to consider a deficit neutral bill of long-term care. it could be a pilot program for change to medicare or medicare are what we need something is truly coverage solution. regardless this amendment simply identifies long-term care as a
priority for the house come and i urge you to vote in favor of either i'm now yielding to my friend from new mexico. >> i thank my colleagues very much for bringing this amendment again this year and for yielding to me. we are both caregivers, and i spent 16 years as a secretary of aging. and in that role and immoral as a caregiver today, my role in congress i work with many seniors and their families and person with disabilities who cannot get the care and assistance they need. and the choices even if your choice is a nursing amount under medicaid in many states that are no more beds available for this population or their family members. which is to dispense with and not the care that people really want. i urge us, by 2030, let me get into things again. 72 million older americans, 20%
of the population, a stunning 49 billion caregivers today providing $520 billion worth of care. if this doesn't strike this committee as a priority, i don't know what does and i appreciate the effort to make sure that we are working towards real solutions or real problems. >> gentleman from ohio mr. renacci is recognized for four minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. is called for the creation of a new been put within the new entitlement program. it would also at any deficit neutral reserve with no specific for funding. this potential new unfunded program could cost billions and to increase the national debt which is also award at 19 trillion. as the only member in congress that has owned and operated long-term care facilities for over two decades, i can tell you that a one size fits all program for washington does not work. long-term care insurance
programs do not work in the private sector, yet this amendment wants to move it to the federal government. there are reasons it doesn't work and i would not want the federal government overseeing any new program especially one that doesn't work in the private sector. furthermore, we've heard from several states that want more flexibility for their medicaid programs. agenda on our budget, states will have that authority to shape their medicaid programs to fit the needs of their state populations. with state funds for medicaid under in -- and to improve their programs. 25 state governors wrote to members of the house and senate in change worry in saying we are convinced if states would provide greater flexibility and control funds and regulatory authority over a multitude of programs we would be able to better and more efficiently serve the needs of our citizens. they go on to say over the last several decades the government has passed laws and promulgated
regulations that restrict the ability of states to innovate. the structural improvements to medicare and medicaid proposes saves, strengthens oppressors these programs for future generations by fostering freedom, patient choice and market competition and health care services. at this time i yield the balance of my time to my colleague from florida. >> i want to thank the gentleman and focus on the medicare portion. i would like to remind my friends that medicare is on an unsustainable path that as i said earlier at its current pace cbo estimates say medicare will go bankrupt in 2026. look, it would be great if we could just provide all sorts of reviews and all sorts of wonderful well-intentioned but if it some of them are necessary benefits without kind of paying for it and nothing to concern about anything. but the rally is that frankly adding a new health care benefit to a program that is slated to become insolvent in a decade
would just make that program insolvent quicker, putting our seniors at great risk. this would only ensure that medicare reaches bankruptcy at a faster rate than it's already going to do so according to the cbo. so again this budget resolution proposes needed improvements to the medicare programs in order to save it. for those who are on it, those will be on ever future generations of improvement that would save and strengthen and secure the programs, that's where we need to go. so again even though it's well-intentioned, it's always well intentions. it's just do more and more and more, let government do more and more and more. but when you have been talking about putting medicare further at risk, i think this is frankly the wrong way to go. so with that i yield back the remainder part of my time. >> the gentleman is recognized for one minute to close. >> i'm going to yield to my college because i have no voice.
>> the reality is given a scenario, added to medicare is over talk about leveraging. it's really medicaid. it's have long come to as the principal priority making sure we do something to solve our public and its people will get sick or longer at her in the hospital which is the number one reason that medicare has policy issues and we spent the bulk of that money in the last two weeks of life. states in block grant or flexible situation, i lived through those, though states did not innovate. they did not integrate into giving or caregiving support and, in fact, they continued to hold which they are not required to nursing homes as a protective priority, most expensive, most restricted care in their state. we have done nothing by virtue of not leading on this issue. and if we lead we can help states create many more solutions to these kinds of problems. >> the question is on the
>> thank you, mr. chairman. our federal government has been and still isn't vulnerable to cyber attacks. last year the massive breaches at the office of personnel management led to the resignation of the then director as well as a release of millions of social security numbers of federal employees and over 20 million security clearance and 80 -- data record stronger these records been called the crown jewels of american national intelligence your congressman had a record store and fourth adversary now likely has them. as the recovery computer science major it's clear to me part of the problem is we just have legacy outdated systems in our federal government. they need to be upgraded. so many of these systems, cobol which is something not equipped for the 21st century act attacks we are getting right now. but other problem is you have systems that run across the federal agency.
because each agency does the budget individually it is sometimes hard to upgrade a system that runs across the federal government. the administration has proposed with this amendment does is builfillthe proposal by puttingr the information technology and modernization fund, $3 billion that will offer upgrades across agencies as well as start upgraded our legacy and outdated information systems. it's something we need to do and in the long-term it's important for our national security. and every time one of these breaches happens, not only to lose security, we potential for our employees and people at risk. with that i will yield the balance of my time to contest the norcross. >> thank you to my colleague for yielding. cybersecurity represents a clear and present danger to our national security and certainly our economy. we can't wait for a cyber 9/11 to out. i said on the house armed services committee emerging
threats subcommittee, i think i'll pass this amendment tonight. to put it bluntly we are under attack. vulnerabilities are everywhere. we heard mr. lieu talk about the hit that we took. everyone in this room is susceptible, an and i would bet every one of you, your information is in one of our enemy's hands because that's what we are facing on a daily basis. ..
i urge my members or all our members to vote yes. >> gentleman's time expired. gentleman from arkansas is recognized for four minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we will stipulate to the fact that cybersecurity is in ever increasing threat to the homeland as it is to the rest of the world. we know who the players are that are doing this. but when you offer the amendment you make it sound as though we are operating with some 20th century type equipment. i understand the term was legacy systems and i would understand also there should be a cross-pollinization among the agencies that deal with cybercrime but the fact is the federal government spends a lot of money on cybersecurity. as a matter of fact in fiscal' 16 congress provided over a billion dollars to upgrade
cyberdefense infrastructure and minimize risk. so once again we have a classic case of taking a populist problem issue like cybersecurity, and we're going to throw a lot more money at it. in a perfect world there would be money to do all of these things but it is an imperfect world. as has been mentioned this hearing over the span of hours the federal deficit in excess of a half a trillion dollars and $19 trillion debt will be on the shoulders of a lot of young people that are standing in the back of this room requires that this congress be just dish schuss the way it appropriate money for certain problems. i agree in the case after cybersecurity issue, this issue will be with us for a long time. throwing another $3 billion at it today in a program like this i don't think is going to be the
panacea for the issue. with that i'm going to yield balance of our to our friend and gentleman from ohio, mr. johnson. >> i thank my colleague from yielding, i'm actually, i'm actually surprised how much agreement there is with what you gentlemen had to say. i'm a 30-year i.t. professional myself. i would love, i'm sure we could have some very entertaining conversations that our colleagues would get bored with sitting around talking about the four divisions of a coball program because we could do that, i agree with much of what you said. cybersecurity is an issue that is not going to go away. not only have we been under attack, we are under attack, we're going to continue to be under attack as long as we have networks and as long as computers work off of series of
ones and zeros, the bad guys are going to be out there how to figure out how to get into it. we already know that some of the rogue nations like china and iran have entire agencies and buildings full of people trying to figure out how to break into our networks and like you said, we don't need another, we don't need a cyber 9/11. for that reason, and because i came from corporate america as an i.t. executive i can tell you that i.t., if not properly handled, can be one of the biggest sinkholes for money and misappropriation of fund as there ever has been. it's dangerous because there are so few people that understand it. moving cybersecurity to mandatory spending and paying for it with tax increases is not the right way to go.
i would love to work with you gentlemen to find real solutions to this and that is honest offer to sit down and talk about this we can do better. we have to do it better but i don't believe this is the right approach and i urge a no vote. >> gentleman's time is expired. mr. li e.u. is recognized one minute to close. >> i look forward working bipartisan basis. as you mentioned iting something we continue to be faced with. it is true that the government does spend money on cybersecurity. it is also true we do not spend enough because of the nature of attacks and increasing sophistication and we have outdated systems that need to be updated as well as modernized across the federal government. vote yes on this amendment and with that i yield back. >> gentleman yields backs. question on agreeing to
[roll call vote] >> anybody else wish to vote? clerk will report. >> mr. chairman, on that vote the ayes are 14 and nos are 22. >> ayes 14, nos, 22, the amendment is not adopted. next up in order of business is amendment number 27. clerk will designate the amendment. >> amendment 27, offered by mr. norcross to prevent gun violence. >> mr. norcross is recognized for three minutes.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. my common sense amendment would prevent terrorists from buying guns. let me say that again. my common sense amendment would prevent terrorists legally buying guns and bombs they can use to kill americans f there was ever a topic we could come together on this committee i would hope we would agree we should keep guns out of the hands of terrorists. in addition serving on the house budget committee do sit on emerging threats. as a committee i described it with sleeping with one eye open. we can never predict when or where terrorists will attack but we certainly can make some common sense prevention out of that we need anymore san bernardinos out there and we don't need them to have access this. gao reported on u.s. terror watch list we have those who tried to purchase guns or explosives 2233 times since 2004. 2043 of them were successful. let me do the math for you.
91% of people on the terrorist watch list that can't fly were able to purchase guns. one thing we members of congress can do, deny those on government's terror watch list a legal opportunity to buy the guns. our policy can be summed up very simple four words. no-fly, no buy. i would like to yield my remaining time to barbara lee of california. >> by increasing mental health funding 500 million over two years. it increases national instant criminal background test system to 35 million. we know gun violence is public health epidemic raining the company including my home district in the east bay of california. statistics are clear. each year there are more than 30,000 gun deaths nationwide, yet this budget does absolutely
nothing to address this he epidemic. fails to address comprehensive background checks, improve mental health services increasing smsa funding for victims and certainly does not provide new research into gun safety. as members of congress our most important job to protect and the american people. by refusing to address ongoing epidemic of gun violence in our nation congress failed our sacred duty. we need comprehensive gun reform and help prevent gun violence. this amendment does just that. it is very modest amendment. hopefully we get support, some bipartisan support for it. and thank you and yield back the balance of my time. >> we yield back. >> thank you the gentleman. gentleman from arkansas is recognized. >> mr. chairman. >> gentleman from ohio is recognized for four minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
i, this is another example where we have a lot of agreement with what mr. norcross said. i too do not want to see guns in the hands of terrorists. i too do not want to see guns in the hands of the mentally ill. i too want to see a more comprehensive national conversation and movement toward addressing the mental health crisis that we have in our country. especially in light of recent events. however, the disagreement we have is again on process, not on the ultimate goal. the disagreement is on how we're going to pay for it. we are deeply, deeply in debt. and we just heard from our cbo
director just a few weeks ago, that tells us that our problem is not a revenue problem. our problem is a spending problem and moving programs like this and creating new mandatory funding streams only ex-exacerbates that problem. these are funding streams that should be appropriated on the discretionary side with due diligence and oversight by the house every single year. federal dollars should not be squandered on antiquated programs that fail to meet tall health patients needs and we have in our budget resolution prudent methods to improve mental health care and awareness especially in light of recent events.
i urge a no-vote and i yield to my colleague mr. gunta. >> thank you very much. i want to read a portion of the amendment. increase mandatory budget authority for the national instant criminal background system, and, by providing additional resources to the substance abuse and mental health services administration to improve access to mental health services for those who are affected by gun violence. well, this is a very personal issue for me. i would call people's attention to "the washington post" article back on december 3rd where they reported gun crime has been on the decline last 20 years except for high-profile mass shootings in gun-free zones. that is particular concern of mine. 60% of those perpetrators of mass shootings in the united states since 19 displayed some sort of diagnosis within the mental health arena. i have a family member with a mental illness. i'm a direct caregiver last 20 years to that individual. this is an emotional issue for me and personal one for me.
and i want to do everything we can and i think this congress should make sure access to mental health treatment is clear but that is not happening in this country right now and i, i blame states and some of the decisions they have made. and i look to smsa for more honest assessment of their programs. they have more than 100 distinct programs supporting individuals with serious mental illness but they also found there is known or little, lacking inneragency cooperation for those programs. and i have seen that first-hand. i have seen it first-hand where someone who has a mental diagnosis is in a hospital, in a emergency room, sits in a waiting room which looks like a jail cell for days in some circumstances. then gets to the state, local facility, and could be there after they are maintained with their medication, there for weeks on end, wasting money in the system. that has to be changed i would
love to work with you on it. i yield back remainder of my time. >> gentleman's time is expired. mr. norcross is recognized for one minute for close. >> i appreciate year willing to work with us. this is not about responsible law-abiding citizens and enjoy hunting and things go along with it, how can somebody who pledges allegiance to isis be allowed to purchase a gun in this country. i don't think the founding fathers had terrorists in mind buying ar-15s when they created the second amendment. i will tell you how they will pay for this. we will either pay for it with dollars or pay for it with blood. with that i yield back our time. >> gentleman yields back. agreeing to amendment by mr. norcross all those in favor say aye. all those opposed say no. by the chair nos have it. gentleman requests a roll call vote and clerk will call the role.
>> all members voted? clerk will report. >> mr. chairman, on that vote the ayes are 14 and nos are 22. >> ayes 14, the nos 22 the amendment is not adopted. two more amendmented remaining. them amendment is 28 and clerk will designate the amendment. >> amendment 28 offered by mr. mol ton relating to the corporation for national community service. >> gentleman is recognized for three minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. since its creation more than two decades ago the corporation for national community service cncs
has been a model of public/private partnership. working with thousands of local organizations cmc is expands opportunity and civic faith based organizations and fosters innovation. c -- cncs through teach mesh prance, cncs is improving our education system. social innovation fund and americorps vista place volunteers with local organizations throughout the country to meet the greatest needs of each community. cncs programs support military families and veterans and corps members build on civilian conservation corps in the 1930s so national park lands an can be enjoyed by all. most recently state of emergency declared in flint through water contamination, cncs began
outreach with installation of walt filtration systems in a month. much like the g.i. bill, called most success piece of legislation ever enacted, numerous studies show that the economic benefits of these programs produce far outstrip the costs. they are exactly the kind of smart investment my business-minded republican colleagues say they want the government to make. ion greater what these volunteers are doing in our communities how they are doing it. we can not monetize the way which their service is fostering community, inspiring shared values among americans and changing lives for the better. cncs programs engage millions of americans in service in volunteerism at more than 50,000 urban and rural locations across the country like the city of lynn in my district. i struggle to think of an issue, be it perhaps beyond taking care of our veterans that enjoys more enthusiastic it wide-ranging and
completely bipartisan support. that is at least when i talk to people out there in america. and if it is bipartisan out there, it ought to be bipartisan in here. the amendment that i am offering today adds revive fund to accommodate deficit-neutral legislation for mandatory funding for cncs. cncs provides vital services in each and everyone of our districts. instead of giving more tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires we should be investing in thousands of americans who are serving their country every day, to improve our communities and strengthen our democracy for the future. i strongly urge my colleagues to support this amendment. mr. chairman, i yield my time. >> gentleman yields back. gentleman from new jersey recognized for 4:00 minutes. >> sure. so about 150 some odd years ago alexis tocqueville came to visit this country and did a tour of america to find out while which were prospering while europe was
in flames and turmoil. when he went back he wrote about it, what he said by visiting every hamlet and town and borough and village he said he saw when a need arose in the community the people would spontaneously rise up and collectively get together and volunteer their services to address that need. that was 150 years ago. where are we do? we are at the ironic phase of where we now have to have the federal government pay volunteers, pay volunteers. words just don't seem to make sense which i guess is lot, like a lot of federal programs. programs administered by agencies provide funding to students and others who work in public area otherwise volunteering except they're being paid to volunteer. not based on need. where we need to we do have need-based programs that look at low-income students and such to
provide them with assistance. this is a program that runs counter to the american principles and also if i went into it, runs counter basic fiscal responsibility the i.g. report pounds that the problem does not even follow basic federal guidelines for proper payments and such and other accountability issues. with that i yield to the jent plan from california who can speak on the oxymoronic nature of paying volunteers i'm sure as well. >> well, comes down to this. republicans want to pull the plug on cncs. the democrats just told us it is a quote model of public/private partnership. let's put the claim to the smell test. this agency and subsidiaries are been targets of volume of inspector general reports target improper payments lack of oversight, complete lack of compliance analysis and misappropriations and outright violations of law.
this agency was responsible for channeling millions of taxpayers dollars to disgraced and disbanded acorn organization found to engage in widespread voter fraud. was central to a scandal in sacramento involving allegations of sexual abuse of young woman and use of taxpayer fund to use hush-money to. in june of 2014 the inspector general condemned this agency for quote, shocking waste of taxpayer funds, lax oversight, unauthorized contractual commitments and widespread non-compliance with rules, regulations and sound contracting practices, end of quote. the gao said their performance measures didn't measure performance. and their spending was poorly aligned with goals. they lacked any quality control and their achievements were based on self-reported data that had no credibility. you know every billion dollars we throw around here is paid for
with average ofdollars taken from every dam may in america $8. $96 we take on average from struggling family in this nation to pay for a slush fund on this decade. democrats on this committee think that great and if anything we need to shovel more money at i will. my republican colleagues do not and i think that sums it up. enough said. >> with that i would thank the gentleman. just ask the sponsor in light of those facts does the gentleman withdraw his amendment? >> gentleman has 10 seconds remaining. >> hearing no i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. >> gentleman is recognized for one minute to close. >> thank you, mr. chairman. my colleague from california's comment sound more like description of the party's presumptive nominee for president and they do this organization. based on the widespread support very bipartisan support that
this enjoys throughout the country. but i do want to address the issue of paid volunteers because this is a phrase that the tea party has used to decry these programs. i was a volunteer in united states marine corps. i was paid. now i was paid below market rate, as these volunteers are paid as well. do you think that shouldn't be paid? do you think i shouldn't have been paid for my service? are you saying that we should cut all pay tonights military volunteers who they, themselves are serving the country in the same way that volunteers for cncs are serving as well? hearing no response, i yield my time. >> gentleman yields back. the question is on agreeing to the amendment offered by the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. mol ton. all those in five aye. opposed no. by the chair the nos have it. the gentleman requests roll call
>> the clerk will report. >> mr. chairman, on that vote the ayes are 14 and the nos are 22. >> the amendment is not adopted. we're now on our final amendment which is republican amendment 2. the clerk will designate the amendment. >> republican amendment 2 offered by mr. garrett. modify the procedure for considering mandatory savings in the chairman's mark. >> i will recognize the gentleman from new jersey for
three minutes you may start the clock. i will make an opening comment and turn it to the gentleman. i want to thank the gentleman for his work on the committee and contributions he made moving this legislation forward. i support his amendment and urge my colleagues and all members the committee to do the same. and yield to the gentleman from new jersey. >> thank the chairman. so i began this evening nine hours ago by referencing a chart in the back room that says we have a spending-driven debt problem. and all of the talk for the last nine hours continues that understanding that there is a problem in this country, in this congress is spending driven. the history here is this budget committee actually did good work last year trying to address that and begin the process of reining it in. unfortunately that was upended, turned on its head in september and october when a majority of the majority said no to a proposal that would increase spending.
but despite that, we did something, we passed the bba. which basically upped an uptick in spending. a report from the cbo came out in january of this year which shows the consequences of that. when you want to rein in spending and decrease your deficits, you better not increase spending because the deficit, because of that increase by $130 billion, $1.5 trillion, over 10 years. so how do you address that? well you don't address that by continuously increasing spending, spending more money than this year than you did last year. unfortunately that is where we are right now. so what can we do? this amendment tries to do that. the amendment would pertain to the mandatory savings factors included in budget and working with chairman who put together a package that would save at least $30 billion over 10 years. because these savings are mandatory spending programs,
returns compound over time achieve 150 billion over 10 years. these would be permanent, not one time. chairman mark calls for this passing stand-alone bill. my concern the senate will not act on that bill. my amendment provides if the senate doesn't do what it should do, which would be par for the course, does not consider the stand-alone bill the house will look to other legislative measures, vehicles to get the senate to consider this priority in the our budget. so i recommend that we pass this amendment, do what we said we ultimately going to do a year ago, do what i think the majority, do what the majority of the gop conference said back in october, and that is not keep on increasing spending, but begin to rein it in, both on discretionary and most importantly on the mandatory side as well. with that i yield back the remaining 14 second. >> gentleman yields back. mr. van hollen is recognized for four minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i oppose this amendment. as we said at the outset of this
budget markup we had activities going on in other committees that made very deep cuts important investments for our country, including some that target the most vulnerable. i mentioned specifically the social services block grant program, which is one of those programs our former chairman said had kind of flexibility in it that republicans liked. well they liked it so much today in the ways and means committee they got rid of it entirely. half of the funds from that block grant go to kids. the other half go to seniors and people with disabilities, including things like meals on wheels and for the most vulnerable among us. also provisions that eliminated the child tax credit for millions of american kids. and so, this is an attempt to try to expedite that package
that passed in the other committees. i think the gentleman's right to believe that the senate's not going to take up the budget that is going to come out of this gathering this evening. i can assure you the senate is not going to pass the $30 billion in cuts but i do think, it is important for the american public to see the important differences in values and priorities reflected in this budget process. again i just want to stress that as we have talked about budgets and deficits, this committee today has refused to cut one single special interest tax break to help reduce the deficit. instead, cuts in programs that help seniors, $450 cuts in medicare. trillion dollar cuts in medicaid. deep, deep cuts in the area of budget that we make investments in education and infrastructure in info vyings. on top of that the $30 billion that we're talking about here. so i'm now going, i yield a
little bit of time to miscast store who was on -- miscast miss castor on the energy and commerce committee. >> i thank ranking member. the gop budget targets children while safeguarding wealthiest across the country and special interests. remember a year ago we passed repeal of sgr, the medicare access and children's health insurance program reauthorization. that was really good news for kids across the country because it set a policy through 2019 of higher matching rate so that children across the country could see a doctor. it was a nice bipartisan achievement. so we were taken aback when out of the blue the republicans proposed to renege on that agreement from last year. to the detriment of kids in your districts back home. this republican bill appeared out of the blue at the insistence of tea party members
who said, we're okay with pulling the rug out from under our kids and families in states because states have relied on it. many states are through their budgets for the year. the florida legislature just finished the legislative session last friday. this is no way to chart important health policy for our kids. it is no way to treat american families. it is no way to treat state has are supposed to be our partners. this is just an insight into what shenanigans are underway and how far the gop will go to protect the special interests, the wealthiest among us. won't find one special interest tax break in the code and instead they will go and renege on the medicare access and children's health insurance program, bipartisan bill we passed less than a year ago. i yield back. >> [inaudible]. >> doublespeak, double fake. we're going to help the poor by eliminating the social services block grant.
congratulations congressman. >> gentlelady's time expired. >> gentleman from new jersey recognized for one minute to close. >> well-said. yield to the chairman. one second. pulling the rug out from under our kids. so long as we're spending money we don't have, we're not only pulling rug, the table and bed, little piggybank he has what you're tapping into each time you spend a program you don't have the money to spend yourself. you're going into your little kid's bedroom and saying give me your money because i'm taking the rug, pig by bank and everything else out. that is what overzealous spending pattern we have over last eight years. i yield to the chairman of the committee. gentleman from georgia. >> i thank the gentleman. appreciate his work on this appreciate the amendment but, this notion that the budget doesn't result in any reduction or cessation of any quote, special tax breaks, special interest tax breaks is just nonsense. and the gentleman knows it. the fact of the matter is that
is not role of budget committee. the role of ways and means committee. this presumes and project as pro-growth tax policy will result in simplifying tax code and consequently i look for the gentleman's support as we bring those bills through committee and floor of the house. time has, time has expired. [inaudible] >> does not close a single tax break. >> time has expired. the question is on agreeing to the amendment of mr. garrett. all those in favor will say aye. all opposed no. >> in the opinion. chair the ayes have it but the clerk will call the roll. [roll call vote ♪.
>> clerk will report. >> mr. chairman, on that report the ayes are 22 and nos are 14. >> eyes 22 and nos 14, the amendment is adopted. being no further amendments i recognize the gentleman from indian. >> i move the committee adopt the budget aggregate and functional categories and other appropriate matters. >> all those in favor will say aye. all opposed say no. in opinion of the chair the ayes have it. pursuant to committee rule nine i call up the text of the con current resolution on the budget incorporating budget aggregates, functional levels and relevant items as previously agreed to. i recognize the jent ma from indiana order the resolution reported to house. >> i move the committee on the
house order the con current resolution on the budget reported to house with recommendation the resolution do pass. >> question on ordering the con current budget to be favorably reported to house. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed no. in opinion of the chair the ayes have it. so the clerk will call the roll. [roll call vote]
the motion is agreed to anand concurrent budget for fiscal '17 is ordered reported to the house of reps. i notice for the record a quorum is present. a few motions to go that are perfunctory but before folks leave i want to thank for all the members the committee for working i think we completed this in record time, mr. van hollen. thank the staff on both republican and democrat side for doing incredible work as we -- i recognize mr. van hollen. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i just want to underscore your compliments for the staff and to members of the committee. and, with that i ask for the customary amount of time to file minority views? >> so ordered. i also recognize the gentleman from indiana. >> mr. chairman i pursuant to committee offer chairman to offer such motions as the house may be necessary to go to
conference with the senate on concurrent resolution for the budget for fiscal year 2017. >> without objection so ordered. again recognize the gentleman from indian. >> i ask unanimous concept to the staff make technical and conforming resolutions prior to filing the resolution. >> without objection so ordered. that concludes today's business on the house budget committee and this committee stands adjourned. [inaudible conversations]. >> after working nearly 10
hours, the house budget committee moved forward with a budget blueprint by a vote 20-16. the plan provides just over one trillion dollars in discretionary spending for fiscal 2017 and proposes cuts to nondefense discretionary and entitlement programs over the next decade the resolution now goes to the full house. [inaudible conversations].
[inaudible conversations]. >> up next, we'll get senate reaction from yesterday on president obama's supreme court pick. the senate gavels in at 9:30 eastern. this morning they will work on a resolution that would hold back page.com ceo in contempt for failing to appear at a senate committee hearing last year over questions surrounding human trafficking on his website.
watch live senate coverage here on c-span2. michigan governor rick snyder and environmental protection agency administrator gina mccarthy will testify about con too many nated drinking water in flint, michigan, this morning. we'll have live coverage from the house government and oversight committee at 9:00 eastern on c-span3. >> this weekend the c-span cities tour hosted by our charter communications cable partners takes you to montgomery, alabama, to explore the city's history and literary culture. on booktv. >> we show you a house that was the turning point for scott and zelda. when they moved here the idea was to regroup. what this house was a landing pad. it was a regrouping as i've said stage and it wasn't the sort of place where you're going to find scott and zelda engaging in
domestic activities, if you will. it was the sort of place where they were going to be planning their next move. >> on american history tv -- >> so what happens in the 1958 campaign is, you know, wallace really does try to reach this racial moderate and really tries to campaign for the poor and working class alabamaians and campaign for progressive improvements and gets the support of the naacp in his initial campaign. but unfortunately he loses by a pretty significant margin to john patterson and he is completely devastated by this loss. wallace, you know, all he wants to be is governor and he is really upset by this loss and he considers it, you know, a failing. and so, you know, when people asked him what the takeaway from the 1958 campaign is, he says, you know, i tried to talk about progressive improvements.
i tried to talk about good roads and good schools. no one would listen. but when i started talking about segregation, everybody stopped and started listening to me. >> watch the c-span cities tour saturday at noon eastern, on c-span2's booktv. on sunday afternoon at hern history tv at 3:00. c-span cities tour, working with our cable affiliates and working with cities across the country. >> after president obama announced merrick garland as his pick to fill the vacancy on supreme court, several senators came to the floor to talk about the the nomination. senate republicans said they won't consider any supreme court nominee in president obama's final year in office.nows, >> this morning president obama say can't seat created by the death of justice antonin scalia. in doing so the president exercised his unquestioned
authority under the constitution to nominate somebody to this vacancy but that same constitution reserves to the united states senate and the united states senate alone the right to either grant or with hold consent to that nominee. it's the same constitution. you can't argue that the president somehow has an unquestioned right to see his nominee rubberstamped by the senate and still show fidelity and honor that same constitution that gives him that authority to make that nomination. so at this time i want to reaffirm my commitment to share with other members of our conference that the president, president will not fill this vacancy. the senate will not confirm this nominee to this vacancy. doing so we follow the same rule book that democrats advocated before in the past. it can't be that one set of
rules apply to a democratic president and a second set of rules apply when there's a republican president. this isn't just about speculating what democrats might do or were the shoe on other foot. we had a republican president because they have told us what they would do. they have done this since 1992. in many ways they have keptt their promise. there is a lot at stake. justice scalia served for 30 years on the united states supreme court. so the next justice could wellae change the idealogical makeup and the balance of the supreme court for a generation to come and fundamentally reshape america as we know it. so tikrit call juncture in our nation's history, and particularly with regard to the judiciary and the highest court in the land the american peoplee deserve a chance to have a say in the selection of the next
lifetime appointment to the supreme court. american people to insure theyll have the voice for the next to, created by this vacancy. i have heard some people say, w well, we had that election in 2012 when president obama was elected but, i would say you're half right. we also had another election in 2014 where the american people gave republicans a majority in the united states senate because they saw what happened when thie president didn't have any checks and balances. we saw this during the beginning of his term of office when obamacare was passed by a purely partisan vote. we saw it when dodd-frank was passed, again by an overwhelmingly partisan vote. so the american people have said to president obama in 2014, we
want a, effective check on presidential power. and that's what the american the people got. so you can't just look at the one side of the equation, the president's authority under the constitution. and the fact that the president was reelected in 2012. a you have to look what happened in 2014 and the constitutional prerogative of the united states withhold the nomination. confirmation. >> i rise today to speak about the need for the senate to do its job regarding the supreme court vacancy created by the untimely death of justice antonin scalia. the constitution gives to the president the power to nominate supreme court justices and president obama has exercised that power by nominating judge merrick garland. the constitution gives to the senate the power of advise and consent and it is time for the
senate to do its job. the sound bite, do your job, is catchy, quotable, and short enough that in very large letters on a chart that democratic senators bring to this floor. rarely however have so few wordn been so misleading for so many. this cliche begs but does not answer the most important question.on what is the senate's job regarding the scalia vacancy? when democrats an their liberal allies do your jobe, they mean do as we say now, not as we did then. saying that would be more honest but then no one else would be persuaded by it. so they say that the constitution provides the senate's job description requiring a prompt judiciary committee hearing and timely floor vote. there may be a constitution somewhere that says such a thing. certainly not in our constitution.tu the constitution of the united states.
that each much us has sworn an oath to support and defend. in a way i'm not surprised that liberals would use a made-up, fictional constitution to pursue their political goal.ge after all they favor judges that do the same thing. for the time he was a senator, from the time he was a senator serve in this body president obama has said that judges decide cases based on their personal empathy. and core concerns. vision of how the world works. . . r could be a supreme court judge, justice. he has nominated men and women who believe that judges may change the constitution's meaning based on things like cultural understandings and evolving social norms. give me a break. the kind of judges that liberals favor seeing unwritten things in our -- the kind of judges that
liberals favor see unwritten things in our written constitution. they discover things between the they discover things between the they discover things between the lines of our written charter that come not from those who drafted and ratified the constitution, not from the american people, not even from the judges alone, but from the judges own imaginations. if the constitution we have come through on our fellow citizens can read, activist judges will use a. if not then, activist judges who make up a new constitution thats is more useful to theiro t purposes. american founders fashioned a system of government which would build in limits including a defined role for unelectedes. judges. the supreme court observed in the famous case of marbury v. madison that the constitution is written down so that these
limits will be neither mistaken nor forgotten and is intended to govern courts as much asor legislatures to activist judges that liberals favor reject those limits. they look at written law such as the constitution and statutes merely as a starting point as words without any real meaning. it's an old to support and defend themselves since in the long run their competition is one of their own making. so i'm hardly surprised thatn wn today democrats and their left wing allies turned to a fictional constitution when telling the senate to do its job. that constitution simply does not exist. the real constitution madam president leads to the president and to the senate a decision about how to exercise their respective powers in the appointment process. what is the senate jobs
regarding the scalia vacancy? the senate's job is to determine the best way to exercise its u advice and consent power under the circumstances we face today. thankfully we are not without guidance in deciding the best way to exercise out advice andns consent power regarding the scalia vacancy.pr we can look at precedent. it hardly takes a lot agree tont know that a president is more sa legitimate if it is more similar to the situation before us. comparing apples and apples is more helpful than saying comparing apples and rocks. that's just a matter of common sense. i the fictional claims offered in recent days suggest some of the lawyers among us could benefit from even more common sense. over the years the senate has considered dominations into the ways at different times
depending on the circumstances. consider these residents with great daring on the current circumstances. the senate has never, never confirmed a nominee to the supreme court, to a supreme court vacancy that opened up this late in the term of limited presidents of time in office. this is only the third vacancy in nearly a century to occur after the american people had already started voting in a presidential election. i and in the previous two instances in 1956 and 1965, excuse me, 68, the senate did not confirm a nominee until the following year. and the only time, the only time the senate has ever confirmed a nominee to fill a supreme court vacancy created after voting began in a presidential election year was in 1916.
and that vacancy arose only because chief justice charles t evans hughes resigned his seat on the court to run against incumbent president woodrow wilson.nt there's also another president that has received little attention but is worth considering. president john quincy adams nominated john clinton into the supreme court in december 1828, after andrew jackson on the presidential election. the senate by voice vote rejected an amendment to a resolution regarding the nomination that i sorted it is the duty of the senate to confirm or reject a presence nominee. in one of his reports on the confirmation process, the t congressional resource service discussed this vote and, the concluded quote by this action the early summer declined to endorse the principle that proper practice required to consider and proceed to a final
vote on every nomination. i believe the president such as the our support the principle that the center must decide for itself how to exercise its power of advice and consent in eache situation. we have another source of guidance for how to exercise the advice and consent power in the particular circumstances of the scalia vacancy. in 1992, another presidential election year during divided government then judiciary committee chairman joseph biden, now our vice president, i addressed this very issue. he recommended that, senator biden recommend that if the supreme court vacancy occurred that year, the entire appointment process both nomination and confirmationil should be deferred until the election season was over. here's what he said in a lengthy interview with the "washington
post." and you can read it, quoted some steps down, i would highly sena someone, not simply name up if the president gets in somewhat up, i would ask the senate too seriously consider not having as hearing on that nominee. chairman biden also explained the reason for this recommendation to you said for example, that any election-year nominee would be caught up in a quote power struggle, over control of the supreme court. boy, he was prescient. in that interview he also said, and let's refer to this chart right here, quote, can you imagine dropping a nominee after the decisions that are about to be made by the supreme court into that fight come into the cauldron in the middle of a presidential year? the environment within which such a hearing would be held would be so supercharged and so prone to be able to be w
distorted.d the s a week later chairman biden address the senate about the confirmation process and for the explained his recommendation for deferring the process should a supreme court vacancy occur. he repeated his recommendation regarding how to handle a supreme court nomination occurring that year and let me refer to this chart and read it. no quote president bush should consider following the practice by the majority of his predecessors and not, and not name a nominee until after the november election is completed. if the president presses any election-year nomination, the senate judiciary committees should seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until after the political campaign season is over, unquote. chairman biden again explained the reason for this recommendation. year degraded in the wake of controversial nominations and
the presidential campaign that year looked to be particularlyeg better. as a result he said partisan bickering and political posturing would overwhelm serious devaluation, the series the validation required. in addition the presidential election session was already well underway and different parties until the nomination and confirmation faces of the appointment process. madam president, chairman biden could have been talking about 2016 instead of 1992. in fact, each of the factors leading to his recommendation for deferring the appointment process in 1992 exists in the same or greater measure today. not a single democrat objected to chairman biden's recommendation to do for the appointment process. not on. not one democrat. hea if the democrats say today is true that the prosecution
requires a prompt hearing and a timely for vote for every nomination, surely someone, anyone would have said so back in 1992. not so. my colleagues -- congressional record in maine for the slogan do your job. it appears a different connotation was enforced in 1992 because no democratic senator ot leftist organization insisted that the constitution required a prompt hearing and timely forhig vote. they claimed the senate would be shirking its constitutional duty by following chairman biden's recommendation. the first step in exercising our power of advice and consent regarding the scalia vacancy is to decide how best to do so in the circumstances we face todayy precedent general and guidance from past sent letters
specifically counseled strongly in favor of deferring the confirmation process and to after the presidential elections season is over. that is clearly the best course for the senate. the judiciary here and, of course, the nation. that conclusion is reinforced by another important factor, elections have consequences that democrats and the left wing allies use of that axiom, don't want people to believe that 2012 was the only election relevant to the scalia vacancy.t they want people to believe that because president obama was reelected in 2012, he should be able to point whom ever, whenever, however he likes. that idea must appear in another provision of the democrats fictional constitution because once again the real one says no such thing.he can the 2012 election did give the president the power to nominate,
and you can exercise that power however he chooses until his final minutes in office next january here and i would uphold that right. he has exercised that power by nominating the 2012 election however was not the only one with consequences for the judicial appointment process. the 2014 election had tremendous significance for the senate's power of advice and consent. the american people gained control of the senate and, therefore, control of thepr confirmation process to s republicans. here we may find some guidance from our friends on the left in addressing this circumstance. president ronald reagan nominated judge robert bork to the supreme court in 1987. this was three years after his reelection and the year after t" the senate majority changed hands. here is how the "new york times" addressed the argument that elections have consequences. you conceded right on this chart. the president supporters insist
the mla that having won the 1984 election he has every right toco try to change the court's direction. yes, but the democrats won the 1986 election, regain control of the senate, and they have every right to resist. the same circumstances exist today. by the way no one should waste time on it than you times has applied the same principle to date. it of course hasn't. in addition to 2012 and 2014,l the 2016 election will have tremendous consequences for the american people and the courts. it will do the ripping people a unique opportunity to express their opinion about the direction of the courts by electing the president nominates and the senate that gives advice and consent. republicans and democrats, and services and liberals have very different views about the kind of judge that america needs. justice scalia represented a
defined, modest approach to judging. while as i mentioned earlier, president obama has advocated an expansive and activist approach. i served on the judiciary committee longer than but all senator.e and one thing that's clear to me, the conflict over traditional appointment is a conflict over judicial power. the two morals of judicial power or judicial job descriptions i described have radically different consequences andor implications for our nation and our liberty. the american people have expressed increasing concern about the supreme court's direction since as an obama was elected. most americans believe the supreme court justices decide cases based on their personal views, and object to them doing so.ow with justice scalia's untimely passing, the american people now have the unique opportunity to
have a voice in charting a path forward. i cannot conclude today without addressing what is widely understood to be part of the president's strategy in nominating judge garland to the scalia vacancy.firmed the senate confirm judge garland to use court of appeals by a vote of 76-23 in 1997.e this i think is supposed to so t do likewise regarding judge garland's nomination to the supreme court. so if there is a mistake let me say this as clearly as i can. the confirmation process regarding the scalia vacancyhe will be deferred until after the election season is over for the reasons i have explained. that decision has nothing whatsoever to do with the identity of the nominate, and ws republicans made our decisions no weeks ago before theon president had chosen anyone.
but also want to emphasize that the considerations relevant to an individual's nomination to a position do not necessarily lead to the same conclusion regarding his nomination to another position, especially in the supreme court. here i want my colleagues to be aware, in 1990 then chairman joseph biden presided over the hearing on the nomination of clarence thomas to the u.s. court of appeals for the d.c. circuit. he said, and i would refer you, welcome we don't have a chart on that. quote - he said, this is what chairman biden said, quote, there is a rq fundamental distinction between what is required or what should be sought of a circuit court judge and a district court judge at a supreme court justice. he was right then. and it's right today. democratic senators made the same point in 2500 sought to
distinguish a earlier support for john roberts appeals court nomination from their intention to oppose his supreme courtstins nomination. senator schumer, for example, our distinguished senator from new york called it a whole new ballgame. he said quote, you've got to start from scratch, unquote. senator leahy agreed saying that from the lower courts. i couldn't agree more your add this to the list of standards that my democratic colleagues f have reversed now that the partisan shoe is on the other foot. senate republicans have explained repeatedly and in detail why the best way to exercise our advice and consent power in this situation is to defer the confirmation process. that conclusion is completely unrelated to whether the president chooses a nominate or if he does so who that nominee is. president obama could have on
the vice president biden's 1992 advice and deferred a nomination to fill the scalia vacancy. he chose not to do so. for the reasons i've discussed,, president, past guidance comedv and the consequences of elections, the senate should follow that advice and defer the confirmation process for the good of the senate or the judiciary and the american people. i'm tired of all the screamingts and shouting that it goes on in this most horrific of all presidential elections, at least in modern times. i'm just tired of it. and i'm really tired of criticizing the court, which is what my colleagues seem to really love to do your so i don't think it's unreasonable to ask our colleagues to put this off angel after the next president is elected. th person is, that person will have
the power to nominate whoever that person wants to. we will still have the right to advice and consent, and that may be problematic to the next president. but the fact of the matter is that it's important that we recognize that it's not any person that we are against. it's a the process and integrity of the court that we are for. and this particular election season is the most toxic in my 40 years in the united states senate. and there are always well argued, but this is toxic. and i personally do not want to see the court during this particular time. >> tranten earlybird this when o got a telephone call from a
white house staffer who told me the present was going to announce his choice -- mr president, early, early this morning.sing -- occasioned by the passing of antonin scalia. and this morning i was invited to the rose garden to witness that ceremony, and it was i thought one of the presidents best deliveries of message to the american people about a critically important issue. i applaud president obama for his nomination of chief judgesu merrick garland to serve on the tiny supreme court. no one, no one questioned that judge garland is an outstanding attorney and an exceptional judge during his 19 years of the d.c. circuit court. no one questioned his qualifications and its experience to serve with distinction on the supreme court. i congratulate him, his wife whom i just met and his daughters becky and jesse on
this location. judge garland is the proud son from illinois. is the grandson of immigrantsrs who fled anti-semitic persecution.wh he was born in chicago to parents who ran a small business and volunteered in their community.y. a he graduated the top of his hara class, received his undergraduate law degree from harvard, clerked from -- for the legendary judge friendly, justice william brennan of the u.s. supreme court. he has incredible legal resume. he served in the justice department, worked in private practice before he was nominated to the d.c. circuit court. president obama today told a story of how merrick garland in the u.s. department of justice would sit down after the oklahoma city bombing to handle the prosecution, and how he carefully and definitely and professionally handled thatin prosecution in a way that it
would stick and it wouldn't be overturned because of legal mistakes. he felt personally attachment and obligation to the victims and their families, and he carried with him a memorial service bulletin that was given out with the names of each one of the victims. he brought with him each day to the courtroom. he's that kind of person. a prosecutor but with entity to the victims and the determination to make sure he followed the law. he did -- empathy. president obama's fulfill his constitutional responsibility, and now the senate must do the same. article ii, section two of the constitution provides the requirement that the president shall, shall appoint a nominee to fill a vacancy on the u.s. supreme court. and the president did that today. that same section of the constitution goes on to say that it's the responsibility of this
senate to advise and consent to that nominee. there's no requirement that we approve the president's nominee. i hope we do, but what it says is we have a responsibility of the constitution. d became constitution we swore to uphold and defend. so the president is using his authority and constitutional responsibility by naming merrick garland. now what will happen? the republican leadership in the senate has said come into story, we are not going to do anything. some centers have gone so far to say the they were not even meeth this man, will not even meet with the president's nominee for the supreme court. in the history of the united states of america, there has never, underlying never, that a situation where the president sent a nominee to the green card to the senate where it was not a
hearing. never. and the republican majority are has said ignore history. ignore the constitution. were not going to let this president fill this vacancy. t their argument is that the american people decide to there's an election coming. it will be in november. let them pick a president who court nominee. well, that's an interesting approach. it might make some sense have president barack obama been reelected in 2012 to a term of three years and two months. he was reelected to a four-year term by a 5 million vote plurality that he is the president and to argue in his last year in office he should have no authority or power in the constitution, to exercise what is required of him, is to ignore the obvious by what right do we in the closing of the senate's term, a senator's term,
vote on the floor of the senate? if we are disqualified from making important decisions in our last year in office in each term. it's a ludicrous position, ridiculous position that edits a position which i find offensive. this system of government gives to the american people the last word about who the president will be picked up in times when i've applauded that decision and times when i didn't, and if you're respectful of the constitution as this government, then you follow the will of the people of this great nation and they made a decision while a plurality of 5 million votes the barack obama would have this power for four years until january of 2017. so the president has sent this name, and now it's up to the in senate. the committee, the judiciary committee plays an important role in this decision and i'm honored to serve on it. patri in 2001 been chairman of the committee patrick leahy,
democratic from vermont, james with ranking republican on had a get a in 2001 they sent a letter to the senate about this issue of the supreme court vacancies. a bipartisan letter, and here's what it said. we both recognize and have every intention of following the practices of the committee and the senate when considering supreme court nominees. years delay. if that wasn't the case 15 years ago, and senator hatch who has been the ranking republican joined with senator leahy, thenl democratic chairman, what has changed? the only thing that's changed is that we have a president named barack obama. supreme in 1987 and was a vacancy on thp supreme court. ronald reagan was president. in 1988 he sent a name to this chamber of anthony kennedy to
fill the vacancy on the supreme court. the senate at that time was under the control of the democrats. ronald reagan a republican president since his nominee to the democratic senate come and what happened? did announce not going to fill this. we will wait till after the election. no, no. the democratic controlled senate held a hearing for anthony kennedy, brought it up for a vote and passed it unanimously to serve on the u.s. supreme court. and now look at what we are facing. republican colleagues who refuse to do their job under the constitution. for what reason? obviously for political reasons. my republican colleagues say destiny by a principle that the president should not get to nama the supreme court justice in his final year. that principle has no history, no precedent, and is virtually impossible to defend. i would suggest a differentt principle to my republicangarla,
colleagues, since judge garland, merrick garland, is unquestionably qualified and who clearly would vote to confirm it under the next president, why wait? why not vote to confirm him under this president? failing to fill the vacancy on the supreme court means that there will be over one year from the death of justice antonin scalia until a successor is chosen.we have the only time in history when we've had a vacancy on the time, one year or more of them was during the civil war when we were literally at war with one another in the united states. if that's the only time that ever happened, there's no excuse for us to let it happen again at this point in our history. to my friends on the republican side of the aisle, do your job. fill this vacancy. meet your constitutional responsibility. >> joint american history tv on c-span3 saturday for live all day coverage of a lincoln
symposium from ford's theatre in washington, d.c. starting at 9 a.m. eastern featured speakers include sidney blumenthal author of a self-made man. author edna green medford on lincoln and emancipation. lewis measure, right of lincoln's last speech, wartime preconstruction. stacy pratt mcdermott author of mary lincoln a southern girl, northern woman. thomas carson, lincoln's ethics. and author of fortune for from the life of john wilkes booth. the abraham lincoln symposium on american history tv on c-span3. live coverage saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. eastern. >> biggest sin is about to gavel in for general speeches this morning. this afternoon that chamber will debate a resolution that would hold back page.com ceo in contempt for failing to appear
at a hearing to answer questions surrounding human trafficking on its website. the resolution would direct council to bring civil action to enforce a subpoena against back page.com. off the florida supreme court justice merrick garland will hold its first meeting since been nominated yesterday. he is meeting with judiciary committee ranking member patrick leahy at 2:30 p.m. eastern. the chaplain: let us pray. eternal god, you are the shepherd of our souls. because of you, blessings overtake us. thank you for inscribing each of us on the palms of your hands; great is your faithfulness.
bless our senators and those who labor with them. give them strength to meet today's challenges with peace that comes from total trust in you. remind them that the way to find life is to lose it in your service for others. surround us all with your favor, as you complete the work you have started in each of us. we pray in your marvelous name. amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to our flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states
of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. reid: mr. president, my friend, the republican leader will be here shortly. i have something to do downtown so i'm getting to have to leave now so i certainly don't want to get ahead of him. i know he's going to say something because we've talked
about the chief of police who is retired, so i want to join with the republican leader in recognizing the work of the united states capital police chief kim dyne. he spefnts his professional life protecting people in washington, d.c. and the entire metro area. he started as a young officer here in washington 41 years ago with a course of three decades he moved up the ranks of the metropolitan police department becoming assistant chef of police. in 2002 he was selected to serve as chef of police of frederick, maryland. he served the people of maryland with distinction for ten years. 2012 our sergeant-at-arms asked him to come back to washington, this time as chief of the united states capitol police department. and we're very fortunate that that took place.
he helped oversee president obama's 2013 inauguration and since then has been a big event after big event. four state of the union addresses, the 4th of july concerts and of course pope francis' historic visit here last year. and during all of these proceedings, it's his obligation to protect the people that are visiting and protect the people who work at this beautiful capitol complex. at every one of those events, chief dine and his department did a superb job protecting 30,000 people. senators, congressmen, staff and visitors who are in the capitol complex virtually every day and that doesn't count the visitors who come. now as the -- as the chief embarks on a well deserved retirement, we thank him for his service. we thank his wife, robin and their two daughters for sharing
their husband and father with us for the past few years and basically -- i'm sure this man was taken care at home as he's taken care of all of us in. i hope these family takes satisfaction in the outstanding work he's rendered to the american people. so i thank you very much, chief. we wish you nothing but the best. mr. president, i would note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. mcconnell: are we in a quorum call, mr. president? the presiding officer: it is in a quorum call. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: this weekend u.s. capitol police chief kim dine will retire his badge and say goodbye to the senate after several decades of law enforcement service, including more than three right here in
the capitol. chief dine was the police chief in a nearby maryland suburb when he first came to this position in december 2012. you could say the appointment was a bit of a homecoming for him given that chief dine began his more than 40 years in law enforcement with the d.c. metro police department. he served there for 27 years and rose through the ranks eventually becoming assistant chief of police. now i know it's never easy to leave the capitol but you have to imagine chief dine has a lot to look forward to in his retirement. after all this, he's a guy known to get in the office before the sunrises. most would need rest after so many years of that kind of schedule. here's what we like to say. the senate appreciates chief dine's willingness to serve our country and after nearly four decades in law enforcement, we
wish him all the best in his retirement. now, mr. president, on an entirely different matter, let me begin by stating an obvious point. when it comes to filling the current supreme court vacancy which could fundamentally alter the direction of the court for a generation, republicans and democrats simply disagree. we simply disagree. republicans think the people deserve a voice in this critical decision. the president does not. so we disagree in this instance and as a result we logically act as a check and balance. there's no reason one area of disagreement should stop us from looking for other areas of agreement. we'll continue our work in the senate as the american people make their voices heard in this important national conversation. for instance, we'll address another very important issue today, which i'd like to talk
about now. senator portman, senator mccaskill are the top democrat and republican on the permanent subcommittee on investigations. over the past year, they worked together in a bipartisan way to examine human trafficking. their probe has revealed how trafficking has flourished in the age of the internet. it's also revealed how many cases of sex trafficking, including cases involving children, have been linked to one website in particular, backpage.com. one national group that tracks the issue has told the subcommittee this: nearly three-quarters of all suspected child sex trafficking reports it receives from the public through its tip line have a connection to back page. chairman portman and ranking member mccaskill have wanted to do something about this, and
they know they have to keep investigating. so they issued a subpoena to back page. they wanted documents about the company's business practices. they wanted to know how it screens advertisements for warning signs of trafficking. and as the leaders of the permanent subcommittee on investigations, they had every right to make these requests in the course of their investigations. but backpage has refused to comply. does that mean senators portman and mccaskill give up? of course not and we shouldn't either. they jointly introduced the senate resolution that would hold the company in civil contempt and force it to turn over the required information. this resolution passed through the committee with unanimous bipartisan support 15-0 and today it can pass the full senate with overwhelming bipartisan support, too. we'll have that opportunity this afternoon. if we do, it will allow the
senate's legal council to bring a civil suit and i ask the court to order compliance with the subpoena. that's critical for allowing this bipartisan investigation to move forward. so i want to thank ranking member mccaskill for all she's done. i thank chairman portman for all he's done. we saw senator portman's great work last week in passing bipartisan legislation to help address america's heroin and opioid crisis. and again today we'll see senator portman's great work in leading on another important issue and doing so once more in a bipartisan manner. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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