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tv   U.S. Senate Confirms Terry Branstad as China Ambassador  CSPAN  May 22, 2017 3:00pm-6:20pm EDT

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iran will never have nuclear weapons if i can help it. >>. >> leaving here in the u.s. senate about a gallon, lawmakers expected to debate the nomination of iowa governor terry grant to the us ambassador to china. the confirmation vote expected at about 5:30 eastern. senators getting word on the white house budget plan for 2018, budget released tomorrow about briefings getting underway later today on what's in the docket. live coverage now of the u.s. senate here on c-span2. >> er. the chaplain: let us pray. eternal god, our hearts
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rise up to meet you, as the day rises to meet the sun. humble our lawmakers in your presence that they may delight in the power you provide. help them to remember that before honor comes humility. give them also the wisdom to know that their sufficiency comes from you. teach them your wisdom, as you infuse them with the spirit of reverence for you. may they make the commitment to faithfully serve you and country
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with their whole hearts. we pray in your great 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.
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the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. morning business is closed. under the previous order, the senate will proceed to executive session to resume consideration
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of the branstad nomination which the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, department of state, terry branstad of iowa to be ambassador of the people's republic of china. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the time until 5:30 p.m. will be equally divided in the usual form.
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mr. schumer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: thank you, mr. president. now, since last week's all-senator briefing with the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, some of my friends on the other side of the aisle have alleged that his appointment of a special counsel impedes the congressional investigation into russian interference in our elections and whether or not the trump campaign was involved. nothing could be further from the truth. i the executive branch investigation under the special counsel looks at criminal wrongdoing. the congressional investigation takes a broader approach. the two can proceed on parallel
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tracks as has happened many times in the past. if anything, the congressional investigation if -- if anything the congressional investigation is doing potentially interferes with the special counsel's activities, the two parties will discuss it. it's a process called deconfliction. they know how to do it. they've done it before. there's no reason, no reason whatsoever for the congressional investigation to slow down or stop. mr. mueller's appointment as special counsel in no way diminishes the need for congress to play an active role in helping to get to the bottom of all the recent events. and let me repeat. this is our solemn constitutional duty. the very bedrock of the separation of powers and coequal branches of government designed by our founding fathers to preserve something we all cherish, american liberty and american democracy.
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so let me outline three things that should happen. first, intelligence committee chair burr, ranking member warner should continue to pursue their committee's investigation into these matters with just as much vigor. that investigation has been proceeding in a bipartisan way, and it absolutely should continue as such. for example, my friend, senator burr and warner have recently requested the financial records of key trump campaign officials from the treasury department. they should be given that information and continue to pursue whatever other avenues they view as helpful to the committee's investigation. second, mr. comey should testify in both the judiciary and the intelligence committees to discuss the events surrounding his dismissal. the committee should be given access to memos he reportedly drafted following interactions with president trump and
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congress should also be provided any transcripts or tapes the white house might have of mr. comey's conversations with president trump. third, the intelligence committee must be provided the details and tran scripts related to president trump's reported disclosure of information to the russian foreign minister and ambassador. there's a great deal of dispute about what was said at that meeting. the committee should have access to both mr. comey's notes and the white house's notes. and finally, the senate must demand that the next f.b.i. director be nonpartisan, independent, fearless, and of impeachable integrity just as mr. mueller is. a career politician of either party or anyone who suggests a lack of impartiality should not be considered a fit choice for that office. every one of these, by the way, deals with congressional oversight, some directly like the appointment of an f.b.i.
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director, some a little more indirectly, such as figuring out what exactly was said in the room with the russian foreign minister and ambassador. but all of it is clearly within what the constitution requires and the founding fathers wanted congress to be. so the congressional committees have really an obligation to our democracy to continue their ro role. now, mr. president, on another matter, health care. today the trump administration delayed for another 90 days their decision on whether or not to defend the administration's position in a lawsuit filed by the house republicans about the cost-sharing payments in the affordable care act. it's a decision that greatly increases the uncertainty in our health care system. the cost-sharing program keeps health care costs low for
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working americans, and helps insurers stay in the marketplace giving americans more choices. it keeps the average person's premiums down, keeps their deductibles low, makes it a lot easier for many working americans to afford health care. that was its purpose, and it's succeeding in its purpose. but by continuing to suck uncertainty about this program, both by refusing to defend the lawsuit and making outright threats to end it, the trump administration has already caused insurers to flee the marketplace or propose rate increases for the next year. let me repeat. right now, the trump administration's actions are sowing great uncertainty that causes insurers to pull out of states and increase their costs, making it more likely that
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working americans won't be able to afford coverage next year. a spokesperson for the american health insurance plans, the industry's main trade group, ahip, said the following. this is their quote, not mine. we need swift action and long-term certainty on the cost-sharing program. it is the single most destabilizing factor in the individual market, and millions of americans could soon feel the impact of fewer choices, higher costs and reduced access to care. the insurance industry itself is saying that the number one thing that could be done to keep costs down, to keep other insurers in the marketplace is to make permanent cost sharing. president trump's attempt to blame what's happening on obamacare is totally contradicted by what the health insurance plans say when it comes to cost sharing.
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so refusing to guarantee the cost-sharing payments is sabotage, plain and simple, and the trump administration knows it. now, the administration made the last cost-sharing payment but refuses to say they will continue to make them permanently. they know they will get blamed for the chaos that would ensue should they end these payments. they're afraid to do that, but they also want to threaten the stability of their health care system in order to get democrats to work with them on their health care bill. so what they tried to do is have their cake and eat it, too. they said we're not -- we're going to delay the lawsuit but we're still going to have that uncertainty that hurts americans out there. that is profoundly irresponsible. threatening to defund health care in order to win political leverage is hostage taking at its very worst because it holds millions of immigrant americans
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who very much need health care and need the costs to be lower and affordable hostage. it's already causing massive uncertainty. it will only get worse if the administration continues to kick the can down the road three months at a time. there is one very simple solution. instead of delaying the decision every three months, the white house ought to step up to the plate and say once and for all they'll make these payments permanently, payments which help millions of americans pay less for their health care, payments with the insurance industry itself says would help stabilize markets and help people gain health care. next, mr. president, on the budget, the president of the united states will release his budget in 2018, this week. it could come as early as tomorrow, and all indications are that it will be similar to his skinny budget from earlier this year.
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i want to remind everyone here in the senate what a disaster that budget would be if it were ever implemented by congress. the president told the american people he helped create jobs and provide greater economic security for families. this budget does exactly the opposite. it's not a jobs budget, it's not an economic security budget. it's a budget that takes a meat cleaver to the middle class by gutting programs that help them the most, including many ma create jobs and power the economy. transportation is cut, education is cut, programs that promote science -- scientific and medical research are cut, programs that protect clean air and clean water are cut. all of these are favored -- these programs are favored by the american people. they have been favored by a vast majority of my republican friends across the aisle, but the president's budget is an outlier, way out there. it fits with mr. mulvaney's
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beliefs, but he was an outlier in the congress when he called for the government to be shut down and when he wants to have the government play so little a role in helping the middle class that it's harmful to america. and there's another one that really is worrisome. recent reports say that the president's budget will target medicaid for significant cuts as large or larger than the $880 billion the house republicans would cut in their trumpcare bill. this would cut -- pull the rug out from so many americans who need help. those suffering from opioid and heroin addiction, people in nursing homes and their families who care for them, the elderly, the disabled and children. medicaid has become a middle-class program. opioid addiction. what about a 40 or 50-year-old
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couple that has -- trying to raise their kids, saving for college and has a parent who needs to be in a nursing home. right now, medicaid pays for it. what are they going to do when that's cut. they have two choices. shell a huge amount of money out of their own pocket which they can't afford or maybe bring mom or dad home back home where there may be no room at home for them. what a horrible choice. what a horrible choice. well, that's what the president is proposing to do when he dramatically slashes medicaid. as i repeat, medicaid helps the very poor, but it also helps the middle class and the majority of its money now seems to go to the middle class, i believe something like 60% goes to nursing homes or some high percentage like that. the congressional budget office estimates that a cut to medicaid of this size would deprive
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roughly 10 million americans of medicaid benefits over the next decade. medicaid's always benefited the poor. that's a good thing. but i remind my colleagues that it is increasing -- it has increasingly become a middle-class program. the 60%, here's where it goes. medicaid provides benefits for 60% of americans in nursing homes. listen to this, mr. president and my colleagues. medicaid helps 1.75 million veterans, one in ten. it provides american -- it provides services for americans struggling with opioid addiction, a problem that affects so many. so if the reporting is accurate, these cuts to medicaid, the president's budget -- which are in the president's budget carry a staggering human cost. and once again, donald trump is breaking his promise to the working people of america. we have seen promise after promise just broken as if they
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didn't even matter. what he said in the campaign and what he governs as almost has no overlap in so many areas. here's what candidate trump campaigned as -- said when he campaigned quote i'm not going to cut social security like every other republican and i'm not going to cut medicare or medicaid. he promised he would help take care of those suffering from opioid addiction. if he cuts medicaid, he is breaking that promise, boom, right in half. candidate trump campaigned as a populist, said he wanted to help the working people, but since he has taken office, he has governed like a hard right conservative, pushing plols that help the uber wealthy at the expense of the middle class. but trumpcare and the budget the president will be proposing tomorrow says one thing, does
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another. many of my republican friends come from states that have significantly expanded their medicaid programs over the past few years, insuring hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of their constituents. based on what we know about this budget, the good news, the only good news is that it was likely to be roundly rejected by members of both parties here in the senate, just as the last budget was. democrats and republicans on the 2017 budget virtually ignored the president and his proposal. we got together, we compromised. not everyone got everything they wanted, but we produced a budget that america can be proud of and one that helps the middle class. we have shown the democrats and republicans, house and senate can come together and compromise on appropriations in 2017. we should follow that same blueprint in 2018. we should ignore the president's budget which would devastate the
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middle class and instead work across the aisle to advance reasonable compromise legislation later this year. thank you, and i yield the floor to my good friend from texas. mr. cornyn: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: mr. president, i
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came to the floor during the last part of the remarks of the distinguished democratic leader, and it just reminded me of a headline i saw in this morning's newspaper that just to me exemplifies how dishonest sometimes the way that questions are framed here when it comes to dealing with our financial responsibilities. the headline in "the washington post" talked about president trump's proposal slashing medicaid. like the democrats have criticized the house health care replacement bill, slashing medicaid, even though as a factual matter, medicaid would continue to grow year after year after year. and as the distinguished presiding officer and i have previously discussed, one
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question is what is a responsible rate of consumer price index or inflation to deal with medical inflation so that when we return medicaid to the states, spending it, let's say, 2016 levels, what is the responsible rate of continued growth to deal with medical inflation so that the states aren't left with an unsustainable burden, but the idea that something is spending at current levels plus an additional cost of living index year after year after year means that medicaid spending will go up every year. next year it will be more than this year. the following year, it will be more than next year. so that's only in the fevered imagination of apparently the headline writers at "the washington post" and in some of our democratic friends could that be considered a cut. in the rest of the country, they would consider that as medicaid
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growing, not being cut, and it is true that one of the things that the house did that i think is an important reform of one of our principle entitlement provisions is to put some sort of sustainable cap on the growth of spending of entitlements which previously has been uncapped. someday, there's going to be a day of reckoning in this country when it comes to spending. we have $20 trillion in debt. we know now that the federal reserve is loosening its hold on interest rates, that those are creeping up, and one of the estimates is that if interest rates due to improved economic performance were to reach historic norms, we would soon be paying more for interest on the national debt than we would be paying for defense spending. that is just simply
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unsustainable. not to mention the fact that we would then be leaving -- we would be essentially appropriating 30% of what the federal government spends and leaving 70% untouched. but we can't get the country on a sustainable financial path, just dealing with 30% of what the federal government spends, and we need to have a serious conversation, not a misleading characterization of the problem. we need a serious conversation about the reality facing our country and future generations because right now we're spending their inheritance, so to speak. in other words, i consider it an act of immorality for me to be spending money and forcing my children and future generations to pay it back. that's just not fair to them, and we need to come to grips with that sooner rather than later. mr. president, on another note,
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last week, the administration sent official notice to congress of its intent to renegotiate the north american free trade agreement, or nafta. this this was a big part of president trump's campaign platform that the united states needed smarter, fairer trade deals that benefit more americans. and i certainly agree with that principle. now, i do think in some corners nafta has been unfairly maligned. but it is true that it is 23 years old and needs to be mode modernize and i think all of us can rally around that consistent with the principle in president trump's campaign that america needs smarter, fairer, trade deals that benefit more americans. free trade has been a boon to the american economy and certainly the texas economy because we're the number-one exporting state in the nation. our farmers and ranchers and small business owners have benefited from trade agreements, particularly nafta, that help
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them send more the products they raise, grow, and build to more markets around the world, principally to canada and mexico but certainly other trade agreements that allow those goods -- manufactured goods, stock raised and produce grown, to markets around the world. we comprise in america about 5% of the potential markets in the world. so there are 95% of the rest of the world is a market to buy the things that we make and grow and raise here, and why not help create more jobs and a stronger economy here at home by encouraging that kind of free and fair trade. well, there's been significant growth in exports since nafta was agreed to 23 years ago. and of course mexico continues to be an important economic partner, helping my state -- texas -- grow and specifically creating a vibrant ecosystem
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along the border. but the rest of the country benefits, too. the national chamber of commerce estimates that there are 5 million american jobs as a result of binational trade with mexico. with canada, it's about 8 million. why in the world would we want to do anything to jeopardize that? i suggest we don't. free trade doesn't just mean more opportunities for our agriculture sector or business owners, but it also helps american families buy more affordable products here at home, too. that's why we need to make sure that any changes to nafta are improvements to the overall agreement. now, i was encouraged just this last week when ambassador lighthizer and mr. ross met with
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us. they said their first principle when negotiating with nafta is do no harm. that's a pretty good rule of thumb. it reminds me of the hip contractic oath that -- hippocratic oath that doctors take, do no harm. i believe that's a good place to start. but over the last two decades under this agreement, the economy in my state, in texas, which has been the engine that's been pulling the national economy in many respects, it's grown significantly because of tremendous access afforded through the trade, and we have to be careful not to do any harm to that and to look for ways to improve it. but there's no denying that this agreement is an old one created well before the digital and global economy of today. it was written before the energy renaissance in north america occurred, whereby instead of
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peak energy production, what's we thought we had reached, we now have so much natural gas and oil that we export it to the world. that's great for jobs here at home. it's great to be able do that to our allies around the world, who need a dependable alternative supply of energy, in many respects, rather than being the victim of energy being used as a weapon against them. so that's another good reason, the energy renaissance, why nafta -- why updating it makes sense. well, i look forward to working with the president and his team to take great care that any efforts to modernize nafta don't sacrifice the benefits that we've enjoyed for the last two decades. but hopefully we can modernize it in a way that will allow more americans to take advantage of it and our economy will continue to grow and prosper as a result.
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mr. president, on another matter, as we all know, this chamber continues to consider the best way forward to repeal and replace obamacare. the entire republican conference, all 52 of us, have been meeting arely in small groups and larger -- meeting regularly, in small groups and larger groups, so we can finally put obamacare behind us. it is a shame that none of our democratic colleagues appear willing to lift a finger to help us do that even though they know that obamacare is in a meltdown mode. we promised multiple times -- at least in the last three elections -- to do away with this disaster after health care law so that american families caneth go the health care -- can get the health care they need at a price they can afford. this isn't just a talking point. this is our goal. this is our objective. but when i said that obamacare has been a failure, i'm reminded of a letter written to me by one of my constituents from the
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dallas-fort worth area. this gentleman is a small business owner, since the implementation of obamacare, he's had to change his insurance each year, and every time his rates have increased. he estimates they've gone up from roughly $350 a month now to nearly $800 a month. not to mention his out-of-pocket costs. they've skyrocketed from $3,500 to $14,000. now, that's not affordable health care. at that price, i can't imagine it does him much good at all. particularly when you couple those high premiums with higher deductibles. in many instances,$6,000 or more for the deductible alone. even though they're paying premiums for those insurance and those premiums are going up every year, you still have such a high deductible, it
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effectively makes you uninsured. the first time in gentleman was forced to change plans, his health care plans because his insurance carrier completely pulled out of the marketplace. and that's something we're hearing across the country. it's not just a texas phenomenon. i would imagine there are similar stories in states like indiana, north dakota, wisconsin, missouri, michigan, montana, just to mention a few. it's simply proof that the obamacare experiment is a failure and that government-mandated, one-size-fits-all approach to health care doesn't work very well. so the next year this same gentleman went with a different insurance company, but they canceled the plan he was already on and then that insurance company pulled all individual health care plans from the state so he had to find another health insurance plan. but that's not where the bad
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news ends. the doctor he's had for 20 years didn't accept the new health insurance plan, so instead of finding a new doctor, which he didn't want to do, he's now paying out of pocket so he can keep the doctor that he wants. well, you remember what president obama said countless times? if you like your plan you can keep it; if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor; and he said a family of four would find, on average, a savings of $2,500 a year in their health insurance premiums, none of which has proven to be true. this is an experiment that has ended in failure, and it didn't turn out to be the case for this constituent of mine. each time his plan changed, he saw a price increase and a coverage decrease.
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so even if hillary clinton had been elected president of the united states, we would still be revisiting -- need to revisit the failures of become become because the situation is simply not sustainable. for roughly 11 million people, about 6% of the people who get their insurance in the individual market. in spite of the fact that knowing that many of their constituents are being hurt by the failures of obamacare, our democratic colleagues, even though they know it, they refuse to do anything about it. but again we would invite them to work with us, not for our benefit but for the benefit of the people they represent. this is not making life any easier for my constituents in texas, and i'm confident that's the case for people across the country. and that's why our efforts to replace obamacare are so
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important. and that's why we'll keep fighting to get it done, because families across the country need access to quality health care they can afford, that's not chosen for them but which they choose because it suits their needs. finally, mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that all quorum calls until 5:30 p.m. today be equally divided. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cornyn: i yield the floor, and i'd note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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?oo quorum call: quorum call:
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, last week we confirmed two well-qualified nominees -- jeffrey rosen as deputy secretary of transportation, and rachel brand as associate
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attorney general. and today we'll have an opportunity to confirm another excellent nominee, governor terry branstad, to be u.s. ambassador to china. while i'm pleased that the senate is working to fill these important positions, it's been disappointing to see so much pointless obstruction by our friends across the aisle. they continuously forced procedural hurdles on nominees for no other reason than to stall confirmations, launching more filibusters against this president's cabinet than any other in history. and they've done so not to change the result, but simply to eat up floor time that could be used for legislation to help our constituents. take the cloture vote they forced last week on the branstad nomination. the senate voted overwhelmingly 86-12 object that motion proving once again that our democratic colleagues' tactics really have little to do with the nominees themselves. they are just delaying for delay's sake. it's really past time to stop
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the games. once confirmed as ambassador to china, governor branstad will be tasked with a portfolio that is important not only for our diplomatic relationship with china but also for our trade policies with that country. he's earned the support of senators on both sides of the aisle and was reported out of the foreign relations committee on a voice vote. having served as the governor of iowa for more than two decades, branstad has developed a strong understanding of agriculture, trade, and other key national interests. his experience on these issues will guide him as he works to strengthen our relationship with china and pursue trade policies that can benefit american workers and businesses. so i look forward to confirming him as our nation's next ambassador to china so that he can get started on the important task before him. after we confirm governor branstad, we'll vote to advance another well-qualified nominee to serve as our nation's deputy secretary of the, john j.
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sullivan. it's both a critical and challenging role, but mr. sullivan's extensive background has prepared him for the task ahead. through the years he's worked at the defense department and the justice department. he also served as the deputy secretary of commerce. i'm confident that his experience will serve him well as he works as a key r advisor to secretary tillerson and helps lead our nation in the range of security issues we face. we look forward to confirming him soon. having these key officials in place at the state department is of great importance as they work with the administration on shaping our foreign policy and strengthening our posture in the international community. as we know, the president is currently traveling on his first international trip as our commander in chief. the trip provides the president with an important opportunity to engage with key allies, discuss our shared interests and continue conversations on issues where we can work together in the future. so we wish the president and the
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first lady both a successful trip and safe travel as they return to the united states later this week. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: will the senator withhold his request. mr. mcconnell: i withhold. a senator: mr. president. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that all quorum calls until 5:30 today be equally divided. the presiding officer: without objection. the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas. mr. boozman: i rise to recognize national drug court month and show my support for the positive impact drug courts have on cutting crime, saving money, and restoring lives. i've seen firsthand the impact
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of drug courts in arkansas. its proven approach has helped many arkansans suffering from drug and alcohol abuse who have received the treatment and services they need to turn their lives around. for more than two decades, these courts have offered arkansas' drug-addicted nonviolent offenders an alternative to jail while rehabilitating them through a strenuous treatment program. we have nearly 90 specialty courts in arkansas that are providing lifesaving treatment to more than 3,000 individuals with substance use disorders, and the results are impressive. our state saves $45 million each year by diverting these offenders from prison to drug courts. 90% of arkansas drug courts
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participants drug test come back negative for illegal substances, compared to 64% of those on probation and parole. drug courts are a critical component of today's criminal justice system. they have proven to be an effective alternative to jail for individuals convicted of nonviolent drug charges. holding offenders with substance use and mental health disorders accountable through strict supervision and treatment, drug courts and veterans treatment courts have saved billions of tax dollars, and the lives of more than 1.5 million people, including a remarkable man i recently met who shared his story. blaine was facing 20 years in prison because of crimes that he had committed to support a ten-year addiction to prescribing -- to prescription opioids. this epidemic currently takes 94
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american lives every single day. but blaine is one of the lucky ones. his community had a drug court. the drug court program gave him the tools that he needed to stop using drugs and helped him reconnect with his family, find employment and get his life back on track instead of sitting in the jail cell on the taxpayers' dime, he's working as a teacher. instead of breaking into homes, he owns one. today blaine is a dedicated family man. he told me, and i quote, drug court was a chance to become the father and husband that i wanted to be. end quote. his story is similar to hundreds of arkansans who have drug courts to thank for turning their lives around. and arkansas drug court gave a woman named sammy a second chance. she became addicted to painkillers at the age of 22, when she suffered a back injury. her addiction led her down a very dangerous path where she
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also started using meth every day. it also led her into the criminal justice system, and she was facing 20 years in prison. drug court helped sammy change her lifestyle. now she is a positive role model for her children, holding down a full-time job and giving back to her community. this is the power of drug courts and other treatment courts that changed lives, heal families and save money. the success of drug treatment courts has become a model tailored to the needs of different groups from veterans to juveniles. the willingness of the judicial system to adopt alternative methods to jail time is a cost-effective approach. to changing the habits of drug addicts and saving thousands of
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people like blaine and sammie. as washington pursues options for criminal justice reform, drug courts are a great example of a program that works. more than 25 years of research has proven that they reduce crime and substance abuse, break the vicious cycle of recidivism and keep families together. in arkansas and every other state in the country, drug courts are making a real difference. i want to recognize and thank the more than 30,000 drug court judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, treatment providers, probation officers, court administrators, and other professionals who are on the front lines of providing a path to recovery. as we recognize national drug court month, this is a great opportunity to show our commitment for the drug court
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discretionary grant program and the veterans treatment court initiative at the department of justice. while there are 150,000 americans being served by drug courts and veteran treatment courts today, there are more than 1 million individuals in our justice system who do not yet have access to these lifesaving programs. i ask you to join me in supporting resources for these programs, to improve public safety, save taxpayer dollars, and most importantly, to save lives. and with that, mr. president, i yield back.
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quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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mr. portman: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. portman: i ask unanimous consent that vitiate the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. portman: came to the floor last week to talk about our police officers. it was during police week and we talked about the bravery and heroism of our officers back home. i talked about some stories, tragic stories of police officers gunned down in the line of duty, talked about what they do for us every day. today i want to talk about an issue that is actually endangering their lives an the lives of so many in our communities but specifically law enforcement, and this happens in every single state represented in this chamber. this danger is this new epidemic of synthetic heroin of opioids, heroin and prescription drugs we know more b now you have these
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synthetic heroins coming in that are even more powerful. so being a police officer has always been a tough job. but it's becoming riskier today because of this. some people have heard it as carfentanil or fentanyl or u4. most of this poison coming inure community is coming in the mail system, primarily from china, where they have laboratories where some evil scientist is mixing up this chemical mix and sending it over here. let me tell you a story that happened just last friday in east liverpool, ohio. some of you may know the name east liverpool because it was the same city where there was a photograph that went viral on the internet where a couple overdoses in the front of their car with their 3-year-old grandson in the seat behind them. it showed the grandson and the
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two who had overdoses passed out in the front of the car. in this same town it an officer by the name of chris green turned over a car. he noticed there was white powder sprinkled around the car. he took the appropriate precautions, put on his gloves, put on a mask, and he began to deal with the situation at hand. these people in the car apparently had spread the powder in order to try-to-a void it being detected. but it was easily detectable. at the end of his arrest proce process, there were a small amount of powder, a small amount of powder that was left on his jacket, which he did not notice. he went back to the police station and when he got there he noticed the powder on his shirt and instinctively went like this to get the powder off of his
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shirt. this small amount of powder and touching his hand caused him to overdose. now, officer green is not a small guy. he's about 6' 3", 225 pounds, a big, strong police officer who just by trying to get a new flakes off his powder off his jacket overdosed. why? because this fentanyl is so powerful. it is so deadly. fortunately, his fellow police officers were able to save his life with naloxone, a miracle drug that reverses the effects of an overdose. it is being used on our streets every single day to save people from dying from on overdose. in this case, it was used to keep a police officer who was doing his duty and who had tried to get a few flakes off his uniform from dying. if he had been alone, he'd be dead. that's how dangerous this stuff
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is. chief lane later made the point that if officer green had gone home in that shirt and unknowingly had this powder on his shirt or jacket, he could have endangered the lives of his family. that's a scary thought and obviously that's true. that's how deadly these drugs are. it only takes a few milligrams, just a few specks, to kill you. this chart will show you how much it takes. here you see 10 milligrams of carfentanil is powerful now sedate a 15,000-pound elephant. and here is the carfentanil over here. you'll see why a fatal dose can be a very, very small amount. 30 milligrams for heroin. for in the evental in, three milligrams. and for carfentanil, even less than three milligrams.
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if you want to take out a penny. if you look at the penny, you'll see abraham lincoln's profile on one side. the deadly dose of fentanyl that we're talking about here is enough to only cover up basically the face of abraham link congress on a penny. that's how little we're talking about and how dead think stuff -- and how deadly this stuff is. you can see why law enforcement officers are so concerned about this. there was a famous case last year where two officers in atlantic city, detective calvin and detective bryce overdosed just by breathe fentanyl in the air at a crime scene. as some of you have seen, this fentanyl is so danger you they're afraid to use dogs to try to sniff it out because just by trying to sniff these packages to see if fentanyl is included in them, the dogs could also overdose and die. so this fentanyl is dangerous
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stuff. and by the way it's taking up more and more of the resources of our police officers and other first responders. earlier this year i came to the floor and talked about officer ben rhodes of chillicothe, ohio. last year officer rhodes reversed more than 50 drug overdoses. this is one officer in one small town. talk to the fire officers in your community and ask them whether they go on more fire runs or more fentanyl/carfentanil overdose runs. i will guarantee you they go on year overdose runs. as a result, in some communities, those firefighters are not there to protect us as you would typically think from the fires that still continue to be a major problem. so this is a real issue, taking up more and more of their time, more and more resources and causing more and more crime. on the one hand thursday in middletown, ohio, a family was getting ready to leave the
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house. in fact they'd already strapped their 3-month-old baby into a car seat. and not clear whether they had shot up with heroin before they put the baby in the car seat or after, but they went back in the house and overdosed in the house. they got the baby in the car seat. they've overdosed in the home. they have another son who is five years old. he runs out of the house barefoot, goes to a neighbor's house, goes to his stepfather's home, which is a few blocks away, and yells at the door, mom and dad are dead. mom and dad are dead. the step-grandfather called the police and they rushed over to the scene. they were able to revive the boy's dad with naloxone. they used seven doses of naloxone on the mother, but she still couldn't wake up. and from talking to police officers about this, they tell me that's a very good sign that this involved fentanyl.
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perhaps carfentanil. because after two, three, four, five, six, seven doses of it she still could not be revived. fortunately, police rushed her to the hospital where they were finally able to bring her back. but, again, this is what police officers are facing every day. in my home state of ohio, in your state, in your community. after this incident, the middletown police said on facebook, it has to stop. police get help before it's too late. not only to save yourself but to save your kids. give these kids a chance by getting help. if you or someone you love has a drug problem, please seek help right now. this is a cry from our police officers saying, this just can't continue. talk to the firefighters or the police officers who administer naloxone to the same individual time and time again after overdose and overdose.
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these brave officers and police officers around the country are feeling overwhelmed. it's the number-one cause now of accidental death in the united states of america. that is, drug overdoses. it has now surpassed car accidents. it has way surpassed gun violence. in the last three years more americans have died from drug overdoses thank died in the vietnam war. more are dying of drug overdoses than died from aids in the peak of the aids epidemic in 1995. another tragedy. dorgan article in "the new york times" -- according to an article in "the new york times," more than five times the number of people are dying every day than were dying at the peak of the crack cocaine epidemic. when i say it is the worst crisis we've faced in this country, it is not overstating it. the fraternal order of police and the major county sheriffs of america are focused on this
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issue and they want better tools to be able to at least try to stop some of this poison, the fentanyl, the carfentanil from coming into our communities. i menged he willier the -- i mentioned earlier that this actually comes by the mail system. unbelievable. and it doesn't come by all mail systems. it comes by the u.s. mail system, as opposed to the private carriers like fedex or u.p.s. or others. one reason is our mail system in the united states does not require the kind of advanced notice of where the package is from, what's in it, where is it going that the private carriers require. so where do the carriers go? they go to the u.s. postal service and the postal service in the country that interacts with and connects with our postal service. this is why the fraternal order of police are saying help us by passing legislation called the stop act. the stop act is to help stop traffickers from bringing these
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deadly.sons inure communities shall the kind of stuff that caused officer green to overdose. fentanyl and other synthetic drugs are not just coming in from overseas, they're coming in through our mail -- they're coming in through our mail system. what we're saying in the stop act is let's close the loophole. let's say that the mail system here in the united states has to say the same thing that other private carriers say to the carriers, which is if you want to ship something through our system, that is fair, but you've got to tell us what's in this, where it's from and where it's going. otherwise they can't just effectively stop these packages. it's like finding a needle in a haystack. i told you how sniffing dogs can't be used because of the potential of them dying. expert testimony including that from the secretary of homeland security, general kelly, from
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customs and border protection, from the folks at d.e.a. all reach the same conclusion, which is that this policy change would make it easier for law enforcement to detect suspicious packages of fentanyl, carfentanil, other synthetic drugs and help keep this poison out of this country. support for this legislation is bipartisan and growing. we've now got 16 cosponsors in the senate, eight democrats, eight republicans, ceil bipartisan. in the house, congressman pat teaberry of ohio has introduced companion legislation. they now have 128 cosponsors. it's such an obvious way to help push back. is it the silver bullet? no. there is note one silver bullet. we do need to do more in terms of prevention and treatment and recovery and help law enforcement. let's stop some of this poison coming in and let's at least
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increase the cost of the fentanyl because one reason you see this big increase in overdoses from fentanyl and carfentanil and traffickers using more of it is because of the cost. and at the very least by helping our law enforcement, giving them the tools that they need, we can stop some of it and increase the cost of this on the streets. so i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting the stop act. we have a hearing on this legislation on thursday of this week and the permanent subcommittee on investigations. we have experts coming in, law enforcement officers who care a lot about their colleagues. i talked about what a danger this is to them, what a danger this is to our community. it's time for us in the united states senate to stand up and to take this important step, not a silver bullet but an important step to be able to help save lives and make our communities safer. thank you, madam president. mr. nelson: madam president, would the senator from ohio yield for a question?
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the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson: thank you, madam president. i say to the senator, i appreciate what he's doing. i am a supporter and one of the cosponsors of his bill. this fentanyl problem is just devastating communities all over the country, including in my state of florida. and what was surprising to me, to find out is that fentanyl is so much more addictive and so much more lethal than so many other of these drugs that ultimately lead to a person becoming addicted so badly that they just crave fentanyl. so i appreciate very much what he has spoken out and given the
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leadership to, and i just want him to know that there are a lot of us that are trying to raise the flags of awareness of this situation before it's too late. mr. portman: mr. president, i want to thank my colleague from florida. he has been a stalwart on this issue. we have never made this a partisan issue. we've always kept this as a bipartisan issue because this is a danger to our country, our communities, all americans. the senator from florida is absolutely right, it's 30 to 50 times more powerful than heroin. a few flakes can kill you, as you see here. it's absolutely necessary that we figure out a way together as republicans and democrats to do what we did with the comprehensive addiction recovery act which you also supported, with the cures act, to take this next logical cal step to deal with the new step which is the synthetic heroin coming into
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our country. i thank my colleague from florida and i yield back. mr. nelson: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson: mr. president, just in passing, i would sail to the senator from ohio that what was so surprising to me that just a few brains of this deadly drug just by being touched by -- just a few grains of this will deadly drug just by being touched by someone it's absorbed into the system through the skin, and it can be lethal. just that innocent act of touching a few grains. so indeed we have got to get our arms around this problem. mr. president, i want to address the senate on a different subject. if you recall the devastating earthquake in this little country of haiti, the poorest nation in the entire western
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hemisphere, you can imagine what that hurricane did. and just as people are beginning to get their lives back together, here comes a hurricane, and it devastates even more. and as a result, over the course of those years, a number of haitians were admitted into the united states under t.p.s., temporary protected status. that's a special entry into the u.s. because of usually a natural catastrophe that has occurred in another nation of the world, but it's with the understanding that indeed as the first word of t.p.s. says, that it is temporary. so into the united states,
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allowing some relief on all of the stresses on the local economy and the government, because of that devastating earthquake, and then later the hurricane on top of it, approximately just less than 60,000 haitians here legally on t.p.s. so the government of the united states is making a decision, and has just announced earlier today that it will extend is a bipartisan request on many of us in the florida delegation to extend t.p.s. until the nation of haiti can in fact absorb 60,000 people back into
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its little island economy. these are people that generally want to go back. their families are there. these are people that have now earned substantial savings they send back to people, their families. these are people with skills that haiti as it continues to rebuild from a poverty-stricken nation, would and want to have them back because of their skills. i might say, mr. president, that when i knew that the department of homeland security was considering this, of whether or not to revoke the t.p.s. status or to extend it, i felt quite confident that the secretary of d.h.s., general
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kelly, the former commander of southcom, the united states southern command, that in his three-year stint as a commander of southcom that in fact he would understand all the nuances because he had lived with that problem, he understood it, he understood not only t.p.s. for the haitians, but he also understood the t.p.s. that even years before had been given to a number of central americans when they came into the country under temporary protected status, and of which they likewise have been extended, and that status has not been revoked. so i felt quite confident that general kelly, as the secretary of d.h.s., would in fact extend
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t.p.s. from ordering immediate removal to the nation of haiti of 60,000 people. indeed, general kelly announced that decision earlier today, and he has granted a six-month extension. now therein lies the problem. i have just spoken to general kelly, who is really a tremendous lifelong marine, very decorated, a true hero. he is someone that has comported with his duties whatever it has been in his service to america in the most exemplary manner. what i wanted to discuss with general kelly was that there's
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just no way that in six months that the nation of haiti can absorb 60,000 of its people back. it would be like trying to swallow a bite of food that is way too big in order to do it. so what i urged on general kelly, after this announcement was made, which has caused alarm in haitian american communities. it certainly caused alarm in the nation of haiti, the government of haiti. indeed, the ambassador was asking for an extension of at least 18 months. i don't think that is out of the question that general kelly will consider that. and, therefore, i ask him to please confer with the leadership in the haitian american community in south florida, a community that he well is aware of since he lived
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in miami for three years as the commander of u.s. southern command. i think he will follow that suggestion and meet in the not too distant future with the leaders. general kelly also told me that he was planning a trip to haiti to discuss this directly with the government of haiti, and that's important because how many can they reasonably absorb back into society, utilize their skills, and over what period of time can that be done? therefore, i commend general kelly, the secretary of d.h.s., on the way that he has approached it, and would urge our haitian american communities in america to just be patient,
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understand that general kelly is going to do a comprehensive overview, that in six months come january, suddenly 60,000 people are not going to be kicked out of the country. now the truth is i'm not sure the government of the u.s. knows exactly where all the 60,000 are. so that's going to be another question of locating once the decision is made, which this senator has certainly urged at least 18 months before that would start. i've spoken to the haitian ambassador. he told me that it's a newly formed government in haiti, is working on a plan to further rebuild and develop the country so that its people can make their lives there again, and they've asked for the extension
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of t.p.s. up to 18 months while they continue to rebuild. and i think that by secretary kelly indicating that he is going to haiti very soon, that he has indicated that he's going to reconsider the decision that was made about six months suddenly revoking all of their t.p.s. status. as haiti continues to rebuild, repatriating 60,000 haitians here in the u.s., it needs to be pursued according to a plan that will not destabilize the new government's efforts. remember, this is a government -- we had a temporary government because there was a question about
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chicanery in the election. there was actually a temporary president that governed the country, and then new elections were held with an overwhelming winner who is now the president of haiti. so in this newly formed government, you don't want to destabilize their efforts which would divert precious resources to just reintegrating the people that would be sent back from the united states. it could cause a severe overburden to the government, and, therefore, what this senator is asking for, what i think at the end of the day will probably be 18 months. given that time and then start an orderly transition of those
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t.p.s. haitians back to their own country. and, thus, the u.s. can continue to be focused on helping haiti recover from all of these disasters that they have suffered. therefore, i feel quite confident that secretary kelly will do that. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mrs. ernst: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that if the branstad nomination is confirmed, the motion to reconsider be made and laid upon the table and the president be immediately notified of the senate's action. the presiding officer: is there objection? seeing none. mrs. ernst: mr. president --. the presiding officer: so ordered. the senator from iowa. mrs. ernst: mr. president, i rise today to encourage my colleagues to support iowa
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governor terry branstad's nomination to be u.s. ambassador to the people's republic of china. the position of u.s. ambassador to china is one of the most important ambassadorial positions in the world, and i am confident that my friend and governor terry branstad is the right person for the job. having worked alongside the governor for many years, i know he will exemplify the same leadership, thoughtfulness and dedication in his role as ambassador to china on behalf of the united states as he did for the people of iowa. importantly, governor branstad knows chinese -- china and its leader well. he met the president of china in 1985. they have kept in touch over the years and governor branstad visited china a number of times on behalf of the state of iowa.
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iowa's extensive trade relationship with iowa has given governor branstad a front seat view of the complexities of our country's economic relationship with china and will provide him with the foundation to effectively advocate for u.s. interests. as evidenced by his successful confirmation hearing before the senate foreign relations committee, which approved his nomination by voice vote, governor branstad will not only work tirelessly to foster our trade and economic interest with china, but he is also prepared to tackle the many other complex, bilateral issues we have with china, from north korea to the south china sea to human rights. it has been an honor to serve the people of iowa alongside governor branstad, the longest serving governor in united
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states history, and i am thrilled to continue to work with him in his new role serving the american people. i thank governor branstad for his service to iowa and i wish him and his family the best as they prepare to depart for beijing. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. mr. cardin: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: mr. president, i join the senator from iowa in supporting governor branstad as our next ambassador to china. i had the opportunity of being the ranking democrat on the senate foreign relations committee and i knew of governor branstad's reputation as the governor of iowa. that he was well thought of, that his leadership was recognized not only by the people of his state but of our nation. before the nomination was made, i was impressed by his dedication to public service. i then had a chance to meet with
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him in hi office. must tell you i was extremely impressed about how he was prepared to be the ambassador of china and how he spoke in favor of our strong ideals. we then had a confirmation hearing. the confirmation hearing in our committee i think very much confirmed his knowledge of the challenges that he has, his dedication to public service and that he would be a strong advocate of american values. so i support his nomination and i urge my colleagues to confirm governor branstad. as senator ernst pointed out, our mission in china is a particularly important international responsibility. we know that china plays a significant role -- maybe even a dominating role in regards to north korea, in trying to get north korea to give up its nuclear arsenal. we also know that china has a
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very checkered record on protecting the human rights of its own citizens. we have major trade issues between the united states and china in which our ambassador needs to be engaged to protect american commercial interest. we have the continuing saga between taiwan and china and living up to our commitments to protect the integrity of taiwan. and then we have a very dangerous situation in the south china sea where china has done many provocative activities that will require the diplomacy of our ambassador in beijing in order to encourage the use of the rule of law and direct negotiation between the parties and not claiming territory by provocative actions. so for all those issues we need an experienced ambassador in
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china to represent our interests . what really impressed me with governor branstad is that i do belief he has a passion for american values. i particularly appreciated hissing inless and -- i would say he's anxious to represent american and global interests for china and improving their human rights record, in dealing with the right of religious minorities, in dealing with the right of descent, in dealing with the right of free expression and press. he very much spoke about the need for the rule of law. while we welcome the emergence of a prosperous china, we want one to follow institutional rules and laws. that will be the challenge for our next ambassador. mr. president, let me comment on what i believe the trump administration is doing that will make our next ambassador's
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responsibilities even more challenging than perhaps they should. and that is that we've seen already in our discussions between the president xi and president trump in regards to north korea, that it seems like the trump administration is prepared to give up some of our american values in order to make progress in north korea, such as our interest our american workers, our interest in the south china sea, maritime security, human rights with tawn, -- taiwan. that would be a bad deal. we want north korea to give up its nuclear weapons and we want china to exercise a stronger role in convincing north korea that its in their interest to give up their nuclear weapon program. we want to do that.
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there's ways that we can. it's in china's interest to have north korea give up its nuclear ambitions. we shouldn't trade our values in order to have that occur. a second matter that i talked about on the floor that will make it difficult for the next ambassador and that is the president's continued unwillingness to comply with the immolument clause. every president, even before president trump, either divested their ownership of assets, but mr. trump did not. the trump organization received trademarks through the chinese government that they had been unsuccessful in obtaining for years. they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more, in legal fees. all of a sudden, one week after the president is elected, china
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gives these trademarks. it is hard to believe that president trump -- mr. trump being the president didn't weigh in. they sold the ev-5 visas. we know that his daughter received three new trademarks in an incredibly speedy turnaround, the same night that the daughter had dinner with president xi. mr. president, these things don't look good and the amol mont clause -- it will be difficult for the american people, and, in fact, difficult for the international community to believe that it wasn't in part due to the position in a mr. trump holds that these actions took place, and that
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violates our constitution and that is wrong. bottom line is our next ambassador is going to have to deal with those issues. we have a hard enough assignment in dealing with north korea and trade and the south china seas and taiwan and human rights to not throw in these additional hurdles. mr. president, i urge my colleagues to support mr. branstad's nomination. i believe he will be -- he's well qualified to represent this country and i would only hope that the trump administration would give him a stronger hand to play. with that, mr. president, i suggest the be absence of a quo. the presiding officer: the senator is correct. the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: i ask that the calling of the quorum be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: i think i'll be done speaking before the time for the vote arrives, but i ask for permission to finish my remarks. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: i'm pleased that the senate is finally
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considering the nomination of governor branstad of iowa to be ambassador to china. before i speak about this very well-qualified nominee, i'd like to express my great disappointment and great frustration with a seemingly endless obstruction on the part of the minority. this nominee received unanimous support in the senate foreign relations committee more than a week ago. yet the majority leader was required to file cloture on the nominee because there could not be consent given to move forward with it. we could have approved this nomination with just a few minutes of debate time. yet the minority required that we have the cloture vote and the 30 hours afterwards. not because they wanted to
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debate the merits of the nominee, but simply delay the business of the united states senate. it's unfortunate that their delay has kept an imminently qualified individual from getting into the job to promote america's interest in china sooner than it now will be. i'm honored to have the opportunity today to speak to my colleagues about my good friend, governor terry branstad. governor branstad is the longest serving governor in u.s. history. let me make that clear. out of 50 states for 230 years no person in the united states has served their term -- their state as governor of that state longer than terry branstad has now. he's a lifelong iowan who has
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devoted his life to public service. after more than 22 years as my home state's chief executive, i'm proud to support governor branstad's nomination to serve our country as the next u.s. ambassador to the people's republic of china. the fact is governor branstad's been an ambassador to iowa, the nation, and the world for his entire career. he's been a champion for iowa. and on behalf of iowans around the globe, as governor he's been vigorous in promoting our state's economy and opening markets for our farm commodities, our financial services, and our manufacturing to the world marketplace. his nomination should come as no surprise to the people of iowa.
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we have long known and benefited from the relationship governor branstad has had with the people of china. a sister state relationship in 1983 has grown into a successful trade partnership that has benefited iowa farmers and businesses. perhaps most notably, governor branstad enjoys a 30-year friendship with president xi. their first meeting took place in 1985 in iowa when then a provincial official she led an agriculture delegation to iowa. she visited again in 2012 when governor branstad was back at the helm in his fifth term after a 12-year respite from being
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governor. their relationship reflects genuine goodwill and more importantly mutual respect. governor branstad has never stopped working to expand iowa's trade, investment, and economic partnerships on the world stage, including many trips to china. he will bring midwestern humility and level headed leadership to the job. he is a workhorse who is unafraid to get into the trenches to get the job done. i have no doubt that he will stand strong for american values, such as freedom of press and religious liberty and work to strengthen peace, stability, and prosperity between our two nations. once confirmed, i'm confident that governor branstad will bring to bear his tireless commitment to solve problems and
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always move the ball forward. although his heart will always be in iowa, i know that governor branstad will throw himself into this job wholeheartedly. governor branstad is uniquely qualified to help strengthen the trade, economic, cultural, and geo political relationships between our two countries. i'm pleased that he's now been called to serve our entire nation, not just the state of iowa, as ambassador to china. i have every confidence that he will represent the united states well and excel just as he has throughout his entire public career. without reservation then, i support this nomination and i also urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this nomination. thank you very much.
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i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, all postcloture time is expired and the question now occurs on the branstad nomination. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: have all senators voted? any senators wish to change their vote? on this vote, the yeas are 82, the nays are 136789 the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the motion is reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table. the president will be immediately notified of the action. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senate majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i move to proceed to legislative session. the presiding officer: question is on the motion. all those p favor say aye. those opposed, say no. the ayes appear to have it, the ayes do have it. mr. mcconnell: i of move to turn to calendar number 59, amul
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thapar. the presiding officer: question is on the motion. all those in safer say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the nomination. the clerk: nomination, the judiciary. amul r. thapar of kentucky to be united states circuit judge for the sixth circuit. mr. mcconnell: i send a cloture motion to the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the clerk will report the cloture motion. the clerk: cloture motion: we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the nomination of amul r. thapar of kentucky to be united states circuit judge for the sixth circuit, signed by 17 senators. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that the reading of the names be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the manned quorum call with respect to the quorum call be waived. the. the presiding officer: without objection. -- with respect to the cloture motion be waived.
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the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask that the senated be in a period of morning business with senators aplowed to speak for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask that the appointment at the desk appear separately as if made by the chair. ifer officer without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask that the help committee be discharged and the senate proceed to s. res. 156. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 156 recognizing national foster care month and so forth. mr. mcconnell: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. the committee is discharged. the senator can proceed. mr. mcconnell: i ask that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: now, mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the consideration of s. res. 175 submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution
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175, recognizing the 100th anniversary of the commissioned officer corps and so forth. the presiding officer: objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed, the preamble be agreed to, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table, with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: so, mr. president, i now ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourning until 10:00 a.m. may 23. following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the time for the two leaders be reserved for that are use later in the day, and morning business be closed. further, following leader remarks, the senate proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the sullivan nomination with the time until the cloture vote equally divided in the usual form. further, that the senate recess from 12:30 p.m. until 2:15 to allow for the weekly conference meetings. finally, if cloture is invoked,
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all time in leader remarks, morning business and adjournment count postcloture on the sullivan nomination. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. mcconnell: so, if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that is it stand adjourned under the previous order following the remarks of senator brown. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: thank the senate majority leader. i rise in opposition understanding the vote has been taken bibut wanting to speak about the record of terry branstad and his nomination to be ambassador to the people's republic of china. it is a critical diplomatic post. today more than perhaps anymore in our history certainly increasingly important through every administration is china's expansionist views of the world grow as china's economy becomes more and more dominant in each asia, as china has by not
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playing fair on economic issues has caused with the acquiescence of many, many, many american companies far too many jobs to move there. we've seen, mr. president, sort after new business model for american business that's been around now for a quarter century, something that economic history never showed us before where companies shut down in places like willowick or toledo or dayton or springfield, ohio, move overseas, getting tax breaks to do it build plants there and sell the products back into ohio or oklahoma or in the united states, the other 48 states. unfortunately, china has been part of that, while u.s. companies have acted in many cases irresponsibly. china has played into it. we have serious issues with china.
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from their currency manipulation to trade cheating that hurts america's steel industry to their dismal record, dismal documented record on human rights and religious freedom. all those fronts, we need to take a firm line with -- take a firm position with china. we need an ambassador who will advocate for american workers, for americanbitions, and, yes, for american values. i don't believe governor branstad will be that ambassador. when it comes to putting american workers first, governor branstad's record frankly is appalling. how can he advocate for america's workers and for expanding the rights of working people around the world when he fought against them at home in their home state of iowa. as governor, terry branstad waged war on collective bargaining rights. he recently signed legislation that takes away the right of public employees to bargain for fair wages and for health care rights they've been guaranteed for 45 years, rights that were enshrined by a law signed by a
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former republican governor. when the state department measures labor rights in countries around the world, they look at whether a country's laws allow workers to organize or engage in collective bargaining. china's results have always been poor. they've been criticized for deplorable working conditions. how can our country -- how can the united states lead by example when it comes to ensuring that hard work pays off when the man representing us in beijing, when the man representing us at the negotiating table has taken away workers' rights in our own country? don't think for a moment that the chinese will not -- will not remind the american ambassador of what he's done when worker rights in his home state, as we perhaps r. argue -- i'm clear we will now, but perhaps argue for expanding worker rights in china. i appreciated the questions for the record that senator cardin submitted to governor branstad. unfortunately, his answers were vague. he did nothing to address the serious concerns that so many of
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us v the president made a lot of campaign promises when it comes to stand up to china. i've been clear since the days after the when i called the president trump transition team and in conversations with president trump and with u.s. tax rate rep lighthizer that i want to work with them on that, with the president, with the u.s. trade rep. but after meeting with chinese president zika i sent a letter to president trump outlining steps he should take to fight for american workers, particularly in the steel industry, in his 150-day plan on trade. the person that negotiated the 1 see-day plan needs to have america's workers' interest in mind. multinational corporations, not ordinary american workers, not people in youngstown and warren and steubenville and columbus, terry branstad makes is clear that multinational corporations will have his ear, not workers. in all these trade agreements
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you can see corporate fingerprints on these trade agreements. rarely do you see workers at the table advocating for worker rights. you only see trade policy that reflects the interests of large corporations. those corporations that then use these trade policies to outsource jobs around the world. it's not just worker rights where china falls woefully short and where we need to take a tough stand. china's record on human rights and religious freedom is unacceptable. our ambassador needs to make that clear. when u.s. officials represent us to the world, they must not only be advocates for our business interests, they should be that to be sure. they must also be credible advocates on behalf of workers and our nation's values, values like freedoms of speech and freedom to organize and the freedom to challenge powerful special interests. these are values that go to the core of who we are as the american people. but again governor branstad has not led by example. he has waged war on women's access to health care, just this week, planned parenthood
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announced it will be forced to shut down four iowa health clinics because of a law signed by governor branstad, which blocked its funding. these clinics serve 15,000 patients over the past three years. not providing abortions. a great, great, great majority of these patients got primary care, contraceptive coverage, all the things women in this country demand. many live in rural areas. many have nowhere else to turn for basic care. where will these women go for cancer screenings? for diabetes screenings? jet, -- yet branstad signed legislation forcing the shutdown of these clinics. access to health care is a basic right. in this country it should be in all 350 states. we -- in all 50 states. we need to set an example of the world. our diplomats must be that example. instead we now have a man at the
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ne gosh educating table -- ne negotiating table. we need an ambassador with a record of championing american values. only then can we be sure he'll stand up to china and put ohio workers and american workers first. i question governor branstad's ability to be that ambassador to represent the people of this great country and the people's republic of china. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate stands adjourned until stands adjourned until they confirmed terry branstad to be the us and asked her to
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china. he currently serves as governor of iowa. tomorrow, debate will continue on john sullivan to the deputy secretary of state with the vote to advance that a nomination for 11:00 a.m. eastern. last week the senate foreign relations committee unanimously reported mr. sullivan variably to the full senate for consideration. you can follow the senate live on c-span to when lawmakers return tomorrow. tonight, on the communicators. terrell mcsweeney of the total paid commission talks about issues facing the internet including the recent malware cyber attack on 150 countries. internet security, privacy, and regulations. he is interviewed by axis reporter david mccabe. >> what is the greatest policing the landscape of devices?
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>> one is always going to be keeping up with the new ways in which technology is being used as surveillance, monitor, gather, internet in. as connections become intimate as our bedroom and on our body and our children's bedrooms, giving precise geolocation information about us it becomes more important to protect that kind of consent so that people are aware of what is happening to their information. >> watch the communicators at eight eastern on c-span two mac c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up tuesday morning, former senator limiting the power of the federal government. then, texas democratic al green on his recent call to impeach
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president trump. also, documentary film worker michael will join us about his new pbs frontline film about white house chief strategist, steve fanon. watch c-span's washington journal live at 7:00 a.m. on tuesday morning. join the discussion. >> tomorrow testimony from former cia director john brennan on the investigation into russia's possible hacking of the 2016 presidential election and possible ties with the trump campaign. to be speaking front of the house intelligence committee and that begins live at 10:00 a.m. eastern on our companion network c-span three. >> earlier today chair matt thornberry discussed military readiness and national security issues. he spoke at the brookings institute for about an hour.


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