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tv   U.S. Senate U.S. Senate  CSPAN  July 19, 2018 11:59am-2:00pm EDT

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our adversaries know that here in the senate we do not entertain the deceit of dictators. the truth is russia interfered in our elections in 2016, and these efforts continue. accepting that truth is the first step in preparing us to confront this malign activity. let's pass this resolution. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the consideration of s. res. 583. i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and that the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: majority whip. mr. cornyn: mr. president, reserving the right to object, let me first thank the senator from arizona and the senator
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from delaware for expressing all of our concern about russian interference in the 2016 election. it's absolutely clear they did, and the president has said as much on a number of occasions. now, i agree in helsinki he was less than clear about that, but he came back and said that he'd misspoke and reafarmed his earlier position -- reaffirmed his earlier position that, yes, the russia government had attempted to interfere in the election, although nobody disputes the fact that they were successful in changing a single vote or affecting the outcome. ironically, the very same investigation which has made clear that the russians did attempt to disrupt the election has also made clear there is no evidence of collusion that anybody has uncovered to date. so my concern is with -- with
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this resolution is that it is purely a symbolic act, and what we need to do is not just offer symbolic resolutions on the floor; we need to do the hard work that senators have to do through the regular order. in other words, our committees that have jurisdiction over these issues ought to be permitted to call the witnesses and ask the hard questions and develop the record before we go on record as to a resolution like this. i would point out that the indictments that were referred to apparently, according to published reports, rod rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, asked the president before helsinki should he withhold announcement of those indictments or go ahead before the summit. and the president said, no, go ahead. well, anybody who's read the 29 pages of the indictment issued at the request of robert mueller
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by a grand jury here in the district of columbia, knows there is chapter and verse of how russians attempted to interfere with the election. it's a good and important read. but the president knew that before he went to helsinki, so, to me, it gives me some confidence that he did indeed misspeak, especially in light of his subsequent affirmations of russian interference in the election. i happen to be privileged to sit on the senate select committee on intelligence. we have been conducting bipartisan investigation of the russian matter for the entire matter that the president has been in office, for the last year and a half. we've already issued some prevail reports. that's the way -- some prey reports. that's -- we've already issued some preliminary reports. that's the wait to do our work. through bipartisan committee work, have the witnesses come and testify, ask them hard questions and render our judgment. i know that secretary pompeo is coming before the senate foreign relations committee sometime
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next week. he ought to be asked hard questions. i'm confident he will respond to those questions. but that's how we get the information we need. let me just say that i think we should consider sanctions, not sort of sense of the senate resolutions that have no sting or no impact, certainly no deterrent effect on what we all want to discourage, which is russian involvement in our 2018 elections. and that's why the majority leader today -- today -- asked the chairman of the banking and foreign reels committee to -- relations committee to hold hearings and recommend additional measures that could respond to or deter russian maligned behavior. that's the way we ought to do our work, through our committees of jurisdiction. because, you know what? with when we rush to judgment and we try to do resolutions like this, we can inadvertently mack mistakes. and let me point out one that's in this resolution.
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there is a reference to the countering america's adversaries through sangs act which passed the senate 98-2 to deter interference by the russian federation. there is a provision in the current conference committee on the defense authorization committee that would issue a waiver of that act to our partner india. now, if we want to encourage countries like india to come into -- to partner with the united states of america, the world's largest democracy and the world's oldest democracy, then we ought to be all about encouraging that movement toward us and away from the russian federation. and i worry there's no reference in here to the waiver provision in the defense authorization conference committee that india has asked for and that secretary mattis has requested that congress grant. so all i'm asking for is a
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little bit of caution here that in the rush to issue a resolution, number one, we don't acknowledge the full picture, but we also don't commit our work to the committees that have jurisdiction over these matters to do it carefully and thoughtfully and in a bipartisan way, so we come up with the bes solution to the problem. so, madam president, i just think this is the wrong way to go about it. i think our committees ought to continue to do their work. the senate select committee on intelligence, the defense, armed services committee, the foreign relations committee, and the banking committee, and we ought to come up with the right kind of bipartisan answer, which i think could well be to increase sanctions against the russian federation, to deter them from meddling in our 2018 elections and beyond, because i'm confident they will continue until we stop them from doing so. so, madam president, i would object. the presiding officer:
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objection is heard. mr. flake: mr. president -- madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. flake: i think it's regrettable that this was objected to. we will bring it back. the majority leader said that this is just a symbolic vote. it is. and symbolism is important. obviously we have underlying sanctions that we ought to fully implement. if there are waivers that are needed, there is a waiver process already in the ndaa authorization. and i support those waivers with regard to india. this does not affect that. this simply says in a symbolic way that we in the senate don't buy vladimir putin's rejection or his denial of election interference. that was put in question this week, whether our government believes that or not. we here in the senate should stand and say, we don't believe it. we know that the intelligence is right. we stand behind our intelligence community. we need to say that in the
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senate. yes, it's symbolic, and symbolism is important. our agencies of government need to know that we stand behind them. that's what this is about. so i hope that we will pass this. i note regretfully that there's been an objection to it. but we'll bring it back. i believe that this should pass, and i believe it ultimately will pass. and with that, i yield back. mr. mcconnell: madam president? the presiding officer: majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that notwithstanding rule 22, the postcloture time on the bounds nomination expire at 1:45 p.m. today. further, that if confirmed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, the president be immediately notified of the senate's action. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that following the disposition of the bounds nomination, the senate resume legislative session and proceed to the immediate consideration of a schumer resolution that is at the desk. further, that the senate immediately vote on the
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resolution that, if agreed to, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. the senator from delaware. mr. coons: i just wanted to join my colleague from arizona in briefly remarking on my regret that our resolution was not adopted today. it does call for the full implementation of mandatory sanctions provided for in caatsa, as discussed at some helping, but it does not call for the reckless implementation of mandatory sanctions. there are a significant range of sanctions already provided toker in this law, adopted by 98-2 in this body that have not yet been adopted. i recognize that this resolution, standing strong behind the department of justice, the intelligence community, and its ongoing investigation is, as was researchersed, is sill
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beneficiary a -- as was referenced, is a symbolic act. but there are moments when that is important. and i look forward to continuing to work closely with my colleague and friend from arizona to ensure that this resolution adopted, that the american people and the men and women of our federal law enforcement agencies and our intelligence community understand that this body strongly supports them and their work and sees clearly the ongoing and continuing threat to our democracy posed by president putin and putin's russia. thank you, mr. president. -- thank you, madam president. mr. schumer: madam president? the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: first, before i talk to the resolution that senators menendez, schatz and myself will be -- that we have authored that will be voted on at 1:45, i would like to say a words about the work of my friends from delaware and arizona and my severe disappointment that there was objection from the republican
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leadership. the bottom line is very simple -- president trump has put our country in a foreign policy crisis. president trump has weakened the security of this country. a resolution is the minimum we can do -- the minimum. we should be acting, anded idea that -- and the idea that we cannot even pass a resolution in this body because of the objection of the other side, when this was done in a bipartisan, careful way by the senators from arizona and delaware, shows something very bad, that our colleagues on the other side of the aisle are so coward by a president that they cannot stand up for national security, they cannot stand up to vladimir putin, just as the president seems not to be able to. and i'd say one more point.
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from what i am told, one of the major objections from the other side was the including of contemporaneous notes, that congress wished that contemporaneous notes in that secret meeting for two hours be made available. that is key. what are they hiding? what are they afraid of? don't the american people have a right to know what went on in that meeting, particularly when president putin gets up and talks about some agreements that it seems not even our high-ranking officials in the state, defense, intelligence departments know about? this is amazing. we have come to a really low moment in this body when a bipartisan resolution that is rather modest, that was limited -- i had talked to my friend from delaware; he knows, i wanted much more in this resolution. but in an effort to get
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something done, we limited it. my view, the view of most americans, the notes should be made available, the translator should be made available, the translator wasn't specifically referred to in this resolution, but when they talked about relevant people coming, in my view -- and i believe the view of the senator from delaware -- was that that would include the translator. i'm not sure if it was the view of the senator from arizona. but it doesn't matter. we're not even passing this resolution. i have to say, this was a moment for bipartisanship. this was a moment for america pulling together. this was a moment when the president doesn't serve the country well that americans of all parties, all ideologies come together and fill that void and undo the misdeeds that occurred in helsinki. unfortunately, unfortunately --
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because of weakness, fear -- my guess is, if you looked inside the hearts and minds of every member on the other side, all but maybe one two would feel this is the right resolution. they are a frayed -- they are afraid. fear will not get us knit where. letting a bully push us around -- meaning president putin, as he pushed president trump around -- will not serve this country well. it is a sad moment that this resolution was rejected. now, before i yield to my good friend, the hardworking and very, very able head of the ranking member of the foreign relations committee, i just want to talk on our resolution, which we are going to get a vote on. lord knows if we couldn't have even got an vote on that. the idea that an american ambassador who served us so well
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should be brought before putin and his minions to be questioned when there is no charge against him, no issue against him? it's not like the 12 russians that you were indicted -- who were indicted for trying to interfere in our elections. there's not even an analogy, not even an evenness. and president trump, amazingly, called this an incredible offer. our president is saying that one of our ambassadors to be hauled before an authoritarian regime that twists the truth, that lies at will, that even seems to kill people they want to with poison in other countries, and that's an incredible offer? well, this resolution is a fine resolution. it'll pass. it doesn't undo what just
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happened. it doesn't make up for the fact that our colleagues are afraid to take real action and even a resolution that posits action in terms of the major misdeeds at helsinki. but at the very least, we're protecting the integrity of men and women who serve us. because if today it's the ambassador, tomorrow it could be somebody in the military or somebody in the intelligence agencies or elsewhere. so this resolution is very clear. it says -- what it says is what president trump -- when president trump called it -- when president trump called putin's offer an incredible offer, he was incredibly wrong. no president, no president can put one of our fine servants who have worked hard in this case for the diplomatic corps at
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risk. and this resolution, a bare, bare, bare minimum of what we should be doing here, i'm glad it will be on the floor, and i suspect it will pass hopefully unanimously. i yield the floor to my colleague from new jersey. mr. menendez: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: madam president, i'm very pleased to join with the distinguished democratic leader in coauthoring this resolution. before i speak to it, i do want to speak to the flake-coons resolution. i would have supported it, although i believe it's the minimum of what this body should be expressing after what we saw in helsinki. this is a moment for bipartisanship and for patriotism, because what i saw in helsinki speaks to the opposite of standing up to
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preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of the united states. and i find it interesting in the majority whip's objection to the resolution, the coming to a vote, that among other things, he's talking about we should have more sanctions against russia, which i will speak to shortly. we are in the midst of developing a new strong package of sanctions as it relates to russia. so i embrace and welcome him to that effort if he seeks to actually see real sanctions against russia. but, you know, we have sanctions. there are sanctions that passed 98-2 in this institution, passed overwhelmingly in the house of representatives, forced the president to sign it as a result of overwhelming votes, and yet have not been fulfilled. sanctions that were largely mandatory but have not been fulfilled. so we can start off by having a
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robust engagement of the existing sanctions. and i'm not quite sure how we start being tough on russia. w-ft elements of those -- one of the elements of those sanctions was to go after russia's sales of defense weapons. and here we are, we're already looking for waivers, looking for waivers. so there's a difference between a country that maybe has a long history of buying russian military equipment, but the s-400, a new antidefense system, that's a new version. that's not a legacy issue. so i'm not sure how we're going to tell one country you can buy the s-400, but another country you can't. it doesn't work. that's how sanctions begin to crumble at the end of the day. but i welcome the response that we should be having new sanctions. now as it relates to this resolution, it's outrageous, outrageous that the white house would not instantaneously and
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firmly dismiss a proposition that russian prosecutors would come question a former united states ambassador. again and again we have seen president trump take vladimir putin's word. and it's unconscionable that this whitehouse would give anything, anything other than a full-throated defense of america's foreign service like ambassador mike mcfaul, who served our country with honor and distinction. the reason that putin doesn't like mike mcfaul is because as our u.s. ambassador, he stood up for democracy, human rights in russia. he stood up to the russian regime. he promoted american values and ideals. he spoke truth to power inside of russia. that's why putin wants him. congress shouldn't have to tell america's president to stand up for america's public servants and its diplomatic corps, but
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apparently we have to. president trump has repeatedly dismissed russia's attack in 2016, and he shrugs off the threat it poses today despite all of its intelligence agencies and the director of national intelligence just days ago saying there are red blinking lights, red blinking lights about russia's continual engagement and interference in the elections that will take place 110 days from now. this week he continuously and directly contradicted his own national security advisors and instead embraced the line of putin and russian intelligence. now i know they have been trying to clean it up, but he said it so many times the same way he said it in helsinki. that's what he really believes. that's what he really believes. and now to say something different, wrong time, wrong continent, not too much. he spouted talking points that sound like they're straight from the kremlin. he's shown a willingness to
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accede to putin's request to interrogate americans, a willingness to accept putin's denials about russian interference, a willingness to attack nato allies like montenegro and a willingness to be a supplicant to putin's views. the president keeps claiming he's been tough on russia. no. it's congress that has been tough on russia by passing the countering america's adversaries new stphaeufrpbs act with broad -- sanctions act with broad bipartisan support. the white house has not taken it seriously. the clear tone and intent coming from the helsinki summit was one of accommodation, not of pressure. madam president, i don't see any other way forward other than further congressional action to forcefully call out and address the administration's willful paralysis to putin's abhorrent behavior. our efforts today have been
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transformative but just as the administration has been prepared to find ways to allow them to circumvent the law and avoid implementing mandatory provisions of caatsa, we must be prepared to adjust and adapt by closing those loopholes. that's why i will soon introduce comprehensive legislation to increase pressure to actually implement the law and increase pressure on russia for its aggression against the united states and our allies. among the considerations we have for this new legislation will be to increase sanctions on russia's energy sector, to increase sanctions on its cyber sector, to increase pressure on russia's oligarchs and those who are closest to putin, and to look at russia's sovereign debt as a target. we cannot wait to see whether russia attacks us in the 2018 election. we know that they are in the midst of making that a reality,
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and we need to ramp up the pressure. we can't afford to wait. and based on this president's behavior, we also need to protect our institutions here at home. that's why we want to include protections for the office of the special counsel. the president has done more to target bob mueller than he has to go after vladimir putin. and this must stop. this effort must be bipartisan, which is why i look forward to working with republican colleagues who truly want to see us fight back on russia. nearly all of whom voted to increase sanctions on russia last year and place more authority for sanctions alleviation in the hands of congress. they were right to support such measures in july of 2017, and god knows it would be right now to step up and defend america's interests. it's time to show the american people that we can be patriots, not just partisans.
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it's time to show the world we can put our country over party. and it's time that we defend america's democratic institutions against russia's continued aggression. i look forward to the resolution and its vote, and i urge everyone to join us inning approving it. with that, madam president, i yield the floor and observe the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: 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: today we will vote on the confirmation of ryan bounds to the ninth circuit. he is nominated to fill the vacancy left by judge o'scannlain. mr. bounds once served as a law
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clerk to that ninth circuit judge. mr. bounds is highly qualified to serve on the ninth circuit. a native of oregon, he attended stanford university and yale law school. his dedicated -- he dedicated his career to public service, serving in government for the past 14 years. the last eight years were as assistant u.s. attorney in oregon. i've listened to my colleagues on the other side voice their opposition to mr. bounds. interestingly, none of them cite anything mr. bounds has done in his legal career as a reason for opposing his nomination. instead they focus on two things. first, they say we shouldn't confirm mr. bounds because his home state senators didn't
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return their blue slips. second, they say some of mr. bounds' college writings were insensitive. so i'm going to start on point number one that they base their opposition to him. as i've explained so many times on the floor of the united states senate and in the senate judiciary committee -- and i don't know how many times through the multitudes of journalists that are on the hils the same as all but two of the 18 predecessors chairmen of the judiciary committee over the 100-year history of blue slips. like chairman ted kennedy, joe biden, and orrin hatch, i will hold hearings for circuit court nominees with negative or unreported blue slips if the
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white house consulted with home state senators. and i won't allow senators to abuse the blue-slip courtesy for political or ideological reasons. in the case of mr. bounds, the white house sought the oregon senator's input, seriously considered the one candidate suggested by the oregon senators and waited several months for the senators from oregon to establish their judicial selection committee, which is quite a tradition in that state. the selection committee itself even recommended mr. bounds. yet, the oregon senators still didn't return their blue slips. they say it was because mr. bounds didn't disclose some of his college writings through the selection committee. there's a very good reason he
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didn't. the selection committee never asked for his college writings. in fact, senator wyden's staff instructed mr. bounds not to disclose them. moreover, the oregon senators refused to ever meet with mr. bounds during this whole process. it's been misleadingly said this will be the first time in modern history we confirm a judge without at least one positive blue slip from the two state senators. well, my democratic colleagues have only themselves to blame. the way the blue slip used to be enforced was through the 60-vote filibuster, and that was done away with in november 2013. by then the democratic majority
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and senator reid leading them. for example, chairman hatch held hearings for five nominees in 2003 and 2004, despite the lack of positive blue slips from either home state senators. these nominees were voted out of committee. then senate democrats blocked these nominees on the floor by using the 60-vote filibuster, but my colleagues -- democratic colleagues abolished that filibuster, as i said in 2013, for the reason that they needed the votes and the freedom to pack the d.c. circuit with liberal judges who would uphold obama's regulatory schemes. leading this effort was none other than senator merkley of oregon who argued that 41
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senators shouldn't have -- be able to block a senate majority from confirming judges. now they have a different point of view. now he argues that he alone should have the right to block mr. bounds from even getting a hearing in the judiciary committee. in november 2013, i told my democratic colleagues that they would regret abolishing the filibuster just to stack the d.c. circuit court of appeals with their friends. now, obviously today, as they consider the bounds nomination, they know that they made a mistake. turning to the only other criticism that my colleagues have made about mr. bounds, and that's in regard to his college
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writings, i don't believe that misguided statements made in a college newspaper 25 years ago should disqualify mr. bounds. i hope that we don't live in a world where controversial things that we write in college ends our career forever. this is especially true with our kids and grandkids now in the era of social media. for example, a few years ago, just when the same thing came up on justice wright going to the minnesota district court, i voted and supported her despite the controversial writing she had in law school. we shouldn't assume that views expressed years ago during college and law school represents the nominee today.
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mr. bounds testified that he regreted much of what he wrote in those op-eds. we received numerous letters in support of mr. bounds' nomination from people who have known him personally throughout his life. we received a letter from some of his classmates at stanford. they wrote, and before i quote, it's kind of like, you know, these sound like they were his friends in the dormitories. and i never was a dormitory student, but i imagine you really get acquainted with people there. so this is what they had to say about mr. bounds. we have become aware about a handful of articles that ryan wrote for the stanford review at that time. none of us believe these writings reflect ryan's
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character either then or now. all of us remember our dorm mate fondly. we are a diverse bunch, yet ryan never failed to treat all of us with courtesy, respect, and civility regardless of our respective genders, sexual orientation, skin colors, religions, ethnicity, or any other characteristics. there is not, and never has been, a racist, sexist, homophobic, or bigoted bone in ryan bounds' body. mr. bounds has also been a community leader, promoting diversity and equality. as a member of the bar
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association, equity and inclusion committee, mr. bounds headed programs to expose underpriviliged young people to the legal profession. he mentored young scholarship recipients, and helped them navigate through law school. he expanded low-cost c.l.e. offerings and organized anti-harassment and antidiscrimination training. mr. bounds is eminently qualified to serve on the ninth circuit. his college writings do not represent who he is today. his professional accomplishments and exemplary public service speak much more loudly to his character and integrity. so i strongly urge my colleagues
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, on the other side of the aisle, to support mr. bounds' confirmation today. i would like to say one thing about another confirmation issue. i understand so far that no senate democrat has met with judge kavanaugh. they are apparently awaiting their marching orders from the minority leader. well, the american people elected each one of those democratic senators to represent them, not the minority leader. and when the senate democrats have largely already made up their minds to vote against judge kavanaugh and none of them have even met with him, their demand for a paper chase beyond relevant material sounds more and more like a demand for a taxpayer-funded fishing
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expedition. now, madam president, i would like to address my colleagues in the united states senate on the death -- life and death of governor bob wray, a wonderful governor for the state of iowa over a long period of time and honor him this way. i want to pay tribute to my good friend and an exceptional iowan whose life and legacy will be remembered in my home state for generations to come as the people of iowa mourn the loss of our 38th governor, i would like to share a few ways how robert d. wray made iowa a better place to grow. looking back at his lifetime of service, seems nearly impossible that one person could wear so many hats and reach the highest
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rungs of distinguished service in public life and the private sector. after graduating from high school, bob enlisted in the u.s. army to serve his country that way. he returned from service and earned undergraduate and law degrees from drake university, des moines, iowa. he married the love of his life, billy, and together they raised three daughters. in addition to serving 14 years as our state's chief executive from 1969 to 1983, governor wray also served as our state party chairman at the age of 35, chairman of the national governors association, interim mayor of des moines, 11th president of drake university,
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u.s. delegate to the united nations conference on refugees, c.e.o. and board member to a number of nonprofits and for-profit corporations, reading such an outstanding resume one might come to the conclusion that this iowan must have an outside ego to match. to that i can personally affirm bob wray was a humble leader driven by a servant's heart. he brought honesty, dignity, and integrity to the campaign trail and in turn to state government. his policy achievements as a -- as the 38th govern governor made government work better for the people. he reorganized the department of
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transportation and modernized national guards. that's a few of the reorganizations. but through doing this, he strengthened rock-solid iowa values in education, conservation, good government, and fiscal stewardship. it was governor wray who signed iowa's -- we call it the bolt bill, you know, you get a redumtion for a can you return instead of throwing it in the dump. he signed it into law to keep our roadways clean and our state looking beautiful. arguably, the last measure of his governorship is defined by moral leadership, and particularly as evidenced by the -- at the fall of saigon in 1975, as a result of that ending of the war -- vietnam war, his
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actions transcended the river banks of america's heartland to reach thousands of refugees across a world. those refugees were fleeing communism in southeast asia. governor wray persuaded president ford to allow iowa to welcome -- to welcome them to iowa, allowing this close-knit ethnic group to stay in tact and resettle in iowa. in 1978, we had another wave of southeast asians who were desperate to escape communism in south vietnam. they became known as the boat people who put their lives in peril for the pearl of freedom that we offer in america. bob wray put his political life on the line to open iowa's homes and hearts to rescue them from
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suffering and death. in so doing, he saved the lives of thousands of people, including generations of new iowans yet to be born. yet, again, governor wray responded in 1979 to another humanitarian crisis going on in southeast asia by launching the iowa shares program. the acronym shares stands for iowa sends help to aid refugees and end starvation. that very first year the program raised more than $600,000 in less than one month small donations to send food and medicine to starving people in the cambodian border. volunteer nurses and doctors
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from iowa also went to save these people who suffered under the harsh regime. when one of those members of the boat people first learned of governor wray's passing, she was moved to tears. now a wife and mother of five children, she prayed for governor ray. in fact, referring to him as saint bob ray. she attributed his courage and generosity to saving thousands of people just like hers, and senator ernst and i at this funeral saw a whole part of the church filled with these southeast asians who very much wanted to express their appreciation to governor ray's leadership by being there at that funeral.
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in 2005, governor ray received iowa's highest civilian award. it a high honor for this man. he is a statesman, a humanitarian hero, and, of course to those who loved him, the most he was a husband, dad, and grandmother. years after governor ray left the governor's mation called terrace hill, he launched the robert d. ray and billy ray center at drake university. that center's mission is dedicated to improving the civil and developing ethical leaders at home and throughout the world and for all of us we know in a society less civil now than it has been throughout most of the history of our country that
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senator is going -- center is going to serve a very needed purpose. and for whose who know the story of bob ray, his ray of light connected with the senator will inspire generations of leaders for years to come. barbara and i join our fellow iowans to extend our condolences to billie and the entire ray family. we will miss this extraordinary iowan. our state benefited in countless ways because he shared his gift so generously to make iowa an even better place to grow for generations to come. madam president, if i could have permission, i would like to insert into the report three eulogies that highlighted governor ray's life as a governor, political
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humanitarian, and a man with strong family values. these are from david olman who served as chief of staff to governor ray, ken quinn, a former u.s. ambassador to cambodia to worked on the refugee resettlement as a member of the ray administration, and today serves as president of the world food price foundation in des moines, and the third one is from scott rochter who served as director to the bobby d. and billy ray center. i hope my colleagues will read these eulogies, because there is no way that anything i say today can duplicate -- can do justice to what they said in their separate eulogies. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: madam president,
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on my last remarks today, i want to recognize a friend, an agricultural innovator, an inventor with i think about 80 patents. his name is eugene sukup. if you travel around the midwest, you will see their grain operations on a lot of family farms, and if you go to haiti as a result of the -- as a result of the catastrophe down there a few years ago, you will see how smaller buildings that we would call a green storage facility in iowa, a smaller one, serve as homes for homeless people that result -- or that resulted from that catastrophe. eugene sukup is a quintessential
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bootstrap american success story. after settling in iowa during the dust bowl and serving his nation as a sergeant in the national guard, eugene made his living as a farmer, earning the title of franklin county outstanding farmer in his younger years, which was in 1962 that he received that award. while working on his farm, he does like a lot of farmers who try to think of easier ways to do things. he observed in his grain bins that pockets of grain and particularly corn housed in storage bins could overheat and as a result spoil. understanding the depth, the breadth of the problem for farmers across the country, he was determined to find a
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solution, and he did. through trial and error, along with gritty determination and ingenuity, eugene came up with something he entitled stairway stirring machine. the innovative technology automated the process of stirring stored grain and corn and became an instant success among his fellow farmers. eugene patented his invention and founded then the sukup manufacturing company in 1963. through my years holding annual meetings in each of iowa's 99 counties, sukup manufacturing from time to time have hosted the meetings that i have in franklin county, and after a tour of the factory, i always enjoyed eugene allowing his employees to have an open q. and
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a. session with me so i could here what's on the minds of my constituents, because these constituents can't afford to leave their job and come to the courthouse to ask me questions, so i try to go to people like these to make the process of representative government work. and the best way to do that is face-to-face contact with your constituents. so getting back to sukup manufacturing, by words and deeds, it is very clear. sukup manufacturing is a great place to work and a devoted contributor to the local community and global philanthropy. 55 years later, the sukup manufacturing company that was the idea of a small family farmer holds over 80 patents and sells its products in more than 85 countries. it remains the largest family-owned full-line grain system manufacturer employing
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more than 700 employees in the community of sheffield, iowa, that if i had to guess, their population is around 1,500. eugene's pioneering invention contribute ud to the success of tens of thousands of farming operations, allowing farmers to safely store their grain on their farms to capture the best market price. we have sukup grain bins on my home family farm near waterloo, iowa. more specifically, the little village of new hartford, iowa. his ingenuity is a perfect example of the opportunity america economic systems give people with ideas and drive. his legacy spans iowa's landscape from the mississippi to the missouri river and reaches beyond the borders of our state and the borders of the
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united states. sukup manufacturing stepped up to reconfigure grain bins into housing units, as i previously said, for hurricane-ravaged haiti. the units withstand 140-mile-per-hour winds, providing a safe habitat for residents. in 2006, eugene was inducted into iowa's inventors hall of fame and received the outstanding innovation award by the american society of agricultural and biological engineers. he was inducted into iowa's business hall of fame in 2011, and he was named a legend in manufacturing by elevate advance manufacturing in 2015. the sukup family business, through eugene and its leaders, has been a constant voice for job creation and opportunity.
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his contributions to manufacturing, to agriculture, and to the entire rural community and our economy will be an asset to farmers and the agriculture community for generations to come. it's amazing to think what can happen in rural and small towns throughout our country thanks to the successful enterprise that eugene sukup represents. throughout our decades of long friendship, i have admired his relentless work ethic and unwavering commitment to community and family. his civil, political, and community leadership sets a very high bar for the rest of us in america. eugene was an american inventor, an innovator, and a great friend. he will be greatly missed.
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may god bless him and his beloved family. i yield the floor. mr. cruz: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cruz: madam president, i rise today to give tribute to the spirit of the cuban people, the people of my forefathers who still live under a corrupt and violent communist regime, and to honor the memory of oswaldo baya. oswaldo was a champion for freedom. he died six years this sunday, on july 22, 2012, in a car crash that is widely believed to have been orchestrated by the castro regime.
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the plight of the brave people of cuba has been marked by terrible suffering under both the castro regime and the brutal dictatorship of fill -- filsgencio batista before it. the leaders of cuba are responsible for the suffering and murder of countless cubans. it is because of these oppressors that my family fled their beloved home in cuba for a better life in the united states. my father, born and raised in cuba, fought in the revolution, michiganly believing that the principles of freedom were what the revolution was all about. he fought against batista, a cruel dictator, and he was imprisoned and tortured by batista's thugs. and then my aunt, his younger
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sister, myethesona, who was there after the revolution succeeded, who discovered along with the rest of the world that fidel castro was a communist who saw the torture, the murder. my aunt fought in the counterrevolution against fidel castro, and she too, like her brother, was imprisoned and tortured, except this time by castro's thugs. both my father and my aunt were kids. they were kids who believed they were fighting for freedom. they discovered that they went from one tyrant to an even worse tyrant, a communist dictator who would line up dissidents and shoot them. the betrayal, the brutality, the
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violence experienced by my father and by my aunt were all too typical of the millions of cubans who have suffered under the castro regime of the last six decades. fidel may be dead, raul may be retired, but the evil of the castros persists. it still molds the cuban regime's fundamental opposition to truth, to freedom, and to human rights. but the malice and menace of communism cannot break down the will of the cuban people. instead, it has strengthened their resolve. it has further united them to fight for freedom and to build a better future for their country, to establish a free cuba, a cuba
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not streaked by the ashes of dissident literature or littered by the corpses of defenseless teenagers. a cuba built on human decency and individual liberty where citizens are heard, not murdered, and speech is protected, not silenced. it is the cuba envisioned by oswaldo paya sardinas, his christian liberation movement and their fellow activists who continue to stand against the castro regime. it is the cuba of the young bloggers who exposed the regime's crimes and corruption at the risk of arrest, deportation, torture, or worse. with time, the oppressions of the castro regime gave rise to
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remarkable leaders like oswaldo paya, whose lifework was the peaceful overthrow of communists and whose legacy we honor today. oswaldo paya dedicated his life to promoting the democratic freedoms and human rights in cuba. his memory continues to inspire dissidents in cuba and in other countries under tyrannical rule. countries like venezuela where nicholas maduro routinely imprisons and murders those who dare speak out against him. or nicaragua, where the corrupt ortega regime desperately clings to power by persecuting journalists and violently putting down protesters. last year, i introduced legislation to commemorate oswaldo's legacy by naming the street in front of the embassy of cuba, located right here in
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washington, as oswalda paya way. it would send a powerful statement that here in the united states of america, we stand with freedom fighters like oswaldo paya, who were working to bring hope and liberty to oppressed nations. who are working to make a better cuba free of the horrors of communist rule. madam president, i've never been to my father's homeland. i've never been to cuba. my father has not returned to cuba in over 60 years. i look forward to one day visiting cuba. hopefully with my dad, with my dee sonia, my whole family, my two girls, and seeing a free
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cuba where people can live according to their beliefs without fear of imprisonment, violence, or oppression. but today is not that day. there are many like oswaldo paya would have fought for this vision for a free cuba, who are no longer with us but their struggle will endure and their spirits will shine a light through the darkest nights. we will never forget them nor cease fighting to bring about the free cuba that they died for. today and on july 22, and each day thereafter, they will be remembered. viva cuba livay. i yield the floor.
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mr. wyden: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: madam president, soon the senate will vote on the ryan bounds nomination, and i just want to make sure that each member of the senate is aware of two important issues as they prepare to cast their votes on the bounds nomination to serve on the ninth circuit. first, mr. bounds flagrantly misrepresented his background to our bipartisan oregon judicial selection committee. this is the committee that was tasked with vetting his nomination, a process that i have worked on with republicans for literally two decades. and i was pleased to work with
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our former colleague, senator smith on this. i worked with the late mark hatfield on this. now i have the pleasure to work with senator merkley and the bipartisan efforts that we have had produce this selection process, and mr. bounds misrepresented, in my view really lied as he covered up disturbing, intolerant writings from his past. among many hateful matters he wrote about, he defended homophobic vandals who damaged a gay pride monument. he argued against efforts to protect the survivors of sexual assault on college campuses because he wrote that he just didn't think that would guarantee absolute safety.
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and, madam president, as i indicated here earlier, what really outraged me and shocked me was his comparison of organizations that promote multiculturalism and tolerance here in america to nazi rallies. i am the child of jewish parents who fled nazi terror in germany. not all of our family got out. my great uncle max was among the last to be gassed at auschwitz. for mr. bounds to compare groups that lift up minorities in america to nazis is an extraordinary and dark stain on his character. for him to have concealed these
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writings from oregon's bipartisan selection committee is disqualifying. he never acknowledged these writings until they were uncovered and then posed a threat to his nomination. to this day he has not fully recanted the abhorrent views that are reflected in that content. five of the seven members of the bipartisan judicial selection committee including the chair said recently they would not have included mr. bounds among their recommended candidates, had they known about the writings as he was vetted. so, madam president, our bipartisan committee really forwarded mr. bounds' name along with others as part of this process. and they said if mr. bounds had
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really been straight with them, he would have told them about these offensive writings, but he misled them by keeping that secret. the second issue, this is the first time in the 101-year history of what's called here the blue slip process where a nomination moves forward without a blue slip from either home state senator. senator merkley and i withheld our blue slips specifically because of what i described, these lies by omission. we didn't consent to a hearing, debate on the floor, but chairman grassley and majority leader mcconnell just barreled right ahead. leader mcconnell even told "the new york times" that blue slips ought to be viewed as nothing more than an indication of how senators might vote on a given nominee. but that sure was not the tune
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republicans were singing in 2,009. democrats then occupied the oval office, held the gavel of the judiciary committee and every member, every member of this body who sat on that side of the chamber in the republican conference sent a letter to president obama and then chairman leahy saying the nominations process was needlessly acrimonious. they wanted to return to an era of bipartisanship. and then they said we hope your administration will consult with us as it considers possible nominations to the federal courts from our states. regretfully, if we're not consulted and approve of a nominee from our states, the republican conference will be unable to support moving forward on that nominee. so in 2,009 while in the
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minority, everyone who sat on that side of the chamber rushed to defend blue slips as a statement of senatorial collegiality. what a difference a few years makes. with what's happening now cheapens the advice and consent role of the senate, something delegated to us by the founding fathers. the white house wants the senate to act as a rubber stamp on whatever nominees are sent our way. the majority seems perfectly willing to go along with that. my colleagues on the other side need to be aware of the new reality. this new reality where the blue slips don't matter that they're creating. this is going to be the end of the blue slip process as it has
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worked in the senate to promote good government on both sides of the aisle. this breach of a century of bipartisan protocol is going to further drive the judiciary to partisan extremes. i just want my colleagues as we consider this nomination in a few minutes, this means lights out. lights out for this important bipartisan tradition. the nominee we'll be voting on concealed disturbing, intolerant writings from his past. moving his nomination forward in the face of that information and without the blue slips from senator merkley and myself destroys more than a century of bipartisan tradition and certainly expands the power of
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the executive branch of the president. what we learned earlier this week is it would take only one united states senator on the other side, of all the people sitting over there, it would take only one to stop this abomination of a process. i hope one of my colleagues will be swayed by the horrendous writings mr. bounds lied to conceal. this has been a sad moment for the senate and a rejection of the kind of bipartisanship this body ought to bring to judicial nominations, the kind of bipartisanship i've been honored to be part of in oregon for two decades. i urge my colleagues to vote no on the bounds nomination. i yield the floor.
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. peters: mr. president, when you think of fast-growing start-up companies, you might think of silicon valley, boston, or boulder. and while these cities certainly have very vibrant ecosystems, innovative start-ups and small businesses are launching and growing across the united states, including in my home state of michigan. in every state there are hardworking entrepreneurs who have created job-creating start-ups. these are innovators and job creators within our communities. this is why i'm working with senators warren, tillis, and scott to commemorate start-up week across america and celebrate the ingenuity and entrepreneurship in our states and across the country. i kicked off this annual event in 2013 while serving in the house of representatives, and in the years since i've had the
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privilege of visiting start-ups in grand rapids, detroit, and traverse city. i've met with business founders who design and produce high-end jeans and other deny i am products and grow and deliver farm-fresh products. this monday i visited ferries wheel, a new coworking space in flint, michigan, a community of hardworking michiganders who are focused on their future. the people of flint are committed to building a stronger, healthier, more prosperous community, and they are committed to doing it together. you can see this in their schools, in their churches, and nonprofits, and you can see this in their start-ups and small businesses. one of the best parts about starting a business in flint is 100,000 ideas, a nonprofit staffed by university students committed to helping entrepreneurs start their companies. this group is named in honor of
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the 100,000 residents of flint and inspired by the thought that if they could pull one idea from every local resident, they could change the world. this week i had the chance to learn about a few of these new ideas. i met kiara tyler, the founder of calm clothing. she moved the furniture out of her apartment to make room for inventory, stocked boxes of over-always and track suits where her couch used to be while using her car as the company's headquarters. now she has done over $150,000 worth of business. she is selling her clothing on line and has space for her office and inventory at fairies wheel. flint is her home and she is excited to stay and build her business in michigan. i learned about article one eye wear, a company that has taken an office space next-door to her. she sell handcrafted eyeglasses
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and donate a portion of their proceeds to combat vitamin a deficiency and fight blindness in developing nations. i also meant with sky ventures, a true homegrown michigan story. while there are a for-profit investment fund, they have also committed to social benefit projects and making flint a better place to live and do business. and in addition to investing in companies like article one, skypoint, renovated the ferris building to create the ferris wheel space and commit to the growing community of start-ups in the city of flint. successful business growth comes down to matching talent to capital and the united states does this better than any other country in the world. i'm proud to say that i had a chance to see this happening firsthand in flint and across the state of michigan. michigan in fact has one of the fastest-growing venture capital communities in the entire nation, a critical asset that
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will help us become the start-up capital of the midwest. we have world-class colleges and universities, more engineers per capita than any other part of the country, and the infrastructure to export not just nationally but globally as well. i know that if we keep pulling together as a community and harness 100,000 ideas and beyond, flints' future is bright. and i know that michigan's small businesses and start-ups will help lead the way to new innovations that will revolutionize our economy. and i am committed to ensuring that our growing start-up communities will be a fix tour of -- fixture of creativity, innovation and job creation for decades to come. mr. president, i yield the floor. mrs. ernst: mr. president? the. the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mrs. ernst: mr. president, today i rise to advice my
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support for the brave men and women of america's immigration and customs enforcement, also known as i.c.e. unfortunately, a resolution that would have shown this body's unanimous support for these courageous individuals was blocked. while the border patrol has the important mission of maintaining security at our borders, i.c.e. agents have the critical mission of enforcing immigration laws inside the united states. these two work hand in hand. our nation cannot have border security without enforcing our laws inside communities, and we cannot have secure communities without enforcing our laws at our borders. but the critical mission of
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i.c.e. goes far beyond just immigration enforcement. these folks are on the front lines of our homeland security. here is just a short list of the types of activities i.c.e. is involved in. one, investigating and combating drug smuggling. pretty important. stopping human trafficking. preventing gang-related crimes and working with other law enforcement entities to stop criminal and terrorist networks from operating. iowa, along with the rest of the country, has been gripped by an opioid crisis that puts our people and our safety at risk. additionally, we continue to have a very grave
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methamphetamine issue that threatens the core of many of our already-struggling rural communities. we need i.c.e. to help stop the flow of these drugs into iowa's communities. our schools, our workplaces, to our children, and to our families. in 2017 alone, i.c.e. enforcement and removal operations seized nearly one million pounds of narcotics. one million pounds of narcotics seized by i.c.e. abolishing i.c.e. would turn the flow of illegal drugs from across the border from a stream into a monsoon. i also implore anyone challenging the need for i.c.e. to look at the horrendous toll
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of human trafficking. young and innocent women and men, boys and girls, used as human pawns, smuggled across the border with hopes of a better life, forced into prostitution or worse, raped, beaten, subject to sexual diseases and stripped of all innocence and dignity. sadly, human trafficking is a major issue in iowa. in 2016, for instance, des moines was identified as one of the country's top 100 human trafficking locations. that information came to us from our good friends at polaris, which is an anti-trafficking organization. human traffickers often exploit
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our immigration laws to transport their victims and our i.c.e. agents are the ones that help stop them and stop their illicit activities. every day, 24/7, 365 days a year, i.c.e. agents are on the front lines. they're working to dismantle human trafficking networks and protect our most vulnerable. i urge my colleagues to reconsider their objections and to support not only the resolution but to support those officers and personnel hot carry out the vital mission -- who care of carry out the vital mission of immigration and customs enforcement in order to ensure the safety and security of all americans. thank you, mr. president. i would note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call: mr. casey: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. casey: i would ask that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. casey: thank you, mr. president. i rise today to discuss what is on so many americans' minds today and the last couple of days -- president trump's recent trip to europe, his meeting with vladimir putin, and his comments about russia's interference in our elections. so many pennsylvanians, and i'm sure this is true in so many other states, have called an written our offices this week in complete disbelief, asking, quote, what's next and where do we go from here. who's are good questions. they're critically important questions -- these are good questions. they're critically important questions. these views on russia's past actions and the way forward have seemed to change every day this week. rather than focus on the news
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cycle following the helsinki summit, i want to take a minute to view where -- review where things stood before, before the president went to europe. relations between the united states and russia have been deteriorating for some time. we know that. the russian federation is clearly and unequivocally our adversary. vladimir putin envisions a world where -- or i should say envisions a world more closely resembling the cold war era certainly than compared to today's realities, and he works towards a resurgence of russian power and influence every day. just take a few examples. russia attacked, annexed, and continues to illegally occupy crimea. russian-backed forced continue to violate cease-fire agreements in ukraine and destabilize other parts of that country. preventing the ukrainian people
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from fulfilling their dream of a secure and prosperous nation. russia is backing and enabling the murderous assad regime in syria. the conflict has emboldened terrorist groups, had dramatic humanitarian impacts, and threatened the region's stability. as many as a half a million people have been killed and half the country has been displaced. just imagine if half of our population -- say, 150 million people -- were displaced from their homes, sometimes to another part of the country and sometimes to a completely different country. that's the reality in syria since 2011. russia has prolonged and exacerbated the syrian people's suffering for its own power projection. number four, russia is also
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developing a stronger relationship with the iranian regime, reportedly considering arms sales and boosting their economic relationship. this threatens not only our national security interests in the middle east but also those security interests of our staunchest ally israel. finally, russia continues to have a substantial nuclear arsenal. it has violated the i.m.f. treaty and according to the defense department is developing low-yield, nonstrategic nuclear weapons that could threaten our allies and partners. russia uses any number of tools, from manipulation of the energy supply to arms sales to loans and aid to promote its brand of corrupt authoritarian governance around the world. it also employs nefarious means like hacking, espionage, sowing
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false information to meddle in the most fundamental parts of our great democracy -- our elections. and of course those of other countries. mr. president, i don't think it's wrong for a united states president to meet with a hostile foreign leader. that's part of the job. what is dead wrong is to sit across from a hostile foreign leader one-on-one with no notes, no and fail completely -- completely -- at your core mission, your job -- and that is protecting the national security interests of the american people. to many people, it might seem odd to be focused on who was or wasn't in the room or whether any notes were taken, but without them, there is absolutely no accountability for what was said. we hear that the russian
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military -- let me say that again, the russian military is ready to start implementing the agreements reached between president trump and vladimir putin in that room. we have to ask the president of the united states, what agreements? what did you agree to in that room? what did the leader of our nation agree to that the russian military is so eager to start implementing? further, there seems to be some discussion between president trump and vladimir putin about the russian government's interest in interrogating united states citizens, like former ambassador to russia michael mcfaul. yesterday we heard the white house say that the president was giving that absurd proposal serious consideration.
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of course -- of course putin wants to question ambassador mcfaul. he's an expert on russia who served our country honorably as ambassador and as a public servant. he stood up to russian aggression and promoted united states national security interests, especially when they contradicted moscow's agenda. the idea that we would entertain handing over an american citizen to an authoritarian russian government with no rule of law and also no history of treating people fairly, and of course with a history of interrogating, torturing political opponents, that's not only insulting to our values, it is dangerous and it is wrong. that's not america, and no official in our government of
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any branch of government should support that. and if the administration tries it, the congress should take every effort to stop them from doing that. the russian threat is serious and persistent. it isn't solved by one meeting in a press conference. it will take sustained commitment from the national security professionals across our government, and it will take real vision and leadership from the president and his cabinet. i don't object to the idea of meeting with an adversary. nor does anyone. that's part of the job of being president. instead what i'm concerned about, what a lot of americans are concerned about, is this president's conduct during and after that meeting, especially his unwillingness to say without reservation or calf national that russia -- without reservation or caveat that russia was responsible for hacking our election in 2016 and continues to meddle in our
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democratic process. this is isn't a political judgment. it is the judgment of our intelligence and law enforcement experts, and it led to the indictment of 12 russian military intelligence hackers this past friday. director of national intelligence dan coats reaffirmed his judgment just this week saying, and i quote, the role of the international community -- the role of the intelligence community is to provide the best information and fact-based reassessments possible for the president and policymakers. we have been clear in our assessments of russia's meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy, and we will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence in support of our national security. unquote. so said director of national
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intelligence dan coats. why can't the president say this and say it repeatedly that he agrees with their assessment and is working to stop russia from doing it again? my constituents, like so many americans, are right to ask where do we go from here? there's no playbook for this scenario. i believe we must act in a bipartisan fashion to not only make clear to russia that the united states congress will not stand for continued interference in our elections and will work to counter them on other fronts. first, we should enact new legislation to levy sanctions on russian entities responsible for this malicious behavior and demand the administration fully implement legislation that was passed with an overwhelming bipartisan majority last year. number two, we must pass legislation to protect the special counsel and to shine a bright light on the dark money in politics.
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number three, we must fully fund state and municipal efforts to shore up our electoral systems. number four, we must speak out in support of our alliances, many of our closest international partners are right on the front lines of russia's destabilizing actions. and finally we should insist the administration answer the questions so many of us have about what happened in that room in helsinki and what they plan to do to counter russia and protect our national security interests. we are in uncharted waters in terms of the actions of the president. his actions the last two weeks have made us less safe. i'll say it again. less safe. he must take -- he must take -- decisive action to guarantee our security by confronting maligned russian aggression against the
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united states and our nato allies and partners. at the same time congress, both parties, both houses, must act to protect our security and make it clear to the president that this branch of government will continue to discharge its constitutional duties. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina. a senator: thank you, mr. president. mr. tillis: i'd like to acknowledge that the senator from pennsylvania made a number of good points on the subject of russia and the way we need to deal with russia. people have asked me what i think about mr. putin and whether or not he's trustworthy, and i tell them the way that i know that he's misleading the public on issues of meddling is his lips are moving, because he's just not telling the truth. any time he talks about it, it just flies in the face of federal investigations,
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oversight hearings, classified briefings we've been involved in. i think it's an example of where the members of congress have really come together on an issue. and now i'd like to talk about another issue that i'd like for the members of congress to come together on. it's called the keeping families together and enforce the law act. you've heard a lot of reports recently about children being separated from their families at the border. the administration has taken a position in part prompted by lawsuits, and we can debate whether or not the administration should fix this problem through an executive order. but how about this? why doesn't congress act to provide long-term certainty through an act of congress to make absolutely certain that children who cross the borders with their families can be kept with their families while we're trying to determine in a court whether or not that family has a legitimate claim to asylum. it sounds fairly simple. in fact, it is pretty simple.
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i met with senators feinstein and senator durbin and senator cruz. we sat down and we discussed a way to actually get this into law. we all agreed that it needs to be very narrowly focused. the problem with immigration around here and the immigration subject is it grows really big and really complex really quickly. and what happens with big and complex on capitol hill is nothing gets done. so the bill that we proposed is very simple. fix the issues in the law, clarify the process so that we can actually make absolutely certain that minor children can stay with their parents while their asylum claims are being considered. we've got agreement on virtually everything. we agreed that families should be kept together. we agreed that we need more judges so we can reduce the backlog. we agreed we need more attorneys to participate in the process, basically two to one ratio
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between a new judge and new attorneys to support the legal process. we agreed on minimum standards for housing so that we make sure that we're keeping these families in a place that we think are appropriate. now some people may come to the floor and say we're going to stand up tent cities and subject people to harsh conditions. we don't want to do that. as a matter of fact, we feel so strongly about it, we're putting forth specific requirements for housing. so we're addressing are the judge constraint. we're addressing the lawyer constraint. we're addressing specific standards for keeping families together. we can actually pass this in a heartbeat. we can do it on the senate floor. we can do it through what's called unanimous consent. allow somebody to come down here, put a bill forward, get it passed and give those children and give those parents certainty. the fact of the matter is some will apply for asylum. they won't have a legitimate case. others will. but we proposed a bill that would prevent any sort of
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lengthy detention. as a matter of fact, if this bill gets passed, the average case with a family, which would be prioritized -- if you have asylum requests and you're with children, we want to keep you together and get that in the front of the docket so that you can get certainty fairly quickly. over about 40 to 60 days. but we have a constraint that we've got to get passed. and it has to do with the law -- all right, a court ruling calling the flores case where if we don't narrowly tailor the language to say if a child, if a minor comes across the border with their parents, then they will be allowed to be kept with their parents in appropriate housing until such time as their asylum requests have been heard before a court of law. it's not getting rid of flores. you have some people here saying we want to completely eliminate that case. absolutely not the case. we don't want children who come across the border who don't have parents with them to be detained in perpetuity or in definite
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detention as it's referred to down here. that's what flores does. in a child comes across the border and they don't have a parent with them, after 20 days they have to be placed somewhere other than detention. that's a good policy. but if you have a situation where if you let flores stand the way that it is, then the law specifically requires the child to be separated from the parents. this gives the parents the choice. if they want the children with them while they're going through the legal process, then they can have that. if they choose to have the child placed with a family member or a guardian, then they can have that too. one of the things that i think we have to talk more about is the danger of just randomly placing children with a parent or guardian that comes across the border. we have several cases where in our system there is no way we would place the parent with some of the people that are coming across the border with. they have been convicted for a variety of things: child
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neglect, child abuse, drug trafficking, all the sorts of things that would have an american citizen's child removed from their family or the same sort of standards we want for a child coming across the border, and of course we want to make sure that that person who says they are the parent or their guardian really is. so, mr. president, in this -- in this body there are a few opportunities where you can narrowly tailor a policy to a point to where only the most partisan or unreasonable person wouldn't support it. this is one of them. we can get this bill passed, sent to the president's desk, and provide certainty, a compassionate, appropriate method for dealing with what are now hundreds or thousands of people who have come across the border, children with their parents, treat them fairly, treat them justly, and have them processed in what i believe is the greatest judicial system that's ever existed.
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it's on us to solve this problem. and anybody who comes down here and says, well, no, i've got to talk about daca, which is something i support, a path to citizenship, or i want to talk about border security, which i also support, yeah, let's talk about that. but let's not hold these children and these families hostage for other immigration matters that this body should have the backbone to deal with the political challenges that they may come from their -- that may come from their own party and do the right thing the next time. this time let's solve the separation of children from their parents. let's stop playing the political games that make for great fodder, but they're not compassionate, they're not a part of the solution. i hope we have enough members to become a part of the solution. and next week we'll be talking more about this and possibly even through unanimous consent. i want somebody to come down to this floor and explain to me why this is a bad idea. i want them to explain it to the american people. but out of respect for the
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senate, we won't offer unanimous consent today, but you can be pretty sure we will next week. thank you, mr. president. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina. mr. tillis: i have seven requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. the presiding officer: duly noted. mr. tillis: thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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