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tv   U.S. Senate U.S. Senate  CSPAN  January 14, 2020 2:15pm-6:53pm EST

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[inaudible conversations] >> the u.s. senate now returning from their party lunch. we take you to the floor now live.
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mr. cotton: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas. mr. cotton: in the next few days senate democrats will move to discharge a war powers resolution to tie the president's hands in defending this nation against iran and terrorist masterminds like qasam soleimani. let's think about how we got here and the implications of this reckless action. qasam soleimani has the blood of thousands of americans on his hands and hundreds of thousands of innocent souls across the middle east. for more than 20 years he was
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the supreme leader's most trusted lieutenant, iran's terror mastermind, the man responsible for the deaths of hundreds of american soldiers in iraq and afghanistan by supplying the most deadly kind of roadside bombs soldiers ever faced. he and his proxies and iranian leaders like him are responsible for bombings of our embassies in places like lebanon and kuwait. they're in no small part responsible for the ongoing horror of the syrian civil war or the civil war in yemen. and there is no doubt, there is no doubt based on the intelligence we have and his blood thirty -- thirsty past that he was in baghdad on january 2 to plot something very dangerous and big that would target americans once again. we should all be thankful that
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qasam soleimani no longer walks the earth and we should be proud of the troops who executed that mission. the world is a safer place and america is a safer nation because of it. and the people of iran have been given a voice against the man that was responsible for mowing them down in protests over the years. and whose death this just have been out on the streets celebrating, even though they risk being mowed down by their own security forces once again. yet over the last two weeks the democrats have been able to do nothing but express their regret for the president's decision to eliminate qasam soleimani. and make no mistake, this war powers resolution is not about, not about the future. it is about delivering an implicit, or if you listen to their words -- and i'll read the resolution -- an explicit
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rebuke to the president for ordering the killing of qasam soleimani. and they certainly want to prevent the president from doing anything like that in the future. that's why they have introduced this war powers resolution. now we should always remind ourselves when we're having a war powers debate as we do from time to time, the war powers resolution is unconstitutional. it was passed by a liberal congress in 1973 at the height of watergate and not a single president since then has acknowledged its constitutionality. not a single one, to include all the democrats. i hear a lot about the constitution these days and reclaiming our authority to declare war and to constrain the executive. i guess all those constitutional experts missed "the federalist papers" and its authoritative explanation of the constitution and why we have the government we do. we have a house of representatives with 435 people to be the institution that's most closely tied to popular
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opinion. we have a senate to act as the cool and deliberate sense of the community. and we have a single president, a single president to act on behalf of the entire nation at moments of peril. federalist 70, if they would open up that authoritative explanation of the constitution says why there is one person, not a council of two or three or four as some of the states had at the time of the founding. because of the division of opinion and perspective and temperament an executive counsel would have. one president, one president who can act as federalist 70 said, with energy and dispatch. and, yes, on some occasions with secrecy. so if the founders didn't think we should have an executive council of three or four or five people, imagine what they would have thought about 535 commanders in chief, making
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operational decisions about when to take action on the battlefield. these debates about war powers resolutions are really about how many lawyers and armchair rangers can dance on the head of a pin. do you think that wars and battles are won with paper resolutions? they are -- those wars and battles are won with iron resolution. do you think the ayatollahs are intimidated by whereas clauses, joint resolutions? the ayatollahs are intimidated and deterred and scared when we incinerate their terror mastermind and we tell them we will do it again if they harm another american. now, even if you grant the war powers resolution
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constitutional, look at the actual text of this resolution. it makes no exception for iran developing a nuclear weapon. the ayatollahs could hold a press conference tomorrow or the supreme leader could tweet they would come to a nuclear breakout. it makes no exception for designated terrorist organizations and individuals like the iranian revolutionary guard corps and its quds force who have killed so many americans and continue to target them today. it makes no exception for attacks on our allies in the middle east for nations like israel. now some say it makes an exception for imminent attacks. we've seen what that gets us over the last couple of weeks. again lawyers and armchair rangers arguing about the meaning of imminence. well, i've got to say whether an attack is imminent looks pretty different if you're a soldier on patrol in iraq than
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if you're a comfortable senator sitting behind secure walls and armed guards. none of this means that congress has no role in matters of life and death on the battlefield. very far from it, in fact. and i will take a back seat to no one to asserting that constitutional authority. i remind my colleagues that when we had an opportunity to insist that barack obama's nuclear deal with iran be submitted to this chamber as a treaty, there was one senator that voted to insist on that. only one. this guy. 98 other senators were perfectly willing to create some made-up phony baloney procedure that allowed barack obama to submit a nuclear arms agreement with a sworn and mortal enemy that charts death to -- that chants death to america and put it into effect with a large majority opposed to him as opposed to the
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two-thirds majority that our constitution requires for treaties. so we do have a tremendous degree of constitutional authority in the congress. we regulate interstate commerce which makes sanctions. we nominate, or we confirm ambassadors. we confirm the president's cabinet. we declare war, which we've only done a few times in our past despite hundreds of incidents. but most importantly and the way to constrain the executive if this congress thinks he should be constrained in a particular case, we have the spending power, in particular the spending power for our armed forces. that's the way the congress, any congress with any president can control the use of the armed forces by the president. it's something this congress has done a lot in the past, done it in vietnam, did it in
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nicarauga, did it in somalia. there are plenty of times when the president has acted in some ways in a much more aggressive and far-reaching fashion than president trump did just a couple of weeks ago. the first taiwan straits crisis, grenada in 1983, libya in 1986, iran in 1988. i would even say libya again in 2007, although most of my democratic colleagues like to send that down the memory hole since it was a democratic president. so i'd simply say if you disagree with the president's decision to kill the world's most sadistic blood thinker -- thirsty mastermind and you want to stop him from doing it again file your bill to prohibit the use of any taxpayer funds for such operations. it's very simple.
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it's one page. i'll help you write it if you need help. one page. no funds will be used to support operations by the armed forces against the government of iran or any of its officials. do it. have the courage of your convictions. why are we not seeing that bill? because it failed just last year all of these same politicians offered language on our annual defense bill to try to prohibit the use of any funds and operations like we just saw, and it failed. we passed the defense bill as we always do by overwhelming majorities, which means they don't have the votes because they know their position is not popular with the american people not surprisingly, the american people don't want their elected leaders to act as lawyers for the ayatollahs. so if you're not going to act in
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what is our true constitutional power, spare us the unconstitutional and dangerous war powers resolutions and simply let the people who are serious about our national security from the troops on up to the top do what's necessary to keep this country safe. madam 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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quorum call:
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mr. barrasso: thank you, madam president. i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. barrasso: i come to the floor today to mark another major milestone for the landmark united states-mexico-canada agreement. this morning, madam president, with you in the committee in voting, the environment and public works committee
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overwhelmingly passed usmca. with the approval of our committee, the usmca is now one step closer to final passage here in the senate. we all know that it isn't perfect, but still it's an important deal that benefits all americans. passing this deal provides much-needed certainty for america's manufacturers. our ranchers, our farmers certainly in wyoming but across the bread basket of the country and the rocky mountain west, they are countiing on it as well. americans have waited patiently now for over a year. speaker pelosi was the roadblock and held this hostage for an extended period of time. well, she finally allowed the house to vote on it, so now the senate is working to move this critical piece of legislation forward and to the president. passing usmca will start the next chapter in the american economic success story. the deal's going to increase our gross domestic product by
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$70 billion. above all, it's a win for american workers. it's going to create 180,000 u.s. jobs. and you know, madam president, that is just the start. already our strong, health yn and growing -- and growing economy has been setting records across the board. and it's thanks to plun pro-growth policies. that's what we look to and point to when we look at the record job growth that we have had since president trump has taken office. in just three years we've created over seven million new jobs in america. the unemployment rate is at a 50-year low. 50 years, that is astonishing. wage growth is the fastest it has been in a decade, especially benefiting lower income workers. everyone is better off with this growing economy. yet, there's still some untapped potential and we need to unlock
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it now. my home state of wyoming is poised to reap huge benefits not only from usmca, but our state has much to gain with new trade agreements with china and japan. the china trade agreement scheduled to be signed tomorrow, japan on january 1. this means expanded access to export markets. wyoming farmers and ranchers are very eager to seize these opportunities for future growth. madam president, i would say, as i conclude. here is the bottom line. passing usmca means more jobs and more economic growth. it means more certainly and -- certainty and more stability for our job creators and it means more opportunity and more prosperity for america's working families. that is the real measure of this. and it is time for the senate to pass usmca. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor.
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a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mrs. blackburn: thank you, madam president. you know, we're in the wake of another global event or happening, if you will, and no matter what it is, we always have people that come in on the back side and, as i say, a bunch of arm-chair quarterbacks and monday morning quarterbacks and they are trying to put their spin on this, what should have been done, what wasn't done. i think that's a pretty good analogy when we think about that football game that took place last night. but what should be and ought to be a serious discussion about national security or human rights inevitably devolves into a political argument about who should be allowed to score points off the blood and bravery of people that are fighting a
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half a world away. so here's a suggestion for each of us. in times of conflict or unrest instead of looking to the pundits and listening to a lot of pundits, why don't we look to the people themselves who are involved in these conflicts? after the u.s. strike that took out qasem soleimani, armchair quarterbacks calling plays for the left, picked up on what the propaganda arm of the iranian regime was selling. bear in mind i just said the propaganda arm. after tehran downed its own jet, though, shouldn't the conversation have pivoted to the outraged protest, not against americans, but against the iranian government?
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after all, those protests were fueled not by the act of one man but by months of domestic turmoil and decades of brutal repression by the iranian regime against the people of iran. and, of course, it didn't pivot. the false narrative of the mad american president prevailed even as the people of iran railed against the brutalities of the ayatollahs and the inexplicable recklessness of their own military. they were saying one thing and the media, something else. it's a stunning display of bravery. the people of iran risked their lives. yes, they are risking their
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lives. november, 304 got shot, taken to the streets. the revolutionary guard brought about by soleimani, they were shooting this week at people who are protesting, begging -- begging for a little bit of freedom. amazing me that it doesn't get acknowledged. the decisive elimination of soleimani exposed the regime's extreme vulnerability on the global stage, and i think that the ato tellas in iran -- ayatollahs in iran, they know this, and that's why they responded to america and why they strong armed them against their troops, why they arrested
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the united nations ambassador for attending a peace vigil. they know they are losing this are argument. tehran failed at silencing dissent. their goal is to convince the rest of the world to ignore the protest of the iranian people. authoritarianism is not bound to one particular region or ideology, the oppressive behavior of communist china backfired on officials in beijing. in their case there wasn't an airstrike or incursion, just a simple but disastrous piece of legislation that would have jeopardized the already strangled human rights of every citizen in hong kong. not just a few, everybody, blanket coverage. don't be caught speaking out
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against -- against china and against beijing. the fallout from that violation is now legendary. millions took to the streets on behalf of democracy and self-determination and turned beijing's agenda on its head. their protests captured the attention of the entire world and inspired others struggling to survive under communist rule to speak up. this past saturday, the people of taiwan poured some additional salt on beijing's wounds by delivering a stunning electoral rebuke against the communist party. taiwan had a record number of ballots pulling the ruling party out of a two-year skid and validating anti-beijing
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protesters in east asia. china knows who is to blame for this, but in official statements, they are writing off the results of the election as a mere fluke, they want to say, and they are blaming, get this -- blaming foreign interference for their humiliation. they couldn't possibly be responsible for this. i've got to tell you, the election may be over, but you can count on china to find other ways to coerce taipei into submission. they will likely continue to pressure taiwan business men and workers living on the mainland to tow the party line and engaging more drills around taiwan. it's all part of their playbook. threats gilded in official policy are standard operating procedure for authoritarian regimes, but over crackdowns on
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dissent still loom large over the heads of their people. last december china threatened to sanction the nongovernment agencies that backed pro-democracy legislation in hong kong. and on sunday, they suddenly refused -- refused entry to activists from human rights watch without even pretending to provide a plausible explanation. imagine that. they have moved so far in repression they wouldn't even let human rights watch in the country to see what it is that they are doing to their people. make no mistake, regimes like those in china or iran are vicious and powerful, but right now, they are running on nothing but fear of their very own
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people -- their own citizens. the fear is what drives them to oppression, abuse and murder, but time and again they forget that someone is always watching. the same technology that allows them to spy on and manipulate their add adversaries allows frm fighters to tweet and broadcast some of these crimes that are being committed by these oppressive regimes. the people of iran and china have flung themselves on to the front line of a global fight for individual rights and individual freedom. but don't neglect those risking life and limb in places like lebanon where peaceful opposition to authorities is labeled as criminal defamation. imagine that.
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criminal deaf deaf -- criminal deaf nation if you peacefully oppose the authorities. or in morocco where journalists have been jailed with impunity for unveiling corruption. you find corruption, you report it in the press, and they lock you up for telling the truth. or burma or india or algeria. there are dozens more examples. if you want to understand what's happening, look to the people. listen to them and pay attention to their history as they seek to write their future. i yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: thank you, madam president. i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. barrasso: thank you, madam president. i ask unanimous consent that i be allowed to engaging in a colloquy with are senator enzi. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. barrasso: we have a picture here of geraldine brown who passed away peacefully on january 8 in wyoming. she was surrounded by her loving family. for many years jerri was a
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dominant force in wyoming. for the last 12 years she was the most influential voice with the wyoming senate delegation. she's my wife bobby's mom. senator enzi knew her long before i did. senator enzi. mr. enzi: thank you, senator barrasso. i got to meet this delightful lady in wyoming some 70 years ago. i need to tell you a little bit about thermopolis, wyoming. my dad, during the war, was a welder on ships. after the war, he move around the country doing different welding projects, one of which took him to thermopolis wyoming. he welded on a dam there. dams in the west are used to control floods, but they are big
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projects and have a big impact on communities. this particular one not only controlled floods but it turned it into a great fishery. my folks went to thermopolis, wyoming, and they also built a trailer park. it was the first modern trailer park in thermopolis. it was the first to have showers and flush toilets. you need to know a little bit about wyoming. it's small. at time that there were two cities in wyoming. you had to have 3,000 population to be a city. in the early days casper, the energy capital at that time, and cheyenne, the state capital at that time exceeded the 3,000 what effect did that have on the communities? well, the presbyterians, the
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methodists and others goat together and divided up the towns that were small, realizing they couldn't support all three churches. and there was one town that was so small that they actually got together and formed a community church. now, what's a community church? that's where these three denominations worked together and at one time it will be a presbyterian minister there and two years later there will be a methodist minister there and two years later a congregational minister was there. that's where jeri brown was the sunday school teacher and that's how i came to meet her. now, one of the big realizations because of this community church thing and the changing of the
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pastors every two years, i thought every two years the lord's prayer changed, but she helped me to understand -- through that dilemma. so that's where i got to meet mrs. brown and she was a sunday school teacher and i wound up in her sunday school class and she taught the kindergarten class. now, when we first started, she actually moved up a couple of times with me as the classes got combined and as i got older. but at that very first one for bible school, we held it outdoors underneath a pine tree -- a huge pine tree, and i can still remember sitting there enthralled with her descriptions as i held my new testament,
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which, of course, since i was in kindergarten, i couldn't read, but she filled in for that and gave me a great -- a great background. later, of course, i ran into a book by robert roger fulgen which was all i really needed to know i learned in kindergarten. for me it was kindergarten sunday school and my teacher, of course, that was my first sunday school teacher and it was my last living sunday school teacher. and some of the things that she taught are share everything, play fair, don't hit people, put things back where you found them, clean up your own mess, don't take things that aren't yours, say you're sorry if you hurt someone, and be aware of
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wonder, and wonder if you put some seeds, and we did this with a paper cup with dirt and you water it, the plant goes up and the roots go down. now some people would say nobody knows why or how but mrs. brown said that's not true. god has a plan. he knows you, he watches out for you. if you see things going wrong, check your direction cause it might not be where god wants you. all of this was a good basis for my life. i've always appreciated seeing her through the years when we -- particularly when we visit that church again which is still a community church, all who he most of the towns have split those up into more than one denomination. but i've got to say if the
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criteria is 3,000 people, by the time the town gets to a first-class city size, one church is so established, it is hard for another one to get established in a small community like that. but as long as there are wonderful people like mrs. brown teaching kindergarten and first grade and second grade and other kids in small communities, this country will be a great place, and i thank her for all the background that she gave me and ask for your prayers for her family. thank you, john. mr. barrasso: thank you, senator enzi. she was born may 29, 1930, in casper, wyoming. she was the youngest of eight children. it was the dodge family. senator, as you talked about building the dam in the thermopilis area, and they were
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in an another area where they ran a bakery, best bread, anything, donuts that you could ever have. she worked at a number of places. she worked at the first national bank. and always volunteered to take the mail from the bank to the post office because she caught the eye of the young postal worker bob brown. the two were married and recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. as newlyweds bob was sent to korea. he had been in world war ii. they first went to fort lewis washington, and gerry followed. to pay her way she had to pick filbert nuts. she was telling me the size of the bags they had to fill before you get any pay, it was a full
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day's work, and so the blessings she told you about hard work, she knew it personally. she was a hard worker. she worked at a bakery. she worked at dr. nell's, the pharmacy in hunt springs county, the treasurer's office. her great joy was when she owned and operated her own store in downtown thermopolis. she was dedicated to her children, to bobby and to mike, adored her granddaughter hadley and taught them to work hard, to be kind and always do their best. she was a talented crafter. she enjoyed playing bridge. and she was a collector. she collected santa clauses. she collected chickens and pictures of chickens. and she collected rocks from around the world. no matter where i went, i needed to bring back a rock for geri. she also, as you know, collected friends and memories. she had an encyclopedic memory
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of wyoming names, wyoming relationships, who was married to who, whose cousin was who. she rarely left anywhere without a hug and loved being anyone's favorite aunt. she was an avid reader. she loved god, loved america, loved our flag. a long time member of the community federated church and the order of the eastern star, and as we were talking about in the cloakroom, she was state president of p.e.o. geri brown has dedicated her life to her family, to her faith and to her friends. she was committed to her church and her community. she had a well deserved reputation for being a joiner, a goer, a doer. we will celebrate her life on saturday, january 18, in thermopolis at the community federated church, and we miss
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her dearly. may she rest in peace. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. lankford: i ask the quorum call be eviscerated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. lankford: madam president, as we go back through the calendar just a few months and get some context of what's been building for a while, in may of
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2019, four different vessels that were traveling just outside the gulf of oman were hit by mines. just a few months later two more vessels hit iranian mines. they were actually placed on the ship. in june of 2019, u.s. navy surveillance drone was flying through the strait of hormuz and was downed by an iranian missile attack. if we continue to move forward, we tracked an increase in iranian activity in cyber attacks. at the same time individuals at our military bases in iraq were facing more and more of a push against them in not just an external conversation, an actual
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attack. our supply lines in the fall of last year as trucks that were leaving out from baghdad driving down to kuwait for supply lines there were increasingly facing improvised explosive devices, something we had not seen in a long time. those explosive devices were placed by shia militias. in october there were multiple attacks on our facility in baghdad. in november there are multiple attacks again on our facility in baghdad. in december, there were multiple attacks again each time increasing more and more attacks. we heard that term attack and it seems almost flippant and realize for the thousands in that area in that diplomatic mission that's there in iraq, for the thousands of americans that's there, there's a day that happens, it could be the middle
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of the night, it could be the middle of the afternoon, but a moment happens month after month, week after week and sometimes day after day where the sirens go off and everyone on campus runs into a bomb shelter and then the explosions begin around grounds. these are not just random attacks. these were designed, kinetic, rocket attacks coming into our embassy that built up towards an attack on the united states embassy on december 31 where thousands of people broke through the outer section, setting fires to building, attacking the facility, smashing against the glass trying to be able to get into the next layer that they were not able to penetrate into the inner layer in the embassy, but thousands and thousands of riders, they were moving towards the base.
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and as calm was restored on the outside and the security perimeter was established on the outside, they could read what was written on the walls spray painted now on the embassy, qasem soleimani is our leader. i was interested to be able to talk to a friend of mine just a couple of weekends ago. he made an interesting comment to me. he said i didn't know who qasem soleimani was. i had never heard that name before. and then i wept back and started doing some research to be able to find out who this guy is and what he's all about. and his comment to me was, i did some research and found out he's a bad guy. and i said, yeah, you don't know the half of it. qasem soleimani is the leader of the quds force for the iranian was responsible for training the shia militias in iraq on how to kill americans.
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over 600 americans died because of the training and equipping that soleimani did for the iraqis fighting against us, specifically the shia emissions that -- militias that soleimani directed at that time. he was surprised to learn that soleimani organizes all things with hezbollah and lebanon. he organizes hezbollah also in iraq. he is coordinating all that is happening in yemen in the civil war in yemen. he was surprised to be able to see he was in syria working with bashar al-assad and to be able to see all that he's doing for that ruthless leader that murdered thousands of his own people. that's soleimani. and for those of us tracking the direct threats against the united states, we're very aware of who he is and what he was all about because he was the point person to try to take the fight to the united states. in the past six months that
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fighting had gone from a, i'm going to try to find individuals in hz or shia militia to attack the united states to be more strategic to bringing the attack directly from his forces under his command to try to take the attack to us. he had become more and more overt and more and more obsessed with attacking the united states. over the course of that time period, the trump administration had over and over again sent a message to the iranian leadership. you are playing a very dangerous game, continually attacking american facilities, launching rockets randomly and starting fires, stirring up militias to attack our supply lines, if an american is killed, president trump made it very clear the united states will respond. and in december soleimani pushed it to a whole new level with a
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multiple-rocket attack into an american facility, killing an american, wounding four others. the president responded with a very reasoned response, taking the attack to where the shia militias and hezbollah were storing their munitions to attack us an destroying those munitions they went to the facilities where they were equipping the people to bring the attack to us and then carefully tracking the person planning the next set of attacks, soleimani himself. when the time came in january, when soleimani had been traveling through syria, through lebanon, working with hezbollah, and back into iraq and he was personally meeting with another terrorist leader in iraq, one terrorist leader, soleimani, leading a terrorist organization, leading with another terrorist organization there, both of them were
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planning together, met up at the airport that morning, and a little after 4:00 o'clock in the morning they planned their next set of attacks the at at that time the trump administration took the opportunity while they were both far from civilians and no one else was on the road to be able to have a surgical strike to be able to take out two different terrorist leaders both in the process of planning their next attacks. what's been interesting to me is the response of the united states senate and the united states house and some of the debate there. we should debate issues like this. these are difficult moments and difficult days. we are not at war with iran nor should we be at war with iran. there are millions of peaceful people in iran. thousands and thousands of those are protesting on the streets right now in iran against their own government. they are furious at the corruption in that government. they are furious that the people in iran can't get food and can't
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get fuel because the regime there is spending their money attacking yemen, attacking syria, feeding money to hezbollah in iraq, feeding money to hezbollah in lebanon. and the money that should be going to be able to help their own people, the iranian regime is sending out over the region to spur their terrorism. so the people there are frustrated and upset with their own government and they are taking it to the street under threat of their own life. and in not too recent past, iranians were the green revolution ten years ago and in months past had taken to the streets by thousands and some of them have faced all kinds of retribution coming back at them. we should be supporting the good people of iran who are miserable living under that regime. we're not at war with the people of iran, but we are very clear as a nation.
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when you are planning an attack against us and we're aware of that attack and you've shown the due diligence to take prior attacks, we know you're not just thinking about it, you're actually planning and about to carry it out. we learned our lesson from 9/11 and for the last three administrations, the pollses have -- policy has been clear, if we know you're going to bring an attack to us in the days and weeks ahead, we will not wait until you kill americans so come bring the strike to you. that's what happened to soleimani. the debate that's happening on the floor now about a war powers resolution is interesting because much of the language affirms the law. it seems to imply the trump administration didn't follow the law when they did. the trump administration continued to track an imminent threat coming at the united states. there's been some argument about how imminent is imminent. some of my colleagues want to know that soleimani was in the
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process of carrying out an attack within the next 30 minutes and if he wasn't carrying out an attack immediately, we shouldn't respond. ly tell you that intelligence is not that exquisite. you only know in the movies that someone's about to attack an exact spot, an exact time. that is the not real life. real life intelligence you gather information to be able to track what you think is coming but you don't get exact dates and locations like that. but we knew he was planning this attack, and they were zeroing in on the locations but he was very specific on the americans he was coming after. so to be able to bring the attack to him and then to notify congress within 48 hours which is the law is consistent with the war powers resolution. so the president did follow the law. he was justified in being able to carry out the strike against a known, declared terrorist leader, in fact two of them in the process of planning their next attack against americans. but the key thing that i join my
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colleagues in talking about is not trying to be able to press back on the administration. it's to say none of us want a war with iran, including the trump administration. and every conversation i've had with anyone in the administration, they've all been very clear. they're not planning a war with iran. they don't want a war with iran but they do want iran to stop their belligerent terrorist activities against us, against our allies, and against any american they seem to find in the region. so i join my colleagues in warning iran and assuring iran at the same time we have no desire for a war with the regime or with the good people of iran. we should be able to find a way to be able to work together. since 1979 and this regime coming into power, they have taken the fight to americans and to all of our allies. and it's time we push back and say stop shedding blood and let's sit down at the table and
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be able to work this out. in the meantime, let's don't assume that soleimani was some innocent bystander. he had a lot of american blood on his hands. let's take into real life what it really means to be -- to live in baghdad and serve a diplomatic mission and run bomb -- run to bomb shelters as rockets are reigning down on your facility. there's plenty of provocation. now it's time for diplomacy. let's get this worked out. with that i yield the floor. mr. portman: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. portman: first i want to say to my colleague from oklahoma, i appreciate his remarks. i was on the floor last week talking about this issue. he's absolutely right. soleimani was a recognized terrorist, not by the trump administration but by the global community, including the obama
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administration, the united nations, the two organizations he headed were considered terrorist organizations. he was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of our constituents and thousands more who were maimed and injured. so when i have been at these briefings, i'm sort of getting a different briefing that apparently some of my colleagues are. the briefings have been very explicit about the degree to which this particular individual had already attacked and killed so many americans and that in fact there were more plans, of course, in the future. that's why he was traveling around the middle east meeting with other commanders, including the commander of the islamic militia group in iraq that very day. so i think this is a time for us as my colleague from oklahoma has said to be sober and to be realistic about the great threat he posed to us.
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and not just in this administration but in previous administrations. and now talk about a way forward avoiding war with iran but also make sure iran is held accountable. the people of iran, to them i say today we are with you but we understand the fact that your country is one where your own rights have been repressed and you have not had the ability to achieve your dreams and we would want that for you as well. our arguments ever not with you. they're -- are not with you. they're with the government 6 -- government of iran. i'm here in part to talk interest something very sad. last week my staff and i were informed that a colleague of ours, chris allen, a senate staffer on the senate finance committee passed away unexpectedly. chris was an amazing guy. diligent, hardworking, expert on pensions and tax exempt
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organizations. he was a very valued colleague. i got to know him particularly well over the last couple of years as we worked together on pension issues. he was the one who along with charlie bolton in my office really focused on the complicated issue of multiemployer pensions and other retirement security issues. we have a crisis in our country right now. the pension system is in big trouble. and chris allen played a pivotal role in ensuring that this very important issue was brought to the floor and that we had responsible solutions to it. he was developing a framework to prevent the collapse of that multiemployer system. he also had recently prevented pension cuts to over 92,000 retired coal miners through his work. he is the one, i think, most responsible among all the staff on the hill for assuring we expanded 401(k)'s to millions of workers left behind by current law. just last month congress enacted and the president signed the secure act. it's going to help millions of
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americans have more peace of mind in retirement. i don't believe it would have passed the senate at the end of last year but for chris. that's how important he was. through his quick wit and tenacity, he's the one who built the coalitions to get that done and b. the momentum for it when frankly a lot of others had given up. as a result, all americans are better off. in this difficult time, my thoughts and my prayers are with his wife, linda marie, his daughter sophie and lucy, and all his family and his many, many friends as we mourn the loss of a true public servant. i also want to express condolences to chairman grassley and the entire staff of the senate finance committee. chris will be dearly missed as a friend, retirement expert, and a model public servant. mr. president, i'm also here today to talk about the path forward on legislation,
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commonsense solutions that my constituents and all of our constituents would like to see this year. the senators in this chamber came back to town this week along with members of the house at one of the most partisan times in our nation's history. we just learned that the house is now going to send us articles of impeachment. this will be the third presidential impeachment trial in our entire history, only the second one in the last 151 years. and it will be the most partisan one ever. i agree with nancy pelosi of a year ago who said, and i quote, impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there is something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, i don't think west should go down that path -- think we should go down that path because it divides the country. think she was right about that and yet, unfortunately, without meeting those criteria, here we are going down that path. but while we face a lot of contentious issues ahead of us, i still believe we can legislate for the benefit of the people we
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represent, and we must. that's our job. we can't let partisanship cause us to lose sight of all the opportunities we have here every day to come together, find common ground, pass commonsense solutions to address the issues our constituents care most about. in fact, i would say that under the radar and without fanfare, we have recently done that. at the end of last year we enacted a number of bills and provisions on a bipartisan basis that help people. i talked about the secure act a moment ago. despite the headlines about gridlock and dysfunction and impeachment, we've been working on both sides of the aisle to find solutions to some of these real problems. promoting conservation, helping security, helping the most vulnerable. one area where this senate and the congress in general along with the administration has made significant progress is combating the ongoing drug addiction crisis in america. it's affected so many families represented by all of us in this chamber. in my home state of ohio, we've
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been on the front lines of this crisis for years. opioids in particular have taken a heavy toll in our communities. in fact, in 2017 our opioid overdose rate in ohio was almost three times the national average. with nearly a dozen ohioans dying from these dangerous drugs every single day making it the number one cause of death in ohio, surpassing car accidents. since 2017 we've begun to make progress finally, to be able to turn the tide on opioids n. 2018 after a -- in 2018 after a decade of increased overdose deaths every year for the previous dozen years, in 2018 we finally had a reduction. a 22% reduction in overdose deaths. by the way, that led the nation in terms of the percent decrease. still way too high, unseparably high. but we're -- unseparably high but we're starting to make progress. a lot is being done at the federal level but also the state level and the local level to
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address this problem. we have dramatically increased funding here for treatment for recovery, for providing narcan as a way to save people's live, the miracle drug that reverses the effects of an overdose. so we have done some things that are very important. these resources that we have sent through legislation, most recently by legislation the president signed into law just last year, also by that provided by the state opioid response grants and also by our bipartisan comprehensive addiction recovery act, cara, are helping. they're helping our first responders to be able to use innovative new approaches to ensure individuals whose overdoses are reversed go into treatment rather than just overdosing again and again and again. the good news is that at the year end, the spending bill that congress passed, security record $658 million in funding for these comprehension addiction recovery, cara grant dollars. i'm the author of the
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legislation initially along with sheldon whitehouse on the other side of the aisle. we started off with closer to $200 million. now we're at $658 million. why? because it's working. and i've been back home going from place to place seeing how it works, watching some of these first responders in action with social workers and treatment providers who are going into people's homes, getting people into treatment who previously were not. but we can't rest on our laurels because we've got to do a lot more. toll address all forms of -- to address all forms of addiction that are increasingly becoming a problem. we've seen in ohio and around the country that psycho stimulant vs come back with a vengeance. this would be crystal meth from mexico, cocaine. it's surging in communities across our state. according to our deputy attorney general in ohio, law enforcement officials in 2018 tested double the amount of methamphetamine samples as they had in 2016. triple the amount -- had in
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2017. triple the amount in 2016. higher amounts are coming in, more and more people are being affected by t. i heard this at round table discussions around the state. i was in knox county last year. 80% to 90% of all drug incidents including crystal meth. opioids used to be their biggest problem in knox county as it has been in all 88 counties ohio until recently. now it's pure crystal meth coming in from mexico. i'm pleased that the spending bill at the end of last year that we passed just last month changed the way in which our funding is delivered in the fight against addiction. specifically it included my combating meth and cocaine act. this is an important bill that allows states the flexibility to use the roughly $1.5 billion in grant funds allocated specifically to combat opioids, 21st century occurs grants that they can also be used for the treatment and recovery services for new threats like
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crystal meth and cocaine. so giving our local communities that flexibility is incredibly important. i've heard it constantly when i'm back home. we've now done that to been to help even further to try to reverse the effects not just of the opioid crisis but of the drug crisis and all forms of addiction. so we've made significant strides in ensuring we can respond to this ever changing addiction crisis and i'm proud we're able to do it. as i said at the beginning of this speech, this is a pretty divisive time in washington to say the least. no one can deny that. but what i've hoped to show by highlighting the achievements over the past year, that even in a highly partisan environment, it's still possible to bring people together to get things done and to pass laws that make a fundamental improvement to the lives of the people we represent. while finding that common ground sometimes takes a lot more work, it's worth it. the extra effort goes a long way. fortunately we're coming into this new session of congress
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having already laid the groundwork that we need to do to continue to fight this addiction crisis. critical right now to this fight is passing bipartisan legislation that will help us push back against a particular kind of opioid, the synthetic opioid called fentanyl. fentanyl came on the scene five or six years ago again with a vengeance just as we were making progress on reducing the use of heroin and prescription drugs. sudden will i this fentanyl arrives. it's' -- suddenly this fentanyl arrives. it's a synthetic opioid. it's 50 times more powerful than heroin. it's now the number one killer, has been for the last few years. in states like mine, ohio, and we look at the numbers the past few years, although we're making progress on other opioids, we're not making progress on fentanyl. because it's being mixed in all kinds of other drugs, including crystal meth, including opioids, including all street drugs. so the improvements we've seen are significant.
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but fentanyl continues to be the number one killer. fentanyl, unfortunately, knows no zip code and is deaf state offing individuals and families -- and is devastating individuals and families all across the country. according to the centers for disease control and prevention, there were 72,000 drug-related deaths in 23017, 40% of those deaths were involving fentanyl. that data showed that the overdose deaths have increased since 2013. it's a real threat. in 23017 alone we had a record 3,500 overdose deaths tributed to fentanyl. last fall our narcotics and gun enforcement task force seized 45 pounds of fentanyl in a single bust in dayton, ohio, enough of the drug to kill the entire population of ohio. that's why the drug enforcement
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agency has made the right call in 23018 in making fentanyl-related substances illegal to possess, transport, or manufacture. this means they've been scheduled. thanks to that designation, our law enforcement officials have been able to better protect our communities by seizing and destroying large amounts of these fentanyl-related substances. these are the analogues of fentanyl. so that's good. unfortunately, due to the federal law, the d.e.a. was only to make -- only able to make these dangerous substances illegal on a temporary basis. so think about that. you have this deadly drug, 50 times more powerful than heroin. we were able back in 2018 to finally make fentanyl and all of its analogs illegal. law enforcement was using that to begin to push back. now we find it was only temporary. and guess what? we're fast-approaching the end of that designation.
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next month on february 6, which is three weeks from this thursday, fentanyl-related substances will once again be legal. and it will be much harder to keep vulnerable communities safe. we cannot let that happen. i met earlier today with former iowa governor branstad. he is now our ambassador to china. policy of the fentanyl that comes to this country and kills individuals comes from china. most of it has been coming through our mail system. we've done a lot to stop that. we've passed the stop act, which tightens up the post office screening process, which has worked very well over the past year. we've also provided more money under the interdict act to provide better equipment to not just our postal equipment but also the private carriers, like d.h.s. or fedex, d.h.l.
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what's happened is china has also done a better job to try to schedule fentanyl, make it illegal, and schedule the precursors and analogs to pentothal. we've pushed them hard on that. very hard. i've been in china myself doing that. i know ambassador branstad has pushed them hard on this. finally they've begun to address this rampant production in their country. but terry branstad told me today -- and i agree with him -- is that the credibility of the united states to continue to provide pressure to china to do the right thing will be eroded dramatically if we don't continue to schedule fentanyl. we're asking them to do it, we cannot let this designation lapse here. obviously what's most important is we not let it lapse because it is the wrong thing to do and because it will affect all of our communities, all of our families who are affected by this dangerous drug. can't let it happen. that's why last fall senator joe
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manchin and i introduced a bill called fight fentanyl which codifies the drug agency precedent to permanently schedule fentanyl substances. let's permanently schedule these fentanyl-related substances. it has very strong bipartisan support. in fact, as of a couple weeks ago, every single u.s. state and territory attorney general has now endorsed our bill. that's all 50 states and six territories. that doesn't happen very often. this is a bipartisan group of law enforcement officials who have said, we support this legislation. the fight the fentanyl act would we introduced last fall. i am confident we can get it pass fundamental f. it comes to the floor for a vote. there are other approaches different than ours. i support those as well. we need to pass legislation to ensure that february 6 doesn't come and go without us scheduling these fentanyl analogues. it is a good example of the need to continue working across the aisle on this issue.
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we've done a good job at it so far as as i said, even in these contentious times we need to do it again, and we need to do it soon. i'm told that during impeachment it is impossible to legislate on any other topic without unanimous consent. we need to get it done before next week. before we get the impeachment articles and before this united states senate begins the impeachment trial. so i'm urging today that all of our colleagues focus on this issue, join us in this commonsense, lifesaving legislation. let's work together, the judiciary committee has been working on this, others have worked on this. we have legislation at the desk to be able to solve it. i hope we could do it by unanimous consent. but we have to do it. this is lifesaving legislation to keep fentanyl from spreading its poison even further. i yield back my time.
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mr. rubio: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. rubio: i know that whether it is tomorrow, later today, or sometime next week, there is an effort here to pass an effort to restrict the president's ability to engage the armed forces of the united states in conflict with iran. so i think anytime you have something like that come up, the two most important questions that you need answered is, number one, well, why? why do we need this law that you're pursuing? and number two what would that law do? let me try to answer the why. i can deduce two separate arguments, the first is the argument that somehow our actions, the united states, for example, pursuing a maximum-pressure campaign against iran and leaving the iran deal, that that has, according to at least the language of the version i saw -- i know it's going to be amended -- at least the version that i saw said that the u.s. -- the administration's
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maximum-pressure campaign has included diplomatic, economic, and military pressure and that's that's raising the rick of retaliation against united states troops and personnel leading to a cycle of escalating back-and-forth violence between iran's proxies and the united states and that these warnings have been proven correct. so i guess the first argument is that we left the iran deal and that's the reason why we are now on the verge of what some view to be an all-out war against iran. the second argument is rooted in constitutional views that some of my colleagues hold that the congress has a role to play and that no extended military engagement should be allowed without congressional approval. so those are two separate motivations, and i think it's possible to hold that second position and also be motivated by the first. i think for many of my colleagues it's solely a constitutional question, which i respect. so let'sage nice the why -- so let'sage ayes the why for a moment.
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i this it is not true that the reason iran and its proxies are trying to kill americans because we pulled out of the obama deal with iran. they most certainly have responded to our decision with violence. for example, before there was even an iran deal to pull out of, iran was already equipping and supplying shia militias in iraq with weapons that killed and maimed americans in the hundreds. in fact, its antagonism towards us predates any discussion about an iran deal. it predates our presence in the region and the numbers that we're currently there at. i think it's also flawed because during the iran deal, even when the iran deal was in place, they were still sponsoring all the same proxy groups with all the same weapons undertaking all the same targeting. the fact of the matter is that the iran -- one of the flaws of the iran deal, one of the reasons why the iran deal was not a good one is because it actually didn't deal with this
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activity. the only thing it dealt with was enrichment. it did nothing to limit iran's missile program. it did nothing to limit iran's sponsorship of terrorism. in fact, the only impact that it had on its missile program and on its sponsorship of terrorism is that it provided economic activity that generated ref flew to fund those things and it is in fact despite the denial the repeated and bold-faced lies of some who have gone on tv and said, oh, there was never any cash transfer. there absolutely was. over $1 billion was delivered to the iranians. they say it was funds that were frozen and it was their money. that's why it is released to them as part of this deal. they don't tell you that there are close to $50 billion of unpaid claims in u.s. courts that have been adjudicated on behalf of those who have suffered at the hands of iranian terror, to americans that have not been paid. but suffice it to say that the iran deal was flawed.
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one of the reasons is that it did nothing not just to prohibit the sponsorship of terrorism but it actually generated economic activity and the delivery of over $1 billion of cash. and i assure, it was not used to build bridges, roads, and schools, but it was used to fund these nefarious activities that iran undertook. so the fact that they are responding with violence to economic sanctions, which by itself is unacceptable, which by itself is unacceptable and in fact it tells us the nature of this regime, that they respond to economic sanctions, not military actions, economic sanctions, they responds to it with violence and efforts to kill americans, doesn't mean that that's the reason they were doing it. they were already doing that. it's just been part of their response. which leads me to the second point. they have already been doing it because iran's goal is not simply to get us to go back into the iran deal. its goal is to drive us from the
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region. they do not want america's presence there. they do not want american influence in the region, they don't want it in iraq, which they have been against from the very beginning, they don't want it in syria. it is not just limited to iraq and syria. they don't want our presence in jordan. they don't want our presence in kuwait. they don't want our presence in bahrain. they don't want any american presence in afghanistan. they do not want us anywhere in the region because they view it as an impediment to their desires to be a dominant regional power, and they view it as an impediment to their ultimate design -- that is, destroying the jewish state. and they have decided, not last week, not last year, not at the beginning of the trump presidency, they decided well over a decade and a half ago that the way they were going to get us to leave the region is by inflicting costs -- ie., the injure and deaths of american servicemen and women. they would make it so painful for us to be there and so painful for the countries to host us that we would ultimately leave. that is the reason why they're undertaking these attacks.
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now, why are we there is a good question and a valid one to answer. and i can answer it in the case of both syria and iraq. we are not there ton an anti-iran campaign, the way some describe it. there is an element of prohibiting iran from capturing iraq and turning it into a puppet statement but, by the way, many shia politicians in iraq share that view. they may not want us to be the protector, but they are nationalists. but the fundamental and the principal issue -- reason why we are in iraq is as part of a nato anti-isis mission. and in a train-and-equip mission. we are there to train and equip iraqis to fight against isis, it's been an effort that's been successful and it has worked. and it's interesting that for a time when iran shared the same fears of isis, they sort of -- you saw them sort of stand down a little bit, even after we
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pulled out of the iran deal, pull back a little bit because they, too, wanted isis defeated. but now they argue that isis has been diminished in their mind. it is time for the americans to go. if you won't leave on yew own, we're going to start killing people until you decide the price of being here is too high. so here's the bottom line. the reason why there are american troops in large parts of this regions is for an anti-terror campaign. and iran has decided to use proxies and these deniable attacks, getting some other group to use the weapons you gave them to attack americans so you can say it wasn't us -- even though everyone knew it was you. that way you can avoid a direct war with the u.s. and international condemnation but everyone knows it was you. that's why they are a tacking us. now, i ask you, what is supposed to be the u.s. response? well, first of all, it's in the law. it's the constitutional requirement and the power that
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resides in the press, the right to the -- in the presidency, the right to defend u.s. servicemen and women when they come under attack. there is an obstacles to defend, to prevent, to repel and to respond to attacks against american troops deployed abroad. number two, it is embedded in congressional authorization for that anti-terror mission to begin with. in both iraq and afghanistan, we are present under the authorization i have goin' by congress almost a decade and a half ago and embedded in that is the right to self-defense. the third point i would make is, so you look at all this argument about aumf and you would think that what we're seeing here looks something like the run-up to the iraq war or the run-up to the afghanistan war. this is completely -- complete fiction. the afghanistan aumf, the afghanistan war, was one in which the bush white house came to the congress back then and said, look, the taliban was
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allowing al qaeda to operate with impunity from its territory and we're going to take them out. this is an offensive operation. it was an invasion. with iraq we all know the justifications that turned out not to be the case about weapons of mass destruction and the like. again, an offensive military operation. no one in american politics that i see, certainly no one in the trump administration has talked about ramping up and sending 150,000, 200,000 american troops marching into tehran. no one is contemplating that. the only thing the trump administration has talked about is if you attack our troops or we think you are getting ready to attack our troops, we are going to prevent it if we can. we're going to repel that attack if it happens. and we're going to respond proportionately if you do it, appropriately, as a deterrence. you don't need congressional authorization to do that. imagine the practical implications if that were the case. that the president of the united states would have to come to congress on december 30 because we're under a i tack and --
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under attack and us to reconvene, fly in, take a vote, debate for a week and a half and decide if i have a right -- by that time -- it's ridiculous. it's not a requirement. it's not even practical. so i don't understand the purpose of this aumf. what war are you trying to prevent unless you believe that we brought this upon ourselves because we pulled out of the iran deal. even if you believe that, even if you believe that one of the reasons why we stayed in the iran deal was to prevent these sort of attacks which is not justified. it's not a justified argument, even the fact in the iran deal they were already doing some of these things and have a long history of doing that. but even if you argue that and believe it, you can't argue that attacking and killing americans, violence is an appropriate response for economic sanctions -- to economic sanctions. and you most certainly can't argue that we cannot have a military response to protect our men and women and our interests
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in the region. and yet that seems to be the argument embedded as aumf. now, some will tell you it doesn't restate current law, doesn't really have any practical impact in the end. if the house doesn't pass the same thing, what is this really going to mean? that's true from a legal perspective. now let me tell you what all the headlines already say and are going to say. here's what they're going to say. congress votes to limit president's military options. or congress votes to limit trump's ability to respond militarily to iran. and i want to be clear because some people have heard this from others and thought they were being told not to debate this issue. debate it all you want. but i want to be clear. those headlines how they are read in places like iran is very different than the debate we're having here. how they read it is the president has political domestic constraints about how much he can respond to what we do. now, we already have a fundamental problem with iran. that is unlike many countries in
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the world, they don't view things or respond to things the same way. for example, it's pretty clear that their view of what they can get away with is much higher than the reality of what they can get away with. as evidenced by the increasing scale and the increasing magnitude of the attacks that their proxies were taking against the united states in the region. so the threat of miscalculation on their part is very, very high. let's not forget that just a week ago they launched over a dozen rockets at a u.s. military installation that by the grace of god no one was killed but they could have been. you don't launch that many rockets at a u.s. military installation and not expect that some americans are going to die. so their internal calculus about what they can get away with is already twisted. imagine adding to that the perception that somehow the president's hands are tired. no matter what we do, we can kill a hundred americans because he's not really going to be able to do very much because the
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congress took away his power to do it. now, you can take the chance that these guys are somehow legal scholars and schooled in the american legal system. you can take the chance that they read congressional quarterly or whatever publication or they've read the latest issue of the congressional research office's -- produced the practical implication. or you can worry that they will misinterpret this vote and its impact for what it means to what they can get away with. go ahead. we want to have this debate, have it. i don't know what you're having a debate about. there's no one planning an all-out war against iran. in fact the administration's position is pretty straightforward. if they attack us or are getting ready to attack us, we'll respond. if they don't, we won't. the question of whether there's going to be armed conflict between the u.s. and iran is not in the hands of the white house. it's in the hands of the ayatollah. and i assure you no matter what we vote on here, it's not growing to impact what decisions they make over there. no one, no one that i know of
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wants a war with iran. that's not the goal. the goal hopefully is to one day have an iran that doesn't sponsor terrorism, that doesn't want nuclear weapons, and acts like a normal country. i bet you that's the goal of millions of iranians themselves. but in the interim, until that day comes, we have an obligation to protect our interests. we have an obligation to protect our men and women who we sent into harm's way. and for the "life" of me, -- for the life of me, i just don't understand what this aumf seeks to prevent. a war that no one's calling for. and i don't -- i don't want to imply that we can't have these debates in america because we can and we should. we're a free society. but i want everybody to be clear how these debates can be misinterpreted and how these headlines can be misinterpreted by the people who actually have these rockets and control these
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proxy groups. the bottom line is that iran's goal is not just to get us back into a nuclear deal. their goal is to drive us from the region. they want us out. and they have concluded that the way to do that is to use other groups that they are arming and equipping increasingly with more and more lethal capabilities meaning bigger munitions, deadly munitions, rockets and the like to kill americans. and the more americans die, even if they're there on a counterterrorism mission, the more that die, the more likely it is we're going to have to pull them out of there. they want us to leave iraq so they can turn it into a puppet state. they want all nato and ally presence out so they can control entirely. they want to fracture our relationship with lebanon so hezbollah can control that country. they want to destroy our presence in bahrain where the fifth fleet is located. you go on and on. and in the end i think the question becomes are we prepared
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to retreat from that region entirely. because you can't come here and criticize the president for removing troops from the syria syrian-turkish border and abandoning kurds and at the same time argue but you don't have the power unless we authorize you to defend those very troops if they come under attack by some iranian proxy group. and yet that seems to be the argument. you can't argue -- we can't just pick up and leave the iraqis at the mercy of the iranian regime because i assure you that if president trump announced tomorrow i'm pulling out of iraq or announced before the soleimani strike i'm pulling out of iraq overnight, the floor would be filled with people saying we have abandoned our allies, we have abandoned the kurds in northern iraq. we've abandoned the sunnis who are scared of the iranians. you can't argue that but you think west need to be present and continue to work towards the functionality of that state and at the same time say but you need congressional approval to act in the defense of the people we send there, that wear our
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uniform or our diplomats for that matter. yet that seems to be the argument behind this awrm. -- behind this aumf. we're going to have this debate. a remember a year and a half ago when tensions were high with north korea, they wanted an aumf with that. i think it's fair to say i don't think we've had a more antiwar president in my lifetime than the one we have right now. you think about it for a moment. almost any other predecessor may have responded with a lot less restraint to some of the provocations and attacks we've seen from iran and its proxies. he acted in a way that i think history will fully justify in the defense of american lives in taking out soleimani and disrupting a near-term plot that could very easily have killed dozens if not hundreds of americans in the near term. i chuckle when i hear people say how do we know that's what
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soleimani was doing. because that was his full time job. he wasn't a stockbroker or a realtor. his full time job was to travel the world and set up groups and equip groups so when he told them to go, they could kill americans. that's hudz full-time -- that's his full-time job. that's what he was doing thr. i believe when all is said and done, history will fully vindicate the decision that was made. so we'll have this debate at some point. i imagine at some point it will move to the floor to privileged resolution. i think it's very shortsighted and i hope some of my colleagues who have signed on to thinking that somehow we were exerting congress' constitutional authority, i have no problem with asserting congress' constitutional authority when it's actually being challenged. but there is no congressional constitutional authority that can prevent a president or should prevent a president from acting in defense of our men and women in uniform when we deploy them abroad. and that is in my view what this bill before us or certainly
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before us -- or shortly before us, that's the practical implications of it. so i hope those who have chosen to support it will reconsider. mr. president, i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from from norming carolina. excuse me, north dakota. mr. cramer: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to suspend the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cramer: thank you, mr. president. i come to the floor today to express my opposition to the war powers act resolution that's making its way through congress. i believe it's designed to hurt our president politically while inflicting long-term damage to our national security and military readiness. mr. president, iranian provocation is nothing new. in the last several months, they have drastically and intentionally escalated steps in the region -- tensions in the region. after several measured responses, president trump made
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the appropriate decision to eliminate general soleimani, a terrorist mastermind who ordered and helped carry out many attacks on american personnel and our allies. i want to emphasize an overlooked point here. general soleimani was killed in iraq, not iran. he was in iraq in a car with another known terrorist driving to meet militia members who recently fired rockets at americans, killing an american contractor with rocket fire and tried to storm our embassy. and i'm going to remind everybody that our embassy in baghdad is sovereign united states territory. now, whether through an existing authorization to use military force or the war powers act, president trump was well within his legal bounds to take action against a known terrorist sitting in iraq plotting attacks
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against the united states citizens. it would have been culpable negligence to not on an the intelligence informing us of soleimani's location and is imminent plans a tack soon. i thank god the days of apiecement are behind us and we learn from history and president trump averted another benghazi-like tragedy. the president made iranian leadership pay a price for its aggression. his decisive action made iran realize the cost of escalation was more than they could afford. mr. president, it worked. without the loss of american life, while following our constitution and laws, president trump de-escalated tensions with iran and through a clear message of strength made more less likely. mr. president, my colleagues on the other side of this issue know of this well. they watched it play out in realtime, just like the rest of
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us. and yet whether it is their deeply disrooted disdain for our president or a misunderstanding of the threats that the united states faced every day, they want to limit the president's ability to protect americans abroad. the legislation they are promoting requires termination and in some cases complete withdrawal of our forces without any strategic or tactical considerations. such actions are not based on military doctrine. the recommendations of senior military leaders or even foreign policy experts. they would be based solely on politics and would constitute a strategic long-term loss in exchange for what they think would be a short-term political win. ultimately, mr. president, my colleagues who support this resolution refuse to accept the undeniable reality that the concept of peace through strength works. removing the powers and capabilities of our military
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leaders to keep our country safe will not make us safer. whether through personal animosity toward our president or misunderstanding of deterring our enemies, some of in chamber are he advocating for changes that will make our country less safe. i urge the rest of my colleagues to not support their effort. 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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quorum call:
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mr. brown: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: thank you mr. president. i ask unanimous consent to dispense with the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: thank you, mr. president. last week the senate finance committee voted on the united states-mexico-canada agreement. it's called usmca. i did something i've never done. i voted for it. i never voted for a trade agreement in my time in the house of representatives and time in the senate. in fact, the original nafta i helped to lead the option to among freshmen members of congress, because i recognized that every one of these trade agreements, every single one of these trade agreements basically were the template that corporate interests were the center of the trade agreement. in other words, these trade
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agreements, whether nafta, the north american free trade agreement, whether a half a generation later it was the central america free trade agreement, whether it was the trade agreement with south korea or permanent normal trade relations with china, all of them were written by corporate interests serving the interests, serving the profitability of the executives and the major stockholders of these companies. and they all tend to precipitate this, that under these corporate trade agreements that this congress, under presidents of both parties, i might add. i disagreed with president clinton. i disagreed with the first president bush, then president clinton, the second president bush and then president obama. all of them would submit trade agreements that were written for corporate interests. i believe at the expense of workers. what happened typically companies would follow -- companies that followed congress to pass trade agreements, they would shut down production in provo, utah, the presiding
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officer's state or in cleveland or dayton, shut down production there, move their production overseas, get their tax breaks, get their low-wage labor often worked on by almost always nonunion workers, sometimes underage workers that were very inexpensive, and the products would be manufactured, then sold back into the united states. that became the business model for company after company after company since the north american free trade agreement where corporations outsourced jobs in order to save money, always at the expense of communities, particularly the industrial midwest, always at the expense of workers, always at the expense of the middle class. so when i heard candidate trump, whom i agreed, with whom i agreed with almost nothing, but it was welcome news to me when candidate trump said he would renegotiate the north american free trade agreement. i tried to work with him. we told him i supported his
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renegotiation. i worked with ambassador lighthizer, the trade representative, the ambassador for president trump, the so-called u.s. trade representative, and said to them that we want workers to be the centerpiece of this trade agreement. well, what happened? a year into his presidency, president trump proposed the same kind of trade agreement that we have seen all along, a trade agreement where workers, where corporation were at the end of the agreement. refused to raise minimum wage, cut overtime pay for 50,000 ohio workers, put people in the court that put a thumb on the scales of justice choosing corporations over workers, choosing wall street over consumers. a white house that looks like a retreat for wall street executives except on tuesdays and fridays when it looks like a
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retreat for drug company executives. that's what the president proposed. well, because speaker pelosi and senator wyden and i and worker representatives, the afl-cio, the u.a.w., the c.w.a., the machinists, the steel workers all said no, we're not going to support another trade agreement that sends jobs overseas. we want a trade agreement written for workers, we said to the president, we said to the president's trade representative, we're not going to support this unless you include strong enforcement standards for workers, labor standards for workers. well, they basically ignored us. we have tried to work with them. they basically ignored us. they insist that we pass their bill. and finally after a year, more than a year the administration came along kicking and screaming and agreed with us only because they knew they couldn't pass a trade agreement without it. and it took the language senator wyden and i submitted where
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workers -- it works in this way. for the first time a worker is empowered to challenge the violation of labor laws. so a mexican worker where the company has broken the law by paying them subminimum wage or the company has broken the law by refusing to organize, to allow unions to attempt to organize, where a company breaks the law and worker safety, a work at that company anonomously at that work site can file a complaint and set off the clock so, the process so we can actually challenge when they break the law. we know why companies close factories in ohio, and my friend from rhode island, in cranston, rhode island. they close factories and open them in mexico, they can pay lower wages and take advantage of workers who doesn't have right. american workers can't compete and we get a race to the bottom
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wages. this agreement puts workers at the center, allows for real labor enforcement, real enforcement of labor standards. fundamentally -- so i voted for this agreement. it passed with three no votes in the senate committee. it will pass on the floor either this week or next week likely. but i want to be straight with american workers, this isn't a perfect agreement. it's one trade deal that democrats fixed. democrats and labor fixed it. republicans opposed the fix but are now voting for it because they still want usmca. but it won't fix the rest of president trump's economic policies that put corporations and workers. let me give you an example. if you're a company in dayton, ohio, you pay a 21% corporate tax rate, you move to mexico or you move to france or you move to china, you pay only a 10.5% corporate tax rate. so our government continues because of president trump's tax bill, the tax bill that caused us now to have a $1 trillion a
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year deficits, the largest deficits we've had in except in times of recession. that tax bill still will make it attractive for companies to shut down and move overseas. this helps with that. i voted yes, as i said, the first time on a trade agreement because by including brown-wyden, democrats have made this agreement for the first time proworker. we set an important precedent that from now on every trade agreement negotiated -- i believe negotiated by presidents in either party, every trade agreement we negotiate will include language like brown-wyden making sure that workers are at the table in the trade agreements look out for workers unlike trade agreements in the past. mr. president, i yield the floor.
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a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: mr. president, may i speak for up to 20 minutes as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: mr. president, grist, the publication, did an article recently about climate change with a bunch of images. i grabbed a few of those images, and i have added a few in this speech because they give a pretty good overview of the mess that we are in on climate change. right now the most devastating wildfires anyone can remember are ripping across australia. here you see an iconic kangaroo going by a building up in flames. those australian fires have destroyed thousands of homes. they have killed an estimated one billion animals.
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get your head around a billion animals killed. and they have made a day of breathing the air in sydney, australia, the equivalent of smoking 37 cigarettes. in fact, i read in the news in a tennis championship in australia today, one of the competitors withdrew because the air was so bad she couldn't finish her match. why is this going on? according to the australian bureau of meteorology, australia has warmed by about a full degree celsius over the last century. that means a longer, hotter fire season which loads the dice in favor of extreme winds and heat and bush fires, they call it in australia. so why did it warm in australia? well, the cause could not be more clear. this is the measurement of carbon dioxide levels in earth's
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atmosphere going back hundreds of thousands of years. 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800,000 years. way back. no agriculture then. no wheel then, for sure no twitter. nothing. over time we have seep this steady -- we have seen this steady range of atmospheric co2 levels running between about 180 and, here's the cresting out under 300 parts per million. 800,000 years. all between 180 and 300 degrees 180 degree range. we're now out of that range by more than the entire range itself. we're out by more than 120. this chart goes up to 400 parts
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per million. we are literally off the chart right now. at 410 parts per million. and of course this is connected to heat. that is not news. the graphics here were compiled by clayton aldern and emily pontakorvo of grist. let me take this opportunity to thank them. this next chart shows the increase in carbon dioxide just in the last decade. this is 2010 to 2019. so if you took the previous graph, this guy, this is just a tiny little slice at the very edge of this.
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just ten years out of 800,000. so like one 80 thousandth of that graph, that tiny little sliver. here's what happened. gone from below 390 parts per million up to 410. we hit the magic 400 back in 2013 for the first time right here with that dot. that was a big deal. the measurement came from noaa's mana loa observatory in hawaii. never before in history over thoafer hundreds of thousands of years have we seen over 400 parts per million. and in just the last decade it shot up by all this more, in fact in the last seven years, more than ten parts per million. now we know something about what happens as these co2 levels go up. we know that the planet warms. that is not news.
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we have known that since abraham lincoln was president. when abraham lincoln was riding around washington in his top hat, scientists had already begun to write about and understand the link between greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and global warming. even exxon scientists knew about this decades ago, and their scientists warned the company about this in reports that we now have. of course, exxon did the wickedest possible thing with that variation, which is to vary it, deny it, and try to convince the public that the opposite was true. but there is nothing new in this information. the science is totally established, and that level is unprecedented in humankind's history. as a result, guess what? things have started to go haywire. this chart shows the costs of
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annual billion-dollar disasters in the united states. the disasters that cost us a billion dollars each. there is a very clear trend line that draws through this, and it is climbing upward. and if you don't believe me, ask an insurance company. ask a reinsurance company. now, bear in mind that these costs, the costs of natural disasters, they're just one of the big economic threats in climate change. we have got warnings about coastal property values crashing. those come from freddie mac, of all places. we've got warnings about the carbon bubble crashing. those come from the bank of england and many other sovereign banks. we have got warnings about insurance markets and about bond safety of coastal communities. in fact, those numbers, the
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numbers of the costs of natural disasters are actually pretty tiny so far compared to what's projected. what's projected is an estimated tens of trillions of dollars by 2100. one way this plays out is in my home state. this is northern narragansett bay. here is providence, our capital city. here is warwick. over here is bristol. an everything that's blue on this map is land today. on these blue parts, people have homes, people have businesses, the state has infrastructure, there is economic activity, and my god, there are memories. well, the blue disappears.
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the blue disappears. the blue disappears at ten feet of sea level rise. that's what this measures. this comes off a program called storm tools run by the coastal resources management council, our rhode island ccma agency. our state officials, based on the latest information from noaa and from our university of rhode island and from the coastal resources management council, are preparing for scenarios up to nine feet of sea level rise in rhode island by the end of the century. not storm surge. just bathtub level sea level rise. add in storm surge, you not only get over nine feet, you get over the ten feet that is displayed here in this graph. the damage to my state is going to be very serious. the very map of rhode island will change because of this.
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now, some of my colleagues think this is all funny. this is something we can just like yuck it up about and mock the science and call people alarmists when they take this seriously. it is deadly serious. in fact, a 2017 report from the real estate database company zillow identified over 4,800 homes in rhode island with a collective value at over $3 billion. it will be under water by 2100 using only a six-foot bathtub sea level rise figure. $3 billion, just in my small state. and that doesn't count the value of the memories. if you have got a house near the shore, you very likely have family memories. some of these places in rhode island go back generations. even small, small houses, people have had them, their grandfather had them.
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they have got memories. all of that risks to be lost. so don't think i'm not going to fight about this just because somebody else thinks this is funny. the reason that's happening is because the oceans are warming. when you warm waters, it expands, so it rises. in addition, of course, to all the trillions of gallons pouring off of greenland and other land-based ice caps. look at how the ocean has warmed. this is -- the red is a three-month average. it's got more variation in it. the black is the annual average. the blue is the five-year average that smooths it out a little bit more. the ocean is absorbing intense amounts of heat. i'll tell you how much heat the ocean is absorbing. if you took the hiroshima atom bomb and you captured all of its
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energy as heat, it produced light, it produced a variety of other things. if you capture all of its energy as heat, the rate at which the ocean is warming is the equivalent -- i usually use -- of between three and four hiroshima-sized nuclear detonations per second in the ocean. per second. so in the time of this speech, there will be dozens, probably 100 hiroshima-sized nuclear explosions' worth of heat that the oceans have to absorb. today the new report came out that says that the number is actually five hiroshima-sized explosions per second. as they measure it better, as they see it increase more, we're seeing that number. and it's not just that they're
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warming. that would be bad enough. they are becoming more acid. they're becoming more acid because they absorb carbon dioxide at the surface. there's a chemical interface. this took away 90% of the extra heat that our fossil fuel emissions have caused. the absorption of the heat by the oceans. at the same time, while it was absorbing 90% of the heat, it was also absorbing 30% of the carbon dioxide. so imagine for a second if we were not an ocean planet. imagine if we were a fully terrestial planet and we didn't have the oceans to buffer this. so you would have to add back that extra third of co2, which would be a 50% increase on the lower base, and you would have to multiply by ten the increase from heat, and you put those two factors together and this is a
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very rough number, and the scientists on my staff would be mad at me for saying this, but maybe 15 times the result that we're seeing right now. we are experiencing a fraction of what we face without the cooling and buffering oceans. without our oceans, australia wouldn't be just one location on fire. the whole planet would be a catastrophe. those are the chances that we're taking. why are we taking these chances? we're taking these chances because politicians don't dare say no to the crooked fossil fuel industry that profits from this mess. that is just the sickening political fact that we have to deal with here. that is steadily moving, because the public is beginning to understand this. notwithstanding a long and very, very expensive campaign of
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misleading propaganda by the fossil fuel industry, people are starting to catch on. these are the numbers from 60% up to 72% of people who believe that warming is happening. the number of people who were denying from 20% down to 12%. understanding is up, denial is down. ditto for it's caused by us. 46% up to 59%, 35% down to 30%. understanding up, denial down. so the other thing that's good that's happening behind these numbers is that americans of all variety of persuasions actually favor the solutions that scientists and economists recommend to solve the climate change problem. now, the fossil fuel industry in its portfolio of lies tells you that the remedies to solve climate change will be painful,
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but that is just another fossil fuel lie, and americans are cofg on to that one, too. in october, 2019, poll found that two-thirds of americans want the government to do more to combat climate change. one thing we're getting rid of in a hurry is cold -- is coal. this represents the cumulative retirements of coal plants. coal plants are phasing out. 546 coal plants closed in the u.s. since 2010 just in this last decade. in late 2019, murray energy became the eighth u.s. coal company in a year to file for bankruptcy. coal plants anywhere are virtually unfinancable. we have even seen operating depreciated coal plants close
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because just operating that coal plant costs more than financing and building and operating renewable energy facilities. so that is good news for our safety and for our well-being. here is our overall energy portfolio, and where it's increased, look at solar go. oh, my gosh. it's up about a thousand percent. it is really, really rocketing. the second biggest increase, wind. and more coming on as we begin to develop offshore wind. fossil fuels still dominate -- you can see this little inlay here -- the transportation sector, but americans are starting to buy more and more electric vehicles and some really stunning new models are
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coming to the market. we are, of course, not doing anywhere near enough to encourage their adoption, which means we are likely to lose out and we're doing this because rogue fossil fuel companies like marathon petroleum use political mischief to poke sticks in the wheels of vehicle fuel efficiency standards. now, what the fossil fuel industry likes to do is to blame china. oh, we're not going to do anything because china has to go first. what they omit to tell you is that at the end of 2017, 40% of all the electric cars in the world were in china. in 2018, china manufactured nearly half of all electric vehicles worldwide. china dominates global markets for electric buses and for electric two wheelers, scooters
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and so forth. you may recall that exxon corporation fabulously predicted to its shareholders, a prediction they have not yet corrected, that there would be zero electric buses by 2040. china's already operating 400,000. we are going to get run away from by china if we don't smarten up and compete. here's more good news. the price of digging out and transporting and burning dirty fuels is high. nearly $110 for a megawatt hour of coal-fueled power. if you look, the most expensive are nuclear power plants. the next most expensive, coal. next most expensive, solar thermal that generates heat. the next most expensive, natural
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gas. and down here, the two cheapest by far, solar, photovoltaic and wind. so we know where these markets are going. just $40 per megawatt hour for photovoltaic compared to $110 for coal. over the last decade, the average cost of solar dropped from $200 per megawatt hour to less than a quarter of that. the cost of wind power is down and offshore wind is emerging. battery storage now competes on price with gas-fired peak demand plants in many areas. even with the massive subsidy that we all have to pay to prop up fossil fuel, renewables are starting to win on price anyway. if the prices of wind, solar,
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battery storage and other renewable technologies continue to drop, we could reach 100% renewable energy by the middle of the century, and we will need to if we're going to stay within the 1.5-degree celsius safe zone. in fact, here's what you see. the power sector's emissions are declining. lots of room for improvement there. lots of room for improvement in industry. lots of room for improvement in buildings and other. so there's work to be done here. of course, these other sectors don't have much of an incentive to solve their emissions problem because it is still free to pollute. we continue to violate the most basic market theory about ex
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internalities and we let these fossil fuel polluters pollute for free, and when we let them pollute for free, it takes away any incentive in these other sectors to fix that problem. and, of course, that is goal one for the fossil fuel industry with a $650 billion per year subsidy, they are throwing everything they have politically at trying to protect the phony, non-market based, unfair subsidy. and even with it they are still losing but we could be doing better in these sectors if we put a proper market-based price on carbon. so far they've won if you call not preparing for a looming calamity to be winning. a quick summary of the 2010's. the science is clear, we've
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blown by 400 parts per million and in unchartered territory for the human species. two, climate change is a massive threat to our economy, particularly with the danger of crashes coming soon in coastal property values and carbon assets. i just read the letter to blackrock to c.e.o.'s and investors. they are one of the biggest investment companies in the world. they have warned of what they call capital reallocation. capital reallocation, that means things are going to shift happening as markets anticipate climate hazard, things like facing the danger of coastal property value crashes or carbon market value crashes, those crashes create capital reallocation. i love the the agony, they call
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it capital reallocation. point three, americans are really getting that climate change is a big problem and it's a big change and it's a big change particularly with young republicans who totally get it. here's my challenge to my republican colleagues here in the senate. sit down with your own young staffers. sit down with the young staffers in your own office and hear them out about climate change. you will see that there is a big generational divide. coal is on the ropes. that's point four. experts predict huge stranded assets in gas and oil and solar and other renewables are booming as they outcompete fossil fuel on cost alone. that is a genie even the crooked fossil fuel machine can't put back in the bottle. and, of course, the fossil fuel industry is still up to no good
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with its vast array of phony front groups so it doesn't look like them, they have the george c. marshall institute, competitive prize institute, the heartland institute, a bunch of phony front groups filled with stables of paid liars emitting slimy rivers of dark money, polluting our politics. polluting our politics as badly as their emissions pollute our planet. that hasn't stopped and they should be held accountable. madam president, the 2020's are going to be tough for sure. australia's just seeing the opening episode. i have an analogy that i'll use as i close because i've spent time running rivers. i like running rivers. i like running rivers in inflatables, i like running rivers in kayaks, i have run
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rivers from the placid in virginia and the mighty colorado in the grand canyon and lots in between and one of the things of running a river that has big rapids is the first thing you do is look at the map and learn where the big rapids are so you can stop, get safely to shore and figure out if you can navigate the rapid or portage around it. well, we had a map for where the -- where to navigate. they warned us, but we ignored them. but not paying attention to what you're told on the science map, that's not your last chance. when you get closer going down the river, you can actually start to hear the falls, the rapids roaring up ahead of you. well, the wildfires, the flooding, the seas rising, the
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species relocating around the planet. if that's not a roaring for us to hear now from the planet about the dangers ahead, shame on us. it is enough for us to know we're actually getting close -- we're getting close to big trouble. and we still do nothing. and then there's a point on the river when it's your last chance. you have no choice if you're going to miss the rapids or the falls ahead, you've ignored all the warnings, you've ignored the map, you haven't listened to the roar, and now you're close. so now you will have to paddle really, really hard to avoid the roaring rapids ahead.
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nature's forces are pulling you toward the cataract. you will have to paddle for your lives to avoid it. that's where i believe we are right now. i believe that as humankind as a country we've got to paddle for our lives right now to avoid being sucked over the climate falls and into dangers that we don't want to see and that we don't want our children to have to see. so let's wake up here. let's shake off the shackles of this crooked fossil fuel industry and let's get paddling for our lives. i yield the floor.
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i note the absence of a quorum. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call: .
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quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i have two 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. mcconnell: i understand there is a bill at the desk. i ask for its first reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the title of the bill for the first time. the clerk: s. 3193, a bill to amend the controlled substances act to list fentanyl-related substances as schedule 1
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controlled substances, and for other purposes. mr. mcconnell: i now ask for a second reading, and in order to place the bill on the calendar under the provisions of rule 14, i object to my own request. the presiding officer: objection having been heard, the bill will receive its second reading on the next legislative day. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the consideration of calendar number 339, s. res. 375. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 339, senate resolution 375, recognizing the 75th anniversary of the warsaw uprising. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the committee-reported amendment to the preamble be agreed to, the preamble as amended be agreed to, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: now i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the consideration of calendar number 379, s. res. 260. the presiding officer: the clerk will report.
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the clerk: calendar number 379, senate resolution 260, recognizing the importance of sustained united states leadership, and so forth. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the committee-reported substitute amendment to the resolution be agreed to, the resolution as amended be agreed to, the committee-reported amendment to the preamble be agreed to, the preamble as amended be agreed to, and the committee-reported title amendment be agreed to, and that the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 363, s. 2547. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 363, s. 2547, a bill to state the policy of the united states with respect to the expansion of cooperation with allies and partners in the indo-pacific region, in europe, and so forth.
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the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the romney amendment at the desk be considered and agreed to, the committee-reported substitute amendment as amended be agreed to, the bill as amended be considered read a third time and passed, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: now, madam president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 10:00 a.m. wednesday, january 15. further, that following the prayer and pledge, the morning business be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, and the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day, and the senate then proceed to a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: so if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the the presiding officer: the in the senate gambling out.
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here again it is to be administrator of the federal emergency management seek agency. fema. next tuesday the expected start of the impeachment trial of president donald consecrated the boat on impeachment manners managers tomorrow. follow the senate live on "c-span2". >> the impeachment of president trump, tomorrow the houseboats on impeachment manager. sending articles on power and the bag follow the process live on c-span. on demand at cspan.org/impeachment. in the senate on the free c-span radio app. sumac president trump will begin rally in milwaukee, wisconsin. by this evening at eight eastern on c-span online at cspan.org or you can't listen live on the free c-span radio app.
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campaign 2020, watch our continuing coverage of the presidential candidates on the campaign trail and make up your own mind. as the voting begins next month, watch our live coverage of the iowa caucuses on monday, february 3rd. c-span campaign 2020, your unfiltered view of politics. john tomko, the special general, talks about the future of the country and relations with afghanistan. speak before the house appears company. and then anchoring - >> good afternoon everyone. it looks like we will process the u.s. mta here in the senate this week. that will be good news for the
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