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tv   U.S. Senate U.S. Senate  CSPAN  June 10, 2020 9:59am-2:00pm EDT

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on the cares act. watch today on c-span, c-span 3, jn line at or listen live on the free c-span radio app. >> c-span has unfiltered coverage of coping, the white house, the supreme court and public events. you can watch, listen on-line or listen on our radio app, or through our social media feeds. c-span crated created by america's cable television service and brought to you bu your provider.
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the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. .our father, may your name be praised.
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lord, use our senators today to permit justice to rule in our land. remind them that righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is an equal opportunity destroyer. as our lawmakers strive to do your will, reward their faithfulness, .illuminate their hearts with your wisdom and love. help them to remember that the entire ethical requirement is fulfilled by loving your neighbor as you love yourself. .may this
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love for those in need hasten the day when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. .continue to be our strength and fortress, sustaining us with your amazing grace. we pray in your merciful name. amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to our flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
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mr. grassley: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from iowa is recognized. mr. grassley: one minute for morning business, please. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: the virus l pandemic underscores the very vital contribution pharmaceutical scientists make for our nation's public health, our nation's economic prosperity, and our way of life. it also confirms that we need a policy solution to treat soaring health care prices. the american people want the best medical cures at prices they can afford.
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the prescription drug pricing reduction act is a winning solution. let's get it to the president's desk without delay. it will help secure american way of life in a postpandemic world for generations to come. i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. mcconnell: madam president. the presiding officer: the majority leader is recognized. mr. mcconnell: yesterday i explained we cannot let the first amendment become -- i ask that the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: yesterday i explained we cannot let the first amendment become another casualty of this troubled moment. no matter how charged the issue, peaceful protests must be protected from suppression by governments or hijackings by violent mobs. in the united states of america, people get to protest. in our country, people also get to worship. as i explained yesterday, local officials cannot selectively enforce health restrictions to privilege some first amendment gatherings over others. if mayors are posing for photographs in massive
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demonstrations, there's no reason why small careful church services should stay banned. these are formal constitutional questions, but our american culture of free expression and open debate is not only threatened from the top down by the government, it can also dry up from beneath. if we are to maintain the civic discourse that has made us great, american citizens and american institutions need to want it. in the last several years, madam president, "the new york times" has published op-eds from vladimir putin, the foreign minister of iran, and a leader of the muslim brotherhood. they published an essay arguing for greater normalization of pedophilia. as far as i know, none of those decisions occasioned public revolts from the paper's staff,
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hand-wringing apologies from the editors, or an overhaul of the masses. presumably it was understood that pushing the envelope and airing disagreements are necessary in a free market of ideas. but one week ago the gray lady finally met her match. vladimir putin, no problem. iranian propaganda? sure. but nothing, nothing could have prepared them for 800 words from the junior senator from arkansas senator cotton wrote an op-ed explaining a position which one survey found 58% of americans agreed with. he argued that leadership in several cities have proven they either couldn't or wouldn't stop the riots. so president trump's use to use
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federal force to secure the peace as several presidents have in our history. his view is controversial, no question, but there is also no question it was a legitimate view p for a senator to express. looting and arson were crippling cities nightly. some local authorities seemed to be functionally sacrificing their city's small businesses to appease the mob. in chicago, we've since learned even democratic alder minnesota were crying and -- -- aldermen were crying and pleading with nature mayor to do something about it. so a senator wrote about it. it was met with criticism. it ought to be par for the course. in a free and open society, speech begets speech. arguments beget counter arguments.
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we discuss and debate as fellow citizens. but that's not quite what happened. instead of trying to win the argument, the far left tried to end the discussion. by now we all know the routine. we've seen this movie before. rather than actually rebut speech, the far left instead tries to silence the speaker with a -- with bizarre emotional words that nobody else could have standing to question. this silencing tactic has escaped from the ivory tower and is spreading throughout american life. it sounds like mad libs mixture between a therapy session and a university's h.r. department. so sure enough, instead of attempting to defeat senator cotton's ideas, the left set
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out to ban him, to ban him from polite society. some "new york times" employees flooded social media to claim their bosses had risked reporters' physical safety with the senator's scary words. outside leftists blasted the paper for airing the argument. the "times" itself began lying about what senator cotton had said. the paper's own twitter account has claimed he called for a crackdown on peaceful protests when he specifically distinguished them from violent rioters. one of the "times" own opinion writers devoted her column the next day to calling his view fascist and proclaiming him outside the bounds of legitimate debate. now remember, this is a sitting
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senator discussing a proposition that had majority support from the american people, discussing a power that congress gave to presidents 213 years ago and which presidents in the past have exercised. oh, but the facts couldn't hold a candle to the hurt feelings, hurt feelings. "the new york times" had aired aired -- had erred grievously by making people confront a different viewpoint. it hurt their feelings by making them confront a different viewpoint. they had to atone. so when the dust settled, the top opinion editor was gone, his deputy reassigned, the piece was pulled out of the print edition, and a wandering multiparagraph apology now precedes it online.
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we're talking about "the new york times." i understand the new editor has made it clear that staff should notify her immediately if any published opinion makes them uncomfortable. if any published opinion makes them uncomfortable. one of our nation's most storied newspapers just had its intellectual independence challenged by an angry mob, and they folded like a house of cards. folded like a house of cards. a jury of people on twitter indicted them as accessories to a thought crime, and instead of telling them to go take a hike, the paper pleaded guilty and begged for mercy. their readers' comfortable
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bubble was reinflated. their safe space was safe again. now our colleague from arkansas has a unique job. the far left cannot write angry e-mails to a university president or a publisher to get him fired. he cannot be silenced by professions of outraiblg or the use -- professions of outrage or the use of magic words like problem beatic. his he be only bosses are his constituents. but this broader left wing obsession of banning heretics from the public square will be poison for this country if it persists. our republic can survive a pandemic. it can survive civil unrest p. but ideas and deliberation are our very foundation.
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america cannot be america if civil disagreement becomes a contradiction in terms. the liberal tradition in this country used to pride itself on being broad minded, but we spent years watching major universities slowly exchange debate for uniformity and river for psychological comfort. now we see the free press repeating that error. so, madam president, let's hope we look back on this as a silly anomaly and not a sad turning point for our democracy. now on an entirely different matter. thanks to the bipartisan leadership by colleagues
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senators daines warner, gardner, we are attending to legislation that will shape the future of the great american outdoors for the better. it's fitting that the legislation before us comes with support of such a broad bipartisan coalition because our national parks, forests and other public lands are treasured in every state of our union. but the hunters and anglers who look forward to the morning stillness of the black hills and the big south fork of the cumberland, by the hikers and campers who plot weekend escapes in shenandoah and joshua tree, by the school groups and researchers who connect with history at gettysburg and mesa verdicta. every year hundreds of millions of our people, our fellow americans and visitors from around the world share the gift
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of our nation's public lands. and even more americans in surrounding communities benefit from the jobs and the prosperity that are supported by tourism and recreation. this country's public lands comprise a tremendously diverse array of landscapes, wildlife, historic sites, and natural resources. they are spread out across 419 parks, 568 ref refuges -- 568 refuges an hundreds of millions of acred space. they did not pop up over night. it has taken years to acquire the lands americans enjoy today and it is the land and water conservation fund that this legislation will give permanent support that makes them accessible for generations to come. today more than five million
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americans rely directly on outdoor recreation for their livelihood. they contribute to $778 billion in economic activity. in recent years their industry's growth outpaced an economy that was red hot in its own right. a bright future for our public lands is a bright future for our nations and the predictable, consistent support provided by the lwcf will play a critical role in these efforts. take my home state of kentucky, for exam. for years i have been proud to advocate for the lwcf to preserve some of the bluegrass' wilderness an historic sites. back in 1996 kentucky was the only state without a wildlife refuge and it was my legislation that secured one at clarks river. last year additional legislation
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i authored created additional wildlife. already the fish and wild life service has marked the green river wildlife refuge as the top priority for the coming year. the dedicated resources in this legislation would be instrumental in kentucky's newest national treasure along with other areas like clarks river. as the lwcf drives the preservation of more national wetlands, forests and battlefield space in kentucky, i suspect every one of my colleagues is equally proud of similar efforts in their own states. this bill advances a noble cause that has added benefit of being a sound investment. according to one recent analysis every dollar spent through the land and water conservation fund turns out $4 in economic
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benefits. and every million dollars directed toward the lwcf in turn supports as many as 30 -- 30 american jobs. so i'm extremely proud to be a cosponsor of the great american outdoors act. i'm proud of the work our colleagues have put in to get it this far, and i look forward to seeing it passed. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserve. morning business is closed. under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to h.r. 1957, which the clerk will report. the clerk: motion to proceed to h.r. 1957, an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to modernize and improve the internal revenue service, and for other purposes. mr. mcconnell: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk
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will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. schumer: madam president. the presiding officer: the majority leader is recognized. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: now, madam president, yesterday at the fountain of praise church in houston, texas, a funeral service -- there was a funeral service for george floyd. peacefully march against police violence. today his brother will testify in front of the house judiciary committee. it's hard to imagine the courage takes so soon after the tragic, awful, and brutal lows of a
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family member to not only grieve in the national spotlight but to turn that pain into action. there have been many reasons for americans to be shocked and outraged, angry and frustrated with the injustice they've seen in their country, but the entire floyd family has given the nation reason to hope. now democrats in the house and senate have proposed legislation that would directly respond to the issues of racial bias an excessive force in our police departments. the justice and policing act would ban the use of choke holds, limit the use of military equipment to local departments, make it easier to hold police misconduct accountable and institute a whole lot of reforms to help prevent the misconduct in the first place. it is a comprehensive proposal and many of the experts on racism, discrimination, inequality in police departments have had -- had large input into
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the bill. so we need action on the justice and policing act as -- policing act as soon as possible. we democrats in the senate will work like helsinki -- hell to make it happen. we need wholesale reform, not peace male reform. we cannot cherry pick reforms and call the job complete. it's my worry that's what republican colleagues intend to do. we need a strong bill. the justice and policing act is where we should begin. the senate is a collaborative institution, at least by design, but there is one person alone who decides what legislation reaches the floor, and that's leader mcconnell. for two weeks i've asked him to commit to a debate an vote on a police reform bill by july 4, an
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open debate and certainly an ability to vote on the justice and policing act. i still have not received an answer. is it too much to ask that as hundreds of thousands, if not millions are in the streets when the vast majority of americans think we knee former to ask that the leader spend some floor time here so we can debate this issue and maybe move forward for the first time in a long time? i don't think so. but our leader is silent, missing in action, as he is on so many different major issues that face america. after house and senate democrats released the draft legislation on monday, yesterday senate republicans announced they would put together, quote, a working group to prepare their own set of proposals. working groups are all fine and well but it's critical that we
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pursue comprehensive reform, not seek the lowest common denominator. and it's critical that we get a real commitment to consider strong legislation on the floor. unfortunately, in the aftermath of other recent moments of national strife, particularly the mass shootings, president trump, leader mcconnell, and senate republicans make the right noises, let's study it, let's consider it, but never follow through. leader mcconnell promised that a debate on expanding background checks would be front and center on the senate floor after shootings in dayton and el paso. what we can't do is fail to pass something, he said. and, yet, there was no debate on expanding background checks and the republican majority in the senate did exactly what leader mcconnell said it could not.
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it failed to pass anything on gun safety. so while i welcome ideas from our republican colleagues, we need a hard and fast commitment from the republican leader to put real broad scale police former on the floor by july 4. americans must be please watching the senate, watch the leader, watch the republicans. is this going to be another situation just like with gun control? just like with background checks where they talked a good game, tried to make the issue fade away and did nothing? the nation -- the nation will not let this issue fade away. i assure my republican friends. there's another major crisis in the country at the moment as well. covid-19 continues to kill, infect americans. case numbers are rising in western states, arizona, new
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mexico, california, and oregon. the massive disruption to economic activity initially left more than 40 million -- 40 million americans without work. this week it became official. the united states has been in recession. the first one in many years since february. and, in truth, the issues of racial justice and covid-19 are not unrelated. the covid-19 pandemic disproportionately kills black americans. communities of color have less access to quality health care, greater food insecurity, greater percentages of poverty and a disproportional number of frontline workers, 42% are african american and latino. and yet you're starting to hear my friends on the other side, you're starting to hear them strum sunny cords because one jobs report wasn't quite as awful as it might have been. as awful as it was.
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the president made a revolting comment that the recent jobs report was a great day for george floyd and equality even though it showed african american and latino unemployment continuing to rise. what a horrible comment. everyone is rooting for our country to return to normal as quickly and as safely as possible. and for our economy to rebound with similar speed. but unemployment sits at 15%, higher than any point since the great recession. and the president and my republican colleagues are ready to declare victory. after saying that another covid relief bill was likely in june, leader mcconnell has told the republican caucus not to expect another relief bill until late july at the earliest. late july at the earliest. as millions are out of work, millions risk being removed if their homes, millions can't feed
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their families. racial justice, civil rights, a global pandemic, an economic disaster. this is triewlly a time of historic chal -- truly a time of historic challenge and leader mcconnell and senate republicans are missing in action. no commitment to consider comprehensive police reform. no urgency to provide our country the desperately needed relief from covid-19. instead, leader mcconnell is likely to schedule votes next week on two circuit court nominees, justin walker and cory wilson, both of whom have expressed deep-seeded antipathy toward our health care law and i'm not aware of any of theme embracing civil rights, voting rights so desperately needed in this country. that's right, in the middle of a public health crisis, the republican majority is planning to confirm right-wing judges who have spoken out against our health care law. watch what they do, not what
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they say and what they're doing is regressing us. it's not even a lack of moving us forward. they attempt to move us backward with right-wing judges who want to turn the clock back. and even more shocking, if you think it can get worse, it does with this republican majority. the judiciary committee tomorrow will hold a hearing. the republican chairman will continue his pursuit of president trump's wild conspiracy theories about the 2016 election asking for scores of subpoenas to chase down alleged misconduct by the f.b.i. let me get this straight. the republican party will eage eagerly focus on law enforcement that affects president trump but they aren't ready to commit a focus on law enforcement, on racial equality when americans demand it ?l i don't hear -? i don't hear anyone other than
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the president and his acolytes demanding a reinvestigation as it affects president trump on a largely discredited conspiracy theory. but that's what our republican senate friends are doing, showing how removed they are from the national needs and the national sentiment. senate republicans are ready to issue nearly a hundred subpoenas to trash the f.b.i. to protect president trump, but they can't commit to debate on one bill to reform police departments to protect african americans. instead of addressing the real challenges african americans face, the republican conspiracy caucus is obsessed with viciously attacking the f.b.i. for protecting our national security while putin interfered in our democracy. what a bizarre and outrageous inversion of our nation's priorities. and now i'm glad my friend from
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illinois is here because it was his leadership that will cause in the senate judiciary committee, senate democrats, to request subpoenas for trump administration officials, like george papadopoulos, michael flynn among others. these officials have at one time or another pled guilty to offenses related to putin's interference in the election. if the republican conspiracy caucus wants to waste the senate's time dredging up old conspiracy theories, we're at least going to try and show and get the story straight and not just call a list of witnesses that they want. it's just crazy. kangaroo court. a kangaroo hearing. let's see if the republicans have any, any strength of
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convings about what they're -- conviction about what they're doing. if they would, they would allow witnesses and other members of the senate judiciary committee to come forward and tell their side of the story. quite contradictory to the witnesses that the republican majority and the republican chairman are calling. so that's one crazy conspiracy theory. but yesterday the country was treated to another one. we've seen in trump land, in the trump world to live in a world of conspiracy theories. some crazy, discredited right-wing blogger, sometimes with russian information tweets to write something and then president trump goes right ahead and tweets it and talks about it. i'm not in the habit of responding to every presidential tweet, something i'm sure my republican colleagues are familiar with. but yesterday morning the president tweeted a vicious attack on a 75-year-old constituent of mine who was seriously injured in buffalo,
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new york. the president said he might have belonged to a radical group and that the event might have been a setup because the man fell harder than was pushed. it was disgusting, even for a president known for disgusting attacks. how small a man do you have to be to slander a 75-year-old protester recovering in a hospital? this is the president of the united states. you have to remind yourself from time to time. this is what the president of the united states is doing, acting like a little 12-year-old school yard bully. apparently the conspiracy theory the president repeated on twitter was originally posted on an anonymous blog, then amplified by a reporter who used to work for a russian state media organization. it feels like it shouldn't need to be said, but it has to be in a democracy where we believe in facts and truth.
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the president has an obligation to check out information before giving a platform to crazy conspiracy theories. he's the president, not just some guy. he can't shrug his shoulders and say hey, i'm just asking questions. he has access to national intelligence. i call on the president to apologize. i don't expect he will. he never does. so i would just say to my republican colleagues you know how wrong his behavior is. you know it. say so. say so. say something. how much do you let this president get away with? how long will you grimace inside or whisper to each other how crazy he is but not say a thing? you, my republican senate colleagues, may be the one check left on this president. where are you? where are you? i applaud the few republicans who have spoken out but just far
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too many have danced the familiar hear no evil, see no evil routine. leader mcconnell was directly asked and couldn't conjure a word of criticism for the president. if republicans can't call out the president on this instance, then what the heck are they doing here? if we can't do legislation on the floor, even during one of the greatest national crises this country has faced, then what the heck are our republican friends doing here? on covid, on police reform, and all too often when the time comes to place a check on the president, the republican majority is simply missing in action. one final word on the georgia primary. yesterday the state of georgia held its primary election. across numerous counties and dozens of polling locations, georgians waited three, four, and in some cases up to seven hours to cast a ballot.
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i saw the pictures of the long lines. numerous polling places failed to open on time. new voting machines may have malfunctioned. most disgracefully, many of the problems we saw yesterday occurred in precincts with high populations of people of color. of course in past years the voting rights act would have empowered the federal government to oversee and approve the changes that the state of georgia made to its election process. changes that may well have caused this election disaster. but the roberts court and one of the most misguided decisions in recent supreme court history gutted the voting rights act in shelby and the shelby county decision and opened the door for the confusion we saw yesterday. the idea that seemed to be in the court's mind, at least the majority of the court that the need for sex 5 preclearance had -- section 5 preclearance had passed is clearly refuted by
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what happened in georgia yesterday. we have legislation passed by the house that would fix this problem and protect voters against racial discrimination and disenfranchisement but it's been gathering dust here in the senate condemned to leader mcconnell's all too full legislative graveyard. once again, once again the republican majority is missing in action, this time on voting rights. the right to vote in a free and fair election is sacrosanct in this country. yesterday georgia failed miserably for the second election in a row. there ought to be an immediate investigation and the errors ought to be corrected before the general election. the senate should take up h.r. 4 and at the very least deliver the necessary resources to election officials in the next covid relief bill. i yield the floor.
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mr. thune: madam president? the presiding officer: the majority whip is recognized. mr. thune: thank you, madam president. madam president, one of the things that we've really seen during the covid-19 pandemic is the value of telehealth. as a resident of a rural state, i've long been a proponent of telehealth for the access it gives to rural communities. if you willive in a major city, you usually don't have to think too much about where you'll find a doctor if you need one. if you need a cardiologist, for example, you don't spend a lot of time worrying whether or not
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you'll be able to find one within driving distance. in fact, there's a good chance you'll have a choice, a wide range of choices of cardiologists. and if you have a heart attack, you know you're in reach of at least one hospital and maybe several. but that's not always the case for americans in rural areas. in the smallest towns in america, access to specialty care can be a challenge. the only providers may be a primary care provider or nurse or a pharmacist. these providers are essential to rural families, but sometimes specialty care is needed. and when there isn't a specialist close by, telehealth can help get these rural providers and their patients the medical care they need from a remote location through the use of technology. but the coronavirus is high -- has highlighted the fact that telehealth is a valuable resource for every american. during the pandemic, we've seen health care providers of all types turn to telehellth to
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continue serving their patients. telehealth has always allowed patients to access a variety of services that might have been risky to obtain at an office or hospital during the height of the pandemic. and telehealth's usefulness will extend long beyond the coronavirus crisis. while telehealth has particularly value for rural areas, rural, urban and suburban areas alike experience provider shortages and a lack of care. the association of american colleges estimates there will be a shortage of up to 122,000 doctors in the united states by the year 2032. even in areas without shortages, telehealth can make life easier for patients by reducing the number of times they have to visit a doctor's office for care. while there will always be a need to see a doctor in person for many patients, some office visits could be replaced with telehealth appointments. that could make a big difference
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for individuals whose health requires them to see a doctor frequently. it's also a convenience for patients and the workforce or caring for children or other family members who may need to able to access services quickly and easily. i was very pleased that congress expanded access to telehealth in the coronavirus virus relief bills we passed. we advanced the principles of value-based insurance designed by allowing high deduct able plans prior to a beneficiaries reaching his or her deductible. we permitted the secretary of department of health and human services to waive certain medicare restrictions on telehealth during the public health emergency which has been hugely helpful to both seniors and the providers who care for them. with this waiver authority providers can be paid for seeing patients in their homes regardless of whether the patient lives in a rural area. we also expanded the types of services that are reimbursable
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via telehealth under medicare. in addition to video, providers are able to our telehealth appointments using audio technology which is helpful for patients who don't have a access to the internet or a device. congress' will increase telehealth access for community health centers, rural health centers for the duration of the pandemic. and i would like to see, i would like to see, madam president, make many of these measures permanent. i'll be pushing for that in the senate over the coming months along with the connect for health act which i've cosponsored with senator schatz, wicker, cardin, warner and hyde-smith for the last several congresses. this legislation which influenced many of the coronavirus aid relief and economic security act telehealth provisions addresses restrictions that limit the use of telehealth in medicare including by providing waiver authority for the secretary of
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health and human services. in addition, the legislation would remove restrictions that affect medicare reimbursement for indian health service and facilitate the use of telehealth for emergency medical services and mental health care. i will also continue to urge passage of the bill i introduced in march to increase telehealth services in nursing facilities. my reducing unnecessary senior hospitalizations act, or what we call the rush act, would allow medicare to establish agreements with medical groups to provide care to nursing home patients remotely with the goal of reducing instances of avoidable trips to the emergency department. access to on-demand support from providers equipped to treat seniors would enable a nursing home's on-site staff to immediately address a patient's needs without waiting for middle class room transport -- waiting for emergency room transport or for a doctor to arrive. as a result, patients would be more likely to receive early
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intervention and avoid hospital visits which can pose significant risk to the elderly. reducing the costs that come from untreated medical complications or expensive emergency room visits would also be a win for taxpayers and for the medicare program. one health care provider in my home state of south dakota conducted a telehealth pilot program to provide specialized care to nursing home patients and ended up saving medicare more than $342 per beneficiary per month. that's a significant savings, madam president. and it's a savings that came from providing nursing home patients with better and faster care. madam president, one of the many reasons i pushed so hard to expand access to high-speed internet in rural areas and to ensure that rural communities have access to 5g is because of the opportunities this provides for the expanded use of telehealth which translates into greater access to care for rural
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americans. i will continue to do everything i can to make telehealth more available to underserved patients in rural communities and to the country as a whole. the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted just how valuable a resource telehealth can be for literally every american, and we should ensure that all americans can access its benefits. madam president, i yield the floor. mr. durbin: madam president. the presiding officer: the democratic whip is recognized. mr. durbin: thank you, madam president. i would like to follow up on this, the speech just made on the floor by my colleague from south dakota because his observations about shortages when it comes to health care across america affect not just his state of south dakota, but certainly affect illinois and many other states as well. we are in desperate need of
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additional doctors and nurses and dentists and medical professionals. we're in need of more technology. telehealth of course is one of those technologies, to make sure that we expand the reach of medical care in the united states in the midst of this coronavirus pandemic, we understand that now more than ever. that's why i've introduced legislation called the health care heroes act of 2020, with specific design to dramatically expand the number of health care professionals. there is one way to reach that goal, i believe, and that is to incentivize medical students, dental students in america to make a commitment to serve in areas of greatest need nblg -- nblg country for at least two years and remain in reserve for medical emergency. what would they receive in return? forgiveness of the cost of their medical education. do you know that most doctors and dentists who graduate with a
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minimum of $240 ow ow -- $240,000 in additional student debt, when they become licensed doctors and dentists. some even more. and imagine if those young men and women, with all this talent and all this determination want to serve in the areas of greatest need, but throw up their hands and say i have to pay off this loan. i have no chois -- choice. if we have the incentives where new medical professionals would serve in areas of greatest need, it would help to solve a great problem in america. we feel it in the inner cities, but we feel it as intensely if not more so in the rural and small-town areas of the senator from south dakota and my state of illinois. could we work together to do this, to come up with the money to make sure these medical
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professionals are there? and don't overlook, when we talk of doctors and nurses, about the need for dentists. there are millions of people in my great state of illinois who do not have ready access to dental care. the illinois dental society once or twice each year has a free dental service weekend, and they usually on saturday will allow any patient to come in and have dental care given to them for nothing. people wait in a queue, in a line overnight for this opportunity. can you imagine having a problem with your teeth, some pain or discomfort or perhaps a disfigurement and being unable to afford the care that you need? for many of these people, this is their last chance to wait in line all night to get in for free dental service.
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i've seen it, my hats off to the dental society for these services. why an eye-opener to see all these people who are in desperate need of dental care. we need more dentists, make sure they are accessible and affordable for americans wherever they may live. i support the suggestion of the senator from south dakota when it comes to telehealth, but let's make sure we have the men and women on the front end of the process who are still an important and critical and essential part of the kind of professional medical service and dental service that we all need. there's another way to help make sure we have enough dentists and doctors, is to make sure that those who are currently in the united states in dental school or medical school, who are protected by daca have a chabs to remain in this country. by way of background, 20 years ago i introduced a bill called the dream act. the dream act was designed for those brought to the united states as children, infants and toddlers who were brought into
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this country perhaps on a visitors' visa and overstayed their visa and didn't file the necessary documents and soon became undocumented in america. they didn't leave. they grew up here. they were little kids who grew up in this country going to our schools, being part of america and believing america was their future. usually some time in their adolescence, their parents would sit down and tell them the grim reality, that they had no legal right to be in this country. and despite the fact that they knew no other country, spoke no other language, pledged allegiance to the same flag we do, they were technically not legally in america. so i introduced the dream act to give them a chance if they completed school and had no serious criminal issues, they would be given a chance to become american citizens. the bill went back and forth. it would pass the house one year, pass the senate the next year. it would come up with a majority in the senate but not 60 votes. and it languished until i
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appealed to the president of the united states, then barack obama, and asked him if he would consider creating by executive order some protection for these young people, and he did. this was the daca program, and under daca these same dreamers that i mentioned earlier would pay a substantial filing fee, go through a criminal background check and be given for two years given the right to legally work in this country. so how many young people showed up for this obama daca program and went through it successfully? 800,000. 800,000 from all around the country, just to get a chance to go to school, to complete their dream, to even serve in america's military. they just want to be part of this country. 800,000. what was going to happen to believing program when a new president named donald trump came in office? the very first time i met president trump was minutes after he had been sworn in as president. there was a lunch for him,
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inaugural lunch in statuary hall. and i went up to him and introduced myself. i said, mr. president, i'm begging you, do what you can to extend the protection of daca to these 800,000 young people who are counting on it. he leaned over and he looked at me and he said, oh, senator durbin, don't worry, we're going to take care of these young people. that was the president's assurance, but unfortunately he didn't keep his word. he decided unfortunately to abolish the daca program, saying that president obama had no authority by executive order to give this kind of protection. and then a number of people filed a case in court saying that the executive order of the president should or should not be sustained. it had to be contested in court. luckily for the daca recipients, 800,000 of them, while the court case has been pending, they have been protected by court order from being deported. but the decision is going to be made by the supreme court, and it could be made next week or in
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the two weeks that follow. so in the month of june, the fate of 800,000 of these young people will be decided across the street in the supreme court. these are young people who have become an important part of america. when the republican senator from south dakota talks about shortages in medical personnel, i hope he knows that 41,000 of those daca recipients are curnlts -- currently providing vital health care services in this pandemic we're facing as a nation. and if they are judged to be deported and illegal to work in this country and leave, it will leave a gap in medical services that this country desperately, desperately needs. some of these young people are incredible. their stories are nothing short of amazing. i would like to tell you one here at this moment. mariana galante. this is her photograph. today i want to tell you that
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she is the 122nd dreamer whose story i've told on the senate floor. mariatta came to the united states from mexico when she was five years old. she grew up in camden, new jersey. it wasn't an easy life. she grew up in a single-parent household and her mother did not speak english. here's what she told me about it. i quote, i had to fend for myself at a young age. i feel like i never got to have a childhood. i tried to never let that backdrop define me or stop me from my dreams. what was her dream? to become a nurse. while working in a bakery, she went to a technical school to become a medical assistant, and then in 2012 president obama created daca. mariatta was able to work as a medical assistant. here's what she said about daca, i quote, before daca, i had no future, no purpose, no
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chance of a better life. the fear with daca that i have, she says, is that it would go away. an expiration date approaching that means that i would have to go back to the way things were. now i understand why we are called dreamers, because before daca, all we could do was dream of the life we wanted to have, to dream about being someone. while working as a medical assistant, mariatta is studying to become a nurse. she is now a junior at rutgers university nursing school. here's what she said about that experience. to be a nurse is a way of living. i do not look at it as a job. it is beyond that for me. it is a calling. advocating for and giving people a voice is a reward within itself. helping people in their time of need where they are most vulnerable is a privilege. mariatta is currently on the front lines of fighting the
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covid-19 pandemic. she is a registered medical assistant it the cherry hill jefferson hospital. she faces exposure to that virus every day that she goes to work. she takes every shift that she's offered. she says, and i quote, i have to be there. i want to be there. i'm not scared, but i am scared at the same time. i know what the risks are. i want to thank mariatta galanti for her service. she's an immigrant health hero. she's putting herself and her family at risk to save american lives. she shouldn't have to worry about whether she's going to be deported next week. we can do better for her, for thousands of other daca recipients just like her. they're counting on those of us who serve in the senate to solve this crisis that president trump created. i cannot imagine, as i tell the
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122nd story of a dreamer on the floor of the senate, that anyone listening believes that we would be a better country if mariatta would be deported. but that's the option that the president has created. he has failed and refused to consider any solution or any effort to rescue people like mariana and to give them a chance to be a part of america's future. when we look at those in essential services, medical and social services, it turns out that a third of them are immigrants to this country. i know it's not a popular thing to say with this administration, but i have to remind them that we are a nation of immigrants. my mother was an immigrant to this country and her son has been fortunate enough to be elected senator and represent the great state of illinois. that's my story. that's my family's story, but it's also america's story. we are in this together and people from across the world have come into this country to
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be a part of its future. mariana is an example. the young woman who could have thrown up her hands and said, i'm undocumented, i'm not going to have any way of legally being a part of america, my dreams are going to have to be put on hold. but she didn't. she was determined to make the best of her life. when president obama created daca, a door opened for her she didn't imagine. she had an opportunity to move from medical assistant to become a nurse, and she's studying at rutgers for that purpose. really, mr. president, do you think new jersey or america would be better if mariana is deported out of this country? as soon as next week, maybe even next monday, the united states supreme court is about to rule on the future of daca. the president of the united states can solve this problem if they decide that daca is to be apolished. he can -- abolished. he can fix this himself. there's another person who has a critical role too, and that is
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senator mcconnell, the republican leader in the senate. he has the power to bring this issue to the floor of the senate for a debate and a vote. the house of representatives has already passed the dream and promise act which would solve the challenge that would be created if the supreme court abolishes the daca program. are we overwhelmed with business in the united states senate as i peer at an empty chamber with my wonderful speech being the only thing as and i'm emof business at this -- item of business at this moment. we have time. we have more than enough time to deal with this issue. for 800,000 protected by daca, it is literally a life and death issue. i would appeal to senator mcconnell to use his power as the republican leader to solve this problem, to address this issue, to say that if you have qualified for the daca program, you are going to be protected to the end of the year or beyond that gin an opportunity to
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become a citizen of the united states, a goal which i have been seeking for the 20 years that i've worked on the dream act. we know that we need the help of wonderful young people like mariana to make this a better nation. the question is whether the president ever will realize that or whether senator mcconnell would make room in our schedule for us to debate this issue. let's get this right. let's make sure that we have sensible immigration policies in america, and the notion of abolishing daca and saying to mariana, you will now be deported back to a country you cannot even remember is not the answer. mr. president, i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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wyden wyden mr. president -- mr. wyden: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: i ask to vitiate the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. wyden: the senate will take up soon watershed legislation that will provide for public spaces in america for generations to come. this is legislation i have been working on for years, legislation that i pushed hard to advance as chairman of the senate energy and natural resources committee and legislation for which i am now a cosponsor. the bill is going to repair
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public spaces, making them usable by all while creating new public spaces that reflect the continuing story that is our great country. in my view when the senate debates this kind of legislation, the debate also has to include a discussion about a particularly important topic, and that is jobs. now, a major component of this bill is, of course, the land and water conservation fund. that puts funding into natural wonders all over the country in cities and in rural areas. and so today i want to speak for a moment specifically about those rural areas and rural economies. the economic impact of the covid-19 pandemic has hit so
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many of our rural communities like a wrecking ball. these are communities that have been struggling going back a long time and building back up after covid-19 is going to be enormously challenging. so the senate ought to be looking at every good idea that can help get these rural economies moving again. the land and water conservation fund isn't just about opening up the country's treasured areas for everyone to enjoy and to help people get outdoors. it's got a proven track record of boosting the economies of the communities near those lands. the land and water conservation fund is the ultimate win-win approach because you focus with this program on recreation that involves protecting our natural
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wonders and jobs. that's a big step forward, and so what i wanted to do was just spend a few minutes talking about how we could do even more. for some time now i've been working with my colleagues from the pacific northwest, senator crapo, senator merkley, senator risch around trying to help secure two economic lifelines for the rural communities of the northwest and for much of our nation. i'm talking about secure rural schools and payments in lieu of taxes. they are known as s.r.s. and pilt. in the west there are a lot of areas that have long depended on resource extraction and a lot of areas made up of federal lands.
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so we went through a lot of boom and bust cycles that defined those economies for generations and nearly always those boom and bust cycles proved to be harmful and unsustainable. so sometime ago a number -- a number of years ago, former senator larry craig and i wrote the bill that created the secure rural schools program. it has provided years and years of reliable revenue rural counties so they can provide services for people who live in their borders. but after a while secure rural schools got caught up in the knock down back and forth fiscal battles that happen in the congress too often. so once and a while the program would lapse. it meant then that from all over
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the country county leaders from rural communities came to washington and had to plead for extensions of the secure rural schools program that has always been successful, a model. it involves local input. extending this program should have been a no-brainer all along. it expired just last year before congress stepped up at the last minute to reauthorize the program. but these start and stop authorizations do nothing for certainty. i remember one year, mr. president, that to keep the secure rural schools program, the distinguished senator from alaska, senator murkowski and i, were involved in selling off the helium reserve, and that gave us some money, some key money for
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secure rural schools and programs in the west. i remember when we sold off the helium reserve to get money for secure rural schools. a number of editorial writers out west had a lot of fun with it, and basically said, well, we always knew ron wyden was full of a lot of hot air. but the point is, we've got to end that cycle, that boom and bust cycle instead of going through these routines at the end of the period why schools were helping with roads and police and so many kinds of areas. and i worked with senator crapo to propose reforms that would upgrade the secure rural schools program into a stable, predictable source of funding for rural counties. our bill would establish a
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permanent endocument fund, provide funding for county economic development and roads and schools. that's where the money goes. it goes into economic development. it goes into roads and schools. and by the way, when you're helping those rural communities with their budget when they have those funds secure, it frees up money for them for important things like mental health. and we've certainly seen a demand for mental health increase dramatically in the last few months. after congress makes an initial investment into the fund under our proposal which would establish a permanent endowment to provide funding for county economic development, roads and schools, congress makes that initial investment into the fund. the principal will be invested and the interest will be used to
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make s.r.s. payments to counties. so you have senator crapo, senator merkley, senator risch and i proposing a way to move away from this roller coaster in the west to upgrade secure rural schools into a stable, predictable source of funding. you have a permanent endowment fund that provides money for the roads and the schools and the counties and the principals invested in the interest would be used to make s.r.s. payments to counties. the proposal is backed by a hundred percent of oregon's united states senators and a hundred percent of idaho's united states senators. four united states senators, two democrat, two republicans having worked closely with rural groups, national association of counties, and others to advance this idea. our proposal also directs revenue sharing payments from
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forest management to be deposited into the endowment each year. that way the payments to the counties will grow and the safety net they provide for their constituents can expand. these in my view are the basics of an economic tool kit for rural areas. if you focus on roads, if you focus on schools, if you make sure that counties have the money for services so they can, for example, take care of mental health needs, that's the key to building up rural economies and helping create good-paying jobs for residents. now payment in lieu of taxes is a program that exists for similar reasons. people who live in these rural counties dominated by public lands also deserve support. they, too, rely on local governmental services and deserve a safety net like everyone else. they ought to be able to budget and plan and create jobs like bigger cities can.
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our amendment to really promote secure rural schools and pilt would extend pilt for ten years to give the counties the certainty and predictability they need. i'm going to wrap up here in a moment, mr. president, but i just hope that the majority leader is going to set up a process for real debate on these ideas and these amendments. this is a bipartisan proposal. when we have offered in the past, senator crapo, senator merkley, senator risch and i and others, proposals to extend this program, we nearly always get at least 70 votes here in the united states senate because there's an awareness of how important it is that these rural communities have certainty for schools and roads and basic
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kinds of services that our efforts support. covid-19 pandemic is causing enormous pain everywhere. but we've seen big corporations -- we talked about this yesterday in the finance committee. some colleagues think, well, we ought to cut the unemployment benefits in half but it's fine to make available trillions of dollars to the biggest corporations in america. so the covid pandemic is causing pain everywhere, but it seems to me with so many resources going to big corporations and powerful interests in intensely populated areas, the united states senate has an obligation to make sure rural economies and rural workers and rural businesses
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aren't just left behind. upgrading secure rural schools and extending pilt is a targeted way to advocate for rural communities. we're going to be home for several weeks in july. and my hope is to be able to have conversations with folks in person in those areas. haven't been able to do much of that. 970 town hall meetings in person, just there to be able to respond and answer questions. so i really hope we're going to be able to do that again soon. and when we have those discussions, you can be very sure that in those rural communities, front and center will be secure rural schools. front and center will be payment in lieu of taxes.
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folks will zero in on those areas because they will say as they have to me since larry craig, our former colleague from idaho and i wrote this program. people will come up and say ron, with secure rural schools -- what secure rural schools is doing is giving us a chance to make sure we have a real education program. before we got that program going, people thought they'd have school three days a week. so people will say ron, we need secure rural schools. we need it for education. it's a key to our roads program. the roads program for these smaller counties is an absolute key to being able to have rural life. without those rural roads and without rural schools, the heart of secure rural schools, you can't have rural life.
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so these two programs are a solution based on providing certainty and predictability to help build thriving economies and good jobs in rural areas. i'm going to keep pushing for support here in the senate. i know my colleague senator crapo, senator merkley, and senator risch are going to continue to do so as well. and with that, mr. president, i yield the floor and i would the 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. whitehouse: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: we are. mr. whitehouse: first let me ask unanimous consent that the pending quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: and, send, unanimous consent to speak -- it's not going to be 20 minutes, but up to 20 minutes as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: this week we consider permanent funding for the land and water conservation fund and for our national parks. i would support this measure joyously if there were a similar program for america's coasts and bays and oceans. as it is, i support this measure but with a heavy and frustrated heart, as once again the urgent needs of coastal communities go
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unaddressed. put bluntly, the land and water conservation fund massively favors inland and upland states and projects, as indicated by the prevalence of advocates for it here on the floor from landlocked states. it fails to meet the needs of coastal communities. over the past decade, for every dollar the fund sent to inland states per capita, coastal states just got 40 cents. the imbalance against coasts gets worse if you factor in that there is greater coastal than inland economic activity. and the imbalance against coasts worsens further when you factor
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in that much of the land and water conservation fund's spending in coastal states is for upland inland projects. coasts and saltwater are not treated fairly. the upland fresh water imbalance is not justified, and we ought to make it right. look at rhode island. people from around the nation and around the globe visit our wonderful peaches and beautiful narragansett bay, and they drive a huge amount of our economic activity. in 2018 rhode island's commerce corporation recognize -- reckons -- $125 million of local state revenue and 86,000 jobs. in total, travelers to rhode island generated $.8 billion in our economy.
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our coast attracted that economic activity. it is a big deal for us. and rhode island does that alone. over half of americans live in a coastal county. nearly 60% of the nation's gross domestic product derives from coastal counties. according to the american shore and beach preservation association -- i'll quote them here -- more than twice as many people visit america's coasts as visit state and local parks combined. consequently, 85% of all tourism-related revenue in the u.s. is generated in coastal states, where beaches are the leading attraction. beach tourism supports 2.5 million jobs, $285 billion in direct revenue and $45 billion in taxes annually.
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for all that, the land and water conservation fund gives 40 cents to coastal states for every dollar that it sends to inland states. and that who cents is per capita, not adjusted for the greater coastal economic activity and the greater coastal tax revenue, and it doesn't adjust for upland uses in coastal states. coasts are overlooked. i wish it were just the land and water conservation fund but look at the inland to coastal disparity in the army corps storm damage reduction fund. over the past ten years the corps has spent out of that fund in various years between 19 and 120 times more an inland work than it has spent on coastal work. o-let me repeat that.
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19 inland dollars to one coastal dollar was our coasts' best year. 120 inland dollars to one coastal dollar was our worst. coastal communities are exposed to storms, to sea level rise, to shift in fisheries, to all other manner of conservation and infrastructure challenges that they received across that decade less than three pennies out of each dollar spent from an army corps program that has coastal in its name. this persistent and unfair balance against coasts ignores the massive and unique risks that coastal communities, coastal features, coastal infrastructure, and coastal
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economies now face. look at the dire warnings of coastal property value crash. freddie mac, not an environmental group, has estimated that somewhere between $238 billion and $570 billion worth of coastal real estate will be gone, below sea level by 2100. freddie mac warns about that, the economic losses and social disruption are likely to be greater in total than those experienced in the housing crisis and great recession. are we listening? along the east coast the first street foundation estimates property values already took a $15 billion hit due to sea level rise. the providence journal, using first street and columbia university data, reported that
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rhode island lost over $44 million in relative coastal property value from 2005 to 2017. first street data showed that maine, new hampshire, massachusetts and rhode island lost a combined $403 million during that stretch, hundreds of millions of dollars gone already, and the worst is yet to come. look elsewhere along the coast. want to know why senator cassidy is so motivated? his entire louisiana coast is in a declared state of emergency. a recent headline from the "times-picayune", "we're screwed: the only question is how quickly louisiana wetlands will vanish, study says." that is a quote. that tulane university study says sea level rise will flood
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5,800 square miles of louisiana coastal wetlands. the report concludes this is a major threat. not only to one of the ecologically richest environments of the united states, but also for the 102 million inhabitants and associated economic assets that are surrounded by mississippi delta marshland, end quote. obvious, right? but are we listening to senator cassidy? in florida, coastal communities already see flooded streets on sunny days. researchers project over two and a half feet of sea level rise in the next 40 years affecting 120,000 florida coastal properties in or near rising seas. some studies say miami beach's iconic south beach has two decades left. communities in southern florida
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are considering abandoning public infrastructure to the sea because of the sticker shock of protecting it. fish, man in a tees, -- manatees, dolphins and other sea creatures washed up dead due to toxic algae. who is listening? in north carolina, the outer banks face erosion and sea level rise such that the national park service warns that enormous swaths of the area will be inundated nblg seb try. as the outer banks washed into the sea, there go millions of annual visitors, thousands of local jobs and a local economy worth over $250 million. over 5,500 homes in coastal texas are projected to flood in the next decade. homes worth $1.2 billion.
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coastal south carolina just since 2017 has been hit by four different billion-dollar hurricanes. the list of what our coasts are facing goes on and on, and the projected losses are enormous. here's moody's investor services warning for coastal communities that issue bonds. i quote moody's, the growing effects of climate change, including climbing global temperatures and rising sea levels, are forecast to have an increasing economic impact on u.s., state, and local issuers. this will be a growing negative credit factor for issuers without sufficient adaptation and mitigation strategies. i'd like to ask my colleagues if you are a small community on the
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coast, where are you going to go to get sufficient adaptation and mitigation strategies for moody's? where are we to help those communities? here's the union of concerned scientists. i quote, by the end of the 21st century, nearly 2.5 million residential and commercial properties collectively valued today at $1.07 trillion will be at risk of chronic flooding, end quote. chronic flooding makes those properties uninsurable and unmortgagable, which is one of the reasons for freddie mac's warning about a l coastal property value crash. but who's listening? not the land and water conservation fund. our coastal public lands and
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resources, like coastal private property, face enormous peril, and the land and water conservation fund virtually ignores that peril. that is why i'm offering a commonsense bipartisan amendment. not a spoiler amendment, not a partisan amendment, not a gotcha amendment, not a poison pill. a commonsense bipartisan amendment. my amendment takes nothing away from the land and water conservation fund. it leaves the land and water conservation fund and its upland bias intact. it separately provides revenues, coastal revenues dedicated from offshore wind and renewable energy development to support coastal states, coastal resiliency, coastal infrastructure, and coastal
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adaptation. unless we do this, millions of dollars in offshore wind energy revenues will bypass coasts and go straight to the federal treasury, unlike, unlike offshore oil and gas energy revenues which go in significant part both to gulf coast states and ironically to the predominantly upland and inland projects of the land and water conservation fund. don't get me wrong, i don't begrudge our landlocked colleagues their funding, but i do begrudge them refusing me the opportunity to add something for coasts. there should be a coastal and salt water program to balance the upland and fresh water bias of the land and water
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conservation fund. our landlocked colleagues are wrong to stop this amendment. it does them no harm. and the situation along our coasts is dangerous and worsening. let me repeat, the situation along our coasts is dangerous and worsening. so i'm going to vote for this bill, but i will do so, as i said, with a heavy and frustrated heart. and i will continue pushing as hard as i can for the day when we get parity for coastal communities, because what we are doing here, refusing this amendment, is both shortsighted and unfair. and this is not my first rodeo on this subject. i got to tell you, i am sick to
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death of people telling me you're right, we need to do something for coasts, and then as soon as the land and water conservation fund passes, they're gone. zippo, vanished. my environmental friends say you're right, sheldon, just help us on this and we'll help you with coasts, and then you don't. my colleagues say you're right, sheldon, just help us on this, and we'll help you with coasts, and then you don't. and now by making the land and water conservation funding permanent, we are permanently baking in its inland and its upland bias. and there is nothing added for
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coasts. and everyone is saying, yeah, you're right, sheldon, but just help us on this and we'll help you with coasts. well, my friends, bitter experience tells me otherwise. but you will have my vote and you will have my help to protect your inland and fresh water resources, as we should, and we from coasts and salt water states will again have to await our day. today is not our day in coastal states. today is not our day. but maybe one day and one day soon, i pray, all this talk will finally turn into action
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for our coasts. a sense of decency and a sense of urgency would both seem to demand that. 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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mr. gardner: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. mr. gardner: i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. gardner: the senate considering landmark legislation. i call it that because indeed it is landmark legislation but it is about the great landmarks of our nation. we have a chance to lead in this country this week with historic package of bills, the great american outdoors act, that combines the land and water conservation fund, our crown jewel of conservation programs, with our restore our parks act, legislation that would help make
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a dent, help to catch up our deferred maintenance backlog throughout our national park systems, more than just our national parks, though. it addresses the needs of our national forests, our forest systems, our bureau of land management lands, fish and wildlife service, as well as the bureau of indian education. this legislation affects every -- all four corners of colorado, but it also affects every part of this country. in fact, here is a chart, a map that shows the states that get support from the great american outdoors act. those states are in green. the states that don't get support from the great american outdoors act are highlighted in orange. now, it may be a little hard to see, but there are no orange states. every state in the union receives support through the great american outdoors act.
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from sea to shining sea, the land and water conservation fund, the restore our parks act, the great american outdoors act will provide billions of dollars in opportunity for recreation, hiking, fishing, camping, conservation, access to lands that the public already held but didn't have a way to get to until the land and water conservation fund. 99% of land and water conservation funds go to purchasing access to lands the american people already hold or are in holdings in a national park. in fact, one of the most recent purchases the land and water conservation fund purchased in colorado was land within rocky mountain national park, one of the last remaining inland portions helping to create the rocky national park, the
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third-most visited national park in the country. this legislation gives this congress a chance to lead on a bill that affects everyone from maine to california, from texas to alaska, from maine to hawaii, from hawaii to utah, utah, to alaska, and beyond. i know there are some who believe this is a federal land grab. that's simply not true. as i mentioned, 99% of the land goes to purchasing inholding of the land goes to purchasing inholdings. there are some who believe this is mandatory spending. remember how this bill was passed. in 1965 the land and water conservation fund was authorized at $$00 -- at $900 million a year. it was authorized to take certain amount of dollars every year. throughout the past 55 years,
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though, dollars have been diverted away from the land and water conservation fund. what this legislation does through its permanent funding is make sure that the dollars that we have authorized beginning in 1965 reaffirmed bid this congress in the permanent authorization,? the john dingell act by a vote of 92-8, makes sure that that doesn't getert distinguished, makes sure is stops being siphoned off and instead going to what it was intended to go to in the land and water conservation fund beginning in 1965. so we have a chance to make sure that we stop that diversion. and, remember, this is not new -- this is money that's paid for. this is paid for, not by the taxpayers. this is paid for by oil and gas revenues. these dollars are generated from the revenues that come from offshore, that's energy revenues, boat fuel exercise tax, a couple of other things. but it's not coming out of the
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taxpayers. it's an opportunity to protect our land, our most precious spaces, to catch up on our deferred maintenance at national parks, and to make sure that we are doing that across the country without costing the taxpayers money. this land is purchased -- there's no federal land grab. there's no eminent domain. that don't use eminent domain for this. there's no premium that the federal government gets to buy land with to crowd out other people. there's a formula that's used. it doesn't allow for premiums. and so this indeed is a another stick in the bundle of property rights for landowners. we also know the impact that this bill has right now on our economy. you know, when we started working on this legislation, we were talking about its economic impact an what it would mean, but we were talking about it in terms of the overall outdoor
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recreation economy, which in colorado is $28 billion and growing, the 5.2 million americans who are employed in the outdoor recreation economy and then covid hit. and we saw what happened in western colorado as ski industries -- ski slopes shut down two months early, as hotels were emptied, as restaurants were emptied. this bill will create over 100,000 jobs, restoring our national barks, repairing trails and forrest systems. is it does so at a time when we have high unemployment rates in those communities surrounded by public ants because of the shutdown of the -- public lands the because of the shutdown of the coronavirus. for every $1 million, for for every $1 million we on on the land and water conservation fund, it supports between 16 and 30 jobs. it's our chance to not only prosecuting our environment, to catch up on deferred maintenance, but to grow an
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economy when our economy needs the growth. it's time to get into the great outdoors and this bill accomplishes both of those goals. now, it's historic in another way, too. because we received support from over 850 groups across the country representing significant, significant spectrums of purposes and ideologies, from sportsmen to the nature conservancy to all of the groups that have really touted this effort. over 850 groups strongly supporting this legislation. i would ask unanimous consent that the letter from these 850-plus organizations be inserted into the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. gardner: but there's another historic feature and i'm particularly grateful to previous secretaries of the interior who have signed a letter to congress urging the passage of the great american outdoors act. this letter includes two secretaries of interior from
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colorado, senator ken salazar, who was secretary of interior under barack obama from 2009 to 2013 and secretary gayle norton, secretary of interior under president george w. bush from 2001 to 2006. this was a letter they sent to us on june 3, 20. it is an historic letter with six previous secretaries of interior, including secretary zinke, jewel, salazar, norton and secretary babbott. i would ask it be included in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. gardner: we have a chance to show that the american people that indeed republicans and democrats can come together for their good of their country to provide great things for future generations. and despite the bickering that you see on the nightly talk shows, this congress can come together, pass a great american outdoors act that can restore
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faith in our government to do what people hope we will do, and that's to come together, to work together, to inspire each other with those dreams of previous generations who protected our lands and had the idea and the forethought to create national parks, to create national forests, to say that there are places in our great land that can and should be enjoyed for generations to come. it's about ballparks and swimming pools, because not all this land goss -- not all these dollars go to purchase land. here is a phototote of an upside down baseball team. there you go. this is a phototote of a ballpark in pueblo, colorado, remyon park. we have swimming pools across utah and alaska funded by it as well.
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the states determine a great portion of it. i have example after example. here's paradise sports park in paradise town, utah. sounds like a great place. $80,000 for the paradise park. the constituent of keeni, water from the land and water conservation fund. let's lead, let's inspire. let's show the in he were that indeed from sea to shining sea across this america the beautiful, the great american outdoors act can stand as testament to a congress that realizes generations ahead of us need us to work for them as well. and i'll end this with another quote from the father of rocky mountain national park who said, within our national parks is room, glorious room, room in which to find ourselves, in which to think and hope and dream and plan, to rest and
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resolve. mr. president, i hope my completion will join me in supporting the motion -- the vote we're about to take. i would encourage my colleagues to vote yes, and i yield the floor.
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the presiding officer: all time is expired. the question occurs on the motion to proceed. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll.
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, the yeas are 79, the nays are 18. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the bill. the clerk: calendar number 75, h.r. 1957, an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to modernize and improve the internal revenue service and for other purposes.
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the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i call up amendment number 1617. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from kentucky, mr. mcconnell, for mr. gardner, proposes an amendment numbered 1617. mr. mcconnell: i ask the reading be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask for the yeas and nays on my amendment. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the yeas and nays are ordered. mr. mcconnell: i send a cloture motion to the desk for the substitute amendment. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the cloture motion. the clerk: cloture motion, we,
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the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate do hereby move to bring to a close debate on amendment numbered 1617 to calendar number 75, h.r. 1957, an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to modernize and improve the internal revenue services and for other purposes, signed by 17 senators as follows. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent the reading of the names be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i have an amendment at the desk and ask the the clerk to rop. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the presiding officer: senator mcconnell --. the clerk: the senator from kentucky proposes an amendment numbered 26. mr. mcconnell: i ask the reading be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask for the yeas and nays on my amendment. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the yeas and nays are ordered. mr. mcconnell: i have a second-degree amendment at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from kentucky, mr. mcconnell, proposes an amendment numbered
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1627 to amendment numbered 1626. mr. mcconnell: i ask the reading be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i have an amendment to the text of the underlying bill. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from kentucky, mr. mcconnell, proposes an amendment numbered 1628 to the language proposed to be stricken by amendment numbered 1617. mr. mcconnell: i ask the reading be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask for the yeas and nays on my amendment. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the yeas and nays are ordered. mr. mcconnell: i have a second-degree amendment at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: ?oam kentucky, mr. mcconnell, proposed an amendment numbered 1629 to amendment numbered 1628. mr. mcconnell: i ask the reading be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i send a cloture motion to the desk for the underlying bill. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the cloture motion.
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the clerk: cloture motion, we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate do hereby move to bring to a close debate on calendar number 75, h.r. 1957, an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to modernize and improve the internal revenue services and for other purposes, signed by 17 senators as follows. the presiding officer: i ask unanimous consent the reading of the names be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i move to commit the bill to the energy and natural resources committee with instructions to report back forthwith with amendment 1630. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from kentucky, mr. mcconnell, moves to commit h.r. 1957 to the committee on energy and natural resources with instructions to report back forthwith with an amendment numbered 1630. mr. mcconnell: i ask the reading be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask for the yeas and nays on the motion to commit with instructions. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the yeas and nays are ordered. mr. mcconnell: i have an amendment to the instructions.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from kentucky, mr. mcconnell, proposes an amendment numbered 1631 to the instructions of the motion to commit. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent the reading be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask for the yeas and nays on my amendment. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the yeas and nays are ordered. mr. mcconnell: i have a second-degree amendment at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from kentucky, mr. mcconnell, proposes an amendment numbered 1632 to amendment numbered 1631. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent the reading be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that the mandatory quorum calls for the cloture motion be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i move to proceed to executive session to consider calendar 710. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. all in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it.
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the ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the nomination. the clerk: nomination, the judiciary. justin reed walker of kentucky to be united states circuit judge for the district of columbia circuit. mr. mcconnell: i send a cloture motion to the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the cloture motion. the clerk: we, the undersigned senators, senators -- do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the nomination of justin reed walker of kentucky to be united states being district judge signed by 17 senators as follows. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent the reading of the names be wavered. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent the mandatory quorum call be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i move to legislative session. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. all in favor say aye. those opposed no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to.
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mr. mcconnell: i have four requests for committees to meet during today's session. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. the presiding officer: duly noted.
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mr. cardin: mr. president. i rise today in strong support of the justice and policing act introduced by my colleagues senator harris of california and
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senator booker from new jersey. i am proud to be an original cosponsor of this legislation. this legislation is urgently needed after the death of george floyd in police custody in minneapolis which has sent shock waives through the nation and the world. i am pleased that the protests have been largely peaceful and where the senate sits in washington, our local leaders have moved to de-escalate tensions. i was pleased on monday to hold a facebook live session with the director of the naacp as well as mark moriale, the chief executive officer of the national urban league. we talked about this legislation in some detail. i received feedback from several of my constituents at my facebook live event on how to improve relations between police
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and communities they serve and how to rebuild trust between them. before they first put on a badge, a police officer takes an oath to diswrup hold the law -- uphold the law. most most do so and help out their communities. for far too many the system has been failing. police have been dying at the hands of police, predominately people of color. incremental reform is no longer an option when it comes to police former. we've been patient but we must do better to protect the civil rights, human rights, and lives of the men and women and children in this country. congress must finally pass a comprehensive plan to improve training and community relations, hold police accountable and rebuild trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. to that end, i've been proud to
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work with my colleague, senator booker and senator harris on creating a package of reforms and accountability measures that shows we need to be, as a nation, a fair and just system of laws. the package focuses on three major pillars, accountability, data collection, and training -- and training policies. i was proud that two major pieces included in the justice and policing act are from bills that i had introduced from many congresses. the end racial profiling act and the law enforcement and trust integrity act. the end racial profiling act is designed to enforce the constitutional rights to equal protections under law by eliminating racial and religious-based discriminatory profiling at all levels of law enforcement by changing the policies and procedures. it allows police to use their
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time more accurately. it requires enhanced data collection for d.o.j. to track and monitor discriminatory profiling. it holds state and local enforcement agencies accountable to combat profiling by officers. the law enforcement trust an integrity act takes a comprehensive approach on how local police organizations can adopt performance-based standards to ensure that misconduct will be minimized through training and oversight. the bill provides that in such instances do occur that they be properly investigated. it requires the creation of law enforcement accreditation standards and recommendations based on prem's task -- president obama's task force on 21st century policing. this bill enhancing funding for pattern and practice discrimination cases. in baltimore city, for example,
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the police department voluntarily end into -- entered into the descent decree to overhaul the police department after the tragic death of freddie gray in police custody 2015 which led to civil unrest in baltimore. i might add i'm pleased that we've seen progress in baltimore as evidenced by the types of protests after the floyd tragedy. they have been almost all peaceful. in baltimore the department of justice report had found a widespread pattern and practice of illegal and unconstitutional conduct by the baltimore police department through targeting african american residents for disparity treatment. the district court of maryland is overseeing a complete overhaul of the baltimore police department. we've made progress. other important provisions of the justice and profiling act will save lives. the bill bans choke holds at the
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federal level for state and local governments for banning choke holds. it conditions law enforcement funding for state and local governments banning no knock warrants at the -- and it requires that deadly force be used only as a last resort and requires officers to employ de-escalation techniques first and better data collection on how and under what circumstances police officers use force many we need these standards. we've seen too many tragedies on the misuse of power by law enforcement. the bill takes important steps to demilitarize our police forces. we are a civilian society. we're not run as a military state. encourage more professionalism consistent with changing our police officers mentality from a warrior mind-set to a guardian mind-set. the legislation limits the transfer of military grade
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equipment to state and state and local law enforcement. it requires federal police officers to wear body cameras and that they use federal funds to ensure the use of police body cameras. this takes several steps. it makes it consistent with standard practice to prosecute offending officers and enables individuals to recover damage when law enforcement officers violate their rights. finally, the legislation gives better tools to the department of justice and state attorneys general to investigate and prosecute police misconduct. it reinvests in our communities by supporting critical community-based programs to change the culture of law enforcement and empower our communities to reimagine the safety in an equitable and just way. in baltimore after the freddie gray tragedy, we recognized that we needed to do a better job in
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working with communities and police and we reach out and part of our consent judgment order -- decree is to improve that relationship, that direct relationship between police and community. the legislation i've mentioned on the floor here establishes public safety innovation grants or community-based organizations and task force to help communities reimagine and develop concrete, just, and equitable public safety approaches. let me share with you two stories. and i do that because there are so many people who have come forward to share their experiences growing up and living in a society of discrimination. i remember very vividly after the freddie gray episode in baltimore, i met with many leaders in the town where the
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tragedy occurred and listened to their accounts of how they grew up with the fear of police and the stories of how they were singled out or discriminated by traffic stops and by other harassment just because of the color of their skin. so let me share with you two stories that were reported recently in the paper. one is the story of michael turner, his encounter years ago about the -- with the montgomery county police. turner was only 18 years of age when this encounter occurred. officers came to break up a party and quickly turned on turner and his fellow african american friends. they checked i.d.'s, no one was drunk and cops asked them to move along. one officer looked at us and says, now, go back to your projects. the broader context of the e-mail was turner's effort to explain why he wanted a protest
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in downtown silver spring. we come in peace, commander, he wrote. march with us, it's time for a change. i'm ready to help. are you. the e-mail set off six days of written and phone dialogue between turner and the commander of the silver spring police district. it culminated sunday afternoon when turner, frankie and three other police officers took a knee in front of more than 200 protesters facing them. everyone sat still for two minutes and 53 seconds, the estimated time that george floyd laid unconscious with his neck pinned below the knee of a minneapolis police officer. turner's protest in the sprawling suburb miles north of the district had a different twist. it was a demonstration put together with the active help of
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police. to captain frankie it made sense. he served in the pennsylvania national guard and joined the montgomery police in 1996, a father of three and a daughter who also came to the protest, he commanded the department's major crimes division, investigating major crimes throughout the county. frankie wrote, thank you for sharing your story. i don't blame you for having a chip on your shoulder. i'm not proud of some of the things officers did before and now. i'm sad and angered by what happened to george floyd and a number of others over many years that were clearly violations of vat ewes that the vast majority of officers have. my officers and i will march with you and we will help to keep the event safe from those that would want to turn your message into something else. we want your message to be heard. by 1:00 p.m. sunday more than 200 people are gathered at
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veterans plaza downtown silver spring. they marched three miles halted and waited for turner to lead everyone to one knee. he had his head buried in a towel weeping. frankie stood next to him clapping, and then the kneel. the crowd erupted at the 2:53 second mark. a series of speakers addressed the crowd. at about 3:30, turner handed the microphone back to the commander. the commander told the crowd about turner account with the police at 18 years. the captain turned to him and said, i'm sorry. that story, i think, underscores the importance of what happened in minneapolis affects everybody in our country, not just the african american community.
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so let me close with one additional story that was also reported and brings out a very familiar challenge for african american families. as the day drew to a close deshawn raspberry, age 6 and his brother were already tired. they were with their mother handing out water, grnola bars as people were passing. the brothers had never seen so many people before and neither had mrs. smith. it was the family's first protest. do you know why all of these people are here, the mother asked her younger son? he startled at the crowd -- stared at the crowd munching on his grono la bar.
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the mother replied, they are out here for you, who was dressed in a superman cap. she explained to her sons that they were here to protest which means standing up for something, she said, and to help others many she hadn't told them that the protest was against police brutality spurred by the man of the same skin color in police custody. they're so young now, still so young, mrs. smith said. right now they're in love with law enforcement. i don't want to spoil trks not yet. -- spoil it, not yet. she pointed out that neither of her children were afraid of police. mrs. smith looked at her sons both just barely coming up to her waist, gripping cold water bottles. one day she'll have to give them the talk about police officers,
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she thought to herself. but not today. let's rise to the occasion so that janessa smith never has to give that heartbreaking talk to her boys in prince george's county, maryland. i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to focus on our common humanity and respect for the rule of law. there are examples of best practices in community policing that should be a guide nationwide. let us work together to guarantee equal justice under the law. and fulfill the promise of our constitution in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice and assure domestic tranquility. let this nation finally guarantee equal justice under the law which is carved in the marble of the entrance to the supreme court which is just across the street from our senate chamber. madam president, i yield the floor. and suggest the absence of a
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quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. cornyn: madam president, are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: yes, we are. mr. cornyn: i would ask the útht
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objection. mr. cornyn: since the death of george floyd, the american people have once again be engaged in a passionate discussion about racial injustice which has existinged throughout our nation's history sadly. in many ways, the killing was the match in the powder barrel which ignited conversations about institutions keeping us safe. there's no question that what happened to george floyd was a failure of the minnesota -- minneapolis police department. he was killed by police officers as one applied pressure to his neck and three others stood by and did nothing. we're going to leave that to the criminal justice system to make sure is that the appropriate people are held accountable. but we are not off the hook. we have a responsibility.
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and we have experienced enough of these tragedies to know that it's not an isolated event. black men and women and other minorities across the country have died in custody for doing things that do not warrant the use of deadly force. in the case of breonna taylor, who was killed in march, she was asleep in her home. plain-clothes officers with a no-knock warrant using a battery ram to enter her apartment did so shortly after midnight. so she was asleep in her apartment shortly after midnight. no knock, just a battering ram, your door knocked open. thinking that somebody had broken into her home, a reasonable reaction, breonna's boyfriend, a licensed gun owner, fired at them. he thought they were under
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assault. the officers returned at least 20 shots, killing the 26-year-old emergency room technician. well, unfortunately, in too many of these cases, the officers were -- who were responsible were never held responsible, and that needs to change. so we're engaged in a discussion about how we can root out the injustices that exist in our criminal justice system. and one idea -- one terrible idea that's been floated is to defund or even disband the police. i can't even believe we have to talk about it, but we do. because it's been proposed by at majority of the minneapolis city council members. over the weekend, nine of them said they will begin the process of ending the minneapolis police department. well, i'm amazed that we have to say it, but partnersly we must
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-- but apparently we must. this is an extraordinarily reckless and dangerous path to go down. and i was glad to see a number of our democratic colleagues here in the senate and over in the house reject such a crazy idea. i don't know mao you could call it -- i don't know how you could call it anything else. while it is clear that bold action is required, disbanding action charged with keeping us safe would do more harm than good. you'd think that would be self-evident. if you have a leak in your roof that suddenly causes your ceiling in your kitchen to crash down, the solution isn't to eliminate your roof. sure, it would guarantee you're never going to have a leak again. but it would open you up to a whole new host of problems that would do far more damage. so what our job is here is to fix the leak and figure out how to move forward. but this process in this case
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isn't going to be quite so straightforward. nationwide, we have some 18,000 federal, state, county, and local law enforcement agencies. some have one officer. some have more than 30,000. so they're not all the same. the policies and procedures governing how the officers at each of these agencies interact with their community, it varies widely from one department to the next. and by and large that makes sense. if you're in mayberry, andy taylor, maybe a two-officer town, well obviously you could handle things a little differently than you can in a major metropolitan town like dallas, new york, or houston. that's why i believe that a one-size-fits-all solution does not make sense. we simply do not have the expertise, nor do we have the
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skill, to try to write legislation that will treat 330 million people the same way. but there are policies and practices that we can promote as best practices, and that's actually where i think the federal government's role is irreplaceable. it's really important. we can do that and provide good guidance to the states and local authorities. one example is a choke hold. choke holds are already banned from a number of law enforcement agencies across the country, but not all. in the past few weeks state legislatures and city councils have taken action to ban in dangerous and controversial practice, and i have no doubt more will follow suit. but this is a great example of the type of action we can and should take in washington and ensure america's law enforcement officers are helping, not hurting, the very people they're sworn to protect.
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in the republican caucus, senator tim scott is leading the charge to develop a package of bills that will make much-needed and long overdue reform to our criminal justice system. we've done this before. we did it with the first step act, bringing state-proven remedies to prison reform and rehabilitation and safe reentry into society to the national scale. so we've done this before. i've been in close discussions with senator scott and leader mcconnell and a handful of other senators who are interested in trying to come up with the most effective ways to create tangible change. this is not going to be a matter of political grandstanding. this is about problem-solving, practical problem-solving. and it's certainly not going to be an effort just to serve as a political mark. i think there's actually enough common ground where we can do something constructive on a
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bipartisan, bicameral basis and get a presidential signature on it. well, one provision in the list of provisions that senator scott is pulling together involves legislation that's already received broad bipartisan support. this recommendation -- this provision which i recommended included a bill that senator gary peters, a democrat from michigan, and senator graham from south carolina, chairman of the judiciary committee, introduced and passed last year to create a national criminal justice commission. now, i know sometimes people will say, well, creating another committee or another commission doesn't solve the problem. but this is not mutually exclusive. i think this is to supplement the other things we do here in the near term to come up with a comprehensive view of what we need to do in our criminal justice system, to make it more fair and to make sure that our law enforcement officers receive
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the best training and understand the best practices when it comes to community policing. but this is based largely on the same model as the 9/11 commission. you will recall after the 9/11 commission there were roughly 14 people appointed by the white house and both political parties up here. it came up with a study, the vulnerabilities that we had that led to the 9/11 terrorist attack and made concrete recommendations to congress that we tuning and passed -- we took up and passed. i think that's a sensible way for us to approach the problems with our criminal justice system writ large. it could include things like policing relief. that's an obvious one, given the concerns of the day. but it doesn't have to be limited to just that. but we haven't done the sort of top-to-bottom review of our criminal justice system in america since 1965. well, this is the legislative version of finding the leak in
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your roof. it's the critical first step to figuring out the full range of problems that exist so we can begin the repair process. a similar version of this bill passed the senate unanimously late in 2018, and i hope it can be a part of the conversation we have in the coming days and weeks about how to respond. i know minorities across america are hurting right now, and there is a deficit of trust between many of their communities and the police departments. and that's because too many families have had to bury their sons or daughters who were killed without justification. and while we can't turn time back, we can take action to prevent history from repeating itself. a couple days ago i had the honor of talking to george floyd's family as they were preparing for his family yesterday in houston. and i told them that at times
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like these, i know how inadequate words can be. but if there was some comfort that i could offer, it is that his death is not in vain. it's something good -- something good will come out of this. and i think that is true. this repair process isn't going to be quick or easy. it's not something we can turn to next week and take off our plate and forget about it. this has been a long march since america was founded when we made the original sin, committed the original sin of treating part of our population, our african american population, as something less than fully human. we fought a civil war over slavery, and in the 1960's we had a pretty controversial and kay to thetic times, which led to -- chaotic times which led to legislative work that protected the vote of


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