tv U.S. Senate U.S. Senate CSPAN March 23, 2021 9:59am-12:37pm EDT
bipartisan and strive to get past partisan on both sides. it's still all over the place here, if january 6th taught us everything, we've got to put the swords down and work for the good of our country and i'm willing to do that. >> when i chaired the committee of intel and mike mccall was my ranking member and later the chair of the committee, and the terrorists aren't going to check our party registration before they blow us up. >> perfect way to end. i've got to run and i'll come back anytime. >> you were great, thanks a lot. >> god bless. >> on thursday, president biden holds his first official news conference since taking office. watch at 1 p.m. eastern on c-span, on-line at c-span.org or listen on the free c-span radio app. >> the u.s. senate is about to gavel in and continue to work
on biden administration nominations, today and white house budget deputy nominee, young. and then later the caucus party meetings. take you live now to the senate floor. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. **************************** the chaplain: let us pray. eternal god, who commands the morning to appear, we honor your holy name. lord, guide our lawmakers to find delight in your guidance. may your wisdom provide them
with food for reflection morning, noon, and night. renew their strength, as they seek for ways to reduce the violence in our land. lord, provide them with uncommon wisdom to bring greater respect for the preciousness of each person made in your image. give us all a greater reverence for the sanctity of every life. lord, provide us all with the power to be productive for you in every season of life, as you cause our plans to flourish.
we pray in your merciful name, amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c., march 23, 2021. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable raphael g. warnock, a senator from the state of go a, to perform the duties of the chair.
mr. schumer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader is recognized. mr. schumer: thank you, mr. president. now, i understand that there is a joint resolution at the desk that is due for a second reading. the presiding officer: the leader is correct. the clerk will read the title of the joint resolution for the second time. the clerk: house joint resolution 17 is removing the deadline for the ratification of the equal rights amendment. mr. schumer: in order to place the joint resolution on the calendar, under the provisions of rule 14 is i would object to further proceeding. the presiding officer: objection is heard. the joint resolution will be placed on the calendar. mr. schumer: thank you, mr. president. now, this morning the nation grieves with the people of
boulder, colorado, the site of another mass shooting. a depraved gunman opened fire in a grocery market killing ten people, including a police officer. many more are injured. our hearts go out to the people of boulder and the families of those americans who have lost their lives so unexpectedly. our thanks again go out to the brave first responders, people kiss someone goodbye for the morning, send somebody off to school and then they never see them again. never see them again. it's just awful. and it's been less than eight weeks, mr. president, since eight people were killed in another series of shootings in georgia. we cannot seem to finish grieving one tragedy before another takes place. it is a reminder that we must confront a devastating truth in the united states -- an unrelenting epidemic of gun violence steals innocent lives with alarming regulatory.
-- regularity. gun violence has not receded. confoundingly, it has grown even worse. 2020 was one of the deadliest years for gun violence in two decades, a reminder that most gun violence doesn't even make headlines. but nonetheless it causes immeasurable devastation to communities from one end of our country to the other. so we have a lot of work to do. i've already committed to bringing universal background checks legislation to the floor of the senate. there is a hearing today in the senate judiciary committee under chairman durbin's leadership to examine several commonsense proposals to reduce gun violence. two summers ago, the republican leader -- then the majority leader -- promised there would be a debate in the senate on gun violence, but it never happened. it never happened. this senate will be different. the senate is going to debate
and address the epidemic of gun violence in this country. today our hearts are with the people of colorado and with everyone whose lives have been touched. -- by gun violence. now, as i mentioned, mr. president, the shooting in l do coal comes only a week -- in colorado comes only a week after the tragedy in atlanta, georgia, where eight people were killed in a string of shootings, six of whom were women of asian descent. it is important to place the atlanta area shootings in context. over the past year, there has been a rising tide of violence against asian americans driven by fear, misinformation, and age-old prejudices against the asian american communities, from slurs to outright assault. a 61-year-old filipino american was slashed in the face by a box cutter on a new york subway.
an 84-year-old thai american was shoved so violently, it led to his death in san francisco. and now this attack in georgia. every day ashouldn't americans walk down the streets looking over their shoulders wondering if they'll be assaulted or even worse. even worse. the poison of racism has always existed in america but over the past four years it seems to have found new life. there is no question that the former president, donald trump, through word and deed fanned the flame of racial bias in our country. it's not a coincidence that it's worse now than it's been before. donald trump fanned those flames, fanned those flames, often with glee. with respect to the asian american community specifically,
the former president encouraged rhetoric that blamed the chinese people for the coronavirus, an absolutely despicable notion that has led to all sorts of verbal and physical assaults on asian americans. he called it the virus, but he named it the -- you know what -- the china virus. so despicable. and he did it with almost a joy. here in america, we all know that an attack against any one group is an attack against all of us. so it's up to all of us now to stand up and speak out in support of the asian american community in america. over the weekend, i joined several vigils to stand with americans of all ages, races, and faiths to support the asian american community. there was a large turnout and our asian brothers and sisters
were so relieved that so many of us from the elected community were there. we should all be doing that in every part of the country. and here on the floor of the senate this morning, i started the process to make two pieces of legislation available for action by the full senate. first, a bill led by my friend, senator hirono of hawaii, very similar as a bill introduced by our new york congressmember from queens. and this legislation by senator hirono will address covid-related hate crimes against asian americans head-on. it would assign a point person at the department of justice to expedite the review of covid-19-related hate crimes. provide support for state and local enforcement agencies to respond to hate crimes, and work on solutions to the problem of racially discriminatory language that's been used to describe the
pandemic. and second, a bill led by my friend, senator durbin, to counter the threat of domestic terrorism and violent white supremacy. this is a bill that passed the house of representatives last year on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis. as far as legislation goes, it's as much much a no-brainer as it comes. every one of us, every one of us has an obligation to speak out against these hate crimes. one of the mess antidotes -- there are many, but one of the best antidotes when hate occurs is to answer it forcefully, strongly, and repeatedly. so that no one thinks it's acceptable, and those who perpetrate it are shunned and then if they have broken the law punished. every one of us must do this. we must speak out. and here in the senate, we have more than the responsibility to just speak out. we must take action. and i hope we will have
the presiding officer: the republican leader is recognized. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, while house democrats try to overturn a certified election result from last november, some senate democrats are agitating to break senate rules to ram through a partisan rewrite of all 50 states' election laws, all 50 states' election laws.
the 60-vote threshold is the reason why huge pillars of domestic policy don't oscillate back and forth every time a different party wins the majority. so let's think of something like the mexico city policy. the executive branch policy about funding overseas abortions is flipped back and forth every single time the white house has changed party since the 1980's. republican presidents issue the memo. democrat presidents retract it. the legislative filibuster is what keeps the entirety of federal law from working that way. for a long time, senators on both sides have recognized the senate and the country are better off with impactual stability. both sides have understood there are no permanent majorities in
american politics so it gives both sides a voice, benefits actually everyone in the long term. that's why 33 of our democratic colleagues said just a few years ago when they all signed the joint letter insisting that rules protecting debate on legislation be preserved. that's what president biden believed consistently throughout his long senate tenure. about 15 years ago, then-senator biden said killing a filibuster would be, quote, an example of the arrogance of power, end quote. that was president biden. he restated his long-held position during the campaign just last year. here's what my colleague, the democratic leader, said in 2017. senator schumer said the
legislative filibuster is the most important distinction between the senate and the house. let's find a way to further protect the 60-vote rule for legislation. that was the democratic leader in 2017. democrats didn't just spend the last four years supporting the filibuster. they spent four years using it. senate democrats used the filibuster to kill senator tim scott's police reform bill in the wake of the death of george floyd and breonna taylor. we could have had federal legislation on the books since last summer, putting more body cameras on police officers, requiring fuller incident reporting to the f.b.i., and finally, making lynching a federal crime. among other things. democrats stopped it. they stopped it using the
filibuster. a few months before, they used the filibuster to briefly turn the partner sprint toward the cares act into a partisan standoff. the press marveled that senate democrats had the gall to block relief, a tactic that tanked markets. in 2018, senate democrats used the filibuster to block government funding and force a brief government shutdown over, of all things, immigration. one of the democratic leaders' first major acts as the leader of his conference was to wield a filibuster to shut down the entire federal government. so look, the democratic side just spent four years defending and, of course, happily using the same senate rule that many of our colleagues now attack. so this reversal, mr. president, is not about principle.
it has nothing whatsoever to do with principle. it's just raw power, raw power. three years ago, the assistant democratic leader was asked about the senate majority going nuclear and killing the legislative filibuster. here's what senator durbin had to say. i can tell you that would be the end of the senate as it was originally devised and created going back to our founding fathers. that was senator durbin in 2018. just a few years ago. now, now, mr. president, he argues the opposite. now, i understand our colleague has rotated through several different explanations for his reversal in just the last few days. first, our colleague from illinois indicated he changed his mind, changed his mind
because republicans, and i, specifically, had used the filibuster so much in the intervening years. but, mr. president, republicans were in the majority the whole time. we were in the majority the whole time. it was the democrats who were using the filibuster in the minority in 2018, 2019, and 2020. not republicans. their argument makes no sense whatsoever. a few days later, it was a new made-up rationale. it's just that the senate hasn't been getting anything done, so the institution needs an overhaul. except we just had a uniquely terrible year to make that argument. last year was not a good year to
make that argument. we passed five, five bipartisan covid bills with big bipartisan majorities that spent the most money in american history and helped save the country. i don't see any obstruction in that. we passed an historic bipartisan bill for national parks and public lands. i don't see any outrageous use of the filibuster on that. so, mr. president, this fake history swirling all around the discussion, fake history. about a year ago, former president obama launched a new, coordinated and very obvious campaign to get liberals repeating the claim that the senate rules are somehow a relic of racism and bigotry. that came just a month after democrats had used the filibuster to kill senator tim
scott's police reform and anti-lynching bill. so these talking points are an effort to use the terrible history of racism to justify a partisan power grab in the present. it's not unlike what we saw last summer when some protest mobs ended up defacing statues of people who actually crusaded for justice like abraham lincoln, ulysses s. grant, and the abolitionist mathias baldwin. mistakenly damaging good institutions because of our troubled past. multiple fact-checkers, multiple fact-checkers have torn into the simplistic notion that the rules of the senate are rooted in racism. historians told "politico" that the filibuster did not emerge from debates over slavery or
segregation. one scholar's account was that the very first senate filibuster was over a bridge across the potomac river. the very first filibuster was over a bridge over the potomac river. the junior senator from massachusetts just got three pinocchios from "the washington post" for these arguments. their look, "the washington post"'s look at history found, quote, the first recorded filibusters in the senate concerned issues such as where to locate congress, what to do about andrew jackson's censure over withdrawn federal deposits, who would be appointed to a publication called "the congressional globe," and whether to create a national bank. nothing to do with racism.
but i'm curious. if our democratic colleagues really believe what they are saying, did they themselves use a racist tool against senator scott's police reform bill just last year? did they use a racist relic when they declared the cares act, when they delayed the cares act or blocked legislation to protect unborn babies who can feel pain? were senator schumer and durbin and their 33 colleagues who signed that letter all endorsing a racist relic? or else our colleague's story that the filibuster was not an offensive relic as recently as last summer, but magically -- imagine this, just magically within a year, magically became an offensive relic the instant
the democrats came to power. all of a sudden, it's an offensive, racist relic on the the -- when the democrats came to power. jaw-dropping hypocrisy. these back flips insult the intelligence of the american people. the far left is desperate to change the subject to the 1960's because they want people to forget how senate democrats based just last year. this is not about the 1960's. it's not a racist relic. look, if some of my democratic colleagues want to keep lobbying two of their colleagues to go back on their word, they should at least have the courage to be honest. the far left wants democrats to break the senate rules for no
other reason, no other reason, they want more power. they want more power. the same people who are trying to overturn a certified election result over in the house want to break senate rules so they can override the election laws of all 50 states from right here in washington. it's that simple. and it's not going to be hidden by a coordinated campaign to change the subject. the presiding officer: morning business is closed. under the previous order, the senate will proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the following nomination which the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, executive office of the president, shalanda young of
mr. thune: mr. president? the presiding officer: the republican whip is recognized. mr. thune: thank you, mr. president. is the senate in a quorum call? the presiding officer: we are. mr. thune: i would ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: mr. president, talk continues to swirl about eliminating the legislative filibuster here in the united states senate. the democrat leader has threatened that if republicans don't vote the way he wants them to vote on legislation, eliminating the filibuster will be on table. in an interview where he issued his threat, the democrat leader made it it very clear that he's not inviting republicans to work with democrats on legislation. this isn't an invitation for both parties to sit down at the table and arrive at an agreement that both parties can support. no, this is an invitation for
republicans to support exactly what democrats want or face the consequences. and, mr. president, it's ironic that the democrat leader would be taking that position today because this is what he was saying back in 2017 about the legislative filibuster. this is the democratic leader saying, the legislative filibuster is the most important distinction between the senate and the house. let's find way to further protect the 60-vote rule for legislation. so, the democratic leader was very supportive of this back in 2017 when they were using it extensively to try and stop or slow republican legislation. the assistant democratic leader, the democratic whip, senator durbin from illinois, said this in january of 2018. i can tell you that would be the
end of the senate, as it was originally devised and created, going back to our founding fathers. going back to our founding fathers, referencing the legislative filibuster and how important it was historically here in the united states senate. well, mr. president, about that same time, 2017, 61 senators out of 1 see here -- out of 100 here in the united states senate, signed a letter in which they supported retention of the legislative filibuster. and in fact it goes on to say that we are writing to urge you -- and this is to the senate leaders at the time, senators mcconnell and that you were -- to support our efforts to preserve existing rules, practices, and traditions as they pertain to the right of members to engage in extended debate before the senate in. senators have express add variety of opinions about the appropriateness of limiting
debate when we are considering judicial and executive branch nominations, regardless of our past disagreements on that issue, we are united -- united -- in our determination to preserve the ability of members to engage in extended debate when bills are on the senate floor. 61 senators, including over 30 democrats, mr. president, on record as recently as 2017 in support of the legislative filibuster. over 30 democrat senators, including the democratic leader and the democratic whip. well, what's changed? because now they've done an abrupt reversal, complete 180. i mean, they're spinning around so fast, it makes your eyes glaze over, mr. president. what an incredible versatility
of conviction they've demonstrated on to issue. and you think about the reason for it. what are they arguing? w well, they're saying the republicans have been misusing the filibuster. that's a little bit ironic give the fact that the republicans have been in the majority for the past six years. the republicans took the majority in january of 2015 and held it until january of 2021. so the past six years it's been the democrats who were in the minority. they would be the ones exercising the legislative filibuster. and they used it extensively. they used it extensively last year to block legislation repeatedly over and over and over again. and republicans at the time were under a lot of pressure to get rid of the legislative filibuster, including by the president of the united states. over and over and over saying republicans need to get rid of the legislative filibuster. republicans, being consistent in
their position, those who signed the 61 senators, republicans, who signed this letter, including me, have been consistent in our position even when we were in the majority, even when the democrats were using the filibuster to block legislation that we were trying to advance, that we needed to maintain the filibuster because it was important to the institution of the senate, and it required bipartisan cooperation. it required a level of comity to get legislation passed, and it made sure that the minority was represented in legislative solutions that were produced by the united states senate. we've been consistent in that position. even when it meant taking on our administration, our president, over and over and over and over again. so the democrats' argument now is that we have to get rid of the legislative filibuster because republicans have been misusing it.
how is that even possible? we were in the majority. the legislative filibuster is used -- it's a tool used by the minority. it was used by the democrats over and history of and over again -- over and over and over again the past six years. but their argument now is that we've got -- the senate is not functioning, the senate is not producing legislation? real lay? -- really? last year republicans were in the majority. we pass out of the senate five -- five -- coronavirus relief bills with huge bipartisan majorities. huge bipartisan majorities. responding to the greatest crisis facing this country, both health crisis and economic crisis. we responded to it in a bipartisan way, honoring the rules and the tra i guess dids of the -- traditions of the
senate by the founders, where the rights of the minority are honored, which required cooperation and working together to get results. and we produced results, in spite of the fact that democrats consistently filibustered. we didn't get passed policing reform because senator tim scott offered a piece of legislation that included all kinded of provisions that would have addressed that important issue for our country and the democrats filibustered, over and over and over again. so we didn't get the 60 votes to get police reform across the finish line. but, mr. president, it is incredibly ironic -- i mean, hypocrisy is not something that's unknown in politics. but hypocrisy on this level is unprecedented. the democratic leader, the democratic whip, over 30
democrat senators have said as recently as two years ago -- three years ago that we need to preserve the legislative filibuster because it's true to the tradition of the senate and what the founders intended in terms of the role that at senate was supposed to play in our democracy. and here we are two or three years later, not because the republicans had been misusing the filibuster; because the republicans have been in the majority. we've been fending off the use of the filibuster by democrats. they have no problems with the filibuster when they were using it as a tool at their disposal to block republican initiatives. the first cares bill they filibustered multiple times, and it forced us to sit down with them and forge a compromise that in the end got 96 out of 100 votes in the united states senate. but now -- now the shoe is on the other foot. they're in the majority.
and they've got all these things they want to get done, all this pent-up agenda. what i would argue, mr. president, is what's happening here is all the outside groups, all the left-wing groups that have all these things they want to get done all of a sudden have concluded that notwithstanding their use of the filibuster to block republicans from accomplishing their agenda for the past six years, now that the shoe is on other foot and we're in the majority and we've got power, we are going to do away with over 200 years of history, t-00 years of history -- 200 years of history that was put in place by the founders to require the united states senate to be different than the house of representatives. the house of representatives does everything by simple majority. they have a rules committee. i served for three terms there. they have a rules committee that prescribes basically what legislation can come to the floor, what amendments are made in order, how much time is allowed for debate on each
amendment. everything is very organized and done by democratic rule, simple majority rule. the senate was created to operate differently, mr. president, by the founders. and here we are having a debate about whether or not we are going to honor that tradition, that heritage, that legacy, that vision that the founders had when it came to how the united states senate should operate. mr. president, earlier this month, one democrat senator suggested that we should get rid of the filibuster because it's, quote, undemocratic. undemocratic. in other words, it prevents the majority from doing everything it wants to do. but as i said on the floor last week, mr. president, letting the majority do everything it wants to is not what the founders had in mind. the founders recognized that it wasn't just kings who could be tyrants. they knew majorities could be
tyrants, too, and that a majority, if unchecked, could trample the rights of the minority. and so the founders combined majority rule of both representation and constitutional protection for the minority. they established safeguards, checks and balances throughout our government to keep the government in check, and ensured the rights of the minority were protected. and one of those safeguards was the senate. and the house of representatives, they said majority rules emphasized and the founders could have left it at that. they could have stuck with the single legislative body, but they didn't. why? because they were worried about the possibility that tyrannical majorities in the house endangering the rights of the minority. mr. president, the author of federalist 62 notes, and i quote, the senate, as a second branch of a legislative assembly, distinct from and dividing the power with the first, must be in all cases a
salutary check on the government. it doubles the security to the people by requiring the concurrence of two distinct bodies and schemes of usurpation or perfidy. secondly, the necessity of the senate is not less indicated by the propensity of all single and numerous assemblies to yield to the impulse of sudden and violent passions and to be seduced by factious leaders into intemperate and pernicious resolutions, end quote. that's in federalist number 62. so the founders, mr. president, created the senate as a check on the house of representatives. it made the senate smaller and senators' terms of office shorter with the intention of creating a more deliberative body to check ill-considered or tempered legislation in attempts to curtail minority rights. as time as gone on, the legislative filibuster has become perhaps the key way the senate protects minority rights. the filibuster ensures that the minority party has a voice in
the senate. it forces compromise, it forces partisanship. even in the now rare case when the majority party has a filibuster-proof majority in the senate, the filibuster still forces the majority party to take into account the views of its more moderate or middle of the road members, thus ensuring that more americans are represented in legislation. people tend to focus on the fact that the filibuster protects the country from any one party's most extreme legislation, but the truth is, the truth is, mr. president, the filibuster is probably the biggest reason that any bill in the senate is ever bipartisan. routine spending bills, farm bills, defense authorization bills, the main reason many of these bills are ever bipartisan outside of a divided government is because the filibuster forces the parties to compromise. don't believe me? just look at how the house has handled these bills in recent years.
mr. president, democrats were eager to take advantage of the filibuster protection for minority rights when they were in the minority, but now that they are in the majority, they don't want anything standing in their way. they don't want to have compromise. they don't want to have to consider the americans who didn't vote for a democrat agenda. they want to do whatever they want whenever they want it. mr. president, democrats disregard for minority rights would be troubling even if they had a substantial majority in the senate. the voice of the minority deserves to be heard, even when the minority is substantially outnumbered, but it's particularly outrageous that democrats are so determined to sweep away protections for minority rights when they barely, barely have a majority in the senate and certainly don't have a mandate. in fact, democrats don't have a real majority at all, only a technical one. the senate is divided 50-50. the only reason democrats have a deciding vote in the senate is because the vice president is a democrat. in the house, democrats' majority narrowed substantially
in the november election. as for the presidency, while certainly a democrat won the election, it's worth noting that the only candidate who could win the democrat primary was a man historically regarded as a moderate. democrats' far-left liberal candidates did not fare so well. so, mr. president, if there was any mandate in the election, it was a mandate for moderation. it was a mandate for compromise. for pulling the country together. the democrats are running away from unity and bipartisanship as fast as they can. they're determined to leverage their weak victory into the implementation of a partisan, far-left agenda. mr. president, there are two bills that have driven the conversation around eliminating the filibuster in recent weeks. they are h.r. 1, an election bill, and h.r. 5, the so-called equality act. the first bill is a truly outrageous power grab in an attempt to federalize election
law and eliminate protections for election integrity. democrats have discarded years of important bipartisan work on election security and integrity in order to permanently boost democrats' chances of winning majorities. the second, the so-called equality act, is an unprecedented attack on the first amendment that would substantially restrict the rights of americans to live by their faith. and these are the bills that democrats think should be shoved through by the narrowest of majorities. mr. president, there have been suggestions that eliminating the filibuster is a cure for partisanship and gridlock in the senate. well, it might be the cure for gridlock in the sense that the majority could steamroll through whatever it wanted whenever it wanted, but you don't cure partisanship by making it easier for the majority to be partisan. eliminating the filibuster isn't going to eliminate partisanship. it's going to heighten it. take away the filibuster and the majority party has zero reason, zero to take into account the
views of the minority. what eliminating the filibuster will do is ensure that one party has no voice at all in the united states senate, no matter how many americans that party represents. a couple of weeks ago, we got a preview of what life would look like in the filibuster-less senate when the democrats passed their so-called covid bill under the simple majority rules of reconciliation. there wasn't a lot of gridlock since reconciliation allowed senate democrats to force their bill through, but there was plenty of partisanship. democrats made it very clear that while republicans were welcome to vote for their bill, republican ideas were not welcome at the table. democrats knew that they didn't need republicans to pass their legislation, which empowered them to completely reject republican input in drafting the bill and to load the dill with democrat priorities from a bailout for union pensions to a state slush fund heavily weighted in favor of blue states to the omission of long-standing federal restrictions on using taxpayer dollars to pay for
abortions. it was quite a contrast to the five bipartisan covid bills passed under the filibuster rule in a republican-led senate which were focused on fighting the virus rather than shoving through partisan priorities. mr. president, while there their recent narrow majority seemingly erased all memory of their minority status over the last few years, i encourage my democrat colleagues to remember just how much they value the legislative filibuster during their time in the minority and how bitterly they regretted eliminating the judicial filibuster once president trump became the beneficiary. while democrats might like to think that their time in power will last forever, it is a truth in american politics sooner or later, to matter how powerful your majority, you end up in the minority again. i encourage my colleagues to think about that time when they
will be in the minority again and ask themselves whether they really want to eliminate their voices and the voices of their constituents in future policy battles. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. tuberville: thank you, mr. president. last week, i spoke about a deeply flawed and misguided piece of legislation passed by the house, house bill h.r. 1. and now senate bill s. 1. today i'm going to talk about yet another bill from our colleagues in the house that would be a -- that would be terrible for my state of alabama and for our country. it's called the protecting the right to organize act or better known as the p.r.o. act. like h.r. 1, the p.r.o. act represents a massive power grab by the democrats. here in washington, d.c. to
override the will of the voters and state legislators in a majority of the states in this country. democrats want to force their idea on states that refuse to adopt their progressive failed policies. federal power grabs like these are unconstitutional and go against our entire system of government. the p.r.o. act would overrule the right-to-work laws across the country and force tens of millions of employees to join a union. currently, 27 states have the right to work laws on their books, including alabama. more states could join us in the future. right-to-work laws give workers freedom, and more importantly it gives them the freedom to choose whether to unionize or not. alabama's right-to-work law has been a huge benefit for our state. and for the people. helping to attract many businesses in our state, take
car manufacturing, for example. beginning with mercedes in 1993, automakers like toyota, hyundai and honda all have large presences in alabama. their investment in our state has created a growing automotive supplier network supporting roughly 150 companies in our state. all together, we have about 40,000 alabamans employed in the automotive sector alone, and those jobs go on to support thousands more family members, all thanks to alabama's right-to-work law. the p.r.o. act would upend the economic growth we have seen in alabama and in many states across the country. by forcing unionization on american workers, many industries would grind to a halt, and employers' cost would skyrocket, which could lead to a
loss of many, many jobs. according to the state policy network, the p.r.o. act would destroy 57 million american workers who call themselves freelancers in addition to the millions of salaried workers that would lose their right-to-work protections. unions, to some degree, have helped build our great country, but we need to give workers the ability to choose, not force them to be in a union. right-to-work laws give workers a choice. choice creates competition, and competition breeds success. forced unionization creates a monopoly which only leads to stagnation. president biden says he believes, quote, every worker should have a free and fair choice to join a union, but the
p.r.o. act would tip the scales toward organized labor even further. among other things, the bill requires that workers' personal contact information is sent to unions. removes vote by secret ballot, subjecting them to union harassment. and limits the information workers may receive during union-organized campaigns. that doesn't sound free and fair to me. it sounds like they want to ensure favorable outcome for the union bosses and give them the ability to punish workers who don't go along with them. on a related note, i want to briefly mention the upcoming unionization vote for nearly 6,000 workers at amazon's facility in bessimer, alabama, just outside of birmingham. there has been a lot of attention paid to this lately. we have had hollywood actors, celebrities, members of
congress, and even president biden trying to help tip the scales toward unions favorable outcome. let me be clear. these hardworking alabamians don't need hollywood elites or federal government officials telling them what to do. we should all trust they will make the decision they think is right for them and their families, and that's what right-to-work is all about. the right to choose. this is still a free country after all. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i come to the floor today to talk about the crisis that's affecting our country right now, and it's the crisis at our southern border. later this week, i'll travel to texas to inspect the situation
firsthand. my republican colleagues and i will first say thank you to our law enforcement officers who are there on the front lines. their work is always important, and it's especially important at this time. the president said on sunday that he hopes to visit the border -- he said hopes to visit the border, quote, at some point. with all due respect, the american people don't have time to wait. i invite the president to join us this friday. come with us, see the situation, witness it firsthand here are the facts. in the month of february, federal agents apprehended more than 100,000 illegal immigrants crossing our southern border. now that's more than double the number from last february. so in just 28 days, 28 days of february, over 100,000 illegal immigrants crossed our border.
you know, illegal immigration numbers usually go down in the winter. it rises in the spring, peaks in the summer. we have every reason, mr. president, to expect that this is only going to get much worse in the months ahead. even the biden administration admits it. they admit that we're on pace this year to have more illegal immigrants than any year over the last two decades. so why is this happening? well, if you ask the migrants, they'll tell you the answer. his name is joe biden. there are photographs of large numbers of migrants near tijuana wearing shirts saying biden please let us in. they even use biden logo, his campaign logo on their shirts. so when did the surge of illegal immigrants start? well, just after president biden took office on january 20.
before the month was over, president biden had already issued more than seven executive actions on immigration alone. as i detailed on the floor a couple of weeks ago, president biden has unveiled the most left-wing immigration agenda in the history of our nation. during the campaign last year, president biden promised lavish taxpayer benefits for illegal immigrants. so did vice president harris. when the moderators at the democrat debates asked who supported free health care for illegal immigrants, president biden raised his hand. vice president harris also endorsed free health care for illegal immigrants. president biden promised not just amnesty, but american citizenship for illegal immigrants, and 26 democrat senators have already signed on to the bill that he has proposed. president biden said in february
that he'll even give the coronavirus vaccine to illegal immigrants. so you come here illegally, get a free vaccine against coronavirus, free health care. no wonder illegal immigrants are rushing to our borders. look, we all remember what happened four years ago after president trump was elected. before he even issued most of his immigration policies, immigration, illegal immigration plummeted. it went down by 40% in the first four months of his presidency. it was called the trump effect. it happened even before his policies went into effect. it was because he sent a clear message to the world. he said don't come here illegally, or we will send you right back home. that message was heard around the world. now we're getting very different messages from this biden white house. as a result, we have the biden effect, which is the exact opposite of what the trump effect did. we're having historic increases
in illegal immigration. they're promising free health care, free education, free vaccines, offering amnesty and even citizenship for illegal immigrants. democrats just passed a bill that lets illegal immigrants get $1,400 checks. senator cotton and i tried to stop it. every democrat in the united states senate voted against our amendment. they voted to give hard-earned taxpayer dollars to people who aren't even in the country legally. the white house says publicity that we will not expel any illegal immigrants under the age of 18. that is what they have said publicly. the white house press secretary even mocked that idea. as a result, massive numbers of teens and children are crossing the border. secretary mayorkas has told the whole world that if you're under 18, you get a free pass.
he went on television last week and said, we will not expel your child. we will care for that child and unite that child with a responsible parent. in that same interview he said, i hope children will not undertake that perilous journey to our border, because as long as liberal policies are in place, it's a guarantee they will undertake the perilous journey. they will risk traveling at the hands of smugglers, cartels and human traffickers to get here. so now we have a system that is overwhelmed. our border agents cannot keep up. grition and custom -- immigration and custom enforcement just spent $86 million, $86 million to rent hotel rooms, hotel rooms for families who illegally crossed the border. $86 million for hotel rooms for over 1,000 families.
it's been reported that more than 100 illegal immigrants who tested positive for the coronavirus have been released into texas. they were told to quarantine after, after they traveled through the country to their preferred destination in the united states. we don't know where they are now or how many people they infected along the way. it could be in texas. it could be anywhere. it's very concerning to people all across the country, and yet the white house is still in denial. in fact, last week the white house press secretary had to correct herself. she accidentally used the word crisis when talking about the border. her reporter asked her if that meant the white house was finally acknowledging that it was a crisis. she said no. she said it was just a challenge mr. president, joe biden promised us that he'd always tell us the truth, yet the biden white house is trying to mislead the american people
about one of the most important issues that's facing our country today. it's not working. the american public knows this is a crisis. democrats may think that this is some political game. in reality this is a humanitarian crisis. thousands of children are being harmed because of this. liberals talk a lot about how much compassion and empathy they feel. the truth is the policies that they have don't lead to compassionate outcomes. they lead to some very cruel outcomes. as secretary mayorkas admits, the journey north from central america is a perilous one. it is not safe for children. large numbers of children who make the journeys are trafficked, sexually assaulted or recruited by gangs. if this year is like previous years, thousands and thousands of children are going to be harmed because they make the journey north. it's nothing compassionate about
the open border policy of this administration. this didn't have to happen. it should not have happened. and the blame rests squarely with president biden and the open border democrats. in less than two months president biden has already shown himself the most open border president in our history as a nation. it's no surprise that the whole world has noticed. this crisis will not fix itself. we need to take action. now republicans have a series of commonsense solutions to improve the situation immediately. they include enforcing the law, securing the border, and restoring the policy called remain in mexico. without these, the biden border crisis is going to continue to undermine our nation's safety and its security. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor.
a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from nebraska. a senator: thank you, mr. president. first i ask unanimous consent that i and after me senators leahy and peters be able to complete our remarks in entirety before the scheduled vote. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sasse: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, the debate about the legislative filibuster is not a debate about s. 1 or s. 10 1 or s. 901. no. this is a debate about nothing less than the nature and durability of american self-government, quite apart from the wrestling over which particular bill was filibustered eight years ago or four years ago or two years ago or tomorrow. the decision about whether or not to eliminate the filibuster is the senate's most important policy debate in decades. eliminating the filibuster would
obviously have all kinds of policy consequences, from tax rates and labor law to energy and infrastructure. but that's not why the debate is so important. this isn't fundamentally a debate about this or that policy. the debate about the filibuster is deeper than that because it's a debate about how and whether we debate at all. this matters a whole lot in a country this big, in a continental nation, because it's right at the heart of how peaceable self-governance works at all. if we just blow that up, if we act as if it's just a matter of time before the filibuster goes away and all we really have is red versus blue jerseys anyway, if we just end the senate's rules as they've existed for 240 years, we will dramatically alter not just this institution, but our entire form of self-government. and in the process, we will dramatically escalate the fevered pitch of america's recent arguing. we shouldn't ignore the deep and
long-term significance of what setting the senate's rules on fire would mean simply because terms like supermajority requirement doesn't fit real neatly into our modern, made for cable tv soap opera variety of politics as entertainment, politics as sport, even politics as religion. supermajority requires a whole bunch of syllables and it doesn't make for great sound bites. but make no mistake, if we set the senate's rules on fire, we are going to cause dramatic, horrible consequences in american civic life. almost every single member of the newly minted democratic majority in the senate has resolved in recent weeks that the legislative filibuster needs to be abolished, or in the most recent focus group term, to be reformed out of existence. this move would be directly contrary to over two centuries of tradition in this country and in this body. it would be directly contrary to the founders' explicit purposes
for why this institution was created at all. and it would be directly contrary to the words of dozens and dozens of the majority senators, their words just in the last 48 months. this is no mere procedural change. if they go through with this, an already sick senate would be committing institutional suicide. there is no reason to be a united states senator if the senate doesn't exist to foster real debate that is bigger than simple majority power. this nuclear trigger would all be destroy the principle of consensus building that the senate demands and thereby all but ensure that minority rights in this country would become subject to more and more fickle, more and more power hungry and inevitably more and more abusive simple majorities. america is built on a number of seemingly small but actually quite grand ideas. one of the very best of those ideas, one that's just elegant
ly simple, so simple we regularly don't pause to reflect on it together and teach it to our kids and that's the simple idea that whenever possible groups of different people should be allowed to make different rules for themselves. this is what our system of federalism is about. this is why we divide power both vertically and horizontally between the executive, legislative, judicial branch but across the 50 states. it's not actually an extravagant thought. children on a playground could instinctively understand that if you can't get one giant game of kick ball together, it's okay to let the playground divide up into kick ball and dodge ball. it's a grand american tradition that when we don't have to agree, we don't have to agree about everything. it's okay to allow some diversity, it's okay for not all workplace regulation to be
exactly the same everywhere in the country. and as it happens, america is a really big country, a continental nation, and we regularly don't agree. californians don't always agree with nebraskans. west virginians don't always agree with new yorkers. people in regularly sunny miami don't always see the world the same as folks in wintry boston do. ohio state fans don't have to wear the blue and gold of michigan. it's a big country full of disagreements, and so our principle is regularly that wherever we can protect and respect differences, we should. we don't flourish folks -- force folks to wear the jerseys of the teams they don't support. there's no reason to. i feel like there's some joke i should make about oral roberts in the competitions against ohio state but prudence recommends skipping that. there are also circumstances obviously where we need to make big, wide-ranging mon monopolistic government decisions. there are times when we have to
have one size fits all rules. but those one-size-fits-all obligations are not for everything. and i-in those moments -- even in those moments where they are required we want to work hard to protect the rights of minorities and dissenters. how do we respect their right and ability to make resolution for varying communities across a nation of 330 million people? from shore to shore? how do we allow as many people as possible to make divergent rules as they see fit. one of the ways we've done that in the senate, is we always made sure that here, we come from all across the country, and here we would required to pass legislation not by 50 plus one, but 50 plus ten. what that means, even if you're in the majority, you can't just do everything you want. you can't pass one compulsory
law immediately without lots of debate because you rarely have 50 plus ten. you have to bring some people from across the aisle over to your side and if you're in the majority, it means that you have to learn the habit of sitting down with members of the minority. you have to talk to them. as importantly, you have to listen to them. when this process of compromise works and a bill is passed, you're then guaranteed that the new law has the stamp of approval of at least some representatives of the minority on that issue and it means that they'll become your allies against quickly undoing that law next year. they will become your allies because the process of compromise led you to listen to each other and say, instead of doing the 51% thing, what harder work might be required to get to the 60% thing. if compromise breaks down, that is an important signal as well. when you're forced to make rules that's binding on diverse groups
of people, it is -- you must get as much buy-in as possible. that means that the rule will be respected beyond the two-year congress. if you push it through with a bare knuckled majority, people will not just -- past rules and watch them be repealed tomorrow with a 50 plus one majority, our nation would pinball from one policy agenda to the other. it makes it too essential to allow fickle 51% and 49% majorities to change the laws of the nation. each election would become more due or die than the last one. each campaign would dissend further into liable ugliness. in a big and diverse country, the senate exists to force law makessers to build a healthy
consensus before we make sweeping, national legal changes. the senate exists precisely to force this kind of consensus building. that is really why this institution exists. it's how we guarantee that we do not have laws on the books that are respected by half of the country and resend and hated or ignored by the other half of the country. the senate supermajority requirement helps to ensure that that big changes are not impulsive, narrow and instant but rather deliberate and broadly accepted. but there's an alarming trend in our time. let's be clear, it's in both parties. it's not just the democrats who are in the majority who are interested in this kind of new, more instant, more urgent, more winner take all kind of politics. there's a new trend toward bare knuckles belief that that is the only kind of politics that works, it's the only kind of way you can go forward. some of my colleagues, again in both parties, decided that if
you have the power you should wield all of it with to this constraint. they may use this or that bill as the stalking horse, but let's be clear, any particular bill is the talking point. it is the principle that there are no principles except flexing your power as vigorously and brutally and as instantly as you can for as long as you can cling to power. some of the republicans who have already spoken on the floor last week have warned democrats they might rue the day they made this decision. there is an age-old decision that if you're in the majority you will never have to be in the minority again, so why respect rules that traditionally protected minorities. you will always drive the bulldozer, never be in its path. this debate isn't about policy. it isn't about any specific bill. you can listen to the activists on the outside. they've been transparent about
their purposes for the better part of a year that they would use any bill they thought more political opportune for the filibuster. books published on this topic in the last 60 days didn't come about in the last 60 days. we should remember if this happens, if simple majority becomes what this body is about, we will have taken a step down a path towards the exercise of naked power that will be absolutely permanent. it cannot and will not ever be undone. once the supermajority rules, once the filibuster is gone, it will be gone forever because no one, it's self-evident to make this argument, no one is going to voluntarily surrender power when the other party used majority power against them. no one will restore -- i went to say simple majority power against them. no one will ever restore
supermajority requirements when they have a simple majority and the simple majority became the rule against them. if you want to see american politics become more brutal. if you want to see american politics become more crude. if we want to see american politics become more demagogic, then stripping this would be the perfect res. fear bringing about this utopian reality. if you want to see more candidates with claims they will be strongmen and tyrants, then make it no more than people who spend their campaigns promising to spend the next two or four years simply making the other side pay if you want to see the rights and interests of minority rights trampled, establish a process where minority voices don't need to be heard at all. that's what would -- what would happen if we end the supermajority requirements that have always dominated the senate
from its first day. if you want a lame, mean politics that will only drink conservative tears, this is how you would bring the crap show about, you would set it on fire. all of you know this. many of you have spoken in private about this being a rash move. many of you have spoken in public about having been opposed to this before. i think of my friend brian schatz, and i name him precisely because he's a real friend, not a washington friend where you claim someone is your friend before you try to rip their face off. i like the guy a lot, i like working with the guy and which would like to keep working with the guy. if you turn the senate into the house of representatives, there will be no working across the aisle because there is no incentive for it. all of the politics will happen in the private caucus where the 51% will keep their 51% to do whatever they want. the senate is obviously not the
greatest deliberative body in the world, but it has a chance to recover. end the supermajority requirements, and no one will say the phrase, a great deliberative body. brian recently said the filibuster is stoop i had and paralyzing, end quote. he also said, quote, it's time to trash the jim crow filibuster, close quote. but just four years ago when donald trump was elected, and house republicans were itching to have the senate eliminate the filibuster because republicans controlled the house, the senate, and the white house, senator schatz and a bunch of his colleagues actually penned a public letter that defended the filibuster and all of its, quote, existing rules, practices and traditions, close quote, precisely because if advanced the deliberative purposes of the senate. i don't remember senator schatz then calling it the jim crow filibuster when he wrote that letter or when he was blocking tim scott's police reform
legislation by pointing to the senate majority rules. i don't remember senator schatz calling it stupid when he filibustered covid relief under the senate's current rules. i want to be clear. i'm not picking on brian. i'm naming him precisely because i like him and we can argue about this and other people i have less of a relationship with, it would be less useful with people i i have a lot of ce i hadly and -- comity and goodwill. without a supermajority, there won't be bipartisan cooperation. there isn't much now, but there is still a chance for reform of this institution. ending the filibuster is to end this institution. but, to be clear, this isn't about senator schatz. i would give an hour's long speech going through all of the floppers in this chamber who had one position 48 months ago and now have a completely different position. i don't need to name all of .they we should just say what
changed. we know what changed. the only thing that changed in the last two years is who's in power. when democrats were in the minority, you were fierce defenders of this indispensable senator prerogative. the filibuster was standing between america and facsism, we heard. but now, when you've got the slimmest majority. actually it's just 50-50 and you need the v.p.'s motorcade to break the tie. now the filibuster is standing between you and some of your legislative goals and therefore it needs to be tossed out. when you were using the filibuster to halt senator scott's police reform bill, the filibuster was an essential institution that forced compromise. now that it can be used to resist a 51-50 power, it is a relic of slavery and a tool of
jim crow. it's nonsense and the people saying it know that it's nonsense. they used the same rule last year and you weren't racist when you used it last year. this is b.s. that has been focused group and particular bills are being used as an excuse to grap power not -- grab power not just for this bill, it will be forever. it will be the end of the senate. s with the filibuster really a tool of jim crow when it was used against tim scott last year? i don't think so. and i don't think any of you think so. if somebody wants to come to the floor and repent of their racism for having used the filibuster last year, please do. but it isn't what was happening so stop with the nonsense rhetoric that's just for an msnbc sound-bite tonight. it's sad to watch so many of my colleagues who know better to be bullied into this position of shortsightedness, and they do know better because many of you
say it in private. you're being bullied by the fringes of your party. part of the responsibility of being a u.s. senator is to stand up to the extreme fringes of your party. part of the responsibility of being a u.s. senator is to say, i know that people are angry. i know that people are yelling. i know that there are hot heads, but one of the jobs of a senator and surely the job of this body is to try to find a way to allow cooler heads to prevail. we already have an institution that is instantly responsive to majorities. you only have to walk 200 yards to see it. and there's nobody who serves in this body who wishes they served in that body. we know what it looks like to have a simple majority body and the house was designed to do that. it's a good thing. the house was designed to reflect the energy of the people when the people are hot headed and they want something done fast and they want their majority to act. they call on the house and they get a hearing. but the senate's job, the senate's purpose is different.
the house is actually allowed to act with a hot head, precise lis because the senate exists to cool those passions, the senate exists to act with a cool head. our job is not to cater to sudden and instant majorities and to changes in the wind. the senate's job is it to enlarge and refine the house's judgments and to try to build consensus that can last so that the majority's will can be advanced while the minority's rights are also protected. the bullies who want to permanently upend the way our legislature works don't understand that their short-term gain, this or that bill, will come at a long-term cost of the entire structure of the rights and interests of our constitutional balance. it doesn't take a lot of courage to go with the current of a mob, but a lot of senators who quietly want to resist this change, and there are many on that side of the aisle who want
to resist this change, you're worried that going against the tide means watching dollars and votes float away, it means getting screamed at in restaurants, it means that your self-interest is to avoid the short-term pain and ride the short-term wave. let me tell you this feels pretty familiar. when i ran for this seat in 2014, the first time i ran for anything in my office. one of the reasons i ran, was i thought the senate had a chance to be restored to his deliberative place in american life. we're living in a digital life, it is disrupting the local communities and the frontal lobe more maitions of our -- formations of our teens. it is transforming life and this institution has a chance to help shape some of that for good instead of just allow the tide to flow at full speed and consume this institution as well. and so i said i pledged and when
i said it to a largely red state in 2014, most people apparently didn't think i meant it, i said that i wasn't running just because i disagreed with a lot of president obama's policies but because i would defend a constitutional system of limited government and a senate that exists for deliberative process even if someone in my own party came to power and urged instant radical changes that disrespected large portions of america. i literally made the centerpiece of why i was running that i would resist someone in my own party who tried to do majority instant stuff. i can introduce you to a whole bunch of republicans who were mad when i said that. i didn't precisely said it -- say it 17 different ways -- right later want to have all of that instant power. people started looking back at what i said the whole 2014 campaign and got more uncomfortable with what they
voted for. nobody has to tell me how unpleasant it is to stand up and say things unpopular in your own party. i've been smeared and censured many times, cussed out by many people who once called me a friend. none of that was particularly fun, but so what? the oath i took was related to being a united states senator, which is if you're not willing to stand up to your own side now and every now and again, there is a really no point in having this job. and the thing is, a lot of you know that. i am ape not going to say it is the consensus position on your side of the aisle. but there are a whole bump of people going along publicly with the rhetoric of epidemiologiing the filibuster and ending supermajority requirements even as you tell me how much you regret the summer of 2013 decision to allow harry reid to
end a much smaller senate tradition about supermajority confirmations. super-majoritarian confirmations are a small item compared to the change that's being considered here. harry reid's take-no-prisoners strategy of 2013 was something that was moved unanimously by the then-majority party and many, many, many of you have talked to me in private about how much you regret it. please consider the costs because this would be a much larger change. whenever anyone, republican or democrat, has threatened to blow up the senate supermajority requirements, they always have to tell themselves three lies. the first lie is that might makes right. the second lie is that the other side politically is your enemy and they must simply be beaten down. they can never possibly be persuaded. and the third lie is that the federal government is the only government we have. none of these things are true.
i resisted a president nomineally of my own party when you beat me up both in private and in public for defending the filibuster. republican senate leaders stood up to him as well despite lots of ridicule from house republicans. a lot of people in the house republican caucus wants much faster politics, but their passions were a poor guide to long-term which is come to for a nation this big and diverse. it is better for america's hardest debates to be decided in a deliberative senate rather than in the thunderdome. republicans in the senate held firm against blowing up this structural pillar of the institution even when it would have benefited us politically. in other words, we faced the same choice then that you face now. and we decided that it was better to choose long-term stability over short-term legislative victories. it was the right choice for a nation this big and this diverse. a lot of republicans think that
decision was naive. their argument was, the other side hates us. they'll definitely use all power against us whenever they can. i know that many democrat strategists on the other side, they're making a the exact same argument. but this isn't war. and we're not supposed to be permanent enemies. we want a politics of debate and of verbal jousting rather than a physical violence. and one of the most urgent political tasks we face today is to demonstrate that it is possible for people who deeply disagree and who are polarized in our division, we can still work together for the common good. we urgently need to protect and strengthen, not weaken and destroy, the norms that force us to come together and cooperate. but we don't need to be naive. we don't need to believe that that means we'd always sing kumbaya. we obviously don't in this body. for every step we take that
further divides, further infuriates and further inflames half of the country makes it far likelier that we will set a fire that we cannot set out. -- we cannot put out. the american founders understood the problem that we're facing. they were not naive about how politics worked and what it took, what kind of labor and sweat and relational hand-wringing and breadbreaking it takes to be able to work together amicably. they were working from a personal experience of repression, tyranny and violence. so they set out some basic principles of federalism, localism and consensus building, of supporting majorities but without sacrificing minorities. and so they established a framework in which these principles could be balanced in a way that's responsive to changing conditions and needs. the founders' concerns are still our concerns. but, guess what? they built the senate for this exact moment.
we are constantly tussling over thousand make sure every voice is heard and every person has a place. we live in a i had don'ted time, a divided nation. but they introduced a divided time and a divided nation. so theyest coulded the -- so they created the senate to be a place to take a deep breath rather than just assuming that a runaway majority of 50% plus one should advance whatever it wanted. friends, colleagues -- you know after the summer of 2013 that dominoes were worse than you had expected and many of you -- i don't know if it's most, but many of you have talked about how much you regret the summer of 2013 decision. this decision is 100 times larger. friends, please consider whether or not it is prudent to set the senate on fire. it is the only deliberative structure we have in our government, and at a time when institutions are being consumed, let us not consume another. thank you, mr. president.
mr. peters: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. peters: mr. president, i rise in support of shalanda young's nomination to be deputy director of the office of management and budget. ms. young is a proven leader, a dedicated public servant with the experience and the expertise needed to tackle the challenges facing o.m.b. and our nation. not only does ms. young bring a deep knowledge of the budget process and government operations, but she has a long track record of working successfully across the aisle. during her 14 years as a senior staff member on the house appropriations committee, she worked tirelesslessly to -- tirelessly to find a bipartisan path forward on many critical issues. she played a key role in ending past government shutdowns and in negotiating last year's
bipartisan coronavirus relief legislation. since president biden are announced ms. young's nomination, members and staff, both democrats and republicans, have enthusiastically praised her ability to work with both sides and get results for the american people. this is exactly the type of leadership o.m.b. needs to successfully steer the country through the current public health and economic crisis. the passage of the american rescue plan earlier this week was an historic achievement. but much of the work to fully implement this landmark bill still lies ahead. from getting money into the pockets of workers and families to ensuring schools open swiftly and safely and making meaningful investments in small businesses and local governments. i have no doubt ms. young is prepared to take on the challenging work of ensuring relief is delivered swiftly and
effectively. and that families, businesses, and communities across our country have the support they need to fully recover from this pandemic. i no he that in order to -- i no he that in order to move -- i know that in order to move past this current crisis we must wok together. we all want to move past the pandemic and reinvigorate our economy. there are intense disagreements over how we achieve those shared goals. ms. young has demonstrated the ability to work hard, to find common ground during times of crisis and in the face of a deeply divided political climate, experience that makes her uniquely qualified to serve as o.m.b. at this very moment. having spent most of her career working in congress, ms. young will also bring a profound respect for the role of the legislative branch. she understands the importance of congress' oversight role and has firmly pledged to work with
congress in a cooperative and a transparent manner. ms. young also fully understands that laws enacted by congress are the law of the land and they remain the law of the land regardless of her own personal views. you know, i know that some of my republican colleagues have expressed concerns about ms. young's personal views. however, i hope they recognize that she has repeatedly committed to following the laws put forth by congress, including laws that she may personally disagree with. there is no doubt that ms. young is exceptionally qualified thor this role. -- for this role. o.m.b. urgently needs qualified senate-confirmed leaders,not only to address the current health and economic crisis but also to strengthen federal cybersecurity, review regulations, and modernize the federal workforce. in short, o.m.b. works to ensure that every part of government is
working effectively for the american people. her budget expertise, extensive record of bipartisan engagement, and deep-rooted understanding and respect for congress are exactly what is needed to meet the challenges that we face now and the challenges that lie ahead. mr. president, i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting the confirmation of shalanda young as deputy director of the office of management and budget. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion: we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the nomination of executive calendar number 32, shalanda d. young of louisiana to be deputy director of the office of management and budget, signed by 18 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the manned mandatory quorum call has been waived.
vote: the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change his or her vote? if not, the yeas are 62, the nays are 38, and the motion is agreed to. mr. leahy: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: mr. president, i have seven requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. the presiding officer: duly noted. mr. leahy: mr. president, i ask
consent that i be able to speak for not more than five minutes regarding shalanda d. young. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: mr. president, i'm proud to be here on the senate floor to offer my strong support for sha landa young to be the deputy director of office of management and budget as i spoke about her before the committee. she worked on the house appropriations committee for nearly 14 years of she's been the house appropriation staff director since 2017. and from my position on the appropriations committee, that's where i got to know her very well. i can tell you without any reservation, there is no one better suited for this position. her deep understanding of really
often arcane federal budget process, her years of experience on the appropriations committee, her tenacity and her dedication to public service will serve the agency and the american people. i think after we had the last close down of the government -- i believe the longest in history and we ended up finally, four of us meeting after several weeks in my office here in the capitol, when we forged the agreement to reopen. it was senator shelby and myself, congresswoman loyei and granger. but most important, shalanda young was there for the house and she had a -- her
knowledge -- her knowledge of theintrakacy was extension yalt. ms. young began her career in 2001 at the national institutes of health had she came to work as a detailee in 2005, she came back as a professional staff director in 2007. she worked her way up in the committee over the years to help develop the budget for it and -- and conducted oversight of key agencies. that's given her a critical insight of some of our nation's most important agencies, including the department of homeland security, department of interior, the general services
administration. she even served as a staff director for the legislative branch subcommittee which -- which covers the budget for congress. ms. young became staff director of the house appropriations committee in 2017. coincidentally the same year i became vice chair of the appropriations committee. but she has helped the house navigate some of the most difficult issues before the chamber. as i said, she was a critical player in helping end the longest federal shutdown in history in 2019 and she was instrumental in crafting the 2020 bipartisan covid relief bills. she has a reputation as a tough but fair negotiator. that's high praise on capitol hill because she gets it from both republicans and democrats. i can attest to the truth of
these statements. i've seen these skills first hand. i already said that the office of management and budget is one of the most powerful government agencies that most americans have never heard of. it's true. it wields incredible influence on not just the federal budget but over policies that affect people's lives. we need people like shalanda d. young to steer the agency in these important decisions, and that's why i voted yes on the -- on the recent motion and that's why i want to see her in that position as soon as possible. with that, mr. president, i will yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate stands in recess until 2:15 p.m.
>> the senate gaveling out for their weekly party meetings. they are back at 215 piece to eastern and will take a final vote as deputy white house budget director. they will vote on whether to advance the nomination of the u.s. surgeon general. you can watch the senate here on c-span2. >> on thursday president biden hold his first official news conference since taking office. watch live coverage beginning at 1:15 p.m. eastern on c-span, online the c-span.org or listen on the free c-span radio app.