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tv   Public Affairs Events  CSPAN  October 7, 2021 10:01am-12:05pm EDT

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throne. lord, guide our lawmakers through this day. inspire them with your presence as you lead them on the road of wisdom. may they write your precepts on your hearts. shine your light upon the godly as they put their trust in you. we pray in your sacred name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington d.c, october 7, 2021. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable jacky rosen, a senator from the state of nevada, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: patrick j. leahy, president pro tempore. the presiding officer: under the previous order, leadership time is reserved.
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mr. schumer: for the information of members, i have a brief statement. i have some good news. we have reached an agreement on an extension of the debt ceiling through early september, and it's our hope that we can get this done today. -- early -- what did i say? september has passed already. let me revise my statement. madam president, we have reached agreement -- we have reached agreement to extend the debt ceiling through early december, and it's our hope that we can get this done as soon as today. 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. mcconnell: madam president. the presiding officer: the minority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: republican and democratic members and staff negotiated through the night in good faith. the senate is moving toward the plan i laid out yesterday to spare the american people a manufactured crisis. all year the democratic
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government has made unprecedented and repeated use of reconciliation to pass radical policies on party line votes. so back in july republicans informed our colleagues they would need to pursue any long-term increase in the debt ceiling through the same process. the president, the speaker, and the democratic leader had three months notice to do their jobs. but for two and a half months, the democratic leaders did nothing and then complained this they -- that they were actually short on time. the majority didn't have a plan to prevent default, so we stepped forward. the pathway our democratic colleagues have accepted will spare the american people any near-term crisis while definitively -- lacked time to address the debt limit through the 304 reconciliation process. now there will be no question they'll have plenty of time or
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if our colleagues would instead prefer a more traditional bipartisan discussion around basic governance, they can stop trying to ram through another reckless spending and taxing spree that would hurt families and help china. that would be the path toward that kind of discussion. now on a related matter. washington democrats are behind closed doors trying to hammer out a multitrillion-dollar reckless taxing and spending spree, but we already know a lot about this bill. first and foremost we know their reckless legislation would hurt american families and actually help china. it's that simple. inflicting pain on american workers and families while putting us at a global disadvantage of just look at the radical climate policies democrats have packed into the spree to satisfy their far-left base.
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the apples haven't fallen far from the awful new green new deal. democrats want to force electric utilities to -- that liberals have set up in the state of california. move all 50 state-elected grids towards california's. as one group of major power providers observed, not only would this be logistically unworkable, it would threaten to send consumers electricity costs totally out of control. and in the words of a member of the regulatory commission who testified just last week, the scheme would be an h bomb for the electricity markets. democrats are pushing a brand-new gas tax ■theycall methane fee. it's ar natural gas tax is what it is.
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as our friends in europe are facing natural gas costs, while russia will be supplying less gas, democrats want to declare war on natural gas, kill tens of thousands of jobs, drain billions from the economy and increase costs for our families. at a moment when u.s. natural gas futures just hit a 12-year high. there's no limit to the harm democrats will inflict on america to force the heartland to satisfy elite liberal facets. it includes electric cars that are disproportionately the option of you guessed it wealthy people, jacking up gas prices to turn 40 other states into california. it's a bad idea at an awful time and one more way that their reckless taxing and spending
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spree would hurt families and help china. while democrats contend with the border crisis our foreign policy is in crisis as well. the biden administration's disastrous retreat from afghanistan may be over but the danger to the american citizens and afghan partners it left behind certainly is not over. around the world adversaries and allies alike are drawing new conclusions from president biden's afghanistan disaster about america's will to defend our allies and our interests. rules-based international order. literally while a north koreaian official was haranguing the u.n. about the, quote, consequences it will bring in the future in case it tries to encroach on its sovereignty, the kim regime punctuated the speech with
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another round of u.s. sanctions violating u.s. missile tests. iranian disregard for international norms and the biden administration's efforts to force them continues a pace. tehran is ramping up nuclear activities and stepping up its use of terrorist proxies to threaten its adversaries all across the region. in light of our retreat from afghanistan, we should not be surprised if iran-backed groups redouble their effort to have the biden administration run from syria and iraq. when it comes to near-peer competitors like russia, the biden campaign's tough talk has been replaced by the biden administration's desperate rhetoric of diplomacy. putin is unfazed and undeterred.
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manipulation and military modernization, this doesn't scream ready for good-faith engagement. most of all the administration's hollow rhetoric has done nothing to deter the growing threat from communist china. just this month beijing has sent a record number of military aircraft on provocative missions as senior pentagon officials have warned, we're witnessing a strategic breakout by china. democrats still refuse to let us adequately fund our military and defense. the biden administration's budget falls woefully short of our requirements for greater competition with china and with russia. all the more -- all the more so given the inevitable growing terror threat.
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and here in congress democrats are doubling down on this reckless misstep. democrats want to spend trillions of dollars on a socialist wish list at home while leaving the service members who keep us safe overseas in the lurch. now, i don't expect chairman sanders or certain radicals in the house to be keen on using reconciliation to fund our military. hardly. but senate democrats have left congress' most fundamental tool for influencing defense policy, the historically ndaa in limbo. the latest public statement on the majority leader's spending policy did not mention the defense authorization bill. apparently he's content to let it languish behind the left-wing wish list. so america is staring down serious and historic threats. and somehow with unified control
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of government, the only actions democrats have managed to take on foreign policy have made them worse. the american people deserve a lot better than this. our service members deserve better, our allies deserve better, but washington democrats are proving they cannot deliver. now on one final matter. it's a small group of people who have become familiar faces right here on the floor of the united states senate. there are the senators themselves, the nonpartisan professionals on the dais, the capitol police and doorkeepers and then, madam president, you have the men and women of each party's cloakroom. these small and tight-knit teams keep information flowing from the senate floor to members' offices and vice versa. they track legislation and amendments. they negotiate procedure across
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the aisle and in a thousand other duties they all add up to intense days, late nights and a truly front-row seat to congress. for the past decade one of those speivel -- from kentucky. megan mercer. she spent a summer as a page 15 years ago. before long she took an internship in my personal office serving kentucky and then an entry level in the leadership office and then megan came here to the floor to the republican cloakroom. a decade or so ago they took a seat behind their big desks, answered phones and answered questions and over ten years worked her way up to a key role as senior floor assistant. pick any important vote and megan has been right here in the
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well at this table tallying the count for our side. she's cleared legislation and consent requests. she's negotiated with democrat counterparts on a daily basis. through it all megan's colleagues have come to admire her patience, level headedness and the institutional knowledge she has built up. and so have us senators. fortunately the work has not been thankless. i remember megan was especially thrilled when senator lamar alex made sure that megan's help had a signed thank you note from dolly parton, one of her all-time favorites. so as we unfortunately prepare for megan's departure from the senate, i want to thank her for her fine public service. megan has made her native kentucky proud and her parents very proud and she's made me
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proud as well.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. qoark had -- quorum call:
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the presiding officer: i ask consent to dispense the quorum. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent i be permitted to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: thank you. madam president today the senate judiciary committee released a report after an investigation of the circumstances surrounding donald trump's efforts to take
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over the justice department during the closing days of the last calendar year and the beginning of this year. since january the committee has investigated reports that white house officials, including the president himself pressed the department of justice to support president trump's unsubstantiated bids to overturn the 2020 election results and that acting civil division assistant a.j. jeffrey clarke aided in that effort. today's interim staff report sheds new light on former president donald trump's efforts to overturning the 2020 election. jeffrey clark became donald trump's big lie lawyer, pressing his partners in the department of justice to force overturning the 2020 election. let me put this in perspective.
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the election was in november, the results were now. most of the world accepted it but donald trump never did. he filed a succession of lawsuits to prove that the election had been foalen. he failed in -- had been stolen. he failed in every effort in court. that was stage one. having failed in court with some of the most outlandish theories imaginable but considered normal for the likes of rudy giuliani, they went into the second phase. the second phase was to convince the department of justice and the attorney general to intervene in the election results and to reach out directly, as the president did himself personally, to the election officials in states where he thought he should have won, but he didn't. so all that effort was underway when william barr, president trump's attorney general at the time, issued a statement saying there was no evidence of widespread fraud in the
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election. that was disappointing to the president. it occurred that in the middle of december of last year, william barr, the attorney general, announced that he was going to resign as of december 23. a man was chosen as the acting attorney general, jeffrey row is en, and at jeffrey rosen and donohue deputy attorney general. there was a full-court press on at that by president trump and his supporters to influence jeffrey rosen into intervening into this lexicon -- into this election contest. when i say full-court press, i'm talking about repeated telephone calls and meetings in the white house over a period of two weeks. this report which we have brought to the attention of the public as well as members of the committee obviously went into detail as to what happened during that two-week period of time. it was an incredible moment
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which most americans didn't even know was going on. we were a half step away from a full-blown constitutional crisis, because what the president was trying to do was to convince the attorney general to contact the leaders in the states where he thought, the president thought he had won the election and to tell them to not certify the results and to pick an alternative set of electors in some instances. in each of these cases the president was, president trump was pushing a theory on why he actually won. these theories went from crazy to silly to outlandish. let me give you one of them. it was called italy gate. i hope you caught this one because naturally rudy giuliani was somehow involved in this. some notion that italian satellites were intercepting
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voting machines in america and changed the election against donald trump. that's the nature of things. in the state of georgia, the president and his supporters were arguing that they had videotapes proving that people brought in suitcases full of ballots, and they showed these videotapes. the election officials in georgia, which i might add all republican, countered that by saying those were actual containers of ballots and that was the ordinary process. there was nothing sinister going on there. state after state, case after case, trump was making the argument that he was cheated out of the election, which of course was false but he still believes it to this day. and putting the pressure on acting attorney general jeffrey rosen to be complicit in this plot, he even asked him to consider filing a special case in the supreme court, across the street, to stop the election results from being certified. our report shows that jeffrey rosen and the deputy, richard
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o. donohue, resisted this from the start. jeffrey clark, another assistant attorney general in the civil division who had nothing literally to do with this matter on a legal basis, were in contest from that point. clark, on the side of trump, saying that the letters to the states should be issued. and rosen o. donohue arguing there was no basis in fact, no proof of election fraud that could have warranted that kind of unprecedented action. in the meantime many other players like mark me doughs in the white house -- meadows in the white house were also pressuring the white house. the net result of it was a fateful day -- i believe it was january 3 of this year -- when the president called rosen, owe
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owe owe -- rosen, o. donohue, clark to the white house to resume his effort to replace rosen with clark, a more complicit person in the process. at that moment two things happened which were significant. the white house counsel cippilone, descended from the president position and said it was a murder-suicide pact for him to engage in this. secondly, at that point the eight leading officials in the department of justice all signed a letter saying that they would resign en masse if there was a replacement of the acting attorney general by mr. clark. the president hesitated and decided at the very last minute not to pursue that course, not to replace him. that was significant, i'll tell you, because had it happened otherwise, it would have been a possibility that there would have been a contest on the election results. what did the president do next
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after deciding that? well, just for good measure, he ended up firing the u.s. attorney in georgia who refused to buy his outlandish claims, as the president's way of protesting that particular u.s. attorney's independence in the situation. what followed? we know what followed. in a matter of three days, this president, former president, desperate in his situation, having failed in every court case, having failed to take over the department of justice, decided to take his cause to the streets. we saw it in the united states capitol three days later, on january 6. the president turned loose a mob, a mob that was supposed to stop us from counting the electoral votes and electoral ballots. now most people say, well, we've heard most of this story before, so what's the point of it. the point of it is we were so close to a constitutional crisis at that moment that it bears
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continued investigation and disclosure, so the american people know that we should never be complacent when it comes to our rights as citizens and to our responsibilities to our constitution. this president, former president donald trump, would have shredded the constitution to keep his office and the presidency. there is no doubt in my mind. to think we have reached that stage in history is certainly worth reflection for a moment. what more should we do going forward to make certain we protect this democracy from the likes of donald trump or any of his successors and interests? that i think is a major responsibility that we face. i hope that this report from the senate judiciary committee will reopen the conversation. i hope as well that the select committee in the house on the january 6 occurrence, the mob insurrection here at the capitol, we submitted this evidence to them, i hope it is of benefit to them as they move forward. and i certainly hope on a
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bipartisan basis we can decide that the ordinary course of action with a valid, legal election deciding the future of this country is always the best route in a democracy. madam president, i ask that my next statement be placed in a separate part of the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: madam president, there's been a controversy going on for the last several years which has really been to the detriment of many good people. in 2007, congress made a promise to college students. here's what we said 14 years agn years of your life in public service and you make your student loan payments during that ten-year period of time, at the end of it america will forgive the remainder of your student debt. we said that, and more than a million people took us up on the promise. they passed up perhaps higher salaries and more lucrative professions in order to serve the country. and then they discovered at the
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end of the ten-year period that the loan forgiveness they were promised wasn't coming. nearly 99% of those who applied under the public service loan forgiveness program were denied relief by the previous administration, often for superficial clerical areas, long servicing the states or other matters beyond their control. well, good news. those days of broken promises are over. yesterday the biden administration announced important changes to this program to help hundreds of thousands of borrowers finally get the relief we promised over ten years ago. the education department estimates the changes will immediately erase the debt of 22,000 borrowers, more than the total number of loans that have been frinch so far under -- been frinch so far under the program. all told more than 550 borrowers
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can see a reduction in the amount of additional time they make in payments. service members whose loans were deferred in vif -- active duty will have those periods of duty applied towards payments. this is good news and long overdue. many of my democratic colleagues and i tried for four years during the trump administration to fix this program. they ignored us. so i want to thank president biden, education secretary cardona, for following through on their commitment to fix this important program and recognize the essential work of these public servants who sacrificed for this country and for the people who live here, and should receive what we promised, helping hands on their student loans. madam president, on another matter, today president biden is traveling to chicago. he arrives with a simple messag. in illinois and across the
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country, vaccine mandates are saving lives and allowing lives to return closer to normal. over the past month our state has is experienced a nearly 40% decrease in new covid cases. we're seeing similar trends around the country. in the months since the biden administration announced its policy of requiring a majority of americans to get vaccinated, the u.s. has finally begun to turn the corner against the delta variant. over the past two weeks, two weeks, our nation has seen roughly 25% decrease in new covid infections. hospitalizations decreased by 20% and deaths are down as well. in illinois, we're proud to support the biden vaccine policy. in fact, some of the biggest employers in our state were ahead of the curve. in early july loyola medicine in chicago was one of the first health systems in america to implement vaccine requirement. in august united airlines, based in chicago, announced it would require its employees to
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get vaccinated. at the time they predicted chaos. well much to the dismay of the doom sayers as of yesterday more than 99% of the employers have rolled up their sleeves and gotten vaccinated and every major airline in country introduced the vaccine requirement. this means safer skies for passengers and crew members. it's another big step back to normal. unfortunately not everyone is on board with this science-driven approach. earlier this week one of my colleagues from wisconsin took the floor and made some unfortunate and irresponsible statements about the safety of coronavirus vaccines. this false information unfortunately may mislead some people. senator johnson decided to bring
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arguments from the facebook sector, so let me say this, more than 700,000 americans have now died from coronavirus. that's more than the number of americans that have died in every war since the civil war combined. we have the power to prevent more needless deaths from this disease in the form of three remarkably safe and effective vaccines. fully vaccinated individuals are ten times less likely to die from covid, ten times less likely to be hospitalized, and far less likely to spread the virus. the strong majority of americans agree with president biden's actions, and importantly, the administration's vaccine mandate is saving lives while also providing commonsense exemptions for those limited number of people who have medical or religious reasons. the fact is the president's vaccine policy is constitutional, evidence-based and it's what america needs to once and for all put this pandemic behind us.
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still some of our colleagues continue to oppose it. yesterday the senator from utah, the senior senator from utah once again introduced legislation that would do away with the president's vaccine policy. it would also allow anyone to sue the government or their employee for any perceived harm from vaccine requirements. what that harm might be is unclear. can you imagine the chaos in our courtrooms if the senator from utah had his way? well, you don't have to imagine too hard because some states have already shown us the deadly costs of taking a stand against public health. there are several states in our country that have both threatened to sue the biden administration and enacted policies on their own to ban vaccine and mask mandates. they include texas, florida, utah, arkansas, south carolina, and georgia. the leaders in these states have gone to extraordinary lengths to stymie public health efforts to save lives.
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how has that worked out in these states? what has this dangerous, deadly policy of opposing vaccines and masks meant to our states? take a look at the map here. the deadly cost of resisting science and vaccines between july 1 of this year and october 1. the six states, texas, florida, utah, arizona, south carolina, and georgia, their infection rate per 100,000 people is 4,441, compared to the rest of the country, 2,548 per 100,000. the death rate, sadly, 54 per 100,000 in these six states. 20 in the rest of the country. i bring this chart to the floor to make it clear that taking a political position is not about polling and deciding what sounds popular to so many people. it's about the life-and-death reality we face with this virus
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and this pandemic. these leaders are arguing for a position against vaccines and against masks, and look who's paying the price -- the men and women who live in their states who are facing higher infection rates and, sadly, dramatically higher death rates because of it. it is time for them to accept the reality. vaccines are safe and effective, and they work. these states have reported almost twice as many new coronavirus infections as the rest of the country. tragically, nearly three times as many deaths. lawmakers in these states have chosen a political course rather than one that makes common sense or cares for the well-being of their people. our nation's health care professionals are exhausted. you would be, too, if you had to battle us every day for 18 months. now they are threatened with another deadly public health crisis -- covid disinformation from politicians. doctors and nurses and health
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care workers are being threatened by the virus and the patients sadly who carry them. those who don't believe covid even exists. what makes this all the more troubling is some of the biggest peddlers of disinformation about vaccines have taken steps to protect themselves from coronavirus. allow me to give you exhibit a. nearly every night, tucker carlson appears on fox news and distributes bogus information and science to hundreds of thousands of households across america. tucker carlson is the biggest antivaccine quack in america. but while tucker is quick to question the science between masks and vaccines, what he won't tell you, every day, he has to comply with a vaccine policy at fox news that establishes a requirement for vaccine. that's right. fox news requires every one of its employees to disclose their
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vaccination status. according to abc news, one of the 9 -- more than 90% of fox torque's employees have been vaccinated. the remaining 10% are required to get tested every single day. sound familiar, the fox policy? it's the same thing joe biden has asked for nationwide that many republicans come to the floor and scream about every day and then turn on fox news for their information. so while there is little ideological overlap between the heads of fox news and the officials in the biden administration, they both recognize one undeniable truth, vaccine mandates are the key to ending this pandemic. i thank president biden for showing the world that chicago's leading the way in putting the pandemic behind us. if we want to save lives, jump-start the economy, get kids back in school, all i can say is three words -- follow the science. stop villainizing public officials, and start encouraging every american to do their part in finally ending this pandemic.
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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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mr. schumer: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. schumer: mr. president, what is the pending business? oh, i ask unanimous consent the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: mr. president, what is the pending business? the presiding officer: morning business is closed. the clerk will report the
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pending business. the clerk: house message to accompany s. 1301, an act to provide for the publication by the secretary of health and human services a physical activity recommendations for americans. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent to withdraw the cloture motion with respect to the motion to concur. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i move to table the motion to refer. the presiding officer: without objection. the question is on the motion. all in favor say aye. all opposed say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to. mr. schumer: mr. president, i move to table the motion to concur with an amendment. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. all in favor say aye. all opposed say no. the ayes appear to have it.
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the ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to. mr. schumer: mr. president, i move to concur in the house amendment to s. 1301 with an amendment. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from new york, mr. schumer, moves to concur in the house amendment to s. 1301 with an amendment numbered 3847. mr. schumer: i send to the desk a cloture motion on the motion to concur with an amendment. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion. the clerk: cloture motion. we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the motion to concur in the house amendment to s. 1301, an act to provide for the publication by the secretary of health and human services of physical activity recommendations for americans, with amendment numbered 3847, signed by 17 senators as follows -- mr. schumer: i ask consent the reading of the names be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i send to the desk
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a cloture motion on the motion to concur. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion. the clerk: the senator from new york, mr. schumer, moves to concur in the house amendment to s. 1301.
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mr. schumer: mr. president, i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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mr. schumer: i move to vitiate the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report the cloture motion. we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22, do hereby bring to a close debate on cloture motion to concur on house amendment to s. 1301, an act to provide for the publication by the secretary of health and human services of physical activity recommendations for americans and for other purposes. signed by 17 senators as fo follows. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i ask for the yeas and nays on the amendment. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the yeas and nays are ordered. mr. schumer: i have an amendment at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from new york, mr. schumer, proposes an amendment numbered 3848 to amendment numbered 3847. mr. schumer: i move to refer the
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house message to accompany to s. 1401 with instructions to report back forthwith. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from norm, mr. schumer, -- to report back forthwith an amendment numbered 3849. the presiding officer: i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the yeas and nays are ordered. mr. schumer: i have an amendment to the instructions at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from new york, mr. schumer, proposeses an amendment 3850 to the amendment to refer to s. 1301. mr. schumer: i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the yeas and nays are ordered. mr. schumer: i have a second-degree amendment at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from new york, mr. schumer, proposeses amendment numbered
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3851 to amendment 3850. mr. schumer: i move to proceed to executive session to consider calendar number 259. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. all may never say aye. all opposed, say no. the ayes appear -- do appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the nomination. the clerk: nomination, the judiciary, argue -- of puerto rico -- mr. schumer: i send a cloture motion to the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: cloture motion, we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22, do hereby bring to a close debate on on the nomination of executive calendar
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number 259, gustavo a. gelpi, to be united states district judge for the first circuit signed by 17 senators as follows. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent that the reading the names be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent that the mandatory quorum calls for the -- for the mandatory quorum calls be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: the help committee, i move to discharge the help committee from the further consideration of katherine elizabeth lamond. the presiding officer: under the provisions of s. res. 27, there will now be up to four hours of debate on the motion equally divided between the two leaders or their designees with no motions, points of order or amendments in order.
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mr. schumer: i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the yeas and nays are ordered. mr. schumer: mr. president. i ask that the time during the quorum call be equally divided. the presiding officer: without objection, mr. leader. mr. schumer: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president. mr. barrasso: i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. barrasso: i come to oppose the democrats reckless spending spree bill. right now the democrats are pushing a big government socialist agenda. i mean, no question about it. they want additional permanent welfare programs. they want -- to me this bankrupt current program, like medicare, it takes -- it's very hard to think about this amount of spending without realizing the risk that it proves for social security and of course the
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democrats are proposing this big green new disaster. for all this spending, what do they want to do? well, they want to raise taxes by trillions and trillions of dollars, but it's still not enough to pay for all of the spending that they want to do. that's why democrats are now working and pushing this backdoor tax increase. democrats want to super size the least accountable and most powerful of the federal government and that is the internal revenue service. what we know about this agency, the i.r.s., they have proven tile and again they can't be trusted to secure data when we look at the leaks that come out of the i.r.s. they are looking for more data, private information, private business by american taxpayers. democrats are asking in this
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$3.5 trillion bill $80 billion of additional funding for the internal revenue service. they want to give the i.r.s. enough money and power to hire a full new army of bureaucrats. president biden's treasury secretary janet yellen has been very clear. she knows what she wants to do with some of the money. she wants to force banks to tell the i.r.s. every time anyone writes or deposits a check above a certain amount in their banking account, checking account and right now the number that she's talking about is $600. $600 for a check written or deposited. so every time someone pays the rent, deposits a paycheck, democrats want the i.r.s. to know about it. not enough to know that the government knows how much people make, they want to know how much
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they spend. it's big brother initiative to squeeze every last penny out of working families. why else would they want to go after every hardworking man and woman in america to find out this information. as americans find out about that, they are furious. they are smart enough to know when joe biden says we're only going to tax the billionaires, why are they looking into the banking accounts and the checking accounts and the deposits and withdrawals of people all across the country? it's because the tax man is coming for them as well when it comes to trying to pay for this massive tax and spending blowout. so as more and more people find out about it, the more it furious they become. i got a report again this morning, 448 more e-mails and letters into the senator from wyoming, my state. i have received more e-mails, calls, and letters from the
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people in wyoming on this one topic than any other topic from the time i have been in the united states senate. and everyone calling and writing about it has the same position. it's not like, well, half of the people are for it, half of the people are against it, everybody is against this. everyone that we heard from, the 448 i heard from everyone is against this proposal. thousands and thousands of e-mails. i talked to senator lummis, the other senator from wyoming, her inbox is completely full as well, all related to this topic. that's what i heard in the grocery store this past weekend at home in wyoming. this new scheme will be terrible and not just for the taxpayers. it's going to be a heavyweight around the neck of a community -- of commune banks and -- community banks and credit unions in wyoming. i talked to someone in the grocery store getting food for
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the weekend, it was the thing she wanted to talk about was the fact that she would have to hire three new employees with all of the regulations that would relate getting the information from their bank to the i.r.s. in addition, this would be quite an attack on our privacy. this big brother scheme would make community bankers and credit union associates into de facto i.r.s. agents and as this bank officer said to me, you know what, i will not work for the i.r.s., i work for my customers, my clients, the people of wyoming. the last thing i want to do is be somebody reporting into the i.r.s. this is what i'm hearing from bankers all around the state of wyoming. they don't want to be invading people's privacy. they don't want to become agents of the i.r.s. people in wyoming have a straightforward response to this administration and it is this, leave us alone.
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we don't need you looking over our shoulder, prying into our life and our activities and if democrats go forward with this big brother plan, the people all across this country will not stand for it. many people in wyoming will look for alternatives to traditional banks and credit unions because they don't want the i.r.s. and the government and big brother to know their personal activities. they want to protect their privacy. they may find other places to put their money. that's going to devastate local banks, local credit unions and people take their money out because they don't want government boring into their data and financial transactions. it's going to happen in every state. hard to believe the government would want to do that, but, yet, secretary yellen came to capitol hill and that is what she is doing, she is still defending
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this indefensible idea and i believe she's doing it because that's what joe biden, the president of the united states, is telling her to do as his treasury secretary. so she went on television tuesday, it is thursday, two days ago, said it is essentially no big deal, that's what the treasury secretary of the united states is that violating the privacy of private individuals is no big deal. last week senator lummis from wyoming questioned secretary yellen before the banking committee. secretary yellen, astonishly, doubled down. she said, quote, i think you misunderstand the proposal. she said the i.r.s. already has a wealth of information about individuals. well, madam secretary, we understand that really well. we know you have a wealth of information about individual
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taxpayers, you know how much they make, you know when they make it. that's enough. if you have all of this, you don't need more, but yet you are asking for more and you want $80 billion for more in an army of i.r.s. agents to be able to find it. that's the problem, the i.r.s. has so much information about us already. senator lummis did get secretary yellen to admit working families are not the ones skimping out on the taxes. why else do we have this army of i.r.s. agents looking into our taxes? secretary yellen didn't seem to care. she doubled down, still defending this massive invasion of privacy, and that's what it is. it's a huge invasion of privacy, and i can tell you if they want all this information so they can try to squeeze more money from people who the secretary even admits are not trying to cheat on their taxes. they're trying to find ways to take more money out of their pocketbooks, when they're
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already feeling the big bite of joe biden's inflation at the gas pump and at the grocery store. this big brother plan is reckless. it treats the american people like criminals. it turns the i.r.s. into the judge, the jury, and the lord high executioner. this scheme shows how desperate democrats are to get their hands on taxpayer money. why? so they can spend more. they are so desperate for more spending that they're willing to spy on the american people to try to get more money to spend. when i watch and listen to the democrats talk, there's a food fight going on, and the food fight is how much more can we tax and how much more can we spend. it's a food fight between the really big spenders and the extremely big spenders. democrats think that washington
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knows best. the people of wyoming know differently. we don't need washington looking over our shoulders. it's time for democrats to drop the entire plan, mind their own business, and stop demanding more money to spy on the american people. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. mr. cassidy: thank you, mr. president. today is -- the presiding officer: excuse me. we are in a quorum call. mr. cassidy: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: no objection. mr. cast der: today is october 7, 2021, and risk rating 2.0 has been in effect for six days. what is that? it's a new program that will increase premiums higher than sustainable for homeowners and therefore higher than is sustainable for the program. in louisiana, 80% of policyholders will see increases in the first year, and a time
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for -- at times for some premiums will become unaffordable and can collapse the value of their home. if you are also from a coastal state, this will absolutely affect everyone that lives in a coastal state. now, particularly in my state, in light of recent storms, it is important that we understand the sustainability of the national flood insurance program is key. congress never passed a bill requiring fema implement risk rating 2.0. president biden can stop it. he has chosen not to. we have asked that fema delay implementing this program or reconsider altogether. now, by the way, fema has been slow to share information with policyholders, and frankly misleading congress, hiding the true consequences of 2.0, not being up front with the cost in the out years. they said they would tell
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policyholders by august 1 of the increase of premiums by august 1, but they missed the deadline. it didn't come down to homeowners and insurers until middle september. some are still trying to figure out what this rating system will mean for their life. in 2019, my office reached out to the administration and we were able to successfully delay the implementation, saying that there needed to be further consideration. this time, however, the biden administration has chosen not to delay. now, let's just take a quote from a working family in lake charles, louisiana, who does noe in a flood zone. they currently pay $572 for a -- for flood insurance on a single family home that's worth approximately $250,000. the quote he received -- this is real life. this isn't theoretical. the quote that he received under risk rating 2.0 rated his
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premium to over $5,000. $572 to over $5,000. rate increases are capped at 18% annually, so it doesn't happen next year, but this is 18% compounded. kind of like a balloon on one of those little helium things. it starts off and it doesn't seem like it's inflating and all of a sudden it inflates rapidly like a balloon note on a mortgage. and so with progressive increases when it gets to $5,00e will have to choose do i continue my policy? now, he is not in a flood zone. if you think about actuarially, you want people who are not at high risk to spread the cost for everybody else. under this, the congressional budget office estimates that 20%
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of policyholders will drop their insurance. mr. cassidy: that has a risk of putting the national flood insurance program into an actuarial death spiral, where those at lower risk drop the insurance. the remaining is forced to go to a relatively smaller number of people, raising their risk even more and you gradually have a falloff of the number of people in the program. some policyholders are required to pay for the insurance by law but this puts them at an even worse situation. they will either have to put thousands of dollars up for their insurance or risk losing their home. i would ask president biden, who unquestion play is an empathetic man and empathetic to the working families of our country to consider delaying risk rating 2.0. there are a couple criticisms of the national flood insurance program in general which are unfounded. first, these are millionaires' vacation homes.
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why do we even have a program? this is factually not true. when c.b.o. looked at the samples of home values in the program, it ranged from $220,000 to $400,000. and i emergency the president from new jersey, president of the senate from new jersey can think of a middle-class family, a police officer and a teacher, who now live in a home worth $400,000. these are not millionaires or billionaires. in my home state of louisiana, these are middle-class and working families, folks trying to make ends meet. they are not folks, they are not folks on a vacation home. and here is an example of homes after recent hurricane ida that would need flood insurance. middle-class homes. by the way, you can see these homes are built a little bit on a berm. they have actually taken the effort to protect their homes from flooding, so the home
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itself is not flooded. just everything else around it. on the other end, i can promise you that there are older neighborhoods in which the water is above the door sill. now, looking specifically at risk rating 2.0, data shows who will see the rate hikes. it's bad news for louisiana where rates will increase for almost everybody. the second thing i want to emphasize -- the presiding officer: the gentlemen will please take their conversations off the floor. mr. cassidy: thank you, mr. president. the second criticism of the program, that is subsidizes people who suffer repetitive flood damage. this argument is mitigated, if you will, by offering mitigation. data shows that mitigation is good for the taxpayer. according to the national institute of building sciences, for every $1 spent in federal
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mitigation grants, it saves the program an average of $6. and the infrastructure investment in jobs act, there is $3.5 billion in flood mitigation assistance grants, grants going towards buying up properties that have experienced repetitive loss. shoring up a program by removing high-risk properties protects other properties. this is true in your state. it's true in my state. a wise investment to protect thl flood insurance program. so we can have a conversation, by the way, about a criticism that if mitigation opportunities are offered to homeowners and they decline them, what to do about that. on the other hand, when folks are offered mitigation, they almost always accept the opportunity for that. finally, some argue that private insurers will replace the national flood insurance program, but let's be honest. that will not occur. i support the expansion of
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private insurance covering flood properties. consumers should have options. but nothing else -- if nothing else, this highlights the need for a long-term fix to the program. in the past, i have proposed reforms to ensure that nfib is affordable and accessible to homeowners, accountable to taxpayers, and sustainable. i have worked on flood insurance programs with senator menendez and gillibrand. both of them coming from states affected by flooding, just as mine is as well. this makes it bipartisan, two different regions. it is not only about the gulf coast. it is about the atlantic coast, the pacific coast, and it is about our island properties. by the way, i have been speaking of louisiana, but risk rating 2.0 applies nationwide, impacts all those living on our coasts. once more, we should all, all of us representing states with coastlines ask the biden administration to halt risk rating 2.0. this congress, i will continue to work to reform nfip.
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in addition to the affordability, accessibility, accountability, and sustainability, there needs to be an emphasis on supporting prevention and mitigation efforts to prevent future floods. at the end of the day, flood insurance must be affordable for the homeowner, accessible, accountable to the taxpayer, and sustainable for the future. and with that, mr. president, i request that the following remarks be entered separately into the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cassidy: i would like to take a moment to honor a man in my state of louisiana who has dedicated nearly 80% of his life to preaching the gospel and serving others through his faith. pastor a.r. harris sr. was born december 16, 1932, in jonesboro, louisiana. he has preached the gospel of jesus christ since he was 7 years old and led god's people
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for over six decades. pastor harris is a veteran who served our country in the united states army during the korean war. he and his wife eva of 63 years have six wonderful children, four of whom followed their father's footsteps to preach the good word to spread the gospel. he and eva are being honored for their 46 years of service at their church, zion hill missionary baptist church number two. he is a man of god, family, and country. it is my privilege to stand here on the floor of the united states senate and recognize the faithful service of pastor a.r. harris sr. god bless him, his family, and god bless the united states of america. and with that, i yield the floor.
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a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. tuberville: thank you, mr. president. you know, it's no secret that i oppose president biden's tax proposal. i think it's bad policy that would undercut growth and derail american prosperity, but one of the worst parts of the president's plan is the provision requiring financial institutions to report their customers' transactions of $600 or greater to the i.r.s. that means any time an american pays a bill, makes a deposit, transfers funds, or makes a purchase of $600 or more, their bank, credit union, or financial institution would be forced to report that data to the i.r.s. opposition to this proposal is
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deep and bipartisan. i don't care if you're a republican, democrat, independent. no one wants the i.r.s. looking over their shoulder every time they make a financial transaction. the i.r.s. doesn't efficiently use the data it collects now. why in the world would we give them more information? if the i.r.s. has reason to believe you're not paying all that you owe in taxes, they have the ability to audit you. they don't need any more private financial data on any of us. the bulk data collection they are proposing will do nothing to close the so-called tax gap. all it does is violate the liberty of every freedom-loving american who values their financial property. the proposal would dramatically increase i.r.s. audits of working americans. the overwhelming majority of
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people the i.r.s. would look into as a result of this policy would not have done a single thing wrong, but when the i.r.s. starts snooping, it will cost you big money. that means hiring a high-priced attorney, an accountant who will bleed you dry. president biden claims his proposal would only impact the rich but middle-class families are the ones who will ultimately pay the price. additionally, the i.r.s. has a history of data security failures. just earlier this year, the confidential tax information of over a dozen well-known americans leaked from the agency and was published in the press. that was unacceptable and unlawful, but nothing was done to hold the i.r.s. accountable. but this is unfortunately nothing new. under president biden's watch when he was vice president, conservative groups and individuals were targeted for
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aggressive audits, and as recently as this year, a texas-based charity was denied tax-exempt status because the i.r.s. considered the charity too close to republicans and too close to christianity. folks, that is pitiful. providing the i.r.s. with massive amounts of financial data will only make it easier for them to target groups or individuals they disagree with. if anything we need to be reining in the i.r.s. and holding officials accountable for go after taxpayers for political reasons, the outcry from voters has been strong and swift. some of my democratic colleagues are feeling the heat from constituents and are starting to walk back the president's proposal. the american people have them on the run. now, democrats in congress are talking about only requiring transactions of $10,000 or more to be reported to the i.r.s.
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while fewer americans would be directly impacted by this threshold, we would still feel the broader negative effects. that being said, on tuesday of this week, treasury secretary janet yellen defended the biden plan and doubled down on the $600 billion proposal. every american will suffer that's because our community banks and credit unions will be overwhelmed -- i mean overwhelmed with a tidal wave of compliance data. they will not be able to afford to hire the staff they are going to need, forcing them to close their doors in a lot of rural and minority areas. in a lot of those living in rural areas across the country, these small banks and credit unions are a focal point for the
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community. they provide the money folks need to buy their first home or car, they fuel the economic development, provide good-paying jobs and pump resources back into these rural communities. if these community banks and credit unions close, it would cut off access capital to millions of americans and communities and they would suffer. livelihoods would be destroyed. that's why i, along with my colleague from florida, senator rick scott, have a bill prohibiting the i.r.s. from creating or administering a financial reporting regime that would require financial institutions or individuals to report data or financial transactions or account balances to the i.r.s. to be clear, my legislation does not touch the bank secrecy act or any of the regulations or even -- either implemented or issued under that act. my bill has been endorsed by the
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american bankers association, the independent community bankers of america, national association of federally insured credit unions, heritage action of america, the league southeastern credit unions and the alabama bankers association. these organizations and their members know that if president biden's proposal goes through, banking, as we know it, will end. mr. president, at this time i'd like to yield the floor to my distinguished colleague from florida, mr. scott. mr. scott: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. scott: i would like to thank senator tuberville for leading this important effort. this is as close to policy from communist china that we've seen in the united states. in regimes like communist china, we know the government has access to every part of a person's life. let me explain what the biden
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administration and democrats in washington are proposing. democrats want to open your bank account to federal agents. under joe biden's america, the federal government's authority would be vastly expanded so the i.r.s. can get a look at any account over $600. the madness doesn't stop there. the new rule from joe biden would require banks to report every transaction of $600 or more and does anyone honestly think the federal government will keep your private information safe? want to buy a bed? here comes the federal government. let's say you want to buy a new shotgun. let's say hunting season is coming up. how about paying for child care or mental health counseling. perhaps your selling off furniture and want to put your profit in a savings account. for every one of these transactions, the government will take a


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