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tv   U.S. Senate U.S. Senate  CSPAN  November 30, 2021 2:14pm-4:02pm EST

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a lot of the focus was on the middle east. i wanted to resurrect the rkinzinger in approach becausei think there's a lot that we can learn from it in era when geopolitics is returning and competition between simple powers is dominated the internationalis system again. >> i think you succeed in doing that. the irresponsibility that we had for 30 years and not having to think strategically because we were so dominant. whatever we did had an impact strategic impact and now we have to think about it again. figuring out how to manage the white house, the state department nexus which kinzinger was pretty unique on and one way he did it was for the first two years he was national security advisor and secretary of state which is how it only happened it is head as opposed to the
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institutions. >> we will leave this event to take you live to the u.s. senate part of our over 40 year commitment to bring you live coverage of congress. live gavel to gavel coverage on c-span2. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. a senator: madam president? the presidi i rise today with my friend and colleague from arkansas senator cotton to honor deputy sheriff frank ramirez, jr., deputy ramirez called batesville, arkansas home and was proud to help protect his community.
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sadly that service was required and this requirement was making the ultimate sacrifice when he died in the line of duty on thursday, november 18, in an early morning crash that occurred while he was responding to a call. mr. boozman: he leaves behind a wife and two children among many other loving family members as well as his brothers and his sisters in law enforcement who admired him deeply and felt honored to serve alongside him. frank ramirez, jr. graduated from batesville high school and was an officer with the batesville police officer before joining the independence county sheriff's department as a patrol deputy. he had a passion for serving and protecting and he followed through on that desire by becoming a law enforcement officer sworn to uphold the law and safeguard the vulnerable. those who knew him both in uniform and out consistently described him as a good man. even for someone so young,
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there's no better compliment to be paid than that. it's a testament to the way he lived his life doing the right thing, meeting his obligations, and showing genuine care and compassion for others. although his passing did not come at the hafnsdzs of -- hands of a suspect, it stings just the same. it should remind us of the uncertain fate that awaits every man and woman who wears a badge. these citizens servants are not guaranteed comfort or safety or the opportunity to see the next day when they clock in. but they choose to shoulder the risk, put on their uniform, and step out the door reporting for duty to protect and serve and do good in ways that are just as often unseen. while danger comes in different forms throughout a shift or career, it never -- it nevertheless lurks nearby. no aassignment is ever completely without hazards or without jeopardy.
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yet our police, sheriffs and troopers do the job anyway because they have been called to and because they understand the need is great, even if the odds are long or the numbers are too few. that's what sets deputy ramirez and his colleagues apart. they run toward danger and uncertainty when the rest of us flee. we must always remember and honor these fallen heroes and pray the character they embody carries on to new generations. but today we are here to reflect on the life and sacrifice of one, deputy frank ramirez, jr., a noble, brave public servant, a devoted husband and father, a protector of his community and as so many have already remembered, a good man. on behalf of all our -- arkansans, we're grateful for his dedication and sacrifice.
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our prayers are with his loved ones and the brothers and sisters in blue left to go on without him after his end of watch. the thin blue line is without one more courageous officer today, but deputy ramirez' legacy will help instill even greater pride and passion among his ranks because of the life he lived and gave for the benefit of so many others. may he rest in peace and may god comfort all who mourn him. i yield the floor. mr. cotton: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas. mr. cotton: i sadly join my colleague and friend, senator boozman, to honor the life and service of frank ramirez. every time that a police officer kisses his or her family goodbye before the shift every time they strap a side arm on or put on their badge, they know that it may be the last time they see their loved ones. these heroes accept that danger because their love of their families, neighborhoods, and
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communities is greater than any fear they may face on the job. our men and women in blue don't just talk about doing good. they actually do it each and every day. sadly far too many of them have had to make the ultimate sacrifice. in the course of their service. one such hero was arkansas sheriff's deputy frank ramirez. a week before thanksgiving deputy ramirez was working after midnight when a call went out there was an accident. he answered the call and quickly drove toward the scene. but it was raining hard that evening. roadways were slick. and as deputy ramirez rounded a left turn on highway 14, he lost control of his car, ran into a culvert, and was sadly killed in the resulting crash. this heartbreak pg tragedy -- heartbreaking tragedy has brought countless arkansans to their knees in pray.
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deputy ramirez was serving his community when he died. there are few causes more noble and we recognize the supreme sacrifice and promise to remember him. deputy ramirez was a husband of five years and a father of two young children, a son and a daughter. he is also survived by both his parents and several loving brothers and sisters. my prayers, senator boozman's prayers, and the prayers of all arkansans go out to his family. they, too, have paid an unbelievable price in the service of our state, our communities, and our safety. deputy ramirez was only 29 years old. he served in the batesville police department and the independence county sheriff's office was in law enforcement for nearly two and a half years. in that short time and at his young age, deputy ramirez sacrificed more for his communities than many police veterans who have been on the force for much longer. i join them in saluting his
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service and honoring his sacrifice. may god bless frank ramirez. may god bless his family. and may god bless all the brave men and women in law enforcement in arkansas and around our nation. i yield the floor.
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a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from missouri. a senator: madam president, lieutenant colonel john briar joined our office this past january. it is hard to overestimate in the months since just how much he has contributed. mr. hawley: time and again john has drawn on his rich background and experiences in the middle east, the pacific, and with some of the army's most elite units to inform our work on defense and national security. and more than that, he's consistently stepped up even when he didn't have to to help those in need from veterans and servicemembers at home in missouri to those affected by the bombing in kabul over the summer. for all of these reasons and more, it's been a real privilege to have john as a part of our team this year. we're going to miss him when he goes all too soon here but i am confident he will continue to
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serve our nation with the utmost distinction wherever his career takes him. i want to take this opportunity in light of all of that to request floor privileges for john as a small gesture of my gratitude for his service to my office, to missouri, and to our nation. so, madam president, i ask unanimous consent that lieutenant colonel meyer be granted floor privileges for the remainder of the congress. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hawley: i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. markey: thank you, mr. president. madam president -- the presiding officer: senator. we're in a quorum call. mr. markey: i ask unanimous consent that we vitiate the
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quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection, proceed. thank you. mr. markey: thank you, madam president. madam president, 60 years ago president dwight david eisenhower warned americans about the unwarranted influence of the military complex. he told us of the relentless interest that would use their lobbying muscle that would keep money flowing into the coffers of the pentagon. while our adversaries and competitors changed in the past self-decades, the military complex's revolving door is as well greased as ike warned our congress. today congress is set to vote on increasing the bloated budget the same year we ended the war, proof that it is alive and well
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and banking be on a pay raise all while americans struggle to afford groceries and gasoline. here's the simple truth about the defense budget we are debating this week. we plan to spend $768 billion to fuel the military industrial complex even in our moment of relative peace. yet, many in this chamber are relentlessly attacking the build back better despite this spending bill be four times its size in new spending. what we're hearing in this chamber this week are cold war echos, words that sound like talk of the bomber and the missile gap with the former soviet union that drove an arms race that brought us to the brink of annihilation, our top military general called china's
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most recent hypersonic test a sputnik moment? how can that be if we're set to spend more on defense than the next 11 countries combined, many of whom are u.s. allies and partners. there is no technological or military gap that we need to close. we have the strongest military in the world. our rivals, our adversaries are not ten feet tall. we are the country which is ten feet tall and they are looking up at us militarily and we should just understand this as people bad-mouth our military. it's not accurate. they are afraid of us. we are technologically superior
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to them, whoever they may be. but, wait. as if we weren't spending enough, congress has tossed in an additional $25 billion that was not even requested by the pentagon in this year's budget. you heard that right, an additional $25 billion. how many kids could go to pre-k for that? how many seniors could get dental or vision coverage, how many public housing units could we build with the money that has not even been requested by the pentagon? we should not accept the logic that says we can afford to build a $100 billion intercontinental ballistic missile that will never be used but we cannot afford to pay for family leave.
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universal prekindergarten but counting the money -- that is insane, that is immoral. we should not have to fight tooth and nail to meet our commitment to replenish the green climate fund to help save the planet while being told to accept the need for weapons systems that could lead to global annihilation. it's time we stop thinking of national security solely in terms of our inventory of bombers and missiles and submarines, trillions in defense spending did nothing to spare americans from the greatest security threat in generations, covid-19. we have to stop pretending that there are military solutions to the national security challenges that we face. the defense of family needs right now is protection from eviction, hunger, electricity
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shut off, and pollution. being strong on defense means learning critical lessons from the two-decade long war in afghanistan and being strong on defense means that we do not shy away from telling the military industrial complex and its army of lobbyists that we do not need to outspend our adversaries into oblivion. and nowhere has the gold-plaitd defense -- plated defense industry been harder at work than gilding the $1.5 trillion we are projected to spend through 2046 on jub grading our -- on upgrading our nuclear enterprise. i'll say it again, $1.5 trillion on more nuclear weapons. if there's one thing this country and this world does not need, that's more nuclear
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weapons. we know that fear and distrust of adversaries' intentions empower voices, bureaucracy to sell new capabilities that spur the other side to justify weapon systems of their own. but we must avoid a rerun of a cold war where there are thousands of missiles pointed at washington, moscow, and beijing once again casting a terrible shadow over humanity. that is why i introduced amendments to the ndaa that would trim $75 billion off the nuclear weapons enterprise, commit to robust diplomacy with russia and china and prevent the president, any president, democrat or republican, from firing the first shot -- the first nuclear weapon in a nuclear war. the united states should never be first to launch a nuclear
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weapon against another country -- ever. that should just be our policy. we will not be the first to use nuclear weapons when we have not been attacked with nuclear weapons. that's immoral. that's wrong. it must be the policy of our country that we will not do that. it is true what ronald reagan said, that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. and, surely, we should agree to shelve donald trump's new sea-based war-fighting nuclear weapons. we can play russian roulette with our future or we can adopt a saner nuclear policy, one that says we do not need the rubble to bounce over and over and over again to deter our adversaries and reassure our allies. one, through the president's
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nuclear posture review that rejects the military industrial complex efforts that makes the world safe for nuclear weapons rather than from nuclear weapons. in 2020, the amount of money that one of the five biggest defense contractors received from the pentagon, $75 billion, was nearly double the entire development and diplomacy account at the state department in the u.s. agency for development. as president biden noted in glasgow at the international climate summit earlier this month, we have an obligation to help the developing world leapfrog the fossil fuel economy to reach a green economy, lower and middle-income countries seek to develop and seek a higher standard of living. but we know they can't use the dirty fuels that powered our growth if we hope to keep global
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warming at 1.5-degrees celsius. my climate amendment will help those countries least to blame for the climate crisis to adapt to the impacts that they are overwhelmingly and disproportionately experiencing. the first of its kind national intelligence estimate released in october, warned us intensity of wildfires, the force of hurricane winds and droughts are a preview of extreme weather events to come. and the pentagon's own defense system warns us of the impact if we fail to answer the national security challenge of our generation. governments who fail to meet the needs of their people risk collapse. driven by the climate crisis, millions will flood across
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borders as stateless climate refugees. that will lead to destabilization of countries that will need to national security crisis in country after country as a result of the climate crisis. we have to just deal with the reality that the co2 is still red, white, and blue that is up there. we are the leader historically and the rest of the world wants us to be the leader historically right now in dealing with that crisis. my climate amendment says that we can avoid that grim future. we can redirect a mere 1% from the pentagon top line towards global climate accounts to fight the climate crisis. we can come to grips with the fact that the greatest factor we face is not a foreign army, navy, or air force, it is the transnational threats of the climate crisis, of pandemics and
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of nuclear weapons. we are not in a new cold war. we are in a war for our common survival. yesterday in an act of political gamesmanship, senate republicans joined me to vote against moving forward with this abominable $768 billion defense bill. well, i wish we could stop here and assess the waste of three-quarters of a trillion dollars spent on defense, this was a ploy to add more pork on to this already fatty legislation. now, i urge my colleagues to support senator sanders and my amendment to return the defense budget to the level requested by the president, a level of spending which is greater than we spent during the korean war, the vietnam war and at the height of the cold war. additionally, i urge my colleagues to support my amendment cosponsored by
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senators warren and padilla and booker and sanders to make a 1% defense cut to increase our support for global climate accounts. if we do not adopt these changes, i cannot support that budget. it is time we stopped funding the military industrial complex, whose profit is based in conflict and annihilation. that is not an investment in our future. it is an invitation to destruction. the bottom line is we're either going to live together or we're going to die together. we're either going to know each other or we're going to exterminate each other. this is a period where we should be talking to our rivals, we should be negotiating with our rivals, we should be trying to reduce the nuclear arsenals. we should be trying to reduce
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the tension, reduce the paranoia, reduce the threat that by accident we could actually fight a nuclear war. that is what we should be debating here, and not just putting all of the additional, new weapon systems that have been up and on the blueprints of the defense industry for a generation into this budget. that takes us in the wrong direction, towards less safety, more risk. the correct vote here is to deal with the reality that we have too many nuclear weapons already, and we haven't sufficiently yet dealt with the threat, which the climate crisis is going to pose as a national security risk to our country and the rest of the planet. madam president, with that i yield back to the chair.
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a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from maze? mr. markey: madam president, i have five committees requesting to meet during the session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. the presiding officer: dual noted. mr. markey: thank you, madam president.
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mr. lee: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. lee: madam president, our nation exists today in a time of
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relative peace with limited and manageable active hostilities threatening u.s. national security. on the horizon, the united states faces a militarily ambitious and formidable but not yet insurmountable opponent in china and in its quest for regional dominance in the pacific. yet in the face of this new age of great power competition, u.s. grand strategy continues to operate with outdated goals and across all regions of the globe lacking prioritization and desperately needing scale. after the botched withdrawal from afghanistan and the corresponding diplomatic, military, and humanitarian disaster, one would think the instinct would be to jettison decades of military industrial group think.
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one would think the american people and certainly our men and women in uniform deserve a thorough, exhaustive review of what's working and the huge swaths of what's failing in our military and defense strategy, infrastructure, and planning. one would think that congress would reclaim powers assigned to it by the constitution to make serious reforms to protect the security and prosperity of the united states. one would think we would reform our procurement process and trim the bloated, perversely incentivized military industrial complex. one would think we would prioritize resources toward the largest and most imminently looming threats to national security. one would think we would burdenshare with our allies, where our security interests align. one would think we here in the united states senate would take specific steps to make sure that failures like the withdrawal
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from afghanistan don't happen again, whether in the middle east or in any other emerging theater of conflict. unfortunately, madam president, this year's national defense authorization act fails to put the interests of u.s. citizens first. this is not the introspective or retrospective bill that the american people should be able to expect and largely continues the failed policyies of many decades past. the american people and the brave men and women of our military deserve better. we are, thank heavens, in a time of peace with limited activity hostilities. and despite that, we remain intimately entangled in the affairs of too many nations abroad. our troops and equipment scatter
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every region of the globe. we spend billions of dollars supporting, supplying, and training allies who, in many cases, contribute little to their own self-defense, let alone ours. we face an ambitious opponent in china, as it seeks military dominance in the indo-pacific region. there's no question that while xi schenck pink remains in power, they will not shy away from bold requests for regional hegemony. but we should not presume unrestrained, offensive intervention. rather, targeted and scaled deterrence should frame the mission set across all u.s. forces postured in the region. further, the u.s. should accordingly rescale resources in the war zones of yesteryear
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through appropriately prioritized, protecting the u.s. homeland and u.s. military personnel from tomorrow's threats. congress is responsible for raising and supporting armies, of making war, and of ratifying treaties. this bill neglects those responsibilities. regarding afghanistan, the ndaa includes funding and new authorities for the nonexistent afghan security forces along with reimbursements to coalition partners for supporting u.s. operations and a sense of the senate on future u.s. counterterrorism posture, post withdrawal, with little eye toward reforming overbroad authorizations for the use of military force. perpetuating funding and authority is as much bad foreign policy as it is bad fiscal
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responsibility. we must do better. the american people expect and deserve for us to do better. additionally, this ndaa fundamentally changes the purpose and the scope of the military draft. the new purpose is greatly expanded to ensure, quote, a requisite number of personnel with the necessary capabilities to meet the diverse mobilization needs of the department of defense during a national emergency, close quote. instead of being a seldom-used tool only for the most extreme cases of compelling national defense, the draft could be morphed into service. the mannedtory registration of women for the draft.
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look, all are immensely grateful for the incredible contribution women make to our armed forces. but that participation should never be forced. this bill paves that dangerous road without due consideration given to its impact on young families and single parents. further, the policy provides no guarantee that women would not be sent directly to the front lines of combat alongside and simultaneously with ablebodied men. while i'm opposed to you will a of the ndaa's changes -- to all of the ndaa's changes to the draft, at the very least this body should consider a reasonable amendment, a few reasonable amendments on this front end, including one of mine that would prevent the scenario of mothers and fathers being conscripted simultaneously, leaving their children stranded
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without either parent. it also provides a similar exemption for single parents. i hope this body will consider and pass this amendment in the near future. i also hope that the body will make that unnecessary by, first, passing an amendment striking that provision altogether. we don't need to be expanding the draft and we shouldn't be making the draft applicable to women. this bill further reduces our military end strength by over 7,000 servicemembers. troublingly, the biggest cuts come from the marine corps and the air force and in the face of an aggressive china, the navy also faces reduction in active forces when it arguably should be the first contender for an increase in end strength, not of cut. as we pivot toward the indo-pacific, our naval and our
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air support -- air superiority are both vital. we need them. our withdrawal from the middle east should reduce the level of active duty army personnel deployed overseas. and yet the army faceed a less than one percent reduction in that specific category. this bill places us on a dangerous footing regarding future mutual defense commitments. this bill would provide a vague mere authorization for the use of military force. the question of war deserves here, as always, its own debate by congress rather than a haphazard statement of policy that may be abused by the executive branch in order to bring us into a new conflict, into a new conflict without the
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people's duly elected representatives, whose job it is to decide whether we go to war, to make that decision under the light of day and with full debate that the american people can witness. like ndaa's of old, this bill appropriates more funds to procurement than anywhere else, with no reforms to the bureaucratic barriers that make procurement so costly and so inefficient. finally, this ndaa does not sufficiently bolster our defensive position in this hemisphere. the goals outlined by this bill are vague and equate to an abdication of congress' responsibility to give the defense department instructions for a strategic approach to the western meemies sphere. it provides -- hemisphere. it provides blank check authority for the department of defense to support activities
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including institution building to counter-corruption and to serve humanitarian infrastructure needs. this attempt at nation i would abouting is misguided -- this attempt at nation building is misguided and will not help us in our efforts to deter china. thankfully, there are a few positives in this bill for u.s. national defense and for the security of the people of utah. this bill continues to support the development of fifth-generation air power capabilities in the f-35 program continuing a critical investment in our air defense, something that's also becoming even more important. this bill also fully funds the modernization of our ground-based nuclear deterrent protecting the u.s. homeland for generations to come. this important work will largely be done by the people of utah and our dedicated servicemembers at hill air force base. the house version of the ndaa also includes my military spouse
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licensing relief act. it's important to note here, madam president, that one in four military spouses currently face unemployment or are actively seeking work, margely because of -- largely because of frequent moves due to their spouse's military orders which keep them moving from place to place on a pretty routine basis. this provision in the house version of the bill would also allow spouses of our military servicemembers to work in their chosen profession wherever military orders may take them in the united states without having to navigate the complicated requirements of state occupational licensing. now, in my state, the state of utah, led the way with this commonsense type of reform that makes life and achieving
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prosperity easier for those families who serve our nation. it should become law. we need it. our military families need it. our military and the american people generally would be much better off with it. we could have done more. this national defense authorization act could be a pivot point where we reexamine our defensive stance in the world and reclaim our constitutional arrangement here at home. this ndaa could have been a turning point in which we in congress reasserted our authority over war-making powers. my national security powers act that i've introduced with senator murphy and senator sanders would clarify and update and modernize the war powers resolution. the bill would also restore congressional authority over arms exports. it would additionally require
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congressional approval of emergency declarations and prevent the president from misusing emergency powers. the national security powers act would rein in presidential abusings of the war power and make our nation safer and more aligned with the constitution. it's bipartisan. it's exactly the type of reform that belongs in the ndaa. we must also make reforms to our emergency war spending. though president biden, thankfully, didn't request and congress didn't provide the o.c.o. slush fund in this bill, there's much that needs to be done to restore congress' power of the purse in the defense environment specifically. the cost of war project estimates that post-9/11 war spending totals $8 trillion, from 2001 to 2022. of the $8 trillion, o.c.o. and
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interest on o.c.o. funds accounts for $3.3 trillion. that's real money, and a lot of it. by restraining emergency war spending -- my restraining emergency war spending act would require the department of defense and congress to limit spending set aside for emergencies to the purpose for which it was authorized. we also need to return accountability or defense alliances by requiring wealthy and capable nations to contribute their fair share of their defense. in the nato alliance alone, only 11 of the 13 nato member countries meet the 2% defense spending requirement. this means that 63% of the alliance shown here in red
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consists of countries that don't foot their share of the bill. they're not holding up their end of the agreement. so my allied burden sharing act would let us know just how much or how little our allies are contributing. this report used to be published annually. it should be still. this ndaa would have been an ideal venue in which to legislate the return of that report. we also must use these legislative opportunities to prepare the department of defense for future defense focus based on the technology, the reforms, and the regions of the future. our defensive position regarding china and in the indo-pacific should focus on deterrence. spreading our forces and our
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expensive equipment to the ports and the shores of allies in the region is ineffective and could prove more of a vulnerability than an advantage against chinese strike capabilities. a deterrent posture would combine defensive strategy and operations to fend off possible attacks from a position of strength and limit risk to u.s. personnel and assets. further, we must prioritize recruitment and retention for the future fight. we need to provide a suitable and welcoming environment for those in uniform and for their families. we need to end the president's sweeping vaccine mandate and give our servicemembers the respect they deserve. after a disastrous withdrawal from afghanistan and the end of our nation's longest

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