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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  December 8, 2021 6:00pm-9:20pm EST

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been incurred. so, my colleague from south carolina has asked for consent. i think it would be a mistake for this country. it would be a mistake particularly for our country's senior citizens. and i've devoted so much time to them and for that reason, mr. president, i object. the presiding officer: the objection is heard. mr. graham: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from south carolina. mr. graham: so why does this matter? it matters a lot about how the senate works. every member of this body has the ability to come down to the floor and object to a piece of legislation. that makes the senate different than the house. what we've done here is allowed the house to change the senate rules in a fashion where if you can get ten republicans, all of us are dealt out. so that is not a good idea one
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time, ten times or a hundred times by either party. because what it does, it changes the rules of the senate in a fashion that i feel very uncomfortable with simply because the house has been able to change the rules of the senate so that all of us have been basically marginalized. and there will be some republicans, my friends, do what you need to do. i understand. i don't want to default on the debt either. but this is a bad idea. it is not what we promised what we would do. it sets in motion playing the medicare card in a dangerous fashion and it sure as hell sets in fashion playing with the rules of the senate in a fashion i never even thought of until 24 hours ago. i want to make this hard, not easy, because i think what we're doing is going to really change the structure of the senate and certainly going to do a lot of damage to the republican party. thank you.
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a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. hagerty: on september 9 president biden announced his administration through osha would issue as vaccine mandate covering nearly 80 million privately employed people. this mandate makes medical decisions for much of the american people with the stroke of a pen. and it immediately struck me as a severe federal overreach. therefore, the next day i wrote to secretary of labor to confirm that he would submit this mandate to congress for review
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under the congressional review act. nbltions letter, i -- in that letter i noted that americans' elected representatives should review an order that threatens the livelihoods of many of their constituents. i'm pleased to join senator braun and a majority of my senate colleagues in supporting this resolution to disapprove president biden's vaccine mandate the. regarding the mandate itself, i want to first say that i support the vaccine which is a product of president trump's operation warp speed. i visited my doctor and i made the personal choice to take the vaccine. i've spoken to many tennesseans and urged them to do the same. but the decision to take the vaccine is a personal one. it's a decision that each american should be allowed to make in consultation with his or her doctor. not under federal threat of job loss and financial penalty. this mandate improperly puts the federal government between americans and their doctors.
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between americans and their jobs. tens of millions of essential workers were asked to risk their health for the good of the country during the pandemic. they courageously responded to this call. many of them, many of them contracted the virus, and yet now we're telling these heroes from front line health care workers to the employers that made sure we had access to groceries and essential goods that they'll be fired unless they comply with the vaccine mandate. they deserve better. not only is this vaccine mandate wrong, but it was improperly -- it was promptly declared unlawful by the u.s. court of appeals. other biden administration vaccine mandates are meeting similar fates in the courts. yet, the biden administration refuses to relent or to reevaluate the damage that it's doing. sadly, the biden administration's use of federal government power to control american people's lives is not limited to vaccine mandates.
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it's a basic element of their strategy to remake america. don't believe me. just look at the democrats' so-called build back better proposal. the biden administration is marketing this legislation to transform america by using a cartoon depicting a mom and her son, and the government programs on which they would depend under this plan from the very beginning of their lives to the very end. that's the definition of cradle to grave big-government dependency. and that's the stated goal of the democrats' legislation. this legislation federalized preschool and child care which will crowd out community- and faith-based providers and put the federal government in charge of what your children are taught during their most formative years. if this was about children, then parents would be allowed to choose the preschool or child care provider that's best for their children.
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but instead it's about control. so the government would ultimately decide which preschools and which child care providers would survive. the build back better legislation increases by ten times the penalties on private employers for violating the vaccine mandate. now a willful violation can result in a $700,000 fine and must result in a minimum fine of $500,000. in other words, small businesses that fail to comply will face financial ruin. and when it comes to employment, if you're one of the millions of americans who work in the oil and gas industry, the build back better plan delivers $550 billion worth of crushing green new deal mandates and tax increases. it replaces these good-paying jobs with $8 billion for the civilian climate corps, a taxpayer-funded climate police. once your job is gone or your business is closed, the build
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back better proposal offers government welfare programs with no work requirements. this attacks the dignity of work and right of self-determination that underscores what it means to be american. again, more government control. and by providing $80 billion in increased i.r.s. funding, a staggering six times the current i.r.s. budget, the biden administration is planning to wring an extra $400 billion out of the american people to pay for all of this big government. with everyone from small business owners to grandparents now facing regular audits and i.r.s. spying on their bank accounts, the government will have much greater control over how americans earn and how they spend their money. in sharp contrast, republicans want to put americans, not the federal government, in control of their lives. we want to strengthen the american dream so that americans can free themselves from government dependency. we oppose big-government socialism that imposes greater
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federal control over americans' lives. in the coming weeks members of this body will be asked a very simple question. whether on the vaccine mandate of the build back better legislation do you believe the federal government should have more control over american lives. their answers are crucial for the future of our country. is cradle-to-grave government dependency something to help americans avoid or is it something to strive for? should personal health care decisions be made by americans or by government agencies? do parents know what's best for their children or should bureaucrats and teachers unions decide? are you willing to eliminate good-paying energy jobs? should the i.r.s. have more power to spy on the american people? over the next weeks all of us must decide what kind of country we'll have. my hope is that we'll preserve and strengthen the american dream by empowering americans to
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determine their own futures, to climb the ladder of success, and to free themselves from government dependency. not treat them with a lack of dignity that suggests the very best they can hope for is a life managed by the federal government. the first opportunity to provide an answer is the upcoming vote on this resolution, disapproving president biden's vaccine mandate. i've been pleased to work with senator braun to bring this resolution to the floor, and i urge all of my colleagues to support its adoption. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. lee: mr. president, congress, not the executive, makes the laws in this country. national laws have to be passed by the legislative branch. our constitution makes that very clear. in fact, it's the very first
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clause of the first section of the first article of the constitution that states unambiguously all legislative powers herein vested shall be granted in the congress of the united states which shall consist of a senate and the house of representatives. you cannot make a federal law without going through that formula. passage in the house, passage in the senate followed by presentment to the president. in the case of the covid-19 vaccine requirements the president increased mandates, mandates that threaten the jobs and livelihoods of 45 million americans, including over half million utahans whose jobs are on the line. courts across the country have started quite correctly to recognize that these mandates are offensive to the constitution, but they're not authorized by the law. but that doesn't diminish in any way, shape, or form our duty here as members of the united
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states senate, as part of the legislative branch to assert clearly, unambiguously and swiftly that these mandates are unconstitutional, illegal and morally indefensible. i heard from hundreds of utahans who are at risk of losing their jobs and therefore their ability to provide food for their children. specifically due to these mandates. their stories are nothing short of heartbreaking. i've heard from countless businesses in my state, businesses that are afraid of losing key workers, and having to shut their doors and no longer operate specifically due to these mandates. i've heard from people who happen to have medical or religious concerns about the vaccines, and their pleas are falling on deaf ears. these americans aren't asking for anything extravagant or unusual or unreasonable.
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far from it. these are americans who are simply worried about their ability to put food on the table and gifts under the tree during challenging economic times, economic times that are difficult enough as it now stands, economic times that have been worsened by excessive government spending, economic times that are about to get a whole lot more difficult for a whole lot more people, specifically because of these mandates. president biden seeks to make them not only unemployed, mr. president, but also unemployable, second-class pariahs. it's true, the courts have offered temporary relief to some, but these americans and these businesses look to congress for immediate, lasting, and permanent relief. we do, after all, make the
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law. we're the only branch of the federal government authorized to do so. so, mr. president, this will be one of the easiest votes that i've ever cast in my 11 years in the senate. the american people agree. only 14% of those polled support firing those who are unvaccinated. 14% of all americans. somebody who doesn't get the vaccine ought to be fired as a result of not getting the vaccine. even some democratic politicians are starting to change tune. they're souring on the mandates. americans understand that conditioning employment on personal medical decisions is callous, it's cruel, and it is immoral. it's certainly not something that these people want to face. it's not something that democrats or republicans want. it's not something they agree with. it's not something they're going to tolerate.
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the economic impact of firing a half million utahans would be disastrous. and when you replicate the effects of doing that on state after state, state after state where we see, according to many data sets, anywhere from a quarter to a third of the workforce in most states is being threatened by these. in some states it's higher. it's more like 40% in places like west virginia. 37% in alabama. 31% in utah. in the health care sector alone, we're keeping doctors and nurses and technicians at work has been particularly difficult, the nation risks losing countless thousands of key professionals. while the need for their very services remains most dire.
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this isn't acceptable. it's not something we want to see. it's not something we should have to face. when you add all of this up, the cumulative effect across different industries and in different states across the nation would be catastrophic. as we face supply chain troubles, inflation, rising gas prices, be a labor shortage, and so, so much more. the very last thing our economy needs is to have tens of millions of americans unemployed. i'm -- i'm very, very much against these mandates. i am for the vaccines. i've been vaccinated. my family has been vaccinated. i've encouraged everyone ever where to get vaccinated. but when someone chooses not to
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be vaccinated for whatever reason, whether it's a medical reason or religious reason, a reason related to personal belief or due to a specific concern about a specific reaction they've had to something else, it's still their decision. it still doesn't warrant the -- the overpowering hand of the federal government coming be in and threatening to face -- to force their employers to fire them under the threat of crippling penalties, penalties that any employer, no matter how big, wealthy, or lucrative would find incapaciating. i've come to the senate floor now 20 times to speak specifically against president biden's vaccine mandates. i've offered more than a dozen bills to reduce their harm on millions of americans and hundreds of thousands of utah
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utahans, today i urge my colleagues to use the congressional review act. there is no clearer example in the history of the congressional review act of such an egregious overstep by the executive. there's no more blatant abuse of user-patient authority that was ever granted. the congressional review act always us to strike down this mandate and ensures that president biden or any other president can institute a similar rule. i encourage my colleagues to think of the 300,000 west virginians and tens of millions elsewhere across the nation, 45 million livelihoods are at stake, workers and families in each of our states. these americans demand that we
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take action. today we have that choice. i implore each and every one of my colleagues to stand with the american people, the american worker, the american family by supporting this resolution. thank you. mrs. fischer: mr. president. the presiding officer: . the senator from nebraska. mrs. fischer: thank you, mr. president. i rise this evening to discuss president biden's divisive and unprecedented mandate on private businesses. i would like to make one thing clear at the start. i've encouraged nebraskans to consider getting vaccinated since the day these vaccines were approved and i hope more americans will join me in choosing to get one. but that is their choice.
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through osha, the administration has issued a, quote, emergency rule, to require roughly 84 million employees of private companies to get vaccinated or be subject to weekly testing. if a business owner fails to enforce this rule for their employees, they could be find tens of thousands of dollars per violation. the biden administration is on entirely new ground here. there is simply no precedent for this kind of intrusion into americans' private lives. courts agree. the fifth circuit blocked the osha mandate almost immediately citing, quote, grave statutory and constitutional issues, end quote. we, in congress, have the power to push back too. in october, i joined nine of my
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senate colleagues in sending a letter to president biden outlining our concerns about this abuse of federal power. and under the congressional review act, the house and senate can vote to overturn executive agency actions like this osha mandate. and i hope the senate will do that when we vote on this later today. all 50 senate republicans signed on this to challenge. if our resolution passes both chambers, and it looks like it may do that on a bipartisan basis, president biden will have to decide if he wants to keep defending this deeply unpopular policy. the administration's decision to force private employees to get vaccinated is not just
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unprecedented. it is also counterproductive. it would apply to nearly 300,000 workers in my state of nebraska alone, more than 28% of our entire workforce. businesses across nebraska, from grocery chains to irrigation companies and family farms, have reached out to me about the damage this mandate will do to their companies. they come from very different industries but their message is the same. we support the vaccines. we have taken this pandemic seriously, but if the president goes through with this mandate, we could lose many of our employees. at a time when millions of jobs need to be filled and we are seeing massive supply chain issues, americans simply cannot
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afford this kind of federal overreach. we need to stop this mandate in its traction here in -- tracks here in congress because this could be the first step on the road to even stricter rules. let's just look at new york city. they recently announced one vaccine requirement that will affect private employees and another that will affect children as young as 5 years old. bill de blasio's departing gift to new yorkers is this, get one shot by december 22, or you're going to lose your job. and starting later this month, kindergarteners are going to have to show vaccine cards to get into restaurants, movie
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theaters, and other public places. i do not want to see policies like this even come close to being enacted at the federal level, but i wouldn't put it past this president to try. the senate must pass this resolution and prevent these kinds of mandates from being issued again in the future. thank you.
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brawn brawn mr. president. the presiding officer: -- mr. braun: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from indiana. mr. braun: i come here this evening, when i was back home on recess breaks, every since this idea of a vaccine mandate, meaning we've got a modern miracle having vaccines available like they've been, part of the long journey against covid, along with they area putinics -- therapeutics now. they are miracles, but getting vaccinated should be a decision between an individual in his or her -- and his or her doctor. it shouldn't be up to any politician, especially in a mandate coming down from that highest authority, our president. and he ought to be consistent with what he said in the past.
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he said he wouldn't make it mandatory. he didn't keep his word. overreach. i've been here a little under three years, and i see it in so many arenas, a lot with good intention. we try to solve things here. i think the american public sometimes scratches its collective head to say where are the results? why does it cost so much? but in this case you've got to also take into consideration our constitution, our personal freedoms. it's at stake today. the federal government has no authority to make anyone choose between getting a vaccine and keeping their job. today, this body will stand up against this overreach. main street. main street's where i come from. when you have to explain to
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people constantly when they're scared by actions like this, can this possibly happen, will the government go through with it, will it somehow fall apart? well, when you have bad ideas, that eventually happens, and it's going to start here this evening. we've seen it in the courts. it's been repeated earlier here this evening, how unpopular it is were -- with the american public. we did everything we could to keep individuals with their employers. we spent billions, trillions of dollars doing so. the threshold for a small business then when we were helping was 500 employees. now we've lowered it to 100. it's got people frightened across the country. small businesses face enough hardships. most are finally getting some type of equilibrium with
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everything that's happened over the last year and a half, and now they have to contend with this. as mentioned earlier, any businesses could get fined up to $14,000 per employee. that's more than we were lending them money in some small businesses over the recent past. a lot of stuff just does not make sense. listen to the number of organizations, ones that all play into telling us how they like to keep free enterprise going, keeping the private sector healthy. national federation of independent business, nfib. national retail federation. national restaurant association. association of wholesale distributors. american trucking association. associated builders and contractors. associated general contractors.
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american pipeline contractors. national lumber and building material dealers. distribution contractors. these are all business -- i've got another ten i can mention -- that come from main street america. it's not the tier of largest corporations. these are the businesses in our own home towns. they are crying out do not follow through with this lunacy. when you dig a hole and you keep making it deeper, despite everything you're hearing, that's a bad business plan. and you can always get out of it by just quit digging. and you're hearing it loud and clear. we must focus on returning to the prosperity we achieved pre-covid. one thing that will stop this recovery cold is the federal government getting in the way,
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as it's doing now. his mandates are under fire in the courts. main street job creators are complaining against it. and tonight, the u.s. senate must send a clear message, back off on this bad idea. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. inhofe: i come to the floor today to join my republican colleagues in opposing president biden's vaccine mandates. last december, president-elect joe biden told the american people he would not issue a vaccine mandate. just a year ago, as president-elect, joe biden said, quote, i don't think they should be mandatory. he said, i wouldn't demand it to be mandatory. last october, as a president dential candidate, joe biden
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said you can't say everyone has to do it. and then this summer his press secretary said it's not a role for the federal government, she said it's not a role the federal government even has the power to make. not a role even the federal government has the power to make. in july, the director of the centers for disease control said, quote, there will be no nationwide vaccine mandate. and then in early september, with this nation in shock and reeling because of the disastrous collapse in afghanistan, suddenly and unexpectedly and completely opposite of everything this administration has promised, the biden administration broke the law and in doing so violated the rights of the american people by calling for this vaccine mandate.
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joe biden issued a nationwide mandate. and in doing so, he's taken a sledgehammer to the american workforce and the american economy. because of the president's irresponsible policies, we now have the worst labor shortage in american history, and we have broken new records for unfilled jobs. as a result, we also have the worst supply chain prices in 40 years. don't have enough goods on shelves. we don't have enough workers to fill the shelves. the president must have known that many wouldn't comply with his mandate. he must have known people would be forced out of their jobs as a result of the mandate. didn't seem to care. he imposed the mandate anyway. now people are losing their jobs, shelves are empty and prices continue to rise. inflation's the number one concern of the american people. now, i'm a doctor. i'm vaccinated.
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so is my entire family. i am pro-vaccine and anti-mandate. vaccines work. nationwide mandates don't work. courts have already ruled that the president's mandates are illegal. yesterday, a federal judge in georgia blocked the mandate on federal contractors. not only are these mandates illegal, they are ineffective. joe biden's mandates have only hardened people against the vaccine. they've increased resistance to getting vaccinated, because president biden has politicized the vaccines and all the mandates have accomplished making people lose their jobs. in the joe biden world his mantra seems to be vaccinate or terminate. what we ought to be doing instead is giving people information. let them work with their doctors to make the right decision for them and their families.
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that's what i've been doing for decades in wyoming as a doctor. we don't need mandates. we don't need public health officials who can give americans reliable information saying they have to enforce and apply a mandate. they're there to give the information. and then the vaccine if the person chooses to have it. biden administration spent 10 months flip-flopping on this issue. president biden ran from his basement during the campaign, saying he was the answer to covid. he's not. hasn't been. he sent one mixed message after another, and then he has issued a nationwide mandate. it's been inconsistent, ineffective, incompetent. when president biden issued his mandate, he said we've been patient with the unvaccinated. he said, but our patience is running thin. well, i'll tell you, mr. president, the american people have been patient. it's the patience of the
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american people now with you, president biden, that is wearing thin. thank you, mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: i ask unanimous consent that senator lankford be recognized for five minutes, senator murphy six minutes, and i last for 12 minutes prior to the scheduled vote. the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. lankford: it's hard to recognize the system fact that this is the united states of america, home of the free, land of the brave. then why is it such a difficult conversation with so many people in my state when they ask this
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question -- are we still free as a nation? why are we having this conversation? are we still free as a nation? of course we are. we're having this conversation because september 9 the president of the united states announced he was losing patience with the american people and he was going to put a new demand on every single office in america, every workplace, that anyone who had 100 or more people in their company, every single person in that company had to be vaccinated because the president was losing patience with them. he said it's for health risks. covid-19 is serious. i've been vaccinated. everyone in my family's been vaccinated. i'm exceptionally grateful for the vaccine. but to be able to reach into companies with this one simple statement, if you don't follow my instructions, so the president says, you will be
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fired. that every person in the country now doesn't work for their employer, they now work for the president of the united states. may i remind us, we are the united states of america. home of the free, land of the brave, that we are a people that make our own decisions and live in a free nation. what's interesting is this, there's all this conversation about everyone needs to be vaccinated or we're not going to ever get to herd immunity, we'll never get to herd immunity, we'll never put down covid-19. how many times have we heard that statement over the last year and a half, we've got to get to herd immunity? i don't know if anyone's looked lately at the c.d. c-webb site, but it will -- website, it will list out how many -- percentage-wise, how many people have been vaccinated or currently have natural immunity in their system. if you go to their website and
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see it, the number they have for 16 years old and up is 92% of america. 92%. 92% of americans either have natural immunity, antibodies in their system, or they've received the vaccine and have that set of antibodies in their system. may i remind us again, how long have we been talking about herd immunity? i understand covid is a tenacious disease. i take it seriously, because like every single person in this room i've lost family members and friends that have died to covid. but we do not have the right as americans to assign to the president of the united states that that president can actually go to any company he chooses and pick and choose the companies and say this company, everyone has to be vaccinated, that company they don't. if you have 95 people, it's no big deal. if you have 100 people, they're toxic. if you're fedex and ups, you
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need to all be vaccinated, but if you're the united states postal service, you don't have to be vaccinated. that kind of picking and choosing that the president has done around our economy. that is not the role of the united states president. now, for all of us that take this disease seriously, and for all of us that have been vaccinated and stand up frequently and talk about the importance of vaccines, we also believe that we're americans and that we're free people. so what was the mandates that are down now? well, there was a private sector mandate for every company of 100 or more. there was a federal contractor mandate, that if you have a company that works for the federal government, regardless of your size for any federal contracting, that you have to also have every person vaccinated. federal employees all have to being vaccinated. members of the military, reaches into national guard, for the first time ever they violated the law saying they're going to literally cut the pay for members of the national guard
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not vaccinated, though the law clearly states they cannot reach into a state national guard and literally pick and choose individuals they want to pay and don't pay. they've already dropped that out there, saying they're going to do that as well. they've reached out to members of the healthcare community and told them if you have medicare or medicaid then you have to be vaccinated of what's been the response? the american people have responded loud and clear that they believe we live in the land of the free. and while millions and millions have been vaccinated, they all turn around and say it was also my choice to be able to do that. companies in my state are literally requiring employees to sign two forms, one saying that they will get vaccinated and the second form saying if you have a negative reaction to the vaccine, you won't sue our company. what in the world? that's not who we are.
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so what's happened in just the last couple of weeks? well, the courts have finally gotten involved. first off, the courts have done a nationwide stay on the private sector mandate. that's what we're talking about tonight, putting a nail in the coffin with a vote in the united states senate to say no. we will not allow this. there's been a nationwide stay put in for those individuals that are in medicare and medicaid and health care workers. there's been a nationwide stay now for federal contractors, for universities, for individuals around the country that have any connection with the federal government. the courts have already stepped in and said the president doesn't have the authority to do this. and this vote tonight is whether this body agrees that the president should have unilateral power to declare whatever he wants for any private-sector business in the country or if the president doesn't have that authority to do that. that's all this vote is. this vote is not about vaccines
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this is a very simple vote. do the people in this body believe that the president of the united states has the authority to declare any employee and any company of 100 or more to do what he wants? i say no, because we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, and it's time for us to go on record on if we belive that or not. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. murphy: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, it's not often that you get the business roundtable, which is an organization representing some of the biggest private-sector companies in the world, the largest labor unions in the
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country, and the american public all on the same page on a policy, but that's what's happening with respect to the president's requirement that big employers in this country either test their employees regularly for covid or get vaccinated in order to spread -- stop the spread of this insidious disease. this is a very popular proposal, and it's popular for a simple reason. people are exhausted with having their lives fundamentally changed, turned upside down by a pandemic that we have the power to stop. we have the power to stop it because of researchers and scientists who discovered a vaccine that is wildly more effective than the vaccines that have been invented to attack other diseases. 90% effective, if not more, against covid. if everybody got vaccinated in
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this country, we could all take off our masks. if everybody was vaccinated in this country, we wouldn't have to be passing emergency relief bills to keep the economy afloat. if everybody got vaccinated we could open up all of our restaurants. that's what americans want. that's why this policy is so popular. and i understand what my friend from oklahoma is saying, that they're not arguing over the efficacy of the vaccine. they're just arguing over the constitutional powers of the presidency. but come on, come on, we understand the power of our words in this place. republicans know that when they come down to the floor and attack the vaccine mandate day after day after day, they know they are giving fuel to the fire of the antivaccine campaign. they know that they have become an extension of those that are trying to convince americans that the vaccine has a microchip
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in it, that the vaccine kills you. it is just strange credibility for my republican colleagues to suggest that there's no connection between the anti-vaccination campaign in this country and those that are every single day on the floor of the senate talking about how dangerous it is to require that people in this country get the vaccine. there is a connection, and the growing movement of people in this country who think that the vaccine is some conspiracy to hurt people, this movement to try to end the vaccine campaign by the president is wind underneath their wings. but let's talk about what this policy really is because it's actually not a mandate for vaccinations. it's a testing mandate. right, that's what it is. what it says is that everybody in these big employers has to get tested once a week. and if you don't want to get
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tested, then your employees can get vaccinated. let's be clear, this is a testing requirement, not a vaccination requirement. and that testing requirement is totally consistent with the history of osha. in fact, osha is in the business of mandating testing. osha mandates blood testing for industries with high exposures to lead. osha mandates hearing tests for industries with high noise level exposure. osha mandates testing for exposure to silica in industries that are working in and around silica. osha requires testing all the time. that's what they're doing here, yes, on a bigger scale and with the ability to avoid the testing if you get vaccinated. but that's what this requirement is really all about. and it's working.
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it's working. the number is going from 50% to 96% in a company like tyson foods after the vaccine requirement. lastly, mr. president, let me say this -- this general lack of seriousness from our republican colleagues about a playing that has killed 700,000 americans, it's just stunning to me. it's just stunning. these aren't bee, stings, these aren't knee scrapes. this is a pandemic that has taken the lives of 700,000 of our mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers prematurely. hundreds of thousands who should be sitting at the christmas table, who should be at hanukkah celebrations with their families this month and they are gone. 700,000 americans have disappeared. but apparently the inconvenience of a weekly test is so odious and so revolting that it's worth another 700,000 people dying, because that's what we're
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talking about -- a weekly test. the osha rule does not mandate the vaccine. it's a way out of the weekly test. a weekly test that is a little swab swirled around your nostril five or six times for 30 seconds. that's the requirement, that's the cost, the sky-high constitution violating unpatriotic cause that republicans have been down here railing for a month. estimates suggest that that requirement could save thousands of lives, but apparently the cost of a nose tickle is too great a cost to pay to save thousands and thousands of americans from dying from a preventable pandemic. i urge my colleagues to oppose this effort. i yield the floor. mrs. murray: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: i thank my colleague from connecticut, and i rise today as well to urge my colleagues to vote against this
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dangerous resolution which would pull the rug out from under our covid response efforts at a really critical moment. we are fighting an unprecedented pandemic, and we all know just how painful this fight has been. everyone remembers the way it upended our economy as small businesses shuttered, workers got sent home, the way it upended our health care system as emergency rooms filled and supplies dwindled and health care professionals started working really long hours in dangerous conditions, the way it upended our lives when schools and child care providers were forced to close to keep people safe. we all know people who have been twucted by this will deadly -- infected by this deadly virus, we know people who are fighting the effects of long covid which we are still trying to work to understand. and we all know people who have been killed by this virus. we have lost family members,
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mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, grandparents. we've all lost dear friends. we've lost beloved community members and frontline workers who keep our communities functioning. we've lost teachers and principals, doctors, nurses, police officers, firefighters. we've lost time with each other that we cannot get back. this virus left no american and no part of america alone. covid has now killed over 785,000 people in this country. more americans than any war we have ever fought. and despite what republicans seem to believe, given the fact we are voting on a resolution to undermine a cornerstone policy of our pandemic response, and despite the hard-fought and very real progress we have made, this crisis is not over. we are still averaging over
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100,000 new cases a day. we still have over 50,000 people hospitalized with covid. we are still right now seeing on average well over 1,000 deaths a day. , overwhelmingly among people who are not vaccinated. and we are still on high alert for new variants. we saw with delta how a new, more dangerous, more contagious variant of covid-19 could set back all the progress we fought so hard to make. and we are at this very moment learning more about omicron variant and what sort of threat it might pose. so how on earth does it make sense right now to undercut one of the strongest tools that we have to get people vaccinated and stop this virus. in what world is that a good idea? mr. president, we all know the damage this virus does to our communities. we should be doing everything we
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can to stop it. we should be using every tool to protect our country, our economy, and our families. and we know vaccines are one of the best tools we have to do that. it's been almost a year now since the first vaccine was authorized. after months of hoping -- remember that -- that news meant we finally had a safe, effective vaccine to protect people from this virus. and we have made a lot of progress since then when it comes to making the most of vaccines and getting them to people across the country. vaccines are now authorized, as we know, for everyone ages 5 and up. booster shots are now available to make sure people continue to stay protected amid concerns over these new variants. and around 60% of all eligible people in our nation are fully vaccinated. but we still have a ways to go to vaccinate our country and to vaccinate the world if we are going to end this pandemic.
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that should be our number-one priority. but this resolution that our friends across the aisle are offering tonight would move us in the opposite direction. it will take away one of the strongest means we have to encourage people to get vaccinated, save lives, end this pandemic, and keep our economy recovery on track. immunization requirements in this country are not new. they go back as far in our history as general george washington, who required his troops to get vaccinated against small pox. they have been critical to the fight for diseases like polio and me measles and mumps and rubella, just to name a few. the reason we no longer have to worry about diseases like small pox and polio in this country is because vaccines work. nor are workplace safety
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standards a new thing. the occupational safety and health administration has a long track record of setting and enforcing safety standards that prevent people from getting sick or injured on the job. osha not only has the authority to protect workers with safety standards, it's been doing this for 50 years. the law that established osha even gave it authority to respond to emergencies by issuing an emergency temporary standard, or e.t.s., when there is a grave danger to workers. and it makes all the sense in the world for them to use that power to protect workers from covid. because the painful reality is that covid-19 has killed a lot of workers. we have lost hundreds of meat-packing workers and grocery store workers to this virus. we lost over 3,600 health care workers to covid in one year and
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over 10,000 agricultural workers have been killed by covid. this is exactly the kind of threat osha should be protecting people against. it is exactly the kind of grave danger congress gave osha the authority to issue and e.t.s. to respond to. and osha has rightfully used that authority to put forward an emergency temporary standard on covid-19 that is simple, it is flexible, and it is lifesaving. republicans seem to not be hearing this part, so i want to be especially clear about it. this requires employers, with 100 or more employees to make sure workers either, either get vaccinated or get a covid test once a week before they go into the workplace. either vaccinated or tested once a week. it also provides, by the way, paid time for workers to get
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vaccinated, removing a key barrier to vaccination. it is a strong tool for getting our nation vaccinated. and despite how my republican colleagues talk about it, letting employers have the flexibility to offer a testing option means they don't have to ask workers to leave their job if they choose not to get vaccinated. mr. president, this step for getting people vaccinated or tested is popular with the american people. a poll taken shortly after president biden announced this step, shows that six in ten americans to have employees vaccinated regularly and seven in ten supported having people have paid time off to get vaccinated. that should be no surprise. no one wants to go to work worried that they may come home to their family with a deadly virus, worried they might get
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their own kids sick, which getting vaccinated could get our country back to work. we know that people want to work where they feel safe. economists predict that this could lead to millions of americans returning back to the workforce. let's get something straight. the big threat to our workforce and to our economy is the virus. it is the virus that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and shuttered businesses, it is not the safety standard that will keep -- it is supported by businesses across the country, many businesses have already implemented policies like the standard republicans are trying to overturn, and you know what has happened time after time? united airlines, 99% of its 67,000 person workforce has complied overwhelmingly by
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getting vaccinated. tyson food went from having less than of its workers vaccinated to over 96%. m.g.m. resorts has 96% of its employees have been vaccinated, wal-mart a, majority of employees have been vaccinated, another big manufacturer anowbsed a higher vaccinate rate. we are seeing over 90% of workers comply with this requirement, some through testing and the overwhelming majority thru vaccination. -- through vaccination. the big picture is this rule which republicans keep attacking is saving lives. osha estimates it will help protect 84 million workers and prevent thousands of deaths and over 250,000 hospitalizations from covid-19. yet, here we are, republicans
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are trying to scrap it entirely jawnd mine the process and putting americans' lives and livelihoods in danger. this has wrecked our economy, it shut down our schools and businesses, it forced people to postpone weddings and graduations and funerals, it devastated our nation's mental health. it killed over three-quarter of a million people. it's not over. we've come a long way. this pandemic sent unemployment as high as 14.8%. today it is back down to 10.2%. schools have reopened and brought students back to classrooms, businesses are hiring, people are getting vaccinated, getting back to work and plans put off by the pandemic and getting back to seeing their friends and families. they do not want to go backwards. the american people do not want to go backwards and that is
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exactly where the republicans' misinformation on commonsense policies like this will take us, backwards. we know the path forward to finally end this involves getting everyone vaccinated. we should all be working towards that goal, not against it. families are counting on us to lead our nation through this crisis, not back into it. after all we have lost and all the hard work we've done to rebuild, we must not throw our economy be and our communities and americans' lives into jeopardy by sabotaging our pandemic response. when you're fighting a fire, you don't stop in the middle of it and turn off the water. that's exactly what this resolution will do. it takes away one of the most important tools we have given osha, to protect workers in the middle of a pandemic when we need it most and jeopardize all of the hard work americans have
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done to get us out of this. so i am here tonight to urge my colleagues to vote no, no to more lost lives, no to a longer pandemic, and to join me in defending a commonsense tool that will help put this incredibly difficult chapter of american life behind us. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the question is on the nomination. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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vote: vote:
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vote: had
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the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. the yeas are 58, the nays are
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41. the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the motion to reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table and the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action. under the previous order, the senate will resume legislative session. all time on s.j. res. is expired. the clerk will read the title of the joint resolution for the third time. the clerk: s.j. res. 29, providing for congressional disapproval and so forth. the presiding officer: the question is on the passage of the joint resolution. is there a sufficient second? there is a sufficient second. the clerk will call the roll.
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vote:
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the presiding officer: have all senators voted? does any senator wish to change his or her vote? if not, the yeas are 52, the
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nays are 48. the joint resolution is passed. a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senior senator from kansas. mr. moran: madam president, thank you. i ask unanimous consent that the senate be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. moran: madam president, thank you. i'm here tonight to take a moment to recognize the contributions of a member of my staff, air force major grace miller who has spent the last year working in my personal office as part of the united states air force congressional fellowship program. before grace departs my office at the start of the new year, i want to express my appreciation. i am expressing my appreciation to major miller for all of her
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tremendously beneficial, her hard work and dedication to the service of our nation. grace's 15 years of service in the united states air force developed her leadership capabilities and demonstrates her commitment to serving others. these assets and attributes have made her an invaluable asset to our team as we work to served kansans, servicemembers, and veterans. before joining my office, grace's assignments have taken her around the world in service to our current. she earned her commission from the university of st. tomorrows. -- saint thomas. she served in organ -- in aircrafti enduring freedom. major miller's commitment to service also extends to teaching. she taught english at the united states air force academy earning the academic rank of assistant professor and serving as executive officer to the dean of the faculty. grace joined our team in january
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of this year and she since then has fully embraced kansas, its people, and the challenges they face day in and day out. grace's personal interactions with kansans and kansas veterans in particular have helped drive meaningful policy in a time when our past and present servicemembers have needed it the most. she has spearheaded the senate passage of six triple eight congressional gold medal act of 2021 which recognizes the 688th central postal directory battalion the only all african american, all-female battalion to be deployed overseas during world war ii. the six triple eight sorted millions of pieces of backlog mail so troops serving on the front lines could hear from their families and loved ones from home. their efforts boosted morale and directly contributed to our servicemembers' fighting spirit, particularly toward the end of the war. grace has been a tireless advocate for these women, and i
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commend her dedication. the bill currently awaits passage in the house. furthermore, throughout the chaotic and disastrous withdrawal from afghanistan, grace was an indispensable resource for veterans and afghan refugees. she continues to assist innocent afghans seeking refuge from the taliban's tyrannical hold on the country. i want to highlight her efforts in this regard. she was tireless, was here morning, noon, night, always with the goal of trying to make sure those who should be on a plane out of afghanistan were able to do so. and it was an emotional issue and a trying issue, and something that she never conceded the belief that she couldn't make a difference. man, she made a difference in so many people's lives. it gives me the chills to tell the story of her dedication to this cause, and i'm so grateful, many can -- many
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kansans are grateful, many americans are grateful that she cared so much. i'm sad that she'll be leaving our office at the end of the month but i know she will serve the air force well as she transfers to the air force liaison office in the house of representatives. it was a real pleasure having grace in our office and i hold her in the highest regard personally and professionally. she is a significant asset to our nation and united states air force. she represents the best of what the air force has to offer and i know she will continue to benefit the future of our nation. i hope that her experience in our office is something that lends itself toward her further professional advancement within the air force and an understanding of our democratic process. there's no group of people i hold in higher regard than those who serve our nation, and i want to reiterate my gratitude to grace for her service and dedication. once again, thank you, grace, for all you have done for kansans and for americans and the year that you spent in our
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office. you have been a model of selfless service and leadership. i know that you will continue to do great things throughout your air force career, in your life of service, wherever that path may lead. grace, thank you so much.
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mr. sullivan: madam president. the presiding officer: the junior senator from alaska. mr. sullivan: thank you, madam president. madam president, today i wanted to rise on the senate floor and talk about a topic of utmost importance to my state, the great people that i have the privilege of representing, and what the biden administration is doing to good, hardworking
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american families in alaska. it's what i call the anti-alaska agenda or the biden administration's war on working families. and, madam president, i know that americans all across the country have felt pain, economic pain, health pain, unfortunately too many deaths as a result of the pandemic. right now we're seeing high energy prices, empty shelves. there's been a lot of suffering in america. we're a resilient people, however. my state, like many, have been hit very hard by the pandemic, particularly economically. our energy sector, our fishing sector, our tourism sector. and as we are coming out of this pandemic, and everybody trying to work together, we all want growth and opportunity in america, we have now been hit with this -- with this. this administration has issued
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in its first nine months in office 20 executive orders or executive actions solely focused on alaska. i came down on the floor two weeks ago to talk about this. it was 19 then. you wait a week or two with the biden administration in alaska and it's up to 20. i'm sure they have a lot more ready to go. 20. there's no state in america that is getting this kind of attention from the biden administration, and we don't want it. madam president, what i'm going to being continuing to ask my senate colleagues to do, and i'm going to start with the president of the united states, who was a u.s. senator for many years, put yourself in the shoes of the people i represent. let's imagine a republican
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administration comes into office and focuses 20 executive actions focused on delaware. the senators from delaware, including the former senator, now president, would be down on the floor of the u.s. senate raising heck because they want to stick up for the people they represent. remember these executive orders and actions are not some kind of simple abstractions, they go to the heart of what alaska indians do in terms of our -- alaskans do in terms of our economy, food, work, keeping lights on in their home, paying the mortgage, keeping their kids in college, keeping their cultures thriving, keeping our communities
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crumbling, particularly in rural alaska. some of the poorest communities in america is where this administration is targeting the people i represent. very few people in my state, democrat, republican, native, nonnative support this war against alaska. this is not a partisan issue back home, and here's why. because real people, real families, real communities are being hurt, your fellow americans. madam president, it's got to stop. i've demanded a meeting with the president and his team to just walk him through this. mr. president, do you know what you're doing to one of your states that you're sworn to defend? these orders threaten the
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well-being of my entire state, but they particularly threaten the people who live in rural alaska, who are dependent on the land and natural resources for so much of their economy, so much of their tax base, and here's the thing. i know what some of my colleagues or those of you watching, it's just the resource development issues in alaska. well, i'll talk about some of that. it's some of that. but it's not just resource development issues that are happening here. let me give you one that really burns me up. we had a bipartisan bill last year, last congress, to provide what you would now call racial justice, racial equity to alaska vietnam veterans who served when most americans were avoiding service and missed out because they were joseph seas fighting for their nation the opportunity to apply for a land allotment.
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there was a deadline that happened. a complete injustice. native americans coming home, not treated well because they are native, not treated well because they are veterans and told, by the way, the land you won't get, it was an injustice, the previous administration signed it, they were implementing it, and when this administration came into office, the one issue i asked secretary holland to commit to was getting these land allotments out because these native american veterans aren't living that long. the administration delayed it for two years. why? it has nothing to do with oil and gas or mining. why? these vietnam vets, many, are not going to live for two more years. they did it anyway.
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that's one of the 20. let me give another one, -- give you another one, madam president. we had the issue of the tongass, the largest forest, every official, senate republican or democrat has pressed for the exemption to the roadless rule so we could have an economy there, roads for southeast communities. every elected goanch or u.s. -- governor or u.s. senator, it didn't matter what party. we were able to get it in the last administration. this administration comes in, they reverse it, one of the 20. guess how we, the alaska delegation found out about that reversal. front page story in "the washington post." secretary of agriculture wanted to brief "the washington post" and all the extreme
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environmental groups who wanted this before they let the people of alaska or their representatives know. so these are the examples and, yes, the list also includes resource development projects, but here's the thing on that, madam president. i have a folder full of letters. these are letters from the elected leaders, tribal leaders, burrow leaders -- bur roe leaders, native leaders in my state, dozens of letters, native village of kaktovik, that's a tribe, city of utiovic, city of atusok, the community of the arctic slope, another tribe, the voice of the arctic. these are all alaska native
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leaders who live on the north slope. some of them live in the arctic national wildlife area. every single one of these great leaders in my state, every one, was writing, even begging this administration not to do this -- not to do this, and they ignored them. they ignored them. this is a letter from edward rexford, he's the president of the native village, he wrote to secretary deb haaland after she suspended oil and gas leases in anwr, which we passed. what the secretary did, in my view, was clearly illegal. edward wrote, quote, you have changed our future with one stroke of a pen without any explanation or consultation with us, the tribe that actually lives in the coastal plain, he wrote. his village, kaktovik is the
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only village in the coastal area of anwr. that's it. there's no group of americans who should have a greater voice in the area of development than them. but they didn't even get a phone call, not a phone call, not consultation, tribal consultation, which is required by law. none of it. that's all part of the 20 executive orders and actions that i said hurting people, hurting communities, hurting families, hurting naif cultures -- native cultures. i'll tell you this, the biden administration loves to talk about how they are committed to environmental justice and racial equity, but it's with a caveat. here's the reality. they want to help unserved minority populations around the country, and i think this is a
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good goal, but it comes with a caveat. unless, of course, they are indigenous people of alaska, then the biden administration targets them. look at this folder. these are communities of color in my state and all they do is get targeted. not helped. targeted. their economic opportunity and then the things that most americans take for granted that don't exist in these communities, clennics, -- clinics, flush toilets, gymnasiums, all of that comes with economic opportunity and when you shut it down, you're really hurting indigenous people and some of the most impoverished communities in the country. but i guess they seem okay with that. i want all of my senate
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colleagues to do just a quick thought experiment. imagine what it would be like, whether you're a democrat or republican, but just think about it, a democrat, a republican administration comes in, or you're a republican, and a democratic administration comes in and changes the future of your state, quote, with the stroke of a pen. as edward rexford said. for the people you represent. imagine administration coming in with 20 executive orders in eight months. shutting down your economy as you're trying to get out of a pandemic. every senator here would be mad. every senator here would be mad. and the one thing i very much enjoy about serving in this body is we're a cleej collegial body. we have our differences, but i certainly have friends on both sides of the aisle. i try to work with everybody. i try to be respectful with everybody. the presiding officer and i have
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chaired committees together, worked together on a lot of things. and here's the thing, if a republican administration came in to power and targeted one of my colleague's states with 20 executive orders in eight months, and whoever it was came to me and said hey, dan, you know this is unfair. my constituents are really being attacked, really being hurt. could you reach out to the republican administration and say, hey, come on. tone it down. jeez louise. 20 executive orders, one state? i would help. and i think almost every senator here would help. that's what we do here. and i want to say to some of my democratic colleagues here, when i've talked about this, when i've told them about this, when i've spoken about this, a number of them have come to me and said, hey, dan, give me the list. give me the list of 20.
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maybe i can't help you on all of them. maybe there are some i actually like. but i do want to try and help. that's what's happened. that's what makes this body a good place. and to those senators, i really want to thank you. and i am going to ask for your help, because i do it -- i'd do it for you. and this is unacceptable. tens of thousands of people i represent are being hurt by the federal government, by the president and his white house. so i appreciate that from my colleagues. and this is in general how this body works. it makes this a special place. but i will say this, not all senators have been so gracious and senatorial and collegial. to the contrary, a few of my colleagues are helping lead the charge in the war on alaska working families. they seem to be putting a ton of
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effort into it themselves. i'm not sure why, but they spent a lot of their time and energy focused on doing this, shutting down the alaska economy, hurting working families, and ridiculously and absurdly acting as if they speak for the very people i am privileged to represent. as if they don't have enough to do in terms of helping their own constituents. so i'm going to make an example and give an example of one, the leader of this small group is the senior senator from new mexico. here's a sampling, three letters in the last year and a half he has written. signed or led, focusing on shutting down alaska's economy and hurting the great people i have the privilege of representing.
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two of these letters deal with the 1002 area of the arctic national wildlife refuge. controversial, no doubt. in 2017 we voted to provide the opportunity for development in that small area, what we call the 1002 area. the president signed it, came into law. now, i know most of my colleagues on the democratic side didn't agree with that. we have ledgesz lation we don't -- legislation we don't agree with. i accept that. i'm still very good friends with so many. but afterwards, the senior senator from new mexico led letters to all the top banks in america and all the top insurance and financial institutions in america and didn't just say don't invest in anwar, he said, quote, don't invest in any oil and gas development project in the arctic. what is that? the arctic of america. that's my state.
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so, now you have, as opposed to cleejality, a small group led by this senator, writing the biggest banks in america, the biggest financial institutions in america, trying to muscle them, saying don't invest anything in alaska. madam president, that's not what this body's all about. i would never do that to a colleague. i would never write all the banks of america and say don't invest in poor communities, native communities in new mexico or the new oil and gas industry. i wouldn't do that. who does that? well, unfortunately, a few, not many, a few senators are doing that. absurdly, this senator had the audacity in one of his letters to try to speak for the people i represent. he put in the letter, quote, the
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people dependent on the arctic refuge don't want you to invest there. that is patently absurd. just read the letters from all the people who actually live there. all the people who live there. who overwhelmingly want opportunities for oil and gas development and for jobs and economic opportunities. you'd think about all of new mexico's problems this senator would focus on his own constituents. so i reached out to him and the few others who wrote these letters. i reached out. i wrote my own letter to them, saying, hey, i was disappointed to see you do that. why didn't you come talk to me? i wouldn't do that to you. and by the way, what you're cog doing is really going to hurt my constituents. this is a letter i wrote to this senator and a few others. i'd appreciate the courtesy of
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talking about this before you go do it. you clearly don't understand the indigenous communities that i represent. i even provided a "wall street journal" op-ed from the mayor of the "north slope borough" who had a lot to say to the banks who weren't going to invest in his community. but i got no response. to the contrary. just a few months ago, this same senator led a letter to the secretary of interior, deb haaland asking her to shut down a very important energy development in alaska, called the willow project. this is that letter. just about four months ago. let me talk about the willow project. the willow project is not in a controversial area. it's in the national petroleum reserve of alaska, set aside by congress decades ago for oil and
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gas development. every native group in alaska supports this project. all the unions do. 2,000 direct jobs, billions in revenues for some of the poorest communities in america. the lowest emissions of any major oil-and-gas development project in america. this is a huge win-win-win for everybody. not even controversial. and yet, the senior senator from new mexico wrote deb haaland saying shut down the willow project in alaska. why is he doing this? literally trying to kill thousands of alaskan jobs and impoverish alaska native communities. do the people in new mexico know their senior senator spends so much time trying to give alaska oil-and-gas workers pink slips and impoverish nate itch communities? i wonder.
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i wonder. madam president, i thought for just a moment maybe i should do something against new mexico. but then i'm like no, you know what, that's not my style. i wouldn't want to hurt new mexico oil-and-gas workers or native communities. they're all great americans, i'm sure. we're a great country. i wouldn't want to target them the way this senator's targeting my state, trying to hurt thousands of alaskan working families. and it should be emfa sized, and i want to emphasize, that's not how we work here. that's not what i've seen in my almost seven years in the u.s. senate, senators trying to attack other senators' states, specifically focusing on hurting working families. the vast majority of the senators i know wouldn't do that at all. that's not how business is conducted here in the united states senate. to the contrary. most of us, generally, try to
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help each other. we don't always agree, that's for sure. but particularly when states have unique challenges that could hurt their citizens, when my colleagues have come to me, hey, dan, can you help out on this, i usually try to help. but i certainly don't go on offense to try to hurt. like this administration's doing and the senior senator from new mexico. but i thought the better course to fight back, because i'm going to fight back, okay? i'm going to fight back. these are my constituents who are hurting. the better course to fight back against these attacks on alaskan working families was not to try to hurt new mexicans, but just show this, madam president, the rank hypocrisy of what the senior senator is actually doing and saying. one of his main reasons in this latest letter to shut down
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alaska and trying to deny federal permits for the willow oil and gas project is to, quote, achieve climate goals. okay. that's in his letter to deb haaland. but if you do just a little digging, this senator seems fine with trying to achieve these goals on the backs of alaskan workers and alaskan natives, but not on his own constituents. not on the backs of his own constituents. to the contrary. guess which state in america has gotten way more federal oil and gas drilling permits than any other state in the country. guess which one. certainly not alaska. happens to be new mexico. just so happens to be new mexico. guess where the secretary of interior's from. new mexico. hmm. is that a coincidence?
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i wonder in their frequent phone calls, when they talk about concerns of climate and shutting down oil and gas in alaska, if shutting down oil and gas in new mexico ever comes up. pretty sure it doesn't. how do i know that? because close to half of all oil-and-gas drilling permits issued by the dcht -- department of interior, by new mexican deb haaland, in 2021, have gone to one state. what state is that? new mexico. 2,286 federal oil-and-gas drilling permits. almost half. of all the permits in the country, to one state. so here's the bottom line, here's their view -- shut down alaska, hurt working families in alaska, supposedly to help america's climate goals, but
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then quietly say drill, baby, drill, in new mexico, with more permits by far than any other state in the country. almost 2,300. if that's not rank hypocrisy, i don't know what is. so i'm going to start asking questions, madam president, about this, and by the way, so should the press. i sure hope our friends in the press think that, hmm, there's something a little strange going on here. clearly there's hypocrisy happening. that happens here occasionally. maybe more than occasionally. is there anything else going on? i hope the press in new mexico ask their senior senator why are you so darn focused on hurting the good people of alaska? because i wouldn't do that. to new mexican oil and gas workers, or new mexican native communities. and finally, madam president, i'm going to ask questions in
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another area. the biden administration is clearly trying to shut down my state. it's there for everybody to see. everybody back home knows it. but here's the thing -- they can't do it illegally, and they can't do it unethically, and right now there is strong evidence that they're doing just that. what do i mean? today, i sent this letter. i'd like to submit it for the record. to the inspector general of the department of interior. and here's what i'm asking in this letter -- there's very strong evidence that at least four senior political appointees at the department of interior, who have been involved in many of these 20 executive orders and executive actions shutting down my state were actually in their
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previous jobs working on the very same issues and advocating for the very same outcome. meaning they're & working with a special interest group to say shut down the willow project, and then when it came to interior, they're working on whether or not to shut down the willow project. now as most of us know, if that's true, that is clearly illegal and clearly unethical. we have documented in this letter four senior department interior officials, all of whom are trying to shut down my state, and i think there is strong evidence that they're violating ethics laws and violating the law. so i've asked for a detailed investigation by the department of interior inspector general into whether or not these
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individuals have violated federal ethics laws in their quest to hurt working families in my state. so, madam president, let me conclude with this. i am a supporter of responsible resource development in america of all of the above -- energy, wind, solar, oil, gas, in every part of our great country. in alaska, of course, in new mexico, all across our great land. and i'm a supporter of the great men and women who do this in alaska and new mexico and texas and north dakota. but what is happening to my state right now, this is just wrong. and i'm going to fight it. and any other senator who would be going through what my state's going through with your constituents being harmed, you'd be down on the floor
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fighting it too. the vast majority of the u.s. senators here, democrats and republicans, i think deep down in their hearts know that this is just wrong. you don't come in with a new administration and say hey, let me target one state and beat the heck out of their working families. it's just wrong. and i'm hopeful that my colleagues here -- and i'm asking them because we need the help. i've got great people i represent, proud, tough people. but you can't fight the whole damn federal government when they're focused on shutting you down. so i'm hopeful that my colleagues, all of my colleagues -- i will share the list of the 20 -- that you can help me get the biden administration and some misguided, hypocritical u.s. senators to enact a cease-fire in their war on working families
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and native communities in the great state of alaska. i yield the floor.
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mr. schumer: madam president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. schumer: i ask that the chair lay before the senate the message to senate s. 1605. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i move to concur in the house amendment. the presiding officer: the chair
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lays before the senate a message from the house. mr. schumer: i send a cloture motion to the desk. the clerk: resolved that the bill from the senate s. 1605 entitled an act to designate the national pulse at south orange avenue in orlando, florida, and for other purposes do pass with an amendment. mr. schumer: i move to concur in the house amendment. i move to send -- i send a cloture motion to the desk. the presiding officer: without objection, the clerk will report the motion.
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the clerk: --. mr. schumer: silence is golden. the clerk: cloture motion, we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of of the 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. 1605, a bill to designate the national pulse memorial locatessed at 1912 south orange avenue, orlando, florida, and further purposes 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 move to concur in the house amendment with an amendment 4880 which is at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from new york, mr. schumer, moves to concur in the house
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amendment --. mr. schumer: i ask that further reading be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i ask for the yeas and nays on the motion to concur with 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 to an amendment 4880 which is at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from new york mr. schumer proposes an amendment numbered 4881 to amendment numbered 4880. mr. schumer: i ask that further reading be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i move to refer the house message to the armed services committee with instructions to report back forthwith with an amendment 4882. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from new york mr. schumer moves to refer the house message --. mr. schumer: i ask further reading be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i ask for the yeas and nays on my motion. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be.
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the yeas and nays are ordered. mr. schumer: i have an amendment to the instructions which is at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from new york, mr. schumer, proposes an amendment numbered 4883 to the instructions to the motion to refer. mr. schumer: i ask that further reading be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i ask for the yeas and nays on my amendment. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the yeas and nays are ordered. mr. schumer: i have an amendment to amendment 4883 which is at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from new york, mr. schumer, proposes an amendment numbered 4884 to amendment numbered 4883. mr. schumer: i ask that further reading of the amendment be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent that the mandatory quorum calls for the cloture motions filed today, december 8, be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to executive session to consider the following nominations, all nominations placed on the secretary's desk in the coast guard, that the nominations be confirmed en bloc, the motions to reconsider be considered made
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and -- made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate, that no further motions be in order to any of the nominations, and the president be immediately notified of the senate's action. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent the senate consider the following nomination -- executive calendar 563, jennifer clyburn reed to be federal cochair of the southeast crescent regional commission. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report the nomination. the clerk: nomination, southeast crescent regional commission, jennifer clyburn reed of south carolina, to be federal cochairperson. mr. schumer: i ask consent that the senate vote on the nomination without intervening action or debate and if confirmed the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, all without intervening action or debate. that no further motions be in order to the nomination, that any statements related to the nomination be printed in the record, that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action and the senate
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resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection. the question is on the nomination. all those in favor say aye. all opposed no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nomination is confirmed. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar 154 s. 2293. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 154, s. 2293, a bill to amend the robert t. stafford disaster relief and emergency assistance act, and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent that the committee-reported substitute amendment be agreed to, the bill as amended be considered read a third time and passed and that the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar 81 s. 6193.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 81 s. 6193, a bill to amend title 5, u.s. code to provide for the halt and pension payments for members of congress sentenced for certain offenses and for other purposes. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. schumer: i further ask the bill be considered read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent the judiciary committee be discharged from further consideration of s. 2796 and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 2796, a bill to amend the omnibus crime control and safe streets act of 1968, and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: without objection, the committee is discharged and the senate will proceed. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent that the ossoff substitute amendment at the desk
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be considered and agreed to, the bill as amended be considered read a third time and passed and motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the -- the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the consideration of s. res. 476, submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: without objection. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: designating december 18, 2021 as national wreaths across america today. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent that the letter referenced by senator durbin during his earlier speech appear at the appropriate place in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: finally, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 11:30 a.m., thursday,
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december 9, following the prayer -- let me begin again. i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes compls business today, it adjourn until 11:30 a.m., thursday, december 9, the morning hour be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, and the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day, and morning business be closed. that upon the conclusion of morning business, the senate resume consideration of the house message to accompany s. 610, further, that if cloture is invoked on the motion to concur on the house message to accompany s. 610, it be as if invoked at 1:00 a.m. december 9, that all business and leader remarks count postcloture. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: the vote on the motion to concur will be at approximately 12:30 p.m. if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask
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that it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until 11:30 a.m. tomorrow.
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argument in a case in the public funds in the state of maine to be used to subsidize a faith-based private school education. the justices have june 222 issue of the ruling. we will hear arguments first this morning in case 201088 carcasses versus lincoln. mr. chief justice and may i please the court. the exclusion discriminates based on religion like all discrimination based on religion it should be subjected to scrutiny and held unconstitutional unless

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