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tv   U.S. Senate U.S. Senate  CSPAN  December 14, 2021 2:14pm-7:23pm EST

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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> we will leave this event here to teach are over 40 here
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commitment to live coverage of congress. u.s. senate is about to gavel in after a recess for their weekly party caucus fortress. live coverage now of u.s. senate here on c-span2.
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a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from nebraska. mrs. fischer: thank you, madam president. after months of delay the ndaa has finally made its way to the
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senate floor. the senate armed services committee passed its version by a strong bipartisan vote of 23-3, and that was back in july. as a member of the armed services committee since my first day here in the senate, i've been proud to help draft this bill each year since 2013, and i was honored to play a part in drafting the bill this year. first and foremost, the 2022 ndaa takes care of the greatest asset america has -- our men and women in uniform. it supports a well-deserved pay raise for members of the military and it reauthorizes important special pays and bonuses. keeping faith with our all-volunteer forces is essential so that our military men and women are able to focus on combatting the threats that our nation faces abroad.
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you don't have to look far to see the threats that i'm talking about. vladimir putin has placed nearly 100,000 russian troops right on russia's border with ukraine, essentially posturing to invade a sovereign country. china continues to make shocking progress in developing new types of weapons. the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said that china's recent test of a fractional orbital bombardment system was very close to, quote, a sputnik moment. this new missile could potentially carry a nuclear warhead anywhere in the world, and it was specifically designed to evade united states defenses. our adversaries are making huge strides forward.
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the ndaa recognizes that and addresses it. this bill will keep the modernization of our strategic nuclear deterrent on schedule. this is crucial because even though our nuclear forces are still effective, we have pushed our weapons far beyond their designed lifetimes, in some cases by decades. this bill authorizes the resources necessary to keep modernization on track, and it will help make sure the next generation of systems is available before our current nuclear triad ages out. perhaps most importantly, the ndaa tries to keep defense spending on pace with rising inflation. inflation is at its highest level in decades, and it doesn't look like it's slowing
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down any time soon. the biden administration originally proposed a top-line defense spending increase of just1.6%. that would not have kept pace with inflation even in a normal year. but in a year when it is threatening to spiral out of control, it would have meant an unacceptable cut in resources for our military. the ndaa takes this year's runaway inflation into account. it offers an increase of $25 billion on top of president biden's proposal, and we came together across party lines to agree to that because it is what our military needs. at the risk of stating the obvious, the ndaa is about investing in our national defense.
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it's in the name, the national defense authorization act, but every state contributes in its own way to that national goal, and i'm proud to say that this bill will bring some major wins to nebraska, which has a long and rich military history. it includes $100 million for the national disaster recovery fund which will help rebuild offutt air force base, the home of the air force's 55th wing and u.s. strategic command. after the devastating flooding that nebraska experienced in 2019. and it recognizes how critical the 55th wing is to our nation's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. their missions take them all over the world, but they are proudly based in my state of
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nebraska. madam president, the men and women who wear american military uniforms are part of the best fighting force the world has ever known. our job here in congress is to give them what they need, and this year's ndaa does just that. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. lee: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. lee: madam president, in her 1993 nobel lecture, toni morrison, no conservative, told the story of an old woman who was approached by a group of kids move to concurring her -- mocking her and asking her about her conjection. woman, i hold in my hand a bird. tell me whether it's living or dead. the blind, old woman was revered for her wisdom and experience. she responded, i don't know whether the bird you're holding is dead or alive, but what i do know is that it's in your hands, it is in your hands. the old woman, of course, meant
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whether the bird is alive or dead is the responsibility of the person who holds it. morrison said, the blind woman shifts attention away from assertions of power to the instrument through which that power is exercised. now, morrison could have been talking about congress. i'll leave to your judgment who in congress is a mocking youth and who is the old woman. but in politics, it is the instrument of power rather than the assertion of power that matters. just this last week the instruments of power were used, despite assertions otherwise, to quietly pave the way for the democrats' destroy america bill, which they've called build back better. congress use add novel procedure to pass a procedure to raise the
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ceiling to pay for build back better. procedural jujitsu is hardly the stuff of base-motivating campaign rhetoric but it is the instrument of power. now, i'll describe how this that happened, but a bit of background is necessary. like most legislation in the senate, raising the debt ceiling, which has been done now 99 times since the end of the he could -- second world war ordinarily requires 69 votes, any an evenly divided senate means democrats and republicans have to work together to find an acceptable outcome. there is of course an exception that would allow democrats to use a special budget reconciliation procedure to raise the debt ceiling without republican help, with a simple majority vote. a simple majority vote that they could achieve if all 50 democrats cast their vote and there is an evenly divided vote at the end of the day that could
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be broken by the vice president. but they didn't want to use this special procedure, and i believe they didn't want to use it for two independent reasons. first, it was inconvenient. the special reconciliation procedure would require too many steps and too much time for their taste. still, i don't know if a single republican senator, myself included, who would unduly stall the democrats from proceeding to its consideration. in fact, under the rules, if they follow the right steps, it's more or less a guaranteed outcome, one that doesn't require a supermajority and at the end of the day can be accomplished with a simple majority. second, i suspect that democrats didn't want to bear the political cost of raising the debt ceiling without some republican cover.
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this would ordinarily mean using the standard 60-vote process. but that's not how it happened. instead of democrats and republicans working together to find consensus on the appropriate way to raise the debt ceiling, likely in exchange for spending reforms, some combination of senate and house leadership concocted a new mechanism. on a 60-vote bill, republicans agreed to let democrats pass an entirely separate bill to raise the debt ceiling without any republican votes, by whatever amount they want. so rather than negotiating a reasonable number, republicans agreed to ensure that the debt ceiling is increased by as many trillions of dollars as the democrats might need to fulfill their agenda. there's an actual blank space in the bill where democrats can
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write in whatever number they want. in exchange, republicans would be protected from scrutiny for insisting that democrats follow the established rules for raising the debt ceiling through the reconciliation procedure and would be able to longer this vote to appear as something other than helping democrats raise the debt ceiling, which they had publicly committed in writing, no less, not to do. now, to make matters worse, congressional leadership tied this to a bill preventing automatic medicare cuts. this sent a clear message -- give democrats a blank check or there would be medicare cuts. some of my republican colleagues couldn't allow them to shoot that hostage, that hostage being held captive by democrats. the playbook is written. the idea that this is a one-time
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thing or somehow similar to other expedited procedures -- for example, those found under the congressional review act to disapprove of executive agency rules -- is preposterous. the comparison doesn't work. these are very different creatures. i'm sure this vicious tactic, the one used here, is has not seen its last use -- far from it. i'm sure it'll be used in the future to advance other progressive agenda items, including many that are simply unable to garner the 60 votes necessary under the normal and transparent senate filibuster rules. with a blank check and a new special procedure, democrats are able to raise the debt ceiling by whatever amount they deem
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necessary to accommodate their destroy america bill, which they call build back better. they've set that price -- and we know this now as of just the last few hours -- at $2.5 trillion. this -- this is the behemoth bill that would seek to grant a form of am necessary sympathy to illegal -- amnesty to illegal aliens, to further the green new deal agenda, overturn state right-to-work laws, increase vaccine mandate fines on private employers to $700,000, infuse critical race theory indoctrination into medical care, and grow the i.r.s. by 87,000 anticipatings. -- agents. and that madam president, isn't even the tip of the iceberg. the blank check to remake
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america is a gift to progressives from those within the republican party who decided to grant it. i regret deeply their decision to do so. and the filibuster, a major instrument of power, preserving the unique identity of the united states senate, was all it cost. as to who was the old woman and who were the mocking woman from toni morrison's story, i can't say, but america is the bird. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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jam jim madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from maine.
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jam jim madam president, i ask unanimous consent that proceedings under the call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. collins: thank you, madam president. madam president, on friday, the department of labor reported that inflation had hit a near-40-year high, confirming what many american families have been feeling in their wallets for many months. the soaring cost of virtually everything, from gasoline to groceries, is a growing crisis that effects families across our nation. the numbers are alarming. during the past year, the consumer price index, whiplashes the price of goods and services, jumped by nearly 7%. that's the highest rate since
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1982. it represents the sixth consecutive month of inflation exceeding 5%. the goods experiencing the greatest increases read like a list of everyday essentials. energy costs are up by 33%. used vehicles are up by 31%. hamburger costs more by 14%. milk, eggs, baby food, furniture, many other necessities all cost more, and those prices are simply unsustainable for many working families. the pain is being felt across the nation, including in my state of maine. i have heard from many mainers worried about how they will be able to afford to heat their
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homes this winter. the average price of heating oil in maine is currently $3.15 per gallon compared to $2.11 per gallon this time last year. while the amount of heating oil a household uses varies considerably, a typical maine family will spend nearly a thousand dollars more this year on home heating oil. the state of maine is disproportionately affected by this rise in cost since more than 60% of our homes use fuel oil as their primary energy source for heating compared to only 4% of households nationally. madam president, the rise in the price of heating oil is not the
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only hardship that mainers are facing this winter. mainers have shared with me their genuine concerns about being able to afford to drive back-and-forth to work and to put nutritious food on the table. gas prices in maine are aboutnd 1.30 per gallon -- are about $1.30 per gallon higher than last year. business owners face the challenge of paying higher prices for commodities, food, and supplies without passing those increases on to their already struggling consumers. for example, maine restaurant owners, who have already experienced an extraordinarily difficult 18 months due to the pandemic, are now grappling with
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double-digit percentage increases in the cost of ingredients and other goods needed to run their businesses. an owner of a restaurant i visited in searsport told me that the cost of fryer's grease has skyrocketed. another restaurant owner in rockland recently told the bangor daily news that the price for prime ribs has more than doubled from $7 to $17. these supply costs shrink their already slim margins and exacerbate other difficulties the industry is facing with staffing shortages and pandemic-related closures. after a tough 2020 caused by covid-related market disruptions and drought, maine's resilient
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poe tray tow growers re-- potato growers rebounded with yields up 20% over last year. such a strong harvest usually would be cause for celebration, but farmers are facing rising transportation, fuel, and fertilizer costs that are hurting their bottom line and forcing them to pass on some of the inflationary costs to their customers. the increased costs of doing business means that families and processors will pay more for potatoes and growers will get a lower return on their crop. madam president, this weekend "the wall street journal" reported on how inflation is harming the employees at the one-stop tulsa gas station in
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aroostook county, maine. one clerk was working 60 hours each week, up from 40 before the pandemic, because they are so short-staffed. even with the increased hours, she said she is struggling with rising costs from food to electricity. melissa holmes, a gas station manager, said that her twice-monthly grocery bill that is increased from $300 to $500, and it now costs her $60 to fill up her 2011 ford explorer. that is $20 more than last year. ms. holmes also described facing customers who are frustrated by the higher prices. the cost of chicken, for example, has gone up so an order of chicken tenders has jumped from $5.49 to $8.99.
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that's a big increase, and customers are feeling that squeeze. after passage of the president's $1.9 trillion stimulus this spring, the price of goods and services went up. we heard reassurances from the president's team that this inflation was transitory but no acknowledgment of the role that their policies have had on soaring prices. americans are feeling the consequences as washington has overheated the economy. we in congress must confront this inflation crisis. but instead the biden administration is pushing
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trillions in additional macroeconomic stimulus in the president's build back better plan. the consequences for an already overheated economy could be devastating. given the clear link between recent extraordinary government spending and rampant inflation, we should not be adding more fuel to the fire. our economy is ailing, so it would be wise to begin to follow the maxim that guides medical officials. first do no harm. democrats have said that their spending spree, which follows the build back better plan, would cost $1.7 trillion. several of the proposals in that plan would be set to expire
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after one, three, or five years, a gimmick that hides the true cost because we know that is not what the real hope is nor what is going to happen. last week the nonpartisan congressional budget office projected that making the social spending programs in the build back better plan permanent would in fact cost $4.9 trillion over the decade. $4.9 trillion. doing so would add $3 trillion to the deficit unless paid for with even more taxes beyond those that the democrats have already proposed in their bill. that's much higher than the purported $1.7 trillion price
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tag, because we know that the ultimate goal is to make these expensive programs permanent. madam president, inflation is a regressive tax. it does not discriminate among the rich and the poor. it does not take into account the ability to pay. it is a cruel tax, one that punishes thrift by diminishing the value of savings. this is damaging to families that are saving to buy a home or for their children's education. it can be devastating to our seniors, who can do nothing but helplessly watch as the retirement funds that they worked for their whole lives
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don't go nearly as far as they had expected. like the pandemic itself, we do not know for certain whether this inflation crisis will abate, be prolonged, or even accelerate. our immediate focus should be on measures that we know will have a lasting and beneficial impact on our economy, such as implementing the bipartisan infrastructure law, opening up and repairing our supply chains, getting more americans back to work, and protecting the earnings of hardworking americans. what we should not do is pass trillions of dollars in
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additional spending in the administration's build back better bill that would exacerbate the toll that inflation imposes on seniors, working families, and small businesses. we should not take that risk. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor, and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from georgia. mr. warnock: thank you, madam president. the presiding officer: there is a quorum call. mr. warnock: i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. warnock: thank you so much, madam president. madam president, i come to the floor today after a long week of wrestling with my conscience. before we left washington last week, we in this chamber made a change in the senate's rules in order to push forward something that all of us think is
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important. we set the stage to raise the nation's debt ceiling, and yet as we cast that vote to begin addressing the debt ceiling, this same chamber is allowing the ceiling of our democracy to crash in around us. the american people have been pushing for leaders in washington to address voting rights. everywhere i turn i have been hearing from my constituents in georgia. they are deeply worried. i heard it all weekend. i've been hearing it over the last several months. and i submit that they are worried for good reason.
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they know their history. they are witnessing what is happening to our democracy in real time. and they see the handwriting on the wall. they see the sweeping voter suppression proposals in 49 states, and the dozens of new laws that have now popped up across the nation, fueled by the big lie that seeks to delegitimize the voices of millions of georgians and americans who made their voices heard, made history, and more importantly made a difference last november and last january. the american people see what is happening in arizona and in texas and in florida and in wisconsin and in iowa. and they see what's happening in georgia, my home state, where a new law s.b. 202 passed right
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after i won, will make it harder for some voters to access their ballots by making it more difficult to vote by mail, allowing far fewer dropboxs and only allowing for the use of those boxes, listen, during business hours. you can use the dropboxes during business hours, which sort of defeats the purpose of having a dropbox. in fact, back home, the second most senior republican in the georgia state senate announced recently that he wants to do away with election dropboxs all together, literal boxes where registered, eligible voters simply can drop off their ballots.
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on their way to the night shift, or on their way back home. it seems to me that they want fewer voters and more dark money in our elections. and that's the sad place we're in, madam president, right now. but what is even more disconcerting is that these politicians in the state legislature have already laid the tracks to take over local boards of elections. for almost any frivolous reason. to undermine the voices of local voters and local election administrators, control the count, muddy the waters,
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question or determine the outcome. and in the face of this crisis, the question is this, has this chamber risen to the occasion to take on the issue of voting rights, which i submit is the central moral issue confronting this congress in this moment. what have we done? to strengthen access to the ballot, as bedrock voting rights protections have been shredded by our courts, or to protect the sacred right to vote as partisan state legislatures have passed laws to dilute that right for so many people? well, some of us have acted. democrats in this body have tried, not once, not twice, but we've tried this congress on three occasions to consider
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legislation to protect and expand voting rights so that more eligible americans can make their voices heard and help shape the direction of our country, and each time, whether it was for the for the people act or the john lewis voting rights advancement act or the freedom to vote act, with just one lone exception, all of our friends across the aisle have refused to engage with us in any way to address the growing barriers to what is basic to american democracy, the ballot box. and here's what we've said, we've said to our republican friends, if you don't like this provision or that provision, let's talk about it. offer some amendments.
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come, let us reason together. let us have a debate out in the open so that the american people can hear it. everybody talks about the divisions in america right now. here is what folks on the left and the right agree on, there is something awry in our democracy, ant in this moment in which there is there debate happening on the outside, how is it that we refuse to even have a debate in the senate? they don't even want to have a debate. and so, here we are, months have passed, no, that's not true, years have passed. democrats have tried again and again to engage our republican friends in a discussion on this issue, one that lies at the foundation of our democracy, and time and time again, because of a lack of good-faith engagement, the rules of the senate have prevented us from moving that
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conversation forward. we could not imagine -- we could not imagine changing the rules. that is, until last week. because last week we did exactly that. be very clear, last week we changed the rules of the senate. to address another important issue, the economy. this is a step, a change in the senate rules we haven't been will to take to save our broken democracy, but one that a bipartisan majority of this chamber thought was necessary in order to keep our economy strong. we changed the rules to protect the full faith and credit of the united states government.
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we've decided we must do it for the economy, but not for the democracy. so, madam president, i will be honest, this has been a difficult week for me as i've pondered how am i going to vote on this debt ceiling question we're about to take. i feel like i'm being asked to take a road that is a point of moral dissonance for me. because while i deeply believe that both our democracy and our economy are important, i believe that it is misplaced to change the senate rules only for the benefit of the economy when the warning lights on our democracy
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are flashing at the same time. i happen to believe that our democracy is at least as important as the economy. ours is a great nation, built upon both free enterprise and the free exercise of basic democratic rights. you cannot have good capitalism without freedom. each is strengthened by the other. and together, they make for a nation that is both prosperous and free, a nation where everybody can breathe and every child has a chance to live up to her highest potential. and so i stand here because of my children. my two precious children. and i think every day about what kind of country i want them to
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grow up in. i stand here today because we're in a place, we're dealing with the consequence of misaligned values. and misplaced priorities. and that is for me a serious problem, because i lead ebenezer baptist church where john lewis wore shipped, and where dr. king preached, and i ask myself all weekend as i wrestled with how i would vote, i asked myself what would dr. king do. and i thought this week about dr. king's speech in front of the lincoln memorial. no, not the 1963 "i have a dream" speech. but the one he gave the first time he spoke in front of the
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lincoln memorial in 1957, where he addressed what he called, quote, all types of conniving methods that were getting in the way of the free exercise of the constitutional right to vote, his rallying cry that day, in 1957, was give us the ballot. so, madam president, in light of the conniving methods of voter suppression we have seen enacted into law since the january 6 attack on the capitol, i come to the floor today to share with the people of georgia and the american people the message that i shared with my colleagues over the weekend and earlier today during our caucus meeting. i said to my democratic colleagues over the last several days, number one, unfortunately,
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the vast majority of our republican friends have made it clear that they have no intention of trying to work with us to address voter suppression or to protect voting rights. they have embodied by their actions the sentiments of conservative strategist paul wyrick, who dared say in 1981, quote, i don't want everybody to vote. that's what he said. elections are not won by a majority of people. they never have been from the beginning of our country, and they are not now. as a matter of fact, he went on to say, our leverage in the elections, quite candidly, goes up as the voting populus goes down. second thing he said to my democratic colleagues today is
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that while we cannot let our republican friends off the hook for not being equitable governing partners, if we're serious about protecting the right to vote that's under assault right now, here's the truth, it will fall to democrats to do it. if democrats alone must raise the debt ceiling, then democrats alone must raise and repair the ceiling of our democracy. how do we in good conscience justify doing one and not the other? some of my democratic colleagues are saying well, what about bipartisanship? isn't that important? i say of course it is. but here's the thing we must remember, slavery was bipartisan
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, jim crow segregation was bipartisan, the refusal of women suffrage was bipartisan, the denial of the basic dignity of members of the lgbtq community has long been bipartisan. the three-fifts exro mize was the -- three-fifthing compromise was at the expense of black people's basic humanity. when colleagues in this chamber talk to me about bipartisanship, which i believe in i just have to ask, at whose expense? who is being asked to foot the bill for this bipartisanship? and is liberty itself the cost? i submit that that's a price too high and a bridge too far. and so i struggled this weekend. i talked to folk i believe in.
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among them, i spoke with reverend ambassador andrew young. who was with dr. king until the very end about this vote. i talked to ambassador young, and i asked him, what do you think? and he said, i try not to worry, but i'm worried about our country. and then this 89-year-old battle-worn soldier in the nonviolent army of the lord drew silent on the phone. then he said to me, tell your colleagues that among your constituents are people who literally laid their lives on the line for the basic right to vote. they lost friends. they lost so much. and so this is a real moral quandary for me, and it makes it
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difficult for me to cast this vote today, but after many conversations, with colleagues, with georgians, with experts who know the economy, with voting rights advocates and civil rights leaders, i will indeed vote today with anguish. i will vote to raise the debt ceiling. i'm voting yes because i'm thinking about the kids in the kay ton homes housing project where i grew up in savannah, georgia. i'm thinking about the hardworking families pushing to recover from the pressures of this pandemic, those on the margins and those whom are least resilient for whom a collapse of the economy would be catastrophic. ironically these people are being suppressed by the voting efforts. i'm thinking of them and the folks of georgia as i cast my
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vote today to raise the debt ceiling. but i'm also thinking about what we need to do to keep our democracy and our economy strong today and for the next generation. once we handle the debt ceiling ceiling, the senate needs to make voting rights the very next issue we take up. we must do voting rights, and we must deal with this issue now. so let me be clear, i'm so proud of what we did with the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the major economic investments we're putting finishing touches on that will close the medicaid coverage gap and deliver historic relief to georgia farmers and expand broadband access and so much more. but, madam president, i have to tell you that the most important thing that we can do this congress is to get voting
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rights done. voting rights are a preservative of all other rights. they lay the ground for all of the other debates. and so to my democratic colleagues, i say while it is deeply unfortunate, it is more than apparent that it has been left to us to handle alone the task of safeguarding our democracy. sadly, many of our republican friends have already cast their vote with voter suppression. and so the judgment of history is upon us. future generations will ask when the democracy was in a 911 state of emergency, what did you do to put the fire out. did we rise to the moment or did
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we hide behind procedural rules? i believe that we democrats can figure out how to get this done, even if that requires a change in the rules which we established just last week that we can do when the issue is important enough. well, the people of georgia and across the country are saying that voting rights are important enough. i think that voting rights are important enough. and so we cannot delay. we must continue to urge the party of lincoln not to give in to the very forces of voter suppression that dr. king described in that 1957 speech while standing in the shadow of
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lincoln. but even as we do that, we cannot wait. we cannot wait on them with uncanny and eerie relevance, dr. king's words summoned us to this very moment. he said the hour is late. the clock of destiny is ticking out, and we must act now before it is too late. madam president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: thank you, madam president. i learned a long time ago never to want to give a speech after that, but i certainly agree with what senator warnock said. the senate schedule kind of made me do this so thank you, madam president. i'm joined on the floor by
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senator warnock, who is one of the principals in our legislation. senator bennet, senator booker and senator king, for their leadership and their work to deliver what is pure and simple, the largest tax cut for working families ever. tomorrow for the sixth month in a row -- july 15, august 15, september, october, november -- tomorrow sixth month in a row ohio parents, 92% of parents in ohio with children under 18 will get, will again see $250 or $300 in their bank accounts or in their mailbox per child, if they have two infant children, they will get $600. this is the most consequential thing we've done in decades to make people's hard work pay off. we know how hard parents work at their jobs, at raising kids. any parent knows how much work it is to take care of children, especially young children. and it's only gotten harder over the last couple of years. so often that hard work doesn't
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pay off like it should. but we've seen what's happened, madam president, over the past decades. productivity has gone up, the stock market has soared. executive compensation is stat stat -- strat fearic but wages have been flat. finally because of the work we're doing worker paychecks are going up. parents know how expensive it is to raise kids. sports fees, camp fees, braces, diapers, the list never seems to end. one of the biggest, if not the biggest expense for so many families is child care. parents feel like they're trapped. they can't keep up no matter how hard they work. they work more hours to provide for their family. they have to put that money right back into child care. sometimes the extra money in their paycheck doesn't even cover the extra day care cost.
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it's why senator booker and senator kaine and bennet and warnock worked so hard to enact the child tax credit. as i said, it's $3,000 tax cut, 92% of the families in my state with children get at least a $3,000 tax cut. the same in virginia, the same in new jersey, the same in georgia. it's about finally, finally making parents' hard work pay off so they can keep up with the costs of raising a family. i was taking to senator kaine. he's going to do some of the same things. let me share a handful of really quick stories or comments that people have gone on our website and posted at the 15th of the month. christen from columbus says using this money to pay for day care for two kids at $600 a week. alex in cleveland, every penny is going to day care. four kids in day care $800 a week. c.c. said her tax cut helps pay
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for day care. the same amount is my mortgage payment for four days a week. so helpful. courtney from southeast ohio, c.d.c. is slightly more than half the cost of part time day care tuition a month. here in athens, much appreciated help getting kiddos back into child care. brittany said day care. ellie said day care. they also mean parents can afford to work and can afford to keep up with the extra costs of raising kids. katie in akron helps to pay for school supplies. caitlin pays for preschool for my son. fern, preschool for both of them. the rest goes into a savings account for them. jennifer, put away for college tuition. melissa, i use part of it to buy school uniform pieces for my four-year-old. maya, food and school supplies. these parents are working hard to provide for their families and raise their kids. they're working a whole lot harder, madam president, than the c.e.o.'s and hedge fund managers who it looks like under
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build back better may continue to get some of their tax cuts, their tax preference, if you will. it's a lot harder for these workers than c.e.o.'s and hedge fund managers of swiss bank account holders that are always getting tax cuts from politicians in this building. we all remember what happened. madam president, we can look down the hall. we've done that of about. we've seen lobbyists line up in front of leader mcconnell's office, line up in front of the politicians who always do their bidding, pass their tax cut for the wealthy and for corporations that outsource jobs. you know what, madam president? they told us four years ago when those tax cuts for the rich passed, they said it's going to trickle down and help everybody else. we'll hire more people, we'll raise wages. of course corporations didn't spend the money to raise wages. of course they didn't spend the money to lower prices. and then they blame everybody else for inflation. of course they spent it, and no surprise here, on stock buybacks and they're still at it today. now this year, without a single
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vote, not a single vote from republicans in congress, twice every vote, every democrat voting for it, a 50-51 vote we passed the tax cut. join tax cuts for corporations or for working families? we want tax cuts for working families. americans from all over the country, from all kinds of backgrounds. let's deliver that for them. let's keep the largest tax cut for working families ever so that parents, parents can have that peace of mind, can relief some of their anxiety they face every month to pay the representative and pay the bills. -- pay the rent and pay the bills. they can have the peace of mind that the child tax credit will keep delivering money to their pockets through the holidays this year into next year into the next year's holiday. i yield the floor to senator
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booker. mr. booker: it's frustrating to see such incredible action taken where we have made a difference, where the child tax credit already has had a significant impact. the columbia center on poverty found the october payment of the expanded child tax credit helped to ensure 3.6 million american children -- 3.6 million american children are no longer living below the poverty line. what does that mean? when a child is raised above the poverty line, their horizons are transformed. it actually saves an incredible amount of taxpayer dollars. for every dollar we spend bringing a child above the poverty line, we return $7 back to our economy. but there's deeper than that. there is a moral urgency. children below the poverty line have so many more challenges.
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their horizons are constrained, their life outcomes are lessened. above the poverty line, our children start to exhibit their genius. children raised above the poverty line, they have higher lifetime earnings, they have lower medical costs. children above the poverty line are less likely to go to the hospital, less likely to get in trouble with the police. children above the poverty line have less inhibitions to their contributions to this country. i too, like my dear friend senator brown, have heard lots from people in my state about what this little bit of money in their bank accounts, how that little bit of investment makes a trance formation in the lives of those -- transformation in the lives of families. take kelly in pittman, new jersey. she was forced to quit her job when her children's school and day care closed due to the pandemic.
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she hasn't been able to return to work without reliable child care, and the child tax credit is helping her family. it's helping them make up costs that were lost when she lost her income. it's helping her provide for her children. it's a little bit of help, by returning those tax dollars what she's paid in, she's getting more out now and helping that family. take stacey in carney, new jersey. the child tax credit payments were a, quote, lifeline and helped her and her husband keep their family afloat during this pandemic, during this crisis. she was indefinitely furloughed, and stacey used those payments to send her two daughters back to preschool. we know, the evidence is in, sending her two daughters back to preschool meaning her children will do better in school, more likely to go to college, higher lifetime earnings, more success that
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goes to the benefit of us all in society. senator after senator on both sides of the aisle has thousands of these stories about what getting more of their hard-earned tax money back means. in a nation where we have seen the tax cuts of the last decade inure overwhelmingly to the richest of the rich, this was the first tax cut in my lifetime, the biggest of the tax cuts in my lifetime it that went overwhelmingly to middle-class families, working-class families, low-income families. and now it sits on a precipice. as many of you are aware, tomorrow is the last day that these payments are scheduled to go out to families like kelly's and families like stacey's and families of millions of families across this country. the changes we made to the child tax credit will expire. struggling americans, working
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americans, middle-class americans will not receive that payment in january unless this body acts. to prevent this from happening, to make sure the families continue to get more of their tax dollars back and have greater security, hope in challenging times, congress can pass the build back better act, which includes the extension of the child tax credit payments which are lowering costs for american middle-class, working-class, and low-income families. now, i know there's concerns being raised about the bb legislation today. -- build back better legislation today but i urge my colleagues to understand the high cost of inaction. letting this program expire will raise costs for families at the very worst time with the cost of gas and groceries going up, a tax increase, which effectively
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is what this would be, would mean millions of families in difficult times would have it be harder to make ends meet, to make those kitchen table economics work out. it will add burden it's to people at a time when she should be lifting them, at a time when we should be providing relief. and, again, it's not just working-class families, middle-class families, it's children living in that moral obscenity, that dark place within our society that's termed child poverty. the cost of inaction for all those children, the cost to our society overall, of having children grow up in povertiy is $1.1 trillion -- $1.1 trillion, that's what poaft costs -- poverty costs, but there is a moral cost that is greater. there is a moral obscenity, a
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stain on the soul of our nation that we have without this tax credit, the highest child poverty rates of all of our industrial peers. this is a moral moment in america. our inaction will plunge our nation back with millions of families facing crisis. we have seen this body act in difficult times before. we've seen us invest in people. we've seen us stand up for children. my worry now is that tomorrow will be the last day unless we stand up and act. i join my colleagues, senator brown, senator bennet -- i join my colleague senator kaine, senator warnock in calling us to meet this moment, to meet the moral urgency of now and to
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please make sure that before this body leaves for the holidays, that those families who are in stress and economic strain, those families who are worrying about what will happen next month, that we show them that we care, we show them that we are fiscally prudent and we make the best investment possible in america. it's not a stock or a bond. the best investment we can make is making sure the child tax credit continues because it is an investment in our children. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from virginia. mr. kaine: madam president, thank you. i'm -- i'm honored to join my colleagues today to speak about the child tax credit and do something similar to what they've done is just make it
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personal to families. today -- tomorrow, on december 15, more than 930,000 virginia families, who together have together 1.6 million kids, will receive a child care tax cut. those are big numbers. those are big numbers. 1.6 million children, 930,000 families. and i'm here joining my colleagues to ask that this payment to parents, this parents tax cut to help their children is not the last. because unless we act, the sixth payment that will go out tomorrow will be the last. now, the numbers are big, but sometimes the numbers can obscure data and statistics can obscure what's really at stake. so just a week ago i put out on my senate webpage a question,
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what has this tax cut meant to your family? and in one week we received more than 200 responses and i want to share a few with you. hannah is a full-time caretaker of her fiksly disabled child. her child had trouble with the stairs in their home so they bought the -- heather said, i appreciate the child tax credit because we routinely incur additional expenses. i take care of our daughter full time which makes us a one-income household, so the tax credit makes a difference. deirdre works at cooks creek presbyterian church. she sees how it helps families. one mother of six whose husband
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is incarcerated relies on the tax credit to pay for their car payments. one family is using the tax credit to cover necessities for a nephew. i have a picture of low annda and her family, she is a single mom. she sent me this picture and said, use this picture. she used the payment to help buy shoes and clothes for her children and fresh fruits and vegetables which they usually can't afford. i love this picture because this is a picture of people with smiles. these are resilient people who dream of a better future and this child tax cut is helping them achieve it, something as simple as buying fresh vegetables rather than canned or shoes, something as simple as
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that is what this child tax cut is about. a woman from lynchburg wrote, said that the tax cut helped to buy clothing and shoes. she said that children grow so fast now, we're senior citizen retired grandparents with legal guardianship of our granddaughter, with this the last payment in december, which will be used partly as gifts for her. grandparents raising a granddaughter and finding in this tax cut the table the to afford christmas gifts. nicole from leesburg is using tax cuts for therapy for her autistic son because insurance no longer covers it. another picture, sasha from midlothian wrote to me and said this. she wrote, my husband and i both
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have secure jobs, but the cost of full-time infant care is high. we spend 23% of our combined monthly income for our one child and i also paid off our student loans. the child tax credit has helped us to save more money for our house and pay off debts. we would like to grow our family but worry about financial difficulties. thank you for the build back better bill. it means so much. from alexandria, a constituent wrote, before the -- each month we went into debt a little bit more. my husband is a full-time student. i'm the sole breadwinner, the child tax credit helped me to pay down debt, to begin an emergency fund and to start a college fund for their son.
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a resident from waynesboro, i benefited great ily from the child -- greatly from the child tax credit. it has helped me out throughout the school year. also i saved some to be able to give them a good christmas. finely, laquando from roanoke, all she said was, please fight for us. please fight for us. i could go on for a long time with these messages, as could my colleagues, but i will stop there. i read stories from every region of virginia, i want to thank my colleagues for getting this policy into the american resk plan earlier this year and i want to thank all of my democratic colleagues because this thing passed by one vote in march. if any of us had been absent, if any of us had lost our last race, the american resk plan would have failed and none of these families would have
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received the support of the child tax credit. well, we're going to have that opportunity again and given the fact that one party has said they will not support this bill, it's on our shoulders and these families who are struggling and working so hard and have hopes as high as any of us have, as l aquando, they are hoping that we fight for them. madam president, i would yield the floor and defer to my colleague from colorado. mr. bennet: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. mr. bennet: thank you, madam president. it is a wonderful moment to be here with my colleagues to acknowledge that in march we passed the biggest reduction in poverty in generations in our country. and that was through the expansion of the child tax credit, which increased the credit, made it payable on a monthly basis and for the first
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time in american history made it fully refundable so the millions of children in this country who were too poor to get the benefit of the credit because their families were too poor would get the benefit of that credit and we needed to do it, madam president. the united states, before we passed this, was 38th out of 41 industrialized countries in the world when it came to childhood poverty. the poorest generation in this country are our children and i think what we said was there's no reason for us to accept those outcomes or those numbers as a permanent feature of our economy or our democracy, and in the end this isn't about numbers. this is is about children all over our country and the future of the united states of america. childhood poverty, madam president, costs this country a trillion dollars a year. and one of the things we decided was maybe instead of paying for
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the effects of childhood poverty, we could actually begin to try to reduce the amount of childhood poverty that exists in our country the way other countries around the world have already done it. nationally the child tax credit, as i say, is cutting childhood poverty in half. it's reducing hunger among families by a quarter. let that linger for a second, madam president. when was the last time we were able to come to the floor of the senate and say we've cut hunger in this country by a quarter? it's been generations since anybody's been able to say that on this floor. in colorado, madam president, a million kids and their families are benefited from -- benefiting from this credit. that's 90% of the kids in my state. it's 90% of the kids across the country. parents in colorado are getting an average of $240 a month to pay for groceries, to help with
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the rent, really responsible to pay for -- really importantly to pay for extra child care. i know that because of what parents have told me they are spending the money on. when we first passed this credit back in june, i think it was, that it first went into effect, july and august, people were getting ready to go back to work and mom after mom told me how important it was to be able to buy school clothes for their kids without bankrupting their family for the first time. and, you know, all of this is the reflection of an economy that for 50 years has worked extremely well for the top 10% of americans and hasn't really worked for anybody else. and where, you know, the families that come to see me in my town all say, michael, we are working really hard, but no matter what we do, we can't afford some combination of housing, of health care, higher
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education, early childhood education, if we can even find early childhood education or day care. we can't save. we feel like our families will live a more diminished life than we did and that our kids will as well. and so i brought a few -- i brought a few photos today to the floor to share some stories of coloradans with all of you and my colleagues. this is april pratt from el paso county. and she lives there with her three daughters who are ages 8, 2 and a half and 1 and a half. when april was pregnant with her youngest daughter her husband tragically passed away. she is the sole caregiver and after her paycheck there is barely anything left.
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let me say that again. works full time. works full time. before the child tax credit, april said, i felt like i was having a lot of anxiety every month about whether i was going be a toibl to a -- to be able to afford my bills and thank to the child tax credit she is able to afford the child care for her two youngest daughters so she can work. so she can work. she said if i wasn't able to afford child care, i'd have to quit my job. without the child tax credit, april said that she'd be, quote, forced to use my credit card to fill in the gaps, and that debt just accumulates and accumulates, and that becomes crippling, and my family wouldn't be able to get ahead. she said it was, quote, nice that our government is finally doing something to help working families and middle-class
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families. finally, madam president, after we have cut taxes for the wealthiest people in this country by more than $5 trillion since 2001, we finally have a tax cut for working families. we should be making it permanent, madam president. this is amber lee intenseio also from colorado. she's here with her three girls that are ages 9, 12, and 14. when i got to this place, mr. president, my daughters were 9, 7, and 4 so i have some appreciation for what she's got on her hands. they live their -- lived their entire life in mone vista in the san luis valley and for the past three years amberly has been working full time and studying. and last week she graduated with her second associate's degree. she works for a local health insurance company. and before the child tax credit, her paycheck was the only source
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of income for her family. she said knowing that monthly support comes on the same day each month helps her pay the rent and buy food. she said, quote, i'm a single parent. this is like heaven to me knowing that i have that extra income to provide for my children. it has helped so much. her daughters love sports, soccer, basketball, volleyball, and track, but between the shorts, knee pads, cleats, shin guards and fees, it all adds up. and with the child tax credit, she's bought that equipment for her daughters so they can pay sports with their friends which means the world to them. i had a mom who told me that she had bought a bike for her son, and he was able to take -- stay at school late to engage in school activities that he otherwise wouldn't have been able to do without that bike. and then finally, here is iesha
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bogart from colorado springs. here's another mom from the springs with her three daughters ages 12, 13 -- her three kids age 12, 13, and 23. iesha served for 16 years as a ed inic in the u.s. army -- as a medic in the u.s. army and army reserve while on active duty she was injured during a training accident when her humvee rolled over and it left her with a traumatic brain injury. now she's a single mom supporting three kids all by herself. and before the child tax credit, she couldn't afford to buy new shoes for her kids. she said there were days when they didn't have shampoo at home, and her kids would get teased at school. and thanks to the child tax credit, she bought her kids a new pair of shoes. she bought them school supplies so they feel like they're on a level playing field with the
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other children in their school. she said the child tax credit has given her, quote, breathing room where there wasn't any before. i've heard stories like that all across the state of colorado. this is an anecdotal reflection. it's not an anecdotal of reflection of people not working hard. all these people are working hard. it's hard work just to raise a child much less do the kind of jobs these folks are doing in an economy that's worked really well for the top 10%, as i said, but hasn't really worked for anybody else. and what has washington's response been? time and time and time again to come here and cut taxes for the richest people in america. and ignore the needs of working people. that's what we have done since 2001. $8 trillion of tax cuts, almost all of which have gone to the wealthiest people in this country and now we've got a tax
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caught for working people in an economy that has not lifted them up the way it's lifted the people at the very top. we don't have to accept childhood poverty as a permanent feature of our economy or democracy. we don't have to accept an economy where it only grows for the wealthiest americans. we don't have to accept a congress that is only paying attention to special interests and to the wealthiest americans. we can build an economy that includes everybody, that when it grows everybody benefits from it. because the whole society benefits from that as well. childhood poverty costs this country a trillion dollars a year, mr. president. we can't afford not to do this, which is why so many other countries in the world have done this. we can create opportunity for every american family and give every child the chance to contribute to this economy and to our society, and i believe
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it's fundamentally important to strengthen our democracy making sure that we've got something we're proud of to turn over to the next generation of americans. and that's why it's critical for us to extend this child tax credit, to not allow it to lapse at the end of the year, and in my mind make it permanent. mr. president, i'd argue we cannot afford not to. and with that, i'll yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from nevada. a senator: mr. president, like all americans, nevadans have been through a difficult two years. ms. cortez masto: our state was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. nevada relies on tourism and travel industries, and with the country in lockdown, a huge proportion of our families saw layoffs or furloughs. in fact, we had one of the highest unemployment rates in the country at one point in time, 30%. for those families the
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middle-class tax cuts that we passed in the american rescue plan have been an incredible lifeline. today i am joining my colleagues to stand up for extending these tax cuts. it's so important that we get this done for people not only in the silver state but across the country. in many cases this money that nevadans have earned and really needs to go back into their pockets, we're talking about a tax cut that benefits the vast majorities of families in nevada. in july of this year because of the american rescue plan as you've heard, the child tax credit increased to $300 per month for children under 6 years of age and $250 per month for children between 16 and 17 years of age. working families with two young kids are receiving more than $500 a month back from the government to help them make ends meet. and it is making a tremendous
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difference. over 594,000 children in nevada and their families qualify for this money. i have heard story after story from people in the silver state about the way the money is supporting their children. some families are using the money for rent to make sure that their kids don't suffer from housing insecurity. other use it for clothes for their children or school books and other school supplies. laurie nunez from henderson, nevada told the las vegas sun she uses it for school lunches and other school expenses. she said you always think oh, it's some extra money. well, it's never extra money. kids always need -- there's always something that needs to be bought. and many families use it just to put food on the table. after those first payments were issued in july, the number of adults reporting that children in their households didn't have
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enough to eat fell by one-third. and jesse cardinello from reno told me that receiving the monthly payments let her stay afloat as a single mom on a teacher's salary and kept her from running up her credit card bills. she said and i quote, thanks to the advanced child tax credit, i've mostly avoided this and been able to pay bills and even enjoy special outings with my children. the child tax credit encourages my family to make better choices in general. affording the assistance with quality child care options for healthier products and food and providing the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities that i believe are critical to a child's social and physical development. that was jesse. and that's why it was so beneficial to her family and her children. social interactions are so important for kids' mental health as well.
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and we know that throughout this pandemic. triana james, a single mom in las vegas, used her extra funds to take her two sons to visit and uncle and an aunt in northern california for the first time since the pandemic began. and because of underlying medical issues, they've had to be very careful about travel. but she said the child tax credit helped make it possible for them to spend time with family again at thanksgiving. so these tax cuts have really been key for nevada families. now, they're set to expire at the end of 2021. but the budget proposal that we are considering extends them for one more year. mr. president, our hardworking families want us to keep this critical support going for them. this is not the time to make it harder for people to keep a roof over their heads or get their kids the essentials they need. so let's make sure nevadans can
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keep that money that they've earned and extend these middle-class tax cuts to nevadans and all families across the country. let's support the working people. let's support hardworking individuals every day and help them with their economic recovery. and with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from minnesota. a senator: i ask for permission to vitiate the quorum. the presiding officer: without objection. a senator: mr. president, i have five requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have been approved -- they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. the presiding officer: duly noted. mr. schumer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent that all remaining time be yielded back. the presiding officer: is there objection? objection. so ordered. the clerk will read the title of the joint resolution for the third time. the clerk: s.j. res. 33, joint resolution relating to increasing the debt limit. the presiding officer: the question occurs on passage of the joint resolution.
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is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: on this vote, the yeas are 50, the nays are 49, and the joint resolution is passed.
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a senator: mr. president.
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mr. kelly: mr. president i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to executive session and consider the following nomination, executive calendar number 476, david a. honey, of virginia, to be deputy under secretary of defense, that the nomination be confirmed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate, that no further motions be in order to the nomination, that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action and that the senate resumes legislative session. the presiding officer: is there objection? a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from missouri. mr. hawley: mr. president, i object and i submit a statement for the record. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. kelly: mr. president. the presiding officer: the -- the senator from arizona.
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mr. kelly: mr. president, the deputy under secretary of defense for research and engineering is a critical position that helps lead and manage our military science and technology work. this includes work on disruptive cutting-edge technologies like quantum science, hypersonics and artificial intelligence. maintaining our competitive edge over china in these areas has been a focus of the subcommittee on emerging threats and capabilities, which i chair. and i know that all of us -- all of us here understand how important it is. we worked on a bipartisan basis to include investments and policy changes for these priorities in the ndaa that we are hoping to pass this week. the deputy under secretary of defense for research and
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engineering is tasked with carrying out many of these changes, and yet, the nominee for this post has yet to be confirmed. dr. david a. honey is qualified. he brings decades of experience, including as an air force pilot, an intelligence officer, and in leadership roles at darpa, the office of the secretary of defense and within the intelligence community. reflecting his qualifications, dr. honey's nomination has bipartisan support and was voice voted out of the senate armed services committee in october. at a time when our adversaries are investing heavily in an attempt to outpace the united states, we need all hands on deck and confirmed leadership in this post. so i'm very disappointed that we
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could not do that today. this is a matter of national security. i yield back the floor.
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mr. cornyn: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: mr. president, are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: we are not. mr. cornyn: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, for months now american families have struggled with the growing burden of
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inflation. new data shows just how bad things have gotten. last month, consumer prices increased at the fastest pace in 40 years. now, i'd like to take a little walk down memory lane, mr. president. the last time the american people endured price spikes like this, eye of the tiger was one of the top songs on the radio. i'm sure the senator from delaware remembers that very well. the world had yet to be introduced to the nintendo and marrow and consumers -- mario and consumers were anxiously awaiting the release of the cellphone which weighed in at a whopping two pounds. i remember those unwe wouldy telephones -- unwieldily telephones well. over the course of that time, technology has changed, and i'm
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not just talking about technology, 9/11, the great recession and even during the first year of the pandemic, inflation didn't come close to hitting the heights that it has today. between march 2020 and february 2021, the inflation rate never topped 2%. there were countless reasons for us to be optimistic. we had three highly effective vaccines with shots going into the arms of millions of people every day. schools were reopening, employees were returning back to work, and the american people began to discover a new semblance of normal post covid. but the administration ignored all of this progress because they had another plan in mind. they seized on what one house democrat described as a, quote, tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit their vision. they crafted a nearly
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$2 trillion piece of legislation that included their ideological priorities and tried to brand it as necessary pandemic relief. but we know that only about 10% of that $2 trillion expenditure actually went to covid-19. less than 1% went for vaccine. what it did include was backdoor funding for planned parenthood, a blank check for mismanaged union pension plans, money for climate justice. it was easy to see through the covid relief facade. well, as our colleagues pushed this bill forward, they ignored warning signs from leading economists that this kind of spending, chasing limited goods and services, could trigger inflation. larry summers, who served as secretary of treasury during the obama administration even predicted this package could, and i quote, set off
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inflationary pressures of a kind we have not seen in a generation. our colleagues couldn't be convinced to change course and look where we are now as a result. we're experiencing inflation of a kind that we've not seen in a generation. last month prices jumped a whopping 6.8% from the previous year, marking the sixth consecutive month in which inflation has topped 5%. now, when concerns were raised about this, the federal reserve claimed that this inflation was transitory. in other words, it was a passing moment. but the longer and longer inflation continues to rise and continued to be a problem, it's looking less and less transitory and more and more frightening. the reason it's frightening, of course, is because particularly people on fixed incomes are seeing less and less buying power for each dollar they
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spend. it is, some have said, a hidden tax on the american people, which describes its impact very well. well, month after month the data has now demonstrated that this is not just transitory and it isn't just a blip on the radar of our economy. inflation is running much hotter than expected and things are not expected to cool down any time soon. as families prepare for the christmas holiday season, they are bracing their wallets for higher than normal expenses, and one of the biggest hits is for grocery bills, hardly something optional. breakfast on christmas morning is surely to cost more than it did a year ago, egg prices are up 8%, bacon cost a whopping 21% more than it did just a year ago. dinner, it won't be any cheaper either, prices are up for
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everything from ham to salad dressing to pie. cooking that meal will cost you a lot more too. electricity prices are up 6.5% and anyone cooking on a gas range will shell out 25% more than they did last year. if you're traveling to see your family -- extended family this year, you better start saving for it now. gas prices are up a whopping 58%, the largest increase since 1980. the course this ignores the rising costs of gifts sitting under the christmas tree, if you can get them, because of broken and delayed supply chains. so the new cars, the washing machines and sofas countless families have purchased this year, all of those cost more. you would think that our democratic colleagues that are proposing another $5 trillion in spending under the so-called
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b.b.b., or build back better bill, you would think they would view this as caution and back off of their plans or at least tap the brakes for a second round of unnecessary spending. unfortunately that does not appear to be the case. in fact, the senate majority leader, senator schumer, is trying to double down on this next round of inflationary spending. we know that every trick in the book has been employed to try to make the b.b.b., the build back better, build back broke, build back bad, build back bankrupt, call it what you will, but our democratic friends have tried to that make this bill look as small as possible. they started with the chair of the budget committee, senator sanders wanted to spend 6 trillion dollars more, that was
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paired down -- pared down and now they claim it is $1.6 trillion. they are handing out tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires in relief for state and local taxes and they strategically chosen start dates, sunsets, and expiration dates appear deceptively to call less. one colleague said it is disingenuous advertising and told senator graham, the senator from south carolina, he knew that this score that they were promoting was full of gimmicks. of course that is a lot different than the president himself who said this bill will cost zero. everybody knows that's not true, but there had been some debate about what the honest score would be, even with all of the gimmicks. but if the temporary provisions
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were extended, as we all know they would be, there is no such thing as a temporary government program around here, or as ronald reagan said, it's the closest thing to eternal life as a temporary government program. this legislation will cost more than they will admit and we now know how much it will be. senator graham asked the congressional budget office to provide a more accurate cost estimate for this legislation. others like me asked the c.b.o. and the committee on taxation to give us an updated estimate. there's been a lot of requests made to come up with an accurate truth in advertising score for this huge bill. last week we got what we asked for. we finally received the true score for this legislation. and it's a whole lot more than the american people were told and much more than they have
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bargained for. let's start with the cost provision of just one part of this bill, the expanded child tax credit. this expansion initially came on the scene as a temporary measure in the first partisan spending bill just nine months ago. so this actually builds on the $2 trillion our colleagues passed at the beginning of this year. the very first payments had barely gone out the door when our friends on the other side of the aisle had called for these temporary provisions to be made permanent. our colleagues knew that a permanent expansion would have been far too expensive so they opted for a temporary extension. earlier drafts of this bill would have extended this policy through 2025. as time went on, the price tag was still too high so democrats scaled it back to a one-year extension. but still nothing has changed. calls to make this temporary
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provision permanent have not gone away. and i see no indication that our colleagues will ever be content to let this extension expire after just one year. our colleagues on the other side of the aisle say this provision will cost taxpayers $185 billion as if that were a bargain. the latest estimate from the c.b.o. places the actual cost at roughly $1.6 trillion. you heard that right. our colleagues across the aisle said it would just cost $185 billion, but the latest estimate from the congressional budget office places the actual cost during the ten-year budget window at roughly $1.6 trillion, nine times higher than what democrats had been telling the american people. the true cost of this one provision is nearly as high as what our colleagues said the entire package would cost.
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then you add in the other higher-than-promised expenses, the true cost of payoffs and subsidies to organize labor, allowing dues to become tax deductible will cost taxpayers billions more than advertised. but i'll give them credit about one thing. they are transparency parent when it comes to subsidizing more frivolous lawsuits by small businesses by giving a permanent tax cut to trial lawyers. but when you add up all of the not-so-temporary provisions the congressional budget office says this bill will cost $4.9 trillion during the first ten years, not $1.75 trillion, not zero but $4.9 trillion. deficits and debt would increase by a staggering $3 trillion. in other words, borrowed money that the next generation or maybe next two generations will have to repay.
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which makes president biden's comment about zero even more bizarre. when it comes to solving our country's biggest problems, our colleagues across the aisle have proven themselves to be a one-trick pony. whether the american people are facing a pandemic, a sluggish economic recovery, head hot inflation, or any combination of crises, president biden and our democratic colleagues here in congress think trillions of dollars in new spending is the best path forward. the first round of reckless spending hurt our economic recovery and sent the american people on a wild inflationary ride. our colleagues continued to ignore clear signals from the economy, including warnings by democratic economists about the consequences to unchecked spending. and we're now experiencing the highest inflation in a
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generation. this second round of spending would usher in more inflation, higher deficits, and even a greater financial trouble for the american people. the american people have clearly suffered enough, and it's time to simply put the build back bankrupt bill out of its misery. mr. president, i yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north dak dak. a senator: are we in a quorum
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call? the presiding officer: we are. a senator: i ask unanimous consent to vitiate the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. the so ordered. the gentleman from north dakota. a senator: mr. president, as we approach the christmas break and advent of the new year, i believe it's instructive to take an inventory of the year that was. so in honor of the holiday season, let's take stock of the first year of the reign of president biden. i'm going to call this the 12 biden blunders of christmas. mr. cramer: the first blunder, the joe bide -- that joe biden gave to us, is a free big government socialist agenda. otherwise known as the democrats' build back better plan. designed to pass with no support from -- or, frankly, input from any of these pesky republicans. time and time again joe biden and his democratic toy makers
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have parroted the claim that their big government socialist agenda costs zero, zero. can you imagine a piece of legislation designed to give away trillions of dollars but doesn't cost anything. but perhaps they have some elf dust that makes it possible. obviously this isn't true. analysis by a nongovernment, nonpartisan groups, including penn warton model and the committee for responsible federal budget did analysis and concluded that the cost was much, much higher, like just under $5 trillion. a recent thorough analysis based on the history and the traditions of congress and spending by the nonpartisan congressional budget office agrees. "the washington post" fact-checker even gave treasury secretary janet yellen two pinocchios when she repeated the same bogus claim that this bill would cost nothing.
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the second blunder joe biden gave to us is hiding from media reporters and not taking questions. it's kind of unbelievable to me. it's hard to imagine that the leader of the freest country in the world, in fact the leader of the free world, is afraid to take questions from -- or that his staff is afraid of what might come out of his mouth. mr. president, freedom of the press is enshrined in the first amendment of our constitution on purpose. yet the white house press secretary jen psaki actually admitted out loud, quote, a lot of times we say don't take questions. the media in the united states is not supposed to be the mouthpiece of the government or its leaders. transparency is essential, essential in our exceptional self-governed system. now, i'm not the president of the united states but reporters who work in the halls of this temple of liberty and, of course, reporters back home in north dakota know i am always
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willing to engage. i don't hide from my votes or explanations for them. i'm not scripted to the point of resigning my own thoughts or opinions or even mistakes and decisions. no, north dakotans elected me, not my staff. and americans elected joe biden, not his staff, not some buffer of bureaucracy. he has the responsibility to be accessible and the media has the responsibility to demand it of him. but the slippery slope doesn't end here. the third blunder joe biden gave to us is the white house deciding what is, quote, misinformation. in a news conference jen psaki said we're flagging -- imagine this now. we're e-- this is the white house spoarn. we're flagging problematic posts for facebook. we're working with doctors and medical experts who are popular with their audience with accurate information so we're helping get trusted content out there. that's frightening language
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coming from a spokesperson for the president. it sounds an awful lot like the united states government colluding the with the media to decide what in fact counts as fact. in fact, reading between the lines on this one it seems the white house is playing the ultimate arbiter of truth. and if this seems orwellian, well, it is. it is. and while it's easy to see why ms. psaki might conclude and frankly the other democrats that they in fact control a state media, the fact is they don't. give the american people some credit here. they're smarter than being spoon fed information from the west wing through their elf and folk at facebook. the fourth blunder joe biden gave to us is raining inflation from -- raging inflation from pumping trillions of free dollars into the economy. we all saw the writing on the wall when democrats and the biden administration pushed for $2 trillion in, quote, covid relief in march just three months removed from the
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bipartisan $900 billion relief bill. this was a total partisan reckless $2 trillion that came at a time when there was obvious economic recovery coming out of the pandemic and now democrats want to spend nearly $5 trillion on their build back broke plan. to put these massive numbers in perspective, the sum of these two bills, just these two bills, is more than the united states government spent fighting world war ii. in 2019 dollars, the united states spent $4.69 trillion over the course of just under four years to fight and defeat nazi germany and the access powers. liberal and left of center economists including larry summers and jason furman sounded early bells this year. but democrats forged ahead sending inflation to levels not seen in nearly 40 years. they continue to insist that inflation is transitory but americans know better. americans are paying more and more for everything with each passing month. no, this is more than transitory
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inflation. the fifth blunder joe biden's cabinet gave to us is homeland security secretary alejandro mayorkas' assessment of the southern border crisis. remember the hoards of illegal immigrants camping out under the bridge in del rio, texas? don't worry, secretary mayorkas said as he low balled the numbers citing approximately, i think, it's about $10,000 or 10,000 or so, 12,000. it could be even higher. actually, conservative estimates have the tally upwards of $15,000 -- of 15,000 people. when we're talking about the crisis at the southern border, it's important to note that joe biden has made multiple claims that he's visited the border. but best what? he hasn't. -- guess what? he hasn't. a fact-checker wrote, we cannot find evidence that biden at one point made a visit to the southern border in his many decades of public office. it's as though he thinks if he says it, somehow that makes it
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true. the problem is lying doesn't make the lie true. i've been to the border. most recently about six weeks ago. and i can tell you it's bad. and i can tell you it's a crisis. our customs and border patrol agents are completely overwhelmed. i went on a ride along and an aerial tour of the rio grande valley and visited the processing facility where families and unaccompanied minors are processed. if there's any takeaway from seeing this firsthand, it's this. there's no way to adequately understand the magnitude of the problem or the severity of the crisis unless you see it with your own two eyes. and so i implore the president who has held electeddive nearly uninterrupted -- elective office nearly -- please visit the southern border and what is obvious to everyone else. this is a national crisis. the sixth blunder joe biden gave to us is a new kind of border
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wall. not the wall we need to secure the crisis on the southern border which has seen record numbers as nearly two million people have attempted to enter the country illegally under biden's watch. and by the way, this is just the number of illegal immigrants that have been -- that have been apprehended by our c.p.d. heroes. that's more than twice the population of my home state. but according to secretary mayorkas, a border wall is an affront to -- get this -- it's an affront to humanitarian relief. obviously they don't qualify thor this humanitarian relief. yet his agency secured and awarded a contract for nearly half a million taxpayer dollars to build and install a fence around joe biden's home in delaware. what kind of humanitarian relief does joe biden's beach mansion need, mr. president? the seventh blunder are
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settlements for illegal immigrants. "the wall street journal" was the first to report this absurd plan. while north dakota families and businesses are having youing with inflation and skyrocketing costs on everything because of joe biden's spending policies, his administration wants to hand out hundreds of thousands of dollars to illegal immigrants. in comparison to the 4 -- $450,000 proposed payout, the united states pays only $100,000 to the families of servicemembers killed in defense of our country. nd 100,000 if you die defending our freedom. but $450,000 if you violate our freedom. now in when confronted about this, president biden said this was not going to a but he was quickly corrected by his own white house and the justice department. the negotiations are ongoing so we don't know what any final
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number will be. i've helped sponsor legislation and amendments to prevent this policy from ever being implemented. the last thing we need is another incentive for people to come to our country illegally. the eighth blunder joe biden gave to us is private jet-setting climate apologist john kerry's comments on coal. kerry stated by 2020 in the united states we won't have coal. we will not have coal plants. while a state department spokesperson walked bakkery's statement, quote, noting the administration's plan would still allow coal, it's absurd on its face. cutting off coal would shut down american innovation, kill all the progress we made on carbon-capture technology, eliminate good-paying u.s. jobs, and increase the cost of energy and everything that's produced that's dependent on the energy -- like we need more inflation
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-- and cede energy comes to to foreign adversaries who have a total lack of environmental concern and standards. canceling coal is merely a transfer of emissions guilt to other countries with dirtier energy production than we have. the ninth blunder given to us is moral authority and other gaffes from energy secretary-general i.f.r. granholm. most notably, secretary granholm while in north dakota said, we don't have much moral authority to call out china when 2 comes to energy production. this is not just wrong, it's embarrassing. it's not just an intellectual mistake, it is an embarrassing gaffe. the stringent environmental and i might add labor standards of the united states are far superior to the lack of any of them in china, and i rest my case on the facts of the situation here. one, according to the b.b.c. and several other agencies, the b.b.c. says china emits 27% of global emissions and it's a rising percent. it's a rising number.
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while the united states is around 10% and a declining percent. two, according to the e.p.a., total u.s. energy-related carbon emissions fell by 12% from 2005 to 2018 while the united states became the number-one energy producer in the world. in contrast, global energy-related carbon emissions increased nearly 24%. so the united states reduces 12%. the globe increases 24%. this is significant by any standard and certainly qualifies us to be able to say we have moral authority over china when it comes to polluting and greenhouse gas emissions. in north dakota, in fact, we're performing groundbreaking research in highly innovative demonstration projects. we're in the process of adding carbon-capture technologies to facility like the coal creek power generating station. furthermore, the united states has invested more in clean
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energy research, development, and deployment than the next two countries combined. we're a global leader in climate mitigation measures for new energy sources, carbon management, and efficiency. radical and backward energy policy of this administration ignores american exceptionalism and the real progress that we've made as a nation. the chinese communist party, russia, and other polluters have shown no real interest in doing so. yet secretary granholm and joe biden provide cover for them along, of course, with john kerry. even green lighting their fossil fuel energy projects while they kill america's. the tenth blunder joe biden gave to us is a disastrous withdrawal from afghanistan. there's a lot to unpack here and nothing about this topic is meant to be glib or sarcastic. this withdrawal was nothing short of a tragic disaster and an international embarrassment. we will continue searching for answers and accountable from the administration, but let's focus on the failed commitments from
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joe biden. he said his administration would get all americans and our allies out of the country ahead of his arbitrary august 31 deadline. this is obviously not what happened. after the botched withdrawal, the administration listed numbers ranging from 85 people to 200, maybe 400 americans left in afghanistan. a the state department, however, believes as many as 14,000 legal permanent residents remain in afghanistan according to a foreign policy press report. whatever the number, mr. president, the president went on national television and told the world this withdrawal was, quote, an extraordinary success. mr. president, can you imagine being one of the people left behind and seeing your president on tv calling what he did an extraordinary success, saying that we got out successfully? it's abundantly clear there are
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significant numbers of u.s. citizens, residents and important afghan allies still stranded in the country, if in fact they're still aleve at all. the 11th blubber is welcoming stiff competition with china. in october, jen psaki was asked about the chinese communist party's missile tests which reports they're capable of delivering a nuclear warhead. her response, oh, we welcome stiff competition. really? really? why would the white house welcome military competition from our peer adversary, communist china? as a member of the senate armed services committee, it's been a priority to ensure the u.s. military maintains a secure and effective deterrent, a nuclear deterrent. in order to do so, we need to modernize our nuclear triad. america's nuclear triad of missiles, submarines, and aircraft are 60-plus years old in many cases and they're not
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the same, strong deto our adversaries that they once were. it is clear the chinese communist party is prioritizing a nuclear buildup and the white house seems comfortable with all of this. 129th blunder is the alarm in regards to his own comments about taiwan. in october, joe biden told reporters, quote, i've spoken with xi about the ah. agreement. alarm bells rang out causing a lot of confusion and head scratching. you have to remember. we have a backdrop of beijing ramping up military pressure and joe biden can't properly articulate our foreign policy posture? the lack of understanding on something as critical as china is dumbfounding. taiwan is a strategic ally and important trading partner, especially given the increased risk china poses not only to the
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region but to the world. if this was an isolate the incident, it would be one thing but this isn't the only time his comments on taiwan had to be clarified. no. in a cnn town hall, anderson cooper asked if biden was, quote, coming to the defense of taiwan? joe biden said, yes, we have a commitment. the white house resorted to walking back these comments in what seems to be a recurring occurrence at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. one "washington post" article wrote, quote, most analysts believe simply that biden misspoke. misspeaking is a kind way to dismiss the obvious lack of clear understanding of a critical foreign policy issue by our commander in chief. if there were to be an attack, i'm not even sure the president would know what to do if he can't accurately express what our policy is. mr. president, i'm not sure i can sum this up as succinctly as
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two turtledoves and a partridge in a pair tree. i yield back. i note the absence of a -- i yield back. the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. murphy: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, nine years ago this morning i was in bridgeport, connecticut. i had just done an event with
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the city of bridgeport. i was meeting my wife and, at the time, my two very young children, ages four and one in 2001. we were going to take the train down to new york city. kathy and i were going to show our two kids the splendor of new york city. we were going to go see the christmas tree, we were going to go to the ice rink. as we were waiting for the train to arrive, i got news that there had been a shooting at a school in newtown, connecticut. the town is a beautiful community, quintessential small town, close-knit, the labor day parade every year attracts every civic and community group to it, the pride of the community. and i wondered whether i could still continue on to this family trip or whether i needed to wait to find out more. i figured it was a disgruntled
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employment a few moments passed as i waited for the train and the news began to come in that this was much more grim, that there were children shot, perhaps many, and i decided that i should get in a car and head to sandy hook. there are a lot of days when i wish i didn't see the things that i saw or hear the things that i heard in newtown that day. senator blumenthal is on the floor with me right now. we were there. and we were just witnesses. we were just interlopers. neither of us lost a loved one that day. but it's a day that i will never, ever forget etched into my brain. and we've come here likely every december 14 to memorialize
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another year having passed since sandy hook and of course at some point you come to a loss for words. you can't figure out what new to say to your colleagues to try to explain what has happened to these families, to this community. why there's such an aching for action, a disbelief that this country refuses to stand up and do something about the safety of our kids because while newtown caught the nation's attention, for good reason, 26- and 27-year-olds vanishing from the -- 20 six and seven-year-olds vanishing from the world. a few weeks later i was in a community town hall with parents who were furious that the community was just waking up to
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this violence. because it had been happening it to their black children for decades. so today i want to do something very simple for my colleagues and for the country. i want to just explain to you what the grief of these families feels like, what it looks like when you lose a child, whether that child is six or seven or 16 or 17. when you outlive your child, when your child doesn't even make it to adulthood, there is an all-consuming grief that is inescapable. one of the emotions that is connected to this grief that i've learned about is the tendency to deny the reality that has become your
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surrounding, and it's logical to momentarily either purposefully or subconsciously try to figure out a way out of this world that you are living in without your child, without your son or daughter that you had planned to spend the rest of the your life with. and so i want to talk a little bit about that emotion today. i live now in the south end of hartford. i live just two blocks from the intersection of south prospect and sheldon street. i think i live there intentionally because i know this story so well, and when my family and i were looking for a house in hartford and there was one available just two blocks from this intersection i think
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there was something intentional about the choice we made. on and at that intersection just two months before the sandy hook shooting shane oliver, a young african american, 20 years old, was meeting a couple of acquaintances. he was transferring a car that he had fixed up, to this other group of individuals that he knew in passing. he was there with his girlfriend, and during the exchange of this vehicle an argument broke out. it started because of something untoward that his sellers said about his girlfriend. it was essentially an argument over a girl that turned into a fistfight, that then prompted luis rodriguez to go back to his car. inside that car was an illegal gun. he walked out of the car with the gun. shane oliver tried to run and he was shot in the back.
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he died that night at a hartford hospital. his mother, for a good deal afterwards, would wake up in the middle of the night, awaken from a deep sleep, put her clothes on, get into her car and start driving. she would do this night after night. she would drive from her home to the corner of south prospect and sheldon street where her son died. and when she got there, she would shift her transmission into park and she would turn on the high beams and just wait, for hours. the car in park, high beams on on, ostensibly waiting for her son to come back.
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it's implausible. shane oliver had died months ago. he wasn't coming back. but his mother, consumed by this grief, consumed by this need to deny what had happened, sat there in her car. are around the same time one parent who we have gotten to know very well in sandy hook came up with her own trick. she would pretend that her son who had died that day in sandy hook wasn't dead. in fact, he was just visiting a friend for the afternoon. she was trying to figure out ways to just get some house work done, to just tidy up the place, to make some phone calls that she needed to in order to get her family's business done. and the only way that she could do that was to imagine that her son was at a play date and that he would be coming home soon. and of course that dream would
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vanish, and she would once again come to grips with the reality that her son was never ever coming home, but that need to deny that reality even for a few hours was what was necessary for her in order to get through the day. i just tell those two stories because i want people to understand how desperate your life becomes when you lose a child. we lost 26 individuals, 20 kids and six educators nine years ago today in sandy hook, and the families of all 26 of these individuals -- the parents, the brothers, the sisters, the children, their lives will never ever be the same. newtown will never ever be the same. many of these kids lived within a block or two of each other.
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everyone in newtown knew one of these families, two of these families. half of these kids went to the same church. the funerals we went to over and over again were at the same place, with the same priest presiding over funeral after funeral, wake after wake. and so sometimes those of us who work in and around this issue of gun violence get angry at our colleagues because how can you listen to stories of this grief -- and they happen in every state -- and choose not to act? lastly, i want to do something that i have done several times on the floor, because i am running out of ways to express what happened in sandy hook and why our inaction is inexcusable.
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i'm running out of turns of phrase to do it myself, so maybe the words of a parent will help you understand why we need to act. so i want to read a few excerpts from testimony that our friend neil heslin gave before the united states senate just two months after sandy hook occurred. neil is a complicated guy. he's a good friend. he's had hard times in his life. but his best friend was his son jesse lewis. i'll end by reading what he wrote to the united states senate nine years ago. on december 14, jesse got up and got ready for school. he was always excited to go to school. i remember that day, we stopped
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at misty veil deli. i remember jesse got the sausage, eggs and cheese he always gets with hot chocolate. i remember the hug he gave me when he got out. i can still feel that hug. and jesse said it's going to be all right. i mention that his father neil had a rough life, had hard times like a lot of us. jesse said it's going to be all right. everything's going to be okay, dad. looking back on it makes me wonder what did he know? did he have some idea about what was about to happen? at the time i didn't think much of it. i just thought he was being sweet. he was always being sweet like that. he was the kind of kid that would leave me voice messages singing me happy birthday even though it wasn't my birthday. i would ask him about it. he would say i want to make you feel happy. he had so much wisdom. i had no idea how he knew. he was always right.
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he would remember places we had gone and things we had done. i used to think of him as a tiny adult. teachers would tell us about his laugh, how he made things at school more fun just by being there. jesse had this idea that you never leave people hurt. if you can help somebody, you do it. that's what jesse thought. if you can make somebody feel better, you do it. they tell me that's how he died. i guess we still don't know exactly what happened in that school. maybe we'll never know, but what people tell me is that jesse did something different. he heard the shooting and he didn't run and hide. he started yelling. people disagree about what he said, but ten kids from my son's class made it to safety. i hope to god something jesse did that day helped them survive. what i know is that jesse wasn't shot in the back. he took two bullets, the first one grazed the side of his head, but that probably didn't stop him from yelling. the other hit him in the
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forehead. both bullets were fired from the front. that means the last thing my son did was look adam lanza straight in the face. jesse grew up with guns, just like i did. i started shooting when i was eight years old. my dad was a vice president for years at the local gun club. he started taking me shooting when i was eight. he taught me to respect guns, like i taught jesse. jesse had an interest in guns. he had a bb gun. i taught him gun safety. he knew it. he could recite it to you. some guns just don't have a place in the hands of civilians. assault weapons, the sole purpose is to put a lot of lead out into the battlefield quickly. that's what they do. that's what they did at sandy hook elementary. i wish i wasn't here with you today, neil writes. the best day of my life was the day my son was born. the worst day was the day he lied. i don't want to relive the day by talking to you here about it. it would be easy for me to stay
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home but i know that's not what jesse would do. jesse died screaming at a man with a gun. he died yelling at the top of his lungs so maybe some of his classmates could get to safety. i'm not political. half the time i think it doesn't matter which group runs things here. i always thought it wasn't a good idea for people to be walking around with military weapons but probably wouldn't have said anything about it. so the reason i say this isn't about politics is because what i felt on that day and what i felt since doesn't have to do with politics, and politics people like to debate and say that if we ban the weapon that adam lanza used, he would have found something else. when you're sitting at a firehouse and it's 1:00 in the morning and you're hoping against hope your son is hiding somewhere in the school, you want to make any change that makes it one bit more likely that you'll see your boy again. before he died, jesse and i used to talk about maybe coming to washington someday. he wanted to go to the
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washington monument. when he talked about it last year, jesse asked if we could come and meet the president. i said earlier that i can be cynical about politicians, but jesse believed in you. he learned about you in school, and he believed in you. i want to believe in you too, writes neil. i know you can't give me jesse back. believe me, if i thought you could, i'd be asking you for that. but i want to believe that you will think about what i told you today. i want to believe you'll think about it and then you'll do something about it, whatever you can do to make sure that no other father has to see what i have seen. dick and i were at that firehouse all day and all
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night, and i'll never ever forget that when all the parents had gone home, having told what happened, the first responders had almost all left, sitting in the middle of the firehouse all by himself was this one man. it was neil heslin. i left that firehouse, i can't remember, 10:00, 11:00 at night. neil was the last person i talked to. as he tells you in his testimony, he didn't leave until 1:30. if there was any chance that jesse was coming back, that he was running around in the woods, neil was going to be sitting there at that firehouse. it gets harder every year, and i have no personal stake in
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this. i went home that night to both of my kids who were sleeping safely in their beds. what the hell is going on in this country, that we sit here and memorialize year after year since those 20 kids died, and we don't do anything meaningful about it. next december will be ten years, and i'm just going to tell you how hard it will be for so many of these families to live through the ten-year mark of sandy hook with no action from this body. we have a year to get our act together here, to make sure that in some small way we can honor these children with action. i yield the floor.
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mr. blumenthal: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. blumenthal: mr. president, this day is one of profound emotion for both senator murphy and myself because we lived through that day, a searing, grief-stricken day that neither of us will ever forget. nine years ago. and at this moment on that day i stood before a church full of parents and members of that newtown community, and what i said then was the world is watching. the world is watching us and what we will do.
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and today we remember not only what we lost, but also what we still need to do. nine years ago those 20 beautiful children and six great educators lost their lives, and today, it as we did at st. rose of lima church that evening, we remember the lives they lived. their names will be forever engraved in our hearts. we remember them for being bursts of light and laughter, loving our lives, mostly in the lives of their families. we also remember the heroism, the real heroism of those educators on that day. six who bravely sought to shield
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their children literally with their own bodies, sought to protect their children, running unhesitatingly toward that danger, barricading the classroom, drawing on all their reserves of calm and professionalism to protect children in their care. they were heroes and so were the emergency responders, state police, all who came to the firehouse that day. i remember the broken faces, heartbroken faces of men who went into the school building to secure the crime scene and saw the bodies of children that could have been their own.
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tough state policemen who'd seen it all. those emergency responders, the ministers, priests, people of faith who tended to parents and, yes, indeed the parents themselves heroes. my colleague, senator murphy, has talked about jesse's dad, neal. jesse's mom, scarlet louis became a hero of social and emotional learning and the emotional travail that could lead someone like adam lanza to do what he did. and i will never forget at one of those wakes and funerals that we attended in the days afterwd -- they seemed
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interminable in the cold and the deadening light of winter -- one mom whom i approached and said when the time is right, when you're ready, i think we should do something about gun violence. and she looked at me and she said, i'm ready now. the ferocity, the bravery, the strength and fortitude of those parents in the days and months afterward, coming here as we sought to do something about gun violence and then sat in the gallery when by a handful of votes we failed and the cry of shame, shame as one of those
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parents shouted to us. they worked bravely, and they were continued that work with the kind of unflinching courage that it takes every time they tell their story and every time one of the surviving families talks about their children in the quest to save others. that is what it's all about. that is why those brave parents, heroes of this story, have continued. for them, that december morning began like every other. they took their children to school, kissed them goodbye, maybe admonished them to be good that day. it was a normal day until it
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wasn't. and then time stopped for them and all of us. time stopped and the world changed forever irreparablyier repairably changed forever for them and for all of us. and nine years later, they live with that grief so far more deeply than any of us that it almost feels like an incursion on their privacy to talk about that day h and the scars of that day for them but also for the brothers and sisters, for everyone who suffered a loss, that trauma and grief continue, and they relive it on this day.
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there also are heroes in that community of newtown and sandy hook, a beautiful, quintessential new england town with such great spirit, as they came together that evening at the st. rose of lima church and in the days and weeks and years afterward with unyielding conviction and courage. and yet we know that they are so far from alone because in that time, incredibly, in the time, the nine years since that day, 900,000 more people have perished, 900,000 more people have died from gun violence, and so many of them children.
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one-third of american children live in a home with a gun, and three million children are exposed to gun violence every year. firearms are the leading cause of death among american children and teenagers, the leading cause of death for children younger than the age of 13. and so often they occur at home, outside the front door, in the neighborhood, black children are 14 more times than white children and teens to die by gun homicide. there is a sering inequity and injustice here that radiates outside the boundaries of sandy hook and newtown. it affects every community. none is immune.
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none is above gun violence. and because 60% of all deaths by gun violence are suicide, there are solutions here, like safe storage and emergency risk protection orders, red flag statutes that simply keep guns safely stored, like ethan's law, or separate guns from people who say they're going to kill themselves or others or give evidence that that's what they're going to do. the good news is, we are seeing a new generation of leaders. we are seeing a political movement, not just a moment. a political movement and a group of organizations that are mobilizing the vast majority of american people who know we need to put an end to gun violence. sandy hook promise, newtown
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action alliance, connecticut against gun violence, moms demand action, students demand action, give in orders, brady -- giffords it brady, march for our lives, a new generation brought together by tragedy, united regardless of their party, regardless of their other politics. they are together in demanding action, and with every one of these mass tragedies, parkland, las vegas, charleston, el paso, orlando, pittsburgh, atlanta, boulder, minneapolis, and now oxford, michigan, the scourge of gun violence has united these groups in a way that has never happened before with the hope
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that americans will express themselves not only in their neighborhoods and community meetings but also at the ballot box, to hold us accountable, truly responsible for the complicity of congress. yes, it is complicity in that death and murder that occurs literally every day, more than 100 lives lost every day. there are real commonsense solutions here. i don't need to describe them in detail. that will be for another day. expanding background checks and closing loopholes in that background check system. keeping weapons of war and ghost guns off our streets. fundingpublic health research and community violence intervention programs, protecting domestic violence survivors setting standards for
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safe and secure storage, implementing those red flag statutes and holding the gun industry and their nefarious partners accountable. we know what to do. we know what is necessary to help stop gun violence. there's no mystery here, and this movement, a political movement and social movement, can achieve it. but i want to talk not only about the grief suffered by families who have lost loved ones but about the impact on the living who may not even know about sandy hook. children in schools right now, children who routinely do active shooter drills, diving under
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their desk for barricading their -- or barricading their doors in anticipation of a mass murder in the place that should be safest to them. what will this generation think of schooling? what will this generation think of safety? today in some schools there was no school because of the copycat threats phoned into those schools. what kind of nation has to shut down schools because of the threat of mass murder? not our nation, i would hope.
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not our nation if we use our power to make our nation safer. not our nation if we have the same kind of courage and guts and grit that those families of sandy hook had. we promise then to honor them with action. and we should keep in mind the grace and bravery of people like kristin and mike song who lost their son, a teenager in a friend's house to a shooting that was the result of an unsecured weapon, unsecured because the parents of his friend failed to put it under lobby and key.
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they -- lock and key. they made it accessible. kids die like that every day, every week. and as our hearts break, we should remember the bravery of chris and michael song who crusaded for ethan's law, named after their son. they were here just last week at a vigil literally within a stone's throw of the capitol reciting their story, seeking to inspire us to act and take that step towards safe storage, taking nobody's gun away. these measures take no one's gun away. they just make it safe to own a gun and to save lives.
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we have children -- i have four children. my colleagues on the floor have children and families. we remember those days when our kids were six years old. we remember the joy and light they brought to our lives and there is a saying that no parent should outlive a child until we know someone who loses a child, but most especially at that age, the power of that saying may have less meaning. in ten years we should have done a lot more if we mark ten years without doing more. in ten years, next year at this time, we should hold ourselves
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accountable for doing more. over this next year, we have work to do, and as dark as december may seem, it is also a season of lights and the heroism of those families of the first responders of the community of sandy hook should provide us with the inspiration we need to honor those brave and wonderful children, to honor them with action, not just words. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. mr. barrasso: mr. president. the presiding officer: the
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senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i come to the floor today to honor an extraordinary public servant. he's my long-time legislative director brent stewart. he is leaving the senate after a 20-year career working on behalf of the people of wyoming. he worked under two different senators from wyoming. he and his family have deep roots within our state and he is a third generation wyomingite. he was born and raised in chera done, wyoming. his mother worked at the cher done press, both of his parents encouraged him to work hard, to always be respectful, and most importantly, to be himself. not to be what others expected him to be.
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he has exceeded all expectations, mr. president, i will tell you. family means everything to brinn. he's the fifth oldest of seven children and while it's brinn's career we're here to pay tribute to, his older sister first worked in the senate. she worked for wyoming senator malcolm wallop and then she came to work in my office in sheraton, wyoming. and brinn's brother also worked in the u.s. senate. what a attestment to his parents. brinn took a very different route to the u.s. senate than his siblings. after earning a degree he went
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on to law school in 1985. it turns out he wasn't the only standout at the university of wyoming school of law. my fellow u.s. senator from wyoming cynthia lummis was his classmate and they remain friends today. after passing the wyoming state bar, he has maintained his american peopleship in the wyoming bar for 36 years. he moved to gillette, wyoming, and started his career as legal advisor to the county shefer and -- sheriff. and gillette is where mike enziy lived, and he had also graduated as had brinn from sheraton high school. he -- brinn was able to balance
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the budget in a major economic downturn without laying off any employees. this was not an easy achievement. now, after more than 16 years of serving the people of campbell county, brinn made the move to washington, d.c. he came to d.c. to work for my predecessor, senator craig thomas as his tax and trade counsel. the person who gets full credit for coming to work for the u.s. senate wasn't senator thomas, it's wasn't me. it's my incredible wife who encouraged bryn to take the job. my wife was then the state director of senator thomas at the time in 2001, reached out to bryn about the opportunity that really did change the opportunity of the course of his life and career. she knew he would be a perfect fit for the job and we're all
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very grateful to b obbi for talking him into taking a leap of faith. although it turns out a cross-country move wouldn't be the biggest shock of the journey for brynn. he was officially offered the job the friday before the terrorist attacks of september 11, 2001. many people would have reconsidered moving to washington, d.c., after such -- the largest terrorist attack in our country's history, but bryn didn't think twice. in fact, it only strengthened his resolve and commitment to serve the makes it and people of wyoming. it turns out he would need that resolve because during his first week in the d.c. office, the anthrax attacks occurred against
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our nation, our capitol. anonymous letters laced with anthrax arrived in our senate offices and bryn like so many on the hill were placed in temporary quarters. bryn was not deterred and jumped into his legislative role at full speed. for his first two and a half years he served as counsel for senator thomas. he worked on numerous tax and trade bills. most notably, he passed legislation for drought-stricken livestock producers. senator thomas was so impressed with bryn's work he promoted him to be his legislative director in 2004. legislative directors have a big job and lots of responsibility. they guide the policy staff in
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developing and implementing the senator's agenda. they must be up to speed on all of the issues. bryn recalls one story in his early days as legislative director on this point. during the 2005 energy bill debate, senator thomas was selected to serve on the conference committee. a week into the first week, senator thomas' -- bryn helped senator thomas lead -- bryn counts this experience as one of his highlights of his career. always ready to help and act. in 2007, when wyoming and the senate lost craig thomas to cancer, he was central to supporting our entire staff, many of whom are on the floor,
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through an extremely difficult and emotional time. when i was selected to fill senator thomas' seat, i asked bryn to stay on as my legislative director. it is a decision i have never regretted. for more than 14 years, i've been incredibly fortunate to have his advice and counsel. we worked together on critical issues that will have a lasting and positive impact on wyoming for decades to come. now, this includes his great work in helping to pass the craig thomas snake headwaters legacy act signed into law in 2009. bryn was instrumental in returning the mine land funds to our state, which is why i referred to him as our hundred million dollar man. this are just a few of the things he's proud of. bryn's dpenlt and knowledge made him indispensable.
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his work ethic and education are legendary. he works late, stays weekends, and does whatever it takes to get the job done. we often joke that bryn is the first in the leg shop and the last to leave. it doesn't matter if it is a storm or global pandemic, he doesn't let anything stop him from doing the work in the senate for the benefit of the people of wyoming. i talked about bryn's professional highlights, he gives back to the community. he makes it his mission to live his life with a purpose. he gives back to the community as much as he can. one of his biggest passions is to focus on organizations that provide food and shelter for those need. he serves as a member of the salvation army board, he served on organizations that operate food pantries and run low-income
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energy assistance programs. he's a member of the northern wyoming community college adversary board in gillette that helps those in campbell county and around wyoming. bryn's departure from the senate leaves big shoes to fill. while we're sad to see him go, we're happy to know he's moving back to where it started for him, his hometown of sheraton, wyoming. he'll be closer to family and will be able to spend time bike and camping and hiking through the mountains. bryn joins me, along with his staff, past staff and present staff, here to commend you on a remarkable career. we're grateful you chose your life to make wyoming a better
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place to live and a better place to work. it is with admiration, appreciation, and respect that i wish you every success as you embark on this new adventure. and we're not just saying that because today is your birthday. you will be truly missed. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. mr. portman: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. portman: first i want to offer my congratulations to bryn stewart, and that was a beautiful speech about the public service he was
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contributed to wyoming and to the united states senate. i thank my colleague from wyoming for that. i also want to say that over the weekend, i had the opportunity to travel to kentucky. i live in ohio, so kentucky's our neighboring state and went down to help some of our neighbors get back on their feet after these devastating tornadoes and it was very emotional, partly, obviously seeing people's lives just be devastated. so houses ruined and family her air looms -- herlooms lost and another emotion, which is gratitude for the people who came forward to help, neighbor helping neighbor, as always
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happens when you have one of these natural disasters, the only silver lining is people do come together and providing water and food and help getting people out of their homes through urban search and rescue teams like ohio task force 1, who went down to kentucky, chainsawing trees down so people can get their cars out and trying to repair some of the damage, get their lives back together. so it was -- it was a terrible thing to see the devastation but also a wonderful thing to see people coming together to help one another to get through a tough time. i'm on the floor today primarily to talk about the legislation that has been proposed by the biden administration and by the democratic leadership. this is the eleventh consecutive
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week i have come to the floor to talk about this because every week since it was introduced, 11 weeks ago, i wanted to talk about what's actually in this legislation, how it would impact our communities, how it would impact our economy, so today i'm here to talk a little about some of the new numbers we have in terms of inflation and how this would impact inflation. and some of the new numbers that just came out since last week from the congressional budget office which is a nonpartisan group up here that analyzes these legislative effort and what they are saying about what the cost of this bill will be. so i think it's worth having this conversation before congress, senate and the house, vote on this massive tax bill, massive spending bill that could fundamentally change the way our economy works and i think put us in a very difficult position as it relates to inflation and the economy and our debt and our
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deficit. democrats want to push this through under what's called reconciliation which is a special procedure here in the senate where instead of getting the normal super majority of 60 votes, they could do it with only 50 votes and then have a tiebreaker be the vice president in her role as president of the senate. so i have concerns about the substance of the legislation but also in terms of the process, wouldn't it be great if this could actually go through committees and the committees could vet some of these proposals. last week i talked about some of the tax proposals, for instance, which i think have inadvertent impacts on pensions, defined benefit plans in particular, inadvertent effects on businesses that aren't going to be able to write off expansions of equipment which we want them to do. maybe some of these things are inadvertent but it also has a change in the tax policy where it says that the state and local tax deduction would no longer be capped at $10,000. this is a federal deduction people are able to take for
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their state and local taxes but they'd raise that to $80,000, that cap. the impact of that and a couple of other things in the legislation means that 70% of millionaires, people that make over a million dollars in income a year, would get a significant tax cut under this legislation. where as if you only make 30,000 bucks a year, only 30% of those people get a tax cut. and that's in the first year. the second year it goes down to about half that. and in the third year it goes down to 10% and below. so it really is skewed toward providing tax relief for the wealthy at a time when obviously, you know, we're concerned about those people given the economic uncertainty, given the covid issues, given the natural disasters, given the other issues we face you would want to help those that need the help the most. that's not what this legislation does. if it had gone through the process of jurisdiction, the finance committee and ways and means committee, i don't think
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we would be seeing this. all the issues that could have been ironed out had it not been jacked through the reconciliation process without committee consideration. so i'm upset that congress is being thwarted from doing its work. i think if we had, it would be a very different piece of legislation. this plan is also going to hurt, in my view, with regard to inflation. we're looking at the highest inflation we've had in decades. i think everybody knows that now. not because they're looking at the numbers which i'll talk about in a second, but because when they go to the grocery store, they're paying a lot more for hamburger or for milk or for bread. or when they go to fill up their car with gas, they're seeing the prices at the pump. i filled up my pickup truck. i took it to kentucky on this trip i just talked about, and it was almost a hundred bucks to fill it up. that's a lot for people who are on a fixed income or young
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people or some of us who got to commute to work. that really takes a bite out of your budget. but it's -- that inflation is across our economy right now. and it's tough on people. the work shortages that we see, the workforce shortages, the supply chain delays, the inflation, all these things are problems in our economy right now. all of them get worse, in my view, if we do it the way the democrats propose. because by adding more fuel to the fire, more stimulus spending, in this case trillions of dollars, you're going to stimulate more demand in the economy, and inflation happens when demand outstrips supply, you know, so you have a lot of demand for something but you don't have the supply for it and it raises inflation. and that's exactly what many of us predicted would have happened back in march of this year when congress did the same thing. $1.9 trillion, a lot of it was stimulus spending. and it -- people said this is going to cause inflation. sure enough it did.
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it wasn't just me and other republicans. it was some democrats as well. so that trend of rising inflation which has made things so costly and expensive for so many people in my home state of ohio shows no sign of slowing down. late last week the labor department reported the consumer price index, c.p.i. rows by 6.8% over the last 12 months. that is the biggest year-to-year inflationary increase in 39 years. 39 years. and last month the number for inflation, one month alone was .8%. get on your calculator and do the math. .8% in one month, do that times 12 month, you end up with inflation of 10% on an annualized basis. that's just from last month. if you extrapolate that over the year, 10% inflation? for those who live through inflation in the late 1970's, early 1980's, you know what that does to your economy.
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so the notion that the biden administration has this is going to be temporary or transitory, that's just not true. by the way, the term reserve has said that's -- federal reserve has said that's not true. it's going to be here for a while. although we're hearing a lot of stories these days about businesses paying higher wages to attract workers, average wages went up by 4.3% last year. so with all the labor shortages and the increase in wages, wages went up 4.3%. again inflation went up 6.8% in the same 12-month period. so this is why if you're getting a raise at work, you feel pretty good about it, getting the raise, but then you go to the grocery store or go to the bass pump or buy -- gas pump or buy some clothes, you don't feel good about it because it's higher than the wage gain. you're losing out.
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and that's a real problem. by the way, in 20 as we got into the -- 2020 as we got into the covid-19 crisis, we had a very different economy. in february of 2020 we had the 19th straight month of wage gains of 3% or more and inflation was one, 1.5%. so people were feeling it. hey, i'm making more money and it's not being eaten up by inflation. that's not the case right now unfortunately. wages aren't keeping pace with the higher prices and people are finding their paychecks don't go as far as they used to. we can see by some data that just came out from a survey of consumer expectations from the new york fed that an increasing number of people are reporting that they're struggling more financially than they did a year ago. that's from the fed, the new york fed. and fewer are expecting their financial situation to improve by this time next year. that's not a great feeling as we approach the holiday season. that's a real concern.
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the other report we've had since i was on the floor last week is with regard to the producer price index. we talked about the consumer price index. the producer price index is about businesses. what are businesses seeing in terms of inflation on business-to-business purchases, for instance the new number out this week on that is the largest increase year over year since we started keeping track of this number which is about 11 years ago, 12 years ago. so the producer price index is also going up and the consumer price index is already up. what this means is that producer index number is eventually going to be reflected in higher consumer costs because businesses are going to pass this along. so this is not a good week because we just got that data. and i was very sorry to see it. because what you want to see is that producer price index going down, meaning that in the future, the consumer prices are going to go down, too. instead we're seeing a situation where it's likely that prices are going to keep going up.
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again republicans warned of this when the $1.9 trillion was spent mostly to stimulate the economy saying this is going to overheat the economy. more demand, less supply partly because of covid. in other wordses, covid made it hard -- in other words, covid made it harder to get supply in. prices go up. you're going to get inflation. larry summers is the former secretary of the treasury under president obama, former chair of the national council of economic advisers. actually, he was treasury secretary for president clinton, chair of the economic council for president obama. respected economist. he, too, warned of this. so it's not just a partisan issue, not republicans and democrats. it's the reality. what's happening when you increase demand much more than supply can handle. you get inflation. so it's not a surprise that it happened. unfortunately his prediction came true. overheated economy, demand outstripping supply. we found ourselves in the spiral
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of rising prices. that was nine months ago. i think it's fair to say that the inflation that people said was transitory is going to stay here for a while. that's a real cause for concern. so why are we doing this? why are we again spending trillions of dollars and what is the cost? something that happened since we talked last week is the true cost of the build back better plan is now being revealed by this group on the outside from the university of pennsylvania, the warton school, by others, but now by the congressional budget itself. the congressional budget office is the nonpartisan group up here in congress who tells us what the fiscal impact is, spending impact, taxing impact is, economic impact is of legislation. and, you know, the number that has been cited for the cost of this build back better legislation is $1.7 trillion over ten years. that's a lot. that would make it the second most expensive bill ever passed by congress, the first being the
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$1.9 trillion we talked about in match. but it's worse than that. because it turns out that even those staggeringly high costs we talked about, $is.7 trillion -- $1.7 trillion misses the mark based on the analysis that just came out. just as the prices for everyday goods and services are going up, the estimates we're seeing for the true cost of build back better be increasing every analysis we see. the studies have shown us that because the legislation sunsets programs, that if you actually assume those programs are not going to be stopped after, let's say, with the child tax credit one year or two years or three years but you continue through the life of the legislation, it's going to be much more expensive. and so people tell me, well, rob, that's fine but the child tax credit as an example only costs $185 billion. only. and i say actually if you take it out over time, that becomes
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trillions of dollars, like $1.6 trillion, $1.7 trillion. they say we're just going to do it for one year. well, that's just not what happens here in copg. i mean, -- in congress. i mean, the history of this once you put a program like that in place, it continues to live on year after year. let me give you the best example of that. you have probably heard a lot of democrats saying over the past few weeks we have to pass this build back better legislation by the end of this year. why? because the child tax credit that's already in law based on the march legislation is expiring. so there's tremendous amount of pressure, right? they're saying you have to extend it. well, that makes our case. so you have to extend it this year? that means i assume you have to extend it next year and the next year and the next year. and anybody who says that they don't want to extend it on the other side of the aisle, i'd
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like to hear from them because i don't think they're going to say that. and so if you assume it's extended, then you have this huge cost. the spending is going to continue to increase. and the program is not going to sunset. the total cost of the bill goes from $1.7 trillion we talked about to about $4.5 trillion based on the penn warton study i talked about under the congressional budget office analysis, it actually goes even higher, even higher to $4.9 trillion. when you add interest to the debt, it actually goes over $5 trillion. so it's difficult to understand these numbers we're talking about because they're so huge, you know, $4.5 trillion is $4,500,000,000. we never spent this much. if it's $5 trillion. that's the size of our budget or less of the whole budget for the entire country for a year.
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in one bill. now, people say it's paid for. well, it's -- the $1.7 trillion part you could argue is paid for. we can talk about that too because some of the things in the pay-fors are not sustainable in my view. including the impact on pension funds or the impact on being able to write off investments or the impact of the salt issue. so there's lots of things that need to be worked out on the spending side but also on the revenue side. let's assume it's $1.7 trillion. but that's not going to cover it because you have these expenses like the child tax credit that will continue. so i'm glad that my colleague senator lindsey graham who's ranking member of the budget committee, top republican and senator john cornyn, another colleague, asked the nonpartisan congressional budget office to do their analysis. because they showed that without the sunset, the ten-year cost of the child tax credit goes from $185 billion to $1.6 trillion. they also found that in line
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with another study by the nonpartisan joint committee on taxation, that the revenue loss would be $1.6 trillion. either taking us further into debt by $1.6 trillion or requiring new tax hikes. , so that's just one part of the legislation. it would be the costliest expenditure by congress in our history, but just one part of the legislation. the hundreds of billions in funding democrats are proposing as an example for child care under a new approach to child care, which we can also talk about, the substance of that, but it's going to hurt a lot of our states the way they're doing it. but that will end up costing double the written amount over the next decade if they remain in place, for example. all in all, congressional budget office looked at 18 supposedly sunset social spending programs and found that they will cost the taxpayers nearly $3.5 trillion over the next decade when they get extended, if this he do. the history around here is that
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they would. so you know, it's just the price tag goes up and up and up. when you add that spending to another program in build back better, c.b.o. says the total spending in the legislation goes again to $4.9 trillion. $4.9 trillion is big than the economy of any country in the world, with the exception of the u.s., china, and japan. again, these numbers are just astronomical. but think about that, it's bigger than the entire economy, the entire g.d.p. in the world, except for united states, china and japan. we're seeing record debts and record deficits right now, as you know. the congressional budget office says that the american people can expect build back better, if it sun -- if the sunsets don't hold, to add another $3 trillion to the federal deficit. as we continue to debate this in congress, which way should we go, we ought to know these numbers. we ought to an lieses them,
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and -- analyze them. if people on the other side of the aisle say we don't want to have the child tax credit extended, we need to know that. but my sense is, just as they want to extend it right now, they'll want to extend it next year and the next year and the next year. so is this the right time to do that? is this the right time to add that kind of stimulus to an economy that already is overstimulated, where you got more demand chasing not enough supply? do you want to add more to the demand side? that's what's going to happen if we pass this. so, i hope that we will not make that mistake. i hope we will slow down and look at these numbers and analyze where we are in terms of our spending. we just extended the debt limit. no republican voted for it, but all the democrats voted for it, and that's all they needed to be able to extend the debt limit, because it was under a special 50-vote margin. that was extended for basically one year, so after the elections
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next year. $2.5 trillion more debt. we had to make debt for $ 2.5 trillion more debt. in one year. it's clear that a lot of americans are nervous about this. when you look at the polling data, it says that, but just talking to people. over the weekend i was also in southeast ohio, part of our state that's very rural. a lot of people are hurting in terms of the economy, because they don't have access to broadband and so on. we were talking about how they feel about the economy, and there's a lot of nervousness. they feel the surging inflation. they're paying more for everything. and, you know, common sense, people are saying let's just slow down and think about this. they may end up thinking at the end of the day they're for some of this, but they don't want to
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move forward precipitously and make a mistake and have this add more inflation and more problems for our debt and deficit, for our kids and grandkids. they're saying let's do the right thing for the country and put the brakes on this. if we do put the brakes on this unprecedented spending and taxing, it will help us to avoid some of these economic challenges that we're otherwise going to be facing. if we go ahead with it, it's going to make these economic challenges, like inflation, even worse. so my hope is that we'll put the brakes on and these economic challenges will not worsen, and instead we can get the country back on the right track. i yield the floor.
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the presiding officer: the senator from washington. ms. cantwell: i ask the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: we are not in a quorum call. ms. cantwell: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to executive session to consider the following nominations en bloc, calendar number 402, 587, 606, that the senate vote on the nominations en bloc without intervening action or debate, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate, that any statements related to the nominations be printed in the record and the president be needly notified of the senate's actions. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. the question occurs on the nominations en bloc. all those in favor say aye. all opposed no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nominations are confirmed en
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bloc. ms. cantwell: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate consider the following nominations enblock, calendar number 497, 597, and 598, that the senate vote on the nominations en bloc without intervening action or debate, the motions to consider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate, and that any statement related to the nominations be printed in the record and the president be immediately notified of the senate's actions. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. the question occurs on the nominations en bloc. all those in favor say aye. all opposed no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nominations are confirmed en bloc. ms. cantwell: madam president, i ask unanimous consent the senate consider the following nominations, calendar number 600, 601, 602, 603, 604, and all nominations on the secretary's desk in the air force, army, marine corps, navy, and space force, that the nominations be
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confirmed en bloc, the nominations to be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate, that no further motions be made in order toll any of the nominations, that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action and the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. ms. cantwell: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of h.r. 5746 which we received from the house. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 5746, an act to amend title 51 united states code to extend the authority of the national aeronautics and space administration to enter into leases of nonaccess property of the administration. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed. ms. cantwell: i ask unanimous consent that the cantwell amendment which is at the desk be agreed to, the bill as amendedden considered as read a
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third time and passed and that the motions to be considered be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. cantwell: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 127, s. 1543. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 127, s. 1543, a bill to amend the public health service act and so forth. ms. cantwell: i ask the committee-reported substitute be agreed to, the bill as amended be considered read a third time. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. cantwell: i know of no further debate. the presiding officer: is there further debate? hearing none, all those in favor say aye. all opposed no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the bill is passed. ms. cantwell: i ask that the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate.
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the presiding officer: without objection. ms. cantwell: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar 177, s. 1097. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 177, s. 1097, a bill to establish a federal rotational cyber workforce program for the federal cyber workforce. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed. ms. cantwell: i ask unanimous consent that the bill 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. ms. cantwell: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to consideration of s. res. 479 submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. res. 479 sporting the goals and ideals of american diabetes month. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed. ms. cantwell: i ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and that the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no
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intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. cantwell: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 10:00 a.m. wednesday, december 15, that the following -- that following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, 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. 1605. further, that at 11:30, the motion to concur with the amendment 4880 be withdrawn and the senate vote on the motion to concur and that the following disposition of the house message, the senate proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the sung nomination and vote on confirmation of the nomination. further, at 2:15 p.m., the senate vote on confirmation of
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the elliot nomination and finally, if any of the nominations are confirmed, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate and the president be immediately notified of the senate's action. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. cantwell: if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until senate stands adjourned until >> the u.s. is that it has yet allow for the day and during the session today lawmakers voted to increase nations debt limit by $2.5 trillion, they also voted to advance the 2022, defense program for policy well known as a national defense authorization act or an baa and later this week the senate could take up the president's claim in social spending plan, and as always you can follow the senate live here on "c-span2", also online is on the go were cpn and
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cspan our video app. >> cspan is your unfiltered view of government, funded by these television companies and more, including cox, it is committed to providing eligible families access to affordable internet, the connecting compete program and funding, one connection and engagement at a time, cox, keeping us closer. cox connecting cspan as of the service with these other television providers and community front row seat to democracy. >> return next by journalist and author and lecturer john hopkins spirit by carey business school on economic and we will be talking about the debt limit which is coming up on wednesday, the debt limit in the current debt limit is


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