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tv   U.S. Senate U.S. Senate  CSPAN  December 15, 2021 1:59pm-6:00pm EST

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a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the ?ears from missouri. mr. blunt: madam president, dr. francis collins -- the presiding officer: the senate is in a quorum call, i'm sorry, senator. mr. blunt: i move we vitiate the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. blunt: dr. francis collins, the director of the national institutes of health, will retire this month after serving as director since 2009. that will be 12 years in one of the most challenging jobs in washington, maybe in the world. dr. collins has served under three presidents in that job. no other person has served under more than one president. and during that nine -- during
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that 12 years, certainly, there have been amazing advances in healthcare. as a "washington post" reporter put it, this was the quote from his article, news that francis collins is stepping down as director of the national institutes of health is a bit like hearing that santa claus is handing off his reindeer reins. it's the time of year to think about that. his announced retirement earlier this year was certainly followed by a flood of comments from the scientific community. they used words like brilliant, national treasure, smartest man in any room, beloved, and gentleman. i'd also echo those words. i think i'd add from the great opportunities i've had to work with him and spend time with him, straightforward, kind, respected. and, by the way, he never seems to need to act like the smartest person in any room even
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if and when he is. throughout the 12 years he's been director, he made countless contributions to biomedical research and public health. under his leadership, n.i.h. started ground isbreaking research programs like the brain initiative, revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain and the all of us precision medicine initiative, an historic effort to try to tailor medical care to the individuals. we see that's where medical care is going. as the director at n.i.h., francis presided over the creation of the national center for advancing translational sciences which translates basic science discoveries into cures. he started the cancer moonshot and the accelerating medicines partnership and increased investment in alzheimer's and opioid research. he also steered the united
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states research enterprise during a once-in-a-lifetime infectious disease pandemic. without his vision and leadership time is reserved, we may -- without his vision and leadership we may not have been able to deliver several f.d.a.-approved covid vaccines, covid therapies, diagnostic tests in less than a year. and we wouldn't want to forget this wasn't the first major health challenge that dr. collins navigated us through. he also led the responses to the h-1-n-1 flu outbreak in 2009 and the 2014 and 2015 ebola outbreak. it does sort of make you wonder why he was still there when this pandemic came along, but again, we're fortunate that he was. his impact on health and health care really didn't start when he became n.i.h. director. in fact, before becoming director, he made significant contributions in the research field of genetics.
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he codiscovered the gene that causes cystic fibrosis and found genes for huntington's disease and type 2 diabetes. maybe the most significant scientific contribution that he did was head the human genome project which mapped the success, that mapped and sequenced the full human genome for the first time. that monumental effort has allowed scientists to unlock some of the great mysteries of human life. it's created potential to develop treatments and cures for some of our most serious diseases. and what it's really done is allow us to begin to think about personalized medicine, realizing every person is different than every other person, that everybody has capacity to fight back to any disease that challenges them. but usually the disease can quickly overwhelm that capacity, which is why the addition of i am -- immuno ther,
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the addition of personalized medicine are critical tools for today. his work had tremendous impact at the time, but will even have greater impact and we can see that impact as we move forward and look at how we need to look at personalized medicine. all this has been accomplished in a way that very few sciences, i think, could have the articulation of vision that francis has, to share in a way that people cannot only begin to understand these concepts, but buy into the concepts. certainly one of the proudest accomplishments i've had in the senate with him was working to increase n.i.h. funding. when i became chairman of that committee seven years ago, we had a ten-year stagnation really in funding.
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working with senator durbin, who was here earlier this morning talking about dr. collins -- and i would try to join that moment and couldn'r durbin, senator alexander, senator murray on our side of the building, and many others working with congressman cole and now chairman delauro on the appropriations committee on the other side, we decided we were going to make n.i.h. research a priority. and over the next seven years increase funding by 43%. at a time when so many things are happening so quickly, francis collins, of course, not only was part of sharing that goal, but, frankly, also part of saying don't come up with a goal where when you get there you're going to stop. let's keep moving forward as long as we're making the kind of scientific advances that we know the country needs to make and the world needs to make, and we're doing that. finally, he may be remembered
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in many cases the most for the hope he just has been able to bring to patients and communities. he's a physician, he's a scientist, been the director at n.i.h., as i said, for 12 years. but part of his real ability is the ability to share who he is, to share the potential of science. during the time of covid, we saw francis coming up with ways to focus on the pandemic and the way we need to respond to that pandemic. he is an incredibly skillful person. his legacy, i think, will live through generations of researchers. he's inspired countless lives he's touched. his impact will be felt for a long time. i just want to say on behalf of all of my colleagues, all of
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whom have been part of that process of making n.i.h. and health research a priority, thank you to francis for your leadership, for your friendship, and for your public service. a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. mrs. shaheen: thank you, madam president. before i start my remarks, i'd like to thank the senator from missouri and add my thanks to dr. francis collins for his leadership and his contributions to our country, to our country's future, and his reassurance during very difficult times. so, thank you, senator blunt, for so eloquently recognizing dr. collins. and, madam president, i have ten requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. the presiding officer: duly noted.
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--. a senator: i rise to support samantha d. elliott's nomination. our court system was established to serve as an independent arbiter that would deliver equal justice under the law, and our democracy requires an independent and impartial judiciary for us to continue moving forward as a nation. i am confident that if confirmed, samantha elliott will bring the necessary impartiality, experience and commitment to justice to the federal bench. a resident of concord, new hampshire, ms. elliott spent years representing granite staters and has been a leader within the new hampshire legal community. in her legal practice, she has represented clients at every level of new hampshire's state court, the united states district court for the district of new hampshire, and the first circuit court of appeals. ms. hassan: throughout her career, ms. elliott earned the respect and admiration of those within the legal community. with the support of her peers,
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she has been selected for inclusion in the best lawyers in america, as well as new england super lawyers. she is awards are a testament to the reputation that she has built in and outside of the courtroom. for this role on the united states district court for the district of new hampshire in particular, members of the american bar association standing committee unanimously found ms. elliott to be well qualified, a distinction that reflects ms. elliott's integrity, professional competence and temperament. madam president, i also want to note ms. elliott's impressive record of using her professional expertise to give back to her community and to our state. she has served on the board of new hampshire legal assistants and with the legal advice referral center dedicated to providing services to low-income granite staters. this year she became co603 h legal aid, another legal
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support system for those in need. she has taken on all of these roles while also fulfilling leadership roles within her own firm and tending to a robust legal practice of her own. members of new hampshire's small and tight-knit legal community marvel at ms. elliott's time management skills as well as her wide-ranging practice and capacity as an attorney. but what drives her colleagues' respect and admiration is her clear-eyed and passionate commitment to ensuring that everyone in our democracy has access to justice. , and her understanding that lawyers are privileged to be able to provide it. madam president, samantha elliott will be a fair-minded, balanced and intellectually curious judge whrol -- who will serve granite staters with distinction. i look forward to voting in favor of her nomination and i urge all of my colleagues to do the same.
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thank you, madam president. i know that my colleague, senator shaheen, is here today to speak about ms. elliott's experience as well, and i yield the floor to her. mrs. shaheen: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. mrs. shaheen: thank you, madam president. i ask to speak for up to five minutes before the vote. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. shaheen: thank you. i'm really pleased to join my colleague, senator hassan, to speak in support of samantha elliott's nomination to the federal district court for the district of new hampshire. as we heard from senator hassan, samantha elliott has had an amazing public service career. her professional experience and commitment to ensuring equal access to justice make her eminently qualified to serve on the federal bench. she will make an excellent addition to the federal district court in new hampshire. now, samantha actually came to the practice of law in a less traditional way. she started out first as a writer for magazines before she and her husband flipped a coin to see who would go to law
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school. after graduating from columbia law school, she obviously won the toss, she joined gallagher, callahan and gartrel, a law firm in concord, our capital city. since becoming an attorney samantha has litigated in federal and state courts handling matters that involve complex areas of law. she served in a variety of leadership positions at her firm, including serving as president for five years. during the selection process, samantha always came back to the importance of equal access to justice, saying at one point, and i quote, no one closes or opens doors to access to justice like a judge. the presiding officer: please take your conversations off the floor. mrs. shaheen: samantha knows firsthand through her extensive work with the new hampshire legal aid community just how correct that saying is.
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for nine years she served on the joint board of new hampshire legal assistance and the legal advice and referral center, and she's held various roles on its executive committee. samantha also spent more than two and a half years on a special committee that met every other monday to revisit the structure of legal aid in new hampshire. just think about that, every other monday for two and a half years to better restructure legal aid in new hampshire. these tireless efforts culminated in the creation of 603 legal aid, a new entity that will increase access to justice for new hampshire's low-income residents. samantha has consistently demonstrated her commitment to ensuring that everyone has access to justice, no matter what their socioeconomic status. and as a result of her commitment, her tenacity and her respect for the law, samantha's nomination has garnered widespread support throughout the new hampshire legal community, including from
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chuck douglas, who is a former republican representative to congress and new hampshire supreme court justice. now he's only ever faced samantha as an adversary in litigation, but he said, and i quote, she's an excellent law who is creative and diligent and exhibits the highest standards of our profession. in addition to former justice douglas, samantha's nomination is supported by a diverse collection of attorneys and others in the new hampshire legal community, including the new hampshire women's bar association, judge gary hicks, who is a current supreme court justice in new hampshire; the senior source and george moore, executive director of the new hampshire bar association. to name just a few of those who have weighed in with letters of support. madam president, i would like to enter these letters of support into the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. shaheen: thank you. i'm confident that samantha's
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passion for the law and dedication to the impartial administration of justice will make her an excellent judge, and i urge my colleagues to support her nomination. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the question is on the nomination. mrs. shaheen: i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer:
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the presiding officer: on this vote, the yeas are 62, the nays are 37. and the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the senate will proceed to executivs order, the motion to reconsider is considered the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table and the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action.
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a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from delaware. mr. coons: first i ask unanimous consent that my state department
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fellow be given floor privileges. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. coons: i come to the floor at a time that, i believe as of today, there are 72 nominees for state department and usaid positions pentagon on the senat. i'm going to make a series of unanimous consent requests. first, i'll proceed to one for which there will likely be one objection, then a few minutes of remarks, then to additional ones. i ask i ask unanimous consent that notwithstanding rule 22 if applicable at time to be determined by the majority leader in consultation with the republican leader. the senate proceed to executive session to consider executive calendar number 239, michelle jean sison, of maryland, a career member of the senior foreign service to be assistant secretary of state. that there be ten minutes for debate equally divided in the usually form, that upon the yeeling of time, the senate proceed to vote, if the nomination is confirmed, the motion be the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, no
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further motions in order on the nominations, that and the president be immediately notified on these actions, and the senate resume legislative session. the presiding officer: is there objection? a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the ?ears from missouri. mr. hawley: i object and submit a statement for the record. the presiding officer: the objection is heard. mr. coons: madam president, at a time when we need senior people to help our country deterred aer is varies, secure our values, it is important that all the nominees currently waiting on this floor be confirmed. they're well qualified. eight would serve under the jurisdiction of my subcommittee, on the senate foreign relations committee, in various multilateral organizations, and in economic and energy policy. i understand, and i roo respect the -- respect the right of colleagues on both sides of the aisles to seek amendments on votes like the nord stream 2 issue. i would be happy to vote on additional subjects around foreign policy and national security, and i pushed for
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additional votes during the national defense authorization act floor process. these national security issues are important, and this chamber owes to the american people robust debate, but we also need to provide advice and consent on any president's nominees in a purposeful and timely manner. with that in mind, in a few moments, i'll officially i ask unanimous consent to confirm the following nominees, jack markell, to be u.s. representative to the oscd, nick burns, ambassador to china, rahm emanuel to be ambassador to japan, steven bondy, ambassador to bahrain, christopher lew, to be representative of the united states for the un, for un management and reform, lisa cardy to be representative to the un on economic and social council of the united states, laura hole laura holgate,
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representative to the iaea, and c.s. elliott kahn to. adam scheinman to be special representative for nuclear nonproliferation. i'm going to ask u.c. for all of these, because they are critical to our foreign policy and our national security, and i must say at the outset, i've appreciated the opportunity to dialogue with colleagues about a possible path forward, but as of rye now -- right now, we don't have one. so i'm seeking this unanimous consent. principal among the many nominees is my dear friend jack markell, and i'd like to turn to my colleague, also from the state of delaware, for a few minutes of remarks about this wonderful public servant we've both known for decades. mr. carper: madam president. the presiding officer: senior senator from the commonwealth of delaware. state, sorry.
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mr. carper: the first state. the first to ratify the constitution. the only state for the first week, if you can believe that. jack markell is one of the two best governors we've ever had. as a former governor, he knows what i'm talking about. but madam president, i rise to ask unanimous consent to confirm delaware's own jack markell as ambassador to the organization for economic cooperation and development, better known as oecd. i've had the privilege of knowing jack for over two decades, as a steadfast governor, brilliant governor actually, of the state of delaware, chairman of the national governors' association, and as a prudent state treasurer. someone who has had a great career in the world of business, mows recently as a compassionate coordinator of operation allies, leading the national effort to help resettle afghan refugees across the united states. jack is someone whom i deeply respect as a public servant, admire as a father, husband, and a son.
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after being referred out of committee by voice vote, he's someone who senators from both sides of the aisle trust to serve as steward for america's interests abroad. and i'm confident that jack will serve the united states with great distinction as our top diplomat to the oecd, and i'm honored to introduce him, if you will, here today on the senate floor. there are some people who might not know just what the oecd does, and the important role it plays in keeping our world's leaders informed and their economies thriving. somebody asked me my favorite part of my job. i tell them, i say it's helping people. they ask how do you like to ask people? i say i like to make sure they have a job. if you make sure people have a job, can support themselves and family, that's one of the best things you can do for them. predecessor for the oecd, the organization for european economic cooperation, was founded in the rubble of world war ii to help european nations disburse funds received from the
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marshall plan and lift up the economies of the world. a little over a decade later, the organization was restructured. it was restructured to open up beyond the borders of europe, and in 1961 what we now know as the oecd was formed as a north star, if you will, for global economic research, publishing data and forecasts for economic stability in this interconnected world we live in. today, some 38 cuns, 38 democra8 democrats nations dedicated too to flea market principles help lift up the economies of the world once more. it is a gathering place to seek out and share solutions to economic problems and challenges, and to strengthen our global leadership status. yet, for the last four years, not only have we as a nation withdrawn from our seat at the international table, we've stopped looking outward for solutions that can boost our own economy.
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it's been almost five years, in fact since january 20, 2017, since we had a senate-confirmed ambassador to the oecd. five years. five years away from the table, our eyes closed to new solutions. that's particularly dangerous in the wake of an economic recession. i think it's foolish. it's beyond -- it's just foolish. right now, the oecd could use someone like jack markell. he'll do a great is job representing our nation and he's ready to go to work. when i think about jack markell, i think about the successes he's had in delaware, serving three terms as state treasurer, a position i held, and two as governor. i think of the great adversity he's been through. elected first as governor of delaware in november of 2008, the housing bubble had burst, and our nation entered the great recession. in an op-ed for "the atlantic" in may 2015, jack recalled it was immediately clear his time
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as dpofer would be focused on one thing, and that -- as governor would be focused on one thing, job creation, and he was right. in the winter of first first year, the unemployment was 9%. in an instant our economy was in free-fall. along with economies of many other states. general motors plant in wilmington, the chrysler plant in newark, a refinery in delaware city, all of these hubs were good-paying jobs for thousands, thousands of delaware families, shut down just like that. workers across the state, whether an assembly line worker, a single parent working in the finance industry or family farm in our agricultural sector, every family felt the pain of the recession. jack didn't shy away from the moment. jack markell knows all too well that in adversity lies opportunity. i think he learned that from
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albert einstein. and in the face of great diversity, jack markell worked to court companies from all over the world to bring their businesses to delaware, to bring jobs back, to retrain the employees who lost their jobs they had held for decades. he got delaware back on the move, and the voters recognized his economic prowess by reelecting him by a wide margin in 2012. over his two terms as governor, delaware's unemployment rate came down significantly. in fact, delaware had the best job growth in the region, bringing vital jobs back to delaware families in places like the delaware city refinery, the project that i was proud to work with jack on, and wages grew to be among the best in our country. jack markell was laser focused on developing the workforce of our future too. graduation rates improved. delaware liked something called pathways to prosperity, an innovative program in schools across america helping to better prepare students for a wide range of careers, whether they
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go to college or take a different path. but a path to gainful employment. jack worked with both sides of the aisle to get things done to improve the lives of delawareans and his legacy as governor of delaware will be felt for generations. i oftentimes like to say that the roles of presidents -- the roles of senators, governors and other elected officials is not to create jobs. sometimes people talk about the jobs they create as president, mayor, senator, whatever. we don't create jobs. what we do is we help create a nurturing environment for job creation. what jack markell has focused on for years, for decades actually is how to help many stakeholders in our state to create a nurturing environment for job creation and job preservation. jack understood this and he'll take that with him to paris. with a memory of what looking to companies, countries across the world for solutions did to help families in delaware.
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he'll continue to look anywhere and everywhere to help american workers. because jack's a lifelong learner who spent decades thinking about how to bring more americans into an equitable prosperous economy. he learned fundamentals of economic development by studying development studies and economics at brown university and earned his masters in business administration at the university of chicago, school of business. he learned what businesses need to thrive by serving as a senior vice president at nextell and communications director at comcast. he led a campaign to promote the earned income tax credit for families and founded the delaware money school to offer free financial literacy classes to empower delawareans. he learned about the power of global economic solutions as governor, bringing vital jobs
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back to the state literally at the depth of the great recession. and he learned how to lead with empathy, by answering president biden's call to lead our nation's afghan resettlement operation, he embodied the core tenet of matthew 25. that is to welcome the stranger in our land and welcome our afghan allies with open arms and open hearts. jack markell has succeeded in no small part because he is a lifelong learner. and every step of the way he exceeded expectations for the people of delaware because he followed a simple but sacred maxim, and i would quote it -- a good job trumps all. before any politics in washington or policy paper in paris he's worried about putting food on the table not just in delaware, puttings americans back to work across the country so they can put food on their table. today as we continue to build
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back better in the wake of an economic recession we need someone who is constantly willing to look for solutions, to help find work for those at home. because after all, a good job trumps all. so today the oecd could use someone like jack markell, someone to look for and bring with him global solutions to the economic challenges of today. before i yield the floor, madam president, i'm reminded of a story from when jack's second term as governor came to an end, he decided he wanted to find a way to raise money for delaware's children on his way out. he settled on a novel idea. a 3,300-mile bike ride across the country from astoria, oregon, to rehoboth beach, delaware, and along the way across 50 days averaging 80 miles a day. he raised money for boys and
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girls club of delaware and more. of course i worked just as hard as jack during that trip. i jumped in my car and i drove two hours to rehoboth beach to meet him as he came across the finish line, dipped his bicycle , the front wheel in the atlantic ocean. as he dipped his rear wheel in the pacific ocean some, gosh, 50 days before. but that trip really shows you who jack markell is. proactive, thoughtful, and more importantly for the oecd, always willing to look for new, creative ideas to help improve lives of americans and always willing to put in the work to get the job done. we still have a ways to go to get the economies of our world where they need to be, where we want to be. but i'm confident that with jack markell at the helm at oecd on our behalf, we'll be able to
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get to the finish line no matter how long it takes. and with that, i urge my colleagues to join my wing man, senator chris coons, and me in joining, supporting jack markell to be the ambassador at the oecd. with that, i yield the floor. mr. coons: madam president. the presiding officer: the junior senator from the state of delaware. mr. coons: madam president, thank you. i want to thank my colleague, the senior senator from delaware. i too have known governor markell for decades, and i too was prepared to make long and fulsome comments about his remarkable record of achievement both as a leader in the private sector, as someone who actually did help create jobs by launching nextell and by growing it to a remarkable world-class telecom company, to his leadership as state treasurer, to his leadership as governor. but that has been covered in wonderful detail. his pathways to prosperity program in delaware, i've recommended to colleagues of
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both parties as a model for how we might move forward on apprenticeships and on skilling for the 21st century, and his current service as the president's special advisor to lead operation allies welcome senator carper and i visited fort dix on friday with senator markell, to visit with afghan families who have just been relocated to the united states. it's just a reminder of his great heart and his dedication of service. i am confident that he has the experience, intelligence, and character to serve admirably as our ambassador to the oecd. of all the individuals for whom i will call a unanimous consent request here in just a moment, i am confident that these are individuals nominated for positions critical to our national security interests and our ability to maintain our standing in key international organizations. four of these nominees will be responsible for representing the u.s. at various u.n. bodies, three of them for leading work
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on nuclear energy, nonproliferation, to promote energy security while protecting the american people from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. these are diplomats who will help the united states bolster and reform institutions so they can effectively withstand the steady march, the pressures of authoritarianism and uphold labor rights, democracy and transparent economic practices. so in conclusion, i ask we confirm these nominees today so they can move forward with representing our nation. governor markell and many others, several have been pending since april, more than 220 days. others for 130 days, since july. it's december. and whilism hopeful that we can yet find a path forward towards a resolution of this impasse, today i was committed to coming to the floor and asking unanimous consent. we need to get these folks into their positions as soon as humanly possible. and so, madam president, i ask
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unanimous consent that notwithstanding rule 22, if applicable, at a time to be determined with the majority leader in consultation with the l republican leader, the senate proceed to executive session to consider executive calendars 318, 319, 442, 446, 460 and 514. that there be ten minutes for debate equally divided in the usual form on the nominations en bloc, that upon the use or yielding back of time the senate proceed to vote without intervening action or debate on the nominations in the order listed, that if the nomination is confirmed, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate, that no further motions be in order on these nominations, and that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action. the presiding officer: is there objection? a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the junior senator from texas. mr. cruz: reserving the right to object. i thank my friends from delaware for their eloquent remarks. as both senators know, i have a deep affinity for the state of delaware. my mother was born in
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wilmington, delaware. i have hundreds of cousins in delaware who are their constituents. and i would note the senior senator from delaware, senator carper, when i was newly elected, proceeded to welcome me into a caucus i didn't know existed -- the t.c. caucus. and indeed he and i both reflected upon this recently when we were both in oklahoma for the funeral of our former colleague, senator tom coburn, another member of the t.c. caucus. and i would note as well, senator carper went so far as to call my mother on her birthday to wish her happy birthday for having been born in wilmington, and my mother appreciated that. the junior senator from delaware, we serve together on multiple committees. we've worked together, we've sparred together. and we may well be able to work together in finding a resolution to this impasse. every senator here knows why i have holds on these nominees.
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right now as we speak, hundreds of thousands of russian troops are massed on the border of ukraine waiting to invade. the reason for that is because joe biden surrendered to vladimir putin on the nord stream 2 pipeline. that is the direct cause for the threat of military invasion u.c. faces -- ukraine faces right now. putin didn't just wake up one day and decide to invade ukraine. he has wanted to invade ukraine for years, and in fact he did so in 2014. but he stopped short of a full invasion because he needed to use the ukrainian energy infrastructure to get russian natural gas to the european market. because of that, that is why putin launched nord stream 2, to have a pipeline directly from russia to germany going under sea to cut ukraine out of the
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transit loop, so then the russian tanks could invade ukraine. this body right now should be talking about the crisis in ukraine and about how to counter putin's aggression and expansionism. the best way to do so would be to immediately put sanctions on nord stream 2, sanctions that we had in place, bipartisan sanctions that i authored, that both of the senators from delaware supported, and that indeed had overwhelming bipartisan support from both houses of congress, passed into law, and worked. now i've sought to ensure that we have the time, space, and resources to be addressing how do we stop putin from invading ukraine. and indeed i've offered a deal to resolve this impasse. it is a deal that i've offered to senator schumer that i would lift the hold on a number of nominees in exchange for a vote
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on sanctions on nord stream 2. madam president, i would note this is a deal that senator schumer accepted three weeks ago. three weeks ago we were debating the national defense authorization act, i likewise sought a vote on sanctions on nord stream 2. in exchange for that vote, i offered to lift the hold on seven nominees. senator schumer accepted that deal, and the vote was scheduled. then unfortunately, the entire package of amendment votes that had been agreed to on nord stream 2 fell down in an unrelated dispute over other matters. this week i have offered senator schumer a similar deal, although a substantially more generous deal. the deal that senator schumer had accepted was to lift seven holds in exchange for a vote. he said yes to this. i have now put on the table a deal to lift 16 holds in
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exchange for a vote on nord stream 2 sanctions, more than twice as many holds. included among those 16 is governor markell from delaware. he is among the holds i've agreed to lift if senator schumer will agree to schedule the vote that three weeks ago he agreed to schedule. at this point this deal is a better deal on every metric than the deal schumer already said yes to. unfortunately, as we stand right now, he has not yet said yes to this better deal. so at this point i'm going to counter with a request for unanimous consent that we impose sanctions on nord stream 2, and i expect my democratic colleagues will oppose this, but as if in legislative session, i ask unanimous consent that the banking committee be discharged from further consideration of
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s. 3322 and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. i further ask 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: is there objection to the modification? mr. coons: i object to the modification. the presiding officer: objection is heard. is there objection to the original request? mr. cruz: madam president, reserving the right to object, i would note, as did i again, that there is a prospect for a reasonable compromise, and it is a compromise that senator coons has been integral in working to seek a resolution. and i thank him for a positive and productive effort, trying to bring the two sides together. you know, the two sides of the aisle often distrust each other. it's the nature after two-party system. but we have a path forward that can confirm a substantial number of nominees in these final two weeks of this year and can also
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schedule a vote on an issue that previous to this administration commanded virtual unanimous bipartisan support. among those who would be cleared is governor markell, and so i would encourage my friends from delaware, given the eloquence with which you advocated his confirmation, i would suggest you direct that eloquence to your own party's leader, who has the ability to accept this deal and see governor markell confirmed to the new position to which he's been nominated this week. but since that deal has not yet been accepted, i object. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the objection is heard. mr. coons: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from delaware. mr. coons: if i might, just in concluding this particular exchange, several things are also important to make clear. first, i think every member of this congress is concerned about the security, the independence, the safety of ukraine and about
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aggressive actions by putin's russia. second, earlier today the chairman of the foreign relations committee and the senate majority leader urged that all holds on ambassadorial nominees be waived, that in the interest of america's security, our place in the world, our ability to do the job that we have to do here in this body of advocating for, representing the interests of the united states by confirming qualified and competent nominees, they have urged that every hold be lifted. that's the current position of the chairman of the foreign relations committee and the majority leader. hearing the objection of my colleague from texas, i understand there is a significant gap. i commit to working to try and resolve this in a responsible way, but in my view, the right lies on the side of those who are saying we should not have holds on ambassadors. i also agree that there should be consideration of the issue of whether or not sanctions
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appropriately should be imposed on the nord stream pipeline going forward. it is my hope that working together and listening to each other we can yet find a way forward. one last comment and concern -- at the end of this calendar year, every nominee will return to the white house and need to be renominated. it is my hope that we will also come h. come to an understand -- that we will also come to an understanding that every nominee to an ambassadorship who has already been heard by the foreign relations committee and advanced to this floor will not be returned and there be a requirement that they be -- there not be a requirement that they be reheard by our committee. i dedicate myself to finding a path forward and work with any colleague interested in working with me to close this gap in the days that remain. with that, p in, i'd like to thank you and my colleagues and yield the floor.
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mr. barrasso: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: thank you, madam president. i qom to the floor today to talk about our nation's economy. here at the end of another calendar year, the american people are asking themselves a simple question -- are we better off now today than we were one year ago? to most americans the answer is no. in fact, a new survey from the new york federal reserve says just that. most of the people surveyed say they are worse off now than they were one year ago. most also say, very concerning, that they expect to be worse off a year from now than they are today. and it's easy to see why.
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shelves are empty, we have the worst labor shortage ever reported, and prices are rising at the fastest rate in 40 years. joe biden is breaking records but not the good kind. joe biden is about to enter his second year in office with record-high inflation and record-low approval. since joe biden took office, prices have gone up much faster than wages. as a result, the typical american family can purchase less today than they could a year ago. people have had to change the way they drive, they shop, and they eat. by one estimate, families are paying $175 more every month because of inflation since joe biden took office. this works out to about $2,000 a year, a bite out of the
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paychecks of the american people equivalent to a loss of $2,000. now, some estimates are even higher. harvard professor jason furman was a top advisor to president biden. his estimate is that it is double that number. he said there have been $4,000 more in expenses for the american families this year than there was last year. of course, the biggest increase that we see is in energy. gas prices are up. they're up by more than a dollar a gallon. now, this is just in the ten months since joe biden took office. it costs $20 to $30 more to fill the tank. today they're at a seven-year high. natural gas prices are also at a seven-year high. well, half of the families in america heat their homes are natural gas. one in five american families has already been cutting expenses other places to pay for
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their energy bill for the year. last month was the biggest jump in energy prices amazing willly in an entire decade. winter is system will here. some people may have to choose between whether they can afford to eat or whether they can afford to heat their homes. hard to believe that in just ten full months in the white house, joe biden could have taken inflation to this very high level. the supply chain crisis, the worker shortage, the inflation crisis are all the direct results of the policies of the biden administration and the democrats in washington. why are the shelves empty? well, because we don't have enough workers. more than 11 million jobs today are unfilled. we've broken new records for
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unfilled jobs in five of the first ten months that joe biden has been in office. and no matter where you go, there are help wanted signs in the windows. there's no -- this is no coincidence. in march president biden extended a bonus payment to people who stayed home from work. millions of people have made more money by not going to work than they would by going to work. well, in september that bonus payment ran out. then joe biden announced a nationwide vaccine mandate on the american people. this mandate took a sledgehammer to our nation's workforce. the president must have known that people would lose their jobs. doesn't seem to think he cared because he imposed the mandate anyway. these are people who worked every day during the pandemic, showing up no matter the weather, no matter the situation, showed up to do the
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job, to help the people in their communities and in their states and in this country. now under joe biden, people are losing their jobs, shelves are empty, prices continue to rise. in march, democrats made things worse by putting $2 trillion on the nation's credit card. that bill sent inflation into overdrive. the san francisco federal reserve says the democrats' spending increased inflation. democrats made lavish promises about their last spending bill. they said the bill would create millions of jobs. nancy pelosi said four million jobs. joe biden upped the ante, said seven million new jobs. how did the predictions furn out? not so well for the predictions of nancy pelosi or joe biden. joe biden was off by the full seven million jobs.
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s most recent jobs report says we created fewer jobs than were predicted even without the democrats' spending bill. those seven million jobs joe promised are nowhere to be found. last month we created less than half the number of jobs the experts predicted. now democrats want to do the same thing all over again. they want another multitrillion-dollar spending spree. this spending spree would cause the largest tax increase in half a century. trillions more in debt and even higher prices. speaking of rising prices, the price of this spending bill keeps going up. for months democrats claimed that they wouldn't add to the debt and they said the total bill would cost less than $2 trillion. last friday we found out the real price tag. the congressional budget office took all of the accounting gimmicks, the budget tricks,
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took it all out of the bill, and they told us the real cost of the bill is nearly triple the price that the democrats said. the real price tag, close to $5 trillion. it would be the largest spending bill in history. democrats' spending spree would add $3 trillion to the national debt. and just yesterday the democrats voted -- every democrat voted to raise the debt ceiling of the united states by $2.5 trillion. every republican voted against it. you think about how much money this is, it's almost the size of the entire economy of the united kingdom. you know, all of this spending would bring the democrats' total to $5 trillion in new debt in just ten months. and what does all the spending get you? well, the most expensive thing in the bill is something that some refer to as the green new deal, which is billions of
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dollars in new taxes on americans' natural gas production. it includes an army of climate activists paid to protest american energy projects. the second-most expensive part of the bill is the blue-state billionaire bailout. it's a tax break for people in high-tax states. i look at it as specifically california, illinois, new york, new jersey. the vast majority of americans would get no tax break at all. almost all of that benefit would the go to the wealthy. don't take my word for it. here's what the democrat chairman of the budget committee, the junior senator from vermont, had to say about it. he said, the last thing we should be doing is giving more tax breaks to the very rich. it sends a terrible, terrible message. but if that is what the democrats in the house under nancy pelosi passed and sent to
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the senate for consideration and passage. the junior senator from vermont, the chairman of the budget committee, also said the hypocrisy is too strong. well, the chairman is absolutely right. even by the standards of democrats in washington, this hypocrisy is too strong. if democrats pass this bill, it will mean tax cuts for billionaires and in tax audits for working families. it'll mean higher taxes, more debt, higher prices, the highest inflation in 40 years, and it will go even higher. when the american people ask themselves, are we better off today than we were a year ago, we know what the answer is going to be -- a resounding no. if democrats pass this bill, it will be no for years and years to come.
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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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mr. blumenthal: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. blume blume mr. president, i -- mr. blumenthal: i ask that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. blumenthal: thank you, mr. president. i see my colleague on the floor and i want to take this opportunity and express to him and to senator mcconnell my condolences for what the people of kentucky have endured with this catastrophic devastation. i know he has been a strong advocate for his state and i fully support a swift, strong, federal response to alleviate the suffering and assist in rebuilding. in a time of tragedy, our nation comes together to support all who are in this kind of need. but i also express my strong support, and it's the reason i'm here, for $1 billion of supplemental security assistance
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to replenish israel's iron dome supplemental. the senate must pass h.r. 6323. iron dome has support in congress and it has the administration's support, which is richly deserves. during the may 2021 conflict, the iron dome defense system intercepted about 39% of the -- 29% of the missiles targeting israel. in total 4,400 rockets were launched by hamas. if the iron dome had failed, countless israeli civilians would have been killed. the system performed exceptionally well and it showed
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its necessity for both humanitarian and strategic defensive purposes. defensive purposes. i'm very concerned that one of my colleagues previously blocked passage of this bill in the senate. i hope provisions of this year's defense authorization act, specifically sections 1213 and 1214 and section 9021 of last year's defense appropriations bill sought any ongoing concerns about funds to the taliban. no fund, none, zero will be used to help or support for -- or enable in any way the taliban. funds previously appropriated for afghanistan security forces are deeply needed to terminate contracts that are already in
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place. these funds will not go to the taliban but to those who supported the u.s. mission in afghanistan. if any pentagon employee breaks the law, if any one of them makes funds available to the taliban, that individual could and should face criminal penalties, including jail time under the anti-deficiency act. we cannot continue to use the u.s.-israel relationship as a political football. it is against our own strategic interests. it violates our humanitarian values and it is a security program. i am a strong, strong supporter of israel, but i often say that friends can disagree, friends can criticize each other. i've been critical at times of
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my friends in the israeli government and i'm standing again on the floor of the united states senate being arguably critical of one of my colleagues, and i ask, where are my colleagues across the aisle when one of their own members is actively impeding israel's ability to defend itself from hamas. hamas? it is a cause they say they support. where's their concern? where is the outrage? i urge all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this critical funding. and so, mr. president, as if in legislative session, i ask unanimous consent that at a time to be determined by the majority leader following consultation with the republican leader the senate proceed to the consideration of calendar 140, h.r. 5323, that there will be up to two hours of debate, and that upon the use or yielding back of
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time, the bill considered read a third time and the senate vote on passage of the bill without intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. paul: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from kentucky. mr. paul: reserving the right to object. of' consistently opposed spending outside of the budget unless it's offset by spending cuts elsewhere. it's not only an opinion that i hold, it's actually the law. it's called pay as you go. we passed the law many years ago, more than a decade ago, to try to balance our books by having people come forward with things that sound about, want to spend it but not offset it by spending cuts elsewhere. there's no question that the u.s. has been a very good ally of israel. over time probably funds exceeding $80 billion to $100 billion have been expended to israel over the last four decades. just on missile defense, the united states has given israel $7 billion.
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$1.6 billion for iron dome, $2 billion for david sling, and $3.7 billion for arrow. in fact, the ndaa that just passed this week gives them another hundred million for this. i'm not disputing whether or not, though, an extra billion dollars would help them. i'll vote for the extra billion dollars and that's what i will propose today. but it should be offset with spending cuts elsewhere. there's a $3 billion fund that is left over from money we were giving to the afghan national government. there is no afghan national government. there's a bunch of hoodlums the taliban have taken over and i asked secretary blinken. can you assure me you're not going to give these funds to the taliban. he says it depends on how they behave. so it isn't so certain that this money isn't go to the taliban. the cunchts law may say future money goes but this is old money. we don't want it going to the taliban. we think it should be better spent. it's money that can be reclaimed. why wouldn't it be a good thing that take money that might go to our enemy and actually give it on our ally.
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makes perfect sense. why would be so obstinate that we're until willing to take a pay-for. it's a pay-for sitting there for us to be used. $3 billion supposed to give to the national afghan government. it no longer exists. let's take a billion of that. let's give it for iron dome. let's give $2 billion back to the treasury. sounds like a win-win all around. why can't we for once in our lives spend money on something good and take away money from something where we shouldn't be spending it. this money was never intended to go to anything but the afghan national government. they don't exist anymore. we should reclaim that money, spend a billion on the iron dome, and put $2 billion back in the treasury. and it might be the first time in decades that we actually did something fiscally responsible around here. but that's a problem. i don't understand why we can't do it. so i would rather than just give another billion dollars out of the treasury that actually makes us weaker, makes us more in debt, let's offset it by taking money that's in a fund to an
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entity that no longer exists. so, mr. president, i therefore ask the senator to modify his request. instead of his proposal, the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar item number 140, h.r. 5323. further, that the only amendment in order be my substitute amendment which is at the desk. i further ask there be two hours of debate equally divided between the two hours or their designees. and the paul substitute at the desk be considered and agreed to, the bill as amended be read a third time and voted on passage with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: does the senator so modify his request? m mr. blumenthal: reserving the right to object, mr. president. my colleague from kentucky talks about money as though it were going to go to the taliban, as if it were going to an entity that no longer exists. in fact, that money is necessary to terminate contract, to
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fulfill obligations. not only under the contracts but to our allies, the afghan at-risk allies who sought to fulfill our mission. we have a moral imperative. and we have arguably a legal obligation. that money is not just sitting there. it's not fundable. but put aside the merits of that argument. we also have a moral and strategic interest to our ally israel to replenish its defenses at a time when it depends on our assistance to defend itself, to provide that iron dome that save lives, innocent civilians who otherwise would have perished as a result of those 4,400 rockets launched by hamas.
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and possibly led to escalating contention and conflict in that region. so it is a win-win in fact for us to replenish the iron dome without conditioning it in any way on other funds. therefore, i will not modify my request. the presiding officer: objection to the modification is heard. is there objection to the original request? mr. paul: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from kentucky. mr. paul: reserving the right to object. i think it's very important that the american people know and those who support israel know that we can get this done today. we can get a billion dollars additional in addition to the hundred million, in addition to the $7 billion we've already given to israel, in addition to the $80 billion to $100 billion we've given them over the decade. we can give them an extra
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billion today. all i'm asking if it's paid for. the objection is coming from the democrats. they're unwilling to pay for the iron dome. it won't happen today because the opposition to iron dome being paid for. it can happen right now. all you have to do is agree to take money from a defunct fund to a defunct entity. $3 billion is in a fund to an entity that no longer exists. the afghan national government no longer exists. this is such an easy pay-for. this one is dangling low fruit that we could pay for. you can get exactly what we want to do that's a billion dollars extra in addition to the money we already give israel for iron dome but pay for it. that's a responsible way. so i object. the presiding officer: the objection is heard. mr. blumenthal: mr. president, if i may just finish. we're here again. i will come back again to the floor to seek this iron dome money. many of us are absolutely determined that the united
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states fulfill this moral humanitarian and foreign policy obligation. it is our strategic interest. this obligation is paid for. it's not debt. and it will incur no obligations that are unpaid for. and so i regret that my colleague again has blocked us from proceeding and i yield the floor. and i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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also testified recently on capitol hill about - and welcome back to washington journal. the detention, and cuba, what was it started and why does it continue in operation, what is its ongoing purpose. they started early on, right after the war on terror and the began evidence on september 11, nearly 3000 americans also lives in the united states on a
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terrorist attack but in new york, pennsylvania and here in washington dc at the pentagon and the reason it, it was where we brought captured terrorists, they were captured on the battlefield weather and afghanistan or elsewhere we capture them, but for delay the ones most concerning, military facility and we had this for many years. the long-term lease for the cuban government and they were brought there in part to hold them in what is known is sort of detentions, the idea of being they would hold the enemy until the end of the fight's over the course, personally 800 detainees have gone through the bay and most of them have either been tried, convicted and released where they've been transferred out of the country. and today, 49 individuals remain
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there is some included the 911 plotters and currently standing and preparing to stand trial before the commission.
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quorum call:
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mr. wyden: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: i ask unanimous consent to vacate the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. wyden: in a few minutes, i'll be putting forward an
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unanimous consent request asking the senate to take up and improve a highly qualified and noncontroversial nominee. i'll just take a couple of minutes at this point to talk about maria pagan, nominated to be the next deputy u.s. trade representative in geneva. there are a few key points to make about the nominee as well as the critical role she'll serve representing the united states at the world trade organization to get a better deal for american workers, farmers, and businesses. to start, ms. pagan isn't new to high pressure, high-profile negotiations. she's currently deputy general counsel at the u.s. trade's office, the person called in with particularly challenging issues. she's taken on these difficult issues during numerous trade agreement negotiations, including the u.s. mexico canada agreement. she was in lockstep with members of the congress who pushed hard to guarantee that the commitments laid out in the
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u.s.-m.c.a. were fully and quickly enforceable, a key priority for protecting american jobs of she's been a longtime public servant spending 30 years in gocht. she served both -- in government. she served both republican and democratic administrations. she's an expert on a host of issues from trade and services to government procurement and has litigated several disputes before the w.t.o. she is highly qualified. she's a nominee who brings the two sides of the senate together, the finance committee vote on her nomination was 27-1, and mr. president, i'd just say that at this point in time, that's about as good as it gets. colleagues, i've said before, it's crucial to get qualified people to the offices representing the united states around the world. it's important to have these skilled individuals working on behalf of our workers, our businesses, and our interests. this nomination is particularly
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important to me. it's no secret that the world trade organization, which can be a valuable stiewn, is not today functioning as it needs to. the rules that underpin the w.t.o. were crafted more than two decades ago. these 20th century rules have simply not kept up with 21st century technology. meanwhile, the chinese government has learned to game the system. it does so routinely, at the expense of hard-working american families. as a result, the process of leveling the playing field with trade rules based on fairness have been overtaken by the exploitation of loopholes and rip-offs. in many cases, that comes at the direct expense of american workers, and american businesses. request her -- with her decades of experience ms. pagan understands these challenges as well as anyone. from day one after confirmation she'll hit the ground running to
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lead our allies in fighting back. for example, one area that i feel particularly strongly about is new rules are desperately needed to deal with subsidized fisheries. harmful subsidies are allowing fleets to reach disant shores of less-developed countries like ecuador and ghana. they're stripping the ocean of fish without regard to species or regulations or basic decency. these highly subsidized, poorly regulated fleets rely on be a hornts -- be a horntd labor -- abhorrent labor practices. worst of all, their catch ends up in american supermarkets and on american tables. oregon fishing families, who trade in fairly and sustainably caught u.s. salomon, pollock and other fish simply should not be asked to compete against that kind of horrendous cheeting.
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negotiations, mr. president, on this issue have been dragging on for over 20 years. i can tell you, the 20 years have not improved the situation. , for our oceans and for our families. the 12th ministerial conference, delayed last week due to the new covid variant, is another really important chance to get these negotiations finally done. the outcome has to be strong. it can't open, once again, harmful new loopholes. these meetings have been rescheduled to the spring. the u.s. needs tough, smart leadership at the table. ms. pagan, with her years of negotiations, is just the closer, just the kind of person the united states needs. there's no shortage of other issues ms. pagan will have to tackle. the world trade organization, from stiewn reform to -- institution reform to e-commerce. the united states needs a leader
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to work with our allies to get it all done. she is the right woman for the job. maria pagan is a highly qualified, experience nominee, a proven negotiator, strong advocate for workers and farmers, and businesses. she comes as i have indicated with strong 27-1 bipartisan support in the senate finance committee. there is just no justification for any delay in moving this nomination forward. i'll have more to say when i ask unanimous consent briefly in a bit, and at this moment mr. president, i would note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. durbin: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from -- oh, the majority whip. mr. durbin: mr. president, it's a curious thing about tipping points. the presiding officer: we're in a quorum call. mr. durbin: i ask the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: it's a keerious thing about tipping points and the quest for progress. very often, the events that cleave history into before and after can seem insignificant when they happen. that might have been true 29 years ago, when the national institutes of health named a 42-year-old professor from the university of michigan to direct one of the n.i.h.'s newest cutting-edge institutes. the professor's name was francis collins. "the new york times" account of his arrival ran 117 words. his mission at n.i.h. was to lead was we called then the human genome project, an
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international quest to discover genetic blueprint for human life. it was the scientific equivalent of the search for the holy grail. there were just as many skeptics as believers in that undertaking. but less than six years later, in june 2000, the first mapping of the human genome was complete. overnight that obscure professor from michigan, francis collins, became one of the most important scientists in the world. it was the achievement of an historic public-private partnership between the n.i.h.'s genome lab headed by dr. collins and a private firm, a rival turned partner founded by the genetic pioneer craig ventor. it involved hundreds of scientists from six nations. it involved one of the great -- remains one of the greatest advances in scientific knowledge in recorded history. in a white house ceremony, dr. collins said he was humbled
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and awed by the discovery. in his words, quote, we have caught the first glimpses of our instruction book previously known only to god. cracking the genetic code of human life has revolutionized science and medicine. it continues to yield profound medical discoveries all the time. that historic discovery could have been the capstone of any career in science, but for francis collins it was an amazing, there was an amazing second act to follow. in 2009, president obama chose francis collins to lead the entire national institutes of health, the largest biomedical research agency in the world. in that capacity collins routinely works 100 hour weeks, oversees 18,000 federal employees spread across 27 institutes and centers in 75 buildings mainly in bethesda, maryland, but also in baltimore, and north carolina. those numbers only quantify the
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n.i.h. infrastructure. their actual work is even more impressive. in fiscal year 2021, the n.i.h. awarded more than 50,000 grants to researchers working in universities and laboratories outside the n.i.h. in illinois, in minnesota, in colorado, and virtually every state in the nation. by the end of this month after 12 years, francis collins is stepping down as n.i.h. director, but thankfully he's not stepping away from science. in a signature collins move, the doctor is going back to his research roots, back to head a laboratory at the n.i.h. on the human genome institute where he hopes to find treatments and cures for cystic fibrosis, diabetes, and other devastating illnesses. he's led n.i.h. for 12 years under three presidents, democrat and republican, making him the longest tenured head of the agency since presidents began selecting n.i.h. heads
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years ago. what distinguished collins was not his length but his extraordinary ambition and record of achievement. my friend, former senator barbara mikulski who chaired once the senate appropriations committee, famously said the initials n.i.h. stand for the national institute of hope. as n.i.h. director, francis collins worked tirelessly to live up to that ideal. as "the washington post" wrote, he brought together scientists across disciplines and championed the hunt for biomedical sciences in hopes and data. he gave meaning to the hopes of big science. he embraced ambitious projects such as the brain initiative, a collaborative effort to map the human brain. it engaged engineers who had never worked on life science before and it just might help unlock the mysteries of a.l.s., alzheimer's, and other diseases of the brain. he launched the cancer moonshot with then-vice president joe biden and played an integral role in helping to make now-president joe biden's dream
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advanced research projects a reality. he created the all of us research program, an effort to collect data about the genomic base of disease for one million volunteers to advance knowledge on how to could cure it. he's been passionate about supporting the work of young scientists including women and scientists of color. the absence of women researchers used to jokingly be referred to on research panels as manels. in 2017 francis collins said he would no longer speak where women researchers were not featured. he made it a priority to attract minority scientists to make sure n.i.h.-funded research addressed the health needs and concerns of communities of colors. nearly seven years ago i asked dr. collins what does n.i.h. need from congress to continue to achieve the breakthroughs you envision. at that point the n.i.h. had been flat funded for several years. inflation had eroded the number
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of research ideas they could support and many young researchers were really questioning any future at the institution. dr. collins said simply, if you can provide steady, predictable increases to our budget of 5% real growth a year, we can light up the score board. i thought that sounded like a worthy goal, so i enlisted my senate friends, roy blunt of missouri, pat emory of washington and lamar alexander of tennessee as partners. senator lindsey graham came together and formed the senate n.i.h. caucus. with the determined and persuasive leadership of francis collins and support of senators from both sides of the aisle, listen to this, we've been able to increase funding for n.i.h. by more than 40% over the last six years. some people say why should the taxpayers be paying for this research. why not leave it to the free market? they make the money out of it. the answer is the n.i.h. funds the kind of basic science that costs too much and takes too long for private companies driven by need for quarterly
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profits. one timely example, years ago a hungarian born american biochemist had a hunch that messenger r.n.a. could be used to instruct cells to make their own medicines or vaccines. the n.i.h. funded this early research of this immigrant super star when nobody else would. last year that research became the backbone of pfizer and moderna covid vaccines. one year ago yesterday the first vaccine was administered and more than 450 million shots have followed in america since then. the majority were r.n.a. vaccines. according to a study released by the commonwealth on american vaccination program prevented 1.1 million covid deaths and prevented 10.3 million hospitalizations. vaccines save lives and n.i.h. taxpayer-funded research made these vaccines possible. there are millions of people who have never heard of francis
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collins, but they're alive and healthy today because of the human genome project and his ambitious agenda at n.i.h. as well as the talented scientists he nurtured. he's an american treasure and one of the most important scientists of our time. as dr. collins prepares to end his historic tenure at n.i.h. as director and return to his lab, i want to thank him for his tireless work, his good humor, his good advice and his great friendship. i also want to thank his family and especially his wife diane baker, a genetic counselor herself who volunteers at n.i.h. children where families stay while their kids are participating in clinical trials. and thanks to the thousands and thousands of dedicated researchers who have worked with dr. collins to realize his noble ambitions. dr. francis collins, america is a better place thanks to your singular contribution to spare suffering and to cure the illnesses we face. i wish you many more happy years of discovery. and i yield the floor.
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a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. lee: if confirmed as deputy u.s. trade representative, maria pagon would be responsible for negotiating deals of any waiver of the trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights agreement also known as the trips agreement. i have concerns with her nomination. therefore, i intend to object to that until the biden administration has given me basic commitments regarding the administration's position on waiving the trips agreement, particularly related to some of the proposals being pushed by various countries. the trips agreement represents vital element of international trade law, protecting the intellectual property rights of u.s. businesses, individuals, and entrepreneurs.
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waiving protection of these rights for covid-19 drugs, vaccines and treatments under some sense of altruism would not advance a universal solution to the covid-19 pandemic. any proposal to waive i.p. protections would create disincentive for distribution of the covid-19 treatment or drug. that could mean fewer health care options and advancements as the virus continues to mutate into new variants and with degrees of resistance to existing remedies. and as always, any time you weaken one property right it spills over into other areas. we wouldn't expect this to become contained to the covid-19 universe. additionally, u.s. companies would be less likely to introduce their product to w.t.o. member countries not enforcing i.p. protections.
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that could mean fewer options and less access for our neighbors, not more. intellectual property rights provide the grounds for businesses to take risks in turning novel ideas into concrete goods and services. a business that knows its property is secure and will not be surreptitiously confiscated by government action can fully engage p in developing the innovation that drives markets. so today in stating my objections, this is all i'm asking for. i have no concerns with this individual in particular. rather with the authority that she might wield and the assurances i'm wanting to receive from the administration on that authority. some assurance that this administration will not unilaterally wipe out intellectual property
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protections that have resulted in the vast majority of covid-19 remedies the u.s. currently enjoys and that have also served millions of others globally. these are the things that are on the table, and all i am not is some assurance from the -- and all i want is some assurance from the administration. mr. wyden: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: i ask unanimous consent that notwithstanding rule 22 if applicable at a time to be determined by the majority leader in consultation with the republican leader, the senate proceed to executive session to consider executive calendar 547 547, maria l. pagan of puerto rico to be a deputy united states trade representative with the bank of ambassador, that there be ten minutes of debate equally divided in the usual form on the nomination, that upon the use or yielding back of the time, the senate proceed to vote without intervening action or debate on the nomination, that if the nomination is confirmed, the motion to reconsider be considered made
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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 the senate then resume resumes legislative session. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. lee: i object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. wyden: madam president, there's been an objection, and let me be very brief. we've got a lot to do still tonight. as a new covid variant surges around the globe and threatens americans here at home and millions around the world, the united states needs to do everything possible to get shots in arms, including having the right people in geneva to find solutions to the availability and distribution of vaccines. covid continues, continues to be a deadly crisis, and we should be working in every way possible to make sure that the biden team has a group that can
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reach agreement on a trips waiver and any other trade-based solutions. i look forward to continuing efforts to talk with my colleague from utah. this is urgent business, and we've got to get it worked out. and i yield the floor. mr. lee: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. lee: i reiterate here. all i want is some assurance. i appreciate my friend and colleague from oregon understanding my basic concern here. it's not an unreasonable concern. all i want is some assurance from the administration that it's not going to wipe out intellectual property protections. that wouldn't be right. they know it's not right. they give me those assurances, we can move on. thanks.
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mr. wyden: madam president, i would note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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mr. rubio: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. rubio: i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. rubio: i think this is an issue that has been talked a lot about and rightfully so. in china, as we speak now, human beings in china, uighurs are in factories making products people will buy this holiday season and through tiewout the year. i think -- throughout the year. i think it would be shocking to most of us that there are products here in the senate touched by and made by the hands of slaves. it is a horrifying human rights situation. fully sanctioned as we now know by the communist party of china. we know this, "the new york times" had access to these documents for a long time and they were finally revealed that
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show this plan to use slave labor went to the highest levels of the communist party. it reveals the need we have to rebuild this industrial base. appalling because it is the fact that we are so dependent on china in our supply chain and that many have asked us to look the other way, to not complain about this, to not pass a bill about this, because it would disrupt supply chains and what they really mean is that it would disrupt the bottom line, the profits. i don't need to explain to anybody how this works. you can make a lot of money if you don't have to pay your workers or pay them very little. it allows you to undercut your competition. the fact that we have major american corporations and for that matter, multinational corporations who are making money, whose profits are driven by the fact that slaves are building and making their -- the
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materials they sell to us, it's that horrifying reality. we have worked on this in a bipartisan way for two years and we have fortunately now reached the point, and as you recall i was here two weeks ago objecting to a package on the ndaa to force action. i want to recognize our house counterpart and the junior senator from oregon who will speak in a moment, it has been a bipartisan effort. we passed legislation on this last year. differences in the house and senate kept it from becoming law, we passed it unanimously out of the senate earlier this year. there have been differences on the approach. since that time where the package has been objected to, the house passed not one, but two versions of the bill. we are in possession of one of the versions of the bill and it
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doesn't have any objections here in the senate. i wish we didn't have to pass this bill. there have been some in the hallway who suggested, i don't know if the right word is congratulations, but commenting on how far we've come. my argument is this is nothing to be happy about. even when we pass this bill, there will still be people working as slaves. i wish this did not even exist, but it does and we must address it. and so we are now virtually just a couple of moves away, and it may not happen today, unfortunately, for reasons you're about to learn unrelated to this, but we're a couple of moves away from being to be able send it to the white house appeared for the president to sign and for it to become law. i think it would be a powerful statement and also impactful. a bill that says if you are a company that makes things or sources material from these parts of china, you will have to prove slaves didn't make it
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before you can bring it into this country. i hope if we do that here, other countries around the world will follow suit. if i may, madam president, i wanted to yield to the junior senator of oregon, hoos worked side by side -- who has worked side by side on this and would welcome his comments as well. mr. merkley: i join my colleague from florida, senator rubio, in calling out genocide in china. it's a terrible term describing horrific acts in which humanity assaults humanity. and just seven weeks from now, seven weeks from this friday, there's going to be the opening ceremonies of the olympic games in china, and there's going to be fancy dances by minorities from across the country and china will be saying to the
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world, see what a beautiful country we have with all of this diversity, including people from -- from xinjiang. behind the open ceremonies, there is an ugly truth. that ugly truth is that the chinese government is committing genocide against the uighur population. more than a ll uighurs are enslaved, and they are enslaved to produce products for the world for the profit of china. and i don't think anyone in america wants us to be explicit in genocide by buying these products. that's what this bill is all about. it's to say companies, when you produce thing in xinjiang, make sure that the supply chain is investigated and it is untainted by these horrific acts.
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this is bipartisan. this is bicameral. this is the best of the american spirit. and so i strongly, strongly support passage of this act. we passed it before, as my colleague just mentioned. we passed it unanimously. and now we have a version that has been worked out with the house version. it is ready to roll. so, colleagues, let's get this done as a powerful statement of where america stands on human rights, a powerful statement that we are against genocide, a powerful statement that -- that when it comes to these human rights principles, we stand together, democrat and republican, house and senate. i extend my appreciation to our colleagues in the house, congressman smith and congressman mcgovern. we all worked together on the congressional executive commission on china. we held a series of hearings to understand better not just the
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horrific acts that are just occurring in xinjiang, but also happening in tibet and hong kong, but this bill focuses on the genocide against the uighurs. let's get this done. it matters, let's act now. mr. rubio: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of house resolution 6256 which was received from the house, 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: is there objection? a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. murphy: madam president, reserving the right to object. first let me thank the senator from florida and the senator from oregon for the really important work that they've done on the underlying legislation. it is of critical importance that this senate stand together, republicans and democrats against the ongoing genocide
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that is occurring in china today. and i will say that despite all the news about division in this chamber, the coming together around china policy, the coming together between both parties over the course of 2021 with respect to the threat that china presents to the united states and the global world order and the threat they present to human rights, both doamically and -- domestically and externally i think is important. i support the underlying legislation but i also want to make sure that we have the personnel in place that can effect yate the policy. -- effectuate the policy. good policy occurs when the congress steps up and hands the executive branch a tool that they can use but we need craftsmen who can effectuate that tool set. pending on the calendar today, i would argue there are over a dozen nominees that would be in charge of implementing policy in and around china.
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the assistant secretary for international organization, the assistant seg for population refugees and migration, bangladesh, japan. sri lanka all pending on the calendar today. but perhaps the three most important nominees that will implement the policy that senator rubio and senator wyden are bringing forward today is -- are these. first, the nominee to be the ambassador to china, nikolas burns, the nominee to be assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs who would oversee this new policy recommendy tulu and obviously critical to the plate of the uighur, rashad hussein. in particular ambassador burns is uniquely qualified for this post having been ambassador to nato and ambassador to greece. at his hearing he made clear how
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he would view the chinese behavior in xinjiang province. the genocide its abuse in tibet, its smothering of hong kong's autonomy and freedoms and its bullying of taiwan are unjust and must stop having an ambassador in china in place, having an assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs and having an ambassador working every single day on international religious freedom hand in hand with this new legislation gives the tools and the legislative authority necessary to get the united states moving towards the right side of human rights in china. so with that, madam president, i would ask the senator from florida to modify his request to include the following request. i would ask unanimous consent that notwithstanding rule 22, if applicable at a time to be determined by the majority leader in consultation with the republican leader, the senate
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proceed to executive session to consider the following nominations, executive calendar number 525 nikolas burns of nasrallah to be ambassador extraordinary, and plenipotentiary of the united states of america to the people's republic of china, calendar number 626 of iowa to be an assistant secretary of state for economic ashedz business affairs, calendar number 619, rashad hussein to be ambassador at large for religious freedom. there be ten minutes. debate equally divided in the usual form of the nominations en bloc. upon the use and yielding back of time, the senate proceed to vote without intervening action or debate on the nominations in the order listed, that if a nomination is confirmed, the motion to be considered be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate, that no further motions be in order to the nominations, that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action. the presiding officer: is
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there objection to the modification? mr. rubio: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. rubio: reserving the right to object. as modified, this would mean the passage of the uighur swlairve labor measure which has unanimous consent support and put us on the precipice and on track to confirm nominees as ambassadors to china, important secretary of state posts, and also ambassador for international religious freedom. i would have no objection to that modification. the presiding officer: the request has been modified. is there objection to the request as modified? mr. wyden: madam president, reserving the right to object. the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: madam president, let me just say at the outset i strongly, strongly, strongly agree with my colleague senator rubio, my friend from oregon senator merkley that the united states has to fight genocide and
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the scourge of forced labor taking place in western china and elsewhere around the world. as the chairman of the finance committee, one of my special priorities, one that we've worked on for quite some time has been to tackle this issue of forced labor. it goes back to work that senator brown and i did in 2015 to close an unjustifiable loophole that allows an exception to the ban on products made with forced labor. not only is it morally abhorrent, it's also a major trade rip-off that undermines american workers. on the finance committee we believe the senate needs to look at every opportunity to protect good-paying american jobs and help workers and their families get ahead. that means that the senate has got to be prepared to tackle multiple challenges at once. right now, madam president and colleagues, the urgent issue for so many american families is the
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potential expiration of child tax credit payments on january 1. families receive their sixth child tax credit payment today. it could be the last, madam president if this body does not act. families have come to depend on these payments to cover essentials, like rent and groceries, heat and clothing for their kids. just recently i was home in oregon and i asked people what they spent the child tax credit on. they said ron, we spend it on things like shoes. in our part of the world, madam president, it gets cold. it gets wet. we're not talking about luxuries. we're talking about shoes for children. food insecurity among families dropped by about 25% since these child tax credit payments began. child poverty, we're in a position to cut it nearly in half. this program, in my view, is like social security for kids and vulnerable families. we never let social security checks for vulnerable seniors
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lapse. for anybody who questions how valuable this program has been to american families, i want to just very briefly touch on a few messages that we've gotten from parents in a cross section of communities across the country about how the child tax credit has helped them. parent in kentucky, quote, it helped me with fuel for my car, provided me enough to buy my daughter a few things she needed. a parent in new york, it's helped take the burden off our family. my husband lost his job during covid but since found another job. but the gap of the job loss was so heavy. a parent in alabama, i was able to buy any daughter her school clothes. a parent in new hampshire, it's helped me tremendously, especially when school was starting. so the message from american parents from sea to shining sea is the child tax credit has been vital to so many american
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families. and lowering the cost of raising a family and ensuring they can provide that basic level of security, all children deserve. so at this point, madam president, i would ask would the senator from florida modify his request to closure the adoption of my amendment that is at the desk, to extend the child tax credit for one year, and pass the bill as amended. the presiding officer: is there objection to the further modification? mr. rubio: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. rubio: reserving the right to object. as i understand this further modification, it would say let's take a bill that is meaningful on an important global issue, something -- an important human rights issue take everyone here supports, that we can pass right now, today, and send to the president and he can sign it tonight or tomorrow morning and it becomes law because everyone supports it using this process we're using here, and in addition to that, set up votes
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on three -- two nominees and an assistant secretary at a time when speech after speech out here has been about how we're not getting to these nominees and assistant secretaries. so we can do all that but only if we add to it something that has bipartisan opposition that no matter what, at least 50 people here are against, it cannot pass unanimously and even if it could and did pass, we have to send it back over to the house, not to the president. the house isn't even in session until january 10. that doesn't sound like a good arrangement to me and something that i would have to object to. the presiding officer: the objection is heard. is there objection to the original request? mr. wyden: reserving my right to object, madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: thank you, madam president. i listened carefully to my colleague from florida, and because of his objection, there isn't going to be an opportunity for the senate to take two bold
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steps tonight. i already indicated, made it very clear that i am completely sympathetic to my colleague from florida, my colleague from oregon, to the fight against genocide and forced labor. they got me at hello on their proposition. i also feel incredibly strongly, incredibly strongly about our vulnerable children and our vulnerable families that are going to be cut off from an essential lifeline unless the united states senate acts. and unfortunately because of the objection from my colleague from florida, we're not growing to have a chance -- we're not going to have a chance to take two bold steps tonight. that's what i'm for. that's what i believe the american people are for. you bet we're against forced labor. you bet we're against genocide.
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but we also have had a long tradition of standing up for vulnerable kids, vulnerable families, and tonight we could have attained two bold objectives here in the united states senate. i think it's unfortunate that my colleague from florida is unwilling to do that. vulnerable families are going to be hurt as a result of the objection. i just want the senate to know there was another way, madam president, there was another way we could have stood with the effort to deal with genocide and forced labor and protect families. they weren't mutually exclusive. we could have done both. i think it's unfortunate the senate is not doing it and i yield the floor. i object. the presiding officer: the objection is heard.
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a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. merkley: in 1948 the world came together to l adopt the united nations declaration of human rights to declare with one voice that every single person on earth is, quote, born free and equal in dignity and rights. they declared that no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention, or exile. that everyone has the right to freedom of thought. everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. madam president, this is a human rights lawyer based in
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beijing. and his rights are being denied to him because he is arbitrarily detained after being arrested for exercising freedom of expression and freedom of opinion. yu has a history of ruffling fers in beijing -- feathers in beijing, known for supporting the yellow umbrella movement for rights in hong kong, for taking on politically sensitive cases. beijing has retaliated by destroying his legal career and making it impossible for him to practice law, but yu wesheng has been in chinese custody since january of 2018 because he dared to publish an open letter calling for political reforms such as holding fair elections. the day after he published that letter calling for fair
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elections, law enforcement officers, including police and armored vehicles, confronted him while he was walking his son to school, forced him into a political vehicle on suspicion of picking quarrels and provoking troubles. police had no regard for his son's safety at that moment. authorities later added the charge of inciting subversion a charge often used against human rights advocates and typically carries a sentence up to two years. two years would go by before he was allowed to speak to his wife, two years before he was allowed to speak to his son, two years before he was allowed to meet with his defense lawyers. during those two years he was secretly tried and convicted. in june of 2021 he -- 2020 he ws sentenced to four years to
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present without his lawyers being present. he suffered greatly during this incarceration. he was beaten up by inmates, sustained injuries to his head. his right hand suffered nerve damage and now shaking so violently he can barely use it. he's had to learn to write with his left hand. his appeals have been denied. he was said to serve -- sent to serve his sentence 600 miles from beijing despite requests from his wife that he serve closer to home so his family could visit. that type of action is the exact opposite of the u.n. declaration of human rights, that declaration that no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. but this man was subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention, and exile simply for expressing the opinion that there should be fair elections.
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he is not alone, and today i will also highlight a chinese journalist. her name haze fan. she worked in beijing for bloomberg, covering global business issues. before working with bloomberg in 2017, she worked for other major international outlets, household names like reuters, c nbc and a jazeera. december 7, 2020, just over a year ago, ms. fan was being escorted from her apartment by security officials. she was detained on suspicion of endangering china's national security. though a year later the investigation into ms. fan is still ongoing with no details as
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to what she's accused of or even where she is held. she was a journalist and a message is being sent. certainly this is not consistent with the u.n. declaration of human rights that says everyone has the right to freedom of thought, to freedom of opinion and expression, because for being a journalist she is being detained. as i stand here at this moment, 127 journalists like haze fan are detained in china, according to the statistics compiled by reporters without borders. it's no wonder that china is at the very bottom of reporters without borders world press freedom index, right there with north korea and turkmenistan and eritrea. this is what is happening in a
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country that just seven weeks from now will be hosting the olympic games, games meant to be a celebration of camaraderie and physical achievement and lifting up the human spirit. but it's yu wensheng and haze fan and all others like them detained by the chinese government for demanding recognition that all are born free with dignity and rights, that deserve that have their spirits lifted up. they deserve to know where the world stands. does the world stand with them? now, the united states and the yew nied kingdom joined by canada, joined by australia, they have declared diplomatic boycotts of february's games. i am very proud that the government of the united states has declared this boycott. they said they will not join the
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fanfare of the games helping china to disguise the egregious human rights against individuals like these. that we will not stand with our diplomats at those opening ceremonies when china has stripped the political rights of every single citizen in hong kong. we will not have our diplomats there in opening celebrations, helping china cover up its genocide against the uighur people. but tonight i'm wondering where the rest of the free world is. i was thinking a little bit about the history, the history of france, the history of france being very engaged in human rights issues. france stood with the united states as an ally when we fought for our freedom.
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france gifted our nation with this symbol of freedom, the statue of liberty, whose torch is held up to the world. france, which authored the declaration of rights of man, of the citizen not in 1990, but in 1789. one of the very first documents laying out the foundations of human rights, defining individual and collective rights. where is france tonight standing with the united states and canada and australia? they are not there. i'm really disappointed to hear president macron say any such boycott would be insignificant. you know what's significant? is going to the opening celebrations and helping china cover up genocide and the stripping of hong kong and political rights. it's not just significant and substantial, it is wrong.
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france, we call on you to continue the tradition of fighting for freedom, the tradition that led you to stand with us, that led you to send us the statue of liberty, that led you to craft one of the first documents in the world for human rights in 1789. the education minister of france argued that sports should be separate from political interference. when you put the games in a nation engaged in genocide, you put the athletes in the middle of the worst of world horrors and ask them to be complicit in covering up by engaging in their games as if nothing else is going on. you know, it was 1936 that the olympic games were held in hitler's germany and he was
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already engaged in serious human rights violations, and he turned down those violations during the game, and the world said germany is coming back into the family of nations. we did not as a world highlight his ongoing crimes at that time, which emboldened him to horrific acts that followed soon upon the close of those games. that was a mistake to help hitler cover up the human rights abuses of the nazis. and it is a mistake for us now to help china cover up its horrific human rights abuses. so i call on france to join us in this boycott, this diplomatic boycott, to say, yes, it's too late for the games to move. i regret that. i called on them to be moved. but it's not too late to strip away the pomp and circumstance of the opening games. it's not too late to call out the serious, egregious conduct
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occurring in china. not some petty, serious problem, but genocide and the crushing of the entire state of hong kong, the entire entity of hong kong in terms of their political rights. france, join us as you have over time in standing for human rights. thank you, madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: madam president, as the senate's schedule for this calendar year begins to wind down, hopefully with anticipation of our spending time with our friends and families during this holiday season, i want to look back
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over some of the deadlines that the majority leader, the senator from new york, has set for senate action, and to ask whether these sort of ash -- arbitrary deadlines and attempts to do legislation essentially along party lines is the right way to actually get things done in the senate. we have excellent examples of how to get things done. today we passed the defense authorization bill with a strong bipartisan vote. but we know that when either political party decides to do things unilaterally, especially in a 50-50 senate, it makes the work immeasurably harder, and that's for a good reason. the founders of this country and our constitution and the creators of this senate look to the senate to be a deliberative body and look for us to do what
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sometimes doesn't come naturally, which is to work together, to build consensus. but as i said, when one party or the other attempts to do things unilaterally, it usually means what you see here, which is one blown, self-imposed deadline after another. first of all, the majority leader set a july 21 target for senate action on a budget resolution. he laid out an august deadline for a partisan election takeover bill which would have preempted state and local laws which are responsible under our division of responsibility in the constitution, under our federal system for conducting elections. and then he proudly announced his goal to get two bills to president biden's desk by the end of october. and he said those would be
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joined together. a bipartisan infrastructure bill that is the exception to the rule, actually like the defense authorization bill that actually enjoyed broad bipartisan support. but the hangup was the other part of that proposition, which was the democrats' multitrillion-dollar partisan spending bill. of course not one single one of these deadlines was met, again, because it's hard to do things in a 50-50 senate when you try to do it unilaterally without doing the hard work of building consensus, which is the way the founders wanted this institution to work. so our colleague from new york keeps setting deadlines and blowing right past them, and it looks like he's about to add another one to the list. senator schumer's latest deadline for the build back bankrupt bill is december 25.


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