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tv   U.S. Senate U.S. Senate  CSPAN  March 29, 2022 9:59am-1:18pm EDT

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time of his death, was the longest serving member of the current u.s. house pretty watch live coverage at 11:00 a.m. eastern on c-span, online at csg or watchful coverage under free video app, cspan now. >> sees manager unfiltered view of government, funded by these television comedies and more, including cox, committed to providing eligible families for affordable internet through the connecting compete program digital divide when connection and engagement at a time, cox, bringing us closer. >> cox, support cspan it is a public service, along with these other television providers, give you a front row seat to democracy. >> we take a nap to the u.s. senate which today is
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considering nominees deserve the federal reserve board of governors, the deputy white house budget director, live coverage of the u.s. senate, here on "c-span2". the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. today's opening prayer will be offered by robert h. thune, pastor of coram deo church in omaha, member. -- omaha, nebraska. the guest chaplain: let us pray. almighty god, every one of us in this chamber now, whether senator, staffer, or civilian, is first of all a human being, made in your image. and so we pray. give us grace to acknowledge our limitations, admit our faults,
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and affirm our fellow human beings, despite our many differences. let us always remember that to you and you alone, we must give account. those who serve in this chamber have been given a noble and weighty responsibility, to seek and serve the common good of these united states. and so as they attend to the work before them this day, grant them the wisdom of solomon, the courage of esther, the patience of jeremiah, and the humility of mary. may they be guided by your providence and strengthened by your common grace to fulfill your purposes for this nation. through jesus christ our lord. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance
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to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington d.c., march 29, 2022. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable alex padilla, a senator from the state of california, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: patrick j. leahy, president pro tempore. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the republican whip. mr. thune: mr. president, thank you. good morning, i'd like to begin by acknowledging and thanking pastor bob thune for his opening prayer this morning. it should come as no surprise based on the last name that we are related.
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he is my nephew. i've been blessed through the years with a rich spiritual heritage as as he. his father and my big brother was the spiritual trailblazer in my family. went on to pastor churches in the midwest and west coast for about 50 years. his son bob, my nephew, is carrying on in that great tradition. bob pastor's church is known as coram deo in omaha, nebraska. its a -- it's latin for presence. god. he proclaim, striewt of the gospel from the pulpit but on a daily basis he and his congregation have at the center of their daily lives the presence of god as they seek to have an impact on their community and their region and on this world. and bob is in many respects as it says in the book of acts fulfilling god's purpose for his generation. and so i am grateful for the
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spiritual heritage that we share, for the way that he continues that today, and want to encourage him and his work but just acknowledge how grateful we are, that he was able to join us here in the united states senate and offer that opening prayer which on a daily basis offered by our chaplain daily black who has been a great inspiration to me on so many levels and leads us in a weekly bible study here on capitol hill for senators. i always try and do an advertisement to get more senators to come to that bible study, but it is a rich time where we can have an towns reflect on the -- an opportunity to reflect on the important work we do and the way that our faith applies to it on a daily basis. so, mr. president, thank you. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved.
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morning business is closed. also under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of the following nomination which the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, executive office of the president, nannie a. coloretti of california to be deputy director of the office of management and budget.
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about her qualifications, or experience, approach to cases, her judicial temperament and are temperament before the committee. she proved to the public as many of us suspected and some new. she is without a a doubt reado serve in the supreme court. i've spoken before about judge jackson's background, qualifications. some of it bears repeating because this is the critical week before we consider her nomination next week on the floor of the senate.
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she's the daughter of two schoolteachers, public school teachers, judge jackson discovered her passion for the law at the age of four. teaching he had another profession in mind. he was going to become a lawyer. so he would sit at the kitchen table with his law books all stacked up and judge jackson at the age of four would gather her coloring books and sit next to her daddy. she was going to study, too. she believes that might've been the first time she thought seriously about becoming a lawyer. after graduating from public high school in miami, she had distinguished herself as president of the student body and as the lead on high school speech and debate team. she competed nationally successfully and visited the campus of harvard university. she loved it. she decided she was going to apply to go to school there.
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she went back to her high school in florida, sat down with a counselor to talk about that option. the counselors discouraged her. she was aiming too high, but she did it anyway and she was accepted. and then went on to harvard law school. she has clerked at every level of the federal judiciary. if you're not a lawyer that may not mean much but if you're a lawyer it's a big deal. to think that she started off at the lowest federal district court level clerking for a judge, then was accepted to move up a level to the circuit judge position to serve as a clerk as well, and then to finally grab the gold ring of being a supreme court clerk to none other than just a stephen breyer whose vacancy she's hoping to fill. she worked in private practice as a lawyer and she proved she was a consensus building, builder all the way along.
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on the bench she served as district court judge and now circuit court for the d.c. circuit. it's no surprise that she has won the admiration and friendship of so many people throughout her career. in fact, she's come before the same senate judiciary committee on three separate occasions with her background carefully reviewed and emerged with the approval of the committee with bipartisan support. in fact, when you look at it, if you watched last week's hearing before the judiciary committee, no one questioned her qualifications, her knowledge, or experience. she really has a platinum resume when it comes to that. on the final day of the hearing the committee heard from and williams who is well-known to the presiding officer, as well as myself but she served as a district court judge in the northern district of illinois and then as a circuit judge on the seventh circuit. i believe she was first
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african-american woman to do so. she's retired at this time but she's volunteered with the american bar association to do a careful review of judge jackson to make certain that we know every comment that it's been made by professionals who have been familiar with her work and experience. judge williams is an anomaly politically those are looking for evidence of whether she's democrat or republican she was initially appointed to district court by president reagan and then to the circuit court by president clinton, bipartisan nominee all the way. she came to report to the committee that judge ketanji brown jackson who had been reviewed careful personal interviews of 250 separate individuals in her legal career had emerged unanimously, well qualified to serve on the supreme court. judge williams said in interviewing these lawyers and
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judges they asked the hard questions. the one she can ask in confidence, in private, and the answer for all the same. judge jackson has a career that is distinguish her as outstanding, excellent superior, superb. the list of accolades went on and on. the aba found judge jackson has a sterling reputation for thoughtfulness and collegiality and exceptional confidence. i also asked judge williams, serving as a spokesperson for the aba, to comment on the allegations that judge ketanji brown jackson is somehow soft on crime. it's common mantra coming from the other side of the aisle. and they succumb in a chorus of asking 250 different judges, different judges, prosecutors, defense lawyers and all the people who worked with and around her, was or any evidence that she was soft on crime? no, none.
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none. that's amazing what you think that's the number one talking point against her from the republican side of the aisle. none whatsoever is exactly what judge williams said. another aba witness, jane come said the aba quote heard consistently from not only defense counsel but for prosecutors of how unbiased judge jackson was throughout her career. and just as impressive as the qualifications was her performance and candor before the senate judiciary committee here you asked her a question about stare decisis. she will start by responding by defining it in plain english, just to make sure everybody at home, lawyer or nonlawyer, can follow along. she expresses her thinking with surgeon like precision, which i'm sure her husband, dr. patrick johnson, who is an actual surgeon at georgetown university hospital, deeply admire. >> clarity and impartiality,
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that is judge jackson. during the hearing several of my colleagues asked her to describe her judicial philosophy. pick a label. are you an originalist, textualist, liberal, conservative? previous supreme court nominees like chief justice roberts has said they do not have quote an overarching judicial philosophy that they bring to a case. that was a good enough answer for many republicans, if it was given by chief justice roberts or justice amy coney barrett. but they complain that she just won't come up and admit to a label. she did them one better. she gave us a thorough step-by-step explanation of how she decided a case, every case, and just some 580 separate written opinions. you don't need an electron microscope to find this judges judicial philosophy. she's written it down and published it over and over and over again. she established her
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independence, she says, by quote clearing her mind of any preconceived notions when she gets a case. set aside a personal views, evaluates the facts, listens to the arguments, then she interprets and applies the law, keeping in mind the limits of judicial authority. what i just described is what she told the committee, and is exactly what we look for and should look for in every judge. i can't recall ever hearing a nominee get such a clear and thorough explanation of their approach to deciding a case. judge jackson's even had a record on so many different issues, criminal law, labor relations, executive powers shows that it works. finally the judiciary committee hearing allow the public to observe judge jackson's incredible judicial temperament. we spend a lot of time as senators with the authority under the constitution to advise and consent, interviewing nominees for courts, trying to determine just what kind of a judge they will be.
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what will their temperament be rex will they be all swollen and vacated over this black robe and lifetime appointment? or will the remember the real life experiences that many people in the courtroom have lived through? i can tell you, judge jackson's temperament shown through. frankly, she was tested time and again here to see, i might just go out on a limb until you, there are some senators that don't show very good temperament themselves under the circumstances. and they tested her over and over again with baseless wild charges, some of of which were just offensive on their face. i listen to those and i would look up and think, if she stands up at this point and says that's enough, i'd taken my family and i'm going home, nobody would have faulted her forte. some of the questioning was just that bad, but she didn't. my republican colleagues promised a fair and respectful hearing. the majority of them starting with senator grassley did just that, and i commend them that
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for today in the committee. they set an example of a minority party with a supreme court forward-looking, and optimistic vision of our country's potential. it's a budget calling for greater investments in the things that make the biggest difference in the lives of middle-class families and in those working to get to the cleam. middle class -- more support for our schools, increased funding for child care and healthcare services, stronger investments in clean energy and climate change met gation, support for our farmers and small businesses, as well as relief for our strained supply chains. the republican leader asserted why ed that the reds endzone president easy -- the president's budget is fundamentally disconnected from what americans need right now. this begs the question -- how does the republican leader think the recovery of the past 12 months came to pass? we've seen the greatest jobs recovery in the history, the strongest economic surge in 40 years, and steady return to
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normal after the worst health cries of modern times. does he think it happened by magic? of course not. these were the result it is of the right leadership pursuing the right policies at the right moment in our country. robust investment in vaccines, aid for families trying to feed their kids through a crisis, help for businesses and local communities struggling to stay open, and as our recovery continues under president biden, republicans seem to think the right answer is to shortchange the american people and cut off vital resources that help our country grow. republicans can't stand the thought of asking the ultrarich to pay their fair share, and as a result efforts to strengthen the middle class, which would be paid for by taxes on those at the very top, are anathema to them. keeping the wealthy wealthy is more important for republicans than strengthening the middle
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class. republicans seem to think it's fundamentally disconnected to increase investments in things like public education, pel grants, title one, which helps the kids most at need. republicans believe it's somehow wasteful or far left to dare help families afford child care and pre-k, which never have been pricier than today. beholden as they are to corporate polluters, republicans seem to think it's radical for the federal government to dedicate resources to more renewables, more clean cars right here from america, and more prosperous planet for our kids and our grandkids. but of course, republicans think it's perfectly fine to try and rip away healthcare from millions of americans, and push trillion-dollar tax cuts that overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy. but helping the middle class with child care and education and healthcare is a bridge too far for our republican friends. sad. for all these reasons, the contrasts between president
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biden's budget and the vision we're seeing coming from republicans is stark and glaring. one budget, ours, is for the working and middle class. the other, the republican budget, is an offering entirely for the ultrawealthy. now, on the cook nomination, today, the senate will continue its work of advancing president biden's well-qualified nominees. last night, i filed cloture on five additional nominees, and this morning the senate will vote on a motion to discharge ms. lisa cook from the banking committee. as a reminder, a motion to discharge is necessary in this congress whenever a nominee receives a deadlock vote in committee. so the steps we're taking later today are exceedingly important, but frankly it's unfortunate that they're necessary at all. not very long ago a nominee of ms. cook's qualifications would have sailed towards final confirmation with bipartisan support. she serves on the advisory board of the federal reserve bank of
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chicago, and is a professor of economics at michigan state. coming from humble beginnings in rural georgia, where her family fought back against racial segregation, she'd be the first black woman ever to sit on the federal reserve board of governors. she is truly historic, in addition to being deeply qualified. for as much as republicans talk about inflation, it's bewildering and totally discrediting for them to reflexively oppose a qualified nominee like ms. cook, precisely tasked with the helping the fed hold down costs and maintain strong employment. nevertheless, we will move forward with her nomination today with a motion to discharge. the bottom line is this, the fed certificate a political institution. ms. cook's position is not a political role. and for republicans to obstruct her nomination purely for political purposes is deeply troubling and hurts our efforts to lower costs for american
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families. and now, on the competitiveness legislation, last night, with a strong bipartisan vote of 68-28, the senate passed an amended very, of the house jobs -- amended version of the house jobs and competitiveness legislation, passed with the same language the senate approved last summer when we approved usica, the u.s. innovation and -- and i'm optimistic we'll act on a motion requesting a conference committee very soon. it remains our goal to initiate a conference committee by the end of this work period. once again, i want to thank all of my colleagues for their good-faith work on this bill. this is the culmination of years of work on both sides of the aisle. senator young and i began work on the endless frontier act in 2019. there's more work to be done, but we nevertheless took an important step last night towards our goal of enacting this legislation into law. and in doing so, i believe this
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bill will go down as one of the most important steps congress can take towards creating more jobs, fixing our supply chains, and refueling another generation of american ingenuity that will strengthen our economy for a long, long time. on covid, i'm continuing to hold negotiations with my republican colleagues on much-needed -- on a much-needed covid public health response funding. even though cases and deaths and hospitalizations are thankfully down and falling across the board, it's still necessary and a matter of great urgency that we replenish funding for for vaccines, more therapeutics and testing, and new vaccines to meet the challenge of any new variant. the sooner we have these in place when, god forbid, a new variant hits, the healthier we'll stay, the more life will stay normal. to deny it now it, and then
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three months from now or six months from now, or whenever, be unprepared and let it spread unchecked, till the covid variants' tentacles are too deep in our society, makes no sense whatsoever. to pass more covid public health response funding we need bipartisan cooperation. it's a responsibility of both republicans and democrats to make sure we have the tools and resources in place that will keep the virus down, keep our schools, keep our communities open. we're not there yet on reaching an agreement, but we're going to keep working in good faith to get there. i hope we can reach an agreement with our republican colleagues very soon. because nobody wants to find themselves in a situation where cases suddenly start rising again and we aren't ready to respond quickly. i yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call: mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the republican leader.
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mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: democrats' massive inflation is an inescapable, painful daily reality for working families. these policy failures have hammered my home state of kentucky. last year, even as many kentuckians earned raises, prices skyrocketed faster. used car prices shot up 40% in the commonwealth last year. in louisville, the gas to drive those cars cost more than a dollar more per gallon today than a year ago. in typical bluegrass fashion, neighbors are helping one another as best they can. according to the owner of an inn in lexington, even as prices for ingredients like chicken have nearly doubled, he's chosen to
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cut back as much on his end to avoid raising prices for customers. but as hard as kentuckians try, democrats' reckless policies are coming home to roost. as one father of four who lost his job put it, there's no stretching money at this point. an outright majority of americans say inflation is not at all under control. seven in ten say our economy is in bad shape. and by all accounts, they know exactly who to blame for a year of painful challenges. 63% of americans, nearly two-thirds, say they disapprove of how president biden is handling the economy, and that number just keeps rising. but washington democrats do not appear to have gotten the message. the biden administration's new budget proposal leans even
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further into the policies that got us here in the first place. even as president biden has already presided over soaring prices for gas and home heating fuels, he wants massive new tax hikes on american-made fossil fuels. he wants to skyrocket discretionary domestic spending on a whole catalog of liberal wish-list items. and he wants to compound the pain in our economy by slapping the biggest tax hikes in american history right on top of all of it. so, mr. president, the past year has taught us how painful washington democrat policies can be for hardworking americans. the administration needs to stop trying to dig this hole any deeper. now, on another matter, runaway inflation and historic tax hikes aren't the only signs that president biden's budget was
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crafted in fantasy land. amazingly, yesterday, even as the biden administration was proposing the biggest tax hikes in american history, that wasn't even the biggest problem of the day. most of president biden's press conference focused on inconsistences between his public remarks on foreign policy and the actual policy of his administration. a few days ago president biden seemed to dramatically change american policy toward putin's regime during a major international speech before white house staff walked back his comments. yesterday the president suggested he was just sharing his personal moral view, not speaking in his policy-making capacity. we're talking about the commander in chief here. another time recently the president seemed to suggest that if russia violated international law and used chemical weapons in ukraine, the u.s. would respond
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in kind. again, his staff had to quickly explain what the administration actually meant. the u.s. has not maintained a chemical weapons stockpile for use. to the contrary, we're working hard to safely dispose of many decades'-old munitions. i know a lot of that. throughout my career in washington, i worked to ensure that the stockpile of chemical munitions at the depot in my state are safely but surely disposed of. but the head-scratching gaffes don't stop there. after spending weeks gratuitously listing all the minks america would not do -- all the things america would not do, such as deploy troops into ukraine, president biden in poland seemed to tell troops that they would be seeing the bravery of the ukrainian troops
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firsthand in person. the white house staff said the president was not actually changing policy. it goes beyond isolating gaffes. the couldn't fusion appears to run deeper. for months white house officials repeated insisted -- repeatedly insisted that they were trying to deter. they stressed how the threat of sanctions would serve as a deterrent against further invasion, but last week with the world watching, president biden claimed that a. never thought or intended that sanctions would actually deter putin. this leaves unanswered the question of what he thought they would achieve. the wild swings between the administration's overly cautious, almost skittish official posture and the president's emotional freelancing is becoming dizzying. as nato allies scramble to help
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ukraine fight back, the president refused to authorize a transfer of fighter jets. the administration strangely and unjustifiably felt that if we merely facilitated, facilitated such a transfer, it could be too provocative. but we're supposed to brush it off when the same president seems to actually call for regime change in russia? facilitate the transfer of some old fighter jets is too provocative but remarks like that are just speaking from the heart? sadly, mixed messages and confusion have been one of the only consistent threads running through this administration's foreign policy from the very start. the white house chafed against clear warnings from its own military advisors about how quickly afghanistan could fall after u.s. withdrawal.
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they stood by the president's assertion that, quote, there's going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of an embassy proliferate the united states, until -- embassy of the united states, until that exact scene occurred in kabul. with respect to the taliban and putin, the administration has said that the fear of becoming international pariahs will actually constrain their actions. as -- have these regimes cared lick about global p.r.? at the risk of repeating what i have said for years, despots can't be shamed into conforming into polite international society. you can't check lawless violence with finger wagging. we know what deters aggression -- american strength and american clarity.
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that's what deters aggression. i've just explained how american clarity has been in too short supply, but, unfortunately, the biden administration also seems unwilling to plan and invest in long-term american strength. even under the administration's wildly, wildly optimistic projections about inflation, their budget proposal would only flat fund our armed forces. in the best-case scenario, they want american defense to just tread water, nowhere near the real growth that bipartisan experts say we need to modernize and keep pace with both russia and china. and in the more likely event that democrats don't magically have inflation plummeting in just a few months, then president biden's policy would
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amount to an actual cut -- cut -- to our defense spending, ramping down american military funding while china ramps theirs up. china is building for the battlefield of the future. iran continues funding terrorists and plowing forward with nuclear development. russian aggression is actively challenging our capacity to keep ourselves and our partners armed. and the biden administration sees this as a moment to ease off the gas? that could not be more mistaken. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call:
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quorum call: mr. thune: mr. president. the presiding officer: the republican whip. mr. thune: mr. president, is the senate in a quorum call? the presiding officer: yes, we are. mr. thune: i would ask unanimous consent the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: last week's judicial committee hearing gave senators to hear directly from president biden's nominee to the supreme court, judge ketanji brown jackson. to help them decide whether she's an appropriate candidate for the nation's highest court. my approach to deciding whether or not to vote for a supreme court nominee or any judicial nominee is pretty simple. i look at the character and qualifications and most of all i look at the question of whether the nominee understands the limited role of the judiciary and the separation of powers. our federal government, of course, has three distinct
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branches. the legislative branch which makes the laws. the executive branch, the president and executive departments which executes the laws. and the judiciary which interprets the laws. pretty simple, right? civics 101. tool often, however, mr. president, our colleagues on the left look to the judiciary to usurp the role of the legislative branch. they look for activist judges who will not just interpret the law but who will go beyond the law to deliver the policy outcomes the liberals are interested in, whether that's an aggressive abortion agenda, restraint of the free exercise of religion, or liberals preferred approach to immigration. president biden, for example, specifically noted that he would only appoint judges who could be relied on to rule in favor of roe v. wade and a right to
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abortion. that's a big problem, mr. president. because delivering specific political outcomes is not the job of the judicial branch. in our system of government, policy decisions are vested in the legislative branch and are made there by the people's democratically elected representatives. judges have discretion in applying the law but their discretion is to be guided by the plain text of the law and by the intention of the people's representatives in drafting the statute. otherwise we end up not with government of the people but with government by an unelected, unaccountable group of judges. mr. president, president biden is unfortunately placed himself squarely in the camp of those who would like to see the judiciary take an active role in making policy. the people that i would appoint to the court, president biden said during his campaign for president, are people who have a view of the constitution as a
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living document, not a stayed document. let me just talk about that for a minute. mr. president, what is a constitution if not a stayed document? if there's no fixed meaning to the constitution, if it can be stretched and adjusted and expanded by judges at their discretion, then why have a constitution? the whole point of the constitution, of written law in general, i would argue, is that it is fixed, stayed to quote the president. the rule of law, equal justice ready the law, these concepts rely on the idea that the law has a fixed meaning, that there is one law that will applies equally to everyone. but the constitution does not have a fixed meaning. it cannot be the supreme law of the land. it cannot be a guide to which we can all appeal. a living constitution, mr.
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president, is a meaningless one. of course that doesn't mean the constitution will always stay exactly the same. there's a process as we all know for many in the constitution so needed changes can be made. but these changes have to be made through the amendment process with the concurrence of three-fourths of states. that's not what the president is talking about. when the president talks about a living constitution, he's not talking about periodically amending the constitution via the process laid out within the constitution itself. what he's talking about is nominating judges who will take it upon themselves to amend the constitution through their rulings by finding new rights and authorities as needed to advance a particular political agenda. and that is deeply concerning. particularly when we're talking about a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land.
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unfortunately after watching last week's judiciary committee hearing and examining judge jackson's record, i am concerned that her jurisprudence reflects president biden's belief in an activist judiciary. as has become clear, judge jackson has a strong point of view when it comes to sentencing guidelines in certain cases. that's not in and of itself a problem, of course. judges can and do have strong opinions about any number of issues that come up in the law. what is a problem is that it seems that judge jackson has allowed her personal opinions to shape her judicial decisions. for example, as a federal trial judge she repeatedly chose to reject sentencing guidelines and the recommendations of prosecutors in favor of lenient sentences for those who possess and distribute child pornography. it appears she had a record of
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advocating leniency with these types of crimes during her time at the u.s. sentencing commission. and that she then applied those opinions to her sentencing practices when she became a federal judge. for this reason and more, i am deeply concerned that her record suggests that she would allow her personal opinions on issues like sentencing to shape her decisions on the supreme court. the supreme court justices allegiance must be to the plain words of the law and the constitution, not to any personal political opinion. and i'm not convinced that judge jackson meets that standard. and my concern has only been heightened by judge jackson's inability or refusal to define her judicial philosophy. it should not be difficult for a nominee to the supreme court to lay out her theory of constitutional interpretation.
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given how often her strong personal opinions have appeared to influence her decisions as a judge and absent a clearly expressed judicial philosophy that rejects personal opinion in favor of the plain meaning of the law and the constitution, i am concerned that her judicial approach would follow the living constitution model that president biden embraces. finally, mr. president, i was deeply concerned by judge jackson's refusal to reject court-packing. court-packing of course is a long discredited idea that has been revived by members of the far left and increasingly embraced by the democrat party. the idea behind it is simp will will -- is simple. if the supreme court isn't delivering the decisions that you want, expand the number of justices until you can be pretty sure you'll get your preferred outcomes. the problems with this approach
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are obvious. starting with the question of where does it end. it's easy to envision a democrat-led congress packing the court with additional democrat-selected justices. then a republican-led congress coming in and matching those new justices with additional republican appointed justices and on and on and on. pretty soon the size of the supreme court would be approaching the size of the united states senate. mr. president, i can think of no approach more guaranteed to bring about a complete delegittization of the supreme court. the democrats seriously think that there is any, any american who would regard the supreme court as a nonpartisan institution after it had been packed full of democrat justices or if it were republicans who were advancing this court-packing plan with republican justices,
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court-packing would instantly turn the supreme court into nothing more than a partisan extension of the legislative branch. which is why it is so concerning that judge jackson has repeatedly, repeatedly declined to oppose it. both justice ginsburg and justice breyer spoke out against court-packing during their time on the supreme court. so this is a subject on which judge jackson can and should have felt free to speak. that she did not do so only underscored my concern that she is too open to allowing politics to shape the judiciary. mr. president, i enjoyed meeting with judge jackson and i respect her achievements. but i cannot in good conscience vote for a supreme court justice whose record indicates that she
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will allow her personal political opinions to shape her judicial decisions. the rule of law depends upon having justices who decide cases based on the plain meaning of the law and the constitution, not on personal beliefs or political considerations. and i can only vote to confirm a justice who i believe will respect the separation of powers and the limited role of a justice and refuse to allow her personal opinions to influence her decisions on the bench. mr. president, for these reasons i cannot support judge jackson's confirmation to the supreme court. mr. president, i yield the floor and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call: our friends in the mainstream media made it clear what the approved narrative was going to be. according to them we were supposed to talk about what a historic moment it was, and what a historic nominee judge jackson is.
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but tennesseans i talked to this weekend don't still have a lot of questions. they expectedmore from her . they don't appreciate being called racist or saying they expected more. they wanted her to answer tough questions about the constitution .
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they wanted assurance that justice jackson would protect their constitutional rights. they have no problem with having a former public defender on the court . that could even be a good thing. but they wanted her to attempt to account for her record of breaking sentences for dangerous criminals. why did she choose out of jail on compassionate relief. i asked those questions and i commend all of my colleagues on the committee who dug in and did the same thing. many of my democratic colleagues on the other hand were accused of tarnishing that historic moment but tim didn't see it that way. they say it was the democrats who tarnished the proceedings ignoring their duty to the vet judge jackson who is up for a lifetime appointment to
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the highest court in the land. they feel it was the media who tarnished the moment by politicizing the hearings. now, i cannot support judge jackson's nomination to the supreme court but i'm withholding my support for reasons my democratic colleagues and the media have chosen to ignore. for all the focus my colleagues placed on judicial philosophy and previous confirmation hearings, i had hoped judge jackson would come ready to tell us about hers but she didn't. instead, she came armed with a methodology that spoke to the thoroughness of her process but said very little about her approach to constitutional interpretation .
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after the hysteria that broke out during justice merits hearing about the so-called dangers of original is in, i thought we might discover what sort of jurists my democratic colleagues think would be more effective than a constitutionalist oh number to ask that, you're not supposed to dothat . but suddenly, judicial philosophy meant nothing. as i said, don't ask that question. what role the constitution plays in judge jackson's methodology meant nothing to them. don't ask that question. well, i hate to be the bearer of bad news but this is not a subject the american people are willing to ignore. they want you to ask the questions and get answers. they don't expect to agree with the justice 100 percent of the time they do expect
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those nominees to adhere to a standard. they want a constitutionalist , not a judicial activist and at this point they have no idea what rules she will follow if indeed she is confirmed. all we can do is look at her record. judge jackson spent a lot of time defending her work. tennesseans are just as worried about what she was trying to distance herself from. what did she want us to not know? associations are important. you could tell a lot about a person by looking at who their friends are and as it turns out , judge jackson had some pretty controversial friends. over the past few years we've seen progressive activist issues, critical race theory
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to try and redefine our history and change the way americansview their place in the world . it's a pernicious philosophical lens and the effect it has on kids in the classroom is weighingheavily on the hearts of tennessee parents . now inher hearing , judge jackson brushed aside my questions about her views on crt. she wrote it off as an academic theory which it is but my questions were about how she may or may not have applied that academic theory to her decisions. why does she choose to give that academic theory the same weight as administrative law or constitutional law when she is making those decisions ? one particular item she tried to distance herself from his praise for the so-called progressive curriculum at
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georgetown day school where she sits on the board. here's what she said in winter 2019 addition of the school magazine and i quote. since becoming a part of the gdf community seven years ago i have witnessed the transformative power of a rigorous progressive education,". as judge jackson pointed out, georgetown today is a private school and an elite private school. they can teach what they want and parents can choose to take their kids out and go elsewhere if theydon't like it . but here's the real. it's getting harder for parents in tennessee to do that because so-called progressive education is taking over public schools also. and part of that progressive education requires getting in between parents and their
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children. here's why it was so important to air this out during aconfirmation hearing . nominee has spent a decade on the bench you cannot describe her fundamental approach to the law. not her approach to deciding cases or sentencing criminals , but to reading and interpreting the constitution . so when tennesseans hear a nominee refuse to answer these questions, when she gives an opening statement and talk about how she makes decisions by starting from the point of neutrality, by looking at the facts of the case, by looking at precedent , you have to say where does the constitution fit in to your decision?
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at the same time, that she is practicing that methodology of deciding cases, she's associating herself with philosophiesmeant to divide children from their parents . they feel entitled to know what role these associations are going to play in her decision matrix. questions are not attacks and that is a point that needs to be made. to ask questions is not an attack. how do we keep our nation free and strong? we do it by robust, respectful debate. that requires that you ask questions of individuals that come before you.
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that you ask questions of individuals that have a different opinion than you have. or that whole different political or governmental philosophy than you hold. questions are not attacks. challenging the application of crt in elementary school classrooms is not racist. standing firm on the definition of woman is not transfer via. this isn't personal. we're talking about a lifetime appointment and the people deserve to know who this nominee is and what she believes. i thought it was so interesting that so regularly through this hearing people would reference her background and her family and
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the strong connections as part of what makes her whoshe is and informs her decision-making . and how important that is. the letters of support to her , i'll mention that but if you question some of this, then the media, then my democratic colleagues say that is an attack. no, my friends it is not. it is not an attack because words have meaning. you know, you don't read words like parenthood and womanhood up for interpretation. you know what they mean. madam president, judge jackson had three days to convince this country that her methodology, not her judicial philosophy but her
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methodology can help her answer these questions. in my opinion she failed at that task. in this building, i don't speak for myself. i speak for the people of the great state of tennessee and i cannot in good conscience give their endorsement to a nominee who by all accounts is legally and constitutionally adrift. what's her standard? we still don't know. what keeps her grounded in the law? we're not sure aboutthat one either . what keeps her from infusing politics into her ruling? we don't have an answer for that. those are things this weekend tennesseans would say i want to know this. my democratic colleagues don't want to talk about this . neither does the media. they've spent their time
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whipping up people, looking for outreach, looking for click debate but here's what i will say in conclusion. every single one of judge jackson's contemporaries had been more than happy to answer these questions. they do regularly and they have come before us for a supreme court confirmation hearing. so why will not judge jackson ? i yield the floor >> last week the senate judiciary which i chair held a hearing on the nomination of judge brown jackson to serve as associate judge on the ussupreme court . it was an opportunity to learn a lot about her qualifications, her experience, her approach to cases, her judicial temperament and her temperament before the committee . she proved to the public what many of us affected and some
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new. she is without a doubt ready to serve on the supreme court . ice have spoken before about judge jackson'sbackground , qualification and some of it bears repeating because it this is a critical week before we consider her nomination next week. she's the daughter of two schoolteachers, public school teachers . judge jackson discovered her passion for the law at age 4. the day her dad decided to give up teaching, he had another profession in mind. he was going to become a lawyer so he would sit at the kitchen table with his law books all backed up and judge jackson at the age of four would gather hercoloring books and sit next to her daddy. she was going to study two. she believesthat might have been first time she felt seriously about becoming a lawyer . after graduating from public high school in miami , she
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had distinguished herself as president of the student body and as the lead on the high school speech and debate team . she competed nationally, successfully and visited the campus ofharvard university . she loved it. she decided she was going to apply to go to schoolthere . when she went back to her high school in florida she sat down with her counselor to talk about thatoption . the counselor discourage or. she was aiming too high but she did it anyway and she was accepted and then went onto harvard law school . she has clerked at every level ofthe federal judiciary . if you're not a lawyer that may not meet much if you're a lawyer it's a big deal. to think she started off at the lowest federal district court level clerking for a judge, then was accepted to move up a level to the circuit judge position to serve as clerk as well and then to finally grab the gold
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ring of being a supreme court clerk for none other than justice stephen breyer whose vacancy she's hoping to fill. she worked in private practice as a lawyer and she proved she was a consensus builder all the way along. on thebench she served as district court judge and now circuit court in the dc circuit . it's no surprise that she's won the admiration and friendship of so many people throughout her career. in fact she's come before the same senate judiciary committee on three separate occasions with her background carefully reviewed and emerged with the approval of the committee 'sbipartisan support . in fact, when you look at it if you watched last week's hearing before the judiciary, no one questioned her qualifications, her knowledge, her experience. she really has a platinum resume when it comes to that.
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on the final days of the hearing committee heard from and williams. and williams is well known. she served as district court judge in the northern district of illinois and then as a circuit judge on the seventh circuit . i believe she was first african-american woman to do so. she's retired at this point but she volunteered at the american bar association to do the careful review of judge jackson to make certain that we know every comment that's been made by professionals who have been familiar with her work experience. judge williams is nominally politically, those who are looking for evidence and whether she's democrat or republican she was originally appointed to district court by president reagan and then to the circuit court by president clinton,bipartisan nominee all the way . she came to report to the committee that judge ketanji
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brown jackson who had been reviewed with careful personal interviews of 250 separate individuals in her legal career had emerged unanimously well qualified to serve onthe supreme court . judge williams said in interviewing these lawyers and judges to ask the hard questions, the ones you can ask in confidence and the answers were all the same. judge jackson has a career that is distinguished or as outstanding, excellent superior, super, the list of accolades wenton. the aba found judgejackson has a sterling reputation for thoughtfulness , collegiality and confidence . i also asked judge williams serving as a spokesperson for the aba to comment on the allegations that judge
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ketanji brown jackson is somehow soft on crime. it's a kind of mantra coming from the other side of the island and i said of course and asking 250 different judges, prosecutors, defense lawyersand all the people who work with and around her was thereany evidence she was soft on crime ? no, none . that's amazing when you think that's the number one talking points against her on the republican side of the island . none whatsoever is exactly what judge williams said. another aba witness said the aba heard consistently from not only defense counsel but from ...
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reserve board. they say that his nominees are ready to get to work fighting inflation. yet we could have confirmed nominees many weeks ago. still haven't voted on two of the nominees that have unanimous republican support and near
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unanimous democrat support, which makes you wonder about our colleagues' commitment to this urgency. maybe it's because our democratic colleagues know that even if we don't confirm these nominees, the fed has nine out of 12 voting members on the fomc in place. thatthat is more than enough to raise rates if they decide to raise rates to fight inflation. how do we know for sure that those more than enough? well, at their last meeting just two weeks ago, the fed did in fact raise interest rates. so it was never the case that the fed is somehow unable to fight inflation until the nominees are confirmed. so we really should be asking ourselves, are these nominees going to be the inflation fighters that we need, that the white house claims they are? in my view, one of these nominees in particular, professor lisa cook, dramatically fails this test.
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first of all, professor cook has nearly zero experience in monetary policy. she does have a ph.d. in economics. but no at single one of her -- but not a single one of her publications concerns monetary economics. the white house cites as her main qualification her appointment as a chicago fed director. that appointment was made in january of this year, two weeks before president biden announced professor cook's nomination to be a fed governor. and professor cook made very clear in her conversation with me that she had not participated in any policy or decision-making so far in her term at the chicago fed. in fact, she described her role as limited to filling how the paperwork. that's her quote for her new position, which is understandable. she had been there for two weeks before she was nominated to the fed governorship. so this -- appointment to the
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regional -- that appointment to the regional fed certainly doesn't count as qualification to serve as a main fed governor. professor cook herself has acknowledged that her academic work on monetary issues is, let's say, sparse. when asked to list her top few works on monetary policy for the banking committee, she provided only one, and that was a book chapter about nigerian bank reforms in 2005. what's even more troubling is in addition to having no monetary experience, professor cook appears to have no opinion at all on how the fed should address inflation. professor cook repeatedly refused to endorse the fed's decision to pull back its ultra easy monetary policy and only did begrudgingly say that she agreed with the fed's path right now as we're speaking -- that's a quote -- at her nomination hearing in february. prior to that, she couldn't bring herself to acknowledge that maybe it was time for the
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fed to change the policy that it contributed to the -- that had contributed to the worst inflation we've seen in 40 years. professor cook's answers to basic questions about what tools the fed should use and how should the fed consider using them in order to get inflation under control, her answer was nothing more than an incomprehensible word salad. professor cook has continued to insist that she would need to be confirmed to the fed before she can have a view on inflation because, in her own words -- and i quote -- we don't have access to all the data that the fed has -- end quote. and also, quote, we don't have access to the deliberations at the time they're being made, end quote. now, these statements are bewildering when from someone who's been nominated to address the most pressing inflationary threat in nearly two generations. to be clear, the fed has no secret data, as professor cook seems to believe. in fact, monetary policy,
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including the recent 41% increase in the money supply, is extremely transparent. and if professor cook is counting on fed economists to guide her in making a prediction about inflation, then first of all they've been wrong on inflation consistently. very wrong. and secondly, what is her role there if all she's going to do is take instruction from the fed staff? just about every economist in the country has an opinion about inflation right now because the data is all readily apparent and extremely disturbing. every other nominee to the federal reserve has an opinion about inflation. and certainly every pennsylvanian i've talked to has strongly held views about inflation. professor cook's claim made at her nomination hearing just last month -- and i quote -- we have to be patient with the data -- end quote -- and she was -- the data she was referring to was rising consumer prices, that
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certainly suggests what is to me an unacceptable toleration for outsin nation that's -- for the inflation that's ravaging american consumers. and that brings me to her hostility to opposing viewpoints, the combination of which makes her unfit to serve on the fed. it is extremely important that we keep politics out of the money supply. the fed is supposed to be independent. the fed is supposed to be apolitical so that it can focus on its job. unfortunately, we've seen the encroachment of politics at the historically independent federal reserve and we've seen that the fed is not doing such a great job. there are people on the left, including in the biden administration, who openly advocate this the fed use its regulatory fours address complex -- to address complex political
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issues. look, these are all very, very important issues, very important issues, bus they're completely unrelated to the fed's limited statutory mandate and expertise. professor cook's record indicates that she is are the interests -- that these are the topics that interest her the most and she's likely to inject more political bias into the fed's work at exactly the time we need the fed to be hyper focused on getting inflation back under control. we discovered that professor cook sent out in recent years over 30,000 public tweets and retweets. 30,000. umm ... including among them, she supports race-based reparations, she's supported conspiracy about georgia voter laws. she's sought to cancel those to disagree with her views.
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she publicly called for a colleagues of hers to be fired because he dared to tweet that he was opposed to defunding the police of chicago. after banking committee republican staff highlighted these tweets, professor cook blocked the banking committee republican twitter account one day before her nomination hearing. apparently professor cook not only realizes how inflammatory her own tweets are but also has pretty little regard for the senate's constitutional responsibility to vet her public statements. see, the fed is already suffering from a credibility problem because of its involvement in politics, its departure from its prescribed limited role, and frankly the not-very-good job it's done in keeping inflation under control. i'm concerned that professor cook will further politicize an institution that must get back to being apolitical. so i urge my colleagues to vote against the motion to discourage
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professor cook, and i yield the floor. mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority whip. mr. durbin: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that prior to the vote at 11:45, i be permitted to speak for 15 minutes and senator brown be permitted to speak for two minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: thank you, mr. president. last week the senate judiciary committee was busy. we met for over 30 hours to consider the nomination of judge ketanji brown jackson to fill a vacancy on the supreme court. during the meeting of the committee, hundreds of questions were posed to judge jackson. she spoke thoughtfully and at length about her years in public service and most importantly she really imparted to the committee and to america as it watched what she thought about this great nation, her pride in being an american, the opportunities which were given to her and opportunities which she used to make this a better place for many.
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i was one of the millions who will came away from last week's hearing deeply impressed with judge jackson. it proved to me during the course of her testimony that the words over the steps of the supreme court, equal justice under the law, is a personal challenge and an invitation to a person just like judge jackson. but it appears some of our republican colleagues are more reluctant to support her at this moment. she's still making the rounds. eefer 50 senators -- over 50 senators received personal visits and need more well during the course of this week. they have reservations and i've spoken to some of them and listened to their statements. they say they don't have any questions about her qualifications or experience. well, thank goodness. she has a stellar resume. anyone who is a lawyer in this nation would look at it with envy to think what she has achieved against the odds in her life. unfortunately, some of the members of the committee
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misrepresented her record on several issues, and i'd like to try to set it straight at this moment. there seems to be this passion among some republicans to get this nominee to state in a word or two her judicial philosophy. i find that interesting. if a person came up to one of my colleagues and said, what is your political philosophy, there are a number of things a person might say. they might say, for example, i'm a fiscal conservative, and you might then ask, why did you vote for the trump tax cuts that gave tax breaks to the wealthiest americans and added almost $2 trillion to the national debt? and if you're a fiscal conservative, why is it that you only preach for a balanced budget amendment when there's a democrat in the white house, never when there's a republican? basically what you're saying is i can hear you and your declaration, but i want to know what you've done. when it comes to judge jackson, those who seek her judicial
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philosophy and want a simple labor one way -- simple label one way or the other just hasn't done their homework. she has over 600 published opinions. this woman, this jurist has not held back in explaining case after case how she views the law. it's there for the reading. every member of the senate and the public have access to that information to get the true measure of her judicial philosophy. what she said over and over again at the hearing was i believe in judicial restraint. i think that's exactly what we need in a judge, personally. that's exactly what you'll find when you review the hundreds of opinions that she has written to date. then there is this litmus test question that meant so much to senator mcconnell, the republican leader in the senate, he led off his opposition to judge jackson on the jewish, and the -- on the issue, and the issue quite simply is whether or not judge jackson is willing to say what
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her position is on increasing the number of justices serving on the supreme court. interesting question. most americans think it's been nine for all time, but that's not true. i believe it was in 1869 that that number was established. before then, it was a fewer number of justices. it hasn't been changed since. there's speculation among some political corridors that people are thinking about changing it in the future. so when it came to senator mcconnell's opposition to judge jackson because she said it's a policy matter to be decided by congress, not to be decided by the court as to the composition and number on the supreme court, senator mcconnell went on to say that disqualified her. that was the leading disqualification. well, you might ask senator mcconnell, how did the previous nominee, amy coney barrett, whom you went to great lengths maintaining a vacancy on the court son a republican judge could fill the vacancy, how did she answer this probing
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threshold question when it came to the composition of the supreme court? she said virtually exactly what judge jackson said. it's a matter for congress to decide, not for the courts. that was an acceptable answer with amy coney barrett, but for senator mcconnell it's an unacceptable answer when it comes to judge jackson. the other questions were raised about her legal representation. those of us who practice law understand that you don't necessarily agree with the legal position of every client who walks in the office, and sometimes you have no choice. if the court appoints you as a defender or as an attorney to represent someone who is an indigent client, you often have a client before you who is not necessarily a savory character and might have some questionable background. your job is to be a zealous advocate for that client but never to lie to the court. stick with the truth, do your best, represent them in the course of litigation.
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that's what judge jackson has done in her private practice in her years working for the federal public defender. most attorneys get it. most of them understand that client you're representing is not necessarily espousing your point of view nor really boasting the lifestyle that you admire, but you have a professional obligation to do your best as a lawyer to represent them before the court of law. some of them were opposed to judge jackson because she represented detainees at guantanamo bay. that's curious because these same lawmakers once claimed that judicial nominees should not be held accountable for the views and actions of their clients. it was the junior senator from missouri who not that long ago argued, and i quote, do not necessarily share the views of the people they represent, but must represent them effectively and fairly. he was right then, and he ought to remember it now. or consider the words of the junior senator from texas who told us in september of 2019,
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quote, saying that the views of your clients or the positions of your clients are necessarily your own personal views is no more accurate than saying a criminal defense lawyer who represents capital defendants is advancing the cause of murder, end of quote from the junior senator from texas. finally, some of our republican colleagues have accused judge jackson of being soft on crime. we had an interesting panel the last day when we considered the judge. on that panel was a gentleman who is the president of the black law enforcement organization known as noble. i asked him point-blank, we know that the fraternal order of police have endorsed judge jackson's aspiration to the court. we know the international association of chiefs of police also endorse her. you, noble, representing black law enforcement agents across the nation have endorsed her. would you or any of these organizations have even considered the endorsement if you thought she was soft on crime or wanted to defund the
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police? he was unequivocal, no, we wouldn't have considered her. but her critics ignore that reality. and i want to make it clear that any senator considering her nomination has the right to make their own choice in this process. they can also look beyond the fact that she comes from a law enforcement family to her actual decision making and sentencing. but to claim, as a few have -- only a few -- that somehow judge jackson was soft when it came to child predators or endangering children is just inaccurate and, frankly, insulting. look at the facts. judge jackson is well within the judicial mainstream of 70% to 80% of federal judges when it comes to child pornography offenders. not out of the mainstream. in it. and she put many behind bars for decades. her approach to these cases is comparable to that of many of president trump's nominees on the bench today.
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independent fact-checkers exposed these baseless facts for what they are. i can't say it any better than the conservative federal prosecutor who wrote in a conservative magazine, "the national review" this line of attack against judge jackson is, quote, meritless to the point of demagoguery, end of quote. let's be clear -- none, absolutely of none of the attacks h leveled against judge jackson stand up to scrutiny. i assume that's why only a few of my republican colleagues have stood up in support of them. i want to thank the judiciary committee the members who treated the hearing with dig knit and respect. they proposed challenging questions to judge jackson, and that was their responsibility to do so. judge jackson's forthright responses showed the american public why she deserves this historic opportunity. she is a brilliant jurist, even handed, with a model temperament. there were so many moments, for those who followed the hearing, they know what i'm speaking of,
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when i looked up and saw her sitting at the table h thinking she could stand up at this very moment and say enough, my family and i are leaving. but she didn't. she had the strength and grace and dignity and determination to weather even that political firestorm. i'm honored to support judge jackson. i look forward to our judiciary committee vote on her nomination next monday. mr. president, on another matter, senator ron portman of ohio and i are cochairs of the bipartisan senate ukraine caucus. tomorrow we're hosting a meeting for senators with members of the ukrainian parliament. the parliament there is known as the ratta. they are coming to washington to discuss how we can help even more assisting the valiant people of ukraine defending against this barbaric invasion by vladimir putin. i hope our colleagues on both sides of the aisle will join us to send a clear message to ukraine that we stand united this their efforts. putin's unprovoked, unconscionable war on ukraine has revealed what he is really
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all about. he's a tyrant, seething with resentment, driven by delusions of great mother russia, willing to slaughter innocent men, women, and children to restore a lost russian empire. we know from his current ravings and past actions, putin's ruthless pursuit of russia's lost empire didn't begin with this war, and if we don't do something about it, it won't end there either. in 2003 the people of georgia, another soviet republic, waged a resolution to claim the place among the family of democratic nations. putin's aggrieved response was to send troops into that country to occupy portions of it in south assetia georgia's natural boundaries by force. i traveled to that country and saw firsthand what that meant. in 2014 the people of ukraine rose up to demand change as
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well. the revolution of dignity they called it. they succeeded and threw out a deeply corrupt russian-backed president and they out of ousted him -- and he fled to moscow. people -- they have continued to wage that war. i mentioned many times my concern for this region and i guess it's attached to the fact that my mother was born in lithuania and came here as a little girl. her family fled from the oppressionist czarist russia which then controlled the baltic states and far beyond. during world war ii, the baltic states endured brutal nazi occupation, and after the war they were held captive behind the iron curtain by the ussr. in august 1989, two months before the fall of the berlin wall, two million people in
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latvia, lithuania and estonia physically, literally joined hands in a human protest. they formed a human chain to declare they wanted to be part of europe and declare the family of democracies. two years later the baltics threw off russian occupiers and reclaimed their independence. it was a festive day. i was honored to be -- i witnessed part of it. they worked to achieve the reform fundamental to democracy, to weed out corruption, establish market economies, encourage the growth of civil society. in 2004, in an historic moment, a live-or-die moment for the baltics, they became part of nato. the first time, the very first time nato opened its doors to nations that had been part of the soviet union. over the years the baltic states strengthened their militaries to prove they would be assets and not liabilities to the alliance. today the baltics provide a home to activists and dissidents from russia and belarus and are a
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beacon of democracy. and i say that with personal pride to have any association with these great nations. in 2008, after russia had annexed parts of georgia, the president of poland visited georgia's capital of tbilisi and warned of the threat posed by russia to the entire region. he said, and i quote, today georgia. tomorrow ukraine. the day after tomorrow, the baltic states. and later perhaps the time will come for his country, poland. well, today senator grassley and i are introducing a bill to discourage russia from extending putin's war into nato territory and forcing the alliance to invoke its article 5 collective security commitment. our bill is called the baltic defense and deterrence act. it directs the department of state and the department of defense to establish and implement economic and security initiatives to deepen u.s. ties with the baltic states. our bill will strengthen a strong partnership. it will enhance the capability of the region, critical allies
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and nato's eastern flank to respond to threats including russia's disinformation. and in lithuania's case growing economic pressure. cosponsors come from both sides of the aisle. senators stabenow, king, blume thowl, duckworth. representative don baker cosponsoring a companion bill in the house. in conclusion, in 1997, russian president boris yell sin offered the baw -- baltic states guarantees if they were to join nato. they refused. they were determined to become their own sovereign states, their own democracy, and they have succeeded. kurt volker, former u.s. ambassador to nato, former u.s. special representative to ukraine said that far from being a burden on nato, the admission of latvia, lithuania and estonia reinvigorated the alliance. in his words the baltic states turned out to be quo -- quote,
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the ones most committed to support the u.s. and other forum. they sent troops on costly u.s. missions and their troops fought and died in iraq and afghanistan. by securing the partnerships with the baltics, our bill will he help vladimir putin from extending his war into nato territory. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: mr. president, thank you. i rise to urge my colleagues to join me in confirming lisa cook to the board of governors of the federal reserve system. dr. cook hails from georgia and grew up in village mill, georgia, where my mother's college roommate -- roomed with
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someone from millageville, georgia. now teaches at a great midwestern state university. she is unquestionably qualified. an economist with many years of experience. i went to -- a graduate of spellman, a graduate -- was a truman scholar in england, something that very few americans qualify for. it's a very small, elite, important program. she then -- and she got her ph.d. at berkeley. she brings a breadth of research and international experience on monetary policy on banking, on financial crises, she is a leader on economic growth. she is a dualed tenured professor of economics at michigan state. she previously taught at the
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kennedy school of government, she served on the council of economic advisors. she is an historic nominee. if confirmed, she'd be the first black woman ever in the history of the fed. 1913, the federal reserve began, created by this body in and the house of representatives, signed by president wilson. so 109 years, seven governors on the fed, most stay no more than five, six, seven years. she will be the first black woman to serve on the federal reserve. she understands why i'm thrilled about this nomination. i'm thrilled because of the diversity of gender and race but also, maybe especially, the diversity of experience. she knows that workers should be that -- should be the center of our economy. she knows how important local communities are. she spent her formative years in the south and in the industrial
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midwest. she's seen how the economy works and sometimes doesn't work so well for all kinds of people in different parts of the country. she arrived in east lansing, michigan, before the financial crisis. she takes that with her -- that experience, that knowledge, that insight to the federal reserve. she's made it clear -- and that's an unusual thing for a fed governor. she's made it clear she's dedicated to fed independence, she will uphold the fed mandate of maximum employment and price stability. this represents another example of the biden administration serious effort to make the economy work for everyone, not just those at the top. that's what especially makes her an outstanding nominee. it's a critical time for the fed. we need dr. cook and other qualified nominees on the job immediately to fight inflation.
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dr. cook's unquestionably qualified, she possesses bipartisan support from top economists, former fed governors, bankers, civil rights organizations, yet despite her broad support, a small minority have claimed that she doesn't meet the standards for this position, standards that only apply for certain nominees. she has met and exceeded those high bars, she is a tenured professor and sought by organizations around the world for her input, for her knowledge, for her wisdom, for her perspective. she'll bring a critical voice to the fed. one that has been missing for far too long. i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting dr. lisa cook's nomination, getting her on the board right away to help with our economic recovery. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the question occurs on the motion to discharge the cook nomination. the yeas and nays were previously ordered.
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the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change his or her vote? if not, the yeas are 50. the nays are 49. pursuant to s. res. 27 and the motion to discharge having been agreed to, the nomination will be placed on the executive calendar. the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion, we, the undersigned senators in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the nomination of executive calendar number 725, nani a. coloretti of california to be deputy director of the office of management and budget signed by 16 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is, is it the sense nomination of nani a. coloretti
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of california to be deputy director of the office of management and budget shall be brought to a close. the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: on this vote the yeas are 56, the nays are 43 and the motion is agreed to. under the previous order, the senate stands in recess until 2:15 p.m.
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