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tv   U.S. Senate U.S. Senate  CSPAN  July 12, 2022 2:15pm-6:21pm EDT

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biden's nominees. a vote to confirm the head of the pure of our call tobacco firearms and explosives is expected shortly. live on c-span2.
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mr. brown: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: thank you, madam president. last week on the 4th of july a day meant to celebrate freedom and independence, we witnessed another act of senseless violence, this time in the chicago suburb of highland park. yet again more americans have been murdered by going about their daily lives. this time attending an this time attending an this time attending an independence day parade. yet again a community grieves. yet again we has come time for going to allowe this to happen. the bipartisan gun safety bill overdue
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process, progress finally. today we have the opportunity to keep up that work. ting americanm together a permanent a.t.f. director. i urge my colleagues to support president biden's nominee, steven m. dettelbach, of chief, to the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives. he is a son of ohio, a career public servant and has spent his time combating crime. steve worked with law enforcement, including a.t.f. to prosecute tough cases. i've known steven m. dettelbach for years, i watched him tackle some of the most important department of justice's cases, he prosecuted a white supremacist who tried to burn
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down an apostolic faith church in my wife's home county ofas beulah --asa beulah. he created a clergy group united against haivment when he prosecuted the fire bombing of the largest mosque in northwest, ohio, steve attended worship services there. he lived the value of religious freedom. he's consistently stood up against extremism and hate. steven m. dettelbach understands that politics must play no role in running the a.t.f. his experience and record bear that out. that's why he has broad support from prosecutors, law enforcement officials who understand what it takes to do this job. this includes law enforcement groups like noble, the national organization of black law
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enforcement executives, the hispanic police command organization, women in federal law enforcement, the international association of chiefs of police, the major counties sheriffs association, the national sheriffs association, it includes 140 former federal prosecutors, eight former a.t.f. directors, the association representing the men and women of the a.t.f. he has the support of civil rights organization, the national urban league, the leadership conference on civil and human rights, faith organizations like the jewish federation of north america. they understand that steve is the right person to lead this important law enforcement agency. following the shooting at highland park, they were able to capture the person because of
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the men and women of the a.t.f. some don't want an a.t.f. director, they may oppose steven m. dettelbach. that's not even it. they want to dispose of the a.t.f. entirely. that is a bad idea. you know who thinks that is bad? law enforcement agency, they know how important the a.t.f. is even though some fringe conspiracy minded characters believe the a.t.f. should be abolished. they argue abolishing the a.t.f. would make our communities less safe. in their letter endorsing steven m. dettelbach. the national -- they said they would -- he would bring people together by working with state and local law enforcement.
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the sheriffs went on to write, they appreciated steve's, quote, goal of being a value add to local law enforcement by not only adding resources to urban areas but rural as well. rural crime and rural terrorism and rural abuses like that are just -- just as likely in rural areas as cities. mr. dettelbach has emphasized the importance of boots on the ground. sadly our local law enforcement personnel need this help. fortunately the a.t.f. with steven m. dettelbach, i hope confirmed and soon at the helm will be there to provide that help. i can think of no better way to keep americans safe from violent crime than for the senate to confirm steven m. dettelbach a.t.f. director. i urge my colleagues to support -- to join me in supporting his confirmation.
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the presiding officer: without objection. all postcloture time is expired. the question occurs on the nomination. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: on this vote the yeas are 48, the nays are 64 and the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the motion to reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table and the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action. 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 bring to a close debate on the nomination of executive calendar number 975, michael s. barr, of michigan, to be a member of the board of governors, for the unexpired term. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call is waived. the question is, is it the sense of the senate that debate on the nomination of michael s. barr, of michigan, to be a member of
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the board of governors of the federal reserve system shall come to a close. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: the yeas are 66, the nays are 27, and the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the nomination. the clerk: nomination, federal reserve system, michael s. barr, of michigan, to be a member of the board of governors. mr. warner: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senior senator from virginia. mr. warner: mr. president, thank
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you for that recognition and i want to thank my friend, the senator from iowa, for giving me a moment, a personal privilege. i also want to acknowledge our colleague who has been the presiding officer -- mr. president, i want to acknowledge our colleague who was presiding prior to you coming to the chair and acknowledge that it is her birthday today and a day of great celebration in arizona and across elsewhere. i appreciate the senator from illinois being here. i want to acknowledge my youngest daughter eliza who is at the london business school where last wednesday i attended their graduation and my hope is that every one of these young men and women who will be from across the world, the united
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states, the u.k., nigeria, lebanon, israel, india, singapore, and a host of other countries, one, i wish them all well. i know they're going to contribute to our economies growth around the world and i believe most of them now will go off their families' payroll at this moment in time after they receive this great distinguished m.b.a. they received from the london business school. i do appreciate my friend senator from iowa giving me this moment to have a quick acknowledge and recognition and at this time i yield the floor to the senior senator from iowa. the presiding officer: the senior senator from iowa. mr. grassley: thank you very much. i'm back to the floor for reasons that my senator friends are trying to hear -- tired of hearing me talk about all the time, but i come back to give
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you a specific example of retailation against whistleblowers, agencies of the government not answering letters that we have sent and also what i believe is some political interference in some of my oversight work. today it deals specifically with the department of veterans' affairs, as we know it around here, the v.a. so on april 2 of last year, 2021, i sent letters to the v.a. and the v.a. office of inspector general, based on allegations from multiple whistleblowers. those whistleblowers reported numerous ethical violations,
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retaliation, and possible leaking of market-sensitive information that may have affected retail investors. i've been waiting more than a year for a response to my inquiries. e-mails obtained through the freedom of information act by government watchdog group called empower oversight show that career public servants at the v.a. prepared a response to my letter over a year ago, but when it came time for the secretary of v.a., mcdonough to send that letter to my office, senior biden political officials blocked it. it appears that biden appointed
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v.a. officials have issued an order not to respond to my request, and i have a pretty good reason why. we know that the v.a. received these allegations from whistleblowers early on and the v.a. ignored them. whistleblowers alleged, among other things, conflicts of interest between senior-level v.a. officials and a company represented by her husband. this official has since left public service. the company that employed her husband berra bogga is the company's entitled veterans education success, or v.e.s. on multiple he could indications, starting in
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december of 2017, an employee at v.a. sought guidance from v.a. lawyers on whether mrs. bogga should recuse herself on procurement-related matters. the lawyers affirmed that mrs. bogga should recuse herself and the employee even copied mrs. bogga on that guidance of recusal. the employee also alerted v.a. leadership of mrs. bogga's need to recuse herself. mrs. bogga never recused herself, but the v.a. employee was reportedly removed from federal service. now, that's retaliation that's unjustified or should never happen. in response to my letter about these and other allegations, the
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v.a. office of inspector general immediately opened an investigation. the v.a. office of inspector general uncovered more wrongdoing than originally thought, and i have four points that they uncovered, but i'm only to go into those four. mrs. bogga participated in matters involving her husband's employer contrary to ethics guidance. mrs. bogga interaction with that company violated the apparent conflict rules. mrs. bogga did not provide sufficient detail to v.a. ethics about her spouse's business, and four, mrs. bogga refused to cooperate fully in the o.i.g.'s
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investigation. these are only some of the allegations that i've received. the v.a. office of inspector general did not review the allegations of whistleblower repraysal nor did -- repraysal nor did it investigates whether the v.a. employee mishandled nonpublic information. i raised questions about all of these issues and to date i've had no substantive communication from secretary mcdonough about any of these questions i've raised. so what is a v.a. -- what is the v.a. hiding? what else did v.a. know or choose to ignore? congress needs answers, not stonewalling.
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independent government watchdogs and whistleblower advocates have called on the v.a. to review government grants and screen for companies and individuals who have engaged in wrongdoing. they also urged the v.a. to consider whether those individuals or entities should be able to obtain government contracts in the future. i'd be very interested in whether those who refuse to cooperate with the o.i.g. requests can still obtain taxpayer money through government contracts. the biden administration has claimed time and again that it is the most transparent administration in u.s. history. well, i think i just gave you an example that that's not true. and it certainly hasn't been true in this case for emphasis.
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the v.a. deserves much better and of course the v.a. serves our veterans and our veterans deserve much better from that agency. the v.a. needs to start being as transparent as they claim to be transparent and cooperate with this investigation. thank you, mr. president. i yield. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senior senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i come to the floor today to talk about the economic crisis that the american people are living through caused by joe biden. the american people have just had the most expensive 4th of july of all times. it's interesting what a difference a year and a half
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makes. last july, six months into the biden administration, the white house was insisting inflation was either nonexistent or transitory. the white house even bragged that the cost of a july 4th cookout last year had dropped 16 cents, not 16% but 16 cents from the year before. here we are one year later, one year of democrat control. the cost of that same cookout was up not just 16 cents but 16% hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, across the board everything is up. this july 4th, the only way to save money was to stay home. according to one survey, one out of every three americans changed their summer travel plans for this summer because of high gas prices. people are driving less.
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they can't afford gas. they're shopping less. they can't afford the food. and they're getting a lot less from their paycheck. "the new york times" says people are -- i was astonished by this -- are using up vacation days so they don't have to drive into work because they cannot afford the gas. they're using vacation days so they don't have to drive because they can't afford the gas. the average american family is now paying a hundred dollars more each and every week just to buy the same things that they bought a year ago. so it's just -- so just to stay even is a hundred dollars more this week than last. week after week after week in the joe biden economy, people can afford less and less and less. one study from the university of michigan showed the biden era had already seen the steepest drop in disposable income since
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herbert hoover. who could believe it? the savings rate right now is the lowest since the great recession of 2009. household debt is the highest ever. people are trying to borrow or spend their savings just to keep up to maintain the sorts of things they could afford easily last year. and consumer confidence in this country right now is at an all-time low. the concern, of course, is that the worst may yet to be coming. more and more experts say we're headed toward a recession. a recession is when the company shrinks for six months in a row. two weeks ago the commerce department updated their estimate of economic growth for the first three months of the year. and the update said the economy had grown even less, a trunk more than they thought. the economy shrunk more than the biden commerce department admitted to in their first
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assessment. there are already signs all around the country that the economy is shrinking. no wonder in a national poll last week only one in ten americans think the economy is heading in the right direction. inflation plus a recession is called stagflation and mr. president, i don't think we've had that since the days of jimmy carter likely, whrpt, when -- mr. president, when you are either a little boy or hadn't yet been born. democrats have run washington for 17 full months now, and they're doing absolutely nothing here at home to bring down the pain at the pump or the pain at the grocery store. joe biden says gas prices will remain high as long as it takes. he says he wuss have to suffer -- he says we just have to suffer through it and he blames everything today on the war in ukraine. he won't admit the fact that the
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inflation crisis started ten months before the war in ukr ukraine. gas prices had already gone up by a dollar and 15 cents a gallon before putin's invasion, but the american people get it. they remember all of this. it doesn't matter what joe biden happens to say and of course he's off to saudi arabia tomorrow looking for more oil when we have plenty of it in the united states. the american people clearly know who to blame for the inflation that is causing them pain every single day. it's interesting to see that even jimmy carter's economists blame joe biden and the democrats in congress for the inflation that is hitting the country today. last week "the new york times" published an interview with jimmy carter's top economic advisers. they were asked what lessons they had learned from the miserable failures of the carter administration. jimmy carter's secretary of the
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treasurery michael blumenthal put the blame for today's inflation on the spending by joe biden and the democrats. this is jimmy carter's treasury secretary pointing his finger at joe biden and the democrats. jimmy carter's treasury secretary said democrats need to give up the gimmicks, turn off the money printer, and stop the reckless spending. this is at a time when behind closed doors senator schumer and others are trying to come up with another gimmick to add more spending and higher taxes. this article in "the new york times" says mr. blumenthal urged mr. biden to abandon his build back better bill. i call it build back biden. and said he should abandon that in favor of deficit reduction. he said fighting inflation comes first, but trying to take half
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measures, you merely prolong the pain. and the american people are tired of the pain that's been imposed upon them by joe biden and the democrats in this body and across the floor. well, he's right. jimmy carter's treasury secretary is right. fighting inflation needs to come first. yet for joe biden fighting inflation has come last or not at all. ddenial -- denial that it even existed, dismissing it as don't worry and continuing today to try to avoid the reality that he's facing. you know, democrats in this body could learn something from the carter administration. after all, joe biden has an even lower approval rating. hard to believe. i would never have believed, mr. president, on the day joe biden was unanimous consented, that -- was inaugurated that by the july 4th weekend of 2022, that joe biden would have earned, fully
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earned an approval rating lower than jimmy carpenter did. and remember, jimmy carter lost his reelection bid to ronald reagan. so far democrats seem to have learned nothing. last march republicans warned the democrats that their spending and borrowing would cause inflation. democrats ignored the warning. senator schumer even said -- he said i don't think the dangers of inflation in the near term are very real. that may be a new yorker's view of it but people around the country had a clear understanding that inflation was coming and it did. turned out senator schumer was wrong and the dangers were very, very real for working families. so the rich liberals in new york and the rich liberals in california who run the democrat party will be just fine. it's the working families who are trying to pay their bills every day. they're the ones who are paying
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the price for these reckless policies in the democrat party. democrats remain completely out of touch with american workers. it's obvious. last march all 50 senate democrats put an additional $2 trillion on the national debt. the biden inflation crisis started and the fire of inflation started one month later. last week's "new york times" article also quotes a carter treasury official who warns against socialist price controls with regard to energy. so what did the house democrats just do? they just voted for socialist price controls. now senate democrats seem to be eager to do the same thing. democrats are ignoring the warning signs once again. seems they refuse to learn the lessons of the carter years. what have the democrats learned in the last 18 months?
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anything? i don't think they've learned a thing, especially with regard to american energy. joe biden is continuing to restrict american energy, continues to give speeches against american energy, and then goes hat in hand to venezuela, to iran, and now this week to saudi arabia saying please produce more energy. this is the first time in 64 years that there will be no offshore energy lease sales this year. first time in 64 years. joe biden is now considering blocking all offshore oil and gas leases for the next five years. no jobs for the people. no affordable energy for the folks and the families. nope. he's just now lifting his blockade on onshore oil and gas leases that's been there since day one of his administration. why is he doing it now? well, he's doing it kicking and
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screaming because the federal court forced his hand. after 17 months in office when president obama was there, they had held 40 lease sales. joe biden's energy strategy has now sunk and us to a new low. what is he doing now? what is the him's new -- is the president's new approach because he just wants to belittle people in the energy who make their livelihood that way. it's astonishing the president of the united states tweeting about mom and pop gas stations. in your neighborhood and mine. hard to believe but it's true. last week the president of the united states tweeted a demand that gas stations bring down their prices. if only it were that easy. you wonder what does president biden really understand about the way the world works?
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about the life people lead? prices aren't set by gas stations. prices aren't set by presidential tweets. they are set by supply and demand. it's economics 101. gas stations aren't the problem. gas stations would love to bring down prices overall. can't do it. if demand is down because people can't afford to drive, that will lower the prices a bit. today the average is about $4.65 a gallon. the day joe biden came in office, it was $2.38 a gallon. we're still almost double the cost of a gallon of gas today under joe biden and his policies than we were the day he took office. you really want to lower prices at the pump and get to the day we were when joe biden came into office, we need more american energy and we have it.
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we have it here in the united states and joe biden and the democrats will not let us get it out of the ground. so what are the democrats in the senate doing about these repeated failures by joe biden? well, right now they are once again threatening another reckless tax and spending spree. they're planning a repeat of what got us into this inflation crisis in the first place. it's terrible economics, and it's not even good politics. so just before the midterm elections, democrats are attempting to pass legislation that's going to make america's problems even worse. they're proposing another reckless spending bill and it is more reckless than the one last year. because inflation is a lot higher now. spending even more money is going to make today's prices go even higher. according to a media report, the latest version of the democrat bill includes more than $100
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billion in new taxes. nobody knows exactly what's in it. we hear up to a trillion dollars in taxes. many of these taxes are going to fall on american energy producers. y you have higher taxes on energy producers, who do you think will pay for that? the people who use energy, men and women going to work, trying to take their kids to school, cutting back on vacations because they can't afford the gas. plicial plit mr. plicial the secretary of energy says buy electric cars, easy for him to say. how many americans can afford to go out and buy one of these very expensive electric vehicles? very few. we are talking about a cleerls cleerls -- clueless
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administration and clueless secretary of energy who promoted such policies. joe biden should remember that in 2008 senator barack obama said this -- you don't raise taxes in a recession. this is senator barack obama 2008, presidential candidate barack obama 2008. you don't raise taxes in a recession. the last thing you want to do is to raise taxes in a recession. yet that may be the party platform of the democrats for this november. the democratic taxes on american energy have been relentless. they are obsessed with limiting fossil fuels, worshipping energy that is dependent on the weather. that's what they're proposing. the democrats think that that's the winning sales pitch going into november. now democrats i talk to
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privately admit that they expect to be stripped of power in november. nancy pelosi no longer speaker of the house. her efforts to make sure that republicans are in the majority in the senate. and democrats know the clock is running out on them, that they're not going to be able to do something like reconciliation to force down the throats of the american people tax increases and regulations the american people would never be in support of. this is their last hope, their last hail mary pass to put into place policies of the progressives that will help their group but hurt the country. it's absolutely wrong. it's one final try of the democrats to increase spending, increase taxes, and of course increase the debt. it doesn't seem the democrat party nationally or those on the hill seem to care about that and
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the suffering of the american people who are living through the highest inflation in 40 years, the highest gas prices of all time until recently, massive debt, massive concerns and confidence. that's what the american people are looking at right now. and that's why come november, i believe many, many members elected democrats in the house and senate will be heading to the unemployment line. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from hawaii.
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mr. schatz: thank you, mr. president. i rise today in support of the nominations of dr. lester martinez-lopez to be assistant secretary of defense for health affairs. dr. agnes schaefer, assistant secretary of the army for manpower and reserve fares -- affairs and mr. franklin r. parker. the office mr. lopez is nominated for is to make sure we are medically ready to fight and win wars. this is of critical for national security but of all times during a pandemic. leaving this open jeopardizes our ability to prepare for a health crisis. having spent two decades as army surgeon at major military bases state side and overseas and more than a decade as a leader of a private medical research organization, dr. martinez lopez clearly has the experience
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to fill this position. the assistant secretaries for manpower and reserve affairs across the branches ensure our military and civilian workforce have the education, the training, the skills needed to meet current and future threats. mr. parker, who is nominated to head this office for the navy, has demonstrated his ability to fill the role and will be able to hit the ground running, having held the position before. dr. schaefer nominated to head this office for the army, will bring firsthand knowledge from her 15 years at the rand corporation where she p specialized in military personnel, policy, reserve component issues, national security strategy, and emerging threats. all three of these positions play important roles in our national security. all three nominees to fill them were voted out of committee, a committee on which the senator from missouri serves, without objection, without objection
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four months ago. but all three remain vacant. and the senator from missouri is someone who serves on the personnel subcommittee of the armed services committee i know would know better than most the issues our military branches and the troops face. these include recruitment and retention challenges, ensuring safe workplaces, including the implementation, implementing i.r.c. reforms to prevented and respond to sexual assault and sexual harassment within the ranks and addressing the suicide rate among veterans, all issues which impact military readiness. but there is a hold on all d.o.d. nominees. i am unaware of any substantive p objection to these nominees based on their qualifications or ability to serve, reasons which we have a constitutional duty to review based on our advice and consent role. my understanding is that the senator from missouri is
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implementing a blanket hold based on general policy disagreements with the biden administration. in addition to our advice and consent role, the senate has oversight responsibilities, and that is a place where the senator from missouri, as a member of the personnel subcommittee of the armed services committee, has the responsibility of oversight of the three offices that we're discussing today. he has a way to ensure that once these three nominees are confirmed he and his colleagues can evaluate their performance, with acting nonconfirmed officials in these roles, that oversight authority is undermined. as a senator, we're afforded extraordinary powers to advance policies or even just to make a point, but these powers should be used in accordance with our constitutional responsibilities. the president of the united states has the responsibility to nominate qualified individuals to fill these roles, and he has. these individuals are qualified, and now we have the responsibility to confirm them so that they can get to work for
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our servicemembers and for the american people. i'll now yield to my friend and colleague, senator kaine. mr. kaine: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from virginia. mr. kaine: mr. president, i rise and thank my colleague from hawaii for stating plainly the qualifications of these candidates. as a member of the armed services committee, i've had a chance to review their qualifications, and as the father of a united states marine, i agree wholeheartedly with the senator's contention that these three positions would be very important to fill at a time when the united states has so many security challenges. anticipating a productive dialogue with my colleague from missouri, i would like to ask unanimous consent that the senate consider the following nominations en bloc -- calendar numbers 779, 708, 701, that the is not vote on the nominations en bloc without intervening action or debate, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, that any statements
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related to the nominations be printed in the record and that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action. the presiding officer: is there objection? a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from missouri. mr. hawley: i object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. hawley: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from missouri. mr. hawley: i'd like to say a word if i could about the nature of my objection. it has been now almost a year since the attack at abbey gate in kabul in afghanistan. almost a year since we lost 13 american servicemembers in that tragic attack, almost a year since hundreds of american civilians were left behind enemy lines, abandoned by this administration to fend for themselves against our enemies. and that attack claimed the
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lives among the 13 of corporal jared smits from winsville, missouri. i was thinking of him again the other day when i was driving past the bridge that will soon be named for him. i'm glad corporal smits is getting some of the honor he deserves. but let's be honest. as his father said to me hours after we learned of his death, what would be far better, far better indeed would be for corporate schmitz, who is a very young man, to be here with us. he's just at the beginning his service, just at the beginning of his life. and while he was proud, i'm sure, to give his life for his country, it's what he volunteered to do, we owe it to him, i owe it to him to try and find out why, why this attack at abbey gate happened. how was it that a civilian evacuation was not ordered in
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time. why was it that this administration ignored repeated warnings from military commanders on the ground about the dangers that were mounting in kabul, in afghanistan? why was the withdrawal a debacle? now i want to give central command some credit. they have commissioned an investigation on this point and issued a report, and i have some of it here with me. militay
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commanders repeatedly warned the white house, repeatedly that the situation in afghanistan was deteriorating rapidly, that the danger to american troops was high, that the danger to american civilians was high, and indeed potentially lethal. and what did the administration do? it ignored these warnings. the centcom investigation shows the state department and state council dragged their feet for weeks and months on end. it showed the state department wouldn't even talk about an evacuation, wouldn't speak of it until it was too late. the worst of it is after this botched withdrawal, after this tragic loss of life, the administration took efforts to cover up what had happened, and we're still in the midst of this cover up. last november homeland security mayorkas testified, i'm quoting, biographic information
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was collected from every individual evacuated from afghanistan. every individual. that's his statement. he testified that the administration -- i'm quoting him now -- took a whole of government approach ensuring that afghans arriving in the united states have been thoroughly screened and vetted. that simply is not true, and we know it isn't true because the d.o.d. inspector general just released a report u.s. agencies did not use available data when vetting afghan evacuees, finding that some evacuees with derogatory information could not be located, including individuals whose latent fingerprints have been founded on improvised explosive devices and are known or suspected terrorists. here's my point, mr. president -- almost a year after this tragedy, almost a year after this debacle, there has still been no
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accountability. no accountability. there has been no one fired. there has been no one relieved of command. this administration has stonewalled, they have dragged their feet, they have refused to cooperate. oh, we have had hearings and we have had briefings almost entirely behind closed doors. so here is my request. it's what i also i promised corporal schmitz's father, that i would seek accountability for what happened in afghanistan, and that's exactly what i intend to do. itsz what i have been doing -- it's what i have been doing. many a time i have been on this floor for the last 11 months seeking accountability, and i have been stonewalled at every single turn. what i have asked for months on end is that the armed services committee hold a public hearing on this investigation, a public hearing. not behind closed doors, not without the press, not cut off from the american people. a public hearing. and i've been denied every time.
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so wh so what i am going to do today is enter this report into the record so that the american people can see what u.s. central command found. and until we have that accountability in public, i will continue to ask that the senate observe regular order and actually vote on these nominees. i yield the floor. mr. kaine: will the gentleman yield for a question? the presiding officer: the senator from virginia. mr. kaine: if my colleague from missouri would yield for a series of questions. i understand the objection as indicated with respect to seeking accountability for afghanistan. i understand that point. is it correct that in the committee, however, you supported each of the three nominations who are proffered on the floor today? mr. hawley: a point of
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parliamentary inquiry. do i have the floor when i respond? the presiding officer: the senator has yielded for a question so he has the floor. mr. hawley: i'm not asking the question. he's asking me the question. the presiding officer: but you yielded to the senator from virginia. mr. hawley: i yielded the floor. the senator has the floor. i'm happy to respond. the presiding officer: will the senator yield for a response? mr. kaine: i will yield for a response, yes. mr. hawley: say it one more time, senator. i can answer. mr. kaine: my question was, i believe in the armed services committee these three individuals you supported their nominations for reporting to the floor and i just want to make sure i'm accurate about that. mr. hawley: that's incorrect. i recorded as a no. mr. kaine: on all three? mr. hawley: yes. mr. kaine: is it the senator's
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position today that you do not object to them individually but there are other members of your caucus who individually object to them? mr. hawley: i do object to them. are you asking me if i object to having a vote on them. i'm not sure. mr. kaine: thank you. i will rephrase the question. do you reject having a vote on them? so, for example, i could modify the motion to seek unanimous consent that we schedule a vote on these three nominees instead of trying to move them en bloc, and i would be very happy to amend my motion to that if you would find that acceptable. mr. hawley: a vote, i would like, senator. but there are others who have objections to all three nominees. mr. kaine: if we are able to clear the objections of others, would you agree at a time that's convenient for the floor leaders of each party, to a recorded
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vote on each of the three nominees if we are able to clear the objections with your other colleagues? mr. hawley: i would like a recorded vote. are you asking me to vitiate cloture? mr. kaine: yes, a vote in which you could express your views. mr. hawley: i would like a vote and cloture vote. i would like to have a hearing on this as well. i'm not authorized to negotiate for anybody else. mr. kaine: i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. mr. kennedy: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i have with me
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today some summer associates from my office. and i ask unanimous consent that the following of my colleagues be granted floor privileges until august 12, 2022, mr. john luke larry, mr. maximo malobo, mr. chase mcdonald and mr. mathias brantley here in the [. the presiding officer: without objection, it is so ordered. mr. kennedy: mr. president, i rise today for two reasons. one happy, one not so happy. first, i'm to take a moment to recognize a much-admired
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louisiana journalist. i'm referring to kim holden, from the wonderful city of minority leaders in my state. kim has -- new orleans in my state. kim just retired from fox 8 news in louisiana and ms. holden has been with fox 8 news for 34 years. kim, if i may call her by her first name, is louisiana through and through. she is what most of us would call a star-spangled professional. ms. holden graduated from st. mary's dominican high school. i know to some of you it doesn't mean much, but it's an extraordinarily good school in my state. she started out at tulane
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university, she wanted to study premed, but she realized premed wasn't for her. she discovered her love for journalism, mr. president. and she went to and graduated from loyola university in minority leaders with a major -- in new orleans with a major in communications. she took her first job in 1988 as an intern at wvue fox 8, and she never left. kim's talent and intelligence was -- was quickly recognized at fox 8. she was hired almost immediately after being an intern as a part-time production assistant. throughout her 34 years at fox 8, she has worked as a producer, as a reporter, as a weekend
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anchor, and as an assistant news director. in 2005, ms. holden started anchoring the morning newscast and she coanchored at 5 and 10:00. it is unique in television to work your entire career in one place, particularly in one hometown. most journalists move from city to city. not kim. she loves new orleans and new orleans loves her back. i've been interviewed any number of times with -- with great admiration for ms. holden. not always with great joy because kim's tough. she's tough as a boot as a journalist. she does her job, but she's
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very, very fair. in the world now of agenda journalists, who have an agenda of their own, not kim holden. not kim holden. she called the balls and the strikes. i don't even know what party she's in. don't care what party's she's in. she was just a pro. kim, as i said, has retired and she's had an extraordinary career. she -- it's just -- i mean when you go back and look at her -- her awards. she received emmy -- i'm sorry, too much coffee, and two edward r. muro awarts -- murrow for reporting, she's has been named
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reporter of the year throughout her career, she has covered everything from the covid-19 pandemic, to hurricanes, including hurricane katrina to the new orleans saints winning the super bowl. i think her next chapter, she is going to spend some quality time, she deserves it with her husband bobby, her four children and her six grandchildren. i just wanted to recognize kim holden today and to thank her for giving so much to the profession of journalism and to thank her for giving so much to my state, louisiana, and i wish her the best in her next chapter. now, on the less -- less pleasant subject, which i wish i didn't have to talk about,
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mr. president. deeply, profoundly stupid. deeply, profoundly stupid. that is the only way that i know how to describe one of the worst decisions by an administration that has become famous for bad decisions. i am talking about president biden's assault on sustainable, affordable energy. the people of louisiana know, mr. president, and the people of america know that they're now
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paying $90 to fill up their cars and tanks with gas because the biden administration killed the keystone pipeline, canceled our offshore oil leases and forfeited america's energy independence. we were energy independent. the biden administration forfeited it. what seems to be under appreciated, mr. president, however, is how president biden's agenda is driving up the price, not just of oil but of all kind of necessities that america and louisiana families need every day. it's not just about oil and gas. it's about everything. not only do most goods get to our homes after riding in trucks and planes and cars and ships
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powered by gas or diesel, but a lot of our plastics and other products, if you think about it, they're also made from petroleum. actually only 60% of oil in the world gets used as a fuel. 40% of the global oil supply ends up in other things. things other than cars and trucks and products. that means that it doesn't just cost people more to get to and if from the store, it means almost everything in the store costs more because of its connection to oil. some medicines come from oil. microfiber comes from oil. mascara comes from oil. synthetic comes from oil. do you have a phone case or a
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handbag or a chair or a car made with plastic? that's oil. that's oil. now, not everything's made from oil. some goods that you buy are not made from that natural resource, but i'll bet they're packaged in plastic. and all of these items, all of these household necessities, or -- are casualties by president biden's assault on energy. here's a fact. our economy can't run without fossil fuels. now, i'm not suggesting that fossil fuels should be our only source of energy. certainly we should take advantage of the efficiencies we can find in wind. i believe in wind and solar. i believe in solar.
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and nuclear and hydrogen and hydroelectric. but part of a sensible, sustainable, affordable energy plan has to include fossil fuels. ours is the greatest economy in all of human history. it can't run without energy and 80% of energy today comes from fossil fuels. that is just a fat fact. the truth is that american ingenuity, and i'm referring to fossil fuels, has made the most out of one of the most versatile resources that the world's ever known, but the biden white house is determined to punish us for that innovation. just determined to punish us by making every single part of the american dream more expensive.
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even necessities that aren't directly made from petroleum depend on affordable fuel to reach american families. record high inflation and gas prices have sent americans to food pantries. why? because even fruits and eggs and milk are becoming unaffordable. the latest report show that many americans are paying 8.6% higher prices today than they were last year. but we know it's more than that. i know those are the official government numbers. but we know it's more than that. eggs are up 32%. milk is up 16%. flour is up 14%. baby food when you can find it is up 13%. these aren't luxury items.
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these are staples that americans depend on every single day. i mean, why is a louisiana man telling us -- i'm going to quote -- my food budget is insane. my food budget is insainl. it's -- insane. it's gone up a hundred to $150 a week. so it's becoming more and more difficult to buy the same thing i bought a year or two years ago. that's not just a louisianian talking. that's all across america. why does a woman of baton rouge realize fruits and vegetables, not sirloin steak, fruits and vegetables are breaking her bank. she's cooking more with rice and bread instead of fruits and vegetables. the high grocery prices for this
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lady are gutting her and her family like a fish. and that's just a fact. a very unhappy one but it is a fact. now, high oil prices are also waterboarding our farmers which contributes to these high food prices. did you know that we make industrial fertilizer from fossil fuels? and when natural gas costs more, so does fertilizing a field of wheat or corn or soybeans. some of our herbicides right now are twice as expensive as they were. if farmers can find them. tractors drink diesel. duh. so do irrigation systems. a gallon of diesel, one gallon a year ago, you know what it was?
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$3.23. you know what it is today? $5.20. now, what does this mean for louisiana rice farmers and other growers? for every extra dime farmers spend on a gallon of diesel, every extra dime, a grower will spend about $4.50 more per an acre of rice. $2.30 more for an acre of cotton and an extra $1.74 for an acre of corn. corn growers, i mention corn growers. they also depend on nitrogen fertilizer which we make with methane. and then corn, i mention corn. corn goes in cereal. it goes into sweetened drinks, peanut butter, baby food, ketchup, salad dressing. i know, i don't mean to be ugly, but this administration's energy
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policy is deeply, profoundly stupid. and it's dangerous. so my people, mr. president, are feeling president biden's gas hike from the gas pump to the grocery store to the doctor's office. a lot of the raw materials that make our medicines and health care products are made from -- guess what? -- petroleum. oil goes into our burn creams. you ever burn yourself? you have to go to the local grocery store or the local pharmacy, buy something to put on your burn? that cream comes from oil. you have allergies? those allergy pills are made in part with oil. ever get a cold? take a little nyquil?
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take some cold tablets. need oil to make them. our kids gummy vitamins are made with oil. the band aids in your medicine cabinet, they're made from oil. the president's assault on fossil fuels is hitting my people in louisiana, mr. president, and they're hitting the american people so hard, they're coughing up bones. my people and the people of america are increasingly having to dip into their savings accounts just to afford everyday items, not to take a cruise, not to buy a new car, not to buy some new clothes to look good at church on sunday. for household necessities. and on top of that in addition to going into their savings account, my people and the people all across america are
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having to charge more and more and more to their credit cards, not for luxuries but for staples, for necessities. all of this inflation caused in part by the president's bone-deep, down to the marrow stupid energy policy is costing the average american and louisiana family $635 a month. now think about that. $635 a month. let's call it $7,000 to $8,000 a year. if you're a mom making $40,000 a year and you're a dad making $40,000 a year and you've got two children and you have a home, nothing special, you know, $200,000 home. it's got a mortgage. mom and dad have to go to work
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so they have to have automobiles. they have car payments. they're using every penny of that $80,000 a year. and now all of a sudden here comes inflation and they've got to come out of pocket with an extra $7,000 to $8,000 a year? where is the money going to come from? and just about every middle-class american is experiencing that right now. now, recently the president sent a letter. he sent a letter to the top oil companies. in the letter, it was kind of a snippy letter, frankly. he demanded that the oil companies ramp up their refining operations to try to slow the rising energy prices and to shore up supply. isn't that special.
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the same president, he ran on it. he did it. he ran on it. said he'd do it and he's done it, the same president would promised to end fossil fuels is now blaming the energy industry for historical gas prices. the truth is this administration refuses to accept responsibility for bad policies. and i don't know why they pursued this policy other than to just try and check off a promise made to satisfy their woke agenda. for the sake of americans' economic futures and for the sake of our national security, mr. president, we cannot continue to rely on foreign oil imports. we can't. while pretending to run this country using wind, solar, and wishful thinking because that's what the president's new policy is on energy.
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it's wind. it's solar. it's wishful thinking. wishful thinking doesn't fill gas tanks or grocery carts. this week he'll be in saudi arabia. he's not there as a tourist. he's in saudi arabia to beg the saudis to produce more oil after he has already forfeited america's energy independence and he refuses to take his boot off the throat of the oil and gas industry to allow our oil and gas producers to produce our own oil. so think about it. this is the president's new energy policy. let's don't produce our own oil and gas. let's give up our energy independence. but we have to have oil and gas so what do we do?
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the president's new policy is let's give up our own oil and gas and let's buy oil from foreign countries that hate us. so those foreign countries will have more money to buy weapons to try to kill us. it just makes no sense. and the people of louisiana deserve better, mr. president. and the people of america deserve better. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor.
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a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. mr. kennedy: mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from kentucky. the senate is in a quorum call. a senator: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mississippi. i apologize to you. mr. wicker: mr. president, for the second year in a row, the state of mississippi is the
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center of the universe for college baseball. senator hyde-smith and i are proud and delighted this afternoon to congratulate not one but two mississippi collegiate baseball teams on becoming national champions for their respective divisions this year. those teams be the old miss rebels and the pearl river community college wildcats. it was just last year that the mississippi state bulldogs won their first ever college world series national championship. and with the new year came even more success for baseball in mississippi. last month after sweating out selection day, o miss went to the ncaa division one baseball tournament and won ten out of 11 games sweeping oklahoma in the final round of the college world series to become national champions. just one week earlier -- just weeks earlier pearl river
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community college located in popularville, mississippi, defeated madison college at wisconsin in the division two junior college world series. after spending the entire season ranked in the top five, pearl river one five out of six games in the playoffs defeating florida state college at jacksonville, lansing community college and finally madison college in a three-game series finale. the wildcats dropped game one but then roared back with a 19-1 victory in game two and a decisive 17-2 victory in game three. they finished with a sparkling record of 45 wins and 11 losses. just think about this for a moment. three college baseball national titles in two years for the state of mississippi. congratulations also go to the university of southern mississippi, which had an excellence season and even
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hosted their first superregional in hattiesburg ending with a record of 17 -- 17 wins and 19 losses. this champion run is a comeback story for the ages. after spending early parts of the season rankinged number one in the nation, the rebels went into a deep slump in april, losing four straight series in 11 out of 16 games. in may they were among the last four teams to be included in the field of 64. but they had finished the regular season hot and some people believe they just might carry that momentum into the play-offs, and they did. outscoring their opponents 46 runs to 11 down the stretch, led by the coach and team captain, they beat one team after another, first arizona and miami
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in the regional. then southern miss in the superregional. then auburn and arkansas in the college world series which led to a final best two out of three faceoff with oklahoma. game one was a slug fest. the rebels put up 16 hits including back-to-back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning by t.j. mccanns and justin bench, a stunning feat not seen at the college world series since 1998. on the mound, the pitchers kept things quiet, jack doherty and josh mallets gave up three runs securing a 10-3 victory. the decisive game two was a lot closer. for the first five innings it was a lot closer. the bats finally got going for
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ol' miss in the sixth when jacob gonzalez hit a solo home run. the suitors quickly answered by knocking in two runs making it 2-1 oklahoma. but in the eighth inning, ol' miss tied things up with hits by justin bench and jake gonzales and scored two additional runs on wild pitches making it 4-2. in the top of the ninth, brandon johnson took the mound for ol' miss and closed out the night with three strikeouts capping off a magical run for the men from oxford. from last team in to last team standing explained the announcer. and then to oxford they returned, bringing with them the 30th ncaa championship in ole miss history. the day after winning the title, they were welcomed back to campus which crowds of jubilant
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supporters as they walked the hallowed pathway of the walk of champions. on behalf of the entire state of mississippi, i commend the ole miss team and their staff on this historic achievement. all were named to the ncaa's all-tournament team. dylan delucia received the most outstanding player of the series award for pitching a complete game shutout against the razorbacks becoming the first recipient of the award in ole miss history. and captain tim elco earned four hits in a men's college world series final, not to mention its 46th career home runs, second most in school history. i also congratulate mike bianco, who has coughed ole miss for 23
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seasons and led the team to two trips to the college world series in omaha. he has rightly been named national coach of the year by the american baseball coaches association and the collegiate baseball newspaper. he never gape up on his team and he inspired his players to persevere through the tough times. i wish coach bianco the best of luck this week as he now leads team u.s.a. at an international tournament in the netherlands where he is joined by two ole miss players, hunter elliott and jacob gonzales. i also congratulate michael avalon, head coach for the apparel river wildcats who was named national coach of the year for division ii junior colleges. and so, mr. president, i commend the university of mississippi, pearl river community college, the university of southern mississippi, and mississippi
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state university for carrying on mississippi's winning tradition. two years ago after a season cut short by the covid pandemic, ole miss catcher hayden dunburst said, i have never been a part of a team so special. we will bring a national championship to oxford. and so they d -- did. congratulations.
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the presiding officer: the senator from mississippi. mrs. hyde-smith: thank you you mr. president. i also am very pleased to congratulate the university of mississippi baseball team on its recent 2022 ncaa world series championship. if there's anything an ole miss
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fan is sure of, it's that rebels love to keep unedges of your seat. some fans were you are in is reserve when the rebels hit a midseason slump, but this talented team hit its stride right at the perfect time. the players knew all along they had it in them to take it all the way. they even issued a warning in early may -- don't let the rebels get hot. well, they were able to be there to be the team that no one saw coming and the team that no one could stop. their impressive and exciting run through this year's college world series speaks volumes to the ole miss baseball program, it's leadership, its players, and of course its fan base. mississippi's energy has been electric, following the win, especially at ole miss' first ever national baseball championship occurred after the
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pearl river college clenched their championship in june and after mississippi state university's win just last year. mississippi's sports culture is strong and not to be underestimated. we take great pride in the legacy and inspiring example of these young athletes and their coaches. to the entire rebel baseball family, thank you for your hard work and dedication to the sport, to ole miss and to our great state, congratulations and hotty toddy. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. mr. wicker: mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mrs. hyde-smith: mr. president, i ask that the quorum call be vitiated right now. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. hyde-smith: i ask unanimous consent that the following interns in any office be granted floor privileges until august 31, 2022. cameron hall, jacob tipton preston dubly and olivia hardwick. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered.
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mrs. hyde-smith: thank you. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call: i'm pleased to come to the floor today. we are hoping senator blunt from missouri and we are hoping to be joined by senator from delaware to talk about the very successful congressional delegation we took in the first week of the two week break to
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finland sweden and the nato summit in madrid. i want to especially acknowledge my co-lead for that delegation senator tell us. he and i cochaired the senate nato group and we have both and fervent supporters of nato and efforts to ensure the u.s. continues to be a leader on the world stage and a champion for freedom. we were also joined on a trip i senator durbin from illinois and senator fischer from nebraska. a couple months ago majority leader schumer and minority leader mcconnell asked senator tell us and i truly doubt bipartisan delegation to the nato summit in madrid to convey the senate strong bipartisan support for the alliance especially amid putin's unprovoked war in ukraine. i was honored to represent the senate in what has been one of the most consequential moments
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in the history of the transatlantic alliance. i think probably senator tell us and everyone was part of that delegation felt the same way. a visit to sweden finland and spain affirmed three important points, first the nato alliance is stronger than ever before and this year's historic summit reaffirmed that. second the strategic contest to prove that this year's summit will ensure that nato is prepared to address immediate threats on all putin's attempt to threaten the sovereignty of our allies in china's challenges and finally is. an attempt to rewrite history working with our allies and partners is critical to ensuring putin or any leader that attempts to follow in his path is met with the mite of nato's democratic resolve. one of the other things i was impressed with as we met with our nato allies was nato country
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delegations and the top two leaders from and the pacific who were in madrid however that if you talk to reaffirmed the importance erica's leadership in the world. so i think as we think about the future of nato and about what we need to do in the united states it's important to remember just how important a role is. our trip coincided with turkey's announcement to support them lenon sweden's ambitions with nato which will significantly strengthen the alliance and as soon as we landed in madrid we got the news that turkey took the application so we were able to a celebrate. it sends an unmistakable message the alliance is stronger than ever in russia does not have veto power over who joins nato.
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a delegation with the leadership from sweden and finland reaffirm the bipartisan support of the senate and the swift approval of their nato application. our delegation's bipartisan message of support for ukraine and nato was reciprocated by her allies which was evident during the meetings we had with japan and germany. we met with ukrainian officials and underscored her strong support to not only help ukraine defend itself to help ukraine when and that's what we heard from all of the allies that we met with. it's critical that as members of the senate we continue to do all we can to coordinate with our allies to support ukraine to defend itself against putin's aggression. because that war is not just against the state a great job
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putting it together. i was proud of that delegation
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which centered on our bipartisan resolve to support a strong and unified nato to stand by our ukrainian partners. putin's war threatens democracies around the world and that i think it's important we send a clear message to our constituents at home and our allies abroad that the united states remains resolute in our commitment to the stability in the freedom of all democratic nations because of putin succeeds in ukraine there is no telling where his belligerence will end. senator durbin secured unanimous consent for the protocols of the north atlantic treaty with finland and sweden to be referred to the senate foreign relations committee. this is an important development in ratifying those protocols. hope you can get this done as quickly as possible. i hope the foreign relations committee will move on that process and we can act in the senate chamber because swift ratification is in or national
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security interests. again i'm pleased to join my colleagues here on the floor and the like to turn it over to senator tillis to get his impression of the trip. >> mr. president. >> the senator from north carolina. >> i want to thank senator shaheen my colleague on the floor blunt than the others to join the bipartisan delegation of the nato summit. it was an extraordinary opportunity to see first-hand how the democratic world looks to the united states for leadership. it was an extraordinary opportunity to talk about russia's aspirations in an extraordinary opportunity to talk about what i think may go down as the greatest miscalculation in the century on the part of vladimir putin. months ago when he was amassing troops at the ukrainian border he called on the special military operation in the training exercise.
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he was thinking in the back of his head that now is the time to test nato's resolve. now was the time to see if the difference is that we have is enough to break an alliance. what he found out was quite the opposite. every 24th the nato countries came together and the eu came together we implemented sanctions and provided troops on the ground to assist in the evacuation of ukrainian refugees and now we are in a position of providing support for the courageous members of the crania and military. what else did he get for his miscalculations? to nations that support decades as a non-alliance, sweden and finland. 830 miles of russian border is now about to be the backdoor or the front yard of nato. when finland and sweden
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ultimately get membership in nato which i expect to be in weeks or months and vladimir putin needs to understand his reward for invading a sovereign nation is 830 miles of nato borders right next door. now want to talk about finland and sweden. they are extraordinary countries. a great defense industrial base and sweden. the manufactured jet fighters and they are nato interoperable. finland who is sitting at a 2% threshold for nato and wanted to go further finland has 64 joint strike fighter's on order. if the united states is going to have as many a nation of 5.5 million people. the nation -- the united states will have as many f-35 system i'm on a per capita basis we would need thousands and that we have less than two under. they are committed to a defense. there are strong army and the
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strong air force. russia knows that just looking back to 1949 and sweden we have a defense industrial base in the navy to cover the arc that. it covers the baltics. they will be the next contributors of the security that they get nato's membership. i had somebody a couple of weeks ago and from time to time i go to the front office might take calls from constituents. i have someone calling up and saying what i argue focused on ukraine? where you focused on his finland and sweden when we have so many things we knew -- need to do back at home. they said the future of our safety and our freedom at home is intrinsically linked to the safety and security of europe. this weekend i was moving furniture around and i came across an low. had for 40 years and at the center of the soviet empire vladimir putin wants to retreat that an expanded.
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i told the collar does come it doesn't end in ukraine. it's one step of several chess moves that vladimir putin would like to play out and ultimately dominate the free world. we can't let that happen. when we were at the nato summit i think it was very clear at least to me that the heads of state felt like now more than ever it's the time america has to lead. that america has to understand the threats that exist, the threatening russia and the maligned leaders in iran. now it's a time for us to look outward and preserve the free world. how do we do that? >> make nato stronger. we admit sweden and we admit finland and we continue to work together to a nice emerging threats on the pacific rim. i think at the end of the day the american citizen is
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wondering why do we worry about nato? why do we worry about ukraine? because it is direct link to the future of our sovereignty and our state he here at home. i want to thank the president for his contributions in nato as well. we met for about an hour. we have press conference later in the day about domestic policies but we are a bipartisan group to talk about our commitment to nato and our commitment to adding -- we can have our differences back home that there is no daylight between the republicans and the democrats who were on that code dealt with respect to the future of our pacific nato and the future of our commitment to the free world. without i hope we will move swiftly to pass the treaty to be one of the first to recognize that we want to welcome sweden and finland into the nato
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alliance and we need to continue to remind people at home why it's important. although it's not in our backyard it in a part of the world that if we let this stand, if we don't act with unity, then we will live to regret it. thank you. >> mr. president. >> the senator from delaware. >> i rise today to join the leaders of the code dealt and had the blessing of joining them. senators ernst and blunt and i was grateful for the chance to travel with senators durbin and fischer and to join my colleagues. i think this was a tremendous opportunity for us and sweden and finland to meet with nations with advanced economies that are closely aligned with their values that have sophisticated militaries and for the very first time seeking admission to nato.
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nato is the most successful security alliance in world history and it's rooted in shared values and shared concerns and interests. one of the most pieces of nato just happened a few months ago were three little baltic states lithuania estonia for decades were under the heels of the soviet union. it admitted to nato. difficult to defend an i'll tell you about the reasons i join with my colleagues. we should swiftly ratify the joining to nato of folks that will supply -- they will be security contributors to this alliance. the gig young man or woman from iowa our north carolina from missouri to hampshire delaware will have to risk or give their lives defending latvia or lithuania will go down dramatically if we have on that order of the northern end of the nato alliance in new 830-mile
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border between finland and russia. the russians know they will have to give attention given the unique history and countries aligned with our values will continue to contribute to this important alliance. in our meetings with heads of state from europe like chancellor schulte and the end of pacific in conversations with foreign secretaries like the united kingdom or meetings with the foreign ministers of england germany and france and spain have this delegation was able to speak as one and to articulate why we joined the biden administration and supporting these two critical new partners. the last point i want to make if i am hopeful and i'm optimistic that we'll continue to provide unified bipartisan robust support for ukraine's brave and fierce defense of its nation and its sovereignty in the face of
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russia's war crimes russia's continued aggression. we are calling on all of our nato allies to contribute and participate and they are. this is for greater unity greater purpose in greater focus than anything in decades and i will remind you the one time the article v to come teach other defense has been triggered within afghanistan. thousands and thousands of nato soldiers served alongside ours in afghanistan. this nato alliance is stronger than it's ever been and needs to be the strongest it's ever been because as my colleagues have played out concisely this is a pivotal moment in the future the united states and the role in our world the future of nato and western freedom. we must make sure we do and i'm grateful for the bipartisan commitment at the core of this commitment. thank you mr. president i yield back.
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>> mr. president. >> the senator from iowa. >> mr. president thank you and i want to thank my colleagues especially senator mike shaheen and tell us for leading an important delegation and i thank them for the colloquy and i join them in buzia to clean endorsing finland and sweden succession into nato. both have representative government accountable to their people and they have conduct did extensive commerce and trade with the united states and broadly they share many of our values. historically perhaps i ask that all postcloture time on the barr nomination be expired tomorrow, 11:00 a.m..
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the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: last month the supreme court completed one of its most consequential decisions in history, issuing a flurry of decisions that upended. the radical new supermajority trampled over decades of longstanding precedent and ewe usurped the power left to state legislatures and even individual americans. in fact, for the first time in the history of the united states of america, the supreme court revoked a constitutional right, the right to reproductive health care. what we've seen from this supreme court is not guided by any coherent philosophy. it is judicial activism, plain and simple. the court's radical majority is cherry picking its way through text and history to impose their
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own ideological agenda on the american people. they are undermining the health and safety of the american people. let me explain. starting with one ruling that will severely limit the government's ability to address what could be the greatest challenge of our time. the climate crisis. the case was west virginia v. the e.p.a. the majority misconfused and sided with the fossil fuel industry over the health of the american people. when congress enacted the clean air act it charged the environmental protection agency with protecting our air from harmful pollution. as justice kagan emphasized in her dissent. if the current rate of emissions
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continue, children born this year could live to see the eastern seaboard of the united states swallowed by the ocean, rising waters, scorching heat could force mass migration, civil unrest and in some parts of the world failure of state government. black, brown, and and others bear the burden. scientists, not politicians nor judges, should be the authority to decide the best methods to reduce emissions from power plants. it was under that authority in 2014 the e.p.a. enforced the clean power plan, it would have reduced greenhouse gas emissions, but it never went into effect. article 3 requires an actual case in controversy in order for the supreme court to issue a
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ruling. because it never went into effect, there was no case or controversy to refer to, but the supreme court still went out of its way to reject the plan, toss it aside in west virginia v.e.p.a. worst yet -- versus the e.p.a. they relied on something the conservative majority calls the major question doctrine. listen to what justice kagan said. the current court is textualist only when being so suits it. when that method would frustrate broader goals, special canons magically appear as a get out of text free car. the major questions doctrine might sound like a word salad but it will have serious consequences on america. the radical majority on the court declares it has the authority to veto any federal
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regulation it doesn't care for unless congress spells out every single detail decades in advance. here's the deal. as good as we are in the senate and the house, lawmakers aren't clairvoyant, we write acts like the clean air act and grant agencies the ability to address these challenges based on their singular expertise. the supreme court's radical majority in west virginia -- and with this ruling, the court made it clear they're coming after public agencies responsible for protecting our public health .they want to weaken the government's ability to work on behalf of the american people. just days before issuing the decision in west virginia v. e.p.a., the court had another
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ideological ruling in the pistol association versus bruin, they struck down a gun safety law. that law placed limits on who is allowed to carry a concealed handgun in public. it is all but certain that we will see more guns on the streets of america at a time when gun violence has become so bad that the leading cause of death among children in america would be guns. the supreme court's decision to wipe away a century-old gun safety law was troubling enough. but even worse is the new test it laid out for considering constitutional challenges to other gun laws. justice thomas, clarence thomas, majority opinion rejected the legal test lower courts had applied after the legendary heller case which combined historic analysis with present
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day public safety considerations. under justice thomas' decision, the test for whether a gun law is constitutional is historical analysis, that is whether the current law has an historical analogue. there is a problem with that in two respects. it invites cherry picking of the historical sources which is what clarence thomas did in striking down the new law and it ignores modern safety threats posed by gun laws. think about it. the gun that was fired in the highland park 4th of july parade crowd discharged 90 rounds in seconds. no musket was never used to fire
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90 rounds per minute in a parade. the bruin decision was a classic example of runaway judicial activism and furtherance of the far-rate political agenda and we have to live in the america that it leaves. that's not the only ruling from the past term that made america less safe. earlier today my judiciary committee held a hearing on the court decision of dobbs v. jackson women's health organization which revoked the constitutional right to reproductive health care for every woman in america. this decision is one of the most irresponsible rulings in american history. by overturning roe v. wade, the majority not only violated five decades of long-standing precedent, she created a health care crisis across the country. mr. president, do you realize every one of these supreme court nominees came before this judiciary committee and made it
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clear they would respect this precedent and now look what's happened. whatever your thoughts on roe may be, the fact is put a profound and personal decision exactly where it should be, in the hands of an individual. now that the right has been ripped from the american people and handed over to the government, you're constitutional freedoms depend on what state you live in. your zip code will decide your constitutional right. activists declared that overturning roe would determine -- instead there is chaos. pregnant women in america are scrambling at this moment trying to figure out if they can make it to the nearest clinic to receive lifesaving care if they experience comple -- complications. the dobbs decision on abortion has inaccurate historical
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analysis. one justice said that it is not deeply rooted in the nation's history and tradition. i'm not sure what history his law clerks have been reading. as dissenters in the dobbs case said, early law does in fact provide support for abortion rights. common law authorities did not treat abortion as a crime until a point where the fetus moved in the womb. so the criminal law of that early time might be taken as roughly consistent with roe's and casey's different treatment of early and late abortion. look at one of our founding fathers, benjamin franklin who had a textbook of at-home abortion recipe. the dobbs decision is not based on any originalist interpretation of the constitution. it is an ideological motivated outcome in search of a rar --
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rationale. the supreme court has already signaled they're just getting started. during today's hearing in the overturning of roe v. wade, we discussed justice clarence thomas' concurring opinion in dobbs in which he argues that the constitutional right to privacy is a fiction. in that opinion he declares that the court should, quote, eliminate the line of cases guaranteeing the constitutional rights to birth control, marriage equality and consensual relations between lgbtq community. based on the cases the court agreed to hear in its next term in october, it is clear the majority is seeking opportunities to impose its far-right agenda on the american people. the court is considering one case that could allow individuals and businesses to openly discriminate against lgbtq people.
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other case will revisit affirmative action in higher education and most concerning, this court will consider a case that can threaten american democracy as we know it. they will decide if a state legislature can disregard the will of the voters in a state to appoint a slate of electors who support the losing candidate. you know this issue well from the state of michigan's experience. there's a reason why a number of americans lost faith in the supreme court. they saw what happened in this term that just concluded and now they're living in fear that their most cherished rights, basic human rights in america are on the conservative chopping block. the tragic irony is that it was chief justice roberts who once said and i quote him, justices are like umpires, they make sure everybody plays by the rule, but it is it a limited role. -- it is a limited role.
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i remember that quote. i was sitting in the judiciary committee when he made it and i thought the limitation he suggested for the supreme court was an indication of his moderation. the court he has joined in many of these opinions is not a court of limited or moderate means. i wish i could say that were true today. ity not. this radical majority is not comprised of umpires calling balls and strikes. they are, in fact, judicial activists, unelected judges, actively undermining the rule of law in america, and there is more to come. mr. president, i yield the floor.
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the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to legislative session and be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. it. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i have seven 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. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the judiciary committee be discharged from further consideration and the senate proceed to s. res. 653. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 653, recognizing the significance of asian pacific american heritage month as an important time to celebrate the significant contributions of asian americans, native hawaiians, the pacific islanders to the history of the united states. the presiding officer: without objection. the committee is discharged. and the senate will proceed. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous
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consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble as amended be agreed to and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: would you go. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the can of s. res. 703, submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. res. 703, designating june 2022 as national posttraumatic stress awareness month and june 27, 2022 as national posttraumatic stress awareness day. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervention veeng action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the consideration of s. con res 42, which was submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk
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will report. the clerk: s. con res 42, authorizing the use of the rotunda of the capitol on thursday, july 14, 2022, for the lying in honor of the remains of her shell woody williams the last recipient for acts performed during world war ii. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the concurrent resolution be agreed to, the -- the motion to consider be considered made and laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent when the senate completes its business today it adjourn until 10:30:00 a.m. on wednesday, july 1, following the prayer and -- july 13, the time for the two leaders reserved for use later in the day and morning business be closed, that upon the conclusion of morning business, the senate resume consideration of the barr
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nomination postcloture, further, if any nominations are confirmed during wednesday's session, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, and the president be immediately notified of the senate's action. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: for the information of the senate, the first roll call vote of the day will begin at 11:30 a.m., and if no further business to come before the senate i ask that it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until senate stands adjourned until
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>> i'm your host in what can only be described as a celebration for everyone on earth. life in the earliest day of the universe and then traveling from billions of years. just over the last few weeks we captured some of that light that the film that sees the universe an entirely new way and today we shared the first results.


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