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tv   U.S. Senate Sens. Cornyn Cramer Romney and Shaheen on Infrastructure Bill  CSPAN  August 4, 2021 8:16pm-9:07pm EDT

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will feel the effects in every aspect of their daily lives, and their workplaces, their communities and families. they should get a say in it. they certainly should not have to sign on to something that was made known to the american people at 10:00 p.m. on sunday night. those who drafted this legislation had four months to review it, or month to get to know it. the american people should not be asked to pass this in four days. thank you mr. president, i gild the floor. sen. cornyn: listening to the comments of my friend from illinois about the contributions made by immigrants to our country that i wholeheartedly agree with him. when i think about immigration, i think it is a secret sauce to american success. it's the notion you can come from anywhere with virtually
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nothing, and you can legally immigrate to the united states and begin to get one of those difficult jobs working in the fields or a meatpacking plant and begin your climb toward the american dream. that is to me, one of the crown jewels of our country. that is what makes us different. you look at other countries, they don't welcome immigrants. they shun immigrants. in their economies and country suffers for it. let me say, i agree with the senator from illinois about the contribution of immigrants. and i listen very carefully as a border state senator, my state is 40% hispanic. i'm sure the senator from nevada has a large hispanic population. they are part of us.
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they are part of our great nation, to make tremendous contributions. hispanics in my state park patriots, they volunteer in disproportionate numbers to serve in the military. they are tightknit families, people of faith. they believe in hard work, and they believe in the american dream. i don't think it does any tribute to their contributions or sacrifice to say that people can come to this country without complying with our laws. i also joined in the senator's frustration about the inability to get anything substantially done in the space, but i don't think it is good enough to complain about how hard it is. we are all volunteers. what we have to do is do the hard work, and we have not done
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it since i have been here, to build that consensus to pass meaningful immigration reform. we need to do that. it's on us. we can't blame somebody else. we are the ones responsible. we have not done it, and we need to do it. i would point out, and the senator from illinois knows this, my state has a 1200 mile border with mexico. this is ground zero for the humanitarian crisis that is appearing at the border. the biden administration reversed a lot of the policies without having an alternative plan in place. it was interpreted as laying out the welcome mat for anyone who wanted to come to the united states,. that is why we are seeing numbers we have not seen for 20 years, people trying to stream
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across the border into the united states. i know that there is a lot of debate about physical barriers. the truth is, the experts, the border patrol have told all of us that yes, you have to have physical barriers, but you also need technology and boots on the ground. this is not just about people immigrating to the united states. this is about the drugs that killed 93,000 americans last year alone, most of which come across the southern border. cocaine, meth, fentanyl, para one. -- heroin. when we see the current prices at the border, because of this reversal without any alternative plan, this is an open invitation to the cartels to take advantage
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of the circumstances, and but it means as a practical matter, for so many people to come across at the same time, which is what is happening now, including thousands of unaccompanied children. the border patrol, which is law enforcement officials who are given the mission of securing our border, they have to leave the from one of the border to change diapers. feed these kids. there is simply not enough personnel in order to handle this flood of humanity. what happens when they leave the front lines? in one sector, the border patrol chief told me 40% of the agents had to leave the front lines, which then was a green light for the drug components and smugglers to bring the poison that killed 93,000 americans in
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the united states last year. these criminal organizations are very sophisticated. they know exactly what they are doing. data exactly how to exploit the vulnerabilities in our law, which is why they also understand that if you flood tens of thousands in one month alone, dizzy 200,000, people across the border, you're going to overwhelm the system. if you coach the migrants to make a claim of credible fear of persecution that you might just be putting into asylum, which has about 1.3 million cases backlogged in immigration courts. which means we are forced to give you a notice to appear at a future hearing so you can present your case, and maybe you
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can make your case. as a practical matter, only about 10% of the people who do appear in front of a judge are able to meet the legal criteria for asylum. here's how the transnational criminal organizations have figured out how to exploit our laws. because we have to release people and give them a notice to appear because of the sheer volume, most of them don't show up for the court hearing. they have succeeded. because of the gaps in our law, not because of the lack of a physical border, they are turning themselves into border patrol and making this claim of asylum, because they know they will more than likely succeed. i don't care how many times the vice president goes to central america or talks about root causes of illegal immigration.
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i don't care about how many times the director tells cubans, don't come to america because of the danger of coming overseas. these organizations are smart. they are whispering in the year of these migrants, they are saying if you pay enough money we will get you to america. these migrants watch tv, they watch cable tv. they take phone calls and skip emails. they know that the statement, don't try to come to america is just completely inconsistent with what is happening on the ground. i don't think it does it any good to complain about how our job is or how many time we have failed. what i'm concerned about right now is the majority whip has
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told us he is going to give up on a bipartisan reform bill and they are going to try and jam this through on a purely partyline vote in this reconciliation bill, otherwise known as a reckless tax and spending spree. i don't expect the parliamentarian will allow them to do that, this will completely circumvent the rules of the senate which require on matters of substantive legislation, 60 votes to close the so-called filibuster. i could not resist responding to the majority whip's, senator from illinois's statements about how hard the job is. i don't think it does good to say this is hard. our constituents expect us to fix it, and we know how to do
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it, if you would just do our job. madam president, on the bipartisan infrastructure bill before the senate, i'm glad to see the majority leader senator schumer is allowing amendments to be presented by folks on both sides. senator schumer had given an artificial deadline, but he has also told us we are not coming home until we do so, to take him at his word. i hope he will continue to allow this process to continue to play out, until this legislation is ready to be voted on. that's principally because the process that brought this bill to the floor did not involve the normal hearings and markups across multiple senate committees. that is certainly not a criticism of the bipartisan group that has got this to where we are, it's just a statement of dysfunction of the legislative
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process in the senate these days. the fact is, the vast majority of the senators in this chamber did not have a hand in crafting this legislation, even though it will impact every single community across the country. i believe the bipartisan group work in good faith to get us to the starting gate. now it's time to allow every senator representing every state in the country to weigh in and offer improvements in the bill. i have set from the beginning, and open amended process will be critical to the success of the legislation, and that is especially true when it comes to paying for this legislation. we are waiting for the congressional budget office to give the official score, to tell us what the cost will be and whether we have been successful in offsetting pay fors. one expert has already
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forecasted a discouraging score. he estimated the bill would only raise about $208 billion, less than half of the new spending in the bill. but it's important for all of us to realize, we are also reauthorizing the expiring transportation bill, which is ordinarily financed by the highway trust fund. it's going to require another $118 billion to shore that up because the white house has taken off the table any other pay fors that would include a user fee on electric vehicles or indexing the gas tax, other ideas that fill in the gap. another $118 billion of borrowed money is going to be necessary to fill that gap. i don't think any of us regard that as a good outcome.
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maybe it's the best we can do under the circumstances. as it stands now, our debt to gdp is at the highest level that has been since world war ii. in other words, we fought a world war to defeat imperial japan and nazi germany and did not ask how much it cost, we did what we had to do. we did the same thing when it came to covid, which was a domestic equivalent, i think, of war. defeating the virus and shoring up our economy. but, our country has invested a huge amount of money against covid-19, and now is not the time to double down. we need to find responsible ways to finance, and i hope we have an opportunity to vote on a range of amendments.
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. to that end. i have been proud work with senator padilla, our new senator from california, a democrat, to offer an amendment that would provide more funding for a variety of if instructor projects, including roads, bridges, and public transit. it gives state and local leaders more authority but it comes to identifying and investing in the greatest needs of their states and communities. here's the kicker. it does so without increasing the deficit one penny. that's because it gives state and local leaders the ability to spend covid with the funding they already have on infrastructure projects that might otherwise be neglected. they are not required to do so, but our amendment would allow them to do so rather than to claw that money back when the
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appropriation sunsets or put guardrails on it and say you can use it for some prescribed uses, which frankly, they have more money to spend which they know what to do with when it comes to those with authorized uses. as folks hunkered down at their homes to slow the spread of the virus and the change in travel hurt more than airlines and hotels, had put a serious dent in state and local transportation budgets in all of our states. state departments of transportation are facing an estimated $18 billion in shortfalls through 2024. leaders across the country have had to delay or cancel critical projects because of a lack of funding, and it is unclear when those projects may get back on track. i might say, madam president, that one of the things we have seen with the eviction moratorium expiring is that $46 billion of money we appropriated last year still hasn't gotten to
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the intended beneficiary, the people who are trying to pay their rent but can't. we have a huge problem, logistical problem, getting money to the intended beneficiary. that's true with covid-19, it's true with disaster relief. the type of thing senator padilla and i are suggesting is to take money that is already in the hands of the state and local governments and let them use it so they can do it quickly on investments which will last and indoor, rather than spend it on operating expenses. there is an urgent need for more transportation funding, that is exactly what our amendment will god. there is no mandate, as i said that it be spent for a single transportation project. but if a city, or state or county has plans to use their funds on pandemic related expenses, those plans will not
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be interrupted or called into question. but it simply provides our local leaders but they have asked each of us for most, and it starts with flexibility. the city is experiencing a spike in covid cases and needs funding to buy additional icu beds base or higher new health care worker, they can and they should move forward with those plans. this is not about cutting resources that are needed. we know that many states and localities simply do not have enough qualifying expenses to use the money they have been given. they are looking for ways to spend the dollars they already have as given to them in the cares act, the american rescue plan. that's not to say they don't want funding, they just want to be able to use it consistent with the guardrails that congress is providing. that is what our amendment will allow. the broad support is a testament
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to the importance of these changes. it has been an arrest by two dozen organizations that represent a diverse range of stakeholders. from the national league of cities, u.s. conference of mayors, all -- we have received endorsements from the transportation and construction industry, as well as the american public transit association. it also includes organizations that advocate for safer roads, like the american traffic safety services association. i have an pleased to find common ground with senator padilla and our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to help build support for this amendment, and i think it enhances the work done by the bipartisan negotiating group.
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this is not something they were able to get done in that negotiating group, they told me, even though it was the subject of discussion. now it's a chance for the rest of us, on a bipartisan basis, to weigh in and make this bill better. throughout the process, we have made adjustments, but no less important infrastructure needs can put this funding towards those nooses. we are in the process of making some final tweaks to ensure we receive broad bipartisan support, as well as that of the white house, and i hope we will have a vote on the senate floor soon. our amendment will empower local officials to make the best decisions for their communities, and ensure the taxpayers get the most bang for their buck. with these relief funds that have already been appropriated, and if we do not authorize the use in the matter i have described, will likely be spent on annual or reoccurring
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expenses, rather than on something that will indoor for a long time i can for structure. i hope our vote will come very soon. there is no reason, no reason to rush the amendment process and cut off good amendment for about or consideration. there are a lot of great ideas out there, to strengthen this bill, maximize the impact of every dollar and pay for these investments responsible. let me close by saying i appreciate the hard work that has gone into this bill, but i hope we continue to have opportunities to improve it at the mm in process goes forward. -- as the amended process goes forward. sen. shaheen: i wanted to take some time to share my thoughts on this.
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i was not intending to speak specifically on the amendment, but i can't resist saying, i wish you well. i think the bipartisan solution to provide flexibilities to communities, it makes all of the sense in the world. i'm looking forward to voting yes. i want to start out by thinking senators, and the group that negotiated and coordinated this effort. i want to thank the senator managing the floor process, along with the environmental public works chairman, the progress they have made on this issue with the administration earlier this year, paired with the excellent leadership really
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exemplifies what is possible when we work together. madam president, reviving america's roads and bridges is a long-standing national priority of congress and one that has taken us too long to address. we need reliable, accessible infrastructure to operate locally, and compete globally. as it currently stands, the bill is well-positioned to meet that exact need. the infrastructure investment and jobs act is not perfect, no bill ever is, but it makes historic investments that will benefit every american for many years. i applaud the group for using the built that were unanimously passed as a foundation. as the lead republican on the transportation and infrastructure subcommittee, i know how much time and effort both sides have put in to surface transportation reauthorization.
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the end result reflected the good work be accomplished, and it was a perfect building block for the package before us. as you know, i was not an original part of this negotiating route, however, when i was approached, i made my top priorities clear. one, keeping reforms like the one agency decision that president trump put into place that president biden removed. it's codified in this bill for surface transportation. prioritizing dedicated hunting to states. limiting the expansion of urban transit programs, and including the bipartisan bill to clean up orphaned and abandoned gas wells. i was led to see these provisions as well as drinking and wastewater infrastructure plans and the bill. i appreciate the use of unspent covid funds to help pay for
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these priorities. rather than being used for paying people to not work and adding fuel to the fire of inflation, just as just the opposite. i thank my colleagues for asking for my opinion and i'm even more grateful that they listened and included these provisions. infrastructure has been a priority for congress because it's a priority for our constituents. america cannot succeed without a robust infrastructure from one coast to the other and all of the places like north dakota in between. we need roads and bridges to go from farm to town and from town to city and city and city and state to state. we use ports and railroads to move products. we use rail and air to connect with family and friends and other business associates around the world. we use broadband connectivity to
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facilitate transactions of both personal and business. infrastructure is foundational to our way of life, and it's the constitutional responsibility of the federal government to facilitate interstate commerce including the movement of goods and services along our highways and waterways and railways. rural states like north dakota know this better than most. it is literally the geographical center of the confident. t armed landlocked and rely on it for structure to get where we need to go and move products we produce to where they need to get. our example, north dakota is the top producer of durum wheat which gets ground into flour and becomes the main ingredient in pasta. it goes from the field to a grain elevator by a farm road, to a mill by rail, a processing plant by boat, then it goes anywhere from a grocery store in
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california to a restaurant in new york, or perhaps overseas to a market far away. just like every other commodity we produce, it requires a reliable infrastructure system that is safe and sufficient for every single mile on the journey. the united states needs rural america and rural america needs infrastructure. the personal needs it fulfills and benefits it delivers are obvious. rather than investing trillions of taxpayer dollars on government handouts to not work, you can spend money on putting people to work, revitalizing a system that benefits all of us. that is what the plan would help accomplish. if not perfect. there are parts of it i don't support, but there are parts i know some of my colleagues do not support. our founding fathers intended for congress to collaborate and find common ground, those are
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functions of our system, not a side effect. it's easy to imagine if every founder had demanded to get everything they wanted and nothing else, then we would have had a king. and we would not have had the system of cooperative federalism we do today. if enough of them believe that doing nothing is better than getting 80% or 90% of what they wanted, then our more perfect union would never have gotten started and had a chance to become that. inability to meet in the middle is not an excuse for inaction, especially when it comes to addressing not just the pressing needs of the american people here at home, but protecting our standing as a country on the world's stage. we understand how important infrastructure is, but so does china, russia, all of our adversaries who would like to see us continue to fall behind. the chinese coming as party with up to see america's roads and bridges crumble, happy to let
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infrastructure get in the way of american production and allow for them to meet the needs of the global economy in our absence. bill be happy for us gives us the opportunity to stop that from happening. i am working across the aisle, that does not mean i will support bills i fundamentally disagree with like the $3.5 trillion plus spending bill that the democrats plan to cobble together after we finish this infrastructure bill. i oppose the democrats reckless tax-and-spend agenda and i will join each of my republican colleagues in opposing it in offering amendments to change the harmful outcomes. that bill is completely separate from the bipartisan infrastructure bill we are talking about today. they are not tied together, despite the rhetoric. both should be considered on their own merits, separately. what a shame it would be for democrats to offer the american public a clips of bipartisanship and cooperation to only do an about-face and hold it hostage while they jam through a massive
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tax increase in growth of the federal government, getting to inflation. i hope my colleagues will choose to build on this bipartisan success and possess the urge to follow the partisan whims. as it stands, matter president, the instructor investment and jobs act would be a significant when for the country. i know it would be for my state. so far, we have avoided derailing the process, and i urge my colleagues to keep it that way. north dakota needs a safe and sufficient infrastructure. america needs a and sufficient infrastructure, and the world needs the united states to have safe and sufficient infrastructure. i urge my colleagues to keep the negative parts of the bill in perspective and appreciate the opportunity we have today to make a difference for our constituents. i give the floor. the presiding officer: the junior senator from utah. mr. romney: thank you. the remarks of my colleague from
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north dakota vin expired me to stand -- have inspired me to stand and join me and also we're in a room of great significance and silence reigns, and i hope just to fill it with words, but i think the topic we're talking about is extremely important. i appreciate the good senator's support and effort in helping craft this legislation, this bipartisan legislation, to improve our infrastructure in our country. i also salute the leadership on both sides of the aisle for allowing a robust amendment process. there's no question but that there are many opportunities to improve the legislation, as written, and the chance for our colleagues to offer adjustments and improvements is part of our tradition and a good part of our tradition. i would concur that we do need to upgrade our infrastructure. i think most americans who've
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experienced our infrastructure would come to the same conclusion. too often our roads are in need of repair. many times we have communities that are not equity canned with high-speed travel -- that are not connected with high-speed travel opportunities from one part of the city to another. our transit in some cases is old, slow, and does not reach communities that need it. our rail system, particularly along the northeast, which is an important corridor for travel, is way out of date. some people know you can drive between some cities. where trains you can drive fast he than you can take the train. we have structurally sufficient and dangerous bridges that need to be repaired. i think there is general agreement on both sides of the aisle that we need to improve our infrastructure. if you travel in other countries and you see what they're doing and then you compare where we are, you think, boy, we used to lead the world in these things and now we're not.
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it is having an impact on our productivity because of the additional travel time necessary for us to get to and from work, as well as other endeavors. if that's going to happen, we have only two options right now, and probably for the indefinite future. right now we have a circumstance where my party is in the minority, not by much. we're basically tied here in the senate, although the tie is broken by the vice president. so the democrats have a majority in the senate, in the house, and of course with the white house. given that circumstance, it's possible for the democrats to write an infrastructure bill all by themselves and simply pass it through a process known as reconciliation. that's one option. the other option is to work together on a bipartisan basis where we craft a better bill with the input of republicans and democrats. that's the option that's before us now. there is not a third
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alternative, which is republicans only draft the bill. i'd love that alternative. it's just not available to us because we don't hold the house, the senate, and the white house. so we have two options. do we want our democrat colleagues to draft a bill all by themselves or do we want to work together with republicans and democrats and fashion something that's bipartisan. now i note that when you work on a bipartisan basis, there are some things the democrats will want to include that we republicans would rather not have there, and it's obvious that that's the case. i'm sure that's the case for the democrats as well. they'll see things that we've included that they would just as soon not have there, and it's very easy for either side or both sides rather to point out things in the bipartisan bill that they don't like, and to attack it as not being fully informative with their views. but that's the nature of two parties working together. now some would say we could do
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better. let's have another alternative, a different bipartisan approach. my answer is, go at it. have at it. no one's keeping people from working together if they want to come up with a better piece of legislation. boy, i'd be anxious to see what it is. but in order to get a bill passed, it must be acceptable to democrats and republicans. and that's unless in my party we're able to have all republicans in -- i mean a majority in the house and senate and white house, which we don't have at this stage. again, the alternative is if you can come up with a better bipartisan bill do it. two, amend it as you feel appropriate -- and i think there are good amendments that are coming forward that i have supported, will support going forward. but we must not let the desire for perfection on the part of people like myself overcome the desire to have a good bill ultimately reached. i think it's actually counter
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productive for either side to take attack shots at the items in the bill they don't like. instead bring forward amendments, see if you can improve the bill. if you can't do that, come up with a bill that has bipartisan support because that's the only alternative we face other than a bill drafted exclusively by democrats. i for one think this bill is a good bill on balance. it will be good for my state. i think it will be good for every state. we'll get an upgrade, a badly needed upgrade in the infrastructure of this country. again, is it ideal? perfect? far from it. but it's a big step forward and one heck of a huge step of advantage relative to having one party alone write a piece of legislation. i think it's fair to say if democrats alone write an infrastructure bill, my state of utah won't be real happy by the time that's done. thank you,
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a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senior senator from new hampshire. senator shaheen ?reen is the senate in a -- mrs. shaheen: is the senate in a quorum call? the presiding officer: it is not. mrs. shaheen: i'm here to speak in support of the infrastructure and jobs act, which is the bipartisan legislation that's before the chamber. that will make historic investment in our nation's core infrastructure, and i'm pleased to follow my colleague and friend from utah, senator romney, who was one of those who i worked with to help negotiate this package. this is historic legislation that provides $550 billion in new federal investments over the next five years to respond to the needs that are facing our country. this bill will rebuild crumbling roads and bridges and tunnels across the country. it will provide clean drinking water in american homes and
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address harmful contaminants. it will increase connectivity in our communities to bring broadband to even the most rural parts of our country. it will prioritize sustainable solutions to improve our infrastructure systems for future generations and it will combat climate change by making the monumental investments in our clean energy grid and electric vehicle infrastructure that we must make. now, this bill was a long time in the making, as i'm sure my colleague from utah would agree. over the past three months there have been many late nights, early mornings, countless conversations about how to make the best use of this opportunity to invest in our nation's infrastructure. i very much appreciate the continued good-faith negotiations from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and the white house and the leadership of senators krysten sinema and rob portman to deliver this bipartisan infrastructure
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agreement. i also appreciate the work of the chairs and ranking members of relevant senate committees who laid the foundation for so much of the bipartisan work that has gone into this bill. as well as the leadership of both parties for giving us the space and time to get this agreement to the floor. now i could spend all day talking about the many aspects of this legislation that meaningfully invest in our communities and in our country, but today i want to specifically talk about two key areas that i worked on. both of these issues -- water and broadband -- speak to the critical needs in new hampshire and across the country. water and wastewater infrastructure is one of the major investments we make in this bill, $55 billion invested in this area. now no parent should have to worry about the safety of their family's water when they turn on
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the tap, but unfortunately, as most of us know, this is not the case for too many americans because compromised water supplies due in part to our run-down water infrastructure, is an issue across this country and in some places in new hampshire. this was a problem for decades before the pandemic hit, but looking at the crisis like covid-19 has illustrated just how basic and essential clean and safe drinking water is for our communities. righting this wrong starts with investments in our water systems which have been severely underfunded for too long. according to the environmental protection agency, drinking water utilities will need to invest $472.6 billion over the next 20 years in order to provide safe and sufficient drinking water to the american public. fortunately, we have a big chunk of that as a down payment
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in this proposal. and earlier this year the senate passed overwhelmingly on a bipartisan vote the drinking water and wastewater infrastructure act. that bill makes an historic investment in our water infrastructure through authorizations. and in addition to putting significant funding toward that effort, the bipartisan infrastructure package before us includes $15 billion to replace lead service lines which is a huge public health priority and it's an issue that's long plagued communities across this country. another real public health concern that's addressed in this bill is the presence of pfas in our water supplies. preventing exposure, cleaning up contaminated sites and understanding the full scope of the health implications associated with these chemicals
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is critical for so many affected by pfas in their water. as i've heard from so many new hampshire families covering you've been drinking contaminated water can produce a range of emotions from anger to fear to guilt. that's what i heard from so many parents who had children at the former pease air force base where they were in child care and parents thought they were safe in those centers but found out they had been drinking water contaminated with pfas. that contamination at the former pease air force base forced the city to shut down three drinking water wells in 2014. the contamination was created by the use of fire-fighting foam by the air force when pease was an air force base. the haven well has just come back this week after seven years.
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it was inoperable for seven years. pfas contamination surrounding the saint co ba a -- cobain manufacturing base create an ongoing worry for granite state families also because of pfas contamination. so you can imagine what those parents felt like when they found out their children had an elevated level of pfas in their bloodstream and they didn't really understand what that meant. i remember talking to one mother who told me she had taken her daughter to dartmouth hitchcock medical center for her health exam. she talked to the doctor about the elevated levels of pfas in her blood, and she said the doctor didn't know what i was talking about because this is an emerging contaminant. but thanks to the work of so many of those affected, people
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like andrea miko in portsmouth who helped found a group called testing for pease, they have raised awareness and helped to find solutions to clean up our drinking water. we owe it to them, to all of those families affected by pfas and contaminated water supplies a serious commitment to stop this problem where it starts and to give them the peace of mind that they so deserve. the comprehensive measures to address our water infrastructure that are contained in this historic bill will help do just that. now water infrastructure is a serious issue that new hampshire shares with many other states throughout the country. like water, another shared issue is access to broadband, or high-speed internet service. the challenges of the covid-19
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pandemic, just as they highlighted the challenge of not having enough access to clean water, highlighted just how important it is for our communities to have fast and reliable access to the internet. whether we like it or not, we live in a digital world. we all relied on that digital world more than ever during the covid crisis so that our kids could go to school, so our grandparents and families could keep their medical appointments, so our businesses could stay afloat. of course even before the pandemic started, the digital divide created an equity issue that deepened disparities in education, health, and business. if you live in a community in northern new hampshire, how can you attract business to your community if you don't have access to high-speed internet, if the business can't open a website and tell people what they do? just last month i met with representatives from several towns in southwestern new
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hampshire, another part of our state where they have been struggling to bring high-speed internet service to their residence. due to their rural nature, these towns and others like them are unable to attract a provider to work with them. about a quarter of those that live in these towns are considered unserved and far more are underserved. at that session, i talked to a woman named molly miller. she's a telecommunications committee member from hancock, new hampshire, a town with about 1,600 residents. she talked about the challenges that her family had experienced trying to work and do school from home during the pandemic. she said everyone had to disconnect while her youngest son was participating in college classes, and she shared a story about her son. she said he was unable to turn in his final exam from one of his courses because the file was
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too large, he couldn't print it because they didn't have enough speed, download speed in their house. by the time he made it to the library to print out the file, it was too late, his exam was not accepted. that's just the kind of every day challenge that families who don't have access to high-speed internet face and broadband access isn't a partisan priority. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle recognize the need for significant investments to ensure that all of our workers, our students, our families are able to connect to the critical resources that are provided by the internet. this infrastructure bill commits $65 million to bring high-speed internet to families in new hampshire and all across the country. madam president, these bold investments are what we need to create jobs, to enhance the safety of our infrastructure
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networks and toll improve this nation's competitiveness. now, had i written the bill before us on my own, i'm sure, like everyone in this chamber, it would have included different priorities than what's before us in some cases. but, as we know, that's not how the give and take of negotiations work. it's not how compromise work. you give and you get. the fact is that new hampshire and the united states are going to get a whole lot in this infrastructure package. we also know that legislation that has broad bipartisan support stands a better chance of lasting longer without threats of being repealed or reversed. president biden supports this package, and we've received strong support across the aisle through the procedural votes that we've had so far. i'm proud to have worked with my colleagues to have craft -- helped craft this bipartisan bill and over the coming days, i
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know i will work with more people in this chamber as we move this legislation forward. thank you, i look forward to a ♪ >> weekends on c-span to bring you the best in american history and nonfiction books. saturday on american history tv p.m. eastern, we will feature
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two programs on gerald ford, the only white house occupant who was never elected vice president or president. he took office 47 years ago this month after president nixon's resignation. first, we look back through archival photographs, and then the profile of his life, first lady betty ford who was honored for her work. featured speakers include landscape historian and author, and a former first daughter, susan ford. at 6:40 p.m. here about new york's all-female hotel which afforded young women the opportunity to pursue independent lives. among the hotel's noted residence, grace kelly, liza minnelli, and the future nancy reagan. and author talks with the new
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york historical society about the hotel's unique role. book tv features leading authors discussing the latest nonfiction books. on sunday at 4 p.m. eastern, atlantic magazine staff writer reflects on the past and future of what he calls trump's america in his latest book. and at 10:00 p.m. eastern on after words, a conservative podcaster and journalist ben shapiro discusses his new book, in which he argues the progressive left is pushing an authoritarian agenda in america. he is interviewed by a nationally syndicated radio talk show host. watch american history and book tv every weekend on c-span2, and find a full schedule on the program guide at c-span.org. >> the senate intelligence committee held a hearing to examine threats posed by the u.s. national

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