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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  May 8, 2013 5:00pm-8:01pm EDT

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quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah is recognized. mr. lee: i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. lee: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the consideration of s. res. 133 submitted earlier today. i further ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be made and laid on the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? a senator: reserving
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mr. president -- the presiding officer: the senior senator from connecticut is recognized. mr. blumenthal: thank you mr. president. reserving the right to object, i'll have a request with another resolution momentarily but i understand my friend from utah's resolution and i believe that this problem is broader than the one cited in his resolution. in fact, looking to the conduct of the philadelphia instance, i would prosecute that case to the fullest extent of the law. i think the conduct or more correctly, misconduct in that incident was absolutely despicable and be a hoarntd but i'm -- abhorrent but i'm concerned about patient safety in a variety of areas. they may be a small fraction of the total number of health care cases in this country but any time anywhere patients are endangered or threatened by criminal conduct or
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malpractice, they should be prosecuted and disciplined to the full extent of the law. these cases shock ander whoify our sense of decency and we understand the responsibility of health care practitioners anywhere any time, and my resolution which i intend to offer after the senator from utah concludes his will call upon our colleagues to condemn these actions in all health care settings whether clinics hospitals, nursing homes or dental offices across the country, and so with that i object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. the senator from utah is recognized. mr. lee: mr. president this week in philadelphia a jury is deliberating in the case of cerm it gosnell. he has been charged and tried for some of the most gruesome atrocities ever encountered by the american criminal justice
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system. as the grand jury opened its harrowing report, this case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women. what we mean is that he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable babies and in the third trimester of pregnancy and then murdered the new borns by severing their spinal cords with scissors. according to his attorneys dr. gosnell is not a serial killer not a predator of vulnerable mothers and their helpless children. he's just an abortionist. in this context dr. gosnell dr. gosnell -- mr. president, let me suspend my speech momentarily. i understand that my friend the junior senator from connecticut
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would like to make a motion. the presiding officer: without objection. the senior senator from connecticut is recognized. mr. blumenthal: i would like to offer the resolution that i and senator boxer who is a longtime champion of better health care for the citizens of our country and senator shaheen expressing the sense of the senate that these practices will not be tolerated in any setting, regardless of personal beliefs about the type of health care being offered. this resolution is broader than the senator from utah's -- and i understand and sympathize with the basic objectives which as i understand it are to improve health care generally and make sure that the kinds of abuses being prosecuted in philadelphia will not occur anywhere in this country. and so i offer my resolution calling on the senate to condemn such practices in all health
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care settings, be they clinics or hospitals dental offices anywhere in this country. they may be a small fraction and hopefully are a very, very small fraction of the kinds of cases that we would wish to condemn but we should condemn them wherever they occur not just in one instance, not singling out one case, but everywhere, any time. and i might just add as a former united states attorney, that while this case is before the jury i think we need to be very careful about what we say in a public forum as respected as this one about the facts of that case and about potentially prejudging the result. my understanding is that the jury has not yet come back. if the allegations are true, if the jury concludes that they have been proved beyond a reasonable doubt then the punishment should certainly be
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sufficiently severe and serious to fit those circumstances and well deserving of our condemnation. but equally deserving of our condemnation are any circumstances where health care patients are put in danger, where safety is imperilled, where the consequences do damage or threaten damage, to the recipients of health care, whatever the kind of health care whatever we may think of it personally in terms of the merits and the type of care provided we ought to condemn it and that's the purpose and sense of the resolution that i'm offering. thank you mr. president. mr. lee: mr. president? mr. blumenthal: may i add mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to consideration of that resolution expressing the sense of the senate that all incidents of abusive unsanitary, or
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illegal 4:00 practices be condemned. the text is at the desk and i ask that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to and the motion to reconsider be laid on the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. lee: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. lee: reserving the right to object as the senator from connecticut is aware we've only received the language of this resolution in the last few minutes. without having time to read it closely i'm reluctant to grant consent on it at this time but i will say i'm heartened and i think all americans should be heartened and the entire pro-life movement should be heartened by the clear implication that health regulations should be ek whattably applied and enforced on abortion clinics as they are on other health care facilities. part of the reason we fear that dr. gosnell's clinic if the allegations are proven true was
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not a rare outlier is that the abortion clinics are generally held to the same safety standards as hospitals ambulatory surgical facilities and etc. and on that basis i object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. the senator from utah. mr. lee: if i may continue my remarks which i started a few moments ago. according to his defense attorneys, then, mr. gosnell is not a monster not a seriously killer, not a predator of vulnerable mothers and their children, he's just an abortionist. in this context his alleged crimes were just abortions. and his facility, the so-called women's medical society reportedly strewn about with animal waste infectious instruments was not as the grand jury alleged a baby charge house -- charnel house no, just a clinic. his staff of unqualified
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untrained frauds were not coexeer tors in the contract killing of knew boarns. they were -- newborns, they were health care providers. repeated claims of his barbarism was just a bureaucratic oversight. perhaps. or perhaps as the panic abortion industry would have us believe dr. gosnell is an outlier an outcast, nothing like the professional law-abiding late-term abortion providers around the country. but then again perhaps not. just a few weeks ago a planned parenthood representative before the florida state legislature suggested that infants born alive might not be entitled to medical attention in clear violation of federal law. to say nothing of fundamental human rights and dignity. and even since then, under cover of videos have caught late-term abortion providers telling pregnant mothers even if their babies are departmentally born alive during the
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procedure, even if the law requires them to treat the newborn as a patient and citizen of the united states, and also telling them that even if the baby is born somewhere other than their clinic, they will see to it that the child does not survive. so is the case of dr. gosnell really an outlier or is the legitimacy of the late-term abortion industry merely a lie? the american people deserve to know. yesterday i introduced legislation to ends the practice of rate-term abortion -- late-term abortion after 230 weeks the point at which scientists tell us unborn children feel pain. in fight expedite of the details from the district of columbia and various abortion clinics around the country that late-term abortions on pain capable unborn children is an important issue we need to debate. options will obviously be divided. opinions will obviously be
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divided. as they are always on abortion-related issues. but we owe it to the american people to see if we can find common ground to protect innocent women and innocent children. there should be no division or controversy surrounding the sense of the senate resolution called up a few minutes ago the resolution has the support of every republican senator pro-life and pro-choice members alike. the resolution expresses the sense of the senate affirming the duty of the state and federal government agencies to protect women and children from violent criminals posing as health care providers. the equal human and constitutional rights of fully born infant children, the need to prevent and punish abusive unsanitary and illegal abortion practices. one of the newborns he is accused of murdering baby boy a was born alive to an underage girl almost 30 weeks pregnant. witnesses described gosnell severing the baby's spine
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discarding the child in a shoe box and joking he was big enough to -- quote -- "walk me to the bus stop." joking. joking. a clinic employee estimated baby boy a's birth weight at about six pounds, larger and heavier than two of my own children when they were born. if there are other kermitt gosnells out there we need to know about it and weendz to stop them. ayotte i don't think i can make a stronger argument for this resolution an than the one the grand jury in the gosnell case made. "let us say right up front rerealize this case will be used by those on both sides of the abortion debate. we ourselves cover the spectrum of personal beliefs about the morality of abortion. for us as a criminal grir grir however that that case is not about that controversy. it is about disregard of the law
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and disdain for the health of mothers and infants. we find common ground in exposing what happened here and in recommending measures to prevent anything like this from ever happening again" -- close quote. i hope the senate too whose members cover a spectrum of views on abortions can follow the grand jury's lead to find common ground in the pursuit of truth and justice for american women and children. thank you mr. president. mr. blumenthal: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senior senator from connecticut. mr. blumenthal: again i accept and sympathize with the goals of the resolution offered by my friend from utah, and what i'm suggesting is a resolution that includes those criminals who may be posing as health care practitioners in one field of practice but extends the condemnation to all areas of practice and i hope that
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senator lee my friend from utah will share my outrage at reprehensible and illegal actions that occur unfortunately, and tragically in other areas of practice. let me just mention a few. we ought to speak about the tragedy at the pennsylvania clinic where these incidents occurred, but we also should talk about the oklahoma dentist who exposed as many as 7,000 patients to h.i.v. and hepatitis b and c through unsanitary practices. thousands of his patients are being tested to see if they have been infected and so far 60 of his patients have tested positive for these sraoeufss. -- for these viruses. that is 60 people who trusted their dentist -- a health care provider in a position of trust and responsibility -- relying on him to respect and care for them
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safely and responsibly. and instead they are now facing potentially life-threatening diseases that are as abhorrent and despicable in the lack of responsibility and care as what happened in pennsylvania. and we ought to talk about that incident with the same outrage that we talk about what happened allegedly in pennsylvania. we ought to speak about the health care practitioners at the endoscopy center in nevada that exposed 40,000 patients to h.i.v. through unsanitary practices. these unsanitary practices may have gone on for years. 40,000 people exposed to unnecessary danger because of the lack of trust and responsibility on the part of
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their health care provider. we ought to talk about the nursing home in california who inappropriately medicated patients using antipsychotic drugs for her own convenience resulting in the death of one patient. we should be talking about compounding pharmacies in massachusetts and elsewhere in this country who provided products that killed and harmed thousands of people. these incidents as alleged are willful violations of law violations of human dignity and decency that ought to shock the conscience of the nation every bit to its core as much as the alleged misconduct and potential criminal activity in pennsylvania. these standards of care, or more appropriately and correctly the violation of them are simply unacceptable and intolerable which is why my resolution would
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take as common ground the alleged pennsylvania misconduct and include many other instances where standards of care, basic standards of decency and trust are violated. and i ask my friend from utah to join me in espousing a resolution that establishes this kind of common ground. thank you mr. president. mr. lee: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah is recognized. mr. lee: i appreciate the insight and concern shared by my friend and colleague from connecticut. these are all things we all ought to be concerned about thinking about and debating about from time to time. to reiterate, one of the points we need to make here is as with all health care-providing institutions all clinics all hospitals need to be subjected to the scrutiny of some outside regulator, need to have some
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accountability to those who will ensure that the conditions there are safe, that the treatments being provided are effective and that they're not going to result in more injury and more disease and life-threatening conditions in emergency responders who show up not being able to access the patient in time because the hallways are too narrow, the exits are blocked or the hallways are crowded. so i appreciate the insight from my colleague from connecticut and thank him for his remarks. thank you mr. president. mrs. boxer: mr. president what is the order at this time? the presiding officer: the senate is considering -- is on s. 601. mrs. boxer: this is my understanding. do you have more to say on this matter of a resolution?
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mr. lee: i do not. thank you. mrs. boxer: and i know senator coats has very important remarks to make about the death of a figure that he cares about very much. what i would like to propose, if i can, is to talk a little bit about this little back and forth we had going between my two friends here and then immediately following -- it would only take about two or three minutes -- yield the floor to senator coats for ten minutes, less than that. and just for the benefit of all senators, we think we're going to have a vote tonight on the brown amendment. so everyone stay around. we're hoping to have that in the next half-hour or so, if we can. so that's our plan. we hope it will happen. but i just wanted to say in this back and forth that we heard between two senators, why i was very strongly for the resolution that was put forward by senator blumenthal.
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clearly what we have in our society today are callous abusive, unsanitary or illegal health care practices. and these horrible, callous practices turn into tragedies. they produce tragedies. and as senator blumenthal said, it goes across a wide array of various health care settings. so, you know, we don't come down here every day to call out one horrific problem after another. certainly what has happened in pennsylvania -- and again, i will take the admonition of senator blumenthal who was a prosecutor. we have to be careful when a jury is deliberating, but certainly if these allegations are true, the individuals involved should be punished to the full extent of the law and the toughest -- the toughest kind of punishment.
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and i believe in other cases too, and i know my colleague talked about a horrible situation in southern nevada where 40,000 patients were exposed to hepatitis c. now, hepatitis c is a serious and life-threatening condition. 40,000 people were exposed to it. they did nothing. and that is deserving of condemnation as well. and he talked about nursing home -- a nursing home in california where we had the death of a patient because the nurse in that particular case -- and nurses are some of the most extraordinarily wonderful people, but in this particular case she had her own convenience ahead of the situation. she improperly medicated patients using antipsychotic drugs, and we know that one patient died. whatever the setting is, if it's a reproductive health care clinic if it's a dentist if
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it's any type of doctor, any kind of clinic, where there are willful violations of the law and violations of human dignity and violations of standard of care, we should call them out. and what i thought was so important about senator blumenthal's resolution is that he took the spirit of senator lee's resolution. he did. he actually included in that what occurred in pennsylvania. and we did get it to the republicans two hours ago. so it isn't a few minutes. and that i think's a case in point where we could come together where we say absolutely what happened in pennsylvania is an outrage. it's a violation of everything we hold dear. and here are some other cases. and as long as i have the floor i'll conclude with this. i've been getting involved in issues that deal with medical errors. and i was stunned to find out -- i think my colleagues -- as a
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matter of fact, i met with a doctor from a texas hospital where they have improved very much where they were losing patients? dozens of patients every month because of medical errors, terrible errors that are preventible errors. the wrong prescriptions the lack of monitoring, infections, terrible infections in hospitals. these are all horrible deaths that are preventable. i think my colleague's resolution, it was very statesmanlike. i said what he did he said to our colleagues who wanted to pass their resolution, of course we'll work with you. let's broaden it. let's include condemnation of other horrible tragedies that are occurring throughout the nation. not just this one case which is tragic and despicable and every word i can think of, but all these other cases so that we don't just say that, you know,
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every day we come here with another example. this is a broad problem in our country. we do the best out of most developed countries but we still have a long way to go. so i wanted to explain why i supported my friend when he opposed the narrower resolution, support his broad resolution. i would urge my colleagues to work with us. with that, i would yield the floor to my friend from indiana. mr. coats: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from indiana. mr. coats: mr. president i thank my colleague for allowing me to speak as if in morning business and i would ask consent to do that. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. coats: mr. president this past saturday my state of indiana lost a humble giant whose soft-spoken yet very firm convictions influenced many, many hoosiers for many, many years, including me. former indiana governor otis ray bowen, known affectionately to
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hoosiers as "doc" passed away at the age of 95, the culmination of a life spent in service to others. born in 1918 near rochester indiana, he earned both a bachelors degree and medical degree from indiana university, joining the army medical corps after completing his internship in 194 36789 he served the medical corps during world war ii and went ashore with the first wave of allied troops during the invasion of okinawa in 1945. after the end of the war doc bowen started a family med practice in br eman, indiana. he estimated during his career, this family doctor delivered more than 3,000 babies. he was first elected to political office in 1952 as marshal county's corner and then to the indiana house of representatives in 1956.
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doc lost the reelection following that two-year stint by only four votes in 1958, but then subsequently was elected to seven consecutive house terms beginning in 1960. he became minority leader in 1965 and speaker in 1967 and served as speaker of the indiana house through four legislative sessions. as the 44th governor of indiana from 1973 to 1981, dr. bowen served hoosiers with dignity and respect. his tenure included numerous accomplishments including improvements to state park facilities and development of a statewide emergency medical services system. one of the most significant accomplishments of governor bowen was a medical malpractice bill he signed into law aimed to reduce the cost of health insurance and the burden on
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doctors, governor bowen's medical malpractice law became a national model. hoosiers will also remember the governor's passionate love of indiana basketball. when the tv cameras would scan the players' bench, there was doc encouraging the team and at times casting a critical eye on the referee who just missed an important call. following his service as governor dr. bowen returned to medicine as a professor at indiana university medical center but this time in public service it didn't end there. president ronald reagan called on dr. bowen out of private life and back into public service in 1985 by naming him secretary of health and human services, the first physician to serve in this position. in 1989, dr. bowen returned to his breeman home and continued
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to serve others through various charities and commissions. i was privileged to be able to meet with him on some occasions quietly, nonpublicly just sharing stories talking about his career and more important his love for indiana his love for his wife, his love for his country. this good doctor and good governor will long be remembered as an example of political leadership and human decency. the imprint of his leadership and, most of all the imprint of his character will live on in the minds and hearts of hoosiers for generations to come. my wife marcia and i join millions of hoosiers as we extend our deepest condolences to his family and also our gratitude for his shining example of a life well lived. mr. president, i yield back. mrs. boxer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: mr. president i
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thank my colleague for his very warm remarks. i ask unanimous consent that not withstanding the previous order the brown amendment number 813 as modified with the changes that are at the desk also be in order and that there be no amendments in order to the brown amendment prior to a vote in relation to the amendment that, at 5:45 today the senate proceed to a vote in relation to the brown amendment number 813 as modified. and further that all other provisions of the previous order remain in effect. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mrs. boxer: mr. president if. the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: thank you, mr. president. i just ask unanimous consent to vote on a brown amendment. i'm going to be supporting that amendment ofamendment. i think it is an important amendment of i just want to say to colleagues, we are making progress. it is not as fast as senator
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ritter and ivitter and i would like, but considering the senate, it isn't bad. we've moved through number of amendments already and one particularly contentious amendment, and we're moving toward the finish line here. i would urge everyone to get their amendments in. i would urge them, as best they can, to stay away from nongermane amendments that are controversial, that cause us to pause in our work. this is an important bill. this bill was last done in 2007, and, mr. president, you would ask, why does it take so long? we used to do these bills every two or three years. but the reason it's taken so long is in the interim we decided we would no longer have earmarks. that made this bill particularly difficult because normally we would mention the projects by name. we couldn't do that. so we'd to figure a way to -- so weed to figure a way -- so we had to figure a way moving
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forward making sure we never listed any particular project. we said if there is a completed army corps report, the project runs forward. if there is a modification that he hads into to be made that doesn't add to the cost of the projects it goes forward. and in the future the local governments can come forward and pitch to the corps directly. so we need flood control in this country. we know that. we knew that before superstorm san dix we certainlysan dix we certainly know it now. we need port dredging to move our goodsment our goods. goods must come into our ports. and we need environmental restoration. we need to take care of the everglades the chesapeake. i have a place called the salt n sea. we need it take care of these kinds of challenges. i am going to give the floor nowed and hope flor brown will complain it. i will be stongly supporting it. with that, i would yield the floor. mr. brown: mr. president?
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the presiding officer: the senator from owe 0. mr. brown: i thank the senator from california, the chairman -- the chair of the committee who's done an extraordinary job with senator vitter on this bill. i ask unanimous consent to call up amendment 813. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report. the clerk: mr. brown proposes an amendment numbered 813, as modified. at the end -- mr. brown: i ask unanimous consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: thank you, mr. president. i'm pleased to offer today with my colleagues from pennsylvania, senator toomey and senator case circumstance this amendment. as many of know, the spread of asian carp poses a threat to the ecosystem of the great lakes. because of my great lakes colleagues we're working to address this problem but it is not -- contrary to what many believe, it is not limited to just the great lakes. the ohio and upper must miss
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basins also face the threat. this amendment that senator toomey and i are offering would support agency for the spread. i ask my completion for their support. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. toomey: mr. president i ask unanimous consent to address the 207 topic of an amendment that thor brown and i have introduced to this legislation. the presiding officer: senator, we're currently a quorum call. mr. toomey: i ask that the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. toomey: thank you. first i would like to begin by thanking my colleague senator browrntion for his leadership on this issue and senator casey my colleague from pennsylvania, who is supportive of this effort as well. mr. president, this isn't a complicated amendment and i don't think it is a controversial amendment either. the fact is, in southwestern pennsylvania we've got three iconic rivers.
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in northwestern pennsylvania we have access to and a coastline along a beautiful and important national treasure much it is lake erie. both of theerks the rivers and lake erie, the commerce and recreation that occurs on these waterways are potentially at risk to an invasion of the asian carp. this as we all know, is a very aggressive large nonindigenous species that could be very, very disruptive to the ecosystem of the rivers, to the ecosystem of lake erie. and what we discovered is that there is no single entity in the entire federal government that's responsible for coordinating our response a response that will help to minimize the risk that the asian carp would be able to invade the waterways and ultimately make their way into the great lakes. it would be potentially
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devastating, if the asian carp were to do so, and so we have introduced this legislation introduced this amendment to this bill, which would simile do two things. it would place the u.s. fish and weil life service in charge of coordinating the federal multiagency effort. that would include the national park service the u.s. geological survey, and the army corps of engineers and it would require an annual report on what is being done at the federal and state level to minimize the risk of the invasion by the asian carp. so mr. president as i say, i believe this is a very, very constructive modest amendment. i trust that it is not controversial, and i urge my colleagues to support the amendment. and i yield the floor.
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thigh the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: i ask for the yeas and nays on the brown-toomey amendment. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be a sufficient second. there is a sufficient second. the clerk will call the roll.
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vote: vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators not voting or wishing to vote? if not the ayes are 95, the
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nays are zero. the amendment is approved as modified. mr. reid:? mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i yield to my friend from utah. the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. hatch: on roll call vote 116 i voted aye. it was my intention to vote no. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. hatch: on roll call vote 116 i voted aye. it was my intention to vote no. therefore i ask unanimous consent i be permitted to change the vote since it will not affect the outcome. the presiding officer: without objection. the majority leader. mr. reid: we've made progress on this bill the last couple of days. we've had a difficult time on some of the amendments that were nongermane but we worked our way through those. the two managers of this bill are waiting for amendments to be offered. i would hope that we can get this bill done as quickly as possible. it's an important bill for every state in the union. and i hope it's not bogged down with a lot of nonrelevant
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nongermane amendments. if people want to offer them, have at it. i just don't think it's the right thing to do on this bill. we've already been through that. i talked to senator boxer senator vitter and they want to move through this bill. there's really a lot of good stuff in this legislation and there's -- they've worked so hard they've got -- listened to all of you who have situations, some of it can be resolved with a managers' amendment. if you have to offered amendments, go ahead and offer them but let's try to get this legislation completed. monday is a no-vote today. we should do everything on tomorrow to at least come up with a finite list of amendments. we're not going to spend all week on this bill next week, that's for sure. the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: i ask permission to speak in morning business for 10, 11 minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: mr. president with the passage of the stock act last year, congress made an important statement.
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that statement said when it comes to insider trading laws, there's no special exemption for congress. if anyone in government provides confidential information to someone for the purpose of trading on it, that's insider trading. it is illegal if the information is both material and nonpublic. now, the word material means a reasonable investor would want to know it before investing. nonpublic means the information has not been released to the general public. to violate the law the person making the disclosure must have a duty to keep the information secret. frankly, there is very little information here in congress that must be kept secret, and of course, that's a good thing. unlike the executive branch, most of what congress does is public immediately.
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but disclosing material nonpublic information can be a crime. even if it is done intentionally people might be investigated before getting a chance to clear their names. and there is a big difference between material nonpublic information and an expert's educated guess about what a government agency might do. we now know that wall street has been harvesting expertise and tidbits of information from washington, d.c. for years while keeping us largely in the dark. in fact, the political intelligence industry is so big and so opaque that the government accountability office was unable to quantify it or judge its size despite a whole year of investigating.
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while political intelligence firms extract pieces of information from the government and use that intelligence to make money on capitol hill, each detail that a political intelligence firm gathers may not be material or nonpublic on its own but the purpose of collecting and analyzing those details is to get an edge in the markets over other investors. this is not illegal and i have never suggested that it should be illegal. people should not be discouraged from sharing information and opinions about how our government operates. we should be, in fact, more transparent, not less. the less open and transparent government is, the more opportunities there are to
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exploit government information for profits in the market. i have been investigate the roll of political intelligence firms in the early release of information about medicare advantage and the rates connected with medicare advantage prior to the public announcement that was made by c.m.s. on april 1. there's been some confusion over the scope of my inquiry so i come to the floor to clear up these things and to expand on the whole operation of political intelligence-gathering. there are reports that the security and exchange commission is investigating whether material nonpublic information was released about the medicare advantage rates. my interest is much broader than that. political intelligence is not the same thing as material nonpublic information.
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gathering public intelligence includes a lot of activity that falls far short of material nonpublic information. so just because i'm asking questions about how certain information or expert opinions flowed to these political intelligence firms does not mean that i am accusing anyone of any wrongdoing. i'm not seeking to ban the gathering of political intelligence. i am not suggesting that if someone was the source of some piece of political intellectual intelligence that that source did anything illegal. but the goal of these firms is to get an edge on other investors, and that should be understood by everyone who communicates with those people. this investigation has shed a great deal of light on the
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political intelligence-gathering industry. i hope to use this information to improve the legislation on political intelligence disclosure that i planned to reintroduce in concert with quonkwoman slaughter of new york. -- congresswoman slaughter of new york. i'm trying to learn how these political intelligence firms gather and function by using this real-world example so that i can write better legislation on disclosure, and let me tell you, this medicare advantage thing is a good thing to use as an example. to be clear then, i am not focused on examining whether particular congressional staff acted properly with regard to their professional duties. any reports to the contrary are simply inaccurate. what i think we need is more
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transparency. government officials need to know what happens with the information they provide to outside parties. i want to arm government officials with knowledge about who they are talking to, much like we ought to know when you're talking to a lobbyist; is i registered as a lobbyist? what's his interest, even how much money do they spend on it? now, i got to a specific firm here so i -- my inquiry started with height security, the firm that put out an alert just 18 minutes before the markets closed on april 1. that alert caused a huge spike in the health insurance talks that stood to gain from the rate announcement about medicare advantage. i initially learned that an e-mail on april 1 from a health care lobbyist to the anist at
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height security -- to the analyst at height security looked like the basis for the flash alert that moved the markets and moved the markets a great deal in that last 18 minutes. in the interest of full disclosure to my colleagues it has been reported in the press that the lobbyist was a former member of my staff. but i continued to press for more information. i learned a lot beyond just that one person. i learned that height paid for his expertise on health care, although his entire billing amounted to only 1.75 hours of work before sending the e-mail that was sent on april 1. i learned that the height analyst had also communicated with two other health care policy experts before putting out his alert to the market.
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then i learned that the centers for medicare and medicaid services had already made its decision to reverse the rate cuts much earlier. in fact, two weeks before height security learned about it. the press has reported that there were major spikes in option trading two days before april 1 on march 18 and on march 22. option trading is one way as we know folks on wall street make big bets on a stock when they think that they have a sure thing. march 18 happened to be the first trading day after centers for medicare services made its decision internally. march 22 happens to be the day that c.m.s. transmitted its draft decision to the white house. more than a week before the
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public announcement on april 1. on that date, march 22, the circle of people in the administration who would have known about the c.m.s. decision expanded significantly. this suggests that political intelligence firms may have obtained key information for their clients in mid-march not just the day of the announcement which i've said is april 1. the press also reported on the possible involvement of another intelligence firm, a firm called capital streets. capital street arranges conference calls between investors and government experts. in addition, i have asked two major hedge funds mentioned in the press whether they profited from the trades in advance of the rate announcement. so the scope of my inquiry is
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very broad. it is not focused on particular people. it is focused on getting facts. now, also the s.e.c. is is investigate. it is their job to determine if in material nonpublic information was passed to height or to anyone else in this case. and that doesn't happen to be my job. that's their job. i'm working on legislation to make the political intelligence industry more transparent. i'm gathering facts to inform that information. remember political intelligence does not necessarily involve material nonpublic information. people -- however people in government need to know who they're talking to and what they will do with your information. that is why it is so important
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to ensure that political intelligence relationships are transparent, because with transparency comes accountability. even if the information you provide is merely an educated guess, that information could still move markets. it can still create an impression that a fortunate few are making money from special access to insiders. if political intelligence transparency is passed, government officials would be more fully informed when they provide expertise to these firms about how the information might be used. but that isn't where we are now. as things stand now without this transparency, you do not necessarily know what firms like height security or capital street do with the information you provide to them.
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you don't even know if they have a contract with a lobbyist who is bringing in some other client for a meeting. you don't know that your discussion with that lobbyist's client might be repeated to people who are looking for an edge in the stock market. what you think may be an innocent detail or an educated guess may move markets. at the end of the day, that is what these firms want to exploit. that is what they're after. and, of course, that's what they're going to make their money on. they're going to sell that ftion in. -- they're going to sell that information. they should be honest and upfront with people em about how they make money. now, we have a pattern to follow here. lobbying disclosure isn't perfect, but it has brought more transparency to the process of
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lobbying on capitol hill. now we need political intelligence disclosure for the same reason that we need lobbying disclosure. and lobbying disclosure is a fact today. transparency increases the public's ability to trust that we are working for the american people not just for the special interests. and, of course, that principle should apply just as much to the special interests on wall street as it does to the special interests on "k" street. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: may i ask consent to follow senator moran at the conclusion of his remarks? the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: thank you. mr. moran: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from kansas. mr. moran: thank you mr. president. i ask unanimous consent to address the senate as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. moran: mr. president april 15 has now come and gone,
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known as tax day to most americans. millions of americans filed their return last month and many took into account in filing that return the dollars they contributed to charitable and worthwhile causes. according to an organization called giving u.s.a., americans gave nearly $2 million to support important services. from youth programs and seed grants to start new businesses. because of those generous donations of millions, millions of americans each year, not-for-profits have impacted the lives of countless individuals for decades. an example back home in my state -- and example of where a charitable contribution made a tremendous difference in the life of an individual -- william which willwilker13son was diagnosed
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with moderate to severe hearing loss. after visiting several doctors he was taken to children's mercy hospital where he was fitted with his first set of hearing aids. he later put into words what he experienced that day. "with so many different things that i had never heard before, it was as if somebody had turned on the world." denise miller, the manager of the children's mercy hearing and speech clinic said this about the importance of donations to that hospital: "because of donor support we receive, we are able to fit the most appropriate hearing aids on each and every child based upon their own unique needs. in 2011, the clinic fit nearly 500 patients with hearing aids bringing the world of sound to their ears and changing their lives forever." not-for-profits like children's
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mrcychildren'smercy depend upon the donations of others for their ongoing care for chin. president obama's proposal to change this 10000-year-old tradition of charitable giving could significantly diminish the support for not-for 46-profits. inthe president proposes to cap the charitable tax deductions. according to the charitable giving coalition this proposal would reduce donations to non-profit sector by more than $5.6 billion every year. this reduction amounts to more than the annual operating budgets of the american red cross, goodwill, the ynca, habitat for human particulars the boys and girls club, catholic charities and the american cancer society combined. a reduction in giving of this magnitude would have a
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devastating impact on the future of charitable organizations across our country. given our country's current economic situation more americans have turned to not-for-profits for help. according to the nonprofit finance fund, 85% of nonprofits experienced higher demand for their services in 20 is 1 and at least 70% have seen increased demand since 250. our country depends upon strong philanthropic sector to provide a safety net of services, especially given the tighter local and state budgets. americans understand the value and impact of the charitable deduction which is why a recent united way worldwide survey found two out of every three americans are opposed to reducing this charitable tax deduction. nonprofits are best equipped to provide assistance on the local level and can often do so in a far more effective manner than many government programs.
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studies have shown for every dollar subject to the charitable deduction communities will receive $3 in bessments. the federal government would be hard pressed to find a more effective way to generate that kind of public impact. congress has previously acknowledged the impact of private investment and regularly passes incentives in the wake of a natural disaster to encourage more giving. last october when hurricane sandy tore yoos across the east coast, the storm left thousands of residents without the basic necessities of life, food, water, shelter. within six weeks the red cross had served eight million meals provided 81,000 shelter stays and distributed more than six million relief items to thousands of residents impacted by the storm. in times of crisis americans depend upon relief service organizations like the american red cross catholic charities and the salvation army, all not for profit organizations whose
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main purpose is to help their fellow citizens when they need it the most. nonprofits like habitat for humanity also help families make a fresh start after a disaster. in may 2007, an ef-5 tornado swept through my home state devastating 95% of the town of greensburg. donna torres, had lived in greensburg for seven years when the tornado destroyed the home they were renting. diana faced the likelihood of having to move out of state. then the wichita habitat for humanity stepped in with 1,400 volunteers to build a new home. because of special financing and donated supplies diana could afford to purchase the home for her family. the executive director of the wichita habitat for humanity linda stewart said those who support habitat know they are making a difference in someone's life that lasts for years.
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that's what not-for-profits do every day around kansas and across the country, make a difference one life at a time. since the founding of our nation neighbors have been helping other neighbors they lend that helping hand that is so often needed. the charitable deduction is just one way to encourage that tradition to continue. any change in the tax code related to charitable giving would have a long-lasting and negative consequence not to necessarily to the generous donor but more importantly to the millions of americans who rely upon the services provided by a charitable organization. with our economy still recovering and the tremendous need for charitable causes, the president should be encouraging americans to give more, not less and congress should reject this administration's proposal. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from iowa.
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mr. whitehouse: i'd like to ask consent to speak up to 15 minutes as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: thank you. mr. president, as i'm sure you suspect, i am back on the floor again to urge that we awaken to what carbon pollution is doing to our planet, to our oceans, to our seasons to our storms, and i wonder why is it that we are so comfortable asleep when the warnings are so many and so real. what could be -- could beguile us away from wakefulness and duty? i was recently at a senate meeting where i heard a member of our senate community say god won't allow us to ruin our planet.
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god won't allow us to ruin our planet. maybe that's why we do nothing. we are comfortable that god somehow won't allow us to ruin our planet. that seems such an extraordinary notion that i thought i would reflect on it in my remarks this week. first of all the statement refers to god, his couched in religious terms but is it really an expression of religious inquiry? i think not. it is less an expression of religious thinking than it is of magical thinking. the statement that god won't allow us to ruin our planet sweeps aside ethics, responsibilities consequences duties, even awareness. it comforts us with the anodyne
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assumption no matter what we do some undefined presence through some undefined measure will make things right clean up our mess. that is seeking magical deliverance from our troubles, not divine guidance through our troubles. so is god really here just to tidy up after our sins and follies, to immunize us from their consequence? if that is true, why does the bible say in galatian 6:7 do not be received, that which he you somes, so will he reap." if it's just a tidy-up god why does the book of job warning those who you some, why does
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luke 6:38 tell us "for with the measure you use it will be measured back to you." and proverbs 22:8 tells us "whoever sos in justice will reap calamity." jairm maya every man according to to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds. so it seems that we should not walk in the counsel of the wicked or sit in the seat of the sawfers -- scarfers and -- scoffers and expect there will be no bitter fruit of our deeds, no consequence. we are warned in the bible not to plow iniquity, not to eat the fruit of lies. where in the bible are we assured of safety if we do? i see no assurances of that.
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the bible says in 1 samuel, the lord is a good of knowledge -- god of knowledge and by him actions are weighed and at thessalonians 1:16, "god considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict." those who sow the wind, the bible says, they shall reap the whirlwind." and look at our own american history. if god is just here to tidy up after our sins and follies how could abraham lincoln say this about our bloody civil war to free and redeem us from the sin of slavery. here is what lincoln said about that war. "yet if god wills that it
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continue until all the wealth piled by the bondman's 250 years of unrequited toil shall be sunk and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword as was said 3,000 years ago so still it must be said the judgments of the lord are true and righteous altogether." that was abraham lincoln. blood drawn by the sword in equal measure to that drawn by the lash as the true and righteous judgment of the lord. that doesn't sound like a god of amnesty. go to the very beginning. if we live in a state of god-given general amnesty from consequences why were adam and eve expelled from eden for their
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sin? why was cain sent into the wilderness condemned to wander for the crime against his brother? if it is your assertion that god's love has no measure of tough love, wander a bit through the old testament before getting too married to that idea. and if the old testament is too bloodthirsty for you look at revelations 11:18 "and thy wrath is come and the time that thou shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth destroy them which destroy the earth." if we believe in an all-powerful god, we must then believe that god gave us this earth. and we must in turn believe that god gave us its laws of
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gravity, of chemistry of physics. we must also believe that god gave us our human powers of intellect and reason. he gives us these powers so that we his children, can learn and understand earth's natural laws which he also gave us. so that as his children, we can use that understanding of earth's natural laws to build and create and prosper on his earth, and hasn't that in fact been the path of human progress? we learn these natural laws and we apply them to build and create and we prosper. so why then would we ignore his plain natural laws when we ignore the obvious conclusions to be drawn by our god-given
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intellect and reason, why then would god the tidy-up god drop in and spare us? why would he allow an innocent child to burn its hand when it touches the hot stove but protect us from this lesson? why would he allow a badly engineered bridge or building to fall killing innocent people, but protect us from this mistake? why would he allow cholera to kill in epidemics until we figure out that the well water is contaminated? the earth's natural laws and our capacity to divine them are god's great gift to us, allowing us to learn and build great things and cure disease. but god's gift to us of a planet with natural laws and natural
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order has as an integral part of that gift consequences. consequences when we get that law and order wrong. the child's hand burns. the bridge falls. the disease spreads. if it didn't matter whether we got it right or wrong there would be no value to god's creation of that natural law and order in the first place. so is that then to be our answer to polluting our atmosphere with carbon by the meganot to -- megaton and changing our climate and changing our seas, is it to be our answer to that that god would not allow us to ruin our planet? we're to continue to pollute our earth with literally megatons
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each year of carbon, heating up our atmosphere, acidifying our seas knowing full well by his natural laws what the consequences are and instead of correcting our own behavior, we're going to bet on a miracle? that's the plan? excuse me, but that's not really the american way. president kennedy described the american way as he ended his inaugural address connecting our work to god's. let us go forth he said, "to lead the land we love, asking his blessing and his help but knowing that here on earth god's work must truly be our own."
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that is the order of things. we are here to do god's work. he's not here to do ours. how arrogant how very far from humility would be the self-satisfied smug assurance that god a tied eye -- tidy up after us god will come and clean up our mess, that on this earth god's work need not be our own. remember the story of the man trapped in his house during a huge flood. a faithful man he trusted god to save him. as the waters began to rise in his house his neighbor came by and offered him a ride to safety and he said, "i am a waiting for god to save me." so the neighbor got in his pickup truck and drove away.
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as the water rose, the man climbed to the second floor of his house and a boat came by his window with people who were headed for safe ground. they threw a rope and they yelled at the man to climb out and come with them he told them, "no, i trust in god to save me." they shook their heads and they moved on. the floodwaters kept rising and the man clamored up onto his roof. a helicopter flew by and avoice came over the loud speaker offering to lower a ladder to the man and let him climb up to sachet the man waved the helicopter away shouting back that he counted on god to save him. so the helicopter left. well eventually the floodwaters swept over the roof and the man was drowned. when the man reached heaven, he had some questions for god. "god ""he asked "didn't i
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trust in you to save me? why did you let me drown?" god answered, "i sent you a pickup truck i sent you a boat, i sent you a helicopter. you refused my help." just as god sent the pickup truck, the boat, and the helicopter to the drowning man he has sent us everything we need to solve this carbon pollution problem. we just refuse. we just refuse. some of us even deny that the floodwaters are rising. mr. president, as i've indicated in previous speeches, climate denial is bad science. indeed it's such bad science it falls into the category of
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"falsehood." climate denial is bad economics. ignoring that in a proper marketplace the costs of carbon pollution should be factored into the price of carbon. climate denial is bad policy in any number of areas bad national security policy, national environmental policy, bad foreign policy, bad economic policy. though i'm a senator not a preacher from everything i've learned and believed, it seems to me that climate denial is also bad religion and bad morals. hopes for a nanny god who will, with a miracle grant us amnesty from our folly that's not a aligned with either history or
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text of the bible. we need to face up to the fat that there is only -- to the fact that there is only one leg on which climate denial stands: money. the polluters give and spend money to create false doubt much the polluters give and spend money to buy political influence. the polluters give and spend money to keep polluting. that's it. that's it. not truth not science not economics, not safety, not policy and certainly not religion nor morality. nothing supports climate denial. nothing except money. but in congresses, in this temple money rules. so here i stand in one of the
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last places on earth that is still a haven to climate denial. in our arrogance we here in congress think that we can somehow ignore or trump earth's natural laws laws of chemistry laws of physics laws of science with our own political law making with our own political influence. but we're fools to think that. the laws of chemistry and the laws of physics neither know nor care what we say or do here. so we need to wake up. we need to walk not in the counsel of the wicked nor sit in
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the seat of scoffers, but with due humility awaken to our duty and get to work. because here on earth god's work must truly be our own. thank you very much. i yield the floor. mrs. boxer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: i just want to say to senator whitehouse before he leaves the floor how much i appreciated his remarks tonight and how much i learned from his remarks. and i want to say to the senator that he put forward i think the most cogent argument from a religious perspective as to why we have to take action to make sure that this planet -- that we don't lose this planet.
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and we are in a planetary emergency, and as he said, this is the last place in the world almost that doesn't get it. and i just want to say the reason so many religious leaders, senator are in our coalition to call attention to climate change to call attention to global warming to call attention to the rising waters, to call attention to the terrible droughts, to the terrible fires to the terrible storms to the extreme weather and all the things we're seeing around us, you've laid it out chapter and verse, i can truly say -- chapter and verse. and i so appreciate what you are doing higher. i so appreciate your consistent voice, your passionate voice and i so appreciate that you're on the committee i'm so proud to chair, the environment and public works committee. we're on a bill that deals with the public works side of the
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committee. we have good camaraderie there but when it comes to protecting the environment it's as if there's just two totally different species of humanity the deniers and the believers. and i'm proud to be on the side of the believers. i believe america is built on facts. it's built on, yes religious beliefs and scientific proof and i think you've laid it out tonight in such a magnificent way that i intend to send your remarks, with your permission -- i intend to send them to all of our colleagues, to put them up on my web site, because i am so proud to stand with you in this fight -- this is a fight. and as my friend said, it is a fight that puts on one side the sper interests the polluters the money versus those who just say, we have to save this planet. it is our responsibility.
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it is our god-given responsibility. so thank you so much for your remarks, and i would yield back to you. mr. whitehouse: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from rim. mr. whitehouse: i just want to say how honored i am to serve on senator boxer's committee with her as our chairman and leader, and how eager i am to fight beside her in the struggles ahead. and with that, i will -- and with my appreciation, i will yield the floor. mrs. boxer: mr. president, i want to say to my friend, today was a great day for you not only this speech that i think is quite memorable but also the amendment that you passed a with the help of our republican friends to set up an oceans trust fund. i think that's a good, positive day. and i'm very, very leased. and if i would ask the staff if we are ready to make the with the request, we will be in two minutes, so i'd say to my colleague, we're going to dispose of about six amendments very quickly on the floor.
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with your indulgence, we should be free and done with this business in about just a few minutes. mr. hoeven: thank you no objection. mrs. boxer: thank you. so we'll put a quorum call in and just wait to finish. i would ask unanimous consent that the completion of my remarks be returned to senator hoeven for his remarks. the presiding officer: without objection.
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mrs. boxer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: i would ask that the quorum call be dispensed with. officer ifthe presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: i ask unanimous consent that not with stand the previous order the following amendments which have been cleared on bodge sides be considered and agreed to en bloc: pryor 01 as modified with the changes that are at the desk; pryor number 806 inhofe number 835, with the modification to the instruction lines mccain number 833 and murray number 832. further, that all other
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provisions of the previous order remain in effect. the presiding officer: is there objection? des desmr. menendez: reserving the right to object, what is -- i'd just like to understand what the previous order is. not the order of speaking? i withdraw my objection. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: thank you. mr. hoeven: mr. president? mr. menendez: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: i rise in support of an amendment that i understand will be offered to the wrda bill from my colleague from louisiana senator landrieu landrieu amendment number 802 which would stop flood insurance premiums from skyrocket skyrocketing
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until fema completes its study on the affordability of premiums of the national flood insurance program. as everyone here knows my home state of new jersey was at the epicenter of superstorm sandy which destroyed thousands of homes, left millions without power, cost billions of dollars in damage. but despite the deaf starks the but despite the devastation the people didn't give up. even as we slowly recover from the worst natural disaster in our state's history a man-made disaster is looming in the distance jeopardizing our recovery. the combination of updated flood maps and the phase-out of the premium subsidies for the national flood insurance program threatens to force victims out of their homes and destroy entire communities. it's like a triple-whammy.
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you have the consequences of superstorm sandy which devastated homes so they have to rebuild. many times that insurance didn't rise to the level of the cost of rebuilding. secondly, as a result of flood waters that came in after -- after -- the storm, there is now requirements for new elevations. and then thirdly the premiums are going to skyrocket because the subsidies go down. so you have a triple-whammy. many homeowners will have to pay higher premiums. many will be forced to sell or abandon their home. this in turn will drive down property values and local revenues at the worst possible time. we are doing everything we can to bring communities back to
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life after the storm. i've heard from countless new jerseyans,. many have come to me in a. tears. these are hardworking middle-class families who played by the rules purchased flood insurance responsibly and now are being priced out of the only home that they have ever lived in. this amendment would delay these potentially devastating changes until fema completes its study on premium affordability. this study is the result of a requirement i authored in the flood insurance bill last year because i was concerned that premiums could become unforthable for -- unaffordable for too many families. the challenge was for our colleagues on the other side of the aisle who said we'll let the flood insurance program die unless it can be self-sufficient. and given a choice between having no flood insurance
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program that therefore would mean no homeowner would have any insurance available to them and of course, which dramatically reduces the value of the home if you can't get flood insurance and you're in a floodplain or having a flood insurance program under the conditions that our colleagues insisted on, there was a need to have a flood insurance program. but because i knew that that had some potential rate shock to individuals, the study that i required and sought and achieved in the flood insurance bill last year was because of this concern of unaffordable for too many families and that was even before superstorm sandy struck. now, while my friends on the other side of the aisle protested my efforts to provide assistance to help low- and middle-income families afford
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insurance i was fema conduct a study on aforwardability. it's been ten years since we passed the reauthorization and there is still no study. unfortunately, my concerns about premiums becoming unaffordable have already come true for many new jersey homeowners. and until fema does its job and provides options according to the law to improve aforwardability the people of new jersey shouldn't have to face these skyrocketing premiums at a time they're in essence getting a triple whammy. they lost their homes or their homes are dramatically uninhabitable. they have to rebuild in many cases because of new flood perhaps they'll have to elevate and they'll have to pay incredibly higher premiums. that is simply a devastation that shouldn't take place. we all remember the devastation that happened in new jersey in late october and the way the country came together to help the victims. last week we marked the six-month anniversary of sandy
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and the work is far from over. we still have to too many people out of their homes and too many who are afraid of losing their homes. new jersey families already suffered from a natural disaster. the next disaster shouldn't be a manmade one and i urge my colleagues to support this amendment. with that, mr. president i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. blumenthal: thank you mr. president. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. blumenthal: i ask unanimous consent that at a time to be determined by the majority leader after consultation with the republican leader, the senate proceed to executive session to consider the following nomination -- calendar number 39 and 41, that there be 30 minutes for debate, equally divided in the usual form that upon the use or
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yielding back of time, that the senate proceed to vote without intervening action or debate on the nominations in the order listed. the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no no intervening action or debate, no further motions be in order to the nominations, that any related statements be print medicine the record that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action and the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. blumenthal: mr. president i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 31 s. 622. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 31, s. 622 a bill to amend the federal food, drug and cosmetic act to reauthorize user fee programs relating to new animal drugs and generic animal drugs. the presiding officer: without objection the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. blumenthal: i further ask the bill be read a third time
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and passed and that the motion to reconsider be made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. blumenthal: i ask unanimous consent, mr. president that the senate proceed to the consideration of house congress resolution 32 which was received from the house and is on the desk now. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: house current resolution 32 authorizing the use of the capitol grounds for the national honor guard and pipe band exhibition. the presiding officer: without objection the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. blumenthal: i ask unanimous consent that the current resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to and the motion to reconsider be laid on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. blumenthal: mr. president i ask unanimous consent that the help committee be discharged from further consideration of senate resolution 126 and that
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the senate proceed to immediate consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 126, recognizing the teachers of the united states for their contributions to the development and progress of our country. the presiding officer: without objection the committee is discharged and the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. blumenthal: thank you mr. president. i further ask that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motions to reconsider be made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. blumenthal: i ask unanimous consent that the senate -- when the senate completes its business today it adjourn until 9:30 a.m. on may 9 2013, that following the prayer and pledge the morning business be deemed expired the journal of proceedings be approved to date and the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day.
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and that following any leader remarks, the senate be in a period of morning business for one hour with senators permitted to speak therein up to ten minutes each and that the time equally divided and controlled between the two leaders and their designees with the majority controlling the first half and the republicans controlling the final half. further, that following morning business the senate resume consideration of senate 601 the water resources development act. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. blumenthal: we will continue to work through amendments to the bill during tomorrow's session. senators will be notified when votes are scheduled. if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under the previous order following the remarks made by senator hoeven, the senator from north dakota. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from north dakota.
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mr. hoeven: thank you mr. president. mr. president, i rise to speak in support of the water resources development act or wrda bill that we are considering on the senate floor right now. and i want to begin by thanking leadership on both sides of the aisle for moving this very important legislation to the floor so that we can act on it. this legislation is important because it funds vital infrastructure projects that make our country stronger, safer, and more competitive. i want to begin today by talking about one of those flood protection projects, permanent flood protection for the red river valley. the fargo moorhead area diversion project will sustain permanent flood protection measures for the red river valley of north dakota and minnesota. it will in essence divert water
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around actually water that's now almost an annual flood event but it will divert that water around population centers and channel it safely dwrown stream for both states. in fact, it will protect nearly a quarter of a million people and billions of dollars of property. in one of the midwest's most dynamic, productive and growing metro areas on both sides of the north dakota-minnesota border. further-hour this vital infrastructure will not only protect lives and property, it will actually save the federal government money. very important at a time when we face deficit and debt that we very much need to address. let lett me explain. this project will actually save the federal government money. when the waters threaten as they have in four of the past five years many agencies of the federal government are mobilized to protect life and property. that includes the army corps of engineers, fema, the federal
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emergency management agency, the u.s. fish and wildlife, even customs and border protection which has been called in to monitor the advancing waters of the flood from the air and other agencies as well. and those are just federal agencies. in addition you've got state and local agencies that respond as well and many of them also rely on federal funding. that includes agencies like emergency management, the national guard state departments of transportation, highway patrol, water commission human services, department of health, and many others. the point is the flood fight requires a lot of work and it costs a lot of money. and we're doing it every year. it involves the enormous task of building miles and miles -- not feet not yards -- but miles of temporary -- temporary -- earthen dams, dikes and
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levees. that means tons and tons of dirt. it means activating the national guard to devote its resources and equipment to the task of fighting the rising waters. flood flight also involves filling sandbags, literally millions of sandbags to protect homes and businesses. it involves deploying industrial pumps to try to move water out faster than it is moving into the cities and that i can tell you is very very fast at the height of the flood. house of cubic feet per second. that means calling on police and highway patrol officers to work overtime to direct traffic provide security, and keep order. ultimately it means paying out millions in taxpayer dollars year after year. and that's the point. we're fighting this flood every single year and we're expending these dollars every single
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years. then there's another phase after the water recedes. then comes the cleanup. removing those dams and dikes and levees, disposing of millions of sandbags, cleaning the streets repairing the damage and addressing the multitude of costs and time consuming tests necessary to get things back to normal. again, as i've said, you're doing all of this on a temporary basis and you have to do it all over again the following year. in fact, the expense of mounting a successful flood fight year in and year out amounts to many many millions of dollars. every year. for example the successful flood fight of 2009 cost fargo-moorhead about $50 million. and when you lose the flood fight, the cost is much much greater in both human terms and in financial terms. for example in another
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community, a much smaller community, mine 90 minot north dakota lost the flood fight, displacing thousands of people. the federal government has put more than $632 million -- more than $632 million -- into the city's recovery efforts to date and we're still not done. a similar flood this the fargo-moorhead metro would be far worse and more expensive. the army corps of engineers predicts a flood would cause $10 million in damage and that doesn't take into account the impact in terms of human cost. and difficulty to families and to businesses. now let's look at the costs -- let's look at how the costs of such a flood are typically shared. this is very important when we do the cost-benefit analysis.
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typically local government company covers 15% of the cost. the state pays about 10% of the cost. and the foftd pays -- fovment pays by -- the federal government pays the largest share, it pays 75% of the cost every single year. oh except in severe disasters, fema recommends raising the 75% federal share for public assistance, the repair of infrastructure, to 90% federal cost. after you meet a certain threshold. when you have very significant damage and higher losses now the federal government is picking up as much as 90% of the cost, particularly for the public infrastructure. that cost in our case now is incurred on a year in and year out basis. in fact, fargo moore hefd as not only had to mount a flood fight but conduct cleanup afterwards in four out of the
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last five years including this spring and that's my point. that is exactly my point. with permanent flood protection which is provided through the wrda bill, we can break that cycle. with one-time spending, one-time spending, we can protect people on a permanent basis and do so much more cost effectively. once you build it, you're done with the endless and traumatic sequence of fighting floods and cleaning up after them. fighting the floods and cleaning up after them. not only that but the cost-sharing for permanent flood protection is lower for the federal government. the federal share would be less than half of the cost of the permanent project -- 45% of the permanent project. that compares with 75% to 90% 90% that the federal government is obliged to cover for the annual flood fight. or worse if you lose the flood fight and you've got that
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recovery effort. so we're saying, for the permanent protection, the nonfederal share -- federal share, 45%; nonfederal share is more than half. the state and federal government will cover 55% of the cost. and we've already lined those funds up. at the local level and the state level we're ready to go. and this is a two-state effort, as i said. that cost is incurred by the state of north dakota, by local government and minnesota of the and it breaks out as follows: minnesota would cover about 10% of the nonfederal share or about $100 million. north dakota will cover 90% of the nonfederal share about $900 million, divided onely evenly between the state and local municipalities. each putting in $450 million. you can't put a price on the kind of hardship and despair that losing a home or a business
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means after the fact. but you can help to spare people that hardship in the place with permanent flood protection. that's what the fargo-moorhead diversion is all about. that's why it's so important to north dakota, to minnesota and to the red river valley region of the north. the water resources development act, however does more. it is key to building and rebuilding vital water infrastructure projects throughout our nation, projects that will make us stronger and safer. moreover the wrda bill includes streamlining provisions to help us complete worthy projects more cost-effectively with less bureaucracy, with greater savings, and with less red tape. in addition, we worked conscientiously through the process to make sure we do these vital projects right. they have a been subjected to full corps revie including
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cost-benefit analyses in an open and transparent way. mr. president, for all of these reasons and more, i urge my colleagues to support the wrda and the peace of mind permanent flood control and protection will give to the people of our region and our regions of the country. with that, mr. president i thank you and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until until:30 a.m. tomorrow morning
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>> most people talk cigarettes are the main way we are exposed to erase the troops. the average smoker would get the equivalent of hundreds of chest x-rays a year just in their smoking. that is mainly from the pesticides, rather the fertilizers put on tobacco that put super phosphate around the plan that contains uranium. uranium decays to lead said the same poison that killed a russian spy in london a few years ago that is also present in cigarette smoke and that was discovered in the 60s. the most easily preventable cause of death in the modern
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world, the cause responsible for 440,000 deaths in the united states every year and is֖֗ completely preventable, we just allow us if it's chewing gum or something. >> topics at today's white house routine includes benghazi attacks and serious civil war. [inaudible conversations] >> here we go. hello, everyone.
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good afternoon. thank you for being here. before i take your questions i wanted to have you noticed if you haven't already this story this morning about a data released by the center for medicare and medicaid services. data on pricing for 3300 hospitals. as you may know the affordable care act requires all hospitals to establish and make public standard charges for items and services at today's data released by cms's onset or is putting people in him is in charge of their own health care. panic is available, we allow everyone to see the huge pricing variation from hospital to hospital to the same procedures. sometimes from one hospital in the next neighborhood over to another. today is talk park and chief technology officer. todd can say a few words about how it is driving the data
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accessibility and how data is an important step for pricing and care for consumers. it is a question i ain't consumers justifiably ask. why am i paying hospital ask three times arise that has no churching retains more than a hospital in the next town over churches. providing this data to the public allows consumers to know the facts and empowers them. but that i will turn it over to todd. if you could hear what he has to say, direct questions on this topic area and then he'll step aside to take your questions on other issues. >> i'm sorry, what is your title? >> todd is assistant to the president and chief technology officer. >> hello everybody. today's cms is releasing data about hospitals charge for
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inpatient services this is needed with the 100 most common kind of hospital stays. they did issue a huge variation in hospitals including those within the same community. hospitals determined without charge and be sure to assert the amounts the hospital bills for an item or service. these charges are the starting point for how much get paid depending on whether the patient is insured annuity insurance. patient uninsured or underinsured could be asked to pay full charges. they make a mistake available we allow everyone to see huge variation across the country. the map behind me illustrates average charges for anything he replacements across the country. average charges can vary from $5300 on average in oklahoma to
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live $223,000 at the hospital in monterey park, california. ecm and not so average charges by region. anonymously. within the metro area thursday variation. in birmingham alabama the average hospital charged theories. today, cms is making this hospital church data publicly available by anybody. innovators and much prefers to take this data and use it to power folks across the country that were best for them and journalists will comb through the data and bring you insights as to why this variation is happening and become more transparent and the american public will benefit. patrick sample of how it is a dancing transparency, in charge of their own health care.
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with that, let's open it up for questions. >> be on the information out there, keuka attorneys to be changes and a lot to address to address the disparity? >> a couple things happening and i refer you to cms. we also announced today $87 million to establish and fund the research centers across the country by state government to take our data and other data in the research enterprise variation in the race is transparent and help make the marketplace more competitive. also work is being done by cms on helping folks who need financial assistance not be subjected to massive charges but along the lines of what medicare pays for my folks insured actually pay. >> are you publishing or can you publish by medicare for these
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services and the insurance companies? >> a data stuff we've released includes both a hospitals built churches and what medical care is for each of these services across the country. [inaudible] >> we actually don't have that data in-house. the state government operated price research centers will have access to that data potentially and be able to do work in the area. >> i variation in terms of driving do cost down, do you think when i see transparent that some people will be shamed into lowering prices? are there parts of the law you contend will help lower some of these prices that becomes more fair appeared after the transparency how does the drive cost down? >> transparent marketplaces are more competitive and drive down more costs. >> so i variation on that are
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you shielded from this vast differences if you're near placement is covered anyway? [inaudible] >> so these charges again for a starting point for the prices paid to hospitals. so if you have insurance, you have a negotiated rate and you'll see medicare lower peer even if you have insurance in a lot of cases, the insurance doesn't protect you from the charges. it will cover some chunk, but then depending on the insurance you have. even if you have the kind of insurance with negotiated rate is full exposure the charges who post today are the starting point for negotiating those rights for these situations is. >> a figure assumption that the
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hospitals discharges $5300 for a surgery provides the same level of quality as on the charges $223,000 for the same operation? >> these are questions we are excited to see you guys investigating check out. to help you out, cms has made hospital quality data is downloadable for every one hospital spot. the hospitals compared with the vast number of poly metrics for hospitals. so check this out for a few which you come up with. >> assessing the quality of the services. >> metrics have been developed by private collaboration server theaters and metrics are generated based on a whole variety of data. go to hospitalcmpare@cms msn combination will be really
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interesting. >> you think some hospitals as you put out quality care ratio and the cost versus another hospital in the area? >> is a fundamental principle with which america plays should be transparent and it is consumers right to know what the prices are more quality levels are. that's what the data is available to everybody. lesser research and analyst take this and hope mom put inside and tools that help people act upon the data. it makes for a better more functionally competitive health care marketplace that does the right and by the american public. >> so it might not necessarily drive down costs? is that what you intended to do? >> i think i would listen marketplaces, which should make quality and cost and value
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transparent, that added level does produce better results for consumers and i think that's very likely to happen here. >> in some of these discrepancies, due to let god worry you could see is that the hospital saying they can see that? >> so what is released as on state overall and bundled with the appeared were actually that cannot additional steps outpatient services as well. but i would refer you to cms. >> do they have that break down? >> they had the other line claims that they used. >> given a method for u.s. citizens out of the country to get their medical accomplished?
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>> say a bummer. >> given a message for americans americans -- [inaudible] -- that might be cheaper in other countries. >> i will say it's going to be incredibly helpful to consumers who had increasing amount of information available for the charges, praising and quality health care here and that will make better decisions for them and their families. >> bill. >> what is the connection between what the hospital charges which are willing to pay under medicare medicaid? >> medicare across the board pay say much much longer may come so medicare is getting a great deal. you know the variation is massive in terms of the multiple on but medicare pays and it's a good question as to why that is. >> the matter what the hospital charges, medicare says this is
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what we are going to pay. >> correct. why there is that huge gap, he'll figure out. >> slightly related, yesterday some of us reported that the white house is higher than the internet and privacy adviser, who i think if someone who is going to work with you. can you tell us about that position, wet cat that fills? >> that's an ongoing personal situation. i can't comment on that right now. >> all right, todd. >> you could be a spokesman. [laughter] >> thank you for your interest. take good care. [laughter] >> in answer to some of the questions about how we can process this information that todd was talking about and he
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referred to journalism as a tool to doing that. there was an excellent article "time" magazine did that went into length at the subject a number of months ago. it's a good read payment that your other questions. >> first on syria secretary kerry said yesterday is that to the theory and people whether assad should go. i wonder if this is a change on the side future? >> our position is serious future cannot food bashar al-assad but we've also been clear in addition to making our views known as assad to step aside that the syrian people must negotiate the makeup of a transition governing body and determine which elements of the regime they would be willing to work with and not transition governing body. in terms of our views on serious
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future, it is a post assad future. assad has given up on rice to represent the syrian people. >> dogbert secretary kerry used about something that was appropriate -- >> he was making the point that it is our view in this area and the future. we've made clear decisions about how the transition takes place and who participates is something for the syrian people to decide. but it's always been our position in the two statements are compatible. ultimately the syrian people decided the opposition decides who will be a negotiated process. the syrian people decide who would be represented in the transitioning governing body.
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>> the rescue of these three women in ohio that have been kidnapped for a decade or more. as the president been updated? of the following it closely? >> i don't have any specific response in the president. it would be impossible to read or watch the news and not be aware of this extraordinary story. so i'm confident he knows about it and notice about this tremendous development these men have been missing for so long and have found and returned to their families and that's obviously a great thing. >> any additional briefings? >> not that i'm aware of no. >> give a speech about what he argued her bedside for the nomination and before the briefing saturday, republicans invoked a rule that dealing with this nomination today.
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i guess i'm wondering if the white house has been a response to senator mcconnell's argument and how concerned the white house says that is arguing these procedurals and what impact does it have on the nomination to anticipate a lengthy delay. >> i appreciate the question because it's unfortunate semipublic and some help are politicizing this nomination. the bottom line is tom perez is a dedicated public servant who spent his career fighting to keep the american dream within reach and those striving in the middle-class. we expect the senate to move forward through committee and onto the floor. he's enormously qualified. he's not as a pragmatic leader and consensus builder who served as assistant attorney general and as you know, the assistant attorney general served as the
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secretary of maryland department of labor, licensing and regulation and has a long and distinguished record. in opposition to her throwing up roadblocks to this nomination is none fortunate process of nominees that does not serve the american people well, certainly not in this case to work the department of labor needs to do. >> so you don't think sunder mcconnell's argument is clear? >> yes. >> are you concerned disowning his nomination does not move forward? >> would put the senate will move forward on the nomination. there has not been a case made that is not political and partisan against his nomination and we hope and expect the senate will move forward. >> is the president support the effort by the fbi to change laws to make it easier to wiretap
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internet-based phone services? >> yes, i do have something on that. the so-called going turkish e.u. and how best to ensure law enforcement and legal authorities keep pace with technological advancements have been under discussion for some time and the department of justice is working with other agencies in the way forward that protects privacy of americans for research innovations and provides tools to law enforcement and counterterrorism professionals require. we don't have anything new to announce on this. doj is working with other agencies and i refer you to the department of justice. >> in advance of today's hearing on benghazi, senator lindsey graham said i think the dam is about to break on benghazi. we will find people asleep at the switch including hillary
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clinton. what do you say to this allegation from top republicans that hillary clinton was asleep at the switch? >> i say a couple things. this administration has made extraordinary efforts to work with five different congressional committees investigating what happened before, during and after the benghazi attacks, including testifying in 10 congressional hearings, holding 20 staff briefings and providing 25000 pages of documents. another leading senate republican, senator corker says he does have happened in this fairly satisfied. as "the new york times" "new york times" reported, much of what the witnesses raised has argued that i just both inherent in the accountability review board report. this is a subject that has from its beginning in subject two attempts to politicize that by
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republicans when in fact what happened was a tragedy and the president has been committed from day one to two things. making sure those who are responsible for the deaths of americans are found and brought to justice and we do everything we need to do to ensure this kind of attack cannot happen again in the cnn map of the accountability review board by then secretary clinton with the full support of the president demonstrates the seriousness with which she took this issue. that review board issued a report that is unsparing and highly critical in some areas and was glad by two highly respect did nonpartisan experts in the field of national security. admiral mullen and ambassador pickering. that report contained within it
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a series of recommendations. every single one of which has been acted on or is being acted on by the state department and that demonstrates the seriousness with which we took the true issues here. also given the remarkable level of cooperation was demonstrated with congressional committees does far demonstrates for a place for this attempts to politicize this when i should not be the case. >> why do you think they're going after hillary clinton? >> i am not sure they are. i note in the report by the committee, chairman cases can india so liberally excluded democrats was highly partisan. it included a main allegation described by the "washington post" fact checker this way. quote, issa has no basis to show that then secretary clinton had anything to do with this case
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anymore than she approved property not to care. the odds are long that she ever proved resolve this memo giving us confidence his inflammatory and reckless language qualifies as a whopper. >> the white house is confident he asked appropriate. >> we are. i would point you to the accountability review board and what -- i was talking to the report they've put out. i point you to what is to add to that port, ambassador pickering at admiral mullen for the long distinguished careers put out a statement this week. from the beginning of the process we had unfettered access to everyone and everything, including documentation we needed. how marching orders surrogate to the bottom of what happened and that is what we did. susan unsparing report done by
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two career professionals nonpartisan career professionals they contained within it very serious recommendations sound shortcomings in the state department acted immediately on that. >> something he said on november 28. he said that talking point prepared for ambassador rice and the administration he pointed out were writ not by the intelligence community that there was no change asked for by the white house or the state department except for a single word. but not the weekly standard has an team through revisions to talking points that show substantial changes done enough for specifically by the state department. were you in correct? >> now, the intelligence community drafted these talking
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points. the fact there and puts is always the case in a process like this. the only added me by anyone at the white house for stylistic and on subsidies. they corrected the description of the building from consulate to diplomatic facility and the like. ultimately, this all has been discussed and reviewed and provided in detail by the administration to congressional investigators in the attempt to politicize the talking points again as part of enough for to chase after what is that the here. the diplomatic facility was attacked. four americans were killed. the president has been committed from day one to bring to justice those responsible and committed
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to ensuring we take every step we can to protect our diplomats in the future and ensure this event doesn't happen again. you know within the hours of the attack beginning at the press release much maligned by members of his own party, the republican nominee for president tried to publicize this and this has been the case ever since. it unfortunately continues to this day. use a mouse of cooperation that are rather extort area. 20 staff briefings, 10 congressional hearings and after we expect to hear today in this hearing contradicts anything discussed in right field accessed by the review board. if it is critics that review board in its two chairs are not being faithful to the facts and truth, they have to discuss that with the chairs of the board.
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the fact is this has been looked at exhaustively. >> i'm specifically asking what a sad about stylistic changes. these look much more in stylistic. his references to security concerns expressed the day before the attack of being taken out. there's references to al qaeda. >> what remains true today stays the intelligence community drafted redrafted points and i think that is what the deputy tour of the cia said. the factors and puts her mothers doesn't change the fact the cia or the intelligence community drives the spines of what they know. they dropped plans to provide information to members of congress as well as the administration to speak publicly about it. again, if you look substantively at the information provided in the talking points about what happened in benghazi that
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reflects everything we said. to this day, it has to be knowledge this talking points but ambassador rice were not amused on the shows and i of course used when i discussed and made clear we believe extremists are involved in the attack and we knew more information to come to light in our understanding of what happened would be affected if information became available. every bit of information in those days following was provided by us because they were committed then and now to make sure we found out what happened, who was responsible and make sure we could take steps to prevent it from happening again. >> do so believe in anti-muslim video start? >> now, this has been adjudicated and litigated many
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times, new look at this talking points, the one referenced there is to protest that turned out not to be the case. i would remind you on the friday before we had violent demonstrations going on at facilities around the world. we had a black flag raised at one of our embassies. we had preaches default setting at another rambus v. wade a great deal of concern as a result of protests about the safety and security at diplomatic personnel around the world. it is entirely of her or it there was concern and understandable they are wise some possibility of a connection between the violent demonstrations very scenic cairo and what they send back a fee. in the end let's just review
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the facts because it gets a little simplistic. here's what ambassador rice said on face the nation that sunday. they joined and escalated the violence whether there are qaeda affiliates, but being based extremists are al qaeda itself to determine. that is a simple statement of the facts they knew and i was on a sunday about which so much has been discussed and misrepresented. >> the fact that she had you on this podium on that time period would not call it a terror attack. one thing testifying under otc saying from the get go the people in authority who are following snippets is a is a terror attack. >> what the president say? >> he referred to tear. >> that's what it was by
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definition. >> he said we still don't know. [inaudible] >> he said the first time he talked publicly was an act of terror. a violent assault was an act of terror. but we did not know right away was to assist runcible and that's why there's an investigation of why there was an investigation launched right-of-way. >> on the accountability review board you say it's unsparing and unfettered access. did admiral mullen and mr. pickering and it pickering interview the president about what he did? >> i will point you to an admiral mullen and ambassador pickering said and what the report said, beginning with the fact -- this is useful here. the accountability review board investigation headed by two of the most respected nonpartisan leaders in washington that the
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interagency response is timely and appropriate and healthy lives of two severely wounded americans. aarp interviewed more than 100 people and watched hours of video. the interview gregory hicks testified today as well as the head of the state department counterterrorism bureau coming daniel benjamin. the purpose i'm staring at the state department accepted it is in the process of implementing each of its 29 recommendations to help ensure this tragedy is not repeated. as i said from the beginning of the process we had unfettered access to everyone's and everything, including documentation we needed. marching orders her to get to the bottom of what happened and that's what we did. the president heard about the attack as there is underway in benghazi, he was with the secretary of defense and every
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resource be brought to bear to do with that situation in benghazi and make sure steps are taken to ensure safety of diplomatic personnel around the region and world and that is what happened and that is that the aarp assess to what happened. >> a couple days ago the lessons of iraq are not too far in the distant past and lessons are to be learned from iraq within a decade ago. how is that scores last week he sat benghazi was a long time ago. it was only eight months ago. do you regret saying that? >> i'm not sure the point you're trying to make. >> what i was saying then and what and what i'm saying i was assessed a great job information provided by the administration to investigators. 25,000 pages of documents staff briefings and attempts to politicize this which have
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guided republicans since the hours after the attack on the president issued a highly misguided attempt of a political issue have been unfortunate. i haven't been focused on the problem itself which is four americans were killed on our diplomatic facility in benghazi and the people responsible and needed to be brought to justice and steps taken to ensure that attack never happens again. that's been the president's focus and he remains committed to both propositions. >> he talked about motivations here but what about the witnesses? >> i can only say i don't have any insight into that in all i can say is we have been unaware of anyone being blocked from
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talking to the congress if they choose to do so. the fact is two of the witnesses mentioned earlier were interviewed by aarp which investigated what happened in benghazi pier we don't expect anything we hear today will conflict with the vast amount of information we are ready now about what happened in benghazi. that is reflected in the report and the investigation to who perpetrated these attacks, who is responsible for the death of americans continues in the president is committed to bring to justice those responsible. >> very things obviously critical a certainty how the white house and administration responded. you don't think a question of motivation? >> i don't. i'm simply saying -- [inaudible] >> i would say there's been ongoing effort underway to
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politicize this. beyond that i'm not going to question the motivations of those testifying. i simply note the been enormously cooperative with congressional investigators in this matter, provided you with information for documentation invidious and staff briefings as well as congressional testimony. the accountability review board by the secretary of state and endorsed by the president did a thorough investigation according to admiral mullen and ambassador pickering. they were tasked with getting to the bottom of what happened and that is what they did according to the statement by admiral mullen and ambassador pickering and that review was unsparing of critical and held people accountable and demanded action the state department has taken a stake in. that's our view of it.
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>> you will say that about the motivation. that makes me wonder if just because it is being politicized descendent of us in a substantial message. >> the review board an appointment in trying to make me clear that there were failures and makes clear there were problems and make clear who was responsible and what needed to be done to fix them. this seems to be the case is that it's not satisfying politically and there is enough for it to go further perhaps the wine john was talking about. they keep overshooting them are quick with the effort last week to try pro forma signature into a scandal, an accusation left out of the room appropriately because it doesn't hold water. >> u.s. envoy craig hicks testified a short time ago when he heard ambassador raised in
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the talk shows saying that started as a protest he was stunned and his jaw dropped and he was embarrassed. why did she represent what hicks and others to? >> rhianna commode been through this so many times. their talking points written by an drafted by the intelligence community. [inaudible] >> not on this issue as i understand it. for demonstrations that were violent at embassy facilities around the region of the world. great concern about the possibility does demonstrations flare up and cause even more danger to american diplomats around the world. this is the information we had at the time. sms interface made clear that sunday, once we got more information, clearly the picture but when you have been with change and that's the case.
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if you look at what she said on sunday, winning favor extremists involved and it's pretty clear we knew where their extremists involved, but we did not know at that time exactly the affiliations of motivations whether they were al qaeda or affiliates are lithium-based extremists. at the time we were being transparent about what we knew and what we didn't know. that is reflect to do what ambassador ray said and what i said and what others said at the time. >> post-9/11, a whole lot more people cared about the national security issues than was the case before. so all of a sudden was a market for former defense agencies and former national security agency's. all those guys who are used to operate in the shadows sought a
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market for services as commentators book writers. so there was this somewhat uncalled to ball interaction between the agencies and these former employees. >> at the time i thought waterboarding was something we needed to do. ..
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leaving his young family behind. >> and a a few moments senators examined efforts by the federal government and private industry to enhance cybersecurity. al capone, the gangster's main business was to supply a legal alcohol became an important cultural figure in the 1920s. they were very violent of course. gangs that o


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