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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  May 12, 2014 2:30pm-8:01pm EDT

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that means, if conferred, she would be the only native american serving as a if i had judge. and she would be the first native american woman to ever serve on the federal bench. confirming these nominees during a time of such partisanship will send a strong signal to indian country and whether it is overseeing our trust responsibilities, representing our nation to the world, or delivering justice, these nominees will help our government to function just a little bit better and more efficiently. i would ask my colleagues to join me in swiftly confirming these three outstanding nominees. with that, i yield the floor and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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ms. klobuchar: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from minnesota. ms. klobuchar: mr. president, are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: we are. ms. klobuchar: i ask the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection, the quorum call is suspended. ms. klobuchar: i rise today in support of the industrial savings and competitiveness act of 2014. i'd like to commend senator shaheen and senator portman on their leadership and tireless efforts to craft an energy efficiency bill that is good for consumers, good for our economy, and good for our environment. the shaheen-portman energy efficiency bill is supported by a coalition of environmental organizations, including the natural resources defense council, the sierra club, the
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blue-green alliance. it's supported by business trade associations like the chamber of commerce and the national association of manufacturers. by working together on a bipartisan basis, the two senators have put together a bill that is officially sponsored by seven democrats and seven republicans, and i believe the vast majority of the people in this chamber. although this bill is not a substitute for a comprehensive energy or climate legislation, it is the right thing to do to put us on a more secure energy footing and strengthen our economy. i have always argued that at a time when we have been having a hard time working on comprehensive energy legislation, something i believe we should do and would be very good for our economy, that we need to come behind efforts like this one. and i am so pleased that this has finally happened. however, i'm not certain we'll be able to get it done this week. i believe the beneficial role
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energy efficiency acts can have often gets overlooked in today's debate. the shaheen-portman bill creates new incentives to install energy-efficient technologies in homes, businesses and manufacturing facilities that can quickly pay for themselves. the savings for consumers alone are astounding. according to a new study, shaheen-portman is estimated to save consumers $16 billion a year by 2030. making these improvements will not only save consumers and businesses money, it will also create more than 190,000 jobs. america has always been a country that benefits from the development of innovative technologies, but this bill recognizes that we don't need to reinvent the wheel or rely on a new space race to move our economy forward. in bill will lead to the installation of energy-efficient technologies that are commercially available today and can quickly pay for themselves through energy savings. the bill doesn't just work with
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individuals in the private sector on a voluntary basis to encourage energy efficiency. the bill also helps the government become more efficient. some people might question why the government should try to make energy-efficiency improvements when there are so many demands for federal resources. i believe we can't afford to needlessly waste energy and taxpayer resources on older heaters, inefficient lighting and drafty buildings. making commonsense improvements to our federal buildings will pay dividends for years to come. mr. president, the shaheen-portman bill includes a number of commonsense provisions that will help keep energy affordable. i would like to briefly focus on one example that may not sound important from first blush but has a big impact on the minnesota rural electric association and the consumers they serve in my state. the rural electric co-op strongly support a provision in the shaheen-portman bill that my friend and colleague from north dakota, senator hoeven,
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introduced, and i'm helping to lead. and that's to change a department of energy rule to ensure that large capacity hot water heaters that are part of a demand response program can continue to be manufactured. the rural electric co-ops in my state installed thousands of large-capacity hot water heaters in people's basements. our co-ops found a way to provide an important service in a way that incentivizes wind-energy development and saves consumers money. these hot water heaters are only turned on at night when the wind blows the strongest and the demand for energy is the lowest. then in the morning when people wake up and turn on their lights, the heaters are already off. the wind energy is stored in the form of hot water that can be used throughout the day. this provision in the shaheen-portman bill will provide regulatory certainty that these heaters will continue to be available. another provision that i worked
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on with senator hoeven was to find new opportunities to engage the nonprofit community in making energy-efficiency improvements. we have an amendment that would help nonprofits, including hospitals, schools, faith-based organizations and youth centers make energy efficiency improvements which will help them save money and ultimately serve more people. our amendment, which is fully offset, has the support of senators blunt, pryor, stabenow and mikulski. the amendment would provide $10 million each year for the next five years to create a pilot grant program so that nonprofits can save through energy efficiency. we work with stakeholders to ensure that grants will achieve significant amounts of energy savings and are done in a cost-effective manner. the grants would require a 50% match so that there is a complete buy-in from the nonprofits and grants would be capped at $200,000. our amendment has the support of the national council of
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churches, the ymca of the u.s.a. and the union of orthodox jewish organizations to name a few. this bill is one of a number of good ideas, many bipartisan, that we believe will be included in the bill once finally voted on. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment, the nonprofit energy efficiency act, and also support the underlying bill. the bill, as we've discussed, would save consumers and taxpayers money through reduced energy consumption, help create jobs and make our country more energy dependent. mr. president, another issue that can drive up the price of energy for consumers is metal theft. this is the final thing i want to talk about because i have attempted to get this bill on several other bills. i was taoeubl -- able to pass it through the judiciary committee. it is a bill cosponsored by senator graham.
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senator graham and i are leading the bill. senator hoeven and senator schumer are also cosponsors of this bill as well as senator coons. we've been working very hard on this for years. it has some broad support, metal theft, because it struck so many electric companies. it has struck so many consumers. it has blown up houses when people just take a simple copper piping out of a basement and then someone turns on the gas and literally people have lost lives. veterans groups, because of the -- we had one incident in minnesota, and we've seen others across the country -- this is unbelievable, but the stars on the graves that were placed there for veterans during veterans holidays have been stolen. and the beer industry is strongly behind this bill. why? because kegs are being stolen all over the country. that is just some things i'm telling you by memory, but this is a major problem. ask any power company or construction crew across the
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country or even operators of ice skating rinks in minnesota, where one theft of a couple thousand dollars literally cost the city of saint paul millions of dollars because once they take a pipe out, they have to rebuild the entire situation, the entire system. if you talk to any of these people, you would quickly learn about the growing problem of metal theft. my bipartisan bill, the metal theft prevention act, has been filed as an amendment to the energy efficiency bill to bring attention to this important issue. the amendment is the much-needed federal response to the increasingly pervasive and damaging crime of metal theft. metal theft has jumped more than 80% in recent years, hurting businesses and threatening public safety. it's a major threat, especially to power companies. in a recent study, the department of energy found that the total value of damages to industries affected by theft of copper wire alone is approximately $1 billion every
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single year. i have visited small electric companies in the rural areas that have been stolen from not once, not twice, but three times. i have visited companies that have had their electric trucks stolen so the people, the thieves go out in the trucks and then they steal the wire in those trucks because people let them in because they have the electric company's truck. they have targeted construction sites, retail stores and vacant houses. they have caused explosions into vacant buildings by stealing metal from gas lines and they have caused blackouts by stealing copper wiring from streetlights at electrical substations. last october, four people were injured in an explosion at a university of california-berkeley electrical station. officials blamed it on copper theft that occurred two hours before the explosion. as electrical workers tried to fix it, the explosion occurred. as i mentioned, they are taking brass stars from our veterans' graves. this happened on memorial day of
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2012. in another case that shows the dangerous metal theft, georgia power was having a huge problem with thieves targeting a substation that feeds the entire atlanta hartsfield international airport, one of the busiest airports in the world. the airport was getting hit two to three times a week and surveillance didn't lead to any arrests. this rise in incidences of metal theft across the country, the growing cost to businesses and the danger it imposes underscores the critical need for federal action. what does our bill do? well, it helps combat this by requiring modest recordkeeping by recyclers of scrap metal. modest recordkeeping, just keeping track of who is selling the metal. it requires limiting the value of cash transactions. this simply means they can take it in for 100 bucks but after that they have to require a check. we have many states that are doing this but not enough, and so what we're finding is that people are stealing metal in
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minnesota where we have the $100 cash requirement and then they're selling it in another state that doesn't so they can't be tracked. the amendment also makes it a federal crime to steal metal from critical infrastructure and directs the u.s. sentencing commission to review relevant penalties. the metal theft prevention act as i mentioned has been endorsed by the national rural electrical co-ops, the american public power association, american supply, edison electric institute, national electric contractors association, national association of home builders, national retail federation, u.s. telecom association and about a dozen other businesses and organizations. it has the support of the major city police chiefs, the major county sheriffs, the national sheriffs, the fraternal order of police and the national association of police organizations. i would ask my friends that represent the scrap metal dealers to look at this coalition and to ask yourself is this really worth it, over $100
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requirement for writing a check? is it really worth it to oppose this when buildings are blowing up and critical infrastructure is being broken into and one of the bus -- busiest airports in the country is having problems? is it really worth it to oppose a bill that has strong bipartisan support? i don't think it is. i think that the interests of the consumers of this country, the interests of businesses in this country and the interests of law enforcement should trump, that that's what should matter in this chamber. i hope my colleagues will look at this again and look at really the bare minimums that this legislation sets. it does not create that much of a burden when all these companies that buy the scrap metal, much of which is stolen, a number of these things are stolen, a lot of these people are good. they know this doesn't matter. they are already doing it in some of the states. all they are doing is keeping records and requiring checks when it's over 100 bucks. that's all we're talking about here. so if you balance a billion dollars in theft a year against
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a simple requirement of recordkeeping, i think it's pretty clear and i hope that my colleagues look at it this way and i know their chiefs and sheriffs will tell them that. this must be a priority. we need to do everything we can to protect our critical energy infrastructure from unscrupulous metal thieves. i hope my colleagues support this bill when it comes up for a vote. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. murphy: thank you, mr. president. i hope that the presiding officer had a great mother's day. i hope that senator klobuchar had a wonderful mother's day, got a phone call from her daughter in new haven, connecticut. i'm here today to tell the story of three pretty heroic mothers who are representative of far too many with similar stories across the country. i want to tell you very quickly this afternoon about wiycox
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sally, mary jelatty. all three of them are no longer with us, they are among the 31,672 victims of gun violence a year, 2,639 deaths a month, 86 people a day are killed by guns all across this country. i want to try to lend the voices to a few of these victims tonight, mothers, who were killed by their intimate partners, by their spouses in an act of domestic violence that frankly could have been prevented if not for the law of this land. first, the story of gwen cox salary. -- sally. gwen was killed two days after she finally took out a restraining order against her husband. she had a long history of abuse with her husband michael scott sally. most recently, he had come to her house the day before she
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took out this restraining order, had threatened to kill her and their 7-year-old daughter. he tried to get access to his gun that was on the property but she was able to hide it and then very quietly text to a couple of her friends that she was in trouble. the police came. before violence erupted, they were able to arrest him. she took out a restraining order, but the next day he came back with the gun, went to the local daycare parking lot where gwen was picking up her 7-year-old daughter, took control of the car, sped off to apparently kill them both but luckily gwen was able to push her 7-year-old daughter out of the car so that her daughter could be rescued and taken in by the daycare center's employees, but an hour or so later, gwen sally was dead. she can -- did everything she
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was supposed to do. she finally left this man who had been so abusive over the years after he threatened to kill them both. the cops were called and she took out a restraining order, but because the law of louisiana at the time didn't allow for police to come and take his gun -- in fact, the law allowed him as the federal law allows to now to even go out and purchase a gun at that time, a day later, gwen cox sally was dead. the gun industry wants to make us believe that our greatest fear comes from gun-wielding strangers who are going to break into our house at night and murder us, but the fact is that for women across this country, they are three times more likely to be killed by a gun by their husband or their intimate partner than they are to be killed by anybody else with any other kind of weapon. three times more likely to be killed by your intimate partner with a gun than to be killed by
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anybody else with any other kind of a weapon. that's the reality. and for women that live in homes with a firearm, they are 500% more likely to be the victim of homicide through domestic violence than in houses without firearms. the statistics don't look too good for women across this country, in part because our laws are so weak, even in a state like connecticut. this is the story of laurie gellatly who was killed just a few days ago in oxford, connecticut. she had taken out a restraining order against her husband scott. they had twins but things had gone wrong. she wrote in the application about one incident, scott had yelled in my face, he got very angry. he told me i wasn't going anywhere, grabbed my right thumb, grabbed my wrist while the two children were in my arms. he acts very violently against
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myself. she took out that restraining order. almost again within moments he was at the house. she called 911, but when police got there, they found laurie and her mother mary jackson with gunshot wounds. laurie was later pronounced dead at waterbury hospital. again, a restraining order taken out, but with no ability to take the guns away from her husband or to stop him from buying a gun, she was found dead. the reality is that we can do something about it. in fact, some of these states that i'm talking about are doing something about it themselves. louisiana, which has a reputation as a state with a pretty strong history of gun ownership, has done something about it. the state legislature has passed a law allowing for a process by which someone that's convicted of domestic violence crime could have their guns taken away. wisconsin just did the same, a state similarly with pretty robust histories of gun ownership. it just makes sense that if you have been convicted of a domestic violence crime, if you have a restraining order taken
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out against you because you just got violent with your spouse, that's the exact time at which society needs to step in, law enforcement needs to step in and separate those guns from that individual. the stats back that up. in states, for instance, that have basic background check protections, women are 38% less likely to be killed by the guns. these laws matter when it comes to keeping women alife at the hands of abusive spouses. mariano shields died just a couple of weeks ago in spartanburg, south carolina. not only had she taken out a restraining order against her husband, robert shields, but she had gone the extra step to bring her and her kids, her daughter to a domestic violence shelter. she was staying in a shelter. but her husband tracked her down at the shelter, and just after
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she had dropped off her child at a bus stop, she was killed. the staff at the safe home, as you can imagine, were paralyzed by this crime. the director said my staff and i are totary devastated. it's -- totally devastated. it's your worst nightmare when you work with a shelter. i don't think there is anything that we could have done to protect her. that's right. there wasn't anything more that that domestic violence shelter could have done to protect maryann shields. but there is something that we can do. we have all sorts of disagreements here about the future of gun laws in this country, and i understand in the foreseeable future, mr. president, that we're not likely going to get a bill that expands the sales that are subject to background checks, even though 80% of the american public thinks that we should require you to show that you're not a criminal before you buy a gun. i wish we could get these assault weapons off the street
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that did the kind of damage that we saw in newtown, connecticut, but in the absence of being able to get an agreement on commonsense alternatives to current law like bans on assault weapons and greater scope of back ground checks, maybe at least we can take this stef issue, which is spouses, in particular women, who have taken out restraining orders against their husbands or spouses or boyfriends, maybe we can limit the change that we can agree on to at least those situations in which women are most vulnerable. after an episode of violence, after a threat when we have taken out a court-ordered restraining order, maybe at that moment their spouse shouldn't be able to possess a gun. maybe at least during those few moments their spouse shouldn't be able to go out and buy a gun. maybe the week after mother's day, in the face of the heroism that women like gwen and laurie and maryann showed in removing themselves and their families from violent situations, maybe
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we can at least listen to the voices of these handful of victims of domestic violence crimes and do something in a very targeted, limited way that could in the end prevent hundreds of unnecessary deaths across this country. i have to believe that in a body of goodwill, we can at least agree on that. mr. president, that's why virtually every week i try to come down to the floor and share with my colleagues some of the voices of the victims of these 31,000 a year, 2,600 a month, 86 a day that are lost to gun violence all across this country. we can do better. ii yield back the floor. mr. president, i would note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call:
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quorum call: a senator: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection, the quorum call is
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suspended. mr. cardin: mr. president, i, along with most americans yesterday, celebrated mother's day with my wife, my daughter, and my grandchildren to express our appreciation for what mothers over the world have done in order to help our community. but in america, we have taken action to help women in this country, and i'm referring to the passage of the affordable care act that has helped childbearing women and child rearing throughout the child's life to the mother and to the family. let me just give you some examples because i think it's good to point out when we've made progress and to celebrate what we have done to help women in america. we have taken on the arbitrary practices of private insurance companies that discriminated against women, against pregnant women and against mothers.
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a woman now can choose her own ob-gyn doctor as her primary care dock tr, no longer having -- doctor, no longer having to wait for authorization or to have an referral in order to have an ob-gyn. you have an absolute right to choose your own primary care doctor including your own ob-gyn. under the affordable care act, every woman in america is guaranteed a well woman visit annually to be able to assess other health conclude. to get mammography screenings, pap smears, diabetes testings and other preventive screening services at no cost. that's all provided in the affordable care act. so a woman can take care of her own health care needs by preventive health care. many cases avoiding much more costly and debilitating care. and again, this is at no cost so there is no reason why a woman cannot take advantage of these services.
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hpv a d.n.a. testing every three years to deal with the women's health is now provided. screening for sexually active women available under the affordable care act. this is now guaranteed. you don't have to look at the fine print of your insurance coverage to see whether you had coverage. in most cases you didn't have coverage. you don't have to wait for authorization, that you have to show a need. these are given rights that are now available to every woman in america under the affordable care act. no longer can pregnancy be considered a preexisting condition. before the passage of the affordable care act, you wanted to get an insurance policy, well, they excluded childbirth for perhaps nine months or later. it was considered a preexisting condition. we now have a seamless system so women can get the type of care that they need. why does that become so important? so they can get the necessary
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prenatal care in order to keep their -- their baby healthy, to get the type of tests that are necessary. pregnant women can get gestational diabetes screening to so whether they're at high risk of the if they're at high risk, they can get the type of treatment that they need in order to make sure that their baby is born as healthy as possible. prenatal care is available and it is covered, and we now have through the affordable care act a provision that we added that provides support for the qualified health centers. i have visited qualified health centers in maryland that are now providing prenatal care that wasn't there before. it's not only that we're providing coverage, we're providing access to care. so that we can reduce low birthweight babies in our community. look at the numbers. look at the numbers of infant survival. look at the numbers of low birthweight babies. we are improving those numbers daily because of the affordable
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care act. to be able to prevent and discover complications during pregnancy, including preterm outcomes. all that has been available. we can -- you have access to folic acid, which is availability to make sure that you have a healthier fetus and birth. all of that is now available under the affordable care act. we help newborns and their mothers. breastfeeding has been proven to be a very strong part of a healthy infancy for a baby. well, there's certain needs that a mother has, including having time in order to breastfeed, and the cost of breastfeeding, including breast pumps. that's now covered under the affordable care act. you know, we've -- we understand that we can keep people healthier. and this is why we call it a wellness program. no longer is insurance just to take care of your illness or your injury, it's to keep you
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healthy. and for women particularly, we didn't do a good job for many years. we now are making up for it in the affordable care act, making a huge difference. and we're giving peace of mind to women all over this country about having adequate third-party coverage so they can afford to take care of their own health and the health of their families. adult children can remain on your insurance policy to age 26. i know we've all received so many letters from our constituents saying, thank goodness we had that provision. you know, my 24-year-old never thought she would get ill. now she has this insurance coverage so we can take care of her, keep her healthy. and when she needs health care, it's available thanks to the affordable care act. millions of americans today have quality, affordable health insurance as a result of the affordable care act that didn't have it before. peace of mind. having an insurance card. i got a letter from one of my
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constituents saying what it felt like to have an insurance card in their hand, knowing what that meant as a ticket to take care of her health and the health of her family. no longer can you discriminate -- can an insurance company discriminate in rating against women. huge deal how the discriminatory rates were aimed against women. well, we've eliminated that under the affordable care act. we've eliminated preexisting condition restrictions. i already talked about pregnant pregnancy. but it was amazing how women particularly were discriminated against because of preexisting conditions, where they couldn't get full coverage to take care of all their needs. that's over, including with their children. how many families told us that they had a child with asthma and they couldn't get full coverage. now you get full coverage thanks to the affordable care act. peace of mind, adequate coverage to take care of their needs. we have ended the caps on health insurance. no longer do you have to worry
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about, well, should i do this or not, will i hit my annual limit or my lifetime limit. they're gone. if you need the insurance, it's there to protect you. that's what it should be. that you can protect you and your family. so we've made a huge difference. one of the provisions i'm particularly proud is the prudent layperson for emergency care. i can't tell you how many times we had circumstances where people needed to go to the emergency room because they had true -- thought they had a true emergency -- chest pains, sweating, to go to the emergency room. the good news was they didn't have a heart attack. the bad news was they get a bill from their insurance company telling them because they didn't have a heart attack, they've got to pay that bill. that's over. we've now legislated the prudent layperson program, so it f it was right for you to go and seek urgent care, that bill is covered. and i could list so many other ways that we've helped all people in our country but particularly our women, what we've done so that it's easier for them -- it's tough enough to
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give birth to a baby and raise a child. we've made it easier and taken away some of the burdens with regard to our health care system. this past sunday when we celebrated mother's day, we also could point to a very tangible accomplishment that this congress has been able to deliver for all the mothers in our -- in our country. and i was proud to be part of making that happen a reality in our country. with that, mr. president, i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. nelson: madam president, shortly we're going to have soats on a number of judges and i want to call to the attention of the senate federal district judge robin rosenbaum. she has been nominated by the president to the u.s. court of appeals for the 11th judicial circuit. we come, the two senators from florida, senator rubio and i, we have a proud tradition in florida of bipartisan support for our judicial nominees.
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and judge rosenbaum's selection is just another example in that some 20-year experience in florida selecting our judges through a judicial nominating commission. in fact, this is the second time that florida's two senators come together to support robin rosenbaum's nomination, this time for the circuit court, since we a couple of years ago had recommended her to the president, the president chose her, and she has been a federal district judge in the southern district of florida for the last couple of years. the vacancy that's created is by
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judge rosemary barquette who recently retired from the 11th circuit. judge barquette was also a very distinguished judge from the state of florida. and we are concerned about the alarming vacancy rate in our judiciary. the 11th circuit, it's one of the busiest in the country, it has multiple vacancies. and judge rosenbaum is clearly not controversial, the two senators are supporting her, she has received the a.b.a.'s highest rating, unanimously, well qualified, and she has been approved, obviously, by the senate judiciary committee. and she's going to make a fine
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addition to the 11th circuit. and at 5:30 this afternoon she's the first judge up for confirmation. i urge my colleagues to confirm her. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor and i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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mr. blumenthal: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. blumenthal: madam president, i ask that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. blumenthal: thank you, madam president. like many of my colleagues, i have attended and spoken at a number of college and law school graduations and commencements. i had the grave privilege of speaking to the graduates of
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post university on saturday and at the quinnipiac law school just yesterday, both wonderfully exciting and rewarding days full of celebration and pride, well justified joy and pride in the great accomplishments of these graduates. and more than their past accomplishments, their contributions of the future. these young people are our future. and i spoke to them about the challenges and responsibilities that come with the great privilege of having education from great colleges and universities, undergraduate and law school, the opportunities for public service, to be a champion of rights and responsibilities, to advocate for people who need their voices and their advocacy, and the responsibilities and opportunities for public service. each of them has a great
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opportunity to give back to our country and to use that education to better all of us as well as themselves. and yet, they are leaving college and law school burdened with debt that would have been unthinkable and even unimaginable a decade or so ago. the average in connecticut is $27,000 of debt per graduate from undergraduate education today. and what i have done over the last two days, over the last two weeks, over the past month is really to listen to our students at every level: high school as recently as friday at a high school in bridgeport, college throughout the state of connecticut crisscrossing our state to talk on campuses at
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round tables with students who are burdened, indeed financially crippled with debt that would have been indeed unthinkable and unimaginable when i was going through the same education. in those days working to pay for college was possible. today the tuition costs are so high, it is impossible. and listening to students across the state of connecticut, i have heard their stories. i have listened to the amounts that they owe and the levels of interest that they have to pay. each of them here by first name, whether it is buckley at $56,000 or jerry at $260,000, i could go through them one by one, story by story, voice and face, each
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with great accomplishment and great potential achievements for the future for our nation, and yet they leave college and law school burdened by these debts. and these are only a few. i have promised to come here to tell their story, and i will tell their story. not all of them, but as many as i can. not all today, but as many as i can over the next days and weeks, because each of them simply wants a fair shot at american opportunity, at the american dream, at the america that all of us thought was possible for all of us when we went to school. a fair shot at the american dream and opportunity in the workplace, at home, in our society. i venture to guess that every
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senator in this body would agree that higher education offers a path to success for hardworking students. there's nothing controversial about that notion. an opportunity to move more americans into the middle class is what education does for our nation. it secures middle class and enlarges and enhances it. so investing in higher education really offers a fair shot to everyone seeking to make something of himself or herself, to earn a higher standard of living. and the professional innovators, business creators and thinkers that the system will give us from all kinds of background, all across the country, and certainly in connecticut. so what we need is to maintain educational success so we can
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sustain our success in global economy and confront the challenges ahead. attending college or graduate school or technical school is a great opportunity, but also a great responsibility, and students understand that they are taking on a significant obligation with the understanding that they will pay it back. none of them goes into these debts lightly, thinking that they can just avoid it. and they are well aware that these debts by and large are nondischargable in bankruptcy, unlike most other debts. they're told and they rightly expect that these additional qualifications will enable them to find a good job and go on to a successful life and have a fair shot at the american dream. and they're willing to work for
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that success and they're willing to pay back these debts. but too often they are not given or afforded the opportunity realistically to earn at a level that enables them to reach these goals which leaves them with a financially crippling debt that serves no one. working people who bear a heavy debt burden have to make tough choices about getting married, buying homes and having children. entrepreneurs are blocked from starting new businesses. the risk takers and job creators of america have to go to other lines of work where their contribution is derivative, dependent on others rather than inventing and innovating and starting new businesses. the risk taking that is the foundation and core of the
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entrepreneurial spirit in america is inhibited, indeed impeded and sometimes crippled by these debts. these consequences are so widely understood, madam president, that i hesitate even to take the body's time to recount them now, and yet united states student debt totals $1.2 trillion, much higher than it's ever been before. i've listened in round tables to its personal impact on our 0 citizens and their children, and i'm here to tell their stories about brittany, for example, who is the first in her family to attend college, took out loans to attend school. she's over $100,000 in debt, and her school does not offer much in the financial -- in financial aid. elise, the mother of three, went
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back to school when her children were young because she says -- and i'm quoting -- "she wanted to make sure they had an example to follow when they finished high school" and she wanted them to -- quote -- "push forward and excel in their lives." and she wrote to me -- quote -- "i knew that when i finished, i would have to pay back those debts. what i didn't anticipate was that i would still be paying those debts when my children started going to college." end quote. she's now $46,000 in debt and her loans carry a 7% interest rate. now, our economy is still recovering from the greatest recession probably in most of our lifetimes. we need people like brittany and elise to participate, young women to invest in the future. we need to invest in them. they need to feel secure in their ability to support their children. but the mountains of debt
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confronting students and graduates today are overwhelming. so i'm proud to be here with my colleagues to support their fair shot, all of our fair shot in the future, because we live through our children. they are our future. it's a platitude we repeat so often, but it is true. and these interest rates are, first of all, unconscionably and unfairly high. many of them are variable, so they can continue in their unprecedented rise when interest rates begin going up again, and the money that comes from increased payments is nothing but profit for the federal government. the federal government is scheduled to make more than $50 billion in profit on the loans that it makes this year. we should see higher education as an investment, not as a revenue opportunity. these students are our future,
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not a profit center. and we ought to set repayment based on what is in students and graduates' best interest. it's our best interest as well. so i'm proud to join my colleague, senator elizabeth warren, in introducing legislation that would allow borrowers to refinancing, to refinance their student loan. i'm proud to join my colleagues in an effort to enable refinancing of student loans and more affordable rates just as they do car payments and house payments. we can't forget about current graduates with existing debt. as much as we want to make available more aid through pell grants, lower interest rates on loans being made now, opportunities to seek paying down those loans based on public service, more disclosure and more accurate disclosure through
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the kinds of measures that senator franken has introduced, and i joined him. but right now we can take this profoundly significant step by supporting a measure that enables refinance of student loans so that everyone has the benefit of the best, lowest, most affordable interest rate. i believe that graduates who pursue public service ought to have the opportunity to pay down those debts in ways that are expanded, made more flexible and more accessible to more of these graduates. they're necessary to everyone's health and safety whether they're teaching or policing or fire fighting or advocating for people who need legal assistance or caring for people as doctors in areas where they're needed. those public service
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opportunities, as i told the graduates at post university and at the quinnipiac law school, ought to be expanded and enhanced for them and all our students around the country today as well as those who have graduated in recent years. let's make sure that in the meantime, people who have this grinding financially crippling debt that overhangs them and inhibits economic growth is made more affordable. let's give them a fair shot at economic opportunity. let's give all of the students who are aspiring now in high school the opportunity to have a fair shot. i'm going to briefly hold here some of what has been said to me
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. there's no end in sight. i feel like i will never escape this. i don't own a home. i can't. i just work to pay my loan. these messages -- and i'm going to bring them again to the floor -- are from the heart of connecticut. the presiding officer could do the same for hawaii. every member of this body could come to the floor with these same messages from the students and graduates of america, the innovators and creators, the home builders and family men and women who simply want a fair shot for themselves and their children. if there is anything that can be done for struggling families with student loan debt, please help. let's help. let's give them a fair shot. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a
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quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. cruz: madam president, i ask unanimous consent to dispense with the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cruz: madam president, eight months ago yesterday i requested unanimous consent to senate resolution 225, calling for a joint select committee of congress to investigate the terrorist attack at our facilities in benghazi, libya, on september 11, 2012. that resulted in the murder of four brave americans. foreign service officer shawn smith, former navy seal, glenn dougherty and tyrone woods, and ambassador christopher stevens, who was our first ambassador murdered while serving sing adolf dubbs in 1979. at the time, my colleague, the junior senator from california, objected on the grounds that the administration was trying --
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quote -- "to address benghazi" and that president obama would -- quote -- "not rest until the perpetrators were caught." madam president, here we are eight months later. the perpetrators still have not been caught and the confusion about what incurred on september 11, 2012, in benghazi has only gotten worse. in recent weeks, what happened on that terrible night has gotten more and more obscured. on april 2 of this year, mike morrell, the deputy director of the c.i.a. during the benghazi attacks, testified regarding the c.i.a. talking points that he -- quote -- "took out the word 'islamic' in front of 'extremist' because he thought there were other kind of extremists in libya and that he did not use the word 'terrorist'
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because -- quote -- "we see extremists and terrorists as the same thing." on april 29 of this year, in response to a foia request by judicial watch, the white house released e-mails related to benghazi, including a september 14, 2012, e-mail from deputy security advicer ben rhodes, had as its stated goal to -- quote -- "underscore that these protests were rooted in an internet video and not a broader failure of policy." i would note that is a stated political goal from the white house in writing days after the attack. not to get to the truth but to further that political goal. and then on may 1, 2014, general robert lovell, deputy director of intelligence of africom
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became the first to say that a rescue attempt was not possible, arguing -- quote -- "the discussion is not in the could or could not in relation to time, space and capability. the point is, we should have tried." madam president, it's hard to disagree with the good general that we should have tried to save those four americans who were murdered that tragic night. we are left once again with persistent questions on benghazi to which we still don't know the answers. here are 10. one, why was the state department unwilling to provide the requested level of security to benghazi in the summer of 2012? two, do president obama's daily intelligence briefings in the run-up to september 11, 2012,
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support the assertion that there was no credible threat of a coordinated terrorist attack on benghazi during the time? and do the daily intelligence briefings following that date support the claim the administration made that the cause was an internet video? and why hasn't the white house declassified and released those briefings, just like president george w. bush did with his pre-september 11, 2001, briefings? three, why did we not anticipate the need to have military assets at the ready in the region on the anniversary of september 11, of all days? four, did president obama sleep the night of september 11, 2012? did secretary clinton? neither has answered that very
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simple question -- were they awake or asleep while americans were under fire? when was president obama told about the murder of our ambassador? five, if the secretary of defense thought there was -- quote -- "no question that this was a coordinated terrorist attack," why did ambassador susan rice, secretary clinton and president obama all tell the american people that the cause was a spontaneous demonstration about an internet video? none has squarely answered that question. six, why did former deputy c.i.a. director mike morrell edit the intelligence community talking points to delete the references to islamic extremists and al qaeda? seven, why did the f.b.i. not release pictures of the militants taken the day of the attack until eight months after
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the fact? why not immediately, as proved so effective in the boston bombing? eight, why was secretary clinton not interviewed for the a.r.b. report? and if all the relevant questions were answered in the a.r.b. report, as our friends on the other side of the aisle often like to say, why did the state department's own inspector general office open a probe into the methods of that very report? nine, why have none of the terrorists who attacked in benghazi been captured or killed? and, 10, what additional evidence that the white house engaged in a partisan political campaign to blame the benghazi attack on the internet video is contained in the additional e-mails requested by judicial watch but withheld by the white
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house on the grounds that it would put a -- quote -- "chill on internal deliberations." madam president, i would suggest to my colleagues that what is truly chilling is that in the 20 months after the benghazi attack, we have four dead americans and no dead terroris terrorists. it is chilling to think that our president may have had better things to do than personally attend to an ongoing terrorist attack on our people. it is chilling to imagine that we could have mounted a rescue attempt of our own people but that we didn't even bother to try. it is chilling to think that our secretary of state would not insist on giving an interview for the a.r.b. report. it is chilling to think that we
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have an administration that is reluctant to utter the words "radical islamic terrorism," let alone fight effectively against it. and it is chilling to have former administration officials respond to questions in response to benghazi with -- quote -- "dude, that was, like, two years ago." madam president, the clock is ticking. memories are fading. it is beyond time to get the full resources of both houses of congress behind this investigation. the president should release his daily intelligence briefings in the time surrounding the benghazi attack, just as president george w. bush did concerning 9/11. and this body should join with the house of representatives with a joint select committee to get to the bottom of what happened, why we didn't protect americans, why we didn't stop this attack, and why we haven't
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captured the terrorists who killed four americans, including our ambassador. accordingly, madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the rules and administration committee be discharged from further consideration and the senate now proceed to s. res. 225. i further ask consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table. the presiding officer: is is there objection? a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: reserving the right to object. this request is in my view without merit. it's an effort to follow the footsteps of the unfortunate, politically motivated creation of just such a special committee by the house of representatives just in time for midterm elections. now, the supposed reason why
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once again we hear colleagues saying that we need to have another review, another hearing, another investigation is the white house email. this is the smoking gun. when you read the email, in fact, it is nothing more than a day-to-day work product and part of the job of the president's staff when they are talking about not benghazi, not benghazi, but what is happening across the entire region, and clearly across many parts of the arab world, what happened as a result of that video was a visceral response and it is in that context that this email is being discussed. but our friends, who will never be satisfied because it doesn't solve their political concerns at the end of the day seek to
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use this as their latest flame for their -- quote, unquote -- "investigation. their previous untrick pony, repealing the affordable care act has finally been put out to pasture. republicans desperately need another political trick and apparently when there is nothing else of substance to fire up their base, their plan is to yell benghazi as often and as loudly as possible. this request is from my perspective purely a political witch-hunt without merit. there have been 11 congressional hearings on the attack. the executive branch has released 25,000 pages of documents and emails related to the incident. there has been an independent accountable review board report. there have been multiple congressional reports on the attack. the senate intelligence
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committee issued a bipartisan report last january on the attack, the house armed services committee issued a report on the military response to the attack. the senate foreign related agencies committee which i chair has held multiple briefings to review the events that happened in benghazi. we heard from secretary clinton. we heard from secretary kerry. we have heard from deputy secretary burns. we have met with survivors of the benghazi attack. we have had multiple briefings with diplomatic security, breefghts from the intelligence comiew and the department of defense. now, whatever questions remain are meant from my expectative, only to score political points. i feel confident that the congress and the american people have received the necessary information about the attack. but, you know, congress is not without responsibility here. we also have an obligation to do our part to comply with the
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administrative review board's recommendations. benghazi again highlighted the need to maintain focus and to revise policies to better protect the nearly 70,000 men and women serving across the world in more than 275 posts. the congress last took a serious look at this issue following another set of strategies in nairobi and dar es salaam that resulted in 224 deaths including 11 american citizens. we may not able to prevent every single terrorist attack in the future but we can and we must ensure our embassies and employees are capable of withstanding such an attack. that is why the senate he foreign policy relations committee passed the chris stevens-shiewn estimate tyrone woods embassy threat mitigation and personnel protect act of 2013. if the senate wants to take
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effective action to safeguard our brave men and women serving in u.s. ambassadors and consulates abroad, if we want to actually be serious about discharging our duties and to make sure that these attacks are less likely to occur in the future rather than grandstanding for cheap little advantage, then the senate should take up s. 1386 and immediately pass it, a bipartisan bill that senator corker and i offered together with support from both sides of the aisle in our committee authorizing funding for the key items identified by the accountability review board on benghazi, including embassy security and construction, language training and improved and integrated foreign service security training for state department personnel. it provides contract authority to the state department to allow it to award contracts on a best value basis rather than to the lowest bidder where conditions require enhanced levels of security. it goes on and on about our high
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post meeting, all the elements of what the review board stayed was critical to make sure we don't lose lives again. by rather we legislate which our constituents sent us here to do and pass bills that strengthen our national security posture and address the real challenges and relessons to be learned from the tragic events of benghazi and this bipartisan embassy security bill does just that. for that purpose i would ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 257, s. 1386, a bill to provide for enhanced embassy security and further that the committee reported amendments be agreed to, the bill as amended be read a third time and passed, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection to the request made by the senator from new jersey?
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the senator from texas. mr. cruz: reserving the right to object, by note that my friend from new jersey suggested that this is a request on the eve of a midterm election. the only reason for that of course is that eight months ago when he made the exact same question request the democrats objected and blocked a joint sleect committee into benghazi at that time. the senior senator from new jersey also suggested this was somehow to distract from obamacare. i promise you there is no one in this chamber less interested in distracting from obamacare than i. and indeed by encourage the senior senator from new jersey if he believes what he said to campaign for his democratic colleagues up for election this year with the simple message he said on the floor of the senate which is senator so and so was the critical 60th vote to passing obamacare and if you like it, you should keep your senator. i feel confident with the democratic senators running this year are running as rapidly away
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from the point suggested by the senior senator from new jersey as possible. but secondly, by note in his entire speech the senior senator from new jersey said there's no need for any further inquiry was bee had lots of hearings and there's no need to know anything. but let me point out, madam president, the senior senator from new jersey did not answer even a single question that i asked. i asked 10 questions that have not been answered. he is the chairman of the foreign relations committee and yet he either could not or did not answer a single question, two simple ones, which are yes-no questions, number one, did proit sleep on the night of september, 2012, the senior senator from chose not to answer, i suspect yun nun of us know because the white house never answered that question. number two, do the president's daily intelligence briefings
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reflect the political spin from the white house on benghazi? likewise chairman of the foreign relations committee did not answer that question. again, i suspect it is because he does not know because the white house has not released that information. there are far too many questions remaining. but the senior senator from new jersey, my learned colleague, proposed a counterunanimous consent request. to improve embassy security. and, madam president, i would ask unanimous consent to engage in a very brief colloquy with my colleague and to ask him specifically one question about his unanimous consent request. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. cruz: if question i would ask my colleague from new jersey, is if i were to consent to the unanimous consent that you have proffered and if this side of the aisle were to request, would you likewise request -- would you likewise
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consent to the unanimous consent that i put forward for a joint select committee composed of republicans and democrats in the senate to get to the bottom of what happened in benghazi? mr. menendez: i would say to my colleague from texas that the consent for embassy security, which passed in the committee in a bipartisan effort, is much different than a partisan effort to have an investigation that ultimately also led by a partisan effort in the house of representatives. and so one is guaranteed to have the support of both sides of the aisle in order to ensure that we protect our men and women in the foreign service in the days ahead. the other one is guaranteed to pursue a political line and a political attack instead of making sure that we ultimately save lives in the future, not because i said it but because the independent review board
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made these recommendations that we incorporated into law. of course, the same are not equivalent. mr. cruz: why is it, i am curious that the senior senator from new jersey believes an inquiry to ascertain the truth about what happened is necessarily a partisan endeavor? is there no partisan interest on that side of the aisle do into finding out what happened, how it could have been prevent and why we didn't save those four americans? mr. menendez: i'm happy to answer my questioning colleague on that. he suggested his 10 questions because he makes the 10 questions, they're suddenly worthy of being answered, worthy of, in fact, not being viewed through the prism of any politics. by just simply say if there is political spin, several of your questions were pretty shocking to me in terms of the political nature of it. there is, as i said to the
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body, we have had a whole host of efforts to review the facts and come to a determination of the truth of what happened in that day. they have been in public hearings and they have been in secured intelligence briefings. members on both sides have been exposed to it. members on both side got to ask questions across the spectrum. so from my perspective, we have gone to the search of what happened on that fateful day, and we all abhor what happened to the men who lost their lives on that day. and that's why what i want to do is ensure that we lose no more lives as a result of this congress' irresponsibility to act on embassy security knowing what in fact a panel of experts, undisputed in their
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capacity, are have said are necessary to protect our men and women around the globe and yet we cannot seem to get that ladies and gentlemen passed through the senate. that is about congressional responsibility from my perspective. mr. cruz: i would note that my friend from new jersey did not endeavor to answer any of the questions i proffered including the most simple question, such as did the president sleep on the night of swept, -- september 11, 2012. mr. menendez: i think whether the president slement or not on that day, i think the question is, did he even get told by those who had information such an attack was going on, i don't know. the bottom line is, is that would that have saved anybody. i don't know either. the bottom line is do you want to do nothing something about faifg saving future lives or just do politics with this issue? if you want to save lives
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tomorrow where you have the wroal control, where you some the control at this moment you will let the embassy security bill go forward. if god forbid we have an attack in the world where the legislation we are seeking in a bipartisan way in response to that independent board is stopped because the other side wishes to stop it, then god fortbid bid that we have an attack -- and that we -- and lives are lost and there will be an accounting at that time. mr. cruz: i want to thank my friend from new jersey for a powerful speech in support of this joint select committee on benghazi. because the democratic senator from new jersey, the chairman of the foreign relations committee, just told this body that he has no idea if president obama was even told four americans were under terrorist attack, he has no idea, he doesn't know what if anything the president could have done to save them. by suggest that's exactly the reason we need this committee if the chairman of the foreign
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relations committee two years later cannot answer that question, it makes abundantly clear that the response of the administration and sadly the response of senate democrats has been partisan stonewalling rather than trying to get to the truth. in the immortal lines of jack nicoleson it makes one think perhaps they can't handle the truth or at least one thinks they don't tpho it. so i will finally say i am more than prepared to assent to the request of the senior senator from new jersey if he will only show the same reciprocal courtesy of agreeing to the same request for a joint committee, a bipartisan committee, a committee in which he could no doubt participate to answer the questions that the senior senator from new jersey just told this body he doesn't know if the president knew, he doesn't know what the president could have done. and apparently the premise of the statements are that he doesn't think the american
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people care. i would suggest the american people care a great deal what the president knew about national, security, if he wasn't engaged, if he didn't know, if he didn't work to stop it. that is an inquiry worthy of this body. mr. menendez: i would say to n.i.h. colleague from texas that -- i would say to my colleague from texas that we have come to a conclusion based on all the hearings, all the testimony, all the reports as to what transpired and what we can do to save a life prospectively. therefore, i would say to the gentleman he has it in his control to ultimately ensure that we set the foundation so that no one else will lose their life. if he wants to hold that hostage to his political efforts to continue an issue that has had thousands of hours of review,
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hearings, reports, all with bipartisan participation, then he can choose to do so. mr. cruz: since my friend from new jersey has made plain he's not will to consent to this request, i will note this is an open offer that any time my friend from new jersey will simply stop blocking a fair, bipartisan, joint inquiry into what occurred in benghazi, the terrorist attack that took the lives of four americans, i'm happy to accept -- the presiding officer: the time for morning business has expired. is there objection to the request made by the senator from new jersey? mr. cruz: i object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. is there objection to the request made by the senator from texas? mr. menendez: i object. the presiding officer: objection is noted. morning business is closed. under the previous order, the
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senate will proceed to executive session to consider the following -- consider the following nomination, which the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, the judiciary. robin rosenbaum of florida to be united states circuit judge for the 11th circuit. the presiding officer: under the previous order, there will be two minutes to debate prior to a vote on the rosenbaum nomination. is there a sufficient second? without objection, all time is yielded back. is there a sufficient second to the yeas and nays? there appears to be. there is. the clerk will call the roll.
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, the ayes are 91, the nays are zero. the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the senate will proceed to the following milliofollowing nomine clerk will report. the clerk: department of energy, steven crowley of michigan to be general counsel.
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the presiding officer: under the previous order, there will be two minutes of debate equally divided in the usual form. mr. reid: yield back the time. the presiding officer: without objection, all time is yielded back the question occurs on the nomination. all in favor say aye. all opposed, say nay. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nomination is confirmed. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: could we have order, please. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. the majority leader. mr. reid: the republican leader and i have a short colloquy here. there will be one more roll call vote. the next roll call vote will be tomorrow. one more roll call vote tonight.
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the presiding officer: under the previous order, the motion to reconsider -- the motions to reconsider are considered made and laid upon the table. the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action and the senate will resume legislative session. the senate will be in order. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: the senate is not in order. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. the senate will be in order. the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that all filed amendments to calendar number 368, number 2262, be in order for floor consideration of this bill. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. is there objection? mr. reid: reserving the right
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to object, mr. president, we had an agreement here to do the bi bill. then weig we changed that to del with keystone. that's still our agreement. we're willing to do this bill, energy efficiency, which is such a good bill. we have an agreement to have an up-or-down vote on keystone shortly thereafter. so without going through all the details, that's what i would agree -- that's what i want to do. he doesn't want to do that. i object to his consent agreement. the presiding officer: objection is heard. the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. please take all conversations off the floor. the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, therefore, i propose a different consent agreement. i ask consent that on thursday,
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may 1, the only amendments in order be five amendments -- not last week, but currently, that the only amendments be in order be five amendments from the republican side related to energy policy with a 60-vote threshold a dochtion each. i further scw following adoptioner, the bill be read a third time and the senate proceed to vote on passage of the bill, as amended, if amended. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. reid: i object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion: we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on s. 2262, a bill to promote energy savings in residential buildings and industry and for other purposes, signed by 1 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is, is it the sense of the senate that debate on
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s. 2262, a bill to promote energy savings in residential buildings and industry and for other purposes, shall be brought to a close? the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: on this vote -- are there any senators wishing to vote or wishing to change their vote? on this vote, the yeas are 55, the nays are 36. three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted in the affirmative, the motion is not agreed to.
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mr. reid: i enter a motion to reconsider the vote by which cloture was not invoked on s. 2262. the presiding officer: the motion is entered. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: trm louisiana. ms. -- tax reform lazy ms. landrieu: it's my understanding there are several senators on the floor who would like to speak on several important subjects, i'd like to speak for five to seven minutes on the vote that just occurred and give some concluding remarks on the keystone pipeline and the failure of the senate to take the opportunity that was presented today to move forward in a bipartisan, cooperative fashion and adopt two important and significant steps towards building a more aggressive, a more dynamic, and a more comprehensive domestic energy policy for the united states of
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america. and it's a shame that all the hard work that has gone into this ended basically at a draw tonight. senator shaheen, senator portman could not have worked harder together to produce a bill that creates thousands of jobs for our country. they brought their bill, as is the order, to the senate energy committee, senator wyden serve served as chair of that committee for the last several years, i just stepped into the chairmanship of that committee in the last eight weeks but committed to both of these terrific leaders and the former chair that i would try to advance one of the bill's important -- important bills that came out of our committee. there have been 300 bills filed this congress in the energy committee. there have been 14 -- 13 that have passed, this would have been the 14th. i think it's important to -- i
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thought it was important to pair wit the keystone pipeline because while there is strong support for the efficiency bill on the democratic side and significant support on the republican side, the republican leaders wanted to build -- and many of us including myself, the keystone pipeline. in fact, senator mcconnell said on april 29, not too long ago, that keystone would produce significant economic benefits. senator thune on may 6 said we will have shovel-ready jobs associated with it. senator corner on may 7 said build this pipeline so we can safely transport oil. senator alexander said after five years of delay, there is simply no reason not to let the keystone x.l. pipeline move forward. senator enzi on april 29, how many times have we been through this. senator inhofe, no longer do we have a valid reason to stall.
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and senator toomey, it's time for congress to step up and do what the president hasn't authorized, the pipeline. we had an opportunity just a few minutes ago for these senators to do exactly that, but they chose to have an issue as opposed to having to have a pipeline. and that's very, very disappointing. the bill that came out of the committee, the efficiency bill, contrary to what has been said on this floor over and over again, that the problem was that harry reid would not allow amendments, was amended in committee several times before the bill came out. there are republican and democratic members of the committee. it came out of the committee on a vote of i think 18-3. then when the bill was brought to the floor about six months ago, approximately six or seven months ago, senator shaheen and senator portman allowed ten additional amendments, ten
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additional amendments by members of the democratic and republican side. and i want to read those amendments into the record so that nobody can report or no one can continue to say the reason we're here is because there weren't amendments that were offered. this bill was well negotiated. and for the record, there was -- the first amendment added by senator collins and senator udall on energy efficient schools. senator collins, a republican from maine, number two, better buildings amendment by senator ayotte and bennet. republican from new hampshire. there was a data center amendment, the fourth amendment that was added to the base of this bill by senator risch, republican leader. the fifth amendment was again a collins amendment, low-income
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housing retrofits, a collins-whitehouse amendment. the energy star third party testing was an amendment i offered with senator wicker, republican from be mississippi. another wisconsin-landrieu-pryor amendment, green bill adjustment so so of our products that are used to promote energy efficiency would not be disqualified, it was a very important amendment. senator shaheen agreed to that and senator portman. senator hoeven, republican, creates an exemption for thermal storage water heaters. that amendment was put in. and again a hoeven-manchin-isakson-bennet efficiency in residential buildings. and the 10th amendment was by senator sessions and pryor, requires d.o.e. to recognize independent certification programs. so this argument that the reason we can't have a vote on the
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keystone pipeline is because democrats would not allow amendments is completely bogus. completely bogus. and anyone following this debate knows that. senator shaheen and senator portman compromised, and i thought as the new chair of the committee, if the republicans wanted a vote on keystone, we could at least offer that and thought that was a big step, i mean a big step. i guess it was so big they decided they didn't want to take it. because they could have had a vote on keystone. they can't take yes for an answer. i thought that was a big step forward, a big improvement over where we were about six months ago when where we had three democrats, we now have almost 11, and the number is growing to support keystone, not because people are not
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respectful of the president's position, he's entitled to have his own position. some of us just strongsly disagree with it. the studies are in. the environmental studies are in. this is a rounding error when it comes to increased carbon emissions and it's a hugely important impact for safety to get oil transported by the safest route possible pipeline as opposed to these tankers rolling with our children and school buses on our highways, rolling through our communities on rail. we've already seen a number of horrific accidents. so here i am, new chair of the committee, i thought, well, this could be possible. we have an efficiency bill, democrats like, we have the keystone that the republicans really want to get done. why couldn't we just offer it up together? makes perfect common sense to everyone in america, cooperation, common sense. but that is in short supply here
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in the united states senate and it's very disappointing. i know it's an election year and i'm reminded that every day by my colleagues. but i thought this was bigger than the campaign, it's about jobs, it's about middle class, it's about strengthening domestic energy and it's about being balanced in our approach. i know if democrats were completely in charge they would write an energy bill one way, and if republicans were in charge they would write it a different way but this isn't fairyland, this is washington, d.c. and we have got a split congress so i thought bringing an efficiency bill that has over -- how many -- 200 organizations from the sierra club to the chamber of commerce, shaheen and portman have -- senators shaheen and portman have put together an absolutely magnificent coalition, magnificent, not really seen around here very often, to tell you the truth. and the keystone pipeline has won over its critics. there were a lot of critics in the beginning, there still are very loud critics but i think that the evidence is showing the
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importance of building this keystone pipeline. so as chair i intend to be as fair as i can be with both parties, and putting things on this floor that we could be proud of, everybody takes a little and gives a little and we move forward. but that is not enough for the republican leader. the republican leader wants an issue, he does not want the pipeline. i hope the people of kentucky will remind him how important the pipeline is. so i'm going to ask unanimous consent, i'm going to read this into the record all of this formal language but i want people to know what my consent really is. i'm going to ask unanimous consent that at some time before may 22 -- may 22 which would be would be about two weeks from day, a week and a half, this senate would have a straight-up
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vote an three hours of 2008 on the shaheen-portman bill that already has 10 a amendments of republicans included and three hours later we would have a straight-up vote on the keystone pipeline. now, that's what this unanimous consent resolution that i'm going to read into the record says. but it's a little bit confusing when you read it, so i want people to know really clearly what i'm asking, that right now unanimous consent, some time before may 22 there would be a vote straight up on keystone and on the efficiency legislation that already has ten republican amendments, bipartisan amendments led by republican members included in the bill. and i'd like to ask unanimous consent for that now. with a 60-vote threshold. and then i'm going to -- a senator: mr. president? ms. landrieu: i have to read this first. this is what this will accomplish.
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i ask unanimous consent with respect to s. 2262, the pending motion to commit and amendments be withdrawn with the exception of the substitute amendment, that at a time to be determined by the majority leader after consultation with the republican leader, the senate resume consideration of s. 2262, that the substitute amendment be agreed to, that there be no other amendments, points of order or motions in order to the bill other than the budget points of order and applicable motions to waive. that there be up to three hours of debate on the bill equally divided between the two leaders or their designees. that upon the use or yielding back of time in the senate proceed to vote on passage of the bill as amended. that the bill be subject to a 60 affirmative vote threshold. that if the bill the senate proceed to consideration of calendar number 371, which would be keystone. s. 2280, at the time to be determined by the majority leader after consultation with the republican leader but no later than may 22, that there be no amendments, points of order, et cetera, other than the budget
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points of order and applicable motion to waive, that there be up to three hours of debate on that bill equally divided between the two leaders or their designees. that upon the use or yielding back time the senate proceed to a vote on passage of that bill, the bill be subject to a 60-affirmative vote threshold. the presiding officer: is there objection? a senator: mr. president, reserving the right to object. the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. tphr-g tphr-g. mr. flake: i understand there are 75 amendments enrolled on this bill. 24 of them have been filed by democratic senators who hope to offer them to this bill. we keep hearing about amendments that are being allowed. these are amendments or amendment language that has been drafted into a managers' amendment to the bill, not to be offered on the floor. and i should note that a vote on the keystone pipeline is one of those amendments that could be offered to the bill if there was agreement to move ahead. so i ask unanimous consent that
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consent be modified that all filed amendments to calendar number 368, s. 2262, be in order for floor consideration of this bill. the presiding officer: does the senator so modify her request? ms. landrieu: i would -- mrs. boxer: i would reserve my right to oppose this modification, and i would like to explain why briefly, as my colleague explained his reason why he wanted to modify. i think what senator landrieu has offered is what everybody in this country thought we were going to do. now senator landrieu and i disagree on keystone. no one could be a stronger advocate for keystone than she is, period. i believe the tar sands should not be brought into this country the way they would be brought in, a 45% increase with this
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pipeline, eventually 300%. and we could have had a robust debate, the senator and i would have been respectful and caring about each other but we would have disagreed. we could have had the vote. maybe i'm old-fashioned, but i believe when you give your word, you keep your word. and leadership was very clear that if we were able to give the republicans and senator landrieu a vote on keystone that we could move forward with the shaheen-portman bipartisan, incredibly important energy efficiency bill. instead what we know is republicans want to offer -- and it's in my jurisdiction so i can speak about it -- environmental riders the likes of which i've never seen in one grouping. essentially repealing the essence of the clean air act that was signed into law in 1970 by richard nixon and the 1990 amendments which were signed into law by george herbert
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walker bush. they want to put those on this bill. you've got to be kidding. something as serious as that. so i object to the modification. ms. landrieu: -- unable to modify my request, and i hope we can move forward at some time with a vote on the energy efficiency bill and the keystone pipeline. the presiding officer: there is objection to the modification. is there objection to the original request? a senator: i object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mrs. boxer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: before senator shaheen and other senators speak, i want to say how disappointed i am because energy efficiency is so good for this country, and they have stopped it because they want to repeal the clean air act. let's call it what it is. it's really a sad state of
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affairs. i was so looking forward not only to the debate on energy efficiency, but frankly, the debate on the keystone pipeline which my republican friends say is a major priority. if they felt it was a major priority, why have they filibustered this bill when we could have made that deal that they came up with in the first place? so i'm very disappointed. i hope we'll have another chance to pass this bipartisan energy efficiency bill that senator shaheen and senator portman worked so hard on. and i would now yield the floor. mr. mr. flake: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. flake: the notion that republicans are trying to repeal the clean air act, if somebody offered an amendment to that, it would simply be defeated on this floor. let the amendments be offered. that's what the senate is all about. this is a place of unlimited debate and usually unlimited
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amendments. but we're told now that we only can agree to amendments that the majority leader agrees should be offered. that's not right. that's not the senate. let's go ahead and allow amendments to be offered. if the amendments are wild-eyed and out there, then they'll surely be defeated. but let's debate the bill. let's actually have the opportunity to amend the bill with amendments of our own choosing, not somebody else's choosing. that's what this debate is about. let me address, mr. president, last month the senate finance committee considered legislation to extend the number of expired tax provisions. we've become so accustomed to extending various tax credits and deductions on a year-by-year basis that we've given this bill the name "tax extenders." and it comes up every year. unfortunately the short-term fixes passed by congress fail to give any certainty to taxpayers in the future. other than the fact that
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government continues to give preferential treatment to certain chosen industries. rather than blindly extend these provisions, what we ought to do is eliminate these wasteful extenders, which are really just subsidies. these benefit just a few, those that are necessary for the economy, let's extend them permanently so we don't go through this exercise year after year. today let me discuss for a minute one extender that is ripe for elimination. this is the production tax credit, otherwise known as the p.t.c. in 1992 the p.t.c. was temporarily established to promote development of renewable energy, electricity particularly. and this was for the then-fledgling wind power industry. congress gave energy producers a lengthy seven-year window to take advantage of and prepare for the eventually expiration of this tax credit in 1999.
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as we know, in washington very few of these programs are temporary. so here we are 15 years later, the p.t.c. is still hanging around. since its interception the credit has been extended eight times. having expired on january 1 of this year there is now another effort afoot to resurrect what can only be described as a zombie credit. do we need a ninth extension? wouldn't it be more intellectually honest to decide if this government policy is worth it to simply permanently renew? yet we go through this exercise year after year. last month there was a glimmer of hope that common sense would prevail. the tax extender package put forward by senator wyden and ranking member hatch extended the -- excluded the p.t.c. it allowed the credit to finally expire. it wouldn't have been part of this package.
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however, it didn't take long from those who benefit from this government subsidy to activate the rallying cry. a few short days later the p.t.c. was back in the package and it would provide the wind industry two additional years, until the end of 2015, to start construction on projects that would be eligible for the subsidy. according to the joint committee on taxation, this short extension would cost more than $13 billion over the next ten years. but this isn't the true cost. wind producers get to claim the credit for ten years beginning on the date of first production as opposed to the start of construction. so in reality, the federal government's financial commitment extends well beyond the ten-year period considered in the j.t.c.'s initial estimate. the government will still likely be passing out this credits in 2027 and beyond. that's a long commitment for technology that former energy secretary steven chu said was mature in 2009.
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in fact, he projected that wind would be cost competitive with other forms of energy without subsidies by the end of this debating. now, wind power generation is no longer an infant industry. it's no longer in need of federal support. by the end of last year more than 61,000 megawatts of wind power capacity had been installed around the u.s. that's 15 times the amount that existed in 2001. in 2012 wind power was the top source of new generating capacity, beating out additional capacity from natural gas. the p.t.c. in fact is so generous that at times it is more valuable than the wholesale price of electricity. that's a who were of a subsidy -- a whop per of a subs subsidy. according to congressional research service as a result of the subsidies there are times
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wind providers pate market to take their power. some of the my colleagues who supported the tax credit supported the more than 550 wind related manufacturing facilities around the country. they will supply tens of thousands of jobs. but rather than depicting an infant industry, those who advance this cause of continuing the subsidy describe an industry that should be ready to stand on its own two feet. we all know the u.s. has a $7.5 trillion debt, all subsidies like this need to be eliminated. the production tax credit distorts the market by having government favor one source of energy over another. of course an ideal energy market is one that is absent, or largely absent at least from government's convoluted tax policies. simply put, no industry's success should be predicated on congressional action. instead of extending an energy subsidy that picks winners and
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losers and credits that create market inefficiencies, congress should eliminate the p.t.c. and support an energy policy that encourages entrepreneurs to satisfy demand by providing consumers with alternative sources of energy. this law has run its course. the p.t.c. should meet its long overdue end. mr. president, i yield back the floor. mrs. shaheen: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. mrs. shaheen: thank you, mr. president. i am very disappointed at the action of the senate this evening that we were not able to come together after all of the work and all of the support from groups across this country for energy efficiency legislation that, we could not bridge our differences and get this bill done despite the broad bipartisan support, despite the support from organizations from the u.s. chamber of commerce to the national association of
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manufacturers to the nrdc environmental group to the painters union. we had groups across the political spectrum supporting this legislation. the alliance to save energy, which was really the brainchild behind this legislation, and yet we were not able to come together to support a bill that would have made progress on the jobs front, progress on the savings for consumers, progress on preventing pollution. i want to thank senator landrieu who is chair of the energy and natural resources committee; and senator boxer, chair of the environment committee, for their kind words about this legislation this evening. i also want to thank my partner who worked as hard on this bill as i -- senator rob portman of ohio, and the good work of both his staff and my staff in trying to move this agenda, this efficiency agenda forward.
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unfortunately, we saw tonight that differences in this body have prevented positive progress. and the reason that's so unfortunate is because energy efficiency is the cheapest, fastest, cleanest way to address this country's energy demand, because energy that we don't use is energy that we don't have to produce. and efficiency saves money. it decreases pollution, and it improves our nation's global competitiveness. in addition, energy efficiency investments enable domestic businesses to leverage private capital, to reduce business risks that are associated with price volatility, to spur economic growth, to create jobs, all of those things that are part of this energy efficiency and competitiveness act that senator portman and i cosponsored along with a great
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group of bipartisan sponsors from this body. you know, one of the things that i like about energy efficiency is that it doesn't matter whether you support fossil fuels or whether you support alternative sources of energy; everyone benefits from energy efficiency. and in the last 40 years, we have saved more through energy efficiency in this country than we have produced through fossil fuels and nuclear power combined. so there is huge potential benefit in energy efficiency, and it's important for us to figure out a way to move this legislation forward. you know, in the last three and a half years, i have visited businesses across new hampshire, small retail businesses, manufacturing companies, ski areas, apartment complexes, municipal buildings. today i was at the opening of a
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new expansion of airmar technologies in new hampshire. the beautiful new facility makes censorsensors that go in everytg from ships to weather instruments to detect weather. and one of the things they were very proud of is that in building their new building, they made it energy-efficient. this is a win-win-win. according to the american council for an energy-efficient economy, if we pass this bill this year, by 2030 we will help create 192,000 jobs, we will save consumers $16.2 billion a year, and it will be the equivalent of taking 22 million cars off the road, all because we're saving energy. we ought to all be able to come together behind this. and i'm not going to quit. i don't think the sponsors of
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this legislation are going to quit. all of those 260-plus business businesses, organizations out there that have been advocating for this bill, we're not going to quit because this is legislation that makes sense, it makes sense for job creation, it makes sense for saving on pollution, it makes sense for saving money, it makes sense to our national competitiveness. a understand we are going to keep at it -- and we are going to keep at it until we pass this legislation, mr. president. and i hope that politics will stay out of the way, that welcome together, we will d. that we willcomcome together, tt we will agree on amendments and move forward in a positive way. thank you very much. i yield the floor. mrs. murray: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. murray: mr. president, i come to the floor this evening along with my colleague from the
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state of washington, senator cantwell, to talk about a truly remarkable man from our home state of washington who we just lost last week. mr. president, billy frank jr. was many things to many different people. to his family he was a loving husband and father. to the dozens of native american tribes in washington state, he was a hero and a champion nor hard-fought treaty rights. and to millions of others across oour state and our country, he was a marine that represented the best of what america is all about: fighting for what you believe in and never, ever giving up. mr. president, i was back in washington state yesterday for billy's memorial service, and looking around at all the people there whose lives he had touched, i was reminded of what made billy so special. billy was the type of person who defined the term "larger than life." he was the type of person who had so much personality and so much ability and so much passion and love in his heart that it
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was very hard to believe it could all be contained in just one person. mr. president, when billy believed in something, he didn't just make his argument. he held a fish-in, he built a movement. he banged down the doors of owe limp onand here in washington, d.c., until he got what he needed and most of all he never flinched in the face of opposition, and he faced plenty of it, from hate and discrimination to being arrested and abused. and over a lifetime that took him from the banks of the nsoquali river to the steps of the united states supreme court, billy made sure that the rights of native americans were protected and honored by the united states of america. he led the fight to ensure tribal rights to native lands and salmon harvests could never be stolen away. and over time he became much more than an advocate.
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he became in many ways the face of so many native american communities across this country. mr. president, now as we grieve and try to think of how to move forward without this larger-than-life man, i am reminded that while we have lost billly, so much of his life's work truly remains with us because all that he accomplished and all that he achieved, whether it was power and influence or court decisions and new laws, it was never about him; it was all about his community, his tribe, and protecting treaty rights for all native americans. billy was someone who did so much and worked so hard, not so that he could gain power or wealth but so that the people, the land, and the fish that he cared so much for would never be brushed aside or forgotten. that's a rare thing. billy's life's work wasn't a job for one man or one woman, but somehow he pulled it off by
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himself. so now it is going to take everyone who yo knew him to fill his shoes and fight for the tribes that call washington state home. i want to quote something that billy once said. he said, "i don't believe in magic. i believe in the sun and the stars, the water, the tides, the floods, the owls, the hawks flying, the river running, the wind talking, thei they're measurements. they tell us how healthy things are. they tell us because we and they are the same, and that's what i believe in. those who learn to listen to the world that sustains them can hear the message brought forth by the salmon." unquote. that was billy, mr. president, and we will miss him. i yield the floor to my colleague, senator cantwell.
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the presiding officer: the senator from washington. ms. cantwell: i'm glad to join my colleague, the senior senator, to commemorate a great washingtonian that we lost last week, billy frank jr. senator murray and i were able to attend his memorial service yesterday in south puget sound area with 6,000 other washingtonians. you know, that's what happens when a great leader is lost; the community shows up to commemorate him and his spirit. and everybody who knew billy frank across the united states of america -- and there are many people from all over indian country that do know/knew of billy frank -- they will want to remember that he was a legend that walked among us.
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he championed environmental rights and the rights of native american people to fish and in some ways championed the salmon, to make sure that we had good habitat. sometimes i wonder how a boy from the nasquali river turned into such a big hero. for him, he started when he was a young man listening to fishing stories from his father. in a book about his life, his father willie frank sr. recalled a warden telling him, "your treaty isn't worth the paper it's printed on." so while billy's family faced beatings and incarceration and complicit race itch, he decided that he was going to defend those rights all the way to the supreme court. as he glue an adolescent -- as he grew into an adolescent, his
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father said to him, "keep fishing, even if they arrest you. even if they beat you, keep fishing. even if the fishing claims, they say, aren't yours, and they challenge them, keep fishing," because he knew that those fishing claims were promised in the medicine creek treaty. so billy was arrested more than 50 times in this struggle to secure the rights that were guaranteed to him by this government in a treaty. in fact, also in that book, he once was jailed and was asked by some of the people in jail -- as he called them "bank robbers" -- what was he in for? billy just said, "fishing." so he took the beatings and instead of turning that anger -- turning awful thaturning all of, he urged people to do things in
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a nonviolent way. he had a great sense of humor. he once said, "if a salmon gets away from you, don't cuss. don't say anything. that salmon, he's going to go upriver. he's producing more salmon for you and for all of us. that salmon is coming home, and we have to take care of his home." end quote. that's the vision that helped billy win one of the greatest victories that tribes in the united states of america has ever seen. in a landmark decision they abolished the regulations and discrimination against indian arfishermen and allowed tribes o have the opportunity on harves harvestable catch. we just celebrated the 40th anniversary of that historical decision, and yesterday was had a chance to -- we had a chance to pay tribute to a man who played a critical role in that decision. but, as my colleague, senator
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murray, said, billy frank did more than just fight for that decision. he continued to focus on restoration of puget sound, including the nasquali delta. it has increased the poe teptiot has increased the potential for salt habitat by over 50%. because of his advocacy, we have a promise called "the puget sound partnership," which is a public i.-private-tribal partnership trying to improve the health of puget sound. and we have an agreement for a model of how people around the united states of america should try to resolve some of their differences on environmental issues instead of suing and going to court for every and ever and -- forever and every -- forever and ever and never having any resolution. awful these things are things
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that billy frank accomplish and as my colleague senator murray said, it was almost as though he was larger than life and did this, a job that seemed like could have, should have really been many, many people. but instead he diswrus it in his own way. -- but instead he just did it in his own way. but we thank the work and the people with the northwest fishing commission for all of the -- for all that they've done to set the right course. and while he won't be there in person, we know that billy frank will always be with us and with the salmon of the pacific northwest. we will miss him. i thank th the president. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i mow move to -- i noe to proceed to the consider calendar 664.
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the presiding officer: the question is on the motion to proceed. all in tariff say aye. all opposed, no. ayes appear to have it. ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the nomination. the clerk: nomination, steve paul logan of arizona to be united states district judge. mr. reid: mr. president, there's a cloture motion at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the cloture motion. the clerk: cloture motion. we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, hereby move to bring to a close the debate on the nomination of steven paul logan of arizona to be united states district judge for the district of arizona. signed by 17 senators as follows. mr. reid: i ask consent the names not be read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i move to proceed to legislative session. oh, mr. president, i'm so sorry.
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i ask consent the mandatory quorum under rule 22 be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i now move to proceed to legislative session. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. all in favor say aye. ayes appear to have it. all opposed say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to. mr. reid: i move to proceed to calendar -- to executive session to consider calendar number 665. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. all in favor say aye. all opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the nomination. the clerk: john joseph tuchi of arizona to be united states district judge. mr. reid: mr. president, i would ask the chair to order the ruling -- i mean, the reading of the cloture motion, which is at the desk.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will report the cloture motion. the clerk: cloture motion. we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, hereby move to bring to a close the debate on the nomination of john joseph tuchi of arizona to be united states district judge for the district of arizona. signed by 17 senators as follows. mr. reid: i ask consent the reading of the names be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask consent the mandatory quorum under rule 22 be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i now move to proceed to legislative session. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. all in favor say aye. all opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the motion is agreed to. mr. reid: i now move to proceed to executive session to consider calendar number 666. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion to proceed. all in favor say aye. all opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it.
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the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the nomination. the clerk: diane j. humetewa of arizona to be united states district judge. mr. reid: mr. president, there is a cloture motion i would ask be reported. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the cloture motion. the clerk: cloture motion. we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, hereby move to bring to a close the debate on the nomination of diane j. humetewa of arizona to be united states district judge for the district of arizona. signed by 17 senators as follows. mr. reid: i ask consent the reading of the names not be necessary. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the mandatory quorum under rule 22 be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i now move to legislative session. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. all in favor say aye. all opposed, no.
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the motion is agreed to. mr. reid: i now ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to a period of morning business with senators allowed to speak for up to 10 minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, may 13. following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. following any leader remarks, the time until 11:10 a.m. be equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees prior to a cloture vote on the motion to proceed to h.r. 3474, the vehicle for the tax extenders legislation. that following -- and that the senate recess from 12:30 until 2:15 p.m. to allow for the weekly caucus meetings. and that if cloture is invoked on the motion to proceed to h.r. 3474, the time during the recession count postcloture. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: so, mr. president, there will be a roll call vote at 10:10 tomorrow morning --
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11:10. there will be a roll call vote tomorrow at 11:10 a.m. and if there's no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until senate stands adjourned until
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to the delete several of the tax breaks for wind energy and energy conservation. and she is going to insist on offering that amendment, and people that support those tax breaks to not want to have bad and -- that amendment offered. >> for your latest article, the headline republicans press effort on amendments to tax expand. well amendments be allowed to be offered to legislation? and what are some of the key in the nest to look for? >> of course the key one would
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be dead to the amendment which would strike the energy tax breaks. we must -- we might see any number of amendments that would be related to taxes. you could see things that would make permanent some of the things that would be extended in the package. people might want to have permanent extensions of some. the research and development tax credit was something that was passed by the house last week on a bipartisan vote. and i think the general conventional wisdom is that we will see a good debate in the senate this week. it is unclear whether there will be an agreement on amendments. i think we have to workout later in negotiations. >> what do you think would happen with the house? >> well, the house is proceeding with its strategy of offering a
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single, a permanent tax break extension. i guess the next one they're talking about is small business, something very popular in the business community. we might see that when the house returns from their one week recess next week for possibly end of month, i should say. >> and you can follow on twitter read his work. thank you for joining us today. >> thank you. >> i have a general philosophy. its starts with the basic premise that i approach everything with, economic freedom as my guiding principle. have authority tax. the harm to consumers, a solution that we can actually
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ready whenever arm has been brought forward. three, the solution tailored to the particular problem we are addressing and not regulated? and for, even with all those, the benefits of regulation now with the cost? .. to take these issues that come before you. >> newt fcc commissioner tonight hot on the communicator's at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. >> last month former homeland security secretary, tsa administrator john pistol and other security experts discuss terrorist threats in the future of homeland security strategy. here is some now from new york city deputy police commissioner john miller talked about the mind-set of a terrorist who is planning an attack.
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>> they sit around. the it thinking about, are we still? that require the big, dramatic scene. involves blood. that is what they're thinking about. >> that was just some of the event held last month at the university of southern california. you can watch the entire event tonight at 8:00 eastern.
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on the next washington journal michael stratford, reporter for inside higher ed weatherizing cost of college and what options are available for students concerning financial aid. then the american association of state colleges and universities will talk about the value of a college education in today's work environment. after that national review writer charles c. w. post discusses his recent article, drop the dropout, which looks as society pushed for to any cause degree. phone calls, facebook commons, to reach all on washington journal live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. last week the house voted to create a select committee that will investigate the attacks in benghazi, libya. a history of congressional select committees and why they have met over the years.n the washington mall throughout today's "washington journal."
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joining us on the set here this morning, i want to welcome back senior ewkins of >> on set here this morning. a want to welcome back davidr i hocking'sbout. we will keep our conversation about what happened september 11th 2012 instory of benghazi going, but we want to do it for my historicaless? perspective. what has been the history of elect committees? guest: i would say there been some great highs and lows politically and also some in terms of what they're found. some reputations have been cemented by the select committees, harry truman at the start of world war ii was just a freshman senator from missouri. he is put in charge of a select senate committee to investigate american military posture. it is what propelled him to national prominence which is what got him on the 1944 democratic ticket, which of course led to him becoming president next year when fdr died. i was followed by the army mccarthy hearings.
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, you have a labels john mccarthy as one of the great non-success stories of .nvestigatory power and senate sometimes it helps you select committees make someone's committee and a different way. this was actually about for five years ago, it was a select committee that was created to study global warming. it was created at a time when the person who would normally be in charge of that was dean of the house. a democrat from michigan. a big fan of the art industry and seen as not somebody was going to take the global warming issue that seriously. instead, they gave it to a bunch of green lawmakers headed by ed markey who is now in the senate. host: this was after republicans
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house.ntrol of the guest: instead, she created this committee. the committee held some four dozen hearings, to allow testimony, and in fact wrote the testimony that the houston last in 2009. the actually did pass the comrades a bill. the senate never took it up, but it was a select committee that actually did as planned and produced important legislation at a time and registry -- when the regular legislation would not have generated what she wanted. let's take a step back,
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? at is a select committee ech guest: there are several committees. standing committee. they don't have to be reinvented at the start of the congress. some of them go back to the early -- to the late 18th late 1700s. as a been around really almost since the dawn of congress. other committees have been added as it goes along. select committees are created specific, narrow purposes. the vote ofated by the entire house. obviously, at the urging of the majority.f the they can generally exist only through the end of the congress. they often have a deadline. when we're talking about this
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morning does not have a deadline. generally, they're giving a specific task, a specific agenda and told to report back of a specific time and then they disappear. host: how are they created and funded? guest: different ways at different times. the benghazi committee was created last week by a vote of the house almost entirely along party lines. republicans voting in favor of it with the assistance of a handful of democrats. the resolution in this case does not have a particular funding source or a funding budget. it says only that to the extent practical, the committee should use staff from existing committees and should use the resources of existing committees. other committees have been given specific budgets. not in this case. host: how much authority to select committees have? guest: they have the authority just to do what they are told to do. and then different resolutions
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will give them different levels of power. in this case, the power is pretty broad. the chairman has been given subpoena power. the chairman has been given a broad scope on a narrow topic. in other words, the attack of september 11 on the diplomatic outpost in benghazi -- everything to do with that. what led up to what, what happened that day, how the administration has acted with regards to describing what happened afterward. so a broad scope around a narrow task. democrats are still deciding whether or not to participate in the select committee looking into benghazi. what if one side does not participate? has it happened before? extensive reading over the weekend to try to find a case in which it happened. the only thing that has come close is actually during the joe mccarthy hearings in the house
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un-american activities committee. the three democrats at sign to his committee, joe mccarthy a republican from wisconsin, they staged a brief protest and he ended up coming back after mccarthy agreed to change some of the procedures to win them back because he knew active participation from both -- without participation from both sides it will be considered a sham so he made accommodations to the democrats and their return. but i could not find any case where one party simply not participating from the start. generally both parties decide it is in their best interest to participate. probably the most famous select committee, i would say, of my time in washington was right when i got to washington and the late 1980's, the iran contra committees. the house and senate intelligence committees were both investigating allegations that the reagan administration had traded arms for hostages.
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they ended up appointing select committees. reagan, ronald republican president, going into the final two years of his term. the republicans decided it was in their best interest politically to cooperate with this to try to make it go away as fast as possible, to try to get to the bottom of it and try to defend the president as much as they thought they could or should be -- he's good or should should ornt -- he could be defended. both decided it was in the best interest. to me, if the democrats absent themselves altogether it would be essentially unprecedented and would mark to me sort of a new turning point and the polarization of congress that we have all seen happening for so many years now. >> what -- host: what about who controls the power of the committee? house leader nancy pelosi says the makeup of 7-5 is not fair. guest: the only way to get more balance would be 6-6. the only committees in congress
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that are evenly split between the two parties are the ethics committees. the reason why is because these are viewed as obviously self police thing. it is an institutional matter, that either house members policing the behavior of themselves. behavior oficing themselves. those, by custom, have been evenly divided by parties. that has never been, to my knowledge, and the reading i've done, there has never been any kind of select committee, policymaking committees, conference committee -- the committees that resolve legislative differences -- in which the majority has not had control. so a 7-5 ratio would be as close as you can get to evenly split while still having a majority in control. host: is there some concessions of that congressman doughty, the chairman of the select committee, could make to democrats if they continue to hold out -- congressman gowdy. history of some
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concessions. it seems the main route is over the subpoena power that i mentioned a second ago. subpoenay was given power. democrats, what they are asking issue is that mr. gowdy no subpoenas without the democrats signing off. mr. gowdy said it is a nonstarter. there does seem to be a pretty definitive rub there. i think some other concessions could be on the roster of witnesses that would be called, on the timing of the hearings. maybe narrowing the scope somewhat. giving the republicans, going beyond what may be the rules require, and giving the democrats more witnesses. generally the rolling committees is the minority is entitled to call a witness. saysimes the majority side you can call a witness but we get to veto who that witnesses. the minority side says that is not fair, they should have some latitude to mount their own side of the case in this regard.
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host: let's go to john from glen , illinois.nview democratic caller. caller: i have one comment and then one question. i don't know if you saw the segment that was just ended, but someone made a comment that assistant secretary of state, ande is video on c-span -- assistant secretary of state was asked was there a money problem. meaning, as far as providing all the security necessary, etc., and that person said, no, and the caller said we should put that canard to bed. i also want to point out how ridiculously oversimplified that is. because if you do that, you could look at the video on c-span of general petraeus, very respected by republicans, when asked about the reasons for the attack, answered, that the best of our knowledge, the reason was
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that video, that that was our best knowledge at the time. which, to use that other person passing logic, then this canard -- the person passing logic, then using this canard about the talking points about why the administration came up with the story, you should be able to put that to bed. it is not that simple. my question is, in your opinion, based on everything you have seen about this in light of the testimony so far, do you think that the future is going to look at this as an extremely compared investigation to whether or not it is investigation really to find out the truth. guest: i think that is definitely the risk that the republicans are keenly aware of. said several times,
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including yesterday on the fox network when he was on that if the public comes to view this as entirely political then he would be out of luck. and that he would have messed up his chance. he says, i want the democrats to participate, he says, because i won't look good if the democrats don't participate. says the republicans will only be able to make this a if thee inquiry democrats participate and if they are treated in such a way that they feel like they are going to be treated fairly. it is a higher risk. the republican base and the democratic base have both dug in on this. that therecans think are absolutely racks to be uncovered here and smoking guns, and there is going to be some sort of breakthrough that will reveal that the administration
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lied, flat out lied. they sort of think they are most of the way there now. and the democratic base feels like it is a totally canard, as you say, totally cooked up story. host: on twitter -- two witnesses appear voluntarily before select committees or by subpoena question much you go either way. they can either come voluntarily -- subpoena? host: another question from twitter -- guest: if i knew what they could possibly uncover that is not already known -- i would probably have a really good story and maybe i would get subpoenaed. i guess i think from the republicans i talked to, even if they don't uncover something new
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, they feel as though they can outthese hearings to lay their theory of what happened in a way that the public will come to understand and will be angered by. it is a complicated story. , to the best of my ears, been reduced to a sentence. iran-contra ultimately started out as pretty complicated in the late 1980's but ultimately reduced to one sentence, that the administration was accused of illegally trading arms with an enemy of the united states in order to get the return of hostages. 10 or 15 words that the public could understand. i am not sure if that 10 or 15 word explanation has yet sunk in in the public consciousness, and the less republicans could figure out a way to do that, they run the risk of not hitting the political gain out of this but they are hoping for. viewer wants to know --
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when will they get details about gop denying funding for enhanced embassy security prior to attack? chris has been waiting on the line. go ahead. , cut a comment about the ad the fridayt out thursday or about benghazi watchdog. it says right at the top of the picture of hillary clinton and president obama, it says ghazi was a cover up. in other words, they have already decided that it is a cover up but they don't have any evidence. after all the other investigations, there was no evidence but yet they come out and say it was a cover up. the republicans are always touting how will the constitution should be followed word for word, and i thought we were innocent until proven guilty. host: david hawkings? guest: you point to the fundraising missives that have gone out.
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me, one of the riskier things for the republicans to do and mr. gowdy himself, i won't to raise money off of benghazi. now it is also the case that in the days leading up to his appointment as chairman there is some evidence he did mention the benghazi matter in his own fund-raising appeals. he now has urged the national republican congressional committee to back off on that because, again, he is a trial lawyer -- he is a prosecutor by training. and an experienced prosecutor. he spent 16 years as a prosecutor, not only for the state but also for the federal government. he knows as being a member of congress that one of the ways you win a trial is not only persuading the jury of your case but persuading the public of your case. and i think he is pretty keenly aware and political we -- politically savvy if he
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overplays his hand and if it is seen as politics, his side want to win. host: farmington, new mexico. independent caller. mary. 24 years.rst time in my husband at 83 was still working, sharp mind, and he was home sick that day. we did watching, because not believe what was going on. the ambassador's diary -- of course, they could not read from a. of kept telling us we could not go in. -- they kept telling us we cannot go in. if you have been watching anything, you would have known what was going on. even weeks later the president on talk shows said we are still not sure. i just want to see the truth with all the other things. thank you. it is worth think another investigation? the pentagon said already it has
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cost millions and thousands of hours of personnel time. there has been seven or eight other investigations. guest: five by congress and another independently. different hearings. mary, do you think it should continue? caller: yes. guest: i think if it continues, what i wonder about is if it continues and still becomes a then where ise, the public left? and i also wonder at this point if there is even a chance that they can get this done before the election, which presumably, as you know, the house is in recess this week. the two leaders could be talking by phone. ms. pelosi wants a meeting with john boehner, the speaker, to narrow the scope and get the democrats and little but more of what they say they need to make this fair.
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boehner's office has resisted that did this point. this thing seems to be on hold for a little while or at least being dragged out for a little while longer. then the house comes back next week. they are in for three of four weeks, out for july 4, in for three or four weeks and out for all of august and in for about two or three weeks in september, after labor day, and before they go away to campaign. those numbers of weeks do not add up to a whole lot of time to ramp up an investigation, come up with a list of witnesses, come up with all of discovery -- to use a legal term -- they need and get it done before the election. it seems like an extremely tall order for me. i just wonder how frustrated both sides will be if we come to committeeon and this has not drawn its bottom line. host: a viewer says -- committee costct extra money? these people are already employed, or do we outsource?
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guest: a great question. the answer is, sometimes select committees to ramp up and higher a special staff. in this case, the house resolution that created the committee was vague but says to the extent practical, the committee should use existing staff. partly that is in the interest of speed, because to go out and hire lawyers and bring out -- bring in new investigators or lawyers would take more time and as i try to describe, they are kind of pressed for time. is, a criticism of this committee from the republican side, from the sort of tea party small government side is this is spending more money that we don't have that the government does not have, as you just illustrated. tons of moneyas spent on this. some republican conservatives are saying and spend more money on this. the want to do this 1 -- on
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cheap sounds pejorative -- but they wanted with tight as but it is possible. other select committees required a certain amount of expertise and a higher additional people. additional lawyers, investigators, policy experts -- in the case of the global warming committee, they hired scientists, people with a level of expertise. remembering the size of the house staff, the size of congressional staff, has gone down pretty steadily in the last four years and some would argue they are operating actually as lian li as they have in quite some time. think has a quote from adam schiff -- citing this select committee could cost that -- tens of millions of dollars. they write in this -- to investigate the assassination of john f. kennedy. over a three-year investigation of the special committee on assassinations we sported --
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reported spending a little over $4 million in salaries alone among by far the largest expenditure, and more and other costs such as travel, witnesses and leases. more recently, the democratic-controlled house in two as dallas a select committee on energy independence and global warming which was dismantled once the republicans took the gavel. in a bill to set up a committee the house appropriated the -- about $3.7 million. that gives you some idea how much these select committees can cost. let's go to dave in indiana. independent caller. caller: good morning, mr. hawkings. my question is, if nancy pelosi was really serious about this committee and getting people on it who wanted to find the truth, she would just nominate the five people have voted for it. put them on it. let the highest-ranking person be the ranking member of the committee. she could even negotiate even numbers because there was, like, six democrats who voted for the committee. it seems to me if she was really
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serious about getting to the end of this and finding -- and ending the investigation and getting to the facts, put people on there who are looking for the facts. don't let a lighter coming -- elijah cummings, funneling information to the white house, don't put van hollen in there. he just wants to get democrats elected. if you want to do it, do it with honest people who are looking for the same goal. it seems to me that would solve the problem. guest: that is a really interesting idea. is one pretty strong argument against it from ms. pelosi's view and also probably from the view of most of the members who voted for the committee. not to be too cynical to early in the morning, but most of the democrats who voted with the republicans for this committee are members who represent swing districts, where there are plenty of republicans. that relatively small group of
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people and politically vulnerable situations and they are fighting for their own reelection. and really, given their druthers, don't really want to spend the time of the committee. they need to be back in the districts shaking hands and being in parades and raising money and really shouldn't be spending too much time in washington at these hearings. especially because if these hearings are relatively predictably going to be along partisan lines, the ones who voted for these hearings are centrists who don't want to be caught up in the partisan tussle. host: the numbers into the investigation into benghazi, 13 hearings, 25,000 pages of documents and 50 briefings -- i think i said 50 hearings before -- 50 briefings and 13 different hearings. democrat caller. hi, james. i just -- this is a
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sham. i watched every investigation and everything on c-span about benghazi. i know. this is the thing. the president came out the next following day and told the american people this was a terrorist attack. that's all i have to say. host: we'll move on to tina. independent caller. caller: a couple of questions. in july of 2012 before the election president obama obama recommended to the petraeus as a rented me -- running mate for mitt romney. i wonder if that time president obama had information of general petraeus's infidelity and was planning to use that, looking for it. under there was duress
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general petraeus's statement tom a understanding someone had knowledge of something he will be uncomfortable with. host: you are saying the general their talkingased points off the video because he was under political duress? caller: no, under personal duress. understanding the democrat party may have shown evidence that there was some incidentally -- infidelity on his part and that he could help them out or lose his position. host: david hawkings -- i am not sure about the timeline. guest: i am not sure about that, either. that is an interesting theory. host: tennessee. republican caller. one of the hawkings, call and folks of said there was no smoking gun on this benghazi report, but there was. there was an e-mail that was
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recently gotten through the freedom of information act. it definitely said that there was a terrorist attack and the white house covered it up. and i think this investigation should go far because to me, it sounds like a conspiracy where everybody was talking about taking this talking point and putting it out to everyone about this film. that is what is being investigated. guest: yes, sir. you are correct, which is, under the freedom of information act, some additional e-mail has been released that the administration did not release initially. i am not precisely familiar with the when you are talking about. most of the press attention has been about a new e-mail that
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details -- i think the title of the e-mail was "getting susan rice ready for tv" or words to that effect. it was a briefing memo about how to put susan rice, then national -- then u.n. ambassador rice, how to put her on tv the weekend after the attacks and what she was going to say. -- toistence of that memo me, the challenge for the administration is why did they get that memo -- why didn't they get the memo out initially? that is more of a challenge i think politically in the context of the hearings and the context of republicans trying to describe the cover-up -- then the content of the memo which was, to be honest, what the administration what every congressional office does every day is get the boss ready to go on tv, giving the boss ready to be in the public eye. mark,we will go to michigan. independent caller. caller: good morning, c-span.
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good morning america. it is called a select committee. you know, it is kind of hard to find out the truth when you have people investigating a crime that committed the crime. do you actually think it will get the truth when you have people that committed this crime and benghazi? host: let's take your point and put it in proper perspective. have these select committee's been successful in the past? guest: i would say some have, some have not. select committee -- the so-called watergate committee in the 1970's. sam ervin, the avuncular senator from north carolina, they found he and seven of nine other senators -- majority of democrats -- and to investigate the nixon administration. they were pretty successful in unearthing aspects of the watergate scandal that have become sort of essential to the story. the existence of the taping
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system in the white house, for example. john dean talking about cancer on the presidency. they certainly laid the predicate for the public to come to understand and suspect that there was a cover-up that would later learn to be the case. in iran-contra, i would say, yes, they got pretty deep into the bottom of what went on with all of that. -d they put out a report ..
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>> host: and michael o'reilly is the newest member of the federal communications commission, sworn into office on november 4th a maturity 14. welcome to the communicator's. >> guest: thank you for having me. >> host: just a start command and general sense how you approach your job, the different issues, is each issue different? >> guest: it is both. each issue should be handled. it starts with the basics and to


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