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tv   Senate Session  CSPAN  March 10, 2015 10:30am-3:01pm EDT

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know, just as every parent needs to know, when you put your child on a school bus, that that child is going somewhere where they're going to be safe, they're going to be protected, and they are not going to be the victims they're not going to fall prey to some of the very people who are supposed to be looking after them. unfortunately for too many kids, that's just not true today. there's a story of one particular child that inspired this legislation. it's a child named jeremy bell. and the story begins in delaware county pennsylvania. one of the schoolteachers molested several boys and raped one. prosecutors decided they just didn't have enough evidence to bring a case against this monster. the school knew what was going on so they decided to dismiss the teacher for sexually abusing his students but then appallingly, the school decided to make sure that he went off and became someone else's problem, they wrote a letter of recommendation.
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well this teacher took that letter of recommendation and brought it to the school he applied to work at in west virginia, got hired and over time became the principal. well these kinds of pedophiles, they don't change their ways and he didn't change his ways in west virginia. he continued to prey on kids. eventually he raped and then murdered a 12-year-old boy named jeremy bell. well justice eventually caught up with the killer and he's now serving a life sentence for that murder. but for little jeremy bell, that justice came too late and sadly, jeremy bell is not alone. last year, mr. president we had 459 school employees across america arrested for sexual misconduct with the very children they're supposed to be protecting and teaching and caring for. that's more than one per day. and those are just the ones where there was enough evidence
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to actually prosecute to make an arrest and to pursue charges. how many others are getting away with this? and, frankly 2015 is not off to a much better start. so far we're 69 days into the new year and there have already been 82 school employees arrested across the country for sexual misconduct with the children in their care. mr. president, every one of these stories these are not statistics, these are not numbers on a page. these are children's lives every one of them. like it is little girl whose sexual abuse began at age 10 and only ended when at age 17 she found herself pregnant with the teacher's child. a teacher's aide who raped a young mentally disabled boy in his care. a kindergarten teacher who kept a child during recess and forced her to perform sexual acts on him. it's hard to even talk about these things but they're happening. one school employee after another caught with child
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pornography. sometimes these images are of kids who are just one year old. this is unbelievable. it's outrageous. but it's happening. and we in congress have to do what we can to stop this and we can do something. the toomey-manchin protecting students bill takes an important step in the direction of stopping these outrageous acts. and it does so, it relies on two mechanisms to accomplish this. the first mechanism is to require schools to do appropriate criminal background checks so that we're not knowingly hiring pedophiles in our schools. and the second is to ban this terrible practice by which schools knowingly send a letter of recommendation on for one of these creeps to go somewhere else because they're recommending them so that they become someone else's problem. now, mr. president, neither of these mechanisms should be controversial. the house of representatives
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unanimously passed a bill that has both of these mechanisms in just the last congress. unanimously. i'm proud of the fact that we have three former house members who voted for this bill last year who are now cosponsors of our legislation including the junior senators from west virginia from colorado and from arkansas. and i appreciate their support for this commonsense legislation. and furthermore, just a few months ago every member of the house and senate except one voted for even more expansive background checks when we all voted in favor of the child care development block grant bill. the combined vote in the house and the senate was 523-1. this is not controversial stuff. so what would we actually do, what does the legislation accomplish? number one criminal background checks. it requires -- now every state has some kind of criminal background check now. that's true. but it's pretty obvious that many of them are not adequate.
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well, for instance, too often there are whole categories of school employees who are not covered by the background check and too often states don't check all of the criminal databases that are available to them. and so these pedophiles are slipping through the cracks. the protecting students act requires that if a school district wants to take federal funds to pay its teachers' salaries, it's got to perform background checks on all the workers who have unsupervised contact with the children. that would include new hires and existing hires. so another reality is that many states have only recently adopted these background checks and so they've hired employees prior to the legislation requiring the background checks and some of these employees have this kind of criminal background. take the case of william vahey. 64 years old. he taught for decades at some of the world's most elite schools. started in california and then
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started working his way across the country. and you know what he used to do? used to give his young students oreo cookies laced with sleeping pills. and when the boys fell asleep he molested them and he photographed it. scores of children were sexually abused. this teacher had been convicted for sexual abuse of children when he was in his 20's but these school districts weren't doing a thorough background check so they weren't discovering this. well the protecting students act ensures that sex offenders like william vahey will not fall through the cracks, they will be discovered by a more thorough and rigorous background check system that our bill requires. i should also point out that our bill the protecting students bill requires the schools to do the criminal background checks not just for teachers but for contractors as well so school bus drivers coaches substitute teachers anyone who comes in
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unsupervised contact with the kids. there are currently 12 states that have no such requirement at all. they don't check on the backgrounds of their contractors despite the fact that these folks come in regular contact with kids and case in point in montana, parents got a very rude awakening recently. an audit of montana's school bus drivers found that 123 drivers had criminal historyies, including one driver whose conviction landed him on the sexual and violent offender registry and one with an outstanding arrest warrant. now, running these background checks on school workers only going to be helpful if it's thorough, if it's adequate. and so what the toomey-manchin bill does is it requires that the background check check all four of the major crime databases that are available. there's the f.b.i. finger printed database, there's the national sex offender registry
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there's the state criminal registry in each state and the state child abuse and neglect registries. this past august, parents in alaska learned that alaska has an inadequate background check system and it resulted in a known child rapist teaching in alaska schools for four years. this is unbelievable but this is what's happening. august 29, alaska state troopers arrested a middle schoolteacher in kyona alaska. the teacher had fled missouri four years earlier in order to escape an arrest warrant. multiple witnesses accused the teacher over a decade of sexual and physical abuse of his own adopted children. he raped and starved these children, his own children. it's unbelievable. the children literally had to borrow a hole in the wall and steal frozen food and warm it up on a heater, on a furnace just to survive. this monster was able to leave the state and obtain a teaching
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job in alaska for four years. and when asked how in the world could this happen? the department of education of alaska explained well, the alaska background check checks the state criminal registry but not the federal registry so they had no idea that he was a wanton if despicable criminal and had such a record in other states. now, had our bill been in force alaska would have been required to check the federal registry. they would have discovered this before ever hiring this monster. so this is the first part of our bill, this requirement that we have these background checks. and, again there's nothing controversial here. the house of representatives passed more expansive language unanimously in the last congress and just a few months ago as i mentioned, we had a 520 -- i'm sorry, just a few months ago yeah we had combined house and senate 523 votes in favor one
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vote in opposition to the child care development block grant which imposes appropriate and rigorous background checks on kids in our day cares. that makes perfect sense. we should be screening out pedophiles from our day cares but we also should be providing the same level of protection to kids who are a little bit older and they're in grade school or middle school or high school. mr. president, there's a second part of our legislation and it addresses this outrageous practice of what's known as passing the trash. this is the -- that unbelievable act that resulted in the death of jeremy bell when the a letter of recommendation allowed a known pedophile to be employed in west virginia. so our bill simply says if a school -- if a state wants to receive federal taxpayer money it can't knowingly help a child molester get a job somewhere else. how can this even be controversial? but the fact is, this is an
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all-too-prevalent practice and it's long past time that we do something about this. two weeks ago wusa news 9 reported some shocking news on the public school system of montgomery county, maryland. since 2011, 21 montgomery county public school employees or contractor workers have been investigated for child sex abuse or exploitation. the news station learned that the montgomery county public school system -- quote -- "keeps a confidential database of personnel who demonstrate inappropriate or suspicious behavior towards children." they've got this watch list of suspected abusers who are working in area schools. and wusa-9 learned that the school system has a record a known record, of passing the trash. for example elementary schoolteacher daniel pica, he was abusing children for 17 years. the school system knew about it. and what did they do?
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the teacher's punishment was to move him from one elementary school to another. again and again and again. 17 years of passing a known child molester from one school to another. how many kids did he victimize? this has to stop, mr. president. it's long overdue that we do something about this. and there's a way that we can. we can make it illegal to knowingly recommend a pedophile for employment somewhere else and that's what our bill does. another example -- recently las vegas, nevada, a kindergarten teacher arrested for kidnapping a 16-year-old girl and infecting her with a sexually transmitted disease. this same teacher had molested six children all fourth and fifth graders several years before, but he did it in the los angeles school district. well, the los angeles school district knew about the allegations. in 2009, the school district recommended settling a lawsuit that alleged that the teacher
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had molested these children. the nevada school district specifically asked have there been any criminal concerns regarding this teacher? the los angeles school district didn't only hide the truth they provided three letters of recommendation, three references for this teacher. now, for those people who say well, you know, the states can fix this problem all on their own. well, i'm going to ask you what could nevada do to protect themselves from what teachers or school districts are doing in los angeles? what could west virginia have done about a pennsylvania school district that sent a student -- a teacher across the state line with a letter of recommendation? there is nothing one state can do to bind another state. this requires a federal solution. so, mr. president, let me just sum this up. the toomey-manchin bill offers a very simple proposition. if a school district wants to use federal tax dollars to hire
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school employees it has to make sure that they're not hiring pedophiles in the process. i think that's pretty reasonable reasonable. and specifically, they need to perform background checks on any worker who comes in unsupervised contact with children and they need to stop passing the trash. now, i can't believe this is even controversial. there's nobody that can stand here and say that protections against child sex predators are not urgently needed, not in light of the daily revelations we're discovering. and, again, this legislation has overwhelming bipartisan support. it passed the house unanimously. how many bills pass the house unanimously these days? but this did. and every member of the house and senate except one voted for even more extensive background checks to protect our youngest kids in child care. can't we provide the same protection to slightly older kids?
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and the legislation's been endorsed by just enumerable child advocate and law enforcement groups, including the national children's alliance, which accredits and represents the nation's 777 child advocacy centers. and yet i'm afraid we're probably going to have some opposition voiced about this legislation when we offer the amendment. mr. president, let me be clear. first, we're not imposing a mandate on the states. we don't have the legal authority to do that. what we're simply saying is if you want to take federal funds you need to protect children from violent and sexual predators. and if you don't want to take those measures, you can choose not to take federal funds. if a state has no interest in having a rigorous system for protecting kids, that's their decision but we don't have to send federal tax dollars to pay the salaries of pedophiles.
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let me just conclude, mr. president. this is a commonsense bill. it's long overdue. it has very broad bipartisan support. it passed the house unanimously. as i said, in this body all but one member voted for it, and even more expansive background check. several senators voiced specific concerns and i'm working with some of them and i'm willing to work with senators who want to find weighs to constructively improves this bill but i'm not going to support a bill that waters down a way to protect our kids. i hope this body will pass legislation that passed the house unanimously and we can begin to have a more thorough process of protecting our kids. i yield the floor. mr. nelson: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson: is it my
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understanding it is time for the minority? the presiding officer: the senator is correct. there are 24 minutes remaining. mr. nelson: thank you mr. president. mr. president, when 47 senators, republican senators signed a letter sent to the ayatollah khomeini, it was a letter that although supposedly instructive of the constitutional provisions of the separation of government and the united states, in effect it was a letter to erode the negotiating position of the president of the united states and his administration in trying to reach an agreement to not have a nuclear weapon capability
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of building a bomb in iran. the strength of american foreign policy, i think history will show mr. president that we have always been bipartisan when it comes to the interest of america as we look out and have to defend ourselves against our enemies. and indeed, iran with a nuclear bomb would be one of the gravest threats to our national security as well as to those of our allies. mr. president, it saddens me that we have come to the point that we are so divided that nearly half of the senators on a
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partisan basis in this great institution of the united states senate would in effect try to cut the legs off from underneath the president and his administration in trying to reach an agreement to avert a nuclear bomb. so much has been said about this issue, but one common theme runs throughout and it is that people seem to know what the agreement is as it is being negotiated in secret. this senator will reserve judgment. this senator is also an original cosponsor when we filed the bill to have congress weigh in on any future lifting of economic sanctions that have been imposed by the congress.
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and this senator feels that that is an appropriate role in the separation of powers, our job as congress. but when we see a major part on a partisan basis of our government try to undercut and kill the negotiations while they are going on at this very moment in geneva then that goes a step too far. i am saddened. i think about what would this senator have done when the president was not barack obama but george bush, and i cannot imagine that i would have tried to undercut the president of the
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united states representing this country in trying on matters of war and peace to keep peace. we can disagree about the specifics, but we still have to honor the institution of the presidency. and when it becomes matters of war and peace then we've got to unify. and that's why i'm so saddened that we've come to the point at which we appear to be so divided mr. president, i yield the floor. ms. stabenow: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. ms. stabenow: thank you, mr. president. i want to thank my friend from florida for his comments and echo tows this morning.
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mr. president, to you, to the members of the senate, it was 70 years ago this year, right here in this very chamber the republican senator from michigan arthur vandenberg gave a speech which has been called the speech heard around the world. here is how senator vandenberg opened that speech: "mr. president, there are critical moments in the life of every nation which call for the straightest, the plainest and the most courageous thinking of which we are capable. we confront such a moment now. it is not only desperately important to america, it is important to the world. it is important not only to the generation which lives in blood it is important to future generations if they shall live in peace." this was after world war 1 world war ii, facing the cold war and many challenges.
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senator vandenberg was no friend of franklin delano roosevelt. he was in fact the biggest thorn in the president's side. he opposed every new deal program. he was bitterly opposed to u.s. engagement in europe before world war ii. he was the nation's most famous isolationist and only moderated his opinions after the bombing of pearl harbor. but 70 years ago senator vendberg spoke on -- senator vandenberg spoke on the floor of the senate about what would happen if the united states of america allowed partisan politics to interfere in our nation's leadership in the world. he later became the chair of the senate foreign relations committee where he coined the phrase "politics stops at the
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water's edge." politics stops at the water's edge. his wisdom when it came to foreign policy, his understanding that for america to be strong, we must convey strength on the world stage earned him a rare recognition in fact, in this body. my colleagues will recognize this picture because it's painted in the room right outside this chamber. i was honored to be there when it was unveiled, senator levin and i a few years ago. we're very proud of this senator from michigan. republican senator from michigan. he has been given an honor that is shared by only a hand full of senators in our 1,963 senators'
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history, men and women who have served. 1,963, only a small group who have been honored with a painting a portrait just outside these chambers, and he is one of them. i can only imagine what senator vandenberg would say if he were alive today. how would he react to a letter signed by 47 united states senators, all of his own party addressed to the leaders those we have called enemies of iran? how would he react to members of the united states senate empowering iranian hard-liners those that we have called enemies time and time and time again, just to score political points against a president that they do not like? to be clear senator vandenberg loathed president roosevelt.
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and by all accounts, the feelings were mutual. senator vandenberg was no model of bipartisanship himself. he was not at all what we would call a moderate at his time. he may be considered moderate today. but at the time he was extremely partisan as a republican. and he was very proud of it. he disagreed with the president's policies related to japan, but he didn't send a letter to the emperor of japan undermining the president of the united states foreign policy. he disagreed with the president's policies relating to germany, but he did not send a letter to the chancellor of the third reich expressing his disagreements with the president of the united states. to be clear, one of the great things about america is that we can and should and must disagree
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with the president when we disagree with directions and policies. but when war hangs in the balance, and specifically when nuclear war hangs in the balance, should members of the united states senate be in a position of publicly undermining the president of the united states to our enemies? i do not believe senator vandenberg would have become pen pals with a group of extremists whose stated goal is death to america. and it is shocking, dangerous and deeply troubling to me that 47 members of this body decided to throw away 70 years of wisdom to stand on the side of the ayatollahs and the most extreme voices in iran.
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when president bush decided to invade iraq, i voted "no." i voted against his policies, and i spoke out publicly about my concerns about that war. but i never would have sent a letter to saddam hussein undermining the president before that war happened. the chairs of the senate armed services committee the chairs of the senate intelligence committee, the chair of the senate foreign relations committee at that time all opposed president bush's invasion of iraq, but none of them penned a letter to saddam hussein. i do not have to wonder what senator vandenberg would have thought about all this, because he told us. he told us 70 years ago in this very room when explaining how partisanship and division would
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undermine our efforts in europe. senator vandenberg said, "it must mean one for all and all for one. and it will mean this unless somewhere in this grand alliance this stupid and sinister folly of ulterior ambition shall invite the enemy to postpone our victory through our own rivalries and our own confusion." and so, mr. president i urge my colleagues to hear the words of the republican senator from michigan arthur vandenberg. i urge them to stop the politics at the water's edge. we are talking about the possibility of a nuclear iran.
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we all agree that must not happen. we all agree that must not happen. we all agree that must not happen. we must stand together with the smartest most effective strategy to make sure that does not happen. which is even more reason why this is not the time or place to score political points against the president of the opposite party. this is deadly serious for the united states, for israel, and for the world. as the senate saw fit to give senator vandenberg a place of high honor reserved for only a few senate leaders just a few steps from here in the united
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states capitol i hope my colleagues will hear and take heed of his words now. he said, "we cannot drift to victory. we must have maximum united efforts on all fronts. and we must deserve -- we must deserve the continued united effort of our own people. politics must stop at the water's edge." i yield the floor. mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the assistant minority leader. mr. durbin: mr. president, how much time is remaining on the democratic side? the presiding officer: nine minutes. mr. durbin: thank you mr. president. let me commend my colleague senator nelson from florida and senator stabenow from florida for their statements. senator nelson spoke from the heart, spoke for many of us on
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both sides of the aisle who feel that this letter sent by 47 senators really undermines the efforts of the president of the united states. to avoid a nuclear iran and to avoid a military response. i particularly want to thank my colleague, senator stabenow from michigan for recalling that moment in history which any student of the senate knows was something that made a difference in the foreign policy of the united states of america for 70 years. it's seldom that i any of us come to the floor and think that our speeches will be remembered for 70 minutes. but senator arthur vandenberg set a standard for foreign policy that that is guided our country ever since. this self-described isolationist and extremely conservative enemy of the new deal stood up and called for unity when it comes to foreign policy. and his admonition that politics
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should stop at the water's edge has largely guided us. when you look at all the controversies that have ensued since then -- think of the vietnam war and what was going on in this body during that war the deep divisions between democrats and republicans those who were against the war and for the war and yet there are's therethere are --and yet there was never ever anything like what we've seen with this letter sent by 47 republican senators. i'm glad that it didn't occur then even though i had deep misgivings with the vietnam war and its execution. i would have had to have been reckless to endorse an effort to reach out to the vietnamese. so here we are today a letter sent by 47 republican senators. we've talked about the impact of that. senators, reflect about the impact of that letter on our allies who are sitting at the
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table in geneva, our allies who joined us in imposing the strictest sanctions in the history on iran, to force them into goings, our negotiation our allies sitting with secretary of state kerry who must look at this letter and say why are we wasting our time? no matter what we do, the republican senate is going to reject it. that's what the letter says. it goes on to say -- and this is a little bit of chutzpah, according to "the new york times," the senators signing the letter go on to remind the ayatollah, who is not term-limited that they have six-year terms and may be around for decades -- decades. basically saying to the iranians don't even waste your time thinking about negotiating. well it's not a waste of time, because the alternatives are
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absolutely horrifying. the alternative of a nuclear iran would be a threat not only to the nation of israel and many other middle eastern states and countries beyond and many other places but it would invite a nuclear arms race in the middle east and the ending is totally unacceptable and unpredictable. so is it worth negotiating? is it worth trying to find a way to avoid a nuclear iran? of course it is. and should the negotiations fail -- and they might -- i hope not because of this letter -- but they might ... then what do we face? bringing iran to its knees with more sanctions? and who will we call on with these sanctions? who will we turn to with a more strict sanctions regime? the very same allies who sat at
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this table and saw this letter from 47 republican senators saying to them, don't waste your time, we have the last word when it comes to iran ... i don't believe the republican leadership was thinking clearly when they signed on to this letter. i don't think they understood the gravity of their action. they certainly were premature at the minimum. we don't have an agreement. we are days away from understanding whether there is a possibility of an agreement. and yet these 47 senators have basically said, don't waste your time. we're not going to accept it, no matter what it is. this mr. president is a sad outcome. like the senator from michigan, i was one of 23 who voted against the invasion of iraq. i never dreamed one minute of sending a letter to saddam hussein before that vote, instructing him about the politics of america. and it turns out that in the history of the? the -- and this turns out this that in the history of the senate that has rarely, if ever
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occurred. i hope those 47 republican senators will reflect on the impact of their actions. i hope that the american people will understand, the president is embarking on a very difficult and delicate negotiation to try to negotiate a ver fiecial end to the nuclear arms race in the middle east and specifically to end nuclear capability in iran. he may not achieve it, but i respect him for trying. he is the commander in chief of the united states of america. the elected leader of our nation. and though many cannot accept it here in this chamber, he is the president of the united states, and he deserves our respect. i respected president george w. bush even when i disagreed with him on his policies in iraq, and we should expect nothing less of the loyal minority when it comes to this president as well. mr. president, i conclude by saying the senate has an important role to play, but the
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president's role, speaking for the united states, trying to are avoid a -- trying to avoid a nuclear iran, is something that should not be undermined for political ambition. i yield the floor. mr. leahy: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: mr. president, i want to completely align myself with the views of the distinguished senior senator from illinois. this isn't a case of who can score political points for that evening's news broadcast. we're talking about potentially the lives of millions of people. we're talking about the possibility of a cataclysmic mistake that could create havoc
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long after any of us have left in body. i've had the honor of representing vermont in this body beginning at the time when president gerald ford was president. i've had presidents i've agreed with -- in fact, every president there's been things i've agreed with and every president democratic or republican, there's been things that i've disagreed with. but one thing i have always done when there's negotiations going on i'm willing to tuck talk with the president privately but i'm not going to state my position, opposing or changing publicly. we can have only one person negotiating for the united states of america. can you imagine if everybody who wants to rush the cable news shows and get on tv can say well here's my negotiating
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position. and if you were to say we're going to force the u.s. out of negotiations what do you think those countries that have joined us in sanctions are going to do? many of those countries many of the countries that have joined us are doing it at great economic difficulty to themselves but they respected when president obama went to each of them and said, will you join us on sanctions? they did which made the sanctions far more effective. if they think we're not serious they're going to be very tempted to say well, why should we join you in sanctions? if it's only the u.s. doing sanctions, no matter what the sanctions are, it will not create any real pressure on iran. now have we not made enough mistakes -- i remember some who said we must go to war in iraq
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because it would protect israel or because of the nuclear weapons or because of weapons of mass destruction. well none of that -- none of that paid out. none of it did. they were false premises. i remember people stopping me on the street, angry that i voted against the war in iraq. they said, we heard vice president cheney talk about the weapons of mass destruction that they had. i said, there are none; there are none. but we got to vote up or down on the question of of war. whatever negotiations going on in ending the war and everything else, the president has to speak first, whether i agree or disagree with t the senator from michigan in quoting arthur vandenberg, he was no fan of franklin roosevelt -- quite the opposite.
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he did say politics has got to stop at the water's water's edge. that's been the view in my own state by both republicans and democrats. let's stop rushing for the cam radios and potential -- let's stop rushing for the cameras and potentially hurt the senate -- potentially hurt the country. let's think about what's best for the country. i see the distinguished chairman of the senate judiciary on the floor, so i will yield the floor so he can speak. the presiding officer: morning business is closed. under the previous order the senate will proceed to the consideration of s. 178, which the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 26, s. 178 a bill to provide justice for the victims of trafficking. the presiding officer: under the previous order the time until 12:30 will be equally divided.
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the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: mr. president i'm going to speak for three minutes or four minutes on an issue besides human trafficking and i would like to have my remarks placed in the record before we start debate on the human trafficking bill. officer sper without objection. -- the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: today i am introducing legislation with senator enzi and a few other senators to close a tax loophole that could mean billions of dollars in tax benefits going to individuals based on work that they performed illegally in the united states. the tax benefit i'm referring to is the earned-income tax credit. the earned-income tax credit was established as a work incentive to help move more individuals from the welfare roles rolls to the payrolls. the policy between the eitc is one that i and many of my
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colleagues support as it is intended to foster betterment and personal responsibility by giving those on the lower end of the labor pool an extra incentive to jump in and stay in the workforce rather than rely on welfare programs. it does this by providing a tax benefit to low-income individuals based on the amount of earned income that they have. the earned-income tax credit is refundable so it benefits even those who don't earn enough money to have a federal income tax liability by providing them a cash payment. in 1996, congress, as a matter of policy, determined that the earned-income tax credit should be -- quote -- "denied to individuals not authorized to be employed in the united states" -- end of quote. that's the exact language used
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in the title of the relevant provisions that was enacted in 1996. congress carried this policy out by requiring those claiming the earned-income tax credit to provide a social security number for themselves, their spouse, and their children. from a policy perspective this rule made a lot of sense to me and many of my colleagues, as it passed both the house and senate with broad support. obviously if the object of the earned income tax credit is to encourage work it makes no sense to provide such an incentive to those who are not legally allowed to work. why would we want to encourage individuals to break our immigration laws? what congress didn't know at the time was that an unknown -- at an unknown future date a president, with the stroke of a pen, would essentially grant
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millions of undocumented workers amnesty. under the president's action those previously working illegally in the united states will be eligible for work authorization and a social security number. based on an i.r.s. interpretation of the earned income tax credit eligibility requirements those who obtain a social security number will be eligible to claim the earned income tax credit not only for future years but for previous years while they were living and working in the united states undocumented. based on the statute of limitations, those obtaining deferred action could then go back and amend or file returns for up to three previous tax years to take advantage of a credit that can be worth several thousands of dollars each year. the legislation i'm introducing today with senator enzi will fix
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this loophole by making it clear that those granted deferred action are not eligible to claim the earned income tax credit for the years they worked in the united states as undocumented workers. this proposal is simply an extension of current policy. those granted deferred action will still be able to claim the earned income tax credit in years going forward for work that they perform legally. this proposal reflects the commonsense proposition that american taxpayers should not be subsidized for work that they performed illegally in the united states. this bill should be a no-brainer for any of my colleagues that agree that we should not reward individuals for breaking our immigration laws and our employment laws. i encourage my colleagues on
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both sides of the aisle to support this commonsense piece of legislation. on the matter of the bill that just came before the united states senate mr. president and for a few days we will continue to debate legislation toto fight crime and restore dignity to its survivors. i thank the majority leader for scheduling floor action on the justice for victims of trafficking act. this important bill is authored by our assistant majority leader, senator cornyn from texas. human trafficking is a serious crime that is too often overlooked in its various forms which include both labor trafficking and sexual servitude, it causes drastic harm to its victims. a form of modern-day slavery human trafficking includes both adults and children as well as
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noncitizens and citizens of our country. experts tell us it's not limited to big cities or our nation's courts but stretches across the whole nation, even to the rural parts of our country including my midwest. indeed, it happens every day everywhere in this country. the judiciary committee met two weeks ago to hear testimony from a victim's advocate, a law enforcement official, and a sex trafficking survivor about the challenges that we face in fighting human trafficking. one witness a criminal investigator from my state of iowa working for our democratic attorney general tom miller, told us about a 20-year-old from my state who in december was abducted and forced into sexual servitude. we have made progress in curbing human trafficking since the
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passage in 2000 of the federal trafficking victims protection act a measure that i supported at that time. but there is still much work that remains to be done on this front. so this bill before the senate now takes a creative and a comprehensive approach to what is a pervasive and very troubling problem. the measure has been endorsed by over 200 groups and it passed the senate judiciary committee without a dissenting vote. the centerpiece of this bill is its creation of a new fund called the domestic trafficking victims fund which will be used to support a host of programs and services for human trafficking and child pornography survivors. the fund will be financed not by taxpayers' dollars but by fines
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collected from individuals convicted of human trafficking and human smuggling crimes, making it deficit-neutral. if enacted this bill also will equip law enforcement with new tools to fight trafficking. for example it would make it easier for state law enforcement officials to wiretap human trafficking suspects without federal approval. it also would expand the categories of persons who can be prosecuted for human trafficking trafficking. in addition, it clarifies that child pornography is a form of human trafficking. this bill takes an extremely thoughtful and extremely comprehensive approach tackling not just the supply of human trafficking victims but also the demand for these victims.
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tackling the problem on both fronts is something that the nonpartisan congressional research service tells us is absolutely necessary if we are to successfully curb human trafficking. if enacted this bill will ensure that both the trafficker and the the buyer will be prosecuted for their crimes. we had an open and productive markup of this bill. i offered an amendment which was accepted by voice vote clarifying that federal grant resources can be used to meet the housing needs of trafficking victims and offer training on the effects of sex trafficking to those who serve runaway homeless and at-risk youth. this amendment also updates the reauthorization language for the cyber tip line of the national center for missing and exploited children to ensure that child trafficking is specifically
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mentioned as a form of internet-related child exploitation. finally, this amendment would require the interagency task force to monitor and combat trafficking to identify best practices to prevent human trafficking. senator blumenthal from the state of connecticut also offered an amendment based on a bill that he and senator kirk filed earlier this year which was accepted in committee by a voice vote. their bill, s. 575 known as the hero act -- acronym h-e-r-o -- provides authorization for a program at the department of homeland security that trains wounded warriors to assist in the effort to locate missing children. i'm proud to be a cosponsor of the bill now before the senate.
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i commend senator cornyn, the lead sponsor of this measure for his efforts to refine the bill and build such a substantial very bipartisan coalition supporting it. i hope that we will see the same bipartisan cooperation and support on the floor as we consider amendments. i look forward to a vote on this bill as soon as possible. at this time, i ask unanimous consent, mr. president to include support letters for s. 178 from various organizations in the record. and i also want -- i'll wait. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: i also want to take this opportunity to thank rights for girls -- that's an organization -- shared hope international -- another organization -- the polaris project, and the national descr for --national center for missing
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and exploited children, among many other supporters of the bill, for their effort in assisting our refinement of this legislation so it could move forward in this manner. before i yield the floor, i have a unanimous consent request that the following staff members of the judiciary committee be granted floor privileges throughout the duration of the consideration of s. 178 the justice for victims of trafficking act. tristan dunnford, matt pyatt ariel giardano, christopher boden and mary fucca. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: i yield the floor. mr. leahy: would the senator just yield for a question, because there is so much in this bill that i strongly support. in fact, a lot of it reflects legislation that i've written and actually passed through the committee before. there's just one -- one -- well,
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i actually have a couple concerns but one that comes to mind we don't want to hold out the false promise to victims. and i know the senator from iowa doesn't want to either. i certainly support having any money that we're -- the traffickers are fined going into supporting this but my experience earlier as a prosecutor and my experience now in talking to prosecutors around the country is that most of these people when they get prosecuted they're basically judgment proof. they don't have any money or they have a very little bit of money. they'll go to prison. we'll pay for that, of course, the taxpayers will pay for the prison whether it's federal or state, they'll pay for the prison but there's no money for the victims. what happens if the fine money does not materialize? we've talked about what, $30 million, i think?
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up to $30 million from fines. but let's suppose we come up with only a few thousand dollars in fines. are we making a promise to these victims that can't be met? is there an alternative form in case the finds don't pay for it? mr. grassley: i guess based upon the experience of the -- of the supporters of the legislation and the expert advice that they got in coming to the conclusion how to fund this fund that -- that they feel that the money is going to be available to do that that. now, you ask a legitimate question. i suppose i ought to have an answer for it and i don't have from this standpoint that i think i have great faith in the figures that they have presented us and that we will have to deal with the issue you bring up at some future time because i think that we will want everybody to be made whole as a result of
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what -- if what you say happens. mr. leahy: the reason i ask mr. president, is because i know in the house representatives were concerned the money might not be there. i think we all want to accomplish these things for our our -- for the victims. i just want to make sure we're not holding out a promise to them and then the problem is we simply can't complete. do i agree with all the fines going to this fund? absolutely. but the experience of a lot of prosecutors i've talked with is that the court may say "i fine you $20,000 or $30,000" but then it's never paid. they go to prison, they have no assets. we're spending $25,000 or $35,000 a year as taxpayers keeping them in prison and i want them to be in prison. but there's no money for the victims. so -- and i have -- yes?
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mr. grassley: i can say to the senator that he raises a legitimate point because i know in other areas we have set up such funds and sometimes they come up short. but sometimes you've got to remember that something's not paid out because a lot of times excess money is used for something else in the federal budget and not paid out entirely the way it was intended originally. but i think i would urge that my colleague to take the word of the people that have done the research on this legislation to bring it to egg totogether. and the consensus it has from 200 or more organizations and feel that it will be successful. and if it isn't then i pledge to help you deal with that at that particular time. i yield the floor. mr. leahy: thank you. mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: mr. president the issue was raised -- the issues raised in this are serious matters and the senator from
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iowa and others have. senator klobuchar senator cornyn, others who have been concerned about this. i think of a victim that i've talked with holly austin smith. she's just 14 years old when she ran away from home. she quickly became a victim of human trafficking. she met a man at a shopping mall who told her she was pretty and promised he would give her a glamorous life in california. remember she's 14 years old. instead, he sold her for sex. the first man she was sold to commented she reminded him of his own granddaughter. but then he paid $200 to rape her. thankfully holly escaped has rebuilt her life.
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she's now a fierce advocate to end all forms of human trafficking because she knows what happens in human trafficking. but many are not so lucky. the physical and psychological scars of being bought and sold, of being raped management imtimes a night by different men are devastating. and this terrible crime destroys lives. as we consider legislation to combat human trafficking, we have to remember holly and the thousands of other vulnerable and victimized children she represents. and we must do everything we can to keep it from happening in the first place. last congress, in 2013 i led the effort to reauthorize the trafficking victims protection act, that is last congress. that historic bipartisan
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legislation and the funds it authorized signaled our country's commitment to ending all forms of human trafficking both here at home and around the world. so i'm glad after the attention we gave to my bill in the last congress i'm glad to see the senate return its attention to this issue. stories of runaways like holly make clear we have more work to do. i support the bill we take up today, the justice for victims of trafficking act. but i believe we must do more to prevent trafficking in the first place. we have to act to protect our young people before they become victims. it's one thing to say now that you've become a victim, we're here to help you. it does even more if we can stop them from being victims in the first place. the legislation senator collins of maine and i have introduced, the runaway and homeless youth and trafficking prevention act seeks to do just that.
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homeless and runaway kids are exceptionally vulnerable to human traffickers. a recent survey found that one in four homeless teens was a victim of sex trafficking or forced to provide sex for survival needs. these vulnerable children, alone and on the street, are walking prey. happen human traffickers lurk around bus stops and parks where homeless children congregate. they offer promises of something to eat and a night off the streets. they exploit the very sad reality that most of these children have no place to go the weather may be cold, far too many of our cities have no shelters for kids and those who do face a chronic shortage of beds. so somebody sops up and says we'll offer you food, a warm
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place to sleep for the night. as representative paul said recently we have more animal shelters in this country than places for young people to find a safe place to keep. or to sleep. what does that say about our priorities? i have nothing against animal shelters but shouldn't we have more for our children than we do for the animals? if we're serious about preventing human trafficking we have to protect these kids. we have to provide better outreach more beds for them to sleep in, more counseling to get them on the path to a stable life. that kind of prevention costs money, but it saves lives and it prevents the far more costly effects of human trafficking. not just the effects of human trafficking on the victims' part but on the cost to all of us.
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it's smart money. we ought to be proud to invest in our children. we must include the runaway and homeless youth trafficking prevention act in our efforts to prevent more of our kids from becoming victims and i will at the appropriate place offer our bipartisan legislation as an amendment. now, i know other senators have amendments they would like to see considered. senator corker the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee has an important piece of legislation to combat sex and labor trafficking in countries around the world. and i thank him for working with me to make some improvements to his funding provisions. and i hope that bipartisan legislation will be considered always an amendment by the full senate. now, i mentioned earlier senator klobuchar, she has been working for years to see her safe harbor bill get passed, to make sure that victims are
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treated as victims and not as criminals. i'm proud to cosponsor her bill. after all as i said about the violence against women act a victim is a victim is a victim. they're not criminals they're victims. senator mcconnell has long promised a full amendment process. i take him at his word and i expect we'll have the opportunity to strengthen the underlying bill with a variety of ideas from senators. we owe it to survivors like holly to get the strongest possible bill. we have to provide the resources desperately needed by those on the front line who protect young people every day like those in my home state of vermont spectrum services, the vermont coalition of runaway and homeless youth service providers. we owe it to all the survivors who bravely come forward told their stories hoping to prevent just one more child from
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falling prey to this terrible crime. the senate has to pass a strong comprehensive bill that includes prevention and prosecution but also services for victims. we haven't accomplished as much as we should if we're only able to prosecute the perpetrator after the fact and forget helping the victim. we have to stop it from happening in the first place but if it does happen, help the victims. an editorial in "the new york times" last week noted the consensus is emerging on new initiatives to confront this human rights problem and help its victims often runaways or homeless youngsters who have been forced into prostitution. i agree with that editorial. i look forward to working with every senator here to assure we get this done for the american people.
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now, i'd ask mr. president that "the new york times" editorial entitled "steps against juvenile sex trafficking" be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: mr. president, i'd ask my full statement be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: we talk about the runaway and homeless youth trafficking and prevention act. these are a partial list -- i'll get the full list to place in the record -- of local state and national groups who have urged passage of it. so many to read in this small type otherwise we'd have a dozen of these posters if we put it in larger type. i will include it in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: and mr. president i see the distinguished senior senator from texas on the floor
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seeking recognition. i'm about to yield but i wonder if we could suggest the absence of a quorum just for maintenance so i might ask one question. mr. cornyn: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: mr. president i'd ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cornyn: i ask unanimous consent that floor privileges are granted to steve curtis, defense fellow for senator burr during the duration of the consideration of s. 178. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cornyn: mr. president i know the senator from west virginia -- will be giving her first speech in the senate here shortly and i look forward to listening to that, but i wanted to say just a few words about the legislation that we will be debating and hopefully passing this week and that is the
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justice for victims of trafficking act. this is without a doubt one of the most shocking and troubling issues facing our country today. it is, no exaggeration to say modern-day human slavery. at a time when we believed as a country that slavery was a part of our past, and something that we only read about in our history books. many people are under the impression that human trafficking is a problem somewhere else or at some other time in history but the fact is, human trafficking is a problem right now in all 50 states right here in the united states of america the most affluent country in the world. it's not just a problem in texas, it's not just a problem in arizona it's not just a problem in west virginia, it is a problem in all 50 states. thousands of young girls many
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of them middle school age are dropped into a life of bondage where they are abused and sold for sex every day. it's not easy to say but it's true. and we must say it and we must acknowledge it. this is, of course, unconscionable. as a father of two daughters myself it's simply heartbreaking to hear the stories of young women who have been trapped into this system and, of course, you can imagine it is every parent's worst nightmare. one woman i've had a privilege -- had the privilege of meeting and who shared her very personal story about this is melissa woodward from the dallas-fort worth area in texas. when she was 12 years old, 12 years old she was sold into the sex trade by a family member. somebody who she had every right to assume cared for her loved
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her, wanted her to grow up being a loved and productive person but she was sold into sex trade by a family member. eventually she was pulled out of school and trafficked full time when she was in sixth grade. her life became a prison. she was chained to a bed in a warehouse, she endured regular beatings and, of course, she was sexually assaulted with regularity. she was even set on fire by one of her captors. all the while she was forceed to serve between five and 30 men every day. melissa has said that she wishes she were dead, or at least she did. her story of her time in captivity is gut-wrenching and
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heartbreaking, but it's just as sad as the way she was -- just as sad as the way she was treated once, she escaped from her captors. as in the case with so many victims, melissa struggled for years to distance herself from her past but instead of being treated like the victim she was, the criminal justice system actually treated her as the criminal. that's an all too common outcome for victims of trafficking who are labeled as prostitutes and are left with few options but to return to the nightmare that so sadly exists in our country. that mr. president needs to change and that's why i'm glad the senate is taking up the justice for victims of trafficking act because this begins the progress of making that important change. the bill helps law enforcement crack down on criminal trafficking rings and
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perpetrators of these crimes. instead of a slap of the wrist and a fine, the so-called johns the demand side for this terrible trade, will be treated as the child rapists and the criminals that they are. so no longer are we just going to deal with the supply-side. we're going to pay attention to the demand side, too. and critically, this bill takes fines from the perpetrators of these awful crimes and redirects them into a crime victims fund which will help people like melissa and others get a fresh lease on life, to begin to heal and to get the help that they so badly need in order to get on with their lives. so this week, we have a wonderful opportunity here in the united states senate, in a town that is too often divided by ideology and partisanship to do something together on a bipartisan basis that can help
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people like melissa and the thousands of other young girls like her waiting to be saved. all of us, republicans and democrats alike are committed to working together to do everything we can to help these victims and put this abhorrent practice at an end. this particular legislation that we have -- are taking up today passed out of the judiciary committee a few weeks ago unanimously. that doesn't happen very often but it did for this legislation. and more than 200 groups around the country groups like the naacp, the national center for missing and exploited children, rights for girls the fraternal order of police and the national conference for state legislatures have all endorsed our work on this issue. i'm going to particularly thank some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle who joined me in this effort. the senior senator from
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minnesota, senator klobuchar and the senior senator from oregon senator wyden. they have been great partners in this fight not just this year but for many years and there are many others. another great partner has been the junior senator from illinois senator kirk, who has worked for years to get antitrafficking legislation to the floor. he's introduced a bill called the here act which authorizes a program to recruit wounded injured and returning veterans and provides them with training and high-tech computer forensics and law enforcement skills to help fight child exploitation. i also want to acknowledge the great contribution of the junior senator from ohio, senator portman, who has a bill called the bringing missing children home act which improves the way cases of missing children are handled, strengthening law enforcement reporting and response procedures. both the here act and the -- the hero act and the bringing
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missing children home act have been incorporated into the underlying bill, and i want to thank both of them for their efforts and willingness to work with us to make the justice for victims of trafficking act even stronger. and i know there are members who are interested in offering amendments to this legislation. thanks to the majority leader, we're going to have an open process where anybody with a better idea who wants to add to this base of work that is contained in this bill will have that opportunity to do so, to both offer amendments and to seek votes on those. this is a fight that sadly must be fought, but it's a fight we will win and when we do, we will finally have done our part to help deliver our nation's promise of freedom to those who ar enslaved. -- who are enslaved. mr. president, i have nine unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of both the majority and the minority leaders, and i'd ask unanimous consent that these requests be
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agreed to and that these requests be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from west virginia. mrs. capito: thank you mr. president. i rise today to deliver my maiden speech as a united states senator from west virginia. i am deeply humbled by the confidence placed in me by my fellow west virginians. to serve as west virginia's first female senator is a true honor and one that comes with great responsibility. i hope to serve as an example for that next generation of west virginians including my own grandchildren, celia and charlie, and hopefully many others. i find myself in a unique place in history and am grateful to and inspired by my own loving family my husband charlie and our three children and their spouses, our children charles shelly and moore. for 14 years, i have proudly served the people of west
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virginia's seventh congressional district in the house of representatives. i bring that experience to the united states senate, combined with a strong desire to make washington work for west virginia. west virginia has a time-honored history of exceptional senators, including my predecessors o'senators jay rockefeller and robert c. byrd. i'm appreciative of their efforts to better west virginia during their more than 80 years of combined public service in this great body. i am proud of our state's rich history, culture and natural beauty but it is our people that i hold dearest in my heart. west virginians are strong and resilient. we're the embodiment of our state's history. born of the civil war, west virginians fought for freedom in the face of great turmoil. as a result, president abraham lincoln signed the proclamation majority west virginia the 35th state add mitted to the union. today our state's forceful motto
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mountaineers are always free remains emblazoned in latin on our state flag. we will never forget the principles our great state was founded on. the mountain state is home to unmatched scenery and a wealth of natural resources that can power our nation's economy. a state filled with small towns main streets and tight-knit communities, west virginians come together to solve problems and help neighbors in need. i often have said that west virginia is just one big small town. west virginians expect the united states senate to find pragmatic solutions to the momentous problems confronting our country. that is particularly true now during this period of divided government. there are clear differences among the american people, and these differences are certainly reflected in the united states senate. west virginia is represented by both parties in the united states senate, and i look forward to continuing to work with my friend, senator joe
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manchin, in the months ahead and i thank him for being here with me as a source of support today. together i hope we can reinstate respect for the institution, a place where deliberation and debate are valued and all voices are heard. we owe it to the american people to do better. throughout my time in congress, i have heard a clear and consistent message from west virginians. improve the economic opportunities for our state. stop the bickering and fight for our jobs. as leader mcconnell has stated to do this, the senate must work more, have an open amendment process which we're going to be having here in the next several days, and take the tough votes. after all that's why we're here. today i will outline how our produced bipartisan commonsense solutions in the united states senate to make west virginia stronger. this plan will create economic opportunities by bridging the gap and tackling america's infrastructure crisis, better
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connecting west virginians and rural communities through increased broadband access, caring for our nation's veterans and ensuring a bright future for young west virginians, and most importantly implementing a commonsense energy policy that utilizes our vast natural resources to provide affordable and a reliable energy. first, addressing our country's crumbling infrastructure is an area that can bridge that partisan divide and further economic growth. american communities need a strong highway program and a full six-year bill to meet the needs of our growing population, to ensure safety for travelers and to offer opportunity for growth in areas that struggle economically. west virginians, like many across the nation, rely heavily on roads bridges highways and transit to fuel our economy to access hard-to-reach areas in our state to get to and from work and to transport necessary goods and services. u.s. route 35 will drastically
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improve safety for motorists and local residents in putnam and mason county. quarter h will unleash the economic potential of our state's eastern highlands. use route 340 will help congestion in the eastern panhandle. and the coalfields expressway and the king coal highway will help isolated communities attract businesses and provide jobs. point pleasant's own charles lanham a well-respected gentleman, had a vision. with his friend jack fruith, they began a crusade for their community. for many years charles has worked to build the case for a four-lane u.s. route 35, that project that would provide a secure route to school for our children serve as a regional transportation artery between interstate 64 and the great lakes region. charles understands the economic and safety benefits the road provides and has fought for them. working with charles, we have made significant progress on route 35, but all of our states need that certainty to invest in
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their transportation infrastructure. that certainty comes with a long-term surface transportation reauthorization bill, which brings these projects to reality across the country. working together, we can and we must achieve this goal. now is the time to move our transportation system forward. second, i am committed to expanding access to broadband in communities across west virginia and will be a champion for connecting our state. high-speed internet access is a pillar of our 21st century infrastructure and a gateway to growth in rural america. high-tech businesses can power our small communities. the world literally can be at your desktop. unfortunately, for all the potential opportunities that brought band can offer to rural america, not having this important service can place an almost insurmountable barrier to economic development and there are many areas in my state and the leader's state that still does not have adequate access. these areas are at risk of being
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left behind. in capon bridge, west virginia, a lack of broadband access is an obstacle to attracting jobs and economic development. sadly capon bridge is not unique in this regard. small communities across america lack this fundamental infrastructure and lack access to vital opportunities as a result. the answer for capon bridge is not a regulated internet. too much government control will be counterproductive choking off private sector expansion projects and hindering new technologies. but we have to recognize there is a role for government and representing broadband reach those hard-to-serve areas. we should leverage resources at all levels of government and encourage public-private partnerships to expand access for rural americans. this is a necessary and achievable goal. it may sound like a small desire but connect connectivity is essential to -- but connectivity is essential to compete and thrive.
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health care access is critically important to west virginians. we must continue to provide access to our veterans and to our children. west virginians have a strong history of service to our nation. these brave men and women have put themselves in harm's way to defend our freedoms. it is our solemn responsibility to care for them when they return home. these american heroes deserve the best possible treatment and top-notch mental health services. access to care can be especially challenging for our veterans who live in rural communities. many west west virginian veterans must travel significant tanses to reach a v.a. hospital. in many cases allowing these veterans to receive treatment closer to home is more convenient for the patient and more efficient for the v.a. while we have made strides to improve access for our veterans, the current program is not working as well as it should. more must be done. expanded access to private medical providers will help improve the quality of care that we offer to our veterans.
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our children in the mountain state also deserve quality health care. if our children, the next generation of leaders are going to realize their potential they must have a healthy foundation. a solid education and good health are pillars for success of future generations. as a parent and a grandparent this is personal. we must work together to continue funding the state children's health insurance program. i started my legislative career in the west virginia house of delegates where i served on the committee that first implemented the s-chip program in our state. today this program provides access to health care for tens of thousands of west virginians. maintaining this program is a priority that i share with my predecessor, senator rockefeller, who was a tireless advocate for children's health insurance during his three decades of service in this body. i am encouraged that senators in both parties have recognized the importance of providing continued funding for the bipartisan s-chip program.
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finally, and as a critical importance to the state of west virginia and the country we need to work together to implement a commonsense energy policy. we need an affordable, reliable energy policy that utilizes our state's vast natural resources. we need a policy that grows the economy and creates new job opportunities. we need a policy that supports a strong middle class. and we need a policy that ensures we continue to improve safety and our environment even as we expand energy production. the administration's overreach has contributed to thousands of coal miners losing their jobs in west virginia and our neighboring states devastating -- can't overstate this -- devastating local communities and families. last year i met a laid-off coal miner from raleigh county. after losing his job his church came together to prepare meals for other coal miners and their families while they searched for
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work. neighbors helping neighbors -- the west virginia way. but this is a stark reminder of the impact that misguided federal policies can have on the lives of real people. anticoal policies impact more than miners and their families. in west virginia, the attack on coal mines reduces revenues for education programs roads and other public services. higher utility prices caused by overregulation mean fewer jobs in energy intensive manufacturing. and, sadly lower-income families and senior citizens who live on fixed incomes are disproportionately impacted by higher energy costs. as chairman of the subcommittee on clean air and nuclear safety i will lead the fight against excessive government regulation that has been devastating my state. there are many areas of energy policy where we can find common ground. while the proposed e.p.a. greenhouse gas standards are misguided, we should continue to make the use of fossil fuel cleaner and more efficient.
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we must continue to support important research at morgantown's national energy technology lab and other labs that allow us to make environmental progress even as we continue to use our natural resources. natural gas is a large and growing part of west virginia's economy. i'm a child of marshall county, which is the heart of the marcellous shale development in west virginia. i am delighted to see these communities come alive with opportunity. it is proof positive that an energy economy is a jobs economy. we need improved infrastructure in order to make full use of these gas reserves. we need new natural gas and oil pipelines that safely connect producing regions with manufacturers. we need new markets that can make use of these vital resources. we need a pro-exports policy that will benefit our country in multiple ways. the nation will see more jobs in
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investment more security and a more independent future and at the same time we can strengthen our relationships with important allies overseas by providing them with the energy they need. these are just a few of the ideas that i hope to refine and accomplish during my first term in the senate. notably, there are many, very, very important issues like national security, fiscal responsibility and a balanced budget and replacement of the affordable care act that i will be focusing on. our plate is full and expectations are high as they should be. we need to roll up our sleeves and deliver. i'm optimistic that we can find solutions that move our country forward. there will be differences of opinion and philosophy along the way but americans expect that we bridge those gaps. senator byrd, the longest serving senator said it best -- and i quote -- "i love this senate. i love it dearly.
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i love the senate for its rules. i love the senate for its precedents. i love the senate for the difference that it can make in people's lives." fighting for west west virginians always has and always will be my top priority. i'm honored -- i can't overstate that -- honored to represent the great people of the mountain state as we strive to create a strong and prosperous future. now is the time for washington to work for west virginia and i stand ready to do my part. thank you. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: mr. president i just want to say to our new senator from west virginia what an outstanding initial speech about not only her state but the way forward for our country and i congratulate her for an outstanding set of comments.
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mr. manchin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senior senator from west virginia. mr. manchin: i also want to congratulate my colleague from west virginia. and we've spoken before that maybe we can show the way to have a better relationship building effort here in the senate and working together for the people and the common cause of west virginia and also the country. and that's our most important thing. so i congratulate her on a great speech and look forward to working with her for our great people of w west virginia west virginia and i think she's going to do a great job and i just want to thank her again. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from virginia. mr. kaine: mr. president i rise to address a question to myself and every member of this body and the question is this. it's a serious one. is the senate capable of tackling challenging national security questions in a mature
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and responsible way? we have many hard national security challenges before us now. three are urgent. the discussions about a potential nuclear deal with iran iran. the discussions in this body about military action by the united states against isil. and the deliberations that will take place this month about the american budget which will determine whether we have the resources we need to meet our security challenges. we have got to show the american public and, i would argue the world that we can give these issues the careful consideration they deserve. but, mr. president i am forced to admit that recent events have caused me to have some significant doubts about our institutional capacity to tackle these issues in a responsible way. we recently at the end of february ran up to the very
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brink of shutting down the department of homeland security at a time when terrorist threats and other threats to our homeland security are so obvious on our borders and all throughout the world. thank goodness after a week extension of funding for homeland security, we pulled back from the brink but that did not lead to an increase in confidence in this body that congress would contemplate not funding the department of homeland security. last week there was a joint address to congress by prime minister netanyahu. i spent many hours conversing with prime minister netanyahu in his office about iran and other topics but i'm sad to just look at that joint address and basically say that it was history making in some unfortunate ways. congress has heard from the prime minister or president of israel seven times in the last 50 years eight times if you count last week but last week's
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address was unusual because it was designed in a partisan way an invitation by the leadership of one party with an intentional decision not to let the white house know not to let the minority party in congress know and to schedule the speech within the days before a contested foreign election, leading many to conclude that it was an effort by congress to affect a foreign election which we should never do. following that speech a carefully worked-out bipartisan bill that has been introduced in congress to give congress an appropriate review role over any potential iranian nuclear deal was hijacked basically. instead of allowing the bill to go through congress, there was a decision to force the bill to a floor for an immediate vote which was seen by all as a partisan move. it was described by one of the sponsors of the bill, one of the
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republican sponsors of the bill, as an effort to embarrass democrats. now, thank goodness at the -- at the end of the day that effort to accelerate consideration of what was a bipartisan bill was pulled back and we will not be doing that this week. we will be allowing a normal committee process. but the fact that the effort was made did damage to reasonable bipartisan consideration of this important issue. and then yesterday we all awoke to the news that there had been a partisan letter of 47 senators senators 47 of my colleagues, many of whom i work with very closely not to the president saying we have concerns about a deal and we're going to weigh in. but instead, to the leader of a nation that -- that we characterized as a terrorist state presuming to instruct the nation about what congress might or might not do, widely viewed as an effort to undercut or dilute diplomatic negotiations
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that are in the best tradition of our country, the notion of diplomacy. i just came from hearings this morning in the armed services committee where we've heard what we've heard for 2 1/2 years advice from our military leadership to the senate that sequester is hurting our national defense. will you finally listen to us, will you do something about it? and taken together, all these events of the last few weeks suggest a senate, the possibility, a sad possibility of a senate that will elevate partisan political division over careful and constructive deliberation even on the most critical security issues that affect the security of our country and the world. i deeply believe that this body senate and congress generally have to pull back from the brink of irresponsible and partisan action with respect to these critical security questions because the stakes are simply too high. with respect to the iranian
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nuclear negotiation i share many of the concerns of my colleagues, of the 47 who wrote the letter. i share many of the concerns of the prime minister that were shared in the speech last week. but i deeply believe we should not try to tank a deal critique a deal, undercut a deal before there is a deal. because to the extent that there's efforts to stand and say, "this is a bad deal" before there is a deal the message that is communicated to the american public and to the world is we will never accept any deal. we are not interested in diplomacy. we are not interested in negotiation. and that attitude plays directly into the hands of the nation of iran which is currently engaging in terrorist activity. they would want to be able to blame the absence of any deal on an intransigent united states that is unwilling to negotiate in good faith. we shouldn't tank a deal before
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there is a deal. instead why don't we do what we're supposed to do as the greatest deliberative body in the world? why don't we allow negotiators who have been working in the best traditions of american diplomacy, to see if they can find a deal and then put it on the table for the review of congress as has always been contemplated? i am a proud original cosponsor and worked on the draftsmanship of a bipartisan bill that was introduced under the key sponsorship of foreign relations chair senator corker and ranking member senator menendez, to guarantee to congress an appropriate review of any final deal with iran over their nuclear program if such a deal is reached. this is a bill that is rigorously bipartisan, not partisan not political not rushed not accelerated rigorously bipartisan. it respects the ongoing process
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by allowing the negotiators to do their work and see if they can find an outcome. it guarantees congress a debate and vote if a deal includes relief under the congressional sanctions that congress has enacted over the years. it is appropriately differential to the executive allowing the executive the flexibility to do sanctions relief under executive or international sanctions that have not been part of any congressional statute. this is a bipartisan bill that provides some assurance to allies our allies in the region allies that are most affected by the iranian nuclear ambitions are not part of the p-5 plus 1 whether you're talking about israel or gulf states or jordan, the nations most affected by iranian nuclear ambitions are not part of the 3-5 plus 1 and that would give them some comfort that a deal, if announced would receive some
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careful scrutiny in this body. and finally the corker-menendez bipartisan approach even provides i think some important assurances to iran in the negotiation. we want iran to make not small consensus. we want them to make big and bold concessions and give up any intent to develop nuclear weapons. but what is the likelihood that iran will make those consensus if they have no knowledge about what congress' intend is vis-a-vis the congressional statutory provisions? there's a right way and a wrong way to approach these matters. to rush it, to ban -- to label a deal as a bad deal before there is a deal to make it entirely partisan rather than bipartisan reflecting the will of the body, is an effort to undercut negotiations that weakens our president, weakens our country weakens our credibility. whereas if we proceed in a bipartisan way, we can make the deal stronger.
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similarly, and then i want to cede a moment to my colleague the senator from maine, we are about to start work on another critically important issue -- whether congress should finally after seven-plus months, have a debate to authorize an ongoing war against the islamic state and the levant that was begun on theth of august by the president. we are now in the eighth month of a unilateral war and aside from a foreign relations committee vote in committee in december congress has not had a meaningful vote or debate on this fundamental responsibility. we owe it to ourselves to this institution, we owe it to the important national security interest at stake and especially we owe it to the people who are risking their lives in this war and we've already had deaths of american service members as part of operation inherent resolve. we owe it to them to show that we can have a meaningful debate that is not partisan, that is not rushed, but that is careful
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and deliberate. because they've been waiting for seven-plus months to see whether congress even cares. we're at war by a presidential act, does congress even care enough to have the debate on the floor of the senate and the house of representatives is it just partisanship now is it just delay now does the fact that our service men and women are risking their lives even matter to us now? this is the debate that we will be entering into within the next few days starting with the hearing in the senate foreign relations committee tomorrow. we can't afford on important issues of national security like iran or like the war against isil to send the impression to our troops to our citizens, to our global citizens around the world that on these important matters congress is now just a partisan sort of sideshow rather than deliberative body we were set up to be. we've got to find a bipartisan
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path forward on these -- on these important security issues or we weaken confidence in the institution and the leadership of this country. in conclusion, mr. president the national security interests that are at stake right now before us are fundamental whether it's about iran, whether it's about the battle against isil, or whether it's about the budgetary deliberations that we'll be undertaking this month a budgetary deliberation that will determine whether we can meet our commitments in these national security challenges or not. we've got to get these debates right for the good of our country and the world and we have to get them right to demonstrate to all that this institution does have the mature ability to tackle these issues in a reasonable way. with that, mr. president i would like to yield the last minute or so of my comments to my colleague from maine senator king. mr. king: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maine. mr. king: mr. president
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there's little i can add to the senator from virginia's eloquent statement of the issue. i think this institution is being tested this week, this month, and over the next several months in a way that is really somewhat new. the test,, the question is, can we deal with the most serious of issues facing this country and the world in a responsible, reasonable and yes, bipartisan, nonpartisan way? i also worked with bob corker, senator kaine the whole group that worked on putting together senator menendez, putting together a bipartisan bill to provide congress a role in the approval of whatever deal is struck with iran. i believe congress should have that role. but in those discussions my concern was that several -- some of our members will not be able to resist the temptation to
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politicize and make a partisan issue even this grave issue of war and peace. this grave issue that faces this country and the entire world of the possibility of a regime such as that in iran achieving nuclear weapons. this is not an ideological debate. this is a serious debate about the future of this country. it's one of the most -- this is one of the most serious negotiations of our adult lives. and i want congress to have a role but i want it to play that role weighing the merits, pro or con the actual materials that are in the treaty, in the agreement. i want us to have that role, but i want to be sure that we can respond to that in a responsible way. and the actions of the last few days have frankly shaken that
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confidence. because we have seen what appears to be an effort to gain political and partisan advantage from this gravest of national issues. i understand that there are differences about what the deal should look like and what the terms should be. that's okay. that's what we should be discussing. but to turn this into a partisan issue i think does a great disservices to this entire country and to undercut the president in the last stages of the negotiation to me is just -- it's unprecedented and unthinkable. i was a young man at the time of the cuban missile crisis. i cannot imagine that the congress of the united states writing a letter to khrushchev in the midst of those discussions and saying don't worry about this guy kennedy he doesn't speak for the country. and yet that essentially is what took place yesterday. i just don't understand the need
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or the helpfulness of such a statement at a time when we were already moving toward a bipartisan, i believe probably veto-proof bill, to provide this institution with a check on the quality of the deal that's being struck. it's just not productive and helpful to turn issues of this kind into partisan issues. and i hope that we can step back from this posture this partisan posture and meet this solemn responsibility to assess what the president and the administration and the other four countries the other five countries, the agreement that they come to with iran to determine whether indeed, it is in the best interests of the region and the world. that is our responsibility. i hope that we can muster
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the -- the ability to meet that responsibility in a serious way and not for once turn it into a partisan issue. thank you mr. president. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: thank you mr. president. i would like to take a few moments today to talk about federal workers in general and some of the people at the national institutes of health in particular. government workers guard our borders, protect us from terrorists treat our wounded veterans dispense social security checks to our retirees find cures for diseases, guide the nation's air traffic explore the tiniest particles in the vast expanse of outer space ensure our air is safe to breathe our water is safe to drink our food is safe to eat support
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our service men and women in harm's way and promote our interests and ideals abroad. who does the government work for? government works for america. "the washington post" recently reported that since reliable data first became available shortly before world war ii, the percentage of all employed people working for the federal government hit an all-time low in december, fewer than 2% of the total united states work force is employed by the federal government. over nearly the past half century from 1966 to 2012, the most recent year for which comparable data is available the number of federal workers in the executive branch dropped by 83,000. during that time, u.s. population increased from under 200 million to 300 million people and the gross domestic product nearly quadrupleled. we can argue over whether we want bigger government or smaller government but we should all agree we want better
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government. we can't have better government when federal workers are constantly under assault. we need to stop treating the federal work force like a rented mule. we need to treat the work force like the critical asset it is. a 2011 report by the national academy of public administration and the coatering foundation concluded that programs operated by civil servants receive significantly higher scores for management and effectiveness than those run by grant and contract-based third parties. i think part of the problem is that americans have come to accept that federal workers are just nameless, faceless bureaucrats. they aren't. they are people who are patriotic americans and dedicated to public service. they have families and support their communities. they have been asked to do more and more with less and less. wealth while being subjected to pay freezes sequestration-related furloughs, government shutdowns and the threats to their benefits. they have contributed $150
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billion to deficit reduction while still working hard on behalf of all americans. today as i mentioned i would like to focus on the federal workers at the national institutes of health. i would like to introduce my colleagues and all americans to a few of the federal workers who are making life better for all of us. but first a description of the n.i.h. so that people can understand its mission. i can sum up its mission in two words -- saving lives. the n.i.h. is the world's premier biomedical and research facility. its job is to perform the research to help improve the nation's health, a job it has carried out for over a century. i'm proud that the n.i.h. is headquartered in maryland but it's important to understand that n.i.h. supports medical research at other research institutions has created jobs and fostered economic growth in each and every state. while establishing and maintaining the united states as the global leader in the life
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sciences. n.i.h. supported research added $69 billion to our g.d.p. and supported seven million jobs in 2011 alone. in the weeks and months ahead congress and the administration will have to decide whether to replace sequestration with a more logical coherent, and strategic form of budgeting. while we will have disagreements over the details if anyone needs to be convinced about the value of replacing sequestration, look no further than the situation at n.i.h. funding restraints there are not only costing people their lives, and jobs, they're costing people their lives. n.i.h. funding has multiple drivers but comparing the fy 2013 figures with the 20052012, largely because of sequestration, approximately 640 fewer competitive research project grants were issued, approximately 750 fewer new patients were admitted to n.i.h. clinical centers.
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each one of these affect a person's life. each one of these have consequences. when we do not move forward as we should. a recent survey determined that nearly 20% of the biomedical scientists have considered leaving the u.s. due to sequestration. we're losing our best. nearly one half of the scientists surveyed said they have laid off staff in their laboratories or are considering laying off staff due to losing n.i.h. grants. more than 50% of the researchers say they have colleagues who have lost his her or jobs. what is the impact to life lifesaving medical progress, breakthroughs that do not happen oversight, in almost all instances it results from years of incremental research. cuts to research are delaying progress in medical breakthroughs including developing a better cancer drugs that zero in on a tumor with fewer side effects research on a universal flu vaccine that
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could fight every strain of influenza without needing a yearly shot, preventing the debilitating chronic conditions that delay development of more effective diseases that affects millions of americans. n.i.h. director dr. francis collins recently wrote the column "exceptional opportunities in medical science"? which he describes personal medicines. he's all shared concerns about the budget challenges n.i.h. faces and let me quote from dr. collins. although all of these ambitious scientific endeavors offer exceptional promise for advancing human life, the effect that unprecedented budget pressures are having on biomedical research cannot be ignored. due to inflation the n.i.h. budget has lost almost 25% of its purchasing power over the last decade. the decline has had important consequences. the n.i.h. once funded one in
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three research proposals but now only has enough resources to support one in six. as a result, a great deal of excellent science is being left unfunded. last october dr. collins stated that cuts in federal funding slowed the development of vaccines for the deadly ebola virus. -- and i quote -- "if he had not gone through a ten year slide in research support we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would have gone through clinical trials and would have been ready" -- unquote. think about the lives that would have been saved. to americans who wonder what their tax dollars do, some go to n.i.h. to fund treatment and cures for cancer, substance abuse, addiction diabetes and alzheimer's indeed. to date 145 n.i.h. supported researchers have received or shared 85 nobel prizes. not everyone wins a nobel prize so let me talk about people who aren't in the spotlights,
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people who some of our colleagues might refer to as nameless faceless bureaucrats. i'll highlight the work of two of them today who are making tremendous contribution as public servants. dr. nancy sullivan, chief of vaccine research center, has been working on an ebola vaccine nearly two decades dating back to when she was an investigator at the university of michigan with the then n.i.h. grantee and now former director dr. gary nablel. most vaccines spur antibodies that block a virus from entering the cells. but that approach doesn't work for ebola. it's why it's so difficult. gene-based vaccines can produce additional firefighters called t-cells that dr. sullivan created using pieces of ebola genetic material. it is the most promising approach yet and is being tested in parts of africa in parts that have been hit hardest by ebola.
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the concept for the doctor's vaccine has been 16 years in the making beginning back when few people outside the global infectious disease community had even heard of the deadly disease. over the years dr. sullivan and her team continued to tweak her ideas, constantly improving on them. eventually she followed dr. navel to n.i.h. many experts in the vaccine research community had begun to believe ebola was insurmountable. they thought it was just too aggressive for a vaccine to ever protect against it, but dr. sullivan never lost heart that her work would one day prove successful. the ebola virus infection is a highly lethal disease for which there are no effective therapeutic or preventative treatments. consequently work with these viruses rierl highly specialized containment labs, the highest biosafety labs. dr. sullivan is a leader in the field and has personally conducted many of the most critical experiments. her work on immunology and
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vaccine development is widely considered as some of the very best in the field. in spite of the difficulties associated with access to b.s.l.-4 labs, her work has consistently been a source of novel observations. dr. sullivan has her ph.d. from harvard university in 1997. she received her master's of science in environmental engineering in 1989, also from harvard university. i brought this poster to the floor where you see president obama visited n.i.h. to personally congratulate dr. sullivan for her incredible work on behalf of world health. some people may be familiar with the tv show "house." the main character dr. gregory house, is brilliant at diagnosing conditions and illnesses that baffle everyone else. the real-life dr. house is dr. william gahl, the founder of the undocumented diseases program at n.i.h.
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he is america's leading medical detective, a physician dedicated to finding answers for long-suffering patients with mysterious illnesses that have long eluded diagnosis. dr. gahl has brought together a unique combination of linked medical specialists researchers and medical resources to solve baffling illnesses and to provide desperate patients and their families with information and possible solutions and treatment for their often life-threatening ailments. results including diagnosis and treatment of the diseases so rare they don't even have names plus new genetic discoveries. improved disease management and advancement of medical knowledge. n.i.h. director dr. collins said that undiagnosed disease program which dr. gahl conceived and started, serve as a kind of court of last resort for patients without diagnosis. dr. gahl has convinced some of the best, brightest and busiest physicians to participate and devoted tremendous energy to examining patient records
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examining patients for in-depth analysis and help people who are seriously ill. his stewardship of the program regularly involves a collective effort by more than 25 attending physicians of different specialties. cooperation by a diverse group of experts have helped create a coherent few of each parents instead of an organ by organ process taken by most specialists. patients are brought to the n.i.h. campus in bethesda for an intensive week. they take medical histories perform exams and perform numerous tests. doctors debate various theories, trying to connect the dots, and some up with a possible diagnosis and treatment. scientists working with dr. gahl discovered the genetic cause of vascular disorders not previously identified in medical literature. the rare conditions identified nine individuals arising in adulthood and causing calcification in the hands and feet but does not affect arteries in the heart.
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these symptoms include acute pain after walking more than a short distance. the disorder previously baffled the medical field. in another instance, the physicians working with dr. gahl identified the reasons why women's muscles have grown painfully large and hard underneath her skin, making it increasingly difficult for her to perform daily activities. this turned out to be a very rare complication and the diagnosis by n.i.h. undiagnosed disease programs resulted in stem cell bone marrow transplant that allows her to lead a normal life. these are people who had no hope no hope at all. they come to n.i.h. and they have gotten government-supported help to give them hope and to give them life. dr. gahl earned his b.s. in biology from the massachusetts institute of technology in 1972, his m.d. from the university of wisconsin in 1976. he obtained a ph.d. degree in oncology research in wisconsin mccarthyle laboratories for
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cancer research in 1981. he has published more than 350 peer review papers and trained 36 biochemical genetics. dr. gahl has made a number of memphis nhl discoveries regarding rare diseases during his career. deciding who to admit into the undiagnosed disease program is always very difficult. many like triage on the battlefield, you have to make decisions about where you think you can do some good. the undiagnosed disease program serves people who feel helpless, who have suffered greatly have waited many years for answers and must be treated with respect and attention. according to dr. gahl, the n.i.h. caregivers understand the desperation the patients and their families feel and try to balance the difficulty finding solutions with a realistic measure of hope. dr. gahl director of n.i.h. clinical center said -- dr. john gallin director of the clinical center said that dr. gahl takes cases after everyone else has given up.
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he said in a short time the program has developed new approaches for investigativing understanding and diagnosing rare disorders and has added to the body of medical knowledge. as dr. gallin puts it, as a result of the n.i.h. undiagnosed disease program the language of medicine is changing, the different specialists are working together now are beginning to find common ways. nancy sullivan and bill gahl are just two of the dedicated people who work in the federal government. they are not nameless, faceless bureaucrats. they are dedicated hardworking americans trying to make life better for all of us under difficult circumstances. at a minimum they deserve our gratitude and respect. they also deserve a predictable and reasonable budget to support their critical work. in the weeks ahead, i will be discussing the accomplishments of other outstanding federal workers so that americans can understand government works for america. with that, mr. president --
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the presiding officer: under the previous order the senate stands in recess until also this one republican senator shelley moore capital delivered her first speech on the senate floor. tomorrow the senate foreign relations committee hears from john kerry ashton carter and general martin dempsey on president obama's request for the use of military force against ices. live coverage starts at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span3. the republican chair of --
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>> the republican chairman of the senate and house armed services committee have an editorial in today's "wall street journal." john mccain and mac thornberry right provided for national defense is the highest constitutional responsibility of the federal government which congressional republicans now showing equal measure with president obama but we believe the country cannot meet those responsible within the cap fund and sequestration. washington does not change course now republicans will share the blame for the national security failure that will inevitably result. you can read the rest of that and "the wall street journal" or go to its website. coming up next, a portion of the memorial service for former senator edward brooke of massachusetts. he passed away in january at the age of 95. he was the first african-american to be elected to the senate by popular vote. there are some tributes from the washington national cathedral
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from earlier today. >> senator markey, senator scott, senator warner, members of congress, governor patrick, and all the members from the brooke family. good morning to all it is a privilege for me to be able to share some thoughts about ed brooke. i want you to think back half a century. imagine a room in the 1960s where all the leading massachusetts politicians are gathered. kennedy mccormick o'neill, colby, brooke. among them one figure stands out as the courageous
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representatives of an embattled minority, ed brooke alone undaunted, the only episcopalian. [laughter] imagine another room the chamber of the united states senate, shortly after noon on january 10, 1967 a man of dignity strides down the center aisle, legislators rise and applaud. the gallery cheers. the first african-american popularly elected to the senate takes his seat. in that moment ed brooke was not just a pioneer. he was an advanced scout probing the soul of our country. 26 years would pass before a second african-american would be
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elected. imagine a young man raised in washington joining the army immediately after college in pearl harbor. later deploying to italy as part of a segregated infantry battalion. there, lieutenant brooke watched in anguish as his buddies were sent each morning to attack a heavily fortified german position. the young soldiers soon became convinced that his men were being used as cannon fodder by racist commanders. he proposed a shift in tactics and operation staged later in the day when the enemy would be sleeping. the answer came back the colonel would never send a boy to do a man's job. broke persisted -- brac
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persisted in the operation he organized finally went ahead catching the enemy by surprise and driving them from the amount and. his battalion suffered 1300 casualties, and they won 27 medals, among them a bronze star for ed brooke. it's reward was to be dismantled and its personnel scattered to places where many could neither sit at the lunch candle -- counter nor vote. that's where we were back then. and we must never forget that as much as i patton and marshall, ed brooke and african-americans who joined in fighting fascism report of the greatest generation, and we owe them an incalculable debt. but this was just the beginning of ed brooke's journey. as a legislator, senator brooke was always on the cutting edge
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championing a woman's right to choose, taking on the tobacco industry when smoking was still considered to be pretty cool, initiating a program to help minority business people create jobs guaranteeing women equal access to credit and offering an amendment that to this day in naples tens of thousands of people each year to qualify for public housing and thereby escape shelters. ed brooke steered by his own companies, my friends. yet a sense of direction that clearly was defined in the chaos of war. when president nixon asked the senate to confirm a supreme court nominee who supporters argued, and i'm not making this up, that mediocrity deserved representation ed brooke looked his party's leadership in the eye and said no and did the
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same on two other nixon nominees. he also differed from the president by being right about the vietnam war, and voting to end it a position that mattered to a lot of constituents in massachusetts including this one. and when ideologues tried to gut voting rights law ed brooke use every instrument and the legislative toolbox to stop it declaring that liberties that took a century or more to secure must never again he denied. a vow that as president obama reminded of so eloquently and powerfully in selma on saturday remains as timely now as ever. for all of his career ed brooke was his own man. as attorney general he was relentless on cracking down on corruption which, in
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massachusetts in the early 1960s, provided what we might call a target-rich environment. is electoral triumphs were astonishing in a state that was only 2% black, where school desegregation at the time was an explosive issue and where the face of prejudice might appear either ugly with anger or thinly masked like code words. in one early race that he narrowly lost, his opponent, kevin white claimed to see no hidden message in campaign bumper stickers that read simply vote white. repeatedly ed brooke was urged by the political establishment not to run for higher office to instead bide his time until massachusetts was quoted quote ready. indeed in 1962 when he ran for
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attorney general, his opponent was the formidable elliot richardson, a man with deep connections who what was socially and financially the upper echelons of the commonwealth, but ed brooke didn't back down. and because he didn't, a straight line can be drawn between his electoral victories and that of another african-american this time in the national arena some four decades later. i was in high school when ed brooke first ran for statewide office attracting so many democratic voters to the republican primary that our party had to work for months afterward to reregister them. and i met ed early on 1971 when i was protesting against the war, but i really didn't know him until after i arrived in washington as a senator. in my early years in the senate he would come by occasionally and talk about the job or the
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events of today. and whenever i saw him, i was struck by his warmth his kindness, his interest in what i was doing. he was a charismatic man with a genuine laugh and a resonant voice and a ready willingness to talk to anybody can answer their questions, and especially mine. one topic we discussed was the parallels after all we had both gone directly from college to war to law school to a prosecutor's office, then to spend many years as the junior senator from massachusetts. we have each won and lost elections and guess what we both agreed that winning was a lot better. he leads me few public -- believe me few public statements are harder to deliver than a concession speech after a
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closely contested, even better race. in 1978, i will never forget i was in -- i was struck by how ed's remarks set a new standard for grace amid pain. he congratulated his opponent and ted tribute to allies who would come he said carry on his work. he was flanked by one great source of strength his mother. and alluded to a second in setting, when i was down in the valley i didn't cry. i cried out and you gave me the strength to move on. early on this proud son introduced me to held in brooke who during my years in the senate embrace me as much as anyone in this city. mother brook love her family and her church. she loved a good time and she taught her son out to be a successful politician. always think people, she said
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and make them feel special. that advice stuck. as one colleague observed when ed brooke looked at you you felt it was not only thinking about you and only you but he probably had not thought about anyone else in weeks. 15 years ago the court house just across from it own district office in boston was named after ed brooke, a to b. to the great reminder to all of his love for the law. in massachusetts, three charter schools are dedicated to his memory and many of their students made the journey from the land of the seven-foot snowdrifts to be here with us today. there are also many students from dunbar, his high school alma mater. senator brooke shunned the title of trailblazer, but that's what he was.
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he inspired thousands of young people of every race to enter public service. some criticized him for not being more outspoken or for not being enough of this for enough of that, trying to mold him into their expectations, but he was always true to himself. he fought with determination for the poor, the minority's, for women and for what he felt was right. he was the embodiment of a style of legislating that that in substance over rhetoric, and public needs over public agendas, and he knew that government wasn't the enemy. government is us. bipartisanship to him was never a four letter word. so we are privileged privileged to be here. family friends admirers in
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celebration and in thanksgiving for this remarkable man. in recent years as ed brooke received the highest civilian honors our nation can bestow the congressional gold medal, the presidential medal of freedom. he reminded us that the work to which he had dedicated his own best efforts remains unfinished. ed brooke understood the ebb and flow of life. he endured great loss and enjoyed exuberant triumphs. he saw the valleys and mountain tops. and he would be the first to tell us that he lived a full and blessed life. for him and for that we will always be grateful.
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>> anne, family colleagues, public officials, friends all of senator edward william brooke. you do not grow up desiring to be a united states senator if you were born in the district of columbia in 1919. not if you live in one of the districts african-american communities -- not if you want to our segregated public schools and graduated from dunbar high school. and the senator's class of 1936 is in the church today. and from howard university. not even if he became a world
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war ii hero and won the bronze star leaving your segregated union in broad daylight on an enemy bunker. and circling not if -- certainly not if your hometown had note the elected self-government, much less senators. edward william brooke was nurtured in a loving, closely knit, aspiring african-american community in the district of columbia. but it did not groom him to think of himself as a public official. senator brooke owed much to a childhood spent in our city where children were raised to believe segregation did not for a moment mean you were in -- you
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were inferior. but the man that became a natural politician charismatic charming, brilliant and utterly approachable, invented himself and went on to become not only a public official but a historic figure. the senate has always had its share of self-made men and women. edward brooke was a self-made senator. many had thought of barack obama as a man ahead of his time until the president into the capital in 2000 that you present the congressional gold medal to senator brooke. after receiving the medal, senator brooke regaled us with remarks that must have been
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written in his head and his heart. because without so much as a note he accepted the medal in a voice that resonated as it must have when he spoke in the senate about the brooke amendment to the fair housing act which limited to 25% the portion of income a family must pay in rent for public housing. don't ask me how a black man without guideposts became one of the most popular politicians ever in massachusetts, a state where only 2% of the population was black. i cannot explain the conundrum that was edward brooke, but i
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experienced the warmth and the talent that made him successful as a public man and dear as a friend. and i can tell you this edward brooke never forgot where he came from. sna -- the city that nurtured his uniqueness. without hesitation he volunteered to talk with senators in his republican party. when the senate and the house both past the d.c. house voting rights act. he succeeded. the vote for the district was lost to an amendment that would've wiped out all of the district's gun laws in return for votes in the people's house.
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senator brooke place in american history was sealed and delivered long before he died in january. his place as the first african-american elected to the senate with the popular vote and his extraordinary record as a senator are even more remarkable when you consider his origins here in the district of columbia which had no local government at all. the residents of his hometown continue to struggle for equal rights as american citizens, and for stated, but nothing could inspire our citizens more than a
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native son born in a city without a vote or a local public official who rose to task votes in the senate of the united states. thank you. >> the u.s. senate is in recess right now to attend their party lunches. they will be back this afternoon at 2:15 p.m. to continue working on it and that human trafficking bill. there are votes and amendments possible throughout the afternoon. you can see that live here on c-span2. several of president obama's cabinet secretaries addressed
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the national league of cities conference yesterday. homeland saturday secretary jeh johnson talked about terrorism and immigration. energy secretary ernest moniz epa mr. gina mccarthy and transportation official followed mccarthy with a panel discussion on each of their budgets and priority. also interior secretary sally jewell spoke about the need for children to learn and play in the great outdoors. good afternoon again and welcome everyone. [applause] >> we welcome you to this afternoon's general session. thank you to jimmy for entertaining the crowd, and to the city of nashville for bringing him to washington. thank you so much. let's give him a round of applause. [applause] this morning we were honored to be part of a historic event for
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the national league of cities and its members. i believe this afternoon session will be memorable in its own right, and very informative as well. we will hear from several representatives from the administration as well as a thought-provoking panel discussion on infrastructure and climate change. it is now my pleasure to introduce our first speaker this afternoon. secdef homeland security jeh johnson -- secretary of homeland saturday jeh johnson. [applause] i know from experience you will really enjoy him and we are going to learn a lot. he was sworn in on december 23 2013, as the fourth secretary of homeland security. prior to joining dhs secretary johnson service general counsel for the department of defense. where he was part of the senior management team and lead more than 10,000 military and civilian lawyers across the department.
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as general counsel of the defense department, secretary johnson oversaw the development of legal aspects of many of our nation's counterterrorism policies. he spearheaded reforms to the military commission system at guantánamo bay in 2009 and co-authored the 250 page report that paved the way for the repeal of the "don't ask don't tell" in 2010. secretary johnson scooter has included extensive service in national security, and law enforcement, and as an attorney in private corporate law practice. from its role in for something illegal immigration and enforcing its immigration law to his responsibilities for coordinated responsibilities to national disasters and other large emergencies, cities recognize the importance of strong leadership in the area of homeland security. please join me in welcoming secretary jeh johnson. [applause]
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>> thank you mayor. good to be here. good afternoon everybody. welcome to washington and 60 degrees weather. i know we are really happy about that. as i was in the back waiting to come up here, i had a moment of great trepidation listening to the musical segment. someone said to me well, you know you have to sing. [laughter] well, i can't sing. your secdef homeland security does not know how to carry a tune. i do know a few things about the national league of cities. i'm here to pay tribute to this organization and to thank you for to very very major and
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important positions that you have taken over the last several months. and i have been asked which obligate you. i have an important task. first i have to tell a story. thank you for the wonderful and warm welcome you give our president this morning. [applause] i recall i recall -- this is a lively group, a good crew. i'm going to enjoy talking to you. i recall it years ago, january 8 2008 des moines iowa introducing senator barack obama for the first time to my 12 year old daughter then 12, now a college freshman. he walked into the room. there were many cameras a lot of excitement come and my daughter was standing right behind me. and i said to her follow me.
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i'm going to finally introduce you to our next president of the united states, senator barack obama. and we pushed forward through the crowd, and i turn around to introduce my 12 year old daughter to senator obama and she is gone. and the reason she is gone is because scarlett johansson has walked into the room. [laughter] select on my daughter. i scolded her, and she said i'm really sorry, dad. into my 12 year olds credit, on her own she pressed forward through the cameras, through the fans, and introduced herself to senator obama with the words mr. obama, i'm really sorry. my dad wanted me to meet you but i had to meet an important person first. [laughter] [applause] i'm sure you all would agree
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that our president is an important person. all of you are important people for reasons that i'm going to discuss today. i was in selma alabama yesterday. and as i sat through the almost for our church service listening to the speeches and sermons my mind turned, i am a graduate of morehouse -- moorhouse college, class of 1979. my mind turned to our most famous alumnus from the class of 1948, martin luther king, jr. one of my favorite quotes martin luther king is the following the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience and comfort, but what he stands at times of
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challenge and controversy. today of course we would have to modify that to say man or woman. today, i'd like to say to you the national league of cities, the ultimate measure of an organization is not where it stands in moments of convenience and comfort, but where it stands at times of challenge and controversy. so i want to thank the national league of cities, first for your stand with the men and women of the department of homeland security as we fought for full year appropriation last week. [applause] i want to thank you for standing with the 225000 people in our organization who are members of the coast guard and secret service, fema, immigration enforcement, citizenship and immigration services, and i
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could go on and on for your courageous and unyielding stand in support of the homeland security of this nation, in support of a full year appropriation for our department, and in support of our people. many people have said to me, congratulations, you must be happy. and i had to respond, we walked back from a cliff, literally. i would've had to furlough 30,000 men and women of our department who depend on the paycheck. you mayors out there, imagine having to tell your own workforce, you must and work but i can't pay you during this period of time that you must come to work. so we avoided the shutdown and we now have a full year appropriation for fy '15. it is a good bill. it is a good appropriation. we are not able to find our
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vital homeland security missions which includes important grants to states, ma towns and cities like those represented in this room for purposes of homeland security. it is especially important that in these times we work together on our joint homeland security missions. the reality is that we have evolved to a new phase in the global terrorist threat which requires that we evolved to a new phase in our counterterrorism efforts. the global terrorist threat today is more decentralized more complex. it includes the phenomenon of foreign fighters, those going to places like syria and then returning to their home communities. it involves use of the internet to reach into communities
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perhaps your own community, in an attempt to recruit and inspire someone to commit an act of violence. we are concerned about the independent actor, the so-called lone wolf who can strike at a moment's notice. for my department and for the u.s. government in general, it makes working with state and local communities governors mayors police chiefs, commissioner, sheriffs, all the more important. we do this through the issuance of joint intelligence bulletins and through our grant making activity. the reality is that given of the global terrorist threat has evolved in this country, and in other countries, in europe and elsewhere the cop on the beach may be the first one to learn
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about the terrorist attack. in 2015 therefore, homeland security must also mean hometown security a plus but -- hometown security. [applause] on our end your engaged militarily against isil in iraq into syria along with an international coalition. we are engaged in our law enforcement efforts to interdict and prosecute those who provide material support to terrorists. the fbi does a terrific job. i have directed the enhancement of our federal protective service at federal buildings in major cities around the country. we have enhanced aviation security in this country and that last point of the portrait airports into the united states. this by the way, must include working with cities,
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municipalities on airport security as well. we are moving forward with our preclearance capability to establish more security on the front and at airports overseas. every opportunity i have to defend the homeland from the 50-yard line as opposed to the one yard line we should take. we are evaluating whether more security is necessary for our visa waiver program, for those who would travel to the united states from countries for which we do not require a visa. we are working with our counterterrorism partners and allies overseas more and more to deal with the global terrorist threat as it evolves. we are enhancing the effectiveness of fusion centers. those are things that many of you in this room are familiar with that exist in every state. we have revamped our "if you see
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something, say something" campaign. "if you see something, say something" must be more than a slogan. it requires can't, it calls for public participation in our efforts, and our homeland security efforts. we are engaged in what we call countering violent extremism interaction with communities around the country. i have personally been to places like alumnus ohio chicago, los angeles boston, minneapolis, to talk to committee leaders in communities where there is the potential for young people to turn to violence. in my view, given how the world situation has evolved, it is all the more important that we do that here in the homeland. so when i go to these engagements, very often i am with the police commissioner, the mayor the city council member the sheriff, and so
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forth. the other thing i want to thank this organization for is your support for our efforts to reform the immigration system. we would have preferred congressional action, but the president and i identified nine actions we could take within our existing legal authority to reform our system. we have issued reforms to facilitate the implement of high skilled workers, something the president talked about this morning facilitate the issuance of green cards for high skilled workers. we have strengthened border security. we have embarked upon a southern border campaign strategy. i am pleased to report that this january and february the number of total at predictions on our southern border -- apprehensions apprehensions, an indication of
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total attempt to cross the border illegally, the numbers month to month are now the lowest they have been in several years because of seasonal factors and, frankly, he goes of our efforts and those of our partners south of the border. last year as many of you know we saw the heartbreaking spectacle of a number of children unaccompanied by any parent attempting to cross the southern border. i personally met with hundreds of children to i am happy to report that this year, this month, last month there was a 42% decrease in the numbers of unaccompanied children from where we were last year. we are encouraging citizenship through greater public awareness to permitting people to pay for citizenship applications by credit card. we are embarking upon a reform for immigration enforcement
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personnel, and we are revamping what we call prosecutorial discretion. we are focusing the use of our resources to deport and remove people on felons, not families but we want to stop tearing families apart. [applause] we are emphasizing national security, public safety, and border security over tearing families apart. we have created a new deferred action program for parents for those who have been in this country for years, who have become integrated members of society. there are by most estimates something like 11 million undocumented immigrants living in this country. the reality is that given our resources they are not going to be deported by any
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administration, republican or democrat. the most striking thing about that number of people is at least half perhaps more than half have been here in excess of 10 years or so the president and i in november directed the creation of a new deferred action program for those who have been here five years who have children who are citizens or lawful permanent residents and who committed no serious crime. the reality is we have to deal with these people. we have to account for these people, and we should encourage them to come out of the shadows. as all of you know, our actions have been challenged in the courts. and i thank this organization for your support of our position in that lawsuit in texas. the national league of cities filed an amicus brief that he thinks is best.
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daca the deferred action program for parents will fuel economic growth for cities across the country, increase public safety and public engagement and facilitate the full integration of immigrant residents by promoting family unity and limiting family separation. that's from the national league of cities. thank you. [applause] from my homeland security point of view from my homeland security law enforcement point of view, we need to encourage people who have been here for years to come out of the shadows, be held accountable. frankly, the litigation at the decision and of the injunction puts us in an untenable position. the judge does not quarrel with the notion that we have the ability to engage in prosecutorial discretion,
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prioritize. prioritizes felons over families. prioritize criminals over those who have been your and not committed any serious crime. i want to take the additional step and encourage them to come out of the shadows we know who they are. injunction basically prevents us from doing that. we are supposed to somehow lead these people in the shadows. we want to take steps to bring them forward have them pay taxes, apply for deferred action and apply for a work authorization, to encourage these people to be participants in society, report crimes, pay taxes, and get on the books. so don't think i will say about the case, the only thing more i will say about the case is this is what appeals courts are for. so what we say, what we must say to people in your communities
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who why personally met with the now, don't lose hope. as martin luther king said, the arc of the moral universe is long but it always bends towards justice. those who in this country struggle for citizenship struggle to become something more than a second class person know that history is on your side. now here's my ask. we have eliminated through our executive action one of our executive actions, the secure communities program. secure communities, the round is, was controversial legally and politically. and we've replaced it with a new program called a priority enforcement program. in my view working together with the mayors, governors
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sheriffs police chiefs, so that we can focus our resources on and they could criminals is a public safety imperative. that was the goal of the secure communities program but it is the, legally and politically controversial. but the overarching goal, in my view, is a public safety imperative. and 177 jurisdictions states, cities counties to one degree or another there were limitations placed on the jurisdictions ability to cooperate with our immigration personnel in the transfer of criminals for purposes of removal. since january 1 114 over 12,000 -- 2014, over 12,000 containers by our personnel were not under. frankly, in my view this state
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of affairs puts public safety at risk. so we have done away with the secure communities program and created a new program in its place which, in my view solve the legal and political controversy. we are no longer placing containers on individuals except that there's probable cause to solve the legal issue. we are replacing that with requests for notification. we are no longer putting detainer's on people based simply on an arrest. we are not only seeking the transfer of suspected terrorists, felons, convicted felons, those convicted of aggregated felonies, those active in street gangs, those convicted of significant misdemeanors and those convicted of three or more misdemeanors. so here's my ask. we want to work with you to restore this relationship.
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we have replaced the secure communities with a new program for the benefit of public safety, but i need a partner. and those in this room, in governors, mayors, county commissioners and so forth. we have done our part in the controversial secure communities program. now ask that you and others get with your city attorney your city council, your police commissioner, your chief get a hold of the policy document that issued in november to see how we've replaced the secure communities program for the benefit of all of those we serve. and if you are one of those 177 jurisdictions, you will get a knock on the door from me because we want to work with you to rebuild his relationship. in my view it is a public safety imperative. elsewhere in our department we are moving forward on our
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cybersecurity mission. we have legislation passed late last year. did administration has a new proposal for cybersecurity. this year which we hope that congress will act on we are doing a number of things to reform the way in which we do business in the department of security. the department of homeland security we filled all the senior level vacancies. we are rebuilding morale within the organization. wewe're moving in the direction of more transparency, and so forth. so this is a good time right now for homeland security. we have a new budget, and we are moving forward with our very important mission. but my overarching message here with all of you is it takes a partnership with the men and women in this room. for homeland security, for hometown security for public safety, for all of the people we as public servants represent.
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the last thing i will say to you is for my part i recognize that homeland security is a balance. it's a balance between basic physical security and our american values. the things we cherish, our civil liberties our right to peacefully assemble, our right to travel, diversity, the diversity we cherish. our heritage. i like to tell audiences that i can build you a perfectly safe city. we can build higher walls. we can interrogate more people. we can erect more scanning devices. we could screen more people to create a perfectly safe space. but it would not be a shining city on a hill. it would be a prison. so homeland security must be a balance between security of our people and the preservation of
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the things that we value as americans. i look forward to working with all of you in the days ahead on our joint homeland security public safety mission. thank you very much and thank you for listening. [applause] >> secretary johnson, on behalf of the national league of cities and its members, i want to thank you for joining us today. i also want to thank you for all of the good work you do to keep our cities safe, our country strong, and our citizens protected. it is now my great pleasure to introduce the members of this afternoon's panel session on infrastructure and climate change. at this time let me introduce our panel, each of these, each of these panelists are
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incredible folks in what they do on behalf of all of us and their particular focus for us as cities. first doctor ernest moniz, the sector of the department of energy. [applause] please join also in welcoming gina mccarthy, the administrator of the environmental protection agency. [applause] thank you. and find that i would like to invite to the stage peter rogoff who is the undersecretary of transportation. peter, thank you for joining us. [applause] >> so i'm going to ask each of
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these panelists to me just give us a brief comment, and then we're going to go into a series of questions. around topics that are so important to us in cities as well as obviously within the realm of responsibility. spent i think we are -- >> excuse me. >> doesn't matter. >> mr. secretary, why don't you start? >> thank you. and also greetings to my colleagues here. i'm not going to get into the things you know very well like the importance of cities and the importance of cities also in the context of our climate challenge. but let me focus on a few items in these opening remarks. off course all of you have tremendous responsibilities in terms of managing a lot of infrastructure in this country. let me say a word about the quadrennial energy review first
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installment that we expect to have coming out in a few weeks. this is a study that's been going on for over a year across the administration looking specifically at the issues of energy infrastructure transmission, storage, and distribution of energy. that includes electricity, it includes fuels it includes looking at reliability, resilience safety security of infrastructure. and as i said we will be coming out with that shortly. some of the findings in there, i would just note things like looking at analyzing risks from storm surges for example. there's modeling their showing category one storm's could inundate about 1000 bioelectric substations, for example, over these next decades. heat waves degrading our infrastructure, but also increasing things like pete
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equally requirements. oil and gas supplies depends upon reliable electricity to operate, but in turn particularly our power sector, a complex interdependency that we have to be careful about. the energy industry, another different aspect is by 2020 we expect to fill about 2 million jobs in the energy industry. ..
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which then in turn can lead to eligibility we hope for what will be a major infrastructure projects support. also, in the budget, there is something called the local energy program and that is $20 million to help cities and counties accelerate accelerate investments and efficiency and clean energy. so these are just some of the items that are in that ij. let me just mention to do things today. we are issuing now a noted goal assistance for our six team climate action champions. one of them is seeded here at the table so he is happy. maybe there are 15 more of you
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out there happy with that particular grant. but we are also pleased to announce $6 million to wear clean city programs for all turn at a fueled vehicle market growth projects. so this will support you have an community led projects to reduce market barriers and improve buyer awareness of plug-in electric and other alternative fuel vehicles. one such project will enable visitors in orlando, for example to receive information on plug-in electrics and a whole bunch of other projects i say that will be announced today. those are a few of the things that we are moving forward in terms of clean energy climate and energy infrastructure reliability and resilience. thank you. >> rate thank you so much. i hope everyone is taking notes
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on opportunities to help advance efforts and your community through the department of energy initiatives. administrator. being the first of all thank you for moderate and thank you for being one of the best mayors in the u.s. it is so exciting to see all the work you are doing. [applause] and is also at our committees, so i thank you for being a great advisor. thank you for letting me be back again. i don't know what i did last time, but maybe i did something right. it is great and i know you all are dying to get to question because you always are. we always follow-up with each and every one of them. let me be brief and thank ernie and peter for letting me join. i want to mention a couple things. i know that communities across the u.s. particularly cities and towns have been wonderful partners for epa both in identifying how best to spend
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things like state revolving fund and continuing to support that. look at the sustainability communities work. our fiscal year budget this year, the presidents request has really been recognizing what a great partner you are end is looking in a variety of ways to enhance the partnership with additional dollars. i want to point out a few things. number one, 42% of epa budget goes direct you to state local communities and the president is looking to up the ante to provide additional funds to continue to work together in climate resilience so we can provide expertise and tools you need to address you are changing weather patterns committee extreme weather events but also we know that climate is most significantly challenging our water infrastructure. so we are dealing with the new climate change and what we do
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about water and wastewater infrastructure. what you are invested and 40 50 years ago was now needing significant repair as well as new challenges on the drinking water side and we will continue to work on integrated planning that it has requested a significant increase over last year's request in the area srs and we look at new ways of continuing to support water and wastewater infrastructure not just in terms of helping with resilience and helping you look at how should you integrated planning and green infrastructure, but we have also recently announced the creation of a water infrastructure and resilience finance center. that is a way to have one place where you go think about whether they are creative financing opportunities that will bring private sector dollars to table, really built up a private partnerships because we know the money in the public sector is not going to get the job done that we are seeing because
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$600 billion in water infrastructure out there over the next 20 years. we have to pump it up and finding ways to finance it. we are also moving forward to lay the platform for our center under which he had because that's an important opportunity to take advantage of greater financing of the transportation agencies have found effect is that we want to do it as well. we will build it at the center as well. hopefully we will create our partnership in enhancing and looking for every opportunity to understand what the needs are and support that as effectively as we can. i think i will stop there. >> rate, thank you. >> well, thank you here first and foremost i need to express my apologies as a former member anthony fox cut recovering from minor knee surgery. let me also at kojima's
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observation that what a great partner mayor bakker is. he's not just a great advisor to us, and he and of been a great grantee. secretary moniz, whatever amount of technical assistance or money we have given. [laughter] >> if they gave me more money i would win. >> if anthony fox were here you would be talking to you how it's absolutely imperative that congress move forward and pass the go america act in the next few months. many of you knew last year the administration committed a long-term master was a four-year, $302 billion bill so we can get away from all these incremental expansions with some 32 separate individual extensions that have been milking the program along for the last several years. master resubmitted $302 billion for your bill and what week i was frozen funding for 10
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months. so this year and a president obama's leadership, we are doubling down. we are submitting in the weeks to come a six-year $408 billion will. [applause] that will bring overall funding close to 16% and we stay precisely what part of the tax code we would amend to pay for it and get the money to augment existing highway trust fund and resent the congress if they do not like the office that we are opening to talking about others. but they need to act. why are we pushing to grow america act so hard? we do it because we looked into the future and see what happens if we don't change our transportation policies and they don't change your funding project to read. a few weeks ago we at d.o.t. released our draft beyond traffic setting. i would really encourage all of you to look at it. you can see it at
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www.d.o.t../beyond traffic. it is a draft we are looking for your comments. what this document does this looks 30 years into the future and looks at all the trends we are going to experience both in population growth come of 70 more people by 2050 and the fact all of these people will be located in some areas that have undergone dramatic growth especially in the south and the west already undergoing congestion. frankly this study has taken on a resonance with the american public far beyond what we expected. we're approaching a quarter of a million downloads from her website of this study. we think it has taken on the residence because people know something is wrong. they see it in the potholes they have every day. they feed and worsening congestion. they see it increasingly unreliable it even while transit
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ridership grows. we've seen what what happened if this persists the next 30 years as a form of congestion we don't know when this country and one that will absolutely drive our economy down rather than serve a something that will grow jobs to support the 70 million additional americans. we are not asking for increased funding because we like infrastructure investment. we are asking for dramatically increased funding and improved policies because that is what our economy is going to need going forward. [applause] >> thank you. and a lot of our areas and members of yours will tell you in places like los angeles there is not room for additional highways. so we are very concerned that our partners in congress are
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looking to undershoot the target. some want to go in the tax code and raise enough money to freeze funding the next six years. the reality is defending on to allow us to maintain the infrastructure we have and four the critical pieces of infrastructure that are 50 60 70, 100 years old they will deteriorate because we will not have money to replace them. when it comes to frozen funding and status quo policies, we are against policy and against politics. we don't understand politics or congress goes into the tax code and raises money for transportation for the first time in more than two decades only to deliver to the public the existing deteriorated infrastructure and existing challenges to maintain the system. we think it makes a lot more sense to to raise the necessary revenue to address
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transportation and what our needs are going forward. we need to raise enough revenue to provide the growth the economy needs going forward. that is very nature. we need you to deliver the message to your legislators. many things in the go america act that this community should like. there's opportunities with the increased funding to increase the funds to states and localities by more than 50%. there is more than a doubling of the tiger program a program that assertion many cities including salt lake very well but where we turned on 15 applications for every one we can fund. so let me encourage you to tell your federal legislators that it's have to address the issue in that tank run margins. we would raise money to pay for transportation. we should raise the mind country and have to the future. [applause] >> thank you so much to all three of you.
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isn't it refreshing to hear talk about innovation creativity meeting the needs of partnering with community is quite as a fabulous set of statements. [laughter] so i have a few questions that i think would allow each of you to maybe expand a little bit on some of the things you talked about in your comments. you have noted of course how are infrastructure is failing. we certainly feel that very directly in our local roads and transit systems and the things we try to do to meet today's needs. tell me what your thoughts may be and i know this is true with the grow america act and i heard it in some of your comments, but how you think we can pay for that. and maybe as little more detail. ideas you have for how we can bring some of our costs down and working with cities, i.t. is you
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may have to make sure some communities have left behind. for example reference the tiger crane to move incredibly fortunate and have benefited from a tighter grip but for many smaller communities particularly having the wherewithal to develop a grant application is really intimidating. maybe you could comment on those things and the work you are doing and each of you if you could respond. >> shall i start? first of all, let me start by expanding it little bit on what mr. rogoff said he mentioned tiger. i want to say that the tiger grants clearly way oversubscribed and the point i really want to make in our
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quadrennial energy review, broadening it out to note that when we think of energy infrastructures, we think about wires and pipes. but in fact, associate infrastructures like talks -- i mean ports come in land waterways, rail, these are all critical for energy today and in fact the energy boom we see in the united states in oil and gas are severely taxing infrastructures in many, many ways we have not seen. the site grow america and other initiatives we hope to bring forward on this related infrastructures are very, very critical. just one comment on the issue of perhaps smaller communities. two points. one essay mentioned earlier, we are putting forward to congress and again we hope there will be action in terms of planning
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grants. we took $63 million has been mentioned. they are in the budget request. these are precisely to develop plans that can then be fundable and not should go through -- should go through all communities in the face. we help in developing this key we are 13 meetings with state local and tribal governments and we are just hoping we are going to be able to work with you in terms of developing these planning approaches that allow us to move forward on infrastructure. a second point i will make another site recently. it's not a very small community but in toledo, ohio, for example, where the city's plan for downtown rebirth very much tied in to developing novel
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ideas around energy. and combining power and renewables, et cetera. those are areas through our city programs that we are very happy to talk with communities and provide technical assistance in terms of developing proposals that are forward-looking and providing infrastructure that is good for the economic growth but also good for brazilians in the face of the threat that we see ahead. >> let me mention a few things to cut back all of you know that epa does not have zeros on the end of our budget that these guys do. so we have to work on it. one of the things i think epa does very well is provide technical assistance to communities. we have strong relationships with our communities. we don't go in there telling them what our vision is.
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we go in asking the question of how do we work with do to make your vision succeed and i think we have shown not in the work we do with sustainable communities. it is amazing what a 15 or $20,000 technical assistance grant can do to get a community struggling to gather and identify good steps moving forward about how they can change their dynamic. how do they make it more vibrant economically and use the funds of the other regencies bring to the table to then get a tiger grants. it doesn't take much to build a bike path but when a community decides they will build, we can help with that, but that changes dynamics of the community. it makes it more vibrant active. other things happened. one of the good things epa is trying to figure out how to do better at learning lessons from sustainable communities we will be honing technical expertise in the region.
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we've identified 50 communities or regions are actively working with communities and with regional partners from hud d.o.t. d.o.e. other agencies that can work with that than go to communities and do exactly what they want us to do is listen to them identify opportunities for funding. we will attract those 50 communities and come back with success. you'd be amazed at what he brownfield grant us for both planning and cleanup. it can dramatically change with the small cleanup of a small lot that makes it safer and more vibrant. we are looking at how we expand opportunities to do that and really track it. the other thing i just wanted to mention as we have a bunch of work going on on
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infrastructure, which is how we look at infrastructure planning differently, how we build great infrastructure that makes communities more livable more vibrant in another south but also happens to be a whole lot better than concrete and building big pipes. so there are opportunities to cure the problems in a way that is tremendously cost effect is and also builds up local economies and gross jobs at the same time. leave it or not i firmly believe that climate efforts are exactly the same thing. that is exactly why yes we are looking at our carbon strategies and power plants, we are opening up opportunities to be more flexible about how to work with you to great advantage economically in job growth in the choices they make on how to reduce carbon pollution. they can do it if they want to. get active in those discussions with the state.
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we are actually providing hopefully if the president's budget goes or $25 million directly. to help them with the planning and implementation peace. the president has proposed a $4 billion budget line item that actually is trying to establish an incentive for states that want to go faster and further to be able to build the infrastructure you need to make climate reductions work. these are things we can do together. [applause] so while we have to do is be really smart partners. epa needs to be focused on providing you technical is this didn't do know how you can meet environmental challenges in ways that actually promote economic growth and job growth. if we can keep our eye on both of those prizes at the same time, we will be the partners are public can be in. the partners they keep them safe keep our actual
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infrastructure moving and healthy keep them healthy and continue to grow the economy. that is what brought working towards. none of us are in our realm stovepipes. i wish i was because ernie bothers me a lot. but i'm trying to get over it and will deal with these issues. that is what you want delivery. >> they are both from the main thing. you can tell. >> let me issue of lowering costs because it's embedded in title i of our build america act an important initiative we've worked with her epa and other partners that were responsible for the environmental review process and that is a whole series of statutory provisions to speed up the environmental review process on infrastructure projects for getting better results for the environment. it is not all that hard but
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some of it does take statutory change. areas where we do our reviews coincidently or at the same time rather than concurrently, were some of his way through the file for many months to get it to the next agency who answer to the next agency. we made progress on that. we think it can make a lot more progress. secretary moniz will tell you it will get more expensive that the passage of time. initiatives that were affordable quickly become unaffordable with the passage of time. so if we could take time off the process, we could get more projects for the money. we have to address the issue head on. you also asked about a tiger grants. we hear the message loud and clear because we have a mayor who has struggled to put
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together dollars locally to match federal funds that time and he had a prosperous city. you will see a difference in our notice of funding availability whereas we have always overmatched by local communities. we will continue to do so but will also recognize those communities that cannot provide enough or not should make sure they are fully competitive with everyone else. >> i mention one other thing? i did mention the water infrastructure resiliency finance center which is a new effort to look at creative financing opportunities to bring in private-sector dollars did that also has a partnership with usda. i should mention we have significant funds for wirral infrastructure. a lot of the focus of very small community is going to be how you bundle small community projects together to allow new opportunities for financing.
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usda is really on top of this issue. if you're interested in the work we are going to be doing, we are more than happy to reach out to you and make sure that you have the right connections, whether it's epa for srf for usda for world is. >> this is now d.o.t. folks collaboration. and a great example we were involved in. get involved to support a brilliant transportation. we did some car sharing to develop the plan and now successful for hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild that infrastructure.
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these creative ideas that we are looking for in terms of new approaches to resilient energy infrastructure in this case supporting transportation corridor. >> it is a very good example because that went throughout the disaster of hurricanes and the kind of money we got to address hurricane stan knee. importantly, a lot of people don't know this. many, many of the transit tunnels and highway tunnels under hurricanes and he had just flooded a year earlier under hurricane irene. far less newsworthy. but it makes the point of increasing frequency when the president provided the money for hurricane sandy, he made the point attack payers should not have to pay to clean up these critical facilities time and time again. we need to build them smarter in the fact he can withstand the future and that is part of what
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the micro grade test to make sure it's a power source for the relevant the structure in a way that isn't dependent on the power lines serving the last 70 years. be nice to go back to the earlier congress to act come here is the place but there's also policy actions congress needs to take to remove constraints on federal assistance to rebuild some are only the way it was before as opposed to building for the future. >> absolutely. >> critical point. [applause] >> so, it is time for me to leave. we are just about out of time. >> what happened to the questions and answers? >> all right. let me turn -- do we have time? they will each give you their cell phone numbers. if you are to call them any time. [laughter] let me invite you to do this.
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follow up please. e-mail to these folks in their departments and do a follow-up. i will say this. isn't it refreshing for those of us who are trying to work with what should be our federal partners, to have to direct conversation, the direct input around issues that we care about whether it's climate change or infrastructure i know that we have within these agencies and leading these agencies, folks who are genuinely looking for ways they can improve their partnerships to help us do our jobs locally. so to each of you, thank you so much. we really appreciate you being here. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> well thank you. they were suggesting that they give all of you my cell phone number and then pass it along. please follow up. it is now my great honor to introduce sally jewell the 51st secretary of the u.s. department of the interior. a secretary, she leads an agency of more than 70000 employees. department of the interior serves as steward of approximately 20% of the nations lands including national parks national wildlife refuges and other public lands.
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the department oversees the responsible development of conventional and renewable energy supplies on public lands and waters. it is the largest supplier manager of water in the 17 western states and upholds responsibilities to the 566 federally recognized american indian tribes in alaska natives. prior to becoming secretary sally jewell served in the air. most recently as president and ceo of rei, recreational equipment inc. and she joined rei as chief operating officer in 2000 was named ceo in 2005. during her tenure rei nearly tripled business revenues to $2 billion was consistently ranked as one of the 100 best companies to work for in "fortune" magazine. secretary jewell also as we know
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has become a great partner with the league of cities and our agreement with the department of the interior to further program to connect kids with nature. which she has made her special mission i think i secretary. please join me in giving a very warm welcome to secretary sally jewell. [applause] >> well, hi, everybody. are you awake? okay yes, long enough after lunch we should be fine. thank you or that kind introduction ralph. i just had a nice visit with chris coleman. you've got strong past and current leadership and it is a pleasure to be here with all of you today. i just want to start by thanking you up for your public service. whether you are a mayor or city
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council member or commissioner whatever they call you in your public service, have come to appreciate how tough your jobs are and how important your job sorry. thank you for everything you do. yes we can give you a round of applause. i also want to express my appreciation to clarence anthony and the good work you guys at the national league of cities. we were together talking about the partnerships i'll talk about in a little bit and it's clear you are important to this country because you have the president of the united case. you've had a good chunk of the cabinet. it seems we are all in town for the national league of cities, which is great. i want to talk to about a different dimension than some other colleagues. i want to start by asking you to close your eyes for a minute and picture the most special place from your childhood. would you humor me and do that for a minute?
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okay, you got it? how many of you for that special place was outside? okay, that's what i figured. ready good chunk. so when you think about that -- the place probably has something to do is place you grew up for a trip that a loved one took you to. for me oftentimes a special place to be romping around in the hobo jungle behind my house. we caught at the hobo jungle because it was a homeless cabinet. lisa put it pennies on the red road track about the rain whenever the pennies. we have to camp out in the backyard, which was a steppingstone to the life of enjoying great outdoors. my parents did in the city parks, state parks, national parks. i used a scale unseen since camp all the time. i remember camping safety tonight one year and that was a
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bit of what my childhood was about. when i think about that and i think about trajectory of my career, much of what i have done and where i have chosen to live has had to do with the quality of life of those communities. that is something you all care about because whether you are from a large city or small town for a large county with few people are a small county lots of people you want your future generations to stay. you want them to come back or do you want to say this is my special place. i want my children to have the same experience you had when you close your eyes about the special places. that has something to do with how we create an environment around our cities and a lot of that does have to do with parks and open basis in public lands. so as preparedness i asked a couple colleagues with their special places where i'm a parks
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and open spaces meant to them. mcauley, david jay out to was here and is led by youth initiative and the only person i brought with me from the outside world, rei david is the only child of immigrant parents and parks were where he learned to speak english. so they were very important to him. emily also here in 19 is in her mid-20s and i asked her about that. she said she played in the creek. can't remember if it was her house where her grandparents house where she grew up. in her case, there is a lot of development. a lot of retail. re: i look at putting a store because of the retail magnet. so many places like the hobo jungle where i used to play as now while apartment buildings. it's all been developed. yet when i made a decision about where to live after college i
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looked at quality of life. i ended up in a rural community in oklahoma because i began my career in the oil business. what we do besides going to football games? but football is big in oklahoma. also went to the wichita mountains and that is where i came face-to-face with texas longhorn cattle out there. i saw lots of wizard and reptiles. the first time i get to my feet to quote a monster high, i had leeches as well. it is nature. the buffalo river in arkansas was not a long drive and that's one of the places we went to recreate. and then we moved to denver in the zebrowski but also about theater and quality of life in the community. and we moved back to seattle. family is always the most powerful tug that we have. these are special place is and i
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think for all of us if we think about how we create a future for families where they choose to live by asked you going back to seattle and i have my first biological grandchild into his grandchildren and i know i'm going back there. the tug is very strong. what is going to attract your kids to come back to communities and that is something relevant to what the national league of cities is doing right here with the department of interior and ymca. i also thought about when i was running rei were to reopen stores? over the 13 years i was there to put a store and plays like greenville, south carolina. why? greenville is embracing its river which used to have it back in so many communities did and it made its community more lovable of parks along the river and it's very inviting.
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an eagle scout did a project which little brass knife and around greenville and you can look for them i sent a few outdoors and you buy yourself a doughnut, which i did. that is what makes communities livable. when you're a businessperson, you think about that. think that a store like pittsburgh. pittsburgh turned a brown field sites integrate retail complex and for a city that turned his back to the river a dumping ground for so many rivers were in the east but all over the country turned his face to the river and put a bike path along the river. it is a store for people to test out the bike path. you have a lot of control about the livability of cities because parks and open spaces in communal areas and neck cavities really hope to find quality of life in communities and distinguish one community from the other. but we all have a challenge and
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that is that children are growing up board disconnected than ever before. the millennial the larger generation of the baby boom by more than 3 million. they have grown up very scheduled. they have grown up trying to juggle competition between schoolwork, which was pretty intense for them. organized youth sports which when a year-long. television and video games which were a powerful draw in very little time exploring the natural world on their own. parents were afraid, afraid of strangers, chastised by other parents for letting kids walk home alone. all of those things many of us didn't thought was normal today's kids are not getting to do and get those activities help worrying bring creativity, build self-confidence. at the department of interior
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we've launched a youth initiative. my colleague is running it and it is really working with all the bureaus of the department of interior to say let's be part of the solution here. let's let children play. how about that? was what unplayed. [applause] i was at a tribal school. i've been to a lot of native american schools has been working transformed education. i will say what is your favorite part of school and inevitably they say recess, which i get. that was my favorite part too. play is the first step fighting kids play. giving them the time and place for not telling them what to do. also, when they are playing, they are playing in the finest classroom in the world and that is a classroom that has no walls. baddest mother nature. of course that can be nurtured and supported by adults.
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adults like my colleagues and interpretation education at the national park service for the bureau of land management, his schoolteacher that goes through the teacher program and takes the skills learned as a ranger during the summer back into the classroom. but it is a place to learn. let kids play. let them learn in the outdoors and let's let them serve. i say that because i have done hundreds of service projects all over the country. but rei open a store we did a service project. when i was in pittsburgh with our kayaks. float to the river and picked garbage up out of the river. martin luther king jr. holiday we went down with 450 people, many young, many from the community in southeastern b.c. undertakes garbage out of the river and clear brush so the bike path which is beautiful thought more space. i guarantee every one of those
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children felt a connection to the place he never had before any pride in the place i was going to change their behavior themselves towards garbage and muttering and cycling in open spaces enable them to change behavior. way learn serve. some of them will want to work in jobs like mine jobsite harking rock folks and wildlife biologists and scientists that understand the natural world. we need them in every level. 40% will be eligible to retire in i've years your dues going to replace 40%? it's not easy to sign-up for public service as you know. people are clamoring to work for the federal government. we've done a pretty good job of putting down federal employees and yet they are so critical to what we do. that is what we do at interior.
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the national league of cities is promoting access to nature project. thank you for that. thank you for working with the foundation raising $2 million find out what works because at a local level, that is often times people's first experience to nature. the president announced three weeks ago when he was in chicago announcing the pullman national monument that we were launching every kid in the park and i was focusing on fourth-graders and giving every fourth grader and their family a free pass to national parks and other lands. we will plan that put the program you have any after we've got going collectively and we will have every kid in a park because that will shape their lives in a positive way to shape the way they think about your community so they will choose to come back and live as they go away to school.
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so it is about partnerships in a time when there's not enough money to go around. how many of you have plenty of money for parks and open basis? [laughter] okay, i don't see a single hand. that is what i figured. and yet when you put bond issues open space bond issues on your ballot how many of you have good experience with those? that is what i figured. certainly not everybody. people of parks and open spaces you how to make a creative and smart about how we spend money? one of the things we are doing is arguing with you. last april major backer who i will say early in his career was a park ranger at grand canyon national park. yes, give them a hand for that. st. paul mayor at the time was head of this organization chris coleman who did his summers during college as a bartender
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and waiter at glacier national park, grand teton national park [applause] yes. it is no surprise they are great partners for assimilating this organization too. because they care about these places. these special places make the united states standout among countries around the world. if you typed in the alps, there is no wildlife. you can get a on the trail maybe a warm fluffy bed, but there's no wildlife. we have something different. our crown jewels, our national parks, historical places history, culture are the blend of the small and big and the pride we have. >> we will leave this event here. the u.s. senate is about to gavel in. see the remaining moments in the
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c-span video library. returning from weekly lunches, lawmakers are continuing to human trafficking bill. the amendment expected later this afternoon. unique role nurses physicians and other health care providers play in this issue. health care providers are front line and one of the few to interact directly with trafficked women and children. a recent survey published in the annals of health law report that 28% of trafficked women saw a health care professional while being held captive. now, this doesn't mean that the nurse, doctor or other health care provider had the training, but -- to recognize but because of the unique and critical involvement with these victims it is important that these health care providers do have the tested tools and training to identify and help those being trafficked. the trafficking awareness training for health care amendment would save lives and
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as importantly would begin the rebuilding of lives destroyed by modern day slavery. it would provide for the development of best practices to enable health care workers to recognize and assist victims of human trafficking. it is proven that many trafficking victims report receiving health care from federally funded clinics and emergency rooms while in captivity, yet as mentioned earlier go undetected. this legislation would improve the awareness of health care workers, ultimately helping these victims. senator tim kaine repeatedly spoke about a missive that propose francis gave on ash wednesday, calling for us to be islands of mercy in a sea of indifference. the ethic of nurses, physicians and other health care workers is to be that merciful creature. this would give them the training to better enable them to be that island in what for
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that woman or child caught in captivity must seem a sea of indifference. having passed the u.s. house by unanimous consent this amendment represents a bipartisan effort that will enable the medical community to bring relief to those suffering in ways that those of us who have never been there cannot imagine. senator peters is joining me in this bipartisan effort. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment and help transfer -- transform victims of trafficking into survivors into people who blossom. i yield back. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the president pro tempore. mr. hatch: mr. president i rise today to discuss one of the most critical national security challenges facing the senate. specifically how we should craft an authorization for the use of military force against the terrorist organization known
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as the islamic state. i have spoken before on the floor about what i believe the outlying of an authorization -- the out line of an authorization should contain. now that the president has released his proposal, and with secretary kerry secretary carter and general dempsey are slated to testify tomorrow on behalf of his proposal, i feel compelled to address this topic in greater detail. before deflg into the specifics of the administration's proposed authorization, we should consider how this institution has grappled with these vital questions throughout our nation's history. dating back to 1798, congress has on several occasions enacted legislation sure to perform a declaration of war authorizing the use of military force by the president. in the late 18th and early 19th centuries congress authorized u.s. naval action against both state and nonstate actors who attack u.s. commercial vessels. more recent authorizations
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formerly passed by the congress include those intended to protect the middle east, taiwan and southeast asia, from our -- from communist aggression. in the 1950's and 1960's. and since the end of the cold war, we have passed authorizing -- authorizations concerning lebanon the september 11 attacks and iraq, all in 1991 and 2002. mr. president, i voted for those latter four authorizations here in this chamber. each case was unique, but in every case the white house did not send the congress take it or leave it language. rather the senate and the house fashioned text that represented a negotiated outcome with the white house and within congress. for example presidents eisenhower and george h.w. bush worked closely with congress to obtain strong authorizations for the use of military force
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despite democrats controlling both chambers. president george w. bush twice did the same with the democrat-led senate. this approach yielded concrete benefits a more thoughtful debate and strategy around our use of force greater unity in supporting our military and congressional willingness to fulfill our constitutional responsibilities. historically the senate has fulfilled its role as a place of intelligent, informed debate in moving authorizations through use of military force. we must do so again as we consider this authorization to combat the islamic state. 13 years ago as the senate began to deliberate over an authorization to rid iraq of its violent dictator, i said -- quote -- "we all must leave our political party affiliations at the door when it comes to our national security and supporting our troops in the field." unquote. it is time for congress to come together to hold a public debate and to craft the right authorization to defeat the islamic state. turning to the proposed
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authorization before us today i agree with the legal interpretation offered by the obama administration that the executive branch has the power to conduct operations against the islamic state under article 2 of the constitution and the existing authorizations from 2001 and 2002. unfortunately, the administration has undermined the credibility of its own proposal by continuously changing its position as to how the 2001 and 2000 authorizations should be employed. therefore, in order to settle any legal questions about the power to use force against the islamic state and to demonstrate america's resolve in this fight against terror, i firmly believe that new authorizations should be enacted. accordingly, the senior senator from oklahoma and i discussed this in this chamber last month. three principles that we believe should be included in the new authorization for the use of military force against the islamic state. first, the authorization must
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clearly articulate that the executive branch is authorized to use force employed in accordance with the law of war against the islamic state. second the authorization must be flexible enough to use against the islamic state as it appears today. but also in whatever form the islamic state transforms into in the future. this flexibility must include the authority to use force against organizations that associate with or support the islamic state. finally and most importantly the authorization must not impose any artificial and unnecessary limitations such as those based on time, geography type of force which could interfere with our strategic objective of defeating the islamic state. unfortunately, mr. president the president's draft authorization does not fully adhere to these principles. first, the president's proposal
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-- quote -- does not authorize the use of the united states armed forces in enduring offensive ground operations." unquote. obviously, this is an unwise artificial limitation on what type of forces we can employ, but the president's proposed operative text offers little to define what this restriction entails. therefore, my initial reaction, one that is widely shared, is what does this restriction mean? to be fair, the president's introductory level that accompanied his draft does provide some insight into the administration's interpretation of this phrase. specifically, the president argues that the authorization would provide him with the power to conduct rescue operations to provide advice and assistance to partner forces and to deploy the use of special forces in missions against the islamic state's leadership, intelligence collection and targeting missions. but in laying out his vision,
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the president's proposal also tells our enemies what he is not prepared to do. knowing these limitations would provide the islamic state with a critical advantage the terrorists would exploit this information in crafting their strategies. why would we telegraph our strategy to our enemies? the president's proposed legal limitations will also limit our ability to adjust our strategy as needed based on the military situation on the ground. for example when our counterterrorism strategy in iraq faltered during the mid- 2000's we changed it. we adopted a new counterinsurgency strategy commonly called the surge. as we all know, the surge was a great success. therefore, ensuring any authorization has the flexibility to allow our forces to change and adopt their strategies and tactics is essential. in posing the president's
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proposed artificial and unnecessary yet legally binding restrictions on our forces would be a colossal mistake. indeed general jack keene who -- who devised the principles of the surge recently testified before the senate armed services committee about his -- about his own proposal as to how to conduct operations against the islamic state. in his testimony the general did advocate using special forces in a similar manner to what the president discussed in his letter accompanying his proposal but the general went further. he stated that the united states and our coalition partners should position combat brigades in kuwait if our current operation -- quote -- stalls or is defeated, unquote. obviously, the use of combat brigades would be prohibited under the president's proposal. therefore, if the president's limited operations are not
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successful an additional -- and additional ground forces are required adopting the president's proposal would create significant uncertainty. this raises the question -- would congress need to debate and pass yet another authorization before those units could be used in combat? on its face, this would be completely impractical and hardly in our national security interests. another area in which the president's proposal does not provide sufficient flexibility is its three-year time limitation. simply put if we advertise when the observation expires at an arbitrary date and time, will our enemies not hunker down and wait for that date? mr. president, secretary of state john kerry stated in his previous testimony before the senate foreign relations committee that the administration does not believe a new authorization should include a geographic limitation. to its credit, the president's proposal does not.
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specifically the secretary argued -- quote -- "in our view, it would be a mistake to advertise to isil that there are safe havens for them outside of syria -- iraq and syria. undoubtedly, the secretary was concerned about creating artificial limitations that would negatively affect our ability to conduct necessary military operations. he's right but his concern should extend to the other artificial restrictions that appear in his -- in this proposal. how else can we read the prohibition of -- quote -- enduring offensive ground combat operations -- unquote -- and a three-year time limitation? in conclusion, mr. president we can do better. our forces must have the flexibility to use or the ability to threaten to use whatever tools and strategies are necessary to defeat the islamic state. when america enters into a fight, we should enter to win
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and we shouldn't -- we shouldn't just do this in a halfhearted stupid way. so i hope the white house will reconsider some of the things that they have -- that they have advocated and that they have set forth and get this thing done right so that if we're going to enter into warfare we ought to know what we are doing and ought to have the tools and the legal legalities to be able to do it well. mr. reid: mr. president. the presiding officer: the minority leader. the presiding officer: mr. reid: what is the business before the senate? the presiding officer: s. 178. mr. reid: i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call: mr. portman: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. portman: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: is there objection? objection is heard.
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mr. portman: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. portman: i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. durbin: reserving the right to object.
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the presiding officer: the senator cannot reserve the right to object. is there objection? without objection. the senator from ohio. mr. portman: thank you mr. president. i know that you have other places that you need to be and i'm going to be here in the chair in a moment and i will not offer amendments because my understanding even though we're on the bill that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle don't want me to offer noncontroversial amendments so i will wait until they're ready for that to keep the peace there here but i'll talk about the amendments because they're incredibly important to the underlying legislation. we're talking about the music trafficking legislation something that as cochair and cofounder of the human trafficking caucus and as a father and as someone who represents citizens of ohio who are directly affected by this i have a strong interest, i'm delighted the senate is taking this legislation up. i do hope it will not be not just bipartisan but nonpartisan. i don't see any reason for us not to move forward as the united states senate in changing laws that are in desperate need
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of changing to ensure this horrific practice of human trafficking sex trafficking can be curbed, can be minimize ed by legislation that this chamber should have taken up in my view some time ago. we haven't been at this for a decade can and we know a lot more about the problem now we know unfortunately about 300,000 of our youth are subject to human trafficking about a thousand in my home state of ohio alone. the amendments i will offer once someone on the other side comes to the floor who will allow me to offer them have to do with human trafficking in the broadest sense. the first amendment has to do with ensuring those young people who are unfortunately trapped in sex trafficking are treated not as criminals but as victims. and ensuring that those victims got the proper care they need and the help to get back on their feet. these are young people we're told many times who are between the ages of 11 and 13 when they are first exposed to human
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trafficking, in this case sex trafficking. that's the average anal, we're told. having talked to victims back home, to some of those in the trenches working to try to help these young women girls young men and boys, this legislation is badly needed to ensure we are looking at this not as, again a criminal matter but as victims who deserve our support and specifically it requires that every state put together a plan to improve child protection services containing among other things procedures requiring identification and assessments of all reports and suspected victims of sex trafficking, better data on this efforts to coordinate state law enforcement child welfare agencies, social service agencies, such as runaway and homeless youth shelters to serve these victims. finally, an annual state report on the number of children identified or known to be
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suspects known or suspected to be victims of sex trafficking. the other amendment i'm going to offer will be an amendment with regard to homeless children and youth. as has been discussed on this floor before, the h.u.d. definition of homelessness practically excludes the most common situation for families and unaccompanied youths. staying in motels or temporarily with others because there's no place else for them to stay. even if local communities identify these families or youth having the most pressing unmet needs communities can't use the h.u.d. homeless assistance funds to serve them except under nearly impossible conditions. this is related to use and also to sex trafficking in that, unfortunately, many of the young people involved in this situation are homeless, they're not on the street but going from house to house or perhaps staying in a motel or sometimes those young people who are targeted by these traffickers. i believe that these two
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amendments which are not just, again, bipartisan and they are, i have support on both sides of the aisle but also nonpartisan, are ones that would be appropriate to include in the legislation. and at the appropriate time i will offer those amendments. mr. leahy: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: mr. president i'm going to suggest the absence of a quorum but just for a couple minutes so we can confer. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. portman: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. portman: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent again that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection.
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mr. portman: mr. president i call up amendment number 270. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from ohio mr. portman proposes an amendment numbered 270. mr. portman: i ask unanimous consent the reading of the amendment be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. portman: mr. president this is the amendment that i spoke about a moment ago ensure a better response for victims of child sex trafficking. i now would like to call up my amendment number 271. the presiding officer: is there objection to setting aside the pending amendment? the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: mr. president for the moment on this side there is objection to setting aside the pending amendment. i have no objection to the pending amendment being there but -- i've just been told there is no objection. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: my colleague from ohio go right ahead. the presiding officer: the senator from ohio.
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mr. portman: i call up amendment number 271. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from ohio mr. portman proposes amendment numbered 271. mr. portman: i ask that the reading of the amendment be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. portman: this is the homeless children and youth amendment i spoke about. i'm glad to have these amendments offered. we'll have an opportunity to speak on these amendments and another amendment i plan to offer later. i yield back my time. mr. portman: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio.
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mr. portman: mr. president i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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