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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 11, 2015 8:00am-10:01am EDT

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will so invite your participation via twitter using hashtag pmqs. prior to question time members are finished up other business. and now live to the floor of the british house of commons. .. gregory campbell.
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>> an international crime industry targets those organized that are working on substitutes organized criminal activity along the border areas in northern ireland. >> it is a significant problem. perhaps there will be a chance to debate it later. there was a lot of cross border cooperation under way because the authority on both sides of the border are determined to tackle this problem and bring perpetrators to justice. >> questions for the prime minister. >> thank you, mr. speaker. this morning i had meetings with ministerial colleagues and in addition to duties in this house will have other meetings today. >> can the prime minister tell
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us for the next parliament, what is more important for him on forces on tax column. >> what is combining economic security and national security and the two go together. we inherited a 38 million pound black hole in the defense budget and because of stewardship of the economy with charges from this government we fill that gap and in defense, our economy is strong and the country is safe. >> my right hon. president, the post office mediation scheme the post office sacked the independent investigators told them to destroy all their papers. my right hon. friend agreed it is essential second sight second report should not be suppressed
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but in thes starting with hon. member west and select committee. >> my right hon. friend raises concerns about the post office, and the post office mediation scheme. it is an issue the business select committee is taking evidence on and should be given all what relevant information. this is about this concern to make sure the business committee can do its job properly. >> ed miller brand. >> less than two months ago the prime minister ordered a debate between me and him. he said it was game on.
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did he lose his nerve? did he want to debate? why offered date. the twenty-third of march. why won't he say yes to it? >> i will be at the debate, at the debate on april 2nd. i am asking him about a debate between him and me. the original proposal for the two wage debate didn't come from the or the broadcasters but from him, mr. speaker. he said this. i suggested we need a debate within two people debate each other. a good proposal then, a good proposal now. and what is he saying today? he said any time any place anywhere. i told him the twenty-third of
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march. i tell him what has changed. we have a situation where it is obvious, you can't win without the s&p. he says we need the two leaders who can call a truce the we examined. let's have the debate. >> he says it is all about leadership. he said it is about him and me. >> nobody in the house of commons, and nobody in the house--order -- nobody in the house of commons should be shouted down. i have news for members however long it takes. it is not going to happen. members will be heard.
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>> these are pathetic feeble excuses. there are no circumstances debate me head to head. >> and no plans and no teams and no clue of running the country. the truth is they are now saying they cannot win the erection. this is what they put out in scotland. the s and p might do this at the general election. we need to stop the tories being the largest party. they're trying to crawl through the gates of downing street. what he is going to do is ruled that out. there's only one person the
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pairing for this. he is not going to be able -- this is what he says the last general election. he says we have the opportunity to debate prime minister's questions but that is a different matter for the television debate general elections have raised. when parliament is not sitting and people are most recessive to engage in polity of discussion, mr. speaker, you lost to the deputy prime minister last time. and might lose again. the future of a television program i want to talk about the future of a country. more questions three weeks ago,
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talked about jobs. and he can't talk about inflation because it is at a record low. and to examine pockets. and is so confident why is he chicken inaudible the debate? and how long, mr. speaker? i tell you why this matters. because it goes to his character. it goes to his character. his feeble excuses, instead of these ridiculous tactics, why doesn't he have more backbone and turn up for a head to head debate with me anytime anywhere any place. tell him what goes to character, someone who is prepared to crawl
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into downing street an alliance with people, what a despicable and weak thing to do. risking our defenses, risking our country, risking our united kingdom. if he had an ounce of courage. there is only one person with the integrity of the unaided kingdom, it is this useless prime minister. >> that question will be heard. the noise calculated lead being made by some members on both sides of the house is a disgrace to the house of commons. the right hon. gentleman will be heard and the prime minister will be heard. that is the end of the matter. >> there's only one person who is a risk to the integrity of the country and that is the prime minister. on a head to head debate we learned something about him
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because like all boule's when the heat is really on he runs for cover. >> he won't take it. anytime anyplace anywhere but he won't take it. the truth is they have nothing to say on politics, nothing to say on the economy. their only way into the downing street is on alex hammond's coattails. an alliance between people who want to bankrupt britain and people who want to break a briton and the british people will never have it. >> thank you, mr. speaker. on the 26 of march, the inquiry which has been knocking at the issue of blood in scotland will finally reports, like the implications for the united kingdom. it is highly unlikely there will
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be up response. my right hon. friend who has taken a personal interest over 100 members of the house, given assurance the market will not split from his agenda or the government's agenda and as soon as possible in the new parliament there will be an intent at closing down this tragedy in our country. >> the right hon. gentleman who has led on this issue, and every constituency in the house have constituents who had hepatitis c from all age ivy because of contaminated blood coming to their surgery's, and tell very moving stories. it is right to wait for the inquiry and that is not an excuse because i want us to take action. not sure the deal will never fully satisfy those who want this wrong to be rated but as a wealthy successful country we should be helping these people more, we will help these people
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more. we need heroes first. >> albert caldwell. >> will for the last election, the prime minister would comments to cut immigration to see what has gone out. net immigration is three times higher than he promised. >> migration from outside the european union but inside the european union we created more jobs than the rest of the european union put together and so now what we need to do is to reform welfare to make sure the people and come to other european countries cannot claim unemployment benefits leave after six months without a job and have to work four years before they get tax credits. that is when you get if you get a conservative government after the next election. >> barry mccloud.
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>> celebrating international women's day, the prime minister is to be congratulate in making it happen for women. more at work than ever before. more females than ever before. given that women are poor for the long-term economic plan support the women and equality to make sure future governments do that. >> i join her in integrating that but there is still disadvantage and barriers we have to breakdown. there are more women in work and never before. the pay gap has been eradicated. there is more we are doing to help with child care and people with caring responsibilities and also try to help women around the world not least by campaigning and working to cut out at gm and an end to the horrors of forced marriage. it is a good record in women's rights not just in the u.k. but
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right around the world. >> let me share my admiration for giving out food parcels to families and will he tell his family's why 30 years after the miners' strike our community having to compensate for a heartless helpless government, he won't go head to head. >> i tell the lady what we inherited because we have seen unemployment come down by 44%. in the northwest we have seen 124,000 more people in work. those are people able to provide for their families. that is what is happening. a growing economy left by the hon. lady and her party. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
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we could be rightly proud of our technology research base, but government spending in this important area is falling behind. when my right hon. friend is returned as prime minister a real time increase, maintaining world saving in sciences helping to create high-paying jobs we need to deliver our long-term economics. >> my right hon. friend is right to mention science. we ring the science budget during this parliament because it has been essential to fuel the modern manufacturing in the economy that we want to see. you will also see x initiatives the alan caring institute, all of these big investments in science and the next parliament. >> caroline lucas. >> in trenching market structures, pandering contracts
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to the private sector also 10 billion pounds a year. why don't you think that money would be better spent on patient care? >> what we have than is saved money by cutting out bureaucracy so we are seeing 4 billion pounds go into the and h s but the if the hon. lady is saying there's no location at all where anyone from the independent sector or the charitable sector or the voluntary sector can help in our in age as i think she is wrong. the mary kerri cancer care, helping the end of life, the idea that there's only one way to deliver health care in our brilliant and age as expanding under this government is completely wrong. >> despite record numbers of new jobs people with a learning disability console find it tough to get to the work. join me in welcoming low as zone which will recognize the commitment of local employers to
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people with a learning disability, and the ability that is too often hit. >> i join my right hon. friends in praising the inclusion zone which is happening this friday. we need to build on the success we have already with employment of disabled people up 141,000 over the last year, but this is where we need not just a change in action but in culture which is why visibility campaign is so important to encouraging employers to join in and give employment opportunities to disabled people. we have over a thousand employers committing to change their practices with disabled people and i want to see this go right across the country. >> i am sure the prime minister will congratulate me which the competition from the london i of the eiffel tower become the best international attraction.
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the much bigger stability of economic progress is being jeopardized by promises made by the agreement. >> let me raise the titanic project exhibition. it is absolutely brilliant in terms of visitor attraction and another reason to visit belfast for people not just around the united kingdom but around europe and around the world. i agree with her that what matters is implementing the agreement and everyone should do what they signed up to do in that agreement. i know my right hon. friend and secretary is working hard to make sure everyone fulfilled their pledges. >> will the prime minister join me in paying tribute to the many dedicated health professionals, and does he agree with me the
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decision to double 6 billion pounds worth of an age s spending, to better integrate health care services and secure from more positive long-term funding arrangements for the local hospices. >> is another good example of something that provides vital health and social services in our country which is not necessarily owned and operated by the end h s. i am not parent who used to hostage in oxford regularly and was amazed by the brilliant works that they do so what we have done is allocated 1 did billion dollars of capital funding since 2010. and children's hospices, and an age as money is more available to hospices and the manchester decision, the greater manchester decision is a way of making sure
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decisions are made between local authorities and the and h s and close to the patients they're serving. >> thank you, mr. speaker. a looming deficit of $200 million in forfeiture in three years time. ten more of these were commissioned last year. and local help economies around the country. after repeated stonewalling, health ministers are saying, quote, consultant found were not in commission to the local health summit as described in the questions. can i ask the prime minister why is the government engage in a cover-up of what lies in store for large parts around the country. >> there's a pattern which is waiver in staffordshire are determined to frighten people about the future of the n h a and they are the last people who should do it. after the appalling mess they
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made in staffordshire. we are seeing more money going into the any chance and a strong future which we continue as long as we are in this place. >> mr. speaker this is the third time in four months any testing once letting down the 180 or so people with diseases that are outside the house today who were failed by a flawed process. some of those children lose access to their drugs from may and their conditions will deteriorated irreversibly. can you tell me in that time will he announce if there will be funding for these drugs for children and people need? >> these are very rare and debilitating conditions and there are drugs that can help
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the children who have these conditions. my understanding having looked at this with health and science ministers met with their families, and my understanding is ben h. s. england is holding a review, the review will be completed by the end of april. companies that currently funding these drugs until the end of mesa i don't see any reason there shouldn't be continuity of care and continuity of drugs and that is what i hope we can achieve. >> 2% of gdp on defense is not only significant as part of our next commitment but an important commitment to be a reliable ally. only last september the prime minister still thought he was important and other countries in britain's commitment, not just a little bit embarrassed about that? >> this country met nato commitments not only for 2% but
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to spend the money on deployable equipment and forces which is just as important a commitment. what i would say to the hon. lady is how does she feel about her leader contemplating a deal with the s&p to strip the country of their defenses? that is what they're prepared to do. he says very clearly they are only trying to be the largest market, not to win a majority. that is the risk we face. no protection for our country. >> with unemployment falling, enterprises withstanding, 310 new businesses being created. will my right hon. friend described to the house which government policies will see this recovery continuing so that
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the irresistible and unstoppable case is made to happen? i commend him on the consistency of his campaign to be recognized in this way. he asked me what policies will make a difference and bring businesses, cutting the jobs tax of businesses and charities the lowest rate of corporation taxes in the g-7. that is helping. we are furnishing national insurance contributions for under 21s, extending doubling the small business rate relief. all of these things, sticking to our long-term economic plan as the imf and the visit fis, to make sure the south end can continue to grow and perform well. >> thank you, mr. speaker. in protecting universal benefits the prime minister says there is dignity with that. retired consistency, what is the point when the losses are even
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-- even trains? [laughter] >> the conservative proconsul. for medicinal money. for about 10%. will blow prime minister do the right thing. >> the honorable lady needs to bring her question to a close but that question notwithstanding display of considerable rudeness will be heard. that is the end of it. i don't care how long it takes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. will the prime minister do the right thing and ensure concessionary travel for all pensioners is fair and
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equitable? >> it is the responsibility of the county council. the point made was a fair one. i talked about dignity and security in retirement because we have kept our commitments and upgraded the pension so pension is in her constituency 950 pounds more in terms of state pensions than when i became prime minister in 2010. we committed to keeping the freedom of charges and the beach and everyone of those promises or beyond that by saying they don't need to buy an annuity their money, their savings, they can spend as they choose. this has been a government that recognizes people reserve the dignity and security and we delivered in full. >> 75% contained asbestos. 20 teachers a year are dying of exposure to asbestos.
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children are known and particular the admirable. will the prime minister ensure the government publishes is completed policy review toward the solution. >> hon. friend raises a very important issue which was well broadcast and covered on the media but in the last couple days. that is why we're carrying out a review going through all the schools and we will publish it in due course and actually we will have to take it. >> mr. speaker i was thinking of raising with the prime minister the conservative long-term economic plan. [shouting] >> pinocchio's nose grows longer and longer. i thought we would just put these questions together.
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and ask the prime minister whether he shared my imminent release that neither he nor i will have to pencil in 12:00 noon on wednesday any longer. >> i take this opportunity as he will be shortly leaving this house to pay tribute to the right hon. gentleman. i will never forget as a new bank venture in 2001 seeing him in the light of the appalling terrorist attacks that have taken place across the world, strong leadership he gave on the importance of keeping, a remarkable man and i remember in home affairs select committee even though he couldn't see what we all work, what who was concentrating and who wasn't. i don't know how he has this extraordinary gift but he is an extraordinary --
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>> as the prime minister during his conference speech. on may 7th, the opposition on may 8th. can i put it to the prime minister the outcome could be more unpleasant. and go to bed with the bar raj not only wake up with the lead opposition but also end up and examined. >> who knows what you could wake up with, it may be nigel, it could be any one of the people. it is an option too. the confidence of the conservative. and the chaos of the
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alternative. >> gregory campbell. once more had the section of this issue but under the spotlight as members of law are a standing accused of holding in courts, will the prime minister helped to establish cross border inquiry with power to call key witnesses in order to bring some form of closure and justice to young people particularly who have been abused and their abusers have been sheltered by the ira? >> i will look at it, what the right hon. gentleman said. there are a set of measures and proposals to try to deal with the issues of the past in a fair and accountable way. this is one such issue that could be dealt with in that way. >> a proud history of the armed forces. and 420 million pound contract,
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with aerospace to preserve the link. with that in mind will the prime minister reassure us of his commitment to defense spending and the defense industry. >> we have said the 160 billion-pound equipment program over the next decade is fully protected and grow in real terms and having been recently to see for myself the new docks that are being put in to welcome of the queen elizabeth aircraft carrier and a massive investment that will go in force in terms of should servicing and our own constituencies that will benefit from this chinook contract, new order of chinooks pumping money into our defense industry and also leading to the trading of apprentices and jobs and livelihood for many years to come. >> a couple with two children with a man earning 25,000 pounds, a woman and 10,000
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pounds 9,470 counts worse off in tax credits if they stayed together if they break up. is this brutal attack on working families yet another reason we won't go head to head in the free election debate? >> it held all couples by lifting the first 10,600 balance out of tax where the first government introduce a married couple's tax allowance which i seem to remember he voted against so he cares about couples he cares about commitment, he should be voting with us. >> thank you, mr. speaker. it is an honor and privilege to meet a member of parliament, particularly proud, there are more doctors and nurses here, the number of schools with
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improvements. most importantly unemployment has fallen to the lowest level since constituency records began in 1983. does the prime minister agree with me, is not just rhetoric but it makes a real difference to people on the ground, gripping the economy and the deficit and having effect of long-term economic life. >> my hon. friend, thanks for all the work but the claimant count has come down by 70% since the election. the long term count had come down by 64% and working with greg tracy who worked hard to make sure it continues to benefit longest economic plans. >> thank you, mr. speaker. this could be might last prime minister's question after 20 years representing bradford -- my retirement plan. >> i congratulate him not only
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in his service but winning by the election. any of us who have taken part, i remember the bradford election not entirely happily from my point of view, knows what daunting prospects there are. we all have plans after may 7th people we want to spend more time with and less time with. i got a little and you got one too. >> the scottish national party has been licking their lips in public at the prospect of mass mailing, one of the two main parties and abandoning the replacement. and if he is still prime minister as he should be, that he will certainly ensure that the main gate contract submarine. >> i can reassure my hon.
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friend, for me try and and its replacements are non negotiable. they are a vital part of this nation's security. let me remind the party opposite this is the leaflet going out before scotland that says this. and the general election we need to stop the tories being the largest party. they have given up, they have given up the majority. they were on the coattails and put our country at risk. the british people will never have it. >> mr. speaker. 17,000 police officers have gone in this parliament. under the chancellor's spending plan another 30,000 would go in the next parliament. the outgoing president of the association would no longer be possible to protect the public from criminals or from the
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growing threat of homegrown terrorism. >> what we have seen in this parliament is we made difficult decisions on police spending but crime is down including crime -- as for the shadow chancellor's dossier this week, he was against it before we even had a chance. i heard of him briefing against the leader or breached against himself. >> order! [shouting] >> on c-span2 we leave the british house of commons as members move on to other business. you have been watching prime minister's question time normally aired live wednesday at 7:00 eastern. look for the next couple weeks
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you will see the program at 8:00 to to daylight savings time. you can see this week's session sunday night at 9:00 eastern and pacific on c-span or you can watch it any time on line at for more information go to and click on ceres to view every program we aired from the british house of commons since october of 1989. we invite your comments about prime minister's questions on twitter using the hash tag pmqs. >> secretary of defense ashton carter and united kingdom's secretary of defense michael fallon hold a press briefing about u.s./u.k. relations. you can see it live starting at 2:30 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> monday, 47 republican senators signed a letter to iran written by senator tom cotton of arkansas suggesting any deal between president obama and iran would be considered an executive
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agreement that could be undone by congress for a future president. tuesday democratic senators nelson stabenow, durbin and leahy took to the floor to criticize the litter. this is 25 minutes. >> mr president. is it my understanding it is time for the minority? >> senator is correct, 24 minutes remaining. >> thank you, mr. president. mr. president when 47 senators republican senators, signed a letter sent to the ayatollah khamenei it was a letter that called also supposedly instructive of constitutional provisions of the separation of government in the united states,
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in effect it was up litter to e rode 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 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 interests of america as we look out and have to defend ourselves against our enemies. in deep, iran with a nuclear bomb, would, iran, with a nuclear
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bomb, would gravest threats. it saddens me we have come to the deck of the we are so divided that nearly half of the senators on a partisan basis, in this great institution of the united states senate would in affect, try to cut the legs off from underneath the president and his administration in trying to reach an agreement to other 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
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agreement is as 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 way in on any future lifting of economic sanctions that have been imposed by the congress. senator feels that is an appropriate role in the separation of powers our job as congress. when we see a major part on a partisan basis, to undercut and kill the negotiations while they are going on at this very moment in geneva. it goes a step too far.
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i am saddened. i think about what would this senator have done when this was not barack obama but george bush. and i cannot imagine that i would have tried to undercut the president of the 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 have got to unify. that is why i am so sad and that we have come to the point at
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which we appear to be subdivided. i yield of more. >> senator from michigan. >> thank you, mr. president. i want to thank my friend from florida for his comments and echo those this morning. to you, to the members of the senate, it was 70 years ago this year the republican senator from michigan dave a speech which has been called the speech her around the world. here is how senator vanderberg opens that speech there are critical moments in the life of every nation which call for the straightest plainness and most courageous thinking of which we
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are capable. we can find such a moment now. not only desperately important to america but important to the world's. it is important not only to the generation which lives in bled but important to future generations if they shall live in peace. this was after world war i, world war ii, facing the cold war and many challenges. senator vandenberg was no friend of franklin delano roosevelt. he was in fact the biggest foreign in the president's side. he oppose every new deal program. he was bitterly opposed to european engagement in europe before world war ii, he was the nation's most famous isolationist and only moderated his stance after the bombing of pearl harbor. but 70 years ago, senator vandenberg spoke on the floor of
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the senate to warn his colleagues about what would happen if the united states of america to allow 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 calling it the phrase politics stops at the water's edge. politics stops at the water's edge. his wisdom when it came to foreign policy, his understanding for america to be strong we must convey strength on the world stage earned him but recognition in this body. the picture is tainted in the room outside the chamber. i was honored to be there.
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this senator from michigan, republican senator from michigan. he has given an honor shared by handful of senators, 1,963 senators, men and women who have served. only a small group honored with the painting of portraits outside the chambers and he is one of them. i can only imagine what senator vandenberg would say if he were alive today. a letter signed by 47 senators all of his own party.
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how would the united states senate empowering iranian hardliners, those that we have called enemies time and time again just to score political points against a president that they do not like. to be clear senator vandenberg knows president roosevelt and by all accounts the feelings are mutual. senator vandenberg was no master of bipartisanship. he is not what we would call a moderate. he may be considered a moderate today but at the time he was extremely partisan as a republican. he was very proud of it. he disagreed with the president's policies related to japan. he didn't send a letter to the emperor of japan undermining the president of the united states
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foreign policy. he disagreed with the president relating to germany. he did not send a letter to the chancellor of the third reich. expressing his disagreement 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 with the president. when we disagree with directions and policies. but when war hangs in the balance, specifically when nuclear war hangs in the balance, should members of the united states senate be in the 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
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america. 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. when president bush decided to invade iraq i voted no. i voted against his policies. 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 shares of the senate armed services committee, chairs of the senate intelligence committee, the chair of the senate relations committee at that time all opposed president
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bush's invasion of iraq but none of them penned a letter said 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 undermine our efforts in europe. senator vandenberg said it must mean one for all and all for one. it will mean this unless somewhere in this grand alliance the stupid and sinister folly of ulterior ambition shall invite the enemy to postpone our victory through our own rivalries and our own confusion.
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so, mr. president i urge my colleagues to hear the words of the republican senator from michigan, and i urge them to stop the politics at the water's edge. we are talking about the possibility of nuclear iran. 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. this is not the time or place to
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score political points. 4 in the united states, israel and the world. the senate against senator vandenberg a place of high honors reserve for only a few senate leaders, just a few steps from here in the united states capitol. i hope my colleagues will lead here and take heed of his words now. you said we cannot drift to victory, we must have maximum united efforts on all fronts. and we must deserve, we must deserve continued united effort of our own people.
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politics must stop at the water's edge. i yield above floor. >> minority leader. >> how much time is remaining on the democrats' side? >> five minutes. >> let me commend my colleague senator nelson of florida and senator stabenow for their statements. senator nelson spoke for many of us. on both sides of the aisle who feel this letter sent by 47 senators undermines the efforts of the president of the united states to avoid a nuclear iran and avoid a military response. i particularly thank my colleague senator stabenow for recalling that moment in history which many students of the senate knows was something that made a difference in the foreign policy of the united states of america for 70 years seldom do any of us come to the floor and think our speech will be remembered for 70 minutes but 70
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years later, arthur vandenberg, republican of michigan set the standard for foreign policy which has guided our country since. at a time of deep political divisions after world war ii this self-described isolationist and extremely conservative in any of the new deal stood up and called for unity when it comes to foreign policy. his admonition that politics should stop at water's edge has largely guided us. will the all the controversies that have been sued since then. think of the vietnam war and was going on in this body during that war, the deep divisions between democrats and republicans, those were against the war and for the war and yet there was never anything we've seen since 47 republican senators. i am glad it didn't occur than even though i had deep misgivings and trouble with the vietnam war and its execution. i would have had to be reckless
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to endorse an idea that our nation through its senate would reach out to the vietnamese during the course of that war when so many lives were at stake and so many lives were lost. here we are today, a letter sent by 47 republican senators. we talked about the impact on that reflect the impact of that letter on our allies sitting at the table in geneva. allies joined us with sanctions on iran, and our allies sitting with secretary cheri and representatives of our government who must look at this and say why we wasting our time? what they are saying is no matter what we do no matter what we do the republican senate is going to reject it. that is what the letter says. it goes on to say this is a little bit of putts but
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according to the new york times, the senators signing a letter, one to remind the ayatollah who is not term limited than that six year terms and may be around for decades, decades. basically saying to the iranians don't even waste your time thinking about negotiating. is not a waste of time because the alternatives are 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 the europe and other places, but it would invite a nuclear arms race in the middle east. and the ending is totally unacceptable and unpredictable. is it worth negotiating or finding a way to avoid a nuclear iran? of course it is.
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should the negotiations fail and they might. i hope not because of this letter but they might. what do we face. bringing iran to sneeze with more sanctions? and who will we call on for these sanctions? will you join us in our strict sanctions regime, the same allies who sat at 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 onto 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 the possibility of an agreement and get these 47 senators basically said don't waste your time. we are not going to accept it no
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matter what it is. this is a sad outcome. like the senator from michigan i was one of 23 who voted against the invasion of iraq but i never dreamed one minute of sending a letter to saddam hussein before that vote instructing him about the politics of america. it turns out in history of the senate that is rarely if ever occurred. i hope those 47 senators will reflect on their actions and the impact it will have. i hope the american people understand. the president is embarking on a difficult and delicate mission to try to negotiate a verifiable end to the nuclear arms race in the middle east and specifically 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. he is the elected leader of our
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nation and many cannot accepted in this chamber but he is the president of the united states and he deserves our respect. i respect the president george w. bush even when i disagreed with him and his policies in iraq and we should expect nothing less of the minority when it comes to this president as well. i conclude by saying the senate has an important role to play. but the president's role, speaking for the united states, trying to avoid a nuclear iran, trying to avoid a military conflict is something that should not be undermined for political ambition. i yield the floor. >> the senator from vermont. the views of the distinguished senior senator from illinois. this is a case of who can score
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political points about news broadcasts, we are talking about potentially the lives of millions of people. we are talking about the possibility of a cataclysmic mistake because create havoc long after any of us left this body. the representative of vermont in this body, beginning when president john ford was president. .. 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
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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 siti. an here's my negotiating position and if you were to say we are going to force the u.s. out of negotiations what do you think those countries that joined us can sanctions are going to do? many of those countries are doing it a great economic difficulty to themselves by their respective and present obama to each of them said we join us on sanctions? they did. which made the sanctions for more effective. if they think we're not serious they are going to be very -- why
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should we join you in sanctions? no matter what those sanctions are. it will not create any real pressure on iran. now, have we not made enough mistakes in the middle east? i remember, some who say we must go to war in iraq because it would protect israel, or because of the nuclear weapons, or because of weapons of mass destruction. none of that, none of that hand out. none of it did. there were false premises. i remember people stopping on the street angry that i voted against the war in the right. they said we heard vice president cheney talk about the weapons of mass destruction they have. i said there are none. there are none. but we got to vote up or down on the question of war.
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we had negotiations go on. they present as two state whether to disagree or agree with in the senior senator from michigan including vandenberg he was no band of franklin roosevelt. quite the opposite, but he did say -- politics has to stop at the water's edge. that's been the abuse in my own state by both republicans and democrats. let's stop rushing to the cameras and potentially hurt the senate. potentially hurt the country. let's think about what's best for the country. mr. president, i.c. the president of the senate judicial before so i will yield the floor. >> tuesday majority whip john
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cornyn and judiciary committee ranking member patrick leahy discuss the human trafficking bill that's been on the senate floor for debate. and anti-human trafficking bill passed the senate judiciary committee in late february without opposition. the senate democrats oppose language in it that would prohibit money from being spent on abortions. here's the exchange from the senate floor. >> yesterday the democratic leader senator reed told us that democrats and republicans could finally agree on one thing. and that is wheeled focused on the partisan politics and the ideology that so often devices but we ought to focus on the victims of human trafficking. largely middle school aged girls who are bought and sold like commodities. i came out here yesterday and said i believe that we are all created in the image of god.
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and it is a sin, it is a very personification of evil for people to treat the same human beings as if they were things. and that's what the scourge of human trafficking is all about. and so i was very glad to see finally we seem to be chipping away at the dysfunction of the senate that we've experienced over the last two years and in the new majority given the opportunity for an open amendment process on a subject that we all agree needs to be dealt with that we can work together. so imagine my surprise when earlier today the same democratic leader said that the democrats were going to filibuster this anti-human trafficking legislation. and why in the world would they take 180-degree turn?
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why would they do an about-face for flip-flop? well because they said there was language contained in the bill that they disagreed with. no they didn't say we will use this open amendment process to file an amendment and have a vote to strip at outdoor to modify or otherwise change it. they said we are going to block the bill your it's a dead. unless the language comes out but yet they do nothing to try to affect the outcome. so you might wonder what this language is that they're so upset about that they would literally check the tens of thousands of children and other victims to the curb because of their outrage at this line which is contained in this legislation. well imagine my surprise to find out that the reason why the
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democratic minority is going to filibuster this anti-trafficking bill is because the object language that has been the law of the land for 39 years. 39 years. and so i guess they woke up this morning and thought, well we better do something about it. and what is that provision that causes them so much discomfort that they're so upset about that they're willing to block this legislation? it's something that's called the hyde amendment. basically what that does is it prohibits the use of taxpayer funds for abortions. now, i realize in america we are of different minds on the subject of abortion. i'm proudly pro-life, but others of our senate are pro-choice and we probably have a whole spectrum of views on this very
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personal issue. but we have had a bipartisan consensus unanimity almost, for the last 39 years that whatever else the law is as handed down by the supreme court or by congress, that we are not going to use taxpayer funds for abortion. so imagine my surprise when that very language and very reference was included in the justice for victims of trafficking act that now today i find out for the first time that our democratic friends object to. imagine my surprise when that very language was part of the bill that was filed in mid-january. and a month later was marked up and voted on in the senate judiciary committee, and all members of the judiciary committee, democrats and
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republicans alike, voted for it. they voted for it unanimously. well i don't believe this is a mistake. i mean our friends across the aisle have some outstanding staff. they are very talent people. i don't always agree with them but they are good at what they do. i don't believe for a minute that they would've missed a reference in this legislation to a restriction on spending on funding taxpayer provided abortions. and i don't believe that those staff members being a diligent professionals that they are i don't believe they didn't tell their principle, their member of the senate of the judiciary committee. so this idea that there's been some sort of ambush is just preposterous. it's just not credible.
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well imagine my surprise when not only did we have a 15 to zero i believe it was in other words, a unanimous vote at the judiciary committee for this bill we have democratic sponsors, cosponsors of the bill. not only do they support the bill, they have been actively working with us on the legislation. and just looking at the face of the bill i count one two three four five six seven eight, nine, 10 democratic cosponsors. you think they didn't read the bill before they put their name on it? do you think their staff didn't tell them this is what's in the bill? well, as we all know, that sort of thing is ordinarily pretty hotly debated. there are no shrinking violets in the united states center. know people who sit passively on the sidelines and say, well i better not speak out and express
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my views. that doesn't happen. we have strong-willed talented people on both sides of the aisle and there are no shipping via let's. let's just lay that to rest. people are willing to speak up and they do speak up every day, every hour, virtually every minute on things they feel strongly about. so this idea that we have created an ambush that we have surprised our colleagues by including this language in a bill that's on the floor the justice for victims of trafficking act, voted unanimously out of the judiciary committee all republicans all democrats, with the 10 democratic cosponsors that we have somehow surprised of them by including this restriction on taxpayer-funded abortion that's
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been the law of the land for 39 years is just patently ridiculous. it's just not believable. well, let me provide a little more information. the reference in the the reference in the bill is on page 50 under limitations. it says amounts in the fun or otherwise transferred from the fund, that's a crime victim compensation fund created by this legislation, $30 million that goes to help treat victims and help them heal and get on with their lives. this bill says that this fund shall be subject to the limitations on the use or spending amounts described in section i 06 and 507 of the
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division ii of the consolidated appropriations act 2014 to the same extent as if amounts in the fund were funds appropriated under division ii of such act. well i went to look to see how many democrats voted for that consolidated appropriations act in 2014 that contain the hyde amendment language and the limitations on funding of taxpayer funded abortions, and imagine my surprise when i see that 23 democrats voted for that language in the 2014 consolidated appropriations bill that's referred to on page 50 and 51 of the justice for victims of trafficking act. 23. this is the same bill that the
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minority leader the democratic leader said that democrats were going to filibuster because they were so outraged about. they were surprised. they were bushwhacked. they were ambushed. they were tricked. 23 democrats voted for the sake of procreation language in 2014. -- same. but it gets better or worse as the case may be. democrats have supported legislation consistent with the hyde amendment for a long long time. as i said it's been the law of the land for 39 years. when was the last time? well, the department of homeland security funding, you remember this back and forth we had over the defining of the president's executive action on immigration that so many on our side of the aisle are upset about because it
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is not within the president's authority to do it. that's not just my opinion. that's a federal judge in brownsville who was issued a preliminary injunction. but how many democrats voted for the department of homeland security funding bill that contains that same limitation on taxpayer funding for abortions? 45 democrats voted for it. 45 democrats voted for it. so imagine my surprise when 45 democrats just recently voted for that appropriation bill to come to the senate today and they told we are outraged. we are never going to support that. and by the way, we did know it was in the bill when we voted for in the judiciary committee. or when we cosponsored the bill. well they knew about it,
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presumably, when they voted for the department of homeland security funding in february of 2015 when 23 of them voted for the c.r. on the, or cromnibus in december 2014. and, oh by the way, do you remember obamacare? all the democrats, every single democrat voted to support obamacare which contained the same restriction on taxpayer funding for abortions. they have also voted for the children's health insurance program, the so-called schip, four defense authorization bills. in other words, our democratic friends have voted time and time again and time again for the exact same language they now say they're going to filibuster on the justice for victims of trafficking act.
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language they said they were not aware of when they voted for it. they didn't read their staff didn't tell them about. well, if that's true i would get new staff, i know the stuff on the democratic side like the stuff on the republican side are highly professional people and they wouldn't fail to identify offensive language that their senator could not and would not and never has voted for. or they would be out of a job. so, mr. president i plead with our democratic friends please don't make this justice for victims of trafficking act another political football. i mean, for heaven's sake, if we can agree to protect the most vulnerable victims of this heinous crime, what can we ever agree on? if we can't agree on that if we
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are going to try to find a way to flyspeck legislation and say i won't i won't allow this bill to go forward if that line which is included in there even though it's been the law of the land for 39 years, even though routinely democrats have voted for that restriction on taxpayer-funded abortion time and time and time and time again. why start now when we're talking about the most vulnerable victims of this heinous crime and say well we are going to punish you. we are not going to provide you the services that you need in order to heal and get better and get on with your life because we woke up this morning march 10 i think it is march 10, 2015, and after 39 years we decided this is where we draw the line.
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we are drawing a line here. never again will we ever vote for the hyde amendment to be applied to any funds appropriated by or in the possession of the federal government. so i would i really would ask my colleagues, lees reconsider. -- please reconsider. please don't do that to these children and victims of trafficking. don't do it to this institution. i mean we all understand the washington can be a pretty tough place. and none of us, all of us are volunteers, and we understand that politics can sometimes be a tough business. but let's not take it out on these victims of human trafficking. that is that should be beneath
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us. they don't deserve it. they deserve better. if we pass this legislation and we get it to the president desk and decided which i believe he will there will be hundreds if not thousands of victims of human trafficking have a place to sleep, a safe place to sleep. they will have people who love them and care for them tried to help them heal and get better. we will take the money from the people who are put to these crimes and we will use that money to help provide needed services to these children and other victims of human trafficking. we will say no more that the teenage girl who was arrested for prostitution because she's a victim of trafficking, we will not, we will tell her no more. you are a criminal. we were recognize her by the victim that she is.
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and we will treat her operably. and we will deal not only with the supply side of this terrible crime, we will deal with the demand side. people get off the hook too easily with impunity, people who purchased these illicit services and somehow always seem to avoid responsibility and continue to participate in this crime with impunity. so, mr. president the domestic trafficking victims fund in our legislation supplements existing authorized grant programs that are already subject to appropriate should laws like the hyde amendment. they are already subject to the same provisions. our legislation clarifies that the hyde amendment also applies to any funds that are used to supplement those existing grant programs. our legislation does not in anyway expand or change the scope of the hyde amendment.
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it just says that these funds operate under the same rules that cover the existing grant programs they supplement. everyone agrees that the programs we supplement in this legislation need more funds. i know the distinguished ranking member, the senator from vermont has made an impassioned plea to add more money beyond the victims compensation fund that we create. you were saying there needs to be more money as a longtime number of the appropriations committee. i hope the appropriations committee looks at that and makes a decision whether they ought to supplement what we do. but these funds are being subjected to the same limitation on spending that every dollar that the senate appropriations committee has appropriated during the last 39 years. so my hope is that this. my hope is this that members of
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the united states senate will rise above this disagreement this path string, this attempt to try to play gotcha at the expense of these victims of human trafficking no member should attempt to make this bill a debate about extremist issues and policies that have been settled on a bipartisan basis for 39 years. mr. president, i yield the floor. >> mr. president? >> the senator from vermont. >> mr. president i listen very carefully to my good friend from texas, and we worked together on many pieces of legislation over the years. in fact, i hoped we could have done this trafficking bill up during the last congress, as he knows. unfortunately there were objections raised we couldn't. i hope we are not going to get into a question when we compare
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apples to oranges and forget what we are supposed to be doing it. the distinguished senator is, on the one hand during the debate on the affordable care act according to him i will take him for his word, that this language was in there and every democrat voted for it which meant ever republican republicans voted against it. if you're going to use, and if you're going to follow this argument that the language in the affordable care act was voted on for by democrats is voted against by republicans. i'm not suggesting that they don't care about the hyde amendment because they voted against it according to the senator from texas. but let's have it on the page is supposed to be, and appropriations bill.
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on one of the few members of either party in this body who has actually prosecuted child molesters but i am one of the few members in this body was actually gone to crime scenes and seen the results of child molesters. i'm one of the few people in this body who has prosecuted a child molester not -- because the child was dead. the young boy had been raped by the man whom i prosecuted and molested over a long period of time. so i don't need to have people tell me about the horrors of child molestation. i have seen it. i remember being in the room and looking at that dead child, the same age as one of my children. i remember the man who did it who would have done anything to escape my prosecution.
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i worked day and night around the clock for weeks. i was a young prosecutor in my '20s and i prosecuted and convicted him. he went up to appeal to the supreme court, our supreme court, and i argued -- his conviction was upheld. so i know the need for this. let's not let political gotcha games stop us from legislation that might protect these people. now, the senator from texas to just i want more money. that's not quite exactly what i said. he said that he wanted $30 million based on fines. i said i just want to guarantee that $30 million is there. i think again to that child molester i tell a murder and i use that that is one of the many cases i prosecuted.
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we couldn't find them $1 million or $20 million or $1 billion, or $200. he would not have been able to pay it. if the victim had lived there would be no money for it. all i want to make sure i'm happy to see if there are fines collected, they are going here to help victims. but if no money is collected from fines i want to make sure there is money. you don't prosecute somebody who is involved in child trafficking or child molestation we prosecuted as we should they will go to prison spent 25 $35,000 a year taxpayer dough to keep them in prison and we should. but we are saying to the victim i'm sorry we find them $100,000 to go into the victims fund that basically judgment.
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is want you to know we had good intentions. if he paid 100,000-dollar fine, we would have given it to you to help you, but gosh, go in peace, have a good life. all i'm saying is that if there is money for fines, sure. the senator from texas and i agree with it. put it in there, but if there is no funds don't promise a $30 million pot of money that will never be built. if there are no fines no money in it, or if there is money put it in but witnesses between whether not it is in there and the 30 million, then shouldn't we, we have a country that spends trillions of dollars, should we be able to put the difference between a fine and the actual 30 million, should we
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care about the victims? should we care about the people who are victimized? and should we also do this if we have the money in there, we could take steps to stop them being victims in the first place. how are we giving anything? some program some money that found out that this child i talked about was being victimized and we could've stopped it before the states attorney gets called in to look at the dead body. how much better would it have been if we could have stopped it to begin with? so all i'm saying is this i am happy to work with the senior senator from texas on this bill just as it was last year. we had a built without this provision, and i was hoping and trying to get -- >> the u.s. senate is about to gavel and to continue work on a bill that would find a penalize person convicted of human trafficking. the bill would provide more
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restitution to victims. democrats are currently blocking more administered by an offer because of abortion language in the bill. amendments and votes are possible this afternoon. and now to live coverage of the u.s. senate here on c-span2. the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. lord of life and love and laughter, you are the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. thank you for the gift of this day, for life and health, for forgiveness and freedom, for
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family and friends. lord we're grateful for the hope we have in you and for the joy we find in your presence. you have given us this great gift of prayer, enabling us to reach out to you whenever we desire. today, use our senators to make our nation stronger and our world better. open their ears to cries of despair and give them wisdom to solve difficult problems. sanctify their thoughts, words and deeds so that they will live
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worthy of your great love. we pray in your merciful name. amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: every year in america countless innocent victims, including children, are bought and sold into modern-day slavery. this heinous crime of human trafficking is shameful and disgraceful, and the senate can do something about it by passing the bipartisan human trafficking legislation before us today. the justice for victims of trafficking act introduced by senator cornyn and his democrat colleague, senator klobuchar would give voices to the voiceless and justice to the children suffering in the shadows. there-- their bipartisan human rights bill may not be long but it is effective and transparent. this bill is available for any senator and member of the public to read since january. this bipartisan legislation was considered and strengthened in an open and transparent committee process and this
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human rights bill conforms with long-standing bipartisan law that so many of our democratic friends have supported repeatedly. it's no wonder that once senators read the bill, they can't seem to help but support it. we welcome the 13 democratic cosponsors of this human rights bill. we welcome the messages of support of our democratic friends have delivered as well. here's what one democratic senator from new york had to say just a few days ago: we should pass senator cornyn's justice for victims trafficking act. this bipartisan bill would support programs and ensure the johns who are buying trafficking victims are actually prosecuted in federal court. she's right. all of those things are contained in the text of this bipartisan bill. we also heard the democratic senator from north dakota who called on me to bring -- quote -- "s. 178, the justice for
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victims of trafficking act to the floor for a vote" and i was happy to do it. i'm appreciative of her support. i'm appreciative of the support for so many from across the aisle who read and support this bill. the children who suffer from such terrible oppression and injustice must appreciate their support too. they must appreciate our democratic friends closely examining this bipartisan human rights bill of modest leng and then voting unanimously to support it in the judiciary committee. and then on monday they must have appreciated seeing our democratic friends join with us to unanimously advance the same bipartisan human rights bill. here's what the democratic leader had to say that day right after i called for strong bipartisan backing for our human rights legislation. "on human trafficking i underscore appreciate and agree with the republican leader. i feel very confident we will clear on our side moving to
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that. i think it would be a waste of the senate's time to have a vote on a motion to proceed and a waste of time afterwards. i doubt there will be problems on my side" the democratic leader said. "if there are, i will work to clear them. " i was very appreciative of my good friend making that statement after examining this bipartisan legislation. this bipartisan human rights bill may not be that long but it's critical to help lift victims out of the shadows. a broad coalition from the naacp to the national domestic hotline has called it -- quote -- "vital." the justice for victims of trafficking act provides unprecedented support to domestic victims of trafficking who are too often invisible and underserved. as leaders of the antitrafficking, antiviolence child welfare civil rights, run away and homeless youth and human rights movements we urge congress to pass this critical
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piece of legislation they continued. so i would urge members on both sides of the aisle to help pass this transparent and bipartisan human rights legislation overwhelmingly. the presiding officer: the democrat leader. mr. reid: around the country there are a number of stories appearing. i'll just take one of the stories from "the new york times" and read just a little bit of it. it's a long article. but everyone will get the drift of it, these few paragraphs i'm going to read. "the obama administration said tuesday that -- i'm sorry 11.7 million americans now have private health insurance through federal and state marketplaces, with 86% of them receiving financial assistance from the federal government to help pay premiums. about three-fourths of the people with marketplace coverage 8.8 million consumers live in the 37 states served by
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the other 2.9 million are in states that operate their own exchanges. sylvia burwell underlined the importance of subsidies for people in states using the federal exchange. subsidies that could be withdrawn if the supreme court rules against the obama administration in a pending case. administration officials suggest more than seven million people would lose subsidies making insurance uneap -- unaffordable. the plaintiffs contend that the affordable care act does not allow subsidies in the federal exchange. in florida 1.6 million people have selected or been automatically reenrolled in health plans the largest enrollment of any state in the federal exchange. and 1.5 million of them qualified for subsidies in the form of tax credits which average about $300 a month. in texas 1.2 million people selected were reenrolled in health plans and one million of
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them qualified for finance assistance averaging $239 a month. in north carolina, 560,000 people selected health plans in the federal marketplace and -- i'm sorry 515,000 qualified for subsidies averaging about $300 a month. mr. president, a lot rides on what the supreme court does. one of the things riding is that millions and millions of people, if the supreme court can't see the absolute clear language of that bill, millions of people would lose their health insurance, and that would be a tragedy. that would be so very, very bad that so many people would find themselves with no health insurance after they have been waiting for so long to get it. on another subject mr. president, the ancient greek philosophers once said to be doing good deeds is man's most
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glorious task. today the senate is doing a good deed. we have a chance to address human trafficking. it's hard to fathom that in this 21st century slavery continues to rear its ugly head in the form of human trafficking. but in the shadows of american society there are children, women and even men who are literally being enslaved and subjected to the most shockingly inhumane treatment imaginable. the victims of human trafficking suffer from fips and sexual abuse and violence, are forced to live in squalor. they have no hope. this legislation before this body aims to change that. it so seeks to not only prevent trafficking but give survivors hope for a new life. this legislation creates a domestic trafficking victims fund that will help support victims of trafficking and child prog get back -- pornography get back on their feet by providing support services. this legislation provides funding to train law enforcement and rescuing and support
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survivors of human trafficking and effectively prosecuting these traffickers. it designates child pornography as a form of human trafficking and ensures the victims have direct access to child advocacy centers. it protects victims and witnesses by treating suspected human traffickers as violent criminals. it keeps victims of traffic and child pornography regarding any plea gar ban or deferred -- bargain related to their cases. this legislation is good for our country. it will go a long way in curbing human trafficking and child pornography. that is why it is supported by human rights groups nationwide. unfortunately republicans are committed to turning a bipartisan bill into a political fight. we can give all the speeches out here we want, saying somebody should have read the bill more closely. the question is, and we can have
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all kinds of debates out here as to how it got in the bill, a number of people feel it was by a little bit of slight i hand that -- sleight of hand that shouldn't be in there. in this legislation that is meant as an outline to stop child trafficking and human trafficking generally, there is a provision in this legislation dealing with abortion. it has nothing nothing to do with this. i served in the house of representatives with henry hyde; a very fine man. he has had his name affixed to an anti-abortion bill, anti-abortion legislation for almost three decades. and it's been continued year after year in appropriations bills. what i'm talking about what's happening in this legislation it would make it permanent. it's wrong. if my friend, the republican leader is so in tune with getting this passed, take that legislation out of the bill. otherwise it will not pass. take it out.
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it's unfortunate that republicans are committed to turning a bipartisan bill into an unrelated unconscionable plit -- political fight? is it worth turning a piece of legislation that would do good for our country? democrats would not allow a bill to prevent human trafficking and child pornography be hijacked. we can do a lot of good with this legislation. i hope my republican friends will choose do do the right thing and take this out of the legislation and pass this bill without any gimmicks. talking about gimmicks, mr. president, there are a number of reports in the past couple of days about how this unprecedented letter to the leaders of the iranian regime surfaced. there are news reports that this was intended as a big joke. a big joke.
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others say republicans say it was a political organizing exercise. they have been hammered so hard with their nonfunding of homeland security. others say it was simply designed to sabotage negotiations. pick whatever one of the three you want. whatever the reason, one thing is clear, this is not a joke. this is not an organizing exercise. this is about preventing iran from getting a nuclear weapon. i'm disappointed that some of my republican colleagues are destroying the long tradition of bipartisanship in defending israel and stopping iran from getting a nuclear weapon. i'm heartened mr. president that a few republicans -- seven to be exact -- didn't sign the letter. that's nice. 7 out of 54. certainly seven is better than nothing. some of the seven have said they agree with democrats that this letter was not appropriate. we're witnessing a fundamental test of republicans' ability to
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govern. they're treating nuclear negotiations as a chance to play political games. they're treating human trafficking as a chance to play some of these games. this is not the time for any kind of game. republicans behavior on these issues is irresponsible and beneath the dignity of this instituting. we can and should do better. mr. president, what is the business of the day in? the presiding officer: under the previous order the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order the senate will be in a period of morning business for one hour with senators permitted to speak for up to ten minutes each, with the time equally divided; the democrats controlling the first half and the majority controlling the final half. mr. durbin: mr. president in. the presiding officer: the assistant majority leader. mr. durbin: mr. president last week i had an opportunity to cross the street into the supreme court anded to witness the first -- and to witness the first oral argument that i've ever seen.
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it was an historic moment for me and for our nation, because it was a moment for the court to argue about the affordable care act and what was the intention of congress in creating this affordable care act. having been here at the time that it was debated and voted for it, it was interesting to hear arguments made on the floor of the supreme court that suggested something this we had never -- suggested something that we had never intended. the exchanges created under the affordable care act are exchanges created under the state or the federal government. there was never any intention that the subsidy given to people under these exchanges would be different in it was state or federally create. that's basically the argument before the supreme court. one can only imagine what the final decision of the supreme court will be but we know it is critically important to millions of americans. 10 million uninsured americans
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finally have insurance because of the affordable care act. in the private market, millions more now have access to expanded coverage for preventive health services such as a mammogram a flu shot -- without any cost-sharing. and because the affordable care act -- and because of the affordable care act a person no longer can be denied coverage because of a preexisting condition, a situation that virtually every family faces. and prescription drugs cost less. last week when the supreme court heard arguments in king v. burwell, the plaintiffs made an argument that those who were governed by federal exchanges were supposed to be treated differently under this act. that was never the intention of those who were part of the creation and voting for this legislation. a ruling in favor of king that would in fact change this provision as we intended it would mean 8 million americans would no longer be able to
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afford health insurance. according to the urban institute, premiums for people able to purchase insurance would increase by 35%. i can't imagine that even senators who voted against this bill are cheering at the prospect that 8 million americans would lose insurance and many others would face higher premiums. well republicans have argumented they have an alternative to the affordable care act in the senate. they put out a draft proposal last month. the chairman of the ways and means committee in the house said he was going to release his own plan. the affordable care act puts families in charge of their care instead of insurance companies. it expands health care coverage and lowers health care costs. it makes medicare stronger ans lowers the deficit -- and lowers the deficit. what part of that do my republican colleagues disagree with? before the enactment of the affordable care act 50 million americans lacked hundreds. while health care costs for working families and small businesses were increasing by double digits.
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the affordable care act changed it. 10 million people now have private health insurance. millions more covered by medicaid. and for the first time ever, insurance companies have to live up to their promise of being there when you actually need them. the senate republican proposal falls short and would allow insurance companies to once again charge higher premiums to women to decide that people with preexisting conditions won't get any coverage at all and to decide that you can only get so much help in paying your bills. insurance companies will get to decide again if if again if the republicans get to have their way, whether or not you can renew your health care policy as you get older. worse, 12 million people would lose their health insurance taxes on working families would go up. that's not right. the supreme court would put in jeopardy health insurance coverage for ariana hemenes.
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she pace $53 a month for her health insurance premium. when asked what would happen to her coverage if the supreme court took away the tax credit, she said simply, "i wouldn't be able to afford it." in illinois, over 290,000 people purchased their plan through the illinois marketplace. 125,000 young adults in illinois can still stay on their parents' health insurance plan. since september 2010, children under the age of 18 enrolled in the employer-based or market-based plan have been eligible to receive vaccinations for diseases like measles without any cost-sharing. a few years ago domingo carino found out that he had a condition that required medication he couldn't afford. thanks to the affordable care
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act and some help from staff at the hospital he goes to in chicago, he found health insurance that only costs him $11 a month. it not only allows him to afford the medication he needs but he also is able to keep his current primary care physician. according to domingo, he can now live without worrying about how he will afford his medication. the tax credits provided by the affordable care act are a life safer. if those who are -- if those who oppose the affordable care act prevail in the supreme court that tax subsidy that tax credit will not be available to domingo. over 54 million people also benefit from medicaid. before the affordable care act two out of four people on medicaid were pregnant women and children. medicaid also provides for people with disabilities. before the affordable care act almost 3 million people were covered by medicaid in illinois. more than half a million births
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were covered by medicaid in illinois too. since the affordable care act was signed into law another 290,000 people in illinois are covered by medicaid. that means finally these people get better from a condition they couldn't afford to treat. that's a success story. the new republican plan uses something else out of an old playbook. republicans want to cap medicaid spending for each beneficiary. this budget gimmick would hurt the most vulnerable people in america: low-income seniors people with disabilities, children and pregnant mothers. states would be forced to make harsh choices on what they would cover and what they could not. is that what america wants? according to a recent gull lop poll the uninsured rate has dropped 3.5 points from 2013 to 2014. in illinois, the rate dropped 4.5% during the same period of time. the affordable care act includes changes meant to help to slow
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the growth in health care in health care costs and they're working. another part of the record i'd like to say that part of this conversation critical part of this conversation is health care research. one of the most outstanding men serving the federal government in america is named frances collins. he is an amazing man who heads up the national institutes of health. he is a great physician a great researcher. when the united states wanted someone to head up the human genome project they picked him. he managed to bring that project to success to provide more information than anyone ever dreamed of, and now we are better in treating problems and diseases across america. i went to see him last year. we talked out at the national institutes of health about medical research in america. what he had to say was terrifying.
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23% decline in medical research in the united states over the last ten years. we have not even kept up with inflation in providing money for medical research. and that's not lost on people in the research field. we are now finding that our medical researchers are older and older. younger researchers have given up. they don't think they're getting approvals for their research applications. and as they leave the field the new generation of researchers has diminished, and our ability to find cures has also diminished. at the same time that the united states is back-pedaling and falling away from research, the rest of the world is charging forward. in the european union they're making massive investments in medical research. in just a few years the chinese will pass the united states for the first time in their investment in biomedical
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research. they understanded that in addition to finding cures biomedical research is really the door, the opening for entrepreneurship profitability pharmaceutical companies medical devices and they want to make sure china is in the lead. why isn't the united states in the lead? let me speak to you about two particular diseases that need to be researched. mr. reid: would my friend yield for a question? mr. durbin: i would be happy to. mr. reid: i have to leave the the floor in a second, and i wanted to direct this question to my colleague. i, too have met with frances collins. he's genius. we're so fortunate he's there. but he told me something i can't get out of my mind. sequestration -- it took $1.5 billion away from the things that the senator from illinois has been talking b the second year of sequestration would have been $2 billion. i don't -- is the senator aware
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that today i read in the press that republicans in the house in their budget and the budget over here in the senate, they're going to continue with sequestration? think what that will do. i ask my friend, what will that do to frances collins and the people he has working that the institution? mr. durbin: i would just respond to the democratic leader and say that i've heard the same thing. there are some republicans in the house who believe that sequestration, this across-the-board cut is what we should do. and i couldn't disagree more. i chair the defense appropriations subcommittee. this would be devastating to america's national defense if we go forward with sequestration. if we get into this field of cutting back in biomedical research it not only will deny us the basic money we need to fund research grants -- and we're now funding a lower percentage than we have in decades -- it'll also mean a
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discouraging message to researchers. they're going to think, what is the point in becoming an n.i.h. researcher if the government, the congress, will not provide the basic resources we need? and the third element which we cannot overlook, are all of the millions of people in the united states and around the world that are praying that we will be able to come up with breakthroughs when it comes to medical research. in the united states of america a person is diagnosed with alzheimer's disease once every 68 seconds -- once every 68 seconds, alzheimer's in the united states. last year we spent over $200 billion in medicare and medicaid for the care of alzheimer's patients. what frances collins has said to me is that if we can dedicate growth in research funds and we can with the grace of god find a way to delay the onset of alzheimer's, even a few months
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-- and maybe mir miraculously find a cure at some moment -- the savings to the federal government would be so much more than the actual cost of the med research. so this notion of cutting back on n.i.h. research that some in the house are pushing is really an effort which is going to cost us more in the long run not to mention the human suffering. mr. reid: mr. president if i could through the chair ask my friend one final question, in my last trip to the national institutes of health, i met with dr. collins and others and one of the things they were so in tune with is they were close to having a universal vaccine for flu. how it has worked in the past is they come up with the best they can for a flu every year, and it's -- if we're fortunate, it's 50% effective. they are very, very close to having a universal vaccine for flu. tens of thousands of people in
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the united states die from flu every year. why didn't they proceed? sequestration. they didn't have the money to continue that research. i say to my friend, thank you very much for bringing this subject up. it is something that is devastating to not only our scientific community but people out there who would benefit from this research, who really don't know what is -- what could be in store for them, and it is such a shame to our country that china japan has done a good job for many many decades, they have the lowest death rate in the world, and the union european are charging way ahead of the united states in that we have led forever. mr. durbin: i thank the senator from nevada. and i would just add this: it wasn't that long, a just a few months ago that america was consumed with ebola and what it meant in terms of threats to
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life in africa, in the united states and around the world. and it was right that we focused on stopping the scourge of the ebola epidemic in africa. but there was a concern as well expressed over and over again just this last fall about how many americans would be victim to this ebola epidemic. it turns out at the end of the day that fewer than a hand full were actually affected by it. but every year in the united states and around the world hundreds if not thousands die from flu influenza. again, just to get to the point that the senator from nevada makes, we're penny wise and pound foolish by denying the money for research for universal flu vaccine that will save lives around the world a minimal investment in the united states can make a dramatic improvement in the morbidity and mortality of those who are affected by flu. and so i would


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