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tv   [untitled]    March 12, 2015 6:00pm-6:31pm EDT

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report. the clerk: senate concurring resolution 7 authorizing the use of emancipation hall in capitol visitors' center for a ceremony to award the congressional gold medal to the world war ii members of the doolittle tokyo raiders. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection the committee is discharged and the senate will proceed to. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the concurrent resolution be agreed to an the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today it adjourn until 3:00 p.m. monday, march 16. following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. following leader remarks the senate be in a period of morning business for up to one hour with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes
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each. finally, following morning business, the senate resume consideration of s. 178. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: so, mr. president, senators should expect a roll call vote at 5:30 p.m. on monday on the confirmation of assistant secretary of transportation. i filed cloture on the trafficking bill earlier today and that vote will occur on tuesday morning under the regular order. if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it stand in adjournment under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until
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courtesy. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to engage in a colloquy with my >> mr. president, asking animist intent to engage in a colloquy with my colleagues, senator from illinois, senator from ohio and i think we will be joined by the senator from south dakota and perhaps others. >> without objection. >> mr. president, before i turn to senator portman, i just want to put up a quote from one of the leaders of the anti-trafficking movement, the coalition against trafficking in women who expressed my sentiments exactly, my frustration over a partisan
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filibuster of a piece of legislation, which has enjoyed rod bipartisan support and somehow that partisanship has infected why should be a bipartisan into helping the big tons of human trafficking. she said senate democrats are choosing a phantom problem over real victims. i think that expresses the fact and certainly my sentiment. i want to turn from the senator from ohio who has been one of the leaders in this effort. he has offered an important piece of legislation inc. in the build that perhaps he'll talk about, but also additional amendments he would like to get a chance to get a vote on to further improve the bill. in particular, his provision bringing missing children home mac with senator schumer come the senator from new york which is in the base bill and senator
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feinstein, senator from california they've offered the combat human trafficking act which is included in the base bill. with that mr. president, i would yield to the senator from ohio for any remarks he would care to make and perhaps we can engage may qualify with their colleagues. >> i think my colleague from texas for his leadership on this legislation along with senator klobuchar and others to bring it to the floor. senator grassley is with us as chair of the committee. i appreciate the fact face to those who worked on the last few years are included in your legislation that you mentioned. sadly, some of the most vulnerable youth are those who are missing or in foster care kids who end up being unfortunately exposed to human trafficking sometimes trafficking.
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the idea of the missing legislation is very simple. let's help find these children as quickly as possible and having better information on them. i'll give you one example of that. in ohio 71 kids who have gone missing since january 1st. these are 71 children who are out there somewhere miners, for the 71 children we only have 22 photographs. so this is since january 1st. the legislation says let's get the data included in the photographs a while but cannot the opportunity to help find these young people before they might be calm subject to human trafficking. in ohio we unfortunately had this issue in all of our regions including some of our smaller communities as well as bigger urban centers where we have sex trafficking and they say children when they get involved
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in this, the average age of getting involved in as is between 11 and 13 years old. we have talked a lot the last several days. i do not here talking about these issues. they are the most foldable against us. this is in the bill. if we pass this legislation this additional information and better awareness and training a child welfare agency officials better training for law enforcement and no one is all part of this to the legislation is increasing penalties on those involved in trafficking enough important because we haven't had a major bill on the floor for 15 years of his learned a lot in the process. there are better ways to give prosecutors and lon prosecutors and line force and the tools they need and stop this heinous crime. there's some really good provisions in legislation on a bipartisan basis.
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one is with senator feinstein with regard to penalties and the other legislation is the senator schumer we actually offered amendments and we haven't been able to get those because this week we have it move forward. they allow the process to have those and we may see some disagreements on some part of this bill. i thought because they got out of committee with cannabis vote that they would be disagreements. but if there are, let's have discussion and debate. let's not let these most vulnerable among us way for us to work this out. let's move forward in a way that allows everybody to have their views be heard. some of the legislation i talked about comes out of meeting with folks back home on this issue and talking to victims who have
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been through this horrible process encountered a very difficult process of recovering from it. some of our amendment would help with regard to that issue, helping respond to young people, often children involved in this. but it also comes out of the work done right here in the senate to a caucus reformed about two and a half years ago. senator blumenthal and i cofounded this caucus. we cochair it. we meet every month and bring people from around the country were experts on the issue. some are experts on child welfare, law enforcement people involved in trying to stop the issue. other are experts because unfortunately they found themselves in difficult situations. among others, some have come forward and talks about how as a young girl they were taken in by a trafficker and increasingly
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this is true in ohio unfortunately. drug abuse is part of this. they become dependent on the trafficker. it is to me a form of bondage because these are young people who become addicted and in ohio it is typically harewood now. so it is keeping these young people trapped in this dependency and so the drug treatment and drug recovery. always recovery for him having been trafficked. this is an opportunity for this caucus that we formed. the members who are involved in the caucus, including members said they would agree it's a good experience for our staff and for us to raise awareness to this issue. now we take in information and put it in the legislation. we will have plenty of time for politics around here. trust me.
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lots of that next week in the week after in the next couple of years. there are certain issues where we should move forward on not the bipartisan process. i would say nonpartisan basis and this is one. i think my colleagues in texas for allowing me to speak rudely and my colleagues in south dakota and illinois are here to talk about this issue and i hope this today we can begin the process of having votes moving forward with amendments in getting the good work done to help the most vulnerable among us. >> mr. president, i think the senator from ohio when these issues. he has worked hard and long to address them and bring us to the point we are at today. i want to emphasize one point he made at the beginning and that is the average age of people targeted for human trafficking are girls during the age of 12
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to 14. so this is a very vulnerable part of our country. i know we get wrapped around the axle of peter about procedure, about politics, a lot of different issues. we have to keep our focus on them, on the victims, these children, these girls who are the hapless victims of these pants and john's and other people selling bodies. we need to figure out what we can do to help them. they are the ones who are the real loser if we get so balled up around here because of all the political maneuvers. we take our eye off the ball. that is why our friends at the coalition against trafficking in women talked about the phantom problem over real victims. the problems of care to check they are trying to hold up is basically trying to relitigate
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something that fell off of the land since 1976. this is what they voted for. this is a phony issue, a phony diversion from what should be a real focus on the victims. i want to turn to the senator from illinois has also been a leader on this issue. i know he has been a lawyer dealing with people who run some of these websites, back page in particular. also trying to figure a way to integrate some of our veterans who are the big military service into the investigation of these crimes. i would like to turn to the center of illinois for any comments you'd like to make. >> gentleman from texas moving this legislation, including the acts at 535 with high partisan, senator blumenthal would also have wounded warriors and let me
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say that the amendment is trying to offer this week and intended to go after back, which is a lot of largest providers and services. we have to charge them for the cost of cleaning up the mess they made. >> i think the senator from illinois. his focus is exactly where we had to be having this focus which is how do you take some of the profits out of this modern-day slavery and redirected to help the victims. that is what this bill does. it bans some of the impunity that some of these purveyors of human/, that they are repeating the rewards and puts it back in to help the victims. the safe act has been a focus.
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senator from california is very concerned about how the internet has become integrated as part of the business model and some of these perpetrators of the crime. the senator from illinois may be aware some of the veterans -- >> hiring veterans to get on the internet and find some of the slave dealers online. i would say right now that with back we should thread the needle carefully make sure the communications act, freedom and america does not mean you have the freedom to enslave others. with victory in civil war, which i apologize the member from texas for mentioning there is an ever expanding world of freedom here in the united states that does not include
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slavery empowered by the internet. >> i think the senator from illinois and i take no offense talking about the fact the south lost the civil war. i hold the senate seat. >> your statement of some times called recent uploads. >> first held by sam houston who resigned his seat as governor of texas rather than participate in secession. he was a union and. i know you worked very hard on a bipartisan basis for senator bloom and all, senator from connecticut and others on this legislation. that is what i find so baffling what has been a uniquely bipartisan after has now turned into a partisan filibuster. i frankly am perplexed by that. maybe we will have some friends on the other side come out and explain why they are
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filibustering the bill they voted for in the judiciary committee. we got a unanimous vote in the judiciary committee. 10 democratic cosponsors and yet the democratic leader, senator reid says they are not going to allow a vote on any amendments and they will kill this bill because they don't want to vote for a bill that includes a provision they voted for time and time again and the law of the land for 39 years. i think the senator from illinois and i know we are joined by the senator from south dakota who is head of our conference in the republican conference and who i know has been very concerned about the dysfunction in this place and we saw this as an opportunity or demonstrating we can actually do the people's business once again after coming off of a very tough election tougher for democratic friends on our side of the aisle. but they were sick and tired of the dysfunction here.
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we want to show we can actually be responsive to the needs of the most vulnerable people in our country. i would go to the senator from south dakota for any comments he cares to make. >> i think the senator from texas for his leadership on this issue as well as the senator from iowa, senator grassley for moving this to the floor. as the senator from texas who has been appalled at this legislation for a really long time knows, if there was ever an issue do we deal with here the united states senate that goes beyond the politics it is this. we are talking about untold stories and thousands of american children and adults in modern-day slavery. those stories are bone chilling in a deny of late some of the most deplorable acts of humankind. what the bill is designed to do
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an tackiness issue in a away for a very long time and gives law enforcement the tools to target these traffickers, to bring them to justice, provide the tools necessary to help restore the lives of the victims of these heinous, heinous crimes. i would ask the senator from texas because it's interesting to me we are where we are. this is clearly a bipartisan issue. so much so that landers innateness when this is marked out on the debated and voted on that it cannot unanimously. all the democrats voted for it. >> mr. president, i would respond to my friend from south dakota to say he's out for the correct which is one reason i'm so perplexed that we find ourselves where we are today. 10 cosponsors on the democratic side for this underlying bill filed on january 13 was marked
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up in the judiciary committee a month later and got a unanimous vote. i would add in response to my friends question that we also saw some and we haven't seen here in a long time on the senate floor in madison agreement by all 100 senators that we would proceed to consider this bill and began the amendment process and debate process without having to jump through procedural hoops that we traditionally have to do on cloture motions and the like. so what happened a couple days ago when apparently some of our friend spoke up and found what has been called the phantom problem is really just pretty disturbing. >> could i just ask as well because the senator from texas drafting this bill, my understanding is bill itself is 60 pages is that correct? >> i would say that is correct. that includes strikeout
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provisions. the text is roughly half of that. provisions that our friends across the aisle suddenly woke up and discovered a couple days ago was written in plain sight and it incorporates by reference the bill they voted for which is the last appropriations bill we voted for in the lame duck session. >> and this bill was filed on what date? >> january 13. >> wended the committee level market up? >> i would say was marked up or pass data judiciary committee among later. >> okay, this has been around now here in the senate at least for weeks months. it is 60 pages long. it's been introduced back in january. has reported that unanimously. democrats voting for when i left the judiciary committee. when brought up on the floor of
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the senate all 100 senators voted to get on this bill. all of a sudden here is the 11th hour. on a piece of legislation that clearly has unanimous support i would think. they are now projecting because there is language in the legislation which evidently 60 pages long is a lot to read. obamacare with a story purpose argued after his past we had to figure out what was in it. this is the 68 page bill. so you have an opportunity when the bill was filed, the bill goes to market. countless staffers and members of congress have read this thing. all of a sudden at the 11th hour there's an objection because there is language included in this bill, which was voted on by 55 democrats as recently as december. is that correct?
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was very spending bill that came out last year december 2014? >> i would say to my friend that was the continuing resolution on this bill that passed in november during the lame duck section including similar language and was actually incorporated by reference into the chest is perfect tens of trafficking bill. the same language our friends for democratic friends voted for then and now they complain on this bill for no apparent reason. >> and is the correct that particular provision referred to as the height amendment has been a part of spending bills dating back to 1976? literally 40 years now the amendment language has been included in bills repast here appropriation doesn't spending and spending bills. >> x-ray to my friend from south
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dakota is exactly correct. this is the law of the land for 39 years. then area that's very controversial, this has been a rare area of bipartisan consensus that no tax dollars used to fund abortion. this is really a red herring and the phantom problem referred to here and i just can't believe that they throw their staff under the bus who were responsible for bringing to your bringing to your attention what is in legislation. i can't believe they would throw the victims who would benefit from this bill under the bus and say they should have to pay the price for this phantom problem they've discovered. it is just not possible. it doesn't make any sense whatsoever. >> i would say to my colleague
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in texas to spend some instrumental in getting us to do for the 68 page bill asserts a readable. several months to look at it and read it including when a bill is reported out of committee and means it's been analyzed looked at and it cannot unanimously. every democrat voting for it. voting for a privation that literally has been a matter of policy and law dating back to 1976 and was voted on as recently as december of last year. 55 democrats in this chamber voted for this language very similar language in december last year and now they are object to do a piece of legislation they reported that unanimously on the judiciary committee which does something to stop the brutal violation of the innocent in this country they are objecting to it over this language.
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>> mr. president if i could interject, the senator from south dakota is exactly right. i would add to that not only is this enjoyed broad bipartisan support in the senate and congress, we have more than 200 law enforcement and the rights organization that had endorsed this bill that are banking us to pass it. groups like the coalition against trafficking in women because they know that we need to focus but just as importantly, we need to get the services to the vic to to begin to let them heal and get on with their lives. as we said earlier, these are young girls 12 to 14 years of age. can you imagine the scars can you imagine this terrible crime?
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because of the political shenanigans here is another day the state dems with access to the services they need. >> if they survive -- if they survive imagine how messed up these young victims will be we have an opportunity to do something about it. on the other side they described this as a sleight-of-hand. this is a clear choice by democrats that she is partisan politics over the victims of human trafficking. it is as simple as that. i littered my democrat colleagues to stop. stop the partisan politics. dr. brown in this important opportunity to come together in bipartisanship to end human trafficking putting partisan
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politics over 100,000 american children who fall victim to the brutal reality every year is just absolutely wrong. to quote our distinguished colleagues in the state of maryland, senator mikulski said let's get it done and let's get it done now. i would say mr. president to college in texas life is too precious. these crimes are too serious for this issue to be caught out in the crosshairs of washington politics. this has got to stop. this has got to end. this is a piece of bipartisan legislation that will help hundreds of thousands commit millions have it say that americans across this country. it's time we begin to right the wrongs of injustice by turning the tide in one person's behavior and those combating these terrible heinous crimes to
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succeed and help the victims restore their lives. i appreciate the good work of the senator in texas and i would just urge my colleagues to end this shenanigans the charade going on before the united states senate. let's get this bill passed on the president's desk. >> mr. president, how much time remains and our allotted time? >> there is no time. >> thank you mr. president. i want to express my gratitude but we've neglected perhaps the most important person in this process and that is the senator from iowa, chairman of the judiciary committee who spotted a letter written by all 20 senators in the united states senate passed in him to have a hearing on this important topic and to move this bill forward. i know we had the senator from south dakota senator mikulski came to testify was senator ayotte from new hampshire and
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senator klobuchar at the hearing and talked about how important this was to all 20 of our women senators and how proud they were of the fact that forwarded it would have happened without the senator from iowa, chairman of the judiciary committee willing to take the challenge up and move the bill floor in a unanimous fashion. i would just close mr. president by saying that all members of the united states senate presumably came here to try to do something important. .. march in place or fill up space, but presumably they spend the time away from their families they go through the rigors of political campaigns they suffer the slings and arrows of partisan politics in order to try to something -- do
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something good, to try to help people who cannot help themselves. and so here is a perfect opportunity to do exactly that. and we're not asking people to do anything extraordinary. certainly not asking them to do anything they haven't done before which is to vote on language that is included in -- been the law of the lapped for 39 years that they have voted on before. we're not asking to change the status quo. we're just asking them to focus on the victims. so as ms. gaetan who is with the coalition against trafficking in as the coalition against trafficking women said democrats are choosing a phantom a phantom problem of a real issues. shame on us. shame on us. we can do better. these symptoms de


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