tv U.S. Senate U.S. Senate CSPAN February 15, 2018 9:59am-12:00pm EST
let us deal with the border security, and then in the near future let us deal with comprehensive immigration reform. thank you, and i yield the floor. >> c-span, , where history unfos daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service via america's cable-television companies and today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> the u.s. senate is about to start its fourth day of debate on immigration policy and border security. for amendments are currently pending including one by judiciary committee chairman chuck grassley which most closely aligns with the four
pillars of immigration reform released by the white house a week ago or so. no votes are currently scheduled. we may see some later today. any amendment would need 62 fast under the open debate promised by the majority leader mitch mcconnell. let's go now to the senate floor live here on c-span2. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the chaplain will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. our father in heaven, thank you for your mighty love. today, empower our senators to pass the test you permit them to experience.
give them the wisdom to believe that you will not permit them to be tested beyond their ability to prevail. lord, provide them with a path of escape from life's vicissitudes lord, help them to strive to be faithful servants of your kingdom, thereby leaving behind a legacy that will bless generations yet unborn. use them for your glory. and, lord, sustain those who are dealing with the parkland, florida, school shooting. we pray in your sovereign name. amen.
the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to our 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. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington d.c, february 15, 2018, to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable roy blunt, a senator from the state of missouri, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: orrin g. hatch, presidet pro tempore. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. the morning business is closed. and under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to h.r. 2579 which the
clerk will report. the clerk: -- the presiding officer: the senate will resume consideration of h.r. 2579 which the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 302, h.r. 2579 an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to allow the premium tax credit with respect to unsubsidized cobra continuation coverage.
mr. mcconnell: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i want to begin this morning by sharing a shock and sorrow
that all of us in this body felt as we learned of yesterday's shooting at the marjory stoneman douglas high school in parkland, florida. to say that such brutal, pointless violence is unconscionable is an understatement. school should be places where children can learn, faculty and staff can work without fear of violence. my colleagues from florida will carry home the prayers of the whole senate for victims and their families, for the community of parkland and for the first responders who bravely charged into harm's way on
behalf of others. for the information of all senators, the senate will observe a moment of silence at noon. now, mr. president, on an entirely different matter, the entire week has been set aside as i assured it would be for votes on the daca issue, border security, and other issues pertaining to the subject of immigration. at this point we should be wrapping up a lively week of debate, amendments, and numerous votes. that's not what happened. instead we're here on thursday morning and have yet to vote on a single amendment. not one amendment all week on what was offered, an open
debate. remember our democratic friends wanted this debate. actually shut down the federal government for 300 million americans unnecessarily to guarantee we could have this debate and at this particular time, this week. they spent months insisting daca is a top priority for them and telling their constituents they'd do everything they could to resolve it. but when the rubber meets the road, they have yet to bring forward a single proposal that gives us a realistic chance to make law. that is pass the senate, pass the house, and earn the president's signature. all they've done so far is to slow the process as much as possible. it turns out they didn't want a fair, open, free-wheeling amendment process after all.
yesterday evening i filed cloture on all four pending amendments. at a minimum, under the regular order, we can make sure at least they receive a vote by friday morning. i hope the democratic leader will finally consent to hold these votes on amendments today. our democratic friends say they want resolution for illegal immigrants who were brought into the country as children. the president has put forward a framework that would do exactly that. his reasonable proposal offers a more than generous resolution for 1.8 million individuals in that category. but the daca issue is just a symptom of our broken immigration system. so the president's made clear, and i strongly agree that any legislation must also treat the root causes and reform legal
immigration. and ph must also include commonsense steps to ensure the safety of the american people. several senators, led by senator grassley, the chairman of the judiciary committee, have crafted legislation that accommodates the major interest of all sides. it fulfills the stated goal of our democratic colleagues and, and conforms to the president's requirements. their bill provides funding to secure the border. it reforms extended family chain migration and the visa lottery program. it fixes the loophole that forces us to release thousands of criminal aliens who were rejected by their own home countries. enacts case law to put criminals who repeatedly and illegally cross our borders behind bars. it gets tough on violent, dangerous criminals such as drug smugglers, human traffickers, gang members and sex offenders. and, yes, it offers a generous,
extremely generous resolution to the daca issue. the president, in my view, has gone more than halfway to meet the democrats and resolve this matter. if they're actually interested in finding a solution, it's time they take yes for an answer. 1.8 million people eligible for citizenship. because my democratic friends are stalling for time, they spent three full days making political points instead of making a law. i hope today can be different. on one final subject, it's only been 55 days since the president signed his tax reform into law. already it's led to bonuses, raises and new benefits for millions of american workers. the long-term signs are just as promising. hundreds of companies have announced significant commitments to plant deeper roots in the american economy.
we know the tax cuts and jobs act is proworker and probusiness, but tax reform is also at its core profamily. it doubles the standard deduction, meaning a young married couple effectively gets a new zero percent tax bracket for the first $24,000 they earn. if that couple decides to purchase a home, their mortgage interest will be eligible for deduction. contrary to what many predicted, the historic tax cuts didn't jeopardize middle-class deduction. we preserved it. when that couple starts a family, they'll benefit from the fact that we double the child tax credit, thanks to the fine work of senator heller and others throughout the committee process. at its new level, that credit will save a two-child household $4,000 every year. $4,000 to help them with back-to-school costs.
or to kick off a college fund, or to help them afford summer camp tuition and a family vacation instead of choosing one or the other. and tha -- thanks to the tireless work of my colleague from nebraska, senator fischer, the tax cut and jobs act encourages more employers to provide paid family leave. that's good news for millions of american families that will welcome a child this year. now, my democratic colleagues like to speak about the importance of paid leave but not a single one of them voted with us, not one. every democrat in the house and in the senate voted against the bill that included senator fischer's paid family leave and sentence. every one of them voted against the bill that included a bigger standard deduction and the doubling of the child tariff credit and lower income tax rates.
fortunately, we passed this historic achievement, achievement despite their efforts to stop it. and thanks to every republican who voted for tax reform, both walmart and lowe's have announced expansions of both maternity and paternity leave. cvs is creating an entirely new parental leave program. in wisconsin, where only one of two senators voted for reform, american families insurance is expanding its family and medicae benefits. so is broad ridge financial solutions in new york, despite both senators from new york voting against it. this is only the beginning. my democratic colleagues said tax reform would bring about armageddon, armageddon. they said nothing in our bill would help american workers. but the prove is in the pudding. the evidence is piling up, and middle-class families all over the country are glad their congress and their president
mr. schumer: mr. president. the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: are we in a quorum? i ask unanimous consent the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: thank you, mr. president. first, mr. president,
i rise with a heavy heart for the people of parkland, florida, and stoneman douglas high school where yesterday 17 americans were killed in the deadliest school shooting since sandy hook. it was the 18th school shooting this year, mr. president. and we're only halfway through february. again yesterday, the scourge of gun violence visited an american school, a place where our kids should be able to learn free from the shadow of violence and mayhem. again, we all watched the scenes of children running for their
lives. again, a twisted soul got hold of an assault rifle and unleashed carnage on the innocent. and even though we didn't see it, in millions of bedrooms and living rooms and americans' homes last night, 10-year-old, 8-year-old, 12-year-old children were saying mom, dad, what happened? what do i do if this happens in my school? i address this chamber knowing there are no words that could ease the anguish and the sorrow felt by the parents of those 17 americans, by their friends and siblings, their neighbors and teachers. as we remember the words of scripture that tell us blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. let us resolve to do something, something about the epidemic of gun violence in this country. now on an entirely different matter, mr. president, the current debate on the fate of
the dreamers. senators from both parties have engaged in negotiations for months to find a solution that would allow the dreamers to stay in the united states, as well as provide border security. on several occasions, those discussions have yielded results. including last night when a bipartisan group of moderate senators reached a breakthrough agreement. the spotlight now turns to the rest of the senate and especially to president trump who throughout these negotiations has not been constructive. president trump has shown a remarkable ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. president trump, since he created the problem by terminating daca last august, has stood in the way of every single proposal that has had a chance of becoming law. he has turned his back on not one but two bipartisan immigration proposals earlier
this year. i went so far as to put the president's wall on the table and still the president would not take yes for an answer. now president trump seems eager to spike the latest bipartisan compromise potentially with a veto. why? because it isn't 100% of what the president wants on immigration? that's not how democracy works. you don't get 100% of what you want in a democracy. maybe in a dictatorship. you have to give and take. you have to compromise in order to make progress. we have tried to do that here in congress to solve a problem the president's created, and yet time and time again, he has frustrated our efforts. if the american people want to know why congress can look so dysfunctional, they ought to look to the other end of pennsylvania avenue. if the president had been quiet, if the president had let us do
our work, a bipartisan compromise would already be past this chamber with 65 votes, maybe more, and we would have a solution to protect the dreamers, but here we are. let's hope it could happen. if president trump rejects another bipartisan compromise, there is no question the american people will blame president trump and no one else for the failure to protect dreamers. with an obstinate president and a fractious house, i hope today, mr. president, the senate rises to the occasion. the dreamers are watching this debate right now because their futures depend on it. if we don't succeed, they face deportation to countries they don't remember. they have lived in this country their entire lives, pledged allegiance to our flag, built families, careers, served in our military. they didn't break any laws. they were brought here through no fault of their own. and despite their status,
despite the fear that comes with living in the shadows, they strived hopefully to make a successful life in this country, which they love. what can be more american than that? we owe it to them to find a solution that can pass this body of congress. now, the only solution, unfortunately, that my friend, the republican leader, has offered is the very partisan grassley bill. no input from democrats. no effort to compromise. we democrats, on the other hand, are supporting several bipartisan agreements on the table. we're ready to vote on them, including the genuine bipartisan compromise that moderates, democrat and republican, reached last night. there are plenty of things for everybody not to like in this bill. there is a lot i don't like in it, believe me. i think the wall will not accomplish anything, will be an enormous waste of money, and will be a terrible symbol about america replacing the beautiful
lady who stands in the harbor i represent. but compromise is compromise. democrats and republicans will find provisions they don't want, wouldn't include if they had written it. but we have to do our jobs today. we have to rise above our differences, admit that no one will get everything they want and accept painful compromises that come with democratic government. that's what the senate has done through the centuries. it's been hard. people have anguished. but in the past, the senate has risen to the occasion. can it do it today? and i say that to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, both sides of the aisle. no one else seems willing to do it. not the house, not the president. it is the senate. what president washington famously called the cooling saucer of our politics that can show the nation how to lead, that can show the nation what
bipartisanship looks like, what compromise looks like, what progress looks like. the senate can do that today. so let's do our jobs, let's rise
to the occasion, and by the end of today, let's say to the dreamers that the senate believes america has a place for them, too. i yield the floor and note the absence of a -- i yield the floor.
a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. lankford: mr. president, i'd like to join many others today who are praying for the families in florida today as they grieve an overwhelming grief that most parents would never contemplate. they do not have the opportunity to take their kids to school today because their lives were taken yesterday. i will continue to pray and
engage and help in every way we can through this process. i know some of the schools in my state have taken active steps to lock down access to provide greater and greater security. there is no explanation for a student who was a former student at the school and return to the school with a gun. we will continue and engage and work with schools to provide security and help provide financial resources and be able to help provide advice and counsel and to be able to do what can be done. we will pray along with families who struggle deeply and walk with them through incredible, unexplainable grief. mr. president, this has been a week that was set aside for immigration debate. but today is the first day there is any real immigration debate
on the floor. it's thursday. all week this floor has sat mostly empty. for months there has been preparation to put immigration bills on the floor, but as of earlier this week there was only one bill actually proposed to be put out there, and that was the president's bill to say here is a middle ground position. after months of negotiations and white house meetings with everybody, both sides of the aisle in the house and senate, the white house said, here's a middle ground and the white house has moved a tremendous amount in this and dropped a tremendous number of issues. over the course of the past several months, the white house has moved away from a lot of things. they moved away from legal status to saying, okay, let's do citizenship. it is not just citizenship for the 800,000 individuals currently in daca, but the
president opened this up to the individuals who are not only daca students but those who are daca eligible. those who did not sign up for it but could have qualified for it. the president even moved from president obama's position. president obama's position for daca was you had to be in the country by 2007. president trump moved that and said he will be more open to that and say you had to be in the country by the time president obama announced the program in 2012. that was a significant concession that opened up more individuals into the program. the tradeoff was pretty straightforward. it hit a long list of the items, including border security and interior enforcement. the over the past couple of months, the president backed up and said democrats don't want any interior enforcement of any immigration laws added in any
way. the president backed up and said, let's start with border security. we want to start with border security. the president wanted to be able it to address the issue of sanctuary cities. that's not addressed in this bill. he dropped that. the president wanted to deal with asylum reform. he dropped that issue from his proposal. there's no conversation about refugees and changing how that structure would work, there's no discussion about the h visa programs. he dropped a lot of issues and said, okay, we'll deal with those a different day. let's limit this to a narrow group of four issues and that's all we will deal with and he dropped away a lot of other issues. border security, dealing with citizenship for those in daca or daca eligible, dealing with family migration and how that works together and dealing with the diversity lottery. everything else was dropped
away. not comprehensive, small. border security is not just a wall. and i've heard some individuals, even on this floor today, say a wall will not accomplish anything. i would say the president agrees with that. a wall by itself doesn't accomplish anything. a wall is needed in some sections of the border to be able to slow down illegal crossings, especially in urban areas where there's an urban community on both sides of the border. it's needed in those areas. a wall when by itself doesn't accomplish anything. you can go around it or over it, what you need is additional agents and enforcement authorities and break down some of the legal loopholes. there have been some proposals that say they want to strike a bipartisan compromise and say we'll do a wall funding and a large legalization and naturalization for those
individuals eligible for daca and daca eligible. the problem is the fine print. i go back to the statement, they say a wall doesn't accomplish anything and all they provide is a wall and a few technical things around it, then the question is, what's missing? what would make the difference? what would make the difference are some things that would close the legal loopholes. that's what's in the president's proposal. none of them onerous, none of them out of line. they are dealing with the basic legal loopholes. we have to all admit when you see the wreckers from the department of homeland security that there are individuals who are coached by coyotes that when you cross the border, here's what to say. if you say these things, you will get access into the government. they know if they say certain phrases, they are in. i would hey to say -- i would
hate to say that is actually true and it is unaddressed in these bipartisan compromises. i don't think it is bad to say if you go around one of the barriers and cross through and catch someone on the other side and say the magic phrases, you're in. we have to resolve it. if you come in and have a -- claim a credible fear and claim asylum and immediately speak those words, currently you're allowed in the country for two or three years while the trial goes through the process. only about 30% of those are true. what do you do? why don't we add additional judges in additional courts instead of waiting three years before you have that hearing, have that hearing in three weeks. no evidence has changed. still allowed to have counsel and insight but we resolve it and instead of having people
come into the country for three years and tell them there's a court date and you don't know if they appear. in fact, the majority do not appear for the court date. but there are some in the country whose location is unknown. it is not an unreasonable issue to be able to resolve that yet it is unresolved in any of these proposals coming out of these bipartisan proposals. there is no fix to able to deal with criminal aliens or those who do come that are gang members. it is a small minority, but there are individuals and there seems to be no fix if for that at all. there is no issue on trying to deal with how we do the hiring process for department of homeland security. if you're on the northern border in remote areas, they have requests to say we need to add additional compensation for some of these areas or additional benefits for some of these customs and border patrol folks because they work in remote areas. they ask for this year after
year and there is nothing addressed in the bipartisan agreement, it's just wall and say shouldn't that be enough? and it's not. there's nothing about fentanyl and dealing with that. it doesn't provide a deterrence for visa overstays. about 40% of who are in the country right now came on a tourist visa and just overstayed it. we have to resolve those issues as well. that seems to be some obvious issues. there's no issue on some of the things dealing with just basic statements. what do i mean by that? well, under some of the bipartisan bills that are coming out, you prove yourself to be a daca-eligible individual by your own verbal statement that you are eligible. no documentation is required. i think that's an obvious loophole that if you are daca eligible, even in fact under
president obama's proposal, even if you are daca eligible, you have to show documentation you are eligible. in this new documentation you don't. you just have to say you're eligible and you're eligible. that is a problem. the structure of how some of this came out is a problem. in one section of the bill it says it is a ten-year path toward citizenship. i don't have pa problem with that if we deal with border security. it gives senator to those individuals in the country that they are headed towards citizenship. i have absolutely no problem with that. but the bipartisan agreement that has come out doesn't do that. it says in one section a ten-year path to citizenship and another section it gives the recipient the opportunity to get a legal permanent residency, a green card much faster which moves it to a faster track. it is a little bit sleight of
hand. to say ten years in one part and in another part it is five to seven years. i would say, say what you mean. don't say two different things and have two different paths. there was a change slipped in at the very back of the bipartisan bill that makes an enormous change into the status of every single individual in the country. let me just read this to you. because it's being said this bill is just about a wall and just about daca, but let me read this section to you in the back of the bill. in carrying out immigration enforcement activities, the secretary shall prioritize available immigration reinforcement to aliens convicted of felony, a significant mist meaner, and there is an important word in there and they arrived in the united states after june 30,
2018. do you know what that says? that says that the department of homeland security can't go after anyone in the country illegally that arrived here before june 30, 2018. in other words, the race y is on. if you go get into the country and across the border before june 30 of this year, you are in and you have amnesty. for millions, that is not about daca. that is every single individual in the country unlawfully present. if you're in the country unlawfully present before june 30 of this year, according to this bill, you are in until you commit a felony. as long as you don't do that, you'll never have enforcement of any type. i was stunned to be able to see that slipped into the back of the bill. again, this was dropped last
night, and we still have the opportunity to be able to go through it. but i'm quite surprised at the number of people that have pushed back on the president and have either not read his proposal or have ignored what he's really put on the table. it's really not an unreasonable proposal. it's a very straightforward, commonsense proposal. and i would encourage those folks that oppose it to read it first and to see what it actually says. there's been pushback on the issue about what's called chain migration or family reunification. let me set this in context. right now we have a 20-year backlog for individuals coming into the country legally. 20 years. that's an incentive not to do legal immigration. because if you're going to wait in a line 20 years long for many, you're just not going to go through the process unless we reform how we do the family integration, once two million additional people are added to this in the ten-year time
period, i have no question that we'll move from a 20-year backlog to a 25-year backlog as family members also reconnect with those individuals coming in. what happens at that point? a bad situation gets even worse in our immigration policy. the issue of family reunification and the proposals laid out have not been partisan proposals in the past, but simply because president trump put it out there it's an unrealistic, partisan proposal. this issue was also dealt with in the 2013 gang of eight bill that got around # 0 votes in thn the senate. this very similar issue of family reunification and how this would work. in 1995, during the clinton administration a proposal was made by democrat house member barbara jordan leading the commission on immigration. they made almost this exact same proposal in 1995. this is just not a partisan issue until now.
but for some reason because president trump wants to propose it, it's an angry republican issue. it's been a bipartisan commonsense issue for a long time of how to deal with an obvious issue in our immigration reform. i would encourage my colleagues, read the bill. see what's really in it, not what's being said in the media about it. see what's really in it. and if you have a question and a dialogue about it, let's amend it. let's go through it. because it is a very unique and powerful opportunity to be able to set right for those individuals that are in that daca and daca-eligible population, to finally not have limbo, but to finally have permanence and to know that they're home in this country when most of them have grown up, that they're not just long-term guests. they're home. this is a way to be able to resolve it. but at the same time do what americans have cried for for a long time, actually secure our
borders. actually start the process of reforming or immigration system in a way that makes sense for everybody, for the immigrant, for the citizen of the united states, for the naturalized citizen, to make sure that it's fair for everyone. it's not unreasonable. in fact, it's a good idea. if it was only proposed by someone else, i think a lot of folks on both sides of the aisle would agree with it. so with that, take the politics off. look at the policy, and let's resolve this for the future of our country. with that, mr. president, i yield back. mr. president, i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
ms. stabenow: mr. president, i would ask dissuspension of the quorum call. -- to dispense with the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from michigan. ms. stabenow: thank you, mr. president. we have many issues that are critically important to families and i want to speak to an issue that is important to michigan families and families across the nation. it is estimated that five and a half million people are living with alzheimer's disease, including one out of ten over the age of 55. to put that in perspective, that's the same number of people who live in wisconsin, minnesota, or colorado. by 2050, it is estimated that as many as 16 million americans may be living with alzheimer's. that's more people that live in pennsylvania or illinois.
from alaska to alabama to new mexico to maine no state is immune. in my home state of michigan the number of people living with alzheimer's disease is expected to rise from 180,000 today to 220,000 in the year 2025, which is not very far away. an increase of about 22% in less than seven years. the cost of providing health care and long-term care affected by -- for people affected by alzheimer's is growing. in fact, $1 out of $5 goes to alzheimer's disease. it is estimated that for the first time last year that the united states spent $25 --
one-quarter of a million and if there is no cure it could surpass $1.1 trillion. of course much higher than the dollar cost is the human cost. as anyone who has lived with the disease can tell you or anyone who has had a family member. and this really is the ultimate family disease. alzheimer's and related dementia are thieves. they steal everything, memories, personalties, even lives. no price tag could ever be put on the suffering it causes patients and families and the strain it places on caregivers. 50 million people in the u.s. are caring for a family member with alzheimer's. mile many of them consider -- while many consider caring for them a sacred deal, this duty still exacts a physical and mental toll on them.
caregivers suffer higher rates of heart disease, cancer, depression than those of us in the broader population, and many are forced to quit their jobs or reduce the hours they work, creating additional financial stresses. laren korvack learned what that was like when her grandma, she calls her tupa, was diagnosed with alzheimer's. her mother was the care gaifer. they made a pack that they would never put their grandmother in a nursing home because they, lauren's words, take care of their family and of course we would do the same for her. that required a lot of
sacrifices. lauren's mom retired early, lauren withdrew from college and moved in with her mom to provide a loving home full of laughter, as she said. they received no help with care giving or living expenses. lauren wrote, my mom is single-handedly the best person i know. she needs help. we need help. hundreds of families like mine need help. lauren's bhoffed -- beloved grandmother passed away last june, but lauren is still fighting and i'm proud to fight alongside her had she wrote, i go to lansing each year for advocacy day. i will talk to anyone and everyone about this disease that is ruining millions of lives, including mine. alzheimer's, unfortunately, isn't going -- going any time soon but neither am i, she said.
this fighting spirit is what keeps caregivers like lauren going and they deserve to know that we are, in fact, fighting alongside them. that's why senator capito and i have introduced legislation that will help give families in west virginia and michigan and all across the country new tools to cope with an alzheimer's diagnosis and the life that follows. i'd like to thank my friend from west virginia for partnering with me on this important bill. the change act builds on my hope for alzheimer's act which was implemented beginning last year and supports parents and their families by requiring medicare to pay for an individual care plan when a family member is diagnosed. this encourages more doctors to feel there is a reason to have early diagnosis because there's something they can do for people
and it is certainly something that families need to have -- a plan, an action plan once they receive that diagnosis. the change act approaches this disease from a number of different directions and builds on the hope for alzheimer's act. first, it encourages early assessment and diagnosis. this is not happening, mr. president, as much as we would like. the alzheimer's association has done polling has associated that a very high number of physicians are not doing an early diagnosis. oftentimes they said they don't know what to do about it. there's no cure. there's not something to offer families other than fear. so we want to make sure there is early diagnosis because there is a lot going on right now around medications that actually will help early. so we want to make sure that patients have more time to make their own health care decisions,
to access community-based support services for their family truly to be able to plan. we have through help for alzheimer's we have a care giving plan that the physician will be reimbursed for coordinating and bringing together but there is much more we need to do. early diagnosis gives patients and their families early opportunities to participate in clinical trials. there is great research going on in michigan and across the country that really does provide hope and i'm encouraged and hopeful that with the additional dollars we just agreed to in the budget agreement last week where we pushed -- i was proud to be one of those pushing for additional research dollars in the national institute of health. hopefully those opportunities, the cures will come even faster. second, the change act would
improve care by testing what types of programs most help patients, their families, and caregivers. we know that case management, coordination of care, caregiver support services can make a big difference both in the quality of life for patients and caregivers and in participation in clinical trials. in addition the change act would offer states the opportunity to test programs that help alzheimer's patients remain in the community, which is so important, by reducing the financial burden on family caregivers. finally, the change act would help uncover regulatory and legislative changes that would help accelerate alzheimer's disease research -- accelerate research which is so critical right now. families in michigan and across the country have been waiting long enough. they've been waiting too long.
they need a cure. until that day comes, they need better treatments and more support. just ask noria ann reed lazot of cal ma gliew -- cal ma zewe. noria ann was determined to care for her mom who has alzheimer's and given that she is a nurse practitioner, noria ann figured she was perfectly prepared to assume the role of caregiver and then she says but she wasn't. my days, weeks, then years became more overwhelming than i could have imagined, noria ann said of the six years she went care giving. noria ann moved in with her mom to care for her and rented out their own house to make ends meet. caregiver support would have made a huge difference.
noria ann said yet none was available until her mom's condition deteriorated enough that she needed i.v. infusions to stay hydrated. i was exhausted, noria ann said, i lost my own identity, my friends, and my life for that time frame. my family suffered and sacrificed so i could care for my mom with dignity and safety. she added, and i would do it all again because she was my mom and i -- and i can certainly identify with all of that. noria ann put her own life on hold to make her mom's final years as comfortable as possible. people like noria ann deserve our praise. even more than that, they deserve our support, action -- action on their behalf. it's time for a change.
let's pass this legislation as quickly as possible, help patients support caregivers and find better treatments and a cure. families across michigan and the country are waiting. thank you, mr. president. i would yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: