tv U.S. Senate U.S. Senate CSPAN May 18, 2022 9:59am-1:25pm EDT
just denounce white replacement theory, but refuse to give the false conspiracy theories a platform whatsoever. it is horrific to see that most on the hard right haven't done that to date. until we unite to stop views like replacement theories out of existence. until we ban together to call the vile conspiracy theories to what they are, propaganda, and what we saw in buffalo, new york. communities across the country, especially communities of color will continue to live in fear at any moment they may be targeted by violence just because of who they are. i yield the floor. >> senate lawmakers working on senate and judicial nominations and continue on a bill to provide $40 billion of aid in
ukraine in its conflict of russia. a vote on passage of that bill is expected on thursday. live coverage of the senate here on c-span2. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. almighty god, our strong tower,
continue to be our defender and guide. lead our lawmakers in their work so that they will make your priorities their priorities. provide them with the patience, integrity, and compassion to become instruments of your providence. strengthen and protect them and keep them safe from evil. give them such courage that they will passionately embrace your precepts. lord, infuse them with the spirit of wisdom, sympathy, and godliness as they grow in grace and in a deeper knowledge of your providential love.
and, god, continue to sustain ukraine. we pray in your powerful name, amen. the presiding officer: 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. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c., may 18, 2022. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable
ben ray lujan, a senator from new mexico, to perform the duties of the chair, signed patrick j. leahy, president pro tempore. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of the following nomination, which the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, department of state, barbara a. leaf of virginia to be an assistant secretary, near assistant secretary, near
congresswoman sylvia garcia joints now and she's a democrat from texas making her first appearance on "washington journal." good morning. i want to start with that effort last week failed effort by democrats that codify roe v. wade into federal law. texas one of those states with explain what happened in texas if the supreme court next month were to overturn roe v. wade. >> first of all people need remember roe v. wade is still the law of the land. it's been settled law for 50
years and until something happens in the supreme court women need to know they still have the freedom to choose. texas regrettably has sort of lead the way in this arena and we've only been living pretty much close to life without roe v. wade because the abortion law that texas passed last year is so horrific that it will almost criminalizes abortions and just totally takes away the decision of a woman to make her own personal decision. so the law itself also included a provision that if roe v. wade were overturned that within 30 days of the decision another portion triggers. that's why they call it a trigger. nothing to do with the guns but it's called a trigger law because this action happens and triggers another part provision which essentially criminalizes
abortion and especially for medical providers that if anyone assist, aid and abet any procedure they will be subject to a charge of a felony, a felony, and potential jail time. so that is really, really what's at stake here and that with the supreme court doing what we think it's going to do, we will be criminalizing concern about violent crime is the highest it's been in six years. and the statistics plainly show why that is. between 2019 and 2020, the murder rate shot up by the largest one-year increase in over a century. and the rate has kept on rising.
nearly 60% more law enforcement officers were killed in 2021 compared to 2020. cities all across america set all-time record highs for homicides last year. my hometown, louisville, kentucky, was one of those cities. we also now average more than one carjacking every 48 hours. innocent citizens across america know this situation has literally spiraled out of control. but unfortunately, the biden administration and senate democrats continue to team up and find new ways to go soft on crime. the nomination and confirmation of judge jackson to the supreme court crowns a deliberate effort
by democrats to make the federal judiciary literally softer on crime. they are specifically, intentionally stuffing the federal bench full of men and women whose starting perspective tilts towards sympathy for criminals, rather than victims. even "the new york times" had to admit this concerted push by the biden administration to prefer nominees with experience in criminal defense work is, quote, a sea change in the world of judicial nominations. the times continued, the type of high-profile murder cases handled by some of mr. biden's nominees would have been considered disqualifying only a few years ago. now the president himself, who served as a public defender
early in his legal career, is actively seeking to name more jurists who have that kind of experience. so mr. president, we're not arcing that public defenders ought to be excluded from the nomination process. clearly, their work is important everyone deserves a lawyer, even the most heinous criminals, but the american people are not exactly clamoring for president biden to dramatically tilt the entire judiciary toward the criminal-friendly perspective. least of all during this historic crime surge. this week, with a long list of serious problems facing the country, the democratic majority has decided to spend floor time on another judicial nominee with this one particular background. a second nominee, who appeared during her committee hearing to be unfamiliar with basic concept in trial law, and a third
nominee whose pro bono record includes helping sue the new york city government over policing and trying to reverse another person's robbery conviction. so, i would urge senators to oppose these controversial nominees. i'm proud to be one of many republicans joining a new resolution from senator cassidy begging this all-democratic government to prioritize solutions for the violent crime rate. to start, the administration should stop this willful -- willful campaign to make the judiciary systemly softer on crime. innocent americans can't afford it. now, on an entirely different matter, the ukraine people and their fight to rappel russian invaders from their sovereign territory has been inspiring.
the world has watched ukraine respond to gut wrenching violence with bravery and with unity. i encourage president biden to do more to strengthen ukraine and nato's defenses well in advance so as to deter putin and improve ukraine's initial ability to resist agress -- aggression. many republicans shared my view that president biden should have done more to help ukraine more quickly. fortunately is it as the ukrainians have stood strong, president biden has done more and more to help them in the fight. we're now investing to ensure ukraine's forces are equipped to win, and the arsenals of nato allies who have joined in support can be replenished. as i explained yesterday, american for for ukraine is not mere altruism. the outcome of ukraine's fight to preserve its sovereignty will have massive consequences for
our own strategic interests, both in europe and much farther afield. so let's start with just that continent. europe is home to some of america's longest-standing friendships and deepest trading partnerships. if vladimir putin's thuggish imperialism found success in ukraine, america and our allies would certainly feel the effects. prior to the current conflict in ukraine, putin's creeping expansionism, his interventions and manipulations of so-called frozen conflicts from georgia and crime crimea only emboldened him. he must be stopped. beyond europe's board, putin's fellow administration mon are watching -- fellow strongmen are watching all this to find out whether it's safe to follow his lead. in beijing, president xi's communist party is looking for a
green light to apply the russian model to their own wish list of sovereign territories to subjugate, starting, of course, with taiwan. for their part, the taiwanese people know they're in the crosshairs. as they demonstrated in solidarity with the people of ukraine, the warning on the island in recent months has been, quote, today ukraine, tomorrow taiwan. as taiwan's foreign minister put it recently in "the washington post," the war in ukraine has made it clear to the world how important it is for democracies to stand shoulder to shoulder against authoritarian aggression fortunately, fellow democracies in the indo-pacific are doing exactly that. early this month japan's defense minister acknowledged that china has been, quote, carefully
observing, both russia's aggression and the reactions of the international community. prime minister kashito reaffirmed that we must, quote, never tolerate a unilateral attempt to change the status quo by the use of force in the indo-pacific. from kiev to taipei to tokyo, america's friends and partners see russia's behavior for exactly what it is, a dangerous spark to be stamped out. ukraine is succeeding in large part because it took security seriously. especially since the 2014 invasion, ukraine reformed its military training doctrine and operations. they abandoned the outdated soviet model for a more dynamic western approach. with help from the west, ukraine
invested in its capabilities. other allies and partners should heed these lessons sooner rather than later. they should invest in their own defenses, seek interoperability with like-minded partners, and seize opportunities to train with top-tier militaries, like our own. we must continue to help them do exactly that. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. schumer: mr. president. the presiding officer: majority leader. we're in a quorum call. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: now, mr. president, yesterday i joined with president biden and senator gillibrand and other new york officials on one of the most difficult and painful trips imaginable. visiting buffalo just three days after the worst mass shooting in its history was harrowing. i met a young boy just three years old who i learned lost his dad on saturday because his dad was at the tops supermarket buying a birthday cake for the three-year-old boy, a routine errand for a joyous occasion, something every parent looks forward to, and in the blink of
an eye his life was unfairly and cruelly taken away simply because he was black and in a stock supermarket. it's tempting to think that this evil is beyond comprehension, but we know it's just not true. we know the shooter drew from the saip wells of hate and highways supremacy that inspired other shootings in el paso, pittsburgh, flant -- atlanta and other shootings, inspired by a conspiracy theory known as the great replacement. in his online posts he labeled the people he targeted as replacers. but the truth is that you don't need to visit the dark corners of the internet to see these white supremacist views any more. you can find replacement theory on cable networks like fox news where tucker carlson has used white replacement rhetoric on at
least 400 of his shows. you can hear it at trump rallies every time they spread the lie that immigrants stole the 2020 election. last night the g.o.p. in pennsylvania nominated a hard-right disciple of the big lie as their candidate for governor. you can also find examples of replaiment theory on -- replacement theory in april. one house republican said tucker carlson is correct about replacement theory as he explains what's happening to america. the maga views are taking over like a cancer. we saw it play out earlier this month in the wake of the supreme court's possible elimination of roe as they suggested national bans on abortion and championed restrictions without exceptions for rape or incest. now we're seeing it here as maga republicans openly champion the repressive and conspiratorial
view of who deserves to be called an american. to its credit, "the wall street journal" editorial board wrote a few days ago that politicians have, quote, an obligation, unquote, to condemn conspiracies like white replacement theory, but four days after the shooting in buffalo, it's dangerous and disturbing to see that many on the right have pointedly refused to condemn replacement theory. this should be the easiest thing in the world to do, but many on the right, including many, too many in this chamber, can't seem to bring themselves to say the obvious, that white replacement theory is evil and has no place in our politics, and any candidate or pundit that spreads it should be resoundedly condemned. we are waiting to hear more of our colleagues from the maga right -- condemn the maga right and condemn this horrible
replacement theory. so far there's just too much silence, even though a few have. on ukraine, on a different matter, mr. president, the senate is moving forward on a number of high-priority impacting our security, our economic prosperity, and our commitment to take care of veterans. so this is a busy week for the senate once again. tomorrow i expect the senate will finish the critical task of approving another round of military, humanitarian, and economic aid for the people of ukraine. this should already have been done and over with, but it is repugnant that one member of the other side, the junior senator from kentucky, chose to make a show and obstruct ukraine funding, knowing full well he couldn't actually stop its pakistan. for senator -- its passage. for senator paul to delay it for purely political motives is to streb then putin's hand. the vast majority of deputies
and qibz want to see -- the vast majority of republicans want to see this legislation done and get it done as we will soobs tomorrow. off the floor the commit will nominate ms. brink to serve as ambassador to ukraine. she's deeply experienced, she has already won bipartisan support in this chamber, and she is very much needed as the u.s. seeks to strengthen our diplomatic ties. to the war-torn nation. ms. brink's nomination will be a top priority for the senate once she comes before the chamber. on a different matter, the restaurants bill, tomorrow the senate is going to hold a vote on legislation to help our restaurants, gyms, minor league teams and other small businesses that have been utterly devastated by the covid pandemic. this bill championed by my colleague, senator cardin, a
democrat, and senator wicker, a republican, and which i very strongly support, will help restaurants and other small businesses like gyms that were left out of earlier rounds of emergency aid. and every proposal included in this package is bipartisan. some have said, covid is over and the restaurants are back. i see them sort of full. that may be true for some restaurants, but for just about every restaurant there's a shortage of labor, and many are only opening at limited times. most of the restaurants i speak to either close certain days, don't serve lunches or whatever because they can't find labor. and let's not forget many of the restaurants, particularly the smaller ones, the nonchain ones, had to borrow during covid, borrowing large amounts of money. they need to repay that money. and if they can't do it based on their limited incomes that are occurring right now, if they
don't get the money to pay it back, the lenders are going to foreclose and close on restaurants that are already back on the road to prospering and recovering. that makes no sense. we must pass this legislation, and i hope we will get a good number of our republican colleagues to support, to join senator wicker inning supporting us. two years into this crisis, the idea that restaurant owners have all recovered could not be further from the truth. restaurants are part of the fabric of every main street and every tight-knit neighborhood. it's where friends run into each other on the weekends, have a drink after work, have lunch after church. the same can be applied for minor league teams, local gyms and theaters that support businesses. these are places where americans have always come together. i was proud to champion the $28 billion restaurant relief in the american rescue plan, but these establishments, as i
mentioned, still need our help. tomorrow there should be a strong bipartisan show of support to help these businesses and finally, mr. president, there's another area that we will be voting on. there's an important announcement this morning for our nation's veterans. chairman tester and ranking member jerry moran of the senate veteran affairs committee will announce a bipartisan proposal on comprehensive legislation to help millions of our nation's veterans who struggle with sickness because of exposure to toxins during their military service, including exposure to toxic burn pits and agent orange. this has for years, for years been a top priority of mine. i've worked closely with advocates like v.s.o.'s and jon stewart and john steel to get the senate to act on this long neglected problem. i'm h happy to see the legislation has taken an
important step closer to passage and thank senators tester and moran for their good work. i strongly support the greavment reached by them and it is my intervention to have this on the floor of the senate that we return from the memorial day work period. our veterans will see them on memorial day are very eager for this bill and i hope veterans throughout the country will let their senators know how important this legislation is. our veterans need it, they deserve it, and we have a moral obligation to take care of those who have sacrificed so much for us. finally, today i want to bring special attention and praise to susie orloff, my beloved, talented and deeply dedicated director of constituent service, who is retiring today after 37 amazing years in my office. imagine that. she has worked in my office first as a congressman and then as senator for 37 years.
susie and i first met in the second grade, in ps-197, miss ruth moore's second grade class. her name was susie kaine then, and we've been friends ever since. susie stood out even in second grade for her compassion and her intellect. soon after i was elected to the house, susie came to work in my office and dedicated herself to making government work for everyday new yorkers. she became a health care policy expert, navigating medicaid, medicare, and facing down often intransigent health insurance companies for constituents who often face life-and-death challenges. she became a may veteran navigating the bureaucracy of social security for our seniors and disabled. and year after year susie oversaw the process of interviewing and nominating extraordinary young new yorkers to our military academies.
the list of people she has helped is practically endless. all across new york, there are so many people who are grateful to susie orloff for helping them in ways when they really needed help. so she's amazing, as is the number of staffers she helped train to serve new yorkers with diligence. she trained my staff, everyone who came in, but she also gave lots of advice to the staffs of other of my colleagues in congress, first in congress, and now in the senate. so she's amazing, amazing. susie orloff, every day you came in to work, you were dedicated to helping people, something that's always been a part of you. you were the strong glue of the office, teaching so many others who came and went how to help people do casework and do it with fierce dedication but a friendly smile as well. all our office staff, past, present, and future, are
grateful to susie for who she is and what she has done. susie, thank you for your service. to quote the old song, we're going to miss you when you're gone. i yield the floor. mr. durbin: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority whip. mr. durbin: the majority leader reminds us of the tragedy that occurred in buffalo over the weekend and how the shooter was somehow captivated by the notion of the replacement theory, a theory which is so insane and so mean-spirited that it ignores what this country is all about. a few minutes ago over at what they call the house swamp, we had a press conference. senator alex padilla of california, myself, congresswoman ross and congressman bera met with a group of young people.
there were about 50 of them. some of them were high school age and some in college and they were the sons and daughters of people who came to the united states on h-1b advise. they come for a period to work and the visas can be renewed. the children are families and growing up in america, living in america while the breadwinner went to work each day. when the kids of these visa holders are subject to deportation. they have no legal right in america to remain. the green log backlog can be decades while the parents are waiting for permission to become legally in the united states on a permanent basis. these young pipeline live in uncertainty -- these young people live in uncertainties. senator padilla is an effort to give them that opportunity to earn their way to citizenship to
become legal in america. why would we give up this talent? these young people have grown up in america. they have been successful in school. they participated in community activities. they are ready to be part of america's future. i could tell it. one young woman got up there and told the story of how she came to california with her parents under a similar circumstance. she now is completing her ph.d. in biochemistry at cornell university. she wants to go into cancer research. is america better if we force her to leave this country at this point? she doesn't think so. she thinks she can make this a better nation and a better world if she can stay in america. so the folks who are so dead set against immigration ought to just pause for a moment and meet the people that we're talking about, the people who are coming in to this country, taking the jobs which americans don't want to take, doing things which americans aspire to but don't achieve, and many other aspects of our life that are really enriched by their presence. so i would urge my colleagues to
support us in this bipartisan effort for this bill, but i'd also urge them to step back and make it clear, the replacement theory is an insane approach to america. it ignores our history, ignores our future, it ignores the reality of our economy today. in a separate part of the record, i would like to address another issue, mr. president. my family, like many families in america, has been touched by tobacco-related disease and department of justice. my father died of lung cancer when i was 14 years old. he was 53. two packs of camels a day. i still remember it today though it happened over 60 years ago. i am not alone in that. there are so many families that can tell that story, sadly. and because of it, i've really focused on stopping big tobacco from addicting more and more americans and sentencing them to death in many instances because of their deadly products. over the years i've had some
success. it was over 25 years ago that i banned smoking on airplanes. senator frank lautenberg picked up the bill over here on the senate side, carried it successfully. it was signed into law. it change add -- we didn't realize at the time, it changed america's attitude towards smoking. but i have been watching big tobacco ever since. their approach to building their market is very basic. they have to lure children into the addiction. kids that are not mature enough to say no pick up the addiction of smoking and end up carrying it to their graves if they're not careful. and so we've over the years put warnings on cigarette packages, raised the price beyond the reach of children and done everything that we could. well, these big tobacco interests are not discourage couraged. they've found a new product that creates a similar addiction. it is called e-cigarettes or vaping. ask any of your kids in high
school, ask the teachers and the principals what's going on with vaping in your schools today. you will find it wildly popular and kids are taking it up, and many of them switch from the vaping products to tobacco products and ultimately at the expense of their health. that is what's happened. so we basically said to the food and drug administration, you have a responsibility to regulate this. they can't put their products on the shelves without you taking a look at it. well, let me tell you the story of what has happened. these companies have flooded the market with addictive devices. companies like joule, partially owned by the tobacco companies, understand that they've promoted their products to children. for years none of these products were legalized. who was supposed to be the cop on the beat? the food and drug administration in washington. but they were nowhere to be found. after years and years of the f.d.a. failing to regulate e-cigaretted -- listen to -- a
court stepped in and mandated that the food and drug administration fulfill its duty. anum date was submitted on the e-cigarette applications. in it, the food and drug administration admitted it will not finish reviewing e-cigarettes until july 2023, nearly two years past the court's deadline of last september. this is a stunning disclosure. this means that joule and other e-cigarettes that kids get hooked on and the nicotine contained in the product and which have not received an authorization from the f.d.a. may continue to be sold with impunity for more than a year. imagine the thousands of students who will become addicted to these products while the f.d.a. dawdles. what's most incredible to me is
that this outcome is not inevitable. if it wanted to the food and drug administration, before the end of business today, could remove these products by regulation from the shelves of america. that's right. addictive e-cigarettes like juul will only on the store shelves because the f.d.a. has given the tobacco companies a free pass to sell their vaping products. this is just wrong. this is exactly the opposite of the intent of the law. with this decision, the f.d.a. is complicit in endangering the health of america's kids. that is a powerful statement, but i stand by it. the law is very clear -- no tobacco product is supposed to be on store shelves unless its manufacturer proves that it is appropriate for public health. how in the world could you prove that a vaping cigarette, e-cigarette is in some way appropriate for the protection of public health? it is just the opposite, and we
all know it. so today i'm beginning by calling on the f.d.a. to immediately halt its enforcement discretion and remove all unauthorized e-cigarettes from the market. don't allow juul and the other tobacco companies one more day of addicting your children. stopt cowering before big tobacco's highly paid lawyers. we've seen too many years of delay by the f.d.a. to the point where the court had to order them to finally exercise their obligations under the law. we've seen too many kids hooked on e-cigarettes. if the food and drug administration needs more time to review applications, protect our kids and clear the market of big tobacco's poison while you're doing it. nothing less than the health and well-being of our children is on the line. mr. president, i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
mr. thune: mr. president? the presiding officer: the republican whip. mr. thune: i had ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: mr. president, farming and ramping are industries that are subject to the whims of the weather. just one storm can wipe out an entire herd or crop, sometimes in a matter of minutes. last thursday several storms struck eastern south dakota and farmers were hit hard. fortunately, it was too early in the season to wipe out any crops but farmers lost essential equipment and resources, feed, grain bins, out-buildings and more. my office will be doing everything it can to make sure these affected get the assistance they need to recover, and know many are already planning to rebuild. mr. president, whether it is a natural disaster or an ordinary
day, farmers and ranchers are always at the top of my mind here in the senate. agriculture is the lifeblood of our south dakota economy, and i am committed to doing everything i can to ensure that our farmers and ranchers have the resources they need to help feed our country. i'm fortunate enough to be a longtime member of the senate agriculture committee, which gives me an important platform from which to address the needs of south dakota ag producers. right now a big focus of mine is the 2023 farm bill. i've already held the first of a series of roundtables to hear from south dakota farmers and ranchers about what they need out of the 2023 farm bill. and i've introduced the first of what will be a number of proposals that i hope to get included in next year's legislation. my conservation reserve program improvement act would make c.r.p. grazing a more attractive option by providing cost-share payments for all c.r.p. practices for the establishment of grading infrastructure,
including fencing and water distribution. it would also increase the annual payment limit for c.r.p., which hasn't been changed business i. since 1985 to help account for inflation and the increase in land value. i'm also working with colleagues on legislation based with my conversations with south dakota farmers and ranchers. in fact, last week i joined senator klobuchar to introduce the agriculture innovation act. currently, the u.s. department of agriculture collects reams of data on conservation practices. the problem is that lot of this data is often not analyzed and presented in a way that would be helpful for farmers and ranchers. the legislation we have produced would provide for better development of data that the usda collects so that farmers and ranchers could evaluate the practices on things like soil health, crop yields and profitability. our bill would make it easier for farmers and ranchers to decide what conservation
practices to adopt by helping producers identify the way that practices can improve their bottom line. senator klobuchar and i will be working to get this legislation included in the 2023 farm bill. mr. president, in addition to farm bill priorities, i have spending a lot of time focused on agriculture and trade. our nation's a farmers and ranchers already send their products around the globe, but with russia's war in ukraine and its devastating impact on ukrainian agriculture, american ag producers are facing an added responsibility when it comes to feeding the world. unfortunately, for some time now i have been hearing reports of ocean carriers refusing to transport american agricultural products. this would be a difficult situation at any time, as export markets around the world are critically important to american producers. but it's particularly painful at a time when inflation is soaring and the supply chain is under
significant strain. and where there's an increased need to get american agricultural products abroad things to it the war in ukraine. that's why i introduced legislation, the open shipping reform act, to address these kinds of shipping problems and create a more level playing field for american agricultural producers. my bipartisan legislation would give the federal maritime commission increased authority to respond to unfair ocean carrier practices, whether that involves a refusal to carry certain cargo, like agricultural commodities, or discriminating against certain commodities for export. it would also provide the f.m.c. with tools to more quickly resolve disputes which would bring greater efficiency and transparency to a process that leaves many shippers frustrated, especially agricultural producerings and other small businesses. i was very pleased that the senate passed my bill at the end of march. and i'm working with my colleagues in the house of representatives to advance this legislation so we can get it to the president's desk.
i also recently led a letter with 23 of my senate republican colleagues to otou.s. trade representative -- to the u.s. trade representative and the secretary of agriculture urging them to prioritize increased access to foreign markets for american producers. including, and especially, american ag producers. unfortunately, the biden administration has not made market access commitments a priority. in its trade agenda. including the proposed indo-pacific economic framework. and the administration has failed to pursue any ambitious market-opening initiatives or comprehensive trade agreements. mr. president, trade has played a large part in america's economic success for decades, and it is critical for american ag producers, who depend on exporting their products. it is unacceptable that the administration has dropped the ball on pursuing increased market access for american producers. i'm also less than impressed by the president's failure to put forward confirmable nominee for
the post of chief agricultural negotiator at the office of the u.s. trade representative. while the president has finally put forward a nominee for under secretary for trade in foreign agricultural affairs in the department of agriculture, it's taken him far too long to fill this position, which plays a critical role in advocating for american producers when it comeses to world trade. i press the u.s. trade representative on the administration's failure to prioritize a meaningful trade and agricultural agenda during a recent finance committee hearing, and i will continue to maintain pressure on the administration to expand export opportunities for our nation's workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses. mr. president, our nation depens and ranchers, and i am profoundly grateful for all the determined men and women who have chosen and passed on this way of life, and i'm honored to represent south dakota's farmers
and ranchers here in the senate, and i will continue to do everything i can to ensure that they have all the resources they need to continue to feed our nation and the world. mr. president, i yield the floor a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. murphy: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, the conventional wisdom is that one of the adaptations that helped humans separate ourselves from all other species is this, the opposable thumb. the theory goes that the transformation of the thumb, able to operate by itself, independently from the rest of our fingers, it allowed humans to be able to manipulate objects with a level of precision and dexterity that was previously unseen in the animal kingdom, and this newly nimble hand, it
allowed humans to, for instance, more easily catch fish and open fruit, pull out the seeds. this newfound bounty of fats and proteins that it vaulted the human brain into developmental overdrive. but about ten years ago, biologist david carrier, a longtime student of the evolution of the human hand, proposed a different theory. what if the primary utility of the opposable thumb was not to do this, but instead this? the ability to tuck your thumb into the middle of your four fingers immediately gave humans a more effective fighting tool. important, since we lacked tusks or fangs or claws like other
animals. maybe the development that mattered most to human development was the one that allowed us to become more effective fighters. not just with predators but with ourselves. because from the beginning as a species, humans having drawn to violence. in fact, there are few species, fume ma'am as that -- mammals more violent than humans. there's a really interesting study of intraspecies violence, meaning when you conduct a violent act against another member of your species, and these researchers looked at over a thousand mammals. what's interesting is that 60% of mammals actually have zero intraspecies violence. bats and whales, they never attack each other. that tells you something in and of itself, that it's not endemic
to mammals to be violent. what the data showed is that right at the top of that list of those thousand species, when it comes to the -- came to the rates of intraspecies violence? humans. biologists trace our violence back to our earliest days. without those tusks or fangs, humans can only survive by grouping ourselves tightly together. we were quickly rewarded, socially and materially, for joining us in groups. but with resources scarce in the early human world, to survive you had to find a group, and then you had to defend it. defend it against other humans who were competing with you for those same resources. intertribal violence was epidemic in this world in the early days of humans. in the bronze age, estimates
suggest that one out of every three humans died a violent death at the hands of another human. records suggest that in pre-colombian america, as many as one out of four native americans died violently. the primary reason? humans have an in-group bias. to survive in those early days, we needed to group ourselves tightly together and view with fear and skepticism members of other outside groups who were competitors for those scarce resources. and centuries and centuries of human development have hard-wired this in-group bias, this anxiety about out groups into our genetics. one 2012 study determined that today, when an individual first meets a person that's perceived to be outside of one's defined social group, individuals
demonstrate immediate, almost automatic, instinct of aipg -- anxiety. and a surge of intention to act on that anxiety. it's not corch es, it's -- it's not conscious, it's genetic. if humans are hard-wired to view out group and act on that, america was destined by design to be an abnormally violent place. now, why do i say that? first, let's be totally honest with ourselves -- our nation was founded through the use of mass-scale violence. there are lots of people trying to erase these parts of our history, as if there's some weakness in admitting the truth about our past. that's ridiculous. we should just tell the truth about our history, and the truth is that we exterminated native americans in order to gain control of this land. we enslaved millions of africans
and used daily epidemic levels of violence, beatings, whippings, lynchings, to keep these people enslaved. from the start, we were a nation bathed in violence, and we became a little immune, a little anesthetized to violence in those early days. and our decision to build a melting pot of ethnicities of races and lins, it's our -- and religions, it's our superpower as a nation, and why we catapulted the nation to world dominance. it also set us up with built-in rivalries, with easily defined groupings and exile ex ploifted suspicions -- easily exploited suspicions of those not part of your group. this combination, epidemic levels of violence in our early days that continued throughout our history, and built-in tensions between easily defined groups, it ensured that america
would be a place with a higher tolerance for and a tyer -- and a higher risk of violence. okay, that's the end of the history lesson, but it's important to set this frame, because this generation, our generation of americans, we inherited this history. we can't do anything about that. we were born into it, became citizens of a nation with a past, a pass that does -- a past that does make us a little more prone to violence than other places. the question is simply this, what are we going to do? do we acknowledge this lean towards violence and take steps to mitigate it? that, of course, would be the commonsense approach. instead, we have done the opposite. throughout american history, hateful, demagoguic leaders have found political capital to be
gained by playing upon people's instinct to fear others that aren't part of their group. again, so easy in a multicultural america, from orville fullback us to richard -- orville faubus to richard nixon to donald trump, trying to drum up irrational fears of blacks, guys, if jews, racism, homophobia, they've all been tools of leaders trying to convince people to organize around their fear or hatred of others. the buffalo shooter's manifesto is a tribute to this tradition. but he is not alone. the f.b.i.'s latest hate crimes report shows a dramatic spike in this country in crimes of bigotry and racism. most alarming a 40% increase in 2020 in hate crimes against
black americans, foreshadowing the buffalo attack. this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. the most visible political figure in america, donald trump, has spent the last decade relentlessly spreading the gospel of fear and anxiety and hate. his campaign rollout in 2015 was centered around hyping the threat to america from mexican immigrants. his most significant campaign policy proposal was to ban all people from this country who practice a certain religion. there is a straight line from this embrace of racism and fear to the increase in violence in this country. i know many of my republican colleagues don't use the same terminology, the same language that trump does, but they know the danger he poses to this nation. they know that his movement is eggs on -- egging on violence, and they do nothing about it.
they still accept him as the leader of the party when they had a chance to get rid of him after january 6. republicans go to florida, they kiss the ring. they appear on fox shows that fred this message. they empower the message. knowing america's natural prediliction, republicans could have sought leaders who unite us, who push back. instead, they did the opposite, and we're paying the price. the other way that our nation could have chosen to mitigate our violent instincts is to make sure that when american violence does occur, it does the least damage possible. this is commonly referred to in public health circles as harm reduction. if you can't completely and totally prevent the harm, make sure that it's glancing, rather than catastrophic.
instead, if america, once again, has adopted the opposite strategy, a strategy of harm max i amization -- maximization. we are a historically violent nation. we know this. instead of trying to mitigate for this history, we choose to arm our citizenry to the teeth. with the most dangerous, the most lethal weapons imaginable, to make sure that when conflict does occur it ends up with as many people dying as possible. that is a choice that we have made. the jumping off point in this choice was in the mid 19th century, when hartford, connecticut inventor samuel colt built the first repeating revolver, allowing americans to hide an incredibly lethal weapon in their coat pocket. all of a sudden, drunken street
corner accurate that used to result -- arguments became deadly. every other country at this point in the mid 1800's saw this danger and decided to regulate the handgun, and the weapons that came after it, to make sure that those arguments stayed fistfights, rather than shootouts. but america took the other path. we let these weapons spread across the nation, and then as much more deadly guns were developed for the military, our nationed went its own way and let citizens own and operate these weapons too. the result is, of course, a nation that is awash in guns, with no comparison, no comparison in the high-income world. we have more guns in this country, on our streets, than human beings, than american citizens. so it's no wonder that in this nation, everyday arguments seamlessly turn into gunfights. passing suicidal thoughts result in lives ended and hateful
racists can kill efficiently by the dozens. i think about december 14, 2012, all the time. that's the day that a gunman armed with an assault weapons and 30 round magazines walked into sandy -- he kilt five students and six educators. think with that. he killed 26 people in under five minutes. the gun he used was so powerful that not a single child who was shot survived. those bullets moved so fast, so lethally through their little bodies, just tore them to shreds. but on that same day, in china, a similarly deranged young man entered a similarly nondescript school and attacked
almost the identical number of people. but in that chinese classroom, every single one of those 23 people that that man attacked survived. why? because in china, the attacker had a knife, not a military-grade assault weapon. like i said, i wish this weren't true, but our nation has from the jump been more violent than other countries. i can't, you can't, none of us can erase this history. and i come to the floor today to be honest about the parts of the american story that lead to these high levels of violence that we can control and the parts that we can't control. it's up to us, whether we want to spend every hour of every day trying to mitigate this predilection towards violence or whether we want to choose to exacerbate it. fueling the kind of racist,
hateful fear your neighbor demagoguery practiced by donald trump, it exacerbates american violence. doing nothing year after year about the flow of illegal high-powered weapons into our streets exacerbates american violence. these are choices we're making. kids living in fear that their classroom is the next one to get shot up, that's not inevitable. it's a choice. black shoppers looking over their shoulder, wondering whether this is the day that they die, that doesn't have to be our reality. that's a choice. we can look into the flames of american violence, this fire that's been burning since our inception, and we can choose to douse the fire or we can choose to continue to pour fuel on top of it. i yield the floor.
if the supreme court were to overturn roe v. wade. >> people need to remember that roe v. wade is still the law of the land until something happens in the supreme court women need to know they still have the case. texas regrettably as sort of lead the way into that arena and we've already been living pretty much close to life without roe v. wade because of an abortion law that texas passed last year that was so horrific that it almost criminalized it effectively and totally takes away the for all into make her own personal decisions. the law included a provision that if roe v. wade were overturned that within 30 days of the decision another portion, a trigger, it's
called a trigger law because if this action triggers another part of the provision which essentially criminalizes abortion and especially for medical providers that in any procedure they will be subject to a charge of a felony. a felony and potential jail time. so that is really what's at stake here is that will the supreme court do what we think it's going to do we will be criminalizing abortion and criminalizing medical care. so i think this is something that people need to realize that it's more than just roe v. wade, it's the criminalization of abortion.
>> you mentioned texas is leading the way on these policies, what is it about texas and this issue that texas is leading the way on this issue. >> i think the problem in texas is similar to what the problem is national. when you see the polls nationally and says that 80 percent of the public wants access to abortion. and thinks that roe v. wade should be connected and similarly in texas i believe it's about65, 70 percent . in my own district we did a survey of 40,000+ people and the votes were 72 percent for protections for abortion so they're not listening to the public. there listening to their base . there listening to their own personal views and listening to the plan they had for decades to overturn roe v. wade so the problem is that we need a change in governance that will listen
to the public and will listen to judicial precedent. >> on that bill by roe v. wade that passed the house but was not able to overcome the filibuster it was your texas colleague who was the democrat and i think the only democrat against bill when it was voted on in the house. i wonder your thoughts on this issue. is this something that democrats should shun other democrats over? >> i've known mister crabb for a long time.he's catholic life like andi am . i believe in the rule of law as it was related by the supreme court for 50 years and moreimportantly i'm a woman .
this personally affects me and affects my nieces, my daughter, my grandchildren. it is personal about women's personal freedoms. freedom doesn't come to us wrapped up in baby blue. freedom is for everybody. it has no sex so women should have the same freedom that men do. i do not see any inference where anyone is suggesting that we do anything to control men's bodies. are we going to force men to have accepted these because we want to make sure that we do something about the potential of men raping someone? i think we need to make sure when we look at this issue is about women's very personal
private decisions to make. it is her right and the government should not interfere. if anyone should tell her or advise her what to do it's she chooses to advise,like her doctor, her family .a person of faith. for me, my priest. i think the senate's position is one that's different from mine but i respect it because frankly that's what pro-choice is about. it's respecting peoples decision. so i'm catholic, i'm pro-choice. >> congresswoman sylviagarcia with us until the top of the hour . democrats 2027 48,000, independence 202-748-8000 two.
as we are calling in i want to switch gears to the buffalo shooting. president biden in buffalo yesterday calling this an act of terrorism condemning white supremacy as a poison and calling on congress to pass an assault weapons ban. at this point in this closely divided congress you see any appetite right now to take up once again the idea of an assault weapons ban in this country? >> i don't think it's the question john of our appetite . i think the public is demanding it. people are sick and tired. it's happening too often and what happened in buffalo was horrific before that other incidents. my heart just breaks when i hear the audio of one of the relatives of one of the victims who just said we are tired. we are angry. many people i've talked to
even in texas which people consider a very pro-gun state people are tired. i know how to shoot a rifle. i shoot a shotgun, iona 410. i keep it in my house. i haven't had an intruder but it's kept safely. it's only for that purpose. handguns in my view i'm not for hunting. they're not for protection. i think handguns, we need to do something about making sure the badguys don't get their hands on handguns . we need to make sure it's that automatic weapons don't get in the hands of bad guys or sometimes women because again, i've been rabbit hunting. i've been deer hunting. you don't take an automatic weapon to hunt. that's just meant to shoot someone and many people
really quickly. so we need to do something about it and i certainly support a ban and i think we need to do it because people want action. when we were on the floor and we stood up in a moment of silence for all thosevictims of buffalo , one of my colleagues said okay, but now what are we going to do? it's time to do something. i'm glad the president is putting that on the table and i think we all need to rally around it and i think the public needs to show that this is something they demand and demand now. >> host: this is bob out of tennessee, republican. your first in this segment with congresswoman sylvia garcia. >> caller: the second amendment, you need to read it and understand what it means.
i don't want you all to infringe on our rights and as far as the babies go i don't know how anyone could be so heartless to murder an innocent child . use a life don't matter but you're worried about the guns killing somebody . it's not the gun, it's the idiot behind it just like you women. >> host: that's bob in tennessee. did you want to respond ? >> to me what's the utmost importance is women's rights and her freedom and you have to protect that freedom. again it's been settled law for over 50 years and i think we need to keep in mind that roe v. wade is very restrictive. people can just go out and get an abortion ondemand as they tried to suggest . it is just in the first trimester and any abortion in the later months when there is more of a formation of a baby, it just so happens so
we need to look at the rights of themother . we should look at exceptions to rape and incest. so i think that this is again settled law and i think a woman needs to make that very private personal decision after consulting with her doctor and her man or woman of the cloth. >> line for independence, this is the, fairfax virginia . >> thank you for taking my call. thank you congressman for being online. i have a comment. when people send people to congress we're sending you there to represent us, not to preach to us, not to tell us what to do. and this specific instance with abortion and i'm sorry, i'm pacing. >> take your time, take a deep breath.
>> thank you. in the specific instance in congress we're sending you there not to tell us what is and what is not a woman's right and if you take that as a right then the base of the fathers that help makethese babies are not being considered . you mentioned the fathers. we take exception to this. number two talking about gun rights and everything else . it's not for you and elected representative to go up there and decide how to apply the constitution. i'm sorry, the rights given bythe constitution . just more realistically what we're supposed to have a not have. >> we take your point, chance to respond. >> to the first point i think sir you may have missed what .ir you may have missed what
now about the -- this emergency -- and it is a huge emergency, huge crisis -- there are no options here when children -- you know, when babies need to eat, when babies are born and they need safe baby formula. and this is an all-hands-on-deck moment for all of us. so that's why, as chair of the senate agriculture, nutrition, and forestry committee, of which i'm so proud the presiding officer is a emin of our committee -- is a member of our committee, a very valued member of our committee, but i joined with our ranking member, john boozman, to introduce legislation today to make sure that the usda can be as flexible as possible in getting our moms and dads and, most importantly, babies the critical baby formula
that they need right now. we are doing this in conjunction with the house that also has bipartisan legislation. it's my understanding that they will be voting on that soon, and i'm hopeful that we can do the same thing. this should be something that brings us all together as quickly as possible. so, as an example, the reason why we need the bill dealing with w.i.c. -- and there is a lot of, so much positive that comes from this program -- but right now we make sure that there are safety standards, high-quality safety standards, and that they're the best price, that we negotiate through a competitive process for the best price for moms and babies. but we now need to have flexibility so when a family -- for instance, maybe in travis city, michigan, lansing or detroit -- goes to a grocery
store and there's only one brand on the shelf and it's not the brand under the w.i.c. contract, that they can buy it. if that's the only thing available, they need to be able 0 use their w.i.c. support to be able to purchase that. and that is something that our usda secretary has jumped into gear to be able to make that happen. but we've got to be make sure that that can continue. or we've got to make sure that if a parent, again, goss a store and -- goes to a store, and there's different sizes of formula cans or different prescriptions that normally would not fit under the w.i.c. contract, that they can waive those because we have to be able to get whatever is safe baby formula to families as quick also as possible. these may sound like small things but they're the difference right now between whether our families on w.i.c. are actually able to get formula
that they need. and in order to make sure that that continues, we have introduced legislation that will guarantee that the flexibilities the usda needs will continue beyond the public health pandemic flexibilities that they're currently operating under. so they have short-term flexibilities because of the public health pandemic. we want to make sure this is permanent, whether it is a recall, a safety recall, a supply chain breakdown, whatever it is, that all hands on deck, usda has the capacity, the authority, the tools to be able to move forward and make sure that they can respond as quickly as possible. we also want to guarantee that formula manufacturers who want to compete for these w.i.c. contracts have to have a plan in place to respond to any kind of a shortage, so we don't have
this situation happen again. there's just no excuse, frankly, for what happened here. so i want to thank secretary vilsack and the usda for moving quickly once they were notified about the abbott plant shutdown. i am deeply concerned that they were not given a heads-up earlier. f.d.a. was working for months, evidently, a few months with abbott around concerns as it related to the safety standards and so on at the plant, and usda needed to know sooner so that they could prepare sooner, but they understand how serious this is, what an emergency it is. so when they found out, they went immediately into gather to make sure that our -- to -- immediate lid -- immediately into gear to make sure our moms and babies could get what they
need. all babies need to make sure that it's an all-hands-on-deck moment and we're moving as fast as possible. that's why i also want to thank president biden and the f.d.a. for working with other baby formula manufacturers to increase supply -- supplies are going up. i'm very anxious to see more manufacturers of baby formula. i think we, as in every area it seems of our economy, have too much consolidation and that is certainly true here. and we need more competition and we need more baby formula manufacturers competing for our contracts. we need to have a contract that gives the best price to w.i.c. moms and dads and babies, but we need to make sure that we have as many large and small companies that are competing for that to be able to make sure that we have the formula available and that we are getting the very best price. so i also want to thank them for
carefully and thoughtfully opening up imports from the european union. we certainly have other countries that have the same very high safety standards that we do. we've got to make sure that anything that comes in is of the very highest safety standard, but we know that right now we've got to make sure that baby formula is on the shelf. children, babies are -- you know, need this every day, not let's wait a month or two months. this is, like, today that this needs to be happening. there needs to be a sense of urgency to do whatever we can related to this issue and look at all aspects of it and to make sure that this does not happen again, if at all possible. and so within our w.i.c. bill we are focused on what we can do to support the usda, to have the
maximum flexibilities to support moms and babies, what we can do to make sure that manufacturers are prepared if something like this were to happen, some shortage happening down the road. we need to make sure that we are looking at every aspect of this and acting now as fast as possible and then preparing for the future. and so i want to thank again senator boozman, welcome all of our members on both sides of the aisle to join us in what i hope will be legislation that moves very, very quickly, the access to baby formula act is something that every single member of the united states senate should be supporting so that we can move this legislation out as quickly as possible working with the house and get this done. thank you, mr. president.
the presiding officer: the clerk will report the nomination. the clerk: nomination, the judiciary. jennifer luis rochon of new york to be united states district judge for the southern district of new york. the presiding officer: unthe previous time, the postcloture time is expired. the question is on the nomination. ms. stabenow: i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the motion to reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table, and the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action. the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion: we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the nomination of executive calendar number 847, barbara a. leaf of virginia to be an assistant secretary of state, near eastern affairs, signed by 17 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is, is it the sense of the senate that debate on the nomination of barbara a. leaf of virginia to be an assistant secretary of state, near eastern affairs, shall be brought to a close. the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote: