Skip to main content

tv   U.S. Senate U.S. Senate  CSPAN  June 14, 2022 2:15pm-6:57pm EDT

2:15 pm
program on senators are coming back from recess to continue work on legislation to expand access to va healthcare and disability benefits. for veterans exposed to toxic substances. mainly for military burn pits during their service. we take you live now to the senate floor here on c-span2. mr. tillis: i come to the floor today to sadly announce the retirement -- or not retirementf staff's decision to move on to another great opportunity, and i wanted to take a few minutes to talk about ted layman and not only the five years that he's been my chief of staff, but the nearly 20 years that he's been working in the senate. before i start, though, he attended the university of pennsylvania where he got his undergrad. then he went to georgetown to get his law degree. he clerked for thomas hogan, who was then the chief judge of
2:16 pm
the d.c. circuit court. he came to the senate about 20 years ago, in 2002. to give you some perspective, i didn't enter the legislature in north carolina until 2007, so he has years of experience on me. he's got knowledge of the senate that i'll never gain. he started work with senator hatch. he worked for a couple of years with senator sessions, and then he worked for senator grassley on the judiciary committee. he was the chief counsel of nominations and senior counsel for the senate judiciary committee, and that's where i met ted. i remember vividly when my chief of staff at the time, ray sterling, told me that he was going to be moving back to north carolina, i told him, great, now find your replacement. and it was later that day that he came to mean and said what about ted layman? and i said i think that's a
2:17 pm
fantastic idea. ted wasn't looking for a job, and i wondered whether or not he would be interested in working for a freshman senator from the state of north carolina. but he took that job, and he's done extraordinary work not only in terms of the day-to-day institutional grind that a chief has to go through, but as attention to staff. not only did he see staff, but the north carolina staff. and i think he is well regarded among the staff, and he's going to be sorely missed. i also need to talk about ted and his family. to say that it's in the lehman blood is an understatement. his brother dirksen ep served on the help committee. he knows a lot about this
2:18 pm
institution and a lot about the processes. the first opportunity i got to see that in action was when he was responsible for moving justice gorsuch through the nominations process. ted's got a the great family. his wife amy, his son jackson, his oldest son, his oldest daughter emma clare sally, and a young son now. ted's not from north carolina, and we've speculated as to why he named his son what he did. he may say it's related to some sort of family tradition, but i think it's no coincidence that he named his son raleigh after our state's capital. ted's an avid hunter, fisher, outdoorsman, baseball dad, soccer dad, all those sorts of things. he gets the right balance. he understands that family is as important as work, and he figures out how to strike that balance. but there's very seldom a
2:19 pm
morning where he's not one of the first people in, and there are so many nights where i'm the last person he sees before he goes home. i appreciate his service. i'm going to miss him. thank you, ted. i yield the floor. mr. reed: madam president, i have 14 requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. the presiding officer: duly noted. mr. reed: thank you very much, madam president. i rise today in support of the sergeant first class heath robinson honoring our promises to address comprehensive toxic act, also known as the honoring
2:20 pm
our pact act. our nation asks a great deal of our servicemembers and their families. we ask them to be ready to fight and to win against a wide range of security challenges across the globe. our armed forces know and understand the threats they face on the battlefield. unfortunately, servicemembers also face threats that aren't as apparent -- exposure to toxic materials. these exposures can result in rare and sometimes fatal medical conditions, from exposure to agent orange to radiation from nuclear tests, veterans have carried an extra burden because of their service. it is too often a struggle to recognize and address these impacts. now a new generation is dealing with the l long-term effects of toxic exposure. indeed, during their service, up to 3.5 million veterans have
2:21 pm
been exposed to toxic burn pits. as the name implies, burn pits are pits where all forms of waste, including toxic waste, are disposed of by burning. our servicemembers lived and worked in close proximity to these burn pits, often without knowing the potential consequences to their long-term health or any way to avoid it. since 2009, the department of defense recognized the harm burn pits can cause. the health consequences are so serious that the fiscal year 2022 national defense authorization act within that legislation, we included a provision that says that the only way that the department of defense can now use a burn pit overseas is if the secretary of defense personally issues a waiver. it is an authority that cannot be delegated to anyone else in the department.
2:22 pm
pt bill we have before -- the bill we have before us today would really honor our obligation to care for our veterans by acknowledging the injuries and illnesses they sustain in serving our country and providing them with treatment. the bill would expand eligibility for v.a. health care for the 3.5 million veterans who are exposed to burn pits. it would also eliminate the burden of proof for veterans for 23 conditions presumed to be caused by toxic exposure. it will create a new framework for the secretary of veterans affairs to evaluate the science around burn pits and establish other presumptive conditions associated with toxic exposure. and it will also provide significant resources for the v.a. to carry out the expansion of benefits in this bill, including provisions on staffing, retention, pay, and leasing of new v.a. facilities. every generation of americans
2:23 pm
has had men and women that were willing to serve our country in uniform. as chairman of the armed services committee, i've had the honor of traveling across the globe to meet with our deployed servicemembers, including numerous trips to afghanistan and iraq. our servicemembers and our veterans truly represent what is best in our country. we honor and venerate their heroism in combat, but too often in the past we have overlooked and dismissed the long-term health effects of their service. this is changing. with this bill, we will do the right thing for our toxic-exposed and combat veterans and their families. we can ensure that they have access to the care and services that they deserve and have earned. i hope all of my colleagues will join me in supporting this important piece of legislation. and before i yield the floor, i
2:24 pm
must recognize the extraordinary work of senator jon tester and senator jerry moran, the chair and ranking member of the veterans' affairs committee. this was an extraordinary effort. it was bipartisan. it was motivated by the recognition on both sides of the aisle of the service and sacrifice of thousands and thousands of men and women, but we would not be here today without the undaunted and unflagging dedication of jon tester and jerry moran. i salute both of them. madam president, i yield the floor. madam president, i would also note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: .
2:25 pm
2:26 pm
2:27 pm
2:28 pm
2:29 pm
2:30 pm
quorum call:
2:31 pm
i would add senator cornyn today in his presentation of gun owners only, just people who own guns, and support for the provisions of framework is off the charts, overwhelming. i think if this framework becomes the actual piece of legislation, it's a step forward, a step forward on a bipartisan basis and further demonstrates to the american people that we can come together, which we've done from
2:32 pm
time to time like infrastructure and postal reform, to make progress for the country. >> back in december you told us you are interested in gender six committee was doing and you be watching it and the public should see what they found. to use if you have been watching and what you think so far? >> i don't remember saying that i would be watching. i'm focusing on what we're doing here in the senate at a think the most important thing we are doing at the moment is the veterans bill and the issue forward on these five but crimes we witnessed. [inaudible question] why should americans are 18 years old not be allowed?
2:33 pm
[inaudible] >> good try. i have always told you my view of the framework. if it leads to a piece of legislation i intend to support it. i think it's progress for the country and i think the bipartisan group has done the best they can to get total support and the background check enhancement for that age group i think is a step in the right direction. >> just on january 6, a number of people who are close to the former president at the time were urging him just telling him -- should they have come out and more forcefully spoken out against it and should you have been saying -- [inaudible] >> as i said earlier, i am focusing what we're doing here
2:34 pm
in the senate. you all have plenty of news to cover over on the house side. thank you.
2:35 pm
>> okay, good afternoon. i'm proud to be joined by so in other words, stabenow, tester in murphy. so once again the senate is having a very, very productive week. we are continuing to confirm president biden's qualified nominees. we confirmed more than 65 65 qualified judicial nominees to the federal bench including the time g brown jackson. yay. come on, press. [laughing] i'm just learning all about it. the first ketanji brown jackson, the first black woman to serve on the supreme court. we are on track to pass a life-changing burn pit bill to our veterans. you will hear from senator tester on that. over the last two decades, 3.5 million servicemembers were exposed to dangerous chemicals while in a line of duty while
2:36 pm
risking their lives for us. the bill has been led by chairman tester and ranking member moran. it will help make sure our veterans get the health benefits they have earned to treat complications from toxic exposures. yesterday we invoke cloture as you may have seen and it passed with very strong bipartisan support, 78-17. also the senate is working on something not seen since the time we passed the brady bill which i authored 28 years ago. what we are seeing again, finally, is a bipartisan effort to draft meaningful gun legislation. just remember, this agreement would enhance background checks for those under 21, helped states with a red flag laws, preventing shootings before they happen, would make it harder for domestic abusers to require a weapon by closing boyfriend loophole. provides much needed for mental
2:37 pm
health services and creates stiffer penalties on gun trafficking. the agreement was something many believe was not possible just a few weeks ago but democrats and a good number of republican said we have to try and so did all the gun groups. senator murphy and i before we start called up gun safety groups and they said if you can get something, get it done. that would be a lot better than about everything wanted that would fail once again. and so with the sunday announcement for gun legislation led by so in other words, murphy, snore murphy and courseware are closer than we have been a long time and we still have a lot of work to do but the drafting process is moving forward. we all know that between a framework and a draft there's a lot of work and potential pitfalls. but i spoke to senator cornyn this morning and senator murphy and both have a great desire to move as quickly as we can, and that is my desire as well. and as i mentioned over and over
2:38 pm
again i will put on the floor as quickly, as soon as we get the draft completed to get it to the president's of desk quickly. now, let me just mention the bills are a continuation of an already productive congress. the bipartisan infrastructure bill, the american rescue plan, the anti-asian hate crimes bill, the water if a searchable, post reform, ending for start to force arbitrate for sexual harassment, at the link to, senate passed usica and ocean shipping for. i just want to say that ocean shipping a buddhist talk about high costs as they should. the ocean shipping reform is going to do a lot to reduce costs. so much, 1000% more to ship a container across the pacific now than it did a year ago. those costs are being paid for by an american consumers. so, so this is a very important bill. it's headed to the president's desk. it did not get much covers
2:39 pm
because it wasn't much conflict but in terms between democrats and republicans, senator klobuchar and senator thune and led by senator cantwell did a great job getting this done. but it will have a huge effect very significant effect. with that really over to senator stabenow. >> thank you very much, senator schumer. first i just have to say that, to respond to one of our oil and gas enthusiastic republican senators who just said something about electric vehicle. we have great new michigan electric vehicles, my chevy volt is terrific, made at the plant in michigan. affordable, union labor, and i'm so proud to have an opportunity to be able to support michigan workers. what he was doing and others are doing is trying to divert us from the fact that we have gas
2:40 pm
gouging at the pump and it had it for some time. my communications committee put out a report a couple of months ago about the fact that last year the top oil and gas companies m may 200 -- e in a quk that it be lifted . the presiding officer: without objection. mr. moran: madam president, thank you. this afternoon i want to recognize a longtime manhattan, kansas, known as little apple, c. clyde jones on his 100th birthday. he swore an oath to our nation in 1943 to serve the country in the navy during world war ii. following the service, he earned a bachelor's, masters and doctorate. he received a phone call to come interview at kansas state university. and while his initial reaction
2:41 pm
to living in the sunflower state was less than thrilled, kansans easily won him over when he visited. the beauty of the foothills where k. state is located also didn't hurt. that was 60 years ago and in that time clyde left a tremendous impact on kansas state and the larger manhattan community. he was hired to head the business department within the department of colleges and sciences, which resulted in an acredited college. he opened the kansas state college of business as its first dean. his involvement in campus life was all encompassing, and he helped to spearhead the construction of the current football stadium now known as bill snyder family stadium and continues to welcome millions of wildcats each season.
2:42 pm
he invested in the larger community and served on the united way and worked as president of the manhattan chamber of commerce. the volunteer award was ee named in his hon -- renamed in his honor. he is a staunch advocate for shepherd's crossing, which provides care and assistance for those in need of financial support. clyde has held every position. he holds the title of chief development officer and has increased donations to support the work they're doing by hundreds of thousands of dollars. his love and dedication to manhattan has been demonstrated in everything he has done over 60 years. our community is made better an stronger because of his countless hours of service. clyde, thank you for being an example of a solid, true and
2:43 pm
faithful public servant. you're what i have in mind when i say we need more civics and less politics in our city and nation. happy birthday. there are many of us who love you. happy birthday, clyde. madam president, i yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
2:44 pm
and they get injured that we will try to make them whole again. we have never done that well on toxic exposure. when we get this bill passed, and i believe we hopefully will get it done very, very soon, the good votes to talk about but we will get the votes passed, we will not shown the fighting men and women who serve in our military and serve around the world that this country not only appreciate them, we will live up to our end of the bargain. >> let me just say in each of these areas senator murphy is in a fabulous job on gun legislation along with senator sinema and many others. senator tester did an amazing job. senator stabenow -- on the verge of succeeding. so we have a real team.
2:45 pm
>> thank you very much, senator schumer. and do want to thank you for believing that a bipartisan compromise on guns responsible, despite 28 years of evidence to the contrary. i'm really grateful to senator cornyn and senator tillis, senator sinema, and then the broader members of our group of 12 republicans and democrats that worked for the last three weeks to achieve a breakthrough. there's no doubt that our framework is a breakthrough. it's not a coincidence that this congress for 30 years couldn't do with the epidemic of gun violence in this country. because over and over again it was easier to retreat to political quarters than to make tough compromise. and i do see this as a breakthrough. the bill in and of itself is going to save thousands of lives. lives. i have no doubt about that. between helping states adopt red
2:46 pm
flag laws, closing the boyfriend loophole, requiring a more rigorous check for young buyers to purchase weapons and creating new tools for law enforcement to go after gun trafficking rings. this bill even if we never pass another anti-gun anti-l comes going to make an enormous difference on the rates of violence in this country. and i'm grateful to senator stabenow and others of nature that attach to the gun provisions in this bill will be a historic and significant investment in mental health spending. that investment alone will save thousands of lives as well. we are right now in the process of drafting this legislation, but the heavy lifting is done. all we're doing doing now is taking a framework and putting it into legislative text. i'm confident we can get there,, and get there soon. lastly, i think the reason why we're able to get this done is
2:47 pm
because democracy work as it was intended. parents and kids and families coming on the heels of two devastating tragedies, were more fearful and more anxious than ever before and not just about the kids safety but about the fact that democracy couldn't deliver. and so to me what we've done here, if we get this passed, and i believe we will come isn't just for keeping kids safe. it's about responding to people's concerns that democracy can't live up to the moment. this time at least we have. so again very grateful to all of our partners and senator schumer for giving this stage to get to this and i'm confident we're going to be able to get this passed through the united states senate and house mag and get it to the president's desk. >> yes, ma'am. [inaudible question]
2:48 pm
look, let me say this. when we ask, when young men and young women volunteer and are sent into war, and they get injured, that's the price of going into war. and it's a tradition in this country to make sure that we give them the health care that they need because they had put their lives on the line for us so i think this is something that congress and the american people would want to pay for. >> the administration has been asking for months for another relief bill. [inaudible] >> look, i felt it's very important to get a covid relief bill. and were going to try to do everything we can here in the senate. as you know we passed our bill, the house didn't. so we are still awaiting the house and seeing what they are going to do. >> the president is meeting with
2:49 pm
someone -- [inaudible question] jamal khashoggi, do you think -- >> look of this president unlike the previous president is not afraid to talk tough with foreign leaders. fight every confidence that president biden will handle this very well. go ahead. [inaudible question] >> well, look, we want to pass it before recess and we're going to do everything we can. i mentioned senator murphy and senator cornyn and the drafters are working real hard and have every intention of trying to get it done. yes, go ahead. [inaudible question]
2:50 pm
do you think the use senate supports the idea of military alliance -- against iranian? >> i'm not sure the senate -- i would have to look at the ramifications of that. i couldn't answer that now. yes. [inaudible question] >> no. i think this. no amendment is absolute. you can't falsely scream fire in a crowded theater. we have anti-pornography laws directed at children. those are all limitations on the first amendment. i believe in the second amendment probably does right to bear arms but there are reasonable limitations. the brady law, the assault weapon ban. thank you, everybody.
2:51 pm
2:52 pm
2:53 pm
2:54 pm
2:55 pm
2:56 pm
2:57 pm
2:58 pm
2:59 pm
3:00 pm
quorum call:
3:01 pm
3:02 pm
3:03 pm
3:04 pm
3:05 pm
3:06 pm
3:07 pm
3:08 pm
3:09 pm
3:10 pm
3:11 pm
3:12 pm
3:13 pm
3:14 pm
>> since the devastating school shooting in uvalde texas. over the last three weeks senators from connecticut,
3:15 pm
senator sinema and others have been working to identify steps congress should take to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future. this is not an easy debate. it can be divisive but it's also very important that we act. most often you hear peoplesay do something . well, they don't give you a lot of guidance on what that something looks like and when you dig down into the details you find out that there's not a lot of consensus about what that something should look like. the good news is as a result of the work we've been doing these last three weeks working with our colleagues, i believe we are making good progress. over the weekend there was an agreement reached between 20 senators, 10 republicans and
3:16 pm
10 democrats on a framework or principles for bipartisan legislation to keep our kids in our community safe. before i go through some of the details of this agreed framework i want to explain what it does and what it does not include. from the beginning i promise my constituents that when i took an oath to uphold the constitution of laws in the united states i did not take that both with the intention ofviolating it . so i said at the outset i would not support any additional restrictions on the rights of law-abiding gun owners. there are hundreds of millions of guns in america today and the vast majority,
3:17 pm
almost all of those gun owners are responsible. they're not a threat to public safety and so this being a constitutional right to keep and bear arms there is no basis to respect the rights of law-abiding gun owners or to respect the constitutional rights of any of our citizens. i made clear this is a redline of mine from the outset of this bipartisan agreement on principles makes good on that commitment. the gum provisions in this proposal will only impact criminals and those adjudicated mentally ill. law-abiding gun owners will not be subject to any new restrictions, period. our agreement also strengthens the existing background check system, something we've had strong bipartisan support for and where we've had somenotable successes in the past . for example the fixed nix
3:18 pm
bill after the sutherland springs shooting where an individual who should not have been able to get a firearm because of his record of felonies and domestic violence and mental health commitments was able to do so because the air force had not uploaded that information into the background check system. i'm proud of the fact that on a bipartisan basis that we passed that legislation which compelled federal agencies to post this derogatory information which disqualifies people under current law into the national instant criminal background checksystem . 2018 when that bill was signed into law there had been 11 and a half million new records uploaded into the background checks
3:19 pm
gas prices relief act,
3:20 pm
which would bar any federal agency from finalizing any rule regulation that would make it harder to produce american fuels. my legislation would send the right signal to american producers and investors. it would show them that the congress sees the problem understand that we're ready to address it. it would sit set us -- it would set success on a course not with more reckless spending and more regulations but by getting out of the production without more restrictive, needless rules. with the this more than doubling of price, many families back home are telling me they're paying $50, up to $100 more a week for gasoline. that's $200 to $400 a month if you're adding it up. and their monthly energy bills have doubled. unfortunately, bidenflation is
3:21 pm
impacting many families' expenses over $7,000 a year. now, why the increase you might ask in it looks to me like if you increase the regulations on a process, on a business that's sure-fire way to decrease the supply. and as we all know, our president and his policies are ramping up regulations that every step of the american oil and gas business, all the while begging for help from other nations. bost indeed, he's full -- indeed, he's fulfilling his campaign promises to destroy american oil and gas. one more thought. history teaches us along with reckless spending, energy is always a leading indicator of inflation. if we don't get our arms around this energy crisis and reckless spending, we'll never slow down inflation. but it appears our president and his party disagree with this or else simply stated they don't care. or maybe they want these high prices. it just seems like yesterday i
3:22 pm
was filling my truck up back home for less than $2 a gallon and now again it's over $5 a gallon across most of the nation. rising energy places add inflationary pressure to everything. it is like a game of dominoes. when the diesel fuel powering our 18-wheelers are costing truckers 80%. mr.more than last year,they're going to have to pass it along to consumers. they're going to have to raise prices to make up the difference. and kansans already paying more to get to the store are continually finding that what money they have left is getting them less and less every week. you don't fix a supply and demand problem of this nature with price controls or artificial subsidies or more reckless spending. in realityables this is not very complicate. you could fix it by increasing demand or increasing supply. now, demand unfortunately is not
3:23 pm
decreasing, which is why we need this regulatory holiday in order to set american energy free. on some level the administration knows this and hence their knee-jerk decision to release a million barrels of oil from our strategic petroleum reserve every day. obviously one million barrels a day won't cut it in. 2021 is the united states consumed roughly 20 million barrels of oil a day. this release is merely a drop in the bucket. the administration knows that the strategic petroleum reserve releases are purely cosmetic while they run off to beg foreign dictatorrers and terrorists to produce more i instead of looking within, creating more american high-paying jobs producing the cleanest fuel in the world, they continue their full-frontal assault on american production and seek to enrich our enemies
3:24 pm
like venezuela and iran. but there's been a lot of talk that they're not interfering with oil and gas production in the united states. these claims are simply untrue. on the campaign trail president biden promised to end the leasing of oil and gas production on federal lands and his climate czar recently said the administration, quote, remains absolutely committed to not moving forward with additional drilling on public lands, end quote. most presidents brag when they fulfill a campaign promise but apparently not when results are this bad. it's hard to imagine that this is not all by design. this administration is getting exactly what they want. in the president's own words, the world is currently going through a, quote, incredible transition, end quote. and he thinks we will -- again i quote -- be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels when this is over, end quote.
3:25 pm
well, the obvious question is this -- when, when will it be over? the department of energy has estimated that demand for oil and gas will increase through 2050. now, that's a simple fact. yet we have a president who's perfectly willing to inflict pain on the people who elected him to force his climate policies, his costly climate policies and egg another the economic reality that the american people are facing. why else would he propose a budget that gets rid of key tax provisions for the oil and gas industry? why else would he promote policies that will make it more difficult and more expensive to drill? does anyone think that these policies are going to help the american people? let's talk about the stream of bad policies causing the crippling uncertainty this is making american producers hesitant to increase drilling. last november the e.p.a. started the process of updating methane regulations. while the proposed rule they put forward was criminally devoid of
3:26 pm
any detable, their intent was clear -- an increase in costly regulations that will harm the oil and natural gas industry, run small producers out of business and further increase energy costs. on february 18 by a complete partisan vote, ferc issued immediately effective two new policy statements that would have had disastrous implications for pipeline development in the u.s. pipelines critical toest going the oil to american -- toest going the oil to american consumers. they are off-the-deep-end proposal would have put producer on the hook. in other words, to get approval to build a pipeline, operators could have been forced to develop and pay for a way to mitigate the emissions caused by americans driving to work every day. or perhaps by americans heating their homes or cooking their breakfast. thankfully in the face of fierce outcry from opponents on both sides of the aisle, they temporarily pulled these changes back for further consideration.
3:27 pm
though that likely has more to do with the upcoming nomination process, the renomination process for ferc chairman glick than it does with good energy policy. on march 21, the s.e.c. followed suit and proposed a rule that would require data including greenhouse gas emissions caused by suppliers. all in an effort to make business doing with oil and gas businesses more risky and less deserving of financing. finally, an issue at the top of mind of many producers in kansas right now, the fish and wildlife service is poised to list the providerry chicken as an endangered species. this despite work being done by conservationists that have made the lesser prairie chicken better protected than ever. if the fish and wildlife service
3:28 pm
goes through with this, it would have serious consequences for gas and oil producers in kansas and limit their ability to increase production, not to mention the impact it will have on our utilities. madam president, once again let me state, these reasons and more are why i'm here today to ask for unanimous consent to pass the gas prices relief act, which would bar any federal agency from finalizing any rule or regulation to make it harder to produce american fuels. it will would send the right signal it would show them that congress sees the problem and we're ready to address it. it would set us on course to bring down prices at the pump by getting out of the way and releasing american production, allowing them to power the world without more needlessly restrictive rules and regulations. good energy policy will fix the current crisis not more reckless spending. thank you, madam president. before i yield, i'd like to turn the floor over to the senator
3:29 pm
from montana for his thoughts on the record gas prices we're facing and the need to pass our gas price relief act. mr. daines: i want that thank the senator from kansas for his work on this bill. madam president, the price at the pump has skyrocketed. let's do a quick trip down memory lane. when president biden was inaugurated, the weekly price fortas was about $2.50 -- $2.30 a gallon. when we introduced the bill that we're trying to pass today -- the gas price relief act -- on march 31 of this year, the weekly average was $4.02 a gallon. the weekly average today is $4.84. in fact, other studies show it is now $5 and climbing. we think these numbers will keep going up, most analysts agree. we may be facing $6-a-gallon gas by this summer. i filled up my pickup in
3:30 pm
belgrade, montana, friday night. my wife and i pulled into a gas station and when the tank was full, the price tag was $138. the pain at the pump that montana families are feeling today is because of the democrats' anti-american energy policies. when president biden killed the keystone pipeline six hours after being sworn in -- by the way, that had tremendous benefits for the state of montana to help with tax revenues not to mention providing nearly a million barrels of oil a day for the u.s. -- stopping and limiting oil and gas leases, and then building an administration of, frankly, some far-left anti, anti oil and natural gas
3:31 pm
ideologues. what's the solution we're hearing from president biden. turn to foreign dictators for more oil? beg opec to increase production. and perhaps the most out-of-touch solution i've heard simply suggests families buy electric vehicles. i can tell you that won't work in a state like montana. the real solution is to unleash american energy and encourage american energy investment. this bill i have with senator marshal is simple. it prevention the biden administration from imposing new rules or regulations that would decrease oil, gas, or renewable fuel production which would therefore increase gas prices on hardworking montanans. i'm urging my colleagues across the aisle to think about hardworking families across this country, how they're trying to make ends meet, to think about their constituents who depend on affordable gas prices to get to work or drop kids off at school. i'm urging my colleagues across the aisle who say they support
3:32 pm
american energy and development and they want to lower gas costs to support this bill. we need to pass this bill for american families. i yield back now to the senator from kansas. mr. marshall: madam chairman, i'd like to ask unanimous consent that the committee on energy and natural resources be discharged from senate 3896 and the senate proceed to immediate consideration. i further ask the bill be considered read a third time and passed and the motions to reconsider be made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: is there objection? a senator: madam president, reserving the right to object. the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: i have been listening with interest to my two distinguished colleagues discuss this measure, referring to it repeatedly as governing american energy. but of course what it really governs is fossil fuel energy.
3:33 pm
that's the intention here and that's the result. let's start with a basic factual proposition which is that the price of oil is set by oil companies. in a market economy, the producer of a product chooses the price. and what has happened in this instance is that the oil industry has chosen to depart from market economics, to depart from the costs that were the same just a few years ago, and instead to follow upwards the international cartel that our oil industry is a part of. this international cartel has driven world oil prices extremely high.
3:34 pm
and american oil companies have chosen, have chosen to follow that price, raise the prices at the pump, punish american drivers in order to blow out their profits. we know that this is true because the companies themselves are reporting unprecedented profits, massive profits. we know they're not tracking the cost of production at a reasonable profit because their profits have soared as they have chosen, chosen to pursue this international cartel price and punish american drivers. it is their choice. and then they have the colossal nerve to take their choice, what they have done to american drivers, and then start using
3:35 pm
that for leverage to try to get other fossil fuel industry prerogatives accomplished politically. let me say don't be mad at the gas station owner. the gas station owner is not the one who is jacking up the prices. for a lot of gas station owners, they don't even make money on the gas. you've got to go in and buy a coffee or snacks to have them make money. your local gas station is not the problem with these prices. the problem is chevron, exxon, marathon, all of the big oil companies that have chosen to drive gas prices through the roof so they can fill their pockets with profit, so they can prepare for the fact that their product has got an end
3:36 pm
point. we can't keep polluting the earth the way we are with the emissions of fossil fuel. i notice that neither of my colleagues mentions that this fossil fuel actually gets burned. we don't eat it. we burn it. and when we burn it, it emits co2 and other gases, and we are seeing the effect of that all over the planet. pollution increases, co2 levels continue to increase. we constantly set new records for co2 levels in the atmosphere. heat increases. we are heating the ocean so fast, there's a new term that we've had, a new term of measurement. a zettajoule. a zettajoule sal unit of heat energy measurement. a zettajoule is that measurement with 21 zeros after it, an
3:37 pm
enormous number. all of the sphiewm burned by all the people -- all the fossil fuel burned by all the people across thisentire planet amounts to less than half of a zettajoule of energy. all of it, less than half. because of the emissions, because of the co2, because of the methane, we are heating up the planet so fast that every year 14 zettajoules of and he is heat go into the oceans, where my fishermen in rhode island see their catches disappear, see their lives turned upside down, see fisheries that their fathers and their grandfathers fished completely upturned. this comes home in rhode island. our coastal resources management council predicts that all that ocean warming is going to raise sea levels so that in my lifetime we're going to start to see l flooding, things that are now part of our state are going to become islands. warwick neck becomes warwick
3:38 pm
neck island. bristol becomes bristol island. papa squash point becomes papa squash island. newport divides into a mainland and an island. we become the rhode island archipelago. we lose enormous amounts of our shoreline to sea level rise. never mentioned, never mentioned that harm. so when you come here and say we want to help more fossil fuel get burned, remember that on the other end of that are places like rhode island. and if we want to have a conversation about how we solve price now and how we protect against emissions later, that's a conversation i'm more than willing to have. but a one-sided conversation that's only about more burning, more pollution, more emissions, more of that for rhode island, i don't think so.
3:39 pm
and it's not of course just rhode island. other states are having unprecedented wildfires. they're having unprecedented droughts. we are seeing a planet whose basic operating systems are being changed by fossil fuel emissions. and until we grapple with that seriously, you can bet i will object, which i do. the presiding officer: the objection is heard. mr. whitehouse: i actually ask in response that we pass a different measure. i'd ask unanimous consent that the committee on commerce, science, and transportation be discharged from further consideration of s. 4217 and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. i further ask that the bill be considered read a third time and passed, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: is there objection? a senator: reserving the right to object. the presiding officer: the
3:40 pm
senator from kansas. mr. marshall: thank you, madam president. i think we should start be calling electric cars, coal-powered cars. we should start thinking about a cradle-to-grave environmental impact to some of the alternatives. but i want to reassure to my colleague that folks on the other side of the aisle, that i want to leave this world cleaner, healthier and safer than we found it. but on the other hand, we can't create such high inflation with reckless spending and energy policies that stifle american energy. i do believe that there is a balance. i do believe that there's opportunities. but we can't go from zero to 90 miles per hour overnight, nor can we throw the brakes on our current energy supply. i grew up in the oil patch. i live in the oil patch. the prices of oil are being driven up by the uncertainty created by this administration.
3:41 pm
make no mistake about it, the price of oil is people that are thinking about investing. what will they get two years from now? it will take two years probably to see p any type of return on investment from an oil field exploration. but this president and his policies, his regulations continue to create uncertainty and drive the price up for all americans. just the thought of $5 a gallon gasoline makes my heart shiver. the people i talk to back home, there's no conversation i'm going to have without someone bringing up the price of gasoline right now. and i'm so proud that we're taking traditional energies, making them cleaner, using biofuels to help decrease the tailpipe eemissions through e-15 year round and higher ethanol as well. i'm proud of the biodiesel we're using as well. i think that there's incredible opportunities out there, but inflation, reckless spending, inflation driving up the price
3:42 pm
of gasoline very purposefully is what this president has accomplished, and it's hurting people back home. madam president, i yield the floor. mr. whitehouse: i think you want to object -- my colleague may care to object. mr. marshall: i object to senator whitehouse. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. marshall: thank you. mr. whitehouse: or at least to the motion i propounded anyway. mr. marshall: i specifically object to the motion. mr. whitehouse: he might object to senator whitehouse as well, but i think the intention was to object to the measure. i see my friend senator barrasso has entered. i mentioned zettajoules. i want to add one other figure, this from a report from the accounting firm deloitte consulting which has said that if we don't get ahead of this climate problem that my colleague seems so scrupulously interested in ignoring, the
3:43 pm
cost to society in the next five decades will be, if i remember correctly, the number is $178 trillion in economic harm across those years. you want to talk about big numbers. and if we do get it right, if we grow up, treat this as a factual scientific problem and put in serious, real economic solutions, then the win side is $43 trillion. so the swing is $220 trillion. you want to talk about big numbers? that's a big number, and it's going to depend on decisions we make now. and i h hope we start making good decisions. and with that i yield the floor to my friend from wyoming. mr. barrasso: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: i see my colleagues debating issues on energy and i come to the floor to also debate and discuss
3:44 pm
issues of energy and specifically the need the american people for more energy. because right now america in terms of energy is running on empty. gas prices have broken records day after day after day over the last several months. inflation increased again last month to a new record 40-year high. just this morning we found out that inflation from producers is even higher than inflation for consumers. wholesale prices are up by nearly 11% in the last year. that means higher prices for people who grow our food, who build our buildings, and who work so hard to keep the lights on. inflation for producers means inflation for consumers tomorrow after 13 months of this inflation crisis, there's still no light at the end of the
3:45 pm
tunnel. average price of gasoline across the united states today, over $5 a gallon. that's a big number. we just heard colleagues discussing big numbers -- $5 a gallon is a big number foreign - number for anyone who is driving a gas-powered car or diesel powered car or truck in america. gas prices are high in all 50 states and there's no end in sight. experts tell us that the price of gas will continue to go higher. we actually see $6 a gallon this summer across the country. and today gas is already $6 a gallon in a number of locations. now, for most americans this is unthinkable. so what are the families doing? well, they're kind of buckling up for what may be a summer of
3:46 pm
financial suffering for the american people. for many it means a summer of staying at home. many are having to change the way they drive, eat, live. family vacations are being canceled left and right. people are cutting back on shopping to the point that retail jobs disappeared last month. thousands and thousands of retail jobs. coronavirus caused one lockdown, now we're headed into a new lockdown because people don't have the money to get out -- get out to go to dinner, get out to go to a movie, get out to go on a vacation. people are staying home because they can't afford to do anything else. many working families are being pushed to the breaking point. savings have melted away, household debt is now at a record high. more and more people having to borrow money just to get through the end of the month.
3:47 pm
the purchasing power of the american people keeps going lower and lower and lower. thus providing very little relief for people getting raises, they have a hard time keeping up and feel they're falling further behind. home energy prices are going up and will continue to go up this summer. we hear that our energy grid is vulnerable for blockouts this summer -- blackouts this summer. madam president, democrats have been in power for over 17 months. they continue to do nothing to help the american people with this biden-caused energy crisis. now, joe biden's cabinet has been on tour talking and trying to mislead the american people about the energy crisis. we saw peat beaut buttigieg
3:48 pm
saying there's nothing he could do about it. the commerce secretary said on a national news show said there isn't much that can be done to produce more energy. treasury secretary janet yellen said joe biden has, quote, done everything he can to bring down energy prices. everything he can? this is a blatant lie to the american people. joe biden and the democrats have caused this american energy crisis. and joe biden seemed to brag about it at first when on the fist day in office he killed the keystone xl pipeline pipeline, killing 800,000 barrels of oil a day to the united states. more than we would have ever gotten from putin. joe biden bragged about it.
3:49 pm
proud of himself. stop those oil and gas leases as well. what the president has done with the oil and gas leases was blatantly illegal, brutally punished workers and families in my home state of wyoming. you know, after 16 months in office, president obama had 44 oil and gas lease sales. joe biden, not a single one. the senator from alaska -- if the senator from alaska were here, she would say that joe biden shut down oil and gas production in the arctic. for leases out there drilling applications, thousands and thousands are in limbo because the administration just wants them to sit there. and now joe biden is furthering his attack on american energy. not just blocking new leases. he's even going after thousands of existing leases that were sold during previous administrations, the obama and
3:50 pm
the trump administration. after just 16 months in office -- and the american people know this, i'm not making any news here -- joe biden is the most anti-american energy president in american history. he has kept our energy production on lockdown and kept energy buried in the ground. as a result, today we are still producing one million fewer barrels of oil, today and every single day than we were producing in america before the pandemic. so despite what the administration claims, joe biden could do things right now to actually produce more energy. first instead of blocking off federal land he needs to hold federal and gas lease sales. he should approve the 4,300 drilling application that's he is holding in limbo and finely
3:51 pm
instead of shutting down pipelines, he should approve more pipelines so he can transmit energy. he should speed up the pipeline approval process. right now it takes a lot longer to get approval to get a pipeline than it does to build a pipeline. joe biden refuses to change his policies. that's why i say to joe biden actually wants high gas prices. democrats keep bragging about the so-called incredible transition. it is strangling the american people. joe biden went on a late-night comedy show last week. he was asked about climate change. he said there's an opportunity to move more rapidly to alternative energy. he seems to think everything is going according to plan. the climate elitist want prices so high that people can't afford to buy gas. the economists call this demand
3:52 pm
destruction. democrats are working to achieve demand destruction through supply destruction, and the result is economic destruction, a destruction of the standard of living for the american people all as they -- all because they want their climate ideology. so democrats have kept supply slow and low and driven up prices and now the american people are forced to stay home. the transportation secretary continues to say, just get an electric vehicle. gas prices are no big deal. the average electric vehicle costs over $55,000. the american people can barely afford groceries right now, let alone an electric vehicle. cnn ran a story recently about single mothers skipping meals so their kids can eat. i would say to the secretary of
3:53 pm
transportation, how are they going to be able to afford the electric vehicle, let alone find a place to charge it. astonishing stories written in the press recently, people trying to drive electric vehicles from point a to point b said never again. oh, no. i heard stories of someone renting an electric vehicle in wyoming, driving it from one place to another, using a regular plug-in, and came back in an hour and had enough electricity that they could go four miles. that's what joe biden wants for america. that's his view of america, stay at home joe. the transportation secretary refuses to admit that gas prices drive up the cost of other things like food, the cost of retail, the cost of almost everything. democrats tell us that we just need a little more wind energy, a little more solar power and things would be great.
3:54 pm
so what does joe biden do? he listens to them and he uses wartime executive powers to demand that we make more solar panels. this is another dangerous democrat delusion. we don't have high gas prices and high food prices because of a lack of solar panels. we have high gas prices and high food prices because of a lack of american gasoline, oil, energy. democrats keep repeating the talking points about renewable energy, yet they never do the math. the most affordable and most reliable energy known to man is renewable energy, oil, gas, coal. vehicles still use energy, this energy comes mostly in this country from natural gas and coal. the only way to bring the price
3:55 pm
of gas down is to bring the supply of gas up. it's the one thing that democrats refuse do. it's interesting to listen some of joe biden's allies in the senate who are threatening to make the biden energy crisis even worse. they want to talk about bringing back their reckless tax-and-spending bill. it is more reckless this year than last year, you put that kind of additional spending in the economy and debt, inflation today is a lot higher than it was the last time they forced this kind of money on to the economy. this will be adding fuel to the fire. and then the democrats are talking about raising taxes and specifically raising taxes on american energy. more taxes on american energy, mean higher prices at the pump. it's as simple as that. higher prices at the pump mean higher prices at the grocery
3:56 pm
store. now isn't the time to raise taxes on the american people. janet yellen was surprised. she said it, last week talked to "the new york times," said she was surprised at how negative people's opinion was of the economy. she said she was amazed at how pessimistic people were about the economy. how out of touch can one be? for the secretary of treasury to say that at a time when it's the highest gas prices in the history of the country. food prices at an all-time high, inflation at a 40-year high. over three out of four americans think the country is heading in the wrong direction under joe biden and the democrats. and the american people have seen what 16 months of democrat rule has done to them.
3:57 pm
and janet yellen is surprised at the pessimism and negativity. record inflation, record gas prices, record debt, labor shortages, a looming recession. it is long past time to change course. it is time to stop this reckless spending, unleash american energy. the american public cannot afford to pay the price, but they will make the democrats pay the price come november. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
3:58 pm
3:59 pm
4:00 pm
quorum call:
4:01 pm
4:02 pm
senator sinema from arizona, tillis from north carolina and others have been working to identify steps congress should take to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future. this is not an easy debate, it is emotional. it can be divisive but it's also very important that act.
4:03 pm
most often you hear people say do something or they don't give you guidance on what that something looks like and when you dig down into the details, you find out not a lot of consensus about what but something should look like. the good news is as a result of the work we've been doing these last three weeks working with our colleagues, i believe we are making good progress. over the weekend, there was an agreement between 20 senators, ten republicans and ten democrats on the framework of principles for bipartisan legislation to keep our kids and our community safe. before i go through the details of this framework, i want to explain what it does and what it does not include.
4:04 pm
from the beginning i promised my constituents when i took an oath to uphold the constitution of laws in the united states, i did not take that oath with the intention of violating that. i said at the outset i would not support any additional restrictions on the rights of law abiding gun owners. there are hundreds of millions of guns in america today and the vast majority, almost all of those gun owners are responsible. they are not a threat to public safety so this being a constitutional right to keep and bear arms, there's no basis to restrict rights of law-abiding gun owners or restrict the constitutional rights of any of our citizens. i make clear this is a redline of mine from the outset and this
4:05 pm
bipartisan agreement on principles makes good on that commitment. the gun -related provisions in this proposal will only impact criminals and those adjudicated mentally ill. law-abiding gun owners will not be subject to any new restrictions. our agreement strengthens existing background checks systems, something we've had strong bipartisan support for and while we have had noticeable successes in the past, the fix mix bill after the tragic sutherland -- springs shooting where an individual should not have been able to get a firearm because of his record of felonies and domestic violence and mental health commitments was able to do so because the air force have not uploaded that information in the background check system. i'm proud of the fact on the bipartisan basis we passed that
4:06 pm
legislation which compelled federal agencies to post the derogatory information which disqualifies people under current law in the criminal background check system. since 2018 when the bill was signed into law, there have been 11 and a half million new records uploaded into the background check. as i said, our agreement on the background check is from in this legislation is an attempt to try to make sure existing law works the way congress intended. i am proud of the bipartisan work that led to this and i am eager to share more with my republican colleagues this week. the various portions of this proposal can be grouped into three broad categories. one is mental health support.
4:07 pm
to prevent violence, we need to improve the availability and accessibility of mental health services across the country. if you look at the profile of these young male shooters whether sandy hook or uvalde texas, they fit a familiar profile. alienated from their peers, suffering increasingly deteriorating mental health, not getting treatment. it's like circling down the drain and unless they get help, they are likely to do what unfortunately what too many of our people do, commit suicide. in the case of adam lanza and sandy hook, salvador in uvalde, they can only commit suicide because they know they are not coming out of it alive, they take innocent lives with them. access to mental health support
4:08 pm
is critical. so too is the investment in our schools. this includes everything from physically hurting school buildings to training personnel for more effective violence prevention efforts. we know in uvalde, the door had a lock but it didn't work. allowing the shooter easy access to this elementary school. all of our students, all deserve to feel safe in their schools and no parent should send their child to school worried they may not come home. they deserve to know their child will be safe at school the peace of mind that goes with that. that's why i think the resources for additional school hardening
4:09 pm
of that soft target is very important. the final portion provides targeted reforms to keep guns out of the hands of individuals who already by law should not have guns to begin with. our proposal includes resources for states to implement crisis intervention orders. some have talked about red flag laws but that a broader category in red flag laws that exist in 16 states. as i said, some of the assistance for crisis intervention orders will help administer existing red flag laws but my hope is others will qualify for these resources for other important measures to provide support for communities to aid in crisis intervention, assistant outpatient treatment centers. as i said, 16 states have red
4:10 pm
flag laws, texas does not. they shouldn't miss out on access to the resources for crisis interventions. but one of the things you hear people concerned with most when it comes to red flag laws where people were found after an adjudication to be a danger to themselves and others in those access to firearms on a temporary basis. it's absolutely critical each and every one of those includes protection from due process of law. and particularly when it comes to the rights of law-abiding gun owners. framework includes protection for victims of domestic violence, it shouldn't matter whether the victim is married to their abuser, if the abuser is convicted of domestic violence, they should not be able to purchase a firearm.
4:11 pm
our proposal cracks down on illegal sellers and manufacturers of firearms like a man who sold a gun to the shooter who killed seven people and injured 25 others missing odesa in west texas. the shooter knew he couldn't pass a traditional contest so he traveled and purchased a part firearm from somebody who made knockoff ar-15's out of parts he purchased over the internet. of course no background check was done and tragedy ensued. provisions also include a review of juvenile records for buyers under the age of 21. in uvalde, salvador was able to pass a background check only because no one had any insight, official insight into his tortured background. i've said before he was a
4:12 pm
ticking time bomb, somebody who related himself, trent assault, including sexual assault against his fellow students. somebody who posted pictures online of the weapons he bought culture and online to shoot up a school. we need to know before somebody walks in and buys a firearm when they turn 18 with her mental health and criminal record history looks like to the extent feasible. we need to incentivize states like south carolina mental help adjudications even for juveniles. to be clear, we agreed on the press statement, a set of principles. that was very important and hard-fought. now comes the even more
4:13 pm
difficult task trying to agree on legislative text to actually implement the principles and that's what we are working on this week. my hope is we complete the job in the next few days hopefully by the end of the week so the bill will be available for all senators and all the world to read and senator schumer will have that available should you choose to do so to put on the floor of the senate next week. there's a lot of talk and speculation of press about what was included in the bill and am pleased to say i believe the principles we came up with will save lives. to me is the ultimate goal like the legislation we passed in 2018 to fix the background check system in sutherland springs. i believe the principles we
4:14 pm
reticulated, if carried out and legislative text which i expect them to be will save lives. that is our goal but we also understand we are operating here in the senate of the 60 vote threshold, the 59 votes won't get it and any lesser number will not allow us to vote off closed debate to pass a bill so i want to talk about ideas that were left out of the deal because we knew they would jeopardize our ability to get to 60 votes. there's a lot of desire on both sides to include additional things but they were excluded in large part because of our necessity of getting the 60 votes to get a bill.
4:15 pm
proposals on universal background checks, assault weapon bands for 18 to 21-year-old, mandatory waiting periods, 21 day waiting period for purchases of firearms for 18 to 21-year-old high capacity magazines bands unconstitutional mandatory safe short requirements of all firearms and homes using requirements for purchasing an assault weapon chemical criminal penalties for negligent storage of firearms and low ray, criminal state of mind standard for strong purchasing and trafficking firearms. all of these have been proposed by president biden or democratic colleagues and were not included was agreed to by ten for publicans and ten democrats. we knew including any of these
4:16 pm
components would jeopardize our ability to get the deal. anytime our democratic colleagues tried to push the envelope as far as they could, we have to remind them of that requirement and push back. my view, my redline is starting, my premise in all of this is law-abiding gun owners are not the problem. law-abiding gun owners who pass a background check of the second amendment right to purchase a firearm. and no limitation on their flight is going to prevent shootings like uvalde or sandy hook or sutherland springs. so focusing on the problem keeping criminals and people with mental health problems for purchasing firearms under existing law i believe is the
4:17 pm
right formula to build consensus and get a bill on the president's desk. still working as i said to a lot of the details but i'm encouraged about where things stand right now. as i said, my goal all along is the art of a possible, that's politics is, it's not everything i want and nothing you want or everything you want and nothing i want. that's how not to get a deal, how not to accomplish anything. i'm hoping ten republicans supported the bill is not a ceiling but is the floor and we intend to continue to work with our colleagues to help them understand these principles would agree to, 20 of us and right legislative text that can earn broad bipartisan support, super majority set forth in the
4:18 pm
united states senate. i want to personally thank our colleagues senator murphy, cinema and tillis for working good faith to get us to this as well as other senators who contributed to this bipartisan proposal, we have a lot of work ahead of us i think in many ways, is the beginning, not the middle or the end of our work because now we need to put pentacles in two legislative text and then get on the senate floor, get passed, get passed in the house to president biden's desk. i'll be sharing further updates with my colleagues this week and i hope working with tillis and others to build additional support on our side of the aisle want to close on a final note.
4:19 pm
bipartisan work we done here in the senate on this school safety mental health and gun safety bill is a sharp contrast from what happening on the other side of the capitol. house democrats have history of prioritizing politics over policy but now gains have reached a dangerous low. i'm talking about the safety and security members of the united states supreme court and their family, it's been more than a month since from threats of violence, legislation senator kunz, from delaware and i introduced bipartisan bill passed the senate unanimously. you think that happens every day? not by a long shot. to get all 100 senators to support a piece of legislation means it's not controversial.
4:20 pm
but unfortunately once it went to the house, it sat there for a month. even as members of the supreme court and their families are being threatened, the house hasn't allowed a vote on the bipartisan bill. the reason given by our democratic colleagues in the house they want to extend further protection to court employees and their families. that could include round-the-clock security details for everyone from clerks to it staff and spouse, children, siblings and parents. it makes a lot for what senator kunz and i tried to do, all we wanted to do is give the police of the supreme court the same authority, capitol police has to provide protective details to members of congress. the leadership in both houses have permanent details assigned to them, but if a member of
4:21 pm
congress received credible threat, capitol police will provide protective detail for them, that's all we want to do for the members of the supreme court and their family. last week, we received a terrifying reminder of the failure to act and what the consequences of that might be. u.s. marshals arrested a man outside of justice s-uppercase-letter home to travel all the way from california to assassinate a sitting justice in the united states supreme court. when he's arrested, he had a glock 17 semi automatic pistol, ammunition, a crowbar, a knife and zip ties. told authorities his plan was to break into justice kavanaugh's house, kill justice kavanaugh and then commit suicide that was his plan.
4:22 pm
thank goodness law enforcement authorities for a look to stop. this close call set off calls for the house to past bipartisan legislation i was discussing a moment ago, it passed unanimously in the senate a month ago but unfortunately, house democrats have still refused to do that. they still claim law clerks and other supreme court staff virtually anonymous to the public are in dire need of protection, to. i think it's pretty transparently a stalling tactic elaine excuse for not providing supreme court justice and family, it's a safe protection capitol police provide members of congress. our bill, the democratics house members they they want to pass
4:23 pm
instead was introduced may 10, almost five weeks ago they haven't even voted on that bill yet. again, this is a transparent attempt to stall legislation that passed 120. if they believe house democrats believed in the state oil they are trying to sell, they would have passed their own bill a month ago but they didn't. and they haven't. they wasted precious time and families vulnerable to grave danger. house democrats want to vote on a bill that extends protection to other people including the weaker of the supreme court opinion, they are welcome to do so first they need to pass the bipartisan bill senator kunz and i introduced. the line between legitimate public discourse and acts of violence has been crossed house
4:24 pm
democrats cannot continue to turn a blind eye. we don't have time spare when it comes to protecting members of the court and families. if heaven forbid something were to happen because of lack of authority conferred by the supreme court police parity act, shame on members of the house of representatives. it would be on them there failure to act on this common sense bipartisan bill. madam president, the house needs to pass the supreme court police parity act today. if not today, tomorrow. i yield the floor. >> madam president, yesterday democratic and republican negotiators announced in agreement on framework for bipartisan gun safety legislation bringing the senate one step closer to finally responding to the plague of gun
4:25 pm
violence that afflicts our nation, terrorizes our children. for the first time in a long time, the senate has a path forward on legislation that will save lives must reduce gun violence and keep our communities safe. make no mistake about it, we have a lot of work left to do before we actually pass a bill. yesterday's announcement was a positive and necessary step in the right direction. now comes the important work of turning this framework into legislation and legislative language that can pass congress and be signed by the president. we must continue working with urgency this moment demands because if we can save even one life from gun violence, it will be worth it. once the text of the agreement is finalized, and i hope it will be as soon as possible, i will put this bill on the floor
4:26 pm
quickly so the senate can move quickly to make gun safety reform a reality. as i said, i will put the bill on the floor as soon as possible once the text of the final agreement is finalized so the senate can act quickly to make gun safety reform a reality. i urge my colleagues to continue working with the same good faith and urgency that brought us to this. certainly yesterday's agreement does not have everything democrats wanted but nevertheless it represents the most significant reform to gun safety laws we seen in decades. if enacted, this legislation will make it harder for mass shooters to access assault rifle by enhancing rent checks for those under 21. it will prevent tragedies before they happen by helping states with their red flag laws. it will prevent gun violence that home by closing the
4:27 pm
boyfriend loophole so-called and establish new penalties for gun traffickers and will make our neighborhoods safer by investing in mental health community violence intervention programs. the gun violence happens outside the national spotlight these intervention programs are some of the most effective ways to reduce crime and make our communities safer. all together, this framework is a good and necessary first step toward changing the reality of gun violence in america. it will lay the foundation for future action. most importantly, this legislation will go a long ways to saving lives. i want to thank senators murphy and sinema, horning and tillis working on this framework. senators murphy asked me for space to let the negotiators do their work. i was glad to give it to them because we knew any chance of getting something real done on
4:28 pm
gun safety is worth the effort. i want to thank my colleagues part of the bipartisan guns working group including senators blumenthal, kunz, heinrich and others. i want to thank the advocates, families, volunteers who lost loved ones who shares the stories to make the change. without the advocates, families, volunteers who lost loved ones, this bill wouldn't have happened because year after year after shooting after shooting they didn't give up, they persisted and helped bring us to this important moment. for decades, families across the country have seen the same pattern layout whenever a mass shooting strikes the nation, tragedy followed by an action. combine to virginia tech to sandy hook to las vegas to parkland to buffalo to uvalde and so many others, gridlock has
4:29 pm
prevented congress from bringing solace to families increased. but no matter how many shootings have traumatized this nation, these families have never given up in their hope of making change happen. rather than curse the darkness, the families have responded to strategies by lighting candles. they shared their stories, marched for change and have done everything in their power to make sure no other parent, spouse or sibling has to suffer the pain they have felt and lived with every day the same is true for the advocates and so many groups who have worked on gun safety, members of these groups are survivors of gun violence. i have a person on my staff whose a survivor of aurora and they have worked tirelessly for years to enact common sense gun safety laws. decades, despite decades of frustrating gridlock, i hope
4:30 pm
yesterday's announcement brings some sense of accomplishment to these reading families and all of those who have marched and protested and written letters because it's thanks to them we are at the threshold of progress. madam president, nearly 30 years ago i was the author of the background checks bill and that was the last time congress took meaningful action to address gun violence. a different era back then but the lesson of that experience remains relevant today. the right law can decrease gun deaths. i believe there are tens of thousands of people alive today because the brady law was passed in 1994. we don't know who they are but it's virtually certain is saved thousands and thousands of lives. i urge my colleagues to think of the lives we can now save by turning this framework in two
4:31 pm
law. americans have waited long enough for us to take action, too many lives already lost, too many families, too many have been left grieving. while we can't undo the tragedies of the past, we can act now to make them less likely in the future. framework enacted into law will do precisely that and i urge all of us to continue working to pass gun safety legislation. >> a few months ago from this desk, i talked about the result of a recall election in san francisco. in february and multilingual multiethnic coalition in san francisco set up for common sense and rejected three members of the far left school board that prioritized woke diplomacy
4:32 pm
over the basics of education. last week the same that of citizens provide a sequel, even the deep blue bay area decided they've had enough with their radical left district attorney, prosecutor in name only who have become famous for running a soft on crime experiment as deaths from drug overdoses skyrocketed, it shows almost entirely stop prosecuting drug dealing. burglaries shot up 50%, had to change locations because of rapid shoplifting. one person arrested five times in six months in 2020 was let out every time, every single time until he killed two women with a stolen car. liberals bragged how they would cut down incarceration rates
4:33 pm
even as disorder swallowed up more and more of the city so the citizens were fed up with being the far left guinea pigs, they've flocked to the ballot box voted for change. this is not only playing out in san francisco, it's nationwide. zeroing in on local prosecutors and district attorneys to make america radically softer on crime. one billionaire donated $1 million each to the political campaigns of soft on crime prosecutors in chicago, new york, los angeles and philadelphia. according to one group's analysis, the army of soft on crime prosecutors supported by this one stoner and his networks
4:34 pm
overseas as much as 20% of the nation's entire population. once in office, many of these prosecutors said about abusing authority basically you neurotically decriminalizing various crimes either voters nor legislators have decriminalized in reality. the attorney general of virginia put it recently, instead of trying to change the law these groups are electing prosecutors to simply ignore it. this liberal campaign has been playing out at the state and local level, we seen on crime search all across the country. here are a few recent news or sports. congress, assault and gun crimes are causing waves of anxiety and fear among suburban residents across the twin cities. since the beginning of the pandemic, murders, 47%, some
4:35 pm
types of property crime nearly doubled and seizures of fentanyl and methamphetamine quadrupled in just the last year. offender saw a 30 year record in homicides last year in 2021 and 2022 has been looking even worse. as of a few months ago murders and rapes were ahead of even that 2021 case president in phoenix try to use to escape soaring gas prices found out assault and drug crimes in and around public transportation have risen over the last five years. philadelphia is reporting 80% increase in assaults. my hometown, we are struggling as well over the past several
4:36 pm
years on crime as sharply as and across the city breaking gruesome records including record homicides and assaults and we seen carjacking more than triple in the last five years. last weekend alone last weekend alone three homicides and ten nonfatal shooting. five teams and a 9-year-old were shot during a single altercation in my hometown bridge. violent criminals turned a popular attraction for families and tourists into a literal war zone. stable prices, border security and public safety are three of the most basic deliverables any government owes to its citizens. strike one, strike two and strike three for democrats of the federal, state and local
4:37 pm
level. that explains one last headline i'll mention this morning. americans are more worried about crime than any other time this century. on a different matter, the latest news from ukraine confirms our friends need more robust weaponry and they need it fast. ukraine needs more love as fast as russia advances, officials say. ukraine pleads for weapons and russia has much more artillery. people of ukraine have inspired the world for resilience but resist russian aggression takes a reliable supplies of legal force. the biden administration continues to provide shipments and allies, they must adopt strong positive posture that has eluded them and earlier points in the conflict.
4:38 pm
as early as last november i was urging sanctions under deterrent and pushing for nda a provision is sent, enhanced legal aid last november. bolster makes those blank looks more u.s. forces to get more weapons to ukraine versus q4 before russia attacked and february : president biden to anticipate russian and ablation of energy markets and back off his own holy war against domestic american production. for the biden administration seemed more focused on deterring itself and deterring putin. too much hemming and hauling, too little preventive actions in advance. notice it cannot make the same mistakes again with prolonged
4:39 pm
whether to provide longer-range or more powerful weapons. to claim what it needs to finish this fight including artillery and long-range rocket and strongly and firmly push european allies to do the same. european countries need to move fast to do their part. no more hesitation and quit making excuses. thousands would have been lost. strong assistance we can help ukraine limit future losses, reduce the risk of conflict and create a deterrent precedent for other would-be aggressors like china the -- the presiding officer: senator, we're in a quorum call. mr. braun: would we please
4:40 pm
lift the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. braun: this is one of the more enjoyable things of being a senator, especially when i have some friends in from southern indiana up in the gallery to see what we do here. i rise today to offer a resolution expressing support for the pledge of allegiance as an expression of patriotism and honoring the a 245th anniversary of the introduction of our united states flag. today we celebrate flag day, which was first established over 100 years ago by president woodrow wilson. as we pause to recognize all that our flag represents, let us also honor those who have sacrificed everything to defend it. in 2002, senator tom daschle raised a similar resolution with unanimous support from the senate. it passed on the floor
4:41 pm
uneventfully. today i ask that body to reaffirm our support for the pledge of allegiance. i also rise to honor a fellow hoosier who knew the innate value of the pledge of allegiance to civic education. in 1969 red skelton, the american entertainer who was well known for the program "the red skelton hour" wrote a speech on the importance of the pledge. reflecting on his time in vincennes, indiana, he spoke about the values instilled by one of his high school teachers. after the performance of the speech, cbs received 200,000 requests for copies. the speech would go on to be sold as a single by columbia records and performed at the white house for president nixon.
4:42 pm
i think this would honor mr. skelton's memory and the pledge of the allegiance if it were cited today on the floor in the words of mr. red skelton. i've done this two prior years, too. this should never get old for anyone here or the american public in general. when i was a small boy in vincennes, indiana, i heard, i think, one of the most outstanding speeches ever heard in my life. it compares with the sermon on the mount, lincoln's gettysburg address, socrates' speech. mr. laswell called us all together. he says, boys and girls,ist been listening to you recruit the pledge of allegiance all semester, and it seems it has
4:43 pm
become monotonous to you or could it be you do not understand the meaning of each word? if i may you i'd like to recite the pledge and give you a definition for each word. i -- me, an individual, a committee of one. pledge -- dedicate all my worldly good to give without self-pity. allegiance -- my love and my devotion. to the flag, our standard, old gory, a symbol of courage. and wherever she waves, there is respect because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts. freedom is everybody's job. of the united -- that means we have all come together. states -- individual communities that have united into 48 great states. remember the time when he did
4:44 pm
it. 48 individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose. all divided imaginary boundaries yet unite towed a common cause. and that's love of country. of america, and to the republic. a republic, a sovereign state in which powers invested into the representatives chosen by the people to govern and the government is the people. and it's from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people. for which it stands a, one nation -- meaning so blessed by god. under god, indivisible -- incapable of being divided. with liberty -- which is freedom, the right of power for one to live his own life without
4:45 pm
fears, threats, or any sort of retaliation. and justice -- the principle and qualities of dealing fairly, dealing fairly with others. for all -- for all that means boys and girls, it's as much your country as it is mine. afterwards mr. laswell asked the students to recite the pledge of allegiance together with newfound appreciation for the words. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all. mr. skeleton concluded his speech by saying, since i was a small boy, two states have been added to our country and two words have been added to the pledge of allegiance, under god. wouldn't it be a pity if someone
4:46 pm
said that as a prayer and that it be eliminated from our schools too. just as those students that day, mr. red skeleton concluded, recommitted to the meaning of the words of the pledge of allegiance, i call upon the u.s. senate to recommit to these words as well. there are times today that the words of the pledge of allegiance are tossed around without care. other times they are altered to remove what today is deemed offensive or antiquated. but americans should not misuse or abuse our pledge of allegiance. the pledge of allegiance is meant to remind americans of our guiding principles, inspired adherence to those ideas which make our country great. equality under the law, recognized rights to life,
4:47 pm
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. this is why today on national flag day i am requesting unanimous consent from my colleagues that my resolution, expressing support of the pledge of allegiance is passed. i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the consideration of senate resolution 671, submitted earlier today. further, i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? hearing no objection, so ordered. mr. braun: i yield the floor.
4:48 pm
mr. braun: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from indiana. mr. braun: i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
4:49 pm
4:50 pm
4:51 pm
4:52 pm
4:53 pm
4:54 pm
4:55 pm
4:56 pm
congress took decisive action to ease this appropriated unprecedented relief for small businesses and workers who lost their jobs burst through the keys act and later under president biden to the american rescue plan. these laws fund the ministrations paycheck protection program and economic law program for the idl, we call idle as well as extended unemployment insurance. criminals and criminal organizations took advantage of americans suffering during the crisis and substantial fraud in
4:57 pm
the relief programs. billions of dollars in aid. these are not victimless crimes, it exhausted funds badly needed by eligible americans particularly funds allocated to support small businesses crucial to making the american economy thrive. in some cases pandemic relief fraud prevented innocent people from accessing unemployment insurance when they lost their jobs and were in desperate need of assistance. in other cases fraud identity theft victims threat, the laws were taken out in their names. the trump administration contributed to this problem by
4:58 pm
failing to put basic controls in place to protect these vital relief programs and american taxpayers from fraud. in today the select subcommittee released a report under the trump administration failed to implement basic safeguards to prevent fraud against the program. the trump administration direct them to approve applications when there are clear applications the applicant was engaged in identity theft. this depleted funds from the critical relief program put americans that increased risk and suffer consequences of theft. the office of inspector general
4:59 pm
similarly filed during the trump administration failed to use controls to prevent fraud, i'm quoting here, the guard rail in the idols program. significantly increasing fraud vulnerability. we look forward to hearing inspector general today about his efforts to address the fraud that occurred because of these failures including his officers were to recruit taxpayer dollars lost to fraud biden administration has taken action to reverse the damage caused by the supplier administration and prevent fraud. in the title program of the biden administration implement
5:00 pm
the identify fraud, loan office to address indications of fraud before approving the loan. to ensure that the applications were legitimate. were legitimate. the biden administration is begin using these functions support faith efforts to make unemployment insurance assistance both more accessible to eligible recipients and less
5:01 pm
susceptible to fraud. this funded -- funding is supporting the work of the pandemic response community. shared by inspector general michael horowitz. it's coordinated efforts to conduct investigate fraud across the federal government. we will hear about those important efforts from inspector general horowitz today. as the biden administration works to repent and detect fraud, they have also taken action to hold perpetrators of fraud accountable. as he continued to do this year state of the union president biden directed the department of defense to appoint a chief prosecutor to lead efforts to
5:02 pm
investigate pandemic relief fraud. seven chambers award named in march are here with us today. the department provided subcommittees to show they have charged nearly 1500 people with alleged fraud against pandemic relief programs. we look forward to sharing with the chairman about the department of justice's efforts. there is more that must be done to bring perpetrators of fraud to justice and to protect these emergency programs. whether to extend statutes of limitation to allow investigators more time to uncover pandemic relief fraud and a continued effort to
5:03 pm
protect relief funds by focusing the biden administration's request for all funds to protect state unemployment insurance assistance. i would like to thank our witnesses for being with us today. i look forward to hearing more about the administrations efforts to hold perpetrators of fraud accountable and what else we can do to protect vital relief programs going forward. i now recognize the ranking member for his opening statement. >> thank you mr. chairman and i'd also like to welcome the witnesses and thank them for joining us today for this important hearing. in the initial days and months of the covid pandemic. certainty was rampant and much of the economy was locked down. congress acted multiple times in a bipartisan way to deliver
5:04 pm
much-needed relief as fast as we could to help save as many jobs as we could. we knew keeping people employed was the best way to keep our economy from crashing. perhaps the most significant program was the paycheck protection program. initially congress gave the new program $349 billion in march of 2020 and mandated the small business administration implement the program within 15 days of enacting this new program paid overtime the program received more than $800 billion the sba estimates is saved more than 51 million jobs. that's right. president trump worked with democrats and republicans in congress to pass a program at the beginning of a global pandemic that saved more than 51 million jobs and turned it around at rapid pace. using loan data as of august
5:05 pm
2020 the sba office of attorney general flagged $4.6 billion which represents roughly a 1/2 of 1% of the total loan funding for potential fraud or other improper payments. fraud of any kind is wrong. given the size of the program and the demands placed on the agency by congress to rush the money out of the door to save as many jobs as possible, about 1/2 of 1% is better than most federal programs benefit for decades. sadly despite this fact democrats have continued their effort to undermine the ppp's success by attacking the trump administration and financial institutions involved in the program despite the ppp's well-documented successes. in stark contrast to ppp is the enhanced unemployment insurance
5:06 pm
program. the labor department's office of inspector general estimates and improper payment rate of 18.7% in 2021. that means a about -- $163 billion, 163 billion of the programs $872 billion in federal state unemployment benefits paid during the pandemic could have been improperly paid as a significant portion attributable to fraud. the oig found quote based on their audit and investigative work the improper payment rate for the pandemic program is likely higher than 18.71%. why are we having a hearing on that? let's go after the $4 billion but why are we going after the $163 billion that's being completely ignored as fraud? there are numerous examples of
5:07 pm
domestic fraud. one man from new york receive $1.5 million over 10 months and the california real estate broke or got more than $500,000 over six months. one person use the same social security number to file ui claims in 40 different states. we are not having a hearing on this spring addition the program is targeted by criminal organizations and enemy nations. propublica investigation found a substantial amount of ui fraud was contributed to organized fraud both in the united states and abroad. estimates by some say at least 70% of the money stolen ultimately went to foreign nationals in countries like china, russia and nigeria. one state received fake unemployment plans that came from ip addresses in nearly 170 different countries.
5:08 pm
that was just one state that reported fraud. so far just over $4 billion has been recovered of that 130 plus billion dollars in fraud ui programs. we should be doing everything we can to aggressively identifying investigation and prosecute the criminal fraud in pandemic unemployment programs for that's why introduced a bill last week with my republican colleagues to help encourage states to recover fraudulent payments. i hope we will be able to get that bill moved through quickly but until that the and i'm president president fraud the pandemic enhanced ui program has been cited as a leading contributor to the historic the high inflation that is crushing american families right now. with all the legislative extension some claim -- climates could receive up to 79 weeks of enhanced unemployment, a year and a half of getting paid more money not to work than what they
5:09 pm
were making at their job. all this while businesses all across the country are still looking for workers with the government paying hundreds of billions of dollars to people, more money not to work then they were during the pandemic. democrats insisted on extending the program for another six months in providing an additional $300 a week in the 9 billion-dollar spending spree the highest inflation in 40 years. the latest numbers have inflation at 8.6% last month. this is costing the average american household and additional $327 a month. families across america are paying over $300 a month with higher inflation because of the trillions of dollars in spending here in washington doing things like paying people not to work. washington democrats shamelessly use the pandemic to pursue their
5:10 pm
socialist dreams of government dependency. they pay people not to work handed out big stimulus checks and expanded government welfare programs all while ignoring the warnings about inflation that would be caused. instead of dumping cash into the already recovering economy we should have been focused on reopening schools and getting her business is back open safely in helping those workers get back to their jobs. while ppp and other pandemic programs have a few detractors they were overwhelmingly bipartisan and largely succeeded in delivering much-needed relief and saving $51 million -- 51 million jobs for hard-working families who are likely still in the workforce today because of this program. i hope in our oversight of the pandemic or grams my democratic colleagues will be able to recognize the difference between needing to save the economy
5:11 pm
during a pandemic versus pushing it partisan pandemic inducing agenda. but that i look forward to hearing from our witnesses and i yield back. >> thank you very much mr. scalise. now i would like to introduce our distinguished -- a michael horowitz is the inspector general for the department of justice, the pandemic response accountability committee. inspector general horowitz testified before this committee last march and we appreciate his return to testify today. the honorable -- is the inspector general for the small business administration. inspector general we are your also testified before this committee last year and we look forward to hearing from him again today. mr. kevin chambers is an
5:12 pm
associate deputy attorney general who is serving as director for covid-19 fraud. thank you for being here today. mr. roy dotson is the national pandemic fraud recovery coordinator for the united states service. thank you and i would like to have all witnesses please stand and raise your right hand. do you swear or affirm that the testimony you are about to give us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god? thank you. you may be seated. let the record show the witnesses answered in the affirmative.
5:13 pm
without objection your written statement will be made a part of the record. mr. horowitz you are recognized for five minutes for your opening statement. >> thank you mr. chairman ranking member scalise and members of the subcommittee. thank you for inviting me to testify about the work which congress created in march of 2020 to oversee what is now $5 trillion in pandemic relief spending across 427 federal programs. given the magnitude of these response at least we have developed a new model for conducting oversight in a crisis. that involves promoting transparency by providing the public with accessible and conference of spending data on our web site pandemic collaborating across the inspector general community and the oversight communities identifying crosscutting issues and risks by detecting and preventing fraud abuse and mismanagement through the use of data inside an
5:14 pm
analytic tools and holding wrongdoers accountable by marshaling investigative and analytical resources by the oversight community. it's been the transparency we provided to the public about pandemic related spending the pandemic empowers americans to enable whistleblowers to prevent fraud however we face several challenges. as we reported in november of 2020 and october of 2021 significant agency data caps presented challenges to our pandemic oversight effort. the data completeness is one of the challenges we have identified as part of our oversight. on september of 2021 and again last week we issued a report highlighting the important lessons we have learned from reviewing some the largest pandemic relief programs. among those detailed in those
5:15 pm
reports are the agencies that should be using existing data to determine program eligibility rather than relying on individual self certification. i want to briefly mention the critical collaborations in our oversight effort. in the earliest days the pandemic we have regularly coordinated with leadership and similarly an gauge with their state and local oversight partners prefer example we conduct quarterly briefings to share products with their oversight partners and close to 400 state and local officials that participated. we have also had a strong working relationship with community executive branch officials. this level of engagement with the igs has become a model for how to manage large-scale pending programs and to assure agencies benefit from the knowledge that the igs have developed through our oversight
5:16 pm
program. let me turn to our accountability. the only way to effectively oversee $5 trillion in public spending is with data. we have used advanced data science to further our oversight by creating the pandemic analysis center of excellence or pays to deliver world class analytic audit investigative support. our data analytic centers are biting 37 law enforcement agencies access to more than 160 million residents public nonpublic and commercial data sources. the work of our partner igs have made 1200 indictments and the complaints of 950 arrests and four and 50 -- we are committed to using all available tools to hold wrongdoers accountable criminal civil administrative action such as forfeiture and suspension.
5:17 pm
this investigative and oversight work is also concluded that prevention and section of identity theft should be among the prior -- the highest priorities of federal agents. identity theft has been pandemic and the fraud cases we have seen and just yesterday we issued a report summarizing it. we have also found identity theft victims have few avenues to assist them available to them. that's why we created anti-fraud protection and redress. our working group is partnering with i just identify ways agencies can close those gaps and to help identity theft victims move forward. finally i want to voice my support for the free bipartisan bills in congress that would assist their efforts to fight fraud and pandemic related
5:18 pm
spending. to those bills passed the house earlier this month as the chairman mentioned in the third is coming to the senate floor that would allow us to increase the jurisdictional recoveries for smaller false claims. i'm hoping for quick action on all three bills. thank you for your continued support for our oversight work and i'm happy to answer any questions you might have read >> thank you very much mr. horowitz. the chair recognizes for five minutes mr. ware. chairman clyburn ranking member scalise distinguished members of the subcommittee thank you for inviting me to speak with you today and for your continued support of my office. my office is providing oversight of more than $1 trillion of in pandemic funds. the impreza and pandemic response demand it an unprecedented the oversight approach. our office is performed audits in real-time and we literally wrote the book on how to present
5:19 pm
findings in a timely manner. oig reviews typically take 10 to 12 months to conclude and publisher ports meet stringent review programs in as little as two weeks. today we have issued 22 pandemic related reports are the recommendations for corrective actions at the agency of resulted in sba tightening their control systems have their work continues to focus on the various stages of the program to mitigate fraud and ensure only audible recipients receive funds. the importance of this ongoing oversight cannot be overstated. it's our goal and ago i know that shared why these prac can maybe the lessons learned will prevent future missteps when taxpayer dollars are -- this brings me to the urgency by which i bring this message to you today. the subcommittee knows well tens of going to dollars been identified by my office is potentially fraudulent.
5:20 pm
the actions of these fraudsters not simply vanish. the evidence left behind can best be described as footprints in concrete or oversight accomplishments are significant literally billions of dollars. we are nowhere near a full understanding of the fraud landscape. what we do understand is that we are far beyond the notion of potential fraud and where a tackiness fraud head-on or that investigators are top notch and it is experts across the law enforcement community. they forge partnerships with counterparts forming task forces and work hand in glove with prosecutors to bring wrongdoers to justice. our data analytics team is using cutting edge artificial intelligence and machine learning --
5:21 pm
party of the agreement between the chairman and me was that two amendments would be considered for this legislation. i offered an amendment to strike the creation of a fund which would classify over $116 billion in discretion yearg costs associated with the bill as entitlement spending.
5:22 pm
i believe that this untested unique way of classifying spending sets a bad precedent. senator lee has an amendment requiring the secretary to use science when evaluating precedent establishing the bill. that amendment has been filed. senator ernst has an amendment requiring the secretary to certify that with the resources and authorities provided through this bill there won't be a negative consequence for veterans in the s and there are at least three amendments proposing to offset the cost of the bill or at least a portion thereof of spending reductions elsewhere. i'm hopeful in the days ahead that before final passage of this bill we would let our colleagues be heard through an amendment process pass or fail. i've also hoped that the two amendments that i expected to be able to offer would be made in order. that hasn't been the case to date, and, therefore, i ask unanimous consent that it be made in order for the following
5:23 pm
amendments to be made pending to the substitute amendment, number 5051, by their sponsors or their designees -- one, the ernst amendment, secretary of v.a. certification, number 5072, lee, 5048, the johnson amendment to pay for covid money, amendment number 5055, paul to pay for this legislation from usaid. number 5060, the blackburn community care amendment, number 5075, my amendment, the community care amendment number 5064, my amendment to strike section 805, number 5063, the marshall amendment on collective bargain, 5071, the murkowski amendment on appraisals for housing loans, number 5069, and the inhofe amendment concerning camp lejeune, number 5094. i further ask that at a time to be determined by the majority in consultation with the republican leader, the senate vote in
5:24 pm
relationship to these amendments in the order listed. further, upon disposition of the amendments listed, all postcloture time on the substitute amendment 5051 be expired and remaining pending amendments be withdrawn with the exception of the substitute amendment, 5051, as amended, if amended, and that the senate vote adoption of the substitute amendment, as amended, if amended, and finally that upon disposition of the amendment 5051, as amended, if amended, the cloture motion with respect to the underlying bill 3967, h.r. 3967, be withdrawn, the bill, as amended, if amended, be read a third time and the senate vote on passage of the bill, as amended, if amended, with 60 affirmative voted required for passage. officerster is there objection? the presiding officer: is there objection? the chair hears none. mr. tester: reserving the right to object -- the presiding officer: the senator from montana. mr. tester: we are here on the cusp of doing something that really tells the fighting men and women serving in our
5:25 pm
military all around the world that we've got your back. and we are here because of what i would say is a great working relationship between the ranking member, senator moran, and myself. and as i said in the v.a. committee earlier, that relationship is going to continue regardless. and the reason is is because in this place there's something missing. it's called trust. and i trust senator moran. we've been through this for the last year and a half. and even longer. when you were chairman of the committee, many of the bills that are in this package you oversaw their passage out of committee. but because of negotiations continue and because i still believe even though this process is very broken -- we both know that -- i still believe that we're going to be able to come up with something that both of us can agree on for amendments
5:26 pm
through our leadership, we would agree on something anyway, but through our leadership. that's why i'm objecting to your motion. i object. the presiding officer: the objection is heard. mr. moran: mr. president, i would conclude by encouraging the chairman of the senate committee on veterans' affairs to use his substantial level of influence with the leaders that he described as necessary to approve the consideration of these amendments and he speaks of the word trusters and i have great trust in his ability to accomplish the desired outcome that i have. mr. tester: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from montana. mr. tester: can i ask the ranking member of the veterans is affairs committee a he h. question? the presiding officer: through the presiding officer, he is allowed to do that. mr. tester: mr. president, are you asking me to throw my weight around? the. mr. moran: may i make an inquiry of the senator from montana through the chair. the presiding officer: he why, you may. mr. moran: would that be be
5:27 pm
considered derogatory? perhaps it is a parliamentary inquiry. the presiding officer: i in this montana it is considered a compliment. mr. moran: mr. president, i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
5:28 pm
once again thank you for your attention to this matter and for your support and i'm happy to answer any questions you have. >> thank you very much. mr. dobbs and you now recognized for five minutes. >> good morning chair and clyburn ranking member scalise
5:29 pm
and the thing which members of so a subcommittee thank you for that pretend to be here before you today to discuss the ongoing efforts of the united states secret service to counter cyberenabled financial crimes in particular covid-19 fraud. my name is roy dotson and i'm assigned to the secret service office of investigation at the national pandemic fraud recovery coordinator. the operative word regarding the cares act was u.s. citizens were suffering from the effects of covid-19 and needed assistance. unfortunately that money sometimes means fast crime and fast ramp requires an equally fans respect -- fast response by law enforcement. the cares act by the first week of may the secret service was investigating cases involving unemployment fraud. they quickly became apparent organized groups as well as individuals were targeting
5:30 pm
assistance programs. within weeks the secret service partnered with the financial crime enforcement network to issued two advisories alerting the financial sector of fraud. we also mobilized are our more than 160 offices in 44 cyber fraud task force is to focus on the investigation. these task forces provide the partners from the state local partners and many of them receiving training at our national computer forensic institute in alabama. in 2008 in csi has trained more than 18,000 state and local tribal and territorial partners for more than 4500 agencies throughout all 50 states and five u.s. territories. those receiving training in cyber equipment have become essential in assisting local communities encountering covid-19 fraud.
5:31 pm
our success in launching quick and efficient investigations is made possible by her our partnerships to maintain nationwide with federal state and local government entities as well as the private sector. in july of 2020 the secret service partnered with the department of labor office of inspector general to publish our first joint advisory on pandemic fraud. this advisory was sent to nearly 30,000 financial institutions and out lied -- outlined fraud indicators associated with pandemic schemes. it worked for the secret service to identify suspected fraudulently obtained unemployment benefits. the secret service collaborated with a the small business administration office of inspector general and the pandemic response accountability committee to send out additionad adviser is when economic disaster loans in paycheck
5:32 pm
protection fraud was detected the secret service's efforts to recover stoleno access -- t. i'm here for the 15th time in my series of scheme speeches to call attention to the right-wing donors' long plan to scheme to capture and control our supreme court. what i will talk about today is that scheme's donor funded doctrine factory and a case in which the court that dark money built could weaponize dangerous, concocted doctrines to power up polluters and threaten a basic function of government. before i get into this, let me say that i detest and condemn violence or threatened violence against members of the court, and i object even to protesters making a racket in justice's neighborhoods. there's a lot to be angry about
5:33 pm
about, but the solution is through democracy and laws, not violence and noise. the capture of the court by secretive special interests is deadly serious under our laws, and we have to respond seriously under our laws. neighborhood noise and violent threats don't help. let's remember that all three trump supreme court justices were actually chosen and then campaigned for by a dark money donor apparatus. remember the whole point of the scheme is to capture the court so it will deliver big wins for the big right-wing donors, no matter how unpopular or radical those wins are. remember that the donor elite behind the scheme spent hundreds
5:34 pm
of millions of dollars on an apparatus to capture the courts. it plotted for decades to seize this power and set up a system to get its hand-picked extremist nominees on to the bench. it instructs those justices with coordinated flotillas of amicus briefs so the justices know how they're supposed to rule. it is quite an operation. but none of that works, none of that works if judges are following the law as it is. existing legal precedents are the problem for the scheme. so to accomplish its mission, a radical deconstruction of our american laws, the big donor
5:35 pm
elite need to destroy decades of legal precedent. we got a preview in the looming effort shown by the alito leaked draft opinion to destroy precedent, protecting women's right to decide about abortion and relocate that right from women to state legislatures. that's just the scheme's opening act, a sop to one segment of its social issues base. the scheme is out to deconstruct american law and destroy established precedent across many areas of the law. now if you are out to deconstruct american law and replace it with what the big donors want, you need some
5:36 pm
intellectual weaponry. you don't just need justices who will do what you ask. you need legal theories. you need to give the justices you put on the court the intellectual artillery, the demolition theories that will help them destroy the precedents and deconstruct our legal system. so that's a problem. but when you're spending more than $500 million on such a scheme, you can find solutions. and sure enough, right-wing donor interests found solutions. it took time, but the whole scheme took time. it took a lot of money, but the whole scheme took a lot of money. it took patience and planning, but what a payoff when you succeed.
5:37 pm
and now it's payday. the first thing you do is erect an array of legal think tanks, phony institutes, the hothouses in which the deconstruction theories are grown, the factories, if you will, where doctrines are crafted, reverse engineered from the results the big donors want so that willing, complicit justices have the ideological weaponry for deconstruction of the law. these think tanks do a couple of things. first, they nurture right-wing legal scholars to formulate bogus legal doctrines. they pay them comfortable salaries, pay them nice titles, send them to symposia
5:38 pm
with fellow hothouse scholars. the whole thing aches regular academia. but this academia-resembling performance has a very different mission. it has deliverables. second, they systematically cheerlead for their new legal doctrines. they create an echo chamber of approval for their cultivated fringe ideas. once the hothouse conjures a fringe idea, the hothouse bounces it among other so-called scholars, and through other anonomously funded affiliate groups and through law school debate clubs and conservative conferences, also funded by secretive donors, and into flotillas of scripted amicus curiae briefs, and ultimately
5:39 pm
the prize, into legal opinions. they create a legitimizeation process. and of course they concoct or retool the desirable theories. the legal theories are actually pretty easy to come up with. you reverse engineer. you start with what big donor interests want and then work backwards. and what lots of big donors want, especially fossil fuel companies, is to weaken and disable government regulation. government regulators stop all sorts of harmful corporate practices. pollution of our air, water, and climate, dangerous factory floor working conditions, crooked schemes that cheat investors, snake oil medications that don't cure disease, unsafe products, insurance policies that don't pay. the list is long.
5:40 pm
demolishing that protective network of regulations protecting americans' health, safety, and financial well-being is a scheme priority priority, and the destruction begins by pejoratively naming the agencies whose work protects us, the administrative state. there are many of these doctrine-growing hothouses. two examples are the cato institute, originally founded by the koch brothers, and the c. boyd and gray center for the study of the administrative state at george mason university's antoine anyone -- antonin scalia law school. both are funded to pump out and legitimize antiregulatory fringe theories and talking points. think of them as factories for
5:41 pm
ideological artillery designed for the demolition of federal agencies' authority, particularly over polluters. what do they manufacture? well, the concocted doctrines fall into a few buckets. there is the so-called unitary executive theory cooked up to argue that safeguards set in place by congress to protect federal agencies against political interference are unconstitutional. now if you're a big donor and you paid big bucks to get your man in the white house, you want political interference by your guy in regulatory decisions congress built safeguards against that for a very good reason, but a captured court could disable congress' ability
5:42 pm
to defend the agencies congress itself created. this unitary executive legal theory was the pet theory of the reagan administration. it was thoroughly debunked by serious scholars and rejected initially even by the supreme court. but the right-wing court-capture apparatus has persistently kept this theory a federalist society cornerstone and diligently packed the court with new justices more amenable to this nonsense. other concocted doctrines also target agencies, the so-called nondelegation doctrine is so radical and meritless that the supreme court dismissed it a century ago except for rare cases that no longer exist where congress might give agencies
5:43 pm
power with no direction whatsoever. this nondelegation idea has been retooled in the doctrine factories to target agency regulation generally. under this doctrine as retooled, the power is removed from congress and given to unelected courts to decide how questions should be assigned by congress to federal agencies. this gives big regulated industries a big weapon to attack the federal government's ability to regulate problems that they cause. at a minimum, allowing industries to tie public protection regulations up in years, even decades of litigation. federalist society justices on the court long clamored for the
5:44 pm
nondelegation doctrine. it has new federal society justices get added to the court it becomes more probable. certainly the dark money front groups that provide instruction and encouragement to the federalist society justices, they are in full clamor, using amicus curiae briefs to signal their wishes to the captured court. on now to yet another hothouse-grown doctrine, the major questions doctrine which provides a similar weapons platform to assault public safety regulations. where the nondelegation doctrine would require congress to set more specific regulatory standards for agencies to police, the major questions doctrine would let the unelected court determine that some questions are just too big to regulate. too big to regulate at all. again, at a minimum, that lets big industries snarl agency
5:45 pm
protections up in litigation. at worst, it forces congress into detailed, complex questions that congress already determined -- already determined should better be handled by exert agencies. perhaps i should mention here how hard the federalist society justices have worked to create avenues of corporate political influence, including anonymous unlimited corporate political spending allowing corporate interests to blockade action in congress. but while it is relevant here, that's a longer story for another day. all of these concocted doctrines share the premise that congress may not deploy agency regulation against certain problems.
5:46 pm
and that the power to grant agencies authority to regulate in certain areas is instead to be decided by unelected courts. in present circumstances, decided by a captured supreme court with members installed by big special interests money. what could possibly go wrong? all these concocted doctrines overlook the robust oversight of federal agencies by the people's representatives in congress. and also overlooked by courts tasked by congress with applying the administrative procedures act. if an agency were to go rogue, congress can immediately intervene. congress can reverse the decision of the agency.
5:47 pm
congress can change the underlying law the agency enforces. congress can redirect, defund, or even eliminate the errant agency. moreover if agencies don't follow the law as congress directed or if the agencies behave illogically or unfairly or don't give evidence proper consideration, there are avenues of legal relief in court. but the donors behind the scheme don't want relief from improper or misguided agency action. they want relief from lawful, legitimate, and correct agency action. this is a power grab by regulated interests using the
5:48 pm
court. and they can do it because of the scheme. it is not a bug that these doctrines threaten harm to an array of basic government functions. it is their purpose. let's go back to what the right-wing corporate funded propaganda machine likes to deride as the administrative state, their little code word. what has really gone on in these agencies? i'll tell you what's gone on. nonstop quarreling by big special interests, regulatory agencies made life better. they made drinking water safer. they cleaned up smokestacks. they put air bags in cars and required better seat belts. they protected us from contaminated food.
5:49 pm
they made medication safer and more effective. no more snake oil mysteries. they made financial markets safer places for retirement funds and college saving plans to grow. they made it harder for stock jobbers to sucker innocent investors. they required insurance companies to actually pay when insured risk occurs. they put an end to people dying from disasters like boiler explosions that used to be a regular thing. americans live longer. highways are no longer carnage. products are safer. markets are stronger. and the american economy is more robust. so whenever you hear the phrase administrative state, it should ring in your head a little alarm bell that special interest
5:50 pm
mischief is afoot. which brings me to the ruling expected from the supreme court in a case called west virginia v. e.p.a. the fossil fuel interest behind the case are challenging the federal government's power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. put simply, they want to make it harder to fight climate change. i can't think of a more important protection for the american people than a livable planet. and i can't think of a member of congress who's done more work to achieve those protections than the presiding officer. but the fossil fuel industry is desperate to continue to pollute for free. the first thing to know about this case is that there is no case. the constitution requires a case
5:51 pm
or controversy. that's the language in the constitution. a case or controversy before the court can intervene. and here there is no case. because there's no agency rule to challenge. the trump administration rule which was a sock to polluters is gone, thrown out. the obama rule is not being pursued. gone. biden's e.p.a. announced it is forming a new, different rule that it has not yet produced. it's not out. there is no rule in place right now. that does not seem to bother the scheme's new donor selected majority. a few republican states bolstered and probably directed by an armada of right-wing dark
5:52 pm
money front groups sued to challenge the e.p.a.'s authority and the captured court jumped right in. think about that for a moment. with no actual rule to review, the court is apparently going to decide this case based on what the biden administration might do or issue some general observations about the e.p.a. where i come from, there's a name for that. it's called an advisory opinion. and our supreme court is forbidden to do that under our constitution. and this is actually a big deal at the heart of separation of powers. but the federalist society justices packed on to the court with fossil fuel dark money are on a mission to deconstruct the administrative state. so why let the constitution get
5:53 pm
in the way. just throw out more precedent about case or controversy. what's one more smashed precedent in the captured court's cascade of precedent demolition. the donors don't care. they're not finishicky. -- finicky. they want results. fossil fuel is the political 800-pound gorilla in this country. industry spent decades blocking climate action in congress. it lurked behind this web of climate denial front groups that sowed false doubt about climate science. it was their job to mischaracterize the science. it's behind what watchdog group influencemap calls the biggest climate obstructing trade
5:54 pm
organization in washington, the u.s. chamber of commerce. boom. it maintains its own trade group hit men like the american petroleum institute. it follows secret money by the tens of millions into republican super packs and other secret partisan political spending fronts in a not so hostile takeover of the republican party. and it wrote some of the biggest checks to pay for the scheme, funneled through dark money conduits like donors trust and judicial crisis network. when i say we now have the court that dark money built, it is probably more accurate to say that we now have the court that
5:55 pm
dark fossil fuel money built. so watch out for the six-justice supermajority that is poised to rule in this no case # case. it's no surprise that the amici curiae, the so-called friends of the court gathered in this case, read like a who's who of fossil fuel polluter front groups. the competitive enterprise institute, for instance, produces hothouse attacks on e.p.a.'s authority and is funded by exxonmobil, murray energy, the american fuel and petrochemical manufacturers, the american petroleum institute, and the koch brothers' political groups. fossil fuel front groups as amici and litigants sing a
5:56 pm
harmonious c chorus of unitarian executive and nondelegation, a major question, all concocted doctrines targeting the administrative state they so resent. back before the takeover, here's what the court said in a case called m ustretta. the court said this. i quote. in our increasingly complex society, replete with ever changing and more technical problems, congress simply cannot do its job absent an ability to delegate power under broad
5:57 pm
general directives. that is the language of the court. in our increasingly complex society, replete with ever changing and more technical problems, congress simply cannot do its job absent an ability to delegate power ready brought objectives. that's the precedent of the court. that's the law of the land, and it's the law that special interests sent these justices to the court to deconstruct. so get ready. to be cont -- to be continued. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
5:58 pm
quorum call: i'd like to ask you to discuss from your perspective what has been done and what can be done to combat this transnational criminal fraud now and in the future knowing it's targeting these federal programs and looking at state programs were they may not have substantial guardrails. it cumbersome and thank you for your question. obviously the secret service and the cyber fraud task force
5:59 pm
raider a work on transnational crimes and so this is nothing new to us. we are investigating experts so when we work these cases annually we are kind of used to following the money trail so we will follow that and we will continue that. we have great relationships internationally with countries that allow us to partner with them and identify transnational organized groups and as i said earlier we have several investigations, hundreds of investigations that involve transnational groups that i just can't talk to you about today. i hope to at a later time bring more information of this committee so we'll continue to follow that money and as much as we can for the u.s. taxpayer and bring those that have committed this fraud to justice. >> is their work with technical
6:00 pm
assistance or training for states where they interface with the federal government? >> yes maam for the talked about earlier our friend cic institute in alabama. countless federal state and local partners primarily state and local partners have received specialized training their. technical training includes for forensic examiners. they are also issued special equipment in order to do those examinations and at such a great force multiplier for the secret service to give thousands of extra investigators and detectives from her state and local department that we can equip and have them focus on these these investigations along with us. >> thank you very much and i yield back my time. >> thank you very much. the chair now recognizes mr. -- for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman for your leadership and for this
6:01 pm
hearing. small business administration relief programs are vital to keeping local businesses function in new york city which as you know was sent early. we were the epicenter of the whole epidemic and pandemic and unfortunately the report released by the select subcommittee today shows that significant fraud occurred in small business administration relief programs under the former trump administration. a failure to implement even the most basic fraud or pension costs and it's disheartening to learn the extent to which it affected many of our residents. thankfully the biden administration is prior ties to a whole of government approach to combating comment pandemic relief right in the sba has introduced new controls to ensure funds go to the recipients. my first question is to mr. ware
6:02 pm
can you describe as these efforts over the past year to prevent fraud from the economic injury disaster loan effects? >> thank you for your question, yes i can. it's important for me to stay that efforts to raise the controls that were lowered is not really an administration thing from one to the next. this was an ongoing situation which is important for me to address as the 6% is not an accurate portrayal of the dropper payment rate. what happened is we pivoted to making sure the control environment was strengthened from the very beginning. the december report that i put out address the serious concern to lift the control environment so things started to change from that point dealing with
6:03 pm
requiring, checking the do not pay list, not allowing bank routing information after loan approval, starting with the rule of raising all these different controls. it was something that took some time and fortunately. started a continuing to where we are today where we have a much stronger control environment. >> thank you. uncovering and prosecuting fraud that is already occurred in pandemic relief programs is vital and requires collaboration across several agencies. mr. harwick how do different entities such as inspectors general and the secret service work together with the department of justice for prosecution and why is this collaboration so important. >> thank you congresswoman.
6:04 pm
it's critical to the separate and what we have done is we have created our own task force to bring together law enforcement community within the ig community to partner with the secret service the fbi and others in federal law enforcement so that we can share the expertise we each have in these areas. we each bring unique abilities to these efforts. the sba, ig agents for example have tremendous expertise in ppp related fraud issues. the labour ig has met with unemployment insurance and it's critical we do that. we are having ig offices my own office has had agents volunteer and contribute to this effort and we have had a great harder ship with the department and a critical part of think of their task force as well as we abrupt in these cases cases. we are all committed to making
6:05 pm
sure we use every single available tool to not only hold individuals and entities accountable for fraud and wrongdoing but to make sure we uncover every single penny for the taxpayer and that's our responsibility and our goal. >> thank you. finally is there bipartisan legislation being considered by the house that would extend the statute of limitations on the paycheck reduction program and disaster program for 10 years. my final question mr. chambers would it be helpful for congress to extend the statute of limitations for pandemic relief fraud and hold all those who have committed fraud accountable >> thank you for the question congresswoman. not only would be helpful but it would be essential. with the amount of relief provided in the amount of potential fraud there is an incredible volume of cases yet to come.
6:06 pm
as you all know cases that are more complex take time and with the greater volume. case. to the extent that congress can help to get the statute of limitations extended it would be appropriate and not only helpful essential. >> i just want to say to congress needs to help law enforcement and ensure that law enforcement persecutes pandemic fraud so small-business owners and working families in u.s. can get crucial relief without becoming victims of fraud. i want to thank all the panelists and the chairmen and ranking member and i yield back. thank you. >> thank you very much. the chair now recognizes mr. frost for five minutes. >> i'm struck by how central identity fraud and on line identity fraud is to the money that the taxpayers cost.
6:07 pm
am i correct that the large-scale criminal gangs are essentially operating 100% using on line identity fraud? is that the essential part of these large-scale things that they are not having people show up in person at an office to coordinate this? >> congressman foster yes that's a great question. for the majority of the cases that we investigate that's what we see. it was basically an on line application. particular would say in the unemployment area unemployment insurance we saw a lot of identity theft. >> in terms of something where someone has to show up in person i believe a good tool to prevent identity fraud there is the real i.d. compliant i.d. for card to get onto airplanes next may or something like that. or non-on line identity fraud that would be a tool for assistance.
6:08 pm
did you pretty much concur that that's going to make it much more difficult to present multiple fake identities and an in person environment? >> yes, sir. anytime someone presents real identification eliminate a lot of fraud. >> so we are left pretty much with the on line aspect and there's a very powerful tool that was rolled out in a number of states called mobile i.d.s and sometimes digital driver's license that associate a real i.d. compliant driver's license or i.d. with a cell phone and the cell phone has the ability to identify itself as a traceable device. so you can use it to assert your identity on line and prove that you are who you say you are in you own not only a real i.d. compliant driver's license. then that is associate with the cell phone it was registered with.
6:09 pm
what that allows you to do is to pretty much prove you are who you say you are. if we had such a system in place where that was the standard for applying for any federal benefit, convince your cell phone to log into your cell phone and let your cell phone prove it's the one associated with the digital real i.d. compliant server's license, with that largely have short-circuited all of the fraud we have seen with identity fraud? >> it would definitely have limited some. i will say anytime you put in an extra level of identification it's going to benefit and eliminate fraud. it will not eliminate all of the fraud. our complex criminals are ever evolving just like we are in investigations trying to circumvent different parameters that are set particularly in
6:10 pm
identification and their identity on line. there'll always be an issue there that we will be fighting just because it's on line that yes sir in short it would help eliminate some fraud. >> there seems to be a difference between the sort of fraud the sba was seeing where there were real people with fake businesses versus, or would these largely fake people that didn't exist where you are stealing someone i.d.? >> all of the above. we have quite a bit that existed. didn't have the number of employees that they said they had heard businesses that started way after that date that was eligible to be started and there were some that were fake altogether well within the fda's programs. >> that's we are looking at four example date is the way to find out the businesses doesn't really exist?
6:11 pm
>> that is something that was not done. >> were there impediments or there was too much volume? >> there were legal impediments. in essence they did the best they could. >> if you could give us more information for the record i'd be interested. in terms of limiting that kind of fraud. i would like to point out there's an act that i'm sponsoring called the improving digital identity act of 2021 cosponsored by myself ranking member katko of the house homeland security committee and congressman langevin. what this does is it encourages the government at all agencies to get together and come up with a standardized way of proving you are who you say you are when you are applying federal benefit
6:12 pm
with i believe the i.d. in most people's mind that would be the standard for mobile i.d. associated with the real i.d. compliant i.d.. i'd be interested in your reaction. you can respond for the record to see if that would be useful here. i'll be asking that again for the record in my time is up. i yield back. >> thank you very much mr. foster. the chair recognizes. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you all for your testimony today and for being here. this is a very important topic that should have been properly properly done before issuing another $1.9 trillion in the covid package last year. i wanted to follow up on some of the questions that were raised regarding the estimated $400 billion believed to have been stolen from the covid unemployment relief program.
6:13 pm
nbc reported at least half of that money was taken by international fraudsters and you alluded to some of the investigations that have been taking place. how much of that funding has united states been able to recover for the taxpayers? >> well maam, again as far as numbers we have recovered 1.26 billion there's a slight amount they are that his international but the majority is domestic. we continue to investigate those cases that involve transnational organized groups and we will follow up in anything we can recover we will recover. obviously when it leaves united states and those international makes our job tougher to recover
6:14 pm
funds. >> the 1.26, what is the latest estimate that has been stolen bikes is it still bordered billion orzo more than not? overall, not just internationally. domestically as well? >> well i just have to say as many of stated today we have no idea the of the actual fraud amount. we note substantial. senator, we're in a quorum call. ms. hassan: i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. hassan: mr. president, i rise today to honor the incredible life and legacy of julie beget, a champion for individual whose experience disabilities and their families. in 1978, julie's daughter katie was born and four months later katie contract add brain infection that left her paralyzed and on a ventilator. after two years of living in a hospital, katie's family had reached the limit on their health insurance policy and applied for support through medicaid but were told that
6:15 pm
medicaid would not cover at-home care. julie and her husband mark knew that they did not want their daughter growing up in a hospital, especially when she could receive the care that she needed at home while also being with her loved ones. faced with uncertainty, and with federal officials who would not make an exception, julie reached out to her congressman. julie noted that making this exception for her daughter would not only be good for her daughter, but also that keeping her at home, rather than at a hospital, would cost the government far less money. julie's advocacy worked. because she made the choice to speak up and share her story, congress passed and president reagan signed into law an exception to medicaid rules that enabled julie's family and many others to care for their loved ones at home. julie's work has had a profound impact on not just her own family, but countless others, including my own.
6:16 pm
my son, ben, experiences severe physical disabilities, and because of julie's advocacy he could grow up at home and with family, and because he was able to live at home ben had the opportunity to go to school, to learn, and make friends in our community. the terrible reality is that before julie, many children grew up in hospitals or in ins tuitionallized care, instead of surrounded by the love and care of their parents, siblings, and neighbors. but my family's story is not unique. in the decade since what is now known as the katie beckett waiver has changed hundreds of thousands of lives, more than half a million children have received these waivers, and they've been able to live, grow, and thrive at home. julie's story is an example of how one person can make a true difference in our democracy.
6:17 pm
and even after her successful work in securing this significant exception from medicaid, julie kept fighting for children who experience disabilities. she helped lead a charge to expand coverage, and fought against attempts to repeal the affordable care act. and critically, she worked with families throughout the country to show them how they could be advocates as well. julie passed away last month, but her legacy will live on in the lives that she's changed and the advocacy that she helped to inspire. i am profoundly grateful for her work, and i join with people across the country in committing to carrying on her legacy of fighting to fully include people with disabilities in every facet of american life. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor.
6:18 pm
6:19 pm
6:20 pm
6:21 pm
6:22 pm
and helped sba to recover another 3.1 billion that number is growing. >> that's great to hear that obviously a shrewd investment and pay off for us to do it in mr. horowitz are there additional resources needed to identify and combat fraud in the pandemic relief programs knowing we will get a lot more money back if we do the job right? >> congressman there actually are. one of the things that has been frustrating frankly through the various preparation processes.
6:23 pm
i g. ware's office and other ig offices and effective emergency funding which was obviously not an annual appropriation required that ig is to make decisions unduly cut back on employees? >> fraud numbers and investigative work is growing. recoveries by any measure if you want to look at return on investment any measure of return on will show taxpayers benefit by multiples, 14 and 15 and more that percentage times the money invested in the ig. i just hope the congress and looking at the preparation process considers for the ig is doing this work from law enforcement agencies that are doing this effort and for the prac i would jeff: one observation which as we set up the data analytics
6:24 pm
effort with prac and we are identifying fraud analytics and the only way you can figure out with money going out the door. during the recovery at in 2009 congress created the oversight ward then. he created a platform. it's sunsetted in 2015. the frustration, congress and the treasury department which got that analytics plot warm decided not to do it. your .5 years later here we were with no analytics platform and the ig community and we had to start from scratch. congress appropriated $40 billion to less to start up what had sunsetted 2015 and you're exactly right we will have more earthquakes hurricanes fires and other unfortunately disasters. hopefully no more pandemics. his we all know all of this happened. we need those tools.
6:25 pm
we are talking to the senate side after the last hearing we had in march. about extending that analytics platform and engage in discussions with the comptroller general has very supportive of that and that's something we did. >> thank you and i yield back. >> thank you very much. we were noticed there would be time for second round of questions and we are going to allow that at this time. as we go to a second round the chair is going to recognize himself for a second round. i am particularly interested in the last issues raised by mr. raskin not just for pandemics. i come from a part of the country where we have experienced similar roger lin
6:26 pm
said that he relating to hurricanes and that kind of disaster relief that has gone out not just to do for the families involved but the people in these organizations to step up and all of a sudden they are getting all kinds of money. in fact in the report you are releasing today we are dealing with this issue where the sba office of the inspector general as you just noted, said the sba failed to use sufficient control to prevent bpp fraud and from your report lowered the program
6:27 pm
significantly increasing fraud vulnerabilities. after you identified it the guardrails were lowered and increased vulnerabilities. and now that doesn't sound like anybody was trying to prevent fraud and abuse and protecting the additional monies that are going to come. that sounds like somebody is trying to make it easier for all these criminals to get at the money in the first place. and when you order people to put the money out there a red flag saying this looks like a crook and you had no way to stop it. i want you to speak to that. >> thank you. initially like mr. harwood spoke about there was a huge struggle between the need for speed up versus the need for control.
6:28 pm
i met the table screaming for the need for control after identifying that we have major issues. each one of the flags that i raised were met with, but there could be a reason for that. to raise another flight in there could be reason for that in another flag. all these flags come together in one circle and it's not one instance where a social security number for the bank account was changed at the end or a chronological e-mail or hundreds of thousands of loans from the same might he address. again the need for speed thinking these flags and i'm not having sufficient resources to clear the flags would be a hindrance for speed. that was the issue that the agency was spaced with upfront.
6:29 pm
initially beginning in december of 2020 finally came to the realization that we have a large enough problem that the controls have to be raised once again. >> there is one thing that has the need for speed and it's something you obviously use the need for speed as a substrate -- subterfuge for getting money out the door to people known to be criminals or felt to be criminals. lowering the guardrails has nothing to do with speed. that sounds more like convenience. but that i yield five minutes if you would like it. >> just a follow-up on the question and we talked about the international fraudsters. domestic way you talk a little bit about some of the cases where there have been arrests
6:30 pm
you can speak about and what is the responsibility of the states in these cases because again the ui criteria which usually established by the state so they bear some responsibility here and are you getting cooperation from local authorities? >> congresswoman thank you for that question. as you point out the ui programs are administered by the work agencies. they during the pandemic took the first role in distributing funds. as part of our work to combat that fraud we have relied on the state worked agencies to provide the data that applicants gave them when they applied for unemployment insurance. ..
6:31 pm
standardization of the data would be incredibly helpful for the purpose of our work in identifying where fraud has occurred. it is a large thing to ask. many of the state workforce agencies may not have had occasion to collaborate or work together. but we have seen this pandemic when the federal government is giving money to the state workforce agencies we need to have a way to analyze that data without wasting months or years cleaning it up. when they think it very helpful as standardization of data for those applying for unappointed benefits. >> thank you very much. the chair now recognizes ms. maloney for five minutes.
6:32 pm
or mr. foster for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, in 2020 congress took bold action to provide unprecedented relief to american struggling because of this terrible pandemic. yet due to the failures of the trump administration, prevented many vulnerable americans from receiving the much needed aid they justly deserved. your select committee's report clearly shows a trump administration failed to implement basic fraud control in the covid-19 epidemic impact disaster loan program. these fellers had devastating effects for many americans in need who are seeking this vital aid. so my question to you is, what were the most concerning
6:33 pm
deficiencies that enabled fraud in the early administration of the ei dl program? >> one of the most concerning things was self certification. the route that was taken. you just had to say you had a business project x amount of employees and you could get money. that was the most concerning thing. and the thing we sounded the alarm on very early this cannot be the way. >> i have got to say i was very concerned by the unprecedented amount of fraud because progress such as the paycheck protection act and the ei dl program ran out of funds so quickly. they ran out really early, one of them ran out in one day hurt individuals with small business and communities of color were
6:34 pm
disproportionately unable to receive any relief or the relief that they needed. so mr. horwitz could you talk about the harm to communities of color when fraud consume the resources of these vital relief programs? you know they were ready to pounce on the regular people will still filling out the forms while they stole the money from the system. could you please respond? >> yes congressman. it's a very important point. some think we written about and have held hearings on people go to the website it see the hearings we've held about these issues. how underserved communities and individuals who had challenges applying to the internet. we have sought underserved committed that were economic impacted not able to get benefits that were intended for them. we have seen the same by the weight with the rural communities that did not have good internet service or strong internet service be challenged
6:35 pm
in applying for programs that you had to apply for through the internet. we have seen challenges for elderly applicants and navigating through the internet application process. and so we have identified a lot of different issues that came up through these processes that need to be addressed. bottom line, what we saw in multiple agencies they were woefully unprepared to be able to deal with these kind of programs in a way that they should have been able to deal with at a basic level for the could of been more sophisticated you could continue to increase their ability to deal with it but even at the most basic level so many agencies we found were unprepared to deal with these challenges. >> thank you.
6:36 pm
mr. ware, in your opinion could sba have taken additional steps to prioritize underserved small businesses and communities of color during the early rollout of the ppp? >> in my opinion yes. and the report we put out probably like two weeks into the program in essence laid out how they could do that. at the onset it was not even able to tell that it went there. we had them change the way they were doing the codes that would provide for demographic information. there would've been no way for them to know whether they were served or not served initially. >> i want to thank all the panelists. my time is expired and i thank you for doing all that you're doing to try to make sure the pandemic funds get to the people who really need it. and it is distributed fairly, honestly and equitably but i thank you and i yield back to the chairman and thank you to this very important hearing.
6:37 pm
thank you very much the chair recognizes mr. foster for five minutes per. >> thank you mr. chair. you mentioned data standardization as an important priority towards making the system work better next time. does this for example with the bad actors might have different state and federal agencies accumulating lists of wrongdoers? and it's just very labor-intensive to find out this person applying for something is in fact on someone's list of bad actors? or is that pretty well organize at this point? >> congressman it is even more basic than that. he standardization i am speaking of things as a basis as social security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses. collected in a similar fashion maintained a similar fashion for example we get to state workforce data from four or five different states we can quickly
6:38 pm
compare and analyze those things to look for red flags. >> essentially unique identifier for the human beings you are trying to figure out who is who a database index. >> precisely. that is i think the motivation behind getting -- doing a good job of secure digital id retake the data that exists in a real id compliant driver's license or passport if you want one and put it in people's cell phone so there is no question that is the person and their cell phone. but then you set effectively as unique identifier. so you can into anything in person or online improve you are a single tradable person. it is my feeling we talk about return on investment there isn't really a higher return on investment that our government can make is making such a streamlined way of being able to prove you are who you say you are. i'm very encouraged of the work has been doing for the last
6:39 pm
decade it exists in every one of your cell phones were the latest couple releases of ios and android have implemented the standards it will actually internationally there also being adopted. there is technologically the possibility of being able to assert your digital identity online and in person and a very streamlined way. that is a natural job for government would put a tremendous amount of work into getting the data behind the real id compliant ids. i'm just taken the additional step of putting that on people's cell phone and allowing that to be the standard for basically applying for federal benefits. mr. horwitz, we talk about return on investment, are there
6:40 pm
estimates of the total losses for government from identity fraud? does anyone take it upon themselves to look through all the agencies, all the programs and say here is how much money we could save with a high quality id system in this country? >> it's a great question congressman. i am not aware of an executive wide to do that. it's one of the frustrations we have in the oversight community is a silo approach with agencies focusing on their individual issues and their individual standards as opposed to across executive branch and issues that arise. one of my concerns in this space is the perfect being the enemy of the good. starting, during basis at the outset. everybody wants upon the perfect solution. but what does the right approach?
6:41 pm
this is not going to happen overnight. the fact we have bad and the ppp program single telephone number was used in connection with 1400 applications but one social security number was using 29 states get ui benefits. >> if they had been required to locate you applied, get out your cell phone prove you are who you say you argues that single identifier. the fact you cannot clone a modern cell phone they have a secure enclave in key generation but basically like a security dongle. you could use that to make sure if you have a unique id that you are demanding every time you play for any federal benefit, it seems like you could have just stopped that in its tracks. the return on investment from getting the mobile ids that are being implemented in individual states to get that implemented nationally in two used universally by the federal government would just be a huge
6:42 pm
cost savings. it is also my hope when we get legislation for this it will actually have a huge positive in the congressional budget office which is always an interesting question where you can save a lot more taxpayer money from a smaller investment. we wrestle without all of the time. i want to thank you again for all the work you're doing. it is really important that everyone sees our government working as well as it can be. even under stressful situation so thank you and i yield back. >> thank you the chair now recognizes mr. raskin for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman pretty want to start by thanking you for your resolute determination to ferret out the corruption and fraud that undermine the programs that we voted for our people so thank you for that but also want to salute president biden for making an investment in asking for more funds to be invested in the anticorruption antifraud efforts across the agencies.
6:43 pm
let's see, mr. dodson the sba office of inspector general and the secret service got together to go after fraud and recovered i think from the reported more than a billion dollars that had been stolen from the idle program. can you tell's first how you did that and then secondly is it mainly organized criminals like organized gangs, groups or traditional organized crime here and abroad are going after his lone ranger individuals? >> thank you for the question congressman. the efforts put forth but the secret service and our partners here has been extraordinary there is no doubt there. working with them to identify fraud and also working with the financial sector from early on we were able to identify several
6:44 pm
cases that involved what we look to be as fraud. and following up those cases we were able to recover like you said over $1 billion to date. that is by sheer hard work thousands of investigators and detectives like i said from a cyber fraud task forces. not only out in the field actually following up cases doing investigations interviewing people and finding access but also worked at a global scale and the financial institutions who were identifying those types of fraud. early on we saw this as mr. ware said we saw this happening real time. and we got out advisories that identified the fraud indicators that financial institutions look for. they did an outstanding job trying to safeguard as much fraudulent friends as they could
6:45 pm
be. >> thank you. mr. where your office gave the state is showing the help of the oig banks and financial institutions had returned over $8 billion in idle funds to the sba. why did they return this money? was out money illegitimately taken by the banks and financial institutions? was it from fraudsters? >> for various reasons like the people did not collect. the people turned back. they realize in many instances we are onto them. and we assisted getting the money back from the financial institutions. the number would be even bigger than that. on this point but unemployment insurance and ascended biden administration is asking for money to help the states and modernize and upgrade their insurance systems which should
6:46 pm
be of great benefit to the people of maryland. hundreds of thousands of people had a nightmarish time try to get unemployment benefits they were due in maryland. i do hope you will make progress on that. he is your general response to all these events that it would be better when we engage in programs like this that we do it at the national i know the national security for example spends less than 1% of their money on bureaucracy. they seem to be extremely efficient and there is further fraud. yet we have programs like this that are thrown up overnight that are ripe with fraud. should we be doing this on the national lever rather than a decentralized state-by-state way? >> i certainly think what we've seen here is more centralized appeared how far you go whether it is entirely federal there is a better balance are supported by the states had to upgrade
6:47 pm
their systems, we are now in the digital age. the local level as so many entities not right for digital age problem. people could not show up. they had to do it remotely. we were not allowing people to go out. there were lockdowns. if nothing else let's step back, figure out how to fund, support to create modernize systems that can talk to one another. that can pick up these problems early on. this should not happen. we shall have 29 states giving benefits to the same social security. >> it seems a fair and a national crisis and were allocating national benefits national programs with national safeguards and controls so we don't have people hopscotch in from state to state to rip off
6:48 pm
taxpayers in each state. i turned back to you. >> let me thank you, thank you to all of our witnesses here today. i was thinking i was asking this question about centralized process. it seems to me upfront prevented a lot from all of this. i was thinking how far we came to get away from us country's motto that were the practice more often i think a lot of what we are trying to do here.
6:49 pm
for the relief and assistance. most set out to provided we tend to do whatever we can to lessen the efficiency of the process. we said this from the very beginning we are the whatever you're doing here. you want to be efficient, effective, and equitable. it seems so much to implement this program is in violation of all of that. and therefore we have not been as effective as we should be.
6:50 pm
in the equity that should have been in this process is very. i want to thank all of you for what you are doing, what i know you're going to do i am looking forward mr. where to your report and 30 days it's now going to beat 30 days we let the committee know the subcommittee no. i'm sorry. [laughter] thirtyish. paul or his designee to make a motion to proceed to calendar number 397, s. con. res. 41, on wednesday, june 15, 2022. further, if the motion to proceed is agreed to, the senate resume consideration of calendar number 388, h.r. 3967, postcloture and upon disposition of calendar number 388, h.r. 3967, the senate resume consideration of 397,
6:51 pm
s. con. res. 41. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hassan: i ask unanimous consent that notwithstanding rule 22, at a time to be determined by the majority leader in consultation with the republican leader, the senate proceed to executive session to consider calendar number 925, allen m. leventhal to be ambassador. that upon the use or yielding back of time, the senate vote on the nomination without intervening action or debate, that if confirmed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, that any statements related to the nomination be printed in the record, that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action and that the senate resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. hassan: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 261, s. 1787. the presiding officer: the clerk will report.
6:52 pm
the clerk: calendar number 261, s. 1787, a bill to amend title 28 of the united states code to prevent the transfer of actions arising under the antitrust laws in which a state is a complainant. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. hassan: i ask unanimous consent that the lee amendment, which is at the desk, be considered and agreed to, the bill, as amended, be considered read a third time and passed, and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hassan: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 370, senate bill 407. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 370, s. 407, a bill to provide redress to the employees of air america. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the
6:53 pm
measure? without objection. mr. hassan: i further ask that the committee-reported substitute amendment be agreed to, the bill, as amended, be considered read a third time and passed and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hassan: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the consideration of s. res. 672, submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. res. 672, expressing support for the designation of may 2022 as stroke awareness month. the presiding officer: is there any objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. hassan: i ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hassan: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of s. res. 673,
6:54 pm
which was submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. res. 673, authorizing the committee on rules and administration to prepare a revised edition of the standing rules of the senate as a senate document. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. hassan: i further ask that the resolution be agreed to and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hassan: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 10:00 a.m. on wednesday, june 15, and that following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, and the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day, and morning business be closed. that upon the conclusion of morning business, the senate resume consideration of calendar number 388, h.r. 3967, further,
6:55 pm
that all time during adjournment, recess, morning business, and leader remarks count postcloture and that all time be considered expired at 11:45 a.m., further, that at 5:15 p.m., the senate execute orders with respect to proceed to calendar number 397, s. con. res. 31. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hassan: for the information of senators, there will be two votes at 11:45 a.m. and two votes at 5:15 p.m. if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until when placement 1% today at work
6:56 pm
mainly for military burn pits during their service for next week the lawmakers are expected to work on bipartisan gun legislation and executive and judicial nominations when the senate returns watch live coverage here on cspan2. >> he spent as your unfiltered view of government. funded by these television companies and more including charter communications. ♪ broadband is a force for empowerment that is why charter has invested billions, building infrastructure, upgrading technology, empowered opportunity and communities of big and small. charter is connecting us to progress charter communications promotes sees pet as a public service of these other television providers. giving you a front row seat to democracy. >> are welcome back to the program now reverend william barbour joining us ahead of the poor people's


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on