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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  June 15, 2022 10:00am-2:01pm EDT

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substances mainly from burn pits. live from the floor of the senate c-span2. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the chaplain dr. barry black will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. eternal god, every good and perfect gift comes from you alone. for with you there is no variation or shadow of turning. may we place our hope in you and never forget how you have sustained us in the past. lord, give our senators the wisdom to trust you in the small things, realizing that
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faithfulness with the least prepares them for fidelity with the much. may they trust you to do what is best for our nation and world during these challenging and turbulent times. and, lord, bless ukraine. we pray in your matchless name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington d.c., june 15, 2022. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable ben ray lujan, a senator from the state of new mexico, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: patrick j. leahy, president pro tempore. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. morning business is closed. under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of h.r. 3967. the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 388, h.r. 3967, an act to improve health care and benefits for veterans exposed to toxic substances and for other purposes.
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president. the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: american families are being crushed by giant backdoor inflation tax, and it's been fueled in large part by democrats' huge mistakes. month after month, families pick up the newspaper, flip on the television, and hear that democrats' inflation is setting new 40-year records. month after month, families find themselves shelling out hundreds upon hundreds of extra dollars per month, just to actually tread water. forget about saving and getting
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ahead. in this democrat-run economy, working americans have to shell out hundreds of extra dollars every month just to remain standing still. even when you factor in the nominal pay raises that workers have earned, the average american worker got a 3.9% pay cut, pay cut, last year due to democrats' inflation. according to the joint economic committee, inflation cost the average american household $635 last month alone. $635 in one month. for families in colorado, the combined effects of democrats' inflation and higher household spending put that number at a staggering $2825 -- a staggering $825. in arizona, it's $ 733 extra per
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month. in nevada, it's $3731. for new hampshire families, it's 653. it's $599 in washington. and $598 in georgia. everybody knows why this is. food costs are up more than 10%. year on year. gas is up nearly, listen to this, 50%. rent is at a 35-year high. and would-be homebuyers are being squeezed between high prices and soaring interest rates. in my home state, kentucky, that monthly inflation bill comes out to more than $500 every month. right before senate democrats spent $2 trillion last spring, the democratic leader said he wasn't worried, wasn't worried about the possibility of inflation. now working families are paying dearly for that incredibly bad
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judgment. i hear from hard-working kentuckians who are falling behind on home payments or late on their utility bills or cut being back -- cutting back at the grocery store, families skipping, literally skipping, summer vacation. every month, the average kentucky household now spends over $500 more than they did before the biden presidency. one of my constituents from beaver dam wrote to tell me things are looking mr. ety grim for me and -- are looking pretty grim for me and my family right now. everything is too expensive. his family was already giving up buying chickened and beef at the grocery store. next, they may have to stop making car payments. they're literally out of slack. another constituent from science hill told me his family is maxing out credit cards to stay above water. he's watching as the democrats who control congress continue, continue to advocate for more reckless spending and laments
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that washington does not appear to understand what's happening, what's happening to our heartland. a third constituent, from paint lick, is struggling, because -- clarifies she is not asking for a handout, because she doesn't believe it would help. after all, she writes, money is not free. taxpayers must pay it back. if only washington democrats had that much wisdom. if only our one-party government had exercised that much common sense back last spring. three of the most basic duties that any government owes its citizens are stable prices, public safety, and secure borders. stable prices, public safety, and secure borders. unfortunately for our country, the democrats interest struck out, struck out swinging.
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now, on a completely different matter, yesterday marked five years since the attempted nation of numerous congressmen on a baseball field across the river. the perpetrator was a far-left activist who double-checked that it was republicans on the field before he started shooting. five years on, political violence and threats are again making national headlines. the far left has spent weeks fomenting rage and panic over the possibility that one or more upcoming supreme court rulings may not deliver the liberal policy outcomes they'd prefer. last week, the authorities arrested a deranged person who traveled to washington from california with a premeditated plan to assassinate an associate justice for ideological reasons. fruit of a toxic culture that is fueled by the president breaking leak of a draft opinion last
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month and a torrent of reckless talk from prominent democrats. it took that assassination attempt and then another week of wasted, wasted time for house democrats to stop slow walking a bipartisan bill to beef up supreme court security that passed the senate unanimously more than a month ago. the same people, the same people fanning the flames of fear and anger blocked that noncontroversial bill for more than a month, more than a month, before they finally sent it to the president. meanwhile, as mobs continue to mount angry demonstrations outside these judges' private family homes, president biden's department of justice continues to assiduously ignore, ignore the fact that this is totally illegal now under existing law. section 1507 of the criminal
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code makes it perfectly clear it is flat out illegal to demonstrate at a judge's private family residence to pressure them in a pending case. that's the fact set that we have here. it's not just immoral. it's not just civically toxic. it is literally a federal crime. where is attorney general garland? as the former chief judge of the d.c. circuit, he should understand the need for judicial security and independence as well as anyone. but the same soft on crime ethos that pervades the modern democratic party apparently extends even, even to ignoring illegal pressure campaigns aimed at federal judges. two years ago a new jersey judge
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had a gunman show up to her front door in disguise and murder her son. just recently somebody murdered a retired judge in wisconsin. and then last week's near assassination. but where's president biden? he won't even denounce the ongoing protests at judges' private homes and our supposedly nonpolitical attorney general will not lift a finger, a finger to enforce existing federal law. today every republican member of the judiciary committee and i are sending another, another letter to attorney general garland. his dereliction of duty on this subject must come to an end. the far-left political violence and intimidation efforts do not
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stop with judges. in the weeks since a draft opinion suggested the court may, may overturn an abortion decision that even justice ruth bader begins urg acknowledged was poorly reasoned, a spade of vandalism threats and even arson attacks have been unleashed upon catholic churches. upon catholic churches. and pro-life pregnancy centers all around the country. in 2022 simply being a christian are being pro-life seems to be sufficient cause for angry radicals to call in threats, graffiti your door, or firebomb your office. once again president biden and his justice department have been totally silent, not a word,
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about any of this. unable to even simply denounce the hatred. the same democrats who want to make a national spectacle out of their supposed opposition to political violence will not even call out violence and intimidation from their own side let alone, let alone fulfill their oaths and put a stop to it. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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>> welcome everyone and thank you so much for joining us. i'll do introduction since i can't do better than the doctor just did. the audience today, our audience today consists of councilmembers were joining us in washington and also online virtually. any interested time i will get a quick preview of how we're going to do this. we will have conversation, i want to make sure to save enough time for your questions and your questions out in the ether, and we will go from there. sam, we are gathered here to talk about two different pressing issues, and one is the power struggle between democracies and autocracies. and the other is a massive global food crisis that's been made worse by russia's invasion of ukraine. i want to begin by asking you
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these seem like two different things. you say they are connected. why are they connected? >> first of all thank you so much for having me at thanks to richard. he said we were once colleagues. that's a little bit generous. i was an intern. [laughing] when he was a fancy -- long before he went to the council, and i will just say, i think to give young people the chance to dip their toe, a lot of people are outside thinking could i? well i? what will it be like to? and gives you it's almost like what jobs are during the summer of college or something or internships i like before real life begins and iaf creates an opportunity for people to come in and feel -- for those of us
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lucky enough to get it and so it gives you information structure to leave what you're doing to go and have that experience and figure out if we can think might be a taste for public service is an enduring one certainly that's what happened with me in getting to work with barack obama, having this kind of ability also to go to him as a first-term senator, on the senate foreign relations committee but he was the most junior member, second most junior member in the senate so he didn't have a lot of staffing so i could go to him and say i am free. somebody else is paying for it and i can look in your office. it creates opportunities that wouldn't exist otherwise, and as it happened i was very fortunate where i landed with senator obama and given his interest in foreign affairs and then of course he would decide to run for president despite having promised me when i went to work in his senate office, way too soon, i couldn't conceive of doing something like that.
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but the rest is history. i wouldn't have met any of the professional opportunities i've had incumbent working at the nsc, getting to be an ambassador and now running the same. love the program. for those of you been part of it and hope it has that sort of similar catalytic effects. that's knowledge, to know where you feel you can make a difference. there's 1000 ways to do so and hope we'll talk about some of those collaborations between the public sector and private sector over this session. look, they are linked in so many ways. for starters just any government right now, including here at home, that is enduring high fuel prices, higher food prices, writ large assorted effects of inflation, that is inherently very, very challenging as a matter of governance. we are a very developed nation
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and president biden and his domestic team each day thinking through what are the new tools we can bring to bear. well, imagine if your toolkit was a little more barren than ours is. imagine if you had no physical space. if you had were already highly indebted to china. imagine if you again elected as is the case in just to give a few examples zambia, malawi, moldova, dominican republic, these are real bright spots, if you're elected on it democratic reformers rule of law anticorruption platform, and but part of what you've said is that democracy delivers, right, which is a key message we need to make and make it such so democracy delivers and then you find yourself with again fertilizer prices skyrocketing, food prices skyrocketing and inevitably even
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if you say look this is a global phenomenon, who invaded ukraine, climate, the china debt isn't doing us any favors because we're having to pay off that debt every month instead of expanding the social safety net, whatever you say inevitably if your citizen you're looking at your leader and saying was my life better off a year ago when i had the corrupt, you know, corrupt leader who may have been hostile to the rule of law or not at all interested in fighting corruption. for those places that are really trying to buck the international trends globally it's just a very, very challenging time and we're doing everything in our power to meet them where they are. really actually incredibly grateful to congress not only for the ukraine supplemental, which is so important, which i'm sure will come to the war in ukraine but so important to the people of ukraine but also they have written the provisions around humanitarian assistance
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sufficiently broadly that we're able to use some of that assistance to deal with the cascading effects of the war in ukraine, in sub-saharan africa and beyond. additionally there are resources to seven and $60 million in food security resources that allow us to try again to make structural adjustments in our programming to try to help countries meet this very difficult moment. so bottom line is, when economic challenges proliferate as is happening now, leaders are often held accountable. when you are a progressive leader trying to reform, trying to buck these trends that's going to make your life or challenging but the truth is there are played autocratic leaders at the right now who are struggling and i think what we worry about is social unrest, which of course accompany the
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last food crisis 2007-2008 was i proliferation of protest some which gave rise to the arab spring. so really radical change in people have forgotten i think the links with food insecurity and economic grievances that people had with those mass protest, many of them again coming from a place of just being fed up with leaders who were not responded to the needs of their people so there will be that affect as well in places where authorities have tried to centralize power, which is more countries than not, and, unfortunately, the tools for impression that this countries have amassed in recent years also create great vulnerabilities for civilians who might raise their voices in a democratic way. so even if it's been democratic backsliding, tell people who are hungry that. they want to commit to the streets, still going to bed some form of accountability. >> hunger is a powerful motivator for good or for bad. >> it is. and yet with china and russia
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backing pretty brutal responses in terms of domestically and own country but also senate. i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: mr. president, we continue a productive week here on the senate floor. today, the senate will take another step closer to passing the largest veterans health care bill in decades, honoring our pact act in a few moments, the senate will vote to adopt the substitute amendment, then immediately vote on cloture of the bill, bringing us to the brink of passing this lock-sought -- long-sought piece of legislation. frankly, senate should come to an agreement to finish this work asap. we should pass this bill as soon as we can, and finally tell our veterans that the long wait for their well-earned benefits is over. let me say it again. there's no reason not to finish the pact act asap. our nation's veterans have waited long enough for this bill.
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since 9/11, nearly 3 1/2 million veterans have been exposed to toxic burn pits in the line of duty. scores of americans went off to serve our country in perfect health, only to come back home and get sick from toxic exposure. and when many of these veterans applied to the v.a. for health care benefits, they oftentimes discovered that they didn't qualify. it's a confounding indignity or our -- for our nation's heroes to sacrifice everything for our country, only to come home, get sick and discover that the v.a. ain't there for them, they have to fend for themselves. what message does it send to future veterans when we can't guarantee they will get health care benefits they rightfully deserve? that when the v.a. will not deal with injuries occurred on the battlefield because of toxic burn pits and ear issues? if -- and other issues? with the pact act we have a chance to answer that question with a resounding yes. the yes, well, if i enlist, am i
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going to really be taken care of when my service is complete? we can answer that -- have a chance to answer that question with a resounding yes. yes, we will take care of you. yes, we will make sure you can live healthy and dignified lives. yes, we will keep our promise to protect our veterans, just as they sacrificed everything for us. no great nation can dare afford to turn its back on the mult tudes who have served our country. no veteran should ever have to carry the burden of treating complications from toxic exposures all by themselves. we can change that simply with a vote on this bill. let us pass the pact act with all due haste. we have a moral obligation in the chamber to get this done. now, on the nominations front, we're moving ahead with confirming president biden's critical and well-qualified nominees. later today, we'll vote on confirmation of alan m. leventhal to serve as u.s.
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ambassador to denmark. later this week, once we've concluded the pact act, we'll also move forward on the nomination of mary boyle, consumer product safety commission. we will also -- whose confirmation would give that agency a democratic majority. we'll also soon vote to confirm another historic judicial nominee, if aun up a -- ana isabel de alba, to serve as district judge for the eastern district of california. judge de alba would be the first ever latina to serve as a federal judge in california's eastern district, joining more than 65 qualified judicial nominees this majority has confirmed under president biden i'm proud of the historic progress the senate democratic majority has made in confirming well-qualified and diverse nominees to the executive branch, independent boards and to the federal bench, and we're going to keep going. on gun safety, democrats and republicans continue
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negotiations over the legislative text for the first major gun safety bill to pass the senate in 30 years. just a few weeks ago, such an effort would seem unimaginable, as if there were any issue that encapsulates the gridlock of the past few decades, gun safety would be near the very top of the list. for too long, americans have gotten used to a frustrating pattern -- tragedies strike, families grieve, but gridlock in the senate ensues. perhaps this time, hopefully this time, it will be different. many can in this chamber are working right now in hopes that it will be different. we're not over the finish line yet, but there's a real hunger to finally accomplish what has escaped the senate for far too long, to pass meaningful gun safety reform. again, not too long ago, this debate would be hard to fathom. but despite the long odds, we gave negotiators space to do their work, and i'm glad we did, because we now have the best
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chance in decades to act on gun violence. i spoke to both senators murphy and cornyn this morning. they're eager to get a text completed. they'll be -- there will be meetings all day long in hopes that we can get the text done so we can put it on the floor as soon as possible and get it passed. if we can prevent even one death from gun violence in the future, our efforts in this moment would have been worth it. gun safety is near and dear to my heart, as you know, mr. president. three decades ago i was the proud author of the brady bill in congress, which won the support of many republicans and even law enforcement. back then, i argued we had to get something done because the american people were sick and tired of the insanity and inaction of gun violence, much as they are today. after years of trying, we succeeded back then. it wasn't on the first try. and we enacted a bill that very
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likely saved tens of thousands of lives. there are many, many people -- thousands, tens of thousands in all likelihood -- walking the streets today because we passed the brady law. today, the american people are similarly sick and fired of the insanity of gun violence happening every day across the country. just thinking about all the shootings we've suffered over the years is exhausting and debilitating. columbine, virginia, sandy hook, parkland, las vegas, orlando, el paso, charleston, atlanta, buffalo, uvalde. the list keeps going on and growing. the american people have had enough. they want us to move forward. if the senate can come up with a bill that embraces the bipartisan framework, we're going to save lives. i've promised that once the text is done, i will put it on the floor as soon as possible so i encourage my colleagues to keep working. as i mentioned, our senators on both sides of the aisle are working diligently, all day, to try and come up with a final
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text as soon as possible. we don't know the next time we'll have a chance to make meaningful progress on gun violence, so we have every reason in the world to get to yes. and now, on the elections last night, and election deniers. a year and a half after the 2020 election, donald trump's big lie is alive and well, unfortunately. last night, hard-right candidates, who believe the last presidential election was stolen, so incorrect, with no factual basis, but these people with these beliefs were elevated into the general election. many of these candidates are running in critical swing states, and running for office that will have outsized influence in managing future elections. the example of nevada's secretary of state race is especially bone-chilling. jim morchant, a far-right radical, who openly believes that the 2020 election results were illegitimate, i believes
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the big lie, and he's now running to be the top elections official in nevada. mr. marchant openly thinks donald trump should be president right now. and if he wins in november, he'll be nevada's most important election official and would pose a direct threat, a direct threat, to the democratic process in that state. he must be rejected by the people of every political persuasion. it doesn't matter if you're a democrat or republican, an independent, a liberal or conservative or moderate, democracy is at risk if we elevate individuals who don't believe in the sanctity of elections. that is the road to authoritarianism, to dictatorship. this isn't a partisan argument. undermining democracy endangers all of us, democrats, republicans, independents. if the proponents of the big lie are elected to office, they pose a direct threat to our democratic way of life.
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the january 6 hearings have made abundantly clear that even donald trump's inner circle knew the big lie was utter garbage. so it's nothing short of horrifying to see that radicals who profess the big lie are gaining strength across the country. i urge the american people to reject the credo of lies pushed by donald trump and his cronies. and whatever your party, to vote this november for men and women who will safeguard our democracy and preserve the sanctity of our elections. without it, our country could be on the road to ruin. i yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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>> if that is to be extended, sustained, locked in potential into some kind of lasting peace is going to require engagement with those who orchestrated the coalition response to the houthi take over. there's a lot of human rights business to be done, or business in the human rights and humanitarian realm that will i know be a key part of dialogue there. >> thank you. want to ask you about a striking
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doctrine that's close associated with the responsibility to protect and i want to ask you at this moment in 2022, what does r2p meet in today's term and how healthy is it on a scale of one to nanimous consent that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: mr. president, former google chairman eric schmidt, writing with jared cohen once said, and i quote, modern technology platforms are, quote, even more powerful than most people realize, and that, quote, our future world will be profoundly altered by their adoption and successfulness in societyies -- in societies everywhere. end quote. there's no question that big tech plays an ever-increasing role in our lives. i imagine most of us wouldn't
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even be able to count the number of times a day we interact with technology platforms, from checking our e-mail to spending time on social media to searching on google. and the pandemic only accelerated that trend, as our reliance on technology from everything from social connection to food increased. 0 i don't need to tell anyone that technology platforms offer lots of benefits. they are sources of information. they make it easier to stay close to distant loved ones. they allow us to shop, to conduct business, and to connect with friends and to advocate for causes that we believe in. but i also don't need to tell anyone that technology platforms have a more problematic side as well. one big problem arises from the increasing ability big tech has to shape the information we see through the use of opaque algorithms. gone are the days when you logged into facebook and just
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consumed information that had been posted since your previous log in. so they use algorithms to shape your news feed and provide suggestions for additional content, emphasizing posts that the platform thinks you'll be interested in and de-emphasizing other posts. obviously, algorithms are not all bad. most of us like it when youtube automatically plays another video by our favorite band instead of switching to something completely unrelated. but if a 15-year-old kid watches a video and then algorithms lead him down an inappropriate path, i think you can see that's a problem. a 2021 "wall street journal" investigation revealed how easy it is for young users to be bombarded with inappropriate content. people are often not aware of just how much their experience is being shaped by opaque
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algorithms. when we search for something on google, most of us don't spend a lot of time thinking about the fact that google is tailoring our results to what it thinks we want us to see what it wants us to see. but the fact of the matter is that almost all the information being presented to us by big tech platforms like social media and google is being filtered and tailored to us. and while again this can have a positive side, it can also have negative consequences ranging from political polarization to addictive behavior. as technology platforms play an evermore dominant role in our lives, i believe they should be required to make users aware of the fact that an algorithm is controlling the content they see. to that end, i've offered multiple pieces of legislation to increase big tech's transparency and to give consumers more control over their experience. my bipartisan filter bubble
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transparency act would require large-scale internet platforms to notify users that the content they are seeing has been create i for them by secret algorithms, a phenomenon that's often referred to as the filter bubble. platforms would also be required to give users the who is to switch to a version -- the choice to switch to a version that is filter bubble free. i've also introduced the pact act to shed greater light on the secretive content moderation processes internet platforms use. the pact act would require internet platforms to prepare annual reports analyzing materials they have removen from their sites. these reports would have to be made available to the public and not in intentionally complicated legalese.
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platforms would have to provide understandable versions of these reports to consumers. the pact act would require technology platforms to provide consumers with greater due process when it comes to content removed or otherwise moderated. so if facebook, for example, removed one of your posts, it would have to tell you why and would have to provide a way for you to appeal that decision. well, mr. president, today i am introducing a third piece of legislation to increase transparency and accountability at big tech. this bill is called the political bias and algorithm sorting e-mails act, otherwise known as the political bias e-mails act. the political bias e-mails act is intended to address the problem political campaigns on both sides of the aisle have faced inest going their campaign e-mails -- in getting their campaign e-mails to americans. a recent study from north carolina state university found that during the to 20 to
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election, google's e-mail, the largest in the united states, sent greater numbers of republican campaign e-mails to spam foalders while yahoo and outlook sent greater numbers of democratic e-mails to spam, albeit by larger margins. well, that's a problem. americans should have access to political communications from both parties so that they can make their own informed decisions on what candidates they wish to support. disproportionately filtering out information from candidates of one party or from a certain candidate within a particular political party, as happened during the democratic presidential primary, skews the information available to americans. and i do not believe that big tech should be deciding what information individuals receive. americans are free to opt out of whatever e-mail communications they wish, including political
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communications, but big tech should not be making that decision for them. my political bias e-mails act would prohibit e-mail services from using filtering algorithms on e-mails sent from political campaigns where the candidate is running for federal office. g-mail and other e-mail services ' in-box are a black box to consumers and they or the -- and they operate with very little accountable. my legislation would require e-mail services to submit transparency reports noting the number of e-mails from both republicans and democrats' campaigns plagued as spam as well as provide information to political campaigns on request to help ensure that voters are receiving relevant information on every candidates' policy positions. this legislation would help ensure that americans, and not big tech, emphasized not big tech, are making the decisions on what campaign communications they want to receive.
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mr. president, internet platforms have enhanced americans' lives in a umin of ways, as i've -- in a number of ways, as i've already mentioned. but as these platforms play an ever-greater role in shaping the information we receive, it isvite ago that we -- it is vital that we insist on adequate transparency and ensure that americans are given the opportunity to opt out of the filter bubble. the american people ought to be in charge of what they see, not big tech companies. and i will continue to work to advance the various bills that i have introduced to promote greater transparency in big tech. as ranking member in the subcommittee on media and broadband, i will continue to focus on ways to ensure big tech is accountable to consumers. mr. president, i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call:
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what people believe is their feet and their future. people believe the united states will be and stands for in its foreign policy and you know, if we are to ... i've made a huge investment, maybe we will talk about in the questions but retooling the democracy toolkit for the us government, working with secretary blinken and we have a fresh and i think cutting edge toolbox now which again we can talk about but that is going to be really something that when any of those tools are employed whether it's the fight against disinformation or protecting journalists who are uncovering corruption in the countries there in or any one of these tools that are meant to be responsive to
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this moment it will be really hard to be effective with all of that is we are in a world where countries question whether the united states respects and believes in a peaceful transfer of power. whether when i or secretary blinken or anybody go to a country after an election and say to an incumbent you lost, you've got to respect the results. of course, how that message is going to be hurt by the world leading democracy promoter is going to be affected by whether or not we had the national level and state level and even at the secretary state level are respecting the results of elections. so everything is connected to everything else and i think that at any disconnect there will be very very damaging
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for the broader struggle between democracy and authoritarianism that we most certainly are in the midst of right now >> at this time i would like to invite members in the iaf silos to join our conversation with your questions. someone's got a microphone read as it moved around if you're willing to tell us who your are and ask the question and we will do on this from this room and virtually.>> let's start right here. >> conservation labs and former usaid alumni. we had 50, 60 years of successes of democracy and in the last 20 years we've seen it reversed. we've seen the rise of autocracy. what is driving that rehearsal. what do we do to stop it and what role does technology play or should play in either aspect of that. >> well, you know. my 3-point play and for
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saving democracy. i mean, first and i think we could crowd source the answer to the first part of your question here and there's so many factors that you look back on first let's be honest. the complacency about you which itself you can be complacent and still do things but the complacency which led say to taking our eye off some of the vulnerabilities associated with democratization so in the belief that having more goals ultimately would mean more democratization and more peace. and the idea that history was on this inexorable large had policy consequences and we can enumerate them there's just no question. i think part of that also taking our collective
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certainly all of us had to look back and ask ourselves what more we could have done at different times but taking our eye off just how many individuals, how many humans were not benefiting from the form of globalization that we pursued. because it wasn't a passive thing. it was a set of policy choices and a very unequal distribution of benefits which left large numbers of people with buyers remorse. maybe about globalization but that's not really how you experience it. you're not really a citizen who can't afford to feed your family or really living as i said by workingtwo jobs . you don't think to yourself i'm going to blame both
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globalization, you think i'm going to blame my leader or somebody comes along and says it's democracies fall and it's too messy and democracy is truly messy as we know firsthand here someone comes along as a strong man promising order or promising the spoils of patronage or whatever. again, let's ask ourselves where the bb on that question if we were living with this full ability and to be clear it's not especially economically honorable people who are paving the way for opportunists to take advantage of that. but i do think there's a versatile soil there as well. and then and so much more one can say but trying to drive the last decade both as a model for needless to say listing under the poverty as
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a. area system and seeming to expose a flaw in the prior kind of theory of the case that you couldn't have those kinds of economic returns without democratic governance and china's own activism and russia's which is less noticed actually but beyond their borders in supporting really repressive tactics. in not being a friend of pluralism, and supplying those tools as i alluded to earlier that actually allow and indeed supplying training that allow governments to crack down. that's a factor and then in all of this, the role of social media in perpetuating lies and in allowing the consolidation of extremist views. that's you might say how does that relate to democracy but the causality of all this is very complex but it is absolutely the case that
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extremists whether isis or you know, white supremacists, murderous groups or other you know, kind of actors of that nature abroad who are actually bringing violence. when you have organizations that believe that violence is the tool of pursuing their objectives and again isis is in another order of you know, murderous nihilism or whatever but that social media and the echo chambers have provided a place where alienated people go and do get radicalized. that's both terrible in terms of all the harm and heartbreak that terrorist groups can bring about but it also is a justification when there's a proliferation of those groups it becomes a
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justification for crackdowns and for centralization of power. and an abridgment of human rights so the fact that you see now more complex that at any point since the end of the cold war that you see not only terrorist groups of the kind that strike at american citizens in american institutions but many other groups who employ those tactics. whether a local moron or alice or bob. really murderous groups. then you know, you start to see government saying this is not the time for democracy or this is not the time for aspect of human rights. we have to deal with these movements and there's a lot of popular support for that given the horrors that those very extreme terrorist groups in post. saw a lot of differentfactors . i don't know what to do about it -four democracies to
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deliver is important and i've already answered to break a life of first part of your question but to say there has to be more of an economic dividend when you have performer bucking the trend of 16 years of freedom. i offered the names of a few countries but it can be public-sector financing alone. we need the private sector to care that there's a democratic opening somewhere and there's plenty of money to be made so it's not charity but it does require potentially thinkingabout countries in the queue and where you want to look at making investments . we at usaid are trying to work more closely with the world bank and other international financial institutions with the development finance corporation that can bring far greater resources with the ncc which has been doing this for some time of trying to rent leverage its assistance in a better
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direction in terms of governance . there are a lot of tools there but that connection between democracy and development in a way is the kind of car layer to the old idea which is that you couldn't develop economically without democracy. that china said yes we can. so the call to that is when you have a democratic government or move in a more liberalizingdirection , economic development and economic dividends need to follow. i would say that emphasis can be important at least in meeting these first couple of causes and the last thing i'd say is that the meme of democracies decline does nobody any favors and one of the reasons the stakes of the ukraine war are incredibly high i think is not only these innocent people minding their own business getting ravaged and steel rained down on them just out of gratuitous brutality with
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slow justification, that's terrible and needs to be repudiated also i think already you seem how the democratic world as rally in unprecedented ways at least since the end of the cold war we haven't had any kind of galvanizing moments or phenomenon like this and if you know, and you start especially when the battle of kyiv was won by ukrainian forces and the sense of rejuvenation that gives the idea of democracy. the practical effects of protecting ukraine's sovereignty and freedom is caused enough but collaterally the effects are very real and again it only deepens the importance of us maintaining the kind of commitment we're making now and ensuring that others do the same we got i think 10
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minutes. unless we got extra time we will try to take three more questions, maybe four. can we do one virtually and we will come back we will take the next question from mark hatfield. >> i'm mark hatfield with the jewish refugee agency. a report which highest and voice really waiting for the site to close these to the regional impact of the ukrainian war on women and girls as you know make up the vast majority of or simply displaced persons. my first question is how do you see usaid's role in supporting the role of recovering and rebuilding and my second question, hyuss prioritized funding of women led organizations in the region and our sister organization in ukraine which happens to be named are to be. can you share more about usaid plans for response including your plans for a consortium agreement with an ngo as an umbrella for
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funding to local partners? >> thank you. first things, thanks for your great work and not only in the ukraine context but also helping atkins and others settle in this country as we get our refugee numbers of to keeping with the great american tradition of welcoming people who are fleeing persecution and thanks also to what you're doing in europe and supporting european countries that are as you say dealing with not only unprecedented numbers of incoming vulnerable people what an unprecedented demographic. the fact that it is more than 90 percent women and kids that the women have left behind their men of fighting age. that in being sold parents,
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that makes it very difficult for them to work. and i think first of all the shock and trauma they're carrying, there are greater protection risks to those people coming across and we've seen i think a dramatic increase in the production infrastructure to try to prevent trafficking and come across the border and you just come out of some horror show in maybe gotten out of merry opal and you come across somebody there at the trainstation saying i'm here to help you . how do you know whether to trust and it's again an increase in present and alertness to this rest but it took some time to scale up. in terms of the agency of women and girls it has to be a filter through which not just our humanitarian programming or recovery programming, it's but all of our programming. i think what the way
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assistance generally tends to flow is you tend to have your assistance writ large and your programs to empower women and girls. and we're trying to change that. we're trying to ensure when you have a humanitarian program which you're working with the world food program or workingwith ukrainian red cross , that the engagement entails using the leverage of having that program to ensure that beneficiaries are centerstage but also that women are involved in identifying those beneficiaries. and of course that has become much more challenging in places like afghanistan but you don't get any policy pushback in ukraine and indeed in ukraine as you know because so many men are fighting, women and girls are finding themselves inside ukraine on the front lines of helping internally displaced people running, trafficking
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or sexual violence, sexual abuse hotlines which are flooded with calls given the way in which rate and sexual violence has been used as a weapon of war by so many russian forces so i think de facto anyway just because of where men are right now women and girls are in those roles but for us it needs to be again on the mental to all our programming to be looking to empower women and girls and ensure their voices are central to even programdesign as we move forward . in terms briefly of localization this is a priority of mine . it's surprised people who don't track perhaps foreign assistance but just a very tiny present under 10 percent of foreign assistance goes to local organizations. it's really surprising and something we absolutely have
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to fix. you won't be able to fix it quickly. i wish it were otherwise there's no magic want here. working with an agency like usaid is hard. there are tons of safeguards to guard against fraud waste and abuse that have grown up over a long time. so if you're a local ngo in ukraine or anywhere else either you're going to have a general counsel's office and accounting firm. so the rules we have in place are not meant topenalize local organizations but of course they're going to have an impact on those organizations . i didn't say how far. it's even more stunning but anyway we set a goal of getting that number up to at least 25 percent but one thing we can do much more quickly which gets to the first part of your question is we have a goal of 50 percent at least of what we were doing in other countries in codesign, evaluated with local actors at the table
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centrally involved in deciding is what we're trying to do actually happening and do we need to adjust? that's in a way hopefully we can move more quickly to get to that integration even as we tried to cut down the sludge inherent in working with your statement and on the consortium in ukraine specifically it's $100 million consortium. the first one anyway with mercy where we're encouraging mercy to seek out relationships with local organizations. ukrainian organizations and what were doing on usaid, we work with local organizations in a very significant way and have in the more than 20 years we've been active in ukraine especially in an intense eight years, so we know that the local development partners, local ukrainian organizations would be great to work within the humanitarian space, that
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isn't necessarily done and we don't want to do diver them from their anticorruption work or supporting women and girls or displaced people in other kind of longer-term ways i think steering those international organizations that we are parting partnering with towards that universe of local groups that we have traditions of working with in other areas. if that is a planet that they want to make because so many organizations are pending because there wasn't up example like this anytime before but that's the kind of thing i think that the mercy corps consortium allows us to have flexibility to bring the local partners in and why does local matter -mark because we want to work ourselves out of jobs no country wants to be the system and get if we work primarily through you as large of the international organizations when they leave a lot of that institutional
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knowledge and know-how leaves whereas if we make the investments with local organizations to begin with in ukraine and well beyond a much moreenduring contribution . >> we're going to do at least one more @. >> you're wearing your mask, yes. >> why do you take three and i'll try to pivotally ... >> we will do three questions and then to answerall . >>. >> caller: i'm the deputy director for technology and usaid and my question for you is how do you respond when high lateral multilateral partners express discomfort or bulk when we call out specific countries by name as being undemocratic or authoritarian? >> great question. question two. okay, yes. >> of food security question.
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you quickly mentioned some parts of the toolkit for increasing domestic production. you talked about seeds and fertilizer. you didn't say anything about the toolkit or increasing regional and global trade and my question is have we learned some things from the 2007, 2008 food crisis to help us balance those toolkits? >> and yes. >> next time our auditor comes in can i say that you call it sludge? that would be helpful. my question to make up on the other thing is as a journalist when you bogged down getting the information out was the thing that would make a difference in the world that does social media but also disinformation and sharp power. you guys are doing a lot and we're working with you to do more but is it is journalism enough to make a difference when we see the aggression in ukraine it's a great
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challenge globally and disinformation is. >> so in order. on first the bilateral partners who aren't crazy about democracy generally or accountability to democratic standards or beingcalled out as you put it . i guess what i'd say and first thank you for your work . but i think that we had the facts structurally on our side. what those leaders you might be destroying rental believe is that usaid is sort of menu of programs should be a menu. we want, we really love this economic competitiveness program. we'd like 20 million vaccines and are grateful for your malaria work but none of this anticorruption work.
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we don't want that, we didn't sign up for that. it's the cafeteria, we get to pull this item. it's not going to work. where not going to be able to distract the private sector and grow your economy if you are attacking the supreme court judges or firing people who are getting too close to individuals within your own circle who are pilfering resources from the state. our case, our structural case is that development is the three legs on the stool. and security, economic growth and opportunity of course which again every leader is focused on. and then governance, human rights, the rule of law. we have to keep showing and not just telling that and offering examples of where we again can actually support governance in delivering the
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social services they want because when citizens. >>
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to toxic substances as a result of burn pits. as a this exposure is known to cause serious illness, including rare cancers and respiratory ailments. those suffering deserve to know they have not been forgotten and their voices have been heard. the promise our nation made to the men and women who served in these dangerous conditions must be kept. this bill fulfills that promise and delivers immediate access to health care for toxic exposed veterans. it directs the v.a. to evaluate diseases for presumption of service connection and streamlines the process for toxic-exposed veterans seeking disability compensation for their illnesses without
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overwhelming the v.a. system. the sergeant first class heath robinson pact act also invests in the tools and resources to help the v.a. process disability claims in a timely manner and deliver a quality health care to veterans living with toxic exposure illnesses. with this measure, we continue to correct past failures of the v.a. to provide health care and benefits to previous generations exposed to agent orange as well. these challenges have existed for daca -- decades and it's tie deliver our promises to vietnam era veterans. it will help l bill rhodes, a p marine who served in thailand during the vietnam era.
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mr. rhodes has been a relentless advocate of toxic-exposure benefits. the v.a. accepts that herbicides were used along the perimeter of military bases in thailand, but does not recognize the impact of the herbicides inside the perimeter. this current policy makes no sense and is not fair. preventing veterans like mr. rhodes from accessing benefits as a result of toxic composure. after developing illnesses linked to herbicide exposure, mr. rhodes turned to the v.a. for help, but his claim was denied. i've been working with him for several years to advance supervision that corrects this mistake, and i'm pleased that this act eliminates the bureaucrat hurdles that have stood in the way of veterans getting the care they earned. this legislation is the result
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of bipartisan cooperation. we can achieve great things for our country when we put partisan politics aside. i appreciate the leadership of chairman tester and ranking member moran to get this bill to the senate floor. i'm proud to work with them to address these pressing needs that face our veterans and their families. i would also like to recognize and thank the countless veterans, the families, and advocates and veteran service organizations who continued their persistence to ensure congress fulfills its promise to the men and the women who served in our nation's uniform. this legislation is long overdue. we've heard the struggles of veterans and their families living with toxic-exposure related illnesses. we can end the hurdles they experience and save lives by passing this landmark legislation. i encourage my colleagues to join me in supporting it.
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and with that, mr. president, i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from kansas. mr. moran: mr. president, thank you. i ask unanimous consent that i be allowed -- let me first take us out of the quorum call. i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. moran: thank you. now i ask unanimous consent that i be allowed to speak up to five minutes followed by the senator from montana, senator tester, for five minutes prior to the scheduled roll call vote. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. moran: mr. president, thank you for the opportunity to address the united states senate and the american people. in a few moments the senate will vote on the tester-moran sergeant first class heath robinson honoring our pact act. far too long, way far too long our nation's veterans have been living with chronic illnesses as a result of exposures during their time in uniform. today we are continuing to take
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the steps necessary to right this wrong. with our legislation that will provide veterans and their families with the health care and the benefits they've earned and that they deserve. in march, secretary macdonough testified before our committee, the senate committee on veterans' affairs, and he stated that the house toxic exposure bill needed additional work before being brought to the full senate for a vote. because of the improvements we have made in the house bill, the v.a. secretary yesterday told our committee that he can now, quote, certify this legislation will be implemented without negative operational impacts on existing disability claims for health care and for veterans. all along i've had concern about the consequences of this legislation and the volume of cases that will now, the v.a. will now encounter, what it may mean for those veterans as well as veterans who need v.a. care and benefits who are not toxic exposed.
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secretary macdonough yesterday went on to say, quote, we're ready for it. we've been preparing for this, and i think we can do this and do it well, and in all cases do it transparently. while i appreciate the secretary's assurance, our committee must continue its oversight of the v.a. and make certain this bill is implemented correctly and that all those with toxic exposure and all veterans can rely upon the system for benefits and for health care. we still have our work cut out as a congress, as a senate to make sure that the promises that are made in this bill are promises that are kept, and the promises that are made to other veterans are kept. this bill was designed to fix a broken system that has been cobbled together over decades of patchwork fixes. congress has been trying to solve these problems, the department of veteran affairs has been trying to solve these problems and finally we bring
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together a solution that should make things better for many. while i continue to insist my g.o.p. colleagues should be allowed to offer and debate and vote on amendments adds, it is time to advance the tester-moran substitute and bring us closer to providing all toxic exposed veterans with the care they need and deserve and provide veterans with certainty and support. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. tester: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from montana. mr. tester: mr. president, i want to start my remarks by expressing my appreciation for ranking member moran's leadership. it has been stellar. if you combine him with senator boozman and senator heinrich, it has been a great team. i just want to thank senator moran for his leadership and his continued, his continued desire
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to do the right thing for the servicemembers who have served this you country in the military. mr. president, the senate has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity today to make history in passing the sergeant first class heath robinson act. let me be clear, this bill isn't about democrats versus republicans, it's not about political posturing. it's about americans standing up for those who have served and sacrificed on behalf of this country and the freedoms that we have today. in fact, it's even more than that. it's about righting a wrong that has been ignored for too damned long. it's about will thompson who served our country for 23 years in the army on active duty as a west virginia national guardsman. after his second tour in iraq in 2009, will developed pulmonary fibrosis from the effects of exposure fo burn pits and he
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endured two double lung transplants. he testified in front of our committee less than a year ago. he lost his battle with his illnesses this last december. it's about sergeant first class heath robinson who went to kosovo with the national guard. he was exposed to potent toxins and 13 years after his deployment, 13 short years after his deployment, he lost his life to a rare auto immune lung disease and lung cancer, absolutely caused by burn pits. sadly it's too late to do right by will and heath and so many others, for them personal, but today this body has the right to do the right thing for awr
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all-vol -- our all-volunteer military by advancing the sergeant first class heath robinson act. i want to talk a little bit about this. see the picture of heath in uniform. but you also see what's the most important thing to heath, and that's his daughter. his daughter was at a press conference that the ranking member and i were at a little over a week ago and i said this when i first spoke on this bill a little over a week ago, the first words out of her mouth were, i love my daddy. daddy's not around anymore. but because hopefully the work that we're going to do here today, she will have a future. this is not only about our service men and women, the people who served in the -- in our military, it's about their families. because when folks go to war, it's not just the service person who does it, it's everybody in their family. and what this bill will do is it
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will address decades of inaction and failure by our government, expanding eligibility for health care to combat veterans exposed to burn pits. it removes the burden of proof for 23 presumptive conditions caused by toxins. these conditions include cancers to lung disease and it establishes a framework for the establishment of future presumptions of service-connections related toxic exposure to give the v.a. the ability to bolster workforce and establish claims processing. there's always a cost to war and that cost is never fully paid when the war ends. our country didn't live up to the promise of veterans like will thompson or heath robinson, but if we do what senator moran
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and i have done and that is put politics aside, if we put our american men and women's bravest first, if we can begin settling our debts to millions of other veterans and their families by getting this bill across the finish line, we'll have done something great. and i would urge my colleagues to support this final procedural vote and a vote that is critical to moving this bill forward. mr. president, i would ask unanimous consent that the remaining pending amendments be withdrawn with the exception of the substitute amendment numbered 5051. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. tester: with that, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: all postcloture time has expired. the question is on the amendment. mr. tester: i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: the yeas are 84. the nays 15. and the amendment is agreed to. the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion, we, the undersigned senators in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate do hereby move to bring to a close debate on calendar number 388, h.r. 3967, an act to improve health care and benefits for veterans
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exposed to toxic substances and for other purposes signed by 17 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is, is it the sensn h.r. 3967, an act to improve health care and benefits for veterans exposed to toxic substances and for other purposes shall be brought to a close. the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: on this vote the yeas are 76, the nays are 23. three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn having voted in the affirmative, the motion is agreed to.
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a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. markey: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, on monday these chambers will be empty, but our hearts will be full because we will be joining the american people in commemorating an historic moment in our nation's story -- juneteenth, the formal end of slavery in the united states. one year ago today we stood together across party lines to pass this legislation to memorialize this important day as a federal holiday. though we celebrate this
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anniversary today, on monday communities across our nation have been marking juneteenth for more than 150 years. the celebration of juneteenth dates back to june 19, 1865, when union soldiers, led by major general gordon granger traveled to galveston, texas, with the announcement that the civil war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. this was two and a half years after the date of president lincoln's emancipation proclamation, either the news had not reached many or local officials refused to enforce the emancipation proclamation. decades later, i introduced, along with my partners in service, senators booker and
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smith and sheila jackson lee, the emancipation act to honor those who took their first steps in freedom and finally made juneteenth a federal holiday. i was honored to stand with vice president harris, senator cornyn, senator warnock and opal lee while the president signed the juneteenth independence act into law. why do i mention opal lee? she is the grandmother of the juneteenth movement who fought for years to make juneteenth a federal holiday from fort worth, texas, an activist, an educator who walked two and a half miles every day fighting for the united states to finally have juneteenth a federal holiday and
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at the age of 94, she saw that become a reality in the white house. and in doing so, juneteenth finally took its rightful place amongst other federal holidays so that all americans and all states can celebrate juneteenth just like they celebrate memorial day, the same way they celebrate martin luther king day, they now celebrate juneteenth. juneteenth is a holiday requires us to remember, reflect, recommit to the principles that ungird our nation, liberty and justice for all, but we have never fully embodied. we continue to strive to live up these principles today, systemic discrimination of black and brown americans permeates our criminal justice system, our schools, our health care systems. that's why it is so important to
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learn from our past and honor the -- honor those. we face a long road towards justice and equality in the united states. and for us to move forward that path must be lit with the recognition of our nation's history. juneteenth is our nation's history, disparities reflect the unfulfilled promise of a nation built upon the notion that all people are created equal and it has roots in our nation's original sin, slavery, a crime against humanity that we have for far too long acknowledged or addressed. in commemorating juneteenth as a federal holiday, we will not fulfill our obligation to right all these wrongs or fix what remains broken, but it is the truth of our history. we must read these missing chapters to understand our national story of freedom and
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independence. and right now in red states across the country, extremists don't want us to learn from our own history. they're burning books and threatening school teachers in an attempt to stop our young people from understanding our nation's past and how it sheds light on our present. these extremists are afraid that learning about our nation's history, including many dark chapters, as well as the many triumphs is a threat and instead of empowering our children to learn from their example, they wish to silence the stories of the brave men and women who fought for racial equality and those who continue to fight today follow in that tradition. critics say that this discourse will divide us, but that couldn't be less true. more than 150 years since the freeing of the last slaves in america, our nation stands at a
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crossroads on our path to racial justice and equality, we must recognize our wrongs, acknowledge the pain, acknowledge the suffering of generations of slaves and their descendants and understand the structures of inequity that continue to oppress communities of color and importantly learn how the freedom fighters of yesterday and today embody the truest values of our nation. we have them to thank for our march towards a more perfect union. but there is more work to be done. as ms. opal lee said when talking about juneteenth as a unifier, i believe we can do so much more together rather than apart. together, thanks to the work of this chamber, and so many americans across the nation who fought to tell the full story of
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our past, americans will commemorate juneteenth on monday. in doing so, we will join with one another in honoring our past and recommitting to the work which lies ahead. thank you, mr. president. and i yield the floor.
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she was an international affairs fellow here in 2000, 2001 working for a little-known senator named barack obama. her career captures the essence of the program she's gone back and forth among governments, academia and journalism . she answered with the united nations, is a founding member of the car center and also authored several books at least one of which i believe has won a pulitzer so it's a real pleasure for us to welcome here today and it's a pleasure samantha and i go back decades . presiding today will be margaret collins. margaret is the managing editor for politics at axioms and also is a political analyst at cnn among other
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things in the past she was the senior white house correspondent for bloomberg news and she's a past president of the white house correspondents association so you are an extraordinarily good hands with the administrator and with margaret and i want to thank them both today and again welcome youall to this symposium at the council on foreign relations . [applause] >> thank you richard. thank you ambassador power. [laughter] welcome everyone and thankyou for joining us . i'll skip the introductions since i can't do better than
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doctor austin did. the audience today consists of councilmembers joining us in washington in this room and also onlinevirtually . in the interest of time i just will give you a quick preview of how we're going to do this. we will have a conversation and i want to make sure there's enough time for your questions and your questions and we will go from there. sam, we are gathered here to talk about 2 different pressing issues. and one is a power struggle between democracy and autocracy and the other is a massive global food crisis that's been made worse by russia'sinvasion of ukraine but i want to begin our discussion by asking two distinctly different things, you say they're connected, why are they connected ? >> first of all thanks for having me andthanks to richard . he said we were once colleagues that's a little bit generous
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. i was an intern when he was a fancy associate of the carnegie and dominant and i will just say if i can say a word about the iaf program. i think to give young people the chance to dip their toe. a lot of people are outside thinking what would it be like and it gives you, it's almost like what jobs are during the summer of college orsomething . internships are like before real life begins. it creates an opportunity for people to come in and feel, it's a program obviously those of us lucky enough to get it it's kind of gives you a permission structure to leave what you're doing to go and have that experience and figure out if what you think might be a case or an
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enduring one and certainly that's whathappened with me in getting to work with barack obama , having this kind of ability also to go to him as a first term senator. the most second most junior member in the senate so we didn't have a lot of staffing so somebody else is paying for it and i think it creates opportunities that wouldn't otherwise. and as it happens, i was very fortunate where i landed with senator obama given his interest in foreign affairs and of course he decided to run for president despite having promised me when i went. >> way too soon, i couldn't conceive of doing something like that . but the rest is history. i wouldn't have done gotten any of the opportunities i had working at the nsc and had the privilege of running usaid. love the program, congrats to you and i hope it has
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catalytic effects in affirming, repudiating. that's knowledge to to know where you feel you can make a difference. there is 1000 ways to do so and i hope we will talk about those cooperations over the course of the discussion. but there linked in so many ways . i mean for starters just any government right now including here at home that is enduring high fuel prices, higher food prices writ large sort of effects inflation. that is inherently veryvery challenging . we are very developed nation and president biden and his domestic team have been thinking through what are the new tools we can bring to bear? imagine if the toolkit was a more barren than ours is . imagine if you had no
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physical state, imagine if you were highly indebted to china. imagine if you had been elected as is the case to give a few examples in zambia, malawi, dominican republic. if you're elected as a democratic reformist, rule of law anti-corruption platform but part of what you have said is democracy delivers which is the key message that we need to make and make it such. democracy delivers then you find yourself with you know, again prices skyrocketing. and inevitably even if you say look, there's a global phenomenon, putin has invaded ukraine and the china debt isn't doing us any favors because we're having to pay off that debt every month instead of expanding the social safety net.
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whatever you say if you're as citizen you're looking at your leader and saying is my life better off a year ago when i had a corrupt and a corrupt leader who may have been hostile to the rule of law and not interested in fighting corruption . is it for those places that are trying to buck the anti-democratic trends globally it's just a very very challenging time and we are doing everything in our power to meet them where they are and it's really incredibly grateful to congress not only for the ukraine supplemental which is so important and i'm sure we will come to the war in ukraine but it's also written the provisions around humanitarian assistance sufficiently broadly that we are able to use that assistance to deal with the cascading effects of the war in ukraine in sub-saharan africa and beyond and additionally there are resources nearly 760 million
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dollars in food security resources that allow us to try again to make structural adjustments in our programming. to help countries meet this difficult moment so bottom line is when economic challenges proliferate and as is happening now, leaders are often held accountable. when you're a progressive leader trying to reform, trying to buck these trends that's going to make your life more challenging but the truth is there are plenty of autocratic leaders out there now who are struggling and we worry the people we worry about is social unrest which of course the company's last crisis 2007 2008 we saw the proliferation of protests in the arab spring so radical change and people have forgotten i think the links with food insecurity and the economic grievances people had with those mass protests
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many of them coming from a place of just being set up with leaders who weren't responsive to the needs of their people so there will be that effect as well in places where authorities can try to centralize our which is more countries than not. and unfortunately the tools for repression that those countries amass in recent years also create great vulnerabilities or civilians who might raise their voices in a democratic way so even if there's been democratic backsliding people are hungry for that. they're going to come out and demand some form of accountability. >> food is a powerful motivator for good or bad. >> yet with china and russia, backing pretty brutal responses to domestically and in their own countries but also globally it is a different situation from 14 years ago where the tools of surveillance, the tools of
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repression have really again proliferated and so you can see pretty significant brutality also in response to those efforts to demand greater security from governments in light of the food crisis sovery volatile . >> we're just going to have to suspend food assistance for 70 million people. in the greatest time of hunger in 11 years. but i'm wondering how you look at that in the context of domestic politics. in november there's a potential changing of the guard in control ofcongress and the house . there are a number of politicians particularly in the republican party who say the us should be spending less on foreign aid because there's so many problems at home. can you step in where the
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world food program can't and how do you think about the challenges that there's a change in political control in washington? >> i'd say first of all the world food program's money, most of it the majority of it comes from the united states so that is usaid's prime partner. i think the challenge for the food world work program is we the united states face which is where in a sea of need. what is the right allocation and i guess we have this infusion of resources from congress and we can't express how grateful we are and bipartisan to your political question but how do you also paste your self knowing that the needs now are going to be dramatically greater even just by september and i think just for a second to give you
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one example of that, kenya, somalia and ethiopia there are 50.7 million people today dependent on food assistance along the lines of that which is provided. it's again to american funding. that number is likely to increase by 20 million people in those three countries, ethiopia and somalia and i'm not even getting to south sudan and so many other parts of sub-saharan africa and beyond. i think looking at the universe of need, we just announced $331 million for funding the americas last week in food assistance and food security money for the americas. that's the northern atmosphere. the images of severe hunger and malnutrition in ethiopia famine back in the day or with somalia places us in
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great need. so to do guatemala and honduras where high prices have settled the population in hunger and food needs. so again, we have additional resources to bring to bear on some of these things this week about the situation in south sudan and what more we can do to stave off that risk of having to cut people off on food assistance. we need other donors to be more, that helps us as well. we talked to senator mcconnell not that long ago and you know, it was in the context of this huge supplemental which we know we're going to burn through quickly given the scale of need but now it's one of the main messages is help us tell the story in our caucus, help
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us tell the story back in our district about how we leverage our resources to get countries to do more and unfortunately right now there are many devastating aspects of the war in ukraine but one that is probably less talked about or less focused on even in a community like this one is that with the flow of refugees six or 7 million refugees into europe the funding for caring for those ukrainians is actually coming out of overseas development assistance in humanitarian budgets so every dollar spent in europe and the number countries could have done it either way. i'm sure it would have its own trade-offs and be very difficult as we know firsthand here but what it means is that we adjust the time of this arguably unprecedented food crisis you're seeing a lot of the key donors scaling back if you can believe it development in humanitarian assistance like sub-saharan
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africa and that comes on the heels of the bush government making significant cuts from their traditional very substantial so to your point about flipping. again, it's not for me to weigh in on politics. of course we watched carefully. i will say that thanks in part to david beasley and his former republican governor of south carolina, thanks to attorney graham, i was with rob portman talking about these issues. there is a core gop senators especially on the house side of congressman mccall and others who feel both compassion towards people who are hungry and face food needs but also see this is a critical sort of tool in the toolbox of american foreign policy and that americans show of generosity and
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ingenuity as we have on covid vaccinations have become more complicated but we had a year of winning hearts and minds as well as investing in our is in zone health by getting shots into arms and doing so with a state-of-the-art vaccine and so to hear when people come in with drought resistant seeds or precision fertilizer expertise so people can get more yields using those fertilizers so they can conserve in light of the high prices or just with the assistance of this nature that is you know, i really really powerful show of what america is in the world at the time when to your point about the connection with democracy and authoritarianism, where china is coming in and often still writing big checks on infrastructure but also saddling countries with debt from which it takes generations to recover. >> they're trying to will the
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world on its own terms. >> i think there's an argument to be made no matter who's in power or who's down in washington and i think it's one that has you see actually from the administration that preceded hours , where everybody expected and i think the trump administration in its own
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laws. but that means 31 states have other crisis intervention initiatives that are designed to address the same problem which is people who are a danger to themselves and others because of their mental health. it includes things like assisted outpatient treatment programs, drug courts, mental health courts, and veterans courts. the other issue that we are wrestling with relates to the
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domestic violence provision and the way nontraditional relationships are handled. we need to define this in a very crystal clear way. it can't be overly broad or open to interpretation. it needs to be something that can actually be applied because we're talking about very serious consequences here. of course, with both of these provisions, we must include rigorous due process protections. that's a red line for folks on my side of the aisle. i know senator schumer, the majority leader, wants to put this bill on the floor next week. but unless we can resolve these differences over these two provisions and do it soon, hopefully today, then we won't have time to prepare the text so senators can read the bill for themselves which we would expect them to do. so that's going to require some continued work and good faith
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negotiations on all sides. the details of these provisions are critical for support from my colleagues on this side of the aisle, and i hope our colleagues across the aisle will understand if we continue down this path without resolution, that we're jeopardizing the timetable that the majority leader has set out for us or we're jeopardizing the likelihood we can get to 60 votes for anything. and we know how hard this is. i'm eager to wrap up our negotiations, but we're not going to cut corners or capitulate for the soul purpose of passing something. i'm not willing to compromise on some of my basic principles or throw the constitution out the window so we can have something we can hold up and say look what we did. there's a bipartisan appetite to get things -- get this done. that's good. and i'm optimistic about how far
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we've come. but we're not there yet and we need to continue and do so quickly to reach an agreement on language so we can then write the text and have the vote. from the outset i said i want to identify targeted reforms that could have prevented the recent tragedies in uvalde and elsewhere. that includes stronger mental health resources which could have helped salvador ramos before he became so sick that he killed innocent children and he committed suicide essentially in the process. that will includes school safety measures which could have prevented the shooter from actually getting inside robb elementary school. and it includes reforms to prevent violence by criminals and other dangerous individuals.
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the national instant criminal background check system is one of the most effective tools we have to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and people who suffer from severe mental illness. but it's not a perfect system. it's only as good as the information contained in the system. for example, 2017, the shooting at sutherland springs, a little town outside of san antonio, texas, my hometown, what happened there highlighted the gaping hole in the background check system. despite the fact that the shooter had a long and disturbing history of violence that should have been -- should have prohibited him from purchasing a gun, he was able to do so, because the air force, in this instance, had not uploaded his felony convictions, his domestic violence conviction, nor his mental health commitment. in response to sutherland springs, senator murph


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