tv U.S. Senate U.S. Senate CSPAN June 23, 2022 9:59am-1:59pm EDT
colleagues to work together to pass this legislation and encourage the house of representatives to quickly, to quickly do the same and send it to the president to be signed into law. but know this, the bottom line is that our work to save lives and protect public safety must not end here. we must continue to come together and address this very real threat that is hurting communities all across our country. and when we face difficult challenges and crises here in our country, we persevere because we ultimately come together as one. let's channel this spirit and come together for every american for before the next family, the next community is shattered. mr. president, i yield the floor. >> on this thursday morning, the u.s. senate is about to
gavel in for the day. today senators are expected to continue working on the anti-gun violence bill to expand for buyers 21 and younger and provide red flags and gun prevention loss. taking place at 11:30 eastern, 60 votes are needed. live coverage of the senate on c-span2. mighty god, the source of all life and the light of all seeing, lift our thoughts to the greatness of your majesty. may we strive to do right by trusting you completely. lord, judge our thoughts and desires leading us with your love and faithfulness.
today, teach our lawmakers to love in the presence of hate, to forgive in the presence of injustice, and to illuminate in the presence of darkness. lord, may the promise of your love be experienced in all of their relationships. be for us all a helper and a shelter in the time of storm. we pray in your righteous name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty
and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c., june 23, 2022. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable jacky rosen, a senator from the state of nevada, 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 is reserved. morning business is closed. under the previous order, the senate will proceed to executive session and resume consideration of the motion to discharge the clarke nomination, which the clerk will report. the clerk: motion to discharge jessica g.l. clarke of new york to be united states district
in the gallery right now listening to the senate debate bipartisan safer communities act. it's one of my interns. her name is sarah kaufman. i'm glad to have her as an intern in my office this summer, but she has a story to tell because she is a survivor of a mass shooting. she was a student at marjory stoneman douglas high school when a gunman entered that campus and shot and killed her friends, her classmates. she reminds us that she went to
more funerals in a matter of a week the many adults do in their entire lifetime. she was in debate class when the shooting started and she ran for her life, as did hundreds of other survivors of that horrible day. no student in america should have to experience what she went through. no young person should have the burden that she bears to come to washington and argue for changes that will make sure other students don't go through the same thing. and no parent should have to go through the grief that parents day after day do. mass shooting after mass shooting, urban homicide after urban homicide, as we lose a generation of kids, of young people in this nation to an epidemic of gun violence. that can be stopped by better public policy. i have been on this floor
hundreds of times pleading with my colleagues to do something. and i am so grateful that senator cornyn, senator tillis, and a handful of their colleagues on the republican side this time stood up and sat down with senator sinema, myself and other democrats to find the common denominator. i am here on the floor to talk a little bit more about what our piece of legislation does, but i agree with senator sinema. this is a moment where we had shown this country what is possible here in the united states senate. i talked last night about the fear that families in connecticut and all across the country felt in the wake of buffalo and uvalde and that twin fear about what fate awaited their children, but also what fate awaited our democracy if we
were unable to rise to this moment to deal with this existential challenge, the loss of life in schools and shopping malls, in supermarkets. and while this compromise was hard earned, every single day of the last four weeks proved to me what can happen in this body if we decide to come out about political corners. and let me say that this moment that we are in today on the precipice of passing the most significant piece of anti-gun violence legislation in the last 30 years would not be possible if it were not for senator sinema. would not be possible if it wasn't for her decision to sit down and help us find a path to what was possible. but it is also clear that without the leadership of senator cornyn who has been through way too many of these tragedies in the state, and senator tillis, a strong
supporter of second amendment rights, but also someone who believes in this place finding a way to that common denominator, this they wouldn't be possible either. so i want to talk for a few moments about what this bill does. because there will be a lot of folks that focus on what it doesn't do. certainly doesn't do all the things i think are necessary to in the epidemic of gun violence in this nation. but it will save thousands of lives, , there's no doubt about that, in my mind. and, in fact, i can make the argument that every single one of the provisions in this bill, in and of themselves will save thousands of lives. we don't get to do that very often in this place. we don't get the chance very often to best pieces of legislation that have this kind of impact, and so if you want to focus on what's not in this legislation you can, it's your
prerogative, but of what to spend a few minutes talking about the difference this legislation will make in people's lives. senator sinema, senator cornyn have rightly focused and i put it right at the top this major historic investment in mental health access. was not made a secret in my belief that you can't solve america's gun violence epidemic simply through mental health funding but there is no doubt that there is an intersection, and there is no doubt that our mental health system is just broken, period, stop, whether you believe that is in the intersection with america's gun violence epidemic. there are far too many kids and adults in crisis in this country who cannot get access to mental health services. in my state kids get stacked up in emergency rooms, and always waiting days if not weeks or inpatient beds. $11 billion in this bill to unlock pathways of treatment for kids and adults, all across this country.
funding and is built for school and community safety, $2 billion to make our school safer, not just through better door locking mechanisms but also in programs inside these schools back and try to identify kids in crisis early, building supported school environments that cut down on the pathways to violence. but also money for community banks interventions, what we called violence indirection programs. we have them in connecticut where you will intervene when a shooting victim comes to the hospital. you will make sure that incident doesn't spiral into retributive violence in the community. funding for school, safety and kennedy safety in this bill. and then the parts of the bill that probably get the most attention the changes in our gun laws. these crisis intervention orders to work. not every state and is important
to senator cornyn for money to go to every state regardless of whether they have red flag laws but if you have a red flag law or you want to pass one you will be able to get funding through this bill, significant funding to allow you to implement that red flag lot better. there are states that have but they don't work very well. these people don't know how to access them, police officers, first responders to what to do when they see someone in crisis see someone threatening violence to themselves well now have funding to implement these laws it will allow the authorities with court orders to be able to temporarily take deadly weapons away from people who are threatening to kill themselves or threatening mass violence. we keep guns away from domestic abusers. and we know that in states that make sure that every domestic abuser is not allowed to purchase or possess guns, that
there is a a significant impan domestic violence. and so our bill makes it a national policy that if you have carried out an act of domestic violence against your partner, whether you are married to them or whether you are in in a ss dating relationship, you are not going to be able to have guns in your home. but because this is a compromise we build in a process by which for those who have no previous records and those who keep the records clean, subsequent to the fence, can get those rights back. that made sense to us, especially given that if you're convicted of a felony you have a pretty clear pathway in your state to get your rights back, you're voting rights or your second amendment rights so we set up the process for those that are convicted of domestic violence dating misdemeanors.
enhanced background checks for young buyers, whether we like it or not that 18-21 your profile those of the mass shooters right now in this country. and so we want to make sure that we do more significant background check to make sure that these are responsible gun buyers including a check with the local police department. the shooter in uvalde was known to local police. he didn't have an offense that would have prohibited him from buying those weapons, but ask yourself what would've happened if the local police department had gotten a phone call is part of that background check, have been alerted that he young man who they knew to be in some form of crisis was going to buy ar-15 style weapons on his 18th birthday. where there had been an opportunity for an intervention? -- would there have been -- possibly. maybe that tragedy could have been afforded by better public policy. in that the we also knew
penalties for gun trafficking and straw purchasing. why on earth hasn't the united states of america had a law banning gun trafficking at the federal level or banning straw purchasing when the main way that guns get into the flow of illegal traffic is through straw purchasing and through complicated gun trafficking networks? now our federal law enforcement agencies are going to be available, will have available to the new tools that will allow them to cut down the flow of illegal weapons throughout the country but in particular most importantly into our cities. and lastly we will do more background checks because of this bill. we clarify and dispel the definition of a federally licensed gun dealer to make sure everybody that should be licensed as a gun dealer is. in one of the mass shootings in texas, the individual who carried out the crime was mentally ill. he was a prohibited purchaser. he shouldn't have been able to buy a gun.
he was actually denied a sale when he went to a bricks and mortar gun store but he found a way around the background check system because he went online and found a seller there who would transfer a gun to them without a background check. it turned out that that seller was, in fact, engaged in the business but didn't believe that the definition apply to them because the definition is admittedly confusing. we simplify the definition and the hope is it will result in more of these frequent online gun sellers registering, as they should, as federally licensed gun dealers which then requires them to perform background checks. each one of these provisions arguably saves thousands of lives in and of themselves, but cumulative this is a groundbreaking piece of legislation, a true compromise. not as much as i would like to do but certainly more than some
republicans would like to do. and it is a message to this country that there is a powerful word in this body to address the epidemic of gun violence. it is a message to the activists like sarah kaufman has been coming to this place up and going to the state legislatures asking time and time again for change that speaking truth to power works. that legislators do listen. and our hope it's an invitation first to find more ways to find ways to work together in the future. my belief is that those who vote for this, even those who have been on the outside of these negotiations in the past will find that when you get to the states there will be unfamiliar supporters showing up at your events indoors. people who are cheering you on
because we were able together to take this axis digital issue, the fear of death from gun violence, more seriously than we have in 30 years. and to share in a little bit more detail than it was last night what is in this package. i think that this is a week to focus on what we have done, not what we have left undone, and to accept this as an invitation to find other ways that we can come together around difficult vexing issues in this country. i have a fourth grader, the same age as those kids in uvalde. and i do not want him to grow up in a world in which he and his classmates have to worry about their survival when they walk into their school every day. i do not want to live in a world
where survivors of these tragedies, and school after school, have to become advocates and activists in this cause. and while this bill doesn't solve america's gun violence epidemic, it survey shows we have the potential to work together on these different, is difficult, vexing challenges in a brand-new life saving way. yielded the floor. >> i rise today at a time at which families in arizona and across america are scared. for too long they have seen unacceptable levels of violence in their communities, and it threatens their sense of safety and security. the morning after the tragic, horrible activity at robb elementary school in uvalde, texas, we all felt that fear. we felt it when we spoke to our neighbors and our friends, and check on our loved ones to ensure they were okay. for decades, parents have lived with the unnerving uncertainty of what might happen when they
send their children to school or attend worship services, go to the grocery store, or even simply let their kids play outside. for too long political games in washington on both sides of the aisle have stopped progress towards protecting our communities and keeping family safe and secure. commonsense proposals have been tossed to the side bipartisan lawmakers choosing politics instead of solutions. elected officials have made a habit of insulting one another for offering thoughts and prayers, for blaming violence on strictly mental illness or video games, for particular kinds of weapons or any cause that didn't align with and confirm their own predetermined beliefs. casting blame and trading political barbs and attacks became the path of least resistance. but the communities across our country who experience senseless
violence deserve better than washington politics as usual. argument deserve a commitment by their leaders to do the hard am s we approach the conclusion of a truly consequential work period, the senate this morning will take the next major step towards accomplishing something that hasn't been done in decades, passing a strong gun safety bill. the bill can be described simply in three adjectives -- commonsense, bipartisan, lifesaving. and if republicans work with us, we could very well finish the job in its entirety before the day is done. later this morning, the senate will vote to invoke cloture on the bipartisan safe communities act, and i expect that vote to have robust bipartisan support.
just as we saw earlier this week. we are not going to leave until we pass this bill. after this morning's vote, it's my intention to work with the republican colleagues to reach an agreement to secure a vote on final passage before the day is out. as the author of the brady bill nearly 30 years ago, the last legislative effort to fight gun violence, i am so pleased that we are at last on the precipice of taking action once again. it's been a long time, but this breakthrough is welcome. so i urge urge my republican colleagues. let's t bill passed, and pass it today. let's pass it so we can send it to the house, they can send it to the white house, and the president can sign it. americans have waited long enough. let us finish our our job today. as we take the final steps in this process, few could have anticipated we'd reach this point just a few weeks ago.
the morning after the tragedy in uvalde, the united states senate faced a choice -- we could surrender to gridlock, or -- i'm sorry, the morning after the tragedy in uvalde, the united states senate faced a choice -- we could surrender to gridlock and we could swiftly vote on a bill with provisions many of us would have wanted, but because of rigid opposition from the other side had no hope of passing the chamber. it would have failed. or we could choose to try and forge a bipartisan path forward to pass a real bill. as difficult as that may have seemed to many. over the past four years, we chose to try -- over the past four weeks, rather, we chose to try and get something done. immediately after uvalde, i spoke with senator murphy, who asked me to give negotiators time and space to do their work.
with his deep experience in this area, he believed that, given the opportunity, maybe, maybe, maybe, these talks could succeed. although, of course, there was no guarantee. i was happy to agree, because i knew that even if there was a chance to get something positive and tangible done on gun safety it was worth the effort. so i told senator murphy i would give him the space he needed. that quickly became the consensus of our caucus, and the consensus of many of our gun safety advocates who pressed us to secure real progress. senator murphy and i called them the day after uvalde, and they agreed, get something done, even if it wouldn't be everything we would all want. we were all on the same page. instead of voting on a bill that would fail, we would try and get something real passed in the senate. in the end, it was the right decision, because before long we had a bipartisan guns framework. a week later we had legislative
text. a few days ago, that bill came before the senate with strong bipartisan votes. and today, today we can take the final steps to passing the first major gun safety bill in nearly 30 years. as i've said, this is not a cure-all for all the ways gun violence affects our nation, but it is a long overdue step in the right direction. it's significant, it's going to save lives, and it's ni i my -- it's my intention to get it done as soon as we can. i want to thank all of my democratic and republican colleagues for working together to reach this point, and i want to thank the leaders of the effort, senators murphy and sinema, senators cornyn and tillis, as well as all of our colleagues on the bipartisan working group, all of our chairs and members who contributed their expertise and their leadership in shaping the bill. i also want to thank every
single survivor of gun violence, every family that has spoken up, every advocate that has organized, and every voter and concerned citizen who has pushed this body to take action for so many years. even with the holes in their heart, the lost loved ones through needless, cruel gun violence, so many advocates persisted and persisted and persisted, and without them keeping that candle burning, even in the darkest of moments, we wouldn't have gotten this done. i salute them. i thank them. america thanks them. and i say to all of them, all the advocates who worked so hard and so long on this, very soon your efforts will bear real fruit. we're going to keep going until we finish the job. so i urge my colleagues to reach an agreement with us to do precisely that. now, on a different and sadder
subject, i wish to offer a few words this morning in honor of leona faust, the senate librarian who passed away two days ago after decades of working to serve in this body. in psalm 19 it is written that, quote, day after day they pour forth speech, night after night, they reveal knowledge. this chamber is well accustomed to long speeches from many members, day after day, but for a century and a half it has been responsible of one person, the senate librarian, to help reveal, preserve, and safeguard the knowledge and work of this body. for 44 years that was the work leona dedicated herself to with intelligence and grace. leona's first day on the job looked very different from what library employees might encounter today. when first hired in 1978, her responsibilities were primarily to manage hundreds of calls that came every day inquiring about the status of this or that piece of legislation. in time, leona, who became the
high brairn in 2010 -- the librarian in 2010 worked dramatically to improve the efficiency of the library. she modernized it, digitized it ened and made it far more accessible. her accomplishments forever changed the way information flows across the senate, and democracy, democracy itself, is better off for her work. but most of all today, we pay tribute to leona not for what she did, but for what she was, a beloved member of the senate community, a friend to so many, and someone who we will miss very, very dearly. today, all of us keep her memory in our hearts and her family in our prayers. one final point, mr. president, i want to congratulate our journal clerk, billy walsh, on his retirement from the senate. the senate would not funding without the hard-working staff here in the chamber. billy began his career as assistant bill clerk, and he has
been with us for 19 years. a native of cumberland, maryland, he's retiring as the 21st journal clerk of the u.s. senate. we all wish him a happy and healthy retirement, and as billy has said, those umbrella drinks by the ocean aren't going to drink themselves. enjoy your libations and your retirement to the wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, and always smiling, billy walsh. i yield the floor.
>> -- for too long they have han unacceptable levels of violent in their communities and it threatens their sense of safety and security. the morning after the tragic, horrible activity at robb elementary school in uvalde, texas, we all felt that fear. we felt it when we spoke to our neighbors and our friends and check on our loved ones to ensure they were okay. for decades parents have lived with the unnerving uncertainty of what might happen when they send their children to school or attend worship services, go to the grocery store, or even simply let their kids play outside.
for too long political gains in washington on both sides of the aisle have stopped progress towards protecting our communities and keeping family safe and secure. commonsense proposals have been tossed to the side by partisan lawmakers choosing politics instead of solutions. elected officials have made a habit of insulting one another for offering thoughts and prayers, , for blaming violencen strictly mental illness, or video games, or particular kinds of weapons, or any cause that didn't align with and confirm their own predetermined beliefs. casting blame and trading political barbs and attacks became the path of least resistance. but the communities across our country who have experienced senseless violence deserve better than washington politics as usual. our community deserve a a commitment by their leaders to
do the hard work of putting aside politics, identifying problems that need solving, and working together towards a common ground and common goals. on may 24th, as news spread of the shooting in uvalde and the 21 beautiful lives cut short, my friend and colleague chris murphy came to the senate floor and he asked the senate one simple question. what are we doing? why are we here if not to solve a problem as existential as this? i am grateful that colleagues on both sides of the aisle have answered that question by resolving to do the hard work, build consensus and find solutions. senator murphy, a tireless advocate for families in connecticut, reached out to my friend senator john cornyn of texas offering his condolences and assistance.
senator cornyn was in uvalde comforting families who were experiencing the unthinkable. and senator murphy had sally been in a similar place ten years before at sandy hook. that same day i reached out to senator cornyn and senator thom tillis, to make friends i work with to craft lasting bipartisan solutions managing the crisis at our border and helping veterans access the benefits they have earned. we all plan to put quickly together to identify realistic solutions. within one day senator murphy, snore tellis, myself already been diverse states set down and started working together. that same day we met with a larger group of 12 bipartisan senators, all of whom were eager to sit down, work together and find a path forward. thosent to choose
between safer schools and the constitution, and neither does the united states senate. the american people want their constitutional rights protected and their kids to be safe in school. they want both of those things at once, and that is just what the bill before the senate will have accomplished. thainchtions to the leadership and dedication of senator cornyn, senator tillis and counterparts across the aisle where considering a bipartisan bill that will make our country safer without making it less free. this is the sweet spot, madam president -- making america safer, especially for kids in school, without making our country one bit less free. the legislation before us would make our communities and schools
safer without laying one finger on the second amendment for law-abiding citizens. its key provisions are hugely popular with the american people. this bill supplies significant new funding to law enforcement and police, to school security, and to mental health treatment both in school and in the wider community. under this bill, if a teenager has been convicted of a crime or adjudicated to be mentally ill, even before their 18th birthday, that important information will show up in the firearms background check until they are 21. this strengthens the existing background check system without expanding it. states will receive new money for crisis intervention programs of their own choosing. and if they choose to use the money for so-called red flag
laws, those laws will have to meet a new higher standard for due process. this is a commonsense package. its provisions are very, very popular. it contains zero, zero new restrictions, zero new waiting periods, zero mandates, and zero bans of any kind for law-abiding gun owners. police and law enforcement support the bill strongly. the police chiefs association and the fraternal order of police say this bipartisan measure is one that will save lives. according to the f.o.p. and the police chiefs association. the national sheriffs association calls it, quote, a bill that can actually save lives, that allows the states
to craft their own unique answers to the questions raised by gun violence. after years, literally years of liberal demands that we make war on citizens' constitutional rights, our democratic colleagues have finally accepted that we can make schools and communities safer without impeding on the second amendment. we can do more to protect innocent americans, schoolkids especially, without, without eroding the bill of rights one inch. and that's just what the senate will do when we pass this bill. speaking of public safety, as the supreme court prepares to issue its final opinions of the term, far-left activists are openly calling for riots and violence in the streets. for months many of the country's democrats have been calling for
reckless talk and irresponsible rhetoric, fanning flames of fear and rage among their supporters. this poisonous climate has illegal mobs assembling outside justices' private family homes and prompted one unhinged person to travel across the country for the purpose of committing an assassination. the far left is promising that all of this will only be the prelude, the prelude to the main event if they don't like the rulings coming down the pike. one activist group is promising our cities will be submerged in qoap quo listen to this, a night of rage. yesterday the senate unanimously passed in supplemental funding for law enforcement to protect the rule of law and to keep the court, its staff and justices safe from augusta. -- from all this.
this noncontroversial funding passed unanimously last night. zero objections. the house of representatives needs to pass this urgent bill without delay. on another matter, in 2021, on president biden's watch, each monthly total for illegal migrant apprehensions was higher than the same month's number the previous year. the same thing is happening in 2022. every month has topped the total from 12 months prior. in fact, this past may didn't just eclipse may of 2021, it set a new all-time record. border patrol officers conducted nearly 240,000 apprehensions in may and 25% of them, an unusually high rate, involved migrants they had apprehended
before in just the past year. these jaw-dropping numbers are a clear and direct symptom of failed leadership. the biden administration is making a conscious decision, a conscious decision to fumble the ball. last spring, right after apprehensions hit a 20-year high, president biden claimed, quote, it's way down. we've now gotten control. look, no reasonable person could have looked at the facts and concluded that things were under control. but that's exactly what president biden and his team insisted. apparently a functionally open border is how they define success. a functionally open border is how apparently they define success. senate democrats rubber stamped the biden nominees who are presiding over this failure. the biden d.h.s. swiftly issued
internal guidance to use more plit itically correct terminology when referring to the border crisis. they were quicker to police employees' language than to actually police the border. vice president harris spent her time as the administration's supposed border czar staying as far away as possible from the border itself. just this spring president biden submitted a budget request that would cut funding for immigration and customs enforcement detention. he also promised to cut out the emergency authorities that border officials were relying on in the absence of a coherent strategy from his administration. to turn away thousands of illegal migrants every single day. their response to a functional open border is just to hit the gas pedal. stable prices, public safety,
and secure borders are three of the most fundamental duties of any government. sadly from our country, the biden administration has swung and missed three times. now on a totally different matter, today i have the honor of acknowledging a longtime senate staff member who is preceding to a well earned retirement at the end of this month. billy walsh has been with the secretary of the senate's office for 19 years. he spent several years as an assistant bill clerk before moving to the journal clerk's office and working his way up to that top post. as the senate's journal clerk for the last four years, billy has brought both good humor and professional dedication to his work serving the senate.
so, billy, congratulations on your retirement, and thank you for your service. on one final matter, yesterday was a sad day for the senate. we learned that we lost a distinguished long-serving staff leader in our institution. leona faust had served her country as senate librarian for the past 12 years, and that key position was the capstone of a long and storied senate career that had just entered its 45th year. everyone who knew leona had sterling praise for her work. i've heard our librarian described by her friends and colleagues as devoted to the institution. as a true senate all-star, as the first to volunteer whenever a task needed tackling, leona
was a beloved colleague. she was also an expert whose parole fetionallism -- professionalism filled a niche in the senate's day to day functioning. as leader of a talented team, leona was constantly looking for new ways to expand the resources the library offered to senators and to our staff. she was instrumental in expanding the references and databases of the senate's information system, especially as the pandemic left bing chunks of the institution to working and researching remotely for a while. year after year, she demonstrate ed her devotion, often without much fanfare. the senate library staff put in longs hours with reference to pressing questions here on the floor. leona led by example. she made herself available at all hours. so the senate hasn't just lost a
talented librarian who helped people resources they needed, we lost a true institution. our prayers are with leona's family, with her colleagues at the senate library and with everyone across the senate who spent decades admiring leona's commitment and her expertise and who are now joined together in mourning her loss. mr. durbin: madam president? the presiding officer: the majority whip. mr. durbin: madam president, if you look at the marketing panhandle of big tobacco in america over the last half-century, it is very obvious. tobacco companies sell an addictive product. there's a chemical included in the tobacco -- nicotine -- which is highly addictive.
to be successful, they have to convince people to take up smoking even though it is dangerous to health and with a product that is difficult to quit. how do they achieve that goal? they prey on children, and they always have. kids start smoking at an early age and if the tobacco companies have their way, it leads to an addiction for a lifetime, a compromise in a person's health and even their death. over the years i've done battle with big tobacco, the first, i guess, exchange was over banning smoking on airplanes. it seemed so long ago, but we were successful and we really changed the senate conversation on tobacco. more and more people became sensitive to the fact that tobacco companies were in fact exploiting our children, addicting them to their product. steps were taken at every level -- local, state, and federal -- to stop that from happening, and it worked. the in my judgment of children in america who were a-- the
number of children in america who were aaddicted to tobacco products began to decline precipitously. big tobacco was in a decline, they were losing their market share. so they devised and invented new products. the most obvious one i want to address this morning -- e-cigarettes, vaping. the nicotine inside these vaping devices is the same nicotine as in a tobacco cigarette, and it is just as addictive. and where have these companies directed their marketing? to children. once again, to children. we believe that two million or more children in america are currently addicted to vaping products and e-cigarettes. many of them believe they're harmless, that they cause no damage to you from a health viewpoint. these children are wrong. the agency that's responsible for regulating this product, vaping products, e-cigarettes,
is the food and drug administration. they've written a sad and sorry record when it comes to regulation of this deadly product. over the years we have begged them, pleaded with them, argued with them over why they didn't show more leadership in banning this product from the shelves across america because so many children were being addicted. it reached the point where a federal court after years of delay by the food and drug administration, the u.s. district court for the district of maryland, ordered the food and drug administration to finally begin regulating these addictive kid-friendly vaping products. giving a deadline of september 9, 2021, to finalize review of e-cigarette applications. you see,the law requires the company to prove that the product is not dangerous to the public health before it can be marketed. the f.d.a. really dropped its guard and allowed them to sell the product without that proof. and it took a federal court setting a deadline to get the
f.d.a. back into the business of regulating this deadly product that was addicting millions of children across america. well, i've had my ups and downs with the food and drug administration over this issue. i think they could have been much more aggressive. they could have protected more children. and, unfortunately, they did not. during the entire trump administration, we backpedaled, came up with excuses, did nothing. so vaping products became more prolific across america and more children became addicted. now we have a new head of the f.d.a., dr. califf. we had our back-and-forth exchanges over this issue, and i made it very clear to him that there was no possible explanation or justification for not regulating this product with the lives and health of so many children were at stake. as i said, we had our good days and bad days. i'm happy to report that the food and drug administration has
announced this morning a dramatic, historic step forward to protect the children across america from e-cigarette and vaping products. they are finally, finally, the f.d.a. is starting actions to remove from the shelves products produced by the juul company that endanger our children. you won't be surprised to learn that big tobacco is a major investment in these companies. they believe it is the future, their new product that they can addict children with with nicotine and hook them perhaps for life into their products. the food and drug administration has taken a bold step today. it is going to be a battle royal in court. you can just bet on it. but finally they've stood up and they're prepared for the battle. i want tajine them in the battle. i want to say that taping ataking these products of -- i want to say that taking these products off the shelf will
invite black market sales. we're calling on all of those entities which could supply those black market products, including internet sources, to stand up for children across america and stopping these products. if the food and drug administration did not take action do this today, did not initiate this effort to stop the sale of this product, as many as 750,000 to a million children would be addicted by next year. that just gives you an idea of the reach of this product and how serious it is. if you don't know the story beyond e-cigarettes and vaping, ask a high school student in america. if that doesn't work, ask their pointers when they discover that their kids are aaddicted to these products. when i spoke to dr. califf this
morning and he told me about this historic announcement by the food and drug administration, he made it clear that tobacco, smoking and nicotine products were a major threat to the health of children across this country and to americans. tobacco regulation, as he noted, is the major step forward in reducing the number of cancer deaths in america and heart disease. it is still a problem. it is still a challenge. and big tobacco and their new big vaping allies are determined to once again get their hooks in our kids at an early age. i'm hearten by this decision by the food and drug administration. they're in for a legal battle, for sure, but it is worth the effort. in the end, make sure that you come down on the side of children when we're talking about tobacco and nicotine. it is an issue that i've been involved in for years. i see the senator from oregon on the floor. i know that he was involved in the house of representatives and in the senate in the same battle. but our efforts against vaping
the presiding officer: on this vote the yeas are 50. the nays are 49. and the motion is agreed to. under the previous order, the senate will resume legislative session to resume consideration of the house message to accompany s. 2938 which the clerk will report. the clerk: message to accompany s. 2938 action an act to designate the united states courthouse and federal building located at 1111 north adam street in tallahassee, florida as the joseph woodrow hatchet united states courthouse and federal building and for other
purposes. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion, we, the undersigned senators in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the motion to concur on the house amendment to s. 2938, an act to designate the united states courthouse and federal building located at 111 north adam street in tallahassee, florida as the joseph woodrow hatchet united states courthouse and federal building and for other purposes with amendment number 5099 signed by 17 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is, is it the sense of the senate that debate on the motion to concur in the house amendment to s. 2938, an act to designate the united states courthouse and federal building located at 111 north adam street in tallahassee, florida, as the joseph woodrow hatchet united states courthouse and federal
motion to refer the amendments thereto fail. mr. heinrich: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new mexico. mr. heinrich: mr. president, like many of my constituents in new mexico, i am a gun owner. i have a sincerely held respect of law-abiding gun ownership. many of my own most cherished memories involve the responsible use of a firearm -- to feed my family and to forge memories with my sons and my closest friends. but those same sons grew up doing active shooter drills in their classrooms, something that would have been absolutely unimaginable when i was their age. and just this spring, my son's high school was on lockdown when i arrived due to a nearby shooting that actually involved students from that high school.
that type of experience has become all too common in our country. the gun violence our communities are experiencing is appalling, and it's unacceptable. it's evident from the unthinkable mass shootings that we've witnessed in uvalde and buffalo and tulsa and el paso. and it's evident in the mounting number of gun homicides and gun suicides that have taken tens of thousands of lives each year. my home state of the new mexico continues to struggle with one of the highest rates of gun deaths in the country, and in recent years far too many new mexicans have lost friends, family members to this epidemic of violence. i personally refuse to accept the idea that we are so divided in this country that we can't do something to make this situation
better. that is why i join my good friend, senator chris murphy of connecticut, and a number of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to try and chart a meaningful path forward. over these past weeks we've engaged in challenging but productive conversations. we found areas of agreement on real solutions that we can and we will pass here in the united states senate. our bipartisan negotiations and the legislation that they have produced prove that we can work together in this body. and they show that when we set aside the vicious politics that have held us back for too long on this particular issue, we can actually create policies that save lives. the bipartisan safer communities act includes federal resources to help states and tribes implement crisis intervention
programs. new mexico passed add law to establish one of these programs just last year. the goal was to ensure that deadly weapons were kept out of the hands of those that a court, with due process, determined to be a significant danger to themselves or others. but as of last month, new mexico had only used our law nine times, primarily due to a lack of funding and resources and training. just last month, on mother's day, new mexico tragically lost two teens, shot and killed by a man who very 00 likely could have had his firearm removed using new mexico's crisis intervention law. the alleged suspect had been issued a temporary restraining order at the qualify his former girlfriend and the mother of one of the victims. the restraining order showed that he was in possession of two
firearms. unfortunately, the local sheriff's office failed to recognize the threat that he posed and didn't use our state's law to remove the firearms that he used to take the lives of two young new mexicans. if we can provide our law enforcement officers and courts the funding and training they need to make crisis intervention laws effective, we can protect our communities and ensure that future lives are not lost. the bipartisan safer communities act will help us do just that. our legislation also enhances the review process for firearms buyers under 21 years of age. this new process will require an investigative period to review criminal and mental health records, including checks with state databases and local law enforcement. over the last four years, six of the nine deadliest mass
shootings were by people who were 21 or younger. the bipartisan safer communities act ensures we respond to this deadly trend in a meaningful way. our legislation also makes clear who the federal firearm licensee -- licensing requirements apply to, leading to more firearm sales that require a background check. we're finally making sure that convicted domestic violence abusers and individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders are included in the federal background check database, whether or not the abuser is married to the victim. that has long been a major failure in federal law. and it has allowed dangerous abusers who are dating but not married to their partners but whom we know pose a violent threat to acquire deadly weapons. this provision alone will save an enormous number of lives.
our legislation will also make historic investments in community behavioral health and school-based mental health services, and it will increase access to behavioral health services through telehealth. the bill will help support school violence prevention efforts and provide training to school personnel and students so that they can recognize the signs that so often precede some of these most violent shooting events. over the course of our negotiations, i worked especially hard on a few key provisions with my colleague from maine, senator susan collins. our provisions will craft down on -- crack down on straw purchasing and trafficking of firearms. these provisions will directly reduce gun violence in our home states and internationally. let me take a moment to explain how. under current law, it's a minor
paperwork offense to buy a gun for someone else, and even then that only applies if you buy the gun from a federal firearm licensee. under the bipartisan safer communities act, we're making it a serious crime to buy a gun for someone else when you know that person will use the gun to commit a felony or that they are not allowed to buy a gun themselves. that applies whether you buy the gun from a federal firearm licensee or not, and the consequences of this simple change will be real. it will keep deadly weapons out of the hands of people who would use them to hurt others, and it will level serious consequences for those that break the law. now, just last year a new mexico state police officer was tragically killed during a traffic stop in demi, new mexico.
officer darian jarrot was shot and killed by a convicted felon whose wife had allegedly purchased the gun for him. she is now being prosecuted under the paperwork offense that is currently on the books. but the bipartisan safer communities act, under it, she would be facing more severe consequences for her role in the death of a state police officer. this legislation will also stop the type of organized straw purchasing and trafficking that we've seen too often in new mexico and elsewhere. right now, law enforcement has to watch as an organized chain of straw purchases happens, one after another, intended to protect the person most at quality, the mastermind of the operation, by keeping them far removed from the purchase that happens at an f.f.l., at a federal firearm licensee.
our law enforcement watched this happened, but they can only go after the person who walked into the f.f.l. and made the very first of that series of straw purchases. that's usually the person least involved in the scheme. but that's about to change. soon these ringleaders won't be able to distance themselves from the law anymore. with our new straw purchase provision, law enforcement will be able to go after every link in the illegal chain of purchases, to take down the entire ring not just the vulnerable individuals these rings sometimes rely on to make the initial purchase. and there's more. while trafficking firearms into the u.s. is a major federal crime under existing law, trafficking firearms out of the u.s. has not been. and for years this has meant that firearms trafficked out of the u.s. are the primary supply of guns used to commit violent
crimes in mexico, in el salvador, in honduras, and in guatemala. it has also invited dangerous firearm trafficking into communities on both sides of our nation's southern and northern borders. we saw this in my home state about a decade ago when a major firearms trafficking ring was uncovered in columbus, new mexico. this trafficking operation involved the chief of police, the mayor, a village trustee, and an estimated 190 firearms, including large numbers of handguns and assault rifles, and the crime they were charged witr paperwork. not anymore. the bipartisan safer communities act takes this violence on with the severity that it deserves. it gives law enforcement the tools they need to stop this activity, and the violence it directly and indirectly creates in our communities and within
our borders. by taking on the violence that families are fleeing in their home countries, violence that our inadequate gun laws have actually contributed to, we're also taking meaningful action to address a root cause behind so many refugees coming to our country. now, i fully recognize that the bipartisan safer communities act is a compromise. many of the parents and students who have raised their voices to demand action on gun violence would like us to go further. but progress has to start somewhere. the hardest part of every negotiation is letting go of the perfect for the possible, and i am confident that the legislation we are voting on will make a real difference in reducing gun violence, a difference that will be measured in lives. it will boost public safety. it will invest in mental health.
and keep more firearms out of the hands of those who would use them against their communities. the painful truth is that we can never bring back those precious children whose lives were cut short in uvalde, texas, in parkland, florida, in newtown, connecticut, or at aztec high school or west mesa high school, demi middle school, washington middle school in my state. we can never offer enough words to heal the grieving families all across the country who've lost their sons and daughters and their brothers and sisters and their fathers and mothers to gun violence. but what we can do by voting to pass this legislation in the senate is to honor their memory. not just with condolences and hopes and prayers, but with concrete action. i would encourage all of my
colleagues to support the bipartisan safer communities act. each life that we save by passing this legislation will mean literally everything to that person's loved ones, and that is what this is all about. thank you, mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. tuberville: i ask unanimous consent that the following interns in my office be granted floor privileges until june 27, 2022, anna worthington, christian gentile, john couch, and johnathan smith. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. tuberville: mr. president.
today is a great day. today marks the 50th anniversary of title ix. for half a century, we've witnessed the impact title ix has had on generations of women in sports. title i x provided women the long -- the long-denied platform that had always been afforded men. it ensured female athletes have the same access, funding, facilities, and athletic scholarships. but it also gave young women the opportunity to compete, to learn life lessons of hard work and perseverance, to go to college on an atlantic scholarship -- on an athletic scholarship, to overcome obstacles in order to reach their god-given potential. and since 1972, female participation in sports at the college level has risen more
than 600%. and today, 43% of high school girls participate in some competitive sports. as to 50 years ago, only 3% to 5%. what a turnaround. for all these reasons, decades later, we have proof that title i x has worked. sports can transform lives. i've seen it. i began my coaching career as a high school girls basketball coach, just a few years after title ix was enacted. now, 50 years later, america's female athletes are not only the best performing on the world stage in team and individual sports, but they also are the leaders in our communities and in our country. title ix sent an incredible, an
incredible message to female athletes across the nation, which is you can compete, you can win, and you will be afforded a fair and level playing field to do so. i have personally witnessed title ix protections allowed young women to gain all the opportunities in life lessons that participating in sports has to offer. that is why just three months into my time as a u.s. senator i introduced an amendment to prohibit federal funding to schools that allow biological males to compete in women's sports. and i along with 23 of my colleagues introduced the protection of women and girls in sports act. this bill would make it a violation of federal law for a recipient of the federal funds who operates or sponsors athletic programs to permit
biological males to compete in women's sports activities. the bill also establishes the long-needed definition of sex in title ix to be recognized based solely on a person's reproductive biology and genetics at birth. democrats have turned their backs on these efforts, and by doing so they have turned their back on female athletes all across our country. and just last month i sent a letter to the u.s. department of education secretary miguel cardona warning the administration to rethink their rule change. on this 50th anniversary we should be asking ourselves how can we preserve title ix and preserve fairness for all female athletes across our country.
but unfortunately, women's threats are currently under attack by the biden administration. just this morning, we learned that the department of education will publish a proposed rule to change title ix to align with the administration's progressive agenda. these proposed changes would allow biological males to compete in women's sports. what a tragedy. it would take a wrecking ball to the five decades of title ix success for women. the biden administration's proposed rule flies in the face of the so-called science that democrats are quick to pledge their allegiance to by ignoring the scientific differences in the biological makeup of male and female athletes. apparently, science only matters
when it conforms to democrats' partisan agenda. allowing biological males to compete in women's sports will set women's rights back 50 years to a time before title ix. it will discourage young girls from entering the court, jumping in the pool, walking onto the field, knowing they have to compete with a deck stacked half against them. and the winner will already be determined. with the proposed rule change, female athletes can only hope -- can only hope to finish second or third place. there's no pregame speech or halftime talk that you can give a woman or girl who feels like they aren't competing on a fair playing field. the biden administration should do the right thing and rethink their decision to disenfranchise
female athletes of the future. this fight is far from over. at the very -- the very least the senate can do for the future of female sports is to reinforce the protections already afforded women in title ix. that's why i call up s. 251, the protection of women's and girls in sports act of 2021. i ask unanimous consent that the committee on health, education, labor and pensions be discharged from further consideration of s. 251 and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. further, that the bill be considered read a third time and passed, and that the motion be reconsidered to considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: is there objection?
ms. hirono: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from hawaii. ms. hirono reserving the right to object. i rise today regard toes legislation to ban transjnder women and -- transgender women and girls from competing according to their gender. my republican colleague falsely claims this is harmful to cisgender women and girls. they continue to hurl insutting lies about -- insulting lies about transgender girls dominating sports. what is true, these bans are deeply harmful to transgender girls, particularly transgender girls of color, girls who are gender nonconforming or born with intersex traits. as well as cisgender girls. these sex tests invade every girl's privacy and opens the door to harass anyone who is perceived as different. if my republican colleagues were
actually worried about women and girls in athletics, they would join in our efforts to address unequal athletic opportunities in school, unequal pay, sexual abuse and harm, and more. but this isn't about supporting women and girls. this is about discrimination. earlier today, i stood in statuary hall as we unveiled the portrait of the late congresswoman patsy t. mink on today's 50th anniversary of title ix becoming law. title ix, which was renamed the patsy t. mink equal opportunity and education act says, and i quote, no person in the united states shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participating in, be denied the benefit of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance, end quote. 37 words that are just as
relevant today as they were 50 years ago. patsy fought for equal opportunities for all, and this bill stands in direct opposition to her work. and to listen to my colleague talking about title ix as being that act that is going to support his bill, i can tell you, as someone who knew and was friends with patsy t. mink, she would be standing right next to me, to say that title ix in no way or shape supports what my colleague is attempting to do. so republicans have the wrong priorities. we shouldn't be banning anyone from playing sports. we should be fighting the discrimination that all women and girls continue to face in athletics, in the classroom, and in the workplaces. i am proud to stand up and oppose this harmful legislation and continue to vabs patsy mink's -- to advance patsy mink's legacy of equal opportunities for all. mr. president, for these reasons, i object. the presiding officer: the objection is heard. mr. tuberville: mr. president. the presiding officer: the
senator from alabama. mr. tuberville: the only thing i'd like to say about equal opportunity is that over the last few years biological males playing in women's sports have won 22 championships. the other girls playing for second and third. i'm disappointed that my colleague thinks this is not about equal rights. i'm disappointed that my colleague won't stand up for women and women's rights. we should all be here fighting for the same thing. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
funding act of 2022 which i introduced with senator warner last year. yesterday evening the senate approved by unanimous consent this bipartisan legislation which provides emergency security resources to the supreme court of the united states and to the u.s. marshal service. the house of representatives must approve this bill without amendment or delay and send it to the president's desk before adjourning this week. the need is urgent and obvious. there's no question the supreme court, its justices, their families and court employees are under unprecedented and unexpected threat. this includes recently highly publicized threats against justices kavanaugh and justice sotomayor. these threats may become more as the court concludes its term. protecting the court from these threats requires additional sources in fiscal year 2022 because unexpected sources are being deployed. this legislation provides those necessary resources. more specifically, the u.s.
marshal service has been providing around-the-clock security for the nine justices at their homes and needs $10.3 million in emergency funding to cover these costs for the remainder of this fiscal year. the supreme court needs $9.1 million to cover increased security costs for this fiscal year. these include overtime pay, mutual aid payments, and increased physical security around the supreme court building. if congress doesn't immediately provide this funding, the court and martial services may be forced to transfer funds from other critical functions and entities like the u.s. district courts and u.s. court of appeals. that is an unacceptable outcome given the obvious and urgent need for the security funding and the gravity of the threat against one of our three constitutional branches. congress recently passed and the president signed into law legislation by senators cornyn and coons to increase the scope of authorized supreme court police protection to include the
justice's immediate family members. congress rightly provided this additional security authorization to protect the court. these expanded authorities are important but there should be no question regarding whether congress will separately provide the resources necessary to protect the supreme court during its hour of need. i thank my colleague from virginia, senator warner, for working with me on this legislation. i want to thank the senior senator from alabama, vice chairman shelby and his staff as well as the senior senator from vermont, chairman leahy, for their help and guidance. finally, i thank my senate colleagues for their cooperation, ensuring the swift passage of this legislation in the senate. now i urge the house of representatives to promptly send this bill to the president's desk before it adjourns later this week. mr. president, i yield the floor.
everything i want. it certainly doesn't accomplish everything the republican colleagues who voted for it want eitherbut the reforms and investments made in this bill represent an important step toward making our nation safer . it won't and gun violence but well help reduce the number of shootings and killings which number about 100 americans each day and and perhaps guns as the leading cause of death among our children. we've highlighted a few important provisions. $250 million in grants for community violence intervention program which has shown great promise in communities in my state. this would double the current annual justice department funding for theseprograms . the bill makes dramatic investments in mental health infrastructure, providing billions of dollars in school and community mental health grants and behavioral health
clinics. it gets $28 million to fund the trauma support and school program in hhs. this is a program senator o and i created in 2018 to break the cycle of trauma and violence. the bill also provides three quarters of $1 billion in jagged grants to help states administer crisis intervention programs with first extreme risk protection laws in illinois and eight other state. it takes significant steps toward closing the boyfriend loophole keeping guns out of the hands of dating partners who been convicted of domestic violence offenses. it creates a new offense for the crimes of strawpurchasing and gun trafficking. this will crackdown on illicit flow of guns to cities like chicago .again this bill is a compromise. there are some provisions i'd change and some i ratherdo without . but it makes marks some of the most significant done
legislation in three decades. i commend the bipartisan effort that led us to this point and we should pass this bill without delay. i want to call attention to 2 sections of this bill. one is to stop straw purchases. straw purchases are when a person with a clean criminal record or no criminal record goes to buy a gun for the sole purpose of getting it to another individual who has a criminal record and couldn't leech legally purchase a gun himself . that happens . it happened last year in chicago. the gun was handed to a felon who turned around and used it to kill a chicago policewoman named ella french . ella french was 29 years old. she was a remarkable young woman. she had a great future ahead of her and she was unfortunately shot and gunned down with a straw purchase gun. the same gun was used against
a partner in his police vehicle and he lost his sight in one eye. he survived but thatshows you the straw purchase guns are being used by people against police and innocent people on a regular basis . we need to make straw purchasing by a gun with a clean record to hand over to someone who has a felony conviction should be treated as a serious violent crime. this bill does that. the second thing we desperately need is to deal with counseling and i know there's a traditional political argument for republicans saying guns are not the problem, it's mental health or other issues and democrats say it's guns and if you don't include guns in the package you're not going to get the job done. my view is it includes both you have to believe that half of the gun deaths in america each day our suicides but the people who are the victims of those suicides needed at least some point in their
life mental counseling.this bill provides counseling and i hope it comes in the neck of time for people to turn their lives around and restore hope for their future so they don't resort to the desperate decision to commit suicide but mental counseling for them is important. secondly we read about the mast shooters in theaters and supermarkets and schools and we realize that they too should have been counseled in some form in the hopes that we could try to diver them from this path that they are going to follow. that's an important issue. the third group is one i'm more familiar with. those are those people involved in gun violence in cities like chicago. >>. >> it's a theme that speaks to me. an outdoorsguy through and through .ity season rolls -- if
communal meal, sometimes involving pheasant. mr. president, being in the outdoors isn't just enjoyable, i think it's a part of a good life. the health benefits of time spent outdoors are well established and i know a day or even an hour out in the fresh air always clears my mind and refreshes my spirit. with more and more of our life spent in front of screens, i think time spent outdoors and disconnected is even more important than ever. i'm grateful for all those hours we spent as kids running around outside, and for family activities outdoors like our summer trip to the black hills. we used to go out there for lay day, stay in a nonair conditioned cabin and enjoy the outdoors. we would hike, visit caves, go to mt. rush more, visit the lake. i love and still loving visiting sylvan lake in south dakota. i love taking my daughters there on trips like the ones i took growing up. nobody who visits south dakota
should miss the black hills. i'm not sure there's a more beautiful place on earth. the interplay of light and shadow on the trees and rocks late on a summer afternoon, the endless south dakota sky reflected in the blue of sylvan lake and other lakes in the black hills. the milky -- there's no better place to spend time in the great outdoors than in south dakota. we have natural wonders, the missouri rivers, along with two of the longest caves in the world. they have hundreds of miles of passageways to explore. we have the magnificent black hills national forest, rolling prairies and, of course, the badlands. if you haven't experienced the beauty of the badlands, you're missing out.
a wealth of fos ills. -- fos -- everyone should see it once in their lives turning the top of the rocks to a sea of fiery orange and there's mount rushmore. nature got a little help from man here and the result is magnificent. you can't help but be awed when you see mount rush more in front of you. mr. president, our nation's great outdoor spaces need to be cared for so we can preserve them for future generations, from wildlife enthusests to hunters and farmers and ranchers. agriculture producers are familiar with the conservation reserve program or what we call c.r.p. which provides incentives for farmers, ranchers, and landowners to take land out of
production for 15 years. this helps the environment by improving soil health and water quality and providing habitat for wildlife, including endangered and threatened species. i pushed for an increase in the c.r.p. acreage cap and it was raised to 27 million acres. i'm working on further improvements to c.r.p. for the 2023 farm bill. based on my conversation with farmers and ranchers, i developed the conservation reserve program act. this would make c.r.p. grazing an option for all c.r.p. practices for the establishment of grazing infrastructure, including fencing an water distribution. but also increase the annual payment limit for c.r.p. which has not changeled since 1985 to account for the increase in land value. this would enhance the appeal
for farmers an ranchers and helping to protect the environment. another priority of mine is improving forest management in the black hills national forest to reduce the risk of wildfires. i'm introduced two pieces of legislation during this congress to help improve management of our national forest, including the black hills. currently on the ground management activity, including timber thinning are lacking in the black hills forest. my expanding restoration and recovery act would encourage to expedite treatment of more than 79 acres of forest lands to reduce insects. my legislation is designed to help expedite forest management projects in the black hills and elsewhere. the bill, which i introduced
with my wyoming colleague, senator john barasso would have national environmental act decisions that are necessary to carry out forest management projects, including thinning of overly thinning timber. it would expedite timber production in the national forests, enabling the national forests to maintain the timber sale program to keep the forests helping and supporting the regional economy. mr. president, i'm grateful to live in a state that has so much to offer when it comes to the great outdoors, and i will continue to work to protect and preserve our national treasures, and i hope every american will take advantage of great outdoors month to get outside and enjoy our natural world. mr. president, i yield the floor.
mr. lee: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator the from utah. mr. lee: mr. president, for months american moms and dads have endured an unprecedented baby formula shortage. all of us know someone that this crisis has personally affected. in may alone reports show that the out of stock rate jumped from 43% to 74% nationally. in my home state of utah, that out of stock rate is much higher and while the biden administration made ambitious attempts to invoke the defense production act and fly in formula from other countries, these efforts ultimately provided less than two days
worth of formula for our country's hungry babies. less than two days. so yesterday i took to the floor asking that this body take immediate action to address our nation's massive formula shortage by unanimously passing my formula act, something i've come repeatedly to the senate floor in an effort to pass, it's been met with objection so far. my bill introduced three measures to accomplish this goal. the first was and regulatory component, one that would remove f.d.a. requirements for formula, mostly dealing with labeling, and i will explain that in a moment. second, remove the restrictions that limited the availability of formula brands available to w.i.c. recipients. and, finally, the bill temporarily suspended import tariffs on formula, increasing
supply and decreasing consumer costs. these three components would provide immediate relief to parents who are forced to scour supermarkets, make dangerous homemade formula or even worse hospitalize their infants. mr. president, i need not explain why a problem of this magnitude is so deserving of our immediate attention. after addressing the senate on each of these topics, i engaged in a lengthy and substantive debate with my friend and distinguished colleague from pennsylvania, senator bob casey. i listened intently to his objections regarding his concern for the safety and quality of formula crossing over our borders. and while i appreciate my colleague's concerns, i still believe that this body can and must fix this problem, a problem that is no doubt the sole creation of the federal government. it's no accident, for example,
that we're the only country facing this particular shortage. no other country is dealing with this because our country and our -- our own federal laws in this area and the way they've been enforced and implemented have caused it. so i'm determined to provide relief to families dealing with this inexplicably unnecessarily prolonged crisis. for far too long the people enduring this mess have gone without answers and so in the spirit of comity and compromise, i modified my request by removing the regulatory component of the bill. i hope this would resolve any reservations my colleague from pennsylvania may have had regarding the safety of these products. i should adhere that those concerns are not concerns that i agree with for the simple reason that the countries that under my bill we would have allowed to produce formula to have that formula introduced into the
united states, they're countries we have already identified as having safe regulatory systems. they are countries with regulatory systems that are strong enough, in fact, that we allow imports of their pharmaceutical products produced in those countries because their standards are as rigorous as those imposed by our own f.d.a. nonetheless, i offered to remove that and made that a request for passage by unanimous consent. still, my friend objected to expanding the range of products available to w.i.c. recipients. remember, this component to the bill would have simply allowed american moms and dads who are beneficiaries under the w.i.c. program to use their vouchers to purchase any form of formula they prefer or, more commonly these days, any form of formula that's available, whereas right now the w.i.c. vouchers require you to stick to the brand
specified in the -- on the voucher in question. my distinguished colleague objected also to that version of what i offered. despite the retention of f.d.a. regulatory authority and the fact that wealthy americans are personally importing had these products already from europe. and while i find this unfortunate, i was still determined to reach an argument to make an argument and to ultimately formulate an agreement consistent with that argument to fix a problem that our federal government has made -- has created and in which it's made no discernible progress in its attempt to resolve it. so, again in the spirit of comity and compromise and a willingness to do absolutely whatever it takes to provide whatever relief we can provide to hungry babies throughout america suffering from
malnutrition, i inside my request yet again. this time to include only the provisions related to the tariff suspension. and while i'm hopeful that we'll be able to come together to address the concerns of my colleagues and pass the first two provisions of my bill as well, i hope to report today to families across the country that my legislation has achieved unanimous support and passed the senate. mr. president, this would be an incredible win for families and for hungry babies nationwide. my bill will make meaningful headway in dealing with an issue that some doctors call, quote-unquote, the worst crisis of their careers. by suspending the tariff on import formulas or providing cheaper access to formulas to individual consumers and to retailers alike, no longer will
access to these safe formulas be limited to a select group of wealthy individuals. because, again, wealthy individuals have been able to pay the higher prices that -- and suffer the inconvenience of going online or otherwise making a special order on their own of these european formulas. again, these european formulas from the countries we're talking about, countries covered by the bill, are countries that produce safe, effective formula and that are regulated by regulatory bodies that are every bit as stringent as the u.s. food and drug administration. and on that basis, in fact, we import pharmaceutical products from those countries, countries like france and switzerland and the united kingdom. babies there do fine on those formulas, in fact, they do great. and some american families have been able to benefit from those formulas as they ordered it
online, but they pay higher prices and they -- they have to deal with restrictions that make it more difficult to access those things. so this bill will open that up. this is relief that really is long overdue, particularly for ute utians -- ute utians who have -- utahans who have the highest birth rate. not coincidentally those are some of the same reasons that the baby formula shortage is felt so acutely in utah, but it is it felt acutely throughout the united states. i hope we can come together and pass even more meaningful reforms that will help solve the problem completely and once and for all. i'm grateful, however that the countless hours of behind behind-the-scenes work with my
colleagues on a bipartisan basis have resulted in a win for the most vulnerable americans. passing my formula act is a victory for families and for babies in utah and everywhere else in the united states. and so to that end, mr. president, i ask that the -- i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 372, s. 4261. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 372, s. 4261, a bill to suspend duties and other restrictions on the importation of infant formula to address the shortage of infant formula in the united states and for other purposes. the presiding officer: is there objection pertaining to the measure? without objection. mr. lee: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the lee substitute amendment at the desk be considered and agreed to,
that 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. lee: thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: in the gallery right now
listening to the senate debate on the bipartisansafer communities act , it's one of my interns . her name is sarah kaufman. i'm glad to have her as an intern in my office this summer. she has a story to tell because she is the survivor of a mass shooting. she was a student at marjorie stoneman douglas high school when a gunman entered that campus and shot and killed her friends, her classmates. she reminds us that she went to more funerals in a matter of weeks than many adults do
in their lifetime. she was in debate class when the shooting started and she ran for her life as did hundreds of othersurvivors of that horrible day . no student in america should have to experience what she went through. no young person should have the burden she bears to come to washington and argue for changes that will make sure other students don't go through the same thing and no parent should have to go through the grief that parents day after day do. mass shooting after mass shooting, urban homicide after urban homicide as we lose a generation of kids of young people in this nation to an epidemic of gun violence that can be stopped by better public policy. i've been on this floor hundreds of times meetingwith my colleagues . and i am so grateful that
senator cornyn, senator tillis, and a handful of their colleagues on the republican side this time stood up and sat down with senator cinema, myself and other democrats to find the common denominator. i'm here on the floor to talk a little bit more about what our piece of legislation does but i agree with senator cinema. this is a moment where we have shown this country what is possible here in the united states senate. i talked last night about the fear that families in connecticut and across the country felt in the wake of buffalo and uvalde but also that fate awaited our democracy if we weren't able
to rise to this moment to deal with this x essential challenge to loss of life in schools and shopping malls and supermarkets. and while this compromise was hard earned, every single day the last four weeks proved to me what can happen in this body if we decide to come out of our political corners. and let me say that this moment that we are in today on the precipice of passing the most significant anti-gun violence legislation in the last 30 years would not be possible were it not for senator sinema and her decision to sit down and help us find a path to what was possible. but it's also clear that without the leadership of senator cornyn who's been through way too many of these tragedies in his state and senator tillis, a strong supporter of the second amendment rights but also
somebody who believes in this place finding a way to act, denominator this day would be possible either. so i want to talkfor a few moments about what this bill does . because there will be a lot of folks that focus on what it doesn't do. certainly doesn't do all the things i think are necessary to end the epidemic of gun violence in this nation. but it will save thousands of lives. there is no doubtabout that in my mind . and in fact i can make the argument every single one of the provisions in this bill in and of themselves will save thousands of lives. we don't get to do that very often in this place. we don't get the chance very often to pass pieces of legislation that have this kind of impact so if you want to focus on what's not to misslegislation you can . it's your prerogative. but i want to spend a few minutes talking about the
difference this legislation will make in people's lives. senator sinema and cornyn have focused on this major historicinvestment in mental health access . it's not any secrets and my belief that you can't solve america's gun violence epidemic template through mental health funding. there's no doubt there is an intersection and there's no doubt that our mental health system is broken whether you believe that it has any intersection withamerica's gun violence epidemic . there are far too many kids in crisis who cannot get access to mental health services and in my state kids get stacked up in emergency rooms, in hallways waiting days if not weeks or in person beds. $11 billion in this bill to unlock pathways of treatment for kids and adults all across this country. funding in this bill for
school and community safety. $2 billion to make our schools safer. not just through better door locking mechanisms but also with programs inside the school's back and try to identify kids in crisis early. building supported school environments that cut down on the pathways to violence. but also money for community based interventions. what we call violence interruption programs. we have been in connecticut where you'll intervene when a shooting victim comes to the hospital. you make sure that incident doesn't spiral into retribution violence in the community. funding for school safety and community safety in this bill. and then the parts of the bill that probably get the most attention, the changes in our gun laws.
these crisis intervention orders to work. not every state has been and it was important for the money to go to every school regardless of whether they have red flaglaws but if you have a red flag or want to pass one will be able to get funding through this bill . to allow you to implement that red flag law. there are states that happened, they don't work well because people don't know how to access them. first responders don't know what to do when they see somebody in crisis and threatening violence to themselves but now we have funding to help those people that will allow the authorities with court orders to take their weapons away from people who are threatening tokill themselves or threatening mass violence . we're going to keep guns away from domestic abusers. and we know that in states that make sure that every domestic abuser is not allowed to purchase or possess guns that there is a significant impacton domestic
violence . so our bill makes it a national policy that if you have carried out an act of domestic violence againstyour partner whether you are married to them or whether you are in a serious dating relationship , you are not going to be able to have guns in your home. because this is a compromise we built in a process by which for those who have no previous record and those who keep their records of sequence to the offense and get those rights back. it makes sense to us especially given if you're convicted of a felony you have a clear pathway in your state to get your voting rights are your second amendment rights so we set up that process for those that are convicted of domestic violence and misdemeanors.
enhanced background checks for youngbuyers. whether we like it or not that 18 to 21-year-old profile, those are the mask shooters right out in this country . so we want to make sure that we do a more significant background check to make sure that these are responsible gun buyersincluding a check with the local police department . the shooter in texas was known to local police. he didn't have an offense that would have prohibitedhim from buying those weapons . but ask yourself what would have happened if the police department had gotten a background of phone call and then alerted a young man they knew to be in some form of crisis was going to buy. ar 15 style weapons on his 18th birthday. but therehave been an opportunity for an intervention . possibly. maybe that tragedy could have been avoided by better public policy . in this bill we have new penalties for gun trafficking and straw purchases. why on earth hasn't the
united states of america had a law banning gun trafficking a federal level or banning raw purchases when the main load of guns gets into the flow of illegal traffic is through straw purchasing and through complicated gun trafficking networks. now our law enforcement agencies will be available or have available new tools that will allow them to cut down on the flow of illegal weapons throughout the country but in particular most importantly into our cities. and the last thing we're going to do more background checks because of this bill. we clarify in this bill the definition of a federally licensed gun dealer to make sureeverybody that should be licensed as a gun dealer is . and one of the mass shootings in texas , the individual who carried out the crime was mentally ill. he was a prohibited
purchaser, he shouldn't have been able to buy a gun. he was denied a sale when he went to a bricks and more gun store but found a way around the background check system because he went online and found a seller there who would transfer a gun to him without a background check. it turned out that seller was in fact engaged in his business but didn't believe that the definition applied to him because the definition is admittedly confusing. but we simplify that definition and the hope is that will result in more of these frequent online gun sellers registering as they should as federally licensed gun dealers which then requires them to perform backgroundchecks . each one of these provisions arguably saves thousands of lives in and of themselves. accumulated this is a groundbreaking piece of legislation. a true compromise. not as much as i would like to do but certainly more than some republicans would like to do.
and it is a message to this country that there is a path forward in this body to address the epidemic ofgun violence . it is a message to the activists like seri kaufman who been coming to this place, going to their state legislatures asking time and again for change. speaking truth to power works . that legislators do listen. and i hope it is an invitation for us to find more ways like this towork together in the future .i believe that those who vote even those who have been on the outside of these negotiations in the past will find that when they get back to their state there will be unfamiliar supporters showing up at your events and doors. people cheer you on. because we were able together to take this existential issue.
the fear of death from gun violence more seriously andwe have in 30 years . so i'm glad to share in a little bit more detail than i was last night what is in this package. i think this is a week to focus on what we have done, not what we have left undone to accept this as an invitation to find other ways we can come together around difficult i ask unanimous consent form call be initiated. >>
"knight." it was a packed house. every seat had a person in it, expected to come home that night. i arrived the next morning at the scene and walked into the command center at the f.b.i. -- that the f.b.i. and the police were using. aare a police people showed us a video of the crime scene that had been taken by the police short slit before using a handheld camera. the images haunt me still -- popcorn everywhere, mixed with bullet casings, random clothing and blood. there were blood all over the seats and the floor. aurora mayor steve hogan and i spent the afternoon visiting hospitals all over town. we visited almost every surviving wounded victim. in the days and weeks and months after that day, we had the -- we had the gun debate in colorado. of course we had the debate.
what kind of a state would we be if we were too scared to go to a movie. and the debate was difficult and hard to find agreement. guns are a tradition in the west, and colorado is no exception. we became the first purple state to successfully pass gun safety laws. coloradans, including the vast majority of gun owners, wanted to get something done. that led to universal background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines. not everything that we wanted, but steps that made a real difference. we didn't want dangerous people to have guns. one night while i was g.o.p., i came home -- one night while i was governor, i came home tired and crank subsidy. i made the mistake of complaining to my 11-year-old son, teddy. teddy couldn't find it in him to understand why it was so hard.
dad, why don't you just make the decision? it's easy. get the facts, make a decision. check. next. i started to explain, and he repeated -- get the facts, make a decision, check, next. he says, every day go into school and i have to learning is completely new that didn't exist the day before. if i don't get it completely right, the next day is misery. the facts do matter. part of the our problem had been not having good data. many assume passing new laws like background checks or magazine limits wouldn't work because crooks don't buy guns from legal dealers. the facts proved that they very much do. in 2013, 2,782 convicted felons
tried to buy a gun in colorado and were stopped. even last year, nearly a decade later, 3,539 convicted felons were blocked from buying a gun. laws can help to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. the solutions are often straightforward. nonpartisan facts, basic data help us cut through the noise of division. guns can be a divisive issue to say the least, but we don't accept that there's no room to get things done. the bipartisan safer communities act proves that. for the first time in three decades, congress is poised to pass gun legislation that will make americans safer. and it's based on the very simple principle we all agree we should keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. the bill will give status the resources to implement -- the -- the bill will give states the resources to implement red flag
laws and keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have guns. the boyfriend loophole will prevent those from getting firearms. it will take mental health into account. it will crack down on straw man purchases that allow criminals to dodge background checks altogether. these are common sense proposals, and i'm heartened to see that they are going to pass with bipartisan support. but we all know there's more that needs to be done to produce gun violence in america. the question is, what's next? for that, we can turn to teddy's wisdom as an 11-year-old. what we need is a common set of being if as that both -- facts that both sides can act on. the highway safety administration responded to
public outcry over fatal vehicle crashes. by 2019 there were 60% fewer fatal vehicle fatalities. from to 19 -- from 1970 to 2019, fatalities were reduced 50% even though there are now two and a half times a many cars on the road. the agency's strength is? its strictly nonpartisan research. it conducts a survey, detailed analysis of vehicle fatalities across the country and forms an objective basis to evaluate procedures and standards. things like whether air bags and seat belts can make a difference. every safety feature in our cars today. why can't we have something similar for guns? we now have more gun deaths in america than we do have deaths from car crashes. yet for years we could barely
discuss solutions. while this chamber is working together, let's make sure we measure the success of these bills that we're about to pass. let's think about establishing a research body that will create an objective baseline of hard facts, not conventional wisdom. the path forward is sasse simple as my 11-year-old son knew it to be a decade ago. get the facts, make a decision, check, next. mr. president, i yield back the floor. mr. leahy: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: mr. president, senators are prepared to return to their home state over the 4th of july. it is frustrating to me that we once again kicked the can down the road on providing the needed funding to address the ongoing
covid pandemic. for months the administration, scientists, health care experts have raised the alarm -- we don't have the resources we need to stay ahead of the virus. actually with covid if you're not staying ahead of it, you're slipping behind to the detriment of all americans. to keep our recovery afloat, we've robbed peter to pay paul. earlier this month the administration announced that it is repurposing $10 billion that we appropriated in congress, $10 billion that was there to purchase additional vaccines, additional therapeutics, because our stocks were running low. the action by the administration, unfortunately,
was necessary. projections indicate that as many as 1 should million americans -- 100 million americans, nearly one in three will be infected or reink effected with covid this -- or reineffected with covid this fall or winter as our immunity to this disease wanes. the president requested covid funding. president biden requested that three months ago. the republicans have blocked this funding. without new funding appropriated by congress, the administration was left with no choice but to repurpose that $10 billion. and even that, experts is across the board agree is not enough to prepare for the coming surge.
but even this necessary choice has consequences. to pay for these vaccines and that i therapeutics, the administration had to take funding from research for the next generation of vaccines in order to sustain our testing capacity. it was not, as some republican members have indicated, excess cash that was simply there for the taking. this means that as the next surge crashes over the country, we'll not have the resources necessary to ensure that people can get tested. if we already -- have we already forgotten the mad scramble driving from pharmacy to pharmacy to get a rapid test so we could safely spend the holidays with our friends and families just six months ago? it means that new variants will emerge, we're not going to have the necessary resorrieses to
adequately continue -- resources to adequately continue the ground-i can bring research we have -- the groundbreaking research we have supported for next-generation vaccines. fueled by our waning immunity and insufficient vaccination efforts abroad, new variants are going to emerge. those are going to pose new threats to us here at home. the desperate measures taken by the administration, which they had to, in the absence of congressional action, they do nothing to support a global vaccination effort that's running on fumes. the u.s. agency for international development that manages our global response to the covid pandemic has already obligated more than 95% of the funds they have available --