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tv   U.S. Senate Senate Leaders Mc Connell Schumer on Veto Override Pandemic...  CSPAN  December 31, 2020 1:35am-1:56am EST

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, the white house conference on american history looks at how american history is taught in u.s. schools. >> use your mobile devices and go to for the latest video, live and on-demand, to follow the transition of power. news conferences and event coverage, at >> wednesday, centers debated increasing covid relief payments to $2000 in the veto override of the 2020 one defense authorization act. a vote on the veto override is expected later this week, maybe on new year's day. sen. mcconnell: today the senate was supposed to finish legislation securing critical tools, training, and support for america's armed forces but the junior senator from vermont had other ideas. senator sanders spent last
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summer literally trying to defund our military. not my words, mr. president that the title of the piece he published defund the pentagon, the liberal case. the liberal case. our colleague authored an amendment to strip 10% of funding from our service members and decimate our defense budget. the russians aren't cutting military funding. china isn't cutting funding. but last summer senator sanders and fellow democrats, including the democratic leader voted to make america unilaterally disarmed and cut ours. the left took a break from trying to defund the police to try to defund our armed forces. the amendment went down in a landslide. but now our colleague from vermont is again putting political stunts before the needs of our men and women in uniform. our colleague says he will slow down in vital bill unless he gets to muscle through another stand alone proposal from speaker pelosi that would add roughly half a trillion dollars to the national debt.
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which does not align with what president trump has suggested which has no realistic path to quickly pass the senate. as i've said the senate will not let our national security be shoved off course, certainly not by senators who have spent years, literally years trying to gut america's capabilities while our adversaries continue ramping up. the senate will stay on this important bill until we complete it one way or another. now let's talk about covid-19 relief. four days ago president trump signed the second largest rescue package in american history. the largest one was the cares act back in march. due to this pandemic and our massive response, we now have a national debt far larger than our entire economy for the first time since world war ii. but we knew our people needed more help so congress just passed another nearly $900 billion in emergency relief targeted to those who need it
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most. a second round of payroll support to save small business jobs, more unemployment aid, vaccine distribution money, funding for safe schools, and much more. in addition to historic amounts of targeted help at the request of president trump and his team, the package also included another round of direct checks to households. whether or not each household needs the help, whether or not their finances have changed dramatically this past year. yesterday secretary mnuchin announced households should begin receiving these payments as early as today and this week. that is more good news to a lot of people. after congress and the administration finalized the bipartisan bill, the president expressed interest in further expanding nontargeted direct payment. so to ensure the president was comfortable signing the bill into law, the senate committed
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to beginning one process that would combine three of the president's priorities. larger direct checks, a repeal of section 230 of the communications decency act, and further efforts to review the integrity of our democracy. three of the president's priorities in one senate process. that was the commitment and that's what happened yesterday when i introduced text reflecting just what the president had in fact requested. now, mr. president, house and senate democrats want something very different. as they try to do countless times in the past four years, speaker pelosi and leader schumer are trying to pull a fast one on the president and the american people. first of all they're hoping everyone just forgets about election integrity and big tech. they're desperate to ignore those two parts of president trump's request and you can draw your own conclusions. adds even on the question of larger checks, the democrats
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have tried to wharp what president trump actually laid out. it's no secret republicans have a diversity of views about the wisdom of borrowing hundreds of billions more to spend out -- to send out more nontargeted money, including to many households that have suffered no loss of income during the crisis. covid-19 has not affected all households equally. not even close. it's hardly clear that the federal government's top priorities should be sending thousands of dollars to, for example, a childless couple well making into six figures who have been comfortably working teleworking all year. our duty is to get help to the people who actually need help. like we did to historic -- to a historic degree just four days ago. but above and beyond that discussion, the democratic leaders have broken from what president trump proposed. they quietly changed this proposal in an attempt to let
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wealthy households suck up even more money. speaker pelosi structured her bill so that a family of four would have to earn more than $300,000 in order not, not to qualify for more cash. a family of three could pull in $250,000 per year, a quarter of a million dollars and still qualify for some money. and democratic leaders want to call this scheme, quote, survival checks. only my friends, speaker pelosi and democratic leader could look at households in new york and california who make $300,000 and households where nobody has been laid off where earnings do not even drop during the past year and conclude these rich constituents of theirs need, quote, survival checks, financed by taxpayer dollars and borrowed money. everyone sees the game here. these are the same democrats who proudly blocked the entire aid package for months because they
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tried to hold out for special tax cuts for rich people in blue states. now they say it's a matter of survival to send another boat load of cash to people making $300,000 regardless of whether they've experienced any disruption at all this past year. even the liberal "washington post" today is laughing at the political left for demanding more huge giveaways with no relationship to actual need. here's what "the washington post" wrote. especially wrongheaded is the progressive left's spear heeded by senator bernie sanders who depicts the $2,000 as aid to desperate americans despite huge amounts destined for perfectly comfortable families. that's from the editors of "the washington post." "the wall street journal" usually they're an opposite number actually agrees. these checks are unnecessary and struggling households ask access targeted support like expanded jobless benefits, subsidies and
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much more. the liberal economist larry summers, president clinton's treasury secretary and president obama's director says, quote, there's no good economic argument for universal $2,000 checks at this moment. he pointed out the cares act and the brand new law will already have boosted household income relative to the economy back to its prepandemic levels if not higher. it's specific struggling households need still more help after the huge historic package that was just signed into law four days ago has taken effect, then what they will need is smart, smart targeted aid, not another fire hose of borrowed money that encompasses other people who are doing just fine. so in my view, colleagues like senator cornyn and senator toomey have pointed this out
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persuasively but more broadly here's the deal. the senate is not going to split apart the three issues that president trump linked together just because democrats are afraid to address two of them. the senate is not going to be bullied into rushing out more borrowed money into the hands of democrat rich friends who don't need the help. we just approved almost a trillion dollars in aid a few days ago. it struck a balance between broad support for all kinds of households and a lot more targeted relief for those who need help the most. we're going to stay smart. we're going to stay focused, and we're going to continue delivering on the needs for our nation. now, mr. president, i move to proceed to calendar number 480, s. 3985. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion. the clerk: motion to proceed to calendar number 480, s. 3985, a
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bill to improve and reform policing practices accountability and transparency. mr. mcconnell: i understand that there are two bills at the desk due a second reading en bloc. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the titles of the bills for the second time. the clerk: s. 5885 -- 5085, a bill to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to increase the additional 2020 recovery rebates, to repeal section 230 of the communications act of 1934, and for other purposes. h.r. 9051, an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to increase recovery rebate amounts to $2,000 for individuals and for other purposes. mr. mcconnell: in order to place the bills on the calendar under the provisions of rule 14, i'd object to further proceeding en bloc. the presiding officer: objection having been heard, the
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bills will be placed on the calendar. mr. schumer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: now, mr. president, i was prepared this afternoon to speak about the business the senate must address, and i will do that. but first i must respond to the recent announcement by the junior senator from missouri that he intends to contest the certified votes of the electoral college when congress meets to count those votes next week. the process for electing american presidents is provided for in our constitution and laws. the process has been followed fully, fairly. the results have been dually certified by the governors of the states and they have been reviewed an confirmed by the courts many times over. the result is that joe biden and kamala harris won the election by overwhelming margins in both the popular vote and electoral vote. the biden-harris ticket received
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more than 81 million votes, more than any ticket in american history. that was over seven million more votes than trump-pence. the biden-harris ticket won the electoral college 306-332, the same president trump called a landslide just four years ago. since the election process, president trump and his acolytes have lost more than 50 lawsuits, falsely claiming fraud or other irregularities in the conduct of the 2020 election. including a unanimous decision by the supreme court to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the attorney general of texas, and more than half the republican members of the house. and today we heard from the junior senator from missouri that he intends to object to election results, particularly in pennsylvania, a state where the trump campaign and its allies have brought more -- no fewer than 13 lawsuits and lost
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every single one. many with republican judges ruling. there have been only three individuals, three charged with voter fraud in pennsylvania. in each case, the person voted for trump. the effort by the sitting president of the united states to overturn the results is patently undemocratic. the effort by others to amplify and burnish his ludicrous claims of fraud is equally revolting. this is america. we have elections. we have results. we make arguments based on the fact and reason, not conspiracy and fantasy. on january 6, the congress will meet to formally recognize the electoral college results. there is a very clear process to handle and dispense with objections from members of congress to the counting of the
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result, and that's just what we will do, dispense with them. the congress will ratify the electoral college's decision that joe biden will be president and kamala harris will be vice president on january 6, and make no mistake about it, joe biden and kamala harris will be sworn in as president and vice president on january 20. now, let me return to the matters at hand. today the senate will begin the process of overriding the president's veto on the annual defense bill. the house has already overridden the veto by a comfortable margin. i expect the senate to follow suit and enact the ndaa into law over president trump's evolving and ridiculous objections. congress has passed the annual defense bill for 59 years in a row. it's an important opportunity to ensure our defense insecurity policies reflect the evolving challenges of our world and provide our service members and their families as well as the
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defense department civilians the support, resource, and training they need. the particular legislation includes a pay raise for troops, provisions that will allow the executive branch to -- to be better postured and identify breaches to american cybersecurity, and in the wake of the solar winds hack, that might be a good policy to enact. nonetheless, president trump vetoed this legislation because it provides for renaming military installations that honor confederate military leaders. or maybe because it doesn't address an unrelated social media issue. think about it for a moment. the president vetoed a pay raise to living american soldiers in order to defend the honor of dead confederate traders. well, the senate will soon have an opportunity to override the president's objection and do right by those brave americans who wear the uniform.
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now, as i said yesterday, there are two, two major issues before the senate right now. the annual defense bill and the vital and important effort to send $2,000 stimulus checks to american families. there are only a few days left in this session, and the senate should consider both issues before adjourning. there is a very simple solution to this dilemma. leader mcconnell should bring both measures up for a vote and let the chips fall where they may. i believe both measures, the defense override, and the $2,000 checks to american families will both pass, but at the very least, the senate deserves the opportunity for an up-or-down vote on increasing the individual payments to the american people. so at the end of my remarks, i will ask the senate to set a
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time tonight for a vote on the house bill to provide $2,000 checks. the republican leader objected to a similar request i made yesterday, and it appears he may be considering a different bill that packages stimulus checks with other unrelated and partisan policies. so i want to be very clear about one thing. there is no other game in town beside the house bill. the only way, the only way to get to the american people the $2,000 checks they deserve and need is to pass the house bill and pass it now. the house has recessed for the year. any modification or addition to the house bill cannot become law before the end of this congress. it's a way to kill, to kill the bill. make no mistake about it. either the senate takes up and
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passes the house bill or struggling american families will not get $2,000 checks during the worst economic crisis in 75 years. over the past few days, the idea of increasing direct payments to the american people has united folks from all points of the political spectrum, and i salute the senator from vermont for the good job he has done in bringing this forward to the american people's attention. an overwhelming bipartisan majority in the house supports the $2,000 checks. senate democrats strongly support these $2,000 checks. and our unlikely ally, president trump, this morning treated $2,000 asap. for once, democrats agree with something on president trump's twitter feed. let's send $2,000 asap to
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working americans who are facing the hardest and darkest days of the pandemic. after all the insanity that senate republicans have tolerated from president trump, his attacks on the rule of law and independent judiciary, the conduct that led to his impeachment, is this where senate republicans are going to draw the line? $2,000 checks to the american people? that is a bridge too far? please. for the awareness of my colleagues, we can have this vote tonight and send the bill directly to the president's desk for signature. we can vote on the ndaa bill tonight and finish the senate's business before the end of the year. all it takes is our republican colleagues consenting to a simple vote on the house bill to provide $2,000 checks to the american people. yes or no. up or down.
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do you support sending $2,000 to the american people or not? let's have the vote. and so, mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of h.r. 9051, a bill received from the house to increase recovery rebate amounts to $2,000 for individuals, that the bill be read a third time and passed, and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? mrr for vermont. mr. sanders: thank you very much, mr. president. i want to concur with what senator schumer said. and what he said goes beyond economics. it goes beyond the desperation that tens of millions of


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