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tv   US Senate  CSPAN  February 9, 2016 10:00am-12:31pm EST

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focus on the. it's a good question. if you have any answers to it, you should, i welcome that response. i would say this is part of a lack of coordination of the whole counter biological threat apparatus in our government. i'll give you an example. it's not directly on point but able to you what the problem is. we estimated, or we found estimates that the government, federal government is spending five to $6 billion a year to counter the biological threat of the two kinds we talked about. ..
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now that if you have left you condolence social meandering and get that stuff, it is pretty ridiculous, isn't it? >> it is ridiculous. i was at a meeting of staff, the intelligence community organization and was on a panel about open source intelligence and i said isis, the russians, chinese, everyone in the world has access to public u.s. social media data except the united states government. what is wrong with that picture?
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and medical stuff. >> good point. >> united states army, we have not forgotten governor ridge is one of our veterans from vietnam. i did not notice you did that in the middle of law school and finish, a little unusual. the question i have is if you looked at the genetic aspects of bio terrorism and the prospect that some nefarious actor could manipulate disease that our existing vaccines or treatments are ineffective. >> it is is a real danger but nature manipulates the threat regularly. we don't know that the next -- the end of the avian flu outbreak last year that killed or forced people to kill 50 million birds mostly, vaccine was developed, and we have no
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confidence that it is going to be adequate to meet the next avian influenza outbreak and this is not simple but we have to figure out a way to coordinate our efforts but we seem to be somewhat lucky in the sense that some of the work that was done might help us at least expedite medical countermeasures to the zika virus but major is -- it can do it. >> one of the major deficiencies we believe exists in the multiple pieces of this infrastructure and we are aware of washington's silo based operation and everything you do is connect the sign ups and build new capabilities in addition to the ones you have,
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there is no permanent infrastructure to take research capability immediately to focus on a pathogen that suddenly appears not necessarily in the united states but elsewhere. mother nature can change genetics. we have seen that with the pandemic, the h1n1, with the democratization of science and more information out there about how you can have so many diseases, the notion that somehow we will be fairly risk free because nobody's going to get access to that information, not saying they secure it by digital breach which they could do and we are concerned about the passage in data at some universities to make sure they raise their level of security,
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we don't have an infrastructure, no capability internally to devote resources and intellectual capital to finding an antidote or 8 countermeasure and again one of the recommendations we made, we suspect if we get the vice president to accept the responsibility, build a strategy, that would be substantial infrastructure improvement because now is transactional. i thank the president, $1.8 billion, who is going to coordinate it? they will respond to the threat rather than having a permanent infrastructure that you see before -- enough information out there, how they identify the countermeasure and we have a surge in manufacturing abilities to deal with, we will need that in the future. >> we spent a fair amount of time on this. there have been efforts that
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have been deemed that reading public/private partnerships in the pharmaceutical industry and the academic community too to give us the capacity to quickly respond, ideally to be ready before there is an outbreak of the vaccine or treatment, and some good work has been done but i worry -- i know that in the naturally occurring infectious diseases they are ahead of us, we are not ahead of them and worry that the terrorists are as well. it is not easy to draw the incredible capability of for instance private pharmaceutical industry into this without incentives and subsidies because there is not a given market for
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vaccine that develops, we all hope and pray the outbreak doesn't occur so we got to find better ways, we made some recommendations about how to do that. the idea is that we be ready when one of the naturally occurring diseases or a terrorist attack occurred to be able to respond and stop it and treat people. >> one more. my name is ron taylor. for senator rich i had the honor of working with you in the early days when you were in the white house and when he became secretary of homeland security, it was my honor for senator lieberman. i always enjoy it our collaboration, working in science and technology, i enjoyed our collaboration and
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collaboration with your staff and got to understand your rationale through the many questions that seem my way either formally, informally, written, and britain, what a thrill to ask you a question. >> go ahead, senator. >> it is his question. >> you have the slides. >> when this happens on the center floor, my colleague from connecticut, one of the finest people i have served with, i so admire his position on many issues, but -- this issue. the question -- you both have touched on it. i have gone on and worked internationally, worked with george washington university cyber, homeland university, sell i state in the business and i stellar to the problems you have discussed. for me, the issue is about
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safety, security, prosperity, insuring that for the nation. i was once director of the city called making the nation safer, the role of science and technology and counterterrorism. i very much appreciate, senator lieberman, the comments about the science base because a lot of the solutions and problems are mixed up together in what scientists do. and they have to participate. really, the question i have and i think that the solution is what is the role of the private sector? you can throw academic inert if you want but it really is the private sector and i have heard you talk about the strategy with the government and i heard you talk about incentives and i would like to hear more about that because i think the strategy with the government is too slow, fritz too fast across
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other, particularly when you fix in information, technology, how do we get the private sector to stand up for and the responsibility it has, insuring some of this information that it owns that can be of use. when we need information we go to the private sector. >> we are lacking in this. we are living in an age of miraculous progress in so many areas of human life based on information technology, the advancing biological sciences have been extraordinary. even longer upon the average as
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a result of what pharmaceutical industry and medicine are able to help us, but we are not adequately harnessing what is out there for this public purpose. part of it is a lot of companies, the companies doing the extraordinary work of profitmaking companies accountable to their shareholders. they are likely to invest more money in something that has mass-market than something that is going to be on the shelf for at disease and outbreak, pandemic, so we look to different -- we look at different incentives, one of them that we look at is for instance give them essentially not exactly a free pass but quick pass through the fda, a case where they are dealing with current threat have the response to it.
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we haven't reached the depths of how to do this yet. but we have proven our capability not only as a society but a global society to do things ought to be impossible not so long ago. do i think we can come up with medical countermeasures that can both prevent through vaccinations and tree biological terrorist attack and naturally occurring infectious disease? i do but we haven't organize ourselves to make that happen yet. >> take a copy of the report, four or five elements to it. we want arpa to take contract in authority that will expedite it. we understand in we have to do more with funding, hospital preparedness that will be part of the response and recovery
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system. we speak broadly about incentives to the private sector, pretty difficult to convince any company, anybody in pharma to take on a massive expenditures on their own for a potential market. we want them to build medical countermeasures and frankly we took a look at some of the existing medical countermeasures, we have search capacity for that, some of that money should be shifted into innovation, sean -- some should be shifted the private sector to be more innovative than creating additional countermeasures so there are specific recommendations, we want to streamline the process subcontracting, create a collaboration, talk about the kind of incentives they need to make collaborative investments with the federal government and paid for medical countermeasures if we are going to pre position around the country, taxpayers. because it is not like you go to
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your doctor, write out a prescription from medical countermeasures in an emergency so it is all focussed on the report and we think particularly if we have someone like the vice president making those specific recommendations we would like to think at the end of the day we find bipartisan support for encouraging the private sector because we don't have the capability to build countermeasures and the federal government, tunes and devise the private sector to do it. >> thank you very much for both your presentations and answering the questions. as was noted earlier the blue ribbon panel on bio terrorism will continue on for the next year. the progress is being made but there is quite a bit left to do. hopefully the co-chairmen will come back next year and give us an update, hopefully much more will be done by then. with that we need to turn to our international partnerss a couple of whom have joined us today. our effort as noted by our
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distinguished panel, terrorism and all the aspects of terrorism are human and international problem, not a domestic problem per se soak it is a problem for all of us. international center for terrorism studies led by professor alexander, partnered with international academics and organizations and governments for quite some time and it has been our annual tradition to have our partners here to discuss their views and actions on terrorism over this past year. i would like to turn the forum over to professor alexander who will introduce hour two distinguished speakers today from jordan -- professor? >> thank you very much. as you indicated clearly the academic community cannot be
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conducted without international cooperation. fortunately, for decades, we have opportunity to work with international organizations like the united nations, the european union, and specific countries as you mentioned. i like specifically those who recall many contributions in this particular field in terms of identifying who are the terrorists, what are the root causes and the outlook for both of them in the convention, and finally, what is developed, i would like to recognize and acknowledge specifically the role of nato, the nato centers
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of excellence, for example, in turkey, in the partnership for peace as well as specific countries such as jordan. and again, the country's of jordan, a well-known in terms of advancing the cause of peace and stability in the middle east, peace treaty with israel, and king abdallah who after 9/11, we should not forget they mentioned what these people, those perpetrators of 9/11, send for completely against the thinking, the principles of muslim
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countries so with this introduction i would like to invite our next speaker, in terms of academic role, it is a very long list of academic achievements in the field of technology for example, mechanical, engineering, in the united states, and the u.k. and major-general in junior, i would say, dr. omar el hamidi will make a presentation and answer a few questions. >> i would like to see if you
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watch while i begin my presentation, i am very honored, honestly very very honored to be speaking in such distinguished organization, along side this distinguished panel, i would like to thank the audience, for the next 10 or 15 minutes, if i carry-on, please stop me. our area in the middle east, we all know has always been driven by culture and religion, the history of the area, the home of the three great religions and civilizations, that have existed thousands of years and those religions have always complemented each other virginia's and, christianity and
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islam, start a long like that, and whenever came out from that area has always been the product of ether that culture or the introduction of these three religions. so many centuries ago, any thing that happened in the area that was related to those religions, a very well known fact, that people actually use that, but the fact is that these religions complement each other. and from the same values, none of these villages, they would say, go on in some of them.
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in fact, in the last hundred years, 70 to hundred years, it elaborated more and more on religion, has become a norm, and in the last 30 or 40 years we have discovered certain groups from all over the slow world we use islam.
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and answer and and we start with the same, and we wish them peace. these organizations -- the viewers, islam. in order to become to gain certain achievements and most of it was against islam. in the last 20 years, they use that and we knew al qaeda were a terrorist organization, cure the terrorist organization, people started to know that through the wayne they financed themselves,
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the way they got themselves the resources drawn from certain things, lots of people in our area, they knew that was islam and al qaeda started to become -- started to surface. people started to know it had nothing to do with religion. if i talk the last thing i want to talk about, daesch. i would like to talk about her excellency, isis, iraq and syria in syria and iraq is not islam and is not a state. which is true, an end of court. it is true it is not the state and is not islamic at all. if we talk about daesh, i don't
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want to repeat the keynote speech, but what i would like to talk about, daesh grows two things. and think of two things. the physical entity of daesh and the ideology, the interview which we know from jordan and our intelligence with the help of other organizations, always had support from somewhere. cannot exist on just what we have, must have logistics' -- must have had some very powerful and strong and very deep logistic support from somewhere and the problem is they do. that is something to do with
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their physicality, with whatever they are doing at the moment. the most important issue for us whether it is here in the united states or in our area is the ideology they are using, the ideology in they are implementing, in order to radicalized people. the guy in california i cannot imagine such a person with a nice wife, nice home, nice job and does something like that. bombings in london in 2005, and the station that the embassy of jordan. four people that -- the perpetrators that we want to call them you can call them anything. these guys, they were very nice people. ..
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thinking that they are jihadis, they are this, but i bet. there is no such thing. we all started to realize that these guys, they are actually implementing their policies and their strategies on how vulnerable we are when it comes to ideology. the last thing that i would like to say is that in jordan we have
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suffered so many conflicts in our area, and the problem is that we had no interest in any of these conflicts. we come if i talk about now, if i talk about development, social development, economic development, scientific development, anything, any kind of development. we have always talked about, studied weather here in the states in america or wherever, you always have short-term and long-term plans. in jordan we've never been able to have a long-term plan development. i'll tell you why. in 1916, does the conflict. in 1946 there was another conflict. 46, 56, 67, 73, 91, 2003, 2011.
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each and every 10 years period we've always had to come up against something that was actually thrown at us. now we have 1.5 million syrians. everybody talks about serious. we have 1.5 million syrians. that is about twice, you know, according to my records, could be as much as three times as europe had in the last maybe three or four years. but we have iraqis. we have egyptians. we have yemenis. we have libyans. we started in 1948 as about 2.5 million people. 1967 we became 5 million or 6 million. now we are about 10 million people. education, health care, economy,
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everything, housing. when i wanted to buy my apartment in 1982, it was about 21,000, about $25,000. my son last year bought his apartment for $130,000. all of that was implemented in jordan. king abdullah last week in london that 25% of our budget goes to refugees. 25%. imagine that. that is a lot. i would like to finish with saying that we had a wonderful relationship, magnificent relationship with both the government of the united states as well as the people of the united states. and we still are having a wonderful, let's say, period where we are working with each
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other. we are trying to implement peace over there. we have a wonder for relationship with our neighbors, and excellent relationship with our neighbors and hopefully in the very near future, we would like to think that that region will have peaceful time where our children and grandchildren live in peace like you live in the states or like they live in europe. thank you very much. [applause] >> any questions, please? >> how would you say the u.s. could help jordan become an even more effective partner in the war against terrorism? what could the u.s. do that it is not doing to help jordan be more effective?
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if you have a wish list. >> yes, sir. first of all, i'm a soldier. i would like to thank the united states has done its share towards jordan tremendously in the last 50 years. we've done a lot together and we've always, always experienced that help and the support from the united states. but to answer your question, we know that terrorism is the common enemy. funny enough, if i count now you will be amazed of the syrians, the russians, the saudis, the iranians, the americans, the jordanians, the israelis come everybody thinks that daesh is bet. how much are we doing to try to get rid of daesh? this is something that we've always, always talk to our neighbors, talk to the people
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that have always supported us. the united states in particular, what we would like united states to do now is to be and to stand as they have stood before against tyrants, against dictators and hopefully, you know, jordan will benefit from the. we in jordan, we've always, always thought that peace is the only way for social development and economic development and eventually providing good news for our children and our grandchildren, and other generations to. -- [inaudible] >> i'm representing arab league in washington and a great place to be today as i am a newcomer. major commentary aware of what you were saying everything is clear to me, and thank you for
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the clarification. but to say the role of arab league in cairo and washington, i would like just to answer the question of my colleges asked about what is the role of united states to competitiveness and. i think the international coalition is very well known. most arab countries are joined the arab, the international coalition against daesh and the other type of terrorism. so we are all agreed that this group of daesh or al-qaeda, whatever, has nothing to do with islam and they are very extremist and very barbarian and barbaric attacks affecting us as a muslim. thank you very much. >> sir, thank you very much for. when i see something like that, this is very, very nice. each and every single word was written in your is chosen very,
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very carefully and very, very nicely. but the first thing that you see that, islamic. we drive ourselves as muslims, christians, jewish from such an organization. this organization was collected from criminals. we know that. everybody knows that. they were originally criminal but very clever criminals. they used social media. they used lots of knowledge about communication, and they started to enroll people into their schemes. that they are absolutely nothing to do with islam. you are right 100%. [inaudible] >> i appreciate your candor and i think most americans that pay attention to the relationship we've had with the jordan appreciate the strength of that
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relationship. >> thank you, sir. >> are so much discussion about the impact of refugees on europe. i'm glad you brought it up. it's even a disproportionate impact to one of our strongest allies in the region, and that's jordan. and until somebody understands ordeals with the instability in syria and elsewhere that generated the refugee problem we're still going to begin with the consequences of instability. that's for a separate discussion. i am very curious as to the kind of support, financial support you're getting from other countries in the region, the kind of support you're getting from the united nations. the disproportionate burden of refugees, in my judgment, because the goat of the global community to deal with the crisis in syria and the genocide that's going on in syria has fallen on the government and the people of jordan. would you lay out for everybody of what the rest of the world is doing to support your efforts
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come instability in syria has nothing to do with the jordan. you didn't cause it. the reservoir has ignored it. what is the rest of the world and doing to help you? >> i would really, really like to very, very much thank you for such a seven. i'm a soldier. normally i speak from my knowledge as a soldier. to talk about politics and things like that, i don't. it's very, very, very point that jordan is paying a lot. you are listening to his majesty, listening to me. you were listening to lots of people who come and talk or go to europe and talk. but the millions of people who are affected by this crisis, refugees as well as insecurity. at the moment jordan is come with the help of our allies, especially the united states, i
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would like to thank each and every single state that have actually contributed towards our stability, which is now very, very vital. is very, very important. of the problem is that we are crying out loud that jordan cannot withstand that pressure anymore. jordan is crying for help. it's not just a matter of 300 or 400 billion that is going towards ammunition and going towards f-16s or something like that. but we would like is that we would like the people of jordan that have actually expressed themselves when the syrians started to come in, i was on duty and in exactly how people felt. lots of people, they've actually accommodated them into their homes. they did not wait to ask for help from the government or from the assad -- from the united nations. what would like to see as our
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allies from everywhere, not just on the united states, the united states, like i said to have their own. i've been a soldier for about 36 years. all of the time we've always, always experienced that magnificent support from the united states. the problem is that we would like the arab league, it's a very, very important, the gulf countries as well as europe to do more. more not just for the war machine, but as well as for the people of jordan to try to support that conflict, which is coming out of, it's eating out and becoming bigger than the government of jordan. thank you, sir, very much. >> thank you. >> thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much, general, for your insights, very rich i think issues that you raise, and
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the challenge to jordan now on a humanitarian level as well as security. just as a little footnote, i want to mention, i think the definition of bankruptcy that we are struggling with economically as well as policymakers for many decades, one of them as i mentioned the definition of, aspect of that you raised about the so-called islamic state, and i think again it is really fundamental to say that we cannot attribute terrorism and violence to any particular country, any particular region, any particular religion. no question about this. i fully agree with you that we
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do have common ground of islam, and judaism and christianity. if we save one life, it's as if we save the entire world. so at any rate, the point i'm making is that i think we have to focus on what the so-called islamic state is, and i fully agree, it's not islamic, it's not a state, but they attribute at least the so-called, they declared the caliphate, and certainly the muslim world has to provide some guidance how to deal with that dilemma. but at any rate this is an issue for some other, i think, seminars or discussions in the future. now let me move on to our last panelist today.
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i think it is rather very significant to talk about a different kind of support and combating terrorism for many decades, and the experience of sri lanka. with great sadness i would like to report to you that the former foreign minister of sri lanka who spoke at our seminars right here at the potomac and elsewhere, he was assassinated by the extremists, although he was an extremist himself, and he sacrificed himself on the altar of faith. we see of course, we see other leaders as well. for example, in israel by jewish
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extremists and terrorists. so we know the story, but as for sri lanka goes, i think it is important to have some historical perspective as well as some analysis from someone who spent decades as an historian to deal with identity crisis. for example, security and peace issues. the deputy chief of mission of the embassy of sri lanka, omar al khaldi is uniquely qualified -- gamini keerawella is uniquely qualified to deal with these issues. he was educated of sri lanka in canada and station for many, many decades, and he has a will of both the diplomat and historian and academic. and i asked him to share with us
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some of his insights related to the history modus operandi, for example, as well as how to end insurgency and waves of terrorism in his country. perhaps this would be a lesson for some other nations to follow. please. >> thank you very much. first, may i say that it is a great privilege and honor for me to be your. i'm particularly thankful to
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professor alexander for giving me the opportunity to share this podium with panel of distinguished scholars. at the outset i most state that i am here not as dcm of sri lanka embassy but as a scholar who has studied political conflicts four years. a diplomatic mantle that i am wearing is very new. i am more comfortable in the academic cloak that i had been wearing for nearly four decades. as a historian i can't agree more that the prospect is the key to chart the future prospects. from this perspective, relieving sri lankan experience with terrorism is highly relevant to the discussion today.
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[inaudible] -- for nearly 30 years. it was long considered the most well organized terrorist group in the world, with a sizable suicide squad, in addition to having a naval and in the last -- [inaudible] finally the sri lankan forces were able to militarily defeat them in may 2009. after seven years we should be able to relieve terrorism and counterterrorism in sri lanka and order to draw lessons to avoid a recurrence of these types of episodes. what are the messages that the military sent to the world? can be collects of -- be
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explained? i intend to address. first, i think and analyze the political anatomy, then i will address the factors and conditions that contributed to the outcome of the armed conflict. finally, i will do well on key lessons. primarily it was a terrorist organization. nihilistic type of well-planned assassinations remain a key tool an arm of political behavior. the political driving force was nationalism. every move was justified in terms of aspirations. hints, without reading the politics of the trend when it is
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not possible to analyze its character. ultimate objective of the use of terror was to achieve a separate state for the people in sri lanka. in order to understand this militant face of nationalism that the ltt represented, it is necessary to project trajectories of singular and tamil nationalism since independence. they are both symbiotic relationship in post-independent sri lanka. furthermore, the structural -- gulf coast interlochen and the reaction of the state to suppress tennille dissident to a certain degree of legitimacy to their struggle at the beginning. another key feature of the organization was politics.
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it was a tightknit organization, and any dissenting view within the organization was severely suffer. and the behavior of the ltt, military strategy always took precedence over the political strategy. total listed -- trans-nationalism prevented it from having a political dialogue with the performance forces in the south. at the same time, the ltte maintained a widespread international network. military defeat has been analyzed from different perspectives. a number of factors were identified with military, strategy product is given primacy. and fact, the role of the political and military leadership of sri lankan forces
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effective military strategy of the sri lankan forces and their dedication, and the newly acquired firepower within the ltte impact of the democratic changes in the north and the changed international context after 9/11 were given attention. i'm not discounting the validity of these factors. my argument is that defeat of ltte cannot be adequately explained only in terms of military strategy factors. collapse of the ltte shows the limits of terrorism as a political tool. its organization was fraught with a number of laws. ltte was able to mobilize
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suicidal scott and highly dedicated. however, it suffered from a number of organizational and conceptual weaknesses and limitations. command structure of the ltte was excessively authoritarian. there was no room for internal discussion. as a result, ltte about a just strategy or conceptually to the changes that were taking place in national and international politics. the authoritarian director and the leadership deprived it of the means of feeling the true pulse of the people living under its control. in the final days of war, ltte planned a human shield, but once the sri lankan forces broke, its people deserve been. ltte failed to present robert
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democratic agenda to restructure the sri lankan state. even when they separate sovereign state, sri lanka became more and more impracticable in the light of global sociopolitical trends. ltte did not want to change this political objective, and its military strategy to settle for a clinical solution, less than that of a separate state. [inaudible] -- of the other tamil voices come in the tamil society by the ltte watered down justification of their struggle. terrorists faced of the ltte rather than that of the liberation fighters was illustrated more and more by the nihilistic type of assassination of individuals.
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the structural political crisis of the postcolonial state in sri lanka and the failure to address grievances of tamil, some credentials to ltte at the beginning. however, authoritarian director of the organization couples with terrorism and a failure to compromise on any political solution other than a separate state paved the way for its doom. hints, both the emergence of a collects -- the collapse of the ltte highlighted the first of the people in the north for tomography, democracy, justice, human rights, good governance, rule of law and accountability. therefore, main reason that can be derived from military defeat
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of ltte is they need to bring democratic political reforms to the forefront of political agenda. thank you. [applause] >> we have time for one or two questions. one question. >> questions. >> let me ask you a question and terms of the role of diaspora, in terms of propaganda in terms of support of extremism and violence in sri lanka. >> yes. and we tal talked diaspora it ia diverse. normally we have namely two kinds of diaspora, cingular and -- [inaudible] you know, even tamil diaspora to
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our various. therefore, on the one hand, ltte wanted to maintain and ltte maintained very widespread international network, using the experiences that tamil people faced in sri lanka during a clash in order to leave the network to prepare arms as last specialize government. but through time, they became much more divided and the army forces. because in sri lanka in no area there was no democratic political space. but here with the passage of time, political democratic political space emerged within the diaspora.
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there were a number of grievances. the second thing is singular diaspora. singular diaspora also view the tamil that extremism is there other. therefore, they wanted to counter. both our extremism. in order to find a solution we have to defeat both extremism of both singular diaspora as well as tamil diaspora. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. [applause] >> as usual i'm inclined to say something when the program is already over and late, thank you. but i do want to thank our distinguished panelists for joining us today. governor ridge and senator lieberman, and so is a pleasure to have you aboard and listen to
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your sage advice on where we're at. we've really got a good update in this bible study on the future and where we are headed. so we are on the right track affair. general, thank you, too. and let me just say from a personal standpoint, i want to thank you and your country for all that you quietly did during the iraq conflict and the like. your knowledge and experience in the region, your understanding of the sunni tribes, your understand of matters economics in and around baghdad saved a lot of american lives, so thank you. [applause] >> doctor, or you come so people don't know just how many years you have and how diverse your capabilities are with respect to studying for peace and bringing peace and working to that end. not just in our great country and the like, but you are well
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known in japan, well known in australia, well known in india come and, of course, your well-known here, and thank you for joining us as well. yonah said how great you are and all that. thank you all for joining us and the like that every member, there is hope. i'm the eternal optimist, therefore, you're going to have to suffer with me here. we're going to be successful in all these endeavors because we are building the right kind of teamwork. we are building the right kind of partnerships around the world. we are doing the right kind of things in many places, and we understand that it's not just a military thing, far from the. it's an economic challenge, a political challenge, a societal challenge, a technology channel -- challenge. and again we've got to make sure that the people who are right now supporting this crazy isis and the rest, these people need to understand that isis and what
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they stand for is going to get beaten. and wants you beat them, the people will lead them, believe me. that's the way it happened with the former soviet union and that's the way it's going to happen in the future. so thank you all very much. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> the recount is the best presidents, the greatest presidents have been willing to recognize they were not the smartest person in the room. and to surround themselves with people they thought were smarter than themselves. >> send an iq and a former secretary of defense and former director of the cia robert gates discusses his book "a passion for leadership."
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mr. gates has served under several presidents. most recently president george w. bush and barack obama. >> at the end of the cold war when i was director of central intelligence, i came to believe very strongly that the american people have given cia a pass on a lot of things because of this existential conflict with the soviet union. and i believe that after the end of the cold war we were going to have to be more open about what we did and what we did it, even to an extent how we did it to help the american people better understand what intelligence was import. to the government and to the president and why president of value. value. >> sunday night at eight eastern on c-span's q&a. >> the u.s. senate is about to begin its session today. general speeches until 12:30 p.m. eastern when they were recess for party lunches.
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members will be back at 2:15 p.m. for a confirmation vote for ambassador to burma. also the chair and ranking member of the energy committee said it working to work on an energy bill that address the flint, michigan, water crisis. hhs secretary sylvia burwell will brief the members of the administration's response to the will l virus. now live to the senate floor. the chaplain: let us pray. o god, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come. thank you for our nation and for the freedoms we enjoy. thank you also for the men and women who gave their lives that we might be free.
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forgive us all when our preoccupation with selfish dreams keeps us from surrendering to your will. help us to strive each day to give you our best. guide our senators. may nothing deter them from doing your will. give them faith to meet each challenge with your wisdom. help them to give themselves completely to you, permitting your peace to guard their hearts. we pray in your sacred name. amen. the president pro tempore:
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please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to our flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: the president released his budget today. congress will review his final set of proposals and priorities, his call for new taxes, new
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spending and more debt, but now on another matter, just this morning local health departments confirmed two cases of the zika virus in two states boarding kentucky, indiana and ohio. americans want a better understanding of the administration's efforts to fight this virus and its spread. americans want to know what the administration's funding priorities are for combating zika in a time of limited federal resources. we appreciate secretary burwell coming up today to help explain all of this. she and her team will provide a briefing to senate committee chairs and ranking members about a virus americans are rightly concerned about. keeping americans safe and healthy is the top priority for all of us. i'm looking forward to hearing what she has to say. now, turning to the nomination we'll consider today, our ambassador to burma, derrick mitchell, has staunchly pursued america's interests in an
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important post. he's helped guide our relationship with burma through a historic transition to elected government. he has also served as a trusted and valuable partner in understanding how best to measure the pace and viability of reform within burma. i've gotten to know derrick pretty well over the last few years. i offer to him sincere gratitude for all of his advice and his counsel. he'll be missed. he is a genuine expert on that country. while he leaves big shoes to fill, i intend to support the man nominated to succeed him. scot marciel has served as principal deputy assistant secretary since 2013 following his time in jakarta as our ambassador to indonesia for three years. he served as an ambassador for deputy assistant secretary for
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pacific bureau responsible for relations with southeast asia. earlier in his career, he served in vietnam, the philippines, hong kong, brazil and turkey as well as in the economic bureau's office of monetary affairs. ambassador marciel will represent us as a new government is formed over there in burma, as america's policies adjust to those changes on the ground. he obviously has a lot of experience. i think it will prove valuable as it works to help our nation at a time of truly consequential change in burma. burma's tradition -- transition to democratically elected government is an important mark of reform in a country with a long and very troubled history. we know there is more to be done, but the administration can take credit for its efforts and so can members of congress in both parties. hopefully we can build on that momentum by working together.
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and on one final matter, mr. president, the regime in north korea presents serious threats to regional stability, to the security of americans, to the safety of our allies and to the well-being of north koreans themselves. pyongyang regularly threatens neighbors like south korea and japan. it routinely engages in cyber warfare. it repeatedly commits gross human rights violations against its own people and continues to develop a nuclear program that threatens peace in the region and throughout the world. the regime's most recent display of belligerent behavior only underlines that the administration's approach has certainly not worked. so let's work together to change that. let's vote to move america's policy in a better and more successful direction. last month, the house of representatives voted to pass comprehensive sanctions legislation on a bipartisan basis. tomorrow the senate will turn to
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comprehensive sanctions legislation that builds on what the house passed, and we should pass that measure on a bipartisan basis as well. the north korea sanctions and policy enhancement act was written by a republican from colorado, senator cory gardner, and a democrat from new jersey, senator bob menendez, and reported from the foreign relations committee. it would strengthen congressional oversight. it will give the president more tools to take action against north korea's growing aggression and require him to do so. it would also reassure our regional allies that we have not despaired in taking any action against north korea, with or without help from china. the kind of belligerence we've seen from pyongyang must not be ignored. let's work together to make our country and our world safer by passing this bipartisan bill.
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mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. reid: i said yesterday, i say again today i appreciate very much the republican leader scheduling the meeting to talk about the zika virus today. as i indicated yesterday, things crop up. i have been called to the white house at that same time, so i personally won't be at the meeting, but i'll have people there to make sure that if there's anything i missed i'm brought up to date on that. again, i appreciate the republican leader scheduling that meeting. mr. president, i am glad that we're going to be doing the ambassador to burma. everyone knows that personal -- the personal attention that senator mcconnell has shown to the country of burma for many years. i'm glad we're going to get an ambassador to burma. mr. president, i would hope that everyone understands we are really shortchanging the state
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department. we have got numerous people held up. the secretary of state has called me on several occasions lamenting the fact that he is having trouble getting the work done because we didn't have people to do the work. 15 foreign policy nominations being held up by the republicans. and we have a number of ambassadors being held up. sweden, norway, luxembourg, trinidad. a number of countries that are extremely important to what we are doing here. and it's a shame that they are being held by the republicans. it's really very unfortunate. mr. president, the people of flint, michigan continue to suffer through a catastrophic series of problems. basically their water is heavily
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contaminated. their nightmare which began almost two years ago was an emergency that requires a federal response. that's what we have been trying to do. in case of an emergency like this, we must act, helping americans dealing with the public health crisis. for weeks now, we have called on republicans to work with us to provide assistance to the people of flint. 100,000 people, 6,000 -- i'm sorry, 9,000 children under age 6 have been poisoned in that little city in michigan. very large by nevada standards but by michigan standards that city is not one of the bigger ones. they need help. we need help from the republicans. nothing's happened because we haven't had enough republican support. in the meantime, the people of flint, michigan are using bottled water to bathe, to drink, to brush their teeth, to cook with. that's really too bad. this should not be a partisan
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issue. drinking water we're talking about. everyone is entitled to pure, clean drinking water. and access to safe water is a right every american deserves. no one, whether they live in michigan, texas, florida, arizona, nevada, illinois, it doesn't matter where you live, you shouldn't be afraid to drink the water that comes out of your faucet. no one should have to suffer what the people of flint, michigan have suffered. mr. president, yesterday the american academy of pediatrics wrote a long letter to me and to senator mcconnell. in this letter, they said that this organization representing 65,000 pediatricians and other pediatric specialists believes something needs to be done with the water in flint. i'm asking unanimous consent that the whole letter be made part of the record. the presiding officer: without objection.
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mr. reid: and i'm only going to read a short phrase or two out of the letter that says it all. the american academy of pediatrics supports federal efforts to provide immediate funding and other assistance to the people of flint, including an amendment offered by senators stabenow and peters. the quote goes on to say there is no safe level of lead exposure for children. lead damage can be permanent and irreversible. lasting decreases in cognition have been documented in children with blood levels as low as five micrograms per cililiter of lead and blood. it's therefore clear that children of flint will need long-term assistance in both the short and long-term. this is a letter from the american pediatrics. these are people who deal with children. they're not politicians. they're willing to tell us that these children have been poisoned. in order to do something for the
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children of flint and other families, we need help from my republican colleagues. despite harsh words from several members of the republican caucus, i have no interest in resolving the crisis in flint -- who have no interest in resolving the crisis in flint, some republicans are willing to help. senators have been working with -- for example, the senior senator from oklahoma has been working with senator stabenow all weekend to put together an aid package that includes immediate funding for the people of flint. now we are once again waiting on republicans to step forward and support the chair of the environment and public works committee. it's incumbent upon the republican majority to get to, yes, help the people of flint end this man made emergency that's simply beyond their control. all americans deserve safe, clean drinking water, not just some of them. i hope my republican colleagues will choose to help us pass legislation to resolve this crisis, sending emergency funds to the people of flint now.
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would the chair announce the business of the day? the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the assistant democratic leader. mr. durbin: mr. president, i'd like to address an issue of vital importance to america's national security. it's the issue of reliable rocket launches, launches which the department of defense and the national intelligence agencies count on on a regular basis to launch satellites to keep america safe. there's a separate area of launches involving the civilian side with nasa, but this morning i want to focus primarily on the department of defense rocket launches. we made a decision about ten years ago that was wrong. two companies that were competing at that time, boeing
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and lockheed, came forward to the federal government and said we have a plan. instead of our companies competing, we will join together. we will become one company, boeing and lockheed, for this purpose under the term united launch alliance. they argued, convincingly at the time, that this was the blest way to come up with affordable, reliable launches. well, they were true -- that was true for half of the projection. they were reliable. in the last ten years, the united launch alliance has been a reliable partner to the department of defense in launching satellites and other things into space which are critical for our national security. but, unfortunately, because they became a monopoly, with no competition, they became increasingly more expensive, and we had no place to turn. so recently there have been new entries in this market in terms of launching satellites.
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one of the most promise something spacex. spacex, from its infancy, has matured into a company which could play an important role in the future of satellite launches in the united states. i noted this fact, and as chairman of the defense appropriations subcommittee, i did something that doesn't happen around here very often. i had a hearing scheduled and brought together the c.e.o.'s of the united launch alliance, the traditional partner of the department of defense in launching slights, and this new -- satellites, and this new company, spacex. i invited the c.e.o.'s from both companies to sit at the same table and answer questions from the defense appropriations committee, and then send of the hearing i did something that i thought might be positive and constructive. i said to each c.e.o., i would like each of you to write ten questions that should be in the record answered by your partner at the table there. if we haven't covered everything to give a fair exposition of
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where this issue stands today, now is your chance. that was in january 2014. it was the first time anybody had brought together two potentially competing companies and let them plead their case before the defense appropriations subcommittee. but i felt this was the best way to give spacex a chance to tell its story as a new entrant into this competition and for u.l.a. to defend its position. we then decided that there was another element that was important. united launch alliance has several engines that can take a satellite into space. the most economical one is one built by the russians, the rd-180. well, i happen to believe that it's not in our best security interest to be dependent on the russians to supply us with a rocket engine for vital satellites to be launched into space. and so i started pushing in the defense appropriations committee to put money into a competition for an american-made,
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american-built rocket engine to replace the russian rd-180. and for two successive years we have appropriated more years for this competition than the defense authorizing committee. well, it turns out that we're on the right track, but the timing is challenging. what we've been told is that replacing the russian engine with an american-made engine will take up to five years. the source of that statement: the secretary of the air force. and so the obvious question is, if we can't cut off the russian engine today without jeopardizing our th national security, what should we do? we decided in the current appropriations bill to extend the authority to the department of defense to take bids on rockets lawrchlterockets launchn engine by u.l.a. through this fiscal year. i thought that this was a prudent thing to do, to wean ourselves from dependence on a russian-made engine but to do it
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in a thoughtful, sensible way that gave the department of defense some options. this question, incidentally, for options and flexibility came not just from the secretary of the air force but came from the director of national intelligence, as well as the secretary of defense. they said they needed these options to keep america safe. well, that was the state of play until the senior senator from arizona decided he was going to come to the floor repeatedly and challenge this conclusion by the appropriations subcommittee and then leading to an op-ed which he published yesterday in "the wall street journal." i come to the floor this morning to address that op-ed by the senior senator from arizona. it is titled "congress' cynical crony capital gift to putin." the senior senator from arizona references me by name in this article, as he has repeatedly on the floor of the senate, though many would argue that violates
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the senate rules. notwithstanding that personal personalaspect of this, i want to address this issue before us. why does the senior senator from arizona continue to single me out personally? well, i.t. combo it's because io agree with the secretary of defense and the secretary of the air force about a vital are national security issue. the senior senator from arizona disagrees with them. the issue is deadly serious, despite the name-calling by my colleague. it is about competition for launching defense satellites into space. here are the facts: one company, united launch alliance, or u.l.a., held a monopoly for nearly ten years. the costs of launches was out of control. today there is finally an opportunity for competition. a new company i mentioned earlier, spacex, has entered.
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they are challenging u.l.a. as i said earlier, in january 2014 i recognized this option, this possibility, this opportunity, and held a hearing with the c.e.o.'s of both companies, testifying under oath. the result of this competition is that costs are dropping, exactly what we wanted to achieve. and the taxpayer is beginning to see savings. however, as i mentioned earlier, the u.l.a. rocket most often used uses a russian-built rocket engine, the rd-1806789 afte180. after the russian invasion of crimea and ukraine, the department of defense agreed that it was time for us to phase out any dependence on this russian-made engine and to make an american product as soon as possible. i couldn't agree with that more. developing and test ago new american-made rocket takes time, more time than i imagined. the air force, secretary of the air force, testifying before the
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committee of the senior senator from arizona, estimated that it would take until at least 2021 or 2022 until there was an american-made rocket engine that could replace the russian engine that is being used today. however, the senior senator from arizona doesn't want to wait that long to replace the russian engine. in his "wall street journal" dia tribe, he writes that -- quote -- "we don't need to buy anymore." and he's apparently considering a total ban on the department of defense using these russian engines. despite the fact that we have received in writing from the secretary of defense and the director of national intelligence a warning that doing this would in fact create a gap, a gap which could endanger our national security. in may 2015, the secretary of defense and director of national intelligence wrote to chairman of the defense authorization
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committee and they shared his goal of replacing this russian engine, but they warned the senior senator from arizona that if he followed his own plan, it could harm u.s. national security. they were alarmed in this letter at the proposed cutoff of access to russian engines before an american replacement was ready. secretary carter and director clapper do not want to trade one launch monopoly -- u.l.a. -- for another launch monopoly -- spacex. they are encouraging and standing for competition. they want to keep them competing so that they can have lower cost and options, if one of the companies, for whatever reason, is unable to meet its obligations. also, our defense and intelligence satellites must not be dependent on one type of rocket. a spacex launch failed last summer. it took six months before they
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could return to launches. with only one supplier of rockets, a crash could stop vital satellite launches for months. it would endanger america's national security. the senior senator from arizona ignored the arguments being made by the secretary of defense and the director of national intelligence. after all, it's hard for a senator to argue with a senior national security leader, senator secretary, and it would be unconscionable to call our nation's highest intelligence official, a former air force pilot and career civil servant, a putin crony. but i take warnings from our nation's top national security experts seriously. my committee has been working to address these issues the right , the safe -- the right way, the safe way. rather than attacking fellow senators in the press, the senior senator from arizona should face the facts.
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when the defense aeptio defenses bill marked up in 2015, the bill provided a ploitio provision tow defense to conduct full and open for one year. an amendment was offered by the senior senator from arizona to strike that provision. he withdrew his amendment when it was clear there was bipartisan support for the bill. the provision was modified in conference, but the effect of the provision remains the same: to make sure the department of defense and the director of national intelligence have some answer to their concern about a launch monopoly. the senior senator from arizona has proposed another solution: that u.l.a. offer another rocket called the delta-4, which of course is not a russian engine. according to the pentagon's top represents buyer and u.l.a., eemp of those rockets -- each of those rockets that are endorsed by the senior senator from
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arizona cost about 30% more than the atlas rockets with russian engines. so if that figure is correct, the plan of the senior senator from arizona requires american taxpayers to pay approximately $1 billion more in launch costs over the next six years. this senator, who comes to the floor frequently telling us that he's such a budget hawk, is proposing a plan that will cost us at least $1 billion more over the next six years. that figure could be higher. his plan could triple the cost of launches for some satellites that are too heavy to be launched on a single rocket. under the senior senator from arizona's plan, the taxpayers would foot the bill for a new government-created monopoly. it is in fact a $1 billion windfall and gift to one defense contractor in california, if we follow the plan of the senior senator from arizona. and it would also put our national security at risk. -- if there is a technical fail
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-- failure. if spending $1 billion of taxpayers' money sounds like a counterproductive and questionable idea, you'd be right. last year the chairman of the armed services committee said many times the defense authorization bill isn't a budget bill. now as vice children of the defense appropriations subcommittee, i can say that spending an extra billion dollars at this moment in the history of the department of defense doesn't make sense. there's another aspect to this, and i don't know if the senior senator from arizona is going to look into it or attack it as well. when it comes to supplying the space station, we are reliant on russian-made engines. if the senior senator from arizona wants to cut off the access of nasa to these russian-made engines, it will be a dangerous proposal. there are a variety of nasa
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missions ahead which rely on this atlas rocket. these include multiple resupply missions to the international space station, a mission to take a sample from an asteroid, a new mars lander, a probe to study the sun and several weather sat- satellites. if there is the will to ignore the experts about access to national security, we best take care that the senior senator from arizona will now say that supplying the space station is somehow a sellout to vladimir putin. we've appropriated $448 million to develop all american engines, which is more than the armed services committee has authorized. in a few years, we will have real competition for space launches that will help lower costs for a long time to come. but only if we listen to our top defense and intelligence leaders who favor a responsible transition to the next rocket in the interests of national security and oppose the plans put forward by the senior senator from arizona.
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mr. president, one of the aspects of this article in the "wall street journal" that troubles me the most is the suggestion that i take lightly the adventurism of vladimir putin and his bloody invasion of ukraine. i'm proud to be the cochair of the ukrainian caucus with senator portman of ohio. we have a large ukrainian population in my state. i have spoken to them many times, and i have visited ukraine many times to make it clear that i detest what putin has done anyone vading their country and threatening -- has done in invading their country and threatening their sovereignty. the senior senator from arizona personally invited me a company him to ukraine. to suggest that my position on these rocket engines is somehow a give-in to putin is shameless and wrong. i think my statements, public and otherwise, have made it clear otherwise. at this point, mr. president, i
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yield the floor. the presiding officer: the majority whip. mr. cornyn: mr. president, at 11:00 a.m. this morning, the president released his budget, the final budget for his presidency. unfortunately, rather than something that sends a signal that he wants to work with congress, it basically is a -- is more of the same, a $4 trillion budget that is unserious, partisan and contains reckless spending. and in it, he does include
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several new proposals, proposals he knows will be dead on arrival here in the united states congress. from my perspective coming from an energy state, one pretty astounding measure he suggested was putting a $10 tax on each barrel of oil. what that would do is translate into 25 cents a gallon more for consumers at the pump. how in the world would that help?american families that are suffering as a result of stagnant wages due to slow economic growth in this country, as well as additional costs that have been imposed upon them by the administration like obamacare? the simple fact is it doesn't help the average american family get by. just the opposite. at a time when our country is producing more energy domestically than it ever has and just beginning to export that energy to our friends and
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allies around the world, the president's budget reveals that he has little interest in growing the -- our energy independence and little interest in jump-starting our economy. all he has to do is look in texas, north dakota, pennsylvania and other places to see how our domestic energy production has helped create thousands of jobs and helped grow the economy. so instead the president makes these job-killing proposals which will just further burden hardworking american families along with the tepid growth that we've seen in our own economy. .7% just this last quarter. and then the president's budget adds further insult to injury by adding to our national debt, which is already $19 trillion. somebody's going to have to pay that back, mr. president. somebody's going to have to pay
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that back. and in the meantime, what we will have to do is pay interest on that debt, which will continue to crowd out spending in other areas like national security where there is a national consensus. this is the number-one priority for the american people. so strangely but unfortunately predictably, rather than deciding to work with congress and to listen to the concerns that have been raised by those hardworking american families, president obama went ahead and submitted a budget with no apparent interest in finding any kind of common ground. it is a sad testament to his go it alone legacy which has been more ideological than actually solution oriented. we are here to try to solve problems, and the only way we can do that is by working
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together to find consensus where we can, understanding that there are people from many different points of view all across the ideological spectrum who serve in the senate and the house. but only by working together -- and that includes not just congress but the president, too too -- can we actually begin to help grow the economy, to help create jobs, to help make america more secure. so i hope that the house and the senate, given the fact the president has decided to take the tack he has, i hope that congress can lead the charge against this request for irresponsible spending and try to help get our economy back on track, to begin the process of reducing our debt and strengthening the hand of the american family. mr. president, on another note, i'd like to spend just a few minutes talking about a very important hearing that we will be having tomorrow in the senate
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judiciary committee, something that i feel very passionately about, and that is finding a way forward on mental health reform. as shocking as it is, our jails and our streets have become places where people suffer from mental illness, basically are left without treatment and without recourse. tomorrow i will have the honor of chairing that hearing where we will discuss the intersection of our mental health system such as it is and our criminal justice system, and hopefully we will be able to find a way forward to push toward real reform. the goal of the hearing is to better understand how to bring help and support those who struggle with mental illness. this is an area where we can and we must do better. too often, after the fact we find out that families faced with the choice of allowing their loved one's mental health
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to continue to deteriorate, letting their illness spiral out of control until they become a danger to themselves and others, that there are very few choices available to families whose loved ones are becoming more and more ill. true, they could go to court and seek a court order, seeking a temporary commitment to a mental institution, but that frequently exacerbates frayed relations between family members and it stigmatizes the individual who is suffering from mental illness issues. so we need to give those families more and better choices on how to deal with their loved ones, hoping to keep them from becoming a danger to themselves and to the community. and thank to the marvels of modern medicine, many people suffering from mental illness, if they will just follow doctors' orders and take the medication that's been prescribed for them, frequently
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under some doctor's supervision, many of them can get much better and become more productive in society. one of our witnesses tomorrow will be pete early who wrote a book called "crazy." he's not talking about a person. he's talking about our system, so-called system of mental health treatment. pete early wrote this book because as an accomplished journalist and writer, he knew of no other way than to write about the issue to help his very own son who had encounter after encounter with the criminal justice system because he had untreated mental illness. sadly, the failure to address mental health in the united states has led to a drastic increase in the number of mentally ill individuals being locked up in prisons and jails,
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still without adequate treatment. i don't think anyone would support the idea of turning our prisons and our jails into warehouses for the metropolitanly ill, but that's what's -- for the mentally ill, but that's what's happened by default. we need to provide better choices to law enforcement officials, to families and to individuals who suffer from mental illness. so often, many of them will self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, compounding their problems, creating more and more of this turnstile effect with the criminal justice system where no one ever gets better and the illness never gets treated. as criminologists and mental health experts will tell you, locking up people with mental illness without treatment will only make them more dangerous and increase the risk of crisis, but unfortunately this is an all too common practice across our country. this is a shocking number to me when i read it, but one estimate
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suggests there are as many as 400,000 inmates in our prisons across america that suffer from some form of mental illness. that's because in part the united states has witnessed a rapid decline in psychiatric and mental health hospitals over the past decades. the idea was that you couldn't institutionalize people so you had to let them out. well, unfortunately, just letting them out without finding a way forward to help them deal with their mental illness resulted in many of them becoming homeless, living on our streets, or in our jails and our prisons when they commit often petty crimes like trespassing and the like. since 1960, more than 90% of state psychiatric beds have been eliminated. 90%. but prison is a poor and often very harmful replacement for a treatment facility. our goal in the hearing tomorrow is to work toward another
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solution, one that would give families greater flexibility, including actual treatment options for the people they love. a bill i introduced called the mental health and safe communities act offers one proven approach to treating mental illness. it borrows from a successful model of reform put in place in my hometown, bexar county, texas, more than a decade ago. let me just say a word, mr. president, about borrowing from the successful local and state models as opposed to imposing a one-size-fits-all approach at the national level, not knowing whether it would actually work in this big and diverse country we live in. i believe that taking successful examples best practices at the local and state level. those are the best subject matter for us to look at in terms of scaling these up on a national level where
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appropriate. well, tomorrow, bexar county sheriff susan pardon meello, a champion of mental health reforming in san antonio, will testify about the san antonio story. bexar county, which is the county where san antonio's located, its mental health program focused on treatment of the mentally ill instead of just putting them behind bars and leaving them untreated, and the results have been very impressive. these reforms have reduced the size of our overcrowded jails, which has been a perennial problem, overcrowding. it's saved tax dollars, and it's improved the lives of people who otherwise would just be put behind bars and left to their own devices. so i look forward to hearing from sheriff pardon mee -- parmello tomorrow and i bet other members of the senate judiciary committee and anyone else who cares to be listen will learn a lot about how we can bring these reforms to the rest
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of the country. of course, another part of this is to help equip law enforcement, teachers, judges and people who work in the courts with the knowledge and skill set they need to spot mental illness early on. wouldn't it be more helpful if teachers and parents and counselors were empowered to help identify people who need help early on in school? doesn't it just make sense to train our law enforcement officials how do you deal with a person suffering from a mental health crisis? do you slap the cuffs on them? do you get engaged in a violent confrontation or do you try to de-escalate the incident in a way that is safer for the law enforcement official as well as the person being confronted? so there are better ways for us to respond effectively at the early signs and helping to train
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the people who are in the best position to identify people who need help early on. this legislation includes specialized training for those on the front lines like those law enforcement and judicial officials so that they're ready to respond and can react swiftly and safely should a mental health crisis erupt. the truth of the matter is this is a difficult issue and one that raises hard questions, but i'm grateful to chairman grassley of the senate judiciary committee for not shying away from this topic but embracing it and having witnesses like we will have tomorrow who i think will open the eyes of many people to something they perhaps don't encounter in their daily lives because they don't go to our jails or our prisons or they don't have a loved one who suffers from mental illness. i think this will open a lot of eyes and it will help us continue the conversation so we can find some common ground and
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work toward real solutions. the form is long overdue. all you need to do is to visit our jails like i have done in harris county, bexar county, dallas county. to see that too often our jails are occupied by people who, yes, they may have committed petty crimes, nonviolent crimes, but they really need some help, and if we give them help, they can turn their lives around and become more productive. it will save taxpayers money and i think be a much more humane and efficient system of dealing with people suffering mental health crises. i'm hopeful we could chance substantive legislation to help those struggling with mental illness and their families and as a result make our communities a safer place. mr. president, i yield the floor and i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call: quorum call:
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mr. thune: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. mr. thune: mr. president, i ask that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: mr. president, i rise today to discuss the bill coming before the senate this week, the north korea sanctions enforcement act, which seeks to curb north korea's unacceptable
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behavior through the implementation of targeted sanctions. mr. president, on january 6 of this year, north korea tested a nuclear weapon in open violation of numerous u.n. resolutions. this is the fourth time that north korea has conducted a nuclear weapons test and it's estimated the country may have as many as 20 nuclear weapons in its arsenal. then just this weekend, while many americans were getting ready to watch the super bowl, north korea conducted a missile test, putting a satellite into orbit. this missile test, which has already been condemned by the u.n. security council, served as a demonstration of the threat posed by north korea's long-range missile program. in fact, just a few hours later, the satellite launched by the north korean missile passed over the site of the super bowl in santa clara, california. if equipped with a nuclear warhead, a similar -- or a
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missile similar to the one launched this weekend could potentially threaten the united states and our allies. and north korea is actively seeking to market the same missile technology as well as its nuclear weapons technology to other rogue regimes. north korea's history of aggressive behavior is already well-known and well-documented. in march of 2010, a north korean torpedo dank the south korean -- sank a south korea vessel. north korea fired artillery on the island of pyongyang killing two soldiers and injuring an additional 15 soldiers and two civilians. and north korea's dictator continues to spout threats against the united states and our allies. this past year when south korea's citizens sent leaflets into north korea, the regime
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responded with threats to turn the whole of south korea into -- quote -- "a sea of fire." after the january nuclear test, a north korea spokesman said "north korea scientists are in high spirits." the statement went on to claim that north korea had detonated and h-bomb which we now know to be untrue and then added that the bomb was -- quote -- "capable of wiping out the whole territory of the united states, all at once." these threats are so common now that that he barely make the news. mr. president, north korea is not only a threat to the united states, it is also a threat to its own people. it is estimated that 150,000 to 200,000 north koreans are in prison in concentration camps. we can confirm the existence of these camps from satellite photographs and firsthand accounts. these are not camps for what we would consider criminals but for
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individuals being disloyal to the regime. the crime of a single family member which can be something as simple as accidentally tarnishing the tote of a member of north korea's hereditary dictatorship can lead to an entire north korean family's being sent away to a labor camp. the brutality of these examples has been confirmed by those who have made it out. to date, more than 28,000 north korean defectors have escaped and made it to south korea. tens of thousands more are still in china, often working as cheap laborers who become victims of human trafficking. the stories of those who have schaimed kim jung-un's regime carry a common theme -- starvation, imprisonment, torture and the execution of family members. and this is everyday life for the people of north korea.
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mr. president, the bill that we are considering this week seeks to curb north korea's aggressive behavior through the use of targeted sanctions. the bill restricts access to financial resources and raw materials that north korea uses to support its nuclear weapons program and operate its political prison and forced labor camps. it levels mandatory sanctions against individuals who contribute to north korea's ballistic missile development and targets luxury goods that the regime uses to maintain the loyalty of party elites. it also puts in place sanctions against any entity determined to be enabling north korea's ability to censor information as well as those engaged in money laundering, narcotics trafficking and counterfeiting. the bill also includes discretionary sanctions that the united states -- u.s. president could use to target entities assisting north korea and misappropriating funds for the benefit of north korean officials. the president would have to justify any waivers from these
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sanctions on a case-by-case basis. the bill also codifies into law the presidential executive orders issued in 2015 following the cyber attack on sony pictures. this is a multifaceted bill designed to target north korea's weapons programs, human rights abuses and the finances of governmental leaks. and it will do so with minimal impact on the lives of everyday north koreans who continue to suffer at the hands of their own government. mr. president, last week, i introduced legislation addressing another threat posed by north korea. as i stated before, north korea is actively seeking to market its nuclear weapons technology to other rogue regimes. in fact, the syrian nuclear reactor destroyed in 2007 was based on a north korea design. my bill would ensure that north korea can't sell its technology to another rogue regime -- iran.
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although president obama's nuclear deal seeks to be prevent iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, many of us remain skeptical. and with north korean regime strapped for cash, its nuclear weapons and missile technology are some of the few commodities it can offer as it actively tries to market them to other world regimes. my bill seeks to prevent iran from becoming a potential customer for north korea's nuclear weapons technology. under my legislation, if iran attempts to acquire nuclear weapons technology from north korea, all sanctions waived or suspended as a result of the president's nuclear deal would be reinstated immediately. mr. president, a nuclear-armed iran is unacceptable. regardless of what the president claims his iran nuclear deal has achieved, we must remain vigilant and ensure that iran keeps its end of the agreement and does not go after a nuclear weapon. mr. president, i'm glad the
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senate is addressing the polls by north korea. a similar version of the north korea sanctions bill that we are addressing this week recently passed the house of representatives by a vote of 418-2. i hope we'll see similar bipartisan support for the bill here in the united states senate. we should not compromise the national security of the united states with disputes between our political parties. i hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle feel the same and will join me in moving this bill forward. mr. president, i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. a senator: mr. president, i would like to ask for the quorum call to be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. lankford: mr. president, today the president of the united states unveiled the last budget of his presidency. $4.1 trillion. of that $1.1 trillion is discretionary spending. it's the amount that congress will then discuss over the next
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few months. it's no big secret the presidential budgets typically are dead on arrival. this one is especially so, obviously. it's the last one of the president's term. it's required by the 1974 budget act that the president turns in his budget by the first monday of february. it's actually now into the second week, it's a week late, but hey, it's closer to on time than other presidents' budgets have been in the last few years. a lot of wish list items that are in the president's budget. it also includes about $3.4 trillion in new taxes over the next ten years. it increases spending by $2.5 trillion over the next ten years. including next year. challenges on the president's spending plan, it increases spending so much that we also continue to increase the deficit, the debt and our interest payments. this body should realize that on
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current track, the congressional budget office and the president's budget that he released today forecast that within the next ten years, the united states of america will spend more on interest on our debt than we spend on national defense. i want everyone to soak that in. within ten years, the federal taxpayer will spend more on interest on our debt, our debt payments, than we spend on national defense. when the president came into office, there was $10.6 trillion in total debt. the president's budget lays out a plan that by the end of his budget that will be $27.4 trillion in total debt. this is an issue for us, and it continues to accelerate. and until this body and until the house and until the white house agrees this is a problem, it will not be solved. i don't say this flippantly. the president and i have had this conversation. he does not believe that
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increasing deficits, that is, overspending what we bring in, is a problem. he believes as he has shared with me and as he has shared with the american people publicly that if the government overspends a little bit, that stimulates the economy. well, that might be true in some economic formula, but when our interest payments are larger than total what we spend for defense, we're in a spiral that we cannot sustain. we cannot keep saying we'll add more debt every year and there is no reckoning for that. our total debt right now exceeds our gross domestic product. literally we took from every single american in the entire country all of their income for the entire year, we could not pay off our debt. we are very much at a tipping point, and the problem that congress faces is congress never seems to act until they have to, and if this time in an economic
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crisis when you have to, it's too late. how do we get on top of that? how do we stop bragging about how much the deficit has been cut and actually start reducing our deficit, because for many americans, they don't hear the differences between that because they don't live in this world of all these different terms. deficit is how much you overspend in any one year. debt is the accumulation of all those deficits. and as washington continues to talk about, you know what, in the last six years, we have cut the deficit by a trillion dollars, well, that's a good thing but the problem is in the last ten years, the debt has also doubled. as deficits are still so large every single year that there's a problem. so what do we do with this? i would say there is multiple things. one is we're not going to get out of this in any one time period. this body needs to understand this is not a car payment we're paying off. this is a really big jumbo
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mortgage. we're not going to pay this off in one year and we're not going to fix it all in one stroke. this is going to take multiple years of picking away at this. i have reminded several of my colleagues of this one sobering fact. if we were to balance our budget and set this ten-year time period and actually balance the budget, if the next year after our balanced budget we had a $50 billion surplus -- $50 billion -- if we had a $50 billion surplus as a nation, it would take 460 years in a row of $50 billion surpluses to pay off our debt. twice as long as we've been a country if we had a $50 billion surplus every year, we could pay off our debt. at some point we have to admit this is a really big issue. c.b.o. has continued to rattle our cage -- that's the congressional budget office, as all of us know in this room.
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c.b.o. has continuinged to rattle us and remind us that this debt is continuing to grow, and we do not have the resources to do it. for the first tom time since 209 our deficit will rise again next year to $544 billion. that's up 24% from just this last fiscal year. as we continue to have more individuals that retire and they use medicare and they use social security that they've set aside their entire life to go into, as that number continues to rise, and as discretionary spending continues to stay fairly capped. we're not getting on top of the big issues that we face. so where do we go from here? let me justmans a couple of things -- let me just mention a couple of things. in 1974 this congress created something called the congressional budget act, which set up the process of how we would actually do our budget every year. it set this process with the house and senate passing budgets, putting them together,
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going through the process, getting from the president. everything was set up. appropriations bills, how they would be done, all the deadlines. since 1979, the congressional budget act and the way it was set up, since 1979, it's only worked two times -- twice since 1979. would anyone else admit that there is he a problem? coming out of watergate, they wanted more transparency, they wanted this open process, they wanted a way to be able to do a budget, and so they created this process that is so cumbersome that since 1979 it's only worked twice. to give you some more up-to-date details, in the last ten years we should have passed 118 appropriations bills -- in the last ten years. we have passed of that 1 appropriations bills, -- 118 appropriations bills rchtion, sf
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118. we have a problem just in basic process. so let me throw a few ideas out at us that i would recommend to this body that we consider, because if we're going to fix our debt and our deficit, we also need to look at the process of how we do budgeting and fix this. here are a few thoughts. biannual budgeting. we do a budget every two years. we're dealing with trillions of dollars. we should at least do a little bit of advanced planning, don't you think? to be able to lay out how we're going to actually do the spending and do biennial budgettings. we could do appropriations everything single year but at least the major budget process we should do every two. we should get rid o of the budgt gimmicks that dominate this body and how we -- quote, unquote -- going"balance our budget." pension smoothing, corporate timing shifts and all of our favorite chimps -- changes in
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mandatory programs -- which everyone outside of this country thinks o is a monkey and everyoe inside the city knows it is a great budgeting tec budgeting t. here is an eafnlings the pension payment acceleration in section 5022 changed the due date from october 15, 2025 to september 15, 2025 no to get $2.3 billion into the ten-year window. what just changed there? they moved a payment time 30 days forward and said that's when it's due and so since they moved it 30 days forward ten years why now, suddenly that's another $2 billion into the federal budget. if our federal budget wasn't ten years, it was ten years and two weeks, it would have been $2
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billion short. but because they moved that payment over a month and made it a little bit earlier, it suddenly picks up $2 billion. it's not real. that's a gimmick. the changes in mandatory programs that go out there. take something like the crime victims protection fund, a fund of money that -- it is expected we will spend that fund, but when we don't, they'll say, great. we will take that part we were "expected to spend" and then next year you spend it again, next year ever year you spend it again. it is a gimmick. that should be struck. we shouldn't have little gimmicks like that. those things make congress look good but don't actually deal with our deficit and debt there are rules that are internal that need to be fixed. we need to get real numbers and be able to have agreeable real numbers. right now there is the big argument, how did the budget balance against the president's
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budget? how about this? we have a lot of programs that have not been authorized, some of them than in more than a drksd but we continue to allocate money for every single year. authorizing programs, as we do for national defense, every singles year is important for us to dot work of that, to be automobile to bring bills to the floor and be able to get it done. we have reports from the g.a.o. and from the i.g. that come out every year showing waste, yet many of those no one ever acts on. three different folks that i see on the floor right now -- senator flake from arizona, senator mccain from arizona, and my office -- all put out waste reports in the past five months detailing billions of dollars in waste. we can identify these things. the inspector general's office can identify these things. the g.a.o. can identify these areas. we set to set a process in place in actually solves those things. and we can do more than talk about t we can move it from just
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a messaging moment to solutions on our -- in our deficit. i have recommended things like the government shutdown prevention act to say we don't have the government shutdowns. i understand some are very romantic will government shutdowns and what they would accomplish. government shutdowns always cost more money to the taxpayer than is saved. always. and they cause a tremendous amount of turmoil in the federal workforce in multiple places. there is an easier way to handle this. congress only acts when they have to. when we have a government shutdown, we have to. how about we put in place, if we get to the end of a bucket year, at the entd of the budget year it we do not have a budget in place and do not have a proper appropriations done, we have a short-term continuing resolution for 30 days that automatically goes in place and all legislative offices and the executive office of the white house get a funding haircut immediately to create the incentive that we need to act.
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if 30 days later we still don't have the appropriations done, the executive office, the house and senate, get another haircut and continue to press. there are ways to add the pressure to us that don't actually damage what's happening in the rest of the nation. why don't we do those things? why don't we pay a balanced budget amendment? we will never get to some of these things until congress is compelled to do the right thing. so let's put some process in place. beginning with our budget process and real reform of how we do the budget and real structural changes here to actually push this body to do what everyone outside of this body says needs to be done. in the days ahead when we're spending more on interest than we are on national defense, this body should hang its head in shame. but before that occurs, we should fix it so that never
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happens and we can get on top of our deficit and our debt with a straightforward process that actually gets us back to work. with that, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: i'd like to address the senate as if in morning business and be allude to complete my -- allowed to complete my remarks, which won't be too long. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mccain: today is the 100th new hampshire president denying primary. regardless of who wins, this is a celebration of our vibrant democracy, of engaged citizens putting candidates to the test and demanding answers on the tough issues the next president will confront. it's also another important step in choosing our next commander in chief. and the stakes couldn't be higher. as we heard from the director of
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national intelligence this morning, the threats to our nation are growing more diverse, more complex, and more dangerous. more than ever, we need a commander in chief with a clear vision, a steady hand, sound judgment, and confidence not only in our nation's power but in the values and ideals that generations of american heroes have fought for and died defending. that's why it's been so disappointing to see some presidential candidates engaged in loose talk on the campaign trail about reviving waterboarding and other inhumane interrogation tecintear techniq. it might be easy to dismiss this rhetoric, but these statements must not go unanswered because they mislead the american people about the realities of interrogation, how to gather intelligence what it takes to
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defend our security, and, at the most fundamental level, what we are fighting for as a nation, and what kind of nation we are. it's important to remember the facts, that these forms of torture not only fail their purpose to secure actionable intellectual intendintelligencer values stained our national honor and did little practical good. while some have shamefully sought to minimize the practice of waterboarding, it is clear to me that this practice, which is a simulated execution by drowning, amounts to torture, as any reasonable person would define it, and how the geneva quengsz, of which we are signatories on the treatment of war definefines it.
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the use of these methods by the united states was shameful and unnecessary because the united states has tried, convicted, and executed foreign combatants who employed methods of torture, including waterboarding, against american prisoners of of war. following world war ii, japanese generals were tried and convicted and hung, and one of the charges against them was that they practiced waterboarding. contrary to assertions made, some of the defenders, it produced little useful intelligence to help us track down the perpetrators of the september 11 attacks or prevent new attacks and atrocities. i know from personal experience that the abuse of prisoners will produce more bad than good intelligence. i know that victims of torture will offer intentionally
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misleading information if they think their captors will believe it. i know they will say whatever they think their torturers want them to say, if they believe it will stop their suffering. most of all, i know the use of torture compromises that which mosmost distinguishes us from or enemies. all belief that all people, even captured enemies, possess basic human rights, which are protected by international conventions the united states not only joined but for the most part authored. i understand that in the aftermath of the worst terrorist attack on our homeland, those who approved harsh interrogation methods and those who use them were sincerely dedicated to securing justice for the victims of terrorist attacks and to protecting americans from further harm. and i know that in the aftermath
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of the terrorist attacks in paris and san bernardino, many americans feel again the grave urgency that we felt 15 years ago. but i dispute wholeheartedly that it was right for our nation to use these interrogation methods then or that it is right for our nation to use them now. waterboarding or any other form of torture is not in the best interests of justice, not our security, nor the ideals we have sacrificed so much blood and treasure to defend. it is the knowledge of torture's dubious efficacy and the strong moral objections to those -- and strong moral objections to the abuse of prisoners that has forged broad, bipartisan agreement on this issue. last year the united states senate passed, in an overwhelming vote of 91-3, the
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national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2016, legislation that took an historic step forward to ban torture once and for all by limiting u.s. government interrogation techniques to those in the army field manual. that vote was 91-3. there was debate and discussion about it in the armed services committee and on the floor of this senate. the vote was 91-3. now candidates are saying they will disregard the law. i thought that was our complaint, republicans' complaint, with the present president of the united states. the u.s. military has successfully interrogated more foreign terrorist detainees than any other agency of our government. the army field manual in its current form has worked for the united states military, including on


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