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tv   US Senate  CSPAN  February 9, 2016 2:15pm-8:01pm EST

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the same window that cbo uses for its long run outlook. shows the deficit remains below 3% of gdp even in the out years and at the end of that window the deficit is actually shrinking as the share of gdp, similarly the debt is stable as a share of gdp. >> we will leave here and remind you this briefing continues on line at c-span.org. you can read the budget, the proposed budget, the senate gaveling back in this afternoon, the ambassador nomination for burma coming up later on and we expect the senate to continue debate later on energy and the energy bill proposed by me sumter county, live coverage on c-span2. the senator so modify his request, atwhroallow two minuter each. mr. cotton: i so modify the request. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. cotton: i rise to celebrate the remarkable change that burma is undergoing.
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i recently traveled to burma lead ago congressional delegation hosted by our embassy there. burma has undergone a remarkable transition after 50 years of brutal military dictatorship, nobel laureate aung san suu kyi won a landmark election in november. change is occurring in thanks part to u.s. policies. it is change that we should continue to support. sitting as it does at the intersection of china and india, burma is a geostrategically critical country. sitting as it does between the crossroads of southeast asia and the middle east, it is crit to the war on -- critical to the war on terrorism. it has largely untapped natural resources and is a shining example of the strategic impact of u.s. moral leadership in the world. those elections were not the end of the work, though. they are only the beginning of the work. the military still has a deep role in the constitution. the national league for democracy needs to transition from an opposition party to a
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governing party. burma must address its internal ethnic conflicts and like most countries emerging from dictatorship, theenld they needo address corruption as well. our team is working on these matters as well and i know that ambassador marciel looks forward to leading that team and strengthening the u.s.-burma relationship. i yield the floor. mr. cardin: mr. president, i just want to join senator cotton in urging our colleagues to vote for the confirmation of scot marciel. for the reasons that senator cotton pointed out. there are exciting things happening in burma. it is a country in transition. we've seen some promise. there's still major challenges in that country and we clearly need a confirmed ambassador, so it is important that the matter is act, and i am glad to so that we'll be acting in a few moments. we couldn't have a more qualified person to take on the ambassadorship of burma in scot
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marciel. currently serves as the deputy assistant for east asia and pacific affairs. i got to know him very well thin that capacity in the last congress when i chaired the subcommittee of the foreign senate foreign relations. he is a cree diplomat who has tang on some of the most challenging positions in the foreign service including being the chief of mission in indonesia. he has devote the his life to these challenges and will do an excellent job representing the united states' interests in burma. i would urge our colleagues to support the nomination. with that, mr. president, i would yield back our time. the presiding officer: question occurs on the nomination. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll.
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vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or wishing to change their vote? if not, the yeas are 90. the nays are zero. and the nomination is confirmed. the senator from south dakota. mr. thune: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. under the previous order, the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action and the senate will resume legislative session. mr. thune: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. mr. thune: i ask unanimous consent the senate be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: mr. president, i also have six unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the
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majority and minority leaders, and therefore i ask unanimous consent that these requests be agreed to and that these requests be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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mr. mccain: i ask that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with and i be permitted to speak as it in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from arizona is is recognized. mr. mccain: it has been more than five years since obamacare wrasse signed into law.
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since then the american people have only seen the higher health care costs, less access, decreased quality of care and fewer choices. every day i hear from arizonans who have been forced to give up the health insurance plans that they liked and now face skyrocketing monthly premiums and never-ending wait times for apoipts. moreover, i've spoken with small business owners across my state who have been forced to choose between complying with costly government mandates, laying off employees, or, worse, closing their doors. for five long years the american people have been unfairly burdened by this failed law and the fleeingive effects are only expected to grow. according to the department of health and human services' own data, 24 insurance plans in the obamacare exchanges were expected to see double-digit rate hikes in 2016 while
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residents of phoenix, arizona, were expected to see their premiums increase by roughly 1 19%, the highest average premium increase in arizona was projected to reach a whopping 78%. i repeat, 78%. obamacare's numerous failures are well established. take, for example, the president's broken promise that americans who like their health care plans and doctors could keep them. skyrocketing premiums and deductibles, 21 tax increases that both the congressional budget office -- c.b.o. -- and the joint committee on taxation predict will be passed on to the consumer. over $1 billion wasted on failed obamacare-established health care co-ops and an estimated two million full-time equivalent workers expected to lose their jobs by 2024, according to the
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congressional budget office. for these reasons, the majority of americans today oppose the president's failed health care law, and they're counting on us, their elected representatives in congress, to fight to repeal and replace it. that's why i was proud to partner with my republican colleagues in sending the first obamacare repeal to the president's desk. that's why i'm also proud to stand before the congress today to reintroduce the empowering patients first act along with my friend, the senator from georgia, senator perdue, to replace the president's failed law with health care reform that puts patients and physicians back in charge of their health care decisions. the empowering patients first act is companion legislation to a bill introduced in the house of representatives by congressman tom price that would fully repeal the affordable care act and replace it with
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solutions that put patients, families, and doctors back in charge of their medical decisions. not washington bureaucrats. it's past time for my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to wake up to the reality that obamacare is the wrong solution to health care reform. just consider a recent report by the galin institute which notes that since the president's health care law was passed in 2010, it has undergone 70 significant changes through either acts of congress, administrative actions, or the united states supreme court. let me repeat that. obamacare has been changed a total of 70 times, in many cases through unilateral action in order to protect the american people from its damaging effects. i am as convinced today as i was seven years ago when i stood on
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this floor to propose the first republican amendment to obamacare that this law is the wrong approach to health care reform. the bill i'm reintroducing today would create policies that empower patients and doctors to take charge of their health care decisions by including ensuring no one is priced out of the market including individuals with preexisting conditions, building on and expanding the health savings accounts and other models to drive down costs, establishing age-adjusted tax credits for health insurance, equalizing tax treatment of employer-sponsored plans and plans purchased by individuals. by letting individuals buy health insurance with pretax dollars. enhancing coverage options by letting small business owners band together across state lines through association health plans
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to create more affordable and comprehensive health care. letting consumers buy insurance across state lines. curbing defensive medicine and lawsuit abuse through tort reform. and making coverage more affordable by enabling individuals to own their insurance, like a 401(k) plan, so they can take it with them across state lines and if they change jobs. that only makes sense. americans deserve an alternative to the mandates, high costs and bureaucratic mess that has been created by obamacare. the empowering patients first act would repeal obamacare once and for all and replace it with health care reform that gives patients, families, and doctors the power to make medical decisions, not bureaucrats in washington. mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. portman: mr. president -- the presiding officer: the senate is in a quorum call. mr. portman: i ask unanimous consent to rescind the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. portman: i rise today to simply say to chairman grassley and the judiciary committee thank you for being willing to this week have a markup meeting to legislate, report out a bill with regard to the prescription drug and heroin epidemic that we now face around our country. the legislation is called the comprehensive addiction and recovery act, or cara. it focuses on several areas. one is prevention and education to try to keep people from making the wrong decision and going down the road to addiction. but another is to encourage states and provide incentives to local governments and nonprofits to use evidence-based treatment and recovery that has been proven to work to try to deal
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with this epidemic. today we have, unfortunately, higher levels of death from overdoses, drug overdoses, than we do any other accidental cause of death. more than car accidents, for instance. in my own home state of ohio, this has been true for the last couple of years. we lost over 2,400 ohioans last year to drug overdoses. part of our legislation also addresses this issue very directly by providing our law enforcement and other first responders, firefighters, e.m.s., with narcan, which is a drug, really a miracle drug to bring people back if they have had an overdose. finally, the legislation helps to get prescription drugs out of the hands of the wrong people. there's been overprescribing over the years. our legislation encourages getting these drugs off the shelves, bathroom shelves so they can't be used and to have a drug monitoring program so you can tell when somebody has been prescribed she is drugs. it will be national in scope so someone can't get prescription
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drugs in one location and go across a state line to get it somewhere else. sadly, these narcotic painkillers have caused a lot of concern out there, because what they do is they are sometimes given appropriately maybe for pain, but they're overprescribed and then someone uses them to the point that they become addicted and then later turn to heroin because heroin is so much less expensive. this is an issue, again, that addresses, that affects the whole country. in my own state it looks like the per capita use in our rural area is higher than anywhere else, including the city. no zip code is immune from this. we're all affected by it. in no over the last with week -- in ohio over the last week there have been two incidents where someone overdosed behind the wheel. someone overdosed with heroin while his kids were in the back seat, had a bad crash. luckily the children were not injured badly.
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but this continues to happen again and again. and of course much crime is being committed to pay for the habit. this is an effort on our behalf at the federal government level to work better with the state governments, with local governments and with nonprofits to address this growing problem and epidemic of prescription drug and heroin abuse. again, i encourage the judiciary committee to move swiftly with this legislation. on thursday there is a markup scheduled so that we can move this legislation to the floor of the senate and get it through the house and get it to the president for his signature. there seems to be not just a bipartisan but a nonpartisan support for this legislation. in other words, it's not a political issue. this is something that affects us as fathers and mothers and brothers and sons. and i hope that this united states senate will take on this issue. i was in ohio yesterday meeting with some women who are recovering addicts, and they told me their stories, many of whom, again, started on prescription drugs sometimes
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because of an accident, and they talked to me about how the grip of addiction is so great that it requires real courage and real resilience to be able to come through it. we want these women and others to be able to live out their god-given abilities and not to be afflicted by this addiction, which is really a disease. this legislation that we have before us, i believe, is the first step if that direction. i encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support it, to move it to the president so that we can begin to help local communities, neighborhoods, help our states be able to address this growing problem. i yield back my time, mr. president. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia. mr. manchin: i ask to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: the senate is in morning business. mr. manchin: first of all, let me say to my colleague from ohio, senator portman, who is a dear friend, that you're right,
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it's nonpartisan. this has no home. this has affected every american family one way or another. there's not a person i know in my state or in the good state of ohio, i'm sure, that they don't have a family member, immediate family, extended family or close friend that hasn't been affected by legal prescription drug abuse. and we're looking at a whole cultural change that is going on. i'm here to share letters with you. senator portman, i'm sure you're getting the same letters. i would encourage all of my colleagues to read a letter, just one letter a week of a family whose lives have been changed. they have either lost a husband, they have lost a childhood, they have lost a dear family member, they have destroyed their family life as they knew it. can't get a job. first time offense, a felony. and they're out of the work force now. if you talk to law enforcement, there is not a law enforcement in america today that won't tell
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you that 80% of their crimes are around drug relation. arson, robbery, whatever it may be. it's around -- around drug abuse. so i come to you, mr. president, to continue to share the stories of millions of americans, most importantly some of my very dear west virginia family members who had this. so i applaud the good senator from ohio and all of us are working. it's going to go through the normal process, i hope. it will be an open amendment process that we're all going to make a piece of legislation and maybe for the first time start changing the culture in america, starting right here in washington, d.c., with the food and drug administration. i'll talk about that, too. but west virginia has been hit by per capita the hardest. just this past year, 600 west virginians have died. 600. and in a state with less than two million people. the american people are drowning
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under the weight of opiate abuse. in my state, oklahoma, ohio, all across this great nation, people are dying every day. the f.d.a. must get serious about the dangers. we have been speaking about this would not be accomplished without a significant change in the culture and it starts with them. although the f.d.a. announced the agency would be taking steps in the right direction to address these problems, it's not enough and more needs to be done. let me explain why, mr. president. the f.d.a.'s number-one priority must be public health and well-being. nothing else, yet time and time again, the f.d.a. has stood in the way of efforts to address the opioid abuse epidemic. they play a critical role, the f.d.a., in agencies overseeing the approval. let me make sure we understand. this starts by prescription company, licensed legally, making a -- a prescription of a pain reduction, if you will,
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pain suppressant, an opiate. and then they bring that to the f.d.a. and the f.d.a. goes through a process of evaluating it to see if it should go on the market or not. so if they go through an evaluation or their committee basically an oversight committee, then they say this is a product that should be on the market or should not. and many times the f.d.a. has gone against the advice of their own advisory committee. these are things that we've got to protect the american public. why? and so last week they decided to slightly improve the agency's response to opiate epidemic. i'm pleased at the small step, but let me tell you the small step. they said that now they're going to be serious about the dangers of drugs, and they said that they're going to finally start listening. mind you, listening to the advice of their advisory committee.
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oh, that's wonderful. they're going to listen to him now. that means they haven't really been listening to them up until now, but they're going to start now. what they don't tell you is they're not going to be required to take the recommendation of their experts. a perfect example is ohydro. it took us three years, mr. president, to get all opiates, addiction, vicodin and morotab, the most prescribed pain pills in the country, it took three years to get the f.d.a. to change that from a schedule three to a schedule two. even after i went personally when i was first here five years ago went to the advisory committee and they voted overwhelmingly that, yes, it should be changed from a schedule three to a two. the day they did that and made that piece of legislation or that rule saying that now it will be scheduled, too, and we saw the immediate effect of this, it took 1.1 billion,
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billion with a b, 22% of the opioids on the market we reduced immediately within the first year. within a week of them finally agreeing to go from a schedule three to a schedule two which controlled the prescriptions, they come out and approve zohydro, against the wishes of their advisory committee, 11-2. now, you tell me why that product came to market. so i have legislation that says listen, when you're not going to take their advice and you don't recommend or you don't basically agree with your advisory committee, you've got to come to the people's representative, that's us, and tell us why you think this addictive drug needs to be on the market. so i just believe that we have to do things, and taking important steps, it's just
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unbelievable to me what we have basically turned a blind eye. let me just explain to you what has been going on and goes on. this is such an epidemic proportion that we are afraid to talk about it. if you have a family member addicted, your mother or father or maybe your wife, you're ashamed. we try to take care of it. guess what? we can't even find treatment centers to help people. and can't afford it if you can find it, most of the people in america, and most of the times you can't. so there is two things that have to be done. first of all, and i'm as guilty as anybody here. the last 20 years, i thought boy, if you're going to use these drugs and abuse them, that's a crime. i'm going to put you in jail. you're going to pay a fine for that, a penalty. well, guess what? it hasn't worked. they go in addicted, come out addicted. all we do by putting them in jail is committing a felony. now they can't get a job. now they are out of the work force. next thing they come out more
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addicted than when they went in. until we say listen, this is an illness and an illness must be treated. you can't just throw them into jail and say it will take care of itself. so once we change that and we have enough courage here politically to do that, then we'll start moving in a cultural change that will basically be able to take on this epidemic. so we're fighting on that, and i continued to go into all this, but i have always come here and i have asked so i said listen, to all of you in the state of west virginia, i said please, get on my web site, manchin manchin.senate.gov, very simple, and all of us have our senate web sites. share with me your letter, your life-altering letter, tell me what happened. and we have been getting them, mr. president, by the hundreds. they're coming from all over my state, and they're in every state. and i'm sure oklahoma will send you theirs, too. so i'm going to read you two stories. this brings everything to light of what we're talking about and
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why we must be successful in fighting this horrific epidemic. this is kiley's story. in 1994, my dad broke his shoulder. we all have accidents in our families. he had to have surgery. he was on prescription narcotics from 1994-1996. now, you tell me why he was allowed to be on them and why the doctor kept prescribing them for two years. that's the biggest problem. he became addicted in those two years. after the doctor would no longer prescribe, finally the doctor came to his senses, his pain medication, he illegally purchased them off the street. his life literally revolved around the pain medication. his pain medication money came before our bills. there were a few times we could not have christmas or easter because he used all of our money to purchase these drugs. and i have two sisters, she says. eventually, he started buying more potent drugs when he couldn't find anyone to buy prescription pain pills off of.
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then heroin, cocaine. you name it, he bought it. my mother eventually filed for a divorce, and that made him so much worse. he started using more and more because of depression on top of that addiction. on february 23, 2007, i stayed home from school. i was a junior in high school. in clarksburg, west virginia. i woke up at 10:00 a.m. i went to check on my dad who had been having drug withdrawals. i found him dead. he had found drugs and overdosed while i was asleep. leaving me more -- leaving me there to find him. it's something that i carry with me even to this day. i don't have many memories of my father interacting with us kids, me and my sister, as a father should. i only have the bad memories of him going above and beyond for drugs, before any of us. even back then, if the prescription drug problem wouldn't have been so bad, i'd feel like he would still be here today. i remember exactly how he was
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laying when i found him. i remember everything. it's my first thought in the mornings and my last thought at night. it changed my life. it taught me a lot of life lessons, but it also left me with a lot of heartache and unanswered questions. the rescheduling as i told you is two years. basically you could get vicodin and lorotab it was schedule three at this time, all you had to do is keep calling in. you didn't have to see the doctor. they were like m & m's. so when we went from schedule three to schedule two, that knocked it down, took at least a billion that we know of off the market or maybe even more. this is helen's story here. my husband and i were married for over 21 years. we had two daughters together and i expected to grow old with him and enjoy our grandchildren. he worked in the factory for over 18 years. part of his job was moving
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55-gallon drums of different types of fluids. he worked full time, sometimes six days a week. he sprained his back and was prescribed pain medication, opiates, to cure him. the doctor he was going to gave him the maximum amount allowed. at that time it would have been more than 90 days probably and didn't have to go back because it felt so good. so he allowed -- for about six years he got them from this doctor, six years. as time went on, he needed a higher dose for it to even be effective, as we know. taking more caused him to run out before the next refill, so he started going through withdrawals. instead of going to the emergency room to get help, he took his own life. now i have no husband, my children have no father and my grandchildren have no grandpap. the stigma surrounding all of this is what kept him from getting the help he needed to get off those pills. and we've said, it's a silent
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killer. they were afraid to talk about it, couldn't go to anywhere, didn't know where to turn, didn't have any type of treatments that would really bring him off of that. the friday before he ended his life, i spoke with the doctor and told him he needed to get off of these pills and get dried out. he didn't want to, he admitted, and they let him go, knowing that he was desperately hooked. why do pharmaceutical companies market drugs that cause normal people to give up on their families in life? why do doctors allow their patients to take something so long and so strong and build up such a tolerance for it? i will never find the answers to these questions, and it is too late for him now. it sickens me to read of others going through this, and there just doesn't seem to be an end to it. this is why i'm standing here, and this is why -- i face it every day. i go home. there is not a person that doesn't come up to me that knowing that basically their lives have been changed and
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knowing now that they can speak to somebody and i'm making it to the point to give them the comfort of speaking to me. i protect their identity, i try to get them help. there has got to be a way here. as our good friend from ohio, mr. president, and you being our good friend from oklahoma, this is not partisan. this should not be bogged down because who gets credit, who doesn't get credit, whose fault it is. we're all to blame and we all can share in changing the culture of drugs in america, legal drugs. and with that, most all of drug addicts today, people that are addicted, will tell you if they are on heroin or illicit harder drugs they started with the drugs in the medicine cabinet. their mom had or they had. this has to change. this is why. dr. robert califf being recommended by the president is still a good man. a stellar resume, stellar performance, very honorable.
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but he comes from a culture, his culture that he comes from is basically from a research institution -- a research university that's basically been funded by the pharmaceutical industry. that's just the way they say it's done. so they're funding the clinical research, and then we're expecting mr. califf to come into this industry, into the f.d.a. and make the wholesale changes. i need and i think we all need for america to find somebody that has gone through a life-changing event that has all of the experience, all of the education to be able to go into that agency and says listen, we're not going to give you a prescription just as a front line and a first line of defense because i know the chances of it changing your life is greater than me helping you and giving you relief. until we have that and that permeates clear down through, we won't change. tell me how the c.d.c., centers for disease control within the
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agency of the dhhs is able to start which i think responsibly recommending guideline changes of how we are going to prescribe, how doctors should be trained before they prescribe these life-altering drugs. and thin within the f.d.a., they are fighting against it, and they're within the same agency of dhhs. so it's deep-rooted, mr. president, and it has to be culturally -- and it changes from the top. it doesn't change from the bottom within. if this young man would withdraw his name, i would be tickled to death, and let us move on, because he is a good person and he can be very helpful in his knowledge. but i don't think he can drive the change that need needs to be for us to change the children and moms and dads across america. thank you, mr. president. and i notice the absence of a quoam. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call:
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mr. alexander:man in. the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: the senator is advised we are in a quorum call. mr. alexander: i ask consent the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. alexander: mr. president, i consent to speak as if in morning business and the chair please notify me when 20 minutes has expired. the presiding officer: we are in in morning business. the senator will be so notified. the presiding officer: thank you, mr. chairman. today -- oh, i'd like to report
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some good news about the work of the united states senate that should be of interest to every single american family. and that is that we're moving ahead in the senate on a package of 50 bipartisan proposals that will help move medical devices, medical cures, and medical drugs through the long and expensive regulatory and investment process and into medicine cabinets and doctors' offices where they can help patients. we kuh call this our innovation project. it is a companion to work that's been done in the house of representatives already which they call their 21st century cures act. it's also work that the president has talked about, president obama. -- in important ways. and the reason the house has
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already done its work and that the president has talked about this in his state of the union address and that we in our committee, the health committee of the senate, have been working for a year to develop 50 bipartisan proposals which we hope to bring to the floor of the senate, is because we have never had a more exciting time in biomedical research in america today. we're talking about actually curing some cancers, mr. president, not just treating cancers. we're talking about using 3-d printing to actually help replace knees. i was in a medical device office in memphis a few weeks ago, and that company told me that in one-third of the cases where it sells knee replacement equipment, it also sells a tool to the doctor so that if he's
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replacing the knee of the senator from oklahoma, the doctor -- he or she -- uses this tool that's just made especially for the senator from oklahoma's knee, and it virtually eliminates the possibility of a mistake by the doctor in that surgery. the company told me that it not only uses 3-d printing in a third of the cases, but that it could easily do it in all the cases and expect it will soon. in our hearing about three weeks ago, i asked janet woodcock, the head of the food and drug administration, if there had ever been a case of 3-d printing of a drug, and she said yes there has been one. they used 3-d printing to manufacture a medicine for epilepsy. that is not all, mr. president. last year when the president announced his precision medicine
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initiative, he introduced a young man whose cystic fibrosis has been cured by a new medicine. he takes a medicine every day, and if he does, he's cured of cystic fibrosis. and while that only affects some cystic fibrosis patients, the drugs that are used to cure that number of patients are the same kind of drugs that they believe eventually will cure every patient with cystic fibrosis. the president on that day announced what he calls his precision medicine initiative, and that he wanted to assemble one million human genomes so that if my doctor is prescribing for me a medicine by knowing what my genome is and what that medicine has done in other genomes, he can make a very specific sort of prescription, one that's more likely to help me and less likely ever to hurt
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me. i attended the president's ceremony. i told him afterwards that we would do our best to incorporate his precision medicine initiative into our work in the senate on our bio medical innovation project. the house was making good progress on its 21st century cures project. so i told the president, mr. president, i can't imagine why we can't get a result in this congress. since that time, the president has announced a cancer task force that vice president biden is leading to work to speed up treatments and cures for cancer. the house has passed its 21st century cures, and in our committee in the senate, during the past year we've held ten bipartisan hearings, including six on how to improve the electronic medical records systems that hospitals and
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doctors are using. we've had five bipartisan staff working groups who have met or held briefings more than 100 times in the last year, and the result of their work has been 50 bipartisan legislative proposals. as i said, every single one of those has support from democrats as well as republicans on the committee. so today in our committee, we debated and approved the first seven of these bills, which included 12 of the 50 bipartisan proposals i just mentioned. we had an open process. any senators who wished to could have offered an amendment. the bill had had so much work on them that there weren't any amendments, but they were important pieces of work. our bipartisan -- our committee, mr. president, probably is the most diverse in the senate. i know that's saying a lot.
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but if you look up and down the democratic and republican aisle, we span the whole spectrum. last year we worked together despite our differences of opinion and produced a bill to fix no child left behind. a lot of people thought we couldn't do that. i expect the same sort of bipartisan effort led by senator murray, the senior democrat, on her side and me as chairman, i expect that to work well for us again. we have a second markup of legislation scheduled for march 9 and a third for april 6. and my expectation is that after we meet these three times and consider 50 legislative proposals, that when we're finished it will all add up to bipartisan companion legislation to the house's 21st century legislation, 21st century cures legislation, and that our
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legislation will include important elements of the president's precision medicine initiative in his cancer moon shot. now the 21st century cures act, the house bill, includes $9.3 billion in so-called mandatory funding over five years, mostly for the national institutes of health. several of president obama's other proposal include mandatory funding and teferl members of our committee -- and several members of are our committee have talked to me about mandatory funding for some of the work that we need to do. here is my view about mandatory funding. i don't want to get the cart before the horse. when i was governor of tennessee and we needed a new road system, people would say to me are you going to raise the gas tax? i said we're not going to talk about the gas tax. there are lots of different ways
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to pay for a road. you can borrow the money, you can use discretionary money, you can raise fuel tax, you can build a toll road. we're not going to talk about any of that. first we're going to decide what had to do and we decided to build programs to have the auto industry tracted and it worked. we decided to raise the fuel tax three times because we didn't want road debt. we have among the best roads in the country and zero road debt and we've got the auto industry. that worked out pretty well for us 30 years ago. so i'd like to apply the same sort of thinking here. i don't want to talk about how we pay for something before i decide what the something is. here's the something i'm thinking about. i'm thinking about something called the n.i.h., national institutes of health, innovation projects fund. five areas in addition to the things that we normally fund and
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do that require extraordinary support, onetime support, ideas that have a start and a finish. in other words, they're not built into the budget for a long period of time. the national institutes of health director would have the authority to direct allocations of this fund to specific areas of importance. the five areas of importance i have in mind are helping the president launch his precision medicine initiative, an american young investigators corps. we've heard from dr. collins, the head of n.i.h., and many others how important it is to have young investigators have enough money to give them the money to do their research. the brain initiative. all of us are staggered by the prospect of the personal anguish that alzheimer's and other brain diseases will cause individuals and their families.
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and we're excited about the prospect of relieving that anguish. and we know how much this is going to cost us, in the tens and tens of billions of dollars. if we can find a way to develop new understandings of neurological disorders which, which help discourage alzheimer's disease or prevent it or deal with it, it saves money as well as saving anguish. a big biothink award. dr. collins suggested this in some of his testimony. during this exciting time let's give each of the 28 institutes and the national institutes of health a sum of money and let them identify the most promising big ideas in the country in their areas -- cancer, for example, mental health, for example -- and fund it. let's see what comes out of this remarkable country of ours when we challenge them in that way. then the cancer moon shot. now that the president and the
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vice president are involved in this way, we want to make sure that we do all we can to take advantage of curing some cancers as well as treating some cancers. and there may be some aspects of that effort that have a start and a finish that could be part of what i call n.i.h. innovation projects fund. i go into some detail about my innovation projects fund proposal because we may be able to fund these needs in the regular appropriations process. but i am willing to consider using mandatory funding for these five areas because, number one, they have a start and a finish. they jump-start, they're limited. in that sense they're not subject to being appropriated forever, as appropriations oftener. and second, i believe that we should reduce other mandatory
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funding in order to use this mandatory funding. we should be about setting priorities here in the senate. and i cannot think of a more important priority than biomedical research. i mentioned we have 50 legislative proposals about which we have bipartisan support , but we do not have bipartisan agreement in the senate committee on how to deal with any of these items that is paid for by mandatory funding. neither do we have enough money within the jurisdiction of our committee to deal with it. so we will deal with both the innovation project fund and the mandatory funding, if that's what it turns out to be to pay for it, once the bill comes to the floor. we have to decide first what programs we want, and then how to pay for them. we should do that here on the floor. we know we'll have to have 60 votes to do it in that way that includes mandatory funding. and we have some experience with
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that. last year we had some very difficult issues with the elementary and secondary education act. i had one of them. it had to do with vouchers. that drives some people on the other side of the aisle up the wall. if i had insisted on putting the scholarships for kids proposal that i had on the bill in the committee, the bill might never have gotten to the floor. senator franken, on the other hand, had an important piece of legislation to him on discrimination. but if he'd gotten that on the bill in the committee, it would have never gotten to the floor. we agree since we needed 60 votes to get a result, and a result is what we want, and the american people expect us to get, that we would withhold our controversial amendment until the floor and see if we could develop bipartisan support on the floor to have at least 60 votes and get a result. the we followed in our education bill the rule that senator kennedy, the late senator kennedy and senator enzi followed when they were the
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ranking members of this committee and that was let's find the 80% we agree on and work on that first. and let's take the things we disagree on and do those later. most important, just as senator kennedy did with senator enzi, just as the full senate did last year on fixing no child left behind, we kept in our mind getting a result. i said on the floor many times last year that if all you want to do is make a speech or state your point of view, you can stay home. you can get a radio program. you don't have to travel as much. there's no need for you to come to the united states senate. you can have your say here, but if you really want to do your job here, you can work with other people and see if we can get a result, especially when we're talking about issues that affect every american family in such an important way. so i'm determined to get a result. i'm delighted that i have the opportunity on this committee to
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work with the senator from washington, senator patty murray. she's a strong democrat. she's a leader of the democratic caucus. but because of her leadership and her interest in getting the result, we were able to succeed last year. i believe working with her and the other members of our committee, we'll be able to succeed this year. the house of representatives has done its work. it's passed a 21st century legislation. the president has made his proposals for precision medicine and for a cancer moon shot. he talked to all of us during his state of the union address in the last two sessions. we have worked for a year in our committee to produce 50 bipartisan legislative proposals that should go through the committee and be ready in early april to come to the floor. the majority leader, senator mcconnell, has said to me, and he said to all of us, that even
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though this is a presidential year and we have less time here, that he is still looking for important ideas that benefit a large number of americans that have bipartisan support and that the president will sign into law. well, mr. president, i can't think of a single piece of legislation that the united states senate could consider this year that fits that definition better than our companion legislation to the house of representatives 21st century legislation. i would like to say a word about the legislation that we passed today. we -- as i mentioned, these were all bipartisan pieces of legislation. let's see if i can find the --
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bipartisan -- the first one was introduced by senator bennet, senator warren, senator burr, senator hatch. it had to do with rare diseases like cystic fibrosis. this is what senator susan collins of maine said about that piece of legislation in debate in our committee. if you asked the parents of sons or daughters, primarily sons, with muscular dystrophy who suffer from due shains, a very rare kind of muscular dystrophy, whether this bill that we just approved is important, believe me, they'll tell you that it is. we have approved it unanimously. it's ready for the senate to consider. senator burr, republican, senator franken, a democrat, offered the f.d.a. device accountability act of 2015. this would help move ahead innovative medical devices,
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items like artificial knees, insulin pumps for people with diabetes, stents for people who have suffered a heart attack, new surgical tools that can get bogged down in the f.d.a. in other words, we want to keep the safe and effective gold standard, but we want to get these devices through the system as rapidly as we can at the lowest cost we can so people can offered them and so people can use them. senator baldwin and senator collins, democrat and republican, offered a bill called the next generation researchers act. we know that biomedical research is our best weapon against diseases, illness and death and we can't afford to lose young scientists to other countries, so this bill helped attract young scientists by promoting opportunities at the national institutes of health. this is what senator collins had to say about that. if you ask dr. collins whether the bill that senator baldwin and i have sponsored is important to attracting and
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keeping younger researchers, believe me he would say yes. then senator kirk, republican, senator bennet, democrat, senator hatch, senator murkowski, senator isakson, senator collins introduced another piece of legislation. senate bill 800. it would help millions of americans with disabilities, illnesses and chronic conditions that require them to go to medical rehabilitation. senator kirk, a stroke victim, spoke movingly about the importance of that bill. senator collins said this morning if you ask stroke victims whether the rehabilitation bill that we passed is important, they would say yes. if you ask families that are struggling with neurological diseases such as parkinson's, m.s. or alzheimer's whether the
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bill that is on the agenda today is important, they would say yes. there were three -- four other bills that we enacted, one by senator isakson -- we didn't exact that we approved by committee, senator isakson and senator murphy on advancing research for neurological diseases, senator murray offered a bill to prevent superbugs and protecting patients based upon incidents that had happened in their home state of washington. and finally senator murray and i offered legislation that improved electronic medical records. our committee did not set out to deal with electronic medical records, but the more we got into our discussion -- we have used 25 minutes? the presiding officer: the senate wanted to be notified when he reached 20 minutes. he has reached 20. you still have the floor, senator. mr. alexander: thank you very much. i'll conclude my remarks. i see the senator from florida
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is here. but i would like to say this about the legislation senator murray and i introduced. the electronic medical records system in this country is in a ditch. doctors and hospitals that use it have come to dread it. the administration recognizes that it's their problem. -- that there are problems. they haven't taken my advice about what to do about it. but i give them credit. for working with our committee, senator murray and me, to try to find ways to make the electronic medical records system something that genuinely helps patients and that doctors look forward to instead of dreading. we have to do this because every other advance that we need to make, almost every advance we need to make in biomedical
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innovation depends upon this. certainly the president's precision medicine initiative absolutely depends upon our getting electronic medical records right. so perhaps the most important piece of legislation we approve today among those seven pieces of legislation was doing what we could do in legislation to get the electronic medical records system out of the ditch onto a better track so that doctors use it rather than dread it. we're counting on the administration to continue to work with us to finish that job. so, mr. president, this is good news, i believe, for the american people. it means that we're on a path step by step to produce -- to do our part of the job. there was some debate in our committee about whether the bills we were passing was important. i would like to introduce following my remarks senator collins' comments which reminds us of why each of the seven were
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important, and i ask consent to do that. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. alexander: there was some talk about the fact that we disagreed about the level of mandatory funding or whether to do it all. we do. we disagreed about that. we don't have bipartisan consensus on it, but we do have bipartisan consensus on 50 legislative proposals that we need to move ahead with, and we will move ahead with. 12 of the 50 were done today. the rest will be done in early march and early april. and my hope is that by early april, the senate will be able to join the house of representatives and president obama and say here is our contribution to the most important step we can take to make the quality of health better for virtually every american family by passing our companion legislation to 21st century cures. mr. president, i also ask consent to include following my remarks the -- a summary of each of the seven bills our committee approved today. i thank the president. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: without
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objection on the summary. mr. nelson: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson: mr. president, i ask consent to speak for up to 20 minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. nelson: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i wanted to speak about the president's proposal with regard to our space budget, the civilian space program nasa. of course we have many other space programs, national security primarily, but now there is a commercial space program, and we are seeing in this nasa budget the burgeoning commercial space industry as rockets that we are amazed at that can take the first stage instead of throwing it away when it lands in the atlantic ocean after a launch from cape canaveral, that this first stage
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can under powered flight, not even parachutes, under powered flight can come back and land on a specific spot, a pad, as did spacex first stage in a launch about two months ago. so we're seeing commercial space the fact that these things we carry around in our pockets that we loosely refer to as phones that know exactly where you are at any time is as a result of a constellation of satellites up there called g.p.s. that triangulate and calculate exactly where you are. it's just absolutely amazing to me that my latest gadgetry acquisition, a fitbit, can so
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sensitively understand what my heart rate is and at any moment and can measure distance and gives me all kind of information about the functioning of the human body. well, this didn't just accidentally appear. where in the world did a lot of this come from? it came from the space program. i want to tell you about that but i want to underscore that the president's proposal, it's -- other than its pioneering for example of increased investments in aeronautics, which is the first a in nasa, the national aeronautics and space administration, that certainly is -- is pioneering, but there are other parts of the president's proposal that have
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been left behind in the very visionary appropriations bill that we passed back in middle of december, which has set us on a course that we are going to mars. now, we're preparing to go to mars, but that's a long way, and to sustain human life to go all the way there, land, survive, reignite off the surface of mars and by the way i would commend the movie matt damon movie "the martian," the author of the book upon which the movie came from actually consulted with a number of folks including one of my crewmates on the propulsion of how to get to mars a lot quicker, of which that one propulsion called -- it's the
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use of magnets and plasma as the fuel and the thrust to get us to mars instead of conventional eight to ten months, we could go in as little as 39 days. but those are to be developed technologies. but let me mention a couple of things of what we're developing. well, folks often argue on the nasa budget, which back in the lunar days, the apollo program, was as much as 4% of the entire federal budget. now it's about .5%, and in the process of divvying up the dollars out here, we pull and tug because people will pay well
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why do we need to go to mars? why do we need to go to an asteroid in preparation to go to mars? why do we need a space program when we have so many needs here on earth? that's a legitimate question. but what is the legitimate answer? do you appreciate the fact that we have m.r.i.'s and cat scans? m.r.i.'s, magnetic resonance imaging, or cat scans, computer-aided topography. those technologies that are used routinely today to help us so much in our diagnosis of what is wrong or what is right in our own human bodies, and as part of this medical miracle that we
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know as modern medicine, they came straight out of the space program, because in the 1960's, nasa had to find a safe landing spot for the apollo lunar lander amid all of that moon surface and all of that dust, and so what happened was the engineers at j.p.l. out in california developed a digital scanning process using high-frequency sound waves, magnets and computers, and in addition to making six successful moon landings, this technology was tweaked, it was adapted, it was improved, and voila, it led to
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cat scans and m.r.i.'s. that's one example. how about robots in the use of modern medicine? how about robots in the use of the manufacturing process? well, do you remember the one thing on the space shuttle that had the name of another country? it was the canada orb. it was the robotic arm that was burst in the cargo bay of the space shuttle. it was used to deploy and maneuver and capture payloads. it has now been the forerunner of a neuroarm, a surgical device
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that has successfully performed dozens -- not dozens, thousands -- hundreds of thousands of tumors and surgery by robotic surgery. now, one of the ones that any of the males around here over the age of 50 ought to be concerned about is something known as procesprostate cancer. they've got a robot named gentlemen havda vinci. this robotic device with a small insertion six times can go in and, with some of this precise
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photography that was developed of these cameras, can go in and robotically remove, in this case, the prostate cancer by row moving the prostate -- by removing the prostate without damaging the nerves and without all of the cutting the human body open, which takes so much more to heal instead of just sticking six holes in. that came directly out of the space program. and so it's being used to develop image-guided autonomous robot for the use now in the early detection of breast canc cancer. well, let me give you another idea. when you get on a modern airliner today and you look out the window and you look at that
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swept-back wing, what do you see out there on the tip of the wing? the wing doesn't just stop, as it normally does. it curves up. this is called a winglet. and the winglets are these upturned features. they save billions of dollars in fuel costs. now, nasa technology, the langley research center, and now the tests conducted at the dryden test flight center, now named after the first astronaut on the moon, the armstrong flight center, this winglet technology was released to boeing, and it has saved the airline industry more than $2-- more than 2 million gallons of jet fuel. it saved more than $4 billion in
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jet fuel fuel cost and a reductf almost 21.5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, just by the design of the wing. it came directly out of nasa. give you another example. and all of this is coming back to, why go to space? well, we go to space because our nature is that we are explorers anded have havand adventurers. we go because we haven't been in. we go there to explore. our nature is one of pioneers, the frontier is now not west ward, as it was in the beginning of this country, but upward. and so that's certainly a reason to have the space program. but let me tell you more of how
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it applies to our daily lives. how about fortifying babies formula. because early 1980's research on regenerative ecosystems led to a method of algae-based food supplements that provide the long-chain polysaturated fatty acids that support brain and eye development and function. and so this led to a spinoff product called formulade. it was patented in 1996. it can now be found in over 90% of infant formulas sold in the u.s. as well as those around the world. give you another example.
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image sensors. image sensors to enhance cell phone cameras. in the 1990's, a nasa team had been improving digital image sensors in order to miniaturize cameras on spacecraft while maintaining the scientific image quality. and so this was spun off into commerce, and the company that commercialized the technology has shipped over one billion sensors for use in applications such as -- now, does this sound familiar? -- dith cal cameras, camera phones, automotive cameras, webcam ras. they are even developing -- you will swallow a pill. only it is not a pill.
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it is an ingestible camera for imaging the patient's gastrointestinal tract. let me tell you about another one. madam president, i had a visit from tallahassee community college today. they showed me what they could do with a 3-d printer. and i ask consent that i be able to show this in front of the senate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. nelson: and, madam president, we're doing this on the space station right now. we are putting together tools so that if we don't have a tool in space, or if we were on the long journey to mars and we did not have a tool that we needed to repair something, we could send the messages up to the
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spacecraft and 3-d print the tools that we need. and so long-term space missions like the ones to mars are going to benefit from this onboard manufacturing capability. spare parts -- what happens if we get up there and we don't have enough? well, we can print it. engineers are even experimenting with creating a completely 3-d printed high-performance rocket engine. can you believe that? and so that would advance manufacturing technologies that could benefit a number of us right here on the face of the earth. so the excitement of this, even though some would look at the
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president's request for nasa. it's $600 billion over what he requested last year, but it's actually almost flat line what we actually appropriated. don't be discouraged by that. because in this sense, the excitement is gathering, as we are about to launch humans, americans, on american rockets. and that's going to occur next year. as we send crews to and from the international space station and, therefore, do not have to rely on the proven russian soyuz that gets our crews to and from today. now we'll have the capability of not only transporting cargo to and from but our american astronauts. and even though the president's
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request falls short in some areas, i think that the president's request has been overcome with what we have done here in the congress, with a substantial increase in this current fiscal year over and above last year and with the excitement of human spaceflight, again, within our grasp on american rockets as well as this excitement of defining and creating and manufacturing new technologies for spaceflight that will benefit us here on the face of the earth. if it sounds like i am a cheerleader, madam president, indeed, i am a cheerleader.
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because when i see the miracles of modern medicine, when i see the increased capabilities of exploring the heavens, now almost back to the original light emitted from the big bang, when we start to uncover the new discoveries that expand our horizons, indeed, madam president, i am a cheerleader. and for that i am grateful. and i commend the senate to keep this space program going at a fast pace as we increasingly get back into the total business, both manned and unmanned, of space exploration. madam president, i yield the floor.
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mr. cotton: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas. mr. cotton: today i want to discuss the sentencing reform and corrections act that has been voted out of the judiciary committee. there is much debate about the wisdom of this bill. that is, like most bills we discuss in this chamber, a judgment call. but there cannot be a debate over the facts of this bill.
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we have to be very clear on what this bill on text is designed to do. proponents of the bill often invoke four phrases to describe the fill-ins to be released under the text of the bill. first time, nonviolent, low-level, drug possession offenders. yet none of these four terms is accurate. by its text, the bill will apply sentence reductions not to first-time offenders but to repeat offenders. some many times over. these are felons who have made the conscious choice to commit crimes over and over again. by it's text, the bill will not just apply to so-called nonviolent offenders but to thousands of violent felons and armed career criminals who have used firearms in the course of their drug felonies or crimes of violence. by its text, the bill will reduce sentences not for those
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convicted of simple ow possessin but for major drug traffickers, ones who deal in thousands -- hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of heroin and thousands of pounds of marijuana. and let be clear. drug traffic something not nonviolent. -- as the bill's proponents often claim. it is built on an entire edifice of violence, stretching from the narco-terrorists of south america to the drug deal enforcers on our city streets. if you think dealing drugs on the street corner while armed with a gun is a nonviolent offense, you probably live in a rich suburb or a gated community. by its text, this bill will apply to felons convicted as juveniles of murder, rape, assault, and other crimes for which they were justly tried as adults. by its text, this bill will apply to repeat felons whose past crimes include kidnapping, carjacking, armed robbery, and
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other violent crimes. by its text, this bill will make eligible for early release into america's communities thousands of drug traffickers and other violent felons. and when we catch such criminals going forward, we won't be able to keep them locked up for the same sentences. it's been reported the bill's sponsors are preparing to release a revised bill, one that would address some of these many shortcomings. regarding this, i first want to thank the sponsors for acknowledging that the bill as passed by committee does in fact apply to serious drug traffickers and other violent felons. i look forward to evaluating the new legislative text. i hope it addresses these problems. until then, though, we can only examine more closely the bill as passed by committee and its consequences. make no mistake, the consequences of this bill are all too predictable. sadly, more than half of
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released prisoners are rearrested within a year and 77% are rearrested within five years. we can be sure then that we will see more crimes committed by those who might be released early thanks to this bill. that's indisputable. and those new crimes will wreak havoc on the citizens, families and communities in each of our states. this risk is not hypothetical. sterile statistics do not convey the threat of mass recidivism. last month in columbus, ohio, a man named wendell callahan brutally killed his ex-girlfriend and her two young daughters in what was described as a stabbing rampage. callahan murdered urbina, her ten-year-old daughter anasia and anasia's little sister, seven
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yoar ---year-old sister. wendell callahan walked out of federal prison in august 2014 but his original sentence should have kept him in jail until 2018. if he had been in jail instead of on the streets, a young family would still be alive today. callahan walked out of jail early because the u.s. sentencing commission reduced sentences retroactively for hardened criminals like him. they first reviewed guidelines in 2007, they did so again in 2010 and again in 2014. that is three major systemic sentencing reductions in the span of mere seven years. the result? 46,000 it federal convicts will walk from jail early. wendell callahan was one among that 46,000. there will be many more like him. while we pray against all odds
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that none of them go on to commit a triple murder like wendell callahan did or any other heinous crime, i'm afraid our prayers will go unanswered, at least in part. the sentencing commission is an independent judicial agency that provides uniform sentencing guidance to judges. congress didn't have a hand in its sentencing reductions. but, with the sentencing reform and corrections act, the senate would impose a fourth major sentencing reduction within eight years, one that is deeper and broader than the reductions imposed by the sentencing commission. this is badly misguided. the senate would be launching a massive social experiment in criminal leniency without knowing the full consequences of the first three reductions imposed by the sentencing commission. this experiment threatens to undo the historic drops in crime that we have seen over the last 25 years. that drop in crime rate was no
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accident. it was the result of higher mandatory minimums put in place in the 1980's coupled with vigilant policing strategies pioneered by scholars like jim wilson and practiced by elected leaders like rudy giuliani and other elected officials. the combination of mandatory minimums and innovative policing is not a haphazard anticrime strategy. it was one that was reached through truf -- tough trial and error performed at the state and federal level. it arose from advocacy that originated in the communities and cities that were hardest hit by the drug trade and it's one that has a proven record of success, not just in terms of crime rates but in terms of lives saved and lives protected and communities healed. the connection between higher mandatory minimums and lower crime is often lost on those unfamiliar with this history or blinded by ideology.
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for example, in 1997, "the new york times" reported crime keeps on falling, but prisons keep on filling. one year later in 1998, the tiems added -- "times" added prison population growing although crime rates drop. in -- you can't make this stuff up. yet, it's real and appears to be all too soon forgotten. like most conservative achievements, a reduction in crime over the past generation is built on hard lessons of experience, and we should not lightly abandon criminal justice wisdom accumulated over decades to the passing fashions of current thinking. we should not blithely move from a proven strategy of accountability and vigilence to an experimental theory of leniency. we should not trade away
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concrete, hard-won gains when the results may be devastating to american communities. the senate and the american people need to consider any change to our sentencing laws with full information. we need to know if the sentencing leniency bill will return us closer to the days of the 1970's and 1980's when our cities were besieged by the drug trade and whole communities were being rotted out as a result. we need to debate sentencing changes with all the data available to us and we need to do this with eyes wide open. that's why today, together with senators hatch, sessions and perdue, i'm introducing the criminal consequences of early release act. this is a simple but very needed bill. it will require the federal government to report on the recidivism rates of the 46,000 federal inmates that were released early under the sentencing commission reductions and that will require the same reporting for any prisoners released early under any future
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reductions mandated by congress. the report required by this bill will make clear how many crimes are being committed by released felons who would otherwise still be in prison. it will make clear what types of crimes from drug trafficking to assault to robbery to murder are being committed by these felons. and it will make clear in which states these crimes are occurring. currently this type of data is extremely hard to compile. it's not reported by the bureau of justice statistics and any information we do have comes mostly through anecdotes and sporadic media reports. full information on the criminal consequences of early release must be published in detail. before voting on any bill to reduce sentences, senators need to understand fully the criminal consequences of prior sentence reductions and to hold senators accountable for their votes, the
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american people need to understand how their communities are being affected. when the federal government decides to release thousands of violent criminals on the streets, no legislator or official should be able to plead ignorance. if people are being killed, drugs trafficked, properties stolen and children kidnapped by felons who should have been in prison instead of out on the streets, then the people in our states and communities deserve to know that. i want to be clear, to those who support the sentencing reform and corrections act, we are not in full disagreement. like you, i oppose jail for first-time drug users with no prior record. it's rare for such offenders to be prosecuted jainld in the federal -- jailed in the federal system but it remains true that the better option for them, particularly if they're addicts, would be drug treatment. like you, i believe that our prisons should not be an an arctic jungle that is a danger to both prisoners and
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corrections officers. like you, i believe that those prisoners who will someday complete their sentences and reenter society should be given a chance to rehabilitate and redeem themselves while in prison so they do not commit new crimes once they are out of prison. like you, i do believe that there exists the possibility of a manifestly unjust sentence. so i suggest let's work on that bill. let's work on a bill that identifies and addresses all first-time drug possession inmates in the federal system, but keeps drug traffickers and other violent offenders in prison to finish their sentences. let's improve prison conditions and get prisoners a shot at redemption and a better life while protecting our communities. and if you wish, let's work on a bill to speed the consideration of commutation and pardon applications. because if you want to do -- undo manifestly unjust sentences, we can help the president use his constitutional power of pardon and commutation
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as a precise scalpel to identify and remedy those very rare cases of manifestly unjust sentences. but what we should not do is use the blunt instrument of releasing thousands of violent felons and major drug traffickers back on to our streets early. the president has the constitutional power to remedy unjust sentences. but you know what power he doesn't have? the power to bring back to life the victims who were murdered by prisons released early or sentenced inadequately. in the discussion about the sentencing reform and corrections act, there's much talk about legacy. and in particular, the legacy of president obama after he leaves office. if considerations of legacy should factor into our debate, i would close with this observation. legacies are not necessarily positive. they can be negative and deeply tragic.
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if supporters of this bill and president obama are wrong, if this grand experiment in criminal leniency goes awry, how many lives will be ruined? how many dead? how much of the anticrime progress of the last generation will be wiped away for the next? those are the questions we must ask as we consider this bill. and if we ask them honestly, soberly and with full information, we will invariably be led to one conclusion. we should not grant early release to thousands of drug traffickers and other violent criminals, nor should we shorten their sentences in the future. i yield the floor. mr. murphy: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. murphy: thank you, madam president. over the course of the last year and a half i've come down to the floor fairly regularly to tell
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some simple stories about victims of gun violence all across the country, the idea being that if the data is overwhelming -- this overwhelming data of those killed through gun violence, 31,000 a year, 2,600 a month, 86 a day, if these mind-numbing numbers don't move this body to action, then maybe the voices of the victims, the stories of the victims of gun violence may eventually thaw the ice of this congress and cause us to act. in some way, shape or form to reduce the scourge of gun violence, whether it be in tightening our nation's gun laws, among the loosest in the first world, whether it be to pass mental health legislation that will address those that are wrestling with demons,
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manifested eventually in gun homicides, whether it be giving more resources to law enforcement to just simply enforce the laws on the books. we've done nothing. we've done nothing.since the murders in sandy hook, connecticut, to address this epidemic of gun violence and it's about time that we do. on new year's eve, madam president, i spent most of that day tweeting out the 370-plus instances of mass shootings over the course of 2015. think about that for a second. there were more mass shootings in 2015 than there were days in the year. just to be honest, i'll tell you what i believe to be a mass shooting. i'm talking about shootings in which there were more than four people shot. if there were more than four people shot in your neighborhood, that would be something you'd probably be talking about. that would probably rise to the level of being something serious
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enough to change behavior or to call for a change in policy. there were 370 instances in 2015 where more than four people were shot at one given time, more than one per day. and so i tweeted out every single one of them on the day before the year turned to 2016, just to give people a sense all in one place of how big this problem of mass shootings is. but of course that's only the tip of the iceberg. if on the average day there are four or five or six or seven people being shot in episodes of mass violence, there are another 80 that are killed through other episodes of mass -- of gun violence. many of those are suicides. but many of those are just the day-to-day gun violence incidents that happen across this country, most of which happen in our cities. and so i want to share a few of those stories here with you
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today. a lot of the attention gets paid to those who die in episodes of mass violence. here's just a binder that is basically full of the stories of the individuals who were killed in mass shootings over the past couple years. this doesn't even begin to account for the individuals who are just killed every day on the streets of chicago and new haven and los angeles and new orleans. people like jonathan aronda, who was 19 years old when i was killed just before christmas of 2015. he was killed in the morning hours of december 8. he had just graduated from eli whitney technical high school, which is located in hampden, connecticut. he was just getting out of work, his cousin said. he stopped at his friend's house to talk about cars, and this senseless act of violence happened. he was quick to lend a hand when you needed help, said his
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cousin. he wasn't asking anything in return. he worked the third shift job to come home, rest and help his family at home. his younger sister genesis said that her brother was -- quote -- a humble and loving person. he was a person who never picked fights. he was quick to lend a hand and help without asking anything. jonathan's cousin edgar said he was a very, very likable kid. he didn't have a problem with anyone. the community has been devastated by this loss. he was liked by everybody. he cared deeply for his family. jonathan was 19 years old when he was killed after stopping at a friend's house to talk about cars after getting out of work. teresa wylie was killed just a few days ago in rockford, illinois. she was fatally shot while she was visiting a friend in her home. an unknown person forced entry into the home and shot wylie and her friend.
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she lived paycheck to paycheck, but she was still immensely generous with her friends and family, showering them with love, attention and gifts. her uncle said of teresa she didn't have children herself but every child that she met was her child. that's why she enjoyed her work so much. she enjoyed giving back to her community because it had given her so much. her friends describe her as bubbly, angelic and lovable. her favorite color was purple. her favorite team was the green bay packers. she loved red lipstick. she had overcome a learning disability to get her two-year degree. she was killed while studying to get her bachelor's degree. she was the most loyal and honest friend you could hope for, a friend said. i can't think of anybody who didn't like teresa. raven white was 16 years old when about a month ago she was killed in birmingham, alabama. she was fatally shot in her car in the early morning hours of january 8. it looks like it was a robbery.
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she was a junior in high school. she was six months pregnant. her mother said that raven was very outgoing. quote -- "i know she loved school. even after getting pregnant, she made good grades and she didn't miss a day of school. she was planning to go back to the volleyball team that she played on after giving birth. she had just gotten off work at walmart hours before the shooting. all i want is to hold my grandbaby once." that was said by raven's mother, tangi dixon, but i can't. miguel arelles was 22 when he was killed in bridgeport, connecticut. he was shot in the neck and the shoulder during a shooting at the charles f. green homes housing complex. police say he wasn't the target but he was hit by stray bullets. 22 years old. at the hospital, miguel's mother pounded his chest, urging him to come back to life.
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mommy's here. come on, baby, come on, baby. mommy's here. a veteran officer said you had the nurses crying, priest crying, even the police crying watching this. it was one of the saddest things i've ever seen. you feel so helpless. his mother said he lit up the room when he walked in. you saw his teeth every time he smiled. he brought a smile to your face. i just want to hug him. i just want to tell him i love him. he was my protector, said his sister. he loved to make people laugh. javari sanders was 30 when he was killed in december of 2015 in wilmington. he was shot on the very same street he used to walk his children to school every morning. he was a devoted father of four. his life revolved around his kids. neighbors said the only time you would see him is with his kids. he was always smiling. it's sad. you can't even let your kids walk to school, walk to after-school stuff now. when a neighbor's son was shot,
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of all ironies, the victim's mother recalls that javari visited her home every single day the week after the shooting. he just came to pay respect. i know the love that he showed me when my son was killed. i can't say a bad thing about him, said another neighbor. he was just a nice guy. that's five stories of 2,600 a month. and there's no anecdote to this epidemic. there is no one law that we can pass that makes it all better, that makes this all go away. but that can't be the excuse. the excuse can't be because there is no panacea legislatively that we shouldn't even try. the excuse can't be because it's impossible to erase gun violence, that we shouldn't just take some commonsense steps to make it all better. and, madam president, the excuse also can't be that laws don't make a difference because they do. i'll just leave you with this,
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because my point here is really to tell the stories of these victims, not to expound on the data, but the data is pretty irrefutable. here are all the states where background checks are required in order to buy a gun through a private gun sale. that's in a purchase at a gun store or a purchase at a gun show. here's all the states with no additional background checks and laws besides the federal floor. and the data's pretty irrefutable. on average, there is one additional death per 100,000 in the states with no additional background checks laws than there are in the states that have additional background checks laws. it's a 30-some-odd percent increase for the states that don't take extra steps to make sure that criminals don't get guns. and so when people say that we shouldn't pass a background checks law, that 90% of the american public support because it won't make a difference, the data doesn't tell you that.
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the data actually tells you that if you take steps to make sure that criminals don't get guns, less criminals will get guns and less people will be killed because i will assure you that one of these five people that i just listed was killed with a gun that was purchased illegally. it might have been purchased at a gun show, put into the back of a van and sold on the streets of, say, wilmington or bridgeport or new haven. laws don't save all 31,000 of these lives, but they certainly will save a handful. and for the individuals, the nurses and the clergy and the police officers who witnessed miguel argelles' mother pressing on his heart, trying to get him to come back to life, just simply one less death would make
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a debate on the senate floor worth it. i hope that we take some steps this year, perhaps to pass a mental health reform bill. i hope that we get to where nine out of ten of our constituents are and pass legislation that keeps guns out of the hands of criminals. and if we don't do it because of the statistics, maybe we'll do it because we start to hear the real voices of these victims. i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: i ask unanimous consent to speak as if if in morning business for up to 20 minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: thank you, madam president. investigative author jane mayotte has written an important piece of journalism. her new book "dark money," about the secret but massive influence
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buying by right-wing billionaires, led by the infamous koch brothers, jane meyer's book catalogs the rise and the expansion into a vast array of front groups of this operation. and the role in it of two of america's more shameless villains, charles and david koch. some have called this beast they have created the koch-topus because it has so many tentacles. the presiding officer may be wondering why am i talking about secret influence buying in my climate speech. the reason is that the story of dark money and the story of climate change denial are the same story, two sides of the same coin, as it were. two strategies of that koch-led
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influence-buying operation particularly bear on climate change. indeed, they are probably the mainly reason we don't have a comprehensive climate bill in congress and instead have the present little mouse of a bipartisan energy efficiency bill. oh, there goes whitehouse, i'm sure some listeners are saying, off his rocker, trying to connect the koch brothers to this climate change. well, it is not just something i am saying. it's what the koch brothers' own operatives say when they're crowing about their influence-buying success. i'll get to that later, but first the two strategies. one strategy is to mimic real science with phony science. real science wants to find the truth. this phony science has no
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interest whatsoever in the truth. it wants to look like science, sure, but it is perfectly content to be wrong. there is an apparatus, a whole array of front groups through which this phony science is perpetrated. this machinery of phony science has been wrong over and over and over. it was wrong about tobacco, wrong about lead paint, wrong about ozone, wrong about mercury, and now it's wrong about climate change. same organizations, same strategies, same funding sources even in some cases the same people. always wrong. you'd think if they cared a hoot about right from wrong, they
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would change their methodology. after such an unblemished public record of being wrong every time. but they don't care. truth is not their object. truth is actually their adversary. this isn't science. it's public relations dressed up in a lab coat. it masquerades as science, but as a visiting university president from rhode island recently said to me, it uses the language of science but its purpose is to undermine actual science. to pull off this masquerade, you have to trick people. you have to do what ms. meyer describes a koch brothers associate saying as this whole scheme was being developed. it is perhaps the most telling quote in her book.
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here is what the man said. it would be necessary, he said, to use ambiguous and misleading names, obscure the true agenda and conceal the means of control. the next quote in her book is this -- "this is the method that charles koch would soon practice in his charitable giving and later in his political actions." did he ever. misleading names. how about the john loch foundation? the ethan allen institute. the pages listening will know these names from history. the james madison institute for public policy. the thomas jefferson institute. the franklin center for
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government and public integrity. with a little profile of old ben franklin on its letterhead. or the george c. marshall institute, named after the hero of world war ii and the european recovery that followed. none of them have a thing to do with their illustrious namesakes. they just took the famous names to put on a veneer of legitimacy hmmm. george c. marshall institute. sounds impressive. you might fool the occasional editorial page editor. who does that? maybe someone trying to hide something. obscure the true agenda. take the mercadis center which "the washington post" described as a -- quote -- staunchly antiregulatory center funded largely by koch industries incorporated.
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in "dark money," journalist jane meyer wrote that clayton coppin, a professor at koch industries concluded mercadis to be, and i'll quote him, a lobbying group disguised as a disinterested academic program. and conceal the means of control, a large portion of the funding behind this special interest apparatus is simply not traceable. why? because money is funneled through organizations that exist to conceal donor identity. that's their purpose. the biggest identity laundering shop is donors trust donors capital fund. indeed, it is by far the biggest source of funding in the web of climate change denial front groups that have been stood up.
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dr. robert brulle of direction he will university -- of drexel university reports the donors trust donors capital corporation is the "central component and predominant funders of the denial aprater us" and at the same time, he continues, it is the "black box that conceals the identity of contributors." jane maher reports in her book, "between 1999 and 2015, donors trust redistributed some $750 million from the pooled contributions to myriad conservative causes under its own name." $750 million laundered into anonymity. no tell-tale fossil fuel
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fingerprints. this is no small operation. there are over 100 groups involved all beholden to the same master: the fossil fuel industry. setting up or supporting over 100 front groups may seem unduly complicated. but, remember, an internal combustion engine has more than 500 parts and we're entirely comfortable with that mechanism. according to the international monitorinmonetary fund, this aps defending a $700 billion -- billion with a "b" -- "effective subsidy." just in the united states and every year. how much work would you do -- how much complication would you be willing to create to defend $700 billion per year?
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to united states jane maher's ms telling phrase, this is a new device. put it all together and what do you have? "the think tank as disguised political weapon." who is behind this elaborate scheme in i'll quote from "dark money." "the director of research at greenpeace spent months trying to trace the funds flowing into a web of nonprofit organizations and talking heads, all denying the relative global warming as ifer withou working from the sae script. what he discovered is from 25 to 2008, a single corks the koch brothers, poured almost $25 million into dozens of different organizations fighting climate reform. the sum was staggering. his research showed that charles and david koch had outspent what
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was then the world's largest public oil company, exxonmobil, bay factor of three. in a 120 report, greenpeace crowned koch industries a company few had ever heard of at the time the -- quote -- "kingpin of climate sense denial." and by the way, i should say that exon mobile has been actively involved in this swcialg as a lot of recent reporting has shown. but they were out-shown and outdone by the koch brothers. another section, i will queet from "dark money." "the first peer-reviewed academic study on the topic added furtherdetail. robert brulle, a drexel university professor of sociology and of environmental science discovered that between 2003 and 2010 over half a billion dollars was spent on what he described as a massive -- quoting brulle -- campaign to
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manipulate and mislead the public about the threat posed by climate change." "a campaign to manipulate and mislead the public." "the study --" still lead reeding from the book. "the study examined the tax records of more thank 1 coo nonprofit organizations engaged in challenging the prevailing science on global warming. what it found was in essence a corporate lobbying campaign disguised as a tax-exempt philanthropic endeavor. some 1040 conservative foundations funded the campaign brulle found. during the seven year period he studied, these foundations described $558 million in the form of 5,299 grants to 91 different nonprofit organizations. it's quite a kochtopus."
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sorry, that's not from the quote. back to the quote. "the money went to think tanks, advocacy groups, trade associations, other foundations, and academic and legal programs. cumulatively, this private network waged a permanent campaign -- a permanent campaign to undermine americans' faith in climate science to defeat any effort to regulate carbon emissions." bottom line: if your faith in climate science is undermined, you've been had by a well-funded, complex, sophisticated scheme of disinformation. back to "dark money" again. quoting -- "the cast of conservative organizations identified by brulle was familiar to anyone who had
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followed the funding of the modern conservative movement. among those he pinpointed as the largest bankrollers were foundations affiliated with the koch and scathe families, both of whose fortunes derived partly from oil. also involved were the bradley foundation and several others associated with hugely wealthy families participating in the koch donor summits, such as foundations run by the devoss family, art pope, the retail magnet from north carolina, and john templ templeton jr., john templeton sr., who eeventually renounced his u.s. citizen in favor of living in the about a ham has, reportedly saving $1 radio million on taxes. brulle tbowndz that as the money was dispersed, three-quarters of the funds from the counterchange movement were untraceable.
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brulle's conclusion as reported by ms. mayer is this -- "powerful funders are supporting the campaign to deny scientific findings about global warming and raise public doubts about the roots and remedies of this massive global threat. at the very least," he argued, "american voters deserve to know who is behind these efforts." but it wasn't enough for the koch brothers to have the paid-for phony science masquerades. you also had to drive politicians to accept the phony designs science. you had to make politicians put on the phony science costume. to do that, they turned to the mother's milk of politics: money. the money was set loose by five republican justices on the
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supreme court when they decided citizens united. citizens united is described in "dark money" as the "the polluters triumph." mayer quotes a defeated candidate the kochs went after. there was a huge change after citizens united, he said, "when anyone could spend any amount of money without revealing who they were by hiding behind amorphous named organizations. the floodgates opened. the supreme court made a huge mistake. there is no accountability be, zero." end quote. the money got loaded into political organizations like americans for prosperity, the leading koch brothers-backed political front group. they waved that money around like a club, touting how they
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were going to spent $750 million just in this 2016 election. they told republicans they'd be -- quote -- "severely disadvantaged if they crossed them on climate change, that they'd be in political peril." do the math. how much more obvious could you get? here's how jane mayer quotes their own official crowing about their victory. remember what i said earlier, madam president, this is not me making wild allegations. this is them taking credit for what they did, and i quote, "tom phillips gladly took credit for the dramatic spike in expressed skepticism." "if you look at where the situation was three years ago and where it is today, there's been a dramatic turnaround,"
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told the national journal. "we've made great headway. what it means for candidate on the republican side is, if you buy into green energy or you play footsie on this issue, you do so at your political peril. that's our influence." groups like americans for prosperity have done it." end quote. that's what they say about what they are doing. and don't think we don't see that effect in this chamber. the koch brothers have had their day doing their dirty work in the dark. i'll give them that. it's been quite a racket. but the truth will come out. it always does. jane mayer is not alone. academic researchers like robert brulle at drexel, reilly dunlap
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at oklahoma state university, justin fairly at yale university, and michael mann at penn state university are exposing the precise dimensions and functions of this denial machine. investigative writers like naomi klein and steven cole are on the hunt. merchants of doubt is already a movie. jeff nesbitt's forthcoming book "poison tea" should be illuminating. and on the official side, two state attorney generals appear to be looking into exxon's role in this climate denial scheme. in short, what could well be the biggest scam to hit politics since teapot dome and watergate is being unraveled and exposed.
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the dirty fossil fuel money has deliberately polluted our american politics, just as their carbon emissions have polluted the atmosphere and oceans. justice, madam president, cannot come too soon for these people. with that, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. ms. murkowski: mr. president, i request that proceedings under
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the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. murkowski: mr. president, i was in the cloakroom listening to my colleague from rhode island talk about the issue he's clearly very passionate about relating to our climate and recognizing that in that space as we think about energy and our energy needs as a nation, our economic security, our energy security, our national security, how that's all tangled and intertwined, i can't help but think we have colleagues from very different perspectives that have stood on this floor over the course of the past couple of weeks. and it seems that one thing that we have really found some level of consensus on is that it's time to update our energy policies. it is time. it's been over eight years now since we have seen any energy policies that really do anything to move us forward as a nation,
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that work to help us be more energy efficient, be more energy independent, move towards a cleaner energy future, embrace the technologies that we have available to us. there is a recognition that we need to act together to update our energy policies. and so i want to come to the -- i've come to the floor this evening to just speak to where we are in this process of successfully moving an energy modernization bill across the floor of the united states senate. we took this up some two weeks ago now, and i wanted to comment on some of the comments that were actually made on the floor this morning. there was a comment that was
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made that as republicans, we need to get to yes on assistance for flint. and i have stood on the floor here and have made clear that there's no doubt in my mind that flint is the site of just a tragedy that should have been, could have been avoided. there's no doubt in my mind but that federal assistance could be provided to help with the city's ongoing crisis. but there's also no doubt in my mind but that this is something where we just need to get to yes on a number to help flint out. we just need to get to yes, we need to figure out what that right amount is.
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it sounds easy. it sounds easy. and those of us that, again, are committed to not only addressing the situation, the urgent situation that we see in flint, but a recognition that there is a broader problem at play here when we think about our nation's infrastructure and our water infrastructures. so i wanted to take just a few minutes this evening to speak to that and kind of where we are in this process and why this getting to yes has perhaps been more problematic than most had hoped. i want to remind my colleagues that we've been debating here on the floor is an energy bill. it is a bill that was written by myself as the chairman of the energy committee, along with senator cantwell from washington, as my ranking member. it included the presiding officer as a member of the
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committee along with dozens of other members that serve on the energy committee. it's been the result of more than a year of regular process, regular order within the committee where we worked to consider ideas from all over the board. we undertook an effort that some would say you just don't see around here anymore. we started with an agreement, an agreement between the chairman, myself, and the ranking member, and said do we want to send a message this year about what we need to do with energy and our energy policies? or do we want to bring about some changes? is it time to update our energy policies after eight years? and the two of us agreed that we wanted to make that change, and
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so we recognized that in order to do that, in order to get it through the committee with a good bipartisan vote, in order to get it to the floor, we were going to have to work together. we made that commitment. our staffs made that commitment. and we not only said we were going to do it, we did it. and we started off with a series of oversight hearings that we had here in washington, d.c. and around the country, bringing people in, soliciting their ideas. after the oversight hearings, we had six legislative hearings before the committee going through a host of different initiatives. there were 114 bills, separate bills, some from members of the committee, some from members who were not serving on the energy committee but who had good ideas. we reviewed them all, considered them as part of the bill that we were building. and then we had our markup.
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we went into three days of markup before the energy committee. we considered over 50 different measures, 50 different measures from, again, folks within the committee and outside the committee, republicans and democrats, urban and rural. in the committee process it was full and it was an open exchange. it was any good idea, any amendment that you have, if you think that you've got the votes, let's run it. if you think you don't and you still want to run it anyway, let's work it. and we worked that committee process, and we considered 59 amendments within the committee. it was a good process. and because it was a good process and it was so inclusive, we got a bill that moved out of the committee 18-4. the four dissenting votes, it was kind of interesting. we had two republicans that dissented and two democrats. even the opposition was bipartisan. so i say this by laying the
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groundwork for what we really have built. because i want colleagues to appreciate the substance of the measure that we have before us with the energy policy modernization. so we then come to the floor the first of the year, the first big bill to come to the floor and take up valuable floor time. and i'm pleased that we were able to come to the floor early. in the time that we've been to the floor, we have dispensed with 38 amendments. 38 amendments. most of those have gone by voice not because it's been kind of a take this or leave it approach. voice vote means it comes by unanimous consent. you have to get consent to get these before the body. and so we worked through a host of different issues all over the
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board, whether it related to advanced nuclear or whether it related to coal research or whether it related to issues as they relate to our public lands. so we have been working this throughout this process. in fact, mr. president, i think it's important to recognize that even during this time period where it's been kind of quiet on the floor, you haven't heard people talking about where we are with the energy bill, our staffs on the majority side and minority side have been working together to clear even more amendments that have that support that we could move by voice. almost 30 additional amendments on top of what we have already done. so we're not letting the moss collect and gather as we're trying to deal with the situation that has detracted and distracted this energy bill, and that is the nature of the flint
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issue. but again, i don't want people to think that the basis of the bill which brought us here, a bill that would modernize our energy policies, a bill that would help america produce more energy, a bill that will help americans save money, a bill that would help our nation with our national security, our energy security and our economic security, a bill that would help to cement our status as a global energy super power, it's important that we remember why we are here. and others are remembering that. when we left the floor on thursday with an indeterminant path forward into how we were going to advance the energy
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bill, those groups that have been interested in following this debate have come to us with a little bit of concern saying wait, don't stop that forward movement. the bipartisan policy center has sent out a letter urging us to move forward with this energy policy modernization act. clear path has urged us, please, this is important to us from a clean energy perspective. bill gates has put out a letter on his blog post urging us, please don't forget that as we're talking about how to resolve the situation for flint, michigan, that we don't forget the importance of the underlying bill that we are debating here, which is the energy policy modernization act. now, i -- the progress that of
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we have made, i think, on this bill is critically important. and again, we are working with the ranking member to just keep plugging along on all of those issues that we have occupant standing. we believe -- that we have outstanding. we believe that we have a path forward for a bipartisan bill, a bill that so many members of this body have come to the floor and said this is good, this is important, this is something that we need to do. we're not going to forget that. but in the meantime what we're dealing with is this plea for assistance, federal assistance by the people of flint, michigan. and as i said last week, i don't fault that request. coming from a state like alaska, which has considerable needs of its own when it comes to water infrastructure. in far too many of my communities it's not a situation of aging infrastructure.
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it's a situation of no infrastructure, no clean water, no safe drinking water. and so i understand, i understand. but i'm increasingly frustrated by where we are now and how the decisions that have been made to date are effectively stopping all activity on an energy bill, even as it becomes perhaps increasingly obvious or clear that the issue related to flint, the urgency of flint's situation, but the bigger issue that we see looming when it comes to our nation's water infrastructure, that is a problem that demands a level of scrutiny and attention that we
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as a congress should give. but is this vehicle, the energy policy modernization act, is this energy bill the right vehicle for what is being sought right now? what i want to make sure that not only colleagues know but people who have been following this issue know, we have been working in good faith towards a solution that would help address the situation in flint. there are many, many of us, many of us, many republicans working with the senators from michigan, many working to try to find a good-faith solution, and i have been engaged in this from the very get-go. i have been working as well as have many republican members, and we have found -- we've found some programs out there that make sense for providing
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assistance. the state revolving fund is one that we have looked to. and we have, along with our staffs, we have spent considerable hours debating the merits of -- of different approaches, drafting language for them, working to resolve scoring issues and generally trying to seek a path forward. while many were enjoying the super bowl on sunday, i can tell you we were not. my staffs were not. actually, the senator from washington and i happened to be on the same airplane coming back from the west coast so that we could be here to work on this bill. so we missed the game, but even those who were here on our staffs weren't watching the game. they were going back and forthwith c.b.o. to determine if the solutions that we had laid down were going to work. were they going to meet the
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scoring issues, were they going to avoid the blue slip issues, was it going to be a viable path forward? and we have been doing this since day one. and so i think -- i think it's important to -- to outline to people that when it's suggested that somehow or other we just need to get to yes, just need to get to yes quickly, that there is a range of factors that have complicated our efforts. we are not helped on an energy bill that has drawn widespread acclaim for a very open process. by the fact that as we're trying to deal with the situation with flint, there hasn't been an open process, there hasn't been a process. and i think this is what is complicating so much of what we're doing. this is a bigger issue. the urgency of flint, maybe thae specific. but again, this is -- this is bigger than flint. this is -- we've heard from colleagues on both sides of the
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aisle that there are issues around our respective states, around our country that we're going to have to be dealing with. so we've got an amazing complete process with the energy bill that we have methodically, consistently, almost -- almost over the top gone through a process, and now we've got something that's kind of air dropped in to use an expression around here that is not as easy as people would suggest. it's not just something where just say throw some money at it. we're not helped by attempts to federalize the response to the crisis, regardless of the federal government's share of the responsibility in it. and i -- i believe that there is that proportionate share where we've got to be there. we're not helped by the president's decision not to issue a disaster declaration, but instead to -- to grant a much more limited emergency declaration. and then we're not -- we're not
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helped necessarily by the president's budget that he laid down today in not -- he didn't request funding for flint in this massive budget proposal. in fact, the funds that we have been looking at that could help flint, the state revolving funds, that level is not increased. what we have actually seen has been a decrease in the clean water fund. that's not going to help us because we recognize that we've got to address those issues as well, and also we're not helped when the ask is for far more federal dollars than the city of flint, maybe even capable of spending over the next year. we have been trying to identify, trying to discern what is it that would help? i had a conversation with the governor of michigan, myself,
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trying to discern it. i have talked with the senators from michigan. i have talked with house members from michigan. we've got at least four flint-related amendments that are pending to the energy bill from the michigan delegation alone, but again in terms of the extent of the repairs that need to be made, is it -- is it all of the pipes in flint? is it -- is it trying to get a corrosion control system in place that is it? do we have a final estimate for what those repairs will cost? the plan of action that will be required? and i appreciate -- i appreciate the senator from michigan's response when we had a little back and forth with the senator from texas, saying that in her bill there is a requirement that they be detailed, how these moneys are spent, and so i truly appreciate that part of it. but where we're being put into a situation where we're trying to
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divine the right amount here, and this is -- this is important for us to get right. so as important as it is for us to get to yes, to figure out what we can do to -- to help flint in a way that is fair to flint but fair overall, we have to want to get it right as well. and so again, i -- i was reading the clips last night. "the new york times" had an article about all around the country we're seeing other states that are sending up an alarm in terms of situations within their communities, from pennsylvania to ohio to california where there is a need to not only improve the current
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infrastructure but there are issues in these communities that have raised a level of concern that we should all be concerned and caring about. so how we approach this, how we make sure that in an effort to kind of rush money out the door to flint alone, that we don't put ourselves in a place where we commit to a course where the federal government pays for all of the costs for local water systems. we can't legislate crisis by crisis, community by community or, or pretend that the federal government is not already $19 trillion in debt. we have to do right by this. we want to address the urgency.
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i want to address the urgency for the people in flint, but i want to make sure that we do right. i think most members recognize that our solution is going to have to be national in scope because there are other communities in other states that may also need help. most members know that our answers must be responsible in light of our already difficult fiscal situation, and most members are at least willing to consider the legislation that provides assistance so long as it doesn't violate our senate rules, the constitution or add to the federal deficit. and again, this is -- this is where we're kind of sitting here today, tuesday evening. there's a couple plans that -- that have been viewed as viable because they meet that criteria. they meet the criteria in terms of not adding to the federal deficit, not violating the rules of the senate and not violating
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our constitution. and it is interesting that both of those measures actually are measures that come from this side of the aisle. i do note that the majority leader is on the floor, and i would defer to him at his convenience. otherwise, i will -- i will keep going with my comments. one, mr. president, is an offer that i laid down last week. it is an offer that would make $550 million available, $50 million would be made available through state revolving grants. this could help the people of flint and other communities that have contaminated drinking water. it gives access to $500 million
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in loans. it is fully paid for. it is one of the few viable offsets that we have found within the jurisdiction of the energy and natural resources committee where i am the chairman, and i think that's part of the issue that we need to be discussing here. there -- it is so important to make sure that as we look to these pay-fors, that they are pay-fors that we can come to agreement on. and i believe that this one is viable because i do believe that it is one where we can come to agreement on. i ask for -- i asked for unanimous consent last week that we could make this amendment be pending for a vote. that was -- that was rejected. the second proposal was one made by chairman inhofe who is the chairman of the environment and public works committee, which is the committee of jurisdiction,
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and he also introduced an amendment last week that was fully paid for, but he used funds that are available from an all but dormant loan program at department of energy, which is used to subsidize the auto industry. and we can go back and forth about the merits of that -- that fund, but the fact remains that it -- it would have been a viable pay-for for this measure that senator inhofe had laid down, but it, too, was rejected, even though it was -- it was effectively an offer to prioritize assistance for the families and the children in flint over some of the major corporations, and we were told no. and that's -- that's kind of where we are right now. if you want to know why the negotiations aren't proceeding as quickly and as smoothly as they had hoped, i think
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that's -- that's kind of one of the reasons why -- why we are where we are. the fact is that many of us are willing and are trying -- trying valiantly, in many cases desperately to get to yes, but we can't get to yes just on anything. we can't get to something -- we cannot accept something that's not paid for. we can't do something that, quite honestly, would -- would jeopardize, would doom the underlying energy bill. and i think we -- we can't get to yes on something that provides more funding than could reasonably be used in the short term or ignores the problems that we are facing in other parts of the country. and so we've looked at how you can separate this, how you can work it out on a stand-alone measure. i think it -- it needs to be a priority. i think it needs to be made a
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priority. i think chairman inhofe on e.p.w. has made it one, but i think that it needs to be separate and apart from what we're doing on this bipartisan energy bill that already includes priorities from over 62 members of the senate, and i don't think that it's too much to ask that our energy bill be allowed to move forward in the meantime. if we had been able to -- to move forward as we had planned, we would have tucked this thing away last thursday. we would have had a full week to buckle down and figure out a path forward for flint and for the nation, but instead here we are, it's tuesday, we've got a recess coming up at the end of the week. we haven't had an opportunity to approve almost these 30 amendments that could go by voice, and we're kind of at a stalled spot. a senator: will the senator
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yield? ms. murkowski: i will. mr. mcconnell: i just want to comment. i want to assure to the chairman of the energy committee that we're not giving up on this bill. we're going to stick with it. it's got too much support on a bipartisan basis for us to walk away from it. and i know all of our colleagues on both sides appreciate the ongoing effort you've made to deal with this other issue that's arisen here, regretfully right in the middle of what you were on the verge of achieving here, and we're just going to stick with it. i wanted you to know i was behind this effort all the way. ms. murkowski: well, i appreciate those comments, and i appreciate the support not only of the majority leader. i had an opportunity to speak with the minority leader on the floor earlier, and he, too, reiterated the priority of this energy bill. so to my colleagues and to those who have been urging us to carry on, to continue on, know that we are doing exactly that, that i remain committed to not only the
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energy policy modernization act but committed to finding a path forward as we have dealt with this other issue, an important issue relating to flint and also relating to the rest of the nation when it comes to the security and the safety of our water supplies. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: on an entirely different matter, i think many americans would agree with the following statement: the internet should remain open and free. politicians should certainly -- certainly -- not try to tax it. congress passed a temporary ban on internet taxes back in 1998. it was an important bipartisan win for the american people, but congress has never made that ban permanent. in fact, there have been eight different short-term extensions
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of the internet tax ban. and, mr. president, it's time we made it permanent. it's time we made it permanent. the bipartisan internet tax freedom forever act has 51 cosponsors. it was introduced by the top republican on the commerce committee and the top democrat on the finance committee. in my office, we've received many, many messages from kentuckians who support this measure. here's what the bipartisan internet tax freedom forever act would do. it would ensure any existing internet taxes are phased out permanently, it would ensure any new attempts to tax the internet are prohibited permanently, it would ensure americans access to information and online communications remain open and free permanently.
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the house already passed this kind of commonsense bipartisan legislation to make the ban on internet taxes permanent. it's time we did it here in the senate. the action i'm about to take will allow us to have that chance on thursday of this week. so, mr. president, i ask the chair to lay before the senate the conference report accompanying h.r. 644. the presiding officer: the chair lays before the senate the conference report. the clerk: the committee of conference on the disagreeing votes of the two houses on the amendment of the house to the amendment of the senate to the bill h.r. 644 to reauthorize trade facilitation and trade enforcement fufntion understands and activities and for other purposes, having met, have agreed that the senate veed from
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its greement to the house to the amendment of the senate and agree to the same with an amendment and the house agree to the same signed by a majority of the conferees on the part of both houses. mr. mcconnell: i send a cloture motion to the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion. the clerk: cloture motion: we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the conference report to accompany h.r. 644, an act to reauthorize trade if a tillation and trade enforcement functions and activities and for other purposes signinged by 17 senators. mr. mcconnell: ask that the the reading of the names be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask the mandatory quorum call be waived with respect to the cloture motion. the presiding officer: without objection of. mr. mcconnell: i just filed cloture on the customs conference report. the house has passed this commonsense bipartisan bill and it's time for the senate to do it swrl. as well. i ask unanimous consent thalt
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senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 313, s. 2109. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 3013, a bill to direct the administrator of the fema and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: is there objection to froaght measure. without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that the johnson amendment be agreed to, the committee-reported substitute amendment as amend be agreed to, the bill as amend be read a third time and passed, and the motions to reconsider be laid on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i now ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 356, h.r. 1428. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the measure. the clerk: calendar number 3 56, h.r. 1428 an act to extend privacy act remedies to citizens of certified states and for other purposes. the presiding officer: is there,? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous
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consent that the committee-report amendment be agreed to, the bill be read a third time and passed, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i now ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to immediate consideration of s. res. 367. submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 367, supporting the goals and ideals of career and technical education month. the presiding officer: the is there objection. without objection. mr. mcconnell: ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table, with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i now ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the consideration of s. res. 369 submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 369, confirming the importance of student data privacy and recognizing digital learning day. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be
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agreed to, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table, with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: so i now ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today it adjourn until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow wednesday, february 10. following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, and the time for the two leaders be reserves foretheir use later nlt day. further, that 2308ing leader remarks, the senate be in a period of morning business until 10:30 a.m. with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate
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>> >> we are here in manchester with the moderator tell us about activity this year compared to the past. >> we usually have a high turnout usually in bill whole city i think there is a lot of excitement to see the political science in their yards so probably the highest turnout in the city i hope. >> as far as preparing for today what do you have to factor like volunteers or facilities? >> it is a challenge to is arduous work and along date to be your 5:00 in the morning we don't get out and tell it is reconciled sometimes midnight.
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we have training at the city clerk's office and secretary a state gives us trading and we help each other out and we make it through. >> do you have to call it more because of the activity? >> we have almost as many. >> what about identification in do they have to declare a party? >> yes many have already declared but those that our undeclared can tell when they check in with a photo identification it shows a they are registered here. then they are presented with whenever color they want. and then if they want to go back to undeclared before they exit they can fill out a form in the box then they
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can go back to undeclared so they get twice as much literature as the rest of us. [laughter] >> when it comes to the machinery making sure they are correct what you have to do to make sure all those tabulating machines? >> i witnessed that the a other day. the personnel have to check all that has a rigorous process and they have a couple back up machines because occasionally, it even happened here last time with a malfunction to bring up a new machine. we put them in the hand count side and then later be put them through to get the account. >> we hear about first in the nation and people participating that it remains that way give us your perspective and how you are involved in the process.
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>> my mother reminds me she is 96 and she sponsor the bill to unified up by very with the town meeting. we don't have that here. so the first tuesday in march go to their town meeting to air grievances and votes in the primary we accelerated that it is important for a small state and fairly well educated interested people who want to learn about the candidates. so we are happy to keep it this way. >> how long have you been doing this? >> since i retired from being an attorney i have been a volunteer the past six years the first full time as moderator. >> why you like to do we get? >> i don't like it. it is a duty and obligation it is democracy at work on this lease. >> the monitor here on primary day at webster
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elementary. >> thank you. >> the road to the white house began in iowa with the caucuses dating back in 1972 than moving to new new hampshire's first to the nation primary with a long and rich history now we begin to test the candidates and their message. south carolina is a for southern primary then to the party caucuses it bad for democrats and republicans will likely a number of candidates will probably drop out that this field will narrow moving into early march with super tuesday of winner-take-all primaries so the delegate count is critical as we watch that continue we will get a better sense of whose message is resonating and who was on the path to the nomination.
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call to be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. lankford: mr. president, today the president of the united states unveiled the last united states unveiled the last >> today the president unveiled the last budget of his presidency, presidency, 4.$1 trillion. 1.1 trillion is discretionary spending about congress will discuss over the next few months. the budgets are typically dead on arrival especially the last one of his term required by the budget act he turned to sit by the first monday of february now into the second week, it is one week late but that is closer on-time than the others have been the last few years.
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what are the items? that also includes 3. $4 trillion in new taxes over the next 10 years and increases spending by 2.5 trillion dollars over the next 10 years including next year. the present spending plan in the deficit and the interest payments. with the current budget office and the president's budget he released today forecast over the next 10 years united states of america will spend more on interest on our debt than on national defense. so that in. within 10 years the federal taxpayer will spend more on interest of our debt payments than on national defense.
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when the president came into office it was 10.6 trillion dollars now the president's budget lays out a plan it will be 27.$4 trillion of total debt. this is an issue for us and continues to excel and re. and until this body and the house and the white house agrees it is a problem that will not be solved. we have had this conversation. with those increasing deficits is a problem. that if their government overspins a little bit too trigger the economy that could be true in an economic formula but when interest payments are larger than defense we're in a spiral
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that we cannot sustain. and there is no reckoning for that. of total debt right now exceeds the gross domestic product. all of their income for the entire year you could not pay off your debt we are very much data to pinpoint and congress never seems to act and then added economic crisis how to begin on top of that? held much of the deficit and reducing our debt. so that is the accumulation of all those deficits.
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the we have cut the deficit by $1 trillion that is a good thing that the problem is over the last 10 years that the debt has doubled and deficits are still so large every single year there is a problem. what do we do with this there is multiple things we will not get out of this this is not a car payment to pay off it is a really big jumbo mortgage and we will not fix all in one stroke is a take multiple years. of this one sobering fact if we balance the budget into next year if we had a $50 billion surplus as a
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nation it would take 460 years in a row of the $50 billion surplus to pay off the debt. twice as long as we have spent a country with a $50 billion surplus every year as we all know the cbo and continue to rattle that this debt is continuing to grow and don't have the resources to do it for the first time in 2009 the deficit will rise again next year. at 544 billion of just the last fiscal year as we continue to have more individuals that retire and use medicare and social security as they set their
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entire life as that number continues to rise with discretionary spending spending, we're not getting on top of the big issues. where do we go from here? in 1974 we created that congressional budget act how to do the budget every year with the senate in the house putting it together and going through the process all the time being set up with appropriation bills, all the deadlines but since 1879 the cbo -- that acted the way it was set up since 1979 it is only worked two times. twice. since 1879. would anyone else to admit this is a problem?
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in 1974 they wanted more transparency in to the budget so they create this process that is so cumbersome but it is a lever twice in to give you more up-to-date details we should have passed 118 appropriation bills in the last 10 years of those only seven individual bills are on time. we have a problem of the basic process. of what i would recommend to this body because if we fix the deficit we need to let the process of how we do budgeting. we do a budget every two years dealing with trillions
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of dollars we should have said the defense planning to do that two years in the audience to lay out how we will do the spending to provide accountability with the major budget process to a gatt rid of the budget gimmicks and how we balance the budget. corporate time being changing of those minatory programs that everyone inside of the city knows it is a great budgeting techniques. here is an example of the pension payment acceleration of section five '02 changes the due date for a change of premiums from october 15
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through september 152025. in order to get 2.3 billion dollars into the ted your window and was just changed? they move the paper it time 30 days for word and that is when it is due schism within 30 days for word now is another $2 billion into the federal budget it would be 2 billion short but because they move that paved over one month suddenly picks up $2 billion it isn't real it is the ultimate the changes of the mandatory programs edited is expected but when we don't spend part of that the we are expected to spend
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and spend it this year in and guess what's next year you spend it again and again it is a gimmick we should have gimmicks like that it makes congress look good but don't deal with the deficits the rules need to be fixed we need to get a real numbers right now there is the big argument with this particular baseline we have a lot of that have not been authorized un and a decade of the rise seen programs for national defense every single year is important to do the work of that. in to get it done. if you have reports that come out every year to show waste but no one ever
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attacks on. senator flake from arizona all put out which reports in the last five months. detail in billions of dollars of waste. we can identify these things inspector general's office can identify these areas we set a process in place that solves these things. we can do what our there and talk about it to solutions on our debt and deficit. i recommend the government shut down prevention act i of understand some are romantic about the shutdowns they always cost more money the taxpayer then it saves. always. because of the tremendous amount of turmoil there is
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an easier way to handle this. congress of the tax would we have to with a government shutdown now we have to. we get it to the end of the budget year at the end of that year if we didn't have a budget in place or the proper appropriations of a short-term continuing resolution and all legislative offices of the white house get a funding here cut immediately. to create the incentive in 30 days later resettle now of the appropriations done they get another hair cut. there are ways that don't damage the rest of the nation. while repassing like a balanced budget amendment that we voted on in 2011?
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we will never get to some of these things so let's put the process in place of real reform how we do the budget and structural changes that what everybody else says needs to be done. in the days ahead spending more interesting and national defence the body should hang its head in shame and before that occurs we should fix it so that never happens to get on top of the debt and deficit with the process that gets us back to work. with that i yield back. >> a budget reporter with bloomberg and a jury assessed to talk about president obama is proposed 2017 federal budget. what is the significance with it being his last year in office and also the
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election-year? >> it is a political document given it is his last year in office. and republicans are treating it as such of course, with city budgeted has specific proposals but in terms of what they are fighting over with the appropriations process this is much more of a political document to what the policy discussion in will be. >> what are a the key details of an oil price?
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>> with the overview basically 4.$1 trillion of spending and a $500 billion deficit and over 10 years they are $6 trillion. basically he raised $3 trillion worth of revenue in with in 2017 that is funded by the oil feet with the current income-tax credit that is something the official said today to work with republicans on. and there is increased money for cancer research that cancer part is associated
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with the initiative and that is one of the other things in the white house has said they hope they to work with republicans just to give us an idea with these targeted initiatives arguably even tinier too fine a common ground. >> let's turn to for funding the overseas contingency operations budget the white house budget keeps many for the fiscal 20 years 17. . .
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one way to do that would be to include a higher number than today's number from the white house that shows they have no interest, at least so far in a higher oco number to pay for military operations. house leaders may be on their own when they tried to increase oco. >> just briefly i want to touch upon the response. house speaker paul ryan immediately writing that the budget proposal is a progressive manual, and he
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is also called for regular order. what is the likelihood of those bills being taken up individually, not as an omnibus? >> historically there are two things to keep in mind. individual bills being passed in times with the fiscal year was 1994. last time a republican congress agreed on a budget resolution in an election year was 2,000. so sort of. >> coming full circle. >> history prevailed against these things happening. >> thank you so much for joining us. we will follow you on twitter. and then also your reporting
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thanks so much. >> thank you. ♪ >> i am an undecided voter right now. education. i am also a union president. one of the things that should be talked about his testing and accountability. i hope the candidates talk about that. >> the candidate we are supporting is bernie sanders. he is the only candidate who will make a major changes that we need. >> the system isn't working. it is fixed, and we need to make it right for the average american. >> it is important for young voters to care about the economy. rubio is a great candidate. ♪
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>> and those polls in new hampshire in less than half an hour. 7:00 o'clock eastern. here is the headline, candidates trade fire as new hampshire votes in pivotal primary. our coverage gets underway, and we have a lot of coverage in about an hour on the c-span networks. we will have coverage right here on c-span2. white house budget director and other administration officials gave some details about the president's budget request including his plans for new transportation system in increasing clean energy and investments to cure cancer.
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[silence] [silence] >> good afternoon, everybody. obviously today is the day many of you have been waiting for for a long time. the president has released his fiscal year 2017 budget. there is one point i want to make before i turn it over to sean. budgets are important because they enumerate priority.
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anything that is this detailed, there is no fudging. it becomes quite clear when you look at the numbers what you believe. that is the importance of this exercise. i readily acknowledge there are priorities that we have that are deeply held that republicans in congress do not share. and it will be differences of opinion. there are number of priorities that are priorities held by republicans according to what they say. one good example of that is cyber security. there is a robust proposal in here that includes a stepped up investment in protecting the country, government systems from cyber attacks and cyber intrusion.
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that is an important piece of business. that is all the more reason it is unfortunate the republicans in the budget community won't even have a conversation with us about it. i guarantee you oversight -- at some point for the next year we will filing of the briefing room and i will find many of you here to ask the white house about the latest cyber intrusion. it may be a private sector company that is well-known. it may even be a media organization. when you do, i will discuss the efforts we have made over the 1st seven years of the presidency to strengthen our cyber defenses. i will make detailed note of the significant investment we are proposing to enhance our nation cyber security, and you can be certain i
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will point out that republicans in the budget community refused to even discuss it. i think you rightfully any american people rightfully we will have lots of questions about the republicans commitment to confronting this issue that is critical to our nation's economy and our national security. let me turn it over to sean for a more detailed overview , and then we will start taking questions. >> thank you, josh. also thank you to jason, cecelia, and jeff. as we begin this discussion on the budget it is useful to take a moment and take stock of our economic and fiscal progress. we have turned our economy around created 14 million jobs. the unemployment rate is below 5 percent. nearly 18 million people
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have been health coverage since the affordable care act, and we have dramatically cut our deficits and set our nation on a more sustainable fiscal path. it is important to take stock of our progress, but this budget is not about looking back. it is about choosing investments not only make a stronger today but enable us to make progress toward the kind of country we aspire to be. the president is absolutely committed to using every minute of this to deliver for the american people and to address many of the challenges he highlighted in the state of the union. a path toward meeting those challenges. find new treatment and cures for cancer and other diseases, transformer infrastructure and/or economy. it gives everyone a fair shot, including investments in education, job training,
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support for working families and modernization of our benefit structure. cecelia and jeff will say more about those two different areas in a moment. it advances our national security with increased funding for efforts to destroy isil. a range of other investments to protect the american people and advanced development and democracy around the world. the budget shows that these investment and growth opportunities are compatible with putting the nation's finances on strong and sustainable path. it adheres to the bipartisan budget agreement that was signed into law last fall. you may recall, that fully paid for agreement allowed us to avoid harmful sequestration cuts the 2nd time congress can together
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to avoid sequestration. can provide dollar for dollar funding increases for defense and nondefense priorities. the budget also puts forward paid for mandatory investments that are critical to building durable, economic growth and maintaining america's edge. the budget finishes the job started by the past two bipartisan agreement that prevents the return of harmful sequestration funding levels in 2018 and beyond and replaces the savings by closing tax loopholes. and it also drives down deficits keeping them below 3 percent of gdp through the entire ten year time and maintains fiscal progress through 2.9 trillion space bar 17 health care, immigration, tax reform
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another proposes. 375 billion and health savings grow over time and build on the affordable care act with further incentives to improve quality and control healthcare cost and critically important, those proposals in the budget would extend the life of medicare for more than 15 years. it also contains $955 billion of revenue for curving inefficient tax breaks for the wealthy and closing loopholes. it also includes immigration reform which the administration supported which will reduce the deficit by about $170 billion over the 1st ten years and by almost $1 trillion over two decades. as a result of these changes the budget stabilizes federal debt and puts it on a declining path. a key measure for fiscal
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progress. lastly, let me build on something that josh said before i turn it over. i want to take a moment to speak about the importance of this budget. it is tempting to adopt the conventional wisdom that a president's final budget isn't relevant, but conventional wisdom is wrong. the administration is dramatically trimming sails or you see a budget that is solely a vision document. this budget is in neither of those camps. josh talked about cyber security, but there is a significant bipartisan interest in investing in cancer research, ensuring everyone struggling with opioid addiction can get treatment and expanding tax credit.
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in other cases we may not get bipartisan support, but the pres. willpresident will shy away from proposing solutions that are good for our economy and address major challenges. this proposals may not be an active this year, but they lay the groundwork for reaching solutions in the long run. in the final year the president and administration remain focused on meeting our greatest challenges in delivering for the american people. we will spend every day of this last year doing just that. with that, i turn it over to jason to discuss the economic outlook in budget assumptions. >> thank you. the us economy continues to strengthen in the last year in the unemployment rate fell below 5 percent in the face of significant global headwinds. looking ahead, the
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administration accepts that the economy will grow at an average rate of 2.5 percent. this forecast finalizes to give agencies time to prepare there budget forecast. this is in line with contemporaneous forecast the congressional budget office, the consensus of private sector economists. starting in 2019 there's a gdp growth rate of 2.3 percent. the gdp forecast for continued growth in consumer spending which grew at a solid pace over the last year reflecting the savings and increased consumer sentiment. moreover, with investment and r&d growing strongly and r&d reaching its eyes levels as a share of the economy on record.
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and thanks to the budget agreement at the end of last year fiscal policy has shifted to an icon of stance as compared to the fiscal drives that have been faced in previous years. at the same time our economy will continue to face significant headwinds as foreign demand continues to slow, the oil industry continues to adjust and the associated transmission of these events. the other notable change in the forecast is a reduction in projected interest rates with a ten year treasury note expected to eventually settled us. the projection is slightly more conservative. lower expected interest rates are an important implication for broader questions. overall solve our assumptions are more
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conservative than those made some are more optimistic. but they average to a similar outlook for the ten year baseline deficit. with that, let me turn it over. >> innovation, in fact, innovation has been the center of job recovery. manufacturing, for example, advanced manufacturing has helped create 900,000 new jobs over the last six years. you can also see it in clean energy. solar energy production of 30 fold since 2008. support a great job growth in the solar industry. all of this is consistent with the us being number one
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in the world and innovation. the global competition is intense. investing heavily in research development and doing everything they can. we need to accelerate the pace of innovation to build the economy of the future and continue to create high-quality jobs. the proposes investments that will ensure the us continues to set the pace. let me highlight three areas. the 21st century, transportation system is a bold plan proposed to increase investment overall by 50 percent including transformative investment in rail and transit and also supports the development of breakthrough technologies.
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upgrading our infrastructure helps businesses move goods faster to market and is fully paid for by $10-barrel oil. hundreds of thousands of goods american jobs by reducing carbon pollution. more broadly the president doubles the energy investment and calls for a $7.7 million investment in early-stage r&d and a 20 percent increase that will keep up with the vanguard. the final innovation initiative i will mention is cancer. more than 750 million has been invested. this builds on progress made from last year's budget to invest about $200 million of new money in cancer research at nih and bring together
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the private sector in the federal government's to push the frontier of data and technologies with the goal of doubling the rate of progress in cancer treatment and research. so the president's budget sets out a clear plan to enhance america's position as the number one country in the world and innovation by investing in what we do best , building the next must have made in america product , making the next clean energy breakthrough in finding the next life-saving chore. >> as you heard the president express last month, one of our key challenges is to make sure we are finding a way to give everyone a fair shot at opportunity and economic security, and our competitiveness depends on having the full potential of all americans. this budget makes very particular investments by
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supporting education and training opportunities, workers and their families, providing access to healthcare to ensure we are able to contribute to the maximum capacity. so this includes continuing investments in the educational system from the earliest years through higher education. expansion and high quality early childhood education, building out the most effective headstart programs including making sure students can attend for a full day and year end investing in pre- k for all four -year-olds. the president's budget also includes funding for his new computer science for all initiative which is a 4 billion dollar investment to states that would go directly to districts to create access at all levels from pre- k through high school. in addition to that, the
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budget includes significant investment in the pell grant program aimed at helping students complete their education. their incentive to help students who are taking the full credit load and then for students who are doing that incentives to allow them to use pell grants for additional semesters. and what this does is essentially help folks complete on time which is important, reducing the cost of a college education. the president's budget also calls for two and a half billion in new tax incentives to encourage employers to pick a more active role, so this is a proposed community college partnership which builds on our work to increase access to skills and make sure the education is aimed at the kind of jobs which are becoming
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available in this growing economy. there are also very important investments in health. investments in mental health and combating that buyers. important investments, electronic benefits to kids in the school meal program so that they can continue access to food and meals over the summer as well as using medicaid data to help with the enrollment process to help facilitate enrollment and make sure we're feeding kids adequately. with this all adds up to is a focus on opportunity, economic security and making sure we are investing in the full potential. >> okay. >> let's open up for questions. >> right in front.
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[inaudible question] >> move the mike. and introduce yourself. >> met with politico. you politico. you mentioned a couple areas where you see opportunity for bipartisan agreement. cyber security. i am wondering based upon the vociferous reactions and the fact that we are in an election year the lord gives the president hope there will be movement on his priorities and not simply acr pushing it to whoever is nominated next january. >> if anyone wants to win, there are two things that come to mind. there's a lot of pessimism about whether or not this administration will be able to make progress on a range of priorities we identified. but considering that republicans enjoyed a significant victory that increase the majority and given the majority in the senate, pessimism was well-founded.
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but a willingness on the part of republicans, we made progress on a range of things. we got a five-year transportation bill done, reformed the no child left behind bill to make sure we're not over testing students, got a budget agreement that allowed us to ensure that we would not abide by sequester's that would undermine our ability to invest in economic and national security priorities, the debt limit extended my got imf reformed, a reauthorization of the export import bank. most of those were things that republicans were strongly opposed to. at least they said they were. it we were able to work aggressively and find common
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ground with republicans. they did find compromises. republicans who were part of the compromise deserve credit for trying to find that kind of common ground. so our experience last year gives us some optimism about what is possible this year, particularly when you consider the opportunities that are right for bipartisan agreement , the kind of things that shawn laid out that represent bipartisan potential , not things -- not positions that we are described republicans. they themselves will tell you they are interested in things like expanding aei tc program to promote work. obviously cancer research. is a lot of talk on the campaign trail about doing more to fight (addiction and
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heroin abuse. so we often talk about cyber security. that is a bipartisan compromise. checked inchecking the whole year to do it, but they did. that's more they should do and did it not because there were talking to the because we put forward a good proposal that was strengthen the country cyber defenses. the experience of last year and forms are relatively optimistic view and the fact that we have some legitimately bipartisan proposals that democrats and republicans acknowledge the good for the country. >> let me file a little bit. it will be interesting to go back and look at the press releases they put out last year when the president's
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budget came out. the words dead on arrival were hurt quite a bit. relevance was questioned. not only did we get a lot of wins the budget agreement that was struck in october and then the omnibus in december follow the structure that the president laid out. we got 90 percent of the increased investment that the president called for. it was dollar for dollar on defense and nondefense. those are the two bright lines we have to end sequester, do a dollar for dollar. the 3rd thing he laid out was do it without poison pill writers. and that is exactly what happened. below the surface there were many things, whether the type of things that josh talked about, we made a down payment on the opioid epidemic last
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year. cecelia talked about our investments in headstart. we made a big start for over 400 million increase toward full-day full-year, a plan which the president laid out. state grants to expand universal pre- k, apprenticeships. there are broad range of things we got done last year. we also got things done like the green climate fund, funding to implement the good presidents clean power plan. we had important new investments in the irs. so both on bipartisan things and things that were priorities of the president, we got a lot done last year. the only other thing i would say on this, there are many of the same priorities that are in this bill that i think have real bipartisan support and others that i think we have leverage to get.
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the question is not for the administration. we took a clear position. we were going to live by our work even if that meant we were going to make tough choices, and we made this tough choices. the budget is very specific. ..
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>> there is a different in the budgetary treatment of the package that extends from the extenders package that passed at the end of last year. last year we treated business tax reform as neutral and put it in a box and didn't have the policies adding into the budgett total. this year we continue to be committed to business tax reform and are committed to it on the same bases as last year saying we think it should pay for tax extenders and we preposed to pay for them last year. in a compromise with congress, we agreed to do it without them but if we come back and reform the tax system we would want to make up for that revenue so the current budget treatment flows through the tack loopholes and structural changes to the system toward the overall number with
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the goal being neutral relative to the baseline extended last year. i will take a look and you can talk to treasury about how any particular item changed in terms of the scoring. there were no major policy changes. answer to your second question. we described the oil tax as about $10 a barrel. it phases in over five years and accounts for inflation. we were giving you the rounded number. >> let me just add one thing. on the international tax side i think we have also seen there is an increasing number of companies that are preposing or have actually been caring out inversions. one of the things contributing, there are other issues, but one thing contributing to that
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change in score is treasury observing a larger number och companies that are taking advantage of what we think are loopholes that need to be closed. we have taken significant action with our existing authority but we are calling on congress to move changes to stop inversions as well and that is highlighted by the change numbers you point to. >> mary? >> thank you. mary bruce with abc news. wondering on the $10 barrel oil tax. how much of that do you anticipate will be passed on to consumers and any concern that could hender some of the broader economic growth you have been discussing? and on the timing can you explain why the decision was made to release today what is one of the biggest political issues and if the super bowl was a pact factor why not hold it
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till later in the week. >> transit and rail businesses as i said are loosing lots of money and paying lots of money and are undermining their position in the global economy because their infrastructure is no longer a source of competiti competitive damage but a vulnerability. it is a hidden tack on consumers or commuters. some say it is $190 a year. it hits ours be businesses. there is an urgency to build on what obama did and invest in our infrastructure. we anticipate oil companies will pass some of that on to consumers in various oil products. that is important.
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this isn't just about automobiles but airplanes and trains and other transit that consume oil and oil is responsible for 30% of carbon pollution. this is a strong plan that addresses the fact we have this hidden tax on consumers because of the inadequate of the system. it will save consumers and commuters time and energy cost. >> just on the question about timing. obviously february in general is crowded this year. so i am not sure given both the february statutory release date and frankly the fact that congress was so late in getting the budget done that we were going to be able to find a day that is free from other
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distractions. i think the important point here is based on the president absolutely determined focus on using every day of his last year to deliver for the american people we had a state of the union that was one of the e earliest on record. we have rolled out more than 20 specific proposals that are in the budget as of today and we think given the distractions that we have more broadly from candidates that are, you know, talking down the country, and frankly presenting a dark picture of where the u.s. is headed we have been able to capture, i think, a remarkable amount of attention to a broad set of budget proposals that really are about the future and the hopefulness the president has about the country.
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despite the timing today, this has been a budget release that has been ongoing for a number of weeks now and i think certainly in my sense, and i give credit to the press team and others that worked on it, this is something where we have captured the imagination of the american people in a lot of ways. >> the last thing i will say is i think republicans canceling the budget hearing is the clearest indication the republicans don't want to have a meeting about the budget. we welcome the opportunity and maybe we will get them to change their mind. >> kevin? >> thank you. kevin corker. fox news. about that: does the lack of an invitation resinate with you in a way that makes you understand there is not a lot of bipartisan or cooperation coming up this year? or am i overre am i over readin.
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second question is is there a tax increase in this budget? if so, what is the level? and last, i noticed there is specific read on immigration reform as a means for saving money within the budget. i am just curious how that plays out when you consider the lack of likelihood immigration reform will take place even into '17. >> let me take the last question first. just to step back for a minute. i talked about the broad fiscal progress that we have made under the president's leadership and that this budget would continue that progress. one of the key areas where we have made enormous progress is on health care cost. the president came in and identified health care cost as one of the single most important
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drivers of our long-run fiscal challenges and through the aca and a range of other steps we have taken we have made enormous progress. just to give one specific example. just in the year 2020 we now believe we will save $185 billion just in that one year because of the slow growth of health care cost and better projections since the affordable care act was passed. so enormous progress on what is among the biggest drivers in the long run. but the second thing we have to realize is that a big fiscal challenge we have is keeping our promises to the baby boom generation. we are moving from where just a few years ago we had 3.2 workers per retiree to a place where we will have 2.4 workers per
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retiree. and one of the most important things about immigration reform is that it brings in more workers and those workers contribute to society, tax -- pay taxes and boos our numbers. the projection is we would save $180 billion in this deck an id -- decade and that grows and becomes almost a trillion when you add in the second decade. immigration reform isn't just the right thing to do for families and the economy but the right thing for the fiscal economy future as well. josh was clear up front we will keep putting out what we think is right independent of whether we think it is something that will be adopted by republicans. we should remind you there was bipartisan support for exactly
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the bill we are adopting in our budget. it passed in the senate with bipartisan support. our hope would be that after we get through the distractions of this political season that we could return to doing the right thing for the country and we think immigration reform is part of that. >> in answer to your question on taxes. the budget proposes $277 billion in tax cuts for middle class families helping everything from child care with tripling the child tax credit for people with younger children, pro-work by having a credit for secondary earners, it expands a tax break to encourage small businesses to offer saving plans and people to take them up and expands the eitc for people without
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qualifying children either because they don't have children or are non-custodial parents. and that would be a tax cut for things like child care, college, retirement, savings, work and low-income households. as part of the deficit plan the budget does as a whole set a curb of tax breaks for high income households. one of those limits the tax deduction and solutions for high income households to 28%. that would only affect households making above $250,000 a year. it it -- it is something my predecessors have described as more akin to a spending cut because the spending takes place through the tax code from high
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income households. another example is a hoop loophole we are proposing to close. the revenue is coming from high income households, cutting back on tax expenditures, and closing loopholes. >> this is a balanced proposal in the budget. we decided to live by the agreement that was reached last year and we made hard choices. we have 117 different cuts, con consolidations in the budge. we talked about health care savings. but we have 15 different were proposals that save money on program integrity, smart saving
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proposals on everything from crop insurance to a range of other things. and i think it is important to step back since the president came into office we have deficit reduction of about $4.5 trillion and this budget adds $2.9 trillion additional reduction. we are still getting more than 50%, even if we adopted every proposal in the budget, we are getting 50% of the deficit reduction from spending reductions not from revenue increases. so we believe this is a balanced proposal both on the spending side and on the tax revenue side and we stand by that. deficit and gdp are down every
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year and we take the debt and stabilize the gdp and start bringing it down through 2025. >> kevin, i want to go back to the bipartisan thing. we observed with republicans in control of congress and democrats in charge of the white house anything done is going to have to be bipartisan by definition. the question for republicans is are they going to do anything? are they going to use their majority in congress to strengthen cybersecurity? fight opioid addiction? cure cancer? or are they not? i think the question is left for them. this is proposals in the budget for how precisely week -- we can do that. >> charlie clark with government executive media group. the republicans seem to want to have a reduction in number of workers in the federal workforce and maybe even abolish some
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agencies. is the upside of the budget a net increase in the size of the federal workforce or the size of the government? >> we do have places within the federal government where we think there needs to be increased investment in the number of people as well as the skills of those people. cybersecurity is a very good example where that is a place that is a critical national need where we do propose both increasing number of personal as well as raising their skills. we have a $62 million investment as part of the cyber plan that the president announced today that really goes to this workforce piece of the issue. but we have other places, for example, the veteran's administration where we continue to enhance the number of people
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we have there to respond to what is really a wave of veterans that we are bringing back from overs overseas and that is a sacred promise the president has made. i would also point to another example of a place like the irs where the cuts from the republican congress have been so deep we got to a place last year where we were only answering 40% of taxpayer's phone calls. we had a win in the budget last year and got almost $300 million in increase and with up to answering 60% of taxpayer phone calls. that is obviously not acceptable. and we are loosing billions from taxes that should be paid because we don't have the personal. there are places where we do need more workers. but there are other places where we are making smart changes and
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finding efficiencies and overall what we see is just a small proposed increase in the federal workforce over all when you balance those together. >> okay. yes, ma'am, right here in the front. >> hi, july davidson. can you talk about how the budget supports the people and cultural of the president's agenda and how you decided on a 1.6 increase for federal employees. >> well, just to take the second question first. obviously particularly with the second year of the budget deal the less than the president had called for in his budget and we had difficult choices to make in a number of areas and one of those is the top choice about how much we should be increasing
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pay for federal workers. we worked closely with the military, with dod to see their results of their review of compensation and ultimately we settled on a 1.6% increase both for military and for civilian workers. that is something that obviously builds on the progress that we have made, the progress on our deficit and the progress more broadly economically and allows us as to opposed to past year where we had a freeze and a 1% increase and for 2016 a 1.3% increase. we are making progress here obviously. i think it is also important to recognize that inflation overall has remained very, very low. and in fact to the point where we are starting to see significant wage growth. i think the best six months of
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wage growth we have seen in the recovery over the last six months. i think this represents progress in terms of paying government workers what they deserve. but also one where, you know, we did have tough choices to make. the only other thing i would say in terms of other critical investments that we are making are people are one of the single most important assets that we have in the federal government. we do have major investments in training, in employee engagement, we have been encouraged the employee v viewpoint survey showed real progress. every single question in that survey showed positive movement. there wasn't a single question where results went down.
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we think that is a measure of the progress we are making in addition to the work that we are doing to upgrade and improve our recruiting, moving our systems into the 21st century and i think we believe cobert should be confirmed swiftly by the senate and is doing a terrific job of moving us forward at opm. >> ron alan from nbc. josh, you said in the opening this is all about priorities and you can tell what is most important to the administration. is there anywhere in the budget that takes account of the plan to close guantanamo bay? and why not? what is there? how is that going to happen if not or is it something the president has given up on? >> we have always envisioned putting forward a separate plan for congress' consideration that
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would factor in the financial impact of moving forward with closing guantanamo bay. one of the chief advocating reasons to close the prison is so the prisoners can be more cost-effectively detained in the united states and that is what your proposal would underscore. a number would be transferred and a number are going through a criminal process with a commissioner and article three court. cost-effectiveness is one of the reasons we are looking to close the prison. the other reason is we know extremist organizations use the continued operation of guantanamo bay as recruiting tool. that is why you have seen democratic and republican national security experts come forward and advocate for the closure of the prison. we will put forward a plan to
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congress at some point. i don't have an updates with timing. but it will include some information about the budgetary impact and we will present that information to all of you. >> why not put this in your budget which you say is a statement of your most important priorities and that as i understand it -- >> it is a priority but the plan just isn't done so when it is we will have more information about it. want to add to that, john? >> there was a specific provision in the defense authorization bill that setup a process to do this separately with a timeline that didn't match up with the budget. it is a very high priority but for reasons there is already a process in a separate piece of legislation it didn't make sense to mirror it up with the budget given our ongoing work about that. >> if the plan is in fact done and you are waiting for the opportunity to move it forward?
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is it not done? >> the latest update i have is that the president has not signed off on a final plan at this point. >> i can confirm that. >> thank you. >> so is there a concern in the budget there is a plan were medicare savings. is there a concern those measures could be perceived as cuts and that could be used against democrats on the campaign trail? and also on a separate issue there also seems to be proposals to cut spending on refuges but yet the administration has called to ramp up the asylum and ramp up the asylum program. how do you reconcile that or is that a misinterpretation. >> i will take the first one on health which is the administration's approach has been from the beginning if you
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can lower national health expenditures you can reduce premium growth, save money for the budget and extend the life of medicare so it is win-win-win. that is what we did with the affordable care act and you see the benefits with health care cost growth being the lowest it has been in 50 years. the affordable care act added 13 years to the life of medicare and the affordable care act help put us in a better position for our budget. the types of savings we are proposing now are in that spirit as well. if you reduce over payments to drug companies for dual eligibles in medicare and medicaid you can save over a hundred billion and that is not something that is coming at the expense of people. it is actually part of a plan to help. if you can have competitive bidding in medicare advantage you can squeeze out some of the
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extra merchants some of the insurance companies are getting within that system. all of this would both continue to help slow growth health cost and also together with the tax loophole that is being closed related to a tax that is related to medicare add more than 15 years to the life of medicare trust fund. so this plan as a whole will strengthen and sustain medicare and help slow the cost growth of health care. >> i will add saying republicans in 2012 thought this would be a really effective argument. i will point out neither president romney or vice president ryan could be here to defend the effectiveness of the argument. >> on the question of refuges. i am not sure where that comes from. the budget meets the proposal to increase the number of refuges
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we would be able to welcome to the u.s. so we are happy to show you the details of that. it meets our commitments. >> this gentlemen right here in the front. >> don matthews from fox. traditionally the proposal from the administration for single adults has been financed through closing loopholes and other raisers. given speaker ryan expressed interest in a similar plan but offered to pay for it can spending cuts i was wondering what the administration's thinking on the parameters of that and what would be acceptable to pay for that? >> we would be happy to work with congress on an acceptable pay for. we have an awful lot of pay fors to chose from and i would suspect you would see a lot of flexibility about which of those. what you would not see
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flexibility on is the principle this proposal is meant to reduce poverty. if you cut one thing that is helping to reduce poverty and use it to expand something else that would reduce poverty you haven't made the type of improvements you envision. there is a lot of ability to work together and we would love to work together with congress as long as we are not doing this at the expense of the poor. >> every election cycle we are reminded how important it is for citizens to be informed. >> this is a home for political junkies and a way to track the government as it happens >> i think it is a great way to stay informed >> there are a lot of c-span fans on the hill. my colleagues will say i saw you on c-span. >> there is so much c-span does to make sure people outside of the beltway know what is going on inside it. >> i am an indecided voter right
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now. one of the biggest issues in the election on the democratic side is education. i am a union president of a local union of 600 people. and one thing that should be talked about is accountability. we need to rein in spending. >> bernie sanders! bernie! he is the only candidate who is going to make the major changes we need to get our country back to being a democracy. >> the system isn't broken. we need to make it right for the average american. >> i believe it is important to young voters to care about the economy because we are the ones who will be affected by it. rubio is a great candidate and able to fix the economy. >> and good evening from washington, d.c. in new
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hampshire. the polls have been closed for the last half hour. the head line from the largest union in the state strong turnout seen in early primary voters. we have cameras in trump headquarters in manchester and bernie sanders in concord, new hampshire the state capitocapit. all of the results are online. our coverage begins right now: today's first in the nation primary set a new standard for presidential elections. right now we are counting down to the first big wave of results. thank you for joining us for this special edition of news nine. new hampshire votes i am todd griffin. >> and i am jennifer von. this primary has been packed with energy and brought plenty of surprises. >> it has been 322 days since the first major party declared
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he was a candidate. 1 # 1 are still in the running. >> let's look at voter turnout. it was expected to be big but could end up being huge. in keen, officials had to make copies of democratic ballots after supplies ran low. in maramack polls to be extended after traffic was backed up for hours. the moderator will decide how late to keep the polls open. >> we want to join adam sexton tonight who is live from the bernie sanders headquarters in concord high school. >> good evening. it is looking like it is going to be a good night for bernie sanders. to the west in hawking the numbers are in preliminary and
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bernie sanders there winning with 955 votes to 772 for hillary clinton. that is a 55%-44% margin. there are a lot of progressive democrats but not a good sign for hillary clinton moving forward throughout the night. there could be has many people here for the bernie sanders campaigns and we are thinking he could have an early night. the margin is pretty big at least in that town obviously but it is not -- how should we say this -- it is not common to have larger margins in the democratic primary in first in the nation in new hampshire. it is rare to get into double digits bought it is possible to see double digit victory for bernie sanders in new hampshire. >> these are very intense hours. if you are at a campaign and
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waiting for the numbers. you can get hillary clinton's campaign is keeping a close watch on specific communities. >> we pride ourselves in waiting for the tally to come in. you will see it on the screen throughout the night. >> let's check in with hillary clinton campaign headquarters -- actually we will stand by for hillary clinton and check with gene who is with donald trump tonight. >> the doors just opened at the donald trump primary watch party here at the executive court in manchester. many supporters are filing in some wearing hats that say make america great again. we caught up with donald trump when he stopped by the polls in manchester at webster middle school just to thank voters. he had his sons eric and don junior out talking to businesses and downtown businesses and
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restaurants. his dot daughter stopped by the trump head quarters in manchester saying she is bias but things her father is the best one for the job. donald trump is the gop-frontrunner and told supporters he doesn't want to just count on the polls ringing true but wants the votes to do the talking and that is why he is urging them to come out to the polls to vote on primary day. we want to bring you back live and show you one more aspect of the room tonight to show you the attention the race has been getting since declaring in june. members of the media are around the world here to cover donald trump's campaign rally tonight and we will be here throughout the night as well. back to you tom and jen. >> thank you very much. as we talk about the historic turnout for the new hampshire primary and donald trump is hoping to do well and certainly stop the discussion that has started to turn that he had under performed out in iowa. they were certainly looking for
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a big turnout and they were paying close attention to the undecided vote. and so is the pact of who could be second and that is ted cruz. >> shelly is live at the alpine grove and ted cruz is looking for his momentum from iowa to continue tonight. >> he won the iowa caucus and he is hoping for a strong showing in new hampshire. the doors will open at the alpine convention center in just about a half hour. i grabbed someone important to the ted cruz campaign. this is senator bob smith the cochair of the campaign. how is the senator feeling tonight? is he worried he didn't have the evangelical base here? >> he is feeling great and the answer is no. there are evangelical people here but also pro-gun, anti-tax,
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and reagan type conservatives and liberty minded folks all throughout new hampshire. there is a huge coalition of tys so i don't think the evangelical issue is as serious as people make it out to be. >> that remark by donald trump last night sent shock waves across anyone who pays attention to politics. how did senator ted cruz respond? >> i didn't talk to him directly about this remark. but he said he finds it amusing he wakes up every morning and looks at the press reports to see what donald trump said today. i am going to let donald trump answer that question on that one. but i will say that is a word i haven't heard since the seventh great. but whatever. >> senator, thank you for joining us. this is the scene and you can smell the food cooking and the country music is playing out here anode to senator cruz's
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texas roots. >> former senator bob smith one of the big supporters of the cruz campaign. senator smith running his own presidential campaign many years ago. and senator smith back in the state for ted cruz. >> a big issue for ted cruz coming out of iowa with the victory and how could we translate that into a more moderate landscape we have in new hampshire. he was hoping to grab as many religious-centered people as we could and cross over to the independent libertarian leaning voters who might have been thinking rand paul. >> exactly. chris christie, the governor of new jersey, has spent an awful lot of time in new hampshire conducting a ton of town halls.
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chris is live with more. >> reporter: we are live at the chris christie headquarters where excitement is building. you can take a live look at what is going on. there is quite the display setup and people are starting to trickle in. the state is set and surrounded by familiar banners that can be seen at christie's campaign at the numerous town halls. he said he has been here more than any other candidate and has twice the ground game. he has held at least 70 town halls and that the was important because he wanted to connect with people. after the gop debate one of his main talk points is he has the experience to lead and other candidates don't. christie said he is focused on south carolina and we will see what happens today as primary day comes to a close. >> chris christie has said he is going on to south carolina no
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matter what but there is some concern in his campaign if he doesn't do well enough here some of the money might dry up. >> and chris christie had a huge role in the debates but it might have focused more on surging leader mark rubio. let's check in at the marco rubio headquarters. >> senator rubio hoping to take the balance from iowa and show strong here. at 44 he is the youngest of the major candidates running in either party. he is a conservative, first-term u.s. senator from florida who joined florida house at the age of 29 and rose to be house speaker in 2010. he is a conservative and his biggest rally cry is preserving the american dream something another first-term senator terms
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president has been in endangering. he has been talking about unifying the conservative movement and the republican party, bringing in young people perhaps a reference to his age, and deflecting comments about his experience and talking about his work on the senate foreign relation committee making him the best potential commander and chief in terms of his defense experience. he is certainly watching all of this and hoping that the bounce from iowa will make him get enough out of new hampshire to take this all of the way. he will be here with his wife and four children who have been with him since iowa hoping the prayers for snow that turned out well will turn into positive prayers and feedback for tonight. live at rubio headquarters, tom and jen back to you. >> rubio has the momentum coming out of iowa for the early part
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of the week and the debate might have been a stumble but we will know later tonight. >> he is accused of using too many talking points and relying on that too much. if you talk to marco rubio he would argue these are the points i believe in and i will let voters know exactly how i believe by saying it lot all of the time. it has been a chance for marco rubio to explain that leading up to the primary but if it took the wind out of his sails we will have to see. >> voter turnout is a huge story. so much they had the extend the opening of the polls in one town. susan is live to tell us the moderator has the discretion about how long to keep those polls open? >> yeah, all day long we have been having issues with the traffic coming into the high cool. it was two-mile backup for us to get in. talking with the town moderator
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you would have thought it was the number of voters coming out but indeed it is something completely different. now the police chief had come to the moderator earlier in the week and said how about we try a different traffic plan and a traffic route into the school and that is the problem. that is what is backing up traffic and voter turnout while heavier is not completely unusual and they will be look at the traffic pattern and trying to make it a much shorter drive to here for the next voting poll. we do have word up in the sky that the looking down on the roadways that the traffic is dwindling so you will not be looking at the two-mile backup anymore. >> that is breaking news right there. >> didn't expect to hear that. >> susan is giving us traffic expertise to let us know it wasn't the long lines but a new
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traffic pattern. >> the returns are coming in and we have another 20 minutes before the final polls in new hampshire close. we are taking a quick break and coming up with more 2016 new hampshire coverage. >> during the two minute commercial break we want to use the opportunity to tell you our coverage will continue into the evening. we have cameras positioned across the state including at kasich and carly fiorina headquarters. i want to show you this map of the state. and in the town here which since 2000 saying this town has predicted the winner. you can check out all of the county by county results on our website. skyler croft is a report for the
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south carolina courier and we asked if endorsements matter in the south. >> on the republican side the endorsement game could be confusing. a lot of people are looking to governor haley to come out and make a pick. three of the state's top four politicians have done that. senator lindsay grahm game out early for jeb bush and the other senator john scott came out for marco rubio and the lieutenant governor came out in support of trump. so people are looking to the governor as where to go. there is a liability as a possible vp pick so i am sure that is among or calculations. on the hillary clinton side, probably the biggest treasurer is former governor dick riley and former governor dick hodges and the recently former mayor of south carolina. endorsements are fairly
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consistent and sway people near the election. you will see these people out making phone calls. >> the candidates will be back in south carolina starting tomorrow but first we go back to manchester, new hampshire with our abc affiliate. >> it is primary night in new hampshire. new hampshire votes continues and we can give you the update where people are sitting in a line in their cars some two miles long. the good news is the line is moving, people are getting in, and the moderator is deciding how much longer they will keep the polls open. we understand it wasn't necessary a rush of voters so much as a new traffic pattern into the polling place that everybody was trying to work through. so the good news is it is moving. we will keep you posted when we hear the official word from the moderator how much longer they will keep the polls there open. >> we want to go to the bernie
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sanders headquarter for the night the concord high school where adam sexton and political director josh is standing by. there is going to be a lot of action tonight and i think it might be one of the big stories tonight. >> that is correct. this is looking like it is going to be a big story tonight. the bernie sanders campaign here and political director here josh with us. it is hard to imagine a year or so ago no one would predict bernie sanders coming from vermont and knocking over the frontrunner in new hampshire. >> his campaign was a little more than a token campaign a year ago. little did we know he identified and recognized a large pool of voters out there who were frustrated and looking for something different and can be called anti-establishment and within a couple months he turned a 60 point deficit in the polls into a lead. nobody knew who he was and
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suddenly he is a global figure and everybody knows his name. it has been a remarkable story. it is funny to say someone leading in the polls as much as he was the pressure was on him tonight. if he didn't beat expectations or really fell short of what the polls indicated he was capable to doing then the story turns to hillary clinton. the numbers are good for bernie sanders. turnout is key for him because so much of his support is based on younger voters and first-time voters and getting them to the polls is a tricky thing to do especially for someone who never ran a national campaign. he has good guys around him but at the end of the day this bernie sanders campaign >> i am not sure how long we will get to keep you josh but thanks for joining us. >> we understand that bernie sanders didn't really talk to a whole lot of reporters today as
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he made his way out but wanted to get out and speak to new hampshire voters. he had the harder sell. we had to get out there and introduce himself to large group of people who don't know him and push the idea of a political revolution. and hillary clinton has strong name recognition and won in 2008 and had to push the status quo. if you like how things are with president obama you can expect more of that and we will build on that progress. so an interesting story of two different campaigns >> and bernie sanders was able to get the notion of feeling the burn and the backing of simon and garfunkal. jeb bush was predicted to be the frontrunner but he has had a bit of a rough start. let's go live to his headquarters.
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>> good evening. we have here at manchess -- manchester community college. take a look around the room. we will see who we have in the early stages of this campaign event. they are hoping for a big surprise tonight. there are probably about three times the number of media here as there is people who are actually supporting the former florida governor. we had stops at polling locations in manchester and bedford where he wanted to thank his volunteers and the people who supported him and not talk to voters. he said he wanted to respect the primary process and shut it down by 3:00. the primary process is something he has grown to embrace. he said initially he kind of got a little bit of a late start because he said that he didn't want to be making stops and coming up here and fueling speculation about whether he was going to run or not. but once he decided he ' was
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going to run he was going to go all in and he was. he is hoping the voters embrace the message as he embraced the primaries and hopes for a surprise. >> andy, thank you. >> and take a very quick break. see you again in a couple minutes. >> and we continue our live cast of wmur campaign headquarters including the senator ted cruz headquarters. he is the winner of the iowa caucuses a week and a day ago. sharing this tweet from lisa of the la times. senator cruz is heading back to the senate tomorrow for the seven hour debate and vote over the north korea sanctions. then off to nevada. >> the democrats and republicans in nevada have a different process. the democrats are on a saturday,
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all day process, working like iowa does and it was modeled after iowa's where you have to meet certain thresholds to get delegates. and the republicans are the same-day registration. in 2008, the democrats registered 30,000 voters on one day. they don't expect to get that high in 2008 but there will be a lot which may help bernie sanders. on the republican side, on a tuesday evening, much of the 17 of those accounting have a different process which makes it more difficult to predict. it is essentially having to be set between 5-9 p.m. the voting starts at 5:00 in some places and 5:30 in others and different lengths. another change since the last republican caucus is it isn't really a caucus. instead of going in and talking to neighbors and getting to a
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certain threshold if you don't want to stay and chat you can walk in and vote as you could during a primary. they are hoping that will get bigger turnout but on a tuesday night no one is expecting that much. >> and what happens in nevada will be determined in part by what happens tonight. >> welcome back to new hampshire votes. our coverage of the new hampshire primary. it could be an interesting night for john kasich. >> this year it is a serious deal and it looks like he will do pretty well. we go live to heather ham who is live tonight. >> people are starting to filter in to the watch party event here in concord. as for the candidate himself according to the campaign he is taking it easy. he went out to dinner with his
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wife and a couple friends. this as a man who is deserving of a break. he has worked very hard in new hampshire. he has had one town hall event something that no other candidate can say and that is really where he feels the most comfortable. talking directly to the voters. he is getting a bit of support. earlier today when we met up with him in nashville people were chanting his name as he and his wife walked over to the voters to shook hands. he is feeling good about his chances and put most of his presidential hope in the state. when the iowa caucus was going on he was here instead. it is the risk he feels is paying off. another thing he focused on is a positive campaign. he doesn't have much criticism for many of his opponents. he has asked they take down their negative ads and focus on the issues. that is what he is doing and he hopes it pays off. reporting in concord, news 9. >> the carly fiorina campaign
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said they are satisfied with their effort here going from nobody knowing her to as she put it beating a couple governors out of iowa. the campaign is live at the dairy field and stephanie woods is covering them. >> reporter: we are here for carly fiorina's watch party that is kicking off now. how do you think it is going so far? >> i think it is going great. i think it will be a good night. we have a lot of excitement back here. [cheering] >> this is the way the new hampshire primary is supposed to run. with people and not the pun in washington, d.c. >> what do you think carly has to do to stay in the race? >> she has to exceed
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expectations and i think she will do that tonight. i believe we will see a good night for carly here in new hampshire tonight >> it was like christmas morning this morning. tell me about getting out. >> got up at 3 o'clock in the morning, cleared my parent's driveway, and cast the first ballot. it has been a great reception by the media and people here in new hampshire. i think it will be a historic night. carly fiorina is the first credible female candidate on the republican side. we should give her an applause and with these people and others around the country she is going to do well. >> stephanie wood, news 9, reporting live. let's get you another update here where voters were waiting in their cars in a long that was two miles long to get into the
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polling site. the line as moved along and the moderator at last check was trying to figure out how much longer they needed to extend the polls to make sure everybody who was in line got the chance to vote. it wasn't necessary as a rush of voters as it was a new traffic pattern they were trying to get use to. we are just a couple minutes from all of the polls with the exception of this one closing in the new hampshire primary. >> you change the traffic pattern and nobody knows what going on. that is going to do it for now. as new hampshire votes, stay with us tonight, we are coming right back. >> wmur is the abc affiliate in manchester, new hampshire. they are taking a two minutes break. many of the polls closed but
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those remaining open because of the long lines it is estimated more than 500,000 people are expected to cast the ballot in the first of the nation premother -- primary. we are live including donald trump's watch party and after the first in the nation primary the focus shifts to the south and west. first the nevada democratic caucus and the south carolina republican primary is slated for february 20th. and the nevada republican caucus on february 23ered. the democratic primary in march 7th in south carolina. and super tuesday after that. we are live with what we can expect as donald trump and the other candidates head to south carolina >> right after the new hampshire the day starts in south carolina tomorrow at 11:00. jeb bush gives a speech and rally near hilton head in the lower corner of the state and they all take off from there. you will see a movement from the
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coast to the interior of the state and up into the mountain. i expect seven to be here in one day. it will be completely different than what you have seen so par far in iowa and new hampshire. we have more retirees, military, and what is left of the tea party. the bulk is in the greenville area which is the corporate headquarters for most of south carolina. >> we have a political report for the post courier that will be covering the south carolina primary. you want to keep a close eye on laconia and the greater manchester area to see what percentage hillary clinton and bernie sanders have in that area, along portsmith, and key, new hampshire which is another bell winner for the republicans. >> thank you for joining us
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again for the coverage of the new hampshire primary tonight. right now we are looking at 53-44 percent margin in the democratic race for governor with just 2% reporting now. that is a very early numbers from manchester.
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they were stuck in place for a long time and we thought it was a huge voter turnout. as it stands it turned out to be a traffic issue to get the voters into the polling place. i last checked the moderator was going to play by ear and see how much longer they needed to extend the polls. they have been dealing with a heavy crowd and the crowd has alleviated, people are getting the chance to vote but it has

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