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tv   Senators Mc Connell Durbin and Mc Cain Debate Defense Authorization Bill  CSPAN  June 7, 2016 8:44pm-9:28pm EDT

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one continuing breast cancer research and the other blocks the military from privatizing , commissary. >> tonight, the act before us is important for our troops, for wounded warriors and veterans, and it is important for national security.s one way it will help keep en americans safe is by renewing clear prohibition on president obama's ability to move dangerous guantanamo bay ry terrorist into our country or release them to unstable regions like libya, yemen and somalia. henry kissenger observed last year that president obama is
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focused on the stale campaign pledge from 2008. the president would spend the remaining months to defeat isil but he should work with us to prepare the mistakes he is ju leaving behind. just about every detainee that could be released from the secured detention facility has already been released. some have already returned to the fight just as we feared. some have taken more innocent b american life according the obama administration. the bottom line is the people remaining are among the worst of the worst.nt this is how the secretary of defense put it: there are people in guantanamo bay that
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are so dangerous we cannot transfer them to the custody of another government no matter how much we trust that government. i cannot assure the president it is safe to do thad. there is the mastermind behind 911. he has declared himself the enemy of the united states. there is the 9/11 coordinator who was planning more strikes when he was captured. and there is bin laden's former body guide who trained to be a suicide high jacker for what wai to be the southeast asia portion of the 911 attacks. these terrorist are among the or worst of the worst. they belong at a secured not at a facility here in our own community, not unin stable countries where they are libel to rejoin the fight and take even more innocent life.
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have no doubt, there are detainies that would rejoin terrorist organizations if given that opportunity.eport the director of national intelligence issued warnings based on things we identified and assess to reinvade or a surge of activity after being transferred. look, the next commander and chief, whether democrat or republican, will assume office confronting a complex and varied array of threats. that is why we must use the remaining months of the obama administration has a year of transition to better posture the incoming administration and our country. what we should not be doing is making it more challenging for the next president to meet these threats. releasing hard-core terrorist was a bad idea when obama was
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campaigning in 2008 and it is an even worse idea today. we live in a complex world with complex threats. the ndaa before us will stop u. attempts to transfer these terrorist to the united states and it will be on its way out the door. we don't need to close a secured detention center. we need to make sure the right people are protected. passing a legislation before us represents an important step in that direction. i want to thank good members. >> assistant democratic leader. >> mr. president, do the math.
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several prisoners held in a federal prison today cost us about $30,000 a day. many are put in supermax facilities for $86,000 a year. that is the cost. not a single prisoner has ever escapeed from a super-max facility in the united states. 30,000 for routine prisoners and $86,000 for the most dangerous. what does it cost us to keep one detainee each other at guantanamo bay? $5 million a piece. $5 million for each detainee. the budget to keep guantanamo bay open is about $500 million a year and we have fewer than a hundred detainees there and
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there is a request for another 200 million in guantanamo bay. when senators come to the floor saying we have to keep guantanamo bay open you have to ask if there is another place to be held just as safely, securely at less cost? f the answer is clear. they are convicted of heinous crimes and there are places that can hold them severely without fear of escape. then the argument is made by the senator from kentucky, well if we are going to put terrorist in prisons across america instead of guantanamo bay, that is the danger to the community. really? i represent the state of illinois. we have the marion federal
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prison in southern illinois. do y holding convicted terrorists. you know how many times i have received complaints that terrorist were being incarcerated at the marion federal prison? not one. not one time. for the symbol of maintaining guantanamo bay, we will continue to spend five million a year peg detainee. this defense authorization bill will continue to that. if you are looking to save g money, money that taxpayers shouldn't be given to our government, or should be spent in better ways, let's start with guantanamo bay. the president is right. if they are a danger to america and the world they can be safely held in other prisons across the united states and a fraction ofn the cost of what we are spending
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at guantanamo bay. anyone who calls himself a fiscal conservative cannot ignore that obvious argument. let me say i support the senators from new hampshire when the afghans that help us. they risk their lives for us and for the men and women in uniform we need to allow them to come to the united states and have peace of mind they will not be killed because they are friends of america. i think her provision is a good one and i am anxious to support it. let niasia ellis about the state of play an amendments. i have an amendment i consider to be very important.e there is more than enough time to take a look at it. i will describe it to you in simple terms instead of a long explanation.
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we spend four billion for defense, i want america always s to be safe, always have the best, and invest in the men and women in our military because we believe in them and their families and our veterans. there is a provision in this bill that troubles me greatly. it is an effort to eliminate a program known as the congressionally directed medical research program. how big is this medical research program? it is 1.3 billion. it is less than two tenths of one percent of the total expenditure from the department of defense. is it important? i think it is very important. for 25 years the department of defense medical research has come through with breakthrough findings to eliminate concerns, give hopes to members of the military and everyone living across america.
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i remember when it started. where was a member of the house of representatives, it was 1992, one group came forward. the breast cancer coalition. and they said we need a reliable place to turn for a steady, investment in breast cancer ha research.there it is true breast cancer isn't limit today the military but there a higher amount of breast cancer within the military than the general population for reasons we still don't understand. is this an important issue to the military and the rest of america? of course it is. we have invested more than three million in breast cancer research through this program. has it been worth it? i can tell you it has. through research they developed
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a drug, the partner of defense medical research developed this drug to fight breast cancer, ano lives were saved. a woman came up to me down pip stars and said i was diagnosed with breast cancer and this drug saved my life. that is part of the investment in the department of research program paid i can go on, and will later, about other investments that paid off for military members and their families but also all of america. what is proposed in this bill is the largest cut in medical research since sequestration. if the provisions of this bill are being asked for are put in place we asked what impact it will have on medical research programs for the department of defense and they said it would l effecti
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effectively eliminate them. this proposal will swamp medicad research programs with more red tape than they have ever seen. c this bill calls for an audit for everyone requiring for a grant and the audit requirements are the same as the largest defense contractors in the united states. o we have never held other entities other than the largest defense contractors to these standards. it would require audits with an additional 2400 a year. how about the agency that does the auditing? do they have extra personnel and work that needs to be done? turns out they have $43 billion in existing contracts that have not been audited and this bill
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will pile on 2400 more. it will slow down any effort to promote medical research, and it will dramatically increase the overhead cost. you look at the thousands of research grants that have been given and i will ask for an opportunity to offer this amendment, strike the provisions which basically kill the department of defense medical research program that is directed by congress. we don't earmark what entities are going to get the grants. it is a competitive process. i want to make sure this amendment gets a vote and after that vote, more than happy to move forward.
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it is an important bill and i lope to pass it at the end of the day. i yield the floor. >> senator from arizona. >> let me assure the senator from illinois we are trying to get the language of companion amendment approved by that side of the aisle so we can move forward with the senator from illinois's amendment and hopefully we can get that language as soon as possible so that we can take up the formal debate on his amendment. in the mean time, in response to the senator from illinois' comments, you know, as i have seen the latest polling data, approval of congress is about 14%, something like that. and i have not met anyone lately in the 14% that approve of congress. one of the major reasons of e course is because they believe that we have wasted their defense dollars by the billions
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and the taxpayer dollars by the billions. there is no greater example of that then what has happened with the so-called medical research. every single one of these dollars probably goes to a worthy cause. unfortunately, about 90-95 percent of that money has nothing to do with defense. why would the senator from illinois, and so many, overwhelmingly take the money that is earmarked for the men and women who are serving with the effects of sequestration causing our leadership and the military to say we on the ragged edge of our capability to defend the nation. ... commandant of the marine corps and the chief of staff of the army have said we are putting the lives of americans at greater risk because we don't have sufficient funding. so instead we're taking $2 billion out of defense money and
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putting it into programs that have nothing to do with defense. why is that? why is that? why would congress take money from defense and put those monies into programs that have nothing to do with defense? w that is when they were asked why he robbed banks and he said that's where the money is. that's exactly what we've seen here. we've seen this syndrome begin in 1992. in 1992, there was $25 million that were designated for medical research. that was 25 million in 1992. today we now, the funding has
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increased by 4000% from 25,000,092 until a billion dollars last year. sutto so if you've ever seen a graphic example of this syndrome, it has to be this. is there anyone who's opposed tc breast cancer research or opposed to research to so many important challenges to the health of our nation? of course not. of course not. this. but what the senator from illinois and the appropriators have done, year after year after year is exactly that. there we go. there is $200 million and here we are here. we constructed a transplant. reconstructive transplant, genetic studies of food allergies, cooperative epilepsy.
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chiropractic clinical trial. scs muscular dystrophy, peer-reviewed alzheimer's, bone marrow, multiples corrosive, on and on. all of these are worthy causes but they have nothing to do with the defense of this nation.os that's the problem with this. now i'll probably lose this vote. i'm just a senator from illinois and he will probably succeed because there are some a special interest that are involved here, but don't say this is for the defense of this nation. what it's all about is finding money which is from the largest single appropriations bill to put into causes that by all objectives should be taken out of the health and human services account. but unfortunately, there there is not enough money in the health and service account so guess what, take it out of defense.
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meanwhile, we don't have enough troops trained and we don't have enough to pay for their deployment in case you missed the story in south carolina, marines are robbing parts from planes where an air force quadrant comes back with most of their aircraft not capable of applying, only two of our brigade combat teams are able to be in the first category of readiness. only two because they don't have enough money for training and operations and maintenance, but we are going to take billions out and were going to give it to autism lung cancer ovarian cancer, all of those are worthy causes and so now we've got lobbyists from all over the nation, and they're worried
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they're going to take away from, fill in the blank, and they're all fired up and angry. i'm not trying to take the money from them. i'm saying i'm saying the moneys should not come out of defense. i am saying that the defend this nation, every single dollar is important for the men and women who are defending this nation and fighting and dying as we speak. so i congratulate the senator from illinois as every year, just about the money for research has gone out from an initial $25 million in 1992 to $1 billion dollars next year. a 4000% increase. let me repeat, spending on medical research at dod, nearlyo 75% has nothing to do with the military and it has grown 4000% since 1992. and now you can talk to all the lobbyists that come in for these various, various and very important medical research
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projects and say we took care of you. take care of them from where it should, i say to the senator from illinois which is not out of defending this nation. look late senator senator froman the state of alaska, ted stevens from whose the funding for breast cancer was funded, they said the money would be going to medical research instead of the needs of the military.ator during the floor debate on the appropriations bill, senator stevens had this to say, and i quote. we could not have any more money going out of the defense bill to take care of medical research when medical research is basically a function of the nia. it is not our business. w i confess. i am the one. i am supporting senator stevens. i confess i am the one who made the first mistake years ago. i am the one who suggested we include some money for breast cancer research.
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it was languishing at the time. since that time it has grown to $750 million. in the last in the last bill we had dealing with medical research, that had nothing to do with the department of defense. i want to emphasize again, i will support funding for every single one of these projects. i will support it when it comes out of the right account and not out of the backs of the men and women who are serving this military. it has to stop. it has to stop. so this year, vapor prohibitless them from funding or conducting medical research development progress unless they said if i would protect, enhance or r restore the health and safety of members of the armed forces. it requires a medical research project and are open to
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competition and comply with dode accounting standards.ut it doesn't seem to me that that is an outrageous demand and i know my colleagues will come and say we need this money becausell i'm all for that, but don't takt it out of the budget to support the young men and women in uniform. if this passes, nearly $900 million of the defense budget will be used for medical reque research instead of, that is unrelated to defense it was not requested by the administrator. nte would think this was so vital, the administration the administration would request it. they haven't. they haven't. if this amendment passes,
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$900 million will be taken away from military service men and women and their families. if this passes $900 million will not be used to provide a full 2.1% pay raise for our troops.t it won't be used to buy equipment so our airmen don't have to steel parts off the bone yard to keep our planes in the air.ending for so the senator from illinois, they must've must've had nearly a billion dollars in spending for medical research but has also oppose the increasing's bending to a level of last year for our defense bending.
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that's interesting.on in there are things in place we're going to try and fix later on in this bill but they want to takei nearly $1 billion to spend on nondefense needs. i said to my colleague, the senator from illinois, it's not that he's wrong to support medical research. no one is attacking that. i can guarantee you the firstco thing the senator from illinois is going to say is that were going to take away this money from medical research. i'm not. i'm saying it shouldn't come from the backs of the men and women who are serving this nation, so please, i, i would ask him not to say that becausev it is not the case. if he wants to add that to the health and human services account, i will support that. he's a proposed the wrong amendment to take away from the
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military defense budget. he should be trying to change the long over due process ofent. taking that spending out of the department of defense and into the appropriate civilian department and agencies of our government. let me be clear again, this is not about the value of this medical research or whether congress should support it. person who's reached my age likely has some first-hand experience with them miracles of modern medicine and all who support it. i'm sure every senator understands the value of medical research to american suffering from these disease and. to the families and friends who care from them and all those who know the pain and grief of losing a loved one, but this research does not belong in the department of defense. it belongs in civilian
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departments and agencies of our government. new therapies for recovery and rehabilitation of those wounded on the battlefield, both physical and mental.t this road reduce our ability to help protect men and women on the battlefield and for the capabilities they need to perform their missions. it would continue to put the decision-making about medical research in the hands of lobbyists and politicians instead of medical experts where belonged. eve i say what's happening right now
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as we speak, phones are ringing off the hook, we need this money for, fill in the blank, we have to have this money and it's the end of western civilization if we don't get it. i support every single one of these programs. there's not a single one that i wouldn't support funding for. but, when you take it away from the men and women who are f serving in the military for nonmilitary purposes, i say it is wrong. so i will be glad to have the vote as soon as the other that clears and our amendment process but i ask my colleagues, don't distort this debate by saying were trying to take away this medical research. what we are trying to say here, with the bill is that we are trying to do everything we can to take every defense dollar and make sure that we help the men and women who are serving in conflicts that are taking place throughout the world. we are not the reason why it was
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adopted by the armed services committee against this funding. we are against where it is coming from. let's do something a little courageous for a time let's sayy we won't take this money out a defense but will take it out of other accounts that are under the responsibility of the united states congress. that's all i'm asking for. obviously that won't happenecaue because every advocate of every one of these programs is now been fired up because they been told that they been going to i take away their money. were not going to take away their money. we just wanted coming from the right place. i would even support increases in some of this spending but it's coming from the wrong place. as i said at beginning of my remark, it's the willie syndrome
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from $25 million in 1992 all the way up here. i'm 4000% increase. i'm sure senator after senator will come to the floor and say we can't take away this money from fill in the blank. this is terrible for us to do this. it is not terrible for us to do this. the right thing to do is not deprived the men and women serving in the military of $1 billion that is is badly needed for readiness and operations too keep them safe. c that is what this day is all about. i expect to lose it and i congratulate the lobbyist ahead of time and i congratulate the senator from illinois ahead of time, but don't be surprised when the american people someday rise up against this processmetg where we appropriate a billion s dollars under the name of
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national defense that has nothing to do with national defense. mr. president i yield. >> we will never apologize for medical research. i understand the primary responsibility for medical research and i'm pleased toan report that we are marking up at this moment in subcommittee an increase of more than 5% in funding for that important agency.nse two argue that because we are putting money into national institutes of health we can take money away from the department of defense ignores the obvious. we take money away from the department of defense and medical research program at the expense of men and women in the military, their families and veterans. look at the example of the senator from arizona used.or he said there's even spending here for epilepsy and seizures. why would that be? we have to
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spend money and on our military and their issues. let's take a look. since the year 2000, over 300,000 active duty service members have experienced an incident of traumatic brain injury. posttraumatic epilepsy among those numbers who have suffered a brain injury is un- known. there are few risk factors known for diagnosis and treatment of the disease. according to the american epilepsy society, these are military members who have beenra exposed to traumatic brain injury with penetrating head injuries from the vietnam war have developed posttraumatic epilepsy. for the senator of arizona to point to this as an unnecessary area of medical research is against the point. we know they are suffering from
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posttraumatic epilepsy, our veterans. to say this has no applicationbv or value to members of the military is to basically ignore the obvious. what we have tried to do in establishing this program is first emma we cannot your mark that any grant be given to any institution. all we can do is suggest to the department of defense areas that we think have relevance to our military. they then have to make the decision, each and every grant has to pass a threshold requirement that adds relevance to the military and their health. turns out there are many things that are concerned. would you guess that prostates cancer is a major concern of the military opposed to the rest of the society? you should because it's higher to those who serve in the military. why is that. is it the exposure to something
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while they served? is there something we can do to spare military families from this cancer? by doing basic research, i'm not going to apologize for i'm not going to apologize for the breast-cancer commitments that were made either. the senator from arizona is correct, groups are coming to us something this department of defense medical research was absolutely essential. t i just had a press conference with the rest cancer coalition.r $3 billion had been invested in breast cancer research to the department of defense over the last 24 years.nt as i as i said earlier, it led to the development of a new druo that saves lives of breast cancer victims. the drug save live. to argue that this is money not well spent should've been in another category or doesn't apply here, let's look beyond that. it helps members of families of
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those who served as well as those who actively serve. it's designed to eliminate the medical research program of the department of defense. that's not my conclusion, it's the conclusion of the apartment of defense. he has put in so much red tape and obstacles and overhead and so much delay that he won't accomplish his goal in killing off medical research at the department of defense directed by congress. how be a terrible outcome. no apologies. and it's been money well spent andst money invested for the men and women of our military. i might add, first let me acknowledge my colleague from arizona has a distinguished career and record serving the united states navy. we all know his rogue story of
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what he went through. i'm not questioning his commitment to the military inea any way whatsoever, but i will tell you the veterans organizations and others stand by my position on this issue. when we had the press conference earlier, wasn't just the breast-cancer coalition. the disabled veterans of americe were also there asking us to defeat this provision in the bill that would put an end to this medical program. rese all of these members in the military and our veterans, let us not walk away from this fundamental research. >> very briefly i think the senator from illinois and i think we've discussed this issue. once we get an agreement we can schedule a vote on it. i think we are very well aware of each other's positions. i have been talking about this issue for quite a period of time
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as i watch our defense spending go down and our medical research go up. the senator from illinois argument is that men and women in the military are subject to all of these various health challenges ranging from, et arthritis to vascular malfunctions, et cetera because they are americans, because their human beings yes, we agree that members of the military are subject to all of these needs and earmarked for variousi wan illnesses that affect americans. again, i want to point out, and by the way, traumatic brain injury causes a whole lot of aln things.ti so to say that epilepsy is a result of traumatic brain injury, there are all kinds of
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things that are result of dramatic brain injury and i strongly support funding and so have many others to research on traumatic brain injury.. we know the terrible effects of that on our veterans. but somehow, to lump, there's at least, on this last 50 different diseases and medical challenges connecting that all to defense is a leap of the imagination and obviously ridiculous. it's ridiculous. so here we have pancreatic, parkinson's, parkinson's, veterans are subject to those, yes, but it is not in the defense bill. it should not be taken out of defense money, particularly in this period of need. so if every veterans organization is told that they will not have funding for these
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programs, of course they are going to object to thishe provision in the bill, but if they are told the truth and the truth is that they should get this money but it shouldn't be taken out of defense, most of these veterans would like to see it not taken out of defense. they would like to see it taken out of where it belongs.e ther so as i say, i'm sure this press conference after press conference and rallying all of these people because they're being told that they won't get the funding.hi i can understand that. that is not what this senatorr wants. that is the funding taken out of the accounts of which there isio the responsibility of the various committees and subcommittees in congress and the appropriations committee. that's what this is all about. so all i can say is that as i predicted, the senator from
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illinois raises the issue of all of these things that we will lose money. it's not that they will lose y money they will get the money if you did the right thing in the appropriations committee which is taking it out of the right accounts. to stretch with imagination and say that all of these are because of the men and women in the military was disingenuous at best. >> mr. president, i asked for two minutes. >> mr. pres., the total amount for department of defense medical research programs that we are to discussing amounts to. less than point to percent of this total budget. less than two tenths of 1%. the senator from arizona is arguing that were wasting money that could otherwise be spent in more valuable ways for the we are not wasting money. we are investing in medical research programs that serve our military, their families
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families and our veterans and i will never apologize for that. yes these groups are upset because they've seen the progress that has been made with these investments, cordoning with the nih and institute of medicine. they've done the right thing and found cures and relieved challenges and problems facing our military and their families and those who have served. in terms of whether it has been put into the bill already is going to have any negative impact on department of defense medical research, but what they set about the language from chairman mccain, these changes would drastically delay the awards risking the timely obligation, significantly increase the output and cost for both recipients and the federal government with the additional audit services needed and documentation, the scientific programs would be severely impacted. most likely recipients, these
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issues would lead to the failure of the congressionally different directed medical research program.onest. the senator wanted to come and just they put an end to it, it would be bold and breathtaking but it would be direct and honest. what it does is to cover it in red tape. i'm in of research, not red tape. there is no reason to kill off these medical research programs for our military. >> senator from west virginia. >> i think i have precedent. >> the senator from arizona. >> i just want to say again there are various accounts in the appropriations process that are directly related to the issues that have now beenuthori inserted in the department of defense authorization bill. that is what this is all about. that's all it's all about and wt can talk about all of the
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compelling needs in the terrible stories of people who have been afflicted by these various th injuries and challenges to their health, but the fact is, it's coming from the wrong place. that's what this is all about. mr. pres., i yield the floor.t >> the question for us in congress is whether we have given the government every possible tool consistent withhr the constitution, i do not believe we have which is why i've introduced the patriot terrorist act. over the years numerous americans have abandoned their country and their fellow citizens to go abroad and join radical islamic terrorist groups intelligence officials estimate more than 250 americans have tried or succeeded in travin


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