tv U.S. Senate U.S. Senate CSPAN October 5, 2021 9:59am-12:40pm EDT
>> today, a facebook whistleblower testifies about protecting children on-line with privacy regulations and laws. live coverage of the senate commerce subcommittee hearing starts at 10 a.m. eastern on c-span. watch on-line at c-span.org or with the new video app c-span now. >> get c-span on the go. watch the biggest political events anytime and anywhere on our now mobile video app, c-span now. listen to c-span radio and discover new podcasts for free. download c-span now today. >> and we take you live now to the u.s. capitol where the senate is about to gavel into session. today lawmakers are voting on nominee to be deputy administrator for the u.s. agency for international development. the senate considering today a federal direct court judicial nominee in washington state.
and now live to the floor of the u.s. senate here on c-span2. the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. create in us instead, a hunger and thirst for righteousness. may your presence and power direct our actions.
strengthen our senators to do the work of freedom. rescue them from trouble and give them triumph over life's trials. lord, remind them that all things are possible to those who believe in you. o god, who rules forever, hear our prayers. incline your ears to us and grant us your peace. keep us from slipping, as we trust you to save us. we pray in your great name. amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to our flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag
the president pro tempore: morni ng business is closed, and under the previous order, the senate will proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the following nomination which the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, united states agency for international development, paloma adams-allen of the district of columbia to be a deputy administrator.
in a generation opportunity to rebuild -- to help people stay in the middle class and secure another century of american prosperity really. last night i held another round of extensive talks with top officials from the white house with the speaker and with my senate colleagues. we made good progress and we continue our talks later this week. there is more work to do so we are going to keep at it. we're going to work at this every day until we can get it done. i want to thank my colleagues, the speaker and the white house, for everything they are doing to finalize this important bill. it's a rare opportunity to do something big for the american people and we will press ahead until we pass both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and our build back better agenda into law. now, on the debt ceiling. last night, as you know,
mr. president, last night i filed cloture on legislation sent to us by the house of representatives that provides for suspension of the debt ceiling until december of 2022. the senate is going to hold that vote tomorrow and once again the members of this body will face a choice. we can bring this republican manufactured debt ceiling crisis to a swift end or republicans can keep barreling our country ever closer to the first default in american history. by now it's perfectly clear which political party is working to prevent a default on the debt and which party is deliberately and almost cynically rooting for one. republicans have been offered multiple opportunities to de-escalate this crisis they've created yet each time the republican leader has chosen to magnify it instead. last week democrats offered a commonsense proposal that would have addressed the debt ceiling
on a bipartisan basis. republicans voted instead to default. democrats then offered republicans what the republican leader said they've wanted by proposing a simple majority vote, exactly what happened in the early 2000's, and again republicans blocked it in favor of default. by now it's clear that despite what they say, republicans seem intent on seeing the u.s. miss out on its payments for the first time ever. they seem perfectly at ease telling the american people, including our active military, our social security recipients, and all those who rely on medicare that they are unequivocally the party of default. that republicans are unequivocally the party of default and some of them seem to be proud of it. it's hard to believe that one of america's two major parties
would be willing to ruin our economy and irref he couldably lose our standing in the world just because democrats are going to help american families. that's what's going on here. to be clear -- let's be very clear. tomorrow's vote is simply a cloture vote. it is not a vote to raise the debt ceiling. it's rather a procedural step to let democrats raise the debt ceiling on our own just as republicans have called for. let me say that again so all of my republican colleagues can hear it and the american people did hear it loud and clear. tomorrow's vote is simply a cloture vote. tomorrow's vote is not a vote to raise the debt ceiling. it's, rather, a procedural step to let democrats raise the debt ceiling on our own. we're telling republicans, we're not asking you to vote for it, just let us vote for it. and that's what you called for.
that's what leader mcconnell has called for on countless occasions from july on. as recently as yesterday the republican leader pointed to episodes in 2004 and 2006, while the majority raised the debt ceiling while the minority voted against it. as happened then, the minority party can just get out of the way and let the majority supply the votes. tomorrow's vote, then, is a chance for republican senators to show that they don't have it to link arm in arm with those extreme members of their conference running for president. they have a chance to show that they are still responsible. it's not too late but it's getting dangerously close. as i said yesterday, this chamber must send president biden legislation to raise the debt ceiling before the end of the week. we do not have the luxury of using a drawnout convoluted and
risky process. we can resolve the debt ceiling crisis this week and reassure the world that the full faith and credit of the united states will never be in question. democrats are going to do the responsible thing tomorrow and vote yes to prevent a default. there's still time -- still time for republicans to get out of the way and allow this bill to pass with a simple majority vote. if republicans want to vote no tomorrow, if they really want to be the party of default, that's their choice. now on voting rights. mr. president, despite all we must do in the coming weeks, senate democrats remain strongly committed to advancing
legislation in this chamber to protect the most precious right in our democracy, the right to vote. later today my friend, the senator from vermont, senator leahy, will introduce the new john lewis voting advancement act. i am a cosponsor and it is my intention in the coming weeks for the senate to hold a vote on this bill. as a complement of the freedom to vote act, senator leahy's bill would restore some of the most critical safeguards of the original voting rights act gutted by the supreme court's conservative majority in 2013. perhaps most importantly, this proposal would reinstate the so-called crown jewel of the civil rights movement, retailored for the 21st century. it would address the next generation of suppressive voting already sprouting in states, unfortunately, across the
country. critically this new bill also responds to the court's troubling ruling in the burnvich case which weakens protections against state practices that hinder minorities seeking to vote. i'll have more to say on this later, but for now i want to thank my colleague from vermont for his diligence and leadership for his fight to protect our democracy. the senate must act soon if we're to successfully defeat the anti-democracy forces of the far right and we will -- we will do just that. mr. president, i yield the floor.
the presiding officer: the republican leader is recognized. mr. mcconnell: while the american people are battling inflation at its worse since 2008, washington democrats are behind closed doors writing another reckless taxing-and-spending spree that would have the government borrow and print trillions upon trillions more. while our economy still struggles to fully recover from last year's covid lockdowns, president biden wants to slap americans with the biggest tax hike in half a century. you know, it's really remarkable to watch senior established leaders in the democratic party take their marching orders from the radical left. we're hearing claims and arguments that are absurd on their face as top democrats try to wrestle with the positions they have literally been forced into. yesterday, for example, president biden's twitter account made the following two
claims in the space of two sentences. first, the build back better agenda costs zero. zero. and then in the next sentence -- we're going to pay for it by ensuring those at the top and big corporations pay their fair share. how amazing, mr. president, is the first time in human history that something can be totally free, yet nevertheless needs to be paid for. the democrats' socialist logic has become so advanced, they have transcended mathematics itself. cow -- of course the truth is that the democrats' massive tax hikes would not only hit the wealthy -- it never works that way -- there's no way to set up the kind of massive never-ending new entitlements that democrats want without coming hard, hard
after the middle class. sure enough nonpartisan experts have confirmed the democrats taxing and spending spree would hit the middle class and shatter president biden's promise that no new taxes for anybody earning less than $400,000 a year. but as my colleague, the junior senator from south carolina, has put it, as much as the reckless cost of their wish list would hurt americans, the reckless content, content of the legislation may be even worse. look at what democrats want to do to american families' health care and prescription medicine. last month a new report from the medicare trustees confirmed that the trust fund for medicare part-a is on track to reach insolvency in just five years, five years from now. more than 54 million american seniors rely on medicare, and the promises we have already made are getting more and more
expensive to keep. last year, for example, for the first time ever the amount the federal government spends on medicare alone exceeded everything that we spent on our national defense. with medicare five years from real fiscal problems, the last thing we need right now are politicians stretching, stretching the program even thinner, but that's exactly what democrats are doing behind closed doors at this very moment. their reckless taxing-and-spending spree would heap hundreds of billions of dollars in new expenses and obligations on to the already troubled medicare trust funds. hundreds of billions of dollars in new obligations for untested new programs, for big new pools of people, all using the care seniors count on as the
democrats' piggy bank, with the program already on unsure footing. even some of our colleagues on the democratic side are calling this craziness what it is. as one of our colleagues said recently, we have to, quote, stabilize what we have before we start going down this expensive road, or else it would be, quote, fiscal insanity. but that isn't the only damage the democrats' bill would inflict on our health system. at the same time they want to impose socialist price controls on the prescription medicines that americans need. this is another example of magical thinking. if we just pass a law saying something ought to be cheaper, it will be cheaper. but here in the real world, arbitrary price setting on prescription drugs would cut down the private sector's incentive to keep innovating.
expert research shows americans and the whole world would be left with fewer new drugs, fewer new treatments, and fewer new cures. so, mr. president, this isn't an abstract thing. this is a human cost. in the world democrats want to create, some americans would get sick and some would die who have lived -- who would have lived if new treatments had come into existence instead of being squashed, squashed by bad policy. one university of chicago academic and past leader of the council of economic advisors has calculated that over one decade, one decade house democrats' prescription price controls would rob our nation of 15 to 20 times as many collective years of life as the entire covid pandemic has stolen so far.
let me say that again. this expert believes that the democratic war on prescription drug innovation could result in a total loss of american life that is 15 to 20 times that which covid has caused thus far. now in a serious world, any discussion of this terrible policy would stop right there, but democrats need to slash our investment and treatments and cures because they need to cannibalize it for other parts of their wish list. it is the same reason democrats are clinging to the absurd new i.r.s. spying provision that would let big brother snoop on citizens transactions in excess of $600. another perfectly awful idea, but they need the money.
these desperate cash grabs capture the essence of this partisan bill that democrats are drafting behind closed doors. jeopardizing seniors' l medicare funding, killing huge numbers of americans indirectly by attacking new treatments and new cures. and for what? for a liberal hodgepodge of new entitlement programs when we can't even shore up the ones we already have. just a few more of the 100 ways this reckless taxing-and-spending spree would hurt the families of america. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
ms. warren: mr. president. are we in a quorum call? i ask that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. warren: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i rise today to express concern about a culture of corruption among the top officials at the federal reserve. officials at the federal reserve are entrusted to make decisions that affect the global economy and touch the lives of every person in our country. these officials have access to private information, often gathered at the expense and even by legislative mandate. there is no room for self-dealing by federal officials. there is no room for even the appearance of self-dealing. every member of the federal
reserve should know that without a reminder from congress. but evidently, there is a problem at the fed. we don't know the scope of the problem or how long it has been going on, but a very disturbing picture is emerging. last month, it was discovered that during the economic turmoil of 2020, as the fed was called on to take extraordinary measures to support our economy, robert kaplan, president of the federal reserve bank of dallas, made multiple million-dollar-plus stock trades. it was also disclosed that in the same period, eric rosengrant, president of the federal reserve bank in boston, made multiple purchases and sales relating to his stakes in real estate investment trusts and other securities. a new report last week revealed that a third key fed official, vice-chair richard clarita, also traded between $1 million and $5 million out of a bond fund
into stock funds exactly one day before fed chair powell publicly suggested possible policy actions that would significantly affect bonds and stocks. the federal reserve makes hugely consequential decisions, decisions involving interest rates, trillions of dollars worth of lending and debt and the regulation and supervision of the banking and financial systems. 2020 was a particularly consequential year, with the fed taking unprecedented steps to backstop financial markets in response to the pandemic. to make these specific decisions, fed officials needed access to vast quantities of proprietary nonpublic data and information about individual firms, the state of the economy, and upcoming fed actions.
under these circumstances for fed officials to actively trade in the market raises legitimate questions about conflicts of interest and insider trading. these fed official actions show, at a minimum, very bad judgment. they also suggest that some fed officials believe that building up their own personal wealth is more important than strengthening the american people's people's confidence in the fed. in his years as chair of the fed, it is not clear why mr. powell did not take steps to prevent these activities. surely he understands that this kind of behavior by fed officials kroadz the -- corrodes the public trust in the fed and in turn such corrosion undermines the effectiveness of
the fed. surely he understands that the fed officials trades run afoul of agency guidelines which states that officials should, quote, avoid any dealings or other conduct that might convey even an appearance of conflict between their personal interests, the interests of the federal reserve system and the public interest. end quote. surely he knows that according to the feds policies, its officials, quote, have a special responsibility for maintaining the integrity, dignity and reputation of the system. accordingly, they should scrupulously avoid conduct that might in any way tend to embarrass the system. end quote. surely he is aware that the fed's policies instruct officials to, quote, carefully
adhere to the spirit as well as the letter of the rules of ethical conduct. end quote. and to, quote, exemplify in their own conduct the high standards set forth in those rules. end quote. as the sitting chair of the federal reserve, the responsibility to safeguard the integrity of the federal reserve rests squarely with him, setting the right culture at the fed and making sure safeguards are in place to prevent self-dealing and to protect the public's confidence should be the minimum standard any federal reserve chair should meet. and once there is a problem, a quick and aggressive response is critical. chair powell has failed at both tasks. last week i said that i would not support chair powell's
renomination because in one decision after another he has squintly failed to serve as an effective financial regulator, but that is not his own failure. chair powell has also failed as a leader. our nation needs leaders who are willing to set aside and enforce strong ethic standards and who act swiftly when a problem arises. our nation does not need a go along to get along leader who doesn't know or doesn't care when, on his watch, people with great responsibility advance their own interests over the interests of our nation or someone who drags his feet in dealing with problems that shake the public's confidence in the institution he leads. we need changes at the fed. i have already called on key fed officials to voluntarily abide
by stricter ethic standards. yesterday i asked the f.e.c. to investigate these trades to determine whether these fed officials may have broken laws on insider trading and i will continue to push chairman powell to vigorously enforce the ethic standards that already exist and to put stronger ethic standards in place at the fed. in last congress i introduced sweeping ethics legislation. this legislation would ban all individual stock ownership by members of congress, by cabinet secretaries, by senior congressional staff, by federal judges, by white house staff, and by other agency officials while in office. it would prohibit all government officials from holding or trading stock if its value might be influenced by their agency,
their department or their actions. and it would require senior government officials and white house staff to devest from privately owned assets that could present conflicts of interest. this legislation would -- recusal requirements and shut the revolving door between industry and government. now, look, this proposal won't solve every problem and for any officials who have engaged in illegal insider trading, we don't need a new law to hold them accountable. but this proposal would dramatically reduce the possibility for any appearance of impropriety at the fed and at every other federal agency and in congress and in the white house. i urge congress to pass this legislation and to restore
american's trust in elected leaders and the officials who make key decisions, key decisions notle only about the economy but about public health, the environment and every other aspect of government. there's a lot of house keeping we -- housekeeping we need to do and the faster we start the faster we get it done. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the republican whip. mr. thune: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that i be able to complete my remarks and that senator burr also be able to complete his remarks before the vote starts. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: mr. president, there are a few, quote-unquote winners
under democrats' $3.5 trillion tax and spending spree. unions, for example, and electric vehicle manufacturers. but there are a lot more losers like middle-class families who will have to stretch their paychecks to cover higher inflation and higher energy bills, workers who will see jobs and opportunities shrink and farmers and ranchers. mr. president, agriculture is the lifeblood of my home state of south dakota, and so ag issues are always pretty much on my mind and i'm pretty concerned about democrats' tax and spending spree will mean forked south dakota farmers. for starters, i'm worried that democrats' bill could mean the end of some farms thanks to the bill's expansion of the death tax. now, mr. president, i have long crusaded against the death tax. death should not be a taxable event.
and there should be limits on how many times the government can tax the same money over and over and over. but i get particularly fired up when talking about the death tax when it comes to farmers and ranchers because the death tax can threaten the existence of family farms and ranches. you ask why. because farming and ranching are often cash-poor operations. farmers and ranchers money is tied up in their land, not the bank. so a farmer could have land worth as much as several million dollars and still struggle to breakeven in years where the harvest is poor. so when that same farmer dies, the i.r.s. will come in demanding a substantial portion of his or her estate, but since most of that money is tied up in the land, there's a good chance the family will not have enough money in the bank to pay the i.r.s. and so they'll have to
start selling off the land, the lifeblood of their farming operation. so give that a couple of generations and the death tax can drive a family farm right out of existence. mr. president, i'm proud that the tax reform bill we passed in 2017 included tax relief, it lifted the specter of the death tax for most farmers and ranchers and helped reduce the need for costly estate planning efforts to try to keep the farm or ranch in the family. unfortunately, -- unfortunately we're not able to make this relief permanent which is why i continued to push eliminating the death tax. at least family farms and ranches were set to have relief through the year 2025. well, not anymore. democrats are set to return the death tax exemption to its pre-2017 level start rg in january. -- starting in january, which
means that more family farms and ranches will be in the tax's crosshairs. mr. president, as i said, death should not be a taxable event. the i.r.s. should not be coming in to see you the same time as the undertacker, but the government -- and the government, i should say, should not be in the business of shuttering family farms and businesses. thanks to the tax and spend spree, they will have to worry about whether they will hand their farm to their children or it will mean the end of an enterprise of a farm that a family has cultivated literally for generations. the icing on the cake is at the same time that democrats are planning to expand a tax for family farms, they are including to have tax relief for their millionaire contributors in blue states. that's right, despite fact that democrats are scrambling for
money to fund some of their spending spree, they are preparing to provide tax relief for wealthy democrat donors. mr. president, i'm disturbed by the fact that democrats are willing to jeopardize family farms and ranches to help fund their spending spree, but i'm not all that surprised. because it's clear from the bill that farmers and ranchers are not high on democrats' priority list. the bill's spending on rail, for example, emphasizes passenger rail which will benefit amtrak and a handful of east coast cities, but it means little to most americans. the rail that matters in the heartland is the freight rail, especially those that carry beef and wheat around the united states. short line rail gets the short shrift. as this bill makes clear,
democrats have picked their preferred winner in the clean energy stakes, and that winner, mr. president, is electric vehicles. biofuels take a backseat in the democrats' legislation despite the role they play in making american energy cleaner and despite the significance of it in the economy. for years we have passed the farm bill and it has been a are part of bipartisan collaboration and a lengthy hearing and factfinding process that allows for input from farmers and ranchers and other ag stakeholders. it's one of the last, i would say, truly bipartisan things that we regularly do around here. but democrats have decided to use their tax and spending spree to circumvent the bipartisan farm bill process. democrats are extending farm programs without bipartisan input and without real
involvement from many in the agricultural community and of course they are not expanding all farm bill programs. they are not, for example, extending or providing money for the farm safety net. instead, they are targeting money at programs that they feel will allow them to advance their climate agenda. farmers are not democrats' main interest when it comes to the agricultural provisions in this bill. democrats' climate agenda is the priority. mr. president, if i'm not here in washington for senate business, i can usually be found back in south dakota where i spend a lot of time talking to farmers and ranchers. most of them haven't shown a lot of interest in tax breaks for union dues or electric vehicle tax credits, but i have heard from a lot of farmers and ranchers who are worried the democrats' proposed tax policies
may threaten their livelihood. and, unfortunately, they are right to be worried. speaker pelosi suggested that this tax and spending spree was about democrats' values. well, based on what we've seen, i'm not too sure those values align with those of rural americans. democrats' tax and spending spree is a bad deal for rural america and for working families around the country. and i will continue to do everything i can to protect americans from the dangers of democrats' socialist fantasies. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina. mr. burr: mr. president, i rise today to pay tribute to vanessa lee, a member of the senate
intellectual committee a part of investigating russia's interference into the 2016 u.s. elections and my designee on the committee staff since march of 2019. while with the committee, vanessa proved herself to be more than a capable lawyer. although there is no debating her strengths as an attorney, it is, and i hope always will be vanessa's courage in the face of corruption and expedience that distinguishes her counsel. as an unrelenting advocate for virtue, sense i be the and the common -- sensibility and the common good, she lives the axiom what is right is not always popular. her job covered a waterfront of security challenges that ranged
from russia's election interference to conducting the oversight of the u.s. counterintelligence apparatus. as lead investigative counsel for the majority on the russian investigation, vanessa worked tirelessly to secure witness interviews, document production, draft and serve committee subpoenas, interview witnesses, and liase with the department of justice, the office of the special counsel, the senate legal counsel. in addition, she helped conduct witness interviews, drafted and reviewing chapters of the committee's report and provided crucial legal advice on the committee's constitutional and senate procedural authorities. vanessa was also responsible for overseeing the f.b.i. and helping to actualize policy objectives relative to the bureau and the nation's broader counterintelligence enterprise. vanessa brought a keen mind, exacting questions, and a
heartfelt passion for the role of the committee in keeping this nation secure to work with her every day. vanessa's professional experience prior to joining the committee staff included time as a litigation associate at drinker, biddle and wreath in chicago and honor's attorney in the national security agency's office general council. vanessa is leaving the committee staff to work for the office of the director of national intelligence, where she will serve as a special advisor to the d.n.i. i can most assuredly say that our loss is director hain's gain. vanessa will achieve incredible things at the odni and it is her contributions to the work with this intelligence community will continue. although i am hopeful the transition will afford her more time at home with her husband
gary, son, george, and baby margo, anyone who has ever met vanessa will tell you that she's not really the relax-as-home type. i expect she'll bring the same intensity and let's get it done attitude that she was known for on the committee into her role at the d.n.i. therefore it is with a little reluctance and a lot of pride that i wish vanessa well and thank her for all she's done for the committee. her wit, intellect, woundless energy and unparalleled mastery of the culinary arts will be impossible to replace. thank you, vanessa, for the vital investigative work of this committee would not have been accomplished absent your dedication, your clear-minded judgment, and your unwavering moral compass. mr. president, i'd be remiss, though, to close my comments about vanessa's departure from
the committee without also acknowledging the departure of two other dedicated staff members -- nate adler and nick vasiano, serving on the majority staff of the committee are leaving to pursue their professional lives. nick worked on critical portfolios covering among other things counterintelligence, foreign influence and asia as well as serve as budget monitors for the intelligence agencies. their contribution to the committee and its work cannot be overstated, and shall cannot bee publicly acknowledged. their dedication and work ethic was a model and their counsel will be sorely missed. i wish them and vanessa all the best in future endeavors. i know they're going to do great things, and i look forward to hearing and reading about those future accomplishments. i yield the floor.
the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion, we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close the debate on the nomination of executive calendar number 336, paloma adams-allen of the district of columbia, to be a deputy administrator of the united states agency for international development, signed by 18 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is, is it the sense of the senate that debate on the nomination of paloma adams-allen of the district of columbia to be a deputy administrator of the united states agency for international development shall be brought to a close. the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
mrs. murray: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that i and senator maaingty be able -- haguety be able to pleat our remarks -- complete our remarks prior to a scheduled recess. the presiding officer: without objection,so ordered. mrs. murray: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: mrs. murray: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. murray: mr. president, i rise today in support of the nomination of lauren king to serve as u.s. district court judge for the western district of washington in the seattle
courthouse. ms. king is an immensely talented and experienced practitioner of the law who i had the honor of recommending to the president for this position, and i am proud to be advocating for her confirmation here today. ms. king currently chairs foster garvey's native american law practice group and has served as a pro tempore appellate judge for the northwest intertribal court system since 2013. she has served as commissioner on the washington state gambling commission and taught federal indian law as seattle university school of law. her qualifications are exemplary and her qualifications will be an historic one. she is a citizen of the muskogee nation and she would be the first ever native american federal judge in the history of my home state of washington. out of the 890 currently confirmed federal judges, only three are native american. ms. king would become the
fourth, and she would be the sixth ever native american judge in the united states history. while this number is still too low, ms. king's confirmation will be an important step towards making sure the members of the federal judiciary reflect the diversity of our nation and have critical experience and insight into the unique relationship between our federal government and native tribes. this is especially important in washington state, which for those who don't know, is home to 29 federally recognized indian tribes. so it's not just important, but essential that our federal judges understand the unique histories and perspectives of native people, and the legal principles that protect and preserve native american standing under federal law. i believe this is a perspective that matters and one that has been missing for far too long. with her experience in the northwest intertribal court system and representing tribes in private practice, ms. king
has a deep understanding of these principles and the legal issues that tribes in washington state face. and she has the support of major native voices in this space. she's been strongly endorsed by the national native american bar association, the national congress of american indians, the native american rights fund, and more. she's earned the support by being a sharp legal mind and a fair and just arbiter of the law. i firmly believe ms. king has the experience, knowledge, and perspective required to serve on our federal judiciary with distinction. i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting her nomination. we can confirm highly qualified judges and we can make sure our federal bench reflects the diversity of the people it serves. and before i close, i also want to acknowledge the two historic u.s. attorneys for washington state who were confirmed last week -- nick brown of seattle is the first black u.s. attorney
for the western district of washington, and vanessa waldref is the first female attorney for the eastern district of washington. both of these historic appointees have the experience needed to be successful, and i am confident they will work diligently to pursue justice for the people of my home state. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor.
to the ploor to oppose what is -- p floor to oppose what is known as the infrastructure bill. i did that because it was going to be taken by hostage anded used by democrats to impose socialism on america. in those august 7, remarks i said i'm frustrated which is the multitrillion-dollar socialism which they will unveil after this legislation is passed. democrats admitted to this plan. they produced phase one of the scheme in march when they spent $1.9 trillion in the name of covid relief. of course 90% of it had nothing to do with covid relief. it was really a payoff to their most loyal political supporters. sadly it is causing the highest inflation in decades which is a daily tax on americans buying goods and services. i went on to lay out phase two,
the step by step plan some democrats are using to launch their big government socialism fantasy. step one i said was to change the conversation to trillions. make billions look small, condition the congress, condition the media, condition the people. that's happened. step two, i said, was to tell everyone that the united states needs infrastructure. that's happened too. step three, i said, was to redefine the term infrastructure to include big-government socialism programs. really muddy it up so that no one could understand what they were actually talking about. mr. president, that has happened. step four, i said, was that when more reasonable democrats in the senate balk at some of the more expensive or egregious items, promise them a two-track process, one for hard infrastructure and one for social programs.
confuse the situation even further. that's happened. step five, i said, was to negotiate as much of the democrat socialist wish list as much as possible into the track and put the rest of the wish list into the big-government socialist wish list bill. that also has happened. step six, i said, was to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill through the senate as quickly as possible. the trojan horse would then be through the gates. unfortunately that has also happened. step seven, i said, was to hold that infrastructure bill hostage in the house of representatives until everything they couldn't get into the infrastructure bill, meaning the trillions of dollars of big-government spending programs, also passes the senate. that's what we're seeing happening right now just as i predicted in early august. step eight, i said, was for the president to say that he wouldn't sign the infrastructure bill into law if it's not
accompanied by trillions of dollars in big-government socialist programs. this has also happened. step nine, i said, was to get the big-government socialism part passed by circumventing the filibuster in the senate. this would require abusing an arcane loophole called reconciliation to pass trillions of dollars in big-government socialism with only 50 democrat votes. step ten, i said, was to give more moderate democrats political cover to support the parliamentary trick in the big-government socialist spending. to accomplish this, radical democrats in the house are threatening to shoot the hostage. the hostage is the infrastructure bill that passed the senate, a bill that more moderate democrats strongly support. mr. president, these final two steps have not yet been executed because some democrats see the peril in following the dangerous instincts of the most extreme
elements of their party. on september 27, the most radical house democrats backed by speaker pelosi stated that they were, quote, committed to voting for the infrastructure bill only after big-government socialism bill is passed. on september 29, one of the most outspoken of that group made it even clearer, saying, quote, several months ago we had an agreement with everybody else throughout the entire party. we'll move forward with this $3.5 trillion and we'll link the two bills, meaning the infrastructure bill and the big-government socialism bill. in revealing this, she confirmed that the far left has been manipulating everyone involved in this process. when i laid out democrats' plans here on the senate floor back in august, i used the word abracadabra to illustrate the sleight of hand democrats were attempting to pull off, saying that the american people may not even notice until it's too late
that their wallet has been stolen and their country has been fundamentally changed. fortunately, mr. president, it seems the american people are wising up to the trick. the question i asked at the time, mr. president, and the question the american people should be thinking about is thie policies and all of the spending is so good, why does getting it done require a parliamentary house of mirrors? the answer to that question is that many democrats know that the big-government socialism bill is unpopular, it's bad for the country. otherwise the hostage taking wouldn't be necessary. this radical dream of big-government socialism is stalled out at the moment, so at speaker pelosi's direction president biden drove to capitol hill on october 1 and according to one representative told house democrats that in order to get the infrastructure bill done, quote, we have to get this agreement on the big-government
socialism bill through reconciliation. according to a house democrat, the president said that he wanted, quote, both bills to go at the same time and specifically praised the far-left house members who were exuberant following the remarks according to a congressional progressive caucus member. in other words, the far left is in charge, and president biden embraces that fact. his actions have made clear that the infrastructure bill is merely a tool to pass this big government socialism legislation. both must pass or neither will pass. rather than use his platform to defuse the hostage situation, president biden is for egging oe hostage taking and test demanding big government socialism as the ransom. following president biden meeting with house democrats, "politico" quoted a democrat observer who said that, quote, the fact that the president came to the hill and whipped against his own bill is the strangest
thing i have ever seen. it is very strange indeed, but it underscores the sad reality that the far left is in charge of the democrat party. what we witnessed these past nine months is the biggest bait and switch in american political history. the american people didn't vote for big government socialism in 2020, yet the biden administration proudly proclaims that it's the most radically left-wing administration in american history. according to "politico" this morning, president biden held a call with progressive house members yesterday in which he told them that he was, quote, getting more and more frustrated with moderate democrats. for what? for refusing to be steamrolled by an agenda that most americans don't want? democrats' extreme politics are eclipsed only by their incompetence. from afghanistan to inflation. from our energy dependence to a
border collapse. why? because far-left radicals are dictating the agenda and they are calling all the shots. with respect to this infrastructure hostage situation, the only question now is will every democrat pay the ransom of big government socialism? and what's included in this ransom? first, democrats are currently haggling over the top-line costs. will it be $3.5 trillion, $2.5 trillion, $1.5 trillion, or something in between? again, this is trillions of dollars with a t that we're talking about. the number that they use is actually irrelevant because the bill will actually cost far more when you peel away the budget gimmicks. the overall cost of the bill is only labeled at $3.5 trillion because democrats are pretending, again for budget projection purposes, that many of these costly programs are simply temporary and they will terminate in a few years.
ask any democrat whether this bill just includes some temporary spending, spending that would soon phase out, ask them this. how will they vote when it comes time to prevent the program from expiring? you know this. once you turn this sort of spending on, it will be next to impossible to turn it off. this is like valuing the cost of your home at the initial down payment price and ignoring the 30-year mortgage that follows. the current estimates are that $3.5 trillion really will be more like $5.5 trillion, and that's just in the first decade alone. yet, all of washington is currently obsessed with negotiations over where this phony number is going to land. this is another distraction. it's a tactic to divert your eyes from what's in the bill. no matter what number is used, the total cost of this bill is vastly higher than they claim. tens of trillions of dollars
over my children's and your children's lifetime. that's before even accounting for inevitable cost overruns, wastes, and program expansions. and of course that means most of the big-government socialism bill will be debt financed because the bill will cost far more than projected, even in the short run. given our current debt of nearly $30 trillion, allowing the fuse to continue to burn on this new inflation-fueling, economy-crushing level of debt borders on insanity. it's the kind of thing that toppled world powers in the past. now is the time to get our fiscal house in order or at least avoid making it worse. it's as if democrats want to solve the problem of a burning house, not by throwing water on it, but by throwing on gasoline and arguing that 50 gallons of gasoline is better than throwing 100 gallons on it. this obscures the more
insidious, obstructive nature of big-government socialism. without careful oversight from the american people and their elected representatives here in congress, government bureaucracy can't help but serve its own interests. over time, the bureaucracy has fed itself, becoming evermore powerful, even more hungry, and evermore present in the lives of the american people. many democrats believe in feeding the bureaucratic beast. they want the government to grow and they want americans to be ever more dependent on government, from cradle to grave. they want permanent government control over criek child care -- over child care, over preschool, raising your children, over health care, energy, jobs, employers, and the list goes on. this will mean that americans must turn to big government for more and more of life's necessities. and big government will increasingly control the lives of americans beginning in their formative years. and once the federal government is in charge of funding preschool and day care that has
crowded out all the private competition, you had better believe the federal government will be providing the lesson plans for your children as well. and this legislation will dramatically expand the welfare entitlement state, meaning that it will provide even more incentives for american workers not to work. at a time when small businesses are desperately searching for workers, this is the wrong thing to do. it will fuel inflation. it will pile on more debt for our children and grandchildren. and it will drastically increase taxes and regulations on all americans. more fundamentally and more sadly, it will move america closer to a european socialist model where government dependency replaces opportunity and where the dignity of work is lost. the strength of america is our unique system. our spirit, our work ethic, and our compassion for one another. the foundation for all of this has been the freedom to pursue our dreams, thanks to the system
of free market capitalism. a system that has spread the american dream across the globe. that dream spread because our country offered something different. this plan to spend tens of trillions of dollars fundamentally threatened the american system and the american dream, not only by jeopardizing our fiscal stability but by ushering in big-government socialism which, if history is any guide, tends to crowd out everything else and perhaps especially opportunity. the american people have proven that they will flourish if permitted to do so. in this sense, the only thing that can stop the american people is the size and the reach of the american government. for the senate to participate in imposing such self-inflicted wounds on our country would be profoundly sad. history will not look kindly upon it. however, one point from my remarks this summer remains just as true today.
it only takes one democrat to end this insanity, to stand up and say that he or she won't participate in this scheme. the american people and their children and grandchildren will no doubt be grateful if one of them chooses to do so. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate previous order, the senate lawmakers are considering a federal district court judicial nominee in washington state. when the senate returns live coverage here on c-span2. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government.
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