tv U.S. Senate U.S. Senate CSPAN October 19, 2021 9:59am-1:04pm EDT
good human being and he has them believing in sports like anything, if you believe, that's part of the battle. >> well, secretary walsh, i'm not going to ask you any more questions that will tempt to you violate your role of making predictions. secretary walsh, we're out of time. thank you so much for coming back to washington post live. >> thanks for having me. >> ♪♪ >> download c-span's new mobile app and stay up-to-date with live coverage of the day's events from live streams at the house and senate floor and key congressional hearings, to white house events and supreme court oral arguments, even our live interactive morning program washington journal where we hear your voices every day. c-span now has you covered. download the app for free today. >> and we take you live now to the u.s. senate which today will be taking up a u.s. district court judge nomination
the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. eternal god, touch the secret place inside each of us and know our hearts. in the stillness of this prayer moment, make us so transparent that we shall connect to your power. strengthen our lawmakers by the power of your holy spirit, as the light
of your wisdom illuminates the recesses of their hearts. lord, give our senators the wisdom to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. when this day is done, may they look back with the realization that they have accomplished your purposes. we pray in your great name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c., october 19, 2021. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable raphael warnock, a senator from the state of georgia, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: patrick j. leahy, president pro tempore.
mr. schumer: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority leader is recognized. mr. schumer: so are we in a quorum? no. so last night, mr. president, i began the process for the senate to hold a vote on the freedom to vote act, a commonsense proposal that would make it easier for every eligible american to participate in free and fair elections. the bill, which my colleagues, including yourself, very diligently have worked on for months to put together, will set basic standards to improve valid access across the country, end partisan gerrymandering, and fight the influence of dark money and special interests in our politics. it will go a long way toward restoring people's faith in our democracy while respecting the role of states in administering elections. every senate democrat has united around this legislation, and i thank all of my colleagues, including you, mr. president,
who worked so hard on this bill. i especially want to thank my friend, senator manchin, who has spent weeks reaching out to our republican colleagues in an effort to find common ground. i applaud him for his commitment to trying to get something done on this issue in a bipartisan way if we can. the clock is ticking for this chamber to make meaningful action to protect americans' right to the franchise, and so tomorrow, the senate will vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to the freedom to vote act. every senator will have to answer a straightforward question -- should the senate be allowed to simply begin debate on voting rights as has been done many times throughout our history. that's what tomorrow's vote is about. to the members of this chamber, think -- protecting our democracy is worthy of even a debate in the senate. senate democrats think it absolutely is. if our republican colleagues don't like our ideas for fighting voter suppression and
guarding against election subversion, then they ought to tell us what they have in mind. if they are so confident of their position, then let's debate the issue on the senate floor. what is there to be afraid of by allowing simply a debate? democrats are ready to work with republicans in good faith if they vote to begin a debate on voting rights. we know disagreements run deep. we don't hide from that. but if our republican colleagues have good ideas, we'll work with them. we'll listen to them. and if these ideas are truly aligned with the goals of this bill to protect our democracy, we'll work to include them in the final text. what republicans should not do, what they must not do is schedule much any chance for the senate to debate something as critical and sacrosanct as the right to vote, nor should they pretend like the federal government has no role to play in protecting our democracy. on the contrary, throughout history, the federal government has sometimes -- has sometimes
been the only remedy when states try to suppress the vote. and no honest observer can look at the way the states have changed election laws this last year and pretend that there is nothing malicious afoot. as senator manchin said earlier this year regarding congressional action on voting rights, inaction is not an option. excuse me. let me repeat that because this is one place where senator manchin and i agree. as senator manchin said earlier this year, regarding congressional action on voting rights, inaction is not an option. inaction is not an option. i agree. all 49 other democrats agree with senator manchin. inaction is not an option. the senate can rise to the task if given the chance, but its members must vote to begin debate first.
now, on build back better. for decades now, millions of families in this country have found the basic american promise that if you work hard, then you can have a better life for yourself and your loved ones. the proverbial american dream. americans have found it's getting harder to reach. that's what creates a sourness in the land. that's the sunny optimism so crucial to our identity has receded away from view. democrats have promised to do something about it. when senate democrats secured our majority this year, we committed to delivering on the trust that the american people placed in us and to respond to the challenge of our times. that's why we immediately set to work and passed the american rescue plan to propel our economy out of the crisis of covid, and that's been the driving force between our efforts to make president biden's build back better agenda into law. last night, i continued my discussions with speaker pelosi
and president biden as we worked to an agreement on legislation we can bring to the floor. i know that throughout the day, the president will meet with a number of members from both chambers and, as the week progresses, i will continue to hold talks with my colleagues as we move forward to the finish line. here's what matters. build back better legislation is going to dramatically improve the lives of tens of millions of american families for years to come. something that impactful is not an easy feat, but we are going to keep working. by passing this legislation, we can create good-paying jobs for this generation and the next. we can lower costs and cut taxes for american families while taking overdue steps to meaningfully address the climate crisis. we still have work to do, but we're going to continue at it until, until the job is done. i yield the floor.
mr. mcconnell: mr. president. the presiding officer: the republican leader is recognized. mr. mcconnell: every day american families are feeling real pain because of the reckless and inflationary policies that democrats have already rammed through. the american people are facing the highest inflation in more than ten years. they are paying an extra dollar
a gallon at the pump and soaring prices at the grocery store. real wages are down. rising prices are wiping out raises and bonuses. last month's jobs report was another huge disappointment showing less than half the hiring that had been expected. but amazingly the biden administration and many of our colleagues seems to think the cure for this inflation hangover is the hair of the dog. they are trying to exploit the economic anxiety they created by pitching yet another multitrillion-dollar socialist spending spree. they want to try to inflate their way out of inflation. oh, and get this. the biden administration is simultaneously saying that their latest spending spree will cost zero dollars. let me say that again.
the biden administration is simultaneously saying their latest spending spree will cost zero dollars. it will be totally free and it will come with massive historic tax hikes in order to pay for it. all this socialism is going to be totally free of charge, but it also needs the biggest i.r.s. cash grab in decades in order to pay for it. go figure. the democrats' plan contains more than 40 separate tax hikes on the american people. 40 separate tax hikes on the american people. the increases -- these increases would impact taxpayers at every income level. small business owners and family farmers would feel yet another pinch. even the tax hikes that are extensionably aimed at
washington democrats favorite punching bag, american industry, would find their way back down to working families. democrats' war on affordable energy would hit americans just in time to spike heating bills and made in america goods. their corporate tax hikes would leave american businesses paying higher tax rates than businesses, listen to this, in communist china. and as the joint committee on taxation has shown, two-thirds distribution two-thirds of the burden of the democrats' proposed new taxes on businesses would fall on lower and middle-income americans, two-thirds many but washington democrats aren't just laying on massive new tax hikes in the light of day. they want to hand the i.r.s. new snooping powers to dig through americans' bank accounts.
they want to treat normal american households like everybody is under audit. they want to treat normal american households like everybody is under audit. so, to review, this has been the story of democrats' unified control of government in 2021. here's what he they've done. first, they kneecapped our economic recovery with stifling spending, including to pay americans more to stay on the sidelines than to rejoin the workforce. then, as working families feel the pinch of runnaway prices, they are putting forward even more spending and also massive tax hikes. and as icing on the cake, they schemed for even greater access
to americans' personal finances so washington bureaucrats can spy on citizens routine transactions. so, mr. president, this is not what american voters signed up for and it won't earn a shred of support from this side of the aisle. now, on another matter. last week washington, d.c., was again the site of illegal political violence from the radical left. a mob of extremists set upon the department of interior. they shoved through blocked doors, they hurt the police and secretary personnel who tried to hold the line. these radicals put one law enforcement officer actually in the hospital. political violence and attacks on government buildings are flat out wrong no matter who is
perpetrating them or what they claim to believe. that's why it's puzzling that last week's incidents attracted so little attention and condemnation. the white house was directly asked about the day's demonstrations just a few hours after the violence and the break-in occurred, instead of condemning the radicals, the biden administration actually praised them -- praised them. the white house press secretary was asked about the protests multiple hours after the break-in and said, this is a direct quote, of course we're listening to advocates and people who have been elevating the issue of climate for decades. they have important voices. end quote. so that's how the biden administration officially described the demonstrators who put a cop in the hospital, quote, important voices. this is just absurd,
mr. president. but those weren't just regrettable comments. they capture the politicized an selective approach to law enforcement that increasingly defines the democratic party. last year our nation saw a 30% jump in homicides. the biggest jump in the murder rate in modern history. the worst spike in the homicide rate in modern american history. the head of the national center for health statistics said it was the worst increase in more than 100 years, since at least 1905. actually, he went on to say that 1905 wasn't comparable because that was likely a cher cal matter -- clerical matter. so they don't know the last time the murder rate shot up this much. but we know it was before the
average american family had electricity or inside plumbing. responding to this should be simple. it should be a no-brainer for officials at every level. more and better resources for more and better policing -- for more and better community safety. instead liberal local officials across the country from city halls and city councils to right here in congress have gotten caught up in the radicalism of defund the police. as one left-wing house member put it, not only do we need to disinvest from police, we need to completely dismantle -- dismantle her local police department. that was a member of the congress. another declared, policing in our country is inherently and intentionally racist. one news story from last weekend
reported, quote, a crowd of 100 people wreaked havoc in downtown portland, oregon, smashing storefront windows, lighting dumpsters on fire and causing at leafs a half million dollars in damage. but police officers didn't stop them. portland police officials said that's because of legislation passed by oregon lawmakers this year which restricts the tools to confront people vandalizing buildings and causing mayhem. so apparently it's okay in portland to do those kind of things because of legislation they passed out in oregon. so why all of this percolating -- while all of this is percolating, what is the
department of justice focused on? where is the attorney general training his firepower? well, here's the answer. two weeks ago, attorney general garland published a special memorandum directing federal law enforcement to focus specifically on parents who are dissatisfied, dissatisfied with woke school boards and far-left indoctrination. so you get the picture here. the worst spike in murder rate in over a century, and the attorney general wants main justice laser focused on -- listen to this -- parents who are asking questions about their kids' curriculum. it's beyond parity. to be perfectly clear, i've never offered anything but
condemnation for violence and threats in the political square, but local law enforcement is fully capable of handling isolated incidents where crimes are committed. there is absolutely no reason, none, for attorney general garland to pull this j. edgar hoover act on american parents, but these strange and warped priorities are defining the biden administration's approach approach -- soft on crime, heavy on indulging far-left fads. currently deadlocked in the judiciary committee is the nomination of rachel rollins, a would-be u.s. attorney who has a national reputation for being soft on crime during her time as a prosecutor. in her current role as a district attorney, the nominee has said that prosecutors in her jurisdiction should -- listen to
this -- decline to prosecute a whole laundry list of crimes. just decline to prosecute them. from shoplifting to trespassing to drug possession with the intent to distribute. ms. rollins wants her county to be a place where these crimes, these crimes get free passes. and the biden administration rewards this with a big promotion? mr. president, support for equal justice, support for law enforcement, and support for the innocent people they protect go hand in hand. it's time for the biden administration to get serious about the rule of law.
mr. durbin: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority whip is recognized. mr. durbin: i ask consent to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: mr. president, it was december 7, 1941. a young african american man from the south side of chicago was celebrating his 23rd birthday. he was in a neighborhood tavern and somebody bolted through the front door and cried out that the japanese had attacked pearl harbor. in 1943, that same young man was inducted into the united states army, a segregated institution at the time. he landed in normandy within days of d-day. he fought across france in the battle of the bulge. while his unit regrouped, they heard rumors, horrible rumors about a camp near vymar,
germany. this young soldier and his commanding officer hopped into a jeep to see for themselves. what he witnessed at buchenwald, the nazi death camp, changed this man forever. he recalled in his memoirs, his first thought was, quote, this is what happened to my ancestors. this is what happens when human beings see others as less than human. and then he made a vow to himself. he said, and i quote, i made an emotional decision that when i returned from the army, the rest of my life would be spent trying to make the place where i live and the bigger world a place where all people could have peace and justice. that soldier's name was timuel black. he kept that vow faithfully for 76 years. tim black was a foot soldier for
justice. he died last week at the age of 102, living in the neighborhood that had been his home nearly all his life, a place that he personally called a sacred ground, the south side of chicago. his passing is our loss. our city, our state, and our nation. if you're not from chicago, you may not know his name, but we all live in an america that is better because timuel black helped shape it. he was a living link to some of our nation's worst sins and our greatest achievements. all four of tim black's grandparents were born into slavery. when he was 1-year-old, tim black and his parents left alabama and the terrorism of jim crow and headed to chicago. part of the first wave of america's great migration. they settled on the south side in a then-segregated
neighborhood known as bronzeville. after he served in world war ii, tim black returned to chicago. he graduated from roosevelt university, earned a master's degree in history from the university of chicago. taught history in chicago public schools in 1955. when he heard a young minister speaking on television. he was so moved that he decided at his own expense to fly to montgomery, alabama, to meet this man, a man by the name of martin luther king jr. in 1963, dr. king and the great african american labor leader a. phillip randolph called on tim black. they asked him to organize chicago's contingent to come to washington for the great march on washington. three years later, tim black asked them to return the favor, and he persuaded dr. king to bring his campaign for racial justice to chicago.
together, they pressed for an end to discriminatory housing laws that squeezed many of the city's black residents into overpriced, ramshackle apartments and unsafe, segregated neighborhoods with few jobs and failing schools. in 1975, after decades working at high schools, tim black became a professor of sociology, anthropology, and black history in what is now known as harold washington college. he was the grio of chicago who preserved the rich history of the great migration in bronzeville. he was also a brilliant political strategist who understood how to use his power to help others. so in 1982, harold washington, who had been his friend since they were children, was representing their neighborhood in the u.s. house of representatives. professor block and a few others went to -- professor black and a few others went to harold washington and said you have to
run for mayor of chicago. washington replied sure. if you get 50,000 new black voters and raise $100,000, i'll consider it. he figured, washington figured that was the end of it. they would never reach those goals. but professor tim black started a fundraising drive and helped organize a voter registration campaign that ultimately registered not 100,000, not 50,000, but 263,000 new voters in chicago, and he raised more than a million dollars for the harold washington campaign. in 1983, with the support from voters from all backgrounds, black, white, and brown, harold washington became chicago's first black mayor. a decade later, a young lawyer by the name of barack obama sought out professor tim black's guidance when he first considered running for office. last month, president obama returned to the south side to break ground on the obama
presidential center in jackson park. although professor black's failing health didn't allow him to attend in person, it's a good bet that ceremony couldn't have happened without him. mr. president, i was blessed to know tim black. when barack obama, my senate colleague from illinois, was elected president, i was given a handful of tickets to the inauguration. the first time that came to my mind was tim black. he had to be there. and his wife, sinobia johnson black. a dear friend who volunteered to drive me in my first senate campaign. sinobia is a wonderful person. she is an exciting driver. we had many escapades together. i invited tim and sinobia to come and sit in the best seats i had for the inaugural of barack obama, the first african american president from the south side of chicago.
i was fortunate. i knew tim black. i counted him as a friend. i was there sitting next to him at his 100th birthday party. it was a great night, and the man still had it all together and a great sense of humor. loretta and i send our condolences to his beloved wife of 40 years, sinobia johnson black, his daughter urmetra, and countless friends and students. a great man has left us. he will be missed. mr. president, i ask at a separate place in the record that the following comments be placed. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: tomorrow the senate is going to vote on whether to protect free and fair elections in america. and the big question we have to ask in the united states senate is whether the right to vote and free and fair elections are worth any of our time. you see, the first vote we have
here is what's known as a motion to proceed. it's a basic question in the senate. you want to talk about something? is it important enough for your time? do you want to bring it up here and say a few words about the right to vote in america? that's the first vote. i think it's pretty simple. why wouldn't we? at this moment in history, with everything that's going on, spend some time talking about the right to vote. senator mcconnell, the republican leader, says no, we shouldn't take any time to discuss the right to vote in the united states of america. he and many of our republican colleagues are threatening to use the age-old weapon against civil rights, the filibuster, to stop even a conversation on the floor of the united states senate about the right to vote. that would make the third time this year that senate republicans have used the filibuster to kill voting rights
legislation. they filibustered the for the people act twice this year after it passed the house. they said then that they support voting rights, but not that voting rights bill. they said more compromise was needed. well, you can't reach compromise on anything until you talk about it. and we're going to have a motion to proceed to talk about voting rights on the floor of the senate tomorrow. so if they want to offer a compromise, if they want to get into a conversation or a debate, that's the moment. this empty chamber, i wonder sometimes why we leave it the way it is. this would be a great meeting hall. we could rent it out for wedding receptions and have something productive happen on the floor of the united states senate. but instead this empty chamber day after day finds ways to avoid the important issues of our time. it's sad. there are very few of us who have been given this great honor and opportunity to serve in the senate. we're supposed to come and talk about the things that matter,
the things that matter in america isn't the right to vote one of the most important things that matters in this country? the freedom to vote act is a compromise itself. it's based on a set of principles offered by senator manchin of west virginia. now, senator manchin has made -- has not concealed the fact that he didn't agree with the original bill, but in fairness to him, he sat down in good faith and bargained a compromise bill. he's worked exhaustively for months with democrats, republicans, and independents to find some common ground. i salute him for that. that's what we all should be doing. the freedom to vote act includes reasonable national standards for a voter i.d. now, that's a big concession from the democratic side, because although many of our states have a voter i.d., many do not. and we believe in some cases in the past it's been abused, with
the fundamental concept of a voter i.d., i don't have any objection to, as long as it's managed and administered fairly, and that's what we're setting out to do. so if our republican colleagues are really worried about election integrity and making sure voters are who they say they are, wouldn't you think that they would at least vote to start the debate on the freedom to vote act, that we would have a conversation in the senate chamber that might even attract a handful of senators on both sides of the aisle to talk about the right to vote in america in the year 2021 and beyond? that just seems so basic. well, what the republicans say is the freedom to vote act is much more than just a debate topic. it is a federal takeover of our elections. that simply is not the case. the freedom to vote act does not create any undo -- undue burden on any state.
it sets reasonable standards for voting access in all states, including automatic and same-day voter registration, two weeks of early voting, no excuse mail-in voting. it establishes election day as a federal holiday. all of these proposals are consistent with the clear language of the constitution. it will protect nonpartisan election officials from undue pressure and protect politicians from overturning elections. the freedom to vote act makes it harder for billionaires an powerful corporations to buy elections. let's be real honest. members of congress and others run for office set out to raise money, but the important fundraising is taking place in a mystery, in a secret with black money and dark money that comes into an election with no independent indication of its source. it's going to prevent the flow of foreign money into u.s. elections. is there anybody who wants to
argue for the premise that we should allow foreigners to invest in our election results or to try to influence the electorate sometimes with misinformation and outright lies? i don't think they have any business interfering in our election, i think most americans agree with it. that's what the freedom to vote act says. in addition to that, dark money needs to get out of politics. if you want to support a candidate, so be it. but for goodness sake, say who you are. identify yourself, let the american people know who is pushing for one candidate or the other. organizations will be required to tell how much money they are giving. that's simple. pretty obvious. there was a time that level of disclosure was supported by the republican minority leader in the senate. i remember his speeches well on the floor of the senate.
he shifted 180-degrees on the topic now. last fall, 2020, americans braved a pandemic to vote in record numbers, exhausted legal challenges and recounts seeking to validate the outrageous lie of election fraud went nowhere. former president trump went to 50 or 60 different courts to argue that joe biden didn't win the election. he couldn't produce a shred of evidence. all he had were the ramblings and gossip and fake news, if you will, on the internet. it didn't work. rudolph giuliani came up with schemes, italy gate, that somehow the italians had satellites that controlled america's voting machinery, ridiculous. and when that didn't work, the former president decided he would take over the department of justice.
our judiciary committee, which we serve on, mr. president, went into extensive investigation of that and came up with detailed information which we released to the public two weeks ago and the republicans were in on all of our investigations. they were invited to question the witnesses, be present and see our majority report in advance. we wanted to make this bipartisan and fair and we did. and what they came up with was the president's failed attempt to take over the department of justice to force them to go to the states and say, don't validate the 2020 election. a few people stood up and showed courage in the department of justice and said they were prepared to resign before they bent to president trump's pressure, and that was a fact. that's what we're faced with now. this former president still marketing his lies across america about the outcome of the 2020 election. and we will not even take the time to discuss elections and voting.
the republicans will stop us with a filibuster. many politicians and many states continue to use the big lie of a stolen election to try to make it harder for citizens to vote in future elections. according to the brenten center for justice, 19 states paifd 33 -- passed 33 bills to make it harder for citizens to vote. hundreds of similar bills have been proposed in 49 states. the freedom to vote act, which we want to start the conversation on, just the conversation and debate on tomorrow is america's democracy defense act. i want to commend the bill's sponsors, senator amy klobuchar, i don't know anybody who has worked harder than she has as chair of the senate rules committee, senator manchin, he has been involved in the compromise, tim kaine, anxious
king -- senator kaine, senator king and rafael warnock, and particularly i want to acknowledge our majority leader chuck schumer for his leadership in this effort. he has worked hard at it trying to bring this matter before the american people on the floor. we've also been engaged in a similar process on an equally critical piece of legislation, the j.r. lewis voting rights act. i have been here long enough when the voting rights act came before the united states senate and got 98 votes. virtually all of the republicans and democrats voted for it. no controversy. they believed this product of the 1960's debate was fair. they said in certain states with a proven history of discrimination against minority voters, when they proposed changes in election laws, we would examine them, preclear them, as they say. the supreme court tossed out
that section and we have tried to restore it. i think the supreme court was wrong and maybe even naive in believing voting discrimination could not take place in the future. when there was a contest over the district maps in north carolina, and taken to a federal court, the court said, and i paraphrase, they worked with surgical precision to violate voting rights. the freedom to vote act is the first of two crucial steps to take what our friend and colleague john lewis said is a sacred right and i hope we take similar action on the voting rights act next week. the voting rights extension that ronald reagan signed in 1982 was
a compromise. the final bill proved that the differences could be settled in good will and good faith. wouldn't that be nice to have that happen on this empty floor of the senate tomorrow. that's all we ask of our senate colleagues, don't use -- offer amendments if you like, but work with us in goodwill and good faith to protect the voting rights that so many have sacrificed for. mr. president, i ask briefly allowed to peek at a separate place -- to speak at a separate place in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: thank you, mr. president. the republican minority leader came to the floor and once again spoke about inflation. and of course we're concerned about it and watching it closely. we are in an unusual place where we're rofg from a pandemic and -- recovering from a pandemic and getting back on our
feet. we have seen supply chain problems and we know things are stacked up trying to get into the united states. that was possibly unavoidable in the midst of a pandemic when consumer demand was created. but i also want to remind the republican leader from kentucky that his opposition to extending the debt ceiling unfortunately is also a problem when it comes to inflation. if there is uncertainty as to whether this nation will pay its just debts, obviously that will be reflected in the financial markets and higher interest rates. higher interest rates feed inflation. so the strategy of senator mcconnell when it comes to the debt ceiling is pro inflationary itself. also he talks about the socialist spending spree of the reconciliation bill, build back better, and he says in critical
terms, that the democrats argue that the cost of this will be, quote, zero dollars, close quote. he says what they don't say -- what democrats don't say is they have to impose massive tax hikes for this to happen. well, i might say to the senator from kentucky, we have been very open about what our tax policy would be to pay for build back better. that policy would say for those making over $400,000 would have to pay higher taxes. yes, we said it, those people would have to pay higher taxes. and corporations, that are escaping their just tax liability, would have to pay their fair share too. in those two instances, we are raising taxes, but the taxes don't touch the working people of this country or those in lower working income categories.
and he say, these are his words, a war on affordable energy. i just want to reflect on the word affordable energy. it is true that we have ample energy resources in most places in america. but to argue that they are affordable is to fail to take into account what the costs of climate change is in america and around the world. it is not affordable for us to have so many greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels that we are creating extreme weather events all across the world and we've seen them here in the united states. we've seen the fires in your state of california and in the northwest. we have seen the flooding all across the country, including the midwest. we have seen violent weather occurring at tiles of the year when historically it never occurs and we are paying a heavy price for climate change and global warming and the fact that we are so dependent on fossil
fuels. so when the democrats and it used to be a bipartisan issue, and it no longer is, but what the democrats sound the alarm about climate change and global warming it is because current energy sources are not affordable in terms of the future energy of our planet. we have -- we have to find a ber way. i'm sorry to see so many current politicians unable or unwilling to accept their responsibility to change this country and the world for the better and to leave an earth, a planet, an environment that our kids can live in. i don't think that's too much to ask and i think we ought to do our part. the last thing he went into, senator mcconnell went into this morning, was giving new powers to the i.r.s. to snoop. well, i guess that's true in some respects. we believe that people who owe taxes ought to pay them. and a vast majority of american families are honest, want to do
their civic duty, they file their taxes on time and pay every penny they are supposed to, not more, but every penny they are supposed to. yet there are many hiding that i assets, hiding their profits, hiding their revenues and height hiding -- and hiding their money from the i.r.s. they should be held accountable. why should they -- i think it is fair that everyone be held to the same standard. finally i want to say this. a memorandum by the attorney general merrick garland that senator mcconnell referred to earlier. he suggested that we are going after parents, that we want to somehow harass, intimidate and harass parents appearing before school boards. i went back to read the memorandum. it is explicit. those who engage in violent conduct at school board meetings
are going to be stopped. they are violating the law and they are violating the spirit of those meetings where communities come together to decide the fate and future of public education. i think the attorney general is right, we should have safety in that environment just as we expect on the floor of the united states senate. nothing more and nothing less. mr. president, i yield the floor.
mr. thune: are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: we are not. mr. thune: okay. the presiding officer: the republican whip. mr. thune: as i begin this morning, let me start by reacting to a couple of things said on the floor already by my democratic colleagues. you know, the republican leader when he was down here earlier talked about the impact of inflation on the economy and i have to tell you that's very
real, mr. president. the inflationary impact is felt all across the country, energy costs are up, gasoline costs are up by huge amounts. food costs are up in this country, housing costs are up. there isn't hardly any area where people aren't impacted by inflation, meaning that the dollars they earn are stretching less further all the time. and that is not -- it's not a fake thing, it's not a temporary thing. it's a real thing. people are experiencing it in their economic lives on a daily basis. and to hear the democrat leader say well, you know, all the spending that they're going to do is not going to cost anything, it's ■going tobe covered by tack increases and those tax increases are just going to hit -- by tax increases and those tax increases are just going to hit people in the higher income categories also is just something that isn't
accurate. now, let me just for a minute suggest something that i think is sort of fundamental when it comes to economics, and that is when you have too many dollars chasing too few of goods, you get inflation. the demand for a product goes up, and when the demand goes up, the price usually follows along with it. well, we have right now a lot of government dollars that have been swirling around in the economy for some time, which is why i think in many respects we're seeing this inflation, the highest inflation that we have seen literally in 30 years in this country, affecting, as i said earlier, kind of all sectors of the economy in things that people have to purchase in their daily lives. and if you put more dollars out there, which is what's being talked about by our democrat colleagues, another $3.5 trillion that would flood the economy, i think the expectation is a very real one that you're going to see that inflationary pressure
accelerate, intensify, because when you have got that much money, that many dollars chasing too few of goods, inflation is an inevitable result. and the idea that we need to spend another $3.5 trillion and that somehow that's going to be a solution right now also is not consistent at all with the facts and the data. we saw here just recently the congressional budget office come out with a report that suggested that government revenues, government revenues, mr. president, are at the highest level, biggest increase i should say year over year since 1977. we are now over $4 trillion this last year in revenues, $4 trillion. never happened before in this country. biggest one-year increase in revenues since 1977. paid for largely by corporate tax receipts which were up 75% year over year, and then also by individual income tax receipts, much of which was coming from
high-income earners. a lot of that increase that we have seen in income tax receipts in this country, in government revenues comes from those people who are high income earners. all that to say if you have got that much revenue coming in to the government in this country, why then would you need to go out and raise taxes even more and spend even more when you have got an economy that's in the process of recovering, people concerned about inflation, and the democrat solution to that is to spend more, put more money out there, raise taxes even higher at a time when you have got historic revenue coming in to the federal government? first time ever, ever in our nation's history that we have had over $4 trillion in revenue come in. so the other thing that was mentioned by my colleague from illinois just a minute ago is
that the issue of the tax gap which was alluded to earlier this morning on the floor by again the republican leader, the democrat solution is to go after people, essentially shake them down, and get them to pay more in taxes. i'm not suggesting for a minute that there aren't people out there who aren't paying the taxes that they should owe under the law and that the law needs to be enforced. what i am suggesting is that in the effort to close that so-called tax gap, there are huge differences of opinion about what effect that would have, how much could be generated and who was ultimately going to pay for that. well, now there is additional research out coming from the joint committee on taxation that, in fact, the democrat efforts to close the tax gap will hit lower income taxpayers the most. to say that none of the tax increases or none of the tax policies that are being proposed by the democrats in their
$3.5 trillion tax and spending spree proposal won't harm people who are making less than $400,000 a year is laughable. under any, any plausible review of these tax policies and proposals. but this one in particular hits hardest at low-income taxpayers. according to the joint committee on taxation, people making less than $50,000 a year will pay anywhere from 40% to 57% of all the revenue that's generated off of that one proposal. people making less than $100,000 a year will pay somewhere between 65% and 78% of all the taxes that are generated under that particular proposal in the democrat plan. people making less than $200,000 a year would pay up to 90% of the amount generated under that particular proposal in the democrats' plan.
so people making less than $200,000 a year are going to be paying tens of billions of dollars more in taxes just on that one proposal, which is out there allowing the i.r.s. essentially to snoop into people's personal transactions up to the $600 level. and i don't think there is any way can you get around the fact, mr. president, that under that scenario, people in the lower income categories are going to end up paying the lion's share of the cost of that. so this isn't going to be without cost, this isn't going to be without consequence. this is not going to be without impact on lower income taxpayers in this country. they are going to get hit and they are going to get hit hard under this democrat proposal. so when we talk about it, we're talking about real impacts, real economic impacts on the american people's lives, and we're going to continue to do everything we can to fight against really bad
tax policies being put in place to finance massive amounts of spending, expansion and growth of government at a time when government revenues just hit a historic high, never seen before. biggest year-over-year increase in revenue since 1977, and democrats want to raise taxes, taxes on everybody, including those in the lower income categories. mr. president, the biden border crisis continues unabated. in august, u.s. customs and border protection encountered 208,887 people attempting to illegally across our southern border, a 318% increase from august of 2020. now, for context, that number is bigger than the population of sue -- of sioux falls, south dakota, the largest city in my home state. mr. president, at this point, crisis is too mild of a description. things at the border are out of
control, and there is little to suggest that things will improve any time soon as the biden administration continues to permit an influx of migrant entries and has sought to install appointees who have lax views about enforcing our immigration laws. yet another sign of how bad things are, dozens of national guard members from south dakota recently deployed to our southern border. now, i know these south dakotans are always ready to serve wherever and whenever they are needed, and i am grateful for their service, but, mr. president, you would think that the border crisis would be at the top of the democrats' priority list here in washington, d.c., particularly when they have to call in the national guard from states around this country. but you would be wrong. in fact, the border crisis seems like barely a blip on democrats' radar, and it's not only the only crisis they are ignoring. our national security situation has taken a giant step backward with the president's disastrous afghanistan withdrawal, the taliban takeover of afghanistan.
and here at home, i mentioned earlier, inflation is rapidly becoming a serious and a long term, not a temporary problem. america's purchasing power is shrinking as they have to stretch their paychecks to cover the increase in the cost of everything from groceries to the price of gasoline. but none of that seems to matter to democrats. their main priority seems to be forcing through a $3.5 trillion partisan tax and spending spree that would permanently expand the reach of government into americans' lives. mr. president, where to start when it comes to democrats' tax and spending spree? well, there are tax hikes that would put american businesses at a disadvantage on a global stage and shrink jobs and opportunities for american workers. there is the death tax expansion that could put a lot of family farms and businesses in jeopardy. there are the major new entitlements -- free college, free preschool, subsidized day care, paid leave. yes, one of the major existing
entitlement programs, medicare, is rapidly heading toward insolvency, and instead of shoring up that program, democrats are expanding entitlements and putting the government on the hook for an unsustainable level of spending. and then there are items that get less attention, but they are just as troubling. mr. president, traditionally in the united states, individuals have picked the winners and losers through the free market, but the more you insert government into economic and family life, the more government ends up being the one making the decisions. government ends up picking the winners and losers. take the democrats' child care benefit. a 2020 bipartisan policy center survey found that among working families who used center-based child care, 53% used a faith-based center. 53%. but now democrats are coming in with their child care subsidies and in the process changing decades-old child care funding programs to favor secular child
care providers who provide care at day care centers. so if you're one of the 53% who chooses a faith-based provider for your child, you could be out of luck, not because you change your child care preferences but simply because democrats have set up their benefit to favor secular center-based child care providers, and democrats are repeating this pattern of picking winners and losers throughout their bill. labor unions win under this bill. democrats have included a special benefit that would expressly allow union members to deduct their union dues on their taxes. meanwhile, nonunion workers can expect to pay their usual tax bills. you only get special privileges if you're a union member, and if you're -- if you're one of the 90% of american workers who don't belong to a union, then you're not going to see any help as they subsidize the dues of those who do belong to a union. but i guess democrats want to make sure that they get those
union votes to come out election time. and of course there is not -- there is not the -- that is not the bill's only benefit for unions. there is funding for electronic voting systems for union elections and incentives to purchase an electric car from a union factory. unions, of course, are not the only winner. electric vehicle manufacturers, for one, also win. the bill clearly endorses electric vehicles as the, the climate change solution for the transportation sector. other clean energy technologies, notably biofuels, take a back seat in this bill. mr. president, i could go on all day when it comes to the spending priorities in this bill. like the fact that the bill dedicates more than $200 million, $200 million to urban agriculture. that's right. urban agriculture. mr. president, i'm not saying that you can't have a garden if you live in a city, but urban
gardens are never going to produce the volume of food needed to feed our country, and anyone who thinks they will doesn't know much about agriculture, which may be the problem here. democrats' tax and spending spree reads like the product of too much socialist daydreaming and not enough time spent learning about how things like agriculture, energy, and economies actually work. speaking of which, i haven't mentioned the democrats' tree equity measure. yeah. tree equity. democrats have allowed $3 billion prioritized for what they recently referred to -- have been referring to as tree equity. now, mr. president, i support and encourage planting trees, but i don't think the federal government can afford to spend $3 billion on tree equity, especially when democrats are planning to spend $200 million -- yeah, $200 million for a park in house
speaker pelosi's district that features luxury housing and a golf course and provide tax benefits for ivy league universities and other well-funded colleges, including a new tax credit for higher education institutions for teaching, quote, environmental justice, end quote, programs. then there are the tax credits for electric bicycles, bicycles that can cost up to $8,000. it may be just me, but if you can afford an $8,000 bicycle, i'm not sure you need a tax credit for it from the federal government. then, of course, democrats are planning to provide billions of dollars to fund a civilian climate corps to provide dozens of jobs for climate activists. and $20 billion for the creation of a national climate bank to fund democrats' pet environmental projects. mr. president, as you can see, this list goes on and on and on. the more you read the democrats'
bill with its massive expansion of government, its historic tax hikes, and its payoffs to liberal constituencies, the more you realize that there is pretty much no area of life that democrats think wouldn't be better run by the federal government. but my fellow republicans and i still believe in a vibrant private economy and in the right of individuals and families to run their lives as they see fit. and so we will continue to oppose democrats' social spending spree and continue to fight to secure a future of prosperity, opportunity, and freedom, freedom for each and every american. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that i and senator cornyn be able to complete our remarks prior to the vote.
the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: thank you. mr. president, i just want my colleagues to know that the senate appropriations committee yesterday released nine appropriations bills. they allocate important resources. they help to address the oppressive priorities of america's families and communities. but they also promote u.s. national security. for more than a decade this country has underinvested in our children, in our infrastructure, in science, in public health. frankly, that means we underinvested in our future. these bills include historic increases to educate our nation's children, to combat climate change, promote affordable housing, and improve
health care. and i'm proud of the work of the committee in producing these bills, and i commend each of the subcommittee chairs for their commitment to america's future. the bills comply with the top-line spending allocation contained in the fiscal year 2022 budget resolution that was passed by both the house and the senate earlier this year. so you combine this with the three bills reported from the appropriations committee in august, the bills provide a 13% increase for nondefense discretionary programs and a 5% increase for defense programs compared with what fiscal year 2021 enacted.
the 5% increase for defense program, that's consistent with the national defense authorization act, ndaa, which was reported by the senate armed services committee on an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote, and it passed the house last month again with overwhelming bipartisan support. the labor, health, and human services education bill includes doubling fund for title 1-a grants for educational agencies, that program i mentioned is the foundation of federal support to schools across this country. it also increases funding for the child care development block grant by 23%, and we do this to
provide high-quality child care and education to working families across the nation. it provides a 24% increase over last year for the centers for disease control, to strengthen u.s. public health infrastructure. we know we have to do that in the wake of a global pandemic that has created terrible problems in that area. the commerce, justice, science bill provides historic funding levels for the department of justice violence against women act programs. that's a 48% increase over the last fiscal year. it's the largest appropriation for a violence against women act since its creation. the transportation, housing, urban development bill includes
significant increases to reduce homelessness, improve housing conditions, increase affordability, something that touches all 50 of our states. the interior bill includes significant resources to promote conservation, to preserve our natural infrastructure, and protect our federal lands. and we made climate change front and center in drafting these bills, and each contains new and critical funding to help combat this challenge. for example, for the first time ever we invested $54 million in a new climate conservation corps, and we provide historic increases -- 46% over last yeard climate program. and for the first time in four years the u.s. will contribute to the green climate fund and the clean technology fund,
rejoining the international fight -- and it has to be an international fight -- against climate change. we had a global retreat with the last president. the united states is standing up again and is back in the game. but we also make historic investments in medical research. i don't know anybody who doesn't want us to always improve our medical research. it ensures that america remains on the cutting edge of advanced medical science and research. we put a 6% increase for the national institutes of health and $2.4 billion to create the first-ever advanced research projects agency for health, and that's because of the president's bold and promising proposal to accelerate the pace of breakthroughs in medicine.
and finally the bills contain critical funding increases for mental health and behavioral health services and to combat substance abuse, something that is a problem in every single state. these funds are desperately needed as we see the rates of anxiety and depression soar during the covid-19 pandemic. and drug overdose deaths are expected to reach their highest levels to date. these are just some of the highlights of the important programs funded in the nine bills we released yesterday. they'll make a real dimps in the lives of -- make a real difference in the lives of millions of americans especially after the tough year we faced with covid-19. these bills demonstrate the good work we could do with the top line of the fiscal year 2022 budget resolution which was passed by the senate and the house earlier this year.
i wish we could have followed regular order and done these bills in committee, but our republican colleagues said they would prevent any additional consideration of bills until we have a negotiated top line. i cannot, will not allow that to stop our work. it would be irresponsible. we need to move the ball forward. and posted in these bills, we show the american people what we're for. some on the other side of the aisle may characterize these bills as partisan. that's simply not true. in the spirit of comity and bipartisanship, which is the tradition of our appropriations committee, we worked hard to accommodate the funding priorities of all members, both democrats and republicans, and
the posted bills reflect that effort with many, many of the priorities of republicans and many of the priorities of democrats. i'm proud of the work of this committee in producing these bills, but our job is not done. the federal government is existing under, and operating under a continuing resolution, but only until december 3. time will go by very quickly around here. between now and then it's imperative that we make progress on negotiating a top line, one that's bipartisan and bicameral so we can enact these bills into law. i think we struck the right balance with the bills we produced and made public this week. as with everything in congress, we rarely end where we begin. so i look forward to work with
chair delauro, ranking member granger, vice member shelby to move forward with the goal of enacting all 12 bills by december 3. if we fail to do that, then we face a long-term continuing resolution which would lock in outdated spending priorities that will not serve the american people and will not meet the challenges of today, and unfortunately will not contain those things that both republicans and democrats have asked and which have been included in the bills that we have put in. mr. president, i know that my friend and colleague from texas is waiting to speak, so i will yield the floor. mr. cornyn: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from texas.
mr. cornyn: mr. president, i thank my friend, the senior senator from vermont, for his courtesy. tomorrow the senate will vote on the latest iteration of what has come to be known as the democrats' partisan power grab over our elections, conducted overwhelmingly by the states. actually exclusively at the state and local level. the legislation that prompted this discussion first popped up in 2019 when the newly elected majority in the house went on a messaging bill spree. over the last two years they've tried a number of different marketing strategies to convince the american people that this overhaul was needed. this latest version is proof that congress isn't buying what they're selling, and that's for good reason. at one point they said -- and those who were advocating for a
national takeover of our state-run elections, at one point they said it was a matter of election security. then they said this was designed to help restore voter confidence. then they said this is a way to remove obstacles that prevented people from voting. but facts are stubborn things. in 2020, we saw record turnout. two-thirds of eligible voters cast a ballot, and that was the highest turnout in 120 years. i was on the ballot, mr. president, in 2020. the last time i had been on the ballot, six years previously, there were 4.8 million voters in texas. in 2020, there were 11.3 million voters in texas. compared to the 2016 presidential election, 17 million more americans cast a
vote, and we saw historic turnouts by black, white, asian, and hispanic voters. so facts being stubborn things, clearly it's time for the advocates for this federal takeover to come up with a new sales pitch. so our democratic friends attacked election integrity bills being passed by state legislatures like texas all across the country. the constitution itself gives states the power to determine how their election should be run, and states are using that authority to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat. our democratic friends have tried to frame this, these new state laws as somehow suppressing voting rights. as we've seen, if that's the objective, they certainly are doing a lousy job at it because people are voting in unprecedented numbers.
well, it's interesting to contrast some of the changes that our democratic colleagues, including the america -- including the merrick garland's department of justice compare the form that they attacked and those they believe are just fine. the georgia law, which the department of juts -- justice sued expanded early voting to 17 days. but if you live in massachusetts, you can only vote for 11 days. i haven't heard much complaints, many complaints about the massachusetts voting laws restricting people's access to the polls. in the president's home state of delaware, they don't even offer in-person early voting, but they will in 2022. but even then, they're even more restrictive than
massachusetts. it will only be for ten days. so somehow a short period of early voting in delaware is acceptable -- actually currently not available, soon to be acceptable for ten days -- but 17 days of early voting in georgia is an assault on voting rights. both cannot be true. of course, our democratic friends believe the only answer to this manufactured assault is an unconstitutional partisan power grab that they've been pushing for years, as i've said. well, the initial iteration of this came up for a vote in june. and it was soundly rejected for good reason. the bill would have turned the bipartisan federal election commission into a demo democrat-controlled commission. this is supposed to be evenly
split and nonpartisan but that would change under the proposal that we voted on in june. it would have also allowed ballot harvesting, a dubious practice that is a recipe for mischief and wrongdoing as a ballot could be harvested by paid campaign staffers, political operatives, or anyone who had a stake in the outcome of the election. just go to your closest nursing home or community center, get people to sign a ballot and harvest away. that would have been permitted and actually prohibitions against ballot harvesting would have been prohibited under the democrats' bill. and the bill would have commandeered state's constitutional authority to draw their own congressional districts. the only thing this proposal would have done for the people as it is called would be to help make sure that virtually the
outcome -- the outcome of virtually every future election meant that democrats win and republicans lose. thus, republicans would be relegated to a permanent minority status. that was the goal. if this bill weren't so dangerous trks would have been laugh -- dangerous, it would have been halfable. no -- laughable. no one would have taken it seriously. the only surprise, the only bipartisan about this legislation is opposition. both the house democrats and republicans voted against this legislation. still, our democratic colleagues -- i admire their perseverance -- they refused to throw in the towel. they decided to work on what they now call a compromise. well, generally a compromise indicates that you found common ground with somebody who holds a different view. but the so-called compromise bill we're scheduled to vote on tomorrow isn't the result of negotiations between republicans
and democrats. it's a compromise between the left and the radical left. you really can't call something a compromise when you're negotiating a partner sitting on the same side of the table with you. all of this is done to create the illusion or narrative that the partisan pieces have been stripped out of the bill and it now includes mainstream reforms. but that's far from the truth. just like its predecessor, this bill seizes states' constitutional authority to make decisions on matters like voter registration and early voting. it contains invasive disclosure requirements that would undermine citizens' privacy and chill free speech. it places federal standards on states for redistricting and threatens action from the democratic-controlled attorney general's office if those
standards aren't met. and it makes it harder to root out election fraud and easier to cheat. well, if that's not bad enough, it also takes tax dollars from the american taxpayer and would require it be given to candidates for public office that those taxpayers disagree with. they call that public funding of elections. well, nothing about the bill is a compromise. they may have stripped out some of the most outrageous provisions but certainly overtly partisan provisions remain. republicans uniformly oppose the first attempt at this partisan power grab. it's no surprise we'll oppose this one as well. this is not a good-faith attempt to ensure our elections are secure from fraud and interference and accessible to all eligible voters.
it's rather a political stunt and statement designed to mislead the american people and appeal to the most radical members of the democratic base. i'm certainly not one to tell the majority leader how to do his job but it seems like show votes ought to be pretty low on our list of priorities. our democratic colleagues nearly averted a debt crisis two weeks ago and they have respect than -- have less than two months to figure out how to decrease the debt ceiling and avoid an economic disaster. in the coming months the senate needs to do what has become an annual tradition which is passioned national defense authorization act to give our troops the support they deserve and our commanders the predictability they need for the future. and we need to pass a full slate of appropriation bills to avoid a government shutdown just before the holidays. those are the things we need to
do at a bare minimum. we should also be advancing legislation to avert or to address the border crisis which has been raging on since january. we need to reauthorize the violence against women act. we need to bring down sky high drug prices and approve accountability and transparency in policing. there's a lot we should be doing to solve real problems that deserve action from the country and which our constituents deserve as well. there's a strong appetite for bipartisan work on both sides of the aisle, but the leadership of the democratic party has effectively stonewalled partisan legislating in favor of a completely partisan approach. it's really a head scratcher. our democratic colleagues don't have the kind of majorities that n.d.r. -- f.d.r. had during the
new deal. we have a 50-50 senate with the vice president as the tieb tiebreaker. common sense ought to tell you that that demands and requires bipartisan legislating, not these kinds of show votes. we have a long list of tasks that are far more important than virtue signaling. so i hope our colleagues will reevaluate the wisdom of this parade of partisan bills and spend time working with us to find where we have common ground, where we can actually pass legislation and make a difference for our country. until that time, we'll continue to oppose partisan attacks on our nation's elections and any other damaging politically motivated bills democrats bring to the senate floor. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president?
the presiding officer: the senator from maine. mr. king: with regard to the comments of the esteemed senator from texas, i would suggest if your colleagues are interested in election reform and election laws that we have a dialogue and that we have some discussion. i would welcome a proposal from your side of the aisle on election laws and how we deal with efforts to suppress the vote in other parts of the country and also to change the electoral count act. is the senator interested in those entering into such discussions? mr. cornyn: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: if i may respond to the senator from maine. i'm always interested in working on bipartisan bills and finding common ground. i think my record, as the senator knows, we've worked together on a number of things. the problem is they want to
nationalize the election. they want to take the authority away from the states which is clearly given to the states under the constitution. but if we can take that off the table and talk about some other areas, we can work together in that area, i would be more than happy to work with my friend from maine. mr. king: not to prolong the discussion -- the presiding officer: the senator from maine. mr. king: afort cal 1, section 4 of the constitution makes it abundantly clear that the responsibility for election administration is a joint one between the states and the congress. and that the congress at any time can alter regulations or the efforts to control the vote in a particular state. that's been true ever since the drafting of the constitution. it was true at the time of the passage of the 15th amendment. it was true at the time of the passage of the voting rights act. so i look forward to the possibility of working with any colleague on protecting the
sacred right to vote in this country. i'll have further comments on this later today. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the clerk will now 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 debate on the nomination of executive calendar number 261, christine p. o'hearn of new jersey to be united states district judge for the district of new jersey 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 christine p. o'hearn of new jersey to be united states district judge for the district of new jersey shall be brought to a close. the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll.
live coverage when the senate returns here on c-span2. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government founded by these companies and more including cox . >> cox is committed to providing eligible families access to affordable internet through the connect program . one connected and engaged student at the time. cox, bringing us closer. >> cox supports c-span asa public service along with these other television providers giving you a front row seat to democracy . >> now conversation with two retired marine generals about us military power and bureaucratic challenges
facing the military. the atlantic council is the hostof this discussion . >> good afternoon everyone and welcome. i'm president and ceo of the atlantic council. thank you for joining us today for our event on maximizing military power and minimizing bureaucratic barriers. i hope you'll forgive me, a personal comments before we get started. today marks the passing of general colin powell, one of america's great soldiers and statesmen. i helped guide the us military to victory in the 1991 persian gulf war as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. he is the holder of the highest honor of the atlantic council fleadership award which