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tv   U.S. Senate U.S. Senate  CSPAN  October 25, 2021 2:59pm-7:25pm EDT

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hard. what incentive is there for parents to encourage students to work hard because you don't get that certain criteria? that something we need to work on and actually mentioned, it's important these stories and retell it from people's perspective that we understand and senator marshall, i agree with you, more women power over here, what people talk about, we're the ones raising kids, where they want to understand how much a gallon of milk costs, we need to talk at that level and talking about -- >> we will leave this event to take you live now to the u.s. senate. part of our 40 year commitment of live coverage on congress. today senate lawmakers will consider executive and judicial
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nominations. coming about 5:30 p.m. eastern, typically expect both on the nomination of douglas parker to be secretary of labor. also confirmation vote for the u.s. court of appeals judge for the second circuit live coverage 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. everlasting father, enable us to love you with all our hearts,
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souls, minds, and strength. give us humility so we can see your divine image in the people around us and serve you by serving them. let this love expressed in service transform our senators, nation, and world. lord, guide our lawmakers. make them kind in thought, gentle in speech, and generous in actions. help them to avoid the arena of combative words and seek a caring community of integrity, respect, and civility. lord, teach them that it is
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better to give than to receive, as you lead them to a humility that seeks great things for others. we pray in your precious name. amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in the pledge of allegiance. 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.
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the president pro tempore: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. ms. hirono: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from hawaii. ms. hirono: i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. schumer: madam president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: so ordered. mr. schumer: the senate begins with votes to confirm two highly qualified nominees, one to serve in his administration and another to serve on the federal bench. first we will vote to confirm mr. douglas parker to serve as
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an assistant secretary of labor for osha, a veteran of the labor department from the obama administration, mr. parker would be the first senate confirmed osha head since the obama presidency. he has a proven track record of protecting everyday americans in the workplace. more important now than ever before. and i look forward to his confirmation later today. the fact that the previous administration left osha empty for four years shows how little they cared about worker safety and protecting our workers as they -- many of them do difficult jobs. second, the senate will also proceed to the confirmation of a truly outstanding judicial nominee, myrna perez to serve as circuit judge for the second circuit which includes my home state of new york. it's a good day for the second circuit and for the entire federal judiciary. if confirmed myrna perez would be a remarkable, remarkable addition to the bench.
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she'd be the only hispanic juror to sit on the second circuit and the first since justice sonia sotomayor. and just as i was proud to support justice sotomayor's nomination, i even subjected her name -- suggested her name to the supreme court with president obama that i'm proud of, i'm also proud to champion her elevation to the bench. her life is the embodiment to the american dream. the daughter of mexican immigrants she grew up in san antonio, texas, where her father was an army veteran who worked as a consultant while her mother worked in the post office. as myrna herself will tell you, growing up in a family of immigrants often met breaking through linguistic, culture -- cultural and racial barriers and perhaps nowhere else did these barriers leave an important imprint on myrna than when her aunt took her to the polls on election day.
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it was there when she realized an election system built from bbyzantine rules counted out -- it's a first for making our democracy work for all and that's become her life's work. after graduating from yale, harvard and columbia, myrna eventually joined the brennan center for justice becoming the director of its voting rights and election program. over the course of her career, myrna has become one of the nation's top voting rights and election lawyers playing a key role in making sure americans could vote safely in the 2020 election. she also has fought unlawful purges of voter rolls, spoken out against long wait times and has played major roles preparing six amicus briefs before the supreme court, including one for the shelby case in 2013. but mere take's qualifications
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are not limited to her experience as a voting rights litigator. she's also a brilliant attorney with experience in fair housing law, disability rights, and employment discrimination. in the words of one former colleague, her skills as a lawyer are simply, quote, off the charts. madam president, the cupboards of the federal judiciary have long been filled with attorneys who have taken the traditional route on the their way to the bench, a big law firm, corporate experience, prosecutorial experience. many of those jurists have done commendably on the bench and i have been proud to support many of them over the years. but myrna perez represents something different, something wonderfully different, a sorely needed boost in both the personnel and professional diversity of the federal bench. especially now, we need more election lawyers in black robes. we need more federal defenders in black robes. we need more innocents and civil rights lawyers and diverse candidates assuming positions on
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the bench. we need, in other words, for our courts to reflect the bich mosaic that is the american people. and with myrna perez's nomination, i'm glad we are taking a step closer to that goal, and i hope she is confirmed later today. now, in addition to myrna perez's nomination, i've also filed cloture on five additional judicial nominations which we will begin working on tomorrow. it's my hope that we can work to process these nominees through the chamber quickly. they're all outstanding individuals with proven records of if i dealt to the rule of lae of law. as we keep making progress on many pressing issues to help the american people, senate democrats will also continue working swiftly to fill judicial vacations with qualified, mainstream jurists who again add to the bench's diversity. both demographic and occupational. and all year long, that's precisely what we have done. this year, the senate has
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already confirmed the first native american and muslim americans to the bench, to the federal bench, as well as multiple civil rights attorneys, public defenders, voting rights experts, and more. mr. schumer: thank you, madam president. i yield the floor, but i may return. i'm missing a page here. thank you.
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mr. schumer: madam president, may i continue my remarks, and they be shown in the record just before i left off? the presiding officer: without objection. the senator is recognized. mr. schumer: so, madam president, this is how we work to strengthen not only the diversity in our judiciary but the public's trust that it truly represents all americans. now, madam president, on build back better. we had a productive weekend as we continued to close in on a final agreement for president biden's build back better plan. yesterday morning, i traveled to delaware to meet with the president and senator manchin about our agenda. it was a very good meeting, and i thank the president for his leadership, and i also thank my colleagues in both chambers for their shared commitment to getting this consequential and desperately needed legislation across the finish line. no one ever said passing
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transformational legislation like this would be easy, but we are on track to get this done. because it's so important, and it is what the american people need and what they want. the progress of last week illustrated if we stick together, work towards finding that legislative sweet spot, then we can get big things done for the american people. i yield the floor, note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. mcconnell: madam president. the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: the biggest tax hikes in 50 years, the biggest peacetime tax hikes ever recorded in american history, that is what washington
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democrats are cooking up. our democratic colleagues and president biden are behind closed doors dreaming up creative new ways to grab literally historic amounts of the american people's money. remember the same socialist spending plans that democrats claimed cost zero dollars somehow also need staggering new tax hikes to pay for them. so even with significant inflation, runaway gas prices, and runaway energy costs already hitting american families in their pocketbooks, washington democrats have spent months dreaming up new cash grabs for the i.r.s. democrats have talked about massively hiking business taxes to a level that would leave american industries paying more than their competitors in communist china.
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they've talked about jacking up marginal income tax rates in ways that would hammer small businesses and family businesses that file. they have talked about adding a second death tax to give the i.r.s. an even bigger bite out of family farms. they have even promised something that our country has never seen before. a new i.r.s. surveillance dragnet where the i.r.s. would get to track ordinary citizens' inflows and outflows. banks and credit unions would be forced to hand over americans' private information to the i.r.s. the democrats are so desperate to shake down the american people for money that they are proposing to essentially treat everybody, everybody like they are under audit. for months now, our democratic colleagues have been toying with one staggering tax increase after another.
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we have seen one disappointing jobs report after another, one historic inflation report after another, but democrats are still convinced that the biggest peacetime tax hikes on record in american history are just what the doctor ordered. of as one -- as one news report explained, the scramble has opened the door to potential tax proposals that progressives could only have dreamed of, just dreamed of a few years ago. the far left is officially calling the shots, and that's where the latest new craziness comes into the picture. if public reporting has it right, the democrats are so desperate to raise taxes that they are now proposing to tax money the american people haven't even made yet. let me say that again. they're now proposing to tax money the american people haven't even made yet. yes, you heard me right.
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so much for the quaint idea that you had to actually make money first before the i.r.s. could tax it. now democrats want to tax money you haven't made yet. they are already -- there are already capital gains taxes that americans pay when they cash out an investment, when they sell what they have been holding, and realize actual gains. now democrats want to go much further and tax certain citizens just because their holdings have gone up in value, regardless of whether they have actually sold them and made any money. and get this. in parallel with taxing people on hypothetical gains they haven't realized, they apparently also want to hand out tax breaks for hypothetical losses, losses that people haven't realized. so they want to tax gains they
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haven't realized and hand out tax breaks for losses people haven't realized. this hair-brained scheme would have the i.r.s. penalizing people who invested wisely and compensating people who have invested poorly. all independent of whether they have actually made or lost any money. this hair-brained scheme would have the i.r.s. penalizing people who have invested wisely and compensating people who have invested poorly, all independent of whether they have actually made or lost any money. so let's just think of the unintended consequences. like the fact that in the event of a market crash or financial crisis, the government would be on the hook for massive automatic tax cuts for billionaires.
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or the fact that some experts suggest this new scheme would drive the wealthiest americans away from stocks and bonds, push them into other tax shelters, and thereby reduce the growth and ordinary americans' investments that households rely on for college funds and 401(k)'s. or the fact that new innovative entrepreneurs whose start-ups increase in value could be hit by a crushing tax bill. the next visionary start-up founder could have to sell away ownership prematurely just to pay uncle sam. so our democratic colleagues have become so tax-hike happy that they're throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. they are talking about rewiring the economy on the backs of a couple discussions. it is a change that has not
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received any, any meaningful study or scrutiny. even the democratic chairman of the house ways and means committee is complaining, quote, it hasn't been mark add up and there's been no vetting of it, end quote. our democratic colleague, the senior senator from montana, says, quote, anytime you get into stuff that's not proven in the tax code, it becomes a bit dangerous, end quote. the senior senator from virginia says, quote, my fear is that we're going to try something innovative -- some innovative new ideas and we don't have time to develop them, we could mess some of this up. no kidding, madam president. this is just the latest saga in this long parade of democratic tax hikes. nonpartisan analysis has shown that various aspects of the democratic plans would shatter
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president biden's promise to leave the middle class alone. i guarantee you, the middle class will get hit. when republicans had power, we prioritized giving americans a big tax cut. we wanted families to keep more of their own money and make american businesses more competitive all around the world. democrats want the opposite. historic tax hikes so families keep less, washington gets more, and our competitors like china can pop the champagne. the presiding officer: morning business is closed. under the previous order, the senate will proceed to executive session and resume consideration of the following nomination, which the clerk will report.
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the clerk: nomination, the judiciary. jia m. cobb of virginia to beious district judge for the district of columbia. mr. durbin: madam president? the presiding officer: the majority whip. mr. durbin: madam president, you know, it's possible -- it's just possible that the republican senator from kentucky, who is the minority leader on the floor, has been sitting in on the revenue negotiations for the reconciliation bill. it's possible. i don't rule it out. it's possible that we didn't know it but he was actually sitting for breakfast in wilmington, delaware, with schumer and manchin and other leaders as they were hammering out the revenue and tax portions. but i doubt it. i doubt that the senator from kentucky has really been in the inner workings and decision process of what is going to be in the revenue package when it comes to the reconciliation
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bill. i couldn't tell you. maybe the presiding officer knows more than i do, but it's a matter of negotiation. and it's ongoing. and it has not been agreed to. and yet when you hear the senator from kentucky come to the floor, he is announcing what's going to be in the package, as if he knows. i don't think he does. there are a couple things that we do know for sure. we know what the republican vision of tax policy in america is because they have shown it to us over and over again. when donald trump was elected president, the republican senators had a chance to do their reconciliation package and they devoted it to changing the tax code and to no one's surprise, they came through with their time-honored approach cut taxes on wealthiest people in america and the poor and middle-class people will be happy as clams. well, they did it and did it again and added to the deficit in the process.
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in fact, under their republican president, do not, -- president, donald trump, we had the largest increase in the debt than any president in the country's history. when talking to us about tax policy, they favor the rich and impact on the deficit, that's don't pay any attention to it when they have a president of their own party. here's what we know as well. one of our provisions in the american rescue plan under president biden really specifically went after helping working families and lower-income families. and it bears remembering and repeating, not a single republican was willing to vote for that package in either the senate or the house. they all voted against it. and one of the things included in it was a tax break for families with kids. how about that, a tax break for
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families with kids instead of a tax break for the multimillionaires and billionaires which were part of the republican package four years ago. so it basically came down to kids under the ages of six, parents received $300 a month in a tax break. and those between six and 18 -- i think these figures are correct -- received $250 a month. that money flowing to these families with children was the largest tax cut -- it really dwarfed anything that the republicans ever did to help working families. and we're trying to keep it on the books. i am. i think you are, too. and all of us are. and you know why? because we have too darn many families struggling in america and they're in poverty. and we talk a lot about it and isn't it a darn shame in a great country like this that you can't afford food for your children, you can't afford a roof over
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your head, you're facing eviction, you can't afford the basics to send them to school, you can't afford new clothes and a good pair of shoes. we say, isn't it a darn shame? and now we've done something about it in the american rescue plan, without a single republican vote, not one. so our tax policy helps lower-income families, particularly those with children, and if week do it, i think we can, we can engineer it to make it permanent to help families. i just heard president biden -- he was in new jersey speaking about infrastructure and build back better, the reconciliation plan. he's said that this the state of new jersey this child tax credit which we enacted without a single republican vote helping us has reduced child poverty in that state by 36%. i bet ya it's done the same thing in my state if it's done it in new jersey.
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so we're getting practical results that help working families. and if we have our way in reconciliation, we are going to give the largest tax cut in the history of this country to middle-income around working families, exactly the opposite of what the senator from kentucky just said. oh, it'll be the biggest tax increase in the history. well, there will be a tax increase, i hope, for those who can afford to pay it, and that means the same people who got a benefit four years ago from the trump republican tax policy. a lady named lydia in my home state of illinois described what this means to her. she wrote to my office. she said, with the child tax credit, i'll be able to buy my kids their school supplies, clothes, things they need to go back to school, and she added, be able to buy some groceries. think about the last time that any senator stopped and thought, i wonder if i'll have enough
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money to buy groceries this week? here is a mom that says that our tax policy, the one that was just criticized by the senate republican leader, is helping her. well, if the republicans were in charge, i'm afraid they would take that money that lydia who wrote to me is talking about it buy groceries and put if right in jeff besos' pocket. i have nothing against jeff besos. he has done fabulously well. i've talked to him once, maybe twice, a long, long time ago. i am not opposed to people investing in business, being successful and making money. but i don't believe that his income should be somehow walled off from the tax code. i believe he ought to pay his fair share. and if i remember correctly, and i'd stand corrected if i am, i don't believe he paid taxes last year. so we're looking at that and saying, mr. besos,
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congratulations. amazon is a big deal. most of us are participating in it. but you ought to pay some of taxes. if you can build rockets and take your friends up for a little shot into space, shouldn't you pay a few bucks in taxes? i don't think it is unreasonable. the same thing holds true for these corporations. too darn many of them pay no federal taxes. what's going on here? we live in a country where success leads to wealth and wealth leads, i think, to some responsibility, some social responsibility, and that includes paying your taxes. under president biden's build back better agenda, we want to extend the child tax credit, give working families a little breathing room, and reduce child poverty in america. now, if they want to come up and criticize us for reducing child poverty in america, so be it. but call it for what it is. we're putting our tax policy on
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the side of families with kids. for our republicans who say families like lydia's don't need any help, they do. not a single republican will vote for this reconciliation bill. we know it. they didn't vote for the rescue plan. that's just their choice. i'm sorry to say that we're not going to build back america better unless we change some policy, and tax policy to help working families makes a difference. and i mentioned how the deficit skyrocketed during the trump administration. well, the senator from kentucky comes and repeats over and over again, they're going to do it again, they're going to run up the deficit. we have a plan to pay for the programs that we are talking about, and it means putting a new tax responsibility on people who are wealthy. the president made it clear, i don't want taxes going up on anybody making less than $400,000 a year.
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so we're -- any tax policy we have will affect the wealthy and corporations that aren't paying their fair share. that's our approach, quite a bit different than the republican approach. building back better is also going to do something about easing long-term inflationary pressure and making life affordable for families. the things we invested in in the build back better agenda are spread over a number of years, and they'll pave the way for an enduring economic recovery. these policies will help parents get back to work by making safe, reliable child care more access ible. i don't know what the final negotiations will be on build back better. io know the amount of money involved is -- we know that the amount of money involved is is going to be less than originally thought. we're going to have to change some things. but i certainly hope that this idea of child care, affordable, quality, safe child care is part of the final package. it means so much to so many working families, particularly
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to moms who can't get back to work unless they have peace of mind and have their kids in good hands while they're working. everyone from single mothers to our nation's economists can tell you the best way to stabilize the american economy is by supporting working families. in fact, a report by moody's concluded that the republican fearmongering about inflation -- and we hear it every day on the floor -- moody's called it, quote, overdone. moody's is hardly a democratic publication. but the fear is one of the republicans talk about for not wanting to change tax policy in america. this has shown us cracks in our economy, this pandemic. this build back better will get us to the point where we can start to rebuild it in the right way. give families financial relief, invest in our nation's economic potential. the president said in new jersey, and i couldn't agree with him more, we have never
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gone wrong in america investing in the people in this country. we have a lot of hardworking people. they do it every single day for their families. those who chairwoman this country keep up the -- those who come to this country keep up the tradition. they need the tools to succeed. one of those tools is education. i hope we can find a way to expand opportunities for training for our workers in the 21st century. talking about giving away the store to the chinese, if we don't invest in our workers, in their training and education, and in the next generation to make sure it is smarter than the last, then we're going to lose ground to the chinese. you know, i want to say one last word here. i see the senator from ohio is here. so i'm going to be quick about this. it is easy to overlook -- take a look at this chart. it is easy to overlook computer chips, small pieces of silicon.
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they power some appliances we use every day. they're in our computers, smartphones, lifesaving medical equipment, appliances, microwaves, and our cars. dozens even in the cars that we triumphant there is a global shortage of microchips. that's one of the reasons why it's slowed down production of new vehicles and why the market for used vehicles is tighter than usual, because of these little chips. and we've become too reliant on foreign countries to produce them. in a bill we considered we put direct investment in america in building microchips, i think that's money well spent. i hope it works. i think it can. if we can provide these microchips, we don't have to wait for some company in taiwan or china to send us this critical element that's needed to build all these products. the global shortage of computer chips and the higher cost to consumers is one example how we
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failed to invest in nations resilience. i have to say education, investment in american production and workers is the best way to get this economy moving again. we need to have a reserve supply of these chips so that we can build the autos and provide for the assembly lines and stabilize prices for everything from toasters to tractors. it's an important undertaking, and i hope my colleagues will realize that build back better, a reconciliation bill, is dedicated to the same premise. let me close with reference to a vote that we face today. we have another qualified nominee, myrna perez, for the second circuit court of appeals. she is really competent and experienced. she's been handles complex civil litigation and ready to serve on the second circuit on day one. degree from yale university, harvard university, and
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columbia law school. after graduating, she clerked for u.s. distributor court for the -- u.s. district court for the district of pennsylvania and the third circuit court of appeals, dedicated her career to defending america's right to vote through her work at the brennan center for justice, where she serves as director of the voting rights and election section. in this capacity, she led their effort to defend the voting rights act and to protect, as john lewis said, this precious, sacred right. far too few nominees to the federal bench is significant experience handling civil rights and voting rights. in ms. perez, the senate has the opportunity to confirm a judge who will bring that experience to the bench. she understands the difference between being an advocate and a judge. i have every confidence she'll serve with diligence, fairness and impartiality. she will bring demographic diversity. she will be the first latina to serve on that court since former
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judge sonya sotomayor. ms. perez's nomination has received broad support, academics, faith leaders, as well as senators from her own state, senator schumer and gillibrand. one group of police chiefs and sheriffs and prosecutors sent a letter extolling her virtues and i'll ask that be entered into the record without outer continental shelf. the presiding officer: without objection d without objection objection. mr. durbin: several faith leaders, one who wrote ms. perez is an individual of the highest integrity, thoughtful, sound in her judgment, committed to principles of judgment that transcends politics. she will be an exceptional federal judge. she received bipartisan support in the judiciary committee. in short health care reforms she's a seasoned litigator ready to take on an important job. i hope my colleagues will join me in supporting her. i yield the floor.
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the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. portman: i'm here on the floor again h this evening to talk about the legislation that's before us. one is the bipartisan infrastructure legislation that passed this chamber with 69 votes. it's great for america. it addresses real problems we have in upgrading our infrastructure, but it also deals with competitiveness. my colleague from illinois just made a good point that we are in a global competition with other countries, including china. one reason we're not doing as well as we should is that the other countries are putting a lot more of their money into infrastructure because it's good for their economies, and we're
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not. as an example, china spends a lot more as a percent of their g.d.p. on infrastructure than we do. much more. and so bridges and roads and railways and ports, ports, a bill problem right now, all these would be -- would make our economy more efficient and allows us to be able to compete globally. right now with supply chain issues, which freight with the rail system, our highway system, our port system or waterway system, all of which need help, it would be easier for us to deal with this transition we're going through if we had better infrastructure. the infrastructure bill unfortunately has gotten intertwined with another bill over in the house of representatives. although it passed here on its own merits, standing alone as an infrastructure bill with no new tax increases, no tax increases, when it got to the house of representatives, the
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speaker of the house wanted to combine it with another bill, which is what has been called around here the reconciliation bill, which refers to a process here in the united states senate, a rare process where instead of having the normal 60 votes, a supermajority for legislation, under reconciliation, a couple times a year you can have something that only needs to get 50 votes, assuming that you have the presidency in your party, because then the vice president as president of the senate can break the tie to get to 51. that is the reconciliation process that democrats want to use for this other bill. what's the other bill? it's a huge tax-and-spend bill, just as i believe infrastructure would be good for our country and is actually counter inflationary based on the economists. why? because you're doing long-term investments and capital assets. that's good for pushing back against inflation. more spending on social programs, which is what's in the reconciliation bill, would
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add to inflation at a time when we already have a huge problem there. and also the huge amount of spending would be unprecedented. we'll talk about that in a minute, depending on how much spending is in there. that's one bill, and the infrastructure bill is separate. so i again call on my colleagues in the house of representatives, the leadership over there, let the infrastructure bill go. allow it to be voted on on the merits. don't tie it as a political hostage to this reconciliation bill, the tax-and-spend bill that democrats have had a really hard time passing through the system. infrastructure needs to stand on its own. the american people deserve that. it's been almost three months, almost three months since the senate passed it. and people are waiting, and they deserve the help. and, by the way, it helps on a broad range, not just on the roads and bridges and the rail and the ports and the waterways i talked about. it helps with resilience to push
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back against natural disasters, something all of our states are experiencing. it is something that helps with regard to our energy policy, makes us more competitive. and, yes, encourages us to use the resources we have, but to do so through carbon capture and encourage us to move toward more electric vehicles and encourage us to be more competitive on that front as well. infrastructure means also digital infrastructure. it actually for the first time ever provides a huge boost to having high-speed broadband spread all around the country, particularly in our rural areas, like ohio, where we have so many areas, about a third of our state that does not have access to it. people can't do the appropriate telehealth that they want to do. they certainly can't do the telelearning they want to do, difficult to even go to school these days and do your homework if you don't have access to the internet. of course it helps us back in ohio if we have internet to be
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able to start businesses in these rural areas of ohio. so this is all in the infrastructure bill. that's why, again, it got 69 votes here in the united states senate. that's not usual around here. truly bipartisan. president biden says he will sign it. let's pass it. if we pass it in the house, it will be signed into law, and it will begin to help our country at a time when we need the help. we also could use a little bipartisanship around here, don't you think? this is one we can agree on. why should it be held political hostage to something that is strictly partisan and controversial, and, in my view, in my view, would be dangerous to our economy right now. why do i say that? well, this new spending that would be in the bill would be the highest level of spending that we have ever seen in the united states congress. remember, originally it was $3.5 trillion. i guess originally it was $6 trillion, then $3.5 trillion.
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now there is discussion, i read a report this afternoon in one of the media sources saying it may be as low as $2 trillion. $2 true. -- in a time of record deficits and debt. people say that's a lot less than 3.5, but it would be the largest bill ever passed by the united states congress. ever. the $1.9 trillion that was passed in march, not that long ago, it was supposed to be for covid, but most of which is not going to covid purposes, was the largest ever. now this would be a $2 trillion, a little larger than that, adding up together to almost $4 trillion of new spending. again, when the $1.9 trillion was passed, a lot of people said, including me, this is a risk to our economy now. we're coming out of the pandemic with a growing economy. why overheat the economy right now? but we did, and it caused much of the inflation we're now experiencing. the secretary of the treasury under the obama administration,
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an economist in the clinton administration, larry summers, a democrat, said the same thing and continues to say it today, that he believes all the spending is going to add to more overheating of the economy and more inflation. we don't need that right now. we have inflation that is not transitory. it unfortunately looks like it is very much permanent in terms of this year and next year, at least. and that's a huge problem, because it is lower-income, middle-income workers who are hurt the worst. people are seeing wage gains this year, those are being eaten up by inflation. annual inflation is 5.4%. unless your wage rate is above that, you're in trouble. plus everything's just more expensive. gasoline, if you go to the pump it's 42% higher this year as compared to last year. 42%. natural gas is expected to be
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about that range, about 40% higher. i did some research recently about pumpkins. you're going into the holiday season here for halloween. what does a pumpkin cost? on average 14.7% more this year as compared to last year. groceries, clothes, your utility bills, everything is going up. so it's not the time to pump a lot more stimulus spending into the economy, which, again, people say is going to lead to higher inflation on everything. remember before the pandemic started back in february of 2020, we had a strong economy. we had the 19th straight month in of wage gains of over 3% every month for 19 months, exactly what we wanted, right? wages going up. we had the lowest poverty rate in the history of our country since we started keeping track of it back in the 1950's.
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we had the lowest unemployment rate ever for certain groups in our economy. hispanics, blacks. we had the lowest unemployment ever overall for the last 50 years. so things were going pretty well, and yet now when we look at what's happening, we're not seeing these wage increases. in fact, on average when you take inflation into account, they say that during the biden years, during the biden administration over the last several months, wages have gone down an average 1.9% largely because, again, of this inflation. the legislation also includes big tax increases, so it's not just about more spending. it's also about tax increases to pay for the spending. in recent days it's come out that some of these tax hikes might not be supported by all democrats, so they might not be
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able to include them all. and i suppose, you know, that would be better for the economy. but as the economy is coming out of the pandemic and growing, the last thing you'd want to do is to raise taxes. again, back in 2017, when tax reform occurred, it had a lot of good impacts, including, again, higher wages. we talked about the poverty rate. we talked about the unemployment being low. another thing that it did on the global competitiveness side, on the international side, is that it actually changed the way our economy worked. prior to that, you had a number of companies who literally were voting with their feet and leaving the united states of america because of the tax code. it drove all of us crazy, democrats and republicans alike, that you had companies that were inverting as they say, and these inversions meant a company that was a u.s. company one day became a foreign company the next day. this happened in ohio. we had companies leaving ohio to
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become irish companies, as an example, because they had a lower tax rate, and we had the highest corporate tax rate of any of the developed countries, of the countries in the oecd. that's a terrible thing. of course we wanted to stop that, so we put the reforms in place to say we're going to we're going to change the way we tax internationally and guess what, all of the inversions stopped. all of them. and now, unbelievably, the administration and the democratic leadership wants to raise those taxes again -- once again to make us uncompetitive globally. and, again, you will see some companies say, when they look at the analysis from, you know, their tax experts, why are we an american company? you would hope no company would ever do that but they were doing that before 2017, during the obama administration, during the trump administration, they were
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leaving. we don't want that to happen again. in fact, we want our workers and businesses to be competitive. i say workers because when you raise business taxes, guess who takes the hit. ask the c.b.o., the congressional budget office here. what c.b.o. would tell you, which is a nonpartisan group here in the congress, their analysis is that 70% of the increase in corporate taxes is borne by workers, about 70% of the cut in taxes helped workers, higher wages, higher benefits. the tax foundation has the same analysis. the joint committee on taxation, when they look at this legislation before us, the $3.5 trillion that was reported -- that was introduced, they said it would raise taxes on middle-income workers. a lot of that was because of this issue, the nonpartisan joint committee on taxation looked at it and said, well, who is going to bear the brunt of
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this? well, it's going to be workers, so workers' wages will go down if you raise taxes on these individual companies that are global companies. so that's what we're facing. again, it looks like there will be changes in the legislation. i mentioned the amount may go down some. i mentioned $2 trillion still, the largest spending bill ever. i'm told on the tax front, some of the tax hikes may be taken out, some may be kept in. one they are talking about keeping in, that the administration seems adamant about keeping in, i just don't get because it makes our companies less competitive globally. it is called the global and low-tax income, also known as guilty. what does guilty say? well, when we changed our tax code back in 2017, we put in place in effect a minimum tax for our companies that do business overseas. our competitive countries --
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countries like ours, developed countries, for the most part, almost all of them do not tax their companies for their foreign income so if a company -- i mentioned ireland earlier, from ireland or from germany or whatever does business over here, their government doesn't tax them on the income they get from the united states, they let the united states handle that. and we changed our tax code to say, well, we're not going to do that either, but we're going to add a minimum tax no matter what and that was called the guilty tax. it was put in place in 2017 as a part of broad and successful tearms that -- tax reforms and it worked. they took it from 25% to 31%, putting it in about the middle of the developed countries, it is in the middle now because other countries have gone below us again. it went to that territorial
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system. it worked. over $1.35 trillion, so it worked in that sense too. this guilty or minimum tax on foreign income was put in place to make sure that foreign income wouldn't be shifted to low tax jurisdictions. right now this guilty rate stands at 13.125%, okay. so it's 13% roughly for american companies. again, most of our competitors don't have it at all, but it's 13%. treasury secretary yellen has now worked with countries around the world to say everybody ought to have a global minimum tax and she's made progress on that. so some of these countries that have not had a minimum tax are working to put one in place. the one that she wants for everyone else is 15%. we're telling countries you have to have a global minimum tax of
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15%. okay. so then wouldn't you think you would want america to have a tax not above that amount? no. they want to turn 13.125% to an effective rate of 17.4%. they started off at 21% in the original introduced bill. but even 17.4%, why would you want to put american companies above, again, this global average of 15%? if you can require companies to go to 15%, why would you want the u.s. to be above that? but that's what's being proposed, believe it or not. by the way, they said they would go ahead and go to 17.4% before any other countries would do it, two years before they do it. whether they do it or not, that's a question. some countries may not do it, their legislatures may not let them do it. let's assume they follow suit,
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we would be out there two years later with a higher tax rate on their workers. who bears the brunt of the tax increase? our country would be not competitive, our workers would be noncompetitive. i know it seems easy, let's tax the international companies, but look at what happened with 2017, the positive -- and if we go back and raise our taxes above what other countries charge. by the way, to do this would mean nullifying tax treaties with other countries all around the world because it's a different way of approaching it. we do not have a minimum tax in place now so the tax treaties would have to be amended. that means, obviously to me, that you would have to have a tax treaty change here in america. you can't just change tax treaties on one side, it's bilateral so we would have to change our tax treaties here. treaties have to go through the
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united states senate. as you probably know they have to go through the united states senate and it's a two-thirds vote to change the treaty. there's a reason for that. it's checks and balances to make sure that treaties is something that you get strong bipartisan support for. and, yet, my understanding is that the secretary of the treasury and others in the administration are saying they are not sure they have to get this guilty change or these treaty changes that we have in other countries through the united states senate. we must -- we just might do it through some other way, administratively or through an executive legislative action. i sure hope they don't do that. that would set a terrible precedent. that would mean that the constitutionally based rule that we have with regard to treaties would be very difficult to uphold in the future for anything. let me be clear. this is bad for workers as well as bad for companies. the national association of manufacturers just did a recent study and they found hiking the
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guilty rate in a way we just talked about could cost up to one million u.s. jobs. again, c.b.o. here in the capitol, the tax foundation, the joint committee on taxation, all believe it would have lower wages and lost jobs by having our workers less competitive globally and there is a burdensome information reporting requirement that would require far more information from taxpayers and that is needed to enforce our tax laws. it represented an unprecedented invasion of taxpayer privacy. you probably heard about this because it's getting more and more attention. the so-called $600 limit. now, this would mean that the i.r.s. would receive a report from you every year or any -- for any expenditure, think about an expense or payment going in and out of your accounts of $600
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or more. recently i saw another report today the administration and democratic leadership on capitol hill were talking about changing it from $600 to $10,000, it would be a higher threshold. that higher threshold is something that americans would reach quickly. think about it, $10,000 a year in total expenditures, $830 a month is what it is. do you spend $830 a month or groceries, gas, clothes, essentials? if you do, be prepared for the i.r.s. to look through your tax records in ways they never have before. don't get me wrong, i believe having tax laws is important. i'm one of the republicans, there may not be many of us, who believes the i.r.s. should have resources for improving their computer system because it is so antiquated. i spent two years of my life studying this.
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i came up with several reforms out of a commission. we improved it. it needs to be improved again. the computer systems they have, both the hardware and software and their ability to use it is outdated. it is bad for small businesses because the right hand often doesn't know what the left hand is doing. i'm better for providing better funding for that. but i'm not for providing tons more data to the i.r.s. that has nothing to do with income that is unprecedented that their systems cannot handle. there is no way that they'd be able to handle these millions and millions inform new data that they would be getting from all of us. hundreds of millions of accounts with financial institutions, e-payment apps like venmo, and crypto coynes will -- coins would be use. if you have an active pay pal account, it could be sent to the
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i.r.s., and that will result in some confusion at some point the if you're one of the vast majority of americans who spends more than $830 a month on anything, then you will have to report that. so there's some people who are pretty smart about this who have looked at it and said this doesn't make sense. one of them is steven rosenthal, he's with the left-leaning tax policy center. he stated and i the quote, this could, quote, bury the agency in a sea of unproductive information. end quote. that's how i feel about it. i'd like the i.r.s. to be wer better in terms -- to be better in terms of technology, to be able to handle their job better, to be able to ensure that every taxpayer gets a fair shake. because sometimes now the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing, because their computer system is antiquated, the software and hardware. mark everson who is a former i.r.s. commissioner wrote an
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interesting op-ed that i read yesterday. he wrote, quote, this proposal would prove all but impossible for the i.r.s. to handle and engulf the service in a dangerous and damaging firestorm. that is mark eberson, he wants to give the i.r.s. to improve their computer systems, he thinks taxpayer service should be improved. he's not saying starve the i.r.s., but he's saying don't do this. add this new information reporting that is not information about income and that the i.r.s. is not going to be able to handle and it's an intrusion into our lives that is unnecessary. that's in the legislation. so, again, i've come down to the floor here every week since the original introduction of this tax and spend legislation that we talked about today. this is the sixth straight week
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that i've come to the floor. when we're in session, i will continue to come as long as the bill is out there. i want the american people and my colleagues to know what's in this legislation and why it would be so damaging to our country right now. again, i distinguished the infrastructure bill. good for the economy, the right thing to do to counter inflation, something that every president in modern times has tried to do, by the way, for good reason. let it stand on its own. it should be voted on its own merits. don't put it with the tax and spend legislation that is reckless at a time of higher inflation and debts and deficits at a time when our economy is trying to get back on its feet. let's not add job-killing tax hikes. it's in our national interest to move forward with regard to the infrastructure bill and it's our national interest to stop the reckless tax and spend legislation. i yield back my time.
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the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. tuberville: madam president, after being in washington, d.c., for ten months, i've seen this town jump from one issue to another. sadly, many of the issues we face are self-inflicted, illegal immigrants on the southern border, americans who remain trapped in afghanistan and rampant inflation, just to name three. but we face a more serious threat in this nation. an issue larger than left or right, a threat that goes beyond conservative and liberal, china. china seeks to shackle the united states economically, technologically and militarily. the communist leaders of china
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are employing every instrument of national power to diminish our standing and influence in the world. last month president biden told world leaders during his maiden u.n. general assembly speech that the united states, quote, is not seeking a cold war. well, the u.s. may not be seeking out a new cold war, but china is. so we shouldn't give them the shovel to bury us. when asked this week if china's hypersonic missile testing over the summer was a surprise, the u.s. officials, white house, press secretary general psaki joked that the biden administration welcomes stiff competition. businesses that are struggling under unfair competition from china didn't laugh at the press
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secretary's joke. intelligence analysts who watch week after week as china hacks its way to technological superiority know the competition is cheating. military leaders who stand to watch for us worry the united states public may be asleep at the wheel to this enormous threat. in 2001 then-senator biden said, quote, the united states welcomes the emergence of a prosperous integrated china on the global stage because we expect this is going to be a china that plays by the rules. president biden, china is not playing by the rules. the director of national intelligence said the following in her annual threat assessment. quote, the chinese communist party will continue to undercut
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the united states, drive wedges between washington and its allies and partners, foster international norms that favor the authoritarian chinese sy system, the four-star admiral in charge of our nuclear overreach admiral charles richard warned the country that china's growth and strategic nuclear capability was, quote, breathtaking. to those paying attention, we know china seeks to play a very dangerous game, a game they intend to win and a game they will win unless we stand united as a nation and work together to face this growing threat. so let's take a look at the most recent breathtaking development. china recently conducted their ninth hypersonic missile test
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since 2014, their ninth. by the way, 2014 was when hen-president obama was -- then-president obama was forced to start investing in missile defense after he ended or slowed funding for several programs early in his first term. what was important about china's most recent test, however, is that it showed off china's advanced space capabilities. hypersonic missiles are weapons that fly at more than five times the speed of sound, 3,800 miles per hour. they don't follow a fixed trajectory. their pangt is flexible and -- path is flexible and maneuverable. this is what makes them so hard to defend against. a recent congressional report on hypersonic weapons revealed the united states will not have a defensive capability against hypersonic weapons until the m
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mid-2020's at the earliest. unlike our government which, by the way, is wasting money on civilian climate corps and bailing out poorly run liberal blue states, china spends its resources on deadliness. a new and larger navy, a modernized nuclear arsenal, advanced space assets, and artificial intelligence. yes, china is moving ahead and investing inkilling machines. developing hypersonics is costly. the pentagon noted as much recently which is ironic given how little this administration has showed it cares about throwing trillion, of dollars around on other programs not related to national security. china continues to outspend us on national security. in just the last ten years
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china's defense spending has increased by $200 billion while we, the united states of america, has decreased by $400 billion. and that brings me to a very important point. senator schumer needs to bring up the national defense authorization act for a vote here on the senate floor. every year since 1960, we have passed the national defense authorization act better known as the ndaa. the ndaa is one of few bills that the house and senate, democrats and republicans work together on. that's because our military deserves it and our national security depends on it. one of the most important items we agreed on this year in the ndaa was that our military needs more support. earlier this year president biden sent congress a laughable
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military budget. in a stunning referendum on the president's disappointing and dangerous military budget, democrats and republicans on their armed services committee came together to increase our military budget by $25 billion. we cannot ask our military to do more with less. we cannot expect our military to defend new threats from our adversaries like china without the resources required to do the job. republicans understand this. we have continuously fought to prioritize national security. democrats on the armed services committee also understand this. so i'd like to ask a simple question. what are he with waiting for -- what are we waiting for. the best way to think our men and women -- thank our men and women in uniform for their service is to pass this bill. the best way to ensure our armed
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services have resources they need to defend our country against china is to pass this bill, especially in the light of the news that we've seen recently about china's hypersonic missile testing. earlier this year at the armed -- senate armed services committee, we crafted the ndaa i thought to prioritize robust funding, authorization for high energy lasers, and hypersonic missile development. this investment accelerates the country's time line to a fully capable hypersonic missile while at the same time assisting our missile defense capabilities with tracking hype sonic -- hypersonic ballistic and cruise missiles. this is an offensive and defensive approach. china is actively trying to outpace us and keeping pace is not enough. to do that we need to have
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sustained strategic investment in our military. that is what the ndaa provides. and while we need a vote on the senate floor. so what does it say about leader schumer's priorities that passing our military authorization is at the bottom of his list? but investment in their military is not the only means by which china ask seeking to get ahead. we have increased our efforts by china to infiltrate our economy. we have seen this. to undermine our free market values and to steal our intellectual property. in recent surveys, a greater number of americans said china is more powerful economically than the united states. this is a reversal from two years ago when most americans said the united states had the
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economic upper hand. and when it comes to taking over the economic upper hand china has no rules. the chinese companies definitely don't play by ours. our country has already seen chinese companies backed by the chinese communist party attempt to invest and even take over companies. this grave national security threat will only grow if we allow china to invest in our critical industries. our government has a process to investigate offers made by foreign companies and governments that want to acquire or invest in america. this process is designed to protect our national security. it is handled by a government entity called committee on foreign investment in the united states or better known as cfius, c-f-i-u-s. but if there's a loophole,
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communist china will try to slip through it. our goal as a member of congress should be to strengthen this vetting process. one way to do that is to add a permanent agricultural perspective to this committee which is not on there as we speak. the covid pandemic showed us just how important it is to have strong supply chains, especially when it comes to our food supply. every american is supported by a safe and secure food supply. it's critical to our country's prosperity. not everyone thinks about food security in relation to national security, but they are linked. global corporations have already become more involved with our domestic food supply and agricultural businesses. recent data shows that 192,000 acres of farm land or forest in
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the united states of america are linked to chinese ownership, including land use for farming, ranching, and forestry, 192,000 acres here within our borders. that's why we need more transparency. our food supply must remain secure from foreign governments, like china, that have no business being in the american economy and actively trying to harm our country. that's why i introduced a bill called the foreign adversary risk management or farm act, f-a-r-m, to put more protections in place for america's agriculture industry. my bill will make sure the agriculture industry has a permanent seat at the table of cfius which reviews agricultural-related investments. as we speak we do not have a representation from the agriculture committee. by adding agricultural supply
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chains as a covered transaction that cfius has to review, we can make sure food supply chains remain strong and free of damaging foreign government interference. like china's communist leaders, leftists in this country believe that when it comes to the economy, bureaucrats know best. they think raising the corporate rate to be higher than the communist china's will strengthen our economy. nonsense. that's like standing in a bucket and trying to lift yourself by the handle. the far left cheers for mandates, hyper regulation, and massive taxes. they sneer at your freedoms and are triggered by the american flag and our constitutional rights. their way is not the way to combat china. it is the way to become china. we all know china wants to overtake the united states super
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power, but what makes the united states a super power is not just our economic and military might. we are a super power for what our military is fighting to defend and to protect. our freedoms and our values in the american people of innovation and ingenuity, of hard work and grit. these values pose a direct threat to communist china. they are why china wants to surpass our country as the world's number one super power. we need leadership that protects our national security and our economic security. it's the only way to combat the aggression that the biden administration's weakness has invited. madam president, i yield the floor.
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a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: madam president, the coming days thousands of politicians from -- excuse me, 200 different countries will convene in glasgow, scotland for the u.n. climate summit. they'll step off their private planes and into meetings about the need to reduce global emissions. and i'm not sure many of them will see the irony of their actions. these leaders will try to paint fossil fuels at the world's greatest enemy. they'll make lofty and, yes, unrealistic commitments to eventually transition to clean energy sources. at the same time they'll completely ignore the realities of the current energy landscape.
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around the world energy shortages are having a costly impact on working families. here at home americans are experiencing sticker shock at the gas pump. gas prices, after all, have gone up by more nan 55% from just one year ago. if you're driving a pickup truck, you'll spend almost $32 more to fill up your tank today than you did last october. in states like california, the problems are even worse. last week the price for a gallon of regular gas in one town hit $7.59 a gallon. premium was nearly $8.50 a gallon. it's hard to imagine how somebody operating on a fixed income or working a minimum-wage job, how you would cover those sorts of expenses, especially
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since it's lower-income americans who typically have to travel farther because of the high cost of living and housing in our major urban areas. so low gas prices are the only thing that happen allowed this emto get by. but -- that allowed them to get by. but gas prices aren't the only growing expense in family budgets. as we head into winter, heating bills are expected to soar. households could pay up to 54% more than they did last winter. it'll cost more to heat your home, more. mr.-- thank you, more for your family to visit. and more to buy gifts to put under the christmas tree. this holiday season is shaping for a costly one. our friends aren't faring any better. europe in fact is in the midst of an unprecedented energy
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crisis. a supply shortage has caused prices to skyrocket. for example, since the start of the year, natural gas prices are up almost 600%. the situation is so dire that utility companies have switched from natural gas, which is the cleanest burning fossil fuel, to coal and fuel oil. this global energy crisis serves as the backdrop for this summit in glasgow where the world leaders will discuss plans to further reduce the use of fossil fuels. they're not saying what they would do as anton. they just want to -- as an alternative. they just want to kill the goose that laid the golden egg when it comes to low-cost cleaner-burning energy like natural gas. now making promises to curb emissions sounds pretty good if you can in fact do it. it sounds good until you realize
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this is what you get, unreliable, unaffordable energy. in europe's case, they're also playing a very dangerous power dynamic. the supply of energy to the continent would be increased, but the guy controlling are the spigot, his name is vladimir putin. one of russia's top priorities is nord stream 2, a pipeline to carry more gas directly to russia from russia to europe. this project of course has been years in the making, and it's faced considerable opposition around the world, especially among our colleagues on this side of the aisle. president biden has already handed moscow a massive victory by stepping aside and refusing to impose sanctions on the company building nord stream 2. now putin is withholding desperately needed gas from europe until the pipeline is approved. yes, he's using energy as a
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weapon against those who are totally dependent on russia for that the energy. this is a problem with the global efforts to quickly move too quickly away from fossil fuels. phrases like energy transition appeal to some activists, but fail to deliver results in the real world in realtime. renewables are great, but they don't come close to generating enough reliable energy to power our world. because the wind doesn't always blow, the sun doesn't always shine, and we can't just sit in the dark until mother nature lets us turn the lights back on. we need a base supply of reliable energy. and as much as some of our colleagues hate to admit it, natural gas is our best current option.
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if the u.s. and our allies scale back production to pursue arbitrary emission benchmarks that leave the world turning to countries like russia, iran, and venezuela for their energy. today we're experiencing how costly that reliance is. and in years past, we acknowledged how dawnright dangerous it is -- how downright dangerous it is. in january 2009 russia effectively turned the gas off to ukraine for almost three weeks and at least ten countries in europe were affected. by transitioning solely to renewables before the output matches the demand, we're placing ourselves in a very, very vulnerable position. the same is true for our allies. president putin has demonstrated as much. unfortunately, i don't expect those kinds of real-world concerns to dominate the conversations at this summit in
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glasgow, and president biden certainly won't be advocating for america's energy independence. to the contrary. we were only a few hours into the biden administration when they launched the first attack on american-produced energy. within hours of taking the oath of office, president biden canceled the permit for the keystone x.l. pipeline. for some strange reason he's okay with nord stream 2 from russia to europe, but he's not okay with the keystone x.l. pipeline here in america. i don't get it. there's no question that the biggest losers from this decision were the energy workers whose jobs evaporated and the communities that benefited -- stood to benefit from the tax revenue. the biggest winners, unfortunately, from president
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biden's decision includes countries like russia and saudi arabia, who now hold too much power on the global energy market. we'll see how that's played out. that same day the biden administration halted all new leasing permits are on federal lands and waters. rather than responsibly harvest our greatest natural resources and share those resources with the rest of the world, the administration sent more business to our adversaries and to opec producers. president biden piled on with another attack on our energy producers by rejoining the paris climate accords, an agreement that no one seems to follow. yeah, they'll pay lip service to it, but they actually don't do anything about it. a report published last week found that countries around the world around sticking to the lofty commitments that they made. the world's major economies are not on track to meet the climate
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goals set in the paris accord. in fact, according to this report, by 2030, these countries are expected to produce more than double amount of fossil fuels required to meet the goals of the paris climate accords. then there's the fact that china, which plays by nobody's rules except their own, which also happens to be the world's leading polluter, is completely awol from any of these efforts. not only is china ignoring global efforts to curb emissions, the country is in the process of building hundreds of new coal-powered power plants. last year china built three times as many new coal-powered plants as any other country in the world combined. three times you a all the other countries -- three times all the other countries in the world combined. rear than pull out the -- rather
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than pull out of the agreement, president biden is making even bigger promises, promises that he cannot keep. he nearly doubled the emissions reduction bill set by president obama in 2015. president obama pledged to united states emissions -- pledged to reduce emissions by 26% by 2525. we're nowhere close to meeting that goal. but president biden has doubled down and vowed to cut emissions by 50% to 52% by 2030, a complete fantasy. he hasn't explained how he would accomplish that -- meeting that goal nor if he tried would he be able to explain it because it's simply infeasible. to be clear, i'm a strong supporter of efforts to reduce emissions. there's more ways than one to skin the cat. texas has been a leader, in fact, in efforts to develop
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cleaner and more diverse sorts of energy. we are truly an all-of-the-above state. we produce more electricity from wind turbines than any other state in the nation. new solar farms are being built all across our state, and private companies are making incredible investments in carbon capture and other emission-reducing technologies. i'm proud of this work and a staunch supporter of efforts to preserve our greatest natural resources for future generations. but what we're seeing from the administration isn't a thoughtful effort to reduce emissions. it's virtue signaling. when the president addressed a joint session of congress earlier in year, he spoke about the challenges to reduce carbon emissions. he said, if we do it perfectly, it's not going to matter. how expects to do it perfectly he did not say. nor could he.
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but if that's what he's thinking, why drive up energy costs to the point that americans can't afford to turn the heat on in winter? why would he give putin the power to regulate europe's only source of energy, natural gas? and why curb domestic energy production and let china run wild? these actions may earn votes and support from some corners, but they'll inflict serious pain on the american people as well as our allies around the world. as an armada, as biden administration officials pack their backs for moscow, i'm going to remind them that there's far more at stake than just the administration's credibility. it's an our economy and ability to provide good,-paying jobs to
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hardworking families. and it is our responsibility to export energy which allows some of our friends and allies into the to depend on the tender mercies of vladimir putin. madam president, i would yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: i ask that the calling of the quorum be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: it's been a while since congressional democrats have used the words defund the police. that was very popular -- that was a very popular phrase in 2021. but after the last election, democrats learned how truly toxic those words were with ordinary americans. now they dare not say the words defund the police. but, make no mistake about it, liberals are still trying to defund the police. a recent nominee for a
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high-level post at the department of justice said that she wasn't in favor of defunding the police, but she talked about it -- quote -- overspending on criminal justice system and infrastructure and policing -- end of quote. that was just a fancier way of saying cut police budgets. fortunately, the voters are standing up to these people. i want to give just two examples. first, voters in minneapolis will go to the polls november 2 and decide whether to replace the city's police department with a department called the department of public safety. this supposed department of public safety would take a, quote, comprehensive public
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health approach, end of quote, in trying to keep the city safe. under this idea, police officers could be employed, if necessary. well, the american voters have news for the people who got this initiative on the ballot in minneapolis. police officers are absolutely necessary in minneapolis, and they're necessary in every other community as well. another example, in austin, texas, voters will have a chance to restore funding for their police force, funding that the city council slashed a great deal last year. the murder rate in austin is higher than it has ever been. so far 71 people have been killed in austin, passing the
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previous record of 59 murders set all the way back in 1984. and with 71 murders, we still have two months left in this year if you want to compare it to all the murders that took place in 1984's previous high. some austin voters have had enough of this sort of thinking, and they're trying to restore some common sense there in austin. under the proposition a ballot initiative, the city would have to maintain at least two police officers for every 1,000 residents, which is more than they have at the present time. but not everybody likes that, and liberal dark money groups have pumped $500,000 into defeating this proposition a
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because they want to keep defunded police still defunded. those same groups recently subsidized the campaigns of hard-left district attorneys all throughout the country. that includes the san francisco district attorney who has let drug and property crimes skyrocket. san francisco is now getting hammered with out-of-control drug use and shop lifting there happens to be a way of life. and that isn't chuck grassley saying that. that's anybody watching television sees pictures of people just going in to stores and just picking up whatever they want. in one city, if it's under $950, you won't be prosecuted. so it's a license to shoplift.
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so i hope austin, texas, voters will make sure that their city doesn't go the same way. i'd like to think they'd want to be safe from criminals and the drugs that criminals push. liberal politicians are no longer saying it out loud, defund the police, but make no mistake about it, many of them still want to defund police. if minneapolis and austin let their police forces wither away on the vine, voters all across the nation and all across the political spectrum will send a very clear message to the hard left in the next election. so voters everywhere should stand up and say no to defunding the police. i suggest the absence of a
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quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mrs. blackburn: are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: yes we are. mrs. blackburn: i ask that we dispense with the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. blackburn: thank you, madam president. last week a tennessee director of schools named russell sent me an e-mail about a problem he's having with some of his students. the so-called devious lick tiktok trend caught on in his
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district, and it is more than just a viral gag. the idea behind this devious lick tiktok trend is to destroy school property and document it on tiktok so that all the world can see. the more violent the better. here's how russell described what's going on in his schools, and i quote, in cleveland city schools, we have seen fire extinguishers stolen, mirrors removed from walls, a toilet was removed from its foundation, and multiple other acts of vandalism. i know of stories from other school districts where even more serious types of vandalism and theft have taken place, end quote. he went on to tell me that this trend has caused thousands of dollars in damage and that he
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has had to resort to threatening suspensions, court citations, and other actions to deter students from demolishing school property. madam president, all from a tiktok video trend. i want to state for the record that this is absolutely insane. this is not normal teenage behavior. it's criminal activity, and these kids are posting it online, thinking that they are building social media clout. tiktok banned the trending hashtag, but last night it took a member of my staff about ten seconds to unearth posts featuring students trashing their school bathrooms.
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russell is at a loss as to how to get his students to stop body slamming doors off their hinges, and so are thousands of parents all across tennessee who are wondering how it's even possible that a tech company is getting away with encouraging criminal behavior. in its underaged users. they want more than just an apology and a tweet to an algorithm. they are looking for accountability, and i'm happy to say that we at the senate commerce committee are working to get that accountability from these big tech companies. the issue of big tech's toxic influence on children and teens is finally getting some much-needed bipartisan attention from the senate. earlier this month i hosted a
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hearing in the commerce consumer protection subcommittee with chairman blumenthal where we examined facebook's role in promoting content to teenagers that drove young users into spirals of despair, eating disorders, self-harm and suicidal thoughts. now our ideals about what congress should do to force accountability into the equation might differ a bit, but maybe for the first time ever the relationship between republicans and democratic tech watchdogs in this chamber is far less contentious than the relationship between big tech and members of congress and, madam president, that is something worth noting. if we keep this up, silicon valley, as they currently
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operate, is in for some big changes. because as much as i appreciate our role as law may, i -- lawmakers, i also believe in the importance of our ability to compel transparency from officials and companies that refuse to offer it up voluntarily. sunlight is often a better disinfectant than legislation. fortunately at least some players in tech are reading the writing on the wall. tomorrow representatives from youtube, snapchat, and tiktok will testify before the consumer protection subcommittee regarding safety protocols they've inserted between underaged users and the seediest corners of the internet. yes, i did say underaged users. i want to thank them in advance for agreeing to appear because
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we're not going to take it easy on them. they should not expect a comfortable day. we have evidence that these platforms have endangered children and teens while collecting -- yes, collecting their personal data and leveraging it through the advertising side of their businesses. the danger is real. as we were preparing for the hearing, my staff hopped on youtube and searched for how to solicitor your wrists and the videos youtube spit out, well, let's just say that any questions about how to do such a thing were answered in full, unfortunately. earlier this year a 9-year-old boy in memphis died trying to participate in a tiktok
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strangulation challenge that had gone viral. and we know for a fact that child predators use snapchat to troll for victims. this spring law enforcement arrested a 48-year-old man for statutory rape after they caught him with a 16-year-old girl. where did he meet her? on snapchat. we also have serious questions about data collection and disclosure policies and whether or not the market research tactics that are used by youtube, snapchat, and tiktok are as invasive and dangerous as the ones we now know facebook uses. as the saying goes, if the service is free, you are the product. and if we let them, tech companies will continue grooming our kids into accepting status
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as commodities and being their product regardless of who it hurts. big tech's relationship with children is a problem, but we also need adult tech enthusiasts to care about their own entanglement with these companies. we need everyone to care about how their own virtual you is harvested and sold to the highest bidder. many adult users believe that because they've lived so much of their lives online that these things don't matter anymore, but, yes, indeed it does matter and i'll give you just one example of why. for a long time now we've raised serious concerns about the connection between tiktok and the chinese communist party. we suspect with very good reason that bytedance, which is
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tiktok's parent company, handed over biometrics and other sensitive user data to the chinese communist party. this app has been beijing's very best detective, a fact most users aren't aware of and don't want to give a second thought to. parents are completely unaware that tiktok is on bytedance and that they are in he cahoots with the chinese communist party. parents are unaware that the biometrics and other sensitive data of their precious children is now in the hands of the chinese communist party. madam president, we just cannot afford to continue this. this one app on its own is a master class on artificial intelligence, machine learning,
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and facial recognition technology and our most dangerous competitor is using it to corner the market on the world's most valuable commodity, the virtual you. it's all part of beijing's grand strategy to gain control over strategically important sectors of the global economy. yes, indeed, they intend to be globally dominant by the time we get to the mid-point of the century and, yes, indeed, they are an adversary. we see them carrying out more of this agenda via the belt and road initiative programs and they are doing it online by training us to consume content that is so twisted it drives young users to violence and to self-destructive behavior.
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inner connectivity has benefits an consequences and madam president, -- and consequences and, madam president, it is an urgent need to take action against the consequences. we know from previous investigations that digital content is a weapon. it can damage self-esteem, destroy relationships and tip the balance of global power in the wrong direction. i hear from tennesseans like russell regularly. they will say we saw this coming a mile away. we have watched this become a snowball rolling toward us. they are appreciative that congress has finally caught up to them, parents and teachers who are watching what is happening on social media and they are ready for us to pull all those big tech skeletons out
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of the closet and put them on display. i will say this. these teachers and parents are not people that are anti-innovation. they don't want to get in the way of private companies offering exciting new products. they appreciate innerconnectivity and they appreciate technology. but what they won't do is tolerate these companies -- tolerate them trolling the data of our children, selling it as a product and then turning around and weaponizing the content against us, the american people. big tech needs to understand that we're not going to hold back, and it would be in their best interest to work with us on the issues of online privacy --
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children's online privacy, data security, and making the virtual space a safe space. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor.
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the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of the parker nomination, which the clerk will report.
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the clerk: nomination, department of labor, douglas l. parker of west virginia, to be an assistant secretary. the presiding officer: the question is on the nomination. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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vote: vote:
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vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: on this vote the yeas are 50, the nays are 41, the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of the perez nomination, which the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, the judiciary, myrna perez, of new york, to be united states circuit judge for the second circuit. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the question is on the nomination. is there a sufficient second? there is. the clerk will call the roll. vote clo vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: the yeas are 48, the nays are 43. the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the motions to reconsider are considered made and laid upon the table, and the president will be immediately notified of the senate's actions. mr. schumer: and before i get into the procedural stuff, i just want to say what a great justice -- judge myrna perez will be, so i'm so glad that she passed tonight. she's an amazing person, amazing history, one of the leading voting rights lawyers in america and will be the second latina on the second circuit, the first being sonya sotomayor. now, madam president, i move to proceed to legislative session. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. all those in favor say aye. all those no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to.
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mr. schumer: i move to proceed to executive session to consider executive calendar 367. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. all those in favor say aye. no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, the judiciary, omar antonio williams of connecticut to be united states district judge for the district of connecticut. mr. schumer: i send a cloture motion to the desk. the -- the clerk: cloture motion, we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22, do hereby bring to a close debate on of executive calendar number 367, omar antonio welcomes, of connecticut. mr. schumer: i ask that the reading of the names be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i move to proceed to legislative session. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it.
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the ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to. mr. schumer: i move to proceed to executive session to consider executive calendar 347. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, department of justice, matthew g. olsen, of mad mad. mr. schumer: i send a cloture motion to the desk. the clerk: cloture motion, we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22, do hereby bring to a close debate on the of executive calendar number 347, matthew g. olsen, of maryland to be assistant attorney general. mr. schumer: i ask consent the reading of the names be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i move to proceed to legislative session. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed, say no. the ayes appear to have it.
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the ayes do have it, the motion is adopted. mr. schumer: i move to consider calendar number 263. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. all those may never say aye. all those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report. the clerk: cloture christopher o be -- mr. schumer: i send a cloture motion to the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: cloture motion, we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22, do hereby bring to a close debate on executive calendar number 263, christopher h. schroeder, of north carolina, to be assistant attorney general. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent that the reading of the names be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i move to proceed to legislative session. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. all those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
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the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to. mr. schumer: i move to executive session to consider calendar number 268. the presiding officer: all those in favor say aye. all opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, department of justice, hampton y.dellinger, to be assistant attorney general. mr. schumer: i send a cloture motion to the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: cloture motion, we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22, do hereby bring to a close debate on the nomination of executive calendar number 368, hampton y.dellinger, of north carolina, to be assistant attorney general. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent that the reading of the names be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i move to proceed to legislative session. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion.
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all in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to. mr. schumer: i move to proceed to executive calendar to consider calendar number 416. the presiding officer: the ayes app to have it. the ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, department of justice, elizabeth killiger, of idaho. mr. schumer: i send a cloture motion to the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: cloture motion, we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22, do hereby bring to a close debate on the nomination of executive calendar number 413, elizabeth hiliger. mr. schumer: i ask that the reading of the names be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i move to proceed to legislative session.
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the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to. mr. schumer: i move to consider expect calendar number 461. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, the judiciary, beth robinson, of vermont, to be united states circuit judge for the second circuit. mr. schumer: i send a cloture motion to the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: cloture motion, we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22, do hereby bring to a close debate on the nomination of executive calendar number 471, beth robinson, of vermont, to be united states circuit judge for the second circuit. mr. schumer: i ask consent the reading of the names be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i move to proceed to legislative session. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. all those in favor say aye.
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those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it the motion is agreed to. mr. schumer: i move to proceed to executive session to consider executive calendar number 363. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, the judiciary, tobyj. heytens to be united states -- the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: cloture motion,. the clerk: the clerk: cloture we, the unded senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22, do hereby bring to a close debate on 363, toby heytens, of virginia, to be united states circuit judge. mr. schumer: i ask that the reading of the names be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent that the mandatory quorum calls for the cloture
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motions be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to legislative session and be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak for ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent that the appointment at the desk appear separately in the record as if made by the chair. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 10:00 a.m., tuesday, october 26, following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day, and morning business be closed. that upon the conclusion of morning business, the senate proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the cobb nomination. further, that if cloture is invoked on the cobb nomination, the senate immediately vote on cloture on the welcomes and giles nomination and the senate recess until 2:15 p.m. to allow for the weekly caucus meetings.
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that at 2:30 the senate vote on the cloture of the monoff and -- nachmanoff and in a gala nominations and all postcloture time be considered expired and that -- in -- in consultation with the republican leader. finally if any nominations are confirmed during tuesday's session, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table and the senate be immediately notified of the senate's action. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: if there's no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until senate stands adjourned until >> u.s. senate is gambling out for the day, today session the voters confirmed that was harder to be an assistant secretary of labor. and perez to be u.s. court of appeals judge for the second
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circuit and continue working on executive and judicial nominations throughout the week and the sale returns, watch live coverage, here on "c-span2". wednesday morning attorney general merrick garland testifies an oversight hearing for the senate judiciary committee and live coverage started ten eastern on c-span three, online at cspan.org or watch the full coverage on c-span now, a new video app. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of governments, funded by these television companies and more including charter communications. >> broadband is a force for empowerment is my charter has invested billions, upgrading technology, empowering opportunity in communities big and small read charter, connecting us pretty. >> charter communications support c-span is a public service along with these other

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