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tv   U.S. Senate U.S. Senate  CSPAN  November 2, 2021 9:59am-1:13pm EDT

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a bill that hurts our country. and i've been very clear about that, also. and most importantly, hurts every american. let's work together. and i mean that, let's all work together on getting a sensible reconciliation package, a package that strengthens our nation and leads the world. thank you all. [inaudible conversations] >> let me just say -- let me say, let me say one thing i'm not going to negotiate in public on this because i've been dealing in good faith and i will continue to deal in good faith with all of my colleagues on both sides. it's time to pass the bill and quit playing games. [inaudible conversations] >> the senate about to gavel in. they'll be considering several
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executive nominations throughout the day. including jonathan davidson to be deputy undersecretary of the treasury as well as other positions at the u.s. agency for international development. the epa, and labor department. now live to the senate floor.
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the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, the chaplain, the reverend dr. barry black, will open the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. eternal lord god, magnificent in mercy, plenteous in grace, and generous in love, strengthen our
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senators for today's journey. lord, give them strong hearts and sound minds to do their ethical best in representing you. as they look to the future, provide them the wisdom to join their plans to your purposes in order to accomplish your work on earth. lord, fill them with a spirit of hope that will make them positive people who are expecting your best for our nation and world. we look to you with vibrant expectation that you can transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows.
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we pray in your precious name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c., november 2, 2021. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable raphael g. warnock, a senator from the state of georgia, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: patrick j. leahy, president pro tempore.
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the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. 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. the clerk: nomination, department of the treasury, jonathan davidson of maryland to be deputy under secretary. the presiding officer: the majority leader is recognized. mr. schumer: i'm going to start with the mask because it's a message to all of america, vote. today is voting day. please vote. if you haven't voted already, make sure you vote. and on a very related issue, last night, the john lewis voting rights advancement act. last night, i took the necessary procedural steps to set up a vote on wednesday in the senate
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on the john lewis voting rights advancement act. tomorrow, the senate is going to take a first vote on whether or not we debate, merely debate a bill to reinstate preclearance provisions of the voting rights act, which has had long bipartisan support in this chamber. bipartisan support in the past. our democracy relies on the guarantee of free and fair elections to survive. for across the country, we're witnessing a coordinated assault on the right to vote and even on how elections are conducted, tallied, and potentially decided , a true threat to the ultimate foundation of our democracy. in the past, preclearance helped put a check on the worst abuses from the states, but a conservative majority on the supreme court in 2013 in one of the worst decisions in recent memory effectively crippled
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preclearance, wrongly suggesting that it was no longer needed. we see how wrong that decision was in the years since 2013 and particularly now. boy were they wrong. in the years since that decision, the floodgates have opened for some of the most draconian restrictions to the franchise that we have seen since the era of segregation. the clock is ticking for the senate to stop these attacks. starting next year, state legislatures will return to session and many will surely build on the flurry of restrictive laws we're already seeing in states like georgia and texas. so if there is any issue that deserves debate in this chamber, it should be protecting voting rights. the voting rights act has long enjoyed bipartisan support in this chamber. nixon, reagan, bush all signed into law updates to the legislation. in fact, many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle proudly previously worked on and
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supported passage of those updates, including preclearance provisions. it should be no different today. for months, senate democrats have bent over backwards to find common ground with republicans on the critical issue of protecting the freedom to vote. we have urged senate republicans to engage, to offer their ideas, to come together, to guarantee free and fair elections to all americans. i have made clear time and time again democrats are open for business. we want republicans to engage. i am prepared to offer an open and honest full-fledged process here on the senate floor tomorrow where republican amendments will be made in order and allowed and debated. but for that to happen, republicans must come to the table when we vote tomorrow. we can't force so much as a debate if at least ten republicans don't join us and vote in favor of letting the senate do its work on this most
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important, this most vital of issues. senate republicans shouldn't be afraid of merely starting debate on an issue. we have long debated in this body and long supported in a bipartisan way in the past. if they have different ideas on how to achieve a stronger democracy, they owe it to the american people to come forward and debate their ideas. simply standing silent with their arms crossed, refusing to allow the senate to function is unacceptable. now, on build back better. today democrats in the house and senate continue making progress on passing president biden's build back better plan. last night, i held another round of talks with my leadership team, with the speaker, with the white house, and with many who are -- we are discussing so many issues, including moving forward on prescription drugs. we're moving ahead. we're working through the outstanding details, and we remain committed to getting something big done for the american people. nobody is getting everything
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they hoped for in the final deal, but build back better will have things that everyone, everyone wanted. even as we continue finalizing the text, the president's framework already, already has done very good and important things that will dramatically improve the lives of everyday americans. it makes historic progress on child care, pre-k, fighting climate change, providing tax cuts for the middle class, housing, and more. in years past, passing any one of these items would have been considered a huge step forward for the country. now we're working to get them all done at once, and we will continue making progress. the framework's positions on child care alone would be the largest in american history. our country's need for child care has grown dramatically since the 20th century. according to the treasury department, in fact, the average cost of caring for a young child
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hovers around $10,000 a year. many people pay more for child care than they pay for their mortgage. $10,000 a year is simply out of reach for far too many families, and not only do our kids suffer when they can't have somewhere safe to stay, our families suffer when they can't enter the workforce and ultimately our country suffers as our economy's productivity is diminished. build back better, with its unprecedented investments to help families better afford child care, would finally provide parents the help they have needed for decades, and that's just one example. american families under this framework will for the first time also have access to universal pre-k for 3 and 4-year-olds across the country. it also extends the child tax credit passed earlier this year so parents can better afford things like groceries and diapers and utilities and other daily essentials. since its enactment, this
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program alone has already cut poverty, child poverty in half in this country. that's an amazing accomplishment and one that will continue to go forward under this proposal. so president biden's build back better framework is a historic step forward for families. but that's not all. the framework would also make bold investments to tackle the climate crisis. the consequences of climate change are already severe. every time we face another major heat wave, it endangers the lives of americans who work outdoors. every time another hurricane hits the east coast or the south, it risks destroying people's homes and schools and churches and small businesses. every time another wildfire rages in the west, it fills the air with poisonous smoke and entire cities breathe it in, consequences yet unknown. build back better would help our country fight this climate threat with unprecedented
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investments in clean manufacturing, clean transportation, clean electricity, and clean buildings so we can cut our emissions, make our communities healthier, and lead the world by the power of our example. while there still would be much, much more work needed to protect our planet, this framework is a bold step in the right direction. now, of of course, even as we continue negotiations, the president's build back better framework contains many other good things. it will help americans keep a stable roof over their heads with long-sought investments in new affordable housing as well as ensuring we keep housing affordable for low and moderate-income families. i've been working night and day with my colleagues in both chambers and the white house to make progress on lowering the cost of prescription drugs. i am very hopeful there will be an agreement as early as today that will include landmark reforms sought by the american people and the democratic party for decades. for the first time medicare will be empowered to negotiate
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prescription drug prices in part-b and part-d. there will be an annual cap on out-of-pocket costs, a new monthly cap on the price of insulin, and an inflation rebate policy to protect consumers from egregious annual increases in prices. these policies are common sense and overwhelmingly supported by the american people. the deal will finally lower the costs of prescription drugs for seniors and working families. it doesn't do everything i would want or many of us would want, but it takes a big step forward. all the while, build back better will be fully paid for and will ultimately relieve our nation's inflationary pressures. don't take my word for it. many leading economists have made this clear, have made clear that this legislation would improve, not worsen, inflation in this country. so there are a lot of good things in this framework, and democrats are moving forward to get a final agreement and this
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bill over the finish line. nobody said that transform alternative legislation of this scale would be easy, quick, or senchl, but we -- simple but we remain committed to helping working and middle-class families achieve the american dream in the 21st century. we want to help those in the middle class stay there. they're worried about their future and the future of their children. we want to help those struggling to get to the middle class get there more easily by building ladders that they can climb. it's so important we get this done. this is the best opportunity we've had in a long time to make that a reality, so we will continue marching ahead. and finally, very quickly, on judges, mr. president, here's a number that everyone watching the work of the senate should take note of -- 28. that's the number of federal judges that after yesterday's confirmations of betting robinson and tow -- of beth robinson and tony heyten the
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senate confirmed. 28 judges, 19 to serve on district courts, 9 to serve as appellate judges. and the vast majority of these new judges are people of color, the majority of them being women, and many from backgrounds that have long been overlooked in selection of our nation's judges. this is more judges put in this period of time, the first year -- the first nine months of the president's -- ten months of the president's first term than has happened in a very long time. i yield the floor. mr. president, i move to proceed to legislative session. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. 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. mr. schumer: i move to proceed
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to executive session to consider calendar 312. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. the presiding officer: all those in favor say aye. those opposed no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the nomination. the clerk: nomination, department of commerce, robert luis santos of texas to be director of the census. mr. schumer: i send a cloture motion to the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion, we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the nomination of executive calendar number 312, robert luis santos of texas, to be director of the census, signed by 17 senators as follows. mr. schumer: i ask consent the reading of the names be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent that the mandatory quorum call for the cloture motion filed today, november 2, be waived. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection.
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mr. schumer: i yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president. the presiding officer: the republican leader is recognized. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: since the earliest days of covid-19, washington democrats have admitted they want to use the pandemic as a pretext to permanently transform our country. they hope to use the temporary crisis as a trojan horse for permanent radical change. one of their goals is a huge
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series of disruptive changes to america's families' child care. the story is like democrats' long march towards socialized medicine. take an intimate area of american life, pile on a maze of new mandates, regulations, cost increases, and subsidies, and push families out of the driver's seat so washington can run their lives. not too long ago the democrats promised that if you like your health care plan, you can keep it was awarded the lie of the year. now they want a sequel. if you like your child care, you can keep your child care. democrats want to sweep the first five years of children's lives into a new set of top-down, one-size-fits-all, washington-knows-best regulations. their big-government scheme
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would make child care more expensive, then use taxpayer money to subsidize only some families, those who structure their arrangements in ways that democrats like. other families would be left to fend for themselves now in an even more inflated market. their bill would give democrats and bureaucrats massive new authority they could use to shape curricula and standards nationwide. if providers don't play along, they could be left out in the cold. the biden administration wants to insert itself into the most intimate family decisions and tell parents how to care for their toddlers. the entire scheme violents the basic -- violates the basic principle of family fairness. speaker pelosi suggested last week she approves one kind of family structure, quote, parents earning and children learning. she said democrats want government programs to liberate families so that both parents
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work full time. well, lots of families like that model, but other families prefer other models. not everybody defines liberation the same way, yet washington democrats want big government to bless certain family arrangements and not others. has your family made a different set of sacrifices so a father or mother can parent full-time? sorry, democrats want to redistribute money away from your family to other households that may earn even more hone. has your family built its whole life around a plan for a grandparent to provide in-home care? too bad, grandma or grandpa would have to fill out paperwork and apply for the bureaucrats' blessing for that family to be denied help also. democrats could easily end up taxing working-class families with full-time parent, with a
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full-time parent in order to subsidize the arrangements of wealthier two-income households. they're steamrolling over family fairness, over families' choices and options, over the diversity of american families and their aspirations. oh, and by the way, democrats appear to want to change the law in ways that could force faith-based providers to put aside sincerely held religious beliefs. look at who would be administering all this. one key player would be h.h.s. secretary bashear, who got famous for suing catholic nuns who got too catholic and crisis pregnancy centers for being pro-life. and this person is going to be the new national czar for early childhood? another key figure would be secretary cardona.
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you may recall a few months back senate republicans had to stop our education secretary from diverting funding for civics education towards woke propaganda that had been debunked by historians. and this is the same biden administration whose attorney general just wrote an entire memo singling out concerned parents who speak up at their local school board meetings. now they want to extend their federal control over babies and toddlers as well. finally, get this, this tangled new entitlement would be so mind-bogglingly expensive the democrats can't even put a long-term dollar amount on it. the estimate is that all this government meddling will cost $400 billion over just the first several years. after that, nobody really knows what the blank check will add up to. taxpayers are supposed to pony up a blank check for the privilege of having less control
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over family choices. i think the american people will take a pass. now on another matter, each year the national defense authorization act represents the senate's most consequential opportunity to help steer the course of defense and security policy. it's our chance to lay out our priorities for keeping america safe. for the past 60 years, without exception, senate majorities have done the job and passed this crucial bill with a bipartisan vote. but this year our democratic majority is sleep-walking toward yet another preventable problem. the process began with ernest deliberation among our colleagues on the armed services committee, chairman. mr. reed presided over discussions an the committee reported out a final bill by a margin of 23-3. our colleagues began a process
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that should end with broad support for clear bipartisan priorities, like equipping us to keep up with china's military modernization and combat a new generation of terrorist threats. but alas the democratic leader has left the ndaa trapped in limbo while democrats toy with another taxing-and-spending spree. neglecting the ndaa denies our forces the funding they need. this is especially misguided in light of the biden administration's erratic, rudderless approach to foreign policy. just last week administration officials acknowledged that hundreds more americans than they initially claimed remain trapped in afghanistan, that terrorists in a country just months away from being capable of conducting attacks on u.s.
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soil and that no basing agreements to allow for over-the-horizon operations have yet been reached. emboldened terrorists are already stepping up against our allies in the middle east. the administration is failing to deter iran-backed militias in iraq and syria. the russian threat has grown since biden took office, though you wouldn't know it by how quiet senate democrats have been on that subject. putin is committed to modernizing his military to threaten u.s. and nato forces, weaponizing his country's energy resources to pressure europe, and escalating russia's military pressure on ukraine. of course, the american military, american industries, and our allies a understand partners are also -- and partners are also facing a country that's hellbent on dominating trade and repressing dissent. this is not a regional threat but a global one. china's comprehensive military modernization is stunning in its
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scope. the p.r.c. is building weapons and capabilities to target u.s. forces at greater and greater range. we ignore this threat at our peril. so there's never a good time for congress to abdicate its role in guiding national security policy but the biden administration's muddled mess of foreign policy makes this an especially terrible time for the national democratic majority to neglect these issues. chairman reed and ranking member inhofe has given us an opportunity to fulfill the senate's role in a serious, consequential way. now, the majority needs to let the senate work. we need the kind of serious and rigorous floor process that the ndaa deserves.
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the presiding officer: the republican whip is recognized. mr. thune: is the senate in a quorum call? the presiding officer: we're not. mr. thune: okay. mr. president, the -- in all the time i've been in washington in both the house and senate, we have a lot of -- i've seen republicans in control in the
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majorities, i've seen democrats in the majority. i've been on both sides of that. i've seen republican presidents and democrat presidents. but the one thing that doesn't change is that when democrats get power in washington, they want to expand government. they would not to grow government. -- they want to grow government. they want to spend money. that's just -- if you just look throughout history, at least in the time i've been here, that's just a fact. and we've already seen this year since the president came to power and the democrats have narrow majorities in the house and the senate, which they've interprets somehow has a mandate, but a dead-even united states senate, them push through on a partisan basis a $1 .9 trillion spending bill, which expanded government. there is a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that has passed the senate in a bipartisan way on which there was some agreement and is still awaiting action in the house of
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representatives, but already -- already -- in this new administration that represents over $3 trillion in spending. and -- which is on infrastructure and some core hard infrastructure with respect to the bipartisan bill. the other bill was a lot of things that republicans felt weren't necessary, particularly after the five bills we passed last year in 2020 in response to the pandemic. and those, by the way, every one of those was on a bipartisan basis. so a lot of spending went on responding to the pandemic, trillions and trillions of dollars. so first thing that happens when democrats come to power, they pass another $2 trillion. and they then an -- and then an infrastructure bill. so we've already got another $3 trillion spent at a time when we have $30 trillion in debt, and growing by the day. and yet they -- the democrat now
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proposal is to spend $ 3.5 trillion. some on their side want to spend up to $6 trillion to grow and expand the government. and so it's not -- i guess it doesn't come as any surprise that that's what democrats do when they gain power, when they get majorities. they want to grow, they want to expand the government, they want to spend more money and raise taxes to $it. it's -- to do t it's almost like a right of passage that if if you're going to be a good democrat, this is what you do. as i said before, you know, after last year coming through the pandemic, at a time when the country had to and both sides agreed agreed, address the needs out there, keep people employed, keep businesses operatings and workers employed, support our health care industry, support our schools, there was enormous amounts of money that went into the economy last year, you would think that when democrats took power this time that they might
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want to dial it back and just think about setting -- seeing how things -- how the economy reaction before going on a full-blown effort to grow and expand government once again. but what we saw right out of the gate immediately -- and again in a very partisan way -- was a $2 trillion spending bill. and i say that again because we all know that the amount of debt that we have today dwarfs, eclipses anything, anything in history even close to what we're talking about. and even you go back to the 1930's and the big expansion government then -- and i think president biden was convinced he could be the next f.d.r. and to do that you have to spend lots of money. trying to find things to spend it on has been a challenge. but they've come up with a big list, and a list again that would be financed with lots of tax increases that i think would be incredibly harmful to the economy. but what i want to talk about
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briefly this morning is just what has happened as a result of the spending that's already occurred and what i think is going to happen if the massive amount of spending they want to do from here forward actually happens. and like i said, we will do everything we can to stop it. i think it's just an absolutely disastrous prescription for the economy right now. and what people are already experiencing in their daily lives. but last week we learned that economic growth for the third quarter had fallen short of expectations, largely driven by a deceleration in consumer spending and supply problems of goods and labor. meanwhile, american families continue to deal with what is rapidly becoming a serious long-term inflation problem. attributable in many respects again, as i'll get to later, to the amount of spending, the amount of dollars that have been flooding the economy. last month consumer prices rose at the fastest pace in 30 years.
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in a recent -- and a recent estimate from the chief economist at moody's athletics suggested that an average household is having to spend an additional $175 a month on basics, thanks to inflation. $175 bucks a month. that may not sound like much to a wealthy democrat politician, but that's a lot of money for an ordinary american family. $175 a month can be the difference between putting something away in savings and living paycheck to paycheck. it could be the difference between whether or not you can afford braces for your child or whether you have the money to replace a broken appliance or make a needed car repair. our inflation problem has gotten to point that it has overtaken wage growth. inflation is present, is growing faster than wages, which means that many american families have received a de facto pay cut. the growth in wages isn't keeping up with the increase in costs in their lives.
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so how did we end up here? as i said, a lot of the problem traces back to this past march when democrats decided to pour a lot of unnecessary government money into the economy you understand the guise of -- under the guise of covid relief. by the time democrats took office in january, congress had passed five bipartisan covid relief bill. the december covid relief bill contained more than $1 trillion in funding. but that didn't matter. that didn't matter to democrats. now that they were in charge, they were eager to take advantage of the opportunity the covid crisis presented to push their big-government agenda. and so they decided to pass another ostensible covid bill less than three months after the december bill and before a lot of the money from the december bill had even been dispersed. they gave $129 billion to schools, even though schools had
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spent just a small fraction of the $68 billion they'd already been given. they created a staggering $350 billion slush fund for states, despite the fact that the majority of states already had the money that they needed to deal with the pandemic and many, many states were operatings in a surplus situation. they extended enhanced unemployment benefits until september of 2021, despite the millions, literally millions of available job openings. and they made part of the unemployment compensation tax free, creating incentives for americans to stay unemployed instead of returning to work. they created additional billions in rental assistance, none of which has yet been needed. in short, their so-called american rescue plan flooded the economy with a lost unnecessary government money. and the results were predictable.
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inflation. mr. president, the definition of inflation is too many dollars chasing too few goods and services, and that is exactly the situation that democrats created. they sent too many dollars into the economy and the economy overheated as a result. you don't have to take my word for it. here's what former obama economic advisor jason fer minute -- furmin said recently. and i quote, the original sin was an oversized american rescue plan. it contributed to both higher output but also higher prices, end quote. that from jason furmin. that quote from mr. if you aremin appeared in an article that also noted, quote, some economists, say much of mr. biden's inflation struggle is self-inflicted. lawrence-summers is one of those who say the stimulus bill the
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president signed in march gave too much of a boost to consumer spending. mr. summers, who served in the obama and cline it will administration, says inflation now risks spiraling out of control and other democratic economists agree there are risks, end quote. so what are congressional democrats doing in response? well, they're planning to flood the economy with even more government dollars. that's right. instead of keeping a sharp eye on government spending to make sure our inflation situation doesn't get worse, democrats are planning to double down on the strategy that got us into this position in the first place. democrats are trying to finalize a new -- now it's $1.75 trillion taxing-and-spending spree, the so-called build back better plan, on top of the $1.9 trillion spending spree from earlier this year. i say $1.75 trillion,
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mr. president, but democrats have only arrived at that number through a combination of shell games and budget gimmicks. the real cost of this proposal over ten years is going to be way, way higher, way, way higher. some estimates in the $4 trillion range. so once again, democrats want to flood the economy with government dollars, including billions for such priorities as tree equity. tree equity. and environmental justice programs at well-funded colleges and universities. that's right. ivy league schools that don't have problems financially where students pay tens of thousands of dollars in tuition every year will get tax credits if they teach courses on environmental justice. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that i be able to complete my remarks before the vote begins. the presiding officer: is there any objection? seeing none.
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mr. thune: madam president, i am forcibly reminded that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. what exactly do democrats think is going to happen to inflation if they pass this $1.75 trillion legislation? do they think that if one round of excessive government spending triggered inflation, another round of excessive government spending is going to cure it? do they think that dumping more fuel into an already heated economy is somehow going to put out the inflationary fire? if they do, they have another thing coming. the only thing democrats' latest spending spree is going to do is make our inflation problem worse. we're already looking at serious inflation lasting well into next year. add democrats' build back better spending spree to the mix, and we could be looking at a very, very long period of inflated
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prices and reduced spending power for american families. mr. president, democrats were warned that their march spending spree could spur inflation. they passed it anyway. so i don't have a lot of hope the democrats are going to heed concerns about inflation, even coming from their own economists, when it comes to their current taxing-and-spending spree plan. but i and every other republican will stand firm against this reckless taxing-and-spending spree and will continue to urge our democrat colleagues to rethink their spending agenda before inflation soars out of control and american families have to suffer the consequences. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion. we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to
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bring to a close debate on the nomination of executive calendar number 168, jonathan davidson of maryland to be deputy under secretary of the treasury, signed by 18 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is, is it the sense of the senate that debate on the nomination of jonathan davidson of maryland to be deputy under secretary of the treasury shall be brought to a close. the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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vote:
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vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: on this measure, the yeas are 88. the nays are 11. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will now report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion, we, the undersigned senators in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the nomination of executive calendar 170, benjamin harris of virginia to be an assistant secretary of the treasury signed by 18 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is, is it the sense of the senate that debate on the
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nomination of benjamin harris of virginia to be an assistant secretary of the treasury shall be brought to a close. the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or wishing to change his or her vote? if not, the yeas are 79.
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the nays are 20. and the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the nomination. the clerk: nomination, department of the treasury. benjamin harris of virginia to be an assistant secretary. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion: we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the nomination of executive calendar number 337, isobel coleman of new york to be a deputy administrator of the united states agency for international development, signed by 18 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is, is it the sense of the senate that debate on the nomination of isobel coleman of new york to be a deputy administrator of the united states agency for international development shall be brought to a close. the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll.
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vote:
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vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change his or her vote? if not the yeas are 59, the nays are 40 and the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the nomination. the clerk: nomination, united states agency for ?asht development, isobel coleman of new york to be a deputy
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administrator. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. mr. bennet: mr. president, i'd ask consent to speak for five minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. bennet: thanks, mr. president. i am coming to the floor to talk about a nominee that we have before us this afternoon who is nominated by president biden to be the deputy under secretary of the treasury for legislative affairs. he's a person who is well known to this chamber. he spent roughly 20 years working in the senate. he started out as senator paul sarbanes' body man years and years and years ago and became chief of staff for senator sarbanes when senator sarbanes was the chair of the banking committee. worked in the house for representative sarbanes. was chief counsel to senator warner. and then came to my office and was my chief of staff.
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his name is jon davidson. he worked for the people of colorado and for the country for about ten years in that role. when he was appointed to that, or when he came over as my chief of staff, it was very shocking to me that he was willing to do it because he had a good job. he was doing really well for senator warner, but it gave him the chance to run a senate office, and he did an extraordinary job not just because of his understanding of policy and his understanding of politics. a lot of people have that around this place. but also his understanding of human nature and his belief that in all of us, even those of us that are senators, there can be a gem of goodness in us to be found and to be brought along and to be grown. that was true not just for me,
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but for the entire staff. he was an incredible mentor to probably hundreds of people that worked for me over the years both in the state of colorado and in here. he was an extraordinary manager who led with integrity and discipline and drive. while i was extremely sorry to lose him, i wasn't at all surprised that president biden and the secretary of the treasury wanted him at treasury where he could take what he had learned on capitol hill and apply it at a moment when the country urgently needs leadership like the leadership that john davidson can provide. just one example -- mr. president, i ran a not very well noticed campaign for president the last time we were having a campaign for president. i ran it on the idea that we
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could cut childhood poverty almost in half in this country by adopting the changes i proposed with the child tax credit with senator brown from ohio and senator booker from new jersey and then-senator harris from california. but like with anything else a senator does, the work is actually done often by the members of that senator's staff. in the case of john, division also came from him and from charlie anderson, another staff member that i had, an entire team that worked together not just for that presidential campaign, but to make sure that in the wake of it that could actually become law. because of john's tenacity, among other things, willingness to be able to raise this issue again and again and again in rooms full of staff, but also in rooms full of senators, those changes in the child tax credit are now the law of the
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land and we're cutting childhood poverty almost in half this year. it's one of the signature accomplishments in my mind of the biden administration. it's one that i hope that we're going to be able to continue. obviously i was extremely sad to see him go. i was very, very pleased to see the broad bipartisan support that his, the cloture vote on his nominee engendered. and i know great things are ahead for john and for the country because of his leadership. he knows, i think, that he's got an open invitation to come back any time that he wants to. before i leave the floor i also want to say a special word of gratitude to his dad garber, who lives in baltimore, his wife, erin, his children me i can't and sa -- mia and
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sarina, all and on behalf of ofe united states of america. these opportunities for public service that all of us have are ones that can't be accomplished without our families. i know in the case of john, the mentorship that he received from his father, who himself was a distinguished public servant in the united states, and also the support of his family. so i am filled with great happiness today that we're going to have a great, positive bipartisan vote on jon davidson as it should be, and perhaps that's a sign of things to come, when the kind of quality of somebody like john davidson is recognized in a way that it causes us to act not in a partisan way but in a bipartisan way to embrace his public service but also a vision for the country that can move us forward. congratulations to john davidson.
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congratulations to his family, to the treasury department, and to the united states of america. and with that, madam president, i yield the floor. i have seven requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. the presiding officer: duly noted. under the previous order, the senate stands in recess until coverage here on c-span2.ntil
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