tv U.S. Senate U.S. Senate CSPAN November 29, 2021 3:00pm-7:25pm EST
continue work on the annual defense programs and policy bills in a two and as scheduled for 530 eastern time later in the week the senate along with the house, taking up legislation to extend funding best friday at midnight deadline and the toavoid a government shutdown ad were taking you now live to the senate floor. "c-span2".
nd love as you keep their feet on the path of integrity. we pray in your great name amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting 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.
quorum call: mr. schumer: madam president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: madam president, i hope all senators had a productive and restful thanksgiving holiday. this year i'm sad to say was a painful thanksgiving season for the schumer family. last wednesday we all said goodbye to my father, abe schumer, who passed away after 98 amazing years. i want to thank all my colleagues in this chamber who
have reached out with prayers, words of kindness in recent days. their words gives strength. their prayers give us healing. their kindness gives us immense comfort. i say the same to so many new yorkers who reached out as well. and here on the floor of the u.s. senate i want to take a moment to offer a loving son's tribute to the man who lost last week. my father was the kind of parent every kid deserves, every spouse hopes for, and the sort of american that makes our country great. and, as i shared last week, quote, in so many ways he personified the greatest generation. he took whatever was thrown at him, no matter how difficult, he did his job, and never complained. he was amazing husband, parent, grandparent, and great-grandparent. dad, we love you. we already miss you beyond comprehension. thank you for the incredible
life you led on this earth. now on another subject, omnicron. over the course of 2021, our country has made hard-fought progress on the papped. after the passing of the american rescue plan, after getting vaccines into as many arms as possible, and because of the unceasing work of the biden administration and health care workers across country, we begin the winter of 2021 in the much better place than the inter-of 2020. as we learn more about the om omnicron variant, get vaccined, if you're eligible, get your booster shot. while there is so much we have to understand about the new variant, we do know that you are far less to be hospitalized or die from the coronavirus if you are fully vaccinated.
and for those who are already vaccinated, research shows that boosters are likewise highly effective. take the words of dr. francis collins, the head of the national institutes of health. quote, boosters do in fact allow your immune system toll have a wide range of capabilities against spike proteins it hasn't seen before. if you needed one more reason if you're eligible to get that booster right away, this would be it. those are the words of dr. collins. by now we know the longer that eligible people resist safe vaccines, the greater the risk of new variants like delta and omicron. these strains, these strains of variants have largely spread among unvaccinated populations, threatening our families, small businesses, and prolonging the day we put this wretched disease fully in the rearview mirror. so if you aren't getting vaccinated for yourself because you don't think you need it, then do it for your family, your
friends, and your neighbors. because the unvaccinated population is where the variants multiply, spread, and grow. and hurt everybody. so as we enter the poll day season, we -- the holiday season, we begin attending -- and as we begin attending holiday gatherings and traveling long distances to see families, i urge new yorkers and americans everywhere to stay safe, get vaccinated and get boosted. it's the best thing we can do to protect our families, our communities, our country. now, on ndaa, the defense act. madam president, we begin an important week for what will be an important final month of 2021. later today the senate will vote on cloture on the substitute amendment to the ndaa. ndaa has been passed by this chamber for over 60 years, and there's no good reason why this year should be any different.
before thanksgiving, the senate worked in as bipartisan way as it could to lay the groundwork for advancing the defense bill. the senate armed services committee chairman and rank member reached a agreement, a bipartisan agreement on a package of 18 amendments. let me repeat that had 18 amendments votes for the senate to hold roll call votes on. nearly half of those amendments were led by a republican. that would be more amendments to the ndaa receiving roll call votes than in the last four years combined. we also agreed to the substitute amendment which included at least 50 amendments, 27 of which were led by a republican. senator inhofe, the ranking member of the armed services committee, agreed to this. in any other time, this would be considered a very fair and generous compromise, even though every member didn't get every amendment they wanted, the leadership on both sides would
have made sure that cloture was granted. unfortunately, republicans could not accept this agreement before thanksgiving. but we hope that republican dysfunction will not be a roadblock to passing this bill and taking care of our troops and their families. now on government funding, as we all know, by the end of this week, both parties must come to an agreement for funding the government and avoiding a needless shutdown. at the end of september, democrats and republicans worked together to keep the government open through december 3. avoiding many of the fights that tainted so many funding debates under the previous administration. after the house takes action this week, the democratic-led senate will move forward to make sure the government remains funded after the deadline. with so many critical issues, the last thing the american people need right now is a government shutdown, and democrats are going to work this week to make sure we don't have one this time around. it's important to get it done,
and we are working to get it done. and finally, madam president, on build back better, before the end of the year, the senate have also act on president biden's build back better legislation, which momentously passed the house at the very end of the last work period. this week, democrats will continue to meet with the senate parliamentarian in order to complete the technical an procedural work required before a bill comes to the floor. meetings were held over the thanksgiving week, and we will continue this week and next week as needed. as i have said repeatedly, once this necessary work is completed with the parliamentarian, i will bring the president's build back better legislation to the floor so we can pass it as soon as possible and send it 0 to the president's desk. our goal continues to be to get this done before christmas. build back better represents the largest investment to the american people in generations. under our bill, child care will
be more affordable, pre-k will be more affordable and raising kids overall will be more comfortable for tens of millions of parents. the bill will take steps in the climate crisis and scores of economists can from across the ideological spectrum attest to, build back better will not worsen inflation, will not worsen inflation, and in the long run help keep costs under control. so cutting costs, saving parents money, fighting climate change and creating the jobs of tomorrow -- these are the things the american people want. these are the things the american people need, and these are the things that build back better will deliver on once we pass it through this chamber. i yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
republican leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: today's democratic party does not make the policy decisions of a party that is serious about protecting our country. in may president biden released a budget proposal that proposed a de facto cut in defense spending. that was before the president's own supercharged inflation cut the purchasing power of every defense dollar. in august, his botched afghanistan retreat shattered our allies' trust and delighted the terrorists. in ten months in office despite naive happy talk from the administration, the threats we face are markedly worse. the vacuum they dleft? -- left in afghanistan embold
ened those to the highest ramptions of the taliban's government. their desperation to a nuclear deal has given iran the upper hand in negotiations. for four years my colleague, the democratic leader, seemed constantly focused on putin and russia, but now with putin flaunting his power and russia engaged in troop buildups, crickets. and for all their talk about china's threat, we see no evidence that democrats intend for the united states to keep pace with the p.l.a.'s investments in nuclear and hypersonic weapons. the bipartisan national defense strategy commission has made clear we cannot shortchange our military modernization and have a prayer of competing with the people's republic of china or even the declining but dangerous russian republic.
our colleagues across the aisle have missed one opportunity after another to right the ship. they used the reconciliation process to spend trillions in spending without a cent for defending the nation. despite bipartisan work of our colleagues on the armed services committee the democratic leader kept this year's defense authorization bill in limbo literally for months and now wants to block the senate from a real debate and real amendment process. so, madam president, debating the right way to combat russian threats to america and our allies and equip our friends in ukraine is certainly worth the senate posts time. -- senate's time. putin is massing troops on ukraine's border but the democratic leader is trying tblok -- block a debate to russian aggression. it makes no sense. considering sanctions on the pipeline that fuels putin's
encroachment over europe, including provisions from senator risch, that closely mirror a language that the house added unanimously is certainly worth the senate's time. setting the record straight on our resolve to maintain a strong nuclear deterrent that can check the worst impulses of 0 you are our adversaries -- of our dreardz is worth the senate's time. yet the democratic leader seems to want to put security last. i imagine there might be finger pointing at republicans if that proves impossible. so, madam president, nothing less than the safety of the american people is at stake. this is more important than political timetables or partisan wish lists. so if the democratic leader insists on forcing a cloture vote later today, i'll oppose cutting off thes important
debates prematurely when they have really just begun. now on a related matter, why do our democratic colleagues want to shortchange our national defense? to free up their time and attention for another massive reckless taxing and spending spree, a radical wish list. working families are getting slammed by runaway costs because the last massive spending spree drove up inflation, used car prices are up more than 25% and grocery prices across practically every category are up significantly over this time last year. but in response, washington democrats want to print, borrow, and spend trillions more. even if you accept all their budget gimmicks at face value, this bill alone would unleash $800 billion and not pay for spending in the next five years.
years five through ten are when their crushing tax hikes and phony accounting would actually begin to kick in. but even then, the bill is not paid for. president biden promised americans over and over that this legislation would cost zero dollars. obviously that's false. the congressional budget office says that after ten years, after their tax hikes and fakes offsets are factored in, their spree would still add up to $367 billion and add that all to the deficit. president biden said the deficit impact would be zero. in reality, it's hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars. president biden promised americans something else too. he said he'd never raise taxes on the middle class. people earning less than $400,000 per year were not to
pay a penny more. he was -- he has completely broken this promise as well. among the 1.5 trillion in job-killing tax increases are new burdens for small businesses, family farms and direct hikes on middle-class families earning less than six figures. meanwhile, amazingly, democrats did find room in their plan to include $300 billion in tax cuts for the wealthiest blue state zip codes in new york and california. our colleagues want to pretend they're launching another new deal, yet one of the biggest components is the direct cash give-away to their richest constituents. the cost to this spending spree would be astronomical and the massive tax h hikes that would only parliament pay for it -- that would only partly pay for it would crush a fragile economy. if democrats get to steal the
american people's credit card for this historic spending spree, what would our citizens even get to unwrap? well, there would be massive government giveaways to supposedly green initiatives giving rise to a whole new generation of waste and abuse, like solyndra. there would be a gigantic slush fund so the h.h.s. secretary, becerra, the culture warrior who sued catholic nuns could take over day care and prekindergarten across america. he would be in charge of subsidizing certain kinds of certain family choices but not others and tilting the playing field against faith-based child care.
there would be a continuation offing inflationary welfare payments that washington is sending out would zero work requirements whatsoever and illegal immigrants would get the money as well. oh, and as we speak, senate democrats are still trying desperately behind the scenes to get sweeping amnesty included in the bill as well. so it goes on and on like this. a hodgepodge catalog that is built to satisfy the demands of activists, not the needs of families. if you ask any working-class or middle-class american family for their top concerns, you aren't going to hear many people pining for massive tax hikes, electric car charging stations and woke bureaucrats getting control of their kids early childhood. my colleagues across the aisle seem determined to spend the weeks ahead on ways to waste
america's money while making america's problems even worse. so let's hope enough of our democratic colleagues step back, take stock, do the responsible thing, and kill this bill. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. morning business is closed. naps, the senate will -- under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of h.r. 4350 which the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 144, 4350, an act to authorize appropriations for military activities for the department of defense for military construction, and so forth and for other purposes.
highlight a new hunter biden record that i recently made public. before i get to that point, i'm going to take a trip down memory lane. yes, down memory lane. on september 23, 2020, senator johnson and i released our, quote-unquote, biden report, as it has been called. that report focused on questionable financial transactions between the biden family and foreign government-linked individuals. on november 18, 2020, we released a supplemental to that report. i'm going to read several statements from the media and my democratic colleagues about our
report. so start with september 23, 2020, a "new york times" article by nicholas flandose described it in two ways, quote, lack of meaningful new information, end of quote. and, quote, overlap with russian disinformation campaign, end quote. and then democratic minority leader was quoted in the same article and said the report read, quote, as if putin wrote it, not united states senators, end of quote. on september 23, 2020, an article by igo dershers quoted a democratic senator saying that the report was the culmination
of a, quote, sham investigation, end quote. in that article the same democratic senator described our investigation at being, quote, rooted in disinformation, end quote, from russian operatives. separately, a democratic senator also said about our report, quote, bottom line, the johnson-grassley investigation is baseless. it's laundering russian propaganda for circulation in the u.s., end quote. on september 23, 2020, cbs article by melissa quinn, another democratic senator said about our report, meaning the johnson-grassley report, quote,
the chairman have amplified a known russian attack on our election, end quote, and -- quoting again -- it is un unconscionable the chairman continued to advance false information to undermine the democratic process at the expense of bipartisan work that we should be doing to protect our national security, end quote. that same cbs article said that our report, quote, reveals little new information, end of quote. and one "washington post" columnist, josh rogan said, quote, even after accepting disinformation from russian agents, johnson and grassley couldn't come up with anything
new or interesting on hunter biden, end of quote. so understand this -- week after week, month after month, year after year the media and my democrat colleagues falsely attacked our investigation with reckless disregard for the truth. i've spoken at length on the senate floor rebutting all these false charges with example after example. i did so on may 11, 2021; march 18, 2021, december 14, 2020, october 19, 2020, and
september 29, 2020. well, on november 15 this year, senator johnson and i publicly released a -- publicly released a record that i posted on this poster next to me which i will get to in a minute. the full document includes an assignment and subject interest. there is a signature block, including a technical error. it includes hunter biden, two of his companies, and individuals connected to the communist chinese regime. there are -- these are the main companies that hunter biden and his associate used to funnel money all over the world.
cefc was an arm of the chinese government and hunter biden was a close business partner of them and their companies. this significant block shows a direct financial and legal relationship between hunter biden and individuals connected to the communist regime. now, these are the same folks and companies that we discussed at length in our september 2020 report. this new document is yet another record that substantiates our report that we issued september 2020. that same report that the media and my democratic colleagues said was based on russian
disinformation. so i now say to the media, and i now say to my democratic colleagues, that said that our report was russian disinformation. this question, is this signature block russian disinformation? are the names of these companies russian disinformation? is this document disinformation? no. this is a legitimate record that my staff uncovered and it didn't come from the hunter biden laptop. this is the same type of record that senator johnson and i based our report several months ago
on. so to my democratic colleagues who falsely smeared our report, you're in the majority, you are now committee chairs and that you have jurisdiction over these matters. so i want to challenge you to use the same effort and energy that you exerted in the trump-russia investigation to expose extensive ties between the chinese regime and members of the biden family. and i think i speak with some credibility on this point because you know there was a president trump, and at the time there was a president trump, i investigated donald trump jr. on things that were appropriate at that time to ask legitimate questions about in the
congressional role of congressional oversight, the constitutional role of congressional oversight. now, on another matter, and this will be my last statement for the day. i've always been a critic of one-size-fits-all government, and there are few places where this is more inappropriate than education. each child is different and if we offer a cookie-cutter assembly line education, it will hurt all students. whether we're talking about students with gifts and talents or those with learning disabilities, students with unique learning needs must have teachers trained to address their way of learning. it may seem like common sense to
say that, that students benefit when their education is tailored to their individual needs. any parent can tell you that. you can't expect all students to learn at the same speed and depth in every subject. unfortunately, those like outgoing new york mayor de blasio want to scrap programs for gifted students, citing the fact that white and asian students were overperforming compared to students from other ethnic categories. de blasio tried to end the city's program. his attempt to prevent any students from excelling is a misguided policy. it would have the perverse
effect of reduces opportunity for every -- for the very students who need it most, including historically disadvantaged minority groups. now, we all know that wealthy families can afford to put their kids in private schools or pay for services outside the schools. it is those students who aren't as well off. it's the students that aren't well off who need access to services to address their unique learning needs. families from less advantaged backgrounds are not helped by limiting opportunities for all students in public schools. they are the ones who have the most to lose when public schools cancel needed services. thankfully the incoming new york
mayor recognizes the importance of gifted and talented program and has pledged to keep it. i introduced the talent act to address these unique needs of gifted and talented students and ensure they don't slip through the cracks. thankfully much of this bill was included in every child achieves in the year 2015, but i'm also a strong support of the jabbots gifted and talented education. this is the only dedicated federal program to develop and help teachers implement teaching methods that meet the needs of gifted students, and it is targeted specifically to disadvantaged gifted students. thankfully my state of iowa is a
leader in this area. iowa law requires gifted education services for kids who need to be challenged. this applies to all students, whether or not they can afford private schools. iowa has recognized that we should aim to challenge kids with gifts and talents and give them the resources that they need to excel. we should help all students achieve their potential, not try in vain to find one identical education for every kid. i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: yes, we are. mr. cornyn: i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cornyn: mr. cornyn: madam president, here we are following the thanksgiving holiday where i hope that people got to get together with friends and family and enjoy a little respite from the hectic schedule here in congress. but here we are now with just a few short days intervening between now and christmas and the end of the year legislative mad dash is officially upon us. this year our democratic colleagues who control the senate agenda have ignored some of the senate's most important and basic responsibilities leaving us with a whole lot to do and not a whole lot of time in which to do it. in september when the senate should have passed a group of bills to fund the government for the next fiscal year, our
colleagues instead kicked the can down the road. you would have thought they would have used the past couple of months to pass the annual appropriation bills which is one of the most basic and fundamental responsibilities of congress but no. they chose not to do that. instead our democratic colleagues found time for partisan dead on arrival messaging bills while they failed to bring a single appropriations bill to the floor with december 3 deadline. as things stand today, it looks like these funding bills are nowhere near ready. this risks leaving millions of americans without a paycheck right before the christmas holidays or punting on our funding responsibilities once again. and that's not the only potential fiscal disaster we are careening toward. at some point in the coming
days, week, or months, we don't know exactly when -- only secretary yellen knows -- the u.s. will run up against the debt limit. that is, we've maxed out our credit card and unless our democratic colleagues decide to raise that credit limit, we will exhaust the credit of the united states government. it kind of feels a little like groundhog day because we saw this movie just about two months ago. democrats had a clear road map and ample time to increase the debt ceiling on their own and avoid a financial crisis but they stubbornly refused. they said they didn't have enough time. well, they don't have that excuse now. and even then they knew since july that republicans would not help them with their -- with another partisan spending spree. so we find ourselves staring down the barrel of a potential
economic crisis, but our colleagues can't blame the calendar or not having enough time again. if our democratic colleagues want to exclude republicans and continue spending on a purely partisan basis, they will have to raise the debt ceiling in a partisan fashion. they've proven they're okay with spending trillions of dollars of borrowed money without a single republican vote. it's not too much to say that they should be held accountable for that reckless course of conduct. of course, before the senate addresses either one of these crises, there's another item on the agenda. the national defense authorization act. congress has passed the national defense authorization act each year for the last 60 years and for good reason. it's the case, i believe, that our national security is the single most important duty that
we have here in the senate. but this bill has been waiting in the wings for months, ready for floor action. both the chairman of the armed service committee and the ranking member have had to push the majority leader to actually bring this to the senate floor, even at this late date. so two weeks ago before the thanksgiving holidays, the senate finally began consideration of the defense authorization act. and we hope we can actually do what the senate is supposed to do which is to vote on amendments to that bill and then pass it in the coming days. but the fact is it's nearly december, and it has been -- the fact it has not been done yet is simply inexplicable. now, with such a big to do list and so little time to do it, you'd think our colleagues would be laser focused on this hefty
end of the year ageneral today funding the government, avoiding a debt crisis, strengthening our military and supporting our volunteer military forces and their family. none of the senate's most basic responsibilities have been attended to. and as it stands today, the senate is only scheduled to be in session for a handful of days before the christmas holidays. well, unfortunately our democratic colleagues think they have an even more important job to do. forget the millions of government employees who could be left without a paycheck before the holidays or the economic crisis that will cripple our country if we defaulted on our debt. our democratic colleagues are laser focused on their multitrillion dollar tax and spending spree. after months of party infighting and countless iterations of this bill, the democratic leaders in the house, most notably speaker pelosi, finally managed to pass
a partisan version of this bill. they couldn't even convince every democrat to vote for the bill which is an indication of how problematic it is. what we're talking about is an absolutely massive bill that would increase the role and power of the federal government in americans' lives in an unprecedented fashion. it would reshape how we take care of our children, our health care system, our energy, our educational systems, virtually every aspect of american citizens' daily lives would be affected by this monstrosity. and of course these programs don't come cheap. but democrats have pulled every gimmick in the book to hide the true cost. they filled this bill with arbitrary sunsets and cliffs and expirations that make these programs appear to cost less than we know they actually will. one example is the expanded
child tax credit. as originally drafted, this policy was a temporary measure in their bill that became law in march, just eight months ago. earlier drafts of the so-called build back better legislation would have extended that policy through 2025. even though it seemed all but certain that democrats would later try to make -- make it permanent. when democrats needed to cut the overall price tag of the bill to convince their own members to vote for it, they expanded -- the expanded child tax credit was scaled back to a one-year extension. but nothing's really changed. i have no expectation that this or a number of other so-called temporary programs in this bill will actually expire. as president ronald reagan once familiously said, the closest thing to eternal life on earth is a temporary government program. if all the temporary provisions in this bill are made permanent,
it will cost a whole lot more than as advertised. and the budget experts at the university of pennsylvania's wharton school of business has given us an estimate of how much more it will cost. of course there's president biden who said it will cost zero. nobody believes that. others have said well, it's a $1.75 trillion bill. and i would argue that based on all the budget gimmickry, you can't really believe that either. the university of pennsylvania wharton school of business peggs the price -- pegs the price close to $4.6 trillion over ten years. that's the budget window, more than two and a half times the amount democrats have previously stated. the committee for a responsible federal budget agrees with that estimate. they estimate that the true cost of this bill would be approximately $5 trillion over the next ten years. that's $5 trillion in largely
borrowed money that will have to be paid back by somebody. that's a whole lot more than the $1.75 trillion price tag that the press has reported based on the incredible estimates that our democratic colleagues have provided. of course, that flies in the face of president biden's estimate that it would cost nothing. well again, we understand that is not true and the $1.75 trillion price tag is not true either. last week i sent a letter to the leaders of the congressional budget office and the joint committee on taxation requesting a true cost estimate for this bill. the american people deserve a full and complete picture of a real world price of this legislation and before voting on the bill, every member of the
senate, both republicans and democrats, should want to know how much this legislation is going to end up costing the american people. the price tag of this bill is deeply concerning. but that's only part of what makes this legislation so dangerous. as i said earlier, it dramatically increases the role of the federal government in every aspect of our lives. it drives up taxes on working families. it harms our energy security. and it hurts our competitiveness on the global stage which hands a big win to china. that apparently is the priority for our democratic colleagues right now. not the looming debt crisis or potential government shutdown. they're focused on legislation that actually does more harm than good. our democratic colleagues control the senate agenda. they control the house, and they
control the white house. they control every lever in the legislative process here in washington, d.c. and this is how they've chosen to use that power. our democratic colleagues continue to prove that they are not doing what's best for the american people. if it was, then there would be an effort to build a bipartisan consensus for this legislation. instead, they're using raw partisan political power to jam through an agenda that they know will end up costing somewhere around $a trillion and -- $5 trillion and that will permanently alter the relationship of the american people to the federal government. for our country's sake, i hope something changes between now and the time we actually take up this partisan tax-and-spending spree bill that has been passed by the house of representatives. i yield the floor.
a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mrs. blackburn: thank you, madam president. i imagine many of us in this chamber had a wonderful week talking with tennesseans and with our constituents. in tennessee i will tell you this. we had a fabulous week. and everywhere i went, whether it was the grocery store or somewhere with the grandchildren, i was hearing from people about the issues that are in front of us. and they're really curious to see what is going to end up happening as we take up issues here in d.c. and i talked with a lot of our county mayors who are quite concerned about what is
happening with the american recovery act funding and how they're going to be able to use that funding. they're very concerned about the infrastructure bill. you know, they were really a little bit surprised to find out that so little of the bill actually goes to infrastructure. i think they were really disappointed in that because what they're interested in is money for roads and bridges and highways and ports and broa broadband. and we're really disappointed in the emphasis in the bill on mass transit. so what we have realized is that they have a lot of questions. they look around and they say well, in washington you've got a lot of spending quills going on and not a lot of forward motion.
i somewhere to agree because in washington, it does appear that the president and many of my democrat colleagues are spending their wills in the same rut -- wheels in the same rut that they were stuck in before the holiday proving once again that while they understand very little about the economy, they understand even less about where the american people are. since day one of this administration, the white house has made it clear that governing is not ap priority. -- is not a priority. governing, working with the house, working with the senate to find solutions. but instead this administration is doing all it can to force the country on to a path that the people have said time and again they don't want to travel this path. it's not where they want to go.
by all accounts, businesses are at least a year out from a return to normal, which we continue to hear a lot about that. everybody would like to be back to prepandemic normal. our supply chains are a mess. ships that are loaded with goods cannot get to ports. inflation is unfortunately here to stay, definitely wasn't transitory, and families are having an increasingly difficult time putting food on the table and gas in the car. because a dollar doesn't go as far as it once went. and this is something every family is wrestling with. and even with all of this the right in front of their faces, my democratic colleagues are
more concerned with how they'll leverage these problems rather than how they're going to solve these problems. what solutions that they have proposed are completely divorced from reality and come loaded with more internal political strife than they're worth. this, of course, is the logical conclusion of a year where consensus took a back seat to the whims of the loudest and most radical leftist wing of the democratic party. over the past week, the media has dripped out story after story covering the cost of inflation, the consequences of failing to fund the government, and the upcoming debate over the debt limit. and if you thought the message coming from the white house and from my democratic colleagues in response to all this was jumbled
before, prepare yourself for something even more chaotic in the days to come. my colleagues across the aisle, unfortunately, still seem to be under the impression that senate republicans are going to band together to save them from the hole they've dug for themselves. they think we're going to endorse fiscal policy so destructive that many experts who are normally friendly to the white house have refused to support these ideas. and with good reason. they're a socialist government control agenda. we've been down this road before, madam president. so my democratic colleagues know that going through the motions of bipartisanship is going to be enough because we went through this months ago with the debt ceiling and on the matter of funding the government.
we would have settled all of these issues months ago if the majority had their priorities in line and if they could articulate clearly to the american people what the priorities are, what the problems are, what the challenges are, and bring forward solutions the american people look at and say, yeah, that makes sense. but that is not what they have done. and what they continue to do. and here's the problem with where they are. the priorities of the democratic party are not the priorities of the american people. out in the real world, inflation is a problem, spending and debt, all of that means something.
how you spend your money means something. people understand that. they get it. but according to the majority here in the democratic-controlled senate, none of these things actually matter in practice, in fact. the past few months have shown us that among democrats there's no real consensus about what, if anything, these major debates mean to them or what's the endgame. it's amazing. they can't tell you. if you are here to solve problems or create problems, people are going to figure that out. the american people are. and they know that the question should be, are you here to solve problems or create problems for your political enemies in a way that ensures you are punishing
people? now, that is the question that people are asking. is the debt limit a legal fiction or a meaningful check on reckless spending? that's a question that we've heard. it's just something that gets tossed around. is funding the government part of your duty or is the appropriations debate just fuel for talking points? i think we know the majority's answers to all of these questions, and i think their answer is probably coming down on the wrong side of where the american people are. those looking for good faith from the white house are seeming to not find it, nor are they finding any evidence that democrats in congress are aware of their moral obligation to be discertaining and truthful about
discertaining and truthful. there is alia rein that the democrats lied about the cost of their massive social spending bill which reflects the priorities of paw liberal leftist activists rather than the priorities of the american people. they claimed it was paid for, but in reality it will add $367 billion to the deficit and cost taxpayers more than another $400 billion. that's why they have not been truthful with the american people that needed more buy-in in order for the democrats to make this happen, even when they knew the c.b.o. report was going to come and show how much debt is going to be added if this bill got passed. they know that people don't want
this big spending bill. they know that the american people know that we cannot afford this. our children and our grandchildren cannot afford this bill. as my colleague from texas was saying, it's not $1.5 trillion or $1.75 trillion. this is trillions -- trillions of dollars in spending, and we know how some across the aisle are sort of with a wink-wink, nod, nod get these on the books and then things will take care of themselves. this week we're facing the prospect of yet another government shutdown which means yet another 11th hour opportunity for my democratic colleagues to complain about republican obstruction. but what the democrats in the media and the liberal activists need to realize is that republicans are not the problem
here. the democrats are in charge of this chamber of the house and the white house. and not even the democrats in power can agree on how much they want to spend and how they want to spend it. if they have consensus and if that consensus came from listening to the people that elected them to serve, we wouldn't be staring at the prospect of another government shutdown. no, you'd see democrats marching to the chamber in lockstep to vote for a continuing resolution that reflects goals that don't change with the news cycle. but there is no consensus. the people driving the ship have lost all sense of direction and in doing so they are losing the faith the american people have put in them. in tennessee, we would say that our friends across the aisle are
in the middle of a good ol' fashioned come apart, and there's one way and only one way to reverse the damage, and that is to stop worrying about politics and pushing a leftist agenda and start worrying about meeting the needs of the american people, not only today but the needs of our children and grandchildren. what are we going to do to their hopes and their dreams for living their version of the american dream? so we should agree, no more blame, no more budget gimmicks. open our eyes to the reality of the situation that we're dealing with. we have a job to do here, and the sooner my democratic colleagues remember that fact, the sooner they will be able to earn back the faith and the
trust of the american people. that is priority number one, and it's time for my colleagues to prove that they understand it. i yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. a senator: madam president? i suggest -- i ask that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. a senator: i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. mr. king: madam president, i want to talk about the national defense bill but first i want to respond in just one particular to the comments of the gentlelady from tennessee. because i've heard this before. the idea that the infrastructure bill isn't infrastructure. i don't get how anybody is making that claim. here's the list. roads and bridges, highway safety, public transit, rail,
broadband, for-profits, airports, the electric grid, water, and superfund cleanup. yes, there are some small items for e.v.'s and the facilitating of the electrification of our transportation system, but the vast bulk of it is what anybody would call infrastructure. infrastructure is something you can kick. infrastructure is something you can feel and that's what we're talking about here. roads, bridges, ports, airports, rail, broadband. that's the infrastructure of the 21st century. this is an infrastructure bill and it ought to be recognized as such. there are plenty of things that we can argue and differ with around here but this isn't be one ever them. people are being given confusing information. they're being told it is not an infrastructure bill. i've heard that. it is simply not true. so let's argue about the things that, you know, we have genuine policy differences, but let's
not talk about things that just aren't the case. ports, bridges, railroad, public transit, and, yes, public transit is infrastructure. it may not be in tennessee. it may not be so much in maine, although i suspect there is some in tennessee and maine. but it is a big part in many parts of this country and it is critically important to our citizens. broadband, airports, electric grid, water. that's infrastructure. now, in a few moments we'll have what i hope is not an historic vote. it shouldn't be an historic vote t ought to be a boring vote. the vote is to proceed to the national defense authorization act for 2022, just as we've done for 60 years running. but i understand that there's a movement afoot to derail it because there haven't been enough amendments. i didn't get my amendment in, therefore i'm going to block this bill.
well, let's talk a little bit about the history of the bill. i serve on the armed services committee, as does the chair. and both of us can attest that the armed services committee is one of the most nonpartisan committees in the united states senate. and, in fact, in the armed -- let's talk about amendments for a minute. in the armed services committee, during our markup we adopted 145 amendments, most by agreement, by bipartisan agreement, by unanimous consent consent. there were a few roll call votes, but not very many. and in my experience in nine years on that committee, there have only been a handful of party-line roll call votes in the armed services committee. it produces some very odd bedfellows and some combinations that don't make much sense politically, but it's because the members of the committee put the interests of the united states of america first and make their decision on that, not on
politics. so 145 amendments in the committee. then there's a managers' package that we're going to be voting on today that has 57 amendments in it, 27 supported by republicans, 27 by democrats, and three that are entirely bipartisan. so we're up to 202 amendments. that's a lot of amendments to a piece of legislation. not to mention the fact that the managers' package within the committee was developed largely by consensus between the two parties' leaders, chairman reed, rank member inhofe. so this process is replete with amendments and compromise, and that's how it's been done for the past 60 years. now, last week before we left, we had another 18 amendments that were agreed upon by both parties to bring up as a package, not as a package, a i'm sorry, to be considered one at a time and be voted on. that process was killed by a
group of senators who said, no, i want my amendment. i'm not on the list and, therefore, i'm going to object to the unanimous consent request so nobody gets their amendments. so today we're going to be voting on the motion to proceed to the substitute amendment that's chockful of bipartisan amendments. it doesn't have all the amendments everybody wants. it doesn't have a couple of amendments that i feel are very important. but you know what? to quote my favorite philosopher , mick jag ger, you don't always get what you want. but if you try sometimes, you find sometimes you get what you need. and that's what we've got right here is what we need. this is the defense of the united states of america, and why can't we do just one bill without politics? and without stamping our feet and saying i didn't get my amendment, so i'm going to vote against it. and, by the way, this is a
vote on a motion to proceed which, in my view, ought to be just the most routine possible vote. it's not a vote on the bill itself. let's proceed to this bill. let's proceed to the bipartisan managers' package that's been worked out painstakingly over the last several months, and let's think about what this bill is all about. this isn't ordinary policy. this is the national security of this country. this is a pay raise for our troops. this is national security that our people depend upon. that's our most fundamental responsibility. the preamble of the constitution, one of the key responsibilities to provide for the common defense. that's why you have governments in the first place. we've done it for 60 years in a
row. i urge my colleagues, this isn't a moment for partisanship or for playing about i didn't get my amendment, so i'm not going to vote for it. suck it up. i'm going to vote for it. as i say, there are a couple of amendments that i felt very passionately about involving cyber and the protection of the country, but they aren't in, but i'm still going to vote for it because that's our responsibility. this is the most fundamental responsibility we have around here, and we have a bipartisan process. it came out of committee 25-3, two republicans, one democrat voted against it. that's as close to unanimity as you can get on an important piece of policy legislation. so i urge my colleagues to vote yes on the motion to proceed and then to move the bill later this week to meet our responsibility to the american people, to meet the responsibility that every
congress has met for the last 60 years. if we don't do that because we're angry that we didn't get something in or there weren't enough amendments, 202 amendments built on top of already a bipartisan package that was produced, the chairman's mark in the committee, to me, is pretty full consideration. and i hope my colleagues will vote yes to proceed to this bill. it's our responsibility. and more than that, it's what's necessary to protect this country. thank you, madam chair. i yield the floor. mr. inhofe: madam chairman. the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: let me first of all say that i have a hard time
finding a better friend than the member who just spoke. we've been good friends for a long period of time, and we have not p been apart on very many votes. and yet -- nonetheless, we're going to have to do something which is the same thing we had to do five years ago and really for kind of the same reason. every year when the senate turns to the ndaa, we call it our must-pass bill. it is a must-pass bill. it is a bill that will pass. it is a must-pass because it will give our tools -- troops the training they need. that's why we passed the ndaa for 60 straight years. this year will be 61. this is pretty much the only authorization bill that gets done the way it should year after year. in fact, it's pretty much the
only bill period that congress does every single year without fail. however, no matter how important it is, that doesn't mean that we'll accept the fact that senator schumer wants to jam it through the senate without adequate consideration. let me be clear, senator schumer has put us in this position today. he waited more than two months after we filed the ndaa to bring it to the floor. two months. we could have been discussing this and having it and treating it like we should. he tried to tack it on his unrelated legislation. just as many of us, including my democrat colleague in the house, adam smith, guessed that he would. now he wants a floor vote on this bill, the most important bill that we do all year. to be enough, despite the fact that he is not giving us ample
time to debate the bill, and he certainly hasn't been willing to entertain an open amendment process. we've been trying to get this for a long period of time, and we haven't gotten it. the most important bill of the year. and i think americans back home are smart enough to understand that our servicemembers deserve more. they deserve to be our priority in the senate, and we need to show them that by providing a robust and open debate on the annual defense bill, that's how we would do it. we're in place right now, in this place right now because senator schumer won't prioritize national defense and fund our troops, because the majority leader mismanaged the senate schedule, he won't allow votes on bipartisan amendments that make our country more secure. we heard that argument just the last time we were in session. these include an amendment that
would inflict sanctions against russians who stop its power grab over european energy supplies, which builds our previous bipartisan ndaa's and aligns with the house version of the ndaa. another amendment that senator schumer would not give would tighten import restrictions on china, to ensure goods sold in the united states aren't made by uighur forced labor. this already passed the senate by voice vote. good amendments like these shouldn't fail, shouldn't fall victim to the majority leader's failed leadership. we all understood how important this bill is. it shouldn't be a partisan thing. this is the most important bill we do every year. in fact, we've said this every year. in fact, i've said this more
times than any other member has stated it. even more important now, because we're in the most threatened position of our lifetimes. i can't tell you how many times i've demonstrated that fact on the floor of the senate. i echo the minority leader's frustration. i understand the frustration from my colleagues who wanted real time to debate this bill. i think they pled their case very effectively. we wouldn't be in this position if the majority leader had brought this bill up earlier, which we kept insisting that he do over and over again on a bipartisan plea. and while i want to be clear that we are in the position because senator schumer, and he is forcing this unfortunate action, i also want to be equally clear that i'm still very supportive of this bill and hope it will pass soon.
i stand with my colleagues who are voting against the majority leader's irresponsible management of the bill. we've got to get it done. we can't rush it. and that is why i will be voting no on cloture. that's not an easy thing for me to do, but i believe we can get this bill in better shape. my vote against the process -- it's not against the bill. it's against the process. we're not delaying national security. this is just the opposite. we are demanding that we show through open and robust debate that our men and women in uniform are our priority. and i've heard this from many of our people that i've talked to over the weekend, over this past week that are really wondering why, why we didn't have this on the table earlier so we could get the debate. i hope that a lot of the american people heard there are
six different republicans who were demanding to have their votes and amendment process. this is the first time in my memory that we have not had this kind of a process take place. and for that reason, i will be voting no. i do want to hear of course -- and let me say something because this might be an area of disagreement between my partner and myself, senator reed. we've worked these bills together for a long period of time. we've been successful and we're going to be successful this time. i yield the floor. mr. reed: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. reed: madam president, it would be very disappointing moment if we fail to invoke cloture. this bill from the very beginning has been completely bipartisan, open to amendments. in the course, as senator king in his eloquent remarks pointed
out, in the committee hearing, we detained over 100 amendments on a bipartisan basis. we came to the floor with a bill that passed our committee 23-3, overwhelmingly bipartisan. we also brought to the floor a substitute amendment, including approximately 60 amendments that were also bipartisan. and then we had another series of 20 amendments that were completely bipartisan that would have been voted on. but they were objected to because several members did not get their amendments. now, just to point out, the majority of these amendments aren't even within the jurisdiction of the armed services committee. they don't relate directly to the men and women of the armed services. they might have foreign policy
implications but they're not something that is essential to the passage of the national defense authorization act. and i can recall many times -- and maybe our recollections differ a bit. i can recall many times on this floor where the ndaa was brought up and both sides could not agree on amendments, and we went through the process, and we invoked cloture and we voted on the substitute bill, and we went off to conference. so this would not be the first occasion in which ironically a few people did not get their amendments. in fact, on previous occasions there are many, many people who did not get their amendments. and so, again, i go back to the point of we have produced a bipartisan piece of legislation. i commend the ranking member. we worked with closely the committee chairs and the ranking members. the staff has done a suburb job. -- done a superb job.
and we're here one procedural vote away from moving forward, and i think we should move forward for the benefit of the men and women of the armed services as senator king so, again, eloquently described. i think the other factor too is that eventually we have to reconcile whatever we do or don't do with the house of representatives. and certainly i think it gives us much more credibility, much more clout, much more leverage when we have a strong bill that has passed the floor of the senate. and we're not talking about 100 amendments that we have to consider. we're talking about a handful of senators who didn't get their way, even though many others were frustrated. i think, again, our duty is to move forward, to pass this cloture vote this evening, and then to move forward to final passage and then reconcile our
differences with the house and come back with legislation. at this point, and i think the chair would agree with me, as it stands right now, i would be very proud of this legislation that we pass because it's bipartisan, because it responds to the needs of the men and women of the armed forces, because it establishes robust resources for the department of defense, much more than were advocated by the president in his budget. so we have taken a strong step forward, and i just would hate to see this as a sidestep away from final passage. so, madam chairman, i would urge all my colleagues --. mr. king: would the senator yield for a question? mr. reed: i'd be happy to yield. mr. king: my recollection is, and we passed this bill for the past 60 years, including the last four or five years. the last several years there weren't that many amendments. there were a few, and it was always agreed in advance there was a package, just as we had
the other night, but everybody didn't get there -- there wasn't unlimited numbers of amendments or votes on amendments. there was generally an agreed upon number of amendments and there wasn't very many. is that correct? mr. reed: that is absolutely correct. there have been occasions where we've had, once we got the substitute adopted, in some cases no amendments, we went to be final passage, in other cases a handful of amendments. and last year i don't think we had the kind of amendments, the number of amendments we're offering this year. and every year, senators, they have amendments, some of them have nothing whatsoever to do with the national defense, others have foreign policy implications, but the decision is based upon a fair allocation of both sides and that was the
case last -- two weeks ago or a week ago when we considered this. the amendments we were proposing, the 20 or so amendments were equally divided, either that or completely bipartisan. and so i think we're here tonight -- in fact, frankly, to your point, i think this would represent more amendments than in many years that i witnessed the passage of the ndaa. 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, do hereby bring to a close debate on the reed-inhofe substitute amendment numbered 3867 to calendar number 144, h.r. 4350, an act to authorize
appropriations for fiscal year 2022 for military activities for the department of defense and so forth and for other purposes, signed by 17 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 amendment numbered 3867 offered by the senator from rhode island, mr. reed, as modified to h.r. 4350, to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2022 for military activities for the department of defense and so forth for such fiscal year and for other purposes shall be brought to a close? the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
voted in the affirmative, the motion is not agreed to. mr. schumer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. schumer: i enter a motion to reconsider the failed cloture vote. the presiding officer: the motion is entered. mr. schumer: and, mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the cloture vote on the underlying bill, h.r. 4350, ripen on disposition of substitute amendment 3867, as modified. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: thank you, mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: thank you, mr. president. this weekend -- i withdraw. i yield to senator reed. the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island.
mr. reed: thank you, mr. president. i rise to express my great disappoint that some of my colleagues have indicated by their vote that they are preventing the adoption of the national defense authorization act, and they claim that more amendments and more debate are needed. this bill has been bipartisan from the beginning. it incorporated over 100 amendments at the committee level. there were additional approximately 60 amendments in the substitute on a bipartisan basis. last week before we adjourned we offered 20 more amendments on a bipartisan basis, and they were rejected by my colleagues on the republican side just as this evening this motion for cloture was rejected. and they have had, as i said, an opportunity to consider more amendments. we had 20 amendments last week
that were ready on a equal basis to be debated and voted upon. and that was denied. and one of the ironies this evening is many of my colleagues who have amendments in the bill, indeed were offered a chance to present their amendment but were denied by republican objections, came down an voted against the bill. it doesn't seem to be particularly logical, in my mind. now, in the course of ndaa's, and i've done a fee, there have been periods in which there have been extensive consideration of the bill with very few, if any, amendments. there have been times in which only a handful of amendments were presented before we voted on cloture, pass the cloture and passed the bill.
so this is an unusual depar fluor what is -- departure from what is particularly what happened. particularly with a bill that has so much bipartisan support. the bill passed out of committee 23-3. because it represented all of the principled points that my colleagues wanted. in the course of the committee deliberations, there were 300 amendments presented, and we adopted 143. mr. president, let me yield to the majority leader. mr. schumer: i thank my friend from rhode island. i with aens to make a brief statement -- i want to make a brief statement about the vote. so, my colleagues, there should be no misunderstanding about the absurdity that just played out on the floor. for a while now republicans have claimed they wanted to pass the national defense authorization act immediately. they said we couldn't afford to
wait any longer. they called it a core duty, a bear minimum, and they called on me to bring to to the floor for a vote. but a few moments ago, republicans just blocked legislation to support our troops, support our families, keep americans safe. republican dysfunction has again derailed bipartisan progress. the republican choice to block our bill and by an extension legislation to support our troops and protect the homeland can be summed up in two words -- inexplicable and outrageous. i hope the american people are watching. and don't tell me we aren't offering a fair process. we have ample debate. we had amendments from both sides. we had a huge number of managers' amendments, equal numbers democrat and republican. we offered to debate, i believe it is 18 amendments, more than it has been on most other bills of this type. in any other time in history,
what we offered republicans would be considered a very fair and general us have compromise. but just because a few republicans didn't get every single concession they insisted on, they're now halting the process. despite this vote, democrats will continue to work to make sure our troops get paid and our vital defense programs can continue. i thank my colleague for his courtesy and yield the floor back to him. mr. reed: i thank the majority leader for his comments and just to elaborate, this represents what the majority leader just pointed out. a few members on the other side frustrated the entire process, and ironically frustrated many of their own colleagues in their caucus, who had amendments either in the substitute agreement or were ready to be voted on. so this is not -- this is a question really of doing our utmost, as we have in the past,
not for individual points, but for the support of the men and women in the military. that was the spirit that guided our efforts in the committee. working closely with senator inhofe and all the members on both sides, we recognized that what we do ultimately affects the safety and the welfare of the men and women in uniform and their families. and this legislation, i think we have accomplished a great deal. this is my sense, one of the most bipartisan bills we've ever considered. and it is unfortunate that we can't move forward on a bipartisan basis, consider this bill, and then go to the house and come back with a final legislation for consideration by this senate. we will have to do the ndaa. it will be done. i think senator inhofe is committed to that, as i am. and we'll have to use procedures that are appropriate to get it
done. but we just missed an opportunity to send a clear message that we support this legislation, we support our troops, we're going to go to final passage, and then we're going to go and give the house, send the bill to the president of the united states. one of the other aspects of many of the issues are not in the purview of the defense committee. there were sanctions issues, et cetera. we often serve as a vehicle to move those issues along, but it's not central to the purpose of the national defense bill. what is central to the national defense bill, we accomplished -- resources for our troops, support for the near-peer competition that we're facing from russia and china, investing in game-changing technologies,
modernizing our ships and our aircraft, and our vehicles; providing our servicemembers with the resources and support they need to defend the nation and at the same time taking care of their families. that's why we're here on the floor with the national defense authorization act. it's not to send political signals about foreign affairs and political issues. it is, indeed, an opportunity, not only an opportunity, a responsibility, and i think tonight we demonstrated irresponsibility to those who serve and their families. and i regret it immensely. now, i look forward again, working with my colleague senator inhofe and all members of the committee, to continue forward to develop legislation that will be acceptable to this body and pass, as we have for
60-some odd years the national defense authorization act. so with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor and i would recognize and thank my colleague from ohio for yielding to me. mr. brown: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: and i always laud and so appreciate the principled leadership of the senior senator from rhode island who never would have done what just happened on the floor when we were in the minority. i mean, jack reed is always there for the troops, is always there for our national security, and i join my colleagues in showing our appreciation. i know the presiding officer from new mexico thinks the same thing. mr. president, this weekend we celebrated small business saturday. for ohioans and people around the country show their support for people in their local communities by shopping local for holiday gifts. small business, their workers drive this economy. there's always talk on this floor about small business, but the focus is rarely in this body actually on small business and
their workers. they create jobs and economic growth in our communities and the heartland, in small towns and overlooked neighborhoods, places that often data get a lot of -- often don't get a lot of outside investment. they're our neighbors, family members, the people you see at church and the grocery store. they are vital to our economic recovery. it's why we passed the bipartisan paycheck protection program last year. it's why democrats and president biden expanded the american rescue plan. last week i asked ohioans on social media to tell us about their favorite local businesses to support this holiday shopping season. businesses that go above and beyond to help their communities. this was a little bit, mr. president, and i've gone to the floor on this before. you and i have talked about this. when i post on my website what does the child tax credit mean to your family, and the effusive outpouring and
excitement from so many people saying this should be the role of government. this is what really matters. that's what we found when we posted asking people to share your stories about favorite local businesses. i want to share a few of them. beth talked about moo town creamery. she said they're so involved in the community, never say no when help is needed. robin gave a shoutout to snazzy's in southwest ohio,. berea. sarah mentioned sunset bistro, devoted to honoring our veterans, another community with a big state university in northwest ohio. heather wrote about let's eat cake in urbana. she said the owner is always doing something for the downtown business association and greater community. donna said i can't say enough about scott, the owner of salad
crazy. scott goes above and beyond to make the city of avon lake, a city on lake erie east of lorraine, a great place to live and raise children. lauren said poka art does amazing digital printing and photography. she restores old photographs into digital paintings. tia said gem ni creations, a small city southeast of columbus, wonderful people who started selling out of their homes and during town events. they finally have their own shop. theresa mentioned chris fult signs company in lima, lima just swore in a new mayor, sharita smith and the mayor of dayton attended the swearing in. amber mentioned the copper penny salon. vicky mentioned the charm
farmhouse. she said she take food drives and help those in town who serve our community. they survived and thrive still. think about that. they survive and thrive. this pandemic hit so many small businesses hard. for so many of them they are still paying their workers because of p.p.p. it has helped ohio businesses survive. vaccines are bringing back customers allowing small businesses to thrive again. the bipartisan infrastructure plan the president signed just last month is going to mean investment earlier this -- this month excuse me -- is going to mean investment in communities and local communities. people in ohio and across the country remember how after the last economic crisis in 2008 and 2009 the biggest corporations recovered while large swaths were left behind.
many communities watched as factories closed and investments dried up. we can't make that mistake again. we're investing in rebuilding roads and bridges and bus and rail systems, to revitalize downtowns. we know businesses can't survive on their own. they need safe streets and sidewalks. they need other businesses around. they need bus stops nearby. they need customers with money in their pockets. as part of the american rescue plan, as i said earlier, we passed the largest tax cut for working families ever. 92% of families in ohio who have children under 18, 92% of those family will get at least a 3,000 a year tax cut. it's essential that this congress, that this senate extend that tax cut for at least another year. it's giving millions of ohio families that tax cut every single months. $250 or $300 per child every single month. we need to make sure they continue.
we need this holiday season to commit to shopping local. and in the senate let's commit to protecting small business, putting small businesses and workers at the center of our economy. the workers who shared, the ohioans who shared these stories know the vibrancy and dynanism and diversity of working class towns in neighborhoods that senator portman who is in the chamber this evening, that we represent. we need to get to work to invest in them. we need to get to work to work to ensure that these places, ohio's main streets, america's main streets are at the center of a better economy. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today it adjourn until 10:00 a.m. tuesday, november 30, that following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour deemed expired, the journal 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 resume consideration of h.r. 4350. further, that the senate recess
from 12:30 until 2:00 p.m. to allow for the weekly caucus meetings. i'm sorry, 2:15 to allow for the weekly caucus meetings. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: thank you. if there is no further business, i ask that it stand adjourned under the previous order following the remarks of my colleague from ohio. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. portman: mr. president. the presiding officer: the
senator from ohio. mr. portman: mr. president, i thank my colleague from ohio. i'm on the floor today to talk about a major public health crisis facing our country, one that is resulting of, in thousands of people losing their lives, causing the death of over 100,000 americans a year, negatively impacted so many millions more in my home state of ohio and all around the country. and, no, i'm not talking about covid-19. i'm talking about an epidemic within the pandemic. i'm talking about the surging epidemic of drug use and addiction that has fueled a record number of overdose deaths and threatens to get even worse. in the past 19 months or so our attention has understandably been directed toward the covid-19 crisis. once again we see with omicron and the possibility of another variant coming and those public health challenges are real. but i've got to tell you, it's
led us to ignore another crisis. the centers for disease control, the c.d.c., recently issued a report which was shocking and should serve as a wake-up call. it said between april of 2020 and april of 2021, the most recent year for which we have data, we had over 100,000 individuals lose their lives to drug overdose deaths in this country. that's the highest ever. it's a record. by the way, 100,000 deaths per year is more than the deaths from gunshot wounds and the deaths from car accidents combined. it's truly the epidemic within the pandemic. away from the headlines, we have this other tragic health care crisis that has left no part of the country unaffected. 46 states and the district of columbia have seen their overdose rates go up in the last year. 26% increase in my home state of ohio. in some states, there are now
as many drug overdose deaths as there are covid deaths. like many of you, i've seen firsthand the damage drugs like crystal meth or cocaine or heroin or now the synthetic opioids are causing to the families we represent, to people who have gotten caught in that spiral of drug abuse and addiction. i've also seen efforts the first responders who have saved people's lives by administering nalaxone which some call narcan. it's a miracle drug that literally saves drugs by being able to reverse the effects of an overdose. and i've ridden with law enforcement and treatment providers on rapid response teams to follow up with those who have overdosed. literally somebody overdoses and this rapid response team usually made up of law enforcement but also treatment providers, social workers, go to people's homes. and it's amazing what you'll
find out. i was, frankly, a little surprised during my first visit. then i got more used to it, which is people respond very favorably. most people who are approached by these rapid response teams agree to get into treatment. and isn't that the key, using narcan again and again and again to save someone's life is not the answer. the answer is to get that person into treatment so that person can get back to his or her family, his or her work, and to a more normal life. and to be more productive in life. i've also met with families and loved ones affected, hearing their stories about how losing a family member to addiction has had such a negative impact often tearing those families apart. of course i've talked to a lot of people in recovery who have told me p about the grip of aderricks on their lives -- grip of addiction on their lives and how they goat help and what worked and what didn't work. unfortunately a lot of people get help, get into treatment,
and it doesn't work for them, and they have to do it again and again. but ultimately for those who can stay in recovery, are able to stay sober and clean, they have the most amazing stories. and so many of them are coming back and contributing in big ways to our communities, many helping others. their recovery basically is reaching out to others and helping them along the way. some are called recovery coaches, which is a more formal title. but so many of them are in effect recovery coaches helping others who are struggling. there are so many lives that have been touched by this crisis. 100,000-plus deaths, but so many others affected. and i've made it a goal of mine to make sure congress is playing its role in addressing this effort that must be at the community level, at the state level, but also at the national level to respond to what is a
true national crisis. what makes this especially heart breaking to me is only a few years ago we had finally begun to make progress on this. we were beginning to turn the corner. we were seeing lower addiction rates. we were seeing lower overdose deaths for the first time in decades. how did we do it? we redoubled our efforts on prevention, on getting people into treatment, on getting people into longer-term recovery, making nor in a lack it -- more nalaxone available. the comprehensive addiction and recovery act or cara which i coauthored with senator white whitehouse was signed into law in 2016 to strengthen state, local and nonprofit efforts to combat addiction. our cara legislation and the follow, -- follow-up, we
brought people from all over the country, had four different conferences and got information as to what was working and not working in our communities. and things that were working, we funded. we directed resources toward more treatment and recovery services for individuals and more focus on prevention. i can't overstate how critical these kinds of proven services are for people on the path to recovery. congress had never before this legislation, ever funded recovery services. i visited a number of inpatient and outpatient centers for addiction in ohio to talk with those working to overcome their addiction. they told me time and again how these recovery services gave them the structure, the support and most importantly the hope they needed to be able to overcome this disease. and we actually started to see that hope translate into real success on the ground, real
numbers, and real people's lives. in 2017, ohio's overdose death rate had increased for 30-plus straight years. ohio's deaths per capita that year, 2017 was almost three times that of the national average. but that next year, in 2018, as two signature federal laws, cara and cures were fully implemented, ohio began to turn the tide with a 22% reduction in overdose deaths in one year. again, after more than 30 years of increases in overdose deaths every single year, 22% decrease. nationally, overdose deaths declined that year by about 4% after year after year of increases. 2019 we had a slight decrease also. these were promising developments. but since then, there has been a lethal convergeance on both the supply side of this issue
and the demand side of this issue. sam quinones, author of dreamland recently put it well. he said in an interview that before covid hit mexican cartels achieved their goal finally of covering our country with,, and i quote, the most mind-mangling drugs we have seen. it just so happens that we went into isolation at the very moment when these drugs hit their apex, end quote. a terrible coincidence, that as the supply increased because of the breed of traffickers, the demand increased because of covid. these two things came together, and that has caused this huge increase in overdose addiction and overdose deaths. let's look at the supply-side of this crisis first. the record number of deadly narcotics and other drugs that are taking the lives of moms, dads, children, and loved ones
all across the country are coming into our country in record numbers. as many are aware, for much of the past few decades, the most common cause of overdose deaths were prescription overdoses like oxycontin or percocet. often people who suffered a serious injury or accident needed pain relief, and often, unfortunately, doctors, dentists, overprescribed opioids. people developed an addiction that led to accidental overdoses, often from cheaper and more available heroin when the prescription drugs ran out. now we're dealing with a class of drugs that are tens if not hundreds of times deadlier than those prescription drugs. the so-called synthetic opioids. the most well known of these is fentanyl, which as you can see by this chart of drug overdoses has become the drug most responsible for overdose deaths.
the red here is overdose deaths overall, and the blue is overdose deaths that are attributed to fentanyl. you can see what's happened. fentanyl was about half of overdose deaths in 2018. half of all overdose deaths with one drug, fentanyl. 2019, it was more than half. and in 2020, way more than half of all the overdose deaths were caused by one drug, synthetic opioid called fentanyl. it's the deadliest one. incredibly, 80% of drug overdoses in ohio and overdose deaths in ohio can now be attributed to this deadly substance, based on what the experts tell me. 80%. it's not surprising that the amount of fentanyl seized on the streets of ohio cities like dayton, ohio, recently has nearly doubled compared to last year, and it's not only the amount of fentanyl that is
flooding our country. evil traffickers have increasingly disguised it by mixing it with other drugs or pressing it into fake pills to look like common pharmaceuticals. this concerted effort to expand the reach of fentanyl addiction started before the pandemic, but it's only accelerated. it's a profitable business for drug dealers. compared to heroin, fentanyl is less expensive to manufacture, and pound for pound far more potent. a few flakes can kill you. traffickers make a bigger profit and people are trapped into addiction more easily. traffickers increasingly lace fentanyl with other drugs -- cocaine, crystal meth, heroin, an even marijuana in some cases. they do it as a way to boost its effects and doubt down on its costs. in mexico, they use cheap pill presses to mold fentanyl doses into the shape of prescription drugs, everyday pills people take for a variety of reasons.
what that means is that many of the individuals who now lose their lives to a fentanyl overdose don't even know they are taking fentanyl until it's too late. recently, i have participated in a roundtable discussion on the border crisis and how it's impacted the addiction crisis. we've heard from an ohio mother, virginia crieger, who lost her daughter tiffany to an accidental fentanyl death. virginia told us about how tiffany had been unable to get the care she wanted from her physician. that led her to buying pills on the street. the pills she was told were percocet, and it looked like percocet. that's what was stamped on it. but in reality it was laced with lethal doses of heroin and fentanyl. when tiffany took these pills for her pain, she was poisoned by the fentanyl, and the life of a young 26-year-old woman was snuffed out far too soon. we are hearing this across the
state. recently in cleveland, ohio, xanax pills, antianxiety medication, fake pills pressed by mexican traffickers contained fentanyl and caused overdoses and overdose deaths. my heart goes out to these families. my heart goes out to virginia, who, by the way, has channeled her grief into something positive, and that is going to school and explaining to young people how dangerous this is. her view is that no one should ever take a pill unless they know it comes from a pharmacy. she's right. people across the country need to know that pills of all shapes and sizes can contain fentanyl, even though they might say something else. no street drug is safe right now from the threat of fentanyl poisoning and too many kids and adults who weren't addicted to opioids are unknowingly ingesting these substances and putting themselves at risk. we need to be on high alert.
parents and kids need to know that right now no drug you get on the street can be safe. our communities are saturated with fentanyl and other synthetic opioids right now. among other things, of course, this drives the price of the drugs down. so yes, the most important thing is to reduce the demand for drugs, but with this overwhelming supply, the price of the drug goes down and there is higher use and higher demand. a conversation about how we can cut down the supply-side, of course, has to start with our strategy on our southern border. for years, fentanyl and other sympathetic opioids were overwhelmingly illegally manufactured in china. as then-chairman of the permanent subcommittee on investigations, i led a bipartisan investigation back in 2017 which showed that fentanyl was coming into our country from china primarily through our own lax postal service. our own postal service was a conduit. that's why i worked in a bipartisan manner to write and
pass what's called the stop act which required the postal service for the first time to crack down on fentanyl through the mail. we required the postal service to get advance tracking data on international shipments coming to the u.s., showing the package's origin, contents, and destination. this allowed law enforcement to spot potentially dangerous packages ahead of time and make it much more difficult to move fentanyl into the united states in this manner. other carriers were already doing it, fedex, private carriers, d.h.l., but the post office was not. the good news is that the stop act has been effective and also after persistent engagement and pressure from the united states, china scheduled fentanyl, meaning made it illegal, and its analogues as a class of illegal drugs. we believe these changes have helped to dramatically reduce the flow of fentanyl directly from china into the united states. but it obviously hasn't solved the problem.
because mexican transnational criminal organizations know a great business opportunity when they see one, and they moved in to take over the fentanyl market in the united states. now mexican transnational criminal organizations work with criminal gangs in china to import into mexico the ingredients used to make fentanyl where the final product is made in so-called super labs. we have a record amount of the substance pouring in, both at our ports of entry and through other gaps at our southern border security, by car, by truck, by currier. this is -- by courier. this is a problem that continues to get worse as this shocking chart shows us. look at the dramatic increases in fentanyl that was seized along the u.s. border. this past fiscal year, customs and border protection seized 11,201 pounds of fentanyl, enough to kill every man, woman, and child in america. more than double the amount from the chief year, and four times the amount from fiscal year
2019. just a few weeks ago in southern california, border officials discovered 8.5 tons of meth in a single truck along with 400 pounds of fentanyl. remember it only takes a few flakes of fentanyl to kill you. so this 400 pounds could kill millions. their smuggling operations are complex and sophisticated and customs and border protection have their hands full. according to the most recent statistics, last month, seizures of fentanyl increased 42%. that's 42% in one month. this is only how much we know was discovered, was apprehended. we don't know how much more made it over the border undetected. when i have asked customs and border protection and d.h.s., our homeland security officials in public hearings as i did the week before last, they don't answer the question because they don't know, but in private conversations with border patrol agents, they tell me that they believe the vast majority of
drugs are coming in undetected. so this is just the seizures. not the amount of drugs that are streaming across the border. i take no pleasure in saying this, but the failure of the biden administration to control the southern border has resulted in record levels of deadly fentanyl coming into our country and contributed to the growing strength of the mexican transnational criminal organization. part of the problem is that the biden administration's own policies have encouraged an unprecedented surge of unlawful migrants at the border, diverting our customs and border protection officers and border patrol agents withdraw from interdicting drugs. i've seen that on the southern border, as has anyone else who has visited. these law enforcement officers who should be on the line stopping the criminals carrying drugs are instead processing a record number of migrants. this massive influx of unlawful migrants began when president biden was inaugurated and made
specific policy changes and has only continued to worsen ever since. we all hoped that during the summer months when normally unlawful migration slows down because of the heat that we would have a lessening of this issue, but it didn't happen. in fact, last month was a record month for october. for border patrol apprehensions. as the border crisis created by the biden administration policy changes continues, the administration has failed to give customs and border protection the resources they need. additional personnel, better technology, infrastructure, and more to enable them to better protect our nation along the nearly 2,000-mile border with mexico. on an average day in 2020, customs and border protection processed 650,000-plus passengers and pedestrians,
187,000 incoming privately owned vehicles, and 77,900 truck, rail, and sea containers. the amount of traffic at the border is going up now that there is less concern about the pandemic. however, only 2% of those privately owned vehicles are physically searched at the border. and less than 20% of all those commercial vehicles are scanned for drugs before they cross into the united states. let me repeat that. 2%. so if you're a smuggler driving a sedan with multiple pounds of fentanyl concealed in hidden compartments, right now you have a very good chance of getting across the border without a search. that's not a gap in our security. that's a gaping hole. we've known this is a problem. congress last january, almost a year ago, passed and president trump signed into law a requirement that the department of homeland security give congress a plan and a strategy on using technology and making
policy and resources changes to be able to scan all vehicles. unfortunately, the biden administration is late delivering this report. it was due over four months ago, and we still don't have it. in conversations with administration officials, week before last, i got assurances that it's coming soon. i hope so. we need it. it would be extremely helpful to have this information as we finalize the spending bills over the next month or so. i'm proud that the recently enacted infrastructure investment and jobs act invested billions of dollars in upgrading and modernizing our ports of entry, including ports of entry on the southern border. our ports are aging, some of them badly. this funding wouldn't allow customs and border protection officers to have adequate space to do more screening of vehicles. however, we cannot and should not build a brand-new port of entry and then just install the old legacy technology for scanning and detection of deadly
narcotics. we have a once in a generation opportunity to dramatically upgrade key ports of entry with modern, state-of-the-art detection technology that can help our officers catch more of these drugs before they enter our community. in may, i introduced bipartisan legislation with senator mark kelly of arizona to establish a $1 billion irregular migration border response fund so that the department of homeland security is not forced to transfer resources away from drug interdiction priorities to fund processing of individuals, food, clothing, blankets, and transportation when there is an influx of migrants as has happened periodically. these contingency resources would be available immediately when there is a surge to quickly respond to increased migration at the border. considering the crisis at our border and the record amounts of fentanyl coming in, it was not surprising to me in september when the drug enforcement agency, d.e.a., issued its first public safety alert in more than
six years after it seized more than 9.5 million fake pills this year. more than the last two years combined. as i said, we all need to be on high alert. we hear a lot these days about problems with supply chain, with delayed shipments and canceled orders. i will tell you, the mexican transnational criminal organizations don't have that problem. they are moving more fentanyl than ever our communities. once that fentanyl is here, what a waste. sadly, more people caught in the grip of addiction. this brings us to the demand side of the equation. again, most important 0 to me is again, most important 0 to me is >> most important to me is the demand for these drugs but the demand on the supply side are related and as we discussed, this why pinnacles already increasing in the covid-19 almot two years ago and clearly this pandemic has led to more isolation and anxiety for some,
and impression of four others. millions of americans foster jobs through no fault of their own millions have lost loved ones to covid-19 and some recovery not been able to be with their treatment providers. millions of their lives turned upside down and some have turned to drugs as a coping mechanism and others on the path to recovery have suffered setbacks last month and visited running recovery homes for women in northeast ohio that had the chance to visit and told me about the challenges during covid-19 to connect peopleov the treatment and recovery support services with a governess are being released of the criminal ejustice system and we were in the most restrictive time of the pandemic, this people fell through the cracks overseeing the results of that today. in these overdose tests are happening away from the national headlines they are taking a toll all of the same as i said truly
nationwide crisis and will take all of us here in congress coming together to work on a bipartisan basis to find solutions to tongue-tied again reduce the overdose deaths and put more individuals on the path to recovery and what week continue here in congress moving forward. what arewh the answers and first wave got to the supply-side and demand-side in this chart lays out some of the ways that we can open both of which i talked about tonight. this means we need to complete the installation of enhanced were superior that security technology and the border patrol as tools need to complete his national security mission to enhance border security and martin visited el paso all fully funded construction materials going around at the border. the place where there was a gap in the wall and her directly from the border patrol b offices about the importance of
enhancing the security give them the opportunity to complete the mission of them stop the drugs. that's why this nomination hearing in october i stressed in the commissioner, and border protection, the need to install the enhance border technology and complete the funded sections of the wall and physical gaps in the wall now, that we've already paid for the technology which means most important part of the wall seating the barrier but also getting technology to be able to monitor it is only about 10 percent completed and that el paso section and that is outrageous. everybody republican democratic like we should complete the technology along the border and help the border patrol be able to do their important jobs including keeping these deadly narcotic set of our communities lasso as bipartisan order route response resilience at the dark about it we additional million
dollars to the border patrol and the protection folks during the surgeon unlawful migration like the one we are in now. due to limited resources border patrol agents are full of mortar to care for migrants and direct drug cartels are taking advantage of these open gaps in our nation security and even some of the checkpoints have been closed down when the recent surge on the border near del rio texas and drug intervention checkpoints are in the united states left unmanned answers can process more migrant families for the supply chain does not start and end of the u.s. border. criminals understand the opportunities of the globalized world and impose a dynamic threat to the united states and are smart, and adaptable and they can take advantage of the complexity and volume of the international trade and travel patterns they do that pretty that's understand how the law enforcement regulatory approaches those things and many of the ingredients is make that
and i'll continue to come from china and chinese money laundering networks are key enablers in the business model of mexican transactional criminal organizations. this must stop and only have a complex and difficult agenda the china, this issue is to remain at the top of our list and i urge the administration push the chinese government to be her partner in cracking down on these international crime rings rather to be used in enablers both of our countries interest. likewise issues to be front and center in a relationship with mexico about four countries whose the traffics are successful our countries and updated with legal substances in the cardinals gained money and sometimes the american-made firearms allow them to wage war on the government mexico city read from other country say,tn e need a partner more effectively with mexico. international cooperation.
we also recognize the drug traffickers who have other options as we go after this supply chain we saw t this after the started be implemented in traffickers from china shifted to mexico as becoming a game of walkable coming someone place and it pops up somewhere else read and as an example, is a work to stop the flow of fentanyl ingredients and try to other countries like india, could prove to be a good alternative sources we need toia be prepared to barter with any another potential new sources in this legal supply chain to ensure that we continue to improve our security card lesson need to continue to enforce the provisions to ensure that our postal service is not once again becoming the bible option traffickers unintentional into the united states after missing the initial october 2019 deadline, for from this b relations and in march, they finally began to mandate
100 percent of advanced tracking in the country and that is good. i'm glad we got there pretty that means are forever package coming into thetr united states bridging from a country like india or china, have a sense of what the package contains from and going pretty roasted does not command. however, the number of flavors made in place with these relations for low-volume less developed countries. these waivers allow some countries to continue to solve these reporting requirements including russia. should not be in that category. this means criminals to russia can continue to send deadly illegal packages in the united states without us knowing in advance with it may contain causing a significant security risk and other printed undercutting the goals and family think it's annoying except oversightk enforcement family this bipartisan agreements that is the case. this by merging dhs secretary
the biden administration to narrow down those waivers and ensure that the high risk countries have to comply with these critical advanced tracking data requirements. in addition to this security at the border, cooperation of the international community and the enforcement that we can take the unexpected but important step to make sure that these synthetic opioids actually remain illegal for t the law enforcement can te the proper steps to crackdown on them. in order to avoid prosecution, prior to 2018, evil scientists in china, and drug traffickers started to make slight modifications to fentanyl predict sometimes adjusting a single molecule data creating what are essentially fentanyl copycats together of the law. bullies federal related has the same products as fentanyl the 20 creations 11 to evade prosecution and often times actually these simpler
substances than fresno or more deadly professionals actually more deadly and that was one of the substances being paid. and just this past week we have learned that offense and all related substance called para flora fentanyl has been discovered in my home state of ohio. and to address all of this the agency 2018 use of the authority to temporarily classify them as one substance and allows law enforcement towh aggressively intercept and destroy them. and he forcefully this designation was only temporary we have successfully defended those few times when it will inspire and about two months at january. and until we make these fentanyl related drugs, copycat drugs some more dangerous than fentanyl, law enforcement will not have the certainty they needed to go after criminals having these deadly substances and lives will be lost
unfortunately, we have a gestational ready to address this, bipartisan fentanyl act which introduces joe manchin will fix this problem by personally classifying fentanyl related drugs schedule one and it is about time. it would give her law enforcement the certainty to go after them and all of those forms show that we are committed to addressing the proposed this dangerous class of drugs. and this act will encourage the cost of thefe streets and woulde ported step to read advocating our efforts to stop these drugs from stealing thousands of lives and causing so much pain and urge my colleagues in both sides of the aisle to come together and support this legislation and help us reduce the supply of dangerous synthetic opioids in our streets. so again, on the supply side, this pass legislation to be sure that we are making fentanyl permanently illegal braided and
the things we can do in the demand-side to reduce this demand insatiable sometimes in our country for these illegal drugs and more effective prevention education intraindividual with addiction get the support they need overcome disease no longer feel the need to turn to these dangerous substances the first step is on what we know, remember that back in 2018, actually had the first year over year decrease of overdose deaths in the country in about three decades 22 percent decrease my home state in one year and is building on our care legislation we talked about this earlier and the federal government provided for recovery support services which were so essential to 70 overcome their addictions. also no federal funding for makem which is so effective because it's a miracle drug that
allows first responders to reverse the effects of overdose and save lives and get people into treatment and a cap on the number of patients with the medications for the treatment called suboxone while also practitioners and physician assistants to prescribe this medication. all of these provisions expanded access to treatment was incredibly important printed not remember he came to me from ohio and talk about his daughter. in his daughter had an accident, and injury, to pain medications and became addicted to opioids and she's shifted than two para one because it was more available. she was in and out of treatment never took it seriously but one day she came to her father and she said i am ready. am ready to go into treatment and turn my life around amos convinced it was true.
so i went out to find a treatment provider for her and continues to be the case in some communities, the time before 2018 was the case many communities, there were no beds available. no treatment option. a waiting list. while she was on the waiting list, she overdosed on heroin and she died in her own federal and father counter their trade so all of these provisions were put into place expanded access to treatment and to build to ensure the stories not repeated in five years since the registration became law, i visited with hundreds of recovering addicts treatment centers experts on global addiction and recovery homes and other nonprofits across ohio read we talked about what we can do now to build on the successes we were having back in 20182019
and as well as what we did with regard two-point oh which is passed in 2018 the result of those discussions is the third carol legislation and introduce that with the center white house earlier this year and builds on the existing framework and expansive to ensure all americans pretty addiction had the chance toit overcome this disease. it does so by addressing three important areas, and research education prevention and to treatment and recovery the three criminal justice reform. it will also are evening drug abuse before eating habits pethrough better research a betr education. i believe effective prevention is done when set the community level that's worse most effectively engage in a wide variety of stakeholders faith leaders youth parents and educators in all ofng the focusn showing the risk of drug abuse
and addiction. they're now about 2000 community coalitions on the country to do this and god bless him for the work they do and they benefit from legislation called the drug-free community sacked which is also something that is important with regard to this carol threeer . zero, 25 years o now call prevention first, still in existence doing a great job in fact i assume call with the leaders of prevention first, last week to learn about some of the new innovations and coming up with to reach more people read they do a drug survey every two years are the middle of doing that right now need to misinformation and almost like the senses, not a survey from high schoolers all over the great san diego area finding out what drugs are being used for people's attitudes are about drugs and they take that use that to try to promote the prevention message in as way ths
effective. i appreciate what they do and of what we need to do this new legislation is to rebuild ouris efforts on prevention and keep people out of the tunnel of addiction in the first place. and if theth most effective wayo address this issue and legislation recall for massive new national drug awareness campaign as part of this. and i believe that help from the private sector by the way and there are plenty of people the private sector with concerns shabout this issue and how it affects her workforce certainly with regard to companies that are in the pharmaceutical business they have a strong interest in this we could leverage funding taxpayer funding in ways that create for the first time in a couple of decades very effective national media and think to get the word out there. we know that a number federal agencies a smaller efforts on this front. in a united message coming from
will importantly make permanent the current expanded telehealth options for addiction treatment that were temporarily created in response to the social distancing required by the covid-19 pandemic. this is important. telehealth was something that was a necessity during covid. people couldn't come to their doctor for visits. they couldn't be at their treatment providers in person. and we wondered whether telehealth would be effective. i believe that for a mental health treatment and for addiction services, behavioral health, that it's been incredibly important. and although addictions have gone up during this period
obviously, and the overdose rates are at record highs, my belief and from talking to experts, i've come to this belief, it would be even worse if we did not have the telehealth options. so in the dark cloud of the pandemic, the silver lining may be that we learn to use telehealth better, and our legislation allows that to continue to be used with reimbursement, as an example medicaid or medicare reburmtment. cara 3.0 will bolster options to put aaddiction behind them. it aeliminates the waiver requirement to physicians who want to provide medication assisted treatments to their patients and changes the law to allow those drugs to be prescribed via telehealth for greater ease of access. the bill will help to destigmatize addiction recovery in the workplace.
finally, cara 3.0 reforms or criminal justice system to ensure those struggling with addiction including veterans are treatmented with fairness and common sense putting them on the path to recovery rather than a downward spiral of abuse. importantly, cara 3.0 funds a department of justice grant program to help incarcerated struggling with addiction. this means when they are released they have a much higher chance of success. if someone is addicted and you don't treat it and you let them out of the system, they're very likely to go back to a life of addiction. but if we allow medication assisted treatment in the criminal justice system we will reduce recidivism or repeat offenses. i think that makes sense for the person addicted and the taxpayer. cara and cara 2.0 have given
states and local communities new resources to make a real difference. cara 3.0 renews and strengthens these programs. it provides a boost in funding as well. when added with the existing cara programs that are authorized through 2023, we would be investing over $1 billion per year to address this long-standing epidemic, putting us on the path to a brighter future free from addiction. the addiction epidemic has proven to be resilient. it's a disease that knows no zip code and one that is always ready to come roaring back should we not stay vigilant. columnist peggy noonan was exactly rite when she wrote a -- right when she wrote a couple of weeks ago in the "wall street journal" that, quote, we have a deep and profound addiction crisis in our country and we've had it so long we forget to see it, and nobody is talking about it because nobody has a plan.
end quote. she's exactly right. we need a plan right now to tackle this crisis that continues to devastate our country. i've laid out one tonight that can give us some understanding of the magnitude of the problem, the nature of the challenge, but also have the federal government take concrete steps to turn the tide once again. again, we've done it before, let's do it again. washington can and should be a partner to the state and local groups on the ground every day working to combat this crisis. we should be a better partner. we've got to all work together to find constructive solutions to the addiction epidemic and ensure more americans don't suffer in silence and that we don't lose more lives to these deadly drugs, but instead ensure that more americans can achieve their god-given potential in life. i yield back my time.
the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate stands adjourned until stands adjourned until the senate along with houses taken up legislation on the friday deadline pretty to avoid a government shut down as always you can watch live coverage here in cspan to when we return. cspan is your unfiltered view of government funded by these television companies and more including cox predict cox is committed to providing eligible families to affordable internet through the connectivity program bridging the david and to digital divide when connection at a time, cox bringing you closer predict cox for cspan, is
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