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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  June 18, 2013 5:00pm-8:01pm EDT

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simply their only offense was a violation of our criminal -- or immigration laws to come here and work, but this underlying bill would allow people who have already been deported and who have committed crimes already to re-enter the country and to qualify for probationary status. my amendment would change that and fix that. my amendment would require the secretary of homeland security through her designees to conduct interviews for applicants or r.p.i. status convicted of a criminal offense in order to determine whether or not the applicant is a danger to public safety. i can imagine that somebody might have committed some misdemeanor offense. but upon further inquiry and examination, they may not be deemed a threat to the public safety. and that's what the purpose of that interview requirement would be. we also close a judicial review
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loophole that would allow dangerous individuals to remain in the united states after their r.p.i. application has been denied by the department of homeland security. and finally, my amendment would take a hard line against human smuggling and the transnational criminal organizations that are the primary movers of people and drugs across the southern borders. i don't know how many of our colleagues really understand this now, but this is a major business that is primarily occupied by organized crime. it's the drug cartels. it's what we sometimes call transnational criminal organizations and the people who work for them. they are the primary agency moving people, drugs and contraband across the border. and that's what my amendment is designed to attack. increased penalties for human smuggling and the transnational criminal organizations that facilitate. my amendment adds aggravated
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penalties for human smuggling that are committed by repeat offenders, result in death, include involuntary sexual conduct. i had the humbling experience, madam president, to meet a young lady who is from central america the other day when i was in south texas. her parents paid $6,000 for her to be smuggled into the united states and to be reunited with relatives in new jersey only to find out that didn't work out too well and to rejoin the person who brought her across the border, the human smuggler, who promptly prostituted her and put her into involuntary servitude where she was afraid to escape lest she be deported and have to leave the country. innumerable human tragedies occur day in and day out under the status quo, which is one reason why i believe we need to fix our broken immigration system and particularly our
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poorest border that allows these predators to prey on innocent young women like this young woman i met from guatamala, and to basically commit them to human slavery here in the united states in places like houston, where she worked in a bar and was prostituted out numerous times a day because she was, felt so vulnerable and she felt like the only way she could actually stay here was to submit to the demands of this sexual predator. my amendment respects the victims of abusive human smuggling while requiring the department of justice to ensure information about missing migrant remains found on lands of the southern border is uploaded into the national missing unidentified persons social system. and we provide resources to identify the victims. this is another experience that i had when i was in brooks county recently in south texas, where just last year alone they
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found 129 dead bodies, human remains that they were unable to identify because these were people simply left behind by the human smugglers who basically didn't care anything about them, but only for the money that they would provide, which once provided they could care less about whether or not these people actually make their way into the united states, particularly if they're slowing down the rest of the group. my results amendment disqualifies persons who have used a commercial motor vehicle to commit a human smuggling offense from operating a commercial vehicle for a year, and we ban repeat human smugglers from operating commercial motor vehicles for life. this is a penalty that will have teeth in it and deter this heinous crime. my amendment creates special penalties for illegal immigrants convicted of drug trafficking or crime of violence. now, people we understand that, again, some people have come across our borders without observing our immigration laws
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who want nothing but a chance to work. but if people have come across the border and engaged in drug trafficking or criminal violence, they deserve the special penalties provided for in my amendment. my amendment would create a new crime for illegal border crossing with the intent to aid, abet, or engage in a crime of terrorism. again, this is something i wonder whether our colleagues really understand, because they don't live along the southwestern border that we have had people from 100 different countries, including countries of special interest, state sprors -- sponsors of terrorism. a border patrol showed me rescue becons where if you get sick enough and want to give up, you can hit the beacon and border patrol will come rescue you. it is listed in three languages:
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english, spanish and chinese. i asked the border patrol, i said chinese? that seems a little out of place in south texas. they said for $30,000, if you're from china, you can hire somebody to smuggle you into the united states. and so, this is, as we've heard from both the director of national intelligence and the head of the defense intelligence agency, this vulnerability along our southwestern border is a national security vulnerability and one reason why we immediate to adopt my -- why we need to adopt my amendment. my amendment closes loopholes in current laws that allow drug cartel mules to transport bulk cash and launder money with near impunity. so what happens when the drugs that come from the south of the border to the north of the border and then the transaction is made by somebody buying those drugs, the cash has to make its way back. and we develop pretty
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sophisticated means through wire transfer process to identify when large amounts of cash are transferred by wire. but there's also a huge trade in bulk cash, where literally cash is transferred in bulk across the border south in order to launder it with near impunity, and my amendment would address that problem. my amendment targets money laundering efforts through stored value cards and blank checks. so why do it on the wire? why do it in bulk cash if you can do it through a gift card you can buy at a local grocery store or blank checks? these are tactics frequently used by cartels to transport criminal proceeds across the southern border and launder money. in sum, madam president, my amendment goes beyond promises and platitudes. it demands results. and, again, it realigns the incentives for everybody to make sure that the department of
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homeland security hits the standards in this bill 100% situational awareness, 90% operational control. now, these are not my standards alone. these were standards that the gang of eight wrote initially into their bill. and now their bill offers promises but no real enforcement means to make sure that it actually happens. under my amendment, people who apply for registered provisional status are not eligible for legal permanent residency until the american people have the assurance that the border security measures, the everify provisions, biometric entry-exit system, all these things have been done. that seems like a small price to pay for the generous gift that the american people are being asked to confer upon people who have entered the country
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illegally or who came in legally and overstayed their visa in violation of our laws. now, this is what a real border security trigger looks like. unfortunately some of our colleagues don't want a trigger at all. above all, they want a pathway to citizenship, regardless of whether we've secured our borders. madam president, we tried that before in 1986. we've also promised people since 1996 that we would implement a biometric entry-exit system and have never delivered that. the 9/11 commission identified the need for a biometric entry-exit system as a national security imperative in the 9/11 commission report, and we still haven't done it. so why in the world would the american people at a time when their trust is at an all-time low in the federal government, why in the world would we simply say trust us once more? we're going to promise you the
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sun and the moon and the arrest ror are a bor -- aurora borealis but we will not have any means in the bill necessary to deliver those promise. by -- we know there will be 11 million people on registered status that require citizenship. cnn reported a poll today that said six out of ten tpherpbs their poll were -- ten americans in their poll were okay with providing people with humane and passionate treatment including an opportunity to earn legal status in this country if they could just be assured that borders, the borders would be secured and our laws would be enforced. and my amendment accomplishes exactly that. as i repeatedly emphasized, my bill, my amendment uses the same border security standards as the
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gang of eight bill. and again, the difference is that in my amendment that it has a real trigger that's based on demonstrable results while their so-called trigger could be activated whether or not our borders are ever secure. to put it another way, their trigger demands border security inputs. my trigger demands border security results or outputs. we've now had 27 years of inputs since the 1986 amnesty and we still don't have secure borders. it's long past time to demand results or outputs and not just more hallow promises. one final point about immigration reform, whatever legislation that we pass in this chamber will head over to the house of representatives. if we want the senate bill to have any chance to become law, then we have to include real border security provisions and a real border security trigger.
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our house colleagues have made that abundantly clear. in other words, my amendment is not a poison pill. it is an antidote because it's the only way we're ever going to truly get bipartisan immigration reform, something which i hope and pray that we will, because the status quo is simply unacceptable. madam president, i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas. mr. boozman: thank you, madam president -- mr. pryor: i understand i'm not supposed to call my amendment up but i would like to discuss amendment 1298 and if it were appropriate i would like to make it pending but i understand we're not quite ready for that. i'm offering this amendment when the time is right, madam president, because i think it is crucial that we have the strongest possible border protection system in place if this bill in fact does someday go into law. to that end, i would like to
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ensure that we have the best trained personnel securing our borders and overseeing the activity that contribute to the safety of our nation every day. therefore, i am proposing an amendment to require the department of homeland security to set up a program to recruit highly qualified veterans of the armed forces as well as members of the reserves to fill crucial positions within customs and border protection and immigrations and customs enforcement. the security provision -- the security provider by these agents depends on the line watch agents who identify and apprehend undocumented aliens, smugglers and terrorists. it depends on the agriculture and trade specialists, aircraft pilots and missions support staff. it also depends on the intelligence research specialists, report officers and systems engineers. although the role and
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responsibilities within i.c.e. and c.p.b. are varied, each plays a critical role in protecting the border. the ability of these agencies to protect the border depends on the skills, training and judgment of its employees. the men and women who served our nation in the armed forces as well as those who served in the reserves have a broad range of capabilities that make them well suited to work in these important agencies. these men and women embody endurance and adaptability. many of them have a human intelligence skills that i.c.e. and v.p.b. agents and officers need to detect illegal border crossers and respond to other nefarious activities. they are familiar with the equipment and technologies these agents rely upon. they have experience responding to leads provided by electronic sensor systems as well as
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interpreting the following tracks and other physical evidence. they are trained in target assessment and have experience in disseminating intelligence needed to make informed operational strategies. these men and women, in short, have the physical skills, operational experience and decision-making capabilities needed by i.c.e. and c.p.b. to ensure that our borders are stronger than ever. so, madam president, let me say that this really is one of these amendments that's really a no-brainer, that this makes sense, it helps our veterans in couple of different ways. it helps with the unemployment rate, but it also helps them continue to serve our country. but the bottom line is it helps our country to have the best and the brightest, most capable, most experienced personnel we can possibly have on the border. this is a bipartisan amendment. senator johanns is my partner in
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this, and i am honored to bedowned by him. -- to be joined by him. and certainly i would love to have bipartisan support when the time is right. i hope to have this amendment included in the bill. and, again, when the fipple is right, i would -- when the time is right, i would ask that we -- that my colleagues consider supporting this amendme.and, maa i yield the. mr. grassley: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator -- the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: my colleagues have heard me mention so many times that we tendo delegate, ae legislating. and this bill is another example of delegating too much and giving too much authority to cabinet-level people -- in this case the secretary of homeland
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security -- and not making enough hard decisions right here on the floor of the united states senate. and it's reminiscent of the 1,693 delegations of authority that we gave to cabinet people in the health care reform bill, to a point where you can read that 2,700 pages and understand it, but you really don't know what the health care system in the united states is going to be until those 1,693 regulations are put in place. and that's tbg to be going to g ways down the road. so i want to point out to my colleagues, i think we're making the same mistake in this immigration bill that's before the senate. so i want to take some time to talk about how important it is to emphasize the need for congress to legislate, not
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delegate, especially with this immigration bill before us. when an immigration bill is nearly 1,200 pages long, the american people should expect that it is their elected representatives writing the legislation and making most of the decisions. and they should expect the executive branch and the secretary of homeland security in particular to carry out those policies. now, there are individual circumstances that congress cannot fully anticipate, so it's understandable then delegating some authority. with direction from congress, the secretary should be able to issue regulations to enforce legislative policies in those situations. those regulations and any discretion the secretary exercises, like other delegations of power from congress, should be subject to
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judicial review to ensure that the policies congress established are being carried out according to congressional intent. but this immigration bill takes a different and wrongheaded approach. it provides highly general discretion to the secretary. it gives the secretary tremendous, often unilateral discretion to implement the bill, and in many instances that discretion is not even subject to judicial review. this, obviously, is not the way that power is supposed to work in our representative system of government. uncontrolled, unilateral discretion is not what the framers of the constitution envisioned for a government with separation of powers and checks and balances. we have seen, for instance and
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recently with the i.r.s. what can hel happen when the executie branch exercises authority with too much discretion and not enough oversight. by some accounts, there are 222 provisions in this bill that give the secretary of homeland security discretion or even allow her to waive otherwise governing parts of the bill. now, other people have counted even more than the 222 provisions that i have just referred to. whether it's more or less, it's still ar a lot and in some cases it's not just the delegation, it's how it's delegated. the secretary's unbridled waiver authority makes a bill that is already weak on immigration enforcement then even weaker. ironically, when the judiciary
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committee marked up the immigration bill, it rejected amendments that i and others offered to limit judicial review of immigration enforcement proceedings against people who are in this country illegally. the majority argued against them by claiming that judicial review, which historically has been limited to these enforcement actions, should be expanded to cover these decisions. now, that's an expansion of judicial review, but let me tell you then the inconsistency of when they didn't think judicial review should be there. so the majority wants unlimited judicial review when the secretary would take enforcement action against people in the country illegally. at the same time, the bill provides more judicially
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unreviewable discretion for the secretary when she decides not to enforce the law against undocumented immigrants. the people of this country should be aware of the one-way ratchet for discretion that the bill contains. so then it adds judicial review when the secretary should enforce the law and does not provide judicial real estate vie--judicial review when the secretary decides to withhold enforcement of the border security and other measures designed to reduce illegal immigration. i believe it is worth noting that some of the specific provisions of the bill that give the secretary discretion in enforcement, sometimes without judicial review. some of the specific language that allows her to waive
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provisions that supporters of the bill claim make this bill even tough on illegal immigration and border security should also be discussed. when they are contrasted, the legislation's goal is very clear -- enact very general border security measures that are said to be tough while giving the secretary often unilateral discretion and waiver authority to water down those measures. for instance, the secretary can commence processing petitions for registered provisional immigrants -- r.p.i. status, we call it -- based on her determination of border security plans and how she views the status of their implementation. the fencing that the bill seems to demand can be stopped by the secretary when she believes it
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is sufficient. the secretary has the ability to decide certain criminal offenseoffensesshould bar someom legalization -- offenses should bar someone from legalization program. she can waive with few exceptions the grounds of inadd missability describe in law and she is given discretion whether to bring deportation proceedings against someone who does not equal file for r.p.i. status. if they are denied, shouldn't they be deported? the secretary is also allowed to waive various requirements when a perso person adjusted from r.o legal permanent status, including what counts as passing a background check. the secretary has broad authority on how to use the $8.3 billion in up had front funds --
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in upfront funds transferred. on top of that, she has wide discretion on how to use the additional $3 billion in start-up costs that don't have to be entirely repaid to the treasury. notwithstanding the constitutional powers of congress over the purse, she's given authority to establish a grant program for nonprofit organizations. with respect to the point system, the secretary is given discretion to recalculate the points for particular petitioners and to decide not to deport inadmissible persons. she also has the discretion to waive requirements for citizenship that otherwise apply under the bill. the secretary is also given a great deal of discretion in the operation of the electronic employment verification system.
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for instance, which businesses will be exempt from the requirement? which documents can individuals present to prove identity or work authorization? she also has the authority to determine when an employer, who has repeatedly violated the law, is required to use the system. those decisions will be vital in determining whether the employment verification system will be effective. so members of this body can opine all day about what this bill does, but we may not know for years -- just like in the case of obamacare -- until these regulations are written or these waivers are used the extent to which this bill is carried out with the intent that we believe that it's carried out. but we know -- we don't know that for years.
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so i used the example of the health care law because we're learning right now after four years that that bill has been passed that there are a lot of unknowns, and i would also learned that there's not a lot of certainty. that's the fallout then from delegating so much power in one secretary. we shouldn't repeat that mistake when we pass this bill next week. i yield the floor. a senator: madam president, i want to say thanks to the former senator from west virginia for letting me slip in. i'm happy to be here to cheer him on and to applaud all the good that goes on in my native state -- and the great work that he's doing. mr. carper: madam president, you have got a baseball team up
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in massachusetts, those red sox. you have a picture that telegraphs a pitch. i want to do that this afternoon. i was surprised to find out that the secretary of the homeland security last month when i was on the mexican border in texas, south texas, that three out of every five people who come into our country illegally in texas come not from mexico but they come from central american countries. they come from guatemala, they come from honduras, they come frommal is havfrom salvador. they don't realize what they're getting into. they don't realize the risk that they face of getting on their way north to the border of mexico and then even when they get across the border into the u.s. the dangers they face in terms of getting robbed, raped, beaten, drowned in the river, die of starvation, dehydration in the desert, find that they
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get to this country at a time when employers are really tightening up in terms of who they actually hire, not hiring those that are undocumented, the prospect of detention, not a very pleasant experience, followed shortly thereafter by literally be transported back to their native country. most people that are trying to get here from those three countries especially, they don't no what they're -- they don't know what they're getting into. they need to know what they're getting into. when i was gone, i was part of the deal negotiated by the states attorney generals, as you may recall. we created a foundation called the american legacy foundation, ran something called the truth campaign, an idea to convince young people like the pages here not to start smoking. and if they were to stop -- they were hugely successful. what we need particularly in the central american countries, where the majority of people are now coming from in order to get
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into texas and to the u.s. the other thing that i have us keep in mind is we spend a fair amount of resources trying to go after -- help the mexicans go after the drug lords. it's like squeeze ago about a loongd-- it'slike squeezing a b. and the bad guys are worked their way down to guatemala, salvador, honk honk. they're creating mischief. setting up a drug trade, making life very unpleasant. what you have in those countries is not a good situation. you understand why people want to get out of it, for job, hope, just for personal safety. one of the things that we've done to help in mexico, we're part of the problem. it's our consumption of illegal drugs that's created this problem for mexico and led to this deal where drugs come north, guns go south and we're part of the problem. we need to acknowledge that. but we also try to be part of
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the solution in mexico and i think we're playing a constructive role. we need to be part of the solution in honduras, guatemala and salvador and similar to what we're doing with mexico. part of that is to help them a little bit on their own public safety, law enforcement efforts in those three countries, part of it is helping a little bit on economic development and job creation so people weenlt feel a need to leave those countries and try to flee to our country. and the last piece is to work with the mexicans so they can do better job of controlling their own borders to ensure people don't get their way from the south of them and work think way up into texas and the u.s. i'm going to offer an amendment, not tonight but i suspect tomorrow that tries to say let's put together a truth campaign, convey what's really facing the people particularly in these three central american countries when they try to get to the u.s. also see if while we're doing that we can't do shoog smoog to
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help on the job development side in those countries in terms of helping them face lawlessness and face it as well. i call this going after underlying causes, not just treating symptoms, going after the underlying you cause. i'll offer this tomorrow and hope my colleagues will agree. i say to my fellow native west virginian, thank you for the chance to go ahead of you. thanks most of all for the great job you're doing here and for being here to tell us a little bit of the good that's coming out of that mountain state. thank you. mr. manchin: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia. mr. manchin: i ask to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. manchin: madam president, this week the state of west virginia will state the sesquicentennial of its birth,
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a brave and daring declaration that is unprecedented. west virginia was born out of the fiery turmoil of the civil war 150 years ago. it was founded by true patriots who were willing to risk their lives and fortune in the pursuit of freedom for all. to west virginians the names of peer pont, wylie and boarman are nearly as familiar as washington, jefferson and not franklin. each was a key figure in the state's independence from virginia and to our own place in the union. our foreyou a fathers could not have brought forth a new state conceived of liberty without the hand of abraham lincoln. lincoln 1450ud the proclamation establishing our state's birthday as june 20, 1863 and characteristically with few words the 16th president dismissed the arguments that his proclamation was illegal. lincoln wrote and i quote, "it
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is said that the admission of west virginia is succession and tolerated only because it is our succession. well, if we call it by a name, there is a difference betweens is eggs against the constitution ands is eggs in -- secession in favor of constitution. the the people of west virginia had a choice of two flags to follow. there was no neutral ground. the choice was to stand by and live under the constitution or support the military depottism of the confederacy. we chose wisely. we chose the stars and stripes. we chose allegiance to the country for which it stands. we chose to live under a constitution that promised the constant pursuit of a more perfect union of states. and ever since that historic beginning, we the people of west virginia have never failed to answer our country's call. no demand has been too great, no dang tier daunting and no
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trial too threatening. madam president, the abundant natural resources of our state and the hard work and sacrifice of our people have made america stronger and safer. we mind the -- mined the coal that fueled the industrial revolution, we powered the railroads across the continent and still today produces electricity for cities all across this country. we stoked the steel factories that armed our soldiers for battles all across the globe and built the warships that plowed the oceans of the world and we have filled the ranks of our military forces in numbers far greater than should ever be expected of our little state. consider this: according to the u.s. census data, west virginia ranked first, second or third in military casualty rates in every u.s. war of the 20th century. twice that of new york's and connecticut's in vietnam and more than two and a half times the rates of those two states in korea.
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today, 13.8% of west virginia ear population is made up of veterans, the seventh highest percentage among all states. that's higher than the national average of 12.1%. that's higher than states with much larger populations, states like florida, new york, texas, pennsylvania pch, ohio, michigan or massachusetts. it's like i always say, west virginia's one of the most patriotic states in the country. the best steel comes from the hottest fires. we've all been told that. the fires of the civil war transformed west virginia from a fragile hope to a well tempered steel reality. dedicated to the ideals of the declaration of independence and guarantees of the u.s. constitution, madam president, west virginia's great because our people are great. mountaineers who will always be free. we are tough, independent, inventive and honest. our character is shaped by the wilderness of our state, its
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rushing streams, its boundless blue skies, divine forests and gentleman ma jestic mountains. our home is in the words of the best selling novelist james alexanderrening to, a place for health and high spirits, one one's first look out the cabin door every morning makes the heart swell up. tom wrote of our magnetic land as it existed long above it achieved statehood but his words just as true today of today's west virginia. they pay homage to a state of beauty, world class outdoor recreation, year round festivals, rich culture, strong tradition, industry, and trade. it's a place of coal mines and card tables. racing horses and soaring eagles. rocket boys and right stuff test pilots. sparkling lakes and magical mlts and barbecue joints, golf in the green buyer, -- greenbrier, battlefields in
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football, college towns and small towns that are pure americana. it is a place of power, pulse and passion. it is the special place we call west virginia, the special place we call home. i admit we've had our ups and downs and setbacks and triumphs. we've had some famous family feuds, a few you might have heard of and life can be tough sometimes. but the spirit of west virginia has never been broken and it never will. i learned that a long time ago growing up in a small coal mining town of hard woig men and women called farmington, west virginia when things got tough, they got tougher. it's as if we still hear the words of francis is peer pont to the delegates 0 -- pierpont as they debated whether to succeed from virginia -- secede from virginia. he said we are passing through a period of gloom and darkness. there is a just god who rides upon the whirlwind and directs
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the storm. it is as if we still hear the words of president john f. kennedy from the steps of state capitol in charleston during our state's centennial celebration. he said the sun does not always shine in west virginia, but the people always do. we are west virginians, even in the darkness and the gloom. we look to a just god who directs the storm. we are west virginians, we are the 35th state of these united states. we are west virginians, and like the brave little patriots who made west virginia the 35th star on old glory, our love of god and country and family and state is unshakeable. and, madam president, that is well worth celebrating every year. thank you and -- i yield the floor. mr. carper: that was wonderful. i'm just sorry more of us weren't hear to hear those -- here to hear those words.
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the senator holds the seat held by robert bird, i believe was the longest serving person in the history of our country to serve in congress, a record maybe now eke claimed by john dingell from michigan. but most worthy successor. he and i know the -- another notable west virginian who has just rising out of national prominence to serve our country as a new director of the office of management and budget, grew up in west virginia, graduated from hinton high school, played on the girls' basketball team, she is a bobcat as i recall, sylvia mathews burwell. and it's a state that has produced certainly a lot of coal, natural resources, but also a lot of good people and a lot of good leaders. came to us from west virginia having been two-term governor, two-term governor of the governors' association. he was marked maybe for greatness. maybe for greatness. i think his wife -- his wife has a birthday tomorrow, west
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virginia has a birthday the day after tomorrow. mr. manchin: hers is the 20th. mr. carper: and separated from virginia and about 237 years ago this past saturday, the state of delaware gave pennsylvania its independence. and we had been joined as a colony, what was delaware, they were joined at the hip. i like to say on june 15, 1776, delaware gave pennsylvania its independence and declared our independence from -- from the tyranny of the british throne. here we are five days later celebrating west virginia giving west virginia its independence. and they're going out on their own and making us all proud. mr. manchin: i know the senator from delaware was like myself born in west virginia and when you think about all the famous people that have come from west virginia, and you think about the man with the right stuff, general yeager who broke the sound barrier in 1947, you
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think about the rocket boys and the move was made, "october skies" you think about the hatfield and mccoy feud. a couple feuds, some might say it's still going on. you think about the logo for the national basketball association, jerry west. the person dribbling the basketball that's his picture. that's the logo. we think about so much contributions but all the people in west virginia and all over this great country have contributed to who we are today. and it's just -- i'm a proud west virginian through and through. mr. carper: if i could add, madam president, every sunday night i turn on wxpn to hear across the country, the west virginia mountain stage, just great music. it's wonderful. reminds me of home. so that's a gift as well. thank you for helping us. enables us to celebrate west virginia's birthday with you today. mr. manchin: thank you, madam president. i notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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mr. schumer: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from new york. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: madam president, i rise to discuss the report by the congressional budget office that was just released. this is a long-awaited report. we've all been waiting with baited breath to see what they would say. the report assesses the economic and fiscal impact of s. 744, the bipartisan immigration bill being debated here in the senate. now, we are still digesting the report, but at first glance it contains some very positive news for comprehensive immigration
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reform on a number of fronts. at the beginning of our bipartisan negotiations on this bill, we made an important promise -- our bill will not add to the deficit. c.b.o. found that we kept our promise and then some. let me review some of the top-line findings of c.b.o. report. c.b.o. found that our bill decreases -- let me underline that -- decreases federal budget deficits by $197 billion over the 2014-2023 period. c.b.o. finds that we achieve about $700 billion in deficit reduction in the second decade of implementation from 2024-20 2024-2033. so the first ten years, our bill, according to c.b.o., decreases the deficit by $175 billion. in the second ten years, by $700 billion. the c.b.o. also released an
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economic analysis that found that the bill will increase g.d.p. by 3.3% in 2023 and between 5.1% and 5.7% in 2033. the second decade figure on deficit reduction is quite relevant and remarkable. many of the bill's opponents were specifically urging the c.b.o. to look at the second decade in hopes it would show major costs. but c.b.o. found just the opposite. madam president, i cannot overstate the significance of these findings. simply put, this report is huge momentum -- sorry. simply put, this report is a huge momentum boost for immigration reform. it debunks the idea that immigration reform is anything other than a boon to our economy and robs the bill's opponents of one of their last remaining
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arguments. the report proves once and for all that immigration reform is not only the right thing to do to stay true to our nation's principles, it will also boost our economy, reduce the deficit, and create jobs. immigration reform should be a priority of progressives and conservatives alike. i yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: i would ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be rescinded. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cornyn: madam president, i have come to the floor to say a few words about rosa boren export, the russian state arms dealer that has been supplying the syrian government with deadly weapons and facilitating mass murder.
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last november, i sponsored an amendment to prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars in america to enter into contracts or agreements with rosa boren export. my amendment had strong bipartisan support and it passed unanimously. and yet just yesterday as president obama met with russian leader vladimir putin at the g-8 summit in northern ireland, we learned that the pentagon has signed a brand-new $572 million contract with rosa boren export to buy mi-17 helicopters for the afghan army. so how did the obama administration get around the prohibition in my amendment? well, they argued that the rosa boren export contract was in our national security interests. in other words, they want us to believe that we're promoting united states security by doing business with the russian arms dealer that is helping an anti-american terror sponsoring dictatorship commit mass atrocities.
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unbelievable. last year, the pentagon agreed to audit the contract with rosa boren export and make other good-faith efforts to find other procurement sources for the afghan military. now they are refusing to complete that audit on the grounds that rosa boren exports simply have refused to cooperate. meanwhile, my office has learned that army officials within the nonstandard rotary wing aviation division whose primary focus is the mi-17 program are the subjects of an ongoing criminal investigation. this obviously raises troubling questions about whether the terms of a new mi-17 term procurement contract resulted from criminal misconduct. i want to take this opportunity to say once again that american taxpayers should not be indirectly subsidizing the murder of syrian civilians, especially when there are
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perfectly good opportunities to dealing with rosa boren export. if the pentagon continues this relationship, it will undermine american efforts to stand by the syrian people. madam president, i yield the floor and i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: mr. whitehouse:
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madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: i assume we are in a quorum call and i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: thank you, madam president. i'd like to ask unanimous consent to speak for perhaps up to 20 minutes as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: thank you. i'm here again, i think it's the 36th time, to speak as i do every week on global climate change to remind us that it is time for us to wake up and to take action to protect our communities. the risks that we ignore will not go away on their own. the longer we remain asleep, the greater the challenges we leave for our children and grandchildren. the changes we're already seeing, rising sea levels, floods and erosion, more powerful storms, are taking their toll in particular on our
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aging infrastructure, which i'd like to talk about today, our roads, our bridges, our sewers and water pipes. this kind of infrastructure is designed to operate for 50-100 years and to withstand expected environmental conditions. so what happens if expected weather and climate patterns change? well, they are. according to the draft national climate assessment, -- and i quote -- "u.s. average temperature has increased by about 1.5 degrees fahrenheit since 1895, more than 80% of this increase has occurred since 1980. the most recent decade was the nation's hottest on record" -- end quote. we're also getting more precipitation with more and more of our rain coming in big, heavy downpours. between 1958 and 2011, the
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amount of rain that fell during individual rain storms increased in every region of the country, up 45% in the midwest and 74% in our northeast. last month, the government accountability office issued a report revealing the risks posed to united states infrastructure by climate change. the report which i requested along with finance chairman max baucus, shows that we can no longer use historical climate patterns to plan our infrastructure projects. first, limited resources often must be focused on short-term priorities. fixing an unexpected water main break, for example, won't usually allow for upgrades to account for climate change. and long-term projects that do
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include climate change safeguards usually require more money up front. that's g.a.o.'s warning. g.a.o. also found that local decisionmakers, folks in our home communities, need more and better climate information. the faster you drive, the better your headlights need to be. and carbon pollution is accelerating changes to our climate and weather. our communities need the information, the headlights to see these oncoming changes. and it needs to be local. when you're constructing a bridge in cape hatteras, it's more helpful to know how climate change will affect north carolina than north america. thankfully, leaders across the country are waking up to the reality of climate change and making evidence-based, not ideological decisions, about how to best serve their
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communities. this is the interstate 10 twin span bridge that crosses lake ponchartrain near new orleans. during hurricane katrina, the storm surge rocked the bridge's 255-ton, 255-ton concrete bridge spans off their piers, twisting many and toplings others down into the lake. hurricane katrina brought the largest storm surge on record for lake ponchartrain. scientists tell us that climate change loads the dice for these stronger and more frequent storms. so the recovery design team decided to strengthen and raise this bridge. they made a larger initial investment in order to reduce maintenance costs in the future. that is smart planning.
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hurricane isaac in 2012 was the first major test for the new bridge, and it passed. damage was limited to road signs and electrical components. this is the new higher bridge over here, there's the old bridge down on the left there. if you go south to louisiana state highway 1, you'll find that it's the only access road to port forchon. senator vitter, our ranking member on the environment and public works committee from louisiana, has told us that 18% of the nation's oil supply passes through port few shon. it's a pretty important port and highway 1, the only access road to it, is closed three and a half days a year on average due to flooding, according to
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g.a.o. noaa scientists project that within 15 years, portions of louisiana highway 1 will flood an average of 30 -- three-zero -- 30 times each year. state and local officials raised 11 miles of highway 1 by more than 22 feet, so when hurricane isaac brought a six and a half foot storm surge up the gulf, those raised portions were unaffected. go up north to milwaukee, wisconsin, and you find that milwaukee's metropolitan sewage district spent $3 billion in 1993 to increase the capacity of its sewer system based on historical rainfall records dating back to the 1960's. but extreme rain storms in the
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midwest have changed drastically. milwaukee experienced a 100-year storm three years in a row. milwaukee experienced 100-year storms in 2008, again in 2009, and again in 2010. the university of wisconsin projects that these storms will be even more common in the future. so milwaukee took steps to improve the ability of nearby natural areas like wetlands to absorb that extra runoff from rain storms. this eased the pressure on the city's wastewater system. the g.a.o. infrastructure report also found that areas recently hit by a natural disaster tend to get proactive about adaptation. and i think it's easy to see how getting clobbered by a hurricane will make you rethink your emergency preparedness.
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but waiting for disaster is not risk management. and we can and must do better. in my home state off rhode island local leaders are wide awake to climate change. north kingstowne, for instance, for instance, is a municipality whose planners have taken the best elevation data available and modeled expected sea level rise as well as sea level rise plus three feet of storm surge. by combining these models with maps that show the roads, emergency routes, water treatment plants and astares --, atwears, the plan -- estuaries, the plan can plan conservation and relocation projects. just lapg last week north kingstowne's efforts were recognized by a grant from the e.p.a. and will be a model for communities throughout the country. other coastal states face many of the staple risks that we are facing in rhode island.
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none more than florida. a study of sea level rise on u.s. coasts found that in florida, more than one and a half million residents and almost 900,000 homes would be affected by three feet of sea level rise. both numbers, 1.5 million residents and almost 900,000 homes, are almost double any other state in the nation. these maps show what three feet of sea level rise means for miami dade county in southeastern florida. the map on the left shows the current elevation in southern miami-dade compared to three feet of sea level rise shown here on your right. the blue regions, which are
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green here, are the regions that have gone under water with three feet of sea level rise. they would lose acres and acres and acres of land. this nuclear power station and there wastewater treatment plant are virtually cut off from dry land. and the flooding won't just be along the coast. low-lying inland areas are also at risk. that's because in florida, particularly in the miami metropolitan area, the buildings are built on limestone. florida stands on a limestone geological base, and limestone is porous. up in new england, we can build levees and other structures to hold the water back. in miami, you'd be building
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those structures on a geological sponge. the water will just seep under and through the porous limestone. rising seas don't just threaten southern florida. according to the american security project, eggland air force base on the florida panhandle coast which is the largest air force base in the world, is one of the five most vulnerable u.s. military installations because of its vulnerability to storm surges, sea level rise and assault water in-- salt water intrusion. responsible floridians looking at these projections have decided to take action. four counties in florida -- miami-dade, palm beach, broward, and monroe -- have formed the southeast florida
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regional climate change compact. using the best available science, they have assessed the vulnerability of south florida's communities to sea level rise. in their four counties in florida alone, a one-foot rise in sea level would endanger approximately $4 billion in property. just in those four counties. a three-foot sea level rise would endanger approximately $31 billion in property. in monroe county, three of the four hospitals, two-thirds of the schools, and 71% of emergency shelters are in dang -- are endangered by a one-foot rise. that's a lot of infrastructure at risk. together, these florida counties, which are led both by republicans and democrats -- this is a bipartisan county
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effort in florida -- have adopted a plan to mitigate property loss, make infrastructure more resilient and protect those essential community structures like hospitals, schools, and emergency shelters. this october, this past october, those member counties signed a five-year plan with 110 different action items, including efforts to make infrastructure more resilient, reduce the threats to vital ecosystems, help farmers adapt, increase renewable energy capacity, and educate their public about the threat of climate change to florida. looking at all of those risks to florida, looking at the bipartisan action taken by those county leaders in florida, i have to ask if you are a member
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of congress from florida, how can you credibly deny climate change? studies show that about 95% of climate scientists think climate change is really happening and humans really are contributing to it. about 5% disagree or aren't so sure. can floridians here in congress really take the 5% bet? does that seem smart and cautious and prudent and responsible? this is the only florida we've got. and the sunshine state is ground zero for sea level rise. it is long past time for us to act on climate change, but it's not too late to be ready, and it's not too late to be smart in florida and elsewhere.
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in florida, and in other states, infrastructure has to be designed for and adapted to the climate changes we can foresee. so i thank the government accountability office for this report. nature too could not -- nature could not be giving us clearer warnings. whatever higher power gave us our advanced human capacity for perception, calculation, analysis, deduction, and foresight has laid out before us more than enough information for us to make the right decisions. fortunately these human capacities provide us everything we need to act responsibly on this information, if only -- if only we will awaken.
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madam president, i yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from maine. ms. collins: thank you, madam president. i ask unanimous consent that proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. collins: thank you, madam president.
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madam president, i rise this evening to discuss an amendment that i've filed to the immigration bill. it's senate amendment 12 1255. it would ensure that the funding for an important border security program known as operation stone garden continues to be allocated by the department of homeland security based on risk. without my amendment, 90% of the $50 million in funding for this program awarded annually would be earmarked for the southwest border. what i'm proposing is that we not put a percentage in the bill but, rather, allow for a rick-based assessment of where operation stone garden moneys would best be -- risk-based assessment of where operation stone garden moneys would best
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be spent. this operation has been extraordinarily successful in my state of maine. it has helped federal, county, state and local law enforcement to pool their resources and work together to help secure our border. while the southwest border is much more likely to make the evening news, we must not forget about our northern border. as the department of homeland security pointed out when it released its first northern border strategy in june of 2012 -- quote -- "the u.s.-canadian border is the longest common border in the world and presents unique security challenges based on geography, weather, and the immense volume of trade and travel." according to a report released
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by the g.a.o. in 2010, the border patrol had situational awareness of only 25% of the 4,000-mile northern border and operational control of only 32 miles, less than 1%. we'll hear those terms discussed a lot during the debate on immigration with respect to the southwest border. i think it's important that we not forget that we also have a 4,000-mile northern border. this lack of situational awareness and operational control is especially troubling because, as g.a.o. has observed, d.h.s. reports that the terrorist threat on the northern border is actually higher than on the southern border, given
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the large expansive area with very limited law enforcement coverage. in the same report, g.a.o. noted that the maritime border on the great lakes and rivers is vulnerable to use by small vessels as a conduit for the potential smuggling and exploitation by terrorists, alien smuggling, trafficking of eliciillicit drugs and other contraband and criminal activity. also, the northern border's waterways frequently freeze during the winter and can be easily crossed by foot, vehicle or snowmobile. the northern air border is also vulnerable to low-flying aircraft that, for example, smuggle drugs by entering u.s. airspace from canada. additionally, customs and border
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protection report that further threats result from the fact that the northern border is exploited by well-organized smuggling operations which can potentially also support the movement of terrorists and their weapons. there's also, regrettably, significant criminal activity on the northern border. in the same report, g.a.o. noted that in fiscal year 2010, d.h.s. has reported spending nearly $3 billion in its efforts to interdict and investigate illegal northern border activity annually making approximately 6,000 arrests and interdicting approximately 40,000 pounds of illegal drugs at and between the northern border ports of entry. the operation stone garden grant
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program is an effective resource for addressing security concerns on our northern, southern, western coastal borders. over the past four years, approximately $247 million in operation stone garden funds have been allocated to 19 border states using a risk-based analysis for determining the allocations rather than the formula-based analysis that is included in this immigration bill. earmarking 90% of funding from operation stone garden to the southwest border is ill-advised. operation stone garden grants should be used to help secure our northern, southern and coastal borders by funding joint
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operations between the border patrol and state, county and local law enforcement. these joint operations can act as a force multiplier in areas that would otherwise be unguarded altogether. my amendment would ensure that d.h.s. continues to have the flexibility it needs to make risk-informed decisions about where operation stone garden funds will best serve the security of our nation's borders. i urge my colleagues to support my amendment and hope that it will be brought up at some point tomorrow. thank you, madam president. mr. casey: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. casey: thank you, madam president. i rise -- a senator: would the senator withhold? mr. casey: yes. mr. reid: madam president? the presiding officer: mr. leader.
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mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that when i complete my request here that the senator from pennsylvania be recognized. the presiding officer: yes. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that following -- the following amendments be in order to be called up and that they not be subject to modification or division, with the exception of technical modifications to the merkley and paul amendments contained in this agreement. the amendments are manchin, 1268, pryor, 1298, merkley, 1237, as modified with the changes that are at the desk; boxer, 1240; reed of rhode island, 1224; cornyn, 1251; lee, 1208; paul, 1200, as modified with the changes at the desk; heller, 1227; and cruz 1320. finally, that no second-degree amendments be in order to any of these amendments prior to votes in relation to the amendments. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. reid: madam president, we now have these amendments in order and we'll work with all the parties
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to see if we can have some way of proceeding to set up votes on these matters. i would hope that we can work something out so that we don't have to do procedural things to try to get rid of them. we're going to do our utmost. i appreciate everyone's cooperation in getting this long list of amendments so that we can start voting on them. i would -- i think it would be a pretty fair assumption that we're not going to have any votes tonight on these amendments. we'll work something out tomorrow. it's 7:00. we still have a little more work to do on other issues. mr. casey: thank you, madam president. i rise this evening to make some brief comments regarding the judicial nominee that we voted on on yesterday, one of two. judge luis restrepo from philadelphia, the southeastern corner of pennsylvania.
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i rise tonight because my train was late last night so i wasn't able to make some comments about his -- his nomination, his qualifications prior to the vote, but i was honored that he received the vote of the senate last night. i also rise because it's -- it's timely in another -- in another -- in another way because we're considering immigration reform, and i was on the floor last week talking about yet another judicial nominee from pennsylvania, now a judge -- as of last week, judge nitza quinones, who was a native of puerto rico, came to this country after her education and became a lawyer and an advocate and then ultimately a judge for more than two decades now and now will serve on the eastern federal district court for the eastern district of wens. and so it is true of now judge restrepo. a native of colombia, judge
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restrepo became a u.s. citizen in 1993. he earned a bachelor of arts degree from the university of pennsylvania in 1981 and a juris doctorate from tulane university school of law in 1986. he's highly regarded by lawyers and members of the bench. he exhibits an extraordinary command of the law and legal principles as well as a sense of fairness, sound judgment and integrity. judge restrepo has served as a magistrate judge for the united states district court for the eastern district of pennsylvania since june of 2006. prior to his judicial appointment, he was highly regarded -- a highly regarded lawyer and a founding member of the crasner and restrepo firm, concentrating on both civil rights litigation as well as criminal defense work. he served as an assistant federal defender with the
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community federal defender of the eastern district of pennsylvania from 1990-1993, and assistant defender at the defender association of philadelphia from 1987-1990. an adjunct professor at temple university, james e.beasley school of law was also an adjunct professor at the university of pennsylvania school of law from 1997-2009, and has taught with the national institute for trial advocacy in regional and national programs since 1992. i know the presiding officer knows something about being a law professor and the demands of that job and the demands of being an advocate. i think anyone who looks at judge restrepo's biography and background would agree that he's more than prepared to be a federal district judge, and i'm grateful that the senate confirmed him. and finally, judge restrepo has
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also served on the board of governors for the philadelphia bar association and is a past president of the hispanic bar association of pennsylvania. so for all those reasons and more, i believe he's not only ready to be a federal judge but i'm also here to express gratitude for his confirmation and for the vote in the senate. and as we consider immigration reform, we should be ever inspired by the stories that we hear from not only judges who are nominated and confirmed here but others as well who come to this country, who work hard, who learn a lot and want to give back to their country by way of public service. and judge restrepo this week and judge quinones last week are two fine examples of that. with that, madam president, i would yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call:
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mr. sessions: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: i would ask that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sessions: madam president, i'm the prime sponsor, i suppose, on the immigration bill before us, this 1,000-page document. senator schumer announced earlier today based on the congressional budget office report that we promised lower deficits and the bill produces lower deficits. i don't believe that's an accurate statement, and i will share with you some of my concerns about that. we have been through this before, and it's a way that the budget numbers in reality have been utilized in a way that's
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not healthy, and it creates a false impression of what's occurring here. secondly, i don't know that he talked about this, i doubt that he did. the c.b.o. report is explicit. under this legislation, if it were to pass, the wages of american workers will fall for the next 12 years. they will be lower than the inflation rate. they will decline from the present unacceptably low rate, continue to decline for 12 years, according to this report. that alone should cause us to defeat this bill. we have been told it's going to create prosperity and growth, but what it's going to produce is more unemployment as this report explicitly states, it's going to produce lower wages for
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americans as this report explicitly states, and it's going to increase the deficit. so i think we need to have an understanding here that something very serious is afoot. to suggest that you can bring in millions of new workers to take jobs in the united states at a time of record unemployment and that won't impact wages, that won't make unemployment go up goes beyond all common sense. dr. borjas at harvard has absolutely proven through peer- reviewed research that that is exactly what's going to happen. wages go down as they have been going down and unemployment will go up. so this report confirms that. i will just read some of the things that are in it. quote -- i'm on page 7 of the economic impact of s. 744.
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quote -- "s. 744 would allow significantly more workers with low skills and with high skills to enter the united states." no doubt about that. they say it's a move to merit-based immigration, but it's not a move to merit-based immigration. it increases low skilled workers substantially. as well as increasing other workers. taking into account all those flows of new immigrants, c.b.o. and the joint tax expect that a greater number of immigrants with lower skills than with higher skills will be added to the work force. in other words, of the group coming in, more will be lower skilled than high skilled, just as i have indicated and other commentators have indicated previously. going on to say this, -- quote -- "slightly pushing down the
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average wage of the labor force as a whole." pushing down the wage of the lower -- of the labor force as a whole. but, they go on to say this, get this, the next sentence -- however, c.b.o. and joint tax expect that currently unauthorized workers, illegal workers, in other words, who obtain legal status under 744 will see an increase in their wages. i think this underestimates if you read the report carefully the adverse impact the flow of workers will have on the wages of american workers and lawful immigrants who are here today. but at any rate, it's clear that that's so. it goes on to say this, dramatically, i suggest -- the
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average wage would be lower than under current law over the first dozen years. and it says c.b.o. estimates that it would increase unemployment for at least seven years. so this is supposed to be good for the people we represent? and, of course, i would like to again ask our colleagues to think carefully about our duty here, who it is we represent in this body and what kind of responsibilities we have to decent, hardworking americans who experts have told us have seen their wages decline every year virtually since -- 1999. they've -- they've declined by as much as 8% since 2009 for a number of reasons. one of the reasons according to
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professor borjas is immigration, already pulling down wages by as much as 40%. so this will add to the problems what this report says quite clearly, unequivocally. it's going to increase unemployment and it's going to pull down wages. that is exactly the wrong thing that ought to be happening at this time. how in the world can we justify passing a bill that hammers the american working man and woman who is out trying to feed a family, get a job, that has a little retirement, a little health care, some money to be able to take care of the family, and hammer them with additional adverse economic impacts? i suggest to you this is not a report that in any way justifies advancing this legislation.
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and let me just take a moment. i've wrestled with these numbers, and i see the presiding officer on the budget committee understands these numbers. they say it pays down the deficit. let me show you what it really says. and this is the way they double counted the money to justify obamacare. basically they created through cuts in medicare savings and lengthened the life of medicare, but they claim they use that same money to fund obamacare. at one point mr. elmendorf, the director of the office of management and budget who wrote this book, said it was double counting the money. you can't use the same money to fund obamacare and use that same money to strengthen medicare. how simple is that? we're talking about hundreds of billions of dollars in double counting of money. and that's what's happening
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here. look at this report. impact on the deficit. over the ten-year period, 2014-2023, the on-budget deficit would increase by $14.2 billion. the debt would increase by $14.2 trillion. but then they say the off-budget money would decrease the deficit by $211 billion. and my colleague, senator schumer, says this is all great, we got a big surplus now. we got a $200 billion in the off-budget account. but what is that money, colleagues? what is that money? that's the payroll taxes. that's your social security payment and your medicare payment. when more of the illegal aliens come in and get a social security number and pay social
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security and medicare, the money comes into the government, all right, but is it free to be spent on bridges and roads and aircraft and salaries for congressmen and senators? no. this is money that's dedicated to social security and medicare. this is the trust fund money that goes to social security and medicare. yes, when people are legalized they'll pay more social security and medicare taxes on their payroll, but it's going to that fund to pay for their retirement. and their health care when they retire. you can't use that money -- you can't spend the money today and pretend it's going to be there to pay for their retirement when they retire. they're going to pay into medicare, they're going to pay into social security, and they're going to draw out social security and medicare when they reach the right age.
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and what we know is, as mr. elmendorf indicated and as i have said repeatedly, most of these individuals are lower-income, lower-skilled workers. therefore, what we know is in that regard that more -- that the lower-skilled workers who pay into social security and medicare take out more than they pay in. so this is not going to be positive there, it seems to me. but particularly when you account for that. a lot of people have scored this but they haven't scored it from the fact that most of the workers that will be paying medicare and social security are lower-income workers and they'll be paying the lower rates. not a huge difference, but it is a difference. so i would contend, i think without fear of serious
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contradiction although i expect political contradiction, that the off-budget money is your medicare and social security money. see, you've paid into that, the government the if it takes and spends it has not -- doesn't anything now to pay your social security and your medicare benefits when you get old. and we know it's already actuarily unfound. -- unsound. these programs are in danger of defaulting a lot sooner than a lot of people think. we need to be saving these programs, not weakening them. so in the short run, you get this bubble effect, you get an extra group of money and since a lot of the workers are younger, it will look good on the budget for ten years, see. it looks good on the budget for ten years, but this is not money to be spent by the government. this is money that's dedicated to their retirement and will be
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grawn drawn out by these individuals when they go into retirement. so i would suggest that this ten-year score, 2014 through 2023, shows that the real impact is a $14.2 billion reduction -- increase in the deficit of the united states over ten years, and the general fund account. and the off-budget says it reduces the deficit by $200 billion but that money is utilized -- has got to be in the trust fund to be utilized for future payments to these individuals when they retire. it's not money that we can account. and the mixing of these two matters is one of the most dramatic ways this country has gotten itself into an unsound financial course. we have double counted this
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money repeatedly. we have money coming into social security and medicare and we spend it immediately and we pretend it's still there to pay for somebody's retirement. and this isn't going to be the same except it's guaranteed to be a financial loser over the long run. and, again, i know senator sanders has talked about this, my colleague from vermont, about in a free market world, you bring in more labor, the wages go down. i think c.b.o. is probably underestimating this, frankly,. professor borjas at harvard, his numbers looked more grim than these. this is what they came up with. they've been trying to be -- i guess work here and tell the truth as best they can but they're getting a local of pressure from the other side and a lot of members here just seem to think we can just bring in millions of people and that these millions of people will
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somehow create more revenue and we're going to be like jack kemp, you know, everything is wonderful, it's just going to grow. but we have to be prudent. we have to be responsible. what we know is that since at least 1999, the wages of average american people not have kept up with inflation. that means those wages are on a net serious decline. professor borjas said it's declined by 8%. that is very real. my democrat colleagues used to be very critical when it was president bush because it was all his fault that wages weren't keeping up with inflation, people were being hurt. so now who don't talk about that anymore, if they do, they blame it on president bush even though he's been ben gone five or six years but the reality is i came to believe there's truth to this, and it's not just a
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temporary cyclical thing that workers' wages haven't been keeping up right. i think it's something deeper than that. i think several things. businesses are getting very, very intent not to reducing the number of employees that they have to produce certain products and wijtsz and they're getting far more efficient so we're making more widgets with less people. if you go into plants like i do, you see these incredible robotics that are there and you get dramatic improvements in productivity at widgets for less people. and this creates in some ways unemployment. last month we had a moderate increase in jobs in may, but there was an 8,000-job reduction in manufacturing. and the increase was in service industries like restaurants and
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bars and that kind of thing. and the increase was also temporary. so this isn't healthy. you've got this unhealthy trend out there and when you bring in large amounts of labor, a majority of which the c.b.o. says is low skilled, you are hammering the american worker. further, peter kershnau, one of the outstanding members of the u.s. commission on civil rights along with abigail this onestrom, a brilliant lady over the years, they wrote a letter that warned that passage of this bill will hammer poor people in america and particularly african-americans and they had hearings on it and they've had the best economists come and testify and they've studied those reports and they say not a single one of the economists
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they dealt with denied that the wages would be pulled down or unemployment would go up, and that's what c.b.o. has told us today. unemployment will go up, wages will go down. we've got good republican colleagues, they can't conceive that we're in such a circumstance. they just believe growth is just always good, and if you bring in more people, you'll have more growth. and that is correct. but let me tell you the brutal truth based on the in-depth analysis by professor borjas at harvard. he says the prosperity, the growth inures to the benefit of the manufacturers, the employers who use a lot of low skilled labor. their income will go up but the average wage. average working person will go down. that's what large flows of
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immigration will do. when you've got high unemployment. peter kirshnau said in his letter that it's absolutely false that we have a shortage of low-skilled labor. he says we have a glut of low-skilled labor and the facts show that. i mean, unemployment -- the number of people employed in the work force today is -- has reached the level of the 1970's. that was before women were going into the workplace. so as a percentage of the american population, the percentage of people actually having a job today has been falling steadily, and it's now hit the level of the 1970's. and now we're going to bring in all these masters of the
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yoofers --, universe, these geniuses who have this plan that somehow will fix everything, we'll just bring in more people and we had a senator today today say it's going to increase wages. how can that be? what economic study shows that? not any to my knowledge. but the c.b.o. says wages are going to fall. unemployment is going to go up. and it's not going to fix our deficit, either. so, mr. president, i just feel very strongly that we've got to put on realistic hat here. we're going to have to ask ourselves who do we represent? are we representing a political idea that's going to bring in more votes? are we representing people who entered the country illegally?
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are those our first priority? do we have any obligation to the people who fight our wars, raise our next generation of children, try to do the right thing, pay their taxes, want to be able to have a decent job, a decent retirement plan, have a vacation every now and then, have a health care plan that they can afford. don't we owe them that? shouldn't that be our primary responsibility right now? i think it is. i think that's our primary responsibility. you say, well, don't you care about people that are here illegally? yes, i care about them. and i care about them deeply. and i think we can work on this situation to not be in a position to say we're going to deport people, all of them that are here illegally and we can treat treat people compassionately. we're going to do the right thing about that.
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but in the future should we have a work flow every year in the future that doubles the amount of guest workers that come in for the sole purposes of working and not becoming an immigrant, and should we increase the annual legal flow of immigrants from a million a year to 1.5 million a year? increasing it 50%. is that what good legislation would do? i mean, how did this happen? thomas sole, a hoover institution scholar and economist at stanford university, he says, well, you got three interests out here. one is the immigrant. they win. this report says their salaries go up. the other one is the politicians. they've got it all figured out. they've written a bill that they think serves their political interest.
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but the question is, who is representing the national interest? who is representing the american people's interest? were they in these rooms when the chamber of commerce was there and the la raza was there and the business groups and agricultural groups and the labor unions, mr. trump ca were there -- trumka were there, who was defendant defending the interests of the dutiful working out trying to find a job today? there was a report in "the new york times" last week about an event in queens. apparently there was a group of jobs that were going to be offered as elevator repair personnel in new york. the lines started forming five days in advance. people brought their tents, they brought their food, they brought their sleeping bags,
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and they waited in line for days to be able to get a job as an elevator repair person. and we got people saying these are jobs americans won't do. that americans won't work. well, i just noticed the group i always -- always cut my grass but i'm up here a lot, they came out and cut my grass in mobile. came out and these were two african-american gentlemen in their 40's. came out and did a great job in the heat in alabama, and took care of my yard. what is this, jobs americans won't do? they want a job that has a retirement plan, they want a job that has some permanency to it, they want a job that has a decent wage. but americans will work. i'll acknowledge that in seasonal work, temporary work,
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circumstances, we could develop a good migrant, good guest worker program that can serve that. and maybe in different times if unemployment's low, we could justify in bringing even more workers than you would expect. but at a time of high unemployment, when we've got a low participation in the work force, we ought to be careful about bringing in large amounts of labor that pleases rich business, manufacturing, agribusiness groups but doesn't necessarily protect the honest, decent, legitimate interest of american workers. they're being forgotten i think too often in this process. so i -- i wanted to push back today that this report might look like it says we're creating a surplus and we're reducing the debt.
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and in one sense, on the on-budget analysis, the way we do our accounting around here, that impression is certainly created. but it's a false impression, and it's that false understanding of the reality of the on-budget and off-budget accounting of revenues to america that has gotten us fundamentall fundamene problem we are now in. so i -- again, i repeat, the on-budget deficit, according to the c.b.o. report, goes up over ten years by $14 billion. it claims, though, that the deficit drops on the off-budget. but remember, that money is obligated. that's your withholding. that's your fica. that's your social security, medicare withholdings on your
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paycheck. it goes up there and it's being set aside for you, for your retirement, for your medical care when you're elderly. it's not available for us to spend today willy-nilly, and we think we've now created a circumstance where billions of dollars are being double counted. can you imagine that? that's what we're doing in this country. we're counting trillions of dollars, really double counting it. money that comes in, we count it on the unified budget as income to the government. but it's dedicated income and we owe the people who paid into it their social security check, their -- their medicare coverage. it's owed to them. and what we know is that when you have particularly lower -- well, the whole program is unsustainable but particularly the lower-income workers pay in certainly less than -- than
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they'll eventually take out over a lifetime. so adding all these workers on to the social security and medicare system, where they pay in and it will not place us in a -- in necessarily a sound path. so again, when you be honest about where we are, the numbers do not look good. this congress needs to wrestle with how to deal compassionately with the people that have been here a long time and we need to do it in the right way. but we have a responsibility, a financial duty to the people who sent us here to manage their money wisely and not make our financial situation worse than it is today. we have an obligation to try to figure out a way to reverse this steady, long-term trend of wage decline by millions of american workers. it needs to be getting better.
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and what this report says is, if this bill is passed, this -- this immigration bill is passed, it will make the long-term wage situation of americans worse. how wrong a direction could that be? and, look, if we let the labor market just get a little tight tighter, we're going to find businesses who are willing to pay more to get a good worker. that's the free market. these business guys don't mind trying to get -- wal-mart seeks the very lowest-priced product they can get, whether it's china or the united states. they're ruthless about it. it's free market, we say. we value it. "okay, we support free market." but why shouldn't the -- why shouldn't if there's a labor shortage the laboring man be able to get a little higher wage for a change around here?
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and this large flow of immigration does -- will impact adversely their ability to find a job. unemployment will go up, according to the report. and to get an increase in wages. mr. president, i thank the cha chair, would yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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mr. kaine: madam president? i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to a period of morning business with senators -- i'm sorry. can we vitiate the quorum call?
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the presiding officer: without objection. mr. kaine: thanks, madam president. i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. kaine: madam president, i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 79, s. res. 143. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 79, senate resolution 143, recognizing the threats to freedom of the press and expression around the world and so forth. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. kaine: i further ask the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table and no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. kaine: madam president, i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to consideration of s. res. 173, which was submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution
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173, designating september, 2013, as national child awareness month. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding on the measure? without objection. mr. kaine: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. kaine: madam president, i ask unanimous consent the senate now proceed to the consideration of s. res. 174 submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 174, designating june 20, 2013, as american eagle day, and so forth. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding on the measure? mr. kaine: madam president, i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. kaine: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 9:30 a.m. on wednesday, june 19,
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2013, that following the prayer and pledge, the morning business be deemed expired, that the journal of proceedings be approved to date and the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day, and that following any leader remarks, the senate be in a period of morning business for one hour with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each, with the time equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees, with the republicans controlling the first half and the majority controlling the final half, and that following morning business, the senate resume consideration of s. 744, the comprehensive immigration reform bill. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. kaine: we'll continue to work through the amendments on the immigration bill tomorrow. senators will be notified when votes are scheduled. if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under the previous order following the remarks of the senator from arizona. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. flake: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. flake: madam president, there are many reasons given to
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enact immigration reform. being from arizona, we bear a disproportionate burden in the state for the federal government's failure to have a secure border and to have a rational immigration system. there are many reasons, but fiscal reason isn't often brought up. we were just given good fiscal reason today by the congressional budget office. they came forward with their estimates of the cost of this legislation. now, just a few minutes ago, we kind of heard the glass half empty speech, and i want to give one that's the glass half full or actually decidedly more than that. c.b.o. came forward, and let me just take a few of the top line numbers. first, we're often told that if we enact this legislation, that the increase in population of those who come across illegally or legally in the next ten years
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thereby some 30 million people. that's disputed, i think, by the facts on the ground, but also c.b.o. points out in their estimate, they say c.b.o. estimates that by 2023, enacting s. 744 would lead to a net increase of 10.4 million in the number of people residing in the united states compared with the number of people projected under current law. so significantly, significantly lower. there has been the best estimate that we have of the illegal population here, and it is around 11 million, but this would also lead to a substantial decrease in the illegal population obviously coming across, and so we're looking at an increase in population of about 10.4 million over ten years, decidedly lower than some of the estimates that are being thrown around. let's talk about a few of the fiscal numbers. we're told that this would be extremely costly to enact this
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legislation. c.b.o. says the following -- this will lead to an increase in federal direct spending of -- i'm sorry, $262 billion over the 2014-2003 period. most of these outlays would be for tax credits. on and on. it sounds significant until you consider that it will increase federal revenues, this legislation, by $459 billion over the 2014-2023 period. so $459 billion in increased revenue compared against $262 billion in increased direct spending. that's $197 billion surplus or decrease in the deficit over the ten-year budget window. so we often hear that's okay for the first ten years, but what happens after that? well, c.b.o. looked at that as well, and they said this.
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on balance, c.b.o. and j.c.t. or the joint committee on taxation, estimate that the changes in direct spending in revenues would decrease federal budget deficits by about $700 billion or .02% of the gross domestic product over the period 2024- 2033. again, c.b.o. and j.c.t. estimate that the changes in direct spending in revenue will decrease federal budget deficits by about $700 billion over the second ten-year budget window. so i -- and i know that c.b.o. reports, we often point out on this side of the aisle, the other side of the aisle does as well. these reports are only as good as the assumptions that you make when you do these reports. duly noted, but i think it's still instructive to look at this and dispel some of the wild rumors that are out there about the costs of this legislation when c.b.o. actually comes
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forward and says that over a 20-year budget window, $700 billion decrease in federal deficits. that, madam president, is significant. let me also say that c.b.o. looked at how this legislation would affect the economy going forward, and they look at a further budget window. 744, they say, would boost economic output, taking into account all economic effects including those reflected in the cost estimate. again, they are talking about the direct spending that would increase through parts of this legislation as well. if you take that into account, still it says this bill would increase real inflation-adjusted g.d.p. relative to the amount c.b.o. projects under current law by 3.3% in 2023 and 5.4% in 2033. again, increasing economic activity by 3.3% in 2023 and by
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5.4% in 2033. that is substantial. when you look at the legislation, you look at what will happen when we increase legal immigration in ways that help the economy, particularly on the h-1b side, high tech, stem visas. we all know intuitively that that will help us because those individuals who come with these kind of degrees boost economic output and increase jobs. it's going to help this economy. and this spells it out in dramatic fashion. 3.3% increase in 2023, simply owing to this legislation, 5.4% in 2033, just owing to this legislation. so in summary, i just want to say that c.b.o. estimates are only as good as the assumptions you make, but when they look at this legislation in a dispassionate way, as nonpartisan as they can get, they come up with figures that
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show that net revenue over expenses is quite substantial, over $700 billion over a 20-year budget window and that economic output would increase 3.3% by 2023, 5.4% by 2033. that, madam president, is significant. i think it bears noting. i yield back the floor. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until 9:30 a.m. tomorrow.
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i encourage them to file amendments, come to the floor, and offer them. i share the majority leader's
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wish to be partners on this important legislation. we know of the immigration system is sorely in need of reform. now is the time to do it. as we dispose of several amendments to the bill before us, but in the senate press requires cooperation. instead of going forward and actually having starter state positions going up or down, we have objection after objection from the opponents this obsession to put the position of having the public cynicism in the. we will get discouraged with congress. realize a small number of people
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blocking. we expect there will be political cost for voting for or against. it comes with the job. and when people perceive the comprehensive immigration reform , that cost us several days. the public sees the u.s. said as voting may be. roh, i am willing to take the consequences of voting for or against something and not a voting maybe . i think most senators would prefer voting yes or no and not maybe. in fact, by the end of the filibuster we were able to perceive the bill 84-77 and said, let's proceed in voting in
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favor of doing so. vetted not know there are going to have criticism from some for doing that but have had the courage to do it. resole have a tiny handful. it is frustrating because i mentioned that it did not have the date. simply entered the senate's consideration for the bill. in fact, the bipartisan legislation has even objected to adoption of the committee substitute despite widespread praise from both republican and democrats for how we conducted our proceedings and helped overwhelming bipartisan votes get the bill to the full senate to. this was a bill where all of the amendments -- almost all of them were bipartisan. forty some odd members,
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republicans who were accepted by both republicans and democrats. so the votes indicate that these 15 members of the minority, they are opposed. they want us to vote may be. they vote against the senate taking of the issue. they want to duck the issue. that is not a profile of courage . should not further instruct or appear ready to go to work on this bill. so the question is whether the of the members of the republican party would call those that seek to delay this rather than work with us to pass a good bill. more than 100 members have filed comprehensive immigration reform bill. with the last two weeks then
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voted more than once on the motion and amendment and have already been defeated in committee. i began this process in the spirit of cooperation. i offered an amendment on behalf of myself and senator hatch, a senior member of the republican party to strengthen our visa program for visiting people come to perform the nonprofit. i was then following the procedures of the cooperation that i have known for decades in the senate. give consent to senator grassley to set aside my amendment and offer his relating to border security. unfortunately when we have some courtesy's so that other senators, republicans and democrats alike, there was an objection. we were expected to -- i was expected to cooperate and follow
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the procedure. the second we asked for the other side to do that, oh, no. cannot do it. the rules have to be different. the majority offering amendments can certainly question. others, the senate republicans, including the senate republican leader just a few days ago insisting on the amendments and legislation and nominations. the minority objected. the majority leader as a group of amendments offered by senators of both sides of the aisle, allowed to be offered again as an objection. with great effort the work through amendments, the minority nominations consensus amendments are being objected to the late. rea been unable to get the amendment by republican senator from nevada. because there is republican objection to a republican senators up for any amendment
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which will probably pass with overwhelming support from the democrats. so it is no wonder the approval of congress was just 10%. in favor of reforming the nation's system. we should be working together to meet the demand and reflect what the people of america want. the president spoke last week but immigration reform and what is needed. a broad cross-section of those, business, labour, law enforcement, clergy, people from both sides of the aisle. just as i worked with president bush in 2006 when he supported comprehensive immigration reform and senate republicans to work with us now. senators from both sides of the gile work together to adopt this
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legislation. senators from both sides of the aisle. senators from the judiciary committee, senators, adopted more than 130 amendments, almost all of them in a bipartisan vote senators from both sides of the aisle now need to come together terror pass the legislation. we have a vote on my friend from iowa's amendment. bipartisan majority of 57 votes. five republicans also voted. of course the amendment, most people knew on the floor considered by the judiciary committee who was defeated by a bipartisan vote of two-thirds of the committee that would have
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undermined and preempted the pathway turned citizenship. it would have made the fate of millions come out of the shadows and join american life. a failure of present circumstances way beyond any control the thing might have. so i am troubled by proposals to contain false promises in which the promises of citizenship is always over the next mountain. we will give you citizenship, but not quite yet. it is almost like sisyphus pushing that rack up the hill. i want the pathway to be clear and the goal to citizenship attainable. you cannot be burdened by some use a precondition. we should treat people fairly, not have their faith determined. no on documented american controls the security.
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this same things that are being set up to kill this bill, grandparents from coming to vermont from italy. the parents and grandparents of many of the senators now serving in the united states senate. so i don't want people to move out of the shadows or be stuck in some underclass just as we should not faulted dreamers are brought here as children. we should make people's state and feature set is dependent on enforcement conditions over which to have no control. legislation is important to be subject signaling the experience to this point. we shall have a healthy and vigorous debate on the judiciary
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committee. considering voting on amendments no, the bright moments of the american public's view of the scent was a where republicans and democrats alike in the senate judiciary committee get this bill before us. the republican committee, followed on line by millions of people. brought up amendments, debated them, and voted on them. nobody voted it may be. they voted yes, and they voted no. the american public responded overwhelmingly saying this is the way to go, and that think republicans and democrats on the floor justly praised the judiciary committee. that was 18 and thus working in a complement.
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we disagreed in the outcome. we work together to get that debate finished. we work all day. a couple weeks and we get a ton. now all 100 of us should stand here and do the same thing. and the demand for different voting status republican, democratic a man dependences wrong. a couple of weeks ago the distinguished republican leader spoke at an event. i was sitting nearby. he knew i was following him to speak. he said the matter is important. all the amendments should be 60-road amendments. a different you in the past. okay. we will do that. both democrats and republicans at let's get down. but different settings, both republicans and democrats does not have the judiciary committee
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to send this legislation. it is also -- also not have the majority of americans expect us to conduct the debate. they undermine the senate's work on this important bill. they've already decided to oppose this bill for the senate's consideration. voting against it, but do not dictate the work of 84 senators are ready to go forth and vote. so i call on all senators. please file your amendments been time and work with us, if need be, on friday and saturday to the weekend and so that we can make much-needed progress on this legislation without further delay. >> coming up on c-span2 tonight, the confirmation hearing. president obama's choice for chairman of the sec. >> having the opportunity to achieve its independence. ban the few people led by
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franklin recognize the possibilities for america to become a great country. let me put it in different words from what i said a moment ago. the american achievement, people of the two and a half million free people and have to million slaves were then in effect ticket the british to evict the french from their borders and then the french to help them evict the british to manipulate the two greatest powers in the world was an astonishing achievement. >> conrad black and the emergence of the united states as a world power saturday at 7:00 p.m. eastern, part of book tv this weekend on c-span2. >> go to gettysburg and to think about pickett's charge, to think about the carnage there, the lives lost, the great battles before fredericksburg and the
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wilderness, you talk about antietam, you talk about shiloh and the masses, all of these battles for people defending either what they think is a way of life, all of it, all that bloodshed, this contradiction. and we won. we have our country. and i would like to go to gettysburg to say come unto we deserve this? do we deserve the country that we have? are we living up to that? >> the wonder 50th anniversary of the battle of gettysburg. live all the coverage from gettysburg national military park sunday, june 38, starting at 9:00 eastern on american history tv.
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you're watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs weekdays featuring live coverage of the u.s. senate. weeknights what's key public policy events in every weekend that it is nonfiction authors and books on book tv. you can see past programs and get our schedules that our website, and you can join in a conversation on social media sites. ..
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this is two hours. >> this hearing will come to order. mr. wheeler. if confirmed, you will lead an agency that has most challenging and complicated issues pending since the telephone communications act -- telecommunications act of 1934. i don't say this lightly. the decisions the fcc makes under your leadership, should you be confirmed. the future of the nation's telephone network, public safety, the wireless industry, broadcast, the internet, and consumer protection are at stake for years to come. of all the penning

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