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tv   U.S. Senate U.S. Senate  CSPAN  April 29, 2021 1:59pm-5:14pm EDT

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the presiding officer: on this vote, the yeas are 89. the nays are 2. the 60-vote therebyhold having been achieved -- threshold having been achieved, the bill is passed as amended. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. ms. duckworth: madam president, i ask that the senate proceed to executive session and resume consideration of executive calendar number 65 cynthia minette marten to be deputy secretary of education. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. duckworth: madam president? the presiding officer: -- ms. duckworth: first, it was five minutes. then it was ten. then 15.
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i had no idea where she was. and at the time, barely even knew who she was. all i knew was that on her first day as not just a volunteer but a full time employee, our latest hire was ridiculously late to pick me up, to drive me to the next campaign stop. not a great look for her first task on the job. 20 minutes passed, then 25, then 30. she still wasn't there. her name was kaitlin something i remember. whenever kaitlin something dared to share up at all, she'd get a lesson in working for a former military officer who believed in the sanctity of clocking in at zero eight 5500 hours if your commander officer told you to report at 3900 hours. 345 minutes went by, then 40. it was only after 45 minutes had passed that i saw her car coming around the bend. and while i could not have known it at the time, kaitlin something was about to become one of the most important people
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in my life. but on that day she made me miss an event because we were too late. in the 15 years since that day that she showed up so incredibly late, kaitlin fahey has gone from being an intern to being in charge of interns to, well, being in charge of me as my schedule letter and then as my chief of staff. she's become a trusted political adviser, a confidant, a close friend, and an honorary member of my family. someone i know i can turn to for a gut check and for the most brutally honest advice. the person who can both calm me down and rev me up and who can switch it the two on a dime. -- between the two on a dime. from greasy fast food stops on campaign routes to the hallowed halls of the capitol building that i'm speaking from today, kaitlin has never left my corner. she's always pushed for what was good and right, for what was best not just for me but for the people i represented. never ever accepting the word no when a yes might be better to
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help even one family in one far-flung town of our home state of illinois. day after day, year a of year -- year after year, in roll after roll she worked tirelessly not on my behalf but on behalf of every illinoisan, every american. proving along the way you don't need to wear our nation's uniform to serve our country, that you can serve america without ever going to basic training or picking up a rifle, that you can serve america and change her forever and for the better simply by caring deeply and working tirelessly to make tomorrow a little bit better, a little fairer than today. there are a million stories i can tell about the work that kaitlin has done and all she has accomplished but i'll hold myself to just one. when she helped change senate rules to allow babies on to the floor for votes so that new parents could fulfill their duties to both their children and the constitution. showing moms and dads in every pocket of this country that they shouldn't need to choose between
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having jobs and having kids. you can see why i call her the hammer and why she's one of only -- one of the only people in the world who scares the living daylights out of me but in the best way possible. and you can also see why i've been so lucky to have her in my corner all these years. to have her as a partner in office pranks and to have her as a sister who i could count on to simply sit in silence on the other end of the phone and cry with me after my miscarriage. this month was kaitlin's last as my chief of staff so today i just want to say thank you to her. thank you to kaitlin's wonderful family also, scott, ronan and brenda for lending us your wife and your mom and thank you, kaitlin, for every moment of the last 15 years. thank you for imparting your humor and for humoring me, for showing that warmth and strength can be one in the same, for not quitting when i tried to get you to wear a wedding dress made out
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of camouflage material or when i got the office to take part in pirate day and do every memo in pirate. thank you for being the kind of person who would jump out of a car and run into the middle of the street to help save a lost dog which she actually just did this past election day. thank you for keeping me in line and for building our team from the ground up, running our office first in the house and then in the senate with grace, precision, and brilliance, prioritizing empathy and compassion, common sense and common decency, wearing a million hats all at once yet always making sure our staff felt valued, heard and ever able to serve the people of illinois. thank you for being my hammer. i don't thank you for not letting me get a margarita machine for the office, however, but also thank you for being my friend, for showing up to drive me in your car that day albeit 45 minutes late. you were worth waiting for every one of those minutes. i love you.
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i yield back.
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lan madam president -- mr. lankford: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. lankford: i've had the privilege to represent the great state of oklahoma and the people of oklahoma, to be able to sit in multiple presidential addresses in the house of representatives chamber. that joint address that happened last night i didn't have the privilege to actually get a chance to sit in on, clearly whatever watched it there were 200 people in the room signed for 1,600. with the spacing, in some ways it seemed normal and some ways ridiculous with 200 vaccinated people spaced out. that's a different point for a different moment. for that peach last night as i listened, i thought about the other speeches that i've listened to as well. many of these speeches are similar. the president comes and casts a vision. these are things they want to be able to do. talk through different programs, talk through different tax issue, talk through where we are
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as a country. cast a vision. i get all those things. last night and every night when one of those speeches occur, there's usually something unique or different about the speech. a little different direction from where they want to go. not all those programs will get implemented, as i have people already contacting my office panicked in some ways saying are all those things going to be done. i can smile at them and say no, all those things won't be done because it never is. it's a vision that's cast by the president that they have to convince the american people and congress to be able to engage with as well. but last night was epic in the sense of spending. i was even surprised at the amount we're talking about at this point. and it seems to be so flippant and normal at this point. when you do the math of what just happened with the american rescue plan, that was just under $2 trillion of spending. last night there was one of the proposals also about $2 trillion and another one about $2.5 trillion. take those together, just over $6 trillion in proposed and
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government debt just in those three recommended. what people aren't adding to is starting in june, in july, it's appropriations time. and our best understanding that- and we haven't received the budget from the white house yet -- is that proposal will be about $4 boy 5 trillion. -- $3.5 -- $4.5 trillion. what has happened in the last 1 hundred days and the next 100 days we're proposed to spend $11 trillion. $11 trillion. that far exceeds what was even spent during the pandemic time period when we all determined this is a rainy day that we definitely need to be able to stabilize our economy. $11 trillion. size of government, the number of times that i heard if there's
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a problem, government here in washington, d.c. can solve it was epic. now, initially at the beginning of the speech, there was a lot of talk about covid as well there should be. our nation is coming through this. but i was surprised how little conversation there was about the vaccines and the process, operation warp speed and the partnership between government and private industry that was done last year to be able to bring all these vaccines to place. you see, all the vaccines were developed and ordered last year. all the needles and the alcohol wipes and the materials, the p.p.e. that would be needed were all ordered last year. this year was just a matter of getting shots in arms, which i'm incredibly grateful we've had so many americans that have stepped up and driven up, come and put their arm out there and said i want to be a part of the solution for getting rid of covid in our country. everyone knew that as we got
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shots in arms, we would see the numbers come down, at least we hoped and we did. the numbers are coming down and the economy is coming back up. that's the other thing that everyone predicted as well. as soon as some of the shutdowns happened, we'd be able to see the economy begin to rise again and thankfully we are. but it -- it was interesting to hear the president last night take credit for all of that, which i assume the press should. i am thankful for the work and the folks in science and private industry and in pharmaceuticals for what they have done over the last year because it is remarkable what we've actually walked through and what we have seen. it was not mentioned last night when we talked about the economy was unemployment insurance and it's something i brought to this body before. when i traveled around my state the week before easter and after easter when we were not voting those two weeks, as i traveled around, every moyer i --
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employer i talked to said the same thing, we're hiring but we don't have people applying or people are applying, filling out a form and saying i didn't want the job, i wanted to be able to complete the form back to the unemployment office so i can continue to get my check. i talked to employees that were frustrated because the person who used to work next to them are not next to them because they are home getting unemployment benefits. because the unemployment benefits in my state right now far exceed what the normal wage is. so people aren't showing up. that's a problem in our economy, and my fear is that's a problem that will continue until september because the unemployment benefits that were extended were extended all the way through the first week of september even though we pushed back and said, this is a bad idea, our democratic colleagues and the president said, no, let's keep moving forward.
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there are lots of parts ever of the green new deal presented last night. they didn't use the term green new deal. it was just bits and pieces of the green new deal separated into sets of ideas. the term green new deal has become unpopular with folks as they find out what it is. taking the pieces of the green new deal and separating them in different spots and trying to pass them doesn't change anything either. i was surprised how little the president talked about the crisis on the border. he did mention it and i was pleased he did. many people in my state see that as a serious issue that needs to be resolved. our open borders and the literally hundreds of thousands of people that have crossed our border illegally just this calendar year just in the last 100 days is record levels. when i talked to the border patrol folks and they talk about how in march alone they had 172,000 encounters, that's a
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record number. but now in april, they are hitting or exceeding that record just in april again. as the numbers continue to skyrocket to numbers with we've not seen. the number of unaccompanied minors is at at 20-year high. we've not seen these numbers in decades. it's a significant issue for us as a country and it's one that started on january 20, with the change in policy and in issues. we have more than 5,000 individuals that had been picked up by border patrol just this year that have a criminal record in the united states. we have 15,000 individuals that border patrol has just leased into the country with no notice to appear at all, just a statement that as they come through the line was so long that border patrol leadership was telling them from washington, d.c., that if the line gets too long, just release people into the country and them
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to check in with immigration folks whatever part of the country they go to. just check in. literally they are coming across the border and if the line's too long, just let them go and tell them to check themselves in when they get to wherever they are going in the country. 15,000 people like that just this year. we have 150,000 people that border patrol has reported that they saw crossing the border but didn't have the manpower to get to them. what they call gottaways, 150,000 this year that won't show up on anyone's numbers of people entering the country illegally. these numbers are truly epic numbers. last night the president's proposal was, allow us to do more in central america and eventually this will get better. i would tell you from being down at the border three times just this year and interacting with folks -- i would encourage anyone from the administration
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to go to the border and actually see what's going on and actually talk to law enforcement there. from being down in that area, their concern is this is a very long-term issue because the administration doesn't seem to see it as a crisis or something that has to be fixed immediately. it can be fixed eventually. with hundreds of thousands of people coming across the border now every month. and in the last official report from customs and border protection, over 150 different countries represented crossing the border just this year, over 100 countries. it's not just folks from just central america. people from all over the wrorld are paying the cartels to get through mexico and travel to our country and checking in or skipping across the border and they disappear into our economy.
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i see that as an issue. and i wish the administration would see that as an issue. the conversation that came up last night was about voting. it's an important conversation for us. we're a representative republic. voting is extremely important to us as a nation, that every vote counts and that every vote has the integrity that it needs. but the senate bill 1 and on the house side what they call h. bill 1, i am stunned at the contents of that bill. when president biden just said pass that bill and put it on my desk, i thought there's absolutely no way i would pass a bill like that, nor would the people at home want me to pass pa bill like that, that's a vote designed to make voting easy and cheating easy, we want to make voting easy and cheating hard. that's the way we've done elections for a very long time. why would we want to shift from that? i'm all for making voting as easy as we can.
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my state has early voting and mail-in voting. we protect the integrity of the vote and everyone can look at it and say my person won or lost, but i believe the integrity of the vote. we have to make sure that every area has access to voting and doesn't have long lines and make sure we have mail-out ballots to not only get people the ability to vote but protect the integrity of the vote. but senate bill 1 and house bill 1 does the same-day registration and you don't need to have an i.d. you can't have the two together. it mandates third party collection at the ballots that could be done in any state. so an individual political group could go door-to-door, and say, if you voted, you haven't, i'll stand here and we can vote
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together. it violates secret ballots and the integrity of the ballot and only the folks in the post office would handle it or the folks in the -- nor accountability to grab ballots and collect them. how do we not think there won't be fraud in that system? it also takes away all voter i.d.'s in every state, including my state where there's not even a complaint about voter i.d.'s on either side of the aisle. it is an incredibly fair system that doesn't require a driver's license, it can require any piece of paper or any way to show that you are who you are. we have a straightforward system to not only protect the integrity of the blot but to make sure every person is not only allowed to vote, is encouraged to vote. why would we take that away from places where it's already working and there hasn't been a complaint just because someone in washington, dc says ■we
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shouldn't do it. centralized control of washington, d.c., seems to be the part of the theme where everything would seem to work better if it only came to d.c. i met a lot of smart people in d.c., but i can also tell you i know a lot of smart people in oklahoma that love their neighbors, that want to see the right thing done, that care úans sudden belief that if we're going to get things done right, you have to bring it to washington, d.c., and allow the folks in washington, d.c., to be able to run it, i will tell you the folks in my state would shake their head and say, we're doing okay. let us take care of our neighbors at home and don't make us sign a paper every time we want to do something and send it off to somebody we never met in washington, d.c. because growing the size of our federal government is not a goal for me.
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being efficient, protecting the rights of every american, protecting our national security, those are goals. they don't require federalizing everything. i can tell you a couple of areas where last night really had some shinning moments for me, though. president biden twice in his speech literally reached out to republicans and said, i understand republicans have another idea on this. let's sit down and talk. that was a good moment. quite frankly, for the last, let's say, of 100-day presidency so far, for 90 days for that, we've gotten the heisman from the president and his team saying, we've got this, we don't need you. really in the last ten days or so, the white house has started reaching out some and to hear president biden say, we understand republicans have different ideas, that almost sounds like governing. that would be a great shift to
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sit down and talk things through. republicans aren't opposed to infrastructure. how absurd to make infrastructure a partisan issue. we've always done infrastructure together. it's not like any of us are opposed to highways, waterways and clean drinking water and broadband, they are key aspects core to infrastructure. let's continue to do those, let's do it efficiently and wisely. that's all that we would ask. some i'm pleased that the president actually reached out and said, let's sit down and talk things through because that will allow us to work together towards better solutions. and the second big moment for me last night was listening to my friend and colleague, tim scott, speak about his family, speak about a vision for the country, to be able to challenge the country and to be able to challenge this body to be able to do what he called commonsense finding common ground.
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it's a great idea. we have different perspectives across the aisle in this building, that doesn't mean we can't sit down as americans and be able to work them out. as tim scott reminded us, part of the story of america is the story of redemption. we can do that together. tim also challenged this nation to stop politicizing race, to stop saying over and over again because we disagree it's because you're a racist. tim spoke to the nation and said there are real issues of race out there and you cheapen it when you politicize every issue and say it's because you're racist. let's actually sit down and disagree on issues as americans and let's resolve things to together. we have common ground and we have areas of real disagreement.
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i have lots of areas where i disagreed with president biden, but i'm willing to sit down and lay out a set of ideas that i think is a much better option. let's talk it out. that's what we do. but let's resolve those issues in the days ahead and, no, you're right, i'm not going to give on the second amendment. i'm not going to give on issues like life and the value of every child. i'm not going to give on i think the debt and deficit is a very important issue. i'm not going to give on encouraging the value of work for every single person and every single family. there are areas i'm not going to give on, but we should at least sit down and treat each other with dignity and respect and let's talk it out. with that, i yield he the floor.
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the presiding officer: the senator from alaska is recognized. ms. murkowski: madam president, are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: we are not. ms. murkowski: as if in legislative session, i ask unanimous consent that the committee on commerce be discharged from further consideration of s. 593, and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. i ask unanimous consent that the murkowski amendment at the desk be agreed to, the bill, as amended, be considered read a third time and passed and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: is there objection? ms. murkowski: madam president, we talked a lot about the pandemic and all that it has brought. i'd like to take just a few moments here at the outset
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before i -- i ask for -- for full consideration and to -- to share with colleagues very briefly what we have faced in the state of alaska with regards to our state's economy. we've probably take a greater hit than any state in the country. we saw a 32% drop in revenue last year, 10% higher than any other state in the nation. we're starting to he see a light at the end of the tunnel, and that's good, but we are also facing the prospect of another devastating tourist season. back home right now people are not talking about the season for 2021 coming up. the motto is get through to 22. that's an awful way to be approaching our situation, and so they have asked for help.
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they realize -- they realize that anything that we can do to try to salvage even a few weeks of tourist season is going to be important to us. senator sullivan and i have been working on behalf of hundreds of small businesses that rely on this essential income just so that they can scrape by for another year. a lot of people don't think about cruise ships as being an essential activity during a pandemic, but let me tell you, in our state where so much of our economy is just based on tourism, it's an imperative. it's jobs, it's livelihoods, and it really is what allows our small communities to keep their doors open. in 2019, before the pandemic was upon us, we were looking at
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1.33 million tourists that came to the state of alaska by way of cruise ship. that's pretty significant. in 2002, there were 48 passengers. that's 48 passengers, that's not 48,000. so in other words you had an economy that was looking pretty strong and pretty good and it absolutely went into a free fall. normally the tourism generates $214 million in state, more than $2.2 billion in visitor spending, and the prospect was doing nothing but going up until we were hit in 2020. the vastly diminished cruise season went from 62% to 11%.
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southeast alaska went to -- 17% of all jobs in the region impacted. so this kind of unemployment, this kind of stress is an extraordinary chal ex. so alaskans are trying to figure out if there is a way to salvage this. there's two points here. we're ready to welcome visitors back in the state, we're leading the country in vaccination rates, half of all alaskans have had their first dose, 40% are fully vaccinated. we have two issues, the centers for disease control have their no sale order for the cruise industry in place. we actually got some very encouraging news just last evening. c.d.c. has acknowledged the changing circumstances with regards to vaccination, they updated their guidance for how to safely resume cruising. so that's good.
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that's a positive. we have a second issue, and that second issue is that canada has a ban on allowing passenger vessels to depart from or transit through their waters of we're dealing with a law that is controlling so much of this because in the u.s. we only allow domestically built, owned and crewed vessels to operate. this is the passenger vessel services act, the pvas. we've got a situation without a stop in canada, a cruise to alaska is a domestic ship. canada has -- has effectively been available to cruise companies that offer voyages to alaska not built in the united states, not crewed by u.s. citizens, not permitted to sail in alaska without stopping in a foreign country, otherwise this
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violates pvsa. we're trying to work with the canadians to resolve this issue. it's tough making headway because canada's in a different spot when it comes to their vaccine. we turned to a temporary legislative fix. there's a lot of different opinions on pvsa and the jones act. i'm not sheer to debate them today, but what i'm trying to offer, along with senator sullivan, is a temporary fix that will allow cruz ships to travel between washington state and alaska. what we're trying to do here -- i'm not trying to -- to save the cruise companies, i'm trying to save communities that are so dependent on these develops that bring these expwrears up. for them -- passengers up. for them, it's critical. if we can't get some level of relief, if we can't get folks north, they've been on hold now since last year. so 14 months until we get into
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2022, on top of what we've already seen, these businesses won't be there. so what we're doing is we temporarily deemed that a voyage to alaska from washington state without a stop in canada is, by law, a foreign voyage, so pvsa is not going to hold us back. i have worked with senator cantwell, i have worked with senator blumenthal to address some of the issues they have raised and i thank them both for their efforts to work with me. we've incorporated in this amendment three simple requirements, two of which the industry already adheres to, requiring defribillators on ships, making sure that the passenger billion bill of rights is publicly available and ask to have a rulemaking on how to safely return human remains. these are simple commonsense changes that ensures cruise something safe for passenger and for crew.
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so i would ask, along with senator sullivan and congressman young, i would ask the senate to consider and pass the alaska tourism restoration act so that cruises can gain some semblance of opportunity in america as they have for so long. so, again, madam president, i will -- i will restate my -- my motion here asking unanimous consent that murkowski amendment number 593 be called up and agreed to. the presiding officer: is there objection to the request? blumenthal. mr. blumenthal: reserving the right to object. the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. blumenthal: senators murkowski and sullivan have ably represented the plight of the citizens of alaska. i'm sympathetic to the economic and humanitarian situation that
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prompts this effort. the alaska tourism recovery act. but i must say that the cruise line industry has a very inconsistent -- that's a nice way of putting it -- a deeply inadequate record on consumer protection and worker safety. we worked out a number of amendments that are incorporated into this measure. they are basic protections during the pandemic and a negotiated compromise, and i thank my colleagues from alaska for doing it in a way that really is a win-win for everyone, and that's the measure that's before us now. so i will offer to objection. i understand that our colleague, senator lee, has an objection, i'm not sure what they are at this point, but if he does, i look forward to working over the recess with my alaska colleagues
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to see if we can reach agreement with senator lee and resolve his objection. thank you. the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. lee: madam president, reserving the right to object. it would be a gross understatement to say that alaska tourism, and, indeed, tourism around the country is suffering and has been throughout the pandemic. the cruise industry, which accounts for more than 50% of all tourists visiting alaska every year has been particularly decimated, not only due to the pandemic, but also because of an arcane law passed by congress back in 1886. this law, known as the passenger vessel services act, or pvsa, states that no ship that is foreign built, foreign owned, foreign flagged, or foreign crude may -- crewed may have
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passengers between foreign ports. instead of operating in u.s. waters, ships an cruise operators are forced to make stops in foreign ports in order to remain in compliance with this 130-year-old law. in other words, we're literally shipping our tourism and our economic activity abroad to other countries and in the process we're destroying countless opportunities for our own coastal cities, states, and towns. now, you don't have to take my word for it. you can google this and see it for yourself. cruises from the united states, if they leave from the united states, must make stops in canada, mexico, or pacific island states in order to to avoid incurring the wrath and the heafl penalties -- heavy penalties of the passenger services act, instead of welcoming tourists and the dollars they spend into american
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ports, we drive them to canada, to mexico, and to pacific island states. does this law even succeed on its own protectionist terms? does this law protect american shipbuilders? it decidedly does not. it decidedly does neither in fact. just to be clear, this is a point of different chainings here. i've -- differentiation here. i don't like the jones act. the jones act is a separate beast from this one. they're both beasts. i dislike both of them indensely. i-- intensely. i understand with respect to the jones act what the arguments are about why we want to keep them intact. i strongly disagree with them and believe u.s. consumers pay for them dearly especially m places like puerto rico, parts of hawaii, parts of new england, other places where they have more limited access to the goods that they might
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otherwise have access to in the absence of the jones act. there is a big difference between the pbsa and the jones act -- the pvas and the jones act. with respect to the jones act there are other considerations and those considerations do not exist with respect to the pvsa. s -- the difference between the jones act and the pvsa is with the pvsa we're dealing with passenger vessels. i'm directing my remarks today to those passenger vessels in the large category, those with at least 800 passenger berths or more. with respect to those, this is very significant because the united states has not built a single large cruise ship in over 60 years. not one, not a single one. with respect to large passenger
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vessels, this law is literally protecting no one at least with respect to the jones act. people can point out, well, perhaps it's helping to nurture the u.s. shipbuilding industry. again, i think that argument overlooks the fact that we're laying that burden on the backs of poor and middle-class americans in places like puerto rico and hawaii and new england, alaska, and other parts of the country. but at least i understand that when there is an industry at issue there, it's an industry that's being greedy and it's an industry that really is engaging in crony capitalism. but i understand the argument. with respect to the pvsa, we're not protecting anything because we do not make large passenger vessels in this country and haven't for over half a century. and so by taking away opportunities for american jobs in dock side, maintenance, and repair in ports, coastal
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cities, hotel and travel support sector, the pvsa has applied to large passenger vessels. it harms american workers and redirects the demand elsewhere. it also harms consumers who have fewer options, fewer cruises that they can take, higher prices for those cruises that are offered, and as we've seen during the pandemic, it's left us subject to the will and whim of foreign powers. make no mistake, the pvsa is not america first. this is the encapsulation of special interests first. or even you might say canada first. perhaps this is the reason that the canadian government lobbies congress to keep the pvsa in place. think about that for a minute. madam president, this unfortunate situation has been exacerbated by the pandemic during which canada has closed its ports to cruise ships, making it effectively impossible
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for alaskan cruises to carry on. but the only reason why canada wields this tremendous authority over us is because of our law, our own law that they're lobbying us to keep in place because they benefit from it, but they're shutting it down, making it impossible for alaskan cruises to happen for the time being. without the necessary foreign port call, cruises simply cannot travel to alaska. without relief, the alaskan tourism industry will evaporate harming alaskan dock workers, repairmen, those in the hospitality services and more. just the same, you think about all the jobs that aren't created that could otherwise exist, that could exist tomorrow if we just got rid of this 130-year-old law that serves no purpose, that jobs and vacation opportunities, especially in port states, not just alaska, florida, louisiana, texas, new york, many, many others,
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places where cruise ships already depart but are severely hobbled as to their itineraryies because of -- itineraries because of this law, the pvsa that serves no one perhaps except these foreign powers. the outdated foreign sales orders made these matters so much worse, and we've got to address those as well. alaska already lost last summer's season. it's tragic. i can't imagine congress would force them to lose yet another season now, and yet, that might already be the case. you see, because unless they start moving those ships up there right now, there can't be any cruise ship season for alaska this summer. my two colleagues from alaska thankfully introduced a bill to
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help correct the issue by exempting certain alaskan cruise lines from the pvsa for the duration of canada's brother closure, a bill -- border closure, a bill i was happy to support in order to provide short-term relief for alaska even if it didn't provide for the long term as we desperately need. the bill now before us has deviated from that purpose. it has poison pill provisions that add due politic -- duplicative relations that will help, not harm the cruise industry. we've got to provide relief. it's not just about an industry. it's not just about any one state. it's about the access the american people have through their businesses or their own travel interests. they should be able to do this. it makes no sense to anyone.
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no one would plan a road trip and say that we can't go to a neighboring state unless we can touchback to a foreign country in the meantime. nobody would fly to an adjacent state or across the country if in the process they had to fly to a third party country merely in order to comply with some arcane federal law. no one except of course the very wealthy who could still afford it. most americans can't. and the americans who can least afford this law, this law that serves no one perhaps except the foreign interests i mentioned, including but not limited to canada, the people who really suffer for that are america's workers. shame on us if we don't fix that. look, i remain hopeful, optimistic and ever willing to negotiate this. i've got lots of amendments to offer up. in deference to my colleagues from alaska, i'm going to hold
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off on counter proposing those right now, but i'm filing them and they're ready to go. i hope we can negotiate our way through this. if we can't, shame on us. the pvsa is bad. it's bad news. we need to let it go. for these reasons, madam president, i object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. mr. sullivan: madam president, my colleague, senator murkowski, did a good job of explaining some of the economic challenges, actually, the dramatic economic challenges facing our state, small businesses, families, workers by the thousands who are really hurting right now because we lost the tourism season last year due to the pandemic and are on the verge of possibly losing another one which could be devastating. and that's the purpose of our
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legislation, to focus on lifting the challenge and bringing relief so that we can bring tourism back to alaska. we're open for business. you know, madam president, we've been able in alaska to weather the health impacts of this virus in a way that we're very proud of in alaska. one of the lowest death rates per capita. any death of course is horrible. but one of the lowest death rates, one of the highest testing rates per capita with regard to this vaccine, the highest vaccination rates per capita, which is a mini miracle if you look at how big our state is. but the economic impacts are, have been devastating, as senator murkowski laid out. our commercial fishing industry, our oil and gas industry, our tourism industry, these sectors of the alaska economy, which are critical, have lost thousands
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of jobs. so this bill, the alaska tourism recovery act, is something that is very narrowly focused. it's very narrowly focused. and it's to give our state a fighting chance this summer with regard to our tourism sector. now i very much appreciate senator blumenthal and senator lee with regard to their passion and focus on the issues that they have raised tonight. some of the safety regulations on cruise ships, the pvsa act. and these are issues that they feel very passionate about. and i appreciate that. as they know, what we're trying to do here, senator murkowski and i, is not tackle those issues so much as tackle the issue directly before alaskans, and that's how to salvage a
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summer tourism season. so despite what you witnessed here on the senate floor, i want to say i appreciate their willingness to continue to work with us. the clock is ticking. but we do have senator blumenthal's and senator lee's strong commitments to work with us to resolve these issues, both the ones that they care about, certainly the ones that matter to alaskans, very soon. to our fellow alaskans, my message is don't give up. right now here on the senate floor despite what you've seen, there's actually been momentum and movement, and i'm confident we can get there. and even with the c.d.c., even with the c.d.c. -- and some of you might recall i was here on the floor last week with senator scott of florida trying to move our legislation relating to the c.d.c.'s rule here.
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we are starting to see progress with them. so we are going to continue to fight, continue to try to move this. do not give up, alaska, on our summer tourism season. we haven't. to the contrary, we've made progress. we're not there yet. finally, to our canadian friends, we are going to continue to work with all of you as well. you can be part of the solution to help alaska, to help canada in a cooperative spirit as you're seeing on the senate floor, from all of you on a number of these issues would be very much appreciated, and i anticipate and look forward to working with my colleague and others in the canadian government to try to make sure we can get this spirit of cooperation that will benefit our state, your country and our country. with that, madam president, i yield the floor.
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the presiding officer: the senator from --. mr. blumenthal: i'm happy to yield to -- madam president, i just want to --. the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. blumenthal: thank you. i just want to make clear after senator lee's statement, number one, that i appreciate my colleagues from alaska being as cooperative as they have been. these issues are a matter of vital consumer protection and worker safety. we're talking here about defibrillators and a requirement that there be certain minimum numbers on these ships. we're talking about bodies tragically having to be returned if there is a death on one of these ships. we're talking about some rights for consumers that the industry
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itself has approved and we are just incorporating into this amendment and enabling the department of transportation to enforce. so i want to make clear that these are reasonable, in fact, in my view, very minimal protections. a first step, another step. and i appreciate the agreement that we've been able to reach with our colleagues from alaska on them. and i am disappointed that our colleague from utah has objected. but i will do my best to work with them in trying to resolve senator lee's objection. ms. murkowski: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. ms. murkowski: to just wrap this discussion -- and i really appreciate the comments from my
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colleague, senator sullivan, because i think you have, you've really keyed in on where we are today. the alaska tourism restoration act is such a narrowly defined end scope initiative to again create this very brief period of time to allow for what is left or what will remain of a tourist season to proceed. but we are faced with bigger issues. and these issues clearly evoke great passion and debate, whether it's consumer protection or to senator lee's concerns, he has raised overall about jones act and pvsa. so those are significant issues that will be debated in committees, as we move forward, further debate on the floor.
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but i think at this point in time, the recognition from our colleagues from connecticut and from utah that this effort that we are trying to make in alaska to redeem a small segment of our tourist season, those who come to us by cruise ship, that just perhaps the strength of cooperation that you see here today will be that level of encouragement for the ships to start coming north in anticipation of clear and more beneficial guidance working with c.d.c. it's been a lot of pieces to knit together. it hasn't been particularly easy or pretty, but i'd like to think that the folks in southeastern alaska and throughout state will see the benefits of this in the weeks and months ahead. with that, madam president, i yield the floor.
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mr. cornyn: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: madam president, last night the american people heard from president biden in his first address to a joint session of congress. the american people heard him speak about many of the same themes that he touched on in his inauguration -- unifying the country, healing the soul of our nation, healing the divisions that divide us. it sounds great, but those who paid attention to the president's actions know that his rhetoric and his actions don't line up. the only legislative achievement so far for president biden has
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been an eye-popping $1.9 trillion piece of spending that is brand -- was branded as covid-19 relief. it was so controversial that our democratic colleagues didn't bother to use the standard legislative procedure. instead, they used the budget reconciliation process so they could make it at that law without a single republican vote. hardly coming together. -- and unifying the country. as expected, president biden had the audacity to brand this legislation as the reason why we've made such progress in fighting covid-19. he touted the fact that america has provided more than 220 million covid vaccinations during his first 100 days in office. but he didn't mention the fact that less than one percent of the funding in his signature legislation actually supported
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vaccinations, less than one percent. less than 10% was directly related to covid-19 at all. if there were any doubts that this liberal spending binge was about to end, president biden cleared that up last night, too. he talked about his more than $2.6 trillion jobs plan, which relies on a very generous interpretation of the word infrastructure, or should i say orwellian. he discussed the $1.8 trillion american families plan, which includes everything from universal preschool to free community college to mandatory paid-leave policies and tax provisions. you know, i got -- you got to love politicians when they talk about giving away free stuff. the folks back home know better. somebody has to pay for it. as my friend, senator tim scott,
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said in the republican response last night, these policies would put washington even more in the middle of americans' lives, from cradle to college. these three proposals total more than $6 trillion, an amount so large it's hard for any of us to wrap our head around it. and that's on top of the money that was spent last year in a bipartisan effort to defeat covid-19. the proposals equate to a spending rate of $60 billion a day during the president's first 100 days in office. $6 trillion is one-quarter of our gross domestic product. if you convert our country's world war ii spending into today's dollars, the three biden spending proposals are even more expensive than what cost us to arm and -- than what it cost us
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to arm and defeat imperial japan and nazi germany. but i want to be clear. these aren't wartime expenses. aren't even necessary proposals in many cases. they have nothing to do with our current fight against covid-19. $200 billion to build or retrofit, quote, sustainable, close quote, places to live. $225 billion for paid family leave. $178 billion on electric vehicle chargers. more socialism for rich people. $it 400 billion for home-based care. this money adds up pretty quickly. i'm not saying our country should cut off all of our spending altogether. there are necessary expenses and investments that need to be made. but this is not the time for a spending binge. we need to make smart financial
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decisions that will serve the next generation, not drive them further and further into debt. the biggest question here, though, as with any type of government spending, is how are you going to pay for it? for the biden administration, the answer is simple -- higher taxes. in fact, the president has proposed the largest tax hikes in more than a half a century. now, economics 101 would teach you that tax increases aren't a clear and easy way to boost revenue, especially when your economy is already on a fragile footing. president obama observed as much when we were recovering from the great recession of 2008, that raising taxes during a recovery from a recession is a bad idea. raising trillions of dollars in new taxes will not set us up for
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a strong recovery. it'll simply throw even more wrenches into our sluggish economic engine. prior to the covid-19 pandemic, the american economy was on a roll. the economy was booming, unemployment was at a 50-year low, companies were coming back on-shore, moving their headquarters to the united states, in part because of the tax cuts and jobs act. the 2017 tax cuts and jobs act set the stage for this recovery. instead of building upon what we did in 2017, the administration now wants to repeal those tax provisions in the tax cuts and jobs act and double down on the old, tired talking points that america can simply tax and spend and regulate itself into prosperity. massive tax hikes are not the way to stabilize a shaky recovery.
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and i worry how much damage these increases will do if our democratic colleagues insist on doing more partisan party-line legislating. the president did nothing to ease my concern about another looming problem, and that is the crisis on our border. for months, the president and members of his administration have denied what is a clear and growing crisis on the border. i hoped he might finally acknowledge the reality of the situation in his primetime address and commit to working together with us to solve it. but, no such luck. instead, he talked about the need to provide a solution for daca recipients and undertake broader immigration reform. i want to be clear here. i agree that congresses should take action to -- i agree that congress should take action to give daca immigrants the
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stability they deserve. this is a priority on both sides of the aisle. and i hope we'll be able to get a bill on the president's desk to help these young people who have done nothing wrong. more broadly, there's no denying that our immigration system is in need of reform. it is outdated and inefficient and simply doesn't meet the needs of our country today. but we're not ready for those types of conversations until we solve the immediate crisis at the border. last month alone, more than 172,000 migrants crossed our southern border. 100,000 crossed in february. and nearly 19,000 of those individuals who came across last month were unaccompanied children. we've seen migration in the past -- surges -- but never anything like this and never during a pandemic. there's serious risks to our law enforcement officials, our nongovernmental associations and of course to the migrants
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themselves. something needs to be done now before the crisis grows even larger. if you're cooking dinner for our family and the food in the oven chasms on fire, are you going to keep stirring the pot on the stove? are you going to set the table or call your kids to come downstairs for dinner? no. you're going to put the fire out first. that's what we need to do now. before we can even have those necessary conversations about immigration reform, we need to put the fire out and put it out now. once we've taken action on the border crisis, i hope we can have serious bipartisan discussions about immigration reform and finally provide daca recipients the certainty they deserve. but that can't happen until the crisis on the border is addressed. like i said, i'm disappointed that the president didn't address this in his speech last evening, and i was hoping he'd
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be willing to work with a bipartisan group of senators and congressmen who are eager to take action. last week senator sinema from arizona and i introduced the bipartisan border solutions act, a straightforward and commonsense way to address this crisis. the bill already has the support of members on both -- from both parties and in both chambers as well as a number of respected organizations. we'd be glad to gain the support of the administration as well. but you can't solve a problem until you first acknowledge that you have a problem. and we have a problem with the crisis on the border. madam president, this is not going to get any better. we know that much of this migration is seasonal. and so the high numbers -- more than 300,000 that we've seen so far this year -- are going to translate into even more numbers next month and next month and next.
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so the time to deal with this is now. but like i said, until the administration acknowledges that there's a problem and that we need to work on it tax cut, it's going to get -- to work on it together, it's going to get nothing but worse. madam president, i yield the floor. mrs. blackburn: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mrs. blackburn: thank you, madam president. as i begin my remarks today, i first want to express my appreciation to senator tim scott for the address that he gave last night following the joint address to congress by the president. i so appreciated the remarks that he made, how he reminded us of the importance of common sense and using that common
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sense to find common ground, as we look to address the issues that affect our nation, the issues that affect tennesseans, and that is such a timely reminder. and i, likewise, appreciated his comments about the importance of reconciliation, one to another, and the importance of redemption as we each and every one go about our work each day, as we seek to help our nation become a more perfect union. timely reminders well done and greatly appreciated by many tennesseans and individuals that have reached out to say, you know, i was so touched by listening to tim scott and his
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remarks. and many of our tennesseans have also expressed their concern with some of the provisions that were there in president biden's address. they felt as if this was something that kind of double downed on decades of failed policies that were seeking to prioritize dependents on a welfare state overlooking at families and communities but pushing that dependence on a welfare state. there really wasn't anything groundbreaking that was there in the remarks apart from the price tag, which is eye popping and really will take your breath away when you stop and think about it. and for a long time my democratic colleagues have championed programs that treat
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people like individual clients instead of families and communities. so here we are and we are staring down the biden doctrine, and it is a commitment to spending trillions and trillions of dollars, trillions of dollars. we're talking about six trillion since january 20. this is astounding. and those dollars are being spent to incentivize dependents on the federal government, to supplant the nuclear family with the federal government, and to centralize control here in washington, didn't c. if you don't -- here in washington, d.c. if you don't believe me, just take a little peak at what the -- peek at what the biden administration has done during this first 100 days. they started with a $1.9
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trillion blue state payday that bailed democrat-run cities out of the fiscal hole that they had made for themselves. earlier this month, they introduced a $2.3 trillion -- yes, trillion with a t -- trillion dollar infrastructure boondoggle that would force families and businesses to rely on a government handout to comply with the mandates pulled directly from the green new deal of the they enrolled out a total election overhaul that blatantly violates the constitution by removing all control from the states and placing it right here in washington, d.c. removing from your local election commission, removing from your state legislature, and
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sending the authority to handle these elections to washington, d.c. and last night during his address to a joint session of congress, president biden offered a few details on his american families plan, which by all estimates -- you got it, another big price tag -- $1.8 trillion. the numbers really are sta staggering, not counting the cost of s. 1, these efforts will cause the -- cost the american people a combined $6 trillion. and we haven't even factored in annual appropriations, which will add over a trillion dollars to that grand total. madam president, let's put these numbers in context. we saw the national debt jump from $10.6 trillion.
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now, that is the number where it was when president george bush left office. $10.6 trillion. that is all the debt, every penny of federal debt that had accumulated from george washington to george bush. so $10.6 trillion. that is the debt total when president obama took office. and then with the obama-biden administration, that debt nearly doubled. when president obama left office, that's right, you're looking over that eight-year period of time of right at doubling that debt. in his first two years in office, deficits increased so much that admiral mullen, then
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chairman of the joint chiefs of staff in 2010, he declared the national debt to be the nation's top national security threat. our nation's debt. president biden is on track to smash those records. bear in mind these numbers. george washington to george bush $10.6 trillion. it nearly doubles. as you have the obama-biden administration and now since january 20, we are talking about $6 trillion. if your local city commission was spending money at this rate, you would be at city hall banging down the doors. but my democratic colleagues are all on board, even though what they've actually put on paper is nothing but a series of wish lists they've wanted to start
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checking off since 2010. but those lists have a very important purpose. they curated them with so-called free programs and big promises that will serve two purposes. first, to persuade people to see authority over their lives, families, businesses and then second, to total centralize power here in washington, d.c. it's truly stunning, truly stunning what my democratic colleagues have allowed themselves to propose. last night the president of the united states directly addressed the american people and said, don't think. just give us control. when he unveiled the american families plan, he spent a great deal of time on all of the wish list programs he hopes will
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eventually be sent to his desk for signature. but not a lot of time on how he plans to pay for these programs. i think it's important to state for the record that every program president biden asked us to endorse has a cost. the committee for a responsible federal budget estimates that the american family plan alone, this one program, will result in a deficit impact of $300 billion over a decade. massive cost. president biden claimed he can pay for all of this with taxes. he said, and i quote, it's time for corporate america and the wealthiest 1% to pay their fair share. end quote. and then he said that 55 of the nation's biggest corporations made $40 billion in profits that can and should be taxed.
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but madam president, here's the problem. even if they were taxed 100% of their $40 billion in profits, that would pay for less than 1% of this administration's proposed $7 trillion in total spending. and yet how did the president describe these programs? universal pre-k, free community college, free. look at this price tag. families won't have to spend a dime, won't have to spend a dime on child care. the american families plan will put money in your pocket.
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now, as i said, universal, free. you won't have to spend a dime. it's going to put money in your pocket. it's taken care of. don't think, just take the deal. do your part. where does this money come from? every single penny that comes into the federal treasury comes from the pocket of a u.s. taxpayer. that is where this money comes from. and the debt? that's going to be there for our children and our grandchildren to have to sort it out. long after these programs have outlived their usefulness, long
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after many of us are gone. we used to talk about spending millions and billions, and now it is on trillions. and to me, i think about my grandkids and i think about the fact that they haven't earned a paycheck yet. but you know what? with all of this spending this year, they now have $80,000 of u.s. federal debt that is their responsibility. and i think it is instructive for us to look at who is it that actually holds this debt. the biggest holder of our debt, when someone goes to market, buys their debt?
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china. you also have opec, the cartel in the top holders of our debt. my colleagues, this is an issue. not millions, not billions. this is something -- this needs our best efforts and our best attention. since his inauguration, president biden -- he's really spent a lot of time talking about unity. at the same time he talks about eliminating t the filibuster and passing legislation to entrench democratic incumbents at the expense of voters. it's a power grab. he supported using the budget reconciliation process to ram his $1.9 trillion spending package through. and it appears he may do so again to pass the rest of the multitrillion dollar agenda. last night's speech could have
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been an opportunity for him to seek common ground with congressional republicans. much of the success of our country has -- much they have had with the covid vaccinations is due in large part to operation warp speed and other initiatives of the previous administration as well as bipartisan efforts in congress. there was no mention of that. when the country was thrown into the covid pandemic, congress and president trump passed the cares act, bipartisan. and four other major bipartisan covid relief bills. no mention of that. if we are going to heal the biden administration must recognize the achievements of administrations past and the serious contributions that congressional republicans are ready and willing to make.
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madam president, for months now, i've come to the floor to ask my democratic colleagues to take a breath, to take away the wish list, and to focus on what the american people need. focus on their needs. the american people, when i'm talking to tennesseans, you know what they'd like? they would like a little bit more money left at the end of their month and not too much month left at the end of their money. they want the hope that comes from opportunity, not the tangles of an eternal safety net. they're independent. they're independent. they want a system that will indeed help them build their lives back better as our president would like to say, but all that the white house has to offer is a plan that will
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flatten and rebuild the country and the broken image of failed policies that people have tried and they just didn't work. what did they do? destroyed our health care system, pushed tuition at public colleges and universities out of reach of low-income students, and that currently levy massive tax penalties against working class families who depend on each other and not the federal government. the biden administration has set some lofty goals for itself, and i have to admit the end results look pretty tempting on paper. that is, if you don't look too close. there's a reason why the president has offered so few details about how his ideas would work in practice, and it's because he knows without a doubt
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that if this shows the true cost of signing on the dotted line, that the people would not be with him in this effort. throughout the pandemic, the american people kept each other safe, took care of their friends and neighbors. when i talked to tennesseans about church, i can tell what they really have as their value, freedom, hope, opportunity. they understand that defending one of those virtues means defending them all for everybody. but they also understand the danger in allowing the government to step in and replace family and community with a bloated welfare state. they know it's dangerous to replace potential with sameness
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and to supplant community with collectivism. and that's exactly what the biden administration put on the table last night, in very vague, poll-tested language that really said nothing but threatened unprecedented levels of government control. but i suppose from their perspective you don't need details when all you are really asking of your fellow countrymen to do is to submit. just take the deal. i yield the floor.
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mr. kaine: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from virginia. mr. kaine: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to legislative session and be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. kaine: madam president, i have eight requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. the presiding officer: duly noted. mr. kaine: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the appointments at the desk appear separately in the record as if made by the chair. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. kaine: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the committee on banking, housing, and urban affairs be discharged from further consideration of s. 321 and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 321, a bill to award a congressional gold medal to the members of the women's army corps who were assigned to the 6888 central postal directary battalion known as the 6888. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection, the committee is discharged. and the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. kaine: i ask unanimous consent that the bill be considered read a third time and passed and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. kaine: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the judiciary committee be discharged from further consideration and the senate now proceed to s. res. 146. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 146, designating april, 2021, as second chance month. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure?
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without objection, the committee is discharged, and the senate will proceed. mr. kaine: i ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and that the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. kaine: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate now proceed to the en bloc consideration of the following senate resolutions which were submitted earlier today -- senate resolution 196, senate resolution 197, senate resolution 198, senate resolution 199, and senate resolution 200. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measures en bloc? without objection, the senate will proceed. mr. kaine: i ask unanimous consent that the resolutions be agreed to, the preambles be agreed to, and that the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. all en bloc. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. kaine: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to executive
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session to consider the following nominations -- calendar numbers 42 and 43, calendar number 71, with the exception of colonel johnson c. rice, iv, calendars 102 through 106, all nominations placed on the secretary's desk in the army, air force, marine corps, navy, that these nominations be considered en bloc, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate, that no further motions be in order to any of the nominations, that the president immediately be notified of the senate's action, and that the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. kaine: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to executive session to consider the following nomination -- calendar number 66. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report.
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the clerk: nomination, department of state, victoria nuland of virginia to be under secretary for political affairs. mr. kaine: i know of no further debate. the presiding officer: is there further debate on the nominations? if not, all in favor say aye. all opposed say nay. the ayes have it. the nomination is confirmed. mr. kaine: i ask consent that the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate, that no further motions be in order to the nomination, that any statement related to the nomination be printed in the record, that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action and the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. kaine: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to executive session to consider the following nomination -- calendar item 113. that that nomination be confirmed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate,
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that no further motions be in order to the nomination, that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, and that the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. mr. kaine: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to executive session and consider the following nomination -- calendar item 70, that the nomination be confirmed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate, that no further motions be in order to the nomination, that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, and that the senate then return to legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered.
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the presiding officer: the senator from virginia. mr. kaine: i ask unanimous consent that economy the senate completes its business today, it adjourn to then convene for pro forma sessions only with no business being considered on the following dates and times, and that following each pro forma session, the senate adjourn until the next pro forma sessiot 12:45 p.m., and thursday, may 6, at 4:00 p.m. i further ask that when the senate adjourns on thursday, may 6, it next convene at 3:00 p.m. monday, may 10. further, that following the
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prayer and pledge, the morning business be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later that day, and morning business be closed. further, that upon the conclusion of morning business, the senate proceed to executive session to resume consideration of executive calendar item 69, andrea joan palm to be deputy secretary of health and human services. finally, that the cloture motions filed during today's session ripen at 5:30 p.m. the presiding officer: is there an objection? without objection. mr. kaine: i note the absence of a quorum, madam president. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from virginia. mr. kaine: are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: we are. mr. kaine: i ask that it be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. kaine: i ask unanimous consent that the e.p.w. committee be discharged and senate proceed to the following nomination, pn, 267, the nomination of gail manchin. the presiding officer: without objection. the committee is discharged and the clerk will report the nomination. the clerk: gail c. manchin to be federal he could chairman of the appalachian federal commission. mr. kaine: i know of no further debate. the presiding officer: if there's no further debate, the
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question is on the nomination. all in favor say aye. all opposed, say nay. the ayes have it. the nomination is confirmed. mr. kaine: i ask consent that the the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate, any statements related to the nomination be printed in the record, that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action and that the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. kaine: if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until 12:45 p.m., on monday. adjourn:
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president joe biden and first lady jill biden took part in a rally in georgia. live coverage begins at
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6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2.

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