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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  September 10, 2014 6:00pm-8:01pm EDT

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any statements related to the nomination be printed in the record and the president obama be immediately notified of the senate's action and the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, for the information of senators, we expect this agreement to be confirmed, these nominations to be confirmed by voice vote. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 9:30 a.m. tomorrow, september 11. that following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. following that prayer and the pledge, there will be a moment of silence to pay tribute to the thousands of americans whose lives were taken on september 11, 2001. following any leader remarks,
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the senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to s. 2199 postcloture. that all time during adjournment, recess or morning business count postcloture on the motion to proceed to s. 2199. and finally, that the filing deadline for first-degree amendments to s.j. res. 19 be at 12:00 noon tomorrow and second-degree amendments be at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: we hope to move forward on paycheck fairness and vote on cloture on the constitutional amendment early tomorrow afternoon, mr. president. so if there's no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under the previous order, following the remarks of senator sessions, which will last for 30 minutes. the presiding officer: without objection.
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mr. sessions: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: i would ask that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: we are not in the middle of a quorum call. mr. sessions: i thank the chair and appreciate the opportunity to share some thoughts on an important subject tonight. earlier this week, i spoke about the president's promise that he would issue an executive amnesty, a grant of amnesty to 5 million or 6 million people by some form of executive order, his own hand, his own pen. the planned amnesty would include work permits, photo i.d.'s and social security numbers for millions of people who are here illegally, who entered our country illegally, or who came on a lawful visa and overstayed. a large number of are here illegally in that fashion. or have defrauded immigration officials in some way. i've laid out how the senate
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democrat conference has supported and enabled the president's action and blocked so far every effort to stop it. not one of our democratic colleagues have backed the house legislation that we stop this executive amnesty or demanded that senator reid bring it up for a vote, at least. every senate democrat is, therefore, the president's partner in his planned lawless acts. plainly, the president must execute the law that was passed by congress. and the law does not allow for unlawful immigrants to work in america. it doesn't allow for many other things they are suggesting he may plan to do by executive order. today i would like to talk about the influence of special interest on what is happening to our nation's immigration laws and how it's creating unwise and
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really unlawful policies. how did we get to the point where elected officials, activist groups, the aclu, and global c.e.o.'s are openly working to deny the american workerers the immigration protections to which they are legally entitled? how did we get to the point where the democratic party in washington is prepared to nullify and wipe away immigration -- the immigration laws of the united states of america? and we are at that point, colleagues. just yesterday, majority leader reid wrote something that was shocking. he said -- quote -- "since house republicans have failed to act on immigration, i know the president will. when he does, i hope he goes real big." that's the majority leader o of
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the senate. he intends to do nothing that will allow anything to occur in the senate that would stop the president's actions. but, colleagues, we know better. this body is not run by one man. we don't have a dictator in the great united states senate. every member has a vote. and the only way senator reid could do such a thing, to block this senate from voting in a way that would stop the president's executive actions, is to not support him in his plan. every senator needs to stand up and represent their constituen constituents, not big business, not aclu, not activist groups, not political interests but the american interest, the workers' interest. that's what we need to expect from them and we don't have but a few weeks it looks like to get
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it done. so let this sink in for a mome moment. the leader of the senate democrats is bragging that he knows the president will circumvent congress to issue executive amnesty to millions and he is encouraging the president to ensure this amnesty includes as many people as possible. and the white house has acknowledged 5 million to 6 million is the number they're looking at. has one senate democrat stepped forward to reject mr. reid's statement? has one senate democrat stepped forward to say, "i support the house plan, the legislation passed by the house of representatives that would secure the border and block this executive amnesty?" have they ever said they support that? have they ever said that, i will do everything in my power to see that this issue, the house legislation, at least gets a vote in the senate so the american people can know what's
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going on? nope. all we hear is silence. in effect, the entire senate democratic conference, jobs, wages and livelihoods of their constituents to a group of special interests meeting in secret at the white house. what congress has refused to pass and the american people have rejected time and again, they are plotting at the white house, maybe even more so today, to do it anyway, no matter what the people think, no matter what congress, the people's house, votes on. politico reports that white house officials have conducted more than 20 meetings -- 20 meetings -- in the white house. i doubt they've had 20 meetings on isis. 20 meetings in the white house in july and august with legal experts, immigration advocates,
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business leaders to gather ideas on what should be included in the order. now, that's a quote from the "politico" magazine. 20 meetings with legal experts, immigration advocates, business leaders to gather ideas on what should be included in his order. so who are these so-called experts, advocates and business leaders? they're not the law enforcement officers. they're not our i.c.e. officers. they're not our border patrol officers. they're not the american working man and woman. they're not unemployed america americans, they weren't in the room, you can be sure of that. their opinions weren't sought. no, white house officials are meeting with the world's most powerful and corporate immigration lobbyists and activists who think border controls are for the little
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people. we know better. the administration is meeting with the elite, the cosmopolitan set who scorn and mock the concerns of everyday americans. concerned about their schools, jobs, wages, communities, hospitals. these great and powerful citizens of the world we know don't care much about old-fashioned things like national boundaries, national sovereignty, immigration contr controls, let alone the constitutional separation of powers or even the consistent and evenhanded enforcement of plain law. passed by the elected representatives of the american people in due fashion. well, see, don't you get it? they believe they're always supposed to get whatever it is that they want. they're used to that. they spend hundreds of millions of dollars.
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in fact, one report says they've spent $1.5 billion since 2007 trying to pass their desired immigration bill. $1.5 billion. whatever they want, they think is good for america. they tried and tried and tried to pass the bill through congress but the american people said no, no, no. so they decided, well, we'll just go to the president, we're go to president obama and we'll insist that he implement these measures through executive fiat. and senate democrats apparently have said, well, that's just a wonderful idea. we support that. just do it. go big. but, mr. president, wait a little bit, wait till after the election. we don't want the voters to hold us accountable for what you're doing. we want to pretend we in the
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senate have nothing to do with it. so one of the groups that's joined th the chorus of outside interests of executive action on immigration is forward.us. it's the group run by facebook guru c.e.o. mark zuckerburg. i think he just turned 30, worth about $28 billion, i understand. mr. zuckerberg has been very busy lately. one of his fellow billionaires, mr. carlos slim, invited him down to mexico, to mexico city, to give a speech. and what did mr. zuckerberg promote in his speech? well, this is the report of it. and i guess first i would note, young mr. zuckerberg maybe doesn't know that there's a deep
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american tradition and a tradition in most developed nations really, you don't go to a foreign capital to criticize your own government. i suppose he doesn't know about that. they probably didn't teach him that when he was at one of the elite schools he attended. this is what he said in mexico city -- quote -- "we have a strange immigration policy for a nation of immigrants and it's a policy unfit for today's world." well, the masters of the universe are very fond of open borders as long as these open borders don't extend to their aggregated compounds and fenced-off estates. i just have to note, here's an article late last fall in "business insider" about mr. zuckerberg's actions.
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the headline is, "mark zuckerberg just spent more than $30 billion buying four neighborhood houses for privac privacy." this is what the article says -- quote -- "mark zuckerberg just made an unusual purchase. well, four purchases. facebook's billionaire founder bought four homes surrounding his current home in palo alto, mercury news reports. the houses cost him more than $30 million, including one 2,600-square-foot home that cost $14 million. his own home is twice as large at 5,000 square feet and cost as much. larry pain paige made a similare a few years ago so he could build a 6,000-foot mansion but mr. zuckerberg's reason is different. he doesn't want to live in excess. he just wants a little privacy." that's a world the average american doesn't live in. so mr. zuckerberg, whose become
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the top spokesman for expanding the admission of foreign worke workers, championed the senate immigration bill that all four of our democratic colleagues voted for. all of our democratic colleagues voted for it. one of the things that the bill did was double the supply of low-wage foreign workers brought into the united states for companies like facebook. we have been told for a long time, and most of us have heard this repeatedly, that there is a shortage of stem and i.t. workers. stem or science, technology, engineering and mathematics. these have been -- this has been the central selling point of these massive demands for increases in foreign worker programs across the board, programs that bring in workers for every sector in the u.s.
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economy. but we know from the nation's leading academics, people who study this issue and are professionals in it. i have a recent op-ed here from "usa today" that there is actually not a shortage but a surplus of americans with training in stem and i.t. fields, and that this is why wages have not increased since 1999. if you have a shortage of workers in a field like information technology or science and mathematics, wages go up, do they not? if wages are up and indeed basically down since 1999, i think the case for our free market friends is pretty clear we don't have a shortage. so rich high-tech companies are using the h-1b visa program to
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keep wages down and hire less expensive workers from abroad. indeed, the same companies demanding more guest workers are laying off american workers in droves. so i'd like to read some key excerpts from an article published in "usa today" co-authored recently by five experts of the nation's own labor markets and the guest worker program. "usa today," and i think it tells a story that has not been repeated. we have partisans, advocates that have been claiming there's a shortage in these fields, but the experts say no, and since they have been speaking out on this, we've heard no real data that would dispute what they say in this article of july 27 just
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a few two or three weeks ago. headline -- bill gates text worker fantasy. sub headline -- silicon valley has created an imaginary staffing shortage. an imaginary staffing shortage. quote -- "business executives and politicians endlessly complain there is a shortage of qualified americans and that the u.s. must admit more high-skilled guest workers to fill jobs in stem fields, science, technology, engineering and math. this claim is echoed by everyone from president obama and rupert murdoch to mark zuckerberg and bill gates. yet, within the past month, two odd things occurred. census reported that only one in four stem degree holders is actually in a stem job, and microsoft announced plans to
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downsize a work force by 18,000. it goes on to say, referring to themselves, the five writers of this article, none of us has been able to find any credible efforts to support the i.t. industry's assertions of labor shortages. paul stefan, michael titenbaum, just written a new book on this recently, noah matlock. these are labor economic experts who have studied this issue for years. many of them have testified before congress. they say none of us has been able to find any credible evidence to support i.t. industry's assertions of labor shortages. what a statement that is. they go on to write -- this is all of them. they signed this article
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together. if a shortage did exist, wages would be rising as companies try to attract scarce workers. instead, legislation that expanded visas for i.t. personnel during the 1990's has kept average wages flat over the past 16 years. indeed, guest workers have become the predominant source of new hires in these fields." close quote. the predominant source of new hires in information technology fields are coming through guest worker programs overall. they go on to say -- quote -- "those supporting even greater expansion seem to have forgotten about the hundreds of thousands of american high-tech workers who are being shortchanged by wages stuck at 1998 levels by
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diminished career prospects and by repeated rounds of layoffs. they go on to say -- quote -- "there is an ample supply of american workers who are willing and qualified to fill high-skilled jobs in this country. the only real disagreement is whether the supply is two or three times larger than the demand." close quote. i say there is no doubt we have a surplus of i.t. workers. the question is whether it's two or three times the number. the supply is two or three times as big as the number of job openings. they go on to say -- quote -- "unfortunately companies are exploring the large existing flow of guest workers, foreign workers coming into the country simply to work in these industries for limited periods
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of time, not to become a permanent citizen. they work here for a number of years and return to their country usually, many of them, so these -- they are exploring the large existing flow of guest workers to deny american workers access to stem careers and middle-class security that should come with them. imagine then how many more americans would be frozen out of the middle class if politicians and high-tech moguls succeeded in doubling or tripling the flow of guest workers into stem occupation. close quote. that is exactly what the bill before this senate, the bill that the house of representatives rejected would have done. it would have doubled the number of guest workers coming into america just to take jobs, coming in for the very purpose of taking a job that we need
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americans to be taking. the article goes on -- "another major, yet often overlooked provision in the pending legislation -- that's the one that president obama is pushing for, the gang of eight bill -- would grant automatic dream cards to any tysons corner student who earns a degree in a stem field based on assertions that foreign graduates of u.s. universities are routinely being forced to leave america. such claims are incompatible with the evidence that graduates -- that such graduates have many paths to stay and work. and indeed the stay rates for visiting international students are very high and have shown no sign of deklein. the most recent study finds that 92% of chinese ph.d. students
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stay in america to work after graduation, close quote. so there is this myth that we have thousands and thousands of students graduating from schools and being sent home. that's just not accurate, according to the experts who study the data. quote -- "the tech industry's promotion of expanded temporary visas such as h-1b and green cards is driven by a desire for cheap, young, immobile labor. it is well documented that loopholes enable firms to illegally pay h-1b's below that i have market value and to continue the widespread age discrimination acknowledged by many in the tech industry." close quote. i talked to a gentleman who i knew a little bit. he worked at a compliewrt company. all these companies are -- he is well in his 40's, close to 50.
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i asked him what kind of security it was. he said well, you know, in the tech industry, these companies go and fall. i said what happened if you were to lose your job? he said at my age, it would be very difficult. it was sort of a poignant moment to me. this man, family, raising children, doing the right thing, worried at his age whether he can get a job when the majority of people being hired in these fields are h-1b guest worker hires. the article concludes by saying i.t. industry leaders have spent lavishly on lobbying to promote their stem shortage claims among legislators, us. the only problem is that the evidence contradicts their
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self-interested claims. i think this is a dramatic article. i think it's an article by undisputed experts in the field, and to my knowledge, no one have disputed it. and the false claims, the tech world fantasy claims in "usa today" is referred to, it's an imaginary shortage they are talking about, not a real shortage, and it doesn't justify the actions they are asking to take. so i would pose a question to mr. zuckerberg who is a brilliant man with so many fabulous qualities, and i respect that, but i read in the news that facebook, his company, is now worth more than $200 billion. is that not enough money to hire american workers for a change? your company now employs roughly 7,000 people.
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let's say you want to expand your work force 10% or hire another 700 workers. are you really claiming you can't find 700 million -- 700 americans who would take these jobs if you paid a good wage and decent benefits? and then let me say one more thing. how many people does facebook have? it's just an internet type company. it has 7,000 workers. microsoft just laid off 18,000. why doesn't mr. zuckerberg call his friend mr. gates and say i have to hire a few hundred people, do you have any resumes you could send over here? maybe i wouldn't have to bring in somebody from a foreign country to take a job that an unemployed american might take. it's a serious matter.
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i want to just continue to talk about this. there is this myth that we have this surging employment in the high-tech industry. according to a recent reuters report, u.s. employers announced 50,000 layoffs in august of 2013, up 34% from the previous month and up 57% through august, 2012. hewlett packard, a high-tech company, laid off 29,000 employees in 2012. 29,000. in august of 2013, cisco announced plans to lay off 4,000 workers in addition to the 8,000 cut in the last two years, and cisco was in the white house writing the white house this summer with a group of companies demanding more workers abroad.
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cisco is signing a letter with a bunch of other companies. united technology announced 3,000 layoffs this year. american express cut 5,400 jobs. practical -- procter and gamble announced 5,700 jobs cut in 2012. t-mobile announced plans to lay off 2,215 employees in 2012. well, the shortage is not there. the experts tell us and the plain fact if you look around us would indicate that. but instead, forward.us and other immigration lobbyists are working with the white house this very day over the summer, many meetings to extract executive orders from the president that provide them with the same financial benefits that were included in the senate bill that was rejected by the house of representatives.
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one proposal would increase by as much as 800,000 the number of foreign workers admitted for the explicit purpose of taking jobs in the united states. this is an article that talks about that. and it's a matter of importance. associated press article, the title of it, "obama weighs broader move on legal immigration." quote -- "president obama is considering key changes in the nation's immigration system, requested by tech industry and powerful interest groups." not by the american people was he being requested to do this. not by the national interest but the special interest groups, powerful special interest groups
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it's referred to here. goes on to say -- quote -- " after recent white house meetings top officials have compiled specific recommendations from business groups and other advocates." other advocates. who all are they? we know the aclu has been there, we know la raza has been meeting there on a regular basis. it goes on, the article says -- quote -- "one of the most popular requests is a change in way green cards are counted that would essentially free up some 800,000 additional visas the first year, advocates say." well, -- "other requests would extend work permits to the spouses of all temporary h-1b skilled workers who have not been able to work. i guess those spouses, that's
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nice. the spouse can get a job. but how about a single mom might like that job, an unemployed single mom, or a single mom who has a job prospect who would pay $3 an hour more than the job she's now working at trying to raise a family. or an unemployed father. maybe they'd like those jobs first. so these actions follow on the heels of previous executive actions in which the president already acted unilaterally earlier this year to grant companies an additional 100,000 guest workers. he's already done that. in just the first year of this order, we added 100,000 guest workers. by providing worker authorization to the foreign spouses of temporary guest workers. so it would increase the supply of guest workers by
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approximately 30,000 each year thereafter. there at a time when we have 58 million working-age americans who are not working. since 2009, the number of adults has increased by 13 million, while the number of people actually working has decreaseed by seven million. median household income has dropped $2,300 since 2009. according to the national employment law project wages are down across all occupations. it's what the cb of s reported recently, this section is why american workers feel increasingly poor. quote -- "real median hourly wages have declined across low, middle and high-income levels from 2009 to 2013, the study
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found. no matter if workers were in the lowest bracket, $8.84 an hour to $10.85 an hour or the highest bracket, $31.40 an hour to $86 an hour, median hourly wages declined when you take into account the impact of inflation. it goes on, -- quote -- "across all occupations real median hourly wages slipped 3.4% since 2009, while even better paid workers saw median hourly earnings erode, the worst-hit segments were at the bottom." the people that got hurt the most were at the bottom with declines in their wages more than 4%. close quote. how is it that we've got business types, lobbyist types types, activist immigration
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groups, clever politicians, able to demand that we have to have more workers in america? when we've got a decline in wages and a decline in jobs. but what does the president do? his administration issues an executive order to provide foreign spouses the citizens of other countries, not american citizens, with 100,000 jobs in the united states, precious jobs. many americans would love to have. how many american spouses struggling to support their families would benefit from one of those jobs? how many single moms would benefit from a chance to earn a better paycheck? our senate democratic friends talk about paycheck fairness repeatedly yet they are supporting policies that take jobs and wages directly from american women by the millions.
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immigration policy is supposed to serve the interest national , is it not, the people of the united states. not the interest of a few activist c.e.o.'s and the politicians who are catering to them. we've had 40 years of mass immigration combined with falling wages, a shrinking work force, exploding welfare rolls. we know that, don't we, friends and colleagues? it's time for a shift in emphasis, it's time to get our own people back to work, and our communities out of poverty, and our schools back on their feet. harvard professor dr. george borjas, probably the leading academic in this entire area and has been for many years, he estimates that our current immigration rates result in an annual loss of more than $400
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billion in wages for americans competing with immigrant labor. between 2000 and today, the government issued nearly 30 million visas to temporary foreign workers and permanent immigrants, largely lower skilled and lower wage. a recent reuters poll showed americans wished to see record immigration reduced, not increased, by a huge 3-1 margin, as the gang of eight bill would have done. another poll from kelly ann conway recently said that 80% of americans think companies should retire hired from existing unemployed rather than bringing in new workers from abroad to fill these jobs. yet senate democrats have unanimously supported legislation to double the annual supply of labor brought into the united states. to double. some people think this is agriculture workers. not so.
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the increase in immigration under that bill would be 80%, 90% plus of nonagricultural work. these jobs are going to be taken by anyone. what about the good and decent and patriotic citizens of our country who fight our wars, who obey our laws, who follow our rules, and a better future for their children? shouldn't their needs come first? as the national review explained, we are a nation with an economy, not an economy with a nation. we can't put the parochial demands of a few powerful c.e.o.'s ahead of an entire nation's hopes, dreams, and aspirations. the basic social contract is that citizens agree to follow the law, pay their taxes, devote their love and loyalty to their country and in exchange, the nation commits to preserve
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and protect and serve their interest, safeguard their freedom, and return to them in kind their first allegiance of loyalty. the job of elected officials is to answer to the people who sent them to washington, not to scorn them, not to demean them, not to mock them, not to sell their jobs and dreams to the highest bidder. mr. president, i thank the chair and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until 9:30 a.m. tomorrowale counterpa.
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mr. president, yesterday i had the opportunity, the good fortune to be invited to the fortune to be invited to the yeah care the opportunity good fortune to be back in the white house speaker bother, leader
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pelosi and later mcardle. we spent more than an hour with the president and vice president talking about what's going on in the world. we do know what is going on in the world apart from the white house. there is murderers, file, terrorist groups taking on parts of iraq and trying to move into other parts of the world in the middle east. they have brutality that is unprecedented, especially unprecedented and that they want to advertise how vital they are. so vicious. go in after everyone. civilians, women, children, trying to eliminate anyone who they think disagrees with them. they've targeted minorities.
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they've targeted jewish, christian and anyone they disagree with, religious minorities. we saw that it we had thousands of thousands of ancient religious minority trapped on a mountain that is vicious, vile people. of course they are after any american. innocent journalists. innocent journalists, they beheaded unadvertised beheadings . two journalists were out just covering the news. the islamic state or isis, whatever want to call them, will be stopped. they must be stopped and they need to be destroyed and they will be destroyed. president obama has taken decisive action during the month of august to protect americans and help prevent a humanitarian
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catastrophe. yesterday the president described his initiative to take on a terrorist group as we move forward and i support him. mr. president, president obama has made clear that it's going to take decisive action to destroy the islamic state through the use of airstrikes and drove. this is a smart, strategic in effect to the approach and i support it. mr. president, there are people here in congress who are taking advice from dick cheney. he was here yesterday. i think they better be very careful with advice they take from dick cheney. dick cheney is more responsible than anyone else. the worst foreign policy decision in the history of the country, the invasion of iraq. almost 6000 dead americans.
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tens of thousands wounded, thousands and thousands wounded. our fighting men and women made us proud. but mr. president, was that where necessary? in hindsight, it appears to me it really wasn't. not only have we lost thousands of americans, we've destabilized a whole middle east and hundreds of thousands -- hundreds of thousands, hundreds of thousands, hundreds of thousands of iraqis have been killed. they are now dead. but mr. president, there is some pushing hard here in congress. right now. dick cheney was here yesterday. i guess that is too they are
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following. mr. president, wouldn't it be a good idea for us to stand back a little bit and see what the president of the united states has to say tonight. he's addressing the nation. let's allow him to speak to our country, to our fellow citizens that lay out his plan. it is absolutely critical that the american people and congress here directly thank the president of the united states. here in the senate we are going to have an often under spree fiends tomorrow afternoon. the administration all come to a classified in the complex and layout to us in detail what is going on that is not in the news. so every number whose body will have a chance to get as much information as possible. to make a mature afternoon at the briefing.
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mr. president, it is clear the president has said publicly. the administration has said so publicly to work directly with the white house. he just returned from europe and much of the time they spent their lives what they were going to do to go after this evil that is in the middle east, this isis group. he is doing his outmost to build robust international coalition including sunnis stayed, sunni arab states. can this be successful? we must play a role that is worked on not she feared he mr. president, it is clear to me that we need to train and equip syrian level and other groups in the middle east that need some
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help. it is titled title x authority. the president tried to get that from us and we should give it to them. that's one way of helping build an international coalition. congress should do that. republicans are worried about money. there is money to do that. the chairman of the armed service committee is here in the florida day and he considered to vouch for that. it would give authority for the president to help equip these rebels. going it alone is not going to work, mr. president. we must have the support of the international community to rid the world of isis. we know that france, i at least believe that, will step forward. i believe great britain will step forward to i understand poland is part of it, the coalition that has been put forward in many other countries
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for the president met with in europe a few days ago. we need to build a coalition. that's what he's doing, rather than declare war today. title x is something we need to i believe going it alone won't suffice. i also believe as commander-in-chief the president has the authority he needs now to act against isis. i believe the vast majority of members of congress agree with that. for now, it's critical we support our commander-in-chief as he takes this decisive action. i am amazed, mr. president, amazed that some members of congress want to rush to war because that's what they're talking about is war. how did that work out for us last time? not so well. the bush cheney strategy in the washington conflict doesn't work and it won't work now.
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let's be cautious. let's be deliberate. i repeat, the former vice president cheney was here yesterday giving the republicans he gave them advice on foreign policy. he is, mr. president. please come and taken a veteran dick cheney on foreign policy. that is a terrifying prospect. we should be learning from past mistakes, not repeating on. strategic use of drawn, covert action are the most effective way to take out isys about creating troops, american troops. troops in harms way. so i support president obama's decision not to send any ground troops. that is not an option for the american people. i can guarantee everyone that within the sound of my voice. now that the republicans are taking advice from dick cheney
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on foreign policy, i'm concerned that once again left the u.s. troops to a ground war in the middle east. when we could accomplish the mission in a more strategic way. so i say to democrats and republicans, let's destroy these despicable terrorists. let's do it the right way this time. the president knows, the american people know that we have to take decisive action. the president knows how to destroy terrorists and their organization. osama bin laden is proof of that. let's give the president of the united states time to do this the right way. troops out there defending us as we eat, mr. president, are not democrats. they are not republicans. they are not independence. they are fighting force to protect america. we need committed decisive action to stop isis.
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>> mr. president. >> republican leader. >> i got to spend a lot of time with the people of kentucky. since there has been no shortage of issues to keep people up at night over the past few months, i got a lot of straight talk on a lot of topics. i heard a lot about the crisis at the border, about lost health care plans, the chronic shortage of good jobs, stagnant wages, even ebola, the spread of which is a threat and must be taken
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seriously. yet one issue that just kept coming up with america's role in the world and the growing sense that some in washington are more than content to let others shape our destiny for us. for many, that concern was crystallized when they witness the barbaric execution of american citizens by a isil terrorist and the halting reaction to it by a president who has yet to find a spinning when it comes to dealing with this group clearly has the will, the means and the sanctuary it needs to do more. last week, the white house announced the president plans to expand the nature of the threat is isil poses in a speech to the american people tonight. after spending a month talking with folks in kentucky, it is clear to me at least that the american people fully appreciate the nature of the threat.
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after the beheadings of two american citizens, they don't want an excellent nation of what is happening. they want a plan. they want some presidential leadership. so i hope the president lays out a credible plan that exceeds isil. i hope he has lined up the steps he intends to take beyond simply the defense of baghdad, or bill, pindar and eberle. and what legal authorities and resources he thinks are required to execute a successful campaign against isil. but the fact is the rise of isil is not an isolated failure. the spread of isil occurred in a particular context and we hope to defeat this threat. we need to come to terms with that now. so before speaking with a little mars recipe for the about isil
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and the ongoing threat of global terrorism, i would like to just briefly restate like sermons about the consequences of the president's foreign policy as i warned a few months ago. because isil's military dance against syria and iraq carries a much larger lesson, a lesson that should prompt the president to reconsider and revise an overall national security policy. and better prepare the country and our military to confront the threat that will survive this time enough for us. first, it is important to note a few of the consistent object is that it always characterized this president's national security policy. driving down our conventional and nuclear forces, with dried from iraq and afghanistan and placing a greater reliance upon international organizations and
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diplomacy. as i've noted on other occasions, i have serious differences with the president over this approach. in my view ,-com,-com ma we have a duty as a superpower without imperialistic aims to help maintain international order and balance of power. in my view, that international order is maintained by american military might. indeed, american military might is back on. but that is not a view this president seems to share. the defining bookends to the president's approach or the executive order signed his first week in august, which included the declaration that guantánamo would be closed within a year without any plan for what to do with the detainees and the executive orders that ended the cia's detention and interrogation programs at the same time. in may of this year, the president also announced all of our combat forces would be
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withdrawn from afghanistan by the end of this term. whether or not the taliban are successful in capturing parts of an, whether or not al qaeda senior leadership has found a more permissive environment and the travel areas of pakistan, whether or not al qaeda has been driven from afghan and. now all this underscores something i've been suggesting for some time. the president is a reluctant commander in chief. between those two bookends, much has occurred to undermine our nation's security. and yet tragically, the president has not adapted accordingly. boosting the failure to negotiate a status of forces agreement with iraq would allow a residual of military force and likely prevented the assault by the islamic state is the area.
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we have seen how the president's ability to see russia and china as the dissatisfied regional powers they are coming 10 on increasing ahs exposed their allies to new risk. the failed reset with russia and the president's commitment to a world without nuclear weapons led them to hastily sign an artist or do with russia that did nothing to substantially reduce its nuclear stock pile or its tactical nuclear weapons. and of course russia was undeterred in its assault on ukraine. the president announced a strategic pivot to asia-pacific without any real fun to the marine corps forces that would need to maintain our dominance in this region in the years to calm could have tragic consequences down the road. and of course, we've all seen how eager the president was to declare an end to a war in terror.
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but as the president is focused on unwinding or reversing past policies to executive order, the threat from al qaeda and affiliated groups on the metastasize. uprisings in north africa and the broader middle east resulted in additional ungoverned spaces urea, libya, egypt and yemen. they were prison breaks in iraq and afghanistan and libya and the release of hundreds of prisoners in the jet. terrorists also escaped from resenting gehman, a state-owned more ready to defend that guantánamo today than they were back in 2009. the president's response after all of this has been to draw down our can and should know for having capabilities and to deploy special operations forces, and economy across the globe. speaking at west point in may, he pointed to a network of partnerships from south asia to
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say hello to be funded by 5000 counterterror partnership funds of which congress has yet to receive a viable plan. and in those cases with indigenous sources, were indigenous sources proven sufficient and the president to announce to the use of armed unmanned area code vehicles as has been done any gehman and somalia. the president hope to manage the threats posed by al qaeda in the arabian payment, boca around, terrorist networks inside of libya that now threaten the jet. the taliban, isil and other terrorist groups. but as the nature of terrorist insurgencies has evolved, the president president sees no need to reverse the damage he
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insisted upon to rebuild conventional and nuclear forces or to accept that leaving behind residual or since in iraq and in as an effective means by which to preserve -- reserved for strategic gains we've made over the years through tremendous sacrifice. the truth is the threat of some of these al qaeda affiliates, associated groups are independent terrorist organizations have simply outpaced the economy of force concept. in some cases, the host nation military, which will be inadequate to defeat the insurgency in the insurgency a question asked is the case with hq ap, the taliban and order isil. in some cases, the insurgency does not affiliated health or build upon territorial gains to attack the u.s. homeland. so the growth, advance an evolution of isil presents a
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turning point for the president. while the fall of an bar province the threat posed by isil to jordan, saudi arabia and turkey lead to consideration of the entire national security policy of the kind i have alluded to here and elsewhere? .. if prior events or arguments left the president unpersuade, the emergence and recent actions of isil should convince him the time has come to revisit his prior assumptions and rethink his approach. isil is large and it is lethal. and its rapid growth has outpaced the capacity of either the peshmurga, iraqi security forces or the moderate syrian opposition to contain it. ominously, isil has developed
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expertise in small-unit infantry expertise in small-unit infantry develop expertise and small unit infantry tactics, the use of insurgent tactics. that is a terrorist organization as a result of oil sales, ransoms, bank robbers, and the nation's it is also well funded. so we need a plan. and we needed now. the president has now declared that defeating is a very good start but americans don't want to lecture. they want a plan. a credible, comprehensive plan to deal with this menace that clearly what start of us here at home and that is only becoming stronger by the debt. the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general tipsy, has shown that it will require military action within syria the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general tmz, has said
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that it will require military action within syria. the president has now declared that defeating isil is his objective. the president is to set forth a military strategy in the means required to defeat isil and to link those actions to additional authorization and appropriation he would like to see from congress. and if the president develops a regional strategy, build a combat effective military coalition and explains how the strategy will lead to the defeat of isil i believe he will have significant congressional support. if congress is asked to support a strategy, it needs to be a strategy that is designed to succeed, not a mere restatement of current policy, which we know is insufficient to the task. the president must seize this
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opportunity to lead. this is not the time to shirk or put off his solemn responsibilities as commander in chief because passing off the threat to a successor would not only be irresponsible but increase the threat posed to americans by enabling it to secure its gains. in my view isos campaign across syria represents an opportunity. it is an opportunity to reconsider is failed national security policy. the president and his advisers may have convinced themselves that anyone who disagrees with this failed approach is bent on cereal occupation, but that is really a false choice and certainly not a plan. it is time to put the straw man aside and to realize the fight is now with critics but with
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isil. that is why this morning i am calling on the president to present us with a credible plan that the american people have been waiting for, explain our military objectives, rally public support for accomplishing them. that is with the commander-in-chief should be doing at the moment. the threat from isil demands a commitment of american resources and the rest of american life. the president has a duty to explain that to the nation and the congress this evening. even if it does not conform with the tidy vision of world affairs he outlined as a candidate six years ago. and if his strategy is little more than a restatement of current policies pass it off to his successor. we need to know that. americans are worried and anxious.
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they want and deserve the truth. and most of all, they want a plan. and that is what i am up for tonight. now, mr. president, one other entirely different matter -- >> on monday florida senator bill melson introduced a resolution authorizing use of military force against isis. we will show you his floor speech announcing the resolution and in virginia senator who argues that any military action against isis must be authorized by congress. >> mr. president, i have filed today and would like to insert and a record if i may be granted
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the senate joint resolution that i have filed today. >> without objection. >> mr. president, this is a resolution that will express the authorization where they use of united states armed forces against the islamic state in iraq and a live on top. mr. president, it is a resolution that has been necessitated and by legal scholars says the president has used his existing authorization for the use of military force. most recently against isis, isil , it is the same thing. that area broadly from about
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baghdad all the way to the mediterranean. that is isil, isis is the islamic states and iraq and syria. and, of course, we know that this organization that is calling itself an islamic caliphate, it knows no jurisdictional boundaries. it has taken a large swath of territory in syria as well. and when the president successfully employed the use of air power postman and unmanned against isis targets as they
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will march toward the capital of kurdistan and and likewise as they were marching toward the boss told them to the president used his authority as commander in chief to protect americans. americans in irbil, baghdad, other places, and the protection of the dam was to protect those americans downriver because if the dam were blown that would have let it all down river, and it would have flooded back dead. legal scholars disagree with me
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that the president has the authority under their constitution as commander in chief to go after isis in syria. i describe isis as a snake. if the head of the snake is in syria, which it is, a lot of the organization, lot of their leaders there. then we ought to go after the snake where the head is. and decapitate the snake. in doing that we are going to have to go went to syria. now, i believe that the president has the authority to do this under the constitution anyone, but there are some who disagree. so rather than global about legalities i have filed this
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legislation. there is no pride of. this and it is obviously going to debate this. i believe that if you are seeing the polls from today where 90 percent of the people of this country are concerned and some huge number want us to go on and attack other places that where we are attacking now, then i think it is obvious that the united states is going to have to continue this attack. no, i want to compliment the president. often as i have talked about this issue people have come to members of the press and say the president as dillydallied.
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killing after isis. a stop their march. in fact, start their march on the mall sold them and is going after them and other locations in coordination with the up- murder of the kurds as well as the iraqi army. and indeed, the president started on august 25th. the surveillance flights over syria so that we can collect the intelligence that is necessary as you prepare to go after them in syria. but the president has done something more. he has started to put together a coalition realizing that the
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american people have no appetite for american boots on the ground in syria to put together a coalition so that may be the free syrian army, may be other members of the air a bleak, maybe some other members of nato would participate. the way we treat this resolution it talks about that there would not be a recurring back military presence in in the implying of an american army on the ground. it leaves the flexibility that clearly there would be american bidders on the ground just as there already has been when we sent our special operations forces and that to try to rescue the two american journalists that subsequently met such a
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brutal and uncivil and then there be any. so american buyers have been there. we might need special operations kinds of missions in the future. we might need a forward air observers actually on the ground to a director in air strikes. so there is flexibility in this resolution. i want to say that if there is anybody with any doubt about the intent of isis, they have made it so clear, not only taking the lives of these journalists, the second one of which was from my state of florida, but in their statement of what they intend to do setting a an islamic caliphate, the leader even calls
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himself the caliph or religious leader. but there have also said that they will not stop until the black flank of isis is hanging and flying over the white house. so their intent is pretty clear. so we're going to have to deal with them, not only as we are now, but elsewhere. it is going to be sooner or later. now, it is not going to be a one or to day operation. the american people, as the president has already indicated, this is going to be a long-term kind of operation. the fact is, the united states is the one that has to lead the
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coalition. set to get this right out front and center of what we need to do i have filed -- and it is inserted as part of the record. the resolution that i am offering. the legal authorization from the congress for the president to strike teefor in syria and to do as the president said, to bring it to a successful conclusion, to stop this horrendous uncivil extraordinary kind of in a humane behavior that is being illustrated by these folks. i yield the floor. >> mr. president, one month ago the president initiated in air campaign against isis. isis is a dangerous terrorist organization committing
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atrocities against thousands of people, including american hostages and at a strong american response to include military action is certainly warranted. in the first month of the air campaign to explanations of the mission or given to the president. we began with a mission for humanitarian purpose and the need to protect american embassy personnel. since that time the white house has stated that the air strikes me go on for some open-ended time, despite a pledge not to place american boots on the ground, more american military personnel have been deployed as advisers and are on the ground there now. in order to clarify what is at stake and said on a path toward many of my colleagues and i have called for the president to bring before congress and the nation a clear plan. i am gratified that the president will address the nation on this topic tomorrow night. i am supported generally of the
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planet it and put in steps taken thus far while congress is in recess to slow the momentum of isis. i suspect it will hear a comprehensive strategy. sapote u.s. diplomatic push, and i am pleased that iraqi political developments are now moving to form a unity government. and iraqi leaders now must cover exclusively. i am especially hard to hear reports that the administration has worked hard to find a number of nations : to partner with america to deal with threats, including nations in the region. the u.s. cannot be a police force for a region on willing to police itself. and the u.s. should not bear the sole burden of defeating a terrorist organization that poses a more imminent threat to many other nations and the threat to american. i look for to the president's address and am confident well thought out plan will compel the support of the nation and of course. mr. platt -- mr. president, we
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are nation of laws and values iris the president ought to just informed us but to follow the constitution and seek congressional approval to defeat isil. i do so for two reasons. first, and a bully the president has the authority to go on offense and which it open-ended for without congressional approval. second, and making them the decision to authorize military action we owe it to our troops who risk their lives to do our collective job and reach a consensus supporting the military mission that there were to complete. let me first deal with the legal issue, the constitution is clear. it is the job of congress up to. due process, cruel and unusual punishment. the power to declare war is a
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clear and specific power, an integrated power of congress in article one. additionally eliminated by writings of the principal drafter. after the constitution was ratified madison explained the war powers clause in article one. our constitution supposes what the history of all governments demonstrate, that the executive branch is most interested in war and most prone to make and has accordingly bested the question of war in the legislature. so i president must seek congressional approval. take steps to defend americans from imminent threat they contended the president returned to congress to seek gratifications.
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we must follow the command that the president must come to congress to initiate. during a congressional recess president obama began a new military action. he has indicated that the military action may continue for an extended time. say that the action is evolving from the narrow efforts to protect americans from address to a campaign to go on offense in order to degrade the ability. this is precisely the kind of situation that calls for congressional action and approval. now, some have asserted, mr. president, that the demonstration need not seek congressional approval for an extended campaign of air strikes probably and respectfully i deeply disagree with that assertion. the president's article to power a lesson to defend america from imminent threats but it does not allow him the ability to wage an offensive war with of congress. the 2001 authorization for use of military force kraft by
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president bush and congress in the days after the c-span2 at tax limit the president's power to actions against the perpetrators. isil was not a 9/11 perpetrator. now, president bush at that time wanted to allow action against terrorist groups. had congress granted such a power of the war against isil would have been covered. but congress explicitly rejected giving the president power to wage pre-emptive work any attempt to justify action by reference to the 2001 mudslide directly in the face of the clear congressional action rejecting the pre-emptive war. the of regime of saddam hussein.
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2011, and the administration has testified recently that this is now obsolete. it provides no support for military action. there is no treaty of collective defense gratified by congress. the iraqi government has asked for our health which sells questions, but that does not create its own domestic legal justification. the resolution has been widely viewed as unconstitutional for a variety of reasons but even accepting its validity like most almost certainly does not excepted 60 day limitation on these articles to powers.
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i believe that a reluctance to engage congress on this mission is less due to legal analysis than to a general attitude held by all presidents that coming to congress on a question like this is too cumbersome and unpredictable. that is shared by some of you questions of military action, especially a difficult circumstance like this as politically i airs the president and my colleagues to resist the understandable temptation to cut corners on this process. weighing whether to take military action and some service members and arms like. if we have learned nothing else in the last 13 years we should have certainly learned that. we all pledge to serve and a
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government known for particular checks and balances we live in the days after care what his anniversary we commemorate this week. president bush bribe the congress. the ruins of the pentagon and the world trade center were still smoking and a search for the loss was ongoing. the american public with and supported the present strong in the meat executive action in that circumstance. president bush in the nation would be stronger. similarly president bush came to congress prior to initiating military action and rock. it is not unilateral executive decision that congress was included in voted to support the mission. i believe it would be a grievous mistake after 13 years of war to have offered a new strategy of taking prolonged military action without bothering to seek congressional approval.
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i particularly worry about the precedent it would create for future presidents to assert the and the unilateral right to engage in long-term military action last year to seek military authorization. this was not about who occupied the office at any given time but who we are is a country. people's representatives must be invested in what americans abroad. i focus my remarks on the plan to defeat isil. let me conclude by offering an additional reason. the president and congress should work together to craft a suitable mission for this important effort. when we engage in military action, even only in ad campaigns we ask our troops to risk their lives and their
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health, physical and mental. of course we pray for their complete safety and success, but let's be realistic enough to acknowledge that some may die or be injured or be captured or see these things happen to their comrades in arms. even those who come home physically safe may see or do things that will affect them for the rest of their lives. the long lines of people waiting for appointments to day or hoping to have their disability benefit claims adjudicated approve this. in short, mr. president, during the time of war we ask our troops to give their best even to the point of sacrificing her own lives. when compared against that how much of a sacrifice is it for a president to engage in a possibly contentious debate with congress about whether military
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action is a an idea. how much of a sacrifice is it for a member of congress to debate and vote about whether military action is? welcome a congressional members faced the political cost of debate on military action, our service members. the human cost of those decisions. and if we choose to avoid debate , avoid accountability, avoid a hard decision, how can we demand that our military willingly sacrifice there very lives? so the president's real and significant threat posed by isil with a firm willingness to offer support to a well crafted military mission. i believe the american public in this congress will support such a mission. it is my deepest hope that we have the opportunity to debate and vote on the mission and also congress as our framers intended and as our troops to serve.
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>> president obama's peaks to the nation tonight to outline a strategy for dealing with isis. you can see his speech live on our companion at work c-span had 9:00 eastern. tomorrow morning washington general disarray action to the president's speech. your phone calls, facebook comments and we starting at 7:00 a.m. eastern. right now here on c-span2 a conversation from this morning's washington journal on protecting u.s. infrastructure for terrorist attacks. >> and we are back with congressman trend frank republican of arizona on the judiciary committee to talk about potential threats to the electrical grid. ..
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the electromagnetic pulse has been something that military planners have had to consider for years, clear back into the cold war because the soviets had a major electromagnetic weapons to electromagnetic pulse weapons which are designed to create create a pulse above the atmosphere or at least significantly high in the atmosphere that would disrupt electronics and other crucial equipment.
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we have since i'm probably spent now in the billions of dollars hardening our military apparat apparatus, nuclear triad, our nuclear defense mechanisms, our missile defense so that we can survive in a dmp laden environment and yet our civilian grid is unprotected and our military depends upon that grid for 99% of its electricity needs without which it cannot really effect its mission. so it's sort of a conundrum. on the one hand we are spending money that we don't need to spend hardening our commercial and critical defense assets or we are being completely derelict when it comes to wear civilian grid which is vitally important to not only our military capability but our way of life and life itself. >> host: and an economic impact as well. >> guest: the economic impact is almost immeasurable but i think the big issue that we need
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to look at is what would our society look like if we lost our grid for months or years and if you look at it carefully and fully think through it, it becomes almost an thinkable scenario. >> host: the threat is an electronic, electromagnetic pulse attack, edm psu have said. explain how that type of attack would work on the civilian grid. >> guest: first of all there are two basic types of electro-magnetic poles with the men made in the natural. the natural is what comes from that from from the sun. we learned about that in 1859 when a gentleman named carrington saw sunspots and later a major pulse that interfered with telegraph all over the world. if that type of pulse would hit modern society, we really engineered ourselves into a major vulnerability.
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we have become victims of our own sophistication and that is one. of course in july of 2012 there were some major -- that missed the earth by two weeks that could have been catastrophic to our society. the second one of course is man-made electromagnetic pulse and that is primarily by high-altitude electromagnetic pulse generated from the gamma ray emission of the nuclear warhead that creates a massive rush of ionized particles towards the earth and overloads equipment and power lines. then there's the third really a subdivision of the man-made and that's the ime eyewear re-creates electromagnetic interference with instruments or generators about sword. >> host: is the man-made
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option that you talk about, the nuclear type of attack on our electrical grid, what evidence do you have that is a real threat and who is making that threat? >> guest: well you know the reality is that uis have to deal and potentials. there are two components to every threat and that's intent and capacity. certainly there are people out there that have the intent to hurt america and the worst possible way. the question is do they have the capacity and there are certainly people who have the capacity to hurt americans in the worst possible way and the question is do they have the intent? if you look at russia they would have the capacity to hit us with emp attacks that would be devastating. the hope is that they don't have that intent. with a group like isis they certainly have the intent. the hope is we can prevent them from having the capacity from some country like iran that might get a nuclear warhead in
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right now isis and iran are at odds with each other but the truth is if to hide itself gets a hold of nuclear weapons the implications are profound. >> host: what are you saying needs to be done? >> guest: we need to harden our grid. i have two bills in congress. one there's a good chance we'll be hearing from as early as next week called the critical infrastructure protection act and essentially it insinuates into our national playing scenarios b. and p. like we do with hurricanes tornadoes or earthquakes and that helps us use our space monitoring to try to know if something potentially dangerous is coming in second way to prepare for it in any way we can and finally to try to recover from it. the second thing it does is it creates a major research development effort to develop the ability to harden our grid against it in the third of course is it creates a report
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back to congress so we know what they have done which is really what the agency and the homeland security -- homeland security department is done in the first place. i think the committee will mark this up probably next week. that's the plan but you know there are a lot of things that are vying for that time and the second is really the important bill. it sets a national standard for how hard our grid should be or how impervious it should be to electromagnetic pulse and it creates a commitment that we will use hardening solutions. >> host: who should foot the bill for hardening our grid? should be the federal government are these companies? >> guest: the truth is to fix this grid in terms of being able to prevent a worst-case scenario which is really what our bills are. it's not meant to have a comprehensive fix to make sure all the cellphones and radios work that she be able to make sure we have a supply of electricity that we don't have
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that catastrophic situation. it's not an expensive situation. for 20 cents a year for the average ratepayer we can make a grid. >> host: so the consumer would pay. >> guest: the consumer would pay but the cost would be so minimal to each consumer that is almost negligible. >> host: how much is a cost in general? what's the price tag for hardening the grid? >> guest: for about probably $3 billion over the next five years we could harden the grid to where we wouldn't have to worry about a major catastrophic kind of rolling blackout. there would be the main concern that i would have. again a comprehensive fix is much more expensive than that but if we start building into whether our state of controls or all of our electronics and hardening as we go forward it's not expensive. it has about 10% to the average electronic component of any system. but the main thing right now is our grid. major components like the gsu's
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and transformers are the things that i'm concerned about because of those are destroyed or damaged we don't have the industrial capability to recover. >> host: let's get to calls. elizabeth from norse town in pennsylvania, democratic caller. hi elizabeth. >> caller: hi. i really appreciate the work that he is doing on this. all they do is bicker and talk against each other or they condone the president. he's actually working for something that's going to help the american people and that's so refreshing. i want to thank you. my second very quickly is i understand all the concerns that 10 cents here and 10 cents there starts to add up. i would like you to think about splitting it with some of the
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company's profit and some coming from consumers and some coming from the government all sharing a piece in it. thank you very much. >> host: congressman. >> guest: i appreciate the tone and the disposition of the caller. it's nice to get somebody who's been kind once in a while. the last point that she makes is a good one. it's important to keep in mind that most of these utilities are public utilities so their costs are built-in and passed onto the customer either way. the cost of it is something that really helps utilities because if they are hard and effectively than in many cases they can run their grid or their grid assets or components have a higher capacity which made -- more than pays for the hurting. it's not something we should look at is the cost burden. it's not free but we buy insurance on their homes thinking they will probably never burned that we still buy
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the insurance and in this case this is an insurance policy and when you have an enemy out there that is aware of this vulnerability to maintain that vulnerability is to invite attack. it's something that is long overdue. i see you all of the major decision-makers finally coming together on this. we have been working on this for a long time. the commission came out and spoke to the armed services committee i think in that believe it was 2004 and they have spoken to us again since. i for 1:00 a.m. very grateful for their work because now it's beginning finally to manifest into i hope that will be significant policy changes to mitigate the problem. >> host: pikesville maryland, lewis end up in the caller. >> caller: yes, thank you for taking my call. on the george norrie show coast to coast the other night they announced there may be a massive cme drone ejection the next few days and i know 10 minutes ago
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my tv, i can only get to be announced. i hit click and i can't get any index and i go down the line and all i see is to -- so i wonder if we have a mass ejection now and secondly if you harden the military and government grids and you don't harden the civilian grids does that give the government in upperhand? i appreciate you taking my call. thank you. >> guest: well i thank you for the call. i think in terms of predicting mass objections we don't have the ability to do that in a way that would give us long-term warning. there are some abilities to observe the sun and see what it's doing and see where it might be growing sunspots that is something we have to do empirically really. about every 105 years as the
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general consensus. we have a major carrington type or at least approaching that kind of intensity projection in the hope is it doesn't hit the earth or the hope is that somehow the earth's bag -- atmosphere is polarized in such a way that its protective of the earth. in terms of the government wanting to get the upper hand here i just wish they would pay attention to their former ability itself then that would take care of it. i think that would be the greater problem. i'm also concerned about the government plotting to take down the civilian grids while maintaining their own grid because believe me if the civilian grid is taken down there will be enough chaos to go around. >> host: we are speaking with republicans trent franks. he has two pieces of legislation dealing with hardening the civil electrical grid. that's our topic this morning. it could be a potential threat from another country, man-made or from a terrorist group or an
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actual threat is the congressman was just talking about. we will go to chris in brooklyn new york a republican caller. hi chris. >> caller: good morning. thanks to c-span and thank you congressman for taking the call today. congressman i'm a republican and i'd like to see more of a republican type solution to this and i mean that being a solution and private ownership. you know there's a way to fund this through the marketplace by making dividends and capital gains from electrical plans tax-free. say a utility within the state but that's the way to fund it without having a national break. hawaii's problems in long island's problems in florida's problems are completely different and they're different people people that provide energy in different ways. really shifting more federalism into this and thank you for taking my call. >> i would like to tell the caller that i'm completely 100% in agreement.
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i think that these efforts should be as much as possible in the private sector to try to use the competitive free market to come up with the best solutions. that is certainly my effort. i struggle with the shield at to get it passed for a long time. it's bottled up in committee but its primary premises to look to the private sector to come up with both the standard of protection we need and the type of equipment and is rather agnostic on what types. it says you come up with the answer and if it's a good answer that is what we will go with. i'm a free-market republican and i believe very much the free market has a better answer nearly all the time than a collectivist approach. but the challenge, we have had that bill bottled up for a long time and when sip it came along big critical infrastructure protection act we were able to open up the field of discussion on the homeland security committee and most importantly
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the chairman of the rules committee pete sessions joined as the lead co-sponsor of this bill. it made all the difference in the world. pete is very respected throughout the congress and he is a senior member and he has led republican party in many different ways. so his involvement and this has made all the difference in the world and now we are really starting to see some significant movement and i'm hopeful. >> host: karen chester ville pennsylvania democratic caller. >> caller: hi thank you for c-span and representative frank's thank you for your doing but no disrespect intended but people in america need to wake up. if this happens, i work for utility company for many years and i know what transmission distribution looks like. if this happens we will have no money, no gas, no water, no fo food.
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they have no idea what you were talking about and what the severity of it would be. >> host: let's talk about that karen. >> guest: i appreciate the caller's heart because it's easy to pass this off as something that just a few overwrought citizens are concerned with but that simply is not true. this is a very grave concern for our country. i can her scenario of not having the ability to move food and water and electricity, all the things that the electric infrastructure supports is an accurate one. i think there are 16 what we label as major critical infrastructures. the electric grid is vital to maybe 14 or 15 of them so as one of those things where we really have engineered ourselves, we have become victims like i said of our own capability and sophistication. i'm reminded of history back in the 1620s or 1600's. i'm not sure, it was the london
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fire. burn 90% of london and it wasn't that they didn't know about fire at the time. it was because they began to build their houses to close it became a little bit too arrogant about what scenarios could potentially ensue. the spire caught them by surprise and engineered themselves into a vulnerability like we have of them are totally different scale. it was devastating and i do want to see that happen. >> host: what is the price tag for a blackout and how long might a blackout last? >> guest: you know, the only example i could give you an recent days is the one in québec that we had because of coronal mass ejection. that cost i believe in the billions of dollars for i think nine or 10 hours of a blackout. so the upside down comparison here is appropriate. the reality is that this is far
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less expensive to fix than it is to try to remedy. >> host: so a natural or man-made attack on the civilian electrical grid in this country could last more than ours? it could be weeks or months? >> guest: see that the danger greta. if indeed we have a worst-case scenario and i want to choose my words carefully here because the one-way that we impede the effort to fix this is for somehow people to think that we are overstating it. the truth is that in a worst-case scenario if we have a major carrington pulse that would be of that magnitude it could see our grid damaged irreparably for months or years. i don't even know how to express to you what that means to our society. we are no longer a gurian and it has the gravest of outlooks. >> host: what is the obstacle
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to getting this past? >> guest: i think like everything else it's a matter of priorities and understanding and i'm encouraged that we are finally starting to see in the united states congress, i think sipa if it's given a chance will pass. we had a great act that was sort of a much lesser version but it passed the house unanimously. it went to the senate and of course it had cybersecurity provisions in it and the senators have different ways of looking at things once in a while. i was the part to stop the bill. i'm hopeful now. there are concerns that i don't know how to describe or understand that keeps this shield locked up in the energy and commerce committee. i'm really bewildered over that. >> host: let's hear from danny next from florida, republican caller. >> caller: good morning representative frank's. thank you so much for attacking this topic because i know when i talk to people about it they look at me as though i'm an
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alien or possibly an alarmist. i live here in florida and i know one of your other callers referred to the problems here in florida regarding our electric companies and how they operate. i would like to see more federal control here of that. my big question is with washington actually in a gridlock how are we going to take care of our grid and get these bills passed? >> host: okay. >> guest: that's a good question and i know there is no pun included with congress been in gridlock. the one encouragement that i have is that this seems to be largely bipartisan and there was strong democrats support for this legislation or legislation like it in the past. i don't think partisanship is going to be an issue. i do hope the white house will respond effectively to this and i don't want to take this in
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such a partisan direction here. i am dumbfounded that the white house has not been more forthcoming in this area. they have talked some about the natural emp but they have talked almost never about the potential enemy exploiting this vulnerability especially in the 911 world we have lived in and with recent events in the world. terrorists don't have to have a nuclear warhead to damage our grid. i don't want to get into too much detail but it has already been open now on the internet that terrorists could attack our grid with kinetic means, bombs or major weaponry that if done coordinated right could be very serious. >> host: tomorrow the 13th anniversary of the september 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and we will be talking about that here in "washington journal" as well as president obama speech that he will be giving tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern time on the
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threat posed by isis and how he plans to combat that threat. congressman franks what you want to hear from the president? >> guest: i was trying so hard to be bipartisan here. this is an area where i think the president has failed the country in the most profound w way. if the president had listened even to the warnings of george bush, george bush said that if we withdrew from iraq and this is not an exact quote but i challenge the station and others to look at his words. if we withdrew before the commander said it was time to do so then we would face horrific mass killings and we would only have to see american troops return and confront an enemy that's even more dangerous. that sounds almost prophetic as to what is happening here. 55 members, about three months ago before i says that the amount of damage that they are now guilty of doing wrote a
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letter to the president telling him how serious this was because this administration is not about isis for literally years. they put out reports as to how much damage they have done to try to gain financial support. it's almost like a quarterly corporate report. i think it's annual budget that makes a difference. they should not have caught the administration by surprise. and you know there is a moment in the life of almost every problem when it is big enough to be seen and still small enough to be addressed. when isis first started to come into iraq it would have taken so little to keep them out. this president simply ignore the situation now we face a crisis. it appears to me and we will see, it appears to me that he intends to try to follow the george bush model that he criticized so vociferously of putting together major coalition in going after the bad guys which is exactly what we should
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do but he owes george bush an apology and of the most profound nature. >> host: president obama does? >> guest: absolutely. >> host: former vice president dick cheney met with you and a the speaking at the american enterprise institute about the danger of isolationism. 10:00 a.m. eastern time go to c-span.org for coverage. jonathan weisman of "the new york times" writes about that conversation that the former vice president had with republicans and he said vice president cheney did not discuss the fact that many isis leaders were former iraqi officers who were imprisoned by american troops. nor did he dwell on the sectarian divisions of bloodletting since the 2003 american invasion. the crux of this argument that centered not on mr. obama but the isolationist voices on the rise in his party ahead of the 2016 presidential campaign. >> guest: bears somewhat convoluted meaning there. in terms of the vice president
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do sing and discounting the significance -- let me put another way. the vice president in my judgment is correct in trying to suggest that if isolationist mode we are in danger in this country and i believe it was trotsky that said it may not be interested in war but war is interested in you. so the president, vice president did suggest and criticize isolationism was a dangerous thing for this country and i believe that but to somehow suggest that the reason the isis rose was disgruntled iraqi generals decided to do something different is hysterical. that's the same old blame game that we always see our friends on the left doing, blaming america. it wasn't americans that control both airplanes that hit the buildings. this is something that comes from an ideology that feels
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transcendental to justify and murdering innocent people to further their religious goals and it is a poison we have eradicated from our country from the human family will be a devastating danger and a heartache for a long time to come. >> host: c-span radio just telling our audience moments ago before we talk that the president will not ask for boots on the ground. do you agree with that decision? >> guest: i hear that phrase all the time and i'm just wondering what our special operators and advisers will be wearing. will we be wearing ballet shoes? the notion is that boots on the ground seems to have some special meaning to the president. it was the fact that he withdrew precipitously that invited isis into iraq. it's a tragedy that boggles my ability to articulate in english language. yet this person will probably go on and skate across it and act like he had nothing in the world
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to do with it and public policy choices. that we are facing isis now because this president vacillated and ignored reality and was so busy trying to criticize george bush were dealing with a real problem that he overlooked it himself. i think that somehow this president wants us to take a vacation from history and that's what he appears to want to do. his answer to everything is just another speech that was going to really matters if he will have the courage and the commitment to do what's necessary now to dismantle and destroy isis. because if he doesn't america could face very serious concerns and problems in the future. >> yeah we are awaiting the public address from the president on his plans for combating isis. yesterday he met with congressional leaders at the white house, telling them that
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authorization was not necessary for the president to order a military strike. we will have live coverage of the president's remarks to the nation at 9:00 p.m. eastern time followed by a chance for you to call in with your reaction to the speech. that all gets underway in an hour on companion network, c-span. ..
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gl coming up next, a live tellvised debate for the south dakota senate race.
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>> good evening from sioux falls. we welcome you to the first tellvitel debate for south dakota's race. this is being closely watched here and nationally as well. democrats and republicans are in a battle for control of the senate. rick weiland is here for the democrats. larry pressler for the

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