Senate Session 2011-06-22 (15:56:50-16:59:59)
Articles,  Blog

Senate Session 2011-06-22 (15:56:50-16:59:59)


THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT.
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ANY QUORUM CALL. I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO END WITHOUT
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THANK YOU, OBJECTION. MR. PRESIDENT. NOW, MR. PRESIDENT, I CALL UP AND WOULD MAKE PENDING AMENDMENT NUMBER 499, WHICH IS PART OF THE AGREEMENT IN TERMS OF THE DEBATE OF THIS BILL. THE CLERK WILL REPORT. THE SENATOR FROM LOUISIANA, MR. VITTER, FOR HIMSELF AND OTHERS PROPOSES AN AMENDMENT NUMBERED 499. MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO WAIVE READING OF THE WHOLE.
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WITHOUT OBJECTION. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. AND I ALSO WANT TO THANK SENATORS PAUL AND HELLER AND GRASSLEY FOR COSPONSORING THIS AMENDMENT, WHICH IS ABOUT SO-CALLED CZARS. THIS ADMINISTRATION, ANY ADMINISTRATION USURPING THE APPROPRIATE ROLE AND AUTHORITY OF THE SENATE IN THE ADVISE AND CONSENT PROCESS. MR. PRESIDENT, THIS IS OBVIOUSLY
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DIRECTLY RELEVANT TO THIS LEGISLATION. AS WE DEBATE THIS LEGISLATION DESIGNED TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF POSITIONS IN THE GOVERNMENT THAT REQUIRE SENATE CONFIRMATION, WE SHOULD ALSO ENSURE THAT THE SENATE’S ROLE IS NOT ERODED BY UNCONFIRMED FEDERAL CZARS IN VERY SIGNIFICANT POSITIONS WHICH
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CONSENT. SHOULD BE SUBJECT TO ADVICE AND
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ABOUT. THAT’S WHAT MY AMENDMENT IS
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CORRECT. THAT’S WHAT MY AMENDMENT WOULD THIS AMENDMENT WOULD ENSURE THAT ANY ADMINISTRATION — NOT JUST THIS ONE; ANY ADMINISTRATION — REPUBLICAN, DEMOCRAT, OTHER IS PREVENTED FROM USING SO-CALLED CZARS OR SIMILAR POSITIONS TO PERFORM DUTIES THAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THOSE POSITIONS SUBJECT TO CONFIRMATION BY PROHIBITING FUNDING OF THOSE SO-CALLED CZAR POSITIONS. SPECIFICALLY, THE AMENDMENT WOULD PROHIBIT FUNDING FOR THESE CZAR POSITIONS. THE AMENDMENT DOES NOT UNDULY
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RESTRICT PRESIDENTIAL ADVISORY STAFF. WE ALL AGREE THE PRESIDENT IS ENTITLEED TO DIRECT ADVISORS. INSTEAD IT FOCUSES ON — QUOTE — “THE HEAD OF ANY TASK FORCE, COUNCIL, POLICY OFFICE OR SYSTEM HRAR OFFICE ESTABLISHED BY OR AT THE DIRECTION OF THE PRESIDENT.” IT’S AIMED SQUARELY AT POSITIONS CREATED IN ORDER TO CIRCUMVENT THE ADVICE AND CONSENT ROLE OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE. AND, UNFORTUNATELY, MR. PRESIDENT, THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT HAS HAPPENED AT GREATLY INCREASING FREQUENCY OVER THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS. IT ALSO CARVES OUT OF THE
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PROHIBITION AND ALLOWS TWO THINGS. NUMBER ONE, ANY INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE SERVING IN THE POSITION OF ASSISTANT SECRETARY OR THE
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CONFIRMATION. EQUIVALENT THAT REQUIRES SENATE THAT SITUATION IS LIVING BY THE NORMAL APPROPRIATE ADVICE AND CONSENT REQUIREMENT. AND IT ALSO CARVES OUT THE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS, AND WE INCLUDE THIS CARVEOUT SIMPLY TO ENSURE THAT NATIONAL SECURITY CONCERNS ARE NOT IMPACTED. AS A RESULT OF THESE CAREFULLY CRAFTED EXEMPTION, MY AMENDMENT KEEPS THE FOCUS ON THE INTENDED TARGETS AND THE REAL ABUSES. CZARS CREATED TO CIRCUMVENT THE SCRUTINY OF THE SENATE AND THE ADVICE AND CONSENT AND THE CONFIRMATION PROCESS. UNDER THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION, MR. PRESIDENT, WE HAVE SEEN DRAMATIC INCREASES IN THIS PRACTICE, IN THE AMOUNT OF POWER GIVEN TO THESE SO-CALLED CZARS APPOINTED DIRECTLY BY THE PRESIDENT AND NOT SUBJECT TO ADVISE AND CONSENT AND CONFIRMATION BY THE PRESIDENT — BY THE SENATE, EXCUSE ME. POLITICO HAS WRITTEN THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA — QUOTE — “IS TAKING THE NOTION OF A POWERFUL
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HEIGHTS.” WHITE HOUSE STAFF TO NEW AND HE IS CREATING — QUOTE — “PERHAPS THE MOST POWERFUL STAFF IN MODERN HISTORY.” CLOSE QUOTE. PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS CREATED MANY OF THESE NEW CZAR POSITIONS. SOME INCLUDE A CLIMATE CZAR, A HEALTH CARE CZAR, A PAY CZAR AND MORE, AND THE POWER OF IMPLEMENTING POLICY AND DIRECTING FEDERAL AGENCIES WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE PUT IN THESE CZAR POSITIONS, SUBJECT ONLY TO THE CONTROL OF THE PRESIDENT. THAT WAS ALWAYS MEANT TO BE PUT IN HIGH-LEVEL ADMINISTRATION POSITIONS, SUBJECT TO THE ADVISE AND CONSENT ROLE OF THE SUBJECT, SUBJECT TO SENATE CONFIRMATION. SO IN THIS BILL, WHICH IS ALL ABOUT ADVISE AND CONSENT, WHICH IS ALL ABOUT THE CONFIRMATION PROCESS, WE SHOULD CERTAINLY ADDRESS THE SINGLE BIGGEST PROBLEM WITH THAT PROCESS IN THE EYES OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, WHICH IS RECENT ADMINISTRATIONS, PARTICULARLY THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION JUST DOING A STATE END RUN AROUND THE CONSTITUTION, TRYING TO IGNORE THE GENIUS OF THE CONSTITUTION, TRYING TO IGNORE ONE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL BALANCES CREATED BY THE CONSTITUTION THROUGH SENATE CONFIRMATION. SO, MR. PRESIDENT, WITH THAT IN MIND, I URGE ALL OF MY COLLEAGUES, DEMOCRAT AND
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REPUBLICAN, TO SUPPORT THIS VITTER AMENDMENT.
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THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION. THIS ISN’T AN AMENDMENT AGAINST THIS IS AN AMENDMENT FOR THE ADVISE AND CONSENT ROLE OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE. THIS IS AN AMENDMENT IN SUPPORT OF BALANCE OF POWERS. THIS IS AN AMENDMENT TO PRESERVE THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CONFIRMATION PROCESS, AND EVERY SENATOR OF ANY U.S. SENATE SHOULD BE FOR THAT NO MATTER WHO THE ADMINISTRATION IS. UNFORTUNATELY, THE CZAR PRACTICE HAS REACHED NEW HEIGHTS RECENTLY, SO ALL THE MORE REASON WE NEED TO ACT, BUT WE NEED TO ACT TO PRESERVE AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION, TO PRESERVE AND DEFEND THE APPROPRIATE ROLE OF THE U.S. SENATE UNDER THE CONSTITUTION, ADVISE AND CONSENT
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— CONFIRMATION. AND CON FIRNLINGS. THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT, AND
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OF A QUORUM. WITH THAT, I SUGGEST THE ABSENCE THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. QUORUM CALL: A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT? THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA.
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THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. IN A MOMENT OR TWO — A QUORUM CALL IS IN PROGRESS. I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE QUORUM CALL BE VITIATED.
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WITHOUT OBJECTION. IN A MOMENT OR A FEW MINUTES FROM NOW, I’LL INTRODUCE AN AMENDMENT, BUT I WANTED TO TALK ABOUT A BILL THAT MYSELF AND 26 OTHER SENATORS HAVE INTRODUCED TODAY. IT’S CALLED THE ENUMERATED POWERS ACT. OUR FOUNDING FATHERS UNDERSTOOD THAT THE ONLY WAY TO PRESERVE FREEDOM FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS WAS TO LIMIT FEDERAL AUTHORITY. THEY UNDERSTOOD THE TENDENCY OF GOVERNMENT TO SEIZE INCREASING POWER AND THUS THEY CREATED IN
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OUR CONSTITUTION PROTECTIONS FOR POSTERITY. EARLIER THIS YEAR, NEWLY AND ELECTED AND RETURNING MEMBERS OF THE SENATE TOOK AN OATH TO SUPPORT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES. IN MY CASE, THAT OATH NEVER MENTIONED THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA OR ANY OTHER STATE OR INDIVIDUAL SENATOR — THAT ANY INDIVIDUAL SENATOR MIGHT REPRESENT. RATHER, THE OATH THAT EACH OF US TOOK WAS TO UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION FOR THE BETTERMENT OF THE COUNTRY AS A WHOLE. YET, EVERY DAY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS IGNORE THEIR OATH AND PROTECTIVE PRINCIPLES EMBODIED IN THE CONSTITUTION, TRAMPLING BOTH THE FREEDOM AND THE PROSPERITY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. THIS HAS NEVER BEEN AS EVIDENT AS IN THE CONGRESSIONAL SPENDING SPREE WE’VE SEEN OVER THE LAST THREE AND A HALF TO FOUR YEARS. AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 111th CONGRESS, OUR NATIONAL DEBT STOOD AT $10.6 TRILLION. IT TODAY IS OVER $14.4 TRILLION. NEARLY $4 TRILLION IN THE LAST THREE-PLUS YEARS. HOW DID WE GET THERE?
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DEBT? HOW DID WE GET TO SUCH DEEP HOW DID WE SHACKLE OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN TO AN INCREASING DEFICIT AND AN
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INEVITABLE DECREASED STANDARD OF LIVING? IT REALLY DOESN’T LIE WITH ANY PRESIDENT THAT HAS DONE THAT. WHERE IT LIES IS WITH THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES. TODAY, ALONG WITH SENATOR — THE SENATOR FROM KENTUCKY, DR. RAND PAUL, AND 23 OTHER COSPONSORS, I’M INTRODUCING THE ENUMERATED POWERS ACT. THIS LEGISLATION ENSURES THE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TRULY FOLLOW
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ARTICLE 1, SECTION 8 OF THE CONSTITUTION. THAT SECTION PLAINLY LISTS THE ENUMERATED POWERS OF THE CONSTITUTION AND ENUMERATED POWERS GIVEN TO CONGRESS, OF WHICH THERE ARE 18 VERY WELL-DEFINED. ONE OF THE MAJOR REASONS WHY WE ARE FACING SUCH TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES AND SUCH TOUGH FISCAL CHALLENGES IS BECAUSE CONGRESS ROUTINELY IN THE RECENT PAST HAS IGNORED THIS ASPECT OF THE CONSTITUTION, AND UNTIL WE RECONNECT CONGRESS WITH ITS LIMITED AND ENUMERATED POWERS, WE WILL NEVER PUT OUR NATION BACK ON A SUSTAINABLE BASIS. JAMES MADISON STATED IN FEDERALIST 51 THAT IF MEN WERE
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ANGELS, NO GOVERNMENT WOULD BE NECESSARY. IF ANGELS WERE TO GOVERN MEN, NEITHER EXTERNAL NOR INTERNAL CONTROLS ON GOVERNMENT WOULD BE NECESSARY. IN FRAMING A GOVERNMENT WHICH IS TO BE ADMINISTERED BY MEN OVER
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IN THIS. MEN, THE GREAT DIFFICULTY LIES YOU MUST FIRST ENABLE THE GOVERNMENT TO CONTROL THE GOVERNED, AND IN THE NEXT PLACE OBLIGE IT TO CONTROL ITSELF. CLEARLY, WE HAVE A GOVERNMENT ADMINISTERED BY MEN OVER MEN, AND THE GOVERNMENT HAS FAILED TO CONTROL ITSELF. THE BEST WAY FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO APPROPRIATELY RESTRAIN ITSELF IS FOR CONGRESS TO ABIDE BY THE ENUMERATED POWERS OF THE CONSTITUTION. THE SUPREME COURT NOTED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 21ST CENTURY EVERY LAW ENACTED BY CONGRESS MUST BE BASED ON ONE OR MORE OF ITS POWERS ENUMERATED IN THE CONSTITUTION. THE POWERS OF THE LEGISLATURE ARE DEFINED AND LIMITED AND THAT THOSE LIMITS MAY NOT BE MISTAKEN OR FORGOTTEN, THE CONSTITUTION IS THUS WRITTEN. AND WITH RESPECT TO THE WORDS GENERAL WELFARE, WHICH IS WHAT IS SO OFTEN USED TO JUSTIFY NEW GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS, I HAVE ALWAYS REGARDED THEM AS QUALIFIED BY THE DETAIL OF
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ENUMERATED POWERS CONNECTED WITH THEM. TO TAKE THEM IN A LITERAL AND UNLIMITED SENSE WOULD BE BY AND BY ITSELF A MET METAMORPHOUS OF THE CONSTITUTION WHICH WAS NOT
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CONTEMPLATED BY ITS WRITERS AND CREATORS. THE TENTH AMENDMENT STATES THE POWERS NOT DELEGATED TO THE UNITED STATES BY THE CONSTITUTION, NOR PROHIBITED BY IT TO THE STATES ARE RESERVED TO THE STATES RESPECTIVELY OR TO THE PEOPLE. IN OTHER WORDS, EVERYTHING OUTSIDE OF THOSE 18 RENUMERATED POWERS — ENUMERATED POWERS ARE
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PEOPLE. RESERVED FOR THE STATES AND THE THEY ARE NOT OURS TO DEAL WITH. OUR FOUNDING FATHERS INTENDED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO BE A LIMITED POWER THAT CANNOT ENCROACH ON THE POWERS TO THE STATE OR THE PEOPLE. WHAT THIS DOES IS HIGHLIGHT THOSE PRINCIPLES EMBODIED IN OUR CONSTITUTION AND GIVES MEMBERS OF CONGRESS A NEW PROCEDURAL TOOL TO STOP UNCONSTITUTIONAL LEGISLATION. CONGRESSMAN CHATTIE STARTED THIS IN 1984 UNTIL HE LEFT CONGRESS. HE JOINED HIM IN OFFERING THIS BILL STARTING IN THE 110th CONGRESS AND AGAIN IN THE 111th. TODAY I’M DELIGHTED TO BE, ALONG WITH THESE 24 EQIPS, AND — HE COULD SPONSORS TO REINTRODUCE THIS IMPORTANT LEGISLATION. THE RENUMERATED POWERS ACT REQUIRES EACH ACT OF CONGRESS, BILL AND RESOLUTION TO CONTAIN A CONCISE EXPLANATION OF THE SPECIFIC AUTHORITY IN THE CONSTITUTION UNDER WHICH THE MEASURE WOULD BE ENACTED. IT ALSO STATES MEMBERS CANNOT MERELY MINDLESSLY INVOKE SECTIONS OF ARTICLE 1, SECTION 8 TO MEET THAT TEST. THE GOAL OF THE LEGISLATION IS TO ASSURE THAT CONGRESS IS ACCOUNTABLE 0 THE AMERICAN PEOPLE — ACCOUNTABLE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FOR ITS ACTIONS. THE VERY LEAST WE CAN DO IF WE’RE GOING TO VIOLATE ARTICLE 1, SECTION 8, IS TO EXPLAIN OUR CONSTITUTIONAL BASIS TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FOR THAT. WITH THE SUFFICIENT TWO-THIRDS VOTE OF THE SENATE, A POINT OF ORDER RACED AGAINST THE BILL CAN STILL BE OVERCOME, HOWEVER THE RENUMERATED POWERS ACT REQUIRES BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS TO DEBATE THAT POINT OF ORDER. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE NEED TO SEE THE TRANSPARENCY WHEN WE VIOLATE THE CONSTITUTION AND WHAT OUR BASIS IS FOR DOING THAT. AS I MENTIONED EARLIER AS MEMBERS OF THE SENATE WE HAVE EACH TAKEN AN OATH TO UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION NOT TO PUT OUR INDIVIDUAL STATES FIRST. IF EACH OF US ABIDE BY THAT OATH WE WILL IMPROVE OUR COUNTRY AS A WHOLE. FOR OKLAHOMA, KENTUCKY OR MAINE OR ANY OTHER STATE TO FAREWELL IN OUR COUNTRY, THEY CANNOT DO SO IF THE COUNTRY AS A WHOLE IS NOT FARING WELL. LET ME TAKE A MOMENT AND JUST USE AS AN EXAMPLE ONE OF THE REASONS THAT I WOULD LIKE THE ENUMERATED POWERS ACT PASSED, BUT ALSO WHY I AM GOING TO DISCUSS THE AMENDMENT THAT I HAVE AT THE DESK. HERE’S WHAT WE KNOW RIGHT NOW FROM THE FIRST THIRD OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THAT WAS STUDIED BY THE GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTING OFFICE. THEY JUST LOOKED AT THE FIRST THIRD OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND WE ASKED THEM IN THE LAST DEBT LIMIT INCREASE TO GIVE US THE LIST OF DUPLICATIONS OF PROGRAMS THAT DO ESSENTIALLY THE
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SAME THING ACROSS THAT FIRST THIRD. WE WILL GET THE NEXT THIRD ABOUT SIX MONTHS FROM NOW AND THE FINAL THIRD A YEAR FROM THEN. BUT WHAT YOU SEE AND WHAT THEY CAME UP WITH IS WE HAVE MORE THAN 100 DIFFERENT FEDERAL PROGRAMS FOR SURFACE TRANSPORTATION. THAT’S 100 SETS OF AGENCIES. THAT’S 100 SETS OF BUREAUCRACIES AND THAT’S MINDLESS AND THOUSANDS UPON HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF RULES AND REGULATIONS THAT IS JUST ON SURFACE TRANSPORTATION. NOBODY IN CONGRESS KNEW WE HAD 100 AGENCIES. TEACHER QUALITY. WE HAVE 82 SEPARATE TEACHER QUALITY PROGRAMS ACROSS SIX DIFFERENT GOVERNMENT AGENCIES. ONE IS, IT’S A QUESTION OF WHETHER OR NOT THAT’S A RESPONSIBILITY OF THE FEDERAL
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GOVERNMENT UNDER THE ENUMERATED POWERS ACT. BUT TO HAVE 82? HOW ABOUT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, 88. 80 OF WHICH ARE UNDER FOUR DIFFERENT AGENCIES, WHICH WE JUST HAD A BILL ON THE FLOOR IN THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ACT, IT WAS ONE OF 80 PROGRAMS RUN BY THOSE FOUR AGENCIES. NONE OF THEM HAVE METRICS TO SEE IF THEY ARE EFFECTIVE. THERE’S NO METRICS. 88 SETS OF BUREAUCRACIES, WITHIN ALL THESE AGENCIES DUPLICATION AFTER DUPLICATION. TRANSPORTATION ASSISTANCE. 80 DIFFERENT PROGRAMS. FINANCIAL LITERACY, A GOVERNMENT THAT’S $14 TRILLION IN DEBT RUNNING A $1.6 TRILLION DEFICIT HAS NO BUSINESS TELLING ANYBODY ABOUT FINANCIAL LITERACY. YET WE HAVE 56 PROGRAMS ACROSS MULTIPLE AGENCIES TEACHING THE
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AMERICAN PEOPLE ABOUT FINANCIAL LITERACY. I THINK THE SOURCE OF THAT WISDOM IS SOMEWHAT QUESTIONABLE. WE HAVE 47 DIFFERENT JOB TRAINING PROGRAMS COST $18 BILLION A YEAR, RUN ACROSS NINE DIFFERENT AGENCIES. NOT ONE OF THEM HAS A METRIC. IN ALL BUT THREE DUPLICATE WHAT THE OTHER 44 ARE DOING. WHY WOULD WE DO THAT? WHY WOULD WE HAVE ALL THAT?
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ASSISTANCE. HOMELESS PREVENTION AND WE HAVE 20 PROGRAMS OUT OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR HOMELESS PREVENTION AND ASSISTANCE. FOOD FOR THE HUNGRY. WE HAVE 18 SEPARATE PROGRAMS. DISASTER RESPONSE AND PREPAREDNESS, WE HAVE 17 DIFFERENT PROGRAMS. SO THE POINT IS WE GOT THERE FOR TWO REASONS, ONE, IS WE DIDN’T LOOK AT THE ENUMERATED POWERS. AND NUMBER TWO, TOO OFTEN WE ARE TRYING TO FIX A PROBLEM FROM GREAT INTENT, THE RIGHT HEART, EVEN WHEN IT IS CONSTITUTIONAL AND WOULD MEET THE DEMANDS OF ARTICLE 1, SECTION 8, WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT ELSE IS OUT THERE. SO WHEN WE SEE A PROBLEM, RATHER THAN TO GO SEE WHAT WE ARE DOING NOW, WE CREATE A NEW PROGRAM. AND SO I WOULD ASK CONSIDERATION OF MY AMENDMENT, WHICH IS AMENDMENT NUMBER 500, WHICH IS AN AMENDMENT TO CHANGE THE RULES OF THE SENATE — THE STANDING RULES. AND WHAT IT DOES IS THAT IT — IT MANDATES A RULE IN THE SENATE THAT EVERY REPORT THAT COMES TO THE SENATE, EVERY BILL, AN ANALYSIS BY THE CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE TO DETERMINE IF THE BILL OR JOINT RESOLUTION CREATES ANY NEW FEDERAL PROGRAM, ANY NEW FEDERAL OFFICE OR ANY NEW INITIATIVE THAT WOULD DUPLICATE OR OVERLAP ANY OTHER EXISTING FEDERAL PROGRAM. ANY OTHER EXISTING FEDERAL OFFICE OR ANY OTHER EXISTING INITIATIVE WITH SIMILAR MISSION, SIMILAR GOALS OR ACTIVITIES ALONG WITH A LISTING OF THE OVERLAPPING OR DUPLICATION. AND AN EXPLANATION PROVIDED BY THE COMMITTEE AS TO WHY THE CREATION OF ANOTHER NEW PROGRAM OFFICE OR INITIATIVE IS NECESSARY IF A SIMILAR PROGRAM
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EXIST. OFFERS OR INITIATIVES ALREADY IT’S A RULE CHANGE. AND THE REASON I BRING IT TO THIS BILL IS BECAUSE THIS IS A BILL FOR RULE CHANGES. AND IT REQUIRES 67 VOTES FOR THIS TO PASS. I UNDERSTAND THAT WE HAVE HEARD SOME CONCERNS FROM THE CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE, BUT WITH THE WORK THAT THE GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTING OFFICE HAS DONE AND WILL DO, IT WILL BE VERY EASY FOR THEM TO LOOK AT THE RESULTS OF THE GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTING OFFICE AND THEIR LIST OF DUPLICATIONS — AND IT’S VERY STRAIGHTFORWARD. IT’S LESS THAN 100 PAGES. AND THEY CAN SEE AND THEN THEY CAN ADVISE THE CONGRESS ON WHAT WE HAVE. IF WE CANNOT DEPEND ON THE CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE TO TELL US WHERE WE HAVE MULTIPLE PROGRAMS WHEN THAT IS AVAILABLE FROM THE GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTING OFFICE AND LIST WHAT THEIR INTENTIONS AND WHAT THEIR BUDGETS ARE, THEN WE NEED TO RELOOK AT THE GOVERNMENT — THE CONGRESSIONAL OFFICE AND WHAT IT DOES. THEY DO GREAT WORK FOR ME. WE ASK THEM FOR THINGS ALL THE TIME AND THEY DO GREAT.
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ACCOMPLISH. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT THEY CAN IT IS GOING TO GET EASIER AS WE GO FORWARD. BUT WITHOUT THIS KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT WE ARE ALREADY DOING WE WILL NEVER SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS. SO MY HOPE IS — AND I KNOW MY CHAIRMAN HAS SOME CONCERNS WITH THIS INITIATIVE IN TERMS OF HOW IT MIGHT AFFECT THIS BILL, BUT I PLAN ON GOING RIGHT BACK TO THE CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE TO HAVE A DISCUSSION WITH THEM AFTER I AM ON THE FLOOR — AFTER I HAVE BEEN ON THE FLOOR. BUT IF WE CAN’T DO THIS, WE CAN’T DO ANYTHING. IF WE CAN’T CHANGE THE RULE SO WE ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT WE ARE DOING, SO WE CAN ACTUALLY KNOW IF A NEW BILL DUPLICATES SOMETHING THAT IS ALREADY OPERATING WHEN WE HAVE THIS TREMENDOUS LIST — I JUST PICKED SOME OF THE OBVIOUS ONES. THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DUPLICATE PROGRAMS IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WASTING BILLIONS IF NOT TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS EVERY YEAR. SO IF WE CANNOT DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS, THEN WHAT CAN WE DO TO SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS? KNOWLEDGE IS POWER AND KNOWING WHAT PROGRAMS ARE INTENDED TO DO NOW, BEFORE WE CREATE ANOTHER NEW PROGRAM, TO ME, IS THE HEIGHT OF INSANITY. WE SHOULD BE AGGRESSIVELY ASKING FOR AS MUCH INFORMATION AS WE CAN GET SO WE KNOW WHAT WE ARE
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DOING WHEN WE PASS NEW PIECES OF LEGISLATION.
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MADAM PRESIDENT? WITH THAT, I YIELD THE FLOOR. THE SENATOR FROM MAINE. MADAM PRESIDENT, I AM NOT GOING TO TAKE LONG AT THIS POINT. I PERSONALLY SUPPORT THE POLICY BEHIND THE AMENDMENT OFFERED BY
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COBURN. MY FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE, SENATOR IN FACT, I AM A HE COULD SPONSOR OF A STAND ALONE BILL THAT HE HAS ON THIS ISSUE. MY CONCERN IS THAT IT IS A RULES CHANGE AND THE BILL BEFORE US IS NOT A RULES CHANGE. IT IS NOT A RESOLUTION. IT IS NOT A RULES CHANGE. IT IS LEGISLATION. NOW, COMING UP AFTER THIS BILL IS THE SECOND HALF OF THE NOMINATIONS REFORM PACKAGE AND THAT IS A RULES CHANGE THAT IS COMING FROM THE RULES COMMITTEE. SO MY SUGGESTION TO MY COLLEAGUE AND FRIEND FROM OKLAHOMA IS THAT HIS AMENDMENT WOULD BE BETTER DIRECTED TO THE SECOND HALF THAN TO THIS BILL. BUT, AGAIN, I AM OPPOSE — I AM A COSPONSOR OF HIS STAND-ALONE BILL.
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SO IT IS NOT THAT I OBJECT TO THE POLICY. I WOULD NOTE, FOR THE INFORMATION OF MY COLLEAGUES, THAT THE CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE DOES HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT WHETHER IT HAS THE RESOURCES AND THE ABILITY TO CARRY OUT THE TASK THAT THE SENATOR WOULD ASSIGN IT. FROM MY MANY YEARS OF WORKING BOTH WITH G.A.O. AND C.R.S., THIS SOUNDS TO ME LIKE A JOB FOR G.A.O., WHICH HAS THE AUDITORS AND THE EXPERIENCE TO DO THIS KIND OF REVIEW AND, INDEED, HAS ALREADY STARTED DUE TO THE GOOD SENATOR’S FAR-SIGHTED AMENDMENT WHICH BECAME LAW TO IDENTIFY DUPLICATION. MR. PRESIDENT? I WOULD ASK TO CALL UP MY AMENDMENT NUMBER 500, AND THEN I WOULD ALSO TELL THE SENATOR FROM MAINE I WILL VERY MUCH CONSIDER YOUR RECOMMENDATION IN TERMS OF TRYING TO PUT IT IN ON THE SECOND HALF OF THIS. I WOULD LIKE TO CALL IT UP NOW AND ASK THAT MAYBE WE WITHDRAW IT.
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THE CLERK WILL REPORT. THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA, MR. COBURN FOR HIMSELF
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AND OTHERS PROPOSED AMENDMENT NUMBERED 500. I ASK THAT IT BE
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CONSIDERED READ AND I YIELD THE FLOOR. WITHOUT OBJECTION. THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS IS RECOGNIZED. UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT MARIE AND — BE GIVEN PRIVILEGE OF THE LAW DURING THE PRESIDENTIAL APPOINTMENT EFFICIENCY AND STREAMLINING ACT. WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED. DEUTSCHE DEUTSCHEMR. DURBIN: MR. PRESIDENT, I SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM. WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. QUORUM:QUORUM CALL: QUORUM CALL: MR. PRESIDENT? THE SENATOR FROM MASSACHUSETTS. I ASK FURTHER PROCEEDINGS UNDER THE QUORUM CALL BE DISPENSED WITH. WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED. MR. PRESIDENT, YESTERDAY SENATOR McCAIN AND I INTRODUCED — MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT WE GO TO MORNING BUSINESS. I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT WE BE PERMITTED TO SPEAK AS IF IN MORNING BUSINESS.
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WITHOUT OBJECTION. THANK YOU. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. MR. PRESIDENT, AS I WAS SAYING, AND NOW IT MAKES AN ENORMOUS DIFFERENCE BECAUSE WE’RE IN MORNING BUSINESS, YESTERDAY SENATOR McCAIN AND I INTRODUCED A RESOLUTION WITH RESPECT TO OUR ENGAGEMENT IN A SUPPORT ROLE IN LIBYA. THAT IS NOW, I THINK THE MAJORITY LEADER IS MAKING A DETERMINATION ABOUT EXACTLY WHEN THE SENATE MIGHT CONSIDER THIS. BUT A NUMBER OF COLLEAGUES ON OUR SIDE HAVE EXPRESSED SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT IT, AND BECAUSE OF THOSE QUESTIONS, I THOUGHT IT WAS IMPORTANT THAT WE CLARIFY FOR THE RECORD AS SENATORS CONSIDER THIS OVER THE COURSE OF THE NEXT DAYS THE ANSWERS TO THEIR QUESTIONS. AND WITH THAT IN MIND, I’M HAPPY TO ENGAGE IN A COLLOQUY NOW WITH BOTH THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA, SENATOR BOXER, AND THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS, SENATOR DURBIN. I THINK SENATOR BOXER WOULD LIKE TO LEAD OFF. MR. PRESIDENT? THE
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RECOGNIZED. SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA IS MR. PRESIDENT, IS IT IN ORDER FOR ME TO ASK SOME QUESTIONS OF THE DISTINGUISHED CHAIRMAN OF THE FOREIGN
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RELATIONS COMMITTEE AT THIS TIME? WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE SENATORS MAY ENGAGE IN A COLLOQUY. I THANK THE PRESIDENT VERY MUCH. I JUST WANT TO SAY TO MY CHAIRMAN, WHO I SIT NEXT TO IN THE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE, HOW MUCH I ADMIRE HIS WORK IN THE WHOLE ARENA OF THE FOREIGN POLICY. WHAT HE’S REALLY GIVING UP TO BE, I THINK, ONE OF THE MOST INFORMED HUMAN BEINGS ON THE PLANET IN TERMS OF THE
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CHALLENGES THAT THIS COUNTRY FACES. AND I WANT TO THANK HIM SO MUCH FOR HIS HARD WORK ON A RESOLUTION REGARDING LIBYA. I ARE JUST WANTED TO — I JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE TODAY BY ASKING HIM A TKOUFPL QUESTIONS THAT THE — ASKING HIM A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS THAT THE CLEAR INTENT OF THIS RESOLUTION WHICH IS S.J. RES. NUMBER 20 REGARDING OUR ENGAGEMENT IN LIBYA, THAT THE CLEAR INTENT IS THAT THERE NOT BE AUTHORIZED IN THIS RESOLUTION ANY, WHATSOEVER, ANY TROOPS ON THE GROUND, ANY BOOTS ON THE GROUND, ANY GROUND FORCES OF AMERICA IN LIBYA. SO I’M GOING TO ASK HIM A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS. ASSUMING THAT THOSE QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED THE WAY THAT I HOPE THAT THEY WILL BE, GIVEN THE RESOLUTION, I WILL BE MUCH AT PEACE WITH THIS RESOLUTION. SO MY UNDERSTANDING, SENATOR KERRY, FROM READING THIS RESOLUTION IS THAT WHILE IT DOES NOT EXPLICITLY PROHIBIT THE USE OF U.S. GROUND FORCENESS LIBYA, IT ALSO DOES NOTHING TO AUTHORIZE THE USE OF U.S. GROUND
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CORRECT? FORCES IN LIBYA; IS THAT MR. PRESIDENT?
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THE SENATOR FROM MASSACHUSETTS. MR. PRESIDENT, I WOULD SAY TO THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA, FIRST OF ALL, I’M VERY APPRECIATIVE FOR HER GENEROUS COMMENTS AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS COLLOQUY. AND I THANK HER FOR THAT, AND I THANK HER FOR HER SUPPORT AND INVOLVEMENT ON THE COMMITTEE, WHICH IS CRITICAL. SECONDLY, I FULLY UNDERSTAND AND AM VERY SYMPATHETIC WITH THE CONCERNS OF A LOT OF SENATORS GIVEN OUR ENGAGEMENT IN AFGHANISTAN, PAKISTAN, MIDDLE EAST, YEMEN, AFRICA, ELSEWHERE, PEOPLE ARE DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE QUESTION OF WHERE WE’RE HEADING. AND SO I WOULD ANSWER HER QUESTION VERY DIRECTLY WITH RESPECT TO THE AUTHORIZATION. UNEQUIVOCALLY THIS RESOLUTION DOES NOT AUTHORIZE GROUND TROOPS
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OPERATIONS. WITH RESPECT TO THE LIBYA THERE IS NO AFFIRMATIVE LANGUAGE IN THIS RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE USE OF U.S. GROUND FORCES.
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THANK YOU, SENATOR. MR. CHAIRMAN, I’D ALSO LIKE TO ASK YOU THIS, ALTHOUGH THERE IS NO AUTHORIZATION IN THIS RESOLUTION FOR THE USE OF GROUND FORCES IN LIBYA, FOR WHICH I’M PLEASED, ARE THERE ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WHERE GROUND FORCES COULD BE DEPLOYED? MR. PRESIDENT, THE RESOLUTION STATES THAT CONGRESS OPPOSES THE USE OF FORCES ON THE GROUND IN LIBYA EXCEPT IN THE EXCEPTIONAL CASE WHERE THEY MIGHT BE NEEDED FOR THE IMMEDIATE PERSONNEL DEFENSE OF UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS OR FOR RESCUING A MEMBER OF THE NATO FORCE FROM IMMINENT DANGER. THOSE ARE THE ONLY CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH IT MIGHT BE CONTEMPLATED. THE INTENT OF THIS RESOLUTION IS TO AUTHORIZE ONLY THE VERY LIMITED MISSION, THE CONTINUATION OF THE VERY LIMITED MISSION IN LIBYA THAT IS A SUPPORT ROLE AND THAT DOES NOT
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FORCES. INCLUDE THE USE OF U.S. GROUND I JUST HAVE TWO MORE QUESTIONS. SENATOR KERRY, IF THE PRESIDENT DECIDES TO CHANGE THE MISSION AND ORDER THE USE OF U.S. GROUND FORCES FOR REASONS OTHER THAN THE CIRCUMSTANCES PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED, DOES THE CHAIRMAN AGREE THAT NOTHING IN THIS RESOLUTION WOULD AUTHORIZE HIM TO TAKE THAT STEP? I AGREE. AND IT IS ALSO MY UNDERSTANDING THAT THE AUTHORIZATION PROVIDED FOR UNDER THIS RESOLUTION WOULD EXPIRE AFTER ITS ENACTMENT, ONE YEAR AFTER ITS ENACTMENT. IT’S MY UNDERSTANDING THAT THE AUTHORIZATION PROVIDED FOR UNDER THIS RESOLUTION WOULD EXPIRE ONE YEAR AFTER ITS ENACTMENT? IS THAT CORRECT? MR. PRESIDENT, THE
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CORRECTED. SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA IS WELL, I JUST WANT TO SAY THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. CHAIRMAN, JOHN KERRY, FOR YOUR WORK ON THIS. I WANT TO THANK THE OTHERS WHO HELPED WORK ON THIS.
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ADDITION TO SENATOR McCAIN. I KNOW OTHER SENATORS DID, IN ON OUR SIDE I KNOW SENATOR DURBIN, SENATOR CARDIN AND OTHERS HAD A LOT TO SAY. THIS IS IMPORTANT, AND I SEW APPRECIATE YOUR WILLING — AND I SO APPRECIATE YOUR WILLINGNESS AND YOUR STAFF’S WILLINGNESS TO WORK WITH US BECAUSE WORDS MATTER, INTENT MATTERS. AND I THINK WE’VE CLEARED IT UP, AND I’M FEELING A LOT BETTER ABOUT THIS RESOLUTION, AND I WOULD YIELD BACK MY TIME TO SENATOR KERRY. MR. PRESIDENT, FIRST, LET ME THANK MY COLLEAGUE FROM CALIFORNIA, SPWOFRPBLGTS I WANT TO ASSOCIATE — FROM CALIFORNIA, SENATOR BOXER. I WANT TO ASSOCIATE MYSELF WITH HER REMARKS AND COLLOQUY WITH SENATOR KERRY. IS THE POINTED QUESTIONS ASKED BY SENATOR BOXER AND THE RESPONSES GIVEN BY SENATOR KERRY ARE CONSISTENT WITH WHAT HE HAS DESCRIBED TO ME AS THE
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LEGISLATIVE INTENT OF THIS RESOLUTION. MR. PRESIDENT, I’M A NEWCOMER TO
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COMMITTEE. THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS IT’S MY FIRST YEAR SERVING. I SIT WAY AT THE END OF THE TABLE, EVEN THOUGH I’VE BEEN AROUND CONGRESS FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS. I JUST WANT TO SALUTE THE CHAIRMAN OF THAT COMMITTEE. I DON’T THINK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE CAN APPRECIATE THE HARD WORK THAT SENATOR KERRY PUTS IN TO THAT COMMITTEE AND TO HIS
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ADMINISTRATION. RESPONSIBILITIES WITH THIS IT IS AN INDICATION OF THE TRUST WHICH HE HAS EARNED WITH THE PRESIDENT AND THE SECRETARY OF STATE THAT HE HAS BEEN CALLED ON OFTEN TO VISIT IMPORTANT PLACES AROUND THE WORLD AT VERY CRITICAL MOMENTS TO REPRESENT THE UNITED STATES AND THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS. A TRIP THAT HE MADE TO PAKISTAN JUST A FEW WEEKS AGO COULD NOT HAVE COME AT A MORE IMPORTANT MOMENT. AND HE RETURNED TO NOT ONLY BRIEF THE ADMINISTRATION, BUT ALSO HIS COLLEAGUES IN CONGRESS. I KNOW HE WILL BE TAKING OTHER JOURNEYS IN HIS CAPACITY AS CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE, AND I WANT TO TELL HIM HOW MUCH I
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APPRECIATE IT AS ALL AMERICANS SHOULD. I ALSO WANT TO TELL HIM HOW MUCH I APPRECIATE THE EFFORT HE PUT INTO THIS RESOLUTION RELATIVE TO OUR ASSISTANCE TO NATO IN LIBYA. IF YOU LOOK BACK IN TERMS OF THIS DEBATE ON THE FLOOR OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE, YOU REALIZE THAT IT REALLY GOES BACK TO THE ORIGINS OF AMERICA. WHEN THE FOUNDING FATHERS SAT DOWN AND DEFINED WHAT THIS CONGRESS HAD THE POWER TO DO. I DON’T THINK THEY WASTED WORDS. AND THOSE WHO WILL LOOK AT ARTICLE 1, SECTION 8, CLAUSE 11, WILL SEE THAT CONGRESS IS GIVEN THE AUTHORITY TO DECLARE WAR. IT IS ONE OF THE MOST AWESOME RESPONSIBILITIES GIVEN TO CONGRESS. BUT IT WAS CLEARLY GIVEN TO CONGRESS SO THE FOUNDING FATHERS SAID WE WOULD REPRESENT THE FEELINGS OF THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA, THE PEOPLE WHOSE CHILDREN, SONS AND DAUGHTERS AND HUSBANDS AND WIVES WOULD BE CALLED INTO COMBAT, AND WE WILL MAKE THE DECISION WILL THIS AMERICAN GO TO WAR? THE PRESIDENT’S COMMANDER IN CHIEF HAS AUTHORITY TO DEFEND AMERICA AND AMERICANS BUT WHEN IT CAME TO COMBAT AND WAR CONGRESS WAS GIVEN THE RESPONSIBILITY. THROUGHOUT HISTORY MANY PRESIDENTS HONORED THAT CLAUSE AND HAVE COME TO CONGRESS ASKING FOR THE AUTHORITY TO PROCEED TO WAR. PROBABLY ONE OF THE MOST NOTABLE AND HISTORIC WAS FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT WHO CAME THE DAY AFTER PEARL HARBOR. IN DECEMBER OF 1941, HOBBLED UP TO THE ROSTRUM IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND DECLARED A DAY THAT WOULD LIVE IN INFAMY AND ASKED FOR A DECLARATION OF WAR AGAINST THOSE WHO H ATTACKED THE UNITED STATES.
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CONSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITY IT WAS A CLEAR EXERCISE OF GIVEN TO CONGRESS AND EXERCISED ACCORDINGLY. AFTER THAT, THOUGH, THERE WAS A LONG PERIOD OF UNCERTAINTY. THE SO-CALLED KOREAN CONFLICT WITH TWO OF MY BROTHERS SERVED IN THE UNITED STATES NAVY WAS
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ACTION. CHARACTERIZED AS A POLICE SOME ACTION THAT WAS INSPIRED
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AND AUTHORIZED BY THE UNITED NATIONS. MANY MEN AND WOMEN DIED IN THAT CONFLICT, BUT IT WASN’T AN OFFICIAL DECLARATION OF WAR THAT LED TO IT. AND THEN CAME THE WAR IN VIETNAM, WHERE SENATOR KERRY SERVED WITH SUCH DISTINCTION IN THE UNITED STATES NAVY, LITERALLY RISKING HIS LIFE IN A CONFLICT WHERE THERE WAS NO OFFICIAL DECLARATION OF WAR. THE CONTROVERSY THAT CAME OUT OF THAT VIETNAM CONFLICT LED TO PROPOSED LEGISLATION CALLED THE WAR POWERS ACT. AND THE WAR POWERS ACT, SET UP TO DESCRIBE IN STATUTE WHAT WE BELIEVE THE CONSTITUTION SAID IN ITS CLEAR LANGUAGE, AND THAT IS AT SOME POINT A PRESIDENT MUST STEP FORWARD AND SAY TO CONGRESS, WE NEED YOUR AUTHORITY TO GO FORWARD WITH THIS CONFLICT INVOLVING HOSTILITIES. THERE HAVE BEEN DEBATES BACK AND FORTH ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT IT WAS TO BE APPLIED. SOME PRESIDENTS CAME HERE ASKING FOR AUTHORITY. PRESIDENT GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH DID BEFORE OUR INVASION OF KUWAIT. PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH BEFORE THE INVASION OF IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN. BUT THERE WERE EXCEPTIONS IN PANAMA, GRENADA, BOSNIA AND OTHER PLACES. SO THIS HAS BEEN AN ONGOING BATTLE BETWEEN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH, THE WHITE HOUSE AND CONGRESS ABOUT WHEN THE PRESIDENT AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF HAS TO COME TO CONGRESS UNDER THE CONSTITUTION AND ASK FOR A DECLARATION OF WAR. IT’S BECOME EVEN MORE
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CHANGED. COMPLICATED BECAUSE WAR HAS THERE WAS A TIME IN HISTORY WHEN
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THE ONSET OF WAR WAS VERY VISIBLE. THE MARCHING OF TROOPS, THE WEIGHING OF ANCHORS, PLANES LIFTING OFF IN FLIGHT, AND YOU KNEW A WAR WAS UNDERWAY. BUT NOW WE LIVE IN A DIFFERENT AGE, AN AGE OF NO-FLY ZONES AND EMBARGOES AND PREDATORY DRONES AND CYBERSECURITY AND THE DEFINITION OF WAR IS ONE THAT WE NEED TO LOOK AT IN THIS NEW CONTEXT. I HAVE FELT FROM THE BEGINNING THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA HANDLED THIS RIGHT IN LIBYA. SENATOR KERRY AND OTHERS LIKE MYSELF WERE PRIVY TO EARLY CONVERSATIONS BEFORE THE DECISION WAS MADE WHERE THE PRESIDENT BRIEFED US ON WHAT WE WERE SETTING OUT TO DO. WE WERE SETTING OUT TO STOP MOAMMAR QADHAFI FROM MASSACRING HIS OWN INDIVIDUAL CITIZENS IN THAT COUNTRY, PARTICULARLY AS HE SAID HE WAS GOING TO MARCH INTO BENGHAZI AND KILL THE PEOPLE OF LIBYA LIKE RATS IN THE STREET. AND PRESIDENT OBAMA SAID TO US WE CANNOT LET THIS MASSACRE OF INNOCENT PEOPLE CONTINUE. BUT THE PRESIDENT WENT ON TO SAY THE UNITED STATES WILL PLAY A SPECIFIC AND LIMITED ROLE IN THIS CONFLICT. FIRST, WE COME TO IT AT THE INVITATION OF THE ARAB LEAGUE, AND THIS IS SIGNIFICANT BECAUSE BEFORE THE UNITED STATES IS INVOLVED IN ANYTHING OF A MILITARY NATURE IN ANOTHER MUSLIM NATION, WE ARE LOOKING FOR AT LEAST AN INVITATION OR COOPERATION FROM ARAB NATIONS, AND IN THIS CASE, THE PRESIDENT HAD IT. AND THEN HE WENT ON TO SAY, AND WE WILL USE THE NATO ALLIANCE IN EUROPE TO INITIATIVE THIS — TO INITIATE THIS ACTION AND WE WILL SUPPORT THEM. WE MAY PLAY A LARGER ROLE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CONFLICT BUT A
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CONTINUES. MORE DIMINISHED ROLE AS IT THE PRESIDENT WENT ON TO SAY AND THERE WILL BE NO GROUND TROOPS FROM THE UNITED STATES COMMITTED TO LIBYA. THAT WAS THE EARLY BRIEFING. OF COURSE IT’S GONE ON NOW FOR SEVERAL WEEKS, SEVERAL MONTHS, AND THE QUESTION IS WHERE IT GOES FROM HERE. I WANT TO SALUTE SENATOR KERRY BECAUSE WHAT HE HAS DONE IS TO USE THE WAR POWERS ACT TO AUTHORIZE WHAT THE PRESIDENT IS DOING IN LIBYA. THAT WAY THERE IS NO QUESTION ABOUT THE AUTHORITY OF THE PRESIDENT TO GO FORWARD, AND HE HAS DONE MORE. CHAIRMAN KERRY HAS REACHED OUT IN A BIPARTISAN FASHION TO BRING IN SENATOR McCAIN, SENATOR KYL, SENATOR GRAHAM AND OTHERS FROM THE REPUBLICAN SIDE OF THE AISLE IN A BIPARTISAN APPROVAL OF WHAT WE ARE DOING IN LIBYA. I THINK THIS IS CONSISTENT WITH THE CONSTITUTION, WITH THE WAR POWERS ACT AND WITH THE FINEST TRADITIONS OF THE SENATE WHERE WE CAN FIGHT LIKE CATS AND DOGS, NIGHT AND DAY ON MANY THINGS, BUT WHEN IT COMES TO THE USE OF OUR MILITARY AND OUR COMMITMENT TO THE MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM, WE DO OUR VERY BEST TO COME
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FASHION. TOGETHER IN A BIPARTISAN WHAT SENATOR KERRY OFFERS HERE IS CONSISTENT WITH THAT. THE ANSWERS THAT HE HAS GIVEN EARLIER TO THE QUESTIONS BY SENATOR BOXER SATISFY MY
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AUTHORIZATION IN THIS RESOLUTION CONCERNS, THAT THERE IS NO FOR THE USE OF GROUND TROOPS OTHER THAN IN THE SPECIFIC EXAMPLES GIVEN BY SENATOR KERRY WHEN IT COMES TO RESCUING GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND MILITARY PERSONNEL OF THE NATO ALLIANCE. HE GOES ON TO SAY IN THE ANSWERS TO SENATOR BOXER THAT IF THIS PRESIDENT WANTED TO USE GROUND TROOPS, IT WOULD TAKE AN ADDITIONAL PASSAGE OF LEGISLATION AUTHORIZING THE PRESIDENT TO DO SO. NOW, FOR THE RECORD, PRESIDENT
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OBAMA HAS BEEN CLEAR IN HIS STATEMENTS. ON MARCH 18, HE SAID — “I ALSO WANT TO BE CLEAR ABOUT WHAT WE WILL NOT BE DOING. THE UNITED STATES IS NOT GOING
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LIBYA.” TO DEPLOY GROUND TROOPS INTO THAT’S THE PRESIDENT. ON MARCH 28, HE REITERATED THAT POINT IN AN ADDRESS TO AMERICA WHEN HE SAID — “I SAID THAT AMERICA’S ROLE WOULD BE LIMITED, THAT WE WOULD NOT PUT GROUND TROOPS INTO LIBYA, THAT WE WOULD FOCUS OUR UNIQUE CAPABILITIES ON THE FRONT END OF THE OPERATION, THAT WE WOULD TRANSFER OUR RESPONSIBILITIES TO OUR ALLIES. TONIGHT WE ARE FULFILLING THAT PLEDGE.” FINALLY, IN THE COMMUNICATION WITH CONGRESS LAST WEEK SUMMARIZES THE PRESIDENT’S CLEAR PUBLIC STATEMENT. IT READS IN PART AND I QUOTE — “AS PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS CLEARLY STATED, OUR CONTRIBUTIONS DO NOT INCLUDE DEPLOYING U.S. MILITARY GROUND FORCES INTO LIBYA WITH THE EXCEPTION OF PERSONNEL
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NECESSARY.” RECOVERY OPERATIONS AS MAY BE AND SO, MR. PRESIDENT, I WOULD CLOSE BY THANKING SENATOR KERRY FOR THOSE DIRECT ANSWERS TO SENATOR BOXER AND MAKE ONE LAST POINT BEFORE I YIELD THE FLOOR. FIRST, I WANT TO THANK MY
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CARDIN. COLLEAGUE FROM MARYLAND, SENATOR HE REALLY LED THE WAY AND I WAS HAPPY TO PARTNER WITH HIM IN THIS EFFORT TO USE THE WAR POWERS ACT FOR APPROVAL OF THIS ACTION, BUT I WANT TO CLOSE BY SAYING THERE ARE RUMORS AFLOAT ON CAPITOL HILL THAT SOME ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROTUNDA ARE GOING TO TRY TO STOP FUNDING FOR OUR MILITARY OPERATIONS, SUPPORTIVE OF THE NATO ALLIANCE IN LIBYA.
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I SINCERELY HOPE THAT DOES NOT OCCUR. IF THAT OCCURS, IT WILL UNFORTUNATELY GIVE HOPE TO THIS DICTATOR, MOAMMAR QADHAFI, THAT HE CAN SOMEHOW SURVIVE. IT WILL UNFORTUNATELY UNDERMINE THE EFFORTS OF INNOCENT PEOPLE IN LIBYA RISKING THEIR LIVES TO END HIS ADMINISTRATION AND BRING A NEW DAY TO THAT POOR, BELEAGUERED COUNTRY, AND FINAL IT WOULD STRIKE A BLOW AT OUR NATO ALLIANCE, AN ALLIANCE WHICH IS STILL CRITICALLY IMPORTANT FOR THE SECURITY OF AMERICA, EUROPE AND THE WORLD. SO I HOPE THAT THE HOUSE WILL FOLLOW SUIT IN A BIPARTISAN FASHION AND FOLLOW THIS RESOLUTION WHICH SENATOR KERRY HAS AUTHORED AND BROUGHT TOGETHER ON A BIPARTISAN BASIS. I YIELD THE FLOOR. MR. PRESIDENT? THE SENATOR FROM MASSACHUSETTS. MR. PRESIDENT, I WANT TO BEGIN BY THANKING THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS. FIRST OF ALL, I WANT TO THANK HIM FOR HIS — ALSO FOR HIS GENEROUS COMMENTS, BUT MUCH, MUCH MORE IMPORTANT TO THIS EFFORT, I WANT TO THANK HIM FOR THE SERIOUS AND ENTIRELY APPROPRIATE CONSIDERATION THAT
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HE HAS GIVEN THIS IMPORTANT ISSUE. HE HAS REALLY BEEN A LEADER IN OUR CAUCUS ON MAKING CERTAIN THAT THE CONSTITUTION, WHICH HE READ FROM AND CITED, HAS BEEN PROPERLY ADHERED TO, LIVED UP TO BY THIS BODY, WHICH IS OUR SOLEMN RESPONSIBILITY. AFTER ALL, WE ALL TAKE AN OATH WHEN WE ARE SWORN IN HERE AND WE PROMISE TO UPHOLD IT, AND THAT IS FIRST AND FOREMOST. AND SO THIS TENSION THAT HAS EXISTED, AS HE RIGHTLY POINTS OUTGOING BACK TO THE VIETNAM WAR, IS A REAL ONE. PRESIDENT AFTER PRESIDENT HAS DECLARED THEY SIMPLY BELIEVE THE LAW IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL, THEY DON’T FOLLOW IT. PRESIDENT OBAMA, TO HIS CREDIT, HAS NOT ASSERTED THAT. HE HAS, IN FACT, WRITTEN A LETTER TO THE CONGRESS IN WHICH HE SAID HE WOULD NOT ASSERT THAT BUT RATHER HE ASKED US FOR THE APPROPRIATE AUTHORIZATION, AND HE DID THAT, I MIGHT ADD, BEFORE THE 60 DAYS HAD EXPIRED. SO IT’S UP TO US TO BE RESPONSIBLE AND TO DO OUR DUTY, AND I WANT TO THANK SENATOR DURBIN FOR THE CAREFUL WAY IN WHICH HE HAS TAKEN THE PAST SLIPPAGES OR PROBLEMS, WHETHER INADVERTENT OR ADVERT ENT THAT HAVE FOLLOWED THE WAR POWERS ACT THROUGH ITS HISTORY AND EITHER SEEN THE LAW NOT APPLIED OR SIMPLY IGNORED, AND HE HAS BEEN DILIGENT IN INSISTING THAT WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY AND WE NEED TO LIVE UP TO IT, AND I
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IMPORTANT. THINK THAT HAS BEEN VERY TOGETHER WITH SENATOR CARDIN, THEY HAVE BEEN IMPORTANT VOICES IN HELPING TO STRUCTURE THIS RESOLUTION, TOGETHER WITH SENATOR McCAIN AND SENATOR GRAHAM AND OTHERS, SENATOR KYL AND THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE WHO HAVE BEEN EQUALLY COMMITTED TO MAKING CERTAIN THAT WE LIVE UP TO OUR RESPONSIBILITY. THIS HAS BEEN A BIPARTISAN EFFORT, AND THAT’S REALLY WHEN THE SENATE WORKS BEST AND THAT’S WHEN OUR FOREIGN POLICY, I MIGHT ADD, IS STRONGEST. SO I HOPE THAT THE SENATE WILL HAVE SOME IMPACT PERHAPS ON THE THINKING IN THE HOUSE, BUT NO MATTER WHAT THAT THE SENATE WILL HAVE ITS OPPORTUNITY TO BE ABLE TO BE HEARD WITH RESPECT TO THIS ISSUE. IN RESPONSE TO THE SENATOR’S — THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS’ REMARKS, I JUST WANT TO MAKE IT CLEAR THAT I AGREE WITH THE STATEMENTS THAT HE HAS MADE. IT IS THE CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF THE SENATE BASED ON THE PRESIDENT’S REPEATED STATEMENTS AS REFLECTED IN THE RESOLUTION THAT UNITED STATES OPERATIVES WITH RESPECT TO LIBYA OPERATIONS WILL NOT INVOLVE THE INTRODUCTION OF GROUND TROOPS, WITH THE VERY NARROW EXCEPTION THAT I CITED EARLIER TO THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA WITH RESPECT TO RESCUE OR GRIEVOUS IMMEDIATE DANGER TO AMERICAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS. NOT MILITARY. GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS. AND THAT LANGUAGE IS VERY CAREFULLY STRUCTURED IN THE RESOLUTION WHERE IN SECTION 2-A IT SAYS THE PRESIDENT IS AUTHORIZED TO CONTINUE BY VIRTUE OF EMBRACING THE WORD CONTINUE, WE’RE EMBRACING THE CURRENT STATUS, AND TO CONTINUE THE LIMITED USE OF THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES IN LIBYA IN SUPPORT OF NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY OBJECTIVES AND INTERESTS. AS PART OF THE NATO MISSION UNDER THE UNITED STATES SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION, AS REQUESTED BY THE TRANSNATIONAL — TRANSITIONAL NATIONAL COUNCIL, THE GULF WAR CORPORATION COUNCIL AND THE ARAB LEAGUE. SO THIS RESOLUTION SIMPLY AUTHORIZES THE PRESIDENT TO CONTINUE THE LIMITED SUPPORT OPERATIONS THAT WE’RE CURRENTLY ENGAGED IN, AND I THINK IT IS EXPLICIT ABOUT WHAT IT ENTAILS, JUST AS I THINK IT IS EXPLICIT ABOUT WHAT IT DOES NOT ENTAIL. AND SO I DON’T THINK IT’S NECESSARY, MR. PRESIDENT — I WOULD ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE BALANCE OF MY COMMENTS BE PLACED IN THE RECORD AS IF READ IN FULL AT THIS POINT.
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ADDITIONAL QUESTION. UNLESS THE SENATOR HAS AN BUT I THINK THAT — THAT WE HAVE BEEN CRYSTAL CLEAR ABOUT WHAT THIS RESOLUTION IS AND ISN’T. I THANK THE CHAIR. EMPLOYMENT THE STATEMENT WILL BE INCLUDED IN THE RECORD IN FULL. I THANK THE CHAIR. I THINK THE SENATOR FROM MARYLAND WANTS TO BE PART OF — THE SENATOR FROM MARYLAND IS RECOGNIZED. THANK YOU,
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FIRST, LET ME ASK UNANIMOUS MR. PRESIDENT. CONSENT THAT SHANE NISELY OF THE D.O.D. IN MY OFFICE HAVE THE PRIVILEGES OF THE FLOOR IN THIS DISCUSSION.
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WITHOUT OBJECTION. I THINK ALL OF US
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DETAILEES TRICK-OR-TREAT UNDERSTAND HOW VALUABLE OUR DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE IS AND THE WORK WE DO. PARTICULARLY IN THIS MATTER, IT’S BEEN EXTREMELY HELPFUL TO ME TO HAVE SHANE’S ADVICE. I PRESSURE THE FACT THAT HE IS IN OUR OFFICE AND HAS BEEN A VERY VALUABLE MEMBER OF OUR TEAM ON THIS ISSUE. I JUST REALLY WANT TO JOIN IN THE COMMENTS OF SENATOR DURBIN AND SENATOR KERRY. FIRST, LET ME SAY I THINK SENATOR KERRY WOULD AGREE, SENATOR DURBIN MAY BE A NEW MEMBER OF THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE, BUT HE IS ONE OF THE MOST THOUGHTFUL MEMBERS OF OUR — OF THE SENATE ON FOREIGN POLICY ISSUES AND MANY OTHER ISSUES, AND HE HAS BEEN EXTREMELY HELPFUL WORKING OUR WAY THROUGH WHAT IS THE PROPER RESPONSIBILITY OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE AND THE CONGRESS AS IT RELATES TO THE DEPLOYMENT OF OUR TROOPS. I JUST WANT TO CONCUR COMPLETELY IN SENATOR DURBIN’S COMMENTS ABOUT SENATOR KERRY. SENATOR KERRY, WE’RE SO PROUD OF THE WORK THAT YOU DO, THE COMMITMENT THAT YOU HAVE MADE TO TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD REPRESENTING OUR NATION AND ADVANCING THE CAUSE, U.S. ISSUES OF FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY AND GIVING HOPE TO SO MANY PEOPLE. WE HAVE EVEN THE UNIVERSALITY OF
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DEMOCRACY SPRING UP AROUND THE WORLD. THEY LOOK TO THE UNITED STATES AS A FACILITATOR TO MAKE THOSE ASPIRATIONS REAL. YOU HAVE BEEN AN INCREDIBLE VOICE IN THEIR HOPES, AND WE THANK YOU FOR THE PERSONAL COMMITMENT THAT YOU’VE MADE. I JUST REALLY WANT TO THANK SENATOR KERRY AND SENATOR DURBIN
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FOR THEIR COLLOQUY ON THIS ISSUE. I JOIN IN THEIR VIEW THAT WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO ACT WHENEVER OUR MILITARY IS PLACED IN HARM’S WAY WHEN THE PRESIDENT COMMITS OUR TROOPS. I THINK WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO ACT UNDER THE WAR POWERS ACT. I UNDERSTAND THERE MAY BE SOME DIFFERENT VIEWS ABOUT THIS, BUT I THINK MOST OF US HERE AGREE THAT THERE IS A RESPONSIBILITY FOR US TO PASS A RESOLUTION, AND I THINK THE RESOLUTION BROUGHT FORWARD BY SENATOR KERRY CLEARLY COMPLIES WITH THAT RESPONSIBILITY, FIRST AND FOREMOST, MAKING IT CLEAR THAT WE ARE ACTING UNDER THE AUTHORITY GIVEN TO US BY THE WAR POWERS ACT. BUT SECONDLY — AND I APPRECIATE THE CLARIFICATION THAT YOU MADE ON THE RECORD, SENATOR KERRY, ABOUT HOW THIS RESOLUTION REALLY LIMITS THE AUTHORITY OF THE PRESIDENT CONSISTENT WITH THE CURRENT MISSION, WHICH I THINK IS VERY IMPORTANT. I AGREE WITH SENATOR DURBIN. I THINK PRESIDENT OBAMA DID THE RIGHT THING IN CALLING ON OUR MILITARY TO JOIN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY. THIS WAS A MATTER IN WHICH THERE WAS A CLEAR WILL INTERNATIONALLY TO STOP ATROCITIES BEING COMMITTED BY COLONEL QADHAFI ON HIS OWN INNOCENT PEOPLE, AND THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL ACTED BY RESOLUTIONS, AND MANY OTHER COUNTRIES STEPPED FORWARD AND NATO WAS PREPARED TO TAKE THE LEAD. THE UNITED STATES WAS NOT GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE THE LEAD. WHAT WAS REQUIRED FROM US IS TO GIVE SOME MILITARY — GIVE SOME AIR SUPPORT, WHICH WE IN FACT ARE DOING. SO I THINK THE PRESIDENT DID THE RIGHT THING, BUT WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR RESOLUTION NOT ONLY COMPLIES WITH THE WAR POWERS ACT BUT MAKES IT CLEAR THAT IT IS CONSISTENT UNDER THE AUTHORITY GIVEN UNDER THE UNITED NATIONS RESOLUTIONS THAT WE ARE LIMITING OUR INVOLVEMENT, AND SENATOR KERRY HAS MADE THAT POINT VERY CLEAR. IT’S LIMITED IN TIME. IT’S LIMITED TO THE FACT THAT U.S. GROUND TROOPS CANNOT BE DEPLOYED EXCEPT FOR THE VERY LIMITED CAUSES THAT SENATOR KERRY POINTED OUT. IT’S CLEAR THAT OUR AUTHORIZATION IS CONSISTENT WITH THE NATO MISSION TO ENFORCE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS 1973 AS REQUESTED BY THE TRANSITION NATIONAL COUNCIL. SO I THINK WE HAVE MADE IT CLEAR THAT THIS IS THE — TO CONTINUE THE CURRENT MISSION. IT’S LIMITED IN TIME, IT’S LIMITED IN SCOPE AND IT’S THE RIGHT, RESPONSIBLE THING FOR US TO DO AS MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE. SO, MR. PRESIDENT, I JUST REALLY WANT TO TAKE THIS TIME TO THANK SENATOR KERRY AND SENATOR DURBIN FOR TAKING THE TIME TO EXPLAIN THE INTENT OF THE LEGISLATION. I THINK WE COULDN’T BE CLEAR. I THINK THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN VERY CLEAR AS IT RELATES TO THE USE OF GROUND TROOPS, AND THE SENATE IS VERY CLEAR THAT GROUND TROOPS CANNOT BE INTERJECTED INTO THIS CONFLICT UNDER THE AUTHORIZATION THAT WE ARE GIVEN. AND WITH THAT, MR. PRESIDENT, I WOULD YIELD TO SENATOR KERRY. MR. PRESIDENT? THE SENATOR FROM MASSACHUSETTS. MR. PRESIDENT, I THANK THE CHAIR, AND FOR THE PURPOSE OF MY COLLEAGUES, I WILL JUST SAY WE WILL WRAP UP VERY

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