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Senate Proceeding on Oct 22nd, 2009 :: 1:21:00 to 1:41:00
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Carl Levin

1:20:49 to 1:21:09( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: senator from michigan. mr. levin: i vitiate the quorum the presiding officer: without objection. under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of the conference report to accompany h.r. 2k-6 47, which the clerk will r the clerk: conference report to accompany h.r. 2647, an to authorize appropriations for

Carl Levin

1:21:00 to 1:41:00( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Carl Levin

Carl Levin

1:21:10 to 1:21:32( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: fiscal year 2010 for military activities for the departmenof defense a other purposes. the presidin officer: under the previous order, there will be one hour for debate equally divided and controlled between the senator from michigan, mr. levin, and the sator from arizona, mr. mccain. the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. levin: mr. president, i

Carl Levin

1:21:33 to 1:21:55( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: would yield myself 20 minutes. the presiding officer: the senator is recognized. mr. levin: mr. president, the conference report would fully fund the fiscal year 2010 budget request of $680 billion for national security activities in the department of defense and the department of energy. this bill is the product of

Carl Levin

1:21:56 to 1:22:17( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: committee, culminating in more than six weeks of work with our house counterparts. i want to thank all the members of the senate armed services committee for the comiment commitment they've shown. i particularly want senator mccain work throughout the conference. it has been a real pleasure to work side by side with senator mccain as we w

Carl Levin

1:22:18 to 1:22:38( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: issues with our counterparts from the house of representatives. i also want to thank the chairman of the house armed services committee,, ike skeleton, for the spirit throughout the conference. this conference report contains many important provisions that will improve the quality of life

Carl Levin

1:22:39 to 1:22:59( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: of our men and women in provide needed support and assistance to our troops on the battlefield in iraq and afghanistan, make the investmentshat we need to meet the challenges of the 21st century and acquire needed reforms in the department of fense. the bill

Carl Levin

1:23:00 to 1:23:22( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: increases in compensation and quity of life that our service mn and women deserve as they face the hardshipsed by continuing military operations around the world. for example, the bill contains provisions that would authorize a raise for all uniformed military

Carl Levin

1:23:23 to 1:23:45( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: personnel which is a half percent more than it would increase end strength 30,000. it will authorize payment of

Carl Levin

1:23:46 to 1:24:06( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: over 25 types of bonuses and special pays aimed at encourage enlist continue the service by activ duty and reserve military personnel. it would extend the limitation on charges, the limitation on charges, for inpatient care and civilian hospital under tricare t would enhance the ability of

Carl Levin

1:24:07 to 1:24:27( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: military voters to vote by absentee ballot. it would increase the authorization for the homeowners assistance program by almost $300 million to provide relief to homeowners i and forces who are required to relocate because of the base closures or change of station orders t would increase the

Carl Levin

1:24:28 to 1:24:49( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: maximum amount of supplemental subsistence allowance to $1,14u7b per month to ensure that service members an service members and their families do not have to depend on food stamps. the bill contains provisions that would provide f application of unused sick leave

Carl Levin

1:24:50 to 1:25:13( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: toward length of service for purposes of computing a retirement annuity under the federal employee rye tirement system.

Carl Levin

1:25:14 to 1:25:35( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: i security personnel system and replace it with a provision that prov flexibilities applicable to the entire civilian workforce of department of defense and an opportunity for the secretary to propose additional flexibility. it would freeze civilian intelligence personnel

Carl Levin

1:25:36 to 1:25:56( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: system until an independent review can be completed. it would authorize the secretary of defense to establish a new defense civilian leadership program to help recruiter, train, and retain highly qualified civilian eloyees to help lead the department of defense over the next 20 years. the c includes important funding and

Carl Levin

1:25:57 to 1:26:22( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: authorities need to provide our troops the equipment and support that they will continue to need as long as on the battlefield in iraq and afghanistan. for example, the bill contains provisions that would provide $6.7 billion for the mine-resistant ambush protective

Carl Levin

1:26:26 to 1:26:46( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: vehicle fund, the mrap's. we add $14 u7b million for unfunded requirements identified by the commander of the special operations command including air ships to provide improved fire support for our ground forces in afghanistan and iraq. we provide full funding for the joint improvis

Carl Levin

1:26:47 to 1:27:07( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: continue the development and t deployment of technologies, to defeat these attacks. we provide nearly $7.5 billion to train and equip the afghan national army and police so they cabegin to carry out more of the burden of defending their

Carl Levin

1:27:08 to 1:27:29( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: country against the taliban. and we authorize up to billion for the commanders' emergency response program, in iraq and afghanistan for humanitarian relief and reinstruction projects that directly benefit local communities including up to $50 million to support the

Carl Levin

1:27:30 to 1:27:50( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: afghanistan national solidarity program to promote afghan-led community development. the bill would implement almost all of theudget recommendations made by the secretary of defense to terminate troubled programs and apply the savings to higher-priority activity else of the department. for example, the production of the f-22 fighter

Carl Levin

1:27:51 to 1:28:15( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: after 187 aircraft. it terminates the air force combat search-and-reserve sciewrks it the helicopter program. it terminates the vh-71 presidential helicopter. we end production of the c-17 airlifter program. we cancel the manned ground vehicle portion of the army futures combat system program,

Carl Levin

1:28:16 to 1:28:37( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: will be available for the newly designed vehicle portion -- ground vehicle portion. we terminate the multiple vehicle program. we cancel the kinetic energy interceptor. we cancel the second airborne

Carl Levin

1:28:38 to 1:28:58( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: laser prototype. the bill contains provisions that will enhance the ability of the department of defense inspector general to conduct audits and investigations by authorizing the inspector general to subpoena witnesses to provide testimony. we improve d.o.d.'s financial management by requiring the

Carl Levin

1:28:59 to 1:29:20( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: department to engage in business process reengineer before acquiring new information technology systems and submit regular reports on its progress toward auditable financial statements. we require the department to develop a comprehensive plan address long-standing problem in its inventory management systems, which lead it to acquire and store hundreds of

Carl Levin

1:29:21 to 1:29:45( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: millions of llars worth of unneed items. we place a moratorium on the public-private competions under o.m.b. circular a-76 until the department complies with existing statutory planning and budget requirements relevant to such competions. we streamline and restructure the department's management positions by eliminating 22 of

Carl Levin

1:29:46 to 1:30:07( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: secretary of defense positions which requires the department to develop a new organizational plan within six months. the conference report incorporates two pieces of legislation from the senate-passed bill. the militar -- the military commissions act of 2009 and the matthew shepard

Carl Levin

1:30:08 to 1:30:28( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: and james byrd crimes prevention act. the military act of 2009 would replace and dramatically improve the procedures enacted in the military commissions 2006. in its 2006 decision in the hamdan case, the supreme court held that common article 3 of the geneva conventions applies to the guantanamo detainees and

Carl Levin

1:30:29 to 1:30:50( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: requires that the trial of those detainees be conducted in a manner consistent with the procedures applicable in trials by courts-martial. the supreme court concluded that this requirement -- quote -- "is not an inflexible one. it does not preclude all departures from the procedures dictated for use by courts-martial.

Carl Levin

1:30:51 to 1:31:11( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: any departure must be tailored to the k that necessary -- to the exigency that necessitates it." the military commission act of 2006 created a cloud over the military commissions because it failed to live up to that standa. the conference report would address this property by, one,

Carl Levin

1:31:12 to 1:31:32( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: precluding the use of coerced testimony. two, limiting the use of testimony. three, establishing new procedures for handling classified information similar to procedures applicable in civilian courts. providing defendants with fair access to witnesses and documentary evidence.

Carl Levin

1:31:33 to 1:31:54( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: and, five, be provided with appropriation representation and adequate resources. the military act of 2009 designed to meet the standards of the supreme court's proposed ruling in hamdan andhould help ensure that convictions obtained through military convictions will hold up on appeal and will

Carl Levin

1:31:55 to 1:32:15( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: be perceived as fair b american public and by the rest of the wor. i would like to thank senators mccain and graham as well as the lawyers at the white house, the department of defense, and the department of justice who worked with us for the great provision. the conference report incorporates the hate crimes

Carl Levin

1:32:16 to 1:32:36( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: prevention act. similar provisions have been previously adopted by both the senate and the house of representatives. this legislation is intended to help deter people from being targeted for violent attacks because of race, religion, disability, gender or their sexual orientation, among other aspects. the senate adopted this hate

Carl Levin

1:32:37 to 1:33:00( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: crimes legislation when we adopted the defense authorization act. and it was kept in conference. the house of representatives has now adopted the conference report. so it is now be before us after a cloture vote. the hate crimes legislation

Carl Levin

1:33:04 to 1:33:27( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: includes for the first provision that makes it a federal crime to attack a member of the united states armed forces on account of hisr her military service. a hate crime that is of particular interest to the armed services committee. according to the trend is up for hate crimes

Carl Levin

1:33:28 to 1:33:48( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: based on sexual orientation, 6% increase in such crimes in the recent for are available, whichs the year 2006. this is a category of hate crimes that would be covered for the first time by this bill. the language has been written to ensure that it does not intrude on first amendment rights that state and local law

Carl Levin

1:33:49 to 1:34:09( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: enforcement retain primary jurisdiction over investigations and prosecutions. we all kno was long the senate's leading advocate for hate crimes legislation. as he said when the senate debated and passed this legislation in 2007 -- quote --

Carl Levin

1:34:10 to 1:34:31( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: "america has taken many steps throughout our history on a long road, becoming a more inclusive nation. and our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. our tolerance for each other's differences, he said, is part of th light to a world which is enveloped in bigotry and intolerance." close quote.

Carl Levin

1:34:32 to 1:34:53( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: the enactment of the hate crimes prevention act through this, which is the last national defense authorization act in which senator kennedy participated in his 26 years of service on the armed services committee, would be a fitting tribute to one of the truly great senats in the history of this body. and finally, i would like to

Carl Levin

1:34:54 to 1:35:14( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: thank senator leahy for his leadership role that he has played on this issue in his capacity as chairman of the senate judiciary committee. mr. president, as of today, we have almost 130,000 u.s. soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines on the ground.

Carl Levin

1:35:15 to 1:35:35( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: over the course of the next fiscal year, we will undertake the difficult task of drawing down these numbers. these are numbers in iraq. while maintaining security and stability on the ground. at the same time we have dratically increased our forces in afghanistan with more

Carl Levin

1:35:36 to 1:35:56( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: than 60,000 engaged in increasingly active combat and combat support more on the way. this conference report includes numerous provisions that need to go into effect immediately to ensure that they benefit our troops immediately.

Carl Levin

1:35:57 to 1:36:18( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: these provisions cannot be implemented before this conference report is enacted, but will the need for appropriation immediately upon enactment. and they include the following: in the area of compensation and benefits, the conference report

Carl Levin

1:36:19 to 1:36:39( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: includes provisions that would prevent the implementation of large increases in the co-payments that military retirees must pay for inpatient care at civilian hospitals under the tricare program. provisionhe which would authorize new special compensation for caregivers of catastrophically injured

Carl Levin

1:36:40 to 1:37:02( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: service members and provision which will increase the maximum amount of supplemental assistance allowance to ensure that service members do not have to rely on food stamps to meet their nutritional needs. those important provisions and many others which i'm going to now talk about will not go into effect until this conference

Carl Levin

1:37:03 to 1:37:24( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: report is enacted. with regard to our efforts in iraq and afgnistan, the conference report includes provisions that will immediately go into effect without the need of for instance, there is a provision which would autho the secretary of defense to transfer defense equipment that

Carl Levin

1:37:25 to 1:37:46( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: would otherwise be withdrawn from iraq and transfer it to security forces of iraq and afghanistan, their nional forces. use of that equipment by those national forces in iraq and afghanistan will assist in the transfer of security responsibility to the iraqi

Carl Levin

1:37:47 to 1:38:07( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: forces and the growth of the afghan army and police forces more quickly. another provision which will go into effect immediately upon enactment would allow the secretary of defense to use funds from the cerp program in afghanistan to pay for reintegration programs to

Carl Levin

1:38:08 to 1:38:28( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: separate local talan fighters fr this is a new program modeled on the sons of iraq program which was so successful in getting large numbers of young iraqis who had been attacking us to switch sides and support the government.

Carl Levin

1:38:29 to 1:38:51( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: these programs which i think people strongly support regardless of their position on the of strategy and troop level. these provisions will make it possible immediately upon enactment to use funds to su

Carl Levin

1:38:52 to 1:39:12( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: those young afghans into their civilian life, just the way we did with sons of iraq. this provision will permit the shippi important to strengthen the afghan army and police from iraq instead of bringing it home. these are critically urgent

Carl Levin

1:39:13 to 1:39:33( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: prisions in both -- particularly in afghanistan. another provision conference report is enacted would permit the secretary of defense to use up to $500 million in operation and maintenance funds to meet urgent military construction needs of

Carl Levin

1:39:34 to 1:39:55( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: the commander of the central command in that were not previously forecast. these new authorities are not there report is enacted. and as i mentioned earlier, this bill includes the military commissions act of 2009, which is needed

Carl Levin

1:39:56 to 1:40:16( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: detainees by military commissions a viable alternative to trial in federal court. until it is enacted, any conviction obtained before a military commission will be at serious risk of being overturned on appeal. and for that reason, the

Carl Levin

1:40:17 to 1:40:37( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: administration has suspended all military commission trials unt this language goes into effect. mr. president, we've enacted a defense authorization bill every year for almost 50 years now. we have done so because members of congress have understood on a bipartisan basis the importance of supporting our troops and

Carl Levin

1:40:38 to 1:40:58( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: making the policy decisions that are necessary to support them. this year is no different. with almost 200,000 men and women of the armed forces currently serving in iraq and afghanistan and many more supporting them and engaging in other demanding activities on our behalf and their behalf around the world, we cannot

Carl Levin

1:40:59 to 1:41:01( Edit History Discussion )

Carl Levin: afford not to enact this legislation. and for all these reasons, i

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