Amendment Text: S.Amdt.3367 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)

Shown Here:
Amendment as Proposed (12/27/2012)

This Amendment appears on page S8434-8437 in the following article from the Congressional Record.


[Pages S8429-S8445]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


          DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS ACT--Continued

  Ms. MIKULSKI. I ask unanimous consent that the Senate now resume 
consideration of H.R. 1, the legislative vehicle for the Hurricane 
Sandy supplemental.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The bill has been reported.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, I would like to give a sense of the 
order of amendments so Senators may plan their time.
  We are now back on the supplemental bill, and we have great 
cooperation in getting the pending amendments and debate done this 
evening so we could actually start voting tomorrow morning.
  So that Senators can have an understanding of how we will start our 
work this evening, I want to lay out a bit of the schedule. This is not 
a unanimous consent request. It is kind of an outline.
  Our intention is to have the following amendments called up after I 
yield the floor: Senator Cardin to be recognized to call up his 
amendment No. 3393; Senator Tester to be recognized for up to 2 minutes 
to call up his amendment No. 3350; Senator Landrieu to be recognized 
for up to 2 minutes to call up her amendment No. 3415; Senator Coburn 
to be recognized for up to 30 minutes to call up his six amendments: 
Nos. 3368; 3369; 3370, as modified; 3371; 3382; and 3383; following 
that, Senator Merkley to be recognized for up to 5 minutes to call up 
his amendment No. 3367; and then I have a few I will call up on behalf 
of other Senators.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.


                Amendment No. 3393 to Amendment No. 3395

  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I call up the Cardin amendment that was 
made in order, amendment No. 3393.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Maryland [Mr. Cardin], for himself and Ms. 
     Landrieu, proposes an amendment numbered 3393 to amendment 
     No. 3395.

  The amendment is as follows:

                    (Purpose: To strike section 501)

       Strike section 501.

  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, this amendment is totally 
noncontroversial. In the bill, they increase the surety bond limits for 
small businesses from $2 million to $5 million. It was an amendment I 
worked with Senator Landrieu on in the Small Business Committee. It was 
included in the Recovery Act. It expired. It has been very successful. 
It has generated a lot more contracts than anticipated. Making the 
limit permanent has no cost.
  This amendment would strike the provision from this bill since it has 
already been included in the National Defense Authorization Act, which 
has passed this body at $6.5 million, made permanent. So there is no 
need to include this provision in the supplemental appropriations bill.
  I know of no controversy on this amendment. We do not need any debate 
time. I am hopeful we will clear this for a voice vote tomorrow.
  I wish to thank Senator Landrieu for her work and Senator Snowe on 
the Small Business Committee and thank Senator Mikulski for her work.
  The Small Business Administration's surety bond program provides a 
guarantee on surety bonds, which are issued by contractors to assure 
customers that contract work will be completed.
  The surety bond program gives small businesses critical support to 
secure work, which will be especially important during recovery and 
rebuilding efforts after Superstorm Sandy.
  The underlying bill contains a provision, requested by the 
administration, which would increase the maximum surety bond guaranteed 
by SBA from $2 million to $5 million.
  The Defense authorization conference agreement contains a provision 
that would raise the maximum to $6.5 million.
  The amendment strikes the provision in the supplemental related to 
SBA surety bonds in order to avoid conflicting with the House and 
Senate's conference agreement in the Defense authorization bill.
  This amendment is a simple but important technical fix supported by 
Chairwoman Landrieu and Ranking Member Snowe of the Small Business 
Committee.
  I urge my colleagues to support this amendment.
  Mr. TESTER addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, wait. Before the Senator from Montana 
speaks, why don't we voice vote the amendment now.
  Mr. CARDIN. Fine. I know of no further requests for time and I am 
prepared for a vote.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. If there is no further debate, the question is 
on agreeing to the amendment.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Would the Chair withhold?
  There seems to be--Mr. President, if we could have order, I think it 
would be helpful for us.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senate will come to order.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. The Senator from Maryland may proceed.
  Mr. CARDIN. I have no further debate. I am prepared to let it go on a 
voice vote.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there any further debate on the amendment?
  Mr. COBURN. Inquiry of the Chair, Mr. President.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. COBURN. It was my understanding we were going to have ordered 
votes tomorrow rather than this evening, and I would ask, through the 
Chair, the chairwoman of the committee if my understanding is correct.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Replying to the Senator from Oklahoma, for those 
amendments we know we have cleared on both sides of the aisle that we 
can do by voice votes or by consent, we are going to get those done 
this evening.
  Does the Senator have an objection to that?
  Mr. COBURN. I would on this particular--I think we ought to have a 
recorded vote on this. That would be my request.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Senator Cardin's amendment No. 3393 will be voted on 
tomorrow.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana.


                Amendment No. 3350 to Amendment No. 3395

  Mr. TESTER. Mr. President, I call up amendment No. 3350.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Montana [Mr. Tester], for himself, Mr. 
     Udall of Colorado, Mr. Udall of New Mexico, Mr. Wyden, Mr. 
     Baucus, and Mr. Johnson of South Dakota, proposes an 
     amendment numbered 3350 to amendment No. 3395.

  The amendment is as follows:

  (Purpose: To provide additional funds for wildland fire management)

       On page 76, between lines 4 and 5, insert the following:

                        wildland fire management

       For an additional amount for ``Wildland Fire Management'', 
     $653,000,000, to remain available until expended: Provided, 
     That such amount is designated by Congress as being for an 
     emergency requirement pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(A)(i) of 
     the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 
     (2 U.S.C. 901(b)(2)(A)(i)); Provided further, That, not later 
     than December 31, 2013, the Comptroller General of the United 
     States shall submit to the Committees on Appropriations of 
     the House of Representatives and the Senate a report on new 
     models or alterations in the model that may be used to better 
     project future wildfire suppression costs.

  Mr. TESTER. Mr. President, Senator Udall of Colorado and I are 
offering this amendment to provide the Forest Service with sufficient 
resources to meet the demands of wildfire fighting this fiscal year.
  Our amendment to the Sandy supplemental would close the gap between 
the budget request and the actual expected need for wildfire management 
this year. Over the last 15 years, the cost of wildfire suppression has 
increased fivefold, but the Forest Service's budget certainly has not. 
The reason we have had wildfire suppression increasing by fivefold is 
because the frequency and severity of fires have both increased.
  The Forest Service, instead, has had to borrow money set aside for 
nonfire purposes, cutting into important programs such as timber 
production and watershed restoration. Borrowing

[[Page S8430]]

against other accounts is occasionally unavoidable, but it is generally 
bad policy. We have a chance to avoid this situation by adopting my 
amendment No. 3350.
  The West experienced its worst fire season in decades this past year. 
Over 1 million acres burned in Montana and over 9 million acres burned 
across the country. Three States had major emergency disaster 
declarations due to fire. We cannot afford to get caught unprepared 
this coming summer. Nearly one-fifth of the West remains in extreme or 
exceptional drought, and over 60 percent of the High Plains remains in 
extreme or exceptional drought. Let's be prepared. Let's be 
responsible. I would urge a ``yes'' vote on this amendment tomorrow.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, I rise in support of amendment No. 3350 
proposed by Senator Tester. These funds are needed because the agency 
predicts it will spend more to fight these fires in fiscal year 2013, 
causing severe hardship on the agency.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Louisiana.


                Amendment No. 3415 to Amendment No. 3395

  Ms. LANDRIEU. Mr. President, I rise to discuss amendment No. 3415. It 
is my understanding there is no opposition to this amendment. We may be 
able to voice vote it tonight. But let me take 1 minute to explain it.
  This is a technical correction to an underlying provision that is 
already in the bill we will be voting for.
  In the current law, there is a perverse incentive for local 
governments, when they are recovering, to hire outside contractors as 
opposed to maybe working with the workers who are already on the 
payroll--firefighters and police officers. It was not intended to be 
that way. But because FEMA only reimburses for contractors and not for 
the local police or firefighters under certain circumstances, we 
believe and FEMA believes it is actually spending more money.
  So the essence of this amendment is to save money, being neutral in 
the law, so the local officials can make the best decisions whether 
they want to hire either contractors, if it makes sense, or their own 
people, if it makes sense, so the recovery can go more efficiently and, 
hopefully, save money.
  FEMA supports it. The firefighters support it. It is technical in 
nature, which is why I asked the chairwoman tonight if we could voice 
vote it. I do not think there is any opposition.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. I say to the Senator, we have been advised that we will 
not be voice voting amendments tonight.
  But I want to just comment that we support the Landrieu amendment No. 
3415, which clarifies the intent of section 609(e) of the pending 
amendment to provide FEMA reimbursements for the first responders. This 
amendment clarifies the intent that first responders can be reimbursed 
for wages during a disaster response. But it does not change the 
conditions of reimbursement that already aid an effective disaster 
response.
  We do want to reinforce that both the International Association of 
Fire Fighters and the International Association of Fire Chiefs support 
this amendment.
  At such time a vote is taken, I will urge a ``yes'' vote.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. Mr. President, I would like to call up the amendment, 
if I could. The staff reminds me I did not do that.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Louisiana [Ms. Landrieu] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 3415 to amendment No. 3395.

  The amendment is as follows:

  (Purpose: To clarify the provision relating to emergency protective 
                               measures)

       On page 51, strike lines 8 through 23 and insert the 
     following:
       ``(1) In general.--If the President declares a major 
     disaster or emergency for an area within the jurisdiction of 
     a State, tribal, or local government, the President may 
     reimburse the State, tribal, or local government for costs 
     relating to--
       ``(A) basic pay and benefits for permanent employees of the 
     State, tribal, or local government conducting emergency 
     protective measures under this section, if--
       ``(i) the work is not typically performed by the employees; 
     and
       ``(ii) the type of work may otherwise be carried out by 
     contract or agreement with private organizations, firms, or 
     individuals; or
       ``(B) overtime and hazardous duty compensation for 
     permanent employees of the State, tribal, or local government 
     conducting emergency protective measures under this section.
       ``(2) Overtime.--The guidelines for reimbursement for costs 
     under paragraph (1) shall ensure that no State, tribal, or 
     local government is denied reimbursement for overtime 
     payments that are required pursuant to the Fair Labor 
     Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 201 et seq.).
       ``(3) No effect on mutual aid pacts.--Nothing in this 
     subsection shall effect the ability of the President to 
     reimburse labor force expenses provided pursuant to an 
     authorized mutual aid pact.''.

  Ms. LANDRIEU. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that two 
letters--one from the International Association of Fire Chiefs and one 
from the International Association of Fire Fighters--be printed in the 
Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                                      International Association of


                                                  Fire Chiefs,

                                  Fairfax, Va., December 27, 2012.
     Hon. Mary Landrieu,
     Chairman, Subcommittee on Homeland Security, U.S. Senate 
         Committee on Appropriations, Dirksen Senate Office 
         Building, Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairman Landrieu: On behalf of the nearly 12,000 
     members of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, I 
     would like to express our support for S.A. 3415, an amendment 
     to the supplemental appropriations bill for the relief of 
     communities affected by Hurricane Sandy (H.R. 1). This 
     amendment is technical in nature, but serves an important 
     purpose.
       The national emergency response system is based on mutual 
     aid agreements in which neighboring fire departments help a 
     community that requires assistance in its response to a 
     disaster. These mutual aid agreements can be local-to-local, 
     intra-state, or inter-state. Many of these agreements include 
     provisions to ensure that the aiding jurisdictions will be 
     reimbursed for their emergency response activities. Because 
     many localities are facing shrinking emergency response 
     budgets, it is important that they be reimbursed soon after 
     they provide assistance through a mutual aid agreement.
       This amendment makes it clear that the reimbursement 
     provisions in H.R. 1 will not affect these mutual aid 
     agreements. The amendment also will ensure that local 
     jurisdictions receive some assistance for the extraordinary 
     measures that they take to provide aid to their citizens 
     during a disaster. In many cases, the local taxpayers cannot 
     afford these costs on their own.
       Thank you for offering this amendment that will help many 
     jurisdictions around the nation provide an effective response 
     to disasters in their communities. On behalf of the 
     leadership of America's fire and emergency services, I urge 
     the Senate to adopt this amendment.
           Sincerely,
                                         Chief Hank C. Clemmensen,
     President and Chairman of the Board.
                                  ____

                                      International Association of


                                                Fire Fighters,

                               Washington, DC., December 27, 2012.
     Hon. Mary Landrieu,
     U.S. Senate,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Senator Landrieu: On behalf of the nation's nearly 
     300,000 professional fire fighters and emergency medical 
     personnel, I am writing to express our support for your 
     amendment to the Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriation 
     which is scheduled for consideration by the full Senate.
       Super Storm Sandy jeopardized the safety of thousands of 
     Americans and required an extraordinary response from 
     emergency workers throughout the region. The costs associated 
     with this response cannot and should not be borne solely by 
     the taxpayers of the affected jurisdictions.
       Senate Amendment #3415 would ensure that municipalities are 
     eligible to seek reimbursement for costs associated with 
     emergency response operations directly related to Super Storm 
     Sandy. The amendment also builds in protections that prevent 
     federal tax dollars from being used for costs that would have 
     normally been incurred by state and local jurisdictions. This 
     careful balance serves the best interests of both communities 
     impacted by the storm and American taxpayers.
       We greatly appreciate your diligent efforts to address this 
     important issue, and look forward to working with you to see 
     S. Admt. 3415 become law.
           Sincerely,
                                                   Barry Kasinitz,
                                 Director of Governmental Affairs.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, I ask, through the Chair, if the 
chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee would like for me to begin 
calling up amendments.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Yes. I wish to thank the Senator from Oklahoma for 
being willing to debate these amendments

[[Page S8431]]

this evening. I know he has a pressing engagement, and he may proceed 
in whatever order he so chooses.
  Mr. COBURN. I thank the chairwoman.
  Mr. President, a little perspective before I offer these amendments.
  We have before us a $60 billion-plus bill. There is no question there 
is great need in response to the devastation that occurred from Sandy. 
But what the American people need to know as this bill goes through the 
Senate is this bill is not going to be paid for. There is no amendment 
that has been approved that will allow offsets for this bill.
  So as we clear this bill through the Senate--the $60-some billion we 
are going to clear--we are actually going to borrow that money. That is 
indisputable. I have spent the last 8 years outlining the waste, the 
duplication, and the fraud in the Federal Government. Those amendments 
were not made in order that would offset and actually pay for this by 
eliminating programs of the Federal Government that do not actually do 
anything to actually better the lives of Americans.
  I am very appreciative of the opportunity to offer these amendments. 
I would also note we could have done these last week had we had an open 
and moving amendment process. We would not be here today working on 
Sandy. We would have finished it last week, but we chose not to do 
that.


                Amendment No. 3369 to Amendment No. 3395

  Mr. President, I ask that amendment No. 3369 be called up.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Oklahoma [Mr. Coburn] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 3369 to amendment No. 3395.

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that reading of 
the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

(Purpose: To reduce the amount that triggers the requirement to notify 
Congress of the recipients of certain grants and to require publication 
                             of the notice)

       Strike section 1003 and insert the following:
       Sec. 1003.  None of the funds provided in this title to the 
     Department of Transportation or the Department of Housing and 
     Urban Development may be used to make a grant unless the 
     Secretary of such Department notifies the House and Senate 
     Committees on Appropriations and posts the notification on 
     the public website of that agency not less than 3 full 
     business days before either Department (or a modal 
     administration of either Department) announces the selection 
     of any project, State or locality to receive a grant award 
     totaling $500,000 or more.

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, this is a fairly straightforward 
amendment, and this is not to be construed as an amendment against the 
appropriators but, rather, an amendment for transparency.
  What the underlying bill states is that 3 days before any grants are 
made under this process that the Appropriations Committee will be 
notified--not the whole Congress, not the American people but the 
Appropriations Committee. The reason for that is so the Members of the 
Appropriations Committee can then put out the information to the 
constituencies who are going to benefit from the grants that come 
through this.
  Actually, the American people need to know the grants that are going 
to be granted through this process, the money that is going to be 
spent. So all this amendment does is change it to where the American 
people get notified of the grants that are going to be placed as a 
result of this bill.
  This is about good government. This is about transparency. This is 
about letting all the Americans, who are actually going to pay for 
these grants, know what is going on, when it is going on, and how it is 
going on, who is going to get the money, and how much money they are 
going to get.
  It is straightforward, very simple. It just says let everybody know--
not a select group of Senators or House Members but everybody in this 
country who is footing the bill ought to know where this money is going 
to be spent. They ought to know it at the same time anybody else knows. 
It is just a transparency amendment so we all know where the money is 
spent, and we know it at the same time.


                Amendment No. 3371 to Amendment No. 3395

  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that amendment be set aside 
and call up amendment No. 3371.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Oklahoma [Mr. Coburn] for himself and Mr. 
     McCain, proposes an amendment numbered 3371 to amendment No. 
     3395.

  The amendment is as follows:

 (Purpose: To ensure that Federal disaster assistance is available for 
           the most severe disasters, and for other purposes)

       At the appropriate place insert the following:
       Sec. 52007.  (a) Not later than 180 days after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal 
     Emergency Management Agency (in this section referred to as 
     the ``Administrator'') shall review the public assistance per 
     capita damage indicator and shall initiate rulemaking to 
     update such damage indicator. Such review and rulemaking 
     process shall ensure that the per capita indicator is fully 
     adjusted for annual inflation for all years since 1986, by 
     not later than January 1, 2016.
        (b) Not later than 365 days after the date of enactment of 
     this Act, the Administrator shall--
       (1) submit a report to the committees of jurisdiction in 
     Congress on the initiative to modernize the per capita damage 
     indicator; and
       (2) present recommendations for new measures to assess the 
     capacities of States to respond and recover to disasters, 
     including threat and hazard identification and risk 
     assessments by States and total taxable resources available 
     within States for disaster recovery and response.
       (c) As used in this section, the term ``State'' means--
       (1) a State;
       (2) the District of Columbia;
       (3) the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico;
       (4) any other territory or possession of the United States; 
     and
       (5) any land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe, as 
     defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and 
     Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).

  Mr. COBURN. This is another good government amendment.
  One of the things that has happened since FEMA was set up is that 
what has occurred has created a disparity between the States. Let me 
outline, in the last 6 years the State with the most disasters--most of 
you would not realize--is Oklahoma. We have had 25 certified disasters 
in my State.
  Now, how did that happen? It has happened because the per capita 
damage calculation has not been updated through inflation on a regular 
basis. So what is the effect of that? The effect of that is a State 
such as New York or California or Texas can have exactly the same 
disaster as Oklahoma, but it will not be declared a disaster because 
Oklahoma has less than 4 million people but we have X amount of 
dollars, but because we have such a smaller population, we qualify for 
a disaster declaration, whereas if the same thing happened in any of 
those three larger populated States, they would not qualify.
  So this is actually an amendment that will not be beneficial to my 
State but is beneficial to us as American citizens to create equality 
in how we describe and how we grant disaster declarations.
  So all I am doing is saying that between now and 2016, FEMA has to 
update. It will not have any application to what we are doing today, 
but it is a good-government amendment so that we will actually have a 
uniform process throughout the country so that disaster declarations 
are appropriately granted to States that appropriately need the Federal 
Government's help.
  Remember, our definition on this is when we have overwhelmed local 
resources. That is the key. Then we use a per capita damage assessment 
to grant the declaration of emergency. So what I am trying to do is to 
create some clarity and also equality among the States so that 
everybody is treated equally. Right now, they are not. Quite frankly, 
my State is much advantaged, to the detriment of the larger States, 
because of our lower population, with the same amount of damage.
  I would ask for concurrence on that amendment.


                Amendment No. 3382 to Amendment No. 3395

  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that amendment 3382 be called 
up.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the pending amendment is 
set aside.
  The clerk will report.

[[Page S8432]]

  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Oklahoma [Mr. Coburn] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 3382 to amendment No. 3395.

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading 
of the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

  (Purpose: To require merit-based and competitive awards of disaster 
                          recovery contracts)

       After section 1105, insert the following:
       Sec. 1106. (a) Prohibition on Use of Funds for Future 
     Disaster Recovery Contracts Not Competitively Awarded.--
     Amounts appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act 
     may not be obligated or expended for any contract awarded 
     after the date of the enactment of this Act in support of 
     disaster recovery if such contract was awarded using other 
     than competitive procedures as otherwise required by chapter 
     33 of title 41, United States Code, section 2304 of title 10, 
     United States Code, and the Federal Acquisition Regulation.
       (b) Current No-bid Contracts.--
       (1) Review of contracts.--Not later than 60 days after the 
     date of the enactment of this Act, Federal agencies shall 
     conduct a review of all contracts to support disaster 
     recovery that were awarded before the date of the enactment 
     of this Act using other than competitive procedures in order 
     to determine the following:
       (A) Whether opportunities exist to achieve cost savings 
     under such contracts.
       (B) Whether the requirements being met by such contracts 
     can be met using a new or existing contract awarded through 
     competitive procedures.
       (2) Competitive award of contracts.--If a Federal agency 
     determines pursuant to the review under paragraph (1) that 
     either subparagraph of that paragraph applies to a contract 
     awarded using other than competitive procedures, the agency 
     shall take appropriate actions with respect to the contract, 
     whether to achieve cost savings under the contract, to use a 
     new or existing contract awarded through competitive 
     procedures to meet applicable requirements, or otherwise to 
     discontinue of the use of the contract.

  Mr. COBURN. This is an amendment some people do not like, I will 
grant you that. But I have some specific examples that are going on in 
New Jersey right now on why this amendment is needed. We have multiple 
contracts that were available that could have been utilized in New 
Jersey for debris removal. The company that got the contract actually 
is going to charge in excess of 20 percent more to the Federal 
Government for doing the same thing another competitive bid would have 
done. So we are going to spend at least 20 percent more on the contract 
for debris removal in New Jersey than we need to. That is because 
competitive bidding was not a requirement of Federal funds.
  Here is some history. During Katrina, we know that $11 billion of 
U.S. taxpayer money was either defrauded or wasted. Let me say that 
again--$11 billion. Let me give the prime example of that. The Corps of 
Engineers was paid $62 per cubic yard to manage debris removal in 
Katrina. Through five layers of contracting, the people who actually 
did the debris removal in Katrina were paid $9 a cubic yard. So we paid 
six times what it actually cost to get the debris removal done because 
we did not have competitive bidding and we had multiple layers coming 
from the Corps of Engineers to national contractors, to regional 
contractors, to local contractors, to the actual guy with a backhoe and 
with a scoop and a dump truck. So we paid five to six times what it 
should have cost to actually get the debris removal taken care of. The 
same thing is going on in New Jersey right now. Right now.
  So requiring competitive bidding--can there be exceptions to it? Yes. 
Are there times when you cannot do that? Yes. But as a general rule, 
especially since we are borrowing this money, we ought to be the best 
stewards of it that we can be. All this says is that we ought to 
require competitive bidding on these types of contracts to make sure we 
get value.
  Why did New Jersey choose the more expensive contractor? Because the 
Federal Government is paying for it. This was a contract that was set 
that had been executed once in Connecticut. Because the Federal 
Government is paying for it, there is less decisionmaking about 
prudence and efficiency and effectiveness because there is not State 
money paying for it.
  So what has happened is what was easiest, what was well-connected, 
what was well-heeled got the contract, and the one that would have cost 
considerably less did not get the contract. I would be happy to 
demonstrate for any of my colleagues showing them the difference 
between these two contracts on debris removal in New Jersey. So the 
same thing that happened in Katrina we are not learning from.
  I agree that the debris needs to be picked up. We need to do it 
expeditiously. We had great opportunity to do that with both 
contractors, except we are going to pay a lot more because we chose to 
go a way that greased the sleds for those who were well connected.


                Amendment No. 3383 to Amendment No. 3395

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that that 
amendment be set aside and amendment No. 3383 be called up.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Oklahoma [Mr. Coburn] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 3383 to Amendment No. 3395.

  Mr. COBURN. I ask unanimous consent that the reading of the amendment 
be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

  (Purpose: To strike a provision relating to certain studies of the 
                          Corps of Engineers)

       On page 16, strike lines 17 through 20 and insert 
     ``Provided''.

  Mr. COBURN. This amendment attacks one of the features of this bill 
that I think steals from the authorizing committees the authority they 
need to have on authorizing projects. Let me quote the language in the 
bill:

       Provided further that any project that is under study by 
     the Corps of Engineers for reducing flooding and storm damage 
     risks in the future and that the Corps studies demonstrate 
     will cost effectively reduce those risks is hereby 
     authorized.

  With one sentence, we have just taken away the total capability of 
the authorizing committee to hold the Corps accountable. All I am 
saying is that we at least ought to have authorizers say whether this 
is a priority. It does not mean they need to stop it, but they ought to 
at least be informed, and the authorization of that ought to go through 
a committee.
  In this bill, 64 percent of the money is not going to even be started 
to be spent until 2 years from now, so there is plenty of time for us 
to create the authorization process rather than to deem the Corps of 
Engineers their own order and desire in terms of projects they wish to 
do. It is about good government. It is about good input. It is about 
good oversight. Allowing the Corps just to deem something authorized 
without the input of the appropriate committee of this Senate I think 
is inherently wrong and potentially very wasteful.


                Amendment No. 3368 to Amendment No. 3395

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that that 
amendment be set aside.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. COBURN. I ask unanimous consent that Amendment No. 3368 be called 
up.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Oklahoma [Mr. Coburn] proposes an 
     Amendment numbered 3368 to Amendment No. 3395.

  Mr. COBURN. I ask unanimous consent that the reading of the amendment 
be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

  (Purpose: To clarify cost-sharing requirements for certain Corps of 
                         Engineers activities)

       In title IV, under the heading ``construction (including 
     transfer of funds)'' under the heading ``Corps of Engineers-
     Civil'' under the heading ``DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY'' under 
     the heading ``DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE-CIVIL'' strike ``Provided 
     further, That cost sharing for implementation of any projects 
     using these funds shall be 90 percent Federal and 10 percent 
     non-Federal exclusive of LERRDs:'' and insert ``Provided 
     further, That the Secretary shall determine the Federal and 
     non-Federal cost share for implementing any project using 
     these funds in accordance with section 103 of the Water 
     Resources Development Act of 1986 (33 U.S.C. 2213):''.

  Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, the Sandy supplemental bill provides the

[[Page S8433]]

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers $3.5 billion in funding for new 
construction projects. Of that, $3 million from this account is 
directed toward future mitigation projects, future flood risks for 
areas associated with large-scale flood and storm events, and areas 
along the Atlantic coast within the boundaries of the North Atlantic 
Division of the Corps that were affected by Hurricane Sandy.
  The legislation also increases the Federal cost share for these 
projects that are funded with this appropriation. It changes it from 65 
percent to 90 percent. The purpose of this amendment is to bring that 
back to 65 percent. It is not about being a miser. It is not about 
wanting to save money. It is about prudence. It is about sound 
judgment. It is about common sense.
  What do we know from the 1988 Stafford Act? Here is what we know. 
What we know is that when we changed the cost share to an appropriate 
level so that we did not get things done on the Federal Government's, 
the taxpayers' dime without significant participation of local input, 
what the studies show is that during that 1-year period, the Federal 
Government saved $3 billion because projects did not get funded that 
were not priorities because of the 65 percent Federal contribution and 
the 35-percent cost share. So what this does is reintroduce the 65-
percent Federal payment and the 35-percent cost share to do that. 
Again, most of these projects are not going to start until 2015. So 
priorities are important.
  So we are borrowing $60 billion--and this is just the first bill, I 
am told, and I am sure we are going to have to spend more, but 
shouldn't we be more prudent with how we spend dollars that are going 
to be borrowed against our children's future? All this says is revert 
it back to what has been done.
  The second point I would make is that this is the first time in 
recent history where we have said--the people of Louisiana had a 65-
percent cost share to the Federal Government, the people of Texas, the 
people of Mississippi, the people of Alabama, and all of a sudden, we 
are now going to say: No, that does not apply to the people in the 
Northeast. So it is unfair to the other areas that had major 
catastrophes that now all of a sudden, in time of extremis in terms of 
our debt and deficit, we are going to all of a sudden change that. Why 
are we changing that, especially since most of this money is not going 
to be spent--is not even going to be initialized--for at least 2 years?


         Amendment No. 3370, as Modified, to Amendment No. 3395

  Mr. COBURN. I ask unanimous consent that that amendment be set aside 
and amendment No. 3370 be called up.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Casey.) Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Oklahoma [Mr. Coburn], for himself and Mr. 
     McCain, proposes an amendment numbered 3370, as modified, to 
     amendment No. 3395.

  Mr. COBURN. I ask unanimous consent that the reading of the amendment 
be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

       At the appropriate place, insert the following:

     SEC. 1106. PROHIBITION ON EMERGENCY SPENDING FOR PERSONS 
                   HAVING SERIOUS DELINQUENT TAX DEBTS.

       (a) Definition of Seriously Delinquent Tax Debt.--In this 
     section:
       (1) In general.--The term ``seriously delinquent tax debt'' 
     means an outstanding debt under the Internal Revenue Code of 
     1986 for which a notice of lien has been filed in public 
     records pursuant to section 6323 of that Code.
       (2) Exclusions.--The term ``seriously delinquent tax debt'' 
     does not include--
       (A) a debt that is being paid in a timely manner pursuant 
     to an agreement under section 6159 or 7122 of Internal 
     Revenue Code of 1986; and
       (B) a debt with respect to which a collection due process 
     hearing under section 6330 of that Code, or relief under 
     subsection (a), (b), or (f) of section 6015 of that Code, is 
     requested or pending.
       (b) Prohibition.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
     this Act or an amendment made by this Act, none of the 
     amounts appropriated by or otherwise made available under 
     this Act may be used to make payments to an individual or 
     entity who has a seriously delinquent tax debt during the 
     pendency of such seriously delinquent tax debt.

     SEC. 1107. PROHIBITION ON EMERGENCY SPENDING FOR DECEASED 
                   INDIVIDUALS.

       None of the amounts appropriated by or otherwise made 
     available under this Act may be used for any person who is 
     not alive when the amounts are made available. This does not 
     apply to funeral costs.

     SEC. 1108. PROHIBITION ON EMERGENCY SPENDING FOR FISHERIES.

       None of the funds appropriated or made available in this 
     Act may be used for any commercial fishery that is located 
     more than 50 miles outside of the boundaries of a major 
     disaster area, as declared by the President under the Robert 
     T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 
     U.S.C. 5170 et seq.), for Hurricane Sandy.

  Mr. COBURN. Per the further request of Senator Schumer, I put a 
division in this amendment so we would have two votes on it, separating 
out the fisheries. Because he felt that was important, I was glad to 
accommodate his needs.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Would the Senator yield?
  Mr. COBURN. I would be happy to yield.
  Mr. SCHUMER. I thank the Senator. The Senator was gracious. There are 
two separate issues here, one of which I think most of us on this side 
would accept. The other we could not. To lump them together would have 
tied two issues together that were not fair. The Senator from Oklahoma 
was extremely gracious. He said right away: We will divide them. He did 
not have to do that. I very much appreciate that.
  Mr. COBURN. I am happy to do that. Let me tell you what crux of this 
amendment is. When we have disasters, we have real, legitimate needs. 
We have families who are hurting. We have businesses that are belly-up. 
We have homes that are destroyed. We have lives that are never going to 
be put back together no matter how much money we spend.
  But there are people in our country who do not play by the rules. 
This amendment is specifically designed to not grant any of this $60 
billion to true tax cheats. That does not mean something that is under 
discussion or under litigation; that is the ones who have already been 
deemed tax cheats. And the second thing is to not pay money to people 
who are deceased already.
  What did we learn from Katrina? We learned that nearly $1 billion of 
Katrina money went to people who owed billions of dollars to the 
Federal Government. These were not disputable facts, these were real 
facts. We also learned that we spent significantly over $100 million 
giving grants and money to people who were deceased. So all we are 
saying is, on this bill, let's learn from our mistakes and let's not do 
the same thing.
  So this puts a prohibition on money going to people who have a 
legitimate, adjudicated claim by the IRS that they are not paying taxes 
that are due to the Federal Government; that they, in fact, will not 
participate because they did not participate.
  The second thing is if, in fact, you really don't exist any more in 
life, you really shouldn't be collecting money off our kids to pay for 
something that isn't a real need.
  The final point of it is to really focus this on the Sandy 
supplemental, and that is the division on which we will have a separate 
vote, is for funding fisheries. I have no problem with funding 
fisheries. I have a big problem with borrowing from my kids to fund 
those very fisheries.
  It is about priorities. We refuse to make priorities, and now that we 
have a bill that we don't have to cut spending anywhere from--we are 
going to borrow it all--we decide that we are going to add everything 
into it we can. I am not saying there is not a need in Alaska or on the 
west coast for this. What I am saying is there is a need for us to 
start making choices. The choice has to be not whether we will pay for 
it, it is what is a lower priority than funding the fishery? We tend to 
want to not want to make those choices. I am saying, in this amendment, 
that we ought to have to.
  We will see what the will of the Senate is. I probably already know 
the answer to it. But the fact is that all we are doing is stealing 
from our kids. All of you know I can document over $200 billion a year 
in duplication, fraud, and waste in the Federal Government. We are not 
offering any of that to eliminate to be able to pay for this.
  So if we are going to do the $150 million for fisheries, ought we not 
to cut spending somewhere else to pay for it? That is the whole point 
of this.
  I would ask unanimous consent that amendment be set aside.

[[Page S8434]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. COBURN. I believe I am through, Mr. Chairman, and I would make 
the following point--
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Again, I wish to thank the Senator from Oklahoma for 
offering all those amendments.
  I would like to comment on Coburn 3370, division 1 on the tax cheats. 
I certainly want to compliment him on that amendment. Every single 
Senator wants to prevent tax cheaters from receiving any funding in 
this bill. I am for all of those prohibitions on tax cheats. I carry a 
similar provision in my usual customary Commerce-Justice bill.
  The Senator from Oklahoma also was very tentative about modifying it, 
but he still covers the tax cheats, and also dead people can't get 
Federal funds. The Senator modified it to cover funeral expenses. But 
we are also being told that this--by the Finance Committee--that this 
amendment is not a blue slip issue.
  I support the Senator's amendment, and if it is agreeable with the 
Senator from Oklahoma, on this side, we would like to take his 
amendment tonight.
  Mr. COBURN. I am happy to have you take it. I have no objection.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Now on the fisheries part, we don't take the fisheries 
part.
  Mr. COBURN. I understand that.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. I oppose the division 2, the fisheries amendment. I 
understand the Senator's intention, but his point is that he tries to 
say that fishery disaster funding should be for communities affected 
primarily by Stafford Act requirements. The Stafford Act covers FEMA-
certified disasters. So in order to get help from FEMA, which is 
governed by the Stafford Act, it has to be certified by the President.
  Fisheries are different because fisheries are covered under an agency 
called NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency. It is under 
the Department of Commerce. So if you think you have a fisheries 
disaster, you take that to the Secretary of Commerce, who has an 
explicit criteria in order to qualify. You just can't say: Well, I 
don't have the fish I used to. Oh, my lobster pots are a little rusty. 
No. You have to have real criteria that you have been hit. Therefore, 
you cannot get fisheries assistance unless a fishery disaster has been 
declared by the Secretary of Commerce.
  Fishery disasters are necessary and urgent. Coastal fisheries, our 
coastal communities--our fisheries are part of their identity, and they 
are certainly part of our economy. They certainly are in my State. And 
those are the disasters that are covered here. So I hope the amendment 
of the Senator from Oklahoma is defeated.
  His other amendments, I could comment upon, but I didn't know if the 
gentlelady from Louisiana, who chairs the Subcommittee on Homeland 
Security, of which FEMA is a member--I presume she would want to 
comment on the Senator's amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Louisiana.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. Mr. President, I would like to just say a word broadly 
in response to Senator Coburn's statement and his offering of several 
amendments to substantially in some cases and in other cases not so 
substantially change this bill.
  I thank the Senator from Michigan for yielding just a minute, and I 
know the Senator from New York wants to respond as well.
  Generally, I would like to say that I know the Senator from Oklahoma 
is very sincere. Literally no one in this Chamber has worked harder to 
try to get more reform and eliminate duplication. But I just wish to 
say one thing in response. When we have emergencies in this country, 
like when we go to war, no one comes to the floor to debate how we are 
going to offset $1.4 trillion worth of expense for two wars, Iraq and 
Afghanistan. When we came to the floor a couple of years ago to vote 
for tax cuts, many of us claimed and said at the time there would not 
be enough money to cover them, we had to borrow money to do that. The 
other side sat quietly and didn't say a word. Why is it that when 
Americans--when a building is blown up in Oklahoma or when the levees 
break in Louisiana or when the worst storm in 50 years comes, we have 
to debate an offset?
  Now, this bill is not going to be offset; it is going to pass, I 
hope. And I understand Senator Coburn's comments, but I want to say 
that when Americans are hurting, people can recover if we give them the 
adequate response early enough in the disaster.
  Secondly, and then I am going to sit down, the thresholds, the 
debris, and the contracting--there are some legitimate concerns, but 
there are reforms in the underlying bill that will help to do better 
contracting, better debris removal, and more efficient cleanup and 
recovery after a disaster.
  So I ask the Senator, please, I understand we have a big budget 
issue, but this is not the time to debate the cost of this bill. What 
it is time to debate is what should be in it and what shouldn't, and I 
think the Senator from New York has more specifics about some of the 
recommendations.
  But I thank the chairlady from Maryland for organizing this effort 
tonight, and I will submit more for the record in the morning.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York.
  Mr. SCHUMER. I have a lot I want to say in reference to my good 
friend from Oklahoma, but I know my colleagues from Oregon and Michigan 
have a time commitment, so I am just going to ask unanimous consent 
that they be allowed to offer their amendment and then I, using our 
time on this amendment.
  Mr. COBURN. I would object to that at this point in time. I would 
have liked to have had 5 minutes. I have to be somewhere at 7:30. I 
came down here, but I wanted to make some points before I leave. I was 
trying to sum up.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Then I will go after the Senator from Oklahoma as well.
  Mr. COBURN. That is fine.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Did I inadvertently interrupt you?
  Mr. COBURN. That is fine. I have to leave, but I want to make some 
points.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Let me ask unanimous consent that first, for 5 minutes, 
the Senators from Michigan and Oregon introduce their amendment, then 
the Senator from Oklahoma sums up, and then that I be given time to 
rebut their amendments.
  Mr. MENENDEZ. Reserving the right to object--I am not going to 
object, but I would like to amend the request so that I would be 
recognized after him.
  Mr. SCHUMER. No problem.
  Mr. MENENDEZ. After the Senator from New York.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


     Amendment No. 3367 to Amendment No. 3395, as Further Modified

  Mr. MERKLEY. Mr. President, I call up amendment No. 3367 and ask that 
it be further modified with the changes at the desk.
  Mr. MERKLEY. Mr. President, I ask that Senator Blunt be added as a 
cosponsor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will report the amendment, as further modified.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Oregon [Mr. Merkley] proposes an amendment 
     numbered 3367, for himself, Mrs. Stabenow, Mrs. McCaskill, 
     Mr. Baucus, Mr. Wyden, Mr. Franken, Mr. Johnson of South 
     Dakota, Mr. Udall, and Mr. Blunt, as further modified.

  The amendment is as follows:

       At the end of title I, add the following:

                    GENERAL PROVISIONS--THIS CHAPTER

     SEC. 101. SUPPLEMENTAL AGRICULTURAL DISASTER ASSISTANCE 
                   PROGRAMS.

       (a) Definitions.--In this section:
       (1) Eligible producer on a farm.--
       (A) In general.--The term ``eligible producer on a farm'' 
     means an individual or entity described in subparagraph (B) 
     that, as determined by the Secretary, assumes the production 
     and market risks associated with the agricultural production 
     of crops or livestock.
       (B) Description.--An individual or entity referred to in 
     subparagraph (A) is--
       (i) a citizen of the United States;
       (ii) a resident alien;
       (iii) a partnership of citizens of the United States; or
       (iv) a corporation, limited liability corporation, or other 
     farm organizational structure organized under State law.
       (2) Farm.--
       (A) In general.--The term ``farm'' means, in relation to an 
     eligible producer on a farm, the total of all crop acreage in 
     all counties that is planted or intended to be planted for 
     harvest, for sale, or on-farm livestock feeding (including 
     native grassland intended for haying) by the eligible 
     producer.
       (B) Aquaculture.--In the case of aquaculture, the term 
     ``farm'' means, in relation

[[Page S8435]]

     to an eligible producer on a farm, all fish being produced in 
     all counties that are intended to be harvested for sale by 
     the eligible producer.
       (C) Honey.--In the case of honey, the term ``farm'' means, 
     in relation to an eligible producer on a farm, all bees and 
     beehives in all counties that are intended to be harvested 
     for a honey crop for sale by the eligible producer.
       (3) Farm-raised fish.--The term ``farm-raised fish'' means 
     any aquatic species that is propagated and reared in a 
     controlled environment.
       (4) Livestock.--The term ``livestock'' includes--
       (A) cattle (including dairy cattle);
       (B) bison;
       (C) poultry;
       (D) sheep;
       (E) swine;
       (F) horses; and
       (G) other livestock, as determined by the Secretary.
       (b) Livestock Indemnity Payments.--
       (1) Payments.--For fiscal year 2012, the Secretary shall 
     use such sums as are necessary of the funds of the Commodity 
     Credit Corporation to make livestock indemnity payments to 
     eligible producers on farms that have incurred livestock 
     death losses in excess of the normal mortality, as determined 
     by the Secretary, due to--
       (A) attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the 
     Federal Government or protected by Federal law, including 
     wolves; or
       (B) adverse weather, as determined by the Secretary, during 
     the calendar year, including losses due to hurricanes, 
     floods, blizzards, disease, wildfires, extreme heat, and 
     extreme cold.
       (2) Payment rates.--Indemnity payments to an eligible 
     producer on a farm under paragraph (1) shall be made at a 
     rate of 65 percent of the market value of the applicable 
     livestock on the day before the date of death of the 
     livestock, as determined by the Secretary.
       (3) Special rule for payments made due to disease.--The 
     Secretary shall ensure that payments made to an eligible 
     producer under paragraph (1) are not made for the same 
     livestock losses for which compensation is provided pursuant 
     to section 10407(d) of the Animal Health Protection Act (7 
     U.S.C. 8306(d)).
       (c) Livestock Forage Disaster Program.--
       (1) Establishment.--There is established a livestock forage 
     disaster program to provide 1 source for livestock forage 
     disaster assistance for weather-related forage losses, as 
     determined by the Secretary, by combining--
       (A) the livestock forage assistance functions of--
       (i) the noninsured crop disaster assistance program 
     established by section 196 of the Federal Agriculture 
     Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 7333); and
       (ii) the emergency assistance for livestock, honey bees, 
     and farm-raised fish program under section 531(e) of the 
     Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1531(e)) (as in 
     existence on the day before the date of enactment of this 
     Act); and
       (B) the livestock forage disaster program under section 
     531(d) of the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1531(d)) 
     (as in existence on the day before the date of enactment of 
     this Act).
       (2) Definitions.--In this subsection:
       (A) Covered livestock.--
       (i) In general.--Except as provided in clause (ii), the 
     term ``covered livestock'' means livestock of an eligible 
     livestock producer that, during the 60 days prior to the 
     beginning date of an eligible forage loss, as determined by 
     the Secretary, the eligible livestock producer--

       (I) owned;
       (II) leased;
       (III) purchased;
       (IV) entered into a contract to purchase;
       (V) was a contract grower; or
       (VI) sold or otherwise disposed of due to an eligible 
     forage loss during--

       (aa) the current production year; or
       (bb) subject to paragraph (4)(B)(ii), 1 or both of the 2 
     production years immediately preceding the current production 
     year.
       (ii) Exclusion.--The term ``covered livestock'' does not 
     include livestock that were or would have been in a feedlot, 
     on the beginning date of the eligible forage loss, as a part 
     of the normal business operation of the eligible livestock 
     producer, as determined by the Secretary.
       (B) Drought monitor.--The term ``drought monitor'' means a 
     system for classifying drought severity according to a range 
     of abnormally dry to exceptional drought, as defined by the 
     Secretary.
       (C) Eligible forage loss.--The term ``eligible forage 
     loss'' means 1 or more forage losses that occur due to 
     weather-related conditions, including drought, flood, 
     blizzard, hail, excessive moisture, hurricane, and fire, 
     occurring during the normal grazing period, as determined by 
     the Secretary, if the forage--
       (i) is grown on land that is native or improved pastureland 
     with permanent vegetative cover; or
       (ii) is a crop planted specifically for the purpose of 
     providing grazing for covered livestock of an eligible 
     livestock producer.
       (D) Eligible livestock producer.--
       (i) In general.--The term ``eligible livestock producer'' 
     means an eligible producer on a farm that--

       (I) is an owner, cash or share lessee, or contract grower 
     of covered livestock that provides the pastureland or grazing 
     land, including cash-leased pastureland or grazing land, for 
     the covered livestock;
       (II) provides the pastureland or grazing land for covered 
     livestock, including cash-leased pastureland or grazing land 
     that is physically located in a county affected by an 
     eligible forage loss;
       (III) certifies the eligible forage loss; and
       (IV) meets all other eligibility requirements established 
     under this subsection.

       (ii) Exclusion.--The term ``eligible livestock producer'' 
     does not include an owner, cash or share lessee, or contract 
     grower of livestock that rents or leases pastureland or 
     grazing land owned by another person on a rate-of-gain basis.
       (E) Normal carrying capacity.--The term ``normal carrying 
     capacity'', with respect to each type of grazing land or 
     pastureland in a county, means the normal carrying capacity, 
     as determined under paragraph (4)(D)(i), that would be 
     expected from the grazing land or pastureland for livestock 
     during the normal grazing period, in the absence of an 
     eligible forage loss that diminishes the production of the 
     grazing land or pastureland.
       (F) Normal grazing period.--The term ``normal grazing 
     period'', with respect to a county, means the normal grazing 
     period during the calendar year for the county, as determined 
     under paragraph (4)(D)(i).
       (3) Program.--For fiscal year 2012, the Secretary shall use 
     such sums as are necessary of the funds of the Commodity 
     Credit Corporation to provide compensation under paragraphs 
     (4) through (6), as determined by the Secretary for eligible 
     forage losses affecting covered livestock of eligible 
     livestock producers.
       (4) Assistance for eligible forage losses due to drought 
     conditions.--
       (A) Eligible forage losses.--
       (i) In general.--An eligible livestock producer of covered 
     livestock may receive assistance under this paragraph for 
     eligible forage losses that occur due to drought on land 
     that--

       (I) is native or improved pastureland with permanent 
     vegetative cover; or
       (II) is planted to a crop planted specifically for the 
     purpose of providing grazing for covered livestock.

       (ii) Exclusions.--An eligible livestock producer may not 
     receive assistance under this paragraph for eligible forage 
     losses that occur on land used for haying or grazing under 
     the conservation reserve program established under subchapter 
     B of chapter 1 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food 
     Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3831 et seq.), unless the 
     land is grassland eligible for the grassland reserve program 
     established under subchapter D of chapter 2 of subtitle D of 
     title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3838n 
     et seq.).
       (B) Monthly payment rate.--
       (i) In general.--Except as provided in clause (ii), the 
     payment rate for assistance for 1 month under this paragraph 
     shall, in the case of drought, be equal to 60 percent of the 
     lesser of--

       (I) the monthly feed cost for all covered livestock owned 
     or leased by the eligible livestock producer, as determined 
     under subparagraph (C); or
       (II) the monthly feed cost calculated by using the normal 
     carrying capacity of the eligible grazing land of the 
     eligible livestock producer.

       (ii) Partial compensation.--In the case of an eligible 
     livestock producer that sold or otherwise disposed of covered 
     livestock due to drought conditions in 1 or both of the 2 
     production years immediately preceding the current production 
     year, as determined by the Secretary, the payment rate shall 
     be 80 percent of the payment rate otherwise calculated in 
     accordance with clause (i).
       (C) Monthly feed cost.--
       (i) In general.--The monthly feed cost shall equal the 
     product obtained by multiplying--

       (I) 30 days;
       (II) a payment quantity that is equal to the feed grain 
     equivalent, as determined under clause (ii); and
       (III) a payment rate that is equal to the corn price per 
     pound, as determined under clause (iii).

       (ii) Feed grain equivalent.--For purposes of clause 
     (i)(II), the feed grain equivalent shall equal--

       (I) in the case of an adult beef cow, 15.7 pounds of corn 
     per day; or
       (II) in the case of any other type of weight of livestock, 
     an amount determined by the Secretary that represents the 
     average number of pounds of corn per day necessary to feed 
     the livestock.

       (iii) Corn price per pound.--For purposes of clause 
     (i)(III), the corn price per pound shall equal the quotient 
     obtained by dividing--

       (I) the higher of--

       (aa) the national average corn price per bushel for the 12-
     month period immediately preceding March 1 of the year for 
     which the disaster assistance is calculated; or
       (bb) the national average corn price per bushel for the 24-
     month period immediately preceding that March 1; by

       (II) 56.

       (D) Normal grazing period and drought monitor intensity.--
       (i) FSA county committee determinations.--

       (I) In general.--The Secretary shall determine the normal 
     carrying capacity and normal grazing period for each type of 
     grazing land or pastureland in the county served by the 
     applicable Farm Service Agency committee.

[[Page S8436]]

       (II) Changes.--No change to the normal carrying capacity or 
     normal grazing period established for a county under 
     subclause (I) shall be made unless the change is requested by 
     the appropriate State and county Farm Service Agency 
     committees.

       (ii) Drought intensity.--

       (I) D2.--An eligible livestock producer that owns or leases 
     grazing land or pastureland that is physically located in a 
     county that is rated by the U.S. Drought Monitor as having a 
     D2 (severe drought) intensity in any area of the county for 
     at least 8 consecutive weeks during the normal grazing period 
     for the county, as determined by the Secretary, shall be 
     eligible to receive assistance under this paragraph in an 
     amount equal to 1 monthly payment using the monthly payment 
     rate determined under subparagraph (B).
       (II) D3.--An eligible livestock producer that owns or 
     leases grazing land or pastureland that is physically located 
     in a county that is rated by the U.S. Drought Monitor as 
     having at least a D3 (extreme drought) intensity in any area 
     of the county at any time during the normal grazing period 
     for the county, as determined by the Secretary, shall be 
     eligible to receive assistance under this paragraph--

       (aa) in an amount equal to 3 monthly payments using the 
     monthly payment rate determined under subparagraph (B);
       (bb) if the county is rated as having a D3 (extreme 
     drought) intensity in any area of the county for at least 4 
     weeks during the normal grazing period for the county, or is 
     rated as having a D4 (exceptional drought) intensity in any 
     area of the county at any time during the normal grazing 
     period, in an amount equal to 4 monthly payments using the 
     monthly payment rate determined under subparagraph (B); or
       (cc) if the county is rated as having a D4 (exceptional 
     drought) intensity in any area of the county for at least 4 
     weeks during the normal grazing period, in an amount equal to 
     5 monthly payments using the monthly rate determined under 
     subparagraph (B).
       (iii) Annual payment based on drought conditions determined 
     by means other than the u.s. drought monitor.--

       (I) In general.--An eligible livestock producer that owns 
     grazing land or pastureland that is physically located in a 
     county that has experienced on average, over the preceding 
     calendar year, precipitation levels that are 50 percent or 
     more below normal levels, according to sufficient 
     documentation as determined by the Secretary, may be 
     eligible, subject to a determination by the Secretary, to 
     receive assistance under this paragraph in an amount equal to 
     not more than 1 monthly payment using the monthly payment 
     rate under subparagraph (B).
       (II) No duplicate payment.--A producer may not receive a 
     payment under both clause (ii) and this clause.

       (5) Assistance for losses due to fire on public managed 
     land.--
       (A) In general.--An eligible livestock producer may receive 
     assistance under this paragraph only if--
       (i) the eligible forage losses occur on rangeland that is 
     managed by a Federal agency; and
       (ii) the eligible livestock producer is prohibited by the 
     Federal agency from grazing the normal permitted livestock on 
     the managed rangeland due to a fire.
       (B) Payment rate.--The payment rate for assistance under 
     this paragraph shall be equal to 50 percent of the monthly 
     feed cost for the total number of livestock covered by the 
     Federal lease of the eligible livestock producer, as 
     determined under paragraph (4)(C).
       (C) Payment duration.--
       (i) In general.--Subject to clause (ii), an eligible 
     livestock producer shall be eligible to receive assistance 
     under this paragraph for the period--

       (I) beginning on the date on which the Federal agency 
     excludes the eligible livestock producer from using the 
     managed rangeland for grazing; and
       (II) ending on the last day of the Federal lease of the 
     eligible livestock producer.

       (ii) Limitation.--An eligible livestock producer may only 
     receive assistance under this paragraph for losses that occur 
     on not more than 180 days per year.
       (6) Assistance for eligible forage losses due to other than 
     drought or fire.--
       (A) Eligible forage losses.--
       (i) In general.--Subject to subparagraph (B), an eligible 
     livestock producer of covered livestock may receive 
     assistance under this paragraph for eligible forage losses 
     that occur due to weather-related conditions other than 
     drought or fire on land that--

       (I) is native or improved pastureland with permanent 
     vegetative cover; or
       (II) is planted to a crop planted specifically for the 
     purpose of providing grazing for covered livestock.

       (ii) Exclusions.--An eligible livestock producer may not 
     receive assistance under this paragraph for eligible forage 
     losses that occur on land used for haying or grazing under 
     the conservation reserve program established under subchapter 
     B of chapter 1 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food 
     Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3831 et seq.), unless the 
     land is grassland eligible for the grassland reserve program 
     established under subchapter D of chapter 2 of subtitle D of 
     title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3838n 
     et seq.).
       (B) Payments for eligible forage losses.--
       (i) In general.--The Secretary shall provide assistance 
     under this paragraph to an eligible livestock producer for 
     eligible forage losses that occur due to weather-related 
     conditions other than--

       (I) drought under paragraph (4); and
       (II) fire on public managed land under paragraph (5).

       (ii) Terms and conditions.--The Secretary shall establish 
     terms and conditions for assistance under this paragraph that 
     are consistent with the terms and conditions for assistance 
     under this subsection.
       (7) No duplicative payments.--An eligible livestock 
     producer may elect to receive assistance for eligible forage 
     losses under either paragraph (4), (5), or (6), if 
     applicable, but may not receive assistance under more than 1 
     of those paragraphs for the same loss, as determined by the 
     Secretary.
       (8) Determinations by secretary.--A determination made by 
     the Secretary under this subsection shall be final and 
     conclusive.
       (d) Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and 
     Farm-raised Fish.--
       (1) In general.--For fiscal year 2012, the Secretary shall 
     use not more than $5,000,000 of the funds of the Commodity 
     Credit Corporation to provide emergency relief to eligible 
     producers of livestock, honey bees, and farm-raised fish to 
     aid in the reduction of losses due to disease, adverse 
     weather, or other conditions, such as blizzards and 
     wildfires, as determined by the Secretary, that are not 
     covered under subsection (b) or (c).
       (2) Use of funds.--Funds made available under this 
     subsection shall be used to reduce losses caused by feed or 
     water shortages, disease, or other factors as determined by 
     the Secretary.
       (3) Availability of funds.--Any funds made available under 
     this subsection shall remain available until expended.
       (e) Tree Assistance Program.--
       (1) Definitions.--In this subsection:
       (A) Eligible orchardist.--The term ``eligible orchardist'' 
     means a person that produces annual crops from trees for 
     commercial purposes.
       (B) Natural disaster.--The term ``natural disaster'' means 
     plant disease, insect infestation, drought, fire, freeze, 
     flood, earthquake, lightning, or other occurrence, as 
     determined by the Secretary.
       (C) Nursery tree grower.--The term ``nursery tree grower'' 
     means a person who produces nursery, ornamental, fruit, nut, 
     or Christmas trees for commercial sale, as determined by the 
     Secretary.
       (D) Tree.--The term ``tree'' includes a tree, bush, and 
     vine.
       (2) Eligibility.--
       (A) Loss.--Subject to subparagraph (B), for fiscal year 
     2012, the Secretary shall use such sums as are necessary of 
     the funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to provide 
     assistance--
       (i) under paragraph (3) to eligible orchardists and nursery 
     tree growers that planted trees for commercial purposes but 
     lost the trees as a result of a natural disaster, as 
     determined by the Secretary; and
       (ii) under paragraph (3)(B) to eligible orchardists and 
     nursery tree growers that have a production history for 
     commercial purposes on planted or existing trees but lost the 
     trees as a result of a natural disaster, as determined by the 
     Secretary.
       (B) Limitation.--An eligible orchardist or nursery tree 
     grower shall qualify for assistance under subparagraph (A) 
     only if the tree mortality of the eligible orchardist or 
     nursery tree grower, as a result of damaging weather or 
     related condition, exceeds 15 percent (adjusted for normal 
     mortality).
       (3) Assistance.--Subject to paragraph (4), the assistance 
     provided by the Secretary to eligible orchardists and nursery 
     tree growers for losses described in paragraph (2) shall 
     consist of--
       (A)(i) reimbursement of 65 percent of the cost of 
     replanting trees lost due to a natural disaster, as 
     determined by the Secretary, in excess of 15 percent 
     mortality (adjusted for normal mortality); or
       (ii) at the option of the Secretary, sufficient seedlings 
     to reestablish a stand; and
       (B) reimbursement of 50 percent of the cost of pruning, 
     removal, and other costs incurred by an eligible orchardist 
     or nursery tree grower to salvage existing trees or, in the 
     case of tree mortality, to prepare the land to replant trees 
     as a result of damage or tree mortality due to a natural 
     disaster, as determined by the Secretary, in excess of 15 
     percent damage or mortality (adjusted for normal tree damage 
     and mortality).
       (4) Limitations on assistance.--
       (A) Definitions of legal entity and person.--In this 
     paragraph, the terms ``legal entity'' and ``person'' have the 
     meaning given those terms in section 1001(a) of the Food 
     Security Act of 1985 (7 U.S.C. 1308(a)).
       (B) Amount.--The total amount of payments received, 
     directly or indirectly, by a person or legal entity 
     (excluding a joint venture or general partnership) under this 
     subsection may not exceed $100,000 for any crop year, or an 
     equivalent value in tree seedlings.
       (C) Acres.--The total quantity of acres planted to trees or 
     tree seedlings for which a person or legal entity shall be 
     entitled to receive payments under this subsection may not 
     exceed 500 acres.
       (f) Payment Limitations.--
       (1) Definitions of legal entity and person.--In this 
     subsection, the terms ``legal entity'' and ``person'' have 
     the meanings given those terms in section 1001(a) of the Food 
     Security Act of 1985 (7 U.S.C. 1308(a)).

[[Page S8437]]

       (2) Amount.--The total amount of disaster assistance 
     payments received, directly or indirectly, by a person or 
     legal entity (excluding a joint venture or general 
     partnership) under this section (excluding payments received 
     under subsection (e)) may not exceed $100,000 for any crop 
     year.
       (3) Direct attribution.--Subsections (d) and (e) of section 
     1001 of the Food Security Act of 1985 (7 U.S.C. 1308) or any 
     successor provisions relating to direct attribution shall 
     apply with respect to assistance provided under this section.
       (g) Emergency Designation.--This section is designated by 
     Congress as being for an emergency requirement pursuant to--
       (1) section 251(b)(2)(A)(i) of the Balanced Budget and 
     Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (2 U.S.C. 
     901(b)(2)(A)(i)); and
       (2) section 4(g) of the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 
     (Public Law 111-139; 2 U.S.C. 933(g)).

     SEC. 102. NONINSURED CROP ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

       (a) In General.--Section 196 of the Federal Agriculture 
     Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 7333) is 
     amended--
       (1) in subsection (a)--
       (A) by striking paragraph (1) and inserting the following:
       ``(1) In general.--
       ``(A) Coverages.--In the case of an eligible crop described 
     in paragraph (2), the Secretary of Agriculture shall operate 
     a noninsured crop disaster assistance program to provide 
     coverages based on individual yields (other than for value-
     loss crops) equivalent to--
       ``(i) catastrophic risk protection available under section 
     508(b) of the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1508(b)); 
     or
       ``(ii) additional coverage available under subsections (c) 
     and (h) of section 508 of that Act (7 U.S.C. 1508) that does 
     not exceed 65 percent.
       ``(B) Administration.--The Secretary shall carry out this 
     section through the Farm Service Agency (referred to in this 
     section as the `Agency').''; and
       (B) in paragraph (2)--
       (i) in subparagraph (A)--

       (I) in clause (i), by striking ``and'' after the semicolon 
     at the end;
       (II) by redesignating clause (ii) as clause (iii); and
       (III) by inserting after clause (i) the following:

       ``(ii) for which additional coverage under subsections (c) 
     and (h) of section 508 of that Act (7 U.S.C. 1508) is not 
     available; and''; and
       (ii) in subparagraph (B)--

       (I) by inserting ``(except ferns)'' after 
     ``floricultural'';
       (II) by inserting ``(except ferns)'' after ``ornamental 
     nursery''; and
       (III) by striking ``(including ornamental fish)'' and 
     inserting ``(including ornamental fish, but excluding 
     tropical fish)'';

       (2) in subsection (d), by striking ``The Secretary'' and 
     inserting ``Subject to subsection (l), the Secretary'';
       (3) in subsection (k)(1)--
       (A) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``$250'' and inserting 
     ``$260''; and
       (B) in subparagraph (B)--
       (i) by striking ``$750'' and inserting ``$780''; and
       (ii) by striking ``$1,875'' and inserting ``$1,950''; and
       (4) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(l) Payment Equivalent to Additional Coverage.--
       ``(1) In general.--The Secretary shall make available to a 
     producer eligible for noninsured assistance under this 
     section a payment equivalent to an indemnity for additional 
     coverage under subsections (c) and (h) of section 508 of the 
     Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1508) that does not 
     exceed 65 percent, computed by multiplying--
       ``(A) the quantity that is less than 50 to 65 percent of 
     the established yield for the crop, as determined by the 
     Secretary, specified in increments of 5 percent;
       ``(B) 100 percent of the average market price for the crop, 
     as determined by the Secretary; and
       ``(C) a payment rate for the type of crop, as determined by 
     the Secretary, that reflects--
       ``(i) in the case of a crop that is produced with a 
     significant and variable harvesting expense, the decreasing 
     cost incurred in the production cycle for the crop that is, 
     as applicable--

       ``(I) harvested;
       ``(II) planted but not harvested; or
       ``(III) prevented from being planted because of drought, 
     flood, or other natural disaster, as determined by the 
     Secretary; or

       ``(ii) in the case of a crop that is produced without a 
     significant and variable harvesting expense, such rate as 
     shall be determined by the Secretary.
       ``(2) Premium.--To be eligible to receive a payment under 
     this subsection, a producer shall pay--
       ``(A) the service fee required by subsection (k); and
       ``(B) a premium for the applicable crop year that is equal 
     to--
       ``(i) the product obtained by multiplying--

       ``(I) the number of acres devoted to the eligible crop;
       ``(II) the yield, as determined by the Secretary under 
     subsection (e);
       ``(III) the coverage level elected by the producer;
       ``(IV) the average market price, as determined by the 
     Secretary; and

       ``(ii) 5.25-percent premium fee.
       ``(3) Limited resource, beginning, and socially 
     disadvantaged farmers.--The additional coverage made 
     available under this subsection shall be available to limited 
     resource, beginning, and socially disadvantaged producers, as 
     determined by the Secretary, in exchange for a premium that 
     is 50 percent of the premium determined for a producer under 
     paragraph (2).
       ``(4) Additional availability.--
       ``(A) In general.--As soon as practicable after October 1, 
     2013, the Secretary shall make assistance available to 
     producers of an otherwise eligible crop described in 
     subsection (a)(2) that suffered losses--
       ``(i) to a 2012 annual fruit crop grown on a bush or tree; 
     and
       ``(ii) in a county covered by a declaration by the 
     Secretary of a natural disaster for production losses due to 
     a freeze or frost.
       ``(B) Assistance.--The Secretary shall make assistance 
     available under subparagraph (A) in an amount equivalent to 
     assistance available under paragraph (1), less any fees not 
     previously paid under paragraph (2).''.
       (b) Termination Date.--
       (1) In general.--Effective October 1, 2017, subsection (a) 
     and the amendments made by subsection (a) (other than the 
     amendments made by clauses (i)(I) and (ii) of subsection 
     (a)(1)(B)) are repealed
       (2) Administration.--Effective October 1, 2017, section 196 
     of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 
     (7 U.S.C. 7333) shall be applied and administered as if 
     subsection (a) and the amendments made by subsection (a) 
     (other than the amendments made by clauses (i)(I) and (ii) of 
     subsection (a)(1)(B)) had not been enacted.
       (c) Emergency Designation.--This section is designated by 
     Congress as being for an emergency requirement pursuant to--
       (1) section 251(b)(2)(A)(i) of the Balanced Budget and 
     Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (2 U.S.C. 
     901(b)(2)(A)(i)); and
       (2) section 4(g) of the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 
     (Public Law 111-139; 2 U.S.C. 933(g)).

  Mr. MERKLEY. Mr. President, I would like to thank very much Senator 
Blunt and Senator Stabenow, who have worked so hard to bring together a 
common vision in how we can address the terrible disasters of drought 
and wildfires that ravaged many parts of the country this last summer.
  Now, we are no longer in the summer, so we are months late but better 
now than to wait a single additional day.
  With that, I yield to Senator Stabenow from Michigan and thank her so 
much for working so hard and well on this.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan.
  Ms. STABENOW. I first wish to thank Senator Merkley, who has been 
tireless in bringing forward the issues of farmers and ranchers in 
Oregon. And to my colleagues who are here on the floor from New York 
and New Jersey, I had the opportunity to be in New Jersey with Senator 
Menendez and to see firsthand, also with Senator Landrieu and Senator 
Tester. It is very, very clear that this is a horrific situation and 
deserves our attention and support.
  What we are doing with this amendment, as modified--and I want to 
thank Senator Blunt for working with us and cosponsoring the 
amendment--is to basically take what we have done and already passed in 
the farm bill and putting it into this very important disaster 
assistance bill.
  In the spring, we experienced late freezes that wiped out many fruit 
crops in a number of States, including Michigan, New York, and 
Pennsylvania. In my home State, we had a 98-percent loss of cherry 
crops, and they don't have access to any crop insurance. We are talking 
about those who don't have that option to be able to help mitigate 
their losses.
  In the summer, we saw the worst drought since 1956. It left crops 
withering in the field. All across our country, over 80 percent of the 
contiguous United States experienced drought conditions. Eleven States 
still have exceptional drought conditions, and there are 17 States with 
severe drought conditions.
  I can't imagine having a disaster assistance bill come through this 
Senate without including help for our farmers and ranchers who have 
been hit so very hard this year.
  I urge my colleagues to support our amendment and thank my colleague 
very much for allowing us to offer it.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. COBURN. I am sorry that the Senator from Louisiana has left the 
floor because if she would have checked my voting records, I have not 
voted for

[[Page S8438]]

extending the Bush tax cuts because they weren't paid for. I said that 
on the floor. I have not voted to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan 
because they weren't paid for.
  So when we hear blanket statements that the other side--``the other 
side'' does not tow the line, as would be expected by the Senator from 
Louisiana, I have to object. The fact is, I have been very consistent 
on those issues.
  I don't think you give a tax cut without cutting spending in the 
Federal Government. That is what the debate is all about.
  The reason we are here tonight--and we have a $60 billion bill that 
is not going to be paid for except by our grandkids, with interest, 
which is going to become $120 billion by the time it is ever paid 
back--is because we don't have the courage to actually go through and 
make hard choices about what works and what doesn't, what is a priority 
and what is not.
  Now, I don't have any illusions about my amendments passing. I am 
very thankful that a couple of them have been accepted. But the real 
problem that America sees at the end of this year is a problem with us, 
that we think we can continue to do business the way we have always 
done it. You know what. We can't.
  We are going to pass this bill, and it is going to die because the 
House isn't going to take it up this year, and we are going to have to 
come back and do it again. Hopefully, we are going to do it in the best 
way that helps the most people in New York and New Jersey and everybody 
else who was involved there.
  Right now, the FEMA money is flowing, and we need to increase the 
money. I am all for that. We need to make sure the flood insurance 
money goes out right away. But we better get hold of ourselves as a 
Senate and as a nation. We can say we have always done it this way. We 
can say we can spend $60 billion and not pay for it. We can add all 
sorts of things. We have a crop insurance program for apples, but we 
are not going to cover it. We are going to go--even the people who 
weren't covered are going to get covered even though they didn't 
participate. Under this bill, they are going to get covered. So what we 
are going to do is actually undermine the crop insurance program for 
apples.
  But the point is that we are doing the same thing that got us into 
the trouble we are in. We are at $16.4 trillion in debt. When you 
include all the debt the country has in terms of municipalities and 
States, that is how you compare apples to apples with everybody else. 
We are at 120 percent debt to GDP ratio. It is killing our economy 
right now. Multiple studies show that it is probably hurting our GDP by 
1.5 percent. That is 1.5 million jobs every year, and we are sitting 
here talking about we are in a different time, that we don't have $16 
trillion worth of debt, that we are not going to have trillion-dollar 
deficits as far as the eye can see. We are totally disconnected from 
reality.
  So I am not going to win. I understand that. I understand there is a 
need, and I want to supply that need, but how we do it is important for 
the future of this country. It is also important for our kids.
  So we can rationalize and say that we have always done it this way, 
that this is the way the rules work, but there is going to be a very 
big price to pay, and when that price comes, those who are sitting in 
opposition to my amendments are going to see the consequences of that 
opposition played out in the worst possible way.
  The debt bomb in this country is going to explode, and we are going 
to be held accountable for it whether we are still here or not. Our 
lineage, our reputation, our history as Senators in this Congress is 
going to come back to us that we weren't up to the task of making the 
hard decisions that would actually save this country, that would fix 
the problems and put us on track to grow again and be the America we 
can be.
  I thank the Presiding Officer for the time and the chairwoman for her 
consideration. I thank Senator Schumer for his consideration on the 
amendments.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York.
  Mr. SCHUMER. I thank my colleague and very much appreciate my 
colleague from Oklahoma. He has left, but we do have a friendship. I do 
believe he is a person of integrity. His views about government and 
politics are quite different from mine. He has put his money where his 
mouth is in a number of places when he has not asked to pay for things 
that many on the other side did, et cetera. So I thank him.
  I don't agree with almost anything--well, I agree with maybe one or 
two of his amendments. And Senator Mikulski summed up the amendment on 
fisheries very well, so I will talk about some of the other amendments 
and why we object to them. It will take a few minutes, but I think it 
is important to set the record straight.
  Let me take them in numerical order--first, amendment No. 3368, to 
strike enhanced cost share for the Army Corps. Well, Mr. President, in 
past supplementals we established an important precedent for local cost 
share on Army Corps projects that this amendment will strike. We have 
crucial projects with the Army Corps. As my colleague from New York, 
Senator Gillibrand, knows, and Senators Menendez and Lautenberg from 
New Jersey, we are naked in heavily populated areas after the storm. 
This storm was huge. But you would have to be foolish to think there 
won't be another one, and we need the Army Corps. They are brilliant in 
the way they are able to protect our coasts. So this needs to be done.
  If the local cost share were to go to 35 percent--we don't have just 
one big State government, we have lots of little localities. Take Long 
Beach, a city of 35,000. It was wiped out--gone, basically. If they 
were to have to come up with 35 percent of the project, it would be 
hopeless.
  Now, Katrina got 100 percent. We are not even asking for that. But 
the 90 percent that has traditionally been given to Army Corps projects 
when the damage is so large that it is realized the locality cannot pay 
for it alone makes eminent sense. The village of Lindenhurst, the 
village of Massapequa, the villages on Fire Island all do not have the 
wherewithal.
  If we were to pass the amendment of the Senator from Oklahoma, we 
would get no Army Corps relief. Then when storms much smaller than 
Sandy come along, we would be wiped out again. So it doesn't make 
sense. The Long Beach Storm Damage Reduction Project, for instance, has 
a local cost share of $35 million. That is more than a quarter of the 
entire city's annual budget. If they had to pay this share, it wouldn't 
get built. The same thing for the little village of Asharoken, which 
was terribly damaged.
  Again, in the past, when there has been large damage, the Army Corps 
has paid 90 percent, localities 10 percent. To change those rules now 
for New York, after New York taxpayers and New Jersey taxpayers paid 
hundreds of millions of dollars toward projects on the Mississippi or 
the Missouri River or down in the gulf at a 90-10 percent ratio, would 
be totally unfair.
  This amendment would be a crippling amendment, and I strongly urge 
its rejection.
  On fisheries, again, my colleague from Maryland, our wonderful new 
chair--off to a great start, and I might say, Madam Chair, this being 
your first bill, you are going like gangbusters, but we didn't expect 
anything less--has laid out the arguments for those fisheries. The only 
thing I would say about them is, hey, that is a disaster too. As she 
said, this is not just a case of needing new lobster pots, this is a 
disaster, and traditionally we have funded disaster relief in 
supplemental bills, and it doesn't have to be just one area.
  So I thank my colleagues, particularly those from Maine and from 
Alaska, who put such good work into this, and I also again thank 
Senator Coburn for separating out the tax cheat provisions. Nobody 
behind in their taxes should get Federal aid. That is a provision I can 
accept and I think most of us on this side will accept.
  Amendment No. 3371 is the Coburn amendment on the per capita damage 
thresholds. The amendment would require FEMA to actually change the 
indicator by which FEMA determines the locality's eligibility for FEMA 
public assistance. It would make it much harder for States and local 
governments in the future to get Federal aid after a disaster. It 
sounds benign, but

[[Page S8439]]

this is a choke hold on FEMA for many localities and particularly for 
larger States, such as those we represent.
  As my colleagues know, the current per capita damage thresholds are 
pegged to the Consumer Price Index, and CPI measures the average change 
over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a specific market 
of basket goods.
  For New York, the per capita threshold that has to be reached for a 
county to be declared a major disaster area is $1.37. The amendment of 
my colleague would peg the per capita threshold starting at the 
timeline of 1986. There would have to be such enormous damage in so 
many localities to get money, and in effect it would double the per 
damage threshold needed to be declared a disaster area.

  In every State, we have watched as disasters occurred and kept our 
fingers crossed to see if the Federal Government would declare that 
area a disaster. It is based on a formula. The formula is not easy to 
reach. I have had countless counties disappointed, asking me: Why 
didn't we meet the threshold? But to now make the threshold almost 
doubly hard to meet wouldn't work.
  I say to my good friend from Oklahoma--and I know this may not change 
his view on the amendment because, as I said, he is a person of 
integrity--for the six major disaster declarations declared in Oklahoma 
over the last 2 years, the damage per person would have had to be 
double its current level. I imagine those in Oklahoma who were impacted 
by severe winter storms, tornadoes, and floods wouldn't be happy to 
hear it is harder now--if this amendment were to pass--to repair roads, 
remove debris, and support emergency response efforts.
  So I would say to every one of my colleagues in every State, if you 
want to pull back on Federal disaster assistance by changing to an 
arcane formula when there is substantive damage, support this 
amendment. I hope we will reject it.
  The next amendment is No. 3382, and I urge my colleagues to vote no 
on this. This would place a lot more bureaucratic redtape between 
disaster victims and the Federal assistance they deserve.
  Our good friend from Louisiana coached Senator Menendez, Senator 
Gillibrand, Senator Lautenberg, and myself about what went wrong with 
Katrina, and one of those things was that the contracting procedure had 
become so arcane and so rigid and so difficult that contracts either 
never happened or they took much too long to do. Now, should we expect 
every contract to be competitively bid? What about emergency contracts? 
Do we want to have a 6-month bidding process when the damage needs 
correction in 90 days--picking up debris, building back a beach that 
might face a storm in 30 days? Second, we in New York have our own 
competitive bidding requirements. Those can suffice. Why have double 
sets of them? And sometimes the States and localities have to waive 
them when there are true emergencies.
  So sometimes our colleagues are placing us in a catch-22. They say: 
You don't spend disaster relief fast enough; you stretch it out over 
such long periods of time. Then they impose requirements that make sure 
we don't spend the money fast enough. It doesn't make sense.
  If the amendment by Senator Coburn passes, it will guarantee disaster 
aid could be delayed for months and years, and the consequences of 
that--the economic cost, the danger to our coastlines, our localities, 
our small businesses, and the human cost--would be a terrible, terrible 
way to go. I believe this is a Trojan horse that will cripple efforts 
to bring quick, efficient, and honest disaster aid to our localities, 
and I urge its defeat.
  Amendment No. 3383. This strikes ACOE studies and authorization. Now, 
again, we don't want the rules changed on us. Sometimes we have 
improved the rules to make sure we learn from the mistakes of past 
disasters, but to just change the rules from past supplementals makes 
no sense.
  As many of us here know, the project of getting coastal protection 
built by the Army Corps can be mired in redtape and delays. Every one 
of us has experience there. What is taking you so long, Army Corps? The 
provision being struck by amendment No. 3383 is designed to accelerate 
critical protection projects and get rid of the redtape.
  I know my colleague from Oklahoma believes in less bureaucracy and 
more efficiency. Well, if this passed, we would be giving the people of 
Staten Island or Massapequa more bureaucracy. For a decade, for 
instance, the Corps had delayed a protection project for the South 
Shore of Long Island due to lack of funding and authorizations from 
Congress. They decided and they said it made sense, but they didn't get 
it done. Had these seawalls been built, it is almost certain lives 
would have been saved and millions of dollars in property damage 
avoided.
  So in this bill, such as with Katrina, we are accelerating the 
ability to do that. We are accelerating it in Long Beach. In 2005 Long 
Beach rejected a project I helped to push to build dunes to protect 
that flat, low-lying area with low-lying homes from storms. The Army 
Corps has done the study. The Army Corps has said: Here is what is 
right; let's move forward. Under the amendment of my friend, we could 
not, even though all the preliminary work has been done.
  So I urge a ''no'' vote on this amendment.
  OK, I think I have addressed the major amendments to which I object. 
As I said, I don't object to every one of my colleagues' amendments, 
but I object to the major ones, and I hope we can have a bipartisan 
amendment.
  Mr. President, for 100 years, when disaster has struck, we have been 
one America. We have said: We know any locality, even large localities 
such as New York, New Jersey, and Maryland, won't be able to handle 
that sort of disaster relief on its own. And in wisdom, we have said: 
We are one united people. And the people of the other regions, the 
other States, will come to the aid of this area that has been crippled. 
We can't change the rules now.
  Those of us from New York and New Jersey say: Aha. Some of my 
constituents and I am sure some of the constituents of Senator Menendez 
are saying: Aha--now that it is New York and New Jersey, they are 
changing the rules. Not fair. We have been there. We have been there 
for our colleagues whenever they have had disasters, and praise God, we 
haven't had that many until recently, but we need you.
  You will need us. Given all the changes in the world, there will be 
disasters that strike everywhere else. We want to be with you, and we 
don't want to see the process so encumbered and so weighted down that 
relief cannot come. The sum total of these amendments would be to do 
that.
  I strongly urge my colleagues, hopefully in a bipartisan vote, to 
reject them.
  I yield the floor to my colleague from New Jersey.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Jersey.
  Mr. MENENDEZ. First, I wish to thank the distinguished chairwoman of 
the Appropriations Committee for the work she and her staff have put 
together. It is remarkable considering the timeframe they were in. Of 
course, the late Senator Inouye, with his staff as well that the 
chairwoman has inherited, did an exceptional amount of work along with 
Senator Landrieu. Certainly the people of the Northeast thank you very 
much.
  I think Senator Schumer has done a good job overall of talking about 
our concerns about these amendments, but I want to give a little 
greater depth and certainly a New Jersey perspective to them.
  I do not question the motives of our distinguished colleague from 
Oklahoma. He has been consistent in that. I don't question his 
consistency. Even though I haven't checked the record, I will take his 
word that even on tax cuts and war spending he has been consistent. But 
I do question the consequences of some of his amendments--consequences 
to the people of the Northeast, consequences to the people of New 
Jersey, consequences in the future as it relates to other disasters.
  At one point, he talked about courage in a fiscal sense. Let me tell 
you, courage is what people in New Jersey are looking at each and every 
day when they find their businesses closed and are trying to sum up the 
courage to open again. Courage is those who have lost their homes and 
are trying to reopen their homes, which they could not even do for the 
holidays. They were certainly not home for Christmas.

[[Page S8440]]

Courage is looking at that every day and trying to figure how you move 
forward. Courage is many of the small municipalities, many that lost 
their police and fire departments and are working with others to create 
public safety as they rebuild the very essence of their departments. 
That is courage, real courage in the face of incredible challenge.
  Two of the amendments dealing with the Army Corps go straight to that 
courage. I came to the floor over the last 2 weeks several times and 
showed a host of visuals to our colleagues to understand that we are at 
the lowest level of protection. It is akin to an individual whose 
immune system is virtually gone. I said then, all we need is a 
nor'easter to come through and we will see the consequences of having 
no defenses.
  Unfortunately, yesterday we suffered a nor'easter. It wasn't the 
worst of what we could have received, but for several parts of New 
Jersey it was certainly bad news because those communities that are 
defenseless as a result of not having Army Corps-engineered beaches 
caught the worst of it again. In Sea Bright and Mantoloking and a host 
of other communities along the Jersey shore, they caught the worst of 
it again and all the fears and all the nightmares of what they went 
through under Sandy were relived once again.
  When you talk about changing the rules on the Army Corps' 
participation in terms of what he wants as a 90-10 split, No. 1, that 
changes the rules. Just to make sure I was right about this, I asked 
Senator Landrieu of Louisiana: Wait a minute. In Katrina, wasn't there 
a 90-10 split? She said, Yes; and in some cases up to 100.
  The people of the Northeast, the people of New Jersey and New York, 
deserve no less in their disaster. There are a whole host of 
communities even with a 90-10 split that are going to find it 
incredibly difficult--when 20 or 25 percent of their ratable base is 
gone--to fund the 10 percent that we are asking them. We believe they 
should have skin in the game. But even at that 10 percent, they are 
going to have enormous difficulties funding that 10 percent to get the 
lifesaving, property-saving, fiscally responsible solution in having 
Army Corps-engineered beaches.
  So 90-10 is still a challenge to a whole host of communities. Go to 
the proposition that our colleague from Oklahoma has, and we basically 
nullify their ability to protect their citizens. I always thought the 
No. 1 priority of any government--Federal, State or local--was to 
protect their citizens. Certainly, the Senate should be protecting its 
citizens, whether it is abroad or at home. In this respect, we cannot 
protect our citizens along the New Jersey coastline if, in fact, we 
cannot have these engineered beaches and if, in fact, we cannot afford 
to have those engineered beaches.
  So talk about being fiscally responsible. Instead, we will pay 
billions in repetitive-loss damages, and we will lose lives as we lost 
in New Jersey. I want to save lives and I want to save property and I 
want to save the Federal Government from paying repetitive losses. That 
is why that amendment is certainly not one we can accept by any stretch 
of the imagination. It is unfair to the people of the Northeast because 
it changes the rules of the game, and it is unfair in terms of our 
obligation to the public safety. I, for one, do not want to be casting 
a vote that ultimately leaves my fellow New Jerseyans or fellow 
Americans at risk when I could have saved their lives. I am certainly 
not going to do that, and I hope this Chamber is not going to do that.
  Secondly, with reference to the other Army Corps of Engineers 
amendment, which would suggest that those projects that are already 
well underway to being determined and that, in fact, are cost-effective 
and can save lives and save property and save ratables and save 
repetitive losses cannot be approved, would be, in essence, to 
guarantee that at the lowest rate of our defenses we will just suffer 
an entire winter of incredible misery, no, we cannot have that 
amendment pass.
  Thirdly, with reference to the question of acquisition, the Governor 
of New Jersey made that decision. I can't speak for him, but my 
understanding is he made that decision from FEMA-approved contracts. If 
FEMA needs a better process to go ahead and negotiate and/or bid in 
advance of a generic contract, so be it. But a delayed recovery is a 
failed recovery. I want my colleagues to remember that 10 days after 
Hurricane Katrina, this Chamber passed two separate bills amounting to 
$60 billion. It has been nearly 2 months since we had Superstorm Sandy 
and nothing has passed. Who among us would be content with the counsels 
of patience and delay if, in fact, we were shivering in the cold; if, 
in fact, our families had no home; if, in fact, they had been displaced 
from their schools; if, in fact, their businesses that they worked a 
lifetime and took out debt and now are closed may never open, who among 
us would be happy with the counsels of patience and delay? So we cannot 
have a set of circumstances that creates a series of delays.

  I am all for the good governing amendments of saying to those who are 
in debt to the Nation that they, in fact, cannot receive any benefits 
or those who are deceased. Of course, they should not receive any 
benefits. But the rest of this is about creating delay after delay that 
is in the midst of a biting winter. We just had the first nor'easter 
yesterday. We cannot ultimately accept those types of changes that put 
us in a process in which, in fact, we will not be able to successfully 
move the elements of being able to recover.
  This constant reference that a great part of the money--the 
overwhelming part of the money will not be spent, I think I heard 2015, 
is simply not the case. Whether it be Army Corps of Engineers projects 
that have already been approved and authorized but not funded that are 
critical to our defenses, those are ready to go. They just need money. 
The flexibility we have sought in this bill, working with an incredible 
insight from what happened in Hurricane Katrina and what worked and did 
not work, that flexibility will allow money to flow to business people 
are at the crucial point of trying to decide: Can I open? Because I 
need to know what the government is going to do for me, as part of my 
equation as to whether I open this business. Because low-interest loans 
from the SBA, even a long-term proposition, is still more debt. Many of 
these businesspeople that I have met up and down New Jersey have told 
me: Senator, I took out money to start this business. I took a debt to 
start this business. I took out further debt through the great 
recession. More debt doesn't necessarily mean I will succeed, but a 
grant, as we authorize through CDBG block grants, can very well make 
the difference between me reopening and not and hiring back people and 
being able to have and be part of that ratable base and paying toward 
the greater good of the State and the Nation. That is what is at stake 
as well. That money is going to flow if we do this the right way as 
this bill envisions. So this suggestion that it is going to take years 
down the road is simply not true.
  Secondly, I think we lose sight that while, yes, this is about New 
Jersey and New York and Connecticut, it is about a region--a region 
that employs 10 percent of the Nation's workforce and accounts for 11 
percent of the entire Nation's GDP. That is 12.7 million workers and 
$1.4 trillion in productivity. If we want to see that region continue 
to contribute to the gross domestic product growth of this country, to 
continue to contribute to the employment, to continue to contribute to 
the Federal coffers, we need to help it to be able to help themselves, 
not to turn our back on them. That is what is at stake.
  Finally, I would just say there is a whole host of other disasters, 
and the committee has been very focused on saying nothing goes into 
this bill that isn't disaster related, one disaster or another. Because 
there has been no other disaster funding that there has been a vehicle 
for, whether it be wildfires or crop disasters--I personally welcome 
that, because as I have said many times, this is the United States of 
America. There is a reason we call it the United States of America. It 
is so we are all in this together. So I welcome the fact that we can 
help other fellow Americans through this vehicle, whether it be about 
wildfires or crop disasters or estuaries and fisheries that were hurt 
in other parts of the country at different times. So be it. Because 
that is what being the United States of America is all about.

[[Page S8441]]

  But we need to pass this bill tomorrow. We need to reject these 
amendments--particularly the ones that I and Senator Schumer have 
talked about--because they will fail us in our recovery. It will 
undermine our ability to protect our people.
  Finally, I would just simply say we need to pass it so the House can 
consider this bill as its vehicle when they come back on Sunday. This 
bill has been out there for weeks. The President's proposal has been 
out there for over 1 month. Everybody knows what has been asked. 
Everybody knows what is involved. Everybody has seen that the Senate 
already voted for cloture; therefore, there is going to be a bill here 
at the end of the day. There is no reason why the House cannot seek to 
pass this and respond to our fellow citizens in the Northeast. That is 
what being the United States of America is all about.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, I seek recognition to rebut the Coburn 
amendment and also to offer two amendments. But before I do, I just 
wish to thank my colleagues, particularly those who have amendments. I 
wish to thank them for their cooperation and being willing to offer 
them and speak tonight, on both sides of the aisle.
  I would also note the Senator from New York and the Senator from 
Connecticut also wish to speak. Senators whose States have been very 
hard hit should have the opportunity to speak, and I am going to take 
my rebuttal of the Coburn amendments and just abbreviate them.
  With the exception of being willing to accept the amendment where you 
cannot get emergency assistance if you are a tax cheater or if you 
passed away, with the exception of a funeral benefit, I object to the 
Coburn amendments. My objections have been so well articulated by the 
Senator from New York, Mr. Schumer, and by the Senator from New Jersey, 
Mr. Menendez.
  Mr. President, I rise in opposition to the Coburn amendment No. 3369. 
This amendment makes no sense. It would require the Departments of 
Transportation and Housing and Urban Development to make public any 
grant announcement three days before either department announces the 
grant. In other words, do something three days before you are going to 
do it.
  I understand the Senator's intent, which is to eliminate the ability 
of Members to have a brief advance notice of pending grant 
announcements. However, in trying to weaken Congress' legitimate 
oversight role, the amendment overreaches. More importantly, I don't 
agree with this effort to cede Congress' role in these notifications. 
Therefore, I ask my colleagues to vote against this amendment.
  Mr. President, not everything in the Senator's amendment No. 3371 is 
objectionable. Unfortunately, it is loaded down with at least two 
provisions that make it impossible to support related to FEMA efforts 
to aid disaster victims and help communities rebuild.
  First, returning funds appropriated in this bill that have not been 
obligated and spent within two years to the Treasury is unreasonable. 
FEMA will of course obligate the funds provided in this bill in less 
than two years. However, spending the funds to complete the rebuilding 
of schools, hospitals, police stations, surge barriers, floodgates, and 
levees will take longer. Communities will need time to do the proper 
planning, competently bid for projects, fulfill State action plans, do 
site selection and development, complete audits and then request for 
the federal government to reimburse the eligible costs in the right 
amount. To do this responsibly and within the bounds of proper 
oversight, it will take more than two years to reimburse the eligible 
expenditures.
  On the one hand, the Senator wants FEMA to spend the money faster 
while on the other hand he imposes more restrictive and time consuming 
Federal standards for competition.
  The second objectionable provision in this amendment is to cap FEMA's 
recovery assistance to States at 75 percent of the costs of damages. 
This ties the hands of the Nation to support the needs of the victims 
of the most severe disasters.
  The Stafford Act currently requires that FEMA provide assistance at 
75 percent of the cost of the recovery. However, in cases where damages 
have proven to be extremely severe FEMA can increase its share to 90 
percent. The adjustment to 90 percent is based on an objective formula 
that considers per capita damage, which must reach over $131 per 
person. The threshold is difficult for states to reach unless they 
experience a severe event.
  I oppose this amendment.


                           Amendment No. 3382

  This amendment would require merit-based and competitive awards of 
disaster recovery contracts. This amendment would prohibit the use of 
any disaster funds for contracts not competitively awarded pursuant to 
the Federal Acquisition Regulation FAR. This would appear unnecessary, 
because the FAR already limits non-competitive contracts to one year, 
in general.
  The amendment would also require a review of disaster recovery 
contracts that were awarded prior to enactment of the Supplemental that 
weren't competitively bid. For any contracts not competitively bid, 
agencies would be required to achieve cost savings or to award a new 
competitive contract, and discontinue the original contract.
  The requirement for retroactive review of contracts that were awarded 
before the date of enactment for which other than competitive 
procedures were used for the purpose of determining if additional cost 
savings can be achieved or whether a new contract should be pursued 
would pose a significant burdensome and disruptive task.
  The amendment would require hiring up additional contracting staff to 
handle the ``looking back review'' and potential ``re-competition'' 
envisioned in order for the current staff to contract for the supplies 
and services needed to respond to and recover from Hurricane Sandy. 
Since there is a limited number of contracting officers available to 
Federal agencies, complying with this provision, should it be enacted, 
has the very real potential to limit DHS's ability to meet ongoing 
mission requirements.
  Furthermore, no date or parameters are established for conducting and 
completing these reviews, so agencies would not know how far back to 
review. One could assume the amendment means only those currently 
operating contracts, but it does not specify.
  For those agencies in the midst of recovery efforts for Hurricane 
Sandy, is the intent that they stop ongoing efforts (to include 
obligating those additional funds that are coming) to undertake such a 
review? How can the workforce still supporting the disaster be handling 
the ongoing efforts to support the disaster and at the same time be 
reviewing what they did in November?
  Complying with this mandate, should it be enacted, has the very real 
potential to adversely impact the Government's ability to meet their 
ongoing disaster recovery missions.
  This amendment requires agencies to terminate contracts if cost 
savings can be realized. The burden of the analysis alone would be 
daunting especially since no threshold is specified. This amendment 
would require agencies to review even purchase card orders. Terminating 
contracts for convenience is not inexpensive--there significant 
administrative costs, and it is labor-intensive.
  This amendment would be onerous and costly and will hinder the 
recovery and repair effort. Therefore, Mr. President, I recommend that 
this amendment be opposed.


                           Amendment No. 3383

  Mr. President, I rise in opposition to amendment No. 3383. The 
proviso that my friend proposes to strike authorizes projects for the 
Corps to construct that would reduce the impacts from flooding and 
provide storm damage reduction. I agree with my friend that the 
provision that he proposed to strike could be read as overly broad and 
authorized projects for construction that were not intended nor could 
they be constructed with the amount of funding that was provided.
  Senators Feinstein and Boxer have addressed the shortcoming of that 
provision by striking it with an earlier amendment--No. 3421 and 
replacing it with new text. This new text no longer authorizes an 
undefined set of projects. Rather, it directs funding to be utilized to 
construct projects in areas that suffered direct inundation impacts 
from

[[Page S8442]]

Hurricanes Sandy and Isaac. This provides a defined scope for the work 
that the Corps can construct with the funds provided.
  The provision requires that the projects to be undertaken must be 
cost effective, technically feasible and environmentally acceptable. I 
think my friend would agree that should be the goal of all of the Corps 
projects that we fund. Voting for this amendment would undo the defined 
requirements and scope for these projects that we previously voted for.
  I urge my colleagues to vote against this amendment.


                           Amendment No. 3370

  Mr. President, I oppose Division 2 of amendment No. 3370. Division 2 
of this amendment tries to steer fishery disaster funding for 
communities only affected by Hurricane Sandy by citing Stafford Act 
requirements and limiting funding for area within \1/2\ mile from 
shore.
  But the Stafford Act overseas disasters on land. The Act has 
absolutely no bearing on fishery disasters, fishery disasters are 
declared by the Secretary of Commerce according to Federal Fishery and 
Commerce laws at the request of the State Governors.
  Fishery disaster needs are necessary, urgent, unanticipated and these 
coastal fisheries are not bound by some arbitrary \1/2\ mile boundary.
  Under this amendment all federally declared fishery disasters would 
miss out on much needed financial assistance, even those communities 
affect by Hurricane Sandy. Fishery disaster funding is not just about 
fixing damaged boats and waterfronts. It is about rebuilding smarter 
fisheries so that businesses and coastal communities stand a better 
shot of avoiding future disasters. I strongly urge my colleagues to 
oppose this amendment.
  Mr. President, in the interest of time, I think we all agree why the 
very intent to save money by adding delay and bureaucracy will cost 
money and will cost time, in terms of getting people back on their 
feet, both in their home and in their livelihood. Remember what we 
seek: helping people get their life back and helping them get their 
livelihood back. I think that has been very well articulated.
  I would now also like to take the opportunity to call up and dispose 
of two amendments.


                           Amendment No. 3403

  I call up, on behalf of Senator Leahy, amendment No. 3403.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Begich). The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Maryland [Ms. Mikulski], for Mr. Leahy, 
     proposes an amendment numbered 3403.

  Ms. MIKULSKI. I ask unanimous consent the reading of the amendment be 
dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

  (Purpose: To provide authority to transfer previously appropriated 
    funds to increase security at United States embassies and other 
                            overseas posts)

       At the appropriate place, insert the following:

     SEC. ___. INCREASED EMBASSY SECURITY.

       Funds appropriated under the heading ``Administration of 
     Foreign Affairs'' under Title VIII of Division I of Public 
     Law 112-74 and as carried forward under Public Law 112-175, 
     may be transferred to, and merged with, any such other funds 
     appropriated under such title and heading: Provided, That 
     such transfers shall be subject to the regular notification 
     procedures of the Committees on Appropriations.

  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, this amendment simply provides authority 
to the State Department to transfer up to approximately $1 billion in 
Overseas Contingency Operations funds appropriated in Fiscal Year 2012 
for operations. in Iraq, which are no longer needed in Iraq due to 
reduced operations there, and to use these funds for increased security 
at U.S. embassies and other overseas posts identified in the 
Department's security review after the Benghazi attack.
  Making additional funds available for these purposes is one of the 
recommendations of the Accountability Review Board chaired by 
Ambassador Pickering and Admiral Mullen.
  The amendment permits the transfer of funds between the Diplomatic 
and Consular Programs and Embassy Security Construction and Maintenance 
accounts, which would otherwise be precluded due to percentage 
limitations on such transfers.
  According to CBO the amendment has no outlay scoring impact.
  We all want to do what we can to prevent another tragedy like what 
occurred in Benghazi. The State Department has done a review, and these 
funds will be used to expedite construction of Marine security guard 
posts at overseas posts, and to build secure embassies in Beirut, 
Lebanon and Harare, Zimbabwe.
  There is nothing controversial about this amendment. These are 
existing funds. There is no new appropriation. The amendment has no 
scoring impact. It is simply a matter of allowing unobligated, prior 
year funds to be used for a different purpose of higher priority--
protecting our diplomats stationed in dangerous places around the 
world.
  That amendment will be voted on tomorrow.


                Amendment No. 3426 to Amendment No. 3395

  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, I have an amendment on behalf of Senator 
Harkin. I call up amendment No. 3426.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Maryland [Ms. Mikulski], for Mr. Harkin, 
     proposes an amendment numbered 3426.

  Ms. MIKULSKI. I ask unanimous consent the reading of the amendment be 
dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

               (Purpose: To make a technical correction)

       On page 81, strike lines 9 through 13 and insert the 
     following: ``Provided further, That obligations incurred for 
     the purposes provided herein prior to the enactment of this 
     Act may be charged to this appropriation: Provided further, 
     That funds appropriated in this paragraph may be used to make 
     grants for renovating, repairing, or rebuilding non-Fed-''.

  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, this amendment makes two very technical 
corrections that are necessary for proper implementing of funding for 
the Department of Health and Human Services in the supplemental. First, 
it deletes the term ``response activities for hurricane Sandy'' and 
replaces it with ``the purposes provided herein.'' That is a small 
verbal change but ``response activities'' has a limited meaning. This 
change does clarify that funds may also be used to cover additional 
recovery and related costs connected to Hurricane Sandy. Second, it 
adds the phrase ``to make grants'' to clarify that the Department of 
HHS has specific grant-making authority for renovating, repairing, and 
rebuilding non-Federal facilities involved in NIH research. For 
example, an academic center of excellence, well known for its work, 
particularly in cancer research, will have the opportunity to rebuild.
  I recommend support of this amendment. Senator Shelby has signed off 
on it. I believe it is not controversial. CBO says it does not score at 
all, and I understand the minority staff on the Labor-HHS 
Appropriations Committee has also signed off on those changes.
  Mr. President, that amendment, too, will be voted on tomorrow if not 
accepted. Tonight we are just not accepting amendments and we are not 
voice voting them.
  I also want to note we have two Members on the floor whose States 
were hard hit. One is the Senator from New York about whom Senator 
Schumer has spoken. I know Senator Gillibrand wishes to speak. The 
order we will follow is Senator Gillibrand will speak for such time as 
she may consume to be followed by the Senator from Connecticut and such 
time as he may consume in speaking on behalf of the bill.
  Before the Senator speaks, though, a word to the Senator from 
Connecticut. Connecticut has been hit twice--first by the hurricane and 
then by what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary. For those of us who 
join with you, we just want the people of Connecticut to know they are 
not alone. As the Senator from New Jersey who spoke earlier said, you 
know we are the United States of America. Where there was a disaster in 
one State, we all have to respond as if it were a disaster in all 
States. The attack on one child in Connecticut--we have to protect all 
children, in Connecticut and in every single State in this Union. I 
hope, as we find those solutions, we do act as a union, the United 
States of America.

[[Page S8443]]

  Once again, our sympathy and condolences, and I yield the floor to 
these very able Senators.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York.
  Mrs. GILLIBRAND. Mr. President, I thank the chairwoman for her 
leadership on this essential bill. I can't thank her enough for her 
tenacity and determination to meet the needs of so many affected 
families in our State.
  I also thank Senator Landrieu for her leadership to help craft this 
bill in a way that has transparency and accountability and to learn 
from the mistakes of the past with Hurricane Katrina. She has worked 
overtime to make this bill a reality and I thank her.
  Of course, I thank my colleague Senator Schumer for his extraordinary 
leadership and Senators Menendez and Lautenberg on behalf of their 
State. It makes a huge difference. But I do want to start where Senator 
Mikulski left off and give recognition to Senator Blumenthal.
  During the holidays, we often reflect on our blessings. We think 
about what is going well in our lives. We are very thankful for what 
has been given to us, whether it is the health of our children, being 
in a safe, warm home, whether it is having a good job, whether it is 
having a business that is profitable--whatever those blessings are, 
that is what the holidays are about, being grateful for them.
  This holiday will be a very difficult time for so many families in 
New York and New Jersey and Connecticut. There were many loved ones 
lost during Hurricane Sandy. There were many children lost in 
Connecticut. When a loved one is no longer around the dining room 
table, when there are gifts that were bought that were not able to be 
given, it is a very sad time for our country.
  What I am urging my colleagues to remember is what that loss feels 
like in their own States. We have seen so many tragedies this last 
year. We have seen so many disasters over the last several years. As 
Senator Mikulski has said and Senator Schumer has said: This country 
always stands together in these times of disaster and grave need. When 
it was Hurricane Katrina, we stood by that State, that region; 
immediately, within 10 days, we delivered $60 billion of aid and relief 
to the families in need. We did the same thing for Florida. Hurricane 
Andrew left devastation in its wake. We did the same thing when 
tornadoes hit Joplin, MO, and Tuscaloosa, AL. We stand by families in 
times of need. It is the job of the Federal Government to keep our 
families and communities safe. It is what we do. It is that gratitude 
we have when others come to our side in that moment of great need that 
draws this body together.
  What I am urging most is that we all do count our blessings during 
these holidays, we do look to what we have and know there are many 
families who are going without--without a warm home, without that loved 
one who has been lost. We know from this disaster children were taken, 
grandparents were taken, husbands and wives were lost. So the least we 
can do is help a community rebuild from that devastation.
  It starts with homes. We saw so much loss in our State. We worked out 
that we needed about $17 billion to rebuild the homes in New York and 
we asked for a community development block grant to cover that. Our 
colleagues on the other side of the aisle will have a substitute bill, 
a substitute bill that will cut funding drastically. It is akin to, if 
you have 5-alarm fire, you are just sending one firetruck because that 
is all you want to pay for today.
  They have cut that money for housing from $17 billion to $2 billion, 
so what you are saying to the families in New York, New Jersey, and 
Connecticut in the region: We are just not going to rebuild your house.
  FEMA right now provides individual assistance up to $31,000 for each 
homeowner. You cannot rebuild a home for $31,000--particularly not in 
New York. If you did not have insurance that covered or your insurance 
claims didn't pay out or your insurance companies said, sorry, it was a 
flood, you are not covered, what are you supposed to do? You are 
homeless. You have nowhere to go with your family.
  That is what we have to address in this bill. We have to provide the 
resources for these families to rebuild. The businesses are suffering. 
I can tell you, I saw many businesses where the structures were in 
rubble, but every business owner I talked to said to me: I am a New 
Yorker. I am going to rebuild. I am going to rebuild better. I was born 
here. I am going to stay here.
  That determination and that gratitude for what they have and what 
they will have is what is going to make the difference.
  I thank you, Mr. President, for giving us a chance to advocate on 
behalf of our families. We do need the help of everyone in this Chamber 
to do the right thing, to stand by others in their gravest time of 
need. That is what we have always done and that is what we must do now.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Mr. President, I wish to begin by thanking my 
colleague from Maryland, Senator Mikulski, for her kind and generous 
words about the recent tragedies we suffered in Connecticut and her 
sense of compassion and kindness. I also thank her for her vision, 
courage, and leadership on the legislation that is before us.
  I want to associate myself with the very eloquent and powerful 
remarks made by both Senators from New York and the Senator from New 
Jersey today.
  I strongly oppose the amendments that would constrict and delay aid 
that is as vital to Connecticut as it is to the other States of the 
region that were hammered and pummeled by Superstorm Sandy on the night 
it hit our area. The scope and scale of destruction made it one of the 
largest natural disasters to affect our Nation. It left millions of 
people without homes or electricity, and it cost tens of billions of 
dollars in damages to governments, businesses, and residents. The sweep 
and depth of destruction in human impact and financial effect was 
simply staggering. Our response should match its historic magnitude. We 
must think big, act big, and go forward with a vision to meet the needs 
of the people in America.
  As has been said, we are the United States of America. We meet 
catastrophe with the resources and commitment that is necessary to make 
sure people are treated fairly. Delay or reduction in resources is 
unfair. In effect, delay is denial, just like justice delayed is 
justice denied. It would be unjust to delay the resources by the kinds 
of amendments and proposals that have been offered and in effect reduce 
the amount of resources that can be available.
  The estimates about the disaster can occupy much time on this floor, 
and I am going to be brief in describing what I think is necessary 
because I have spoken previously before committees of this body. 
Suffice it to say that right away we need to redouble our efforts to 
reduce the personal costs and property damage from this storm and also 
to prevent that kind of damage in future storms. We can invest now or 
pay later. We will pay much more later if we fail to invest now.
  The path toward enlightened protection and preparation must include 
infrastructure improvements for Stamford's floodgate, the efforts on 
the Housatonic River to stop flooding, and electricity security 
measures such as the establishment of microgrids and increased 
availability of generators for senior citizen housing. These are 
examples of what can be done if we invest wisely now, and that is part 
of what this supplemental can do.
  It is vitally necessary that we are prepared because these kinds of 
disasters are, in fact, becoming the new normal. This storm is the 
fourth major disaster for the State of Connecticut in the past 19 
months, and it is the fourth major disaster declaration for our State 
in that time. There was record snowfall in January of 2011, and later 
in 2011 Tropical Storm Irene hit our State, as well as a highly unusual 
October snowstorm. Now we have Superstorm Sandy. These kinds of natural 
disasters demand the kind of response that the Senate can do if it 
approves this measure without these amendments that restrict and delay 
these efforts.
  We are building our infrastructure to 100-year storm levels, but 
unfortunately 100-year storms are happening just about every year. We 
have to be

[[Page S8444]]

prepared for the new normal by hardening critical infrastructure and 
taking time and spending money to construct an infrastructure 
assessment that will allow States and municipalities to know what 
infrastructure is at risk and what needs to be done to mitigate that 
risk. Failing to meet the immediate needs of these areas is not only 
unkind, it is unwise.
  As the Senator from New York just remarked, sending one firetruck to 
a 5-alarm fire is not only unkind, it is unwise. Rebuilding a house for 
a family that had three bedrooms and restricting it to one bedroom or 
no bedrooms is unkind and unwise because it will fail to provide 
housing for that family.
  I urge this body to provide the funding that Connecticut, New York, 
and New Jersey need to mitigate flooding and other damage from this 
storm and from future storms and make sure these States receive the 
kind of aid that is necessary so we can not only repair and rebuild but 
also prepare and prevent this kind of catastrophe in the future.
  Again, I thank all of my colleagues who have been so instrumental in 
reaching this point. I urge my colleagues to come together in the 
spirit that the United States has always done when it has faced these 
kinds of catastrophes. We have always done the right thing even in the 
face of fiscal austerity for regions and areas of our country that have 
been hard hit through no fault of their own and that need this kind of 
immediate relief.
  Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. President, I rise to speak in favor of two 
critical issues for my state--much-needed Emergency Watershed 
Protection Funds in the Supplemental Appropriation for Disaster 
Assistance and a Udall-Tester amendment that would add $653 million for 
U.S. Forest Service firefighting and wildfire prevention.
  Let me begin by making one point absolutely clear: this is an 
emergency. Some have questioned the need for this funding and have 
asked why we wouldn't limit dollars just to Hurricane Sandy areas. The 
short answer is that it is the smart thing to do, the right thing to do 
and the fair thing to do. I know these fires may seem like just another 
story on CNN for some folks, but they have had devastating impacts in 
my state and throughout the west. Wildfires destroy communities and 
their devastation persists for decades.
  The country faced the third worst wildfire season in the nation's 
history last year, with more than 9.2 million acres burned--including 
the Waldo Canyon and High Park fires, the two most destructive fires in 
Colorado history. Next year is projected to be much worse, yet the U.S. 
Forest Service will enter the 2013 fire season with a projected budget 
shortfall for preparing for and fighting these fires. They will also 
have only eight large air tankers compared to 44 in 2000--which puts 
them at a serious disadvantage in being able to attack these blazes. 
The Udall-Tester amendment would address this critical issue and 
provide $653 million to close the budget gap between what the Forest 
Service has and what they absolutely need. This is nothing to sneeze 
at, but for perspective this amounts to only one percent of the 
emergency funds that would be sent to support Hurricane Sandy recovery.
  These funds will enable pre-positioning of ground crews, hot shots, 
and air support in places where wildfire risk is very high. This is a 
smart investment because early attack is critical to stop fires from 
becoming mega-fires that devastate communities, take lives and 
property, and threaten water supplies. It also helps ensure that the 
Forest Service doesn't have to rob other accounts such as timber, 
watershed, and wildlife programs. Raiding other Forest Service funds is 
robbing Peter to pay Paul: These other funds help eliminate dead wood 
and other fuels in our national forests, thus reducing future fire 
risks.
  And the risks wildfires pose persist long after the final embers are 
extinguished. That is why we also are seeking to fully fund the 
Emergency Watershed Protection Program. Communities across this 
country--including many impacted by Hurricane Sandy--are at risk of 
catastrophic flooding and contaminated drinking water. This investment 
of $125 million in the bill before us is critical to help ensure that 
these communities do not face further debilitating and life-threatening 
impacts from these recent disasters.
  In my state, the Emergency Watershed Protection Program is essential 
to protecting and restoring critical watersheds that are damaged by 
wildfires. This is especially true of the most devastating wildfires in 
Colorado's history last summer--which, if left unaddressed, could cause 
serious flooding, landslide and other risks that threaten the lives of 
residents in my state.
  The High Park and Waldo Canyon fires tragically took lives, burned 
more than 100,000 acres, and led to catastrophic loss of property, 
including well over 300 homes in Colorado's second-largest city. But 
the initial impact could pale in comparison to the long-term impacts.
  Without rehabilitation and restoration, the watersheds that provide 
municipal and agricultural water supplies are at risk from landslides, 
flooding and erosion, which could result in serious infrastructure 
damage, water supply disruptions and even loss of life. Stabilizing and 
protecting these communities' watersheds is not only the right thing to 
do, it is also fiscally responsible.
  If we do not quickly address these watersheds, taxpayers could face 
hundreds of millions of dollars in costs from what otherwise would have 
been a minor storm.
  We need to fix what is wrong, and give these communities the peace of 
mind they deserve.
  And I want to remind my colleagues that Congress has historically 
provided Emergency Watershed Protection (or EWP) assistance for earlier 
disasters before moving on to confront the needs created by subsequent 
events. As of December 10, 2012, an estimated $47 million is needed to 
mitigate damaged watersheds in the aftermath of other presidentially-
declared Stafford-Act disaster areas in Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, 
Florida, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Utah, and Wisconsin. This is 
in addition to the $40 million needed for communities affected by 
Hurricane Sandy. We cannot leave these communities behind to suffer the 
effects of less recent disasters--whether they faced disaster from 
wildfire, hurricane or flood.
  Mr. President, Coloradans unfortunately have already experienced some 
of these effects. For example, the usually crystal-clear Poudre River 
has been flowing black due to ash and runoff from the fire. This forced 
the downstream city of Fort Collins to shut off their water intake for 
over 100 days. Further downstream, the city of Greeley shut off their 
water intakes for 36 days and are still only able to take a small 
fraction of their normal intake.
  This photo shows a water main that supplies 75 percent of the backup 
drinking water supply for the City of Colorado Springs--our second 
largest city. This pipe used to be buried 8 feet deep but is now 
exposed due to runoff from the fire area.
  How much more of an emergency do we need, when our most basic 
resource--drinking water supplies for three of Colorado's largest 
cities and its families and businesses--is threatened?
  I'll give you one more example. The flood potential in the burned 
areas is now 20 times higher than before the fire, which means that 
areas are experiencing 100-year floods from the same amount of rainfall 
that would have caused a 5-year flood before the wildfires.
  Look at this photo. This is Highway 14, which is the major east-west 
artery through northern Colorado. This mudslide is one of many that 
occurred during one very minor rainstorm after the High Park fire. 
These mudslides on our major roads put people, property, and commerce 
at risk. Already, families in the Colorado Springs vicinity have 
received at least four flash-flood warnings since the Waldo Canyon 
fire. The need for stabilizing this ground and restoring the burned 
areas on both federal and private land is critical to public safety, 
public health and the prevention of another disaster.
  I stand to support the recovery of the communities devastated by 
Hurricane Sandy. But, I want to ensure that my colleagues here 
understand the gravity of the situation we're facing in Colorado and 
other states that are also confronting disaster needs. If we do not act 
right away, communities across this nation will see unnecessary flood

[[Page S8445]]

risks, contaminated water supplies, and even tragic deaths caused by 
our inaction.
  So when someone asks whether EWP is necessary or critical, the answer 
emphatically is yes! For many of our communities in Colorado, this is 
their #1 priority in Congress and I'm not going to let their critical 
needs go unmet. I ask each of my colleagues to support this important 
funding in the bill before us today.
  I thank you for your attention and request that my statement appear 
in the appropriate place in the Record.
  Mr. REED. Mr. President, I rise in support of the Emergency 
Supplemental Appropriations bill for Hurricane Sandy. This is a 
critically important bill for the States that were affected by this 
storm--not only New York and New Jersey, which saw almost unimaginable 
devastation and loss of life, but States like my home State of Rhode 
Island, which experienced significant damage.
  There has been a long tradition in the Senate in working together to 
respond to major disasters in our States. The Appropriations Committee 
has been an important venue for the kind of bipartisan cooperation that 
has made these efforts possible. In large part that has been the result 
of the efforts of members like our late-Chairman Dan Inouye who 
created, by his example, an environment of comity and respect. That has 
been the unique ethos of our committee. Under the leadership of our new 
chairwoman, Senator Mikulski, it will continue.
  As chairman of the Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and 
Related Agencies, I also want to take a moment to talk about the $1.45 
billion included in the bill for environmental recovery and restoration 
needs.
  We must fund recovery efforts and rebuild public facilities that were 
damaged. But we also need to look ahead to projects that will allow our 
communities and our public lands to withstand future storms and natural 
disasters. I am pleased that the Interior section of this bill 
addresses both needs.
  The bill contains $435 million in essential funding to rebuild 
national parks, wildlife refuges, national forests, and other public 
facilities damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
  I particularly want to call attention to the $348 million included to 
fund immediate construction needs at more than 25 Park Service units 
that were damaged during the storm. These funds will help the Park 
Service take necessary steps to reopen a number of heavily visited 
units to the public--including the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, 
which suffered extensive damage during the storm.
  We need to get this work started now so that we can get these parks 
reopened. And because the need is so great--the amount requested by the 
President is nearly five times the annual line-item construction 
budget--it's imperative that we give the service the funds in this 
supplemental as soon as possible.
  I also want to note that the bill also provides $78 million for 
immediate reconstruction and recovery needs for the more than 30 
wildlife refuges that also sustained tremendous damage during the 
storm.
  These funds will be used for emergency stabilization needs, to 
replace or reconstruct facilities, roads, and trails, and to fund 
improvements needed to lessen anticipated damage from future storms.
  The bill also provides $810 million for the EPA State Revolving Fund 
programs, including $700 million for clean water needs and $110 million 
for drinking water needs, for States that faced the greatest impact 
from Hurricane Sandy. These funds will complement funds from other 
Federal agencies and provide targeted funding to upgrade water 
infrastructure to protect against future flooding, storm damage, and 
other natural disasters.
  Already, there is a huge estimated need for these funds. In fact, EPA 
estimates that there are approximately 700 drinking water and 
wastewater facilities in States affected by Sandy that need to make 
infrastructure upgrades that will make them less susceptible to 
flooding and extreme weather events.
  This is exactly the kind of work that needs to be undertaken so that 
we can get ahead of the curve and prepare for the next storm or natural 
disaster. I understand that there are some who believe that some of 
these investments do not constitute an emergency, but as those who 
lived in the path of storms from Andrew to Katrina to Sandy can attest, 
there is no time to waste or wait. I hope that this chamber can move 
swiftly to pass this supplemental appropriations bill.
  I yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that on Friday, 
December 1, when the Senate resumes consideration of H.R. 1, the 
legislative vehicle for the Sandy supplemental, the Senate proceed to 
vote in relation to the amendments to the bill under the previous 
order; that all remaining time under the previous order with respect to 
the amendments be yielded back; that there be 2 minutes equally divided 
prior to each vote, with the exception of the following: 4 minutes 
equally divided prior to each of the votes in relation to the Coburn 
amendments; 10 minutes equally divided prior to the votes in relation 
to each of the Paul amendments; 8 minutes equally divided prior to the 
vote in relation to the McCain amendment No. 3355; and 10 minutes 
equally divided prior to the vote in relation to the Lee amendment; and 
that all other provisions of the previous order remain in effect.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. SCHUMER. I said December 1--wishful thinking. The order should 
say Friday, December 28.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  I note the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                          ____________________