Amendment Text: S.Amdt.801 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)

Shown Here:
Amendment as Modified (05/08/2013)

This Amendment appears on page S3247 in the following article from the Congressional Record.

[Pages S3240-S3248]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, can I ask what the order is at this time?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senate is considering S. 601.
  Mrs. BOXER. OK. So this is my understanding: I ask Senator 
Blumenthal, do you have more to say on this matter with the resolution?
  Mr. BLUMENTHAL. I do not.
  Mrs. BOXER. OK. I know Senator Coats has some very important remarks 
to make about the death of a figure whom he cares about very much.
  What I wish to propose, if I can, is to talk a little bit about this 
little back

[[Page S3241]]

and forth we had going between my two friends here, and then 
immediately following what will only take about 2 or 3 minutes is to 
yield the floor to Senator Coats for 10 minutes.
  Mr. COATS. Less than that.
  Mrs. BOXER. Less than that. For the benefit of all Senators, we think 
we are going to have a vote tonight on the Brown amendment. So everyone 
stay around. We are hoping to have that in the next half hour or so. 
That is our plan. We hope it will happen.
  But I wanted to say in this back and forth we heard between two 
Senators why I was very strongly for the resolution that was put 
forward by Senator Blumenthal.
  Clearly, what we have in our society today are callous, abusive, 
unsanitary, or illegal health care practices. These horrible, callous 
practices turn into tragedies. They produce tragedies. As Senator 
Blumenthal said, it goes across a wide array of various health care 
  We do not come down here every day to call out one horrific problem 
after another. Certainly what has happened in Pennsylvania--and, again, 
I would take the admonition of Senator Blumenthal, who was a 
prosecutor, we have to be careful when a jury is deliberating--but 
certainly if these allegations are true, the individuals involved 
should be punished to the full extent of the law--and the toughest kind 
of punishment--and I believe in other cases too.
  I know my colleague has talked about a horrible situation in southern 
Nevada, where 40,000 patients were exposed to hepatitis C. Hepatitis C 
is a serious and life-threatening condition. Mr. President, 40,000 
people were exposed to it. They did nothing. That is deserving of 
condemnation as well.
  He talked about a nursing home in California, where we had the death 
of a patient because the nurse in that particular case--and nurses are 
some of the most extraordinarily wonderful people, but in this 
particular case she had her own convenience ahead of the situation. She 
improperly medicated patients using antipsychotic drugs, and we know 
one patient died.

  Whatever the setting is--if it is a reproductive health care clinic, 
if it is a dentist, if it is any type of doctor, any kind of clinic--
where there are willful violations of the law and violations of human 
dignity and violations of standard of care, we should call them out.
  What I thought was so important about Senator Blumenthal's resolution 
is that he took the spirit of Senator Lee's resolution. He did. He 
actually included in that what occurred in Pennsylvania. And we did get 
it to the Republicans 2 hours ago, so it was not a few minutes. I think 
that is a case in point where we could come together, where we say: 
Absolutely what happened in Pennsylvania is an outrage, it is a 
violation of everything we hold dear; and here are some other cases.
  As long as I have the floor, I will conclude with this: I have been 
getting involved in issues that deal with medical errors. I was stunned 
to find out, as I think are my colleagues--as a matter of fact, I met 
with a doctor from a Texas hospital where they have improved very much 
where they were losing patients, dozens of patients every month, 
because of medical errors, terrible errors that are preventable errors: 
the wrong prescriptions, the lack of monitoring, infections, terrible 
infections in hospitals. These are all horrible deaths that are 
  I think my colleague's resolution was very statesmanlike. I think 
what he did was he said to our colleagues who wanted to pass their 
resolution: Of course we will work with you. Let's broaden it. Let's 
include condemnation of other horrible tragedies that are occurring 
throughout the Nation, not just this one case, which is tragic and 
despicable and every word I could think of, but all these other cases, 
so we do not every day come here with another example. This is a broad 
problem in our country. We do the best out of most developed countries, 
but we still have a long way to go.
  I wanted to explain why I supported my friend when he opposed the 
narrower resolution and support his broad resolution. I would urge my 
colleagues to work with us.
  With that, I yield the floor to my friend from Indiana.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Blumenthal). The Senator from Indiana.
  Mr. COATS. Mr. President, I thank my colleague for allowing me to 
speak as in morning business, and I ask unanimous consent to do that.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                       Remembering Otis Ray Bowen

  Mr. COATS. Mr. President, this past Saturday my State of Indiana lost 
a humble giant whose soft-spoken yet very firm convictions influenced 
many Hoosiers for many years, including me.
  Former Indiana Governor Otis Ray Bowen, known affectionately to 
Hoosiers as ``Doc,'' passed away at the age of 95, the culmination of a 
life spent in service to others.
  Born in 1918, near Rochester, IN, Doc Bowen earned both a bachelor's 
degree and a medical degree from Indiana University, joining the Army 
Medical Corps, after completing his internship, in 1943.
  He served in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army during World War II 
and went ashore with the first wave of Allied troops during the 
invasion of Okinawa in 1945.
  After the end of the war, Doc Bowen started a family medical practice 
in Bremen, IN, which he continued for the next 25 years. He estimated 
that during his career this family doctor delivered more than 3,000 
  He was first elected to political office in 1952 as Marshall County's 
coroner and then to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1956.
  Doc lost the reelection following that 2-year stint by only 4 votes 
in 1958 but then subsequently was elected to seven consecutive house 
terms, beginning in 1960. He became minority leader in 1965 and speaker 
in 1967. He served as speaker of the Indiana House through four 
legislative sessions.
  As the 44th Governor of Indiana, from 1973 to 1981, Dr. Bowen served 
Hoosiers with dignity and respect. His tenure included numerous 
accomplishments, including landmark tax restructuring, improvements to 
State park facilities, and the development of a Statewide emergency 
medical services system.
  One of the most significant accomplishments of Governor Bowen was a 
medical malpractice bill he signed into law. Aimed to reduce the cost 
of health insurance and the burden on doctors, Governor Bowen's medical 
malpractice law became a national model.
  Hoosiers will also remember the Governor's passionate love of Indiana 
basketball. When the TV cameras would scan the players' bench, there 
was Doc, encouraging the team and, at times, casting a critical eye on 
the referee who just missed an important call.
  Following his service as Governor, Dr. Bowen returned to medicine as 
a professor at the Indiana University Medical Center.
  But his time in public service did not end there. President Ronald 
Reagan called Dr. Bowen out of private life and back into public 
service in 1985 by naming him Secretary of Health and Human Services--
the first physician to serve in this position.
  In 1989, Dr. Bowen returned to his Bremen home and continued to serve 
others through various charities and commissions.
  I was privileged to be able to meet with him on some occasions--
quietly, nonpublicly, just sharing stories, talking about his career, 
and, more importantly, his love for Indiana, his love for his wife, his 
love for his country.
  This good doctor and good Governor will long be remembered as an 
example of political leadership and human decency. The imprint of his 
leadership and, most of all, the imprint of his character will live on 
in the minds and hearts of Hoosiers for generations to come.
  My wife Marsha and I join millions of Hoosiers as we extend our 
deepest condolences to his family and also our gratitude for his 
shining example of a life well lived.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from California.
  Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I thank my colleague for his very warm 
  I ask unanimous consent that notwithstanding the previous order, the 
Brown amendment No. 813, as modified with the changes that are at the 
desk, also be in order; that there be no amendments in order to the 
Brown amendment prior to a vote in relation to the amendment; that at 
5:45 p.m. today, the Senate proceed to vote in relation to the Brown 
amendment No.

[[Page S3242]]

813, as modified; further, that all other provisions of the previous 
order remain in effect.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from California.
  Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I just asked unanimous consent to vote on 
the Brown amendment. I am going to be supporting that amendment. I 
think it is an important amendment. I just want to say to colleagues, 
we are making progress. It is not as fast as Senator Vitter and I would 
like, but considering the Senate it is not bad. We have moved through a 
number of amendments already, one particularly contentious amendment.
  We are moving toward the finish line. I urge everyone to get their 
amendments in. I urge them, as best I can, to stay away from nongermane 
amendments that are controversial, that cause us to pause in our work. 
This is an important bill. This bill was last done in 2007. You would 
ask, why does it take so long? We used to do these bills every 2 or 3 
years. But the reason it has taken this long, in the interim we decided 
we would no longer have earmarks.
  That made this bill particularly difficult because normally we would 
mention the projects by name. We could not do that. So we had to figure 
a way to move forward by making sure we never listed any particular 
project. We did it in a good way. We said if there is a completed Army 
Corps report, the project runs forward. If there is a modification that 
has to be made that did not add to the cost of the project, it goes 
forward. In the future the local governments can come forward and pitch 
to the Corps directly. We need flood control in this country. We know 
that. We knew that before Superstorm Sandy. We certainly know it now. 
We need port dredging in this country to move our goods. Our goods must 
be moved, and goods to our country have to come into our ports.
  We need environmental restoration. We need to take care of the 
Everglades. We need to take care of the Chesapeake. I have a place 
called the Salton Sea that is drying up. We need to take care of these 
kinds of challenges. We are going to turn to the Brown amendment. I am 
going to give up the floor now and hope he will explain it. I will be 
strongly supporting it.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio.

                     Amendment No. 813, As Modified

  Mr. BROWN. I thank the Senator from California, the chair of the 
committee who has done an extraordinary job with Senator Vitter on this 
  I ask unanimous consent to call up amendment No. 813.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Ohio [Mr. Brown], for himself, Mr. Toomey, 
     Mr. Casey, Ms. Klobuchar and Mr. Durbin, proposes an 
     amendment numbered 813, as modified.

  Mr. BROWN. 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 provide a multiagency effort to slow the spread of Asian 
  carp in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River basins and tributaries)

       At the end of title V, add the following:


       (a) Multiagency Effort to Slow the Spread of Asian Carp in 
     the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River Basins and 
       (1) In general.--The Director of the United States Fish and 
     Wildlife Service, in coordination with the Chief of 
     Engineers, the Director of the National Park Service, and the 
     Director of the United States Geological Survey, shall lead a 
     multiagency effort to slow the spread of Asian carp in the 
     Upper Mississippi and Ohio River basins and tributaries by 
     providing high-level technical assistance, coordination, best 
     practices, and support to State and local governments in 
     carrying out activities designed to slow, and eventually 
     eliminate, the threat posed by Asian carp.
       (2) Best practices.--To the maximum extent practicable, the 
     multiagency effort shall apply lessons learned and best 
     practices such as those described in the document prepared by 
     the Asian Carp Working Group entitled ``Management and 
     Control Plan for Bighead, Black, Grass, and Silver Carps in 
     the United States'', and dated November 2007, and the 
     document prepared by the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating 
     Committee entitled ``FY 2012 Asian Carp Control Strategy 
     Framework'' and dated February 2012.
       (b) Report to Congress.--
       (1) In general.--Not later than December 31 of each year, 
     the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, 
     in coordination with the Chief of Engineers, shall submit to 
     the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Natural 
     Resources of the House of Representatives and the Committee 
     on Appropriations and the Committee on Environmental and 
     Public Works of the Senate a report describing the 
     coordinated strategies established and progress made toward 
     goals to control and eliminate Asian carp in the Upper 
     Mississippi and Ohio River basins and tributaries.
       (2) Contents.--Each report submitted under paragraph (1) 
     shall include--
       (A) any observed changes in the range of Asian carp in the 
     Upper Mississippi and Ohio River basins and tributaries 
     during the 2-year period preceding submission of the report;
       (B) a summary of Federal agency efforts, including 
     cooperative efforts with non-Federal partners, to control the 
     spread of Asian carp in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River 
     basins and tributaries;
       (C) any research that the Director determines could improve 
     the ability to control the spread of Asian carp in the Upper 
     Mississippi and Ohio River basins and tributaries;
       (D) any quantitative measures that Director intends to use 
     to document progress in controlling the spread of Asian carp 
     in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River basins and 
     tributaries; and
       (E) a cross-cut accounting of Federal and non-Federal 
     expenditures to control the spread of Asian carp in the Upper 
     Mississippi and Ohio River basins and tributaries.

  Mr. BROWN. Mr. President, I am pleased to offer today, with my 
colleagues from Pennsylvania, Senator Toomey and Senator Casey, this 
amendment. As many of you know, the spread of Asian carp poses a threat 
to the Great Lakes' ecosystem. Because of the work of my Great Lakes 
State colleagues from Minnesota to Michigan, Pennsylvania, we are 
working to address this problem.
  But it is not, contrary to what many believe, limited just to the 
Great Lakes. The Ohio and Upper Mississippi River Basins also face the 
threat of these invasive species. This no-cost amendment that Senator 
Toomey and I are offering would support multiagency efforts to hold the 
spread of Asian carp in the Ohio and Upper Mississippi Basin.
  I ask my colleagues for their support.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. TOOMEY. 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. TOOMEY. Mr. President, I would like to begin by thanking my 
colleague Senator Brown for his leadership on this issue, and Senator 
Casey, my colleague from Pennsylvania, who is supportive of this effort 
as well.
  This is not a complicated amendment. I do not think it is a 
controversial amendment either. The fact is in southwestern 
Pennsylvania, we have three iconic rivers. In northwestern Pennsylvania 
we have access to and a coastline along a beautiful and important 
national treasure, Lake Erie.
  On all of these, the rivers and Lake Erie, the commerce and the 
recreation that occurs on these waterways are potentially at risk to an 
invasion of the Asian carp. This, as we all know, is a very aggressive, 
large, nonindigenous species that could be very disruptive to the 
ecosystem of the rivers, to the ecosystem of Lake Erie.
  What we discovered is that there is no single entity in the entire 
Federal Government that is responsible for coordinating our response, a 
response that will help to minimize the risk that the Asian carp would 
be able to invade the waterways and ultimately make their way into the 
Great Lakes.
  It would be potentially devastating if the Asian carp were to do so. 
We have introduced this amendment to this bill which would simply do 
two things. It would place the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in charge 
of coordinating the Federal multiagency effort. That would include the 
National Park Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Army Corps 
of Engineers. It would require an annual report on what is being done 

[[Page S3243]]

the Federal and State level to minimize the risk of an invasion of the 
Asian carp.
  As I say, I believe this is a very constructive, modest amendment. I 
trust it is not controversial. I urge my colleagues to support the 
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. BROWN. I ask for the yeas and nays on the Brown amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the amendment 
of the Senator from Ohio, Mr. Brown.
  Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Maryland (Mr. Cardin), 
the Senator from New Jersey (Mr. Lautenberg), and the Senator from 
Missouri (Mrs. McCaskill) are necessarily absent.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the 
Senator from Nevada (Mr. Heller) and the Senator from Nebraska (Mr. 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 95, nays 0, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 117 Leg.]


     Johnson (SD)
     Johnson (WI)
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)

                             NOT VOTING--5

  The amendment (No. 813), as modified, was agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, we have made progress on this bill in the 
last couple of days. We have had a difficult time on some of the 
amendments that were nongermane, but we worked our way through those. 
The two managers on this bill are waiting for amendments to be offered.
  I hope we could get this bill done as quickly as possible. It is an 
important bill for every State in the Union. I hope it is not bogged 
down with a lot of nonrelevant, nongermane amendments. If people want 
to offer them, have at it. I just don't think it is the right thing to 
do on this bill. We have already been through that. I have talked to 
Senator Boxer and Senator Vitter and they want to move through this 
  There is a lot of good stuff in this legislation, and they have 
worked so hard. They have listened to all of their colleagues who have 
situations, and some of that can be resolved with a managers' 
amendment. So if Senators have to offer an amendment, go ahead and 
offer it, but let's try to get this legislation complete.
  Monday is a no-vote day. We should do everything tomorrow to at least 
come up with a finite list of amendments because we are not going to 
spend all week on this bill next week, that is for sure.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Iowa.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as in 
morning business for 10 or 11 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                          Insider Trading Laws

  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, with the passage of the STOCK Act last 
year, Congress made an important statement: When it comes to insider 
trading laws, there is no special exemption for Congress. If anyone in 
government provides confidential information to someone for the purpose 
of trading on it, that is insider trading.
  It is illegal if the information is both material and nonpublic. The 
word ``material'' means a reasonable investor would want to know it 
before investing. ``Nonpublic'' means the information has not been 
released to the general public. To violate the law, the person making 
the disclosure must have a duty to keep the information secret.
  Frankly, there is very little information in Congress that must be 
kept secret. Of course, that is a good thing. Unlike the executive 
branch, most of what Congress does is public immediately. But 
disclosing material nonpublic information can be a crime. Even if it is 
done intentionally, people might be investigated before getting a 
chance to clear their name. And there is a big difference between 
material nonpublic information and an expert's educated guess about 
what a government agency might do.
  We now know that Wall Street has been harvesting expertise and 
tidbits of information from Washington, DC, for years while keeping us 
largely in the dark. In fact, the political intelligence industry is so 
big and so opaque that the Government Accountability Office was unable 
to quantify it or judge its size despite 1 whole year of investigating.
  Political intelligence firms extract pieces of information from the 
government and use that intelligence to make money on Wall Street. Each 
detail a political intelligence firm gathers may not be material or 
nonpublic on its own, but the purpose of collecting and analyzing those 
details is to get an edge in the markets over other investors.
  That is not illegal, and I have never suggested that it should be. 
People should not be discouraged from sharing information and opinions 
about how our government operates. We should be more transparent, not 
less. The less open and transparent government is, the more 
opportunities there are to exploit government information for profit in 
the markets.
  I have been investigating the role of political intelligence firms in 
the early release of information about Medicare Advantage rates prior 
to the public announcement on April 1st. There has been some confusion 
over the scope of my inquiry, so I want to be clear.
  There are reports that the Securities and Exchange Commission is 
investigating whether material non-public information was released 
about the Medicare Advantage rates. My interest is much broader than 
that. Political intelligence is not the same thing as material non-
public information. Gathering political intelligence includes a lot of 
activity that falls short of material non-public information. So, just 
because I am asking questions about how certain information or expert 
opinions flowed to these political intelligence firms, does not mean I 
am accusing anyone of any wrongdoing.
  I am not seeking to ban the gathering of political intelligence. I am 
not suggesting that if someone was the source for some piece of 
political intelligence, that the source did anything illegal. But, the 
goal of these firms is to get an edge on other investors, and that 
should be understood by everyone who communicates with them.
  This investigation has shed a great deal of light on the political 
intelligence industry. I hope to use this information to improve the 
legislation on political intelligence disclosure that I plan to re-
introduce with Representative Slaughter. I am trying to learn how these 
political intelligence firms function by using this real-world example, 
so that I can write better legislation on disclosure.
  To be clear, I am not focused on examining whether particular 
Congressional staff acted properly with regard to their professional 
duties. Any reports to the contrary are simply inaccurate. What I think 
we need is more transparency. Government officials need to know what 
happens with the information they provide to outside parties. I want to 
arm government officials with knowledge about who they are talking to.
  My inquiry started with Height Securities, the firm that put out an 
alert 18 minutes before the markets closed on April 1st. That alert 
caused a huge spike in the health insurance stocks

[[Page S3244]]

that stood to gain from the rate announcement.
  I initially learned that an email on April 1st from a healthcare 
lobbyist to the analyst at Height Securities looked like the basis for 
the flash alert that moved the markets. In the interest of full 
disclosure, it has been reported in the press that the lobbyist was 
formerly on my staff. But, I continued to press for more information.
  I learned that Height paid for his expertise on healthcare, although 
his entire billing amounted to only 1.75 hours of work before sending 
the email on April 1st. I learned that the Height analyst had also 
communicated with two other healthcare policy experts before putting 
out his alert to the market.
  Then, I learned that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services--
CMS--had already made its decision to reverse the rate cuts much 
earlier, two weeks before the Height Securities alert.
  The press has reported that there were major spikes in options 
trading on March 18th and March 22nd. Options trading is one way folks 
on Wall Street make big bets on a stock when they think they have a 
sure thing. March 18th happens to be the first trading day after CMS 
made its decision internally. March 22nd happens to be the day that CMS 
transmitted its draft decision to the White House more than a week 
before the public announcement. On that date, the circle of people in 
the administration who would have known about the CMS decision expanded 
  This suggests that political intelligence firms may have obtained key 
information for their clients in mid-March, not just the day of the 
announcement on April 1st.
  The press also reported on the possible involvement of another 
political intelligence firm, Capitol Street. Capitol Street arranges 
conference calls between investors and governments experts.
  In addition, I have asked two major hedge funds mentioned in the 
press whether they profited from trades in advance of the rate 
announcement. So the scope of my inquiry is broad. It is not focused on 
particular people. It is focused on the facts.
  The Securities and Exchange Commission is also investigating. It is 
their job to determine whether any material non-public information was 
passed to Height or to anyone else in this case. That is not my job.
  I am working on legislation to make the political intelligence 
industry more transparent. I am gathering facts to inform that 
  Remember, political intelligence does not necessarily involve 
material non-public information. But, people in government need to know 
who they are talking to and what they will do with your information. 
That is why it is so important to ensure that political intelligence 
relationships are transparent. Even if the information you provide is 
merely an educated guess, it can still move markets. It can still 
create an impression that a fortunate few are making money from special 
access to insiders.
  If political intelligence transparency is passed, government 
officials would be more fully informed when they provide expertise to 
these firms about how the information might be used. But as things 
stand, without transparency, you do not necessarily know what firms 
like Height Securities or Capitol Street do with the information you 
provide to them. You don't know if they have a contract with a lobbyist 
who is bringing in some other client for a meeting. You don't know that 
your discussion with that lobbyist's client might be repeated to people 
who are looking for an edge in the stock market. What you think may be 
an innocent detail or an educated guess may move markets.
  At the end of the day, that is what these firms want to exploit. That 
is what they are after. That is what they sell. They should be honest 
and upfront with people about how they make money. Lobbying disclosure 
isn't perfect, but it has brought more transparency to the process.
  Now, we need political intelligence disclosure too, for the same 
  Transparency increases the public's ability to trust that we are 
working for them, not for just for special interests. That principle 
should apply just as much to special interests on Wall Street as it 
does to special interests on K Street.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I ask consent to follow Senator Moran 
at the conclusion of his remarks.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Kansas.
  Mr. MORAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to address the 
Senate as in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                           Charitable Giving

  Mr. MORAN. Mr. President, April 15 has now come and gone, known as 
tax day to most Americans. Millions of Americans filed their returns 
last month and many took into account in filing that return the dollars 
they contributed to charitable and worthwhile causes. According to an 
organization called Giving USA, Americans gave nearly $300 billion in 
2011 to support important programs and services, from food pantries and 
medical research to youth programs and seed grants to start new 
businesses. Because of those generous donations of millions of 
Americans each year, not-for-profits have impacted the lives of 
countless individuals for decades.
  An example back home in my State, an example of where a charitable 
contribution made a tremendous difference in the life of an individual 
is William Wilkerson, a 16-year-old from Overland Park, KS. At age 3, 
William was diagnosed with moderate to severe bilateral hearing loss.
  After visiting several doctors, William was taken to Children's Mercy 
Hospital, where he was fitted with his first set of hearing aids. He 
later put into words what he experienced that day: With so many 
different things that I had never heard before, it was as if somebody 
had turned on the world!
  Denise Miller, the manager of the Children's Mercy Hearing and Speech 
Clinic, said this about the importance of donations: Because of the 
donor support we receive, we are able to fit the most appropriate 
hearing aids on each and every child, based on their own unique needs.
  In 2011, the clinic fit nearly 500 patients with hearing aids 
bringing the world of sound to their ears and changing their lives 
  Nonprofits like Children's Mercy Hospital depend on the generosity of 
Kansans and other Americans to help support their ongoing care for 
  But President Obama has proposed changes to the 100-year-old 
tradition of providing tax incentives for charitable giving that could 
significantly diminish this support for nonprofits.
  In the President's 2014 budget is a proposal to cap the total value 
of tax deductions at 28 percent for higher income Americans--including 
the charitable tax deduction.
  According to the Charitable Giving Coalition, this proposal could 
reduce donations to the nonprofit sector by more than $5.6 billion 
every year. This reduction amounts to more than the annual operating 
budgets of the American Red Cross, Goodwill, the YMCA, Habitat for 
Humanity, the Boys and Girls Clubs, Catholic Charities, and the 
American Cancer Society combined. A reduction in giving of this 
magnitude would have a devastating impact on the future of charitable 
organizations in our country.
  Given our country's current economic situation, more Americans have 
turned to nonprofits for help in recent years. According to the 
Nonprofit Finance Fund, 85 percent of nonprofits experienced higher 
demand for their services in 2011 and at least 70 percent have seen 
increased demand since 2008. Our country depends upon a strong 
philanthropic sector to provide a safety net for services, especially 
given the tighter local and State budgets.

  Americans understand the value and impact of the charitable 
deduction, which is why a recent United Way Worldwide survey found that 
two out of every three Americans are opposed to reducing the charitable 
tax deduction.
  Nonprofits are best equipped to provide assistance on the local level 
and can often do so in a far more effective manner than many government 
programs. Studies have shown that for every $1 subject to the 
charitable deduction, communities will receive $3 in benefits.

[[Page S3245]]

  The Federal Government will be hard-pressed to find a more effective 
way to generate that kind of public impact. Congress has previously 
acknowledged the benefits of private investments and regularly passes 
charitable giving incentives in the wake of a natural disaster to 
encourage more giving.
  Last October, when Hurricane Sandy tore across the east coast, the 
storm left thousands of residents without the basic necessities of 
life: food, water, and shelter. Within 6 weeks, the American Red Cross 
served more than 8 million meals, provided more than 81,000 shelter 
stays, and distributed more than 6 million relief items to thousands of 
residents impacted by the storm.
  In times of crisis, Americans depend on relief service organizations 
such as the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, and the Salvation 
Army--all not-for-profit organizations whose main purpose is to help 
their fellow citizens when they need it the most.
  Nonprofits such as Habitat for Humanity also help families make a 
fresh start in life after a disaster. In May of 2007, an EF5 tornado 
swept through my home State of Kansas devastating 95 percent of the 
town of Greensburg.
  Diana Torres, a single mom, had lived in Greensburg for nearly 7 
years when the tornado destroyed the home they were renting. Diana 
faced the likelihood of having to move out of State when the Wichita 
Habitat for Humanity stepped in with 1,400 volunteers to build a new 
home. Thanks to special financing and donated supplies, Diana could 
afford to purchase the home for her family.
  Executive director of the Wichita Habitat for Humanity Linda Stewart 
said those who support Habitat ``know they are making a difference in 
someone's life that lasts for years.'' That is what not-for-profits do 
every day across Kansas and around our country. They make a difference 
one life at a time.
  Since the founding of our Nation, neighbors have been helping other 
neighbors. They lend that helping hand that is so often needed. The 
charitable deduction is one way to encourage that tradition to 
  Any change in the Tax Code related to charitable giving would have a 
long-lasting and negative consequence, not necessarily to the generous 
donor but, more importantly, to the millions of Americans who rely upon 
the services provided by a charitable organization. With our economy 
still recovering and the tremendous need for charitable causes, the 
President should be encouraging Americans to give more, not less, and 
Congress should reject this administration's proposal.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I would like to ask consent to speak 
for up to 15 minutes as if in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                             Climate Change

  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. As I am sure the Presiding Officer suspects, I am 
back on the floor again to urge that we awaken to what carbon pollution 
is doing to our planet, to our oceans, to our seasons, and to our 
storms. I wonder why is it that we are so comfortably asleep when the 
warnings are so many and so real. What could beguile us away from 
wakefulness and duty?
  I was recently at a Senate meeting when I heard a Member of our 
Senate community say: ``God won't allow us to ruin our planet.'' Maybe 
that is why we do nothing. We are comfortable that God somehow will not 
allow us to ruin our planet. That seems like such an extraordinary 
notion, I thought I would reflect on it in my remarks this week.
  First of all, the statement refers to God and is couched in religious 
terms, but is it truly an expression of religious inquiry? I think not. 
It is less an expression of religious thinking than it is of magical 
thinking. The statement that God will not allow us to ruin our planet 
sweeps aside ethics, responsibilities, consequences, duties, even 
awareness. It comforts us with the anodyne assumption that no matter 
what we do, some undefined presence will--through some undefined 
measure--make things right and clean up our mess. That is seeking 
magical deliverance from our troubles, not divine guidance through our 
  Is God truly here just to tidy up after our sins and follies, to 
immunize us from their consequence? If that is true, why does the Bible 
say in Galatians 6:7, ``Do not be deceived . . . whatever one sows, 
that will he also reap.'' If God is just a tidy-up-after-us God, why 
does the book of Job 4:8 warn that ``those who plow iniquity and sow 
trouble reap the same.'' If God is not a God of consequences, why does 
Luke 6:38 tell us, ``For with the measure you use, it will be measured 
back to you.'' Proverbs 22:8 tells us, ``Whoever sows injustice will 
reap calamity.''
  Jeremiah 17:10 says, ``I the Lord search the heart and test the mind 
to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his 
  So it seems we should not walk in the counsel of the wicked or sit in 
the seat of the scoffers and then expect there will be no bitter fruit 
of our deeds, no consequence.
  We are warned in the Bible not to plow iniquity, not to eat the fruit 
of lies. Where in the Bible are we assured of safety if we do? I see no 
assurances of that. The Bible says in 1 Samuel 2:3 that ``the Lord is a 
God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.'' At Thessalonians 
1:6, ``God considers it just to repay with affliction those who 
afflict.'' Those who ``sow the wind,'' the Bible says, ``they shall 
reap the whirlwind.''

  Look at our own American history. If God is just here to tidy up 
after our sins and follies, how could Abraham Lincoln say this about 
our bloody Civil War to free and redeem us from the sin of slavery? 
Here is what Lincoln said about that war:

       Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth 
     piled by the bond-man's two hundred and fifty years of 
     unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood 
     drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the 
     sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must 
     be said: ``The judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous 
     judgment altogether.''

  That was Abraham Lincoln. Blood drawn by the sword in equal measure 
to that drawn by the lash as the true and righteous judgment of the 
Lord--that doesn't sound like a God of amnesty.
  Go to the very beginning. If we live in a state of God-given general 
amnesty from consequences, why were Adam and Eve expelled from Eden for 
their sin? Why was Cain sent into the wilderness, condemned to wander 
for the crime against his brother? If it is your assertion that God's 
love has no measure of tough love, wander a bit through the Old 
Testament before getting too married to that idea.
  If the Old Testament is too bloodthirsty for you, look at Revelations 

       And thy wrath is come, and the time . . . that thou . . . 
     shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

  If we believe in an all-powerful God, we must then believe that God 
gave us this Earth, and we must in turn believe God gave us its laws of 
gravity, chemistry, and physics. We must also believe that God gave us 
our human powers of intellect and reason. He gives us these powers so 
we, his children, can learn and understand Earth's natural laws, which 
he also gave us, so that as his children we can use that understanding 
of Earth's natural laws to build and create and prosper on his Earth.
  Hasn't that, in fact, been the path of human progress? We learn these 
natural laws, and we apply them to build and create and we prosper.
  Why then when we ignore his plain, natural laws, when we ignore the 
obvious conclusions to be drawn by our God-given intellect and reason 
would God--the tidy-up God--drop in and spare us? Why would he allow an 
innocent child to burn its hand when it touches the hot stove but 
protect us from this lesson? Why would he allow a badly engineered 
bridge or building to fall, killing innocent people, but protect us 
from this mistake? Why would he allow cholera to kill in epidemics 
until we figure out that the well water is contaminated?
  The Earth's natural laws and our capacity to divine them are God's 
great gift to us, allowing us to learn and build great things and cure 
disease. But God's gift to us of a planet with natural laws and natural 
order has as an integral part of that gift consequences--consequences 
when we get

[[Page S3246]]

that law and order wrong. The child's hand burns, the bridge falls, the 
disease spreads. If it didn't matter whether we got it right or wrong, 
there would be no value to God's creation of that natural law and order 
in the first place.
  So is that then to be our answer to polluting our atmosphere with 
carbon by the megaton and changing our climate and changing our seas? 
Is it to be our answer to that, that God would not allow us to ruin our 
planet? We are to continue to pollute our Earth with literally megatons 
each year of carbon, heating up our atmosphere, acidifying our seas, 
knowing full well by His natural laws what the consequences are? 
Instead of correcting our own behavior, we are going to bet on a 
miracle? That is the plan? Excuse me, but that is not the American way. 
President Kennedy described the American way as he ended his inaugural 
address connecting our work to God's:

       . . . let us go forth, to lead the land we love, asking His 
     blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's 
     work must truly be our own.

  That is the order of things. We are here to do God's work. He is not 
here to do ours. How arrogant. How very far from humility would be the 
self-satisfied smug assurance that God--a tidy-up-after-us God--will 
come and clean up our mess; that on this Earth, God's work need not be 
our own.
  Remember the story of the man trapped in his house during a huge 
flood. A faithful man, he trusted God to save him. As the waters began 
to rise in his house, his neighbor came by and offered him a ride to 
safety, and he said: I am waiting for God to save me. So the neighbor 
got in his pickup truck and drove away.
  As the water rose, the man climbed to the second floor of his house, 
and a boat came by his window with people who were headed for safe 
ground. They threw a rope and they yelled at the man to climb out and 
come with them, but he told them: No, I trust in God to save me. They 
shook their heads, and they moved on.
  The flood waters kept rising, and the man clambered up onto his roof. 
A helicopter flew by, and a voice came over the loud speaker offering 
to lower a ladder to the man, let him climb up and fly to safety. The 
man waved the helicopter away, shouting back that he counted on God to 
save him, so the helicopter left.
  Well, eventually the floodwaters swept over the roof, and the man was 
drowned. When the man reached Heaven, he had some questions for God:
  God, he asked, didn't I trust in You to save me?
  Why did You let me drown?
  God answered: I sent you a pickup truck, I sent you a boat, I sent 
you a helicopter. You refused my help.
  Just as God sent the pickup truck, the boat, and the helicopter to 
the drowning man, he has sent us everything we need to solve this 
carbon pollution problem. We just refuse. We just refuse. Some of us 
even deny that the floodwaters are rising.
  As I have indicated in previous speeches, climate denial is bad 
science. Indeed, it is such bad science it falls into the category of 
falsehood. Climate denial is bad economics, ignoring that in a proper 
marketplace the costs of carbon pollution should be factored into the 
price of carbon. Climate denial is bad policy in any number of areas--
bad national security policy, bad environmental policy, bad foreign 
policy, bad economic policy.
  Although I am a Senator, not a preacher, from everything I have 
learned and believe, it seems to me that climate denial is also bad 
religion and bad morals. Hopes for a nanny God who will, with a 
miracle, grant us amnesty from our folly is not aligned with history or 
text of the Bible.
  We need to face the fact that there is only one leg on which climate 
denial stands: money. The polluters give and spend money to create 
false doubt. The polluters give and spend money to buy political 
influence. The polluters give and spend money to keep polluting. That 
is it--not truth, not science, not economics, not safety, not policy, 
and certainly not religion, nor morality. Nothing supports climate 
denial--nothing except money.
  But in Congress, in this temple, money rules. So here I stand in one 
of the last places on Earth that is still a haven to climate denial. In 
our arrogance, we here in Congress think we can somehow ignore or trump 
Earth's natural laws--laws of chemistry, laws of physics, laws of 
science--with our own political lawmaking, with our own political 
influence. But we are fools to think that. The laws of chemistry and 
the laws of physics neither know nor care what we say or do here.
  So we need to wake up. We need to walk not in the counsel of the 
wicked, nor sit in the seat of scoffers, but with due humility awaken 
to our duty and get to work because here on Earth God's work must truly 
be our own.
  Thank you very much. I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from California.
  Mrs. BOXER. I just want to say to Senator Whitehouse before he leaves 
the floor how much I appreciated his remarks tonight and how much I 
learned from his remarks. I wish to say to the Senator that I think he 
put forward the most cogent argument from a religious perspective as to 
why we have to take action to make sure we don't lose this planet. We 
are in a planetary emergency. As he said, this is the last place in the 
world, almost, that doesn't get it.
  I wish to say to the Senator from Rhode Island that the reason so 
many religious leaders are in our coalition to call attention to 
climate change, to call attention to global warming, to call attention 
to the rising waters, to call attention to the terrible droughts, to 
the terrible fires, to the terrible storms, to the extreme weather and 
all the things we are seeing around us--the Senator from Rhode Island 
has laid it out chapter and verse, we can truly say, chapter and verse, 
and I so appreciate what he is doing here. I so appreciate his 
consistent voice, his passionate voice.
  I so appreciate that he is on the committee I am so proud to chair, 
the Environment and Public Works Committee. We are on a bill that deals 
with the public works side of the committee. We have good camaraderie 
there. But when it comes to protecting the environment, it is as if 
there are just two totally different species of humanity--the deniers 
and the believers. I am proud to be on the side of the believers. I 
believe America is built on facts. It is built on, yes, religious 
beliefs and scientific proof.
  I think the Senator from Rhode Island laid it out tonight in such a 
magnificent way that I intend to send the Senator's remarks, with his 
permission, to all of our colleagues, to put them up on my Web site 
because I am so proud to stand with the Senator from Rhode Island in 
this fight. This is a fight, and as my friend from Rhode Island said it 
is a fight that puts on one side the special interests, the polluters, 
the money, versus those who just say we have to save this planet. It is 
our responsibility. It is our God-given responsibility.
  I thank the Senator from Rhode Island so much, and I yield to him.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. I just want to say how honored I am to serve on 
Senator Boxer's committee with her as our chairman and leader and how 
eager I am to fight beside her in the struggles ahead.
  With that, with my appreciation, I yield the floor.
  Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I wish to say to my friend, today was a 
great day for the Senator from Rhode Island, not only because of the 
speech that I think is quite memorable but also because of the 
amendment he passed with the help of our Republican friends, to set up 
an oceans trust fund. I think this is a good, positive day, and I am 
very pleased about that.
  I would ask the staff if we are ready to make the unanimous consent 
  We will be in 2 minutes. So I would say to my colleague that we are 
going to dispose of about six amendments very quickly on the floor, 
with the indulgence of the Senator, and we should be free and done with 
this business in a few minutes.
  Mr. HOEVEN. I thank the Senator. No objection.
  Mrs. BOXER. I thank the Senator.
  So we will put in a quorum call. I ask unanimous consent to complete 
my remarks after the remarks of Senator Hoeven.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

[[Page S3247]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from California.

          Amendments Nos. 801, 806, 835, 833, and 832, En Bloc

  Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that 
notwithstanding the previous order, the following amendments which have 
been cleared on both sides be considered and agreed to en bloc: Pryor 
amendment No. 801, as modified, with the changes at the desk; Pryor 
amendment No. 806; Inhofe amendment No. 835, with a modification to the 
instruction lines; McCain amendment No. 833; and Murray amendment No. 
832; further, that all of the provisions of the previous order remain 
in effect.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendments were agreed to, as follows:

                     AMENDMENT NO. 801, AS MODIFIED

 (Purpose: To direct the Administrator of the Environmental Protection 
Agency to change the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure rule 
                     with respect to certain farms)

       At the end, add the following:

                        TITLE XII--MISCELLANEOUS

                   COUNTERMEASURE RULE.

       (a) Definitions.--In this title:
       (1) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means the 
     Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
       (2) Farm.--The term ``farm'' has the meaning given the term 
     in section 112.2 of title 40, Code of Federal Regulations (or 
     successor regulations).
       (3) Gallon.--The term ``gallon'' means a United States 
     liquid gallon.
       (4) Oil.--The term ``oil'' has the meaning given the term 
     in section 112.2 of title 40, Code of Federal Regulations (or 
     successor regulations).
       (5) Oil discharge.--The term ``oil discharge'' has the 
     meaning given the term ``discharge'' in section 112.2 of 
     title 40, Code of Federal Regulations (or successor 
       (6) Reportable oil discharge history.--The term 
     ``reportable oil discharge history'' has the meaning used to 
     describe the legal requirement to report a discharge of oil 
     under applicable law.
       (7) Spill prevention, control, and countermeasure rule.--
     The term ``Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure 
     rule'' means the regulation, including amendments, 
     promulgated by the Administrator under part 112 of title 40, 
     Code of Federal Regulations (or successor regulations).
       (b) Certification.--In implementing the Spill Prevention, 
     Control, and Countermeasure rule with respect to any farm, 
     the Administrator shall--
       (1) require certification of compliance with the rule by--
       (A) a professional engineer for a farm with--
       (i) an individual tank with an aboveground storage capacity 
     greater than 10,000 gallons;
       (ii) an aggregate aboveground storage capacity greater than 
     or equal to 20,000 gallons; or
       (iii) a reportable oil discharge history; or
       (B) the owner or operator of the farm (via self-
     certification) for a farm with--
       (i) an aggregate aboveground storage capacity not more than 
     20,000 gallons and not less than the lesser of--

       (I) 6,000 gallons; or
       (II) the adjustment described in subsection (d)(2); and

       (ii) no reportable oil discharge history of oil; and
       (2) not require a certification of a statement of 
     compliance with the rule--
       (A) subject to subsection (d), with an aggregate 
     aboveground storage capacity of not less than 2,500 gallons 
     and not more than 6,000 gallons; and
       (B) no reportable oil discharge history; and
       (3) not require a certification of a statement of 
     compliance with the rule for an aggregate aboveground storage 
     capacity of not more than 2,500 gallons.
       (c) Calculation of Aggregate Aboveground Storage 
     Capacity.--For purposes of subsection (b), the aggregate 
     aboveground storage capacity of a farm excludes--
       (1) all containers on separate parcels that have a capacity 
     that is 1,000 gallons or less; and
       (2) all containers holding animal feed ingredients approved 
     for use in livestock feed by the Commissioner of Food and 
       (d) Study.--
       (1) In general.--Not later than 12 months of the date of 
     enactment of this Act, the Administrator, in consultation 
     with the Secretary of Agriculture, shall conduct a study to 
     determine the appropriate exemption under subsection 
     (b)(2)(A) and (b)(1)(B) to not more than 6,000 gallons and 
     not less than 2,500 gallons, based on a significant rise of 
     discharge to water.
       (2) Adjustment.--Not later than 18 months after the date on 
     which the study described in paragraph (1) is complete, the 
     Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary of 
     Agriculture, shall promulgate a rule to adjust the exemption 
     levels described in subsection (b)(2)(A) and (b)(1)(B) in 
     accordance with the study.

                           AMENDMENT NO. 806

              (Purpose: To provide a work-in-kind credit)

       In section 2012, strike subsection (b) and insert the 
       (b) Applicability.--Section 2003(e) of the Water Resources 
     Development Act of 2007 (42 U.S.C. 1962d-5b) is amended--
       (1) by inserting ``, or construction of design deficiency 
     corrections on the project,'' after ``construction on the 
     project''; and
       (2) by inserting ``, or under which construction of the 
     project has not been completed and the work to be performed 
     by the non-Federal interests has not been carried out and is 
     creditable only toward any remaining non-Federal cost 
     share,'' after ``has not been initiated''.

                     Amendment No. 835, as modified

     (Purpose: To provide for rural water infrastructure projects)

       On page 319, between lines 9 and 10, insert the following:
       (10) Rural water infrastructure project.--The term ``rural 
     water infrastructure project'' means a project that--
       (A) is described in section 10007; and
       (B) is located in a water system that serves not more than 
     25,000 individuals. On page 527, strike lines 1 through 3, 
     and insert the following:
       (2) Eligible project costs.--
       (A) In general.--Subject to subparagraph (B), the eligible 
     project costs of a project shall be reasonably anticipated to 
     be not less than $20,000,000.
       (B) Rural water infrastructure projects.--For rural water 
     infrastructure projects, the eligible project costs of a 
     project shall be reasonably anticipated to be not less than 

                           AMENDMENT NO. 833

 (Purpose: To protect the American taxpayer by establishing metrics to 
measure the effectiveness of grants administered by the national levee 
                            safety program)

       In section 6004(i)(2), add at the end the following:
       (C) Measures to assess effectiveness.--Not later than 1 
     year after the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall 
     implement quantifiable performance measures and metrics to 
     assess the effectiveness of the grant program established in 
     accordance with subparagraph (A).

                           AMENDMENT NO. 832

  (Purpose: To modify the definition of the term ``cargo container'')

       On page 305, strike lines 11 through 14 and insert the 
       ``(i) Cargo container.--The term `cargo container' means a 
     cargo container that is 1 Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Jersey.
  Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. President, I rise in support of amendment No. 802, 
which I understand will be offered to the WRDA bill by my colleague 
from Louisiana Senator Landrieu which would stop flood insurance 
premiums from skyrocketing until FEMA completes its study on the 
affordability of premiums of the National Flood Insurance Program.
  As everyone here knows, my home State of New Jersey was at the 
epicenter of Superstorm Sandy which destroyed thousands of homes, left 
millions without power, and caused billions of dollars in damage. But 
despite the devastation, the people of New Jersey didn't give up. They 
began rebuilding, and we showed the country that ``Jersey Tough'' isn't 
just a slogan.
  But even as we slowly recover from the worst natural disaster in our 
State's history, a manmade disaster is looming in the distance, 
jeopardizing our recovery. The combination of updated flood maps and 
the phaseout of premium subsidies for the National Flood Insurance 
Program threaten to force victims out of their homes and destroy entire 
  It is like a triple whammy. We have the consequences of Superstorm 
Sandy, which devastated homes, so they have to rebuild. Many times, 
that insurance didn't rise to the level of the cost of rebuilding. 
Secondly, and as a result of flood maps that came in after the storm, 
there are now requirements for new elevations. Thirdly, the premiums 
are going to skyrocket because the subsidies go down. So we have a 
triple whammy.
  Now, many homeowners are going to be forced to pay premiums that are 
several times higher than their current policy. Those who cannot afford 
the higher premiums will either be forced to sell or abandon their 
homes. This, in turn, will drive down property values and local 
revenues at the worst possible time--when we are doing everything we 
can to bring communities back to life after the storm.
  I have heard from countless New Jerseyans. Many who are facing this

[[Page S3248]]

predicament have come to me in tears. These are hard-working middle-
class families who have played by the rules, purchased flood insurance 
responsibly, and now are being priced out of the only home in which 
they have ever lived. This amendment would delay these potentially 
devastating changes until FEMA completes its study on premium 
  This study is the result of a requirement I authored in the flood 
insurance bill last year because I was concerned that premiums could 
become unaffordable for too many families. Of course, at that time the 
challenge was made by many of our colleagues, particularly on the other 
side of the aisle, who said: Well, we will let the flood insurance 
program die unless it can be self-sufficient.
  Given the choice between having no flood insurance program--that, 
therefore, would mean no homeowner would have any insurance available 
to them, and, of course, it dramatically reduces the value of the home 
if you cannot get flood insurance and you are in a flood plain--or 
having a flood insurance program under the conditions our colleagues 
insisted on, there was a need to have a flood insurance program. But 
because I knew that had some potential rate shock to individuals, the 
study I required and sought and achieved in the flood insurance bill 
last year was because of this concern of unaffordability for too many 
families. That was even before Superstorm Sandy struck.
  While my friends on the other side of the aisle protested my efforts 
to provide assistance to help low- and middle-income families afford 
insurance, I was able to include a requirement that FEMA conduct this 
study on affordability. Well, it has been 10 months since we passed the 
reauthorization, and there is still no study.
  Unfortunately, my concerns about premiums becoming unaffordable have 
already come true for many New Jersey homeowners. Until FEMA does its 
job and provides options, according to the law, to improve 
affordability, the people of New Jersey should not have to face these 
skyrocketing premiums at a time they are, in essence, getting a triple 
whammy: They lost their homes or their homes are dramatically 
uninhabitable, they have to rebuild--in many cases, because of new 
flood maps, they will have to elevate--and they will have to pay 
incredibly higher premiums. That is simply a devastation that should 
not take place.
  We all remember the devastation that happened in New Jersey in late 
October and the way the country came together to help the victims. Last 
week we marked the 6-month anniversary of Sandy, and the work is far 
from over. We still have too many people out of their homes and too 
many people who are afraid of losing their homes.
  New Jersey families already suffered from a natural disaster. The 
next disaster should not be a manmade one. I urge my colleagues to 
support this amendment.
  With that, Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Heinrich). The Senator from Connecticut.