BRING JOBS HOME ACT--MOTION TO PROCEED; Congressional Record Vol. 158, No. 108
(Senate - July 18, 2012)

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[Pages S5093-S5130]
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  Mr. REID. Madam President, I move to proceed to Calendar No. 442.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       Motion to proceed to S. 3364, a bill to provide an 
     incentive for businesses to bring jobs back to America.

  Mr. REID. Madam President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. REID. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 


  Mr. REID. Madam President, the schedule here this morning is that the 
first hour will be equally divided and controlled between the two 
leaders or their designees, the majority controlling the first half and 
the Republicans the final half.
  Yesterday cloture was filed on the motion to proceed to the Bring 
Jobs Home Act. Unless an agreement is reached, this vote will occur 
tomorrow morning.

                Measure Placed on the Calendar--S. 3393

  Mr. REID. Madam President, I am told S. 3393 is at the desk and due 
for a second reading.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will report the bill by 
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (S. 3393) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 
     to provide tax relief to middle-class families.

  Mr. REID. Madam President, I object to any further proceedings on 
this bill at this time.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Objection is heard. The bill will 
be placed on the calendar under the provisions of rule XIV.

                         Taxpayer Subsidization

  Mr. REID. Madam President, if you want to do business in America 
today, your goal should be to make a profit. There is nothing wrong 
with that. That is good. Millions of hard-working American 
entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy. And if your company 
boosts profits by sending jobs overseas, that is your right as a 
business owner. But American taxpayers shouldn't subsidize your 
business decision to outsource jobs, especially when there are millions 
of people in this country looking for work.
  Over the last 10 years, about 2\1/2\ million jobs in call centers, 
sales centers, financial firms, and factories were shipped overseas, 
and American taxpayers helped foot the bill for sending those jobs 
overseas. Every time U.S. companies ship jobs or facilities overseas, 
American taxpayers help cover the moving costs. The Bring Jobs Home Act 
will end these disgraceful subsidies for outsourcing and would give a 
20-percent tax break to cover the cost of moving those jobs back to the 
United States.
  But Republicans are filibustering this commonsense legislation. It is 
no surprise Republicans are on the side of corporations--corporations 
making big

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bucks--sending American jobs to China, India, and other places. After 
all, their Presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, made a fortune in 
outsourcing jobs also. So Republicans are once again putting tax breaks 
for big corporations and multimillionaires ahead of the needs of 
ordinary Americans.
  What most Americans need is a good job--a job here at home--and the 
assurance their taxes won't go up on January 1. Democrats, Republicans, 
and Independents across the country agree with our plan. It is only 
Republicans in Congress who disagree. Yet Republicans here in the 
Senate are filibustering legislation to bring jobs back to America. 
They have twice blocked a vote on legislation to keep taxes low for 98 
percent of American families.
  It was Republicans who asked for a vote on the plan to raise taxes 
for 25 million families and a vote on our plan to keep taxes low for 
135 million American taxpayers. So we offered them what they wanted. We 
offered them up-or-down votes on both proposals--no procedural hoops, 
no delay tactics, just a simple majority vote on our plan and theirs. 
And they refused.
  Maybe Republicans refused our offer because they don't have the votes 
for their plan to raise taxes on 25 million Americans or maybe they 
have refused it because the majority of Americans support our plan to 
keep taxes low for 98 percent of families, while asking only the top 2 
percent to contribute a little bit more to reduce the deficit. Everyone 
across America--the majority of Republicans--supports our plan. Yet, 
still, Republicans here in the Senate are holding hostage tax cuts for 
nearly every American family to extort more budget-busting giveaways to 
millionaires and billionaires.
  For a year, the budget deficit was all Republicans wanted to talk 
about. They were willing to end Medicare as we know it, slash funding 
for nursing homes for seniors, investments in education, and raise 
taxes on the middle class all in the name of deficit reduction. But now 
that Democrats have a plan to reduce the deficit by almost $1 trillion 
simply by ending wasteful tax breaks, Republicans have given up fiscal 
  So I say this to my Republican friends: You can't have it both ways. 
You can't call yourself a deficit hawk and fight for more tax breaks 
for millionaires and billionaires while the deficit increases. You 
can't call yourself a fiscal conservative and fight to protect tax 
breaks for companies that outsource jobs to India and China.

                   Recognition of the Minority Leader

  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Republican leader is 

                            Senate Procedure

  Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, I indicated to the majority leader 
before the Senate convened today that I wanted to have a discussion, 
the two of us, on several items.
  No. 1, I understand my friend the majority leader, last night on 
MSNBC, said it was his intention at the beginning of the next Congress, 
if Democrats were in the majority, to change the rules of the Senate by 
a simple majority. So I want to begin by asking my friend the majority 
leader if his comments at the beginning of this Congress, on January 
27, 2011, are no longer operative. At that time, my friend the majority 
leader said:

       I agree that the proper way to change Senate rules is 
     through the procedures established in those rules, and I will 
     oppose any effort in this Congress or the next to change the 
     Senate's rules other than through the regular order.

  So my first question to my friend the majority leader is: Is that 
statement no longer operative?
  Mr. REID. Madam President, through the Chair, I would answer my 
friend the Republican leader, as I have said here on the floor. I 
believe what took place at the beginning of this Congress was something 
that was very important for this body. It was led by Senator Udall of 
New Mexico and Senator Merkley of Oregon. They had been here a little 
while and they thought the Senate was dysfunctional. Well, they hadn't 
been here a long time, and I was still willing to go along at that time 
with the traditional view of let's not rock the boat here. But that was 
with the hope, and I thought the assurance of my Republican colleagues, 
that we would not have these continual, nonsensical motions to proceed 
filibustered, taking a week to get through that before finally moving 
to a piece of legislation.
  So I said here in the Senate a few months ago that I was wrong. It is 
hard to acknowledge you are wrong. It is difficult for any of us to do, 
especially in front of so many people. But I said I think they were 
right and I was wrong, and I stick by that. I think what has happened 
the last few years of changing the basic rules of the Senate where we 
require not 50 votes to pass something but 60 votes on everything is 
wrong. I think we waste weeks and weeks on motions to proceed.
  I had a conversation with a real traditionalist last evening--Carl 
Levin, the Senator from Michigan--where we talked about this at some 
length. He acknowledges the motion to proceed is a real problem here 
but he disagrees with me. Others can talk to him personally, but that 
is the way I understood him. But I am convinced something must change, 
unless there is an agreement to change how we focus on the motion to 
  I will try to end this quickly, but I think the leader deserves a 
full explanation. The filibuster was originally devised--it is not in 
the Constitution--to help legislation get passed. That is the reason 
they changed the rules here to do that. Now it is being used to stop 
legislation from passing, and so we have to change things because this 
place is becoming inoperable.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I gather then my friend the majority leader's 
commitment at the beginning of the Congress, that we would follow the 
regular order to change the rules of the Senate, is no longer 
operative. So let me turn to a second area of discussion.
  The principal advantage of being in the majority is you get to 
schedule legislation. And of course there are a number of things that 
can be done with a simple majority of 51. So I would ask my friend the 
majority leader why it is his view Republicans have somehow prevented 
the Senate from passing a budget, which could have been done with a 
mere 51 votes anytime during the last 3 years?
  Mr. REID. Madam President, that is an easy question to answer. We 
already have a budget. We passed, in August of last year, a budget that 
took effect for the last fiscal year and this fiscal year. It set 
numbers--302(b) numbers, in effect. There was no need for a budget this 
year. We already had one.
  So the hue and cry of my Republicans friends that we need to have a 
budget is just a lot of talk. We already have a budget.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, I would say to my friend the majority 
leader, he knows the Parliamentarian disagrees with his view that we 
already have a budget. But let us assume for the sake of discussion we 
do have a budget. Then I would ask my friend the majority leader why we 
haven't passed a single appropriations bill?
  Mr. REID. That also is an easy question to answer. The Republicans in 
the House--and this is a bicameral legislature--have reneged on the law 
that was passed last August where it set numbers. Their appropriations 
bills have artificially lowered the numbers and violated the law, in 
effect, here in this Congress. As a result, Senator Inouye has marked 
up his bill--subcommittee bills.
  But I would also say the House is not serious about what they do. 
Energy and Water used to be one of the most important subcommittees--
the most popular, I should say, in addition to being important--in this 
body. I was fortunate to serve on that subcommittee for more than a 
quarter of a century under great leaders--Domenici, Bennett, Johnson, 
and the committee chairs switched back and forth. But the House sent 
over here an Energy and Water Subcommittee appropriations bill that has 
more than 30 riders directed toward EPA-type functions alone. I mean, 
they are not serious about doing legislation. They are serious about 
satisfying their tea party and the ridiculous messages they are trying 
to send.
  I would also say one of the other problems we have is we have to 
fight to get to anything--any legislation. We have to fight to get that 
done. As you know, we have wasted--I said weeks earlier--months trying 
to get legislation on the floor. So appropriations bills, I want to get 
these done. I am an appropriator. But it has been unrealistic with the 
actions of the House.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, what we just heard is that it is not 

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Senate's fault, it is the House's fault that the Senate won't schedule 
appropriations bills that have been marked up in the Senate 
appropriations committees.
  My concern here is that nobody is taking responsibility for the 
Senate itself. We are not responsible for what the House is doing. And 
typically these differences in what we call 302(b)s; that is, what each 
subcommittee is going to spend, are worked out in conference. We can't 
have a conference on any of the bills because we haven't passed any of 
the bills across the Senate floor.
  So the majority leader doesn't want to do a budget. He doesn't want 
to schedule votes on appropriations bills. Then I would ask my friend, 
why don't we do the DOD authorization bill?
  Mr. REID. The answer is pretty simple there too: We have spent the 
last many weeks working through procedural matters on bills the 
Republicans have held up.
  We are now in a cloture situation. I spoke to Senator Levin last 
night about that. He is the chairman of that committee. I have spoken 
to John McCain several times on this matter. I know how important they 
feel this legislation is, and I think it is important also. But we can 
only do what we have to do.
  One of the things I have an obligation for our country to get to is 
cybersecurity. I was asked to visit with General Petraeus. I did that a 
day or two ago. And we don't have to have a briefing by General 
Petraeus to understand how important it is to do something about 
cybersecurity. There are people out there making threats on this 
country every day, and we have been fortunate in being able to stop a 
number of them. So we are going to have to get to cybersecurity before 
we get to the Defense authorization bill because on the relative merits 
of the two, cybersecurity is more important. They are both important, 
but I believe that one is more important than the other.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, it is pretty obvious that the reason 
the Senate is so inactive is because the majority leader doesn't want 
to take up any serious bills that are important to the future of the 
country. He mentioned cybersecurity. Why isn't it on the floor? Defense 
authorization: Why isn't it on the floor? Appropriations bills: Why 
don't we call them up? These are not partisan bills. They are widely 
supported. They are the basic work of government, including the budget. 
And I understand his view is that the Parliamentarian is wrong and that 
we really did pass a budget. But the budget could be done with a simple 
majority. The appropriations bills are not partisan in nature. If there 
are differences in the 302(b)s, they could be worked out in conference, 
which is the way we did it for years.
  We have followed the regular order occasionally, and when we have 
Senators have been involved, they were relevant in the process. I will 
give five examples. The Export-Import Bank reauthorization, trade 
adjustment assistance patent reform, FAA reauthorization, the highway 
bill, and the farm bill are all examples of when Senators were made 
relevant by the fact that we took up bills that actually came out of 
committees, that were worked on by Members of both parties, that were 
brought up on the floor, amendments were offered, and in the end bills 
  The core problem here is that my good friend the majority leader as a 
practical matter is running the whole Senate because everything is 
centralized in his office, which diminishes the opportunity for 
Senators of both parties to represent their constituents.
  Look, we all were sent here by different Americans who expected us to 
have a voice, to have an opportunity to effect legislation.
  I would say to my good friend the majority leader, we don't have a 
rules problem, we have an attitude problem. When is the Senate going to 
get back to normal?
  I can recall my friends on the other side saying repeatedly that the 
difference between the House and Senate is you get to vote; it is not a 
top-down organization the way the House is, it is really kind of a 
level playing field in which the majority leader has a little more 
advantage than any of the rest of us and the right of first 
recognition, but really, once a bill is called up, it is a jump ball.
  What my friend the majority leader is saying is that it is 
inconvenient, it is hard to work with all these Senators who have 
different points of view and want to do different things. Well, heck, 
that is the way legislation is passed. It is not supposed to be easy, 
and Senators are supposed to have an opportunity to participate.
  I would argue that in the examples I just cited where Senators did 
participate--both in the committee and on the floor--the Senate 
functioned the way it used to. And all this talk about rules change is 
just an effort to try to find somebody else to blame for the fact that 
the Senate has been ruled essentially dysfunctional by 62 efforts by my 
good friend the majority leader to fill up the tree--in effect, deny 
Senators, both Democrats and Republicans, the opportunity to offer any 
amendments he doesn't select. That is the reason we are having this 
problem. So it doesn't require a rules change, it requires an attitude 
change. And I sense on both sides of the aisle--this is not just a 
Republican complaint, I would say to my friend the majority leader. I 
have talked to a lot of Democrats about this too. They would like to be 
relevant again, and the way Senators are relevant is for their 
committee work to be respected and to be important and to become a part 
of the bill coming out of committee or, if it didn't, an opportunity to 
offer an amendment to effect it on the floor.
  Sure, we don't have rules of germaneness. We generally are able to 
work that out. When we were in the majority, we got nongermane 
amendments from the Democratic side, and I used to tell my Members that 
the price of being in the majority is you have to cast votes you don't 
want to cast because that is the way you get a bill across the floor 
and get it to completion.
  So I would say to my good friend the majority leader, quit blaming 
everybody else. It is not the House; it is not the Senate; it is not 
the motion to proceed. Why don't we operate the way we used to under 
leaders of both parties and understand that amendments we don't like 
are just part of the process because everybody here doesn't agree on 
everything? That would be my thought about how to move the Senate 
  But at the beginning of this discussion, the majority leader made it 
clear that what he said at the beginning of the Congress is no longer 
operative. It is now his view that the Senate ought to operate like the 
House--it ought to operate like the House, with a simple majority. I 
think that is a mistake. I think that would be a mistake if I were the 
majority leader and he were the minority leader, which could be the 
case by the end of the year. And now I will probably have to argue to 
many of my Members why we shouldn't do what the majority leader was 
just recommending about 6 months before.
  Let's assume we have a new President and I am the majority leader 
next time and we are operating at 51. I wonder how comforting that is 
to my friends on the other side. How does it make you feel about the 
security of ObamaCare, for example? I think that is worth thinking 
  The Senate has functioned for quite a number of decades without a 
simple majority threshold for everything we do. It has a good effect 
because it brings people together. To do anything in the Senate, you 
have to have some bipartisan buy-in.
  My colleagues, do we really want the Senate to become the House? Is 
that really in the best interests of our country? Do we want a simple 
majority of 51 to ramrod the minority on every issue? I think it is 
worth thinking about over the next few months as the American people 
decide who is going to be in the majority in the Senate and who is 
going to be the President of the United States.
  Mr. REID. Madam President, the Republican leader has asked a few 
questions, so I will proceed to answer.
  I can remember reading with great interest George Orwell's ``1984'' 
book where, as you know, it came out that up was down and down was up. 
The Republican leader is living in a fantasy world if he believes what 
he said, and I assume he does. That is why two scholars, Mann and 
Ornstein, a couple months ago wrote a book. They have been watching 
Washington for three or four decades, and they said they have over the 
years been like a lot of people

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who are writers--Democrats did this, Republicans did this--but their 
conclusion was that what has happened in recent years is the 
Republicans have stopped this body from working by all of their 
shenanigans on these motions to proceed, creating 60 votes where it 
never existed before.
  Robert Caro, who is writing the definitive work on Lyndon Johnson, 
one of my predecessors, said that I had a very difficult job based on 
how the Senate has changed with what the Republicans are doing.
  Now, we have tried mightily. We have gotten a few things done. 
Whenever there is a decision made that they want to help a bill get 
passed, we get it done--for example, the highway bill. That bill took 
so long to get done. We had one major piece of legislation that we 
waited 4 weeks before they could get it out of their system that 
instead of doing highways, we should be doing birth control, 
determining what birth control women should be entitled to. All of 
these extraneous issues--important legislation held up. One of the 
Republicans over here decides they are a better Secretary of State than 
Hillary Clinton, holding up major pieces of legislation.
  So I can take the criticism the Republican leader has issued. I 
assume it is constructive criticism, and I accept that. But I would 
just suggest to my friend that if a Democratic Senator--as the 
Presiding Officer knows--has a problem about anything going on around 
here, they talk to me. I don't think there is any reason for them to 
talk to the Republican leader. But if they do that, more power to them.
  There have been volumes of pieces of legislation that have been 
brought to a standstill here. Why do we now have a rule that every 
basic piece of legislation has 60 votes?
  I had a meeting with Senator Feinstein, Senator Tester, and Senator 
Lautenberg. In the course of the conversation, Senator Feinstein looked 
back and said: You know, I had really a controversial amendment dealing 
with what should happen to assault weapons. That passed on a simple 
majority vote. No one suggested filibustering that thing to death. That 
is new. That is new--legislation being used as an excuse to stop 
  Now, I want the record to be very clear--and I have made it all very 
clear in all of my public statements--about the need to get rid of the 
motion to proceed. I am not for getting rid of the filibuster rule. It 
is ``1984'' to suggest that I think the House and the Senate should be 
the same. But I do believe that when the filibuster came into being, it 
was to help get legislation passed. I repeat: It is now to stop 
legislation from passing. That is not appropriate.
  So I am convinced that the best thing to do with filibusters is to 
have filibusters. I have been involved in a couple of them, and I am 
sure I irritated people on both of them, but I did that. One of them 
didn't last too long, but the first one lasted 11 or 12 hours. That is 
what filibusters are supposed to be, not throwing monkey wrenches into 
decisions we are trying to make and then walking off the floor.
  The rules have to be changed. I acknowledge that, and I don't 
apologize for it for 1 second.
  As far as how I attempt to run the Senate, I do the best I can under 
very difficult circumstances, as indicated by the two writers Mann and 
  Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, most people think a filibuster is a 
lot of talking to stop the bill from passing. In fact, cloture is to 
end debate. And what we have had here on at least 62 occasions while 
the majority leader was running the Senate are examples of times when 
Senators were not allowed to talk, not allowed to offer amendments, and 
not allowed to participate in the process. Cloture is frequently used 
in order to advance a measure, but, as you can imagine, when Senators 
have no opportunity to have any input, it tends to create the opposite 
  But what is all of this really about? It is about making an excuse 
for a completely unproductive Senate, much of which could have been 
done with simple 51 votes, passing a budget, and not even bringing up 
bills that we all want to act on--all the appropriations bills, the 
Defense authorization bill. And on the rare occasions when the majority 
leader has turned to a measure that Senators have been involved in 
developing, we have come to the floor, we have had amendments, we have 
had votes, and the bills have passed. That is the way the Senate used 
to operate.
  So this isn't a rules problem, this is a making-excuse argument to 
try to blame somebody else for the lack of productivity of a Senate 
that I sense on a bipartisan basis would like to be a lot more 
productive, which would involve the use of Senators' talents, speaking 
ability, voting, and debating on the floor of the Senate.
  Since when did that go out of fashion?
  Yes, we have a big difference of opinion about the way this place is 
being run. It is not a rules problem; it is an attitude problem. It is 
a looking for somebody else to blame game.
  I say to my friend the majority leader, I think what we need to do is 
get busy with the serious business confronting the American people. 
Where is the Defense authorization bill? Where are the appropriations 
bills? Don't blame it on the House. Don't blame it on Senate 
Republicans. We want to go to these bills. Our Members have been 
involved in developing this legislation. In the Armed Services 
Committee, in the Appropriations subcommittees, Senate Republicans are 
involved in developing that legislation. We would like to see it 
brought up on the floor, debated, and considered.
  What is more important than funding the government? What is more 
important than the Defense authorization bill? Why isn't it on the 
floor? That is my question to the majority leader.
  We can have the rules debate later, and apparently we will, but why 
aren't we doing anything now is my question for my friend the majority 
  Mr. REID. Madam President, I think this best can be answered in my 
not responding directly but quoting. This is from an op-ed that 
appeared around the country by Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein. 
``Let's just say it,'' is the headline, ``The Republicans are the 
  I am quoting:

       Rep. Allen West, a Florida Republican, was recently 
     captured on video asserting that there are ``78 to 81'' 
     Democrats in Congress who are members of the Communist Party. 
     Of course, it's not unusual for some renegade lawmaker from 
     either side of the aisle to say something outrageous. What 
     made West's comment--right out of the McCarthyite playbook of 
     the 1950s--so striking was the almost complete lack of 
     condemnation from Republican congressional leaders or other 
     major party figures, including the remaining presidential 
       It's not that the GOP leadership agrees with West; it is 
     that such extreme remarks and views are now taken for 

  Understand, Ornstein works for the American Enterprise Institute, a 
conservative think tank. They go on to say:

       The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American 
     politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of 
     compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, 
     evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its 
     political opposition.

  I am a legislator. I have been doing it for 30 years here and for 
quite a few years in Nevada prior to getting here. I have enjoyed being 
a legislator. These last few years, because of what we hear from 
Ornstein and Mann, has made it very unpleasant. For the Republican 
leader, with a straight face, to come and say: Why aren't we doing the 
Defense authorization bill? Why aren't we doing appropriations bills, 
everyone knows why we are not doing them. They have not let us get to 
virtually anything. To be dismissive of me because I say the Republican 
leadership in the House has been dismissive of the law we have guiding 
this country, I think says it all. I recognize we are a bicameral 
legislature. We have our own things to do. But we have to take this as 
a whole and look at the record--major pieces of legislation we cannot 
get to.
  For example, we cannot get to something dealing with outsourcing of 
jobs. We are here filibustering a motion to proceed to that--a motion 
to proceed to it, not the substance of the legislation, a motion to 
proceed to it.
  The record speaks for itself. The record speaks for itself:

       We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for 
     more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this 
     dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both 
     parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we 
     have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the 
     problem lies with the Republican Party.

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       The GOP--

  The Grand Old Party, the Republican Party--

     has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is 
     ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by 
     conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; 
     and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

  Mr. McCONNELL. The reason I am having a hard time restraining my 
laugher, I actually know Norm Ornstein and Tom Mann. They are ultra 
ultraliberals. Norm Ornstein is the house liberal over at the American 
Enterprise Institute. Their problem with the Senate is the Democrats 
don't have 60 votes anymore. Their problem is the Republicans control 
the House. Their views about dysfunctionality of the Senate carry no 
weight, certainly with me. I know they have an ideological agenda, 
always have, and usually admit it--although it is cloaked in this 
particular instance.
  But I think the best way to wrap it up is nobody else is keeping the 
majority leader from calling up the appropriations bills, from calling 
up the Defense authorization bill, from calling up a budget. That is 
his responsibility. He has a unique role in this institution. He has 
the opportunity to set the agenda, and just because all 100 Senators do 
not immediately fall into line--and it may be a little bit difficult to 
go forward--is no excuse for not doing the important and basic work the 
American people sent us to do. It is time to bring up serious 
legislation that affects the future of the country that the American 
people expect us to act on and not expect 100 Senators to all agree on 
every piece of legislation from the outset.
  Passing bills is inevitably difficult but not impossible. That has 
been demonstrated on at least five occasions when the majority leader 
allowed the committees to function, allowed the Senate floor to 
function, allowed Members to have amendments, and we got a result.
  Mr. REID. Madam President, in one committee, the Energy and Water 
Committee led by Senator Bingaman--that committee alone has had 
hundreds of pieces of legislation held up. It can't get out of the 
committee. I am sorry it is an unusual thing to have Ornstein and Mann 
referred to as liberals, but whatever they are, working for the 
conservative American Enterprise Institute, one of them at least--it is 
very clear they view this body as being in deep trouble because of the 
Republicans being dysfunctional themselves.
  I think it is very clear we have a situation--I understand there is a 
Presidential election going on. I clearly understand that. I know there 
are efforts to protect their nominee. We do what we can to protect the 
President of the United States. But that should not prevent us from 
  For my friend, who has been on the Appropriations Committee as long 
as I have, to talk about why aren't we doing appropriations bills--it 
is obvious. We have 12 or 13 appropriations bills. We have simply not 
been able to get to the appropriations bills----
  Mr. McCONNELL. Have you tried calling up any of them?
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I don't think it calls for my being 
interrupted. I have listened patiently to all his name calling and I do 
not intend to do that. But I do say this. I have tried to call up lots 
of things--lots of things, by consent or by filing motions, and 
virtually everything has been held up. The bills he is talking about, 
to stand here and boast about passing five pieces of legislation in an 
entire Congress is not anything any of us should be happy about. We 
should not be happy about that at all. We should be passing scores of 
pieces of legislation, as we did in the last Congress.
  But, no, the decision was made at the beginning of this Congress--it 
may not be a direct quote but substantively accurate--my friend the 
Republican leader said his No. 1 goal is to stop Obama from being 
reelected, and that is what this legislation we have tried to get 
forward has had, the barrel we tried to get around continually. We are 
going to go ahead. We will have cloture tomorrow on another one of our 
scores of times we have tried to break cloture this Congress and move 
on to something else. We have had 13 cloture votes on motions to 
proceed in the second session of the Congress alone--13. Others just 
went away because we run out of time to do those kinds of things.
  As indicated by the Republican leader, we passed five things. That is 
about one-third of the motions I have had to file to invoke cloture on 
motions to proceed, not on basic legislation.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Just one final point on that. The reason it has been 
difficult to get on bills is we cannot have an agreement with the 
majority leader to let us have amendments once we do get on the bill. 
So the reaction on this side is, if the majority leader is not going to 
let us have amendments, if the only result of invoking cloture on a 
motion to proceed is that he fills the tree and doesn't allow us to 
offer any amendments, why would we want to do that? All this is much 
more easily avoided than you think.
  The majority leader is basically trying to convince the American 
people it is somebody else's fault that the Senate is not doing the 
basic work of government. Regardless of the blame game, the results are 
apparent: no budget, no appropriations bills, no Defense authorization. 
We are not doing the basic work of government and that ought to stop. 
It is within the purview of the majority leader to determine what bill 
we try to turn to, and just because it may be occasionally difficult to 
get to a bill, particularly when the majority leader will not say we 
can have amendments, is no good excuse for not trying. We spend days 
sitting around when we could be processing amendments and working on 
bills. All we would need is an indication from the majority leader that 
these bills are going to be open for amendment. We tried that a few 
times and it worked quite well. It is amazing how the Senate can 
function when Members are allowed to participate, offer amendments, get 
votes, and move forward. I recommend we try that more often.
  Mr. REID. Madam President, we are where we are. I think it is very 
clear from outside sources--take, for example, I repeat what Caro said, 
writing the definitive work of Lyndon Johnson, about the difficult job 
I have had because of the way the Senate has changed because of what 
has taken place in the last couple years. We have had bills we have 
been able to work things out with, with Republicans. That is pleasant, 
and I am glad we have been able to do that. Most of the time we cannot 
do that. We have, for example, one Republican Senator, when we are in 
tense negotiations with Pakistan on a lot of very sensitive issues, who 
wants to do something that is outside the scope of rational thinking, 
which holds up legislation. We have had--we have tried very hard all 
different ways to move legislation in this body. For the first time in 
the history of the country, the No. 1 issue in the Senate of the United 
States has been a procedural matter: How do we get on a bill? A motion 
to proceed to something--that has taken over the Senate and it needs to 
go away. We should not have to do that anymore.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, the final thing I would say is just 
last week the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Inouye, 
said his committee has been working hard to have the bills ready to go. 
To date, the panel has cleared 9 of 12 annual bills. Senator Inouye is 
quoted, on July 10, just last week, ``After putting us all to work like 
this I expect some of these bills to pass.''
  I recommend that my good friend the majority leader heed the advice 
of the chairman of the Appropriations Committee of his party, let's 
pass some appropriations bills.
  Mr. REID. I do not have a better friend in this body than the 
chairman of the Appropriations Committee. I have been one of his big 
fans. He has been one of my big fans. He, of course, is a national 
hero, a Medal of Honor winner, and great chairman of the Appropriations 
Committee. We work hand in glove. Everything I have said about the 
appropriations process will be underscored, will be and has been, by 
Senator Inouye. He supports what we are unable to do. He realizes that. 
He realizes his counterpart in the House has fumbled with the numbers 
and it makes it extremely difficult to get things done. We understand 
  But the main problem is we cannot get legislation on the floor 
because the No. 1 issue we have talked about in the Senate this entire 
Congress is how to get on a bill, and that is why the motion to proceed 
must go away.

[[Page S5098]]

  Mr. McCONNELL. A good example of the problem is the bill we are on 
right now. The Stabenow bill bypassed the committee entirely. It was 
introduced a week ago and placed on the calendar. This is not the way 
legislation is normally done. It is crafted in somebody's office. Rule 
XIV is brought up by the majority leader. I expect it has something to 
do with the campaign. We spent a week on it when we could have done the 
DOD authorization bill. Chairman Inouye says: Where are the 
appropriations bills?
  That is my point.
  What are we doing here? Is the Senate a messaging machine or are we 
doing the basic work of government? We are not doing the basic work of 
government, but we can change. There are a vast majority of Senators of 
both parties who would like to become relevant, who would like to 
participate in the legislative process, and who would like to do the 
basic work of governing.
  Mr. REID. Madam President, one of the most important issues facing 
America today is jobs being shipped overseas. Whether it is Olympic 
uniforms being made in China when they could be made by Hickey Freeman 
in New York and made here in America, outsourcing is an important piece 
of America that we now have to deal with. And, of course, we have the 
additional problem that Governor Romney has made a fortune shipping 
jobs overseas.
  The American people care about this issue. We can sit here and point 
fingers and say: Boy, that is terrible. We are now going to have to 
deal with outsourcing. We should deal with outsourcing. We should have 
done it before, but we have had a problem getting legislation on the 
Senate floor. So I don't apologize to anyone for having the debate on 
outsourcing. Senator Stabenow has done a wonderful job on that. We 
couldn't have a better Senator to deal with outsourcing than her. 
Because of what we did in the stimulus bill, the American Recovery Act 
directed jobs back to Michigan, Detroit, and other places. With what we 
did with batteries, billions of dollars were saved. Instead of 
importing batteries, we are making most of them in America.
  Governor Romney wanted to just let General Motors and Chrysler go 
bankrupt. We didn't do that, and as a result, that created almost 
200,000 jobs in the automobile industry alone. Outsourcing is 
important, and it is a debate we are going to have.
  Let me remind the Republican leader it wasn't Democrats who 
threatened to shut down government last year and took most all the time 
we had. First, it was the debt ceiling, and then after we got through 
the debt ceiling, then they weren't going to allow us to do anything 
for getting funding to take us through the end of the fiscal year.
  It was the Republican Party last year that threatened to default the 
debt we have as a country. Now they are holding up tax cuts for 98 
percent of the American people in an effort to satisfy this mysterious 
man I have never met, but he must be a dandy. He has gotten every 
Republican, with rare exception, to sign a pledge that they are not 
going to deal with the 98 percent because they have to protect the 2 
  We are here dealing with outsourcing because that is what we should 
be doing.

                     Reservation of Leadership Time

  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Under the previous order, the 
leadership time is reserved. Under the previous order, the following 
hour will be equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or 
their designees, with the majority controlling the first half and the 
Republicans controlling the final half.

                       Wind Production Tax Credit

  Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Madam President, I am here on the Senate floor 
urging my colleagues in both parties to extend the production tax 
credit for wind as soon as possible. I listened with great interest to 
the discussion the majority leader and the Republican leader just had, 
and as the majority leader just said, to focus--as it should be--on 
jobs and the economy. This is a way in which we can enhance job 
creation and make sure our economy continues to grow; that is, by 
extending the production tax credit.
  This tax credit is also critical to the maintenance of our economic 
leadership when it comes to clean energy technologies. Every day I have 
come to the floor of the Senate to talk about a different State and the 
efforts that are underway in those States. I look forward to talking 
about the Presiding Officer's State at some point in the future. Today 
I want to talk about the Buckeye State, Ohio.
  Many families and businesses in Colorado and across our country are 
still struggling in this economic downturn even though we have seen 
some signs of improvement. This is especially true in Ohio. Over the 
last couple of decades, Ohio has been plagued by outsourcing and 
layoffs, which is one of the things we want to prevent by way of 
Senator Stabenow's bill. Those layoffs and outsourcing have cost 
Ohioans thousands of jobs. It looked as though we literally devastated 
the manufacturing base of one of the world's best manufacturing bases 
in the State of Ohio. But in recent years the wind industry has helped 
turn that around.
  We can see on the map of Ohio that these green circles show all of 
the activity tied to the wind industry in Ohio. That renewal, if you 
will, is tied to Ohio's long history as a manufacturing powerhouse. 
There are dozens of manufacturing facilities that have retooled to 
build wind turbines across Ohio, while in the process employing 
thousands of hard-working middle-class Americans. We can see that those 
manufacturing skills easily transfer to the wind industry. PTC has been 
key to this and has created those incentives that allowed the 
manufacturing history of Ohio to take center stage.
  I wanted to specifically talk about what is happening in Ohio. When 
we think about the wind industry, it is not just the building of the 
towers, the blades, and the cells, but there are maintenance needs. 
They have support sectors and a supply chain that results in the 
manufacturing of some 8,000 parts.
  In Ohio, 6,000 jobs are tied to the wind energy industry, and that is 
50 different companies that have created those jobs. Here is an area 
that is of real interest as well: $2.5 million in property tax payments 
result to local governments. That is money that helps fund schools, 
roads, and other basic services.
  It is important to focus too on the people to whom we are alluding. I 
want to focus on one of the 6,000 employed Ohioans who has been a 
beneficiary of the tangible effect of wind PTC, and that is Jeff 
Grabner. He is a wind product sales manager for Cardinal Fasteners in 
Cleveland, OH. He was originally born in Ohio, but he left Ohio. He 
returned to Ohio when the wind industry started looking for talented 
people in the State, and he has been working now for almost 6 years in 
the wind industry.
  Cardinal's Cleveland facility employs almost 55 people. It has been 
in operation for 30 years. Cardinal used to supply the construction 
industry, but the demand fell off in recent years. Now this growth in 
the wind industry presented them with an entirely new market. The 
factory is retooled and now supplies fasteners, which is the superglue 
that holds a wind turbine together. In fact, thousands of fasteners 
were used in every wind turbine to keep them standing and operating 
  I don't think I have to say that Jeff loves his job at Cardinal, and 
because of it he is able to provide for his own growing family. In 
fact, he and his wife are about to celebrate their 1-year wedding 
anniversary this week. All of that could change if we don't extend the 
wind production tax credit.
  Orders for wind turbines are down 98 percent from last year in large 
part because of the uncertainty tied to the market. Without new orders, 
Cardinal and other manufacturers like it may be forced to shut down and 
let people like Jeff go.
  That is why I am back on the Senate floor today urging my colleagues 
to pass the wind production tax credit now. The PTC equals jobs. We 
should pass it and extend it as soon as possible. It is a commonsense 
bipartisan measure. It has strong support across our country. Not only 
has it shown that we can turn around manufacturing in States like Ohio, 
but it has shown us that we can outcompete China and other countries. 
If we want to continue to lead and then win the global economic race--
and, specifically, the clean energy race--it is now

[[Page S5099]]

time for us to listen to the people of Ohio and Utah and South Carolina 
and New York.
  This shouldn't be a partisan issue. This is an issue on which 
Americans expect us to work together. We must pass an extension of the 
production tax credit as soon as possible.
  As I close, I want everybody to know I will be back on the Senate 
floor tomorrow to talk about wind production in another State, and I 
will keep pushing for this commonsense policy. Let's pass this as soon 
as possible.
  I yield the floor.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Delaware.
  Mr. COONS. Madam President, I appreciate the opportunity to speak 
today. I am following the Senator from the State of Colorado. My topic 
is also about manufacturing jobs in the United States. I thank the 
Senator from Colorado for coming to the Senate floor every day and 
reminding us of the importance of the consequences of the choices we 
make, whether it is the tax policy choice of failing to extend the 
production tax credit and the consequences for high-quality 
manufacturing jobs in the wind industry or the consequences for 
manufacturing all across our country, including the great State of New 
York, the State of Colorado, or the State of Delaware.
  What we are on the Senate floor talking about is the Bring Jobs Home 
Act, which is just one of the many important ways we can and should be 
fighting for high-quality manufacturing jobs in our home States and 
across our country.
  It was a very dark day when the Chrysler plant in Newark, DE, where I 
am from, shut its doors. It was built in the early 1950s first as a 
tank plant and then converted to an auto plant. This was a 
manufacturing facility that had sustained whole communities over 
several generations with high-quality, highly-skilled, and highly paid 
manufacturing jobs. In December of 2008, they closed their doors for 
the very last time, and that plant has now been torn down to the 
ground. It is an empty hole in the heart of the city of Newark.
  We thought it couldn't have gotten any worse than the day that those 
thousands of workers filed out of the plant for the very last time, but 
it did just a few short months later when the General Motors plant--a 
few miles away in Boxwood--shuttered its doors.
  In just a year Delaware went from having two high-performing, high-
quality auto plants to none. We lost nearly 3,000 middle-class 
manufacturing jobs, and this was followed by a whole constellation of 
other plant closings from Avon, which lost hundreds of jobs to dozens 
of smaller manufacturers that had supported these auto plants for 
  I know 3,000 jobs may not sound like a lot in the wreckage of the 
recession of 2008 to this whole country, but for Delawareans, for our 
small State, and for all the families who were supported for so long, 
it was huge.
  I have an idea that I talk about all the time at home in Delaware; 
that is, we need to get back to ``Made in America'' and ``Manufactured 
in Delaware.'' That means something to us. Back in 1985 when I was just 
finishing school, transportation equipment manufacturing--which is the 
fancy way of saying making cars and all the stuff that goes in them--
employed 10,000 people in Delaware. Today it is well below one-tenth of 
  Made in America and manufactured in Delaware has to mean something 
for our families, for our communities, and for our future. Delaware was 
once a great and strong manufacturing State, as America was once the 
greatest manufacturing Nation on Earth. Some believe those days are 
behind us, but I do not.
  I know my colleague, Senator Debbie Stabenow from Michigan, the lead 
sponsor of the bill we are debating, the Bringing Jobs Home Act, also 
does not believe our future as a world-class, world-leading 
manufacturer is behind us. I know the people of Michigan, the people of 
New York, and the people of Delaware do not.
  I had the great opportunity this morning to visit with two leaders of 
Delaware-based manufacturers whom I just wanted to lift up for a moment 
as we talk about the Bring Jobs Home Act. Marty Miller, the CEO of 
Miller Metal in Bridgeville, DE, has had a little heralded program 
known as the manufacturing extension partnership that helps small 
manufacturers streamline their production processes, reduce waste and 
inefficiency, do their ordering and throughput far more effectively, 
and compete head-to-head around the world successfully. This 
manufacturing extension partnership has allowed Marty's company to grow 
by 25 jobs in just the last year and to compete head to head with 
Chinese metal fabricating plants in the global market, and win.
  ILC Dover has been known to Delawareans for its storied history in 
our space program. They made all the spacesuits for NASA. But they have 
also made blimps that have hovered over Iraq and Afghanistan and 
protected our troops with downward-looking radar and real-time 
information, and they make the escape hoods and the masks that actually 
are positioned around the periphery of this Chamber and throughout this 
building and at the Pentagon. They have made remarkable high quality 
soft goods for decades and they too have a promising future and the 
opportunity to grow even in this recovery because they too are focused 
on things made in America and manufactured in Delaware.
  These two companies, these two men, the organizations they lead, are, 
in my view, just an introduction to what can and should be a 
renaissance, a recovery, of manufacturing in the United States. We 
still produce more in dollar value in manufacturing than any country on 
Earth, but there has been a downward slope in the number of jobs and in 
the sense of energy and investment and focus in our policy and in our 
priorities in manufacturing for years.
  I think we can become a great manufacturing Nation again and our 
middle class can be stronger than ever, but we have to make smarter 
choices. We have to make smarter choices in our Tax Code. We have to 
look at our Tax Code with an eye toward fairness and investment for the 
future and not just short-term profitability. We need common sense and 
we need, in my view, to support companies that are creating jobs here, 
and we need to cut our support for companies that instead want to 
create jobs in China, in India, in Vietnam, in Thailand, by exporting 
jobs from the United States.
  As our economy pulls back out of what has been a devastating 
recession, I can think of no more galling idea than this country 
incentivizing American companies to ship some of our best jobs 
overseas. Yet, as the Presiding Officer knows, our current Tax Code 
allows businesses to deduct the cost of moving expenses, including 
permits and license fees, lease brokerage fees, equipment installation 
costs, and certain other expenses. A company can take this deduction if 
they are moving from Bridgeville, DE, to Birmingham, AL, but it also 
turns out they can take it if they are moving to Bridgeville from 
Bangalore or Beijing. Can any of us think of a worse way to spend tax 
dollars? This is a loophole so big we could drive a car through it, 
right out of the shuttered manufacturing plants of Delaware.
  Fixing the injustice of our Tax Code is the first half of the Bring 
Jobs Home Act. We say: We are not going to pay anymore for companies 
that send U.S. jobs overseas. We have better ways to invest our tax 
dollars in rebuilding the base of manufacturing and the high-quality, 
high-paying jobs that come from them.
  The second thing this bill does is instead of incentivizing the 
outsourcing of American jobs, we incentivize insourcing. We say: Bring 
these jobs home. The Bring Jobs Home Act says a company can keep the 
deduction to help pay moving costs if they are moving from one facility 
in the United States to another. That is fine. They can still use the 
moving cost deduction if they are moving from a facility abroad back to 
the United States. That is better. But this bill takes a further step. 
We say: If companies bring jobs home to the United States, we will give 
them an additional 20-percent tax credit on the costs associated with 
moving that production back to the United States.
  The message of this bill is straightforward: If you are an American 
company and you have manufacturing jobs or service jobs that could be 
done by Americans, we want you to bring those jobs home, and we are 
going to help you do it.
  For my small State, I want to keep saying every chance I get that 
what we

[[Page S5100]]

want is made in America and manufactured in Delaware. Lord knows we 
have the workforce. There is an army of talented Delawareans, of 
Americans, ready to go. Ford knows it; Caterpillar knows it; GE knows 
it. As we have heard from Senator Stabenow, that is why they have 
brought jobs home. They are opening new plants in the United States and 
putting Americans back to work.
  There is a company in Newark, DE, called FMC BioPolymer. They make 
specialty chemicals. They have run a factory in Newark, DE, for 50 
years--in fact, exactly 50 years this year. They make a type of 
cellulose we find in everyday products such as foods, pharmaceuticals, 
cosmetics, and cleaning products. They had outsourced some of their 
manufacturing to China to save costs. But as we can imagine, when a 
company is working with these sorts of advanced products that go into 
consumer products, safety is key. So for performance and engineering 
and intellectual property and safety reasons, they brought some of 
their most critical jobs home. They employ more than 100 people and 
contribute more than $20 million to our local economy every year, and 
it is an important part of our economy. So to FMC BioPolymer, I say 
thank you for bringing jobs home and strengthening made in America, 
manufactured in Delaware.
  If big companies and small companies are figuring this out, when will 
the Federal Government, when will this Congress figure it out as well?
  The best thing we can do for our economy--for millions of talented 
Americans looking for work, from our returning veterans to those who 
have searched so hard for work for the last 2 or 3 years, is to invest 
in them. We can pass the Bring Jobs Home Act as a smart choice to 
invest in American workers and their communities, to invest in their 
education, in their schools and in their teachers, to invest in our 
infrastructure and our roads and our power grid, to make smarter 
choices as a country and a Congress. There is no better investment I 
can think of than to make this phrase real, to return to Made in 
America and manufactured in the States of every one of the Senators of 
this great body.
  This is common sense. But, alas, in the Senate, common sense these 
days rarely seems to win the day. I hope those watching and I hope 
those whom we represent take this seriously and recognize that the most 
important question before us is what are we going to do to take the 
fight in the global economy, on behalf of our families, on behalf of 
our communities, on behalf of our manufacturers, and change things in 
our Tax Code, in our trade policy, in our intellectual property policy, 
to make it possible to not just invent things here and make them 
elsewhere but to invent them here and make them here.
  I hope this body will proceed to vote in favor of the Bring Jobs Home 
Act so that for every one of our home States we can make this phrase 
true--that we want things made in America and manufactured in our home 
  I thank the Chair.

                           Order of Procedure

  Madam President, before I yield the floor, I ask unanimous consent 
that the remainder of the majority's time be reserved for use following 
the Republicans' 30 minutes of controlled time.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
  The Senator from Missouri.
  Mr. BLUNT. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent to enter into a 
colloquy with some of my colleagues on the minority side for 30 
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
  Mr. BLUNT. I will yield to Mr. Wicker who I believe has a unanimous 
consent request as well.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Mississippi.
  Mr. WICKER. I thank my friend.
  Mr. BLUNT. Madam President, we have heard our colleagues talking 
about jobs. Clearly, that needs to be the No. 1 priority in the country 
today, and it needs to be domestic jobs.
  The private sector is not doing just fine. The answer to the problems 
we face is not more government jobs, it is more private sector jobs, 
and the numbers aren't good anywhere we look, any way we look. In fact, 
if we look at the last 3 months in the country, more people signed up 
for disability than new jobs were created. More people signed up for 
disability than new jobs were created. More people decided they were 
going to opt out of the workforce because of disability reasons than 
people who got jobs.
  We are here talking about things that have minimal impact on the 
economy when we could be talking about things that have lots of impact 
on the economy: good energy policy, good tax policy, good regulatory 
policy. As long as this uncertainty continues or as long as there is 
substantial certainty that all of those things are going to begin to 
work against job creators, people aren't going to create jobs.
  This week we voted twice on something called the DISCLOSE Act that 
had absolutely no chance of becoming law this year and everybody on 
this floor knew it. What we ought to be disclosing is what our budget 
would look like. The Senate hasn't had a budget in 3 years and the law 
already requires that. The law already requires a significant 
disclosure on the part of the Senate, and that is disclosing how we are 
going to spend the money. The Senate of the United States, for the 
first time in the history of the Budget Control Act, 3 years ago--the 
second time 2 years ago and the third time this year--has decided we 
are not going to obey the law. One of the leaders was asked: Why aren't 
you having a budget? He said: Well, we would be politically foolish to 
say what we are for.
  What kind of responsible position is that?
  The other way we could disclose things is we could have the 
appropriations bills on the floor. The House has a budget. The House 
has passed half of the appropriations bills already. We haven't had a 
single bill on the floor, and the majority leader announced last week 
that we wouldn't have an appropriations bill on the floor before the 
election. Why is it we don't want to say before the election what we 
are for? Why is it we don't want to say before the election how we are 
going to spend the people's money? Why is it we don't want to say 
before the election what the budget would be? Even before the last 
election, the Senate wouldn't say what the budget would be, so we don't 
have one.
  When we don't have a plan, we plan to fail. Clearly, the economy is 
doing exactly that. Statistic after statistic is not what the American 
people would want them to be. Housing prices are down. Unemployment is 
up. The labor group of people who want to be in the economy is at a 30-
year low. If we had the same number of people looking for jobs who were 
looking for jobs and had jobs in January of 2009, the unemployment rate 
would be over 11 percent. The only reason the unemployment is 8.2 
percent is because so many people have given up on the economy. Nobody 
thinks we have fewer working-aged people than we had when Ronald Reagan 
was President, but the labor force we are counting is smaller than at 
any time since Ronald Reagan was President.
  There must be some big problem or people would be out looking for 
jobs. People would be out finding jobs. People would want to be part of 
an economy that they see as faltering. We are talking about little 
things instead of big things while the big things that affect America 
are dramatically affecting American families and American job creators.
  The President is telling small businesses that if their business was 
successful, it wasn't because of them; it was because of all kinds of 
other factors that they happened to take advantage of. No small 
businessperson in America believes that. Nobody who ever opened the 
door to a business on the first day and put their phone number in the 
phone book the first day and said, ``Call me; I can provide these 
services for you,'' thinks they weren't successful because of their 
  I wish to turn to my friend, the Senator from Mississippi, Mr. 
Wicker, to speak on these issues as well. There are so many things we 
could be talking about today, but clearly jobs and the economy are 
critical to American families.
  Mr. WICKER. Absolutely. I thank my friend for leading us in this 
colloquy. We ought to be talking about jobs and the economy. We ought 
to be bringing

[[Page S5101]]

legislation to the floor and giving our side an opportunity to offer 
suggestions and hearing if the majority party in this Senate has 
something to offer other than the 3\1/2\ years of failed policies.
  Their intentions are absolutely honorable. Everyone wants to create 
jobs. Everyone wants the unemployment rate to go down. But I think any 
fair observer would have to conclude that after 3\1/2\ years, the 
policies of the majority party in this body, the policies of the Obama 
administration, have been an utter failure--forty consecutive months of 
unemployment over 8 percent. The latest numbers were 8.2 percent. The 
last time we had a comparable sustained period of joblessness was World 
War II. It is absolutely unbelievable that the policies of our 
Democratic friends have been so unsuccessful and such a failure.
  To put that in context, in September of 2008, we had a severe crisis 
because of the subprime loans, because of the excesses of Fannie Mae 
and Freddie Mac, which a lot of us who have been in the Congress for 
some time have tried to rein in. Because of that subprime crisis, 
unemployment went through the roof, the economy crashed.
  The other crisis we had earlier than that, of course, was September 
11, 2001, when the terrorists attacked the very heartland and soul of 
the United States of America--the Twin Towers, the Pentagon. In 2001 we 
had a spike in unemployment and our economy went in the tank.
  Between that time, though, I think Americans should realize we did 
not have exactly everything we wanted in terms of job growth, but 
unemployment between 2002 and the middle of 2007 actually averaged 
between 4.5 percent unemployment and 6 percent unemployment. We were 
not happy with that then, but wouldn't we love to have that level of 
unemployment now rather than the 8.2 percent and the over 8 percent we 
have sustained for 40 straight months.
  As a matter of fact, Americans need to remember this does not have to 
be the case, the 8.2 percent. As late as October 2007, the unemployment 
rate in this country was 4.4 percent. We can do that again, but we will 
not do it again with the failed policies the President and his party 
have been imposing on our country during their entire stewardship.
  The Senator from Missouri mentioned it has been 8 percent or higher, 
and the effective rate is 11 percent if everybody who had left the job 
force came back trying to get a job. Actually, the unemployment rate in 
the African-American community is 15 percent--an astounding and 
shameful figure.
  The Obama stimulus program failed. It cost us over $800 billion, and 
we are going to have to pay that back somehow, but it failed. The 
unemployment rate for 40 straight months remains above 8 percent. Dodd-
Frank failed. The Affordable Care Act not only has made health care 
less affordable and less available, but it has failed to stimulate any 
  Then yesterday, as a member of the Banking Committee, I heard 
testimony, and this country heard testimony, from the Chairman of the 
Federal Reserve. Basically, he said he has lowered the economic 
expectations. He and the rest of the Federal Reserve now say the 
economy is going to get worse than they expected in January of this 
year, and the unemployment rate will be above 7 percent in his 
estimation, even at the end of calendar year 2014. That would be 6 
straight years, under these current policies--unless we change our 
approach to job creation--that would be 6 straight years of 
unemployment higher than it ever was during the first 7 years even of 
the Bush administration.
  We have some ideas about how to turn that around: an American-made 
energy policy; ending this regime of overregulation, which is just such 
a wet blanket on job creation; and ending the situation we have now of 
the tax burden on job creators. The tax burden on American risk takers 
is now higher than on any of our allies in the industrialized world. We 
hit job creators and risk takers and the people we want to help us with 
this 8.2-percent unemployment rate. We hit them harder than they do in 
any other country in the industrialized world.
  So we have some ideas. We would like an honest-to-goodness jobs bill, 
and we would like the majority leader to give us a vote on some 
amendments. Do not just call up a bill, fill up the tree, offer every 
amendment you could possibly offer on the Democratic side, file 
cloture, and call that a filibuster. We need to go back to regular 
order in this Senate and let's offer some ideas. Let's have a debate 
again on this Senate floor about some ideas we have about job creation.
  So I am glad to join my colleagues. I see my friend from Georgia in 
the Chamber, and I know he has been very thoughtful about this issue.
  Mr. ISAKSON. Madam President, I thank the distinguished Senator from 
  I rise to talk about something I know something about, which 
sometimes in the Senate we do not do very often. I ran a small business 
for 22 years. I worked in a small business for 33 years. Quite frankly, 
I think I understand small business as well as anyone who has done it.
  I was astounded, disappointed, and perplexed with the President's 
statement last week that small business did not owe its success to 
itself, but it owed it to government, because it is the other way 
around. We would not exist as a Senate were it not for the taxpayers of 
the United States of America. They send us our cashflow, they send us 
the money we invest to build the roads and bridges and highways. So it 
is an affront to those who have risked capital, as Senator Wicker said, 
those who have taken chances, and those who have succeeded and those 
who have failed to build small businesses, to employ the American 
people, to make this great engine of America work.
  But I want to just go down a litany for a second of what small 
business does to make us exist as a Congress and as a government. Every 
January 15, April 15, June 15, and September 15 businesses pay their 
quarterly estimate on their taxes. So do independent contractors. 
Employees pay it every month in withholdings. The cashflow of the 
United States is not owed to the government; it is owed to the American 
people by the contributions they make.
  Social Security. Every beneficiary of Social Security for their 
entire life paid 6.2 percent of their income, and their employer 
matched it with another 6.2 percent, up to $102,500 in income.
  Medicare. With no cap whatsoever, 1.35 percent of your income from 
day one to the day you die goes to the Medicare trust fund.
  Talking about medicine for a second, many small businesses--19 
percent of American jobs are in health care now. They now have device 
taxes. If a small business is building an implant for dental work or 
something for some kind of a heart treatment or something like that, 
they have an extra tax because of the affordable health care bill. For 
those who pay dividends or pay out investment income to their 
investors, they have a new surtax to help pay for the Affordable Care 
Act. Then we have our ordinary income tax that we all pay on April 15. 
For our highways, when we fill up our tanks with gas, we pay the motor 
fuel tax to build our highways. And for our airports, we pay the 
passenger facility charge that goes to the government to reinvest in 
our infrastructure.
  So it sounds to me as if it is us who owe small business, not small 
business that owes us. I think if we began acting like people who 
understood from whence comes our strength, America would begin to come 
  As Senator Wicker said about Mr. Bernanke yesterday, his downward 
forecast is because business is not deploying capital. People are not 
making investments. As one who did that, there is one simple reason. We 
are a nation of uncertainty. Nobody knows what the boundaries are going 
to be or what the policy is going to be on January 1.
  Let me close with one example. On January 1, the estate tax goes back 
from a $5 million unified credit and exemption and 35-percent rate to a 
$1 million unified credit and a 55-percent rate. Do you know what that 
is going to do? That is going to close thousands of small businesses 
eventually around America because when a small business is owned by a 
family--a family farm in Mississippi or Georgia--when the

[[Page S5102]]

owner of that farm dies, and they go to pass their assets on to their 
heirs, after that $1 million deduction, they owe a 55-percent tax on 
the rest. Most of their value is in real estate and land, which is 
depressed. They are forced to liquidate land at suppressed prices to 
pay an income tax within 9 months of death. That is wrong and that 
should not happen. But if--as Senator Murray said yesterday or the day 
before--we allow every tax treatment we have today to go back to the 
2001 rates, small businesses in America will be hit again with a tax 
that will force them to close or to liquidate.
  It is time we understood from whence we get our strength. It is the 
American taxpayers. As we consider them and their investment in small 
business, we will make better decisions, we will act faster, and 
America will be better, and America will be stronger.
  I see the Senator from Utah is on the Senate floor. I would like to 
turn to him.
  Mr. LEE. I thank the Senator very much.
  Madam President, on Monday we heard from Democrats who insist that 
Congress must now raise taxes on the American people. In fact, they are 
so committed to this task that they are willing to take the country off 
the fiscal cliff in order to get their way. This is unfortunate. It is 
unnecessary, and it is a course of action we cannot pursue.
  Mind you, they are not trying to pursue comprehensive tax reform. No. 
They are not trying to fix this Byzantine-era Tax Code which occupies 
tens of thousands of pages. What they are doing instead is just to 
raise taxes right now so they can get their way right now, so they can 
cover the shortfall that exists right now because of a chronic failure 
by Congress over time to set and stick to spending priorities.
  Well, the vast majority of Republicans are committed not to raise 
taxes--not on anyone. There are some very good reasons for it.
  First, the Federal Government has proven its inadequacy in this area. 
Congress has proven time and time again that the money it takes from 
the American people, from hard-working taxpayers, is not always spent 
carefully. In fact, it has been spending more than it takes in for so 
long people almost cannot remember a time when Congress routinely 
balanced its budget. This is a problem, and it is a problem that should 
not be fixed by taxing the same people who are already paying this bill 
even more. This is not the fault of the American people, and the job of 
fixing it lies right here in Congress--not with the American people.
  Second, from the CBO to the IMF to the Federal Reserve to Ernst & 
Young, experts around the world are warning of the dire economic 
consequences that await us if we raise taxes. We cannot allow it to 
happen. We have had over $4 trillion added to the national debt during 
this President's administration. At the same time, we have had 
unemployment exceeding 8 percent for the last 41 consecutive months. 
Nearly 13 million Americans are currently out of work, and millions 
more are underemployed and looking for more work. We cannot allow this 
to continue.
  I would add here that there is a certain irony in the President's 
proposal to increase taxes on some Americans while leaving the 
necessary tax relief in place for others. While purporting to help 
hard-working Americans, this approach would actually have the opposite 
effect, hurting most--many of those Americans who can least afford the 
hit right now.
  A new study from Ernst & Young reveals that this tax hike--the tax 
hike that hits some Americans but not others--would kill 710,000 jobs. 
These are people who cannot afford to lose their jobs. These are people 
who are living paycheck to paycheck. These are not CEOs. These are not 
the top 1 percent. These are hard-working Americans who cannot afford 
to lose a job. We cannot let a tax hike bring about that kind of 
terrible consequence.
  Democrats will assure you that their tax hikes are all about reducing 
the deficit. That is curious because their proposal would leave 94 
percent of this year's deficit intact, which makes it an inherently 
unserious proposal insofar as it relates to deficit reduction.
  Further, the President's own 10-year budget, which includes massive 
tax increases, by the way, still adds $11 trillion to the national 
  I really do appreciate the fact that the President is finally talking 
about these issues--issues that have long gone unaddressed and need to 
be addressed--but he cannot look the American people in the eyes and 
tell them he is doing something about the debt when his own budget, 
while raising taxes, nearly doubles our already sprawling national debt 
over the next 10 years.
  Republicans have proposals. We have proposals to reform the Tax Code, 
reduce the deficit, and to do so in ways that will grow the economy, 
not cause it to contract. I have an amendment I hope will get 
considered in the next week or two that would permanently keep tax 
rates at their current levels so American families and businesses can 
know what to expect. It would also eliminate the death tax, and it 
would stop the expansion of the alternative minimum tax, which is 
quickly becoming the middle-income penalty tax.
  These measures and others would go a long way--a long way--toward 
improving our economy and getting the American people back to work 
again. If my friends on the other side of the aisle disagree, as is 
their right to do, then let's come together and work to find some 
common ground. These election-year antics and distractions are not what 
the American people sent us here to do, and the longer we wait before 
enacting real reform, the worse the problem is going to get.
  I would now like to turn the time over to my friend, the junior 
Senator from Missouri, who has fought long and hard on these issues, 
who will wrap this up for us.
  Mr. BLUNT. I thank the Senator.
  Madam President, how much time do we have?
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. There is 8 minutes 43 seconds 
  Mr. BLUNT. How much?
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. There is 8 minutes 40 seconds 
  Mr. BLUNT. Well, I am pleased to have the time on the floor today to 
talk about these issues: the attack on small business, and the idea 
that the private sector is doing fine, that we just need more 
government jobs. I just do not find anybody in America who believes 
that is the reality of the world we live in today.
  The reluctance of the Senate to take votes--Mr. Wicker, who has 
served in the House of Representatives with Mr. Isakson and I, said we 
should have amendments; we should take votes; we should say what we are 
for; and we should not wait until after the election to say what we are 
  The reports that are out are consistent with the President's view in 
2010 when he said we should not do anything to change tax policy 
because the economy was struggling. By any measure of the economy, it 
is struggling more now than it was in 2010. Growth in the economy is 
about half what it was when the President said: With this kind of 
economy, we should not raise taxes. So he agreed to extend the current 
tax policies for 2 more years.
  But the minute we did that, we made exactly the same mistake we had 
made the previous 2 years: We created a big question mark out there for 
the American people as to what tax policies were going to be.
  We already have the tax increases with the President's health care 
  It raises the top rate to about 43 percent. The top rate goes up 
automatically with the President's health care plan to about 43 
percent. If we go back to the old 39 rate, then we add the President's 
taxes in, we put an extraordinary tax on working families who, for 
whatever reason, decide they are not going to participate in the 
insurance system. The mandate--the tax on that would fall heavily--50 
percent of all of that tax comes from families of four who make less 
than $72,000. Between $24,000 and $72,000 for families of four--we 
decided we are going to penalize them with a tax if you voted for the 
President's health care plan.
  What are we thinking here? Why are we ignoring all of the warnings? 
Last month the Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan 
Congressional Budget Office, gave a rare warning that if we let the 
defense sequestration go into effect and return to the tax policies of 
2000, we will be in a recession, that we will see a 4-percent decline 

[[Page S5103]]

growth in an economy, as I said earlier, that has more people signing 
up for disability than new jobs being created--already the case, and we 
want to take another 4 percent out of that economy?
  The Ernst & Young report my friend from Utah mentioned said that if 
we drive over this fiscal cliff one of the Senate majority leaders said 
this week at the Brookings Institute that the majority is prepared to 
drive over, that we would lose 700,000 jobs, we would shrink the 
economy by 1.3 percent, we would reduce investment by 2\1/2\ percent, 
and we would cut wages by 2 percent, and this is in a country in which 
middle-class incomes have already dropped by $4,350 since the President 
took office. Why would we be looking for another time to cut wages? Why 
would we think this is a better time to slow the economy than the end 
of 2010?
  Chairman Bernanke from the Federal Reserve was here yesterday and 
said that we are being held back because there is so much uncertainty. 
We are being held back because people are not making the investments, 
they are not taking the risks Senator Wicker talked about.
  I would like to go back to Senator Lee and talk a little more about 
his ideas on taxes.
  Whenever you do not reward risk, people do not take risk. If they do 
not take risk, they do not create opportunity for others. If we look at 
putting this tax on small businesses, if we are putting this tax on 
people who otherwise might take a chance with some of their 
investments, we are just not going to have the risk-reward system work 
the way it needs to work. If you don't want people to take risks, don't 
reward risk.
  Government has traditionally taxed the things it wanted to discourage 
and subsidized the things it wanted to encourage. We appear to be 
subsidizing a lot of things, such as Solyndra, that don't work and 
taxing a lot of things that might work by constantly talking about not 
only today's taxes but the likelihood that if the current majority has 
its way and the President has his way, the current tax policies will 
dramatically go up. In fact, they are guaranteed to go up from the 
current rate even if we stayed at the current rate because of all of 
the health care taxes.
  We would also say we want to go back to a death tax that goes back 
almost to a $1 million exemption. If you are a small business or a 
family farm--many family farms, if you just calculate the value of your 
farm equipment, you are suddenly at the edge of that number that sounds 
so big until you realize you would have to sell the farm to pay the 
taxes. If you have the business that you are trying to pass along, 
maybe to the very people who stood by your side, your children and 
grandchildren, who helped you grow that business--it is almost 
impossible to evaluate who created that growth. But when you pass away, 
as the person who started the business, suddenly this big tax 
obligation falls to your family. Senator Lee's proposal to eliminate 
the death tax would address that.
  The proposal that we are for on this side to continue current tax 
policies as we look toward an effort to have tax policies that make 
more sense--we have the highest corporate rate in the world. We are 
seeing American companies say: Well, we think we are going to 
incorporate in Great Britain. We are going to move our company, our 
headquarters, who we are, to Great Britain because they have better tax 
  Who would have ever thought Great Britain would have better tax 
policies than the United States of America, but it does today, as does 
every other European country. We have managed to get at the top of the 
  In return for those lower tax rates and a system that works 
internationally, let's eliminate a lot of the complexity of this Tax 
Code. We are for that. But let's not increase taxes while we are having 
that debate. Let's commit ourselves to that debate and not increase 
taxes, not move forward with all of the new health care taxes and the 
taxes that--apparently the majority says: Well, we are prepared to 
raise taxes on the middle class because then they will put so much 
pressure on Republicans in the Senate that we will have to eliminate 
some of the current tax policies that impact small businesses and other 
  Does the Senator want to talk a little bit more about it? I think we 
have now a couple more minutes to think about how these tax policies 
really hold back opportunity for other people. If you don't reward 
risk, people don't take risks. If they do not take risks, they do not 
create opportunity and we do not have the jobs out there in the private 
sector that are clearly the key.
  Mr. LEE. That is right. I think that is the point that often goes 
missing in this debate, which is that when people talk about wanting to 
raise takes on one group of Americans and not increasing them on 
another, that causes problems. And we are concerned about job creation. 
We are not concerned about any one particular group, we are concerned 
about Americans as a whole--most importantly, about those who are most 
vulnerable, those who can least afford to lose their jobs.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator's time has expired.
  Mr. LEE. I see our time has expired.
  Mr. BLUNT. I thank the Chair.
  I thank my colleagues for joining me.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Illinois.
  Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as in 
morning business.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 

       Financial Disclosure to Reduce Tax Haven Abuse Act of 2012

  Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, there is an old adage that sunlight is 
the best disinfectant. The reason it is an old adage is it is true. 
That is why I introduced the Financial Disclosure to Reduce Tax Haven 
Abuse Act of 2012. I introduced this months ago. It would require 
candidates for Federal office and certain Federal employees to disclose 
any financial interests they or their spouses have in an offshore tax 
haven. If the bill becomes law, individuals who file financial 
disclosure reports would be required to list the identity, category of 
value, and location of any financial interest in a jurisdiction 
considered to be a tax haven by the Secretary of the Treasury. The 
Secretary would be required to provide a list of those countries to 
filers and to consider for its inclusion on the list any jurisdiction 
that has been publicly identified by the Internal Revenue Service as a 
secrecy jurisdiction.
  The American people might be surprised to know that we do not already 
ask whether candidates and Members of Congress are sheltering their 
money offshore to avoid paying taxes in America. That is because under 
current law those individuals--that would be candidates and Members of 
Congress--are not required to account for where their financial 
interests are held. Candidates for Federal office, including President, 
do not have to explicitly disclose their holdings in tax havens. The 
bill, which I introduced months ago with Senator Franken, would change 
  Today it seems that we have a tax system with two sets of rules: one 
for those who are very wealthy and one for the rest of the people in 
America. The wealthiest Americans are able to take advantage of certain 
breaks, loopholes, to pay lower tax rates than working families. We 
should not have a political system where a candidate can claim to 
champion working people while that same person is secretly betting 
against America through tax avoidance and tax haven abuse.
  Without this bill, the American people will not know whether a 
candidate has taken advantage of foreign tax havens to avoid paying his 
or her fair share. Offshore tax havens and other similar loopholes cost 
taxpayers in America $100 billion a year which otherwise would be paid 
by these Americans who are using these offshore tax havens.
  Senator Carl Levin of Michigan may be joining me shortly. I hope he 
can. He has held an extensive set of investigative hearings in the 
Permanent Committee on Investigations on this particular issue. No one 
has explored it more than Senator Levin of Michigan. I am hoping he can 
join me and share his findings.
  The money that is invested in these offshore tax havens is money that 
could be invested in America. It could be invested in America's 
schools, America's roads, America's Medical research, America's jobs, 
and it could be paying down America's deficit. Instead, that money is 
headed to Swiss bank accounts and holding companies in Bermuda and the 
Cayman Islands.

[[Page S5104]]

  Senator Levin and Senator Conrad, who will be joining me, have both 
done extraordinary work to shine light on these practices and what they 
mean to the American economy. Those two Senators, Levin and Conrad, 
successfully included a provision in the Senate Transportation bill 
that will give the Treasury Department greater tools to crack down on 
offshore tax haven abuse. Unfortunately, that provision was not 
included in the conference report, and so we have to continue to fight 
to put an end to offshore tax haven abuse.
  The American people are rightly concerned that wealthy and well-
connected Americans are skirting our laws to avoid paying their taxes. 
They deserve to know that the people who hope to represent them in 
Washington are not cheating the system.
  Nothing in my bill impinges on any individual's right to hold 
financial interests anywhere in the world. If there is a legitimate 
reason for a candidate or a Member of Congress or any other individual 
who files a financial disclosure to hold their money, let's say, in an 
account in the Cayman Islands, they should not have any problem 
explaining that to the voters. But any individual who has or wants to 
have the public trust should be honest about the practices they have 
engaged in that, in fact, cost American taxpayers, whom they may wish 
to represent, literally billions of dollars every single year.
  This is an important step we must take to restore the public trust. I 
would hope that this issue, like the one we just finished debating in 
the previous several days, is one most Americans will understand. It is 
one that should be bipartisan.
  I happen to have had the good fortune of coming into politics being 
schooled by two people who were my mentors and inspired me, Senator 
Paul Douglas of Illinois and Senator Paul Simon, both of whom enjoyed 
positive reputations after the end of their public career for being 
honest people. One of the things Senator Douglas started doing--and 
Senator Simon followed--was to make public disclosure of income and net 
worth. They did it long before it was the law and always did it to a 
greater degree and greater detail than was required by law.
  I have followed that practice, and sometimes it has been hard. I can 
remember coming out of law school and going to work for then-Lieutenant 
Governor Paul Simon in Springfield, IL. There I was, deep in student 
loan debt with a beat-up old car, a wife and two babies, filing an 
income and net worth disclosure. My first filing, because of my student 
loan debt, showed me with a negative net worth. I took a little bit of 
ribbing as a result of that. But I continued to do it every single year 
I served on a public staff and every year I was a candidate or elected 
to office.
  So there is a rich trove for anyone who is summarily bothered and 
wants to spend some time, if they would like to read what happens to a 
public official over the span of a lifetime, when they are in this 
business, in terms of their own personal wealth. There have been 
moments when the detail I have provided in these disclosures has been 
an invitation to the press; it makes their life easier to take a look 
at things that I and my family do. I can recall when, regarding my 
daughter Jennifer, I got a question from a reporter about what was her 
financial interest in Taco Bell. It turned out her financial interest 
was as a person working at the Springfield Taco Bell making tacos. That 
was it. But because we go into detail, those things are open for 
investigation and provide some clarity about my financial circumstance.
  Paul Simon used to always say: When my career comes to an end, I want 
people to look at my record and say I never understood why he voted 
this way or that way, but he said I never want them to question my 
honesty in making a political decision. That has been my goal as well.
  What I am suggesting is to expand the disclosure of Members of 
Congress and candidates for Federal office, such as President of the 
United States, to include foreign tax havens. I think it is an 
important element that people who are running for office and serving in 
office stand and basically explain why they felt it was a better idea 
to put money, for instance, in a Swiss bank account.
  I have made a point of asking people--Members of Congress and 
business leaders--why would anybody have a Swiss bank account? I asked 
Warren Buffet, who is one of the wealthiest men in America. I said: You 
have been a successful businessman for decades. Why would you have a 
Swiss bank account? He said: I don't know. I have never had one. We 
have good banks in America, so why would I go there?
  There are two reasons: One is to conceal their wealth and how they 
are changing, moving the money around; and second, if they happen to 
believe the Swiss franc is a stronger currency, a better bet than the 
U.S. dollar. That is it. There are no other reasons for an American to 
have a Swiss bank account. Yet people do. I think they should disclose 
it, and then they should stand ready to explain which of those two 
explanations stands behind their decision.
  Senator Carl Levin has come to the floor. At this point, I will yield 
to him because he has done extensive investigation on the Senate 
Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations about these foreign tax 
havens. He and Senator Conrad have probably told us more about dollars 
lost and tax collected and what is happening in some of these tax 
havens and shelters around the world. I yield to Senator Levin.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Michigan is 
  Mr. LEVIN. Madam President, I thank the Senator from Illinois for his 
leadership in dealing with the offshore tax haven problem.
  This is not a new issue. It is not a new issue for me. In fact, my 
Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has been exploring the damage 
the secrecy of offshore tax havens has caused for the nearly two 
decades we have been looking at this issue trying to change the 
situation that exists, and it is not a new issue for Senator Durbin. He 
has been on this issue a long time. Indeed, when President Obama was a 
Senator, he joined in an effort to bring tax haven abuses to light.
  Then-Senator Obama, in 2007, was an original cosponsor of the Stop 
Tax Haven Abuse Act, which I introduced with our Republican colleague 
Senator Coleman, and he said the following:

       There is no such thing as a free lunch--someone always has 
     to pay. And when a crooked business or a shameless individual 
     does not pay its fair share, the burden gets shifted to 
     others, usually to ordinary taxpayers and working Americans 
     without access to sophisticated tax preparers or corporate 

  It was a bipartisan bill aimed at preventing the loss to taxpayers 
that results from tax-avoidance schemes that use secret tax haven 
jurisdictions, such as the Cayman Islands.
  Those words I quoted remain just as true today as they were in 2007. 
There is indeed no free lunch. In 2006, our Permanent Subcommittee on 
Investigations estimated that tax havens cost the Treasury in the 
neighborhood of $100 billion a year, and though we have had some 
successes in the battle against tax havens since then, tax dodgers and 
avoiders have continued to exploit every offshore loophole and tax 
haven they can find.
  This has significant consequences to the rest of us. Offshore tax 
evasion and avoidance takes money out of the hands of our military, 
takes money out of programs that millions of Americans rely on for good 
schools, roads, health care, protecting the environment or securing our 
borders. When money is lost to these tax havens that belongs in our 
Treasury, it adds to our deficits and debt. Ultimately, the rest of us 
are forced to pay more on our tax bills to make up for those who shirk 
their tax-paying responsibilities.
  As I said, we spent years in my subcommittee exploring this problem. 
In 2001, we heard testimony from the former Cayman Islands banker who 
said 100 percent of his clients were avoiding or evading taxes. In 
2006, we reported on some brothers from Texas, who, over the course of 
13 years, stashed more than $700 million in offshore tax havens in a 
massive tax evasion scheme.
  When a company incorporates in the Cayman Islands or another tax 
haven, with a mail drop as their only physical presence in that 
country, they most likely have one purpose: avoiding taxes. In 2006, we 
explored the history

[[Page S5105]]

of the Ugland House, a small building in the Caymans that, remarkably, 
is listed as the headquarters for nearly 20,000 different corporations. 
In 2005, we showed how a Seattle securities firm called Quellos devised 
a scheme of faked stock trades between two offshore companies, creating 
phantom stock losses used to avoid taxes on billions of dollars in 
income. In 2001 and 2002, we explored how Enron used offshore tax 
havens--dozens of them--as part of its deceptive schemes.
  Just yesterday, in our subcommittee hearing on a global bank called 
HSBC and money laundering, we saw how the secrecy of tax havens, such 
as the Caymans, so often used to conceal income, can also be used by 
criminal enterprises to conceal and launder the proceeds of their 
crimes. HSBC's Mexican affiliate had an office in the Caymans with 
thousands of U.S. dollar accounts. The bank had no client information 
on 41 percent of those accounts, and internal documents, our 
investigation discovered, showed the bank was aware the accounts were 
being used by drug cartels and were subject to ``massive misuse . . . 
by organized crime.''
  These tax havens have been a pervasive problem for our Treasury and 
for our economy and for our security.
  We can stop them. When it comes to tax avoidance, our Federal fiscal 
situation demands we stop them. In the past, addressing offshore tax 
evasion was not a partisan issue. In 2004, Congress stopped companies 
from taking advantage of what was called inverting. When a company 
inverts, it will shift its headquarters, on paper, to a low-tax or no-
tax country. It is just on paper, though. It was decided we were not 
going to allow that game to be played by American companies, and we 
stopped that practice. Since then, every year I have worked with 
Senator Durbin and colleagues of both parties to ensure that these 
inverted companies are prohibited from receiving government contracts. 
If these tax dodgers cannot see fit to pay their taxes, we shouldn't be 
giving them our tax dollars.
  Much more needs to be done. We could pass the Stop Tax Haven Abuse 
Act, which I have introduced again in this Congress, to address some of 
the worst offshore tax abuses and end the use of these tax havens that 
cost American taxpayers. We could pass the CUT Loopholes Act, which 
Senator Conrad and I introduced earlier this year, which includes a 
number of provisions aimed at stopping offshore tax evasion and closing 
loopholes that allow companies to dodge their taxes.
  The Senate, earlier this year, passed one important provision of the 
CUT Loopholes Act. This provision is known as the special measures 
provision. This would have given the Justice Department the same tools 
to combat tax haven abuses they now have to combat money laundering. 
Unfortunately, the House of Representatives succeeded in stripping this 
commonsense provision from the surface transportation bill to which it 
was attached in the Senate. That vote by the House allows the wealthy 
and powerful to continue dodging the taxes they owe, increasing the tax 
burden on American families who abide by the law and by their tax 
  The bill Senator Durbin offered is another way we can combat tax 
havens, and I thank him for this effort. Simply put, his legislation 
would bring much needed daylight to the use of offshore tax havens. It 
would require that officeholders and candidates for public office 
disclose their financial interests located in tax haven countries. 
Perhaps there are some who believe individuals and corporations should 
be allowed to continue concealing their income and their assets 
overseas, adding to the deficit and forcing the rest of us to carry 
their own share of the burden and that of tax dodgers as well. But 
surely we can all agree the American people deserve to know when their 
public officials are using offshore tax havens. Senator Durbin's bill 
would ensure that Americans know when their elected representatives and 
candidates for office are taking advantage of the offshore tax havens.
  This is not about a political campaign; this is about years of effort 
to make visible those who shortchange their fellow citizens by 
concealing their finances abroad and to argue for reforms that make our 
tax system more fair for the vast majority of hard-working Americans 
who pay what they owe.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Washington.
  (The remarks of Mrs. Murray are printed in today's Record under 
``Morning Business.'')
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from South Carolina.
  Mr. DeMINT. Madam President, I wish to thank the chairman for her 
hard work, as well as the staff of the committee, and Representative 
Jeff Miller and others who have worked on this bill. I am very 
supportive of the underlying bill, and I appreciate Senator Murray's 
willingness to consider the modification to make sure the veterans who 
deserve these benefits get them and they are not taken advantage of by 
the fraud of others who don't deserve them.
  I think the modification the Senator and I have talked about will 
solve that problem, and hopefully we can get this bill agreed to this 
  I yield the floor.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Washington.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Madam President, I wish to thank the Senator, and I 
suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. KOHL. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
  Mr. KOHL. Madam President, I am here today to talk about the state of 
manufacturing in this country, how we can do better, and how we can 
create more jobs here at home.
  The Bring Jobs Home Act is a good bill that will help keep jobs in 
this country, and help businesses bring more jobs back here at home. It 
would be especially good for manufacturing--and manufacturing, as we 
all know, is a critical part of our economy.
  A healthy manufacturing sector is key to better jobs, rising 
productivity, and higher standards of living. Every individual and 
industry depends on manufactured goods, and the production of these 
goods creates the quality jobs that keep so many Americans families 
healthy and strong. That is why we need continued investment in the 
Manufacturing Extension Partnership, or MEP, as it is called.
  Created in 1994, MEP is not just a Federal Government-funded program. 
MEP is unique in that it is funded almost equally between the States, 
fees paid by companies that use MEP, as well as the Federal Government. 
Each year, a bipartisan effort led by Senator Snowe, Senator Lieberman, 
and myself has worked to secure funding for this important program.
  MEP is the only public-private program dedicated to providing 
technical support and services to small and medium-sized manufacturers, 
helping them provide quality jobs for American working people. MEP is a 
nationwide network of proven resources that helps manufacturers compete 
nationally as well as globally. Simply put, MEP helps manufacturers 
grow sales, increase profits, and hire more workers.
  Throughout our country, day in and day out, MEP is working with small 
and medium-sized manufacturers to keep jobs here, and also helping 
existing businesses bring their outsourced jobs back to the United 
States. Let me say that again, because it bears repeating. Each day, 
MEP is working with manufacturers to keep jobs here, and bring their 
outsourced jobs back to the United States.
  Our small and medium-sized manufacturers face different challenges 
than larger companies, especially in this tough economy. The 
improvements that come to a business from working with an MEP center 
can make the difference between profitability or shutting their doors.
  You would be hard pressed to find another program that has produced 
the results MEP has. In fiscal year 2010--the most recent data 
available--MEP clients across the United States reported over 60,000 
new or retained workers, sales of $8.2 billion, cost savings of $1.3 
billion, and plant and equipment investments of $1.9 billion.
  And in a sign of how strong manufacturing is in Wisconsin, the 
Wisconsin MEP is opening up a third office in my

[[Page S5106]]

State, this time in Milwaukee. The Milwaukee region--which ranks No. 2 
among the Nation's top 50 metropolitan areas for manufacturing 
employment--is seeing high growth in the food processing, equipment 
manufacturing, and industrial controls fields. These businesses want to 
create jobs and grow here in the United States, and they are turning to 
MEP, a public-private partnership, to help them compete in the global 
economy. Since 1996, Wisconsin MEP has helped over 1,300 Wisconsin 
manufacturers make nearly $400 million in improvements in technology, 
productivity, and profits, helping to generate $2 billion in economic 
impact, and creating or saving over 14,000 manufacturing jobs.
  Many people seem to think the decline of American manufacturing is 
inevitable. These critics point to high wages and claim that those make 
us uncompetitive worldwide. I do not agree. Look at Germany and Japan, 
two countries with high-wage structures, and yet both have a larger 
manufacturing sector as a portion of their economy than we do. So 
higher wages are not why we trail Germany and Japan in manufacturing. 
We have failed to invest in manufacturing and employee training 
sufficiently to keep up with global competition--and that is the 
  We do have the tools and the programs available to help grow our 
economy and bring jobs back to the United States. Workers in Wisconsin 
and across the country stand ready to get back to work. Programs such 
as MEP help companies do the right thing for both their country as well 
as their bottom line--because betting on the American worker is still 
the best investment in the world.
  Madam President, I yield the floor and I suggest the absence of a 
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. McCAIN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 

                         Defending Huma Abedin

  Mr. McCAIN. Madam President, rarely do I come to the floor of this 
body to discuss particular individuals. But I understand how painful 
and injurious it is when a person's character, reputation, and 
patriotism are attacked without concern for fact or fairness. It is for 
that reason that I come to the floor today to speak regarding the 
attacks recently on a fine and decent American, Huma Abedin.
  Over the past decade, I have had the pleasure of knowing her during 
her long and dedicated service to Hillary Rodham Clinton, both in the 
Senate and now in the Department of State. I know Huma to be an 
intelligent, upstanding, hard-working, and loyal servant of our country 
and our government, who has devoted countless days of her life to 
advancing the ideals of the Nation she loves and looking after its most 
precious interests. That she has done so well maintaining her 
characteristic decency, warmth, and good humor is a testament to her 
ability to bear even the most arduous duties with poise and confidence.
  Put simply, Huma Abedin represents what is best about America: the 
daughter of immigrants, who has risen to the highest levels of our 
government on the basis of her substantial personal merit and her 
abiding commitment to the American ideals she embodies. I am proud to 
know her, and I am proud--even maybe with some presumption--to call her 
my friend.
  Recently, it has been alleged that Huma Abedin, a Muslim American, is 
part of a nefarious conspiracy to harm the United States by unduly 
influencing U.S. foreign policy at the Department of State in favor of 
the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist causes. On June 13, five 
Members of Congress wrote to the Deputy Inspector General of the 
Department of State demanding that he begin an investigation into the 
possibility that Huma Abedin, and other American officials, are using 
their influence to promote the cause of Muslim Brotherhood within the 
U.S. government. The information offered to support these serious 
allegations is based on a report, ``The Muslim Brotherhood in 
America,'' which is produced by the Center for Security Policy. I wish 
to point out, I have worked with the Center for Security Policy. The 
head of it is a longtime friend of mine. Still, this report is 
  To say that the accusations made in both documents are not 
substantiated by the evidence they offer is to be overly polite and 
diplomatic about it. It is far better and more accurate to talk 
straight. These allegations about Huma Abedin and the report from which 
they are drawn are nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded 
attack on an honorable citizen, a dedicated American, and a loyal 
public servant.
  The letter alleges that three members of Huma's family are 
``connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations.'' 
Never mind that one of these individuals--Huma's father--passed away 
two decades ago. The letter and the report offer not one instance of an 
action, a decision, or a public position that Huma has taken while at 
the State Department or as a member of then-Senator Clinton's staff 
that would lend credence to the charge that she is promoting anti-
American activities within our government. Nor does either document 
offer any evidence of a direct impact that Huma may have had on one of 
the U.S. policies with which the authors of the letter and the 
producers of the report find fault. These sinister accusations rest 
solely on a few unspecified and unsubstantiated associations of members 
of Huma's family--none of which have been shown to harm or threaten the 
United States in any way. These attacks have no logic, no basis, and no 
merit, and they need to stop. They need to stop now.
  Ultimately, what is at stake in this matter is larger even than the 
reputation of one person. This is about who we are as a Nation and who 
we aspire to be. What makes America exceptional among the countries of 
the world is that we are bound together as citizens, not by blood or 
class, not by sector or ethnicity, but by a set of enduring universal 
and equal rights that are the foundations of our Constitution, our 
laws, our citizenry, and our identity. When anyone--not least a Member 
of Congress--launches specious and degrading attacks against fellow 
Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are and 
ignorance of what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our Nation, 
and we all grow poorer because of it.
  Our reputations and our character are the only things we leave behind 
when we depart this Earth, and unjust acts that malign the good name of 
a decent and honorable person are not only wrong, they are contrary to 
everything we hold dear as Americans.
  Some years ago, I had the pleasure, along with my friend, the Senator 
from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, of traveling overseas with our 
colleague then-Senator Hillary Clinton. By her side, as always, was 
Huma, and I had the pleasure of seeing firsthand her hard work and 
dedicated service on behalf of the former Senator from New York, a 
service that continues to this day at the Department of State and bears 
with it a significant personal sacrifice for Huma.
  I have every confidence in her loyalty to our country, and everyone 
else should as well. All Americans owe her a debt of gratitude for her 
many years of superior public service. I hope these ugly and 
unfortunate attacks on her can immediately be brought to an end and put 
behind us before any further damage is done to a woman, an American, of 
genuine patriotism and love of country.
  Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Franken). The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. COATS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                              The Economy

  Mr. COATS. Mr. President, I come to the floor today to comment on a 
couple of things. One is the dialog that took place this morning 
between the majority leader and the minority leader regarding how the 
Senate should function. There were two different views on this between 
the two, and they had quite a back-and-forth exchange. I am

[[Page S5107]]

not sure how many people in America were watching that conversation 
this morning, but I watched in my office while I was trying to catch up 
on some other work and then found myself pretty engaged in that 
  It all stemmed from the fact that the majority leader announced he 
was not going to bring any of the appropriations bills to the floor for 
debate, consideration, amendment, or voting. I am a Member of that 
Appropriations Committee. The initial information passed on to us was 
that we would return to regular order; that is, the committees forming, 
through the committee process, how we spend our money, the limitations, 
where it should be sent.
  We have held all the hearings. We bring in all the agencies. 
Everybody presents their budget, defends their budget. We make 
decisions, and we come up with legislation--13 separate pieces of 
legislation--that essentially covers the functions of this Congress and 
how we are going to pay for it.
  So we go through all this work. We work through subcommittee, then we 
work through the full committee, and then the bills are ready, stacked 
up, waiting to be brought to the floor to be debated by Members--both 
Republicans and Democrats, both sides of the aisle--with amendments 
  The same process happens in the House. We merge the two bills. We 
bring one product here. We make a final vote on that and send it to the 
President. He either signs it or rejects it. But that is a necessary 
procedure that is a written part of the way this Congress is designed 
to function.
  Yet that procedure has essentially been discarded. To then hear that 
after all that effort by all of us in our respective committees, 
including the Appropriations Committee but also authorizing committees 
in terms of how we are going to spend the money and what direction it 
goes--after all of this effort, we are told: No, none of those bills 
will be brought to the floor.
  Well, that is not the function of the Senate. The response is, well, 
we will put it all into one big bill at the end--13 bills, called an 
omnibus bill. Earlier, we had something put together called a minibus--
they took three major bills, and put them together--and we were then 
asked to have either a ``yes'' or a ``no'' vote on the whole thing.
  You know, there is a reason the public is so frustrated with the 
Congress. They cannot get clear answers from their respective Members 
as to whether they are for something or against something because when 
you combine all of those bills together, of course you are for parts of 
it and you are against parts of it, but Members are only allowed one 
vote, yes or no.
  When I ran for office in 2010, I pledged to the people of Indiana 
that if I were elected, I would let my yes be yes and my no be no as it 
applied to a specific program or a specific spending item so that they 
could then evaluate their Senator in terms of how he was representing 
them. And they could then make a judgment that, I want to support this 
person or I am opposed to supporting this person because I do not agree 
with his vote on this or I support him because I do agree with a vote 
he took. That is the clarity and transparency the American people are 
asking for. Of course, they are getting exactly the opposite here.
  The other problem with not bringing these bills to the floor one by 
one and having open debate, with the opportunity to offer amendments, 
to adjust them--you either pass your amendment or you do not pass your 
amendment, but in the end the whole thing has been vetted, vetted in 
front for the American to see, for us to understand, and therefore, 
when we do vote, we know that our yes means yes and our no means no.
  So it is a mystery to me why this year and in previous years under 
the leadership of the majority leader we have not done what the Senate, 
historically is designed to do and has done and what I think is a duty 
and a responsibility to the people whom we represent.
  Now, in normal times of economic growth, maybe you can get away with 
something like this. But at a time when lack of action in Congress 
contributes to an already staggering economy--many analysts say we are 
heading back into recession--when we look at the situation around the 
world and see the slowing down of economic activity and the problems in 
China and Brazil and in India, the major markets, and we see what is 
happening in Europe, and we read from analysts their evaluation of our 
current economic situation and this fiscal cliff that we are driving 
toward by the end of the year unless we address it, how uncertainty 
over all of that is negatively affecting our economy and affecting 
those who are in a position to either buy new machinery for their 
plant, increase employment, do more research, or expand a business. 
They are frozen in time saying: I cannot make decisions because there 
is uncertainty about what money will be available, what our budget will 
be, what our tax rate will be, what our health care obligations will 
be, what the Federal Government will be doing with this budget and how 
it affects our business.
  So whether it is paving roads or funding hospitals, addressing 
education issues or any other function that Federal, State, local 
governments or individuals and businesses get involved in, this cloud 
of uncertainty that has settled over this country has kept us from 
putting those policies in place that are going to restore our country 
to economic growth, that are going to put people back to work and get 
our country back on track toward fiscal health.
  This is an issue that should not be dividing us on a partisan basis. 
Whether you are listening to a liberal economic commentator or 
conservative economic analyst, there is a growing consensus that 
inactivity, this stalemate that exists is contributing significantly, 
and the failure to address the fact that we are heading toward this 
fiscal cliff, with all its ramifications, will have enormous negative 
consequences if we do not take some action.
  So it is not just about the appropriations process, although I think 
that speaks to the dysfunction of this Senate. It is also about the 
larger question of some of the major issues that lie before us that the 
Congress is simply not addressing. We are viewed as a dysfunctional 
institution, either incapable or unwilling to address the critical 
issues facing our country--in particular, the dismal state of our 
economy and the fact that we have now for 41 straight months had 
unemployment above 8 percent.
  This morning more than 12 million Americans woke up without a job and 
many others woke up with a job much below their abilities, much below 
what they had hoped to gain in a salary and a pay package that allows 
them to pay the mortgage, buy the groceries, save for their children's 
education. So the underemployed combined with the unemployed is a 
staggering number. That is something I believe we have a moral duty to 
  We may have a disagreement on the policies to address this crisis. I 
understand that. But when we are not even allowed to come down to this 
floor and debate those policies and have a package of legislation in 
front of us that we think will address some of these situations, that 
is simply taking a pass at a time when our country desperately needs us 
to be engaged.
  If you looked at the Washington Post this morning, you saw the 
account of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, his testimony before 
the Senate yesterday, and I want to quote what he said:

       The most effective way that the Congress could help support 
     the economy right now would be to work to address the 
     Nation's fiscal challenges in a way that takes into account 
     both the need for long-run sustainability and the fragility 
     of the recovery.

  I think if that question was posed to a Member of this body, whether 
that Member is conservative or liberal, Democratic or Republican, I 
think most would simply say: I agree with that. I cannot find fault 
with what he said.
  You know, we look to the Fed to solve all of our problems but the Fed 
has used about every major tool they have--they might have a couple of 
little ones left. You can only do so much with monetary policy. The 
problem is fiscal policy, and fiscal policy is the responsibility of 
the Congress and the executive branch and the President.
  Look, it is clear that we are not going to get any leadership from 
this President, at least until after this election has taken place. He 
is clearly in campaign mode. He is not doing business out of the White 
House relative to policy. He even said months and

[[Page S5108]]

months ago: Well, we are not really going to do any more this year.
  So that has all been put on hold. Well, in normal times, that might 
be what Presidents ought to be doing. These are not normal times. We 
are not getting the leadership we need. And everything we tried to do 
in 2011 was stopped simply because we did not get support from the top.
  But let's set that aside right now and acknowledge that what the 
Federal Reserve Chairman has said will have a major negative impact on 
this economy if Congress does not step up and take its responsibility 
and do what we all know we need to do. I repeat again that statement by 
the Federal Reserve Chairman:

       The most effective way that the Congress could help support 
     the economy right now would be to work to address the 
     nation's fiscal challenges in a way that takes into account 
     both the need for long-run sustainability and the fragility 
     of the economy.

  Economists from across the political spectrum are sounding the alarm. 
Analysts report that the threat of the fiscal crisis in Europe is now 
being displaced by the threat of our country's inaction and refusal to 
address this fiscal cliff now. The American people and American 
industry and American businesses need to know what our plan is to 
stabilize our economy. Yes, it is important what Spain is doing and 
Italy is doing and Greece is doing and Germany is doing and France is 
doing to work on the European situation. Those of us who live in glass 
houses should not be throwing stones. There is a lot of criticism over 
what they are doing or not doing across the Atlantic. But we ought to 
be looking at ourselves and saying: How dare we tell them what they 
need to do--as some have tried to do--when we are not doing anything 
ourselves to address this.
  The failure of Congress to act is having a negative impact, not only 
in my State but across the country. Household confidence is waning. 
Retail sales are down, according to the latest report. The 
manufacturing sector is taking a hit. As I said earlier, there have 
been 41 consecutive months of unemployment above 8 percent.
  So it falls to Congress to act. Unfortunately, now we have been told 
that even on the regular process of how we act on a year-by-year basis 
to set the spending standards for the taxpayers' hard-earned money out 
of this Federal Government, set those standards, we are unwilling to 
have open debates, we are unwilling--the majority leader will not allow 
us to have amendments, will not even bring the bill to the floor. All 
of this legislation is needed to ostensibly run this Federal 
Government. Yet it is being run in a way that throws everything into 
the pot. It goes right up to the edge, and we have this drama about 
whether they will pass it or not pass it. In the meantime, the negative 
impact that it has on our economy is very troubling and not something 
we ought to be doing.
  So here I am again voicing my frustration over our inability to step 
up to the responsibility that has been given to us by the American 
people to come here and do our very best, make our best arguments, put 
forward our best plan, but come to some conclusion as to where we are 
going in this country in dealing with this fiscal cliff.
  It is not just a fiscal cliff, it is a whole range of issues that 
have enormous implications for our national defense, for our economy, 
for our budget, for going forward for our retirees, for those 
beneficiaries of some of the programs of the Federal Government--major 
implications--and all of that is left in a cloud of uncertainty.
  The interesting thing to me is that whether you are a Democrat or 
Republican, whether you are President of the United States or a 
candidate for President of the United States, good policy is what the 
American people are looking for. Action is what they are looking for. 
Debate is what they are looking for, and then putting that forward with 
some sense of certainty in terms of where we are going. But right now 
politics seems to be dominating the Presidential race. I do not think 
there is anything we can do about that, but what we can do here in this 
body is acknowledge what was acknowledged by a lot of Democrats and a 
lot of Republicans in 2011 but not accomplished; what we can do is what 
we have the responsibility to do, and that is to step into the breach 
and do everything we can to put those policies in place that I think 
there is substantial agreement on, put those policies in place that 
will get our economy moving again, and, most important, put some 
certainty into what the future looks like so that those who go shopping 
and those who make products and those who are part of our American 
economy have the certainty of knowing what the future looks like so 
they can make decisions.
  We have a chance, Mr. President--even as recent discoveries can lead 
us to energy independence, given our established rule of law, given the 
fact that right now America is the only safe haven--even though it is 
getting less safe--to invest your money if you are overseas--we have 
the opportunity, if we step up to our responsibilities, to open a new 
chapter and put America back in its place as that ``shining city on a 
hill,'' that place of freedom and opportunity where you want to put 
your money and invest, raise your children, an opportunity to be the 
country the world looks at to take the lead.
  We have a golden opportunity now to send that signal. I think the 
investment markets would respond dramatically, we would start putting 
people back to work, and get our economy humming again. People would 
then look at us and say: They are taking this debt and deficit 
situation seriously. They put a credible long-term plan in place to 
address it, and we have the confidence to go forward, knowing that 
America will still be the place to live, work, raise a family, and 
invest. We can bring our economy back.
  I am trying to end on a positive note simply by saying good policy is 
good politics. The people are hungry for us to stand up and basically 
say this is what we believe in, what we stand for. Yes, we had to 
modify this or that in order to get consent on going forward, but we 
are going forward. We know what the plan will be, and we can send a 
signal to the world that Congress has lived up to those 
responsibilities. You are not going to get it out of the White House--
at least until November. This is the body where the responsibility 
falls. I think we all need to stand up and understand not only our 
constitutional duties but our moral responsibility to move forward and 
in the regular order address these issues that are so critical to the 
future of this Nation.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Udall of Colorado). The Senator from 
Kansas is recognized.
  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.

                          KC-46A Tanker Basing

  Mr. MORAN. Mr. President, Kansas has a long and remarkable history of 
supporting our Nation's aviation industry both commercially and in 
support of our Nation's men and women in uniform. In Kansas, roughly 
40,000 citizens support approximately 270 aviation and aerospace 
companies and generate nearly $2.9 billion in exports annually from our 
State. Many of those workers live in Wichita, which has long been known 
as the air capital of the world. Not only do these workers contribute 
to the vitality of our State's economy, but they also strengthen our 
Nation's economy, and they certainly contribute to our Nation's 
  At both McConnell Air Force Base and Forbes Field, in Topeka, members 
of the Active, Reserve, and the National Guard serve our country 
through a variety of missions. Since 1941, McConnell Air Force Base has 
been an instrumental part of the Wichita community, and Kansans have a 
proud history of standing behind the air men and women who have called 
McConnell home. McConnell Air Force Base employs more than 17,000 
people, military and civilian, and last year it had an overall impact 
of more than $520 million on our local economy.
  I have come to the floor today to outline my support, strong support, 
for McConnell Air Force Base as the best choice for our Nation's new 
tanker fleet, the KC-46A. Currently, the Air Force is considering 
McConnell for the first home--or main operating base 1--for the new 
tanker, which will be put into service in 2016. McConnell Air Force 
Base is our Nation's best choice.
  McConnell already houses a total of 63 KC-135R tankers--48 assigned 
and manned, plus an additional 15 for global contingency purposes, 
making it by

[[Page S5109]]

far the largest tanker presence in our country. In fact, McConnell is 
considered the supertanker base in the Air Force, with twice the number 
of tankers than any other base.
  Looking at the geography of the United States, it is clear McConnell 
serves our country well in terms of air mobility. Strategically located 
in the Nation's heartland--equidistant from both coasts--McConnell's 
location is a great asset.
  To this point, the 22nd Air Refueling Wing and the 931st Air 
Refueling Group at McConnell are frequently called upon for refueling 
missions, within a 1,000-mile ``service radius'' of the base, which 
further highlights the reliability of this location in the Midwest for 
domestic or overseas missions. One thousand nautical miles is a vast 
portion of the continental United States and includes hundreds of 
routes, military operating areas, and airspace reserved for various air 
  McConnell supports all branches of the military and allied partners, 
refueling off of either coast and around the world every day. The Air 
Force has long taken advantage of the expansive airspace available over 
and around Kansas, so it would be natural for McConnell Air Force Base 
to continue its important air mobility missions with the KC-46As.
  McConnell also has a clear advantage in personnel because it houses 
both Active and Reserve air men and women in the air mobility mission. 
The Air Force calls this arrangement a classic association, and 
McConnell is one of the only few bases in the country that can boast 
this level of coordination between the Active and Reserve in air 
mobility missions.
  The 22nd and 931st are prime examples of Active and Reserve 
components working together, sharing capabilities, collocating in 
various facilities, integrating crews and providing global support to 
operational needs.
  The 22nd and 931st have a tremendous history of conducting air 
mobility operations not only throughout the United States, but in 
places in Libya, Serbia, Turkey, Iraq and Afghanistan. Furthermore, the 
Air Force has indicated their strong preference for this arrangement as 
they choose the location for the first round of KC-46A tankers.
  Another advantage McConnell boasts is a surrounding community that 
fully supports and embraces the air men and women and their families. 
Since 1960, an organization of area business leaders and residents 
called Friends of McConnell has supported the men and women of 
McConnell Air Force Base through a wide range of programs and special 
events on and off the base each year.
  One of those programs, called the Honorary Commander Program, pairs 
up more than 30 squadron and group commanders with local civic leaders 
for 2 years to build meaningful relationships between civilian and 
military leadership. When I talk with the air men and women stationed 
at McConnell, they often tell me how much they have enjoyed the quality 
of life Wichita offers them and their families.
  When it comes to Air Force air mobility missions, there are four 
components that make a mission successful: airmen, command and control, 
infrastructure, and equipment. McConnell Air Force Base not only has 
the extremely capable airmen of the 22nd and 931st, but it also has the 
proven command and control to handle a myriad of operational needs and 
a sprawling infrastructure with enormous capacity. In fact, McConnell 
will soon have the newest runway in the Air Force at a length of 12,000 
feet, which more than exceeds the requirements of the first round of 
  By locating the new tankers at McConnell, the Air Force would have 
the strategic flexibility and capacity needed to carry out a variety of 
missions both at home and abroad. Now is the time for the Air Force to 
replace the aging KC-135Rs with the ``iron'' of KC-46As at McConnell 
Air Force Base.
  The Air Force has made clear that the acquisition and 
recapitalization of the KC-46A is their top priority. Air Force Chief 
of Staff GEN Norton Schwartz said it best when he stated:

       The KC-46A tanker is a critical force multiplier and 
     essential to the way this Nation fights its wars and provides 
     humanitarian support around the globe.

  I agree. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Air Force 
Secretary Michael Donley while at the Farnborough airshow, and I 
emphasized personally the need to base KC-46A tankers at McConnell Air 
Force Base in order to meet this need for global mobility.
  It is often said in the military that the difference between success 
and failure is logistics. McConnell Air Force Base offers the 
instrumental, logistical muscle that is vital to successful, strategic 
air power. Kansans have a long history of supporting air power and air 
mobility, and I know McConnell Air Force Base is the best choice for 
our Nation's new tanker fleet.
  I am hopeful that Kansas air men and women will have the opportunity 
to continue their tradition of service in defending our Nation with 
this first round of KC-46As.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor and 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. SESSIONS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescind.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (The remarks of Mr. Sessions pertaining to the introduction of S. 
3396 are located in today's Record under ``Statements on Introduced 
Bills and Joint Resolutions.'')
  Mr. SESSIONS. I thank the Chair, I yield the floor, and I suggest the 
absence of a quorum.
  Mr. BLUMENTHAL. 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. BLUMENTHAL. Mr. President, I come to the floor to join the voices 
of my colleagues in favor of supporting strongly, and I hope 
persuasively, the Bring Jobs Home Act.
  The Bring Jobs Home Act is a measure that contains some provisions 
that are hardly novel, not complex, and a matter of common sense.
  They involve some of the basic ideas we have advanced and advocated 
in this Chamber for some time. They are measures that are contained in 
a proposal very eloquently argued for by my colleague, Senator 
Stabenow, and I thank her for her leadership, as well as for Leader 
Reid's leadership, in bringing this measure to the floor now.
  Very simply, the Bring Jobs Home Act will reshore and restore jobs to 
this country with two simple, straightforward provisions. This measure 
provides a 20-percent tax credit for the expenses incurred in moving 
facilities or plants--basically, jobs--back to America. It also does 
something that is critically vital to this country, which is to close 
the loopholes that right now reward companies for moving those jobs 
overseas. Again and again over the past 2 years I have advocated this 
straightforward, simple step: Close the loopholes that permit companies 
to deduct expenses when moving those jobs overseas.
  The average American--certainly the average person in Connecticut--
when told that these loopholes exist, simply is incredulous. They 
cannot believe the United States of America rewards companies for 
moving these jobs overseas. Let's close that loophole now. It will 
produce revenue for the United States. Literally tens of millions of 
dollars will come back to our country as a result of closing this 
loophole, and jobs will come back as well. The 20-percent tax credit, 
although it may not sound like a lot of money to major corporations, 
could well be the tipping point for executives considering what to do 
in terms of investing in this country. It is an incentive to invest in 
the United States instead of moving those jobs abroad. A 20-percent tax 
credit could be a critical decision point and a turning point in those 
decisions. The Boston Consulting Group surveyed 37 companies which have 
$10 billion or more in revenues and found that 50 percent are at that 
tipping point.
  This measure should not be partisan. It should not be a matter of 
geography or party as to whether one of our colleagues supports it. 
There should be a bipartisan coalition behind it. I have found in 
Connecticut, as I go around the State, regardless of party, people 
support this idea of bringing jobs home and reshoring and restoring 
jobs to our State and to our country, particularly manufacturing jobs.
  In the city of Waterbury, I visited on Monday a steel plant where 
there are

[[Page S5110]]

3,000 manufacturing jobs--part of the 165,000 manufacturing jobs that 
we have in Connecticut. Manufacturing is alive and well. Taxpayers 
should not be subsidizing companies that move those kinds of jobs 
overseas. In the last 10 years, 2.4 million jobs were shipped 
overseas--mostly manufacturing--and taxpayers helped to foot the bill 
for it. In Connecticut, the National Bureau of Economic Research has 
found more than 250,000 jobs are at risk of being outsourced. People 
are angry and outraged that they are subsidizing that risk, that 
outsourcing and offshoring of jobs.
  In the steel plant I visited, fortunately those jobs have stayed. But 
from around the country and in Connecticut, many of them have moved 
overseas because of the economic incentives we have created and that 
now we should stop. At a time when job creation is our No. 1 priority, 
American taxpayers deserve that these loopholes and hidden subsidies be 
closed and ended forever.
  I hope I speak for many of my colleagues in saying shipping jobs 
overseas with the subsidies and incentives now provided very simply is 
unacceptable. Let's pass the Bring Jobs Home Act now to close those 
loopholes and to provide these incentives so that companies such as 
Otis Elevator, United Technology, DuPont, Ford, Master Lock, GE, 
Spectrum Plastics in Ansonia, CT, will be encouraged to continue doing 
the right thing, bringing those jobs back, walking the walk, and 
walking jobs back to Connecticut and to the United States. I will be 
voting yes to bring jobs home.
  Again, I thank my colleague Senator Stabenow for her invaluable 
leadership on this issue. I am proud to join her today.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan is recognized.
  Ms. STABENOW. Mr. President, I first want to thank my friend and 
colleague from Connecticut for his commitment and compassion and 
passion on this issue. I appreciate very much his joining with me and 
others to come together to put forward what I think is a commonsense 
bill that focuses on closing a major loophole that is requiring 
basically taxpayers to help foot the bill when jobs are shipped 
overseas. So I want to thank the Senator from Connecticut for his 
efforts and commitment. I know he shares my belief that we need to be 
bringing jobs home, and that is what we intend to do.
  I do want to speak today about the legislation that is in front of 
us. We can come together and agree we don't have to go forward and have 
this vote to stop a filibuster. If we could agree to bring up the bill 
and discuss it and pass it, it would be terrific. We know we have a 
majority to support this bill and be able to pass it, send it to the 
House, and the President will sign it in 30 seconds, I know, to be able 
to close this loophole. But we are, unfortunately, engaged in something 
right now that we are engaged in all the time now. It used to be a rare 
occurrence to have an objection that triggers a filibuster. Now it is 
on every issue. So we find ourselves waiting to be able to vote to see 
whether we are going to be able to get a supermajority to be able to go 
to this bill. That is very concerning to me, given the fact that we do 
have the majority in the Senate that wants to debate and pass this bill 
and we have the vast majority of Americans. It is not about Democrats 
or Republicans. We have people all over this country who want to see us 
move forward on this bill as well as others that will focus on jobs and 
focus on bringing jobs home. We want to build an economy that lasts. 
The way we do that I believe is by making things--making things in 
  Two weeks ago, we passed the farm bill on an overwhelmingly 
bipartisan vote. As chair of the Agriculture Committee, working with my 
ranking member Senator Roberts, we very much appreciated the hard work 
and support of Members on both sides of the aisle to pass something 
that is involved in growing things. We don't have a middle class in 
this country and we don't have an economy unless we make things and 
grow things. So we showed we could come together around a major piece 
of legislation that invests in growing things and all of the offshoots 
of that as it relates to the food economy.
  This is an opportunity to say ``we get it'' when it comes to making 
things and bringing jobs back from overseas so we can make more things 
again in America. It is unbelievable to me--and I know it is 
unbelievable to hard-working men and women in Michigan and I know all 
across the country--that companies actually get a tax writeoff for 
packing up shop, paying for the moving expenses, doing what they need 
to do to close down and move jobs overseas. It is actually astounding. 
And when we look at the fact that we have lost 2.4 million jobs in the 
last 10 years because of that, it is outrageous when you think about it 
that we are losing 2.4 million jobs and it continues, and, at the same 
time, American taxpayers are helping to foot the bill. That makes 
absolutely no sense.
  We have heard a lot about tax reform from Members on both sides of 
the aisle, and I support that. I think there are some larger tax 
issues. As a member of the Finance Committee, I am committed to 
addressing a range of issues that deals with incentives and how we 
compete globally and our companies are able to compete globally. But 
this is tax reform we can do right now. We don't have to wait for 
something big to come someday. We are going to have an opportunity in 
the next day to vote on tax reform immediately. I know the Presiding 
Officer shares the desire to bring those jobs home. The fact is, we 
have something very simple and straightforward we are going to be asked 
to vote on.
  First of all, the Bring Jobs Home Act would end the taxpayer 
subsidies that are helping to pay for moving costs for corporations 
that are closing up shop and sending jobs overseas. Secondly, we are 
going to allow companies to have that deduction when they bring the 
jobs back. So if we have a company wanting to close up shop in China 
and bring the jobs back, we are happy to allow a business tax deduction 
for that. And, on top of it, we will allow an additional 20-percent tax 
credit for the cost of bringing those jobs back. So we are happy to do 
that. But we are not paying to ship the jobs overseas.
  I don't know of any country in the world right now that would have a 
tax policy that involves helping to pay for jobs leaving their country. 
If anything, we are in a situation today where we have other countries 
either trying to block us from selling to them or they create 
incentives. I have mentioned so many times but it is true, I have 
talked to companies that had the Chinese Government approach them and 
say, ``Come on over, we will build the plant for you.'' And then they 
steal your patent.
  But the fact is other countries are aggressively trying to get what 
we have had as America, what has created the middle class of America, 
which is the ability to make things in this country. We don't seem to 
understand that if we are not vigilant, if we are not paying attention, 
if we are not focused, if we don't have the right policies and the 
right kinds of investments and partnerships with the private sector, 
they are going to have all of those middle-class jobs. So when we look 
at this, it is time to begin that process. In fact, it is way past time 
to do this.
  Cheryl Randecker would certainly agree with that. She worked at 
Sensata for 33 years. She has a daughter who is ready to go to college. 
She is worried about how she is going to pay her bills and put food on 
the table and pay for her daughter's schooling. And now she finds she 
has lost her job. It is being shipped to China. Her employer gets a tax 
deduction that she is helping to pay for, for the moving expenses.
  Her coworker Joyce is 60 years old and has worked at the same company 
for 29 years. She has given them her whole career, and in those years 
she has developed a very specific set of job skills that have made her 
a tremendous asset to the work they do at their facility. But those 
skills aren't necessarily transferrable to another company, and she is 
worried those companies would rather hire somebody half her age to save 
money. She is another person who must be absolutely outraged to find 
out that the taxes she has paid for nearly 30 years in her career are 
being used to help her company ship her job to China.
  I have heard similar worries from my constituents all over Michigan, 
people who have worked all their lives--often for the same company--in 
their late fifties, early sixties, a few years shy of

[[Page S5111]]

retirement, and who suddenly find the rug pulled out from under them. 
It is outrageous to think that those individuals, who have played by 
the rules and worked hard their whole lives, suddenly find themselves 
in a situation where their jobs are shipped overseas and American 
taxpayers are subsidizing it. We can change that. We can change that 
when we vote to move forward on this bill.
  The good news, and the reason we need to do this to keep this 
momentum going, is that we have a lot of companies that are now doing 
the math and finding it makes good business sense to bring jobs home. 
So we have some good news stories, and we need to keep them going.
  But our Tax Code needs to catch up with that and reward those 
companies instead of putting them at a competitive disadvantage when we 
have companies closing up here and shipping jobs the other way.
  Caterpillar is making major new investments in the United States, 
bringing jobs back from Japan, Mexico, and China.
  DuPont is building a plant in Charleston, SC, to produce Kevlar. That 
is great news. They are making investments in Ohio, Iowa, Pennsylvania, 
and Delaware.
  All-Clad Metalcrafters, the folks who make high-end cookware, have 
brought their production of lids back from China to the United States.
  Keen, a shoe manufacturer, just opened a 15,000-square-foot plant to 
manufacture boots in Portland, OR--production that used to be in China.
  Master Lock, the world's largest padlock maker, moved jobs back to 
their facility in Milwaukee, WI, and they now have 50 products 
manufactured exclusively in the United States made with U.S. component 
  US Airways brought hundreds of jobs back to their call centers in 
North Carolina, Arizona, and Nevada. Today, Lori Manuel is joining me 
in just a few moments at a press conference to talk about how important 
those jobs are to her and her colleagues.
  Yesterday I was on the floor talking about our American automobile 
industry. I am very proud that Ford has retooled. The largest plant 
they have is in North America, in Wayne, MI, and because of that effort 
and new advanced batteries, they are bringing jobs back from Mexico 
and, we are now hearing, from China and other places. I know GM and 
Chrysler are very focused on jobs here and bringing jobs back, and that 
is all good news.
  These are companies that want to invest in America. They want to 
bring jobs home. Our Tax Code should be rewarding that, not rewarding 
those who want to leave. Our Tax Code still rewards their competitors 
who are not making investments in America, and it makes absolutely no 
sense. When CEOs are making calculations about where to move 
production, we do not want the Tax Code standing in the way.
  It is very simple. We know we have to focus on jobs in America. We 
are in a global economy. Our companies are competing with countries and 
policies of countries and investments by other countries. We have to 
make sure that we are doing everything, that it is all hands on deck, 
that everybody is moving in the same direction, that the Tax Code 
works, that we are partnering in the right way in every part of our 
economy so that the message is sent out: Bring jobs home. ``American 
made.'' We want to strengthen America.
  This is about America first. That is what the Tax Code ought to focus 
on, and that is what this bill is all about. I am hopeful that our 
colleagues will get beyond the politics of the moment. I know we are in 
an election year. I get the partisan politics of the moment. But there 
are people around our country counting on us--Democrats, Republicans, 
Independents, folks who vote, folks who do not vote--counting on us to 
actually step up together and do things that make sense. This makes 
sense. We need to bring jobs home. This bill will help do that.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Cardin). The Senator from Wyoming is 
  Mr. BARRASSO. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as in 
morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. The 
Senator is recognized.

                            A Second Opinion

  Mr. BARRASSO. Mr. President, I come to the floor, as I do each week, 
as a physician who practiced medicine in Wyoming for a quarter of a 
century, taking care of so many families there, to give a doctor's 
second opinion about the health care law that has now been found 
constitutional by the Supreme Court. Although it may not be 
unconstitutional, it is still unworkable, it is unaffordable, and it is 
very unpopular.
  Today I wish to talk about one of the specific components of the 
health care law; that is, the issue of Medicaid expansion.
  Most of the discussion of the Supreme Court's health care decision 
has been focused on the individual mandate, that incredibly unpopular 
portion of the law that forces every American to buy a government-
approved product, government-approved health insurance. The Supreme 
Court has ruled it a tax. It is a tax. Still, the American people know 
it is a mandate coming out of Washington that they buy a government-
approved product for the first time ever in American history.
  Today I would like to talk about another important part, which is the 
Supreme Court's ruling that the law's Medicaid mandate is 
unconstitutional. As many Americans know, Medicaid is a government 
program that is jointly funded between States and the Federal 
Government. The President's health care law contained a huge expansion 
of Medicaid, and more than half of the new insurance coverage provided 
by the health care law was supposed to be delivered through the 
Medicaid Program.
  The President's health care law forces States to expand their 
Medicaid eligibility or face the loss of all of their Medicaid matching 
funds. Currently, the States put up some money, and the Federal 
Government puts up some--it varies from State to State. In my State of 
Wyoming, the State puts up half, the Federal Government puts up half, 
and 15 States are in that 50-50 range. In some States, it goes up to 70 
cents from the Federal Government and 30 cents from the State. Across 
the board, the average is about 57 cents from Washington, 43 cents from 
the home State.
  Many States believed that this expansion, this forced expansion, this 
forced mandate on them was unconstitutional, that it was expensive, and 
that it would essentially leave States with no choice but to 
participate in the program. That is why 26 different States filed a 
lawsuit against the Federal Government to stop this massive Medicaid 
  Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts and a majority of Justices agreed 
with the States. Chief Justice Roberts described the Medicaid expansion 
as a ``gun to the head'' that would leave States no choice but to 
participate in the program. The decision of the Supreme Court made 
clear that States cannot be forced by Washington--cannot be forced by 
Washington--to participate in the health care law's Medicare expansion.
  In response, after the Supreme Court announced its decision, a 
reporter asked senior White House officials how they would entice 
States to participate. According to Kaiser Health News, the White House 
officials responded with laughter. Apparently it seemed almost 
inconceivable to these White House officials that States would want to 
opt out of the Medicaid expansion. In fact, Washington Democrats have 
argued that it is a good deal for States since the Federal Government 
is paying for the entire expansion through 2017, and then it will cover 
90 percent of the cost of the States. But, again, that is not of all of 
the people on Medicaid, that is only of these newly eligible 
individuals. Never mind that the Congressional Budget Office predicted 
that the Medicaid expansion would cost the Federal Government over $900 
billion between 2014 and 2022. Apparently Washington Democrats, who 
have not passed a budget--Members of this Senate--in over 3 years, 
believe the Federal Government has extra money to spend. It is 
completely irresponsible.
  While this might be a laughing matter for the White House, people who 
work in State governments take this issue much more seriously. The 
concerns of Governors of both parties was recently highlighted in a 
Washington Post article. Not only are Republican Governors concerned 
about the expansion, but at least seven Democratic

[[Page S5112]]

Governors have been noncommittal about expanding the program in their 
own States as well. Governors are concerned because they know Medicaid 
has been the fastest growing part of the State budget for over the past 
decade. In fact, Medicaid spending has expanded twice as fast as 
spending on education, and this is according to the bipartisan National 
Governors Association.
  In addition, State leaders worry that the Federal Government will not 
keep the promises Washington has made to the States regarding 
Medicaid's payment rates.
  The Wall Street Journal referred to the matching rate this way:

       This 100 percent matching rate is like a subprime loan with 
     a teaser rate and a balloon payment.

  When asked to comment about the Medicaid expansion, Jay Nixon, the 
Governor of Missouri, who is a Democrat, said:

       This deals with hundreds of thousands of Missourians, it 
     deals with their health 
     care . . .

  He went on to say:

     . . . it deals with billions of dollars, and we will be 
     involved in the process that defines the best fit for our 
     state and respects the sovereignty of our state and the 
     individuality of our state.

  Brian Schweitzer, Democratic Governor of Montana, put it best when he 

       Unlike the Federal Government, Montana just can't print 
     money. We have a budget surplus and we are going to keep it 
     that way.

  Unlike this current administration, Governors of both parties 
recognize the importance of controlling government spending.
  Washington cannot expect States to simply trust that the money will 
come through in the future. States basically do not trust Washington, 
and they are right to not trust Washington. States and Governors across 
the country are much smarter than trusting Washington.
  It did not have to be this way. If the White House and Democrats in 
Congress had actually focused on lowering costs--that was supposed to 
be the concern of the health care law, lowering the cost of care--if 
the White House and Democrats in Congress had actually focused on 
lowering the cost of care, States now would not be facing this bad 
  We need to repeal this bad health care law. We need to replace it 
with legislation that will make it easier for States to work with 
Washington without going bankrupt. We need to move forward. We need to 
move forward with legislation that will allow Americans to get what 
they have been looking for, which is the care they need from a doctor 
they choose at lower costs.
  I point out that the Republican Governors Association has a lot of 
questions about this Medicaid expansion. As a matter of fact, Virginia 
Governor Bob McDonnell, who is chairman of the Republican Governors 
Association, sent a letter to the President seeking answers to a number 
of questions dealing with Medicaid and dealing with the exchanges that 
are part of this health care law. There are 30 specific questions in 
the letter Governor McDonnell sent. I suggest that possibly the 
President has not thought of these issues as they relate to the health 
care law and does not have answers. But these are answers Governors of 
both parties continue to seek because they want to know what the impact 
of this Medicaid expansion is going to be on their own States and their 
own budgets.
  The health care law may not be unconstitutional. It continues to be 
unworkable, it continues to be unaffordable, and it continues to be 
unpopular. You say: How unpopular is it? In a poll done just after the 
Supreme Court ruling, just last week, July 9 to July 12, a Gallup Poll 
talked to Republicans, they talked to Democrats, but then they focused 
on the Independents, and what they have shown is, of Independents in 
this country, how they think this health care law will affect different 
components of our society. They think it will actually make things 
worse for doctors, make things worse for people who currently have 
health insurance, they think it will make things worse for hospitals, 
they think it will make things worse for businesses, it will make 
things worse for taxpayers and, most importantly, they believe it will 
make things worse for them personally.
  That is where we are today, which is why we need to repeal and 
replace this health care law. My advice to Governors around the country 
would be to wait a minute until after the election to decide what you 
want to do about Medicaid expansion because we are continuing to work 
to repeal and replace this broken health care law.
  I yield the floor. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.
  (The remarks of Mr. Hatch pertaining to the introduction of S. 3397 
are printed in today's Record under ``Statements on Introduced Bills 
and Joint Resolutions.'')
  Mr. HATCH. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll of the Senate.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. 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. ALEXANDER. I ask unanimous consent to speak for up to 15 minutes 
as in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, would the Chair please let me know when 
there is a couple of minutes remaining.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair will so advise.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. I thank the Chair.

                         Senate Responsibility

  Mr. President, earlier this year I came to the floor with a group of 
Republican and Democratic Senators to congratulate the majority leader, 
Senator Reid, and the Republican leader, Senator McConnell, as well as 
the leaders of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Inouye and Senator 
Cochran. The reason for the congratulations was this: They said they 
were going to do their best to bring all of the appropriations bills to 
the floor and pass them. That may not seem like such a monumental 
pledge or promise, but it, in fact, is, because only twice since the 
year 2000 has the Senate gone through the whole process of bringing all 
12 appropriations bills to the Senate floor and enacting them in time 
for the beginning of the fiscal year on October 1.
  Why is that so important? Well, we are in the midst of a fiscal 
crisis. We are borrowing 42 cents out of every dollar we spend. One way 
to deal with that is through the appropriations process. That is our 
first constitutional responsibility. Judges judge; we appropriate. That 
is the first thing we do. We have control of the people's money. The 
appropriations bills I am talking about, the 12 of them together, 
constitute a pretty big number. More than a third--38 percent--of all 
the dollars we spend in the Federal Government go through those 12 
bills. It used to be a lot more.
  So when the majority leader and the Republican leader said, Yes, we 
are going to do our best to bring all of those appropriations bills to 
the floor, I thought the Senate had taken an important step in 
functioning the way the American people expect the Senate to function. 
The American people expect us to get about the serious business of this 
country so that, in the words of the Australian Foreign Minister, Bob 
Carr, we can show the people we recognize that we are really one budget 
agreement away from reasserting America's preeminence in the world. We 
have that within our power.
  The economy of the country, the economy of other countries depends, 
to a great extent, on our ability to govern ourselves properly. So I 
was very encouraged when the majority leader and the Republican leader 
said, Yes, we are going to do our best to bring all 12 of those bills 
to the floor.
  I regret to say I am equally disappointed that the majority leader 
suddenly announced last week he won't bring any appropriations bills to 
the floor. The reasons he gives are very puzzling to me. First he says, 
Well, the House is using a different number than the Senate. What is so 
new about that? That is why we have the House and the Senate. They are 
one kind of body and

[[Page S5113]]

we are another kind. They have their opinion; we have ours. We vote on 
our opinions. Then we have a procedure called the conference in which 
we come together and we get a result. We have had so few conferences 
lately that maybe some people have forgotten we do that, but we have a 
way to do it.
  Then the majority leader said, Well, they in the House violated the 
Budget Control Act. The Budget Control Act was simply something we 
agreed on--I voted for it--to try to put some limits on the growth of 
discretionary spending in the budget. If we stick to that over the next 
10 years, the discretionary spending--not the two-thirds of the budget 
that is entitlement spending but this one-third we are talking about--
will only grow at an little bit more than the rate of inflation. If our 
whole budget grew at that rate, we wouldn't have a fiscal problem.
  Those aren't good reasons. We have a way to reconcile our 
differences. The Budget Control Act is only limits. The Senate actually 
has exceeded those limits, according to my colleague Senator Corker, 
already three times in this year. So there is no excuse whatsoever for 
not bringing up appropriations bills on the floor of the Senate.
  If we think the Solyndra loan was a bad idea, that is the place to 
take it out. Or, if we want to spend more money for national defense, 
that is the place to put it in. Or if we think we are wasting money on 
national parks or too much government land, that is the place to take 
it out. Are those bills ready to come to the floor? Yes, they are. In 
the Senate, we have been doing our job in our committees. Let me be 
exactly right about this, but I believe we have nine of our 
appropriations bills that are ready to come to the floor, that we are 
ready to go to work on right now. The House of Representatives has 
already passed 11 of the 12 appropriations bills through committee and 
6 of those have been passed by the House. So this month, we could be 
debating any of those appropriations bills. We could have amendment 
after amendment after amendment. We could reduce our spending. We could 
increase our spending. We could say to the American people: We are 
doing our job.
  That brings me to my second disappointment. I was greatly encouraged 
this year--and a lot of the credit goes to Senators on the Democratic 
side as well as some on our side--who are saying, Wait a minute. We are 
grownups. We recognize we are political accidents. We have been given 
the great privilege of representing the people of our State and 
swearing an oath to our Constitution of the United States so we can 
help lead this country. So we want to go to work. We want to go to 
  What does the Senate do? Well, the Senate brings bills up through 
committee, it brings bills to the floor, and then, as the late Senator 
Byrd used to say, almost any amendment comes to the floor and we debate 
it and we vote on it, and then we either pass the bill or we don't pass 
the bill. That is what the Senate does.
  We on our side have been saying to the majority leader: Mr. Majority 
Leader, let us offer our amendments. Don't silence the voices of the 
people in our States that we represent. So he has been allowing that to 
happen more. Of course, he has the procedural ability to stop that. The 
Senator from Michigan said: Let's try just having relevant amendments, 
so we said: OK, let's try that. So we began to make some progress.
  There was a dispute over district judges. We resolved that. We have 
been confirming them. The Postal Service bill, the farm bill, the FDA 
bill, the highway bill--these are all important pieces of legislation 
that affect almost every American family, and what did we do? They went 
through committee; they had the expertise of the members who work on 
those committees; they came to the floor; we had a lot of amendments, 
we voted on them, and they were passed by the Senate. In other words, 
we did what we should do.
  I thought we were on a lot better track until the last 2 or 3 weeks. 
Suddenly, what has happened? Suddenly, all that ends. We revert to 
political exercises--little bills of no real importance compared to the 
bills we should be debating. We have a jobs bill, the DISCLOSE Act 
bill, and the bill we are about to go to that the Senator from Michigan 
is proposing. The problem with those bills is they have not been 
through committee. They are not going to pass the House. Everybody 
knows that. So we are wasting our time at a time when we could be 
debating all of the appropriations bills of the U.S. Government. At a 
time when the U.S. Government is borrowing 42 cents out of every dollar 
we are spending, we are not even going to do our job and consider 
appropriations bills on the floor and amend them. What will the whole 
world think? What will our constituents think about our ability to 
govern ourselves if we can't pass--even consider--an appropriations 
bill in the U.S. Senate?
  On top of that, we haven't had a budget for over 1,000 days. I 
remember when Condoleezza Rice, the Secretary of State, came back and 
met with a group of Senators. She came back from Iraq early after their 
government was formed and she said, They can't even get a budget over 
there in Iraq. Senators looked around at each other, and here we have 
been a Republic for a long time and we can't get one, either. So I am 
very disappointed by the fact that after such a promising surge of 
activity that was bipartisan and that got results, we have suddenly 
reverted back to forgetting that we have a way to deal with our 
  It is not because we don't have anything to do. Where is the 
cybersecurity bill? Where is the Defense authorization bill? Where are 
the appropriations bills? They are all ready to be considered, at a 
time when we are in a fiscal crisis, looking at a fiscal cliff which, 
if we don't solve, according to the Congressional Budget Office and the 
Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board yesterday, it will plunge us into 
a recession in the first 6 months of 2013. Those are the stakes we are 
playing with.
  There is also a third area in which I must express my severe 
disappointment. We worked hard at the beginning of this Congress to 
accommodate a number of Senators who felt we needed changes in the 
rules, and we made some changes. But we preserved the Senate's 
integrity as a different sort of institution--as a place where the 
party that has 51 votes doesn't run over anybody else.
  Alexis de Tocqueville said the two greatest problems he foresaw with 
the American democracy--this was back in the 1830s--were, No. 1, 
Russia; and No. 2, the tyranny of the majority. Well, the Senate, as 
Senator Byrd used to so eloquently say, is the single most important 
institution in our country, to protect minority rights and minority 
points of view. Sometimes we are in the minority on this side, and we 
will notice there are some fewer desks. Then after an election, maybe 
more people vote for Democrats and they come in and they pick up the 
desks and they move them over to that side. Whichever side is in the 
minority in the Senate still has rights, and those aren't just the 
rights of the Senators themselves, those are their rights to speak the 
voices of Tennessee or Maryland or Nevada or New York or Kentucky. It 
is those voices that need to be heard on the floor of the Senate. And 
when we can't debate, when we can't offer amendments and we can't vote, 
those voices are silenced.
  So to my great surprise, the majority leader--and as I said, I came 
to the floor more than once to compliment him for this--said at the 
beginning of this Congress that he wouldn't seek to change the rules of 
the Senate except according to the regular order--except according to 
the rules of the Senate which say we have to have 67 votes. That is 
what the rules say. We agreed on that. What that meant was we needed a 
change in behavior, not a change in the rules, to show that the Senate 
could function.
  Last night on television, apparently the majority leader said that in 
the next Congress--he had changed his mind and that if he is the 
majority leader, he will seek to change the rules of the Senate by 51 
votes. That will destroy the Senate. That will make it no different 
than the House. I would say to my friends on the other side, if they 
want to make the Senate like the House where a freight train can run 
through it with 51 votes, they might not like it so well when the 
freight train is the tea party express, which it could be. Republicans 
could be in control of the Senate after this session. Republicans could 
have a President, and then where would ObamaCare be?

[[Page S5114]]

Where will a whole series of things be? There will be a great many 
Senators on the other side who will say, Wait a minute, let's slow down 
the train. Let's think about what we are doing. That was the original 
intention of the Founders of this country. The House is majoritarian 
and 51 votes control. A freight train can run through it day in and day 
out. But when it gets to the Senate we stop and think and minority 
rights are protected. As a result of that, usually that forces us to 
have a supermajority 60, 65, or 70 votes--in order to do anything big, 
such as the time when finally the civil rights bill was enacted in the 
1960s. Senator Russell, who led the debate against the Civil Rights 
Act, filibustered it. He was finally defeated. He flew home to Georgia 
and said, It is now the law of the land; we support it. That is why 
President Johnson wrote the bill in the office of the Republican 
leader, even though the President was a Democrat. He wanted bipartisan 
  President Johnson knew he had the votes in the 1960s to pass the 
Civil Rights Act without Republican support, but he had the bill 
written in the office of Senator Everett Dirksen, the Republican 
leader. I remember I was a young aide at that time. The Senators were 
in there and the aides were in there. Pretty soon everyone was invested 
in it. When it passed, as I said, Senator Russell went home to Georgia 
and said, it is the law of the land. We have to support it.
  Now we are coming up on what the Chairman of the Federal Reserve 
Board has called the fiscal cliff. This is a convergence of big issues 
ranging from the debt ceiling to how we pay doctors to the spiraling, 
out-of-control entitlements we have, to the need for a simplified Tax 
Code, to the need for lower rates. We have been working on this in 
various ways across party lines for several months.
  There is a growing consensus that the time to act is after the 
election. It will require Presidential leadership, whether it is newly 
inaugurated President Obama or a new President Romney, and our job will 
be to see that the newly inaugurated President succeeds, whether he is 
a Republican President or a Democratic President, because if he does, 
then our country succeeds.
  What are the stakes? The Foreign Minister of Australia, Bob Carr, put 
it very well when he said in a speech here--and he is a great friend of 
the United States and I have known him for 25 years--he said: The 
United States is one budget agreement away from reasserting its global 
preeminence--one budget deal away from reasserting our global 
  But if we cannot even bring up an appropriations bill to debate it, 
to amend it, to vote on it, and to pass it, if we suddenly are dealing 
with bills that have not gone to committee that are nothing more than a 
political exercise, if we are sitting around in the Senate with nothing 
to do of significance--and there is only one person who can bring up 
issues here; that is, the majority leader--how is that going to convey 
to the American people we are capable of governing ourselves? I think 
it sends a clear message that we are failing to do that.
  So having expressed my disappointment, I wish to express my respect 
for the majority leader and to say again how much I appreciated the 
efforts he made at the beginning of the Congress to say we would not 
change the rules of this institution, except according to the rules, 
and the effort he said he would make at the beginning of this year to 
bring up the appropriations bills and the efforts he has made to allow 
more amendments on a whole series of bills this year and say: Can we 
not go back to that, even though this is a Presidential election year?
  The stakes are too high. As far as voting on amendments, that is why 
we are here. Why would you join the Grand Ole Opry if you do not want 
to sing? That is why we are here. We are here to express the views of 
ourselves and the people we represent to make sure their voice is 
heard, and then we are here to get results.
  I hope my record is a pretty good record of working to get results. I 
sometimes say to my friends--they will say: You are being bipartisan. I 
am not interested in being bipartisan. I am interested in results. I 
learned in the public schools of Maryville, TN, how to count, and I 
know it takes 60 votes to get results. So anything important we do is 
going to require Democrats and Republicans. We are going to need a 
coalition of Democrats and Republicans, not 51 or 53 or 54, no matter 
who is in charge next year. We are going to need a coalition of 60 or 
65 or 70 who will come around some of the most difficult issues we have 
had to face in terms of tax reform, in terms of deficit reduction, in 
terms of reining in entitlements--a whole series of issues. We are 
going to have to remember our pledge to the Constitution that we take 
at the beginning of each 6-year term, and we are going to have to honor 
that pledge.
  That is the Senate I hope to see. That is the Senate I am working to 
create. I wish to create an environment in which the Democratic leader 
and the Republican leader can succeed on big issues in helping us put 
together results on the serious problems. I wish to make the Australian 
Foreign Minister--a great friend of the United States--I wish to show 
him we can answer his question and that we realize, just like he does, 
that we are one budget agreement away from reasserting America's global 
preeminence and that we in the Senate are perfectly capable of doing 
  By not bringing up appropriations bills, by reverting to political 
exercises, by leaving off the table many amendments that need debate, 
and by even suggesting we would change the nature of the Senate so a 
freight train could run through it with 51 votes, none of that 
encourages confidence in the ability of the United States to govern 
that I think exists.
  I know my colleagues pretty well. I work hard with people on both 
sides. I respect them all and their opinions and I do not question 
their motives. It is my personal judgment that 80, 85 percent of us on 
both sides of the aisle want a result on the big fiscal issues and on 
every other big issue that comes here, and I would like to do my best 
to create an environment in which that could happen.
  I thank the Presiding Officer and yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from California is recognized.
  Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I am here to speak in favor of the Bring 
Jobs Home Act. I wish to thank my colleague Senator Stabenow of 
Michigan, who understands this issue because in her State of Michigan 
they almost lost the auto industry. They almost lost the auto industry. 
There were those who said: Let them go bankrupt. We know who those 
people are.
  We supported our President. We had a majority who did so. We had 
tough votes, and we said: We are not going to be the only 
industrialized country in the world to not have an auto industry. We 
looked at it as not only a jobs issue--clearly, it is a jobs issue--but 
we looked at it as a national security issue as well.
  What this bill is about, the Bring Jobs Home Act, is making sure we 
see the words ``Made in America'' again--we see the words ``Made in 
America''--so it is not a surprise when we see those words, but we say: 
That is right. It is made in America because we have the best 
workforce, the best entrepreneurs in the world, and we need the jobs 
  What has happened over the years is that shipping jobs overseas 
became a trend and a lot of important voices were heard saying: That is 
just the way it is. It is not just the way it is. If we have policies 
in place that incentivize manufacturing and production here, we are not 
going to lose those jobs. But what happened during these years is that 
companies got a tax deduction for moving jobs overseas. Imagine that. 
We American taxpayers were subsidizing companies, giving them tax 
breaks for moving jobs overseas.
  The Bring Jobs Home Act ends those tax breaks for companies that ship 
jobs overseas. What we do instead is say: We will give a 20-percent tax 
credit to companies that move their jobs back from overseas. So they 
get a 20-percent tax credit for their moving expenses. So we stop 
giving tax incentives to companies that move jobs overseas, and we 
instead give tax incentives to those who bring them back.
  Let me tell you the good news. The good news is that there are some 
companies that are coming back home. I wish to highlight a couple 
companies in California.
  Simple Wave, a company that makes snack bowls from recycled 

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relocated its production to Union City, CA, from China. Simple Wave 
chose to complete its manufacturing in America because they said it 
saves time and allows for greater quality control and flexibility.
  A cofounder of Simple Wave, Rich Stump, said:

       Our business is growing very quickly and by having the 
     ability to react quickly and provide just-in-time 
     manufacturing will provide the fuel to our growth. Knowing 
     that we are contributing to the US economy re-shoring effort 
     is a great feeling--

  Listen to that. This is a businessman who says: ``Knowing that we are 
contributing to the US economy re-shoring effort is a great feeling''--

     and we are confident that this will in turn provide a better 
     quality product to our customers.

  I say to my Republican colleagues--I do not know how they are going 
to vote, but they have not been very supportive of this bill--if a 
businessman feels great because he is bringing jobs home to the United 
States, why don't you feel great and do your part and take away tax 
breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and give them to companies 
that bring jobs home?
  Here is another one.
  LightSaver Technologies, in Carlsbad, CA, makes emergency lighting 
for homes. They also moved their manufacturing back from China. They 
found that making adjustments to the manufacturing process is easier 
when the plant is only 30 miles away, as opposed to 12 time zones away.
  Jerry Anderson, one of the company's founders, said:

       If we have an issue in manufacturing, in America we can 
     walk down to the plant floor. We can't do that in China.

  He says manufacturing in the U.S. is 2 to 5 percent cheaper once he 
takes into account the time and trouble of outsourcing jobs overseas.
  Again, I say to my friends, if entrepreneurs such as these feel good 
about bringing jobs home, why are you continuing to support subsidies 
to companies that move jobs overseas?
  We are coming out of a very tough recession--a very tough recession--
and we know we need to create jobs here at home. I truly wish to say to 
the people who may be watching this debate--if there are a few; I think 
there might be just a few--we have control over this. We know if we 
give incentives to companies to ship jobs overseas, their bottom line 
is going to be changed by that. But if we give incentives to companies 
to bring jobs back, their bottom line will look much better.
  So we have the opportunity with this important bill to move forward 
and turn things around. Do not believe when people say: Oh, it is just 
the way it is. We are just outsourcing. That is the global marketplace. 
That is it.
  If we take that attitude, the future is going to be pretty bleak. 
Because we do have the greatest workers in the world. They have the 
best productivity of any workers--the best. So why would we say: It is 
just the way it is. We need to fight for those jobs. We need to fight. 
We have to stand up to the people who say: It is just the way it is. It 
is just the way business is.
  When somebody tells us that kind of a simple statement, we should 
question it. It is the way it is for many reasons. One of them is, we 
are giving incentives right now to companies to ship jobs overseas.
  A Wall Street Journal survey found that some of our largest 
corporations cut 2.9 million U.S. jobs over the last decade from 
America, while hiring 2.4 million people overseas. So they cut jobs 
here, and they created jobs there.
  So when a politician says to you: I am for job creation, ask him, 
where. We want it here. We do not want it in other countries at the 
expense of American workers. We wish all countries well, but we have to 
take care of America.
  People talked about the uniforms at the Olympics, and some said: Oh, 
I am not going to get into that. That is not such a big deal.
  It is important. It is important we make a conscious effort for our 
athletes that they do have a ``Made in America'' label.
  Many of us have had the experience of using, as a fundraising tool, 
the sale of T-shirts or purses or shopping bags or hats. Yes, it takes 
an effort to find the right place to go, but those can be made in 
America. I say it takes a little effort for a good result. As Senator 
Reid said, we have people in the textile industry crying for work. So 
do not just brush it off as a nonissue. It is an important issue.
  In California, more than 3,400 jobs were lost to outsourcing this 
year alone--3,400.
  From 2000 to 2010, the United States lost 5.7 million manufacturing 
  But it is not just manufacturing. Science and high-tech jobs, legal 
and financial services, business operations are being moved overseas as 
well. We all know we make those calls trying to find out something, 
whether it is an airline schedule or information on a product, and you 
get the sense the person is not talking to you from an American city. 
Why on Earth would we give incentives to have those jobs created 
  That is what this bill is all about. With 12.7 million unemployed 
people and only 3.6 million jobs that we have open nationwide, we have 
to find ways to reverse this trend.
  I think Senator Stabenow has hit on a very good way to start with the 
bringing American jobs home act. It is so easy. We want to say to 
companies: We are for your bringing jobs back, to the extent that we 
will give you an actual tax credit for doing that. It is very key.
  So I hope we can come together across the lines that divide us, these 
artificial lines, and work together. We have done it on a few 
occasions. We did it on the highway bill. I am so pleased we were able 
to do it then. The Presiding Officer was very involved in that. It was 
not easy. This one is easy. The highway bill had 30 different programs 
in it. We are talking about a very simple premise: Right now we give 
tax breaks to companies who shift jobs overseas, and we want to end it. 
Enough. It is not complicated; it is easy.
  Why my Republican friends cannot join hands with us on this one I do 
not understand. But I have to say, we can do this for the American 
worker, whether they are from California or Ohio or Texas or Arizona or 
Maryland or Kentucky--wherever they may be. This is one we can do for 
the working people and the entrepreneurs of our Nation.
  So I congratulate Senator Stabenow. I look forward to voting in favor 
of the Bring Jobs Home Act.
  I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Merkley). The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                           Defense Sequester

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, we know with some certainty that on 
January 20, 2013, regardless of who the President is, he will swear, to 
the best of his ability, to protect and defend the Constitution of the 
United States; that more than 60,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, and 
marines will remain deployed in Afghanistan, and that our All-Volunteer 
Force will stand ready to defend American interests in the Strait of 
Hormuz, in the Republic of Korea, as well as defend our allies across 
the globe.
  Our forces will remain committed on that day to denying the Taliban a 
return to Afghanistan, to denying al-Qaida a safe haven, to training 
the Afghan national security forces, and to fulfilling the operational 
plans of our regional commanders. As important: the troops in the 
training pipeline and the schoolhouse, the F-35s in production, and the 
basic research and development programs in progress will provide the 
capabilities to meet future threats.
  What is not certain is whether the President who is sworn in on that 
day will have to attempt to manage the damage done on January 2, 2013, 
by across-the-board cuts to the Defense Department of roughly $50 
billion. But he will if the President and the Democrats in Congress 
fail to act on the cuts to defense that the President has insisted on, 
but which his own Secretary of Defense has said would be 
  Let me say that again. These are cuts the President is insisting on, 
but his own Secretary of Defense says would be ``devastating.''

[[Page S5116]]

  That is why I and my Republican colleagues call on the President to 
make his plans for these cuts clear right now. The President owes it to 
our forces around the world and to their families to put a plan on the 
table for all to see now rather than waiting until after the November 
elections pass. To keep these details secret and to leave the defense 
sequester in place as written would be irresponsible regardless of the 
outcome of the Presidential election.
  Think about it. If Governor Romney is elected, he will be responsible 
for managing $50 billion of programmatic cuts before he or a new 
Secretary of Defense has even had a chance to conduct a review of the 
Defense Department's plans, programs, and strategy. And if President 
Obama is reelected, the arbitrary spending cuts directed by the Budget 
Control Act of 2011 that he insisted on would eviscerate the 
President's own defense strategic guidance issued earlier this year.
  No wonder Secretary Panetta has said these cuts would be like 
``shooting ourselves in the head.'' The weapons systems and 
capabilities required to provide a dominant presence in the Asia-
Pacific Theater, attack submarines, amphibious ships, marines afloat 
and ashore, the next generation bomber, completing acquisition of the 
F-35, and the Ford class aircraft carriers will be required to deter 
and defeat aggression and to project power.
  Investments in these capabilities must be made while we continue to 
combat and pursue al-Qaida, deploy and equip special operations forces, 
and, of course, seek to deter Iran. That is why the President should 
prepare for the possibility of a possible transition in power now and 
should do so with the same foresight and concern for our operations 
that previous administrations have demonstrated.
  The last two transfers of political power, that from President 
Clinton to President Bush, and that from President Bush to President 
Obama, are instructive in how past administrations have managed the 
transition of the Defense Department's leadership both in peace and in 
  Early in 2001, before the Senate majority changed control from that 
of Republicans to Democrats, before the attacks of September 11, and 
before an envelope containing anthrax was sent to the Hart Building, 
Secretary Rumsfeld assumed his duties as the Secretary of Defense. He 
informed the Congress that he would conduct a strategic review of the 
Department's plan and programs and submit an amended budget later in 
the year.
  That document was ultimately provided to the Congress in June 2001. 
Secretary Rumsfeld had months--literally months--to develop an initial 
plan. And this, by the way, was prior to the war on terror, or as we 
thought it then, during peacetime.
  At the end of the second term of President Bush, Secretary Gates 
found himself responsible for the first Presidential transition during 
wartime in 40 years. Secretary Gates established a transition staff and 
a briefing process to ensure all incoming Obama administration 
officials were well prepared during a time of war. He encouraged 
political appointees to remain in office and to help with the new 
administration. Ultimately, he ended up staying on as Secretary.
  Just consider the plight of what a President-elect may face in 
January 2013. Iran has shown no willingness to end its uranium 
enrichment effort. A young, inexperienced, untested leader is in charge 
of North Korea. The Taliban patiently waits for the United States and 
NATO to withdraw from Afghanistan. And al-Qaida's senior leadership, 
though weakened, and al-Qaida and an affiliate remain determined to 
strike the homeland. Egypt and Libya struggle with forming new 
governments. The revolt in Syria threatens regional stability, and al-
Qaida affiliates stay active in Mali, North Africa, and Yemen.
  As the next President attempts to have his Cabinet Secretaries 
confirmed, he will be dealing with managing a disruption in procurement 
contracts and deliveries, actions that are likely to elevate the cost 
of weapons systems and lead to layoffs in our industrial base. Troops 
preparing for deployment will see training curtailed. Permanent change-
of-station orders will likely be delayed. Training and maintenance 
readiness levels will decline. All of this will occur while a new 
administration is reviewing war plans in Afghanistan.
  Think of what this would say to a President-elect: As you are 
developing your new national security strategy, attempting to seat your 
Cabinet, and assessing the war in Afghanistan, the sequester will slash 
every program under review. Welcome aboard, sir. You have your hands 
  More important is what this will say to every soldier and marine 
still fighting in Regional Command East: Despite the outcome of the 
election, you may still be fighting the Taliban, attempting to train 
and mentor an Afghan soldier, conducting a drawdown of forces, and 
handing off operational responsibilities at the same time the funding 
of your operational training, weapons maintenance, and operations of 
your base childcare center are being slashed. If you are wounded, the 
funding for the defense health program and the care you receive will 
also be cut. That is why allowing the sequester to go into effect as 
currently written and as demanded, demanded by the President, would 
break faith with the forces we have sent abroad.
  To confront a new President with this level of disruption as he 
transitions to wartime command would be deeply irresponsible. We must 
deal with defense sequestration prior to the election. The sequester 
should be equally concerning to President Obama.
  In January of this year, the Department of Defense released strategic 
guidance that entails a rebalancing of our forces with an emphasis on a 
growing presence in the Asia-Pacific Theater. The wars in Iraq and 
Afghanistan and the counterinsurgency strategy used in both campaigns 
required an expansion of our Marine Corps and Army ground forces. 
President Obama has announced plans to reduce the Army by 72,000 
soldiers between 2012 and 2017 and the Marine Corps by 20,000 between 
2012 and 2017. Yet the force structure required to conduct 
counterinsurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan is far different from that 
required to convince friend and foe alike that our presence in Asia is 
significant and sustainable.
  We must invest in a new generation of warfighting capability. The 
President's budget insufficiently funds this new strategy, and that is 
actually before sequestration. This year's budget request delayed 
construction of a large-deck amphibious ship, a new Virginia-class 
submarine, and announced the early retirement of other ships. These 
reductions are envisioned without those related to sequestration. 
Naval, air and forced-entry capabilities to combat anti-access weapons 
are the capabilities required under the new strategy, and they are 
underfunded in the President's budget. This comes at a time when 
military expenditures in Asia are outpacing those in Europe.
  Let me be clear. The failure of the administration to match the 
President's budget request to his new strategy is not an argument for 
growing the defense top line, it is emblematic of the difficulty our 
regional commanders will have in fulfilling current operational plans 
before you even get to the sequester.
  Although the administration has emphasized that the rebalancing of 
our forces in Asia is not a strategy to confront the growth of China's 
military, if we fail to match our commitment to Asia with the requisite 
force structure, China's influence, military posture, and sphere of 
influence will actually expand. As the Pentagon's own Annual Report to 
Congress makes clear, China is committed to annual military spending 
increases of roughly 12 percent, and it has undertaken a broad-based 
effort to expand the capabilities of the People's Liberation Army.
  Both Secretary Panetta and General Dempsey have made it clear that 
the ability of our Armed Forces to execute the new strategy under 
sequestration would be at risk. As General Dempsey, the Chairman of the 
Joint Chiefs, has stated, under sequestration, ``it's coming out of 
three places: equipment and modernization--that's one. It's coming out 
of maintenance, and it's coming out of training. And then we've 
hollowed out the force.''
  In his new strategic guidance, President Obama articulated a 
commitment to our enduring national security interests; the security of 
our Nation, allies, and partners; the prosperity that

[[Page S5117]]

flows from an open and free international system; and a sustainable 
international order. Needless to say, those interests will be extremely 
difficult to maintain with a hollow force.
  Just as the next President will take the oath on Inauguration Day, we 
too take an oath as Senators. We have a responsibility to raise and 
support armies and provide and maintain a navy. If we let sequestration 
as currently written go forward and do not act, we will have failed. 
That is why I am so disappointed with the President's failure of 
leadership on this issue and that of Senate Democrats as well.
  Both House and Senate Republicans have offered proposals to replace 
the savings from sequestration with more thoughtful and targeted 
spending cuts. Both of those proposals also either eliminated or 
reduced the sequester on nondefense programs as well.
  Last week, Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, Senator Kyl, and 
I sent a letter to the President asking him to work with us to find a 
bipartisan solution before the end of the fiscal year. With a $3.6 
trillion annual budget, clearly there is a smarter, more thoughtful way 
to achieve at least $110 billion in savings.
  It is simply outrageous that this President and Senate Democrats are 
missing in action on this issue. We are committed to finding a solution 
on this before we recess for the election. Are they? Or are they 
committed to jeopardizing our national security? When will they sit 
down and work with us to find a solution?
  The House overwhelmingly passed the Sequestration Transparency Act 
today by a vote of 414 to 2. This bill is modeled after a Thune-
Sessions bill. It asks the President's Office of Management and Budget 
to submit a report to Congress on the impact of sequestration on both 
defense and nondefense programs. Every single Democrat in the House 
Budget Committee supported it--every one. Will that bill die in the 
Senate because Democrats not only do not want to address sequestration, 
they want to hide the ball on the impact of sequestration until after 
the November elections? If they resist this effort to get more 
information on sequestration out in the open, it is clear that they 
wish Congress to be both blind and mute when it comes to our national 
defense and the fate of those who volunteer to defend it.
  We need President Obama to tell this Congress his plan for avoiding 
the sequester, for preventing the gutting of his strategy, for 
responsibly transitioning to a new Commander in Chief, and for keeping 
faith with the warriors we have sent into combat. In all of this, our 
overriding objective--in fact, our duty--should be to work with the 
President to achieve the level of savings called for in the Budget 
Control Act without doing harm to our national security or to our 
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas is recognized.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I yield to the majority whip for a 
unanimous consent request.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Illinois.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I have a unanimous consent request that 
when the colloquy is finished with the five Republican Senators on the 
floor, I be recognized.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Texas.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, listening to the distinguished Republican 
leader, I am reminded of that quotation from former Secretary of 
Defense Robert Gates, who said that our records of predicting when we 
will use military force since Vietnam is perfect--we have never been 
right once.
  We live in a dangerous and unpredictable world. We also know the 
global economy is in dire straits, in some places worse than others. In 
Europe, relevant to the national security question, we can no longer 
necessarily depend on our NATO allies to step up and do what they have 
done heretofore because they have their own economic and budgetary 
problems. Talking to some of our counterparts in the United Kingdom, 
the British Army is being cut by 20 percent because of austerity 
measures. So at a time when the world continues to be a very dangerous 
place--and Secretary Gates said we cannot know where the next threat to 
America or our allies will come from--we are finding the capability to 
address that threat reduced because of the budgetary cuts and thus 
increasing the risk to not only the United States but to our allies as 
  I wish to make just one point clear. National security is not just 
one thing on a laundry list of the things the Federal Government can or 
should do, it is No. 1. It is the ultimate justification for the 
Federal Government to provide for the safety and security of the 
American people. When the Federal Government treats national security 
just like any other expense on the government ledger, I think it 
denigrates the priority it should be.
  When I heard the Senator from Washington the other day speaking at 
the Brookings Institute, she made an amazing speech in which--I am 
summarizing--she suggested that she and her colleagues will be prepared 
to trigger a recession unless this side would agree to raise taxes. It 
is not just the expiring tax provisions on December 31, which would be 
the single largest tax increase in American history, it is this $1.2 
trillion sequester that cuts not only into the muscle but into the bone 
of our Defense Department and our ability to provide for our national 
security needs. It also has collateral impact on private sector jobs 
across the country. By one estimate, it is 90,000 jobs in my State 
alone. So why we would see our colleagues and the Commander in Chief 
himself wanting to play a game of chicken with our national security 
and our economy is beyond me.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Will the Senator yield for a question?
  Mr. CORNYN. Yes, I will.
  Mr. McCONNELL. With regard to the impact on the economy, I wonder how 
many Boeing employees, for example, there may be in the State of 
Washington. Does the Senator have a number on that?
  Mr. CORNYN. Responding to the question, I don't have an exact number, 
but I do know that by one estimate as many as 1 million private sector 
jobs would be affected if this sequester goes into effect as currently 
  We made it clear under the leadership of Senator McCain, ranking 
member of the Armed Services Committee, that we are willing to work 
with our colleagues to try to change the structure of this sequester. 
We all believe Federal spending needs to be cut. But this is something 
that would, as the Republican leader said and Secretary Panetta 
admitted, would hollow out our national security and would be 
disastrous. Why the President won't listen to his own Secretary of 
Defense is beyond me.
  Mr. McCONNELL. So I say to the Senator from Texas, it is not just the 
impact on the military, which is devastating enough, but on our economy 
as well, correct?
  Mr. CORNYN. That is exactly right. The consensus appears to be--I 
remember that Alice Rivlin, a former budget director under President 
Clinton, said that if the sequester goes into effect as currently 
written and this tax increase occurs at the same time, we will be in a 
  This is the part I really don't understand. I think we all have been 
around politics enough to know that people act in their own self-
interest, but how in the world could this be in the President's or his 
party's self-interest--it is certainly not in the national interest--to 
see the economy bouncing along from the bottom, with slow growth and 
the threat of a recession going into a national election? That makes no 
sense to me whatsoever.
  I know we have other colleagues from the Armed Services Committee 
here who have something to say about this. I will reiterate something 
the Republican leader said. We stand ready to deal with this issue 
now--sooner rather than later. To ignore this until after the election, 
creating not only more uncertainty but the inability of our Department 
of Defense and our military to provide for the protection and the 
security of the American people, is completely irresponsible.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, may I say to my colleague that I thank him 
for his important words, and I thank the Republican leader for his 
commitment. I also point out that the Senator from Alabama, the ranking 
member on the Budget Committee, has some very

[[Page S5118]]

interesting statistics that I hope in the course of our colloquy he 
will talk about--how America's spending on defense has decreased over 
the years and how Draconian the effects on national defense will be in 
the case of the implementation of the sequester on our defense spending 
and the security of our Nation.
  We need to discuss this issue in the context of what the Secretary of 
Defense said. He said that if this sequestration is implemented, it 
will place our national security in jeopardy. It will be, in his words, 
devastating. So I believe it is important for the American people and 
our colleagues to understand that the Secretary of Defense--not John 
McCain, Senator Sessions, or any of my Republican colleagues, but the 
Secretary of Defense--said it will be devastating.
  We live in a dangerous world--a very dangerous world. If we cut 
defense the way this sequestration is headed, then there is no doubt we 
will have the smallest Navy and Air Force in history, with fewer ships 
than we have had since before World War II, and it will be a hollow 
  I would like to make one other comment as my friends join me. What is 
our country's greatest obligation? What is our No. 1 obligation, both 
the administration and Congress? It is to ensure the security of our 
Nation. That takes priority over every other item on our agenda. So 
when we start talking about sequestration, that is important in its 
effect, but I also think it is entirely proper--in fact, it should be 
our priority to talk about sequestration's effect on our defense.
  I will point out that all of my colleagues here know we are facing 
reductions in defense. We already had $87 billion implemented by 
Secretary Gates, and another $400 billion has already been implemented. 
If we implement this sequestration, it will be over $1 trillion in a 
very short period of time.
  We need to sit down and work together, Republicans, Democrats, and 
the President--who so far has been completely MIA--and work this out so 
that we can avoid what can be Draconian cuts and jeopardize our 
national defense, not to mention, as I am sure my colleague from 
Alabama will point out, the effect on our economy--the effect on our 
economy of over 1 million jobs lost and a reduction in our GDP.
  So this is an important discussion. This is a very important debate. 
And if someone disagrees with our assessment and that of the Secretary 
of Defense, then I will be glad to listen to their arguments. But until 
then, I will take the word of the Secretary of Defense that this 
implementation of Defense sequestration will put our Nation in 
  Mr. SESSIONS. Would the Senator yield for a question?
  From the Senator's perspective--as the Senator has been on this 
committee a long time, he has served in the military, and he is the 
ranking Republican on the committee--in the Senator's judgment, based 
on the obligations we have--and I know the Senator has openly and 
aggressively condemned waste and abuse in the Defense Department--but 
does the Senator think the Defense Department can maintain its 
responsibilities with this cut?
  Mr. McCAIN. I would respond to my friend, through the Chair, that I 
don't think in the dangerous world in which we live that we can afford 
to have the smallest Air Force in history, the smallest Navy since 
before World War II, and the smallest Army since before World War II. 
Most importantly, we have to continue to modernize and we have to 
continue to invest, as my friend from Alabama knows.
  The fact is we have a crisis with Iran, we have a rising challenge 
with increasing activities of China, we have an unsettled North Africa, 
we have an Arab spring going on all over the Middle East, and all of 
these present a compelling argument for us to be prepared to meet 
  If we were having this debate a year and a half ago, Ben Ali is in 
power in Tunisia, Qadhafi is in power in Libya, Mubarak is in power in 
Egypt, and there would not be a bloody civil war taking place in Syria. 
So where will we be, I ask my friend from Alabama, a year and a half 
from now? I don't know. But it seems to me we cannot afford to be 
cutting defense in this fashion.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, I value Senator McCain's judgment 
because he has been engaged in these debates for many years.
  Mr. President, I want to yield to Senator Inhofe because I know he 
wants to share his thoughts at this time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Alabama. A lot 
has been said, and those of us who serve on the Armed Services 
Committee have been watching what is going on with a lot of distress. I 
think it is important for us to understand how we got into this mess to 
start with. By his own budget, we have a President who has given us 
over $1 trillion in deficit each year for 4 years, totaling $5.3 
trillion. So that is the mess we are in that we are trying to get out 
of. But in all that time, the one that has not been properly funded has 
been the military. The first budget he had he cut out the F-22, the C-
17, and the future combat system--all these systems that were so 
important--and it has gone downhill since then.
  As you project the President's budget out, as has been said, we are 
talking about reducing about $\1/2\ trillion. Now comes sequestration. 
That is over and above. A lot of people don't realize it. They think we 
are talking just about the $\1/2\ trillion that will be cut over a 
period of time. I will use one of the charts that was actually put 
together by the Senator from Alabama that shows where this stuff is 
coming from. Everything seems to be exempt except the military. Food 
stamps, exempt 100 percent of it; Medicaid, 37 percent; and only 10 
percent of the DOD base budget. So why is it we find ourselves in a 
situation where that is the problem?
  The only thing other thing I want to mention is this. I have every 
reason to believe, because I have heard from people in industry, the 
President of the United States is trying to get them to avoid sending 
out pink slips until after the November 7 election. I would remind him 
that we have something called the Workers Adjustment Retraining and 
Notification Act--WARN Act--and that requires any of these companies, 
prior to sequestration on January 2, within 60 days, which would be 
November 2, to notify people of their pink slips.
  But this is what I wish to remind people. They do not have to wait. 
If they want to do it today, they can do it. I think it is imperative 
the people--the workers who will be laid off work as a result of 
Obama's sequestration--know in advance of the November election, and we 
are going to do everything we can to make sure that happens.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alabama.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, Senator Inhofe referred to this chart 
and I have now had it brought over at his request. This is something we 
prepared, and it dispels the myth that the reason this government is 
running such huge deficits is surges in military spending. That is an 
inaccurate event.
  The base defense budget from 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 increased 
about 10 percent. Medicaid, during the same time, increased 37 percent; 
and food stamps, during this same 4-year period, doubled--a 100-percent 
increase. Under the sequester, food stamps get not a dime of cuts; 
Medicaid gets not a dime worth of cuts. These cuts are 
disproportionately targeted at the Defense Department.
  The Defense Department, as the Senator says, has already taken a $487 
billion reduction under the BCA, and due to sequestration it would be 
another $492 billion. That is why, I believe, it has gone from belt 
tightening, waste reducing, and efficiency to producing the damage to 
the Defense Department.
  Mr. McCAIN. Would the Senator show this other chart?
  Mr. SESSIONS. Yes. Senator McCain asks we look at this chart. This 
again shows what would happen under the sequester. Our budget staff has 
worked hard to correctly do these numbers. Under the sequester, the 
additional $492 billion in cuts, adjusted for inflation, the defense 
budget over 10 years would be reduced by a real 11 percent. That is, 
one-sixth of the Federal Government's spending is defense. The 
remaining five-sixths of the Federal Government would increase 35 
percent under the sequestration and current

[[Page S5119]]

BCA policies. So again, I think that is clear proof the Defense 
Department is disproportionately being asked to reduce.
  Senator McCain suggests another chart. He likes my charts.
  How about the 50-year switch? It is so dramatic. And the American 
people have to know this. I wish it were not so. I wish I could be more 
optimistic about our financial future and the ease with which we can 
get ourselves on the right track, but it is not going to be easy, and 
this chart indicates that.
  In 1963, defense made up 48 percent of the outlays of the United 
States--48 percent in 1963. This was not at the height of Vietnam or 
the Korean war or anything. The entitlements of America amounted to 26 
percent of the budget. What has happened in the past 50 years? 
Entitlements have now reached 60 percent of the budget and the Defense 
Department is 19 percent of the budget.
  This is a dramatic alteration of where we are. Some of this is normal 
and natural. But I think what Senator McCain is saying is that 
defending America is a core function of government and we need to be 
sure this alteration does not put us in the position where America is 
not properly defended.
  I thank the Senator from Arizona.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Dakota.
  Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, I would say to my colleagues who are here 
on the floor that this is a defining moment for our country. The most 
basic responsibility and the most important priority we have as 
Americans is to defend the country. If we don't get national security 
right, the rest is conversation. We can talk about all these other 
things in the budget--we can talk about all the other priorities the 
country has, all of which are important--but if we fail to defend the 
United States of America, we have failed the citizens of this country. 
It is the No. 1 priority we have. It is the most important 
responsibility and obligation we have as public servants here in the 
Senate--to make sure we are taking the steps necessary to keep this 
country strong and secure from threats both here at home and abroad.
  What happened--and how we got to where we are today--goes back to the 
fact that we haven't passed a budget for 3 years in the Senate. I need 
to remind my colleagues why we are where we are today. The reason we 
are here is because for 3 consecutive years now the Democratic majority 
in the Senate has not done the most fundamental responsibility we have, 
which is to pass a budget that addresses our national security 
interests. What did we end up with? We ended up last summer with the 
Budget Control Act--something cobbled together at the eleventh hour to 
avoid a deadline on raising the debt limit--and we put in place a 
process where a supercommittee would look at ways to define long-term 
savings so we could avoid the sequester. But the sequester was put in 
place as a result of the Budget Control Act, which was put in place 
because the Senate hasn't passed a budget now for 3 straight years. 
That is why we are where we are.
  Having said that, we need to fix the problem. And the problem is we 
have defense cuts that are going to cut very deeply into our national 
security interests, and we even have the Secretary of Defense coming 
out and saying these cuts would be devastating. The President's own 
Secretary of Defense has made a statement to that effect. With 
sequestration, we would have the smallest ground force since 1940, the 
smallest number of ships since 1915, and the smallest tactical Air 
Force literally in the history of the Air Force. That is the dimension 
of the problem we are talking about, as has been described by the 
experts who are supposed to know these things. As I said, the 
President's own Defense Secretary has made these sorts of statements.
  One of the problems we have, of course, is we don't even know what 
the full impact of the sequester will be because the administration 
hasn't put a plan forward. So we are awaiting that plan. Today the 
House of Representatives voted 414 to 2 to require the administration 
to at least submit to Congress and to the American people how they 
intend to implement sequestration so we can at least have a better idea 
about what these impacts will be, where are they going to make the 
cuts, by account, so we can examine that and come up with a plan, 
hopefully, to replace those deep unbalanced cuts in the defense budget 
with reductions elsewhere in the budget. But we don't know that because 
we can't get the administration to put forward the plan we need to move 
forward with our proposals here in order to do away with what we think 
will be a very dangerous cut to America's national security.
  I hope the Senate will do something to address that. We can start by 
taking up the bill passed in the House, pass it here in the Senate, and 
require the administration to put forward a plan about how they are 
going to implement the sequester.
  As has already been pointed out by the Senator from Alabama and 
others, we are talking about basically a 50-percent cut in the defense 
budget--or 50 percent of the cuts coming out of the defense budget on 
top of $487 billion in cuts that were already approved last year. So we 
are talking about another huge amount of reduction, up to about another 
$\1/2\ trillion on top of what already is $\1/2\ trillion in cuts that 
came last year.
  Remember, the defense budget, as has been pointed out, only 
represents 20 percent of all Federal spending, so we are going to take 
half the cuts out of 20 percent of the budget. Where is the 
proportionality in that? And as the Senator from Alabama has 
highlighted, what we have done essentially is we have shielded many 
areas of the budget. So a lot of the things some of our colleagues on 
the other side of the aisle don't want to see cut are protected from 
this. Yet we are going to make huge, steep, Draconian, and dangerous 
cuts in America's national military and national security budget.
  I would hope we can at least act on what the House of Representatives 
did earlier today by a 414-to-2 vote, pick up that legislation, and 
require the administration to tell us how they are going to implement 
these reductions. Then let's go to work on a bipartisan basis and try 
to come up with a plan whereby we can avoid what will be a disaster, as 
has been described by every national security expert out there, for our 
national security interests.
  We live in a dangerous world. We can't avoid that. The United States 
of America is looked to for leadership around the world. We have to 
continue to ensure we can protect this country and America's interests 
around the world. In order to do that, we have to make sure our 
military is resourced in a way that enables them to protect our 
interests. We cannot continue to go forward with this sequester, which 
would dramatically and in a very dangerous way harm those national 
security interests.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that we be 
allowed to proceed as in a colloquy so we can address one another 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Senator Thune is in the leadership on the Republican 
side and he is in the Budget Committee and the Defense Committee and is 
aware of how this all happened. So we are at a point where it appears 
to me the Defense Department is being asked to take unacceptable, 
disproportionate reductions in spending that go so far as to create 
damage rather than improving its efficiency.
  Isn't it true the Secretary of Defense and all the top officials 
under the Secretary of Defense are appointed by the President and serve 
at his pleasure?
  Mr. THUNE. That is correct.
  Mr. SESSIONS. The Secretary of Defense now has said this would be a 
disaster to the Defense Department for these cuts to take effect. Isn't 
it true that the President is the Commander in Chief of all our 
military forces?
  Mr. THUNE. That is correct.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Isn't it true that we are at a situation at this point 
in history where we are heading toward a sequester, and the Commander 
in Chief is utterly silent on how to fix the problem?
  Mr. THUNE. The Senator from Alabama is correct. That is one of the 
remarkable things about this. The Commander in Chief, of course, is 
tasked with the responsibility of being just that, the Commander in 
Chief. Yet when it comes to the national security interests that we 
have and to at least spelling out how he would implement

[[Page S5120]]

what we believe are going to be some disastrous cuts to the defense 
budget, he is not even informing us about what his ideas are with 
respect to that so we can react to that. More importantly, he doesn't 
seem to be the least bit interested in addressing this.
  There is a huge silence coming out of the White House--the Senator 
from Alabama is absolutely correct--and it has to change if we are 
going to be able to fix this. It starts by at least him presenting a 
plan, and the Senator from Alabama and I have introduced legislation in 
the Senate that would require that, much like what passed in the House 
today, and that is where it all starts.
  Mr. SESSIONS. I thank the Senator from South Dakota for his 
leadership, and I was proud to join with him on similar legislation to 
that in the House. But isn't it true that we agreed last August with 
the Budget Control Act to reduce spending over 10 years by $2.1 
trillion; that is, reduce $47 trillion to $45 trillion, and there are 
no tax increases involved in that? Now we are discovering that late-
minute deal has disproportionately impacted the Defense Department, as 
the President's own Secretary of Defense acknowledged.
  Should we not be able to expect that the President would enter into 
discussions about how to deal with this? Does it not seem to the 
Senator, as an experienced part of the leadership in this Senate, that 
the President is saying: You Republicans care about the Defense 
Department. You Republicans care about preserving America. But I am not 
going to do it unless you agree to my tax increases. I am not going to 
do, as Commander in Chief, what I ought to be doing and providing the 
leadership on this because I am going to use this as leverage against 
you guys to force you to agree to a tax increase; is that the bottom 
line? I hate to be so frank about it, but that is the way I feel it is 
sort of developing; am I wrong about that?
  Mr. THUNE. I don't think the Senator from Alabama is wrong at all. In 
fact, that is what much of the news stories that have been printed in 
the last few days and reporting on the subject have said. Some of our 
colleagues on the other side have essentially concluded this is 
leverage--leverage for them to get higher taxes.
  It strikes me, at least, that there is a tremendous risk associated 
with allowing the country to go over a fiscal cliff--which includes not 
only these Draconian cuts to the defense budget but also tax increases 
that would occur on January 1, to go over the fiscal cliff, risk 
plunging the country into a recession, raise the unemployment rate 
which is already at historically high levels, all to prove a point 
about raising taxes. But that appears to be--at least by the reporting. 
There was a story in the Washington Post over the weekend that said: 
Democrats threaten going over the fiscal cliff basically to get higher 
taxes out of Republicans.
  That, to me, seems like a terrible trade to make, to risk the country 
going into a recession, to risk these tremendous cuts in our national 
security priorities, just simply so they can get higher taxes.
  Mr. SESSIONS. I think so. I would just say this--and I am so glad our 
colleague Senator Ayotte is here.
  One thing more I would say about it is the agreement last August was 
to raise the debt ceiling $2.1 trillion and to reduce spending over 10 
years $2.1 trillion. It did not include a tax increase.
  What we are saying is we need to simply reorganize how all those cuts 
fell so they are more realistic and the government is not so damaged, 
and we don't need to have agency after agency totally exempt from any 
  We are glad to have Senator Ayotte here. She is a new member of the 
Armed Services Committee and the Budget Committee. She is a fabulous 
new addition to the Senate. Her husband is a military officer. She has 
contributed greatly to our discussion.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Hampshire.
  Ms. AYOTTE. Mr. President, I wish to thank Senator Sessions. I 
appreciate his leadership as the ranking member on the Budget Committee 
and also as a senior member of the Armed Services Committee.
  This is so troubling, where we are right now with respect to our 
Department of Defense, our military--the most important constitutional 
function we have as a government to make sure the American people are 
  Essentially, where we are is the Budget Control Act, as described, 
initially has cut $487 billion from our military over the next 10 
years. But on top of that, there are across-the-board cuts coming in 
January. I think the No. 1 lesson we learned from the Budget Control 
Act is when we kick the can down the road and we don't make the 
decisions right away or when we delegate it to some other committee to 
make the decisions, when we don't do a budget in 3 years, here is where 
we are. So we owe it to the American people to make the decisions that 
need to be made now.
  It is irresponsible to put our Department of Defense and our 
military--our men and women who have fought so bravely for this 
country--at risk because somehow there are Members who think it is 
important to play roulette and to play chicken with our national 
  This isn't just from the Senator from New Hampshire. Just listen to 
our own Secretary of Defense. He describes what is coming with these 
across-the-board cuts in January as:

       Devastating. Catastrophic. Would lead to a hollow force 
     incapable of sustaining the missions of the Department of 

  He has compared sequestration or these across-the-board cuts to 
``shooting ourselves in the head, inflicting severe damage to our 
national security.''
  To the point the Senator from Alabama made as well as the Senator 
from South Dakota, which is the President who is the Commander in Chief 
of this country, I would call upon him: Mr. President, lead an effort 
to resolve this. We can come up with alternative spending reductions. 
Yes, we need to cut spending, and I will be the first to stand in line 
to say we need to make sure we make those spending cuts. But let's not 
do it at the sake of our military.
  If the Presiding Officer doesn't want to listen to me, the Senator 
from New Hampshire, please listen to your own Secretary of Defense and 
make sure we do not undermine our national security.
  I serve as the ranking Republican on the Readiness Subcommittee. I 
asked the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps: What is the impact 
on the Marine Corps from these across-the-board meat axe cuts that are 
coming in January to our military?
  Already the Marine Corps, under the initial reductions, is going to 
be reduced 20,000. If this goes forward, this irresponsible way of 
treating our military and our Department of Defense, the Marine Corps 
will take another 18,000 reduction. The Assistant Commandant of the 
Marine Corps said: The most shocking thing to me is actually something 
that keeps me up at night; that is, he said, the Marine Corps will be 
incapable of responding to one single major contingency.
  Think about it. Think about it in terms of protecting our country. 
That is why it is so important that we resolve this now. It is my hope 
Members from the other side of the aisle will come to the table now.
  To put it in perspective, we could resolve and find spending 
reductions to deal with not only the defense but the nondefense part of 
these across-the-board cuts by living within our means for 1 month 
within this government. It is $109 billion. We need to do this for the 
American people.
  Our men and women in our forces of every branch of this service are 
so astounding in their courage. Just one example. There was a sergeant 
in the Marine Corps who lost his leg in Afghanistan and he took 1 year 
to recover. With a prosthetic leg, he reenlisted. He actually 
redeployed in the Marine Corps. Those are the types of men and women to 
whom we owe that they don't just get pink slips because we aren't 
showing the courage that needs to be shown right here in the Senate to 
come up with the spending reductions that don't put our country at 
  Our Commander in Chief should be leading that effort. Unfortunately, 
all we have seen so far from the President is punting this issue. I 
would call upon him and Members of both sides of the aisle to come 
together to resolve this.
  We should resolve this before the election. If we wait until after 
the election, then our Department of Defense

[[Page S5121]]

is going to be under this cloud of uncertainty. Our men and women in 
uniform need to know we will not break faith with them, that we will 
stand with them, that we are not going to use them as a political 
football for other issues because, on a bipartisan basis, we should 
stand with them, with our national security.
  In addition, one of the reasons we should resolve this before the 
elections is it is not just about the safety of our country, which 
should come first and foremost, but we are also talking about nearly 1 
million jobs in the private sector in our defense industrial base, 
based on a report from AIA and George Mason University--just looking at 
defense, 1 million jobs.
  Those jobs are the manufacturers, both large and small, that build 
the equipment, the protection, the weapons systems our men and women in 
uniform need to fight the wars we ask them to do to keep them safe and 
protected. If we lose that capacity, not only do we lose the jobs that 
are good jobs in this country, but we also lose capacity, which is very 
much a part of the defense of this Nation. Under Federal law, these 
companies will be required to issue, under the Warren Act, notices of 
layoff, potential layoff 60 days before it happens, which brings us to 
  That is why we need to address this issue before the election as 
well. We should not put all those Americans who work for those 
companies and those companies at risk.
  Yesterday, AIA also issued a report looking at the nondefense 
implications of sequestration. If we put it all together, it is over 2 
million jobs in this country that are at issue.
  We should get to the table right now, resolve this, cut the spending 
in a responsible way that doesn't add a national security crisis to our 
fiscal crisis. We can do it, but we aren't going to do it if we 
continue to put off the difficult decisions, if we kick this can down 
the road again, if we use this as roulette or chicken or in some other 
debate in December.
  This needs to be resolved right now for our men and women in uniform 
who have shown the courage, the tenacity, and the love of country. They 
have done so much for us and they deserve better from us than to use 
them as a political football in some other debate.
  I urge my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to come to the 
table now. I urge the President to come and lead this effort so we can 
resolve this issue on behalf of the American people.
  I yield my time to the Senator from Alabama.
  Mr. SESSIONS. I thank the Senator from New Hampshire. She made a 
great series of points. One of the most dramatic, is that we should not 
be waiting.
  This is going to cost the Defense Department tremendous amounts of 
money. Private contractors may well assess against the Department of 
Defense costs for confusion and delays.
  I just want to wrap up with these three charts.
  One of the myths is the reason the United States is running the 
largest deficit in its history is the wars, the Afghan and Iraqi wars. 
We ran the numbers on that. The war outlays represent only 4 percent of 
defense spending. That is a lot, but it is only 4 percent. It is not 
the biggest part of it. In 2001-2011 it totaled $1.1 trillion during 
that time; 2001 through 2011 we spent $1.1 trillion on both wars in 
Iraq and Afghanistan.
  During that same time--this represents the rest. The red represents 
the remaining expenditures of the U.S. Government, 96 percent. It is 
not so that defense and the war have caused the deficit we are in. 
Indeed, last year our deficit was about $1.3 trillion. The entire 10 
years of the war effort amount to less than 1 year's deficit last year. 
In fact, we have averaged over $1.2 trillion for the last 4 years in 
deficits. For one year, you could eliminate the entire Defense 
Department, all $540 billion of it, and you would not cut the deficit 
in half. You can add the war costs to it, which is a little over $100 
billion, and it is still less than half. It is not so that the reason 
this country is in financial trouble is that defense and the war have 
caused the deficit.
  There are other factors going on. From 2008 through 2010, this shows 
the growth in spending as a percentage of those budgets. Defense 
spending, through those 3 years, increased 11 percent. The non-defense 
discretionary spending increased 24 percent. That is a rate of more 
than twice as fast. So it is not surging defense spending that is 
driving up the cost of government as much as the increase in the non-
defense spending.
  One more chart that should make us all nervous. This is a 
Congressional Budget Office estimate of interest costs on the debt we 
are now accumulating. We are now at $16 trillion in debt. Every penny 
of that is borrowed money. We have to pay interest on that $16 
trillion. We are adding $1 trillion a year to it. We have added $1.2-
plus trillion for each year for the last 4 years. According to the CBO, 
in 2019, just 7 years from now, interest will exceed the Defense 
expenditures. The amount of money we spend servicing the debt that we 
have run up will exceed the Defense Department and surge past it.
  If we have a situation that could happen as is now happening in 
Europe, and the interest rates surge faster, that number could be a 
devastating number to the economy. It is a matter of great concern to 
  That is why we have to contain spending. The Defense Department has 
to reduce spending. We support the $487 billion in cuts they are 
working on today, but the additional $492 billion is so large that it 
does damage to the Defense Department and actually will cost us money 
by making rapid reductions in spending in such a way that cannot be 
accommodated in any rational way.
  I believe if we work together, get this thing on the right path, be 
honest with ourselves about how much we can reduce the defense budget 
without hurting our security, I believe we can work out something 
before the end of the year. But I tell you, the President is going to 
have to get engaged. He cannot just sit back and think he is going to 
use this for leverage to raise taxes as it appears to me he is doing. I 
know others want to speak.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Illinois.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, for the last hour my friends on the 
Republican side of the aisle have had the floor, and they have 
presented their point of view. I would like to--and I am joined by the 
Senator from Vermont--I would like to spend a few moments, if I can, 
reflecting on what they said and perhaps making some observations that 
disagree with some of their conclusions.
  There are some points on which we agree. The deficit is a serious 
national problem. Right now we are borrowing 40 cents for every dollar 
we spend. Whether we are spending that dollar on education, student 
loans, food stamps, missiles, or the paychecks for our soldiers, we 
borrow 40 cents for every dollar we spend. No company, no family could 
survive borrowing 40 percent of everything they spend. That is a fact. 
So we need to be serious about reducing this deficit.
  We are confronted, however, with a reality in terms of our economy. 
Since 2008 we have had a weak economy. We have had a recession that has 
killed off a lot of jobs. We are coming back but slowly. If we are not 
careful in the way we reduce the deficit, we can make it worse. I think 
everybody agrees with that premise on both sides of the aisle.
  So we have a massive deficit, and we have a weak economy. We have to 
be careful how we reduce spending and raise revenue in a way that 
doesn't kill off the recovery. Ultimately, we cannot have a strong 
American economy unless we start putting people back to work in larger 
numbers. I think both sides will agree on that.
  Here is an area where we start to disagree. How do we achieve this? 
Several years ago the majority leader, Senator Reid, asked me to serve 
on the Simpson-Bowles Commission. I sat for over a year listening to 
testimony about ways to reduce the deficit. At the end of the day I 
came to a conclusion that turned out to be bipartisan, and 11 out of 18 
of the members of the Commission voted for it--Democrats, Republicans, 
public members.
  It basically said this: Any honest approach to reducing our deficit 
puts everything on the table--everything. It puts spending cuts on the 
table for sure, but it also puts on the table revenue. And 
  I can tell you, there is a great deal of pain in addressing some of 
these issues.

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On the Republican side of the aisle when you say the word ``revenue''--
I wouldn't dare use the word ``taxes''--but when you say the word 
``revenue'' they race for the door.
  On our side of the aisle, when you mention the entitlements--my 
colleague from Vermont and I and many others share a real concern about 
the future of programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, 
the basic insurance policy for senior citizens of America and the 
safety net for the poor and disabled. So you can understand this 
becomes extremely difficult in terms of cutting spending, raising 
revenue, reducing the deficit, and not killing off an economic 
  What happened last year? Last year we faced what is called the debt 
ceiling. The debt ceiling is a vague term that not many people 
understand. Let me try to put it in simple words, if I can.
  The debt ceiling is America's mortgage. America's mortgage is growing 
in size, unlike many home mortgages which go down. America's mortgage 
is growing because our national debt is growing. Periodically, we have 
to borrow more money to cover what we have spent. So Members of the 
Senate on both sides of the aisle who vote for the spending--whether it 
is for a war or for education or health care--ultimately know the day 
will come when we have to borrow more money to cover the 40 percent of 
what that expenditure is that we are not raising in revenue.
  The debt ceiling came up for us to consider last year, and for the 
first time--the first time--the Republicans in the House and Senate 
said: Let's default on the national debt.
  What would happen if you started missing mortgage payments at home? 
After a month or two somebody might give you a phone call. Then on the 
third month you might get a letter from a lawyer. On the fourth month 
you might be in foreclosure proceedings. In other words, you were not a 
trustworthy borrower and your credit rating is being destroyed by your 
failure to pay your bills.
  The same thing would happen to America if we did not pass the debt 
ceiling, if we did not extend our mortgage, if we did not make our 
timely payments on our debt. But that was what the Republicans 
threatened. So in order to get through this crisis, the possibility 
that our entire economy would shut down over this default on our 
national debt, we came up with a plan. Here is what the plan was.
  We would create a bipartisan House and Senate supercommittee. We said 
to that supercommittee: Come up with $1.5 trillion in deficit 
reductions over the next 10 years--$1.5 trillion in deficit reduction. 
We did not say to the committee how to do it, but we told them if they 
fail to come up with this savings of $1.5 trillion over the next 10 
years, there will be automatic spending cuts--automatic spending cuts 
called sequestration. We said specifically what they would be: $500 
billion from defense spending, $500 billion from nondefense spending. 
That was the alternative. Reach an agreement, cut the deficit, or face 
this automatic penalty.
  What we have heard on the floor of the Senate today are the protests 
of a half dozen or more Republican Senators to what we are now facing. 
You see, the supercommittee could not reach an agreement. There was no 
agreement because basically the Republican side refused to even 
consider raising revenue--raising taxes on anybody over the next 10 
years. So the alternatives were to continue to cut spending and/or cut 
Medicaid and Medicare.
  It broke down. So the automatic spending cuts, sequestration is now 
looming. January 2 they are looming as a possibility. The protests on 
the floor today from Republican Senators are over the possibility of a 
$500 billion cut in defense spending over the next 9 years, $55 billion 
a year--not an inconsequential cut by any means.
  Here is what is interesting. I asked for the transcript from the 
Republican Senators in describing the defense sequestration cut, and 
every one of them came to the floor to condemn it. The words they used 
in describing it are ``predictable,'' ``devastating,'' ``arbitrary,'' 
``irresponsible''--one after the other. That is how they described 
  Then I asked my staff to please get me a copy of the rollcall of 
Senators who voted for this option. Of the Senators--Republican 
Senators--who spoke on the Senate floor this afternoon protesting the 
defense sequestration as devastating, irresponsible, and arbitrary, the 
following Republican Senators voted for it: Senator McConnell of 
Kentucky, Senator McCain of Arizona, Senator Thune of South Dakota, and 
Senator Cornyn of Texas. In fact, the entire Republican leadership team 
voted for what they are now branding as devastating, arbitrary, and 
irresponsible. So it is a little hard for me to understand how on this 
date, August 2, 2011, in the early afternoon, they could vote for this 
and now come to the floor and condemn it.
  Here is the reality. The reality is we need to deal with our deficit 
in a responsible fashion. We need to keep this economy moving forward. 
In order to deal with the deficit in a responsible fashion, I still 
believe the Bowles-Simpson approach is the right approach--put 
everything on the table and work through it in a responsible way. I 
thought it was right then; I still believe it is right.
  I am troubled, though, by this concept about defense spending. Let me 
confess my own personal family feelings. An hour ago my nephew Michael 
Cacace, who is in the 10th Mountain Division out of Fort Totten, NY, 
came to visit me upstairs. He was a sight for sore eyes. I hadn't seen 
him in a long time. A little over a year ago he was a doorman letting 
people into the gallery upstairs, and then he enlisted in the U.S. Army 
and spent a year in Afghanistan. I thought about him every single day. 
We sent him care packages and got notes back from him and occasional e-
mails, and in he walks to my office today safe and sound. I couldn't 
have been happier to see him. In just a few weeks he is off to Korea. 
He has 2 more years in his commitment to the Army.
  I thought about him--and think about him and so many others like 
him--every time the issue of America and the military came up. While 
Michael and so many others are risking their lives for our country, we 
can do nothing less than to keep them safe--as Michael was able to do. 
I am committed to that personally, politically.
  To suggest that any of us, in either party, would jeopardize the 
defense and security of America for political reasons I do not accept. 
Everyone here is committed to the basic premise of keeping America safe 
and standing behind our men and women in uniform. I also want to be 
realistic about the defense budget. It is a big budget.
  The last time the Federal budget was in balance was about 10 years 
ago, and we hit the sweet spot when it came to taxes and revenue on one 
side and spending on the other. The sweet spot was 19.5 percent of our 
gross domestic product. That is the sum total and value of all the 
goods and services produced in America. So we raised 19.5 percent of 
our gross domestic product on taxes and that is how much we spent. We 
were in balance 11 years ago.
  What has happened since? Senator Dan Inouye, chairman of the Senate 
Appropriations Committee, told us. Since the budget was last in 
balance, domestic discretionary spending for things such as education, 
health care, correction systems, highways, and all the nondefense items 
in our budget has not grown at all. It flatlined, zero growth. When it 
came to the entitlement programs, such as Medicaid, Medicare, veterans 
programs, and the like, they have gone up about 30 percent in costs 
since the budget was last in balance.
  What about the defense budget? What has happened to the defense 
budget since we had a balanced budget? It has gone up 73 percent. Zero 
on domestic discretionary, 30 percent on entitlements, 64 percent on 
the military side. So what happened in the last 10 years? There were 
two wars we didn't pay for, a dramatic buildup in the military, and the 
reality is all of it was added to the debt.
  When we had the Simpson-Bowles Commission, we brought in experts from 
the Department of Defense and asked them a lot of questions about our 
spending over there. There were some things there that were troubling. 
The F-35, which is supposed to be the fighter of the future, ends up 
dramatically overspent. There were cost overruns in every direction. 
You may have heard a lot about the Solyndra energy project. The cost 
overrides on the F-35

[[Page S5123]]

project are more than 10 times the money we lost on the Solyndra energy 
project. There has been a dramatic overrun on some of these major 
weapons systems.
  We then asked the Department of Defense: How many contractors do you 
have working for you, not including civilian employees, in the 
Department of Defense or uniformed employees? Their answer to us was 
very candid: We don't know. We really don't. We hire contractors, and 
they hire people. We have no idea how many people work for us. It could 
be a million people, it could be 3 million people. It raises a question 
in my mind: Can we be safe as a country and still save some money at 
the Department of Defense? I think we can.
  What I hear from the Republican side of the aisle is: Keep your hands 
off the Department of Defense. Well, I don't want to cut them and 
jeopardize our security or endanger our servicemen, but I do believe 
money can be saved there. How did we find ourselves in this position 
where we are even considering these cuts? Because the Republicans have 
steadfastly refused to consider revenue.
  Before you took the chair, Madam President, our colleague and friend 
Senator Merkley of Oregon sent me a note to ask Senator Sessions of 
Alabama a question. I want to read it. He said: Ask Senator Sessions 
the following: What is more important, taking care of our national 
security or giving bonus tax breaks of over $100,000 a person for the 
richest 2 percent of Americans? What the President has proposed is that 
we cut the tax breaks off at $250,000 of income, and it means the top 2 
percent of Americans would pay more. They would pay the rate they used 
to pay under President Clinton, and the Republicans have said: No way. 
President Obama's tax proposal would save us $800 billion. The 
Department of Defense cut over 9 years is $500 billion. So the 
Republicans here, almost to a person, are basically arguing that rather 
than raise taxes on the richest 2 percent in America at all, we would 
run the risk of jeopardizing our national security. That is a false 
choice. We can have a strong national defense and we must, but we can 
also have a rational approach to reducing our debt.
  Our military is the best in the world, the biggest in the world, and 
larger than most other nations--the next 10 combined--and it is 
dramatically larger than any potential enemy of the United States. It 
has kept us safe as a Nation, and we want it to continue to do so. The 
men and women who serve us in the military are the best, but we can 
save money in the Department of Defense. We can do it and reduce the 
  What we need from the Republican side of the aisle is the willingness 
we found in the Simpson-Bowles Commission of a few Republicans to step 
up and say: Yes, we need to put everything on the table. Let's avoid 
deep cuts either on the domestic side or the defense side. Let's 
basically come up with an approach that is fair across the board, and 
we can do it. Let's spare those who are the most vulnerable in America, 
the homeless and helpless. For goodness sake, we all care for them. We 
should all care for America's needy. Those programs have to be 
  When the Senator from Alabama comes to the floor and decries the fact 
that more people are using food stamps, I say to my friend from 
Vermont, who has probably seen the same thing I have: Meet these 
families on food stamps.
  Meet them when you go to the soup kitchens and when you go to the 
food pantries. Many of them are working families. They can't make it on 
what they are being paid. They are struggling from paycheck to 
paycheck. At the end of the month, they are looking for something to 
put on the table. Sadly, families who have an income still qualify for 
food stamps because their income is too small.
  The Senator from Alabama said the food stamp costs have gone up way 
too high. True, they are high, but they reflect the state of the 
economy and the troubling challenges that face working families and 
poor families across America. He also made a point of saying the 
entitlement payments are going up dramatically. Why? Because today in 
America 10,000 of our fellow citizens reached the age of 65. Yesterday 
was the same thing, tomorrow is the same thing, and for the next 18 
years it will be the same thing: The boomers have arrived. And when 
they arrive at age 65, they look around and say: Well, we paid in all 
of our lives for Social Security and Medicare. Aren't we qualified? 
Aren't we entitled to our benefits?
  Is the Senator from Alabama suggesting we walk away from those 
commitments? I don't think that is fair. We can make these better 
programs, we can make them more efficient, but we certainly don't want 
to give up on our commitment to Medicare, for example, as the Paul Ryan 
budget did. I think that is a serious mistake.
  To my friends on the Republican side of the aisle, I think the 
message is clear: You voted for this, so don't keep coming to the 
Senate floor and criticizing it. They knew what they were voting for. 
It said if you failed to reach a bipartisan agreement on the 
supercommittee, this is what we would face.
  Secondly, we can solve this problem still. We can avoid sequestration 
with a bipartisan approach that considers all of the key elements to 
bring deficit reduction in a sensible and thoughtful way, that doesn't 
kill our economic recovery.
  Third, I will never question any colleague's commitment to the safety 
and security of this Nation, and I hope our friends on the other side 
won't either. Everyone is committed to that, and we are committed to 
our men and women in uniform. Now let's do them proud and make 
America's economy stronger and make America stronger. Let's invest in 
what we know will make us a strong Nation. In addition to our military, 
let's invest in our schools and education, research and innovation, 
clean energy projects that offer an opportunity for 21st century 
leadership for America, the infrastructure which serves our country 
from one side to the other and keeps products moving and keeps America 
competitive. We can make the investments in these key areas and not 
jeopardize our national defense. We can do that and reduce the deficit.
  I yield to my colleague from Vermont, Senator Sanders.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Klobuchar). The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. SANDERS. I thank the Senator from Illinois.
  Mr. SANDERS. Madam President, I appreciate the remarks of the Senator 
from Illinois, and I wanted to amplify on them a little bit. But before 
I do, I wanted to mention something we don't talk about enough here on 
the floor of the Senate.
  In New England, and I'm sure in Minnesota, we have a lot of sports 
fans. When we are interested in baseball, basketball, football, hockey, 
or whatever, the key question everyone always asks is: Who wins and who 
loses? Well, I think it is appropriate that in terms of the economy, as 
it currently stands, we should also ask that simple question: Who is 
winning and who is losing? Let me discuss that for one moment before I 
get into deficit reduction.
  We don't talk about it almost at all on the floor of the Senate. The 
media doesn't talk about it terribly much either. But the reality is we 
have the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major 
country on Earth and more income and wealth inequality in this country 
than at any time since the late 1920s.
  Today the wealthiest 400 people own more wealth than the bottom half 
of America, which is about 150 million people. We could squeeze 400 
people into this room, and if they were the wealthiest people in 
America, they would own more wealth than the bottom half of America.
  A report came across my desk yesterday which I want to share with the 
American people. This is quite incredible and kind of tells us where we 
are moving as a Nation, and that is that today the Walton family of 
Wal-Mart fame--the folks who own Wal-Mart--now owns more wealth than 
the bottom 40 percent of America. One family owns more wealth than the 
bottom 40 percent of America.
  Today the top 1 percent owns 40 percent of the wealth of the country. 
I think a lot of people are very surprised by that number. The top 1 
percent owns 40 percent of the wealth of America. But what people would 
be far more shocked at is if we asked them how much the bottom 60 
percent of the

[[Page S5124]]

American people own. I have done this. In Vermont, I have asked people. 
They say: 10 percent, 20 percent. The answer is less than 2 percent. 
The top 1 percent owns 40 percent of the wealth of America. The bottom 
60 percent owns less than 2 percent. The bottom 40 percent of America 
owns three-tenths of 1 percent, less than one family--the Walton 
  Why is that important? It is important because it tells us from both 
a moral and economic perspective the direction we have to move in terms 
of deficit reduction. I find it a little bit amusing that some of my 
Republican friends come to the floor of the Senate and say: We are 
deficit hawks. We have got to cut, cut, cut. We are worried about our 
kids, we are worried about our grandchildren, and we are worried about 
borrowing money from China. They have a whole set of talking points. 
They are worried about the deficit.
  I am worried about the deficit, every American should be worried 
about the deficit, but I have a question to ask some of my Republican 
friends who today are great deficit hawks and that is: Where were they 
a few years ago? I voted against the war in Iraq for a number of 
reasons, not the least of which is it wasn't paid for. The war in 
Afghanistan wasn't paid for. I find it kind of interesting that former 
President Bush, who was a great deficit hawk, and all of my Republican 
friends who are great deficit hawks went not just to one war, they went 
into two wars. And you know what. It just slipped their minds. They 
forgot to pay for it. We all have slips of memory. You go to the 
grocery store and forget to buy the container of milk your wife wanted 
you to buy. It just slipped their mind. They were so busy talking about 
the deficit, they went into two wars that cost trillions of dollars and 
forgot to pay for them. Today they have noticed and it has come to 
their attention that there is a deficit.
  I voted against the war in Iraq. I am not so sure many of them did.
  The second issue. If we go on a shopping spree or a gambling spree or 
whatever it may be and we spend a lot of money, give away a lot of 
money, we have less money. Our Republican friends fought for and 
created huge tax breaks for the wealthiest people in this country. 
Hundreds and hundreds of billions of tax dollars in tax breaks went to 
the top 1 percent, went to the top 2 percent. So our deficit hawk 
friends who come down here every day to tell us how concerned they are 
went into two wars they forgot to pay for, and, for the first time in 
American history, they actually gave tax breaks to the very rich while 
they were at war.
  Furthermore, one of the major problems our country is facing now in 
terms of the deficit, which Senator Durbin touched on, is that because 
of the recession, which was caused by the greed and recklessness and 
illegal behavior of Wall Street--and many of my Republican friends and 
some Democrats told us awhile back when I was in the House how 
important it was to deregulate Wall Street, to allow the large 
commercial banks that have merged with the investor banks to merge with 
the insurance companies, and just get the government off the backs of 
these honorable people on Wall Street who are looking out for the 
American people. It turned out, of course, that they are a bunch of 
crooks. We deregulated them, and they did what many of us thought they 
would do: they began exchanging incredibly complicated financial 
transactions, which took this country to the verge of an international 
financial collapse. And our friends on Wall Street needed their welfare 
payment from the middle class of America--$700-and-some billion of 
welfare payments for Wall Street--to bail them out. The Fed provided 
$16 trillion in low-interest loans on a revolving loan basis. So in the 
midst of all of that, what ended up happening is that revenue is now 
down to 15.8 percent of GDP, which is the lowest amount of revenue per 
GDP we have seen in a very long time.
  So we go into two wars and don't pay for them; we give tax breaks to 
billionaires; we deregulate Wall Street, which causes a recession; 
revenue declines as a percentage of GDP; and we have a serious deficit 
crisis, which is where we are right now. We have a $16 trillion 
national debt. I think it is a $1.2 trillion-a-year deficit--a serious 
situation. How do we deal with it? Everybody here recognizes that it is 
a problem. We don't want the younger generation to have to pick up this 
national debt. How do we deal with it?
  Well, my Republican friends have a great idea. Let's see. We went to 
two wars and didn't pay for them; tax breaks for the rich; deregulated 
Wall Street; a recession. Oh, I know how we can deal with the deficit. 
Let's cut Social Security. That is a good idea. After all, we only have 
50-some-odd million people on Social Security. Why don't we come up 
with a chained CPI? Nobody outside of Capitol Hill knows what a chained 
CPI is. And to any senior citizen, somebody on Social Security, who is 
watching this, please don't laugh, but I do want to tell you what a 
chained CPI is. You will think I am not telling you the truth. Check it 
out. I am.
  There are people here in the Senate and in the House who think your 
COLAs have been too large; that the formula that determines COLAs--
cost-of-living allowance increases for seniors--has been too generous.
  Now, the seniors are saying: What is this guy talking about? How can 
it be too generous when for the last 2 years we didn't get any COLA? At 
a time when our prescription drug costs are going up and our health 
care costs are going up, what are they talking about?
  Well, you are right, I say to those back home, they are a little bit 
off their rocker. The idea that they could think that after 2 years of 
zero COLAs, those are too large, and that we have to create a new 
formula to reduce COLAs--that is what people--certainly Republicans and 
some Democrats--are talking about right now.
  So what about Social Security? How much of the deficit did Social 
Security cause so that my Republican friends--all of them--want to cut 
it and some Democrats may want to cut it? Well, the answer is zero, and 
everybody in America back home understands it, because Social Security 
is funded by the FICA tax, by the payroll tax. Social Security does not 
get general fund money, it comes independently. Social Security, 
according to the Social Security Administration, has a $2.7 trillion 
surplus--let me say it again: surplus--to pay every benefit for the 
next 22 years. Why do they want to cut Social Security? Go ask them. I 
don't know. It certainly doesn't make any sense to me. It should not be 
part of any deficit reduction effort. But it is not just Social 
Security that is under attack. They want to go after Medicare. They 
want to go after Medicaid. They want to go after nutrition programs for 
elderly people and for children. They want to go after Pell grants. You 
name the program that benefits working-class and middle-class families, 
and they want to go after it.
  What about asking the wealthiest people to pay a nickel more in 
taxes? Oh, we can't do that, just can't do that--moral objection to 
having billionaires, who are doing phenomenally well and who are now 
paying the lowest effective tax rate they have paid in a very long 
time--we cannot allow them to pay a nickel more in taxes. It is far 
more important to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and 
  Well, I think that set of priorities is dead wrong, and I think the 
American people think those priorities are dead wrong. We have to work 
together to make sure that doesn't happen in some kind of grand plan or 
whatever it is. Yes, we can deal with the deficit. We should deal with 
the deficit but not on the backs of the elderly.
  Millions of senior citizens of this country are living on $12,000, 
$13,000, $14,000 in Social Security--it is either all or most of their 
income--and people here are talking about cutting Social Security? We 
have 50 million people who have no health insurance. We have 45,000 
people who died this year because they didn't get to a doctor on time, 
and people say: Let's take our kids off Medicaid. Let's take lower 
income people off Medicaid. What happens? Let's do away, says the Ryan 
budget, the Republican budget, with Medicare as we know it. Let's give 
people an $8,000 check instead of Medicare. Well, a person has cancer 
or heart disease, and we have an $8,000 check for them to go out and 
get private insurance. How many days do my colleagues think they are 
going to stay in a hospital with cancer on $8,000? Not a whole long 
time, but that is what their plan is.

[[Page S5125]]

  So we are now in the midst of a great philosophical and economic 
debate. The rich are getting richer, and our Republican friends want to 
give them more tax breaks. The middle class is collapsing. Our 
Republican friends want to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
  In terms of defense spending, I would just say this: Everybody here 
agrees we want and need a strong defense. Do we really have to spend 
more on defense in the United States of America than the rest of the 
world combined? We spend more on defense than the rest of the world 
combined. Do we really have to do that? We spend 4.8 percent of our GDP 
on defense.
  Our European allies, by the way, provide health care to all of their 
people as a right. Our European allies provide, in many instances, 
college education free to their young people--not $40,000 or $50,000 a 
year. Our European allies--and I say this in all due respect to them; I 
respect that, and it is what we should be doing--provide excellent 
quality childcare to their working families. Our European allies spend 
2 percent of their GDP on defense.
  We spend 4.8 percent.
  So we are in the midst of an interesting moment. I hope the American 
people become engaged in this debate because I think, by and large, the 
position the Republican Party is taking--tax breaks for billionaires, 
cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid--is way out of touch 
with where the American people are today.
  I hope we have a serious debate on these issues. I hope the American 
people join us, and I hope the road we go down in terms of deficit 
reduction is one that is fair to working families and the middle class, 
and that means asking the wealthiest people in this country and the 
largest corporations in this country to start paying their fair share 
of taxes.
  With that, I yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. BROWN of Ohio. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
order for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. BROWN of Ohio. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent to speak 
for up to 10 minutes as in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                Russia Permanent Normal Trade Relations

  Mr. BROWN of Ohio. Madam President, I rise because the pending 
proposal to grant permanent normal trade relations with Russia must be 
done right. It was voted out of the Finance Committee today. There is 
discussion about further changes in the legislation on the Senate floor 
when it reaches here.
  People in my home State of Ohio know too well that we cannot afford 
to continue our normal, business-as-usual trade agreements that fail to 
hold our trading partners responsible.
  We know what happened in the early 1990s with the North American Free 
Trade Agreement. We know what happened in the late 1990s with the 
permanent normal trade relations with China. Look at the most recent 
events around the U.S. Olympic Committee and these American athletes, 
with hundreds and hundreds of them soon to parade down the streets in 
London, England, wearing clothes made in China. If that does not tell 
somebody about our trade relations with China.
  We need to do it right because we know what happened not too many 
years ago with the Central American Free Trade Agreement, so-called 
CAFTA. The American people recognize that.
  Too often we have allowed countries to violate their trade 
commitments with detrimental consequences to our own industries, 
especially our manufacturing.
  Between 2000 and 2010, we lost one-third of our manufacturing jobs in 
this country. More than 5 million manufacturing jobs disappeared. Madam 
President, 60,000 plants closed. That is not by accident. That 
globalization evolved that way. It was because of trade law and tax law 
in our country that gave incentives in far too many cases for companies 
to shut down in the United States and move overseas.
  We know a number of large American businesses have decided their 
business plan is to shut down production in Sandusky or Hamilton, OH, 
and to move production to Shihan or Wuhan, China and sell those 
products back into the United States of America.
  Never, to my knowledge, in world history has a large number of 
companies in one country put together a business plan such as that: 
Shut down production in the home country, move it overseas, and sell 
back those products into the home country. By and large, it has not 
worked for our country. Part of the result is a diminished middle class 
with stagnant wages.
  That is what we need to make sure we understand as we go, with eyes 
wide open, into this PNTR with Russia.
  Too often we compromise our values in these trade agreements, we 
compromise our commitment to upholding human rights.
  Granting Russia PNTR status without oversight is another such deal in 
the making. We have a responsibility to American steelmakers and 
welders, the companies and the workers, the small manufacturers and the 
employees, the engineers, the laborers, all of them, to get it right 
this time.
  I want more trade, and this is not just about Russia. This is about 
America's trade policy, America's workers, American job creation. This 
is about the guy in Zanesville who made big things with his hands for 
years and now has gone from $17 an hour to $11 an hour--and still has 
to provide for his family.
  It is just this simple: enforcement and accountability must be at the 
heart of our trade commitments with every single country in the world.
  Granting Russia PNTR; that is, granting Russia permanent normal trade 
relations, is important for U.S. businesses. It could be a major step 
toward boosting exports of machinery, aerospace products, and other 
manufactured goods. I get that. I support that. It could be helpful to 
Ohioans who produce nearly 328 million pounds of chicken. It could be 
helpful to hog farmers around Johnstown, OH, and pork producers 
throughout Ohio and throughout the United States.
  But we need to ensure our manufacturers, our ranchers, and our 
producers are not economically hogtied, if you will, by our trading 
partners. U.S. workers have learned the hard way that promises about 
strict enforcement simply do not go far enough and are simply too often 
  A decade of experience with China's failure to abide by its WTO 
commitments has provided ample evidence that we must strengthen our 
enforcement regime.
  How many Senators who voted for permanent normal trade relations with 
China, how many Congress men and women who voted for permanent normal 
trade relations with China have come to the floor and complained about 
China breaking the rules? They have attacked China because China 
cheats. They have complained to China on the Senate floor. They have 
gone to the International Trade Commission saying China is not playing 
by the rules. Yet they voted for PNTR a dozen years ago.
  But put that aside, make up for it by passing a Russian PNTR that has 
real commitments, has real language, not just for reporting language 
but for enforcement language.
  After 10 years, after hundreds of thousands of American jobs lost, we 
are seeing the same arguments we saw for PNTR made in support of 
granting Russia WTO membership.
  Our experience with China has shown we must ensure that our trading 
partners follow through on their commitments. Our workers, our farmers, 
our ranchers, our producers, our manufacturers should have confidence 
that if a trade deal is signed, it will actually be enforced.
  We cannot afford another one-way trade agreement because one-way 
trade agreements tend to lead to one-way job movements--companies 
shutting down here, manufacturing somewhere else, and selling back into 
the United States.
  That is why we must have oversight. We must have mechanisms in place 
to ensure that Russia adheres to its commitments.
  We must learn from the Chinese case.
  Our PNTR with China caused huge damage to our country and 
manufacturing job loss. From the implementation of PNTR--passed in 
1999, begun in

[[Page S5126]]

2000--accession to the World Trade Organization, around then for China, 
we saw what happened with job loss.
  I mentioned a minute ago, between 2000 and 2010, we lost one-third of 
our manufacturing jobs in this country, more than 5 million jobs. We 
lost 60,000 plants in this country--not entirely because of China not 
playing fair, not entirely because of PNTR, not even entirely because 
of PNTR with China and the North American Free Trade Agreement.
  It is our tax law. It is our trade law. It is our unwillingness or 
inability to enforce these trade rules. All that has conspired for this 
job loss.
  Since 2010, I might add--because of the auto rescue and some other 
things--we have gained back one-half million manufacturing jobs. Ten 
years of manufacturing job loss; since the auto rescue, 500,000 
manufacturing job gains.
  We have to have monitoring. We have to have appropriate consequences 
in place when these rules are violated. If we repeat our mistakes of 
the past--from the lessons we should have learned from China--we will 
have no one to blame but ourselves.
  My bill, the Russian World Trade Organization Commitments 
Verification Act of 2012, would help ensure Russia abides by the 
schedules set out in its WTO terms of accession.
  Russia said it is going to do A, B, C, D, and E. So did China. The 
point is, we need not just reporting language about evaluating--did 
they do A, B, C, D, and E--but we need enforcement mechanisms. So if 
they do A and they do not do B, then the administration or the House or 
the Senate or we individually can begin to bring some actions against 
Russia for not following these rules.
  We accomplish this by requiring USTR to report to Congress annually 
on how Russia is adhering to the commitments it made as part of joining 
the World Trade Organization.
  If Russia fails to comply--and here is what our language does 
differently from what we have done in the past; learning from what 
happened with China--if Russia fails to comply, the U.S. Trade 
Representative will be required--required, not an optional thing 
because we see how Trade Representatives, particularly during the Bush 
years, acted on these kinds of problems--the U.S. Trade Representative 
will be required to explain what the administration is doing about it. 
If the administration does nothing, my bill clarifies that Congress can 
request that the administration take action.
  It is commonsense accountability. It has been lacking in our trade 
  This is an American issue. We can solve it together. We can solve it 
bipartisanly. We can solve it because it is an issue in all regions of 
our country.
  President Reagan once said about Russia we must ``trust, but 
verify.'' He was actually talking about the old days of the Soviet 
Union. The same applies today--``trust but verify.'' Bring the 
reporting requirements forward. Bring accountability forward. It will 
matter for American jobs, for American manufacturers, for a middle-
class standard of living for so many in our country.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.


  Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, earlier today, we had a colloquy on this 
floor talking about the devastating effects of sequestration, and I 
think we covered most everything. One of the significant parts of this 
is how we got here in the first place.
  Not many people realize that in our form of government the President 
of the United States, whether he is a Democrat or a Republican, comes 
out with a budget each year. Of course, we have not actually passed a 
budget in the Senate, so that becomes the budget.
  In his budget, starting 4 years ago, he has had, each year, in excess 
of $1 trillion of deficit each year. Add them all up and it is $5.3 
trillion of deficit.
  I only mention that in conjunction with the concern we have on 
sequestration. How did we get here in the first place? This is 
something that is very much of a concern for us because it seems as if, 
when we look at all the increases, the deficit increases during this 
administration since 2008, the only area that has not been dealt with 
fairly, in terms of keeping up with our obligations, is national 
  I am not too surprised this happened, but it did. In fact, I can 
remember going over to--let me interrupt myself.
  Madam President, it is my understanding I have 30 minutes; is that 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is no time allocation.
  Mr. INHOFE. Oh, fine. I like that better.
  After the first budget, I can recall going over to Afghanistan, 
knowing this President would be disarming America in his first budget. 
I think he will go down in history as the most antidefense President we 
have ever had. But I remember going over there. I knew, with the tanks 
going back and forth in the background, that I would be able to respond 
and to get some attention of the American people.
  Of course, that first budget, I remember it so well. He did away with 
our only fifth generation fighter, the F-22; did away with our lift 
capability, the C-17; did away with our Future Combat Systems, which 
would have been the first ground transition in 60 years. Then what I am 
going to talk about in another portion of my presentation this 
afternoon did away with the ground-based interceptor in Poland. Now 
that was the first budget.
  Since that time, it has been deteriorating even more. So our national 
defense has been doing everything it can to try to stay afloat, try to 
support our troops who are over in harm's way. It is becoming more and 
more difficult.
  If we project what this President has done and would be doing over 
the next 10 years, it would be cutting the military by $\1/2\ trillion. 
Now, that is bad enough, but what is worse is what would happen under 
  Under sequestration, the way he has engineered sequestration, the 
cuts would take place--as was pointed out very effectively by the 
Senator from Alabama, Mr. Sessions--the amount of cuts that would come 
from sequestration would be coming almost entirely from the military. 
So not only is he projecting a cut of $\1/2\ trillion in our military 
as it is today, but if Obama's sequestration goes into effect, it is 
going to be another $\1/2\ trillion. So we know what this is going to 
do to jobs, we know what it is going to do to our ability, we know what 
it is going to do in terms of putting our troops in harm's way.
  So I would only say, in my State of Oklahoma an article came out. It 
was by Marion Blakley, the president and CEO of the Aerospace 
Industries Association. She released a report, and it was covered very 
well by Chris Casteel in the Oklahoman in this morning's paper.
  They talked about: Surely, Oklahoma could lose 16,000 jobs. Well, 
that is bad enough, but the figure actually is much higher than that 
when we throw in the uniformed presence we have and the jobs we would 
  In my State of Oklahoma we have five major military installations. We 
have Tinker Air Force Base, which does a lot of the repairs on the 
heavy stuff, KC-135s, and so forth. We have Vance that does primary 
training, an excellent job. We have our depot and the ammunition depot 
that is in McAlester. We have Altus Air Force Base that trains people 
in flying the heavy stuff. And we have Fort Sill in Lawton, OK.
  I have to say, this is a great compliment to my State of Oklahoma 
because we have had, since 1987, five BRAC rounds. It is called Base 
Realignment and Closure Commission rounds. These are rounds where they 
go through and make evaluation as to which of these military 
establishments are perhaps not making the contribution to our Nation's 
defense they should, and then they go through readjustment and 
realigning, and so forth.
  I am proud to say in my State of Oklahoma, the five military 
establishments I just now mentioned all have benefited from each of the 
rounds in terms of numbers of missions and numbers of people. I have to 
say there is a reason for that. It is not political influence, as a lot 
of people might guess. It is community support.
  I have people saying, well, every community, every State has that. 
No, it is not true. When there is a problem and a need, we pass bond 
issues such as

[[Page S5127]]

the very large bond issue in Oklahoma City to allow us to get the GM 
plant and, consequently, we have new missions going in. So I am saying 
that in a complimentary way.
  On the other hand, with the sequestration that will be the Obama 
sequestration that will take place starting on January 2 of this coming 
year, we would have huge losses in Oklahoma. The estimate is probably 
closer to 22,000 jobs in the first year that we would be suffering in 
my State of Oklahoma.
  It is bad enough what that will do to the economy in my State of 
Oklahoma, but what is even worse is what it does to our national 
defense. We have no way of knowing right now where that money is going 
to be coming from. I had a conversation--the first one in a long time 
yesterday--with Dick Cheney. Of course, we all recall not just his 
Vice-Presidential relationship, but he used to be Secretary of Defense.
  He was one of those who was trying to make a lot of the cuts, and he 
did make a lot of the cuts. But he was talking about, if they do this 
and have these across-the-board cuts, it would be not just 
devastating--I mean, we all understand it would be devastating. That 
word was actually used by Secretary of Defense Panetta, who is under 
the Obama administration, saying the Obama sequestration would be 
devastating to our military.
  But Dick Cheney was kind of pointing out some of the areas of 
interest. One of my backgrounds, and I still do it today, I have been a 
flight instructor for 50 years. I am sensitive to the need we have for 
pilots and how to train them. If we are to take across-the-board cuts, 
that would mean our pilots in the Air Force, in the Navy, and the 
Marines would not be subjected to the training I believe, in my 
opinion, would keep them as the crack pilots they are today.
  The thing they would probably do is say: Well, we have simulators. We 
have simulators. That does not do it. Everybody knows that does not do 
it. So the cuts the Obama sequestration would make would be devastating 
to the whole country, devastating to my State of Oklahoma but more so, 
it would affect the lives of our troops.
  You know, there is this kind of a myth out there, and the American 
people believe it, that the United States has the best of everything; 
when we send our kids into battle, that they have the best equipment 
always. That is not true. There are a lot of areas where we do not have 
the best. For example, the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon. There are five 
countries, including South Africa, that have better equipment than we 
  So as we look down the road and we see these cuts that are taking 
place, and then come back, as I just did from the Farnborough Airshow, 
seeing the other countries--France and all the other countries--and 
their propulsion systems, they are developing vehicles that are 
actually, in some cases, better than what we are doing over here.
  The problem we are having is the deep cuts that have taken place in 
defense. I would have to say there is one thing that I am concerned 
about. This is kind of a warning shot for manufacturers, for defense 
contractors around the country that it is my opinion that the 
President--and I have heard this from several of the defense 
contractors, saying the administration is leaning on them not to send 
pink slips out on firing these people as a result of the Obama 
sequestration until after the November 7 election.
  Well, I think they are overlooking that there is a law that was 
passed back in 1988 called the WARN law. It was the Worker Adjustment 
and Retraining Notification law. It says if we go through something 
like this, we have to send out pink slips--or the contractors have to 
send out pink slips to those who are going to lose their jobs 60 days 
prior to the time that is going to take place.
  Well, if sequestration takes place on January 2, that would mean 
November 2, only 5 days before the election. So I just want to make 
sure everybody knows. The law says they must do it by 60 days. But they 
can do it tomorrow if they want to. I think the people of this country 
who are going to lose their jobs due to the Obama sequestration should 
be entitled to know they are going to get their pink slips before the 
election so that could certainly affect what they are going to be doing 
in an election.

                            Missile Defense

  That is not what I came down to talk about because we already talked 
about that before. But I would like to mention something that occurred 
in the last couple of days that has put us in a more dangerous 
position, and nobody is talking about it.
  Back in December of 2002, President Bush issued a National Security 
Presidential Directive, Directive No. 23, announcing the plan to begin 
deploying a set of missile defense capabilities that would include 
ground-based interceptors, sea-based interceptors--land, sea, and 
space, kind of a triad system.
  This is a system that people did not object to at that time because 
they remember back when people used to give President Reagan a hard 
time. When they talk about Star Wars, they talk about there will be a 
time when people have missiles that can be aimed at the United States, 
and they said the idea that we could shoot down a missile with a 
missile or shoot down a bullet with a bullet is inconceivable. They did 
not believe that would ever happen, but it is happening today and we 
all know it. We know the missile capability of countries that would 
like to kill all of us. So it is a very serious threat right now.
  By the end of 2008 President Bush had succeeded in fielding a missile 
defense system capable of defending all 50 States and had security 
agreements with the Czech Republic and Poland on the construction of a 
third missile defense site. The radar would be in the Czech Republic.
  I can remember talking to one of my favorite people, who was the 
President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus, about this subject. This 
took a lot of courage for President Bush to go in there and say: Look, 
we have a serious problem.
  Let me kind of get into the record--I want to make sure people 
understand this. We have great ground-based interceptors in Alaska and 
California. I am confident that any missile coming in from that 
direction we can kill, we can knock down. The problem is if it came 
from the other direction, such as Iran, we do not have that capability. 
Sure, we might get one lucky shot from the west coast, knock it down, 
something coming into the east coast. With 20 kids and grandkids, that 
does not give me a lot of comfort.
  Instead, in his wisdom and the wisdom of the administration under the 
Bush administration, we started building a ground-based interceptor in 
Poland with the radar located in the Czech Republic. Russia did not 
like that. They do not like the idea that we are defending ourselves 
in--you have to use your own judgment to decide why they have come to 
that conclusion. But it took courage for the Poles and the Czechs to 
come up and build this thing, and they agreed to do it.
  I remember talking to Vaclav Klaus when it first started. He said: We 
want to make sure if we make this commitment and we anger Russia that 
you are not going to pull the rug out from under us. I gave them the 
assurance that was not going to happen.
  Well, unfortunately that did happen. When President Obama was 
elected, he first cut the budget for missile defense by $1.4 billion, 
and he killed the ground-based interceptor in Poland. At that time--
this is very significant our intelligence had said Iran will have the 
capability of sending a nuclear weapon over a delivery system by 2015.
  Well, the Obama administration cut that program. They said: No, they 
are not going to have that capability until 2020. Well, guess what 
happened. Just 2 or 3 days ago, Secretary Panetta said on ``60 
Minutes'' that he believes Iran would be able to procure the nuclear 
weapon in about a year, and then it will take them another year or two 
in order to put it on a delivery vehicle. That would be 2015. So now we 
know we were right way back in the Bush administration. We know the 
danger that the Obama administration has put us in. I think people are 
going to have to understand that is true.
  For us to use the system that President Obama wants to use, we would 
have to have capability--it is a system called SM32B. That missile 
would give us that protection we would have otherwise gotten by the 
system in Poland and the Czech Republic and would not be developed to 
be able to use until after 2020.

[[Page S5128]]

  So this is something that is probably one of the most serious matters 
we are dealing with right now. I remember very well when President 
Obama was meeting with Russian President Medvedev on Monday, March 26, 
of this year, President Obama said--this is when the mic was on and 
nobody knew that he could be heard. He said:

       On all of these issues, but particularly missile defense, 
     this, this can be solved but it's important for him to give 
     me space.

  He was talking about Russian incoming President Vladimir Putin. These 
are his words.

       This is my last election. After my election, I have more 

  What does that tell us? It tells us that not only is it bad enough 
what he has already done in taking out our ability to defend ourselves 
against an incoming missile from anywhere, specifically from Iran, but 
it is a crisis that we are dealing with that has got to be dealt with.

                         Law of the Sea Treaty

  I want to mention one last thing because it is new--it is not new; it 
is something they have been trying to do for a long time. I quite often 
criticize the United Nations. Many times they do not have our interests 
at heart. I am very glad we got the 34th signature on a letter we were 
prepared to send saying: Do not bring the Law of the Sea Treaty for a 
ratification vote to the Senate because we will vote against it.
  Now, 34 Senators signed that letter, which means they cannot do it. 
They are still having the hearings and all of that because they like to 
talk about it, I guess. But we are not going to cede our jurisdiction 
over 70 percent of the Earth's surface to the United Nations, nor are 
we going to give the United Nations the power, for the first time, to 
tax the United States of America. That is what we would find in this 
  That is when he signed this treaty. I only mention that because these 
treaties that come along somehow--I don't know what it is, but there is 
something about the internationalists, and a lot serve in this body. 
They don't think any idea is a good one unless it comes from the U.N. 
It makes you wonder where is sovereignty anymore.
  Here is another one, the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty, which they are 
trying to get through. Over the past 15 years, the idea of creating a 
global arms trade treaty has been debated at the United Nations. During 
the Bush administration, the United States stood in opposition to such 
a treaty. Yet it should come as no surprise that soon after entering 
the White House, President Obama reversed this position and went to 
work crafting and negotiating a U.N. arms trade treaty.
  We all hear about gun control and what we are going to do with your 
ability to keep and bear arms. We hear about the second amendment to 
the Constitution, how it means very little to a lot of people.
  It should be noted first that the treaty is currently being 
negotiated, so we cannot speak with certainty about the details. 
However, in March the president of the conference that is negotiating 
the treaty released a ``chairman's draft.'' Through the draft, we know 
that the treaty may seek to establish certain criteria that must be met 
before the international transfer of conventional weapons--including 
small arms and light weapons--is allowed to take place.
  Here is what we are talking about. I remember that back during the 
Clinton administration they were saying: We have to do something about 
restricting arms in the United States. After all, they said, look at 
all of the things happening with the drug cartels in Mexico and in 
Central America; they are getting their weapons from the United States. 
That was the justification for having a gun treaty at that time. This 
isn't all that bad.
  We don't know the details of this yet, but we know the draft treaty 
may seek to establish certain criteria to be met before we can sell to 
other countries. We have a lot of friendly countries out there to which 
we would like to sell.
  Although we all agree that a committed effort must be made to prevent 
terrorists and criminals from acquiring weapons, the treaty could 
undermine our foreign policy and national security strategy and 
infringe Americans' second amendment rights. In Oklahoma, maybe people 
are a little more sensitive to second amendment rights, but I seem to 
be hearing from them, and they are dead right. The heart of the problem 
with the treaty is the notion that bad actors will continue to be bad 
actors. We have seen this time and time again. Law-abiding nations will 
constrain themselves to the terms of the treaty, and rogue nations and 
corrupt states will contravene the explicit text of the treaty that 
only months ago they were negotiating and wholeheartedly endorsing.
  I can remember using this argument on gun control in the United 
States. Gun control assumes that people out there are going to obey the 
laws. But they are not the problem people; it is the people who are not 
going to obey the law. Why would they single out a law on gun control 
that would preclude them from having guns if they are criminals to 
start with? It doesn't make sense. Internationally, the same thing is 
taking place.
  This treaty is rife with opportunities for such behavior. In fact, 
the draft requires that provisions ``shall be implemented in a manner 
that would avoid hampering the right of self defense of any state 
party.'' One need look no further than the current conflict in Syria to 
see how ridiculous this requirement is. The arms that Russia is 
currently supplying to Syria obviously have a dual purpose--for its 
national defense against a foreign aggressor but also to be used in the 
oppression of its own people. We know that is happening. Just yesterday 
we watched this taking place. Russia would, of course, claim they are 
doing it for their own defense.
  How, then, does anyone expect an arms trade treaty which would not 
have stringent enforcement mechanisms to have any impact whatsoever? 
The answer is, against bad actors and rogue nations, it will not. But 
against nations such as the United States, the arms trade treaty may 
have a considerable impact.
  Take, for example, the requirement in the draft that arms should not 
``be used in a manner that would seriously undermine peace or security, 
or provoke, prolong or aggravate internal, regional, subregional or 
international instability.'' Does anyone deny that each and every time 
we supply weapons to some of our greatest allies, such as Israel, 
Taiwan, and South Korea, that we are, in fact, prolonging regional or 
international stability? The answer is no. But this is instability that 
is necessary for international order and the prevalence of democracy in 
regions where it might not otherwise exist. Yet the terms of the draft 
treaty could be read to prohibit such weapons sales.
  We can all agree that it is a great understatement to say that we 
don't want American gun companies selling weapons internationally when 
they might be used to commit violations of human rights, but, as 
everyone knows, we already have laws on the books that prohibit this. 
The export of firearms is already subject to a very strict and complex 
  The U.S. international trade in arms regulations--that is why I call 
this the foot in the door, a first step--which has been promulgated 
pursuant to the Arms Export Control Act, already strictly limits the 
transfer or sale of firearms. This regulatory regime has been in place 
since the 1950s. The United States has been doing this for a very long 
time. Other nations--our allies primarily--have mirrored our export 
control regime because it is so comprehensive.
  This goes back to my earlier point. The United States has been very 
responsible in the area of exporting firearms, but other nations will 
not be, even as signatories to this treaty. It gets back to the nations 
that are the bad guys--they will not pay attention to the treaty even 
though they signed it.
  The final point is that this treaty, even if negotiations result this 
month in a finalized version, is just going to collect dust in the 
Senate. We already have 58 Members of this body who have already signed 
a letter in opposition, and I feel strongly that this will meet the 
same fate as the Law of the Sea Treaty and so many other U.N.-sponsored 
  So you know the administration is in constant negotiations with 
international groups, such as the United Nations, and we have to go 
around and get people, as we did on the Law of the Sea Treaty. We have 
35 Senators saying they will vote not to ratify, and that means you are 
wasting your time. Why are we even talking about it if it can't

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be ratified because it takes two-thirds for ratification? The same 
thing is true here, except we have 58 Members.
  Keep in mind that the collectivists who are opposed to the private 
ownership of firearms, opposed to the second amendment rights, are the 
ones who are trying to do it internationally.
  With that, I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Whitehouse). The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. WICKER. 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. WICKER. Mr. President, it has been a tough day, a tough week. We 
could use a little bipartisanship in this Chamber and in this Congress. 
I don't understand it. We heard the Democratic leadership of the 
supercommittee come right out the other day and say that it was 
preferable to her that the fiscal cliff be encountered and that we 
actually bring our Nation over the fiscal cliff rather than working 
together in a bipartisan way to avoid it before the end of the year.
  Then I was mystified today to learn that the majority leader of this 
great body proposes next year, if his party remains in power, to 
forever change the nature of the Senate in terms of being a great 
deliberative body and to go to the majority-rule 51-vote process that 
they have in the House. It worked OK in the House, but we have never 
done that in the Senate.
  I am concerned with some of the things I have been hearing, and, 
frankly, I hope we can come back from the precipice of some of these 
disturbing proposals I have heard. One way to do that would be to 
address, in a bipartisan way, this issue of sequestration. So I rise 
this afternoon to point out to my colleagues that we are now less than 
6 months away from seeing sequestration go into effect. This is a grim 
reality that was never supposed to happen. It is a reality that doesn't 
have to happen. But it will happen unless we act and unless the 
President signs legislation. Budget sequestration means defense and 
nondefense spending will be cut automatically and across the board, 
without regard to the priorities or the importance of programs. We need 
to avoid this.
  How did we get here? Almost a year ago, Congress voted for the Budget 
Control Act as a first step toward seriously addressing the national 
debt. We authorized, in good faith, a supercommittee to produce a 
blueprint that would reduce the national deficit by $1.5 trillion or 
more. Our hope and our expectation was that both political parties 
would come to a reasoned, long-term solution to America's debt crisis. 
Of course, that hope faded quickly with the announcement of an impasse 
by the supercommittee.
  With a national debt approaching an unprecedented $16 trillion, 
reining in Federal spending is imperative to our national and economic 
security. ADM Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of 
Staff, put it simply: ``Our debt is our number one national security 
threat.'' Severe, across-the-board cuts to the Department of Defense 
are not the way to address this security threat, and they are not the 
way to achieve long-term fiscal responsibility. Federal debt is a 
national security threat, to be sure, but so is unilaterally cutting 
key funding to America's men and women in uniform.
  Realistically confronting the debt problem means addressing soaring 
entitlement costs, which are growing at three times the rate of 
inflation, three times the rate of our economic growth. We can't 
sustain that. But realistically confronting the debt does not mean 
gambling with the resources our military needs to protect this Nation 
and the skilled jobs necessary to supply today's advanced force.
  Unless we act, and act soon, $492 billion will be cut from defense 
spending beginning January 3, 2013.
  According to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the effect would be 
``devastating''--a ``meat axe.'' Our Secretary of Defense, a member of 
the Obama administration, said it would ``hollow out the force.'' 
Unfortunately, Secretary Panetta and the White House, so far, have 
failed to identify the specific impact of these cuts. Clarity is needed 
as to how these automatic cuts would limit our capabilities. As of this 
moment, sequestration is the law of the land unless Congress passes--
and the President signs--a bill to stop it. The administration needs to 
get specific about the results of this ``meat axe.''
  Our military faces a diverse set of challenges and emerging threats--
a nuclear North Korea, a volatile Iran that wants to be nuclear, our 
commitment to a Democratic Taiwan, and the competition for mineral 
resources in the South China Sea. All of these and more require the 
ability to project American power abroad.
  This year we celebrate the bicentennial of the War of 1812, and the 
lessons of that conflict should be remembered. During that war, it was 
our Navy that reaffirmed America's sovereignty. The United States saw 
that even the border of an expansive ocean would not fully protect our 
Nation. The influence of sea power on national security and commerce 
was clear then and it remains clear today.
  As ranking member of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower, I 
can attest that the Navy Department is the Armed Forces' most capital-
intensive branch, and the Navy will be particularly hit hard by 
indiscriminate sequestration cuts. According to civilian and uniformed 
Navy leaders, our capacity to deter threats, defend our priorities, and 
project sea power could be gravely compromised. Sequestration would 
hurt readiness, fleet size, strategic investment, and the strength of 
America's workforce.
  The projected numbers are striking. The Marine Corps would endure an 
additional 10-percent cut in troop strength, leaving our marines 
without sufficient manpower to meet even one major contingency 
operation. The Navy fleet would drop to 230 ships, well below the 
Navy's 313-ship requirement. It would drop to 230 from 313, hindering 
the ability of our combatant commanders to execute their missions 
abroad. Even now, the Navy can satisfy only half of combatant commander 
requests for naval support.
  Sequestration could affect the quality of future investments and the 
long-term vitality of America's shipbuilding workforce. Experience has 
shown that stable shipbuilding rates have a direct impact on the 
acquisition and operational cost of amphibious ships, aircraft 
carriers, and submarines. Cuts would prevent the Navy from ensuring new 
ships are delivered on time and on budget.
  The average age of today's shipyard worker is 45, and only 24 percent 
of our naval shipbuilding workforce is under 35 years of age. 
Sequestration would drive a generation of skilled shipbuilders from the 
workforce and would have a prolonged negative impact on American high-
tech manufacturing.
  I am proud to be from a State with a highly skilled manufacturing 
base. Mississippi workers produce ships, aircraft, and equipment that 
our troops depend upon throughout the world. Sharp cuts to defense will 
have a direct and detrimental impact on Mississippi's families and 
  The stakes are high for the military and America's economy. These 
looming cuts are real, they are drastic, and they are just around the 
corner. Sequestration is real and not a hypothetical threat. It is the 
law unless we change it. Our national security is on the line, and it 
is in our interest either to prevent sequestration or prepare for it. 
Indeed, some defense manufacturers have already begun the process of 
issuing legally required layoff warning notices to shareholders and 
  According to multiple forecasts, up to 1 million American jobs are at 
risk. The current unemployment rate already stands at 8.2 percent, and 
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke projected unemployment rates will 
remain high, as he testified before the Congress yesterday and today.
  There are some faint and hopeful signs this catastrophe can be 
avoided. Indeed, in the Congress, there has always been bipartisan 
cooperation to ensure our military remains the best trained, the best 
equipped, and most professional fighting force in the world. We argue 
about a lot of things, but bipartisanship has prevailed when it comes 
to the defense budget. The fiscal year 2013 Defense authorization bill 
is a hopeful example.
  The bill recently passed by the Armed Services Committee, of which I

[[Page S5130]]

am a member, contains many provisions reflecting Congress's support of 
the Defense Department's top strategic priorities. It also reflects the 
challenges we may encounter while outlining ways to reduce spending, 
and we must reduce military spending, no question about it. But 
sequestration is not the way.
  Also, with regard to the Defense authorization bill, I should mention 
this is the 51st consecutive year that Congress has passed such a bill. 
Again, that is testimony to bipartisanship with regard to DOD 
reauthorization. That is the good news. The bad news is the failure to 
address our past spending has compounded the situation we now face. 
Further delays only make the problem worse.
  We know tough decisions will have to be made to fix our country's 
debt problem. All Federal agencies, including DOD, will have to do more 
with less in today's era of fiscal austerity. But the bottom line is 
this: We have an overriding constitutional obligation to provide for 
the common defense, to ensure our country is safe, and that our men and 
women in uniform are well equipped to face the challenges of the 21st 
century. I urge my colleagues to work together in a bipartisan fashion 
toward a solution that achieves the fiscal discipline we need without 
compromising the ability of our military to protect and defend America.
  Addressing sequestration should be our No. 1 priority--this week. We 
should act before the August break. After Labor Day, after the 
political conventions, when campaigns are in full swing and we have 
only 2 months to go before these devastating cuts go into effect, do we 
truly believe the atmosphere will be conducive to solving 
sequestration? I don't think so. Is it truly in our Nation's best 
national security interest to address this during a lameduck session? I 
don't think so. We should not leave town for an August break if we have 
not answered this sequestration issue. The hour is upon us.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. BENNET. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Sanders). The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. BENNET. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Colorado is recognized.
  Mr. BENNET. I thank the Chair.
  (The remarks of Mr. Bennet pertaining to the introduction of S. 3400 
are located in today's Record under ``Statements on Introduced Bills 
and Joint Resolutions.'')
  Mr. BENNET. I yield the floor.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, I rise in support of the Bring Jobs Home 
  Growing up in a blue-collar neighborhood in Baltimore during World 
War II, my father had a small neighborhood grocery store.
  We were the neighborhood of mom-and-pop businesses and factories. We 
made liberty ships. We put out turbo steel to make the tanks. Glenn L. 
Martin made the seaplanes that helped win the battle of the Pacific. We 
were in the manufacturing business. But the blue-collar Baltimore of 
World War II, Korea, and Vietnam just isn't what it used to be.
  The jobs are leaving now. Our shipyard jobs have left. Our steel 
mills have shrunk to miniscule levels. We don't make ships. And we 
don't make clothing.
  Where did those jobs go?
  Those jobs are on a slow boat to China. They are on a fast track to 
Mexico and other jobs are in dial 1-800 anywhere.
  And why did they go?
  In some cases, they went because of tax breaks that rewarded 
corporations for moving manufacturing overseas.
  It is wrong to give companies incentives to send millions of jobs to 
other countries, especially when millions of Americans are looking for 
work. It is wrong to put companies that stay in America at a 
competitive disadvantage.
  It is time we look at our Tax Code and call for a patriotic tax code.
  We walk around the floor of the Senate. We go to rallies. We love to 
be in parades. We wear our flags because we want to stand up for our 
troops, and we should stand up for our troops. But we also have to 
stand up for America.
  The current Tax Code is putting companies that stay in America at a 
disadvantage because they keep their business here, hire their workers 
at home, pay their share of taxes, and provide health care to their 
employees. We should be rewarding these companies with ``good guy'' tax 
breaks for hiring and building their businesses right here in the 
United States.
  I have been on a jobs tour of Maryland. I visited bakeries, 
microbreweries, and factories of small machine tool companies. I 
visited Main Street, small streets, and rural communities.
  I talked with business owners and their employees. These are ``good 
guy'' businesses. They work hard and play by the rules. They have jobs 
right here in the United States. They want to expand. They want to 
hire. They need a government on their side and at their side. They are 
harmed by thoughtless government tax incentives that reward competitors 
who move overseas.
  That is why I am a proud cosponsor of the Bring Jobs Home Act. This 
bill ends the loophole that gives companies a tax break for sending 
jobs overseas.
  There is a loophole in the Federal Tax Code that lets businesses 
deduct the ``business expense'' for costs of moving the company or its 
workers right out of the country.
  This legislation tells these companies. If you want to export jobs 
out of America, you can't file a deduction for doing it. And it ensures 
the Tax Code can't be used to boost corporate rewards at the expense of 
American workers.
  This bill is about helping those ``good guy'' businesses who are 
creating jobs here. It says: If you bring jobs back to the United 
States, you can get a tax break for 20 percent of the cost of bringing 
the jobs home.
  That is why I am proud to stand with my colleague from Michigan to 
call on us to think about economic patriotism, a tax code that rewards 
American companies that bring jobs back home, and a tax code that ends 
despicable tax breaks and subsidies to companies that move jobs 
  I call upon my colleagues to think about where America is going in 
the 21st century. Where are we going to be? Are we going to create more 
opportunity? Are we going to create more jobs that pay good wages with 
good benefits or are we going to resemble the economy of a third-world 
  I really want to have a tax code that brings our jobs back home, 
brings our money back home, and stands up for America. So let's pass 
the Bring Jobs Home Act and take an important step toward economic 
  Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Bennet). Without objection, it is so