EXECUTIVE SESSION; Congressional Record Vol. 158, No. 88
(Senate - June 12, 2012)

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[Pages S3931-S3945]
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                           EXECUTIVE SESSION


                         FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT

  Mr. REID. I now ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to 
executive session.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 


  Mr. REID. The Senate is considering the nomination of Andrew Hurwitz 
of Arizona to be a United States circuit judge for the ninth circuit 
postcloture. There is every expectation that time will be yielded back 
and the confirmation will take place soon.
  The Senate will recess from 12:30 to 2:15 to allow for our weekly 
caucus meetings.
  Senator Stabenow and Senator Roberts are working on an agreement for 
amendments on the farm bill and we will notify Senators if an agreement 
is reached.

                Measure Placed on the Calendar--H.R. 436

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, H.R. 436 is at the desk and due for a second 
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, the clerk will 
read the bill by title for the second time.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (H.R. 436) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 
     1986 to repeal the excise tax on medical devices.

  Mr. REID. I now object to proceeding further on this matter at this 
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Objection having been heard, the 
bill will be placed on the calendar.
  Mr. REID. I note the absence of a quorum.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.

                   Recognition of the Minority Leader

  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Republican leader is 
  Mr. McCONNELL. I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum 
call be rescinded.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 

                         Amending the Farm Bill

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, last week the President said the 
private sector is ``doing fine.'' Well, the fact is the private sector 
isn't doing fine and the President's comments make me wonder what 
private sector he may be talking about.
  Since he took office, we have had 40 straight months of unemployment 
of over 8 percent and more than 23 million Americans are either 
unemployed, underemployed, or have given up looking for a job 
altogether. Last month's job report said the economy added only 69,000 
jobs--far below what forecasters had predicted. That is the Obama 
economy, and it is not doing fine.
  With the debt the size of our GDP, the President's recent push for 
even more government spending is equally out of touch. Taking more 
money out of the private sector, out of the hands of businesses and job 
creators or borrowing it to pay for yet another stimulus has 
consequences. We need to reduce the size and scope of government,

[[Page S3932]]

not expand it. We need to put in place a progrowth policy to allow the 
private sector to flourish.
  That is why Republicans have been calling for years for comprehensive 
tax reform and for both parties to sit down and begin the process of 
reforming entitlements. That is how we will get our fiscal house in 
order and help the economy grow as well. But without Presidential 
leadership, it simply can't happen.

  Controlling only one Chamber, Republicans in Congress can only do so 
much. The Republican-led House has passed budgets while, for 3\1/2\ 
years, the Democratic-led Senate has refused to do so. And they have 
passed 28 job-related bills over in the House that our Democratic 
friends here in the Senate refuse to take up. For our part, Senate 
Republicans will continue to pursue a pro-jobs agenda, and I encourage 
our Democratic friends to join us before the administration's spending 
and debt spree forces us into the sort of economic spiral we currently 
see facing folks over across the Atlantic. They can start by working 
with Republicans on our commonsense amendments to the farm bill.
  The President may think the private sector is doing fine or that the 
government isn't big enough, but those in rural America are definitely 
not doing fine. The biggest threat to farmers in Kentucky and across 
America is this administration's job-killing regulations. That is why 
Republicans are calling for votes on commonsense amendments that would 
either eliminate or prevent future job-killing regulations from going 
into effect which would provide the necessary relief for American 
farmers and give a boost to rural America in these challenging economic 
  Last year, while visiting Atkinson, IL, the President blew off one 
farmer when he asked about policy regulations. The President said, 
``Don't always believe what you hear.'' Either the President doesn't 
know what his administration is doing or he doesn't want the American 
people to know it is his policies that are hurting farmers all across 
the country. It is either one or the other.
  Here are a few examples of this administration's policies that are 
suffocating the American agricultural industry and the Republican 
amendments we want the Senate to take up.
  Last fall, the Department of Labor attempted to regulate the 
relationship, believe it or not, shared between parents and their kids 
on family farms. The proposed rule would have prohibited those under 
age 16 from manual labor such as stall cleaning, using a shovel, and 
using a battery-operated screwdriver. Many people in my State consider 
this the type of manual labor that is widely referred to as Saturday 
morning chores. Senator Thune is offering an amendment that would 
require the Department of Labor to consult with Congress before 
implementing such regulations.
  The EPA wants to lift the ban that prevents Washington, DC, 
bureaucrats from regulating nonnavigable waters. The expanded Federal 
jurisdiction would bring the EPA and their redtape and taxes into the 
backyards of millions--literally millions--of Americans. The economic 
impact would be disastrous.
  Congress passed a navigable ban to protect families, small 
businesses, and farmers from Washington bureaucrats trying to seize 
control of their water or their land. The U.S. Supreme Court twice 
affirmed the limits of Federal authority under the Clean Water Act. 
But, apparently, the EPA believes they are above the other two branches 
of government, and Senators Paul and Barrasso are offering two 
amendments that would stop the EPA in its tracks.
  The EPA is considering a regulation that would require farm and ranch 
families to take as yet undefined measures to lower the amount of dust 
that occurs naturally--I am not kidding--lower the amount of dust that 
occurs naturally and is transmitted into the air due to agricultural 
production activities. It is hard to go through this and maintain one's 
composure. These activities include such things as combining, haying, 
moving cattle, tilling a field, or even driving down a gravel road. 
Failure to do so would result in a substantial fine. Senator Johanns is 
offering an amendment that would prevent the EPA from issuing any new 
rule that regulates agricultural dust. I kid you not, they want to 
regulate agricultural dust.
  Finally, Senator Crapo and Senator Johanns are offering an amendment 
that would help farmers across the country continue to manage their 
unique business risks associated with their day-to-day operations. The 
amendment would prevent unnecessarily diverting capital away from job 
creation and investing in their businesses in a way that was never 
intended by the sponsors of the Dodd-Frank Act. Preventing this 
unnecessary burden would promote economic growth, protect farmers and 
businesses, and ultimately help save American jobs.
  In these extremely difficult economic times, rural America is already 
struggling to get by and it simply can't be bothered by an overreaching 
Federal Government that has literally no idea of the unintended 
consequences of its policies.
  These five commonsense Republican amendments I have outlined, along 
with several others, put an end to numerous job-killing regulations, 
and each of these amendments deserves a vote.
  I now wish to address another matter.
  (The remarks of Mr. McConnell and Mr. Reid pertaining to the 
introduction of S.J. Res. 43 are printed in today's Record under 
``Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions.'')
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The majority leader is recognized.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I will take my time now and talk about a 
number of things.

                              Job Creation

  The first thing I wish to mention is that my friend the Republican 
leader talked about the fact that the President has not done enough to 
create jobs.
  Mr. President, we all have heard that longstanding joke--in fact, it 
was not a joke. I represented a young man who murdered his parents, and 
the joke during that period of time was, I guess now your defense is 
going to be that he is going to claim he is an orphan. There was 
nothing novel or new or unique in the experience I had representing 
that young man who had killed his parents, but the Republican leader's 
remarks remind me of that. He is saying that the problem with this 
country is President Obama. That is like the fact that someone kills 
their parents and then claims they are an orphan.
  Republicans have blocked bill after bill after bill. These pieces of 
legislation have been suggested by, introduced by friends of President 
Obama. These were all job-creating bills, and simply every one of 
these, with rare exception, has been stopped on a procedural basis by 
the Republicans.
  Then the Republican leader cites nonrelevant Republican amendments 
they would like to offer on the farm bill as ways to create jobs. But 
it is precisely these nonrelevant, nongermane amendments that keep the 
Senate from doing its work--its job-creating work--like the farm bill. 
The farm bill involves 16 million people who work doing farm programs. 
We have not done one in 5 years. The highway bill is something we are 
waiting for Republicans in the House to move with us on.
  So I would just simply say that we live in a world that is imperfect. 
We live in a country that is imperfect. But let's give credit where 
credit is due. President Obama and this administration found themselves 
in a terribly deep hole when he was elected 3\1/2\ years ago. The 
administration he replaced lost more than 8 million jobs--about 1 
million jobs a year in the prior administration. And President Obama 
has had 27 straight months of private sector job creation. So I think 
we deserve and he deserves some credit for the work he has done in that 
  So I really strongly object to the Republican leader's remarks. It is 
just simply wrong. And if we had some cooperation from my friends on 
the other side of the aisle, as we say, we would have a lot more jobs 
created in this country. But my friend has said that his No. 1 issue is 
to defeat President Obama, and that is what has happened here. We 
simply have not been able to legislate appropriately because that is 
their mantra.

[[Page S3933]]


  Mr. President, technology has changed our world, and that is an 
understatement. It has changed the way we shop, the way we bank, even 
the way we travel. It changes the way we get information, and that is 
an understatement, and the way we share it, and that is an 
  It was about 10 years ago or so that I decided to sell my home here 
in the suburbs, and I was stunned by one of my boys telling me: Hey, 
Dad, do you want to find out what other homes have been selling for 
around that area? Give me about a minute. And they pulled up on the 
computer every home in that area that had been sold in the last 2 
years--when, how much.
  There was even more detail than that. I was like: How do you do that? 
That was 10 years ago. That was in the Dark Ages with technology. There 
is so much that can be done now. Somebody can go online, go to Amazon, 
they can buy virtually anything in the world on that one Web site.
  I met with someone a couple weeks ago who had gone to work with 
Google when they had 15 employees, and he talked to us about the 
tremendous problems they had starting this company. They wanted to give 
people information. I will not go into all the details, but it was very 
difficult to come up with the Google that now exists. It was not there 
when there were 15 employees.
  They were working all night long trying to shut down computers and 
keep others going. So it is amazing what we have on the computer. 
Everyone can do it. Who wrote that song? What is the name of that play? 
What is the capital of Uzbekistan? Go to our BlackBerry. Go to whatever 
we have and get it in a second.
  So the way we get information, the way we share it, has changed so 
dramatically. It has changed the way our country protects itself. That 
is not something people understand as well as Google and Amazon. But 
the way we protect our country has changed. It has changed the type of 
attacks we have to guard against.
  Some of the top national security officials, including GEN Martin 
Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, GEN David Petraeus, 
four-star general, now head of the CIA, one of America's great 
patriots, and Leon Panetta, Secretary of Defense, have all said that 
malicious cyber attacks are the most urgent threat to our country, not 
North Korea, not Iran, not Pakistan, not Afghanistan but cyber attacks. 
We have already seen some of these. They have been kind of quiet to 
some but not to those in the security field.
  We have seen cyber attacks on our nuclear infrastructure, our Defense 
Department's most advanced weapons, and the stock exchange Nasdaq had 
an attack. Most major corporations have been attacked. They spend huge 
amounts of money protecting their products or their operations from not 
collapsing because of cyber attacks.
  Cyber attacks do not threaten only our national security, they 
threaten our economic security. These attacks cost our economy billions 
of dollars every year, millions of dollars every hour, and thousands of 
jobs. So we need to act quickly to pass legislation to make our Nation 
safer and protect American jobs.
  The Defense Department, Department of Homeland Security, and experts 
from across the intelligence community have issued chilling warnings 
about the seriousness of this threat. I cannot stress enough how 
concerned people who understand security feel about this. Just a few 
days ago, Senator McConnell and I received a letter from a remarkable 
bipartisan group of former national security officials, Democrats and 
  The group includes six former Bush and Obama administration 
officials: Michael Chertoff, who has been a circuit court judge, 
judicial scholar, became head of the Department of Homeland Security 
during some very difficult times we had in this country; Paul 
Wolfowitz, who has been advising Presidents for decades; ADM Mike 
McConnell; GEN Michael Hayden; GEN James Cartwright, William Lynn, III. 
That is who signed the letter, and I could give a short dissertation on 
every one of these individuals about what they know about the security 
of our country.
  The letter presented the danger in stark terms, as stark as I could 
ever imagine. This is a public letter. Listen to what this one 
paragraph says: ``We carry the burden of knowing that 9/11 might have 
been averted with intelligence that existed at the time.''
  Listen to that. They are admitting 
9/11 could have been averted with the tools we had at hand. They go on 
to say:

       We do not want to be in the same position again when 
     ``cyber 9/11'' hits--it is not a question of whether this 
     will happen; it is a question of when.

  This is not me saying this. This is General Hayden, who was the head 
of the CIA, briefing us many times about some of the most sensitive 
matters going on during the height of the Iraq war, Marine GEN James 
Cartwright, Defense Department expert William Lynn, III.
  This eminent group called the threat of a cyber attack imminent. What 
does imminent mean? It means now. They said it ``represents the most 
serious challenge to our national security since the onset of the 
nuclear age sixty years ago.''
  Let me reread that. They said it ``represents the most serious 
challenge to our national security since the onset of the nuclear age 
sixty years ago.'' They said it; I did not. The letter noted that the 
top cybersecurity priority is safeguarding critical infrastructure: 
computer networks--we talked about those a little bit already. But 
computer networks that control our electrical grid, our water supply, 
our sewers, our nuclear plants, energy pipelines, communication systems 
and financial systems and more.
  Because of Senator Mikulski--she was the one who said this was 
important--we did this. We went down to this classified room. We had a 
briefing on an example of what would happen to New York City if they 
took down the computer system to run that State's electricity. It would 
be disastrous, not only for New York but for our country.
  These vital networks must be required to meet minimum cybersecurity 
standards. That is what these prominent Americans believe, and so do I. 
The letter was clear that securing the infrastructure must be part of 
any cybersecurity legislation this Congress considers. I believe that 
  GEN Keith Alexander, Director of the National Security Agency, has 
said something very similar. This is what he wrote to Senator McCain 

       Critical infrastructure protection needs to be addressed in 
     any cyber security legislation. The risk is simply too great 
     considering the reality of our interconnected and 
     interdependent world.

  General Alexander is one voice among many. President Obama; the 
nonpartisan Center for Strategic and International Studies Commission 
on Cyber Security; the two Chairmen of the 9/11 Commission, Governor 
Kean and Congressman Hamilton; the Director of National Intelligence, 
General Clapper; the Director of the FBI, Robert Mueller, have all 
echoed a call to action--not sometime in the distant future but now. 
They believe the attack is imminent.
  The attack may not be one that knocks down buildings, starts fires 
that we saw on 9/11, but it will be a different kind of attack, even 
more destructive. The entire national security establishment, including 
leading officials of the Bush and Obama administrations, civilian and 
military leaders, Republicans and Democrats, agree on the urgent need 
to protect this vital infrastructure.

  That is only part of it. Yet some key Republicans continue to argue 
that we should do nothing to secure the critical infrastructure, that 
we should just focus on the military. When virtually every intelligence 
expert says we need to secure the systems that make the lights come on, 
inaction is not an option. A coalition of Democrats and Republicans, 
including the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, Senator 
Lieberman, and the ranking member, Senator Collins; the chairman of the 
Commerce Committee, Senator Rockefeller--remember, Senator Rockefeller 
was for years chairman of the Intelligence Committee and/or the ranking 
member; Senator Feinstein, now the chair of the Intelligence Committee, 
have joined together and proposed one approach to address the problem. 
It is legislation. It is not something that is theoretical. It is not 
an issue paper. It is legislation.

[[Page S3934]]

  Their bill is an excellent piece of legislation. It has been endorsed 
by many members of the national security community. It is a good 
approach, and it would make our Nation safer. But there are other 
possible solutions to this urgent challenge. Unfortunately, the critics 
of the bill have failed to offer any alternatives to secure our 
Nation's critical infrastructure.
  The longer we argue over how to tackle these problems, the longer our 
powerplants, financial system, and water infrastructure go unprotected. 
Everyone knows this Congress cannot pass laws that do not have broad 
bipartisan support. There are 53 of us, 47 of them. So we will need to 
work together on a bill that addresses the concerns of the lawmakers on 
both sides of the aisle.
  But for that to happen, more of my Republican colleagues need to 
start taking this threat seriously. It is time for them to participate 
productively in the conversation instead of just criticizing the 
current approach. There is room for more good ideas on the table, and I 
welcome the discussion of any Republican generally interested in being 
part of the solution.
  The national security experts agree. We cannot afford to waste any 
more time. The question is not whether to act but how quickly we can 
act. I put everyone on notice. We are going to move to this bill at the 
earliest possible date.

                       Reservation of Leader 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.
  The Senator from Colorado.
  Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. President, before I talk about the 
production tax credit which brought me to the floor, I wish to 
associate myself with the leader's remarks.
  I have the great privilege to sit on the Armed Services Committee and 
the Intelligence Committee. The leader has put his finger on what 
should be a singular focus on the part of the Senate. We have been 
warned about the threats in the cyber domain. It is time to act. There 
are plans that are concrete, focused, and have great support. We should 
act as soon as we possibly can. I wish to thank the leader for bringing 
that to our attention.

                          Wind Power's Future

  I rise to talk about a very important issue for the economies of both 
my State and the entire Nation. That is the future of the wind power 
industry in the United States and a future that is at risk, I might 
add, if Congress does not extend the production tax credit for wind. 
Such inaction jeopardizes U.S. jobs and threatens what is a real bright 
spot for American manufacturing. Such inaction is not acceptable to the 
people in my home State of Colorado, nor, I believe, to Americans more 
  Many of us know--I think all my colleagues know--that we have seen 
the wind industry grow by leaps and bounds over the last few years. 
According to the Wind Energy Industry Association, the industry has 
attracted an average of over $15 billion annually from 2001 to 2011 in 
private investment in our wind sector in the United States.
  In 2009, that figure was $20 billion, when 10,000 megawatts, the 
highest annual total to date of wind, was installed. Seventy-five 
thousand hard-working Americans find good-paying jobs in the wind 
sector. There are 6,000 of those jobs in Colorado. So I am not 
unbiased, but when we look around the country, nobody should be 
  Those jobs also have a positive ripple effect on all these 
communities where they are based. In just over the last 4 years, wind 
represented 35 percent of all new power capacity in our country, second 
only to natural gas. With technology advances, wind turbines are now 
generating 30 percent more electricity per turbine, which means they 
are producing more energy while driving down cost.
  This also means all Americans from the Great Plains to the eastern 
shores have access to more affordable, reliable, and secure clean 
energy. That is a win-win. It is little wonder our constituents are 
demanding we extend the wind production tax credit. I wish to say this 
industry and the good news that is coming out of it could not have come 
at a better time for our manufacturing base, which has seen 
relentlessly tough times over the last few years.
  The wind industry is cutting against the grain. It is creating 
manufacturing jobs at a time when many companies are outsourcing jobs. 
This chart gives a great picture of what has been happening all over 
the country. We see every sector of the country where we have wind 
manufacturing jobs.
  At the end of last year, the wind industry included almost 500 
manufacturing facilities that employ 30,000 people spanning 43 States. 
We have wind projects in a vast majority of States--38 out of 50. Last 
year alone over 100 different wind projects were installed--ranging 
from a single turbine to over 4,000-megawatt capacity plants.
  Back in 2005--7 years ago--we had only five wind turbine 
manufacturers. But with steady and consistent growth and government 
policy support and certainty, the number of domestic and international 
manufacturers grew to 23 at the end of 2011. That is a key factor, the 
certainty that has been provided that will help this industry continue 
to grow jobs.
  At a time when our economy is still coming back after the 2008 
recession, and we are facing stiff competition from other countries, 
the wind industry is a dynamic example for how we can grow 
manufacturing jobs and investment in our country. When I started, I 
mentioned the wind production tax credit, the PTC. It has been a key 
factor in this growth, central to this young industry--and it is still 
a very young industry--and its success in America by helping make wind 
energy more economical, which is still being commercialized.
  This critical tax credit expires at the end of this year. Unless we 
act now in this Congress to extend the wind production tax credit, we 
risk losing this industry as well as the jobs, the investment and 
manufacturing base it creates, to our competitors in China, in Europe, 
and other countries. That is the last result we need in our economy.
  I have come to the floor to urge the Congress to keep our country an 
open marketplace for innovative energy industries and for new 
investments. The United States is on the cutting edge of renewable 
energy technologies and on a path to further secure our energy 
independence. We have to maintain that momentum by passing an extension 
of the wind production tax credit.
  In fact, it is so important--this extension--that I am planning to 
come to the Senate floor every morning until we get our act together 
and extend the PTC--not just for Colorado but for every State in our 
country. I plan to talk about the importance of wind energy in a 
different State every time I come to the floor. I look forward to 
talking about the State of the Presiding Officer, the State of 
  I hear every day from Coloradoans who are incredulous that we have 
not acted to extend this commonsense tax credit. We need to be reminded 
that American jobs are at stake if we fail to act.
  Simply put, if we don't extend the PTC as soon as possible, the wind 
industry will shrink significantly in 2013. Estimates are that we can 
lose almost half of the wind-supported jobs, down from 78,000 in 2012 
to 41,000 in 2013.
  If we fail to extend this tax credit, total wind investment is 
projected to drop by nearly two-thirds, from $15.6 billion in 2012 to 
$5.5 billion in 2013. That is simply unacceptable. Luckily, I am not 
alone in this effort. There is strong bipartisan support in the Senate 
for the extension of this tax credit. Yes, this is one of those 
occasions where we are talking about legislation that is supported by 
Members of both parties.
  Senator Grassley, a Republican Senator from Iowa--along with myself 
and seven other Democrats and Republicans--introduced a bill earlier 
this year to extend the tax credit. Senator Jerry Moran, a Republican 
Senator from Kansas, and I led 12 Members from across the country and 
both sides of the aisle in urging our Senate leadership to work with us 
to extend the PTC as soon as possible.
  We have not seen that happen yet, Mr. President. Instead of 
addressing this bipartisan proposal which has been

[[Page S3935]]

a proven job creator, Congress has been caught up in partisan fights. 
Let's do what Americans are demanding. Let's work together to create 
jobs and strengthen our economy, as well as our energy security. Let's 
pass the PTC as soon as possible--ASAP.
  I will be back tomorrow, and I will talk more specifically about the 
importance of the PTC to my home State of Colorado. We are home to 
thousands of renewable energy jobs, including high-paying manufacturing 
ones. But that could change literally overnight if the PTC is not 
  For the good of our economy, I ask all of my colleagues from both 
sides of the aisle to work with me. Let's work together to get the PTC 
  I yield the floor.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Nebraska.


  Mr. NELSON of Nebraska. I rise today to discuss an amendment that I 
am proposing to the 2012 farm bill that we are debating in the Senate. 
Before I speak to that, I also want to associate myself with the 
leader's comments about the importance of taking care of our cyber 
defense, putting ourselves in a position to be able to deflect and 
deter cyber attack from terrorists and otherwise against our industries 
and against our Federal Government.
  As chairman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the Senate Armed 
Services Committee, cyber command is part of our responsibility. The 
leader is exactly on target with his comments about the need to move 
forward to protect our country against future cyber attacks--which we 
encounter daily--recognizing that we perhaps do know what we know, but 
we are in that unfortunate position of not knowing what we don't know.
  To modernize and move forward is absolutely essential to maintain our 
vigilance against cyber attacks in the future.

                          Direct Farm Payments

  Mr. NELSON of Nebraska. Mr. President, the amendment I wish to talk 
about today and propose is about fairness. It is about fairness for 
America's farmers and ranchers and fairness to all taxpayers.
  First, I note that one of the key elements of the 2012 farm bill that 
we drafted in the Senate, and is now on the floor, is about reform. In 
particular the bill reforms a program of Federal subsidies that have 
gone to farmers regardless of whether farm prices were high or low.
  These subsidies are known as direct farm payments. They were 
established by the 1996 farm bill as a way to transition producers away 
from a government-controlled system of agriculture to more market-based 
  These direct farm payments, which are outdated government subsidies, 
were supposed to be temporary, and the 2012 farm bill takes the 
necessary step to eliminate them and remove them from the future.
  When this change is enacted, farmers will not be paid for crops they 
are not growing on land they are not planting. Eliminating these direct 
payments will save $15 billion over 10 years, which will be used for 
deficit reduction.
  Producers in my State understand that given our Nation's fiscal 
problems, we have to have shared sacrifice to get the debt and deficit 
under control. If we end these outdated subsidies, the farm bill 
establishes that crop insurance will be the focal point of risk 
management by strengthening crop insurance and expanding access so that 
farmers are not wiped out by a few days of bad weather or bad prices.
  Crop insurance is a shared private-public partnership that maintains 
the safety net we all need to sustain American agriculture. In my 
efforts to identify other areas where shared sacrifice for deficit 
reduction can be pursued, I am proposing an amendment to eliminate 
another set of government subsidies which are unnecessary and should be 
eliminated. These subsidies go to just 2 percent of the Nation's 
livestock producers. They receive substantial taxpayer-paid subsidies 
for grazing on public lands.
  In the interest of fairness to all livestock producers and the 
taxpayers, we need to reform Federal grazing subsidies. My amendment 
would require that ranchers pay grazing fees based more closely on the 
market value for their region when grazing on public lands. Today, the 
2 percent of livestock producers grazing on public lands pay far below 
market value that other market producers are paying.
  Given our huge Federal debt and deficit, we can no longer afford to 
heavily subsidize an elite group of ranchers to graze their cattle on 
public lands at the taxpayers' expense. These ranchers receive a 
special deal--Federal ``welfare'' so to speak--that they don't need, 
most ranchers can't get, and taxpayers should not be paying for.
  It is a matter of fairness to level this playing field, and it will 
help balance the budget as well. This 2 percent of the country's 
ranchers have grazing rights on public lands that cost the government, 
by lost income, $144 million a year to manage. But the government 
collects only about $21 million a year in grazing fees from ranchers, 
according to a 2005 study by the GAO. That leaves a net cost to 
taxpayers of more than $120 million a year. Losing the $120 million of 
tax money per year isn't fair to taxpayers, nor is it fair to producers 
who then are required to subsidize their competition.
  This report also found that the two agencies that manage most of the 
Federal grazing lands--the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. 
Forest Service--actually reduced grazing fees during years when grazing 
fees on private lands increased. Get that: The Federal Government 
reduced fees on public lands when fees are being raised on private 
  The GAO found that from 1980 to 2004, BLM and Forest Service fees 
fell by 40 percent. At the same time, grazing fees charged by private 
ranchers rose by 78 percent. By an actuary's term, that is 
disintermediation. One is going one direction and the other another 
  Furthermore, GAO found if the goals of the grazing fee were to 
recover expenditures, BLM and the Forest Service would charge $7.64 and 
$12.26 per ``animal unit month.'' That is much higher--get this--than 
the current $1.35-per-animal unit ranchers pay to graze on public 
lands. That is not fair.
  The GAO stated that the formula used to calculate the fee includes 
ranchers' ability to pay and is not ``primarily to recover the 
agencies' expenditures or to capture the fair market value of forage.'' 
No kidding. That is what they said and what they think this program is 
all about.
  In Nebraska, it costs livestock producers who get this special deal 
$1.35 per cow to graze on public lands. But it costs other producers 
who don't graze on public land an average of $30 per cow to graze on 
private land just in northwest Nebraska. It costs an average of $38 per 
cow on private land just across all of northern Nebraska. That is 
according to the University of Nebraska's agriculture economics 
  I note that I am aware others before me have tried to reform Federal 
grazing fees, and they are saying to me right now: Good luck. Given 
today's critical need to get our Nation's fiscal house in order, it is 
time to bring grazing costs on public lands more in line with what it 
costs producers to graze on private lands. There is no fairness in this 
  I urge my colleagues to join me in working to improve the 2012 farm 
bill reforms by ending unfair and outdated Federal grazing subsidies. 
Doing so would bring fairness to all livestock producers and have the 
added benefit of saving taxpayers more than $2 billion over the next 
decade--savings that could help pay down the national debt and reduce 
our deficit in the meantime.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Michigan is 

                           Agriculture Reform

  Ms. STABENOW. Mr. President, in a short while--I think this 
afternoon--we will officially be back on consideration of what is 
dubbed the farm bill--the Agricultural Reform, Food, and Jobs Act. This 
is something we do every 5 years to secure the safest, most affordable, 
reliable food supply in the world. We are very proud of what our 
farmers and ranchers do.
  The largest investment in land and water conservation we make as a 
country on working lands is made through the farm bill--protecting our 
Great Lakes, the Chesapeake Bay, and supporting farmers who have 
environmental challenges and managing those on their lands. So these 
are very important investments.

[[Page S3936]]

  We also make important investments in nutrition for families who need 
temporary help, as many families certainly have during this economic 
downturn, and many other exciting opportunities that create jobs.
  The Presiding Officer, I know, cares very deeply about manufacturing, 
as do I. One of the areas in which we are growing the economy is by 
making things, growing things, and bringing those together in something 
called bio-based manufacturing, which I will be talking more about as 
we proceed, but the idea is to use agricultural products to offset 
chemicals, to offset oil and plastics. This is an exciting new 
opportunity for us. We expand upon that through opportunities in what 
we call the farm bill.
  The bottom line is this is a jobs bill. There are 16 million people 
at work in this country--and there are not too many bills that come to 
the floor that have the number 16 million--that are in some way related 
to agriculture and food production. It may be processing, it may be 
production, it may be in the sales end, but 16 million people work in 
this country because of agriculture in some way, and so it is important 
we get this right.
  We also have a major trade surplus in this country coming from 
agriculture. So we are producing it here and then we are selling it 
overseas. I certainly wish to make sure we are focusing on exporting 
our products, not our jobs. The shining star of that is in agriculture, 
where we have seen just in the last few years a 270-percent increase in 
agricultural exports. So this is a big deal for us and it is part of 
why this is a jobs bill and very important.
  We also know we need to reform agricultural production policies. This 
bill is very much about cutting subsidies as well as creating jobs. So 
what are we doing? We have taken the view in this farm bill where 
rather than focusing on protecting individual programs that have been 
with us a long time, we have focused on principles: What is it we need 
to do to have a strong economy, to support our farmers? Whether it is a 
weather disaster, such as we have had in Michigan, or whether it is a 
disaster in markets and prices, we don't want our farmers losing their 
farms because of a disaster beyond their control. We all have a stake 
in that. There is nothing more risky, in terms of a business, than 
agriculture, where one is at the whim of the weather and other market 
forces. So we want to make sure we are there.
  We also know that for too long we have paid government money to folks 
who didn't need it for crops they didn't grow. We are not going to do 
that anymore. This is a huge reform in public policy, where we are 
moving to risk-based management. We are focusing on what we need to do 
to cut the deficit and strengthen and consolidate and save dollars but 
also provide risk management. In fact, in this bill, we are reducing 
the deficit by $23 billion.
  We have not had the opportunity to have in front of us a bill on the 
floor that cuts the deficit, with strong bipartisan support around 
policies that make sense and that we agree to. This is an area where we 
have come forward. In fact, I am very proud of the fact our Agriculture 
Committees--in the fall, when the deficit reduction effort was going 
on--came forward with a House-Senate bipartisan agreement on deficit 
reduction. In fact, if every committee had done that, we would have 
gotten to where we needed to go.
  I wish to thank my friend and ranking member Senator Roberts for his 
strong leadership, as well as the chairman and ranking member in the 
House for their joint efforts in that way.
  But when that didn't happen, we decided we would keep our commitment 
to deficit reduction and move forward on policies that would achieve 
that and we have done that with $23 billion in cuts. We do that by 
repealing what is called direct payments that go to a farmer regardless 
of what is happening, whether it is good times or bad.
  In fact, we replace four different farm subsidies with a 
strengthening of crop insurance and additional risk-management efforts 
when there is a loss by the individual farmer, at the county. We focus 
on loss. As I indicated, we will support farmers for what they plant.
  We strengthen payment limits in terms of where we focus precious 
taxpayer dollars, and we also took a scalpel as we looked at every part 
of the USDA programs. We looked for duplication, what made sense, what 
was outdated, and we eliminated 100 different programs and 
authorizations within this farm bill policy. Again, I don't know many 
committees that have come forward with that kind of elimination.
  That doesn't mean we are eliminating the functions, the critical 
areas of supporting farmers and ranchers or conservation or expanding 
jobs through renewable energy or our nutrition efforts or so on--farm 
credit, other beginning farmers, and all the efforts we are involved 
in. We are just doing it in a more streamlined way. We are cutting 
  In rural development, which affects every single community, every 
town, every village, every county outside our urban areas, we want to 
make sure a part-time mayor can actually figure out rural development 
and use the supports that are there to start businesses, to focus on 
water and sewer infrastructure or roads, that it is actually simple and 
available and doable from their standpoint. We have spent our time 
working together to come up with something that makes sense for 
taxpayers, for consumers of food, for those who care deeply in every 
region of our country about how we support farmers and ranchers and for 
those who care very deeply about our land and water and air resources 
on working lands and how we can work together to actually do that.
  We are moving forward now to the next phase on our farm bill 
consideration. Senator Roberts and I are working closely together to 
tee up some amendments--both Democratic and Republican amendments--so 
we can begin the process of voting. We know there is a lot of work to 
do. Colleagues have a lot of ideas. Certainly, some of those ideas I 
will support, some I will not support, but the process of the Senate is 
to come forward and offer ideas, debate them, and vote.

  So we are working hard, hopefully to tee up some votes this afternoon 
or tomorrow that would give us the opportunity to move forward. We know 
there is a lot more work to do. We have a lot of ideas that colleagues 
have, and we will continue to negotiate moving forward on a final set 
of amendments. But we think it is important to get started.
  I wish to thank all our colleagues who came together on the motion to 
proceed. It was extraordinary. After a strong bipartisan vote in 
committee, we are very appreciative of the fact our colleagues are 
willing to give us the opportunity to get this done with such a strong 
bipartisan vote on the motion to proceed.
  Also, before relinquishing the floor, I notice my colleague from 
South Dakota is here, and I wish to personally thank him for his 
leadership on this bill, with extremely important provisions in the 
bill, both on risk coverage. The proposal to support farmers who have a 
loss came from a very important proposal Senator Thune and Senator 
Sherrod Brown put forward, along with other colleagues, which is the 
foundation of what we are doing to work with crop insurance to support 
farmers. Also, Senator Thune has been pivotal in a very important part 
of conservation that ties what we call the sodsaver amendment to the 
protection of prairie sod, prairie land, to crop insurance. If someone 
is breaking up the sod, there would be a penalty on the crop insurance 
side. So it is an important way of bringing together accountability and 
crop insurance and protecting our native sod. This is something, among 
many other things, Senator Thune has been involved in and shown real 
  As I said, this has been a strong bipartisan effort. Again, I thank 
my colleague from Kansas who has been a partner in this effort.
  I look forward to having the opportunity to bring all our amendments 
to the floor and to give people the opportunity to move forward in good 
faith. It is going to be critical that we move forward in good faith so 
we can begin to debate, to vote, and to get this bill done.
  All the policies we have talked about actually end on September 30 of 
this year, with very disastrous results for farmers and ranchers if we 
don't get this done. They need economic certainty. The 16 million who 
work because of agriculture are counting on us to get this done so they 
can make their

[[Page S3937]]

decisions on what they are going to plant and how their business is 
going to work.
  I am proud of the effort so far, our coming together and having folks 
join in this wonderful bipartisan effort to get to work.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Manchin). The Senator from South Dakota.
  Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that my Republican 
colleagues, Senators McCain and Ayotte, and myself be permitted to 
enter into a colloquy for up to 30 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                         Defense Sequestration

  Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, I come to the floor, along with my 
colleagues, Senators McCain and Ayotte, to talk about the significant 
uncertainty surrounding sequestration and its threat to our national 
  The triggered reduction in spending is $1.2 trillion. After 
accounting for 18 percent in debt service savings, the required 
reductions amount to $984 billion to be distributed evenly over a 9-
year period or $109.3 billion per year. So what we are talking about is 
$54.7 billion in reductions will be necessary in both the defense and 
nondefense categories, despite the fact--despite the fact--defense 
funding constitutes just 20 percent of the budget.
  As my colleagues Senators McCain and Ayotte are well aware, this 
sequester disproportionately impacts defense spending, putting our 
national security at risk.
  It has been almost a full year since the Budget Control Act was 
passed, and Congress needs a precise understanding from this 
administration as to the full effects of sequestration on national 
security funding. Both Senator McCain and I, along with Senators 
Sessions, Ayotte, and others, have called on the administration to 
detail the impact of sequestration on defense accounts.
  This information is necessary for Congress to address the deep and 
unbalanced defense budget cuts that are expected under sequestration--
which are in addition, I might add, to the $487 billion in reductions 
that were carried out last August.
  What little information has been made available from the 
administration about the planned cuts to defense should give all of us 
pause about our Nation's security if sequestration proceeds without any 
  In a letter to Senators McCain and Graham this past November, 
Secretary Panetta said that over the long term, sequestration means we 
will have the smallest ground force since 1940, the smallest fleet of 
ships since 1915, and the smallest tactical fighter force in the 
history of the Air Force.
  If sequestration were to go into effect, we risk turning back the 
clock on our military strength to where it was during the early 20th 
Century, before World War II. That clearly cannot be allowed to happen 
if we hope to have a future in which we are secure, prosperous, and at 
peace in the world.
  I wish to turn now to my colleague Senator McCain, who is the ranking 
member of the Armed Services Committee. He has been a leader in calling 
attention to this cloud of sequestration cuts looming over the Defense 
Department and its threat to our national security. He is, obviously, 
one of the foremost experts in the Senate when it comes to the issue of 
national security, and someone who has been raising the issue of 
sequestration and its impact to our national security interest for some 
  I would ask Senator McCain if he might comment on his observations 
with regard to this issue and its impact on national security.
  Mr. McCAIN. I thank my colleague from South Dakota and appreciate 
very much his leadership on this issue and my colleague from New 
Hampshire, Senator Ayotte, who has done a preliminary study on the 
effect of these sequestrations on our defense industries and jobs and 
employment in States across America.
  In fact, she has been asked by the Conference of Mayors to give them 
assessments. One of the problems we have is not only sequestration 
itself, as my colleague from South Dakota mentioned, but the American 
people don't fully understand the impact--not only from a national 
security standpoint but from an economic standpoint.
  I appreciate and admire our Secretary of Defense who continues to say 
that sequestration would be devastating to our national security, the 
effects would be Draconian in nature. He has described it in the most 
graphic and, I think, accurate terms. But we don't know exactly what 
those impacts would be and, unfortunately, the Secretary of Defense and 
the Defense Department have not given us information as to what those 
impacts would be. The American people need to know and they deserve to 
know what these impacts would be.
  That is why we put in the Defense authorization bill a requirement 
that the Secretary of Defense send to the Congress and the American 
people the exact effects of this sequestration, which he has refused to 
do, up until now.
  Since we have not taken the bill to the floor--and it may not be 
signed until the end of this year--that is why I have an amendment 
pending on the farm bill, to seek that same reporting, because Members 
of Congress, elected representatives, and the American people deserve 
to know the effects of sequestration.
  One, they need to know from the interest of our national security, 
but I would argue to my friend they also need to know from the impact 
on an already faltering economy. I want to thank the Senator from New 
Hampshire, who has done more on this issue. In fact, she has given 
every member of our conference a rough readout as to exactly what the 
impact would be in our States. But obviously, the Senator from New 
Hampshire and I don't have access to the same database the Secretary of 
Defense has as to these Draconian effects.
  So in summary, I would say we are facing what is now known as the 
fiscal cliff: the debt limit, which needs to be raised; the 
sequestration issue; the expiration of the Bush tax cuts; and several 
other issues, which we are all going to now address in a lameduck 
session. That is a Utopian vision for a lameduck session that, frankly, 
is not justified by history.
  One of the aspects of this sequestration, the reason we need to 
address it now, is because the Pentagon has to plan. They have to plan 
on a certain budget. They can't wait until the end of this year, or 
early next year when it kicks in, until January 2, I believe it is, of 
2013, in order to adjust to it. So, one, we need the information.
  And, two, Members of Congress need to know that the sequestration 
issue should be, and must be, addressed. I thank Senator Thune not only 
for his outstanding work on the farm bill but also for his leadership 
on this important issue.
  I yield to my colleague from New Hampshire, who has done probably a 
more in-depth study of this issue and its impact on the defense 
industry in America and jobs and employment than any other Member.
  Ms. AYOTTE. I thank Senator McCain for his leadership as the ranking 
Republican on the Armed Services Committee. No one knows these issues 
better in the Senate than John McCain. So it is an honor be here with 
him, and also my colleague Senator Thune, with whom I serve on the 
Budget Committee. Senator Thune has been very concerned about the 
impacts of sequestration on our national security. I call sequestration 
the biggest national security threat you have never heard of. The 
American people need to know this threat to their national security, to 
the protection of our country, which is our fundamental responsibility 
under the Constitution.
  I fully support the amendment Senator McCain has brought forward on 
the farm bill that he championed, along with Senator Levin, on the 
Defense authorization, because we can't afford to keep hiding the 
details of what will happen to our Department of Defense and our 
military if sequestration goes forward.
  To be clear, as Senator Thune has already identified, the Department 
of Defense is taking significant reductions. In the proposed 2013 
budget from the President, the Department will take approximately $487 
billion in reductions over the next 9 years. That already means a 
reduction of approximately 72,000 of our Army and a reduction of 20,000 
of our Marine Corps. But what we are here talking about today

[[Page S3938]]

is an additional $500 billion to $600 billion in reductions coming in 
January of 2013 that the American people need to know about, and our 
Department of Defense should clearly identify what is going to happen 
with those reductions.
  But here is what we do know. As Senator McCain and Senator Thune have 
already talked about, our Secretary of Defense has warned that these 
cuts will be devastating; that they will be catastrophic; that we will 
be shooting ourselves in the head if we did this for our national 
security; that we would be undermining our national security for 
  This is what it means, and what our service chiefs have told us so 
far about the preliminary assessments of sequestration:
  For our Army, what they have said is an additional 100,000 reduction 
in our Army, 50 percent coming from the Guard and Reserve, on top of 
the 72,000 coming in the proposed 2013 budget. That would result in our 
ground forces being reduced to the smallest size since before World War 
  For the Navy, our current fleet is 285 and the Navy has said 
previously that we need 313 ships. If sequestration goes forward the 
Navy has said that our fleet will have to shrink to between 230 to 235 
ships and submarines. At a time when China is investing more and more 
in their navy, where we have increased our defense focus in our 
national security strategy on the Asian Pacific region, it would make 
that increased focus a mockery, truthfully, if we allowed sequestration 
to go forward.
  We have heard the same from our Marine Corps. What the Marine Corps 
has said about sequestration every Member of Congress should be 
concerned about. The Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps has said 
if sequestration goes forward, it is an additional 18,000 reduction in 
our Marine Corps, and that the Marines would be incapable of conducting 
a single major contingency operation. Think about it: The Marine Corps 
of the United States of America incapable of responding to a single 
major contingency operation. This is at a time when the threats to our 
country have not diminished. This is at a time when we still have men 
and women, as we sit here today, who are serving us admirably in 

  And, by the way, OMB has already said that the OCO--or war funding--
will not be exempt from sequestration.
  We owe it to our men and women who are in the field right now to make 
sure they have the support they need and deserve from this Congress.
  When we look at where we are, this is not just about our national 
defense. But you would think that being about our national defense, our 
foremost responsibility in Congress, would be enough to bring everyone 
to the table right now to resolve this, regardless of whatever your 
party affiliation is. But this is also an issue about jobs, because the 
estimates are, in terms of the job impact in this country, George Mason 
University estimates that over 1 million jobs will be lost in this 
country over 1 year due to sequestration. And that is just looking at 
research and development and procurement.
  Well, let's talk about some of the States that will be impacted, 
because every one of my colleagues represents a State in this Chamber 
that will be impacted by the jobs at issue.
  We look at where our economy is right now, and yet we continue not to 
address this fundamental issue of sequestration when 1 million jobs are 
at stake.
  For Virginia, the estimate is 123,000 jobs; Florida, 39,000 jobs; 
Ohio, 18,000 jobs; North Carolina, 11,000 jobs; Connecticut, 34,000 
jobs; Pennsylvania, 36,000 jobs. In my small State of New Hampshire, it 
is projected that we will lose approximately 3,300 jobs.
  So not only is this a national security issue, but we are also 
talking about our defense industrial base. And once we lose much of the 
talent in that industrial base, it doesn't necessarily come back. We 
have many small employers who can't sustain these cuts, who will go 
bankrupt, and won't be able to come back. And once they are gone, we 
lose their expertise and the U.S. military becomes more reliant on 
foreign suppliers.
  In fact, the CEO of Lockheed Martin has said recently:

       The very prospect of sequestration is already having a 
     chilling effect on the industry. We're not going to hire. 
     We're not going to make speculative investments. We're not 
     going to invest in incremental training, because the 
     uncertainty associated with 53 billion of reductions in the 
     first fiscal quarter of next year is a huge disruption to our 

  To my colleagues who think we can kick this can down the road until 
after the elections, please understand that when it comes to jobs, 
these defense employers have a responsibility under Federal law, what 
is called the WARN Act, to notify their employees if they are going to 
be laid off at least 60 days before a layoff will occur.
  What that means is there could be hundreds of thousands of WARN Act 
notices going out, likely before the election in November, letting 
people across this country know that they may lose their job because 
Congress has not come forward and addressed this fundamental issue to 
our national security right now.
  In conclusion--and I know Senator Thune is supportive of this. I am 
the cosponsor of a bill along with Senator McCain and others that comes 
up with savings to deal with the first year of sequestration, and I 
would ask every Member of this Chamber: Let's sit down and resolve 
this. We do need to cut spending, and we should find these savings. It 
is important to deal with our debt. But let's make sure we find savings 
that don't devastate our national security or undermine our national 
security for generations or hollow out our force, as our Chairman of 
the Joint Chiefs of Staff has said about sequestration. I would urge my 
colleagues on both sides of the aisle, let's sit down now and resolve 
this issue on behalf of our most important responsibility, which is to 
protect the American people from the threats that still remain around 
the world and are very real. We have seen it with Iran trying to 
acquire the capability of a nuclear weapon. It still remains a very 
challenging time, and we need to protect our country from the threats 
we face.
  I thank my colleague Senator Thune, and I turn it back to him.
  Mr. THUNE. I would say to my colleague, the Senator from New 
Hampshire--because she mentioned that she and I both serve on the 
Budget Committee--that this perhaps could have been avoided had we 
passed a budget that dealt with title reform.
  The reason we have these huge cuts, these steep and unbalanced cuts 
to the defense budget, is because we punted on the Budget Control Act 
to the supercommittee, which didn't produce a result, and this 
triggered these across-the-board reductions in spending--half of which 
come out of the defense budget, as the Senator mentioned, a defense 
budget that represents only 20 percent of Federal spending. So 
proportionality here seems to be a real issue. Why would you gut the 
part of a budget from which you get the resources to keep your country 
safe and secure?
  Frankly, it comes back--in my view, at least--to the fact that now, 
for 3 consecutive years, the Budget Committee, on which the Senator and 
I both serve, has failed to produce a budget, spelling out a more 
reasonable and thoughtful plan for how to deal with these challenges as 
opposed to having this budget axe fall in this disproportionate way on 
our national security interests.
  I am curious as to the Senator's thoughts with regard to the reason 
why we are where we are today.
  Ms. AYOTTE. I would say to my colleague from South Dakota, you are 
absolutely right. It is outrageous that it has been over 1,100 days 
that we have not had a budget in the Senate. In the Budget Committee 
that we both serve on, the Senator and I are anxious to resolve the big 
fiscal issues facing our country.
  I agree with the Senator from South Dakota, if we did that function 
of budgeting, we wouldn't be in this position where we have put our 
national security at risk because we are not taking on the big-picture 
fiscal issue to get our fiscal house in order in Washington and make 
sure we reform mandatory spending so those programs are sustainable and 
available for future generations. So here we are.
  Not only do I serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee, but I am 
the wife of a veteran. It is astounding to me that we would put our 
national security at risk rather than doing our jobs, putting together 
a budget that is

[[Page S3939]]

responsible and proportional. That is one of the underlying reasons why 
we find ourselves in the position we are right now.
  I ask my colleague from South Dakota, as Commander in Chief, the 
President has a responsibility on this very important issue. It is such 
an important and weighty responsibility as President of the United 
States to be Commander in Chief. Where is the President on these 
  Mr. THUNE. Ironically, the point my colleague from New Hampshire made 
earlier and the statements made by the President's own Defense 
Secretary about what these cuts would mean just speak volumes. It is 
absolutely stunning when we look at the impact this would have on our 
national security budget, and, at least to date, the President is not 
weighing in on this argument at all.
  I think what the Senator from New Hampshire and Senator McCain and I 
are saying is this: Show us your plan.
  If we are going to do something about this, we need to know how they 
intend to implement this. So the transparency issue is very important. 
Asking them to tell us how they are planning on making these reductions 
seems to be a critically important part of not only informing the 
American public but giving Congress a pathway--if there is one--to 
address and perhaps redistribute these reductions.
  When we are talking about a $109 billion reduction that will take 
effect in January of next year--half of which comes out of defense--on 
top of $\1/2\ trillion in cuts to accrue over the next decade that were 
approved as part of the Budget Control Act, that is a huge chunk out of 
our national security budget.
  I think the Senator from New Hampshire made an excellent point as 
well about how this obviously impacts national security first and 
foremost. I have always maintained that if we don't get national 
security right to protect and defend the country, then the rest is all 
  But there is a huge economic impact, as was pointed out not only by 
the study my colleague from New Hampshire mentioned but also by the 
Congressional Budget Office recently in speaking about the fiscal cliff 
that hits us in the first part of January next year and could cost us 
1.3 percent in growth, which, according to the President's economic 
advisers, could be 1.3 million jobs. If the national security issue 
does not get your attention, certainly we would think the economy and 
jobs issue would. Yet we are hearing silence--crickets coming out of 
the White House.
  I would hope he would weigh in on this debate and at least provide us 
with an idea of how the administration intends to implement this and 
hopefully a plan about how to avert this. As has been emphasized by the 
President's Defense Secretary, there would be a catastrophic impact on 
our national security interest.
  Ms. AYOTTE. I ask Senator Thune, is this not so important when we 
think about the impact on our national security that now we hear from 
the President that Members on both sides of the aisle should sit down 
instead of kicking this can beyond the elections?
  What I have heard from our employers is that they will have to make 
decisions now that could impact our defense industrial base. We are 
talking about shipbuilders, we are talking about experts, small 
businesses that work in this area. Once those jobs go away in terms of 
a small business, such as a sole supplier on one of our major 
procurement programs, which happens quite often, that expertise goes 
away. We don't immediately pull that back. So we are talking about an 
estimate of 1 million jobs, and the private sector can't wait for us to 
resolve this until after the election. They need us to resolve this 
now. In my view, our military can't wait until after the election, nor 
should our military be put in that position. They should know that we 
are going to resolve this because we want to keep faith with them. We 
do not want to hollow out our force. We do not want to put them at 
risk. So, on a bipartisan basis, this is a critical issue to resolve 
before the election. I wondered what my colleague's view was on that.
  Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, again I appreciate the leadership of the 
Senator from New Hampshire as a member of the Armed Services Committee 
on not only this issue of national security but also as a member of the 
Budget Committee, where we serve together. It is critical that we do 
something soon, and the reason for that, as the Senator from New 
Hampshire mentioned, is that a lameduck session of Congress--is not an 
appropriate time to try to legislate on a major issue such as this, 
particularly given the fact that there is going to be a pileup of other 
issues. We have tax rate expiration issues to deal with and potentially 
another debt limit vote coming up.
  It seems to me that we ought to provide as much certainty as we can 
to our military, to the leaders of our military who have to make these 
decisions, and to the people who build these weapons systems and 
experience many of these reductions that will impact jobs.
  As my colleague mentioned, there is a Warren Act requirement that 
they notify people if they are going to lay off people. There has to be 
a lead time to this, and that is why getting a plan from the 
administration that lays out in specific and detailed terms exactly 
what they intend to do with regard to sequestration is really important 
to this process and as a matter of fundamental transparency for the 
American people and for the Congress.
  Clearly, there is a need--in my view, at least--for us to deal with 
this in advance of the election, not waiting, not punting, and not 
kicking the can down the road as is so often done here.
  I appreciate the leadership of the Senator from Arizona, the ranking 
member of the Armed Services Committee, and my colleague from New 
Hampshire in raising and elevating this issue and putting it on the 
radar screen of the Senate in hopes that something might actually 
happen before the election. But that will require that the President of 
the United States and his administration get in the game. So far, we 
haven't heard anything from them with regard to how they would 
implement sequestration or what suggestions they might have that would 
avoid and avert what would be a national security catastrophe if these 
planned or at least proposed reductions go into effect at the first of 
next year.
  I see that the Senator from Arizona, the ranking member of the Armed 
Services Committee, is back. Does the Senator have any closing comment 
before we wrap up this session?
  Well, let me thank my colleagues in the Senate and particularly the 
Senator from Arizona and the Senator from New Hampshire for what they 
are doing on this issue. I hope that we are successful and that in the 
end we can get some greater transparency from the administration about 
how they intend to implement these reductions and that we might be able 
to take the steps that are necessary, as was pointed out, on a 
bipartisan basis. This is not an issue that affects one side or the 
other, it is an issue that affects the entire country when we are 
talking about our national security interests and the great jeopardy 
and risk we put them in if we don't take steps to address this issue.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to address the 
Senate in a colloquy with my colleague from South Carolina, Senator 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                           National Security

  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, Senator Graham and I know there are others 
who would like to come to the floor on the issue of the almost 
unprecedented release of information which directly affects our 
national security--in fact, the most important programs in which we are 
engaged, including the use of drones and our counterterrorism 
activities, and, of course, the highly classified cyber attacks that 
have been made on the Iranians in order to prevent them from achieving 
their goal of building nuclear weapons.
  I can't think of any time that I have seen such breaches of ongoing 
national security programs as has been the case here. The damage to our 
national security has been articulated by many both inside and outside 
of the administration, including the most damaging that we have seen. 
Our Director of National Intelligence said that it is the worst he has 
seen in his 30 years of service in the area of intelligence. All of the

[[Page S3940]]

ranking and chair members of the Intelligence Committee, Armed Services 
Committee, Foreign Relations Committee, and Homeland Security Committee 
have described in the strongest terms what damage has been done by 
these ``leaks.''
  Among the sources that the authors of these publications list are 
``administration officials'' and ``senior officials''; ``senior aides'' 
to the President; ``members of the President's national security team 
who were in the [White House Situation Room] during key discussions''; 
an official ``who requested anonymity to speak about what is still a 
classified program''--I am quoting all of these from the public cases; 
``current . . . American officials . . . [who would not] allow their 
names to be used because the effort remains highly classified, and 
parts of it continue to this day''; several sources who would be 
``fired'' for what they divulged--presumably because what they divulged 
was classified or otherwise very sensitive.
  One author notes:

       [O]ver the course of 2009, more and more people inside the 
     Obama White House were being `read into' a [particular 
     secret, compartmentalized] cyber program [previously known 
     only by an extremely tight group of top intelligence, 
     military and White House officials], even those not directly 
     involved. As the reports from the latest iteration of the bug 

  Talking about the cyber attack on Iran--

     meetings were held to assess what kind of damage had been 
     done, and the room got more and more crowded.

  Some of the sources in these publications specifically refused to be 
identified because what they were talking about related to classified 
programs or ongoing programs. One of the authors specifically observed 
that some of his sources would be horrified if their identities were 
  As always with this leaking, which goes on in this town, although not 
at the level I have ever seen, I think we need to ask ourselves first 
who benefits--certainly not our national security or our military 
intelligence professionals or our partners abroad who are more exposed 
as a result of these leaks. I think to answer the question of who 
benefits, we have to look at the totality of circumstances. In this 
case, the publications came out closely together in time. They involved 
the participation, according to those publications, of administration 
officials. The overall impression left by these publications is very 
favorable to the President of the United States.
  So here we are with a very serious breach of national security--and 
in the view of some, the most serious in recent history--and it clearly 
cries out for the appointment of a special counsel.
  I would remind my colleagues and my friend from South Carolina will 
remind our colleagues that when the Valerie Plame investigation was 
going on, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle argued 
strenuously for the appointment of a special counsel at that time. 
Later on, I will read some of their direct quotes.
  It is obviously one of the highest breaches of security this country 
has ever seen because of ongoing operations that are taking place. By 
the way, our friends and allies, especially the Israelis, who have been 
compromised on the Stuxnet operation, the virus in the Iranian nuclear 
program, of course, feel betrayed.
  Now, can I finally say that I understand our colleague and 
chairperson of the Intelligence Committee is going to come over to 
object to our motion for the appointment of a special counsel. It is 
the same special counsel who was appointed at other times in our 
history, and ahead of her appearance after the statements she made 
about how serious these breaches of intelligence were. It is a bit 
puzzling why she should object to the appointment of a special counsel.

  I ask my colleague from South Carolina--to place two outstanding 
individuals and prosecutors to investigate still places them under the 
authority of the Attorney General of the United States. The Attorney 
General of the United States is under severe scrutiny in the House of 
Representatives. The Attorney General of the United States may be cited 
for contempt of Congress over the Fast and Furious gunrunning-to-Mexico 
issue which also resulted, by the way, in the death of a brave young 
Border Patrolman, Brian Terry, in my own State, who was killed by one 
of these weapons. That is how serious it is.
  I would think Mr. Holder, for his own benefit, would seek the 
appointment of a special counsel, and I ask that of my friend from 
South Carolina.
  Mr. GRAHAM. I think it not only would serve Mr. Holder well, but 
certainly the country well.
  We are setting the precedent that if we do not appoint a special 
counsel--and I don't know these two U.S. attorneys at all. I am sure 
they are fine men. But the special counsel provisions that are 
available to the Attorney General need to be embraced because it 
creates an impression and, quite frankly, a legal infrastructure to put 
the special counsel above common politics. The precedent we are about 
to set in the Senate if we vote down this resolution is, in this case, 
we don't need to assure the public that we don't have to worry, the 
person involved is not going to be interfered with; that in this case 
we don't need the special counsel, and there is no need for it.
  Well, to my colleagues on the other side, how many of them said we 
needed a special counsel--Peter Fitzgerald--who was not in the 
jurisdiction--Illinois wasn't the subject matter of the Valerie Plame 
leaks. It happened in Washington. When Peter Fitzgerald was chosen as a 
special counsel, the country said that is a good choice, chosen under 
the special counsel provisions, which are designed to avoid a conflict 
of interest.
  What is the problem? For us to say we don't need one here is a 
precedent that will haunt the country and this body and future White 
Houses in a way that I think is very disturbing, I say to the Senator 
from Arizona, because if we needed one for Valerie Plame--allegations 
of outing a CIA agent--and if we needed one for Jack Abramoff, a 
lobbyist who had infiltrated the highest levels of the government, why 
would we need one here? Is this less serious?
  The allegations we are talking about are breathtaking. Go read Mr. 
Sanger's book as he describes Operation Olympic Games. It reads like a 
novel about how the administration, trying to avoid an Israeli strike 
against the Iranian nuclear program, worked with the Israelis to create 
a cyber attack on the Iranian nuclear program, and how successful it 
was. It literally reads like a novel.
  What about the situation regarding the Underwear Bomber case, a plot 
that was thwarted by a double agent. One could read every detail about 
the plot and how dangerous it was and how successful we were in 
stopping it from coming about. Then, how we got bin Laden and sharing 
information with a movie producer, but telling the world about the 
Pakistani doctor and how we used him to track down bin Laden.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, could I add revealing the name of Seal 
Team 6.
  Mr. GRAHAM. That takes us to the bin Laden information. In the book 
there is a scenario where the Secretary of Defense went to the National 
Security Adviser, Thomas Donilon, and said, ``I have a new 
communication strategy for you regarding the bin Laden raid: Shut the F 
  But the drone program, a blow-by-blow description of how the 
President handpicks who gets killed and who doesn't.
  This is breathtaking. Certainly, it is on par with Abramoff and 
Plame, I think, the biggest national security compromise in 
generations. For our friends on the other side to say we don't need a 
special counsel here, but they were the ones arguing for one in the 
other two cases, sets a terrible precedent, and we are not going to let 
this happen without one heck of a fight.
  Senator Obama wrote a letter with a large group of colleagues urging 
the Bush administration to appoint a special counsel and to have an 
independent congressional investigation on top of that of the Valerie 
Plame CIA leak case. He also joined in a letter with his Democratic 
colleagues urging the Bush administration to appoint a special counsel 
in the Jack Abramoff case because the allegations were that Mr. 
Abramoff had access to the highest levels of government and that 
extraordinary circumstances existed.

[[Page S3941]]

  What are we talking about here? We are talking about leaks of 
national security done in a 45-day period that paint this President as 
a strong, decisive national security leader. The book questions--not 
just the articles--is there any reason to believe this may go to the 
White House? Look what happened with the Scooter Libby prosecution in 
the Valerie Plame case. The Chief of Staff of the Vice President of the 
United States eventually was held accountable for his involvement.
  Is there any reason to believe that senior White House people may be 
involved in these leaks? Just read the articles. But this is a book 
review by Mr. Thomas Riggs of the book in question by Mr. Sanger. 
Throughout, Mr. Sanger clearly has enjoyed great access to senior White 
House officials, most notably to Thomas Donilon, the National Security 
Adviser. Mr. Donilon, in fact, is the hero of the book as well as the 
commentator of record on events. It goes on and on in talking about how 
these programs were so successful.
  Here is the problem. In the House, when a program is not so 
successful, such as Fast and Furious, that is embarrassing to the 
administration. One can't literally get information with a subpoena. So 
we have an administration and an Attorney General's Office that is 
about to be held in contempt by the House for not releasing information 
about the Fast and Furious Program that was embarrassing. When we have 
programs that were successful and make the White House look strong and 
the President look strong, we can read about it in the paper.
  All we are asking for is what Senator Obama and Senator Biden asked 
for in previous national security events involving corruption of the 
government: a special counsel to be appointed, with the powers of a 
special counsel, somebody we can all buy into. If we set a precedent of 
not doing it here, I think it will be a huge mistake.

  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, wouldn't my colleague agree that one of 
the most revealing aspects of this entire issue from program to program 
that leads to enormous suspicion would be that probably the most 
respected Member of the President's Cabinet who stayed over from the 
Bush administration, Secretary Gates, was so agitated by the revelation 
of information about the bin Laden raid that he came over to the White 
House and said to the President's National Security Adviser that he had 
a ``new communication strategy.'' He responded by saying to the 
National Security Adviser, ``Shut the F up.'' That is a devastating 
comment and leads one to the suspicion that things were done improperly 
in the revelation of these most important and sensitive programs that 
were being carried out and are ongoing to this day.
  So I ask my colleague, what is the difference between the Biden-
Schumer-Levin-Daschle letter to President Bush in 2003 where they 
called for the appointment of a special counsel--Vice President Biden--
and how the White House should handle Libby? I think they should 
appoint a special prosecutor. In 2003, then-Senator Biden called for a 
special counsel with 34 Senators, and then-Senator Obama requested the 
appointment of a special counsel to lead the Abramoff case.
  I was involved heavily initially with the Abramoff case, and I can 
tell my colleagues even though there was severe corruption, there was 
certainly nothing as far as a breach of national security is concerned. 
Yet they needed a special counsel, according to then-Senator Obama, to 
investigate Abramoff but not this serious consequence.
  So I guess my unanimous consent request for this resolution will be 
objected to. But the fact is, we need a special counsel because the 
American people need to know. I do not believe anyone who has to report 
to the Attorney General of the United States would be considered as 
  I ask unanimous consent for an additional 3 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, if I may, I ask unanimous consent to have 
printed in the Record the letters written by Senator Obama and Senator 
Biden asking for a special counsel.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                    Obama, et al. Letter on Abramoff

                                                 February 2, 2006.
     Hon. Alberto Gonzales,
     U.S. Department of Justice,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear General Gonzales: We write to join the request made 
     last week that you appoint a special counsel to continue the 
     investigation and the prosecution of those involved in the 
     corruption scandal surrounding Jack Abramoff's dealings with 
     the federal government. The Department's response to the 
     press regarding that request did not address the fundamental 
     issue of a conflict of interest or the other serious issues 
     raised by the letter.
       This scandal has shaken the public's confidence in our 
     government and all involved must be pursued vigorously. A 
     special counsel will ensure the public's confidence in the 
     investigation and prosecution and help to restore its faith 
     in our government. FBI officials have said the Abramoff 
     investigation ``involves systemic corruption within the 
     highest levels of government.'' Such an assertion indicates 
     extraordinary circumstances and it is in the public interest 
     that you act under your existing statutory authority to 
     appoint a special counsel.
       Mr. Abramoff's significant ties to Republican leadership in 
     Congress, and allegations of improper activity involving 
     Administration officials, reaching, possibly, into the White 
     House itself, pose a possible conflict of interest for the 
     Department and thus further warrant the appointment of a 
     special counsel. Recent news reports confirm that Mr. 
     Abramoff met the President on several occasions and during 
     some of those meetings, Mr. Abramoff and his family had their 
     photos taken with the President. Mr. Abramoff also organized 
     at least one and possibly several meetings with White House 
     staff for his clients. These meetings with the President and 
     White House staff occurred while you were serving as White 
     House Counsel. Given the possible ties between Mr. Abramoff 
     and senior government officials, we believe the appointment 
     of a special counsel is not only justified, but necessary.
       The Public Integrity section of the Department has thus far 
     pursued this case appropriately, and we applaud its pursuit 
     of Mr. Abramoff and his colleagues. As the investigation 
     turns to government officials and their staffs, both in the 
     Executive and Legislative branches, we have no doubt that if 
     the investigation is left to the career prosecutors in that 
     section, the case would reach its appropriate conclusion. 
     Unfortunately, the highly political context of the 
     allegations and charges may lead some to surmise that 
     political influence may compromise the investigation. This 
     concern is heightened by allegations that Frederick Black, 
     the former acting U.S. Attorney for Guam and the Northern 
     Marianas, was replaced, perhaps improperly, as a result of 
     his investigation of Mr. Abramoff.
       Appointment of a Special Counsel at this point in time is 
     made even more appropriate by the White House's recent 
     nomination of Noel Hillman, the career prosecutor in charge 
     of the case, to a federal judgeship. As a new prosecutor will 
     need to take over the case, we ask you to appoint an outside 
     Special Counsel so the public can be assured no political 
     considerations will be a part of this investigation or the 
     subsequent prosecutions.
       Because this investigation is vital to restoring the 
     public's faith in its government, any appearance of bias, 
     special favor or political consideration would be a further 
     blow to our democracy. Appointment of a special counsel would 
     ensure that the investigation and prosecution will proceed 
     without fear or favor and provide the public with full 
     confidence that no one in this country is above the law.
       We know you share our commitment to restoring the public's 
     trust in our government. We hope you will take the only 
     appropriate action here and appoint a special counsel so we 
     can ensure that justice is done while preserving the 
     integrity of the Justice Department.
       We look forward to hearing from you on this matter soon.
         Harry Reid; Charles E. Schumer; Ken Salazar; Barack 
           Obama; Dick Durbin; Robert Menendez; Ted Kennedy; 
           Daniel K. Inouye; Blanche L. Lincoln; Kent Conrad; Jack 
           Reed; Evan Bayh; Carl Levin; Joe Lieberman; Debbie 
           Stabenow; John F. Kerry; Bill Nelson; Frank R. 
           Lautenberg; Barbara Mikulski; Dianne Feinstein; Patty 
           Murray; Daniel K. Akaka; Maria Cantwell; Hillary Rodham 
           Clinton; Ron Wyden; Barbara Boxer; Jim Jeffords; Max 
           Baucus; Joe Biden; Chris Dodd; Patrick Leahy; Russell 
           D. Feingold; Tim Johnson; Paul Sarbanes; Tom Carper; 
           Jeff Bingaman.

             Biden, Daschle, Schumer, Levin Letter to Bush

                                         United States Senate,

                                  Washington, DC, October 9, 2003.
     The President,
     The White House,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Mr. President: We write to express our continuing 
     concerns regarding the manner in which your Administration is 
     conducting the investigation into the apparently criminal 
     leaking of a covert CIA operative's identity. You have 
     personally pledged the White House's full cooperation in this 
     investigation and you have stated

[[Page S3942]]

     your desire to see any culprits identified and prosecuted, 
     but the Administration's actions are inconsistent with your 
       Already, just 14 days into this investigation, there have 
     been at least five serious missteps.
       First, although the Department of Justice commenced its 
     investigation on Friday, September 26, the Justice Department 
     did not ask the White House to order employees to preserve 
     all relevant evidence until Monday, September 29. Every 
     former prosecutor with whom we have spoken has said that the 
     first step in such an investigation would be to ensure all 
     potentially relevant evidence is preserved, yet the Justice 
     Department waited four days before making a formal request 
     for such documents.
       Second, when the Justice Department finally asked the White 
     House to order employees to preserve documents, White House 
     Counsel Alberto Gonzales asked for permission to delay 
     transmitting the order to preserve evidence until morning. 
     That request for delay was granted. Again, every former 
     prosecutor with whom we have spoken has said that such a 
     delay is a significant departure from standard practice.
       Third, instead of immediately seeking the preservation of 
     evidence at the two other Executive Branch departments from 
     which the leak might have originated, i.e., State and 
     Defense, such a request was not made until Thursday, October 
     1. Perhaps even more troubling, the request to State and 
     Defense Department employees to preserve evidence was 
     telegraphed in advance not only by the request to White House 
     employees earlier in the week, but also by the October 1st 
     Wall Street Journal report that such a request was 
     ``forthcoming'' from the Justice Department. It is, of 
     course, extremely unusual to tip off potential witnesses in 
     this manner that a preservation request is forthcoming.
       Fourth, on October 7, White House spokesperson Scott 
     McClellan stated that he had personally determined three 
     White House officials, Karl Rove, Lewis Libby and Elliot 
     Abrams, had not disclosed classified information. According 
     to press reports, Mr. McClellan said, ``I've spoken with each 
     of them individually. They were not involved in leaking 
     classified information, nor did they condone it.'' Clearly, a 
     media spokesperson does not have the legal expertise to be 
     questioning possible suspects or evaluating or reaching 
     conclusions about the legality of their conduct. In addition, 
     by making this statement, the White House has now put the 
     Justice Department in the position of having to determine not 
     only what happened, but also whether to contradict the 
     publicly stated position of the White House.
       Fifth, and perhaps most importantly, the investigation 
     continues to be directly overseen by Attorney General 
     Ashcroft who has well-documented conflicts of interest in any 
     investigation of the White House. Mr. Ashcroft's personal 
     relationship and political alliance with you, his close 
     professional relationships with Karl Rove and Mr. Gonzales, 
     and his seat on the National Security Council all tie him so 
     tightly to this White House that the results may not be 
     trusted by the American people. Even if the case is being 
     handled in the first instance by professional career 
     prosecutors, the integrity of the inquiry may be called into 
     question if individuals with a vested interest in protecting 
     the White House are still involved in any matter related to 
     the investigation.
       We are at risk of seeing this investigation so compromised 
     that those responsible for this national security breach will 
     never be identified and prosecuted. Public confidence in the 
     integrity of this investigation would be substantially 
     bolstered by the appointment of a special counsel. The 
     criteria in the Justice Department regulations that created 
     the authority to appoint a Special Counsel have been met in 
     the current case. Namely, there is a criminal investigation 
     that presents a conflict of interest for the Justice 
     Department, and it would be in the public interest to appoint 
     an outside special counsel to assume responsibility for the 
     matter. In the meantime, we urge you to ask Attorney General 
     Ashcroft to recuse himself from this investigation and do 
     everything within your power to ensure the remainder of this 
     investigation is conducted in a way that engenders public 
     Tom Daschle.
     Joseph R. Biden.
     Carl Levin.
     Charles E. Schumer.

  Mr. GRAHAM. I guess the difference is we are supposed to trust 
Democratic administrations, and we can't trust Republican 
administrations. I guess that is the difference. It is the only 
difference I can glean here. Certainly, the subject matter in question 
is as equal to or more serious in terms of how it has damaged the 
Nation and in terms of the structure of a special counsel. If we 
thought it was necessary to make sure the Abramoff investigation could 
lead to high-level Republicans, which it did, and if we thought the 
Valerie Plame case needed a special counsel to go into the White House 
because that is where it went, why would we not believe it would help 
the country as a whole to appoint somebody we can all buy into in this 
case, give them the powers of a special counsel? That is what was urged 
before when the shoe was on the other foot.
  This is a very big deal. We are talking about serious criminal 
activity. Apparently, the suspects are at the highest level of 
government, and I believe it was done for political purposes. To not 
appoint a special counsel would set a precedent that I think is 
damaging for the country and is absolutely unimaginable in terms of how 
someone could differentiate this case from the other two we have talked 
  To my Democratic colleagues: Don't go down this road. Don't be part 
of setting a precedent of not appointing a special counsel for some of 
the most serious national security leaks in recent memory--maybe in the 
history of the country--while at the same time most of my Democratic 
colleagues were on the record asking about a special counsel about 
everything and anything that happened in the Bush administration. This 
is not good for the country.
  Mr. McCAIN. I appreciate the indulgence of my colleagues.

                       Unanimous Consent Request

  As in legislative session, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate 
now proceed to the consideration of a resolution regarding the recent 
intelligence leaks, which means the appointment of a special counsel, 
which is at the desk. I ask unanimous consent that the resolution be 
agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motion to reconsider be 
laid upon the table.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. WYDEN. Reserving the right to object----
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I have served on the Intelligence Committee 
for 11 years now, and I have seen during that time plenty of leaks. I 
have tried with every bit of my energy to demonstrate how serious an 
issue this leaking matter is. In fact, I teamed up with Senator Bond--
our colleagues remember Senator Bond, of course--and I sponsored 
legislation to double--double--the criminal penalty for those who leak, 
for those who expose covert agents. So I don't take a back seat to 
anybody in terms of recognizing the seriousness of leaks and ensuring 
that they are dealt with in an extremely prompt and responsive fashion.
  What is at issue here is whether we are going to give an opportunity 
for U.S. attorneys--professionals in their fields--to handle this 
particular inquiry. I see no evidence that the way the U.S. attorneys 
are handling this investigation at this time is not with the highest 
standards of professionalism.
  I have disagreed with the Attorney General on plenty of issues. My 
colleagues know I have been particularly in disagreement with the 
Attorney General on this issue of secret law. I think there are real 
questions about whether laws that are written in the Congress are 
actually the laws that govern their interpretations. So I have 
disagreed with the Attorney General on plenty of matters. I think I 
have demonstrated by writing that law with Senator Bond that I want to 
be as tough as possible on leakers.
  But I would now have to object to the request from our colleague from 
Arizona simply because I believe it is premature. For that reason, Mr. 
President, I object to the request from the Senator from Arizona.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  The Senator from Oklahoma.

                        President's War On Coal

  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I think I have time reserved now for up to 
30 minutes. I wish to first of all say that the subject we have been 
listening to is life threatening. It is critical. That is not why I am 
down here today because we have something else that is very important.
  I have come to the floor today with some breaking news. The momentum 
to stop President Obama's war on coal is now so great that some of my 
colleagues--Senators Alexander and Pryor--are going to introduce a 
countermeasure to my resolution. My resolution would put a stop to the 
second most expensive EPA regulation in history--a rule known as 
Utility MACT, with which the occupier of the chair is very familiar. 
The countermeasure is a cover bill, pure and simple.
  While my resolution requires the EPA to go back to the drawing board

[[Page S3943]]

to craft a rule in which utilities can actually comply, the measure 
that Senators Alexander and Pryor are offering would keep Utility MACT 
in place but delay the rule for 6 years. This alternative is a clear 
admission that the Obama EPA's policy is wrong, but it does not fix the 
problem. It simply puts off the day of execution for a matter of 6 
  What is really going on here? Since my S.J. Res. 37 is a privileged 
motion, it must be voted on by Monday, June 18, unless we extend it, 
which I would be willing to do, until after the farm bill takes place. 
That might be a better idea. It requires 50 votes to pass. The 
Alexander-Pryor cover bill will likely be introduced tomorrow. It is a 
bill that will likely never be voted on and would require 60 votes to 
pass. Therefore, the Senators who want to kill coal by opposing S.J. 
Res. 37 will put their names on the Alexander-Pryor bill as cosponsors 
to make it look as if they are saving coal, when in reality that bill, 
the Alexander-Pryor bill, kills coal in 6 years.
  We have seen this before. I remember when we considered the Upton-
Inhofe Energy Tax Prevention Act when it came to the floor last year. 
It was a measure that would have prevented the EPA from regulating 
greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. I would like to expand on 
that, but there is not time to do that.
  My colleagues offered a number of counteramendments so they could 
have a cover vote. They wanted to appear as if they were reining in the 
out-of-control EPA--and I think everybody knows what is going on right 
now with all those regulations--for their constituents back home, all 
the while letting President Obama go through with his job-killing 
regulations. Some chose to vote for the only real solution to the 
problem--the Energy Tax Prevention Act--and some chose the cover vote. 
But all in all, 64 Senators went on record that day as wanting to rein 
in the EPA. But some of them did not have the courage to stand by it.
  Of course, it is highly unlikely the Utility MACT alternative by 
Senators Alexander and Pryor will ever get a vote, but that is not the 
point. The point is just to have something out there that Senators in a 
tough spot can claim to support.
  As I have said many times now, the vote on S.J. Res. 37 will be the 
one and only opportunity to stop President Obama's war on coal. This is 
the only vote. There is no other vote out there. If we do not do this, 
and that rule goes through--Utility MACT--coal is dead. This is the 
only chance we have.
  Fortunately, we have a thing called the CRA. It is a process whereby 
a Senator can introduce a resolution to stop an unelected bureaucrat 
from having some kind of an onerous regulation. That is exactly what I 
have done with this. But this is the only chance for my colleagues to 
show constituents who they do stand with. Which of my colleagues will 
vote for the only real solution, which is my resolution, and which of 
my colleagues will vote for a cover vote?
  What has changed over the past few weeks to the extent of my 
colleagues suddenly feeling it necessary for a cover vote?
  A lot has changed because the American people are speaking up, and 
they are not happy about the Obama EPA. When I go back to Oklahoma, 
that is all I hear. It does not matter if you are in the ag business, 
if you are in the military business, if you are in the manufacturing 
business, they are all talking about the onerous regulations that are 
taking place in the EPA. I am pleased to say we have picked up the 
support of groups representing business and labor. Even more 
encouraging is a growing number of elected officials are working across 
the aisle to save coal. The Senate has taken notice, and the first 
Senate Democrats are beginning to come on board.
  I want to commend Senator Joe Manchin, who happens to be occupying 
the chair at this time, and Senator Ben Nelson. They were the first two 
Senate Democrats to come out publicly in support of our resolution. I 
must say, I am very glad to see that they have made the right choice to 
stand with their constituents.
  Senator Manchin's announcement came just after the Democratic 
Governor of West Virginia, Governor Tomblin, sent a letter asking him, 
as well as Senator Rockefeller, to vote for my resolution because, he 
said, EPA's rules have--and I am quoting now the Democratic Governor of 
West Virginia; and the occupier of the chair will know this--EPA's 
rules have ``coalesced to create an unprecedented attack on West 
Virginia's coal industry.'' Still quoting, he said: ``This attack will 
have disastrous consequences on West Virginia's economy, our citizens 
and our way of life,'' and that EPA ``continues on this ill-conceived 
path to end the development of our nation's most reliable cost-
effective source of energy--coal.''
  I am very proud of a lot of the officials in West Virginia for what 
they have come out with. Governor Tomblin is not the only Democrat to 
be concerned. West Virginia Lieutenant Governor Jeffrey Kessler sent a 
separate letter to the West Virginia Senators and others asking them to 
pass S.J. Res. 37 in order to save what he called West Virginia's 
``most valuable state natural resource and industry.'' He reminded the 
Senators that:

       On May 25, 2012, the State of West Virginia challenged the 
     MATS rule--

  that is the kill coal rule--

     and cited four reasons the defective rule should be rejected.

  That is not all. A group of bipartisan State legislators from West 
Virginia also wrote the Senators and others urging them to support S.J. 
Res. 37 out of concern for the devastating impact on West Virginia. As 
they wrote:

       Several West Virginia power plants have announced their 
     closure and the loss of employment that comes with it. 
     Additionally, it is projected that with the implementation of 
     this rule, consumer electric rates will skyrocket.

  We all know that is true. Even the President has stated that.
  I wish to note that we have support from nearly 80 percent of the 
private sector--those businesses that President Obama claims are 
``doing just fine.'' Apparently, they do not think they are doing all 
that fine. American businesses are suffering because of aggressive 
overregulation by the Obama administration.
  Let me take a minute to read the names of just some of the groups 
that are supporting our efforts to pass S.J. Res. 37: The National 
Federation of Independent Business, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the 
American Farm Bureau, the National Association of Manufacturers, the 
Industrial Energy Consumers of America, the American Chemistry Council, 
the Association of American Railroads, the American Forest and Paper 
Association, the American Iron and Steel Institute, the Fertilizer 
Institute, the Western Business Roundtable, and the National Rural 
Electric Cooperative Association.
  That is just part of it.
  Then the unions. The unions are coming too--I have talked about the 
businesses and read all of their groups--they have come to stop the 
overregulation that is killing jobs. Cecil Roberts, I had the occasion 
to meet him once. He is the president of the United Mine Workers, one 
of the largest labor unions in the country. He recently sent a letter 
to several Senators saying the union's support for my resolution is 
``based upon our assessment of the threat that the EPA MATS rule''--
that is the coal-killing rule--``poses to United Mine Workers 
Association members' jobs, the economies of coal field communities, and 
the future direction of our national energy policy.''
  Remember, Cecil Roberts is the one who traveled across the country in 
2008 campaigning for President Obama. But after 4 years of his 
regulatory barrage designed to kill the mining jobs his union is trying 
to protect, Mr. Roberts has said his group may choose not to endorse 
President Obama or just sit the election out. As he explained:

       We've been placed in a horrendous position here. How do you 
     take coal miners' money and say let's use it politically to 
     support someone whose EPA has pretty much said, ``You're 

  With even Democrats and unions supporting my effort to save millions 
of jobs that depend on coal, EPA has to be feeling the pressure.
  Gina McCarthy, the Assistant Administrator of EPA's Office for Air 
and Radiation, came out with a statement last week vehemently denying 
that Utility MACT and EPA's other rules are an effort to end coal. She 

[[Page S3944]]

       This is not a rule that is in any way designed to move coal 
     out of the energy system.

  Everybody knows better than that.
  EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson echoed this sentiment saying that it 
is simply a coincidence that these rules are coming out at the ``same 
time'' that natural gas prices are low so utilities are naturally 
moving toward natural gas. Her message was: Do not blame the EPA.
  Last week on the Senate floor, I described why their public health 
and natural gas arguments do not hold up, so I will not go into that 
today. But what I wish to focus on today is that these claims backing 
up their efforts to kill coal are just a part of the far-left 
environmental playbook.
  There is a pretty big difference between what EPA is saying publicly 
and what they are saying when they talk with their friends, when they 
feel as though they can let their guard down and admit what is really 
going on down at the EPA. That is exactly what happened in a video 
recently uncovered of Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz. While 
President Obama was posing in front of an oil pipeline in my State of 
Oklahoma pretending to support oil and gas, Administrator Armendariz 
told us the truth, that EPA's ``general philosophy'' is to ``crucify'' 
and make examples of oil and gas companies.
  You may remember last week when I spoke on the Senate floor, I talked 
about a newly discovered video of EPA Region 1 Administrator Curt 
Spalding who is caught on tape telling the truth to a group of his 
environmental friends at Yale University. At a gathering there, he said 
that EPA's rules are specifically designed to kill coal and that the 
process isn't going to be pretty.
  He openly admitted:

       If you want to build a coal plant you got a big problem.

  He goes on to say that the decision to kill coal was ``painful every 
step of the way'' because it will devastate communities in Virginia, 
Pennsylvania, and any area that depends on coal for jobs and 
livelihoods. That is kind of worth repeating. He said it is going to be 
painful. At least he recognized that. And we all know exactly what he 
is talking about.
  I read his whole quotes on the floor of the Senate. They are a little 
too long to read now. But he talks about how painful it is going to be 
for all these families who are losing their jobs because we are killing 
  I talked a lot about President Obama's war on coal last week, but 
what I did not have time to address was the Obama administration's 
allies in this war. It would come as no surprise that Administrator 
Spalding and, indeed, many at EPA are working hand in hand with the 
far-left environmental groups to move these regulations to kill coal.
  Last July, Administrator Spalding spoke at a Boston rally for Big 
Green groups--that is capitalized: ``Big Green''--supporting EPA'S 
Utility MACT rule. That is the rule that would kill coal. In a YouTube 
video of this rally, Administrator Spalding gushes over the 
environmental community, thanking them profusely for ``weighing in on 
our behalf.'' So here we have EPA admitting that Big Green is working 
for them.
  His whole speech was directly out of the environmental playbook. This 
is something that really exists: the environmental playbook. It was all 
about the so-called health benefits of killing coal. And he said:

       Don't let anybody tell you these rules cost our economy 

  This is out of their playbook.
  Administrator Spalding is not alone in his alliance with Big Green. 
Also appearing with these far-left environmental groups was Region 5 
Administrator Susan Hedman. According to Paul Chesser, an associate 
fellow for the National League and Policy Center, Hedman told 
supporters at the rally:

       We really appreciate your enthusiastic support for this 
     rule. It's quite literally a breath of fresh air compared 
     with what's going on in the nation's capital these days.

  Of course, the former EPA region 6 Administrator Armendariz showed us 
again last week just how close EPA's relationship is with the far left 
groups. Armendariz had agreed to testify before Congress. It was 
actually over in the House, but at the last minute he canceled. As it 
turns out, Armendariz was in Washington that day. But while he 
apparently could not find time to testify before Congress, he did have 
time to stop by the Sierra Club for what has been described by the 
group as a private meeting. I suspect that Armendariz was there for a 
job interview. His ``crucify them'' resume makes him the perfect 
  Of course, EPA and their Big Green allies cannot tell the public the 
truth that they are crucifying oil and gas companies or that their 
efforts to kill coal will be ``painful every step of the way'' so they 
are deceiving the public with talking points from their playbook. When 
I say ``playbook,'' I mean a literal document telling activists exactly 
how to get the emotional effects they want.
  We recently got a copy of this, and I have to say its contents are 
quite revealing. It comes from usclimatenetwork.com, a coalition of 
several major environmental groups, and it is a guideline for 
environmental activists when they attend hearings with the EPA to 
support the agency's greenhouse gas regulations.
  A quick search revealed it was apparently written by a key player in 
the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign, which is an aggressive effort 
to shut down all coal plants across America. After offering some tips 
on the word limit and how to deliver the message, the document urges 
activists to make it personal. It asks: Are you an expectant or new 
mother? Grandparent? If so, it suggests you bring your baby to the 
hearing. As it states, some examples of great visuals are ``holding 
your baby with you at the podium or pushing them in strollers, baby car 
seats,'' and so forth. ``Older children are also welcome.'' It 
encourages the visual aids of ``Asthma inhalers, medicine bottles, 
healthcare bills'' and all these other things that are good visuals.
  The American Lung Association certainly took a page of this playbook. 
We have all seen the commercials of the red buggy in front of the 
Capitol. Of course, the Sierra Club put their principles to practice by 
inundating the American people with images of small children with 
  The posters for the Beyond Coal campaign also featured abdomens of 
pregnant women with an arrow pointing to the unborn baby. The words on 
the arrow are, ``This little bundle of joy is now a reservoir for 
mercury.'' Another one says, ``She's going to be so full of joy, love, 
smiles, and mercury.''
  Of course, the supreme irony is that the campaign that claims to be 
protecting this unborn child is the same one that is aggressively 
prochoice. It is coming from a movement that believes there are too 
many people in the world and actively advocates for population control 
and abortion.
  Just after a hearing in May of this year, the Sierra Club posted 
pictures of their efforts. Sure enough, there is one of Mary Anne Hitt, 
director of the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign, holding her 2-year-
old daughter Hazel. But for all their efforts, it is clear the campaign 
is about one thing only; that is, killing coal.
  At a hearing, Mary Anne Hitt with the Sierra Club said, ``We are here 
today to thank the Obama administration and to show our ironclad 
support for limiting dangerous carbon pollution being dumped into the 
air.'' She apparently sees the Obama administration as the closest ally 
in the Sierra Club's effort, and she has said about the Beyond Coal 

       Coal is a fuel of the past. What we're seeing now is the 
     beginning of a growing trend to leave it there.

  Of course, it is not just coal they want to kill; they want to kill 
coal, oil, and gas. A lot of people do not realize that. It was not 
long ago that Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club, 

       As we push to retire coal plants, we're going to work to 
     make sure we are not simultaneously switching to natural gas 
     infrastructure. And we're going to be preventing new gas 
     plants from being built wherever we can.

  So it is not just coal. It is oil. It is gas. We have to ask the 
question--at least I get the question asked when I go back to my State 
of Oklahoma because there are normal people there. They say: If we do 
not have coal, oil, and gas, how do you run this machine called 
America? The answer is we cannot.
  As this vote on my Utility MACT resolution approaches, look for many 

[[Page S3945]]

my liberal friends to take their arguments directly out of the far left 
environmental playbook. Get ready to see lots of pictures of babies and 
children using inhalers. But these are the same Members who voted 
against my Clear Skies bill, that would have given us a 70-percent 
reduction in real pollutants, I am talking about SOx, NOX, 
and mercury. We had that bill up, and that was one that would have 
actually had that reduction--a greater reduction than any President has 
advocated. When President Obama spoke--at that time he was in the 
Senate--he said: I voted against the Clear Skies bill. In fact, I was 
the deciding vote, despite the fact that I am from a coal State and 
half my State thought I had thoroughly betrayed them because I thought 
clean air was critical and global warming was critical.
  At an April 17 hearing this year, Senator Barrasso and Brenda 
Archambo, of the Sturgeon for Tomorrow, who testified before the EPW 
Committee, ``Would Michigan lakes, sturgeon, sportsmen, families have 
been better off had those reductions already gone into effect when they 
had the opportunity to pass [Clear Skies]?''
  Her answer was yes. We are talking about, by this time, 6 years from 
now, we would have been enjoying those reductions. There are crucial 
differences between Clear Skies and Utility MACT. Clear Skies would 
have reduced the emissions without harming jobs and our economy because 
it was based on a commonsense, market-based approach. It was designed 
to retain coal in American electricity generation while reducing 
emissions each year.
  On the other hand, Utility MACT is specifically designed to kill coal 
as well as all the good-paying jobs that come with it. EPA itself 
admits the rule will cost $10 billion to implement, but $10 billion 
will yield $6 million in benefits. Wait a minute. That does not make 
sense. That is a cost-benefit ratio between $10 billion and $6 million 
of 1,600 to 1.
  If their campaign is so focused on public health, why did Democrats 
oppose our commonsense clean air regulations? Very simple. Because we 
did not include CO2 regulation in the Clear Skies 
legislation. President Obama's quote only verifies that. He is on 
record admitting he voted against these health benefits because 
regulating greenhouse gases, which have no effect whatsoever on public 
health, was more important. In other words, the real agenda is to kill 

  Just before President Obama made the decision to halt the EPA's plan 
to tighten ozone regulations, the White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley 
asked: ``What are the health impacts of unemployment?'' That is one of 
the most important questions before this Senate in preparation for the 
vote on my resolution to stop Utility MACT. What are the health impacts 
on the children whose parents will lose their jobs due to President 
Obama's war on coal? What are the health impacts on children and low-
income families whose parents will have less money to spend on their 
well-being when they have to put more and more of their paychecks into 
the skyrocketing electricity costs?
  EPA Administrator Spalding gave us a clue about the impacts of 
unemployment. It would be, as he said, ``Painful. Painful every step of 
the way.'' Do my colleagues in the Senate truly want that? I deeply 
regret that I have to be critical of two of my best friends in the 
Senate, Senators Alexander and Pryor, particularly Senator Pryor. Three 
of my kids went to school with him at the University of Arkansas. He is 
considered part of our family. He is my brother. But if someone has 
been to West Virginia and to Ohio and to Illinois, to Michigan, to 
Missouri, and the rest of the coal States, as I have, and personally 
visited with the proud fourth- and fifth-generation coal families, as I 
have and certainly the occupier of the chair has, they know they will 
lose their livelihood if Alexander-Pryor saves the EPA's effort to kill 
coal. I cannot stand by and idly allow that to happen.
  Let me conclude by speaking to my friends in this body who have yet 
to make up their minds as to whether they will support my resolution. I 
know everyone in the Senate wants to ensure we continue to make the 
tremendous environmental progress we have made over the past few years. 
We truly have.
  The Clean Air Act many years ago cleaned up the air. We have had 
successes. Unfortunately, this administration's regulations are failing 
to strike that balance between growing our economy and improving our 
environment. Rather, this agenda is about killing our ability to run 
this machine called America.
  Again, I wish to welcome the support of Senators Manchin and Ben 
Nelson, who listened to their constituents. It is the rest of the 
Senators from the coal States that I am concerned about. What about 
Senators Levin and Stabenow, who come from a State that uses coal for 
60 percent of its electricity?
  What about Senator Conrad from a State with 85 percent of the 
electricity coming from coal? In Ohio, where Senator Brown is from, 
19,000 jobs depend on coal. Then there is Virginia, home of Senators 
Warner and Webb, which has 31,660 jobs, a 16 to 19 percent increase in 
the electric rates.
  Arkansas, the war on coal there, that is 44.9 percent of electricity 
generation in the State of Arkansas; Tennessee, 52 percent of 
electricity generation, 6,000 jobs; Missouri, 81 percent of electricity 
generation--81 percent in the State of Missouri. That is 4,600 jobs at 
stake; Montana, 58 percent; Louisiana, that is 35 percent of 
electricity generation. These are all States that depend on coal for 
their electricity generation; lastly, Pennsylvania, 48.2 percent of 
electricity generation, 49,000 jobs would be lost in Pennsylvania if 
utility MACT is passed. That is significant. I would not be surprised 
if all these Senators from coal States that I just mentioned will vote 
for the bill of Senators Alexander and Pryor that says: Let's kill 
coal, but let's put it off for 6 years.
  I repeat. It does not do any good to delay the death sentence on coal 
6 years. Contracts will already be violated and the mines will be 
closed. So I say to my colleagues that their constituents will see 
right though those of who choose a cover vote. The American people are 
pretty smart. They know there is only one real solution to stop, not 
just delay, EPA's war on coal.
  I hope they will join Senators Manchin and Nelson and me and several 
others and stand with the constituents, instead of President Obama and 
his EPA, which will make it painful every step of the way for them all. 
We need to pass S.J. Res. 37 and put an end to President Obama's war on 
coal. This is the last chance we have to do this. There is no other 
vote coming along.
  If a Senator does not want to kill coal, they have to support S.J. 
Res. 37. It is our last chance to do it. Again, we do not know when 
this is going to come up. It is locked in a time limit, unless we, by 
unanimous consent, increase that time. I have no objection to putting 
it off until after the farm bill because that is a very important piece 
of legislation. So we will wait and see what takes place.
  I yield the floor.