Proceedings, Debates of the U.S. Congress
September 21, 2012
112th Congress, 2nd Session
Issue: Vol. 158, No. 129 — Daily Edition
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SPORTSMEN'S ACT OF 2012--MOTION TO PROCEED; Congressional Record Vol. 158, No. 129
(Senate - September 21, 2012)
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[Pages S6559-S6597] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] SPORTSMEN'S ACT OF 2012--MOTION TO PROCEED Mr. REID. Mr. President, I move to proceed to Calendar No. 504. The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will report the motion. The legislative clerk read as follows: Motion to proceed to Calendar No. 504, S. 3525, a bill to protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting, and for other purposes. Schedule Mr. REID. Mr. President, the next hour will be equally divided between the two leaders or their designees. The majority will control the first half and the Republicans the final half. As I think we should know, and I am happy to restate it, the next rollcall vote will occur about 1 a.m. this morning, an hour after we come in. I am, of course, hopeful we can work something out in order to complete our work. We can either do it all tonight, tomorrow, or, if that doesn't work out, as the Presiding Officer knows, under the rules of the Senate we will have that vote at 1 a.m., and then we would have another vote on the CR. Final passage of that would be around 7:30, 8 o'clock in the morning on Sunday. Then we would immediately follow to the motion to proceed on the sportsmen's package. We continue to have discussions. We are working to see if we can schedule these votes at a more convenient time for Senators. Everyone should know we would finish by Sunday morning. We are not going to go into next week. Measure Placed on the Calendar--S. 3607 Mr. REID. Mr. President, S. 3607 is at the desk and due for a second reading. The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will read the bill by title for the second time. The legislative clerk read as follows: A bill (S. 3607) to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. Mr. REID. I object to any further proceedings with regard to this bill. The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Objection having been heard, the bill will be placed on the calendar. Mr. REID. Mr. President, over the past week I have listened to my Republican colleagues come to the floor and lament how little the Senate has accomplished during the 112th Congress. I, above all, share that concern. In fact, it is a wonder we have gotten anything done at all, considering the lack of cooperation Democrats have gotten from Republican colleagues. I have said before, and it bears repeating: In my time as the majority leader, I have faced 382 Republican filibusters. That is 381 more filibusters than Lyndon Johnson faced during his 6 years as majority leader. Time and time again my Republican colleagues have stalled or blocked perfectly good pieces of legislation to score points with the tea party, and they have done nothing but hurt the middle class in this process. Even the most noncontroversial, consensus matters--items that would have passed by unanimous consent in the past--have been obstructed or stalled. Take, for example, the bipartisan sportsmen's bill. The junior Senator from Montana, Mr. Tester, has assembled a broad package to support the needs of sportsmen across the country. Just so everyone understands I am not making this up, there are more than 50 groups--50 organizations in this country--who support this legislation. It is [[Page S6560]] a wide range of organizations, including the National Rifle Association, Ducks Unlimited, American Sports Fishing Association which, by the way, has more than 2 million members, Boone and Crockett Club, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, The Nature Conservancy, the National Wildlife Federation, Trout Unlimited. If we put labels on just these 10 organizations I have mentioned, it goes from the more conservative, many would say, National Rifle Association, to the more progressive Trout Unlimited. I ask unanimous consent that a list of these organizations I have referred to, as well as others, be made a part of the Record. There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows: American Fisheries Society American Fly Fishing Trade Association American Sportfishing Association Archery Trade Association Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies B.A.S.S., LLC Berkley Conservation Institute Boone and Crockett Club Bowhunting Preservation Alliance Campfire Club of America Catch-A-Dream Foundation Center for Costal Conservation Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation Conservation Force Costal Conservation Association Dallas Safari Club Delta Waterfowl Foundation Ducks Unlimited Houston Safari Club Isaac Walton League International Game Fish Association Mule Deer Foundation National Marine Manufacturers Association National Rifle Association National Wildlife Refuge Association National Wildlife Federation National Shooting Sports Foundation National Trappers Association National Wild Turkey Federation North American Bear Foundation North American Grouse Partnership Orion--the Hunter's Institute Pheasants Forever Pope and Young Club Public Lands Foundation Quail Forever Quality Deer Management Association Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Ruffed Grouse Society Shimano Sport Fisheries Initiative Texas Wildlife Association The Conservation Fund The Nature Conservancy Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership TreadLightly! Trout Unlimited Trust for Public Lands U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance Wild Sheep Foundation The Wilderness Society Wildlife Forever Wildlife Management Institute Mr. REID. Mr. President, this measure combines about 20 bills important to the sportsmen's community--bills that promote hunting, fishing, and recreation. They would foster habitat conservation through voluntary programs and, as I have indicated, more than 50 national sportsmen and conservation groups support this bill unequivocally. This legislation should be passed like that. As I indicated yesterday, I have read Capitol Hill newspapers where Republican Senators said: What a great piece of legislation; I will vote for it. We should pass this in a matter of seconds. We shouldn't be spending all this time on it. It is one of those things where there shouldn't be a fight and there has been a fight. So I hope, as we try to get back to working on campaigns and doing the work things we have to do at home, that we can move along and get this done. In the process, though, we are holding up a lot of other things. I am hopeful we can get something done on the Iran containment resolution, which is something Lindsey Graham, Senator Lieberman, Senator Menendez, and many others, have pushed very hard to get done. I hope we can confirm our Ambassadors to Iraq and Pakistan, and the continuing resolution to fund the government for 6 months. Republicans say this Congress has been unproductive, but if Republicans want to know why it has been unproductive, they should take a look in the mirror. Benjamin Franklin once said: ``Well done is better than well said.'' Well done is better than well said. So it is time Republicans stop talking about how much they want to get things done and start working with us to actually get things done. Recognition of the Minority Leader The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Republican leader is recognized. Addressing Challenges Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, yesterday dozens of Republican Senators came to the Senate floor one after the other to register their complete frustration with the way Democrats are running this place. Never before--never--has a President and a majority party in the Senate done so little to address challenges as great as the ones our Nation faces right now--never. I mean, we have a $16 trillion debt and they haven't bothered to put together a budget in 3 years. They haven't passed a single appropriations bill. They haven't passed a Defense authorization bill for the first time in a half a century. These things are usually about as standard as turning the lights on. They haven't done any of them. It is a disgrace. Think about it: The Middle East is in turmoil, we are fighting a war in Afghanistan and against al-Qaida, and they can't even bother to pass a Defense authorization bill. We are fed up with the way this place is being run. No legislation, no amendments, no action on taxes, no action on Defense cuts. Nothing. Now we are at it again. All Republicans want to do is extend government funding for a few months, and the majority leader won't even do that unless he can squeeze in yet another political vote. Democrats have treated the Senate floor like an extension of the Obama campaign for 2 years. Now they are holding the CR hostage for no other reason than to help one of their incumbents on the campaign trail. Well, we are ready to vote on three bills--the same ones the majority leader asked for votes on earlier this week. We have responsibilities to meet. Let's meet them, and leave the politics of the campaign trail where it belongs. Mr. President, I yield the floor. Reservation of Leader Time The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. Order of Business The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. 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. The Senator from Illinois. Strategy of Obstruction Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I listened to the statement made on the floor by the Republican leader. It was a statement similar to one that was made yesterday. I responded to it yesterday and I wish to make a response today. I am disappointed that this session of Congress has been so unproductive, but I know the reason why. It isn't for lack of effort. We have tried to bring to the floor time and time again legislation to help create more jobs in America, create a more positive business climate, create more consumer confidence in middle-income families, and we have consistently run into the same problem over and over. In the last 6 years, since Harry Reid of Nevada has been the majority leader on the Democratic side, the Republicans have created 382 filibusters. How does this compare with previous years? There is no comparison. We have never, ever, in the history of the U.S. Senate, run into such a consistent strategy of obstruction by one party in the Senate. It was no surprise, because the Senator from Kentucky who just spoke announced 4 years ago exactly what his strategy would be. He said his No. 1 goal was to make sure that Barack Obama was a one-term President. I have served in the House and in the Senate with Republican Presidents, and certainly I supported their opponents whenever they ran for election, but I felt a moral and civic obligation to do my best to work with those Presidents to achieve some good for this country. I would say that President George W. Bush is a classic example. He and I saw the world so differently, and yet when it came to specific issues I was prepared to stand and not only praise his work but join him in trying to pass important legislation. President George W. Bush may not be remembered for this, but he should be: He spoke in favor of immigration reform. When is the last time you heard [[Page S6561]] a Republican leader speak about immigration reform? But George W. Bush understood it, and I admired him for it and complimented him for it, as I do today. He stood and said the United States should lead the world in eradicating the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and he put his money and the money of the American taxpayers where his promises were, and I supported him for it. He was right to do it. President George W. Bush stood up after 9/11 and reminded America we are not at war with people of the Muslim religion. George W. Bush told us it is a good and peaceful religion. Those who would corrupt it, those extremists in the name of Islam, are not a credit to that religion and do not reflect it, and I admired him for that. At a time when America was so angry over 9/11 and the loss of all those innocent lives, he showed real leadership. What a contrast with those who come to the floor of the House and Senate and say our No. 1 goal is to make sure this President fails no matter what he tries. That is not good for America, and that is one of the reasons we have been as unproductive as we have been. But there have been exceptions. Let me tell you some of those exceptions. We passed the Violence Against Women Act--an important piece of legislation. Go to a domestic violence shelter. I am sure the Acting President pro tempore did as attorney general of the State of Connecticut and as U.S. Senator, as I did, and sit across the table from a victim of domestic violence--a poor woman with two black eyes crying her heart out, saying: I just had to get out of that house. Go to a domestic violence center in Little Village or in Pilsen in the city of Chicago where immigrant women come in, holding their children close by, for fear that drunken husband is going to take another swing at them or at her and tell me we could not agree, Democrats and Republicans, to put the resources together to protect those people. Well, we passed it over here. We passed it in the Senate--a bipartisan bill--and it died in the House of Representatives. The same thing happened on important legislation such as transportation. That used to be the easiest bill to pass. Who in the world, elected in the House and the Senate, does not want to see better highways and bridges and runways and ports across America? We know it is key to our economic development. We passed it on a bipartisan basis. What happened? It died in the House of Representatives. They ended up sending us a shell of a bill so we could go to conference and finally come up with something. Then the farm bill. This one troubles me. I say to the Acting President pro tempore, I know Connecticut has some farmers. We have a few more in Illinois. My farmers have been through a pretty tough time of it. This summer has been exceptional when it comes to weather. Virtually every county in my State has been declared a disaster area because of drought. It used to be routine on the Fourth of July to have shoulder-high corn, to watch in August as it just grew even more and was ready for harvest. It was a magnificent scene. I have seen it every year of my life. This year it was a sad scene in too many places in Illinois. The farmers--many of them will get through; 80 percent of them bought crop insurance--but they want to know what the farm bill is going to be next year so they can get ready. Well, we told them in the Senate. We passed a bipartisan farm bill in the Senate. Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan--what a great example of leadership. She not only put a good farm bill together, she brought Pat Roberts, a Republican from Kansas on her committee, with her to the Senate floor and passed it with 64 votes--a bipartisan bill. It not only wrote the farm programs for the next 5 years, it saved $23 billion, cut it off the deficit. Pretty good work. I am proud of her. So what happened to that important bill we sent to the House of Representatives 3 months ago? It died. The House announced this week they were unable to pass a farm bill. Do you know why? For the same reason they have been unable to pass major legislation through the course of the last 2 years. They insist it be passed only with Republican votes. Two of the bills I mentioned--transportation and the farm bill--have traditionally been the most bipartisan bills to come to the Congress. Why? Because we all share the concern about the infrastructure of America and the agricultural sector of America, Democrats and Republicans. But those bills have died in the House of Representatives. When the Senate Republican leader comes to the floor and talks about how unproductive we have been, he fails to mention 382 Republican filibusters--an all-time record of obstruction. He fails to mention his promise to make sure his guiding principle would be the defeat of this incumbent President. And he fails to mention that graveyard of important legislation across the Rotunda in the House of Representatives. That is the reality, and the reality is a troubling one. Yesterday, I did satellite radio and television feeds back to Illinois, and a number of the reporters said: Well, what can we do about it? I said: You get your chance November 6. Decide. Decide what you want. Decide if you want to send Democrats and Republicans to this Capitol with an awesome responsibility and also with the spirit of consensus and cooperation. We have had one Senate candidate in the Midwest who announced: I am not going to compromise with anybody when I get to Washington. I hope the people of Indiana remember that on November 6. If that is what they want, that is what they will get. But I sense the American people want more from us. They want us to work together. There have been instances, examples where that has happened. President Obama created a deficit commission called the Simpson-Bowles Commission. Eighteen people were appointed to it. Senator Harry Reid asked me to join the commission, and I did. I did not think much would come of it, to be honest with you. There have been a lot of commissions around here. They spend taxpayers' dollars and a lot of time and generate reports that are quickly forgotten. This was an exception simply because Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson came together and did an extraordinarily good job. We spent a year looking at this budget and realizing that this deficit is unsustainable and unacceptable. We borrow 40 cents for every $1 we spend in this town. Whether we are spending it on food stamps, on missiles, on foreign aid, or on agricultural programs, we borrow 40 cents of it. And who is our No. 1 creditor in the world? The same nation that is our No. 1 competitor in the world, China. How about that? We are borrowing money from China. Borrowing that money, of course, is at the expense of interest payments which continue to grow because of the costs we are faced with across the board. So we talked in the Simpson-Bowles Commission about coming up with a way to reduce the deficit in a responsible fashion. I was certain, when I walked in the door, that we were not going to get much done there, and I was even certain that I was not going to vote for it because I thought there were some issues I just could not see my way through. But I came to a different conclusion. I voted yes on the Simpson-Bowles bipartisan deficit commission, and out of the six Senators who sat on the commission--three Democrats and three Republicans--five of us voted yes. We believe it showed the path to a responsible reduction of the deficit. Well, it did not go any further, unfortunately, because the commission did not have 14 votes, which it needed, and it did not have the power of law, which it needed. It turns out that the original legislation creating the commission had failed on the floor of the Senate when seven Republicans switched their votes and voted against it. After cosponsoring it, they voted against it. Thank goodness the ideas behind Simpson-Bowles are still alive and continue to be alive. We have continued to meet. We have had Democratic and Republican Senators meeting almost nonstop for a long time trying to push forward this concept of reducing the deficit in a responsible way while still growing our economy and creating jobs. We are going to have our chance soon to put on the table whatever we can come up with. Right after the election, on December 31, we face what is known as the cliff. At that point, many important pieces of legislation and laws will [[Page S6562]] expire and automatic spending cuts will go into place. It is a pretty serious outcome. This is our chance to come up with a bipartisan answer to it. We cannot get to it until after the election, which I think is understandable. It is such a highly charged political atmosphere until November 6. But after the election, it is a test--a test of the House and Senate as to whether the Democrats and Republicans can put the campaign behind them and work together to solve some of this Nation's problems. The path that Simpson-Bowles laid out is a pretty direct one and a pretty obvious one. We need to do two things to reduce our deficit. We need more revenue and we need to reduce spending. Those are the two things that reduce the deficit. I think we can do that. I think we can achieve that in a fair way. I have tried to work and continue to work toward that goal. I would say despite the statement of the Republican leader just a few minutes ago, I am more hopeful, even for the rest of this session. If we can put these filibusters behind us for a moment, if we can come to the floor and work together, I think we can achieve something. We did with the farm bill, we did with the Transportation bill, we did with the Violence Against Women Act, and we did with postal reform-- bipartisan bills, important bills that passed the Senate and died in the House. I hope if we show some leadership over here the House will follow in a bipartisan fashion to deal with these same issues. We know we have major problems facing us in this country, problems that will not be resolved unless we work together. Super PACs Mr. President, I would like to make a statement about another issue, which I think relates directly to the performance of Congress and what is going on in American politics today. Across the street, the U.S. Supreme Court reached a decision known as Citizens United. It was a decision which has had a dramatic impact on the way campaigns are waged in America. We have seen unprecedented-- unprecedented--influence buying by corporations and wealthy individuals in a way we have never seen in the history of the United States. There are about 16 or 17 multimillionaires who are investing millions and millions of dollars--hundreds of millions of dollars--into our election process. The same thing holds true for major corporations. Let me tell you some of the numbers to compare. In the 2006 congressional midterm elections, outside groups spent $70 million to influence the result, Mr. President. 2006, $70 million. Four years later, in 2010, outside groups raised the $70 million figure to $294 million--four times the amount they spent in 2006. In the current Presidential election cycle outside special interest groups and wealthy individuals have already broken the record of 2010. These outside groups--and these are not the campaigns of any candidates or even political parties--have already spent, with 7 weeks to go, $350 million, breaking all records for outside money. How is this money being spent? Turn on your television in a battleground State and try to get around the television ads. They have spent $50 million more than they did in 2008--and we are just entering the end of this campaign when the expenditures will skyrocket. If there was ever any doubt that the Citizens United decision would lead to a flood of campaign cash from wealthy individuals and corporations, we have our answer. At the end of 2010, there were 84 active super PACs. Two years later, there are now 657 super PACs prepared to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to persuade voters. The only thing worse than this unprecedented amount of money from special interest groups and wealthy individuals flooding our airwaves is the fact that ordinary Americans often have no idea where this money is coming from. In 2006, only 1 percent of all outside spending came from secret donors. In 2010, after Citizens United and the rise of super PACs, secret donors rocketed to 46 percent of the outside spending in campaigns, which means when we see the ads on television, we have no idea, generally--in half the cases at least--who is paying for it. As I have said before, these are not just super PACs, these are outside groups pouring money into elections. They are super secret PACs in many instances because the public has shockingly little information about the sources of the money. These super secret PACs and the wealthy individuals and corporations behind them are drowning out the voices of average citizens, and many times the voices of the candidates themselves. Our representative democracy values transparency, participation, and open debates. Unfortunately, nonpartisan reports indicate that as the amount of money flooding into campaigns increases, core democratic principles are diminished. The little that we have been able to learn about the major donors to these super PACs is very disturbing. Mr. President, 17 percent of all funds raised by super PACs came from for-profit businesses. It is safe to say that their primary goal is generally not advancing the public interest but, rather, enhancing their corporate bottom line. Mr. President, 80 percent of funds given to super PACs during this Presidential election--80 percent of all the $350 million that I mentioned--came from 196 people--196 people who want to control our campaign process. Moreover, there is an ultra-elite club of 22 millionaires and billionaires who provided half of all super-PAC money being spent in this Presidential election--22 Americans. I do not begrudge anyone their success in life or in business. I applaud it. The voices of business leaders, wealthy individuals, and special interests should be heard as part of the public debate. They are an important part of our country, and they need a seat at the policymaking table. Their voices, however, are not the only voices and opinions that matter. They should not occupy every seat at the policymaking table or buy control of what is served on that table. A Las Vegas casino magnate, Sheldon Adelson; billionaire oil tycoons, two brothers, Charles and David Koch; and the multimillionaire head of a retail empire, Art Pope, may have achieved laudable business success, but their economic success does not entitle them to secretly use their virtually unlimited resources and impose their political will and their political agenda on America. Unfortunately, after the Citizens United case, that is exactly what they are trying to do. The Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is reportedly the most generous super-PAC donor. He has contributed $36 million and threatens to spend even more. His first spend was on a candidate named Newt Gingrich. When he did not make it to the finish line, Mr. Adelson said that he is now going to give it to the Republican nominee for President. That is a lot of money and a lot of influence and probably more, but for this particular super-PAC donor, that $36 million contribution, when you look at his wealth, is equivalent to $168 from the average American. The terms of the political debate and, I fear, the outcome of many elections are not being set by 314 million Americans whose lives, jobs, safety, and health are impacted by the decisions of the people they elect; instead, it is the 22, 22 wealthy individuals pouring money into super PACs that have outsized influence on the terms of our political debate and the outcome of our elections. Our fellow Americans may not know the intricate details of campaign finance laws, but they know their voices are being drowned out by these corporations, special interests, and wealthy individuals. Many people are losing confidence in this democracy as a result. According to a recent survey, three out of four Americans believe corruption has increased over the last 3 years. Well, in some part, we can thank the Citizens United decision for that. The time to fix our broken campaign finance system is now. I am a realist. I understand that most Americans view this flood of spending by special interest groups and wealthy individuals on political campaigns the same way they view gangland slayings: Let them shoot one another as much as they want. As long as the bullets do not hit us, as long as we do not have to watch, let them have their fun. But it is more serious than that. If our political process is stolen away [[Page S6563]] from the average American, even the average candidate, by these special interest groups and wealthy individuals, it will diminish our democracy, there is no question. So here is an idea, one I have been pushing for a long time. I introduced the Fair Elections Now Act, which would create a public financing system that would free candidates from the dangerous reliance on super PACs once and for all. Under Fair Elections, viable candidates who qualify for Fair Elections programs would raise campaign funds in small amounts from individual donors-- small amounts. Once they have raised a certain threshold number of small donations, they could receive matching funds and grants sufficient to run a competitive campaign. Fair Elections would fundamentally reform our broken system and put the average citizens back in control of their elections and their country. I wonder what the American people would think of shorter campaigns directed to the issues, actual debates between the candidates? Would they miss us if they did not see all of those ads on television? I do not think they would miss us. I also support the DISCLOSE Act. The Supreme Court got it wrong in Citizens United, but this bill we have tried to pass would require super PACs and other big spenders to disclose all donors who give $10,000 or more to influence an election. What is wrong with transparency and disclosure when it comes to our democratic political process? I chair the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights. I will tell you that when it comes to constitutional amendments, I have been pretty picky as a Member of the House and Senate. I think the Constitution which I have sworn to uphold and defend as a Member of the Senate and the House is an extraordinary document. I am not so bold or bigheaded to think I have a great idea that ought to be parked right in the middle of that fantastic and sacred document. I have been skeptical of those who have offered amendments over the years. As I have said, I do not believe we should take a roller brush to a Rembrandt. It is an amazing work of political art, and we should take care not to amend it except in the most extraordinary situations. During the most recent hearing I chaired on the impact of Citizens United, our subcommittee received 1,959,063 petition signatures from Americans representing every State in the Union, almost 2 million Americans. These Americans support the constitutional amendment that would stop the pernicious influence of secret corporate and special interest money. I see on the floor Senator Udall of New Mexico, who has been a leader on this issue on this constitutional amendment. As I have said, I am very selective in the constitutional amendments to which I will add my name. I have joined him because I think he is right. Citizens United has corrupted this political process. The likelihood that Congress can change it is a long shot. If it is going to be changed, it needs to be changed in a meaningful way so that we can reclaim our political process for the people of this country and take it away from the 22 multimillionaires and billionaires who are trying to take control of this political process. I stand with these 2 million Americans, and I stand with Senator Udall and so many others because the way we finance our campaigns in this country is in urgent need of reform. This will be the last day or two the Senate meets before the elections. I wanted to come to the floor and speak to this issue before the election, whatever the outcome may be. America is not a better and stronger nation when we give up our political process to the wealthy and politically articulate. The strength of America is when every person has a voice and a vote and they are not going to be overshadowed or outdistanced because of someone who happens to be very wealthy and very successful and wants to buy their way into our political system. I yield the floor. The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from New Mexico. Mr. UDALL of New Mexico. Mr. President, before my colleague, Senator Durbin, leaves the floor, let me just say that this whole issue, as he has pointed out, of campaign finance is a pressing issue. It is one that is before us now. We are seeing it play out in the campaign. I am sure that at the end of this campaign, citizens across this country are going to demand reform, they are going to demand change. The Senator has outlined several pieces of legislation that I believe really do that. This constitutional amendment is one. The DISCLOSE Act, a piece of legislation the Senator has offered and fought for, I think both in the House and the Senate, really brings transparency to the process. They bring disclosure to the process, and we need to do it. So I really appreciate the Senator's leadership and look forward to working with the Senator very closely on this issue as we get into the next Congress. Tribute to Russell Train I rise today to pay tribute to a gentleman by the name of Russell Train. On Monday of this week, our Nation lost a great friend of the environment. I was saddened to learn of the passing of Russell Train. Russ was a true pioneer in the history of environmental protection. He was a part of that great generation of bipartisan leaders, that remarkable group of men and women, Democrats and Republicans, who put the environment center stage, who championed conservation. My father, who knew and admired Russ, was also a part of that generation. They leave very big shoes to fill. Their legacy is monumental. Russ Train's life parallels so much of the history of the environmental movement in this country because he was part of that history because he did so much to make it happen. In 1965, when he was 45, Russ left his position as U.S. Tax Court judge. He decided to devote himself full time to conservation and became president of the Conservation Foundation. His midlife career change may have been a loss for the Tax Court, but it was a huge gain for the environment. Brilliant, tenacious, committed, he dedicated the rest of his life to the environment. Along with Rachel Carson, the celebrated author of ``Silent Spring,'' Russ helped raise environmental issues to the national level. He served as Under Secretary of Interior from in 1969 to 1970. He was the first Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality from 1970 to 1973. He was instrumental in the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and headed it from 1973 to 1977. During those years, he oversaw landmark legislation: the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Toxic Substance Control Act. All bore the imprint of Russell Train. Perhaps his most lasting achievement was the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970. He helped see that groundbreaking legislation through the Nixon White House and through Congress. For over 40 years now, NEPA has required Federal agencies to prepare environmental impact statements for any major projects. NEPA is justly regarded as the foundation for U.S. environmental protections. But what began as a bipartisan triumph was later subject to partisan divide. While in the House in 2005, I served as the ranking member of a task force whose stated purpose was to review and improve NEPA. But there were those who wanted to destroy it--with 1 swift blow or by 1,000 cuts but destroy it all the same. Many of us fought very hard not to let that happen. As I said at that time, where critics of NEPA saw only delay, we saw deliberation. Where they saw postponed profits, we saw public input. NEPA was then and is now an antidote to the potential arrogance of government power. It listens to the community, it addresses opposition early on, and in the long run it minimizes conflict and protects the environment. It trusts the American people to take part in managing their public resources. And it remains one of Russell Train's greatest legacies. Russ himself stated it best at the 40th anniversary of NEPA. He said: NEPA is America's most-imitated environmental legislation around the globe. What we launched in 1970 has become a contribution to the planet not less than to our citizenry . . . NEPA's legacy is that what the people know has great value to a government that seeks their knowledge and takes it seriously. After leaving the government, Russell led the U.S. branch of the World [[Page S6564]] Wildlife Fund for many years. He did so with his usual passion and commitment, always engaged, always pragmatic and reasonable but ever the visionary for a better world. In 1991 President Bush awarded Russ the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Russell Train was a remarkable man. Jill and I have been honored to call him and his wonderful wife Aileen our friends. We extend our sincere condolences to Aileen and their children and hope they will take comfort in knowing the world is a better place for Russell's life and work. New Mexico's Centennial On January 16, 1912, President Taft signed the proclamation making New Mexico the 47th State. So it is with great pride that I join Senator Bingaman in submitting a resolution recognizing the centennial anniversary of our State. For those of us who are blessed to call New Mexico home, we are imprinted by its remarkable history and its awesome beauty. We are part of the rich diversity of its people. One hundred years ago, the population of New Mexico was 327,000 people. Now it is over 2 million. But the mix of Native American, Hispanic, and European tradition has long been a part of our State. New Mexico is a land of deep roots. We are enriched by this mosaic of culture. It has informed our history, our art, and our sense of who we are as a people. Our State is rightly called the Land of Enchantment. It is also a land of courage. From the Civil War to Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders, from the Navajo Code Talkers to Bataan and Corregidor, and from Korea and Vietnam to the brave men and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, when our Nation has called, New Mexico has always stood ready to answer that call. The story of New Mexico is a long and proud one. It goes back well over 10,000 years to the Clovis people. It goes back to Santa Fe, founded in 1610, the oldest capital city in the United States. In 1920, Route 66 connected New Mexico to California and to the Midwest. This and other interstate projects that followed brought jobs and more people to our State, and today we need a new commitment to investing in the infrastructure that is essential to renewed prosperity. In the 1920s and 1930s, New Mexico was part of an oil boom that fueled the rest of the Nation, and today we are on the cutting edge of clean energy technology, helping to reduce our Nation's dependence on foreign oil. In the 1940s and 1950s Sandia and Los Alamos National Labs became legendary centers of scientific innovation and research. Today they continue to play a vital role in our Nation's security. Our State is also promoting STEM education--science, technology, engineering, and math--so that our graduates can get good jobs, so they can compete in a global economy. How we address these issues will shape the next 100 years in our State, but I am sure of one thing: We have a blend of cultures and backgrounds like nowhere else. It has helped bring us where we are today. It will help take us where we need to go tomorrow. The vitality and creativity of our people is as strong as ever. Working together, we will continue to meet the challenges of our State and our Nation. In this year of our centennial, we look back to our unique history and we look forward to a bright future. I thank the Senator from Kentucky, Mr. Paul, for allowing me to finish my statement. I appreciate very much his courtesy. With that, I yield the floor. The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Kentucky. Foreign Aid Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, I am going to tell you the story today of a love affair. It is a story that is a steamy one. It is a story of illicit behavior, of treachery, and of gluttony. It is a story that involves intrigue and deception. It is a story of unintended consequences, and it is a story of anger and violence. It is the story of American foreign aid. Joseph Sambayi Mukendie never sleeps at home anymore. Mukendie's sleep is interrupted by dreams. He feels unsafe even a continent away from his attackers. Mukendie was arrested at home one night. He was taken to an underground cell at Camp Kongolo--a military base in Kinshasha, Zaire. The secret police of Mobutu stripped him naked, stretched him out on the floor, and then he was beaten with a large stick with nails protruding from the end. Mobutu received billions of dollars in foreign aid from our country. Over his 30-year bloody dictatorship, he received billions of our taxpayer dollars. As his people starved, his wife went to Europe, spent millions of dollars on spending sprees. Zaire has very little running water and sporadic electricity. It rotted under Mobutu's rule, and yet he received billions of American dollars. Mobutu stole the lion's share of this. He became one of the richest men in the world. Enough was stolen that his wealth was estimated to be in the billions. They called his wife Gucci Mobutu. Her shoe collection rivaled Imelda Marcos'. She was capable of spending $1 million in one day in Europe. Jean Nguza Karl-i-Bond was an ally of Mobutu who fell out of his favor. Mobutu accused him of trying to seduce the First Lady. Many believed his only crime was that he was mentioned in the foreign press as a possible successor to Mobutu. Nguza was subjected to physical and electric torture to the genitals--too horrific to even repeat. The administration of Jimmy Carter, who ostensibly were champions of human rights, nevertheless continued the steady flow of foreign aid, for foreign aid is a bipartisan project. There is a consensus in the United States and in the Senate. We must send it no matter what the behavior of the recipients. Not only did our leaders turn a blind eye to Mobutu's graft and human rights abuses, they bestowed upon him inexplicable and personal friendship. Mobutu was known as a personal friend of the first President Bush and vacationed at his personal residence. When Mobutu traveled to Europe, he would stop by the Central Bank of Zaire. Early in his reign, he would come by with a Louie Vuitton bag and would get about $50,000 in cash. Toward the end of his career, he was getting $500,000 in cash for these trips to Europe. One of his many foreign residences was in Switzerland. He apparently had the time and money to vacation there, and even had his own brandy being made at our taxpayers' expense. It is sad to contemplate what despots and dictators have done and are doing to their people. It is sadder still to realize they are being subsidized in this horrific behavior by taxpayer money. And it continues. We are having a debate now over foreign aid because they still want to send more. Many people think the answer is to send more; maybe they will behave better if they get more of our money. Apologists for foreign aid don't deny foreign aid has often been stolen by corrupt leaders, and there is evidence the humanitarian outcomes are scant and don't occur. Nevertheless, the advocates of foreign aid justify the continuing aid with the argument we must often choose the lesser of two evils. As many have pointed out, the lesser of two evils is still evil. Throughout the Cold War, the perceived threat of Soviet expansionism, though, clouded the minds of many leaders. American leaders would pick one dictator over another if he or she were a pro-American dictator. We didn't care what they were doing to their people. We turned a blind eye. We gave money to dictators from Saddam Hussein, who was once our ally, receiving billions of our tax dollars, to the mujahedin, who were radical jihadists. But at the time, we didn't mind if they were a radical jihadist if they were our radical jihadist because they were opposing the Soviet Union. But the mujahedin actually, eventually, became the Taliban, who are now our enemies. We despise jihad now, and we fight against radical Islamic jihad. But at one time we subsidized jihad. In fact, there were several weapons left over from the time period when we were giving weapons to the mujahedin. We subsidized Qadhafi before we fought Qadhafi. We gave Qadhafi foreign aid. He was our friend. In the year preceding his overthrow, there were Senators from this body speaking with Qadhafi's family about sending more money to Qadhafi. Where does the insanity end? U.S. foreign aid has continued to flow despite a long string of abuses well-known to most of those who are dispensing the aid. They simply turn a blind eye. Except for Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia, where many are saying let's [[Page S6565]] send the money to secularists; now there is a question as to whether some of that money may be going to radical Islamists. With the end of the Cold War, some were finally cut off. Mobutu, whom I mentioned, who committed these atrocious acts of torture, finally was cut off, but only after 30 years of receiving our taxpayer money, torturing his own people, and stealing everyone blind. Foreign aid from developed countries in 2006 totaled $100 billion a year. Over the past 50 years, we have given $2 trillion to developing countries in foreign aid. Over the past 42 years, Easterly states that although $568 billion has flowed into Africa, per-capita growth in income in Africa has been flat. In fact, in some countries, such as Zimbabwe, where Mugabe was in charge for several decades, the growth rate has actually been negative. So for those who say: I just simply want to help people; I want to help poor people around the world by sending them money, it is stolen by their leaders. It doesn't get to the poor people, and, besides, some may have heard we are $1 trillion short in our budget. How can we send more money overseas? Some academics have argued that with the Arab spring, the emerging democracies will require even more foreign aid. Hillary Clinton is on Capitol Hill today asking for more money to go to Egypt. As they burn our flag, as the hordes gather by the tens of thousands, she is asking to send Egypt more money. There were no Egyptian policemen or soldiers who showed up when our Ambassador was attacked, and Hillary Clinton is asking for more money to go to Egypt. According to Coyne and Ryan, the world's worst dictators have received $105 billion under the guise of official developmental assistance. Instead of helping the poor, the assistance is aiding the ability of the dictators to remain in power. In fact, it keeps them in power long enough that it inflames the populace so that we end up having to go back in because of war because the populace is so inflamed against the dictator that we have propped up against popular rule. Some academics argue emerging democracies will require more aid. Professors Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith argue: Democracy would make the price much higher. Democracy in Egypt comes at a big price for U.S. voters. Good or bad--that is up to the observer, but it will be costly, no doubt. The professors' argument is that democracy is messy and costs more to subsidize because the ballot box gives voice to the minorities that dictators would not hear, that they would silence or imprison. I think the real question and the image we have to have in our mind is when we see 10,000 people outside the Embassy in Pakistan burning the U.S. flag, imagine that we would send them more money. Imagine we would not ask for restrictions on this money. I have been asking for 6 weeks to place restrictions on foreign aid. I am not even asking that it end, although I would, but I am asking to simply place restrictions on it. Everyone should watch this vote. If I get this vote, just watch. The vast majority of the Senate is going to vote for unlimited, unrestricted foreign aid. I will probably lose this vote, but when we ask our friends, when we go home and ask our friends: Should we be sending money to countries that disrespect us, to countries that burn our flag, I think most will find that 80 to 90 percent of the American people wouldn't send another penny. That may be why Congress has about a 10-percent approval rating. They don't get it. Ninety percent of the folks up here are going to vote to continue sending taxpayer money with no restrictions to countries that burn our flag and disrespect us. Is it any wonder that only 10 percent of America approves of Congress? In fact, many people who claim to be conservatives are for foreign aid. Big government conservative advocates, such as John Guardiano, try to couch their support in feigned opposition. He says: Now, I don't like foreign aid any more than the next conservative. Most foreign aid is probably economically wasteful and counterproductive. But the point of foreign aid is not economics. It is geopolitics. That is what most of them will admit around here. Continuing his quote: It is intended to shape a recipient country's behavior and, quite literally, buy American influence. To his mind he says it does that. But if foreign aid is meant to shape a country's behavior, advocates have a lot of explaining to do. From Mobutu to Mugabe, from Mubarak to Hussein to Qadhafi, from the current Egypt to the current Pakistan that is holding a gentleman who helped us get bin Laden, to the current Pakistan that seemed somehow to let bin Laden live for 7 years in their midst with no knowledge he was there--they have some explaining to do. For those who advocate foreign aid, saying it is shaping the behavior of these countries, they have some explaining to do because it doesn't appear as if these countries respect America. It doesn't appear as if they even like us. And it also doesn't appear that if they want to be our ally they are acting like it. That is all I am asking. If a country wants to be an ally of our country, they should act like it. If they want to receive and cash an American check, they need to act like our ally at the very least. There is some question about whether the aid works when it is sent for poverty or humanitarian purposes. Doug Bandow asked this question and argues that foreign aid actually encourages poverty and starvation because African nations use displays of poverty and starvation to seek more aid. Why get rid of your problem? Why cure your problem if that is what you are showing the world you have so you can get more aid? We don't seem to care about results because we continue to give it to some of these dictators for decades, who produce no results and we know are stealing the money. Brautigram and Knack illustrate the existence of a moral hazard problem surrounding foreign aid. They contend that aid allocation may actually encourage impoverishing policy because as the damaging policies create misery, the more likely the donors are to grant more aid. Herb Werlin maintains that American foreign aid is undermined by tariffs and subsidies, including a $3 billion-a-year subsidy lavished on 25,000 cotton farmers. Because of high subsidies, America is able to export corn at two-thirds the cost of production, making it impossible for African farmers to compete. So our trade policy makes it harder for African countries to become self-sufficient. Peanuts are protected by a tariff up to 164 percent, thereby making Africa's peanut-producing nations, such as Uganda, even more dependent on aid. But it is not just rich people in poor countries getting foreign aid; we also continue to shift our dollars to rich countries. Michael Tennant reports: According to a report from the Congressional Research Service, in fiscal year 2010 the United States' top creditor nations received millions of dollars in aid. So the countries we are borrowing money from, we are sending them foreign aid. China, to whom we owe over $1 trillion, still gets $27 million in aid. Russia, to whom we owe $127 billion, still gets $71 million in aid. To add insult to injury, China gets economic development assistance from the U.S. taxpayer. It just amazes me. But you mark my words, you listen to the debate, and you watch the vote today--the vast majority does not want any change to foreign aid other than that they would increase it. If we are not getting the behavior we want, they would increase it. Hillary Clinton is on Capitol Hill today asking to increase aid to Egypt--not to put restrictions on the aid, to increase it. We currently do have some restrictions on aid to Egypt. Hillary Clinton has waived those and said they are doing fine. When the marauders, when the horde came to the Embassy in Egypt last week, there was a phone call made to our Embassy saying: The mob is coming. But no soldiers came. No one came to protect our Embassy. In the civilized world, the host nation protecting the guest nation's Embassy is of primary concern. It is something every civilized nation is expected to do. In the case of Egypt, no one came. We were lucky that we escaped death in Egypt. We weren't so lucky in Libya. The report on China that found out we were borrowing money and then [[Page S6566]] giving foreign aid to countries we borrow from was commissioned by Senator Tom Coburn, who has been watching out for your money. He demanded this report, and he said: Borrowing money from countries who receive our aid is dangerous for both the donor and the recipient. If countries can afford to buy our debt, perhaps they can afford to fund their own assistance programs without relying on the American taxpayer. Michael Tennant goes on to say this: We give China 3.9 million to enforce the rule of law and human rights, neither of which are thought to be China's selling points. The one that really burns, though, is that $700,000 in economic development assistance. It just boggles the mind that the U.S. taxpayer is asked to send money to China--which is outcompeting us in virtually every sector--to send money to subsidize their economic development assistance. One would think that with all this evidence that foreign aid doesn't reach the intended beneficiaries and often winds up in the hands of dictators, this information would make it easy to defeat foreign aid. When you look at the polls of the American people, you find that nearly 80 percent of the American people think foreign aid in general is a bad idea. We have roads in our country that are crumbling and need repair. We have bridges that are crumbling. In my State alone, we had a bridge out 6 months last year. We have two bridges in Kentucky that are older than I am and need to be replaced. We don't have the money, but we somehow have billions of dollars to send to people who disrespect us and burn our flag. I don't understand how we can send our money to these countries that disdain us, disrespect us. In Pakistan, they hold the doctor who helped us get bin Laden. We fought a 10-year war in Afghanistan to get bin Laden and his followers. We finally got him--no help from Pakistan. He lived in Pakistan for many years. Pakistan is now mad that we got him. In fact, they riot over there and burn the American flag because we killed bin Laden. What do we do? Here is some more money. If we give you some more money, will you behave. If we give you more money, will you let our supplies go across your northern frontier. But we don't ask them the real question: Are you our friend? If you are our friend, act like it. If you are our ally, act like it. Anytime this question is broached over foreign aid, the vast majority of career politicians complain bitterly and quash any debate. I have been trying to have this vote for 6 weeks. I am still hopeful we will get it, but they don't want to vote on this because they know they are voting against the popular will, they are voting against the wishes of their constituents. There is not one Senator from any one of the 50 States up here who, when they vote against these limitations on foreign aid, won't be voting against the will of their State--they won't be voting against the will of their people. You can go to Massachusetts or Maine or to conservative Texas and ask the taxpayers, ask the voters: Are you in favor of sending money to these countries where tens of thousands of people are gathering and burning our flag? Are you in favor of sending hard-earned taxpayer money to countries that disrespect us? Are you in favor of sending money to these countries when we have so many problems at home that we can't handle? And in every State in the Union, you will find that a majority of voters--sometimes a vast majority of the voters--think it is a mistake. So what is happening here is that the will of the people is not being transmitted by this body because this body, when it votes on this issue, will vote in direct defiance of the will of the people. It is often said that it is difficult to determine whether a recipient is a friend or a foe. Libya is an example. One day Libya came in from the cold. A longtime pariah among nations, rivaling Iran as a model for extreme thuggishness, Libya came in from the cold. Libya and her Colonel Qadhafi phoned the West and said they would change their ways, they would stop developing weapons of mass destruction and become good neighbors to all. This is before the recent Libyan revolution. This is the Qadhafi, whom we helped to overturn, who was by all accounts a horrible dictator, but about 2 or 3 years ago he came in from the cold and wanted to be a friend to America because he wanted our assistance. With an alacrity sped by naivete, the West welcomed Qadhafi back into the bosom of respected nations. Delegations of U.S. Senators--ones who are still in this body--went to meet with Qadhafi, to meet with Qadhafi's family, to offer Qadhafi money. Prime Minister Tony Blair gushed with praise for his new friend Colonel Qadhafi. President Bush concluded that Libya was no longer a sponsor of terror. Three Senators met with Qadhafi's son and, according to leaked cables, offered him aid. Fast-forward barely a year later into the Arab spring, and these same Senators who were offering Qadhafi aid were back in Libya offering the rebels aid. We should scratch our heads and say: My goodness. Maybe we should question the judgment of these people who tell you foreign aid should be given to everyone all the time, and if they misbehave, give them more, because you have Senators from this body going and offering aid to Qadhafi and a year later offering it to the rebels to overthrow Qadhafi and saying Qadhafi is a terrible dictator. He was. He always was. But he played a game, and we accepted the game because we are always willing to play the game with your money. Egypt. Egypt is a pile of contradictions. In the words of former CIA Agent Robert Baer, ``If you want a serious interrogation, you send a prisoner to Jordan. If you want them tortured, you send them to Syria. But if you want them to disappear--never to see them again--you send them to Egypt.'' This was the Egypt under Mubarak, who--when we felt someone needed to be tortured or disappeared and we didn't want there to be any repercussions coming back on us, that is where they sent them--to Egypt. Over the past 30 years, we bought this sort of regime there to do our bidding when we wished. It became very unpopular with the people. So you wonder about the Arab spring and you wonder, why are these people so unhappy? Well, they hated Mubarak because he was a dictator, he was an autocrat, and they didn't have freedom of speech, they didn't have freedom of association, and they were beaten with billy clubs if they tried to gather. Their political parties were outlawed. They hated Mubarak because he was antidemocrat. He didn't allow voting. But he was our guy. We paid for him. So you have to think this through. Why is there such widespread anti- Americanism? Because we have propped up and given money to so many despots, to so many dictators. Over the past 30 years, the United States sent over $30 billion to Egypt to help finance a police state ruled by an emergency decree that lasted several decades. Khaled Said became the face of that foreign aid, as pictures of his bloody beating at the hands of the Egyptian police spurred the youth of Egypt to take to the streets in the Arab spring of 2011. On June 6, 2010, Said had been sitting on the second floor of a cyber cafe. Two detectives from the Sidi Gaber police station entered the premises and arrested him. Multiple witnesses testified that Said was beaten to death by the police, who reportedly hit him and smashed him against objects as he was led outside to their police car. The owner of the Internet cafe in which Said was arrested stated that he witnessed Said being beaten to death in the doorway of the building across the street after the detectives took him out of the cafe at the owner's request. Another young man, Wael Ghonim, a young Egyptian living in Dubai, found the photos of Said after he was beaten to death by police, and he started a Facebook page. It is called ``We are all Khaled Said.'' It was moderated by Wael Ghonim. It brought attention to his death, and it became a phenomenon and spread across the Middle East as people saw the death of this man, beaten to death by the police. So we have to think, why are we seeing people burning the American flag? Why are we seeing such great unrest in 30 different countries? Because our foreign aid and our military aid have propped up dictators who become, over decades, despotic, autocratic, who torture their people and prevent freedom from occurring, and then there is a [[Page S6567]] backlash. What we are seeing is the backlash of 30 years of foreign aid and propping up military dictatorships simply because they were predisposed to like us as opposed to someone else. ``We are all Khaled Said'' was the rallying cry that brought hundreds of thousands of people to the streets in Egypt. Ghonim's Facebook, where he posted ``We are all Khaled Said,'' spawned a revolution. As hundreds of thousands of protesters filled Tahrir Square, the police beat them back. David Reiff of the New Republic reports: U.S. military aid to Egypt, which averages $1.3 billion annually, allowed the Egyptian police and paramilitaries to bombard protestors with volley after volley of tear gas made by a company in Pennsylvania. Why are they angry? They know this. They know their protests are beaten down by autocrats supported by the United States who are spraying tear gas on them that is made in the United States. We have to understand the dynamic if we are ever to try to improve the situation. The protest in Egypt escalated day after day. An unemployed man by the name of Salah Mahmoud, who had moved to Cairo in search of work to save enough money to own a home and marry but instead had been living on small day's wages, set himself on fire in the middle of the street before being put out by bystanders. The U.S. military aid and tactical training given to Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia to fight terrorism was used to fight against free association and freedom of speech of their people. When we hear about the Arab spring, we need to understand where the Arab spring comes from. The Arab spring was a rising up for democracy. There is nothing wrong with that. But why would a rising up for democracy take on anti-American tones? I am as offended as anybody else by people burning our flag. But we have to understand why did the Arab spring that seemed to be a search for freedom and democracy--why did it get transformed into an Arab winter? Why did it get transformed into an anti-American protest? Because the tear gas that rained down on them for decades was made here, because the police batons were paid for with our money, because Mubarak, who stole millions of dollars and whose family lived with such wealth and abundance, with homes in London and Paris and secret Swiss accounts, got that at our expense. So when they hated Mubarak, they hated us also. They hated us because we were Mubarak. They hated us because we were Ben Ali in Tunisia. They hated us because we were at one time Saddam Hussein's friend. If we do not understand this, we are never going to figure out a way to make things better. There are many and ample fiscal reasons to oppose foreign aid, but Thomas Eddlem puts it succinctly when he writes: ``Foreign aid has historically been used to suppress freedom and has reduced the moral influence of the example of the U.S. Constitution.'' It is hard for us to imagine, because we have such a great Constitution and such great freedom here, why they don't appreciate that. Why don't they appreciate and look to the shining example we set? We do set a great example in our country for freedom and tolerance and association. Why can't the folks in the Middle East see that? Because they see the truncheon, they see the police baton, they see the jail cells, they see trial without jury from the autocrats we have supported. We have to understand why this anti-Americanism comes. It has come because, largely, our foreign aid for decade upon decade has been given to despots throughout the Middle East. Those despots have run roughshod on their people and their people are unhappy. It is not that they despise our Constitution. I think many of them would like to have the freedoms enshrined in our Constitution, but it is confusing to us because we think: Oh, they hate what America is all about. They hate America for our wealth and freedom. They don't hate wealth and freedom. They probably don't hate us in the abstract, but they hate us because when they see Mubarak, when they see the other end of a truncheon coming from the police of Mubarak or the police of Saddam Hussein or the chemical weaponry and the chemical gas Hussein sprayed on his people, they see where it came from and they see the money that came in to prop up these dictators. From 1980 to 1988, there was a war. We have largely forgotten about it. It was between Iran and Iraq. In that war there were planes on both sides, American planes, because we had sold planes to both sides. At the time, Iran was still flying many F-4s, a couple hundred F-4 Phantoms, and on the other side we had advisers on the ground advising Hussein. Hussein was our ally. We sent money to Hussein on a routine basis. There are some reports that said Hussein directly got money from our CIA. So we can understand the confusion over there and we can understand that even though Iraq was been liberated and there is a democracy there, that some of them still seem to hate us for some reason. We wonder why they would hate us if we freed them. Because some still remember Hussein and they fear there will be another Hussein. One of the saddest stories that came up in the last week was a young soldier who was killed in Afghanistan. He was killed by the policeman, the Afghan policeman he was training. We have had over 50 deaths in Afghanistan this year from friendly fire, from our supposed allies. This one was particularly sad. This boy was to come home within a week or two. His brother was having a football game. He was supposed to make his brother's football game. This is a patriotic family, a military family. This boy proudly served, and he deserves nothing but our admiration. But he called his dad a week before and he said to his dad: I think the guy I am training is going to kill me. The Afghan policeman had been coming up to him for weeks saying, ``We don't want you here.'' These are the people we are sending our money to. We are sending our young men and women to die over there, but we are supporting people who it is not clear want to be our friends or want to be our allies. It is not clear we can win their friendship. The President of Afghanistan, Karzai, we basically helped get in power. He stays in power probably because of our presence there. Yet he is disdainful of us. They have said if there is a war with Pakistan--Karzai said he would side with Pakistan. When there was a shooting recently where an Afghan policeman shot several of our officers in a government building where they should not have been armed--or were not armed--Karzai's response was to talk about the burning of the Koran, as if there was justification for these deaths. When the riots erupted in Egypt recently, what were the first words out of President Mursi's mouth, from Egypt? The first words out of his mouth were: How dare America produce this film? America didn't produce the film, but those were the first words out of his mouth, not that ``we should protect the Embassy'' and that ``there is no justification for attacking an embassy'' regardless of any kind of discussion over this movie. We have to figure out how do we get and retain valid allies? We do have allies around the world we do not give any money to. But too often through the years we have decided to choose one dictator over another, to choose the lesser of two evils. Ultimately, often we have had to go back in to fight against our own weapons. Hussein was our ally. We ended up going back to fight against him. The mujahedin, who became the Taliban, they were our ally, too, against Russia. We were, in fact, in favor of radical jihad when it was directed against the Soviet Union. Some of the weapons are left over. In fact, when we look at Taliban weapons captured now, many of them are American weapons because it is unclear whether we have a good handle on what we give to the Afghan police. We are not positive they don't wind up in the hands of the Taliban. It is a murky situation, but I don't think it is a situation that should continue. I think it is time to come home from Afghanistan. People on the other side say: You want to disengage. No; I want to have relationships with countries around the world. I want to have diplomatic relationships. I want to have trade. But I don't think having diplomatic relationships or engaging with other countries means we have to bribe them. [[Page S6568]] There are some people who hate us enough that bribing them will not work and often is counterproductive. Thomas Eddlem reports that even: Rieff--[from the New Republic, who is] no opponent of foreign aid in theory--concluded of [foreign] aid to Egypt [that] ``this is not only a moral scandal, it is a geo[political] strategic blunder of huge portions.'' Like so many authoritarian regimes, the prime beneficiary of the U.S. foreign aid of Egypt was the leader for life, Mubarak, and the end result of 30 years of supporting an unpopular dictator is we are now seeing uprising in the streets. Why are they anti-American? Because they see us as friends of Mubarak. Mubarak was not a friend of freedom. Aladdin Elaasar, author of ``The Last Pharaoh: Mubarak and the Uncertain Future of Egypt in the Obama Age,'' said the Mubaraks owned several residences in Egypt, some inherited from previous Presidents and the monarchy and others he has built. ``He had a very lavish lifestyle with many homes around the country.'' He estimates the family's wealth between $50 billion and $70 billion. The gross national income is $2,000 per family in Egypt. Do you think that might make people a little bit mad? The guy is worth $50 to $70 billion and the average income is $2,000. The average income in Africa has not improved in decades and they have dictators worth billions of dollars. Do you think that makes those people harbor anti-American sentiments because the leaders, these dictators, have gotten American money? About 20 percent of the population in Egypt lives below the poverty line, according to a 2010 report. It is not just Hosni Mubarak himself, it is his whole family who has been enriched. In 2001, they estimated his wealth at $10 billion just in American banks, Swiss, British banks, Bank of Scotland, England, Credit Suisse of Switzerland. You wonder what it is worth today or if we found it all. You also wonder how much of that money in those secret bank accounts is actually just your money. Egypt's First Lady Suzanne Mubarak's wealth just by herself is estimated at $5 billion. How much of that is your money? When we hear these numbers of billions of dollars the dictators have secreted away in Swiss bank accounts, listen to that and remember when we hear the plethora of Senators who will come to the floor and say that not one penny of foreign aid should ever be cut--ever. Not one penny of aid, they argue, should have conditions placed on it. The amendment I will offer today places conditions on foreign aid, but it places conditions that have to pass the Senate, not that can be rubberstamped by Hillary Clinton. Hillary thinks human rights are going fine in Egypt. She rubberstamped and said: Give them 1 billion a couple months ago, no human rights abuses in Egypt. She also approved an extra billion for Pakistan 1 month ago. We cannot rely on the purse strings to be transferred--particularly to this administration but even any administration, Republican or Democratic. The purse strings are to remain--were intended to remain and the Constitution says are to remain--in the legislature. This is a real problem. My legislation makes it come back, and we have to vote on it here, that they are in compliance, that there are no human rights violations, that Egypt is not stealing the money and that they are willing and able--that they can and will protect our Embassy. I think, at a very minimum, if they are going to cash our check, if they are going to have our foreign aid--which I am not a big fan of-- but if they are going to get it, at the very least it should have strings attached to say: You have to protect the American Embassy. One of Mubarak's friends was Gamal Mubarak. He is the Assistant Secretary General of the ruling Democratic National Party in Egypt. His own wealth is estimated at $17 billion, supposedly spread through several banking institutions in Switzerland, Germany, the United States, and Britain. You wonder how much of the $17 billion is actually your money. Alaa Mubarak, the daughter, her property has reached into nearly $8 billion. She has properties on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, real estate in Washington State, New York, owns two royal yachts with a value of 1 million pounds. These are the yachts one can land a helicopter on. These are the yachts that have a swimming pool on them. How much of that $8 billion, how much of the money that went to pay for these yachts for the Mubarak family is yours? The thing is, you should be mad. I think Americans are mad. But it is this confusing situation. We should be mad about the foreign aid and so are the populations who are burning the American flag, they are mad-- because they did not receive the foreign aid. The foreign aid went to Mubarak. So you should be mad that your Senators send this money to dictators and that the dictators live these lavish lifestyles in mansions throughout the world, throughout Switzerland, London, Paris. Some of the largest private homes in the world are owned by dictators, paid for with your money. You should be angry. You should be frothing. You should be upset. You should tell your Senators, you should tell your Congressman: No more money to these dictators. But at the same time you become angry, think it through and understand why the Arab world is angry. They don't hate our freedom. They don't hate our Constitution. They are angry at their own dictators, but they are angry we propped up their dictators for decade after decade. But it all has to do with foreign aid. I have been arguing primarily about Pakistan, but the thing is, this is bigger than Pakistan. Pakistan is just the most egregious and one of the larger recipients of our aid--$3 billion worth a year, maybe more. Right now they are holding Dr. Shakid Afridi, who is the doctor who helped us get bin Laden. They tortured him for a year, and he will be in prison for the rest of his life. That is not the way an ally acts. I say no more money to Pakistan until they release this doctor. I don't think that is too much to ask. We would find very few in this body who agree. Ask the American people and 80 to 90 percent agree no more money to Pakistan until the doctor is free. I will be lucky to get 20 percent of them to agree to not just cut off aid, but have restrictions on aid. That is how bad it is. The Arab spring brought corruption and theft of U.S. aid to Libya and Egypt, but Africa is rife with stories of theft and dictator spoils. Teodrin Obiang Nguema is the son of Equatorial Guinea's dictator. He recently ran afoul of French customs who discovered that his chartered jet had 26 supercars on it, including seven Ferraris, five Bentleys, four Rolls Royces, and two Buggatis. Is anybody besides me mad that we are sending foreign aid to African dictators whose sons are importing Rolls Royces, Bentleys, Ferraris, and Buggatis to Africa, countries that have no electricity? I don't care if you are the biggest humanitarian in the world and you want to help people, it is not going to the people. The foreign aid is stolen by the leadership of these countries. This is not one example; this is example after example, decade after decade. The learning curve around here is so slow we will get 10, maybe 20 Senators to place any restrictions on foreign aid. Seventy percent of the people living in Africa live under the poverty threshold of $2 a day, and the son of a leader is importing Buggatis, Bentleys, Rolls Royces, and Ferraris on his own private charter jet. It has to be a pretty big jet to have 26 supercars on it. The rest of Africa lives on $2 a day. It is our money given by our government to dictators in Africa. We have to get the connection. We need to be mad. There needs to be an ``American spring'' where we tell our leaders we are sick and tired of our money going to fund dictators--an American spring where we understand what happened in the Arab spring. The Arab spring is a direct consequence of us sending foreign aid and lavishing it on people who don't respect the freedom of their constituents and don't allow constitutional freedoms. The Arab spring's anger, as much as it is directed against America, is not against our Constitution. It is not because they don't believe in freedom. It is because they are upset that we have been funding and subsidizing their dictators. The United States has given Guinea almost $300 million over [[Page S6569]] the past 10 years despite Guinea having one of the worst human rights records on the planet. Torture is said to be commonplace. The New York Times reported last spring: ``Any policeman can arrest any citizen at any time.'' Torture is a ``current thing,'' ``current,'' said Mr. Mico, a lawyer who is with an opposition party. He was recalling his own beating in the presence of high officials. Gonzalo Ndong Sima, a pharmacist in the center of town, recounted his recent encounter with the police over a simple traffic mishap saying, ``They beat me like an animal.'' So what do we do? We give Guinea our money and people are beaten with police truncheons at traffic accidents. Who are they mad at? We need to begin to understand where the anger is coming from. When we prop up dictators in third-world countries who beat their subjects into submission, that is why they are angry. They don't care that we are wealthy or free. They are angry because we prop up dictators who beat them with truncheons. Despite widespread reports of abuse, corruption, and ineffectiveness, foreign aid continues unabated. Despite polls that show over 70 percent of the American voters are opposed to foreign aid, it continues unabated. Even when advocates of foreign aid are beaten down with stories such as I have been telling today of human rights abuses, starvation, and death threats, hangings, shootings, executions, these advocates trot forward their last defense: ``Foreign aid is less than 1 percent of the whole budget.'' It is only $30 billion. Do you know how many times they use that argument? Every time I want to cut $30 billion, it is only $30 billion. They use it for $300 million too. It is only $300 million. If we don't get started somewhere, how are we ever going to balance our budget? We can't live on the $1 trillion deficits. They argue eliminating foreign aid would not balance the budget. No, it won't, but it is a start. We have to start somewhere, and why not start with something that is counterproductive? Why not start with eliminating something from the budget that is counterproductive and seems to create some of the anger--at least it is some explanation for the anger in the Arab world. The final arguments for foreign aid are so flimsy one would not think they would be worth much to even try to refute. Proponents of the status quo use this argument over and over for any budgetary item. If we can't cut millions now or even billions, how will we ever get to trillions? When conservatives argued for cutting small subsidies to little airports that sometimes subsidize one airline ticket for $3,000, they argue it will only save $300 million. It is not a valid argument, it is a weak argument, and we should not accept it. Cutting $30 billion worth of foreign aid would not balance the budget, but I am not even asking to cut the foreign aid. What I am asking for is that we place contingencies on it, rules of behavior. If they want to be our ally, act like it. If they want to be America's ally, act like it. If they want to cash our check, act like an ally and behave. At the very least shouldn't there be rules and restrictions on who gets it? While there are reasons they are burning the American flag, I am an American and it upsets me. I am bothered by the fact that the American flag is being burned, but I am also bothered by the fact that we are sending money to countries where this is occurring. We are faced daily with tens of thousands of protesters in these Middle Eastern countries. We are faced with the tragic assassination of Ambassador Stevens. With all the aid and all the evidence that foreign aid is not working, that it enables dictators and rarely buys the behavior we want, Republicans and Democrats still clamor for more. They will fight tooth and nail against any restrictions on the aid. So one wonders, where are we going? In fact, we will find in this argument--and if we will read the paper, we will find that Secretary of State Clinton is arguing for more aid to Egypt. Their argument is if a country doesn't like us, if they behave illy toward America, if we give them more money, maybe they will act better. I think the opposite. One, we are out of money. We are $1 trillion short. I think if we give them less money, they would think more about their behavior. Perhaps if we gave less money or, in my mind, no money to Pakistan until Dr. Afridi is released, maybe he would be released. It boggles the mind to think these Senators are in favor of no restrictions and increasing aid despite decades of evidence that aid is not working. Proponents of this aid continue to argue that these mobs will be more inflamed if we don't give them money. I think it is quite the opposite. I think the other thing about it they don't quite get is that I don't think the people writing are writing and saying give us more aid. What they are writing for is they don't like what our aid did in the first place. They are writing against autocratic authoritarian governments that were propped up by our aid. People arguing that taking away the aid will inflame the Arab world, turn on the television set. They are plenty inflamed. Taking it away doesn't make it better, but at least we have some consultation that we are trying to do something about the deficit and maybe we have problems at home that are more pressing than this and maybe we won't reward bad behavior. To say that taking away the aid may inflame the Arab world, just turn on the television set because they are plenty inflamed already. If we don't understand why they are inflamed, if we don't understand the Arab spring, if we don't understand why they are mad, that they are mad that we propped up dictators who kept them down and kept them from freedom, we will never understand or come to a resolution to make things better. I, for one, will not vote for one more penny of foreign aid to anyone unless it has restrictions on it. I will only vote for it if the restrictions say they have to behave and it has to be approved by the Senate. We have tried it before. The other side may come to the floor and say foreign aid already has restrictions. Well, yes, they are not working because we gave them to the executive branch. Like so much in this body, we have been giving up power to the Presidency for 100 years. This is not a Republican-Democrat thing. This is just a legislative abdication of power, and we let the President do whatever he wants. I am not arguing Republican or Democrat. I am arguing any President. The power should remain here with the purse strings. We should control them tightly, and we should say foreign aid only goes out under strict conditions. We should not let the final decision be made by an administration that doesn't seem to have the fortitude to make these tough decisions. Enough is enough. We are running trillion-dollar deficits, and it is time to make a stand. I have been making a stand for the last week by filibustering this bill. It doesn't make me the most popular person here in Washington. People's travel schedules have been disrupted because of my filibuster. People's campaigning has been disrupted because of my filibuster. But this is not a new problem, and it is not a small problem. We are talking about an aid program that has gone on decade after decade. We are talking about an enormous uprising in 30 countries, the Arab spring, and now maybe the Arab winter. We are talking about how we make things better. Until we fully understand what the Arab spring is about and also why the huge amount of anti-Americanism is running throughout the Middle East, we can't make it better. I say throwing good money after bad is not the answer. This evening I think we will get to vote on my amendment. My amendment is to simply say to Libya, Egypt, and Pakistan that there are restrictions. All three will have to say that they will protect our embassy. There is a question of whether Egypt was forthcoming in protecting our embassy, and there is no question Libya was not. In the case of Libya, I think there are elements there that like America, and there are also still elements that don't like America, but there is not really a government. I wonder if an embassy should be reopened in Libya. If we reopen the embassy in Libya and we put 50 marines in there, we may have a catastrophe like we had in Lebanon [[Page S6570]] when 200 marines were killed in the early 1980s. Without thousands of marines, I don't think we can protect an embassy in a large city in Libya. It doesn't mean we don't have relations. When I argue for not putting the embassy back in, it is because I think long and hard about the danger to another ambassador and what their family will have to suffer if another ambassador is killed. I also think we can have probably an embassy in a neighboring country, and that is what I will recommend until things stabilize. If Libya wants to have aid, they should keep cooperating with us with regard to finding the assassins. They should try to work where they can become stable enough to have an embassy. The bottom line with Libya that a lot of people forget--as I talk about foreign aid, so many people say we can't cut off aid to Libya; they want to be pro-American. They have oil. When President Obama was bombing Libya, he kept saying: It will all be free. They will pay us for it later. It will be a free war. We heard that one before. Iraq was going to be a free war also. Iraqi oil was going to pay for it. It never ends up happening. That is what they told us about Libya. With regard to Pakistan, I have one additional requirement. They have to prove to us they will protect our embassy, and they have to release Dr. Afridi. I think this is very little to ask. He is under death threats in prison. His family is under death threats in the countryside. They are hiding and living in fear because they helped us. The other reason why this administration should take it personally is somebody leaked Dr. Afridi's name. His name should have never been known. I doubt it was someone with the CIA, but somebody who knew his name leaked this story. There were some stories about a month or two ago about how the President was doing a great job with terrorism. In those stories they talked about a doctor with a vaccine program and his name was found out. Somebody leaked it. Somebody very close to the President leaked it. I think that needs to be investigated. It is a crime and it should be punished. Not only is it a crime, but whomever in the administration leaked that information about Dr. Afridi, I hope they lie awake at night and worry about their soul in the sense that this man may well die. He is going to be in prison for the rest of his life because his name was leaked. That kind of behavior from high- ranking government officials is inexcusable. This evening we will have this vote. I will encourage Senators to vote for this resolution. It doesn't end aid. I would prefer we end it. This is a moderate step in the sense that it attaches conditions to it. I think the American people expect that of us, at the very least, and I encourage my fellow Senators to vote for my resolution. I thank the Chair. Mr. President, I yield back the remainder of my time, and I suggest the absence of a quorum. The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll. The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll. Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so ordered. Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that I be allowed to address the Senate as in morning business, with a colloquy with the Senator from South Carolina, and perhaps other Senators who may wish to speak. The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so ordered. Immigration Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, before I get into the issue concerning the amendment of the Senator from Kentucky, I was just informed that the President of the United States, while speaking to Hispanic television, alleged that the reason why immigration reform was not enacted in the last 4 years of his Presidency is because the Senator from Arizona walked away. Incredible. An incredible statement. I am not often in the business of accusing Presidents of the United States of not telling the truth. But facts are stubborn things. First of all, it was then-Senator Obama who joined with Senator Kennedy and me when we were doing comprehensive immigration reform, and we pledged that we would take tough votes so the whole fragile coalition would not fall apart. Instead of doing that, the then-Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, proposed an amendment which would have destroyed the entire coalition we had together, and did so without telling Senator Kennedy or me or anyone else, by sunsetting the provisions that called for temporary workers. But, more importantly, in 2009, I was invited over to the White House. I went over there. It was a conversation with others about comprehensive immigration reform, and the President at that time stated they would be proposing legislation. I told him I would be glad to examine it and I would be glad to support any effort to comprehensive immigration reform that I could agree with. Nothing came from the White House--zero, not one word. Not one piece of legislation was proposed by the administration. After the shooting and the tragedy in Tucson, the President gave a great speech. I wrote an article thanking him. I was invited over to the White House again. And when we discussed comprehensive immigration reform, I said: I am ready to sit down with you and move forward on it. He said: Of course. There was never a word. Was the President of the United States waiting for the Senator from Arizona to bring forward comprehensive immigration reform? Is that how he thinks government works? So again we find a President who wants to blame everybody else no matter what it is. My friend from South Carolina was involved in this issue as well, and I would be interested in his observation of this entire issue. I still stand ready to move forward with comprehensive immigration reform. Mr. GRAHAM. I thank the Senator. It was very difficult politics. It was a very fragile but robust coalition back in the day. President Bush sent over two Cabinet Secretaries every week and was personally involved in trying to get comprehensive immigration reform passed in 2006 and 2007. I saw firsthand the commitment by the White House, where Secretary Gutierrez and many others came over--the Homeland Security Secretary came over-- and basically wrote the bill line by line--Senator Kennedy, myself, McCain, Kyl--a bunch of people--Salazar. Senator Obama showed up on occasion. But at the end of the day, the basic construct was that for a modern immigration system--merit-based immigration, a new way of doing business, better border security, better employer verification systems--Republicans would allow the 12 million to earn their way into lawful standing--a long and arduous way back to citizenship they would have to earn--and, in return, we would get a temporary worker program that would help American businesses supplement the labor force when they could not find an American worker, after paying a competitive wage. The chamber, all businesses were for this because it gave the business community the certainty they needed regarding immigration. Part of the grand bargain was that the chamber would be able to access labor in a more modern, efficient way. The labor unions hated that part of the bill. A lot of people on the right hated the idea of an earned pathway to citizenship--coming out of the shadows and living under the law, paying taxes, and all the other things in the bill. Senator Obama, out of nowhere, came to the floor and said: I have a commonsense amendment I would like to propose that we sunset the temporary worker program--$400,000, I think it was, allocated to American businesses--after 5 years. Well, what would have happened if I came to the floor and said: Let's terminate the pathway to citizenship or sunset it after 5 years? That was the heart and soul of the deal. Thank God his amendment went down. But during the negotiations and during that critical time, I think he gave in to the pressure from the unions. But he did promise, in 2008, when he ran against Senator McCain, that he would pass comprehensive immigration reform in his first year. I looked at the interview last night and got bits and pieces of it. As I recall the first year of the Obama administration, it was all about ObamaCare and [[Page S6571]] the stimulus. I do not remember any effort, bipartisan or otherwise, to deal with comprehensive immigration reform because all the political capital was spent on ObamaCare and the stimulus. At the end of the day, the only time President Obama has talked about immigration reform was when rallies were going to be held. And here, at the late hour of the election, he tries to do something with a dream act modified in a unilateral fashion. So at the end of the day, the Senator is right, I say to Senator McCain. He can blame others, but I think the record speaks pretty loudly and clearly where his agenda lay in the first couple years of his administration, and immigration reform was not even a blip on the radar screen. Foreign Aid Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, on another subject, yesterday the Senate and, then later, the House were called together to get a briefing from key members of the administration, led by the Secretary of State; a high-ranking member of the FBI; our Director of National Intelligence, General Clapper; and the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to tell us ostensibly what happened in the tragic deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other brave Americans. We gathered down in the secret room, where everybody turns in their phones and BlackBerries, and we went in and listened to basically a description of America's military disposition in that part of the world--something which certainly does not warrant a supersecret briefing. But, more importantly than that, when the Secretary and the others were asked exactly what happened--what happened here? What caused this tragedy? What was the sequence of events?--in fact, it was Senators and the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee: What happened?--the answer was: Well, that is still an ongoing investigation and we cannot tell you anything. Now, we were supposed to be down there to hear what happened, to hear the administration's version of the events of what happened. We were told nothing. We were told absolutely nothing because there is an investigation going on. This morning in the Wall Street Journal, entitled ``Misjudgments Preceded Deadly Libya Attack,'' there is a tick-tock starting at 8 p.m. all the way through of the events that took place. Now, if that is not an incredible disrespect to the Members of the Senate, I don't know what is. Again, it is an example of the disdain with which this body is held by the administration, including, I am sorry to say, the Secretary of State. It is not that I am offended as a Senator, it is the disrespect to the institution of the Senate when we are called together ostensibly to receive information, that information they tell us they can't give us, and then it appears on the front page of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. What does that mean about the attitude this administration has to this body? Obviously, it is not one that I think is of respect. Does the Senator wish to say something? Mr. GRAHAM. Just briefly. I was very disappointed in the briefing yesterday too. The bottom line is that we asked questions like: How many security people were at the Benghazi consulate? We will have to get back with you. And you pick up the New York Times and you get a blow-by-blow description of what supposedly went on. So it was very frustrating, like pulling teeth to get information yesterday. A lot of Senators are frustrated. You pick up major papers in the country and you find details not shared with you. One of the things I am worried about is that we are trying to find out who committed these terrible acts of terrorism. They were acts of terrorism, not a spontaneous riot. We said: What is the game plan? Will they be held as enemy combatants? Are they going to be held as common criminals? Will they be prosecuted in Libya? Will they be brought back to the United States? Do you have to read them Miranda rights? There was absolutely not a whole lot of information. But at the end of the day, I think it was a lost opportunity to inform the Congress. Can we now move to the Rand Paul amendment? Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I would like to take what remaining time we have in order to discuss the Paul amendment. I would like to begin by asking unanimous consent to have printed in the Record the letter from retired military leaders urging opposition to the Paul amendment. There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows: Retired Military Leaders Urge Opposition to Paul Amendment September 21, 2012. Dear Senator: As co-chairs of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition's National Security Advisory Council, a group of more than 110 retired three- and four-star generals and admirals, we believe that the International Affairs Budget-- U.S. foreign assistance--is critical to America's national security. Like all Americans, we are concerned about the recent events that have taken place in Cairo, Benghazi, and other parts of the Arab world. However, a wholesale suspension of U.S. assistance to nations in this region is not in America's security interests. U.S. assistance is not a gift to recipient nations. It is not a tool to make other countries like us. It's a critical component, along with a robust military, of America's national security strategy. These programs pay dividends in terms of our national security and preventing another 9/11. America must remain strongly engaged in the world. We urge opposition to the amendment offered by Senator Rand Paul to suspend U.S. assistance to several nations in the most volatile regions of the world. Thank you for your consideration of our views. Sincerely, Admiral James M. Loy, USCG (Ret.), Co-Chair, National Security Advisory Council. General Michael W. Hagee, USMC (Ret.), Co-Chair, National Security Advisory Council. ____ National Security Advisory Council Admiral Charles S. Abbot, USN (Ret.), Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command ('98-'00); Admiral Thad W. Allen, USCG (Ret.), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard ('06-'10); Vice Admiral Albert J. Baciocco, Jr., USN (Ret.), Director of Research, Development & Acquisition, Department of Navy ('83- '87); Lt. General Thomas L. Baptiste, USAF (Ret.), Deputy Chairman, NATO Military Committee ('04-'07); Lt. General Paul Blackwell, USA (Ret.), Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans ('94-'96); Admiral Frank L. Bowman, USN (Ret.), Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion ('96-'04); General Charles G. Boyd, USAF (Ret.), Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command ('92-'95); General Bryan Doug Brown, USA (Ret.), Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command ('03-'07); Lt. General John H. Campbell, USAF (Ret.), Associate Director of Central Intelligence for Military Support, Central Intelligence Agency ('00-'03); Lt. General John G. Castellaw, USMC (Ret.), Deputy Commandant for Aviation ('05-'07), Deputy Commandant For Programs and Resources ('07-'08); Lt. General Daniel W. Christman, USA (Ret.), Superintendent, United States Military Academy ('96-'01); Admiral Vernon E. Clark, USN (Ret.), Chief of Naval Operations ('00-'05); General Wesley K. Clark, USA (Ret.), Supreme Allied Commander, Europe ('97-'00); Admiral Archie R. Clemins, USN (Ret.), Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet ('96-'99); General Richard A. ``Dick'' Cody, USA (Ret.), Vice Chief of Staff, United States Army ('04-'08). Lt. General John B. Conaway, USAF (Ret.), Chief, National Guard Bureau ('90-'93); General Donald G. Cook, USAF (Ret.), Commander, Air Education and Training Command, ('01-'05); General Bantz J. Craddock, USA (Ret.), Commander, U.S. European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe ('06-'09); Lt. General John ``Mark'' M. Curran, USA (Ret.), Director Army Capabilities and Integration Center/Deputy Commanding General Futures, Army Training and Doctrine Command ('03-'07); General Terrence R. Dake, USMC (Ret.), Assistant Commandant, US Marine Corps ('98-'00); Lt. General Joseph E. DeFrancisco, USA (Ret.), Deputy Commander in Chief and Chief of Staff of United States Pacific Command ('96- '98); Admiral Walter F. Doran, USN (Ret.), Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet ('02-'05); Lt. General James M. Dubik, USA (Ret.), Commander, Multi National Security Transition Command and NATO Training Mission-Iraq ('07-'08); General Ralph E. Eberhart, USAF (Ret.), Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command/Commander, U.S. Northern Command ('02-'04); Admiral Leon A. Edney, USN (Ret.), Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic/Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command ('90-'92); Admiral James O. Ellis, Jr., USN (Ret.), Commander, U.S. Strategic Command ('02-'04); Admiral William J. Fallon, USN (Ret.), Commander, U.S. Central Command ('07- '08); Admiral Thomas B. Fargo, USN (Ret.), Commander, U.S. Pacific Command ('02-'05); General Robert H. Foglesong, [[Page S6572]] USAF (Ret.), Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe ('04-'05); Admiral S. Robert Foley, USN (Ret.), Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet ('82-'85); General John R. Galvin, USA (Ret.), Supreme Allied Commander, Europe/Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command ('87-'92). Lt. General Robert G. Gard, Jr., USA (Ret.), President, National Defense University ('77-'81); Admiral Edmund P. Giambastiani, Jr., USN (Ret.), Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff ('05-'07); Lt. General Arthur J. Gregg, USA (Ret.), Army Deputy Chief of Staff ('79-'81); Vice Admiral Lee F. Gunn, USN (Ret.), Inspector General, U.S. Navy ('97-'00); General Michael W. Hagee, USMC (Ret.), Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps ('03-'06); General John W. Handy, USAF (Ret.), Commander, U.S. Transportation Command and Commander, Air Mobility Command ('01-'05); General Richard E. Hawley, USAF (Ret.), Commander, Air Combat Command ('96-'99); General Michael V. Hayden, USAF (Ret.), Director, Central Intelligence Agency ('06-'09); Admiral Ronald J. Hays, USN (Ret.), Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Command ('85-'88); General Richard D. Hearney, USMC (Ret.), Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps ('94-'96); General Paul V. Hester, USAF (Ret.), Commander, Pacific Air Forces, Air Component, Commander for the U.S. Pacific Command Commander ('04-'07); General James T. Hill, USA (Ret.), Commander, U.S. Southern Command ('02-'04); Admiral James R. Hogg, USN (Ret.), U.S Military Representative, NATO Military Committee ('88-'91); Lt. General Patrick M. Hughes, USA (Ret.), Director, Defense Intelligence Agency ('96-'99); General James L. Jamerson, USAF (Ret.), Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command ('95-'98); Admiral Gregory G. Johnson, USN (Ret.), Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe ('01-'04). Admiral Jerome L. Johnson, USN (Ret.), Vice Chief of Naval Operations ('90-'92); General John P. Jumper, USAF (Ret.), Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force ('01-'05); Admiral Timothy J. Keating, USN (Ret.), Commander, US Pacific Command ('07-'09); Lt. General Richard L. Kelly, USMC (Ret.), Deputy Commandant, Installations and Logistics ('02-'05), Vice Director for Logistics, Joint Staff ('00-'02); Lt. General Claudia J. Kennedy, USA (Ret.), Deputy Chief of Staff for Army Intelligence ('97-'00); General Paul J. Kern, USA (Ret.), Commanding General, U.S. Army Materiel Command ('01-'04); General William F. Kernan, USA (Ret.), Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic/Commander in Chief, U.S. Joint Forces Command ('00-'02); Lt. General Donald L. Kerrick, USA (Ret.), Deputy National Security Advisor to The President of the United States ('00-'01); General Ronald E. Keys, USAF (Ret.), Commander, Air Combat Command ('05-'07); Lt. General Bruce B. Knutson, USMC (Ret.), Commanding General, Marine Corp Combat Command ('00-'01); General Leon J. LaPorte, USA (Ret.), Commander, United Nations Command, U.S. Combined Forces Command, U.S. Forces Korea ('02-'06); Admiral Charles R. Larson, USN (Ret.), Commander, U.S. Pacific Command ('91-'94); Vice Admiral Stephen F. Loftus, USN (Ret.), Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Logistics ('90-'94); General John Michael Loh, USAF (Ret.), Commander, Air Combat Command ('92-'95); Admiral T. Joseph ``Joe'' Lopez, USN (Ret.), Commander in Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe ('96-'98); General Lance W. Lord, USAF (Ret.), Commander, U.S. Air Force Space Command ('02-'06). Lt. General James J. Lovelace, USA (Ret.), Commanding General, U.S. Army Central Command ('07-'09); Admiral James M. Loy, USCG (Ret.), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard ('98-'02); General Robert Magnus, USMC (Ret.), Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps ('05-'08); General Barry R. McCaffrey, USA (Ret.), Commander, U.S. Southern Command ('94-'96); Lt. General Dennis McCarthy, USMC (Ret.), Commander, Marine Forces Reserve ('01-'05); Vice Admiral Justin ``Dan'' D. McCarthy, SC, USN (Ret.), Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Fleet Readiness, and Logistics ('04-'07); General Stanley A. McChrystal, USA (Ret.), Commander, International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan ('09-'10); Vice Admiral John ``Mike'' M. McConnell, USN (Ret.), Director of the National Security Agency ('92-'96); Lt. General Frederick McCorkle, USMC (Ret.), Deputy Commandant for Aviation, Headquarters ('98-'01); General David D. McKiernan, USA (Ret.), Commander, International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan ('08- '09)/Commander, US Army Europe ('05-'08); General Dan K. McNeill, USA (Ret.), Commander, International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan ('07-'08); Lt. General Paul T. Mikolashek, USA (Ret.), Inspector General, U.S. Army/ Commanding General of the Third U.S. Army Forces Central Command ('00-'02); Vice Admiral John G. Morgan, Jr. USN (Ret.), Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information, Plans and Strategy ('04-'08); Admiral John M. Nathman, USN (Ret.), Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command ('05-'07); Admiral Robert J. Natter, USN (Ret.), Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet/Commander, Fleet Forces Command ('00- '03). Lt. General Gregory S. Newbold, USMC (Ret.), Director of Operations, J-3 Joint Staff ('00-'02); General William L. Nyland, USMC (Ret.), Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps ('02-'05); Lt. General Tad J. Oelstrom, USAF (Ret.), Superintendent, U.S. Air Force Academy ('97-'00); Lt. General H.P. ``Pete'' Osman, USMC (Ret.), Commanding General II MEF ('02-'04); Lt. General Jeffrey W. Oster, USMC (Ret.), Deputy Administrator and Chief Operating Officer, Coalition Provisional Authority, Iraq (2004); Deputy Commandant for Programs and Resources, Headquarters Marine Corps (ended in '98); Lt. General Charles P. Otstott, USA (Ret.), Deputy Chairman, NATO Military Committee ('90-'92); Admiral William A. Owens, USN (Ret.), Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1994-1996; Admiral Joseph W. Prueher, USN (Ret.), Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Command ('96-'99); Lt. General Harry D. Raduege, Jr., USAF (Ret.), Director, Defense Information Systems Agency ('00-'05), Commander, Joint Task Force for Global Network Operations ('04-'05); Vice Admiral Norman W. Ray, USN (Ret.), Deputy Chairman, NATO Military Committee ('92-'95); General Victor ``Gene'' E. Renuart, USAF (Ret.), Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command ('07-'10); General Robert W. RisCassi, USA (Ret.), Commander in Chief, United Nations Command/Commander in Chief, Republic of Korea/U.S. Combined Forces Command ('90-'93); Lt. General Michael D. Rochelle, USA (Ret.), Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1 Headquarters, United States Army ('06-'09); Vice Admiral Ronald A. Route, USN (Ret.), Naval Inspector General ('04-'07), President, Naval War College ('03-'04); Lt. General John B. Sams, Jr. USAF (Ret.), Commander, 15th Air Force ('98-'99). General Peter J. Schoomaker, USA (Ret.), Chief of Staff, U.S. Army ('03-'07); Lt. General Norman R. Seip, USAF (Ret.), Commander, 12th Air Force/Air Forces Southern ('06-'09); General Henry H. Shelton, USA (Ret.), Chairman, joint Chiefs of Staff ('97-'01); Admiral Leighton W. Smith, Jr., USN (Ret.), Commander in Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Europe/ Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe ('94-'96); Admiral William D. Smith, USN (Ret.), U.S. Military Representative, NATO Military Committee ('91-'93); Lt. General James N. Soligan, USAF (Ret.), Deputy Chief of Staff for Transformation, Allied Command Transformation ('06-'10); General Carl W. Stiner, USA (Ret.), Commander in Chief, U.S. Special Operations Command ('90-'93); Vice Admiral William D. Sullivan, USN (Ret.), U.S Military Representative to NATO Military Committee ('06-'09); Admiral Carlisle A. H. Trost, USN (Ret.), Chief of Naval Operations ('86-'90); Admiral Henry G. Ulrich, USN (Ret.), Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Commander, Joint Forces Command Naples ('05-'08); General Charles F. Wald, USAF (Ret.), Deputy Commander, U.S. European Command ('02-'06); Lt. General Joseph H. Wehrle Jr., USAF (Ret.), Assistant Vice Chief of Staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force ('02-'03); General Charles E. Wilhelm, USMC (Ret.), Commander, U.S. Southern Command ('97-'00); General Michael J. Williams, USMC (Ret.), Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps ('00-'02); General Johnnie E. Wilson, USA (Ret.), Commanding General, U.S. Army Material Command ('96-'99); General Anthony C. Zinni, USMC (Ret.), Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command ('97-'00). Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I do not think that our military leaders, retired and Active Duty, are infallible, but I think their views are very important given the vast experience so many of them on this list have. These are 110 retired three- and four-star generals and admirals. I think we should at least pay close attention to their views. They have earned it. They have earned our respect for their views. In addition, I ask unanimous consent to have a letter from AIPAC printed in the Record. There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows: The American Israel, Public Affairs Committee, Washington, DC. Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: We are writing to express our opposition to the Paul amendment cutting off U.S. foreign assistance to countries which host a U.S. diplomatic facility that is attacked any time after September 1, 2012. While we hope every effort is made to find and prosecute the terrorists who murdered the brave U.S. diplomats killed in the Embassy attacks in Benghazi, Libya, we do not believe the approach outlined in the Paul amendment is the way to respond to those horrific attacks. For one, the amendment is broadly drafted so it would potentially affect aid to any American ally (including Israel) should terrorists decide to ``attack, trespass or breach'' U.S. diplomatic facilities there. Furthermore, at this time of turmoil and uncertainty in the Middle East, the United States government needs to be able to use all available tools to influence events in the region. U.S. foreign assistance programs are a critical part of that toolbox, and essential to ensuring continued strong American leadership in the world. We urge you to oppose the Paul amendment. Howard Kohr, Executive Director. Marvin Feuer, Director, Policy & Government Affairs. Brad Gordon, Director, Policy & Government Affairs. [[Page S6573]] Mr. McCAIN. This letter is from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, America's pro-Israel lobby. It is a letter addressed to majority leader Harry Reid and minority leader Mitch McConnell. All of us here are very familiar with AIPAC. It is a very well respected and highly regarded organization that is really responsible for informing us, for strengthening our ties between the United States and Israel, and I hope my colleagues will take this very strong letter of AIPAC into consideration. There are so many things wrong with the Rand Paul amendment that it is hard to know where to begin. I would like to mention--because I know my colleague who plays a role on the Appropriations Committee and the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee wants to join in, I do not want to take too much time. I wish to mention two countries--Libya to start with. Somehow to labor under the belief that the Libyan people are opponents of the United States of America is a fundamental misunderstanding of the Libyans and the Libyan people. They are grateful. They are grateful to the United States of America. They have condemned this attack and this heinous crime of the assassination of four brave Americans. They have said they will do everything in their power to bring these people to justice. I was there on July 7 in Tripoli. I saw thousands of Libyans saying: Thank you, America. Thank you, United States. Thank you, Ambassador Stevens. Thank you. Because they were under the yoke of one of the most brutal dictators on the Earth, who, by the way, was responsible for the deaths of Americans on Pan Am 103 and the bombing of the disco in Berlin. But there is a problem in this country. They have porous borders. They have militias running around. They have not had a government of their own in forever, literally. And they need our help. They need our help in providing border security, in bringing these militias under control and these weapons that have proliferated everywhere. So our message with the Paul amendment is this: Adios. See you around. That is not America's role in Libya. That is not America's role in the world. And nothing would be more welcomed in Libya today by the Islamists and al-Qaida who are there and other extremists--nothing would make them happier than to hear that the United States had cut off all assistance to Libya. Nothing would encourage them more. Nothing would allow them to gain more traction and support from the Libyan people. This is a fight for the hearts and souls of the people of the Middle East. It is not a video--it is not a video that has caused this problem and these riots and demonstrations. It is the efforts of the Islamists who magnify and spread an obscure video throughout the Arab world to stoke the fears and anger of the people of these countries when the fact is that it is a struggle for power. That is what is going on with these videos--a struggle for power. So we are going to send a message to the Libyan people who lost thousands of their citizens in this recent struggle to oust Qadhafi from their country. The second country I wish to mention very quickly is Egypt. Many of us are disappointed at some of the actions the Egyptians have taken. I will say that President Mursi condemned these attacks. He went to Tehran and condemned Bashar al-Asad. But in my view, Egypt is pretty much up for grabs. I don't how the Egyptians are going to go. There is a struggle internally between the Salafists and the extremists and those who want a modern and democratic society, and that struggle will continue. But I would also remind my colleagues that one of the signal agreements of our time was the Egyptian-Israeli peace agreement that was consummated at Camp David by President Carter, Anwar Sadat, and Menachem Begin. This was a major step forward--peace between Egypt and Israel. Part of that deal was that the United States would provide aid to Egypt. How are the Egyptians going to react if we cut off aid to them? I can tell you how they will react. They will react that we have breached an agreement that has gone on for a long time. And, believe me, Egypt and Israel's relations are vital in the Middle East. And, again, what would prove a better message to the extremists than to be able to tell their people: Not only do the American people dislike us, not only are they not in support of us, but they will not assist us and other countries. There are many other examples. I believe the role of the United States in the world is important, and I believe also, as I mention as a footnote, that this debate has been going on all of the 20th century, now into the 21st century. Those who are isolationists, who want to fortress America--you can go back to post-World War I and the fight over the League of Nations and, prior to World War II, the isolationists, the Henry Fords, the Charles Lindberghs, the isolationists prior to World War II, past World War II, the Taft wing of the Republican Party and the Eisenhower wing, all the way up until this fight that will probably continue, and history will show that the greatest Nation in history was the United States of America, which, following World War II, restored Europe, turned back the tide of communism, and has been able, all over the world, with no greed, no selfish interest except for democracy and freedom, to aid these countries, which eventually redounds to the favor of the United States of America. I urge, obviously, rejection of the Rand Paul amendment. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Carolina. Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, I do see Senator Chambliss here. I will ask him a question and get his thoughts. To kind of follow on what Senator McCain said and to begin with, Rand Paul is a recently elected Senator who has come to the body with a lot of enthusiasm, and he is willing to make hard choices. I have worked with him on Medicare reform, on Social Security reform. I think he will take on the spending situation in this country very aggressively. I think he is very brave when it comes to entitlement reform. On that side of the ledger, I find myself very much in agreement with what he wants to do. But he does have a view of foreign policy that I think is ill-suited to the times and historically has not worn very well. As Senator McCain said, history is full of moments where America and other powers felt that now is the time to withdraw and let those people argue among themselves. The problem with letting ``those people''--and you just fill in the blank who they might be--argue among themselves is that it ignores the fact of what goes on in one place in the world can affect us, and there is no better example than 9/11. The entire operation to attack our Nation cost less than $1 million. The 20 or 21 terrorists who trained to attack us had about a $1 million budget. The author of this attack lived in a cave in a far-away place called Afghanistan. So it does matter what happens in places such as Afghanistan. Radical Islamists have no desire for democracy in the Mideast or anywhere else, and they are a force within the Mideast and throughout the world. But the good news for us is they are a minority force. The Taliban, which is a cousin of al-Qaida, basically, are very much rejected by the Afghan people. When traveling to Kabul today, one sees a city with electricity, with commerce, with cars, with movement, and with women in school. The average Afghan doesn't want to go back to the Taliban way of doing business, where there is no music, there is no interaction with each other except on terms set for them. So what we see on the television at night is a political struggle for the heart and soul of the Mideast. This has been going on for a long time and, finally, the lid blew. Egypt was an authoritarian, corrupt dictatorship. Tunisia. Libya was ruled by Qadhafi, Syria by Assad. What we see are people who have seen another way of living and they are saying, enough already, I am not going to be part of that anymore. I am going to try to change my life and my children's lives. Within that population there also are people who are dead set on making sure that nation in the Islamic world go backward, not forward. We have to take sides. If we don't take sides, if we sit on the sidelines, we will pay a price. I think it is better to help people fight the Taliban than it is to ignore the Taliban. I think it is good to go [[Page S6574]] after al-Qaida in every country on the planet so they never know a moment of peace, but we can have a few moments of peace. I think it is better to fight these guys in their backyard than to stay home and let them come to our backyard. There is a reason we haven't been attacked in over 11 years. We have been on the offensive, and there are more ways to be on the offensive than just bombing people. The biggest fear of the Taliban and al-Qaida, beyond having a bomb dropped on their head--and they do not mind dying; they really don't like living. They will die in a heartbeat to make sure others can't live their lives the way they like. It is absolutely of no consequence to them to sacrifice their own life and take someone with them. Their goal is: If we are going to live, we are going to live their way, not our way. But their big fear is that people will have the capacity to say no to them and the ability to fight back and win in the countries in question. When we killed bin Laden, that was a moment of satisfaction and justice. But has that changed the war on terror? Have the terrorists given up? Have people said: Oh, the Americans killed bin Laden so we better not go over the wall in Egypt; we better not attack the consulate? No. This is a struggle between the modern world and forces of darkness, and the way America wins this war is to empower those in other countries to fight and win in their own country, without us having to be there with 100,000 troops all the time. The biggest nightmare of the Taliban and al-Qaida is to see built a one-room schoolhouse where kids can get an education, for the people to have clean drinking water that they own and control, where people can go to a courtroom rather than a sharia court to have conflicts resolved, and to see commerce and interaction with the rest of the world, to trade with the rest of the world. That is what they fear most. Our foreign assistance budget--foreign aid--is 1 percent of the entire Federal budget. If we took it off the table, we would be left with the following way to affect the world: Do nothing or bomb people. You know what, those men and women in uniform have been at war for 11 years. How about having a tool in America's toolbox to fight the enemy without having to use military force? When we clear a village of the Taliban, how do we hold and build that village? We bring in a health care clinic, something with the most rudimentary standards. It is not something we would even think about sending our kids to, but they welcome it because they have never had anything. We build a basic one- room schoolhouse, with a chalkboard and a few books. That lights up people's lives like we cannot believe. That is how we hold and build, with the State Department and the Department of Agriculture teaching people to plant crops other than heroin. That is the al-Qaida and Taliban's worst nightmare--and Egypt and Libya and Pakistan and Yemen, and fill in the blank, Afghanistan. Here is where I am going to challenge the judgment, quite frankly, of my friend Rand Paul. He has offered an amendment at one of the most critical times in the history of the Mideast that would break, that would sever all aid, all assistance to Libya, Egypt, and Pakistan. Why are we so upset by this thought process? Trust me, I know we are broke--$16 trillion in debt--and that America is struggling more now than at any other time in my adult life and that we have to get our fiscal house in order. But how do we live in peace and prosperity with the rest of the world in flames? If we want to pay $10 a gallon for gas, turn the Mideast over to these crazy nut jobs. Here is my view of what we should do. We should stay in this fight and we should do more things than just bomb people. We should help them help themselves. The good news is most people appreciate our help. What we see on TV is the result not of a film but of radical Islamists taking advantage of a moment. Yes, the cultures are different. It is hard for people in the Mideast to understand that a film could be made disrespecting Islam without the government approving of it, because in their world nothing gets done without the government approving it. So it is important for us to say: This has nothing to do with the United States Government or the American people. This is the result of some crazy group of people who have what we call freedom of speech. It is uncomfortable, but that is the way we are. I think it is important to let the Mideast know, and Muslims in general, that this is the way we operate. We reject the disrespect shown to anyone's religion, and that is not who we are as a people, but freedom of speech does exist here. The reason we need to explain that is because in their world they can't imagine something being done like this without the government blessing it. Having said that, there is no excuse in any society to do harm to another human being because of the way somebody speaks or acts unless it is an act of violence. Senator Paul is proposing disengagement in three of the most volatile areas of the Mideast at a time when it means the most. The way he has written this amendment should make everyone pause and evaluate how they want to vote. AIPAC, which most of us are familiar with, has indicated the way the amendment is written, if there is an act of violence against a U.S. interest in Israel, maybe we would have to withdraw our aid to Israel. But they have said they oppose the Rand Paul amendment because they know what happens to Egypt if this were to ever pass and become law. The treaty Senator McCain referred to was the Camp David Accords. Israel and Egypt have been living under a peace treaty for decades now. Part of the deal was that America would provide aid to Egypt and Israel, and if we broke the agreement with Egypt, that would break the treaty with Israel. So do not tell me or anybody else you support Israel if you vote for this amendment, because one of two things is going on: Either you have no idea what it means to support Israel or you are trying to pull the wool over my eyes. It is impossible to support the security of the Israeli nation and vote for this amendment because it will lead to the breach of a treaty with one of their strongest neighbors--80 billion people living in Egypt. It will unravel a delicate balance that has existed for decades. And I will be recorded as having no part of that. Imagine if this amendment passed what the chatter would be on every Islamic Web site in the world. And by the way, if these people had a PAC, they would be supporting this amendment. I know Rand Paul is as patriotic as anyone in this body, but the fact of the matter is the crazy Islamic extremist terrorists who try to kill us all would love nothing more than this to pass. They know they cannot win if we stay engaged helping people, so they are trying to drive us out because that is their best hope of winning the day. So if we want to empower the terrorists who exist in this world, we should pass this amendment because they will go crazy with hope and excitement that their tactics are working. And if we want to destroy the hope of everybody in the Mideast who has been brave enough to stand up to these thugs and lose their family members, if we want to break their spirit, then vote to pass this amendment. If this amendment passes, good luck finding anybody anywhere in the world who will partner with us, who would be brave enough to stand up to these thugs and say: You will not have my children's future. If this amendment passed, America could never look anyone in the eye again in the Mideast and say: Stand with me. You can count on me. Ladies and gentlemen of the United States, and my colleagues in the Senate, I wish the world were not as screwed up as it is. I wish it would change. I hate the fact we have been at war and we have spent so much money. But I am telling you this right now: These are historic times in which we live. And every time in history when good people were confronted with evil and they blinked, millions died, not thousands. The only reason millions haven't died in the war on terror is the nut jobs who want to kill us all can't get ahold of weapons to do it. If you don't want Iran to get a nuclear weapon, if that bothers you--that they may get a nuclear weapon and throw the whole region into a nuclear arms race or share that technology with a terrorist organization to use it against us--then vote against this amendment. Because if this passed, what would the Iranians think about America's resolve to deal with them? [[Page S6575]] The last thing I am going to talk about is the vision of the author of this amendment, who, honest to goodness, is a friend, but on this issue I think he is dead wrong. Senator Paul had the guts to write a budget, and I give him credit for that, but look at the vision of this amendment when it comes to our role in the world. In his budget, the American military's budget was reduced by 16 percent in the first year. This foreign assistance account I was talking about, which gives us a tool other than killing people--staying engaged and trying to build up their lives so they can live in peace with us, and is about $50 billion, or about 1 percent of the budget--under his proposal it goes down to $5 billion after 2014 and is frozen there forever. It is important to note that the author of this amendment believes we can gut the military--and that is exactly what he does with military spending--and then take all the assets we have to help people off the table and we will be safe. I don't know how in the world anyone can believe, given the times in which we live, it is a good idea to take military spending below historic levels, disengage from the world, and have absolutely no influence on nations other than trying to use military force. I hope my colleagues will come to the floor and resist the temptation to do something that sounds good in a 30-second sound bite. I know people are frustrated and war weary, and I know we are broke, and we would like to leave everybody else alone, but they are not going to leave us alone. Look how much money we have spent after 9/11. Look what 20 people can do to this Nation if we disengage from the world. So now I would like to ask the question of my colleague, Senator Chambliss, who is the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee--and I have asked this of the author--when you wrote this amendment disengaging from Libya, Egypt, and Pakistan, which is a nuclear-armed nation, did you ask anybody in the intelligence community? General David Petraeus? If there is ever an American hero of modern times, it is he. Have you ever asked him or Senator Chambliss or anybody else: Oh, by the way, I am thinking about pulling the plug on our aid to Pakistan, Egypt, and Libya. What is your view of that? Have you been asked that question? Mr. CHAMBLISS. I thank my friend from South Carolina, as well as my friend from Arizona, with respect to the debate they have been engaged in, for bringing this issue to the forefront, and being willing to stand up and say: Hey, if you talk about foreign aid in a coffee shop in Seneca, SC, or Phoenix, AZ, or Moultrie, GA, it is not the most popular topic. Most people back home think we can balance the budget if we eliminate foreign aid. But the fact is, as Senator Graham said, it is a fairly minuscule amount in the overall context. Right now we are at a critical juncture in our country with respect to our fiscal house and with respect to any number of domestic and foreign policies. As we go into the election, the American people are going to have a choice to make, but we are also at a crossroads with our foreign policy in this country. All people have to do is pick up this morning's paper or turn on the TV and they will see what is happening in countries that are the subject of this particular amendment. There are tens of thousands of people protesting in Pakistan today. There are folks in Egypt who are still protesting. There are folks in Libya who are still protesting. We are 10 days away from the Ambassador to Libya from the United States of America having been killed. We know that part of the world is in turmoil. We know that part of the world also has been very critical to our fight in the war on terror. When the President of the United States is asked if Egypt is an ally, and he can't answer that question affirmatively, that tells us what kind of foreign policy this particular President has. He doesn't know what his foreign policy is if he can't tell us whether Egypt is an ally. Well, in spite of all that has happened in the last 10 days--and all of us still grieve for the loss of four very brave Americans who put their lives in harm's way as civilians to advocate what is in the best interests of our country. But I will assure you, if Ambassador Stevens were here today, he would say, absolutely, the direction in which the Paul amendment takes us is the wrong direction to go. I know what the intelligence community thinks about this particular direction. I know the intelligence community thinks in spite of all of our problems with Pakistan--and we have had our very open and overt problems with Pakistan over the last several months and couple of years. But the fact is we have American soldiers in harm's way today in Afghanistan who are fighting to protect the freedoms of this country and who are fighting to make sure we remain the safest, most secure country in the world. We cannot decouple Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is very important that we maintain a strong relationship with Pakistan. Even though it is difficult and even though it is fractured, it is of critical importance that we maintain that relationship. It is important because of what is happening in Afghanistan, but it is also very important for another reason. We had a debate in this body about a year ago on what is called the START treaty, which is a treaty that we have with Russia for the elimination of certain nuclear weapons over a period of time. During the course of that debate, we talked about the elimination of Russian nuclear weapons versus weapons in the United States. And that is good to a certain extent. But none of us in this body who have any idea about intelligence around the world have a great fear of any country getting hold of an ICBM, a major intercontinental ballistic missile, sticking it into a sleeve somewhere, and shooting it toward the United States. What we do have a fear of is somebody getting hold of what we call tactical nuclear weapons, sticking them into a suitcase and bringing them to the United States or putting them in a position to kill and harm Americans. Pakistan has tactical nuclear weapons. As long as we maintain a strong relationship with them and as long as they are our ally--however you characterize that--then we have the ability to at least dialogue with the Pakistanis with respect to their nuclear program. Even today, with all that has happened over the last 10 days and all the condemnation around the world from democratic countries, and particularly within the United States the condemnation of what has happened and the consternation and appall at what is taking place from the standpoint of demonstrations in Pakistan and in Libya, the Libyan Government and the Pakistani Government have given us all the help they can possibly give us, particularly in Libya. That is a government in transition. It is a temporary government, and we need to make sure the people of Libya have the opportunity to, hopefully, have a democratic form of government one day. If we sever ties with them today, folks, that is over. We can just make certain of the fact that we have one more territory, one more country where terrorists have the opportunity to be trained to kill and harm Americans. With respect to Pakistan, the PAC government has sent the Palace Guard to guard the Embassy of the United States. That is their most elite troops. Again, our relationship is frayed and it is fractured, but they are doing their level best to try to make sure the Americans who remain in Pakistan are protected. If we all of a sudden decide that we are going to cut them off from financial aid, is that going to improve the situation? Is it going to give us some sort of satisfaction? It may from the standpoint of folks who don't like the idea of foreign aid period. But from a national security standpoint, it is simply the wrong thing to do. There will be one country that will gain from this. The country that will gain from this is the most notorious terrorist-sponsoring nation in the world, and that is Iran. Iran has a very powerful presence in Pakistan today. They want to have a powerful presence in Libya. I assure you if we cut off the minimal amount of aid that is being talked about with this amendment, then we are simply fostering the ability of Iran to have a larger voice and a larger presence in countries that are very fractious and very vulnerable today. So while in spirit I agree with my good friend Senator Paul, this is not [[Page S6576]] the right time in the history of our country and not the right time in the history of the world to take action that is simply not in the best interest of the United States. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona. Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, in the last few days several interesting things have happened, and some of them tragic--of course, beginning with the tragic loss of our brave four Americans and Ambassador Chris Stevens, then the demonstrations that have taken place everywhere. But I also remind my colleagues there was a most sophisticated attack on one of the most heavily fortified installations in Iraq. It was professional. It was carried out in a professional fashion. It resulted in $200 million worth of loss to the American taxpayer, the greatest single act of destruction since the Tet Offensive back during the Vietnam war. In Afghanistan, because of the attacks of Afghan soldiers on American soldiers, we have had to suspend the operations between the military and police between the two countries. If there was ever an indicator of failure of our policy in Afghanistan, it is our now inability to even train with them to be ready to take over the responsibilities that we now hold. There is no greater indication of the failure of the President of the United States to continue to tell the American people and the people of the world not that we need to succeed, not that we need to win, but that we need to withdraw. So countries in the region have taken the lesson and are making accommodations. The fact is we are now facing a collapsed national security policy in the region, beginning of course with the assertion by the ambassador of the United Nations that what happened with Christopher Stevens and the three others was ``spontaneous'' and the President's spokesperson saying the same thing. We knew it wasn't spontaneous. We know people don't bring heavy weapons and mortars and rocket-propelled grenades to demonstrations spontaneously. This was a well-orchestrated, well-planned, well- executed act of murder of four brave Americans. Now we blame it on the video; it is the video. It is not the video. The video is the vehicle of radical Islamists that they use. And don't think there will not be other vehicles. There are people now, I am sure, all over the world who are making videos that Muslims may find offensive. I found it offensive when there was a picture--that I will not even describe now--back some years ago that was sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. And we believe in freedom of speech. The first thing we should have said is Americans cherish and have fought for these freedoms, including freedom of speech. Very briefly, because I know my colleagues want to talk, we have totally failed in Iraq. Today, as we speak, Iranian aircraft are overflying Iraq to Syria and delivering weapons to Bashar Assad. We were supposed to leave a residual force there. We didn't because then- Senator Obama, who said the surge would fail--where he was completely wrong--now has said he is now celebrating that we are out of Iraq. They just sentenced their Vice President to death. The tensions between Sunni, Shia, and Kurd have never been greater, and al-Qaida is on the rise in Iraq. In the words of General Keane, the architect of the surge, we won the war and we have lost the peace. In Syria, 25,000 people have now been massacred. When is the last time the President of the United States stood and spoke on behalf of these people? It is impossible for me to understand why the President of the United States wouldn't at least speak out against the murder, rape, and torture that is going on, and continues to go on, and it is an unfair fight with Bashar Assad supplied with Russian weapons, Iranians on the ground--which they have acknowledged. Of course, every day that goes by more and more al-Qaida infiltrate the country. In Afghanistan, of course they know we are leaving. Of course they are accommodating. There is a famous story of the Taliban prisoner and the American officer. The Taliban prisoner says: You have the watches; we have the time. America is believed to be on the decline and weakening. So Mitt Romney was right. The statement issued by the Embassy in Cairo was a semi-apology, which later the administration itself repudiated. This President does not believe in American exceptionalism, he does not believe in American leadership, and we have just paid a very heavy price for our lack of leadership. Leading from behind is not the role of America in the world, and appropriate lessons are being drawn from that all over the world. Mr. President, I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana. Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, I thank my friend from Arizona. I will be very brief because I know others want to speak. This last conversation is extremely important. Northern Africa and other Arab countries are in a state of flux, to say the least. The Arab spring has caused lots of questions and profound implications that we don't begin to now fathom. Those countries don't have executive governments that have any experience. They have replaced tyrants who preceded them. These are Muslim countries. Many of the people who live in these countries believe other parts of the world are more wealthy and they have been put upon. Add to that, these are countries which, in most respects, have very high unemployment. Add to that, most of the demographics of these countries are such that close to half of the population is under the age of 25 or 30, maybe even younger than that. It is a powder keg, and these are countries which don't have the history and culture of the first amendment freedom of speech we have. I say all this because I urge all of us on both sides of the aisle to work together. It is an extremely complicated, complex situation. It used to be not too many years ago that politics stopped at the water's edge. It used to be not too many years ago that on foreign policy issues, because they are nonpartisan, we as a country worked together. We addressed the world with one voice. So I strongly caution my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to not make this a partisan issue; that is, U.S. policy in the Middle East, especially in this case, northern Africa--but, rather, we work together. It is so important. There is probably a reason why politics used to stop at the water's edge not too many years ago. Because it made us a lot more effective worldwide. I urge my colleagues not to be too critical of the other side of the aisle. It gets us nowhere. It is dividing and conquering, and that puts us at a great point of weakness. Second Big Sky Honor Flight To DC I rise on another matter and that is to recognize a very important event that is occurring this Sunday and Monday. What is that? Eighty- nine World War II veterans from the State of Nevada will take part in the Big Sky Honor Flight and come to Washington to visit their monument, the World War II Memorial. Their trip is hosted by the Big Sky Honor Flight Program. The mission is to recognize American veterans for their sacrifices and achievements by flying them to Washington, DC, to see their memorials at no cost. They raised money from Montanans all across the State to make this possible. I helped make this possible at steak fries, et cetera, and in today's economy, Montanans' generosity in paying for these flights is something special. Don't forget it has to be two tickets, one for the vet and one for the person helping the vet, because these World War II vets have been around several years and they often need a little bit of assistance. One of the passengers on Sunday's flight is a 102-year-old. His name is Dr. McDonald W. Held of Billings, MT. Don has had a remarkable life. He has been a U.S. Air Force intelligence worker, a professor, an author, a minister, and a college president. Don was born in 1909. What was going on in 1909? That year President Taft was inaugurated as the 27th President. The U.S. Army received its first delivery from the Wright brothers. Congress passed the Homestead Act, which resulted in a large influx of settlers all across the West, including my State of Montana. Don graduated from Baylor University in 1933 with a degree in speech. Although he earned his master's and doctoral degrees from Northwestern University, Don's heart remained at [[Page S6577]] Baylor. He wears a Baylor workout suit every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday when he exercises at the Billings YMCA. Remember, Don is 102 years old. During World War II, Don served in the Air Force as an intelligence officer in the Philippines. After the peace treaty was signed he was stationed in Tokyo. He worked just a couple of buildings down from GEN Douglas MacArthur. After the war, Don embarked on his career in academics at Howard Payne University, as a professor there from 1955 to 1964. He presided over the speech and theater department and served as academic dean. Don then worked for 7 years at Wayland Baptist University before moving to Billings, MT. In Billings he became the first head of the speech and theater department at the Eastern Montana College, which we now know as Montana State University-Billings. At age 74, Don was ordained as a Baptist minister in the Baptist church. He has ministered in three churches in Montana and also served as a president of the Yellowstone Baptist Bible Institute, now Yellowstone Baptist College. Don and his wife Beverly have five children, five grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren so far. His son Don, Jr., a veteran of the Vietnam war, will escort him to Washington this Sunday. This is a special weekend for this group of heroes. Believe me, I was here when the last honor flight came in. I cannot remember a time when I have been so touched by people. You see these World War II vets. Most of the men and women are just talking about their experiences. They are the ``greatest generation,'' as has been mentioned before, especially by Tom Brokaw. It is time to give them thanks for their courage, time to give them thanks for their sacrifice. They have done so much. It is time to reflect on all the sacrifices they made. Think of it, battles of Europe, Korea, the jungles of Vietnam, deserts of Iraq, and those who are currently fighting in the mountains of Afghanistan. We must not forget them. Please join me in welcoming our Montana heroes to Washington this weekend. I am going to be down there. I know many others will too. I yield the floor. I thank again my good friend from South Carolina. Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak in morning business for the next hour. The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Manchin). Without objection, it is so ordered. Iran's Nuclear Program Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, we are going to have a nice discussion between Republicans and Democrats about an important issue. If you are looking for bipartisanship, your ship has come in. S.J. Res. 41 has 82 cosponsors. I am not sure we could get 82 of us to agree that Sunday should be a day off, but we have done it when it comes to the concept of not allowing the Iranian ayatollahs to possess a nuclear weapon and trying to contain them. S.J. Res. 41 has 82 cosponsors. The Presiding Officer is one of them. To my Democratic colleagues, Senators Blumenthal, Coons, Menendez, Casey--Senator Casey was the first one to step up--Senator Lieberman--it has been a real joy to work in a bipartisan fashion over something that matters, that if there is a time for the Senate to speak, it is now, regarding Iran's desire to get a nuclear weapon. President Obama has rejected containing a nuclear-armed Iran as a national strategy. Mr. President, you are dead right on that. I know Governor Romney agrees. What I wish to do is recognize my good friend from Georgia, Senator Isakson, and we have Senator Ayotte here, to share their thoughts. I will be joining later, and certainly Senator Blumenthal, who has been one of the leading voices on the Democratic side for this resolution. At this time I wish to yield for Senator Isakson. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Georgia. Mr. ISAKSON. Mr. President, before he leaves, I wish to acknowledge that today may be one of the more important foreign policy debates that ever takes place in the Senate because whichever way the Paul amendment goes and this resolution goes is going to determine the direction of where America goes in terms of foreign policy. Are we engaged? Are we firm? Are we the greatest power on the face of this Earth? Or do we recede as we did prior to World War II and put our Nation in jeopardy again? I don't vote for receding. I think it is time to be strong. If there were ever an issue to be strong about, it is nuclear proliferation and the possibility of Iran possessing nuclear fissionable material to make a weapon. I will commend Senator Graham for his leadership in the Armed Forces, for his leadership on this issue, for his leadership on the floor of the Senate. He is a beacon of hope in a body that needs it right now. I also commend him for getting 82 cosponsors--I agree with him, we could not agree that Sunday is a day of rest if we had to have a vote on it--to come together and join to send a clear message not just to the Iranians but to the world that a nuclear-armed Iran is not acceptable. We need to have a policy of prevention. That is what this resolution does. It doesn't just say to Iran we want to prevent you from having nuclear fissionable material and weapons, it encourages the world to join together to prevent it. Ten days ago I was in Germany, meeting with the EU Minister of Finance, meeting the German Minister of Finance, and meeting with the Defense Minister of Germany. Do you know what the No. 1 question of all three of them was? It was not the problems with the EU, although they have them. It was Iran and what would happen if they ended up possessing fissionable nuclear materials and a weapon. So this resolution is an important statement of the United States of America, but moreover the world, and I think it will be replicated in parliamentary bodies around the world to send that united signal. We are close to a time when we have to fish or cut bait. The Iranians have continued to work. We have pretty good knowledge but not total knowledge. One of the problems the Germans have, the IAEA thinks they know where the centrifuges are and where they all are, but they are not sure. They think there hasn't been movement and in some cases they think there may have been movement. We need clarity, and the only way to get clarity is for the Iranians to agree to the rules that we establish for them to disclose through the United Nations or through whatever body possible to see to it we have total transparency, and in the absence of that they need to understand that our goal is to prevent them from ever possessing a weapon that could destroy humanity. The nation of Iran states clearly and often and tells the world it yearns for the day until it destroys the nation of Israel and the Jewish people. No entity, none whatsoever, deserves the ability to have enriched uranium or any other tool to actually carry out what it says is its stated goal. So I rise today as one Georgian, but one of millions of Americans, to send a clear and unvarnished message to the people of Iran. We want the people of Iran to know freedom and democracy, to be released from the tyranny of the ayatollahs and the current totalitarian government but, most importantly, we will not stand 1 day, 1 minute, or 1 hour for Iran to possess fissionable material or a weapon that could destroy mankind. I end by commending the Senator. I yield the floor. Mr. GRAHAM. I thank Senator Isakson, who is on the Foreign Relations Committee. He is a ranking member on the African subcommittee. He has, frankly, opened my eyes with what we are doing in Africa. A little money goes a long way in Africa, trying to prevent radical Islamists from taking over the continent of Africa, combating the Chinese who are trying to buy up all the resources, and using American taxpayer dollars to create an environment and create jobs back here at home and, frankly, save thousands if not millions of young children from certain death from AIDS and malaria. Johnny is everything right about being a Senator in that regard. I appreciate him coming down here today. If the Senator from New Hampshire doesn't mind, can we go to our good friend Senator Blumenthal? I have had the pleasure of going to Egypt with him and all these other hotspots and [[Page S6578]] enjoyed working with him on this resolution. This started with a meeting in our offices, an idea to try to back up what President Obama said about not containing a nuclear-armed Iran. The next thing we know we are on the floor of the Senate today with 82 cosponsors. My good friend from Connecticut, Senator Blumenthal. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut. Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Mr. President, I want to begin by thanking my colleague and friend from South Carolina who has so eloquently and powerfully stated the case for this resolution. But even before discussing resolution 41, I thank him and our colleagues who spoke today on the floor about the Rand Paul resolution. I think this morning's debate--and I listened to it for all 3 hours, because I was presiding at the time--marked one of the finer moments of my brief time as a Member of the Senate. What I saw this morning was an articulate, thoughtful, and courageous statement against a resolution that would do grave harm to this Nation's national interests if it became law and if it bound the U.S. Government and cut off aid to these countries. I think the case stated was courageous because it very likely may prove unpopular with some elements of their own party--to put it very bluntly, the political reality here. But I think it was one of the finer moments of this body because it marked a point of clarity and a clear recognition for the need to come together as a nation when our national interests are threatened, when our national security is at stake, when the harm to this Nation requires acting together. I am hoping this spirit of bipartisanship will also come together, as it has so far with 82 cosponsors, on the resolution we have sponsored, S.J. Res. 41. As Senator Graham has rightly observed, it began with the leadership of a handful of Senators. He was one of the key leaders, as were Senator Lieberman, Senator Ayotte, Senator Hoeven, Senator Casey, and Senator Menendez. I was proud to be among them. The spirit of bipartisanship and the strength of that spirit was really extraordinary. Here is what we know. At a time of confusion and obfuscation, in many respects, where foreign policy is concerned, knowing with certainty some of the facts is very important. We all know from the International Atomic Energy Agency that as of November 2011, Iran had produced approximately 5,000 kilograms of uranium enriched up to 3.5 percent. We also know that this Iranian regime is the most active state sponsor of terrorism in the world, according to our Department of State. We know this regime has repeatedly expressed its desire to ``wipe Israel off the map.'' We know this regime has provided weapons training to Hamas, Hezbollah, and militias in Iraq who murder civilians and spread terror. We know it has already actively and consistently provided aid to the Assad regime in Syria in its brutal and unconscionable repression of its own people. The torture and murders that have occurred have been directly linked to Iran. We know the Iranian Government is attempting to develop nuclear weapons. If it does, it will lead to an arms race in that part of the world that will be as threatening as any other potential harm to this Nation. We know Iran would create access for terrorists to these nuclear weapons, making the Middle East a nuclear tinderbox. We cannot trust this regime. We know that fact beyond any potential doubt. Iran's nuclear program is of extraordinarily grave concern not only to nations in that part of the world but to all nations everywhere that want peace. That is why an international coalition has come together, with the leadership of the United States of America. Iran cannot be permitted to continue its nuclear program to a point where it is capable of making a nuclear weapon. Despite repeated calls for it to suspend or stop this program, we know with certainty that Iranian leaders show no signs of waiting or wanting to halt their program to build nuclear weapons. In fact, recent intelligence shows they are continuing to enrich uranium and develop nuclear facilities. That is why we need S.J. Res. 41. There is no question that the administration, under President Obama, has repeatedly affirmed his commitment to such a policy. The President has made his position and the position of the United States absolutely clear. I am quoting President Obama: Iran's leaders should understand that I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. That is the message of S.J. Res. 41. That is the message we must convey as a nation together from all parties, all parts of the United States, and all interests, that time is limited. Time is limited to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapon capability. This resolution calls for increased pressure on Iran to come into compliance with the U.S. security resolution. This resolution builds on the efforts of myself and others to call for successful P5+1 talks that would lead Iran to halt its nuclear program. This resolution says to the world that the United States and governments of other responsible nations have a vital, mutual interest in working together to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapon capability. Let's underscore the words and recognize their importance: nuclear weapons capability. Many of us have written multiple times to President Obama outlaying a framework that would lead to successful negotiations. My hope is that the combination of strict international sanctions and international condemnation of a nuclear-armed Iran will convince that government to desist and cease its program of nuclear weapons capability building. It is not in our interest, it is not in the world's interest, and ultimately it is not in that regime's interest. If sanctions fail, we must be prepared to act. This resolution expresses the resolution and the resoluteness of this body. I am hopeful that sanctions will work, but if the Government of Iran is unconvinced by this very compelling case, it must know that this issue is not a partisan one, it is not one on which we are divided. We stand together, we stand strong, and we are resolute and resilient. The United States and its allies will join together to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. Again, I thank the Senator from South Carolina and all 82 of my colleagues who have joined as cosponsors. We began with a handful, but I think the compelling power and persuasiveness of the need for this resolution is carrying the day. I yield to the Senator from South Carolina, my good friend and the leader of this effort. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Carolina. Mr. GRAHAM. I thank Senator Blumenthal for those articulate words about the resolution and for his kind comments. Senator Lieberman was on the ground floor of this, as he is with everything, including bills to construct foreign policy for the country. One of the original partners we had trying to get this matter going was Senator Ayotte, who is a freshman Senator but has quickly hit the ground running and has become a strong voice on national security. With that, Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to yield to the Senator whatever time she needs. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Hampshire. Ms. AYOTTE. Mr. President, I thank my colleague from South Carolina. He has really led the effort on this incredibly important resolution. I also thank my colleague from Connecticut, Senator Blumenthal, for his leadership on this issue. The bipartisan nature of this resolution tells us very clearly that this really is the policy of this Congress and how important this issue is for our country. This resolution will ensure that we give a clear message to Iran that it is not our policy and that the United States and the world will not accept Iran acquiring the capability of having a nuclear weapon. We understand that it would make the Middle East a more dangerous place than it is now and would cause an arms race in that part of the world. In addition, it would also cause us to be in a position in which one of our strongest allies in the Middle East, Israel, is threatened with annihilation because that is exactly what the Iranian regime has said. Most importantly, it will endanger our own country if Iran acquires a nuclear weapon because Iran is incredibly hostile to the United States of America. Iran participates with various terrorist groups, including Hezbollah. One [[Page S6579]] of the greatest risks we face is that the regime itself wouldn't use the nuclear weapon; they would just give it to a terrorist group who could hit any one of our allies. They could use it to harm us and our country, and then, of course, the world changes. We cannot allow this to happen, and it is very important to have 82 Senators sponsoring this resolution. I wish to talk briefly about the Paul amendment that is pending before this body. How we act on this amendment, as my colleague from Georgia so eloquently said, will define the foreign policy of the United States of America. I wish to state my strong opposition to the Paul amendment because I am very concerned that if we pass the Paul amendment, then we are sending the very message to the radical Islamists and the terrorists of the world that they want to hear from us, which is that we will withdraw. Let's be clear on what their goal is when they attack us. They don't want us to be engaged. They would like the Middle East to become a seventh-century, Taliban-style government that is a threat to our country. In my view, for us to withdraw now, we would put ourselves in a position where, for example, the amendment is so broadly drafted that even if one of our ally's embassies were attacked, such as Israel, we would have to withdraw aid and it would send the absolute wrong message. It would be to the detriment of the safety of the United States of America. I understand that my colleague Senator Paul is well intentioned, but every time we have withdrawn, people have died and the world has not become safer and the battle comes here. We don't want the battle to be here. We don't want any of these elements to be in our country. We can't forget what happened to us on September 11. As my colleagues have eloquently stated before, our only tools can't be our military. The reason we have so many of our present and former military leaders standing up and saying they oppose the Paul amendment is because they understand that by engaging with these countries through the small foreign aid budget we have, we can prevent conflict. We can actually be in a position where we are engaged and we are sending the message to the radical Islamist terrorists that, no, the United States of America will not back off. They cannot put us in a position where they can bring the battle to our soil. We will not be defeated by them. I think if we were to pass this amendment from my colleague, no matter how well intentioned it is, we would only be empowering those radical elements. I urge my colleagues to vote against the Paul amendment. I also believe it very much relates to this containment resolution for the following reasons: We see Iran right now ignoring what the U.N. has asked of it, ignoring what the good people of the world want to have happen in Syria. In fact, Iran is supporting Hezbollah. They are arming and training Asad's forces in Syria. They are providing weapons to insurgents in Afghanistan who are killing our troops. They are engaged with radical elements in Iraq. If we look at the whole course of events, we can imagine that Iran will cheer if we pass an amendment in which we say that we back off our commitment to Pakistan, our commitment to Egypt, and our commitment to Libya and other areas around the world. God forbid if one of our other allies' embassies were attacked. Most importantly, as my colleagues have said, Iran would cheer if the Paul amendment passes because it would actually break the Camp David Accords in which we agreed as a country to provide aid to Egypt. It would also make Israel less safe, and there is nothing in the world that Iran wants more than to have Israel be less safe. In fact, they have stated very clearly that their goal is to annihilate Israel from the face of the Earth. We cannot allow them to get nuclear weapons. They are marching closer and closer to this capability. Senator Blumenthal told us about the enrichment of the uranium. This is not the level of enrichment used for a powerplant. It is being enriched to have the capability of having a nuclear weapon. They have created more and more centrifuges despite us asking them to stop, despite the sanctions we have put in place, all for the possibility of having that nuclear weapon they could use that would change the world, not to mention what they have said about our friend Israel, that they would seek to annihilate Israel. The world is a very dangerous place. If we allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon, this is a game changer for the world. That is why this resolution is so incredibly important. I very much appreciate the leadership on both sides of the aisle in support of this resolution, and my colleague from South Carolina for bringing this forward, because we need to tell the world we are not going to allow this game changer to happen. Iran needs to hear a very clear message from us as a Congress, backing up our President, that we will not allow for the containment of a nuclear-armed Iran, for the safety of the world. Finally, we need to let our friends in Israel know, when Prime Minister Netanyahu said on September 16 that ``those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before Israel,'' I say to our friends in Israel: Please know that by passing this resolution, we stand with you. We will work with you to make sure the tyrannical regime in Iran never gets that weapon of mass destruction that could very much change the safety of the Middle East, the safety of your country, as well as our own country and the world. With that, I yield for my colleague from South Carolina. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Carolina. Mr. GRAHAM. Thanks to Senator Ayotte for helping to get this whole process going, for being on the Senate floor and for getting this whole process started, and for her strong voice on national security. Now I wish to recognize my friend, the Senator from Tennessee, Mr. Corker. He is on the Foreign Relations Committee and is moving up the ladder to be chairman or ranking member, depending on how the election comes out. But no matter how it comes out, Senator Corker will be there talking about constructive engagements and guarding the taxpayer dollar. I would like for him to give his thoughts about the Rand Paul amendment and the noncontainment of a nuclear-capable Iran. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee. Mr. CORKER. Mr. President, I wish to thank the great Senator from South Carolina, the State where I was born. I do want to say the committee makes those decisions. I don't want anybody to be jumping the gun with the kind of statements made earlier about future situations. First of all, I wish to speak to the resolution brought forward on Iran. I thank the Senator from South Carolina for that and for the tremendous work he has done to bring so many of us on as cosponsors. I think it is a strong signal to Iran, but also to people in the neighborhood, about our beliefs. So I thank the Senator from South Carolina for that. I wish to speak mainly, though, about the Paul amendment. First of all, I wish to say to the Senator from Kentucky that I understand the sentiments that drive people to look at foreign aid the way a lot of people around this country are looking at it today. I wish to remind people that our total foreign aid budget is 1 percent of what we spend each year, but that doesn't mean we don't need to look at it in a very different way. We haven't done an authorization bill on foreign aid since I have been here. I have been here almost 6 years now. I know the Senator from South Carolina is the ranking member on Foreign Operations, and I know they spend a lot of time looking at things in an appropriate way. But there is no question that as a body we should be looking more closely at how we generate foreign aid to other countries, and I hope we are going to be doing that in this next Congress when, hopefully, we will begin to function in a much better way. I wish to say the purpose of foreign aid at the end of the day, in many cases, is to keep our men and women in uniform from having to be deployed in other places because of unrest that is against our national interests. So I would like to point that out. In this particular case, regarding Libya, Egypt and Pakistan, I would [[Page S6580]] just like to point out three things: No. 1, the people of Libya are very thankful for our intervention. However, people have come in and created a travesty in Benghazi around our consulate, and these are people who are trying to undermine what we are doing there. So the way the Paul amendment is drafted, if terrorists in any country we are aiding happen to do something at one of our embassies or consulates, then we withdraw aid. So what that means is that basically, terrorists--people such as al-Qaida, the Taliban, and other groups--are deciding what we are going to do as it relates to foreign aid. That would be a real big step for the Senate to say that in the future, everything we do relating to foreign aid will be determined by terrorists. I don't think that is what we want to do as a body. So let me set Libya aside and say this was obviously something that wasn't a popular movement. It was done by premeditated terrorists. It was terrible. We all loved Chris Stevens, and we thank him for the work he has done for our Nation. But this is not the way for us to react to a country that is trying to evolve into, hopefully, a functioning democracy and, hopefully, a country that in some way down the road will create even more stability in that part of the world. Let's move to Egypt. I was just in Egypt and sat down with the military leaders. One of the things we continue to talk about is the Camp David Accords. The aid we send to Egypt is to reinforce, in many ways, the Camp David Accords. That is very important to Israel, which is one of our major allies, one of the biggest allies we have in the world. So I don't know why we would decide to cut off all aid, which would totally undermine the Camp David Accords, which would totally undermine the security of a country that is one of our biggest allies. Now, do we need to take into account the response in Egypt to what happened at our embassy? I think we should, and I think it should affect the negotiations we have with them regarding our foreign aid. I mean, let's face it. We have had decades of relationships with their military, and even though there have been a lot of changes in the country, the military is still there and, candidly, they did respond exactly the way we would like for them to respond. They are a great ally. The President was a little hesitant to respond. I understand the fine line he is walking. He had just been elected. I understand the country hasn't been through this process, and I understand he didn't respond exactly the way we would expect him to respond. He, since that time, has, but I still think it should affect our negotiations and we ought to go slowly. It is my understanding that the Senator from South Carolina, working with his counterpart, has taken those things into account as it relates to this next year, and I thank them for that. So in Egypt, it looks to me as if we are slowing this down a little bit. We are making sure the relationship we have with Egypt is appropriate under the circumstances, and I thank the Senator for helping to make that happen. But withdrawing all aid would basically totally undermine the Camp David Accords, which most of us in this body believe to be something that is very important. So let me move to Pakistan. Pakistan is a place where probably most of us are most disappointed. We understand the relationship the intelligence agencies in Pakistan have with the Haqqani network, and that has been disappointing. We understand the trouble we have had trying to close down some of the ammonium nitrate plants that are there and that are actually helping to create some of the IEDs that are used to dismember and harm and kill our men and women in uniform in Afghanistan. So we are disappointed about a lot of things in Pakistan. Obviously, one of the most disappointing things--or maybe one of the things that is most difficult for us to understand--is the treatment of this physician who aided us with Osama bin Laden. Yet there is a legal process that is underway there, and I think we sometimes forget that, and there is a court of law there and, hopefully, that will have an outcome that ends up showing that it has been handled in a judicious way. Let me just speak to Pakistan. We are getting ready to leave Afghanistan. We are going to have all of our troops out of Afghanistan, or a big part of our troops out of Afghanistan, by 2014. I met yesterday with General Dempsey. He was telling me that in order to meet that timeline, we have to move a truckload of equipment out of Afghanistan every 7 minutes between now and the end of 2014--every 7 minutes. Well, what is the major route we use to move our equipment out of Afghanistan? Pakistan. Now, if we want to cut our nose off to spite our face, I would say let's close off that route, let's create enmity between us, more enmity than already exists. I think most of us realize we have a very transactional-oriented relationship with Pakistan. It is not quite the way those of us in America would like to see it be, but the fact is there are some valuable things there that have a lot to do, by the way, with the safety of our men and women in uniform. If we have to take another route out in getting all of this equipment and material out of there, we are probably going to take a route that doesn't work quite as well for our men and women in uniform. So, again, I understand the sentiment. Our phone is ringing off the hook with people who share the same sentiment. I understand it. When we see on television people rising up in these nations against us--by the way, these countries are not monolithic. It is not unlike here. We have groups, such as Occupy Wall Street, that are able to express themselves, but they don't represent my viewpoint. These countries are in some ways like ours. I mean, they have people who protest and do things. That doesn't mean the whole country feels that way. These are countries that have had strong men leading their countries in some places and aren't used to understanding what it means to be able to express themselves, and they don't understand how to operate in a society that is more open than it has been in the past. So that certainly doesn't quell my strong feelings about what has happened in Benghazi, nor does it for anyone else here, I am sure. But the fact is we need to look at foreign aid in a different way. I think we have taken some steps to do that. We need to continue to improve. We need to make sure there is accountability. What I do know is the Paul amendment is not the way to do it. Again, I appreciate the energy the Senator has brought to this body and the many good points he brings forth. But I know this: We do not want an amendment to pass that says if terrorists attack an embassy or consulate anyplace around the world, aid is taken from that country. I do not want a terrorist determining what our relationship is going to be with that country, and I think all of us know that our withdrawal from the Middle East will leave us in a world that is vastly unsafe for our citizens and for people around the world. While I know our engagement needs to continue and evolve, I know this amendment is not the way to make that happen. I strongly oppose it, and I will vote against it if we ever get a vote on this amendment. With that, I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Carolina. Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, I thank Senator Corker for his very good, country-by-country explanation; kind of a big picture, rational approach to what we are trying to do. I understand Senator Paul's convictions. A lot of Americans are frustrated. We are broke but giving money to people overseas. They all hate us. Well, they all don't hate us. Some do, some don't. Let's invest in the ones we can live with and stand up to the ones who want to kill us all. Before I turn it over to Senator Hoeven, one last thought about the world in which we live. We could get hit in the next minute. We could get hit today. We could get hit tomorrow. They are trying to get here as desperately as they can. Thank God for every day we have been able to survive without being attacked again in our homeland. But I would say this: One of the reasons we have been effective after 9/11 is that we are in their backyard. We are deployed over there--not just with military force but with assistance. We are making their lives more difficult by raising money and operating and being able to maneuver and [[Page S6581]] find allies. To get to America now to attack us is harder than it was on September 10, 2001, because we are engaged in the fight. If we withdraw aid, we take one of the most valuable tools off the table. There has to be more tools in the tool kit than just bombing people or disengaging from the world. So this 1 percent of the budget is a godsend to those in the military. S.J. Res. 41 Now I will turn back to S.J. Res. 41. Senator Hoeven of North Dakota was my first Republican cosponsor of the idea that we cannot contain a nuclear-capable Iran, and I cannot tell my colleagues how much I appreciate his leadership. So I yield to Senator Hoeven. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Dakota. Mr. HOEVEN. Mr. President, I wish to thank the Senator from South Carolina for his leadership on this incredibly important issue and to also express my appreciation for the Senator from Tennessee and my agreement with his remarks. I thought he was right-on with what he said, and I support what he had to say. I am very pleased to be a cosponsor of S.J. Res. 41 with Senator Graham. He is knowledgeable on this issue. He has dedicated an incredible amount of time and commitment to this effort. Recently I was with Senator Graham and Senator McCain and others. We were in Afghanistan, and then we were in Egypt, where we met with the Muslim Brotherhood. We were in Israel, where we met with Prime Minister Netanyahu. Then we were in Libya, where we met with a number of the militia groups who now control Benghazi and Mirsrata and, of course, Tripoli. And we were in Tunisia as well. I have to say that it is incredibly important that we had the opportunity to go to those countries. Senator Graham has been there many times, as has Senator McCain. But it is very important that we understand what is going on. Some of the comments Senator Corker expressed are so true. We have to understand what is going on in these countries. At the same time, we have to communicate with these countries as they try to build democracies. But we must be clear and consistent in our foreign policy that we support our friends, we support our allies, we will oppose our opponents, and that we demand safety for our embassies and for Americans abroad. We provide no less to the people who come to our country, and we expect the same in return. S.J. Res. 41 is a bipartisan effort. And I want to express that again; that is so important. It is a bipartisan effort--80 Senators standing together and expressing their support, bringing this resolution to the Senate floor, and saying to the administration: We need to take a tough stand with Iran. We cannot allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. It is not an option. Containment--a nuclear Iran contained is not an option. It does not work. Look what is going on in the Middle East right now, in Egypt, in Libya, Tunisia, Yemen. Across the Middle East right now, you have extremist groups--fundamental Islamic extremist groups--that are undermining the democratic efforts in those countries. Look at the attacks on our Embassy. Look at the killing of our Ambassador. We cannot allow that and can only prevent that through strength--through strength. So we have to stand for America's interests in all of these countries, and we have to prevent a nuclear Iran. Iran is helping the extremists throughout all of these countries, supporting Bashar Asad in Syria, supporting Hezbollah, Hamas--all these groups that are undertaking violence throughout the Middle East, not only against Americans but against their own people, undermining these nations' democracies. The way we help stop that and the way we help support freedom and democracy is through a strong, consistent foreign policy. That is what the resolution, on a bipartisan basis, is all about-- saying to the administration: We must stand up to Iran, and we must prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons. And if Iran were to develop a nuclear weapon, that could also start a race for other countries in the Middle East to develop a nuclear capability. Look at the unstable situation there. It is certainly not a situation where nuclear weapons can be added to the equation as well. We have worked in the Senate, in the House, to provide tools to the administration to put sanctions in place to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. The Kirk-Menendez legislation, which was passed as part of the Defense authorization bill, provides strong sanctions against Iran that still have not been fully implemented. The best way to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon is through sanctions. All options have to be on the table. We must support Israel in whatever action Israel determines it must take to protect itself. All options for the United States must be on the table as well. The best way to stop Iran, if we can, is with sanctions, but the only way that is going to work is if they are fully imposed to the full extent possible. Let me use Kirk-Menendez as an example. What did that legislation provide? That legislation provided a tool to the administration that essentially barred any company or country that does business with Iran or its Central Bank from doing business with the central banking system in the United States. That is an effective tool because if Iran cannot sell its oil, it cannot continue to function. We must fully impose those sanctions. We must stand strongly with our closest friend and ally Israel in the region. This resolution is a bipartisan message to our administration saying: Stand strong. We can and we must prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons. With that, Mr. President, I see the majority leader and the minority leader are on the floor, and I will turn the floor back to the esteemed Senator from South Carolina and thank him for his work. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Carolina. Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, before I turn this over, may I have just 2 minutes to wrap up. I want to thank Senator Reid and Senator McConnell for scheduling this vote. Eighty-two Senators stand behind President Obama's statement that it is bad policy to contain a nuclear-capable Iran. Let me tell you right quickly why. If the Iranians get a nuclear weapon or nuclear capability, the Sunni Arab States will want one themselves to counter the Shia Persian influence, and you will have a nuclear arms race in the Mid East. That is not a good result. That is the road to Armageddon. Israel will never know a minute's peace. If the ayatollahs in Iran have a nuclear weapon, my God, what would living in Israel be like? Look at the threat you would live under the rest of your life. That is a no-go for the people of Israel. The big concern I have above all else is that the ayatollahs will share that nuclear capability, that technology with a terrorist group. The only reason thousands have died in the war on terror and not millions is they just cannot get the weapons to kill millions of us. And if the ayatollahs had those nuclear weapons or that capability, they would share it with terrorists. That is why containment is not a good idea. This is not an authorization to use force. It encourages sanctions. It encourages diplomacy. It says that all options are on the table. It is not authorizing force, but it is taking off the table the idea that the Iranians can get a nuclear weapon and we will try to contain them because that is just emptying Pandora's box. One last thought. An Israeli soldier was killed today because the Sinai border between Egypt and Israel was breached. Part of our aid to Egypt has conditions that say: If you break the treaty with Israel, you lose the money. And you need to beef up the security in the Sinai. The Egyptian Army is basically being driven out of the Sinai. They are moving back in. So if you really do care about the security of Israel, we cannot break relations with Egypt. It is a complicated relationship, but it is in our interest to be involved. Again, we are all over the world in different fashions, and I would rather be helping people help themselves than having to send soldiers in every time there is a hot spot in the world. We cannot disengage from the world. It is our destiny to be the leader of the free world; we just need to do it smartly. One percent of our budget is spent on foreign assistance. I think it makes sense. With that, I will yield the floor and thank all of my colleagues for jumping [[Page S6582]] on board for a resolution that I think is timely. If the Senate of the United States ever needed to speak with one voice on a single topic, it is now, and that single topic is to the Iranian regime: You will not be allowed to get a nuclear weapon, period. With that, I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader. Order of Procedure Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that at 11:30 p.m. this evening, there be 30 minutes of debate equally divided between the majority leader and Senator Paul or their designees; that following the use or yielding back of that time, the Senate proceed to votes in relation to the following items in the order listed: passage of S. 3576, passage of S.J. Res. 41, cloture on H.J. Res. 117; that if cloture is invoked on H.J. Res. 117, the pending amendments be withdrawn and the Senate proceed to vote on passage of H.J. Res. 117; that immediately following that vote, the Senate proceed to the cloture vote on the motion to proceed to S. 3525; that if cloture is not invoked on H.J. Res. 117, the Senate proceed to the cloture vote on the motion to proceed to S. 3525; that the vote on passage of S. 3576 be subject to a 60-affirmative-vote threshold; that if S. 3576 does not achieve 60 affirmative votes, then it be returned to the calendar; that following the cloture vote on the motion to proceed to S. 3525, the majority leader be recognized; finally, that no amendments, motions, or points of order be in order during the consideration of these measures. That all begins at 11:30. Mr. President, usually we have a 15-minute vote for the first one, but I think, with the time we are doing this, I would like all votes to be 10-minute votes, so I also ask unanimous consent that be the case and that between each vote there be 2 minutes equally divided so the sponsors and those opposing the passage of that legislation can speak on them. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection? Without objection, it is so ordered. Mr. REID. Mr. President, this agreement paves the way for the completion of our remaining business for this work period. It is going to be a very early morning or late night, however you look at it, but it is the right thing to do. I expect that upon the completion of the scheduled votes, the motion to proceed to the sportsmen's bill will be pending, postcloture. I am gratified that we are on track to attempt to move this measure when we get back. After we address that bill, when we return in November, I intend to move to Senator Menendez's housing bill. But I will be in touch with the Republican leader several times before the election, I am sure, anyway. Mr. President, before we leave here, everyone should understand that what we are going to try to do this evening--I have spoken with the Republican leader--is that when people finish their talking--we hope it can be early this evening--we would go into recess--and hopefully we can do that at 5 or 6 o'clock tonight--until 11:30 tonight. I hope that can be done. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kentucky. S.J. Res. 41 Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, we have before us a resolution on containment of Iran. I have voted for sanctions on Iran and do not think it is a good idea that Iran have nuclear weapons. However, I am very concerned about this particular resolution. I think a vote for this resolution is a vote for the concept of preemptive war. I know of no other way to interpret this resolution. The resolution says that containment--the strategy of trying to prevent expansion or invasion of countries--will never be our policy with regard to Iran. While I think it unwise to announce that we will contain Iran--I do think it unwise to tell Iran: Oh, it is fine to get a nuclear weapon; we will contain you--I also think it is equally unwise to say: We will never contain you. The reason I say this is that we woke up one day and Pakistan had nuclear weapons. We woke up one day and Russia had nuclear weapons-- China and India and North Korea. Had we made the statement--the rash statement--that we will never contain any country that has nuclear weapons, what does that mean? I think that means that you have decided--right now, before anything happens, you have decided that you will preemptively go to war. We have been at war for a decade now. We have been at war in Afghanistan. I supported going to Afghanistan, but I am ready to come home from Afghanistan. We were at war in Iraq for nearly 10 years. I am glad we are coming home from Iraq. But I do not want to automatically commit our country to a war in Iran. So while I do think it is a mistake to say we will not contain them, I think it is also a mistake to say we will contain them. It is a mistake to have a policy that is explicit one way or the other. President Reagan was once criticized and accused of having no foreign policy. He replied that it was not that he had no foreign policy; it was that he did not care to share it with everyone. Because if you give everyone--your potential enemies or friends--if you say to every country: If you do X, I will do X, or if you maybe do this, I will do that, you are exposing exactly what your plans are, and that may not be the best strategy. In other words, foreign policy is an ever-shifting battleground, and there should be a certain strategic ambiguity to foreign policy. So when we announce to Iran or to the world that we will never, ever contain Iran, it is an announcement that the bombs will be dropping if we ever hear that they are a nuclear power. I do not think we should say automatically we are willing to accept them as a nuclear power, but I do not think we should automatically say there will be a preemptive war with Iran. Now, everybody has been bragging. They say: Oh, everybody in the Senate is for this. Everybody is not. I am not for this. I may be alone on this, but, interestingly, if you travel to Israel, there is a very spirited debate on this. Meir Dagan, who was the head of the Mossad, cares deeply about Israel, would not be, by anyone's imagination accused of being a shrinking violet--he has done many things to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon. He is worried about what happens the minute the bombs start dropping on Iran. Where do you think the next set of bombs will go? They will be on Tel Aviv. They will not be on the United States. But if you live in Tel Aviv, you might have some concern over what happens and what Iran does. The other thing about beginning a war is that historically in our country we have had defensive wars. Nobody messes with us, and I agree with that. You mess with the United States there will be significant repercussions. We will not let you invade other countries and we will not let you invade the United States. But the idea that we will have offensive war and not defensive war is a concept that is new in our history. Preemptive war, going to war and saying we will go to war to prevent you from doing certain activities is a new concept in our lexicon of foreign policy. I think it is a dangerous one. Announcing to the world, as this resolution does, that containment will never be our policy is unwise. It is a recipe for perpetual war. A country that vows to never contain an enemy is a country that vows to always preemptively attack. To rule out containment as a strategy or as a strategic and sometimes militarily active form of defense is to admit we have become Orwellian. Yes, we have always been at war with East Asia or, yes, we have always been at war with Eurasia. It is an idea that we will always be perpetually at war. I am proud of being for a strong national defense. I am proud of being for protecting our country. But I cannot accept a resolution that says we will completely get rid of the containment strategy that was a strategy that kept us safe for 60 years during the most aggressive and dangerous war we have ever encountered, the Cold War. The Soviet Union had 30,000 intercontinental ballistic missiles that could reach the United States and attack us and devastate our country. If we would have had this concept that we rule out the idea of containment, we would have had an awful and devastating and maybe cataclysmic war with Russia. Now North Korea is more similar to Iran, a two-bit dictatorship that has trouble feeding their own people, has trouble having enough supplies of food and gasoline for their own people. There are similarities. But [[Page S6583]] when North Korea announced it had a nuclear weapon, did we immediately start dropping bombs? Did we say we will not contain them? We contained North Korea. Some would argue the leadership of North Korea is equally as irrational as the leadership of Iran, if not more so. So we were able to contain a two-bit socialist, very small and unproductive country such as North Korea. I see no reason why, if we had to, we could not contain Iran. I am not promoting that as a philosophy. We should not be telling Iran we will contain them. But for goodness' sake, we should not be saying: We will never contain you. The people who vote for this resolution I think are well meaning, but I do not think they are thinking this through. We have had this before. When the resolution came up for the Iraq war, many voted for it and then some came back later and said: I voted for it before I voted against it. They wanted it both ways. Many come up to me now and say: I voted for the Iraq war, but it was a mistake. I voted for this concept of offensive war, of preemptive war to stop Iraq from having weapons of mass destruction, but I made a mistake. I think the Iraq war was a mistake. I was not here, but I would have voted no. I fear we are pushing on. Every month there has to be a new and more bellicose resolution to ensure we will go to war and that at all costs we will go to war in Iran. I think it is a mistake. I think there should be some strategic ambiguity, meaning that we do not announce to our enemies exactly what we are going to do. We let them know firmly what our position is, but we do not announce to them our entire military strategy. To do so, to rule out a strategy that we had for 60 years that worked, that kept us in a very difficult and uneasy peace with the Soviet Union, does anybody here argue we would have been much better if containment would not have been a strategy, if we would have said absolutely to Russia, if you do this, we are going to--the bombs will drop tomorrow. That scares me. But what scares me more is that so many Members of this body are jumping up and down to embrace each other in the bipartisan desire that we will not have containment as a strategy, that we absolutely will go to war if we wake up and Iran has nuclear weapons. You know what, the other day Meir Dagan, the former head of the Mossad, said that you cannot bomb the nuclear knowledge out of the psyche. Nuclear knowledge, the knowledge to make nuclear weapons, is out there now. It is in Iran. We will not be able to stop that knowledge. We will not be able to eradicate the knowledge of nuclear weapons. That is something to think about. Because there may come a day--and this is the prelude to the next argument. The next argument we have on this floor will be one day when Iran announces, and am not for this, I think we should do everything--I voted for sanctions. I think we should do everything to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon. But my goodness this is a huge mistake. It may be unpopular for me at home to say this, but I will say it. I will say it loudly. To rule out any kind of defensive strategy that does not include an offensive war is a huge mistake for the country. I will vigorously oppose this resolution. I hope those who have glommed onto this resolution so quickly, because there is an incredible force behind this resolution, there is an incredible lobbying apparatus that says you have to go onto this or else. I hope they will reread this and reconsider. Think about the double and triple amputees who have come home to your town. Think about the soldiers who have committed suicide. Think about the hundreds of thousands of soldiers who are overseas now. Ask yourself, are we ready to send another 100,000 or 200,000 or 300,000 soldiers to Iran? I am not asking that we do nothing. We just beefed up the sanctions a couple months ago. But there are other things to do besides saying we will always have to go to war. For example, who does Iran trade with? You know the reason why the sanctions probably will not ultimately work? Because Iran trades with China and Russia and India and Japan and they are exempt from the sanctions. We say there are sanctions, but then we give them exemptions and they sell all their oil somewhere else. We do not have the power to shut down Iran through sanctions. If we were to convince somehow Russia and China to be on our side, we could have leverage, and I think Iran would listen. The sanctions have brought them back to the table. They are negotiating. I do not for 1 minute believe everything they say or think they are trustworthy. But it is better than war to have negotiations, even with a fallible and perhaps deceitful partner sometimes--but it is still better than war. I think there is such an eagerness or such a lack of reluctance in this body to think through the issues of war. That is how we get into this. We get into it because everybody wants to be stronger than the next guy. Everybody wants to be more bellicose than the next guy. Everybody wants to say: Nobody pushes us around and we are not going to take it. But there are other ways. There are other ways. We have to worry about and think about what ultimately are the repercussions. Our soldiers are not inanimate clay that we put on this master board of chess, this geopolitical chess game, to move around. These are young men and women who live in your neighborhood, who live in the neighboring town. When I think about war, I think about this resolution; I do not think about empty black and white words on a page. I think about those young men and woman and my commitment, my real and strong commitment that I am not going to war without absolute provocation, without a threat to the national security, and for goodness' sake, without a debate over it. The other side may say: This does not say anything about war. No, but it says some things that are very unwise; that we would rule out an entire form of defense strategy that we used for 60 years successfully to stay out of war. I think it is a mistake to say it is OK for Iran to be a nuclear country and we will contain them. But I think it is also a mistake to say we will never contain them. I have another amendment that is coming up this evening. This is an amendment to place limitations on foreign aid. For the last hour or two, we have had a bit of the other side giving their response. That is fine. We discover the truth by hearing the debate on both sides of this. But Senator Moynihan, who used to serve up here who is deceased, once said: Everybody has the right to their own opinion, but you do not have the right to make up your own set of facts. There was a Senator here earlier who said: Oh, that guy from Kentucky, he does not believe in a strong national defense. He would slash national defense. So anybody who is against foreign aid is not for national defense. This particular Senator said: He would gut defense and he would cut it by 16 percent. That is just sort of making up your facts. That is not fair. He is entitled to his opinion, but he is not entitled to make up the facts. I do have a budget that I put forward that balances the budget in 5 years. I also have a priority within that budget that I think the most important thing our government does and that the Constitution mandates is a strong national defense. I think it is the most important thing we do in this country. So in my budget I am able to cut a significant amount of spending, but I actually limit the military sequester. The military sequester was an automatic cut. I do it by cutting out other spending, real cuts in spending in the same year to reduce the size of government, but I do not have a 16-percent cut in military in 1 year. In fact, under the military sequester, I actually restore $50 billion that allows the first year not to have any cuts in military. Do I think there should be some cuts in military? Yes. But I make it a little bit easier on the cuts over time. To say I am proposing a 16-percent cut is untrue. Others have said: Yes, the military sequester is so horrible. He is going to cut foreign aid. The country will be defenseless. The hordes will be over here. We will have to fight them over there. There is a certain irony to this because half these people, these Senators who are caterwauling about this military sequester, guess what they will not tell you. They voted for the military sequester. I voted against the military [[Page S6584]] sequester last year because I did not think there was going to be enough cuts to rescue us from this debt bomb that is ticking. But the people who voted for the military sequester are now up here accusing me of wanting to gut defense and all the military cuts and they voted for the military sequester. Others have come to the floor and said: If we do not pay people to be our friend, if we do not give people foreign aid, then we are wanting to withdraw from the world, that we are going to withdraw into a little, tiny shell, into a closet and lock ourselves in a fortress and we are not going to engage the world. Nothing could be further from the truth. We do not give any foreign aid to England. Have we withdrawn from England? We do not give any foreign aid to anybody in Europe. Have we withdrawn from Europe? We are incredibly connected with Europe. We are incredibly connected with China, despite our differences--incredibly connected with China. We do not have to give foreign aid to be connected to the world. We should trade with the world. That is the connection. The more we are interconnected through trade, the less likely we are to go to war. The other side also says that if we do not have foreign aid we will have war. My goodness, has anybody been paying attention? We have had two pretty big wars for a decade. We are involved in the longest war in the history of our country. I do not see any evidence that foreign aid is preventing war. Some might say: But foreign aid is humanitarian and we want to help poor people. I see zero evidence that foreign aid is helping poor people. It is helping rich people in poor countries. I went through an hour's worth of this earlier talking about how dictators are the ones stealing the money in Africa. Africans live on an average of $2 a day. They did 30 years ago and they still do because foreign aid does not get to the people; it is stolen by the dictators. The other point to make about foreign aid is: My goodness, if we do not have foreign aid, we will be fighting them on our shores. Because we have foreign aid, we have a great deal of antipathy. What they need to think through--and nobody is thinking through--is why are the Arabs mad? Why are they yelling and screaming and burning the American flag? That makes me mad, and that is one reason I don't want to send them any money, because they are burning our flag. But why are they mad? They are mad because Mubarak, who was a dictator in Egypt--do you know what he did when the crowds were formed? He hosed them down with teargas made in Pennsylvania and bought with foreign aid. When the police came with truncheons and beat the crap out of people who were protesting in Egypt, they did it with money from the United States. They are not mad at us because we are rich, they are not mad at us because we drive cars and have nice clothes and have music they find distasteful. They are really not even ultimately mad at us because of that movie. They do not like it, and I understand there are sensibilities on this, but that is not ultimately why they are mad. But they get really mad when they are hit over the head with a police truncheon paid for with foreign aid. So it is exactly the opposite of what the other side says. The other side says without foreign aid we will have more war. I say because of the foreign aid we have more war. There is no objective evidence. Is there any objective evidence we have had less war with foreign aid? None. Zero. There is a lot of evidence we are out of money, though. We are $1 trillion in the hole every year, and they all come down and pay lip service to it, but then say: Oh, well, $30 billion won't make a difference. I say we have to start somewhere, and foreign aid is a great place to start. These Senators are disconnected from the public. I defy any Senator who votes to continue foreign aid with no limitations to go home and ask their people. I will bet 90 percent of the people at home--it routinely polls in the 70s--are in favor of not sending money overseas, particularly if asked whether they want to send money overseas to people who despise us or if they would want to send money overseas to people who are burning our flag; would they want to send money overseas to a country that has tortured a man who helped us get bin Laden; to a country that allowed bin Laden to live within its midst for 6 or 7 years unmolested; to a country that is mad at us now because we got bin Laden; to a country where a third of the population would vote for bin Laden for president. I say far from destabilizing the world, what would happen if we were to remove foreign aid is we would remove the impetus to the Arab spring becoming the Arab winter. What I see is people recognizing that people are angry, but I see no intelligent discussion about why they are angry. When people come to me and they say: Oh, it is because we are rich and we are a wealthy country, that doesn't make any sense to me. Many of these people actually in the Arab spring do want freedom--a freedom like our freedom. It may be a little different, because it is a different culture and they believe in a different system of democracy than we do, but they still want some freedom. Some might ask: If they want freedom and we have freedom, why wouldn't they admire our system; why wouldn't they be sympathetic; why are they burning our flag; why are 20,000, 30,000, 40,000, 50,000 people rallying and burning our flag? It is because too often our foreign aid has gone to support dictators who have oppressed their people. Mubarak got $60 billion in Egypt. Estimates of his family's worth are up to $50 billion. They repressed their people. No one could come into the street without being beaten over the head with a police baton or sprayed with teargas made in Pennsylvania. They were mad at Mubarak, understandably, so that anger is transferred to us. The same with Ben Ali in Tunisia, and the same with Hussein. Remember that Hussein was our ally before he was our enemy. In the Iran-Iraq war we had American planes on both sides. We had military advisers supporting Hussein against Iran, but we had F-4 Phantoms flying on Iran's side that were left there when we left. So this goes back a long way. I remember being in high school and being perplexed as to why the Iranians hated us. Why were they burning our flag? Why were they burning our Embassy and jumping up and down like a bunch of idiots burning our flag? Why did they hate us so much? Because we kept in power a man--the shah--whom they didn't like, whom they despised, and who was autocratic and had a very significant police force that didn't allow dissent. It is the opposite of what the other side argues for. The other side is arguing that without foreign aid we will have war. I am arguing that because of foreign aid we have war. Because of foreign aid and because of the misapplication of foreign aid, because of the theft of foreign aid, and because foreign aid is given to people who repress their people, the Arab spring, which has a healthy element to it, has become the Arab winter. If we don't understand that, we are never going to get beyond that. We have to also go back to the specifics of what I am asking for in this amendment. In this amendment, what I am asking for is that there simply be restrictions. I am asking that in order to get our foreign aid, a country has to act like an ally; they have to significantly and believably pledge to protect our Embassy. In Libya's regard, they have to promise to turn over the people who assassinated our Ambassador. I think that is the minimum of what we should do. Frankly, I think we probably shouldn't be sending aid at all, but I think this is a first step in the right direction; to say, for goodness sakes, if we are going to send aid to people, at least send it to people who are acting like our allies. When we see the American flag being burned in public by tens of thousands of the horde around our Embassies around the world, we should ask ourselves if we want to send good money after bad to that country. Do we believe it is working? And when we think about whether our money should go to African despots and dictators, we should ask if that money is getting to the poor people in Africa or is our foreign aid going to rich people in poor countries. That is the history of it. It is the history of repression, it is the history of human rights abuse, it is the history of theft and more corruption than anyone can ever imagine. I will probably lose this vote, but I have fought long and hard. I have [[Page S6585]] fought for 6 weeks to get this vote, and so we are going to have this vote at midnight. People aren't too happy with me now, but we are going to have a vote tonight at midnight, and I think it is an important vote. I think it is an important first step whether we win or lose. Because every Senator who votes on this tonight will have to go home and they will have to engage their constituents and explain to their constituents why they are still willing to send money to countries that are burning the American flag; why they are still willing to send money to countries where there is ample evidence of corruption and thievery; why they are still willing to send foreign aid to countries that are openly disdainful of us. Does everyone realize the President of Afghanistan, or senior advisers, have said that if there is a war with Pakistan--between the United States and Pakistan--they will side with Pakistan? Pakistan's senior advisers have said if there is a war with Iran, they will side with Iran. These are the people we are sending billions of dollars to and saying: Please be our friends. They laugh and snigger at us and turn away and say: Fools. That is what they say about us. I say what we need in this country is an American spring--an American spring where we wake up and say: Look, to make our country great again, to retain American greatness, we have to figure out how to grow at home. And I think that means leaving more money at home. I hope the Senate will consider this when they vote this evening. Mr. President, I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Iowa. Report on Operation Fast and Furious Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, on Wednesday, the inspector general of the Department of Justice issued his report on ATF's Operation Fast and Furious. This report is a significant milestone for the family of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. He was killed in a firefight with illegal aliens who were armed with illegal guns from Fast and Furious. Attorney General Holder delayed any discipline for the officials responsible for Fast and Furious until after this report was released. The time for accountability has come. There are no more excuses for inaction. The inspector general's nonpartisan review confirmed virtually everything I heard from whistleblowers over the last year and a half. The Justice Department tried to push all the blame on the ATF and officials down in Phoenix, AZ, but the inspector general confirmed that senior officials in Washington ignored red flag after red flag. Senior officials in both the Justice Department and ATF knew or should have known that Operation Fast and Furious was putting guns into the hands of criminals. But they ignored the risk and failed to take steps to protect the public safety. The Inspector General also confirmed that there were major information-sharing failures between law enforcement agencies. We are still going through the nearly 500-page report, as well as 309 pages of new documents the Justice Department produced late Wednesday. However, I was surprised to learn from the report that Attorney General Holder testified that he doesn't remember the conversation with me about Fast and Furious in my office on January 31, 2011. That is when I handed the first letters to the Attorney General opening the investigation of Fast and Furious. I happen to remember that conversation. My staff told the Attorney General that day what whistleblowers had told us. Remember, whistleblowers got involved in coming to Congress because for months they were sending reports up from Phoenix to main Justice that selling guns illegally or encouraging our gun dealers to sell guns illegally was not a very smart thing for our Justice Department to do. And when they weren't listened to, these whistleblowers started coming to this Senator. Specifically, at that meeting with Holder, we discussed that two weapons the ATF let go in Fast and Furious were found at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Terry. I emphasized I was personally bringing it to his attention--meaning the attention of the Attorney General--because these were very serious and credible allegations, not just some run-of-the-mill letter that I send to departments generally. Yet even after that meeting, the Department didn't take this case seriously. The inspector general's independent report says so explicitly. We do not believe that the gravity of this allegation was met with an equally serious effort by the Department to determine whether ATF and the U.S. Attorney's Office had allowed the sale of hundreds of weapons to straw purchasers. The Justice Department claimed its process for writing letters to Congress was sound. But its response to me, in its February 4, 2011, letter, was false. That letter came back only 4 or 5 days after I first handed the letter to the Attorney General. The February 4, 2011, letter was false because DOJ later withdrew it and claimed it relied on bad information from the ATF and the U.S. Attorney's Office. However, the inspector general agreed with me that the Justice Department's response was seriously flawed--and not just the initial response. The inspector general also found that the Justice Department knew its initial reply wasn't true when it reaffirmed the denial of the whistleblower allegations in a May 2, 2011 letter to me. Instead of acknowledging it was wrong, the Department repeatedly doubled down on its denials. For example, Attorney General Holder said on multiple occasions since November 2011 that the wiretap evidence authorized by the Justice Department headquarters did not put senior leadership on notice that the ATF was walking guns. Most recently, on June 7 of this year, the Attorney General went before the House Judiciary Committee. At this point, many Members of Congress had obtained and read the affidavits, even though the Justice Department did not want us to see them. Members who reviewed them said that the affidavits contained evidence of gunwalking. But Attorney General Holder testified: I've looked at these affidavits, I've looked at these summaries. There's nothing in those affidavits as I've reviewed them that indicates gunwalking was allowed. The inspector general has read these same wiretap affidavits. Since the inspector general is independent and nonpartisan, that independent, nonpartisan conclusion is at odds with the quote I just gave you from the Attorney General, and that quote from the Attorney General comes from testimony before the other body. I quote from his report: [T]he affidavits described specific incidents that would suggest . . . ATF was employing a strategy of not interdicting weapons or arresting known straw purchasers. In fact, much of the inspector general's report is redacted because those affidavits are still under seal. Chairman Issa and I asked the Justice Department months ago to move to unseal them so the public could decide for themselves. Now the inspector general has joined Congressman Issa and this Senator, and is also calling for the Department to ask for permission of the court to release the affidavits. The Justice Department should have filed that motion months ago. Unsealing the affidavits will allow the American people and the Terry family to see the whole story. The details of those affidavits show that senior officials knew, or should have known, about gunwalking in Fast and Furious. The inspector general independently confirmed this point, quite contrary to Attorney General Holder's denials. Those denials by the Attorney General show either incompetence or lack of truthfulness. Congress created an explicit statutory duty for certain senior Justice Department officials to authorize all wiretap applications, not just those involved with Fast and Furious. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein, who served directly under criminal division head Lanny Breuer, was one of the officials who approved some of these affidavits. Senior officials such as Mr. Weinstein tried to claim that they shouldn't be held accountable because they only read memos summarizing the wiretaps, not the full wiretap applications, as I think is required under law. But the inspector general found that Justice Department officials should review more than just the cover memo. He said that under the statute, they have the responsibility to be fully informed before authorizing wiretap applications. [[Page S6586]] Yet the inspector general also found that even . . . a reader of the . . . cover memorandum would infer from the facts that ATF agents did not take enforcement action to interdict the weapons or arrest [straw purchasers]. So the memo Mr. Weinstein admits he did read indicated that ATF had walked guns, according to the inspector general. Back in September of last year, Attorney General Holder said at a press conference: The notion that somehow or other this thing reaches the upper levels of the Justice Department is something that . . . I don't think is supported by the facts. Maybe the Attorney General doesn't think someone who reports directly to the head of the criminal division is a senior official, but this Senator does. As a result of the inspector general's findings, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Weinstein has resigned. Mr. Weinstein should be held accountable, but he shouldn't take the fall for more senior officials who are also culpable. Mr. Weinstein reported directly to Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer. When the Justice Department sent its letter to me denying ATF ever walked guns, Breuer knew otherwise. He knew in 2010 about gunwalking in another case, Operation Wide Receiver. That was long before the allegations in Fast and Furious; yet he waited 9 months before e-mails about Wide Receiver were about to be produced to Congress before he publicly apologized for not doing more about gunwalking in the previous gun walking Wide Receiver. I asked Breuer whether he had seen the draft of the February 4 false letter to me. Breuer testified: I cannot say for sure whether I saw a draft of the letter that was sent to you. Now I will explain why that was a false statement that he made to me. A month after Breuer's testimony, the Justice Department released more documents showing that Breuer was sent five drafts of the letter before it was sent to me. He forwarded three of them to his personal e- mail account. Breuer still maintained in written responses that it was ``highly unlikely'' he had read the letter because he was in Mexico when it was sent. On this matter, the inspector general report contained a significant factual error. By the way, there aren't many errors in this inspector general's report. I compliment him for a very good job that he did. The report read: The OIG found no e-mail messages from Breuer in which he proposed edits, commented on the drafts, or otherwise indicated he had read them. That statement of the inspector general is not true. In response to one of the drafts that Breuer received, he commented to Weinstein that it was ``great work.'' That may not be a proposed edit, but it is certainly a comment. Thus, Breuer's statement to Congress is simply not credible. E-mails show that Breuer was very engaged in the process, asking for and receiving updates from Weinstein at every stage of the drafting of that letter of February 4, 2011 that 8 or 9 months later they withdrew because it was false. Breuer and Weinstein sent multiple e-mails to each other on the matter each day, with Breuer asking after a quiet period, ``Jason, let me know what's happening with this.'' So, quite obviously, he was involved before the letter was ever sent to me. Rather than holding him accountable for this evidence, the inspector general's report gives him a pass. Worse, new e-mails produced Wednesday show that Breuer was in the weeds about his deputy Jason Weinstein coming to brief the Senate Judiciary Committee staff a week after the Justice Department's false letter was sent to me. On February 13, 2011, Breuer sent an e-mail about such details as what specific questions my staff asked of Weinstein at this briefing. Breuer wrote: The goal--and by all accounts it seems to have worked--was to communicate that ATF's work in the AZ case and others like it reflected sound judgment and investigative work. It is clear that Breuer was in the weeds enough to know what the Justice Department was communicating to me was undermined by the gunwalking he knew about in Wide Receiver. He should have come forward in February 2011 and told Congress that he knew ATF had in fact walked guns. His failure to do so, coupled with his attempt to mislead Congress, is why I have called for him to resign or be fired. I made that request last fall on the floor of this Senate. The Attorney General has been saying for months that he would hold off on any personnel action until the inspector general's report was released. We have been hearing that for almost a year, ``Let the inspector general finish his work, and then we will decide what to do.'' So, Mr. Attorney General, it is time to hold people accountable. I wish to close with language from a statement that the family of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry issued. Agent Terry is the person where two guns that were walked were found at his murder scene. From the family of Brian Terry: The Department's failure chronicled in the report had deadly and tragic consequences for hundreds of innocent American and Mexican victims of violent crimes. And our son, friend, relative and hero, Brian Terry, is dead. Questions and concerns should have been raised before the weapons purchased in this failed government sting wound up in the hands of drug dealers and killers, including those who killed Brian. The focus today should not be on political spin control nor on praise for the Department of Justice supervisors who chose to resign in light of the report's findings, but rather on the gross negligence of the Department documented in the report and the tragic consequences of that negligence. I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Franken). The Senator from Iowa. The Ryan Budget Mr. HARKIN. Mr. President, our Nation faces an absolutely fundamental choice in this year's election: Are we going to rescue, restore, and rebuild the middle class or are we going to continue to shift even more wealth and advantages to those at the top at the expense of the middle class? As I have done every day we have been in session here, I want to point out to the American people what the blueprint is for this country under the Romney-Ryan budget. That is their budget. A budget is a blueprint of where you want to go, what you want to do, how you want to build something--how you want to build the future of our country. That is the Ryan budget. So I want to take a look again at the Ryan budget and what it does for the future of this country. First of all, the very centerpiece of the Ryan budget is whopping new tax cuts, mostly for those at the top, the richest 2 percent. Those making $1 million or more a year would receive $265,000 a year in new tax cuts on top of the $129,000 they would get from extending the old Bush tax cuts. That means now if you are in the top 2 percent and you are making over $1 million a year, you get $394,000 in new tax cuts. We keep hearing about Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan talking about entitlements. We have got to cut back on entitlements. Don't we? What about this? That is what they always talk about. They are talking about people who are lower income, who rely upon certain things such as nutrition assistance or job training programs, maybe Pell grants for students, for poor kids to go to college--cut back on those. What about this entitlement? This is an entitlement; you are entitled to it: If you make over $1 million a year, you will be entitled to those tax cuts. We don't hear them cutting back on that entitlement. No. They want to extend it. How do they pay for all these new tax cuts? The total is $4.5 trillion over 10 years. They do not exactly say how, but the Republican budget, that Ryan budget, would offset these tax cuts by making very deep and Draconian cuts in programs that undergird the middle class--everything from education, student loans, grants, law enforcement, clean air, clean water, food safety, medical research, highways, bridges and other infrastructure, all cut in the Ryan budget. The Ryan budget, as I will explain a little bit more in detail shortly, would end Medicare. We will hear a lot of people saying it will end Medicare as we know it. Well, if we end something as we know it, that means we end it. The Romney-Ryan budget, since Mr. Romney called it marvelous--the Romney-Ryan budget would end Medicare and make it a voucher care system. That would force seniors to pay nearly [[Page S6587]] $6,000 more per year out of their pockets for health care in the future. Last, they offset these tax cuts by raising taxes on the middle class--actually raising taxes on the middle class. Mr. Ryan's budget is to use the deficit crisis as a pretext for dismantling Medicare, Medicaid, cutting education and environmental protection, workplace safety, and all the things I have said. What they do is double down on the theory that if we just give more and more to those at the top, it will trickle down to everybody else. That theory was tried under President George W. Bush, and it did not work out too well. Today I want to focus on the devastating impact of the Romney-Ryan budget on Medicare and on health care generally. Since he first arrived in Congress, Representative Ryan has consistently pushed a very specific and radical health care program to end Medicare. Under his proposal, seniors would no longer have the guaranteed Medicare benefits they have enjoyed for decades. Instead, they would get a voucher from the Federal Government. They can then go out and buy individual private insurance or Medicare. Again, they say: You can buy Medicare. You can stay in Medicare if you want or you can buy private insurance. Let's take a look at that. In 10 years the Ryan plan would eliminate Medicare, shift to vouchers, but the vouchers would not be enough to cover the health care costs so seniors' out-of-pocket costs would go up. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has projected that the Ryan proposal could increase annual out-of-pocket costs for seniors by more than $1,200 in 2030, almost $6,000 in 2050. If we total all these years, if we add one year after the other that seniors would have to pay, seniors retiring in 2023, over their lifetime, would be paying almost $60,000 more in total. For seniors retiring in 2030 it would be about $125,000. When we get up to 2050, a senior retiring then would be spending about $330,000 over their retirement years just for health care. That is what voucher care means. In addition, the Ryan plan would leave the traditional Medicare system in a death spiral. Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan, in extolling their budget, say: You know, we will give them a voucher. If you want to, you can go out and buy traditional Medicare or you can buy a private insurance plan. What does that mean? That means if someone is a very healthy senior they might get a better deal by going out and buying a private insurance plan. So who stays in Medicare? The poorest and the sickest. Then the Medicare costs explode and it becomes unaffordable and we destroy the whole Medicare system. Do not buy that argument of Mr. Ryan, that someone can stay in Medicare if they want. No, it would destroy it. Make no mistake, the Ryan plan is a radical break with the past. This is not some little transition. This is not some little bit of experimentation or something. No, the Ryan budget is a radical break with what we have had in the past. It turns a successful, reliable comprehensive source of health care that seniors have depended on for decades, paid into over years of hard work--they turn it into an unpredictable, unreliable voucher care system. Our approach is very different. President Obama has fought to strengthen Medicare, not end it. He believes Medicare is a sacred compact, and he has improved Medicare in the Affordable Care Act or what we now know as ObamaCare. My friends on the other side of the aisle have been saying ``ObamaCare'' as though it is a pejorative. It has a bad connotation. I use it as a very good connotation because I want to tell you President Obama does care. He cares about the fact that kids can stay on their parents' policy until age 26. He does care that insurance companies can no longer put lifetime caps on real sick people any longer. President Obama does care if someone has a preexisting condition, they cannot be denied affordable health care insurance. So, yes, President Obama does care. That is why I think ObamaCare really does describe it well--Obama cares. For example, in ObamaCare we eliminate gaps in coverage; that is, the doughnut hole. We close the doughnut hole. We reduce the cost of prescription drugs. According to Medicare's Actuary--not me, the Actuary--the Affordable Care Act extends the program's solvency by 8 years, from 2016 to 2024, by getting rid of wasteful subsidies to insurance companies, getting rid of fraud, waste, and abuse in the system. So our plan for Medicare is simple: Mend it, don't end it. That is just what we do. The Ryan plan is bad news for those who depend on Medicare for their basic health care needs. It is disastrous for people who depend on the Medicaid Program. The Ryan budget would block-grant Medicaid, put the entire program under the States, and then cut it by $810 billion over the next 10 years. That's right. The Medicaid Program, block-grant it to the States, cut it by $810 billion over the next 10 years. What does Medicaid do? Seniors, if they pay into the program, have Medicare when they retire. If they become disabled, if they have paid in the requisite amount of money, they can get disability coverage or survivors' benefits. I am talking about Medicaid, health care for low- income Americans and other populations. The Medicaid Program is something we instituted over half a century ago now to tell all Americans that they are going to be able to have quality health care. Do you remember that debate? I remember watching one of the debates that the Republicans were having in their Presidential series. The question was asked: You know we take care of sick people in our country. Where do they go? They can go to the emergency room. It costs a lot more money. But the question was asked-- something about, do you just deny that? A lot of people would say just let them die, leave them out on the street. Is that the kind of country we want to be? If we are sick and we do not have the wherewithal we cannot get health care? We moved beyond that. We have moved beyond that as a society. The other population is Americans with disabilities. Almost one in every two Americans, almost 50 percent of Americans with disabilities depend on Medicaid for access to health services and support that span everything from hospital to home care. Services from the Medicaid Program allow our citizens with disabilities to live with dignity and with purpose in their homes and in their communities. Nearly 3 million seniors and people with disabilities use the Medicaid Program to avoid costly nursing home care. If we cut home and community-based care for this group of Americans, then they would have to turn to institutional care. The short-term cuts, these cuts they are going to make in Medicaid, will lead to longer term expenses because we know that institutional care is more expensive than care at home or in the community. I guess, unless we just say to them: Tough luck, you are on your own. Tough luck. You have a disability? Cut your Medicaid. Can't live at home? Go live in an institution. Oh, the institution is no longer there because we cannot afford it--then I guess you have to go out on the street and beg. Is that what we want to see? Like many third world countries where we see people with disabilities on the corners begging? Families with a child with a disability out in the street begging? Is that what we want? Do we want to walk down the street and see people who, through no fault of their own, are disabled and they are out there begging with a tin cup and a tin plate? Is that the kind of country we want to become? To dismantle the Medicaid Program, as they would do under the Ryan budget, would dismantle our commitment to quality affordable health care for all. The Medicaid Program is a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of middle-class families--yes, middle-class families, working families who have children with lifelong disabilities such as Down syndrome or autism. Instead of cutting these families off from a critical lifeline, we should be strengthening the long-term viability of this program, Medicaid, reassuring these families that America is not going to turn its back on them when they need help the most. You do not have to take my word for it about shredding this compact. I have said many times that we have a unique American social contract, a compact that evolved over our march from a society in which we had child labor, [[Page S6588]] which, if people were older and poor, they went to the county home; where children died in infancy; where, if people were disabled, they were put in dark places. We evolved a social contract. We said, basically, in America we are going to provide a ladder of opportunity or ramp of opportunity. We are going to make sure we take care that we educate our young and take care of our elderly, a social safety net. Here is the former Reagan economic adviser, Mr. Bruce Bartlett. Here is what he said: Distributionally, the Ryan plan is a monstrosity. The rich would receive huge tax cuts while the social safety net would be shredded to pay for them. Then again, we don't have to take those words. I think the bishops had something to say about that when the bishops said the Ryan budget fails the moral test. The Nation's Catholic bishops reiterated their demand that the Federal budget protect the poor and said the GOP measure ``fails to meet these moral criteria.'' That is the Ryan budget. At the centerpiece of the Ryan budget is its promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare. Again, once we get past this political theater and look at what repeal of the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare would actually mean, it is not a very pretty picture. Repeal would reopen the Medicare prescription doughnut hole, requiring seniors to pay about $600 more per year on average for prescription drugs. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare, about 86 million Americans received at least one free preventive service in 2011 and almost 1 million Iowans received at least one free prevention service in 2011. That would be repealed, and then they would be charged. Americans now get services such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and other cancer screenings. Eighty-six million Americans received free preventive services. This is in keeping with ObamaCare's goal that changes from a sick care society to a health care society. Rather than focusing all of our attention and money on emergency room care or when people get the sickest, we start to move it more upfront to preventive care. We would get to people early and prevent illness. We would keep people healthy and out of the hospital in the first place. The Ryan budget shreds all of that. It is back to the old system we always had--no preventive care. When someone gets sick, they go to the emergency room, and that is busting us as a country. That is breaking our budget. We have to put more into prevention. Mr. President, your mother was right, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I don't know why we have not learned that. We did learn it. We put that in ObamaCare. The Ryan budget says, no, we want to get rid of that. The repeal of ObamaCare would allow insurance companies to deny people coverage because of a preexisting condition. Nearly half of Americans have some form of a preexisting health condition, and right now the Affordable Care Act covers all children. In 2014--just 1 year and a little over 2 months from now--everyone will be covered even if they have a preexisting condition. This is Eleanor Pierce from Cedar Falls, IA. She was denied health insurance, when she lost her job, because of a preexisting condition of high blood pressure. Without coverage, she racked up $60,000 in medical debts. If you repeal ObamaCare, more than 30 million people would be denied access to affordable and comprehensive health insurance. It would make insured Americans pay more than tens of billions of dollars of uncompensated care when they show up in emergency rooms. Actually, repealing ObamaCare would cost American families an average of over $1,100 extra in premiums annually right now that we are paying for uncompensated care when people show up in an emergency room. Repeal would kick more than 3 million young people off their parents' policy. That hurts people like Emily Schlichting. She testified at one of our hearings. She is a young woman from Omaha. She said that ``young people are the future of this country and we are the most affected by reform. We are the generation that is most uninsured. We need the Affordable Care Act because it is literally an investment in the future of this country.'' She suffers from a rare autoimmune disorder. In the bad old days, that made her uninsurable. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare, she is now covered under her parents' policy until age 26. Guess what. In 2014 her preexisting condition will mean nothing. She will be able to get affordable health insurance. The Ryan budget says, sorry, Emily, you are on your own. These are just a few of the ways in which the Ryan plan to repeal ObamaCare would drag us backward to the bad old days when insurance companies were in the driver's seat and millions of Americans were one illness away from bankruptcy. Over the last few weeks, Governor Romney and Representative Ryan have been saying that the President's health reform robs Medicare. I heard that he said that in Florida last night. I don't know how else to say this, but that is totally false. That is untrue. First of all, nonpartisan economists have certified that the President's health care plan or ObamaCare has strengthened the Medicare Program and extends its solvency by 8 years. If we were robbing the Medicare Program, how could it extend its solvency by 8 more years? The Affordable Care Act doesn't rob Medicare, it makes the program more efficient and more reliable. It saves $700 billion, not from beneficiaries, not from recipients who are on Medicare, but from overpayments to private insurance companies, providers, pharmaceuticals. It cracks down on fraud, waste, and abuse. What is interesting is that the Ryan budget has exactly the same savings in his budget as ObamaCare has in the plan we passed here. It is the same and exact to the dollar. It is written the same way. As President Clinton said: ``You gotta give [him] one thing--it takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did.'' Ryan put in his budget exactly what we had in ObamaCare, and now they are attacking President Obama for what they have in their budget. Go figure. In both of his budget proposals, Mr. Ryan keeps all of the Affordable Care Act's medical improvements that we put in the Affordable Care Act. I heard Mr. Romney in Florida last night attacking President Obama for doing what Mr. Romney said was marvelous about Mr. Ryan's budget. In short, Mr. Ryan's Medicare plan would end Medicare. There is something else that I hear them say all the time. They say they are going to protect everyone over age 55. Under the Ryan plan he says they are going to go to this voucher care, but anyone over age 55 is protected. I have to ask: Protected from what? I mean, if it is such a good deal, why don't we do it for everybody? Yet Mr. Ryan and Mr. Romney say, no, everyone over age 55 has the same Medicare system and they don't get the voucher program. It is only for those under age 55. There must be something wrong with it then. If it is so darn good, why don't they put everybody in there right away? Conversely, if they are protecting everyone over age 55, why don't they protect everyone under age 55? Got it? If they are aged 55 and over they are unprotected. Put them on a voucher program. That is the dirty little secret they are not telling us. Again, by repealing the Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare, 439,000 Iowa seniors would be forced onto these vouchers, 60,000 Iowa seniors would be forced back into the doughnut hole and paying more money for their drugs, and 400,000 Iowa seniors would pay for preventive services that they now get at no cost. More than 30 million people will be denied coverage under the Ryan budget. ObamaCare insures more than 94 percent of all Americans. That is what would happen; they would be denied coverage. I will close with this: The bottom line is President Obama and ObamaCare protects Medicare. It keeps it solvent. It keeps everyone covered. The Ryan budget shreds the social safety net for Medicaid and destroys Medicare by turning it into a voucher system. ObamaCare protects Americans from insurance company abuses, expands coverage, increases the quality of care, shifts more into prevention and keeping people healthy. The Ryan budget does away with all of that and would drag us backward to the bad old days. When we look at the Ryan budget--or the Romney-Ryan budget, since Mr. [[Page S6589]] Romney called it marvelous--we have to shake our heads in disbelief that they would take America back that far after we have come so far in covering people and getting rid of preexisting condition clauses. ObamaCare takes off caps on lifetime coverage for those who have a serious illness so they don't go bankrupt. ObamaCare makes sure kids in America can stay on their parents' policies. We don't want to go back, and that is why this Ryan budget must be totally defeated. I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Vermont. Mr. SANDERS. Mr. President, I want to congratulate my colleague, Senator Harkin, for his remarks. I certainly agree with him. I want to amplify a point Senator Harkin made. There was a frightening story in the New York Times today. I don't know that people have digested it, but the headline is ``Life Spans Shrink for Least-Educated Whites in the U.S.'' Generally speaking, the trend for life expectancy in the United States, and all over the world, has been going up. The goal of a good society and a strong health care system is to see that people live longer, healthier, and happier lives, but as a result of the devastating attacks in a variety of ways on the working class of this country, over a period of years--not just starting yesterday--this is where we are. Let me quote from this article. I hope people hear this because this is shocking stuff. I quote: The steepest declines were for white women without a high school diploma, who lost five years of life between 1990 and 2008. Their life expectancy went down by 5 years. This is astronomical. Going back to the article, it says: S. Jay Olshansky, a public health professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the lead investigator on the study, published last month in Health Affairs. What happened is between 1990 and 2008--an 18-year period--life expectancy for white women without a high school diploma declined by 5 years. The article states: White men lacking a high school diploma lost 3 years of life. Life expectancy for both blacks and Hispanics of the same education level rose, the data showed. But Blacks overall do not live as long as whites, while Hispanics live longer than both whites and blacks. So let's digest what that means. As chairman of the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, last year we held a hearing entitled ``Poverty as a Death Sentence.'' What that hearing pointed out is that people who are in the top 20 percent live, as I recall, about 6 years longer than people in the bottom 20 percent. But what new evidence is suggesting is that people without a high school degree--the least educated people in America and often the poorest people in America--we are now seeing a significant decline in the life expectancies of both men and women. This is moving in exactly the wrong direction. The authors of the study are not exactly sure why this is taking place. Many low-income, uneducated people are using drugs, cutting short their lives. Lack of health care is certainly one of the reasons. More and more low-income people can't access health care, which is why it is so important that we defeat the Romney-Ryan effort to devastate, as Senator Harkin just said, Medicaid and throw millions and millions of people off health insurance. If life expectancy for low-income people is now going down, think of what it will mean if we throw millions more off Medicaid. It is a death sentence. I also wish to say a word on the issue of Social Security, and I wish to thank the Presiding Officer and Senator Whitehouse and Senator Begich for joining me yesterday in releasing a letter which had 29 signatures on it from Members of the Senate, and that letter was pretty simple. What it said is that Social Security has not added a nickel to the deficit because Social Security, of course, is funded by the payroll tax. It said Social Security has a $2.7 trillion surplus and can pay out all the benefits to eligible Americans over the next 21 years. So it is absolutely wrong and bad public policy to be talking about cutting Social Security within the context of deficit reduction when Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit. The reason we are in a deficit situation in a significant way--the reason we have gone a very long way in the wrong direction since January 2001 when Bill Clinton left office with a $236 billion surplus--has nothing to do with Social Security. It has everything to do with Bush and those people who voted for two wars and forgot to pay for them, thereby adding to the deficit; those people who gave huge tax breaks, much of it going to the richest people in this country, forgot to pay for it; passed the Medicare Part D prescription drug program and forgot to pay for it; and a recession caused by Wall Street which resulted in lower revenue coming into the Federal Government. Those are the reasons why we are in a deficit, not because of Social Security. I understand Republicans want to cut Social Security. That is what they do. They are not very sympathetic to Social Security. They have opposed Social Security for years. They don't believe the government should be involved in retirement security. They want to balance the budget on the backs of the elderly, the sick, the children and the poor and give tax breaks to the rich. I understand that. More and more Americans understand that. But I will tell my colleagues what I am concerned about. I am concerned about President Obama. Four years ago, the President was very clear on this issue. When the President was running for election against Senator McCain, this is what he told AARP and, ironically, he just spoke to AARP, I believe it was today. So 4 years ago, same venue. This is what he said 4 years ago: John McCain's campaign has suggested that the best answer for the growing pressures on Social Security might be to cut cost-of-living adjustments or raise the retirement age. Let me be clear: I will not do either. Candidate Barack Obama said that 4 years ago. Barack Obama is in the White House now. We have people such as billionaire Pete Peterson, who has been pushing deficit reduction on the backs of working people for years now. He has been spending huge amounts of money to make sure we do deficit reduction not by asking the wealthiest people in this country to pay their fair share but by balancing the budget on the backs of the elderly, the children, the sick, and the poor. These guys have come up with a strategy called the chained CPI. Nobody in America outside Capitol Hill knows what the chained CPI is. It is a new formulation as to how we determine cost-of-living adjustments--COLAs--for seniors. What these economists have decided-- these rightwing economists--COLAs today are formulated in a way that are too generous--too generous for America's seniors and for disabled veterans. They want to reformulate how we come up with these COLAs. If they get their way--and I have a great deal of fear that unless some of us stop them, unless the American people stop them, they will, in fact, get their way--what this will mean is that if a person is 65 years of age today, by the time they are 75, they will lose about $560 a year in their benefits. If a person is 65 years of age today, in 20 years, when that person is 85, they will lose $1,000 a year. Let me be very clear. I do not believe we should move to a deficit reduction on the backs of a senior citizen living on $14,000 or $15,000 a year and take $1,000 away from them and then get on the floor of the Senate and talk about how we have to give more tax breaks to billionaires. I think that is not only morally inexcusable, I think it is bad economics. While we are talking about this so-called chained CPI which will cut benefits for seniors, we are also talking about cutting VA benefits for disabled veterans. So I want to hear all these tough guys here who think we should balance the budget on the backs of the elderly and the children, let them get up here and tell us why, when somebody fought in a war to defend the United States--maybe they lost their legs or their eyes or their arms--they want to cut their benefits and then they want to give tax breaks to billionaires. The American people don't want to do that. So I think we have to get on the phones right now. We have to call our Senators and we have to call Members of the House and we have to call President Obama: Mr. President, 4 years ago you told us you weren't going to cut Social Security. Is that still your position? Four years ago, you came up with an idea that is, in fact, [[Page S6590]] exactly the right idea. You made the point that multimillionaires are contributing the same amount of money into the Social Security trust fund as somebody making $110,000, and 4 years ago you made the point that if we lift that cap--and we don't have to start at $110,000; we can go up to $250,000--if we lift that cap above $250,000, we could bring in enough revenue to fund Social Security for the next 75 years. That was your position, Mr. President, 4 years ago. Is that your position today? Are you going to stand up to the Republicans and the Wall Street folks who want us to cut Social Security? That is where we are right now. My last point I wish to make is on the much discussed remarks of Governor Romney from the video released recently that has gone all over the Internet. There is a lot that can be said about it, and I suspect everybody has said a lot. I just want to pick up on one point. I feel strongly about this point because I am the son of a working-class family--of a father who never made a lot of money but worked hard his entire life and of a mother who raised her kids as best she could. So I take this kind of personally. This is what Mr. Romney said in connection with the famous 47 percent of the people who don't pay taxes, which is not true, of course. As we know, they pay Social Security taxes and gasoline taxes, Medicare taxes. But be that as it may, that is not the issue I want to get to. This is what Mr. Romney said: My job is not to worry about those people. I will never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. Let me repeat that. I will never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. He was talking about my parents. He was talking about the parents of millions of people who worked hard their whole lives who don't need advice from a multimillionaire who went to elite schools and had all the money and privileges his family could provide him. We don't need advice from him to families who have worked and struggled their whole lives to, in fact, take personal responsibility to make sure their kids did well. That is an incredibly arrogant statement from a guy surrounded by money, speaking to millionaires, who should not be making that statement. People on Social Security, people on Medicare, in many cases, have worked their entire lives, have done the best they could to provide for their kids, have seen their kids go to college. Many of the people on Social Security, Medicare have fought in wars defending this country. They do not need advice from a multimillionaire about how they should take personal responsibility for their lives. That is an insulting remark and it would become Governor Romney to apologize for that remark. With that, I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah. Mr. HATCH. Might I ask how much time I have? The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Tester). There is no controlled time. The Senator may consume as much time as he wishes. Mr. HATCH. I thank the Chair. Mr. President, I have to say I always enjoy my colleague from Vermont. He is a very sincere and dedicated man and I like him. There is no use kidding about it; you can't help but like him, in my eyes. But I don't know any Republican Senator who wants to cut Social Security. They want to save Social Security. I don't know anybody who wants to cut Medicare or Medicaid. We want to save Medicare and Medicaid. Anybody in their right mind who looks at this knows we have to do some things and change some things or we are not going to have Medicare and Medicaid for our people and we will not have Social Security continue. With regard to Mitt Romney, yes, he may not have articulated his thoughts as well as he may have wished. But there is no way in this world Mitt Romney meant his comments to be taken the way they have been taken by the left in this country. All he is saying is there are too many people riding in the wagon and not enough people pulling the wagon and we are going to have to get jobs for those who should be outside the wagon, pulling the wagon, and help them to have the self-esteem that comes from working. That is what the whole welfare bill of 1996 was all about, in having a work requirement: We are going to help you, we are going to subsidize you, we are going to give you job training, but after a certain period of time, if you don't have a job, you are off the dole. Literally two-thirds, almost two-thirds of the people who have been on the dole, some for generations, went to work after incentives were realigned through Republican welfare reform. That is the Republican approach, to get people back to work, to provide efficient incentives, and to get this economy moving again; not to hurt anybody. So these things can be exaggerated to a point where sometimes it becomes confusing to the American people, and that is not right either. I know Mitt Romney. I know how he cares for people. I know what he did when he was a bishop in the LDS Church, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was a bishop when I was running for Senate, and I have to tell my colleagues I spent at least 30 hours a week of my own time and expense, because there is no paid clergy in the LDS faith, other than the general authorities and those are very few people, and we all volunteer our time. We help people from every walk of life. Fiscal History of the 1990s and 2000s Mr. President, I am here today to talk about some very important things that are related to what I have just been saying. There has been much discussion by President Obama about the source of our current economic and fiscal challenges. The President seems to suggest we could easily return to the prosperity of the 1990s by adopting the policies of President Clinton, particularly by raising taxes to the level they were during his Presidency. At the recent Democratic National Convention, President Clinton himself made a similar argument. But the positive economic and fiscal history of the 1990s was not owing to higher taxes, and the economic and fiscal challenges we face today--in particular, our $16 trillion national debt and exploding entitlement spending programs--cannot be fixed by higher tax rates. During his convention speech, President Clinton claimed that President Obama inherited a damaged economy, put a floor under the crash, began the road to recovery, and laid the foundation for a modern, well-balanced economy. Tell that to the 12.5 million unemployed Americans who continue to struggle with unemployment. Tell that to Americans who have been suffering through unemployment rates above 8 percent for 43 consecutive months. Explain to Americans how redistribution, massive expansion of refundable tax credits, ballooned transfer payments, and an interventionist Federal Reserve represent a foundation for future growth of the economy. Explain how this economy is ``well balanced'' when government spending represents as much as 25 percent of GDP, debt is higher than an entire year's worth of the output of the economy, and we have an activist Federal Reserve that has increased its balance sheet by well over $1 trillion. President Clinton does admit that, under President Obama, we are not where we need to be. So, instead, he asks whether we are better off than when President Obama took office, and he answers in the affirmative. Putting aside the rhetoric and spin and considering the facts, this is a dubious claim at best. Relative to the beginning of 2009 when President Obama took office, jobs are down by 261,000 and unemployment remains above 8 percent. But wait. Democrats say the President cannot be held responsible for bad things that happened during his Presidency; those things were inherited or due to Europe or caused by uncontrollable forces. All right, then. Let's look at the President's jobs record after the end of the recession, which the National Bureau of Economic Research says was June of 2009. Since then, job growth under President Obama has been only 73,600 jobs per month on average--far too weak to move the unemployment rate below 8 percent. Democrats say the only reason we do not have more jobs is because Republicans will not agree to more Keynesian stimulus--never mind that the previous dose, which cost over $800 billion [[Page S6591]] and was promised to deliver unemployment below 8 percent, failed to get unemployment down. Remember those promised shovel-ready jobs that became a source of amusement to the President? Remember the promised infrastructure? Americans should ask themselves where all those things are. Where are the jobs? Well, the President makes claims of saving millions of jobs because of stimulus magic. And the Federal Reserve claims millions of jobs saved from its so-called quantitative easing. There you have it. The President's foundation of well-balanced economic growth rests on debt-financed Keynesian stimulus and Federal Reserve stimulus. Absent anything but a dismal record on jobs, President Obama has decided to try to run on President Clinton's record. So let's consider President Clinton's rose-colored nostalgia--a revisionist history adopted by President Obama and his surrogates. President Clinton's view goes like this: I came into office with a weak economy. I raised taxes. The economy boomed. President Clinton's depiction of the roaring 1990s is missing a few chapters. In his first years in office, Democrats controlled Congress. He and the Democrats raised income taxes and gas taxes. He tried to impose a Btu energy tax, attempted a government takeover of health care--known as HillaryCare and proposed a $31 billion stimulus while putting off welfare reform. The first few years of the Clinton Presidency can fairly be characterized as prioritizing tax-and-spend economic policy. But HillaryCare failed, and American voters decided to make some changes. They faced uncertainty over taxes, health care, energy costs, deficits, and runaway government spending. After 2 years of complete Democratic control of Washington, American voters decided in 1994 that Republican control of the Senate and House was desirable. Does this sound familiar? A new Democrat in the White House, complete Democratic control of Congress, prioritizing higher taxes, a government takeover of the Nation's health care system, and more spending, followed by a popular uprising that gave some Republican balance in Congress. It was the first Republican Congress in over 40 years. But in contrast to President Obama's refusal to heed the message of the 2010 election, President Clinton listened to the American people and moved to the political center. He embraced a Republican goal of a balanced budget and, after two vetoes, signed GOP welfare reform legislation shortly before the 1996 election. In 1996 President Clinton was reelected, but Republicans retained control of Congress. Now, President Obama claims these were the good old days because President Clinton raised taxes. Let's consider that tax landscape. President Clinton did raise the top income tax rate in 1993, and Democrats credit that increase for shrinking the deficit and unleashing future economic growth. However, he also agreed with Republicans in 1997 to cut the capital gains tax rate to 20 percent from 28 percent, which contributed to revenue and economic growth. I know because it was the Hatch-Lieberman bill that they followed in doing that. Joe Lieberman had the guts to stand up on that issue, as did I, and it happened. The Democrats said we would lose revenues. The revenues went up because people did not feel gouged anymore. Funny how that chapter gets left out of the Democrats' 1990s story. In 2000 President Clinton left office with Federal receipts measuring 20.6 percent of GDP--well above the 17.5 percent seen in 1992 before he took office. But those receipts were boosted by capital gains realizations associated with the Internet stock bubble that formed toward the end of the Clinton Presidency. But even more notable and something Democrats do not discuss in relation to the Clinton Presidency is that he left office with Federal outlays measuring 18.2 percent of GDP--significantly below the 22.1 percent seen in 1992 before Clinton took office. Significant reductions in Federal outlays as a share of GDP occurred once Republicans gained control of the Congress. In contrast, President Obama has presided over the largest spending spree since World War II, with outlays as high as 25.2 percent of the entire economy--something that has not happened since the years surrounding World War II. In his 1996 State of the Union speech, President Clinton took credit for budget improvements and spending restraint imposed by Republicans in Congress. He famously stated that the era of big government is over. But in a nod to the Republicans' role in containing the budget, in that same speech, he said: ``I compliment the Republican leadership and membership for the energy and determination you have brought to this task of balancing the budget.'' Compare that to the sentiment of President Obama: We tried it their way, and it did not work. President Obama and those Democrats who embrace the history of the 1990s also conveniently neglect to give any credit to Ronald Reagan, whose ending of the Cold War led to a peace dividend which helped allow President Clinton to curtail growth in Federal defense outlays. In summary, the Democratic nostalgia for the 1990s is based on a very limited recollection of events. They see that Clinton raised taxes, the economy grew, and the budget improved. Apparently, correlation is all that is necessary to establish causality in their world, particularly when it works in their favor. What also gets left out of the standard Democratic history is a stock-price bubble that was actually the basis of much of the growth in the 1990s. So let's consider the Clinton bubble further and ask what it could possibly mean for the recent financial crisis. One of the charges levied by President Clinton, which echoes a familiar Democratic talking point, is that Americans should be wary of Republicans because we champion deregulation that ``got us into this mess.'' But who generated the mess? The mess was a devastating financial crisis, and who sowed the seeds of that crisis? First, consider the significant financial deregulation under the Bush administration. The fact is there was not any. So where did the deregulation in finance come from? Whose policies promoted financial markets prone to bubbles and irrational exuberance and bailouts? It was under President Clinton's watch that warnings were ignored about the riskiness of derivatives. It was under his watch that risky derivatives led to the collapse of the hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management--or LTCM and to an eventual bailout arranged by the Fed. It was under his watch that the Fed left market participants with a belief that should there be significant market turbulence, the Fed would be there to bail them out. It was under his watch that the Gramm-Leach- Bliley Act was signed into law, which many Democrats believe contributed to the crisis by repealing part of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. I think that they misunderstand the financial crisis by making that claim, but since they and President Obama appear to believe it, through their promotion of the so-called Volker rule, then the deregulation they decry came under Clinton. As a basis for strong fundamental growth in the economy, President Clinton's stock bubble was lacking, and numerous companies crashed. A bursting stock bubble, along with corporate accounting scandals, which included the Enron debacle, left a mess for President Bush, who, by the way, did not whine about it for 4 straight years. It was under President Clinton's watch that significant growth began in risky subprime mortgage lending, which ended up at the heart of the recent financial crisis. And warnings were ignored--even the warning by the Clinton-appointed Federal Reserve official Edward Gramlich. Clinton's presidency pushed financial deregulation, and it showed inattention to the beginnings of speculative excesses in housing and mortgage markets. The financial crisis was indeed severe. Seeds of the crisis were sown during President Clinton's Presidency and then nurtured by many years of regulatory inattention. Failure of regulators to do their job during the Bush administration has nothing to do with deregulation. There was no deregulation. There were plenty of regulations to go around, but the regulators failed to use their authority as bubbles and irrational exuberance was tolerated by [[Page S6592]] the unaccountable regulators. To say that Republican deregulation caused the recent crisis is simply false. We have faced crises before. President Obama is not unique in this respect. What is unique is how poorly he has handled our economic and fiscal crisis. In February 2009 President Obama said his Presidency would be a ``one-term proposition'' if the economy did not recover within 3 years. Well, it has been over 3 years and the economy has not recovered; therefore, by the President's own metric, his administration should be a one-time proposition. No, he wants 4 more years to do more of the same. The President has no plan. The President claims to want to get our deficit under control by raising taxes on the wealthy and keeping the tax burden on middle-class Americans where it is. But the President's tax proposals do not work, as we learned from his Buffett tax, which fell over $800 billion short of his plan to use the tax to pay for a long-term alternative minimum tax patch. The unpleasant fact facing the President is that there simply is not enough revenue from taxing the so-called rich to fill his desires of permanently larger government. Taxing business owners who the President thinks are undeserving of their success will simply not pay for his redistribution dreams. Of course, contrary to President Obama's disdain for business, Americans who own and operate businesses did build them, and they also paid taxes, which built the roads and bridges they use. And make no mistake, business owners and American workers did build America. They did build it. Mr. President, let me go back just a little bit here. I made the comment, with regard to all of this media criticism of Governor Romney, that he was inarticulate in a private meeting, where no press was invited, and he is the first to admit that. He certainly has tried to explain himself. But he is right. He is right. There are at least 47 percent of Americans who do not pay a nickel or a penny of income taxes. The standard answer by my friends on the other side is, well, they pay payroll taxes. Well, everyone does that. But those are unlike income taxes. With payroll taxes, workers pay into Social Security and Disability Insurance and the like. Which is to say, they pay in; but they also receive benefits. To equate the payroll tax system with the income tax system is simply misleading. But in the income tax system, 23 million or so people get refundable tax credits which are more than they pay in payroll taxes, and a little less than 16 million get refundable tax credits that are more than they and their employers pay in payroll taxes. Now, do Republicans want to tax the truly poor? Heavens no. This is a great country. We can take care of the truly poor. The question is, Are all of those in the--according to Joint Tax Committee, recently the bottom 51 percent did not pay any income taxes--are all of those in the truly poor category? The answer is no. Well, what does Governor Romney mean? He means that, as I said at the beginning, there are too many people who are riding in the wagon and not enough pulling. Many people simply have no skin in the game in the income tax system, which means they really don't care much if income taxes on others are raised. And it is not their fault in many cases, except there are millions who will not find a job in the Obama economy, or they just become discouraged given the bleak labor market. I do not blame them, with the economy, but they ought to be looking for jobs anyway. I would do anything if it were me. I would do anything to be able to support my family other than be on Federal largesse. But that is the way it is today. Governor Romney's goal in this life is to pull us out of this mess, get spending down to no more than 20 percent of the GDP, which would be a remarkable downturn in spending compared to what we have today, and also to get people to work, get them to where they have the self-esteem that comes from working, which we did on welfare reform in 1996. I worked hard on that bill, as did so many others at that time. Give them the self-esteem that comes from supporting themselves. That is what he meant. That is what is meant here. He will create jobs, and a vibrant economy where all workers prosper and can find work. Frankly, let's just be honest, the mainstream media is not for Governor Romney. We all know that. Anybody with brains knows that. All you have to do is watch it. And that is the way it has been here ever since I have been in the Congress. Frankly, they are not going to treat Governor Romney fairly. But I will tell you this: Mitt Romney will put America to work. He knows how to do it. This man has been successful in everything he has ever undertaken to do. He does not need this job as President, but he is running because he knows this country is in trouble. He knows it is not following good economic practices. He knows this administration is a disaster from a jobs standpoint, among other things. He could have the most lovely life, and he is taking this kind of unmitigated barrage of assaults in trying to do that which he knows is right for this country. I think we ought to be more fair in these Presidential elections. I wish the media was split 50/50. It is not. Everybody knows it. I care a great deal for my friends in the media, but there is no one with brains who does not understand that especially the mainstream media right here in Washington, DC, New York, Los Angeles, et cetera, is heavily stacked in favor of President Obama. I like President Obama too. I have known him as a Senator. I have known him as a friend. I have known him as a President. And what I am saying here is that he has not done the job. I do not believe he is going to do the job. I do not think he has the background to do the job, and for us to not put somebody who does in there may be catastrophic for the future of our country. I yield the floor. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Mississippi. Mr. WICKER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that my friend from Alabama and I be allowed to engage in a colloquy. The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Pryor.) Without objection, it is so ordered. The Budget Mr. WICKER. Mr. President, let me say from the outset that this Senate and this Nation are profoundly fortunate to have had the services of Senator Orrin Hatch for decades and decades. The speech he just delivered to this body was profound in so many ways and true in so many ways. It was made at 10 minutes til 6 on a Friday night when perhaps Americans are looking elsewhere, but just so much of what the Senator said is absolutely the truth, and our country needs to hear it. I appreciate him coming and delivering it in such a talented way. Mr. HATCH. I thank my friend and colleague. I really appreciate it. I enjoy serving with the Senator, as I do with everybody in this body. Mr. SESSIONS. Senator Wicker just talked for a minute about this. What does the Senator think? Would it be great to have the chairman of the Finance Committee be named Senator Orrin Hatch? Mr. WICKER. Well, it would be. I think that with the leadership of people such as Senator Hatch, we would not be ignoring what we have out there facing us in America today, and that is nothing less than a financial crisis. The Senator from Utah is correct. The President of the United States is doing everything he can to change the subject from the central issue of our faltering economy. Yet the mainstream media is out there playing trivial pursuit, talking about everything that is not important, and that is a distraction. But you just can't get around the facts. The facts are these: We have a $16 trillion staggering debt in this country. This government has added $6 trillion in 3\1/2\ short years. Just the facts. You can't get around it. You also can't get around these absolute truths: We have had no appropriations bills come out of this Senate this year. Our Republican friends in the House--it is a different story. They have done their work, and they passed product after product, as they are supposed to do. And my hat is off to the chair, the gentleman from Kentucky, Chairman Rogers, for getting the appropriations bills done. We have not done that in this Democrat-led Senate. We have not passed a defense bill--first time in half a century that we will [[Page S6593]] have gone through a whole session and not passed a defense bill, at a time when we have troops at war, troops in harm's way. Our men and women are putting themselves at risk and fighting and dying. We do not have a defense bill. Mr. SESSIONS. It is amazing. We do not have a defense bill. The Senator serves on the Armed Services Committee, as I do. It came out of committee unanimously, bipartisan vote, and for some reason, the Democratic leadership has failed to bring the bill up to the floor for the first time in 50 years. Is that not amazing? Mr. WICKER. No question about it. It does not make me comfortable to point fingers, but there is no getting around the fact that there is one person on this planet who can call up a bill before this Senate; that is, the majority leader of the Senate. He has not brought up the defense bill. We also do not have a budget resolution. Again, our friends in the House, the Republicans in the House, under Speaker Boehner, have during the 2 years of their stewardship brought budget resolutions to the floor, passed them, sent them over here, only to be ignored. The President has submitted budgets--did not get a single vote in the House of Representatives, did not get a single vote when we called it up as sort of a test vote here in the Senate. But this Senate, under the leadership of the Democratic majority, has not followed the statute that says you bring a budget resolution up every year--has not done it. We are into our fourth year now. Beyond that, they do not have a budget deficit reduction plan. It is one thing to have a resolution that could say anything, but what the American people need, what our future generations are crying out for is a plan to reduce this debt. I look forward to and hope to see the day when my friend from Alabama is chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. I would ask him to assure everyone within the sound of our voices today that under his leadership as chairman of the Budget Committee, we will see a budget resolution brought to the floor and debated according to statute. Mr. SESSIONS. Senator Wicker asked a very good question, and every American needs to be thinking about that. I have given a lot of thought to it. We have not had a budget in 3 years--1,241 days. We have not had a budget passed on the floor of this Senate. They did not even report one from committee this year. If we are blessed by the American people--we the Republican Senators--and have a majority in this body and if I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the Budget Committee, we will have a budget. Failure is not an option. It cannot be that we will not comply with the law. But more than that, Senator Wicker, we have to have a plan to get us off the course to financial disaster, and the budget is the way you lay out that plan. Does the Senator not agree that the difficulty our Democratic colleagues had is that anything they thought they could agree on and bring forth would not be popular with the American people? And they did not want to subject themselves to having it debated on the floor and having a vote on amendments, as the Budget Act allows, even though you can pass a budget with a simple majority, cannot be filibustered? I guess what I will ask the Senator, when you do not write a budget because you cannot agree or are unwilling to step forward with a plan, what you are really doing is failing to provide leadership. We were elected to lead, to have a plan that we are willing to announce to try to get us on the right course, a budget. Would the Senator not agree to sort of have a plan to deal with the crisis we are facing? We have not seen one in this body. Mr. WICKER. Well, it is one of our basic responsibilities. As I said, the discretionary part of it is the appropriations bills. Not one single appropriations bill has cleared this Senate during 2012. And yes, indeed, at a time when we are running a debt of $6 trillion, when we are seeing our friends and allies across the ocean teetering on the brink, we are seeing all the warning signs. We have time in this Capitol, in this Capital City, the shining city on the hill, to be an example to the world. I can only answer the Senator's question by saying that the President's budget was so unpopular it did not get a single vote. There is not one single--even the most leftwing, left-leaning Senator would not step forward and embrace that budget. I can only assume that what they would have suggested would have been very much like that. But when you are in the majority, you have a responsibility to lead. We all have a responsibility to lead, but in particular, when you are the only vehicle for bringing bills to the floor, you have a responsibility to lead in a time of crisis. That is what we have been lacking here in the Senate. Of course, we do have the Federal Reserve, and the leader of the Federal Reserve announced the other day that he is going to print $40 billion extra each month. Now, that is his solution. I would counsel against that. I think most Members on this side would counsel against that. But at least it is a plan. We have had no indication from the leader of the Senate whether they like that plan. We do know this. We passed a stimulus bill over here that cost almost $1 trillion. Unemployment has gone up under this bill that was supposed to jump-start the economy. It was supposed to do two things: jump-start the economy and keep the unemployment rate 8 percent or less. Of course, we know that for 42 months now, the unemployment rate has been over 8 percent. And the last thing the stimulus bill did was jump-start the economy. It has been going downhill ever since. It is hard to put a pretty face on this situation. Of course, the result is that a staggering 23 million American citizens either do not have a job, are underemployed, or have stopped looking for work. In addition, of course, the President promised in 2008--the Senator remembers that promise--that he would cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. Well, this is the end of his first term. The deficit has mushroomed, not been cut in half. We are in a financial crisis, and everybody on television seems to be trying to paint a rosy picture and avoid the subject. So I am glad to join with my friend, the ranking member on the Budget Committee, to suggest that we will have a plan, as House Republicans had a specific plan, in black and white, to address this unbelievable financial crisis our country faces. Mr. SESSIONS. Well, it is a challenge we have to face, and it is not easy. It will be a challenge and it will be difficult and it will force us to make difficult choices. But I feel very frustrated. We are from small towns in America. Where we grew up, if you had a tough choice to make, if somebody came up with an idea and defended it, you respected them, even if you didn't agree with it. If you didn't have a better plan, and all you did was criticize their plan, people wouldn't think much of you, would they? Mr. WICKER. That is right. Mr. SESSIONS. So what we did in this body, when the budgets were brought up--they brought up the House budget--called the Ryan budget-- and we brought up the President's budget, and Senator Toomey and others had a budget, and every one of them was brought up--our Democratic colleagues voted against every one of them. And not in one instance did they set out before the people what they believed in, what they would advocate for, what they would fight for, what they believed would fix the American economy and put us on the right track. But they have invested a tremendous amount of effort in attacking Congressman Ryan and the House budget. Let me say this about that budget. Any budget is going to be subject to some complaint here and there, but it was historic. It would change the debt course of America. It would reduce our deficit by $3.5 trillion and it would create economic growth. It was designed not just to be a budget-cutting, frugal budget, but also to try to create growth and prosperity in this country and get this country moving again and get businesses hiring again. It was a historic and good budget that would change the debt course of America and put us on the right path, yet all we have heard from our colleagues, without offering anything [[Page S6594]] themselves, is criticism of him. And I believe the House, as the Senator said, fulfilled their duty. Mr. WICKER. I tell you what else it would do. It would tell the truth to the American people about what we are facing. I like what our young nominee for Vice President said. We have got time to fix this, but we need to fix it, and we don't have much time. Speaking of telling the truth, I wish to pivot, if I could, to a question that has been raised on this floor in the last couple of days about this Senate's lack of compliance with the Budget Act. There is not a more learned expert on the federal Budget Act of 1974 than my friend from Alabama, and I would ask him to clarify, if he would, the statements and misstatements and charges and countercharges that have been made about the fact there has not been a budget resolution brought to this floor for consideration and amendment. Mr. SESSIONS. I thank Senator Wicker for raising this point because we need to discuss this, and the American people need to ask themselves who is telling the truth about this and who is accurate about this. A group of us spoke--40 or more Republicans--and we expressed frustration with the lack of action in this body, the likes of which we have never seen perhaps in our history, with regard to not passing an appropriations bill. Historic research has been done, and we have not passed a single appropriations bill only two times: 2010 and this year, both under this Democratic leadership. Those are the only times in history that no appropriations bill has passed. Yesterday, however, Senator Reid used this language. It kind of hurt my feelings, because I said we didn't have a budget, and I am the ranking member of the Budget Committee. Maybe 10 or 15 Republicans talked about our not having a budget, and Senator Reid said: ``It is a lie to say we don't have a budget.'' I don't know if that violates the rules of the Senate about personal attacks, but I try not to use that word--lie. I try not to say a colleague is lying. Even if I ever would say something like that, I would want to be sure I had absolute proof to back it up. And that is a responsibility. You know, we like Harry Reid. I consider him a friend, I really do. He has always treated me fairly on the floor. But I have to say, the majority leader shouldn't have said that. First of all, it is not accurate. For example, Senator Reid announced unequivocally that he had no intention of passing a budget. This is what he said last year. He said: ``There is no need to have a Democratic budget, in my opinion.'' It is a statutory requirement. Unfortunately, it doesn't say you go to jail if you don't pass one. The people are crying out for a plan to get out of the financial condition we are in, but he said there is no need to have one, in his opinion. He said at another time, ``It would be foolish for us to do a budget.'' Foolish for us to do a budget. And they did not do one. There is no budget. So for him to say it is a lie when we say we don't have a budget, well, that is inaccurate. I will point out, as Senator Wicker knows, the Budget Act, the United States Code, defines what a budget is. It lays out some of the things that have to be a part of the budget and the process by which one is produced. It has to be reported by the Budget Committee by April 1. It sets out the date as April 1. Then we have to have a floor vote by April 15. And when it comes to the floor, the rule says we have unlimited amendments, with 50 hours of debate, and it can't be filibustered. So 50 hours would mean about 1 week. It can be done in 6, 7 days at most. Mr. WICKER. It is the one thing that can't be filibustered. Mr. SESSIONS. Absolutely. The party with the majority, 53 Senators, ought to be able to pass a budget. We passed a budget with 51 senators one time. A budget allows us to control everything but Social Security. We can't touch Social Security but we can deal with Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, pensions, as well as the discretionary accounts. So that was all avoided. My friend has been around here and in the House for a number of years, but it seems to me it would have been a healthy thing indeed for the Democrats to have brought to the floor a budget, even if I didn't agree with it. We then could have had a national public debate about these difficult choices the Nation faces and Senators would have to vote as to whether they believed that balancing the budget was worth cutting some spending here, and how much they believed in taxes we ought to raise, and how much would they be cutting in spending. We could read the fine print and ask how much we are cutting and actually debate and vote on these things. But that is what the majority leader and his colleagues wanted to avoid. Mr. WICKER. It is what every city council, every State legislature cannot avoid. They do not have a printing press down in Montgomery, AL, or Jackson, MS. I know the Senator has seen the local delegations of county officials coming in and talking about economic development. They tell me: Senator, we have had to cut back on this, we have had to cut back on that, we have had to do this to our budget. We used to be able to afford these things and now we can't afford them anymore. They have had to make sensible decisions. Councils and legislatures, Republican and Democrat, have faced the hard choices, and it can't be any fun for them. They have to face the voters and say: we paid for this last year, we don't have the money this year. And families have had to do that as well. Mr. SESSIONS. I couldn't agree more. In my hometown of Mobile, AL, they fell one vote short of raising the sales tax because of the financial challenges they were facing, and they had a big debate about it, but they didn't duck the vote. They had the vote and they decided they didn't need to raise the taxes. But it wasn't a question of the city council being able to avoid a vote. We in the great United States Senate, we travel the whole of our States over and over and over again and we ask for this tough job. My wife has a good phrase for it when I complain. She says: Don't blame me. You asked for the job. Well, we asked for this job. Nobody said it was going to be easy, and this is not easy because we have never faced a more fundamental financial crisis. Because of demographics and history and trends that are going on in our population, the situation is such that it is going to be difficult to meet these challenges. Mr. WICKER. But we can meet these challenges. I have grown children--32, 28, and 25. They may be about to age into the next year, and they wonder if they will even receive Medicare when it comes time to retire. That retirement for them will come sooner than they think, though it seems like forever. But they do not believe--that generation doesn't believe--Medicare will be there for them. If we tackle this problem, Medicare can be there for the next generation. It should be there for the next generation. Mr. SESSIONS. Exactly. Mr. WICKER. It won't look exactly like it does for my father, who is 88 years old today and depends on Medicare, but Medicare could be there. But not the way it is going now. We have to tackle these issues. Mr. SESSIONS. My colleague is so right. We are not going to have to cancel these programs. Mr. WICKER. No, sir. Mr. SESSIONS. We can save these programs. It is just going to require us to confront reality and make some changes in how we do business. I wish to say one more thing about this budget, before I forget. My Democratic colleagues claim the Budget Control Act was a budget, but it only dealt with discretionary spending. It didn't deal with all the other spending. It only set limits on expenditures and it didn't have any debate on the floor. It was a secret agreement. There was a budget limitation placed on spending as a result of Republicans insisting we had to reduce some spending before we would allow the President to raise the debt limit. That went on into the wee hours of the morning and they put together a horrible deal and now we are paying the price for it. It did cut some spending, and it limited how much spending we could do, but it didn't go through the budget process, it didn't cover all the government programs, and it doesn't have anything like the indices of a budget. An attempt was made--and successfully--to bring up the President's budget for a vote. The motion was believed [[Page S6595]] to be legitimate because there was no budget, and we were going to have a vote on it. Our Democratic colleagues ran to the Parliamentarian to try to argue that this cap on spending that was agreed to last August was a budget. They picked the Parliamentarian. The majority hires the Parliamentarian. And very courageously and properly the Parliamentarian said: No, it is not a budget. So there was no budget in the Senate, and President Obama's budget was brought up and got zero votes. I wanted to share that. Mr. WICKER. Well, I appreciate the Senator's sharing his time with me. Mr. President, I guess in a moment, Senator Sessions will yield the floor and we will go dark, subject to the call of the Chair for a vote at midnight, and then we will sort of slink out of town, with no appropriations bills, no defense bill, and no dealing with sequestration, which means meat axe cuts to defense and other programs. But we will have gotten away under cover of darkness to face the voters, and in this country they are the ultimate arbiters. I appreciate this opportunity to stand on the floor with a statesman such as my friend from Alabama and to thank him for his leadership on budget issues and to thank him for coming here and telling the truth to our colleagues and to the American people. Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, Senator Olympia Snowe, who is not running again, is frustrated with this body and pointed out yesterday on the Senate floor that we voted in this body a few years ago up until November 1. We act like we have to be out by the middle of September. We aren't going to do any work during October, and we will come back maybe after the election in a lameduck circumstance and see how much junk can be shoved through here without real votes. Isn't it true that we have had plenty of time since September to bring up the Defense authorization bill, to bring up a budget, to bring up some of the appropriations bills, at least some of them? Mr. WICKER. Day after day, hour after hour in quorum calls. It is very frustrating, and frustrating to the people who sent us here to do a job. Mr. SESSIONS. We have heard it said that 40 percent of what we spend every day is borrowed. Really, $4 billion a day is what we borrow. People probably think that can't be true, that 40 cents of every dollar we spend and put out the door has to be borrowed from countries around the world and from others who will loan us the money, and we pay interest on it. In a recent interview in July on CNBC, Mr. Erskine Bowles--President Clinton's Chief of Staff, appointed by President Obama to head the debt commission--said this about the state of our finances: If you take last year, 100 percent of our revenue that came into the country, every nickel, every single dollar that came into the country last year was spent on our--what's called mandatory spending and interest on the debt. Mandatory spending is principally the entitlement programs, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. What that means is every single dollar we spent last year on these two wars, national defense, homeland security, education, infrastructure, high-value-added research, every single dollar was borrowed. And half of it was borrowed from foreign countries. That is crazy. Crazy. It's a formula for failure in any organization. That is the man President Obama chose to head the debt commission, a businessman who understands the threat this Nation faces. We can get off this path. Congressman Ryan laid out a plan that would get us off this path. We have to get off this path. As we head out from this Senate to return to our States and visit with our constituents, and as we head into an election, I would just like to ask, Is there one Senator on the other side of the aisle who can defend to the good people of this country the decision of this body to withhold a budget, withhold a financial plan from the country? Can you defend that? Can you defend not even attempting to do the fundamental requirement of Congress, which is to appropriate the money to run the government--not even bring up a single bill--for the second time in the history of the Republic? What about the Defense authorization bill? It came out of our Armed Services Committee unanimously. The leadership has refused to bring it up on the Senate floor. Can you defend that? Really, can you defend failing to deal with the fiscal cliff, the deep defense cuts and huge tax increases that will occur January 1? Wouldn't the economy be better if that uncertainty had been removed? We could have already brought up those bills and voted on them. Instead, you know how they are going to do it: The leadership will meet over here, and it will be December 23. The majority leader said we may be here until December 23. That is when they will bring it all up. That is when the health care bill was passed. Christmas Eve is when the health care bill was passed. So that is the plan: Bring it up at the end. Everybody will have to vote for it, or the government will shut down and it will be a disaster. That is the kind of thing we should be avoiding. I believe the complaints that have been made today are not just political rhetoric, not just talk, but represent a legitimate, honest criticism of the leadership of the Senate. I think the American people should weigh that as they go to the polls. Mr. TOOMEY. Mr. President, today the Senate will vote on H.J. Res. 117, a continuing resolution to fund Federal agencies for the next 6 months. While I appreciate that this measure avoids the need to negotiate a spending bill during the lame duck session, after careful consideration, I believe the promises I made to the people of Pennsylvania in 2010 compel me to oppose this bill. H.J. Res. 117 establishes discretionary appropriations for fiscal year at $1.047 trillion, an amount equal to the spending cap created by the Budget Control Act of 2011. Unfortunately, this figure is far above what is fiscally responsible, which is one of the reasons I voted against the Budget Control Act last year. Given that the Federal Government has now run deficits in excess of $1 trillion for 4 consecutive years, it would be irresponsible to vote for a bill that increases discretionary spending by about $8 billion. Furthermore, H.J. Res. 117 employs a tired old accounting gimmick called ``changes in mandatory spending programs'' to make discretionary spending appear nearly $20 billion lower. This gimmick does not eliminate mandatory spending; it only delays it, resulting in no actual budgetary savings. The continuing resolution fails to restore recently undermined welfare-to-work provisions within the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families--TANF--Program. In 1996, a Republican led Congress and President Clinton enacted the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act--P.L. 104-193, a key component of which established work requirements, helping individuals provide for themselves and their families. On July 12, 2012, the administration unilaterally weakened reporting requirements for TANF, erroneously stipulating that waiver authority provided under section 1115 of the Social Security Act enabled the agency to modify work participation requirements, a provision explicitly outside the scope of waivable provisions. Welfare-to-work provisions have proven instrumental in transitioning millions off welfare. While TANF's work requirements have contributed towards declining welfare rolls, there remain additional opportunities to strengthen and reform the TANF program. By failing to engage in a dialogue, Congress missed a critical opportunity to restore the welfare-to-work requirements and assist more TANF recipients take steps towards independence. Though I am unable to support this continuing resolution, I would note my support for one provision in the underlying legislation. I am happy that a technical correction was included that ensures that States that have not remediated all of their abandoned mine lands do not lose any payments from the Abandoned Mine Lands Trust Fund as a result of the recently enacted Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (Map-21). To pay for MAP-21, conferees inserted a provision intending to cap payments to States that have been certified by the EPA as having remediated all of their abandoned mine lands. After enactment, there was some uncertainty about how this provision [[Page S6596]] would affect noncertified states like Pennsylvania because of the structure of the funding formula. This was clearly not the intent of Congress. The Congressional Budget Office scored the provision as capping payments to certified States only. Therefore, this technical correction ensures that Pennsylvania, the State with more abandoned mine lands than any other, continues to receive its baseline level of funding. Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I rise today to discuss an important provision included in the continuing resolution. As parents sent their children off to school this fall, many were uncertain whether their child would be taught by teachers in training who are enrolled in alternative route programs. That is why I am pleased this legislation requires the Department of Education to provide Congress, and the parents of Washington State and the country, information on how frequently this is occurring. The data and report should be made public and available to parents and other interested parties. As a former teacher, a Parent Teacher Association member, a school board president, and most important a mom who actively participated in my two children's journey through the education system, I firmly believe that every parent deserves to know the qualifications of their child's teacher. Specifically, the provision requires the Secretary of Education to report to Congress no later than December 31, 2013, on the extent to which students with disabilities, English learners, students in rural areas, and students from low-income families are being taught by alternative route teachers in training who are deemed highly qualified according to title 34 section 200.56(a)(2)(ii) of the Code of Federal Regulations. This regulation allows individuals who have not yet obtained regular State teacher certification but are participating in alternative route programs to be labeled ``highly qualified.'' The provision included in this continuing resolution will require the Department of Education to gather and report the extent to which our most vulnerable students and those with the highest needs are being taught by teachers with the least amount of preparation. While we know many students are being taught by these teachers in training, we do not know if these teachers are equitably distributed among high need schools, in which States they are concentrated, or which student subgroups they are teaching. The report will provide this information and will be vital for developing policies to ensure every child in America receives a high-quality education. The report should include data on the professional qualifications of teachers. In particular the number of teachers who have not met State qualification and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subjects areas in which the teacher provides instruction. Also, the report should include the number teaching under emergency or other provisional status through which State qualification or licensing criteria have been waived, the baccalaureate degree major of the teacher and any other graduate certification or degree held by the teacher, and the field of discipline of the teacher's certification or degree. States and local education agencies are already required to collect this data according to the Parents' Right to Know provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. I look forward to receiving this important report. Throughout my political career, from the school board to the Senate, I have been committed to doing everything I can to ensure every student has an opportunity to learn, and to succeed, to the best of his or her ability. This report will help us craft policy that supports this goal. Parents deserve to know who is teaching their child and it is our responsibility to ensure this information is provided. Foreign Aid Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I would like to speak in opposition to the Paul amendment, and to put this debate over foreign aid in some context. As chairman of the Intelligence Committee, I see the threats this Nation faces around the world. We are no longer in a world where we can focus on ballistic missiles from Russia or troops pouring into Europe through the Fulda Gap. Instead, we face asymmetric threats--terrorist attacks, the potential use of chemical weapons, and the thousands of attempted cyber intrusions that hit our networks every day. In this environment, our partnerships with other nations are more important than ever, as attacks can emanate from anywhere, and the responses to those threats often require bilateral or multilateral support. I agree with Senator Paul that there are areas where other nations can and should do more to combat these threats; after all, terrorism and extremist ideologies are not U.S. problems, they are global problems. On the subject of Pakistan, I strongly agree that Dr. Shakil Afridi should be released from prison. He helped play an important role in making the intelligence case that Usama bin Laden was at that compound in Abbottabad, and his actions helped this Nation eliminate the world's most wanted target. I had the opportunity to make this case directly to Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States Sherry Rehman in a meeting on Wednesday. But is the appropriate response to cut off all U.S. assistance to Pakistan--including economic and humanitarian assistance--because of Dr. Afridi? No, clearly, it is not. I joined an effort by Senator Graham on the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill to cut $33 million in Foreign Military Financing for Pakistan in FY 2013--$1 million for every year of Dr. Afridi's prison sentence. It was a targeted effort, and it enabled us to send a public message to Pakistan. The United States and Pakistan have had a series of confrontations over the past couple of years, and the relationship has been sorely tested. There has been fault on both sides. And we are now improving our coordination and partnership in key areas, including on counterterrorism. We absolutely need to continue to press Pakistan to do more, and to release Dr. Afridi--and we are. But eliminating all foreign assistance without a national security waiver is a knee-jerk reaction that will cause the United States more harm than good. The amendment would also cut off all foreign assistance to the nascent governments in Egypt and Libya because elements of their populace or foreign fighters attacked the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and the consulate in Benghazi. Both of those governments have denounced the attacks, and both have increased the security they are providing to U.S. missions. We are still learning who was behind these attacks, whether motivated solely by a stupid video put out by someone with no regard for religious tolerance or the safety of Americans overseas or by terrorist elements who used the protests as a pretext to carry out an agenda of violence against the United States. But one thing is pretty clear: the anger and violence directed against the United States by the people of Libya, Egypt, and perhaps numerous other Middle Eastern countries will not be lessened by reducing American aid. The Paul amendment goes even further, though. It would prohibit any direct U.S. assistance to any country in which a U.S. diplomatic facility was attacked, trespassed upon, breached, or attempted to be attacked, trespassed upon, or breached even if the host government provided every possible measure of security and support, and no matter how small the infraction. I believe in a strategy of engagement. I believe that the United States should work with countries to root out terrorists and denounce extremism of all forms. And I believe that we should use foreign aid--which, by the way, accounts for only 1 percent of the U.S. government's budget--to bring humanitarian relief, support democratization, and help other governments improve their own security and law enforcement efforts to defeat terrorism and extremism. Indeed, at this time, we should look to the example set by Ambassador Chris Stevens, a man who dedicated himself to learning the language and the culture of the Middle East and promoting the universal values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law--from his time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco, to tours as a [[Page S6597]] Foreign Service Officer in Jerusalem, Damascus, Riyadh, and Cairo, and, finally, as our Ambassador to a democratic Libya. Ambassador Stevens worked tirelessly to help the people of Libya build a new country and new future after years of brutal dictatorship. He knew that path would not be easy and there would be many challenges. But he also knew that the Libyan people could succeed and that leadership and support from the United States would be crucial. This amendment will turn America away from the commitment to the Middle East that Ambassador Stevens championed and towards isolation. It will harm America's interests, will harm our national security, and will promote anti-Americanism in precisely the parts of the world where we need to be more, not less, engaged. I urge my colleagues to oppose the Paul amendment.
Mr. RUBIO. Mr. President, in every region of the world, the United States should search for ways to use foreign aid and humanitarian assistance to strengthen our influence, the effectiveness of our leadership, and the service of our national interests and ideals. When done effectively, in partnership with the private sector, with faith-based organizations, and our allies, foreign aid is a cost- effective way not only to export our values and our example but to advance our security and economic goals. Foreign aid is a foreign policy tool used by the United States to work with other countries. In the case of Libya, Egypt, and Pakistan, each receives significant amounts of foreign aid from the U.S. taxpayers, and U.S. citizens expect these countries to meet the conditions we set upon this aid. In the wake of the uprisings across the Muslim world and the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, it is imperative that the United States receive the full cooperation of the host nations in investigating and prosecuting those responsible for the attacks on our diplomatic missions and the deaths of four brave Americans. Senator Rand Paul's legislation would affect aid for these countries by effectively eliminating it. The American people deserve to be outraged following these attacks. However, the situations in these three countries are very different. In Egypt, the government has the security capabilities to protect our Embassy and failed to do so. It was unacceptable that their President didn't immediately condemn the attacks and instead focused on a YouTube video. In Libya, there was a terrorist attack on our consulate which resulted in the death of four Americans, including the Ambassador. The Libyan people rejected Islamists in their recent election, but their pro-Western Libyan Government does not have the security capabilities of the Egyptians. So far, the Libyans are trying to do the right thing by working with the United States to investigate these attacks and strengthen their own security capabilities. In fact, just yesterday thousands of Libyans fed up with terrorism took matters into their own hands by seizing control of the headquarters of several militias and demanding they be disarmed. Cutting off aid to Libya, which is trying to help us, is not the answer as it would weaken their ability to help us and undermine their efforts to defeat the terrorists in their country. It would also represent America's stunning rejection of what is clearly the Libyan people's will to reject extremists and terrorists trying to lead Libya back to darkness. With Pakistan, I believe we should condition some if not all of the aid on the release of Dr. Afridi. He has been arrested on false charges. The time has finally come for Pakistan to decide if they are going to be a truthful ally of the United States. Senator Paul's legislation lumps in three different countries with three very different situations, and I could not support such a measure as drafted. Prior to the vote on this matter, I urged Senator Paul to consider, at a minimum, restructuring his amendment to recognize that there are considerable differences between Libya, Egypt, and Pakistan. Since no changes were ultimately made, I opposed this measure. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll. The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll. Mr. TESTER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. ____________________