EXECUTIVE SESSION
(Senate - February 14, 2013)

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[Pages S723-S751]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                           EXECUTIVE SESSION

                                 ______
                                 

     NOMINATION OF CHARLES TIMOTHY HAGEL TO BE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Under the previous order, the 
Senate will proceed to executive session to consider the following 
nomination, which the clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       Department of Defense. Nomination of Charles Timothy Hagel, 
     of Nebraska, to be Secretary.

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. LEVIN. 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the quorum call be rescinded.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. LEVIN. Mr. President, it has been suggested that the Senate 
should not move forward with Senator Hagel's nomination, alleging he 
has not complied with requests that he produce speeches. In fact, the 
standard committee questionnaire requires nominees to provide a copy of 
``any formal speeches you have delivered during the last 5 years of 
which you have copies.'' Senator Hagel complied with this requirement 
before his hearing 2 weeks ago.
  Before the hearing, a number of requests were received from 
Republican Members that Senator Hagel seek and obtain and provide to 
the committee some transcripts of additional speeches. In fact, 
hundreds of pages of transcripts were, in fact, supplied to the 
committee before the hearing, in addition to those he had submitted in 
response to the committee questionnaire.
  Since then, we have received two additional requests for specific 
speeches, and in each case we forwarded to Senator Hagel the requests. 
He sought and provided transcripts of speeches for which he had no 
prepared remarks and of which he had no copies. So he has responded to 
those requests, and where he was able to obtain a transcript or a video 
of the speech from the organization he addressed, he provided a copy. 
Where no such materials existed, he told us that was the case.
  Senator Hagel was informed that a video of his remarks existed in one 
of those cases but that the organization had been unable to find it. 
The organization has now located the video, and it will be provided to 
the majority and minority staffs of the committee today.
  In the last few days there has been some finding of transcripts or 
videos that have surfaced on the Internet--a handful of 2008 and 2009 
speeches that Senator Hagel did not recollect. So I ask unanimous 
consent that a list of links to the Web transcripts or Web videos and a 
list of Senator Hagel's potentially relevant Senate speeches that are a 
part of the Congressional Record from 2008 be printed in the Record 
immediately following my remarks.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  (See exhibit 1.)
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, Senator Hagel stated in his financial 
disclosure that he received $200,000 from Corsair Capital, which is a 
private equity firm, and he was a member of its advisory board. It has 
been alleged that Senator Hagel failed to provide complete financial 
disclosure, despite the admitted lack of evidence of any kind, and a 
highly negative innuendo was dropped by one of our colleagues which 
said that, and I quote, ``it is, at a minimum, relevant to know if that 
$200,000''--referring to those fees from Corsair Capital--``that 
[Senator Hagel] deposited in his bank account came directly from Saudi 
Arabia, [or] . . . from North Korea. . . .'' Without any evidence of 
any kind, that kind of innuendo has been dropped here. It is 
inappropriate, unfair, untrue.
  Senator Hagel has provided the same financial disclosure and met the 
same conflict of interest standards that the committee requires of all 
previous nominees. As I explained in a February 8, 2013, letter to my 
ranking member, Senator Inhofe:

       Our committee has a well-defined set of financial 
     disclosure and ethics requirements which apply to all 
     nominees for civilian positions in the Department of Defense. 
     . . . We have applied these disclosure requirements and 
     followed this process for all nominees of both parties 
     throughout the 16 years that I have served as Chairman or 
     Ranking Minority Member of the [Armed Services] committee. I 
     understand that the same financial disclosure requirements 
     and processes were followed for at least the previous 10 
     years, during which Senator Sam Nunn served as Chairman or 
     Ranking Minority Member.

  And I added:

       During this period, the committee has confirmed eight 
     Secretaries of Defense (Secretaries Carlucci, Cheney, Aspin, 
     Perry, Cohen, Rumsfeld, Gates, and Panetta), as well as 
     hundreds of nominees for other senior civilian positions in 
     the Department. . . . The committee cannot have two different 
     sets of financial disclosure standards for nominees--one for 
     Senator Hagel and one for other nominees.

  As required by the Senate Armed Services Committee and by the Ethics 
in Government Act, Senator Hagel has disclosed all compensation over 
$5,000 that he has received in the last 2 years. As required by the 
Armed Services Committee, he has received letters from the Director of 
the Office of Government Ethics and the Acting Department of Defense 
General Counsel certifying that he has met all applicable financial 
disclosure and conflict of interest requirements.
  As required by the Armed Services Committee, he has answered a series 
of questions about possible foreign affiliations. Among other 
questions, the committee asks whether during the last 10 years the 
nominee or his spouse has ``received any compensation from, or been 
involved in any financial or business transactions with, a foreign 
government or an entity controlled by a foreign government.'' And 
Senator Hagel's answer was ``No.''
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, will the distinguished chairman of the 
Armed Services Committee yield for a question?
  Mr. LEVIN. I will be happy to.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I have listened to the recitation. 
Basically what the Senator is saying is that all the rules that were in 
place for nominees to the Department of Defense under Republican 
Presidents are being followed for Senator Hagel. But there are some who 
want to go beyond those and create new rules beyond those for Vice 
President Cheney when he was Secretary or Donald Rumsfeld or Gates or 
any of the other Secretaries of Defense. The Senator is saying some now 
want to do something different for this nominee of President Obama's 
than the practices they found totally acceptable for the nominees of 
President Bush?
  Mr. LEVIN. The Senator is correct. A number of our colleagues have 
made that demand, and it is simply not something on which we are going 
to set a precedent. It is not the way to proceed in this body.
  Mr. LEAHY. I stand with the Senator from Michigan. In the Judiciary 
Committee, we follow the same procedure for our judicial nominees 
regardless of the party of the President who nominates them. If we 
begin switching the rules depending upon who is President--well, if we 
think the American public holds Congress in low esteem right now, it is 
going to get even

[[Page S724]]

worse. So I compliment the Senator for sticking to the rules.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I thank my good friend from Vermont.
  Just to complete my statement on the financial part, this is relative 
to the fees he received when he was on the advisory board of Corsair 
Capital.
  This is a company he does not control. He is not in a position to 
require that it disclose anything. The other members of the advisory 
board--all of whom are identified, by the way, on the company's Web 
site--include the chairman of JPMorgan Chase International, who is a 
laureate of the 2002 Israel Prize in Economics and a recipient of the 
Scopus Award from Hebrew University. Other members of the advisory 
board: the former director of investments for Yale University and the 
former chairman of the Financial Services Authority, which is 
responsible for regulating the insurance industry in the United 
Kingdom. So the innuendo that Corsair Capital is somehow a puppet 
entity that is funneling tainted money to members of its advisory board 
is unfair. It is totally inappropriate.

  Senator Inhofe said yesterday that he is not filibustering this 
nomination. He is just insisting on a 60-vote requirement for Senate 
approval. And he said it is not unusual to insist on 60 votes for the 
approval of a nominee and this was done during the Bush administration 
for the nomination of Stephen Johnson to be EPA Administrator and the 
nomination of Dirk Kempthorne to be Secretary of the Interior.
  Well, the Senate rules do not provide for 60-vote approval of 
nominations or any other matter. These rules establish a 60-vote 
requirement to invoke cloture and end debate. If 60 votes are required 
here, it is because there is filibuster. There is no 60-vote 
requirement for the approval of a nomination, and the two examples 
cited by Senator Inhofe actually prove this point. On the nomination of 
Stephen Johnson, cloture was invoked by a 61-to-37 vote on April 29, 
2005. On the nomination of Dirk Kempthorne, cloture was invoked by an 
85-to-8 vote on May 26, 2006. But--and this is the point--after the 
debate was ended by those votes on cloture, the nominations were 
confirmed by regular votes of this body. And those regular votes are 
either a voice vote or a majority vote on a rollcall vote.
  So that history is, again, an example of how the Senate operates. 
Sixty votes is not required to approve a bill or approve a nomination. 
If a matter is being filibustered, 60 votes is required to end the 
debate, and then, if the debate is ended, there is a vote on a 
nomination or a bill.
  No nomination for the position of Secretary of Defense has ever 
before been filibustered. This filibuster breaks new ground. The 
filibuster of a nomination for Secretary of Defense is the first one 
under any circumstances, and it is unwise. The Department is facing a 
budget crisis that was described as a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 by the 
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. So a filibuster at this time of 
a budget crisis is exceptionally ill-advised. Leaving the Department of 
Defense leaderless at a time when we are in an Afghan conflict, when 
North Korea has just exploded a nuclear device is exceptionally ill-
advised. And perhaps most important, having a Department of Defense 
that does not have a new Secretary confirmed is unfair to the men and 
women in uniform. It sends them exactly the wrong message, as it does 
to our friends and our adversaries around the world.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.

                               Exhibit 1

 ADDITIONAL SPEECHES AND EVENTS BY CHUCK HAGEL THAT ARE AVAILABLE ON THE
                                INTERNET
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
December 4, 2008............  Israeli Policy Forum  http://
 Annual Event: ``In    mycatbirdseat.com/
                               His Own Words: Sen.   2012/12/35795-
                               Chuck Hagel on the    senator-chuck-hagel-
                               Middle East''.        keynote-speech-
                                                     israel-policy-forum-
                                                     annual-event/
May 16, 2009................  Georgetown            http://
 University            commencement09.geor
                               Commencement Speech.  getown.edu?p=620
September 23, 2009..........  2009 McCarthy         http://
 Lecture--College of   www.csbsju.edu/
 Saint Benedict/       McCarthy-Center/
                               Saint John's          McCarthy-Lecture/
                               University.           McCarthy-Lecture-
                                                     Archieve/2009-
                                                     Lecture-htm
October 2009................  Gerald R. Ford        http://
 School of Public      www.fordschool.umic
                               Policy--University    h.edu/events/
                               of MIchigan.          calendar/148/
May 28, 2012................  50th Anniversary of   http://
 the Vietnam War       www.vietnamwar50th.
                               Commemoration.        com/media_center/
                                                     the_honorable_chuck
                                                     _hagel_memorial_day-
                                                     2012_speech/
------------------------------------------------------------------------


  SPEECHES THAT SENATOR GAVE ON THE SENATE FLOOR IN 2008 THAT COULD BE
                       RELEVANT TO HIS NOMINATION
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
February 28, 2008.................  Senate Floor Speech re: GI Bill
May 8, 2008.......................  Senate Floor Statement re. Chief
                                     Master Sergeant Glenn Freeman
May 20, 2008......................  Senate Floor Speech--Feingold-Hagel
                                     bill establishing an independent
                                     Foreign Intelligence and
                                     Information Commission
May 20, 2008......................  Senate Floor Speech re. GI Bill
June 12, 2008.....................  Senate Floor Speech--233rd Birthday
                                     of the United States Army
October 2, 2008...................  Senate Floor Speech--Farewell to the
                                     Senate
------------------------------------------------------------------------

  Mr. LEVIN. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. LEAHY. 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. LEAHY. Mr. President, I applaud what Senator Levin has said about 
Senator Hagel. If you made a list of the qualifications of the perfect 
Secretary of Defense, it would look like the resume of Chuck Hagel. If 
you look past the partisan posturing of some, I think the American 
public supports his confirmation as Secretary of Defense.
  I worry that this partisan posturing adds to the low opinion 
Americans have of both the House and Senate. This is not the way we 
should be doing the country's business.
  I strongly support the nomination of Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of 
Defense and urge all Senators to support him. We are at a time of 
fiscal austerity. We all understand that. But we need a leader at the 
Pentagon, one who understands what it takes to maintain the strongest 
military force in the world.
  Senator Hagel is a former enlisted soldier. He understands defense 
policy and practice from the ground up. He is the leader we need as 
Secretary of Defense. He is experienced by any measure. Like thousands 
of people he will lead at the Pentagon, he has earned a combat 
infantryman's badge. These qualifications are not abstract. He has two 
Purple Hearts from combat service in Vietnam. He still carries shrapnel 
in his body from those injuries.
  On any issue having to do with the U.S. military, I have long valued 
the firsthand experience of Chuck Hagel. But this service alone is not 
what makes him qualified. He has been a leader in the public and 
private sectors. He cofounded Vanguard Cellular Systems, a successful 
cellular carrier in the 1980s and 1990s. He was president and CEO of 
the USO and the chief operating officer of the 1990 G7 Summit. He 
served as president of an investment bank, on the boards of some of the 
world's largest companies, and as a two-term U.S. Senator. He is 
clearly a qualified nominee.
  Since his nomination was announced last month, some have questioned 
Senators Hagel's position on a number of issues--notably, his support 
for Israel. Well, as recently as his confirmation hearings, he has 
reaffirmed his long record of support for Israel. In January, Danny 
Ayalon, the Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister and former Israeli 
Ambassador to the United States, affirmed what he sees as Senator 
Hagel's commitment to the unique U.S.-Israeli relationship. As a member 
of the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Hagel supported the 
authorization of almost $40 billion in aid to Israel. In a 2008 book, 
Senator Hagel wrote that, ``there will always be a special and historic 
bond with Israel exemplified by our continued commitment to Israel's

[[Page S725]]

defense.'' He also wrote that that there can be no compromise on 
Israel's identity as a Jewish state. He has affirmed the U.S. 
commitment to Israel's security and Israel's right to defend itself 
against aggression. These are just a few examples, but by any objective 
measure, Senator Hagel is committed to the mutual interests of the 
United States and Israel.
  Attacks suggesting that Senator Hagel is soft on Iran are also 
baseless. Through all my conversations with Senator Hagel, I have never 
once doubted his belief in the President's responsibility to build 
alliances and exhaust all available means to achieve our foreign policy 
goals through diplomacy. But he also believes that aggressive actions 
by us against a foreign government should be strategic. There is not a 
shred of evidence to support claims that he supports a nuclear Iran, or 
that he does not support the President's efforts--unilateral or 
multilateral--to bring Iran to the negotiating table over its nuclear 
program. He has reaffirmed that he believes in keeping all options on 
the table, including force if necessary, to prevent Iran from obtaining 
a nuclear weapon. Senator Hagel supports the sanctions against Iran 
already in place. He has affirmed the need to keep military action on 
the table. He supported the Iran Missile Proliferation Sanctions Act of 
1997, the Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000, and the Iran Freedom 
Support Act of 2006. Any assertion that Senator Hagel accepts Iran's 
nuclear program is false.
  Then there are the bogus, inflammatory claims that Senator Hagel is 
soft on terrorism. Nothing could be further from the truth. He has not 
hesitated to call Hezbollah and Hamas what they are--terrorist 
organizations. He condemned Iran's support of Hezbollah and cosponsored 
the Senate resolution demanding that Hamas recognize Israel's right to 
exist. He also supported the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006, a 
multilateral effort to force Hamas to recognize Israel, renounce 
violence, disarm itself, and accept prior agreements with Israel.
  I have traveled with Senator Hagel to different parts of the world, 
combat areas and areas of great security concern to the United States. 
I have sat in meetings with him as he spoke with our military and 
intelligence officials. Please excuse me if I am somewhat vague, since 
most of these meetings were of a highly classified nature, but I can 
say this: he asked tough questions and always kept the security 
interests of the United States foremost at hand with both U.S. security 
officials and also with the leaders of other countries. Senators who 
were with us of both parties commented to me afterward how impressed 
they were with the way Senator Hagel conducted these meetings.
  In this time of talk of across the board budget cuts, some have 
suggested that Senator Hagel would recklessly weaken the defense 
budget. Nothing in Chuck Hagel's record supports that. He resigned as 
Deputy Administrator of the Veterans Administration over what he 
considered to be inappropriate budget cuts.
  He opposes cuts that would weaken our security. He vigorously opposes 
sequestration, which has been rightly compared to cutting with a meat 
cleaver. Like Secretary Panetta and Secretary Gates, Chuck Hagel 
believes the Pentagon has a role to play in deficit reduction but not 
at the expense of keeping our military the preeminent fighting force in 
the world. He says that reductions must be smart and strategic. I 
agree. I am confident that our men and women in uniform will have no 
stronger advocate and that our Nation will have a solid defender in 
Chuck Hagel.
  Senator Hagel, who has seen combat from the perspective of an 
enlisted member of our Armed Forces, sees our military as the last 
resort, not the first resort in international relations. Those who have 
been in combat, from President Eisenhower on until today, have taken 
that same position. No matter what any detractor may say, his is sound 
policy.
  Matters of war and peace are matters of life and death. Those who sit 
in boardrooms or in easy chairs and say: Let's commit our soldiers here 
and our soldiers there--they are not the ones going. By and large, it 
is not their family members risking their lives. We need a Secretary of 
Defense who knows what it is like to go and to face combat and to be 
wounded. Should we commit our troops when it is necessary for our 
defense? Of course. That is why we have troops. But let's recognize 
that such decisions come at great human cost.
  Senator Hagel, a decorated veteran who still walks with the shrapnel 
from his wounds in Vietnam, understands that a decision to go to war is 
a decision to send our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers 
and mothers into harm's way. It is his deep, visceral understanding of 
this fact, his record of experience, his patriotism, and his dedication 
to this Nation that qualify him to be the next Secretary of Defense.
  We should have the vote and confirm this patriotic American hero. 
Let's not hide behind a filibuster. Let's have the courage to vote yes 
or vote no. Do not hide behind parliamentary tricks. Do not vote maybe. 
The American people elected us to vote yes or vote no. When you want to 
set up a filibuster rule on something, you are basically saying: Let's 
vote maybe. That is hardly a profile in courage and certainly not the 
kind of courage we would expect from a Secretary of Defense. So vote 
yes or vote no. But however you vote, let's do it without delay. I will 
vote yes.
  I yield the floor.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Indiana.
  Mr. COATS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as in 
morning business.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
ordered.


                           Mandatory Spending

  Mr. COATS. Mr. President, earlier this week I outlined four main 
topics that I hoped to hear the President discuss in his State of the 
Union Address. Today, I would like to talk in more detail about one of 
those items and perhaps the most challenging--restructuring Medicare, 
Medicaid, and Social Security to preserve them for current and future 
generations.
  In Washington, these three programs fall into the category of 
mandatory spending, meaning they are not contingent on annual 
congressional review or funding. Instead, they are based on formulas 
that have already been written into law, and therefore this spending 
occurs automatically, as if it is on autopilot. So, anyone who becomes 
eligible for the program based on the requirements in the law 
automatically qualifies for the benefits. We do not have the ability on 
a year-to-year basis to review or change this. We can only make 
structural changes and reforms to the program as necessary.
  Today these items make up a majority of the government's annual 
budget. This is because when these programs were implemented they did 
not take into account the remarkable and wonderful increase in the 
lifespan of Americans, nor the impact of the post-World War II baby 
boom generation reaching the point of retirement age, which is now at 
the level of about 10,000 retirements each and every day of the year. 
That is putting an enormous strain on the overall budget and the amount 
in proportion to the budget that goes for funding these mandatory 
programs.
  After World War II and after a long decade of depression, Americans 
saw a bright new future. They came home from the war. They began to 
start families. Millions upon millions of children were born in the 
post-war period up until the earlier 1960s. This is the so-called baby 
boom generation.
  Initially, when they were born, certain industries came into play. If 
you were in the diaper business, suddenly you were in a boom business 
or cribs and strollers and then tricycles and bicycles. These children 
moved on to the age where they began to enter elementary school, and we 
built schools all over the country to accommodate this growth in our 
population working their way through the system. Then it was junior 
highs and then we needed to enlarge our high schools, and new colleges 
and universities sprung up across the land, too. Upon graduation, they 
found jobs, and it was time to start their own families--housing 
boomed.
  Throughout the whole lifespan of this baby boom generation, there 
have been enormous economic changes to adapt to this massive amount of 
people working their way through life and becoming such an integral 
part of the American dream and American history.
  We often talk now about this issue in cold hard facts because this 
generation

[[Page S726]]

is reaching retirement age, moving into retirement and qualification, 
for Social Security and Medicare coverage in massive numbers--10,000 or 
more a day. But when we are talking about it in just cold hard facts 
and numbers, we tend to ignore the impact of these programs in a much 
more personal way on our American public.
  Becoming eligible for the programs we are talking about means access 
to health care during a more difficult time of life. Perhaps you are no 
longer covered by your employer because you have made the decision to 
retire or reached retirement age. There are health care issues as we 
age that we wish did not happen, but they come on in ever-increasing 
intensity. It means grandparents having enough money to travel to see 
the kids and a new grandbaby. It means men and women who have worked 
hard all of their lives to provide for their families finally having 
the financial freedom to take some time off to retire.
  Hoosiers and Americans all across this land have paid into the system 
all through their working years. They rely on these health and 
retirement security programs and their benefits. These are honest, 
hard-working men and women who have been told that if they made 
contributions through their paychecks to these programs, they would 
become eligible at a certain age for a certain standard of coverage. 
They expect to receive that. So, the challenge before us today is to 
make sure these benefits continue to be available to both current and 
future recipients. But, as we examine our Nation's current fiscal 
state, we all need to come to terms with the fact that these programs 
will not be available in their current form if we do not make some 
necessary changes.
  The Heritage Foundation reports that mandatory spending has increased 
at almost six times faster than all other spending. In other words, 
spending on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security is growing faster 
than all of our spending on defense, education, infrastructure, medical 
research, food and drug safety, homeland security, and I do not begin 
to have the time to list all of the various functions of spending that 
go toward reaching out and meeting the needs of this country.
  The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported this month that 
spending on these programs and interest on the debt will consume 91 
percent of all Federal revenues 10 years from now. Imagine our budget 
as being a big pie. It is cut in certain slices in terms of how much 
money is spent on defense, how much money is spent on mandatory 
programs, and the amount of money that is spent on all of the other 
functions in which the Federal Government is engaged. That part of the 
pie which provides for the automatically entitled mandatory spending 
benefits is growing at a rate that is unsustainable.
  It is ever shrinking the defense and nondiscretionary part--
everything else we spend money. We spend too much money on too many 
things so we are going to have to be very careful. I have talked about 
this many times of how we spend and allocate funds in the future.
  Unless we address this runaway mandatory spending issue, we are not 
going to be able to have the funds to do even essential 
constitutionally mandated things, such as providing for our national 
security and making funds available for paving roads, health care 
research, education, or whatever else we feel is appropriate for our 
Federal Government to engage.
  Furthermore, this mandatory spending has enormous impacts on our 
young people. In a recent New York Times column titled ``Carpe Diem 
Nation,'' David Brooks wrote about two ways spending on health and 
retirement programs not only threatens our economic growth but hurts 
young people. It squeezes government investment programs that boost 
future growth. Second, the young will have to pay the money back. To 
cover current obligations, according to the International Monetary 
Fund, young people will have to pay 35 percent more taxes and receive 
35 percent fewer benefits.
  This is the plight that exists. These are the cold hard facts. We 
have to deal with this math. Understanding how we deal with this 
directly affects people's lives, directly affects the benefits they 
rely on for their retirement and for their health care.
  The challenge before us is to understand, if we don't do something, 
this 35-percent higher taxes and 35-percent fewer benefits on our young 
is not only unacceptable, I think it is, in my opinion, immoral. 
Immoral for our generation, for this Congress, and our executive branch 
to leave our children and grandchildren in such a position without 
doing something about it. The challenge before us and the goal this 
body should be striving for is finding common ground--not how to 
eliminate these programs but about how to save these programs while 
ensuring we have adequate resources to finance the essential and 
necessary functions of the Federal Government. This starts with our 
constitutional obligation to provide for the Nation's security, the 
security of the American public, as well as providing for the general 
welfare.
  Republicans and Democrats and conservatives and liberals recognize we 
need to restructure Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security if we are 
serious about putting this country on a sounder fiscal footing and if 
we are going to be able to keep these programs from becoming insolvent. 
Hopefully, there are Members on both sides of the political spectrum 
who agree we need to make the changes now in order to avoid more 
painful changes later.
  We have been postponing this action and this needed legislative 
process for decades. It has always been too hot to handle. It is too 
politically damaging. It might put us in political jeopardy.
  The President, in his State of the Union Address, said it is time we 
put the interests of our Nation ahead of our own personal political 
interests. I couldn't agree more. That is what we should always be 
doing. We have not done that when it comes to this critical issue, 
which has such an enormous impact on everything we do. It has such an 
enormous impact on people who have saved all their lives for the 
benefits they were promised when they retire or became a certain age or 
the young people in this country who are coming out of school, starting 
a family, getting a job, hoping to also participate in the American 
dream, owning a home, and raising a family. We have the freedom our 
country provides us in ways no other country ever has or perhaps ever 
will. We are so blessed to have been born in this country, to live in 
this country, and to have the freedom and the possibility of achieving 
our dreams.
  All of those are in jeopardy if we don't address this situation. For 
decades now, we have known what is coming. We have seen a growth in our 
population of baby boomers moving through their entire lifecycle and 
are now reaching retirement age. We have postponed this over and over. 
We have come up with short-term solutions over and over and over and 
failed to come up with any long-term solutions over and over and over.
  The time is now. We are at the point where if we don't do something 
now, the prediction of David Brooks is going to take place. Our young 
people are going to be saddled with ever-higher taxes to hold up a 
system that is going to only be able to deliver ever-lower benefits.
  As we consider the right path to move forward, we need to acknowledge 
that any bipartisan congressional effort to reform and preserve these 
programs will be unsuccessful unless the President shows a willingness 
to get involved and engage fully in this effort. I believe he 
understands the magnitude of the issue because he has said: I refuse to 
leave our children with a debt they cannot repay.
  We all want a government that lives within its means. We need to get 
our fiscal house in order now. We cannot kick this can down the road. 
We are at the end of the road, said the President of the United States 
in comments made when he was a Senator, comments made when he was a 
candidate for President, comments made when he was President during his 
first 4 years, and comments made subsequent to that, in his inaugural 
address, and in his recent State of the Union Address.
  We need more than talk. We need engagement. We need an engagement of 
the President if we are going to make these difficult decisions to put 
our country on a better fiscal path and to save these programs for 
those who have put their hard-earned money and work into them and then 
not qualify for those benefits.

[[Page S727]]

  I would like to take this opportunity to remind the President of his 
repeated commitment to reduce our debt and deficit. I want to remind 
him of the many times he has spoken about the need to fix Medicare, 
Medicaid, and Social Security.
  Now, Mr. President, what I would like to say is this: We need more 
than your soaring rhetoric. We need more than the promises you made. We 
need your direct engagement if we are going to address this fiscal 
crisis and essentially do what I think all of us know we need to do.
  We basically have two options: we may continue with the status quo 
and wait until the moment that a crisis hits and we may no longer send 
out the checks; we must raise taxes once again to cover a program that 
should have received needed reforms or at the point where the programs 
become solvent. Or, the alternative is that we can come together and 
commit to the American people that we will act and no longer avoid or 
delay the challenging and necessary task of fixing these programs to 
save them for future generations.
  I stand ready. I trust my colleagues stand ready to address this 
issue now, and we are asking you to stand with us. Let's do what we all 
know we need to do to restore our Nation's fiscal health, to save these 
programs from insolvency, to grow our economy, and get Americans back 
to work. The time is now.
  I yield the floor.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Mr. President, I am proud to stand here to support 
the nomination of Chuck Hagel as our next Secretary of Defense.
  I believe he will be confirmed by this Chamber, I hope, on a 
bipartisan basis. He is, in fact, extraordinarily qualified for this 
position of unique trust and responsibility. That is the criterion we 
must apply. Is he qualified? We may have, probably each of us does have 
among us 100 Senators, someone whom we would make our first choice or a 
better choice or is the right person, in our view. That is not the 
question before us. It is whether he is qualified to be part of the 
President's team and to be held accountable for the policies the 
President sets.
  Chuck Hagel is a decorated war veteran with two Purple Hearts. He is 
a highly successful businessman and entrepreneur and a real manager at 
a time when we need a manager in the Department of Defense.
  He is a former colleague as a Member of this body, but he is also a 
former deputy head of the Veterans' Administration. He has given his 
life to public service and, most especially, to helping men and women 
in uniform while they serve this country in the military, and then when 
they come back to civilian life, helping them contribute and continue 
to give back to this Nation.
  He is a Republican who has won the confidence of President Obama and 
whom President Obama has chosen to be a member of his team.
  We speak, as Members of the Senate, about giving the President a 
measure of deference, a prerogative in making the selection about who 
will serve on his team because it is the President who sets policy. The 
President will set our policy on the Middle East and on Israeli 
security. Chuck Hagel has said he is committed, unequivocally, clearly, 
unambiguously, to the security of Israel and to whatever weapons 
systems are necessary to provide Israel in maintaining and sustaining 
that security, the Iron Dome, David's Sling, and other measures this 
Nation has committed to its great ally in the Middle East. This is an 
ally that is necessary not only to stability there and hopefully to 
peace but also to our national interests. Chuck Hagel may have made 
comments in the past that seemed to vary somewhat from the President's 
policy, but it is the President who sets that policy and whom we will 
hold accountable for that policy.
  Likewise, on Iran, Chuck Hagel has said he is in favor of preventing 
a nuclear-armed Iran, not containing it but preventing it. Whatever his 
past says, it is the President who sets that policy. Chuck Hagel has 
indicated he is completely in accord with it, in support of it, and 
will implement it. Again, it is the policy of the President to prevent 
a nuclear-armed Iran, and we must in this body give support and 
encouragement to the President in being strong and tough, setting even 
stronger and tougher sanctions, and using the military option, if 
necessary, to stop a nuclear-armed Iran.
  Going from policy to what I think is perhaps the unique challenge of 
the next Secretary of Defense, which is to attract and retain the best 
and the brightest to our military--we talk all the time about people 
being our greatest asset in the military. We have weapons systems that 
defy the imagination, let alone comprehension.
  At the end of the day, the people who run those weapons systems, the 
people who staff and work every day to keep America safe, are the ones 
who are our greatest asset. At a time when we are bringing troops back 
from Afghanistan when Secretary-to-be, hopefully, Hagel, has indicated 
we ought to do it even more quickly, our greatest challenge will be to 
prevent the hollowing out of our military as has occurred in the wake 
of past conflict.
  That hollowing out is not only about hardware and weapons; it is 
about the people who command and the people who run those weapons. We 
need to ensure we keep those midlevel officers and enlisted members who 
are so important to the leadership of our military. Chuck Hagel's 
leadership and commitment will be critical to that task.
  I have met with Chuck Hagel privately. I asked him tough questions 
about Iran and Israel. I am satisfied on those points that he will 
advise the President in accord with those policies.

  But even more important, I am struck by his passion and the intensity 
of his commitment to our men and women in uniform. His caring about 
them is indicated in so many ways--spontaneously and strongly in his 
testimony as well as in his private conversation. He will make sure 
that sexual assault in the military--the epidemic and scourge of rape 
and assault against men and women who serve and sacrifice for this 
country--will be stopped; that there will be, in fact, zero tolerance 
not only in word but in deed, and his viewing, for example, of the 
documentary ``Invisible War''--his understanding that this kind of 
misconduct is an outrage, never to be even complicitly condoned and to 
treat as a criminal offense the most extreme kind of predatory criminal 
activity is important to the future of our military and our men and 
women in uniform.
  He is committed to making sure that women in combat--a policy of the 
President--is implemented forcefully and faithfully. He is committed to 
making sure the policy of repealing don't ask, don't tell is 
implemented zealously and vigorously. He is committed to making sure 
that our veterans--not only for our returning Iraq and Afghanistan 
veterans but also for the veterans of his own generation--our Vietnam 
veterans who had Post-Traumatic Stress at a time when it was 
undiagnosed and, in fact, unknown as a condition resulting from 
combat--have the benefit of policies and practices we are now 
implementing to deal with Post-Traumatic Stress and traumatic brain 
injuries.
  He is also committed, equally importantly, to making sure the 
epidemic of suicide among our currently serving men and women in 
uniform and also our veterans is addressed forcefully. There are 
tragedies every day involving those suicides--families who lose loved 
ones and a country that loses a great public servant--and Chuck Hagel 
cares about those men and women. He will see a person in uniform not as 
simply an officer or an enlisted man but as someone who will soon be a 
veteran and become part of a continuum.
  Chuck Hagel has served the VA as well as now in the Defense 
Department, and he will make sure the transition from active service to 
reservist service is seamless; that veterans are provided with the 
transition assistance they need for employment, education, and health 
care, and that our National Guard receives the respect and service it 
deserves.
  I am convinced Senator Hagel's No. 1 priority will be taking care of 
our troops. He was a veteran's advocate with the USO, and he has won 
the respect and admiration of veterans groups. In addition, he has won 
the support of an extraordinary array of former Secretaries of Defense, 
ambassadors and diplomats, senior retired military leaders, and, in 
particular, two former Members of this body who appeared with him at 
his testimony, former Senators Warner and Nunn.

[[Page S728]]

  I believe Chuck Hagel is the right man for the fiscal challenges that 
will confront the Department of Defense. Putting aside sequester--which 
I dearly hope will not happen; Secretary Panetta has said it would be 
irresponsible for the Congress to allow it to happen, and many of us 
agree it must be avoided--and the challenges in the next month or 
series of months, the long-term outlook for the Department of Defense 
is that it must do more with less, and Secretary Hagel, if he is 
confirmed, will have that management task. He is one of the people in 
this country who is almost uniquely qualified to carry it out, and I 
believe he will, with great distinction. He will take care of our men 
and women in uniform and strengthen our national defense. He will do 
what he thinks is right, even if it is not popular.
  Finally, Chuck Hagel is, as everyone has said, a good and decent man. 
And I thank in particular Senator McCain for his very compelling and 
telling comments during our consideration before the vote in the Armed 
Services Committee. He said, and I agree, that no one should impugn 
Chuck Hagel's character. He is a person of integrity and character, and 
I believe he will have the respect at all levels of our defense--the 
men and women who serve and sacrifice every day, the men and women who 
are essential to our national security--and I recommend him and urge my 
colleagues to support him.
  I respectfully hope he will be confirmed quickly and that it will be 
done on a bipartisan basis so we will be united--as our Armed Services 
Committee in this body is almost always united--in favor of the 
President's choice for this uniquely important responsibility.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Baldwin). The Republican whip.


                             Time To Govern

  Mr. CORNYN. Madam President, I rise to mark another sad record for 
the Senate: 1,387 days since the Senate has passed a budget--1,387 
days.
  The last time I checked the 2012 election was over, and of course it 
has been over for more than 3 months now. Unfortunately, the President 
still seems to be very much in campaign mode, giving speeches all 
around the country. For the time being, what we need, rather than a 
President on a perpetual campaign, is for Democrats and Republicans to 
work together to try and solve some of our Nation's most pressing 
problems, and there is no more important issue than our national debt.
  Unfortunately, the President, after extracting about $600 billion in 
new taxes as a result of the fiscal cliff negotiations, is still coming 
back to the well, and he is calling for tens of billions of dollars in 
new spending. At a time when we ought to be talking about bending the 
cost curve down, trying to rein in wasteful Washington spending, the 
President wants to spend more, and he wants to raise taxes to do it.
  Perhaps worst of all, we know the promises we made to our seniors for 
Medicare and Social Security are imperiled. Unless we act together to 
save and protect Social Security and Medicare, they are on a pathway to 
bankruptcy, and that is irresponsible and wrong.
  I am tempted to describe President Obama's spending and tax ideas as 
small ball, but they are worse than that. They represent a conscious 
decision to neglect some of the most pressing issues that confront our 
country. One might even say it is a dereliction of duty in the battle 
to save America.

  Last week, the Congressional Budget Office projected our gross 
national debt will increase from $16 trillion in 2012 to $26 trillion 
in 2023. Now that may seem like a long way off, but since President 
Obama has been President, the national debt has gone up by 55 percent--
just in the last 4 years. If we project that forward to 2023, when some 
of these young men and women who are working here as pages will be 
looking at entering the workforce and looking at their futures, all 
they will see ahead of them is debt and a reduced standard of living. 
This is what lies ahead for all of us unless we embrace real spending 
cuts and unless we deal with the unfunded liabilities of Medicare and 
Social Security.
  If President Obama has a secret strategy for getting our debt under 
control, we would all love to hear it. His last two budget proposals 
failed to receive a single vote in the Senate. The last 2 years his 
budget has actually been put to a vote, no Democrat voted for it and no 
Republican, because it simply didn't address the problems I have 
described. I hope this year is different. Unfortunately, the President 
has already missed the statutory deadline for submitting his own 
budget, which was February 4. I hope when he finally gets around to 
sending us his proposed budget it is a serious plan for long-term debt 
reduction. Based on experience, I can't say I am overly optimistic, but 
hope springs eternal.
  I guess one of the things that worries me the most is that in the 
President's State of the Union message, which he so eloquently 
delivered a few nights ago, he didn't say one word about his 2014 
budget--not one word. I would urge the President to take a long hard 
look at the new Congressional Budget Office report. I would urge him to 
launch serious bipartisan budget negotiations as soon as possible so we 
can avoid another last-minute cliffhanger and another 2 a.m. Senate 
vote.
  Above all, I would urge the President to take a look at a balanced 
budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution that I have cosponsored along 
with all of my colleagues on this side of the aisle. That amendment 
would require the Federal Government to balance its budget each and 
every year.
  Is that such a crazy idea? Well, no. That is what every family has to 
do. That is what every small business has to do. And that is what 49 
States are required to do under their laws. This amendment to the 
Constitution would be the 28th amendment to the Constitution, including 
the first 10, which are, of course, our Bill of Rights. It would 
require a congressional supermajority to raise taxes or to raise the 
debt ceiling.
  As I said a moment ago, families across America have to balance their 
budgets. And, of course, along with a budget brings the discipline of 
deciding what our priorities are--the things we have to have and we 
can't live without, the things we want but we have to defer, and then 
the things that maybe we would like to have but simply can't afford. 
Well, this number right here, 1,387 days since the Senate passed a 
budget, is one reason why our debt continues to go up by leaps and 
bounds, and there is no plan in sight to bring it under control.
  Here is the bottom line for President Obama: The 2012 election is 
over, and now it is time to govern. It is time to move beyond the 
campaign rhetoric, drop the gimmicks and work across the aisle with 
Republicans to do what is right for the country. We are ready, willing, 
and able to engage with the President and our Democratic colleagues to 
try to address these problems that confront our country. In fact, there 
is no good reason for any of us to be here unless we are willing to do 
that.
  Madam President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Delaware.
  Mr. CARPER. Madam President, while the Senator from Texas is still on 
the floor, he knows I have a lot of respect and affection for him, and 
I am delighted to serve with him here and also to serve with him on the 
Finance Committee. I appreciate Senator Shaheen for letting me jump in 
for just a minute.

  We agree on so much. We actually do. And not just the Senator and I 
but our colleagues here. And I think we fully recognize that although 
the deficit comes down from $1.5 trillion to about $850 billion or so, 
it is way too much. I think we also agree that one of the best ways to 
reduce the deficit is to strengthen and grow the economy.
  I believe--and I think I heard the President say this the other 
night--there are three things we need to make sure we address.
  One, we need to address--and the President said this--we need to 
address entitlement programs, not to savage old people or to savage 
poor people but to figure out how to get better health care results for 
less money to be able to preserve those programs for the long haul.
  I think we will have an interesting proposal from Senator Durbin 
later this year with respect to Social Security and putting it in a 
structured way, maybe a path forward on Social Security that makes it 
clear we are not trying to balance the budget on Social Security but 
actually do reforms that we

[[Page S729]]

know are needed and I know are needed so we will have that program for 
the long haul.
  I commend my side of the aisle, and I commend your side of the aisle. 
We acknowledge that we need some revenues, whether it is on the tax 
expenditure side, the deductions and loopholes and so forth, or finding 
other ways to raise revenue.
  Third, we just came from a press conference this morning with 
Congressman Issa, Congressman Cummings, Senator Coburn, and myself to 
focus on the GAO and their high-risk list, high-risk ways for wasting 
money. That comes out today. Every 2 years they give us this high-risk 
list for how to find ways to save money and spend our tax dollars more 
efficiently.
  We have all that working together, those three things: entitlement 
reform, some additional revenues, and actually looking in every nook 
and cranny to see how we can get a better result for less money. Those 
we can do together. My colleague and I have worked on some things 
together, and I want to work on those with the Senator, and I look 
forward to that. I think that if we do, a lot of our colleagues will 
join us.
  Mr. CORNYN. Would the Senator yield for a question?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Republican Whip.
  Mr. CORNYN. Madam President, I would like to tell the distinguished 
Senator from Delaware how much I appreciate him and his friendship, and 
it is genuine.
  I guess the thing that is so maddening about serving in the Senate is 
that everyone in this body--the Senator from Delaware, the Senator from 
New Hampshire--everyone who serves in this body understands the 
problems that confront our country that he so eloquently described in 
terms of unfunded liabilities for Medicare and Social Security, which 
are on a path to bankruptcy, the debt, and just imagine, if interest 
rates were to go up, what that would mean in terms of our ability to 
fund everything from safety net programs to national defense.
  But it never seems to happen. The date never seems to arrive when we 
actually sit down and address it. And I believe this number of days 
without a budget is really symptomatic of the problem. But thanks to 
our colleagues across the Capitol--who passed a ``no budget, no pay'' 
bill, which has now been signed by the President--unless Congress 
passes a budget, we are not going to get paid, which is entirely 
appropriate and long overdue.
  So I would just say to my friend, and he is my friend, that I 
appreciate his comments. I hope someday soon we can find a way, 
Republicans and Democrats alike--that is the only way it is going to 
happen--I hope we can get serious about this. Unfortunately, it hasn't 
happened yet. I am an optimist. I think it can happen. But it is going 
to require Presidential leadership, and, frankly, that is one reason I 
wish the President would get off the campaign trail. Now that he has 
won--he has another 4-year term--he doesn't have to worry about running 
for election again, but then to work with us because that is the only 
way it is going to happen.
  So I appreciate his comments and look forward to continuing to work 
with the Senator.
  Mr. CARPER. Again, I thank Senator Shaheen and Senator Hoeven for 
allowing us to have this colloquy.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Hampshire.
  Mrs. SHAHEEN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as if 
in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                       Remembering Charlie Morgan

  Mrs. SHAHEEN. Madam President, today I rise with a heavy heart 
because our Nation has lost one of its outstanding citizens and many of 
us have lost a dear friend.
  Charlie Morgan, chief warrant officer of the New Hampshire National 
Guard, passed away early Sunday morning with her wife Karen and their 
daughter Casey by her side. Chief Charlie Morgan was just 48 years old. 
For those of us who had the pleasure of knowing Charlie, it has been a 
difficult week. However, as I rise today, I take comfort in the 
opportunity I had to share part of Charlie's life and work.
  Many know Charlie for the national attention she received over the 
last several years advocating on behalf of her fellow gay 
servicemembers and their families. However, first and foremost, Charlie 
was a soldier. She enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1982. After a brief 
period away, Charlie returned to service as a member of the Kentucky 
National Guard in 1992, 1 year before the now-repealed don't ask, don't 
tell policy became law.
  Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Charlie 
returned for a third time, joining the 197th Fires Brigade of the New 
Hampshire National Guard, a tour that included a yearlong deployment in 
Kuwait.

  In addition to the mental and emotional challenges of military 
service, Chief Warrant Officer Morgan shouldered the constant burden of 
keeping her life secret from her fellow soldiers. Married to her 
partner Karen in 2000, Charlie was unable to live openly under the 
military's don't ask, don't tell policy.
  Immediately following the repeal of don't ask, don't tell, Charlie 
made national news as one of the first servicemembers to publicly 
confirm her homosexuality and shed light on many of the remaining 
inequalities faced by same-sex military families.
  I first met Charlie in 2011. She contacted my office during her 
deployment in Kuwait when she learned that despite the repeal of don't 
ask, don't tell, her partner Karen of over 10 years would not be 
allowed to attend mandatory National Guard Yellow Ribbon Reintegration 
Programs upon her return. I was pleased to work with Secretary Panetta 
and the New Hampshire National Guard, which has been very supportive of 
Charlie, to ensure that she and her wife Karen would be able to 
participate in the program together.
  However, as those of us who appreciated her determination understood, 
Charlie was not satisfied. She continued to vigorously pursue equal 
benefits for same-sex spouses, particularly survivors' benefits and 
compensation still denied under the Defense of Marriage Act. And this 
was not an abstract issue for Charlie. In 2011 she was diagnosed for a 
second time with breast cancer. Concerned for the future well-being of 
her family, Charlie took aim at DOMA by challenging its 
constitutionality in Federal court, and her case is set to be heard by 
the Supreme Court later this year.
  Several days ago my office sent out an online condolence card to the 
Morgan family, and the response from that card has been overwhelming. 
In less than a week we received over 2,000 messages of support from 
citizens all across our country, and I would like to read just a couple 
of those this morning.
  From Hobkinton, NH, we heard: Charlie is a hero to many of us. Thank 
you for making your lives public so others can live their lives 
privately in love.
  From Oregon, we heard: Thinking of you in this time of loss. It is 
also a loss for our country, but she leaves a legacy that will carry 
on.
  From Fulton, IL, we heard: Thank you so much, Charlie, for all you 
have done. You will not be forgotten, and your service, work, and 
legacy will live on. Those of us left behind will honor you by 
continuing on in this all-important fight for equality.
  I hope Charlie Morgan knew how many lives she touched and how greatly 
we admired her efforts. I know that she will be sorely missed and that 
her example will continue to guide us well into the future.
  With Charlie's memory in mind, I will soon be introducing the Charlie 
Morgan Act. This bill will end a number of restrictions on benefits for 
legal spouses of all military servicemembers and veterans regardless of 
their sexual orientation. Every individual who provides for our defense 
deserves the peace of mind that comes with knowing one's family will be 
taken care of should the worst happen. No one should ever again go 
through what Charlie and her family had to go through. I hope all of us 
in the Senate will take up this legislation and act quickly to address 
this issue. It is long overdue.
  Madam President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Dakota.


                      Keystone XL Pipeline Project

  Mr. HOEVEN. Madam President, I rise today for the purpose of engaging 
in a colloquy with my distinguished colleagues on the matter of the 
Keystone XL Pipeline for 30 minutes.

[[Page S730]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. HOEVEN. Madam President, I rise today with my distinguished 
colleagues, both Republican and Democratic, on a bipartisan basis to 
urge approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
  Joining me today will be Senator Mary Landrieu from the great State 
of Louisiana, a Democrat; Republican Senator John Cornyn from Texas; 
Republican Senator John Boozman from Arkansas; Democratic Senator Joe 
Manchin from West Virginia; Republican Senator John Barrasso from 
Wyoming; Democratic Senator Mark Begich from Alaska; and Republican 
Senator Lisa Murkowski, also from Alaska. I emphasize that to show the 
bipartisan support for this critically important project.
  I also will have a statement from Senator Max Baucus of Montana, who 
has been leading this effort with me, in his case on the Democratic 
side of the aisle. He wasn't able to be here, but I do have a statement 
from Senator Baucus that I will read as well, and I appreciate very 
much his statement of support.
  You may have seen that the national gas price has now risen to an 
average of $3.62 per gallon. So the average price for gasoline today in 
the United States--and it continues to go up--is up to $3.62 a gallon. 
That is the highest it has ever been in the month of February. So that 
is a new record--not a record we want to make, either, but it is a 
record, the highest price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States 
that we have ever had in February.
  If you take a look at that trend line, you will see it has been going 
up dramatically, and that price is double--$3.62 a gallon average 
across the country--that is double the price of gasoline compared to 
when this administration first took office. So it is a doubling of the 
price, and, of course, every consumer, every working American is paying 
that price at the pump. It affects our small businesses across the 
country, and it affects our families across the country every day.
  There was a poll released yesterday that you may also have seen. The 
poll was commissioned by API, which is American Petroleum Institute, 
and was conducted February 5 through February 10 by Harris Interactive. 
They polled just over 1,000 registered voters, and so the poll has a 
margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent. In that poll, 69 percent of 
the respondents support construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline--69 
percent--and 17 percent oppose it. So Americans overwhelmingly support 
the project--69 percent to 17 percent--in the most recent poll. And, of 
course, why wouldn't they.

  This is a project which provides energy to our country when we very 
much need it. It is a project which will provide jobs--tens of 
thousands of jobs. We have 7.9 percent unemployment. We have 12 million 
people out of work. Here is a project that won't cost the Federal 
Government one single penny, but it creates tens of thousands of high-
quality private sector jobs.
  It is about economic growth. This is a $7.9 billion project. The 
project over its life will create hundreds of millions of dollars of 
tax revenue for State and local governments, as well as the Federal 
Government to help with our deficit and our debt without raising 
taxes--more tax revenue without raising taxes.
  It is also about our energy security, energy security for America. 
Instead of bringing oil from the Middle East, this is about working 
with our closest friend and ally Canada to meet our energy needs. This 
pipeline will not only bring in Canadian oil, however. It also moves 
oil from my State of North Dakota and from the State of Montana to our 
refineries in places such as Texas and Louisiana and other places 
around the country. So this is about making sure we don't have to 
import oil from the Middle East, and I think that is something every 
American wants. That truly is an issue of national security.
  It has been 4\1/2\ years since TransCanada--the company that is 
seeking to build the Keystone XL Pipeline--it has been 4\1/2\ years 
since they first applied for a permit. Here is a chart that shows the 
route the pipeline would take, and it shows that they had already built 
another pipeline. This is actually a second pipeline they are seeking 
to build. But after 4\1/2\ years, they still don't have approval of a 
project that is similar to other projects that have been built.
  As a matter of fact, we have built quite a few pipelines through the 
country, and they go everywhere. For some reason this project has been 
held up for 4\1/2\ years when almost 70 percent of Americans support 
it. We need the energy, and we need the jobs. Why would that be?
  There was a report in the news yesterday that actress Daryl Hannah 
and about 40 activists handcuffed themselves to the fence of the White 
House, and they were arrested for that. They were doing that in protest 
of the Keystone Pipeline project. Maybe that is where we should be 
today. Instead of our bipartisan group of Senators here in the Senate 
arguing the merits of this project and advocating for what the American 
people want, maybe we should be handcuffed to the White House fence 
because that seems to work.
  It has been 4\1/2\ years, and we still don't have a decision. We 
still don't have approval from the administration on this project even 
though gas prices have doubled on this President's watch, even though 
the American people overwhelmingly support the project, even though we 
need the energy and the jobs. We don't want to keep importing oil from 
the Middle East, and that is why we are here. We are here on a 
bipartisan basis to make our case and to get this project approved.
  I want to begin by recognizing a distinguished colleague and somebody 
who has been a real leader in the energy world and has a direct 
interest on behalf of his constituents in the great State of Texas 
concerning this project. We need to move oil to the refineries in 
Texas; we need to move oil--not only Canadian oil but oil from North 
Dakota, Montana--and we need to get it to refiners so we can get it to 
our consumers, so instead of seeing the price continue to go up, we can 
bring it down. I think that is what the American people want.
  Perhaps the Senator from Texas can talk about the refining and jobs 
aspect of this multimillion-dollar project.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Republican Whip.
  Mr. CORNYN. Madam President, I want to express my appreciation to the 
Senator from North Dakota for his leadership on this issue. He has been 
relentless in pursuit of this Presidential permit to authorize the 
Keystone XL Pipeline because he recognizes, as I do, that it is 
important in terms of jobs, energy security, and national security.
  It has been said that because of the revolution in natural gas 
production in America, and as a result of horizontal drilling and 
fracking--combined with the energy we can get from the Keystone XL 
Pipeline from Canada--that North America could potentially be energy 
independent--North American energy independence--in the not-too-distant 
future.
  The Senator from Louisiana is scheduled to be here as well. This is a 
bipartisan effort, as all successful efforts around here must be.
  Before Senator Landrieu speaks, I want to talk about the Keystone XL 
Pipeline, which would create an estimated 20,000 American jobs in 
construction and manufacturing in my State, which still is the No. 1 
energy-producing State in the Nation. As a result, job growth in Texas 
is outpacing most of the rest of the country. I would add that North 
Dakota is now the second largest energy producer in the country thanks 
to the Bakken shale efforts. In Texas alone the Keystone would lead up 
to $1.6 billion worth of direct investments and would boost our State's 
economic output by an estimated $2 billion. This would not only create 
thousands of long-lasting and well-paying jobs, it would allow Texas 
refineries to refine up to 700,000 barrels of oil each day to produce 
gasoline, jet fuel, heating oil, and the like.
  As the distinguished Senator from North Dakota pointed out, this 
would increase the supply at a time when gas prices have gone up, 
because of restricted refinery capacity, in the worldwide price of oil. 
It can do nothing but help America contain those high prices.
  It strikes me that this is a no-brainer. While we find ourselves 
engaged in armed conflicts in places such as the Middle East--where 
Iran periodically threatens to block the Strait of Hormuz, through 
which about 20 percent of the world's oil supply flows--

[[Page S731]]

why wouldn't we want to make ourselves less dependent on Middle Eastern 
oil? Why wouldn't we want to make ourselves more independent on North 
American energy? This is a no-brainer on almost every count I can think 
of.
  Let me express my gratitude to the distinguished Senator from North 
Dakota for his relentless leadership. I know he is not going to give 
up. He just keeps getting stronger.
  In excess of 50 Senators have signed a bipartisan letter to the 
President on this, and it is very important for our country as it 
relates to jobs, energy independence, and national security.
  I see the distinguished Senator from Louisiana here, and I know 
others wish to speak on this important issue as well.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. HOEVEN. Madam President, I want to thank the distinguished 
Senator from Texas. Look at the economic growth and dynamism in his 
State of Texas; look at the economic growth and dynamism in the State 
of North Dakota. We are now the fastest growing State in the country. 
Senator Cornyn is correct when he said Texas is the largest producer of 
oil in the country. I think they produce about 1.1 million barrels of 
oil a day. We are at 750,000 barrels and growing, so we are after you. 
The important point is we are producing this product and we have to 
have the infrastructure to get it to market.
  Again, I thank the distinguished Senator from Texas, and I wish to 
now turn to the distinguished Senator from Louisiana. Here is another 
State that is doing amazing things in oil and gas. They have 
refineries, and they have refineries that need product. To get that 
product from North Dakota, Montana, and our ally Canada to Louisiana, 
we need pipelines. We don't want to ship it in from the Middle East. We 
want to send them our oil.
  I am very pleased Senator Landrieu is here, and I would ask for her 
comments.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Louisiana.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. Madam President, I am very proud to join in this 
colloquy with over eight Members of the Senate this afternoon. We are 
here to talk about this important issue and share ideas with our 
colleagues and with those who are listening to this debate. This 
pipeline is important so we can get a reliable, steady stream of oil 
and gas as we move to cleaner fuels in the future for our country.
  I say to my good friend, the Senator from North Dakota, how important 
it is for drilling, particularly for natural gas, using the 
breathtakingly new technology that is allowing us to find both wet and 
dry gas, which is very valuable to our country. This is happening in 
many places in the country. It will help to fuel a renaissance in 
manufacturing.

  This is not just going to help traditional oil- and gas-producing 
States such as Louisiana and Texas, this breakthrough in technology 
enables us to retrieve gas not only in an economically efficient way 
but in an environmentally sensitive way. It is going to be very 
important and impactful to many States in the Union.
  We are already seeing companies coming back to the United States. 
They are relocating from Chile, places in Europe, places in Asia, and 
coming back to the United States primarily because of this resurgence 
of gas.
  But here we are talking about a pipeline that is primarily for oil 
that comes out of sand. This is not the traditional deep wells where 
there are large deposits of oil that are drilled. This is a technology 
that is allowing the separation of these sands to get the carbon or oil 
out of them.
  Now, yes, we want to move as quickly as we can away from carbon--or 
to lessen carbon because of its damaging impacts--but there is a 
transition period we have to go through. There is no waving of a magic 
wand; there is no snapping of a finger; there is no jumping from this 
generation of energy production to the next overnight.
  Even President Clinton--even Al Gore when he was Vice President--
talked about the transition we have to go through. I see this pipeline 
as a transition. It is giving us oil from one of our closest, most 
dependable, and friendliest of all allies, Canada, as opposed to 
pushing over the next 5 or 10 years to continuing to do business with 
countries that do not share our values, such as the leadership in 
Venezuela today or the problems with countries in the Middle East. Even 
the Saudis, whom we respect in some ways, do not have the same value 
system as the United States. We would much rather--at least my 
constituents would much rather--deal with Canada and Mexico. Not only 
are they better allies, but for Louisiana, we like working in Canada. 
It is a little closer to home. We like working in Mexico.
  Many of the workers on these rigs and in this business come from 
Louisiana and Texas. Let me be crystal clear: My colleagues who are 
helping on this issue are absolutely right, the people of Louisiana 
wish to work in Canada where there are environmental protections, where 
the wages are good, where there are not a lot of pirates floating 
around, and where workers are much less likely to be kidnapped. I mean, 
these are serious issues for the oil and gas industry. That is one of 
the reasons I have been urging President Obama, along with many of my 
colleagues, to rethink his position on this pipeline.
  I guess this has been said by my colleagues--I see the Senator from 
West Virginia is here, and I am sure he has said this on the floor 
before--Canada is going to produce this oil one way or another. The 
question is: Who are they going to send it to? Are they going to send 
it to their good friend the United States and our refineries in Texas 
and Louisiana or are they going to ship it somewhere else in the world? 
I would like--and the Senator from North Dakota knows this--to form a 
stronger partnership with Canada and Mexico so we can have security in 
North America. This will help the Canadian economy and it will help the 
Mexican economy, which immediately and directly affects our whole 
Nation. These are our border countries. We are doing a lot of work. I 
don't know if the Senator knows this, but down in Mexico, in the Gulf 
of Mexico--I literally--and this is a little bit afield--was recently 
in Israel and had the great opportunity to go offshore to visit a 
field, the Leviathan field, which is one of the largest fields in the 
world. It was discovered in a remarkably new place, which gives Israel 
a great opportunity to think about being energy independent or energy 
self-sufficient, which is quite exciting.
  When I went offshore in Israel, I met my own workers from Morgan 
City, Thibodeaux, and Lafourche. They said: Why are you here? I said: 
The same reason you are. The Louisiana workers go everywhere. We are 
proud to do it. We would love to be close to home in Canada, Mexico, 
and our refineries, which are expanding for the first time in many 
years. Our manufacturing base is expanding.
  Finally, I would say in this colloquy, I ask the Senator from North 
Dakota: Has he had a conversation with the oil minister from Canada--I 
think it is Minister Oliver--and talked to him at all recently? I had a 
conversation with him yesterday, and I wanted to maybe share that with 
the Senator from North Dakota.
  Mr. HOEVEN. To the distinguished Senator from Louisiana, I recently 
visited with the ambassador, Ambassador Gary Doer. We talked about this 
and other issues.
  Ms. LANDRIEU. Through the Chair, I wanted to say I had a very good 
conversation with the Canadian Minister of Natural Resources. We had a 
long conversation, about 10 or 15 minutes, and he explained to me the 
importance of this development for Canada. He also said to me what I 
just shared with my colleagues. He said: Senator, Canada is going to 
develop this resource. It is just a question of whom we send it to or 
with whom we share these benefits.
  So for those who are opposed to the pipeline because they don't like 
the direction it is going or they think there is something America can 
do to prevent this resource from being developed, that is simply not 
true.
  I see the Senator from West Virginia. I wanted to get that in the 
Record. I thank the Senator for his leadership and for allowing me to 
join this colloquy because the people of Louisiana strongly support the 
development of this pipeline. We are proud of the oil and gas industry, 
but we also recognize we need to make a transition to cleaner fuels and 
we want to do our part and are happy about the natural gas that is 
being discovered in this Nation.

[[Page S732]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Dakota.
  Mr. HOEVEN. Madam President, I wish to thank the Senator from 
Louisiana for her leadership in energy, onshore and off, in a big way. 
She is absolutely right.
  This is our opportunity to have North American energy security and 
North American energy independence, working with our closest friend and 
ally Canada. This is how we do it--Mexico as well. The Senator from 
Louisiana is also absolutely right: Canada will produce this oil. That 
is a fact. That is going to happen. The question is, Is it going to 
come to the United States or is it going to go offshore to China? We 
see these green lines; they show the pipelines that would take that oil 
to China rather than the United States. Net effect: We continue then to 
import oil from the Middle East, and Canadian oil goes to China. It 
makes no sense--not to mention better environmental stewardship that we 
would enjoy working with Canada, which we will touch on as well.
  I wish to at this point ask the distinguished Senator from Arkansas, 
Mr. Boozman, to join the colloquy, and I would also invite Senator 
Manchin as well. I see Senator Begich is here also. So I invite Senator 
Boozman to make his comments but then also offer the opportunity for 
our other distinguished Senators to join in the colloquy.
  Mr. BOOZMAN. Madam President, I thank the Senator from North Dakota 
for his leadership and for, again, spearheading this effort. I thank 
all the Senators who are here and are, in a very bipartisan way, trying 
to move this project forward.
  We speak a lot about jobs in regard to this project, but that simply 
cannot be overemphasized. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, most of the 
largest labor unions--major labor unions--all agree that if this 
pipeline were to go forward, which it has to do, it would create 
250,000 jobs; 20,000 of those tomorrow, almost immediately. Again, it 
is so important.
  It is important to my home State because many businesses, many hard-
working Americans living there would benefit tremendously. We have a 
large Nucor plant. That Nucor plant in Blytheville, AK, in Mississippi 
County, would supply a lot of the iron that would be used. We have 
another facility, Welspun Tubular Company, they make oil pipe. They 
have 500 miles of this pipe sitting in storage that they have produced 
to go forward, which should be a great thing. The problem is instead of 
increasing employment for the future, right now they have had to lay 
off workers because of the indecision.
  So there are all kinds of reasons we need to do this. Others have 
talked about national security reasons, but the labor--the good-paying 
jobs that would be created, again, not being dependent on places such 
as Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, that is a pretty good deal, and we need 
to move forward immediately.
  Mr. HOEVEN. Madam President, I wish to recognize the Senator from the 
great State of West Virginia.
  Mr. MANCHIN. Madam President, if I may, I wish to thank all my 
colleagues. This is something wonderful for the people who are watching 
and the people watching who are here, to see a bipartisan colloquy; 
that we all agree, basically, about energy being the crux of what we do 
and how this country is made up and how we got to where we are today.
  My little State of West Virginia now has a tremendous shale gas find 
in the Marcellus Shale, with the Utica Shale in Ohio, the shale being 
explored and produced all over our country. We truly have an 
opportunity in our lifetime to become totally energy independent.
  The only thing I am saying is, where I come from, the people are such 
good people and they have a lot of common sense. They say: We would 
rather buy from our friends than our enemies. How much would this 
displace, as far as us buying from and depending on areas of the world 
that haven't been friendly to the money we give them for the product of 
oil they sell us; does the Senator from North Dakota have an idea about 
that?
  Mr. HOEVEN. Madam President, I wish to respond to the Senator from 
West Virginia. Right now, between the oil we produce in the United 
States, both together with Canada and Mexico, we generate about 70 
percent of the oil we consume. This project alone would add 6 percent. 
We are talking about over 800,000 barrels a day this project adds and 
brings to market. So we go from about 70 percent just for this project 
phase 1 to about 76 percent. But understand this pipeline project is 
expandable to 1.4 million barrels a day, so we can see it would take us 
up even higher.
  So we are talking about a significant contribution to our oil supply, 
again, from North Dakota, Montana, and Canada, versus, as the Senator 
says, countries such as Venezuela or from the Middle East.
  Mr. MANCHIN. My other question would be this. Since we have Senators 
from two of our great producing areas, knowing the challenges we had in 
Louisiana and the gulf coast with the BP oilspill, as well as a lot of 
concern about the environment and that is why it has been held up, I 
understand our friend, Gov. Dave Heineman from Nebraska, now has 
approved this. That, as I understand it, was the last concern he had.
  I have always said this, and I will ask the question of the Senator 
from Alaska--they have one of the harshest climates and are one of the 
largest oil producers for our country and they have been able to do it 
in a safe atmosphere--will the Senator from Alaska comment on his 
concerns, if he has them, about doing this in a safe environment.
  Mr. BEGICH. Absolutely. I thank my friend from West Virginia. We 
built the largest single capital project back in the 1970s when we 
brought oil off the North Slope, almost 800 miles through the harshest, 
most unpredictable climates one would ever see. I can tell my 
colleagues, if we went back to the stories and articles, the sky would 
fall, the environment would be destroyed, and the world would come to 
an end by us building that pipeline. We are multiple decades past. It 
has worked very well. There haven't been those disasters people claimed 
would happen.
  On top of that, my friend from Louisiana mentioned the environmental 
impact and it makes sense that the pipeline is the safest way to move 
oil.
  On top of that, we have a choice--the Senator from North Dakota made 
it very clear--and that is to get it refined in China or the United 
States. I don't know about anybody here, but I would bet we all agree 
that between the environmental standards, we have a better 
environmental record than China in the refining of oil products, so it 
makes sense for us to do it.
  On top of that, people are traveling to Alaska not just for the jobs 
and the opportunity but the beauty of Alaska, and we have more visitors 
who want to see the pipeline, to visit the pipeline. When I went down 
the Gulkana on a rafting trip, it is unbelievable beauty. But one of 
the last things people do when they come down and land the raft and 
begin to pack to go back home, there is the pipeline going right across 
the Gulkana. Guess what. It hasn't damaged the environment. As a matter 
of fact, there are plenty of photos of people trying to get their raft 
underneath the pipeline; trying to get the pipeline and the rapids at 
the same time. So the Senator's point is a very good one.
  The Governor of Nebraska has approved it going through their State, 
but there is nothing similar to Alaska when it comes to the harsh 
environment we had to build in. We did it, and we did it when 
technology was much different. Today, the standards are even greater. 
Again, I wish to echo the Senator's point.
  If I could make one other point. This is unique, the Chamber and 
labor working together for the common good of this country and the jobs 
and the groups--we think of the Teamsters and Operating Engineers, the 
pipeline contractors, the plumbers and pipefitters, they are all part 
of this agreement to build this pipeline and train workers; as my 
colleagues know, there is a huge gap in our trades. So we get to 
utilize a training opportunity, employ thousands of people not only for 
today but for the future.
  So from Alaska's perspective, we like it. We know pipelines. We know 
we have to build big ones, as we did, and the fact is, as the Senator 
from North Dakota said, they are going to move this oil one way or 
another. We have a choice. Do we do it in our country, get

[[Page S733]]

the jobs that are attached to it, the opportunity to refine it in 
States with great quality refineries or do we let China do it? This is 
a no-brainer for my State.
  Mr. MANCHIN. One very quick question, if I may, to the Senator from 
North Dakota.
  There might be a fallacy of thinking that only oil that is going to 
move is what we would buy from Canada. How much oil would be moved from 
the United States that we produce in the United States but that is 
captive right now, that is not being refined, maybe down in Louisiana 
and Texas? Would this help U.S. production?
  Mr. HOEVEN. I appreciate the question from the Senator from West 
Virginia. For starters, it would put 100,000 barrels a day--this is for 
starters--into the pipeline. So day one is 100,000 barrels.
  Mr. MANCHIN. Just for North Dakota?
  Mr. HOEVEN. North Dakota and Montana. It is very important to 
understand that is just when we start. The pipeline is expandable. 
Today, North Dakota is the second largest producer of oil in the 
Nation, second only to Texas. We produce 750,000 barrels a day--and it 
is growing--and more of our oil is leaving the State by truck and rail 
than by pipeline. We need these pipelines. This project alone will take 
500 trucks a day off our roads, trucks which are beating up our roads 
and creating safety issues in our State. This is vital infrastructure 
we need to get this product to refineries in Louisiana, in Texas, in 
Illinois, and other points around the country.

  At this point, I wish to thank the Senator from Louisiana, again, for 
her participation in this colloquy. I wish to turn to the esteemed 
Senator from Wyoming, Mr. Barrasso, another major energy-producing 
State, and ask him for his thoughts in regard to the regulatory 
obstacles to energy development. If we are going to be energy secure, 
energy independent in this Nation, we have to find a way to empower 
project investment and empower the kind of development we are talking 
about--not only infrastructure but the new technologies that will help 
us produce more energy in our country with better environmental 
stewardship. That is what we seek to do and I know that is exactly what 
Senator Barrasso is working on in his State. I would like him to 
address that aspect.
  Mr. BARRASSO. Madam President, if I may join in this discussion--and 
it is wonderful to see the bipartisan nature of this discussion, to 
turn and look around the floor of this Chamber and see three Democratic 
Senators talking to this issue and three Republican Senators talking to 
the same issue and agreeing, because all of us are like-minded in the 
fact that when we think of energy--and the Keystone XL Pipeline is a 
big part of that--we think of energy security for our Nation, which is 
part of this, economic growth, and environmental stewardship. We just 
heard from one Alaskan Senator and the other Alaskan Senator will speak 
shortly.
  We hear what a wonderful job people continue to do in one of the most 
pristine areas of the country, the State of Alaska. I will tell my 
colleagues, as a Senator from Wyoming, an energy capital of this 
Nation, that energy is a big part of our economy but so is tourism. If 
we did things that did not focus on environmental stewardship for our 
own State, it would impact our tourism. Energy is a big part of the 
economy, so we want to have economic growth, energy security, as well 
as environmental stewardship.
  But I will tell my colleagues it has been a difficult task based on 
some of the regulatory obstacles to energy development. The President 
likes to talk about how he supports all-of-the-above American energy 
development. But, in fact, we heard him the other night during the 
State of the Union Address. His actions over the past 4 years tell a 
completely different story. Instead of making it easier for our own 
country to produce energy, I believe he has made it harder.
  If we look at the folks who are leaving his administration: The EPA's 
Director, Lisa Jackson, she said the EPA's role is, interestingly, ``to 
level the playing field against fossil fuels.'' Secretary Chu, who is 
leaving the administration, said he would ``boost the price of gasoline 
to the levels in Europe.'' Secretary Salazar, who is leaving, continues 
to talk about the fact that the energy strategy, he says, showed good 
results, but they have restricted access to Federal offshore and 
onshore oil and gas resources through moratoriums, through blocking 
permits, through leasing plans. They have denied Americans billions in 
public revenue and thousands of jobs.
  I stand here saying that the Keystone XL Pipeline is a perfect 
example of the Obama administration's pattern of delaying good projects 
by requiring excessive redtape.
  So I come here with the Senator from North Dakota and the Senator 
from Alaska--and I thank the Senator from North Dakota for his 
leadership, for his determination, for his courage, and for his 
fortitude--in fighting to make sure we as a country continue to strive 
for American energy security. That is exactly what we are going to have 
with this proposal.

  I call on the administration today--the President, as well as the new 
Secretary of State--to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, to allow that 
energy--which is either coming here to the United States or going to 
China or elsewhere--to approve it to come to the United States, to help 
our production, to help our consumers, to help our jobs in this 
country. Those are the things that are important as we try to focus on 
energy security for our Nation, economic growth for our Nation, as well 
as environmental stewardship.
  So I thank the Senator from North Dakota for his leadership.
  I see now the ranking member of the Energy Committee is here with us 
as well, who has done a masterful job with a visioned ``Energy 20/20.'' 
For people who have not seen it, I would say they are missing 
something--if they have not really read through it--from the Senator 
from Alaska because she has focused like a laser on these three E's of 
energy security, economic growth, and environmental stewardship.
  So I thank both the Senator from North Dakota and the Senator from 
Alaska, the ranking member of the Energy Committee, for their 
leadership.
  Mr. HOEVEN. I thank the Senator. I appreciate the Senator from 
Wyoming being here and for his leadership on energy. Again, I want to 
recognize that he comes from an energy-producing State, a State that is 
producing energy for this Nation and creating hundreds of thousands of 
good jobs in doing so. I thank him for his leadership on the Energy 
Committee as well.
  I want to turn to and recognize the Senator from Alaska, who is the 
ranking member on our Energy Committee. As the Senator from Wyoming 
said, she has recently put out a blueprint for energy development, 
energy independence, energy security for our Nation. It is 
comprehensive. It includes all types of energy and, again, developing--
developing--them the right way, with good environmental stewardship and 
the latest technologies but truly accomplishing something the people of 
this country very much want; that is, energy security.
  So at this point I would turn to the Senator from Alaska and ask for 
some of her comments on this Keystone Pipeline project in terms of the 
economic benefits and the need for our Nation to truly have energy 
security.
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. I thank my colleague from North Dakota. I thank him 
for his leadership on how we can get the Keystone Pipeline moving, how 
we can ensure that a resource from our friend and ally Canada can be 
utilized, can help us here in this country to truly gain that level of 
energy security we have been talking about.
  There have been several good comments about the report I released 
last week, my ``Energy 20/20.'' I just happen to have a copy of it here 
on the floor. But out of 115 pages, I can distill it in one simple 
bumper sticker; that is, energy is good, energy is necessary.
  If you look at the cover of the report here, it is essentially a map 
of the world from way up high. When you are looking down and you see 
the lights at night, you can tell the prosperous places within the 
world. It is where the lights are on. It is where our energy is. So 
when we talk about energy, I think it is important to really put it in 
the context of how important, how significant it is to our daily lives.
  Over a week ago now we were all reminded of the importance of energy 
when there were 34 minutes of dead

[[Page S734]]

time during the Super Bowl. A lot of folks were paying attention to, 
well, where do we get our energy sources from? It starts a good 
conversation, a necessary conversation.
  In my document I focus on five different areas where we need to talk 
about energy policy. I am looking for an energy policy that is 
abundant, affordable, clean, diverse, and secure. When we talk about 
the fifth one, the security, this is where the Keystone XL project 
really comes in to play. When we are talking about security, that does 
not necessarily mean that everything we want as a nation is going to be 
produced right here within our own borders. What it means is how we 
reduce vulnerabilities from others, how we can eliminate our reliance 
on OPEC.
  Ladies and gentlemen, this is a reality. This is doable. This is 
possible by 2020. This is not pie in the sky. Let me give you some 
numbers.
  In 2011 Canada produced roughly 2.9 million barrels of crude oil per 
day. Mexico produced 2.6 million. When you add this to the 
approximately 6 million barrels the United States produces each day, 
total North American production--which is 11.5 million barrels--it is 
far greater than the Nation's net imports, which was 8.5 million 
barrels back last year--more than double the imports from OPEC.
  So if we can do more within our own borders here and ensure that we 
are able to rely on our friends to the north, the Canadians, and our 
friends to the south, the Mexicans, we can displace--we can fully 
displace our reliance on OPEC imports by the year 2020.
  But part of achieving this goal is being able to count on the 
Keystone XL Pipeline. It is as simple as that. It is about security. It 
is about ensuring that we have a supply that not only helps us achieve 
that energy security, but it allows us to achieve economic security.
  So far as the jobs that are created, really the ripple effect that 
goes out--it is not just constructing one pipeline. It is the ripple 
effect that comes from this boom of opportunity within our country.
  So it is jobs and economic security. It is energy security from the 
perspective of reducing our reliance on those countries we do not 
necessarily like, removing ourselves from the need to import OPEC oil, 
and having the ability to control our destiny from a perspective of 
abundance rather than from scarcity.
  We should look to our friends and neighbors. We should work with the 
Canadians. The President should sign the Keystone XL Pipeline bill into 
law. He should make it happen. We should not be waiting any longer for 
all the reasons so many on this floor have discussed this afternoon.
  So to my friend the Senator from North Dakota, I say thank you for 
your leadership. Let's make this happen now.
  Mr. HOEVEN. I thank the Senator from Alaska again for being here 
today talking about the importance of moving forward with the Keystone 
XL Pipeline project and, again, for her leadership on energy issues. 
She is our ranking member on Energy. I think no matter whom you talk 
to, she is absolutely inclusive when she talks about energy 
development, all aspects--the energy development, the environmental 
stewardship, the jobs, developing all types of energy. She brings 
tremendous knowledge and experience to energy issues. So I would urge 
the administration to listen to one of the leading voices in energy in 
our country, and that is Senator Murkowski, and ask them to approve 
this project.
  The senior Senator from Montana could not be here today but did ask 
that I express his strong support for the Keystone XL project--Senator 
Max Baucus from Montana. My friend from Montana has said over and over 
the same thing all of us know; that is, Keystone is about jobs, and 
every day we delay the Keystone Pipeline is another day we delay 
creating American jobs.
  So I want to thank not only Senator Baucus but all of the Senators 
who have joined us here today: Senator Landrieu from Louisiana, Senator 
Cornyn from Texas, Senator Boozman from Arkansas, Senator Manchin from 
West Virginia, Senator Barrasso from Wyoming, Senator Begich from 
Alaska, and, as you have just heard, Senator Murkowski from Alaska.
  We have made the environmental case. The environmental case is 
stronger with the pipeline project than without it. Every single State 
on the route is supporting the project. And I think, as Senator 
Murkowski so well concluded for us, it is about energy; it is about 
jobs; it is about tax revenue we need to close the deficit and address 
the debt without raising taxes; and it is about energy independence and 
energy security for this country so we do not continue to import oil 
from the Middle East or from places such as Venezuela but, rather, we 
get it from our closest friend and ally Canada, as well as from States 
such as my own State and from Montana, and we refine it in our 
refineries and provide it to our hard-working citizens across the 
country. So instead of having record highs in the price of gasoline--we 
have the highest price ever at this point in February: $3.62 a gallon--
we start moving energy costs down for our consumers, to create a more 
robust economy, and to ease the pain at the pump for our hard-working 
Americans.
  I just want to close with that there will be another rally of 
demonstrators around the White House this weekend. I think it is 
scheduled for Sunday. Now, I do not know if they are going to handcuff 
themselves to the fence like actress Daryl Hannah did the other day or 
what they are going to do. But the simple point is this: I just gave 
the information from a poll that was conducted from February 5 through 
February 10. One thousand voters were contacted in that poll that was 
commissioned by API and conducted by Harris Interactive. One thousand 
voters were contacted, and 69 percent support construction of the 
Keystone XL Pipeline and 17 percent oppose.
  So here is a project which on the facts is something that needs to 
happen. We need approval of this project on the facts, as we have gone 
through and cited in great detail. But this is a project which the 
American people support 69 percent to 17 percent. My question for the 
administration is, Is this decision going to be made on the facts and 
what the American people want or is this going to be made on the basis 
of special interest groups that may demonstrate from time to time 
around the White House? I believe the decision needs to be made for the 
American people to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline project.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Heinrich). The Senator from Wyoming.


                          Unions and ObamaCare

  Mr. BARRASSO. Mr. President, I rise today as a physician who 
practiced medicine in Wyoming for more than 25 years, and I rise to 
continue the debate we have been having in this body about the 
President's health care law.
  Although there has been significant debate and discussion, what I 
have continued to try to do is discuss some of the many ways in which 
this law falls short of its goals and falls way short of what the 
American public has asked for when it comes to the need for health care 
reform.
  The Obama administration continues to put significant effort into 
trying to sell its health care law and tries to convince people that it 
is the answer to all of their problems. But in the words of John Adams, 
``Facts are stubborn things.''
  Despite all the spin of this administration, the American people 
continue to learn the facts--the facts about just how bad this law is 
and how much it is going to cost them personally in terms of finances 
and personally in terms of their own health care. That is why the 
President's health care law continues, this day, to be unworkable, 
unpopular, and absolutely unaffordable.
  We saw another example of this recently when one group who had 
previously supported the law learned more about what is in it.
  Back when we were debating the bill originally, labor unions around 
the country were among the biggest backers of the law. Unions sent 
their lobbyists up here to press their Democratic supporters to pass 
the law. They put out many statements saying things like, ``We need 
this health care law now.'' They held rallies right out in front of the 
Capitol.
  We saw the same kinds of demonstrations last spring when the Supreme 
Court was considering a challenge to the law. Now, I went to the oral 
arguments, and I remember one group of

[[Page S735]]

union members chanting: ``We love ObamaCare.''
  Well, apparently now, today, I will tell you, the love is gone. 
According to a recent front-page article in the Wall Street Journal, 
some union leaders now say that ``many of the law's requirements will 
drive up the costs for their health-care plans and make unionized 
workers less competitive.''
  Republicans said the President's plan would drive up costs for hard-
working Americans from the beginning. Union leaders absolutely ignored 
our warnings and supported the law anyway. Now we have been proven 
right, and we are seeing buyer remorse by a lot of the law's 
supporters. This was absolutely predictable. What is really interesting 
is the reaction. It is clear from that Journal article that many union 
leaders are angry and disappointed.
  Well, union leaders should be angry. The Obama administration misled 
them into believing their members could keep the health care plan they 
had. They should be angry with President Obama. They were deliberately 
deceived when he promised repeatedly, saying health insurance costs 
would go down $2,500 for the average family by today.
  The unions are also now lobbying the Obama administration to do an 
end-run around the law. The Wall Street Journal quoted union leaders 
saying that they were going to push the Obama administration to now 
subsidize their health insurance costs. Now disturbing comments come 
from the administration suggesting it might be willing to do just that.
  Unions have focused their efforts on trying to get the administration 
to expand access to advanced premium tax credits. The subsidies were 
intended only for people who cannot get insurance through their 
employers. That is how it was set up. Well, that means union members 
who have insurance for a plan jointly run by the union and their 
employers are not eligible for the subsidies.
  The law is crystal clear. In fact, the law lays out four conditions 
for getting the tax credit: You have to get insurance through the 
exchange, either a State exchange or the Federal exchange; you have to 
pay the premiums yourself; you must not be eligible for minimum 
essential coverage other than the plans offered in the individual 
market; and you must not be enrolled in an eligible employer-sponsored 
plan. Those are all four. That is it. So union workers covered by their 
employer or by a joint plan from their employer and the union do not 
meet these four criteria.
  Let's go back to Nancy Pelosi and that famous quote: ``First you have 
to pass it before you get to find out what's in it.'' The union bosses 
should have read the bill before they decided to support it. And if 
they had read the bill, they would have been smart to oppose it.
  Despite the clear law, a spokesman for the Treasury Department told 
the Wall Street Journal that ``these matters are the subject of pending 
regulations.'' Amazingly, one of the lobbyists for the union said the 
administration can ``create a loophole for them through Federal rule-
making.'' Create a loophole for the unions. Create a loophole.
  Well, that is wrong. The American people know it is wrong. The 
administration has no legal authority to expand access to health 
insurance subsidies under the law. This is not a matter of regulation, 
it is a matter of the law. It was a bad law--bad law as it was being 
adopted, bad law as it was being signed. It is full of unintended 
consequences. This particular consequence was spelled out 
unambiguously. Last week, 31 Republican Senators wrote to remind the 
President of that fact.
  Of course, it is not just union members who are disturbed by the 
law's effects on health care costs. Numerous reports have pointed out 
that costs will continue to rise when more of the health care law's 
mandates kick in next January. One study estimates that healthier 
people are going to see their insurance costs go up by 40 percent to 
cover the cost of insuring less healthy people. The law's requirements 
on caps on medical benefits will also cause an increase in premiums. So 
will the requirements that adults up to age 26 be allowed to stay on 
their parent's plan.
  Late last year, Blue Shield of California asked for permission to 
raise its rates by as much as 20 percent. The CEO of Aetna said rates 
in some areas could go up as much as 100 percent. That is on top of the 
premium increase of more than $3,000 the average family has seen since 
President Obama took office.
  We have got to lower the cost of health care. President Obama and the 
Democrats who voted for this piece of legislation in the House and in 
the Senate promised the law would do that. Well, it has not done it. It 
will not do it. Their plan was short on reform and long on budget 
tricks and accounting gimmicks and on empty promises.
  The cost concerns the unions raise are absolutely legitimate. I share 
those concerns and so do all of the Senators on this side of the aisle. 
But we cannot give extra benefits to union members. The problem is not 
that the law makes union health benefits more expensive; the problem is 
the President's health care law makes everyone's health insurance more 
expensive. The answer is to control costs for everyone, not just for 
special-interest groups with friends in the White House.
  We need to revisit the taxes, the fees, and the other policies that 
drive premium increases. We need real health care reform in this 
country, reform that gives people the care they need from the doctor 
they choose at a lower cost.
  When we were debating the President's health care law, some of us 
warned about the danger of writing a bill behind closed doors. 
Actually, the President warned about the danger of writing a bill 
behind closed doors until he decided that was exactly what he wanted to 
do. So he sent his Chief of Staff to do just what he said would be 
dangerous, write a law behind closed doors.
  Some of us were concerned about the special deals for special groups. 
Of course, these were special deals that would harm health care for the 
rest of us. President Obama and Democrats in Congress rejected our 
concerns. Nancy Pelosi famously said we need to pass the law so we can 
see what is in it. Well, the American people now are seeing more and 
more of what is in the law, and they do not like what they see. Now 
they are calling for all of us to do something about it. This is not 
the time for special-interest loopholes. It is not the time to make 
more deals behind closed doors. It is not the time to hand out breaks 
for one favored group at the expense of everyone else.
  I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. MORAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                    Tribute to Randy and Suzy Storms

  Mr. MORAN. Mr. President, another sad occasion in Kansas. A week ago 
this past Sunday, the Wichita community was struck by the tragic news 
that Randy and Suzy Storms were killed in a fatal car accident in east 
Wichita. Randy and Suzy were traveling home from visiting a friend at a 
local hospital when Randy experienced a health problem while driving, 
which led to a devastating accident.
  Randy and Suzy were very well known and very well loved in the 
Wichita community for more than 30 years. Their care and compassion for 
those in difficult circumstances shaped how they lived their lives. 
Randy had a special gift for connecting with those who were struggling, 
perhaps because he knew how difficult life could be. As a teenager, 
Randy suffered a spinal injury which forced him to live as a 
quadriplegic. Resolved to make his faith in Jesus the core of his 
identity and not his physical disability, Randy chose to invest his 
life in caring for others.
  Shortly after high school, Randy began to serve on the staff of Young 
Life, a Christian organization that mentors and works with young 
people. His position at Young Life was a springboard to reaching a 
wider Wichita community. Over the years, Randy became a counselor and 
friend to countless pastors, community leaders, young adults, and 
everyone else who was in need of a friend.
  Jen Shively, who served with Randy for 27 years, remembered that he

[[Page S736]]

``loved people well,'' and that ``loving others was effortless for 
him.''
  Nan Chastain met Randy while attending Young Life and she remembers 
Randy as ``the definition of faithfulness.'' She said, ``He was always 
there for anyone whenever they needed him.'' In short, Randy Storms 
valued every life.
  His wife Suzy was also known for her great love and her care for 
others. On any given day, you could find Suzy helping young women and 
teen mothers in need of encouragement and a listening ear.
  Sean Spencer, a long-time friend of the Storms, knew Suzy to be a 
person of great strength and grace. Together, the couple invested in 
the lives of many married couples, both young and old, who were facing 
the trials of life together. Randy and Suzy found joy in serving 
together and encouraging others.
  The Wichita community came to know the Storms as the folks who would 
show up to your kids' sporting events, high school graduations, and 
baptisms to celebrate what means the most in life--people. The Storms 
were also known as the folks who would faithfully show up at the 
darkest hour to lend a helping hand or to offer comfort to those facing 
serious difficulties.
  Randy and Suzy Storms lived out the biblical teaching to love your 
neighbor as yourself, and they touched the lives of countless Kansans. 
My heartfelt sympathy goes out to their two children Nick and Natalie 
and their two grandchildren Jack and Lucy. Randy and Suzy were two very 
special people who will be greatly missed by so very many.
  This tragedy is a somber reminder that every day is a gift and we are 
not promised a tomorrow. May we learn from the Storms that what truly 
matters in life is the people around us, and may their example spur us 
to love one another more deeply.
  I ask my colleagues as well as all Kansans to remember the Storms 
family in their thoughts and prayers in the days ahead.


                        Global Battle For Talent

  Mr. President, I am thankful for the opportunity to be on the Senate 
floor today to continue to tell my colleagues about the issues of 
entrepreneurship and the global battle for talent, the opportunity to 
start businesses, and the challenges we face from other countries in 
competing in this global economy.
  From our Nation's earliest days, entrepreneurs have been the driving 
force behind U.S. economic growth and expansion. Yet the state of 
entrepreneurship in America is not as strong as it once was. In today's 
global economy, an entrepreneur has more choices than ever about where 
to start his or her business.
  Over the last 2 years, at least seven other countries have taken 
action to better support and attract entrepreneurs. In the 2-plus years 
I have been a member of the Senate, seven countries have changed their 
policies, their laws, and their regulations to be attractive to 
entrepreneurs, while we have not. This map shows those countries--
Russia, Singapore, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Canada, and the United 
Kingdom.
  I recently shared what Canada was doing to attract more 
entrepreneurs, and today I will share what is happening in the United 
Kingdom and explain why it is in our country's best interests to act 
quickly to retain highly skilled and entrepreneurial immigrants.
  Much like the United States, the UK had a range of visa categories 
for immigrants with varying skills and financial resources. But in 
2011, the UK Government made changes to simplify their visa rules in 
order to attract more talented entrepreneurs to their country. The UK 
recently created an entirely new type of visa for what they call 
``prospective entrepreneurs.'' These individuals are allowed to enter 
the UK for a set period of time to secure funding and start the process 
of setting up their businesses before they begin the traditional visa 
process. Raising capital can be one of the more challenging aspects of 
starting a new business, and this visa gives entrepreneurs a running 
start.
  The UK has also changed its top visa category, tier 1, to be 
restricted to entrepreneurs, investors, and the exceptionally talented. 
Those entrepreneurs falling within the tier 1 category must have set up 
or taken over a British business. The initial investment in their 
companies can be as little as 50,000 pounds, given that certain 
criteria are met. By lowering the initial capital investment required, 
entrepreneurs can get set up and running their businesses sooner rather 
than just raising more money.
  The UK has also revamped its Global Entrepreneurs Programme, which 
works to encourage innovative technology businesses to relocate to the 
UK. The program is aimed specifically at foreign entrepreneurs and 
offers a range of support to startups, from help in raising capital to 
providing mentors to offering networking opportunities with successful 
entrepreneurs. This program has helped more than 200 entrepreneurs and 
early-stage technology companies get established in the United Kingdom 
so far.
  You can see from this poster, Sir Richard Branson is helping promote 
this program because he knows firsthand the value of entrepreneurship. 
Many people today know Richard Branson as the creator of Virgin 
Airways, but he got his start at the young age of 16 by successfully 
launching a new student magazine. Now, 45 years later, his investment 
group employs approximately 50,000 people in 34 countries and its 
revenues in 2011 were around $21 billion.
  The UK's Immigration Minister said this about the country's recent 
efforts to attract more startup companies:

       Entrepreneurs and investors can play a major part in our 
     economic recovery, and I want to do everything I can to 
     ensure that Britain remains an attractive destination for 
     them. Last year we issued far too few visas to those who wish 
     to set up a business and invest in the UK--I intend to change 
     that.

  That was the Immigration Minister of the UK speaking. And this is our 
competition.
  We in Congress and the administration need to take notice. Other 
countries are aggressively courting entrepreneurs and those talented 
individuals will not sit on the sideline with their good ideas. They 
will go to the country that welcomes them and set up shop.
  A story I heard while visiting Silicon Valley recently illustrates 
this point. A large company that was just a few years ago a startup 
itself told me they had plans to hire 68 highly skilled immigrants but 
could not get visas for them to work in the United States.
  Rather than letting that talent go, the company hired them but in a 
different country. While it is troubling to me that we lost 68 jobs 
because there was no visa for them--we lost those jobs here in the 
United States and the visa program didn't work to attract and retain 
them--what troubles me even more than that is we know that someone--and 
maybe several of those 68 people hired--will go on to start a business 
that may result in significant job creation. Those are jobs that could 
have been created in the United States but now will be created in 
another country.
  There is a global battle for entrepreneurial talent, and the United 
States is falling behind. When we lose those entrepreneurs and highly 
skilled immigrants, we lose the jobs they create. This is certainly 
about the entrepreneurs, but it is more about the folks whom they will 
employ--folks here in the United States who are in desperate need of 
employment.
  The legislation that led to changes in the UK's visa law was drafted 
by Cambridge venture capitalist Alex van Someren. Alex is aware that 
here in America there have been recent efforts to attract entrepreneurs 
to our country, but the barriers to entry are still higher than in the 
United Kingdom. Alex said this in a recent interview he had with 
Business Weekly: ``We have beaten the American effort and that is 
fabulous news for UK entrepreneurship.''
  This might be good news for the United Kingdom, but it is not good 
news for Americans. I want to make sure that the first choice for 
entrepreneurs looking to start a company remains the United States of 
America, and Congress has the responsibility to make certain that 
happens.
  In a bipartisan effort, Senator Warner, Senator Coons, Senator Blunt, 
and others introduced the Startup Act 3.0 yesterday and an identical 
bill is being introduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives. 
Startup Act 3.0 makes changes to the Federal regulatory process to 
lessen government

[[Page S737]]

burdens on job creators, modifies the Tax Code to encourage investment 
in new businesses, seeks to accelerate the commercialization of 
university federally funded research that can lead to new ventures and, 
importantly, provides new opportunities for highly educated and 
entrepreneurial immigrants to stay in the United States where their 
talents and new ideas can fuel economic growth and, most importantly, 
create American jobs.
  Startup Act 3.0 creates an entrepreneur's visa for foreign-born 
entrepreneurs currently in the United States. Those with a good idea, 
capital, and willingness to hire Americans would be able to stay in the 
United States and grow their businesses.
  In many instances, foreign-born entrepreneurs, here legally, have an 
idea and want to begin a company that will employ Americans but are 
told their visa does not allow them to remain in the United States. 
With few ways to stay, these entrepreneurs are forced to move and to 
take their business with them where they will create jobs in other 
countries.
  I want to make certain America is the best place for entrepreneurs 
who want to build in America and hire Americans. Passing Startup Act 
3.0 will help make that happen by creating new ways for immigrants 
legally in the United States to open a business and to employ our 
fellow citizens.
  People come from all around the world to the United States. They come 
to study and they come to work. They come to live in a place where they 
can have the freedom to pursue their dreams. The entrepreneur's visa 
would allow these risk-takers to stay here and operate their 
businesses.
  Each immigrant entrepreneur would be required to create jobs for 
Americans. If the business was not successful and the jobs were not 
created, the immigrant would have to go back to his or her own home 
country.
  While some immigrant entrepreneurs would fail, others would follow a 
path worn by many who came before them and succeeded. Entrepreneurial 
immigrants have long contributed to the strength of our economy by 
starting companies and creating jobs. I can think of the Russian 
immigrants, for example, who are entrepreneurs in a sense who came to 
Kansas and brought hard red winter wheat with them. What a true 
entrepreneur--an immigrant entrepreneur--who changed the face of our 
State.
  On the current Fortune 500 companies, more than 40 percent were 
founded by a first- or second-generation American. Not only are these 
immigrants entrepreneurial, but they are also disproportionately 
innovative. Foreign nationals residing in the United States were named 
as investors or coinvestors in a quarter of all patent applications 
filed in the United States in 2006.
  Today, one of every ten Americans employed in a privately owned U.S. 
company works for an immigrant-owned firm. While we work in the United 
States to continue educating our children with the skills for a 21st 
century economy and training the next generation of great American 
entrepreneurs, we also need to welcome those who want to create a 
business here in the United States and employ our citizens.
  I believe that 80 percent of my colleagues here would agree with the 
provisions of Startup Act 3.0. They understand these are important 
issues for the economic growth and new job creation for Americans. I 
urge my colleagues to pass what we can agree to now and keep working to 
find common ground on issues that still divide us. The longer we wait, 
the farther we fall behind in this global competition for the most 
entrepreneurial immigrants.
  While the United Kingdom and other countries are creating new 
opportunities for entrepreneurs, the United States remains the land of 
opportunity and birthplace of the American dream. We need to pass 
Startup Act 3.0 so foreign entrepreneurs can strengthen our economy and 
so American business men and women can pursue their dreams here in the 
United States.
  Millions of our citizens, unfortunately, remain out of work. Many are 
underemployed. Our economy is barely growing. We can jump-start the 
American economy through Startup Act 3.0, and the skills we need to 
pursue the American dream can be here in the United States and we can 
strengthen our economy.
  Madam President, I suggest the absence of a quorum, and I yield the 
floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Heitkamp). Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. King). The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that I be 
permitted to enter into a colloquy with my colleague from Maryland, 
Senator Mikulski.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (The remarks of Mr. Cardin and Ms. Mikulski are printed in today's 
Record under ``Morning Business.'')


                            Sequester Impact

  Ms. MIKULSKI (Ms. Heitkamp). Madam President, while we are waiting to 
take up some other important legislation, I wanted to come to the floor 
to speak on another very important matter.
  What I wish to talk about is sequester. ``Sequester'' is a nine-
letter word that would be a big hit in a Scrabble game, but it is a 
lousy word for the game of life and the functioning of our economy. 
Sequester is a technique we are going to use as Washington-speak for 
saying we will have, starting March 1, across-the-board cuts that will 
be devastating to our economy and to the functioning of government. I 
just held a hearing this morning in my full Appropriations Committee 
about the consequences of these cuts. It is really scary. We are going 
to cut defense. It is going to have a negative impact on our readiness. 
At the same time, people building some of the smart weapons for the 
future, such as shipyard workers, over several thousand of them, could 
be laid off.
  Not only must we protect our military from these devastating cuts, 
but there are others who wear the uniform of the United States of 
America who protect us. For example, we have 57,000 Border Patrol 
guards who could be laid off. We also have people who run our weather 
satellites who help provide the important information to warn for 
tornadoes, to warn for hurricanes, to warn for these terrible blizzards 
so that local governments can efficiently prepare. Then there are 
terrible cuts in the area particularly of education.
  We need to be able to come up with $86 billion to cancel this year's 
sequester. That is $86 billion--``b'' as in Barbara, not ``m'' as in 
Mikulski. We have less than 2 weeks to do that.
  Now, as the full chair of the Appropriations Committee, working with 
our Democratic leadership and our very able chair of the Budget 
Committee, Senator Murray, as well as Senator Baucus, the chair of the 
Finance Committee, as well as other people in the Senate, we have been 
able to come up with an alternative. It offers a balanced approach to 
revenues as well as to cuts.
  Our proposal will include reforms to the Tax Code and save $55 
billion. At the same time, what we will be able to do is come up with 
cuts in spending. One will be $28 billion of cuts in the farm bill and 
then another $27 billion in defense.
  Now, before people worry and before Iran gets any funny ideas--or 
anybody who is a foe of the United States--that we are going wimpy or 
soft, the answer is no. These cuts will not go into effect until 2015, 
after we have brought our troops back home from Afghanistan. Then they 
will be spread out over 8 years until 2021. So we won't impact 
readiness. If there is a foreign predator, don't think we are weakening 
ourselves. What we are doing is looking at ways the Defense Department 
can get rid of some of these programs that are now dated, some of the 
weapons systems that are no longer as relevant as they once were, as we 
modernize.
  So between the mandatory spending cuts in the farm bill and in 
defense, we will cut spending by $55 billion. So we take $55 billion in 
cuts and $55 billion in revenue, and this will give us the $110 billion 
to be able to deal with this problem.

[[Page S738]]

  I am really jazzed about sequester. I represent some of the great 
iconic Federal agencies in the State of Maryland. I have 1,000 Federal 
employees. People say: Oh, we know them. Aren't those the pointy-headed 
bureaucrats who only do heavy lifting by getting a latte in the 
morning? The answer is absolutely not. Let me tell my colleagues who 
those people are, and I am really proud of them.
  They run the Social Security Administration. They make sure the 
checks go out on time. They are doing all the actuarial work. They are 
making sure Social Security is relevant, financially solvent, and far 
more efficiently run, with lower overhead than an insurance company.
  I represent the National Institutes of Health, whose sole job is to 
find cures for the diseases affecting the American people. Right this 
very minute we are working on the cure for Alzheimer's, with a 
cognitive stretch-out of Alzheimer's. My dear dad died of that. I know 
the consequences. It is a terrible heartbreak for the family, and I 
will tell my colleagues that it is a budget-buster when one has to turn 
to long-term care. If we can keep the funding going and if we can have 
that breakthrough, if we can even find a cognitive stretch-out for 3 to 
5 years for people going into nursing homes, we could cut our Medicaid 
budget in half because 80 percent of the money in our Medicaid budget 
goes to paying for long-term care for people with Alzheimer's, 
Parkinson's, Lou Gehrig's disease, or other diseases with neurological 
impairments. We are being pound foolish to save nickels and dimes. We 
need a long-term solution.
  By the way, the sequester is supposed to happen every year for 9 
years. It was to get us to the table so we could deal not only with our 
debt and deficit--yes, we got that message, but the other message is 
that we have to get America ready for the future. We have to create 
jobs today and innovate for jobs tomorrow. That is at NIH. Those are 
the people working there.
  I represent three Nobel Prize winners who are civil servants, several 
Nobel Prize winners over at Johns Hopkins. They are not only proud of 
winning the prizes, but they want to help America win the markets--new 
ideas for new products that will lead to new jobs.
  We also have in my State the Federal Drug Administration. I wish the 
Presiding Officer could come over there. There are 4,000 people working 
there.
  They say: Well, all those people. Yes, all those people. Again, there 
are Ph.D.s and M.D.s, people with master's degrees, and what are they 
working for? They are looking for new medical devices to help people, 
the new breakthroughs in perhaps the next generation of the pacemaker. 
They are taking ideas invented by the private sector, including a 
new insulin pump that will help a diabetic person have a more active 
life or even breakthroughs for neurological impairment for perhaps the 
child with cerebral palsy--they are looking for safety and efficacy so 
those products can move to clinical practice, to the marketplace, and 
products we can sell to the world. There are many countries that could 
never afford an FDA, but because they are FDA-certified in our country, 
they will buy our products.

  I am proud of that, that we are going to be the country that is 
inventing cures for cancer. We only look at the ``a'' words: AIDS, 
Alzheimer's, autism, arthritis. Just look at that. At the very time we 
are looking to lay off people or furlough people at NIH, they have just 
lowered the cancer rates in the United States by 12 percent--12 
percent.
  During the terrible fiscal cliff negotiations around New Year's, I 
spoke to Dr. Francis Collins, who heads that agency. We were making 
these announcements on how America leads the way to lower cancer rates 
among its own people. Isn't that a great victory? At the same time, I 
was telling him he could be heading into sequester or going over a 
fiscal cliff.
  Every day these 130,000 people are working to help America, whether 
they are working with weather satellites, whether they are doing the 
next generation of drug approval, whether they are running the Social 
Security Administration, whether they are over at the National 
Institute of Standards making sure American products have American 
standards and not the Chinese standards--again, so we can manufacture 
here and sell over there.
  So I think sequester is a terrible thing. As the chair of the full 
Appropriations Committee, I am working with our leadership to try to 
deal with this issue, but I also say to the other side of the aisle, 
let's come together. Let's work with our President. Let's have that 
grand bargain through looking at tax reform, reviewing some of our 
mandatory spending and how we can get savings out of that, as well as 
targeted, strategic cuts. Let's get us on the right fiscal path, but 
also let's get us on the path for innovation, for jobs today and jobs 
tomorrow. We want to continue to lead the world, and we want to defend 
ourselves not only against foreign predators who might wish to do us 
harm but those other horsemen of the apocalypse who ride, such as 
pestilence and disease, and we can do it. So let's saddle up and get 
the job done.
  Madam President, I yield the floor, and I note the absence of a 
quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. McCAIN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Warren). Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  Mr. McCAIN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent to join in a 
colloquy with my colleague from South Carolina.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. McCAIN. Madam President, there seems to be a lot of back and 
forth and misinformation about where various Senators stand on the 
issue of the Hagel nomination. I have a statement I will give in a few 
minutes about why I am opposed to Senator Chuck Hagel to be Secretary 
of Defense, but I think it is important to make a couple points. One is 
that the distinguished chairman and I were here back in 1988.
  In 1988, on December 16, John Tower was nominated to be Secretary of 
Defense.
  On January 25, 1989, his confirmation hearings began. On February 2, 
1989, the committee postponed the confirmation vote after allegations 
were raised. On February 8, the committee vote was delayed again until 
February. February 23, he was voted out of the committee. March 10 was 
the time where the Senate rejected the nomination by 53 to 47.
  I was there. I saw. One of the worst things I have ever seen in the 
history of the Senate, the way they dragged out Senator John Tower--a 
good and decent man's reputation with allegation after allegation, all 
of which turned out to be false. So I would like to inform my 
colleagues, this is not the first time we have had a delay in the 
confirmation of a Secretary of Defense.
  I will be glad to go over what I saw, including allegations that were 
thrown over the transom day after day, week after week. They destroyed 
a good and decent man in Senator John Tower. So the allegation that 
somehow we are dragging this out or delaying it, it is not the first 
time in history, I will say to my dear friend, the chairman of the 
Armed Services Committee.
  Having said that, there are still questions outstanding. I believe 
Senators have the right to have those questions answered. The Senator 
from South Carolina and I, the Senator from New Hampshire had a 
response from the President today on the question we had, but there are 
other questions. But I think during the break is sufficient time to get 
any additional questions answered. I will vote in favor of cloture on 
the day we get back. I believe my colleagues would also--a number of my 
colleagues would do the same.
  I think that is a sufficient period of time to get answers to 
outstanding questions. I think Senator Hagel, after that period of 
time, deserves a cloture vote and an up-or-down vote on his nomination.
  I ask if my colleague wants to comment.
  Mr. GRAHAM. We reported Senator Hagel's nomination out at 5 o'clock. 
I would argue that the hearing was interesting, I think at times 
unnerving. Here it is Thursday. So there are some questions being asked 
by our colleagues that I think are legitimate. Some are kind of 
creating a new standard. I am confident, in the next week,

[[Page S739]]

unless there is some explosive bombshell that I cannot quite get my 
hands around, I intend to vote for cloture and against the nomination. 
I am one, along with Senator McCain, who believes filibustering should 
be a rare thing.
  But what we are doing is saying the debate time for Senator Hagel is 
not yet over, since he just got reported out Tuesday at 5 o'clock. Put 
yourself in the shoes of the colleagues who are not on this committee. 
This has been a very controversial nominee. I will say the reason we 
voted for Senator Kerry on the same day he got reported out of 
committee and he got 97 votes, that all of us felt comfortable with the 
nomination. There are very uncomfortable things about this nomination. 
But having said that, I do believe that unless there is something new 
that comes out, we should proceed to a vote, up or down. I am willing 
to invoke cloture because I think, as Senator McCain said, the week 
time period would give us a chance to answer these questions.
  Let me inform my colleagues that just about an hour ago, there was a 
press report that a speech was given by Senator Hagel--I can't remember 
the group. But one of his aides posted--based on his notes what he had 
said the next day on a Web site.
  During that speech, according to this aide, Senator Hagel said the 
U.S. State Department was an extension of the Israeli Government. 
Things such as that are unnerving. There is at least one speech he gave 
that he did not report that we think there is a copy of. We should get 
it in the next few days. That is why I would oppose cloture today, vote 
for it after the recess.
  Mr. McCAIN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senator 
from Tennessee, who also, in my view, is one of the great protectors of 
the Senate, preserving its tradition and customs--I would ask if he has 
a view on this issue. I wish to repeat: I would vote for cloture. The 
Senator from South Carolina would vote for cloture. I would be 
interested in the view of the Senator from Tennessee on this whole 
issue.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. I thank the Senator from Arizona. Probably the best 
known function of the Senate--constitutional responsibility--is the 
right of advise and consent. We take it very seriously. Here that means 
we have to consider what happens. The Armed Services Committee, upon 
which I do not have a chance to serve, completed its consideration of 
Senator Hagel's nomination 2 days ago. Now it is before the whole body. 
He is the President's appointee. The President has a right to appoint 
people in whom he has confidence. But we have a constitutional 
responsibility to consider the nominee.
  A number of Republican Senators have questions, including the Senator 
from Arizona, the Senator from South Carolina, that they would like to 
have answered. I think they are entitled to that. I think if the shoe 
were on the other foot and it were a Republican President making a 
nomination, Democratic Senators would say the same thing: Give us a 
reasonable amount of time to consider this nomination on the floor of 
the Senate.
  I have a little experience in that myself. The first President Bush 
nominated me to be U.S. Education Secretary about 20 years ago. I 
thought I was a fairly noncontroversial nominee, much less important 
than the Secretary of Defense. But I remember very well, it was 87 days 
between the time the President announced my nomination and the day on 
which the Senate unanimously confirmed me.
  There was, at the time, a Senator from Ohio named Metzenbaum, who for 
whatever reason decided the Senate needed more delay to consider my 
record and my background.
  There is nothing new about this. I would respectfully suggest that 
the majority leader's motion to cut off debate on Senator Hagel, made 2 
days after his nomination comes to the floor of the Senate, is 
premature.
  Republican Senators have questions they would like to have answered. 
I think they are entitled to do that. When we come back from recess, 10 
days from now, I think that is sufficient time to consider those 
questions. I will vote for cloture so we can have an up-or-down vote on 
the President's nominee for the Secretary of Defense. I think the 
President is entitled to that but not prematurely.
  I thank the Senator from Arizona for yielding time.
  Mr. McCAIN. Madam President, I note that the present occupant of the 
chair is familiar with the rigors of this process as well. So I think 
it is important to note. Again, I wish to say that it is one thing to 
support or oppose a nominee, but I do not believe a nominee deserves a 
dragged-out process. I think the Senator from Tennessee and the Senator 
from Massachusetts would agree with me; that it might be a disincentive 
in the future for well-qualified men and women who want to serve, who 
see a process that is dragged out and allegations made and requirements 
for disclosure that frankly are not required.
  I note the presence of the majority leader on the floor, so I would 
like to filibuster for an hour or so.
  I yield to the majority leader.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.
  Mr. REID. Madam President, at the request of the Republicans, I ask 
unanimous consent that at 4:15 today, the Senate proceed to vote on the 
motion to invoke cloture on the Hagel nomination; that the time until 
4:15 be equally divided between the two leaders or their designees. My 
designee is Senator Levin.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. LEVIN. Reserving the right to object, I will not object because 
of the assurances of my three friends from the other side of the aisle 
stating that they plan on voting for cloture. They obviously said they 
will not vote for cloture today, which is, I think, too bad because 
there has been more than enough time in the last 2 days to read the 
additional speeches that have been coming in.
  The only argument that was raised beyond that, that I know of, has to 
do with a payment from an equity fund. That was received. It has been 
fully explained. It is a highly reputable fund that Senator Hagel was 
an adviser to, similar to many other very reputable people. So I think 
the continuation of what amounts to a filibuster, since 60-vote votes 
are required to end debate, is too bad when there is a Secretary of 
Defense who is leaving to go back to California, and we very much need 
to have our new Secretary of Defense in place, given the circumstances 
in this world.
  We have a budget crisis in this country. Our sequester is confronting 
us. That sequester will have a damaging effect on the Defense 
Department, on the men and women in uniform, and on programs, the 
equipment, the training they need to be ready for any kind of a 
contingency.
  So the delay in having a vote on cloture, to me, is a mistake, and we 
ought to approve the ending of the debate today so we can get on with 
the confirmation vote, which will be a majority vote. After there is a 
cloture vote, debate is finally ended in this body, the final passage 
of a bill or the vote on the nominee is a majority vote, not 60 votes. 
So I am hoping there will be 60 votes today so we can get on with 
approval of this nominee, hopefully shortly thereafter, and fill this 
spot which is sitting there waiting to be filled.
  We have North Korea exploding a nuclear device. We have a war going 
on in Afghanistan. We need to have a Secretary of Defense in place. So 
I hope there is not a delay. Following the vote today, I hope we do 
invoke cloture, because I think there has been more than adequate time. 
Surely, there has been time on the floor when we have had hour after 
hour go by with no one who seeks to be recognized to speak.
  I do hope that if the unanimous consent proposal is agreed to, there 
will be 60 votes today. But if not, then there will be no alternative 
but to have the vote when we come back. At that point, we would, of 
course, look forward to the support, at least on cloture, of the three 
Senators who have just spoken, our friends on the other side of the 
aisle.
  That is the best we can hope for. But that is my hope. I will not 
object because of that.
  Mr. McCAIN. Madam President, reserving the right to object. I will 
not object, I will just respond to my friend. He is my dear friend. I 
did not note that sense of urgency for 3 months when John Tower's 
nomination was held in limbo by the then-majority

[[Page S740]]

Democrats. The Secretary of Defense post was vacant at that time as 
well. So this is not the first time in history a Secretary of Defense 
position has been vacant.
  Again, I hope we can get this resolved, move forward. I think the 
Senator from Michigan, my friend, understands we can get this issue 
resolved on the day we return from the recess. Certainly, there are, I 
believe, sufficient votes to invoke cloture at that time.
  Mr. LEVIN. If the Senator from Arizona would yield for 1 minute, I do 
not believe Senator Tower was filibustered. There was a delay in 
getting to that vote. But I do not believe there was a requirement--I 
may be wrong on this. I do not believe there was a filibuster for the 
Secretary of Defense nominee at that time, and many Secretary of 
Defense nominees have been approved in a matter of days, just the way 
Senator Kerry was approved in a matter of days.
  So circumstances differ nominee to nominee. I again will not object, 
based on the statements which we have heard from my friends on the 
other side of the aisle.
  Mr. McCAIN. Madam President, I always enjoy some exchanges with my 
friend, the chairman. But the fact is, as the chairman knows, that was 
delayed and delayed and delayed. A new allegation came in, it was 
delayed. A new allegation came in, it was delayed. All those 
allegations turned out to be false. I will not rewrite history anymore, 
except to say it was one of the more shameful chapters, in my view, in 
the history of the Senate.
  Again, I thank him. I am confident that within 1 week or so we will 
probably have this vote completed. I do not object to the unanimous 
consent request.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. McCAIN. Madam President, how much time remains on either side?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There will be 30 minutes on either side.
  Mr. McCAIN. I yield myself 10 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. McCAIN. For all the years that I have known Senator Hagel, I have 
known him to be an honorable man and a patriot in this Chamber and 
elsewhere--overseas, in the field of battle. Senator Hagel has served 
this country faithfully and with distinction.
  We have our differences. Senator Hagel was and remains my friend. 
There was a time when Senator Hagel and I saw the world and America's 
role in it in much the same way.
  When the Balkans were torn apart with mass atrocities and genocide, 
Senator Hagel and I stood together with Senators Bob Dole and Joe 
Lieberman to lend bipartisan support to President Clinton in taking 
more forceful action to end the slaughter.
  In May 1999, Senator Hagel said on this very floor why the United 
States should intervene militarily in Kosovo:

       But we also understand there are things worth going to war 
     for, there are things worth dying for. . . . When people are 
     being slaughtered at a rather considerable rate, and genocide 
     is occurring, and ethnic cleansing is occurring, and people 
     are being driven from their homes.

  On and on.

       What do we do now? The geopolitical consequences, the 
     humanitarian consequences involved in this are great.

  He went on to say:

       History has surely taught us that when you defer the tough 
     decisions, when you let the butchers continue and the tyrants 
     and dictators continue, it gets worse. And it has gotten 
     worse with Milosevic. For 10 years we've dealt with him. Four 
     wars he's started.

  Et cetera.
  I agreed with his statement at the time, and I still do. I think it 
applies with greater or equal force to Syria today. I am not sure that 
Senator Hagel believes that anymore.
  When America was attacked on September 11, 2001, Senator Hagel and I 
urged a strong American response to vanquish the enemies who attacked 
us, beginning in Afghanistan. Two years later, President Bush decided 
the United States may have to use force against Saddam Hussein in Iraq, 
and then Senator Hagel and I voted to authorize the use of force in 
Iraq.
  Senator Hagel and I were often together in our criticism of the Bush 
administration's conduct of the war in Iraq. We both were disturbed by 
the apparent arrogance of then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and 
his abject failure to respond to the clear fact that we were losing the 
war in Iraq on the ground.
  In August 2003 I urged President Bush to send more troops. The 
Senator from South Carolina and I called for the resignation of the 
Secretary of Defense, and we wanted to change our strategy, to replace 
military and civilian leaders who were failing in their 
responsibilities. Senator Hagel, on the other hand, believed we should 
cut our losses and withdraw from Iraq.
  Since that time, Senator Hagel has taken policy positions that I 
believe call into question the quality of his professional judgment on 
issues critical to national defense. I am also concerned that Senator 
Hagel is ill-suited to lead the 2.5 million uniformed members of the 
Armed Services and to ensure the sound management of an agency that has 
an annual budget equal to the 17th largest economy in the world.
  Of all the responsibilities of government, none is more fundamental 
than providing for the Nation's defense. We must have the most 
qualified and able person for the position, and having carefully 
reviewed Senator Hagel's long public record, I find his nomination 
wanting.
  Senator Hagel's appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee 
failed to allay my concerns about his nomination. During the hearing he 
repeatedly refused to give an assessment of his previous statements on 
issues such as the troop surge in Iraq, the identification and 
engagement of terrorist organizations, and his past rhetoric about our 
allies. In response to these questions, he either assigned history the 
task of judging the merit of his past statements and positions or 
simply said:

       If I had an opportunity to edit that, like many things I've 
     said, I would--I would like to go back and change the words 
     and the meaning.

  History isn't likely to affirm Senator Hagel's declaration that the 
decision to increase forces in order to wage a counterinsurgency in 
Iraq, a decision that helped prevent our losing that war, he said was 
the most dangerous foreign policy blunder since Vietnam.
  It is quite obvious now that statement was histrionic, woefully 
uninformed, and absurd. But I didn't raise it at Senator Hagel's 
hearing for the satisfaction of an ``I told you so'' moment, but to 
determine if Senator Hagel recognizes he was in error and, more 
importantly, if that recognition informs his judgment today.
  I wanted to know if he had learned from his mistakes. Unfortunately, 
I am not confident that he has. After 2 weeks of reviewing his record, 
my concerns about whether Senator Hagel is ready to serve as Secretary 
of Defense have not diminished.
  Nothing in Senator Hagel's background indicates he would effectively 
manage the Department of Defense. In today's unprecedented environment 
of fiscal uncertainty, ensuring that defense investment decisions 
affecting an agency as massive and unwieldy as the Department of 
Defense do not adversely impact our military readiness is enormously 
challenging. It requires that the Secretary have, as Secretary Gates 
and Secretary Panetta had, a proven track record of successfully 
managing large and complex organizations. Senator Hagel has no 
experience.
  There are those of us who seek to cut waste, fraud, and abuse from 
the Department of Defense. Senator Hagel seeks something else 
entirely--to cut military capabilities that serve as tools to ensure 
our continued engagement throughout the world in support of America's 
interests and those of our allies.
  In the eyes of the President, at least, Senator Hagel, however, 
apparently is the right man to oversee the continuing drawdown of the 
Armed Services. Over the past 4 years, the administration has pursued a 
program of defense reductions that exceed those expected of a normal 
post-war drawdown, cuts that have begun to directly undermine U.S. 
global military power. Last week, Secretary Panetta said people would 
stand by and deliberately hurt this country in terms of our national 
defense by letting sequestration take place.

  My doubts about Senator Hagel's suitability extend beyond his 
prospective management of defense budgetary resources. The North 
Koreans recently tested another nuclear weapon. Iraq is

[[Page S741]]

unraveling. The Iranians just rejected Vice President Biden's proposal 
at the Munich Security Conference for one-on-one talks concerning 
nuclear weapons. Libya, Mali, Tunisia, and Egypt are in various states 
of unrest, for which we have no strategy. We are in the most unsettled 
period since the end of the Cold War, and I have serious concerns as to 
the quality of Senator Hagel's professional judgment and the acuity of 
his views on critical areas of national security, including security in 
East Asia and the Middle East.
  His record on Iraq was particularly troubling. As I alluded to a 
moment ago, in 2002 Senator Hagel voted to authorize the use of force 
against Iraq. By 2006, his support for the war had diminished.
  After Republican losses in the 2006 midterm elections, the Senator 
wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post under the title 
``Leaving Iraq, Honorably,'' foreshadowing his opposition to the surge 
and advocating ``a phased troop withdrawal from Iraq.'' When President 
Bush announced his decision to surge troops in 2007, Senator Hagel 
actively campaigned against it.
  He voted in February 2007 in favor of a bill expressing opposition to 
the surge and later in favor of measures to set a date certain for 
withdrawal of troops from Iraq, an equally bad policy. Senator Hagel 
wrote in his 2008 memoir, ``America: Our Next Chapter'' that ``history 
. . . will show'' that his legislative efforts to oppose the surge 
correctly framed the political matters at issue at the time.
  Carl Levin, on the other hand, said in 2009:

       In considering whether or not to surge troops in Iraq . . . 
     I think that history will show that President Bush reached 
     the right decision.

  Senator Hagel advocated the complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from 
Iraq by 2007 rather than negotiating an agreement for an enduring 
presence of U.S. forces. The President ultimately did exactly what 
Senator Hagel recommended, reportedly against the advice of military 
leaders. In response to written questions on this matter, Senator Hagel 
again stated that the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops in Iraq was 
the right call and asserted that Iraq is in a better place today 
because of it. That is another Orwellian statement.
  In fact, since the withdrawal of our forces in 2011, the fragile 
political accommodation made possible by the surge of 2007 has 
unraveled over the past year. Al-Qaida in Iraq is remobilizing. 
Iranian-backed Shiite militias are gaining strength. Meanwhile the 
country is on the brink of civil war as protests against the Maliki 
government draw thousands, Iranian aircraft are flying over Iraq with 
weapons for Syria, and there are many other examples. Nevertheless, 
Senator Hagel is equally quick to advocate full withdrawal from 
Afghanistan despite conditions on the ground or the advice of military 
commanders.
  Senator Hagel's views on Iran are also profoundly troubling. 
Consider, for instance, his recent set of incorrect and confused 
responses to basic questions about President Obama's Iran policy during 
his confirmation hearing last month, which one senior White House 
official rightfully described as ``somewhere between baffling and 
incomprehensible.''
  I am more deeply concerned by Senator Hagel's overall record on this 
issue.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
  Mr. McCAIN. Madam President, I ask for 2 additional minutes.
  Mr. INHOFE. Reserving the right to object, may I ask how much time 
remains on our side?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is 19 minutes remaining.
  Mr. INHOFE. I ask unanimous consent that the last two speakers on our 
side--the last would be me, the next to last would be Senator Graham--
be given 5 minutes for Senator Graham and 7 minutes for me.
  Mr. LEVIN. Reserving the right to object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection--reserving the right to 
object.
  Mr. LEVIN. How much time remains on our side?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is 30 minutes remaining on each side.
  Mr. LEVIN. I assume the 12 minutes the Senator referred to would be 
counted against their time?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is correct.
  Is there objection?
  Mr. LEVIN. No objection.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. McCAIN. Finally, Senator Hagel's opposition to the use of 
sanctions, his apparent confusion about administration policies and its 
implications, and his apparent incomprehension of the threat a nuclear-
armed Iran poses to international stability is alarming and would cause 
other nations to doubt the credibility of the President's commitments.
  Senator Hagel is an honorable man who has sacrificed much and bravely 
for our Nation. About his character and love of country, there can be 
no doubt or debate. However, his positions on the principal national 
security issues facing our country--the Iranian nuclear program, the 
resurgent Islamist terrorist threat in North Africa and the Middle 
East, and, more broadly, whether we should maintain our ability to 
project strength in defense of our interests and allies'--indicate to 
me a disqualifying lack of professional judgment. Also, Senator Hagel's 
complete lack of experience in running an enterprise of such size and 
complexity casts further doubt.
  Therefore, despite my esteem for Senator Hagel, on the basis of his 
record, I will not support his confirmation. I say this with regret, 
but he is the wrong person at the worst time for the job this day. We 
can and must do better.
  I thank my colleagues.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan.
  Mr. LEVIN. Madam President, I yield 5 minutes to the Senator from 
Florida.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Florida.
  Mr. NELSON. Madam President, I wish to ask my colleagues to support 
the Hagel nomination. Let me just hit a couple of highlights.
  He volunteered to go into the Army during Vietnam. He was assigned to 
Germany. He volunteered to go to Vietnam.
  His brother was assigned in one part of Vietnam, he in another. His 
brother Tom and he asked to be in the same unit. While on patrol in the 
jungles at night, his brother saved his life. On another patrol at 
night, he saved his brother's life. He was wounded twice. He was 
medevaced. He asked to go back into the fight.
  He has served as Deputy Administrator of the Department of Veterans' 
Affairs with a quarter of a million employees under his management. He 
represented the State of Nebraska in the Senate for 12 years. He 
coauthored the post-9/11 GI bill with Senator Webb. Out of uniform and 
away from Capitol Hill, he has lead the USO.
  This is exceptionally capable man, who is a patriot, has given 
extensive testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee. He has 
cleared up the issues that have been asked over and over, including one 
that was raised about his role in authoring the Global Zero 
report. First, the report didn't propose anything. It was, in the words 
specifically used in the front end of the report, ``illustrative,'' 
proposing nothing but laying out different scenarios and possibilities. 
There was nothing that was proposed in a recommendation that we 
unilaterally disarm, reduce the arsenal, or eliminate the triad. And 
that would especially be so since another of the coauthors was General 
Cartwright, the former commander of U.S. Strategic Command and the 
eighth Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

  This is a critical time for national defense. It is a critical time 
for our country. We need to get on and approve the nomination so he can 
get on with his duties as Secretary of Defense.
  Madam President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Carolina.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Madam President, I have 5 minutes. Would the Presiding 
Officer let me know when 4 minutes has elapsed.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Yes.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent to have printed 
in the Record an opinion piece by the editorial board for the 
Washington Post dated December 18, 2012.

[[Page S742]]

  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

               [From the Washington Post, Dec. 18, 2012]

       Chuck Hagel is Not the Right Choice for Defense Secretary

       Former Senator Chuck Hagel, whom President Obama is 
     reportedly considering for defense secretary, is a Republican 
     who would offer a veneer of bipartisanship to the national 
     security team. He would not, however, move it toward the 
     center, which is the usual role of such opposite-party 
     nominees. On the contrary: Mr. Hagel's stated positions on 
     critical issues, ranging from defense spending to Iran, fall 
     well to the left of those pursued by Mr. Obama during his 
     first term--and place him near the fringe of the Senate that 
     would be asked to confirm him.
       The current secretary, Leon Panetta, has said the defense 
     ``sequester'' cuts that Congress mandated to take effect Jan. 
     1 would have dire consequences for U.S. security. Mr. Hagel 
     took a very different position when asked about Mr. Panetta's 
     comment during a September 2011 interview with the Financial 
     Times. ``The Defense Department, I think in many ways, has 
     been bloated,'' he responded. ``So I think the Pentagon needs 
     to be pared down.''
       While both Republicans and Democrats accept that further 
     cuts in defense may be inevitable, few have suggested that a 
     reduction on the scale of the sequester is responsible. In 
     congressional testimony delivered around the same time as Mr. 
     Hagel's interview, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said 
     the sequester would lead to ``a severe and irreversible 
     impact on the Navy's future,'' ``a Marine Corps that's below 
     the end strength to support even one major contingency'' and 
     ``an unacceptable level of strategic and operational risk'' 
     for the Army.
       Mr. Hagel was similarly isolated in his views about Iran 
     during his time in the Senate. He repeatedly voted against 
     sanctions, opposing even those aimed at the Iranian 
     Revolutionary Guard Corps, which at the time was 
     orchestrating devastating bomb attacks against U.S. troops in 
     Iraq. Mr. Hagel argued that direct negotiations, rather than 
     sanctions, were the best means to alter Iran's behavior. The 
     Obama administration offered diplomacy but has turned to 
     tough sanctions as the only way to compel Iran to negotiate 
     seriously.
       Mr. Obama has said that his policy is to prevent Iran from 
     obtaining a nuclear weapon and that containment is not an 
     option. Mr. Hagel has taken a different view, writing in a 
     2008 book that ``the genie of nuclear weapons is already out 
     of the bottle, no matter what Iran does.'' The former senator 
     from Nebraska signed on to an op-ed in The Post this 
     September that endorsed ``keeping all options on the table'' 
     for stopping Iran's nuclear program. But Mr. Hagel has 
     elsewhere expressed strong skepticism about the use of force.
       We share that skepticism--but we also understand that, 
     during the next year or two, Mr. Obama may be forced to 
     contemplate military action if Iran refuses to negotiate or 
     halt its uranium-enrichment program. He will need a defense 
     secretary ready to support and effectively implement such a 
     decision. Perhaps Mr. Hagel would do so; perhaps he would 
     also, if installed at the Pentagon, take a different view of 
     defense spending. (Mr. Hagel declined through a spokesman to 
     speak to us about his views.)
       What's certain is that Mr. Obama has available other 
     possible nominees who are considerably closer to the 
     mainstream and to the president's first-term policies. Former 
     undersecretary of defense Michele Flournoy, for example, is a 
     seasoned policymaker who understands how to manage the 
     Pentagon bureaucracy and where responsible cuts can be made. 
     She would bring welcome diversity as the nation's first 
     female defense secretary.
       Mr. Hagel is an honorable man who served the country with 
     distinction as a soldier in Vietnam and who was respected by 
     his fellow senators. But Mr. Obama could make a better choice 
     for defense secretary.

  Mr. GRAHAM. This is an editorial about the nomination of Senator 
Hagel to be Secretary of Defense. The Washington Post said:

       Mr. Hagel's stated positions of critical issues ranging 
     from defense spending to Iran fall well to the left of those 
     proposed by Mr. Obama during his first term and place him 
     near the fringe of the Senate that would be asked to confirm 
     him.

  The last line is:

       Mr. Hagel is an honorable man who served the country with 
     distinction as a soldier in Vietnam and who was respected by 
     his fellow Senators, but Mr. Obama can make a better choice 
     for defense secretary.

  That sort of sums up where I am: a fine man. If it were about 
friendship, there wouldn't be a problem. This is about the times in 
which we live. And I want to echo the statements of the Washington Post 
about him being out of the mainstream.
  We have had two hearings, and we will have a couple of votes in the 
next week or so. I would say to my colleagues regarding the cloture 
vote today, they have every right to say now is not the time to end the 
debate about Senator Hagel. He was reported out of the committee at 5 
o'clock Tuesday. There are some legitimate questions and information we 
haven't gathered, and we should be able to have an opportunity to look 
at that, and people not already committed should have a chance to 
review this information. So the idea of waiting until after the break 
makes eminent sense. I think we will be better informed regarding our 
decision. Debate should continue for at least that period of time.
  Senator Kerry was able to get out of committee and to be voted on the 
same day because all of us felt comfortable with John Kerry, even 
though we may have disagreed with his politics. I believe John Kerry is 
a good man. We are on opposite sides of the issues sometimes when it 
comes to Iraq and initially Syria, but I have always thought he was in 
the mainstream of the debate. So he got 97 votes because we felt 
comfortable with him. You can tell people on our side, and some others, 
quite frankly, in the Democratic Party have expressed some discomfort.
  I would argue that after the hearing there is more discomfort than 
there was before the hearing. Senator Inhofe and Senator Levin, we had 
a very good hearing, but to me it was unnerving, some of the things 
that came out of that hearing. The performance created more questions 
and doubts than it created confidence.
  That is the question the Washington Post posed. It is one thing to be 
in the left lane, the right lane, or the center lane, but I would say 
Senator Hagel's statements and votes put him in a league of his own. 
And that is why I will vote no.
  When it comes to Israel and his statement that ``The Jewish lobby 
intimidates a lot of people up here. I'm not an Israeli Senator, I'm a 
United States Senator,'' Senator Hagel, to his credit, said that was 
inappropriate and he apologized. But think for a minute how many of my 
colleagues would have said that. I asked him to name one Senator who 
has been intimidated, and he couldn't name one. I asked him to name one 
policy we have enacted because of the Jewish Israeli lobby, and he 
couldn't name a policy.
  Now we find out today--and I don't know if this has been verified, 
but it is posted--that an aide of his reported that during a speech 
Senator Hagel gave several years ago he said the U.S. Department of 
State was an extension of the Israeli Government. Now this is showing a 
chip on one shoulder about Israel--an unhealthy statement, to say the 
least, and I think patently false. But it is unnerving to a guy like 
me, and I can only imagine what kind of signal a statement such as that 
sends in these dangerous times.
  On Iran he was one of two Senators to vote against renewing 
unilateral U.S. sanctions against Iran and Libya in 2001. He was one of 
twelve Senators who did not sign a letter asking the European Union to 
declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization. He refused to designate the 
Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization in 2007----
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has 1 minute remaining.
  Mr. GRAHAM. I thank the Presiding Officer. While they were killing 
our soldiers in Iraq. He refused to sign a letter to President George 
W. Bush, he said, to engage in direct unconditional comprehensive talks 
with the Government of Iran. He was for that, telling Bush to do it 
unconditionally. He voted against comprehensive Iranian sanctions.
  He was one of two Senators who failed to sign a letter to President 
Clinton showing unconditional support for the State of Israel.
  I would argue that this man's record, when it comes to Iran and 
Israel, and statements he has made, puts him well out of the 
mainstream. The Washington Post was right when they said he is on the 
fringe. And now is not the time to have somebody on the fringe serving 
as Secretary of Defense when it comes to Iran and Israel. For that 
reason, I will vote no. I will oppose cloture because debate should 
continue. When we get back, unless there is a real bombshell, I will 
vote for cloture and move on to his nomination.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan.
  Mr. LEVIN. Madam President, I yield 5 minutes to the Senator from 
West Virginia.

[[Page S743]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from West Virginia.
  Mr. MANCHIN. Madam President, I am proud to support Chuck Hagel for 
Secretary of Defense. If Chuck can make it through the jungles of 
Vietnam, he can surely make it through the bureaucracy of the Pentagon.
  America needs Chuck as its Secretary of Defense to bring our troops 
home and to keep our military the strongest in the world. Sergeant 
Hagel is an American hero. When so many Americans were dodging the 
draft, he volunteered to serve in Vietnam. The draft board gave him the 
option to return to college, but Chuck refused. He said:

       I think the best thing for me is to go in the Army. It may 
     not be the best thing for the Army, but I think that's the 
     way to get all this straightened out. I was the oldest of 
     four boys. My father [had] passed away, and I just was not 
     coming together the way I should come together. There was a 
     war going on in Vietnam. I felt a sense of some 
     responsibility. So I said, ``No. Let's--let's go. And so I 
     volunteered for the draft, went in the Army and celebrated my 
     21st birthday down at White Sands Missile Range.''

  And Chuck didn't serve in a safe billet. When assigned to Germany, he 
protested and asked to deploy to Vietnam. So he volunteered for Vietnam 
and saw the horrors of war as an infantry sergeant.
  Chuck and his younger brother Tom are the only known American 
brothers to serve side by side in Vietnam. At different times, they 
risked their own lives to save each other's. At one point, Tom 
frantically dressed a wound around Chuck's chest hoping, praying, that 
his older brother would make it out of Vietnam alive. And Chuck 
eventually returned the favor by dragging Tom out of a burning vehicle 
just before it exploded, saving his brother's life. Talk about brothers 
in arms, these were real brothers in arms.

  These experiences made Chuck who he is, and they help you and me 
understand why he is the right man to run the Pentagon and to be put in 
charge of defending America. Just listen to how Chuck describes what it 
was like to serve in Vietnam. He says:

       I walked a lot of point, and my brother Tom and I together 
     walked a lot of point, which was all right. You know what 
     happens to a lot of point men, but I always felt a little 
     better if I was up front than somebody else.

  Chuck is willing to walk point for America now. He has been walking 
point for most of his life. This is how Chuck describes a point man:

       A point man, as I think most people know, is the individual 
     who is out front. And these are usually squad-sized patrols, 
     sometimes a company-sized patrol, depending on the mission. 
     And you have the front--physically the front position, but 
     also the responsibility of essentially not walking your squad 
     or your company into an ambush or a trap. So you had to be 
     very, very focused on the peripheral vision and the antenna 
     and just the sense and the instincts that something doesn't 
     look right or grenades hanging in trees, which booby traps 
     were just a way of life. You dealt with that all the time. 
     And there were a lot of guys who just didn't pay attention to 
     it. They just--that's just the way they were. And I, again, 
     always felt better if I was up front than maybe some others.

  Let me repeat that: Chuck Hagel always felt better if he was up 
front, where it was most dangerous. We live in dangerous times today 
and we need a man such as Chuck Hagel right now who has seen the 
horrors of war and will do all he can to prevent another generation 
from seeing them.
  In my interactions with Chuck, I have been struck by his honesty, his 
sincerity, and his commonsense approach. I know if he were still a 
sitting U.S. Senator, we would probably be great friends. That is 
because we come from similar backgrounds and the same generation. He is 
like many Americans. He grew up in a working class, ``salt of the 
earth'' family. In Chuck's words, he was raised in Little Town, NE, 
where the local legion club and the VFW hall were the centers of the 
universe.
  I could go on and on about Chuck Hagel, but let me say this in 
closing. When I think about people and I go to my little town in my 
community where I grew up--in Farmington, WV--and I know Chuck grew up 
in a small town--I can shake people's hands and look them in the eye 
and they see me to my soul. They know if I am sincere or I am telling 
the truth. And I want to say to all of you that I have shaken Chuck 
Hagel's hand. I have looked him in his eyes and I saw the soul of a 
good man, a man I want leading this country and taking care of our 
youth, our infantry, our men and women in uniform. So I implore all of 
my colleagues to consider voting for Chuck Hagel.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. REED. Madam President, parliamentary inquiry: How much time 
remains on each side?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Democrats have 22 minutes and the 
Republicans have 12 minutes.
  Mr. REED. Madam President, I yield myself 5 minutes.
  As so many of my colleagues have described, Chuck Hagel is a soldier, 
a statesman, a businessman, a patriot. As my colleague from West 
Virginia pointed out, he could have chosen a much easier path in the 
1960s, a path that many trod, but he chose the most difficult. He not 
only joined the Army, but he volunteered for Vietnam, when he had the 
opportunity to serve honorably and well in Europe. He joined his 
brother at Fort Dix. He knows the pressures our men and women face. And 
he knows the decisions we make here, and the decisions that are made in 
the Pentagon, ultimately are carried out by those young men and women 
in uniform. In fact, I can't think of anyone over the last several 
decades who has learned that lesson so well.
  The other thing that is so impressive is that this is not a one-
dimensional resume. Chuck Hagel was a businessman, and very successful. 
He founded his own company, created jobs, and created opportunities. He 
was the Deputy Administrator of the Veterans' Administration. He has 
run a large Federal agency. Very seldom do people come into one of 
these positions having run a Federal agency, or at least being the 
second in command. And he has been a U.S. Senator. So he knows very 
well the procedures and the personalities that are here in the U.S. 
Congress.
  To me, though, some of the most compelling endorsements come from 
those who have actually done the job before. When Bob Gates and Bill 
Cohen and Bill Perry stand up and say, this is the person for the job, 
you have to believe that. These gentlemen have done the job for 
Republican Presidents and Democratic Presidents, and they have done it 
with great distinction.
  Then when you get somebody such as Brent Scowcroft, who is, in my 
view, one of the most knowledgeable and authoritative voices in 
national security, and was the National Security Adviser to President 
George Herbert Walker Bush--who also weighed in, along with Madeleine 
Albright--you have compelling, irrefutable evidence and testimony from 
those who have done the job that Chuck Hagel can do the job.
  There has been a lot said and discussed as to whether he truly 
appreciates the relationship between the United States and some of our 
closest allies, particularly Israel. Here we have the current Deputy 
Foreign Minister of Israel Danny Ayalon, who also serves as our 
Ambassador from Israel to the United States, saying that he has met 
him, he feels, in his view--and I will paraphrase--he has a true 
understanding of the natural partnership between the United States and 
Israel. Again, that is compelling evidence.
  If you add to that the unconditional endorsement of several former 
U.S. Ambassadors to Israel, American patriots who have dedicated 
themselves to maintaining a strong, vital, vibrant, and crucial 
relationship for both the State of Israel and the United States, the 
evidence accumulates more and more that the President has chosen well 
and wisely.
  This is a critical time. We are looking at conflicts in Afghanistan, 
we are looking at a nuclear detonation on the Korean peninsula, we are 
looking at budget problems that have never faced any previous Secretary 
of Defense and that have to be addressed within days or weeks. There is 
a ministerial meeting next week in Brussels for our defense ministers. 
We have to maintain our alliances. All these forces come together.
  So I think the evidence is overwhelming. The President has chosen 
well and wisely.
  But let me make one final point. This is a historic vote. By my 
recollection, no nominee for the Secretary of Defense has been 
defeated, delayed, or dismissed on a procedural vote.
  Our history suggests, because of this office, because it is one so 
closely associated with the President making life-

[[Page S744]]

and-death decisions, that deference is given to that choice--at least 
that it is not caught up in a procedural battle, that there is an up-
or-down vote. My colleagues, in good faith, after careful study, can 
vote yea or nay, but to defeat someone on a procedural vote would be 
unprecedented and unwarranted. As a result, I would urge that this 
procedural motion before us be carried, cloture be dispensed with, and 
we can get on to expressing our true feelings based on the evidence and 
based on our best judgment of whether Senator Hagel should serve as 
Secretary of Defense.
  Madam President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, my colleague, Senator Cruz, is ill and 
unable to speak on this nomination. He has, however, expressed his 
concerns to me in the form of a letter. I appreciate his contributions 
to this debate throughout the committee process.
  I ask unanimous consent the letter be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record as follows:

                                                  U.S. Senate,

                                                February 14, 2013.
     Senator James Inhofe,
     Russell Senate Office Building,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Senator Inhofe: I continue to have considerable 
     concerns with the unnecessary rush to force through a vote on 
     Chuck Hagel's nomination before he has adequately responded 
     to multiple requests from members of the Armed Services 
     Committee for additional information.
       Our requests directly relate to matters he would have 
     significant influence over as our nation's Secretary of 
     Defense and are based on his alarming record on foreign 
     policy matters. For instance, Sen. Hagel has repeatedly 
     declined to support measures to crack down on state sponsors 
     of terrorism, belittled the notion of using any means to 
     prevent a nuclear Iran, advised U.S. leaders to engage in 
     direct negotiations with rogue nations and hostile terrorist 
     groups, and expressed remarkable antagonism towards the 
     longstanding U.S. alliance with Israel. Moreover, these are 
     all positions he's disavowed since his nomination.
       These deeply concerning positions rightfully raise the 
     question of what conflicts of interest could exist as a 
     result of financial compensation he has received in the 
     recent past. Under the Senate's responsibility to advise and 
     consent on nominations, it is completely appropriate to make 
     these requests for disclosure--requests that are absolutely 
     relevant to the role of our nation's Secretary of Defense. 
     Several senators, who currently oppose such requests for 
     information, contradict their own past statements that affirm 
     the importance of disclosures related to executive branch 
     nominations.
       In a February 6 letter, 25 senators, including every 
     Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee and both 
     the Minority Leader and the Whip, agreed that neither the 
     Committee nor the full Senate has sufficient information to 
     assess Sen. Hagel's nomination.
       In order to have sufficient information, we have submitted 
     several requests. This includes requests for disclosure on 
     the personal compensation that he has received in the last 
     five years--information which is entirely within his own 
     control; requests for additional disclosure on foreign funds 
     that he may have received indirectly, and whether any such 
     foreign funds raise conflicts of interest; requests for a 
     complete list of his prior public speeches, notably multiple 
     speeches on controversial topics have been made public by the 
     press, despite those speeches having been omitted from his 
     own disclosures; and a critical request from the 
     Administration regarding additional information about the 
     precise actions taken on September 11, 2012, during and 
     immediately following the tragic murder of four Americans in 
     Benghazi.
       I believe that to date, responses to these requests are 
     insufficient. Very few positions have as great an impact on 
     national security as does the Secretary of Defense and it is 
     our responsibility to ensure that those nominated to serve in 
     this critical position are held to the highest standards.
       I am prepared to move forward on Senator Hagel's nomination 
     in a timely manner, but I do not believe the Senate should 
     vote on that nomination unless and until he provides adequate 
     disclosure in response to these requests.
           Sincerely,
                                                         Ted Cruz.

  Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, let me start off by saying that I agree 
with almost everything they have said on both sides about Chuck Hagel. 
I agree that he was a hero. I think of my own Army career and I think 
of his and how much greater his was. That isn't the issue.
  I think both Senator Graham and Senator McCain said it very well. 
Yes, his character is wonderful. We love the guy. He served his 
country. All of those things are true. The problem is the stances he 
has taken regarding Israel and countries like Iran. Israel has 
historically been a very, very close ally of ours and, I have often 
said, our only true ally in the Middle East we can count on. But we 
need to take a close look at Senator Hagel and how he would act, 
judging from his past performance, as the Secretary of Defense.
  The vote that is coming up at 4:15 is the vote for or against Senator 
Hagel. All of this talk about a procedural vote and filibustering: no. 
This is the vote to determine whether Chuck Hagel should be the next 
Secretary of Defense.
  This statement about filibustering has been made over and over again. 
They say this the first time this has ever happened. Look, we have 
people nominated all the time for Cabinet positions who are subjected 
to a 60-vote threshold. I will describe some of them right now, 
starting on the Republican's side:
  Kathleen Sebelius is now the Secretary of Health and Human Services. 
In 2009 there were a lot of people who didn't think she would be good, 
and so they objected to force a 60-vote threshold. That is what 
happened.
  John Bryson was up for Secretary of Commerce. I didn't think he would 
make a very good Secretary of Commerce. I opposed him, and he was 
subjected to the 60-vote margin.
  Here is the interesting thing. Today we have Barack Obama, who is a 
Democratic President of the United States, and then we have Harry Reid, 
who is the majority leader, so the Democrats are in control. During the 
last Bush administration, we had exactly the reverse. George Bush was 
President of the United States and a Republican, and the Democrats were 
in the minority--the same situation.
  So what happened? First of all, we had John Vogel come up. It was the 
same thing--subjected to a 60-vote margin. We had Senator Dirk 
Kempthorne. There were a lot of people who did not approve of him. He 
was nominated by President Bush, a Republican, and the Democrats didn't 
like him. They subjected him to a 60-vote margin. That wasn't a 
filibuster then. This isn't a filibuster today.
  People are trying to blame me as the bad guy who is causing a 
filibuster. That is not the case at all, any more than it was the case 
back in 2005, 2006, and other times when we had a nominee who was put 
forth by President Bush who was objected to by the Democrats.
  When Dirk Kempthorne was nominated to be the Secretary of Interior, 
there was a lot of opposition to him by the Democrats. Of course they 
said: We have to subject him to a 60-vote threshold. The Secretary of 
the Interior is a Cabinet position, but they seem to be drawing a 
distinction, for some reason, between the Secretary of Defense and any 
other Cabinet positions. As Cabinet positions, they are the same. And 
the process of requiring a 60-vote threshold happens over and over 
again.
  Senator Rob Portman--the same thing happened to him when he was 
appointed by President Bush to be the U.S. Trade Representative. The 
cloture motion was vitiated later on, but it was objected to first so 
that he would have been subjected to a 60-vote threshold.
  One that is kind of interesting is Stephen Johnson. President Bush 
appointed him to be the EPA Administrator. Actually, he was a guy whom 
I thought a lot of, and he was a Democrat. So we have here President 
Bush, a Republican, appointing a Democrat who was objected to by the 
Democrats. Now we have President Obama, a Democrat, nominating a 
Republican who is objected to by the Republicans. It is exactly the 
reverse. There is no difference at all.
  I am the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee. I will stand 
up and walk through fire to make sure every member of the committee has 
all their questions answered. That is what advice and consent is all 
about. We want to look at the individual. In the case of our committee, 
we want to make sure every member of the Committee has a chance to look 
at the process and make sure everything is out there.
  This is kind of a funny thing. The distinguished junior Senator from 
Texas, Mr. Cruz, lost his voice. For a Senator to lose his voice--what 
worse

[[Page S745]]

can happen than that? So he is not able to speak, but if he could, I 
believe he would say: It is not so much my concern, the issues that 
have been articulated by Senator McCain and by Senator Graham. My 
concern is about the process.
  Madam President, I give myself 3 additional minutes.
  The fact is this new member of the committee, a new Member of the 
Senate, knew he was entitled to have all his questions answered. He has 
tried now for weeks. He was stonewalled. He can't get them. So this is 
about the process. Senator Cruz is not making any accusations. He says: 
I just want the information I have asked for.
  I have the utmost respect for Carl Levin. He and I, despite what the 
media wishes, get along great. I love the guy. We disagree now and then 
on policy, but I really like him.

  The other day, Carl Levin said:

       Every member, every member should add his or her voice to 
     the demand for the production of relevant documents which 
     Senators need to decide on confirmation or for any other 
     legitimate reason.

  I agree wholeheartedly with that, and that is exactly what these 
individuals are asking for. They are asking for that information.
  Senator Cruz is very articulate. I regret that he lost his voice 
today.
  In the past, every time the minority has objected and has wanted as a 
matter of procedure, to have a 60-vote margin, that is what has 
happened. It has happened with a consent agreement. I asked for that, 
and I think we have that now, but we had to force it.
  This is not a filibuster. It is the same thing that was required and 
requested by Harry Reid, back when he was the minority leader, against 
John Bolton, against Stephen Johnson, against Robert Portman, and 
against Dirk Kempthorne. This is a normal way of operating.
  A lot of us still don't have the information we want, but I am 
willing and they are willing. I have checked with the people who have 
not gotten all the information they want. They said: Let's go ahead and 
have the vote. So, in a way, are they caving in? In fact, they are just 
doing all they can to be conciliatory. I think we are doing everything 
we can. We are not filibustering, and we don't want to string this out.
  I repeat one last time that this vote is the vote on Chuck Hagel. It 
is not on procedure or anything else. It is a vote on Chuck Hagel.
  Madam President, I retain the remainder of my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan.
  Mr. LEVIN. Madam President, how much time does the majority have?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is 17 minutes remaining for the majority 
and 3 minutes for the minority.
  Mr. LEVIN. Madam President, I yield 5 minutes to the Senator from 
Illinois.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Illinois.
  Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, this is rare. Twice in the history of 
the Senate have we had a filibuster involving a nominee for a Cabinet 
position--twice.
  But especially disappointing about this is that it was just a few 
weeks ago that we came together on a bipartisan basis and we said: We 
are not going to do this anymore. We are going to try to work together. 
We are going to try to avoid these filibusters. And here we have, 
sadly, a historic filibuster over an appointment of a former Senator--
Chuck Hagel, a Republican of Nebraska--as Secretary of Defense.
  I know there is controversy associated with his nomination, but I 
also know Chuck Hagel. I served on the Senate Intelligence Committee 
with him. We served together in the Senate. There is no question in my 
mind that the President made a good choice.
  I will also tell you that you need to know a little bit about the man 
to understand why it is a historic choice. Chuck Hagel volunteered and 
enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam era. That was not a casual 
decision. That was a time when enlisting in the Army meant you might 
risk your life. He lucked out; he got stationed in a theater that 
wasn't at war. But what does he do next? He volunteered to go to 
Vietnam. He volunteered as an enlisted man to go to Vietnam. And he 
went there--with his brother, incidentally, the two of them--to serve 
in the U.S. Army. He was involved directly in combat, was given the 
Purple Heart for his service, and he told me personally about days he 
will never forget as long as he lives. So does Chuck Hagel know what it 
takes to be a soldier? Does he know what it takes to lead the 
Department of Defense? He certainly does.
  I served on the Senate Intelligence Committee with him. I know his 
feelings on the issues. And when I listen to how some of his positions 
have been distorted, I find it hard to believe.
  Chuck Hagel was a conservative Republican Senator and an honest man 
of integrity. And some of the things that have been said about him, 
some of the charges that have been made in the course of the Armed 
Services Committee were just embarrassing, to think that colleagues in 
the Senate would say that about a man they knew and served with 
personally, or they should have known better than to say. That is why 
we are here today.
  The sad reality is that I have listened to many Republican Senators 
who are not going to vote for Chuck Hagel come up here and talk about 
how important it is to fill this position. The North Koreans detonated 
nuclear devices this week and raised concerns all over that part of the 
world and beyond. We know what is going on in the Middle East, in Syria 
and other places. We still have 68,000-plus American soldiers who are 
literally risking their lives--while we meet in the comfort and 
security of the Senate Chamber--in Afghanistan. They are risking their 
lives, and we are saying: Well, we would sure like to appoint a 
Secretary of Defense, but we have to make a political point here today. 
We have to vote against him today and put it off for 10 days, and then 
we may reconsider it again. God forbid something awful occurs in the 
next 10 days. I hope it doesn't.
  There are still good people at the Pentagon, and I am sure they will 
do a good job, but we should have that Secretary of Defense--one of the 
most critical appointments in the President's Cabinet--filled. This 
notion that we have to make a political stand here and stop Chuck Hagel 
today to make some political point really troubles me.
  Some of the requests for information about Chuck Hagel go beyond any 
of the standards of disclosure we have ever seen before. This isn't 
fair. It isn't fair to Chuck Hagel. It isn't fair to the President. It 
certainly isn't fair to the men and women in uniform all across the 
United States and around the world who are risking their lives for this 
country.
  Those who come to the floor and say that in 10 days, he will be fine, 
for goodness' sake, swallow your pride. Let's make sure we vote for him 
today. Let's fill this spot. Let's not have this sad historic 
filibuster on this appointment to the President's Cabinet.
  I really hope my colleagues will reflect on what Chuck Hagel has 
meant in his life, his service to the country, his service to the State 
of Nebraska, and his service to this Nation as a Senator. He is a good 
man, and he will do a good job in the Department of Defense. I trust 
the President's judgment.

  For anyone who thinks they are making a political point in order to 
kind of show the President that we can still filibuster, I remind them 
it was just a few weeks ago that we stood on the floor of the Senate 
and said we were going to be more thoughtful about the use of the 
filibuster in the future; we were going to be more careful that we 
don't politicize it. Unfortunately, what is happening today is a 
serious disappointment.
  I yield the floor.
  Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, may I ask the Senator, through the Chair, 
a question?
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I would be happy to yield time to the 
Senator from California. How much time does the Senator wish?
  Mrs. BOXER. Whatever my friend wishes.
  Mr. LEVIN. I will yield 2 minutes to the Senator.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from California.
  Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I am glad we are voting today on the 
President's choice for Secretary of Defense, our former colleague, 
Chuck Hagel. I stand here as a Senator who has had a number of 
questions as well about some of the things he said in the past, some of 
the votes he has cast, and some of his philosophy. And what I did, as 
soon as I learned he was the President's pick, was to ask those 
questions.

[[Page S746]]

Remember the President is the Commander in Chief. This is a critical 
appointment. It has to be someone he has faith in, puts his trust in, 
and he picked someone. He picked a brave hero who served in Vietnam.
  So I wrote all my questions down, and believe me, they covered some 
tough ground on women's rights, gay rights, Iran, and Israel. There 
were a number of questions. I asked if it would be all right if when 
the answers came we could put them online so people could see the 
answers. The answer that came back was absolutely yes. The answers to 
my questions were very clear and very strong.
  Senator Hagel has evolved on certain issues. He admitted to a mistake 
on a couple. That is the hardest thing for any politician to admit. 
There are four words politicians hate to say, ``I made a mistake.'' He 
admitted to that on a couple of issues.
  I just think the way he is being treated is so sad. It is so sad. 
When I watch some of the questioning from my colleagues--not all of 
them, a couple of them, and I am not referring to my dear friend, 
Senator Inhofe--it was reminiscent of a different time and place when 
someone would say: I have here in my pocket a speech that you made on 
such-and-such a date--and, of course, nothing was in the pocket. It was 
reminiscent of some bad times.
  I am so glad we are voting today. I know it is going to be a close 
vote. I don't know what the outcome will be. I do believe eventually 
this good man will be the Secretary of Defense. I believe that in my 
heart. If anyone is still undecided on this vote, let's understand that 
never in history have we had a 60-vote requirement--to my knowledge--
for a nominee for Secretary of Defense. If I am wrong, I hope to be 
corrected. There is a reason for it.
  Lord knows I was one of the key voices of dissent on the Iraq war, 
and I was not happy about a lot of the people who were put into place 
by George W. Bush. Believe me, I didn't want to see them continue in 
those positions. I think they led us astray in Iraq, and it led to so 
many thousands of deaths. However, I never dreamed of requiring a 60-
vote majority. In my view, this is not a good day for the Senate.
  I know my friend, Senator Inhofe, is very sincere. I am on the 
Foreign Relations Committee; I am a senior member of that committee. We 
have listened to the State Department on Benghazi. We have had 
briefings and hearings and answers came in. We had secret briefings 
that were highly classified. We had open hearings--I would ask for 30 
seconds.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mrs. BOXER. I have to say, what more are you trying to get out of 
this? Benghazi was a crisis. It was a disaster. It was terrible. There 
should have been more security there, but don't blame the brave 
Americans for it. Blame the terrorists who did this.
  As the facts became available, those facts came right out. Why are we 
trying to stop this good man because of something he had nothing to do 
with?
  In closing, I hope if you are on the fence, you will vote today for 
Chuck Hagel, and a ``yes'' vote on cloture.
  Mr. INHOFE. Parliamentary inquiry.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. INHOFE. Parliamentary inquiry before the clock starts: I 
understand we have 3 minutes left on our side. How many minutes are 
left on the majority side?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority has 7 minutes 15 seconds.
  Mr. INHOFE. I don't see anyone seeking recognition, so I will go 
ahead and take the last 3 minutes.
  First of all, it is very interesting that all of those on the other 
side who are supporting Senator Hagel to be the next Secretary of 
Defense, not one of them has said anything at all about the issues. 
They all talk about the things with which we agree. He was a hero; we 
said it. Senator McCain said it and Senator Graham said it. We all 
agree he was a hero in the war, and he is deserving of this type of 
thing.
  Why is it that no one has mentioned that Senator Hagel is one of only 
two Senators who voted against sanctions against Iran? Why is it they 
don't mention that he was one of only four--in fact, all of them in the 
Majority signed a letter for solidarity with Israel. Senator Hagel was 
one of four Senators who didn't sign that letter of solidarity for 
Israel. The same thing with declaring the Iranian Revolutionary Guard 
as a terrorist group. He was one of only four Senators who did that.
  I would only say this is not a filibuster. Everybody knows it is not 
a filibuster. I hope the media is listening: This is not a filibuster. 
This is the same process that was required by the Democrats in the case 
of John Bolton, in the case of Steve Johnson, in the case of Rob 
Portman, and in the case of Dirk Kempthorne. It is a prerogative of the 
Senate. It is not a filibuster. We merely want a 60-vote margin. We 
received it in all of those cases.

  I commented earlier that when we had a Republican in the White House 
and a Democratic majority in the Senate they made that same 
requirement. I was here in the Senate for all four of them. I never 
objected to requiring a 60-vote threshold.
  Then, of course, we had a 60-vote threshold for the nomination of 
Kathleen Sebelius, who is serving now in a Cabinet position. The same 
thing. This is a Cabinet position. We had the Secretary of Commerce, 
John Bryson. I objected to him. He passed the 60-vote margin. The only 
issue is the 60-vote margin, and that is what we are talking about. It 
is not a filibuster.
  The last thing I will do is read--since our last speaker is my very 
good friend and chairman of the committee--what he said the other day. 
I wholeheartedly agreed with him when he said every Member should add 
his or her voice to the demand for the production of relevant documents 
which Senators need to decide on confirmation. I agree with that. What 
we object to is the process where we have Members who have made 
requests for information that is relevant to this appointment, and they 
have been unable to receive that information. So it is a process.
  As the ranking minority on the Senate Armed Services Committee, I 
will stand up for the rights of every single minority member of that 
committee. Senator Levin would do the same thing and stand up for the 
rights of every majority member of that committee in this process.
  I thank the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Coons). The Senator from Michigan.
  Mr. LEVIN. I yield myself the remainder of the time.
  First of all, the questions which have been asked of us to provide 
materials of the nominee have fallen into three categories: The first 
one is to the White House about Benghazi, and those questions have been 
answered. There have been requests for Senator Hagel's speeches, and 
those speeches have been provided. Relative to financial disclosure, 
additional financial disclosure, disclosure which is required by the 
rules, that has been provided.
  The statement that was made by one of our colleagues about Corsair 
Capital is a statement which, frankly, is out of bounds. It is 
inappropriate for anyone to be asked about that when he is an adviser 
to a perfectly legitimate equity fund and has perfectly legitimate 
members on the board. There is no evidence--and the person making the 
innuendo acknowledged that there is no evidence--that the funding came 
from Saudi Arabia, Iran, or any other inappropriate place.
  So as for the information that has been provided, it is probably more 
information than probably any nominee--at least in recent memory--has 
had to provide. We have done everything we possibly can.
  Now in terms of the qualifications for Senator Hagel, this comes from 
former Secretaries of State, National Security Advisers, National 
Secretaries of Defense, including Secretary of State Albright, National 
Security Adviser Berger, Secretary of Defense Brown, National Security 
Adviser Brezezinski, Secretary of Defense Cohen, Secretary of Defense 
Gates, National Security Adviser Jones, Secretary of Defense Laird, 
National Security Adviser McFarlane, Secretary of Defense Perry, 
Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Powell, Secretary of 
State Schultz, and National Security Adviser Scowcroft.
  This is what they said, and this is the validation: We, obviously, 
know Senator Hagel. We trust Senator Hagel. We believe in his 
qualifications.
  These people are Democrats and Republicans who are outside of this 
body, and here is what they say: From his

[[Page S747]]

time as the Deputy Veterans' Administrator managing a quarter of a 
million employees, to during the Reagan Presidency, to turning around 
the financially troubled World USO, to shepherding the post-9/11 GI 
bill into law as a United States Senator, and most recently through his 
service on the Defense Policy Board at the Pentagon and as cochairman 
of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board, Chuck Hagel is uniquely 
qualified to meet the challenges facing the Department of Defense.
  I have already put into the Record many of the statements that have 
been written by veterans organizations in support of Senator Hagel.
  Senator Inhofe said when no one talks about his position on Iran, 
well, yes, we do. Here is what he says:

       Iran poses a significant threat to the United States, our 
     allies and partners, and our interests in the region and 
     globally. Iran continues to pursue an illicit nuclear program 
     that threatens to provoke a regional arms race and undermine 
     the global non-proliferation regime.

  He is fully committed to the President's goal of preventing Iran from 
obtaining a nuclear weapon. All options must be on the table to achieve 
that goal. And relative to Israel, he has said he is a strong supporter 
of Israel. Even more importantly, the Deputy Minister of Israel said he 
is a good friend of Israel, and, indeed, in the words of Danny Ayalone, 
said he believes--and I am now talking about Senator Hagel--Hagel 
believes in the natural partnership between Israel and the United 
States and is proud of the volume of defense relations between Israel 
and the United States which are so important to both countries.
  Now the only question that remains is what we are voting on. What we 
are voting on is to end the filibuster. My good friend from Oklahoma 
says it is not a filibuster, but the definition of ``filibuster,'' 
under our rules, is you are going to continue to talk unless there are 
60 votes to end debate. That is what we are voting on. It is called 
cloture.
  If we get cloture today, then there will be another vote on the 
nomination of Senator Hagel. The proof of that is that we have three 
Republican Senators who stood up today and said that while they are 
going to vote against cloture today, they are going to vote for cloture 
a week from this Tuesday. That is a procedural vote if I ever heard it. 
They are still going to vote against his nomination, but they have 
decided that they will vote for cloture a week from Tuesday. That is 
the difference between the vote to end debate and the vote on the 
nomination itself. What we are deciding here today is whether a 
filibuster will continue. That is not just me talking; that is the 
rules speaking. That is what the rules provide for, that we need 60 
votes to end debate.

  Has there ever been a requirement before by opponents of a nominee 
that there be 60 votes to end debate? Has this ever happened in 
history? Not for a nominee for the Defense Department, no; Secretary of 
Defense, no. For other Cabinet officers, there have been in the past 
requirements set by opponents that to stop talking we are going to have 
to get 60 votes. But that only means what the rules say it means, which 
is that under the rules of this body, conversation or debate does not 
end if the opponents insist on it until there are 60 votes. That is the 
definition of a filibuster and that is what I hope we could bring to an 
end today. If we don't bring it to an end today, then there will be 
another vote a week from Tuesday.
  I hope we don't have to do that. This position is too important. The 
dangers in this world are too severe to leave this position in this 
ambiguous state between now and a week from Tuesday, or whenever the 
final vote on approval of this nomination is. The world is too 
dangerous to have this period of uncertainty. There is no need for it. 
We have provided the documents which have been required. The 
information relative to the financial situation of Senator Hagel has 
been provided. It is time for us now to bring the debate to an end, 
require 60 votes and then, hopefully, if we can get 60 votes today, 
then vote on the final approval of this nominee. But, again, if 60 
votes aren't there today, the majority leader has made it clear he will 
then, of course, reconsider the cloture motion for a week from Tuesday. 
Either way, it is critically important that Senator Hagel's 
confirmation take place and that we fill this position of Secretary of 
Defense.
  Mr. President, I don't know if there is any time left but, if so, I 
yield it back.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. All time has expired.
  Under the previous order and pursuant to rule XXII, the Chair lays 
before the Senate the pending cloture motion, which the clerk will 
state.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

                             Cloture Motion

       We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the 
     provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, 
     hereby move to bring to a close debate on the nomination of 
     Charles Timothy Hagel, of Nebraska, to be Secretary of 
     Defense.
         Harry Reid, Patrick J. Leahy, Sheldon Whitehouse, Barbara 
           Boxer, Al Franken, Christopher A. Coons, Jack Reed, 
           Carl Levin, Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Claire McCaskill, 
           Robert P. Casey, Jr., Richard Blumenthal, Tom Harkin, 
           Dianne Feinstein, Bill Nelson, Jeanne Shaheen, Sherrod 
           Brown.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. By unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum 
call has been waived.
  The question is, Is it the sense of the Senate that debate on the 
nomination of Charles Timothy Hagel, of Nebraska, to be Secretary of 
Defense shall be brought to a close?
  The yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. HATCH (when his name was called). Present.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Louisiana (Mr. Vitter).
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 58, nays 40, as follows:

                       [Rollcall Vote No. 21 Ex.]

                                YEAS--58

     Baldwin
     Baucus
     Begich
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Boxer
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Cochran
     Collins
     Coons
     Cowan
     Donnelly
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Hagan
     Harkin
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Johanns
     Johnson (SD)
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     Manchin
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murkowski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Pryor
     Reed
     Rockefeller
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--40

     Alexander
     Ayotte
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Chambliss
     Coats
     Coburn
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Enzi
     Fischer
     Flake
     Graham
     Grassley
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson (WI)
     Kirk
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Paul
     Portman
     Reid
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rubio
     Scott
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Thune
     Toomey
     Wicker

                        ANSWERED ``PRESENT''--1

       
     Hatch
       

                             NOT VOTING--1

       
     Vitter
       
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I enter a motion to reconsider the vote by 
which cloture was not invoked.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The motion is entered.


                            Vote Explanation

  Mr. VITTER. Mr. President, I could not participate in this Hagel 
nomination cloture vote because I had to return to Louisiana to attend 
a funeral. Had I been present, I would have voted no for two reasons.
  First, I would like to state for the Record that I believe this 
process has been rushed and that very reasonable Member requests for 
information have been denied.
  Secondly, I oppose the nomination on its substance in light of 
Senator Hagel's long history of troublesome votes and comments 
regarding the defense of Israel and related Middle East issues.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, this will be the last vote of the day. We 
will have a vote Monday night and we will vote again on this matter 
Tuesday morning--a week from Monday and Tuesday.
  I regret that Republican Senators, except the valiant four, chose to 
filibuster the nomination of President Obama's nominee to be Secretary 
of

[[Page S748]]

Defense. The Republicans have made an unfortunate choice to ratchet up 
the level of obstruction in Washington. Just when you thought things 
could not get worse, it gets worse.
  We need to have this vote today. Why? You know, in times like this, 
it is nice to have a Secretary of Defense, not a lameduck. We have a 
war going on in Afghanistan. The war has been going on for 10 years. 
The President announced on Tuesday that half the troops are going to be 
coming home.
  North Korea earlier this week tested a nuclear weapon. Just a couple 
months ago, they tested a missile to deliver a warhead. They have said 
publicly and very openly they want to make sure they can reach the 
United States.
  We have a conflict going on in Syria. It is a serious conflict. The 
Middle East is still in turmoil. Iran is threatening everyone, 
including us. We have a few things going on. There is a NATO defense 
meeting next week, where NATO Defense Ministers, including someone from 
the United States, whom we hoped would have been the Secretary of 
Defense, would attend that meeting.
  A couple of my Republican colleagues said: That does not matter. Just 
have somebody else attend.
  What does that do to our standing in the world community?
  We need a Secretary of Defense on the job. No one, no one knows, 
especially any Senator, what foreign challenge we will face in this 
country, perhaps within the next 10 days. It would be nice if we had a 
Secretary of Defense.
  There is nothing that is going to change in the next 10 days about 
the qualifications of Chuck Hagel.
  I served with Chuck Hagel. He is a conservative Republican 
representing the ultraliberal State of Nebraska. He served with 
distinction in the Senate as a Senator. He served on the Foreign 
Relations Committee, Armed Services Committee, and Intelligence 
Committee. He is a man of quality and of courage, not just being able 
to come and give a speech on the Senate floor.
  During the Vietnam war, he volunteered to go into combat. That is 
what he chose to do because he thought it was the patriotic thing to do 
for his country, our country. His family felt that way. He and his 
brother went together. They didn't go to push pencils, they carried 
rifles; strapped to their sides, grenades.
  He was wounded twice. He was an enlisted man. He didn't walk around 
ordering people to do things. People were ordering him what to do--
except when it came to his brother. He saved his brother's life in 
combat in Vietnam.
  They are filibustering him. That is what they are doing. I am going 
to call Chuck Hagel when I finish and say I am sorry, sorry this is 
happening. I am sorry for the President and I am sorry for the country 
and I am sorry for you. We are not going to give up on you.
  We are going to vote, as I said, Tuesday, when we get back, in the 
morning.
  I hope, I truly do hope nothing happens during the next 10 days we 
will not have a Secretary of Defense. We are not going to have one, and 
I hope nothing goes wrong and we will rue the day--more than just 
embarrassing the President, the Senate, and the country--in not 
confirming the President's nomination of this good man from Nebraska.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, to my knowledge we do have a Secretary of 
Defense, and his name is Leon Panetta. It is my understanding that Mr. 
Panetta is going to stay on the job, a job he has done very well as 
Secretary of Defense and as CIA director for the last several years. 
The majority leader knows full well the reason why cloture was denied--
or closing off debate was denied, because there are reasonable requests 
being made on this side for additional information. I hope and trust 
information will be provided in the next few days. When we come back 
from the recess, we will have another vote and another opportunity for 
Senators to express themselves.
  This is not any attempt to kill this nomination. This is not a 
filibuster. I realize it is the headline the majority leader would like 
the newspapers to write.
  We actually had some very reasonable discussions going on earlier 
today among Senators on the Democratic side and the Republican side to 
try to work this out, given the fact that this nomination has just been 
so recently reported from the Armed Services Committee, and to 
accommodate the reasonable request for Senators to receive answers to 
their legitimate questions. We didn't need to have this vote today. We 
could have delayed it until after the recess. I am confident the vote 
would have turned out differently.
  The White House and the majority leader were determined to have this 
vote in order to try to get a story in the newspaper, one that 
misrepresents the nature of the objection on this side which, as I 
said, was a vote not to cut off debate because it was premature. 
Reasonable requests for information have not been accommodated by the 
nominee.
  There are solid public policy differences between Members of this 
other side of the aisle and the nominee.
  This is not about politics. This is not about personalities. It is 
about questions such as whether Iran should be allowed to get a nuclear 
weapon. Should we have direct negotiations with terrorist organizations 
such as Hezbollah and Hamas?
  What is the official posture of the U.S. Department of Defense and 
this administration relative to our best ally in the Middle East, 
Israel? What would be the plan for the nominee should he be confirmed 
when it comes to dealing with steep cuts to the military that are going 
to come out of the sequester, which was the President's idea and which 
is now going to go into effect on March 1. This is something which the 
President himself said was not going to happen. All of these are 
legitimate areas of difference and areas of inquiry that could be 
accommodated, could have been accommodated without necessity of this 
vote today.
  This was the majority leader's choice, which was his prerogative, and 
the White House's choice. We could have done this differently. We could 
have worked this out, but that did not happen, unfortunately.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, this is not a filibuster. This is not a 
filibuster. I would like to see what a filibuster is. This is the first 
time in the history of our country that a Secretary of Defense has been 
filibustered, filibustered successfully and probably ever filibustered, 
and for all this, the statement from my friend from Texas on a rant to 
make sure he is OK on Israel. He wants to make sure he is OK on Iran on 
this.
  We had hearings, not singularly but plural. The Secretary of State 
came, the Secretary of Defense.
  This has gone to the absurd. We were told by a number of Senators 
they would like a letter from the President's White House talking about 
what he did following Benghazi. Remember, Benghazi was debated at 
length in the Presidential election. That is over, we thought. No, it 
is not over.
  The President said, OK, and he adhered to what he wanted and wrote in 
detail about calls he made right after the terrible occurrence in 
Benghazi and sent it to the chairman of the committee. We received 
reports back some of the Senators were offended because the letter was 
sent to the chairman and not to them. This is all foolishness.
  People may say whatever they want to say, but we still have a 
Secretary of Defense. Leon Panetta gave his final closing, ending; it 
was all over with his speech yesterday. I am friendly with Leon 
Panetta. I have known him for 31 years. No one in the country has 
served with more distinction than a Member of Congress, chairman of the 
Budget Committee, head of the Office of Management and Budget, the 
President's Chief of Staff, head of the CIA, Secretary of Defense. He 
wants to go tomorrow, and yesterday he told everybody he was going 
home.
  Yes, we have a Secretary of Defense. It is about as lame as a duck 
can be. How do you think the people in NATO feel when, I don't know who 
will go, I guess Ash Carter or somebody will go, but we don't have a 
Secretary of Defense.
  I can't imagine--as I said this morning, I will just repeat, I guess 
to be able to run for the Senate as a Republican in most places in the 
country, you need to have a resume that says: I helped filibuster one 
of the President's nominees. Maybe that helps. Maybe that keeps a tea 
party guy from running against you. But this should not be politics. 
This should be substance, and

[[Page S749]]

there is nothing wrong with Chuck Hagel.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, with all due respect to the majority 
leader, this was an unnecessary vote today. The majority leader said: 
What is a filibuster? I can remember one that wasn't called a 
filibuster. I can remember when President Bush the first nominated a 
very noncontroversial University of Tennessee president who had been 
Governor to be the Secretary of Education of the United States about 20 
years ago.
  There was a Democratic Senate at the time, and the Senator from Ohio 
decided he wanted more time to study the qualifications of the nominee 
from Tennessee. I was that nominee.
  I thought that was an extraordinary period of time. It was 87 days 
between the time President Bush announced my nomination and the time 
the Senate unanimously confirmed me. That was a Cabinet position. I 
went around to see Senator Warren Rudman to see what I should do. He 
said: You don't have any cards. You don't do anything. The Senate has 
the right to consider, with its constitutional prerogative of advice 
and consent, the nominees of the President. That is what the Senate is 
there for.
  I said: Warren, how did you get to be a Senator? He said: Well, I 
will tell you a story. President Ford nominated me in 1976 to be on--I 
believe it was the Federal Communications Commission. The Senator from 
New Hampshire, a Democratic Senator and a Democratic Senate, put a hold 
on Warren Rudman until Warren Rudman withdrew his nomination.
  The end of the story was that Warren Rudman then ran against that 
Senator, beat him, and that is how Warren Rudman became a Senator.
  We know what a filibuster is. A filibuster is when one side or the 
other--which it has a perfect right to do under our system of 
government--decides to try to kill a nomination by denying 60 votes or 
to stop legislation by 60 votes. The Democrats have done it on a 
regular basis when they were in the minority and the distinguished 
majority leader was one of the most effective persons in the Senate to 
do so. I presided many times over the Senate when he objected.
  I remember when we were trying to get 60 votes to have a permanent 
change in the estate law, and we would get up to 57, 58 or 59 and the 
distinguished majority leader would object.
  What are we doing today? We are doing today exactly what was said 
when the vote was called. The question was do 60 of us believe it is 
time to end debate on the nomination of the President to be Secretary 
of Defense, the leader of the largest military organization in the 
world, the largest employer in the United States. The Senate Armed 
Services Committee has reported that recommendation to the Senate 2 
days ago--not 10 days ago, not 15 days ago, not 30 days ago, 2 days 
ago.
  Most of us aren't on the Armed Services Committee. Are we not 
entitled, are we not entitled to have more than 2 days to consider one 
of the most important nominations the President has to make without 
having the distinguished majority leader accuse us of a filibuster? 
What we do in this body is debate. We debate issues.
  In addition to that, there are a number of people on the Republican 
side who have asked for information for which they haven't received 
answers yet.
  In every one of those cases, those are not requests I am interested 
in. They will not produce answers I need to know. They may be outside 
the range of questions I think ought to be answered.
  After only 2 days of a nomination being on the floor, if Republican 
Senators have questions to ask and information to seek, they ought to 
be allowed to do that. That is what this is about.
  What we have said--and the Democratic leadership knows this--we have 
talked in good faith through the morning. We have suggested to have 
this debate when we come back. Instead of 2 days after the bill was 
reported to the committee or to the Senate floor, it would be 2 days 
plus 10--a couple weeks. It would give us a chance to read the 
hearings, consider the evidence, ask our questions.
  There were three Senators who came down to the floor today, including 
the Senator from Arizona and the Senator from South Carolina, who said 
then we will be ready to vote for cloture. In other words, we will be 
ready to vote to end debate to do what the Senate should do. 
Eventually, after a full consideration, we would have an up-or-down 
vote on a President's nominee for the Cabinet. At least that is my 
belief, that eventually you should have a an up-or-down vote on the 
President's nominee for the Cabinet.
  It is an unfortunate vote, and it is unfortunate to characterize this 
as a filibuster. This is a vote by Republicans to say we want more than 
2 days after this nomination comes to the floor to carefully consider 
it because we have questions. Many have questions, and then most of us 
believe that after a sufficient time--and, for me, a sufficient time 
will probably be those 10 days--after those 10 days, it will be time to 
end debate. It will be time to have a vote and then it will be time to 
move on to something else.
  I wish to make sure this is properly characterized. This was a motion 
to close off debate after 2 days of bringing to the full Senate the 
President's nomination to lead the largest military organization in the 
world at a time when Senators had reasonable questions for which they 
want answers. A vote to extend that until 10 days from now or some 
other appropriate time after that not only is reasonable, it is in the 
traditions of the Senate. Such reasonableness has been exercised by 
Democrats, as well as Republicans throughout the history of the Senate.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Cowan). The assistant majority leader.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, Senator Alexander is my friend. Sometimes 
that word is thrown around the floor of the Senate not very sincerely, 
but I mean it and he knows it. And I respect him very much. But I would 
say to the Senator, there is no other way to describe what we are going 
through than a filibuster.
  A filibuster is, of course, an effort by at least one Member of the 
Senate to continue the debate and stop the vote on a matter, whether it 
is an amendment or a nomination. A cloture motion--in other words, to 
close off the debate--is an effort to produce 60 votes to overcome that 
Senator and to move to a vote, a final vote, on an amendment or a 
nomination. So by every Senate standard, by every definition, what we 
are facing with Senator Chuck Hagel as a nominee for the Secretary of 
Defense is a filibuster. It is. And that is why the majority leader 
filed a motion for cloture.
  It is interesting to note that 59 Senators--a substantial majority of 
the Senate--were prepared to vote for Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of 
Defense, including four from the Republican side of the aisle. But we 
fell short of the needed 60 votes, the 60 votes under cloture, needed 
to end a filibuster. So I have to say to my friend from Tennessee, by 
every definition in the Senate, by every standard, your side has 
successfully filibustered the nomination of Chuck Hagel in the U.S. 
Senate.
  It has happened before on Cabinet nominees--twice, I am told, in our 
history, and once while I was here involving Dirk Kempthorne, whose 
nomination was controversial and another cloture vote was called. I 
asked myself, how did I vote? After a while, you sometimes forget. And 
I was told, well, it turned out the cloture vote for Dirk Kempthorne 
was 85 to 7. So clearly, he had 60 votes, and I voted for the cloture 
vote in this circumstance. He was then affirmed by a voice vote 
thereafter. So it has happened before, but it happens rarely--twice in 
our history--when we have a Cabinet nominee who is filibustered.
  I will concede to the Senator there are many times we have questions 
that need to be answered before we can make a sound or final decision, 
but what is peculiar about this vote is that the questions are being 
asked about a fellow colleague, someone the Republicans served with for 
years. This is not a name that was just dropped out of the blue. I 
would assume my Republican colleagues knew Chuck Hagel. You served with 
him, you were on committees with him, you sat hour after hour, day 
after day, and maybe month after month in meetings together. So

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he is a known quantity more so on the Republican side of the aisle than 
on our side. I served with him on the Intelligence Committee, and I 
thought he was a person of sound judgment. There were times when I 
thought he showed real courage. I never doubted for a minute his 
commitment to some of the basic issues.
  The Senator from Texas, who is also a friend, said: Well, we are not 
sure where he stands on issues such as Iran. I think he has said 
unequivocally over the last several weeks his position is the same as 
the President's, that we need to stop Iran from developing a nuclear 
weapon. The same has been said relative to our relationship with 
Israel. If people still have questions about that today, they are 
ignoring his answers or they do not believe him. And in that case, they 
can vote yes or no. I don't know how many more times he needs to say 
that to satisfy his critics. Perhaps, for some of them, he will never 
satisfy them.
  But it is troubling to me, and I would agree with Senator Reid--and 
Leon Panetta is a close personal friend. We go back to our House days. 
I recall he had a unanimous vote when he was nominated for Secretary of 
Defense--an indication of the respect we have for him. But his days are 
coming to a close and he said so. What the President has said is, I 
need to move up somebody into this critical position for the national 
security of the United States, and Chuck Hagel is the person I propose.
  We have had ample time. I would be surprised if there are any--
perhaps many--Senators who didn't have a chance to personally sit down 
with Senator Hagel. He came to my office, and I know he made himself 
available to virtually every Senator before this process started. So 
Chuck Hagel has done what he was asked to do, answer the questions and 
appear before the committee. And for a person who is a former 
colleague, it is hard to understand or explain why there are so many 
people on the Republican side of the aisle puzzled by this fellow from 
Nebraska, someone whom they served with for so many years.
  Let me also say I want to join with the majority leader in saying, 
God forbid anything happens in the next 10 days. I hope it doesn't, for 
our sake and for the sake of the Senate and the people of this country. 
We do need a Secretary of Defense. I would like to think if the tables 
were turned the other side would not be pillorying us for leaving the 
Secretary of Defense office vacant in these dangerous times. I am 
afraid many on your side would be asking, why didn't you get this done 
when you could have? This was a Democratic Senator; why do you need to 
keep asking questions over and over?
  But we have reached this point and there is nothing we can do about 
it. Senators have left and we are going to be off next week for the 
Presidents holiday. I just hope, as soon as we return, as quickly as we 
return, we can defeat this filibuster on Chuck Hagel--this rare 
filibuster in Senate history--and we give him his chance to continue to 
serve this Nation as ably as he did in the U.S. Senate and as a soldier 
in combat in Vietnam.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Republican whip.
  Mr. CORNYN. I want to assure the assistant majority leader that we 
still have a Secretary of Defense. His name is Leon Panetta. And I am 
referring to an e-mail his press secretary George Little sent out on 
Thursday:

       The Secretary plans to stay in office until Senator Hagel 
     is confirmed and sworn in.

  So if anybody is under any misapprehension, I believe the Pentagon 
press secretary has made that clear. We have a Secretary of Defense. He 
has not resigned, and he will continue to serve until such time as his 
successor is sworn in.
  I would say again to my friend, the Senator from Illinois, the 
assistant majority leader, we all know what a filibuster is. A 
filibuster is designed to kill a nomination or to defeat legislation, 
as the Senator from Tennessee said. I would also say this is equivalent 
to what happened back in 2005.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record 
following my remarks a letter signed by Chris Dodd and Joseph Biden.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (See exhibit 1.)
  Mr. CORNYN. And I will quote from that letter. This is a letter 
signed by Chris Dodd, our former colleague who served on the Foreign 
Relations Committee, and Joe Biden, when he was a ranking member of the 
Foreign Relations Committee back in 2005.

       Dear Democratic Colleague: We write to urge you to oppose 
     the cloture on the Bolton nomination tonight. We want to make 
     clear that this is not a filibuster. It is a vote to protect 
     the Senate's constitutional power to advise and consent to 
     nominations.

  I will skip down, because the letter will be in the Record, to the 
last paragraph, which says:

       The refusal of the Executive Branch to provide information 
     relevant to the nomination is a threat to the Senate's 
     constitutional power to advise and consent. The only way to 
     protect that power is to continue to demand that the 
     information be provided to the Senate. The only means of 
     forcing the Administration to cooperate is to prevent a final 
     vote on the nomination today.

  And the letter, as I said, was signed by Chris Dodd and Joe Biden.
  My point is, this is exactly what the Senator from Tennessee said it 
was--a vote not to end debate but to allow these inquiries to be 
answered. And the shoe will likely be on another foot some other time 
with some other nominee, so we ought to, I think at a minimum, respect 
and protect the right of the Senate and of an individual Senator to 
make reasonable inquiries of a nominee as part of the power of advise 
and consent.
  This is not a filibuster. If it is, then this was in 2005, contrary 
to the assertions of Joe Biden and Chris Dodd. But I agree with them in 
this instance, this is merely an effort not to close off debate but to 
allow reasonable inquiries to get information that will advise the 
Senators in their vote when it comes time to vote on this matter after 
the next break.

                               Exhibit 1

                                             United States Senate,


                               Committee on Foreign Relations,

                                     Washington, DC, May 26, 2005.
       Dear Democratic Colleague: We write to urge you to oppose 
     cloture on the Bolton nomination tonight. We want to make 
     clear that this is not a filibuster. It is a vote to protect 
     the Senate's constitutional power to advise and consent to 
     nominations.
       For more than a month, we have been requesting two types of 
     information from the Executive Branch. First, materials 
     related to the preparation of congressional testimony on 
     Syria and weapons of mass destruction that Mr. Bolton planned 
     to give in July 2003 and ultimately gave that September. We 
     think this will show Mr. Bolton's continued effort to 
     exaggerate intelligence information. It may also show that he 
     misled the Foreign Relations Committee when he told us that 
     he was not personally involved in the preparation of the 
     testimony. Second, information related to National Security 
     Agency intercepts and the identity of U.S. persons on those 
     intercepts. During the past four years, Mr. Bolton requested 
     the identity of U.S. persons on ten occasions. There may be 
     nothing improper in this; or there may be something highly 
     improper. But we won't know unless we see the very same 
     information shown to Mr. Bolton. So far that has not 
     occurred. The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Select 
     Committee on Intelligence were shown the intercepts, but not 
     the identities of the U.S. persons.
       In refusing to provide the information about the Syria 
     testimony, the State Department has asserted that it does not 
     believe that the request is ``specifically tied to the issues 
     being deliberated by the Committee.'' In other words, the 
     Executive Branch is deciding what it thinks is relevant to 
     the Senate's review. That's unacceptable. In the case of the 
     NSA intercepts, no one in the Executive Branch has even tried 
     to explain why the chairman and ranking member of the 
     Intelligence and Foreign Relations committees are not allowed 
     to see information that was made available to Mr. Bolton and 
     even to his staff. That, too, is unacceptable.
       The refusal of the Executive Branch to provide information 
     relevant to the nomination is a threat to the Senate's 
     constitutional power to advise and consent. The only way to 
     protect that power is to continue to demand that the 
     information be provided to the Senate. The only means of 
     forcing the Administration to cooperate is to prevent a final 
     vote on the nomination today. We urge to you vote no on 
     cloture.
           Sincerely,
     Christopher J. Dodd.
     Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

  Mr. CORNYN. 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. SESSIONS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

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