(Senate - September 17, 2013)

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[Pages S6489-S6509]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order the Senate will 
resume consideration of S. 1392, which the clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (S. 1392) to promote energy savings in residential 
     buildings and industry, and for other purposes.


       Wyden (for Merkley) amendment No. 1858, to provide for a 
     study and report on standby usage power standards implemented 
     by States and other industrialized nations.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Illinois.
  Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as if 
in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                          Statement Correction

  Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, it is one thing for a politician to say 
he misspoke and another for most ordinary people to say they got it 
  I made a statement on the floor of the Senate earlier this morning 
which turns out was not entirely accurate, and I would like to clarify 
it and correct it for the Record.
  I was recounting the history of the Social Security Program created 
by Franklin Roosevelt in 1935, and recounted that it faced a filibuster 
in the Senate. I mistakenly believed it was a Republican filibuster 
when in fact it was a filibuster by Senator Huey Long, a nominal 
Democrat, who was filibustering because of his support of certain 
agricultural subsidies. I want the Record to be clear the filibuster to 
delay or in any way impact the implementation of Social Security was in 
fact by Senator Long, not a Republican filibuster.
  I also note the information I used on the floor was derived from a 
book which I am reading entitled ``Citizens of London'' by Lynne Olson, 
and it is no reflection on her that I got that fact wrong. I remembered 
it wrong when I spoke to it on the floor.
  The Washington Post is going to go to great lengths tomorrow to 
explain my other errors in my statement, and I acknowledge I could have 
done more research before coming to the floor, but I stand by the 
premise that the notion we are somehow going to filibuster the 
Affordable Care Act to delay its implementation is not in the best 
interests of the United States. If this bill or law needs amendment or 
repair, let's do it on a bipartisan basis, rather than voting 41 times, 
as they have in the House, to abolish it.
  I also believe it is valuable for this country to face the cost of 
health care. If we are going to deal with America's debt and deficit, 
we have to acknowledge that 60 percent of it relates to health care 
costs. The Republican side has not come up with any alternative to deal 
with this health care crisis. We believe the President's legislation--
which I proudly supported--is a step in the right direction. It can be 
improved. I will work to improve it. But simply saying we are not going 
to allow it to be implemented is not a positive effort to improve the 
situation in America.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Madam President, as bipartisan discussions go on over the 
next hour or two on the important Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency 
legislation, I wish to take a few minutes to outline where we are, why 
this bill is so important, and how it is going to affect energy policy 
deliberations generally.
  I appreciate the work of colleagues on both sides of the aisle. I see 
Senators from both sides who I believe would very much like to see 
Democrats and Republicans work on an agreement to move forward on the 
Shaheen-Portman legislation.
  When you look at this bill, it is almost the platonic ideal of how 
consensus legislation ought to work in the Senate. You have in effect a 
bipartisan Energy and Natural Resources Committee. We are very pleased 
the Presiding Officer has joined the committee very recently.
  This bipartisan committee, taking a piece of bipartisan legislation 
authored by Senators Shaheen and Portman, two of our most thoughtful 
Senators--took their bill to the floor of the Senate and hour after 
hour the bill got more bipartisan, starting with the distinguished 
Senators Inhofe and Carper, who came with a thoughtful amendment with 
respect to thermal energy. The list went on and on. Senatorial pair 
after senatorial pair came to the floor and said they wanted to show 
law-making 101 is Democrats and Republicans working together in a 
bipartisan way and to respond to what we have heard Americans say all 
during the summer break. No matter what part of the country you are 
from, the message was the same: Go back and deal with the important 
issues for the economy. Let us expand the winner's circle in a middle-
class-driven economy. That is what this legislation does. It is going 
to help create jobs, it is going to allow consumers to save money 
through practical energy savings, and it is going to increase American 
  It is an extraordinary coalition that has assembled for Senator 
Shaheen and Senator Portman's legislation: Business Roundtable, 
National Association of Manufacturers, and environmental groups, public 
interest organizations--an incredible breadth of support for this bill.
  What I have been struck by in discussions, particularly over the last 
24 hours, is this question: OK, the Senate is now finally on energy 
legislation. We actually did a major bill right before the August 
recess, the hydropower bill. Hydropower is the biggest source of clean 
power in the country right now, 60,000 megawatts, essentially, of 
potential production delivery out of that legislation. But this is the 
first bill to actually be on the floor of the Senate since 2007.
  A number of Senators have said we have got this huge pent-up demand 
to work on energy, and now we have scores of amendments coming in on 
this bill--perhaps as many as 60 amendments that Senators want to 
offer. Obviously, we could probably be here until New Year's Eve 
working on this legislation if we have scores of amendments coming in. 
What I have tried to tell Senators is, We can't do everything under the 
Sun--literally and figuratively--with respect to this bill and still be 
able to move on to other subjects. We would not be able to deal with 
the continuing resolution and a whole host of other issues the Senate 
has to tackle. So there has to be some limits.
  My hope is that agreement can be worked out on several of the issues 
Senators have felt most strongly about. Then if Senators Reid and 
McConnell can work out an agreement to have a finite number of 
amendments that will address energy issues, hopefully bipartisan, we 
can then move to a vote on energy efficiency. It seems to me there is 
no reason why, theoretically, that could not be done this week. If we 
have votes on a couple of these issues through a procedural agreement 
that would address what Senators have been debating over the last few 
days and then the leaders come up with a finite list of amendments on 
the other issues, we could finish this bill this week. I think it is 
important for the institution to do so.
  I say to Senators who want to debate a variety of energy issues that 
deal with, for example, the EPA, we can't do all of those issues on 
this bill. The energy committee doesn't have jurisdiction over those 
issues. Those are going to come up. On some of what Senators are most 
concerned about, the government hasn't even acted yet. In other words, 
it is one thing to have a response from the Senate after an agency has 
acted. On some of these matters, the agency hasn't even acted yet. So 
it ought to be possible to find a path forward that would allow for 
votes on several issues that have been

[[Page S6490]]

debated since the middle of last week. I think there is a way to do 
that if we can get an agreement on a finite list of additional 
amendments so both sides could have some other questions aired and we 
could vote on energy efficiency.
  The reality is on the question of energy efficiency, those who are 
most knowledgeable on the subject say our country has plenty of room 
for improvement. As of 2011, our country ranked ninth out of the top 12 
global economies in the amount of energy it uses to generate every 
dollar of goods and services it produces. This is what is commonly 
known as energy productivity. This is not a hypothetical exercise. As 
of 2008, industries consumed about one-third of the total U.S. energy 
use. The biggest users were chemicals and petroleum refining, pulp 
paper, iron and steel, and obviously other important industries are 
energy intensive as well. A lot of those employers know using less 
energy means lower costs and higher margins. Especially larger 
companies are in a position to take the steps that will allow them to 
tap those financial gains. But the small and medium-sized companies 
often don't have the technical expertise to know about which upgrades 
are going to make the biggest difference.
  Here we have this bipartisan bill, and without putting any mandates 
on the private sector--not a single mandate on the private sector--this 
bill takes three steps that can help our small companies--the kind of 
company that dominates Oregon and Wisconsin and others as well. With 
this legislation, these small companies are going to be able to be more 
  First, the bill tells the Energy Department to reach out to the small 
and medium-sized businesses and make their experts available so the 
small businesses can learn directly what the commercially available 
energy-efficient technology is in their area that will allow them to 
become more competitive.
  Second, it creates rebate programs to encourage manufacturers to 
replace some of their inefficient equipment, particularly motors and 
transformers. These are two pieces of equipment in particular that have 
long service lives and often get rebuilt instead of replaced because of 
the high cost of replacement.
  Finally, the legislation establishes a program called Supply Star to 
recognize companies that have successfully made their supply chains 
more efficient--once again, voluntary, modeled after the ENERGY STAR 
Program. I offer that in this debate about what the role of the 
government is in an ``all of the above'' energy policy, these kinds of 
approaches that have a market-driven orientation, that are voluntary in 
nature, are ones that I think are going to allow our country in the 
days ahead to keep ahead of the competition.
  In wrapping up, we do have, apparently, over 60 amendments filed. A 
significant chunk are them are not on the topic of energy efficiency. I 
see that the distinguished Senator from Ohio is on the floor, Senator 
Shaheen is on the floor, as are others who have strong concerns and are 
going to look to see if we can put together a bipartisan approach over 
the next few hours. I ask Senators to focus on what is doable, which is 
to have votes on the several issues that have been debated over the 
last few days, and then come to a finite agreement on the rest of the 
issues that would be offered--hopefully by colleagues on both sides of 
the aisle. Then we can vote, quaint as the idea might be, on an energy 
efficiency bill, which is the topic that has been before the Senate 
since the middle of last week.
  I note that the Senator from Ohio is on the floor. He brought a good 
bill, with Senator Shaheen, to the floor in the middle of last week. It 
got better with the Inhofe-Carper amendment on thermal energy; the 
Landrieu-Wicker amendment, which helps us make better use of the green 
building certification system; the Hoeven-Pryor amendment that allows 
the continued use of grid-enabled water heaters to make utility 
management programs more efficient; the Sessions-Pryor and the 
Landrieu-Wicker amendments that reduce regulatory burdens on testing 
consumer products; the Bennet-Ayotte amendment on commercial buildings; 
the Pryor-Alexander amendment to look at how the review process works 
in terms of planning our energy future; the Isakson-Bennet amendment to 
look at home efficiency during mortgage underwriting.
  When you think about this, the reality is you seem to know more about 
the energy efficiency of the products you have around your house, such 
as a toaster, than you do about a major--really an extraordinary 
purchase, such as a home. So we have a bipartisan duo in the Senate, 
Senator Isakson and Senator Bennet, wanting to address it. It is a 
terrific amendment, in my view.
  Then there is the Bennet-Coburn amendment and the Udall-Risch 
amendment--saving taxpayers money by saving energy in the Federal 
computer data centers--and Senator Klobuchar and Senator Hoeven trying 
to make our nonprofits make better use of their energy because with 
that tax status it is hard to qualify for some of the opportunities to 
save energy.
  I could go on, but it just highlights how a bipartisan committee took 
a bipartisan bill from Senator Shaheen and Senator Portman and then a 
big group of bipartisan Senators made it better. And that is what we 
could pass, and we could do it this week.
  For all the Senators who have said there is this pent-up demand since 
the Senate has not been dealing with energy since 2007, I say the only 
way we can really get to all those topics is to pass a bill such as 
this that does have a finite list of amendments, and then let's vote on 
  Several of my colleagues are on their feet.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. President, I appreciate the comments of the chairman 
of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee regarding this Energy 
bill and his suggestion of a way forward. We did have a good debate 
last week--not just on the underlying legislation but also, as he 
indicated, on seven different bipartisan amendments. I know we have a 
couple of colleagues interested in coming to the floor today to talk 
about additional amendments. We have an opportunity to actually come 
together as Republicans and Democrats with a good bill but to improve 
it through some of these amendments that have been discussed on the 
  We do need a way forward. We need to know we are going to have the 
opportunity to have good debate on these issues, to have votes on these 
issues. Specifically, I know Senator Vitter is going to speak in a 
minute on his amendment. I hope he will be given a vote on his 
amendment. I understand there is an interest in doing that and perhaps 
allowing the other side to have their point of view expressed as well, 
along with his vote. If we can have that move forward, my understanding 
is that then we would be able to agree to a series of amendments, 
perhaps an equal number on each side.
  I am looking at a list here of about a dozen amendments that are 
truly bipartisan. I am looking at another list of maybe 20 amendments 
that people on our side of the aisle are interested in offering, some 
of which are directly related to energy, some of which are not. I am 
hopeful we can come up with some time agreements that are reasonable 
and come up with a list that makes sense. The alternative is for us to 
turn our backs on an opportunity here to help grow our economy, to 
reduce our imports of foreign energy--specifically oil. We will miss an 
opportunity to save taxpayers a bunch of money by forcing the Federal 
Government to be more energy efficient, to practice what it preaches.
  Finally, we have an opportunity before us to have a cleaner 
environment and to have one of the important legs of an ``all of the 
above'' energy strategy not just debated on the floor but actually 
passed by the Senate and would then go to the House, where there is a 
lot of interest on both sides of the aisle in together doing something 
comparable, and go to the President's desk for signature and actually 
be able to move the country forward in the way I think is needed, which 
is a national energy plan that takes into account producing more 
energy, as we talked about last week. I am interested in ensuring that 
we use the resources we have here in the ground in America but also 
using that energy more efficiently. It makes too much sense for us to 
allow this opportunity to go by.

[[Page S6491]]

  I am hopeful that even in the next few hours here we can come 
together with a list of amendments that make sense, that we can move 
forward by allowing the Senate to express its view on the Vitter 
amendment and other amendments on both sides of the aisle that come 
forward but also move this underlying legislation forward at a time 
when, frankly, we need a little bipartisanship around here, at a time 
when we seem to be gridlocked on so many big issues. Maybe by finding a 
way forward on the relatively narrow issue of energy efficiency--one 
where there is a lot of consensus, one where there is a lot of common 
ground, frankly--we can find a model for dealing with some of the 
bigger issues.
  We do have some time this week to do this; however, the continuing 
resolution is likely to come over from the House soon. I hope it will 
because we have to deal with that issue before the end of the month.
  My urging of my colleagues is, if you have not already come over to 
talk about your amendment, please do so today, understanding that you 
will not be able to offer it in an official manner. You will be able to 
talk about it, which will help expedite the process later as we begin 
moving on these amendments, which I hope we will do again even after 
coming up with this agreement today. And then if you have an amendment 
you do not think is on this list, please be sure to tell us right away.
  I do think getting this across the finish line should be something 
Republicans and Democrats alike can agree to. I am not suggesting that 
everybody is going to vote for it, but I think everybody should be 
willing to let us have a chance to move to this legislation.
  By the way, it is endorsed by over 260 groups, including the U.S. 
Chamber of Commerce, which decided to key vote the legislation late 
last week. As they looked at some of the these amendments and the 
underlying bill, they thought it was important enough to key vote it. 
But it is not just the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, it is the Alliance to 
Save Energy, which is a group that has worked on this legislation with 
us for almost 3 years now, and it is also the National Association of 
Manufacturers and the environmental groups, including NRDC. It is an 
unusual combination when you have business groups and environmental 
groups saying: This makes sense. It helps make our economy more 
competitive, helps create jobs, and gets us away from our dependency on 
foreign oil. It actually makes the environment cleaner. That is a 
combination we do not see often.
  My hope is that we will move forward, and I again urge my colleagues 
to come forward to help us move forward by talking about your 
amendments today so that when we have a chance to move forward 
officially on these amendments, we can do so expeditiously.
  I see my colleague from New Hampshire Senator Shaheen is on the 
floor. I know she is speaking with her side of the aisle as I am 
talking to my side of the aisle to try to come up with a list of 
amendments to which we can agree within a reasonable timeframe, and I 
am hopeful we can move forward with that in the next few hours.
  I yield back my time and look forward to talking about some of these 
amendments as people bring them to the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico.
  Mr. HEINRICH. Madam President, I wish to commend my colleagues 
Senators Shaheen and Portman for their work to bring this legislation 
to the floor. I commend as well Chairman Wyden and Ranking Member 
Murkowski for their leadership in the energy committee.
  Fully half of the energy we use in this great country is wasted. That 
is a fact we can no longer afford to ignore. Each one of us is able to 
make changes in our daily lives to increase our energy efficiency. 
There is no kilowatt hour, no Btu more valuable than the ones we do not 
actually use in the first place. But it is clear that we are going to 
have to do a lot more than turn the lights out when we leave home to be 
a leader in the world in this field.
  As the largest energy consumer in the United States, I think the 
Federal Government has not only an obligation but also an opportunity 
to lead by example when it comes to energy performance. We know that 
buildings are the largest energy consumers in the United States today. 
Accounting for over 40 percent of our use, they offer the greatest 
opportunities for energy savings.
  Over the summer I had the opportunity and the privilege of joining 
the Department of Energy in presenting the Brackish Groundwater 
National Desalination Research Facility--that is a mouthful, I know. It 
is an important research facility in New Mexico, in my home State. We 
presented them with a Better Buildings Award on behalf of the DOE. The 
Federal Energy Management Program designed those awards, the Better 
Buildings Awards, to encourage significant reductions in energy usage 
in Federal buildings all across the country--reductions that go above 
and beyond the current codes and mandates that exist.
  What the team at the desalinization research facility accomplished 
was nothing short of truly impressive and an example of what is 
possible with legislation such as this and in the field of energy 
efficiency. They were able to save approximately 300,000 kilowatt-hours 
per year--an annual savings of $42,000. That is a remarkable 53.6 
percent of their former energy footprint at a time when that research 
facility was actually increasing the amount of research going on. They 
did this through thoughtful analysis, by implementing both active and 
passive energy conservation techniques, and with a capital investment 
of literally less than $800. For $800 and some engineering expertise, 
this research facility was able to save the taxpayers over $40,000 last 
year--$40,000 next year, $40,000 the year after that and into the 
future. That is a window into why this kind of legislation is so 
important and why we ought to be able to find common ground when it 
comes to energy efficiency.
  I would also like to touch on another area of rapid energy innovation 
that is relevant to this legislation--the lighting sector. Lighting 
consumes 22 percent of the electricity that is generated in this 
country. That is $50 billion per year for consumers across the United 
States. In Albuquerque, Sandia National Laboratories is accelerating 
advances in what is called solid state light, or SSL, which is a 
rapidly evolving technology with the potential to reduce energy 
consumption in lighting by a factor of three to six times. My 
colleagues may have seen some of the new solid-state lights if they 
have been to Home Depot or Lowe's or their locally owned hardware 
store. These light bulbs are so efficient that when I was installing a 
couple in my son's bedroom a few weeks ago, I could literally put my 
hand on the light bulb because they make such good use of the energy 
they use.

  Sandia has worked in solid-state lighting for a long time and their 
SSL Science Center is exploring new energy conversion techniques in 
tailored photonic structures. Drawing on their long history of research 
and development in this area--and, frankly, working closely with both 
university and private sector partners--they are working to understand 
the mechanisms and the defects in SSL semiconductor materials so they 
can make these already incredibly efficient light bulbs even more 
  Sandia is also investigating the basic conversion of electricity to 
light using radically new designs that can take these things even 
further--things such as luminescent nanowires, quantum dots, and even 
hybrid architectures that may be the bright light bulb of the future. 
This is progress driven by basic research and science--the kinds of 
investments that, frankly, have made our country great and made our 
economy so strong.
  The Shaheen-Portman bill will spur the use of energy efficiency 
technologies such as these, where all of us live and work and, in turn, 
will lower utility bills for consumers and save money for taxpayers. 
Furthermore, this bipartisan bill will strengthen U.S. competitiveness 
by stimulating significant private sector research and development 
investments in manufacturing innovation and productivity.
  Investing in energy efficiency is one of the fastest as well as the 
most cost-effective ways we can grow our economy. It is estimated that 
this measure alone--just this piece of legislation--would help create 
136,000 new jobs by

[[Page S6492]]

2025 and, by 2030, the bill would net an annual savings of over $13 
billion--billion with a ``B''--for consumers, and lower CO2 
emissions and other air pollutants by the equivalent of taking over 20 
million cars off the road.
  My home State of New Mexico is already capitalizing on a highly 
diversified but rapidly transforming energy sector. It stands to 
benefit from leveraging investments and efficiency projects and native 
  Through American ingenuity we can slow the effects of climate change 
and unleash the full potential of cleaner homegrown energy, creating a 
stable and healthier nation for future generations of Americans.
  So instead of transforming this debate about what is fundamentally 
supposed to be a debate about energy efficiency into another tired 
battle over ObamaCare, I urge my colleagues to embrace the fact that 
this bill truly represents the culmination of years of bipartisan work 
to craft a smart, effective energy bill with a good chance of actually 
becoming law.
  I know when I go home--and I have spoken to many of my colleagues on 
both sides of the aisle who say the same--one of the complaints we hear 
the most right now is: Why can't you guys just get something done? Why 
can't you work together on something? This is an opportunity to show we 
can still legislate, we can come together on the things we agree on, 
even while agreeing to disagree on many other issues.
  Again, I thank Senator Shaheen and Senator Portman for working so 
tirelessly on this bill, I thank the chair and ranking member of the 
energy committee for making it a priority, and I thank all of the 
Senators who serve on that committee for working together on both sides 
of the aisle to see this move forward. I hope as a Senate we will seize 
this opportunity.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Manchin). The Republican Whip.

                          Navy Yard Shootings

  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I wanted to come to the floor the day 
after a terrible tragedy that befell Washington, DC, particularly those 
who live and work around the Washington Navy Yard.
  Hardly a mile from this building, and in the shadow of its dome, 
there occurred an act of senseless violence that took the lives of 12 
men and women and injured several more, as well as the life of the 
shooter himself. These men and women worked, by and large, in service 
to our country, whether as uniformed military or as civilian 
contractors. Of course, they are more than just the numbers usually 
ascribed. They are mothers and fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands and 
  When I heard about this shooting yesterday as I was traveling from 
Texas back to Washington, DC, I couldn't help but think about a not-
too-dissimilar tragedy that occurred about 4 years ago at Fort Hood, 
TX, when MAJ Nidal Hasan killed about 13 people there as well as 
injuring more than 30 others.
  At this difficult time, we, of course, pray for these souls who were 
unexpectedly taken from us. We pray for comfort for their grieving 
families and friends, and we pray that healing may come quickly for 
those who were wounded.
  We witnessed evil yesterday, but as so often is the case when the 
unthinkable occurs, accounts of tremendous bravery and self-sacrifice 
emerge. I found some small measure of solace in one such story I read. 
It described how one gentleman at the scene--a man by the name of Omar 
Grant--guided his partially blind colleague to safety. As shots rang 
out and people ran for the exits, Mr. Grant took his colleague by the 
arm and, risking his own safety, made his mission to guide him out of 
the building. This, of course, says nothing about the remarkable feats 
of bravery of the first responders who rushed to the scene and who 
placed their lives at risk in order to preserve the safety of others 
ahead of their own.
  Yesterday's events remind us life is fragile and it is a precious 
gift. Let us express our deep gratitude for those who work around the 
clock, both in places such as the Navy Yard and here at the Capitol, to 
help keep us safe. I wish to thank the DC Metropolitan Police for their 
important role, the U.S. Capitol Police, and all the first responders 
for their extraordinary response. Their courage, their vigilance, and 
their sacrifice is what helps keep all of us safe, all of us who work 
here and visit our Nation's Capital. We thank them and we promise, on 
behalf of a grateful nation, we will never forget.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Louisiana.
  Mr. VITTER. Mr. President, I was very happy to hear the description 
of a possible path forward from the floor manager for this bill a few 
minutes ago, and I welcome that path forward. It is completely 
consistent with the UC I offered many times last week that was, 
unfortunately, then rejected. Hopefully, it will now be accepted so we 
can have a path forward and have votes on so many amendments brought to 
this bill about energy, on my amendment, and on other significant 
topics. It certainly sounds as though the discussion at the majority 
lunch today was, let's say, more appropriate and more productive than 
the discussion last Thursday. I look forward to that path forward.
  As we hopefully build on that path forward, let me again explain why 
I think a clear up-or-down vote before October 1 on my amendment is 
very important and why I am demanding it. It is not my choosing that 
this happen in terms of this illegal OPM rule, it is not my choosing 
this October 1 deadline has been created, but that is exactly what has 
happened, which demanded that I act with my amendment which, in 
general, I am joined with the support of several colleagues and I 
appreciate their partnership and their help.
  This all began in the ObamaCare debate--in our debate and in our 
legislating--on the ObamaCare bill. In that process a Grassley 
amendment was accepted that said in clear and no uncertain terms that 
every Member of Congress and that all congressional staff would go to 
the so-called exchanges, no ifs, ands or buts. The purpose of that 
language was crystal clear. The message was whatever the fallback plan 
is for all Americans--first it was the public option and then it became 
an exchange--whatever that fallback plan is for all Americans, that is 
what every Member of Congress and that is what congressional staff 
should go to. There should be no special deal, no special exemption, no 
special subsidy; that is what we should live by. I certainly supported 
that language. It goes to what is a fundamental rule of democracy: The 
governors should live by the same rules as the governed, across the 
  Our Founders actually talked about that specifically. James Madison, 
a coauthor of the Federalist Papers, wrote Federalist No. 57 
specifically about this point, and a central theme in that Federalist 
No. 57 was exactly this: What is good for America is good for 
Washington. The rule for America should certainly be the rule for those 
who have the particular honor and responsibility to help govern, and 
that should be the case across the board, certainly including 
ObamaCare. That is why that provision got into law, passed into law, 
and was signed into law by President Obama.
  After that, I guess we sort of experienced what Nancy Pelosi 
described about ObamaCare, which was we had to pass the law to find out 
what is in it. After the law was passed, several folks around here on 
Capitol Hill and in Washington read the law, read that particular 
provision, and they said: Oh ``you know what.'' They said: Wait a 
minute, look at this, and they correctly noted the clear language 
demands that all Members of Congress, all congressional staff, go to 
the exchange, and, clearly, our current subsidy for health care does 
not follow us there. In fact, there is a specific other section of 
ObamaCare that says quite clearly that when an employee of a business 
goes to the exchange, that employee's employer contribution for 
employer-based health care does not follow him or her to the exchange.
  Again, when a lot of folks around here, after the fact, read what was 
then the ObamaCare law on that point, they said: Oh ``you know what.'' 
That is when a lot of scurrying started, a lot of gnashing of teeth, a 
lot of scheming, a lot of discussion, and ultimately a lot of lobbying 
of the President and the Obama administration. Sadly, it was 
bipartisan, I believe, a lot of folks

[[Page S6493]]

pushing to have the Obama administration simply issue a rule, a 
regulation that fixed all of this.
  The problem is pretty simple, pretty straightforward, and pretty 
important. We are not supposed to issue a rule or regulation that is 
contrary to the statute, and that is what these folks were lobbying for 
and, sadly, that is what they got.
  Right as Congress was going into the August recess, safely leaving 
town, the Obama administration issued this OPM rule that my language is 
all about. That rule is flatout clearly illegal on two grounds.
  First of all, under this proposed OPM rule, every Member of Congress 
gets to decide for himself or herself what staff members are even 
covered by the mandate to go to the exchange at all. That is 
ridiculous, and it is directly contrary to the clear, unmistakable 
language in ObamaCare. That language says all official staff go to the 
exchange. Now this illegal OPM rule is going to say: Well, it did not 
really mean all official staff; it just meant whoever any individual 
Member of Congress decides. That is ridiculous and that is illegal.
  The second part of the OPM rule is just as illegal, just as 
ridiculous, just as objectionable, and it says: Whoever does go to the 
exchange--Members of Congress and whatever staff do go to the 
exchange--they get to bring along with them their big taxpayer-funded 
subsidy from their previous Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan.
  Well, wait a minute. ObamaCare does not say that. In fact, there is a 
separate provision of ObamaCare that says the opposite, that says when 
an employee goes to the exchange from a business, that employee loses 
his or her employer contribution--a specific part of ObamaCare directly 
contrary to what this illegal OPM rule is trying to do.
  So, again, the attempt is simply to rewrite the law by administrative 
fiat, yet again to create another exemption from ObamaCare, if you 
will, that is nowhere in the statute. That is wrong, that is illegal, 
and that demands action. That is why I, with several other Members--
House and Senate--came up with this language.
  This language I am proposing on the floor now as an amendment would 
stop this illegal OPM rule. It would say exactly what ObamaCare says 
now: Every Member of Congress, all of our staff, must go to the 
exchange and operate under the same rules as all other Americans--no 
special deal, no special exemption, no special subsidy. No other 
American gets this fat employer subsidy in going to the exchange, nor 
should we. That is not in ObamaCare, and there is a specific section of 
ObamaCare that, in fact, says the opposite. So my language on the floor 
now would say that and would broaden the rule, appropriately, to the 
President, the Vice President, and all of their political appointees.
  The clear intent of this provision in ObamaCare from the beginning 
was that what is good for America has to be good for Washington, 
whatever cards America is dealt, including that fallback plan--
originally it was proposed as the public option; now the exchanges--
that should be what is imposed on Washington. No special plan, no 
special deal or exemption or subsidy; what is imposed on America needs 
to be imposed on Washington.
  That is true under ObamaCare. That should be true across the board 
today, just as it was true in the eyes and minds and hearts of the 
Founders. Again, James Madison, in Federalist No. 57, wrote 
specifically on this point. This basic first rule of democracy goes 
back that far.
  That is why I come to the floor and demand a vote. It is an explicit 
reaction to an illegal rule--a rule issued by the administration beyond 
the President's authority, with no basis in the ObamaCare law, in fact, 
with provisions of the ObamaCare law that are directly contrary to it, 
and a rule that is set to take effect October 1. So we must vote now.
  That is why, again--to come back full circle to the comments of the 
distinguished majority floor leader on this bill--I welcome the path 
forward he was describing. That is exactly the path forward I set out 
last week in my UC request. So let's vote. Let's do what this 
institution is supposedly set up to do. Let's vote on this very 
important, very timely issue. Let's vote on other amendments on the 
bill. Let's vote on the bill. Let's move forward in that appropriate 
and productive way.
  Thank you.
  With that, I yield back the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Hampshire.
  Mrs. SHAHEEN. Mr. President, I am here to speak to the Shaheen-
Portman legislation that is on the floor, the Energy Savings and 
Industrial Competitiveness Act. But I have to start by responding to my 
colleague from Louisiana because, first of all, I appreciate that he 
wants a vote on this issue of the OPM ruling. There are a lot of things 
I would like to see a vote on, and I understand he is saying he is not 
opposed to the bill, which I very much appreciate. But the fact is, he 
chooses to be here to hold up this bipartisan piece of legislation at a 
time when we can get some real agreement on energy legislation coming 
out of the Senate--the first time since 2007 we have had an energy bill 
on the floor.
  This is a bipartisan energy bill. It is a bill that has over 16 
bipartisan amendments that have been vetted by the energy committee, 
that have support not just from the chairman of the energy committee 
and the ranking member but from the committee staff, from Senator 
Portman and myself. We think we have a real opportunity to pass this 
bill and to make it even better because of all of these bipartisan 
amendments. But my colleague from Louisiana, Senator Vitter, is 
refusing to allow us to get these votes because he wants a vote on his 

  I am happy to take a vote on his amendment. I would like to be able 
to clarify for the record the OPM ruling. I think there is a lot of 
misinformation--people who are calling to say that Members of Congress 
are not going to be in the exchange. Well, the fact is, Members of 
Congress who choose to continue to have their health care through the 
Federal program are in the exchange, as are our staffs. But we are not 
asking other large employers such as the Federal Government to 
eliminate the employer share of health care, as Senator Vitter would 
ask--that the Federal Government eliminate its employer share of health 
care for all of our staffs who are working for the Federal Government.
  I do not think the American people believe the employer's share of 
health care should be eliminated. I think we have a system of health 
care that is employer based, and the system we have in the Federal 
Government is going to continue to be employer based as well. That 
means the Federal Government will pay a share of health care.
  I think this is a debate we ought to have because I think there are a 
lot of people who are on the extreme right who want to be disingenuous 
about what is going on here. They are interested in spreading 
misinformation about what is happening with the health care law because 
they cannot believe Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, that the 
Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, and that, in fact, we are 
already seeing the benefits for people across this country from the 
Affordable Care Act.
  We are seeing people who have had previous illnesses--so preexisting 
conditions--who are no longer going to be denied health insurance 
because of the Affordable Care Act. We are seeing people who can stay 
on their health care--young people--until they are age 26 because of 
the Affordable Care Act. We are seeing people who no longer have 
lifetime limits on what their share is for health insurance when they 
become ill. We are seeing people who are in the doughnut hole with 
their prescription drugs who are getting help for those prescription 
drugs. So I am happy to have that debate on the Affordable Care Act. 
But now is not the time to do it. This is a time when we can get some 
real agreement on energy efficiency, on an energy bill that, as the 
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has said, would create 
136,000 jobs by 2025, that would save consumers billions of dollars by 
2030, that would be the equivalent of taking millions of cars off the 
road. It is a win-win-win, and it is a bill that has not just 
considerable bipartisan support in this Chamber but it is a bill that 
has support from groups that are as far apart as the American Chemistry 
Council and the Sierra Club, groups that do not normally come together 
on a bill--over 260

[[Page S6494]]

groups. That list is growing every day, private businesses that say: 
The way we need to begin to address our energy challenges is by saving 
energy. The cheapest, fastest way to address our energy needs is 
through energy efficiency.
  This is a bill that does not depend on whether you support fossil 
fuels or new alternatives. The Presiding Officer knows we can support 
coal, investments in coal, and still support energy efficiency. We can 
support wind and still support energy efficiency. We can support solar 
and still support energy efficiency. We can support more drilling and 
still support energy efficiency.
  This bill is a win-win-win, and we need to get on the bill. We need 
to get those people who would rather debate issues that are extraneous 
to this legislation to hold those debates for a later time.
  As I said, I am happy to continue to debate health care. Even though 
we have been debating it now for the 4 years since the bill has been 
passed, I am happy to do that. But now is not the time to do that.
  So, Mr. President, I will yield the floor and hope we can reach some 
agreement that will address Senator Vitter's concerns, that will 
address some of the other concerns that have been waiting that will 
allow us to move forward on an energy bill that is in the best 
interests of the country.
  Thank you.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.

                           Navy Yard Tragedy

  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, to begin, my thoughts and prayers certainly 
go out to everyone who was impacted by the horrific events of yesterday 
at the Navy Yard, particularly to those whose loved ones lost their 
lives or were injured in what is a senseless tragedy.
  Having said that, I also want to express my gratitude to the brave 
men and women who serve in our Nation's military for the sacrifices 
they make for each and every one of us and to the first responders and 
law enforcement personnel who work tirelessly to assist those in need 
and to keep us all safe throughout the day.
  It was a dreadful day. I know there is little I can say or do to 
bring comfort to those who are suffering today, but I hope and pray 
they will find some measure of peace in the coming days.
  Mr. President, I wish to take a few minutes to speak about some of 
the problems we face as the administration continues to struggle with 
the implementation of the so-called Affordable Care Act.
  It seems as though nearly every week we learn about another problem 
facing the Obama administration as they seek to implement this 
misguided law. More often than not, those problems are revealed through 
statements announcing delays in certain elements of the law.
  The employer mandate? Delayed. The small businesses health insurance 
market? Delayed. Employee automatic enrollment in the exchanges? 
  Of course, this should not come as a surprise to anyone. This is, 
after all, the largest expansion of government in a generation. And it 
is not as though it was carefully crafted. No. The President's health 
care law was rushed through Congress in a partisan fashion, virtually 
ensuring it would face problems when the rubber meets the proverbial 
  For months now, experts have been warning us about ObamaCare's 
failings and the challenges those failings pose as the administration 
tries desperately to have something ready to implement by October 1.
  One of the major parts of ObamaCare is the health care exchanges. 
These are designed to be online marketplaces where those without health 
insurance will be required by law to shop for coverage.
  Millions of people are expected to sign up to purchase insurance 
through the exchanges. As a result, the exchanges are expected to have 
a massive impact on the overall insurance market, even affecting those 
who get their insurance elsewhere.
  Make no mistake, ObamaCare's health insurance exchanges will have an 
impact on every American, regardless of where they get their health 
  That being the case, one would reasonably assume the administration 
would not move forward on the exchanges until they were ready. 
Unfortunately, when it comes to implementing the President's health 
care law, reason does not appear to enter into the equation. Despite 
countless red flags, the administration is charging ahead. They are, to 
say the least, desperate to avoid another delay when it comes to 
ObamaCare. So come hell or high water, the exchanges will go live on 
October 1 of this year.
  This is problematic for numerous reasons, not the least of which are 
the privacy and security considerations that up to now appear to have 
been ignored by the administration officials. When people sign up for 
insurance through an exchange, they will be required to submit their 
Social Security number, tax returns, household income information, and 
the like. This is, to say the least, highly sensitive information.
  In recent months, we have seen government-certified security systems 
have been shown to be less than reliable when it comes to protecting 
personal information. This past July, for example, the IRS accidentally 
posted thousands of Social Security numbers on its Web site. That was a 
small mistake with potentially devastating consequences for those who 
had their information exposed.
  The information collected when people sign up for the exchanges will 
be entered into a Federal services data hub, a new information-sharing 
network that will allow State and Federal agencies, including the IRS, 
the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, 
and the Department of Homeland Security, to verify a person's 
information. It is at this point unclear whether the data hub has 
adequate security in place to prevent enrollees' information from 
falling into the hands of data thieves. There are plenty of them out 
  Last month the HHS Office of Inspector General issued a report 
indicating the government had failed to meet several deadlines for 
testing operations and reporting data security vulnerabilities involved 
with the data hub. This, as you might expect, led to an outcry from 
Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle. As a result, on 
September 10, the White House conveniently announced that all testing 
has been completed and that the data hub was ready to launch.
  This announcement came a mere 3 weeks before the exchanges were set 
to go live. Of course, no independent entity will get a chance to 
verify the testing and to certify that there are, as the administration 
claims, no security problems. No third party will be able to make 
recommendations to improve safeguards in order to better protect the 
privacy of consumers. Instead, we are supposed to simply rely on the 
administration's internal testing of the data hub security and stop 
asking questions. This, sadly, is par for the course with the Obama 
  So here we are. We are mere days away from the launch of the 
exchanges, and we have yet to definitively prove whether the massive IT 
or information technology system that will be compiling enrollees' 
information is secure. What a state of events. To the millions of 
consumers about to enroll in the exchanges, this could end up being 
their worst nightmare.
  As if the potential disaster surrounding the data hub were not 
enough, we also have lax regulations regarding the hiring of the so-
called navigators who are to help people get through these problems. As 
you will recall, under ObamaCare, organizations will receive grants to 
assist the uninsured in determining what type of coverage they qualify 
for in States where the Federal Government will be running the 
exchange. The individuals working with those organizations are called 
navigators. Under the law, they will often have access to enrollees' 
personal information.
  In April HHS published its proposed rule regarding the certification 
of navigators. Almost immediately Members of Congress recognized the 
regulations were far too lenient, cutting corners on things such as 
training and background checks and threatening to leave patients and 
consumers with inadequate protection.
  A group of my colleagues and I sent a letter to Secretary Sebelius 
outlining our concerns regarding this rule. Our hope was the 
requirements for navigators would be enhanced to ensure consumers were 
not harmed by unqualified navigators or imposters serving as government 
counselors. Sadly, our request

[[Page S6495]]

fell on deaf ears. We never received a response.
  In late July HHS issued its final navigator rule keeping in place the 
very weak privacy protections, opening the door for private information 
to fall into the wrong hands. Consumer watchdog groups are already 
warning of scams leading to fraud and identify theft with regard to the 
exchanges. Indeed, it seems criminals and fraudsters are already lining 
up to game the system and prey on the innocent.
  Over the last few years I have come to the floor several times to 
talk about the shortcomings of ObamaCare. I continue to believe the law 
is beyond saving, that it should be repealed in its entirety. That 
remains my No. 1 goal when it comes to ObamaCare. However, I also 
believe those of us who opposed this law, which, according to recent 
polls, is a growing percentage of the population, cannot stand on the 
sidelines and let this law inflict harm on the American people. While 
we continue to push for a full repeal of the law, we need to do all we 
can to mitigate the damage that could come from this law.
  With regard to privacy and data security, we need to ensure the 
administration does not expose the personal data of millions of 
Americans to more fraud. That is why I am introducing the Trust But 
Verify Act. If enacted, this important legislation would delay the 
implementation of the Federal and State health insurance exchanges 
until the Government Accountability Office, in consultation with the 
HHS inspector general, can attest that the necessary privacy and data 
security parameters are in place.
  It would simply be irresponsible to open the exchanges without 
adequate safeguards to protect and secure consumers' personal 
information. While the administration claims these safeguards exist, 
there is simply no way to verify these claims absent an independent 
review, which they are not taking. Until we can demonstrate to the 
public their personal information is secure, we should not move forward 
with enrollment in the exchanges. It is that simple. My legislation 
would ensure the exchanges remain on ice until this threshold issue is 
addressed. These are not frivolous concerns; these are real problems. I 
hope all of my colleagues, even those who continue to support the 
President's health law, will work with me to help address these issues.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as in 
morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Mr. President, first, let me commend the chief 
cosponsors of this bill, Senators Shaheen and Portman, for their 
perseverance and their great leadership on this issue. I am a 
wholehearted and passionate supporter of this cause and urge my 
colleagues to address what is truly a triple play.
  This bill is a way to win for employment and economic growth. It is a 
way to win for energy savings and financial savings for our 
manufacturing companies, to make America more competitive. It is a way 
to win for our planet, indeed, to help save our planet along with 
saving money and saving energy.
  I will not only support the bill and the amendments, but I have asked 
for support for an amendment of my own that would help to measure the 
nonmonetary benefits of some of the changes that would be brought about 
by this legislation. I ask Senators Portman and Shaheen to accept this 
amendment and for my colleagues to support it as well.

                          Newtown Anniversary

  I am here to help commemorate the 9-month anniversary of the tragedy 
at Newtown that took the lives of 26 wonderful people--20 beautiful 
children and 6 courageous, skilled educators. It was a commemoration I 
was going to observe yesterday on the floor of the Senate, but, of 
course, there was no Senate session yesterday because of yet another 
unspeakable, horrific tragedy, this one close, literally within blocks 
of this great building.
  It was physically close, but every one of those incidents should be 
close to us emotionally as Newtown has been for me and others of my 
colleagues, most especially my friend and colleague Senator Murphy. It 
brought back a rush of memories for me because Newtown is still close 
to us in emotional proximity, just as the Navy shooting was close in 
physical proximity. The Navy lost 12 of its members. My heart and 
prayers go out to those great sailors, civilians, and contractors, and 
their loved ones.
  Today we have an inspector general report that is profoundly and 
deeply troubling. If reports of this audit are true, the Navy put the 
safety of personnel at risk to save dollars and cents. This apparent 
security lapse, permitting people with criminal records to freely 
access military bases and facilities, is deeply concerning, indeed 
shocking. I call on the inspector general to release the full report. I 
have the report. I have reviewed it briefly. I cannot talk about its 
contents because it has not been released. Make this report public so 
we know what the inspector general of the Navy has said about lapses of 
security and about the failures of the RAPIDGate technology that was 
supposed to protect people at the Navy Yard here in Washington, DC.
  Lax safety and security measures at our military facilities is 
inexcusable. I commend the Secretary of the Navy and the leadership of 
the Navy for raising this issue and hope they will decide to make 
public the full report to the extent it can be done so consistent with 
our Nation's security.
  But one of the lessons here is that the Navy, with RAPIDGate 
technology and all of its facilities with armed guards and the complex 
technology it uses, could not protect members of its own ranks at the 
Navy Yard. We should know why. If it could not do so there, can our 
schools be safe? Can our workplaces be safe? Can America be safe with 
the present plethora of firearms in our Nation today?
  This day was horrific and tragic for America. Yet in many ways it was 
another day. The threat is these incidents will become the new normal. 
We need to ask, will these incidents, these horrific, unspeakable 
tragedies, make a difference? Will they change the political mindset 
and culture in this body and in the House of Representatives?
  In the days to come, we will learn more. There is much more to learn 
before we draw conclusions. I emphasize the facts are disclosed one by 
one even as we watch the news. We will try to wrap our minds around 
whatever evil motive caused this senseless crime, but we know the means 
all too well. The moment shots rang out and the blurb came over the 
news wire, we knew with an instinctive understanding this unfolding 
incident was another act of gun violence in America, another act of gun 
violence in an America plagued by a plethora of guns.
  The answer to the question, will it become a new normal, should find 
the articulate, in fact, deeply powerful words of Janis Orlowski, the 
chief medical officer of MedStar Washington Hospital Center, the 
hospital that received some of yesterday's victims, the hospital that 
deals routinely with gunshot wounds and sometimes deaths. I hope the 
Nation will hear her plea when she said, in effect, these senseless 
killings have to stop, stating:

       There's something evil in our society that we, as 
     Americans, have to work to try and eradicate. I would like 
     you to put my trauma center out of business. I really would. 
     I would like to not be an expert on gunshots. Let's get rid 
     of this. This is not America.

  When I went to Sandy Hook 9 months ago on December 14, I felt an 
obligation to go as a public official, but what I saw was through the 
eyes of a parent, the cries of grief and pain that I will never forget. 
They will live with me always, loved ones and parents emerging from 
that firehouse having learned moments before that their beautiful 
children and loved ones would not be coming home that evening.
  Like the loved ones who said goodbye to the 12 victims at the 
Washington Navy Yard, it was another day, a day like every other day 
when they expected them to come home to the routine, mundane joys of 
life. Twenty innocent, beautiful children and 6 great educators did not 
come home that day. In the days that followed, we all hoped the Senate 
of the United States would keep faith with those families. In the 9 
months since, we have hoped the Nation would keep faith with the 8,158 
Americans around the country, the 8,158 victims of gun violence.
  Last April, the Senate turned its back on Newtown families. One of 

[[Page S6496]]

most difficult days of my career in this job or any other job was to 
try to explain to those families how more than 90 percent of the 
American people--a majority of gun owners, in fact many members of the 
NRA--could back a commonsense measure like background checks, the bill 
the Presiding Officer and Senator Toomey sponsored so courageously and 
ably--could have that kind of support and yet fail to pass this body. 
It had 55 Senators supporting it on that day--54 voting for it, but 60 
votes were needed. One of the answers, of course, is to change the 
Senate rules, which I have long supported, to eliminate the filibuster.
  The families of Newtown, and those 8,158 Americans, their loved ones, 
and all Americans deserve a better answer. It is not to accept these 
mass killings as the new normal, as the commonplace of America. We are 
better than that normal as a Nation. We cannot accept it. I hope, ask, 
and pray that the unspeakable, unimaginable tragedy of Newtown and now 
Washington Navy Yard will renew and reinvigorate this movement and give 
us impetus, emotional, intellectual, and political, which we need and 
  The shooting at the Washington Navy Yard makes clear that, as we said 
in the wake of Newtown, these kinds of mass killings can happen 
anywhere, any school, any community--in Newtown, the quintessential New 
England town, or at the Washington Navy Yard, a supposedly secure 
military facility. We need to make sure it happens nowhere.
  Let us make a mental health initiative a centerpiece of this renewal 
and reinvigoration of our effort to stop gun violence. Let us combine 
it with background checks and other commonsense measures. Bring back 
this issue and these measures.
  We are not going away. We are not giving up. Many of the Newtown 
families will be here again this week. The Newtown Action Alliance has 
been joined by other groups such as Sandy Hook Promise, Newtown Speaks, 
and Mayors Against Illegal Guns. They have formed a powerful gun 
coalition, and I promise I will never give up. I know together we can 
  Not long ago--in fact, this past weekend--I attended a playground 
dedication on the beach in Fairfield overlooking Long Island Sound, a 
beautiful, cloudless day lit by an early morning Sun, to dedicate a 
playground in honor of one of the children, Jessica Rekos, whose family 
was there as well. That playground will be a living reminder of our 
obligation to do better.
  There are regulations right now that have not been approved in final 
form for mental health parity to enable more people to have private 
health insurance coverage. There are commonsense mental health funding 
initiatives. As we speak on this day, groups are going around to our 
offices from the National Council for Behavioral Health, asking for 
support for the Excellence in Mental Health Act, S. 264, ably 
cosponsored by Senator Stabenow and Senator Blunt, focusing on mental 
health and combining those measures with other commonsense, sensible 
gun violence prevention measures. It is the way to forge the consensus 
we need and move from those 55 votes to the 61 we need for passage of a 
gun violence prevention measure that can make us proud, make America 
better, safer, and that can make us, as Americans, a better Nation to 
leave for generations to come.
  As we celebrate the lives lost but commemorate the horrific, 
unspeakable tragedy of Newtown, we should take heart from the courage 
and resilience of those families and their loved ones. From the Newtown 
community which will be visiting the Capitol again, their resoluteness 
and steadfastness should inspire us to do better and to ask more of 
ourselves and make America a better Nation.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming.
  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, I wish to extend my sympathy to all those 
who have suffered a loss yesterday, both here in DC and any other place 
in the country. A loss, a quick and unexpected loss, is always 

                            Constitution Day

  I also wish to take a second today to recognize that this is 
Constitution Day. It is 226 years of our country having this 
Constitution, which is a world record for a constitution. Hopefully we 
will continue to live under the Constitution, work and make progress.


  My main purpose today is to take a few minutes to talk about 
something that occurred during the recess that is another sad example 
of business as usual in Washington. The health care law we are all 
under requires Members of Congress and their congressional staff to 
obtain health insurance under the new exchanges provided by ObamaCare 
next year. I voted to include Congress under the health care law in 
2009 because I believe very strongly that Congress should have to live 
under the laws it passes.
  Let me say that again. I think Congress ought to live under the laws 
it passes. We passed a law that is going to affect most people in the 
United States. I can tell you that the administration doesn't appear to 
share this belief.
  On August 2, immediately after Congress adjourned, the Office of 
Personnel Management, under heavy pressure from congressional leaders, 
announced it would issue regulations saying the government can continue 
to make the employer contribution to the health plans of congressional 
Members and staff. No one else in America who will get their health 
insurance through an exchange may receive a contribution from their 
employer, but the administration decided it would be OK for Congress.
  I am not sure where the authority came from to be able to do that or 
say that. It was difficult at the beginning of the process for us to 
get that amendment in the HELP Committee, Health, Education, Labor, and 
Pensions Committee, when the bill was coming through there. It was 
repeated again in the Finance Committee, and it wound up in the final 
  That is a law we passed. It is a law we passed that said we are going 
to be subject to the same thing the American people are going to be 
subject to.
  Now the administration has said, no, it doesn't apply to Congress. 
Where does it say it doesn't apply to Congress?
  I was in Wyoming for the last month or so, holding listening sessions 
and meeting with the people as I drove 6,000 miles across the State. I 
can tell you people are angry that Congress gets some exemptions from 
ObamaCare that they don't. They are tired of the deal making that 
happens here instead of legislating that could be occurring. They see 
these kinds of exemptions and they don't think it is fair. I agree. I 
don't think it is fair either.
  This is why Senator Vitter and I have introduced a bill that would 
prohibit Members of Congress from receiving a contribution from the 
Federal Government toward their health insurance. Of course, it is not 
only--in our amendment, it is not only Congress but the President, the 
Vice President, and the people responsible for implementing the health 
care law who will not be allowed to receive any government subsidy.
  The President talks about how great the health care bill will be for 
everyone, but the administration doesn't think it is so great that they 
should have to live under it. That should change.
  In addition, the legislation ensures Congress and the administration 
will have to live under the laws it passes and enforces by clarifying 
that all of us can only obtain our health insurance next year through 
an exchange. That is what it says.
  The bill also states Members do not have the authority to define 
official staff. That would be a sneaky way of making an exclusion for 
some of the people we consider to be critical, and can thereby not 
exempt any of their staff from going into the exchange. Yes, that is 
difficult. Yes, that is the same thing that is going to happen with the 
rest of America. The rest of America is going to have these same pangs 
of wishing their contribution could go with them to the exchange. But 
they are going to have to go to the exchange and it is not going to 
follow, and there is no reason we should get an extension.
  The reason we have this amendment is to show Congress shouldn't be 
special, that the American people are going to have this great pain and 
we ought to suffer from it too or change it for everybody. That would 
be unique.

[[Page S6497]]

  I wish to clarify that our bill does not end the government 
contribution for all congressional staff. Those who make the least 
amount of money will still receive a contribution, but many staff who 
would not qualify for any assistance otherwise will not. There is a 
provision in the law that anybody who goes on the exchange, and they 
make less than $43,000 a year as an individual or $92,000 as a family, 
can get a subsidy under the exchange. It would work the same way for 
  Legislation is needed to prevent lawmakers and their staff from 
getting special treatment under the law. Absent this legislative 
change, Congress and the administration are essentially shielded from 
the higher cost, the limited access, and the confusion everybody else 
is going to feel.
  I continue to oppose the health care law, as I have done since it was 
passed. When you pass something from one side of the aisle, without 
taking into consideration the amendments from the other side of the 
aisle, and when you make special deals in order to keep the one side, 
you will end up with a law you will own and it will have flaws in it. 
It is time we quit dealmaking and start legislating on all the issues 
and considering all of the amendments. This is one example of an 
amendment that is up--it is the next amendment up--and it should get a 
vote. It could have had a vote last week and it can have a vote this 
week, but we need to vote on these things and see how they wind up.
  I do continue to oppose the health care law, as I have done, and I 
support full repeal of the law. There are replacements out there. I 
have worked with replacements. In fact, I had my own 10-step plan 
before the President even became a Member of the Senate. That 10-step 
plan would have done more than this bill does and it would have been 
paid for.
  I also worked with Senators Burr and Coburn on a substitute when this 
legislation was going through the process, and that one would have done 
many of the things the President promised in his joint speech to 
Congress. He promised there would be certain things in the bill. I took 
very careful notes at that meeting and found out there were 14 things 
that didn't appear to be in the bill. So I asked those things be in the 
bill, and that is when it became a partisan issue.
  The President said the bill would have tort reform. There is no tort 
reform in the bill. The President said there would be a doc fix. There 
is no doc fix in the bill. I guess the thing that amazed me was that 
people from the American Medical Association stood behind the President 
when he signed the bill, realizing they didn't get the two things they 
insisted on and said they would continue to push for and continue to 
oppose the bill until they were in there, and that was tort reform and 
the doc fix.
  Doctors, under the law for Medicare are not going to be paid 
adequately. If they are not paid adequately, they have a tendency to 
not see Medicare patients. I am pretty sure all of us know somebody who 
has tried to get an appointment with the doctor and the doctor asked: 
Do you get Medicare? If they said yes, he said: I am sorry. I am not 
taking Medicare patients.
  So if you can't see a doctor, do you have insurance at all? I don't 
think so. Medicare has been the lifesaver for seniors in our country 
for some time, and we haven't begun to see the tip of the iceberg yet 
on what is going to happen to our seniors.
  This amendment, which we should get to vote on, is just one piece of 
an overall effort to make sure the bill will work for everybody in 
America. I have 17 other amendments that would, hopefully, close 
loopholes and dismantle pieces we know would not work and make changes. 
So there are ideas out there that could make this bill work, but this 
one amendment is just part of an overall effort. It will close the 
loophole for Congress and it will ensure that everyone is treated 
equally under the health care law.
  For better or for worse, we should all be in this together. Again, 
this isn't just to subject our colleagues to pain; it is to get them to 
recognize the pain America is about to feel. It is not fair for us to 
make ourselves pain free. We can't inoculate ourselves or give 
ourselves some special medication. That is what we are doing in the 
bill. This amendment clarifies Members don't have the authority to 
define ``official staff'' and, therefore, they can't exempt any of 
their staff from going into the exchange. It clarifies that Members of 
Congress, all of their staff, the President, the Vice President, and 
all political appointees are no longer eligible for the Federal 
Employees Health Benefit Plan and have to go into the exchange.
  That seems fair to me. The bill is named after the President. Why 
wouldn't the President want to be under the bill? How could he possibly 
avoid being under the bill and doing what the rest of Americans will 
have to do? If it is such a great deal, and since the bill is named for 
him, one would think he would want to do that.
  I voted to include Members and staff on ObamaCare before the bill 
passed, in the HELP Committee, in the Finance Committee, and on this 
floor. It got tweaked a little after it passed on the floor--and I am a 
little disturbed about that--but even that doesn't warrant the 
clarification of this magnitude. People deserve and expect those who 
are responsible for passing and implementing laws will have to live 
under the same laws they do.
  I have cosponsored this legislation with Senator Vitter, and I 
appreciate all of the initiative he has taken, the difficult and 
specific task of drafting, and all of the work that has gone into this. 
This will make a difference. Congress will realize the difference. The 
American people will blame us if they see the difference and we 
  I would ask we get to vote on this amendment. I hope we get to vote 
on it soon and we can then move on to other amendments on an important 
bill and get things done. That is what the American people expect us to 
do. They expect us to get some things done. If somebody thinks this is 
something that would be wrong for us, they should consider it to be 
wrong for America as well and join us in fixing it one way or the 
  Again, I thank Senator Vitter for all his efforts on it, and I do 
expect we should get a vote.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Louisiana.
  Mr. VITTER. Mr. President, I thank and recognize the longstanding 
work of the distinguished Senator from Wyoming. He has fought long and 
hard from the very beginning for this position during the ObamaCare 
debate, and he has done so in a very focused and determined and 
consistent way. I appreciate his doing that all through the ObamaCare 
debate and bringing it to the floor with me and others in this 
  I repeat, I appreciate all of his leadership in fighting for what I 
consider the first principle of democracy, which is that all rules that 
are passed on to America should be visited on Washington, and we should 
be treated exactly the same as the rest of America is treated. That 
should be true across the board, but it certainly should be true under 
ObamaCare. That is the very intent of this provision, which is the law 
now. It is the law now under ObamaCare.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Hampshire.
  Mrs. SHAHEEN. Mr. President, I see my colleague from North Dakota 
Senator Hoeven is here so I will be brief.
  I wish to pick up on something Senator Enzi talked about, which is 
that the American people are expecting us to get something done. I 
couldn't agree with him more. That is why I have been on the floor for 
the last 3 days, along with my colleague from Ohio Senator Portman, who 
has worked so hard with me to put together an energy efficiency bill to 
address the very real challenges facing this country around energy 
security, and energy efficiency is the cheapest, fastest way to deal 
with our energy needs.
  We have multiple bipartisan amendments to this legislation. We have a 
lot of bipartisan support for this legislation, with more than 260 
groups, as varied as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National 
Resources Defense Council, supporting this legislation. I hope all 
those people who would like to have a different conversation around 
health care, or whatever else, will be willing to postpone that 
conversation so we can deal with the bill before us, which is the 
Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act.
  I appreciate all the work of my colleague from North Dakota, Senator

[[Page S6498]]

Hoeven. He has been willing to engage with us on this legislation and I 
urge all of us to get to the bill at hand and deal with energy issues 
and let us have those other debates at the appropriate time. Now is not 
the appropriate time.
  Mr. WYDEN. Would the Senator from New Hampshire yield for a question?
  Mrs. SHAHEEN. I would.
  Mr. WYDEN. How many years has the Senator from New Hampshire been 
involved in this legislation? Because I can recall the various 
iterations that she and Senator Portman offered, and then she worked 
with various groups, business organizations and public interest groups, 
and I think it would be helpful to hear how long she has been working 
on this legislation and how long she has been waiting to actually get 
this bill in front of the Senate.
  Mrs. SHAHEEN. Senator Portman can correct me on this, but I think we 
introduced this legislation early in 2011, not too long after he came 
to the Senate, and we have been working for 3 years. We reintroduced it 
in this Congress and have made a number of changes over the years in 
response to what we heard from stakeholders and in response to some of 
the concerns expressed by our colleagues on the other side of the aisle 
to make the bill better and to try and put together legislation that 
could actually pass the Congress.
  We have another bill in the House that is very similar, which is also 
a bipartisan piece of energy efficiency legislation. There has been a 
lot of interest expressed in the House in trying to act on this issue, 
so we have a real opportunity to get a bill through Congress, to get it 
to the President's desk, to get it signed, and to begin making progress 
on those 136,000 jobs we have heard about from the ACEEE--the American 
Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy--that could be created as a 
result of passing this bill.
  Mr. WYDEN. Is it the view of the Senator from New Hampshire that the 
amendments that have been offered--the bipartisan amendments--take her 
bill, the product of all those negotiations, more than 3 years' worth 
of work, and actually make the bill even better?
  I look at some of the amendments, particularly the one offered by the 
Senator from Georgia and the Senator from Colorado--the Isakson-Bennet 
amendment--and I realize we know more in America about the kind of 
common energy-efficient products that one might use, whether it is a 
toaster or something else around the house, than we do about the actual 
house itself. So we have two thoughtful Senators coming together and 
they have worked with a whole host of commercial building interests and 
they are going to make it possible, in my view, to save a lot of energy 
that will result in savings for homeowners and other Americans.
  I would be interested in the Senator's take on the various amendments 
that have been filed because I think those amendments take the very 
fine bill she and Senator Portman have and make it even better.
  Mrs. SHAHEEN. There is no doubt about that. I have been impressed 
with the amount of thought that has gone into these bipartisan 
amendments and with the variety of ways in which they improve on energy 
  The Senator talked about the Isakson-Bennet amendment. Senator Bennet 
has an amendment with Senator Ayotte, my colleague from New Hampshire, 
talking about tenants who are renting and the incentives we can provide 
to tenants to address their energy use.
  Senator Gillibrand, who came to the floor last week, talked about how 
we could look at emergency disaster relief and try and make sure when 
we rebuild from disasters we rebuild in a way that is much more energy 
  So we have a whole range of ideas. Senator Hoeven, who is on the 
floor, is talking about addressing water heaters and the need to make 
sure water heaters are more efficient. He is working with Senator 
Pryor. We have a whole list of amendments that are thoughtful and that 
have been the result of a lot of work on the part of a lot of Senators 
in this Chamber.
  It is unfortunate we can't get to those amendments and get them 
passed. I think most of them would pass on a voice vote.
  Mr. WYDEN. Let me wrap up with one last question to get a sense of 
the Senator's intent. My sense is the Senator is very open, as is 
Senator Portman, that there will be votes. I see our colleagues on the 
floor who have also been here since Wednesday, but the Senator from New 
Hampshire, I believe, is open to giving them votes on the several 
issues that have come up in connection with this debate, that have been 
debated over the last few days, and then she would be open to the 
leadership on both sides agreeing to a finite list of amendments and 
then actually voting on the energy efficiency bill this week.
  My hope is that is what the Senator would like to do because that is 
what I have tried to tell colleagues, as chairman of the Energy and 
Natural Resources Committee.
  Mr. WYDEN. I just came back from an excellent visit to North Dakota 
with Senator Hoeven. There are a lot of other issues the Senate wants 
to tackle in the energy area to make sure we fully tap the potential of 
natural gas. There are win-win opportunities that are also good for the 
environment. We would like to resolve the nuclear waste question. We 
have a bipartisan bill here in the Senate.
  Is that the intent of the Democratic sponsor of this legislation, 
that in the next couple of hours we get a finite list of the additional 
amendments In other words, we have the Senator's bill, and we have 
several amendments that have been debated at length already. Those 
would be part of the vote, and then in the next couple of hours we 
would have a finite list, and then we could address those and finish 
the bill this week?
  Mrs. SHAHEEN. Absolutely. And I think that is Senator Portman's 
interest. We would like to get some agreement on how to move forward. 
As I said last week, I don't have any objection to voting on Senator 
Vitter's legislation if we can get some agreement on limiting those 
extraneous amendments that really don't have anything to do with energy 
efficiency so we can get onto this bill, get it done, and make progress 
because, as the chairman knows, it is going to be very challenging to 
tackle some of those other energy issues that are much more 
controversial than this energy efficiency bill. So it would be nice to 
be able to have agreement so we can move on to some of those other 
  I especially appreciate the Senator's leadership and Senator 
Murkowski's leadership in reaching some agreement and trying to move an 
energy agenda on the floor.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Louisiana.
  Mr. VITTER. Mr. President, I wish to briefly respond to the comments 
by the distinguished Senator from New Hampshire.
  First, I welcome her statement that she supports getting a vote on 
the Vitter amendment. I am not sure I have heard it before, but I heard 
it just then and I welcome it and I appreciate it and want to echo 
  Secondly, I wish to briefly respond to the notion that somehow now is 
not the appropriate time for that vote. I and my colleagues who support 
this language are reacting to an illegal rule that goes into effect 
October 1, so I am demanding a vote before October 1, when this goes 
into effect. I am not sure what more appropriate time there can be than 
before October 1 if we are trying to block this illegal rule that will 
happen October 1. So this is the appropriate time--not according to a 
timetable I made but according to a timetable that the Obama 
administration made and that is supported by the opponents of our 
  If OPM wants to announce that they are delaying this illegal rule 
indefinitely or for 1 year, then we will delay this vote because that 
would be appropriate. But the appropriate time to stop this illegal 
rule that goes into effect October 1 is, by definition, before October 
1, which is all I have demanded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Dakota.
  Mr. HOEVEN. Mr. President, I wish to introduce two energy efficiency 
amendments that I am offering for attachment to the Shaheen-Portman 
energy efficiency bill.
  I thank both of the bill's sponsors, the Senators from New Hampshire 
and Ohio, for their willingness to work with me and with our cosponsors 

[[Page S6499]]

this bipartisan legislation. I also thank both the Senator from Oregon, 
who is the chairman of the energy committee, as well as the ranking 
member of the energy committee, the Senator from Alaska, for working 
with us as well.
  Obviously, I hope we will be able to work through the list of 
amendments to this legislation so that we can get votes on these bills. 
We have broad bipartisan support on both of these measures, so I wish 
to take a few minutes to introduce them and to briefly describe them.
  The first is an amendment regarding water heaters. It is actually the 
water heater efficiency amendment. Currently, a 2010 Department of 
Energy rule on water heaters effectively bans the manufacture of large 
electric water heaters beginning in 2015, which will greatly affect 
consumers in our rural areas and hurt the effectiveness of some of the 
demand-response rural electric programs. These demand-response rural 
electric programs are designed to use off-peak loads, which is both 
energy efficient and also generates big-time savings for consumers. So 
it is one of those win-win deals. But many of our rural areas are not 
serviced by natural gas. As a result, they would be forced to buy 
multiple water heaters in order to meet their need because the load 
doesn't enable them to store enough heat. That doesn't make any sense.
  What I am offering is a practical amendment that improves the 
efficiency of electric water heaters but lets our rural areas have 
access to affordable, efficient water heaters that can supplement 
renewable energy. Much of this off-peak energy is renewable energy, so 
there is another benefit as well. This is one that saves money, is 
energy efficient, and also provides good environmental stewardship.
  Many of our electric cooperatives and other utilities have voluntary 
demand-response programs that use electric water heaters to more 
effectively manage power supply and demand. In those areas where 
renewables are part of the electric generation system, these water 
heaters facilitate the integration of renewable energy that can be 
stored--like at nighttime, obviously--for use during peak hours. That 
includes such things as wind and solar energy.
  This amendment would allow the continued manufacture of large, grid-
enabled, electric-resistance water heaters only for their use in 
electric thermal storage or demand-response programs, meaning that they 
use off-peak load or lower cost energy that would otherwise be lost or 
not used. The amendment would require that grid-enabled water heaters 
have a volume of more than 75 gallons, be energy efficient, and work on 
grids that have a demand-response system. So, again, you are using off-
peak loads, using renewable energy, and it saves the consumer a lot of 
money and makes sure they have the hot water they need for their use 
but is a big-time cost saver and good environmental stewardship 
  We have broad support from the energy efficiency groups, from the 
environmental groups, from manufacturers, and from the rural electric 
cooperatives. I will name some of them. These include the Air-
Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute, the American 
Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the American Public Power 
Association, Edison Electric Institute, General Electric Company, 
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the National Resource 
Defense Council, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, and there 
are many more. This has broad support. I am not aware at this point if 
there are opponents.
  The Shaheen-Portman bill is an energy efficiency bill. It is about 
using energy more wisely, benefiting both providers and consumers 
alike. And that is exactly what this amendment does. It saves money, it 
saves energy, it benefits the environment, and it benefits consumers.
  Mr. PORTMAN. Would the Senator yield?
  Mr. HOEVEN. I certainly yield to the good Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. PORTMAN. I know my colleague is going to talk about another one 
of his amendments in a moment. I wish to briefly stay on this 
  It makes a lot of sense, and he said it well. In Ohio as well as 
other States, during these off-peak periods--and often it is renewable 
energy--think about a time when you can generate power during the day 
from solar or wind or other sources, and if you can store that during 
the peak times and if these water heaters are well enough insulated, 
they can store that heat that is otherwise wasted or not used.
  It seems it makes a lot of sense to ensure that the 2010 DOE rule the 
Senator talked about doesn't preclude the possibility of manufacturing 
these large water heaters for electric thermal storage and for these 
demand-response programs the Senator talked about that some of them 
have. One is the Buckeye Power Utility, an electric co-op, and they are 
very interested in this amendment.
  I support the amendment. I think it is an example of an amendment 
brought to the floor that is going to help make the bill better. It is 
consistent with the energy efficiency goals of the legislation.
  I thank the Senator for his work.
  Mr. HOEVEN. Mr. President, I thank the good Senator from Ohio. It 
really does comport both with the spirit and intent of the legislation 
that he has coauthored with the distinguished Senator from New 
Hampshire, but really it actually accomplishes what the Department of 
Energy set out to do.
  In rural areas across this country, whether in North Dakota, Ohio, 
West Virginia, New Hampshire, or anywhere else, we have rural consumers 
who are looking at having to buy multiple water heaters just to have 
enough hot water because they are on these off-peak load programs, 
which makes sense and which is what we want. We want them on these off-
peak programs because it is more efficient and saves money and utilizes 
renewable energy, but we have to enable them to do it. So this 
accomplishes what DOE set out to do.
  Again, I thank the distinguished Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. President, I wish to offer another amendment to the underlying 
legislation. This is the ``all of the above'' Federal building energy 
  We talk about doing ``all of the above'' energy development in this 
country, and we have to get from talking about it to doing it. This is 
a great example of what I am talking about. It actually goes back and 
addresses a problem that was created in the Energy Independence and 
Security Act of 2007. In that act they set efficiency standards for 
Federal buildings that have to be achieved by 2030 and then they limit 
it as to which types of energy can be used, creating a real problem for 
the Department of Energy, which is actually having to implement that 
  This is a piece of legislation that actually will enable some of 
these energy efficiency goals to be achieved with better environmental 
stewardship but with a commonsense ``all of the above'' approach in 
terms of energy sources. Frankly, the goals of that cannot be achieved 
without them. The Shaheen-Portman legislation is an on-subject piece of 
legislation that really allows us to correct the problems in the Energy 
Independence and Security Act of 2007 and really accomplishes what that 
act set out to do, so if I could just take a couple minutes to describe 
  This ``all of the above'' Federal Building Energy Conservation Act, 
amendment No. 1917, is a commonsense piece of legislation that saves 
taxpayers money by enhancing the energy efficiency of Federal buildings 
by allowing all forms or all sources of energy to power our buildings 
while still meeting the objectives of the underlying legislation.
  Currently, section 433 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 
2007 mandates the elimination of all fossil fuel-generated energy use 
in any new Federal building by the year 2030, but the mandate also 
covers any major renovation of $2.5 million or more to any Federal 
building. Unfortunately, the Department of Energy has been unable to 
finalize a rule because the law itself is unworkable.
  Think about it--any Federal building where there is a renovation of 
more than $2.5 million, you can no longer use fossil fuels--think 
natural gas--in that building. So what are you going to heat and cool 
the building with? Are you sure you are going to have enough 
intermittent power--whether it is solar or wind or something else--to 
make sure that for any Federal building

[[Page S6500]]

where you make a change of more than $2.5 million you are going to be 
able to meet the energy needs of that building? The Department of 
Energy can't do it. They can't write a rule that meets that statutory 
requirement. So we fix it in this amendment.
  My amendment would replace an unworkable mandate that is impossible 
to implement with a practical, time-proven approach, using technology 
and all of our energy resources to achieve the goal of energy 
efficiency. Again, this will enable us to achieve the energy efficiency 
goals of the underlying legislation, which is the Energy Independence 
and Security Act of 2007.
  Instead of prohibiting the use of fossil fuels, including next-
generation technologies as section 433 would currently provide as 
written, this amendment creates sensible energy efficiency guidelines 
to make Federal buildings more energy efficient, thereby lowering 
emissions. The measure also helps to make sure when we do major 
renovations we use the most up-to-date building codes. We do all of 
this in a transparent manner by having the Secretary of Energy make 
information available as to how the Federal Government is improving its 
efficiency in Federal buildings.
  Current law is unable to do any of this. The reality is section 433 
does not work, as I said, and cannot be implemented without a fix. We 
are providing that fix. According to the American Council for an 
Energy-Efficient Economy:

       The current section 433 is not very workable because in its 
     present form it discourages investments in long-term energy 
     savings contracts and in combined heat and power systems.

  So if you care about efficiency--that is what this underlying bill is 
all about, energy efficiency--if you care about efficiency, we need to 
change section 433. If you care about making sure our taxpayer dollars 
are well spent, we need to pass the amendment I am offering. It is 
better to have aggressive yet achievable goals with a means to obtain 
them through private sector financing mechanisms than to have an 
unfunded mandate that will not produce the intended results.
  Major conservation stakeholders agree. This amendment is supported by 
a remarkably broad coalition. That coalition includes: the Alliance to 
Save Energy, the Combined Heat and Power Association, the American Gas 
Association, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the 
Edison Electric Institute, the Federal Performance Contractors 
Coalition, Owens Corning, Siemens, the National Association of Energy 
Service Companies, the American Public Power Association, Lockheed 
Martin, Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy Association, Honeywell--the list 
goes on, and there are many more.
  That is because, again, it is about common sense, it is about energy 
efficiency, and it is about doing it in a way that actually 
accomplishes those goals.
  Energy conservation is an objective where we should be able to find 
consensus. Everyone agrees it makes good sense to save energy. This 
amendment makes the current law both practical and achievable. The 
Congressional Budget Office says it saves money. I urge my colleagues 
to support this commonsense amendment.
  Finally, if I may before I close, I would like to make some brief 
comments in regard to the farm bill. We have been working on a farm 
bill for over 2 years. I am a member of the Senate Agriculture 
Committee. Last year we passed a solid farm bill from the Senate 
Agriculture Committee that strengthens and enhances crop insurance and 
saves money. At a time when we are running a Federal deficit and debt, 
we are saving money. We passed the bill out of the Agriculture 
Committee last year. The House passed a bill different than the bill we 
passed out of the Senate Agriculture Committee, but the House 
Agriculture Committee passed a farm bill as well, and a good farm bill.
  On the Senate floor last year we passed the farm bill and passed it 
with a large bipartisan vote. On the House side they were not able to 
pass it. They were not able to pass their bill, so at the end of the 
year when the current farm bill expired we were forced to do an 
  We come back this year. The Senate Agriculture Committee again passes 
a good solid farm bill that strengthens crop insurance, is good for 
farmers and ranchers, and saves money. We pass it on the Senate floor 
as well. On the House side, they pass the bill through the House 
Agriculture Committee and they pass a bill on the floor. It did not 
include the nutrition piece, but they did pass a bill on the floor.
  This week they are set to vote on a nutrition bill. That is good. 
They need to do that and they need to make their decision on how they 
want to handle the food stamp reform, or Supplemental Nutrition 
Assistance Program reforms. But the key is they need to name their 
conferees. They need to take action this week and name their conferees. 
We have named our conferees. I am pleased to be a member of the 
conference committee. But we need to work. We need to get this 
  The reality is, for our farmers and ranchers, we should not be 
providing another 1-year extension. These are business people. They 
need to plan. They need to know what the 5-year farm program is going 
to be so they can plan and operate their business accordingly. There 
are on the order of 16 million jobs in this country that are dependent, 
directly or indirectly, on agriculture. We want to get this economy 
growing. Those are a tremendous number of jobs, 16 million jobs, that, 
directly or indirectly, rely on agriculture. Agriculture creates a 
positive balance of trade.
  We are talking about an energy efficiency bill right now and our 
farmers are out there right now, not only producing food but fuel as 
well--food, fuel, and fiber. They create not only jobs in this country 
but they have a positive trade balance, which is tremendous for our 
  The bill, as I mentioned earlier, saves money. At a minimum we are 
going to save $24 billion, and it will likely be more than that. It 
helps with the deficit and the debt.
  I want to close today by again calling on my colleagues on the House 
side to deal with the nutrition issue, name their conferees, let's get 
into conference, and let's get a farm bill done. Thanks to our farmers 
and ranchers, we have the highest quality, lowest cost food supply in 
the world, in the history of the world. That benefits every single 
American--whether you live in rural America or in the biggest city. 
Let's get it done.
  I again thank the sponsors of this bill. They are working hard. You 
know what. They are setting an example for this body on the kind of 
bipartisanship and working together we need to have to get things done 
for the American people. I commend them both and thank them for this 
opportunity to present these amendments to their bill.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. President, the second amendment my colleague from 
North Dakota spoke about is another example of a bipartisan piece of 
legislation. In fact, I think the Presiding Officer of the Senate this 
afternoon is a cosponsor of it, which I think makes sense because I 
think the current program which would, by 2030, lead to no fossil fuel-
generated energy for use in newer renovated buildings is not practical. 
I think the impracticality of it is shown by the inability of the 
Department of Energy to move forward with their regulations.
  I will say while this amendment repeals the fossil fuel ban in 
section 433, it also strengthens other existing provisions for Federal 
energy management, including extending the Federal efficiency targets 
for Federal buildings to 2013. I think it is a responsible approach and 
a practical approach. It will give the Federal Government added 
flexibility to achieve these reductions in energy production without 
adding burdensome new requirements to the Federal building energy 
  It is also, in combination with many aspects of the underlying bill 
which deal with energy efficiency on Federal Government buildings and 
practices, basically encouraging the Federal Government to practice 
what it preaches and be more efficient, as the largest energy user in 
the country and probably in the world.
  I think it is consistent with the legislation, although there may be 
some alternatives people want to talk about, but I do think this is an 
amendment which actually makes sense because it

[[Page S6501]]

is practical and I think it also is consistent, again, with our 
underlying purpose which is to, in a way that provides flexibility, 
achieve efficiency standards at the Federal Government level. It 
encourages more efficiency.
  Finally, on the farm bill comments, I agree with my colleague from 
North Dakota. Our farmers need the predictability and certainty that 
comes with the farm bill. He talked about 1 year not being enough. I do 
agree with that. I hope we will be able to get the conferees named and 
get in conference and come out with a bill that helps farmers know what 
the rules of the game are. That is what they are looking for. They want 
to know the crop insurance program is going to be there and be sure and 
strong, the safety net will be there--which this bill will provide, 
regardless whether it is the House version or Senate version, and then 
they need to know what the rules of the game are for the other 
commodities and other programs.
  I hope that can move forward because it would be great for our 
country, great for Ohio. The No. 1 industry in Ohio is agriculture. We 
are proud of that. We want to make sure those farmers have the ability 
to succeed.
  I will yield back my time and thank Members who have come to the 
floor to talk about amendments. I hope other Members who might be 
listening will do that.
  This is an opportunity, even before we can officially file or 
introduce amendments and debate and vote them. At least we can have the 
discussion so we are ready to go when I suspect we will have an 
agreement between leadership of both of our parties even later today. 
We are working on that. We think we have limited the number of 
amendments to a reasonable level and we are trying to encourage Members 
to work with us to ensure we can get to this underlying legislation and 
move forward with a bipartisan energy efficiency bill that is going to 
help on our trade deficits, going to help our economy grow jobs, make 
our environment cleaner, and is going to be one that actually shows 
this body we can in a bipartisan way do what is good for our 
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada.

                           Navy Yard Tragedy

  Mr. HELLER. Mr. President, I rise today to speak in favor of the 
Vitter amendment to the energy efficiency bill. Before I begin my 
remarks, I wish to recognize the horrific events that occurred 
yesterday, a little over a mile from here. Yesterday's tragic and 
senseless shooting devastated families and changed lives forever. We 
continue to hold the victims and their loved ones in our thoughts and 
we are deeply appreciative of law enforcement and first responders who 
helped save lives and prevent further violence.
  Senator Vitter's amendment to the energy efficiency bill addresses a 
serious concern that I, along with many of my constituents, have 
expressed about ObamaCare. Specifically, this amendment seeks to 
eliminate special Washington, DC, exemptions in the current law. It 
requires congressional staff, including the committee and leadership 
staff as well as the President and the Vice President and all political 
appointees in the administration, to participate in the same exchanges 
ObamaCare forces on everyday Americans.
  I have cosponsored this amendment with some of my colleagues, 
including Senators Vitter and Enzi, because I think it is clear the 
American people are fed up with the beltway mentality that the rules 
apply to everyone else but not Washington, DC. If you ask me, a law 
that applies to all Americans except those who wrote it simply does not 
pass the smell test.
  By the way, I wish to note this elitist attitude is not anything new. 
In fact, America's second President, John Adams, warned against a 
legislative assembly that would ``in time not hesitate to exempt itself 
from the burdens which it will lay without shame on its constituents.'' 
It turns out this was a tragically accurate prediction.
  Before ObamaCare was even passed into law, I argued that those who 
wrote the law should be beholden to it. As a member of the House Ways 
and Means Committee, I introduced an amendment that would require all 
Members of Congress and their dependents to obtain their health 
insurance through the Affordable Care Act's health care insurance 
exchanges. But last month, immediately after Congress left for the 
August recess, the Office of Personnel Management announced in its 
proposed rules on ObamaCare that the government can continue to make 
employer contributions to the health plans of congressional Members and 
staff. This basically means Members of Congress and congressional staff 
will receive a taxpayer-funded subsidy for their health care insurance. 
Ultimately, these tax dollars will be used to protect Washington 
insiders from the negative consequences of ObamaCare's health 
  Following OPM's announcement, I immediately wrote to them, asking 
that they clarify in their final rule exactly who is subject to the 
exchanges. Specifically I asked them to ensure that in addition to 
Members of Congress, all congressional staff, including committee and 
leadership staff as well as political employees, go to the exchanges. I 
have written a followup letter to OPM, and as of yet I have not 
received a single response for this concern.
  If ObamaCare is such a good idea, why would those who helped write 
the law not stand proudly by it? The fact that ObamaCare protects a 
select few from participating in the exchanges is further evidence that 
the law never should have been passed to begin with. But now that it 
has been passed, upheld by the courts as a massive tax increase, those 
who put it in place should be subject to the same burdensome 
regulations, taxes, and mandates that everyday Americans are stuck 
with. If the President and Congress say it is good enough for the 
American people, then it should be good enough for the President, Vice 
President, political appointees, and all congressional staff too. So 
this amendment I have cosponsored ensures that there is no special fix 
or exemption for Members of Congress and their staffs. It ensures that 
they participate in the exchanges just as does every other American 
starting January 1 of next year. It also ensures that any type of 
taxpayer-funded subsidies offered to them are also available to the 
American taxpayers through tax credits.

  As many of my colleagues did, I spent the August recess meeting with 
my constituents and listening to their concerns. It probably won't 
surprise anyone that the general public doesn't think very highly of 
Congress, and this exemption is a perfect example of why that is the 
  Unfortunately, in recent days the conversation about this particular 
amendment has taken an ugly turn toward personal attacks. Regardless of 
whether my colleagues support this amendment, we should be talking 
about this measure in the context of what is fair and what is best for 
the American public. I urge my colleagues to abandon threats and 
personal attacks and examine this legislation based on its merits.
  Since the Supreme Court upheld ObamaCare, its provisions have been 
repeatedly delayed by the administration, demonstrating that the 
Federal Government understands how bad the law will be for businesses 
and middle-class families. In fact, the Washington Times just reported 
that the Obama administration has delayed major aspects of the health 
care law no less than five times to date. And this latest move to 
insulate DC insiders from this unpopular law is more than enough 
evidence that ObamaCare is the wrong answer to the health care 
challenges in this country.
  I urge my colleagues to support this amendment. It is a reflection of 
a basic principle of our democracy: that equality under the law means 
the law applies to everyone. Serving the people of the United States is 
a privilege. It is about service. It is not about status. And if 
Congress is going to pass laws that are unpopular, we better be ready 
to live by the same rules as everyone else. This is what this amendment 
is about, and I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting it.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. President, I note the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.

[[Page S6502]]

  Mr. VITTER. 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. VITTER. Mr. President, I wish to personally thank our 
distinguished colleague from Nevada for all of his work and partnership 
on this important measure. He has been an outspoken leader from the 
very beginning of this debate and has stood hard and fast for the truly 
fundamental principle that any rule we pass here for America should 
first and foremost and equally be applied to Washington. So I really 
appreciate his leadership and his work, which continues, and we look 
forward to the vote that we absolutely demand and deserve before 
October 1.
  Thank you, Mr. President.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. MORAN. 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 
  Mr. MORAN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent to address the 
Senate as in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                          Alzheimer's Disease

  Mr. MORAN. Madam President, every 68 seconds--a little more than 1 
minute--someone in America develops Alzheimer's. It is a devastating 
and irreversible brain disease that slowly destroys an individual's 
cognitive functioning, including memory and thought.
  Back home in Kansas, a Kansas City physician, Dr. Richard Padula, and 
his wife Marta had been married for 51 years when he was diagnosed with 
Alzheimer's disease in 2006. It is difficult to imagine the anguish 
Dick and Marta and their family and their friends experienced as he 
deteriorated from a leading heart surgeon into someone unable to 
comprehend a newspaper article. Unfortunately, these stories have 
become very common.
  Alzheimer's currently affects more than 5.2 million people in the 
United States and more than 35.6 million people worldwide.
  As our population ages, the number of people diagnosed with 
Alzheimer's after the age of 65 will double every 5 years, while the 
number of individuals 85 years and older with this disease will triple 
by 2050. Already, Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in 
the United States, and there is currently no cure, no diagnostic test, 
and no treatment for this terrible, terrible disease.
  As a nation, we should, we must, we ought to commit to defeating one 
of the greatest threats to the health of Americans and to the financial 
well-being of our Nation.
  In 1962, President Kennedy called our Nation to action to reach the 
Moon by the end of the decade, and Americans rallied around that cry. 
Similarly, we need to commit ourselves to a goal just as ambitious but 
perhaps even more imperative. We must strive to achieve not only an 
effective treatment but a cure for Alzheimer's over the next decade.
  President Kennedy said: `` . . . because that goal will serve to 
organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that 
challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to 
postpone, and one which we intend to win. . . .''--I would like those 
words to be spoken about the fight against Alzheimer's.
  As the baby boomer generation ages and Alzheimer's disease becomes 
more prevalent, the need to confront the pending health care crisis has 
become even more urgent. The financial costs alone cannot be ignored. 
What it costs America's health care system, what it costs Americans, 
what it costs the taxpayers, we need to address these issues.
  Caring for those with Alzheimer's and other dementias is expected to 
reach an expense of $203 billion this year--$203 billion this year--
with $142 billion covered by the Federal Government through Medicare 
and Medicaid.
  A recent study by the RAND Corporation stated that the cost of 
dementia care is projected to double over the next 30 years, surpassing 
health care expenses for both heart disease and cancer. Without a way 
to prevent, cure or effectively treat Alzheimer's, it will be 
difficult, if not impossible, to rein in our Nation's health care 
  Alzheimer's has become a disease that defines a generation, but if we 
focus and prioritize our research capacity, it does not need to 
continue to be an inevitable part of aging.
  It is time to truly commit to defeating this disease in the next 
decade, a goal no more ambitious than President Kennedy set forth for 
the Apollo space program. For every $27 that Medicare and Medicaid 
spend caring for an individual with Alzheimer's, the Federal Government 
only spends $1 on Alzheimer's research--$27 to care for the disease; $1 
to try to cure or prevent the disease.
  Yet we know that research suggests that more progress could be made 
if given more support. One study found that a breakthrough against 
Alzheimer's that delays the onset of the disease by just 5 years would 
mean an annual savings of $362 billion by 2050. A sustained Federal 
commitment to research for Alzheimer's will lower the cost and improve 
the health outcomes for people living with the disease today and in the 
  I am the ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee 
that funds the National Institutes of Health. NIH is the focal point of 
our Nation's medical research infrastructure, and I am committed to 
working with my colleagues to prioritize funding for Alzheimer's 
research. This year our subcommittee increased funding for the National 
Institute on Aging--the lead institute for Alzheimer's research at 
NIH--by $84 million and supported the initial year of funding for the 
new Presidential initiative to map the human brain. Both projects will 
increase our understanding of the underlying causes of Alzheimer's, 
unlock the mysteries of the brain, and bring us closer--closer--to an 
effective treatment and, one day, closer to a cure.
  Alzheimer's is a defining challenge of my generation, and we should 
commit to a national goal to defeat this devastating disease. We can do 
that by supporting critical research carried out by scientists and 
researchers across our Nation and supported by the National Institutes 
of Health.
  In my view this is an area in which we all can come together. You can 
be the most compassionate, caring person--and we ought to spend money 
to care for people--you can be the most cautious about spending dollars 
and the investment and what the return is for every dollar we spend, 
and because we could save on health care costs, you ought to be 
supportive of this funding.
  The health and financial future of our Nation, in my view, is at 
stake, and the United States cannot, should not, must not ignore this 
threat. Together, we can make a sustained commitment to Alzheimer's 
research that will benefit our Nation and bring hope to families such 
as the Padulas, as well as to every American. It is a challenge. It is 
a challenge we ought to accept. The moment for us to act is now, and 
the end result is hope for the future.
  I yield the floor.
  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. CARPER. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. CARPER. Madam President, I rise in support of the legislation 
coauthored by Senator Shaheen and Senator Portman, the Energy Savings 
and Industrial Competitiveness Act. I wish to take a minute to thank 
them for their leadership and for their tenacity in getting this bill 
to the floor, struggling through all of the amendments that are being 
offered to it, trying to make sure we figure out how we can actually 
save some energy, save some money, and do some good for our 
  I thank the Senator from New Hampshire very much. It is always a 
pleasure to work with a recovering Governor. We will see where this 
ends. I hope it ends in a good place. As our economy picks up and our 
Nation's energy needs grow, investing in energy efficiency is a no-
  Energy efficiency investments save money, save money in energy costs,

[[Page S6503]]

save energy resources, protect our environment, and create jobs.
  Homeowners and businesses are already investing in energy-efficient 
technologies. As an extra bonus, many of these technologies are 
developed right here--not here in Washington but right here in America. 
Earlier this month I visited a company called WhiteOptics, and they are 
producing advanced light bulb technology. When it is used, it can 
deliver more light than traditional fluorescent bulbs for half the 
energy. Think about that, more light for half the energy. The payback 
for that technology is not just less than a decade, not less than 5 
years, it is less than 1 year.
  Since the cost of lighting can comprise up to 50 percent of a 
manufacturer's energy bill, it is a relatively easy and inexpensive way 
to save money and, as it turns out, a lot of money. Through investments 
in advanced light bulbs, light technology, and other energy efficiency 
measures, our country has the potential to save as much as 40 gigawatts 
of power by 2018.
  How much is 40 gigawatts? Think of 80 coal-powered plants, all of 
them going full blast, is about 40 gigawatts.
  Unfortunately, barriers such as upfront costs and inadequate 
efficiency standards are preventing our country from realizing our 
energy efficiency potential. The Shaheen-Portman bill breaks down many 
of these barriers. Again, I think voting for it is a no-brainer.
  As an added bonus, the legislation before us will help us rein in 
Federal spending too, because it includes provisions that will reduce 
Uncle Sam's energy consumption from across the country and around the 
  To illustrate that point, let me use an example from the world of 
sports. Similar to a lot of Americans, I spent some time the past two 
weekends watching some terrific football games. But on Labor Day I took 
the 12-year-old boy I mentor and his twin sister to see the final game 
of the season of the Wilmington Blue Rocks, a Single-A team, Minor 
League team that played in the Carolina League.
  It turned out to be a very good game. One of the highlights again--
the Presiding Officer is from Massachusetts and the prime sponsor of 
the bill is from New Hampshire. My guess is they are Red Sox fans, and 
we used to be a farm club for the Red Sox. Now we have a farm club of 
the Royals, but the minor league game we went to was terrific.
  One of the highlights occurred when the Blue Rocks came close to 
pulling off a triple play. You don't see that very much. It is very 
rarely seen and done in the majors, much less in the minors.
  While our Blue Rocks came close to pulling off a triple play that 
day, our Federal Government can actually pull one off, at least 
figuratively speaking, by reducing the amount of energy we consume 
every year in the Federal Government.
  Here is how we do it. First, you cut down on the carbon and the air 
pollution that is going into the air and we thus improve American's 
  Second, we cut down on Federal spending. The deficit is down--what 
did we hear at lunch today--about $1.4 trillion 4 years ago. We are 
down to something under $700 billion now.
  It is still too much, but we have seen the deficit come down by over 
half, and this can help bring it down a bit further.
  The third point is we can cut down unemployment by creating good 
American jobs to produce, install, and to maintain the energy that is 
needed for energy efficiency technology, a lot of which I said earlier 
is made right here in the USA. We are not talking minor leagues here 
either, at least in terms of savings. This is big league stuff.
  The annual energy bill for the Federal Government is around $25 
billion. I think the Federal Government is the largest consumer of 
electricity in the country. Of that, some $7 billion alone is spent on 
energy to operate Federal buildings, $7 billion just for the buildings 
  Last Congress, my colleague from Delaware, Senator Chris Coons, and 
our colleague Sheldon Whitehouse--from another small State--and I tried 
to pull off a triple play of our own. We produced a bill that was 
called the Reducing Federal Energy Dollars Act. It focused like a laser 
on greening down Federal energy costs.
  Today we are happy to see that many of its provisions have been 
incorporated in the Shaheen-Portman bill. If we pass it, we could pull 
off that triple play after all.
  One of those provisions takes what works and seeks to ensure we do 
more. Here is just one example. Not too long ago the Veterans Affairs 
Department, which runs the VA for us, mandated that employees turn off 
their computers at the end of the workday. This is not the whole 
Federal Government. This is one department of the Federal Government, 
the VA.
  The agency also began acquiring more energy-efficient computers and 
software. Combined, the Department plans to save about $32 million over 
the next 5 years--$32 million. This is not too shabby. Again, that is 
just one Federal department. The bill before us calls on all agencies 
to adopt these kinds of energy and cost-saving techniques.
  Another provision included in the Shaheen-Portman legislation adopted 
from our earlier legislation ensures that we build Federal buildings 
with some of the most energy-efficient technology that is available. 
These are buildings that will be with us for not just a couple of 
years, maybe not just for a couple of decades, they could be here a 
whole lot longer.
  They could be around when all of these pages down here are dead and 
gone. We still have these Federal buildings. They can still be energy 
efficient, but if we build them wrong, they will never be energy 
efficient. Maybe so. This is a chance to get it right from the start.
  Overall, the Shaheen-Portman bill makes major strides in promoting 
Federal energy efficiency. I wish to applaud its authors, both of whom 
I have huge respect, love and affection for, especially my former 
colleague in the National Governors Association.
  However, there is a small provision in the bill that was overlooked 
and one that, if added, could make possible even greater gains. I will 
talk about that for a minute.
  Under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Congress overlooked geothermal 
as a renewable for the purposes of Federal energy requirements. 
Renewable thermal energy is clean, it is efficient, and it is often 
more cost-effective than electric energy.
  This is why I have joined a colleague, Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma, in 
offering amendment No. 1851--if you are keeping score--which allows 
geothermal to be considered a renewable energy for Federal 
requirements. Our amendment gives Federal agencies another valuable 
option as they consider the most cost-effective way to meet their 
energy needs and obligations. It is another option.
  I again wish to thank our chair and ranking member of the energy 
committee, as well as the sponsors of this bill, the authors of this 
bill, in support of our amendment.
  Before I close, there is something I have to get off my chest. This 
is a bipartisan bill. This is a bill that seeks to do a number of 
things I said earlier. This is a bill that tries to reduce our energy 
consumption in this country, especially the energy consumption of the 
energy consumed in the Federal Government.
  This is legislation that tries to do some good things for the 
environment. This is legislation that helps to further reduce our 
budget deficits. It helps keep them coming down.
  This is a bill that has bipartisan support and does so much good. 
People offer amendments to this bill, hopefully, that are germane 
amendments. Let's debate them and have a chance to vote on them, up or 
down, but let's do it and let's move on. Let's not be dilatory. Let's 
not just offer amendments that have nothing to do with this 
legislation. Let's address some real problems--not just address them, 
but let's solve them. Let's solve them. And we can do that.

  We have plenty of work to do on this front. I wish to see us do it. 
We will be a lot more successful in this regard if we work together to 
foster what I call a culture of thrift.
  We need to look at everything we do in this government that has 
discretion and will probably get a better result for less money. One of 
the ways is how do we provide energy for Federal buildings and for 
Federal employees to use in the work we do for our taxpayers--

[[Page S6504]]

how do we get a better result for less money or the same amount of 
  Almost everything needs to be on the table if we are to continue to 
whittle down the size of our Federal budget and restore our Nation's 
fiscal challenge for my children, for our children, and for our 
grandchildren. I think if we accomplish this while at the same time 
creating some well-paying jobs at home and save energy, we will come 
close to completing that triple play that the Wilmington Blue Rocks 
came very close to pulling off a couple of weekends ago.
  In doing so, we will give something for our fans--there are not a lot 
of them these days--to talk about for seasons to come.
  The last thing I wish to say is this. One of the amendments that is 
offered, maybe a couple of the amendments offered to this bill have to 
do with health care.
  I serve on the Finance Committee and worked a fair amount on the 
Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare. The heart and soul of the 
Affordable Care Act, as far as I am concerned, is the creation of the 
health exchanges, Federal exchanges, or they call them marketplaces. 
The idea is to let everybody in this country--not everybody but a lot 
of people in this country who don't have health care coverage or who 
have paid an arm and a leg for it--have the opportunity to participate 
in a large purchasing pool in their own State.
  We have something such as the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan 
that all Federal employees, Federal retirees, including legislators, 
Members of the legislative branch, judges, folks throughout the 
country, Federal retirees, their dependents, postal employees, postal 
retirees, their dependents, everybody who wants to purchase their 
health insurance through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan can 
do that. It is up to about 7 million or so people. We don't have that 
many Federal employees, but there are a lot of people who use that plan 
to buy their health insurance. It is not free. It is not cheap.
  One of the things that helped drive down the cost is every health 
insurance company worth their salt in this country wants to sell 
through this large purchasing pool, the Federal Employees Health 
Benefits Plan purchasing pool. Because of the large size, the economies 
of scale, the administrative costs to those who get their insurance 
through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan, the administrative 
costs are not 30 percent of premiums, they are not 20 percent of 
premiums, they are not 10 percent of premiums--they are 3 percent of 
  What we do with the Affordable Care Act is we allow every State to 
set up a health care exchange, a large purchasing pool, also called 
health insurance marketplaces. If you are an individual, if you have a 
family, a small- or medium-sized business up to 50 employees, you can 
buy your health insurance through the exchange in the health insurance 
marketplace in your State.
  One of the stipulations--I am not sure who authored it, but I am 
pretty sure it is a Republican member of the Senate Finance Committee. 
It may have been Senator Grassley. Somebody authored an amendment that 
required and said if these exchanges are such a great idea, why don't 
we require us, Members of Congress, and our staffs to buy our health 
insurance through the exchanges? If that is such a great idea, why 
don't we too? That is what the legislation says.
  We don't get our health insurance free. Members, our staff, folks who 
work for the Federal Government, we don't get it free. We have to pay a 
percentage of our premiums.
  Most large employers pay something. The employer contribution, the 
average is about 70 percent. The Federal Government pays about 70 
percent of our health insurance premiums. We have to pay the rest.
  I think for us to set an example, I think the kind of example we 
should set would be if we set up these health insurance exchanges, why 
don't we participate in them. We are going to.
  Some people think we get free health care. Some people think we get a 
pension after 2, 4 or 6 years. People see this stuff on the Internet 
and they believe it. It is not true.
  We say in the Navy if you want to find out the truth, ask for the 
straight skinny. That is what you call it in the Navy, the straight 
skinny. Tell me the straight skinny. Give it to me straight.
  The great skinny is these health exchanges are a very important 
component of the Affordable Care Act. Every State will have an 
opportunity to set them up. Individuals, families, small- and middle-
sized businesses will have an opportunity to participate. They will get 
better options to choose from. In the end, I think we will get better 
prices and they will be better off. Small businesses that participate, 
small- and middle-sized businesses will be better off as well.
  The last word, speaking of the truth, the words of Thomas Jefferson 
come to mind. Thomas Jefferson said a lot of great things, but one of 
my favorite things he said was if the people know the truth, they will 
not make a mistake. If the American people know the truth, they will 
not make a mistake.
  Our job is to make sure they know the truth about the Affordable Care 
Act, the kinds of options and opportunity they can find through these 
exchanges and through these health marketplaces across the country. 
Let's stick to the truth.
  In closing, the truth is this bill that is before us shouldn't be a 
vehicle for health care reform, getting rid of it or expanding health 
care reform; this should be a roadmap to help us save money, clean our 
environment, preserve energy, reduce energy, and foster American 
technology. That is great. That is not a triple play. If they had four 
outs in an inning, there would be four of them.
  Senator Shaheen--Senator Portman is not with us--my hat is off to 
both of them. Thank you for leading the way. We are happy to be, as we 
say in NASCAR, drafting on you, and hopefully we will draft right 
across that finish line with you.
  Thank you very much.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Hampshire.
  Mrs. SHAHEEN. Before my colleague from Delaware leaves the floor, I 
wish to think him for coming down, speaking on the bill, and for his 
kind words. As the Senator pointed out, we were Governors together. 
Actually, we have another former Governor on the floor, Senator King of 
Maine, who also appreciates dealing with the challenges of high energy 
  The Senator pointed out, and something that I know, that as Governors 
energy was a big issue for us. In New Hampshire we have the sixth 
highest energy costs in the country, so it is still a big issue for us 
in New Hampshire. As the Senator points out, energy efficiency is the 
cheapest, fastest way to deal with our energy needs because the energy 
we don't use doesn't cost us any money.

  I would argue that, as the Senator mentioned when he closed, this is 
not just an opportunity for a triple play but an opportunity for us to 
win on four fronts: on job creation, on reducing pollution, on savings 
for businesses and for consumers who have to use energy, but also on 
national security. Because to the extent we can reduce our dependence 
on foreign oil, it helps improve our national security. So this bill is 
a win-win-win-win.
  The amendments, such as the one the Senator is talking about today 
with Senator Inhofe, improve the bill significantly. If we can call up 
that amendment today--the amendment of the Senator from Delaware on 
thermal energy--we can probably get a voice vote on it because it has 
that kind of bipartisan support in this body. It is something the 
committee has looked at--both the majority and the minority on the 
energy committee--and said this is an amendment we think can be 
supported and has great bipartisan support.
  As the Senator from Delaware says, we need to have these votes on 
energy, we need to get a comprehensive energy-efficient strategy in 
this country, and that is what Shaheen-Portman does. I very much 
appreciate the Senator's good work on this legislation.
  Mr. CARPER. Reclaiming my time for a moment--and I note Senator Angus 
King is patiently sitting over there waiting to speak--I said earlier 
the cleanest, most affordable form of energy is the energy we never 
use. The cleanest, most affordable form of energy is the energy we 
never use. Whoever said that first was a wise man or woman. That is the 
case here, and so I

[[Page S6505]]

thank Senator Shaheen for leading us toward that goal.
  Mrs. SHAHEEN. I thank the Senator.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
order for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                             Climate Change

  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, I am here, as the Presiding Officer 
knows, for the 43rd time now, to say it is time to wake up to the 
threat of climate change. Today I am joined by my colleague from Maine, 
Senator Angus King, a fellow New Englander, whose State, like Rhode 
Island, has rich cultural and economic ties to the sea. As carbon 
pollution changes our oceans, the consequences for our States, for our 
fishermen, for our economies, for our way of life are very real--far 
more real than the lives of the deniers.
  Here is what we know: The oceans are warming. That is a measurement, 
it is not a theory. Sea level is rising. That is another measurement, 
not a theory. And oceans are becoming more acidic. Again, that is a 
  In fact, according to research published in the journal Oceanography, 
the acidity of the oceans is now increasing faster than it has in the 
last 50 million years. We know what is causing it--carbon pollution. My 
colleagues can deny and delay and dance all day to the polluters' tune, 
but these are facts.
  The changes are already reaching our marine life. A research paper 
published in August looked at the changes over time of where species 
have lived, when they laid their eggs, and how they have grown their 
shells. The authors concluded that more than 80 percent of the changes 
documented in the study were consistent with what one would expect as 
consequences of a warming and acidifying ocean.
  Some species are moving toward the colder water of the North and 
South Poles, moving at about 10 to 45 miles per decade, extending their 
range. Events that are timed for spring and summer, such as egg laying 
or migration, are happening on average about 4 days earlier per decade. 
This means if a parent teaches their child how to fish, where the best 
spots are, how to dig for quahogs or what time of year to get the traps 
out, all of that changes by the time that child becomes a parent.
  Here is how these changes are affecting Rhode Island, according to 
Christopher Deacutis, the previous chief scientist of the Narragansett 
Bay Estuary Program. I will read what he said:

       Although regional climate factors, such as the North 
     Atlantic Oscillation, can influence temperature trends, there 
     appears to be an overall increase in annual Narragansett Bay 
     water temperature of about 3 degrees Fahrenheit since 1960. 
     Fish species in Narragansett Bay are shifting, seemingly in 
     step with increased temperatures. Jeremy Collie--

  And he is a URI professor.

     --and others have shown that cold-water marine species, such 
     as the winter flounder, which used to be the dominant fish 
     species in the bay, are radically decreasing in numbers. 
     Meanwhile, warmer-water species, such as summer flounder, 
     scup, and butterfish seem to be increasing. More southern 
     warm-water species that weren't seen in the past are likely 
     to extend their range north as Narragansett Bay continues to 
     warm. In addition, there seems to be an overall shift from 
     large bottom-dwelling species, such as flounder, to small 
     water column plankton-feeding species, such as anchovies.

  That is the end of his quote.
  NOAA researchers studied 36 fish in the northwest Atlantic Ocean--
fish such as the Atlantic cod and haddock, yellowtail and winter 
flounders, spiny dogfish, Atlantic herring--and found that about half 
are shifting northward. Janet Nye, the lead NOAA researcher, said:

       During the last 40 years, many familiar species have been 
     shifting to the north, where ocean waters are cooler, or 
     staying in the same general area but moving into deeper 
     waters than where they traditionally have been found. They 
     all seem to be adapting to changing temperatures and finding 
     places where their chances of survival as a population are 

  Those are long descriptions of the situation. Here are some briefer 
descriptions. One Rhode Island fisherman told me: ``It's getting weird 
out there.'' Another said he is seeing ``real anomalies . . . things 
just aren't making sense.''
  Some might say: Who cares about the winter flounder or these other 
fish, for that matter? Some people don't care about God's world or 
God's species unless they can monetize them. Let's answer them in the 
terms they care about.
  The winter flounder has been a lucrative catch for Rhode Island 
fishermen, and according to a variety of estimates commercial fishing 
generates about $150 million to $200 million of spending per year in 
Rhode Island and directly supports about 5,000 workers. Recreational 
fishermen spend over $100 million annually and directly support about 
2,000 workers.
  Last year the Commerce Department declared the northeast groundfish 
fishery a disaster. To quote Acting Commerce Secretary Blank:

       The diminished fish stocks . . . resulted despite 
     fishermen's adherence to catch limits intended to rebuild the 

  The Commerce Department says it is not overfishing that is preventing 
our stocks from rebounding. Scientists think warmer waters could be the 
  The effects of climate change on marine life don't stop with warmer 
waters. Carbon dioxide emissions are also causing our oceans to become 
more acidic. Last week two Rhode Islanders came down and visited us 
here in the Senate: Bob Rheault, the executive director of the East 
Coast Shellfish Growers Association, and Dave Spencer, president of the 
Atlantic Offshore Lobstermen's Association. Dr. Rheault told my 
colleagues about shellfish larvae literally dissolving because of more 
acidic waters. More acidic waters caused a 70- to 80-percent loss of 
oyster larvae at an oyster hatchery in Oregon and crashed wild oyster 
stocks in Washington State. This is an industry worth millions to those 
local economies.
  The problem, as Dr. Rheault pointed out, is that while we know carbon 
pollution is causing ocean acidification, we don't know enough yet how 
to protect the shellfish industry. We could help by continuing support 
for the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act and by 
supporting funding for the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System. We 
could support funding for the National Endowment for the Oceans. We 
need to better understand the changes around us to protect the 
economic, ecological, cultural, and recreational value our oceans and 
coasts provide.
  Rhode Islanders are already working hard to rebuild our fishing 
industry. We are managing overfishing and limiting water pollution. We 
have planned for the future by developing a special area management 
plan for our coasts and waters. We are working on a shellfish 
management plan to better support an industry that is growing at 20 
percent a year. We have supported world-class oceanographic research 
with scientists at URI's Graduate School of Oceanography, conducting 
some of the highest quality long-term research on marine ecology.
  My wife Sandra was part of that research tradition at URI, and I can 
remember as a young husband helping her in her lab and out on the bay.
  There was a story recently in the Providence Journal about a 
lobsterman named Al Eagles, out on his boat near the Newport Bridge 
recording on a tablet computer the size, gender, and location of 
lobsters he catches. Mr. Eagles is working with the Commercial 
Fisheries Research Foundation trying to improve the southern New 
England lobster stock assessment. American lobsters have been, in the 
past, Rhode Island's most valuable commercial catch. Mr. Eagles said:

       The last 2 years it has been very slow. It's been the worst 
     2 years we've ever had.

  In Rhode Island, lobster catches and stocks rose rapidly in the 1990s 
and then plummeted around 2000.
  Again, it is a similar story. Scientists think the lobsters are 
moving offshore and northward to shelter in cooler waters. As the 
lobsters move offshore and change their traditional behavior, we need 
to know more about what is going on. But it gets more difficult. We are 
doing our level best, from our scientists to our fishermen, from our 
labs to our lobster boats, to understand. There is now so much more we 
need to understand. Fisheries and fisheries management, like so many 
other industries, is going to have

[[Page S6506]]

to operate in a new reality--a reality of warmer and more acidic seas.
  In the colder waters of Maine, as Senator King will explain, a 
lobster boom continues, but it is not all good news, and Maine 
lobstermen are already sounding the alarm bells at what climate change 
will mean for them in the future. The fates of our two coastal 
economies--Maine's and Rhode Island's--are connected.
  The Presiding Officer represents the State of Massachusetts, which is 
right in the middle of this problem as well. None of our three States 
can solve what carbon pollution is doing to our oceans alone. Even with 
our three States working together, we can't solve what carbon pollution 
is doing to our oceans. Federal action is necessary to reduce the 
carbon emissions that are warming and acidifying our seas and to help 
us adapt to the changes we can no longer avoid. Fishermen and 
scientists know these challenges are real, as does my friend from 
Maine, Senator Angus King. But we can't act alone. It is time for all 
of Congress to wake up.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maine.

                            A Looming Threat

  Mr. KING. Madam President, in the 1930s there was a looming threat 
from Germany to the peace of Europe and to the existence of England. 
That threat was real, and there were multiple signs. There was data. 
But there were very few people who wanted to do anything about it 
because it would have caused disruption--economic and personal 
  There was one politician in England who understood this threat, 
understood its dangers, and understood that if gone unmet it would 
engulf his country into a destructive and potentially catastrophic war. 
Of course, that politician was Winston Churchill. He saw the danger 
based upon data--the size of the German air force, the building of 
munitions, the invasion of other smaller countries, the expansion of 
Germany and their armed forces. He was ignored and ridiculed by his own 
party and by the leadership of his own party, but he kept talking. He 
kept raising this issue. He kept trying to raise and awaken the people 
of England. It was a very difficult task. In fact, our own great 
President John F. Kennedy wrote his thesis as a student about this 
period in English history, and the title was very provocative and 
forward-thinking: ``Why England Slept.'' Churchill tried to wake them 
up. Had he been heeded, World War II could have been avoided.
  There were multiple times when Hitler could have been stopped by the 
slightest bit of resistance on the part of the European powers. 
Instead, the war came, and 5 years later 55 million people had died. 
Not heeding warnings has consequences, and we can always find reasons 
for nonaction. Churchill acknowledged this. The British had been 
through the trauma of World War I less than 20 years before. They 
couldn't face the possibility of another devastating war. That is 
totally understandable, and that is human nature.
  To capture the flavor of Churchill's warning, which I think is very 
relevant to us here today, here is what he said in a speech to the 
Parliament on November 12, 1936:

       The era of procrastination, of half measures, of soothing 
     and baffling expedience, of delays, is coming to its close. 
     In its place we are entering a period of consequences. We 
     cannot avoid this period, we are in it now.

  He understood the resistance of the people in England. He said:

       We recognize no emergency which should induce us to impinge 
     on the normal course of trade. If we go on like this, and I 
     do not see what power can prevent us from going on like this, 
     some day there may be a terrible reckoning--
  That reckoning was World War II--

       and those who take the responsibility so entirely upon 
     themselves are either of a hearty disposition or they are 
     incapable of foreseeing the possibilities which may arise.

  He then went on to talk about the responsibility of a parliamentary 
body. And I will conclude my comments on Churchill with this quote:

       Two things, I confess, have staggered me, after a long 
     Parliamentary experience, in these Debates. The first has 
     been the dangers that have so swiftly come upon us in a few 
     years. . . . Secondly, I have been staggered by the failure 
     of the House of Commons to react effectively against those 
     dangers. That, I am bound to say, I never expected. I never 
     would have believed that we should have been allowed to go on 
     getting into this plight, month by month and year by year, 
     and that even the Government's own confessions of error would 
     have produced no concentration of Parliamentary opinion. . . 
     . I say that unless the House resolves to find out the truth 
     for itself, it will have committed an act of abdication of 
     duty without parallel in its long history.

                             Climate Change

  Madam President, I rise today because we are entering a period of 
consequences. It is 1936. It is August 2001, when we had warnings that 
Al Qaeda determined to strike in the United States.
  I actually carry this chart around in my iPhone, but I blew it up for 
today's purposes. It is a chart of the last million years of 
CO2 in the atmosphere. I believe this chart answers two of 
the three basic questions about global climate change.
  The first is, Is something happening? And occasionally we hear people 
say: Well, climate change happens in cycles, and CO2 goes up 
and down, and we are just in a cycle and it is no big deal.
  This is 1 million years, and for the past 999,000-plus we did have 
cycles. The cycles were between about 180 parts per million in the 
atmosphere up to about 250--I think 280 was the highest--back 400,000 
years ago. But this has been the cycle since before human beings 
started to actively impinge upon the environment.
  Then comes the year 1000. We go along here at a fairly high level, 
and then around 1860 it starts to go up. What happened in 1860? That 
was the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. That was when we 
started to burn fossil fuels in large quantities, whether it was coal, 
later oil, gas. But that was when it happened.
  So this answers the second question, which is, Do people have 
anything to do with it? Of course they do. It would be the greatest 
coincidence in the history of the world if this change just happened to 
begin at the same time as the Industrial Revolution.
  Then you see where it has gone since 1960. This chart is actually a 
couple of years out of date. This point is just below 400 parts per 
million. We passed 400 parts per million this summer. We are now here.
  I don't see how anyone can look at this chart and conclude anything 
else. A, something is happening to CO2 in the atmosphere, 
and B, people are involved in causing it. I just don't see how you can 
escape that.
  I believe this is the other piece about this 400. The last time we 
had 400 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere we know 
from ice cores was 3 million years ago, during the pliocene period. I 
knew someday my sixth grade geology would come to the fore. And when we 
had 400 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere 3 million 
years ago, sea levels were 60 to 80 feet higher than they are today. As 
the distinguished Senator from Rhode Island said, this isn't argument. 
This isn't theory. This is data. This is fact.
  Remember I said there are three questions about global climate 
change. One is, Is CO2 really going up? The answer is yes. 
Two is, Do people have anything to do with it? The answer is yes. The 
third question is, So what? So what if CO2 is going up?
  Here is an interesting chart of the past 400,000 or 500,000 years. 
You have a red line and a black line. The black line is temperature and 
the red line is CO2. As you can see, it is an almost exact 
correlation. I don't think anybody could argue, looking at this, that 
the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has nothing to do with 
the temperature on the Earth. Is it causal? Is there a correlation? 
There are a lot of things going on here about feedback loops, and it is 
very complicated. Climate science is one of the most complicated 
sciences there is. But I don't think you can look at this chart and say 
there isn't some relationship between carbon dioxide in the atmosphere 
and temperature. This is what has been happening as CO2 and 
temperature move essentially in lockstep.
  I should mention that often when we are talking about these things--
and the Senator from Rhode Island knows what I am saying--people tend 
to think that we are talking in long periods of time, we are talking 
about geologic time, thousands of years. No. Climate change often 
happens abruptly. That is a word that ought to strike fear into our 
hearts. Abruptly. Almost overnight.

[[Page S6507]]

  This is temperature and size of the ice field in Greenland. You can 
see it going back 5,000 to 10,000 years. Here it is going along, 
temperature goes along, starts to drop, and then it drops in a decade. 
It is as if someone throws a switch. So this isn't something where we 
can just say: Oh well. We will do a few little things now and maybe it 
will be OK, and then 100 years or 500 years from now somebody else will 
worry about it. There could be a catastrophic event within years, 
certainly within decades.
  The University of Maine has a center that talks about climate change. 
When I went up to see them last spring, they said: Senator, you have to 
understand, we are talking about the possibility of abrupt climate 
change, not just climate change. I think that is a very important point 
to realize.
  So what difference does temperature make? If it gets a little warmer, 
Maine will have a longer tourist season. That will be OK if it is 
warmer. I don't think anybody will complain if it is warmer in Maine in 
February--maybe the ski industry. But what difference does it make?
  It makes a lot of difference. It makes a lot of difference to 
species, but it also makes a lot of difference to people.
  Here is a chart that shows what would happen to many of our coastal 
communities with a sea level rise that is reasonably modest. The dark 
red out here is a 1-meter rise. It goes up to 6 meters. That is about 
20 feet. But remember the last time we were at 400 parts per million, 
it was 60 to 80 feet. So this is conservative. This is a smaller 
example of what can happen if we let this happen to us.
  Boston essentially is gone. A good deal of downtown Boston, Virginia 
Beach, Norfolk, the Outer Banks--gone. Southern Florida, Miami, the 
eastern coast of Florida all the way up into Tampa--gone. By the way, 
there is no more fresh water in Florida during this period either 
because of the intrusion of seawater into the water table. New Orleans 
is all gone. This is at 20 meters. In fact, it is not even that. This 
is about a 3-meter rise. Going up, Savannah and Charleston, New York 
City, Long Island, the New Jersey shore--all gone.
  This isn't academic. This impacts billions of dollars of expenditures 
to try to fight this off and to hold it at bay.
  What about species? In Maine we talk about lobster. The lobster is an 
iconic product of Maine. It is a huge part of our society, it is part 
of our culture, it is also a big part of our economy. Well over $1 
billion a year in Maine is attributable, in one way or another, to the 
lobster. The lobster population in Maine was pretty steady for an awful 
long time. When I was Governor--and that was 10 or 12 years ago--we 
harvested roughly 50 million pounds of lobster per year. That was the 
way it had been, between 40 and 50 million. In 2008 it went to 69 
million pounds; in 2009 it went to 81 million; 2010, 96 million--last 
year, 123 million pounds, more than twice as much as what was harvested 
10 or 12 years ago.
  I am sure you are saying to yourself: What is the problem, Senator? 
The lobsters are doing great.
  They were doing great in Rhode Island and Connecticut until the 
temperature started to kill them off. It makes a boom and then there is 
a danger--we certainly hope it will not happen--but there is a danger 
of a collapse. That is what happened. The lobster fishery in southern 
New England has essentially collapsed.
  The lobster makes up about 70 to 80 percent of our fisheries' value. 
What is happening in Maine is as the water gets warmer the lobsters go 
north. Is the water getting warmer? Here is Maine--Boothbay Harbor, ME, 
a great town. If anybody wants to visit, it is a wonderful place to 
visit. I have to get in that little bit of promotion.
  Here is the water temperature in Boothbay Harbor over the last 10 
years. It is going up. It is getting warmer. There is no indication--in 
fact, if you follow the curve here, it appears it is headed into an 
accelerating mode, the famous hockey stick.
  Anything above 68 degrees of water temperature is very stressful to 
lobsters. The University of Maine says:

       While warmer waters off the coast in recent years have 
     probably aided the boom in lobster numbers, putting us right 
     in the temperature sweet spot . . . we're getting closer and 
     closer to that point where the temperature is too stressful 
     for them, their immune system is compromised and it's all 

  ``And it's all over,'' that is a frightening phrase, it is all over. 
In the 1980s lobster fishing was concentrated in southern Maine, along 
our coast, in what is called Casco Bay, which is down around Portland. 
Then it moved up into what is called the midcoast, Lincoln County near 
where I live. The bulk of the lobster fishing moved up into Penobscot 
Bay and now the bulk of the lobster fishing is in what we call Hancock 
County, the village of Stoning, ME. At least that is where it was last 
year. In other words, the lobsters are moving north because the 
temperatures are getting warmer. That is what is happening.
  I have a young man on my staff whose father is a lobster buyer in the 
midcoast of Maine. His father has been buying lobster since 1975. This 
past summer he bought 200 crates a night of lobsters; 10 years ago he 
was buying 100. So it has doubled. But what we are worried about is 
that when the lobster line passes, this industry is gone. We saw it 
collapse in southern New England, Rhode Island. In 1999 lobstering in 
Long Island Sound collapsed totally without warning, in part because of 
an infection that was brought about by the warmer water temperatures.
  I use lobster as just an indication. You can substitute your own 
issue, local issue. Whether it is lobsters in Maine or flooding in 
Colorado, the impacts are real.
  So what do we do? I hate raising problems and not talking about what 
to do. By the way, I have to say I am puzzled about why this has become 
a partisan issue. I do not understand it. Maybe it is because Al Gore 
invented it? I don't know. But I don't understand why this became a 
partisan issue because it is a scientific issue, it is a data issue. 
The data is overwhelming.
  So what do we do? By the way, I should mention when I was a young man 
working in and around the legislature in Maine, the leaders of the 
environmental movement in Maine who passed the major legislation to 
protect our environment were all Republicans--not all, but most of them 
were Republicans and they were great names in Maine history.
  OK, what do we do? The first thing we have to do is admit there is a 
problem. If you do not admit there is a problem, by definition you 
cannot address it. That is No. 1. I think the data is becoming 
  The second thing you have to do is gather all the facts and 
information you can. Gather all the information. It has been my 
experience in working on public policy most of my adult life, if you 
have shared information, if the people working on the problem have the 
same facts, generally the conclusion, the policy, is fairly clear. It 
may be controversial, it may be difficult, but usually it becomes 
pretty self-evident if everybody shares the same sets of information. 
Once we can agree on the facts, the solutions become clear.
  What are some things we can do in the near term? We have to talk 
about mitigating the impacts. We have to talk about the fact that 
fisheries are made up of both fishermen and fish. As climate change 
alters these coastal economies, we have to work to preserve both. We 
have to work with groups such as a nonprofit in Maine called the Island 
Institute that is working to preserve Maine's working waterfronts, and 
we also have to make sure our Federal fisheries management laws take 
cognizance of what is going on here and manage ecosystems, not just 
single species. We have to take cognizance of the fact that the fish 
are in fact moving.
  In the long term, it seems to me, it is pretty simple. The big 
picture answer is we have to stop burning so much stuff. That is what 
is putting carbon in the atmosphere. Whether it is in our automobiles, 
our homes, our factories, our powerplants--it is burning fossil fuel 
that is putting CO2 into the atmosphere. That is why the 
efficiency bill we are on this week is an important bill, because it 
cuts back on the use of energy altogether and saves us in terms of 
putting CO2 into the atmosphere.
  The President has proposed a carbon agenda that I think is an 
important first step. But this is hard. Dealing with this is a hard 
issue, just as dealing with the prospect of World War II was a hard 
issue in England in 1936. It

[[Page S6508]]

is hard because it is going to require changes that are going to be, 
perhaps, expensive, and significant modifications--because our whole 
society is based on burning stuff. That is what makes our cars and 
trucks go, that is what makes our transportation system work, that is 
what keeps us warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and creates the 
electricity for all the products we use. It is hard because of the 
internal impacts.

  It is also hard because it is an international problem. The Senator 
from Rhode Island talked about this being national. You know, Maine and 
Rhode Island can't fix it. He says the Federal Government has to step 
in. I would take it one step further. This has to be an international 
solution. We cannot take steps which would compromise our economy at 
the same time China and India are becoming major polluters. Air doesn't 
respect international boundaries. CO2 is the same whether it 
is coming up from China, India, Europe, or the United States. I believe 
this is a case where we absolutely have to have international 
  We have to do something. We have to do something. The generation that 
nobly woke up to World War II and fought it and preserved this country 
and Western civilization for us has often been referred to as the 
``greatest generation.'' The reason they were the ``greatest 
generation'' is they were willing to face a problem and make enormous 
sacrifices in order to deal with it, to protect us and our children and 
grandchildren and our ability to function in this new world. They were 
the ``greatest generation.''
  I have to say, if somebody were going to characterize us, we would be 
characterized as the oblivious generation, the generation that saw the 
data, saw the facts, saw the freight train headed for us and said: That 
is OK, it is business as usual, don't bother me, I don't want to be 
  To go back to Churchill:

       The era of procrastination, half-measures, of soothing and 
     baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to its close. In 
     its place we are entering a period of consequences. . . . We 
     cannot avoid this period; we are in it now.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Madam President, may I take this opportunity to thank 
my friend Senator King for his remarkable comments on the Senate floor. 
I think it truly is our choice in this time and in this generation to 
be Nevilles or to be Winstons. Which way will we go? On that choice 
will hinge history's judgment of us.
  There was another good Winston Churchillism that talked about `` . . 
. the sharp agate points, upon which the ponderous balance of destiny 
  For better or for worse, we live at a time that is a sharp agate 
point upon which the ponderous balance of destiny will turn. Senator 
King has done a wonderful job of calling us to that duty and to that 
responsibility. I fear that in this particular body the facts are less 
relevant than the interests that are involved.
  There are special interests, there are polluters who are calling a 
tune to which too many of our Members are happy to dance. I worry that 
many of them will be willing to go down with the ship; that as the 
waters gurgle down their throats that last time, the last words up out 
of their mouths will be the flagrant falsehood: But the science still 
isn't real.
  As much as I would like to see us solve this problem in this Chamber, 
as committed as I am to making that happen, I think we do have to call 
on the American people to stand and be counted and to make sure their 
voices are heard, because the choice that is before us is one where the 
American people have a view. They understand this problem and they know 
it is real. They are not fooled. They are not part of the polluters' 
dance. But they have to be heard. Whatever we can do to make sure their 
voices are reflected here I think we need to do.
  There are some very important voices that recognize climate change is 
real: the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff, the entire property casualty insurance industry, the 
nameplate corporate leaders of America--whether it is Ford and GM or 
Nike and Apple or Coca-Cola and Pepsi, our national security 
establishment or national intelligence establishment and our foreign 
policy establishment. Wherever you look, people get it, except right 
here where the polluters call the tune and too many of us dance to it.
  But with more people standing up the way Senator King did, the sooner 
we will be able to bring that day. I am confident the American people 
will get this done and get it right.
  The last Churchillism--I am kind of a fan of Winston Churchill: The 
American people will always do the right thing, after they have tried 
everything else.
  We work together to bring that day forward.
  Let me change the subject briefly to remark on a different occasion. 
It is also oceans related.

                          Battle of Lake Erie

  We have just been through the 200th anniversary of one of the pivotal 
naval victories in our Nation's history which was led by a great Rhode 
Island hero, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. Commodore Perry was born 
just after the dawn of our Republic in 1785, in South Kingstown, 
RI. His father Christopher Perry had fought in the American Revolution 
and after the war became a captain in the U.S. Navy. By the time young 
Oliver reached his teenage years, he was already serving as a 
midshipman on his father's vessel. Interestingly enough, his father's 
vessel was called the General Greene, named after Rhode Island's 
Revolutionary War hero Nathanael Greene, whose statue stands in this 
building--in the center of the Capitol--and who is renowned. General 
Cornwallis is reputed to have said that ``Greene is more dangerous than 

  Young Oliver Perry was also destined for great things. The late 1700s 
and the early 1800s were a very precarious time for this fledgling 
American democracy, and it was still an open question whether our 
experiment in self-government would endure. In 1812, when America once 
again declared war on Britain, following a series of disputes over 
trade and territory, the future of this young democracy hung in the 
  Oliver Hazard Perry went to war. He began his war service in Newport, 
RI, but in February of 1818, as the War of 1812 raged on, Perry was 
given command of the American forces on Lake Erie.
  When Perry arrived in the region, the British had taken Detroit and 
were looking to expand their control of the American Northwest. As 
Richard Snow wrote in his chronicle of the Battle of Lake Erie for 
American Heritage magazine: ``Perry took command vigorously and at 
once.'' He oversaw an aggressive shipbuilding operation on the lake's 
shore and worked diligently to raise enough men and guns to carry out 
his mission. GEN William Henry Harrison, later to be President, had 
positioned his fleet into a stalemate with British GEN Henry Procter on 
Lake Erie, leaving Perry and his fleet with the responsibility of 
retaking the lake for the United States.
  Perry sailed west and holed up in Put-in-Bay on Lake Erie's South 
Bass Island. There he waited until, on September 10, 1813, Robert 
Heriot Barclay sailed his British command within sight of Commodore 
Perry's lookout. As Snow wrote about that:

       The American ships cleared for action; stands of cutlasses 
     were set up on deck, shot was placed near the guns, and the 
     hatches were closed . . . Sand was sprinkled on the deck so 
     that the sailors could keep their footing when the blood 
     began to flow. Perry brought the ship's papers, wrapped in 
     lead, to the ship's surgeon and told him to throw them 
     overboard should the Lawrence be forced to strike. Sometime 
     during the morning he hoisted his battle flag, a blue banner 
     bearing the dying words attributed to Captain Lawrence: 
     ``Don't give up the ship.''

  The battle commenced, but the British were better armed and gained an 
early advantage. Soon enough, Perry's flagship, the Lawrence, was 
crippled, but he refused to give up. He took down his flag, climbed 
aboard a small row boat, and made his way toward the Niagara, the 
Lawrence's sister ship which had yet to engage in the battle. Perry's 
crossing between the ships is the inspiration for William Henry 
Powell's painting, which hangs in the staircase directly outside of 
this room right now. It is the biggest painting in the Senate, and it 
features a hero of the littlest State in the country.

[[Page S6509]]

  From the Niagara, Perry reengaged the battle with the British and 
ultimately gained the day. He forced their surrender and sent the now 
famous message to General Harrison: ``We have met the enemy and they 
are ours.'' Lake Erie had been secured for America.
  The War of 1812 continued on through 1814, but Perry's victory on 
Lake Erie was pivotal. Had the British taken Lake Erie, it would have 
provided a base for attacks into New York or into the new State of Ohio 
and for control of the American Northwest. Instead, the Treaty of Ghent 
ended the conflict with no loss of territory or trade to the United 
  Perry continued his naval service after the war, but he contracted 
yellow fever during a mission to Venezuela in 1819 and he died at the 
age of 34. Today, his name and his actions are remembered in ways large 
and small throughout our country. In Ohio, on Lake Erie, a bicentennial 
celebration was held this year commemorating the great battle, and Put-
in-Bay boasts a memorial maintained by the National Park Service--
Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial. I am told that up 
there one can toast to Perry's victory with a Commodore Perry IPA, 
courtesy of Cleveland's Great Lakes Brewing Company.
  In Rhode Island, one can travel along Commodore Perry Highway in his 
native South Kingstown or visit the newly commissioned Rhode Island 
tall ship SSV Oliver Hazard Perry, which will provide education-at-sea 
programs to Rhode Island kids.
  It is fitting that we continue to honor this great Rhode Islander. 
His victory on Lake Erie was, to borrow from Churchill, one of those 
``sharp agate points'' on which history turned. So today I hope we will 
all take a moment and remember Oliver Hazard Perry and reflect on how 
differently our world would have turned out were it not for his 
  I thank the Chair, I yield the floor, and I note the absence of a 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. KING. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.