NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2016; Congressional Record Vol. 161, No. 96
(Senate - June 16, 2015)

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[Pages S4173-S4185]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




        NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2016

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will 
resume consideration of H.R. 1735, which the clerk will report.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

       A bill (H.R. 1735) to authorize appropriations for fiscal 
     year 2016 for military activities of the Department of 
     Defense, for military construction, and for defense 
     activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military 
     personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other 
     purposes.

  Pending:

       McCain amendment No. 1463, in the nature of a substitute.
       McCain amendment No. 1456 (to amendment No. 1463), to 
     require additional information supporting long-range plans 
     for construction of naval vessels.
       Cornyn amendment No. 1486 (to amendment No. 1463), to 
     require reporting on energy security issues involving Europe 
     and the Russian Federation, and to express the sense of 
     Congress regarding ways the United States could help 
     vulnerable allies and partners with energy security.
       Vitter modified amendment No. 1473 (to amendment No. 1463), 
     to limit the retirement of Army combat units.
       Markey amendment No. 1645 (to amendment No. 1463), to 
     express the sense of Congress that exports of crude oil to 
     United States allies and partners should not be determined to 
     be consistent with the national interest if those exports 
     would increase energy prices in the United States for 
     American consumers or businesses or increase the reliance of 
     the United States on imported oil.
       Reed (for Blumenthal) modified amendment No. 1564 (to 
     amendment No. 1463), to enhance protections accorded to 
     servicemembers and their spouses.
       McCain (for Paul) modified amendment No. 1543 (to amendment 
     No. 1463), to strengthen employee cost savings suggestions 
     programs within the Federal Government.
       Reed (for Durbin) modified amendment No. 1559 (to amendment 
     No. 1463), to prohibit the award of Department of Defense 
     contracts to inverted domestic corporations.
       Feinstein (for McCain) amendment No. 1889 (to amendment No. 
     1463), to reaffirm the prohibition on torture.
       Fischer/Booker amendment No. 1825 (to amendment No. 1463), 
     to authorize appropriations for national security aspects of 
     the Merchant Marine for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.
       Lee amendment No. 1687 (to amendment No. 1473), to provide 
     for the protection and recovery of the greater sage-grouse, 
     the conservation of lesser prairie-chickens, and the removal 
     of endangered species status for the American burying beetle.
       McCain (for Ernst/Boxer) amendment No. 1549 (to amendment 
     No. 1463), to provide for a temporary, emergency 
     authorization of defense articles, defense services, and 
     related training directly to the Kurdistan Regional 
     Government.
       Reed (for Gillibrand) amendment No. 1578 (to amendment No. 
     1463), to reform procedures for determinations to proceed to 
     trial by court-martial for certain offenses under the Uniform 
     Code of Military Justice.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the time until 11:30 
a.m. will be equally divided in the usual form.
  The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. REED. Mr. President, I yield 5 minutes to the Senator from 
Minnesota.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Minnesota.
  Ms. KLOBUCHAR. Mr. President, I rise today to discuss the Metal Theft 
Prevention Act, which was filed as an amendment to the National Defense 
Authorization Act. In a moment, I am going to ask unanimous consent to 
make this amendment pending, but first I wish to explain why this 
amendment is so important.
  I have been working on this legislation for years. Senator Schumer is 
a cosponsor. In the past, I have had support for this bill as 
cosponsors in Senator Hatch, Senator Lindsey Graham, and Senator 
Hoeven. Why has there been bipartisan support in the past for this 
bill? I think we all know that this is a public safety issue. Metal 
thieves have targeted labs, power stations, and gas lines, causing 
blackouts, service disruptions, and even dangerous explosions.
  In September of 2013, four people were injured in an explosion at a 
University of California, Berkeley, electrical station. Officials 
blamed it on copper theft that occurred 2 hours before the explosion.
  Georgia Power was having a huge problem with thieves targeting a 
substation that feeds the entire Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta 
International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world. The 
airport was getting hit two to three times a week, and surveillance 
didn't lead to any arrests.

[[Page S4174]]

  The crime has also hurt the dignity of our veterans. Last year in my 
home State of Minnesota, the metal thieves robbed dozens of veterans' 
graves, taking the brass rods that hold their symbol of service. It is 
a crime that is almost too callous to comprehend, but sadly this wasn't 
the first time. On Memorial Day in 2012--this is just in Minnesota--
thieves stole more than 20 Bronze Star markers from veterans' graves in 
Isanti County. That is why this bill is supported by the Veterans of 
Foreign Wars, the Vietnam Veterans of America, the Iraq and Afghanistan 
Veterans of America, as well as major law enforcement organizations and 
business groups.
  The bill is really quite simple. It will help combat the shameless 
crime across State lines by putting modest recordkeeping requirements 
on scrap metal dealers and recyclers in place. It will limit the value 
of cash transactions to $100 and require sellers in certain cases to 
prove they actually own the metal.
  All we are trying to do is stop scrap metal dealers from taking 
stolen metal. And the reason we can't just do it State by State is that 
a lot of States are doing this but a lot of States aren't, and what the 
thieves are doing is crossing State lines, stealing the metal in one 
State and selling it in another.
  This is an important bill, and it has been heavily lobbied against by 
the scrap metal dealer association.
  The Democratic side of the aisle has cleared this bill. We are ready 
to go forward with this amendment. There are objections on the 
Republican side. But I think people better step back and realize, the 
next time there is a major explosion, the next time something happens 
like this, which is happening on a weekly basis across the country--
that they understand we could have done something to prevent it.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to set aside the pending 
amendment in order to call up my amendment No. 1555.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, and I will 
object, I object on behalf of the Judiciary Committee. This would 
criminalize stealing metal. It makes it a Federal offense; therefore, 
the Judiciary properly has jurisdiction. It would also establish civil 
penalties enforceable by the Attorney General. It directs review of 
this crime by the Federal sentencing commission. It has no tie to the 
national security or the National Defense Authorization Act. So I 
object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  Ms. KLOBUCHAR. Mr. President, I am disappointed that there is an 
objection to calling up this commonsense amendment that has so much 
support from veterans, law enforcement, and businesses. I have stood in 
front of small businesses all over my State, including with Senator 
Hoeven in Fargo, a number of electric companies that have been 
repeatedly broken into.
  I believe this does have national security implications because there 
is a provision in the bill about critical infrastructure and creating a 
felony-level crime when they are stealing from that critical 
infrastructure. And I believe it is very important that we debate and 
vote on this issue as part of the National Defense Authorization Act.
  I will continue to work to get a vote on this amendment during this 
entire year. I worry that at some point we are going to have major 
damage to our infrastructure as a result of metal theft, and everyone 
will look back and wonder why we didn't listen to every major law 
enforcement group in our country or to every single business that has 
been affected or to the electric companies that are being broken into 
all the time or to our veterans groups, that just want their final 
resting places to be respected. Despite the lobby of the scrap metal 
dealers, I will not let this rest.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I would point out to the Senator from 
Minnesota that we started on this legislation in the committee in May. 
We are now well into June--many weeks. We are 2 weeks into the 
consideration of this legislation, and the Senator from Minnesota comes 
to the floor with a compelling amendment.
  I suggest the next time around the Senator from Minnesota raise the 
issue with the authorization committee and with others when the bill 
first comes to the floor rather than waiting 2 weeks before having a 
compelling interest in this very serious issue.
  Ms. KLOBUCHAR. Mr. President----
  Mr. McCAIN. I still have the floor, I would say to the Senator from 
Minnesota. The rules of the Senate are that we usually don't like to be 
interrupted.
  Mr. President, we are going to embark on the McCain-Feinstein 
amendment, which I understand is going to be voted on at 11:30; is that 
correct?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is correct.
  Mr. McCAIN. I thank the Chair.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Minnesota.
  Ms. KLOBUCHAR. Mr. President, I would like to note that I have been 
attempting to pass this legislation now for 3 years. Senator Hatch was 
my first cosponsor, then Senator Graham, and then Senator Hoeven. Every 
step of the way I have been stymied by the scrap metal dealer lobby.
  I believe this is an important bill. It is a simple bill. It will 
greatly help because these thieves are crossing State lines with the 
stolen copper. I appreciate, obviously, Senator McCain's viewpoint, 
being the manager of this bill on the floor, but I think the record 
should reflect that I have tried many times to get this amendment up on 
other bills and to work with the committee, but every single time I get 
stopped in my tracks by this lobby. At some point I would like to have 
a vote on this so that people can vote their heart and vote with their 
law enforcement or vote with the scrap metal dealers. They can decide.
  For now, our side has cleared this amendment, and the Republicans are 
objecting to this.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. McCAIN. 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. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the time 
spent be equally divided while in a quorum call.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. McCAIN. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. 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. DURBIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as in 
morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                   Chicago Blackhawks Win Stanley Cup

  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, there are serious matters on the floor of 
the Senate involving the Defense authorization bill, and I just asked 
the chairman of the Committee on Armed Services for 5 minutes to speak 
on an issue totally unrelated to it but one which is critically 
important to the future of America and critically important today to 
the city of Chicago, IL.
  Last night, I stayed up late to watch the Chicago Blackhawks win the 
Stanley Cup. They were playing the Tampa Bay Lightning--an 
extraordinarily good team--and in the sixth game they won 2 to zip. 
That is three Stanley Cups in 6 years.
  I can tell you that you can't visit Chicago, go to any street corner 
or anyplace without seeing evidence of loyalty to the Chicago 
Blackhawks. It is an incredible story of a storied franchise in the 
National Hockey League that has become a premier sports story in the 
great sports city of Chicago. And last night was so much fun for all of 
us to watch that victory.
  Any child who has ever laced up an old pair of skates or put tape on 
a stick has thought about what happened last

[[Page S4175]]

night. From Springfield, IL, to Saskatoon, from Moose Jaw to Miami, if 
you have spent any time at all around the game of hockey, you wonder 
what it must feel like to stand at the end of a very long season, after 
three long periods of total effort white-knuckled moments, before tens 
of thousands of elated fans, and hoist up the most storied trophy in 
all of sports--Lord Stanley's Cup. The goal of every team in the 
National Hockey League is to hoist up that cup at the end of the 
season.
  I rise today to pay tribute to the players, coaches, staff, and fans 
of the Chicago Blackhawks, the 2015 Stanley Cup champions, whose 
season-long mantra of ``One Goal'' was realized last night at the 
United Center in Chicago.
  Last night, the Blackhawks won their sixth Stanley Cup in franchise 
history and the third in the last 6 years, with the 2-to-0 victory over 
the Tampa Bay Lightning, a formidable team as well.
  Fans at the Madhouse on Madison, as we call the United Center, 
witnessed Duncan Keith and Patrick Kane score show-stopping goals while 
goaltender Corey Crawford seemed incredible in his defense, stopping 
all of the 25 shots that he faced.
  I congratulate especially owner Rocky Wirtz, head coach Joe 
Quenneville, who is known as Coach Q, ``Captain Serious,'' Jonathan 
Toews, the Blackhawks front office, the players, and, most of all, the 
legions of Blackhawks fans as they celebrate another Stanley Cup 
Championship.
  Those who know the history of this team, and those who have followed 
them for decades know that in the past 7 years there has been a 
transformation in the Blackhawks. With Rocky Wirtz taking over as the 
owner, this team went on television just at the moment when they were 
reaching this level of perfection, and they started winning over 
thousands of fans--not just across Chicago but across Illinois and the 
Midwest.
  Blackhawks fans, I think, are the best fans in hockey, and you can 
understand if a lot of them are a little tired this morning. The 
Blackhawks began the playoffs with a remarkable double-overtime victory 
against the Nashville Predators, another excellent team. They were down 
3 to 0 after the first period. The Hawks stormed back to tie the game 
and won on a Duncan Keith goal. That victory set the tone for a great 
run through the playoffs. A goal by Brent Seabrook in triple overtime 
in game 4 helped the Hawks defeat Nashville in six games.
  A sweep of the Minnesota Wild followed, setting up a showdown with 
the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference Finals. The Hawks were 
behind in the series one game to none, 2 to 1, and 3 to 2, but they 
earned double- and triple-overtime victories on their way to winning in 
seven games, clinching a berth in the Stanley Cup Final.
  The Hawks followed a familiar pattern in dropping games 1 and 3 of 
the final, but they took a 3-to-2 series lead into Monday night's Game 
6 on home ice. It was another close contest as Kane's one-timer with 
5:14 remaining marked the first time either team led by more than one 
goal in the entire series.
  The time slowly ticked down until 22,424 fans at the United Center 
were finally able to erupt in celebration. It was a great night for 
Blackhawks fans and the culmination of a tremendous team effort.
  Antoine Vermette, acquired at the trade deadline, scored two game-
winning goals in the Stanley Cup Final. Goaltender Scott Darling stood 
tall in the net when his team needed him the most, in relief of Corey 
Crawford when called upon against Nashville. Duncan Keith was an iron 
man, earning the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP, while logging more 
than 700 minutes of ice time in 23 games. Nicklas Hjalmarsson blocked 
shots left and right and seemed to be in the right place all the time.
  I can't tell you how happy I am for those Blackhawks and for all of 
their amazing fans on their Stanley Cup championship. It has been a 
thrill to watch this team throughout the years, and I look forward to 
seeing President Obama host the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks yet 
another time at the White House.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Iowa.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I have serious concerns with the 
language that was tacked on to the House FISA reform bill that passed 
the Senate, and at the end of my remarks I am going to offer a 
unanimous consent request. I say that because maybe other Members of 
the Senate would like to be heard or would like to maybe reject my 
unanimous consent request, and I want to give them the privilege of 
knowing I am doing this.
  The language in the FISA bill made changes to the Federal criminal 
code to implement four important multilateral treaties relating to 
nuclear terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. 
It is good that these treaties are finally being implemented. The 
Senate gave its advice and consent to these treaties back in 2008. In 
the years since then, however, the Senate leadership repeatedly failed 
to bring bills to the floor that would implement them.
  The language which is now law omits a number of key provisions that 
were requested by both the Obama administration and the Bush 
administration. So I want my colleagues to know this has had support 
from both Republican and Democrat Presidents, in the present and in the 
past.
  My amendment No. 1786 restores these provisions, which are important 
tools to combat the gravest of threats to our national security. I am 
happy to note that Senator Whitehouse, the ranking member of the 
Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, has joined 
me in offering this amendment.
  First, the amendment adds the authority for prosecutors to seek the 
death penalty for these newly created crimes in appropriate cases. 
Under the criminal code, similar crimes already carry the possibility 
of the death penalty. Singling out these new offenses under this 
treaty, which is intended to stop terrorists from threatening us with 
the world's most dangerous weapons, for lesser punishment simply makes 
no sense.
  For example, section 2280 and 2281 of the code, which criminalizes 
various acts of violence on the high seas, already provide for the 
possibility of the death penalty. So it is only logical that new 
sections 2280a and 2281a, which criminalize acts of terrorism on the 
high seas related to weapons of mass destruction, should as well. The 
newly created offenses of nuclear terrorism, now codified in section 
2332i, should as well. In fact, I am hard pressed to think of an 
offense for which the death penalty might be more appropriate than 
nuclear terrorism.
  Terrorists who kill Americans--especially nuclear terrorists--should 
be eligible for the death penalty. This shouldn't at all be 
controversial, and I think the support of both former President Bush 
and President Obama speaks to that point. Terrorists who kill 
Americans--especially nuclear terrorists--should be eligible for the 
death penalty. I can't repeat too often that this shouldn't be 
controversial.
  Second, the amendment makes these newly created criminal offenses 
material support predicates. In other words, the amendment would 
provide the government the ability to prosecute those who finance or 
otherwise provide material support to these terrorists. Naturally, 
these are complex crimes that aren't committed by just one person. They 
involve entire networks that need to be stopped in their tracks. This 
provision will help do that by making sure that those who provide 
materiel support to terrorists don't escape justice.

  Third, the amendment would add these offenses to the list of those 
crimes that are predicates for wiretap applications. As the law now 
stands, prosecutors can't request a traditional criminal wiretap 
against a terrorist suspected of breaking these new laws, but at the 
same time, they can get a wiretap to investigate a long list of less 
serious offenses. Again, this doesn't make sense. In fact, this is a 
dangerous omission. Our government needs the ability to listen in on 
calls of suspected nuclear terrorists. So this provision would permit 
prosecutors to request the authority to do so from a Federal judge.
  Once again, I use the term ``common sense.'' These are commonsense 
fixes, supported by both Republican and Democratic Presidents, fixing 
and harmonizing these recently created crimes with the rest of the 
criminal code, fixing and harmonizing these recently

[[Page S4176]]

created crimes with the rest of the Criminal Code. They were requested 
by both the Obama and Bush administrations because they will help 
protect us from the catastrophe that could result from terrorists 
seeking to use the ultimate weapons against us. So I urge my colleagues 
to support Grassley-Whitehouse amendment No. 1786.
  At this time, I ask unanimous consent to set aside the pending 
amendment and call up and make pending Grassley-Whitehouse amendment 
No. 1786.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. REED. Mr. President, reserving the right to object.
  First, the Senator is chairman of the committee which has 
jurisdiction for this particular amendment, so he has complete--in 
fact, more than complete--authority to bring it up in regular order and 
bring it forward to the floor. In addition, we have been advised by the 
Department of Justice that these provisions are not necessary, given 
the scope of existing law with respect to terrorists and with respect 
to anyone who conducts a terrorist act. Perhaps an example of that is 
the Boston bombing, where there is now someone condemned to death for 
terrorist activities--not involving a nuclear device, but I hardly 
think he would get any less of a sentence regardless of the device he 
used.
  So for all these reasons, I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I accept the good-faith effort to listen 
to my point of view, even though there is a rejection, but I would like 
1 minute to react to the objection.
  This amendment only does what both the Bush and Obama administrations 
asked Congress to do, to make clear that the death penalty could apply 
to any active nuclear terrorism. It is not enough that other criminal 
statutes might also apply to nuclear terrorists and might also carry 
the death penalty. It is quite the opposite; that terrorists who use 
guns and explosives to kill can face the death penalty means that 
nuclear terrorists certainly should as well. It does not take too much 
imagination to come up with a situation which, under current law, the 
death penalty might not clearly apply.
  We are all aware of the threat of cyber terrorism. If a terrorist 
used a computer to take over a nuclear powerplant and caused a deadly 
nuclear meltdown, it is not clear that his crime would be eligible for 
the death penalty under any other Federal Criminal Code. We simply 
shouldn't accept this potential gap in the law which my amendment 
fixes.
  So, once again, I am sorry there was an objection. I am not done with 
this. We will continue it in some other environment. I respect my 
colleagues, however, for objecting.
  I yield the floor.


                           Amendment No. 1889

  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, Congress has some unfinished business 
before it. When the President took office, he issued an Executive order 
banning torture. It is regrettable that such a step was even necessary 
for a country that has been a signatory to the Convention Against 
Torture since 1988, more than 25 years ago. But it was the right thing 
for the President to do and consistent with our values as Americans. In 
particular, the President ordered that all U.S. Government personnel 
and contractors must comply with the interrogation standards in the 
Army Field Manual and that the International Committee of the Red Cross 
should have notice of and access to detainees held by the U.S. 
Government.
  Now it is time for Congress to adopt these same requirements--to 
enshrine them in law and ensure that America never again employs 
torture, no matter what the threat.
  Senators McCain and Feinstein have offered an amendment that mirrors 
these requirements of the Executive order. It would require all 
government personnel and contractors, across all agencies and 
departments, to abide by the rules and regulations contained in the 
Army Field Manual. It also would ensure that the International 
Committee of the Red Cross, or ICRC, is provided access to all 
individuals detained by the United States.
  These requirements have already been in place for 6 years, and this 
amendment is consistent with current practice. The Army Field Manual 
provides clear guidelines on acceptable and effective interrogation 
practices. It reinforces explicit prohibitions in existing law against 
torture and other cruel and inhumane treatment. It is relied upon by 
our military personnel when they conduct high-risk interrogations on 
the battlefield. There is no reason why these rules should not apply to 
all government personnel and contractors, in all places, and at all 
times.
  This is a critically important amendment. We know from the historic 
report of the Senate Intelligence Committee that the CIA engaged in 
horrific acts of torture during the Bush administration. We must be 
unequivocal to the world and to ourselves that torture is wrong and 
that it is never permitted.
  An Executive order is not enough. Congress must act. We must codify 
these safeguards into law. When it comes to our core values--the things 
that make our country great and that define America's place in the 
world--they do not change depending on the circumstances. The 
Convention Against Torture does not make exceptions. We must be clear 
that there are no instances when torture is acceptable.
  I urge Senators to support the anti-torture amendment, and I commend 
Senators McCain and Feinstein for their enduring leadership on this 
issue. We must ensure that America never allows this to happen again.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The President pro tempore.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I rise to speak out at a time when our 
world is on fire: Putin's Russia is on the march, invading a sovereign 
neighbor in a bid to rebuild the Soviet empire; China asserts its 
growing strength in aggressive and provocative ways in the Pacific; 
Iran presses ahead in its efforts to develop nuclear weapons 
capability, a development that threatens to put the deadliest weapons 
known to man in the hands of a maniacal rogue state; the Islamic State 
continues to expand its barbaric reign of terror and endanger 
everything our brave men and women in uniform fought and died for long 
ago in Iraq; terrorist groups, including Al Qaeda in the Arabian 
Peninsula and Al-Shabab, use the refuge of failed states to plot 
attacks on our homeland; and, across the globe, our allies look to the 
United States to provide the leadership necessary to confront these 
threats to peace.
  One of the foundational purposes of our Constitution was to establish 
a Federal Government to--in the words of the preamble--provide for the 
common defense. In facilitating this purpose, the Congress is charged 
with two particularly crucial duties: establishing the legal authority 
for our military to operate and funding our military's activities. For 
53 years in a row, Congress has fulfilled these responsibilities with 
an annual National Defense Authorization Act and accompanying funding 
through the appropriations process. Despite the gridlock that has so 
often beset the legislative process in recent years, Congress has 
consistently risen to the call of its constitutional duty every year to 
authorize and appropriate on behalf of our brave men and women in 
uniform.
  This year, our colleagues on the Armed Services Committee have lived 
up to the finest traditions of this body in crafting the National 
Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016. This bill provides for 
our national security needs across a wide variety of fronts, including 
programs to aid allies such as Ukraine and Iraq that face aggression, 
compensation for the men and women who put their lives on the line to 
defend our freedom, restructuring to improve readiness, authority to 
procure a wide range of new weapons systems such as the F-35 Joint 
Strike Fighter that are crucial to maintaining our defense 
capabilities, and acquisition reform to restore accountability to 
defense contracting and make the money we spend go further.
  These aren't Republican or Democratic priorities, they are American 
priorities. They are concrete steps we need to take in order to ensure 
our safety and security for years to come, and they should earn the 
support of every single Senator.
  The bill before us authorizes $604 billion in spending for the 
Defense Department in the coming year. That is essentially the very 
same amount requested by President Obama himself.

[[Page S4177]]

President Obama and our colleagues on the Armed Services Committee did 
not come up with that number out of thin air. In testimony before the 
Senate Armed Services Committee this year, all four of the military 
service chiefs testified that American lives are being put at risk if 
we cap defense spending at the sequester levels. The amount proposed by 
President Obama and embraced by the Armed Services Committee is the 
amount that both Republican and Democratic, as well as nonpartisan, 
experts believe is crucial to the Defense Department's ability to 
preserve our national security. Surely, such an approach on such a 
critical measure should win broad support from both parties.
  Nevertheless, many of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle 
are threatening a filibuster of the bill over the amount of funding it 
authorizes. They are considering the prospect of defeating the National 
Defense Authorization Act for the first time in 53 years unless we 
agree to their demands to increase spending on domestic programs. Put 
another way, they are aiming to condition the ability of our soldiers, 
sailors, airmen, and marines to defend our Nation on their demand for 
more funding for the wasteful Federal bureaucracy that already costs 
too much.
  Let me be absolutely clear. To roll back what progress we have made 
in restoring fiscal discipline after years of profligate spending is 
seriously misguided, to do so by hijacking the Defense bill at a time 
of serious danger--when we face so many crises around the world--
represents the height of irresponsibility, and to make such a ``my way 
or the highway'' demand as a condition of fulfilling one of the 
Senate's basic duties is unworthy of the great traditions of this body.
  Many of us have worked toward various solutions to replace the 
sequester going forward. Republicans and Democrats alike have their 
preferred alternatives to the current funding arrangements. 
Nevertheless, we simply cannot shirk our duty to provide for the common 
defense in the present. Political reality demands that we reject 
partisan grandstanding in favor of working together on this must-pass 
bill.
  Over the past 2 weeks, the majority leader and the chairman of the 
Armed Services Committee have led a debate on this bill that represents 
the Senate at its finest. We have considered the bill on time--a needed 
change from recent years that restores the Senate's proper voice in our 
national defense. We have held hours upon hours of debate on the floor, 
and we have held a fair and open amendment process for Members on both 
sides of the aisle.
  As part of that open amendment process, the Senate considered an 
amendment from the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee that 
would condition the funding level on the domestic spending increases 
sought by our Democratic colleagues.
  Despite my disagreements on the substance, I want to commend the 
ranking member for his sincere advocacy and for his determination to 
put his plan before this body for an up-or-down vote. But as that vote 
result showed, a majority of this body strongly disagrees with the 
minority's preferred alternative. Having fully aired this issue and 
voted on it, it is time for the Senate to wrap up our debate and pass 
this bill. To exploit the supermajority threshold to demand a 
concession rejected by a majority of Senators on a bill of such vital 
importance to our national defense would represent a gross dereliction 
of duty and a tragically irresponsible choice.
  I urge my friends in the minority: do not give in to the temptation 
of partisan grandstanding, do not let this become another exercise in 
political brinksmanship, do not place a desire to fight the majority 
over our shared duty to keep this country safe, and do not jeopardize 
our men and women in uniform to win concessions for yet more domestic 
spending.
  Work with us. Embrace the funding levels the Obama administration 
believes are necessary to keep us safe and keep alive our proud 
tradition of placing national security ahead of partisan politics.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Democratic leader.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I know there is important debate, but I wish 
to take a few minutes and talk about America losing one of its finest 
entrepreneurs and citizens.


                       Remembering Kirk Kerkorian

  Mr. President, last night, at 10:30, my friend Kirk Kerkorian died. 
What a wonderful man. He was 98 years old, and when history books are 
written, they will say a lot about this good man.
  I had the good fortune as a young lawyer to meet him. I didn't do any 
of his mergers and acquisitions and all the stock stuff. I didn't do 
any of that. But when we first met, he was a businessman with an 
airline called Trans International Airlines. I will talk about that in 
a minute, but it started out as one airplane.
  I knew that Kirk was failing because he and I were supposed to go 
watch the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, and he said he couldn't go. I knew 
then that his days were numbered, for lack of a better description.
  I had kept in touch with him all these many years. As I said, I am 
not one to boast about all the great legal work I did for Kirk. I 
didn't do much. But I did do a lot of work for his brother, a man by 
the name of Nish Kerkorian, and Kirk never forgot all the work I did 
for his brother.
  Kirk had two siblings: One woman who was a sweet, sweet lady, 
vibrant, named Rose, his sister Rose. She died not long ago. I called 
Kirk. It was really hard on him; he cried, and we shed a tear together.
  He was born in 1917 in Fresno, CA. His parents were Armenian 
immigrants. He grew up at a very difficult time. He didn't graduate 
from the eighth grade. He became a prize fighter, became the Pacific 
amateur welterweight champion, and his name was ``Rifle Right'' 
Kerkorian.
  His brother Nish, whom I talked about, was also a fighter and a 
boxer, and he fought a lot. Kirk didn't fight too much.
  On the floor is one of ours--if not the hero we have in the Senate 
for military endeavors--the senior Senator from Arizona.
  It is important to talk about Kirk Kerkorian for just a minute and 
about what he did for our country in the military, using that term 
broadly--``in the military.'' He had learned to fly, while milking cows 
and looking after a woman's cattle, at an air strip near now what is 
Edwards Air Force Base. That is where he learned to fly, at a place 
called Happy Bottom Riding Club. That is where he learned to fly. He 
loved to fly. He got his pilot's license in just a few months, and he 
wanted to go into the military, but he couldn't at the time because we 
weren't in the war yet.
  The British Royal Air Force was ferrying Canadian-built de Havilland 
Mosquitoes over the North Atlantic because England was desperate for 
help. The Nazis were after them, Hitler was sweeping Europe, and the 
submarines were sinking the ships trying to take supplies to England. 
So out of desperation, Canada, which was part of Great Britain at the 
time, decided they would help. The problem was that to fly those 
airplanes over the North Atlantic was really very, very difficult. They 
had two routes. One was 1,400 miles. The other was shorter but 
extremely more dangerous. Kirk Kerkorian agreed to take the one more 
dangerous. It was dangerous because the North Atlantic is very brutal. 
The wings would ice. But he got a lot of money for each flight--almost 
$1,000 for each flight. He delivered 33 planes to England. Every one of 
those flights was a nightmare, but he did it.
  He was truly an American patriot. There is a documentary on what he 
did--flying across the North Atlantic with some other gallant men who 
did that and helped preserve freedom in the world and take on the 
Nazis.
  After the war, he had saved a lot of his money, and he bought a 
Cessna. It was expensive at the time--$5,000. He worked in general 
aviation. He first visited Las Vegas in 1944. In 1947 he paid $60,000 
for the airline where I first met him. He was dealing with Trans 
International Airlines, which was a small air charter service that 
basically flew gamblers between L.A. and Las Vegas. He, of course, was 
a very frugal man. He operated the airline until 1968, when he sold it 
for $104 million. He paid $60,000 for it and sold it for $104 million. 
That was him. He was an entrepreneur.

[[Page S4178]]

  He moved into Las Vegas quickly. He bought a piece of land across 
from the Flamingo Hotel for $960,000. It was 80 acres. That is now 
where Caesars Palace is. He was originally the landlord for that 
property. He made $9 million on that deal.
  He then, shortly thereafter, paid $5 million cash for an off-Strip 
property--the first one that had ever been done. That is something I 
was involved with. It was quite interesting. That transaction showed to 
me his absolute honesty. I have said publicly--I am not going into 
detail here--but I will end by saying that the lawyer with whom I 
worked, Bill Singleton, said: No, Kirk doesn't do business that way, 
and he walked out of the room. He wound up buying the property. That 
was where the International Hotel was built, and it was a very, very 
expensive property at the time. It was off-Strip. The first two people 
to appear in the showroom were Barbra Streisand and Elvis Presley, and 
that was the beginning of Kirk Kerkorian's ascension to power broker, 
to say the least, in Las Vegas.
  He bought and sold MGM movies two different times. In the process, of 
course, he built the MGM hotel in Las Vegas. He was really an 
interesting, wonderful man. He is one of the personalities I will never 
forget, and my relationship with him is one of the special things in my 
life. I feel so fortunate to be able to talk on a personal basis about 
this man. He was one of a kind.
  I am so disappointed. His No. 1 person, Tony Mandekik, called me and 
told me that Kirk had died. To be honest with you, the tears on the 
other side of the phone connection from Tony ended the conversation 
because he couldn't talk anymore. Now he is responsible, among others--
but principally him--for disposing of this man's wealth.
  He did not make all of his money in movies or hotels and casinos. He 
branched out. He made a number of fortunes. People would say: How does 
he know anything about the automobile industry? He wound up owning 
large chunks of General Motors. He was one of the chief players in 
Chrysler. He no longer made in those propositions millions of dollars 
but billions. He made about $5 billion on this Chrysler Corporation 
deal, where people said: What a fool--why would he do that?
  You know that deal.
  Not too long ago, about 3 years ago, I met him for lunch in Los 
Angeles. I said: I have to get going. He pulled out of his pocket his 
watch.
  Kirk, what is that?
  He says: It is my watch.
  It was a Timex with no band on it.
  He said: It keeps perfect time.
  He came to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. He drove himself in a little 
jeep--a jeep with the top partially down. That was him. He was a very 
private man. He rarely gave interviews. I mean, he rarely gave 
interviews. Even though he was one of the richest men in Los Angeles, 
he was probably one of the most private. He simply did not do things in 
public.
  With all of the hotels that he owned--for those people who have a 
little bit of knowledge of Las Vegas, a lot of stuff is done with 
complimentary privileges. If you are a hotel owner, you get a lot of 
stuff for nothing--not Kirk Kerkorian. He would not take a comp for 
anything. Everything he paid for.
  One of the last times we went to a fight, he also would not sit 
ringside. He always wanted to be up away from everybody.
  In 2008 he was worth $16 billion. I am not sure how much he was worth 
when he died. But he has given huge amounts of his wealth away. His job 
for Tony Mandekik and others was to give away the rest of his money.
  It is a sad day for me and for the people who knew Kirk Kerkorian. He 
lived a good, full life. He has two daughters. He always went out of 
his way and paid his help well.
  I wish I had the ability to articulate what a wonderful human being 
Kirk Kerkorian was. I will always remember him. When I talk to people 
who know something about business, I will always interject the name 
Kirk Kerkorian.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.


                           Amendment No. 1889

  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senator 
from California have 15 minutes and I have 10 minutes and that the vote 
be delayed until completion of the 15 minutes and the 10 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Thank you very much, Mr. President.
  I thank the distinguished chairman for this time. I do not think I 
will take 15 minutes. We have worked it down.
  I join Senator McCain and Ranking Member Reed--as well as Senator 
Collins and the other cosponsors, Senators Leahy, Paul, King, Flake, 
Heinrich, Whitehouse, Mikulski, Wyden, Murphy, Hirono, Warner, Baldwin, 
Brown and Markey--in offering an amendment that will help ensure the 
United States never again carries out coercive and abusive 
interrogation techniques or indefinite secret detentions.
  I am very pleased that the Senate will consider this amendment, and I 
urge an aye vote.
  The amendment we are offering today is really very simple. It applies 
the authorizations and restrictions for interrogations in the Army 
Field Manual to the entire U.S. Government.
  It extends what Congress did in 2005, by a vote of 90 to 9, with the 
Detainee Treatment Act--which I believe Senator McCain authored--which 
banned the Department of Defense from using techniques not authorized 
by the Army Field Manual and also banned the government from using 
cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment.
  The amendment also requires prompt access by the International 
Committee of the Red Cross to any detainee held by the U.S. Government.
  Both of these provisions are consistent with United States policy for 
the past several years, but this amendment would codify these 
requirements into law.
  President Obama banned the use of coercive and abusive interrogation 
techniques by Executive order in his first few days in office, actually 
on January 22, 2009.
  That Executive order formally prohibits--as a matter of policy--the 
use of interrogation techniques not specifically authorized by the Army 
Field Manual on Human Intelligence Collector Operations.
  This amendment places that restriction in law. It is long overdue.
  The amendment also codifies another section of President Obama's 
January 2009 Executive order, requiring access by the International 
Committee of the Red Cross to all U.S. detainees in U.S. Government 
custody--access which has been historically granted by the United 
States and other law-abiding nations and is needed to fulfill our 
obligations under international law, such as the Geneva Conventions.
  It is also important to understand that the policies in the 2009 
Executive order are only guaranteed for as long as a future President 
agrees to leave them in place. This amendment would codify these two 
provisions into law.
  Current law already bans torture, as well as cruel, inhuman, or 
degrading treatment or punishment.
  However, this amendment is still necessary because interrogation 
techniques were able to be used, which were based on a deeply flawed 
legal theory, and those techniques, it was said, did not constitute 
``torture'' or ``cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.''
  These legal opinions could be written again.
  In 2009, President Obama's Executive Order settled the issue as 
formal policy, and this amendment will codify a prohibition on a 
program that was already defunct at the end of the Bush administration.
  CIA Director John Brennan has clearly stated that he agrees with the 
ban on interrogation techniques that are not in the Army Field Manual. 
Director Brennan wrote the following to the Intelligence Committee in 
2013 about the President's 2009 Executive order:

       I want to reaffirm what I said during my confirmation 
     hearing: I agree with the president's decision, and, while I 
     am the Director of the CIA, this program will not under any 
     circumstances be reinitiated. I personally remain firm in my 
     belief that enhanced interrogation techniques are not an 
     appropriate method to obtain intelligence and that their use 
     impairs our ability to continue to play a leadership role in 
     the world.

  Furthermore, it is important to point out that the Senate and the 
House both

[[Page S4179]]

required the use of the Army Field Manual across the government in the 
fiscal year 2008 Intelligence authorization bill. Unfortunately, 
President Bush vetoed that legislation.
  Whatever one may think about the CIA's former detention and 
interrogation program, we should all agree that there can be no turning 
back to the era of torture.

  Interrogation techniques that would together constitute torture do 
not work. They corrode our moral standing, and ultimately they 
undermine any counterterrorism policies they are intended to support.
  So before I close, I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the 
Record a series of letters and statements in support of this amendment.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:
                                                     June 9, 2015.
       Dear Senator: As retired generals and admirals who believe 
     that American ideals are a national security asset, we urge 
     you to support the amendment to the 2016 National Defense 
     Authorization Act that solidifies the ban against torture and 
     cruel treatment of detainees in U.S. custody.
       While international and domestic law, including the 2005 
     Detainee Treatment Act, prohibit such cruelty, high-level 
     officials in the Executive Branch still managed to evade 
     congressional intent by using loophole lawyering to authorize 
     torture and cruel treatment. We need to make sure this never 
     happens again. The United States should have one standard for 
     interrogating detainees that is effective, lawful, and 
     humane.
       The McCain-Feinstein amendment would ensure lawful, 
     effective, and humane interrogations of individuals taken 
     into custody by requiring all agencies and departments to 
     comply with the time-tested requirements of the Army Field 
     Manual (``Human Intelligence Collector Operations''). It 
     would also codify existing Department of Defense (DOD) 
     practice of guaranteeing timely notification and access to 
     the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for 
     detainees taken into custody--an important bulwark against 
     abuse.
       We strongly urge you to support this legislation to help 
     move our country towards decisively rejecting the use of 
     torture or cruel treatment against detainees held in our 
     custody.
       Thank you for your commitment to upholding our national 
     security and American values.
           Sincerely,
         General Joseph Hoar, USMC (Ret.); General Charles Krulak, 
           USMC (Ret.); General David M. Maddox, USA (Ret.); 
           Lieutenant General John Castellaw, USMC (Ret.); 
           Lieutenant General Robert G. Gard, Jr., USA (Ret.); 
           Vice Admiral Lee F. Gunn, USN (Ret.); Lieutenant 
           General Claudia J. Kennedy, USA (Ret.); Lieutenant 
           General Charles Otstott, USA (Ret.); Lieutenant General 
           Norman R. Seip, USAF (Ret.); Vice Admiral Joe Sestak, 
           USN (Ret.); Lieutenant General Harry E. Soyster, USA 
           (Ret.); Lieutenant General Keith J. Stalder, USMC 
           (Ret.); Rear Admiral Don Guter, JAGC, USN (Ret.); Rear 
           Admiral John D. Hutson, JAGC, USN (Ret.); Major General 
           J. Michael Myatt, USMC (Ret.); Major General William L. 
           Nash, USA (Ret.).
         Major General Eric T. Olson, USA (Ret.); Major General 
           Thomas J. Romig, USA (Ret.); Major General Walter L. 
           Stewart, Jr., USA (Ret.); Major General Antonio M. 
           Taguba, USA (Ret.); Brigadier General John Adams, USA 
           (Ret.); Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney, USMC 
           (Ret.); Brigadier General James P. Cullen, USA (Ret.); 
           Brigadier General Evelyn P. Foote, USA (Ret.); 
           Brigadier General Gerald E. Galloway, USA (Ret.); 
           Brigadier General Leif H. Hendrickson, USMC (Ret.); 
           Brigadier General David R. Irvine, USA (Ret.); 
           Brigadier General John H. Johns, USA (Ret.); Brigadier 
           General Murray G. Sagsveen, USA (Ret.); Brigadier 
           General Stephen N. Xenakis, USA (Ret.).
                                  ____


                [From Peaceful Tomorrows, June 10, 2015]

  September 11th Families Support the Reinforcement of Ban on Torture

                         (Posted by Katharina)

       As family members of those killed on September 11th we have 
     strong opinions regarding torture. The use of enhanced 
     interrogation techniques, or torture by another name, was 
     wrongly justified by some as means to prevent another 
     terrorist attack. Torture is never justified. September 11th 
     Families for Peaceful Tomorrows applauds the legislation 
     being offered by Senators McCain and Feinstein to reinforce 
     the ban on torture. Any assertion of torture as effective 
     must be repudiated. Any loophole suggesting torture as a 
     justifiable means to security must be closed. Any ethical 
     principle that finds torture morally permissible must be 
     challenged.
       American legislators must clearly and forcefully codify 
     policy that rejects and criminalizes torture in all its 
     forms. Only then will trust in the rule of law be restored, 
     and the people of this nation truly safe.
                                  ____

                                                     June 9, 2015.
       Dear Senator: As intelligence and interrogation 
     professionals who have offered our collective voice opposing 
     torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading 
     treatment, we strongly encourage you to support the amendment 
     to the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act that 
     solidifies the ban against torture and cruel treatment of 
     detainees in U.S. custody.
       While international and domestic law, including the 2005 
     Detainee Treatment Act, prohibit such cruelty, sadly high-
     level officials in the Executive Branch exploited loopholes 
     and still authorized torture and cruel treatment. The 
     interrogation methods that have kept America safe for 
     generations are sophisticated, humane, lawful, and produce 
     reliable, actionable intelligence in any interrogation 
     scenario. To promote a return to that respected level of 
     professionalism, there must be a single well-defined standard 
     of conduct--consistent with our values as a nation--across 
     all U.S. agencies to govern the detention and interrogation 
     of people anywhere in U.S. custody.
       The amendment would ensure lawful, effective, and humane 
     interrogations of individuals taken into custody by requiring 
     all agencies and departments to comply with the time-tested 
     requirements of the Army Field Manual (``Human Intelligence 
     Collector Operations''). It would also require a review of 
     the Army Field Manual to ensure that best practices and the 
     most recent evidenced-based research on humane interrogation 
     are incorporated. It would also codify existing Department of 
     Defense (DOD) practice of guaranteeing timely notification 
     and access to the International Committee of the Red Cross 
     (ICRC) for detainees taken into custody--an important bulwark 
     against abuse.
       We strongly urge you to support this legislation to help 
     move our country forward and reaffirm that there is no 
     conflict between adhering to one of our nation's essential 
     and founding values--respect for inherent human dignity--and 
     our ability to obtain the intelligence we need to protect the 
     nation.
           Sincerely,
         Frank Anderson, CIA (Ret.); Donald Canestraro, DEA 
           (Ret.); Glenn Carle, CIA (Ret.); Jack Cloonan, CIA 
           (Ret.); Barry Eisler, Formerly CIA; Eric Fair, Formerly 
           U.S. Army; Mark Fallon, NCIS (Ret.); Charlton Howard, 
           NCIS (Ret.); David Irvine, Brigadier General, U.S. Army 
           (Ret.); Timothy James, NCIS (Ret.); Steve Kleinman, 
           Colonel, USAFR (Ret.); Marcus Lewis, Formerly U.S. 
           Army; Brittain Mallow, Colonel, USA (Ret.); Mike Marks, 
           NCIS (Ret.);
         Robert McFadden, NCIS (Ret.); Charles Mink, Formerly U.S. 
           Army; Joe Navarro, FBI (Ret.); Torin Nelson, Formerly 
           U.S. Army; Carissa Pastuch, Formerly U.S. Army; William 
           Quinn, Formerly U.S. Army; Ken Robinson, U.S. Army 
           (Ret.); Rolince, Mike, FBI (Ret.); Ed Soyster, 
           Lieutenant General, U.S. Army (Ret.).
                                  ____

                                        Committee on International


                                            Justice and Peace,

                                    Washington, DC, June 10, 2015.
     U.S. Senate,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Senator, As deliberations over the FY 2016 National 
     Defense Authorization Act continue, I write to express 
     support for an amendment offered by Senators John McCain and 
     Dianne Feinstein that would prohibit all U.S. government 
     agencies and their agents from using torture as an 
     interrogation technique.
       The amendment would:
       Require all U.S. government agencies (including the CIA) to 
     limit interrogation techniques to those set out in the Army 
     Field Manual;
       Require the Army Field Manual be updated regularly and 
     remain available to the public to reflect best interrogation 
     techniques designed to elicit statements without the use or 
     threat of force; and
       Require the International Committee of the Red Cross be 
     given access to all detainees.
       These provisions are ones that the Committee on 
     International Justice and Peace of the United States 
     Conference of Catholic Bishops have long supported in trying 
     to ban the practice of torture by the U.S. government.
       The Army Field Manual 2-22.3 prescribes uniform standards 
     for interrogating persons detained by the Department of 
     Defense. A guiding principle of the Field Manual echoes the 
     Golden Rule: ``In attempting to determine if a contemplated 
     approach or technique should be considered prohibited, and 
     therefore should not be included in an interrogation plan, 
     consider . . . if the proposed approach technique were used 
     by the enemy against one of your fellow soldiers, would you 
     believe the soldier had been abused?'' (5-76)
       The McCain-Feinstein amendment seeks to ensure that Army 
     Field Manual's standard is also the same standard used by 
     other governmental agencies, including the CIA. Adhering to 
     these standards and ensuring access by the International 
     Committee of the Red Cross to visit detainees in 
     international armed conflicts would make a substantial 
     contribution to our nation's efforts to uphold our 
     international obligations under the Geneva Conventions and 
     the Convention Against Torture. The amendment would help 
     restore the moral credibility of the United States.
       In Catholic teaching, torture is an intrinsic evil that 
     cannot be justified under any

[[Page S4180]]

     circumstances as it violates the dignity of the human person, 
     both victim and perpetrator, and degrades any society that 
     tolerates it. We urge all Senators to support the McCain-
     Feinstein amendment that would help to ensure that laws are 
     enacted so that our government does not engage in torture 
     ever again.
           Sincerely yours,
                                        Most Reverend Oscar Cantu,
          Bishop of Las Cruces, Chair, Committee on International 
     Justice and Peace.
                                  ____


           Protecting U.S. Security Upholding American Values

       The United States detainee interrogation policy can live up 
     to American values and, at the same time, protect our 
     national security. This policy, supported by overwhelmingly 
     bipartisan legislation in 2005, states: ``No individual in 
     the custody or under the physical control of the U.S. 
     Government, regardless of nationality or physical location, 
     shall be subject to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or 
     punishment.'' Such principles can be attained by following 
     the U.S. Army Field Manual on Human Intelligence Collector 
     Operations. We believe these lawful, humane, and effective 
     techniques will produce actionable intelligence while 
     adhering to our founding principles.
       To ensure the integrity of this critical process, Congress 
     should conduct effective, real-time oversight on America's 
     intelligence communities. Failure to live up to these 
     internal safeguards adversely affects the nation's security 
     and damages America's reputation in the world.
         Richard Armitage, Deputy Secretary of State, 2001-2005; 
           Howard Berman, U.S. Congressman (D-CA), 1983-2013; 
           David Boren, U.S. Senator (D-OK), 1979-1994, Governor 
           of Oklahoma, 1975-1979; Harold Brown, Secretary of 
           Defense, 1977-1981; David Durenberger, U.S. Senator (R-
           MN), 1978-1995; Lee Hamilton, U.S. Congressman (D-IN), 
           1965-1999; Gary Hart, U.S. Senator (D-CO), 1975-1987; 
           Rita Hauser, Chair, International Peace Institute, 
           1992-Present; Carla Hills, U.S. Trade Representative, 
           1989-1993; Thomas Kean, Governor of New Jersey, 1982-
           1990, 9/11 Commission Chairman.
         Richard C. Leone, Senior Fellow and former President of 
           the Century Foundation; Carl Levin, U.S. Senator (D-
           MI), 1979-2015; Richard Lugar, U.S. Senator (R-IN), 
           1977-2013; Robert C. McFarlane, National Security 
           Advisor, 1983-1985; Donald McHenry, Ambassador to the 
           United Nations, 1979-1981; William Perry, Secretary of 
           Defense, 1994-1997; Charles Robb, U.S. Senator (D-VA); 
           1989-2001; Governor of Virginia, 1982-1986; Ken 
           Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, 2009-2013, U.S. 
           Senator (D-CO), 2005-2009; George Shultz, Secretary of 
           State, 1982-1989; William H. Taft IV, Deputy Secretary 
           of Defense, 1984-1989.
                                  ____

                                              National Association


                                              of Evangelicals,

                                     Washington, DC, June 8, 2015.
       Dear Senator: As you authorize FY16 appropriations for the 
     Department of Defense, please approve language in an 
     amendment to be offered by Senators McCain and Feinstein that 
     would strengthen the prohibition of torture in U.S. law and 
     apply the Army Field Manual interrogation policies and 
     standards to all personnel and facilities operated or 
     controlled by our government.
       The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) opposes the 
     use of torture as a violation of basic human dignity that is 
     incompatible with our beliefs in the sanctity of human life. 
     The use of torture is also inconsistent with American values, 
     undermines our moral standing in the world and may contribute 
     to an environment in which captured U.S. personnel are 
     subjected to torture.
       The NAE's position is set forth in ``An Evangelical 
     Declaration Against Torture,'' available at http://nae.net/
an-evangelical-dec
     laration-against-torture/, and reaffirmed in a recent NAE 
     statement (http://nae.net/nae-affirms-u-s-army-prohibition-
of-torture/).
       While the use of torture is currently prohibited across all 
     government agencies by executive order, this fundamental 
     principle must be enshrined in law, to ensure that no future 
     President may authorize the use of torture.
       We are grateful for your leadership and pray that God will 
     guide you as you consider how best to defend our nation.
           Sincerely,
                                                   Leith Anderson,
     President.
                                  ____



                                 National Council of Churches,

                                                    June 11, 2015.
     U.S. Senate,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Senators: As you consider amendments to the National 
     Defense Authorization Act, please support the McCain-
     Feinstein amendment on torture. The amendment would prohibit 
     torture by requiring the CIA and other agencies to follow the 
     guidelines in the Army Field Manual when conducting 
     interrogations, and by ensuring that the International 
     Committee of the Red Cross is given access to all detainees. 
     The amendment also provides a means to update the Field 
     Manual to reflect the best legal, humane, and effective 
     interrogation techniques.
       As Christians we believe that all people are created in the 
     image of God, endowed by our Creator with an inalienable 
     dignity and worth. Torture is a deeply degrading violation of 
     that image and to us it is never morally acceptable. As the 
     most powerful country on earth, we should set an example for 
     humane treatment of prisoners; we should never allow our 
     nation's practices to be used to justify torture.
       Passing the McCain-Feinstein amendment would strengthen the 
     legal prohibition against torture and thereby prevent the CIA 
     from ever resuming its torture program. Please support 
     McCain-Feinstein and help begin to put the CIA's brutal and 
     degrading use of torture behind us.
           Sincerely,
                                                      Jim Winkler,
     President and General Secretary.
                                  ____

  

         American Civil Liberties Union; Human Rights; National 
           Religious Campaign Against Torture; The Constitution 
           Project; Physicans for Human Rights; Open Society 
           Policy Center; The Center for Victims of Torture

                 (For Immediate Release: June 9, 2015)

Human Rights Groups Applaud Legislation Reaffirming U.S. Prohibition on 
                                Torture

       On Tuesday, June 9, 2015, Senators McCain, Feinstein, Reed, 
     and Collins introduced legislation to make the U.S. Army 
     Field Manual on Interrogations the standard for all U.S. 
     government interrogations to make sure that the United States 
     never uses torture again. Seven human rights and civil 
     liberties organizations, including the ACLU, the Center for 
     Victims of Torture, The Constitution Project, Human Rights 
     First, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, the 
     Open Society Policy Center, and Physicians for Human Rights, 
     announced their strong support for the legislation via the 
     joint statement below.
       Washington, DC.--We applaud Senators McCain, Feinstein, 
     Reed and Collins for offering bipartisan legislation to 
     ensure that the United States never uses torture again. 
     Senator McCain's prior legislation (the Detainee Treatment 
     Act) was approved by the Senate in 2005 with strong 
     bipartisan support and was a positive game-changer by 
     mandating among other things that interrogations conducted by 
     all Department of Defense personnel had to follow the U.S. 
     Army Field Manual on Interrogation (the Interrogation 
     Manual). The McCain-Feinstein amendment extends and improves 
     the Detainee Treatment Act by making the Interrogation Manual 
     the standard for all U.S. government interrogations, and by 
     mandating that the Manual be reviewed and updated regularly 
     to insure that it reflects the very best evidence-based 
     interrogation practices and complies with all U.S. legal 
     obligations. The McCain-Feinstein amendment also requires 
     that the International Committee of the Red Cross have access 
     to every prisoner in U.S. custody no matter where or by whom 
     they are held.
       We believe that the CIA's ``enhanced interrogation'' 
     techniques and ``black sites'' were clearly illegal under the 
     law that existed on 9/11, under the 2005 Detainee Treatment 
     Act and also under the relevant provisions of the 2006 
     Military Commissions Act. But the overwhelming evidence that 
     has emerged of shocking brutality employed by the CIA 
     notwithstanding these laws--including waterboarding, nudity, 
     stress positions, sleep deprivation, forced rectal feeding, 
     beatings and other abuses--demonstrates that additional 
     protections are still essential. Had the McCain-Feinstein 
     amendment been in place following the 9/11 attacks we believe 
     it would have significantly bolstered other prohibitions on 
     torture and made it far more difficult, if not impossible, 
     for the CIA to establish and operate their torture program. 
     Among other things, the Interrogation Manual explicitly 
     prohibits waterboarding, forced nudity and other forms of 
     torture employed by the CIA and it specifies that only 
     interrogation methods that are expressly described in the 
     Interrogation Manual are permitted. In addition, under the 
     McCain-Feinstein legislation no prisoner could have been 
     hidden away at CIA ``black sites'' without access to the Red 
     Cross.
       More can and should be done to pursue accountability for 
     past brutal and illegal interrogations and to improve the 
     Interrogation Manual. But the McCain-Feinstein Amendment is a 
     vital and welcome step toward ensuring that the United States 
     never again uses torture.

  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. I ask my colleagues to support this amendment, and by 
doing so, we can recommit ourselves to the fundamental precept that the 
United States does not torture--without exception and without 
equivocation--and ensure that the mistakes of our past are never again 
repeated in the future.
  I ask for a ``yes'' vote, and I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Flake). The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

[[Page S4181]]

  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask my colleagues to, if they wish, 
disregard my statement with the exception of the statement by GEN David 
Petraeus. I don't know of a military leader who is more respected in 
America and throughout the world than GEN David Petraeus. I don't have 
to remind my colleagues that he was the commander of U.S. forces in 
Iraq and Afghanistan and Director of the CIA. He arguably has more 
experience dealing with foreign detainee issues across the U.S. 
Government than any other American. These are the words of GEN David 
Petraeus:

       I strongly support the extension of the provisions of the 
     U.S. Army Field Manual that currently govern the actions of 
     the U.S. military to all U.S. Government personnel and 
     contractors. Our Nation has paid a high price in recent 
     decades for the information gained by the use of techniques 
     beyond those in the field manual, and in my view, that price 
     far outweighed the value of the information gained through 
     the use of techniques beyond those in the manual.

  I urge my colleagues to listen to the words of David Petraeus.
  Here is a letter I received this month from former intelligence 
interrogation professionals, the U.S. military, the CIA, and the FBI. 
Here is an excerpt from the letter they sent to me this month:

       As intelligence and interrogation professionals who have 
     offered our collective voice opposing torture and other forms 
     of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, we strongly 
     encourage you to support the amendment. . . . The 
     interrogation methods that have kept America safe for 
     generations are sophisticated, humane, lawful and produce 
     reliable, actionable intelligence in any interrogation 
     scenario. To promote a return to that respected level of 
     professionalism, there must be a single well-defined standard 
     of conduct--consistent with our values as a nation--across 
     all U.S. agencies to govern the detention and interrogation 
     of people anywhere in U.S. custody.

  This is supported by some of our most experienced military leaders. 
They expressed their views in a letter I received this month, 30 of 
whom are retired, including a former Commandant of the Marine Corps, 
former commander of Centcom, former commander and chief of U.S. Army 
Europe--they wrote the following:

       This amendment not only solidifies America's stance against 
     torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading 
     treatment. It also ensures that interrogation methods used by 
     all U.S. personnel are professional and reflect the 
     government's best practices. In that way, we not only ensure 
     that these interrogations are humane and lawful, but also 
     that they produce reliable intelligence on which we depend if 
     we are to fight and win against the current terrorist threat.

  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record 
the letter from those individuals dated June 9, 2015.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                                                     June 9, 2015.
       Dear Senator: As intelligence and interrogation 
     professionals who have offered our collective voice opposing 
     torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading 
     treatment, we strongly encourage you to support the amendment 
     to the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act that 
     solidifies the ban against torture and cruel treatment of 
     detainees in U.S. custody.
       While international and domestic law, including the 2005 
     Detainee Treatment Act, prohibit such cruelty, sadly high-
     level officials in the Executive Branch exploited loopholes 
     and still authorized torture and cruel treatment. The 
     interrogation methods that have kept America safe for 
     generations are sophisticated, humane, lawful, and produce 
     reliable, actionable intelligence in any interrogation 
     scenario. To promote a return to that respected level of 
     professionalism, there must be a single well-defined standard 
     of conduct--consistent with our values as a nation--across 
     all U.S. agencies to govern the detention and interrogation 
     of people anywhere in U.S. custody.
       The amendment would ensure lawful, effective, and humane 
     interrogations of individuals taken into custody by requiring 
     all agencies and departments to comply with the time-tested 
     requirements of the Army Field Manual (``Human Intelligence 
     Collector Operations''). It would also require a review of 
     the Army Field Manual to ensure that best practices and the 
     most recent evidenced-based research on humane interrogation 
     are incorporated. It would also codify existing Department of 
     Defense (DOD) practice of guaranteeing timely notification 
     and access to the International Committee of the Red Cross 
     (ICRC) for detainees taken into custody--an important bulwark 
     against abuse.
       We strongly urge you to support this legislation to help 
     move our country forward and reaffirm that there is no 
     conflict between adhering to one of our nation's essential 
     and founding values--respect for inherent human dignity--and 
     our ability to obtain the intelligence we need to protect the 
     nation.
           Sincerely,
       Frank Anderson, CIA (Ret.); Donald Canestraro, DEA (Ret.); 
     Glenn Carle, CIA (Ret.); Jack Cloonan, CIA (Ret.); Barry 
     Eisler, Formerly CIA; Eric Fair, Formerly U.S. Army; Mark 
     Fallon, NCIS (Ret.); Charlton Howard, NCIS (Ret.); David 
     Irvine, Brigadier General, U.S. Army (Ret.); Timothy James, 
     NCIS (Ret.); Steve Kleinman, Colonel, USAFR (Ret.); Marcus 
     Lewis, Formerly U.S. Army; Brittain Mallow, Colonel, USA 
     (Ret.); Mike Marks, NCIS (Ret.); Robert McFadden, NCIS 
     (Ret.); Charles Mink, Formerly U.S. Army; Joe Navarro, FBI 
     (Ret.); Torin Nelson, Formerly U.S. Army; Carissa Pastuch, 
     Formerly U.S. Army; William Quinn, Formerly U.S. Army; Ken 
     Robinson, U.S. Army (Ret.); Rolince, Mike, FBI (Ret.); Ed 
     Soyster, Lieutenant General, U.S. Army (Ret.).

  Mr. McCAIN. In a letter this month, the National Association of 
Evangelicals wrote the following in support of this amendment:

       While the use of torture is currently prohibited across all 
     government agencies by executive order, this fundamental 
     principle must be enshrined in law to ensure that no future 
     President may authorize the use of torture.

  Again, that is from the National Association of Evangelicals.
  The Committee on International Justice and Peace at the United States 
Conference of the Catholic Bishops wrote the following in support of 
the amendment:

       In Catholic teaching, torture is an intrinsic evil that 
     cannot be justified under any circumstances as it violates 
     the dignity of the human person, both victim and perpetrator, 
     and degrades any society that tolerates it. We urge all 
     Senators to support the McCain-Feinstein amendment that would 
     help to ensure that laws are enacted so that our government 
     does not engage in torture ever again.

  I respect the dedication and services of those charged with 
protecting this country. For 14 years, America's security professionals 
in the military, intelligence community, and beyond have lived every 
day with a dogged determination to protect their fellow Americans. But 
at the same time, we must continue to insist that the methods we employ 
in this fight for peace and freedom must always be as right and 
honorable as the goals and ideals we fight for.
  I believe past interrogation policies compromised our values, stained 
our national honor, and did little practical good. I don't believe we 
should have employed such practices in the past, and we should never 
permit them in the future. This amendment provides greater assurances 
that never again will the United States follow that dark path of 
sacrificing our values for our short-term security needs.
  I also know that such practices don't work. I know from personal 
experience that the abuse of prisoners does not produce good, reliable 
intelligence. Victims of torture will offer intentionally misleading 
information if they think their captors will believe it.
  I firmly believe that all people, even captured enemies, possess 
basic human rights which are protected by international standards often 
set by America's past leaders. Our enemies act without conscience. We 
must not. Let's reassert the contrary proposition that it is essential 
to our success in this war that we ask those who fight it for us to 
remember at all times that they are defending a sacred ideal of how 
nations should be governed and should remember this when they conduct 
their relations with others, even our enemies.
  Those of us who give them this duty are obliged by history, by our 
Nation's highest ideals and the many terrible sacrifices made to 
protect them, and by our respect for human dignity to make clear that 
we need not risk our national honor to prevail in this or any war. We 
need only remember in the worst of times, through the chaos and terror 
of war, when facing cruelty, suffering, and loss, that we are always 
Americans and different, stronger, and better than those who would 
destroy us.
  I yield the remainder of my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. REED. Mr. President, I stand as a very proud cosponsor, along 
with Senator McCain and Senator Feinstein, on this amendment. I 
particularly wish to commend both Senator Feinstein and Senator McCain 
because they have really been the leaders in this Senate and in this 
country in expressing our fundamental values when

[[Page S4182]]

it comes to the techniques we employ for those we detain in combat 
zones. Both their words and personal example have set an extraordinary 
standard for us to respond to, and this amendment is typical of what 
they have done. It would codify the terms of President Obama's 
Executive order 13491 that applies to the Army Field Manual on 
interrogations not only for the U.S. military but also for the 
interrogation of detainees by other U.S. Government agencies.
  What I think is so critical to this debate, this amendment, and the 
service of these two Senators is that the humane treatment standard we 
set for those who are in our custody also serves to protect our men and 
women if they fall into the hands of our opponents. We then can say 
with complete sincerity and complete fidelity that we demand our troops 
receive humane treatment when in the custody of hostile forces because 
that is what we do. When we deviate from that standard, we imperil the 
safety and lives of our men and women in uniform who may fall into 
hostile hands.
  As we adhere to these standards, we are not only setting a very high 
bar for the treatment of those whom we may hold, but we are innately 
protecting the safety, health, welfare, and well-being of those who 
serve in the uniform of the United States, and for that reason in 
particular, I commend the sponsors of this amendment and urge all of my 
colleagues to support it.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from California.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I thank both Senator McCain and 
Senator Reed for their remarks. I particularly wish to thank Senator 
McCain, whose life experience, for me, has been a guidepost. I don't 
know anyone in this body who is more standup--and can sometimes be more 
stubborn, but this all comes into play as an important thing--and 
stands for the real, true, major issues this country faces.
  I will never forget a conversation I had with him on the plane back 
from Guantanamo. When he spoke in the Kennedy Caucus Room and used the 
tap language he learned as a prisoner of war in Vietnam and to see this 
man, so many years since that time, tap out messages that were meant 
for prison mates in other cells with such speed and alacrity certainly 
indicated that this was a very deep impression which was made on his 
life. I think the fact that he has shared that with others, including 
me, is very important.
  I want Senator McCain to know how much I appreciate his work on this 
and how grateful we are for his service to this country. He has unique 
courage and unique stamina, and maybe that is just all-American. Again, 
I thank the Senator from Arizona very much for his work, and the same 
for Senator Reed, the ranking member on this committee. Senator Reed is 
military-American through and through. Having his support has been 
terrific.
  Again, I thank both of them very much. It was a pleasure to work with 
both of my colleagues, and I hope this passes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I thank Senator Feinstein for her very 
kind words and her friendship and leadership. I hope that in return for 
all of this, she will send back all the water to Arizona that 
California has stolen from our State. My beloved former colleague, 
Senator Barry Goldwater, used to say that in Arizona, we had so little 
water that the trees chased the dogs, so we would like to get the water 
back from California, and I hope that can be part of the wonderful 
friendship we have enjoyed now for many years.
  I thank the Senator from California.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. President, I yield back all time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, all time is yielded back.
  Under the previous order, the question is on agreeing to amendment 
No. 1889, offered by the Senator from California, Mrs. Feinstein.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Florida (Mr. Rubio).
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 78, nays 21, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 209 Leg.]

                                YEAS--78

     Alexander
     Ayotte
     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Boozman
     Boxer
     Brown
     Burr
     Cantwell
     Capito
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Cassidy
     Collins
     Coons
     Corker
     Cruz
     Daines
     Donnelly
     Durbin
     Enzi
     Feinstein
     Flake
     Franken
     Gardner
     Gillibrand
     Grassley
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Heller
     Hirono
     Hoeven
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kaine
     King
     Kirk
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCain
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Paul
     Perdue
     Peters
     Portman
     Reed
     Reid
     Rounds
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Shelby
     Stabenow
     Sullivan
     Tester
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Udall
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wicker
     Wyden

                                NAYS--21

     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Coats
     Cochran
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Graham
     Hatch
     Inhofe
     Lankford
     Lee
     McConnell
     Risch
     Roberts
     Sasse
     Scott
     Sessions
     Vitter

                             NOT VOTING--1

       
     Rubio
       
  The amendment (No. 1889) was agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Cruz). The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I rise for a special request. I just 
returned from a military trip overseas with four other Members just a 
matter of minutes ago to find out that the two amendments that I was 
trying to get pending--and I would really settle for just one of those 
two. I was not here when all of these UCs were made and the 
arrangements were put together between the parties.
  So I ask the leader on the other side--or the handler on the other 
side, Senator Jack Reed--if he would consider a waiver of his 
commitment to allow me to bring up one of these to get in the queue.
  I yield to the Senator.
  Mr. REED. To the Senator from Oklahoma, we have been trying to move 
forward on an equal basis in terms of pending amendments. At this 
juncture, I am not able to agree to make another amendment pending.
  There is a possibility that we spoke about, briefly, of including 
these amendments in the manager's package or, since it is germane, of 
trying to arrange for consideration after cloture, along with another 
germane amendment. So at this point I would not be prepared to--
  Mr. INHOFE. Regaining the floor, I would only say to my good friend 
that as the second ranking member on the Armed Services Committee, I 
have talked about these for a long time. I tried to do them before I 
left for 4 days on business. Also, Senator Mikulski is my cosponsor on 
amendment No. 1728.
  So I have to make a motion to lay the pending amendment aside for the 
purpose of consideration of amendment No. 1728.
  Mr. REED. Have you made the motion?
  Mr. INHOFE. I just did.
  Mr. REED. I would object.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to lay the pending 
business aside for the purpose of considering the Inhofe-Mikulski 
commissary amendment No. 1728.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. REED. Mr. President, at this time, I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I wish to make a comment, because first, 
this is something beyond anyone's control. No one could have controlled 
this. We had four Members who were gone. It couldn't be helped. We were 
on business.
  I have 41 amendments, almost equally divided, Democrat and 
Republican, on an issue that is probably the most significant issue to 
the spouses of our kids who are over there, overseas. What it does is 
that it lets us do an assessment before we close any of the 
commissaries--not close them but privatize them, instead of privatizing 
them and then seeing how it works. I think we have a vast majority of 
people who do support that.

[[Page S4183]]

  It is something that is offered on a bipartisan basis, and it is 
something that a lot of people--over 100 organizations are sponsoring 
this amendment--spoke very strongly in support of and consider this 
amendment to be the most significant amendment in the everyday lives of 
our troops. Anyone who travels overseas and travels to these various 
areas knows that when they go through a commissary, they see--
particularly in areas where there are no other opportunities out 
there--that there is almost no competition. It is something like a 
club. It is something that the wives, the husbands, the families, and 
the kids do. They go to the commissary. Taking that away would be 
taking away a tradition.
  Again, the bill doesn't state that it goes away, but it does 
temporarily privatize five major commissaries. Now, when that happens, 
you have started the ball rolling. And the bill also states--and we 
discussed this in committee--that this gives us time to look and 
evaluate to see whether we want to privatize them.
  So everyone who is on here as a cosponsor has made the statement: Why 
don't we find out first.
  So that is all we want to do--instead of closing or transferring five 
and then finding out whether we did the right thing, go ahead and have 
the study and then go ahead and proceed however we think is in the best 
interest.
  So it is a very serious amendment.
  I ask unanimous consent to set aside the pending business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. REED. I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  The Senator from New York.


                           Amendment No. 1578

  Mrs. GILLIBRAND. Mr. President, I rise to urge my colleagues to 
support my amendment No. 1578, the Military Justice Improvement Act, to 
ensure that survivors of military sexual assault have access to an 
unbiased, trained, military judicial system.
  Last year, despite the support of 55 Senators, a coalition spanning 
the entire ideological spectrum, including both the majority and 
minority leader, our bill to create an independent military justice 
system free of inherent biases and conflicts of interest within the 
chain of command was filibustered by this body.
  But as we said then: We will not walk away. The brave men and women 
in uniform who are defending this Nation deserve a vote. That is our 
duty. It is our oversight role. It is Congress's responsibility to act 
as if the brave survivors of sexual assault are our sons, our 
daughters, our husbands, our wives, who are being betrayed by the 
greatest military on Earth. We owe them that at the very least.
  Over the last few years, Congress has forced the military to make 
many incremental changes to address this crisis. And after two decades 
of complete failure and lip service to zero tolerance, the military now 
says, essentially: Trust us this time; we have it.
  They misrepresent data to claim that their mission is accomplished, 
but when you dig below the service of their top lines, you will find 
that the assault rate is exactly where it was in 2010--an average of 52 
cases every single day--and 3 out of 4 servicemember survivors still 
don't think it is worth the risk of coming forward to report crimes 
committed against them.
  Seventy-five percent don't trust the current system. One in seven 
victims was assaulted by someone in their chain of command. And in 60 
percent of the cases, a supervisor or unit leader is responsible for 
either sexual harassment or sexual discrimination. This is not the 
climate our military deserves. It is no surprise, then, that one in 
three survivors believes that reporting would hurt their career.
  For those who do report, they are more likely than not to experience 
retaliation. Despite a much touted reform that made retaliation a 
crime, the DOD made zero progress on improving the 62-percent 
retaliation rate that we had in 2012.
  According to a Human Rights Watch report, the DOD cannot provide a 
single example of serious disciplinary action taken against those who 
retaliated against a victim of sexual assault. A sexual assault 
survivor is 12 times more likely to suffer retaliation than to see 
their offender get convicted of a sex offense.
  In my close review of 107 cases--from the largest domestic military 
bases and one from each service--in 2013, I found that nearly half of 
those who did move forward and report ended up dropping out of their 
cases. Survivors still have little faith in this system. Under any 
metric the system remains plagued with distrust and does not provide 
the fair and just process that our men and women in the military 
deserve.
  Simply put, the military has not held up to the standard posed by 
General Dempsey 1 year ago when he said:

       We are on the clock, if you will . . . the President said 
     to us in December, you've got about a year to review this 
     thing . . . and if we haven't been able to demonstrate we are 
     making a difference, you know, then we deserve to be held to 
     the scrutiny and standard.

  I urge my colleagues to hold the military to that higher standard. 
Enough is enough with the spin, with the excuses, and the false 
promises.
  Just yesterday I received a letter from a survivor of military sexual 
assault who is serving Active Duty. She says:

       The reason I am writing on her behalf is because I fear she 
     will be retaliated against for speaking out.
       While the military is on the Hill lobbying Senators not to 
     support the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA), I am 
     asking you to take a stand with survivors and their families.
       These military lobbyists have good intentions; however, I 
     am doubtful any of them will represent my perspective.
       I have experienced the anguish of a child who has been 
     raped by another servicemember, a fellow brother-in-arms whom 
     she should have been able to trust.
       Please support the Military Justice Improvement Act, a 
     commonsense law that significantly improves the military 
     justice system. Our military sons and daughters who survive 
     these heinous crimes carry high rates of post-traumatic 
     stress disorder and suicide. I believe that if the MJIA is 
     passed, it could save lives and will positively affect the 
     lives of survivors, both victims and their families.
       No one should have to worry about retaliation from their 
     chain of command when they report these crimes. Retaliation 
     happens so often that a majority of these assaults go 
     unreported. Every military victim of sexual assault deserves 
     due process, professional treatment by a trained military 
     individual, and equal opportunity to seek and receive 
     justice.
       Our military has promised improvement and has had adequate 
     time in which to improve, but the numbers show that the 
     military has failed to live up to its promise.
       The Department of Defense has admitted that it made no 
     progress since 2012. It is time for the chain of command to 
     be removed from decision-making in sexual assault cases and 
     replaced by those trained, non-biased military personnel, 
     educated in the law and experienced in handling sexual 
     assault cases.
       Further, MJIA specifically carves out sexual assault and 
     other serious crimes, with the remainder of military crimes 
     being left in the chain of command.
       Please hold the military to a higher standard by voting yes 
     to an unbiased military system, promoted in MJIA.

  We have to listen to our victims, our survivors, the men and women 
who give their lives to this country, who will sacrifice anything for 
this country. America's military, if they do these reforms, will have 
fewer dangerous criminals and far more heroes. The brave men and women 
we send to war to keep us safe deserve nothing less than a justice 
system equal to their sacrifice. By listening to the victims, we can 
deliver that.
  I urge everyone here to listen to our brave survivors, support our 
bill, and do the right thing.
  I would now like to yield the floor to one of the authors of the 
Military Justice Improvement Act, the Senator from Iowa.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I thank Senator Gillibrand for her 
leadership in this area over a long period of time, and I add my voice 
to the support of her amendment. She has been a great leader on the 
issue. As you can see, she has a lot of passion in her dogged pursuit 
of justice.
  Last year, when I spoke in favor of this measure, I made the point 
this was not a new issue that required further study or incremental 
reforms. We had been hearing promises for years and years that there 
would be zero tolerance and a real crackdown on military sexual 
assault. Last year, the National Defense Authorization Act included a 
lot of commonsense reforms, but it did not include any fundamental 
reform of the military justice system. We were told to give these new 
adjustments to the current system a chance to work and come back next 
year.

[[Page S4184]]

  At the time, I made the point that we had already tried working 
within the current system to no avail. I am not one to advocate for 
major sweeping reform if less will address the problem, but what we 
have been doing has not worked.
  Last year, after Congress passed the package of more modest reforms 
but not our Military Justice Improvement Act amendment, the Chairman of 
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Dempsey, said: ``We have been given 
about a year to demonstrate both that we will treat this with the 
urgency it deserves and that we can turn the trend lines in a more 
positive direction.'' He made clear that if we didn't see real 
progress, he wouldn't stand in the way of more major reforms. Well, we 
have not seen significant movement.
  In terms of the number of sexual assault cases and the shocking rate 
of retaliation against those who report, we simply don't see progress. 
That is probably because the current system is part of the problem. The 
fact that victims of sexual assault cannot turn to an independent 
system to get justice, combined with the very real fear of retaliation, 
acts as a terrible deterrent to reporting sexual assault. If sexual 
assault cases are not reported, they then cannot be prosecuted. If 
sexual assault isn't prosecuted, it leads to predators remaining in the 
military and a perception that this sort of activity is going to be 
tolerated.
  By allowing this situation to continue, we are putting at risk the 
men and women who have volunteered to place their lives on the line. We 
are also seriously damaging military morale and readiness.
  Taking prosecutions out of the hands of commanders and giving them to 
professional prosecutors who are independent of the chain of command 
will help ensure impartial justice for the men and women of our Armed 
Forces. This would in no way take away the ability of commanders to 
punish troops under their command for military infractions. Commanders 
also can and should be held accountable for the climate under their 
command, but the point here is the sexual assault is a law enforcement 
matter, not a military one.
  This isn't some reform that came out of the blue either. We have an 
advisory committee appointed by the Secretary of Defense himself which 
came out in support of reforms. On September 27, 2013, the Defense 
Advisory Committee on Women in the Services--which goes by the acronym 
DACOWITS--voted overwhelmingly in support of each of the components of 
the Military Justice Improvement Act amendment.
  DACOWITS was created way back in 1951 by then-Secretary of Defense 
George C. Marshall. The committee is composed of civilian and retired 
military men and women who are appointed by the Secretary of Defense to 
provide advice and recommendations on matters and policies relating to 
the recruitment and retention, treatment, employment, integration, and 
well-being of highly qualified professional women in the Armed Forces. 
Historically, this committee's recommendations have been very 
instrumental in effecting changes to laws and policies pertaining to 
military women.
  The bottom line is, this isn't some advocacy group or fly-by-night 
panel. It is a longstanding advisory committee handpicked by the 
Secretary of Defense and it supports the substance of our amendment to 
a tee.
  We have tried reforming the current system and it didn't work. When 
we are talking about something as serious and life-altering as sexual 
assault, we cannot afford to wait any longer. So I urge my colleagues 
to join us in supporting this amendment.
  As we approach this from the outside, it gives me an opportunity to 
reiterate what I see so wrong in so many bureaucracies. We are always 
promised change, but as I have looked back over a couple or three 
decades of this problem of the culture of the various bureaucracies, 
nothing really happens from within. It has to happen from without. In 
this particular case of national defense being the No. 1 responsibility 
of the Federal Government, this change has to happen from without 
because it hasn't happened from within, regardless of the promises.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Missouri.
  Mrs. McCASKILL. Mr. President, last year we gathered here to debate 
this issue, and I think it is really important to point out that 
everyone in this body has the same heart when it comes to this issue; 
that is, that we want to make sure victims who are assaulted in our 
military are protected and supported, that the system is highly trained 
and professional, and that perpetrators have due process but also are 
put in prison if the system finds them guilty. This difference is an 
honest policy difference over which system would better accomplish 
those goals.
  Now, we have agreed on so much, I think it is important to point out 
the work the Congress has done reforming sexual assault in the 
military. Last year, we had over 26 different provisions that were 
enacted into law. This year, we haven't stopped. We have 13 more 
provisions in this piece of legislation. There is simply a disagreement 
over which system would protect victims better.
  There have been historic reforms, such as commanders having been 
stripped from their ability to overturn convictions. They are being 
held accountable under rigorous new standards and oversight. Every 
victim who reports now gets their own independent lawyer to protect 
their rights and fight for their interests. It is now a crime for any 
member to retaliate against a victim who reports a sexual assault. The 
``good soldier'' defense has been removed, along with dozens and dozens 
more.
  Yes, there were panels that looked at this issue, as the one just 
referenced by my colleague from Iowa--DACOWITS. They heard no testimony 
from expert witnesses. They heard a brief presentation by myself and 
Senator Gillibrand, but they didn't spend days on it; whereas, the 
system's response panel, put in place by this Congress, spent weeks and 
weeks examining this and heard from dozens and dozens of witnesses from 
every side of the issue. By the way, this panel was made up of a 
majority of civilians--the majority of them women--and it voted 
overwhelmingly to reject an approach that removes commanders from their 
responsibility and their duties and, therefore, their accountability.
  One of the members of this Commission, the woman who runs the victims 
center at the Department of Justice for the entire country, said: ``I 
went into this thinking Senator Gillibrand's legislation made sense . . 
. but when you hear the facts, it doesn't hold up.''
  She was joined by the liberal icon--a feminist icon--Elizabeth 
Holtzman, who was the author of the rape shield statute in the Congress 
when she served as a Representative. She, too, spoke out, saying that 
once she understood the system and understood the facts, she agreed 
that keeping commanders accountable was crucial.
  Now, have we seen progress? It is one thing to have anecdotal 
information, it is another to have a statistically valid survey. The 
same survey that shows retaliation is still a stubborn problem that we 
can't give up on also shows some very important data. So if you are 
going to argue retaliation is a continuing problem, you are relying on 
the very same survey that tells us the following: incidents are down--
that is meaningful progress--dropping 29 percent just in the last 2 
years. Reporting continues to go up, which was our stated goal as we 
began these reforms. Reports are up 70 percent from 2012. Back in 2012, 
only 1 in 10 victims were reporting. We have that down to one in four. 
That is not spin, that is fact. These victims are coming forward 
because they have renewed confidence they will have support, they will 
get good information, and that the system is not stacked against them.
  Increased reporting occurred in all categories. The number of 
unrestricted reports are up, restricted reports are up, and, 
importantly, the number of reports that victims converted from 
restricted to unrestricted.
  Furthermore, they went around the country and did focus groups with 
victims. This was RAND. This wasn't the military, this wasn't the 
Department of Justice, this was the RAND Corporation--well known for 
its ability to do statistical information--that went around the country 
and did focus groups--11 different focus groups--on different bases 
with just victims and asked victims to come forward and participate in 
the survey.
  In that survey--and this is really important--82 percent agreed their 
unit

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commander supported them, 73 percent were satisfied with their unit 
commander's response, and 73 percent said they would recommend others 
report if they were a victim of sexual assault.
  And this is really important: The Gillibrand amendment does nothing 
to combat retaliation. The recent RAND survey found that the majority 
of reported retaliation does not come from commanders; it comes from 
peers. This is a cultural problem we have to get after, and certainly I 
would stand ready to work with Senator Gillibrand, Senator Grassley, 
and all of my colleagues to look to see what we have to do to get at 
this peer-to-peer retaliation, which is the vast majority of what was 
reported.
  Finally, the Gillibrand amendment actually weakens punishment for the 
crime of retaliation. By moving retaliation from article 92 to article 
93 of the UCMJ, it would actually reduce the maximum punishment for 
this crime, and it, finally, prohibits the resources necessary to get 
at this problem. The amendment says we cannot add any additional 
resources to get after this.
  Historic reforms have been made. They are working, based on data. 
Talking to dozens and dozens of prosecutors and untold victims, as a 
former sex crimes prosecutor who cares about nothing more than taking 
care of victims and making sure they have due process and are respected 
and deferred to, I must urge this body to reject the Gillibrand 
approach, which removes commanders from being held accountable where 
they must be held accountable.
  Mr. President, I urge a ``no'' vote on the Gillibrand amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York.
  Mrs. GILLIBRAND. Mr. President, I wish to respond to the last point 
and the first point that my colleague made that somehow this reform 
makes commanders less responsible.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is advised that all time for 
debate has expired.
  Mrs. GILLIBRAND. I ask unanimous consent to continue the debate for 5 
minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mrs. GILLIBRAND. Mr. President, this statement that somehow 
commanders are removed from responsibility and that we are not keeping 
commanders responsible, that couldn't be further from the truth. Today, 
commanders are the only ones responsible for good order and discipline 
at every level. The unit commander is responsible for order and 
discipline. Every aspect of the chain of command is responsible. It is 
their jobs to train troops, to maintain good order and discipline, to 
prevent rapes and crimes from being committed under their command, and 
to punish retaliation. They have failed in that duty.
  In this chain of command, 97 percent of commanders are responsible 
and do not have the convening authority we would like to give to 
prosecutors--97 percent, their job doesn't change one iota.
  So to say you are making commanders less responsible is a false 
statement that has no bearing. In fact, they are 100 percent 
responsible for good order and discipline, for training their troops, 
to prevent these rapes, and to prosecute retaliation. In 1 year--they 
have been on notice for years about this, 25 years, and we have this 
zero tolerance. They are super on notice now--in 1 year, not one 
prosecution of retaliation.
  This guy can prosecute retaliation under article 15. This guy can do 
something about retaliation. This guy, this guy, this guy. Only 3 
percent have the right to convening authority, and that 3 percent needs 
to be moved to someone who is actually a lawyer, who is trained, who 
knows how to weigh evidence and can make the right decision, and that 
is not what is happening today.
  So right now this supervisor and unit leader--in 60 percent of the 
cases where there is alleged gender discrimination or sexual 
harassment, it is the unit leader. One in seven of the alleged rapists 
is one of these commanders--chain of command.
  There is a perspective by a survivor that this chain of command 
``does not have my back.'' So I would like to give it to another chain 
of command--senior military prosecutors--to make this decision, so her 
perspective can be: Someone has my back. This chain of command may well 
be tainted for her if her unit commander is harassing her and her 
rapist is in the chain of command. We need to professionalize the 
system.
  We are trying to make the military the best prosecutorial system in 
the world, and they can do this mission. We need to give them the 
tools, and having this current status quo--the status quo that has been 
in charge of no retaliation and no rape for 25 years--is failing. To 
have the same rate of retaliation we had 2 years ago when the 
commanders said: You must trust us to do this--every one of these 
commanders does not have convening authority, but every one of these 
commanders could have stopped retaliation.
  When you say it is just peer-to-peer, it is dishonest. Thirty percent 
of the cases of retaliation are administrative, 30 percent of the cases 
are professional. Only a commander can administer administrative or 
professional retaliation.
  This culture must change, and if Congress doesn't take their 
responsibility to hold the Department of Defense accountable, no one 
will.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, the fiscal year 2015 NDAA passed last year 
included 34 new provisions dealing with sexual assault. Commanders have 
barely had time to implement these provisions, let alone assess their 
effectiveness.
  The fiscal year 2014 NDAA included more than 50 individual 
provisions, the most comprehensive set of changes to the Uniform Code 
of Military Justice since 1968.
  Cumulative, the last three NDAAs included 71 sections of law 
containing more than 100 unique requirements, including 16 
congressional reporting requirements. This year's bill builds on that 
progress with 12 military justice provisions, including every proposal 
that was offered by Senator Gillibrand during the committee's markup of 
this legislation.
  It is true that sexual assaults have been reduced. That is a fact. 
That is a fact. So to somehow allege that nothing has been done--her 
proposal is rejected by literally every member of the military whom I 
know who has years of experience.
  We cannot remove the commanding officer from the chain of command, 
and that is what Senator Gillibrand's amendment and effort has been--to 
remove the commanding officer from responsibility--and I will 
steadfastly oppose it.
  I hope that at some point the Senator from New York would acknowledge 
that we took in this bill every provision that she offered during the 
markup of the legislation.
  So with respect and appreciation for Senator Gillibrand's passion and 
for her dedication on this issue, I respectfully disagree and urge my 
colleagues to reject this amendment.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.


            Unanimous Consent Agreement--Order of Procedure

  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the mandatory 
quorum call with respect to the cloture vote on the substitute 
amendment No. 1463 be waived; further, that there be 2 minutes of 
debate, equally divided, prior to each vote in the 2:15 p.m. series.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.

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