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

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   NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2016--Continued


                           Amendment No. 1549

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there will be 2 
minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote on amendment No. 
1549, offered

[[Page S4186]]

by the Senator from Arizona, Mr. McCain, for the Senator from Iowa, 
Mrs. Ernst.
  The Senator from Iowa.
  Mrs. ERNST. Will the Chair notify me after 30 seconds?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator will be so notified.
  Mrs. ERNST. I thank the Presiding Officer.
  Colleagues, just a few brief points on this amendment.
  We are just providing the administration the option to get arms 
directly to the Kurds. The Kurds currently are providing refuge to over 
1.6 million refugees from Iraq and Syria. Many of them are ethnic and 
religious minorities, such as Christians.
  The Peshmerga have shown the ability to be effective on the 
battlefield against ISIS. This Ernst-Boxer amendment is a companion 
bill to the one presented by Representatives Royce and Engel in the 
House.
  I urge my colleague to support this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has used 30 seconds.
  Mrs. ERNST. I yield to Senator Boxer.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from California is recognized.
  Mrs. BOXER. I thank the Presiding Officer.
  Mr. President, I am very proud to team up with the good Senator 
because this is a very modest amendment that just puts us in line with 
our colleagues: the United Kingdom, Germany, Turkey, Canada, France, 
Australia, and others who already are directly arming the Kurds.
  Now, the President's policy that I absolutely support is we are going 
to take this fight to ISIS, but we are not going to have combat boots 
on the ground; we are going to help strategically with airstrikes.
  These are the people who are taking it day after day--deaths and 
blood and wounds. The least we can do is support this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
  The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. REED. Mr. President, I oppose the Ernst amendment. It would 
undermine what has been the fundamental policy of the United States 
going back into the last administration: a unified, sovereign Iraq. 
This amendment would send a signal to the Iraqis that we are supporting 
the Kurds directly, not supporting a unified, sovereign Iraq. That 
would complicate our efforts against ISIL. It would complicate our 
efforts in the region.
  Also, it is the situation now where the effort is shifting into Anbar 
Province in the Sunni areas. We are supporting the Kurds. In fact, 
Prime Minister Barzani was here a few weeks ago and indicated that he 
was at least accepting of the arrangements, which I think were 
appropriate.
  If this amendment passes, the perception will be that the United 
States is now not trying to unify or help the Iraqis unify but put a 
degree of separation between an autonomy, and that would be a mistake.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question occurs on agreeing to the 
amendment.
  Mrs. ERNST. 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 senior assistant 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 54, nays 45, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 210 Leg.]

                                YEAS--54

     Ayotte
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Booker
     Boozman
     Boxer
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Coats
     Collins
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heinrich
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kirk
     Lankford
     Lee
     Manchin
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Peters
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Sasse
     Schatz
     Scott
     Shelby
     Stabenow
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Vitter
     Wyden

                                NAYS--45

     Alexander
     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Cochran
     Coons
     Corker
     Donnelly
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Flake
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Perdue
     Reed
     Reid
     Sanders
     Schumer
     Sessions
     Shaheen
     Tester
     Udall
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wicker

                             NOT VOTING--1

       
     Rubio
       
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order requiring 60 votes 
for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is rejected.


                           Amendment No. 1578

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there will be 2 
minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote on amendment No. 
1578, offered by the Senator from Rhode Island, Mr. Reed, for the 
Senator from New York, Mrs. Gillibrand.
  The Senator from New York.
  Mrs. GILLIBRAND. Mr. President, I rise to urge my colleagues to vote 
yes on this strongly bipartisan amendment. The central question is 
simple--whether this Congress is doing everything we can to protect 
members of our military. The metric of success is not how many reforms 
we have passed; it is whether we have passed all of the reforms that 
are necessary to make the difference. If you think the assault rate 
that is exactly where it was in 2010 is unacceptable, then vote yes. 
Some 20,000 sexual assaults, rapes, and unwanted sexual contact in 1 
year alone is unacceptable. If you think an average of 52 cases every 
single day is unacceptable, then vote yes. If you think it is 
unacceptable that three out of four servicemembers still don't feel it 
is worth the risk of reporting, then vote yes. If you think that zero 
progress on retaliation isn't good enough, then vote yes. If you think 
a sexual assault survivor being 12 times more likely to suffer 
retaliation than see their offender get convicted for a sex offense, 
then vote yes.
  Let's do the right thing. Let's take action and stop the assaults, 
stop the retaliation, and build trust and professionalize our military 
justice system.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Carolina.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, I strongly oppose this effort. If you care 
about our military commanders, listen to them. Every one of them 
opposes this. If my colleagues believe that the military legal 
community knows what they are talking about, listen to them. Every JAG 
of every service opposes this. A 29-percent decrease in sexual assault 
incidents, a 70-percent increase in reporting. Senator McCaskill, 
Senator Ayotte, Senator Fischer, and many others, along with Senator 
Reed--we have reformed the military justice system in an appropriate 
manner. But here is what we should never allow to happen:
  Commander, last night there was an alleged rape in the barracks.
  Oh, I don't care about that anymore; send that over to the lawyers.
  Let's never let that happen. Never let a commander avoid 
responsibility for what happens in their unit. It is their job to make 
sure we have good order and discipline. Don't let them off the hook. 
Reinforce good commanders and fire bad ones. Do not disenfranchise the 
best military leadership in the history of the world. And that is 
exactly what this does. We will solve the sexual assault problem. We 
are not going to dismantle the infrastructure that has given us the 
finest military in the history of mankind. That is why everybody who 
knows what they are talking about opposes this.
  Mr. WICKER. 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 bill 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?

[[Page S4187]]

  The result was announced--yeas 50, nays 49, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 211 Leg.]

                                YEAS--50

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Boxer
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Casey
     Collins
     Coons
     Cruz
     Daines
     Donnelly
     Durbin
     Enzi
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gardner
     Gillibrand
     Grassley
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Heller
     Hirono
     Kirk
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Markey
     McConnell
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Paul
     Peters
     Reid
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Thune
     Udall
     Vitter
     Warren
     Wyden

                                NAYS--49

     Alexander
     Ayotte
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Carper
     Cassidy
     Coats
     Cochran
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Graham
     Hatch
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kaine
     King
     Lankford
     Lee
     Manchin
     McCain
     McCaskill
     Nelson
     Perdue
     Portman
     Reed
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Sasse
     Scott
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Sullivan
     Tester
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Warner
     Whitehouse
     Wicker

                             NOT VOTING--1

       
     Rubio
       
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order requiring 60 votes 
for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is rejected.


                             Cloture Motion

  Under the previous order, there will now be 2 minutes of debate 
equally divided prior to a vote on the motion to invoke cloture on 
amendment No. 1463, offered by the Senator from Arizona, Mr. McCain.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, today, the Senate will vote on whether we 
will accept the budget gimmicks used by the Senate majority to pay for 
defense spending priorities, or reject those efforts in favor of a 
meaningful budget deal that protects both defense and discretionary 
spending. After more than 2 weeks of consideration, and votes on fewer 
than a dozen of the over 550 amendments that have been filed, I am 
disappointed by the majority leader's decision to vote to cut off 
debate on the pending Defense authorization bill. This bill deserves 
thorough consideration. It has not received that.
  Even worse, little progress has been made in approving amendments 
through managers' packages. Less than two dozen amendments have been 
approved by unanimous consent. Even in years when this bill has been 
most troubled, we have been able to clear noncontroversial amendments 
on both sides in significantly greater numbers, to improve the 
underlying authorization. But this year, that has not happened. So when 
asked if we should cut off debate, my answer is a clear ``no.'' Debate 
over what should or should not be in this bill is not yet close to 
over.
  It is too bad, because this bill includes many provisions that I 
support to promote our national interests, provide support to our 
military personnel, and reaffirm our commitment to partners abroad. As 
the bill's managers have both noted time and again, this Defense 
authorization bill increases readiness, keeps faith with servicemembers 
and their families, and invests in game-changing technology.
  As in past years, however, I am concerned that this year's Defense 
authorization bill includes several ill-advised provisions that would 
make it even harder to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. 
It imposes unnecessary new restrictions on transferring detainees to 
foreign countries--despite the steep cost of holding detainees at 
Guantanamo. And even though military commission proceedings still have 
barely gotten off the ground--14 years after September 11--it provides 
no realistic path for transferring detainees to the United States for 
trial in Article III courts. As long as the detention facility at 
Guantanamo remains open, it will continue to serve as a recruitment 
tool for terrorists and tarnish America's role as a champion of human 
rights. Closing Guantanamo is the morally and fiscally responsible 
thing to do, and I strongly oppose the provisions in this bill that 
needlessly restrict detainee transfers out of that facility.
  But perhaps the biggest flaw of this bill is that it yet again relies 
on and expands the Overseas Contingency Operations fund to avoid 
sequestration caps. The intention of this fund, which I have repeatedly 
stated should be done away with, has been severely distorted since its 
inception. We cannot continue to put our national defense on a credit 
card while asking working families to take responsibility for these 
costs. I support eliminating sequestration and believe it never should 
have been put in place, but simply ignoring its cap for defense 
spending by putting it in this off-books account doesn't get us any 
closer to that reality. We need a real solution to rid ourselves of 
sequestration, not one that relies on gimmicks while leaving military 
families, and low- and middle-class families, as well as our veterans, 
behind.
  The Senate needs to fully consider this bill. The annual Defense 
authorization is an important bill. It is also a comprehensive bill 
that authorizes over $\1/2\ trillion in defense spending, including pay 
and benefits, acquisition programs, and initiatives to protect our 
national security. It should be fully vetted before debate is ended. We 
owe it to the American people. I will oppose cloture on this substitute 
amendment.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I yield back the time.
  Mr. REED. Mr. President, I yield back the time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. All time is yielded back.
  Under the previous order, pursuant to rule XXII, the Chair lays 
before the Senate the pending cloture motion, which the clerk will 
state.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

                             Cloture Motion

       We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the 
     provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, 
     do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the McCain 
     amendment No. 1463 to H.R. 1735, an act 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.
         Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Richard C. Shelby, Jeff 
           Flake, John Barrasso, John Cornyn, Mike Rounds, Jeff 
           Sessions, Shelley Moore Capito, Lamar Alexander, 
           Lindsey Graham, Joni Ernst, John Hoeven, Roger F. 
           Wicker, Kelly Ayotte, Richard Burr, Thom Tillis.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. By unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum 
call has been waived.
  The question is, Is it the sense of the Senate that debate on 
amendment No. 1463, offered by the Senator from Arizona, Mr. McCain, to 
H.R. 1735, shall be brought to a close?
  The yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Florida (Mr. Rubio).
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Maryland (Ms. Mikulski) 
is necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Lankford). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 83, nays 15, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 212 Leg.]

                                YEAS--83

     Alexander
     Ayotte
     Barrasso
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Blunt
     Booker
     Boozman
     Boxer
     Burr
     Cantwell
     Capito
     Cardin
     Carper
     Cassidy
     Coats
     Cochran
     Collins
     Coons
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Daines
     Donnelly
     Durbin
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Feinstein
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Heller
     Hirono
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kaine
     King
     Kirk
     Klobuchar
     Lankford
     Lee
     McCain
     McCaskill
     McConnell
     Menendez
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Perdue
     Peters
     Portman
     Reed
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Sasse
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Scott
     Sessions
     Shaheen
     Shelby
     Stabenow
     Sullivan
     Tester
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Udall
     Vitter
     Warner
     Whitehouse
     Wicker

                                NAYS--15

     Baldwin
     Brown
     Casey
     Cruz
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     Merkley
     Paul
     Reid
     Sanders
     Warren
     Wyden

                             NOT VOTING--2

     Mikulski
     Rubio

[[Page S4188]]


  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 83, the nays are 
15.
  Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn having voted in 
the affirmative, the motion is agreed to.
  The Senator from Arizona.


                           Amendment No. 1456

  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I call for the regular order with respect 
to the McCain amendment No. 1456.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The amendment is now pending.
  Mr. McCAIN. I ask for the yeas and nays on the amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.


                Amendment No. 1911 to Amendment No. 1456

  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I call up the Hatch amendment No. 1911, 
which is at the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Arizona [Mr. McCain], for Mr. Hatch, 
     proposes an amendment numbered 1911 to amendment No. 1456.

  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading 
of the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

 (Purpose: To require a report on the Department of Defense definition 
             of and policy regarding software sustainment)

       At the appropriate place, insert the following:

     SEC. ___. REPORT ON DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE DEFINITION OF AND 
                   POLICY REGARDING SOFTWARE SUSTAINMENT.

       (a) Report on Assessment of Definition and Policy.--Not 
     later than March 15, 2016, the Secretary of Defense shall 
     submit to the congressional defense committees and the 
     President pro tempore of the Senate a report setting forth an 
     assessment, obtained by the Secretary for purposes of the 
     report, on the definition used by the Department of Defense 
     for and the policy of the Department regarding software 
     maintenance, particularly with respect to the totality of the 
     term ``software sustainment'' in the definition of ``depot-
     level maintenance and repair'' under section 2460 of title 
     10, United States Code.
       (b) Independent Assessment.--The assessment obtained for 
     purposes of subsection (a) shall be conducted by a federally 
     funded research and development center (FFRDC), or another 
     appropriate independent entity with expertise in matters 
     described in subsection (a), selected by the Secretary for 
     purposes of the assessment.
       (c) Elements.--
       (1) In general.--The assessment obtained for purposes of 
     subsection (a) shall address, with respect to software and 
     weapon systems of the Department of Defense (including space 
     systems), each of the following:
       (A) Fiscal ramifications of current programs with regard to 
     the size, scope, and cost of software to the program's 
     overall budget, including embedded and support software, 
     percentage of weapon systems' functionality controlled by 
     software, and reliance on proprietary data, processes, and 
     components.
       (B) Legal status of the Department in regards to adhering 
     to section 2464(a)(1) of such title with respect to ensuring 
     a ready and controlled source of maintenance and sustainment 
     on software for its weapon systems.
       (C) Operational risks and reduction to materiel readiness 
     of current Department weapon systems related to software 
     costs, delays, re-work, integration and functional testing, 
     defects, and documentation errors.
       (D) Other matters as identified by the Secretary.
       (2) Additional matters.--For each of subparagraphs (A) 
     through (C) of paragraph (1), the assessment obtained for 
     purposes of subsection (a) shall include review and analysis 
     regarding sole-source contracts, range of competition, rights 
     in technical data, public and private capabilities, 
     integration lab initial costs and sustaining operations, and 
     total obligation authority costs of software, disaggregated 
     by armed service, for the Department.
       (d) Department of Defense Support.--The Secretary of 
     Defense shall provide the independent entity described in 
     subsection (b)with timely access to appropriate information, 
     data, resources, and analysis so that the entity may conduct 
     a thorough and independent assessment as required under such 
     subsection.


                Amendment No. 1473, as Further Modified

  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Vitter 
amendment No. 1473 be further modified with the changes at the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment, as further modified, is as follows:

(Purpose: To limit the retirement of Army combat units, and to provide 
                               an offset)

       On page 38, line 12, insert after ``fighter aircraft'' the 
     following: ``and army combat units''.

       On page 43, between lines 3 and 4, insert the following:
       (e) Minimum Number of Army Brigade Combat Teams.--Section 
     3062 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding at 
     the end the following new subsection:
       ``(e)(1) Effective October 1, 2015, the Secretary of the 
     Army shall maintain the following:
       ``(A) A total number of brigade combat teams for the 
     regular and reserve components of the Army of not fewer than 
     32 brigade combat teams.
       ``(B) A total number of brigade combat teams for the Army 
     National Guard of not fewer than 28 brigade combat teams.
       ``(2) In this subsection, the term `brigade combat team' 
     means any unit that consists of--
       ``(A) an arms branch maneuver brigade;
       ``(B) its assigned support units; and
       ``(C) its assigned fire teams''.
       (f) Reduction of Army Brigade Combat Teams.--
       (1) Preservation of teams.--The Secretary of the Army shall 
     give priority to maintaining 32 brigade combat teams for the 
     Army as required by subsection (e)(1) of section 3062 of 
     title 10 United States Code (as amended by subsection (e) of 
     this section), and shall carry out such priority as funding 
     or appropriations become available to maintain such war 
     fighting capability.
       (2) Reduction.--Notwithstanding subsection (e)(1) of 
     section 3062 of title 10 United States Code (as so amended), 
     or paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Secretary may, after 
     October 1, 2015, reduce the number of brigade combat teams of 
     the Army to fewer than 32 brigade combat teams, or reduce the 
     number of brigade combat teams of the National Guard to fewer 
     than 28 brigade combat teams, upon the latest of the 
     following:
       (A) The date that is 30 days after the date on which the 
     Secretary submits the report required by paragraph (3).
       (B) The date that is 30 days after the date on which the 
     Secretary certifies to the congressional defense committees 
     that the reduction of Army brigade combat teams will not 
     increase the operational risk of meeting the National Defense 
     Strategy.
       (C) The date that is 30 days after the date on which the 
     Secretary certifies to the congressional defense committees 
     that--
       (i) in the case of a reduction in the number of brigade 
     combat teams of the Army to fewer than 32 brigade combat 
     teams, funding or appropriations are not adequate to sustain 
     32 brigade combat teams for the regular Army; or
       (ii) in the case of a reduction in the number of brigade 
     combat teams of the Army National Guard to fewer than 28 
     brigade combat teams, funding or appropriations are not 
     adequate to sustain 28 brigade combat teams for the National 
     Guard.
       (3) Report.--The Secretary shall submit to the 
     congressional defense committees a report setting forth the 
     following:
       (A) The rationale for any proposed reduction of the total 
     strength of the Army, including the National Guard and 
     Reserves, below the strength provided in subsection (e) of 
     section 3062 of title 10, United States Code (as so amended), 
     and an operational analysis of the total strength of the Army 
     that demonstrates performance of the designated mission at an 
     equal or greater level of effectiveness as the personnel of 
     the Army so reduced.
       (B) An assessment of the implications for the Army, the 
     Army National Guard of the United States, and the Army 
     Reserve of the force mix ratio of Army troop strengths and 
     combat units after such reduction.
       (C) Such other matters relating to the reduction of the 
     total strength of the Army as the Secretary considers 
     appropriate.
       (g) Additional Reports.--
       (1) In general.--At least 90 days before the date on which 
     the total strength of the Army, including the National Guard 
     and Reserves, is reduced below the strength provided in 
     subsection (e) of section 3062 of title 10, United States 
     Code (as amended by subsection (e) of this section), the 
     Secretary of the Army, in consultation with (where 
     applicable) the Director of the Army National Guard or Chief 
     of the Army Reserve, shall submit to the congressional 
     defense committees a report on the reduction.
       (2) Elements.--Each report submitted under paragraph (1) 
     shall include the following:
       (A) A list of each major combat unit of the Army that will 
     remain after the reduction, organized by division and 
     enumerated down to the brigade combat team-level or its 
     equivalent, including for each such brigade combat team--
       (i) the mission it is assigned to; and
       (ii) the assigned unit and military installation where it 
     is based.
       (B) A list of each brigade combat team proposed for 
     disestablishment, including for each such unit--
       (i) the mission it is assigned to; and
       (ii) the assigned unit and military installation where it 
     is based.
       (C) A list of each unit affected by a proposed 
     disestablishment listed under subparagraph (B) and a 
     description of how such unit is affected.
       (D) For each military installation and unit listed under 
     subparagraph (B)(ii), a description of changes, if any, to 
     the designed operational capability (DOC) statement of the

[[Page S4189]]

     unit as a result of a proposed disestablishment.
       (E) A description of any anticipated changes in manpower 
     authorizations as a result of a proposed disestablishment 
     listed under subparagraph (B).
       (h) Report Manning of Brigade Combat Teams at Achievement 
     of Army Active End-strength.--Upon the achievement of the end 
     strength for active duty personnel of the Army specified in 
     section 401(1), the Secretary of the Army shall submit to the 
     congressional defense committees a report on the current 
     manning of each brigade combat team of the Army.
       (i) Construction.--Nothing in this section should be 
     construed to supersede Army manning of brigade combat teams 
     at designated levels.
       (j) Annual Pay Increases.--
       (1) Sense of congress on pay increases.--It is the sense of 
     Congress that, if the President exercises the authority under 
     section 1009(e) of title 37, United States Code, with respect 
     to the rates of basic pay for members of the uniformed 
     services--
       (A) the adjustment in the rates of basic pay for each 
     statutory pay system under section 5303 of title 5, United 
     States Code, should be 0.5 percentage points less than the 
     percentage adjustment in the rates of basic pay for members 
     of the uniformed services; and
       (B) the President should not adjust, under the authority 
     under section 5303(b) of title 5, United States Code, the 
     rates of basic pay for a statutory pay system by a percentage 
     that is greater than the percentage described in subparagraph 
     (A).
       (2) Adjustment to rates of pay for fiscal year 2016.--
       (A) Statutory pay systems.--The adjustment in rates of 
     basic pay for employees under the statutory pay systems (as 
     defined in section 5302 of title 5, United States Code) that 
     takes effect in 2016 under section 5303 of title 5, United 
     States Code, shall be a decrease of 1.0 percent, and such 
     adjustments shall be effective as of the first day of the 
     first applicable pay period beginning on or after January 1, 
     2016.
       (B) Prevailing rate employees.--The adjustment in rates of 
     basic pay for the statutory pay systems that take place in 
     2016 under sections 5344 and 5348 of title 5, United States 
     Code, shall be equal to the percentage decrease received by 
     employees in the same location whose rates of basic pay are 
     adjusted pursuant to the statutory pay systems under 
     subparagraph (A) of this paragraph and 5304 of title 5, 
     United States Code. Prevailing rate employees at locations 
     where there are no employees whose pay is decreased pursuant 
     to sections 5303 and 5304 of title 5, United States Code, and 
     prevailing rate employees described in section 5343(a)(5) of 
     title 5, United States Code, shall be considered to be 
     located in the pay locality designated as ``Rest of US'' 
     pursuant to section 5304 of title 5, United States Code, for 
     purposes of this subparagraph.
       (3) Adjustment to rates of pay for fiscal year 2017.--
       (A) Statutory pay systems.--The adjustment in rates of 
     basic pay for employees under the statutory pay systems (as 
     defined in section 5302 of title 5, United States Code) that 
     takes effect in 2017 under section 5303 of title 5, United 
     States Code, shall be a decrease of 1.0 percent, and such 
     adjustments shall be effective as of the first day of the 
     first applicable pay period beginning on or after January 1, 
     2017.
       (B) Prevailing rate employees.--The adjustment in rates of 
     basic pay for the statutory pay systems that take place in 
     2017 under sections 5344 and 5348 of title 5, United States 
     Code, shall be equal to the percentage decrease received by 
     employees in the same location whose rates of basic pay are 
     adjusted pursuant to the statutory pay systems under 
     subparagraph (A) of this paragraph and 5304 of title 5, 
     United States Code. Prevailing rate employees at locations 
     where there are no employees whose pay is decreased pursuant 
     to sections 5303 and 5304 of title 5, United States Code, and 
     prevailing rate employees described in section 5343(a)(5) of 
     title 5, United States Code, shall be considered to be 
     located in the pay locality designated as ``Rest of US'' 
     pursuant to section 5304 of title 5, United States Code, for 
     purposes of this subparagraph.
       (4) Sense of congress on use of funds available.--It is the 
     sense of Congress that amounts available to the Government by 
     reason of the reductions in adjustments to rates of pay for 
     fiscal years 2016 and 2017 by reason of paragraphs (2) and 
     (3) should be used to sustain a total number of brigade 
     combat teams for the regular and reserve components of the 
     Army of not fewer than 32 brigade combat teams, anda total 
     number of brigade combat teams for the Army National Guard of 
     not fewer than 28 brigade combat teams, during fiscal years 
     2016 and 2017 as required by subsection (e) of section 3062 
     of title 10, United States Code (as amended by subsection (e) 
     of this section).

  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate 
vote in relation to the Vitter amendment at 5 p.m., with the time 
equally divided in the usual form and no second-degrees prior to the 
vote. I further ask that Senator Lee or his designee be recognized to 
withdraw his amendment No. 1687 prior to the vote on the Vitter 
amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. 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.


                           Amendment No. 1687

  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Lee 
amendment No. 1687 be withdrawn.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the amendment is withdrawn.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. 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. CORNYN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak for up to 
10 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                           Amendment No. 1889

  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, this morning I voted against the 
Feinstein-McCain amendment No. 1889 because I believe it represents 
shortsighted national security policy.
  The central provision of this amendment would limit the interrogation 
of detainees by any U.S. Government employee or agent to techniques 
that are listed in the publicly available Army Field Manual on human 
intelligence collection (FM 2-22.3), essentially codifying a portion of 
Executive Order No. 13491, issued by President Obama on January 22, 
2009. Due to the wide public availability of this manual, this policy 
enables our enemies to study and dissect the methods we use to try to 
elicit sensitive information from them, giving them the opportunity to 
train against these techniques and prepare for them.
  Quite simply, the effect of this policy is to hand our entire 
interrogation playbook to groups such as the self-declared Islamic 
State of Iraq and the Levant, ``ISIL,'' Al Qaeda, and the Taliban, 
which is a profound mistake. Moreover, this limitation is unnecessary, 
because Congress has already taken action to prohibit interrogation or 
other treatment of detainees that is ``cruel, inhuman, or degrading 
treatment or punishment'' by enacting the Detainee Treatment Act of 
2005.
  In the past, other interrogation techniques that were not publicly 
disclosed to our enemies, known as enhanced interrogation techniques, 
proved their worth in numerous instances. In the wake of the terrorist 
attacks of September 11, 2001, these enhanced techniques were deemed 
necessary for use with certain hardened Al Qaeda leaders and operatives 
who possessed valuable intelligence that could save American lives, 
including knowledge of planned attacks against our Nation. There is 
strong evidence to believe that EITs, in desperate situations, helped 
protect our country from terrorist attacks. In addition, intelligence 
obtained through these interrogations helped locate Osama bin Laden and 
enabled the operation to kill or capture him in Abbottabad, Pakistan, 
on May 2, 2011. The Obama administration cannot deny that intelligence 
gleaned through the use of enhanced techniques played a role in 
tracking down bin Laden.
  In recent months, the threat of terrorism has been increasing in both 
intensity and complexity. The rise of the terrorist army of ISIL makes 
this a challenging time in the fight against terrorism. While it is 
clear that President Obama has no intention of authorizing the use of 
enhanced interrogation techniques while he is President, this amendment 
would unwisely and tightly restrict the tools available to future 
Presidents to protect this country. I cannot support such a policy.


                        Working Across The Aisle

  Mr. President, for the past several weeks we have been debating the 
National Defense Authorization Act, which performs one of our most 
important and significant functions, which is to make sure the people 
who fight our

[[Page S4190]]

Nation's wars have the resources they need in order to do the job and 
to keep the American people safe.
  This bill that started in the Armed Services Committee passed out 
overwhelmingly, and that is because this is not or should not be a 
partisan issue. Our duty to protect our troops so they can protect us 
should be a no-brainer. You would think partisan politics would be the 
furthest thing from this debate.
  I am glad the Senate has now taken a big step forward to help move 
this legislation along, but I have to admit there are some ominous 
signs on the horizon. Initially, Senate Democrats on the Armed Services 
Committee threatened to block this bill in the committee unless there 
was some deal cut on spending. That is troubling, although I am 
grateful that only four Democrats voted against this bill in the 
committee. Then there is some suggestion from the President of the 
United States that he might consider vetoing this legislation. Why? 
Because he disagrees with some of the content of this legislation? 
Well, no. The reason he threatened to veto it is because he said we 
haven't agreed to his demands to increase spending--by the way, 
spending money we don't have, adding to our national debt.
  It concerns me a great deal when something that should enjoy broad 
bipartisan support, such as our national defense, somehow becomes a 
potential hostage to take in the spending wars here in Washington, DC.
  Now we have learned that the strategy among our Democratic friends is 
not to block this bill. Candidly, I think that is because they realized 
they didn't have the votes to do it, and it would have been a momentous 
decision if they had blocked it for some extraneous reason. But now we 
are told that the next bill we turn to, which will probably be the 
Defense appropriations bill--that our friends across the aisle are 
threatening to block that in another continuing effort to do what they 
call prepare for their filibuster summer.
  The great thing about our friends across the aisle is that you don't 
have to wonder necessarily what they are planning to do; all you have 
to do is read the newspapers because they will tell you. There, Senator 
Schumer, one of the senior Democrats in leadership, said they plan to 
block every appropriations bill until they get a negotiated deal to 
raise spending limits that have been in effect since 2011.
  Well, I have to think this is why the minority leader, the Senator 
from Nevada, initially when we were starting debate on this bill, 
suggested it would be a waste of time. I can't think of any other 
reason why he would say debating and voting on and passing the Defense 
authorization bill would be a waste of time unless there was some 
implicit threat there that it would never actually see the light of 
day.
  But there has been a casualty along the way. You will remember that 
last Thursday we had a vote on a bill that would effect commonsense 
improvements in our cyber security at a time when more and more 
Americans are undergoing cyber attacks. Of course, these take different 
forms, but many nation states have active cyber attack efforts against 
our intellectual property--let's say the people who have labored long 
and hard and make big investments in weapons systems and airplanes and 
the like. Well, our adversaries are actively trying to steal the design 
information so they can copy that, of course at a much cheaper cost, 
and they can learn what the capabilities are of our weapons systems and 
our airplanes.
  But other cyber attacks are more straightforward. It is just crime. 
It is stealing people's identity. It is stealing their money. It is 
stealing their resources. There are criminal networks all around the 
world that are actively engaged in trying to steal from the American 
people online.
  So you would have thought that this amendment, dealing as it did with 
cyber security--that a good place to park this would have been on the 
Defense authorization bill, as important a role as cyber security plays 
in our national security. Of course, the purpose was to help the 
government and private businesses work together to protect Americans' 
personal information and their privacy, which is a pretty 
straightforward goal. Protecting the personal information of the 
American people is very important. And it was noncontroversial. This 
particular bill that was offered as an amendment to the Defense 
authorization bill passed out of the Senate Intelligence Committee 14 
to 1. But since this is filibuster summer, the minority leader, Senator 
Reid, decided the Democrats were going to vote as a group to block that 
amendment.
  Not even 24 hours later, though--their timing could not have been 
worse--the need for this critical legislation became even more urgent. 
On Friday--1 day after the Democratic leader urged his colleagues to 
block this important cyber security measure--media reports began 
confirming that hackers had accessed government networks and obtained 
incredibly sensitive background information used for security 
clearances in a second breach to the personnel management systems. This 
information, which one former NSA official described as the crown 
jewels and a gold mine for foreign intelligence services, was 
reportedly stolen en masse and includes many personal details of job 
applicants. As a matter of fact, the people who actually applied for a 
security clearance, which is processed by the Office of Personnel 
Management, the people who fill out these forms fill out extensive 
background information, including birth dates, names, telephone 
numbers, and the like, but it also includes things such as passport 
information, Social Security numbers, private identification and 
background details, extensive information about background places of 
residence and addresses, and the names and contact information of close 
friends and family members. So you can see why there would be concern 
when state actors penetrate the network at the Office of Personnel 
Management to steal information about that background and security 
clearance process. This stolen information could be used not only 
against our intelligence officers and military officials but also their 
family and friends who may well now be exposed.
  That same day, last Friday, it was reported that the first Office of 
Personnel Management data breach--a breach that was initially reported 
2 weeks ago--actually compromised the records of as many as 14 million 
current and former government officials. That is more than three times 
the original estimate.
  While our Nation's public servants were having their sensitive 
personal information stolen, the Democratic leader led nearly all of 
his colleagues to block sensible, bipartisan legislation which was 
focused on that specific threat and which would provide for greater 
information sharing between the private sector and government in order 
to address this very problem.
  I am pleased to say that the minority leader was not able to convince 
all Democrats to block this legislation. In fact, seven Democratic 
members voted to promote security over partisanship. Good for them for 
joining us in doing that.
  As I said before, but it is worth noting again, the American people 
have rejected this idea that the Senate and the Congress should do 
nothing. They did that last November during the election. They made 
crystal clear that they wanted their elected representatives, whether 
the House or the Senate, to come here to Washington on their behalf and 
to actually take steps to make their lives better and to work on their 
behalf, not to use this Chamber for partisan political games.
  We have heard the accusations in the past. The Democratic leader has 
loudly and routinely criticized this side of the aisle for obstruction. 
But threatening to block all funding bills unless you get 100 percent 
of what you want, after spending money we don't have and while looking 
at an escalating debt in the tens of trillions of dollars, is, to me, 
the height of hypocrisy.
  By pledging to filibuster upcoming appropriations bills, including 
the Defense appropriations bill, he and his Democratic colleagues have 
made their priorities very clear. They are willing to jeopardize the 
paychecks and the security of our men and women in uniform so they can 
give more taxpayer dollars to sprawling bureaucracies such as the IRS 
and the EPA. Unfortunately, the leadership on the other side of the 
aisle is using these very same troops who put their lives on the line 
every day to score a few partisan

[[Page S4191]]

points and to leverage their insatiable appetite for tax dollars. There 
is never enough. There is never enough.
  I don't know that everyone on that side of the aisle is comfortable 
with this strategy. I am somewhat encouraged in a strange sense of the 
word by the fact that seven Democrats refused to follow the Democratic 
leader down this path to blocking the cyber security legislation. To 
their credit, they voted on the merits of the legislation. But, 
unfortunately, not enough did in order for us to get it considered and 
voted on.
  In light of this almost contemporaneous occurrence at the Office of 
Personnel Management and the recurring daily stories about how cyber 
attacks are stealing personal property, represent an intelligence 
threat, and are stealing the money of the American people, I hope our 
colleagues will work with us to do what the American people elected us 
to do, which is to work together to move forward sensible, bipartisan 
legislation that is important to the country.
  I hope our friends across the aisle will listen to the American 
people instead of their misguided leadership. Over the past few months 
under Republican majorities, this Chamber has demonstrated that we are 
willing to work across the aisle to get the Senate functioning again 
for the American people.
  Do you know what? The irony is that our friends who are now in the 
minority who used to be in the majority--I think they kind of like it 
because they actually can offer amendments, they can get votes on 
amendments, and they can represent their constituents in this body, 
which they came here to do.
  I hope we can keep the Senate working and avoid this filibuster 
summer that was touted in one of the newspapers just last week. I know 
the people of my State expect me to come up here and represent their 
interests, and I know all of our constituents expect us to do better by 
them.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Hampshire.
  Ms. AYOTTE. Mr. President, I come to the floor to talk about an 
amendment I have to the Defense authorization legislation.
  Americans who volunteer to defend our country deserve our utmost 
support and great credit for their uniquely honorable, difficult, and 
important service. We are a safe and free Nation because of their 
bravery and sacrifice. However, as we honor our troops and veterans, we 
have to remember they don't serve alone. Military families serve too. 
They make serious career and personal sacrifices on behalf of their 
loved ones so their loved ones can serve our country.
  Anyone who has served in the military or has been married to a 
servicemember or even attended a military retirement ceremony--I 
actually come from a military family--understands that a successful 
military career depends on the support and sacrifice of those you love 
and those who are in your family. A career in the military frequently 
involves frequent moves and long separations for your spouse, which 
present unique challenges for military families.
  The service and sacrifice of military families not only deserves 
recognition and respect, but military families are also a critical 
component of our military readiness. It is difficult for a mother, 
father, husband or wife serving in the military to focus on defending 
our Nation if they are worried about the well-being of their family at 
home. Perhaps that is why, in March of this year, the Commandant of the 
Marine Corps, Gen. Joseph Dunford, who has now been nominated to serve 
as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified that ``a key 
element in our overall readiness is family readiness. The family 
members of our Marines are very much a part of the Marine Corps family. 
Their sacrifices and support are not taken for granted.''
  However, it has come to our attention that the current laws and 
regulations fail to fully reflect the sacrifices of our military 
families or the importance of this issue to military readiness.
  I wish to talk about a specific problem; that is, when a member of 
our military actually gets into criminal trouble. Yet their spouse and 
children have to suffer as a result of it.
  Current law forces military juries to sometimes confront the 
undesirable dilemma of either supporting justice or supporting the 
military family--but not both. In these rare and tragic cases, a jury 
must choose either to impose a just sentence on a member of our 
military--which of course these cases are rare--who commits a crime, 
but if the jury imposes a just sentence, this could cause the 
retirement benefits that the family of the military member is counting 
on to be taken away, and so it leads to this choice of either giving a 
just or strong sentence and also punish the family who is an innocent 
bystander in all of this or give a weak and unjust sentence to spare 
the innocent family--but not both.
  When a jury chooses a just sentence, an innocent family can be left 
with nothing, and that is wrong. Knowing this, some family members 
choose not to report a crime out of fear that coming forward will risk 
loss of benefits that a family member helped earn.
  For these reasons, I am proud that the National Defense Authorization 
Act, as passed by the committee, does include an amendment that I 
introduced with Senator Gillibrand which could make transitional 
benefits available to innocent military family members when their 
retirement-eligible servicemember forfeits those benefits due to a 
court-martial.
  I am also pleased that the Defense authorization legislation contains 
sense-of-Congress language that recognizes the valuable service of 
military families and emphasizes the view of the committee that 
military juries should not have to choose between a fair sentence and 
protecting military families. However, this doesn't go far enough. Our 
work isn't finished. We must do more to recognize the service of 
military families and to ensure a strong and fair military justice 
system.
  I will briefly talk about the case of Rebecca Sinclair. Rebecca was 
married to a career Army officer who served with distinction. She 
married him early in his career and supported him as he rose through 
the ranks to become General. She served alongside him for 27 years. He 
was at home for a total of 5 years between 2001 and 2012. She had been 
a single mother during those five combat deployments when he was 
serving our country.
  She moved 17 times in 27 years. Her oldest son went to six schools by 
the time he was in sixth grade. Despite earning a bachelor's and 
master's degree, Rebecca's career had been severely limited by the 
constant moves.
  She thought this sacrifice was worthy because she was doing it on 
behalf of her Nation and her family. Because she wasn't able to achieve 
her full earning potential, she was counting on the pay benefits and 
retirement plan she helped her husband earn over 27 years. But then, in 
2012, she watched helplessly as all of this sacrifice, all of this 
effort, and all of this work hung in the balance. Unlike the vast 
majority of servicemembers who serve their whole career with honor, her 
husband was charged with 25 counts of misconduct, including: forcible 
sodomy, sexual assault, indecent conduct, making fraudulent claims 
against the government, and obstruction of justice.
  Rebecca was totally innocent of this conduct. Her sons, who were 10 
and 12 years old, were totally innocent. Yet her husband's actions 
threatened to leave her with no benefits and no security after 27 years 
of sacrifice, and if he were to be dismissed from the Army, Rebecca and 
her sons would be left with nothing.
  During his sentencing hearing, Rebecca's husband begged the court to 
allow him to retire at a reduced rank so his family could collect the 
benefits which, in his words, ``they have earned serving alongside me 
all these years.''
  Rebecca also made a plea to the court for a sentence that would spare 
her family from being punished for her husband's actions. I think 
Rebecca sums it up well in the piece she wrote for the Washington Post 
in 2012:

       For military wives, the options are bad and worse. Stay 
     with an unfaithful husband and keep your family intact; or 
     lose your husband, your family and the financial security 
     that comes with a military salary, pension, health care and 
     housing. Because we move so often, spouses lose years of 
     career advancement. Some of us spend every other year as 
     single parents. We are vulnerable emotionally and 
     financially. Many stay silent out of necessity, not natural 
     passivity.


[[Page S4192]]


  It is time to fix these problems. Saying thank you to the military 
families is not enough. We must ensure that our laws and regulations 
reflect our gratitude to military families and the importance of what 
they do. They serve our country, too, and they have earned the benefits 
as well. It is not right for a military member to rely on his family to 
help earn retirement benefits and then have that individual commit 
misconduct and the family is punished too.
  My amendment will fix this problem by recognizing that military 
families serve, too, remove disincentives to report misconduct, and put 
the sentencing process back in balance. Juries can choose a punishment 
to fit the crime without worry that an innocent family member will 
suffer as a result. My amendment has been endorsed by 10 veterans 
service organizations.
  I urge my colleagues to support this important amendment that allows 
the military justice system to function properly and also makes sure 
that innocent family members do not suffer and that their service is 
recognized as well.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.


                Protecting Internet Access From Taxation

  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I wish to address events from the last 
several days, both of which have the potential to reshape the way the 
American people use the Internet for communication and commerce.
  The first came last week when the other body voted on a bipartisan 
basis to permanently extend the Internet Tax Freedom Act. I wrote that 
law, which is commonly known as ITFA, along with former Congressman 
Chris Cox, in 1998. The Internet Tax Freedom Act is one of the most 
popular tax policies in the country, and I believe it is past time for 
the Senate to follow the House's lead and send a permanent extension to 
the President's desk.
  The second important matter came up yesterday, when a bill called the 
Remote Transaction Parity Act was introduced in the other body. What 
this proposal offers is a brand-new national sales tax managed by a 
privatizing, tax-collecting bureaucracy that not a single voter in 
America has approved. I see this online tax hike as a major threat to 
the Internet that has flourished under the bipartisan Internet Tax 
Freedom Act.
  I want to address both of these issues briefly today, beginning with 
the importance of the permanent Internet Tax Freedom law. Ever since 
Congress passed it, it has been an essential tool in helping the 
Internet grow unencumbered by discriminatory taxation. It prohibits the 
kind of discriminatory taxes that some in Congress are too fond of; the 
kind of taxes that I believe will hurt innovation and punish the 
millions of citizens and businesses that use and depend on the Internet 
each day.
  The Internet Tax Freedom Act has saved families in Oregon and across 
America hundreds of dollars a year. That is because without the law, 
access to the Internet would likely be subject to the same level of 
punishing taxation that is currently imposed on cigarettes and alcohol. 
We already see that with wireless services not protected by the 
Internet Tax Freedom Act, and this area does involve onerous taxes. 
Inflicting those taxes on Internet access is a burden the Senate 
absolutely should not heap on the American people.
  Unfortunately, Congress has become too reliant on stop-and-go 
governing, so the Internet Tax Freedom Act has been extended several 
times on a temporary basis. Some Members in the Senate and House want 
to tie the Internet Tax Freedom Act, which saves people money, to a 
controversial proposal that will drive up the cost of using the 
Internet the way Americans do today, and that is where the second issue 
I would like to address comes in.
  The House proposal, called the Remote Transaction Parity Act, has 
taken a variety of different forms over the years. An older version 
that died in Congress was called the Marketplace Fairness Act. The idea 
used to be to turn every business that operated online--big or small--
into a tax collector for the thousands of tax jurisdictions across the 
country. With every new version of this online tax hike bill, we would 
see a new set of problems crop up. Now the proposal has become even 
bigger and more unwieldy. The new proposal coming from the other body 
would build an enormous, privatized, tax-collecting bureaucracy, and 
that new bureaucracy would take a big cut of every online sale before a 
single dime of sales tax gets distributed back to the States or local 
communities.
  I will take a minute and talk about how this hurts my home State. My 
home State has no sales tax, but under this proposal, this murky tax-
collecting middle man is going to get involved anytime somebody in 
Virginia, Michigan or California makes a purchase online from an Oregon 
company. This proposal would unfairly siphon money away from Oregon. 
Yet Oregonians will get nothing in return from these newly empowered 
national tax collectors. In effect, there would be a new national sales 
tax overseen by a privatized middle man, and that raises serious 
questions about whether taxpayer dollars should be going to a for-
profit tax collector. It could put sensitive data about businesses and 
their customers into the crosshairs of hackers and criminals. That 
would be just about the biggest Federal intrusion into State commerce 
in a long time.
  The online tax bill also creates a major new hurdle for small 
businesses that want to find consumers online. That would be a 
particularly harsh blow to companies in rural America, rural Oregon, 
and elsewhere. It would suddenly be a whole lot harder to compete with 
a retailer in a crowded city when the cost of doing business online 
takes a jump.
  Finally, it takes a fundamentally tilted playing field against U.S. 
employers, and, in effect, makes those employers pay a national sales 
tax. It creates a fundamentally tilted playing field. The Internet 
spans national borders, but sellers from China, Canada, and Europe will 
not and cannot be subject to this tax, and under this approach, they 
will profit at the expense of the American consumer and American 
worker.
  In my view, we have at hand now two radically different pieces of 
legislation. The first has been on the books now for well over a decade 
and has been hugely valuable in terms of innovation, choice, and 
consumers. That is the permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, in effect 
taking what we have had for over a decade and making it permanent. With 
the permanent approach, we lower costs for consumers and protect the 
Internet as a bulwark for free speech and commerce, promoting American 
companies and American ideals. So that is approach No. 1--making 
permanent legislation that has worked since 1998.

  The second approach is the Remote Transaction Parity Act, which would 
raise costs for Americans, hurt small and rural businesses, and punish 
States such as Oregon that have kept taxes low.
  In my view, it would be legislative malpractice to tie these two 
approaches together. The path forward for the U.S. Senate should be 
very clear; that is, to take the permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act 
that has sailed through the House and, with the ball in our court, pass 
it here. I believe that a permanent law protecting Internet access from 
taxation is long overdue, and the proposal for an online tax hike 
should not get in the way.
  So I urge my colleagues to join me now in working for a bipartisan, 
permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, unencumbered by the kind of 
approach which has been introduced in the House and which creates a 
national sales tax. Let's reject that and move to pass a permanent 
Internet Tax Freedom Act as soon as possible.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Ayotte). The Senator from Rhode Island.


                Amendment No. 1473, as Further Modified

  Mr. REED. Madam President, at 5 p.m. we will be voting on an 
amendment proposed by the Senator from Louisiana, Mr. Vitter. The 
amendment would require the Secretary of the Army to maintain at least 
32 brigade combat teams in the Regular and Reserve components of the 
Army and 28 brigade combat teams in the Army National Guard.
  Effectively and deliberately, this amendment would prevent the Army 
from managing its own force structure, determining how many brigades it 
needs, how they are disposed in terms of Active, Reserve, and Regular 
forces. In addition, the way the amendment is

[[Page S4193]]

paid for, to maintain these additional brigades would be to mandate a 
1-percent pay cut for all Federal civilian employees for 2016 and 
2017--not a pay freeze, a pay cut.
  The Army does not support this amendment. They need the flexibility 
to manage their forces to respond to the threats as they perceive them 
in the world, to determine where the forces are mechanized, whether 
they are located in the National Guard or whether they are located in 
the Regular force. As such, as the Army draws down--and it is on that 
trajectory because of many issues, some of them budgetary--they would 
have to totally reexamine their existing force structure and they would 
indeed have to, I think, sacrifice what they think is the most optimal 
force for a legislative mandate of an arbitrary number of brigades in 
place. This will create readiness problems because it is one thing to 
have brigades on paper; it is another to have brigades that are ready 
to deploy, fully trained, fully equipped, fully manned. That would 
complicate this process for the Army.
  So for these reasons, when the amendment is presented at 5 p.m., I 
will be opposing the amendment, and I urge my colleagues to join me in 
that opposition. I think the Army is the most capable to determine its 
force structure and not by legislative fiat.
  With that, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. McCAIN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. McCAIN. Madam President, the Vitter amendment tries to enforce a 
minimum number of Army brigade combat teams. It seeks to direct the 
U.S. Army to maintain not fewer than 32 brigade combat teams in the 
Regular Army and 28 in the Army National Guard. The Secretary of the 
Army could not reduce these until he reports to Congress and certifies 
impacts on operational risk to the national defense strategy and 
insufficient funds or appropriations. The Secretary of the Army must 
also report rationale for any proposed reduction of total strength in 
the Regular Army, National Guard, and Army Reserves. This includes an 
operational analysis that shows continued mission performance given a 
reduction and an assessment of force-mix ratio among all of those 
organizations.
  Additionally, the Secretary, with the Director of the Army, National 
Guard, or Chief of Army Reserve, must report to Congress at least 90 
days before any possible reductions. The report must list remaining 
major combat units, missions, unit assignments by installation, and 
proposed BCTs for disestablishment--on and on and on and on.
  I say to the Senator from Louisiana, we don't do this. We don't tell 
the Army or the National Guard that they can only have a minimum of 
this or that and that they can't do certain things. The amendment 
requires the Army to report manning levels. In principle, I agree with 
the Senator from Louisiana. The world is less secure. We are facing 
many threats. We need an Army capable of securing our interests around 
the world. In fact, last week, decisions were made to deploy more 
forces to Iraq.
  The amendment is bad policy. The Congress shouldn't attempt to manage 
forces. That is the job of the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of 
Staff. Our job is to authorize and fund. The key is giving Army 
leadership the flexibility to manage the total Army force given the 
planned drawdown. In fiscal year 2016, the Army end strength is being 
reduced and funding is planned to be adjusted accordingly.
  The cost to maintain the total Army at 490,000 for 1 year is about 
$2.4 billion. Of course, the Senator's amendment does not have any 
indication where that $2.4 billion would come from.
  If enacted, the amendment could result in a Regular Army of ``tiered 
readiness.'' The Army would have a force of 490,000 with a budget for 
475,000. We don't want a ``hollow Army'' as we had in the 1970s.
  So I urge my colleague from Louisiana, the sponsor of this amendment, 
to devote his energies and efforts to the repeal of sequestration. That 
is what is forcing these decisions to be made by the Army, which, in my 
view and the view of our military leaders, is putting the lives of the 
men and women at greater risk.
  Mr. VITTER. Will the Senator yield for a question?
  Mr. McCAIN. I wish to finish my statement first, and I appreciate 
that.
  So I oppose the amendment on the fact that we do not have the funding 
here to maintain the Army at the level that both he and I would prefer. 
If we do repeal sequestration, then there will be sufficient funding 
for maintaining the Army, the National Guard, and the Army Reserves at 
the level the Senator from Louisiana strongly advocates and I also 
advocate.
  I will be glad to respond to a question from the Senator from 
Louisiana.
  Mr. VITTER. I thank the Senator for yielding. I would just ask 
whether the underlying bill doesn't do exactly the same sort of thing 
in other categories, such as minimum numbers of aircraft carriers in 
the Navy, such as minimum numbers of certain key equipment in the Air 
Force, which I agree with. But I don't see any difference between those 
provisions of the underlying bill and what this provision would 
constitute with regard to a key element of Army brigade combat teams. 
That is the first question.
  The second question is, Did the Senator know that in the resubmitted 
version of the amendment, there is a noncontroversial sense-of-the-
Senate regarding an offset for this to be put forward?
  Finally, I would certainly agree with the Senator about trying to fix 
the top-line numbers and the top-line situation with regard to 
sequestration, and, as I am sure he knows, I support that.
  Mr. McCAIN. Madam President, I respond to my friend to say that what 
we have authorized, as the Senator from Louisiana clearly described, is 
what the services have said they need to do their mission--and based on 
their requirements, not the view of what my requirements are. So I 
think the Senator's proposal is very different from what he described.
  Again, there is sufficient funding for everything we have authorized 
in the bill. What this amendment is authorizing in the bill would 
require an additional $2.4 billion to be authorized out of the budget 
that was set by the Budget Committee, which would then mean reductions 
in other areas, as I am sure the Senator appreciates, that we 
authorized to the budget numbers as a result of the Budget Committee's 
allocation for defense.
  So I thank the Senator from Louisiana for his continued support of 
the men and women in the military, especially the bases in Louisiana as 
well as around the world. He is an advocate for the men and women who 
are serving, and I appreciate his continued dedication to their welfare 
and benefit. We just have an honest disagreement on whether this 
amendment is appropriate in our management of the armed services.
  I thank the Senator. We have a disagreement on the amendment. We will 
vote on it, as he requested. He requested not having a tabling motion. 
He asked if we could consider his amendment, if we could have it not be 
a tabling motion, and I am glad to accommodate the Senator.
  With that, I yield the floor, and I ask unanimous consent to start 
the vote now.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, all time is yielded back.
  Under the previous order, the question is on agreeing to amendment 
No. 1473, as further modified, offered by the Senator from Louisiana, 
Mr. Vitter.
  Mr. VITTER. 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 26, nays 73, as follows:

[[Page S4194]]

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 213 Leg.]

                                YEAS--26

     Alexander
     Blunt
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Ernst
     Gardner
     Grassley
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Isakson
     Lankford
     Lee
     Moran
     Paul
     Perdue
     Risch
     Scott
     Sullivan
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Vitter

                                NAYS--73

     Ayotte
     Baldwin
     Barrasso
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Boozman
     Boxer
     Brown
     Burr
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coats
     Cochran
     Collins
     Coons
     Cotton
     Donnelly
     Durbin
     Enzi
     Feinstein
     Fischer
     Flake
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Graham
     Hatch
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Inhofe
     Johnson
     Kaine
     King
     Kirk
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCain
     McCaskill
     McConnell
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murkowski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Portman
     Reed
     Reid
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Sanders
     Sasse
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Sessions
     Shaheen
     Shelby
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Thune
     Udall
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wicker
     Wyden

                             NOT VOTING--1

       
     Rubio
       
  The amendment (No. 1473), as further modified, was rejected.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts.
  Mr. MARKEY. Madam President, I seek recognition to speak for up to--I 
ask unanimous consent to withhold my motion at this time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Oklahoma.

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