(Senate - July 14, 2016)

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[Congressional Record Volume 162, Number 114 (Thursday, July 14, 2016)]
[Pages S5119-S5126]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wisconsin.

                   Unanimous Consent Request--S. 2127

  Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. President, I rise today to ask my colleagues to 
honor the life of Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick by passing a bill to strengthen 
whistleblower protections.
  Last year the Center for Investigative Reporting published an article 
that revealed allegations of opioid overprescription, whistleblower 
retaliation, and a culture of fear at the Tomah VA Medical Center in 
Tomah, WI. It also detailed the tragic story of Jason Simcakoski, who 
passed away at the Tomah VA in 2014 from mixed drug toxicity. Jason had 
over one dozen different drugs in his system when he died.
  Jason's life is honored by a bipartisan bill introduced by my 
colleague from Wisconsin that I am pleased to cosponsor: the Jason 
Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act. The bill aims to improve VA 
opioid prescribing guidelines and ensure greater coordination and 
oversight for patient treatments.
  When I learned of the problems at the Tomah VA, I immediately 
directed my Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee staff 
to investigate. They reviewed thousands of pages of documents and 
conducted 22 interviews. We held two hearings in Tomah and two in 
Washington, DC, to examine what happened at the facility and hear from 
whistleblowers across the country. On May 31 of this year, we released 
a 359-page report detailing the findings of our bipartisan 
investigation. The unfortunate conclusion of our investigation is that 
with proper disclosure, the tragedies of the Tomah VA could have been 
  One of the individuals who blew the whistle on these problems was a 
psychologist at the Tomah VA named Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick. His portrait 
stands beside me.
  Chris came to Tomah in 2008. He treated veterans, the finest among 
us, for PTSD, substance abuse, and chronic pain. It didn't take long 
for him to realize that something was not right. Chris told his family 
and the union that he thought doctors were overprescribing, 
overmedicating patients.
  The chief of staff of the facility was a doctor who had been known as 
the Candy Man as far back as 2004 because of the amount of opioids he 
prescribed for veterans. When the Candy Man found out that Chris was 
questioning his prescription practices, Chris was warned to stop. But 
rather than address Chris's concerns, the VA fired him. Tragically, 
late on the day that he was terminated, Chris committed suicide.
  Chris's managers later said they felt coerced into firing him. Yet no 
one ever investigated Chris's suicide, and the agency was never held 
  Inspectors general are supposed to be the government's watchdogs. 
Instead of promptly investigating, preparing, and making a report of 
its investigation public, the VA Office of Inspector General took 
almost 3 years to prepare a short, extremely flawed report, 
administratively closed the investigation, and then buried the report.
  Then last year, under pressure from news reports and my committee's 
investigation, the office issued an unsolicited white paper that 
defended its flawed work and attacked Chris. It even accused him of 
being a drug dealer. They were retaliating against a dead man.
  Sean Kirkpatrick, Chris's brother, summed up the office's actions 
best. He told our committee: ``The haphazard attempt to discredit and 
slander Chris was absolutely outrageous to us when our brother was 
merely questioning opioid abuse and concerns that the veterans were not 
being cared for properly.''
  Sean Kirkpatrick offered invaluable testimony to our committee and 
asked us to make commonsense changes to help ensure that what happened 
to Chris will not happen to someone else.
  To address these recommendations and the problems our investigation 
uncovered, I introduced the Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower 
Protection Act. Among other things, the bill requires agencies to 
discipline supervisors who retaliate against whistleblowers and 
mandates training so employees know their rights and supervisors know 
how to handle complaints. The bill requires the VA to inform its 
employees about mental health services available to them and review 
their protocols to address threats from patients. The bill also 
prohibits VA employees from accessing the private medical records of 
coworkers when they blow the whistle as a means to retaliate against 
  I ask the full Senate to honor Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick and protect 
veterans and future whistleblowers by passing these commonsense 
reforms. It would be particularly special for the Senate to pass the 
bill today as, sadly, it is the 7-year anniversary of Chris's passing.
  This bill received unanimous support of Democrats and Republicans on 
my committee in December by a vote of 16 to 0. It has the support of 
every Republican in the Senate. Yet, unfortunately, one or more 
Democrat Members have been blocking it. I haven't been told who they 
are, so I have come to the floor to ask that if a Senator objects to 
this bill, he or she explain why.
  Protecting whistleblowers and putting our veterans first shouldn't be 
a partisan issue. I know it sure hasn't been one for me.
  In fact, just yesterday the Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety 
Act was approved as part of CARA. I was pleased to cosponsor the bill 
that the junior Senator from my State, a Democrat, introduced. I am not 
aware of any Republican Member who tried to block its inclusion in 
CARA, and I was pleased to do whatever I could in the Senate to ensure 
its passage because it is just good policy and it is just good for our 
  I ask my colleagues to give this bill the same respect by judging it 
based on policy, not politics. Put our veterans first.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the 
immediate consideration of Calendar No. 499, S. 2127. I further ask 
that the committee-reported substitute amendment be withdrawn, the 
Johnson substitute amendment be agreed to, the bill, as amended, be 
read a third time and passed, the title amendment be agreed to, and the 
motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  The Democratic leader.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, reserving the right to object. We, as the 
Republicans, want to work to improve veterans' benefits. It is so very 
important. They give a lot, and we don't take good enough care of them.
  I understand Senator Johnson's legislation. I appreciate that, but 
there are a number of bipartisan bills to help our veterans that 
Democrats want to pass as well. We have our bills; he has his bill. So 
I hope we can work together in the next little bit to come up with a 
package of bills that would give the Republicans a few of the things 
they want and give us some of the things we want because the issue 
before us, as valid as it could be and might be, addresses a very 
narrow issue the Senator from Wisconsin seeks to address, but a variety 
of matters are left undone.
  I hope we will be in a position to pass the legislation by the 
Senator from Wisconsin, but we are not there yet. So I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  The Senator from Wisconsin.
  Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. President, might I ask the majority leader: Are you 
objecting for yourself or on behalf of others? Further, is there a 
reason for the objection?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. It is not in order to ask questions of someone 
who does not have the floor.
  The Senator from Wisconsin.
  Mr. JOHNSON. Mr. President, it is extremely disappointing that the 
minority leader has objected to a commonsense piece of legislation that 
was passed--again, let me repeat--unanimously out of my committee. Not 

[[Page S5120]]

Democratic member of our committee objected to this. It was a good 
piece of legislation. It is so important.
  I am shocked, coming from the private sector, how much retaliation 
actually occurs within government even though we passed numerous bills 
protecting whistleblowers. The fact is, had these tragedies been known, 
had the whistleblowers been protected, had the Office of Inspector 
General made its investigation reports public, tragedies would have 
been prevented.
  One of the veterans who died at the Tomah VA was Thomas Baer. I was 
talking to his daughter a week or so after he passed from neglect, as 
he suffered a couple strokes waiting to be cared for.
  She said: Senator, had I only known of the problems at the Tomah VA, 
I never would have taken my father there. He would be alive today.
  All I am asking for is a commonsense bill that again was passed 
unanimously by my committee. Unfortunately, it is being objected to and 
will not pass today.
  At a moment in time in our history when there are so many divisions 
in this country, this is one thing we all agree on in this body, to 
honor the promises to the finest among us, our veterans. This bill 
honors those promises. This bill would protect the whistleblowers who 
have the courage to come forward and report problems at the VA health 
care centers. This bill would help protect veterans in the future.
  One of the things I am most proud of as chairman of the committee is 
I have worked in a very bipartisan fashion. I have forged agreements. I 
have looked for areas of agreement that unify us. By using that 
approach, a businessperson's approach, we have reported out of my 
committee 83 pieces of legislation--this is one of them--and 26 of 
those have been signed into law, again by finding areas of agreement 
that unify us as a committee, as a Senate, as a Congress, and as a 
Nation. This should have been one of those bills.
  I sincerely hope we can overcome whatever objection, which was not 
stated on the floor, and pass this very important piece of 
whistleblower protection as soon as possible.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The assistant majority leader.

                           Zika Virus Funding

  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I share the regret of my colleague from 
Wisconsin that our friends across the aisle--the dysfunction that 
characterized the last Congress, when they were in charge, is 
unfortunately creeping into this Congress as well, in spite of roughly 
a year and a half of relatively good productivity by the Congress on a 
bipartisan basis. To come in and make objections against commonsense 
ways to protect whistleblowers determined to try to make sure we keep 
our commitments to our veterans is just--well, it is shameful, and I 
share the disappointment of my colleagues.
  Moments ago, our Democratic colleagues failed another test, a test of 
whether they care more about American families or about special 
interest groups. This is what I am talking about.
  The test our Democratic colleagues failed is one to see whether they 
care more about averting these sort of devastating birth defects caused 
by the Zika virus or whether they care more about the special interest 
groups that raise money off of legislation designed to solve problems 
and prevent public health disasters like this. Unfortunately, they made 
the wrong choice. They failed the test.
  This is what the Zika virus can do. This is an example of 
microcephaly or, basically, shrunken skull. We can imagine what this 
does to the baby's brain, what this means in terms of trying to provide 
medical care by a loving mother and father, trying to make sure this 
baby, no matter how long it may live, has at least as comfortable a 
life as it can have until it passes away. Of course, the prognosis--the 
life expectancy of a baby with microcephaly is not good, and that is an 
  We know Zika is a preventable disease. We know, with mosquito 
eradication, we know with proper precautions people can take--not 
leaving standing water in places where mosquitoes can propagate--if we 
do our job by providing the adequate funding needed to avert this 
public health crisis, someday--and, hopefully, not too long, not too 
far away--we can actually develop a vaccine so pregnant women and women 
of child-bearing age don't have to worry or live in fear that this 
might happen to their baby.
  Just yesterday, the Harris County Public Health Office in Houston--as 
the Presiding Officer knows--confirmed that the first baby in Texas was 
born with Zika-related microcephaly. This tragedy depicted by this 
photograph is real and it is at our doorstep. This particular case 
involves a pregnant woman who had traveled to South America, where we 
know Zika virus is present, but all of our public health officials are 
telling us it is slowly working its way up from Central and South 
America and it is literally at our doorstep.
  This is not a time to refuse to do our duty and simply coast through 
the rest of the summer. We are talking about lifelong irreversible 
problems that take lives and affect families for years to come. Experts 
across the country that I have visited with, in Galveston at the 
National Lab, at the Texas Medical Center in Houston, say we need to 
act, and we need to act now.
  They are not alone. It was just last May when our Democratic 
colleagues asked us to act and to act with urgency, but today they 
turned down the very money they argued for last May, when they decided 
to gamble with the lives of children like this instead of protecting 
them. As I said, they ignored their own calls to get this done quickly, 
and they have refused to pass urgent measures that would protect our 
country from a public health crisis.
  As I said when I started, this was a test today to see whether our 
Democratic colleagues cared more about babies like this or special 
interest groups, and they failed the test. It is as simple as that.
  I want to make sure everyone understands how we got here.
  Two months ago, a bipartisan agreement was introduced to handle the 
Zika threat. That was 2 months ago. Senator Blunt of Missouri and 
Senator Murray of Washington worked together, as we are supposed to do, 
to come up with a bipartisan compromise, in this case, to an 
appropriations bill. About a week after it was introduced in this 
Chamber, it passed overwhelmingly. Not one Democrat opposed the $1.1 
billion appropriations amendment that was attached to the VA-Military 
Construction appropriations bill. Not one Democrat opposed it because, 
until recently, they seemed to agree with us that this is a major 
public health crisis in the making--particularly, as I said, because we 
expect the mosquito-borne virus to hit the mainland in places like 
Texas, Florida, Louisiana, and other warm parts of the country. We 
expect it to hit the U.S. mainland in full force as temperatures 
continue to rise this summer.
  The legislation we passed in the Senate was reconciled, as it is 
supposed to be, in a conference committee with different legislation 
passed by the House. That bicameral, bipartisan compromise is what we 
considered earlier today--after Senate Democrats decided to block it 
for the first time a few weeks ago. It seems that after they called 
upon us to pass the bill in May, they have decided in the interim it is 
not as urgent as they once said.
  For months now, Senate Democrats have talked about the need to get 
this legislation passed to prepare us for the Zika virus, and it was 
the Democratic leader who said this on May 23, 2016--May 23. It is now 
July 14. He said:

       Instead of gambling with the health and safety of millions 
     of Americans, Republicans should give our nation the money it 
     needs to fight Zika, and they should do it now. Not next 
     month, not in the fall--now.

  This is the Democratic leader. When we delivered on his request that 
he made on May 23, he voted no--even though he and every Senate 
Democrat voted yes to pass the Senate bill at exactly the same level 
that this conference report provided.
  Then, in an amazing reversal, Senator Murray of Washington--who, as I 
said a moment ago, quite responsibly worked with Senator Blunt from 
Missouri to come up with the original amendment funding this Zika 
prevention effort at $1.1 billion--she then in effect voted against her 
own amendment. Back in May, she was singing a different tune. She said:

[[Page S5121]]


       Families and communities are expecting us to act. Parents 
     are wondering if their babies will be born safe and healthy. 
     In Congress, we should do everything we can to tackle this 
     virus without any further delay.

  That was on May 26, 2016. But today, again, this same Senator who 
said these words on May 26 voted no.
  We have to ask ourselves why. What do they consider is more important 
than stopping this? What could it possibly be? What could be more 
important, more demanding? What could be a higher priority for these 
Senate colleagues than voting to fund the research on prevention that 
would stop this from happening to one more baby in America?
  Unfortunately, the hypocrisy we have heard doesn't end there.
  On June 20, the senior Senator from New York, the next Democratic 
leader in waiting, said: ``Every day we wait, every day is increasing 
the risk that we will have problems with Zika.'' That is not exactly a 
profound statement, but it is a true statement.
  My point is that people are pretty disgusted with what they see here 
in Washington these days, where rather than trying to find consensus, 
people really find ways to say no and to block important legislation 
like this. This is the very definition of dysfunction.
  I have to tell you that I am beyond disappointed at the hypocrisy 
demonstrated by all of our Senate Democrats voting for the funding at 
the $1.1 billion level, only now for the second time to vote against 
this rescue appropriation to prevent this sort of thing from happening. 
It really is beyond frustrating. It is disgusting.
  If there is anything good, any good news in all of this, I would say 
that, fortunately, months ago the Obama administration finally agreed 
with Senate Republicans to set aside more than half a billion dollars 
of unspent funds for the Ebola crisis. There was roughly $589 million 
that was set aside and reprogrammed for that purpose, but that is no 
excuse for failing to act comprehensively as our Senate Democrats have 
urged us to do time and again.
  This is nothing to play around with. This is not a trivial matter. 
This is a life-altering, life-shortening, devastating birth defect that 
is preventable. What could be more important? It is our job to send 
this bill to the President's desk. As long as our Senate Democratic 
colleagues refuse to do so, as long as they refuse to defend the health 
and well-being of Americans across this country, as long as they refuse 
another chance to protect our children from devastating birth defects, 
there is not much we can do about it.
  There is something the American people can do about it, and they can 
call and they can write to their Senator. They can say: I don't care 
what your objection is; it better be pretty darned important if you are 
going to block funding that would prevent this from happening to my 
baby or to babies in my family or in my neighborhood.
  Health experts across our country need resources to study the virus, 
to contain the virus, to keep it from spreading, and, hopefully, 
eventually to develop a vaccine. For our Democratic colleagues to block 
this legislation again months after saying it was so urgent amounts to 
tying the hands of our doctors, our local public health officials, and 
researchers from city to city. Clearly, the responsibility rests with 
  When we see locally transmitted cases of the Zika virus in the United 
States caused by mosquitoes carrying that virus, the responsibility 
will be with them for refusing to act in light of the clarion call by 
public health officials that this is a real public health emergency.
  To take this bill hostage is not only hypocritical; it is profoundly 
irresponsible. I don't know how some of our colleagues can sleep at 
night knowing that they are putting these babies and their families at 
risk. There is simply no excuse for blocking this critical funding. As 
I said, there is a test that was taken today, and our Democratic 
colleagues once again failed the test.

                    Condemning the Attack in Dallas

  Mr. President, on a separate and equally somber note, today Senator 
Cruz and I submitted a simple resolution that would condemn the 
horrific attack in Dallas of last week that took the lives of five 
police officers and wounded several more. It is a small way but an 
important way that we can honor those whom we have lost, express 
sympathy to their families, and take a stand against violence and 
hatred targeting police officers. I hope this Chamber adopts this 
resolution without delay.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Toomey). The Senator from Delaware.

                      Tribute to Federal Employees

           Lieutenant Commander Tiana Garrett and Ingrid Hope

  Mr. CARPER. Mr. President, for more than a year now, I have come 
again and again to the Senate floor to highlight some of the remarkable 
work that is being done by the men and women who work at the Department 
of Homeland Security for our country. The Department of Homeland 
Security--created in the wake of the attack on 9/11--today has over 
200,000 employees. It was created by combining some 22 Federal 
agencies, including the Coast Guard, FEMA, and others.
  The Department's employees are stationed all over this country. In 
fact, you can find them all over the world. From keeping drugs from 
crossing our borders to screening passengers at airports, to 
safeguarding critical cyber security networks, the men and women at the 
Department of Homeland Security take on some of the most diverse and 
challenging jobs of any Federal employee.
  Last month I spoke on this floor to highlight the work being done by 
a small group of folks who work at the Department of Homeland Security 
and an agency called the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office. With just 
125 employees, this office tracks and detects radiological and nuclear 
materials. They protect Americans from some of the most dangerous 
materials that are known to humankind.
  Another office within the Department of Homeland Security, charged 
with tracking dangerous yet nearly invisible threats, is the Office of 
Health Affairs. The Office of Health Affairs leads the Department of 
Homeland Security's efforts to track and to coordinate the response to 
potential biological threats from infectious diseases.
  In 2014, with the outbreak of Ebola in Africa, the Office of Health 
Affairs was charged with tracking this deadly virus and studying the 
potential threat it posed to Americans here at home. This office has 
had to disseminate that threat information to other Federal agencies 
and to State and local health officials, as well, as part of our 
efforts to coordinate and be ready if this disease does make it to our 
  The Office of Health Affairs also worked with Customs and Border 
Protection to establish a screening protocol for passengers arriving 
here from Ebola-impacted countries. The Office of Health Affairs 
continues to monitor and to keep us prepared for any remaining threats 
we might face from Ebola. This summer, as we heard, we have yet another 
challenge on their plates. As we discussed in this Chamber as recently 
as a few minutes ago, over the past couple of months, the Zika virus 
has spread explosively throughout Central and South America and the 
Caribbean. Here at home, we have confirmed more than 1,100 travel-
related cases, including more than 320 affected women.
  Given the potentially devastating effects that Zika can have, 
Americans are understandably concerned about how best to protect 
themselves, their families, or their future families from this 
previously little-known virus. That is why we are lucky to have the 
hard-working men and women at the Office of Health Affairs of the 
Department of Homeland Security. As we speak, the Office of Health 
Affairs, through its National Biosurveillance Integration Center, is 
coordinating closely with the Department of Health and Human Services 
and the Centers for Disease Control to track the spread of the disease 
of the Zika virus.
  They are also communicating prevention and detection information to 
help officials across our country and our partners overseas. Already, 
the office has produced several Zika-related safety advisories on 
everything from Zika transmission and prevention to mosquito abatement, 
to Zika screening procedures. As we reach the height of mosquito season 
here in the United States, the Office of Health Affairs is actively 
coordinating response activities with agencies across the Federal

[[Page S5122]]

Government and with State and local partners.
  Two exceptional employees within the Department and the Office of 
Health Affairs who are helping to coordinate the Department's Zika 
preparedness and response activities are LCDR Tiana Garrett and Ingrid 
Hope. Here she is to my left, LCDR Tiana Garrett.
  I am an old Navy guy. People look at this, and in the Navy or in the 
Coast Guard, this indicates that you are a lieutenant commander, and 
this indicates what her rank is. She is a lieutenant commander. We call 
lieutenant commanders in the Navy ``commanders,'' just to give them a 
compliment. So if I call her Commander Garrett, then I am not messing 
up. It is the way we do things in the Navy and the way we do things 
  Commander Garrett is an officer in the U.S. Public Health Service--
not in the Navy, not in the Coast Guard. She serves in a vitally 
important agency called the U.S. Public Health Service. As a 
biosurveillance operations analyst, Commander Garrett is responsible 
for tracking and providing updates to Federal, State, and local 
partners on the spread of the Zika virus and other disease outbreaks. 
Through her work at the National Biosurveillance Integration Center, 
Commander Garrett provides regular updates to thousands of government 
officials, representing the Office of Health Affairs in interagency 
calls and presentations and ensuring that others know that the 
Department of Homeland Security and its Office of Health Affairs is 
there to help.
  Commander Garrett also uses her master's degree in epidemiology and 
her Ph.D. in cell biology to help develop health advisories to inform 
the Department of Homeland Security's workforce about Zika virus 
exposure and how to prevent it. Commander Garrett's colleagues describe 
her as a true public servant who has dedicated her career and much of 
her life to ensuring the health and well-being of others.
  Another Office of Health Affairs employee within the Department of 
Homeland Security who is focusing on the Zika virus is this lady right 
here, and her name is Ingrid Hope. Ingrid is the Acting Deputy Division 
Director for the Workforce Health and Medical Support Division. Miss 
Hope is charged with making sure that the Department of Homeland 
Security's policies protect its own employees from the threats posed by 
the Zika virus and other infectious diseases. Given the potential for 
frontline DHS employees to come into contact with this virus and other 
viruses, it is vitally important that they have the guidance they need 
to reduce their own risk of exposure.
  Just like families in Delaware and around the country, Department of 
Homeland Security employees have been hearing about the Zika virus on 
the news. We have heard about it here on the floor today. While you and 
I can make changes to our schedule or change our travel plans to limit 
our exposure, the Department of Homeland Security employees at our 
ports of entry and along our boarders cannot do that. Their jobs put 
them in harm's way to protect us against any number of threats to our 
homeland. The Zika virus is no different.
  Miss Hope does invaluable work by informing the Department of 
Homeland Security employees on how to limit their exposure while on the 
job. She also makes sure that the workforce knows how to detect the 
virus and how to keep themselves and their families as safe as 
possible. Without her important work, our officers on the frontlines 
will be far less prepared to deal with the potential public health 
  As we continue to debate supplemental funding to combat the Zika 
virus, we cannot forget the hard work needed to turn this funding into 
results. It is my hope that Congress can reach a bipartisan agreement 
to provide the Zika funding that is needed. Once that funding is 
approved, we must all keep in mind that the Zika virus will not simply 
disappear. Countless man-hours and woman-hours are put into collecting 
information, analyzing this relatively unknown virus, developing tests, 
treatments, vaccines, and protecting the most vulnerable among us.
  So we say thank you. We say thank you to the men and today especially 
to the women at the Office of Health Affairs of the Department of 
Homeland Security. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to think about 
how much work is done each day--every day--in an effort to make it 
safer for the rest of us on this planet and also to enable us to stay 
several steps ahead of this virus and eventually to overcome it.
  We cannot let our differences here hinder the work of our dedicated 
public servants. So to Miss Hope, to Lieutenant Commander Garrett, and 
to all the men and women at the Office of Health Affairs and the 
Department of Homeland Security, we say thank you today and every 
day. Thank you for your selfless and tireless efforts to keep Americans 
safe and secure from the many threats we face. While you continue to 
track and keep us informed about these threats and viruses and other 
organisms that would otherwise go unnoticed, know that your efforts 
behind-the-scenes have not gone unnoticed. We have noticed. They know 
they have not gone unappreciated. We appreciate them. I am not the only 
Senator who appreciates your hard work. I know I speak for all of my 
colleagues as well.

  Thank you and God bless you.

                           Zika Virus Funding

  Mr. President, I wish to take a moment before I say a word about the 
battle against ISIS in other parts of the world. I want to talk about 
Zika funding for a moment. The administration has asked for $1.9 
billion to combat this disease. I think there has been a disagreement 
as to whether it should be that amount, $1.9 billion or something less.
  We held a roundtable several weeks ago on the Zika virus, and we had 
folks with medical backgrounds and other backgrounds to talk about some 
of the smartest things we can do to reduce the threat and spread of the 
Zika virus in this country. I believe there was unanimous agreement 
that one of the best things we can do is improve access to 
  They told us about the cost of providing care for an infant who is 
born with this dreaded disease. We have heard a lot stories about 
babies being born with distorted heads and damaged brains. One witness 
told us the cost of raising that child from birth to the end of their 
life can be as high as $10 million per child. If we, through our 
efforts, can reduce a total of 190 births, the likelihood that some 
child will be born with this terrible deformity and condition--190 
times $10 million is $1.9 billion. I think we can avoid even more 
pregnancies if we find a way to narrow and eliminate our differences 
and provide the funding that has been requested by the President.
  Again, what I think Democrats object to, in terms of paying for the 
funding for the Zika virus, is this pay-for actually reduces funding 
for family planning and reduces funding for contraception. What we 
heard at our roundtable a week or two ago was that is where we should 
be putting our emphasis and our dollars. I wanted to leave that 
thought, if I may.


  Mr. President, I came to the floor a week or two ago, and I brought 
this map with me. This map is familiar to some and not familiar to 
others. This is Iraq down here. Iran is over here to the east, and to 
the west of Iraq, we find Syria. This is Damascus, and Turkey is up 
here. This is a place I have been to a number of times, and I suspect 
the Presiding Officer has been here as well. This is the capital of 
Iraq, which is Baghdad.
  What the ISIS folks started about 2 years ago was a very effective 
drive from this part of the world and heading for Baghdad. They almost 
reached Baghdad. They were within 20 miles or so of Baghdad. Anbar 
Province, which is represented here, has three cities, or three towns, 
that we consider the Sunni Triangle--Fallujah, Ramadi, and a place up 
here called Tikrit. If you actually connect the lines between those 
cities, it is called the Sunni Triangle. There are a lot of Sunnis who 
live in that area.
  The area almost due north of Baghdad is one of the largest cities in 
Iraq called Mosul, and today it is held by ISIS forces. This salmon-
colored area here represents areas that are still held by ISIS forces. 
The area in green, generally to the northeast and southeast, are the 
areas that have been liberated from ISIS.
  When this started 2 years ago, the amount of land controlled by ISIS 

[[Page S5123]]

to be the salmon and green colors combined. The amount of land they now 
control has been reduced by half. In addition to that, the number of 
people from around the world signing up to fight on behalf of ISIS 2 
years ago was 2,000 per month. Last month, there were 200. Two years 
ago, when ISIS was on a roll and going through Syria and Iraq, they had 
10 fighters per month from the United States sign up to fight with 
ISIS. Last month, there was one.
  During the battle for this part of the country against the ISIS 
forces that were trying to establish their caliphate--their own 
country--we not only reduced the land mass they held in Iraq by half, 
we significantly reduced the land they controlled in Syria. We have 
seen this coalition that we have been a part of actually begin to gel 
into an effective fighting force.
  I spent 5 years of my life as a naval flight officer in the Vietnam 
war in Southeast Asia, and 18 years after that, as a P-3 aircraft 
mission commander flying a lot of missions out of the naval air station 
in an area that is just north of Philadelphia called Willow Grove. I 
flew on missions all over the world tracking Soviet nuclear submarines. 
I have some experience with being involved in missions where we had 
naval aviation assets, fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, working and 
communicating with naval ships, naval submarines, and not just in the 
United States but with our NATO allies. I will tell you, it is hard to 
do. We have different procedures and sometimes different languages, and 
it is difficult to coordinate our operations and our exercises. I think 
when you put together a coalition with 60 different nations and try to 
figure out how to work and coordinate what everybody is doing--some are 
providing air power, which is what we do. We have two carrier groups in 
this part of the world. One is over here in the Mediterranean Sea and 
the other is down here in the Persian Gulf. We are launching F-18s and 
F-16s off of those carriers, and we are still using B-52s, which are 
literally older than the P-3s I used to fly on in the Navy all those 
years ago. They are operating out of a variety of bases, including 
Qatar and other places, to do high-precision bombing against the ISIS 
forces. We are using drones and A-10 warthogs. We have a lot of air and 
naval assets, as well as others in the Air Force, and we have 
helicopters as well.
  It is not just us. While we are doing work in the air and providing 
ground support from the air, we are also providing a lot of help with 
intelligence, and our allies in this part of the world are helping us 
with that.
  We also have boots on the ground. A lot of the boots on the ground in 
this part of world for this fight are from Iraq, and there are boots on 
the ground who frankly fled from ISIS 2 years ago and are now taking 
the fight to ISIS today.
  When Ramadi was retaken, the Iraqi troops led the way. When Fallujah 
was taken a couple of weeks ago, the Iraqi troops led the way. When 
Tikrit was taken several months ago, the Iraqi troops led the way. They 
were supported by us and other elements of the coalition, but they led 
the way.
  This is Mosul, which is a big city, and right below it is a smaller 
city called Qayyarah. I think a bunch of our military folks call it Key 
West. Qayyarah has been taken by the Iraqi forces. It in the salmon-
colored area, but is now in the hands of the Iraqi troops and 
government. There is a large airbase in Qayyarah. It is about 40 miles 
from Mosul, and this large airbase will be used to help stage the 
effort coming up this summer and fall to retake Mosul.
  While this is going on in this part of the country, this part of the 
country al-Raqqa, which is really the spiritual capital, if you will, 
of the ISIS caliphate. Over here we have a combination of U.S. alliance 
forces coming in from the northeast and approaching al-Raqqa, and we 
have Syrian troops, supported by Russian air, going this way, and that 
is the movement that is underway today.
  When people ask how things are going with this fight, I think most 
people really don't know about the progress being made. A lot of people 
may think it is like it was 2 years ago, but it is not. A great deal 
has been accomplished, and during that period of time, not only have we 
recaptured a lot of land, a lot of folks around the world, including 
from this country, who wanted to sign up for ISIS, those numbers have 
dropped dramatically.
  In the last 2 years, we also know the FBI has arrested close to 100 
individuals here on ISIS-related charges. In cyber space, over 125,000 
pro-ISIS Twitter handles have been taken offline, and today for every 
pro-ISIS Twitter handle, there are 6 anti-ISIS handles that are 
tweeting to criticize ISIS's actions and challenge its twisted 
ideology, which has nothing to do with the Muslim faith.
  I think even ISIS may now suspect it is losing. Two days ago, a 
Washington Post story had the headline: ``ISIS quietly preparing for 
the loss of the `caliphate.' '' This area right here. ``ISIS quietly 
preparing for the loss of the `caliphate.' '' The article detailed how 
ISIS is trying to compensate for losing this battle and territory that 
was so important 2 years ago. They are trying to compensate for that in 
ways that undermine their claims of legitimacy and relevance.
  As ISIS suffers these defeats, it is important to show them, and us, 
that despite the horrific terrorist attacks in Orlando, Brussels, 
Istanbul, and other places, ISIS is losing this war. When ISIS loses on 
the battlefield, it can no longer credibly use its winner's message 
that they are a winning team to attract recruits or inspire attacks.
  I will close with this. I am a baseball fan. I was in Cleveland less 
than a month ago for the funeral of one of our former colleagues, 
former Gov. George Voinovich. Former Senator and Governor, George 
Voinovich passed away. He was a wonderful human being.
  I went to the funeral. It was literally at the time of the NBA 
finals, and everywhere I went in Cleveland, I saw people wearing 
Cleveland Cavalier hats and shirts or paraphernalia to make it clear 
they were supporting the team.
  The Cleveland Indians have a pretty good baseball team. The all-star 
game was this week, and a number of the Indians played in the game. If 
you go to Ohio these days, you will see a lot of people wearing 
Cleveland Indian hats, shirts, and so forth. When a team is winning, it 
is kind of natural for people to want to be a part of a winning team.
  When 2,000 people a month were coming from all over the world to 
fight with ISIS, ISIS was perceived as a winning team. Two years ago, 
when 10 Americans per month were going to this part of the world to 
fight with ISIS, they were depicted and seen as a winning team. They 
are not a winning team. They are becoming a losing team. To the extent 
we can continue to make sure they are seen as a losing team and can 
successfully convey that, at least in this country, I think we reduce 
the likelihood of people in this country being radicalized, 
particularly young people, and convinced to do horrific things against 
Americans in this Nation.
  I will close by quoting a fellow named Peter Bergen, who is one of 
the most knowledgeable people on terrorism and threats we face with 
these kinds of attacks. I was reminded of his testimony from last month 
in the Senate. He said that since 9/11, every American who has died in 
a terrorist attack in this country has died at the hands of an American 
citizen or someone who is here legally. I will say that again. Peter 
Bergen reminded us that since 9/11, everybody in this country who has 
died at the hands of a terrorist attack has been killed by an American 
citizen or by someone who is here legally in this country. People in 
this country will be far less inclined to do those kinds of horrific 
things if we can successfully convey what is going on on this 
battlefield on the other side of the world. That is why I come to this 
floor every week or two to remind us of that truth.

  With that, I yield the floor to my friend Senator Scott, who is 
yearning to speak, and I wish him well.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Carolina.

                          Our American Family

  Mr. SCOTT. Mr. President, I rise today for the final time this week. 
This has been a very emotional time for all of us and I believe a 
pivotal time for our Nation. For me personally, I believe our brightest 
days are still ahead of us, and I will tell you why.
  I am a kid who grew up in a single-parent household, mired in 
poverty, disillusioned at times, who nearly flunked out of high school, 
whose life

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was changed by a strong, powerful African-American mama and an 
optimistic, visionary Chick-fil-A operator named John Moniz, who 
happened to be White.
  I think it is incredibly important that while our problems appear in 
black and white, our solutions are black and white.
  My life is a testament to God's love--a mother's love and the love of 
my mentor. I don't deny that our Nation must have tough, painful 
conversations--family conversations--but I have experienced what is 
possible when the family talks, and it is really a cool thing. My life 
story is a story of second chances--a love story of sorts. It is a dark 
hour in race relations for America, but I bring you hope--real hope.
  In the Deep South, with a provocative racial history, the voters of 
the First Congressional District of South Carolina--a heavily White 
district that is the home of the birthplace of the Civil War--elected 
the grandson of a man who picked cotton. I want to say that one more 
time. In the heart of the South, the home of the Civil War, a majority 
White district--these voters elected the grandson of a man who picked 
cotton over the children of the former U.S. Senator and Presidential 
candidate Strom Thurmond, and a very popular Governor, Governor Carol 
  I am hopeful because I have experienced the power of a State that has 
been transformed, the great State of South Carolina. So to my American 
family, please remain optimistic.
  On Monday, I discussed the importance of supporting our law 
enforcement community. I followed on yesterday by asking all of us to 
also realize that although the vast majority of our law enforcement 
officers only seek to protect and to serve, there is still work to be 
done. There is a lack of trust between the Black community and law 
enforcement--one that we as an American family must come together and 
solve. I believe an old saying is a vital part of finding solutions: 
The only way to know where you are going is to know where you have 
  As I mentioned earlier, part of the rich and sometimes provocative 
history of America is to point in one of two directions. One is to 
realize that over the past 240 years we have had our challenges. Our 
Nation has nearly been pulled apart. But out of the crisis of our past 
has come the hope for our future. In a relatively short amount of time, 
we have made, in my estimation, remarkable progress as a nation. And 
while I will talk about a few of the policies I believe will help us 
move forward, as well as some things that are more about simply getting 
us to interact together--to sit down and break bread--the one thing our 
collective history has taught us is that we must not lose hope.
  Yes, there is unresolved pain, suffering, and misery, but this is the 
greatest Nation on Earth, and we are the greatest Nation on Earth for a 
reason. Flawed men at our foundation opted to sacrifice themselves on 
behalf of other flawed men, and together we have done something unique 
in the history of our planet; that is, simply to create a country that 
is based on the premise that all men are created equal and that our 
path forward will be blazed together.
  As the Book of Joshua says, we have to recognize our memorial stones 
so that we have a chance to move forward.
  So there is obviously no single solution here. I hope to share a few 
today, some of which I have talked about before, some of which have 
broad support in Congress, and some that have nothing to do with the 
Federal Government. Believe it or not, the government is not the answer 
to what ails us. The Federal Government can help in places, but the 
good news is that 300 million Americans, we as a nation, as a family, 
we are the solution.
  The first section of solutions sits in the realm of law enforcement 
and the Justice Department. Over the past few years, I have talked to a 
wide variety of officials from across the law enforcement arena, as 
well as groups like the Urban League and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund 
and many other groups. One solution that seems to be acceptable and 
almost exciting to so many folks is the notion of body cameras. So I 
have introduced my Safer Officers and Safer Citizens Act, which 
provides more resources for police departments to obtain body cameras, 
as well as to help pay for some of the startup costs for storage units 
and other requirements.
  While we know body cameras cannot be the panacea, we also know this: 
If an officer is wearing one, we have a much better chance of 
understanding the situation from all sides. This is why so many law 
enforcement officers and agencies support using them. It is why we are 
seeing cities from Los Angeles to New York outfitting their officers 
with more and more body cameras.
  I have also introduced the Walter Scott Notification Act, along with 
my good friend Senator Grassley. Our system for tracking police 
shootings is not working for our Nation. It is a patchwork system not 
built for the 21st century. So, long story short, this bill changes 
that. Hopefully it fixes the problems. We must know where we are to 
know where we must go.
  I am also glad to see my colleagues in the House, including my very 
good friend Congressman Trey Gowdy, starting a bipartisan working group 
to take a hard look at the relationship between the Black community and 
the law enforcement community. I am very hopeful that a similar group 
will start in the Senate.
  My final point on the Federal level is that I have had the pleasure 
of working with a group of colleagues--with John Cornyn and many 
others--working on this notion of criminal justice reform. I am very 
hopeful that work will continue to move forward and produce real fruit.
  Much of this work that needs to be done won't be done on the Federal 
level if it is done by the government; it will done by the local 
government and the State government.
  I have talked to so many in the law enforcement community who talk 
about the need for more training--specifically, deescalation training, 
diversity training--and more efforts to get police officers out of 
their cars and into communities so that they form positive, healthy 
relationships so that when they are walking down the street, the folks 
know them. I spoke earlier with Senator Lankford, who talked about this 
notion of getting officers embedded in communities so that the officers 
know the very people they are talking to. This seems like common sense, 
and it seems like the right direction. It is a two-way street.
  I think the Dallas police chief said it very well. He made the point 
better than I ever could. He said: If you have issues with policing in 
your neighborhood, well, we are hiring. That is very important. The 
Dallas Police Department, along with police departments all across this 
country, are hiring. He said: We will train you up, and we will put you 
back into your community.
  These are the sorts of real-world solutions and actions that build 
trust in communities.
  The second set of issues we have to tackle--and this is no surprise 
to anyone who has heard me over the last couple of years--focuses on 
one specific word. The word is ``opportunity.'' Too many communities in 
our Nation feel like they have been left behind, like no one cares, so 
why should they care? As someone, as I said earlier, who grew up in a 
single-parent household, I can tell you how strong that sensation to 
quit becomes, how quickly it grows. When you feel the way I felt in the 
past, frustration rises and you start seeing the world differently. You 
don't trust people who aren't from your neighborhood. That is a 
dangerous recipe.
  How do we tackle this problem? The answer, from my estimation, is 
kind of simple: education, jobs, and investment--the cornerstones of my 
opportunity agenda.
  On the jobs front, I have worked across the aisle with Senators like 
Cory Booker to introduce the LEAP Act, which allows for a very 
successful South Carolina apprenticeship program to become a national 
model so that kids can earn and learn at the exact same time. We know 
not everyone wants to or can afford to go to college, but that doesn't 
mean they should not be able to find opportunities to provide for their 
families. By incentivizing apprenticeship programs, we can help folks 
see their potential, experience their potential, and live fulfilling 
and profitable lives.
  I have also introduced the Investing in Opportunity Act, which seeks 
to create a path for private sector dollars--

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not government dollars but private sector dollars--to be invested in 
distressed communities. We have 50 million Americans living in 
distressed communities and over $2 trillion of unrealized capital gains 
just sitting there. We should incent those dollars to be invested in 
those communities.
  Finally, education. My good friend Trey Gowdy said that education is 
the closest thing to magic in America. I think he is right. You can 
look at our incarceration rates, our unemployment rates, our high 
school dropout rates, our lifetime average incomes, and they all point 
to one specific area: educational achievement. Trust me, I am the guy 
who just told you I almost failed out of high school. I know this 
firsthand. For me, the answer is very clear: Give parents a chance to 
find the best school for their children, and they will--period.
  Finally, solutions on a personal level. Again I turn to Dallas. As I 
was watching one of the surgeons at Parkland Hospital, he was talking 
about his feelings toward law enforcement. He was saying that he was 
struggling the night after the shooting. He had worked all night trying 
to save the lives of these officers, and he was tossing and turning, 
torn up on the inside that he could not save their lives. I can't 
imagine how he felt. I can't--Dr. Barrasso, a surgeon--I can't imagine 
how he felt, trying to save the lives of men and women who were willing 
to give their lives for others. I can't imagine it. He is an African-
American man. As he woke up and prepared for the next day, he 
struggled. He struggled with his personal relationship and his personal 
concerns with law enforcement.

  What is he doing? I think this is instructive for all of us. He said 
he is making sure his daughter sees him buying lunch for officers and 
sees them interacting in a friendly way because he doesn't want to pass 
on to his daughter any sense of fear of law enforcement, but respect, 
appreciation, and affection for the men and women who wear the uniform.
  I have seen it in my hometown of North Charleston, SC. It is an 
amazing experience. On Christmas morning, dozens of officers with 
dozens of volunteers show up at city hall, and at 6 o'clock in the 
morning, these guys and gals go door-to-door in the poorest 
neighborhoods in North Charleston. I have been there with them once or 
twice. They knock at the door, and they look into the eyes of a little 
girl or a little boy who is expecting nothing for Christmas, and they 
hand that child a toy.
  There are simple ways to bridge the divide between the African-
American community and other poor communities and law enforcement. 
There are powerful ways, simple ways, to make a difference. As I have 
said a couple of times, the government cannot make us get along. We 
have seen it tried before. It simply cannot force you and me to take 
the leap of faith to try to trust again.
  The notion of America is really built on the foundation of faith--
faith in each other, faith in a higher calling. If we are to mend the 
relationships in our family, we will have to do so by looking into each 
other's eyes, walking in each other's shoes, and listening--not waiting 
to talk, but listening--listening, not only with your head, but 
listening with your heart so that you hear and feel the pain and the 
challenges of others.
  This is a simple commandment from God's Word, Matthew 22:39, to love 
your neighbor as yourself. This is not simply a commandment, however. 
This requires action. You have to do something.
  Trey Gowdy, a Congressman from South Carolina, and I are going to 
bring pastors and law enforcement officials together in South Carolina 
so that we can have an honest, sometimes painful conversation about how 
to move forward together.
  In Charleston County I had a chance to speak with Sheriff Al Cannon, 
a longtime sheriff of Charleston. He simply said that both sides have 
to come together because this is not a one-sided issue.
  Senator Lankford and I are discussing a new idea called Solution 
Sunday, a wonderful idea that Senator Lankford shared with me earlier 
this week, and we will talk about that more in the coming weeks, but 
the premise of the idea is you have to do more than just go to church 
together. We as a nation aren't even doing that very well. But we have 
to eat together and do projects together. So we will hear more about 
the exciting idea of Solution Sunday in the upcoming weeks.
  I will continue to reach out to my colleagues and my friends who may 
not look like me, who may have a different philosophy than I do, so I 
can understand their hopes, their dreams, and their frustrations 
because listening is so important. As we look around our Nation, it 
appears to me that we haven't done nearly enough listening to each 
  In closing, I hope we all remember that we have survived turbulent 
times before: the Civil War, the Great Depression, World War II, 1968, 
and in South Carolina, 2015. I still marvel at how our State responded 
to the shootings at Mother Emanuel--the power of forgiveness, the power 
of love conquering hate.
  Earlier this year, I lost my grandfather. I haven't really talked 
about it publicly. He was 94 years old and meant so much to me. This 
was a man born in Salley, SC, in 1921. I can only imagine what he had 
seen in South Carolina. I can only imagine the life, the challenges, 
the struggles of an African-American male in the Deep South in 1921, 
1931, and the 1940s. He didn't finish elementary school. He had to pick 
cotton. He never learned to read. He eventually got a job at the Port 
of Charleston--a job that, while it didn't give us much in the way of 
tangible resources, provided an immeasurable lifeline for our family.
  This is a story that has been repeated generation after generation in 
this country. I have heard the story from a very different frame from 
my good friend Marco Rubio. It is a story of success. It is a story of 
significance. It is a story of America.
  My grandfather's grandson, yours truly, is a U.S. Senator. My 
brother, another grandson, rose to the rank of command sergeant major 
in the U.S. Army. My nephew, his great grandson, has graduated from 
Georgia Tech, Duke University, and now is on his way to Emory for 
medical school. That is the beauty of America--from cotton to Congress 
in one lifetime.
  We are a beautiful Nation. We are an amazing family. Families fight 
sometimes. That is OK. We must remember that we are one single family. 
We can all get to where we are going, we must get to where we are 
going, and we will get there together.
  I want one more time to slow down, pause, and remember the sacrifices 
made by five Dallas police officers, the tragedies in Baton Rouge and 
  We have been through so much, but a bright future is still there for 
our taking. Let's make sure we grab it together.
  Let me just say thank you to my staff, who worked very hard all week 
long to make sure we were prepared for these presentations, and I want 
to specifically thank my communications director Sean Smith, who helped 
put most of these words together, helped us work through the emotions, 
the challenges, and how to frame the conversation that we believe 
America must have. As my communications director, who happens to be a 
White guy, and my chief of staff who happens to be an African-American 
female--as we worked together, it reminded me that in the midst of our 
struggles, our challenges, and our difficulties, I depend on a rainbow 
coalition, a patchwork quilt, to present my thoughts, my heart to 
  We are America. We are Americans. God has blessed the United States 
of America.
  Thank you.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Democratic leader.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I haven't watched the last three speeches in 
detail of my esteemed colleague from South Carolina, but I have watched 
good parts of them. I am tremendously impressed by his personal 
experiences, his empathy for what is going on in America today, and his 
positive attitude, which I admire very much.

 Condemning the Violent Attack in Dallas and Recognizing the Peaceful 

  Today, before we adjourn, the Senate will unanimously adopt a 
resolution condemning last week's violent attack in Dallas. This attack 
was on the police officers in the Dallas community, and other law 
enforcement agencies

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were also targeted. The people killed were Dallas police officers.
  We were all devastated by this murderous rampage that claimed the 
lives of five officers and wounded nine other police officers. Every 
Member of the Senate stands with the Dallas Police Department, and we 
have been so impressed with the chief of police. We stand with the 
Dallas Police Department, the victims, their families, and the brave 
men and women who serve the people of Dallas.
  I support this resolution because the least we can do in the Senate 
is honor these heroes. I support this resolution because the least we 
can do in the Senate is to recognize the sacrifices made, much of it on 
national television.
  I think it is important that we also acknowledge the peaceful 
protesters who were marching that day for justice and an end to 
violence. They were calling for--and doing it in a peaceful manner--the 
end to the brutality and hostility that has taken the lives of 
Americans of all backgrounds but disproportionally people of color.
  In the days leading up to the rally in Dallas, as we heard from my 
friend from South Carolina, two men were killed: Alton Sterling of 
Baton Rouge, LA, and Philando Castile of St. Paul, MN.
  The young man in Louisiana was held down by two police officers and 
then killed. Just the next day, a man was killed in his car with his 
fiance and her 4-year-old daughter there, listening and watching. Our 
friends in the African-American community demand recognition that their 
lives are valued and respected, as everyone's life should be. It should 
be done equally.
  It was my suggestion that we add just a word or two to the resolution 
to at least recognize the purpose of the peaceful demonstrators in this 
resolution. There was a decision made that that not be a part of the 
resolution, and I accept that, but I wanted to make sure we recognize 
these peaceful protesters and why they were there.
  There are many victims here, be they law enforcement officers, 
innocent people, innocent people of color. They all deserve to be 
acknowledged. As has been said by a number of people here over the last 
few days, you can't sweep these problems that we have under the rug.
  I thought it was tremendous that the Senator from South Carolina 
talked about three things we should all agree on: body cameras, data 
collection--which is a code word for profiling--and of course something 
with the criminal justice system that we are so close to having on this 
floor that we could vote on. It is bipartisan. It should be done. So I 
appreciate very much the Senator from South Carolina mentioning these 
three things, and I think they are certainly worth mentioning again.
  We can support the police officers of America, the men and women, and 
mourn those who have fallen and honor their bravery while also 
acknowledging that we must do better in preventing the senseless 
killings of people of color.
  I echo President Obama's words from the memorial service in Dallas. 
He must be recognized for these great words when he said: ``Find the 
character, as Americans, to open our hearts to each other.''
  We need to do that. If we do, we can find empathy for each other, the 
empathy to understand the challenges law enforcement faces every day, 
and the empathy to understand the frustration and anger within the 
communities of color across our Nation.
  I look forward to the resolution being adopted. It is something the 
Senate should be proud of.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Louisiana.