(Senate - June 22, 2016)

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[Pages S4433-S4456]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will 
resume consideration of H.R. 2578, which the clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (H.R. 2578) making appropriations for the 
     Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science, and Related 
     Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016, and 
     for other purposes.


       Shelby/Mikulski amendment No. 4685, in the nature of a 
       McConnell (for McCain) amendment No. 4787 (to amendment No. 
     4685), to amend section 2709 of title 18, United States Code, 
     to clarify that the Government may obtain a specified set of 
     electronic communication transactional records under that 
     section, and to make permanent the authority for individual 
     terrorists to be treated as agents of foreign powers under 
     the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.
       McConnell motion to recommit the bill to the Committee on 
     Appropriations for a period of 14 days.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the time until the 
cloture vote will be equally divided between the managers or their 
  The Senator from Illinois.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I rise to speak as in morning business.

                               Zika Virus

  Mr. President, the statement just made by the Senate Democratic 
leader on the Zika challenge to the United States is well documented. 
What is well documented is that the President of the United States came 
to Congress 4 months ago and said: We are facing a public health 
threat. Do something.
  For 4 months the Republican-led Congress has done nothing. Meanwhile, 
the mosquitoes carrying this deadly virus are on the march.
  This is a report from the New York Times from last week which I ask 
unanimous consent to have printed in the Record in its entirety.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                [From the New York Times, June 17, 2016]

        U.S. Officials Are Surprised by Zika Rate in Puerto Rico

                       (By Catherine Saint Louis)

       Roughly 1 percent of recent blood donors in Puerto Rico 
     showed signs of active infection with the Zika virus, 
     suggesting that a substantial portion of the island's 
     population will become infected, federal health officials 
     reported on Friday.
       From April 3 to June 11, testing of 12,700 donations at 
     blood centers in Puerto Rico identified 68 infected donors, 
     according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
       Over all, about 0.5 percent of donors had active Zika 
     infections, but the prevalence rose to 1.1 percent in the 
     week ending June 11. The virus, carried by the yellow fever 
     mosquito, has been linked to birth defects in infants and 
     neurological problems in adults.
       ``There are a lot more Zika-positive people than we would 
     anticipate this early'' in the outbreak, said Phillip 
     Williamson, an author of the C.D.C. report and the vice 
     president of operations at Creative Testing Solutions, a 
     blood-donor testing laboratory.
       Based on prior experience, Dr. Williamson said he would not 
     have expected so many Zika-infected donors until late June or 
     at early July.
       The C.D.C. has estimated that as many as a quarter of the 
     island's 3.5 million people may become infected with the Zika 
     virus this year.
       ``It's possible that thousands of pregnant women in Puerto 
     Rico could be infected,'' Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the agency's 
     director, told Reuters on Friday, leading to ``dozens or 
     hundreds of infants being born with microcephaly in the 
     coming year.''
       Zika-contaminated donations are removed from the blood 
     supply. In the continental United States, where local 
     transmission of the virus has yet to be reported, most blood 
     banks are not yet using the experimental screening test used 
     in Puerto Rico, which was made by Roche Diagnostics.

  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, this article is entitled, ``U.S. Officials 
Are Surprised by Zika Rate in Puerto Rico.''
  It goes on: ``Roughly 1 percent of recent blood donors in Puerto Rico 
showed signs of active infection with the Zika virus, suggesting that a 
substantial portion of the island's population will become infected, 
federal health officials reported on Friday.''
  They go on to cite the statistics that have been analyzed by the 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and here is what they 

       Based on prior experience, Dr. Williamson [of the CDC] said 
     he would not have expected so many Zika-infected donors until 
     late June or early July.
       The CDC has estimated that as many as a quarter of the 
     island's 3.5 million people may become infected with the Zika 
     virus this year.
       ``It's possible that thousands of pregnant women in Puerto 
     Rico could be infected,'' Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, [the CDC's] 
     director, told Reuters . . . leading to ``dozens or hundreds 
     of infants being born with microcephaly in the coming year.''

  What is the Republican majority waiting for in the U.S. Senate? What 
is the Republican majority waiting for in the U.S. House of 
  Don't they believe this is a serious public health threat? If they 
don't, they are ignoring the obvious--evidence given to us by the 
leading public health defense agency in the United States of America, 
if not the world. Over and over again, they tell us this is a deadly 
threat. While the infection rates increase and the infections among 
pregnant women increase and the number of these infants who are 
afflicted by serious birth defects increase, the Republicans in the 
House and Senate are too busy focusing on Donald Trump to pay attention 
to this public health crisis. It is about time they accepted the 
reality, and the reality is they were elected to lead, they were 
elected to protect, they were elected to serve, and when it comes to 
the Zika virus, they are doing none of this. They are standing back, 
twisted in knots, trying to figure out how to take money away from 
other public health challenges to deal with this, and 4 months have 
passed. These mosquitoes are spreading this infection across Puerto 
Rico, and soon we will know more in the United States.
  Senator Reid suggested there were 2,000 Americans with the Zika virus 
infection; 400--if I recall his numbers correctly--pregnant women, and 
there is already evidence of babies here being born afflicted because 
of this infection. What is the Republican majority waiting for?

                           Fighting Terrorism

  Mr. President, the Senate Republican leader came to the floor earlier 
this morning to speak to us about ISIL and

[[Page S4434]]

terrorism. I hope he understands there is a political consensus on the 
following statement: We should do everything in our power to prevent 
any terrorist attack in the United States and everything in our power 
to stop the spread of terrorism overseas, including and especially when 
it comes to ISIS.
  What Senator Reid asked of Senator McConnell is the right question. 
You come with criticism of our current policy, but you offer nothing. 
There is no suggestion by the Senate Republican leader that we should 
be sending invading armies again. We did try that in Iraq, and the 
consequences are well known. We lost 4,844 lives--American soldiers who 
gave their lives in Iraq. Over a half million returned with injuries, 
some of them with injuries that will be with them for a lifetime. The 
cost to the United States in terms of death, injury, and the problems 
that these veterans face will go on for generations. Is the Senator 
from Kentucky suggesting we should do that again? I hope not.
  What we are doing is joining up with Iraqi forces to defeat ISIS. We 
are using the best of American intelligence and guidance to make sure 
they are effective and there is evidence of success.
  The statement put in the Record from Senator Carper goes into detail. 
Senator Reid alluded to it in his speech. It talks about the things we 
have done and the success we have had. The notion that we can do this 
overnight, that we just invade with a large U.S. Army--if that is what 
Senator McConnell is suggesting, I would suggest he go back in history 
and reflect on his own vote for the invasion of Iraq, which I disagreed 
with at the time and still do. It was a mistake for us to invade.
  Then there is the question about the gun issue, particularly when it 
comes to assault weapons. Do you know what the terrorists have told us? 
They basically said to us: Go ahead and fight the last war. Focus on 
what happened on 
9/11. Put all your resources at airports. Be ready to stop anyone who 
wants to take over an airplane. It is a worthy goal, but while you are 
diverted with that goal, fighting the last terrorist war, we are 
opening up new fronts, and one of those fronts very specifically is 
that the terrorists warned us: We know where to buy assault weapons in 
the United States. We know about your gun shows. We know about your 
Internet sales, and that is where we are going to turn.
  They are calling on their aspiring terrorists around the world to 
find access to assault weapons and turn them on innocent Americans. We 
saw the devastating impact of that in Orlando two weeks ago.
  Because of the filibuster last week that was initiated by Senator 
Murphy of Connecticut and sustained by Senator Booker of New Jersey and 
Senator Blumenthal of Connecticut and 37 others who came to the floor 
to support them, we forced a vote on Monday night on 4 gun safety 
issues. None of them passed. It was established that they needed an 
extraordinary majority. That was the decision made by the Republican 
leadership. While we came close to a majority on many of these votes, 
we didn't have the 60 votes necessary to make them law.
  Luckily, we have one Republican Senator on the Republican side who 
showed extraordinary courage. Senator Collins of Maine has stepped up 
to try to craft a measure to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of 
terrorists in the United States. Do the American people agree with 
Senator Collins? Only by a margin of 90 percent, they believe she is 
right. They believe we are right--that we should do something to defy 
the National Rifle Association and make it more difficult for those who 
are suspected terrorists to buy firearms, especially assault weapons. 
Well, she is working on it, and I am working with her. Many of us are 
supporting her effort--a bipartisan effort, and one that is long 
  When the Senator who is the Republican majority leader comes to the 
floor and says we need to do more to fight terrorism, what is he doing 
to fight terrorism? When it comes to assault weapons and those who are 
purchasing them in the United States--like the deadly killer in 
Orlando--he can help us. The Kentucky Senator who is the Republican 
leader can help us by making America safer and keeping automatic 
weapons, assault weapons, and semiautomatic weapons out of the hands of 
would-be terrorists. That would mean defying the National Rifle 
Association, and many on the Republican side are scared to death of 
that--just scared to death of what that organization might do to them 
if they join Senator Collins, if they join Senator Feinstein, in trying 
to stem the rise of terrorism from these assault weapons in the United 
  I have said it before and I will say it again: There is no self-
respecting hunter, sportsman, or even a person looking for self-defense 
who can defend these weapons that are being sold in the United States.
  There was a Snapchat video of one of the victims in Orlando, the last 
9 seconds of her life before she was killed. She turned on her cell 
phone, and in 9 seconds, 17 rounds were fired by this aspiring ISIS 
terrorist who had access to an assault weapon. Assault weapons belong 
in the hands of law enforcement and the military. They shouldn't be so 
easily accessible by those who would turn them on innocent Americans, 
whether it is in a classroom in Newtown, CT, or in a nightclub in 
  I would say to the Senator from Kentucky that if he wants to stop 
terrorism, start at home. Start at home by preventing terrorist access 
to these deadly weapons that have no effective use when it comes to 
sport and hunting and that are just being purchased, sadly, for 
collections reasons or for those who want to misuse the weapons to kill 
innocent people.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Cotton). The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant bill clerk (Lindsay Gibmeyer) proceeded to call the 
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the time be 
equally divided between the Democrats and Republicans during the quorum 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. DURBIN. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. LEAHY. 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. 4787

  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, as a member of the Appropriations 
Committee, I am concerned about a pending amendment, McCain amendment 
No. 4787.
  We had a series of votes earlier this week on sensible gun safety 
measures. We know by all the polling that the overwhelming majority of 
Americans supported these measures, but they were blocked by Senate 
  Now it appears the Republican leadership wants to change the subject. 
They are resorting to scare tactics to divert the attention of the 
American people from their failure to act in response to mass 
shootings. Let's be clear about what we need to stay safe. We need 
universal background checks for firearms purchases and we need to give 
the FBI the authority to deny guns to terrorist suspects.
  Senate Republicans rejected those commonsense measures earlier this 
week, but we still have the chance to give law enforcement real and 
effective tools. We should strengthen our laws to make it easier to 
prosecute firearms traffickers and straw purchasers.
  I am a gun owner. I know if I go in to buy a gun in Vermont--even 
though the gun store owner has known me most of their life--I have to 
go through a background check. But you can have somebody who has 
restraining orders against them, warrants outstanding against them, or 
who could have been convicted of heinous crimes, and they can walk into 
a gun show, with no background check, and buy anything they want.
  We also know they can go and buy all kinds of weapons to sell at a 
great profit to criminal gangs that couldn't buy them otherwise, and of 
course to those who are going to commit acts of terrorism and hate 

[[Page S4435]]

  We also need to fund the FBI and the Justice Department so they have 
the resources to combat acts of terrorism and hate. Those are the 
elements of the amendment that Senators Mikulski, Baldwin, Nelson and I 
filed yesterday.
  In contrast, Republicans are proposing to reduce independent 
oversight of FBI investigations, and make permanent a law that as of 
last year had never been used. The McCain amendment would eliminate the 
requirement for a court order when the FBI wants to obtain detailed 
information about Americans' Internet activities in national security 
  You can almost hear J. Edgar Hoover, who loved to be able to spy on 
any American he didn't like, asking: Why didn't I have that when I was 
the head of the FBI?
  The McCain amendment could cover Web sites Americans have visited; 
extensive information on who Americans communicate with through email, 
chat, and text messages; and where and when Americans log onto the 
Internet and into social media accounts. Over time, this information 
would provide highly revealing details about Americans' personal lives, 
Americans who are totally innocent of any kind of criminal activity, 
and they get all of this without prior court approval.
  That is why this amendment is opposed by major technology companies 
and privacy groups across the political spectrum, from FreedomWorks to 
Google, to the ACLU.
  Senator Cornyn and others have argued that we cannot prevent people 
on the terrorist watch list from obtaining firearms without due process 
and judicial review. Yet at the same time they are proposing to remove 
judicial approval when the FBI wants to find out what Web sites 
Americans are visiting. The FBI already has the authority to obtain 
this information if it obtains a court order under section 215 of the 
  None of us would feel comfortable if the FBI or any law enforcement 
agency could just walk into our home, rifle through our desks, and go 
through the notes of whom we have called or whom we have talked to. But 
they are saying because we have done it electronically and through the 
Internet, we ought to be able to just ignore any right of privacy and 
go into it.
  So rather than trying to distract us from their opposition to 
commonsense gun measures, such as their opposition to requiring 
somebody who has criminal indictments pending against them from being 
able to go to a gun show and buy guns, Republicans should support 
actions that will help protect us, such as those in the amendment filed 
by Senators Mikulski, Baldwin, Nelson, and myself.
  Instead of kowtowing to a very well-organized special interest 
lobbying group, why not listen to the lobby of the American people and 
do what Americans want. I hope Senators will oppose the McCain 
amendment. I hope they will support measures that will actually help 
keep our country safe.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor to the distinguished Senator from 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I thank my colleague. He and I have worked 
on this. He is really outlining the hypocrisy behind what has been 
going on over the past few days.
  Mr. President, due process ought to apply as it relates to guns, but 
due process wouldn't apply as it relates to the Internet activity of 
millions of Americans. My view is that the country wants policies that 
promote safety and liberty. Increasingly, we are getting policies that 
do not do much of either. Supporters of this amendment, the McCain 
amendment, have suggested that Americans need to choose between 
protecting their security and protecting their constitutional right to 
  The fact is, this amendment doesn't improve either. What it does is, 
it gives an FBI field office new authority to administratively scoop up 
Americans' digital records, their email and chat records, their text 
message logs, Web-browsing history, and certain types of location 
information without ever going to a judge.
  The reason this is unnecessary--and it is something I believe in very 
strongly and worked hard for it in the FREEDOM Act--there is a very 
specific section in the FREEDOM Act, which I worked for and authored in 
a separate effort in 2013, that allows the FBI to demand all of these 
records--all of the records I described--in an emergency and then go 
get court approval after the fact. So unless you are opposed to court 
oversight, even after the fact, there is no reason to support this 
  The FBI has not, in any way, suggested that having this authority 
would have stopped the San Bernardino attack or the massacre at an LGBT 
nightclub in Orlando. That is because there is no reason to think that 
is the case.
  The Founding Fathers wrote the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution 
for a good reason. We can protect security and liberty. We can have 
both. Somehow, the sponsors of the McCain amendment have said: You can 
really only have one or the other.
  Mr. President and colleagues, the other argument that was made 
yesterday--some have said, we have to have this amendment because it 
will just fix a typo in the law. That is not true. I urge colleagues to 
take a look at the record on this. The record makes it clear that this 
provision was carefully circumscribed, was narrowly drawn. The notion 
that this is some sort of typo simply doesn't hold water.
  The fact is, the Bush administration--hardly an administration that 
was soft on terror--said this was not needed, this was not something 
they would support; that the national security letter statute ought to 
be interpreted narrowly just the way the authors in 1993 envisioned.
  I see my friend, the distinguished chair of the Intelligence 
Committee. I know we are going to hear how this is absolutely pivotal 
in order to protect the security of the American people. I will recap.
  No. 1, never once has the FBI suggested this would have prevented 
Orlando; No. 2, in the face of an emergency under the legislation I 
authored, the government, in an Orlando or San Bernardino issue, can go 
get the records immediately and then after the fact settle up; No. 3, 
this was not a typo. This was what the authors had suggested; No. 4, 
the Bush administration, hardly soft on terror, didn't believe what 
this amendment was all about was necessary. This is an amendment that 
would undermine fundamental American rights without making our country 
  In my view, undermining the role of judicial oversight, particularly 
when it doesn't make the country safer and we have a specific statutory 
provision for emergencies to protect the American people, this 
amendment defies common sense.
  I hope my colleagues will oppose it. I urge my colleagues to do so. I 
think it is going to be very hard to explain to the American people how 
an approach like the one behind this amendment, that would allow any 
FBI field office to issue an administrative subpoena for email and chat 
records, text message logs, web-browsing history, location 
information--that you ought to be able to do it without judicial 
oversight, when you have a specific law that says government has the 
right to move quickly in an emergency. I think it is going to be pretty 
hard to explain to the American people how you are going to have an 
arrangement like this that does not make us safer and certainly 
jeopardizes our liberties.
  I am for both, and this amendment doesn't do much of either.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Carolina.
  Mr. BURR. Mr. President, as I grew up, I remember listening daily to 
Paul Harvey on the radio. Paul Harvey's motto was, ``and now the rest 
of the story.''
  That is where we are. I give Senator Wyden a tremendous amount of 
credit for consistency. He is consistently against providing the tools 
that law enforcement needs to defend the American people. That is fine, 
if that is your position, but let's talk about fact.
  This statute was changed in 1993, and in one subpart of that 
legislation, it was not carried over about the ISP--Internet service 
provider--responsibility to provide this information when requested by 
law enforcement.
  From 1993 until 2010, every technology company, when requested by the 
FBI, continued to provide this information. This is not a new 

[[Page S4436]]

It is clearly something that continued from 1993 until 2010, 6 years 
ago, when all of a sudden a tech company looked at it and said: Boy, it 
is in this subpart, but it doesn't state it in that subpart so we are 
not going to provide it for you anymore.
  Myth: We have never asked for this. We have never had this.
  No, we have had it for a long time, and until 2010, every company 
supplied it to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. All of a sudden, 
one company's general counsel said: We don't see it in this subpart; 
therefore, we are not bound to provide that for you.
  We are either going to fight terrorism and prosecute criminals or we 
are not going to do it. We can take away every tool because we use this 
excuse that technology now forbids us from accessing information.
  Let me say about this, we get no content. To get content, you have to 
go to a judge on a bench, and that judge has to give you permission to 
actually read the content. We are talking about addresses, locations, 
times that, in the case of reconstruction or in the case of trying to 
prevent an attack, could be crucial.

  The one fact I heard from my colleague from Oregon is that this 
wouldn't have stopped San Bernardino or Orlando. He is 100 percent 
correct. But I hope there is no legislation we are considering in the 
Senate that is about a single incident. This is about a framework of 
tools law enforcement can use today, tomorrow, and into the future; it 
is not about looking back and saying: But it didn't exist here.
  Let me just explain what happens if, in fact, this inadvertent change 
isn't made. It means the FBI goes from a 1-day process of getting this 
vital information to over a month. To go to the FISA Court and get 
approval to seek the information--over a month. If it had to do with a 
terrorist attack, boy, I hope the American people are comfortable with 
saying: As long as the FBI figures this out a month in advance, then we 
are OK. But when you look at the MO of attacks around the world, in 
most cases, we had no notice. In most cases, maybe another thread of 
information might have given us the preventive time we needed.
  In many cases, connecting the dots is also a matter of time. Director 
Comey came and had a session with all Members of the Senate last week. 
His comment about expediting this information into the public domain 
was because he wanted to assure the American people that they had 
reviewed as much as they could to certify that there was not another 
cell, that the American people could sleep safe that night. Well, this 
is part of that process--being able to access the information you need 
in a timely fashion.
  You know something he forgot to say is that this is the Obama 
administration's language. We can talk all we want to about Bush or 
Clinton or whatever; this is the Obama administration--the one that has 
the responsibility today to keep the American people safe. It is the 
administration that has come to the Senate, provided the language, and 
asked for this clarification to be made because it was inadvertently 
left out in 1993.
  So we are here today to fix something that is broken, not to expand 
in any way, shape, or form the powers or to intrude into privacy, 
because there is no content collected. This is simply to provide law 
enforcement with tools that enable them to fulfill their mission, which 
is to keep America safe.
  In addition to the ECTA fix, let me say there is a lone-wolf 
provision that extends the lone wolf permanently. The lone wolf 
provision provides the government's ability to target non-U.S. 
persons--foreigners only--who engage or attempt to engage in 
international terrorism but do not show specific links to a foreign 
power or terrorist organization to be under the lone-wolf provision. It 
is too important to let it expire.
  This provision is not about addressing or responding to a single 
specific threat--particularly one that has already manifested itself--
any more than the underlying bill is. I urge my colleagues to support 
this legislation. The American people need it, law enforcement needs 
it, and the Obama administration wants it. It is what we operated under 
from an understanding from 1993 until 2010, when a general counsel in 
one company decided to buck the system and say: Spell it out for me or 
we are not going to do it. Let's spell it out for them and give law 
enforcement this tool.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, how much time remains?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Ten minutes remains.
  Mr. McCAIN. I won't take the entire 10 minutes. I notice the Senator 
from Oregon, and I would be glad to yield to him 3 minutes of the 10 
minutes remaining so he can speak in his usual articulate fashion.
  Mr. WYDEN. I thank my colleague for the time.
  Mr. McCAIN. I yield 3 minutes of my 10 minutes to the Senator from 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I want to come back again to the argument I 
made earlier. The Senator from North Carolina said the FBI would have 
to wait around if there was something that really had the well-being of 
the American people at stake. That is simply inaccurate. In the USA 
FREEDOM Act, I was able to add a provision I feel very strongly about, 
which says if the FBI thinks the security and well-being of the 
American people are on the line, the FBI can move immediately to 
collect all the information we have been talking about. So there is no 
waiting. There is no dawdling under the amendment we put in the FREEDOM 
Act. The government can go get that information immediately and come 
back and then settle up later with the judge. Frankly, that was 
something I felt extremely strongly about because I wanted it 
understood that there is not a debate about privacy versus security. 
This is about ensuring that we have both, and that is why that 
emergency provision is so important.
  My colleague made mention of the fact that the FBI would be waiting 
around if the country's safety and well-being were on the line. No 
way--not because of the specific language in the USA FREEDOM Act I 
offered and my colleague supported. This is about ensuring that the 
American people can have both security and liberty.
  We have heard the lone-wolf provision referred to. That was extended 
for 4 years in the USA FREEDOM Act. I supported that as well.
  So what we are talking about today is not making the country safer 
but threatening our liberty. And I did draw a contrast between this and 
the issue with respect to guns. Our colleagues said we ought to have 
due process as it relates to guns. I certainly support the idea of due 
process, but it shouldn't be a double standard--we are going to have 
due process there, and we are not going to have due process as it 
relates to these national security letters.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has used 3 minutes.
  Mr. WYDEN. If I could have 10 additional seconds, and I appreciate my 
colleague's courtesy.
  Mr. McCAIN. Certainly.
  Mr. WYDEN. The amendment gives the FBI field office authority to 
scoop up all this digital material without judicial oversight. That is 
a mistake.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, obviously I urge my colleagues to support 
this amendment. I thank the distinguished chairman of the Select 
Committee on Intelligence, who knows as much about this issue as any 
Member of Congress or anyone else, and I appreciate the great job he is 
doing and his important remarks.
  Look, this is pretty simple. The amendment has the support of the 
National Fraternal Order of Police; the Federal Law Enforcement 
Agencies Association, which is the largest national professional law 
enforcement association; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Agents 
Association. Literally every law enforcement agency in America supports 
this amendment so they can do their job and defend America.
  Ronald Reagan used to say that facts are stubborn things. The fact 
is, according to the Director of the CIA, according to the Director of 
National Intelligence, right now Baghdadi, in Raqqa, is calling people 
in and saying: Get on this. Get on this and get back to the United 
States or Europe and contact us then and we will attack.

[[Page S4437]]

  There will be more attacks, according to both the Director of the CIA 
and the Director of National Intelligence.
  Right now there are, unfortunately, young people in this country who 
are self-radicalizing. And what vehicle is doing the self-
radicalization? It is the Internet.
  We are not asking for content here; we are just asking for usage, the 
same way we can do with financial records, the same way we can do with 
telephone records. This is an important tool.
  How could anyone--and I say this with great respect for the Senator 
from Oregon. He is a passionate and articulate advocate for what he 
believes in, and he has my respect and friendship. But I ask, in all 
due respect, after the events of the last few days, when we know that 
attacker was self-radicalized--and what did he use for it? He used the 
  I don't know if that attack could have been prevented, but I know 
that attacks can be prevented because that is the view of the chairman 
of the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Director of the Federal 
Bureau of Investigation, the Director of the CIA, and the Director of 
National Intelligence, who are not interested in taking away our 
liberties but are interested in carrying out their fundamental 
responsibilities, which happen to be to protect this Nation.
  So all I can say to my colleagues is that we need to protect the 
rights of all of our citizens. We can't intrude in their lives. This 
constant tension will go on between the right of privacy and national 
security, and I think there are gray areas we need to debate and come 
to agreement on finally over time, but this issue is, honestly, a no-
  When the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who is 
probably one of the most respected individuals in America, admired and 
respected by all of us, is saying this is one of his highest priorities 
in order to protect America, then I think we should listen to him. When 
the Director of the CIA says they are planning further attacks on the 
United States of America and Europe, we should give them the tools they 
need to prevent that. When the Director of National Intelligence 
testifies before the Committee on Armed Services that there will be 
further attacks, shouldn't we give them this rudimentary tool, which, 
according to the chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, was 
basically an oversight? Shouldn't we correct that, and can't we protect 
the rights of every individual and every American and still enact this 
really modest change, which, although in some ways modest, according to 
the Director of the FBI, is of his highest priorities?
  So let's listen. Let's listen to those whom we entrust our Nation's 
security to after going through the confirmation process and the 
approval or disapproval of the Members of this body, who are then 
entrusted with the solemn obligation of defending this Nation. They are 
saying unanimously that they need this authority in order to carry out 
their responsibilities.
  Mr. President, we are going to vote here in a couple of minutes, and 
I would urge my colleagues to respect the views--maybe not mine, maybe 
not the chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, but let's 
respect the views of those who are entrusted with defending this 
Nation. I believe we should give them this authority.
  This debate will go on, I say to my friend from Oregon. There will be 
other areas where there is tension between the right of every citizen 
to privacy and the requirement to defend this Nation because we are 
facing a challenge the likes of which we have never seen before, and 
that is this whole thing of self-radicalization and people who are 
sneaking into this country to commit acts of terror, which has the 
entire American public concerned--San Bernardino, Orlando.
  I hope the Senator from Oregon and those who will vote no on this 
amendment understand that in the view of the experts on terrorism in 
this world--absolutely are convinced there will be further attacks. 
Shouldn't we give them this fundamental tool, this basic tool they have 
asked for? I believe they respect all Americans' right to privacy as 
  I urge my colleagues to vote aye on this amendment, and then we can 
move on to other ways to help our enforcement agencies and our 
intelligence agencies defend this Nation against this threat, which is 
not going away.
  Mr. President, I believe my time has expired.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico.
  Mr. HEINRICH. Mr. President, has all the time expired?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. All time has expired.
  Mr. HEINRICH. I ask unanimous consent to speak for 2 minutes.
  Mr. McCAIN. I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.

                             Cloture Motion

  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 Senate amendment 
     No. 4787 to amendment No. 4685 to Calendar No. 120, H.R. 
     2578, an act making appropriations for the Departments of 
     Commerce and Justice, Science, and Related Agencies for the 
     fiscal year ending September 30, 2016, and for other 
         Mitch McConnell, Chuck Grassley, Orrin G. Hatch, John 
           Thune, Thad Cochran, Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, Richard 
           Burr, Pat Roberts, Thom Tillis, Mike Rounds, John 
           Cornyn, John Barrasso, Deb Fischer, Cory Gardner, 
           Shelley Moore Capito, Johnny Isakson.

  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. 4787, offered by the Senator from Kentucky for the 
Senator from Arizona, to amendment No. 4685 to H.R. 2578, 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 Idaho (Mr. Crapo).
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Indiana (Mr. Donnelly), 
the Senator from California (Mrs. Feinstein), and the Senator from New 
Jersey (Mr. Menendez) are necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Sullivan). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 58, nays 38, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 108 Leg.]





                             NOT VOTING--4

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 58, the nays are 
  Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted 
in the affirmative, the motion is rejected.
  The Republican leader.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I enter a motion to reconsider the 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The motion is entered.
  Mr. CORNYN. 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. PORTMAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

[[Page S4438]]


               Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Bill

  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. President, I rise today to talk about the heroin and 
prescription drug epidemic that is tearing families apart and 
devastating communities in every one of the States represented in this 
  I rise today for the 10th time since this body, the Senate, passed 
CARA--the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act--by a vote of 94 to 
1. It took us 2\1/2\ weeks on the floor to get that done. It took 3 
years of work to build up the right consensus, but we got it done. The 
House then proceeded over time to pass 18 separate bills dealing with 
this issue, and now we are in conference with the House.
  As I have said in every speech I have given over the last 10 weeks we 
have been in session since that time, we need to move and move quickly, 
and there is no excuse for inaction. I am going to continue to come to 
the floor and talk to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, 
leadership on both sides of the Capitol, on this issue until we get it 
done. Why? Because this is an emergency. This is not just another issue 
that Congress should take up; this is one that is affecting every 
single community in America. Sadly, it is getting worse, not better.
  Every week when I come to the floor, unfortunately, I come with new 
news. I come with information that has come to my attention since my 
previous talk on the floor about what is happening in our communities, 
and I will do that again today.
  There is some good news, and that is that since I spoke on the floor 
last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee has voted to increase 
funding to deal with this opioid issue--this is heroin, prescription 
drugs, and this new fentanyl, which is a synthetic form of heroin that 
is gripping our communities--and the funding increase was made as a 
commitment by the Senate Appropriations Committee on a bipartisan basis 
to have a 93-percent increase in funding as compared to this year.
  This year we also saw an increase in funding. Thanks to the 
leadership of some of the Members in this body, we increased the 
funding for this year, and we have increased it again for next year. 
That is the good news, but we have to be sure the money is properly 
  That is what CARA is about. It is an authorization bill, and it says 
that going forward, let's be sure we are spending it on evidence-based 
treatment and recovery that actually works to make a difference to get 
people back on track; let's be sure we are spending it on the kinds of 
things that keep people from getting into the funnel of addiction in 
the first place--again, evidence-based prevention and education; let's 
be sure we are helping our law enforcement and helping our health 
  The reason the Fraternal Order of Police strongly supports this 
legislation is it helps them in training how to use naloxone and Narcan 
more effectively and provides them the ability to have that to be able 
to take these overdose increases we have seen in all of our States--be 
able to save lives.
  So this legislation is comprehensive. It is needed. We now have the 
funding in place. Should there be more funding? Yes, I think so. But 
this is an awfully good start, to have a 93-percent increase and an 
increase already for this year.
  There is no excuse for us not getting this conference committee 
completed and taking the comprehensive Senate bill and merging it with 
the individual House bills and getting it to the President's desk for 
his signature. The comprehensive approach is the only way to do this.
  The acting U.S. attorney for Northern Ohio said it well. Her name is 
Carole Rendon. She is involved with it, folks. She is in the trenches. 
She said: ``The only way we can stem this tide is with a comprehensive 
approach.'' I couldn't agree more.
  A lot of us, including my friends and allies on the outside, are 
interested in this issue. There are 130 national groups who have 
supported this legislation. Virtually every group in the country 
involved in prevention, education, treatment, recovery, and law 
enforcement has supported this. But they are concerned about the House 
versions--the 18 separate bills versus the comprehensive bill--because 
the House versions do not deal effectively with this issue of recovery. 
Treatment and recovery need to go hand in hand.
  By the way, without recovery, the legislation is not comprehensive. 
It is called the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act for a reason. 
We know that funding the right kinds of recovery programs will work to 
help people get back on track and bring their families back together 
and keep them away from some of the aspects we all know about. The No. 
1 cause of accidental death in the State of Ohio is overdoses. It is 
probably the No. 1 cause of accidental death in the country, from the 
data we recently received. We have to be sure that recovery works.
  CARA offers critical resources to develop recovery support services 
for individuals and families working to overcome addiction. It promotes 
recovery programs in high schools and colleges that, sadly, are needed.
  At Ohio State University, we happen to have a model recovery program. 
Sarah Nerad, who is a brave young woman, started it. It is something 
other schools are now emulating. It started with a couple of people, 
and it has grown and grown in Ohio State. Recovering addicts can come 
together and talk among themselves in a support group. These are 
college students. This is something that has been very helpful at the 
college and high school level because it is needed.
  There are some good ideas in the 18 bills passed by the House that 
were not in CARA, and we should incorporate those. One I like 
particularly is lifting the cap on Suboxone so we can expand the number 
of patients who can be treated by a doctor for an opioid dependency. 
Suboxone, like methadone, is one of the treatment methods that are 
used. That cap should be raised. There seems to be a bipartisan 
consensus about that.
  I am hopeful that we can quickly resolve the differences we have 
between the House and Senate bills, pick up the good parts of the House 
bill, keep it comprehensive, and get it to the President's desk for his 
signature. I am encouraged that the conference is getting going. Last 
week I thanked Senator McConnell, the majority leader, for naming the 
conferees on the Senate side. There has already been a lot of good work 
done, and now we have the conferees officially named on both sides. 
Again, there is no excuse for not moving forward.
  I was very concerned yesterday when I heard a news report from 
National Public Radio about a White House meeting with some Democratic 
Members of Congress about potentially stalling CARA, the Comprehensive 
Addiction and Recovery Act. One White House legislative aide is quoted 
in the story as saying, ``We need to slow down the conference enough so 
that the White House . . . can bring it back to the American people. . 
. . We need . . . help in slowing it down.'' The piece went on to say 
that some of the Democratic Members who went down to the White House 
``were eager to help'' to slow it down. I hope that is not accurate. I 
can't believe it would be. Delaying might be a good way to score some 
political points, but it is terrible policy. It is the wrong thing to 
do, and it is a disservice to the millions of Americans who are 
suffering across this country from the consequences of addiction and 
who are waiting for relief. They have been patient so far, but these 
130 groups I talked about are getting increasingly impatient, and I 
don't blame them. I am too. This bill is about saving lives. Delay 
means the status quo continues.
  On average, 129 Americans lose their lives every day. We had 129 
families come to the Capitol a few weeks ago to make that point--the 
CARA family group--to be able to let Members know this is something we 
need to act on now. Every day five Ohioans, on average, lose their 
lives. That is one every 12 minutes at the national level. In the 103 
days since we passed CARA in this Chamber with a 94-to-1 vote, during 
those 103 days, that means 12,000 Americans have lost their lives to 
overdoses from heroin and prescription drugs.
  Again, the overdoses don't tell the story. As horrific as that is, it 
is a much bigger story. It is about all the casualties--people who may 
not have overdosed and died, but they are casualties. They have been 
torn apart from their families. They have been torn apart from their 
work. They have

[[Page S4439]]

been driven to crime, such as theft, to support their habit. They do 
feel as though there is no hope for them. Nine out of ten people who 
are addicted are not getting treatment. This is happening right now. 
The price of delay is those people are not getting the help they need. 
The longer we delay, the longer this epidemic continues to get worse.
  Maybe some of those who want to delay CARA don't realize how urgent 
this crisis is. I know there is a lot going on right now, and maybe 
they are distracted by other issues. Maybe they don't know the 
statistics. Maybe they don't know the stories of the families broken 
up, the lives cut short, or those who are casualties to this. Maybe 
they don't know the faces behind these statistics.
  Again, just since last week when I spoke last time, we have new 
information that is troubling. We know now that the Centers for Disease 
Control and Prevention is warning that the heroin epidemic is actually 
driving the threat of HIV and hepatitis C, including in my own area of 
Southwest Ohio. We now know that. So this is about heroin and 
prescription drugs, but it is also about hepatitis C, and it is also 
about HIV.
  Maybe they don't know about the drug traffickers sentenced last week 
in Lima, OH, for trafficking $300,000 worth of heroin and 20,000 
injections' worth of heroin.
  Maybe they don't know about Stosh Simcak of Euclid, OH, outside 
Cleveland. He was a star athlete in soccer and football. He was a 
charismatic, talented, and joyful young man. In high school, he started 
to experiment with drugs. He started with marijuana and ecstasy and 
prescription pain killers. He got addicted to opioids and then turned 
to heroin because it is less expensive and more available. His 
relationship with his family suffered, of course, as it almost always 
does. The drug becomes everything. At times, his relationship was 
broken altogether. He had a hard time getting a job and keeping a full-
time job. Finally, he agreed he needed help. His parents unsuccessfully 
tried to get him into five different rehabilitation centers. Often 
there was no room. He was arrested with a felony drug charge. He posted 
bond and was released. He told his dad Steve in a text message:

       I don't want to lose my family. I lost enough already. . . 
     . I want to be the son you can be proud of if it's not too 

  That was the last time Steve ever heard from his son. Within 48 
hours, he died of an overdose.
  Maybe those who support delaying CARA don't know about Dan Durbin 
from Delphos, OH. It is a small town. He reports setting up on the 
front lawn for his daughter's high school graduation party recently and 
seeing in the alley right next door a heroin deal taking place in front 
of these high school students.
  I know it is an even-numbered year, meaning it is an election year. 
There is always another election. But delaying CARA is unacceptable. 
Partisanship is not going to help people who are suffering to find 
treatment. It is not going to heal our families. It is not going to 
educate our kids so they don't become addicted. If we want to show the 
American people we can accomplish something that really makes our 
communities better, we will get CARA to the President as soon as 

  We have kept this legislation completely nonpartisan, not just 
partisan. We brought in major experts from around the country. We had 
five conferences over a 3-year period. We gathered ideas from Democrats 
and Republicans. If anyone had a good idea, we didn't ask where it came 
from. We asked if it was a good idea, if it would help to address this 
problem. That is the way things are supposed to work.
  We had strong help from the White House Director of National Drug 
Control Policy, Michael Botticelli, who has stated repeatedly we need a 
comprehensive solution and was quoted as saying:

       There is clear evidence that a comprehensive response 
     looking at multidimensional aspects of this that are embedded 
     in CARA are tremendously important. . . . We know that we 
     need to do more, and I think all of those components put 
     forward in CARA are critically important to make headway in 
     terms of this epidemic.

  That is the White House drug czar. I hope the White House staffer who 
was quoted as saying ``Let's delay'' actually talks to the drug czar.
  Nearly every Democrat in this Chamber voted in support of CARA, and I 
commend them for that. Democrats were indispensable in crafting it. 
They were involved at the very start.
  Sheldon Whitehouse is the coauthor of this legislation with me. He 
has a real passion for this. He has a heart for it. He understands the 
pain these families who lost a loved one feel. He understands the 
casualties of this epidemic. He gets it.
  Amy Klobuchar has also been very involved, Kelly Ayotte on our side, 
and others. This has been something from the start--again, not just 
partisan but nonpartisan. It has been a group effort. That is one 
reason I think we have received so much good support because we came up 
with the right ideas. These groups around the country who worked for us 
on that realize it is going to make a difference.
  I have been involved with this issue of drug abuse and addiction for 
more than two decades. Twenty-two years ago, a mom came to my office 
and said her son had just died of an overdose. What was I doing? That 
got me engaged. I am the author of the Drug-Free Communities Act, the 
Drug-Free Media Campaign Act, and the Drug-Free Workplace Act.
  In this Chamber I have been the author of other legislation, 
including with Dianne Feinstein, to stop these synthetic drugs and to 
make sure they are scheduled as illegal drugs. In terms of prescription 
drug monitoring, we have tried to help pass legislation on interstate 
prescription drug monitoring.
  But this legislation, this CARA legislation, is what is needed now. 
There is no good reason to keep these families who are affected 
  We can have a conversation about funding. Again, I am for more 
funding. I have voted that way. This 93-percent increase in funding 
this year and in the next appropriations bill for next year is a great 
step forward.
  Respectfully, let me just say again that this issue is not like 
everything else we face around here. This is urgent. We have to move, 
and we have to move now.
  Will it solve the problem? No. The problem is not going to be solved 
from Washington, but Washington can be a better partner in addressing 
the issue right now, and it is a growing issue.
  Whether I am in a suburb, a rural area, or the inner city in Ohio--no 
matter where I am, I hear from people about this issue. I have a tele-
townhall tonight. I will hear about it.
  A few weeks ago in our tele-townhall, a gentleman called in and 
wanted to talk about the treatment options in CARA. He seemed to know a 
lot about it. I asked him why he knew so much about this, if he 
wouldn't mind talking about it, reminding him there were probably 
25,000 people on the call at the time and that he was being heard by a 
lot of people. He told his story, which unfortunately was a story you 
hear way too commonly in my State of Ohio. His daughter--in and out of 
treatment and, in her case, in and out of the criminal justice system--
had decided to seek treatment. She went, she couldn't get in, and 14 
days later she died of an overdose.
  According to one poll, 3 in 10 Ohioans know someone who is struggling 
with an opioid addiction. Family members, friends, coworkers, fellow 
parishioners, their neighbors--those family members are hurting too. It 
is almost unbearable to watch a loved one suffer through this disease, 
and it is a disease in that it requires treatment.
  Ohioans are taking action--and appropriate action too. I commend them 
for that.
  In Warren, OH, the Braking Point Recovery Center recently held its 
annual Walk Against Heroin. Nicholas Story and Emily Smith, who are in 
recovery from addiction, bravely spoke at that rally about their 
experiences and how this epidemic is affecting them. Nicholas spoke 
about how much happier he is now that he is in recovery, saying: ``My 
life has improved so much it is amazing.'' Emily talked about how her 
mother, some of her cousins, and friends have suffered from addiction. 
Some have died of overdoses. I commend them for having the courage to 
speak up and to spread awareness about this epidemic.
  Raymond Sansota of Euclid, OH, also spoke about losing his son, Josh, 
to a

[[Page S4440]]

heroin addiction. He was a star athlete, played point guard, and was a 
4-year letterman in high school. He was an acolyte in his Catholic 
parish. He was known for his sense of humor, for his musical and 
artistic talents. He had a good job at a rubber company in Middlefield, 
OH, but he became addicted to prescription drug painkillers. 
Eventually, like so many others, he switched to the less expensive, 
more accessible option, which was heroin. He overdosed at the age of 
  Raymond, thank you for speaking up.
  At Barnesville High School in Barnesville, OH, OhioHealth Services, 
Barnesville Hospital, and Crossroads Counseling Services held a 
townhall about the heroin epidemic, bringing together doctors, lawyers, 
law enforcement, and public health officials.
  Judge Frank Fregiato spoke there, and he said: ``Rich, poor, black, 
white, educated, non-educated, political, nonpolitical, whatever you 
are, your family is at risk.''
  He is right. That is why we can't afford to delay.
  Today I was talking to two high school principals who came to me at 
our weekly coffee in Ohio. They informed me they had lost six of their 
recent graduates to this issue and that they are holding a townhall on 
this subject soon at that high school.
  On Saturday, in Stark County, dozens of motorcyclists participated in 
the second annual Families Against The Heroin Epidemic Rally in Stark. 
Families Against The Heroin Epidemic Rally is also F.A.T.H.E.R.S.; 
F.A.T.H.E.R.S. is the acronym. These fathers and those who support them 
raised money for addiction treatment, for treatment for education, and 
for law enforcement. I thank everyone who participated in this 
motorcycle ride and everyone who is doing their part to stop this 
  That event was founded by Larry and Kara Vogt of Perry Township. 
Their sons had recovered from a heroin addiction, and he is in 
transitional housing. As Larry puts it: ``If you aren't affected by 
this now, you will be.''
  I know the scope of this epidemic can sometimes feel overwhelming, 
but there is hope. There are many stories of people who have found 
themselves in the funnel of this addiction, the grip of this addiction, 
and have found hope through treatment and recovery. There are many who 
are now helping others to get treatment.
  Michael Evans of Columbus, OH, is an example of that. He had chronic 
back pain. He had Percocet and OxyContin and became addicted. Now he is 
helping others. He has been clean and sober for more than a year. He is 
beating it because he got treatment.
  Again, it is time for us to act. Again, I have told stories just from 
the last week of what is happening around the country and in my home 
State of Ohio. There is no excuse. We need to act quickly to find 
common ground, to get a comprehensive bill to the President so it can 
start to help those millions who are struggling. Delay is not an 
  I yield back the remainder of my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to be recognized 
for such time as I may consume as in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, let me just say that my friend from Ohio 
is truly passionate.
  In the years I have been here, I have not heard of anyone who is 
stronger and has a better understanding of this issue than the Senator 
from Ohio. I find myself listening as he speaks and reflecting.
  I hear the same things. It is not just in Ohio; it is in my meetings 
that I have in Oklahoma. I am glad he has that passion, pleased he 
does, and I wish him success.
  Mr. PORTMAN. I thank the Senator.

            Mass Shooting in Orlando and Fighting Terrorism

  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I have to get on the record after the 
events of the last week and the claims that some of my colleagues made 
on the Senate floor and that the mainstream media have published about 
the horrific event in Orlando.
  Before we had all the facts about what happened in Orlando last 
Sunday, people on the left were blaming Congress, and people on the 
left were blaming Republicans. They were blaming all gun owners who 
were out there, and they were blaming anyone they could think of for 
this terrorist attack. The actual person responsible for killing 49 
people that day is Omar Mateen, an Islamic terrorist.
  There is something wrong with this aversion they have to talking 
about the real cause of these tragedies that are going on right now 
around the Nation. By immediately politicizing this act of terrorism, 
the left has denied the victims, their families, and their friends our 
full attention and our care. They have denied the Nation a period of 
mourning for those we lost at the hands of a terrorist who pledged 
allegiance to the Islamic state.
  Last week my colleagues on the other side of the aisle participated 
in a filibuster against gun rights, and they have continued to demonize 
those who still believe in the Constitution and the rights that it 
protects. I am not just talking about gun rights, I am talking about 
the right to due process, the right to be innocent until proven guilty.
  In fact, in their effort to twist this act of terrorism into a need 
to curtail our constitutional rights, the Washington Post--we are 
talking about the Washington Post. That is not one of the more 
conservative publications around. They gave the arguments that they 
were using against guns three out of four Pinocchios for the way that 
they falsely twisted information to fit their narrative. Pinocchio 
means they have studied it, they have looked at it, and they have 
decided what they said wasn't true.
  The left was given a chance for the Senate to vote on their gun 
control proposals, which would not have prevented this terrorist act 
from happening, and their proposals ultimately failed to progress in 
the Senate. Meanwhile, Democrats voted against the amendments that 
would strengthen our gun laws and keep guns out of the hands of 
terrorists while protecting the rights of due process.
  Over the past week, you have heard my friends on the left say that if 
you can't fly, you shouldn't be able to buy a gun. Well, this sounds 
good, and a lot of the media has kind of bought into this idea, but you 
can't take away the fact that flying is a privilege in this country and 
gun ownership is a right that is guaranteed by the Constitution. That 
is a huge difference. You cannot take away a constitutionally protected 
right without notice and a fair and impartial hearing.
  Denying someone their civil rights based on secret lists is 
unconstitutional. I think everyone knows that, and it will be struck 
down by the courts. Everybody knows that, but it sounds so good right 
now to say everyone is going to want to be for gun control. One of the 
things people forget is they are trying to pass laws that are going to 
offend the rights of gun owners when, by definition, a criminal breaks 
laws, a terrorist breaks laws. Consequently, you would have only those 
individuals who are law-abiding citizens complying with the law.
  It is a very simple concept. Again, everyone knows that, but given 
the irrefutable evidence of Mateen's motivations, many wonder why the 
administration, supported by the Democrats, is so focused on policies 
that don't address the core cause of this horrific act--terrorism and 
the influence of radical Islam here in the United States of America.
  The answer is simple. Focusing on the root cause and Mateen's 
motivations will only further expose the fact that the policies of this 
administration, supported by most of his own party in Congress, have 
been a complete failure. Time and again, the President's rhetoric on 
ISIL, terrorism, and the threat to America is proven wrong in reality.
  In January of 2014, the President referred to ISIL as a JV squad and 
downplayed their threat and influence. Yet just 4 days before he 
dismissed ISIL as a minor player in the Middle East, they had captured 
and raised the flag over Fallujah, where our marines fought and died.
  My State director is Brian Hackler. I first met Brian Hackler when I 
was in Fallujah. That was right after--we all remember; I am sure the 
Presiding Officer remembers--they were taking the

[[Page S4441]]

fingerprints of the heroic people who were risking their lives to vote 
over there, and we won in Fallujah. It was like World War II, door-to-
door combat. We actually won.
  Brian Hackler came back. I hired him after he came back. He is doing 
a great job for me now. When I called him and I had to tell him that we 
had lost Fallujah after we had Fallujah in our hands, he literally 
cried. He had friends who died over there.
  Furthermore, the President failed to recognize the threat posed by 
the Muslim Brotherhood. President Obama created the vacuum in the 
Middle East that gave rise to ISIL.
  He downplayed Benghazi. I remember he tried to blame it on a video. I 
can remember that because I talked to James Clapper, and I talked to 
all of the intelligence people right after that happened. I did so 
because of my position at that time as ranking member on the Armed 
Services Committee. They all said at the time of Benghazi they knew 
that it was a terrorist attack. It had nothing to do with the video.
  The President also said that ISIL was contained hours before the 
attack on Paris.
  The threat to our country and our security is increasing--Fort Hood, 
Boston, San Bernardino, and now Orlando. The attacks are not the fault 
of the West, they are the fault of radical Islam. Somehow the 
administration can't say it. They can't say radical Islam.

  Most recently we heard from the White House that ISIL is retreating. 
This is from President Obama--that ISIL is retreating, it is declining 
and losing territory and losing funds, but just last week CIA Director 
John Brennan testified before the Senate Select Committee on 
Intelligence, and he said: ``Our efforts have not reduced ISIL's 
terrorism capability and global reach.'' Furthermore, Brennan went on 
to say: ``ISIL is probably exploring a variety of means for 
infiltrating operatives into the West, including the refugee flows, 
smuggling routes and the legitimate methods of travel.''
  That is a quote from him. So we have the President on one hand saying 
it is contained, we are successful, ISIL is disappearing, at the same 
time the CIA Director he appointed is telling us the truth--that we are 
losing, and this is serious.
  I have looked back wistfully at the good old days of the Cold War. I 
never thought I would say ``the good old days of the Cold War,'' but in 
reality we are in a much greater threatened position today than we ever 
were in the Cold War. In the Cold War, we had two superpowers. We knew 
what they had. They knew what we had. We were predictable. It was 
mutually assured destruction. That doesn't mean anything anymore. These 
people want to break the law.
  It was incredible testimony John Brennan gave before the Senate 
committee, in light of the administration's talking points, and it 
should have all of us seeking ways to ensure they are not successful. 
However, policy proposals to combat these threats--extra vetting of the 
refugees, pausing the refugee program, the stepping up of border 
protection and enforcing our immigrations laws through visa 
enforcement--are all ignored by this administration. They would rather 
paint us, the Republicans, as arms dealers to terrorists and yet remain 
silent on the President's deal with Iran, the No. 1 state sponsor of 
  I can remember when the President, with the Secretary of State, put 
together the deal with Iran. This was going to see Iran all of a sudden 
change. Today, Iran is still the chief supplier of terrorist activity 
around the world. Yet we released billions of dollars to them through 
this deal that was made.
  It is interesting. I happened to be on the USS--I can't remember 
which one it was, one of the aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf at 
the same time this deal was being put together by the President and by 
the Secretary of State. That is when we found that there was an Iranian 
ship that was carrying weapons from North Korea to Yemen at the very 
time they were pledging their love for us and they were working with us 
in this program.
  Their deal with Iran is giving them the resources necessary to 
support terrorism. ISIL and similar radical groups seek to extinguish 
our freedoms and to terrorize, kill, and oppress anyone who lives 
counter to their extreme ideology. No matter how they carry out their 
evil, their mission will always be superseded by our Nation's laws. We 
have to protect the Constitution, support law-abiding citizens' rights 
to due process and to bear arms and to focus on the real threat: 
Islamic terrorism, radical Islam.
  I just wish the administration would talk about this--this greatest 
threat to our Nation. We are doing something--though this is totally 
unrelated, but it is something that happened in my State of Oklahoma 
earlier this week. Earlier this week, the county commissioners in my 
city of Tulsa and in my State of Oklahoma voted to renew a memorandum 
of understanding with ICE--that is Immigration and Customs 
Enforcement--to detain their inmates and train local deputies to refer 
threats of violent criminals to the Federal authorities.
  Entering into a memorandum of understanding--an MOU--had been a 
routine procedure until last week, when it was derailed by illegal 
immigrant activists--the same type of activists we see across the 
country pushing sanctuary policies, policies to give sanctuary to 
terrorists and policies to protect criminal aliens, allowing them to 
continue committing crimes against our citizens such as the one we saw 
with the murder of Kate Steinle in San Francisco almost a year ago.
  Law enforcement across the country takes part in this program so they 
can do their job of keeping criminals off the streets. However, their 
efforts are continually frustrated by liberal activists seeking to 
shield those same criminals from the consequences of their actions. We 
should stand with our friends in law enforcement, in their communities, 
who are working every day to ensure our safety and the safety of 
  Whether criminal immigrants are here illegally or legally, it should 
not be controversial to deny them the privilege of staying in our 
country, and we should remove them from our communities until they are 
removed from our country. When we refuse to do it, we reward their 
behavior and give them an opportunity to continue to commit violent 
  Why is this such a big deal? In 2014--and people heard this way back 
in 2014 but they have forgotten it. During the year of 2014, the Obama 
administration released over 30,000 criminal aliens from custody, and 
by July of last year--so now we are talking about in the first 6 months 
after they released 30,000 criminal aliens--1,800 of them went on to 
commit over 2,500 new crimes.
  That may not be believable, and because it is not believable, a lot 
of people don't believe it, but it actually happened. It is a fact the 
Obama administration released over 30,000 criminal aliens, and 6 months 
later, 1,800 of them--that we know of, probably more than that--went on 
to commit crimes. Instead of deporting people who shouldn't be here, 
the administration released them back onto our streets, where they 
committed new, preventable crimes, including assault, sex offenses, 
kidnappings, and even homicide.
  Between 2010 and 2015, we had 135 preventable homicides occur in our 
communities across the country by criminal aliens who had been released 
by this administration. Now, this is very difficult to believe, and 
certainly it is not acceptable. The excuse the administration uses is 
two little known Supreme Court cases that determined criminal aliens 
cannot be detained in the United States for more than 6 months while 
awaiting deportation. However, there are many factors which can prevent 
a deportation from taking place within the 6-month period.
  It is interesting that excuse is being used, and in order to take 
away this excuse, I introduced the Keep Our Communities Safe Act during 
the past two Congresses, and I am introducing it today as an 
amendment--amendment No. 4732--to the CJS appropriations bill. This 
legislation would allow the Department of Homeland Security to petition 
the courts to hold a criminally convicted alien for a renewable 6-month 
period until deportation occurs, if the Secretary deems the alien would 
be a threat to national security or the safety of the community, among 
other reasons.

[[Page S4442]]

  We are talking about communities. This is back home. This is my 
community. This is where this is happening and throughout America. Some 
organizations, such as the ACLU and other liberal organizations, 
believe this bill amounts to indefinite detention, in violation of a 
criminal's due process rights. However, in addition to the specified 
circumstances of continued detention I just mentioned, this bill 
requires the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security--that is 
what they are supposed to be doing--to recertify the person is a threat 
every 6 months. In other words, if this person is a threat, rather than 
automatically turning them loose in 6 months, he can recertify the fact 
they are a threat and every 6 months continue to keep them. 
Furthermore, an alien can submit evidence for review of his or her 
detention and will still have access to our courts, giving judges a say 
in the process.
  We were unable to get this added in the last 2 years. I can't 
imagine, after all the things that have happened just this year--and of 
course right on the heels of the disaster that just happened--I can't 
imagine people wouldn't want to do this, do everything they can to keep 
from turning these people loose.
  I go back and repeat that this administration turned loose 30,000 
criminal aliens onto the streets--this was in the year of 2014--and in 
the first 6 months in the following year, they had actually committed 
more crimes.
  So there is this thing about turning people loose. It is very similar 
to what the administration is doing in Gitmo. We passed a law, actually 
in the committee.
  Let me make an inquiry of the Chair. Are we on a time requirement 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Ernst). No, Senator, we are not.
  Mr. INHOFE. The Presiding Officer is a member of the Committee on 
Armed Services who may very well remember when we passed a law, and 
that law said the President was not going to be able to release anyone 
from Gitmo until 30 days' notice is given to the Senate Committee on 
Armed Services. The President signed that bill and a matter of hours 
later released the Taliban Five.
  Everybody remembers the Taliban Five. They were the most egregious of 
all the terrorists who were in Gitmo. We don't know what they are doing 
now. Supposedly they are in Qatar or someplace under some supervision, 
but it happens that the recidivism rate of those who have been released 
from Gitmo is 30 percent. In other words, 30 percent of those released 
are back trying to kill Americans again.
  It is unacceptable, and it is very similar to this. Whether it is 
releasing people--terrorists from Gitmo--to go out and kill Americans 
or releasing people who are criminal aliens from our cities and towns, 
it is a problem, a serious problem, and we are going to have to address 
this problem, and we are going to address it.
  With that, 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. TOOMEY. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                       Compromise Gun Legislation

  Mr. TOOMEY. Madam President, I rise this afternoon to discuss the 
pending legislation that would prevent terrorists from being able to 
legally purchase guns. This general topic of background checks for 
legal firearms sales is not new to me. It is an issue I have been 
wrestling with for some years now. Shortly after the horrific murders 
at Sandy Hook Elementary School, my Democratic colleague, Senator Joe 
Manchin from West Virginia, and I teamed up and worked together and 
produced a bipartisan bill designed to ensure that we would do 
background checks for commercial gun sales. So if someone wants to buy 
a firearm through a commercial mechanism--not a private transaction, 
like from a sibling or a neighbor or friend, but a commercial sale--
they would be subject to a background check so that for the very 
criminals who have forfeited their Second Amendment rights and those 
who are dangerously mentally ill who also should not have guns, we 
would find a mechanism to prevent the sales. That was legislation that 
I worked on with Senator Manchin. As I said, it was bipartisan. It 
still marks the closest the Senate has come to passing legislation 
dealing with background checks in a meaningful way in quite some time. 
But we were not successful. It did not pass.
  Then on June 12, we saw the worst terror attack on American soil 
9/11, an unbelievable massacre in Orlando that left 49 people dead and 
another 53 grievously wounded. It has raised the question of whether 
now there is an opportunity to do something to make it illegal--make it 
more difficult, if not impossible--for a terrorist whom we already deem 
to be too dangerous to board a plane to buy a firearm.
  There are other things we need to be doing--a lot of other things we 
need to be doing--to keep us safe from the terrorists who want to kill 
Americans. We need to take stronger measures to keep them from entering 
the United States in the first place. We need to make sure they can't 
escape detention and capture. We need to make sure that local law 
enforcement is cooperating with Federal law enforcement and DHS folks. 
There are a lot of things we can do.
  But one of the things we can do is the very simple measure that the 
Collins legislation addresses. This is too important an issue to be 
partisan. I took to the Senate floor last week to urge my colleagues. 
We had a number of our Democratic colleagues engaging in a filibuster, 
in an impassioned series of speeches about how important it was that we 
do something. My message was simply this: Let's stop talking, and let's 
actually do it. Let's actually find the mechanism, find the solution 
  There are two aspects we need to consider, in my view, in this 
legislation. One is that we want to block a terrorist from buying a 
firearm. I don't think that should be terribly controversial. But the 
second thing that is also very important to me--and I think to many of 
our colleagues--is to make sure that an innocent American who is 
wrongly put on the list has the opportunity to clear his or her name so 
that their Second Amendment rights are not infringed upon. That is the 
challenge, it seems to me, and it is not rocket science. This is 
something we can do.
  So I actually drafted a bill that does that. I think the bill works 
very, very well. Senator Collins took a different approach and used a 
different mechanism for getting the same result. In the end, Senator 
Collins has legislation now that has significant bipartisan support. It 
is a compromise bill that I think strikes the right balance. As I 
announced yesterday, I intend to support her legislation. There is no 
question--it is an objective fact--that if Senator Collins' legislation 
becomes law, the Attorney General will have a tool that the Attorney 
General does not have today. It is a tool that will stop terrorists 
from being able to legally buy a gun. It is as simple as that. That is 
what it does. Importantly, to me and to many of my colleagues, it also 
provides the mechanisms whereby an innocent law-abiding American who is 
wrongly put on a no-fly list will be able to clear his or her name. I 
think that is very, very important.
  The starting point for the Collins legislation is that if you are on 
the no-fly list, then you don't get to buy a gun. Now, let's think 
about this. If we deem a person to be so dangerous that we deny them 
the opportunity to board a commercial plane, should we really allow 
that person to walk down the street, walk into a firearms dealer, and 
buy an AR-15? I don't think that makes sense. I think most of us 
probably agree. That is a short list, actually, of people we deem to be 
so dangerous that we don't let them board a plane. It is pretty 
sensible, from my point of view, to also preclude a firearms purchase.
  Then we have the selectee list. That is a separate list that subjects 
people to enhanced scrutiny because there is serious suspicion. It 
doesn't quite rise to the level of the no-fly list, but there is 
serious suspicion. So those people also would be denied a firearm. Now, 
as with the approach that I took, Senator Collins' legislation has a 
whole series of procedures, policies, and mechanisms to ensure that if 
someone is wrongly put on this list, they will have a way to get off 
the list. We know for

[[Page S4443]]

a fact that eventually some people will be put wrongly on the list 
because people make mistakes. Governments make mistakes. In fact, 
someone could even try to abuse the list. So we need to have a 
mechanism to make sure that an innocent person can have their name 
taken off. Senator Collins, I think, achieves that. She creates an 
adversarial challenge mechanism in court where the burden of proof is 
on the Federal Government to prove that the individual who has been 
denied the opportunity to buy a gun should be denied that--in other 
words, that the person is properly on the list. As in my legislation, 
if the individual succeeds in his challenge--if he says: I was denied 
the opportunity to buy this firearm; I am not the John Smith that you 
think I am and here is my proof--and the person wins, the U.S. 
Government would pay all of his reasonable attorney's fees and costs, 
as should be the case. The person shouldn't be financially penalized 
for simply clearing his or her own name.
  Also, there needs to be a meaningful deadline for a court to make a 
decision. In the case of the Collins legislation it is 14 days. 
Otherwise, a court case could go on indefinitely. That wouldn't be 
right, either.
  So the bottom line is simple. This legislation is a sensible, 
reasonable way to achieve the balance that I have been calling for--to 
make it illegal for a suspected terrorist, someone we won't allow to 
board a plane, to buy a gun, and, at the same time, to create a 
mechanism for someone wrongly put on the list to clear their name.
  Last week we had quite a number of our colleagues down here on the 
Senate floor. As I said, they were giving impassioned speeches about 
how essential it was that we do something. What we are going to find 
out is whether that was sincere or whether that was political. That is 
what we are going to find out because this legislation achieves exactly 
what our colleagues said they wanted. It may not do it in exactly the 
same fashion in every little detail. It is not exactly the same as the 
legislation I have proposed. But it is bipartisan.
  There are, at last count, at least five Members of the Democratic 
caucus who are on this bill. There are at least a comparable number of 
Republicans. There are probably more who are going to support this. It 
is really going to be a test of whether this body is serious about what 
it says it is serious about--whether the folks who came down here and 
gave impassioned speeches about how important it is we do something 
really want to get something done, or do they want a political message 
to run ads about? I hope it is the former.
  I hope we are going to be able to get something done. As to Senator 
Collins and the other Senators she worked with, I appreciate the input 
she took from me and my office to craft a sensible, workable compromise 
bill that has bipartisan support that will achieve those two important 
goals of making sure that the bad guys can't buy guns and the good guys 
get a chance to clear their name and don't have their Second Amendment 
rights infringed. That is what this is about.
  We need to have a vote on this, and we need to have a vote soon. I 
hope we will have a vote this week. But this is an opportunity for this 
body to take a big step forward and get something done with a 
bipartisan compromise bill that makes a lot of sense. We are going to 
have a test, and I hope this Chamber will pass the test.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Washington.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Madam President, I want to start by thanking my 
colleague, Senator Mikulski, for her leadership in the fight for equal 
pay for equal work. It has been 50 years since the signing of the Equal 
Pay Act. But despite how far women have come, despite all the progress 
women have made and the ways women contribute across our economy, women 
still only make 79 cents on the dollar. The gap is even wider for women 
of color: for African-American women, 60 cents on the dollar; for 
Native American women, 59 cents on the dollar; and for Hispanic women, 
55 cents on the dollar.
  This status quo is not only deeply unfair to women, but it is also 
bad for families and it is bad for our economy because today 60 percent 
of working families rely on wages from two earners. We have to do 
better. That is why I was so pleased when earlier this year the Equal 
Employment Opportunity Commission took a very important step in the 
right direction with a modest proposal to collect pay data on a form 
that employers already submit in order to accomplish one goal--making 
sure that we have solid information about how employers pay their male 
and female workers.
  This proposal is pretty straightforward. It brings new and much 
needed transparency to workplaces and might even help businesses 
address pay gaps that they weren't even aware existed. It would also 
make enforcement of pay discrimination laws more effective and 
efficient. Especially when it comes to an issue like wage 
discrimination, I would like to think it would be hard to argue against 
more transparency and more effective enforcement because when women are 
not getting equal pay for equal work, we should be able to find out 
about it and we should be able to fix it.
  It is disappointing that Republicans in both the House and the Senate 
are opposing that proposal. That is absolutely the wrong approach. What 
makes this even more surprising is that just weeks ago I was very proud 
to stand right here to introduce a resolution in the Senate calling for 
equal pay for equal work for the U.S. women's national soccer team. It 
was a resolution that recognized the impact of the wage gap on women 
and the need to fix it, and it passed by voice vote.
  Given that the Senate was able to agree on the seriousness of this 
problem, I would like to give all my colleagues an opportunity today to 
take another step forward--not backward--on equal pay for equal work. I 
have filed an amendment that would provide much needed new resources to 
ensure this important proposal can be implemented and finalized as 
quickly as possible. I urge our colleagues to support the amendment and 
oppose efforts by some in the Republican Party to stand in the way of 
better information and enforcement on pay equity.
  It should go without saying, but if a woman still isn't getting equal 
pay in the 21st century, she deserves to know and she deserves action. 
This rule would take critical steps in the right direction for women, 
families, and our country as a whole, and I hope that our Republican 
colleagues will not stand in its way.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Madam President, I rise as an enthusiastic supporter of 
the Murray amendment requiring the EEOC to implement the change 
recommended by President Obama that would add compensation data to its 
employment data form, and also to provide it with $1 million to be able 
to pay for its implementation.
  First, I would like to salute the Senator from Washington State, who 
has been a longstanding and assertive advocate of equal pay for equal 
work for women. I thank her for her ongoing, persistent advocacy.
  I so admire this amendment, which insists we develop even better 
tools to pinpoint those companies with over 100 employees in terms of 
their pay.
  The Senator from Washington State was right there when we passed the 
Lilly Ledbetter bill. She has been right there as we tried to move to 
the next step on the Paycheck Fairness Act, and now today she is here 
to implement the EEOC rule that would also help to do the kind of work 
we need to do to ensure that the Equal Pay Act of 1963, a major civil 
rights law which guaranteed equal pay for equal work, is enforced. We 
spent days talking about enforcement of civil rights laws. Let's 
enforce the law passed over 50 years ago to guarantee equal pay for 
equal work.
  Here is a quick history. The Lilly Ledbetter bill kept the courthouse 
door open for when people wanted to file wage discrimination based on 
gender claims. That courthouse door was slammed in the face of Lilly 
and other women who found out too late about what they were paid. We 
kept the courthouse door open. Then, we introduced the Paycheck 
Fairness Act. The Paycheck Fairness Act would get rid of the other 
barriers to women getting equal pay for equal work.
  One of the biggest barriers is that pay is kept a secret. One of the 
biggest secrets in the United States, other than national security, is 
what women

[[Page S4444]]

get paid in the workplace. Let's keep it our little secret, they say. 
In fact, in many instances, you have to sign an agreement in order to 
be hired that you will not disclose your pay to another worker. If you 
do, you can be fired.
  We are not talking about small businesses. We are not talking about 
those mom-and-pop stores like my dad's grocery store. But I can assure 
you that my father paid equal pay for equal work to my mother. But in 
January, our President--President Obama--announced that the EEOC would 
add compensation data to its employment data form that companies must 
submit annually that will help shed light on the wage gap across 
geographic regions and industries.
  Our colleague from Tennessee, the distinguished Senator, Mr. 
Alexander, has introduced an amendment preventing this change from 
going into effect. We had dueling amendments. I am for the Murray 
amendment. It requires the EEOC to implement the Obama change and 
provides $1 million to do it.
  What is the EEO-1 form? It is the employer information report that 
requires companies to submit information annually about their employees 
based on race, ethnicity, gender, and job category. So it is equal pay, 
equal work. The form helps identify and prevent discrimination and 
protects employees' civil rights.
  In January, President Obama announced that companies with over 100 
employees--remember, this is over 100 employees--must include 
compensation data on their EEO-1 form that would identify the wage gap 
based on gender and ethnicity across regions. This change has been 
strongly supported by many of us, and I support it.
  Much is said about the President overreaching. I don't get it. 
Sometimes--often, the President is being criticized on the other side 
of the aisle for not doing too much--that he is not a leader, that he 
is not a fighter, that he is not a champion. I take exception to that. 
I think he is a leader. I think he is a fighter, and I think he is a 
champion, and he certainly has been that on behalf of the empowerment 
of women and girls. What did he do? He exercised his Executive 
authority to declare that the EEOC action on pay data collection would 
do this. The EEOC, in partnership with Department of Labor, has a 
proposal to annually collect summary pay data--as I said, in addition 
to gender, race, and ethnicity, which it already collects--from 
companies with over 100 employees. This proposal would cover 63 million 
employees. It stems from a recommendation of the President's Equal Pay 
Task Force in a Presidential memorandum issued in 2014. It will help 
focus public enforcement of equal pay laws and provide better insight 
into discriminatory pay practices across industries.
  Today the EEOC is proposing revisions to its longstanding form to 
require these companies, not just contractors, to provide this 
information. It would go across 10 job categories and 12 pay bands, but 
it would not require the reporting of specific salaries of individual 
employees. Remember, the report is on the basis of job category and pay 
band. We won't know if Suzy Smith gets paid more or less than Sam 
Jones. What we will know is what they are paying computer operators. We 
will know what they are paying lab technicians. These are jobs that 
tend to be gender neutral. We will know if you are working in a call 
center or a firm that employs 100 people that you would be able to do 
it. Remember, it covers 63 million people.
  The proposal is broader than one that was originally published by the 
Department of Labor, and it lays important groundwork for progress 
towards achieving equal pay. It will encourage and facilitate greater 
voluntary compliance by employers dealing with existing Federal pay 
law. It will also assist the EEOC, and in case of contractors, in 
better focusing investigations on employers that are unlawfully short-
changing workers based on gender, race, or ethnicity. It wouldn't go 
into effect until September 2017.
  Why is this important? It covers only companies of 100 or more 
employees. It will affect 63 million people. Nobody's personal privacy 
will be impinged upon because it is information with job category and 
pay band. But it will show, first of all, which are the good-guy 
companies. These become the best places to work. My gosh, this can be a 
small recruitment tool. You go to work for X company, and they do pay 
equal pay for equal work. But if it has been a persistent pattern of 
egregious violation of unequal pay for doing the same job, it enables 
sparse resources at the EEOC to be targeted.
  One, I say cheers to President Obama for taking leadership to get to 
the real facts of the matter, and to pinpoint who the egregious 
violators are that employ more than 100 people. So, again, there is no 
negative impact on small business, and it gives no personal 
information, but does give corporate information. I think the Obama 
action was outstanding, and I think the Murray amendment defending the 
Obama action is exactly what is needed on this bill to take the very 
important steps of ensuring the enforcement of civil rights laws passed 
by Presidents Kennedy and Johnson that said equal pay for equal work.
  I am sure there will be additional debate on this issue.
  I yield the floor.
  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. MERKLEY. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                    Climate Change and Fossil Fuels

  Mr. MERKLEY. Madam President, global warming is the most grave 
concern facing human civilization on this planet. We are the first 
generation to see the impact, and that impact is occurring in so many 
ways right before us.
  In my home State of Oregon, we are seeing the impact on our forests, 
which has resulted in a longer and drier fire season that burns more 
acreage and has more lightning strikes. We are seeing smaller 
snowpacks, and that is having an impact on our agriculture and trout 
streams. Everyone realizes that a smaller, warmer stream is not a 
pleasant place for trout to thrive. We are even seeing it in our 
Pacific Ocean oysters. The oysters are having trouble reproducing. They 
are having troubling reproducing because the ocean is more acidic. 
Because of the wave action, the oceans have absorbed a lot of the 
carbon dioxide, which has become carbonic acid, and the carbonic acid 
affects the formation of shells. These impacts are having a steady, 
detrimental impact, and it is occurring right before our eyes. It is 
affecting our fishing, farming, and forestry, and it is an assault on 
our resources. It is incumbent on all of us, this generation, to 
address these issues.
  What we know is that the impacts we have seen in Oregon are being 
echoed in States across the country and nations across the globe. If 
you go to the Northeast, you might hear folks talking about how the 
moose are dying because the ticks aren't being killed by winters that 
are cold enough. You might hear about the migration of lobsters going 
north to find colder water, and so on and so forth. We are seeing it 
  We know that in order to prevent the temperature of the planet from 
going up more than 2 degrees Centigrade, which is about 3.6 degrees 
Fahrenheit, we have to leave the vast bulk of our proven fossil fuel 
preserves in the ground. In other words, we have seen a 1-degree 
increase in temperature Centigrade, which is about 1.8 degrees 
Fahrenheit--almost 2 degrees--and that has come from burning fossil 
fuels. If we keep burning them, it will have a devastating impact and 
will burn up the planet. We have to stop and quickly pivot off of 
fossil fuels.
  We have identified vast reserves of gas, oil, and coal across the 
planet, which is worth a lot of money, so of course the owners want to 
pull it out of the ground and sell it to be burned. Somehow we have to 
find the political will to take this on and leave 80 percent of those 
proven fossil fuel reserves in the ground. That is the magnitude of the 
challenge, and we can do all kinds of things that will help. We can 
produce more renewable energy, we can produce more conservation, and we 
can proceed to find ways to pull carbon out of smokestacks and store it 
in the ground, or at least we can try. We need to approach it from 
every possible angle.

[[Page S4445]]

  I will keep coming to the floor, as I have before, to talk about 
keeping it in the ground. I especially wanted to emphasize that because 
when we simply talk about saving energy--like putting more insulation 
in a building, installing double-pane windows, or better mileage for 
cars--we aren't embracing the size of the challenge we are facing. It 
is an extraordinarily difficult challenge, and it is up to our 
generation to address it.
  When I come to the floor, sometimes I will be speaking about the math 
behind the temperature increase, such as how the amount of carbon 
dioxide and methane in the air is changing the atmosphere of our 
planet. Other times I will be talking about the calamities we are 
seeing on the ground, things I have already mentioned, such as the pine 
beetles that are thriving because the winter is not cold enough to kill 
the pine beetles and ticks or the coral reefs that are bleaching across 
our planet. I will also highlight emerging technologies because we have 
to realize that as much as we talk about the problem, we also have to 
talk about efforts to address the problem. I will pick out various 
ideas and efforts that are appearing in our newspapers and scientific 
literature, and that is what I will do today.
  The first innovation I will highlight today is about a strategy in 
Iceland to store carbon dioxide in the ground. This is one of the 
carbon capture strategies. This is not easy to do, and there are many 
different scientists working on different ways to attempt to capture 
carbon, but this is a new one, so I thought it merited discussion.
  Scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University 
invented a way to store carbon dioxide. It was invented here in America 
at Columbia University. They have found a way to store carbon dioxide 
by first dissolving the gas in water and then storing that water in 
rocks, where it reacts to form the mineral calcite. The calcite will 
then store the carbon dioxide as a solid deep underground.
  This project at Columbia University being experimented with in 
Iceland is called CarbFix. They pumped about 250 tons of carbon 
dioxide, which was mixed with water, into rocks in 2012. When they came 
back in 2014, they found that 95 percent of the carbon dioxide had 
become calcite. While there are some very specific requirements to make 
this particular technology work, such as the right kind of rock, the 
right amount of water, and the carbon dioxide being generated close to 
the right kind of rocks, it is an example of innovative technology that 
could prove useful as another tool in the fight against climate change.
  A second idea that is starting to expand is to recognize that we can 
put solar panels in a variety of places--not just on the ground and on 
our rooftops but also on bodies of water. This was reported in May 
2016. This is referred to as floating solar.
  Here we have a lake, and we can see these floating solar panels. 
Floating solar panels have several potential advantages over land-based 
panels. One advantage is more efficient cooling, and a second is that 
they might create less of an eyesore for the public. They might prevent 
surface water from evaporating, which can be a side effect that would 
be useful.
  Japanese, Australian, and U.S. companies are currently pursuing this 
  There is a planned array--50,904 panels floating on the Yamakura Dam 
reservoir in Japan. It would generate 16,000 megawatt hours annually, 
or to translate that to something more understandable, they could power 
5,000 homes for a year, so it is significant. In the United States, 
there is a winery in California, and it goes by the name of Far Niente. 
They have combined both land and water arrays, and that combination 
produces 477 kilowatts of electricity at its peak. It is expected to 
pay for itself by 2020, or maybe sooner, so it has a high rate of 
return. These floating panels provide an opportunity for cheaper, out-
of-the-way energy generation that has the potential to protect 
reservoirs from evaporation and water loss.
  We must continue to invest and encourage innovative technologies--
floating solar panels are one example--to make renewable energy 
adaptable to all environments, usable all over the world.
  I thought I would highlight a third technology. One of the biggest 
uses of fossil fuel is vehicles. Vehicles burn gasoline and diesel. 
Oftentimes when the vehicle finally gets up to speed, it suddenly has 
to brake for a red light. Let's say you are traveling at 35 miles per 
hour on an urban road and you suddenly stop. You are wasting enormous 
amounts of energy. All of the momentum with that mass--that car or 
truck--traveling down the road is then converted primarily into heat 
through your brakes. That heat is lost, and it is not recaptured.
  Along the way, as different companies started exploring electric 
cars, they said: We already have electric motors. We already have a 
battery sizable enough to accommodate quite a bit of electricity. Why 
don't we try to capture that energy from the braking process and put it 
back in the battery?
  What they do is they utilize magnets, and as the magnets go through a 
field, that field creates resistance, it produces a current, and that 
current--those electrons are stored in the battery. This is called 
regenerative braking, and we have seen this on a variety of electric 
cars. It just makes sense, since they already have an electric drive 
and they have the batteries to accommodate it.

  We have seen a lot of interest in electric cars. Recently, Tesla put 
out an invitation for people to put down $1,000 and get in line to buy 
their Model 3. They had the Roadster, they had the Model S, and now the 
Model 3. The Model 3 will be cost competitive with the Chevy Volt. It 
is going to be much cheaper than their previous cars. Their waiting 
list has already grown beyond 400,000 people--an enormous, 
unprecedented response.
  Tesla cars, like the Volt and other electric cars, use regenerative 
braking, but what I wanted to highlight today is an effort to apply 
this in new ways.
  UPS, the United Parcel Service, has a fleet of delivery trucks and 
they have invested in hybrid electric vehicles and they have used 
regenerative braking. Last October, they announced the deployment of 18 
new delivery vehicles that use regenerative braking to reach pretty 
much close to a zero-emissions status. They have to take into account 
the source of the initial electrons that are used to charge the trucks.
  In their announcement, they estimated those 18 delivery trucks, by 
using clean technologies, would save 1.1 million gallons of diesel fuel 
over 20 years. When we start talking about anything that includes the 
word ``million,'' such as 1 million gallons, that is a lot of savings 
from just 18 delivery trucks.
  Even more recently, we have an article in which Mack Trucks is 
developing the ability to use regenerative braking on garbage trucks. 
They have developed a new electric hybrid garbage truck. It 
incorporates a powertrain technology developed by Wrightspeed.
  Wrightspeed powertrains use electric motors to drive the wheels of 
the trucks, and the motors are powered by batteries on board the 
trucks, which are then recharged from the regenerative braking when the 
garbage truck comes to a stop.
  The point is, when you have a very heavy truck that accelerates and 
stops often, it wastes a vast amount of energy, and now they are 
working to design an effective drive train to recapture that energy. 
The founder of Wrightspeed, Ian Wright, says this new technology can 
power these vehicles for a substantial distance, and very heavy 
vehicles--66,000 pounds--it can power them up pretty steep hills. A 40-
percent grade is a very steep hill.
  The main point is, it is capturing that energy that would otherwise 
be lost every time they stop. If you have watched a garbage truck go 
down the street, it stops, the men and women on board jump off, pick up 
the garbage cans, dump them into the truck, and then they accelerate 
and four houses later they are stopping again. So this is a very 
appropriate application.
  I wonder how much energy would be saved if every car in America had 
regenerative braking. Almost every car is used in an urban setting 
where there is lots and lots of braking. How much would be saved if our 
light pickups had regenerative braking? How much energy would be saved 
if every delivery van that is heavy and starts up and stops many 
times--how much would be saved? At some other point, I want to

[[Page S4446]]

try to put together a calculation of that because it could be a 
substantial contributor.
  Each of these technologies I have mentioned today--a new strategy on 
storing carbon dioxide underground, a new way of deploying solar panels 
through floating solar panels, an expansion of the use of regenerative 
braking--represent modest efforts in this effort to take on this large 
challenge of global warming. Added together, they can make a great 
difference and other technologies to come will make a great difference.
  It is our challenge. It is our generation's responsibility to pivot 
quickly off of fossil fuels, and these strategies can help.
  Thank you, Mr. President.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Tillis). The Senator from Wyoming.

                           Fighting Terrorism

  Mr. BARRASSO. Mr. President, last week, flags across the country were 
lowered to half-staff to honor the 49 lives which were lost in the 
terrorist attack in Orlando. The American flag also flew at half-staff 
following terrorist attacks in Brussels in March, in San Bernardino 
last December, and in Paris last November.
  The flag is a symbol. It has great meaning and so do words. When we 
talk about the enemy, the words we use have meaning too, but now is not 
the time to talk. Now is the time to act. We must take action to stop 
the terrorists here and abroad.
  That is why last week Republicans were eager to get to work on 
appropriations bills that give the FBI more of the resources they need 
to stop the threats on American soil. The bill that would give law 
enforcement officials more tools to help prevent terrorist attacks was 
brought up and discussed on the floor, but what did the Democrats do? 
They came to the floor and staged a campaign-style publicity stunt.
  When Democrats were talking on the floor, Republicans attended a 
briefing by the FBI Director to listen--not to lecture, as Democrats 
were doing--but to listen and to get the facts about the specifics of 
what happened in Orlando. When Democrats held press conferences and 
sent out tweets, Republicans were pushing for the Defense Authorization 
Act that finally passed. This legislation actually does something by 
helping our military take on terrorist threats. It is directed at 
organizing the Pentagon to confront new threats. Democrats actually 
tried to block the legislation, and President Obama has threatened to 
veto it.
  President Obama went out and gave a speech last week in which he said 
ISIL is on the defense. We remember when he compared ISIL to the JV 
team. Well, now the President says they are on defense. He bragged 
about all the success he has had fighting terrorists.
  Then, his CIA Director, John Brennan, came to Capitol Hill. He came 
to speak to the Senate Intelligence Committee about what is happening 
with ISIS. He said, ``Our efforts have not reduced the group's 
terrorism capability and global reach.''
  Does the President not believe his own CIA Director?
  The CIA Director said that ISIS is adapting to our efforts, ``and it 
continues to generate at least tens of millions of dollars in revenue 
per month.'' He said that ISIL ``will intensify its global terror 
  Why does the President of the United States--the Commander in Chief--
refuse to accept the words of the CIA Director--his own CIA Director? 
The CIA Director came to the Senate and said that ``ISIS is training 
and attempting to deploy operatives for further attacks.''
  Why does the President intentionally try to deceive the American 
people in terms of thinking about what the attacks are and what is 
happening? Why does the President want to say all is well?
  The CIA Director said that ISIL ``has a large cadre of Western 
fighters who could potentially serve as operatives for further 
  The President seems to suggest the problem is not coming from the 
terrorists but coming from the Second Amendment of the Constitution.
  Whom should we believe, the President of the United States or his CIA 
Director? Somebody asked the CIA Director at the hearing last week if 
ISIL would be weaker if they didn't have a safe haven in Syria and in 
Iraq. The CIA Director replied:

       That is a big, big part of it. We need to take away their 
     safe haven.

  Terrorists use these safe havens to train, to raise money, and to 
plot more attacks. That should be the focus of President Obama and the 
Obama administration in response to Orlando.
  The administration and the President want to pretend it is succeeding 
in getting rid of the safe havens abroad. That is simply not true. The 
terrorist army of ISIL controls a significant amount of territory 
across the globe, and it is not just ISIL. There are also additional 
terrorist groups.
  The Director of National Intelligence testified to Congress earlier 
this year that Sunni violent extremists have more safe havens ``than at 
any other point in history.'' He added that Al Qaeda affiliates ``are 
positioned to make gains'' this year. According to the United Nations, 
the Taliban now controls more ground in Afghanistan than at any point 
since 2001.
  Extremists groups like ISIL need the territory they control because 
it gives them safe havens and because the territory makes them more 
powerful. It helps them inspire more of their followers to launch 
attacks around the world. It makes it seem like the ideology of radical 
Islam is winning the battle of ideas. So it is imperative that we have 
a real strategy to defeat ISIL and other terrorist groups abroad.
  We need to make sure someone in the United States or France or 
anywhere else in the world with an Internet connection does not see 
this radical Islamic ideology as victorious. That is why we need to 
pass the appropriations act that is on the floor today. Nobody believes 
that using the term ``radical Islam'' will magically defeat the enemy, 
but words do matter.
  It is interesting. I note that in the New York Times op-ed page last 
Friday, an editorial written by David Brooks--he is a columnist. The 
President listens to him. He has him into the White House, and he is 
someone the President says he turns to.
  David Brooks' column last Friday starts like this:

       Barack Obama is clearly wrong when he refuses to use the 
     word ``Islam'' in reference to Islamic terrorism. The people 
     who commit these acts are inflamed by a version of an Islamic 
     ideology. They claim an Islamic identity.

  But the President will not say it.
  Brooks goes on--and I think it is very informative seeing that it is 
David Brooks who is writing this: ``Obama is using language to engineer 
a reaction rather than to tell the truth, which is the definition of 
  The definition of propaganda. That is what we have.
  Well, if the President refuses to correctly name our enemy, he can't 
effectively fight the enemy because Democrats don't understand the 
enemy, and it seems they just want everyone to get along. The world 
does not work that way. So the Democrats tried to change the topic from 
terrorists to going after our Second Amendment rights. When they do 
this, they are not confronting the real threat, which is the ability of 
ISIL to inspire terrorists to act.
  If you want to stop the terrorist threat, you need to address the 
real problem. We must give law enforcement the support they need to 
stop the terrorists here at home. We must give our military the 
strength to deprive the terrorists of their safe havens abroad. The 
Defense Authorization Act and this Justice appropriations legislation 
are important steps toward doing that.
  Symbolic acts like lowering our flag matter, and so do words. Words 
  President Obama seems to want to take a victory lap for his efforts 
so far. Well, there will be no time for victory until ISIL is no more.
  Maybe President Obama really doesn't understand the truth about this 
threat from radical Islamic terrorists. Maybe he is just not being 
honest with the American people about it. Either way, Congress has been 
told the truth by the CIA Director. And it is up to us to do something 
about it. The CIA Director said it himself to the Senate last week. He 
said that ISIL ``would have to suffer even heavier losses of territory 
and money for its terrorist capacity to decline significantly.''

  Our response to the Orlando attack should be to step up the fight 
against ISIS where they live. We need a real strategy to defeat the 
radical Islamic

[[Page S4447]]

terrorists and the resolve and the strength to carry it out.
  Thank you, Mr. President.
  I yield the floor.
  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. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Arizona.

                             Foreign Policy

  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, in the last several days the conversation 
and the dispute and the rhetoric has been devoted to the issue of guns, 
which is certainly a worthy cause, but, unfortunately for the American 
people, the issue of how we got here has been ignored. Guns don't fire 
themselves. Guns and weapons are fired by people. They are fired by 
people, and in the cases of Orlando, San Bernardino, Paris, and others, 
they are fired by people who have been radicalized or trained or in 
some coordinated fashion have inflicted murder, death, and mayhem on 
innocent people.
  While we in all our righteous indignation talk so strongly and so 
passionately about what we have to do about the weapons, we are 
ignoring exactly how all of this happened and why it happened, and it 
is because of the policies of this President and this administration 
from the beginning. From the beginning this President wanted to get out 
of Iraq, wanted to get out of Afghanistan, believing in some delusional 
fashion that if we got out of these conflicts, the conflict would end. 
Obviously, that has not been true.
  I want to go forward and with the Senator from South Carolina, I want 
to go through a chronology of events very quickly.
  President Obama in October 2011 said:

       The tide of war is receding. . . . The long war in Iraq 
     will come to an end by the end of this year. . . . We're also 
     moving into a new phase in the relationship between the 
     United States and Iraq.
       We'll partner with an Iraq that contributes to regional 
     security and peace. . . . Just as Iraqis have persevered 
     through war, I'm confident that they can build a future 
     worthy of their history as a cradle of civilization.

  President Obama, December 2011: ``We're leaving behind a sovereign, 
stable and self-reliant Iraq.''
  President Bush, July 2007:

       To begin withdrawing before our commanders tell us we are 
     ready would be dangerous for Iraq, for the region and for the 
     United States. It would mean surrendering the future of Iraq 
     to Al Qaeda. It would mean that we'd be risking mass killings 
     on a horrific scale. It would mean we allow the terrorists to 
     establish a safe haven in Iraq to replace the one they lost 
     in Afghanistan. It would mean we'd be increasing the 
     probability that American troops would have to return at some 
     later date to confront an enemy that is even more dangerous.

  I know my colleagues have not missed it. American troops have had to 
return to confront an enemy that is even more dangerous, and those are 
the words of President George W. Bush in July of 2007.
  In October of 2011, at the same time that the President said that 
``the tide of war is receding,'' I, myself, said:

       [T]his decision will be viewed as a strategic victory for 
     our enemies in the Middle East, especially the Iranian 
     regime, which has worked relentlessly to ensure a full 
     withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
       [A]ll of our military commanders with whom I have spoken on 
     my repeated visits to Iraq have told me that U.S. national 
     security interests and the enduring needs of Iraq's military 
     required a continued presence of U.S. troops in Iraq beyond 
     2011 to safeguard the gains that we and our Iraqi partners 
     have made.
       Nearly 4,500 Americans have given their lives for our 
     mission in Iraq. Countless more have been wounded. . . . I 
     fear that all of the gains made possible by these brave 
     Americans in Iraq, at such grave cost, are now at risk.

  That is what I said in October of 2011. As the situation worsened in 
December of 2011, I said:

       [Domestic] political considerations in [the United States 
     and Iraq] have been allowed to trump our common security 
     interests. All of the progress that both Iraqis and Americans 
     have made, at such painful and substantial cost, has now been 
     put at greater risk.
  Senators McCain and Graham in December 2011:

       If Iraq slides back into sectarian violence, the 
     consequences will be catastrophic for the Iraqi people and 
     U.S. interests in the Middle East, and a clear victory for al 
     Qaeda and Iran. A deterioration of the kind we are now 
     witnessing in Iraq was not unforeseen, and now the U.S. 
     government must do whatever it can to help Iraqis stabilize 
     the situation. We call upon the Obama Administration and the 
     Iraqi government to reopen negotiations with the goal of 

  Reopen negotiations with the United States of America--

     with the goal of maintaining an effective residual U.S. 
     military presence in Iraq before the situation deteriorates 

  What we were saying is, we didn't have to pull everybody out of Iraq. 
We could have stayed. What they kept saying is: What we need is a 
status of forces agreement. The fact is that now there is no mention of 
a status of forces agreement, and there are 4,500 Americans there and 
possibly more.
  President Obama, January of 2014: ``The analogy we use around here 
sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers 
uniforms that doesn't make them Kobe Bryant.''
  He went on to say they are the JV team; ISIS is the JV.
  Senators McCain and Graham in October of 2013 wrote:

       By nearly every indicator, the situation in Iraq has 
     worsened dramatically since the beginning of the conflict in 
     Syria and the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq in 2011. . 
     . . What's worse, the deteriorating conflict in Syria has 
     enabled al Qaeda in Iraq to transform into the larger and 
     more lethal Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), which 
     now has a major base for operations spanning both Iraq and 
     Syria. It may just be a matter of time until al Qaeda seeks 
     to use its new safe haven in these countries to launch 
     attacks against U.S. interests.

  That was what Senator Graham and Senator McCain said in October 2013.
  Senators McCain and Graham, January 2014:

       Reports that Al-Qaeda fighters have taken over Fallujah and 
     are gaining ground in other parts of Iraq are as tragic as 
     they are predictable.
       The Administration's failure in Iraq has been compounded by 
     its failed policy in Syria. It has sat by and refused to take 
     any meaningful action, while the conflict has claimed more 
     than 130,000 lives--

  It has now taken more than 400,000 lives, by the way.

     driven a quarter of the Syrian population from their homes, 
     fueled the resurgence of Al-Qaeda, and devolved into a 
     regional conflict that now threatens our national security 
     interests and the stability of Syria's neighbors, especially 

  As the situation worsened in April of 2014, I said:

       It is reality check time in Iraq, where the Syria-Iraq 
     border has turned into a major highway and safe haven for 
     transnational terrorist groups. The black flags of al-Qaeda 
     fly over the city of Fallujah, where hundreds of U.S. troops 
     were killed and injured. Violence across the country has 
     reached the same levels as at the height of the Iraqi 
     insurgency in 2008, and the country is creeping dangerously 
     close to a reignition of civil conflict.

  President Obama, September 2014: ``We will degrade and ultimately 
destroy ISIL.''
  John McCain, September 2014:

       The President's plan will likely be insufficient to destroy 
     ISIS, which is the world's largest, richest terrorist army. 
     To destroy ISIS, create conditions for enduring security in 
     the Middle East, and protect the American people, additional 
     steps are necessary.
       Half measures against ISIS only make it stronger and will 
     not lead to its destruction.

  That was almost 2 years ago.
  Senators Graham and McCain, October of 2014:

       We continue to urge the Administration to quickly adopt a 
     comprehensive strategy [against ISIL] and avoid the perils of 
     gradual escalation.
       Degrading and ultimately destroying ISIS will require 
     additional actions that we have long advocated, such as the 
     deployment of U.S. Special Forces and military advisers on 
     the ground to direct air strikes and advise our local 
     partners; the expansion of assistance for moderate Syrian 
     forces, and the establishment of safe zones protected by no 
     fly zones in Syria. . . . That is ultimately what it will 
     take to destroy ISIS and keep America safe, and we cannot 
     avoid to delay any longer.

  That was nearly 2 years ago.
  The list goes on and on. I will make it a part of the Record.
  My friend is here.
  All during this time, while Senator Graham and I were warning time 
after time, using every means possible to warn the American people and 
our colleagues that this thing was going to escalate because the 
President of the United States did not have a strategy, his policies 
failed. Now we have attacks on the United States of America. I have 
been pilloried because I used the

[[Page S4448]]

word ``personal.'' I said I misspoke. But have no doubt about why we 
are where we are today, and that is because this administration, this 
President, called ISIL the JV, saying that if a JV team puts on Lakers 
uniforms, that doesn't make them Kobe Bryant. Does anybody today 
believe that ISIS is JV?
  The list goes on and on.
  I want my colleague Senator Graham to speak for a moment, and I will 
go on with these because we can see the competing statements between 
the administration and the President and Senators Graham and McCain. 
They are starkly different.
  What else has happened there? The echo chamber, as was described by 
Mr. Rhodes, one of the President's chief advisers--the echo chamber of 
Krugman, of Zakaria, of Friedman, of Ignatius, all the echo chambers 
out there saying: He's doing fine. Everything is fine. This guy is 
leading great and not to worry. Things are really great. The echo 
chamber that Mr. Rhodes described in an article in The Atlantic about 
how they were able to orchestrate the Iranian agreement is out there.
  So as we warned--as we warned and predicted--I wish we had been 
wrong. I would love to stand on the floor of the Senate and say: 
Senator Graham and I were wrong. We didn't have to worry about ISIS. 
They were the JV.
  We were right, and we continue to be right, and we still don't have a 
strategy. But there is the echo chamber out there. The echo chamber 
that goes on and on.
  My friends, I believe the American people deserve better than what 
they are getting from this echo chamber, who are the Obamaphiles that 
can incredibly--incredibly--praise all of these mistakes.
  Finally, I urge my colleagues--and I will go through some more of 
these--but my colleagues, I warn that unless we get a real strategy and 
stop this incrementalism, we are going to see--perhaps we will retake 
Fallujah, as we had. We may even retake Mosul. But this ISIS is still 
metastasizing and spreading throughout the world, and there is no 
better expert than the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, who 
basically said that in a hearing to not only the Members of Congress 
but the American people.
  I would like to yield for some comments to my friend, the Senator 
from South Carolina.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Thank you very much.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Carolina.
  Mr. GRAHAM. I wish we were wrong too. The worst is yet to come. I 
hate to be saying this all the time, but as they are losing territory 
in Iraq, which they are, and they are being hurt some in Syria, which 
they are, they are becoming a lethal terrorist organization. They are a 
terrorist army now holding territory. All I can say is that you could 
see this coming a mile away if you spent any time looking.
  The biggest flaw of the President of the United States, I believe, is 
that he doesn't think we are at war. He thinks this is a 
counterterrorism problem, that these are wayward souls or religious 
fanatics, and he doesn't embrace the fact that radical Islam is loosely 
associated throughout the globe. They have an agenda to destroy our way 
of life, to purify their religion, to destroy the State of Israel. It 
is on the Sunni and the Shia side. It represents a small minority of 
the Islamic faith.

  When you talk about radical Islam, you are not slandering those who 
are fighting radical Islam. They don't feel slandered. I have been to 
Iraq and Afghanistan with Senator McCain over 37 times. I have yet to 
have one leader in that part of the world tell me: Would you quit using 
the term ``radical Islam.'' They appreciate the fact that we understand 
the threat and that what we have been proposing would actually work.
  The JV team here is in the White House. I really don't mean to 
slander JV teams. The bottom line is that the people in the White House 
have proven they are not up to the task of defending this Nation, 
destroying radical Islam, and coming up with a plan to make us safe and 
protect our allies. How much more has to happen before you realize the 
people running this war, No. 1, don't realize we are at war. It is hard 
to win a war when you don't realize you are in one.
  What happened in Orlando breaks your heart, but the Attorney General 
went down yesterday--and I like her very much--to offer sympathy to the 
victims, and she made a statement: We will never know what motivated 
this man.
  Excuse me. We do. All you have to do is listen to what he said. He 
pledged allegiance to al-Baghdadi in the middle of the slaughter. He 
went to the other side.
  In every war America has been in, we have had Americans side with the 
enemy. It is an unfortunate event, but it happens in all wars. Radical 
Islamic groups like ISIL are trying to turn American citizens against 
us. This man joined their cause. He called 911 and said: I am now a 
soldier in the army of ISIS. I pledge allegiance to al-Baghdadi--not to 
the citizens of the United States and the country in which he was a 
citizen. And he slaughtered a bunch of people.
  Madam Attorney General, I know why he did it. The fact that you 
cannot understand why he did it bothers me as far as your view of the 
fight we are in.
  But let's go back to the time ISIL was created. Al Qaeda in Iraq was 
decimated by the surge. It is fair to criticize the Bush 
administration. President Bush did make mistakes. Senator McCain called 
for the removal of the Secretary of Defense under President Bush's 
watch, Secretary Rumsfeld, because he believed Secretary Rumsfeld did 
not appreciate the deteriorating security environment in Iraq.
  As the Middle East deteriorates, I don't remember anybody on this 
side of the aisle standing up and saying: President Obama, you need to 
reconsider what you are doing.
  Senator McCain, when the Republicans were in charge, President Bush 
was Commander in Chief, challenged the construct that all things were 
going well in Iraq when they were not. So I want to give some credit to 
Senator McCain. It is not just Obama; when he sees a problem, he speaks 
  The bottom line is that President Bush made an adjustment. He doubled 
down on the surge. He sent more troops into Iraq under General 
Petraeus. Guess what. The new strategy worked.
  By 2011, President Obama was claiming this to be a successful 
operation, that we could leave Iraq whole, free, secure, and stable. 
Vice President Biden said it may be the biggest accomplishment of the 
Obama administration, to withdraw our forces from Iraq because we are 
in such a good spot. The New York Times held the security environment 
in Iraq as a major achievement.
  What we were trying to say, along with our military commanders, was 
that if they pull out now, the gains we fought for are going to be 
  This is what I said on April 3, 2011, as this negotiation was going 

       If we're not smart enough to work with the Iraqis to have 
     10-15,000 American troops in Iraq in 2012, Iraq could go to 
       I'm urging the Obama Administration to work with the Maliki 
     Administration in Iraq to make sure we have enough troops, 10 
     to 15 thousand, beginning in 2012 to secure the gains that we 
     have achieved. . . . This is a defining moment in the future 
     of Iraq . . . and in my view they are going down the wrong 
     road in Iraq.

  When the administration tells you that the Iraqis would not accept a 
residual force, they are lying. I don't use that word lightly because 
it is a harsh word. They are intentionally misleading you. They are 
lying. Let me tell you why I know.
  I was there. I got a phone call from Secretary of State Hillary 
Clinton asking me--along with Senator McCain and Senator Lieberman--to 
go to Iraq to see if we could talk to the Iraqis about a residual 
force. We met with Barzani, the President of the Kurdish element of 
Iraq. Not only would he have accepted 15,000, he would have accepted 
250,000. Anybody who knows anything about the Kurds, they are not 
resistant to American troops in Iraq. They would put them all in 
Kurdistan if we would let them.
  Then we went to Maliki, who was a Prime Minister, head of a Sunni 
block. He said the Sunni members of this political block realize that 
without an American follow-on force, Iran will come in, fill the 
vacuum, and the Sunnis will feel threatened because the political 
achievements will all be at risk because the balance of the military 
power will change.
  Then we went to Maliki. I can remember it like it was yesterday. It 
was Senator McCain, Senator Lieberman,

[[Page S4449]]

and I. It was always us three, and I am at the end of the line, as I 
should be. There was Ambassador Jeffries and General Austin, who was 
the commander of our forces in Iraq.
  When it was my time, I looked Maliki in the eye and said: Would you 
support a residual force to maintain the gains we have achieved 
  He looked me in the eye and he said: How many troops are you talking 
  I turned to General Austin and Ambassador Jeffries, and General 
Austin said: We are still working on that number.
  We went back to talk to the Vice President. The military had 
recommended 18,000--General Austin had--and the Chairman of the Joint 
Chiefs said we could get by with 10,000, but they wouldn't go below 
10,000. According to General Dempsey, then Chairman of the Joint 
Chiefs, the administration kept reducing the number below 10,000, and 
it got to almost 1,500.
  This cascading of numbers of troops did not come from the Iraqis 
saying that was too many; it came from the White House, which really 
wanted to get to zero. So when you try to blame the Iraqis for your 
mistake, you are lying.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent for a colloquy 
with Senator Graham.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. McCAIN. May I also add that at the same time, this President and 
his administration were saying that we can't get a status of forces 
agreement with the Iraqi Government; that has to go through the 
Parliament. Is there any mention today of this same President who says 
it is absolutely necessary for us to have a status of forces agreement 
as we incrementally increase our troop strength in Iraq?
  Mr. GRAHAM. Isn't it kind of odd that we have not 4,500, we have over 
5,000 troops. They are playing with the numbers again. I know this. 
There are over 5,000 troops. About 1,000 are off the books. They are 
there; they are just not being counted.
  This incessant desire by the President to say we are not in combat 
offends the heck out of me. Tell that to the family of the Navy SEAL 
who was killed. They don't want to admit we are in combat because that 
means we are at war. They don't want to admit we are at war, and I 
don't know why because this guy in Orlando certainly was at war with 
  We have a presence in Iraq, and isn't it unusual that no one is 
saying that we need approval from the Iraqi Government now? This was 
never the problem. The problem was that President Obama sincerely 
wanted to end both wars. He saw an opportunity in 2011 to fulfill a 
campaign promise because America is war weary, and I understand that. 
But at the end of the day, he ignored sound military advice, and 
everything that Senator McCain and I and others have said has come true 
in spades.
  Let me tell you about a comment by the President yesterday that our 
military strategy regarding ISIL is hitting on all cylinders. Mr. 
President, you need to get out of the White House and take a new look 
at what is going on in the world.
  Yesterday there was testimony by a Yazidi woman in the Homeland 
Security Committee.
  Last week the U.N. issued a report that ISIL is engaged in genocide 
against the Yazidi people. This is a people who mix Christianity and 
Islam, and they have a unique religion. ISIL is in the process of 
destroying the Yazidi community that has been in existence for 
thousands of years.
  Yesterday this woman testified that eight members of her family, 
including her mother, were killed by ISIL. She was gang-raped. She 
said: Don't feel sorry for me; they are doing this to girls as young as 
8 years old.
  So, Mr. President, go tell that young woman that your military 
strategy when it comes to ISIL is working on all cylinders. The U.N. 
Special Envoy to Syria estimates that 400,000 people have been killed 
in Syria, where ISIL's headquarters exist.
  Mr. President, go tell the people, the families of the victims of 
ISIL in Syria, that your military strategy is working on all cylinders. 
How do you explain the fact that there are now up to 8,000 ISIL 
fighters in Libya?
  I had a conversation yesterday with AFRICOM Commander Waldhauser, who 
is an incredibly gifted man. I asked him: Is ISIL in Libya?
  He said: Yes.
  Are they a threat to our homeland?
  He said: Yes.
  Are we doing anything militarily to engage them?
  He said: Virtually nothing.
  I asked him: How many airstrikes have there been against ISIL 
soldiers in Libya?
  He said: Zero.
  The bottom line, Mr. President, is we are not hitting on all 
cylinders. We are making some gains, but you don't have an overall 
strategy to secure these gains. Leaving Assad in power is the worst 
possible outcome for the United States because the Sunni Arabs see him 
as a puppet of Iran, and he is the one who has killed most of the 
400,000, not ISIL. The Syrian people are never going to accept him as 
their leader.
  Russia and Iran have come to the aid of the Butcher of Damascus, 
Assad. They have bombed the people we have trained to fight not only 
ISIL but Assad. The Russian people have killed the people the American 
President tried to recruit to our cause, and we are not doing a darn 
thing about it.
  Mr. President, your military strategy is not working. Tell that to 
the King of Jordan, where there are more Syrian refugees today than 
there has ever been in the history of Jordan. Two weeks ago there was a 
report that there were more refugees in the world now than there were 
post-World War II. Tell it to the people of Lebanon, where one out of 
five children in the primary schools is a Syrian refugee child. Tell 
that to the people of Turkey.
  Mr. President, the bottom line: You always underestimate the threat. 
You try to undersell what is going on, and you oversell our successes.
  I hope the people in this body will realize that some of the votes we 
are going to take in the coming weeks will correct this course, and I 
hope you realize that the war is not going as well as the President 
says it is. I want it to go better. I want to destroy ISIL. I promise 
you this: The strategy we have in Syria will never lead to ISIL's 
destruction. The people we are training to fight ISIL are mostly Kurds, 
and the Kurds do not have the ability to go into Raqqah, Syria, which 
is an Arab town, and take it away from ISIL and hold it. And the people 
we are training are Communist, Marxist Kurds. Their acronym is YPG. 
They are associated with the PKK, which is a terrorist organization in 
Turkey. I appreciate their help, but the future of Syria should not lie 
in the hands of a bunch of Communist, Marxist Kurds who could never 
ever bring about stability in Syria.
  We don't have a game plan to end this war. We don't have a diplomatic 
strategy. If you don't believe me, ask the 50-plus Foreign Service 
officers who wrote a letter publicly urging the President to change his 
strategy in Syria because it is not working. You can discount Senator 
McCain and me if you would like, but these are 50 people who dedicated 
their lives to understanding the Middle East. They said in an open 
letter that we should be taking the Assad regime on because if he stays 
in power, this war will never end. He is literally getting away with 
murder. And our strategy of appeasing Assad because of Russia and 
Iran's involvement is going to lead not only to the destruction of 
Syria but also to a change in the power balance in the Middle East that 
is harmful to us.
  It is not just us saying it is not working. Mr. President, your 
military strategy is not working on all cylinders. The Yazidi community 
is being decimated on your watch. Some 400,000 people have been 
murdered on your watch, and we haven't even gotten to the mistake you 
made in Syria yet. As we withdrew our forces from Iraq against sound 
military advice, the people of Syria rose up against Assad, demanding 
the freedom all of us take for granted. There was a moment in time when 
Assad was on the ropes. The people of Syria rose up as part of the Arab 
spring. Every person in the administration advised President Obama to 
help the Free Syrian Army while they were intact, and he said no. When 
he said no, Hezbollah, which is an agent of Iran, the Shia militia, 
sent 5,000 troops to support Assad. Russia eventually got in on Assad's 
side, and the entire mess

[[Page S4450]]

in Syria has exploded. His unwillingness to help the Free Syrian Army 
take Assad out created the vacuum inside of Syria that ISIL filled.
  So to those who look at Orlando as a gun control problem, I think you 
are missing the story of Orlando. Orlando is about ISIL being seen as a 
winner by people over here who are sympathetic to their cause. ISIL is 
being seen throughout the world as a winning team, not a JV team. What 
we see in Orlando is someone who was recruited to their cause and our 
intelligence systems failed.
  I am not blaming the FBI, but the fact of the matter is we 
interviewed this guy a couple of times, he was on our watch list, and 
he fell through the cracks.
  Mr. McCAIN. May I also point out to my friend that the President and 
members of the administration continuously say: We only have two 
choices. One is do nothing or very little, or we have to send 200,000 
troops. You know, I grow so weary of that straw man being set up by the 
President of the United States, because it is intellectually dishonest.
  What we have called for--I am not sure this President can lead and do 
it because he has no credibility in the Middle East anywhere. When he 
decided that they had crossed the redline and we were going to take 
military action and then did nothing, that had a profound effect 
throughout the Middle East. There is no trust or confidence in the 
United States. But if there were, it would be approximately 100,000 
troops--about 10,000 Americans, the Sunni Arabs, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, 
and the other Gulf countries--a force that would go to Iraq today and 
take out ISIS.
  I want to assure my fellow Americans that as long as ISIS has a 
geographic base in Raqqa, they will be exporting terror into the United 
States and Europe. Baghdadi, we know, is sending people with these 
devices--secure encrypted devices. We know there is self-radicalization 
taking place as we speak. We know they are being inserted into the 
refugee stream. We know these things. As long as they have a capital 
and we have no strategy for retaking that capital, there will be 
further attacks, as the Director of the CIA has said, as the Director 
of National Intelligence has said. There will be further attacks on the 
United States of America.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record 
these statements by the President and by Senator Graham and myself.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                     Obama on Withdrawal From Iraq

                     President Obama, October 2011

       ``The tide of war is receding . . . The long war in Iraq 
     will come to an end by the end of this year . . . We're also 
     moving into a new phase in the relationship between the 
     United States and Iraq . . . We'll partner with an Iraq that 
     contributes to regional security and peace . . . Just as 
     Iraqis have persevered through war, I'm confident that they 
     can build a future worthy of their history as a cradle of 

                     President Obama, December 2011

       ``We're leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant 

                       President Bush, July 2007

       ``To begin withdrawing before our commanders tell us we are 
     ready would be dangerous for Iraq, for the region and for the 
     United States. It would mean surrendering the future of Iraq 
     to Al Qaeda. It would mean that we'd be risking mass killings 
     on a horrific scale. It would mean we allow the terrorists to 
     establish a safe haven in Iraq to replace the one they lost 
     in Afghanistan. It would mean we'd be increasing the 
     probability that American troops would have to return at some 
     later date to confront an enemy that is even more 

                      Senator McCain, October 2011

       ``This decision will be viewed as a strategic victory for 
     our enemies in the Middle East, especially the Iranian 
     regime, which has worked relentlessly to ensure a full 
     withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq . . . all of our military 
     commanders with whom I have spoken on my repeated visits to 
     Iraq have told me that U.S. national security interests and 
     the enduring needs of Iraq's military required a continued 
     presence of U.S. troops in Iraq beyond 2011 to safeguard the 
     gains that we and our Iraqi partners have made . . . Nearly 
     4,500 Americans have given their lives for our mission in 
     Iraq. Countless more have been wounded . . . I fear that all 
     of the gains made possible by these brave Americans in Iraq, 
     at such grave cost, are now at risk.''

       As the situation worsened . . .

                     Senator McCain, December 2011

       ``[Domestic] political considerations in [the United States 
     and Iraq] have been allowed to trump our common security 
     interests. All of the progress that both Iraqis and Americans 
     have made, at such painful and substantial cost, has now been 
     put at greater risk.''

               Senators McCain and Graham, December 2011

       ``If Iraq slides back into sectarian violence, the 
     consequences will be catastrophic for the Iraqi people and 
     U.S. interests in the Middle East, and a clear victory for al 
     Qaeda and Iran. A deterioration of the kind we are now 
     witnessing in Iraq was not unforeseen, and now the U.S. 
     government must do whatever it can to help Iraqis stabilize 
     the situation. We call upon the Obama Administration and the 
     Iraqi government to reopen negotiations with the goal of 
     maintaining an effective residual U.S. military presence in 
     Iraq before the situation deteriorates further.''

                          Obama: Assad Must Go

                      President Obama, August 2011

       ``For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for 
     President Assad to step aside.''

     Obama Administration official in the New Yorker, December 2015

       ``The meaning of `Assad has to go' has evolved.''

                     Senator McCain, December 2015

       ``So why has the meaning of `Assad has to go' evolved? 
     Because this Administration was overpowered, outplayed, and 
     outmatched. This Administration consoled themselves with the 
     mantra of `there is no military solution,' rather than facing 
     the reality that there is a clear military dimension to a 
     political solution in Syria. That is what Russia and Iran 
     have demonstrated. They have changed the military facts on 
     the ground and created the terms for a political settlement 
     more favorable to their interests. And I believe as a result, 
     the conflict will grind on, ISIL will grow stronger, and the 
     refugees will keep coming.''

                White House: Assad's Fall Is Inevitable

          White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, January 2012

       ``Assad's fall is inevitable . . . It's important to 
     calculate into your consideration the fact that he will go. 
     The regime has lost control of the country and he will 
     eventually fall.''

                       Senator McCain, March 2012

       ``The Administration's approach to Syria is starting to 
     look more like a hope than a strategy. So, too, does their 
     continued insistence that Assad's fall is `inevitable.' Tell 
     that to the people of Homs. Tell that to the people of Idlib, 
     or Hama, or the other cities that Assad's forces are now 
     moving against. Nothing in this world is pre-determined. And 
     claims about the inevitability of events can often be a 
     convenient way to abdicate responsibility.''
       Warning about sectarian conflict in 
     Syria . . .

                       Senator McCain, March 2012

       ``The surest way for Al-Qaeda to gain a foothold in Syria 
     is for us to turn our backs on those brave Syrians who are 
     fighting to defend themselves. After all, Sunni Iraqis were 
     willing to ally with Al-Qaeda when they felt desperate 
     enough. But when America gave them a better alternative, they 
     turned their guns on Al-Qaeda. Why should it be different in 
     Syria? . . . As we saw in Iraq, or Lebanon before it, time 
     favors the hard-liners in a conflict like this. The suffering 
     of Sunnis at the hands of Assad only stokes the temptation 
     for revenge, which in turn only deepens fears among the 
     Alawites, and strengthens their incentive to keep fighting. 
     For this reason alone, it is all the more compelling to find 
     a way to end the bloodshed as soon as possible.''

                       Senator McCain, June 2012

       ``If we fail to act, the consequences are clear. Syria will 
     become a failed state in the heart of the Middle East, 
     threatening both our ally Israel and our NATO ally Turkey. 
     With or without Assad, the country will devolve into a full-
     scale civil war with areas of ungoverned space that Al-Qaeda 
     and its allies will occupy. Violence and radicalism will 
     spill even more into Lebanon and Iraq, fueling sectarian 
     conflicts that are still burning in both countries. Syria 
     will turn into a battlefield between Sunni and Shia 
     extremists, each backed by foreign powers, which will ignite 
     sectarian tensions from North Africa to the Gulf and risk a 
     wider regional conflict. This is the course we are on in 
     Syria, and we must act now to avoid it.''

           Obama: Russian Syria Intervention Will Be Quagmire

                     President Obama, October 2015

       ``An attempt by Russia and Iran to prop up Assad and try to 
     pacify the population is just going to get them stuck in a 
     quagmire and it won't work.''

                      Secretary Kerry, March 2016

       ``Russia is now helping with the cessation of hostilities. 
     And if Russia can help us to actually effect this political 
     transition, that is all to the strategic interest of the 
     United States of America.''
       Warning of foreign intervention . . .

                       Senator McCain, March 2012

       ``Increasingly, the question for U.S. policy is not whether 
     foreign forces will intervene

[[Page S4451]]

     militarily in Syria. We can be confident that Syria's 
     neighbors will do so eventually, if they have not already. 
     Some kind of intervention will happen, with us or without us 
     . . . We also hear it said, including by the Administration, 
     that we should not contribute to the militarization of the 
     conflict. If only Russia and Iran shared that sentiment. 
     Instead, they are shamelessly fueling Assad's killing 
     machine. We need to deal with reality as it is, not as we 
     wish it to be--and the reality in Syria today is largely a 
     one-sided fight where the aggressors are not lacking for 
     military means and zeal. Indeed, Assad appears to be fully 
     committed to crushing the opposition at all costs. Iran and 
     Russia appear to be fully committed to helping him do it.''
       On the nature of Russian intervention . . .

                      Senator McCain, October 2015

       The Administration has accepted ``Russia's expanded role in 
     Syria, and as a consequence, for Assad's continued 
     brutalization of the Syrian people. It is simply 
     incomprehensible that the Administration is taking such great 
     pains to offer Russia a `constructive' role in Syria, 
     pretending that Russia has the slightest interest in anything 
     other than propping up the murderous Assad regime. That is 
     what Russia has been doing for four years as Assad has 
     slaughtered more than 200,000 Syrians, and that is what 
     Russia is doing now.''
       What has happened since . . .

                       Senator McCain, April 2016

       ``Last year, Vladimir Putin moved to fill the strategic 
     vacuum that the United States has left in the Middle East. In 
     its first out-of-area military since the time of the czars, 
     Russian forces moved into Syria, doubled down on the Assad 
     regime, and decimated the moderate Syrian opposition groups 
     that America and our allies said we were supporting. Russia 
     has used Syria as a live-fire exercise for its modernizing 
     military. Despite predictions of a Russian quagmire, Putin 
     has instead used limited military means to achieve distinct 
     political goals. Despite Putin's pledged withdrawal from 
     Syria, Assad's forces, backed by Russia, now appear poised to 
     retake Aleppo. Meanwhile, advanced Russian military 
     capabilities remain in Syria, enhancing Putin's ability to 
     project power beyond the region.''

                       Obama Underestimating ISIL

                     President Obama, January 2014

       ``The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is 
     accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that 
     doesn't make them Kobe Bryant.''

                Senators McCain and Graham, October 2013

       ``By nearly every indicator, the situation in Iraq has 
     worsened dramatically since the beginning of the conflict in 
     Syria and the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq in 2011 . . 
     . What's worse, the deteriorating conflict in Syria has 
     enabled al Qaeda in Iraq to transform into the larger and 
     more lethal Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), which 
     now has a major base for operations spanning both Iraq and 
     Syria. It may just be a matter of time until al Qaeda seeks 
     to use its new safe haven in these countries to launch 
     attacks against U.S. interests.''
       ISIL captured Fallujah three months later . . .

                Senators McCain and Graham, January 2014

       ``Reports that Al-Qaeda fighters have taken over Fallujah 
     and are gaining ground in other parts of Iraq are as tragic 
     as they were predictable . . . The Administration's failure 
     in Iraq has been compounded by its failed policy in Syria. It 
     has sat by and refused to take any meaningful action, while 
     the conflict has claimed more than 130,000 lives, driven a 
     quarter of the Syrian population from their homes, fueled the 
     resurgence of Al-Qaeda, and devolved into a regional conflict 
     that now threatens our national security interests and the 
     stability of Syria's neighbors, especially Iraq.''
       As the situation worsened . . .

                       Senator McCain, April 2014

       ``It is reality check time in Iraq, where the Syria-Iraq 
     border has turned into a major highway and safe haven for 
     transnational terrorist groups. The black flags of al-Qaeda 
     fly over the city of Fallujah, where hundreds of U.S. troops 
     were killed and injured. Violence across the country has 
     reached the same levels as at the height of the Iraqi 
     insurgency in 2008, and the country is creeping dangerously 
     close to a reignition of civil conflict.''

                    Obama on Leaving ISIL Unchecked

                    President Obama, September 2014

       ``So ISIL poses a threat to the people of Iraq and Syria, 
     and the broader Middle East--including American citizens, 
     personnel and facilities. If left unchecked, these terrorists 
     could pose a growing threat beyond that region, including to 
     the United States.''

                Senators McCain and Graham, August 2014

       ``Americans need to know that ISIS is not just a problem 
     for Iraq and Syria. It is a threat to the United States. 
     Doing too little to combat ISIS has been a problem. Doing 
     less is certainly not the answer now . . . ISIS presents Mr. 
     Obama with a similar challenge, and it has already forced him 
     to begin changing course, albeit grudgingly. He should accept 
     the necessity of further change and adopt a strategy to 
     defeat this threat . . . If he does not, ISIS will continue 
     to grow into an even graver danger to our allies and to us.''
       Nearly two years into the campaign to ``check'' ISIL . . .
       ISIL has metastasized to Yemen, Egypt, Lebanon, 
     Afghanistan, and Libya.
       As of the end of April 2016, CNN reported that ISIL had 
     conducted or inspired at least 90 terrorist attacks in 21 
     countries other than Iraq and Syria.
       That, of course, doesn't account for the 49 Americans 
     murdered in Orlando by a terrorist who pledged allegiance to 
       If it wasn't clear then, ISIL's threat to our homeland is 
     real, direct, and growing.

                        Obama on Destroying ISIL

                    President Obama, September 2014

       ``We will degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL.''

                     Senator McCain, September 2014

       ``The President's plan will likely be insufficient to 
     destroy ISIS, which is the world's largest, richest terrorist 
     army. To destroy ISIS, create conditions for enduring 
     security in the Middle East, and protect the American people, 
     additional steps are necessary . . . Half measures against 
     ISIS only make it stronger and will not lead to its 
       Urging a comprehensive plan . . .

                Senators McCain and Graham, October 2014

       ``We continue to urge the Administration to quickly adopt a 
     comprehensive strategy [against ISIL and avoid the perils of 
     gradual escalation . . . Degrading and ultimately destroying 
     ISIS will require additional actions that we have long 
     advocated, such as the deployment of U.S. Special Forces and 
     military advisers on the ground to direct airstrikes and 
     advise our local partners; the expansion of assistance for 
     moderate Syrian forces, and the establishment of safe zones 
     protected by no fly zones in Syria . . . That is ultimately 
     what it will take to destroy ISIS and keep America safe, and 
     we cannot afford to delay any longer.''

                     Senator McCain, November 2014

       ``Applying a half-hearted bombing campaign without 
     seriously undertaking complementary efforts to train and 
     assist local forces and protect civilians in Syria is simply 
     doomed to fail. It is time for this Administration to stand 
     by our Syrian allies, as it has done for other communities in 
     Iraq and Syria, and move quickly to support moderate 
     opposition forces fighting against ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra 
     and protect the Syrian people from Assad's deadly air 
     campaign. Until such actions are taken, I fear that the 
     threat posed by ISIS will continue to metastasize.''

                        Obama on Containing ISIL

                     President Obama, November 2015

       ``We have contained them.''
       The day after this statement, ISIL attacked in Paris . . .

                     Senator McCain, November 2015

       ``What should now be clear is that ISIL is determined to 
     attack the heart of the civilized world, Europe and the 
     United States--that it has the intent to attack us, the 
     capability to attack us, and the sanctuary from which to plan 
     those attacks. What should now be clear is that our people 
     and our allies will not be safe until ISIL is destroyed--not 
     just degraded, but destroyed; not eventually, but as soon as 

                 General Joseph Dunford, December 2015

       ``We have not contained ISIL.''
       Further warning that ISIL is not contained . . .

                     Senator McCain, December 2015

       ``As long as this caliphate exists in Raqqa, they are going 
     to be able to orchestrate attacks and metastasize and maybe 
     even move to Libya.''
       ISIL's scored its biggest victory in Libya in June 2016 
     when it captured Sirte. Today, ISIL still has over 5,000 
     fighters in Libya.
       In January 2016, ISIL was so contained that the Obama 
     Administration approved targeting ISIL in Afghanistan nearly 
     a year after they had arrived on the battlefield . . .

                      Senator McCain, January 2016

       ``Now the administration seems to be waking up to the fact 
     that more than a year into the U.S. military campaign, ISIL's 
     reach is global and growing. We can only hope it won't take 
     so long for the administration to realize that conditions on 
     the ground in Afghanistan simply don't warrant a dangerous, 
     calendar-driven withdrawal of U.S. forces.''
       As of today, the Obama administration is moving forward 
     with plans to cut U.S. forces in half by the end of the year.

  Mr. McCAIN. I would point out that, as long ago as August 2014, 
Senator Graham and I said:

       Americans need to know that ISIS is not just a problem for 
     Iraq and Syria. It is a threat to the United States. Doing 
     too little to combat ISIS has been a problem. Doing less is 
     certainly not the answer now . . . ISIS presents Mr. Obama 
     with a similar challenge, and it has already forced him to 
     begin changing course, albeit grudgingly. . . . If he does 
     not, ISIS will continue to grow into an even graver danger to 
     our allies and to us.

  It was obvious.
  Here is a quote from President Obama from November 2015: ``We have 
contained them.''
  Really? We have contained them?
  Again, General Dunford said, in a further warning, that ISIL is not 

[[Page S4452]]

  I said in December of 2015: ``As long as this caliphate exists in 
Raqqa, they are going to be able to orchestrate attacks and metastasize 
and maybe even move to Libya.''
  Guess what. They moved to Libya.
  The list goes on and on.
  From August 2011, here is one of my favorites from President Obama: 
``For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President 
Assad to step aside.''
  An Obama administration official said in the New Yorker in December 
2014, 4 years later: ``The meaning of `Assad has to go' has evolved.''
  ``The meaning of Assad has to go has evolved.''
  Anyway, the list goes on and on.
  President Obama said in October 2015: ``An attempt by Russia and Iran 
to prop up Assad and try to pacify the population is just going to get 
them stuck in a quagmire and it won't work.''
  ``In a quagmire, and it won't work.''
  Secretary Kerry said in March of 2016:

       Russia is now helping with the cessation of hostilities. 
     And if Russia can help us to actually effect this political 
     transition, that is all to the strategic interest of the 
     United States of America.

  And now, what did they do? They bombed the people we trained and 
equipped. They murdered. Bashar Assad has murdered so many more than 
ISIS with his barrel bombs and the indiscriminate killing of men, 
women, and children. He has never paid a penalty for the use of sarin 
gas, with which he gassed thousands of innocent men, women, and 
children in Syria.
  Does anybody believe that Assad is leaving power anytime soon? Of 
course not.
  So again, we have been talking about this, and we have been warning 
about it. By the way, Senator Graham and I are always described in the 
liberal media this way: ``Senator Graham and Senator McCain, among 
Obama's harshest critics.'' They do not mention that we called for the 
removal of President Bush's Secretary of Defense.
  No, we are not his harshest critics. We are the ones who have been 
telling the truth to the American people ever since this debacle began, 
because we have an obligation--we have an obligation--to those men and 
women in uniform serving in the longest wars in our history. We have an 
obligation to the families of those who have been killed and wounded. 
We have an obligation to try to force this President to understand that 
we have failed. We are failing, and we have failed.
  Yes, we are making some gains with the retaking of Fallujah, after 
two battles--by the way, where American troops were wounded and killed. 
There is some small success. But the fact is that none of this had to 
happen, and that is the great tragedy of the last few years. None of it 
had to happen, and this President didn't lead because he believed all 
we needed to do was get out and those conflicts would end.
  So I say directly to my colleagues: The President's policies are 
responsible for the deaths, untold deaths, the quagmire we are in, the 
metastasizing of ISIL and the rise of Russia as a new power in the 
Middle East and the retention of Bashar Assad ensconced as a ruler of 
Syria--the same person about whom the President of the United States 
said: It is not whether Bashar Assad leaves power; it is when.
  Mr. GRAHAM. If I may, just to wrap this up, 50 diplomats who served 
in the Mideast wrote an open letter to the world to say that we have 
let Assad get away with murder. Assad will be in power when Obama is 
gone. Russia and Iran have gone to Assad's aid. The biggest winners of 
Obama's strategy in Syria have been Russia and Assad. The biggest 
losers have been our allies--Arab allies, in particular and the people 
in Syria.
  About our willingness to help, I was in a multiperson primary back in 
2014. The President basically reached out to Senator McCain and myself 
after Assad had crossed the redline the President drew regarding 
chemical weapons. It was Labor Day. I will never forget it as long as I 
live. I flew up with Senator McCain, and we met with President Obama in 
the Oval Office and Susan Rice. They informed us of what Assad did, and 
were seeking our support to basically hit him militarily as punishment 
for crossing the redline.
  The goal was to degrade Assad's capability on the battlefield, 
upgrade the ability of the opposition to fight him and change momentum 
on the battlefield. Senator McCain and I went out in front of the Oval 
Office in the driveway and said: We stand with the President in his 
efforts to deal with Assad for crossing the redline, to upgrade the 
opposition, degrade Assad, and change the momentum on the battlefield.
  This was right around Labor Day. It was supposed to happen in a 
couple of days--airstrikes from the sea and land. Nothing happened. By 
the end of the week, the President decided to go to Congress, and, 
unfortunately, Congress didn't respond well. So there is some blame in 
the body. But President Obama has yet to call us and tell us that.
  Now, I am in the middle of a primary and people are war weary, and I 
just really thought the President was doing the right thing to hold 
Assad accountable. So I want to help him where I can.
  I have tried to put money in the budget to help secure the gains we 
have achieved in Iraq. I hope Fallujah falls, and I think it will, but 
I said 8,000 to 10,000 U.S. soldiers would be necessary to destroy ISIL 
inside Iraq. We are over 5,000, and we have to go to Mosul, which is a 
city of a million people. If we don't have more American ground 
components, then we are not going to retake Mosul, and the Shia 
militia, which are controlled by Iran, are going to have way too much 
to say in terms of the future of Iraq.
  So inside Syria there is no strategy to destroy ISIL. I think 
President Obama is passing this on to the next President, not wanting 
to break his promises, not recommitting troops, and he is just ignoring 
good sound military advice. The bottom line is--and I hate to say 
this--if there is a JV team on the field in the War on Terror, it is in 
the White House. The bottom line is they are at war with us, but we are 
really not at war with them. We can't even say ``combat.''
  So I want to help this President where we can. We have had a very 
contentious debate about guns. Things have been said on both sides of 
the aisle that I think are, quite frankly, out of bounds. I don't want 
to sell guns to ISIL; I want to destroy them.
  I think we have several choices here. We are going to fight them in 
their backyard or ours. I choose to fight them in their backyard--with 
partners. The Arabs want to help us because they are in the crosshairs 
of ISIL. But they are not going in to fight ISIL in Syria and wind up 
giving the whole country to the Iranians by keeping Assad in power. 
They have told us.
  The King of Saudi Arabia told us: You can have our army. But they 
want to make sure that when we finish the job in Syria, the Iranians 
are not in control of Syria. They are dominating four Arab capitals and 
the Arabs are tired of this.
  The bottom line is Iran is running wild, ISIL is a growing threat to 
the homeland, and we don't have a strategy to destroy ISIL and secure 
the gains and stabilize Iraq and Syria. When it comes to Iran, we have 
empowered the most tyrannical regime on the planet, I think, by giving 
them $150 billion to put in their war machine. They will have a pathway 
to a bomb and a missile to deliver it even if they do not cheat under 
this agreement.
  So the next President of the United States is going to have a mess on 
their hands, but we still have a long way to go with this President.
  So, Mr. President, send a couple thousand more troops into Iraq and 
make sure we liberate Mosul and can hold the place. Up your game in 
Syria. Work with our Arab partners who will go in on the ground with 
you. Tell Assad he has to go, and tell the Russians, if you want to 
fight for the Butcher of Damascus, you are welcome to do so--and they 
won't. Let the Syrian people rebuild Syria, pick their leader, and not 
have the Russians or the Iranians pick their leader.
  There is a way forward. It is going to take more effort on our part 
but not 100,000 troops. We are talking less than 10,000 to get this job 
done. But we do need a different approach to Syria particularly or this 
will never end.
  Here is what I worry about the most. The thousands of foreign 
fighters who have joined the jihad have Western passports, and people 
on my side of the aisle were saying some pretty crazy things, quite 
frankly. You can't seal

[[Page S4453]]

America off from the world. People do travel, and they do trade. So the 
ability to penetrate the homeland exists. The bottom line is that the 
sooner we can destroy ISIL, the safer we will be and the quicker we can 
live in peace in the region--and we don't have a plan to do it.
  I hope the President will make an adjustment. President Bush 
adjusted. It is not easy for a President to adjust. I can get that. But 
he made a decision to listen to his commanders and he adjusted. This 
President is making some adjustments, but they are incremental in 
nature. He downplays the adjustments he is making. He downplays the 
threats we face. When the Attorney General says: I really don't 
understand what motivated this man, that really breaks my heart because 
I think most of us do.
  Here is what I worry the most about. It is taking too long to take 
these guys out over there. They are reaching into Libya, and another 9/
11 is on the way if we don't put these guys on the defensive. I want to 
hit them before they hit us. I want partners. I don't want to fight 
this war alone. I want to keep the war over there. It is coming here. 
No matter what you do, it may come here anyway, but we are allowing 
them to come here quicker and faster than they should be allowed to 
come here. We are allowing them to stay stronger--longer than they 
  In the wake of this foreign policy debacle, we have lost an entire 
group of people called the Yazidis, who have been basically wiped off 
the face of the planet. There have been hundreds of thousands of people 
displaced--millions displaced--and they are going to look at America 
and say: You can't count on America. Every young child in a refugee 
camp who was driven to that camp because of our failure to deal with 
ISIL, allowing Assad to barrel-bomb his or her family, is going to grow 
up not liking us. One day we are going to have to confront them.
  The effects of this strategy of failed foreign policy are going to be 
generational. Mr. President, there is still time to adjust, if you will 
adjust your strategy and not just listen to us but listen to the 50 
people who wrote the letter and listen to your military commanders. If 
you make these adjustments, we will be there with you.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I wish to summarize, the reason Senator 
Graham and I came to the floor at this time is because it is pretty 
obvious the debate now is over guns, and there should be a legitimate 
debate over the use and availability of weapons. I hope we could reach 
a reasonable compromise so we can act.
  I want to emphasize, we would not be having this debate if it were 
not for the failed policies that led to where we are today, where a 
young man--either instructed or self-radicalized--took the lives of 
nearly 50 brave Americans. That was not like a hurricane. It was not 
like an earthquake. It was because this President has failed to lead. 
Look at the world as it was in the times when I was talking and look at 
the world today. We have to have a strategy to defeat ISIS, and we 
cannot stand to have this brutal dictator named Bashar al-Assad 
continue to slaughter his own people. We have to stand with our allies 
and stand with our friends, but what is most important is, we have to 
have a strategy to defeat this enemy, which has proven at least twice 
it has the ability to attack the mainland of the United States of 
America. That is not there today.

                           Amendment No. 4787

  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, would the Senator from Arizona yield for a 
  Mr. McCAIN. Absolutely.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I would say to my friend from Arizona, 
before lunch we had a vote on a very important amendment the Senator 
sponsored, along with the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, that 
received a majority vote of the Senate but not enough to get us to the 
60-vote threshold. I know the majority leader has put in a motion to 
reconsider, which will allow him to bring that up because of some 
  I want to ask my friend, during the time the shooter in Orlando was 
under surveillance by the FBI and was actually put on a watch list, the 
authority they had to gather information about him and particularly his 
computer usage by issuing a subpoena to the Internet service provider 
in order to identify IP addresses and perhaps email addresses, not 
content--they were denied the opportunity to get that kind of 
information. Does the Senator have any idea whether perhaps the FBI 
might have been tipped to the fact that this shooter--let's say he was 
accessing YouTube videos of Anwar al-Awlaki like Nidal Hasan in Fort 
Hood was before he committed his terrorist attack there, or let's say 
one of the email addresses they were able to collect was one of a known 
terrorist or somebody the FBI suspected was complicit in terrorism, 
obviously, under the Senator's amendment, in order to get the content 
of that, the FBI would have to go to the FISA Court and establish 
probable cause.
  Does the Senator have an opinion whether that kind of information, to 
which the FBI was blinded by the lapse in this authority--whether that 
would be helpful information in identifying potential threats like we 
saw in Orlando?
  Mr. McCAIN. I say to my friend and colleague who has done so much 
hard work on trying to achieve a careful balance and compromise that 
all of us could agree to on the issue of weapons, I appreciate the 
question and I appreciate his work.
  I can't specifically state I know for a fact that the failure of the 
ability of the FBI to monitor and know about use of the Internet--not 
content but use of the Internet, such as the Senator mentioned IP 
addresses and others. I can't say that would have prevented it. What I 
can say, and the Senator knows, the Director of the FBI said this is 
the most important tool he needs to defend this country against further 
attacks. Is there anyone now in America who doesn't believe there is 
going to be another self-radicalized or instructed individual who will 
try to attack the United States of America? Of course not.
  In their wisdom, a majority of my colleagues over there and a group 
of my colleagues over here have rejected the urgent request from the 
Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I have seen a lot of 
strange votes around here, I would say to my friend from Texas, but to 
see Republicans, who advertise themselves as trying to protect the 
people of this Nation, not give the Director of the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation the tool he needs the most to counter what is clearly 
coming, frankly, is one of the most puzzling and disappointing actions 
that have been taken by my colleagues on this side of the aisle.
  Mr. CORNYN. I thank the Senator.
  I would merely add, this is not a partisan issue. As the Presiding 
Officer and as the Senator from Arizona knows, the Intelligence 
Committee has voted in a bipartisan way, with only one Senator 
dissenting in the Intelligence reauthorization bill, to reinstate this 
very authority the amendment of the Senator from Arizona pertained to. 
I believe, of all the votes we have had this week, the vote on Senator 
McCain's amendment was the one with the greatest potential to stop 
future terrorist attacks like we saw in Orlando--because we all know 
the shooter in Orlando was under two separate FBI investigations and he 
was put on a watch list. With so much discussion about watch lists, he 
was no longer on a watch list so the FBI was not notified when he went 
in and purchased the two firearms he used in this attack. We also know 
he was a licensed security guard, and he actually had a license to own 
  This is a complicated and complex and confusing picture we have all 
been presented, and we are all trying to figure out what is the 
solution or what could we do to help reduce the possibility that 
something like this might happen in the future? I can guarantee one 
thing. It is not to limit the constitutional rights of law-abiding 
citizens. That is not going to stop future terrorist attacks. If we 
fail to give law enforcement and counterterrorism authorities the means 
by which to identify these self-radicalized terrorists before they 
kill--if we don't do that, then shame on us. This is not partisan, as I 
said, because a bipartisan majority--with one dissenting vote--on the 
Intelligence Committee voted for this provision, but we need to get 
serious about this. I know, because of some absenteeism today--
necessary, I am sure--we didn't have every Senator here present and 

[[Page S4454]]

  I hope in the interim, from the time of that failed cloture vote on 
the McCain-Burr amendment until the time we vote on this again when the 
majority leader moves to reconsider, we can have some serious 
discussions and serious efforts at trying to make our country safer and 
protecting innocent Americans from terrorist attacks on our own soil.
  If we deny the FBI Director the No. 1 legislative priority of the 
agency, as he has told us time and time again--most recently in the 
SCIF, in the secure facility. Obviously, that part is not classified, 
but he said this is a very important tool. If we are going to ask the 
FBI and our counterterrorism authorities to connect the dots, well, 
they can't connect the dots unless they can collect the dots. Again, 
this is with proper and appropriate regard, under the Fourth Amendment, 
for American citizens when it comes to searches of their property or 
seizures. Under the Fourth Amendment, we know there has to be 
established probable cause that a crime has been committed, established 
before an impartial judge. We are not talking about the content. We are 
saying, if there are enough dots to connect together to raise a 
reasonable suspicion on the part of our counterterrorism authorities, 
they ought to then have the opportunity to go to a judge and get the 
content of that communication under appropriate constitutional Fourth 
Amendment procedures. If they don't even have access to the basic 
information, then they can't connect the dots because they can't 
collect them.
  So of all the votes we have had this week, I believe the vote on the 
McCain-Burr amendment was the most important because I think it was the 
one most likely to produce additional tools that our counterterrorism 
authorities could use in an investigation to identify self-radicalized 
terrorists in the United States before they strike. It is too late 
after they strike, when we are all asking the question: What can we 
possibly do in order to prevent something like this from happening 
again? We now know what we can do. It may not be a panacea, but it is 
making sure our law enforcement authorities, such as the FBI, have the 
tools they need in order to conduct these investigations, again to 
collect the dots so they can connect those dots.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Flake). The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. COATS. 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. COATS. Mr. President, there is a lot going on around here. Before 
lunch, we finished a vote that I was very disappointed did not reach 
the 60-vote threshold so we could proceed to debate and vote on what I 
think is one of the more important issues we are dealing with; that is, 
our ability to stop terrorist attacks.
  As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, we have had the 
opportunity to meet several times with Director Comey, the head of the 
FBI, asking him if they have the tools necessary to prevent terrorist 
attacks against innocent Americans. Simply because of changes in 
technology, a tool they had before--and by ``tool,'' a method they had 
before to try to determine who is trying to do us harm--works for one 
type of technology, but new technology, basically because of an 
omission in the language that was never intended by the Congress, does 
not give us the ability to so-call connect the dots to give us the 
opportunity to then go and seek a warrant for further investigation.
  This was the vote we had on the floor. We came up just one or two 
votes short. I know the majority leader made a motion to reconsider so 
we will be taking this up again. I hope my colleagues who did not vote 
for this will take the opportunity as a Member of the U.S. Senate to 
come to the Intelligence Committee to sit down, look at the classified 
information, and assure themselves this does nothing that invades 
anyone's privacy rights.
  There seems to be a lack of information as to what is being asked 
for. In that regard, hopefully during this next few days, we will have 
the opportunity for our colleagues to come and understand this. 
Frankly, it is something many had voted for but were not aware of this 
glitch in the language that has put us in this particular position. I 
will be happy to accompany any of my colleagues to a place where we can 
look through, on a classified basis, why this is so important.

                           Wasteful Spending

  Mr. President, I want to do what I have been doing now for about 46 
weeks in the Senate in this cycle; that is, to discuss the waste of the 
week. The waste of the week is something we have been talking about. 
While I deeply regret we have not been able to fashion a long-term 
program dealing with our debt and our deficit, which is so critical for 
the future of this country, the least we can do is look at the way we 
currently spend taxpayer money, and in doing so, weed out those 
programs that simply don't justify the use of taxpayer money.
  I was going to do this last week, and after the tragic events of 
Orlando, I didn't think it was the appropriate time to do so. So today 
I am doing two wastes of the week to make up for last week and this 
  This week, the Senate is considering legislation that funds a number 
of agencies, including the National Science Foundation. When Congress 
created the National Science Foundation, the agency's goals were to 
promote progress in science, help secure our national defense, and 
advance national health, prosperity, and welfare. That is a great goal.
  I am not here today to question the validity of the National Science 
Foundation. There is no question that research funded by the NSF has 
led to remarkable discoveries in that the majority of the work they do, 
their research, is worthwhile. However, thanks to the work started by 
my former colleague Senator Tom Coburn, it has now become clear that 
the National Science Foundation has funded some research that truly 
falls in the category of a waste of taxpayer dollars--either because 
the research has questionable benefit or because it is research that 
should more appropriately be conducted by the private sector or perhaps 
it doesn't even need to be conducted.
  By the way, these are all documented. Inspectors general--the 
Government Accountability Office goes in and does audits and they look 
at how money is spent. Then they report this back to us. We look at 
this and say: How in the world did this ever get approved? Who agreed 
to spend this kind of money on this kind of research project when we 
are running deficits, when we are deeply in debt here as a nation? Is 
this a wise way to spend hard-earned tax dollars?
  We are trying to bring these to light in a transparent way so our 
Members will say: Let's crack down on this kind of stuff. I don't want 
to go home and tell my constituents their tax dollars are going toward 
this kind of stuff.
  We had another example several months ago about--you can't make this 
stuff up--whether, if people are hungry, they are more disposed to be a 
little curt or a little angry with their spouse. Somebody came up with 
the idea: Let's test this out. The expenditure was considerable for 
this research. I can't remember exactly what it is right now, but they 
gave husbands and wives voodoo dolls and a bunch of pins. They said: 
Every time you feel a bad feeling or want to say something mean to your 
spouse, you take your voodoo doll--you have your voodoo doll that looks 
like your wife and your wife has one that looks like her husband--and 
you take a pin and stick it in the voodoo doll. When you did this, you 
were asked the question: Were you hungry at the time? If you were 
hungry at the time, they said to count all the pins and say: Well, OK, 
we have proven the fact that if you are hungry, you are more likely to 
be upset with your spouse than if you are not hungry.
  To come here and explain this, people say this can't be true. Tell 
me, tell me tax dollars are not used for something like this out of an 
agency as respected as the National Science Foundation. Yet they 
defended this process as a legitimate grant, expenditure of taxpayer 
dollars, and used a new word, ``hangry.'' It is the combination of 
being hungry and angry, and it is hangry. Are you hangry? And if you 
are, you might be upset with your spouse a little more quickly because

[[Page S4455]]

the pins in the voodoo dolls prove that. I promise you, I am not making 
this up. This is documented. This is what the research project 
  Today, I want to name two additional examples. I am not picking on 
the NSF, but we keep reading about this. Here are two examples that 
cost taxpayers nearly $2.2 million. The first example is a $171,000 
grant to research how monkeys gamble. Yes, you heard that correctly. 
Researchers actually taught monkeys to gamble to see if they could 
develop a hot-hand mentality.
  Now let me put my cards on the table and explain what this means. 
Researchers taught monkeys to keep gambling and keep playing, despite 
potential risk, in order to maximize their rewards. Instead of earning 
money, which the monkeys weren't going to take the money to a store and 
spend, the monkeys were rewarded with food. It turns out the monkeys 
tried to get as much food as possible from their gambling game. In 
other words, knowing there was going to be the reward of more food if 
they kept gambling, the monkeys kept gambling.
  First of all, I didn't know monkeys could gamble so I guess we 
learned something there. Secondly, my bet is that taxpayers agree with 
me that there are much more pressing issues that deserve Federal 
  The second example I want to talk about is the nearly $2 million 
grant to Cornell University for a study on popular landmark photos. 
This money was used to study photos that have been posted--I think we 
have a chart here. We actually found a picture of the monkeys gambling. 
Here are their chips. Somehow they taught them to gamble. They were 
rewarded with food. The monkeys figured out pretty quickly that if they 
kept gambling, they could get more food.
  It is not unlike my dog. We wake up in the morning, and the first one 
up in our house--my wife or myself--feeds the dog. If we forget to tell 
each other that we fed the dog--I go off to work, catch a plane to come 
back to Washington--I get a call from my wife: Did you feed the dog? 
Yes, I did feed the dog. Well, she is sitting here begging, looking 
like, ``Poor thing, I didn't get anything to eat this morning''--
soulful eyes on Honey Hoosier. That is our dog, soulful eyes looking at 
you, ``Oh, if you could just give me something to eat.'' My wife says: 
I fed the dog because I thought you surely didn't feed the dog because 
she looked so sad.
  Hey, she is gaming the whole program here. She is very successful 
with me because I look at her and say: Oh, you poor thing. Let me give 
you some food. And then my wife comes out later and says: You know, I 
fed the dog. I hope you didn't feed her again.
  Anyway, the animals figured it out pretty quickly, and I don't know 
what this leads to as a conclusion. All I know is, why should the 
taxpayer be paying for stuff like this? These are fun things maybe to 
do for somebody if they want to do them, I suppose, but the conclusions 
they come to, it may benefit society, but does it have to be done with 
taxpayer dollars? So on and on we go.
  The second issue here is this Cornell study on photos. The 
researchers claim they searched the 40 billion pages of Web sites with 
photos to make photo archives available to social science for research. 
In reality, the researchers examined photos that had been uploaded to a 
popular photo-sharing site called Flickr and then determined some of 
the top photograph sites in the world. What did they find? 
Unsurprisingly, the most popular sites included the Eiffel Tower, Big 
Ben, the Empire State Building. Unfortunately, the Indianapolis Motor 
Speedway was not included, which is disturbing to me. They also found 
that the Apple store on Fifth Avenue in New York City is more popular 
on Flickr than the White House. You can come to your own conclusions as 
to what you might think about that, but we have to ask ourselves: Was 
this basic Internet research really worth $2 million of taxpayer money? 
The researchers said it is because the work can help with online travel 
guides and improve social media sites' ability to guess where a photo 
was taken. Helping improve online travel guides and social media 
geolocation services is not exactly part of the NSF's original mission, 
which I read to you.
  What can Congress do about these kind of things? One problem with 
Congress's inability to crack down on wasteful spending is the lack of 
transparency, and what we are doing here is trying to be transparent. 
We are exposing to my colleagues, we are exposing to the American 
public the kind of waste that is going on with their hard-earned tax 
dollars. They sent their hard-earned tax dollars to Washington thinking 
that it would be invested in building new roads, infrastructure, 
providing for our military defense, or the veterans who have come home 
and need support. No, instead it goes to grants that go to these kinds 
of crazy things. That is why I submitted an amendment to this week's 
bill to require the National Science Foundation to publish the full 
documents submitted by NSF grant recipients outlining what the research 
will entail. We can no longer trust the decisionmaking process of the 
National Science Foundation. We want them to publish and provide 
documentation to the Congress so we know who is and why they are making 
these decisions and where this money is going.

  As of today, the NSF provides only short summaries of the proposals 
that are awarded funds, but these summaries are very limited, and, of 
course, they are written in a way that makes it look as though it is 
legitimate and something that we really need to do. We cannot 
appropriately fix the problem without all of the information and a 
clear understanding of the intent of the research grants that are 
awarded by the National Science Foundation. Taxpayers have a right to 
know how their money is being spent.
  Our ever-growing accumulation of wasted taxpayer dollars can now add 
over $2 million for gambling monkeys in a photo popularity contest, 
bringing our pricetag to nearly $176 billion of taxpayer money wasted 
on projects that really provide little or no benefit to the American 
people. That is what the inspectors general at the Government 
Accountability Office and others have determined, and this is not small 
change. People work really hard to raise this kind of money and are 
then taxed at a level of $176 billion only to see every dollar and 
every penny of that essentially wasted through fraud or abuse.
  I will keep coming to the floor, so stay tuned for next week's 
revelation. I could probably come down and do this every day when the 
Senate is in session because I am just scratching the surface. We will 
keep pointing out how the people's money is being spent, and hopefully 
on the basis of that, Congress will take action to make sure it no 
longer falls under the category of waste, fraud, and abuse.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. BROWN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Toomey). Without objection, it is so 
  Mr. BROWN. I ask unanimous consent to proceed as in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                           Veterans First Act

  Mr. BROWN. Mr. President, I want to thank my colleagues from the 
Veterans Affairs' Committee for their work on the Veterans First Act. I 
just left the committee, where Senator Isakson and Senator Blumenthal 
are in their typical bipartisan way working together with the VA to 
improve veterans' health care. I am appreciative of that. They will be 
on the floor later this afternoon to urge the Senate to move quickly on 
this important legislation for our Nation's heroes.
  This comprehensive, bipartisan bill will grant vets and their 
families expanded benefits that will ensure that the VA has resources 
to provide veterans with the highest quality of care. No veteran should 
face exploitation by for-profit colleges, inadequate care, or life on 
the street. We address all these issues with this bill.
  This bill will expand educational opportunities for veterans and 
their families, including my constituent, Melissa Twine. Ms. Twine is 
an Air Force veteran from Batavia, east of Cincinnati, in Clermont 
County. Her husband Philip Twine died serving our country in the Air 

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  The Fry Scholarship provides GI bill benefits to surviving spouses 
and children of servicemembers who have died in the line of duty since 
9/11. However, when Congress extended the benefit to spouses in the 
Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014, a 15-year 
limitation was put on these benefits. Captain Twine passed away in 
2002, meaning that now, as his wife tries to go back to school to 
pursue her master's degree, she and so many other surviving spouses 
don't have the time to use this benefit. This bill will fix that and 
give veterans' families the opportunity to further their education.
  In addition to expanding the Fry Scholarship, the bill will expand 
the VA's Yellow Ribbon Program to help students with out-of-pocket 
tuition and fees and to include all spouses and children of 
servicemembers who gave their lives fighting for our country. The bill 
also incorporates legislation I helped to introduce to restore GI 
benefits of veterans who lost credit or training time because their 
school permanently closed. We have heard too many stories of shady, 
for-profit colleges that close abruptly, leaving students and many 
veterans in limbo. This ensures the veterans don't lose their GI 
  We know that, shamefully, too many veterans don't have a roof over 
their heads or a place to call home. The legislation incorporates 
elements of the Veteran Housing Stability Act, which would increase 
veterans' access to permanent housing options.
  This is an issue that we have been working on for years. Last year, I 
visited organizations around Ohio that are doing terrific work to give 
veterans the support they need to get back on their feet and find 
permanent homes. With this bill we will give veterans the support they 
need. Even one veteran on the streets means Congress isn't doing nearly 
enough to tackle this problem.
  The legislation also helps ensure whistleblowers at the VA can 
disclose concerns relating to veterans care without fearing 
  It expands a critical program to support veteran caregivers.
  As a country, we made a promise to care for veterans in return for 
their service to this country. Far too often people in this body are 
willing to vote billions of dollars for defense but then not do what we 
should with veterans. This bill helps to change that. Right now, 9/11 
veterans and their families already take advantage of this critical 
support. This bill will make the same support available to families and 
veterans of all generations.
  I urge my colleagues to move quickly in this important legislation to 
protect and honor our Nation's heroes.