(Senate - July 12, 2016)

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[Congressional Record Volume 162, Number 112 (Tuesday, July 12, 2016)]
[Pages S4968-S4975]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the time until 2:30 
p.m. will be controlled by the Senator from California, Mrs. Boxer, or 
her designee; the time from 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. will be controlled by 
the majority; and the time from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. will be controlled 
by the two managers.
  The Senator from California.
  Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that I be 
permitted to speak for 15 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                          Tragedy of Violence

  Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I stand here as one of the two Senators 
from the largest State in the Union to recognize that there is a hole 
in the heart of America today as we cope with the tragedy of violence 
on all sides. I am working on comprehensive remarks because I am doing 
it more, in a way, for myself, and those are not prepared right now, 
but right now I want to send my deepest condolences to those who are 
suffering, who have lost loved ones, be those loved ones police 
officers or community members, and for that matter, so many Americans, 
so many American families who suffer losses because of violence every 
day. It is critical that we address this issue. I compliment the voices 
on all sides--the voices of compassion, reason, and love--and I hope I 
can add my voice to their voices.

                             Climate Change

  Mr. President, what several of us are doing on another topic is 
calling attention to the web of denial that is being peddled in our 
Nation by special interests and their think tanks and organizations 
that are working to undermine peer-reviewed climate science. Their goal 
is to create uncertainty and to delay action on the biggest 
environmental and public health threat we face today.
  Climate change is real, human activities are the primary cause, and 
the warming planet poses a significant threat to our people and to our 
environment. That is not my opinion. I am the first one to say I am not 
a scientist. I rely on scientists, and 97 percent of them have said 
that climate change is real and human activity is the primary cause.
  The level of scientific certainty on manmade climate change is about 
the same as the consensus among top scientists that cigarettes are 
deadly, but some of you may remember that up until the late 1990s, the 
tobacco industry scoffed at the best available science proving that 
tobacco is addictive and causes cancer. No one in today's world would 
argue with the fact that tobacco is addictive and causes cancer. In the 
1990s, there was a campaign of denial, just as there is for climate 
change now. Year after year, the tobacco industry attacked the science 
that showed the link between cigarettes and the threat to human health, 
as well as the Surgeon General's warning that nicotine was as addictive 
as heroin and cocaine. Let me share a few of the statements made by or 
on behalf of the tobacco industry.
  In 1970, the Tobacco Institute advertised that the scientific finding 
that proved a connection between cigarette smoking and lung cancer was 
wrong. They said: ``The Tobacco Institute does not--and the public 
should not--accept these claims at face value.''
  In 1971, Joseph Cullman, the chairman of Philip Morris, said: ``We do 

[[Page S4969]]

believe cigarettes are hazardous; we don't accept that.''
  In 1988, a lobbyist from the Tobacco Institute submitted written 
testimony for a congressional hearing stating: ``In sum, there is no 
medical or scientific basis for viewing cigarette smoking as an 
`addiction.' The effort to disparage cigarette smoking as an 
`addiction' can only detract from our society's attempt to meet its 
serious drug problem.'' That was what the cigarette companies said.
  At congressional hearings in 1994, executives from the seven biggest 
tobacco companies testified that they believed nicotine was not 
addictive. Do you remember the picture of them swearing to that fact?
  A tobacco industry doctor said: ``The proposed addiction warning and 
the assumption upon which it is founded are based neither in science 
nor fact and will have unintended harmful results.'' This is the 
tobacco company doctor saying that if you warn people, it will have 
unintended harmful results. Sure--for his bosses, the tobacco 
companies, who are paying his salary.
  In 1998, Walker Merryman, vice president and chief spokesman for the 
Tobacco Institute, said: ``We don't believe it has ever been 
established that smoking is the cause of disease.''
  The reason I spent so much time going through that painful history is 
that a lot of people died of cancer because the tobacco companies and 
their think tanks would not tell the truth to the American people. That 
is why a lot of people died.
  At the end of the day, the tobacco companies failed, but there are so 
many bodies out there because of their heavily funded propaganda 
campaign. When the people knew the truth, America's smoking dropped 
from 42 percent in 1964 to 15 percent in 2015. To anybody out there who 
is still addicted, I pray God that they will get help. There are very 
few things where we know the cause and effect. We know the cause and 
effect of smoking--it is not good.
  Investigative reporting has clearly shown that those who led the 
fight against health warnings on tobacco have been involved in the 
climate denial movement from the beginning. Just as Big Tobacco denied 
that smoking was dangerous to people's health, Big Oil and other 
special interests have tried to undermine scientists' warnings about 
harmful climate pollution by claiming that climate change does not 
  So we had Big Tobacco spreading the big lie that smoking was 
nonaddictive--they even said at one point that it was good for you--and 
Big Oil telling us that there is no climate change, that it is a hoax. 
But if we look at the 97 percent of scientists, what have they told us 
we are going to see? Higher temperatures, more extreme weather, severe 
droughts, increased wildfires, decreasing polar ice, and rising sea 
levels. That is what 97 percent of the scientists said would happen. 
Guess what. It is happening.
  Don't take my word for it. Let me give specifics. Mr. President, 2015 
was the hottest year on record. Every month of this year continues to 
set records. Sea levels are rising many times faster than they have in 
the last 2,800 years. The 2015 wildfire season was the costliest on 
record, with $1.71 billion spent. California, my fantastic home State, 
is suffering from its worst drought in modern history, and scientists 
are predicting megadroughts. Rising temperatures are expected to worsen 
air quality and threaten public health.
  The American public sees what is happening, and they understand the 
need to act. Seventy-one percent of Americans supported the historic 
Paris agreement to address climate change by reducing harmful carbon 
pollution. A March 2016 Gallup Poll shows that 64 percent of 
Americans--the highest percentage since 2008--are worried about climate 
change. Gallup also found that between 2009 and 2015, a decline in 
public concern about climate change was linked to a well-publicized 
campaign of misinformation about climate science.
  The fossil fuel industry took a page right out of the tobacco 
company's playbook, supporting a network of organizations that create a 
false sense of uncertainty. So let me tell you that I have joined my 
colleagues on a resolution condemning the effort by the fossil fuel 
industry to discredit climate science, just as the tobacco industry 
worked to discredit science that proved tobacco causes cancer.
  I want to work with my colleagues to call attention to this web of 
denial. There are organizations out there--they have beautiful names. 
They are funded by ExxonMobil, they are funded by the Koch brothers, 
and organizations like DonorsTrust, which hides the identities of 
funders and was called the Dark Money ATM in the press. Dark money is a 
good description because the deep pockets of Big Oil and other special 
interests have been misleading the American people for many years.
  As I close my presentation, I want to talk to you briefly about three 
organizations based in my home State: the Reason Foundation, the 
Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, and the Hoover 
Institution. These three organizations have been involved in efforts to 
undermine climate science.
  The Reason Foundation has been churning out materials to raise 
uncertainty. The Hoover Institution, which is affiliated with Stanford 
University--which has so many wonderful things to commend it, but in my 
opinion not this--has been identified by the researchers as part of the 
climate countermovement. I have great respect for the work former 
Secretary of State George Shultz and others are doing at Hoover. 
However, I have to point out many articles published under Hoover's 
name have created uncertainty about climate science, trying to 
undermine the need for action.
  The third organization is Pacific Research Institute, which is a free 
market think tank that published a number of anti-climate science 
materials, including the ``Almanac of Environmental Trends.'' Just last 
month, 31 major scientific organizations basically said there is strong 
evidence that ongoing climate change is having broad negative impacts 
on society, including natural resources, the global economy, and human 
  For the United States, climate change impacts include greater threats 
of extreme weather, sea level rise, increased risk of regional water 
scarcity, heat waves, wildfires, disturbance of biological systems. We 
expect to see this increase. This is what the real scientists are 
saying, the ones who care about our people, our environment. They don't 
get their paychecks from Big Oil and those who stand to lose if we turn 
to clean energy.
  So the scientists who work for that money from the Koch brothers, 
this is what they say: The world is warming far less quickly than we 
thought. A little warming will also extend growing seasons. Now 
consider the dire prediction regarding global warming and think of 
climate like golf. It is easy to see where the ball has landed but 
difficult to construct a model to predict with much confidence where 
the next ball will land.
  We have many other comments by these sham groups that are funded by 
Big Oil, by the special interests, just like the tobacco industry had 
think tanks that supported them. You know, fool me once, OK. Fool me 
again, I am going to find out. We know about these organizations.
  ExxonMobil gave a total of $381,000 to Reason; $295,000 to Hoover; 
$615,000 to the Pacific Research Institute--ExxonMobil. Foundations 
associated with the Koch brothers provided more than $1 million to the 
Reason Foundation and to the Pacific Research Institute. So we know 
what is going on here, but there is good news. The American people are 
not asleep at the wheel. They understand what happened with Big 
Tobacco. They understand the phony science that was put forward by Big 
Tobacco. Thanks to the leadership of my colleague Sheldon Whitehouse, 
who has done an extraordinary job--he knows the truth. He knows the 
truth that these organizations are puppets of the big fossil fuel 
industry. You know what. They are going to be found out.
  The people already do not, in any way, support them. That is why I am 
optimistic and came to the floor today. The truth will have its day. 
The people understand. They look out the window and they know.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska.
  Mr. SULLIVAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to enter into a 
colloquy for 30 minutes with the Senators from Montana, North Carolina, 
and Iowa.

[[Page S4970]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

               Department of Defense Appropriations Bill

  Mr. SULLIVAN. Mr. President, last week we had a lot going on in terms 
of national security and foreign policy facing our country and, most 
importantly, facing our troops, facing our military. The President, the 
Secretary of Defense, the top leaders in the military were asking a lot 
of our troops in 1 week. Let me just give you a little example of that.
  Just yesterday, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced, from where 
he is in Iraq, that the United States will be deploying 560 more troops 
to Iraq in our fight against ISIS. Make no doubt about it, the White 
House might spin what we are doing over there, but our troops are 
definitely in combat, fighting to protect us.
  At the NATO summit on Friday, President Obama announced that the 
United States will be deploying an additional 1,000 troops and a 
separate brigade headquarters to Poland. A lot of us--I think 
bipartisan--support what is going on at the NATO summit and 
congratulate the President for a successful summit.
  On Wednesday, the President announced he plans to leave 8,400 
American troops in Afghanistan--more than he originally planned, a 
number that a lot of us had been advocating for, maybe even more--to 
combat the Taliban; again, our troops in action.
  On Saturday, we learned that North Korea launched a submarine 
ballistic missile off the coast of the eastern part of the country. 
Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported that even after 
reaching the Iran nuclear deal, the Iranians continue to try to 
illegally procure nuclear equipment from Germany. Finally, just today, 
there was an important ruling from The Hague, the tribunal there, about 
what is going on in the South China Sea, in keeping sealanes open where 
we just recently had two carrier battle groups--two U.S. carrier 
battles groups, thousands of sailors in that part of the world.
  So what did the Senate do with regard to all the activities facing 
our troops? What did the Senate do to support these troops whom the 
President and the Secretary of Defense are asking so much of? Well, a 
lot of Americans did not see it, but in the late night, on Thursday 
night, led by the minority leader, unfortunately our colleagues on the 
other side of the aisle filibustered defense spending, filibustered the 
Defense appropriations bill.
  This is not the first time that has happened. Indeed, that is the 
bill the other side seems to like to target. Amazingly, they like to 
target funding for our troops and our military. That is not the first 
time. It is not the second time. It is not the third time. It is the 
fourth time, inside of a year, our colleagues on the other side of the 
aisle filibustered funding our troops, at a time when national security 
challenges and what we are asking our military to do are at an alltime 
  What I want to do with my colleagues is talk about this, try to let 
the American people know this is not what we should be doing. Perhaps 
the media will talk about this and highlight this a little bit more 
because we are going to vote again on this appropriations bill, which, 
by the way, came out of committee unanimously. The Democrats on the 
committee voted for it.
  Yet, somehow, when it comes to the floor, they are going to do 
another filibuster. They did it last Thursday. It is our hope--and one 
of the reasons we are on the floor right now--to convince our 
colleagues to change their ways. I am sure they don't want to have to 
go home after recess and have to explain to their constituents why they 
voted not once, not twice, not three times, not four times but five 
times to filibuster spending for our troops. I hope they don't have to 
do that. We are going to vote on that again this week.
  I am honored to be on the floor with some distinguished Members of 
the Senate, some of the Members of the class of 2014. I am going to ask 
the junior Senator from Iowa--who knows a little bit about what she is 
talking about when it comes to the U.S. military, with 23 years of 
military service, having just retired as a lieutenant colonel in the 
Iowa National Guard. I am honored to have her open up and say some 
words about something that is remarkable that is going on, on the 
Senate floor--filibustering the spending for our troops at this 
dangerous time.
  It is not what we should be doing. Our colleagues know it. I 
guarantee you the American people know it. If you ask people, 
Democratic or Republican: Should we be funding our troops at this 
moment, the answer, clearly, in every State and every part of the 
country, would be yes.
  Senator Ernst.
  Mrs. ERNST. I say thank you to Senator Sullivan, the distinguished 
Senator from Alaska. Thank you for your passion as well. You have 
served in the Marines, in the Marine Reserves. I thank you for that, 
for your dedication and your commitment to our United States of America 
through your service as a marine and now through your service in the 
  We are also joined by the Senators from Montana and from North 
Carolina. I would like to thank my colleagues for joining in a 
colloquy. The filibuster we have seen on the other side of the aisle 
sends a message to our troops that we don't care about their security, 
and we don't care about the Nation's security. We must fund our troops, 
at a time when, as you stated, the world is virtually imploding.
  We see actions going on all around the globe, whether it is from 
North Africa into Iraq, Syria, North Korea, China, Iran, Afghanistan. 
We could go on and on, where our troops are needed for safety and 
security, where they are needed to keep the fight away from our 
  So I thank everyone who is joining in today. I appreciate the 
thoughts we will be sharing with our constituents and with the audience 
we have. Hopefully, we will see this projected nationwide, with an 
outcry of outrage that the Democrats are blocking--are daring to block 
funding for our national security.
  This is a bipartisan bill--a bipartisan bill. The Senate version 
cleared out of our Senate Appropriations Committee by a vote of 30 to 
0, Democrats and Republicans. We came together, bipartisan, 30 to 0.
  In total, this bill appropriates $515.9 billion for our national 
security. Some $900 million of this is funding for the National Guard, 
a critical arm to the security of the United States and where I ended 
my 23-plus-year career last November in the Iowa Army National Guard.
  In fact, my old unit, the battalion I commanded in the Iowa Army 
National Guard, that battalion headquarters is currently forward-
deployed. So the men and women I served alongside, they are out there 
protecting our freedoms. They are out there securing an area far away 
from home. They are doing it not just for me and not just for the 
Senators who are here, but they are doing that for all of you.
  The fact that we would reject funding for our forward-deployed troops 
is appalling to me. Those are my brothers and sisters. These are my 
friends, my neighbors, my colleagues. They are fighting on behalf of 
the United States. The United States is now turning its back, with a 
filibuster, on these troops. So how dare our colleagues block a bill to 
fund our military, while our troops are forward-deployed. They are out 
on our frontlines.
  I know my colleague from Montana has had some troops who have just 
recently returned. I know he would like to join us in this discussion 
as well.
  Mr. DAINES. Mr. President, I want to thank the Senator from Alaska. I 
also want to thank Lieutenant Colonel and Senator Ernst for her service 
to our Nation. Senator Ernst is the first female combat veteran to ever 
serve in the Senate. It is an honor to serve with her, and I thank her 
for her service to our country both as a soldier as well as a Senator.
  As I speak today, my friends from across the aisle have already--not 
once, not twice, but three times--blocked consideration of the 
Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2017, which will deny our 
troops the proper funding and support they deserve. I am proud to be 
standing here with some of my freshmen colleagues, imploring my friends 
on the other side of the aisle to stop the political games and get back 
to work, and that starts with funding our military.
  We shouldn't be playing these petty political games on legislation 
that is

[[Page S4971]]

and should be historically bipartisan. In fact, this bill, the 
Department of Defense Appropriations Act, passed the House of 
Representatives in June on a bipartisan vote of 282 to 138, and that 
included 48 Democrats. That is a very strong bipartisan vote. Over on 
the Senate side--as a member of the Committee on Appropriations, I 
recall it clearly--it passed our committee 30 to 0. That is called 
running up the score--30 to 0 out of the Committee on Appropriations on 
May 26. Not one Democrat opposed this bill in committee. I ask my 
colleagues: What in the world has changed? Why did we go from 30 to 0 
in the committee and now we are seeing a filibuster here on the floor 
of the Senate?
  Just so we are all clear, when Senate Democrats vote no, here is what 
they are saying no to: 1.2 million military Active-Duty servicemembers 
and 800,000 reservists. They are saying no to 10,000 troops engaged in 
combat in Afghanistan and the additional military in harm's way in 
Iraq, Syria, and other places throughout the world.
  We are seeing ISIS expanding into places like Libya. They are 
attacking Western targets like Paris, Brussels, and the homeland here, 
in places like San Bernardino and Orlando. We need to make sure our 
military forces have the tools they need to win. As Senator Marco Rubio 
once said: It is either we win or they win. There is no middle ground 
here. Let us give them the tools they need to win. I can tell you one 
thing: Our enemies are not waiting around for Senate Democrats to fund 
our military to make it a fair fight.
  This bill provides money to replace the munitions and other 
consumable items being used to defend America against the likes of 
ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the Taliban. Passing this also gives confidence to 
our Eastern European allies.
  Back in my home State of Montana, we have a rich legacy of service. I 
am the son of a U.S. marine. My dad served in the 50th Rifle Company in 
Billings, MT. In fact, our Nation's ``peace through strength'' strategy 
can be seen clearly at Montana's Malmstrom Air Force Base. You see, up 
in Montana, we have one-third of the Nation's intercontinental 
ballistic missiles. We play a critical role in meeting our Nation's 
security and military needs. In fact, I have the utmost faith--and 
always do--in the 1,200 defenders at Malmstrom that provide security 
for the missiles that silently sit across Montana. I know these airmen 
will not fail our Nation, but Washington, DC is failing them. Senate 
Democrats are failing them, and that is unacceptable.
  At Malmstrom, the motto on the commander's coin says this: ``Scaring 
the hell out of America's enemies since 1962.'' And they do so because 
this body chose duty over politics.
  So how can Democrats continue to stand here and say no to our 
military when so much is at stake, when the House passed a bipartisan 
bill, when this body passed a bill by a unanimous vote of 30 to 0 out 
of committee? We must say yes to our military who fight for us every 
day and say no to petty politics in Washington, DC. We must stand up 
for the rights and the freedoms we enjoy. Senate Democrats, stop saying 
no. Let us debate the DOD appropriations bill.
  Finally, I urge my Senate colleagues across the aisle to have the 
courage to vote against the wishes of their leaders and help us move 
this legislation forward.
  Again, I am proud to stand here with some of my Senate freshmen 
colleagues and the distinguished Senator from North Carolina, Thom 
Tillis. I know Senator Tillis has some real concerns about what is 
going on here on the Senate floor.
  Mr. TILLIS. Mr. President, I want to thank my friends and colleagues 
from Montana, Alaska, and Iowa for being here. I particularly want to 
thank Lieutenant Colonel Ernst for her service. She is now a veteran, 
but she served bravely. I want to thank my friend from Alaska. He is a 
marine, and he still answers the call. He is doing the work here in the 
Senate, but he is prepared to go on a moment's notice wherever we have 
to go to defend freedom.
  I come from North Carolina. This is almost getting personal with me. 
I am going to talk a little bit about that, but I want to explain to 
the people who may be watching this on television or to those in the 
Senate Gallery what we are talking about.
  We use the word filibuster, and it is kind of hard to understand, but 
it is actually pretty straightforward. The Democratic conference has 
decided to say no to funding our troops. They have decided to say no to 
providing them a much deserved pay raise. They have decided to say no 
to funding important training that is necessary to make sure they can 
complete these highly dangerous and complex missions wherever a threat 
may occur.
  Now, why is it personal to me in North Carolina? Because I have about 
100,000 Active-Duty personnel in North Carolina. Fort Bragg in North 
Carolina is the home of the Global Response Force. That is the base 
that gets the call from the President when, on a moment's notice, we 
may have to send hundreds or thousands of men and women to drop out of 
airplanes anywhere in the world. It is not just jumping out with a 
parachute. It is jumping out with a hundred pounds of equipment 
attached to them, it is dropping earthmovers, weather stations, a small 
city operation anywhere in the world to support a relief effort or to 
support a combat mission. That takes training. That takes constant 
training. It takes hours and hours of training to make sure they can 
complete their mission but, even as important, to make sure they do it 
safely and that they themselves do not get injured or killed in the 
  Now, we have already heard it said multiple times before, but I think 
it bears repeating. Why on Earth would the minority leader prevent us 
from moving to a vote? A filibuster is nothing more than saying no to 
sending this bill to the President's desk, after 30 Democratic members 
in the Appropriations Committee said yes. We only need six of them to 
move this bill to the President's desk.
  I guess the minority leader has a hammerlock on all of the Members 
who want to vote for this bill. They won't come to the floor and show 
the courage and commitment to the men and women in uniform to do the 
right thing. That is where we are. That is why it is personal to me.
  What do I tell the 100,000 Active-Duty military in North Carolina 
when I go home? I am sorry, but the minority leader has decided you are 
not a priority, in spite of the fact that we go to Committee on Armed 
Services hearings weekly and we hear the threat level has never been 
greater and in spite of the fact that we see the rise of ISIS across 
all of the Middle East, now in Europe, and it is threatening our 
  In spite of all of these threats, we tell the men and women in 
uniform and their commanders that politics win over the principle of 
funding our troops and saving our Nation and protecting our Nation. I 
think that is despicable.
  We know we have enough votes to send this bill to the President 
because they voted for it before. We only need a third of them to vote 
for this now and send it to the President's desk.
  I could go on, and if we have time, I hope Senator Sullivan will ask 
me some questions because I have spent a lot of time down at Camp 
Lejeune and Fort Bragg. Ask me about whether or not the leader of 
FORSCOM and the leaders down there responsible for the 82nd Airborne 
Division and the XVIII Airborne Corps think they have enough money and 
they can keep our men and women safe. Ask them about the conditions at 
Camp Lejeune and the conditions we ask these men and women to serve in 
after we tell them we are not going to give you money to keep you safe 
so that you can complete your mission.
  This is politics at its worst. We need to send this bill to the 
President's desk. We need to show respect for the men and women who 
have sworn an oath to lay down their life for the cause of freedom. 
This is a failure on the part of the minority leader and on the part of 
any other person who would sit there and refuse to move to a bill that 
every single one of them in the Appropriations Committee supported.
  I appreciate Senator Sullivan's elevating this dialogue to the extent 
that he will, and we shouldn't stop until we fulfill the promise that 
is our first and foremost constitutional obligation, which is to 
protect this Nation. The

[[Page S4972]]

people voting against this bill and preventing it from getting to the 
President's desk, in my opinion, are failing to live up to their oath.
  I want to thank Senator Sullivan and Senator Ernst again for their 
service, and I thank my colleague for bringing this to the attention of 
the American people.
  Mr. SULLIVAN. I thank Senator Tillis, and he put his finger on it 
when he said it is personal. I think it is personal to all of us.
  Senator Ernst talked about it. She literally has her former 
colleagues, the troops she commanded, in Afghanistan right now. There 
is nothing more personal than that.
  Just like Senator Tillis and Senator Daines, the great State of 
Alaska also has thousands and thousands of Active-Duty Army, Air Force, 
Coast Guard, and Marines servicemembers, reservists, and veterans, and 
they are wondering why. I get asked: Why would the minority leader 
filibuster spending for America's troops? Isn't that like the most 
important thing the Congress does--national defense? Why?
  Why on Earth would they consider doing it a fifth time before we go 
home on recess? The one thing we should be doing before we take a 2-
month recess--when, as Senator Ernst said, the whole world is imploding 
with national security challenges--is voting to fund our troops. So 
why? I really don't know the answer.
  At one point, the minority leader came to the floor last year and 
said the bill was ``a waste of time.'' I am not sure most Americans 
would agree with him on that. Then they made some kind of excuse: Well, 
we need to make sure the appropriations bill fits with the bipartisan 
budget agreement from last year. Well, it does. Nobody is making that 
argument. He was even recently quoted as saying he doesn't want his 
party to be ``at the mercy of Republicans.'' In essence, that blocking 
our defense budget gives his political party leverage. Well, I will 
tell you who gets leverage from blocking this funding--our enemies and 
our adversaries, not our troops.
  There is one other myth here, and I hear it a lot. When these 
procedural votes happen in the Senate, the troops don't really see it. 
They do not really understand it. Heck, this vote they took to block it 
last time on Thursday night was almost at midnight. Maybe nobody saw 
it. But I want to ask Senator Ernst: Do you think the troops see this? 
Do you think they understand what is going on? Do you think your troops 
in Afghanistan or in the Iowa National Guard or all the other military 
members we have gotten to know through our positions on the Committee 
on Armed Services see what is happening? How do you think that impacts 
  Mrs. ERNST. I thank my colleague. Yes, of course, they pay attention. 
They see what is going on in the Senate. We track this. I tracked this 
when I was a young captain serving in Kuwait and Iraq. We track this 
because it is so important that we have the funding necessary for our 
personnel--just basic funding of our human resources obligations to the 
U.S. Armed Forces.
  As to our personnel, we have to have funding to update our equipment, 
and we have to have the funding for the training necessary so that our 
men and women are ready and able to forward deploy. Even when they are 
forward deployed--in Iraq, Afghanistan, or you name it--they pay 
  It is vitally important that what we do here today is to vote on the 
DOD appropriations bill. We have to stop this filibuster. Our troops 
are paying attention. Their families are paying attention. Their 
families here in the United States want to know the Senate is doing the 
right thing by protecting our military, making sure we have the troops 
necessary, the equipment necessary, the training necessary to make sure 
that when they forward deploy, they come home safe again. That is No. 
1--making sure they are properly trained, equipped, and manned so they 
come home safe.
  So yes, Senator Sullivan, they do pay attention. As we are standing 
here debating the importance of this appropriations bill, we have 
almost 10,000 troops serving today--right now--in Afghanistan. We have 
almost 5,000 troops in Iraq. Our special operators are deployed 
throughout the world protecting our Nation.
  Just last week I had the opportunity to visit a hospital and see one 
of those special operators, and I am going to come back to that special 
operator in just a second.
  I stated before that the world is imploding, and we only have to look 
at the headlines over the past several days to see what a risk our 
globe is in. North Korea test fires a ballistic missile from a 
submarine on July 9. The Chinese Navy holds a live fire drill in the 
South China Sea--even after the international court has ruled against 
their claims in the region. Iran, which is now, oddly enough, being 
fueled by taxpayer dollars after the horrific nuclear deal our 
administration entered in, drove their boats dangerously close to ours 
once again. They came dangerously close to American ships. And U.S. 
intelligence reports come forward saying ISIS is ``adapting'' to our 
current efforts.

  These are the things, folks, that keep me up at night. These are the 
things that keep many of us up at night. But what lets us rest a little 
more at ease is knowing that we have our airmen, marines, soldiers, and 
sailors who are forward-deployed guarding our homeland. What puts my 
mind at rest is knowing we have these brave men and women doing their 
job for us. They are not failing us.
  Back to the special operator I visited in the hospital last week, 
this young man--forward-deployed into a theater in the Middle East--had 
been shot four times. Two weeks ago when I went into his hospital room, 
he was standing up. This special operator was pretty proud to show me 
his wounds--standing up, shot four times. He didn't bemoan the fact 
that he had been injured severely; what he was bemoaning was the fact 
that he was not with his unit.
  He said: Ma'am, I have no idea how long it is going to take me to 
heal, but I am ready to go back and serve with my unit. I am ready to 
go back.
  These are the men and women we need to be funding, folks. They are 
our defense--our national defense. So I am asking that the filibuster 
end and that we take a vote on the DOD appropriations bill.
  I know we would like to hear a little more from my colleagues--again, 
I thank them for coming to the floor--the Senator from Montana, the 
Senator from North Carolina. And I thank the Senator from Alaska for 
leading us in this discussion today.
  I yield the floor to the Senator from Montana.
  Mr. DAINES. Mr. President, it is certainly an honor to think that we 
are standing here as Senators with two distinguished veterans: 
Lieutenant Colonel Ernst and Senator Sullivan, who served in the U.S. 
Marines. In fact, tonight I will be at the Iwo Jima memorial, at a 
parade, with my daughter, honoring my dad, a marine, and honoring the 
men and women who served and wore the great uniform of the U.S. 
  There is one group who is cheering right now, and that is our 
enemies. They are cheering the fact that this body cannot get a defense 
appropriations bill passed. Maybe we should tie congressional pay to 
this bill. You know what. We could ask the minority leader: Let's put 
congressional pay in here. Maybe that will get the body to act, to move 
forward, if we say: If we are not going to fund our military, let's not 
fund this body right here. If we can't pass the Defense appropriations 
bill, we shouldn't get a paycheck here in Washington, DC.
  We ought to stand with the men and women who depend on the 
appropriations. What this body is saying no to--this filibuster is 
saying no to military personnel; it is saying no operations; it is 
saying no to the procuring we need to take the fight to the enemy; and 
it is saying no to research and development, testing and evaluation to 
make sure our men and women who wear the uniform of the U.S. military 
have the very best tools they need to defeat a very real enemy.
  I thank my freshmen colleagues for coming to the floor today. I thank 
Senator Sullivan for leading this effort as we are discussing why we 
need to stop the filibuster and pass the Defense appropriations bill.
  Mr. TILLIS. Senator Sullivan asked Senator Ernst whether people in 
uniform are watching. Let's talk about other people watching. What 
about the families of those men and women in

[[Page S4973]]

uniform, the ones whom Democrats have decided to say no to for a pay 
  My wife and I have adopted Fort Bragg, where she started a program 
called Baby Bundles where we create these bundles to give to expectant 
families, E4s and below. These men and women have very little. They are 
serving their Nation and are not making a lot of money. We are trying 
to do our best to make up for that by providing them with these gifts 
as they bring a child into the world.
  But what about the mother or father who is left behind as their loved 
one is somewhere in harm's way? What are they thinking about when they 
come home during training and say: You know, we are just not getting 
the jumps we were getting. We are not getting the equipment we were 
getting. And, sweetie, I am about to be deployed.
  That is happening. That is what this ``no'' stands for. That is what 
this action on the part of the Democrats stands for.
  We need to vote for this bill. We need to show military families and 
men and women in uniform that we support them. I encourage my 
colleagues on the other side of the aisle to move this bill to the 
President's desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska.
  Mr. SULLIVAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent for 1 minute to 
conclude this colloquy.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. SULLIVAN. Mr. President, I thank my colleagues who bring honor to 
the Senate by coming down here and talking about this important issue.
  Those watching at home should be calling their Senators and telling 
them: Fund our troops. Fund our troops.
  When there are so many national security challenges out there, we 
need to make sure we do not go on a 2-month recess without funding our 
troops and moving forward on this bill. We should not move forward on a 
vote to have another filibuster vote, the fifth one in a year--the only 
bill that seems to get the focus of our colleagues and the minority 
leader to filibuster.
  We need to do the right thing. We need to do the right thing by the 
American people, and we need to do the right thing by our troops. Fund 
the troops. Break the filibuster. We need to move forward.
  I certainly hope my colleagues on the other side are going to finally 
see the light and vote to move forward funding for our military, 
national security, our troops, and our families.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time now will be controlled by the two 
  The Senate minority leader.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, what does the previous order say?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time is equally divided until 3:30 p.m.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I will take some of that time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has that right.

                           Zika Virus Funding

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, the Senate's work is that of legislating. 
The art of legislating is rooted in good faith, and, always, 
legislation by definition is the art of compromise. In order to 
accomplish things for the American people, the Senate must work 
together in good faith, but I am seeing very few good-faith efforts 
from the Republicans on Zika, among other things. What I am seeing is 
one cynical Republican ploy after another.
  It is clear now that Republicans are not going to provide President 
Obama and the country with the $1.9 billion in emergency Zika funds 
that public health officials need, but Democrats still want to get as 
much funding as the experts tell us they need in order to stop Zika. To 
that end, the President of the United States, Leader Pelosi, and I have 
made several entreaties to the Republican leaders--that is, Senator 
McConnell and Speaker Ryan--pleading with them to work with us. Last 
Thursday, the administration tried to schedule a meeting with Speaker 
Ryan and Senator McConnell in the same room with Health and Human 
Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell and Director Shaun Donovan, the 
leader of the Office of Management and Budget. This was an opportunity 
for Republicans in Congress and the administration to get on the same 
page about Zika and chart a path forward. Speaker Ryan and Senator 
McConnell said no to me. They wouldn't even meet with two members of 
the President's Cabinet.
  Democrats are disappointed, but we continue to look for solutions. 
The only solution at this point that would get doctors, researchers, 
and public health experts the immediate Zika funding they need is to 
pass the bipartisan Senate compromise as soon as possible. We were 
willing to do more, but the Senate compromise I just mentioned passed 
this body with 89 votes and could pass again today if it were brought 
up by the Republican leader for a vote.
  I spoke with the Republican leader personally and asked him to 
consider this legislation as a stand-alone bill. And we would be 
willing to do even more. I told him that. He would not commit one way 
or the other. Yesterday, I had my staff reach out to the Republican 
leader's staff. We haven't heard back. Instead of getting back to my 
office with a substantive response, the Republican leader came to the 
floor this morning and made accusations that were wild and unfair about 
what we are proposing. I guess that was the Republican leader's 
response to our good-faith offer. I guess that was it. But that is not 
the way the Senate should operate.
  Now it is clear that the Republican leader has been stringing us 
along. He never had any intention of coming back to negotiate a deal. 
Republicans have no desire to work with us to get a bipartisan Zika 
funding bill to the President now or at any time in the near future. It 
has all been a charade. Republicans are interested in one thing only: 
attacking Planned Parenthood. Zika is the sideshow. What Republicans 
really show their interest in is undermining women's health by taking 
potshots at Planned Parenthood. They are good at this. They have been 
doing this for years, and they will use Zika, Ebola, and anything else 
to do it.
  There is a frightening shortage of integrity in this body, and it is 
getting worse every day. It doesn't have to be that way. Democrats and 
Republicans can work together and should work together, and we should 
work in good faith.
  The chair and ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural 
Resources Committee have an agreement that if Democrats agree to go to 
conference on this Energy bill, Senator Murkowski has given her word to 
side with Senator Cantwell in order to produce a consensus-based 
conference report they can both support. She made that same commitment 
to me personally. So Senator Murkowski and Senator Cantwell will work 
together to represent the Senate at the conference--not represent 
Democrats or Republicans but the Senate. That is terrific. Senators 
Cantwell and Murkowski have proven in the past that they can work on 
good, strong legislation without poison pills and with strong 
bipartisan support. So I look forward to them working with other 
conferees to complete a final energy bill that Democrats can support 
and the President will sign.
  The basis of this legislation has been going on for 4 or 5 years--4 
or 5 years. The effort was led by Senator Shaheen for years. We almost 
got it done, but we had Republican obstruction on it. So we are where 
we are now. We can't legislate for things done in the past, but the 
Republican leader should take a cue from the senior Senator from 
  We still want to work together with Republicans to get something done 
on Zika. It is important to the American people. That would require a 
good-faith approach from our Republican colleagues. That is not here 
right now, and it is too bad.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the time in the quorum 
call that I am about to suggest be charged equally against both sides.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, 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.
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.

[[Page S4974]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Lankford). Without objection, it is so 
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, in just a matter of minutes this 
afternoon, we will proceed to a motion to go to a formal conference on 
S. 2012, which is the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016. There is 
no doubt in my mind that we should agree to go to conference with the 
House on this broad bipartisan measure.
  I want to begin my remarks with a reminder of both the process that 
we followed to reach this point and the many, many good provisions that 
the process has allowed the Senate to include within our Energy bill. 
From the very beginning, we have committed to the regular order, 
committee-oriented process.
  I want to acknowledge the strong working relationship with my friend 
and colleague on the committee, the ranking member, Senator Cantwell 
from Washington. We set out working this together. We set out with a 
view in mind that we needed to update our country's energy laws. In 
order to get a good product, we were going to have to work 
cooperatively and collaboratively and in an open, transparent, and 
inclusive process. That is what we did. That has been a goal that was 
worth working toward, and I think the effort that we made as a chair 
and as a ranking member brought in support from both sides of the aisle 
and allowed us to come to this place today.
  Our Energy Policy Modernization Act is the result of listening 
sessions, legislative hearings, bipartisan negotiations, a multiday 
markup held last July, and a multimonth floor process earlier this 
year. That process concluded with an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote, as 
85 Senators voted in favor of the first major Energy bill to pass this 
Chamber in nearly a decade.
  After we passed our bill, it went over to the House. They responded 
with a series of measures that had already passed their Chamber. While 
what they sent back has been criticized by some, I certainly think the 
House was restrained in its process. They could have passed a highly 
partisan package that would have been more difficult to reconcile with 
our bill, but I think they developed a more measured response and chose 
by voice vote to ask the Senate to conference with them. Now it is our 
  The very last procedural step is for the Senate to vote to proceed to 
go to a formal conference. After waiting more than a month--actually, I 
think we are probably at about 6 weeks now--we will have that vote in 
the next 10 minutes or so. In looking at all the significant provisions 
included within our bill, all of which are at stake today, I think this 
should be a very easy choice for all of us to make.
  Our bill includes priorities from 80 different Members of the Senate, 
including 42 members of the Democratic caucus. When we vote to go to 
conference, it is no exaggeration to say that at least 80 of us within 
this body will be voting on whether or not to advance our own ideas and 
our own policy suggestions.
  Let me give you a couple of examples. Our bill contains a bipartisan 
provision from Senators Barrasso and Heinrich, as well as 16 others 
that would streamline the LNG export approval process. The bill 
contains an entire title on energy efficiency that was written by 
Senator Portman and Senator Shaheen, as well as 13 other Members.
  The resources title that I developed with the ranking member is a 
balanced package of some 30 lands and water bills, including a 
bipartisan sportsmen's provision that the Senate adopted by a vote of 
97 to 0. We made innovation a key priority to promote the developing of 
promising technologies. We have Senators Alexander, Peters, Capito, 
Manchin, Wyden, and many others to thank for that.
  We also focused on grid modernization, cyber security, the National 
Park Centennial, and conservation policies. These are all bipartisan 
efforts. All of those are a part of this bill.
  Now we have to vote to determine whether we will keep going in the 
last stretch of this legislative process or whether the Senate says: 
All that work that you did--we are not going to move forward with it. I 
don't think that is a good option, and I hope it is an option this 
Chamber will reject.
  My very strong preference is that we keep going. I think we should 
agree to conference with the House of Representatives because I know 
the conference process can produce a worthy bill that becomes law. I 
think it is fair to say that it will not include everything that is on 
the table right now, but anyone who has looked at what each Chamber has 
passed knows there is plenty out there that we can agree on.
  I have a few assurances from Members who may be a little bit hesitant 
to move forward this afternoon. First, I will reiterate my personal 
commitment to a final bill that can pass both Chambers and be signed 
into law by the President. That doesn't mean we are going to 
unilaterally disarm ourselves in conference negotiations, but my 
objective here is to deliver a law. That means it can't be the House 
product necessarily or the Senate product necessarily. It has to be 
something the Chambers can both agree on and the President can sign 
into law. I intend to lead the conference committee the way I led the 
Senate process--by looking for common ground, by being open, by being 
fair and inclusive, and by seeking consensus over partisan division.

  You don't have to take just my word for it. A couple of weeks ago, 
the two House chairmen who will be most heavily involved in the Energy 
bill conference also released a joint statement that reinforces how we 
intend to proceed. Here is what the House Energy and Commerce chair, 
Fred Upton, as well as the House Natural Resources chairman, Rob 
Bishop, said on June 20:

       At the end of the day, our goal is to get something to the 
     President that he will sign into law. From our perspective, a 
     bill that the President will veto is a waste of time and 
     effort and casts aside the hard work we've put in up to this 
     point. We remain committed to working in a bicameral, 
     bipartisan manner and remain hopeful that we can set aside 
     our differences and move ahead with a formal conference 
     between the two chambers.

  In addition to my approach and the approach the two House chairmen 
have embraced, there are institutional protections that will help 
ensure that this process stays on track. If Members are part of the 
conference committee and decide at the end they don't want to sign the 
conference report, then they don't have to sign it. As we have seen in 
recent days, conference reports require 60 votes to end debate on them, 
meaning our bill will need to remain bipartisan in order to pass.
  To me, the best argument for going to conference on an energy bill is 
still the one we started with; that is, it is way past time. It has 
been almost a decade now. The last time Congress passed a major energy 
bill was December of 2007. With almost a decade's worth of changes in 
technologies and markets taking place since then, our policies have 
simply become outdated.
  There is a whole list of organizations and individuals that have 
urged us as a Chamber to get moving with a conference, whether it is 
the Alliance to Save Energy, the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Business 
Council for Sustainable Energy, the American Chemistry Council, the 
chamber of commerce. They go and on.
  There is an urgent need to update and reform our Nation's energy 
policies. We are overdue. Our policies are deficient. We have advanced 
many, many good ideas, but we need to get this over the finish line. 
That is exactly what going to conference will allow us to do.
  The Energy Policy Modernization Act gives us a chance to do all of 
that. We have a chance now to take that next step forward on this broad 
bipartisan bill--keep it going, proceed to conference, allow ourselves 
to write a good final bill that we can then send to the President's 
  With that, Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Washington.
  Ms. CANTWELL. Mr. President, I join my colleague from Alaska, the 
chair of the Senate Energy Committee, to urge my colleagues today to 
move forward on going to conference on the Energy bill.
  My colleagues will remember we passed a bill 85 to 12, I think it 
was, and included a great deal of provisions on--my colleague just 
said--modernizing the electricity grid, building next-generation 
investments in energy, smart buildings, advanced composite

[[Page S4975]]

materials, energy storage and improving cyber security, critical 
infrastructure, and the energy workforce for tomorrow.
  This was a very worked-over process, both in committee and on the 
Senate floor, and it was a very collaborative effort among our 
colleagues on both sides of the aisle. It did take some discussion with 
our House colleagues because the package they passed was a very 
different product. I will say, it was a very less worked product on a 
bipartisan basis and certainly a product that had a lot of veto threats 
in it.
  Our House colleagues have made some comments about that legislation 
that have made it helpful for us to move forward. We met with our 
colleagues, the Natural Resources and Energy Committee chairs, Mr. 
Bishop and Mr. Upton. They basically said: Look, they didn't want to 
waste time on things that would be vetoed by the President of the 
United States, so we took that as a good sign that they were willing to 
sit down and talk about legislation that could move forward in a 
positive fashion.
  Senator Murkowski's staff, my staff, and we together have rolled up 
our sleeves and tried to look at ways in which we could talk about how 
we move forward from here so that all of our colleagues could have 
confidence that we are going to work on something that would be a final 
product that really would get to the President's desk. I thank my 
colleague from Alaska for her indulgence in that process. I know she 
had conversations with Senator Reid about no poison pills and wasn't 
going to sign off on those kinds of activities.

  We are here to say to our colleagues: Let's continue the good 
bipartisan effort that existed in the Senate bill and work with our 
colleagues in the House to resolve these issues. As my colleagues know, 
there are many thorny issues that still need to be addressed. Even 
though the Senate worked out many of its issues, there are still 
several thorny issues that are in the House bill, such as water, fire, 
and a variety of other issues which will take some dialogue and give us 
an opportunity to talk. If we can reach a conclusion, great, but if we 
can't, I think we have all decided that moving forward on the basis of 
an energy policy we can agree to is a very important concept for all of 
  As my colleague from Alaska said, it is time to move forward on an 
energy policy, and I encourage my colleagues to vote yes on this 
motion. Let us continue to work to protect these key provisions and 
move forward so we can get a bill to the President's desk.

                             Cloture Motion

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Pursuant to rule XXII, the Chair lays before 
the Senate the pending cloture motion, which the clerk will state.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

                             Cloture Motion

       We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the 
     provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, 
     do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the motion to 
     disagree to the House amendment, agree to the request from 
     the House for a conference, and the Presiding Officer appoint 
     the following conferees: Senators Murkowski, Barrasso, Risch, 
     Cornyn, Cantwell, Wyden, and Sanders with respect to S. 2012, 
     an original bill to provide for the modernization of the 
     energy policy of the United States, and for other purposes.
         John McCain, John Cornyn, Marco Rubio, Deb Fischer, Rob 
           Portman, Roger F. Wicker, Richard Burr, Joni Ernst, 
           David Vitter, James M. Inhofe, Dean Heller, Pat 
           Roberts, Lamar Alexander, Ron Johnson, Tom Cotton, Thom 
           Tillis, Mitch McConnell.

  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 the 
motion to disagree to the House amendment, agree to the request by the 
House for a conference, and to appoint conferees with respect to S. 
2012, a bill to provide for the modernization of the energy policy of 
the United States, and for other purposes, 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. THUNE. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Wyoming (Mr. Barrasso), the Senator from Indiana (Mr. Coats), the 
Senator from Mississippi (Mr. Cochran), the Senator from Texas (Mr. 
Cornyn), the Senator from Texas (Mr. Cruz), the Senator from South 
Carolina (Mr. Graham), the Senator from Oklahoma (Mr. Inhofe), the 
Senator from Kansas (Mr. Roberts), the Senator from South Dakota (Mr. 
Rounds), the Senator from Alabama (Mr. Shelby), the Senator from 
Louisiana (Mr. Vitter) and the Senator from Mississippi (Mr. Wicker).
  Further, if present and voting, the Senator from Texas (Mr. Cornyn) 
would have voted ``yea.''
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Vermont (Mr. Sanders) is 
necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 84, nays 3, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 125 Leg.]





                             NOT VOTING--13

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 84, the nays are 3.
  Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn having voted in 
the affirmative, the motion is agreed to.
  Cloture having been invoked, the question is on agreeing to the 
compound motion.
  The motion was agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.