(Senate - July 14, 2016)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.

[Congressional Record Volume 162, Number 114 (Thursday, July 14, 2016)]
[Pages S5127-S5136]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. CASEY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as in 
morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. CASSIDY). Without objection, it is so 

           Commending the Junior Senator from South Carolina

  Mr. CASEY. Mr. President, let me start today by commending the 
remarks by the junior Senator from South Carolina. Throughout this week 
and several--I guess it is now three times this week--his words and his 
passion have both inspired us and informed us, but I think he has also 
challenged all of us to do more for our country. I am grateful that I 
was here for his remarks today. I commend him for those words and for 
what he talked about on the floor today.

                               STORM ACT

  Mr. President, 3 months ago I spoke on the floor to highlight the 
need to expand our arsenal of financial measures against the terrorist 
group ISIS, which we know is also known as ISIL and known by other 
names or acronyms. I will use the acronym ``ISIS.'' I said at that time 
that these agents of hate, violence, and chaos could be significantly 
diminished by attacks on their finances.
  Not long after that, the President signed into law the bipartisan 
Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act, which I 
sponsored here in the Senate, which will undermine ISIS's ability and 
efforts to pillage antiquities in Iraq and Syria for profit. But we 
need to keep up the pressure on this issue on ISIS.
  All terrorist organizations, of course, need resources to survive, 
and this is a vulnerability we must fully exploit. Dismantling the 
financial networks that support terrorism is a critical part of our 
mission to protect the United States of America. ISIS is the best 
example of how pressing the need is today.
  Militarily, ISIS continues to destabilize Iraq and Syria at the 
expense of millions of civilians who are caught in the crossfire. It 
continues to cultivate affiliates in northern and western Africa, 
central Asia, and other parts of the Middle East. It continues to sow 
the seeds of terror in neighboring countries such as Turkey and Saudi 
Arabia and further afield--in Europe, Africa, and, of course, here in 
the United States. Many thousands of innocent lives have been 
tragically and unjustly lost in these attacks.
  Financially, ISIS relies on a variety of revenue streams. We must 
attack all of them.
  U.S. and coalition airpower is disabling oil refineries and stopping 
smuggling convoys in their tracks. U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Peter 
Gersten, deputy commander of the Combined Joint Air Task Force--
Operation Inherent Resolve, reported on April 26 of this year that 
``ISIS's ability to finance their war through oil refineries has been 
destroyed.'' That is good news, but we have a lot more to do. As a 
result, ISIS is cutting fighters' salaries and it is plundering 
everything and anything it can reach. It is looting banks, kidnapping 
for ransom, and extorting money directly from the 8 million people 
caught in its territory. According to the Center for Analysis of 
Terrorism, such extortion now accounts for more than one-third of the 
income of ISIS.
  Tough sanctions have helped curtail ISIS's ability to access the 
international banking system, but ISIS is using informal channels to 
receive and spend money off the grid. Nonmonetary transfer systems and 
informal exchange houses operating across multiple countries have been 
less vulnerable to traditional sanctions.
  As ISIS adapts, so must the United States. The Department of the 
Treasury has been relentless in identifying and blacklisting 
individuals and entities that finance terror. I applaud them for this 
work. Yet, because terrorist groups exploit financial jurisdictions to 
channel their ill-gotten gains, the United States cannot effectively 
stop terrorist financiers by itself; our coalition partners must join 
this fight. We cannot afford weak links in this chain.
  In February of this year, I visited Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar 
to conduct oversight of our terrorism finance strategy. I found that 
the events of the last 2 years have brought this issue of terrorism 
financing into sharper focus for the countries in the region.
  While many of our coalition partners are taking steps in the right 
direction, much more work needs to be done to stem this tide. We need 
to see more investigations turn into arrests, more prosecutions, and 
more sentencings that take terrorist financiers off the streets. As 
with nuclear nonproliferation, we need to build and reinforce the 
international architecture that governs international cooperation to 
stop terrorist financiers.
  Last week, Senator Isakson and I introduced the STORM Act, the Stop 
Terrorist Operational Resources and Money Act. This act authorizes a 
new designation called ``jurisdiction of terrorism financing concern'' 
if a country is not doing enough to stop terrorist financiers. Once 
designated by the United States of America--in fact, once designated by 
the President of the United States of America--that country would face 
significant penalties that include the cessation of aid and the 
suspension of arms sales. To avoid the penalty, the country can enter 
into a technical assistance agreement with the United States to 
remediate the problem that led to its designation.
  The STORM Act also sanctions foreign financial institutions that make 
deals on behalf of ISIS or launder money for ISIS. Like this Chamber's 
recent action to sanction foreign banks that deal with Hezbollah, we 
must ensure that no part of the international banking system is left 
open to ISIS. We expect overseas banks to join with us by using all of 
the tools at their disposal to make certain they are not unwittingly or 
negligently acting for ISIS. Banks that fail to do so have no right to 
do business with the United States of America.
  The STORM Act will be a powerful tool in the President's arsenal and 
future Presidents' arsenals to starve terrorist groups of the resources 
they need to survive. I thank Senator Isakson for his original 
cosponsorship of this important legislation.
  It is essential that we send it through the Foreign Relations 
Committee, through Congress--both House and Senate--and to the 
President's desk for signature as soon as possible.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.

                       A Conversation About Race

  Mr. LANKFORD. Mr. President, 2 days ago, five police officers were 
shot and killed and others were very seriously wounded in the middle of 
a rally trying to bring people together, trying to allow Americans to 
be able to have what many call our ``conversation on race.''
  As several have mentioned on this floor before about my friend the 
junior Senator from South Carolina, Tim Scott--Senator Scott commented 
on race all this week, as have several others on this floor who have 
talked about it. I hear many people in my own State and in the 
conversations I have had around my State speak about issues of race, 
and I keep hearing this ongoing statement: We need to have a greater 
conversation about race.

  Somewhat, I think, we as a nation are confused about how this 
actually gets resolved in some ways. So I wanted to make a quick 
comment and a challenge to my fellow Senators and others who may be 
around. The challenge is very straightforward and simple. We talk about 
a conversation on race as if it is something that can happen nationally 
at a rally, at a protest, in the media, among leaders. It is not really 
how America solves issues and problems. We solve it around dinner 
tables. That has always been the place that we have resolved issues as 
a nation. It is our families who sit down together and get a chance to 
talk it out.
  Over the past week, I have had this reoccurring conversation with 
people--just a simple question: Have you ever had a family of another 
race sit down with your family for dinner at your home? Have you ever 
invited another family of another race to your home for dinner?
  That doesn't seem like a challenging question, but I have been amazed 
at the number of people I have posed that question to who have looked 
at me, who have hesitated, and said: Of course, I have.

[[Page S5128]]

  Then I said: When?
  They had to hesitate and think and said: No, I don't think, really, 
that has ever happened. I have people I work with, people I interact 
with, play sports with, go to school with, and live in my neighborhood, 
but I don't think I have ever had a family of a different race than 
mine over for dinner.
  Here is my simple challenge to us. If we are going to have a 
conversation about race, maybe the conversation should start with each 
of our families at our dinner tables. It is what Senator Scott 
mentioned earlier. I have laid out a challenge, just a simple 
statement, what I call Solution Sundays. If you are going to be part of 
this solution in America, maybe on a Sunday for lunch or for dinner, 
invite another family over of another race just to sit and have 
conversation. Everybody can put their feet under the same table and 
develop a friendship and a relationship.
  Every person can do that. Every person can be a part of the solution. 
Every person in our country can start to move that conversation a 
little farther. It is part of who we are.
  We don't solve things based on a vote in America, we solve things 
around our dinner table.
  I would challenge every American to invite someone from another race 
to their home, just sit and have Sunday lunch together and watch and 
begin to see what happens in our Nation.


  Mr. President, today is also an anniversary day. Today is happy 
birthday to the JCPOA, what is commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal. 
Happy birthday, you are 1-year old today.
  In many ways we have seen some progress in some areas. Iran does have 
fewer centrifuges now than what they had a year ago. Iran has allowed 
the inspectors to come into some locations. That is a positive thing. 
Iran has allowed engagement in some of their purchasing of some of 
their nuclear materials. That is a positive thing, and I am grateful 
for the progress.
  I hope that progress continues, but at this point it is just a hope. 
Quite frankly, today, for me, recognizing the 1-year birthday of the 
Iran nuclear deal is a reminder to the administration that America and 
the Congress have not forgotten that this is a deal that has to be 
implemented with great strength, because the issues that we face in 
relationship with Iran are a multitude.
  Let me just highlight a few things just to be able to talk through 
some of the issues that I have seen and things that are still coming, 
things that have happened in the past year and things that are still to 
  For instance, in the past year the international community has 
released around $100 billion to Iran. So $100 billion has flown back to 
them. What has happened in that time period? Well, they have 
recapitalized their banks. They have recapitalized in several areas 
they have needed in their economy, but they have also increased their 
military defense spending by 90 percent in the past year. That flood of 
money has accelerated the Iranian military buildup. We have actually 
contributed to that as Americans.
  About a month or so after and shortly connected to the Iran nuclear 
deal being announced and going through the process, Iran released 
several folks who were considered hostages by the Americans--Americans 
jailed in Iran. They released those individuals and shortly thereafter 
the administration released $1.7 billion to Iran from the Judgment 
Fund, saying this was part of the return from some of the money that 
was required from Iran from 1979 in the fall of the Shah--$1.7 billion.
  Interestingly enough, months later, Iran, in its movement, increased 
its military spending exactly $1.7 billion, and the Iranians announced 
those two were connected. American tax dollars directly funded $1.7 
billion of Iranian military buildup.
  I wish I could even stop there. Just months ago, the administration 
announced that we were going to start purchasing heavy water from Iran.
  You see, we don't produce our own heavy water. Heavy water is used in 
development of nuclear materials for a nuclear weapon, but it is also 
used in research. The United States doesn't produce our own heavy 
water. We purchase it from Canada mostly.
  But instead, this time we purchased nuclear water for over $8 million 
from Iran. So we didn't purchase from our ally, but we purchased from 
  I wish I could tell you that is all it is, but this is what Secretary 
Moniz announced with this statement upon the purchase of that heavy 
water from Iran:

       The idea is: OK, we tested it, it's perfectly good heavy 
     water. It meets spec. We'll buy a little of this.

  He said:

       That will be a statement to the world: ``You want to buy 
     heavy water from Iran, you can buy heavy water from Iran. 
     It's been done. Even the United States did it.''

  In the past year we have moved from sanctions on Iran to being Iran's 
salesman, to helping them sell heavy water to the world, telling them: 
Don't buy from our allies in Canada anymore. We tested the Iranian 
water, and we like it. You should buy that.
  That is a pretty big shift in the last year, to move from ``we have 
sanctions on you as a terrorist nation'' to ``we are your salesmen.'' 
People of the world should start buying their heavy nuclear water from 
  That is all just in the past year. I wish I could stop, but many 
people have noticed, if they are watching the media at all, that Iran 
has launched multiple test missiles in the past several months. On 
October 10, they launched a missile with an 800-mile range. On November 
21, they launched another long-range missile. On March 8 and March 9, 
they launched other missiles as test missiles.
  All of these are in violation of the missile test treaty ban that has 
been in place for years on Iran. What has been done so far to be able 
to sanction back down sanctions? Nada.
  They are recapitalizing their military. They are testing new missiles 
that are capable of carrying nuclear armaments. They are continuing to 
pursue nuclear materials in opposition to the direct agreement.
  Just days ago, Germany released a long report from their domestic 
intelligence agency, which is their equivalent of our FBI. They 
released a statement saying the findings by the Federal Office for the 
Protection of the Constitution--that is their FBI--in a 317-page report 
said they had found that Iran had a clandestine effort to seek illicit 
nuclear technology and equipment from German companies at what is even, 
by international standards, a quantitatively and actively high level.
  German Chancellor Angela Merkel underscored the findings in a 
statement to Parliament saying: Iran violated the U.N. Security 
Council's anti-missile development regulations, seeking nuclear 
materials in a quantitatively high level from German companies in a 
clandestine way. Angela Merkel is saying they are continuing to press 
on the missile side of things. They are continuing to advance.
  At the same time, out in plain sight, Iran has purchased the S-300 
missile defense system from Russia. They continue to have a tremendous 
number of religious- and human-rights-documented prisoners in Iran. 
There are an estimated 821 individuals right now. By the way, some of 
those also are Americans who are currently imprisoned in Iran right 
now--some of them just for the practice of a minority faith.
  Just weeks ago, I asked DNI Clapper, the President's Director of 
National Intelligence: What has changed in Iran's being the largest 
state sponsor of terrorism in the world in the last year?
  His response to me was this: Nothing. They are still advancing 
against Bahrain to have a coup. They are still funding the civil war 
and coup that is happening in Yemen. They are still funding Hezbollah. 
They are still propping up Assad. In fact, I have increased their 
funding levels there.
  All of those things still continue to advance, just with more money 
and with more supplies now than what they had in the past.
  It is the 1-year birthday of the Iran nuclear deal. Iran is a rising 
power in the region and continues to advance toward nuclear technology. 
So what are we going to do about it?
  One is that we need to continue to remind everyone who is out there 
that this is a very serious threat. Iran with a nuclear weapon is 
completely unacceptable in this world. The largest state sponsor of 
terrorism in the world should not have nuclear weapons. The world 
community should at least agree on that.

[[Page S5129]]

  I have pushed on several areas. I authored a deal dealing with its 
resolution, in fact, detailing when the administration should do 
snapbacks. The administration has been very vague about when they will 
actually snap back sanctions. So we took their deal, which they had, 
went through it in great detail, put it in technical language, and put 
it in a resolution to clearly state: Here are the boundaries of this 
resolution so it has no fuzzy gray areas.
  Through an appropriations amendment, we have also demanded that we 
get greater detail of the $1.7 billion in transfer money from the 
Judgment Fund that was transferred to Iran. Currently, we have almost 
no detail on that other than that we know Iran used it for its military 
development because they announced that and put that out.
  Third, I have worked with Senator Fischer from Nebraska creating a 
Judgment Fund transparency piece so that we will never again transfer 
American dollars to any state sponsor of terrorism around the world. 
Couldn't we have that as minimum criteria--that we will not spend the 
hard-earned tax dollars of Americans to help supply the military 
requirements of a larger state sponsor of terrorism?
  I cosponsored a bill with Senator Rubio which prohibits giving Ex-Im 
financing to any company in Iran or to Iran in general to make sure 
that Iran is not coming, again, to the American taxpayer to be able to 
get some sort of subsidies to be able to do that.
  And as I have mentioned before, we will continue to remind the 
administration that no one is forgetting because we do not have the 
option of losing track of a nuclear Iran.
  Happy birthday to the Iran nuclear deal. I hope that in the years 
ahead, we can say that we have a non-nuclear power Iran, but I will 
tell you that based on what has happened in the past year, I remain 
incredibly skeptical of that.
  I yield back the remainder of my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan.

                    Water Resources Development Act

  Mr. PETERS. Mr. President, I rise today to speak about the need to 
pass the Water Resources Development Act of 2016, also known as WRDA. 
Despite strong, bipartisan support, the Senate has yet to take a vote 
on a commonsense, necessary piece of legislation.
  Frankly, I am extremely disappointed. WRDA will help communities 
across the Nation who need to repair, expand, or modernize their water 
infrastructure. The bill invests in the Nation's ports and inland 
waterways to improve commerce, and it moves us toward major upgrades to 
locks and dams in places such as the Upper Mississippi River System.
  WRDA will improve flood protection in order to better safeguard 
communities from damage and will restore ecosystems and promote public 
access for recreation.
  This legislation empowers local partners in water resource project 
implementation and improves the approval process for the U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers projects.
  WRDA promotes innovative technologies to address water resource 
challenges, including additional support to drought-stricken 
  This bill also makes essential investments in drinking water and 
wastewater infrastructure, including emergency assistance to 
communities facing water contamination, such as Flint, MI.
  Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to again meet with families 
from Flint.
  The devastating water crisis continues to have an unimaginable impact 
on the children and families there. I was heartbroken to hear more 
about some of their daily struggles, but I was also inspired by their 
  The provisions included in the WRDA bill will help ensure that Flint 
residents will have the resources and support necessary to address this 
ongoing and catastrophic tragedy. WRDA will help Flint residents, but 
it will also help communities all across our country with drinking 
water and infrastructure challenges. It will modernize the State 
Revolving Loan Fund Programs and capitalize the Water Infrastructure 
Finance and Innovation Act Program--also known as WIFIA--a new, low-
interest financing mechanism to fund large-dollar-value infrastructure 
projects all across our Nation.
  The many benefits of the WRDA bill--from drinking water protections 
to waterway improvements, to water body restoration--is why it enjoys 
broad, diverse support. Over 100 stakeholder organizations have called 
on the Senate to bring WRDA to the floor. These groups include: the 
American Society of Civil Engineers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 
Nature Conservancy, United Steelworkers, National Association of 
Counties, the National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, 
and the National Association of Clean Water Agencies.
  Our dedicated partners across the aisle are also ready to move on 
this important bipartisan piece of legislation. Senator Inhofe recently 
joined 28--28 of his Republican colleagues on a letter to the Senate 
Republican leadership calling for a vote. The Environmental and Public 
Works Committee passed the Water Resources Development Act with strong, 
overwhelming bipartisan support--a vote of 19 to 1.
  This commonsense bill is ready for a vote in the Senate. Communities 
across our country--including the families of Flint--are ready and 
waiting for us to act. I truly hope the WRDA bill can be prioritized 
for action on the floor when we return in September. We simply must 
act, and we must act as quickly as possible.

                           Startup Companies

  Mr. President, when we think about fast-growing startup companies, we 
might think about Silicon Valley, Boston, or Boulder. While these 
cities certainly have very vibrant startup ecosystems, innovative 
startups and small businesses are being founded and are growing across 
the United States, including my home State of Michigan. In each of our 
States, there are hard-working entrepreneurs who have established job-
creating startups. These dynamic companies act as entrepreneurial 
leaders, innovators, and job creators within our communities. 
Industries, including retail, health care, entertainment, 
transportation, and education are being revolutionized and reshaped by 
entrepreneurs in our local communities. They are reimagining the future 
by using technology to solve problems and create innovative products 
and services.
  According to the Kauffman Foundation, startups are a major force for 
job creation in the United States. Startups under 1 year old create 
about 2 million jobs per year, accounting for 20 percent of gross job 
creation, though they only represent 8 percent of the firms in this 
  Despite the fact that new startups are vital to our country's 
economic and job growth, many members of our community may not know 
these innovative companies exist, and many startup companies may not 
know where to access the resources to help their companies succeed.
  In 2013, I joined a bipartisan group of colleagues--including 
Congressmen Polis and Issa--to create the first annual Startup Day 
Across America to bring attention to startups throughout Michigan and 
across the United States. That year, I had the opportunity to visit 
Start Garden--a combined venture capital fund and shared startup 
workspace in Grand Rapids--with Congressmen Huizenga and Amash, where 
we heard firsthand about the exciting new businesses being funded in 
Western Michigan.
  In 2014, I met with a group of entrepreneurs at the Madison Building 
in Detroit, home to startups backed by Detroit Venture Partners. I 
spoke with Paul Glomski, the CEO of Detroit Labs.
  Founded in 2011 with just four employees, Detroit Labs now has upward 
of 100 people working for them, building cutting-edge technology in 
downtown Detroit. They dream up, design, and build mobile apps and have 
made them for General Motors, Domino's Pizza, Kimberly-Clark, DTE 
Energy, and many others. They also provide a paid apprenticeship 
program that teaches hard-working Michiganders how to code and connects 
them to jobs upon completion of the program.
  Startups are not just about apps and tech, though. I also visited 
Ponyride, a coworking space in Corktown, where I met Eric Yelsma, 
founder of Detroit Denim. He and his team are making high-quality jeans 
in Detroit and shipping them across the country.
  In 2015, I visited startups in Traverse City, where I heard about the 

[[Page S5130]]

startup and venture capital ecosystems in Northern Michigan that are 
pulling in talent from across the Midwest, including Cherry Capital 
Foods, a young company that works with Michigan farmers to help them 
find new customers.
  This year, I have teamed up with Senators Warner, Daines, and Scott 
to encourage our colleagues to visit a startup anywhere in their home 
State during the week of August 4. Like me, they know startups are 
taking root across the Nation--in Richmond, VA, Bozeman, MT, 
Charleston, SC, Kalamazoo, MI, and other communities.
  In fact, Michigan is one of the fastest growing venture capital 
communities in the Nation, a critical asset that will help us become 
the startup capital of the Midwest. We have world-class colleges and 
universities, more engineers than any part of the country, and an 
infrastructure to export not just nationally but all across the globe.
  While I am focused on connecting talented Michigan entrepreneurs to 
the capital they need to grow and succeed, I will also continue working 
with my colleagues on Federal policies that will support these 
important startups and small businesses. That means strong science, 
technology, engineering, arts, and math, or STEAM, education, along 
with expanding efforts to encourage our Nation's students to learn how 
to code. Even basic programming skills are incredibly marketable, not 
just among tech startups but throughout the entire economy.
  We also need to make sure startups are able to compete on a level 
playing field on the Internet and have access to fast, affordable 
broadband no matter where you live. Additionally, we must work together 
to help entrepreneurs master challenges and impediments that stand in 
their way as they seek to establish their firms and to create jobs. 
Startups play a key role in economic growth, and we have to do more to 
help them.
  A recent report from the Economic Innovation Group found that since 
the end of the recent recession, new firms have increased by only 2.3 
percent and are concentrated in only 25 percent of U.S. counties, 
especially in dense, higher population areas. We have to ensure that 
every American community has the opportunity to experience the economic 
benefits new business establishments bring. We have to ensure that 
every America community has the requisite tools to support 
entrepreneurs as they turn their ideas into action, transforming their 
neighborhoods and the economic trajectories of their neighborhoods in 
the process.
  Ultimately, success for any company comes down to matching talent 
with capital. Small businesses and startups now have a variety of 
sources of capital to expand and create jobs: traditional bank loans, 
for example, SBA loans including the 7(a) Loan Program I have 
championed in the past, State-backed loans through the Michigan 
Economic Development Corporation, facilitated by the State Small 
Business Credit Initiative, venture capital, friends or family, and now 
even crowdfunding.
  Just as there are a number of factors that contribute to a vibrant 
startup ecosystem, there will be a wide array of stakeholders, 
decisions, and industries that will contribute to shaping Michigan's 
future economy. I am committed to ensuring that our growing startup 
community will be a fixture of creativity, innovation, and job creation 
for decades to come.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Florida.

     Remembering Captain Jeff Kuss and Recognizing the Blue Angels

  Mr. RUBIO. Mr. President, with all that has occurred in our country 
over the past few weeks, I wanted to take a moment to bring everyone's 
attention to something that had a profound impact in my home State of 
Florida and something all Americans should reflect on.
  This weekend, the Navy's Flight Demonstration Squadron--most famously 
known as the Blue Angels--will take to the skies over Pensacola for the 
Pensacola Beach Air Show. It will be their first air show appearance in 
Florida since that fateful day of June 2, when they lost Capt. Jeff 
Kuss, a U.S. Marine Corps Aviator, and the No. 6 airplane in the Blue 
Angels lineup.
  Captain Kuss, simply put, was an American hero. Like all Blue Angels 
pilots and the men and women who support the Blue Angels mission, 
Captain Kuss was the very best of what our military and our Nation has 
to offer. He was a war hero. He served our country proudly over hostile 
skies in Afghanistan. He was a decorated aviator who earned the Strike 
Flight Air Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal during 
his time with the Corps. I commend the Marine Corps for training such a 
skilled aviator, as well as Naval Air Station Pensacola, where he first 
started flying in 2007.
  Captain Kuss was a hometown hero, a local boy from Durango, CO, who 
graduated from Durango High School and attended Fort Lewis College. He 
fulfilled a lifelong dream by performing a flyover with his teammates 
over Super Bowl 50 and then watched his Denver Broncos win their third 
Super Bowl championship.
  Captain Kuss was a hero in his own home. A loving son to his parents 
Janet and Michael, a devoted husband to his wife Christina, and loving 
father to his two young children, Calvin and Sloane.
  The same attributes that Captain Kuss demonstrated throughout his 
life--service, sacrifice, loyalty, faith, devotion--they were all 
present in his final moments as well. He could have ejected, but 
instead he stayed with his plane and steered it away from a more 
populated area to spare any additional loss of life.
  I know that in our country today there is ample reason for pessimism. 
We hear plenty from various voices about what is wrong with our 
country, but let's take a moment to reflect on the life of Capt. Jeff 
Kuss and the Blue Angels because they are everything that is right 
about our country. The love they share for one another, the sacrifices 
they make in service to our Nation, and the devotion they have to their 
calling represents the very best of the American spirit.
  The rumble of those engines over the skies of Pensacola this weekend 
will not just be a resumption of their duties as aviators and military 
professionals; it will be a tribute--a tribute to Captain Kuss and the 
life he spent doing what he loved.
  To the people of Pensacola, the ``Cradle of Naval Aviation'' and the 
place the Blue Angels call home, the Blues are their team. Think about 
whatever major sports team you have in your hometown and the love the 
community gives those professional or college athletes who compete on 
national television. It pales in comparison to the bond the people of 
Pensacola have to their home team, the Blue Angels.
  Our State and the community in Pensacola took the loss of Captain 
Kuss very hard. To the people who saw him around town, he was Jeff, a 
friend, a neighbor, and someone to be proud of. And true to the spirit 
of Pensacola, the community has rallied to provide comfort to Captain 
Kuss's teammates and to his family.
  I am so proud my home State is home to the Blues. I am proud 
Pensacola continues to embrace the Blues and to make every member of 
the Blue Angels family a part of the Pensacola family. I am proud the 
Blues will return to the Pensacola Beach Air Show this weekend, and I 
am proud the United States has a military made up of extraordinary 
Americans like Capt. Jeff Kuss.
  So I ask all Americans to keep Captain Kuss and his family in your 
prayers. Thank God for him, for our military men and women and families 
who sacrifice alongside them, and for the freedom they risk their lives 
to preserve. I ask that God bless Captain Kuss and his family and God 
bless the Blue Angels as they fly this weekend and in the weeks, 
months, and years to come.

                  Central Everglades Planning Project

  Mr. President, I recently addressed the Senate and our Nation about 
truly a disaster that is wreaking havoc on my home State of Florida. It 
is a thick and putrid algal bloom known as the blue-green algae that 
has appeared along large stretches of the St. Lucie River and the 
Indian River Lagoon.
  This is happening because nutrient-rich water--basically, water that 
has things in it like fertilizer--is running into Lake Okeechobee from 
north of that lake, which is the lake in the center of our State. 
Historically, that water sat in Lake Okeechobee but

[[Page S5131]]

would run southward through the Everglades, but with development and 
canal systems and so forth, that all stopped.
  So now that water sits in the lake, and it is held back by the 
Herbert Hoover Dike, which was put in place to prevent flooding and the 
loss of lives of those who live around Lake Okeechobee. When the water 
rises to levels that threaten the integrity of that dike, it needs to 
be released. And instead of being released in a clean form to the south 
the way it once historically was, it is now released to the east and to 
the west.
  These waters, rich in nutrients, are released into estuaries and 
canals that also have nutrients in them because of storm water runoff 
or because of seepage from faulty or old septic tanks. When that flow 
reaches the ocean, the estuaries, the lagoon, the lake, or the river 
and is under the hot sun--as it is during the summer--the conditions 
become ripe for an algae bloom. That is what we are seeing now.
  Although the bacteria is always present in the waters, it needs the 
present circumstances to form, and, unfortunately, the conditions we 
have now have been a perfect storm. This winter and spring provided 
numerous storms and produced so much rain that the Army Corps of 
Engineers began discharging water in January, and it hasn't stopped 
  I recently requested the Army Corps to stop these harmful discharges. 
They agreed to slow the discharges but not to stop them entirely. With 
the State of Florida's emergency declaration, more water is able to be 
held north of the lake, which allows for less water to be discharged 
east and west out of the lake.
  I was there a couple of weeks ago, and it is a disgusting sight to 
see and to smell and to breathe. The algae has forced the closure of 
several beaches, killing fish and oysters, hurting tourism, harming 
local businesses, and sinking property values. People are canceling 
their vacations, and all of this is hurting the local economy in the 
Treasure Coast in enormous ways.
  So far, we have done a number of things to help address this problem. 
For example, I supported our Governor's request that President Obama 
declare this a Federal disaster so that resources can be made available 
to the impacted communities. I asked that the President approve this 
request promptly so that the much needed resources can be deployed.
  My office has also been working for months with the Small Business 
Administration on the harmful impacts of the discharges. In April we 
were able to get the SBA to ensure disaster loans were made available 
to businesses suffering from these discharges. We were recently able to 
confirm with the SBA that the disaster loans will apply to those 
affected by the current algal blooms.
  We have been in touch with the Centers for Disease Control and 
Prevention about making sure the concerns many have about the health 
impacts of the algae are properly looked at and addressed. I was 
pleased to learn this week in a meeting that the CDC has been working 
with the State of Florida, and I have asked them to stand ready, should 
the State require more assistance.
  Perhaps the single most important long-term solution we can put in 
place is the need for the Senate and for the House to pass and for the 
President to sign the authorization for the Central Everglades Planning 
Project, which will divert these harmful discharges away from the 
coastlines and send more water south through the Everglades. We cannot 
lose our focus when it comes to these projects.
  As you heard a moment ago, the Senator from Michigan mentioned the 
water bill. Along with 29 other Senators, I sent a letter to Senate 
leadership, asking that the Water Resources Development Act receive 
floor consideration. I have also urged the leaders of the Senate to 
take this action, specifically because of the merits of the Central 
Everglades Planning Project included in that bill and because of its 
importance to Florida.
  I want to focus the rest of my time here on a new problem that 
emerged just last Friday. It deals with the discharges from Lake 
Okeechobee. As I mentioned, these discharges--the water being 
released--have been ongoing since January of this year, and what the 
discharges do is lower the salinity levels and cause the algae to 
  Just when you think you have had enough problems to deal with on 
this, the Federal Government came out of nowhere last Friday and threw 
in another wrench. The Obama administration, through the U.S. Fish & 
Wildlife Service, ``recommended'' that the South Florida Water 
Management District force more water from the north into that lake that 
is already releasing too much water, and they did so in order to 
protect 10 snail kite bird nests--10 bird nests.
  If the local water district does not comply with this 
``recommendation,'' the Federal Government has threatened to sue them. 
As I have just covered, the Lake Okeechobee discharges are part of the 
problem. Yet here come Federal regulators from a completely different 
department asking for more discharges. And why? To protect 10 bird 
  In Florida, we love our wildlife. We love our Florida panthers. We 
love our dolphins. We love our manatees. If you drive across the State, 
I can't tell you how many animals you will see on people's license 
plates because Florida's Department of Motor Vehicles provides many 
options for people to show just how much they love and support the 
different animals, the flora and fauna that our State has. In fact, I 
am one of those people with one of those plates. I have an alligator on 
mine, although it is the University of Florida Gator.
  We love our wildlife in Florida, but when you have situations and 
conflicts like this one, you are essentially trying to figure out whose 
side to be on: 10 bird nests of a species with numbers on the rise or 
millions of Treasure Coast residents and the marine life that inhabits 
those waters? The answer should be clear. Stop the discharges and side 
with the millions of people on the Treasure Coast. But the Federal 
Government is clearly not on their side.
  What the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is demanding is truly beyond 
comprehension, and it is an example of a Federal bureaucracy run amok. 
If the local water district does as the Federal Government demands and 
releases held water into Lake Okeechobee, the Army Corps of Engineers 
is going to be forced to increase discharges into the St. Lucie and 
Caloosahatchee estuaries.
  These regulatory decisions are having a real impact on Floridians, on 
our ecology, on our economy, and on our very way of life up and down 
the Treasure Coast. I asked the Director of Fish & Wildlife, as well as 
the Secretary of the Interior, to immediately reverse this harmful, 
tone-deaf instruction that, if they implement it, will only prolong the 
ecological crisis along the Florida waterways.
  Just admit that this makes no sense--no sense at all. Reverse this 
order, and let's focus on everything else we need to be doing on this 
algae issue and that we were focused on before the Federal Government 
decided to create yet another problem to deal with.

                         Tribute to Emily Bouck

  Mr. President, on a third and final topic, today I would like to 
acknowledge a valued and long-term member of my Senate office who 
recently left our office. Emily Bouck has been on our team for nearly 7 
years. She started as an intern on my 2010 Senate campaign and then 
came here to the Senate, proving herself, taking on every challenge 
asked of her, and ultimately helping me develop higher education and 
health care policies.
  Among the many issues that Emily handled for us, she worked 
tirelessly on the Zika issue and finding a way to help those afflicted 
with it. Everyone in my office has come to trust Emily's expertise. 
That is why she will be missed. We thank her for her service to our 
office and to the people of Florida, and we truly wish her the very 
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Indiana.

                           Wasteful Spending

  Mr. COATS. Mr. President, it is time once again for the waste of the 
week. This is ``Waste of the Week'' No. 48. For 48 weeks I have been 
coming to the Senate floor during this Senate session, a 2-year 
session, talking about the waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer money. 
The ever-growing need to tackle our soaring debt has been brought to 
our attention once again this week by the nonpartisan Congressional 
Budget Office.
  On Tuesday, the budget office released its long-term Federal budget 
update, and it is not pretty. Once again, CBO bluntly told Congress 
that we need to reduce the Federal debt as soon as possible. How many 
times do they have to send a report here saying: Look, the house is on 
fire; you have to do something about it. I say, once again--but I can 
say once again, once again, once again, once again, once again--the 
Congressional Budget Office is nonpartisan. It is not Republican; it is 
not Democrat; it is not liberal; it is not conservative. These guys 
deal with numbers, and the numbers don't lie.

[[Page S5132]]

You don't have to be a math genius to figure out that we are spending 
far more than we take in, and we have to borrow against that.
  Just under this administration, we have nearly doubled from $10.7 
trillion of national debt to almost $20 trillion of national debt. This 
is the legacy the President wants to carry? You never hear him talk 
about this. You never hear this mentioned.
  Oh, ObamaCare is the best thing that has ever happened in the world. 
If you have been listening to the disaster that is rolling out under 
ObamaCare and the premiums that have doubled and the copays that have 
tripled and the exemptions that have been lost and all kinds of things 
happening to people in America here today under this flawed Federal 
program, you would understand this. We are talking about a budget out 
of control, spending out of control.
  I have been a part of efforts to deal with this on a macro basis. All 
of those have failed, and they failed because the President of the 
United States has refused to come to a conclusion in working with us. 
Oh, he made some attempts to do it. He made some nice statements, but 
in the end it was always: Can't go there.
  I decided I would at least try to point out documented issues of 
waste, fraud, and abuse. The very least we can do is stop this kind of 
spending. We have totaled up a pretty good total here. We are 
approaching $250 billion of documented waste, fraud, and abuse.
  CBO projects that the combined Social Security trust funds will be 
exhausted by 2029--5 years earlier than the Social Security trustees 
estimated a little bit ago--forcing automatic benefit cuts on seniors 
and people with disabilities. Let me repeat that: forcing automatic 
cuts to seniors and those with disabilities.
  Do you hear Senators talking about the fact that we are going to have 
to do this? No, I don't hear this on the floor. Do you hear the 
President talking about this? No, let's pass this on--2029, I mean, 
that is way in the distance. Why do we need to worry about that now?
  That is what they were saying when the debt was $10.7 trillion. That 
is what they were saying when the debt was $5 trillion: We can do this 
later. Well, the clock is ticking. Is anybody out there listening? 
Hello, hello. We are on the road to insolvency, and your elected 
representatives and your President aren't doing anything about it.
  As you can tell, I get pretty worked up about this. I am down to some 
of the small stuff, pointing out: Can't we at least do this? Can't we 
at least come together as a Senate and as a House of Representatives, 
and can't we at least eliminate the waste, the documented fraud, the 
abuse of programs?
  I am now on week No. 48. I have a card here that details all of the 
issues we have done. It keeps adding up and adding up, and I am only 
scratching the surface. I can be down here every day, maybe every hour 
of every day the Senate is in session, talking about a waste of the 
  What the CBO puts out, what the Government Accountability Office puts 
out, what independent agencies put out--we can do 24-hour filibusters 
and just rack one up after another. This is your Federal Government in 
action. The tragedy is these are the tax dollars that you work hard for 
every week and that you send to Washington, and you want them 
responsibly used.
  Yes, of course, we have to fund the military. Yes, we want to take 
care of the veterans. We want to take care of our national security. We 
are a threat now from ISIS; we are a threat from terrorists around the 
world, some of them domestic. We want police forces, we want 
intelligence, and we want all those entities that are involved in 
keeping us safe. We need to fund those agencies.
  What about medical research? What about disease control? We are 
talking about Ebola. We are talking about Zika. We are talking about a 
number of things that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
deals with in Atlanta.
  How about education? How about roads? How about sewers? How about 
waterlines? How about the raft of things that require spending in order 
to keep our Nation healthy, in order to keep our Nation functioning, in 
order to make us competitive in the world?
  All of that is at risk. All of that is at risk because our 
entitlements keep growing out of control. No one is saying there is a 
fire on the way. It is growing, not diminishing, and you are not 
calling the fire department out to deal with this issue.
  Let me get to the essence of this recent issue here. Remember the 
Lifeline program? That is the program that provides people of lower 
means, perhaps some in rural areas, a lifeline so that they can call 
911. There has been some documentation that some people can't afford 
this. The President came along, and they call it the Obama Phone 
program now. It is advertised--I think it is a private advertisement, 
but it is a government-sponsored legislative program, and it is 
contracted out. Free cell phone--the government pays for your wireless 
service--free phone, free minutes, free enrollment, no payment ever.
  This well-intended program was to provide people a lifeline in case 
of an emergency--the ability to dial 9-1-1. This lifeline is important 
to low-income earners who couldn't afford a phone. That program has 
some benefits and is something that maybe we ought to do, but we ought 
to put controls on it to make sure the program is not abused.
  Initially, this program helped low-income families pay for landline 
phone service, but landline, as you know, is out of date. I doubt if 
any of these pages even know what a landline is since they have grown 
up in the cell phone era. It happened just a few years after I came to 
the Senate. This program--like almost every other program the 
government sponsors--is well-intended but runs amok because of 
mismanagement, misuse of the law, misinterpretation, abuse, waste, and 
people taking advantage of it.
  Under the Obama administration, the cost and number of beneficiaries 
in this program have skyrocketed, and with this increase came a number 
of issues.
  The inspector general for the Federal Communications Commission, 
which is called the FCC, which administers this program that they 
contract out, did a study. They noted that prior to 2012, it was, as 
they said, ``well known'' that some individuals were receiving 
duplicative benefits or receiving benefits despite their eligibility 
for those benefits.'' For instance, there was supposed to be one phone 
made available per home, one per family, if they couldn't afford one. 
They found home addresses with dozens of phones and handing them out. 
There were posters like this that said: Get your free phone. People 
were grabbing them up as fast as they could. Word got out on the street 
that you can get a free phone line and the government will pay for it--
yet another program the government is going to take care of. Well 
intended, yes, but there was a public outcry when stuff like this came 
out here. People said: What is the deal? I thought the phone was for 
emergency purposes. I thought we needed one per household to give them 
the opportunity to call 9-1-1 when needed, or if it was a single 
person--or a couple who needed a phone, maybe they should share it.
  The inspector general said that the one-per-household rule wasn't 
working very well, and so the FCC apparently implemented a policy that 
basically said subscribers could override the eligibility for this 
because maybe these people need more than one cell phone.
  The IG has learned that abuse within this program is more widespread 
than anybody previously believed.
  First, the IG learned that, as I said, the FCC instructed employees 
to override the computer system that prohibits more than one applicant 
per household.
  Second, the FCC--on the form that you have to send in--basically 
said: All the subscribers need to do is provide a check in the box that 
says the applicant is eligible. But multiple applications came in from 
the same address, and no one asked, as the law required, applicants to 
provide any supporting documentation. The IG found that this override 
option was also enabling subscribers to use fake names and fake Social 
Security numbers to avoid detection. How many times have I been down 
here talking about fake names, stolen IDs, and stolen Social Security 
numbers that were used to obtain Federal benefits with no oversight?
  The IG noted that between October 2014 and April 2016, nearly 4.3 

[[Page S5133]]

people enrolled in the Lifeline Program by overriding the internal 
eligibility controls. That is more than 35 percent of all subscribers 
and accounts, and that rivals the population of the entire State of 
Oregon. These aren't people who needed phones; these are people who 
overrode it so they he could get as many phones as they wanted.
  Obviously our Washington bureaucrats have not been good stewards of 
our taxpayer dollars. Sadly, this is not the end of the story. It is 
important to note that the IG is still in the process of reviewing 
these egregious actions to determine just how widespread the problem 
  In the meantime, what I am calling for here on the Senate floor is 
that the FCC stop allowing people to enroll in the Lifeline Program 
through the override process and to verify every single beneficiary so 
that we can weed out the bad actors. Whether you are in private 
business or the government, is that what you would expect? If you are 
selling or distributing a product--and in this case, distributing a 
product based on taxpayer dollars--don't you think you would want to, 
No. 1, adhere to the law, and No. 2, adhere to the regulations and not 
have some kind of arbitrary override, especially when you have stuff 
like this on the street and people are gobbling up free service on cell 
phones by the millions? What is the total? The total we can project for 
unverified Obama Phone beneficiaries is $4.76 billion over the course 
of unverified Obama phone applicants.
  I am not here to say this program should be abolished. I understand 
why people need to have a phone in their household for an emergency 
purpose. If they qualify under the eligibility criteria, I am OK with 
that, but if they are abusing the program, I am not OK with that at 
all, and I guarantee that the American taxpayer is not willing to 
accept that. They did not send us here to stand by, as responsible U.S. 
Senators, and watch this kind of abuse go on and on and on, and this 
Senator has barely scratched the surface in an effort to document 
waste, fraught, and abuse.
  We now have $239-plus billion of documented fraud, waste, and abuse 
by accountable government agencies, and it is totally unacceptable.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.


  Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Mr. President, as we leave Washington for our summer 
recess, we are also marking the 1-year anniversary of the signing of 
the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA, by the P5+1. A number of 
my colleagues have come to the floor to mark this occasion, led by our 
friend and colleague, Senator Coons of Delaware. This nuclear agreement 
provides profoundly important time to hold Iran accountable--time that 
is supremely valuable but only if we use it wisely. That lesson should 
animate the conversation around the country, as well as in this 
Chamber, that time must be used wisely, energetically, and aggressively 
to make sure that we prevent a nuclear-armed Iran and also stop its 
funding and support for terrorist extremism.
  We must use the time provided for us by this agreement to confront 
Iran's maligned activities beyond its nuclear program, to fortify the 
security of the United States and Israel, our major strategic partner 
in the region, and to ensure that we are working in close coordination 
with this all-important ally. We must make sure that our positions are 
aligned when they need to be, that there is no space, no daylight 
between Israel and the United States where we must and should be 
working together.
  We need to enhance strong enforcement of the JCPOA, our nuclear 
agreement, with the P5+1 to ensure that Iran is never able to break 
across the enrichment threshold to obtain a nuclear weapon.
  The simple, stark fact is that we are at war with ISIS--whatever it 
is called; ISIL or by any other name--and we are in that war to win. We 
must win it. The fact is that we are succeeding, but ISIS is also 
enhancing its activity as it metastasizes with extremist violence 
sponsored, supported, and inspired around the world--in Europe, as well 
as in this country in San Bernardino and Orlando--where massacres are 
stated to be in alignment with and supported and inspired by ISIS, and 
where ISIS itself is claiming credit for those activities.
  In the Middle East, Iran continues to be a leading state sponsor of 
terrorism. Irrespective of the nuclear agreement, we must work together 
to find new ways to push back on Iran's financing of terrorism. Just 
recently, the international financial action task force made the 
alarming decision to suspend countermeasures against Iran for 12 months 
concerning its money-laundering and terrorist-finding activities. This 
action is truly appalling, as I have made clear in a letter that I 
wrote and led to our Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew, with seven of my 
Senate colleagues urging him to address this dangerous decision to 
prevent any further attempts to reintegrate Iran into the international 
banking system as Iran has not eliminated its entrenched practice of 
financing terrorism.
  Again, time is only as valuable as we make it. We must use the time 
we have under this agreement to separate Iran from its terror proxies, 
such as Hezbollah and the Assad regime. That is why I also support the 
Senate moving to extend the Iran Sanctions Act.
  Now is the time to call Iran to account for and identify and target 
the specific individuals and entities engaged in terrorist financing, 
human rights violations, and fueling the tragic Syrian conflict that 
has killed so many innocent people and separated so many from their 
homes, particularly children whom I have seen in one of the refugee 
camps in Jordan.
  Each year, as part of the current tenure or memorandum of 
understanding on the U.S. military assistance with Israel, we provide 
Israel with more than $3 billion in aid. As a member of the Armed 
Services Committee, I have been fighting to ensure that this year's 
Defense bill will fund Israel's missile defense programs and will 
continue to do so as we enter the conference with the House on the 
NDAA, which we will do shortly. Our goal has to be to reach the $601 
million that has been authorized. I am hopeful we will do so. I will 
fight to make sure that the conference committee report includes that 
  While I know these annual increases for missile programs are vital to 
our defense cooperation, we really need a long-term agreement to defend 
Israel against threats in an uncertain regional environment and to 
ensure its qualitative military edge over Iran or any other adversary.
  We need to use this time to renew a robust, decade-long memorandum of 
understanding on U.S. military assistance, or MOU, with Israel as soon 
as possible. I am hopeful that the MOU will be concluded as quickly as 
possible. Indeed, last November Senator Bennet and I co-led a letter to 
the President concerning the need to renew this MOU, and I followed up 
in April with another letter by Senators Coons and Graham, a bipartisan 
effort on the same issue.
  The MOU needs a historic increase in military aid. And one other 
point. I know that much of that assistance is used in the United States 
to make equipment, like the Joint Strike Fighter, whose engines are 
manufactured in Connecticut, but Israel should also retain some 
flexibility to use these funds to develop its own unique capabilities. 
The current MOU allows Israel to harness 26.3 percent of our security 
assistance to purchase domestic Israeli equipment, and I urge the 
administration to work to maintain this goal in the next MOU. We must 
rely on American manufacturing and American jobs where there is value 
added and whenever possible, but Israel has the same interest in its 
production capacity and its defense industrial base, and both must be 
strong and aligned.
  As I look forward to the year coming and to the enforcement of the 
nuclear agreement, I believe we must, very frankly, do a better job of 
enforcement, as I am positive that Iran will test us and seek any 
advantage it can find. That is the stark, simple truth about that 
  This administration and any President who follows must harness the 
tools provided in the nuclear agreement to know what Iran is doing and 
bring transparency that will push back Iran's breakout time and deter 
any failure of compliance. The IAEA must be fully funded, and we must 
have more inspectors on the ground to keep an eye on Iran's facilities. 
The best agreement in the world is meaningless if it

[[Page S5134]]

is unenforced. I know that from my own background as a law enforcer for 
most of my professional career. The law is dead letter if it is not 
enforced effectively and aggressively, with the credibility that deters 
  As we move past the 1-year mark, the United States must strengthen 
enforcement actions against Iran. We must do everything possible to 
hold Iran accountable, and that action must include passing the Iran 
Policy Oversight Act--legislation led by my distinguished colleague 
Senator Cardin, the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, 
and I am an original cosponsor of it and helped to draft and lead it. 
It will strengthen and improve the nuclear agreement--in no way 
contradicting or undermining it--by providing vital oversight and 
vigorous enforcement to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.
  It addresses three preeminent priorities--steps that are well within 
Congress's power, its proper authority, and its control. First, it 
enshrines in our law that our policy on deterrence remains in effect 
and that all options, including military options, remain on the table. 
Second, this bill reaffirms our dedication to countering Iranian 
terrorism, as well as Iranian human rights violations and its regional 
influence that may perniciously undermine the stability of the area by 
providing a regional strategy and strong sanctions. Third, the bill 
empowers our allies--especially Israel, our key strategic partner in 
the Middle East--to counter Iran and its terror proxies by authorizing 
the President to provide Israel with additional military aid, 
intelligence cooperation, and missile defense codevelopment.
  This nuclear agreement, the JCPOA, provides us time. It is valuable 
time if we use it to stop a nuclear Iran, but it is only as valuable as 
we make it. That fact bears repeating, as I have repeated it again and 
again. The time must be used to support Israel with a historic increase 
of military aid and push for strong enforcement of this agreement to 
set back the clock on Iran's apparently ceaseless nuclear ambition.
  I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues and the 
administration on these issues in the time to come. My hope is that 
this effort will continue to be, as it has been very earnestly, a 
bipartisan effort. We can never allow partisan differences to come 
between us on this issue. There should be no space between us across 
the aisle, and there should be none between Israel and the United 
States in seeking to stop a nuclear-armed Iran, seeking to halt its 
sponsorship of terrorism that endangers us both as nations seeking to 
advance common interests where we have them and where our vital 
national strategic goals align.
  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.
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                 Honoring Senior Corporal Lorne Ahrens

  Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, I wanted to speak for just a few 
moments this afternoon about how the tragedy in Dallas touched many in 
Alaska, particularly the bedroom community of Eagle River, AK, just 
outside of Anchorage. Among the five law enforcement heroes who were 
murdered last Thursday was Senior Corporal Lorne Ahrens of the Dallas 
Police Department. His father, William, and his stepmother, Sue, live 
in Eagle River. Last Friday morning Bill and Sue became members of a 
very exclusive fraternity that no law enforcement family ever wishes to 
join, and that is the fraternity of families who have lost an officer 
in the line of duty.
  Lorne never lived in Alaska. He did visit on several occasions. He 
grew up in Southern California. He served with the L.A. County 
Sheriff's Department and then with the Dallas Police Department. But if 
you read the accounts of the articles in the Alaska papers--not only in 
the Alaska Dispatch News over the weekend but in the Juneau Empire 
yesterday--the accounts of Lorne and his story and his connection with 
Alaska, one would have assumed that he was one of ours, that he was an 
Alaskan. I think it just spoke to the loss, and the tragedy we all saw 
last Thursday reminded us that we are truly one community in so many 
  Bill and Sue Ahrens attend the Anchorage Baptist Temple. When they 
heard the news that Bill's son had been killed in Dallas, this church 
community truly opened their arms and they opened their hearts to 
support the family not only over that difficult weekend but really to 
provide them what any church community would do, what any broader 
community would do--to provide them that support. One can certainly 
understand that the grief is almost inconsolable.
  Lorne Ahrens was a huge guy, if you follow the descriptions in the 
paper, a big guy, a former semi-pro football player. He was a smart cop 
with a big heart, is what they said. His stature made people feel that 
he was almost invincible. But as much as we might not want to believe 
it, our law enforcement heroes are not invincible. They put on the 
badge in the morning, they kiss their wives and their kids, and then 
they enter a world that is entirely unpredictable and, unfortunately, 
increasingly dangerous.
  Lorne's wife Katrina is a detective with the Dallas Police 
Department. She understands this problem more than most, but, really, 
how do you explain it to your children--in this case, their children, 
Sorcha, who is just 10 years old, and their son Magnus, age 8.
  Fortunately, Katrina, Magnus, Sorcha, Bill, and Sue will not be 
alone. The law enforcement community closes ranks to support survivors 
and their children at the local and the national levels. There is a 
wonderful organization known as Concerns of Police Survivors that comes 
in and enters the family's lives. It doesn't make everything all right, 
but hopefully it will help.
  The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund will work with 
the Dallas Police Department and the family to honor Lorne's memory in 
perpetuity just a few blocks away from here on Judiciary Square.
  Since coming to the Senate, I have actually grown pretty close to the 
folks who maintain the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. I 
have gone to the candlelight vigils during National Police Week, and I 
have read the names of fallen officers from the State of Alaska. My 
staff has decorated the memorial with commemorative items that were 
sent by departments and family members who could not make it to 
Washington for the candlelight vigil. We have sent pencil etchings back 
to the Alaskan families and to the departments. I have driven down to 
Alexandria to meet with the families of the fallen at the annual 
Concerns of Police Survivors Conference. Their cause is my cause. This 
has become quite personal to me.

  Next May, the name of Lorne Ahrens will be inscribed on the National 
Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, and I am pretty certain that Bill 
and Sue will be invited to travel to Washington to participate in the 
observance, and I hope to welcome them here on Capitol Hill, along with 
Katrina, Sorcha, and Magnus. Communities throughout the Nation are 
grieving the loss of Lorne Ahrens as well as his four colleagues from 
the Dallas Police Department this week. It becomes even more personal 
to the communities with which they are connected, where they lived, 
where they called home--in Lorne's case, his home community of 
Burleson, TX, the city of Dallas, Los Angeles County, CA, and, yes, in 
faraway smaller places like Eagle River in Alaska.
  As we recognize Senior Corporal Lorne Ahrens, know that the people of 
Alaska stand with the Ahrens family at this very difficult time and 
throughout their lives because he truly was one of ours.

                               Bree's Law

  Mr. President, I would like to bring up a matter that oftentimes 
people would just assume not have a discussion about; that is, abusive 
relationships that unfortunately we see with young people and 
teenagers. All across this country, teenagers and young adults are 
victims of abuse in their relationships. There is no part of the 
country where we don't see this. According to some research, more than 
1 million high school boys and girls admit to being physically abused 
by their boyfriend or girlfriend. One in three teens will be in an 
abusive or unhealthy relationship that includes

[[Page S5135]]

sexual, physical, verbal, or emotional abuse. One in three teens 
reports knowing friends who were abused, but most don't know how to 
intervene. Only one-third of the teens reported their experiences to 
anyone, not even their parents.
  We are not just talking about those who are 18 years old. Nearly two-
thirds of young people between the ages of 11 and 14 who have been in a 
relationship have been verbally abused by people who are supposed to 
care for them. One in three teenagers has been hit, punched, slapped, 
kicked, or choked by someone who is supposed to care about them.
  Research also tells us that teens who are abused in dating 
relationships are more likely to succumb to post-traumatic stress 
disorder, alcoholism, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts, and even 
violent behavior. Yet, over 80 percent of parents don't know that teen 
dating violence is an issue that affects young people from all 
backgrounds, all parts of the country, and children who are not even 
old enough yet to be called a teenager. It is often much harder for 
teens to leave an abusive relationship than for adults because they 
often don't know how they can access resources or that resources exist 
at all.
  As a parent, this is hard for me. I think it is hard for all parents. 
We try to do everything we possibly can to keep our children safe as 
they are growing up. We make sure we buckle the seatbelt when they are 
little kids. We put them in the infant seat. We teach them how to 
safely cross the street. We make them wear bike helmets, and we teach 
them about stranger danger. But, again, one in two teens somehow or 
another ends up in an abusive relationship.
  Statistics are one thing, but the experiences of real Americans 
inform our work in the Senate every day, far more than just the mere 
numbers of statistics. Today I would like to tell you about a beautiful 
young woman who has inspired a bill I have introduced. This is a young 
woman by the name of Breanna Richelle Moore. Breanna went by the name 
of Bree.
  Bree was a strong, engaging, happy, accomplished young woman. She 
excelled in all kinds of sports--in swimming, track and field, 
volleyball, and many other sports. Her school offered a Japanese 
immersion program, so at the age of 5, she started to learn to read and 
write and speak Japanese. She was an accomplished flute player. She 
sang beautifully at many public events across the city of Anchorage. 
She was really the quintessential Alaskan woman.
  In addition to her athletics and her artistic talents, the girl could 
hunt, she could fish, ride a dirt bike and snow machine better than 
most boys, and when they broke down, she could even fix them. She did 
well in school. She volunteered to nurse sick, abandoned, and dying 
pets. She worked her way up from being a dental hygienist assistant to 
the dentist's assistant, and she was about to change her major in 
college to pre-med. She was motivated, funny, and she was happy. 
Everywhere she went, her friends would say Bree ``saw the good in 
everyone, spreading happiness wherever she went, and had the gift to 
make everyone else a better person.''
  But Bree was also in an abusive relationship. On June 26, 2014, her 
boyfriend shot and killed her. She was 20 years old. That same year, 
Alaska was ranked No. 1 in the Nation for the rate of women murdered by 
men--over twice the national average. This is not a statistic in Alaska 
we are proud of.

  After her death, three of Bree's coworkers said they knew she was 
being abused. She came to work a couple times with a black eye. They 
also said: We didn't know what to do or whom to call--if there was just 
something we could have done. They and Bree's parents will be forever 
haunted by the knowledge that they did not understand or act on the 
signs of dating abuse and violence that took this marvelous young 
woman's life.
  In the 2 years since Bree's death, her parents have learned Bree's 
relationship with her boyfriend was an absolute textbook case of dating 
violence, but those closest to her didn't know what was happening or, 
if they did know, if they had the sneaking suspicion, they just didn't 
know what to do about it.
  Bree Moore was a young woman who was destined to make a difference, 
and while her life was tragically cut short, she continues to make a 
difference. Bree continues to make a difference. Last year, the Alaska 
Legislature passed a provision in law entitled ``Bree's Law.'' It 
mandates that every school across Alaska teach dating violence and 
abuse awareness and prevention in grades 7 through 12. The bill was 
controversial. I recognize that. Many wondered how school districts 
would pay for adopting the curriculum and providing the courses, but 
they made it through the controversy and that bill passed and is now 
signed into law.
  In December of last year in Washington, DC, the Every Student 
Succeeds Act was enacted. A provision within that law allows schools to 
use their Safe and Healthy Students funding to ``improve instructional 
practices for developing relationship-building skills, such as 
effective communication, and improve safety through the recognition and 
prevention of coercion, violence, or abuse, including teen and dating 
violence, stalking, domestic abuse, and sexual violence and 
  I have come to the floor to honor a young woman from Alaska. I come 
to the floor to speak about the legislation I have introduced that 
would rename that provision within the Every Student Succeeds Law after 
Bree Moore. My bill would allow, not require, schools, parents, teens, 
everyone to call this provision of Federal law Bree's Law, and the 
programs and activities funded by it Bree's Law programs and Bree's Law 
  Bree Moore was a young woman who every father and mother, every 
sister and brother, every friend, and every employer could be proud of. 
She was bright, funny, and she was motivated to help the less 
fortunate. She was accomplished. She was devoted.
  It is fitting that those who loved and respected Bree should see her 
life honored in this way. It is right that the U.S. Congress honor her 
in this way, and by doing so, make a further commitment to protecting 
young women and men from dating abuse and violence in the years to 
  It is fitting to know that as the young people of Alaska learn how to 
recognize, prevent, avoid, and act on dating violence, that they 
remember and honor Bree Moore and that they learn from her, that all 
the good Bree represents goes on to inspire and help future 
  Like Amber Hagerman, who was the 9-year-old abducted and murdered in 
1996, for whom the Amber Alert System is named, it is fitting that 
young people across the country have the opportunity to know that the 
U.S. Congress believes so strongly in their future that they would take 
this opportunity to name a provision of Federal law after Bree Moore.
  With that, 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. COTTON. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                         Tribute to Kim Carter

  Mr. COTTON. Mr. President, I would like to recognize Kim Carter of 
Hot Springs as this week's Arkansan of the Week, for her commitment to 
ensuring Arkansas' children have the love and support they deserve. Kim 
is a foster parent in Hot Springs, and with her family has spent over a 
decade helping nearly three dozen children, but her support for 
Arkansas' children does not end there. Kim is also the director of Camp 
Tanako in Hot Springs, a local church camp.
  Under her leadership and direction, Kim has helped the camp expand 
its reach tremendously. Each year, dozens of area children are able to 
participate in Camp Tanako's various summer programs. Recently, Kim 
also started a day camp for local children to attend in the summer, 
which has also been a huge success.
  For those who know her, Kim is known as Momma Kim, and hearing their 
stories, it is not hard to see why. According to her friends and 
neighbors, Kim's impact on children cannot be overstated. Whether it is 
her own children, one of her many foster children,

[[Page S5136]]

friends of her own children, or campers and camp staff, everyone seems 
to have a story about Kim.
  Kim's dedication to Arkansas' children is inspiring, and her 
compassionate spirit is a living example of the close-knit and caring 
community we have across our great State. I am pleased to recognize Kim 
Carter as this week's Arkansan of the Week and join all Arkansans in 
thanking her for committing her life to making the lives of children in 
Arkansas brighter.
  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.
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Sullivan). Without objection, it is so 
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. It looks as though we are here at the end of the day. 
The State of Alaska is well represented. I appreciate that.

                   Unanimous Consent Request--S. 1915

  Mr. President, I understand that there is a bill that Senators 
Ayotte, Booker, and others have worked on to ensure that first 
responders are equipped to deal with anthrax threats. It is my 
understanding that this bill was cleared early on both sides of the 
aisle because of the hard work of Senators Ayotte and Booker.
  I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the immediate 
consideration of Calendar No. 458, S. 1915. I further ask that the 
committee-reported substitute amendment be withdrawn, the Ayotte 
substitute amendment be agreed to, the bill, as amended, be read a 
third time and passed, the title amendment be agreed to, and the 
motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  The Democratic leader.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, we would be happy to pass this bill as soon 
as the Republicans schedule and pass a bill to close the terror gun 
loophole. In that I don't see that is going to happen in the next 
little bit, I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.