CONCURRENT RESOLUTION ON THE BUDGET, FISCAL YEAR 2018; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 169
(Senate - October 19, 2017)

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.


[Pages S6593-S6630]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




         CONCURRENT RESOLUTION ON THE BUDGET, FISCAL YEAR 2018

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will 
resume consideration of H. Con. Res. 71, which the clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       A concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 71) establishing the 
     congressional budget for the United States Government for 
     fiscal year 2018 and setting forth the appropriate budgetary 
     levels for fiscal years 2019 through 2027.


[[Page S6594]]


  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the time until 11:45 
a.m. will be equally divided between the managers or their designees.
  The Senator from Oregon.


                Amendment No. 1302 to Amendment No. 1116

  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I call up amendment No. 1302 as provided 
for under the previous order.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Oregon [Mr. Wyden] proposes an amendment 
     numbered 1302 to amendment No. 1116.

  The amendment is as follows:

  (Purpose: To strike the reconciliation instructions relating to tax 
                                reform)

       After section 2002, insert the following:

     SEC. 2003. MODIFICATION TO RECONCILIATION INSTRUCTIONS.

       Section 2001(a) and 2002(a) are null and void.

  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President and colleagues, later this morning, the 
Senate will be voting on the amendment I am offering to strike what are 
known as reconciliation instructions from the budget proposal.
  The reason I will be focused this morning on that is that it is 
absolutely key that we pass this amendment in order to get bipartisan 
tax reform. The fact is that reconciliation is an on-ramp to the most 
partisan process around, and the history of successful tax reform is in 
our working in a bipartisan way. For example, that is what the late 
President Reagan worked to do in 1986 with a whole host of Democrats, 
and they came up with a lot of very important, bold, progressive ideas. 
They chose to actually treat income from a wage in the same way as one 
would treat income from investments so as to send, in one fell swoop, a 
message that working-class people would get a fair shake, that the tax 
law was not about the 1 percent back then but that it was about 
working-class people. The middle class drives 70 percent of the 
American economy. They were not talking about massive tax handouts to 
big corporations and the wealthy; they were talking about the fact 
that, in our country, economic success is built around a thriving 
middle class--a middle class that can buy homes and cars and educate 
kids and pay for essentials.
  What troubles me so much about these reconciliation instructions that 
would allow for a $1.5 trillion net tax cut is that it is just the 
opposite of the kind of approach that Ronald Reagan and the Democrats 
used in 1986. It is going to polarize us rather than bring us together.
  I think that is particularly important right now, given the meeting 
that was held at the White House yesterday that I attended along with a 
number of Democratic colleagues on the Finance Committee, because at 
that meeting Democrats made it very clear to the President of the 
United States that we think that the Tax Code is broken, that it is a 
broken, dysfunctional mess. We described the letter we sent that lays 
out our principles that tax reform should focus not on the 1 percent 
but on the middle class and not savage Medicare and Medicaid and Social 
Security, which are our essential retirement programs.
  What was striking about the discussion was that the President said: I 
agree with you on all of those things. He said: Tax cuts should not go 
for people like me. I want help for the middle class, and I don't want 
to cut Medicare and Social Security. I made the point--I hope 
respectfully, Mr. President. I said: Unfortunately, there is a big gap 
between the administration's rhetoric on this and the reality of what 
is really on paper. That is why it is so important that we strike these 
reconciliation instructions and make it clear from the get-go that we 
are going to get tax reform right, that we are not just going to kind 
of utter these sort of sound bites and rhetorical plights and speeches, 
as the discussions go out from various administration officials, and we 
actually focus on what it is going to take to do bipartisan tax reform.

  The President agreed with the principles that Democrats talked about 
yesterday. It is very different when you see it on paper, and I want to 
talk a little bit about what is actually on paper.
  First, the Trump tax plan creates a massive new loophole, the Grand 
Canyon of all loopholes, by twisting and abusing what is known as tax 
passthroughs. It used to be that the tax passthrough was for a store or 
a restaurant or a garage. You see them all over Oregon. You see them 
all over America. Those are the people for whom we ought to be working 
together to give a boost to. That is not what is on paper. What is on 
paper is very different, and it is very different than what the 
President said yesterday he wanted.
  For example, on paper is a new loophole that would allow tax cheats 
to self-declare as passthroughs, rake in income, and pay a much lower 
rate. It is a tax change that is deeply slanted toward what I call the 
top of the top--not just the 1 percent but the top of the top. Eighty-
eight percent of the benefits of this kind of passthrough rate cut 
would go to those at the very top, according to recent analyses, the 
top 1 percent and those even more affluent. It opens the door for tax 
cheats to dodge paying into Social Security and Medicare like every 
hard-working wage earner in America. This would leave a lot of those 
programs that are lifelines for working families a lot worse off than 
they are today and that, too, is something the President said he didn't 
want.
  Next, apropos again of the most affluent the President said he didn't 
want to help, is the estate tax. Here, there is a proposal in the 
administration's plan to abolish the estate tax. Let's make sure 
everybody understands who is affected by that. The tax today touches 
estates worth more than $11 million, $5.5 million for a single 
individual--a tiny fraction of all the estates in the country. 
Eliminating the estate tax isn't a policy change that has anything to 
do with helping the middle class. It is entirely about helping the 
megawealthy--exactly the people the President told us yesterday he 
didn't want to help.
  The Finance Committee Democratic staff put out a report last week 
that looked at some of the worst schemes and dodges that are used by 
the megawealthy to avoid paying estate tax. There is a cottage industry 
of crafty lawyers and accountants who have made careers out of gutting 
the estate tax by engineering billion-dollar tax shelters for the 1 
percent. So the estate tax is already full of loopholes, but this 
administration isn't interested in closing them even after the Treasury 
Secretary, Mr. Mnuchin, admitted just the other day that it goes mostly 
to the people at the very top.
  So there is a common thread in these proposals. There is a common 
thread in this debate that is driven by partisanship and 
reconciliation, which is why I want to strike those instructions. What 
is actually on paper--not what is said in the speeches or in sound 
bites and the like--is that the Republican plan doesn't close the most 
egregious loopholes. It enshrines them as permanent features in our tax 
law. That is contrary to what the President said he wanted to do, and 
it certainly isn't a tax recipe focused on the middle class.
  One of the individuals who has been most out in front of the cameras 
selling the Trump tax plan to the public is the Treasury Secretary. A 
few weeks ago, the Secretary doubled down on the failed experiment that 
tax cuts pay for themselves. Forget the history that shows that isn't 
true. Secretary Mnuchin said the Trump tax cuts will not just pay for 
themselves, they will raise an additional trillion dollars in revenue 
on top of their own costs. The fact is, there is no magical growth 
fairy, no unicorns, no kind of growth fairies that are going to somehow 
spring to life if this tax cut plan becomes law, but Secretary Mnuchin, 
our Treasury Secretary, keeps going back to the unicorns, keeps going 
back to rainbow economics.
  What is striking is, I asked the Republican economist--the economist 
chosen by our friend and distinguished chairman Orrin Hatch--who came 
before the Finance Committee the other day about whether tax cuts pay 
for themselves, and the Republican economist chosen by the Republicans 
on the Finance Committee, those Republicans' economist acknowledged 
that tax cuts don't pay for themselves.
  There have been some other whoppers about the Republican plan, at 
least what is again written down on paper. Secretary Mnuchin said it is 
very hard not to give tax cuts to the wealthy with tax cuts to the 
middle class. That is one stunner of a statement: It is very hard not 
to give tax

[[Page S6595]]

cuts to the wealthy. In the same interview, he delivered what sounded 
like a real ultimatum; that if the Congress doesn't pass this plan so 
tilted to the megawealthy, oh, boy, it is going to be tough times on 
Wall Street. You have to appreciate the eye-popping honesty, but the 
ideas behind what the Treasury Secretary is talking about on tax reform 
pretty much leave your jaw on the floor. If that is where the 
administration has trained its focus, as far as tax reform is 
concerned, the middle class is in tough straits.
  In my judgment, this is yet another reason the Senate should reject 
using reconciliation for taxes and support my amendment. The fact is, 
the Congress has never used reconciliation to write a comprehensive tax 
reform bill. There is a template for comprehensive tax reform that has 
been proven to work, and I have mentioned it already. It is the one 
initiated by President Reagan, a big group of Democrats, a culmination 
of years of bipartisan work. What we saw was real bipartisanship, which 
I define as not taking each other's bad ideas but taking each other's 
good ideas. The bill was considered under regular order, it was debated 
in the Finance Committee and on the Senate floor for months, and it was 
open to unlimited amendments and passed the Senate by a vote of 97 to 
3. That is the kind of bipartisan process we would like to see.
  Democrats have made it clear, and we made it clear again yesterday, 
that we think the Tax Code is broken, that we have heard the 
President's comments about how he wants to help the middle class and 
not the wealthy, that he understands how strongly we feel about 
protecting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, but the fact is--
and this is the heart of the challenge--there is a big gap right now 
between what the President says his priorities are and what is actually 
written down on paper. That is the challenge, and we are not going to 
be able to address that challenge, in my view, by signing up for more 
partisanship, for taking the most partisan route on tax reform.
  What we ought to be doing is saying that we all agree the Tax Code is 
broken; we all understand the key is helping the middle class, not more 
handouts for the top of the top, the 1 percent; that we are sensitive 
to long-term costs because we don't want to pass those off to our 
children. Doing that is best going to be accomplished by saying that as 
we move now to the actual consideration of tax reform, we reject 
partisan approaches like reconciliation, and we come together. I know 
we can do it.
  The fact is, what the President says when he speaks about this 
subject is in line with the principles in the Democrats' letter. What 
we have talked about doesn't even go as far as what President Reagan 
did in 1986. What is in the Democrats' letter tracks a bipartisan piece 
of legislation that several colleagues here have been part of, 
including one in the President's Cabinet now.
  We can do bipartisan tax reform that is good for our country. We 
shouldn't make it a lot harder to accomplish that goal by including 
these partisan reconciliation instructions in the budget proposal. That 
is why I urge my colleagues to support my amendment to strip these 
reconciliation instructions when we vote on my amendment later in the 
morning.
  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. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                   Recognition of the Minority Leader

  The Democratic leader is recognized.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to use leader 
time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                               Healthcare

  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, first, on healthcare, my two good friends 
Senators Alexander and Murray have constructed a good, fair, bipartisan 
agreement that gives us a way forward on healthcare. It will offer 
stability in the markets, and it will help lower premiums.
  We have seen President Trump's near-constant equivocation on the 
agreement. We shouldn't let it impede the progress of this very 
important bipartisan compromise. He is for the bill one day, against it 
the next. That is not uncommon; the President sometimes is for and 
against something in the same sentence. We can only hope he comes 
around again once he grasps what is in the bill.
  The Alexander-Murray deal is not a bailout to the insurance companies 
at all; it is the opposite. We have taken pains to ensure that 
insurance companies do not reap any benefits from this program. That is 
what Alexander and Murray have done. They have explicit provisions in 
the bill to ensure that the cost-sharing program does what it is 
intended to do: Lower premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs 
for Americans who can least afford it.
  I was reading an article this morning where they interviewed a 
retired manufacturing worker in Pennsylvania who was upset by the 
President's decision. The man said:

       It seems like he is trying to hurt the middle class. . . . 
     He [President Trump] says he's going to make it better for 
     everyone. How does a (premium) increase make it better?

  That is the question the President should ask himself. Ending cost-
sharing hurts people, not insurance companies. Restoring cost sharing 
will help people, not insurance companies. Senators Alexander and 
Murray have made sure of it. I have talked to them about their 
language. It is good language, well intended. Maybe we can make it 
better. If the President has a suggestion, we welcome it, but as it is, 
it is pretty strong.
  Well-intentioned Members on both sides should continue to sign their 
names onto this bill. I believe it has significant support within my 
caucus, and if Leader McConnell puts it on the floor of the Senate, I 
am pretty certain it would pass.
  I urge my Republican colleagues to take a good, hard look at the bill 
and to cosponsor it. So many of my Republican friends have said: Why 
can't we be more bipartisan? This is a bipartisan agreement. It wasn't 
one party coming up with something and telling the other to be for it, 
as too often happens in this Chamber. It was done together by the chair 
of the HELP Committee and the ranking Democrat of the HELP Committee. 
It is truly bipartisan, and it is a good way for us to go forward and 
set a metaphor for future bipartisanship.
  Mr. President, now on the budget, today the Senate will vote on more 
amendments to the GOP budget resolution, which increases deficits by 
$1.5 trillion, slashes Medicare and Medicaid by $1.5 trillion, and sets 
up this awful, partisan process--the same one our Republican friends 
used in healthcare.
  The Democrats could have offered an unlimited number of amendments on 
the bill, but this bill is so bad that we didn't want to be all over 
the lot. We wanted to focus on a few issues where we know the American 
people are overwhelmingly with us, not with the language in the bill.
  Here is some of what we are doing.
  We are going to make our colleagues say that they want to vote to 
increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion. After 8 years of crowing about 
debts and deficits under a Democratic President, the Republican deficit 
hawks seem to have flown the coop. This budget is going to increase the 
deficit by $1.5 trillion. Our amendment would say: No, it should be 
deficit neutral. We have heard that for the last 8 years. Whenever a 
spending program comes about, I know our side says that spending 
programs grow the economy; their side says that tax cuts grow the 
economy. But if there is going to be an actual deficit, we should vote 
for it. Put your convictions where your votes are.
  We are also going to make our Republican colleagues vote on whether 
they want to raise taxes on the middle class. The President claims that 
his tax plan will cut taxes, but it actually will raise them on 
millions of hard-working families. Today our Republican colleagues will 
decide whether they want to support those tax increases or protect the 
middle class from paying more taxes.
  We are going to make our Republican colleagues vote on their specific 
proposal to eliminate the State and local deduction. Nearly one-third 
of all taxpayers take the deduction--red States,

[[Page S6596]]

blue States, everyone in between. As the chairman of the Finance 
Committee knows, 35 percent of Utahns take the State and local 
deduction. It goes right to the heart of the middle class and upper 
middle class, giving families tens of thousands of dollars in 
deductions so taxes are lower. The elimination of State and local 
deductibility is a sure sign that the Republican tax plan does not 
favor the middle class.
  In fact, AP reported yesterday that, according to experts, the GOP 
tax plan may still allow corporations to claim State and local 
deductibility but not individuals. Did you hear that? Corporations can 
claim it, but individuals can't. Isn't that backward? It shouldn't be 
taken away from either one. What the GOP plan takes away from 
individuals and families, it makes sure remains for big corporations.
  So today Democrats will ask our Republican friends to vote on our 
amendment, led by Senators Cantwell and Van Hollen, to protect State 
and local deductibility for middle-class families.
  Senator Capito has an alternative amendment that is incredibly vague 
and leaves the door open to eliminating State and local. It doesn't say 
it will, but it leaves it open. That is why a coalition of groups, 
including the National Governors Association, the U.S. Conference of 
Mayors, and organizations representing firefighters, teachers, and 
sheriffs have just come out against Senator Capito's amendment.
  Senator Cantwell and Van Hollen's amendment, by contrast, is crystal 
clear: no elimination of State and local. I hope my Republican friends 
won't vote to raise taxes on so many of their middle-class residents.
  Mr. President, finally, every morning I hear my friends the majority 
leader and the chairman of the Finance Committee talk about the need 
for tax reform because the middle class is stuck in a rut and the 
economy isn't working the way it should for American families. I agree 
with that assessment. We need to do more to grow the economy, create 
jobs, raise wages, and put money in the pockets of average Americans, 
but when you hear the details of the plan they have to solve those 
problems, your head spins. Lower the tax rate on big corporations and 
the top 1 percent, repeal the estate tax, which goes only to estates of 
over $5 million, and eliminate critical middle-class tax breaks like 
State and local deductibility. In what world does that deliver middle-
class tax relief or solve the problems we are talking about?
  It is the same game they played with healthcare: Complain about high 
premiums, deductibles, counties without enough insurers, and then each 
Republican bill exacerbates the problem.
  The Republicans slide in their favorite solution--tax cuts for the 
rich--as the answer to every ill. If the economy is doing well, 
Republicans push tax cuts for the rich. If the economy is doing poorly, 
Republicans push for tax cuts for the rich. If our healthcare system 
needs to be improved, tax cuts for the rich. It is entirely divorced 
from the real problems in the economy and our society.
  Our economy suffers from massive inequality, which is growing, with a 
concentration of wealth at the very apex of our country's elite. The 
rich are doing well in America. God bless them; I am glad they are. 
American corporations are recording record-high profits. Look at the 
stock market, which reflects that. God bless them too. We hope they do 
well. But looking at the GOP tax plan, the American people have to 
wonder, is now the time to tilt the scales even further in favor of big 
corporations and the very rich? I believe the American people will 
reject that approach soundly and roundly, and after the amendment votes 
today, the American people will have a much clearer picture of what the 
Republican budget and tax plan is about.
  There is still a chance to turn back from this budget and the one-
party legislating that has stymied this Congress. I urge my colleagues 
on the Republican side to reject this budget. Come work with Democrats, 
and we can produce real, successful, bipartisan tax reform.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. If no one yields time, the time will be 
charged equally to both sides.
  The Senator from Alaska.
  Mr. SULLIVAN. Mr. President, I know the Presiding Officer and all of 
our colleagues and those watching today know that we have been focused 
on the budget resolution. It is a very important document for the 
country, for the Senate, and for the Congress. There are a lot of big 
issues that we are all focused on, but there is one I wish to talk 
about this morning that relates to the budget document. Actually, to be 
perfectly frank, it relates to a number of the speeches made by my 
colleagues on the other side of the aisle. They have been coming down 
to the floor and talking about issues related to energy, which is 
really important for America, the environment, which is also very 
important to America, and--a little bit to my surprise, from all of 
these experts coming to the floor--Alaska, which is my State.
  I am going to say a little bit more about what some of my colleagues 
have been talking about--my State. There seems to be a few experts on 
Alaska from States like Massachusetts and Oregon. I just want to put 
things in perspective from a Senator who is actually from the State and 
not these other Senators who, to be honest, don't know much about what 
they are talking about.
  The one thing you are seeing is that it is for sure that you know 
there is kind of an issue in the debate on the floor when you see 
talking points that are just stale--talking points that, if you took a 
speech from 30 or 40 years ago, are the same talking points. They are 
stale talking points from the other side of the aisle that have been 
used for decades, that haven't been updated or that don't reflect what 
has really been happening in the country in terms of technological 
advances, environmental standards, and one of the most important things 
that has happened in America over the last decade, and that is the 
American energy renaissance--the American energy renaissance.
  I know some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle don't 
even like to talk about it. They don't like to acknowledge it: As to 
energy, we don't produce that in America. Yes, we do. Yes, we do. We 
are doing it really, really well, and it is benefiting millions and 
millions and millions of Americans in every State in the country.
  The budget resolution that we are debating has a provision in it that 
is really simple. I bet if you polled it with every American--Democrat, 
Republican, people watching on TV--it probably has a 90-percent 
approval.
  There is a simple instruction in the budget resolution that says that 
Congress needs to look at ways to increase Federal revenues by 
increasing American energy production. What could be wrong with 
increasing American energy production?
  That provision that we are actually debating right now should be very 
bipartisan. Who is against that? Who could be against that? Why is this 
so important? Why is the American energy renaissance so important?
  Well, as the Presiding Officer knows, because his State is certainly 
involved in it, the energy renaissance that is happening in the United 
States right now is a win, win, win, win, win on almost every category 
you can imagine.
  What do I mean by the energy renaissance? Right now in our great 
Nation with our resources, we are producing more oil, more natural gas, 
and more renewables than any other place in the world. That is really 
good for the country. That is the renaissance. That is really a 
revolution in energy production. It is something that you would think 
on the Senate floor should be completely bipartisan. Unfortunately, it 
isn't.
  Let me talk a little bit about how this energy renaissance and what 
is in the budget resolution will produce more energy for America by 
Americans, which is good for the country. Let's count the ways. When I 
said win, win, win, win, win, I wasn't joking. The wins are all on the 
board.
  First, there is energy security. For our Nation, it is lower cost 
energy. With the increase in natural gas, we are seeing the drop in the 
prices of natural gas for homes and manufacturers and increasing 
manufacturing. These are enormously important for our Nation.
  There is economic growth and jobs. In the energy sector, these are 
good jobs. The Presiding Officer has a lot of these jobs in his State. 
I have a lot of these jobs in my State. These are really important 
jobs. When you look at

[[Page S6597]]

the weak economic growth in the United States over the last 10 years, 
the one sector that is actually driving growth has been the energy 
sector.
  How about the trade deficit? It is a big problem. Everybody has 
talked about it. The President is very focused on it. We are now 
starting to export oil and export natural gas. My State has been 
exporting natural gas for over four decades. That helps our trade 
deficit.
  Then, when you look at the Federal budget deficit, energy is a huge 
positive impact on the Federal budget deficit. That is what the budget 
resolution asks Congress to do in terms of policy: Let's produce more 
energy so we can produce more revenue for the Federal Government. That 
is a good idea. Nobody should be opposed to that.
  Mr. President, as you know, when we are the world's energy 
superpower, as we are, that really helps our national security. It 
really helps our foreign policy. A lot of Americans have been concerned 
for decades that we have troops in the Middle East, that we have troops 
in areas where energy is really important. Well, let's produce it here.
  I was in a meeting last year at the Munich Security Conference with 
the great Senator from Arizona and many of my colleagues. It was 
bipartisan. Senator McCain led that codel to the Munich Security 
Conference in Germany. We met with a very prominent Russian dissident 
who has been fighting and battling with Vladimir Putin. At the very end 
of the meeting, we asked a simple question: What more can we do in the 
United States to help somebody like you, who is battling against a 
dictator who doesn't have our interest at heart? Do you know what this 
very smart Russian official, a courageous man, said? He said: America 
needs to produce more energy. That is how you take down the leadership 
in the Kremlin--more energy.
  This is national security.
  Let me say one more thing that doesn't get talked about a lot. It is 
not just helpful in all of these areas. When the United States of 
America is producing energy, it helps the global environment. Some 
people say: Well, wait a minute. A lot of the colleagues on the other 
side of the aisle come to the floor and kind of insinuate that when our 
country produces energy, it actually hurts the environment. That is not 
the case. When the United States produces energy, it actually helps the 
global environment.
  Why is that the case? Let me just pause for a minute because, like I 
said, a lot of my colleagues are coming to the floor and talking about 
Alaska, energy, and the environment. Again, it is not with a lot of 
knowledge. They are stale talking points, yes. They have been using 
them for 40 years. Literally, I think one of my colleagues has been in 
the Congress plus or minus 40 years and has been using the same talking 
points on this.
  As somebody who came to the Senate previously from a job as attorney 
general and a commissioner of natural resources and energy in Alaska, I 
know a little bit about this topic. I can tell you two important 
points.
  My colleagues talk a little bit about Alaska, the environment, and 
energy. First, Senator Murkowski and I care a lot more about the 
environment, the wildlife, the pristine wilderness in our great, 
amazing State than any other Member in this body. I don't need Senators 
coming down from places like Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington, 
Vermont, and Rhode Island talking about Alaska's environment. OK? 
Thanks. I don't need it. I care way more than any of them. With all due 
respect, I know a heck of a lot more about it than any of them.
  I also know this. In my State--and, I believe, in most of the 
country, but particularly in Alaska--Democrats, Republicans, Alaskan 
Natives, and non-Natives certainly support the highest standards on the 
environment, but we also support responsible resource development. Here 
is the key issue: We know we can do both. You can protect the pristine, 
amazing Alaskan environment, and you can responsibly develop our 
resources.
  Let's talk about how we do this. Let's talk about how this applies to 
Alaska and how this applies to the rest of the country in general.
  As I mentioned, this is a really important point. We have the highest 
standards on developing our resources and our energy than anywhere in 
the world, and we have some of the most technologically advanced and 
sustainable ways to develop resources in the energy sector. That allows 
us to do what I just mentioned, which is to protect the environment and 
to develop our resources.
  Here is a really important point that a lot of my colleagues on the 
other side of the aisle miss. They come down here, and this is what 
they talk about--by the way, they were in alliance with the last 
administration: How do we shut down energy development? How do we make 
it harder? How do we delay it?
  As I mentioned, I was attorney general and the DNR commissioner in 
Alaska for almost 6 years of the Obama administration. It was all about 
how to shut it down in Alaska, how to delay it in Alaska, and how to 
shut it down in America. This is not what the country wants. This is 
not what the country needs, and, certainly, it is one issue that is 
often overlooked. This doesn't help the global environment, as they 
claim. It doesn't. Why is that? Because when you chase away investment 
in places like Alaska, with the highest standards on the environment in 
the world, what does that do? That drives capital and that drives 
investment to places like Russia, Iran, and Brazil, whose standards are 
so much lower than ours.
  Russians on the tundra in the Arctic don't care anything about their 
environment. In my State and in the rest of America, we do.
  I don't need to remind people that Russia and Iran right now are 
certainly our adversaries. Yet the policies that some of my colleagues 
like to promote, and certainly the last administration promoted, are to 
drive away investment, drive away energy production in America, with 
the highest standards in the world, so the Russians and the Iranians 
can take the capital and produce energy. They do not have high 
standards on the environment, and they are our adversaries. It makes no 
sense--no sense.

  So how do we do this in Alaska? What are the environmental standards 
that almost no other place in the world--maybe Norway, maybe, to some 
degree, Canada--uses? What is the technology that enables us to produce 
American energy, with American jobs, with the American people, with the 
highest standards in the world? Let me provide a few examples. First, 
what I want everybody here to be aware of is, do not believe these 
doomsday scenarios. Don't believe the misinformed commentary. When my 
Democratic colleagues come to the floor, with very little knowledge 
about what is really happening in this sector, don't believe it. When 
they come to the floor and talk about a State like mine--Alaska--about 
which they know next to nothing, don't believe it.
  Let me give one infamous example. In the 1970s, we were debating in 
the Senate--and I think one of my colleagues was maybe here then, 
probably using the same talking points--the Trans-Alaska Pipeline 
System, one of the greatest energy infrastructure projects in the 
history of the world: 800 miles, 16 billion barrels of oil; at one 
point, 2 million barrels a day, from Americans, in America.
  The people who were against it came to the floor and said: Oh, no. 
The Central Arctic caribou herd is going to be decimated if you do 
this--these beautiful animals that we care so much about in Alaska. 
Those were the arguments right on this floor. So what happened to the 
Central Arctic caribou? Again, we care about these animals way more 
than anybody else does in this body. In 1975, we had about 5,000 
caribou; today, 66,000. I don't think the herd was decimated. We 
haven't heard that from anybody because they don't know, but that is 
the kind of doomsday scenario we heard from people with no knowledge, 
and then, when it doesn't happen, we don't hear them on the Senate 
floor saying: Oh, we were wrong about that.
  Let me talk just briefly about some of what we do to make sure we do 
this in the most responsible way in the world. First, in the energy 
business, one thing we do is we explore. Again, in Alaska we have the 
highest standards in the world. A lot of other places in the United 
States have these standards. In the Arctic, we have what is called no 
impact exploration. What does that mean? It means we literally do 
everything to make sure there is no

[[Page S6598]]

impact on these great species like the polar bear. Again, we care a lot 
more about our animals than my colleagues on the other side of the 
aisle.
  What does no impact exploration mean? Well, we undertake exploration 
required by State standards--these are not Federal standards--where we 
essentially have what are called ice roads and ice pads. Let me show my 
colleagues what that means. We only allow for exploration in the winter 
on the tundra. When an exploration crew comes out, they have to build 
an ice road--it is a road made of ice--over the tundra. This photograph 
is an example of an ice road. Then they do exploration on an ice pad. 
They have drills, and they do all this work on the ice, on the tundra. 
They have about 4 months to do it and then they are done and then they 
leave.
  What does the tundra look like after that exploration on ice? Right 
here. This is just one capped exploration well. It is as though nobody 
was even there--literally zero impact. These are Alaska standards, the 
highest in the world. They are expensive, yes, but we do it because we 
care so much about the environment. That is the exploration phase.
  How about the production phase? What has happened in the production 
phase? The innovations in technology, many of which have occurred in my 
State, have made it so the surface footprint--when we actually put 
together a production pad--has shrunk dramatically. When we look at 
this chart, we see Prudhoe Bay in the 1970s. The other developments in 
Alaska include Kuparuk, Alpine, and Liberty. What happens is, the 
surface footprint has shrunk dramatically to 11, 12 acres now. Yet the 
ability to horizontally drill extends the reach of these wells 
underneath the ground, where we can reach resources in an incredibly 
vast manner without impacting the environment at all.
  If a rig was placed right here on the Capitol Building, in terms of 
horizontal drilling, it could extend out to Andrews Air Force Base in 
Southeast, Silver Spring, MD, to the north, and well into Fairfax 
County--miles and miles and miles. Yet the surface footprint--the 
impact on the environment--is minimal.
  That is what we do. We don't hear about it from the other side of the 
aisle, but it is really important, as we debate these issues, that all 
Americans know this. More energy for the country is really positive.
  In conclusion, tonight the budget resolution is not just going to be 
a vehicle for tax reform, but there is also, as I mentioned, going to 
be an instruction for increased revenues for the country for more 
American energy production. It is a simple instruction.
  As I mentioned, this should be very noncontroversial. What could be 
wrong with more energy production, particularly in a State like mine, 
where the standards are the highest in the world, and the technology is 
the most advanced in the world. What could be controversial about more 
energy production? More energy production means more American jobs, 
more American economic growth, more American national security, more 
American energy security, decreased Federal budgets and trade deficits, 
and a more sustainable global environment because no one in the world 
produces energy more responsibly than Americans, especially Alaskans.
  Nevertheless, some of my Democratic colleagues will be putting forth 
an amendment that does just the opposite. Think about that, an 
amendment that says let's kill energy production, thereby undermining 
American job growth, good jobs, American economic growth, American 
national security and energy security, while increasing our budget and 
trade deficits and harming the global environment. That is a lose-lose-
lose scenario to me, but that is what is at stake tonight.
  Later this afternoon, when we debate that amendment--and I certainly 
ask all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reject any 
attempts to not take advantage of this incredible opportunity in 
America--the American energy renaissance that we need to continue--and 
this afternoon we are going to have an opportunity to do that.
  Thank you.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia.


                      Nuclear Agreement With Iran

  Mr. KAINE. Mr. President, I rise to speak about the President's 
action last week stepping away from certifying Iran's compliance with 
the nuclear deal that was negotiated between the U.S. allies and the 
nation of Iran.
  National security is about military power, but there is more to it 
than that. America's strength also comes from the power to use 
diplomacy.
  In October 1945, President Harry Truman, my favorite President, 
changed the seal of the Office of the President to have the eagle face 
the olive branches of diplomacy instead of the arrows of war, 
signifying that America would also prefer that we use diplomacy first. 
In modern times, our judgments to go to war rather than use diplomacy 
have been flawed. Under this administration, diplomacy, in my view, is 
under assault, and that is why I rise today.
  We see a decimated State in the USAID budget. We see bellicose 
rhetoric from the President. We see efforts to undermine, publicly, 
American diplomats engaged in negotiations. We see the refusal to even 
nominate key State Department diplomatic appointees.
  As of last week, the administration has not put forward a nominee for 
approximately 52 percent of high-level positions at the State 
Department that require approval by the Senate. Thirty-two countries do 
not yet have Ambassadors in place, and that includes no nomination from 
the White House for Ambassadors to key countries like South Korea, 
Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. No one has been nominated for 
Assistant Secretary for Arms Control, for Assistant Secretary for 
International Security and Nonproliferation, for Assistant Secretary 
for Near Eastern Affairs, Assistant Secretary for South and Central 
Asian Affairs, or for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
  How serious can the administration be about nuclear threats with no 
Ambassador to South Korea or no ambassadorial nomination for the key 
State Department official around nonproliferation? And the President 
has repeatedly undercut his Secretary of State's diplomatic efforts 
with North Korea.
  President Trump's most recent action--his recent attack on 
diplomacy--is the decision to decertify the Iran deal, and I think this 
could be the most dangerous yet. By stepping back from a diplomatic 
deal that the United States made with the global community that is 
clearly working, the President is publicly undercutting diplomatic 
negotiations, and he is setting us on a road where military options 
become increasingly more likely. I will state it bluntly. If you weaken 
diplomacy, you raise the risk of unnecessary war, and that is what this 
President is doing.
  First, President Trump's refusal to make the Iran certification and 
his threat to abandon the nuclear deal with Iran recalls the disastrous 
U.S. entrance into the Iraq war in 2003, where intelligence was 
politicized, and the administration repeatedly made false claims to 
justify going to war--a war of choice--to overthrow Saddam Hussein.
  The Bush administration insisted that regime change in Iraq was 
necessary, and it insisted on that because of the claim of Iraq's 
continuing productions of weapons of mass destruction.
  In March of 2003, the IAEA came out and said there was no credible 
evidence that Iraq had a program of weapons of mass destruction and 
that there was no evidence they had revived the nuclear program they 
shelved in the 1990s, but the Bush administration would not accept that 
claim. It did not fit with the narrative they were selling to the 
American people about Saddam Hussein so they said the IAEA was wrong. 
They said we needed to initiate war--one that has proven so costly to 
Virginians and to Americans in treasure and in regional stability but 
especially in American lives--to prevent Iraq from obtaining weapons of 
mass destruction.
  We went to war. It turned out the scientists and the technicians and 
the IAEA were right. Iraq didn't have a program of weapons of mass 
destruction. The politicians who tried to undermine the credibility of 
the international agencies were wrong. Of course, the consequences of 
that decision are significant. Ironically, you

[[Page S6599]]

could claim--I believe there is strong evidence--that decision in 2003 
has today led to greater Iranian influence in Iraq and the region and a 
proliferation of extremist groups that didn't exist before.
  We are now hearing the Trump administration make similar claims about 
Iran; that Iran will soon enough have a nuclear weapons program, that 
the IAEA cannot be trusted, that Iran supports al-Qaida, and from a 
Republican colleague: ``The policy of the United States should be 
regime change in Iran,'' and from Secretary of State Tillerson, we need 
a ``peaceful transition'' of the Iranian Government.
  We should stop to think, Is this really about the nuclear deal or is 
it about beginning a drumbeat from the administration to march the 
United States toward another preventable war in the Middle East?
  Second, while threatening to unilaterally terminate the nuclear deal 
at any time, President Trump also wants to revisit the terms of the 
deal to address what he sees as its flaws.
  This isn't new. Since the day the deal was announced, some critics 
have argued that we could get a better deal or push for an alternative. 
I wasn't then, nor am I now, interested in the world of hypotheticals. 
I am interested in the world of facts. The fact is, the deal is 
working, and it is dramatically better than the alternative for at 
least 15 years or possibly longer.
  Additionally, if we want to renegotiate the deal, Iran will seek to 
do the same. If we take a step back from the deal, Iran will take a 
step back, and what will they ask for--that they get to now increase 
centrifuges or get some of their enriched uranium back? I don't want to 
give Iran one thing back from this deal, but if we step back from a 
deal that is working and say we want to renegotiate, they will, too, 
and I don't think we should tolerate that.
  Most wars start because of miscalculations. The notion that we can 
renegotiate the deal just on our side and the other side wouldn't think 
of renegotiation is magical thinking. The U.S. entrance in World War I 
100 years ago started with miscalculations--most nations do. A 
miscommunication, a misunderstanding, another step, another step, and 
you are at war. We should be very, very wary.
  I and all of us are very willing to go after Iran on the nonnuclear 
front. It was just 2 months ago that we passed--I think unanimously; 
maybe there was one ``no'' vote in this body--a set of stiff sanctions 
against Iran, North Korea, and Russia. We have given the power to the 
President to impose more sanctions on Iran for bellicose behavior, for 
activities in other countries, for violations of human rights, and for 
violating U.N. Security Council resolutions on their missile program. 
The President should use the sanctions power we just gave him to go 
after Iran's activities that violate international norms and make 
America less safe. But when the IAEA, our allies, the head of the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of State 
all say that with respect to the nuclear deal, Iran is complying, we 
should avoid stepping back on that deal, lest we suggest that the 
United States cannot be trusted in good faith to follow a deal.
  Third, I worry about the timing of this effort to step away from the 
Iran deal with respect to the imminent threat. I hear concerns about 
the Iran deal and what Iran might be able to do in year 8 or year 10 or 
year 15. Let me tell you about something I am worrying about this 
month, and that is the North Korean nuclear program.
  We have been in briefings, and we hear the Secretary of Defense and 
the Secretary of State say to us and say to the world: The United 
States will always push for a diplomatic solution. We are never out of 
diplomatic solutions.
  But let's be candid. What are the chances of a diplomatic solution 
with North Korea that would end or dramatically limit their nuclear 
weapons ambitions? I don't think the chances are high. I would say they 
are 20 percent at best. They are not zero, but they are not high, 
either. But if there is any chance of a diplomatic negotiation and a 
diplomatic end to this program, don't we owe it to the American public 
and don't we owe it to our troops to seek to exhaust and explore it? Of 
course we do. Yet every time Secretary of State Tillerson talks about 
trying to have some diplomatic outcome to pressure the Chinese to use 
leverage against North Korea, the President pours cold water on him.
  I would argue that stepping back from the Iran deal sends an 
unmistakable signal to North Korea if I am right, and there is even a 
small chance of a diplomatic resolution. But the message we send to 
North Korea is that the United States will back out of a nuclear deal 
even when it is being complied with. I think we drive the chances of a 
diplomatic resolution with North Korea down to zero, and we should not 
do that.
  There is significant evidence that while Iran's nonnuclear behavior 
is worthy of additional sanctions and pressure, the deal on the nuclear 
program is working. Our closest European allies, U.S. intelligence 
services, the IAEA, the P5--when I visit Israel and speak to national 
security and intelligence leaders, such as Gadi Eisenkot, who is 
essentially the equivalent of the head of our Joint Chiefs of Staff, 
they say Iran is complying with the deal, and it is making the world 
safer in the near and medium term. Secretary Dunford and General Mattis 
have said the same thing.
  The deal gives us more intelligence because we have inspections that 
we didn't have before. We have more inspections, and we know more about 
their program. In the first paragraph of the deal, on the first page of 
the deal, Iran pledges to never purchase, acquire, or develop military 
weapons. That promise, which is in perpetuity, gives us a legal 
justification, if they ever break it, to take action, including 
military action, to punish them for violating what they have signed. Do 
we want to give Iran the ability to step back from that promise they 
have made by stepping back ourselves when the deal is working?
  Finally, the deal gives us a coalition. Our partners around the world 
who have signed on to the deal, who have been witness to the Iranian 
pledge, who know that Iran will have to permanently comply with the 
additional protocol of inspections under the deal--if we move away from 
the deal and Iran moves away from the deal, could we count on the 
coalition partners being with us to try to put a deal back together 
when it is we alone among the partners who have walked away from the 
table? What coalition could we expect if we are the ones who walk away 
from the table, if we say we are not interested in diplomacy? Then, 
later, if we need to take military action against Iran after we walked 
away from a deal, could we expect a coalition to support us in that?
  I would like to conclude in this way: I think the President's 
decision to step back from this diplomatic deal poses a real challenge 
for this Congress. The President has done some things I agree with. He 
has done a number of things I disagree with. He has done only one thing 
that scares me, and it is this. I think that, together with defunding 
the State Department and pouring cold water on diplomacy and not 
filling key posts, this leads us closer to an unnecessary war. When you 
reject diplomacy or weaken it, you run the risk of an unnecessary war.
  I have had to cast two war votes in the Senate, both as a member of 
the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. I have been a city councilman, 
a mayor, a Lieutenant Governor, and a Governor, and casting a war vote 
is different from any vote you ever have to cast--any vote you ever 
have to cast. I have a son in the military, and that makes that vote 
different from any vote I have cast in 23 years in public life. As a 
Member of Congress, I may have to cast other votes to go to war against 
other nations, whether against nonstate terrorist groups or against a 
nation like North Korea or even Iran if they break for nuclear weapons. 
If I have to cast that vote, if I have to contemplate putting Congress 
on record that we should go to war, I want to be able to look American 
troops in the face and say: I exhausted every diplomatic option before 
I cast this vote. I think that is an obligation we owe to the public 
and to our troops. We have to exhaust diplomacy.
  There may come a time when that eagle just cannot face the olive 
branches of diplomacy, but we have to insist on military strength to 
keep order in the world and protect Americans. But if we turn to those 
arrows of

[[Page S6600]]

war, we should be able to look at our public and look at our troops and 
say we exhausted diplomacy.
  Stepping away from a diplomatic deal that is working is exactly the 
wrong thing for us to do at this time. It is my hope that Congress will 
not dignify what the President is doing in this regard and that we will 
insist, yes, upon strict compliance and also insist upon sanctions 
against Iran for nonnuclear behavior. But let's not be a nation that 
refuses to keep its diplomatic commitments. The stakes are just too 
high.
  Mr. President I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Sullivan). The Senator from South 
Carolina.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, I wish to take a few minutes to support 
the effort to pass the fiscal year 2018 budget resolution. I am on the 
Budget Committee, and I am pretty familiar with the document. It 
provides a pathway to balance. It actually has a $197 billion surplus 
in 2027, and it allows for tax cuts.
  To Republicans--and Democrats too; you are welcome to join--the only 
way we are ever going to meaningfully get a tax cut is to pass a budget 
reconciliation instruction. This budget allows us to cut taxes. I hope 
some Democrats will join us, but if they choose not to, we can do it 
with a simple majority. If we don't pass this budget, we can't cut 
taxes unless we get 60 votes. With our friends on the other side--I 
think it is going to be hard to get any Democrats for a meaningful tax 
cut. They are not bad people; they just see things differently. When 
they spend money, they think that is good. They don't worry about the 
deficit. When we cut taxes, the deficit is the most important thing. My 
belief is that not only will we not have a deficit, we will actually 
have a surplus because this budget does two things: It restrains 
spending by $5.1 trillion over the next decade, and it actually creates 
a system for tax cuts to spur economic growth.
  If we could grow the GDP number by just 1 percent, that would be 
trillions of dollars of revenue. To those who are interested in this, 
we have been growing at about 1.9 percent GDP per year over the last 8 
years--right around 2, sometimes under, sometimes a bit over. The 
historical average since World War II has been 3.2. If we could get 
back to 3.2 percent GDP growth, there would be trillions of dollars 
coming in to the Treasury, and I believe we can.
  President Trump is trying to deregulate America after 8 years of 
heavy regulation, but he can only do so much through Executive order.
  Senator Sullivan, the Presiding Officer, talked about the 
opportunities in Alaska. I have learned a lot about Alaska. There are 
750,000 people living in a State twice the size of Texas. It is 
beautiful as it can be. Environmentally, you are very sensitive. That 
is one of the qualities of Alaska you want to preserve. God has blessed 
Alaska with a lot of natural resources, and it would be good for the 
people of Alaska and the United States as a whole.
  Every liter of gas and barrel of oil we can extract from Alaska in an 
environmentally sound way is less to buy from people who hate our guts. 
We are going to be using oil and gas for a long time to come. I want to 
move to a lower carbon economy. I think that would be good for the 
environment and good for our economy. Alaska has been blessed with 
natural resources, and I think Senator Sullivan explained how sensitive 
they are in the extraction process. But it would be insane to take 
Alaska oil and gas off the table for America because in that area, 
Russia is all over the place, and, trust me, they don't care about the 
environment.
  One thing this budget doesn't do is it doesn't change the Budget 
Control Act caps. There is one member of our caucus who claims that 
this budget is somehow fiscally irresponsible. It is not. It actually 
leads to a surplus.
  There is nothing in this budget that allows for more defense 
spending. The overseas contingency operations account is money set 
aside for our military and State Department to deal with the wars we 
are fighting that are not part of the Budget Control Act. We have been 
doing that for years. So for anybody to suggest that this authorizes an 
explosion of spending on the defense side--you literally don't know 
what you are talking about. If you looked at the details of the budget, 
you would find that it cuts spending by $5.1 trillion and actually has 
a $197 billion surplus 10 years from now.
  But I want to let the body know--and the Presiding Officer will be 
right in that fight--that I, along with Senator McCain, President 
Trump, General Mattis, Senator Sullivan, Senator Blunt, and many 
others, am going to do everything I can to give the military more 
resources to fight wars we can't afford to lose.
  I look forward to this debate with some of my colleagues on the other 
side and a few on this side.
  Really, is it smart to have the smallest Navy since 1950? Is it 
really smart to have an Army 1940s-size given what is going on in the 
world, having fighter squadrons grounded not because the enemy shot us 
down but because the Congress shot us down?
  We are spending about 3.2 percent of GDP on defense. Historically, 
since World War II, it has been about 5. Tell me how you justify 
spending that much less today given the world we have to deal with. 
Where is the peace dividend?
  Since 2011, when sequestration was passed, the world has 
deteriorated. President Trump is promising to rebuild the military, 
give them the capability they need to keep the enemies at bay and not 
fight wars with one hand tied behind their back. So I will be working 
with Senator McCain and many others to make sure that our military is 
replenished; that we do have a 350-ship Navy, not 278; that we have an 
Army consistent with the threats--about 520,000 versus 420,000.
  The No. 1 job of the Congress and the Federal Government is to defend 
the Nation. That is a different debate. That is not part of the budget. 
The budget resolution doesn't change defense spending caps. Hopefully, 
we can do that later, working with our Democratic friends.
  This is the last best chance we will have to cut taxes. If this 
budget resolution fails, the ability to cut taxes on President Trump's 
watch goes away.
  To those of you on the Republican side who have been claiming that we 
need tax cuts and a simpler tax code, this is your chance. If we don't 
succeed now, we are going to fail for the entire term of President 
Trump. That will be the end of us as a party, because if you are a 
Republican and you don't want to simplify the Tax Code and cut taxes, 
what good are you to anybody?
  Our friends on the other side have really invested in ``the 
government.'' Somebody needs to be involved in American politics who 
would actually like to send more money to you and less money to the 
government in a responsible way.
  So I hope we are going to cut the corporate tax rate to make us 
competitive. We are going to double the standard exemptions so working 
people will have more money in their pockets. We are going to clean up 
some of the deductions and exemptions for the few at the expense of the 
many. But we can only do that if we pass a budget resolution.
  A final thought. From the Republican Party point of view, we have the 
House, the Senate, and the Presidency. We have nobody to blame in this 
exercise but ourselves. If you are a Republican and you are frustrated 
with the lack of progress, count me in. The President is a willing 
partner to help us repeal and replace ObamaCare and to get a healthy 
tax cut to grow an economy that is dying to grow. But we have to help 
ourselves.
  If we can't muster the votes necessary to pass this budget resolution 
to cut your taxes, then everybody who supported us for all these years 
should feel let down, and we will have let you down. I hope that 
doesn't happen. I am confident it won't. But to those Republicans who 
believe that a ``no'' vote is good for the future of conservatism and 
the future of the economic well-being of the country, I could not 
disagree with you more. You will never balance the budget by dealing 
with discretionary spending alone. We are at 2008 levels of 
discretionary spending. What balances the budget is entitlement reform. 
If you want to balance the budget, vote for Graham-Cassidy because it 
finally puts Medicaid on a sustainable path.

  We have to deal with our entitlement problem, but that is not in this 
budget reconciliation instruction. This instruction allows us to cut 
taxes with a

[[Page S6601]]

majority-only vote and gets to balance or a surplus in 2027.
  From a Republican point of view, this is the most important vote we 
are going to cast in 2017. If we fail, that is the end of this party's 
ability to grow. All of those who worked hard to get us here are going 
to be disappointed, and they should be.
  We are not going to disappoint you. We are going to pass this budget 
resolution. We are going to cut your taxes, and we are eventually going 
to rebuild and replace ObamaCare, which is failing, with a block grant 
that gets the money and power closer to where you live, in the hands of 
the people you can vote for. We are going to succeed.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Missouri.
  Mr. BLUNT. Mr. President, let me first agree with the point that the 
Senator from South Carolina just made about the importance of passing a 
tax bill this year. He made the point--and if he didn't, I will make 
it--that if we don't pass a tax bill this year or at least get most of 
the way there--I hope we get done with this tax process this year. If 
we don't get that done, I think we won't have another opportunity to 
pass a tax bill in the next 4 years.
  On the other hand, if we do pass a tax bill this year, we will have 
the incentive to take a second look in 2019, maybe 2020, but probably 
in 2019. The point I am making is, we don't have to do everything that 
could possibly be done to improve the Tax Code this year to take an 
important step. But if we don't take that important step, my belief is 
we are likely not going to have the kind of tax relief that working 
families need in the next 4 years. So not only is the pressure on the 
Republican Senate, the Republican House, and a White House that wants 
to work with us to get this done, but the pressure should be on 
everyone who cares about hard-working families. And the pressure should 
be on everyone who wants to see tax relief for those families happen. 
We need to understand that it needs to happen now.
  Fights that can't be won in the next few weeks can be won in this 
Presidential term but only if we take this step successfully right now. 
As the Senator from South Carolina and others have pointed out, this is 
an important two-step process.
  The first step is a budget that allows us to move forward so that we 
can do this under the budget rules and allow 51 Senators to pass a bill 
on tax reform. By the way, they don't have to be 51 Republicans. I 
suspect that is what will happen, but once we get to 51 Republicans, I 
would love to see Democrats join us. I would love to see them join us 
before that.
  This is the kind of help that hard-working families need--families 
who, for 9 years, were stuck in a situation where their buying power 
wasn't increasing, their job opportunities weren't increasing. They 
generally were not seeing that better job out there that was largely 
available to those very same hard-working families in the past because 
we aren't as competitive as we need to be.
  There ought to be a couple of things we focus on. One is, how do you 
create tax relief for working families right now so that, as soon as 
possible, they begin to see a check that has more take-home pay? The 
other way to increase take-home pay is to increase starting pay, to 
make those jobs better. That is where we need to be looking on the 
other end of the spectrum.
  On the end that creates jobs, what do we need to do to make ourselves 
more competitive? What do we need to do to constantly have the kind of 
pressure on the working job market that allows people who are working 
hard for a living to have better opportunities than they would have 
otherwise because we are more competitive than we would be otherwise?
  I think the entire focus of this discussion should be, what do we do 
that improves the opportunities and improves the future for hard-
working families? You can do that with a tax cut right now, which we 
should do. You can do that with policies that make more sense as we try 
to compete with the people we compete with around the world.
  You can't have the highest corporate tax in the entire world and 
assume you are going to be the most competitive country in the entire 
world. You can't have a tax system that is uniquely different as it 
relates to products you sell overseas and expect to be more competitive 
than the countries who don't have that unique system, which penalizes 
rather than encourages American products to be sold in other places.
  The Senate will vote later today on a budget resolution that reduces 
Federal spending by $5 trillion over 10 years, provides a stronger 
foundation for economic growth, and allows us to move forward in the 
first, necessary legislative step in the Senate so that we can then 
move immediately to tax policy. This is a budget that will allow us to 
reduce taxes by $1.5 trillion over 10 years, a budget that would put 
more money in the pockets of hard-working families, a budget that would 
add some opportunity to that struggle where, for almost a decade now, 
things haven't seemed to be getting better or easier. They seemed to be 
getting more difficult because we were less competitive and there was 
less pressure to find the workforce to do the jobs that need to be 
done. And then this is a tax code that will make it simpler and fairer 
and more uniformly impactful on everyone who pays taxes.
  Most people don't mind paying taxes on the income they have until 
they find out that their neighbor next door with the same income has 
figured out how not to pay taxes. There is a reason American families 
and American businesses can't get through April without a bottle of 
aspirin. There is a reason this Tax Code creates headache after 
headache.
  There is one estimate that individuals and businesses complying with 
the complicated tax system we have costs $267 billion a year. That is 
half of the defense budget. If people are spending half of the defense 
budget just to comply with the Tax Code, there has to be something 
wrong with that, and we can do better. I think the proposals we are 
talking about will do a better job.
  Right now, the individual Tax Code has seven different brackets--
seven rates--and you have to figure out how they apply to whatever 
income you have had. It has 100 different credits, deductions, 
exclusions, and other provisions that make it extremely difficult to 
know what you owe or when you are going to owe what you owe.
  According to the American Action Forum, the IRS currently imposes 8.1 
billion hours of paperwork on Americans, which amounts to about 54 
hours per taxpayer who is paying taxes. It is more for some, less for 
some, but a week's worth of work--54 hours of work--for taxpayers who 
pay their taxes. Every taxpayer gives that week to the Federal 
Government.
  We are streamlining the Tax Code, increasing the basic deduction that 
families can have. If they don't want to go through the complicated Tax 
Code--here is how many of us there are who live at our house. Here is 
the basic deduction we get for each of those people living at our 
house. Here is how much we subtract from the money we make. Here is how 
much we need to pay.
  There is no reason that one of the compliance options can't be a 
postcard or a piece of paper. In fact, when the current income tax was 
imposed on the American people, the entire set of instructions were on 
one page--the entire set of instructions for everyone who had to fill 
out the income tax form--with the assurance that only the richest 
people would ever pay any income tax, so most Americans would never 
have had to read that instruction sheet at all.
  Now most Americans find it almost impossible to read the 100 pages of 
instructions that just get them to the Tax Code itself. Streamlining 
the Tax Code, helping families keep more of their money, figuring out a 
way we can be more competitive so there is opportunity for better jobs 
in the future, all should be important priorities for this Congress.
  Passing a budget today will allow us to take the first step, which 
then allows us to take the next step in tax relief that matters and 
makes sense to the American people. We will take that step today. We 
should take that step today.
  We should then follow up as quickly as possible to win the fights 
that can be won this year so Americans can start next year 
understanding that their Tax Code is simpler, the Tax Code is fairer, 
and their opportunities are

[[Page S6602]]

likely to be greater. But for hard-working families, their take-home 
pay will definitely be higher than it is today.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, how much time remains on our side?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Democrats have 4 minutes remaining.


                           Amendment No. 1302

  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, yesterday I was at a meeting with the 
President at the White House, along with several members from both 
sides of the Senate Finance Committee. I said to the President flatout 
that Democrats agree that the Tax Code is a broken, dysfunctional mess. 
Finance Democrats yesterday laid out to the President our principles 
for reform, focusing on the middle class--not 1 percent--and being 
fiscally responsible so that Congress doesn't turn around and look at 
gutting safety-net programs such as Medicare and Medicaid or Social 
Security.
  I think it would be fair to say that a whole lot of ears in that room 
perked up when the President said: Hey, I am for those kinds of things. 
The President talked to us about wanting help for the middle class. He 
said that this is not supposed to be about people like him, and he said 
that he doesn't want to shred the safety net.
  Unfortunately, as I have indicated, there are gaps as wide as Crater 
Lake among all of the administration's statements, the rhetoric about 
taxes, and the reality of what is actually written down on paper about 
its tax cut plan. The Republican plan--this administration's plan, 
which actually is written down on paper, doesn't resemble what the late 
President Reagan accomplished in partnership with Democrats in 1986. 
Back then, the two sides brought their best ideas forward and passed 
major tax reform built around the idea that America is strongest when 
the middle class is prospering. What is on paper today is just an 
enormous gift to the top of the top--the most fortunate special 
interests.
  I hope the Senate, in a few minutes, will vote for my amendment to 
strike the reconciliation instructions from the budget because budget 
reconciliation is exactly the kind of partisan process, at least for 
taxes--especially for taxes, given the importance of taxes in this 
particular budget--budget reconciliation is exactly the kind of 
approach that President Reagan rejected in 1986.
  I hope my colleagues will support my amendment, striking the 
reconciliation instructions from the budget. Senate Democrats have 
outlined our principles for reform.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent for an additional 
30 seconds.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, very quickly, the principles that the 
Senate Democrats have laid out in our letter are very much in line with 
what the President says he wants. Now what we have to do is to have a 
bipartisan process to advance it. You do not get that with 
reconciliation. I hope the Senate supports my amendment.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. TOOMEY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that there be 2 
minutes of debate equally divided prior to each vote in the 11:45 a.m. 
vote series this morning.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Under the previous order, there will now be 2 minutes of debate, 
equally divided, prior to a vote in relation to amendment No. 1302, 
offered by the Senator from Oregon, Mr. Wyden.
  The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I think I have made the case.
  To my colleagues, what the American people have told us--and they 
certainly said this during this last work period--is that they 
understand that the big challenges in this country require bipartisan 
approaches. That is what President Reagan understood when he brought 
together Democrats and Republicans for comprehensive tax reform.
  We need to pass this amendment to strike the reconciliation 
instructions from the budget because they send all of the wrong signals 
with respect to tax reform.
  The American people understand what it takes to tackle big issues. 
They understand that tax reform should be about the middle class. It 
should not be about the 1 percent, and it should not be about causing a 
huge, new sea of red ink.
  I urge my colleagues to support my amendment to strike the 
reconciliation instructions from the budget.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who seeks time in opposition?
  The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. TOOMEY. Mr. President, we have an opportunity today to give 
ourselves the tool to pass a tax reform bill that will absolutely mean 
tax relief for middle-income and working-class families and will 
promote the kind of economic growth that we have been waiting for, but 
to do it, we are going to have to defeat this amendment and pass the 
underlying budget.
  What my friend from Oregon is suggesting is that we give a minority 
in the Senate the opportunity to defeat tax reform by filibuster. That 
is what would happen if we were to pass this amendment.
  I have to disagree strongly with the notion that somehow this is not 
a bipartisan exercise. There is nothing about reconciliation that in 
any way discourages or prevents full Democratic participation. We are 
going to have a markup in the Senate Finance Committee, and there will 
be unlimited amendment opportunities. If we are able to report 
something out, then there will be unlimited amendment opportunities on 
the floor. There is nothing that we could do to stop it if we wanted to 
because those are the rules of reconciliation. Every Democrat in this 
body will have an unlimited opportunity to weigh in on this, to 
influence this, and to amend this, and it will be a fully bipartisan 
exercise.
  I urge a ``no'' vote on the amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the amendments.
  Mr. BARRASSO. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from New Jersey (Mr. 
Menendez) is necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Fischer). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 47, nays 52, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 225 Leg.]

                                YEAS--47

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Merkley
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--52

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young

                             NOT VOTING--1

       
     Menendez
       
  The amendment (No. 1302) was rejected.


                Amendment No. 1393 to Amendment No. 1116

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there will now be 2 
minutes of debate, equally divided, prior to a vote in relation to 
amendment No. 1393, offered by the Senator from West Virginia, Mrs. 
Capito.

[[Page S6603]]

  The Senator from West Virginia.
  Mrs. CAPITO. Madam President, I call up amendment No. 1393.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.

       The Senator from West Virginia [Mrs. Capito] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 1393 to amendment No. 1116.

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

   (Purpose: To help provide tax relief to middle-class Americans by 
     reducing deductibility, for Federal tax purposes, of federal 
      deductions, such as the state and local tax deduction which 
           disproportionally favors high-income individuals)

       At the end of title III, add the following:

     SEC. 3 ___. DEFICIT-NEUTRAL RESERVE FUND RELATING TO TAX 
                   RELIEF FOR HARD-WORKING MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICANS.

       The Chairman of the Committee on the Budget of the Senate 
     may revise the allocations of a committee or committees, 
     aggregates, and other appropriate levels in this resolution, 
     and make adjustments to the pay-as-you-go ledger, for one or 
     more bills, joint resolutions, amendments, amendments between 
     the Houses, motions, or conference reports relating to 
     changes in Federal tax laws, which may include reducing 
     federal deductions, such as the state and local tax deduction 
     which disproportionally favors high-income individuals, to 
     ensure relief for middle-income taxpayers, by the amounts 
     provided in such legislation for those purposes, provided 
     that such legislation would not increase the deficit over 
     either the period of the total of fiscal years 2018 through 
     2027.

  Mrs. CAPITO. Thank you, Madam President.
  I would like to speak, for my 1 minute, about this amendment, which 
prioritizes tax relief for the middle class over the State and local 
tax deduction, which disproportionately benefits the wealthy and high 
earners.
  Only 1 percent of the State and local deduction benefits go to 
taxpayers who earn less than $50,000 annually. Tax reform means higher 
wages, lower taxes for middle-class workers. To unlock these benefits, 
we must reduce expensive deductions that do little to benefit everyday 
Americans. Keeping the State and local tax deduction without 
modification would cost more than $1 trillion over 10 years. That money 
would be better spent on relief for the middle class.
  Middle-class workers will benefit from the enhanced 0-percent 
bracket, enhanced child tax credit, and lower rates that will be part 
of this reform. We cannot let an unwillingness to reduce deductions for 
the wealthy stand in the way of relief for the middle-class working 
folks of this great country.
  I hope my colleagues will join me in prioritizing middle-class 
families by supporting this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Madam President, I rise in strong opposition to the Capito 
amendment. More than half the taxpayers claiming the State and local 
deduction make less than $100,000. These hard-working, middle-class 
folks are not going to appreciate Congress double-taxing them.
  The fact is, the Capito amendment is Washington lingo that would 
produce a Republican tax plan that hits the middle class, yet again, 
with more taxes. Under Capito, you could again have one hand giveth and 
the other hand taketh away. You might have the Republicans say let's 
double the standard deduction, but then when those middle-class folks 
lose their deduction for State and local taxes and their personal 
exemptions, they are in a big hole.
  Reject this amendment, reject sleight-of-hand tax policy and those 
approaches like this that hurt hard-working, middle-class families.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  Mr. ENZI. Madam President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from New Jersey (Mr. 
Menendez) is necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 52, nays 47, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 226 Leg.]

                                YEAS--52

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     Manchin
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young

                                NAYS--47

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Merkley
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Paul
     Peters
     Reed
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                             NOT VOTING--1

       
     Menendez
       
  The amendment (No. 1393) was agreed to.


                Amendment No. 1141 to Amendment No. 1116

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there will now be 2 
minutes of debate, equally divided, prior to a vote in relation to 
amendment No. 1141, offered by the Senator from Washington, Ms. 
Cantwell.
  Ms. CANTWELL. Madam President, I call up amendment No. 1141, as 
provided under the previous order.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Washington [Ms. Cantwell] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 1141 to amendment No. 1116.

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

  (Purpose: To create a point of order against legislation that would 
 raise taxes on middle class families by double-taxing income already 
                   taxed at the state or local level)

       At the end of title IV, add the following:

     SEC. 4__. POINT OF ORDER AGAINST ANY TAX BILL THAT RAISES 
                   TAXES ON MIDDLE-CLASS FAMILIES BY ELIMINATING 
                   OR LIMITING THE STATE AND LOCAL TAX DEDUCTION.

       (a) Point of Order.--It shall not be in order in the Senate 
     to consider any bill, joint resolution, motion, amendment, 
     amendment between the Houses, or conference report that 
     repeals or limits the State and Local Tax Deduction.
       (b) Waiver and Appeal.--Subsection (a) may be waived or 
     suspended in the Senate only by an affirmative vote of three-
     fifths of the Members, duly chosen and sworn. An affirmative 
     vote of three-fifths of the Members of the Senate, duly 
     chosen and sworn, shall be required to sustain an appeal of 
     the ruling of the Chair on a point of order raised under 
     subsection (a).

  Ms. CANTWELL. Madam President, this amendment simply raises a point 
of order on any legislation that modifies or eliminates State and local 
tax deductions. I know there are many States that have tax deductions 
from their Federal obligations on property, but I am specifically 
talking about States like Washington, Wyoming, Nevada, South Dakota, 
Alaska, Florida, Texas, and Tennessee.
  We have had the ability to itemize and deduct our sales tax from our 
Federal income tax. That has resulted in a savings to the taxpayers. 
Under the President's proposal of increasing the standard deduction, 
even for households between $50,000 and $70,000, if you repeal their 
ability to continue to itemize, even with the standard deduction, you 
are raising taxes on them. It will not be covered. The standard 
deduction is only $12,000. For that bracket in my State, they are 
deducting up to $23,000.
  Please do not raise taxes on our constituents without a due process 
and a budget point of order that says that we are all going to be a 
part of this process and discussion before you take away a way for our 
citizens to save money.
  I ask my colleagues to support this amendment.

[[Page S6604]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming.
  Mr. ENZI. Madam President, this amendment is corrosive to the budget 
resolution's privilege. So it falls outside the scope of what is 
appropriate for inclusion. Adoption of corrosive amendments could be 
fatal to the resolution's privilege, and loss of privilege could 
compromise our ability to pass tax reform and enforce the budget 
spending limits. Further, this amendment is also nongermane. The 
Congressional Budget Act requires that amendments to a budget 
resolution be germane, which is a statutory requirement we can't 
ignore. So I raise a point of order against this amendment under the 
Budget Act, section 305(b)(2).
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Washington.
  Ms. CANTWELL. Madam President, pursuant to section 904 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, I move to waive section 305(b)(2) of 
that act for the purposes of the pending amendment, and I ask for the 
yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the motion.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from New Jersey (Mr. 
Menendez) is necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Sasse). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 47, nays 52, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 227 Leg.]

                                YEAS--47

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Merkley
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--52

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young

                             NOT VOTING--1

       
     Menendez
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 47, the nays are 
52.
  Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted 
in the affirmative, the motion is rejected.
  The point of order is sustained and the amendment falls.
  The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak for up 
to 10 minutes, and that following my remarks, the Senator from 
Washington, Mrs. Murray, be allowed to speak for up to 10 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                               Healthcare

  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, a week ago Saturday night, I was having 
dinner with my wife. It was about 8:30 in the evening, and the 
telephone rang, my cell phone, sitting in my pocket. I pulled it out, 
and it was the White House operator. The President was calling. So I 
walked out of the restaurant, sat on a curb outside in the dark, and 
had about a 15-minute conversation with the President of the United 
States while my dinner got cold.
  President Trump said: I am calling about the cost-sharing reduction 
payments. I have cut them off as of October 1. The court says they are 
illegal. I don't want insurance companies to be bailed out. I think I 
can get block grants to replace ObamaCare, but I don't want people to 
suffer in the meantime.
  So he said to me: I think I might want to get a bipartisan interim 
deal, a short-term deal. I have called Chuck Schumer and told him that.
  The President put that out in a tweet that day.
  So the President said to me: Why don't you negotiate with Senator 
Murray and try to get one; meaning a short-term, bipartisan deal.
  I said: Well, what about the CSR payments?
  He said: I can put them back, and you can use that as a negotiating 
tool to get a better deal with the Democrats.
  I responded that I was already working on an agreement with Senator 
Murray.
  He said: Finish it, and let me know.
  He called me again last Saturday. We talked about it again, and we 
talked twice yesterday.
  I reported to the President that we finished our negotiations and 
that we are here today to present to the Senate the agreement we 
recommend.
  The bill has 22 sponsors, half Democratic and half Republican--very 
few bills come to the floor with that many cosponsors originally--and 
there are a number of others on the Republican side and I understand 
from Senator Murray a number on the Democratic side who support the 
idea.
  I ask unanimous consent that a list of the cosponsors I am about to 
read be printed in the Record following my remarks.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of the agreement 
that Senator Murray and I would like to present to the Senate for its 
consideration and the President's consideration and the consideration 
of the House of Representatives be printed in the Record following my 
remarks.
  The Republican Senators who are cosponsoring the Alexander-Murray 
proposal, in addition to me, are Senator Rounds, Senator Graham, 
Senator McCain, Senator Cassidy, Senator Collins, Senator Ernst, 
Senator Murkowski, Senator Burr, and Senator Corker. I thank them all 
for doing that. Senator Murray will talk about the equal number of 
Democratic cosponsors that we have.
  We hope Senator McConnell and Senator Schumer, the President of the 
United States, and the House of Representatives will consider our 
proposal. This is a first step--improve it and pass it, sooner rather 
than later. Our purpose is to stabilize and then lower the cost of 
premiums in the individual insurance market for the years 2018 and 
2019.
  In plain English, most Americans get their insurance from the 
government or on the job. About 6 percent of insured Americans, or 18 
million Americans, go into the individual market to buy it. They are 
the ones we are worried about. They are the ones we are seeking to 
help. There are 350,000 such people in Tennessee--songwriters, farmers, 
small business women--they are the ones who are terrified by the 
prospect of skyrocketing premiums and even the possibility that they 
might not be able to buy insurance at all.
  Our agreement tries to help in two ways. No. 1, it permanently amends 
the Affordable Care Act to give new flexibility for States to create 
insurance policies that have a larger variety and lower costs. No. 2, 
it continues the cost-sharing reduction payments during 2018 and 2019.
  Now, first, about cost-sharing. Cost-sharing reduction payments are 
subsidies that pay for co-pays and deductibles for low-income 
Americans. That is what they are. Every Democrat wants them to 
continue, so do many Republicans, including every Republican in the 
majority in the House who voted for their repeal-and-replace bill this 
year because it continued the cost-sharing payments for two years.
  Let me say that again. Every Republican in the House of 
Representatives who voted to repeal and replace ObamaCare this year 
voted for a provision that continued the cost-sharing payments for 2 
years. Our bill does the same thing. The only difference is, we 
eliminate any question about whether paying them is legal.
  Now, why would so many Republicans and so many Democrats support 
these payments for 2 years and why would the President of the United 
States be interested in them? It is because the Congressional Budget 
Office has told us that if we don't do it--if we let them expire--
premiums in 2018 will go up an average of 20 percent. They

[[Page S6605]]

are already set, in most cases. The Federal debt will increase by $194 
billion because of the extra cost of subsidies to pay the higher 
premiums, and up to 16 million Americans may live in counties where 
they are not able to buy any insurance in the individual market.
  So unless the cost-sharing payments, which the President says are 
illegal--and I agree with him. The Federal Court in Washington, DC, has 
told him they are illegal, not properly authorized by Congress. Unless 
they are replaced by something else temporarily, there will be chaos in 
this country, and millions of Americans will be hurt.
  The President says there should be no bailout of insurance 
companies--no bailout of insurance companies. I agree 100 percent and 
so does Senator Murray. She can speak for herself. I have said to the 
President in our telephone calls--as I mentioned, 4 of them in the last 
10 days--that if there is a way to improve the language in our bill, we 
would like to do that. We have a page and a half to make it clear that 
the benefits go to consumers, not insurance companies. That can always 
be improved.
  Some conservatives object to the idea of paying them at all, but I 
would ask this: What is conservative about unaffordable premiums? What 
is conservative about $194 billion of new Federal debt? What is 
conservative about creating chaos so millions can't buy insurance or at 
least failing to deal with the chaos that has been created? What is 
conservative about a four-lane highway that would be the chaos that 
leads to a single-payer solution for insurance in this country? Do we 
really think that if 50 counties in Tennessee or Iowa or Kansas or any 
State are in a situation where no one can buy insurance on the 
individual market, that government-sponsored insurance is not far 
behind? Of course it is. That is why Senator Graham and Senator Cassidy 
have cosponsored our bill, because our bill would have been part of the 
Senate Republican repeal-and-replace bills if budget rules had allowed 
it.
  Senator Graham and Senator Cassidy know that if we repeal and replace 
ObamaCare in 1 year or 2 years or 3 years, it takes 2 or 3 years for it 
to take effect. We still need the cost-sharing payments for the 
interim, and you can't pass those in the Senate with 51 votes. It takes 
60. Democrats are for it. The Republican House majority has voted for 
it. The sponsor of the Senate repeal-and-replace bills are cosponsors 
of this agreement. It sounds like something that might actually become 
law before the end of the year.
  Second, flexibility. The biggest difference between the Senate 
Republicans and the Senate Democrats with regard to health insurance 
and the individual market is whether Washington should write more of 
the rules or States should write more of the rules. Our position has 
been that States should write more of the rules. We have had about 50 
votes--maybe more--and we have lost them all. We have made thousands of 
speeches, and we have lost them all. In the last 7 years, we haven't 
moved an inch toward our objectives of giving States more flexibility 
in creating insurance policies in the individual market. This agreement 
does.
  It provides and authorizes States to offer an insurance policy called 
catastrophic insurance for people of all ages that would keep a medical 
catastrophe from turning into a financial catastrophe. It encourages 
interstate agreements among States in health insurance. It streamlines 
the innovation waiver--section 1332, we call it--for States that want 
to do what Alaska did, which is to create a fund to pay for the very 
sick and then reduce premiums for everybody else by 20 percent and use 
no new Federal dollars. Most important, it changes the law to make it 
easier for States like Iowa, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, Minnesota, 
Massachusetts, Tennessee, Alaska, and many others to use their 
creativity to write policies that offer more choices and lower costs.
  Some have said: Well, that is not enough. Well, that is more than we 
have gotten for 8 years, and it is the first step.
  I welcome anyone who wants to negotiate further with Senator Murray 
or Senator Schumer. That is what the legislative process is about.
  Now, because I forgot to do it when I listed the sponsors, I would 
like to add Senator Isakson and Senator Grassley to the sponsor list, 
which would be two additional Republican sponsors, I would say to 
Senator Murray. That gives us a total of 12. I thank Senator Grassley 
for his support.
  The only thing I would say to those who want to negotiate further to 
get more flexibility is to keep in mind that with the cost-sharing 
payments, you can't get most of those changes without 60 votes in the 
Senate.
  I thank Senator Murray for being an able and effective negotiating 
partner. We have worked on many pieces of legislation together. She is 
tough and respected in her caucus. She does what she says she will do, 
and she is interested in getting a result. I respect that and I thank 
her.
  I thank President Trump for his encouragement. He called me 10 days 
ago, he called me last Saturday, and he called me again yesterday. I 
thank him for his encouragement--to encourage someone to come up with a 
bipartisan agreement to cover these 2 years so people wouldn't be 
harmed--and his willingness to consider what we are offering today.
  I thank Senator McConnell and Senator Schumer because they have 
created an environment in which Senator Murray and I could make this 
proposal. I hope they and our other colleagues will seriously consider 
it.
  The President was right to suggest that we need a short-term 
agreement so people will not be hurt. Now, some people are still 
objecting to the idea of continuing these temporary cost-sharing 
payments for 2 years and the other provisions that would have as the 
objective to keep premiums from going up in 2018 and for premiums to 
begin to go down in 2019.
  They are listening to groups around Washington, DC. I would suggest 
they listen to some other people. Listen to the waitress, listen to the 
songwriter, listen to the bricklayer, listen to the small 
businesswoman, and the people of America--and there are 350,000 in 
Tennessee--who may be terrified by the prospect of increasing premiums 
or even by the prospect of not being able to buy insurance at all. 
These are people who don't get insurance from the government. They 
don't get it on the job. They might never know when they are going to 
lose their job and they will be in this individual market.
  We have a solution here. Senator Murray and I--24 total Senators--are 
offering it today. We are certain it can be improved. We look forward 
to working with those who would improve it, but I do not believe 
Congress would want to fail to deal with a problem that will hurt 
millions of Americans if we allow it to continue.
  I predict this agreement that we 24 Senators are suggesting today 
will become law in some fashion before the end of the year. I think 
most Senators and most House Members will be looking around for a 
solution when they consider the consequences of a failure to act. When 
they look for a solution, I believe this solution supported by 24 
Senators--half Democrats, half Republicans--will be the easiest 
solution to adopt. I believe all the Democrats want it. Almost all of 
the House Republicans have already voted for it this year, and the 
Senate Republican leaders who would prefer to repeal and replace 
ObamaCare would put it in their bill if they could get it in there, but 
they can't because the budget rules will not allow it.
  I thank the Presiding Officer.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:


                     list of republican consponsors

       Alexander, Rounds, Graham, McCain, Cassidy, Collins, Ernst, 
     Murkowski, Grassley, Isakson, Burr, and Corker.

  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

 Title: To stabilize individual market premiums for the 2018 and 2019 
          plan years and provide meaningful State flexibility.

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Bipartisan Health Care 
     Stabilization Act of 2017''.

     SEC. 2. WAIVERS FOR STATE INNOVATION.

       (a) Streamlining the State Application Process.--Section 
     1332 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (42 
     U.S.C. 18052) is amended--

[[Page S6606]]

       (1) in subsection (a)(1)(C), by striking ``the law'' and 
     inserting ``a law or has in effect a certification''; and
       (2) in subsection (b)(2)--
       (A) in the paragraph heading, by inserting ``OR CERTIFY'' 
     after ``LAW'';
       (B) in subparagraph (A)--
       (i) by striking ``A law'' and inserting the following:
       ``(i) Laws.--A law''; and
       (ii) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(ii) Certifications.--A certification described in this 
     paragraph is a document, signed by the Governor of the State, 
     that certifies that such Governor has the authority under 
     existing Federal and State law to take action under this 
     section, including implementation of the State plan under 
     subsection (a)(1)(B).''; and
       (C) in subparagraph (B)--
       (i) in the subparagraph heading, by striking ``OF OPT 
     OUT''; and
       (ii) by striking ``may repeal a law'' and all that follows 
     through the period at the end and inserting the following: 
     ``may terminate the authority provided under the waiver with 
     respect to the State by--
       ``(i) repealing a law described in subparagraph (A)(i); or
       ``(ii) terminating a certification described in 
     subparagraph (A)(ii), through a certification for such 
     termination signed by the Governor of the State.''.
       (b) Giving States More Funding Flexibility, to Establish 
     Reinsurance, High Risk Pools, Invisible High Risk Pools, 
     Insurance Stability Funds and Other Programs.--Section 
     1332(a)(3) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act 
     (42 U.S.C. 18052(a)(3)) is amended--
       (1) in the first sentence--
       (A) by inserting ``or would qualify for a reduced portion 
     of'' after ``would not qualify for'';
       (B) by inserting ``, or the State would not qualify for or 
     would qualify for a reduced portion of basic health program 
     funds under section 1331,'' after ``subtitle E'';
       (C) by inserting ``, or basic health program funds the 
     State would have received,'' after ``this title''; and
       (D) by inserting ``or for implementing the basic health 
     program established under section 1331'' before the period;
       (2) in the second sentence, by inserting before the period, 
     ``, and with respect to participation in the basic health 
     program and funds provided to such other States under section 
     1331''; and
       (3) by adding after the second sentence the following: ``A 
     State may request that all of, or any portion of, such 
     aggregate amount of such credits, reductions, or funds be 
     paid to the State as described in the first sentence.''.
       (c) Ensuring Patient Access to More Flexible Health 
     Plans.--Section 1332 of the Patient Protection and Affordable 
     Care Act (42 U.S.C. 18052) is amended--
       (1) in subsection (b)--
       (A) in paragraph (1)--
       (i) in subparagraph (B), by striking ``at least as 
     affordable'' and inserting ``of comparable affordability, 
     including for low-income individuals, individuals with 
     serious health needs, and other vulnerable populations,''; 
     and
       (ii) by amending subparagraph (D) to read as follows:
       ``(D)(i) will not increase the Federal deficit over the 
     term of the waiver; and
       ``(ii) will not increase the Federal deficit over the term 
     of the 10-year budget plan submitted under subsection 
     (a)(1)(B)(ii).'';
       (B) by redesignating paragraph (2) (as amended by 
     subsection (a)) as paragraph (3); and
       (C) by inserting after paragraph (1) the following:
       ``(2) Budgetary effect.--
       ``(A) In general.--In determining whether a State plan 
     submitted under subsection (a) meets the deficit neutrality 
     requirements of paragraph (1)(D), the Secretary may take into 
     consideration the direct budgetary effect of the provisions 
     of such plan on sources of Federal funding other than the 
     funding described in subsection (a)(3).
       ``(B) Limitation.--A determination made by the Secretary 
     under subparagraph (A)--
       ``(i) shall not be construed to affect any waiver process 
     or standards or terms and conditions in effect on the date of 
     enactment of the Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act of 
     2017 under title XI, XVIII, XIX, or XXI of the Social 
     Security Act, or any other Federal law relating to the 
     provision of health care items or services; and
       ``(ii) shall be made without regard to any changes in 
     policy with respect to any waiver process or provision of 
     health care items or services described in clause (i).''; and
       (2) in subsection (a)(1)(C), by striking ``subsection 
     (b)(2)'' and inserting ``subsection (b)(3)''.
       (d) Providing Expedited Approval of State Waivers.--Section 
     1332(d) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (42 
     U.S.C. 18052(d)) is amended--
       (1) in paragraph (1) by striking ``180'' and inserting 
     ``90''; and
       (2) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(3) Expedited determination.--
       ``(A) In general.--With respect to any application under 
     subsection (a)(1) submitted on or after the date of enactment 
     of the Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act of 2017 or 
     any such application submitted prior to such date of 
     enactment and under review by the Secretary on such date of 
     enactment, the Secretary shall make a determination on such 
     application, using the criteria for approval otherwise 
     applicable under this section, not later than 45 days after 
     the receipt of such application, and shall allow the public 
     notice and comment at the State and Federal levels described 
     under subsection (a)(4) to occur concurrently if such State 
     application--
       ``(i) is submitted in response to an urgent situation, with 
     respect to areas in the State that the Secretary determines 
     are at risk for excessive premium increases or having no 
     health plans offered in the applicable health insurance 
     market for the current or following plan year; or
       ``(ii) is for a waiver that is the same or substantially 
     similar to a waiver that the Secretary already has approved 
     for another State.
       ``(B) Approval.--
       ``(i) Urgent situations.--
       ``(I) Provisional approval.--A waiver approved under the 
     expedited determination process under subparagraph (A)(i) 
     shall be in effect for a period of 3 years, unless the State 
     requests a shorter duration.
       ``(II) Full approval.--Subject to the requirements for 
     approval otherwise applicable under this section, not later 
     than 1 year before the expiration of a provisional waiver 
     period described in subclause (I) with respect to an 
     application described in subparagraph (A)(i), the Secretary 
     shall make a determination on whether to extend the approval 
     of such waiver for the full term of the waiver requested by 
     the State, for a total approval period not to exceed 6 years. 
     The Secretary may request additional information as the 
     Secretary determines appropriate to make such determination.
       ``(ii) Approval of same or similar applications.--An 
     approval of a waiver under subparagraph (A)(ii) shall be 
     subject to the terms of subsection (e).
       ``(C) Gao study.--Not later than 5 years after the date of 
     enactment of the Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act of 
     2017, the Comptroller General of the United States shall 
     conduct a review of all waivers approved pursuant to an 
     application under subparagraph (A)(ii) to evaluate whether 
     such waivers met the requirements of subsection (b)(1) and 
     whether the applications should have qualified for such 
     expedited process.''. (e) Providing certainty for state-based 
     reforms.--Section 1332
       (e) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (42 
     U.S.C. 18052(e)) is amended by striking ``No waiver'' and all 
     that follows through the period at the end and inserting the 
     following: ``A waiver under this section--
       ``(1) shall be in effect for a period of 6 years unless the 
     State requests a shorter duration;
       ``(2) may be renewed, subject to the State meeting the 
     criteria for approval otherwise applicable under this 
     section, for unlimited additional 6-year periods upon 
     application by the State; and
       ``(3) may not be suspended or terminated, in whole or in 
     part, by the Secretary at any time before the date of 
     expiration of the waiver period (including any renewal period 
     under paragraph (2)), unless the Secretary determines that 
     the State materially failed to comply with the terms and 
     conditions of the waiver.''.
       (f) Guidance and Regulations.--Section 1332 of the Patient 
     Protection and Affordable Care Act (42 U.S.C. 18052) is 
     amended--
       (1) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(f) Guidance and Regulations.--
       ``(1) In general.--With respect to carrying out this 
     section, the Secretary shall--
       ``(A) issue guidance, not later than 30 days after the date 
     of enactment of the Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act 
     of 2017, that includes initial examples of model State plans 
     that meet the requirements for approval under this section; 
     and
       ``(B) periodically review the guidance issued under 
     subparagraph (A) and when appropriate, issue additional 
     examples of model State plans that meet the requirements for 
     approval under this section, which may include--
       ``(i) State plans establishing reinsurance or invisible 
     high-risk pool arrangements for purposes of covering the cost 
     of high-risk individuals;
       ``(ii) State plans expanding insurer participation, access 
     to affordable health plans, network adequacy, and health plan 
     options over the entire applicable health insurance market in 
     the State;
       ``(iii) waivers encouraging or requiring health plans in 
     such State to deploy value-based insurance designs which 
     structure enrollee cost-sharing and other health plan design 
     elements to encourage enrollees to consume high-value 
     clinical services;
       ``(iv) State plans allowing for significant variation in 
     health plan benefit design; or
       ``(v) any other State plan as the Secretary determines 
     appropriate.
       ``(2) Rescission of previous regulations and guidance.--
     Beginning on the date of enactment of the Bipartisan Health 
     Care Stabilization Act of 2017, the regulations promulgated, 
     and the guidance issued, under this section prior to the date 
     of enactment of the Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act 
     of 2017 shall have no force or effect.''; and
       (2) in subsection (a)(4)--
       (A) in subparagraph (A), by inserting ``, as applicable'' 
     before the semicolon; and
       (B) in subparagraph (B), by striking ``Not later than 180 
     days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary 
     shall'' and inserting ``The Secretary may''.
       (g) Applicability.--The amendments made by this Act to 
     section 1332 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care 
     Act (42 U.S.C. 18052)--
       (1) with respect to applications for waivers under such 
     section 1332 submitted after the

[[Page S6607]]

     date of enactment of this Act and applications for such 
     waivers submitted prior to such date of enactment and under 
     review by the Secretary on the date of enactment, shall take 
     effect on the date of enactment of this Act; and
       (2) with respect to applications for waivers approved under 
     such section 1332 before the date of enactment of this Act, 
     shall not require reconsideration of whether such 
     applications meet the requirements of such section 1332, 
     except that, at the request of a State, the Secretary shall 
     recalculate the amount of funding provided under subsection 
     (a)(3) of such section.
       (h) Clarifying Budget Neutrality.--Section 
     1332(a)(1)(B)(ii) of the Patient Protection and Affordable 
     Care Act (42 U.S.C. 18052(a)(1)(B)(ii)) is amended by 
     inserting ``over both the term of the proposed waiver and the 
     term of the 10-year budget plan'' after ``Government''.

     SEC. 3. COST-SHARING PAYMENTS.

       (a) In general.--There is appropriated to the Secretary of 
     Health and Human Services (referred to in this section as the 
     ``Secretary''), out of any funds in the Treasury not 
     otherwise obligated, such sums as may be necessary for 
     payments for cost-sharing reductions authorized by section 
     1402 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (42 
     U.S.C. 18071) for the portion of plan year 2017 that begins 
     [on the date of enactment of this Act] and ends on December 
     31, 2017, and for plan years 2018 and 2019.
       [(b) Ensuring Consumer Benefit in 2018.--]
       [(1) Cost-sharing payments.--
       [(A) In general.--[(i) Availability of funds.--For plan 
     year 2018, except with respect to issuers of qualified health 
     plans in a State described in clause (ii)(I), amounts 
     appropriated under subsection (a) shall be made available for 
     payments for cost-sharing reductions under such section 1402 
     to issuers of qualified health plans.]
       [(ii) State flexibility.--
       [(I) State described.--A State described in this clause is 
     a State in which the State insurance regulator, before the 
     date of enactment of this Act, directed issuers of qualified 
     health plans to decline cost-sharing reduction payments under 
     section 1402 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care 
     Act (42 U.S.C. 18071) for the 2018 plan year, through a 
     formal notice or correspondence.]
       [(II) State option to reverse directive.--Nothing in this 
     clause shall prevent a State insurance regulator from 
     reversing a directive described in subclause (I).]
       [(B) State plan.--
       [(i) In general.--Not later than 60 days after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, each State insurance regulator not 
     described in subparagraph (A)(ii)(I) shall submit to the 
     Secretary of Health and Human Services a certification that, 
     with respect to plan year 2018, the State will ensure that 
     each applicable issuer of a qualified health plan in the 
     State provides a direct financial benefit to consumers and 
     the Federal Government, as applicable, and a State plan for 
     so ensuring such benefit. The Secretaries of the Treasury and 
     of Health and Human Services shall assist the States in 
     developing and implementing plans as needed, including by 
     providing technical assistance.]
       [(ii) Content.--A State plan under clause (i) shall 
     include, as applicable--]
       [(I) providing monthly rebates to affected consumers and 
     the Federal Government;]
       [(II) one-time rebates for consumers to affected consumers 
     and the Federal Government;]
       [(III) after-the-year rebates for affected consumers and 
     the Federal Government;]
       [(IV) rebates paid through the process under section 2718 
     of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300gg-18), 
     allowing for the appropriate portion of rebates to be 
     provided to the Federal Government; and]
       [(V) other means of providing a direct financial benefit to 
     consumers and the Federal Government approved by the State 
     insurance regulator, provided such means of providing a 
     financial benefit does not result in increased costs for 
     applicable taxpayers described in section 36B of the Internal 
     Revenue Code of 1986 or the Federal Government.]
       [(iii) Considerations.--Any rebate amount described in 
     clause (ii)--]
       [(I) shall be treated as part of the premium, but the 
     premium under section 36B(b)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code 
     of 1986 or section 36B(f)(3)(B) of such Code shall not be 
     affected by the rebate amount;]
       [(II) shall be treated as if it were an expenditure 
     described in paragraph (1) or (2) of section 2718(a) of the 
     Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300gg-18);]
       [(III) shall be accounted for by the Secretary in 
     calculating risk adjustment and reconciling any other 
     relevant downstream financial calculations; and]
       [(IV) shall be provided so as not to create an inducement 
     to purchase health insurance coverage from an applicable 
     issuer.
       [(iv) Notice requirements.--States that adopt a State plan 
     under this subparagraph shall prominently post a notice that 
     enrollees may qualify for rebates or other means and explain 
     how such rebates will be provided.
       [(2) Report.--Not later than 90 days after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human 
     Services shall issue a report describing the activities taken 
     by issuers of qualified health plans in States that submitted 
     certifications and State plans under paragraph (1)(B) to 
     provide a direct financial benefit to individuals enrolled in 
     a qualified health plan and the Federal Government, as 
     applicable, for the 2018 plan year.]

     SEC. 4. ALLOWING ALL INDIVIDUALS PURCHASING HEALTH INSURANCE 
                   IN THE INDIVIDUAL MARKET THE OPTION TO PURCHASE 
                   A LOWER PREMIUM COPPER PLAN.

       (a) In General.--Section 1302(e) of the Patient Protection 
     and Affordable Care Act (42 U.S.C. 18022(e)) is amended--
       (1) in paragraph (1)--
       (A) by redesignating clauses (i) and (ii) of subparagraph 
     (B) as subparagraphs (A) and (B), respectively, and adjusting 
     the margins accordingly;
       (B) by striking ``plan year if--'' and all that follows 
     through ``the plan provides--'' and inserting ``plan year if 
     the plan provides--''; and
       (C) in subparagraph (A), as redesignated by paragraph (1), 
     by striking ``clause (ii)'' and inserting ``subparagraph 
     (B)'';
       (2) by striking paragraph (2); and
       (3) by redesignating paragraph (3) as paragraph (2).
       (b) Risk Pools.--Section 1312(c)(1) of the Patient 
     Protection and Affordable Care Act (42 U.S.C. 18032(c)) is 
     amended by inserting ``and including enrollees in 
     catastrophic plans described in section 1302(e)'' after 
     ``Exchange''.
       (c) Conforming Amendment.--Section 1312(d)(3)(C) of the 
     Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (42 U.S.C. 
     18032(d)(3)(C)) is amended by striking ``, except that in the 
     case of a catastrophic plan described in section 1302(e), a 
     qualified individual may enroll in the plan only if the 
     individual is eligible to enroll in the plan under section 
     1302(e)(2)''.
       (d) Effective Date.--The amendments made by subsections 
     (a), (b), and (c) shall apply with respect to plan years 
     beginning on or after January 1, 2019.

     SEC. 5. CONSUMER OUTREACH, EDUCATION, AND ASSISTANCE.

       (a) Open Enrollment Reports.--For plan years 2018 and 2019, 
     the Secretary of Health and Human Services (referred to in 
     this section as the ``Secretary''), in coordination with the 
     Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor, shall 
     issue biweekly public reports during the annual open 
     enrollment period on the performance of the Federal Exchange 
     and the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) 
     Marketplace. Each such report shall include a summary, 
     including information on a State-by-State basis where 
     available, of--
       (1) the number of unique website visits;
       (2) the number of individuals who create an account;
       (3) the number of calls to the call center;
       (4) the average wait time for callers contacting the call 
     center;
       (5) the number of individuals who enroll in a qualified 
     health plan; and
       (6) the percentage of individuals who enroll in a qualified 
     health plan through each of--
       (A) the website;
       (B) the call center;
       (C) navigators;
       (D) agents and brokers;
       (E) the enrollment assistant program;
       (F) directly from issuers or web brokers; and
       (G) other means.
       (b) Open Enrollment After Action Report.--For plan years 
     2018 and 2019, the Secretary, in coordination with the 
     Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor, shall 
     publish an after action report not later than 3 months after 
     the completion of the annual open enrollment period regarding 
     the performance of the Federal Exchange and the Small 
     Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace for the 
     applicable plan year. Each such report shall include a 
     summary, including information on a State-by-State basis 
     where available, of--
       (1) the open enrollment data reported under subsection (a) 
     for the entirety of the enrollment period; and
       (2) activities related to patient navigators described in 
     section 1311(i) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care 
     Act (42 U.S.C. 18031(i)), including--
       (A) the performance objectives established by the Secretary 
     for such patient navigators;
       (B) the number of consumers enrolled by such a patient 
     navigator;
       (C) an assessment of how such patient navigators have met 
     established performance metrics, including a detailed list of 
     all patient navigators, funding received by patient 
     navigators, and whether established performance objectives of 
     patient navigators were met; and
       (D) with respect to the performance objectives described in 
     subparagraph (A)--
       (i) whether such objectives assess the full scope of 
     patient navigator responsibilities, including general 
     education, plan selection, and determination of eligibility 
     for tax credits, cost-sharing reductions, or other coverage;
       (ii) how the Secretary worked with patient navigators to 
     establish such objectives; and
       (iii) how the Secretary adjusted such objectives for case 
     complexity and other contextual factors.
       (c) Report on Advertising and Consumer Outreach.--Not later 
     than 3 months after the completion of the annual open 
     enrollment period for the 2018 plan year, the Secretary shall 
     issue a report on advertising and outreach to consumers for 
     the open enrollment period for the 2018 plan year. Such 
     report shall include a description of--
       (1) the division of spending on individual advertising 
     platforms, including television and radio advertisements and 
     digital media,

[[Page S6608]]

     to raise consumer awareness of open enrollment;
       (2) the division of spending on individual outreach 
     platforms, including email and text messages, to raise 
     consumer awareness of open enrollment; and
       (3) whether the Secretary conducted targeted outreach to 
     specific demographic groups and geographic areas.
       (d) Outreach and Enrollment Activities.--
       (1) Open enrollment.--Of the amounts collected through the 
     user fees on participating health insurance issuers pursuant 
     to section 156.50 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations 
     (or any successor regulations), the Secretary shall obligate 
     $105,800,000 for outreach and enrollment activities for each 
     of the open enrollment periods for plan years 2018 and 2019.
       (2) Outreach and enrollment activities.--
       (A) In general.--For purposes of this subsection, the term 
     ``outreach and enrollment activities'' means--
       (i) activities to educate consumers about coverage options 
     or to encourage consumers to enroll in or maintain health 
     insurance coverage (excluding allocations to the call center 
     for the Federal Exchange); and
       (ii) activities conducted by an in-person consumer 
     assistance program that does not have a conflict of interest 
     and that, among other activities, facilitates enrollment of 
     individuals through the Federal Exchange, and distributes 
     fair and impartial information concerning enrollment through 
     such Exchange and the availability of tax credits and cost-
     sharing reductions.
       (B) Connection with federal exchange.--Activities conducted 
     under this subsection shall be in connection with the 
     operation of the Federal Exchange, to provide special 
     benefits to health insurance issuers participating in the 
     Federal Exchange.
       (3) Contract authority.--The Secretary may contract with a 
     State to conduct outreach and enrollment activities for plan 
     years 2018 and 2019. Any outreach and enrollment activities 
     conducted by a State or other entity at the direction of the 
     State, in accordance with such a contract, shall be treated 
     as Federal activities to provide special benefits to 
     participating health insurance issuers consistent with OMB 
     Circular No. A-25R.
       (4) Clarifications.--
       (A) Prior funding.--Nothing in this subsection should be 
     construed as rescinding or cancelling any funds already 
     obligated on the date of enactment of this Act for outreach 
     and enrollment activities for plan year 2018.
       (B) Availability of funding.--The Secretary shall ensure 
     that outreach and enrollment activities are conducted in all 
     applicable States, including, as necessary, by providing for 
     such activities through contracts described in paragraph (3).

     SEC. 6. OFFERING HEALTH PLANS IN MORE THAN ONE STATE.

       Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this 
     Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in 
     consultation with the National Association of Insurance 
     Commissioners, shall issue regulations for the implementation 
     of health care choice compacts established under section 1333 
     of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (42 U.S.C. 
     18053) to allow for the offering of health plans in more than 
     one State.

  Mr. ALEXANDER. I yield the floor to Senator Murray.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Washington.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, first I thank Chairman Alexander for his 
leadership in launching a bipartisan process, as well as his dedication 
to seeing it through and getting a result, as he said.
  I have to say that, after 7 years of intense partisanship on these 
issues, which would lead everyone to believe that there was no hope for 
Republicans and Democrats to come together and work to strengthen our 
healthcare, I am really pleased with this common ground we have been 
able to find, providing multiple years of certainty when it comes to 
payments to reduce out-of-pocket costs that affect the people Senator 
Alexander just talked about--the waitress, the songwriter, and people 
who care and need this--restoring critical investments, making sure 
people know about enrollment and can get coverage, and offering States 
more flexibility to innovate, as the Affordable Care Act intended, 
while maintaining those essential health benefits, like maternity care, 
protecting people with preexisting conditions, and the elderly. It does 
all this while making sure that costs do go down for our families and 
preventing insurers from double-dipping and getting the benefit of both 
cost reduction and higher premiums. If there are ways to do this even 
more, to make sure patients come first and insurers can't pad their 
profits, I, as I know Senator Alexander is, as well, am open to that.
  Chairman Alexander just took some time to lay out the policies we are 
putting forward in this legislation. So I will not go into those 
details. But I do want to take a few minutes to focus on what this 
legislation would mean for the people we are all here to serve because 
what is really at stake is that patients and families across the 
country are now looking ahead to next year, and they are realizing they 
are about to pay the price for the uncertainty and partisanship we have 
seen, especially from this administration, on healthcare over the last 
9 months.
  To many of those families, that out-of-pocket cost-reduction payment 
we are debating in Congress has nothing to do with politics and has 
everything to do with whether they will be able to make ends meet at 
the end of the month. Now the law is very clear that these payments are 
required, but with the President's decision to stop them, families are 
looking to this Congress and the administration and asking what we plan 
to do.
  So I am very glad that Democrats and Republicans agreed that we need 
to act. We could do much better working together under regular order 
rather than doubling down on partisanship and dysfunction. As a result 
of the hard work of Chairman Alexander and members of our HELP 
Committee and with input from half of the Senate, we were able to put 
forward an answer--a bipartisan solution that prevents families from 
paying the price of sabotage and uncertainty and one that Members on 
both sides of the aisle can be proud to support, starting with the list 
of original cosponsors we are revealing today. Senator Alexander listed 
the 12 Republicans. The 12 Democrats are Senators Murray, King, 
Shaheen, Donnelly, Klobuchar, Heitkamp, Franken, Manchin, Carper, 
Baldwin, McCaskill and Hassan.
  We are doing this today not only because it will help protect our 
families from premium spikes that are set to kick off in the next year 
but because it sends a powerful message that, when Members of Congress 
decide to get past our talking points and take a few steps out of our 
partisan corners, there is a lot we can agree on and a lot we can get 
done.
  Chairman Alexander and I are going to continue to make the case for 
this agreement. We are already getting a promising response from many 
Members on both sides of the aisle. I am very appreciative of Senator 
Schumer for his strong support and I am optimistic that, with Chairman 
Alexander working on this, we will continue to build momentum and, as 
he said, we will get this done.
  At the end of the day, this isn't about Republicans or Democrats. It 
is about doing the right thing for the people we serve. That means 
having an answer to the premium spikes that are going to set in and 
burden our families next year. We have been able to find one. It is 
bipartisan. We both gave on this. I really hope all of our colleagues 
will work with us to get this signed into law and show the American 
public that we can get the job done for them and we understand the 
priorities of this country.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, if I could ask a question, through the 
Chair, to the Senator from Washington.
  In my conversations with President Trump, he has made it clear--and 
several of my colleagues have made it clear on the Republican side--
that they don't want to bail out insurance companies. What I responded 
is that I 100-percent agree.
  I have already said this to the President, but I think it is 
important for our colleagues to know that probably the most heated 
debate Senator Murray and I had was not over whether we agreed with 
that but on how to actually do it in the most effective, strongest, 
toughest way possible.
  So I wish to emphasize the point that these payments are designed to 
help low-income Americans pay their copays and deductibles. We have in 
our agreement about a page and a half of language that requires every 
State to make sure the benefits of those payments go to the consumers 
in 2018 and not to the insurance companies.
  I wish to ask Senator Murray if she sees any disagreement at all 
between her and me, and most of our colleagues on that side of the 
aisle and over here, about whether we want to bail out insurance 
companies or whether we

[[Page S6609]]

would be willing to consider any effective language that would improve 
our own language.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I would respond to my colleague, through 
the Chair, that negotiations are always tough. There are things you 
disagree on, and you have to work your way to an answer. The one issue 
we did not disagree on but we worked the hardest on and had the most 
discussion on was how we make sure we have the language in place on 
this--that consumers benefit and it is not a bailout for insurers. We 
absolutely share that point, and I know we both heard from Members on 
both sides of the aisle that they share that point.
  We have strong language in here, but we are still open together to 
make it stronger under anybody's suggestion because our intent is to 
make sure our constituents get the result of this. We are together on 
that and working on that. I, absolutely, disregard anyone who says this 
is a bailout for insurers because they haven't read the bill, if they 
have seen it.
  I thank Senator Alexander for his attention, discussions, and hard 
work to reach this point.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska.
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, before I speak on an amendment that is 
expected to be voted on later this afternoon, I wish to take just a 
brief moment and thank my colleagues, the Chairman of the HELP 
Committee and his ranking member, Senator Murray. The work they have 
done to knit together this compromise--and we all recognize it is a 
compromise--is such an important one, and it comes at such an important 
time.
  It is not only good from a policy perspective to ensure that we don't 
pull out the underpinnings on the individual market here, but it is 
good, from the perspective of the health of our institution, to be able 
to demonstrate that, at a time when things are a little tense, let's 
just say, on issues that are highly emotional, highly personal, and 
highly, highly complex, we can come together and we can demonstrate the 
ability to govern. It doesn't come without great patience and 
persistence, and these two individuals, these two leaders, have really 
helped guide us here in the Senate to find a better path, not only when 
it comes to how we deal with access to healthcare, reducing costs, 
reducing premiums, and providing for better levels of care but also a 
better path for the Senate.
  So I want to acknowledge and show my genuine appreciation for their 
leadership.
  Mr. President, as chairman of the Energy Committee, I come to the 
floor today to urge every Member here to vote against amendment No. 
1301, which will be voted on later on this afternoon.
  The fiscal year 2018 budget resolution instructs the Energy Committee 
to raise $1 billion over the next decade. That is all that it does. It 
just says: Go out and find $1 billion over the next decade.
  I appreciate Chairman Enzi's willingness to include this instruction, 
and I have every confidence that our committee will be able to meet the 
instruction. There are good reasons why we should be able to meet it, 
and, really, very good reasons why we should oppose an amendment that 
would preemptively strike it.
  I think it is fair to say that we have opportunities within the 
energy sector to help advance this country when it comes to our energy 
security, our national security, and our economic security. But we need 
to be able to move forward with that.
  So what we are able to do within this instruction, which is pretty 
wide open, is to focus on those areas where we might be able to see 
increased energy production that could bring us new wealth--that could 
create new wealth in this country.
  I am going to be the first to agree that some of our options within 
this open instruction are better than others. Some will create jobs. 
Some may end jobs. Some will reduce energy costs as opposed to raising 
them. Some will increase our energy and mineral security as opposed to 
sacrifice or selling it off.

  What I hope Members will do is look at this instruction as an 
opportunity to do something constructive for the country. The best 
example of that is to expand energy development in our Federal areas 
where we have seen decline in recent years.
  I think we recognize that responsible development not only will 
reduce our immediate deficits, but it is about jobs and job creation. 
It is about wealth and wealth creation, about allowing us to build new 
wealth and create prosperity. It will help energy affordability for our 
families and businesses. That is something I hear about all the time. 
It will strengthen our national security and our competitiveness.
  This is a point that needs to be emphasized over and over again. It 
is not only energy security, but it is national security. When we are 
dependent on other nations for our energy resources, there is an energy 
insecurity and vulnerability. We also realize energy production will 
ensure the type of growth we need to finally begin reducing the Federal 
debt, which is now over $20 trillion.
  In short, what we will be able to do with this energy instruction is 
allow us to create new wealth. Why wouldn't that be something we would 
all embrace? I think the instruction will allow us to see some enduring 
benefits that will be felt all across our country. I think it is 
important to recognize and to state that this does not come at the 
expense of our environment. This is not an either/or proposition. 
Anyone familiar with modern development can recognize that as the scare 
tactic it is.
  Senator Sullivan, my colleague from the State of Alaska, was on the 
floor earlier this morning, and he spoke to the outdated, stale 
arguments we have heard repeated on the floor and why we must reject 
them.
  The amendment we have in front of us, 1301, simply strikes the 
section in the resolution that would provide for the Energy Committee 
instruction. The purpose perhaps takes it a little bit further in 
mentioning and bringing out the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, ANWR. 
There has been a lot of discussion on the floor about ANWR already.
  Senator Sullivan, when he spoke earlier, spoke to the broader 
opportunities we have seen in the Arctic with Arctic development in 
general. I want to raise a few facts about ANWR more specifically, 
since it clearly has been put out there for discussion.
  As an Alaskan, and one who has been part of these debates for many 
years now, not only on the Senate floor but in Alaska, we know what we 
are talking about when we discuss the issue of Arctic development. We 
know and understand what ANWR is, where the wilderness area is, and 
what the 1002 area is.
  I think it is important to put it into context. ANWR is an area of 
19.3 million acres. It is about the size of the State of South 
Carolina. Included in this ANWR area are 8 million acres of Federal 
wilderness. You have wilderness area, you have refuge area, but you 
have nonwilderness area designated as the 1002 area. That is this area 
on the coastal plain. This is an area of 1.5 million acres. Delaware is 
about 1.3 million acres. The 1002 area is what was specifically set 
aside under ANILCA that would allow for consideration for its oil and 
gas potential. When ANWR was established, it was recognized that there 
were areas that were appropriate for wilderness, and there were areas 
that were appropriate to be reviewed and considered for their 
exploration and production potential.
  That is what we are talking about within the 1002 area. Even within 
this area that was specifically set aside, we are not asking to develop 
all of the 1002. We are asking to develop just 2,000 Federal acres 
within it, effectively one ten-thousandths of the refuge area.
  You can't see it, but that little red dot is basically what we are 
talking about. We can say this. We can say we don't need to do more 
than 2,000 acres, in this 19.3 million-acre area that has been set 
aside specifically for oil and gas production, because of what has 
happened over the decades with regard to our technologies, how we have 
worked to reduce the footprint since Prudhoe Bay opened over 40 years 
ago. Well pads on the North Slope have shrunk by over 80 percent in 
these intervening years. We are talking now about pad areas that are 12 
acres in size--10, 11, 12 acres in size.
  We have reduced the footprint dramatically, but what we have expanded

[[Page S6610]]

dramatically is the subsurface reach. The new technologies have allowed 
us to increase the ability to reach out under the surface to an area 
125 square miles--125 miles. We have increased it by 4,000 percent, in 
the years we have been producing, exploring, and innovating up north, 
due to the technologies we use for exploration. Senator Sullivan showed 
the ice roads we use that reduce the impact on the surface and avoid 
the need for permanent roads.
  We use forward looking infrared cameras to survey for polar bear dens 
so we can avoid them. There was actually a story just this spring about 
a polar bear that was denning. We found where she was by using the 
technologies that we know and literally working around where that polar 
bear was until she emerged from her den with her cub in the spring. It 
is working with the technologies we have to allow for the activity but 
with minimal disturbance to not only the land but to the wildlife 
there.
  Caribou. We all know about the caribou in the North Slope area. What 
we have learned is that over the years, the caribou that occupy these 
areas have not suffered. In fact, they have thrived. When oil 
development first began, we were looking at herds in the numbers of 
about 5,000. Just this last year, the caribou herd is numbering about 
22,000, and it has maintained steady and substantial levels.
  When you understand what the 1002 area really is and what development 
would actually look like, it is not hard to understand why you have 
Alaskans' support. Over 70 percent of Alaskans support responsible 
development there.
  I want to give you one of the best examples. Matthew Rexford is the 
president of Kaktovik Inupiat Corporation, KIC, which is a member of 
the Voice of the Arctic Inupiat. This is a group of community leaders 
from our North Slope. He wrote a great opinion piece not too long ago, 
explaining why he supports responsible development in the 1002 area.
  I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record Matthew 
Rexford's op-ed.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

          [From the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Oct. 2, 2017]

                  Alaskans Say Yes to Drilling in ANWR

                          (By Matthew Rexford)

       The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is the largest wildlife 
     refuge in America. Spanning more than 19 million acres, it's 
     an area larger than 10 U.S. states. This vast expanse is home 
     to caribou, fox, bears and other species. Much of that land 
     is also home to the Native Inupiat, and our people have used 
     the resources it has blessed us with for more than 10,000 
     years. One of those natural resources lies beneath this great 
     land--oil and gas, and lots of it.
       The debate over opening ANWR to drilling gained headway 
     nationally in 1980, when President Jimmy Carter set aside 
     less than 8 percent of the refuge for potential oil and gas 
     development. This section of ANWR became known as the 1002 
     area, after a section of the Alaska National Interest Lands 
     Conservation Act.
       Since then, Alaskans and the oil and gas industry have 
     fought unsuccessfully to open the 1002 area to drilling, 
     which literally requires an act of Congress. At the same 
     time, Lower 48 lawmakers, special interest groups across the 
     country, folks and organizations around the world have waged 
     war on the idea, citing the disruption of wildlife and the 
     pristine Arctic environment.
       As ANWR debates occur, the views of the Inupiat who call 
     the area home are oftentimes left out. The wishes of the 
     people who live in and around the refuge's coastal plain 
     frequently are drowned out by people who live hundreds--even 
     thousands--of miles away, many of whom have never bothered to 
     set foot anywhere near the Arctic. Well, today is a new day.
       Voice of the Arctic Inupiat, an organization with 21 
     members from across the Arctic Slope region, including 
     members from Kaktovik located inside ANWR, have voted 
     unanimously to pass a resolution supporting oil and gas 
     development in the 1002 area. This is an unprecedented show 
     of unity by community leaders of the North Slope--those who 
     live in and around the coastal plain of the refuge--and 
     should send a clear message to America that we support 
     development of a portion of the coastal plain.
       My fellow Inupiat and I firmly believe in a social license 
     to operate, and perhaps no other potential project in the 
     history of America has called for such a blessing from local 
     indigenous peoples more than this one.
       When oil was first discovered on our land in 1969, the 
     Inupiat were worried of industry activities and fought hard 
     for self-determination to protect our subsistence resources. 
     So we fully understand the trepidation from outsiders: the 
     fear that the presence of industry on the coastal plain of 
     ANWR could disrupt wildlife and affect America's manufactured 
     perspective of our land and culture.
       However, we also have the benefit of decades of experience 
     working with the oil and gas industry to implement stringent 
     regulations to protect our lands, and the industry 
     consistently has lived up to our standards. Prudhoe Bay, the 
     largest oil field on the continent, located 60 miles west of 
     the coastal plain of ANWR, has demonstrated for four decades 
     that resource development and ecological preservation can 
     coexist in the Arctic.
       The oil and gas industry supports our communities by 
     providing jobs, business opportunities and infrastructure 
     investments, has built our schools and hospitals, and has 
     provided other basic services most Americans may take for 
     granted. Our region recognizes its importance to our local 
     and state economy, and we believe that development can be 
     done responsibly in a portion of the 1002 area. We are not 
     alone.
       During the past 35 years, the Alaska Legislature has 
     consistently passed resolution after resolution supporting 
     the opening of ANWR to drilling. During that same time, each 
     Alaska member of Congress and every Alaska governor has 
     supported responsible development of the 1002 area.
       More recently, in January, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski 
     introduced Senate Bill 49--the Alaska Oil and Gas Production 
     Act--to allow development of 2,000 surface acres in the 
     refuge's coastal plain. This legislation served as the 
     catalyst for the Inupiat people coming together to make an 
     informed, united decision on whether or not to support 
     drilling in ANWR.
       As Inupiat, we stand to be unarguably the most affected by 
     oil and gas activity in the Arctic. Therefore, we have the 
     greatest stake in seeing that any and all development keeps 
     our land and subsistence resources safe. We know it can be 
     done, because it's being done.
       Now is the time to open ANWR to drilling.

  Ms. MURKOWSKI. In part, Matthew states:

       As ANWR debates occur, the views of the Inupiat who call 
     the area home are oftentimes left out. The wishes of the 
     people who live in and around the refuge's coastal plain 
     frequently are drowned out by people who live hundreds--even 
     thousands--of miles away, many of whom have never bothered to 
     set foot anywhere near the Arctic. Well, today is a new day.

  He goes on to speak to the Voice of the Arctic Inupiat, which has 
members from across the Arctic Slope who have voted unanimously to pass 
a resolution supporting oil and gas development in the 1002 area. He 
goes on further to state:

       When oil was first discovered on our land in 1969, the 
     Inupiat were worried of industry activities and fought hard 
     for self-determination to protect our subsistence resources. 
     So we fully understand the trepidation from outsiders: the 
     fear that the presence of industry on the coastal plain of 
     ANWR could disrupt wildlife and affect America's manufactured 
     perspective of our land and culture.
       However, we also have the benefit of decades of experience 
     working with the oil and gas industry to implement stringent 
     regulations to protect our lands, and the industry 
     consistently has lived up to our standards. Prudhoe Bay, the 
     largest oil field on the continent, located 60 miles west of 
     the coastal plain of ANWR, has demonstrated for four decades 
     that resource development and ecological preservation can co-
     exist in the Arctic.
       The oil and gas industry supports our communities by 
     providing jobs, business opportunities and infrastructure 
     investments, has built our schools and hospitals, and has 
     provided other basic services most Americans may take for 
     granted. Our region recognizes its importance to our local 
     and state economy, and we believe that development can be 
     done responsibly in a portion of the 1002 area. We are not 
     alone.

  I am with Matthew and a strong majority of Alaskans are. These are 
the voices we need to be listening to. My answer on this discussion is 
yes. Opening the nonwilderness 1002 area to development is an option to 
meet the instructions to the Energy Committee, but it is not the only 
option. I will tell you, it is the best option, and it is on the table.
  We should be clear, amendment No. 1301 is not a vote to open the 1002 
area or to keep it closed. It is about whether this instruction should 
stay in the budget resolution, and it is about whether we are going to 
recognize the substantial benefits that await us or whether we are 
going to ignore our future energy needs and once again wind up in a 
situation where we see prices rising, families hurting, and everyone is 
wondering: Why didn't you act when you had a chance?
  I think we all recognize that we are enjoying some benefits of lower 
energy prices, and some have suggested here: Hey, we are all fine. We 
don't need to do anything. A few have even said that

[[Page S6611]]

because we are exporting oil now, we don't need to do more for 
ourselves here. It is truly an open invitation to ignore the supply 
side. That is just a bad idea. Quite honestly, we have been down that 
road before, and we know enough not to be in that place again.
  The EIA, the Energy Information Administration, projects that in 
2040, the world will be using more oil, not less. They project that our 
country will still be importing about 7 million barrels a day on a net 
basis. They project prices will be back above $100 a barrel. There are 
other experts who are already pointing to other signs. The 
International Energy Agency recently found that ``global oil supply 
could struggle to keep pace with demand after 2020, risking a sharp 
increase in prices, unless new projects are approved soon.''
  My point here is we have an opportunity. We have an opportunity not 
only to help America create jobs, to allow for opportunities not only 
in my home State but around the country, we have an opportunity to 
ensure a level of energy security while at the same time broadening 
this to enhance our national security.
  So what I am asking my colleagues today is to not preempt this very 
important conversation. Give us a chance to consider this instruction 
within our committee. We will have an opportunity for hearings, and we 
will be able to put these options out on the table and understand more 
fully how we can do more when it comes to energy production in this 
country. Let the Energy and Natural Resources Committee do its part in 
helping. Let's not pull the plug even before we get going.
  Given everything that we have heard here on the floor about 
strengthening our economy and protecting the middle class and making 
life better for people whom we serve, I think we really have to ask the 
very legitimate question: Why? Why would one leave energy out of this 
debate? Why would we limit our opportunity to create new wealth in this 
country?
  I would again urge the Senate to reject this amendment. It would 
deprive us of a substantial opportunity to benefit our country and 
ensure that we have great prospects and possibilities in front of us.
  The Energy and Natural Resources Committee wanted to see this 
instruction in the budget resolution. I have every confidence that we 
can meet it, so I would urge Members to vote no on the motion to strike 
when that comes up later today.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Delaware.


                Amendment No. 1138 to Amendment No. 1116

  Mr. COONS. Mr. President, I join my colleague from the State of 
Virginia, Senator Warner, in offering an amendment that will prevent 
tax reform from ballooning our deficits.
  The Republican budget, which we are currently considering, includes a 
troubling provision that would exempt a $1.5 trillion tax reform bill 
from the important requirement that legislation that adds costs to the 
U.S. Government must be paid for rather than merely added to our 
deficit. This rule, well known to our colleagues, is one by which I am 
troubled to see a number of my longtime friends choose to ignore this 
time around--a rule long known in the Senate as the pay-as-you-go rule, 
or pay-go. It is an important rule that forces Congress to be 
responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars. It forces Congress to find 
ways to actually pay for new programs or find offsets for reductions in 
revenue rather than to add to our national debt. It is the right 
policy, and it has been in place for years. So it is, frankly, jarring 
that this budget document would include a provision that explicitly 
exempts a $1.5 trillion tax reform bill from the pay-go rule.
  Look, I agree that we need to work together toward a bipartisan tax 
reform bill, one that reduces taxes on the middle class and simplifies 
our overly complicated Tax Code, but we cannot simply pass a budget 
that allows Congress to put $1.5 trillion more on the government's 
credit card, on our credit card.
  I thank Senator Warner for his long leadership on the need for 
fiscally responsible governing. Senator Warner is a former Governor and 
a successful business leader, and he understands the importance of 
sound fiscal management and the danger that our national debt poses to 
our long-term economic prosperity. I am proud to work with him and to 
remind our colleagues of the Senate's longstanding support of pay-go. I 
encourage all Members, especially my Republican colleagues, to support 
this amendment.
  Now, with the forbearance of my colleague, I will speak to one other 
amendment for a moment.
  There is an amendment that I have introduced that I know may well not 
get a vote but that I wanted to speak to. It would ensure that, as we 
consider tax reform, we do not forget those who are the most in need of 
our assistance right now and in the future.
  The United States was hit very hard by three hurricanes and many 
wildfires this year. In particular, Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory of 
3.4 million people, was devastated by Hurricane Maria, which was wider 
than the entire island. It caused massive damage and is now resulting 
in a humanitarian crisis. Puerto Rico's 3.4 million people is several 
times more than live in my State of Delaware. It is about the size of 
Connecticut.
  Once we get past this initial crisis and restore power, provide clean 
drinking water, get hospitals functioning, and ensure people have 
housing, then Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the areas of 
Houston, TX, and Miami, FL, as well as areas affected by wildfires in 
all of these other parts of our country will have significant 
rebuilding needs.
  We have representatives of the Governor of Puerto Rico and the 
Governor himself here on the Hill this week to clarify just how much 
more will be needed for the Marshall Plan-style investment to rebuild 
Puerto Rico. I am going to be advocating that we provide further 
support for folks from the Corporation for National and Community 
Service, AmeriCorps volunteers, and NCCC volunteers. Thousands of them 
have served in response to these emergencies. We are going to need 
investments in CDBGs for parks and for infrastructure.
  Before I hand it over to my colleague from Virginia, I want to 
reference a second amendment that would prevent us from moving forward 
with tax reform until we first provide for the needs of Americans who 
have been affected by these disasters and emergencies. I wish we would 
take that up.
  Let me close by thanking my colleague from Virginia for his long 
leadership on the issue of responsible fiscal management for our 
country.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia.
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, let me thank my friend, the Senator from 
Delaware, for his kind comments. More importantly, I thank him for his 
good work that he brings to the issue of fiscal responsibility. Before 
he served here in the Senate, he served as the head of one of the 
largest counties in Delaware. Whether you serve as a county chairman or 
as a Governor, you are used to the notion that you have to pay your 
bills. I very much appreciate his support for this amendment, that of 
keeping pay-go in place.
  Let me also echo that I absolutely support his notion that the 
American citizens in Puerto Rico deserve not to be forgotten and 
deserve to receive the same attention we have bestowed upon Americans 
in Texas or in Florida or in Louisiana or elsewhere around our great 
country when they were victims of national disasters. I hope the 
Senator from Delaware gets a chance to submit his amendment.
  While Puerto Rico is not receiving sufficient attention, there is 
another American territory nearby, the U.S. Virgin Islands, that also 
has those same kinds of challenges. If the Senator gets a chance to 
submit that amendment, I hope he will include the U.S. Virgin Islands 
in there as well.
  Mr. President, I call up amendment No. 1138, which I filed at the 
desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Perdue). The clerk will report.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Virginia [Mr. Warner] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 1138 to amendment No. 1116.

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

[[Page S6612]]

  


  (Purpose: To strike the Senate pay-as-you-go exemption for tax cut 
 reconciliation legislation and the exception to rules preventing any 
      legislation from increasing the deficit over the short-term)

       On page 50, line 8, strike ``, and'' and all that follows 
     through ``ledger,'' on line 9.
       Beginning on page 50, strike line 23 and all that follows 
     through page 51, line 3.
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I rise to speak in favor of my amendment 
to strike language in this budget resolution that would exempt the $1.5 
trillion tax reconciliation instructions from Senate rules that are 
meant to prevent this body from dramatically increasing our debts and 
deficits.
  I know that everybody is coming back from lunch, and they probably 
feel pretty good and do not want to get indigestion, but remember, our 
country is sitting on top of a $20 trillion debt at this point, an 
accumulation in which both parties have unclean hands.
  In the years that I have been in this institution, I have worked with 
my Republican colleagues on issues that try to address debts and 
deficits, but there is the notion that we are about to take on a budget 
resolution this afternoon and start with the premise that the rules 
that are there to try to protect us from being fiscally irresponsible 
are going to be blown off at the outset. To say that we are going to 
start with $1.5 trillion in the hole before we start counting is beyond 
irresponsible.
  I thank my friend, the Senator from Delaware, for joining me in 
offering this amendment.
  Mr. CORNYN. Will the Senator from Virginia yield for a question?
  Mr. WARNER. I am pleased to yield to my friend, the Senator from 
Texas, for a question as long as I still get a chance to finish my 
comments.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I appreciate that. And the Senator from 
Virginia is my friend. We work together closely on the Intelligence 
Committee on a number of matters.
  I just want to ask a pretty basic question, which is whether the 
Senator from Virginia believes that it is possible to improve economic 
growth as a result of tax reform in such a way as it will close that 
$1.5 trillion gap that he is so concerned about. Some economists--ones 
who I believe are people we can depend on--have suggested that as much 
as a four-tenths of 1 percent increase in our GDP will essentially 
improve our economy to the point at which that gap will close to zero, 
and we will actually see true deficit reduction.
  Does the Senator agree with that or disagree?
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Texas for his 
comment.
  Let me say where I might agree with some of Senator Cornyn's 
principles. I believe that we need a more simplified Tax Code. I 
believe that a goal of our Tax Code ought to put American business on a 
competitive basis with those of other countries around the world. I 
believe, as well, that to do that, one of the goals of tax reform ought 
to be to lower corporate rates. I will point out, though, three quick 
things so that I may get back to finishing my comments.
  One, let's actually look at where America's tax burden stands versus 
those of other nations that actually have lower corporate tax rates, 
for example. Out of the 34 OECD nations--35 now--if you were to listen 
to some folks on this floor, you would think that America must rank at 
the top of that list, but we are 31 out of 35.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. All time has expired.
  Mr. CORNYN. Thank you, Mr. President. We will continue our 
conversation.
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent, since I had a few 
moments and I was trying to give courtesy to answer my colleague, for 
an additional 5 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. CORNYN. Just to clarify, is the request for an additional 5 
minutes of debate?
  Mr. WARNER. Five minutes to answer the Senator's question and to make 
my very short statement.
  Mr. CORNYN. I object to any additional time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  All time has expired. The time was until 2 p.m.
  Mr. WARNER. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Mississippi (Mr. Cochran).
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from New Jersey (Mr. 
Menendez) is necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 47, nays 51, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 228 Leg.]

                                YEAS--47

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Merkley
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--51

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young

                             NOT VOTING--2

     Cochran
     Menendez
       
  The amendment (No. 1138) was rejected.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to address the 
Senate as in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I came to the floor today in support of 
the budget resolution for one reason. It is because it provides the 
Senate a path forward on tax reform. I strongly support this effort to 
fix America's burdensome tax system. It is my hope that reform will 
lead to simplifying the Tax Code, strengthening the middle class, and 
ultimately boosting our economy.
  Unfortunately, I cannot offer my support without reservation, so I 
have come to the floor today to explain my concerns and remind my 
colleagues of the important work ahead of us. Even as we support this 
resolution as a means to achieve meaningful tax reform, we must 
acknowledge the fact that the underlying budget contains an 
insufficient level of funding for national defense. As chairman of the 
Senate Armed Services Committee, my highest priority is to ensure that 
our men and women serving in uniform have the training, equipment, and 
resources they need to keep our Nation safe.
  The Senate budget resolution will set fiscal year 2018 defense 
spending at the levels dictated by the Budget Control Act cap. This 
budget is $54 billion less than the President's request and $86 billion 
less than this body authorized just last month in the National Defense 
Authorization Act. We passed the National Defense Authorization Act by 
a vote of 89 to 9, a demonstration of the overwhelming bipartisan 
belief that the Budget Control Act level of defense spending is 
inadequate and unacceptable.
  Let be me clear. There is no BCA-level defense budget that would be 
sufficient to provide our military with what they need to fulfill 
current missions and prepare for future threats.
  For those of us who have been paying attention, we heard the warnings 
of the steady decline of our military. Time and again our senior 
military and civilian defense leaders have sounded the alarm about the 
dangers of the Budget

[[Page S6613]]

Control Act spending caps. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 
our highest uniformed military officer, General Dunford, has warned 
that if we continue on the current path, he assesses that ``within 5 
years, we will lose our ability to project power; the basis of how we 
defend the homeland, and advance U.S. interests, and meet our alliance 
commitments.''
  Make no mistake about what that means. America's military advantage 
is degrading. Without the ability to project power, the United States 
will no longer be a global power. That means that we put at risk not 
only our ability to secure our interests and protect our Nation but 
also the unprecedented era of security and prosperity that American 
global leadership has provided the world.
  I might add for the benefit of my colleagues that former President 
George W. Bush today gave a very strong statement emphasizing this 
problem and the challenge we face. This is the strategic reality we are 
facing in the next 5 years. It should not be a surprise. We have seen 
the steady degradation of the military. The strain of constant 
operational tempo, combined with inadequate and unstable funding has, 
over the past 16 years, worn down the greatest military in the world.
  Just this week, Secretary of Defense Mattis sent a letter to the 
Armed Services Committee expressing his concerns with regard to the 
National Defense Authorization Act that we are currently negotiating 
with the House. The very first thing he said before addressing any of 
the policy changes and reforms in the bill is that his primary concern 
is the Budget Control Act, and we know why--because the defense 
spending caps are doing such immense harms to our military. Secretary 
Mattis wrote:

       As I have testified before your committee, no enemy has 
     done more to harm the warfighting readiness of our military 
     than sequestration.

  I will repeat that for the benefit of my colleagues.

       . . . no enemy has done more to harm the warfighting 
     readiness of our military than sequestration. Current caps 
     continue to unnecessarily defer critical maintenance, limit 
     aviation availability, delay modernization, and strain our 
     men and women in uniform.

  We have seen the evidence of this harm. Over the last few months 
there have been a rash of training accidents, collisions, and crashes. 
We are seeing the tragic accidents in the news far too often.
  Seven sailors were killed when the USS Fitzgerald collided with a 
containership off the coast of Japan.
  A Marine KC-130 crash in Mississippi killed all 16 troops on board.
  An Osprey helicopter crashed off the coast of Australia and that 
resulted in the deaths of three marines.
  An Army helicopter crashed off the coast of Hawaii, with five 
soldiers presumed dead.
  Ten sailors perished when the USS McCain collided with a tanker near 
Singapore.
  An Army Black Hawk helicopter went down during a training mission off 
the coast of Yemen, and one soldier died.
  One soldier died during helicopter training at Fort Hood.
  An amphibious vehicle explosion at Camp Pendleton injured 15 
Americans.
  A demolition accident in Fort Bragg killed one soldier and injured 
seven others.
  Two Navy pilots died in a T-45 crash in Tennessee.
  My friends, we are now losing more of our men and women in uniform in 
totally avoidable training accidents than we are in combat. There is 
plenty of blame to go around for all of these incidents, but we cannot 
ignore the fact that Congress's inability to provide adequate, stable, 
and predictable budgeting has contributed to the troubling state of 
affairs. While increased funding is not the only answer, there is no 
scenario where our military can get healthy and ready to meet the 
challenges of an increasingly unstable world without additional 
resources. There is broad, bipartisan agreement about that from Members 
of the House of Representatives, here in the Senate, and the President. 
Yet we are about to vote for a budget resolution that severely 
underfunds the military because the reality is that we all know that it 
would not impact the actual appropriations. To solve these problems and 
to fulfill our duty to the men and women in uniform we must negotiate a 
bipartisan budget agreement that will lift the caps on defense 
spending. Only then can we rebuild the military, reverse the disturbing 
readiness crisis, and retain our ability to project power and secure 
our interests around the world.
  I remind my colleagues that the fiscal year started 3 weeks ago and 
that the Defense Department is currently operating under a continuing 
resolution. We know the harmful effects it will have on the military. 
That is why getting to work on a budget deal is so urgent. We must 
delay no longer.
  The budget resolution is not meant to provide that broader budget 
agreement. This budget resolution is simply a means to get us to tax 
reform. However, this budget resolution does represent something 
extremely troubling. The Republican Party used to be unified in its 
support for a strong national defense. If our leaders in Congress and 
the White House don't immediately get to work negotiating a deal to 
lift the defense caps and fund the military at a higher level than in 
this budget resolution, I am not sure we will be able to claim that 
mantle any longer.
  I just want to sum up by saying that we have a problem in the 
military today, and that is, whenever there are cuts in defense 
spending, the first thing that goes are the easy ones--the training, 
readiness, the spare parts, the flying hours. Those are the ones that 
get cut first because they are the easiest. Cutting a major weapons 
system or program is extremely difficult.
  So now we have this list, as I just read off, of men and women 
serving in the military and we are responsible, at least partially, for 
their death and injury. Why? Because they are not able to be trained. 
They are not able to be equipped. They are not able to be maintained, 
and 60 percent of the F-18s are not able to fly. We have sailors and 
airmen who are working 100-hour workweeks. We have gigantic problems 
with the ability to simply operate.
  Meanwhile, our adversaries are stepping up their capabilities. 
Obviously, every time we turn around there is another crisis of some 
kind. Look at the world 8 years ago and look at the world today. You 
will find an incredible deterioration of America's position and 
influence in the world. The front page of the Economist magazine this 
week has a picture of the dictator of China and the title is ``The 
world's most powerful man,'' and it is true.
  So here we are with a budget resolution that basically has cut our 
military--that is basically not funding what we need. My friends, I do 
not mean to get emotional, but why should we send these young men and 
women in uniform in harm's way without all they need in order to fight 
and defend this Nation? Right now, they are not ready. Right now, their 
planes can't fly. Right now, they are not able to operate and train. 
They are not ready, and that is not just McCain's word. That is our 
military leaders' words and those of some of the most respected people 
in America and in the world. General Mattis, General McMaster, and 
General Kelly will all tell you the same thing.
  We are sending our young men and women into hazardous situations 
without their being completely equipped and capable of defending 
themselves. That is wrong. What greater responsibility do we have than 
to the men and women who are serving us in uniform today? Four just 
died in Niger. How many of the 100 Members of this body knew that we 
even had an operation in Niger? I will not go into the details, in 
deference to the family, but this is wrong, what we are doing. We saw 
it in the 1970s, and now we are seeing it again. It was Mark Twain who 
said: ``History doesn't repeat itself, but it often rhymes.'' It is 
beginning to rhyme, and if we don't, with this resolution that we are 
going through, increase our spending to the level as authorized by the 
National Defense Authorization Act, then we will bear some 
responsibility for what happens.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Rounds). The Senator from Michigan.
  Mr. PETERS. Mr. President, later today the majority is going to 
attempt to pass a budget for 2018. Passing a budget has come to mean 
all sorts of things in Congress these days. Last year's budget was an 
attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. This budget is supposedly 
all about tax reform. However, a budget, first and foremost,

[[Page S6614]]

should be a statement about priorities for the coming year and for the 
coming decade.
  Let's take a moment and examine what this budget says about the 
majority's priorities. With any budget, I think you need to look at the 
end result and ask a couple of very simple questions.
  First, does this budget help reduce Federal deficits and debt with a 
responsible, sensible approach? Second, does this budget, ultimately, 
put us on a sustainable fiscal path?
  The answer to these questions is a clear no. Instead, this budget is 
primarily intended to allow the majority to use an expedited procedure 
to move tax breaks that would increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion 
over the next decade.
  My colleagues on the other side of the aisle will say that this lost 
revenue is offset by spending cuts and promises of new revenues from 
economic growth far beyond what almost every single mainstream 
economist predicts.
  Let's look at the trillions in cuts that the majority is proposing. 
Where the budget is specific, it is bad. Medicaid is cut by $1 
trillion. Medicare, which provides essential healthcare services to our 
seniors, is cut by $470 billion. On top of that, the budget includes 
over $3 trillion in unspecified cuts.
  You don't have to be an expert in the Federal budget to know that $3 
trillion in unspecified cuts means one of two things. They are either, 
No. 1, cuts to programs that families and communities rely on, like 
Head Start, Pell grants, and transportation funding, or, No. 2, they 
are unspecified because they are simply never going to happen.
  That is what we are voting on today. There is nearly $1.5 trillion in 
cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, and then there are trillions in cuts 
that are either so unpopular that no one dares name what they are or 
trillions more in deficits because there is not a plan.
  The Federal budget is about choices. You can learn a lot about which 
choices a budget puts in black and white and which are left 
deliberately unspecified. When it comes to the majority's tax plan, we 
know only a few details, but we know enough to see where there will be 
winners and where there will be losers. The winners will be the 
wealthiest Americans in our country and global corporations.
  We also need to look at what it means for Michigan families and small 
businesses, but there is a deliberate lack of detail that makes 
figuring out what the bottom line is for working families impossible. 
We don't know where the tax brackets will start and where they will 
stop. We don't know what personal exemptions families will be able to 
take. We don't know the size and the scope of the child tax credit. We 
don't know if important incentives for charitable contributions will be 
kept. The majority is even keeping open the possibility of raising 
taxes on Americans who are trying to save for their retirement.
  This budget should be straightforward. We should reduce the tax 
burden on middle class families. We should make it simpler for 
Americans to file and understand their taxes. We should make it easier 
for them to save for retirement. We should increase take-home pay for 
Americans that work hard each and every day to make a living.
  Unfortunately, none of these details that are important for middle-
class folks were important enough to include in this budget. That is 
why I will vote against it. I urge my colleagues to do the same.
  We cannot add another $1.5 trillion to the deficit. We cannot slash 
Medicare and Medicaid. This is simply the wrong direction for our 
country.
  So why are we moving forward with this budget at all? Well, on this 
issue, I think the administration has been clear. Passing this budget 
is all about passing a so-called tax reform bill. However, passing this 
budget is not a requirement for passing tax reform. Passing this budget 
is only a requirement to pass a tax bill with as few votes as 
possible--without input or buy-in from Members of the minority. This is 
not the way we should pass real tax reform. If tax reform is going to 
be successful, it must have broad bipartisan input. I stand ready to 
work with my colleagues on real tax reform.

  Modernizing and streamlining our Tax Code can boost Michigan 
businesses, raise take-home pay for workers across sectors, and help 
create the type of 21st century economy we need.
  We can make it easier for small businesses, including manufacturers 
and family farms, to invest in themselves, and we can make the code 
fair across sectors. We can establish incentives for smart investment 
in our communities. We can implement strong, enforceable rules to 
prevent companies from gaming our tax system and moving profits and 
jobs overseas.
  For families, we can meaningfully boost take-home pay. We can expand 
the child tax credit and earned-income tax credit, and we can work 
together to find real ways to help alleviate the cost of child care. We 
can lessen the burden of student debt, and we can help people save for 
retirement.
  Tax reform can help create more good jobs right here at home, fix 
some of the issues in the code that drive jobs and companies overseas, 
and put more money in the pockets of working families.
  In 1986, Congress passed the most dramatic reform of the Federal Tax 
Code in modern history. How many votes did this sweeping overhaul of 
the tax system get? When tax reform ultimately passed the Senate in 
1986, it received 97 votes.
  If we want to repeat that accomplishment and truly overhaul our code 
to make it work better for American families and American businesses, 
that level of bipartisanship should be our goal, not 50 or 51.
  I know we can do these things in a truly bipartisan manner if we are 
just given the chance. Let's work together to pass real tax reform with 
broad support from both sides of the aisle. The American people deserve 
nothing less.
  I stand ready to work with the majority, and so do my colleagues. I 
urge the majority to abandon this effort and start over. Make the 
decision not to add trillions more to the deficit. Make the decision 
not to cut Medicare and Medicaid for Americans in need. Start over. 
Let's find a path forward to find real, lasting, bipartisan solutions.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, budget resolutions set general spending 
priorities for the Federal Government. The budget resolution before us 
today, however, sets a path for so-called tax reform that will benefit 
the wealthiest among us on the backs of hard-working Americans. For all 
their talk of reining in spending and reducing the debt, the majority 
is promoting a budget that will explode the debt by $1.5 trillion. They 
propose increasing the debt not to invest in our infrastructure or in 
educating the next generation. They propose increasing the debt not to 
expand access to healthcare or promote medical research. No--they 
propose exploding the debt to give corporations and the top one percent 
a tax cut. Once again, they majority is turning away from the 
bipartisan traditions of this Senate and toward the hyperpartisan 
tactics that do not result in progress for the American people.
  This budget invests in millionaires and billionaires like the Trump 
family, the Koch brothers, wealthy corporations, and the top 1 percent. 
It turns its back on millions of hard-working American families. While 
the resolution authorizes a $1.5 trillion increase in the debt, 
independent experts calculate that the real cost of the Trump tax plan 
will far exceed that amount. How will the majority pay for the 
difference? It will slash Medicaid, a proposal already rejected by the 
Senate this year. It will slash Medicare. It will slash programs for 
veterans and infrastructure.
  It will be middle-class Americans who bear the brunt of these cuts. 
According to independent analysts, middle-class Americans will see 
their home values drop and will experience a tax increase as a result 
of the Trump tax plan. This shameful budget sends the message that the 
Senate supports putting tax cuts for the wealthy and biggest 
corporations on our Nation's credit card and, to the extent we pay for 
any of it, that we do so on the backs of the middle class and seniors 
and at the expense of protecting the environment. This budget proposes 
invading the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. These are not Vermont 
values. These are not American values. This is not how our Nation 
became the greatest country on Earth.

[[Page S6615]]

  After years of claiming that the deficit is one of the greatest 
threats to our country, the majority today will waive away any concern 
about the long-term impact of increasing it. They argue that the 
economic growth spurred by these tax cuts will outpace the foregone 
revenue, but as we saw with the Bush tax cuts, this claim is simply not 
based in reality. This argument is based on a pyramid scheme of 
assumptions on top of assumptions, and while we should be taking a 
close look at the Congressional Budget Office's projections--a range of 
both dynamic and conventional scores--this budget resolution eliminates 
the only existing mechanism that requires the Senate to have a CBO 
estimate in advance of a vote. Why might the majority want to rush a 
vote before examining the long-term economic impacts of these proposed 
tax cuts?
  Our Tax Code is complex--very much, overly complex--and I share the 
view that it is in need of improvement and simplification. We can and 
should have a meaningful debate about tax reform, but any reforms must 
be certain to benefit middle-class Americans, not just the top 1 
percent. We need to strengthen tax credits that promote community 
development and the construction of affordable housing. We should 
extend and make permanent tax credits that help those who are 
struggling to make ends meet. I am in favor of bipartisan tax reform 
that brings both parties together and results in balanced changes to 
the current system. That is in the best tradition of the Senate, and it 
is the path to enacting truly meaningful reforms that will benefit 
every single American.
  The Senate should reject this partisan effort, just as it rejected 
last month the unsuccessful partisan efforts to roll back health 
coverage for millions of Americans. We should--and can--work together 
to craft a balanced and sustainable budget and tax reform package. No 
package will be perfect, but it should be bipartisan. It should be 
fair. The budget before us today fails to meet that test, which is why 
I will oppose it.
  Mr. CARPER. Mr. President, last week, people across this country 
celebrated National Wildlife Refuge Week--and rightfully so. National 
Wildlife Refuges are one of the crown jewels of our Federal public 
lands network. These refuges provide essential habitat for some of our 
most imperiled species, including many impacted by climate change. 
Millions of refuge visitors also fuel local and regional economies by 
generating billions of dollars in sales.
  This week, the Senate is considering a budget resolution that would 
open one of our refuges, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, to oil 
and gas drilling. Despite tremendous public support for our refuge 
system and the economic benefits that the refuges bring to our local 
economies, efforts to develop these special wild areas are ongoing and 
have been championed by the current administration. The budget 
resolution is another such effort to promote development in a refuge, 
an effort that should be rejected. In some cases, refuges are 
compatible with development and increased human activity. In others, 
development decisions, such as the siting of oil and gas drilling, 
could negatively impact the future of both human and animal 
inhabitants.
  The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, one of the largest remaining 
intact ecosystems in the world, is an example of the latter. The Refuge 
has been home to the Gwich'in people for more than 20,000 years. These 
Native people subsist primarily on caribou. Research shows that oil and 
gas development in the Refuge, even with a small footprint, could 
significantly alter Porcupine Caribou migration patterns and calving 
behavior. These changes would threaten the Gwich'in people's way of 
life. The U.S. 30-year-old treaty with Canada to conserve the Porcupine 
Caribou Herd could also be at risk.
  According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Arctic Refuge is 
the only national conservation area where polar bears regularly den. It 
is the most consistently used polar bear land denning area in Alaska. 
These iconic bears are increasingly vulnerable due to climate change, 
so the undisturbed Refuge land denning area is especially critical for 
their survival. The Refuge also hosts nearly 200 species of migratory 
birds, musk oxen, and wolves.
  As the Senate contemplates the future of this spectacular natural 
area, I want to remind my colleagues that this body has said no to 
opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge dozens of times. With oil 
prices significantly lower than they were earlier this decade and oil 
supplies at historic highs, it is hard to understand why we would 
change course now. The risks far outweigh any benefits, and the 
American public has consistently opposed drilling in the Arctic Refuge.
  I also want to express my strong concerns with possible pending 
administrative action in the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, 
another national treasure. This Refuge is located on the U.S.-Mexico 
border, along the southernmost stretch of the Rio Grande River at the 
confluence of the Central and Mississippi flyways. It is home to more 
than 400 bird species, more than 300 species of butterflies, and more 
than 450 varieties of plants.
  The Santa Ana Refuge supports rare wildlife species, some found only 
deep in south Texas. The Refuge also provides habitat for at least 
eight species protected under the Endangered Species Act, including the 
ocelot. There are less than 50 ocelots left in the United States, so 
this Refuge is essential to the species' recovery.
  The Santa Ana Refuge is also a popular destination for birders and 
hosts more than 165,000 visitors each year. The booming ecotourism 
industry in the area is critical for local economies, which is another 
key reason why we need to ensure this Refuge and its inhabitants can 
thrive.
  U.S Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
planning actions earlier this year suggest that the Trump 
administration may shift existing Federal Homeland Security funds to 
construct a segment of-border wall through the Santa Ana Refuge.
  As I have said before, we already have 650 miles of fencing along our 
southern border with Mexico in the areas where it is most effective. I 
am not unequivocally opposed to physical barriers where they are needed 
and where they can be shown to be the most effective method of border 
security, but the Santa Ana Refuge is not a known problem area for 
border crossing. Furthermore, a wall through the Refuge would 
permanently damage critical habitat, block wildlife migration routes, 
and would likely trap wildlife during floods.
  Again, a wall through the refuge would not yield intended outcomes 
and would harm both wildlife and communities. I urge my colleagues on 
both sides of the aisle to question and oppose construction of this 
wall segment.
  From Alaska to Texas to Delaware, our National Wildlife Refuge System 
is well worth protecting and preserving for future generations. I look 
forward to continued work with my colleagues and constituents to this 
end.
  Thank you.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming.


    Amendments Nos. 1178, 1139, 1205, 1228, 1422, 1234, and 1249 to 
                           Amendment No. 1116

  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the following 
amendments be called up en bloc and reported by number: Flake No. 1178, 
Baldwin No. 1139, Rubio No. 1205, Heitkamp No. 1228, Portman No. 1422, 
Donnelly No. 1234, and Kaine No. 1249.
  I further ask consent that at 3 p.m., all time on the resolution be 
yielded back and the Senate vote in relation to the amendments in the 
order listed; that there be no second-degree amendments in order to 
these seven amendments prior to the votes; finally, that there be 2 
minutes equally divided between the managers or their designees prior 
to each vote and that all votes after the first in this series be 10 
minutes in length.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will report the amendments en bloc by number.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Wyoming [Mr. Enzi], for others, proposes 
     amendments numbered 1178, 1139, 1205, 1228, 1422, 1234, and 
     1249 to amendment No. 1116.

  The amendments are as follows:


                           amendment no. 1178

     (Purpose: To make the American tax system simpler and fairer)

       At the end of title III, add the following:

[[Page S6616]]

  


     SEC. 3___. DEFICIT-NEUTRAL RESERVE FUND RELATING TO MAKING 
                   THE AMERICAN TAX SYSTEM SIMPLER AND FAIRER FOR 
                   ALL AMERICANS.

       The Chairman of the Committee on the Budget of the Senate 
     may revise the allocations of a committee or committees, 
     aggregates, and other appropriate levels in this resolution, 
     and make adjustments to the pay-as-you-go ledger, for one or 
     more bills, joint resolutions, amendments, amendments between 
     the Houses, motions, or conference reports relating to 
     changes in Federal tax laws, which may include provisions to 
     make the American tax system simpler and fairer for all 
     Americans, by the amounts provided in such legislation for 
     those purposes, provided that such legislation would not 
     increase the deficit over the period of the total of fiscal 
     years 2018 through 2027.


                           amendment no. 1139

 (Purpose: To prohibit reconciliation legislation that would increase 
                    the deficit or reduce a surplus)

       At the end of subtitle A of title IV, add the following:

     SEC. 41__. SENATE POINT OF ORDER AGAINST RECONCILIATION 
                   LEGISLATION THAT WOULD INCREASE THE DEFICIT OR 
                   REDUCE A SURPLUS.

       (a) Point of Order.--It shall not be in order in the Senate 
     to consider any reconciliation bill, resolution, amendment, 
     amendment between the Houses, motion, or conference report 
     pursuant to section 310 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
     1974 (2 U.S.C. 641) that would cause or increase a deficit or 
     reduce a surplus in either of the following periods:
       (1) The period of the current fiscal year, the budget year, 
     and the ensuing 4 fiscal years following the budget year.
       (2) The period of the current fiscal year, the budget year, 
     and the ensuing 9 fiscal years following the budget year.
       (b) Supermajority Waiver and Appeal in the Senate.--
       (1) Waiver.--This section may be waived or suspended in the 
     Senate only by an affirmative vote of three-fifths of the 
     Members, duly chosen and sworn.
       (2) Appeal.--An affirmative vote of three-fifths of the 
     Members of the Senate, duly chosen and sworn, shall be 
     required in the Senate to sustain an appeal of the ruling of 
     the Chair on a point of order raised under this section.
       (c) Determination of Budget Levels.--For purposes of this 
     section, the levels of deficit increases and reductions in a 
     surplus shall be determined on the basis of estimates 
     provided by the Committee on the Budget of the Senate.


                           Amendment No. 1205

 (Purpose: To establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to tax 
                  cuts for working American families)

       At the end of title III, add the following:

     SEC. 3___. DEFICIT-NEUTRAL RESERVE FUND RELATING TO TAX CUTS 
                   FOR WORKING AMERICAN FAMILIES.

       The Chairman of the Committee on the Budget of the Senate 
     may revise the allocations of a committee or committees, 
     aggregates, and other appropriate levels in this resolution, 
     and make adjustments to the pay-as-you-go ledger, for one or 
     more bills, joint resolutions, amendments, amendments between 
     the Houses, motions, or conference reports relating to 
     increasing per-child Federal tax relief, which may include 
     amending the child tax credit, by the amounts provided in 
     such legislation for those purposes, provided that such 
     legislation would not increase the deficit over either the 
     period of the total of fiscal years 2018 through 2022 or the 
     period of the total of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.


                           amendment no. 1228

  (Purpose: To create a point of order against legislation that would 
   increase taxes on taxpayers whose annual income is below $250,000)

       At the end of title IV, add the following:

     SEC. 4__. POINT OF ORDER AGAINST RAISING TAXES ON TAXPAYERS 
                   WHOSE ANNUAL INCOME IS BELOW $250,000.

       (a) Point of Order.--It shall not be in order in the Senate 
     to consider any bill, joint resolution, motion, amendment, 
     amendment between the Houses, or conference report that 
     raises taxes on taxpayers whose annual income is below 
     $250,000.
       (b) Waiver and Appeal.--Subsection (a) may be waived or 
     suspended in the Senate only by an affirmative vote of three-
     fifths of the Members, duly chosen and sworn. An affirmative 
     vote of three-fifths of the Members of the Senate, duly 
     chosen and sworn, shall be required to sustain an appeal of 
     the ruling of the Chair on a point of order raised under 
     subsection (a).


                           AMENDMENT No. 1422

       (Purpose: To provide for an international tax system that 
     provides or enhances incentives for businesses to invest in 
     America, generate American jobs, retain American jobs, and 
     return jobs to America)
       At the end of title III, add the following:

     SEC. 3 ___. DEFICIT-NEUTRAL RESERVE FUND RELATING TO THE 
                   PROVISION OF INCENTIVES FOR BUSINESSES TO 
                   INVEST IN AMERICA AND CREATE JOBS IN AMERICA.

       The Chairman of the Committee on the Budget of the Senate 
     may revise the allocations of a committee or committees, 
     aggregates, and other appropriate levels in this resolution, 
     and make adjustments to the pay-as-you-go ledger, for one or 
     more bills, joint resolutions, amendments, amendments between 
     the Houses, motions, or conference reports relating to 
     changes in federal tax laws, which may include international 
     tax provisions that provide or enhance incentives for 
     businesses to invest in America, generate American jobs, 
     retain American jobs, and return jobs to America, by the 
     amounts provided in such legislation for those purposes, 
     provided that such legislation would not increase the deficit 
     over either the period of the total of fiscal years 2018 
     through 2022 or the period of the total of fiscal years 2018 
     through 2027.


                           Amendment No. 1234

 (Purpose: To create a point of order against legislation that allows 
  companies that have outsourced jobs to foreign countries to benefit 
                          from any tax breaks)

       At the end of title IV, add the following:

     SEC. 4__. POINT OF ORDER AGAINST ANY TAX BILL ALLOWING 
                   COMPANIES THAT HAVE OUTSOURCED JOBS TO FOREIGN 
                   COUNTRIES TO BENEFIT FROM ANY TAX BREAKS.

       (a) Point of Order.--It shall not be in order in the Senate 
     to consider any bill, joint resolution, motion, amendment, 
     amendment between the Houses, or conference report that 
     permits companies which have outsourced jobs to foreign 
     countries to benefit from any tax breaks.
       (b) Waiver and Appeal.--Subsection (a) may be waived or 
     suspended in the Senate only by an affirmative vote of three-
     fifths of the Members, duly chosen and sworn. An affirmative 
     vote of three-fifths of the Members of the Senate, duly 
     chosen and sworn, shall be required to sustain an appeal of 
     the ruling of the Chair on a point of order raised under 
     subsection (a).


                           amendment no. 1249

    (Purpose: To modify section 4111 to reinstate and strengthen a 
  prohibition on voting on legislation without a Congressional Budget 
                             Office score)

       On page 83, strike lines 12 through 15, and insert the 
     following:

     SEC. 4111. REPEAL OF CERTAIN LIMITATIONS.

       Section 3206 of S. Con. Res. 11 (114th Congress), the 
     concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2016, is 
     repealed.

     SEC. 4112. PROHIBITION ON AGREEING TO CERTAIN AMENDMENTS TO 
                   LEGISLATION WITHOUT A SCORE IN THE SENATE.

       (a) In General.--In the Senate, it shall not be in order to 
     vote on the adoption of a covered amendment to a bill or 
     resolution that requires an estimate under section 402 of the 
     Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (2 U.S.C. 653), unless an 
     estimate described in such section 402 for the covered 
     amendment was made publicly available on the website of the 
     Congressional Budget Office not later than 28 hours before 
     the time the vote commences.
       (b) Covered Amendment Defined.--In this section, the term 
     ``covered amendment'' means an amendment in the nature of a 
     substitute.
       (c) Supermajority Waiver and Appeal.--
       (1) Waiver.--In the Senate, subsection (a) may be waived or 
     suspended only by an affirmative vote of three-fifths of the 
     Members, duly chosen and sworn.
       (2) Appeal.--An affirmative vote of three-fifths of the 
     Members of the Senate, duly chosen and sworn, shall be 
     required to sustain an appeal of the ruling of the Chair on a 
     point of order raised under subsection (a).
  Mr. ENZI. For the information of all Senators, these are the first 
seven amendments we will consider during vote-arama, and we will work 
to get an agreement on a final list of amendments during these votes.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Georgia.
  Mr. PERDUE. Mr. President, I think I am the only one standing between 
this body and a vote on something that 2 years ago I didn't know 
existed, and that is a ``vote-arama'' in local Senate terms. Being an 
outsider to the political process, I find a lot of this very strange.
  I came to Washington, and now I have a new vocabulary. It includes 
things like ``scoring,'' which doesn't have anything to do with sports, 
``vote-arama,'' which doesn't have anything to do with the carnival 
down the road, or ``deficit-neutral reserve fund.'' I am still trying 
to figure out what that is; I see the Presiding Officer is smiling up 
there. Then there are ``points of order.'' There is a vocabulary 
centered around what we are going to be doing this afternoon, but I 
want to speak to the budget process itself.
  First of all, I want to be very clear with my colleagues on both 
sides. I support this budget that we are going to vote on today for one 
very strong reason. It is a vehicle to get to tax reform in the United 
States. I will not speak on taxes today in the few minutes that I have, 
but I do want to speak about the process.
  What we are doing in America right now in the Senate and the 
Congress--and what we have been doing over the

[[Page S6617]]

last 43 years--is losing the right to do the right thing. Let me say 
that again. We are losing the right to do the right thing.
  Just a few weeks ago, we voted without batting an eye for $15 billion 
of allocated funds for the victims of two hurricanes in Florida, Texas, 
and other southern States, with every dime of that money in borrowed 
money. We have to go to China and other places and borrow that money so 
we can spend and do the right thing. That is not an embellishment or an 
exaggeration.
  What about research for the rising, spiraling cost of our healthcare, 
driven by Alzheimer's, cancer, and diabetes? We spend about the same 
amount of money on that as we spend on all foreign aid. Yet, if we were 
to do more, we could cure those heinous diseases and lower our medical 
costs. We can invest in our infrastructure. We can absolutely take care 
of victims of wildfires, and now we have Puerto Rico.
  Tonight we are going to be asked to vote up or down on a supplemental 
bill for some $30 billion-plus for the needs of these catastrophes. We 
have lost the right to do the right thing, which is, of course, to meet 
those needs.
  Here is the biggest one. You just heard my great colleague, Senator 
McCain from Arizona. He is the chairman of the Armed Services 
Committee, of which I am a member. He talked about how decimated our 
military is from a funding standpoint. He talked about readiness. He 
talked about capitalization. But today, we are borrowing every dime we 
spend on our military, on our veterans, and on every domestic 
discretionary program in the United States. That is a fact. Where do we 
get the money when we run out of our own money? We spend every dime of 
our own. By the way, we collected over $3.5 trillion of Federal tax 
revenue last year. It is the largest amount America has ever collected 
in income taxes and total taxes for the Federal Government--the most we 
have ever collected--but all of that money goes to mandatory expenses.
  As a matter of fact, since 2000, under one Republican President and 
one Democratic President, our government has grown from $2.4 trillion 
to $4 trillion. That is not the worst of it. The worst is yet to come. 
We have added in two Presidencies $14 trillion to our Federal debt. Of 
our $20 trillion, $14 trillion of it was added under these two 
Presidents.
  In the next 10 years, the current budget under which we are working 
will add another $11 trillion to our debt.
  Here is the problem. The blue line here is what you heard Senator 
McCain talk about earlier. That is our discretionary spending. It is 
flat. As a matter of fact, between 2009 and today, we have lowered 
discretionary spending by over one-third, by $400 billion. But what has 
happened is that our mandatory expenses have exploded.
  On this chart, this line here, are our mandatory expenses; that is, 
Social Security, Medicare, pension and benefits for Federal employees, 
and the interest on our debt. This is a formula for financial disaster.
  At this point, we already have $20 trillion of debt. Over the next 30 
years, some estimates say that we will have over $130 trillion of 
future commitments, liabilities coming at us like a freight train.
  We are hamstrung because we have a budget process that doesn't work. 
One thing that contributes to this is a process that over the last 43 
years, since the 1974 Budget Act was put in place, which created this 
budget process, the budget has worked only four times in 43 years. It 
has funded the Federal Government only four times. That is not a 
partisan comment; that is an indictment on this body and on the body 
across the hall.
  In any other environment--sports, medicine, business, military--
imagine if you had a process that worked only four times. Imagine if 
you had a tank in World War II, and you are over there, and every 43 
times you fired it, it worked only four times. Imagine what result 
would be.
  What we have here is a system that doesn't work. I am going to try to 
explain that very quickly.
  First, we have committees in the U.S. Senate that involve themselves 
in appropriations and the funding of the Federal Government. Some are 
called authorizing committees. These are committees like the Foreign 
Relations Committee; we have Appropriations. We have all of these 
authorizing committees over here on the left. On the right here are 
Appropriations Committees. Today, these committees have to pass 12 
bills in order to fund the Federal Government.
  Over the last 43 years, out of the 12 bills we have to appropriate to 
fund the government, we have averaged only 2\1/2\ bills. In any other 
world, that can't work. It doesn't work here. So we end up with 179 
continuing resolutions to get us past the end of our fiscal year to 
continue spending at last year's rate, and then we go to an 
``omnibus''--another new term that I had never heard of--at the end of 
the calendar year. Basically, most times, six or eight people will get 
in a room and decide how to spend $1 trillion. This current budget 
deals with, primarily, issues that are not on the mandatory side.
  There is a way forward. There are Members on the other side--and I am 
going to call out one--my good friend from the State of Rhode Island. 
Senator Whitehouse and I and others have been working on this for quite 
some time. He has a great idea: Let's pick a point in the future, make 
the debt a percentage of our GDP, and work backward from there with 
guardrails on what we can do every year.
  There is a budget process we have been working on that creates a 
politically neutral platform that allows both sides, in a bipartisan 
way, to argue and fight over what we think the budget should include, 
because we believe the budget should be a law.
  Today, the budget is only a resolution, which means it is nothing but 
a political statement by the majority party.
  We then go to an authorizing process where the minority party, 
because they weren't asked to play in the budget process--we have an 
authorizing process in which, today, we have over $300 billion of 
Federal expenditures a year that are not authorized, over $300 billion.
  Then we are supposed to go to an appropriations process. As I have 
just said, we have appropriated, on average, over those 43 years, only 
2\1/2\ bills a year instead of 12.
  We can fix this. It is not a partisan issue. We will absolutely fix 
this budget process in a bipartisan way. I am going to vote for this. I 
hope my colleagues will vote for this budget bill so we can go on and 
debate taxes.
  The debt crisis is the No. 1 crisis we face in our country. It keeps 
us from doing the right thing--funding our national defense and taking 
care of our needs.
  I will support this budget today, and I urge my colleagues to do the 
same.
  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. CASSIDY. 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 Our Armed Forces

                       Lieutenant Patrick L. Ruth

  Mr. CASSIDY. Mr. President, this is not about the budget, but it is 
about something that all of us can, unfortunately, understand the 
importance of.
  On Sunday, October 1, U.S. naval aviation instructor, LT Patrick L. 
Ruth, and student naval aviator, LTJG Wallace Burch, were both killed 
when their Goshawk training jet crashed in Tellico Plains, TN. 
Lieutenant Ruth was a native of Louisiana, growing up in Metairie. 
Lieutenant Ruth served in the Navy for 9 years, beginning his career in 
the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at Tulane University. He was 
commissioned in May of 2008. After flight training, he joined Carrier 
Airborne Early Warning Squadron 126, based in Norfolk, VA, in 2012.
  Lieutenant Ruth flew the E-2C Hawkeye as part of the tactical air 
forces of the U.S. Navy. His primary mission was early warning defense 
of the carrier battle group, as well as air strike control, ocean 
surveillance, and search and rescue coordination.
  In April 2015, he moved to Naval Training Squadron 7, based in 
Meridian, MS.
  As an instructor, Lieutenant Ruth trained the next generation of 
naval aviators in strike aviation, basic aircraft maneuvering, and 
landing skills.

[[Page S6618]]

  Lieutenant Ruth was a dedicated naval aviator. As evidence, he earned 
two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals during his distinguished 
career.
  Our brave men and women in uniform take extreme risks every day to 
defend our Nation. The risks are necessary, made to ensure that our 
military is fully prepared to face any threat. We are forever grateful 
for Lieutenant Ruth and those who answer the call of duty to keep us 
safe.
  We must also think of the incredible sacrifices of Lieutenant Ruth's 
family and all military families. They may not be wearing uniforms, but 
they, too, serve our country.
  I had the privilege of speaking with Lieutenant Ruth's family. I 
learned that his younger brother Shane is Active Duty Navy. His older 
brother is retired Navy. His sisters were, and are, so supportive.
  Lieutenant Ruth's parents, David and Mary Ann Ruth, still grieve. How 
could any parent not?
  But to borrow from President Lincoln's letter to a grieving mother:

       I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of 
     your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of 
     the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours 
     to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the alter of freedom.

  Lieutenant Ruth is survived by his parents, David and Mary; his 
fiance, Jessica; and his four siblings. We grieve with you. You are in 
our prayers.
  Lieutenant Patrick Ruth will not be forgotten.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, all time on the 
resolution is yielded back.


                           Amendment No. 1178

  There will now be 2 minutes of debate, equally divided, prior to a 
vote in relation to Flake amendment No. 1178.
  The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. FLAKE. Mr. President, this amendment would set up a deficit-
neutral reserve fund relating to making the American tax system simpler 
and fairer for all Americans.
  Not only do we need to do tax reform, but we need to do it urgently. 
It has been more than 30 years since we have reformed the Tax Code in 
any significant way. We have more preferences and loopholes and 
deductions out there than we know what to do with. In fact, if we total 
all of them together, there are more expenditures in the Tax Code, or 
money avoiding coming to Washington--tax avoidance--than we spend on 
our entire discretionary budget. It is about $1.26 trillion annually.
  So we have to have a code where we lower the rates and broaden the 
base. Broadening the base means going after some of these popular 
loopholes and deductions and preferences that make the Tax Code a lot 
bigger and scarier and more complicated than it should be.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Cassidy). Who yields time in opposition?
  Mr. BROWN. Mr. President, we yield back the time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. All time is yielded back.
  The question is on agreeing to amendment No. 1178.
  Mr. FLAKE. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Mississippi (Mr. Cochran).
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from New Jersey (Mr. 
Menendez) is necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 98, nays 0, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 229 Leg.]

                                YEAS--98

     Alexander
     Baldwin
     Barrasso
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Blunt
     Booker
     Boozman
     Brown
     Burr
     Cantwell
     Capito
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Cassidy
     Collins
     Coons
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cortez Masto
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Feinstein
     Fischer
     Flake
     Franken
     Gardner
     Gillibrand
     Graham
     Grassley
     Harris
     Hassan
     Hatch
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Heller
     Hirono
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kaine
     Kennedy
     King
     Klobuchar
     Lankford
     Leahy
     Lee
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCain
     McCaskill
     McConnell
     Merkley
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Paul
     Perdue
     Peters
     Portman
     Reed
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sanders
     Sasse
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Scott
     Shaheen
     Shelby
     Stabenow
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Tester
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wicker
     Wyden
     Young

                             NOT VOTING--2

     Cochran
     Menendez
       
  The amendment (No. 1178) was agreed to.


                           Amendment No. 1139

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There will now be 2 minutes of debate, equally 
divided, prior to a vote in relation to Baldwin amendment No. 1139.
  The Senator from Wisconsin.
  Ms. BALDWIN. Mr. President, I rise to speak to Baldwin amendment No. 
1139. Wisconsin families need a tax break, and that is what I am 
working for. This budget will fast-track enormous tax breaks for the 
wealthiest few. It increases the deficit and puts Medicare and Medicaid 
on the chopping block to pay for it.
  I don't think it is right to ask the middle class to pay for tax 
breaks for the top 1 percent with cuts to Medicare and Medicaid and 
rising deficits--deficits that will surely be used by my Republican 
colleagues to continue to justify an unwillingness to invest in the 
essential pillars of economic security for families.
  The entire reason reconciliation was created was for deficit 
reduction, which the majority claims to care so much about. My 
amendment is very simple. It would reinstate a point of order, known as 
the Conrad rule, against reconciliation legislation that increases the 
deficit. Let's not use reconciliation to add to our deficit.
  I urge my colleagues to support my commonsense amendment that has 
been cosponsored by Senators Warner, Whitehouse, Kaine, Coons, King, 
Wyden, and Van Hollen.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming.
  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, I urge my colleagues to oppose this 
amendment, which would create an uneven playing field for the upcoming 
congressional reconciliation. If adopted, this amendment would 
reinstate a point of order from the fiscal year 2008 budget resolution, 
which Congress repealed 2 years ago. It was repealed to ensure equal 
treatment of all reconciliation bills by restoring the level playing 
field that had existed prior to the adoption of the point of order in 
2008. That was used under the Byrd rule.
  The Byrd rule specifically does not require such budget neutrality 
inside the budget window. Why? Because reconciliation was designed to 
be neutral in its orientation. The Budget Act states that 
reconciliation instructions must enumerate changes in spending and 
revenue amounts. It does not stipulate those changes must be increases 
or decreases.
  The fiscal year 2016 budget resolution restored the longstanding 
neutrality principle of the Byrd rule. It was the right thing to do 
then, and we should reaffirm that position today. I urge my colleagues 
to oppose this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
  The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  Mr. ENZI. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Mississippi (Mr. Cochran).
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from New Jersey (Mr. 
Menendez) is necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 47, nays 51, as follows:

[[Page S6619]]

  


                      [Rollcall Vote No. 230 Leg.]

                                YEAS--47

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Merkley
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--51

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young

                             NOT VOTING--2

     Cochran
     Menendez
       
  The amendment (No. 1139) was rejected.


                           Amendment No. 1205

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There will now be 2 minutes of debate, equally 
divided, prior to a vote in relation to Rubio amendment No. 1205.
  The Senator from Florida.
  Mr. RUBIO. Mr. President, this amendment relates to the child tax 
credit. It is abundantly clear that perhaps one of the most effective 
ways to deliver tax relief--tax cuts--to working families is through 
the expansion of this credit, as it is our hope to achieve during tax 
reform.
  I think it is important to point out that the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture compiles data on how much it costs to raise children in the 
21st century. Today, it is expected that middle-income families are 
going to spend $230,000 to raise their children. By the way, that does 
not include the cost of their going to college.
  Being able to deliver relief to hard-working families through the 
expansion of the child tax credit, which is applicable not just against 
income tax but payroll tax, is perhaps the single most effective way to 
do that given the framework under which we will be working. That is 
what this amendment intends to reserve the opportunity to do.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maine.
  Mr. KING. Mr. President, I rise not in opposition to the amendment 
but to compliment the Senator for bringing this issue forward. I intend 
to support the amendment, but I just want to make the point that this 
is a broader issue in that we are going to have to address the child 
and dependent tax credit.
  One of issues is making it refundable so the tax credit is available 
and useful to lower income families, who are the hardest hit by high 
child care costs, and also making it available to those families who 
use these funds to care for perhaps an aged relative or an injured 
relative.
  I agree with the amendment, and I support it, but I think we need to 
make the point that there is more work to be done. I have introduced a 
bill with Senator Heller, Senator Burr, and Senator Collins on this 
subject, and I look forward to bringing that forward for consideration 
at an appropriate moment.
  I urge support for Senator Rubio's amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.
  Mr. LEE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to extend debate by 
30 seconds.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. LEE. Mr. President, I rise in support of this amendment.
  This would correct a great defect in our Tax Code--the parent tax 
penalty. We have been punishing parents for decades because of the way 
our Federal tax system and our senior entitlement programs--Social 
Security and Medicare--interact. We have to end this tyranny and end 
this now. This amendment does that, and I urge my colleagues to support 
it.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there any further debate on the amendment?
  If not, the question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  The amendment (No. 1205) was agreed to.


                           Amendment No. 1228

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There will now be 2 minutes of debate, equally 
divided, prior to a vote in relation to Heitkamp amendment No. 1228.
  The Senator from North Dakota.
  Ms. HEITKAMP. Mr. President, as we move forward on tax reform, I 
think the one great potential for absolute agreement is that we should 
lower the burden for middle-income taxpayers, and as we move forward, 
the one thing we absolutely should not do is in any way increase the 
tax burden for middle-income taxpayers. This amendment is about 
guaranteeing that no one who makes under $250,000 sees his taxes 
increase in any kind of legislation, including in any tax reform 
proposal.
  I have heard from teachers, nurses, and veterans. They all want to 
know what this means for them. To guarantee people an absolute bright 
line that their taxes will not go up is absolutely essential as we move 
forward.
  I urge a ``yes'' vote on this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming.
  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, again, this is another attempt to do the 
Finance Committee's work as part of the budget. I urge my colleagues to 
oppose this amendment. The amendment would inappropriately bind the 
Finance Committee's work on any tax legislation it writes.
  This point of order is meant to be a poison pill in the process and 
would set a 60-vote threshold on tax reform, effectively killing its 
efforts through reconciliation. This resolution's instructions to 
Finance do not specify the policy or the provisions that are going to 
be reported out of the committee, but the framework, as stated, will be 
just as progressive as the current Tax Code. The chairman of the 
Finance Committee and members can assure you of that result.
  This amendment is unnecessary, and I urge my colleagues to oppose it.
  I raise a point of order against this amendment under the Budget Act, 
section 305(b)(2).
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Dakota.
  Ms. HEITKAMP. Mr. President, pursuant to section 904 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, I move to waive section 305(b)(2) of 
that act for purposes of the pending amendment, and I ask for the yeas 
and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the motion.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Mississippi (Mr. Cochran).
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from New Jersey (Mr. 
Menendez) is necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 47, nays 51, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 231 Leg.]

                                YEAS--47

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Merkley
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--51

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse

[[Page S6620]]


     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young

                             NOT VOTING--2

     Cochran
     Menendez
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 47, the nays are 
51.
  Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted 
in the affirmative, the motion is rejected.
  The point of order is sustained and the amendment falls.
  The Senator from Wyoming.


                    Amendment No. 1234, as Modified

  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Donnelly 
amendment be modified with the text of his amendment No. 1423, which is 
at the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment (No. 1234), as modified, is as follows:

   (Purpose: To establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to 
    eliminating tax breaks for companies that ship jobs to foreign 
                               countries)

       At the end of title III, add the following:

     SEC. 3___. DEFICIT-NEUTRAL RESERVE FUND RELATING TO 
                   ELIMINATING TAX BREAKS FOR COMPANIES THAT SHIP 
                   JOBS TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES.

       The Chairman of the Committee on the Budget of the Senate 
     may revise the allocations of a committee or committees, 
     aggregates, and other appropriate levels in this resolution, 
     and make adjustments to the pay-as-you-go ledger, for one or 
     more bills, joint resolutions, amendments, amendments between 
     the Houses, motions, or conference reports relating to 
     eliminating tax breaks for companies that outsource jobs to 
     foreign countries, by the amounts provided in such 
     legislation for those purposes, provided that such 
     legislation would not increase the deficit over either the 
     period of the total of fiscal years 2018 through 2022 or the 
     period of the total of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.
  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, I further ask that the pending Kaine 
amendment be temporarily laid aside and that the Brown amendment No. 
1378 be made pending and be the next vote in the series, with 2 minutes 
of debate prior to the vote.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                           Amendment No. 1422

  There will now be 2 minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote 
in relation to Portman amendment No. 1422.
  The Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. President, I rise to speak on amendment No. 1422, 
which is a commonsense and, up to now, bipartisan approach to 
international tax reform. It simply says that under this budget we 
would do international tax reform. It would create incentives to have 
more jobs here in this country. Those are incentives for both U.S. 
companies and foreign companies to create jobs here in America.
  This is not a partisan issue; it has been bipartisan. In fact, it was 
part of the Simpson-Bowles provisions with regard to tax reform. Only a 
couple of years ago, I cochaired a working group on this issue with the 
now minority leader, Senator Schumer, where we came up with a proposal 
which said that the international system is broken and that we need to 
move to one like the one we are talking about in this amendment that 
brings back jobs.
  One of the problems is that the current Tax Code actually encourages 
companies to keep their money offshore. We think we could bring back a 
lot of that money. There is probably $2.5 to $3 trillion locked out 
offshore. But it is worse than that. It also leads to American 
companies being taken over by foreign companies and these inversions we 
have heard so much about. In the last 24 hours, we had another major 
inversion. Companies that have household names are picking up and 
leaving our country and taking their jobs and investment with them.
  This amendment is common sense, Mr. President. I urge my colleagues 
on both sides of the aisle to support it.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Indiana.
  Mr. DONNELLY. Mr. President, I rise in support of the Portman 
amendment. We can all agree that tax reform should help create more 
good jobs and protect the good jobs we already have. I support the 
Portman amendment, and I look forward to colleagues supporting my 
amendment that ensures that companies that ship American jobs to 
foreign countries are not eligible for tax breaks. I want to work with 
my colleagues to make sure any tax reform package is good for American 
workers.
  Thank you, Mr. President.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  If no one yields time, the question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  The amendment (No. 1422) was agreed to.


                    Amendment No. 1234, as Modified

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There will now be 2 minutes of debate, equally 
divided, prior to a vote in relation to Donnelly amendment No. 1234, as 
modified.
  The Senator from Indiana.
  Mr. DONNELLY. Mr. President, I rise today in support of the amendment 
I offered to address the outsourcing of American jobs. Currently, 
American companies that ship jobs to foreign countries can still claim 
massive tax breaks. That is wrong, and we should claw back incentives 
and prohibit companies from receiving tax breaks for outsourcing jobs.
  My end outsourcing amendment is common sense for taxpayers, 
supporting companies that invest in American workers, not those 
shipping jobs to foreign countries. I urge all of my colleagues to 
support this amendment.
  Mr. President, I yield back.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  If no one yields time, the question is on agreeing to the amendment, 
as modified.
  The amendment (No. 1234), as modified, was agreed to.


                Amendment No. 1378 to Amendment No. 1116

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There will now be 2 minutes of debate, equally 
divided, prior to a vote in relation to Brown amendment No. 1378.
  The clerk will report the amendment.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Ohio [Mr. Brown] proposes an amendment 
     numbered 1378 to amendment No. 1116.

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

   (Purpose: To establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to 
  providing tax benefits to patriot employers that invest in American 
           jobs and provide fair pay and benefits to workers)

       At the end of title III, add the following:

     SEC. 3___. DEFICIT-NEUTRAL RESERVE FUND RELATING TO PROVIDING 
                   TAX BENEFITS TO PATRIOT EMPLOYERS THAT INVEST 
                   IN AMERICAN JOBS AND PROVIDE FAIR PAY AND 
                   BENEFITS TO WORKERS.

       The Chairman of the Committee on the Budget of the Senate 
     may revise the allocations of a committee or committees, 
     aggregates, and other appropriate levels in this resolution, 
     and make adjustments to the pay-as-you-go ledger, for one or 
     more bills, joint resolutions, amendments, amendments between 
     the Houses, motions, or conference reports relating to income 
     taxes paid by businesses, which may include measures 
     providing tax breaks for companies that have not moved 
     overseas to avoid paying their fair share of taxes, have 
     maintained or expanded their United States workforce, or have 
     provided fair wages and quality health insurance, prepared 
     workers for retirement, hired veterans and workers with 
     disabilities, and provided paid family medical leave, by the 
     amounts provided in such legislation for those purposes, 
     provided that such legislation would not increase the deficit 
     over either the period of the total of fiscal years 2018 
     through 2022 or the period of the total of fiscal years 2018 
     through 2027.
  Mr. BROWN. Mr. President, I ask for support of the Patriot 
Corporation Act amendment. It is all pretty simple. Over the years, we 
have seen companies shut down production in Mansfield, OH, or Dayton, 
OH, and move to Tijuana, Mexico, or Hunan, China, and then sell their 
production back in the United States.
  Under this simple idea, the Patriot Corporation Act, companies that 
do the right thing--companies that pay their workers decent wages; 
companies that do the right thing by their workers in terms of 
benefits, healthcare, and pensions; companies that make their products 
and keep their production in the United States--will get a tax break. 
They will pay a lower tax rate.
  Yesterday at the White House, about 15 Senators met with President 
Trump. I talked to him about the Patriot Corporation Act. He said he 
likes the idea.
  It is about time that U.S. companies that do the right thing should 
be rewarded instead of those companies that shut down production and 
move overseas and sell their products back. It is the right thing to 
do. It is a simple idea. Its time has come, Mr. President.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming.

[[Page S6621]]

  

  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, I urge my colleagues to oppose this 
amendment. The budget resolution's reconciliation instruction to the 
Finance Committee does not and should not specify the policies or 
provisions that are being reported out of the Budget Committee 
resolution. The Finance framework includes international tax reform 
that will incentivize companies to invest domestically and create jobs 
in the United States. But this amendment defines ``patriot employers'' 
with a long list of criteria and pinpoints tax breaks for these 
companies. ``Patriot employers'' should not be defined by the budget 
process or by politics but by those that allow our constituents to join 
and remain in the workforce so as to participate in the American dream.
  American companies will be able to create additional jobs based on 
tax relief envisioned by the Finance Committee. As such, we should pass 
the resolution and reconciliation in a timely manner, and we should 
oppose this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  Mr. BROWN. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Mississippi (Mr. Cochran).
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from New Jersey (Mr. 
Menendez) is necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 47, nays 51, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 232 Leg.]

                                YEAS--47

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Merkley
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--51

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young

                             NOT VOTING--2

     Cochran
     Menendez
       
  The amendment (No. 1378) was rejected.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming.


          Amendments Nos. 1296 and 1375 to Amendment No. 1116

  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the following 
amendments be called up en bloc and reported by number: Paul No. 1296 
and Cardin No. 1375.
  I further ask unanimous consent that the Senate vote in relation to 
these amendments in the order listed; that there be no second-degree 
amendments in order to the amendments prior to the votes; finally, that 
there be 2 minutes, equally divided between the managers or their 
designees, prior to each vote, and that all votes in this series be 10 
minutes in length.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will report the amendments en bloc by number.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Wyoming [Mr. Enzi], for others, proposes 
     amendments numbered 1296 and 1375 en bloc to amendment No. 
     1116.

  The amendments are as follows:


                           Amendment No. 1296

 (Purpose: To modify reconciliation instructions to reduce the deficit)

       Strike section 2001 and insert the following:

     SEC. 2001. RECONCILIATION IN THE SENATE.

       (a) Committee on Agriculture.--The Committee on Agriculture 
     of the Senate shall report changes in laws within its 
     jurisdiction that reduce the deficit for fiscal year 2018 by 
     not less than $4,800,000,000.
       (b) Committee on Armed Services.--The Committee on Armed 
     Services of the Senate shall report changes in laws within 
     its jurisdiction that reduce the deficit for fiscal year 2018 
     by not less than $480,000,000.
       (c) Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.--
     The Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of 
     the Senate shall report changes in laws within its 
     jurisdiction that reduce the deficit for fiscal year 2018 by 
     not less than $9,660,000,000.
       (d) Committee on Energy and Natural Resources .--The 
     Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate shall 
     report changes in laws within its jurisdiction that reduce 
     the deficit for fiscal year 2018 by not less than 
     $12,070,000,000.
       (e) Committee on Finance.--The Committee on Finance of the 
     Senate shall report changes in laws within its jurisdiction 
     that--
       (1) reduce new budget authority for fiscal year 2018 by not 
     less than $25,100,000,000; and
       (2) that increase the deficit by not more than 
     $1,500,000,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2018 
     through 2027.
       (f) Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.--The 
     Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the 
     Senate shall report changes in laws within its jurisdiction 
     that reduce the deficit for fiscal year 2018 by not less than 
     $6,760,000,000.
       (g) Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
     Affairs.--The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
     Affairs of the Senate shall report changes in laws within its 
     jurisdiction that reduce the deficit for fiscal year 2018 by 
     not less than $16,900,000,000.
       (h) Committee on the Judiciary.--The Committee on the 
     Judiciary of the Senate shall report changes in laws within 
     its jurisdiction that reduce the deficit for fiscal year 2018 
     by not less than $21,720,000,000.
       (i) Committee on Veterans' Affairs.--The Committee on 
     Veterans' Affairs of the Senate shall report changes in laws 
     within its jurisdiction that reduce the deficit for fiscal 
     year 2018 by not less than $480,000,000.
       (j) Submissions.--In the Senate, not later than November 
     13, 2017, the Committees named in subsections (a) through (i) 
     shall submit their recommendations to the Committee on the 
     Budget of the Senate. Upon receiving such recommendations, 
     the Committee on the Budget of the Senate shall report to the 
     Senate a reconciliation bill carrying out all such 
     recommendations without any substantive revision.


                           Amendment No. 1375

(Purpose: To create a point of order against legislation that includes 
                       deficit-financed tax cuts)

       At the end of title IV, add the following:

     SEC. 4__. POINT OF ORDER AGAINST LEGISLATION THAT INCLUDES 
                   DEFICIT-FINANCED TAX CUTS.

       (a) Point of Order.--It shall not be in order in the Senate 
     to consider any bill, joint resolution, motion, amendment, 
     amendment between the Houses, or conference report that 
     includes tax cuts and would cause or increase a deficit or 
     reduce a surplus.
       (b) Waiver and Appeal.--Subsection (a) may be waived or 
     suspended in the Senate only by an affirmative vote of three-
     fifths of the Members, duly chosen and sworn. An affirmative 
     vote of three-fifths of the Members of the Senate, duly 
     chosen and sworn, shall be required to sustain an appeal of 
     the ruling of the Chair on a point of order raised under 
     subsection (a).


                           Amendment No. 1296

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There will now be 2 minutes of debate equally 
divided prior to a vote in relation to Paul amendment No. 1296.
  The Senator from Kentucky.
  Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, this amendment is about whether or not we 
are serious about the debt. In the current budget, there are 
instructions to reduce the debt by $96 billion in mandatory spending. I 
applaud that, but we need budget reconciliation instructions to allow 
it to happen. This amendment will allow instructions so we can really 
do what we say we are going to do, which is to cut spending.
  I think, in light of the fact that we are for tax cuts, we ought to 
also be for reducing spending so we don't explode the debt.
  I recommend a ``yes'' vote on reconciliation instructions to allow 
for mandatory savings and spending.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. SANDERS. Mr. President, I rise in strong opposition to the Paul 
amendment. This amendment includes reconciliation instructions to cut 
nearly $100 billion in programs that are vital to working families in 
this country, including education, healthcare, nutrition, affordable 
housing, and many, many other programs.
  This amendment paves the way to make it easier to cut Medicare by 
over

[[Page S6622]]

$400 billion and Medicaid by over $1 trillion over the next decade in 
order to provide almost $2 trillion in tax cuts to the top 1 percent.
  This amendment should be defeated.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  Mr. PAUL. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Mississippi (Mr. Cochran).
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from New Jersey (Mr. 
Menendez) is necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Blunt). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 4, nays 94, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 233 Leg.]

                                YEAS--4

     Flake
     Lankford
     Lee
     Paul

                                NAYS--94

     Alexander
     Baldwin
     Barrasso
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Blunt
     Booker
     Boozman
     Brown
     Burr
     Cantwell
     Capito
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Cassidy
     Collins
     Coons
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cortez Masto
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Feinstein
     Fischer
     Franken
     Gardner
     Gillibrand
     Graham
     Grassley
     Harris
     Hassan
     Hatch
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Heller
     Hirono
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kaine
     Kennedy
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCain
     McCaskill
     McConnell
     Merkley
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Perdue
     Peters
     Portman
     Reed
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sanders
     Sasse
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Scott
     Shaheen
     Shelby
     Stabenow
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Tester
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wicker
     Wyden
     Young

                             NOT VOTING--2

     Cochran
     Menendez
       
  The amendment (No. 1296) was rejected.


                           Amendment No. 1375

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There will now be 2 minutes of debate, equally 
divided, prior to a vote in relation to Cardin amendment No. 1375.
  The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, this amendment is very simple. It allows a 
point of order to be raised if the tax reform reported back to the 
floor by the committee increases the deficit. It is as simple as that. 
Do you believe we should act on tax reform that increases the deficit? 
If you agree with me that we should not be increasing the deficit with 
the tax reform reported back from the committee, then vote for this 
amendment or, if necessary, vote for waiving the point of order that 
may be raised.
  I urge my colleagues, if you are serious about the deficit, we 
shouldn't be passing legislation that increases it.
  Mr. President, I reserve the remainder of my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming.
  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, I urge my colleagues to oppose this 
amendment. Budget rules don't accommodate current tax policy. This 
means at least $460 billion of scored revenue loss can be attributed to 
the difference between a current law baseline and a current policy 
baseline. Many of the tax extenders covered by this amount are popular 
and are supported on a bipartisan basis.
  This amendment is corrosive to the budget resolution's privilege. It 
falls outside the scope of what is appropriate for inclusion. Adoption 
of corrosive amendments could be fatal to the resolution's privilege, 
and loss of privilege could compromise our ability to pass tax reform 
and to enforce the budget spending limits.
  Further, this amendment is also nongermane. The Congressional Budget 
Act requires that amendments to a budget resolution be germane--a 
statutory regulation we can't ignore.
  So I raise a point of order against this amendment under the Budget 
Act's section 305(b)(2).
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, what the chairman is saying is, basically, 
the process will be used in order to add to the deficit. Therefore, 
pursuant to section 904 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, I move 
to waive section 305(b) of that act for purposes of the pending 
amendment, and I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the motion.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from New Jersey (Mr. 
Menendez) is necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 47, nays 52, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 234 Leg.]

                                YEAS--47

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Merkley
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--52

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young

                             NOT VOTING--1

       
     Menendez
       
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 47, the nays are 
52.
  Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted 
in the affirmative, the motion is rejected.
  The point of order is sustained and the amendment falls.
  The Senator from Wyoming.


       Amendments Nos. 1298, 1430, and 1277 to Amendment No. 1116

  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the following 
amendments be called up en bloc and reported by number: Paul No. 1298, 
Lee No. 1430, and Paul No. 1277.
  I further ask unanimous consent that the Senate now vote in relation 
to the Kaine amendment No. 1249 and that following disposition of the 
Kaine amendment, the Senate vote in relation to the above amendments in 
the order listed; finally, that there be 2 minutes equally divided 
between the managers or their designees prior to all further votes 
tonight and that they be 10 minutes in length.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. ENZI. The next four votes will be on the Kaine amendment No. 
1249, the Paul amendment No. 1298, the Lee amendment No. 1430, and the 
Paul amendment No. 1277.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the amendments en bloc 
by number.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Wyoming [Mr. Enzi], for others, proposes 
     amendments numbered 1298, 1430, and 1277 en bloc to amendment 
     No. 1116.

  The amendments are as follows:


                           amendment no. 1298

     (Purpose: To reduce discretionary spending by $43,000,000,000)

       On page 4, line 25, decrease the amount by $43,000,000,000.
       On page 5, line 13, decrease the amount by $35,948,000,000.
       On page 5, line 14, increase the amount by $33,550,000,000.
       On page 5, line 15, decrease the amount by $86,000,000.
       On page 6, line 1, decrease the amount by $35,260,000,000.

[[Page S6623]]

       On page 6, line 2, decrease the amount by $6,450,000,000.
       On page 6, line 3, decrease the amount by $860,000,000.
       On page 6, line 15, decrease the amount by $35,260,000,000.
       On page 6, line 16, decrease the amount by $6,450,000,000.
       On page 6, line 17, decrease the amount by $860,000,000.
       On page 7, line 3, decrease the amount by $35,260,000,000.
       On page 7, line 4, decrease the amount by $6,450,000,000.
       On page 7, line 5, decrease the amount by $860,000,000.
       On page 37, line 19, decrease the amount by 
     $43,000,000,000.
       On page 37, line 20, decrease the amount by 
     $35,260,000,000.
       On page 37, line 24, decrease the amount by $6,450,000,000.
       On page 38, line 3, decrease the amount by $860,000,000.


                           amendment no. 1430

 (Purpose: To expand the deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to the 
     repeal of provisions of title I of the Patient Protection and 
                          Affordable Care Act)

       On page 49, line 5, insert ``, which may include 
     nullification of any regulations promulgated under title I of 
     the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (including any 
     amendment made by such title)'' before ``by the''.


                           amendment no. 1277

 (Purpose: To provide for reconciliation instructions to the relevant 
   committees for the purpose of repealing and replacing the Patient 
                  Protection and Affordable Care Act)

       In section 2001, strike subsection (c) and insert the 
     following:
       (c) Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.--
     The Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of 
     the Senate shall report changes in laws within its 
     jurisdiction to reduce the deficit by not less than 
     $1,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.
       (d) Committee on the Judiciary.--The Committee on the 
     Judiciary of the Senate shall report changes in laws within 
     its jurisdiction to reduce the deficit by not less than 
     $1,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.
       (e) Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
     Affairs.--The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
     Affairs of the Senate shall report changes in laws within its 
     jurisdiction to reduce the deficit by not less than 
     $1,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.
       (f) Submissions.--In the Senate, not later than November 
     13, 2017, the Committees named in subsections (a) through (e) 
     shall submit their recommendations to the Committee on the 
     Budget of the Senate. Upon receiving such recommendations, 
     the Committee on the Budget of the Senate shall report to the 
     Senate a reconciliation bill carrying out all such 
     recommendations without any substantive revision.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia.


                           Amendment No. 1249

  Mr. KAINE. Mr. President, I call up amendment No. 1249.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The amendment is pending.
  Mr. KAINE. The amendment is a simple amendment, folks. It is about 
transparency. Two years ago, the Senate passed a budget that added a 
laudatory requirement to have a Congressional Budget Office score for 
reconciliation legislation 28 hours in advance of voting on the 
legislation. There are obvious benefits to the Members who are voting 
and obvious benefits to the American public.
  The budget resolution before us from committee repeals that 
requirement. The majority has argued that it is unnecessary because the 
requirement has never been triggered. But I remember that just a couple 
of months ago, the Senate was debating healthcare legislation that 
hadn't seen the light of day and didn't have a CBO score.
  Do we really believe the answer to our problem is to make it easier 
to pass legislation without knowing the cost? I think the 28-hour 
requirement is worthy, it should be continued, and I think it should be 
extended to include amendments in the nature of a substitute.
  I ask all my colleagues to support transparency and not embarrass the 
institution by enabling us to more easily pass important legislation 
without the public knowing the score.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
  The Senator from Wyoming.
  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, I urge my colleagues to oppose this 
amendment. The congressional budget clearly empowers the Budget 
Committee chair as scorekeeper. Since becoming chairman in 2015, I am 
pleased to say that the Budget Committee has always discharged its 
responsibilities with scores in hand, proving our important work and 
function without this amendment. In fact, the 28-hour rule is a recent 
creation, and its repeal shows no deviation from Senate practice. It 
would require 28 hours on every amendment.
  It is also important to note that a budget resolution is not a law. 
Because it is not a law, it cannot supersede or replace any statutory 
provisions. The Congressional Budget Act is a law and sets forth the 
rules that the congressional budget must follow.
  The proposed amendment attempts to make a significant change to 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act, which should be 
accomplished through regular order legislation which the President 
signs.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from New Jersey (Mr. 
Menendez) is necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Young). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 48, nays 51, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 235 Leg.]

                                YEAS--48

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Collins
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Merkley
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--51

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Cochran
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young

                             NOT VOTING--1

       
     Menendez
       
  The amendment (No. 1249) was rejected.


                           Amendment No. 1298

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There will now be 2 minutes of debate, equally 
divided, prior to a vote in relation to Paul amendment No. 1298.
  The Senator from Kentucky.
  Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, this amendment is about the debt. We have a 
$20 trillion debt. It is about whether we are serious about tackling 
that debt. The budget before us exceeds our own spending caps by $43 
billion.
  You will be told that technically that is not so because we hide the 
money by sticking it in an account we call the Overseas Contingency 
Operations. Over the past 3 years, we have spent more than $1.7 
trillion in this account, but we don't account for it, and we don't 
budget for it. What I am asking us to do is to be responsible, budget 
for this, stay within our self-imposed caps, and actually act as though 
we really believe in what we say--that the debt is a problem.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming.
  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, I urge my colleagues to oppose this 
amendment. The amendment seeks to reduce discretionary appropriations 
this fiscal year by $43 billion. As Members are aware, the resolution's 
discretionary figures for this fiscal year are fully consistent with 
the Budget Control Act spending limits. If they weren't, then the 
resolution would be subject to a 60-vote point of order.
  This year's resolution also includes Overseas Contingency Operations 
funding at $77 billion. This amount is equal to the President's request 
and is allowable under the Budget Control Act. The

[[Page S6624]]

members of the Budget Committee worked hard to craft a resolution with 
levels that would put us on a better fiscal path, with $5.1 trillion in 
spending reductions over the next 10 years. The resolution already 
contains ample restraint to both discretionary and mandatory spending.
  As the Appropriations Committee has reported many of its bills 
already, this amendment could be detrimental to the appropriations 
process as it stands today and the allocation this resolution will 
provide.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak for 1 
minute.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I agree with my colleague that there are no 
recommendations on where these cuts are coming from. Do they come from 
the programs that support our Nation's veterans, from the National 
Institutes of Health--the cutting-edge cancer research it conducts? You 
can't turn research on and off. Scientists don't hit pause.
  Does it come from our transportation and infrastructure? If we really 
want to make these cuts--and this, of course, would take us well below 
the postsequester budget caps that are already $43 billion. If we want 
to make cuts, have the courage to stand up and say ``This is the 
program I want to cut''--not do something like this, where we don't 
know if the cut will be for veterans, education, cancer research, or 
anything else.
  I oppose the amendment.
  To reiterate, I oppose the Paul amendment and urge others to do the 
same. The Paul amendment appears to mandate a cut of $43 billion from 
nondefense discretionary programs in fiscal year 2018. This is an 8-
percent cut to the fiscal year 2018 postsequester budget caps, which 
are already $3 billion below last year's levels. It could impact 
defense as well.
  Of course, Senator Paul provides no recommendations on who he wants 
to hurt. Should it come from programs that support our Nation's 
veterans? Should it come from the National Institutes of Health and the 
cutting-edge cancer research it conducts? You cannot just turn research 
on and off. Scientists do not hit pause. What if we take it from 
transportation and infrastructure programs that help repair our 
Nation's failing roads and bridges?
  If those are unacceptable, perhaps we should cut or eliminate 
programs that assist our Nation's farmers or help promote economic 
growth in rural communities. I think we can all agree that is not going 
to happen. It should not happen. We should be investing in our 
communities to make sure they have the tools they need to grow and 
flourish, not deserting them.
  Members on both sides of the aisle have been calling for months for a 
bipartisan budget deal. In speech after speech we have heard about the 
devastating consequences that sequester has on both defense and 
nondefense programs. If we are going to finish this year's 
appropriations process, we need a bipartisan budget deal based on 
parity that provides us relief from sequester. This amendment takes us 
in the opposite direction. I urge a ``no'' vote.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Time has expired.
  The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  Mr. PAUL. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 5, nays 95, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 236 Leg.]

                                YEAS--5

     Daines
     Flake
     Lankford
     Lee
     Paul

                                NAYS--95

     Alexander
     Baldwin
     Barrasso
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Blunt
     Booker
     Boozman
     Brown
     Burr
     Cantwell
     Capito
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Cassidy
     Cochran
     Collins
     Coons
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cortez Masto
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Feinstein
     Fischer
     Franken
     Gardner
     Gillibrand
     Graham
     Grassley
     Harris
     Hassan
     Hatch
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Heller
     Hirono
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kaine
     Kennedy
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCain
     McCaskill
     McConnell
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Perdue
     Peters
     Portman
     Reed
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sanders
     Sasse
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Scott
     Shaheen
     Shelby
     Stabenow
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Tester
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wicker
     Wyden
     Young
  The amendment (No. 1298) was rejected.


                           Amendment No. 1430

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There will now be 2 minutes of debate, equally 
divided, prior to a vote in relation to Lee amendment No. 1430.
  The Senator from Utah.
  Mr. LEE. Mr. President, I am offering amendment No. 1430 to repeal 
ObamaCare regulations that are wreaking havoc on our health insurance 
market. Healthcare costs are rising dramatically, unsustainably, and 
unaffordably.
  Healthcare costs are rising as a result of ObamaCare's despotic 
regime of aggressive healthcare regulations. Countless working families 
are treading water just to try to stay afloat. A good chunk of these 
costs also can be pinned directly on the burdensome ObamaCare 
regulations.
  According to one HHS study, ObamaCare regulations caused premiums in 
the individual market to spike an astounding 105 percent, and a study 
by Milliman showed that the guaranteed issue regulation alone caused 
health insurance premiums to rise by an average of 45 percent. This 
amounts to $106 per month. That is thousands of dollars per year for 
working families. That is money that they could be spending on 
groceries, on housing, on braces, or on their child's education.
  Congress has done very little in the last few years to alleviate the 
burdens faced by these working class families. I urge my colleagues to 
act now by supporting this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Washington.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, Republicans have now put forward proposal 
after proposal to rip protections away from Americans with preexisting 
conditions. This amendment is yet another example of Republican efforts 
to increase costs for people who need healthcare the most. It would put 
insurance companies back in charge. It would allow them to deny 
coverage to people with preexisting conditions or discriminate against 
them by charging higher premiums.
  This repeals the essential health benefits, rips away access to 
critical services like maternity care, mental health, and substance use 
disorder treatment, and repeals the requirement that coverage be 
available to dependents under the age of 26.
  Americans have rejected this crass partisan proposal. It is long past 
time to focus on bipartisan proposals like the one that Senator 
Alexander and I announced today that actually protects people with 
preexisting conditions while bringing down premiums for patients and 
family.
  I urge a ``no'' vote.
  Mr. LEE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak for 10 
seconds.
  Mrs. MURRAY. I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  Mr. LEE. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Mississippi (Mr. Cochran).
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 32, nays 67, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 237 Leg.]

                                YEAS--32

     Barrasso
     Boozman
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Flake
     Graham
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Johnson

[[Page S6625]]


     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     McConnell
     Moran
     Paul
     Perdue
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young

                                NAYS--67

     Alexander
     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Blunt
     Booker
     Brown
     Burr
     Cantwell
     Capito
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Cassidy
     Collins
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Feinstein
     Fischer
     Franken
     Gardner
     Gillibrand
     Grassley
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Isakson
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCain
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Murkowski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Portman
     Reed
     Rounds
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Shelby
     Stabenow
     Strange
     Tester
     Tillis
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                             NOT VOTING--1

       
     Cochran
       
  The amendment (No. 1430) was rejected.


                           Amendment No. 1277

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There will now be 2 minutes of debate, equally 
divided, prior to a vote in relation to Paul amendment No. 1277.
  The Senator from Kentucky.
  Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, across the country, Republicans promised to 
repeal ObamaCare. They promised to repeal all of ObamaCare, root and 
branch. Not one Republican promised to keep and block grant ObamaCare. 
They promised to repeal ObamaCare.
  Tonight I present another chance. My amendment will provide budget 
reconciliation instructions so Republican Senators can fulfill their 
promise; so they can actually repeal ObamaCare, root and branch, as 
they promised.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, this amendment provides reconciliation 
instructions to three Senate committees for the purpose of repealing 
and replacing the Affordable Care Act; in effect, rerunning the same 
bad movie the Senate has now seen three times. By now, Americans 
understand what these partisan Republican healthcare bills have in 
store for the middle class: higher premiums, worse healthcare, and a 
safety net in tatters.
  I will close by saying that there is now a desire on both sides of 
the aisle to set aside this my-way-or-the-highway approach to 
governing. Bipartisanship is about taking each other's good ideas, and 
I believe the Senate can work together to lower people's premiums.
  This amendment is a vote to look for more partisan ideological 
trophies when the Senate ought to be working together to find common 
ground.
  I urge my colleagues to reject this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Mississippi (Mr. Cochran).
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 33, nays 66, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 238 Leg.]

                                YEAS--33

     Barrasso
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     Paul
     Portman
     Risch
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Wicker
     Young

                                NAYS--66

     Alexander
     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Blunt
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Cassidy
     Collins
     Coons
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Enzi
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Graham
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Isakson
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCain
     McCaskill
     McConnell
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Perdue
     Peters
     Reed
     Roberts
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Shelby
     Stabenow
     Strange
     Tester
     Toomey
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                             NOT VOTING--1

       
     Cochran
       
  The amendment (No. 1277) was rejected.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming.


 Amendments Nos. 1553, 1428, 1404, 1429, 1552, 1301, 1561, and 1167 to 
                           Amendment No. 1116

  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the following 
amendments be called up en bloc and reported by number: Udall amendment 
No. 1553, Lee amendment No. 1428, Paul amendment No. 1404, Lee 
amendment No. 1429, Fischer amendment No. 1552, Cantwell amendment No. 
1301, Enzi amendment No. 1561, and Perdue-Whitehouse amendment No. 
1167.
  I further ask unanimous consent that the Senate now vote in relation 
to these amendments in the order listed.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will report the amendments en bloc by number.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Wyoming [Mr. Enzi], for himself and 
     others, proposes amendments numbered 1553, 1428, 1404, 1429, 
     1552, 1301, 1561, and 1167 en bloc to amendment No. 1116.

  The amendments are as follows:


                           amendment no. 1553

 (Purpose: To establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to the 
provision of full, permanent, and mandatory funding for the payment in 
                         lieu of taxes program)

       At the end of title III, add the following:

     SEC. 3___. DEFICIT-NEUTRAL RESERVE FUND RELATING TO PROVIDING 
                   FULL, PERMANENT, AND MANDATORY FUNDING FOR THE 
                   PAYMENT IN LIEU OF TAXES PROGRAM.

       The Chairman of the Committee on the Budget of the Senate 
     may revise the allocations of a committee or committees, 
     aggregates, and other appropriate levels in this resolution, 
     and make adjustments to the pay-as-you-go ledger, for one or 
     more bills, joint resolutions, amendments, amendments between 
     the Houses, motions, or conference reports relating to 
     providing full, permanent, and mandatory funding for the 
     payment in lieu of taxes program by the amounts provided in 
     such legislation for those purposes, provided that such 
     legislation would not increase the deficit over either the 
     period of the total of fiscal years 2018 through 2022 or the 
     period of the total of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.


                           amendment no. 1428

 (Purpose: To modify a deficit neutral reserve fund relating to public 
land and the environment to address making payments under the payments 
 in lieu of taxes program equivalent to the property tax revenue that 
   would be due to a State or local government if the State or local 
                       government owned the land)

       On page 57, line 19, insert ``, including rewriting the 
     formula for payments under the program'' after ``program''.


                           amendment no. 1404

(Purpose: To ensure that all Americans receive a tax cut, keeping more 
    of their hard earned money, and enjoy the benefit of tax reform)

       On page 47, line 6, strike ``$1,500,000,000,000'' and 
     insert ``$2,500,000,000,000''.


                           amendment no. 1429

  (Purpose: To establish a spending-neutral reserve fund relating to 
prohibiting Federal regulation of entirely intrastate species under the 
                    Endangered Species Act of 1973)

       At the end of title III, add the following:

     SEC. 3__. SPENDING-NEUTRAL RESERVE FUND RELATING TO 
                   CLARIFYING FEDERAL JURISDICTION IN RELATION TO 
                   INTRASTATE SPECIES.

       The Chairman of the Committee on the Budget of the Senate 
     may revise the allocations of a committee or committees, 
     aggregates, and other appropriate levels in this resolution, 
     and make adjustments to the pay-as-you-go ledger, for one or 
     more bills, joint resolutions, amendments, amendments between 
     the Houses, motions, or conference reports relating to 
     prohibiting Federal regulation of entirely intrastate species 
     under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et 
     seq.) by the amounts provided in such legislation for those 
     purposes, provided that such legislation would not raise new 
     revenue and would not increase the deficit over either the 
     period of the total of fiscal years 2018 through 2022 or the 
     period of the total of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.

[[Page S6626]]

  



                           amendment no. 1552

(Purpose: To provide tax relief to American workers, families, and job 
   creators in a manner which maintains the progressivity of the tax 
system by maintaining or raising the share of taxes paid by high income 
                               taxpayers)

       At the end of title III, add the following:

     SEC. 3___. DEFICIT-NEUTRAL RESERVE FUND RELATING TO TAX 
                   REFORM WHICH MAINTAINS THE PROGRESSIVITY OF THE 
                   TAX SYSTEM.

       The Chairman of the Committee on the Budget of the Senate 
     may revise the allocations of a committee or committees, 
     aggregates, and other appropriate levels in this resolution, 
     and make adjustments to the pay-as-you-go ledger, for one or 
     more bills, joint resolutions, amendments, amendments between 
     the Houses, motions, or conference reports relating to 
     changes in Federal tax laws, which may include tax reform 
     proposals to ensure that the reformed tax code parallels the 
     existing tax code with respect to relative burdens and does 
     not shift the tax burden from high-income to lower- and 
     middle-income taxpayers, by the amounts provided in such 
     legislation for those purposes, provided that such 
     legislation would not increase the deficit over the period of 
     the total of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.


                           amendment no. 1301

 (Purpose: To strike the reconciliation instructions for the Committee 
 on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate to prevent oil and gas 
        development within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge)

       In section 2001, strike subsection (b).


                           Amendment No. 1561

       (Purpose: To provide other enforcement provisions related 
     to the House of Representatives.)

  (The amendment is printed in today's Record under ``Text of 
Amendments.'')


                           amendment no. 1167

   (Purpose: To establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to 
              significantly improving the budget process)

       At the end of title III, add the following:

     SEC. 3___. DEFICIT-NEUTRAL RESERVE FUND RELATING TO 
                   SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVING THE BUDGET PROCESS.

       The Chairman of the Committee on the Budget of the Senate 
     may revise the allocations of a committee or committees, 
     aggregates, and other appropriate levels in this resolution, 
     and make adjustments to the pay-as-you-go ledger, for one or 
     more bills, joint resolutions, amendments, amendments between 
     the Houses, motions, or conference reports relating to 
     significantly improving the budget process by the amounts 
     provided in such legislation for those purposes, provided 
     that such legislation would not increase the deficit over 
     either the period of the total of fiscal years 2018 through 
     2022 or the period of the total of fiscal years 2018 through 
     2027.
  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, for the information of Senators, we expect 
to have this series of votes and then move to passage of the 
resolution. That means there are hopefully approximately eight votes 
left. Some of them may be voice votes.
  Mr. President, I yield to the leader.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I say to colleagues, the consent 
agreement that was just entered allows us to see the light at the end 
of the tunnel. If Senators will stay in the Chamber, we will do these 
10-minute rollcall votes and wrap it up.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Democratic leader.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I thank the majority leader. We 
completely agree on this issue. We hope Members on both sides will stay 
in their seats so we can finish quickly, without going through the 
ridiculous vote-arama that we have done in previous years.
  I yield the floor.


                           Amendment No. 1553

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There will now be 2 minutes of debate, equally 
divided, prior to a vote in relation to Udall amendment No. 1553.
  The Senator from New Mexico.
  Mr. UDALL. Mr. President, this amendment calls for legislation to 
fully and permanently fund the Payment in Lieu of Taxes Program. 
Senator Heinrich and I have long called for this solution. Rural 
counties in New Mexico and other States across the West and across the 
country have large amounts of Federal lands within their boundaries. 
These counties rely on funding from the PILT Program to provide better 
schools, maintain roads and bridges, and support thousands of local 
jobs.
  We currently fund PILT year by year. I have fought for this funding 
as a member of the Appropriations Committee, but we need to do more. We 
need to pass permanent funding to ensure that local communities can 
count on our resources being there every year to provide basic 
services. I urge support for the Udall-Heinrich amendment and yield 
back.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there further debate?
  The Senator from Wyoming.
  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, I urge my colleagues to oppose this 
amendment, reluctantly. I have always fought to make sure the rural 
communities can keep the lights on. Approximately half of the land in 
my home State of Wyoming is under Federal control, and counties, 
therefore, are unable to obtain property tax revenue from a large part 
of the State.
  Payment in lieu of taxes isn't a giveaway to these counties. It is 
compensation for the money they lose because they are unable to tax 
Federal lands within their borders, even though they are required to 
provide services on those lands. However, this resolution already has 
the reserved funds for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes Program. I find 
this amendment to be duplicative and unnecessary. Furthermore, the 
vote-arama isn't the correct forum to contemplate making any program 
permanent and mandatory, even one I have long supported.
  I look forward to working with my colleague from New Mexico and with 
other interested Members from Western States on fiscally responsible 
legislation to provide fairness and equity for America's rural counties 
and their communities.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  Mr. UDALL. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Mississippi (Mr. Cochran).
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 58, nays 41, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 239 Leg.]

                                YEAS--58

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Crapo
     Daines
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gardner
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Hatch
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Heller
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Lee
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCain
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Murkowski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Risch
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Sullivan
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--41

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Cruz
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     McConnell
     Moran
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young

                             NOT VOTING--1

       
     Cochran
       
  The amendment (No. 1553) was agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming.
  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, I request that everybody sit in their seat, 
and we could do these votes in 7\1/2\ minutes. If everybody wanders off 
and comes back in, we could be here half the night. There should only 
be about seven votes left, and some of those could be by voice vote, 
like the next one.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Our side was in early.
  Mr. ENZI. I appreciate the way those on that side have taken their 
seats and voted.


                           Amendment No. 1428

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There will now be 2 minutes of debate, equally 
divided, prior to a vote in relation to Lee amendment No. 1428.

[[Page S6627]]

  The Senator from Utah.
  Mr. LEE. Mr. President, I am offering this amendment to pay back 
western communities for the loss that occurs to them as a result of the 
widespread ownership of Federal public land.
  As I have long stressed, Federal land is often a bad bargain for 
State and local governments, like those in Utah, where almost two-
thirds of the land is owned and controlled by the Federal Government, 
thus prohibiting local governments from taxing that land. Not only does 
Federal ownership reduce economic opportunity on that land, not only 
does it rob local residents of local control, but it also shrinks the 
property tax base that Utahns rely on to fund essential community 
services.
  The Payments in Lieu of Taxes Program, or PILT, was designed to 
address this very inequity by paying States for the property tax 
revenue they lost as a result of Federal land ownership, but the 
current formula for PILT does not adequately compensate local 
governments for this loss. In fact, it doesn't even come close. My 
amendment offers these predominantly rural communities a revisited, 
revised, and improved PILT formula to compensate them for these very 
losses.
  I encourage my colleagues to support it, and I request a voice vote.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Washington.
  Ms. CANTWELL. Mr. President, there is wide support for PILT from both 
Democrats and Republicans, as witnessed by this last vote. What we need 
to do now is to make sure that it works fairly for counties and is not 
done arbitrarily.
  The CRS found that taking the approach in Senator Lee's amendment 
would break the PILT Program. Not only would calculating each county's 
payments be nearly impossible, the program would not be fair. In fact, 
the CRS cited a 2010 study that found that the approach in Senator 
Lee's amendment would result in two-thirds of all of the counties that 
receive PILT funding receiving lower payments than they do now.
  I urge my colleagues to vote no.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  Mr. LEE. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 50, nays 50, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 240 Leg.]

                                YEAS--50

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Donnelly
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young

                                NAYS--50

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Daines
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gardner
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCain
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden
  The amendment (No. 1428) was rejected.


                           Amendment No. 1404

  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Kennedy). There will now be 2 minutes of 
debate, equally divided, prior to a vote in relation to Paul amendment 
No. 1404.
  The Senator from Kentucky.
  Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, rather than bicker over raising taxes on 
some people and lowering taxes on other people, we should cut 
everyone's taxes to make sure we get a middle-class tax cut across the 
board. The best way to do that is to give the tax committee a mandate 
that is larger, a mandate for a bigger tax cut.
  My amendment provides budget reconciliation instructions to increase 
the tax cut to $2.5 trillion. If we were to believe this budget, it 
claims to save over $6 trillion over 10 years--more than enough to go 
bigger, better, and bolder on cutting taxes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. SANDERS. Mr. President, I rise in strong opposition to the Paul 
amendment. In the budget we are debating today, my Republican 
colleagues have required the Finance Committee to increase the deficit 
by $1.5 trillion over the next decade. This budget would pave the way 
for massive cuts to Medicare and Medicaid in order to provide the 
wealthiest people in this country with incredibly large tax breaks.
  Senator Paul thinks that doesn't go far enough. His amendment would 
allow the Senate to increase the deficit by $2.5 trillion, allowing for 
even greater cuts to Medicare, to Medicaid, and even bigger tax breaks 
for the Koch brothers and their friends.
  I urge a ``no'' vote on this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  Mr. PAUL. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 7, nays 93, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 241 Leg.]

                                YEAS--7

     Cruz
     Daines
     Heller
     Lee
     Paul
     Perdue
     Sasse

                                NAYS--93

     Alexander
     Baldwin
     Barrasso
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Blunt
     Booker
     Boozman
     Brown
     Burr
     Cantwell
     Capito
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Cassidy
     Cochran
     Collins
     Coons
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cortez Masto
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Feinstein
     Fischer
     Flake
     Franken
     Gardner
     Gillibrand
     Graham
     Grassley
     Harris
     Hassan
     Hatch
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kaine
     Kennedy
     King
     Klobuchar
     Lankford
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCain
     McCaskill
     McConnell
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Portman
     Reed
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Scott
     Shaheen
     Shelby
     Stabenow
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Tester
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wicker
     Wyden
     Young
  The amendment (No. 1404) was rejected.


                           Amendment No. 1429

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there will now be 2 
minutes of debate, equally divided, prior to a vote in relation to Lee 
amendment No. 1429.
  The Senator from Utah.
  Mr. LEE. Mr. President, our constitutional structure puts in place a 
Federal Government with powers that James Madison described as ``few 
and defined'' and those reserved to the States as ``numerous and 
indefinite.'' Among other things, the Constitution gives powers to the 
Congress to regulate interstate commerce, trade or commerce between the 
States, with foreign nations, and with Indian Tribes. It does not give 
the Congress the power to regulate any and every activity occurring 
intrastate. Yet, for the last few decades, under the Endangered Species 
Act, this very power has been abused to regulate species that exists 
only in one place, only within one State, never crossing State lines, 
never forming any part of any channel or instrumentality of interstate 
commerce. This is wrong, it is unconstitutional, and it eviscerates and 
circumvents the meaning of the 10th Amendment. We need to liberate this 
country from the dictates of a few bureaucrats in Washington, DC, who 
have overextended their authority under the Endangered Species Act. My 
amendment fixes that, and I urge my colleagues to support amendment No. 
1429.

[[Page S6628]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Delaware.
  Mr. CARPER. Mr. President, I rise in opposition to the amendment 
offered by the Senator from Utah.
  Why is this an important amendment vote? Just listen to this. More 
than 1,000 listed species, 77 percent of all listed species, including 
the polar bear, the Florida panther are found in one State--one State. 
Seventy-seven percent of all listed species, including the polar bear, 
the Florida panther, and many more are found only in one State, and for 
an island State like Hawaii, all of its species would lose protection.
  I urge you to join me in opposing this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  Mr. LEE. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 49, nays 51, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 242 Leg.]

                                YEAS--49

     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Cochran
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young

                                NAYS--51

     Alexander
     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Collins
     Coons
     Corker
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden
  The amendment (No. 1429) was rejected.


                       Vote on Amendment No. 1552

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there will now be 2 
minutes of debate, equally divided, prior to a vote in relation to 
Fischer amendment No. 1552.
  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, I yield back all time and ask for a voice 
vote.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  The amendment (No. 1552) was agreed to.


                           Amendment No. 1301

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there will now be 2 
minutes of debate, equally divided, prior to a vote in relation to 
Cantwell amendment No. 1301.
  The Senator from Washington.
  Ms. CANTWELL. Mr. President, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is 
one of the most pristine areas of the United States, and we have been 
protecting it for decades for a reason. The notion that tonight, after 
60-plus years, we would give up what is a biologically important area, 
that is a critical habitat for polar bears, a breeding ground for 
caribou, migratory birds, and over 200 species--for what? For oil that 
we don't need.
  We have had record oil production in the last 10 years--a 77-percent 
increase. The oil that we would get, we wouldn't get until 10 years 
from now, and it would supply oil for only 1 year in the United States. 
It is not worth it.
  As Representative Mo Udall said in 1980: ``If we have to drill at the 
White House or Arlington Cemetery or the Capitol grounds for oil, we 
might have to drill in the Arctic Refuge. But let us go there last.''
  We don't need this oil. We have plenty of supply. The Interior 
Secretary is trying to open a billion acres, including on-shore and 
outer continental shelf waters. Vote no and protect a unique special 
place that has been protected for 60 years.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska.
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, I urge my colleagues to soundly reject 
this amendment. Those who support this amendment will deny us the 
opportunity to do something constructive in this country when it comes 
to our opportunities to produce energy, to produce wealth.
  We need to be expanding our energy development in our Federal areas. 
This helps us reduce our deficit, build new wealth in this country, 
strengthen our national security and our competitiveness. We can and we 
must do more as a nation to responsibly develop our resources, our 
energy resources providing economic security, energy security, and 
national security. The Energy Committee is prepared to meet this 
instruction to raise a billion dollars over the next decade.
  I urge Senators to reject this amendment, which would deprive us of a 
substantial opportunity to benefit our country at the same time that we 
care for our environment.
  Thank you.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  Ms. CANTWELL. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 48, nays 52, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 243 Leg.]

                                YEAS--48

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Collins
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--52

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Cochran
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     Manchin
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young
  The amendment (No. 1301) was rejected.


                           Amendment No. 1561

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there will now be 2 
minutes of debate, equally divided, prior to a vote in relation to Enzi 
amendment No. 1561.
  The Senator from Wyoming.
  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, first of all, I want to thank everybody who 
has gotten us to this point. There is this vote, and I hope there will 
be one voice vote after it and then final passage.
  I am urging my colleagues to support this amendment. This amendment 
offers technical and conforming changes that are needed for the House 
of Representatives to be able to enforce the budget resolution. This 
amendment will help maintain fiscal discipline in the House so both 
Chambers can continue to work and put America on a more sustainable 
footing. What is also important for my colleagues to know is that these 
provisions apply to the House only. The Senate enforcement remains 
unchanged.
  I hope you will support me on this amendment.
  I yield the floor and reserve the remainder of my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. SANDERS. Mr. President, Chairman Enzi suggests that this is just 
a ``technical corrections amendment.'' Actually, that is not quite 
accurate.
  At a time when the United States spends more on defense than the next 
12 countries combined, amazingly, this

[[Page S6629]]

amendment paves the way for a $91 billion increase in defense spending 
in fiscal year 2018.
  This amendment would renew the Republican effort to repeal the 
Affordable Care Act and throw up to 32 million Americans off of the 
health insurance they currently have, increase premiums for older 
workers, and make even more harmful cuts to Medicaid.
  This amendment includes a provision requiring the use of so-called 
dynamic scoring, or what President George H.W. Bush appropriately 
referred to as voodoo economics, allowing the Republicans to claim that 
their massive tax breaks for the rich will pay for themselves.
  At a time when the cost of college education is skyrocketing, this 
amendment calls for dramatic cuts to student financial aid.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  Mr. ENZI. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 52, nays 48, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 244 Leg.]

                                YEAS--52

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young

                                NAYS--48

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden
  The amendment (No. 1561) was agreed to.


                           Amendment No. 1167

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there will now be 2 
minutes of debate, equally divided, prior to a vote in relation to the 
Perdue-Whitehouse amendment No. 1167.
  The Senator from Georgia.
  Mr. PERDUE. Mr. President, I have great news. This is the last 
amendment and the only bipartisan amendment tonight, and after this we 
will vote on the entire bill.
  The purpose of this amendment is to declare this process--the vote-
arama--utter nonsense. It is part of a budget process that both parties 
have perpetrated and persisted with for 43 years. It has only worked 
four times; to fund the Federal Government, according to the Budget Act 
of 1974, four times in our history. We are supposed to appropriate 12 
bills a year to fund the Government. We have averaged 2\1/2\.
  I urge all of my colleagues to make clear to the American people that 
we recognize this budgeting process is broken and we are committed to 
fix it.
  Thank you.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I am pleased to urge all of my 
colleagues to give a strong bipartisan voice vote in support of the 
amendment by the Senator from Georgia. The current budget process does 
not produce a meaningful budget, does not control the debt or the 
deficit, and does not contribute to bipartisanship or compromise. What 
it does produce is a meaningless, partisan vote-arama. If you believe 
we can do better than a vote-arama, if you believe we can have an 
improved and meaningful budget process, voice vote aye.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  The amendment (No. 1167) was agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming.
  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, I know of no further amendments to the 
resolution.


                     Amendment No. 1116, as Amended

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There will now be 2 minutes of debate equally 
divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment No. 1116, as amended.
  Mr. ENZI. That is the substitute. I yield back time on that.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. SANDERS. Mr. President, this is not a bad budget bill. It is a 
horrific budget bill, an extremely cruel bill, and the most unfair 
budget ever presented in the modern history of our country.
  At a time of massive income and wealth inequality, this budget 
provides $1.9 trillion in tax breaks for the top 1 percent. At a time 
when millions of working families are struggling to keep their heads 
above water, this budget cuts Medicaid by $1 trillion. Fifteen million 
Americans could lose their health insurance.
  This is a budget that poll after poll shows the American people do 
not want. Let us defeat it.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming.
  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, I am tempted to debate that, but we will get 
to do that as we do the provisions of this after it is all voted on.
  I hope everybody will adopt the substitute by voice, and then vote on 
adoption of the resolution.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any further amendments?
  Seeing none, the question is on agreeing to amendment No. 1116, as 
amended.
  The amendment (No. 1116) in the nature of a substitute, as amended, 
was agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question occurs on adoption of H. Con. 
Res. 71, as amended.
  Mr. ENZI. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 51, nays 49, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 245 Leg.]

                                YEAS--51

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young

                                NAYS--49

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Paul
     Peters
     Reed
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden
  The concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 71), as amended, was agreed 
to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, tonight we completed the first step 
toward replacing our broken Tax Code by passing a comprehensive, 
fiscally responsible budget that will help put the Federal Government 
on a path to balance. The budget also gives us the tools we need to 
strengthen our economy after years of stagnation under the previous 
administration.
  We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to replace a failing tax 
code that holds Americans back with one that actually works for them. 
To middle-class families across America, we have a very simple message. 
We want

[[Page S6630]]

to take more money out of Washington's pockets and put more in yours.
  With this budget, we are on a path to delivering much needed relief 
to American individuals and families who have borne the burdens of an 
unfair tax code for entirely too long. I want to particularly thank 
Chairman Mike Enzi and the members of the Budget Committee and the 
staff for their extraordinary work on this budget.

                          ____________________