BANKRUPTCY JUDGESHIP ACT OF 2017--Continued; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 171
(Senate - October 24, 2017)

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[Pages S6730-S6738]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




              BANKRUPTCY JUDGESHIP ACT OF 2017--Continued

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kentucky.
  Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, we currently have a $20 trillion debt.
  Now, we might ask ourselves, whose fault is it, Republicans or 
Democrats? The easy answer is both. Both parties are equally 
responsible, equally culpable, and equally guilty of ignoring the debt, 
ignoring the spending problem, and really I think allowing our country 
to rot from the inside out.
  This year, the deficit will be $700 billion, for just 1 year for our 
country, $700 billion. We borrow about $1 million a minute. Under 
George W. Bush, the debt went from $5 trillion to $10 trillion. Under 
President Obama, it went from $10 trillion to $20 trillion. It is 
doubling under Republicans and Democrats.
  Right now, we are in the midst of another spending frenzy. People 
will say: Well, we are spending the money for something good. We are 
going to help those in Puerto Rico, in Texas, and in Florida. My point 
is, if we are going to spend money to help someone in need, maybe we 
should take it from another area of spending that is less in need. I 
think that just simply borrowing it--even for something you can argue 
is compassionate--is really foolhardy and may make us weaker as a 
nation.
  Admiral Mullen put it this way. He said: The No. 1 threat to our 
national security is our debt. In fact, most people who follow world 
politics--while we do have problems around the world--don't really see 
us being invaded anytime soon by an army or an armada, but people do 
see the burden of debt.
  So what we have before us is a bill, $36 billion, much of it going to 
Puerto Rico, Texas, and Florida. My request is very simple: We should 
pay for it.
  About 1 month ago, we had $15 billion for the same purposes. We are 
set, in all likelihood, to have over $100 billion spent on these 
hurricanes. I simply ask that we take it from some spending item that 
seems to be less pressing. We could go through a list of hundreds and 
hundreds of items.
  One thing I think we could start with is why don't we quit sending 
money to countries that burn our flag? If you are a country saying: 
``Death to America,'' burning the American flag, maybe we shouldn't 
give you any money. We give money to Pakistan, we trade and sell arms 
with most of the Middle East, which does not like us, and we do this 
with borrowed money. We don't even have the money we are sending, but 
we can make the burden a little less if we say: Let's not give any 
money to countries that hate us, to any country burning our flag.
  In Pakistan, there is a Christian woman by the name of Asia Bibi. She 
has been on death row for 5 years for being a Christian. She went to 
the well to draw water, and the women of the village began chanting, 
``Death. Death to the Christian.'' As she was being beaten and pummeled 
on the ground and thought she was going to die, the police finally 
showed up. She thought they were there to rescue her. They were there 
to imprison her. They took her off to prison. That was 5 years ago. It 
is not easy being Christian in the Middle East.
  In Pakistan, there was a doctor who helped us get bin Laden. His name 
is Afridi. He also has been in jail now for about 5, 6 years. He helped 
get us information that helped us to target bin Laden and finally get 
this great enemy of our country. The Pakistanis put him in jail for 
helping us.

[[Page S6731]]

  The Pakistanis help us one day and stab us in the back the next day. 
When the Taliban was defeated under President Obama, when he put 
100,000 troops in there, they scurried off into Pakistan, they had a 
sanctuary, and then they came back. I think we ought to think twice 
about sending money to countries that burn our flag, sending money to 
countries that persecute Christians, sending money to countries that, 
frankly, don't even like us.
  We spend about $30 billion helping other countries. If you were going 
to help your neighbor, if your neighbor was without food, would you 
first feed your children, and if you have a little money left over, 
help the children next door? That is what most people would do. If you 
are going to give money to your church or synagogue, would you go to 
the bank and borrow the money to give to somebody? Would that be 
compassionate or foolhardy? Is it compassionate to borrow money to give 
it to someone else?
  People here will say they have great compassion, and they want to 
help the people of Puerto Rico and the people of Texas and the people 
of Florida, but notice they have great compassion with someone else's 
money. Ask them if they are giving any money to Puerto Rico. Ask them 
if they are giving money to Texas. Ask them what they are doing to help 
their fellow man. You will find often it is easy to be compassionate 
with somebody else's money, but it is not only that. It is not only 
compassion with someone else's money, it is compassion with money that 
doesn't even exist, money that is borrowed. Of the $20 trillion we owe, 
China holds $1 trillion of that.
  All this might be said, and you might say: We just have to help 
people. You are worrying too much. Do you have to talk about details? 
Really, all the money is being well spent. If you look back at money 
that has been spent before on disasters, guess what--people replace 
everything, including things that weren't broken.
  I remember, in Katrina, a family who was holed up in a beachside 
resort for weeks with taxpayer money. They could have put them up 
across the street for about $60 or $50 a night. They were staying in a 
$400-a-night beachside resort with government money, with FEMA money.
  I think we have to look at how well government spends money. Do you 
want an example of how well government spends money? Last year, we had 
some great science. There was a lot of great taxpayer-funded science 
going on. They wanted to study whether Neil Armstrong, when he set foot 
on the Moon, said: ``One small step for mankind'' or whether he said: 
``One small step for a man.'' So it was either ``One small step for 
man'' or ``One small step for a man.'' They wanted to know if the 
article ``a'' was in there. So they took money that was actually 
intended for a good purpose--to study autism--and they studied Neil 
Armstrong's statement when he landed on the Moon, $700,000.
  In the NIH last year, they spent $2 million studying whether, if 
someone in front of you in the buffet line sneezes on the food, are you 
more or less likely to eat the food that has been sneezed on? I think 
we could have polled the audience on that one.
  They spent $300,000 studying whether Japanese quail are more sexually 
promiscuous on cocaine. I think we could probably just assume yes.
  This kind of stuff goes on year after year. You think: Oh, those are 
aberrations. That is new.
  William Proxmire was a Senator--a conservative Democrat back in the 
day--and he used to do something called the Golden Fleece Award. He 
would put out these awards. They sound exactly the same as the stuff we 
are finding now.
  We spent money studying the gambling habits of Ugandans. We have 
studied how to prepare the Philippines for climate change. You name it, 
we are studying it around the world, with money we don't have.
  If you want to make the argument: We are running a surplus, we are a 
great country, we are going to help all the other countries of the 
world--I would actually listen to you if we were running a surplus, but 
we are not. We are running a $700 billion deficit. We borrow $1 million 
a minute.
  We have a lot of rich people here. We ought to ask these rich 
Senators: What have you given to Puerto Rico? What are you giving to 
Texas? Instead, they are giving your money. They are really not even 
giving your money. They are giving money they borrowed.
  So what am I asking? Not that we not do this. What I am asking is: 
Why don't we take it from something we shouldn't be doing or why don't 
we try to conserve? So if you decided you want to help the people next 
door, you might say: I am not going to the movie theater. I am not 
going to go to the Broadway play. I am not going to the NFL game. I am 
going to save money by cutting back on my expenses so I can help the 
people next door who are struggling, the father and mother out of work, 
and they need my help--but you wouldn't go to the bank and ask for a 
loan to help people. That is not the way it works, unless you are a 
government. Then common sense goes out the window, and you just spend 
money right and left because you are compassionate, you have a big 
heart, because you have the ability of the Federal Reserve just to 
print out more money.
  There are ultimately ramifications to profligate spending. We are 
approaching that day. Some say you get there when your debt is at 100 
percent of your GDP. We have now surpassed that. We have about a $17 
trillion, $18 trillion economy, and we have a $20 trillion debt. Is it 
getting any better? Have we planned on fixing it at all? No, there is 
no fixing. Is one party better than the other? No, they are equally 
bad. They are terrible. One side is at least honest. They don't care 
about the debt. The other side is just hypocrites because they say: We 
are going to win the election by saying we are conservative, we care 
about the debt, but they don't. The debt gets worse under both parties. 
Voters need to scratch their head and say: Maybe they are both equally 
bad with regard to the debt.
  Most of the debt is driven by this. It is driven by mandatory 
spending. What is mandatory spending? These are the entitlements, 
Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, Social Security. This is driving the 
debt. It is on autopilot. So when we talk about a budget, nobody is 
talking about doing anything about the spending on autopilot. Why? It 
is risky to talk about reforming entitlements because everybody is 
getting one. If we don't, though, we are consigned to more and more 
debt, and ultimately I think we are consigned to resign to a time in 
which the currency may well be destroyed and the country could be eaten 
from the inside out through this massive debt.
  Last week, we voted on a budget. From appearances, you would say: 
Well, the Republicans put forth a conservative budget. It had $6 
trillion worth of entitlement savings. In the first year, it had $96 
billion worth of entitlement savings.
  But ask one Republican, ask any Republican in Congress ``Where is 
your $96 billion worth of entitlement spending coming from?'' and most 
of them wouldn't even know it was in the budget. It is in the budget to 
make it look good and look as if it balances over 10 years. Yet there 
is no plan to do anything to entitlement spending. There is no plan to 
do any entitlement savings. There is no bill in committee and no bill 
to come forward.
  I introduced an amendment to the budget. I said: Well, if you are 
going to cut or save or somehow transform the entitlements into 
responsible spending, where we spend what comes in and we don't borrow, 
why don't we put rules or reconciliation instructions into the budget 
to tell people that, yes, we are honest, we are sincere, and we are 
actually going to cut spending? Do you know how many people voted for 
it? There are 52 Republicans; we had 5. They say they are for spending 
cuts, but they are not really because nobody will vote to give the 
instructions to actually do the spending cuts.
  The budget we typically vote on is called discretionary spending. 
This is the military and nonmilitary. If you were to eliminate all of 
that, you still wouldn't balance the budget. That is one-third of the 
budget. You can't even balance the budget by eliminating one-third of 
it. You have to tackle the entitlements. Yet nobody has the 
wherewithal, the guts, or the intestinal fortitude to actually do it.
  We did have a big fix once upon a time on Social Security. In 1983, 
President Reagan and Tip O'Neill--Republican and Democrat--came 
together to

[[Page S6732]]

say that we were out of money, and we gradually raised the age of 
Social Security to 67. Is anybody happy to do that? Is anybody jumping 
up and down, saying: Oh, I want to wait longer to get Social Security. 
No, nobody is, but if we don't do it, there will be no Social Security 
because we are destroying the system.
  Social Security pays out more than it brings in. Once upon a time, it 
was the other way around. We used to have about 16 workers for every 
retiree. Now we have a little bit less than three workers for every 
retiree. Families got smaller.
  People ask me: Why are Social Security and Medicare running a 
deficit? Whose fault is it--Republicans or Democrats? Really, it is a 
little bit of both, but it is also the fault of your grandparents for 
having too many kids. A whole bunch of baby boomers were born, and they 
are all retiring, but the baby boomers had fewer kids, and the baby 
boomers' kids had even fewer kids, so it is a demographic shift.
  If we put our heads in the sand and do nothing, the debt will 
continue to accumulate. We are accumulating debt by the billions of 
dollars every year. This year, it is $700 billion, and it is estimated 
that it will be close to or may exceed $1 trillion next year. During 
President Obama's tenure, we had deficits of over $1 trillion in 
several years. Over an 8-year period, we actually increased the debt 
over $1 trillion a year. There was about a $10 trillion increase in the 
debt in the 8 years of President Obama.
  If we look at whose fault it is, Republicans or Democrats, it is 
both. But I will tell you the way it works around here. People say that 
it is noble, that you are enlightened if you compromise. So here is the 
compromise you get. You heard that four of our brave young men died in 
Niger the other day. Most of the people here didn't even know we were 
there, to the tune of 1,000 soldiers. Once they heard about it--the 
hawks--they said: Oh, we need more. They didn't know 1,000 were there, 
but they said that we need more there, that we need more people in 
Niger.
  No one has bothered to have a debate over what the war in Niger is 
about, whether we should be there, and whether we should send our 
brave, young men and women there. Our Founding Fathers said that was 
the first principle--the first principle of going to war. The 
initiation of war, the declaration of war, is to be done by Congress. 
They specifically took that power away from the President. It is not 
just about funding, although that is another way we control war, but 
the primary way we control whether we enter into war is the declaration 
of war. It is under article I, section 8. This is where the 
congressional powers are laid out. People say: Oh, that is an 
anachronism; we don't obey that anymore. They certainly don't. But it 
was never removed from the Constitution; they just quit and began 
ignoring this.
  How important was this to our Founding Fathers? Madison wrote this. 
Madison said that the executive is the branch of government most prone 
to war; therefore, the Constitution, with studied care, granted the 
power of war to the legislature. It wasn't just Madison who said this; 
it was Jefferson, Washington, Adams. The whole panoply of Founding 
Fathers said that war was to be initiated by Congress.
  We have had no vote, no debate, and most of the Members didn't know 
we were in this part of Africa. Yet here we are. But the knee-jerk 
reaction by those on the right typically, but some on the left, is that 
we need more, that we wouldn't have lost those 4 lives had we had 
10,000 troops in a country in which none of us knew we were going to be 
at war. None of us fully debated who the parties are to the war. Yet we 
are going to be at war there now. So the knee-jerk reaction is that we 
are to expand our role in this war in Africa.
  I had my staff ask a question: How many troops do we have in Africa? 
Nobody here knows. We looked it up, and we found out it is 6,000. We 
have 6,000 troops in Africa. We knew we were at war in Iraq, Syria, 
Afghanistan, and Libya, but we didn't really know we had 6,000 troops 
in Africa. That would include Libya. Six thousand troops are in Africa.
  The point is, when you get back to the debate we are talking about--
the budget--there are a great deal of expenditures to have troops in a 
hundred-some-odd countries. So we literally have troops in over 100 
countries. We currently have 6,000 troops in Africa. It is expensive. 
How do you convince the other side of the aisle to pay for it?

  Typically, the Republican side of the aisle says: ``Katy, bar the 
door.'' We will spend whatever it takes, and then some, on the 
military.
  The Democrats say: Well, what about welfare? We need more welfare.
  Then they tell you that to compromise is noble, to be enlightened, to 
be pragmatic, that to compromise is what we should shoot for, that we 
should work with the other side. So that is what happens.
  There has been a bipartisan consensus for maybe 50, 60, 70 years now, 
and that is to fund everything. If the right wants warfare, the left 
says we must get more welfare. If the left wants welfare, the right 
says we have to have more money for warfare. So it is guns and butter. 
It began in an aggressive way during the Vietnam war, but it has 
proceeded apace. We continue to spend money as if there is no tomorrow, 
but both parties are guilty. It is the right and the left. It is 
compromise that is killing this country. It is the compromise to spend 
money on everything, for everyone, whether you are from the right or 
the left.
  But there could be another form of compromise. We could say that we 
wish to compromise in the reverse direction. We wish to say that, look, 
maybe for the Republicans, national defense is more important than 
welfare, and maybe for the Democrats, welfare is more important than 
warfare, but maybe the compromise could be, you know what, we don't 
have enough money for either one. Maybe the compromise could be that we 
will spend a little bit less on each.
  You know what. We did that recently. When I first came up here, I was 
elected in this tea party tidal wave that was concerned about debt. 
Something called a sequester was passed. Guess who hated it. All the 
big-spending Republicans and all the big-spending Democrats. They 
couldn't pass out their goodies and favors enough because there was 
some restraint.
  You say: Well, I heard the sequester was terrible. I saw people at 
school and I saw people in my town saying that the sequester wasn't 
giving them enough money.
  The sequester was actually a slowdown in the rate of growth of 
spending. This is why you have to understand newspeak. We talk about 
newspeak and how people change the meaning of words to make them 
meaningless or even to make them mean the opposite. You hear all the 
time--when we were having the debate on repealing ObamaCare, we were 
talking about capping the rate of growth of Medicaid. You heard all the 
squawking on the left saying we were going to cut Medicaid. No. We were 
going to cut the rate of growth of Medicaid.
  So we had a sequester, and it was evenly divided between military and 
nonmilitary, between Republican interests and Democratic interests. It 
did not cut; it slowed down the rate of growth of spending over 10 
years. It was actually working to a certain degree. We got it because 
people who were concerned about the debt fought and fought and said: We 
need to be concerned about the debt. We are hollowing out the country 
from the inside out.
  Who destroyed the sequester? Really, the voices were louder on the 
Republican side than the Democratic side, but both parties were 
complicit. The sequester has essentially been gutted and destroyed, and 
the spending caps have become somewhat meaningless.
  We have before us today $36 billion. It will exceed the spending 
caps. We have a sequester in place, but there are all these exemptions, 
so it is exempt. Anytime you say it is an emergency, it is an 
exemption. Within the $36 billion, though, there is $16 billion because 
we run a terrible government-run flood program that is $16 billion in 
the hole. So we are going to bail it out by letting it wipe out all of 
its debt. That sounds like long-term mismanagement in a badly run 
program rather than an emergency. Yet it is going to be stuck in an 
emergency bill so it can exceed the caps.
  What am I asking for today? I am asking that we obey our own rules. 
We set these rules. We set these spending caps. We set the sequester. 
Let's obey

[[Page S6733]]

them. The other side will say: Oh, we are obeying the rules; we are 
just not counting this money. That is the problem. We have this 
dishonest accounting where people say: Oh yeah, we are obeying the 
rules. But we are not.
  There are a couple of ways you could pay for this. The first way, I 
tried a couple of weeks ago. We had a $15 billion bill, and I said: Why 
don't we pay for it with the foreign aid, the welfare we give to other 
countries? Why don't we say: You know what, it is time we looked at 
America first. It is time that we took care of our own. It is time that 
we spend money taking care of those in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, 
but let's spend money that we were going to send in the form of welfare 
to other countries. Maybe we should take care of our own.
  Instead, though, the Senate voted otherwise. I forced the issue. They 
weren't too happy with the amendment. I only got the vote because I was 
persistent and I threatened to delay things, and I was able to get a 
vote. Do you know how many Senators voted for this? No Democrats. No 
Democrats wanted to offset any spending, and 10 Republicans did. I 
think the vote was 87 to 10. Eighty-seven Senators voted to keep 
spending money without any offsets, to basically just borrow the money.
  Now we are having the same debate again. I have an amendment to 
offset the $36 billion. In all likelihood, I am not going to get an 
amendment vote because they don't have time. It would take 15 minutes, 
and God forbid we spend 15 minutes talking about how we are being eaten 
alive by a $20 trillion debt. God forbid we talk about how a $20 
trillion debt is an anchor around the neck of the country. God forbid. 
God forbid we offer an amendment and at least take 15 minutes to have 
an offset, to say we should pay for this money we are going to send to 
Puerto Rico, Texas, and Florida, pay for it by taking it from some 
other element in the budget.
  Last time, I offered foreign welfare. This time, what I put on the 
table is something that is very similar to a bill that has been put 
forward and offered for several years called the Penny Plan. The Penny 
Plan is this. There is a great illustration of this--if you want to 
look at this on YouTube--of a guy with a bunch of pennies stacked and 
showing sort of in a visual way what it would be like to cut one penny 
out of every dollar. That is what we are talking about. A 1-percent cut 
across the board would pay for this $36 billion bill. It is actually a 
little bit less than 1 percent. One percent of a $4 trillion budget 
would be $40 billion. We need $36 billion, so it is less than 1 
percent. Just cut the budget less than 1 percent.
  Do you think there might be 1 percent waste in every department, 
including even departments of government you might like? Do you think 
any American families ever had to deal with a 1-percent cut? Government 
is so wasteful at every level that we could probably cut several 
percentage points of every division and department of government, and 
you wouldn't know it was gone. I mean, the waste is astounding. When we 
looked at where money is spent, we looked at some of the money that was 
being shipped overseas not too long ago, and one of the programs that 
we found was a televised cricket league for Afghanistan. All right, 
self-esteem is really important, and you are going to pay for it. So we 
are going to pay for television so that the Afghans can feel better 
about themselves by watching cricket on TV.

  The first problem is that we don't have the money. We have to borrow 
it. The second problem is that they don't have televisions in 
Afghanistan. Well, some do, but the 1 in 1,000 people who have a 
television, I guess, are going to feel better about the Americans 
paying so that they can watch cricket on TV. It is one thing after 
another. We paid $1 million for a variety program to put little songs 
and skits on their televisions. Once again, most of them do not have a 
TV to watch.
  In the war effort in Afghanistan, we spent trillions and trillions of 
dollars on the war effort. We have defeated the Taliban many times, and 
I am sure that we could defeat them again, but that just means that 
they will go across the border, hide in caves, and go back when we are 
tired.
  We spent $45 million on a gas station in Afghanistan. This is an 
interesting gas station. It serves up natural gas. You might say that 
is great because we are lessening the carbon footprint in Afghanistan, 
except that it is completely absurd. They do not have any cars that run 
on natural gas in Afghanistan.
  So they built a $45 million plant. The original estimate was that it 
was going to cost about $500,000. It was like 46 times the cost of 
overruns, and it ended up costing $45 million. It serves up natural 
gas, but nobody has a car that runs on natural gas.
  We said whoops, and we immediately bought them 24 cars that run on 
natural gas so they could go to the $45 million gas station to get 
their natural gas. But that was not enough. We had natural gas cars for 
them, but they had no money with which to buy the natural gas. So we 
bought them all credit cards. We bought them natural-gas-burning cars, 
we gave them a natural-gas gas station, and we bought them credit cards 
to reduce the carbon footprint of those who are living in Afghanistan. 
This is absurd.
  When we look at the budget and when we look at accounting, a lot of 
the money that has been spent overseas in the Iraq war, the Afghanistan 
war, the Syria war, the Niger war, the Libya war, the Somalia war, and 
the Chad war is not really budgeted. A lot of this money is actually 
done as an off-budget thing. It is called the overseas contingency 
operations. It is really a way of cheating, a way of being dishonest in 
your accounting. It is a way of evading spending caps, but it has also 
gone a long way toward making it easier to keep spending money without 
restraint. We tried to put restraints on military and nonmilitary, and 
they were exceeded by this slush fund. They call it OCO funding, or 
overseas contingency operations. When we had the budget vote recently, 
I put forward an amendment and simply said that we should not spend 
above our caps. If we put these caps in place, this is what we should 
spend. I think that we got maybe 15 or 20 votes on that, but this is 
the problem.
  Ultimately, we have to decide as a country this: Are we going to obey 
the Constitution? Are we going to go to war only when we declare war, 
when Congress does its job and declares war, or are we going to go to 
war anytime, anywhere? That is sort of what we do now. We go to war 
anytime, anywhere on the face of the planet, and it is not for free.
  Not only is it expensive in dollars, but it is expensive in the lives 
of the young men and women who are sent to these wars. Yet no one has 
ever voted on them. We lost a soldier in Yemen 3 or 4 months ago. For 
his family, it was devastating, but America pays little attention 
because America is, basically, not fighting the war. A very small 
percentage of America--brave young men and women who are often from 
rural parts of our country--is fighting our wars, but the mass of 
America is not fighting. You could say that they are volunteers--that 
is great, and I think that is the best kind of army to have--but I hate 
it that we do not show the responsibility and care of actually doing 
our job and of taking the time to debate it.
  Should we be at war in Yemen or not? Should we be at war in Niger? 
Should we be at war in Libya? Should we be at war in Chad? Should we be 
at war in Somalia, in Djibouti, in Pakistan, in Afghanistan? We have 
troops in probably 20 or 30 nations in which there is conflict going 
on, and we are actively involved in the midst of conflict in at least 6 
or 7. It is very expensive in human lives and dollars.
  We need to ask ourselves this: Will we do this forever?
  The Sunnis have been fighting the Shia for about 1,000 years.
  People say: Well, we are going after ISIS in Africa.
  ISIS is basically a name for radical jihadist Islam, and it is all 
over the planet. Are we going to go everywhere and kill every one of 
them? Is there a possibility that, when we kill 1 that 10 more will pop 
up? Is the Whac-A-Mole strategy for killing every terrorist on the 
planet or every radical on the planet the way that we are going to win?
  We went into Yemen on a manned raid in January or February of this 
year, and we lost one brave Navy SEAL. They say that we got 
information, but they will not exactly tell me what information they 
got. They claim

[[Page S6734]]

that it was this great information that is going to make the war on 
terror so much easier. I have my doubts. In the raid, though, which was 
a manned raid in the middle of Yemen, women and children died. I do not 
blame our soldiers. I have members of my family who are Active Duty. 
They do what they are told. They take orders. It is tough being put in 
a situation like that. You are dropped in the middle of nowhere in a 
village. Maybe the women and children are shooting at you as well. You 
have to defend yourself and complete your mission.

  Yet I wonder whether or not the policymakers should be more involved 
with making the decision as to whether we should be in Yemen and 
whether or not the people who live in the surrounding area to that 
village will, for 100 years or more, recite through oral tradition the 
day that the Americans came, and whether or not we will have actually 
killed more terrorists than will have been created by the oral 
tradition of when the Americans came.
  We are also aiding and abetting Saudi Arabia in this horrific war in 
Yemen. There are 17 million people who live on the edge of starvation 
in Yemen, and the war is exacerbating that. Yemen is a very poor 
country to begin with. They import about 80 percent of their food. 
Currently, the Saudis have a blockade. So no food is getting in. They 
say that it is to prevent arms, and I am sure it is, but one of the 
consequences is no food. There are a half million people with cholera 
right now. It is sort of a bad form of dysentery, and in poor 
countries, you die from cholera. There are a half million people with 
cholera. It goes along with no food and no clean water.
  The Saudis are blockading Yemen, and the Saudis are bombing Yemen. We 
are selling the Saudis the weapons. We are refueling the planes and 
helping the Saudis pick the targets. One of the Saudi targets about 1 
year ago was a funeral procession. This was a funeral procession of a 
Houthi leader or rebel. There were 500 people--civilians--who were 
wounded in that procession, and there were 150 who were killed by a 
Saudi bomb on civilians.
  Do you think they are going to soon forget that? Do you think that by 
killing 150 people in a funeral procession and wounding 500, you killed 
more terrorists that day than you created?
  I would say that that day will live on in oral history for 1,000 
years. The day the Saudis came with American bombs and bombed an 
unarmed funeral procession will live on for 1,000 years, and hundreds--
if not thousands--of people will be motivated to become suicide bombers 
because of the day that the Saudis bombed a funeral procession.
  It is incredibly expensive in lives--their lives, our lives. When you 
look at the cause of famine around the globe and when you look at it 
extensively and study the causes of famine, it is war probably 6 or 7 
times out of 10. War is a terrible thing, and we must acknowledge that 
and try to think of ways that we can make war the last resort instead 
of the first resort.
  I mean, for goodness sake, the people on television this Sunday did 
not know how many troops were in Niger. Yet their immediate response 
was that we should have had more--that we need more troops over there 
in Africa--in a place that most Americans have not heard of and have no 
idea who is fighting whom or whether or not it is an achievable goal. 
They say that 1,000 was not enough, that if we had had 10,000 in air 
support and all of this, we would have prevented these deaths. That is 
one lesson you could learn. The other lesson you could learn is that 
maybe we should not have been there at all.
  You see, people have to stand up for themselves. There is this idea 
of sort of self-rule and independence, but if people are coddled and 
not sort of forced into the position of defending themselves, they will 
not.
  We have been in Afghanistan for 16 years. In the 16 years we have 
been there, what have we found? We have found that about 60,000 to 
80,000 Afghans have come over here. We have to help these translators. 
Well, they speak English, and they are pro-West. So they need to stay 
in Afghanistan and create a country. The best people left.
  It is the same in Iraq. We won the war in Iraq, and all of the good 
people came over here. I have nothing personally against those who came 
other than that I am disappointed that there were not enough people who 
were heroic enough to stay in their country to help build a new 
country.
  Who fights over there? Some of the Afghans fight. Some people join 
their army to shoot us. We have this green on green, where their 
soldiers are shooting our soldiers because they come in and 
intentionally are there to kill our soldiers. Yet the question is, How 
come, after 15, 16 years, the Afghans cannot fight to preserve their 
nation?
  Now everybody says: Oh, if America comes home, the Taliban will take 
over. The Taliban is not quite ISIS. It is also not quite the same 
international sort of jihadist. They did harbor bin Laden once upon a 
time. Most of those people are dead if not all of them.
  If you look at how terrorism ended when the IRA ended in England and 
in Ireland, it ended up being a negotiation. So many say that they will 
never negotiate with the enemy. If you never negotiate with the 
Taliban--they are, unfortunately, pretty popular in Afghanistan, and 
they are going to be there forever--can we kill them all? No. It is 
just like the radicals throughout these Islamic countries. I think 
there are too many to kill. The question is, Do you create more than 
you kill?
  If you put this in context and say that we have to be able to defend 
ourselves and that our country needs to be strong to defend itself, I 
could not agree more, but do you know what? We become weaker every day 
as we run up this debt. We are $20 trillion in debt--$700 billion this 
year. We borrow $1 million a minute. Realize that predicament, and then 
realize that the powers that be do not want to allow amendments to 
offset spending.
  I am proposing, if we spend money on Puerto Rico and Texas and 
Florida, that we offset it by taking it from something that is less of 
a priority, from something else in the budget. If we were to cut 1 
percent of the rest of the budget, we would have more than enough to 
pay for this. Would anybody notice 1 percent? Sure. One would have to 
push things around a little bit, but they would all survive.
  We have looked at spending, and to show you how bad spending in the 
Federal Government is, it gets faster each month as you get toward the 
end of the year. When there is only 1 month left, these bureaucrats 
say: Oh, my goodness, we might not be able to spend the money fast 
enough. So spending in the last month of the year is, actually, five 
times faster than in any other month of the year. In fact, in the last 
month of the fiscal year, not only is it five times faster, but each 
progressive day it gets faster. The last month of the fiscal year is 
September. On September 1, they spend the money like this. On September 
2, it is like this. On September 3, it like this. On September 4, it is 
like this. It goes up every day because they are trying to shovel the 
money out as fast as they can. If they do not spend it all, they are 
afraid they will not get it next year. The common parlance is ``use it 
or lose it.''
  When you get all the way to the last day of the fiscal year, spending 
actually increases and goes with the rising and setting Sun. So it is 8 
o'clock, earlier here than it is in California. As the Sun rises, we 
begin spending money in the East. We are shoveling it out as fast as we 
can. As the Sun progresses towards sunset, the spending shifts to the 
west coast. They are shoveling it out at 5 o'clock Pacific time in 
their trying to get rid of the money.
  If you look at when most conferences are, when most government 
employees go to a conference in Las Vegas, it is in the last months of 
the year. They found that they have some money. What is a million 
bucks? You don't mind spending a million bucks, right? You want these 
government employees to have a good time. So there was a group--I think 
it was the General Services Administration--a couple of years ago, and 
you saw those pictures of the head of the GSA and his wife in a big Las 
Vegas hot tub, drinking champagne. I think that was a million-dollar 
event--it was either at that conference or at another one--in which 
they decided that it would be good and instructive for their employees 
if they actually had a Star Trek reenactment. So they hired Star Trek 
reenactors.

[[Page S6735]]

  With that, I reserve the remainder of my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.


                        Protecting Our Democracy

  Mr. FLAKE. Mr. President, I rise today to address a matter that has 
been very much on my mind. At a moment when it seems that our democracy 
is more defined by our discord and our dysfunction than by our own 
values and principles, let me begin by noting a somewhat obvious point 
that these offices that we hold are not ours indefinitely. We are not 
here simply to mark time. Sustained incumbency is certainly not the 
point of seeking office, and there are times when we must risk our 
careers in favor of our principles. Now is such a time.
  It must also be said that I rise today with no small measure of 
regret--regret because of the state of our disunion, regret because of 
the disrepair and destructiveness of our politics, regret because of 
the indecency of our discourse, regret because of the coarseness of our 
leadership, regret for the compromise of our moral authority, and by 
``our,'' I mean all of our complicity in this alarming and dangerous 
state of affairs.
  It is time for our complicity and our accommodation of the 
unacceptable to end. In this century, a new phrase has entered the 
language to describe the accommodation of a new and undesirable order, 
that phrase being the ``new normal.'' But we must never adjust to the 
present coarseness of our national dialogue with the tone set at the 
top. We must never regard as normal the regular and casual undermining 
of our democratic norms and ideals. We must never meekly accept the 
daily sundering of our country, the personal attacks, the threats 
against principles, freedoms, and institutions, the flagrant disregard 
for truth and decency, the reckless provocations, most often for the 
pettiest and most personal reasons, reasons having nothing whatsoever 
to do with the fortunes of the people whom we have been elected to 
serve. None of these appalling features of our current politics should 
ever be regarded as normal. We must never allow ourselves to lapse into 
thinking that is just the way things are now. If we simply become 
inured to this condition, thinking that it is just politics as usual, 
then Heaven help us.
  Without fear of the consequences and without consideration of the 
rules of what is politically safe or palatable, we must stop pretending 
that the degradation of our politics and the conduct of some in our 
executive branch are normal. They are not normal. Reckless, outrageous, 
and undignified behavior has become excused and countenanced as 
``telling it like it is'' when it is actually just reckless, 
outrageous, and undignified.
  When such behavior emanates from the top of our government, it is 
something else. It is dangerous to a democracy. Such behavior does not 
project strength, because our strength comes from our values. It 
instead projects a corruption of the spirit and weakness.
  It is often said that children are watching. Well, they are. And what 
are we going to do about that? When the next generation asks us ``Why 
didn't you do something? Why didn't you speak up?'' what are we going 
to say? Mr. President, I rise today to say ``enough.''
  We must dedicate ourselves to making sure that the anomalous never 
becomes the normal. With respect and humility, I must say that we have 
fooled ourselves for long enough that a pivot to governing is right 
around the corner, a return to civility and stability right behind it. 
We know better than that. By now, we all know better than that.
  Here, today, I stand to say that we would better serve the country 
and better fulfill the obligations under the Constitution by adhering 
to our article I ``old normal''--Mr. Madison's doctrine of the 
separation of powers. This genius innovation, which affirms Madison's 
status as a true visionary and for which Madison argued in Federalist 
51, held that the equal branches of our government would balance and 
counteract each other when necessary. ``Ambition counteracts 
ambition,'' he wrote. But what happens if ambition fails to counteract 
ambition? What happens if stability fails to assert itself in the face 
of chaos and instability or if decency fails to call out indecency?
  Were the shoe on the other foot, would we Republicans meekly accept 
such behavior on display from dominant Democrats? Of course we 
wouldn't, and we would be wrong if we did.
  When we remain silent and fail to act when we know that silence and 
inaction are the wrong things to do because of political 
considerations, because we might make enemies, because we might 
alienate the base, because we might provoke a primary challenge, 
because ad infinitum, ad nauseam, when we succumb to those 
considerations in spite of what should be greater considerations and 
imperatives in defense of our institutions and our liberty, we dishonor 
our principles and forsake our obligations. Those things are far more 
important than politics.
  I am aware that more politically savvy people than I will caution 
against such talk. I am aware that there is a segment of my party that 
believes anything short of complete and unquestioning loyalty to a 
President who belongs to my party is unacceptable and suspect. If I 
have been critical, it is not because I relish criticizing the behavior 
of the President of the United States. If I have been critical, it is 
because I believe it is my obligation to do so as a matter of duty of 
conscience.
  The notion that one should stay silent as the norms and values that 
keep America strong are undermined and as the alliances and agreements 
that ensure the stability of the entire world are routinely threatened 
by the level of thought that goes into 140 characters, the notion that 
we should say or do nothing in the face of such mercurial behavior is 
ahistoric and, I believe, profoundly misguided.
  A Republican President named Roosevelt had this to say about the 
President and a citizen's relationship to the office:

       The President is merely the most important among a large 
     number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed 
     exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct 
     or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering 
     loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a 
     whole.
       Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that there should be 
     full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means 
     that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does 
     wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude 
     in an American citizen is both base and servile.

  President Roosevelt continued:

       To announce that there must be no criticism of the 
     President, or that we are to stand by a President, right or 
     wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally 
     treasonable to the American public.

  Acting on conscience and principle is the manner in which we express 
our moral selves, and, as such, loyalty to conscience and principle 
should supersede loyalty to any man or party.
  We can all be forgiven for failing in that measure from time to time. 
I certainly put myself at the top of the list of those who fall short 
in this regard. I am holier than none.
  But too often, we rush not to salvage principle but to forgive and 
excuse our failures so that we might accommodate them and go right on 
failing until the accommodation itself becomes our principle.
  In that way and over time, we can justify almost any behavior and 
sacrifice any principle. I am afraid this is where we now find 
ourselves.
  When a leader correctly identifies real hurt and insecurity in our 
country, and instead of addressing it goes to look for someone to 
blame, there is perhaps nothing more devastating to a pluralistic 
society. Leadership knows that most often a good place to start in 
assigning blame is to look somewhat closer to home. Leadership knows 
where the buck stops, humility helps, and character counts.
  Leadership does not knowingly encourage or feed ugly or debased 
appetites in us. Leadership lives by the American creed, ``E Pluribus 
Unum''--``From many, one.'' American leadership looks to the world, and 
just as Lincoln did, sees the family of man. Humanity is not a zero-sum 
game. When we have been at our most prosperous, we have been at our 
most principled, and when we do well, the rest of the world does well.
  These articles of civic faith have been critical to the American 
identity for as long as we have been alive. They are our birthright and 
our obligation.

[[Page S6736]]

We must guard them jealously and pass them on for as long as the 
calendar has days. To betray them or to be unserious in their defense 
is a betrayal of the fundamental obligations of American leadership, 
and to behave as if they don't matter is simply not who we are.
  Now the efficacy of American leadership around the globe has come 
into question. When the United States emerged from World War II, we 
contributed about half of the world's economic activity. It would have 
been easy to secure our dominance, keeping those countries that had 
been defeated or greatly weakened during the war in their place. We 
didn't do that. It would have been easy to focus inward. We resisted 
those impulses. Instead, we financed reconstruction of shattered 
countries and created international organizations and institutions that 
have helped provide security and foster prosperity around the world for 
more than 70 years.
  Now, it seems that we, the architects of this visionary, rules-based 
world order that has brought so much freedom and prosperity, are the 
ones most eager to abandon it. The implications of this abandonment are 
profound, and the beneficiaries of this rather radical departure in the 
American approach to the world are the ideological enemies of our 
values.
  Despotism loves a vacuum, and our allies are now looking elsewhere 
for leadership. Why are they doing this? None of this is normal. What 
do we, as U.S. Senators, have to say about it? The principles that 
underlie our politics, the values of our founding, are too vital to our 
identity and to our survival to allow them to be compromised by the 
requirements of politics because politics can make us silent when we 
should speak, and silence can equal complicity.
  I have children and grandchildren to answer to, and so I will not be 
complicit or silent. I have decided I will be better able to represent 
the people of Arizona and to better serve my country and my conscience 
by freeing myself of the political considerations that consume far too 
much bandwidth and would cause me to compromise far too many 
principles.
  To that end, I am announcing today that my service in the Senate will 
conclude at the end of my term in early January 2019. It is clear, at 
this moment, that a traditional conservative who believes in limited 
government and free markets, who is devoted to free trade, who is pro-
immigration has a narrower and narrower path to nomination in the 
Republican Party--the party that has so long defined itself by its 
belief in those things.
  It is also clear to me, for the moment, that we have given up on the 
core principles in favor of a more viscerally satisfying anger and 
resentment. To be clear, the anger and resentment that the people feel 
at the royal mess we have created are justified, but anger and 
resentment are not a governing philosophy.
  There is an undeniable potency to a populist appeal, but 
mischaracterizing or misunderstanding our problems and giving in to the 
impulse to scapegoat and belittle threatens to turn us into a fearful, 
backward-looking people. In the case of the Republican Party, those 
things also threaten to turn us into a fearful, backward-looking 
minority party.
  We were not made great as a country by indulging in or even exalting 
our worst impulses, turning against ourselves, glorifying in the things 
that divide us, and calling fake things true and true things fake, and 
we did not become the beacon of freedom in the darkest corners of the 
world by flouting our institutions and failing to understand just how 
hard-won and vulnerable they are.
  This spell will eventually break. That is my belief. We will return 
to ourselves once more, and I say, the sooner the better because to 
have a healthy government, we must also have healthy and functioning 
parties. We must respect each other again in an atmosphere of shared 
facts and shared values, comity, and good faith. We must argue our 
positions fervently and never be afraid to compromise. We must assume 
the best of our fellow man and always look for the good. Until that day 
comes, we must be unafraid to stand up and speak out as if our country 
depends on it because it does.
  I plan to spend the remaining 14 months of my Senate term doing just 
that. The graveyard is full of indispensable men and women. None of us 
here is indispensable, nor were even the great figures of history who 
toiled at these very desks in this very Chamber to shape the country we 
have inherited. What is indispensable are the values they consecrated 
in Philadelphia and in this place--values which have endured and will 
endure for so long as men and women wish to remain free. What is 
indispensable is what we do here in defense of those values. A 
political career does not mean much if we are complicit in undermining 
these values.
  I thank my colleagues for indulging me here today. I will close by 
borrowing the words of President Lincoln, who knew more about healthy 
enmity and preserving our founding values than any other American who 
has ever lived. His words from his first inaugural were a prayer in his 
time and are no less in ours:

       We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. 
     Though passion may have strained, it must not break the bonds 
     of our affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when 
     again touched, as surely as they will be, by the better 
     angels of our nature.

  Thank you, Mr. President.
  I yield the floor.
  (Applause, Senators rising.)
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.


                   Thanking the Senator from Arizona

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, colleagues, we regret to hear that our 
friend from Arizona will conclude his Senate service at the end of his 
6-year term.
  I would like to say, on behalf of myself and I think many of my 
colleagues, we just witnessed a speech from a very fine man--a man who 
clearly brings high principles to the office every day and does what he 
believes is in the best interest of Arizona and the country.
  I am grateful the Senator from Arizona will be here for another year 
and a half. We have big things to try to accomplish for the American 
people. From my perspective, the Senator from Arizona has been a great 
team player, always trying to get a constructive outcome no matter what 
the issue before us.
  So I thank the Senator from Arizona for his service, which will 
continue, thankfully, for another year and a half, and for the 
opportunity to listen to his remarks today
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The senior Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, it is very hard for me to add to the 
eloquence of my dear friend from Arizona, but I do want to say it has 
been one of the great honors of my life to have the opportunity to 
serve with a man of integrity, of honor, decency, and commitment to not 
only Arizona but the United States of America.
  I have seen Jeff Flake stand up for what he believes in, knowing full 
well that there would be a political price to pay. I have seen him 
stand up for his family. I have seen him stand up for his forbearers 
who were the early settlers of the State of Arizona. In fact, there is 
a place called Snowflake, AZ, and obviously the ``Flake'' part comes 
from his direct predecessor.
  It is the Flake family and families like them who came and worked and 
slaved and raised families and made Arizona what it is, and it has 
never had a more deserving son than Jeff Flake and his beautiful wife 
Cheryl and children.
  So I would just like to say, Jeff, I have known you now for a number 
of years. I know you have served Arizona and the country, and there is 
one thing I am absolutely sure of, and that is you will continue that 
service, which is part of your family. It is part of your view of 
America. It is part of your willingness and desire to serve Arizona. 
One of the great privileges of my life has been to have the opportunity 
to know you and serve with you.
  As we look, all of us, at some point at our time that we have spent 
here--whether it be short or whether it be long--we look back and we 
think about what we could have done, what we should have done, what we 
might have done, the mistakes we made, and the things we are proud of. 
Well, when the Flake service to this country in this Senate is 
reviewed, it will be one of honor, of brilliance and patriotism and 
love of country.

[[Page S6737]]

  I thank you. God bless you and your family.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that 
notwithstanding rule XXII, all postcloture time now be considered 
expired, all pending motions and amendments be withdrawn, except for 
the motion to concur, and that Senator Paul be recognized to speak for 
up to 5 minutes and then make a budget point of order; that myself or 
my designee be recognized to make a motion to waive; that following 
disposition of the motion to waive, the Senate vote on the motion to 
concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 2266; and 
that if the motion is agreed to, the motion to reconsider be considered 
made and laid upon the table.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Under the previous order, all postcloture time has expired.
  Under the previous order, the motion to concur with amendment is 
withdrawn.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kentucky.
  Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, there have been many who have said, 
including Admiral Mullen, among others, that the greatest threat to our 
national security is our debt. We have a $20 trillion debt. This year, 
the debt for 1 year will be about $700 billion. We borrow $1 million a 
minute. What we have before us is a bill that will exceed our spending 
caps.
  We will be told that this is an emergency and we must do it. Yet I 
think the true compassion comes from helping those but also making sure 
we don't add to our debt. I think the truly compassionate person helps 
their neighbor by giving part of their surplus to their neighbor but 
not going to the bank and borrowing money to give it to their neighbor.
  We are $700 billion short in the budget, and we are simply going to 
print more money and send it to Puerto Rico, Texas, and Florida. What I 
ask is, if you are going to help people, why don't we set our 
priorities? Why don't we take money from other areas of the budget 
where it is not needed?
  What I propose is that we cut 1 percent or a little bit less than 
that across the board. I think there is not a department of government 
that couldn't deal with 1 percent less, and we would take that money 
and we could spend it on the emergencies in Puerto Rico and Texas.
  I think if we think somehow that it is compassionate to go ahead and 
just borrow more money and continue doing this, I think we are fooling 
ourselves. I think our country becomes weaker each day we add to the 
debt, and I think it is time we become honest with ourselves.
  If you look at whose fault this is, there is enough blame to go 
around, frankly. The debt doubled under George W. Bush from $5 trillion 
to $10 trillion. The debt then doubled again from $10 trillion to $20 
trillion under President Obama.
  We are on course to add, some estimate, another $10 to $15 trillion 
over the next 8 years. This is a real problem for our country. So I 
think, as we look toward helping those who suffer from the hurricanes, 
we should look toward taking it away from less pressing priorities.
  There is also $16 billion in here for the flood program that 
continues to pay people to build in flood zones. We do it year after 
year after year. We continue to rebuild in flood zones, and then the 
taxpayers are left on the hook. So we are wiping out $16 billion in 
debt for the flood program, and we are also then spending money we 
don't have.
  At this point, what I would like to do is raise a point of order that 
has to do with us exceeding the spending caps. I think, if we are going 
to be honest with ourselves--we are in the midst of talking about a 
large tax cut, which I favor, but how can we be the party or the people 
who cut taxes at the same time we continue to borrow more? So what I am 
asking, through this budget point of order, is that we actually adhere 
to our rule to not exceed our spending caps and try to slow down the 
accumulation of debt.
  With that, I raise the section 314(e) point of order, pursuant to the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, against sections 304, 306, 308, and 
309 of the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief 
Requirements Act of 2017.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Portman). The Senator from Kansas.
  Mr. ROBERTS. Mr. President, pursuant to section 904 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and the waiver provisions of 
applicable budget resolutions, I move to waive all applicable sections 
of that act and applicable budget resolutions for purpose of H.R. 2266, 
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 yeas and nays resulted--yeas 80, nays 19, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 247 Leg.]

                                YEAS--80

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

                                NAYS--19

     Barrasso
     Corker
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Enzi
     Flake
     Inhofe
     Johnson
     Lankford
     Lee
     Moran
     Paul
     Perdue
     Risch
     Sasse
     Shelby
     Strange
     Thune
     Toomey

                             NOT VOTING--1

       
     Menendez
       
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Strange). On this vote, the yeas are 80, 
the nays are 19.
  Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn having voted in 
the affirmative, the motion is agreed to.
  The point of order falls.


                            Motion to Concur

  The question is on agreeing to the motion to concur.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Johnson). 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. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from New Jersey (Mr. 
Menendez) is necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Rubio). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 82, nays 17, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 248 Leg.]

                                YEAS--82

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

[[Page S6738]]


  


                                NAYS--17

     Barrasso
     Corker
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Enzi
     Flake
     Inhofe
     Johnson
     Lankford
     Lee
     Paul
     Perdue
     Risch
     Sasse
     Shelby
     Strange
     Toomey

                             NOT VOTING--1

       
     Menendez
       
  The motion was agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the motion to 
reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table with respect to 
the prior vote.
  The Senator from Idaho.

                          ____________________