DISAPPROVING A RULE SUBMITTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 44
(Senate - March 14, 2017)

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[Pages S1784-S1799]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




        DISAPPROVING A RULE SUBMITTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will 
resume consideration of H.J. Res. 42, which the clerk will report.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A joint resolution (H.J. Res. 42) disapproving the rule 
     submitted by the Department of Labor relating to drug testing 
     of unemployment compensation applicants.

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                               TrumpCare

  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, last week congressional Republicans 
finally unveiled their proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act. The 
Affordable Care Act is a law passed by Congress a little over 6 years 
ago with the express goal of expanding the number of Americans with the 
protection of health insurance. It has been successful. We have the 
lowest percentage of uninsured Americans in history. What it means is 
that through offering Medicaid to those in low-income categories, 
offering help to pay premiums for those in middle-income categories, 
and offering choices in the insurance exchange, we have really changed 
health insurance in America in 6 years.
  Now Americans realize that when they take a look at their actual 
health insurance policy, it is worth something. It may be hard to 
remember--but we should--that only 6 years ago, if you happened to have 
a child with a preexisting condition and you were not lucky enough to 
have your insurance through your employer and you went out on the open 
market, you were in for a rough ride. Many health insurance companies 
would not insure a family with a child who had a history of diabetes or 
surviving cancer. We changed that. We said that no health insurance 
company in America can discriminate against a person or family because 
of a preexisting medical condition. Is there one of us who lives in a 
family which doesn't have a relative, a close relative, with a 
preexisting condition? That was an important reform that was part of 
the Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare.

  We also came to realize they were selling health insurance to people 
with some fine print that made a difference--lifetime limits on 
coverage. Well, I have $1 million coverage. That sounds great, until 
the next diagnosis or the next accident. Now, $1 million doesn't seem 
like such a large amount of money, and God forbid you end up with a 
chronic illness.
  One of my constituents came by to visit me 2 weeks ago. She was a 
guest of one of the Members of Congress during the President's speech 
to the joint session. She was diagnosed a few years ago with an unusual 
disease, one that is life-threatening at any given moment. She told me 
that in the past 3 years, she has spent more than $700,000 on 
medication--$700,000--and that will be a burden she faces for the rest 
of her life.
  If her health insurance had a limit on how much it paid, there would 
reach a point where she couldn't buy the medicine she needs to save her 
life. We did away with that, and we said: You can't discriminate 
against people by putting these limits. We also said: When it comes to 
charging premiums, you can't discriminate against a person applying for 
health insurance solely because they happen to be a woman.
  There has been a lot of controversy over that in the House in their 
debate over the last week or so, but what we said basically is that 
when it comes to insurance risk, put everyone in together, make this a 
bigger pool of people seeking health insurance so insurance can be 
profitable and affordable at the same time.
  We also said: When it comes to the premiums charged on health 
insurance--and I call attention to all of us over the age of 50--we 
said you cannot discriminate in premiums you charge in health 
insurance. There can't be a disparity of more than 3 to 1 for the most 
expensive health insurance policy to the least expensive. We also said, 
in addition to that, if you have a child, son or daughter, graduating 
college and looking for a job but has no healthcare benefits, keep them 
on your family plan until they reach the age of 26. I have been through 
that. Most families have.
  I had a recent college graduate, no longer with student health 
insurance, and I said: Jennifer, do you have health insurance?
  Dad, I feel just great.
  No father wants to hear that answer. So we changed the law.
  When it came to Medicare, under the Affordable Care Act, we said: We 
are going to eliminate the gap in coverage for prescription drugs for 
seniors. They used to call it the doughnut hole. It made no sense. It 
was something only Congress could dream up. We closed it and said: We 
are going to give seamless coverage to Medicare prescription drugs. 
That was part of the Affordable Care Act.
  We put in incentives for people providing medical care to find ways 
to give us good quality care and reduce the cost. What was the net 
result? The slowest growth in hospitalization premiums for employer-
based healthcare that we have seen in modern times.
  When they put this new model for healthcare against the Medicare 
Program--that is a program for seniors and disabled--guess what. It 
bought 10 years of solvency for Medicare. That

[[Page S1785]]

meant a program that is critically important for 60 million Americans 
had 10 more years of solvency.
  Did this program have problems? Of course it did. When you take on 
the healthcare system of America, you are not going to get it 
completely right the first time. I believed--and many others did--that 
as important and valuable as that vote was, we had to be prepared to 
return to this program to make sure we addressed problems as they would 
arise.
  For example, there is nothing in the Affordable Care Act of substance 
when it comes to controlling the price of pharmaceuticals--prescription 
drugs.
  Well, I can tell you what has happened. Blue Cross Blue Shield in 
Chicago came to see me, and the CEO said: Blue Cross Blue Shield is now 
paying more for prescription drugs than we are paying for inpatient 
hospital care. The cost of drugs has gone through the roof. The net 
result of that, of course, is the cost of healthcare goes up too. The 
Affordable Care Act should have addressed that but did not.
  We also had to find a way to make sure there was health insurance 
available all around the United States. Some companies jumped in; some 
jumped out. Many of us believe we should have a single-payer plan 
available in every part of America so you could choose for your family 
a Medicare-type plan if you wish. Otherwise, you would go to a private 
health insurance company, if you wish. It is your choice.
  The Republicans opposed the Affordable Care Act. In the House, they 
voted against it 57, 58 times--I lose count. Then came the day when 
they had the majority in the Senate, in the House, and in the White 
House--the answer to their prayers. Now, once and for all, they can get 
rid of the Affordable Care Act. They have the votes, but then there was 
a problem.
  People across America started asking: If you repeal it, what will 
happen next? Will I still be able to get health insurance? Will I be 
protected if I have a preexisting condition? Will there be limits on 
what the policy covers?
  Well, they hadn't quite thought that far ahead to look for the 
substitute, to look for the replacement. So they went to work in a 
matter of 5 or 6 weeks and created what is now being considered by the 
House of Representatives--the Republican replacement plan.
  The Congressional Budget Office is a nonpartisan office that takes a 
look at our bills and legislation and puts a score on them. How much is 
it going to cost? What is it going to do?
  We waited for Congressional Budget Office scores over and over again 
when we wrote the Affordable Care Act. They would come in and say: 
Nope, you have to go back to the drawing board. You have to change this 
and change that.
  Well, just this week, they came out with the score on the Republican 
replacement plan, the one to replace the Affordable Care Act. They took 
a look at it, and here is what they told us.
  To start off with, the Republican replacement plan throws people off 
health insurance coverage. How many? Remember when President Trump said 
the GOP healthcare bill would have ``insurance for everybody''? Under 
TrumpCare, the new Republican plan, TrumpCare, 14 million people would 
lose their health coverage next year. By 2026, 24 million people will 
have lost their healthcare coverage.
  Is this what we were looking for in the replacement plan for the 
Affordable Care Act, to say to 24 million Americans, you will no longer 
have health insurance coverage? Think about the outcome of that. Think 
about someone with a chronically ill child or someone who faces a 
chronic illness themself with no health insurance.
  Think about a working person who has no health insurance where they 
work. At least they had coverage through Medicaid and perhaps through 
the insurance exchange with a subsidy. Now they are losing it.
  Think about those same people without health insurance. They will 
still get sick and will still go to the hospital but will be unable to 
pay. Incidentally, their bills they can't pay, we pay. Those bills are 
passed on to everyone else.
  So the first plank of the Republican TrumpCare, according to the 
Congressional Budget Office, is to eliminate health insurance for 24 
million Americans. In addition, the Republican TrumpCare plan 
significantly raises premium costs on seniors.
  According to the official Congressional Budget Office estimate, the 
bill will ``substantially raise premiums for older people.'' How does 
that happen? Well, in addition to cutting back on the financial 
assistance for seniors to buy health insurance, TrumpCare would allow 
insurance companies to charge older people significantly more than the 
Affordable Care Act. Remember the limit, the 3-to-1 limit on premiums 
that we built into the Affordable Care Act? TrumpCare says: No, make 
that 5 to 1. So it means, if you are over the age of 50, buying health 
insurance, your premiums can go up dramatically, according to the 
Congressional Budget Office.
  There is another thing too. As we take more and more people off of 
health insurance coverage, it really, in a way, dampens the incentive 
for affordable healthcare so the costs are not contained as they are 
today, and the solvency of Medicare--which we said was 10 years more, 
remember that--they reduce it by 4 years.
  What the Republican TrumpCare plan has done is it threatens the 
solvency of Medicare. Is that what we were looking for on the repeal of 
the Affordable Care Act? I don't think so.
  TrumpCare also raises costs for lower and middle-income families. By 
repealing the cost-sharing subsidies and lowering the bar on health 
plans, the Congressional Budget Office says that lower and middle-class 
families shopping in the individual market should expect to see--and I 
quote from the report--``substantially increasing out-of-pocket 
costs.''
  The bill also defunds Planned Parenthood, which was to be expected. 
We expected it in many bills. According to the Congressional Budget 
Office, defunding of Planned Parenthood would ``affect services that 
help women avert pregnancies . . . most likely residing in areas 
without other health care clinics or medical practitioners who serve 
low-income populations.'' The Congressional Budget Office projects that 
15 percent of those people--again, these are lower income women in 
medically underserved areas of America--would lose access to care.
  Also, TrumpCare, at the same time it does this--eliminates health 
insurance for 24 million, raises the premium costs, and defunds Planned 
Parenthood. For good measure, TrumpCare also provides tax cuts to the 
wealthiest people in America. Is that what we were looking for? Was 
that part of the bargain? Those making over $1 million a year in income 
will get a $50,000 tax cut from the TrumpCare bill. The wealthiest one-
tenth of 1 percent get a tax cut of nearly $200,000.
  Finally, while cutting taxes for the very rich, TrumpCare also 
slashes $880 billion in Medicaid spending over the next 10 years. 
Medicaid is a vital healthcare program. Most people think about 
Medicaid--oh, that is health insurance for the poor. It is. But who are 
the poor? Overwhelmingly in numbers, they are children and their moms 
who are in low-income groups. That is the biggest number, but the 
biggest expense for Medicaid isn't kids and their moms. It is grandma 
and grandpa. It is our families and parents who are in an assisted care 
home who have Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to get by.
  These cuts by the Republicans and TrumpCare to Medicaid will be felt 
by families across the board. In addition, it means that those who 
represent States like mine and the Presiding Officer's, with rural 
populations that have small hospitals that depend on patients paying 
something when they come through the door--many of them are paying 
through Medicaid, and if Medicaid is reduced, the payments to the 
hospitals are reduced.
  That is why the Illinois Hospital Association warns us against 
TrumpCare. The Illinois Hospital Association says it will threaten the 
hospitals of my State. They will not be receiving the Medicaid 
reimbursement. They believe that up to 90,000 jobs at these hospitals 
will be lost in Illinois. I will tell you, as a downstater, those are 
some of the best paying jobs in the community. Many of my small towns 
trying to keep businesses or attract businesses brag up their hospital, 
as they should, and now TrumpCare threatens the future of these 
hospitals.

[[Page S1786]]

  Medicaid is a vital healthcare program for 65 million Americans--
seniors, persons with disabilities, children, and low-income families 
nationwide, 3 million of them in my State. TrumpCare would devastate 
the program. By 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office, 14 
million fewer people would have Medicaid.
  The Affordable Care Act took a lot of good steps toward improving 
healthcare for seniors. Before the Affordable Care Act, the number of 
uninsured adults ages 50 to 64 rose substantially--growing from 3.7 
million in 2000 to 8.9 million in 2010. Insurance companies were 
rejecting more than one in five applications from individuals between 
the ages of 50 and 64.
  Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the rate of uninsured adults ages 
50 to 64 dropped 47.4 percent, from 11.6 percent to 6.1 percent. The 
largest reduction in the uninsured rate occurred in the States that 
chose to expand Medicaid.
  The Affordable Care Act also prohibited insurers from denying 
coverage, as I said earlier, to people with preexisting conditions. It 
limited how much insurers can charge older enrollees, closed the 
doughnut hole, and made important preventive services available for 
free, such as colonoscopies and annual checkups.

  Let's look at what the TrumpCare program--the Republican program--
does to seniors. It allows insurers to charge older people 
significantly more than younger people, it reduces tax credits to 
seniors who pay their premiums, and it would devastate the Medicaid 
Program, which helps to pay for two out of every three seniors in 
nursing home care.
  There is another thing I want to make a note of. Many years ago in 
the Senate, back at that corner desk, sat a Senator from Minnesota 
named Paul Wellstone, a Democrat. Over here on the aisle sat Pete 
Domenici of New Mexico, a Republican. For years they argued that we 
should include in every health insurance plan in America coverage for 
mental health, and the insurance companies fought them. Because many 
mental health conditions are chronic and long-term and may, in some 
cases, be expensive, they didn't want them. But Wellstone and Domenici 
had family members who struggled with mental illness, and they said we 
need to include this in every health insurance plan. Thank goodness 
they finally prevailed. Every health insurance plan in this country has 
to treat physical health issues and mental health issues the same, 
thanks to Wellstone and thanks to Domenici.
  In addition they added something that many of us overlooked: It said 
mental health and substance abuse treatment. What does that mean? It 
means that if some member of your family is addicted, your health 
insurance plan can help pay for the help they need to get rid of their 
addiction. For a lot of people it was the only place for them to turn, 
and it worked, and thank goodness it did, because we are at that moment 
in American history where because of opioids, heroin, and fentanyl, we 
have dramatic increases in addiction.
  Now what is going to happen under the TrumpCare approach when it 
comes to mental illness and substance abuse treatment? Are we going to 
require--mandate--every health insurance plan to include mental health 
treatment as well as substance abuse? Over and over we hear from our 
Republican friends: We want competition. We want choice. We want to 
eliminate mandates.
  They can take that approach, but we are going to lose coverage for 24 
million Americans. If they take that approach, we are going to be 
offering health insurance plans that aren't there when families need 
them.
  We had a roundtable discussion in Rockford, IL, last Friday. When I 
go to these communities, I bring in people who are administrators of 
the hospitals, the doctors, the nurses, the clinics, the substance 
abuse treatment centers. To a person, they oppose TrumpCare. Every 
single one of them said that it is the wrong thing to do at this moment 
in time. It will leave people more vulnerable. It will leave families 
with health insurance that is worthless when they need it. Those are 
the bad old days we finally escaped 6 years ago, and now Republicans 
want us to return to this competition-choice access to healthcare. I 
have access to a Rolls Royce dealership, too, but I am not going to be 
buying a Rolls Royce because I can't afford it. If you give a person 
access to health insurance that they can't afford, you are not giving 
them anything.
  What we tried to do with the Affordable Care Act is to make sure we 
gave people not only access but protection with health insurance. From 
the beginning, the Republicans have said: Let's repeal the Affordable 
Care Act. Now they have found that replacing it is a lot harder than 
they ever expected.
  I said from the beginning, as well, if the Republicans are willing to 
take repeal off the table, I am going to pull up a chair. If they want 
a bipartisan approach, an honest approach to making the Affordable Care 
Act better, let's sit down and talk. Sign me up. If the goal is to give 
more people good health insurance that they can afford to protect their 
families, if the goal is to find ways to give us better healthcare, 
quality results at a lower cost, I want to be a part of that 
conversation. But if the goal is to deny health insurance coverage to 
24 million Americans, count me out. That to me is a step backward in 
time.
  What comes next? If the Republicans do this to the Affordable Care 
Act, what is next--Medicare? Well, we happen to know the Secretary of 
Health and Human Services believes in privatizing Medicare. I don't. I 
think that is a step in the wrong direction, and it will reduce the 
protection of Medicare. But if they will do this to the Affordable Care 
Act, then can Medicare or Social Security be far behind?
  It is important that we maintain our values when it comes to critical 
programs that America and its families count on.
  I hope the House of Representatives defeats TrumpCare, puts it out of 
its misery, and then invites all of us to come together on a bipartisan 
basis to talk about what we really need for healthcare in this country.
  I find it incredible that there is no major medical group in America 
today that supports TrumpCare--none, not one. All we have is some 
conservative think tanks that believe this is a wonderful model. But 
the people on the ground--the administrators in the hospitals, the 
doctors, the clinicians, the nurses, the people in the healthcare 
clinics--all tell us TrumpCare is a disaster. It is a step in the wrong 
direction. It is going to decrease coverage and increase costs. That is 
not something that America needs for its future.
  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. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Portman). Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to enter into a 
colloquy with the junior Senator from Utah and the junior Senator from 
Nebraska.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                          Separation of Powers

  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I have come to the floor several times 
over the past 8 years to discuss the constitutional principle of 
separation of powers between the legislative, executive, and the 
judicial branches. President Obama promised that he would act 
independently of Congress where he had to; his quote: ``Where they 
won't act, I will.'' I have come to the floor to discuss the many 
examples of Executive overreach that we have witnessed, from unilateral 
pursuit of climate change regulations to unconstitutional recess 
appointments.
  As I have said before, the structure of our Constitution is a 
critical safeguard of our liberty. As Justice Scalia famously said:

       Every banana republic in the world has a bill of rights. 
     Every President for life has a bill of rights. The real key 
     to the distinctiveness of America is the structure of our 
     government.

  Now, I have served in the Senate for 36 years, so I have a deep 
appreciation of the different roles of the coordinate branches and for 
the fact that the people govern themselves through their

[[Page S1787]]

elected representatives, and my accountability to them is the defining 
characteristic of my role as one of their representatives in the U.S. 
Senate.
  That is not true of judges in our Federal system who are not elected, 
and it is certainly not true of the executive agencies that administer 
the laws we write here in the Congress.
  Judge Gorsuch is the President's nominee to serve as the next Justice 
of the Supreme Court. It seems to me that he really understands the 
important differences in these roles. Reflecting on the legacy of 
Justice Scalia, he remarked that ``the great project of Justice 
Scalia's career was to remind us of the differences between judges and 
legislators.''
  So I am now going to turn to Senator Lee. I would like to have him 
discuss a question I put before him: How do you understand Judge 
Gorsuch to view differences between judges, legislators, and the 
executive under our Constitution?
  Mr. LEE. I thank Senator Grassley. The Senator's question really cuts 
to the heart of the issue. It cuts to the heart of the very reasons why 
we have an independent judiciary and exactly why it is that our system 
of government that operates under the U.S. Constitution depends so 
critically on individuals just like Judge Gorsuch. It depends on people 
like Judge Gorsuch sitting on the Federal bench.
  There are, I believe, two fundamental differences between the 
judiciary on the one hand and the two political branches on the other 
hand; that is, the two branches in which people serve after being 
elected to office, meaning the legislative branch where we work, and 
the executive branch headed by the President.
  First, the legislative and executive powers sweep far more broadly 
than does the judicial power. Article I enumerates a list of lawmaking 
powers that are granted to Congress, and article II vests executive 
power in the President. By comparison, the judiciary's power is far 
more circumscribed. It is far more limited.
  The judiciary has the power to decide only a limited and defined set 
of disputes--those that qualify as cases and controversies under 
article III of the Constitution. To be clear, in the context of 
deciding a particular case, the judiciary has the power to invalidate 
an act put in place by the elected branches of government--the power to 
say what the law is, as Chief Justice John Marshall explained it in the 
landmark case Marbury v. Madison.
  But that power is limited. It is limited, among other things, by 
article III of the Constitution and by jurisdictional requirements like 
standing and mootness and ripeness as explained in greater detail by 
Supreme Court precedent.
  The judiciary's authority to say what the law is points to the second 
major difference between the courts on the one hand and the political 
branches on the other. While the function of the judiciary is an 
exercise in reasoned judgment, the functions of the executive and 
legislative branches are exercises of power.
  There are many ways in which the Constitution and the political 
theory underlying it limit the exercise of that power. The Constitution 
protects minority rights, and it conditions the exercise of legislative 
or executive power on winning elections, and that, in turn, means 
winning the trust of the American people--of the voters throughout the 
country.
  These twin ideas--the consent of the governed and the protection of 
minority rights within an essentially majority-rule system--are pillars 
of our constitutional order. But make no mistake, coercion underlies 
the laws that we make in this body and their enforcement by the 
executive branch.
  By contrast, the judicial function is ultimately an exercise in 
reasoned judgment. As Alexander Hamilton explained in Federalist 78: 
``neither Force nor Will, but merely judgment'' are exercised by the 
judiciary. This is the essential difference between the judiciary and 
the other branches: The judiciary exercises judgment while all the rest 
of us exercise will.
  The Framers, of course, understood this well. And as Hamilton 
continued in his explanation of Federalist 78:

       Courts must declare the sense of the law, and if they 
     should be disposed to exercise Will instead of Judgment, the 
     consequence would equally be the substitution of their 
     pleasure to that of the legislative body. The observation, if 
     it proves anything, would prove that there ought to be no 
     judges distinct from that body.

  Put another way, a judge who chooses to exercise will instead of 
judgment is no longer acting as a judge. That person is instead 
functioning essentially as a superlegislator.
  It should be clear to all fair-minded people that Judge Gorsuch is 
someone--and has established himself as someone--who understands these 
distinctive features of the Federal judiciary. When you read his 
opinions, you see that his only agenda is to understand the governing 
law and then to apply that law to the set of facts in the case before 
him.
  As we will see next week during his confirmation hearings, his 
opinions carefully analyze the statutes and applicable precedents to 
determine the outcome of each and every case. In some cases, that means 
Judge Gorsuch reaches results that Senator Gorsuch or President Gorsuch 
or King Gorsuch probably wouldn't choose, were he deciding cases in any 
of those capacities. But Judge Gorsuch understands, of course, that he 
is a judge and not a king and not a President, not a Senator, not a 
Congressman, and he understands that this means his only job is to 
adjudicate cases based on the law according to the facts before him. As 
he said the night he was nominated: ``A judge who likes every outcome 
he reaches is very likely a bad judge--stretching for results he 
prefers rather than those the law demands.''
  When you examine his record, you see that one of the defining 
characteristics of Judge Gorsuch is his independence--his judicial 
independence. That is distinctively the hallmark of a good judge. You 
see that he decides cases based on the law, not based on the parties 
before him and not based on his own political or ideological 
preferences.
  In the coming weeks, some of our colleagues may try to argue that 
Judge Gorsuch hasn't done enough to prove his independence since being 
nominated to the Supreme Court. If this criticism is raised against 
him, it will be a weak one. It will be one that doesn't apply here. The 
fact is that Judge Gorsuch has spent his entire career as a judge, and 
as a lawyer before that, proving his independence.
  To his would-be critics, I would say, read and analyze his opinions. 
They speak for him. They speak for themselves. They speak for the rule 
of law. Study his approach to judging. Listen to what he says about 
judicial independence and, just as importantly, look at his actions. 
His actions prove his independence.
  I have done these things. I have examined Judge Gorsuch's record. And 
on that basis, I am confident that he will not hesitate to apply the 
law appropriately in every case. There is absolutely no reason--no 
reason that I can find anywhere in his record--to prove otherwise.
  I think I have only scratched the surface here today. I look forward 
to hearing Judge Gorsuch's testimony before the Judiciary Committee 
next week.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I thank the Senator for his very 
thoughtful explanation. I know both as a Senator and as a lawyer, he 
takes the study of constitutional law very seriously. His point of view 
ought to be seen as an authority on the separation of powers, 
particularly. I think the way Senator Lee sees Judge Gorsuch is similar 
to how I do, but he knows the law a lot better than I.
  It is clear that the questions about separation of power can arise in 
very complex and legally technical cases in the courts. But I think the 
principle is also a fundamental one. Judge Gorsuch has made this point 
himself, and I would like to quote a little of what he has said.
  Recent Supreme Court cases ``permit executive bureaucracies to 
swallow huge amounts of core judicial and legislative power and 
concentrate federal power in a way that seems more than a little 
difficult to square with the Constitution of the framers' design.''
  To quote again, on the role of the prosecutor and the role of 
Congress, he said: ``If the separation of powers means anything, it 
must mean that the prosecutor isn't allowed to define the crimes that 
he gets to enforce.''

[[Page S1788]]

  So I want to ask my other colleague here for this colloquy, the 
Senator from Nebraska, a question that I am sure he can answer and has 
thought about a lot. These are not just legal technicalities that we 
are talking about, but the very fabric of our Constitution. I hope the 
Senator would agree.
  Mr. SASSE. I thank Chairman Grassley for that question and the 
invitation to join him in the colloquy. As two of the only non-
attorneys on the Judiciary Committee, it is important that we, on 
behalf of the majority of Americans, who are non-lawyers, do reclaim 
the separation of powers as a basic American inheritance. So I thank 
the Senator for the chance to discuss it here today.
  Starting the morning after President Trump's victory last November, 
there has actually been something of a renaissance of separation of 
powers talk among many folks around this body, and that is a good 
thing. After 8 years of legislative atrophy, many on the other side of 
the aisle are now remembering the old ``Schoolhouse Rock'' distinction 
among the three separate and coequal branches, and this is good news 
for Americans' civic health.
  If Democrats are serious--frankly, if all of us are serious, for we 
in this body have taken an oath not to a political party but to a 
constitutional structure of limits where power is intentionally 
separated and divided because our forefathers and foremothers were 
skeptical of the consolidation of power--if we take this seriously and 
we would like to reclaim some of the Congress's responsibility and 
ability and authority to check and balance the other two branches, the 
debate around Judge Gorsuch's nomination and the hearings we will have 
beginning in the chairman's committee next month are a great place to 
start. So I wish to offer a little bit of what I think is an important 
historical backdrop for this debate.
  Any discussion of the separation of powers must be rooted in a solid 
understanding of what we mean and what the Founders meant by the phrase 
``the consent of the governed.'' Historically speaking, this is still a 
bold idea which must be constantly defined, reclaimed, renewed, and 
passed on to the next generation, for over the course of human history, 
we can put every form of government into one of two categories: You are 
ruled either by people you didn't choose or by people you did choose.
  One of these groups has taken many forms through the centuries--
Kings, elites, political parties, and technocrats. Indeed, most 
governments throughout human history fit this mold, where the people 
were ruled by a form of government that they had no say in and that 
they didn't choose. But there is another group, and these are people 
who rule themselves through the leaders they have chosen and 
continually get to choose. When the leaders fail to serve the will of 
the people, those leaders can be removed. This describes our form of 
government and its historical anomaly. We should recognize that, and 
our kids should understand what a special blessing it is to live under 
this form of government.
  The point is elegantly simple: Either people are ruled, or the people 
are ultimately and fundamentally the rulers. Why does this matter? This 
isn't a question to take flippantly but, rather, each generation of 
Americans should reexamine and reclaim and reteach it. So why is it so 
important that ``the people'' are actually the rulers in their 
government? It comes down to a profound truth about human dignity. 
Human beings cannot thrive when they are stripped of basic liberties. 
Human flourishing requires the freedom to make basic choices about how 
you will live your life in community: Who are your friends? Whom will 
you marry? Where will you work? What do you believe? Whom do you 
worship? How do you worship? These are the things the Founders meant 
when they said that we are all born with the right to life, to liberty, 
and to the pursuit of happiness.
  Notice that the Founders were not referring to life, liberty, and the 
pursuit of happiness as a bunch of vague platitudes or as aspirational 
pleasantries for a bumper sticker; they were talking about rights. 
These are not given to us by any other man or woman. They are rights we 
have from God via nature, and so they can't be taken away from us by 
some other mere man or woman.
  Here is what is great about this idea: We are all born equals in the 
eyes of God and history, and we have certain rights. As a group of 
equals, it requires people to get permission to serve for a time--for a 
limited time--as our rulers. This equality is what the Founders called 
the self-evident truth--something so obvious that it didn't need to be 
proven; a truth so true that denying it would be denying something 
essential and true about human nature itself. Once we understand this, 
our expectations of our government begin to change. We expect 
responsiveness and transparency. We expect equality before the law.
  Government's primary purpose is not to solve every human problem, 
like a King or some all-powerful technocrat; rather, the government's 
job is to provide a framework for ordered liberty so that we can live 
our lives in our communities, in our families, in our businesses, and 
in our places of worship. Government's job is to secure the rights of a 
free and sovereign people.
  But what does this have to do with Judge Gorsuch? What does this have 
to do with the confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court next week? 
What does this have to do with separation of powers?

  As Americans, we secure our rights by separating the functions of 
government into what our Founders called the three different 
departments: There is a Congress to write the laws, and this is article 
I of the Constitution; there is a President--or Presiding Officer, as 
he was first called--to execute the laws; and there is a court to 
decide the controversies under the law. This system of checks and 
balances keeps too much power from falling into any one set of hands, 
and it keeps the American people in charge.
  We sometimes talk euphemistically about judicial activism, and that 
is a big problem, but we don't attack it enough. A judge who takes it 
as his or her job to do anything other than settle cases is not just 
being an activist, they are becoming an untouchable, unfireable ruler. 
They are becoming a lawmaker who is not accountable to the people 
because our judges have lifetime tenure. A judge who uses his or her 
position to write the law fundamentally undermines the foundation of 
government, which is that the will of the people should rule.
  That is why I am so strongly supporting Judge Neil Gorsuch to be the 
next Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. He fully understands the place 
in the government and his place in the government as a servant of the 
people, not as some unchosen ruler with lifetime tenure.
  When you listen to Judge Gorsuch, when you read his speeches, when 
you read his opinions, it is clear that he is not interested in making 
laws. He knows that is not his calling. He is interested in 
interpreting law. He is interested in upholding and defending the 
Constitution. He is not interested, when he has his robe on, in 
specific policy outcomes; he is interested in justice. He is not 
interested in the laws that he as a private citizen might want; he is 
focused on the laws that are actually written in the books. He is a 
judge's judge, and that is exactly what the Constitution calls for.
  In closing, I wish to read three quotes from Judge Gorsuch into the 
Record to demonstrate how he conceives of his job. Again, this is Judge 
Gorsuch paying tribute to Justice Scalia:

       Tonight I want to . . . suggest that perhaps the great 
     project of Justice Scalia's career was to remind us of the 
     differences between judges and legislators. To remind us that 
     legislators may appeal to their own moral convictions and to 
     claims about social utility to reshape the law as they think 
     it should be in the future. But that judges should do none of 
     these things in a democratic society. That judges should 
     strive (if humanly and so imperfectly) to apply the law as it 
     is, focusing backward, not forward, and looking to the text, 
     structure, and history to decide what a reasonable reader at 
     the time of the events in question would have understood the 
     law to be--not to decide cases based on [a judge's] own moral 
     convictions or the policy consequences they believe might 
     serve society best.

  Again, he is saying a judge is not a superlegislator. If a judge 
wants to be a legislator, that is a completely fine thing to do. Take 
off your robe, resign your position, and run for office so the

[[Page S1789]]

people can decide whether to hire you or fire you. But a judge who has 
lifetime tenure doesn't get to make their policy preferences the will 
of the people somehow.
  The second quote:

       When the political branches disagree with a judicial 
     interpretation of existing law, the Constitution prescribes 
     the appropriate remedial process. It's called legislation. 
     Admittedly, the legislative process can be an arduous one. 
     But that's no bug in the constitutional design: It is the 
     very point of the design.

  Third and finally:

       To the founders, the legislative and judicial powers were 
     distinct by nature and their separation was among the most 
     important liberty-protecting devices of the constitutional 
     design, an independent right of the people essential to the 
     preservation of all other rights later enumerated in the 
     Constitution and its amendments.

  If my colleagues in this body are serious, if the hundred of us are 
serious, if we want to defend our role as legislators, if we are 
serious about doing our job as lawmakers, if we are concerned about 
overreaching Executives, if we are concerned about the lack of 
accountability in the administrative bureaucracies of the government, 
if we honestly want to make Congress great again, we should start by 
confirming Judge Neil Gorsuch.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I thank the Senator for his very 
thoughtful explanation. Senator Sasse and Senator Lee have laid out 
very clearly the Constitution's separation of powers, the proper role 
for judges, the proper role for Members of Congress, and when one can't 
interfere with the other. I think the Senator has laid out very 
clearly, and I agree, that Judge Gorsuch fits in very well with what 
judges are supposed to do, what the Supreme Court is supposed to do--
obviously not legislate. Members of the judiciary have a lifetime 
appointment. They can't be voted out of office. That is why, when 
people don't like what the Congress does, every 2 or 6 years as far as 
the House and the Senate are concerned, they get a chance to express 
that opposition and send somebody else to do the job, and they can't do 
that with whoever is on the Supreme Court.
  I thank my colleagues for participating with me in this conversation 
we have had about the separation of powers and about their thoughts on 
Judge Gorsuch on the issue of judges judging and not legislating. His 
record demonstrates a firm grasp on the separation of powers that 
animates our Constitution. He is an independent judge who properly 
understands the judicial role. At a time when we hear renewed calls for 
an independent judiciary, I don't think we could have a better nominee 
to fit the bill.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.


                               TrumpCare

  Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. President, I rise today to talk about the so-
called healthcare bill coming out of the House of Representatives which 
has been supported by the President.
  We just yesterday got the report from the Congressional Budget Office 
which analyzes this legislation and its impact on Americans. What we 
find in great detail and with great clarity is that this TrumpCare 
legislation is a huge tax windfall to the wealthiest Americans at the 
expense of affordable healthcare for tens of millions of our fellow 
citizens. It is time the Senate begin to pay attention to what is 
happening in this legislation.
  Someone might look at this and now call it not ``TrumpCare'' but 
``Trump doesn't care'' because what we find out is that in the very 
first year, in 2018, 14 million Americans will lose their health 
coverage--14 million in the very first year this is implemented. Those 
are moms, dads, kids, people of all ages--our fellow Americans. Just 2 
years after that, beginning in 2020, we are going to see 21 million of 
our fellow citizens lose their access to health coverage. Let me be 
clear. When we say they lose their access to affordable care, we are 
talking about compared to what they have right now under the Affordable 
Care Act, under ObamaCare. So in the year 2020, 21 million Americans 
who have access to affordable care through the Affordable Care Act are 
going to lose it, and within 10 years, that will rise to 24 million of 
our fellow citizens.
  Not only are those millions of Americans going to lose their health 
care in the early years of this new plan, people are going to see their 
premiums spike in the individual market. We have heard understandable 
complaints about the increase in premiums in the Affordable Care Act 
exchanges. There are commonsense things we can do to fix it. Many of us 
have put forward proposals to do that, but this will actually 
dramatically spike up to 20 percent premiums in those markets in the 
early years. Who gets especially hard hit? Well, older Americans. 
Americans between 47 years old and 64 years old, before they are old 
enough to receive Medicare but when they are old enough to be 
potentially experiencing many healthcare issues.

  In fact, if you look at the Congressional Budget Office report, and I 
know people sometimes gloss over the fine print, but table 4 indicates 
that if you are a 64-year-old with an income of $26,000 a year, your 
premium is going to increase from $1,700 a year to a whopping $14,600 
per year. That is in the Congressional Budget Office report, but you 
know what, AARP, they believe it. They are on full alert, letting 
Americans throughout the country know how damaging this will be to 
older Americans who will, all of a sudden, see their premiums, their 
copays, and their deductibles going through the roof. It is going to 
become absolutely unaffordable for those older Americans to get health 
insurance.
  On top of that, despite what we all know is an opioid crisis in the 
country, an epidemic of substance abuse and addiction, despite that, 
this TrumpCare bill actually eliminates the Medicaid funding 
specifically to deal with opioid addiction. I know many members of the 
Senate and the House have been going back home, going to all parts of 
their States, urban areas, suburban and rural areas, to talk about the 
scourge of opioid addiction, and many have been talking about the fact 
that the Senate was able to work to increase funding to address those 
addiction issues, but this House bill, this TrumpCare bill, actually 
eliminates the Medicaid Program for opioid abuse and addiction.
  The list of horribles goes on and on. They claim you are going to be 
able to get coverage--no problem if you have preexisting conditions or 
whatever. The reality is, let's say you have a job, let's say you lose 
your job, let's say you lose your income because you lost your job, you 
only have 63 days to turn around and get insurance, which may not be 
affordable. If you are not able to find your insurance, an affordable 
insurance plan in those 63 days, when you finally do, they are going to 
charge you a 30-percent penalty. So you lost your job. You have no 
income so you can't afford insurance. Yet, when you are finally in a 
position to do it, they are going to charge you a penalty of 30 
percent.
  The more you dig into this TrumpCare legislation, the more things 
like that you find out. It is really important that the American people 
know what is in it as we debate this important issue.
  Women's health. The TrumpCare bill directly goes after women's access 
to affordable healthcare, including their defunding of Planned 
Parenthood. I think all of us know that in many parts of our country, 
Planned Parenthood clinics are the only viable source of healthcare for 
women who are looking for cancer screening, breast cancer screening, 
cervical cancer screening, and other preventive healthcare measures.
  As we read this report from the Congressional Budget Office that just 
came out yesterday, we are getting a better idea of why the House of 
Representatives was so eager to rush this through the committees--
rushed it through the Ways and Means Committee, rushed it through the 
Energy and Commerce Committee in the House--because apparently it is a 
lot easier to vote for a piece of legislation when you don't know the 
consequences. Apparently it is easier to say yes to this bill when you 
don't know that it will deny healthcare coverage to 24 million 
Americans, spike premiums over the next couple of years, eliminate 
other important coverages for our fellow Americans, but people don't 
have that excuse anymore.
  They tried to rush it through. They got it through those two 
committees. Willful ignorance allowed them to have those votes and it 
passed those committees, but now we have, from the

[[Page S1790]]

Congressional Budget Office, a comprehensive and thorough analysis of 
the impact on our fellow Americans. It hurts. It hurts a lot. Now, I 
recall, and I think the American public recalls, that during the 
campaign on ``60 Minutes,'' Candidate Trump said:

       I'm going to take care of everybody. I don't care if it 
     costs me votes or not. Everybody is going to be taken care of 
     much better than they are taken care of now.

  Well, you tell that to the 14 million Americans who are going to lose 
their health insurance in 2018. You tell that to the 64-year-old who 
would be paying $14,000 in premiums a year, up from $1,700 under the 
Affordable Care Act. You tell that to people who are suffering from 
opioid abuse in all parts of our country when the Medicaid Program no 
longer has to provide coverage for substance abuse.
  That is not taking care of ``everybody.'' That is leaving tens of 
millions of Americans behind. That was during the campaign. Here is 
what we heard from President Trump in January, this year. He is going 
to provide ``insurance for everybody.'' That is just not so, unless 
what you are saying is we are going to offer you a totally unaffordable 
insurance plan.
  By the way, if you happen to have enough money, you can pay for it. 
It is kind of like saying to somebody: You know what, that Rolls Royce 
or that Lamborghini, that is available for purchase, but most of us 
just don't have the money to afford that kind of purchase. In that 
theoretical sense, you may argue that health insurance is available, 
but the Congressional Budget Office did not look at theories. They 
looked at facts. They looked at the impact on real Americans and 
concluded that 14 million would lose their access in 2018, rising to 24 
million over the next decade.
  Despite the fact that on March 9 President Trump tweeted that ``it 
will end in a beautiful picture,'' that is not a beautiful picture for 
tens of millions of Americans who will be left behind by this series of 
broken promises, broken promises and betrayal from President Trump. As 
he campaigned around the country, he promised coverage for everybody, 
affordable coverage. We would all love it.
  Now we have the hard facts. So it was quite a spectacle to see the 
Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, 
trying to run away from the facts in the Congressional Budget Office 
report. He got up and said, you know, he does not really believe the 
Congressional Budget Office report.
  Well, the reality is that Tom Price, when he was Congressman Price, 
when he was the chairman on the House Budget Committee, along with 
Senator Enzi, helped pick the current Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office, Keith Hall. I know that because I was the senior 
Democrat on the House Budget Committee. I was part of the interview 
process. You know, they let us come along, but the reality is, at the 
end of the day, he was picked by Secretary Tom Price.
  Here is what Tom Price said about the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office. He said:

       Keith Hall--

  That is the Director--

     will bring an impressive level of economic expertise and 
     experience to the Congressional Budget Office. Throughout his 
     career, he has served in both the public and private sector 
     under Presidents of both parties and in roles that make him 
     well suited to lead the Congressional Budget Office.

  He goes on to praise the Director of the Congressional Budget Office. 
I know the Presiding Officer and our colleagues have experience 
understanding how important it is to have a nonpartisan referee in the 
Congressional Budget Office. Otherwise, it is anything goes. Senators 
get to make up their own facts. I know we have a White House and a 
President that has invented the term ``alternative facts'' and 
``alternative reality'' and ``alternative universe,'' but here in the 
Congress, we have prided ourselves in knowing there is some referee on 
the field when it comes to the Congressional Budget Office. We don't 
agree with every single conclusion they have, but we don't work to 
discredit them. It really is a discredit to the Secretary of HHS that 
having praised and picked the current Director of CBO, he would now 
attack that institution simply because he does not like the results of 
their analysis.
  I would not like the results either because they show how devastating 
TrumpCare is for the American people. It shows what a total betrayal of 
the President's promises TrumpCare is to the American people. It is not 
just the Congressional Budget Office analysis that has reached that 
conclusion. He is going to also go after AARP because they are on full 
alert, and they are calling all their members to say this is a really 
bad bill for tens of millions of Americans, especially older Americans, 
people in the range of 47 years old to 64 years old, before they get on 
Medicare.
  The American Hospital Association and hospitals in all parts of our 
country, and especially rural hospitals, areas Candidate Trump 
campaigned heavily in, are letting their members know the devastating 
consequences of this TrumpCare bill. The American Medical Association, 
the people who are providing health care to our fellow citizens, they 
are letting people know how damaging this will be.
  So we have a wide array of Americans who are in the position, and it 
is their job to provide health care to the American public, who say: 
Whoa, this is harmful to your health. This is a danger to the 
healthcare of the American people. It is not simply the numbers, it is 
also the people and faces behind those numbers.
  From Maryland, I got a note from Jenny from Salisbury. That is in 
Eastern Maryland. That is a rural part of our State. She said:

       I have a rare progressive lung disease. With good care I 
     may live 30 more years. Without it, I may live 5 or 10, sick 
     and disabled. I remember high-risk pools and preexisting 
     conditions exclusions. I need the ACA. I may die without it 
     and I am afraid for my life.

  Here is Gail from Annapolis:

       I'm very concerned with the repeal of the Affordable Care 
     Act. It helps the disability community. Our adult daughter 
     who has a severe cognitive disability will be relying on 
     Medicaid for health services after my husband retires this 
     summer at age 70 with a second-time recurrence of lymphoma. I 
     don't know what you can do, but this is a concern as aging 
     parents find their special-needs adult child may not have 
     coverage as she loses her family's ability to support her 
     healthcare.

  The letters go on and on from all parts of Maryland and all parts of 
the country. What adds insult to injury is that all these Americans are 
going to be harmed, the 24 million who will lose their healthcare 
coverage, those who will experience spikes in their premiums and 
copays, the older Americans--47 to 64--who are going to see gigantic 
increases in their costs so they are not going to be able to afford 
healthcare anymore, those in rural areas and urban areas in all parts 
of our country who are suffering from opioid abuse but Medicaid is no 
longer going to cover it. All of that harm is being done to tens of 
millions of our fellow citizens in order to give this huge tax break to 
the wealthiest Americans and special interests, including insurance 
companies and the pharmaceutical industry.

  The Congressional Budget Office report is pretty clear--$590 billion 
in tax cuts. Do you know what the top one-tenth of 1 percent income 
earners will get in terms of tax cuts? An average tax cut of $200,000. 
Millionaires will get an average tax cut of $50,000. There is even a 
provision in here that says to insurance companies: We are going to 
subsidize the bonuses you pay to CEOs. You are now going to be able to 
deduct the multimillion-dollar bonuses you pay to your CEOs. We are 
going to do that so that fewer people can have health coverage.
  We get rid of the fee on insurance companies that helps to provide 
access to millions of Americans.
  It is simply grotesque that we see this legislation getting as far as 
it has. We know why they tried to move it so quickly without a 
Congressional Budget Office report--because this report is devastating. 
It should be the final nail in the coffin of TrumpCare, and we should 
all, frankly, be a little embarrassed by a proposal that provides $590 
billion in tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans and some of the most 
powerful special interests at the expense of healthcare for so many of 
our fellow citizens.
  We have to say no to this plan. We have to say no to TrumpCare. And 
let's get about doing our business. There are some issues we can deal 
with, with the Affordable Care Act, but you don't destroy it while 
giving these tax breaks

[[Page S1791]]

to the wealthiest Americans in order to do our job.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan.
  Ms. STABENOW. Mr. President, before the distinguished Senator from 
Maryland leaves the floor, I want to thank him for his powerful 
advocacy on behalf of his citizens. And I would only say ``amen'' as he 
was speaking because there is so much at stake for the moms and dads 
and kids and grandpas and grandmas in Michigan and Maryland. And that 
is why we are on the floor speaking out so strongly and fighting so 
hard to defeat a very bad proposal.
  Let me start by indicating that what is being debated right now in 
the House, the TrumpCare proposal, is not what President Trump 
promised. It is just not what he promised. He said it would be great. 
He said that people would get as good healthcare or better healthcare 
and that it would cost less. We know that is simply not true.
  According to a FOX News report on the increase of people who would no 
longer have healthcare, be able to get medical care, be able to go to a 
doctor under the new TrumpCare plan, 14 million people would lose their 
healthcare, be unable to take their children to a doctor, just in the 
next year, by next year. People will have to go to the emergency room 
rather than a family doctor. Rather than being able to take care of a 
cold or something minor for their children, chances are that it would 
become something very serious before they would be able to be in a 
position to take them to a doctor or, more likely, an emergency room.
  We know that in the next 10 years, we are talking about 24 million 
Americans--moms, dads, grandpas, grandmas, kids who would no longer be 
able to see a doctor and no longer have health insurance.
  TrumpCare would also cost 7 million people who have an employer right 
now who is providing them health insurance so that they can get to the 
doctor and care for their family--7 million people would lose the 
insurance they have through their employer right now. That is not 
making things better. There would be 7 million people in that 
situation.
  This is really a triple-whammy for middle-class families across our 
country and certainly for people in Michigan. There would be higher 
costs, less coverage, and more taxes.
  I believe we need to join with AARP and our doctors, hospitals, 
nurses, people who treat cancer, Alzheimer's, breast cancer, juvenile 
diabetes, and all of the other people who care for and advocate on 
behalf of loved ones or themselves, people who need to be able to see a 
doctor and get healthcare coverage. We need to say no to the TrumpCare 
plan that is being proposed in the House.
  One thing that is really outrageous in this proposal is a senior tax 
that allows insurance companies to hike up rates on older Americans. It 
is right in the budget report. This is in the budget report we have now 
received. They are saying that in 2026--in 10 years--a single woman or 
man 64 years of age making $26,500 a year who currently pays $1,700 for 
their health insurance would suddenly get a bill for $14,600. So under 
this plan, that 64-year-old is going to go from $1,700 out-of-pocket to 
see a doctor to get their treatments, to be able to get the care they 
need, to $14,600. If you compare that to somebody who is 64 and makes 
$3.7 million a year, the good news for them is that they are going to 
get a $200,000 tax cut. Unbelievable. Unbelievable.
  Most people in Michigan work hard every single day, get up and go to 
work, maybe take a shower after work, maybe take a shower before work, 
but most of the people I represent don't make $200,000 a year. Yet we 
are talking about a $200,000 tax cut for multimillionaires, which is in 
this proposal.
  That is why the AARP, a nonpartisan organization representing 
millions of people across the country, is actively working to defeat 
this.
  We also know that this creates what I call a voucher under Medicaid, 
meaning that instead of paying for whatever nursing home care is 
needed--if your mom or dad has Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, or 
they are simply in a nursing home for a variety of reasons, right now 
they get whatever care they need. There is not a cap on the amount of 
care. There is not a limit on the amount of care. Under this proposal, 
there would be X amount of dollars put aside for your mom or dad or 
grandpa or grandma, and if the care they needed because of their 
Alzheimer's disease was more than that, you would pay for it or your 
elderly parent in some way would have to figure out how to pay for it. 
This is outrageous.

  Medicaid for families and for seniors in nursing homes has been a 
critical part of making sure people can get the medical care they need. 
I, frankly, celebrate today the fact that under the Medicaid expansion, 
under the Affordable Care Act, 97 percent of the children in Michigan 
can see a doctor. Imagine that. Ninety-seven percent of the children, 
almost all of our children, can go to a family doctor. Their moms and 
dads know that they are going to be able to take them to the doctor 
when they get sick. I don't want to roll that back, but that is what 
the TrumpCare proposal does.
  We also know--because this was reported on FOX News as well--that the 
new plan would add a 15- to 20-percent premium increase for individuals 
starting next year--a 15- to 20-percent premium increase for 
individuals starting next year at the same time as big tax cuts for 
multimillionaires.
  I have to say, as somebody who worked very, very hard on the women's 
healthcare provisions and authored the maternity care provisions, I 
find it outrageous that the TrumpCare proposal would mean that 
maternity care is not covered as part of basic healthcare for women.
  Prior to the Affordable Care Act being passed, only 12 percent of the 
plans in Michigan--12 plans out of 100--offered maternity care. If you 
tried to buy maternity care as part of the basic coverage, you would 
have to get a rider. You would have to pay more.
  Let's say maybe you gambled. Well, you weren't planning on getting 
pregnant and you weren't sure what was going to happen, so you didn't 
pay extra. Then you get pregnant. Guess what. You had a preexisting 
condition, and you couldn't get insurance. We don't want to go back to 
the time where being a woman was, in fact, a preexisting condition. And 
speaking of preexisting conditions, this plan puts them back in the 
hands of the insurance companies and creates penalties for people.
  The truth is, under the Affordable Care Act, we made sure that when 
you purchase insurance, it is a real plan. It is not a junk plan. You 
can't get dropped when you get sick. If you have a preexisting 
condition, they can't block you. If you are a woman, you don't have to 
pay more. If you have a mental illness rather than a physical illness, 
you don't have to pay more. If you need cancer treatments, the 
insurance company can't tell your doctor how many treatments you are 
going to get or how much they will pay for your treatments. Everybody 
has benefited from that. Everybody who has insurance in this country 
has benefited from that.
  One of the most important provisions relates to preexisting 
conditions, and that, in fact, is not continued, as it should be for 
American families.
  Finally, let me just say that while we are talking about people 
paying more, getting less coverage, middle-class families paying more 
in taxes, guess what. Wealthy people do not. So if you are a 
multimillionaire, you are going to get big tax cuts in this provision, 
and the middle-class family, the working family, is going to pay for 
it. They are going to pay for it in higher premiums. They are going to 
pay for it in less healthcare for their family. That is absolutely 
unacceptable.
  In addition to that, there is a tax break for insurance company CEOs 
so that they can, in fact, get a raise up to $1 million. So in this 
proposal, very wealthy people--insurance and drug companies' CEOs--are 
taken care of. Vast amounts of money are put back in their pockets, 
while money is taken out of yours. Absolutely unacceptable.
  That is why we, as Democrats, are fighting so hard to make sure this 
does not happen, is not passed, and that, in fact, we will work 
together to strengthen our healthcare system.
  We know there are areas where premiums are too high, copays are too 
high, and we need to work together on a bipartisan basis to fix that. 
But unraveling our entire system, ripping it apart, creating chaos, 
more cost, less

[[Page S1792]]

ability to go to the doctor, and less medical care for people is 
absolutely unacceptable.
  The bottom line is that TrumpCare means more money out of your pocket 
and less healthcare for you and your family. That is just wrong in the 
greatest country in the world.


                   Recognition of the Minority Leader

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Democratic leader is recognized.


                               TrumpCare

  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I want to first thank my colleague from 
Michigan for her outstanding presentation. It was succinct. It was on 
point. It showed all the problems with TrumpCare. I hope we will see a 
lot more not only of her speaking about this--and I know we will--but 
those great charts she put together.
  I, too, rise this afternoon again on the Republican plan to repeal 
and replace the Affordable Care Act. There has been some confusion 
about what to call it. Speaker Ryan, one of the principal authors of 
the bill, doesn't want it called RyanCare. President Trump doesn't want 
it called TrumpCare. President Trump slapped his name on buildings, 
ties, steaks, hotels, and golf clubs, but not on a bill that he says he 
supports. If it is so good, why doesn't any Republican want to put 
their name on it? I think the reason is because every single day, as we 
learn more and more about the bill, more and more Americans are turning 
against it. Doctors don't like it. Patients don't like it. Hospitals 
don't like it. Women don't like it. Millennials don't like it. Seniors 
don't like it. More and more Republicans don't like it. And Democrats 
are totally united against it.
  So I just want to ask one question. TrumpCare has been public for 1 
week now. Is there any group left in the country who actually likes it? 
I am not sure there is. So Republicans have resorted to their usual 
talking points.
  They like to talk about access to healthcare. That is what Dr. Price 
said over and over again. He didn't talk about people getting 
healthcare, just having access to healthcare.
  They say they want universal access to healthcare. Well, every 
American has universal access to a Lamborghini. You can walk into the 
Lamborghini showroom and say: I would like to purchase one. The 
proprietor says: Well, that will be a couple hundred thousand dollars. 
And you can't buy it. Access is not enough. Access is not enough.
  Every single American would like a huge mansion worth $10 million. 
They have access. They can go to a real estate agent and say: Show me a 
list of $10 million mansions in my community. That is access, but they 
can't afford it. We know when Dr. Price and others talk about access, 
they are trying to actually verbally trick the American people because 
people can't afford this healthcare. They will not have the healthcare, 
but they can inquire about it. That is all access is.
  Americans are smarter than that. They know having good health 
insurance is what leads to affordable healthcare. Access to care will 
not make us well and will not save our lives if we can't afford it.
  So what is the real effect of this TrumpCare bill? Last night the 
Congressional Budget Office made clear that 24 million fewer Americans 
will have health insurance if TrumpCare becomes the law of the land. It 
is one of the biggest broken promises that this President has made, and 
he has broken a lot of them. In an interview with the Washington Post, 
here's what the President said: ``We're going to have insurance for 
everybody.'' President Trump: ``We're going to have insurance for 
everybody'' that is ``much less expensive and better.''
  Well, the CBO report confirms that TrumpCare does not even remotely 
come close to that pledge. The President was off by only 24 million 
Americans. That is more than the population of my entire State.
  Seniors will also get crushed with higher premiums. Americans of all 
ages will have to pay more out-of-pocket costs with deductibles and 
copays. Let me give you one example from the CBO report. A 64-year-old 
American not eligible for Medicare who makes maybe $26,500 a year would 
have to pay a premium of $14,600. That is more than half of that 
senior's entire income. How is that even possible? If there were ever a 
war on seniors, this bill, TrumpCare, is it.
  The CBO report also showed that TrumpCare spends more on tax breaks 
for the very wealthy and for insurance companies than it does on tax 
credits to help middle-class Americans afford health insurance. In the 
final tally, TrumpCare would erase more than $1 trillion from programs 
that help poor and middle-class families in order to fund an almost 
$900 billion tax break aimed largely at the wealthy and corporations. 
That would constitute one of the greatest transfers of wealth from the 
middle class and the poor to the very rich in the last few decades. As 
my friend Leader Pelosi said this morning: It is reverse Robin Hood, 
taking from the poor and giving it to the rich. I would say that this 
bill, TrumpCare, is reverse Robin Hood on steroids.
  Rather than going back to the drawing board to solve these problems, 
what are our Republican friends doing? Attacking CBO, the messenger. 
There is just one problem: This messenger they are attacking is their 
own messenger. Who appointed Dr. Hall as the head of CBO? Who was the 
person most responsible? None other than Secretary Price, now the head 
of HHS, handpicked him.
  Dr. Hall has great conservative Republican credentials. Not only was 
he picked by Dr. Tom Price, but he worked at the Mercatus Center, which 
we all know is funded in good part by the Koch brothers. He is a man 
chosen by one of the most conservative Republicans in the House, who is 
now HHS Secretary. He taught at an institute funded by the Koch 
brothers, the leading funders of the hard right, and they are attacking 
him. They don't like his honest answers.
  Republicans are attacking the referee because they are losing the 
game, plain and simple. Everyone from second grade on was taught by 
their parents not to attack the referee because it is unsportsmanlike. 
In this case it is a lot worse. It has life and death consequences, 
unlike a softball game for a second grader.
  If we look at the CBO's score, it is hard to call this a healthcare 
bill. A healthcare bill actually intends to provide insurance to more 
Americans; this bill results in 24 million fewer Americans with health 
insurance. A healthcare bill would help people afford health insurance; 
this bill would likely increase costs on middle-class and working 
families while making it cheaper for the top 1 percent and much cheaper 
for the top 0.1 percent. They get the biggest benefit. They get a huge 
tax break. A healthcare bill would seek to protect older and sicker 
Americans who need health insurance the most; this bill jacks up the 
price on older Americans the most. A healthcare bill would make it 
easier for Americans to shop for health insurance, but the CBO says 
that under this bill, plans would be harder to compare, ``making 
shopping for a plan on the basis of price more difficult.'' That is 
their quote.
  By no measure can we call TrumpCare an actual healthcare bill. The 
only thing this bill makes healthier is bank accounts for the 
wealthiest Americans. People who make above $250,000 would get an 
average tax break of $200,000. People who make $1 million would get an 
average tax break of $57,000. That is what this bill is all about.
  Our Republican friends have cut taxes on the rich. That is what their 
tax reform bill will be about. That is what this is all about. At a 
time when Donald Trump was campaigning to help the middle class, the 
working people, he gets into office, and boom: The first big, big, big 
proposal reduces taxes on the wealthiest people. This is not going to 
play well in Peoria, Brooklyn, or Charlotte.
  We Democrats are going to stand strong, stay united, and fight tooth 
and nail against TrumpCare until our Republican friends drop their 
repeal efforts for good.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Tillis). The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. SCHATZ. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. SCHATZ. Mr. President, what should we call it? What do we call 
this new bill the Republicans are rushing

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through to take away healthcare from millions of Americans? Is it 
TrumpCare? Is it RyanCare?
  It is important to remember that both Paul Ryan and President Trump 
are branding experts. The President put his name on a line of steaks. 
He put his name on a magazine, on hotels. Then, here is the Speaker of 
the House, who has worked pretty hard to be thought of, at least in 
this town, as a policy wonk and serious thinker, who has branded 
everything he has worked on from the Ryan budget to ``A Better Way.'' 
Yet neither leader of the Republican Party wants to own this thing. 
That is because TrumpCare is one of the worst pieces of legislation I 
have ever seen.
  The process has been a total mess, and this is despite the fact that 
the Republicans had 7 years to work on a plan. At first, they were 
thinking about doing this without getting a score from the 
Congressional Budget Office, the CBO. Then they realized that even 
their own Members--even their loyal soldiers--did not want to vote on 
something without knowing how much it would cost or how many people 
would lose healthcare.
  Now they are saying the score either does not matter or it is wrong 
except for the areas in which they like the score. They spent the last 
48 hours trashing the CBO, when there is plenty of evidence that for 
the last 8 years, they referred to the CBO as an expert source when it 
fit their needs.
  Look, the legislative process requires hearings, expert testimony, 
and that is not a mere formality. That is how you get a decent product. 
For all of the complaints about the way the ACA was passed, they did 
have hearings; they had discussions. It took over a year. President 
Obama, himself, even went to the Republican retreat and personally 
engaged in policy.
  Moving this fast without having hearings is the kind of thing you do 
when naming a post office or doing some other noncontroversial measure, 
or it is the kind of thing you do for something that you don't want 
people to look at very closely because, with every moment that passes, 
this coalition frays, if it ever existed in the first place.
  Now you have criticism from literally the left, right, and center. 
That is, in part, because no one saw this coming. No one expected a 
bill that would look like this because during the campaign this 
administration promised not to cut Medicaid. It promised that 
everyone--every single American--would have health insurance, but here 
we are. If TrumpCare becomes law, 14 million people will lose their 
healthcare next year. Let me repeat that. In just 1 year, 14 million 
Americans will no longer have the health insurance they were promised.
  I want to talk about what that means, what will it mean if people no 
longer have healthcare.
  This week, the Washington Post featured the stories of people in a 
single county whose lives have changed for the better because of 
Medicaid. In McDowell County, WV, Medicaid has helped thousands of 
people get access to physical therapy and immunizations. It has allowed 
them to see counselors for mental health problems and opioid addiction. 
It has helped them to afford the medication they need instead of 
relying on free samples from clinics.
  These services do not just benefit the individuals, they benefit the 
whole community by making sure people are healthy enough so they can 
work and contribute to the economy. They allow us to save money by 
focusing on prevention instead of treatment. This is what is at stake. 
These are the services that will go away because TrumpCare is going to 
cut Medicaid by $880 billion.
  Here is another thing. TrumpCare is also going to impose an age tax 
that will allow insurance companies to charge older people more money 
for health insurance--a lot more. I want to be clear. We are not just 
talking about senior citizens here, we are talking about people who are 
pre-Medicare; in other words, anyone under the age of 65 but not 
exactly young. For example, a 64-year-old will be charged up to five 
times the amount a 21-year-old will be charged. Starting at age 25, the 
older you get, the more money you will get charged. That is why AARP 
has come out against this bill, because every year you get older they 
will charge you more. This is an age tax. This is a penalty for getting 
older.
  There is an important point to be made about process, and that is 
this: This is actually not a healthcare bill. That is not a political 
statement. That is not a rhetorical flourish. Here is what is going on. 
If this were a healthcare bill, it would be new legislation. In order 
to pass legislation, under the rules of the U.S. Senate, which were 
agreed upon by both parties over many years, you need 60 votes. The 
reason we are working this through reconciliation is, they have nowhere 
near 60 votes.
  So what can you do within the reconciliation process? They are 
basically stuck with dealing with taxes and subsidies because they only 
require 51 votes. That is all they can do. This is a tax vehicle.
  Then, the question becomes, Who is getting money, and who is getting 
charged more money? On that count, this tax bill is one of the biggest 
wealth transfers in American history. It is a transfer from working-
class Americans to rich Americans. That is what this bill does. It 
takes money from the people who need help the most and gives it to the 
very wealthy.
  Here we are in 2017, just a few months out from an election in which 
income inequality was one of the driving issues on both sides of the 
aisle. What the Republicans in the House seem to take from that 
experience is that their mandate is to go in and reduce taxes for 
insurance executives who make more than $500,000 a year and for the 
investor class in order to cut Medicaid by $880 billion. It is like 
they were asleep all of last year or maybe they were never very serious 
about income inequality. We do not need another election to know this 
is not what the American people expect from the Congress. They expect 
bipartisan compromise. They expect results that will make their 
healthcare better.
  My own view is, we can work together on healthcare, but it requires 
three things: first, good faith; second, bipartisanship; third, 
legislative hearings. Frankly, we have seen none of these things 
because the process has been a mess. We need to have a conversation in 
the light of day and let the American people weigh in. What is the 
rush?
  There is no doubt there is plenty of room for improvement in the 
existing healthcare law, but TrumpCare makes it much worse. It will 
cause chaos in the American economy and in 24 million Americans' lives. 
That is a threat to the progress we have made over the last 7 years. It 
is a threat to one-sixth of the American economy. Most of all, it is a 
threat to at least 24 million Americans who stand to lose their 
healthcare.
  These threats are the reasons the Senate needs to come together and 
say: Slow down. Let's work together. Let's work on forming a bipartisan 
foundation. Let's have hearings. Most importantly, let's not impose 
this catastrophe in a hurry on the American people.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I come to the floor today to talk about 
another rule the Republicans want to overturn instead of working with 
Democrats to create jobs. This rule outlines when State unemployment 
agencies can drug test applicants for unemployment benefits.
  Today there are roughly 7.6 million Americans who are unemployed, and 
over 2 million of these unemployed Americans are collecting 
unemployment insurance. About 150,000 of these people live in Illinois.
  Unemployment insurance benefits provide a lifeline to many workers 
and families who are struggling to make ends meet. If this resolution 
passes, my Republican colleagues will succeed in preventing hard-
working Americans from receiving these benefits, and they will succeed 
in making it more difficult for unemployed Americans to find work.
  This past August, the Department of Labor finalized a rule that 
explains when State unemployment agencies can subject unemployment 
benefit applicants to a drug test. The rule clarifies which occupations 
regularly conduct drug testing, as established by the Department of 
Labor, to help State programs that conduct drug testing.
  This rule makes sure States have the guidance they need to implement 
drug testing requirements in a fair and legal

[[Page S1794]]

mariner, but if this partisan CRA is signed into law, it will undo a 
bipartisan compromise that was created to ensure equitable access to 
unemployment benefits.
  Unemployed Americans have paid into the unemployment insurance 
program, and they are entitled to receive that insurance when they lose 
their job to circumstances beyond their control. By supporting blanket 
drug testing of unemployment insurance applicants, my Republican 
colleagues are targeting hard-working Americans who in many cases have 
fallen on hard times.
  And let me be clear, this will make it more difficult for them to 
receive the benefits they have earned.
  Millions of Americans around the country voted for leaders who would 
fight for the working class. Repealing this rule will be another broken 
promise to those families.
  Drug testing is also expensive. In 2011, the Texas Legislative Budget 
Board estimated it would cost Texas $30 million over the course of just 
1 year if they moved forward with a universal drug-testing policy for 
unemployment benefits.
  When States have conducted drug testing of applicants for other 
government programs, like the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families 
program, very few claimants have tested positive for drug use.
  My Republican colleagues say that this resolution will help save 
taxpayer money, but overturning the Department of Labor's rule will 
lead to millions of wasted taxpayer dollars on drug tests that come 
back negative.
  This resolution isn't about saving money. It is about paving the way 
for lawmakers who want to drug test every American who has to file for 
unemployment insurance; yet these same lawmakers aren't calling for 
drug testing Americans that claim other Federal benefits, like tax 
credits or deductions on their tax returns.
  I urge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to remember: the 
Department of Labor's drug-testing rule is about real people who depend 
on unemployment insurance to live in America.
  They need these benefits to put food on the table, to make a rent or 
mortgage payment, or to pay for gas to allow them to continue their job 
search.
  When people become unemployed, it is often a result of company 
downsizing or outsourcing American jobs, not drug use. We should not 
and cannot unfairly stigmatize these workers and make it even more 
difficult for them to get back on their feet after becoming unemployed 
by undoing this regulation.
  I urge my colleagues to join me in voting against this resolution.
  Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. President, I rise in opposition to H.J. Res. 42 
today, a bill in search of a problem. Back in 2012, Congress passed 
legislation to extend temporary unemployment insurance as our country 
worked to recover from the recession. That legislation included a 
bipartisan compromise that allowed States to drug test people applying 
for unemployment compensation if they were fired from their previous 
job for drug use or they were pursuing employment in a field that 
regularly required drug testing for safety reasons. The Department of 
Labor was charged with determining those occupations.
  This guidance is critical because courts have twice ruled against 
States who implemented blanket testing for TANF benefits. Without 
probably cause, they ruled that such testing violated constitutional 
rights. By overriding the Department of Labor's rule, States are left 
in confusion.
  My colleagues on the other side of the aisle might argue that the 
authority to drug test is important to help save money in the program. 
There is no clear evidence that this is the case. There is also no 
convincing evidence of rampant drug use among beneficiaries. States 
have engaged in drug testing for TANF recipients with remarkably few 
results. In Oklahoma in 2015, nearly 90 percent of those required to 
take a drug test had a negative result for drug use. In fiscal year 
2014, Utah's drug testing returned just 18 positive results. As of 
2016, only 0.1 percent of all applicants for Tennessee's cash 
assistance program tested positive.
  We all acknowledge an opioid crisis in our communities. Instead of 
using resources to help people access treatment programs, we are 
debating creating costly drug testing programs that have failed to 
produce significant results in States where they have been tried. Over 
in the House, they are considering TrumpCare, which would erode drug 
treatment coverage. We should be working to address this tragedy, not 
spending time on wasteful and damaging measures like these. I urge a 
``no'' vote.
  Mr. SCHATZ. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Boozman). Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the time 
until 5:45 p.m. today, including quorum calls, be equally divided in 
the usual form, with 15 minutes of the Democratic time being reserved 
for the use of Senator Wyden or his designee; further, that at 5:45 
p.m., the remaining time on H.J. Res. 42 be considered expired, the 
resolution be read a third time, and the Senate vote on the resolution 
with no intervening action or debate.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                    Nomination of Robert Lighthizer

  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, today the Senate Finance Committee has 
considered the nomination of Mr. Robert Lighthizer to be the country's 
next Trade Representative. This position serves as a vital role in our 
country's economic policy by negotiating trade agreements on behalf of 
the American people and making sure they are enforced according to 
their terms.
  President Trump has made clear that his administration will be 
devoted to getting the very best trade deals possible for the American 
people. For Texas, my State--the Nation's top exporting State--trade is 
incredibly important. Many of our jobs and industries rely on trade 
agreements, like NAFTA, so that our goods and services can find new 
markets and more customers. As a matter of fact, 5 million American 
jobs depend on binational trade with Mexico alone, which gives us a 
sense of how important trade is to our economy at large.
  I am happy to support Mr. Lighthizer for this important post. He has 
served in the Senate as a staffer on the Senate Finance Committee for 
the former chairman of the Finance Committee, Senator Bob Dole, and as 
the Deputy U.S. Trade Representative during the Reagan administration 
as well. In his nearly three decades in the private sector, Mr. 
Lighthizer has represented a number of U.S. commercial interests 
through trade enforcement cases, while also focusing on opening up 
foreign markets to American ranchers, farmers, and small businesses. I 
look forward to working with him to improve existing trade deals and to 
cut better ones for the benefit of the American people.


                        American Health Care Act

  Mr. President, last week the House of Representatives unveiled a plan 
to repeal and replace ObamaCare with one that provides more options for 
the American people at a price they can afford. This was in direct 
response to what has been an ObamaCare disaster--one that led to 
skyrocketing healthcare costs, insurers leaving markets left and right, 
and a big government solution to a complicated problem that fails to 
actually deliver on its promises.
  We have all heard it a hundred times if we have heard it once. 
President Obama said: If you like your policy, you can keep it; if you 
like your doctor, you can keep your doctor; and a family of four would 
see a decrease in their premium costs by $2,500. Obviously, that did 
not prove to be the case.
  There is really no denying that ObamaCare isn't working, and the 
status quo is unacceptable. Under ObamaCare, tens of millions are 
uninsured--almost 30 million people now in America, which, to me, is 
one of the most supreme ironies of ObamaCare. It was sold to us on the 
premise that everyone would have insurance. Yet 30 million people are 
uninsured, and 20 million of those 30 million are either people who 
have paid a penalty because they haven't bought the government-

[[Page S1795]]

approved healthcare and thus are not complying with the individual 
mandate or they are people who claimed a hardship exemption, saying 
they simply can't afford to buy the policy that the government mandates 
they purchase, so the government has supplied them an exemption. So 30 
million are uninsured under ObamaCare, and 20 million of those 30 
million have either paid the penalty or have been otherwise excused 
from complying with the mandate.
  We know that under ObamaCare, tens of millions are uninsured, 
premiums have skyrocketed, and mandates have crushed job creators.
  I remember several conversations with employers--restaurant owners 
and one gentleman in an architectural firm--saying: When does the 
employer mandate kick in? In other words, when do you get penalized for 
not complying with the ObamaCare requirements?
  He said: I am going to hire fewer people because I don't want to come 
within the ambit of that employer mandate.
  Then I remember one restaurant in East Texas where a single mom 
basically was laid off of her full-time job and forced to work two 
part-time jobs to make up for that lost pay because her employer 
couldn't comply with the employer mandate under ObamaCare, so what he 
decided to do was lay off his full-time workers and hire people on a 
part-time basis. ObamaCare is riddled with stories like that, which 
demonstrate its flaws.
  Consider that a 24-year-old individual in Texas could spend up to 30 
percent of their gross income just paying for their healthcare premiums 
and their out-of-pocket costs--hardly affordable healthcare. We really 
should have called it the un-Affordable Care Act. We have begun the 
first step to repeal and replace it.
  Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office offered us a glimpse into 
the impact the legislation would have. But I hasten to add that this is 
just the first step out of multiple steps, and there is additional work 
to be done, first of all, by the Secretary of Health and Human 
Services, who has enormous discretion in terms of how to administer 
healthcare policy at the national level and the authority to delegate a 
lot of that responsibility, along with the money that goes with it, 
back to the States where it historically has been done, to offer people 
lower cost health insurance that suits their needs--not a government 
mandate--and offers them more choices.
  There is a number of additional things in the Congressional Budget 
Office report yesterday which are important to consider.
  First, the CBO estimates the American Health Care Act would lower 
premiums by 10 percent over time. We know ObamaCare raised premiums for 
many families across the country; they skyrocketed to an unaffordable 
level. So this is a start in the right direction, but I hasten again to 
add that it is just a start.
  The Congressional Budget Office also confirmed that the American 
Health Care Act is a fiscally conservative bill that puts forward 
responsible solutions to our Nation's healthcare woes. CBO estimates 
that we could reduce the Federal deficit by $337 billion by passing the 
American Health Care Act.
  It also reforms Medicaid. Many of our most vulnerable population get 
their healthcare through Medicaid. This bill provides a way of sending 
that money and authority back to the States and lets them manage the 
growth of the Medicaid Program according to a Consumer Price Index. So 
people who are on Medicaid now, including those in the expansion 
States, can stay on Medicaid, but ultimately the responsibility is 
going to be sent back to the States, along with the money to pay for 
it, and grow--not to cut it, but to grow--according to a Consumer Price 
Index, which makes sense. That change alone saves taxpayers another 
$880 billion--$880 billion. This is the most significant entitlement 
reform in certainly a generation.
  The bill repeals ObamaCare's job-killing taxes like the individual 
employer mandate and the medical device tax, which has moved jobs 
offshore to places like Costa Rica because of its impact on innovation. 
We also repeal the payroll tax, the tax on investments, and the tax on 
prescription drugs. The fact is, middle-income Americans and our job 
creators will find massive tax relief as a result of this legislation--
to the tune of more than $800 billion.
  Put simply, the American Health Care Act dismantles, repeals, and 
stops ObamaCare in its tracks.
  I should point out that the CBO doesn't take into account other steps 
Congress and the administration will take in order to make our Nation's 
healthcare system a vibrant marketplace where more options and better 
quality healthcare exist.
  I might say that a lot of the news yesterday on the CBO report had to 
do with the reduction in the number of people who would actually buy 
health insurance under this new legislation, but the reason for the 
change is in large part, as the Congressional Budget Office said, that 
when you don't punish people through a penalty for not buying 
government-approved health insurance, as ObamaCare did, people may well 
decide in their own economic self-interest not to purchase that 
government policy, particularly when their choices are so limited.
  I believe this is a first step in unraveling this convoluted puzzle 
called ObamaCare and getting our Nation's healthcare back on track. The 
American people have demanded better than ObamaCare. Families are 
forced to pay for insurance they can't afford that provides subpar 
care, and they are tired of being forced to pay a penalty because they 
don't want to opt into a government program that fails to deliver on 
its most basic promises.
  Let me just say this in closing: I know some of our friends across 
the aisle have a dim view of this proposal. They say the CBO score 
demonstrates that not enough people will be covered by this alternative 
to ObamaCare. But my question to them is, What are you going to do 
about the current meltdown in ObamaCare that is forcing people into 
insurance they don't want and denying them any real choice, where the 
premiums are skyrocketing, and where the deductibles are so high you 
are effectively denied the benefit of any health insurance coverage? 
What are they going to do about that? I would simply say that if they 
don't like the alternative we have offered, I invite them to join us in 
trying to solve this problem.
  One of the lessons of ObamaCare is that partisan healthcare 
legislation isn't very durable and doesn't survive. I hope at some 
point the fever will break, and Democrats and Republicans alike will 
find a way to work in the best interests of our constituents, the 
people we serve--the American people.
  We can't afford another one-size-fits-all approach to healthcare. The 
American Health Care Act will provide the first important steps of 
relief from this unworkable, unsustainable system that was created 
based on false promises made to the American people. At the end of the 
day, our goal is to deliver more access, more options, and better 
quality care for families across the country. I look forward to getting 
it done soon.
  In the House, the Budget Committee will take up the healthcare bill, 
which passed the Ways and Means Committee and the Energy and Commerce 
Committee, and then it will move to the floor of the House where I 
presume it will be open to some amendments. Then it will come to the 
Senate where, under the Senate rules, it will also be open to 
amendments.
  If people have a better idea, I hope they will join us in trying to 
come up with the very best solutions possible. But to simply hang back 
and sort of enjoy the difficulty of trying to reform this broken 
ObamaCare system for partisan reasons, to me, seems to be beneath the 
dignity of what we are sent here to do by our constituents.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, before I get into my ``Time to Wake 
Up'' speech, let me say I appreciate the concern of the Senator from 
Texas that the Affordable Care Act leaves too many Americans uninsured. 
I am not sure the solution to that problem is to throw another 24 
million people off of their insurance. I appreciate his concern that 
premiums for many are too high. I am not sure the solution is to 
dramatically increase premiums on the elderly. I appreciate his concern 
that Medicaid can be managed by the States--and I think I used his 
words correctly--along with the money to

[[Page S1796]]

pay for it. But when the bill has $800 billion in Medicaid savings but 
will not cure or prevent a single illness, you are not reducing those 
$800 billion in savings; you are just moving it to the States. You are 
just putting that burden on the States. Ask Arizona how that worked 
when they tried to do Medicaid as they dealt with the mortgage 
meltdown.
  The American people do perhaps demand better than ObamaCare, but the 
solution to offer them something that is far, far worse does not seem 
very sensible. I believe we are willing to work together. Indeed, in 
the HELP Committee our chairman has already said that as soon as we 
start talking about repair, we can get to work. But the notion that 
there is an invitation out to us to work in a bipartisan fashion when 
the majority party is jamming this bill through without negotiation, 
using reconciliation as an extraordinary process to try to put it 
through under arcane budget rules that were never designed for this--
that is not exactly much of a signal. So as soon as we get to regular 
order and 60 votes, I think we will be able to actually work and serve 
our constituents very well.


                             Climate Change

  Mr. President, I am here today for my 160th ``Time to Wake Up'' 
speech, this one focused on the security consequences of our failure to 
deal with carbon emissions and climate change.
  My remarks at the Munich Security Conference this year pointed out 
that climate change presents several orders of security risk to 
society. The first order of security risk is just physical damage, 
damage that science and our senses are already perceiving and measuring 
in our atmosphere, our oceans, and our environment.
  This security risk, risks to the Earth's present national state, will 
hurt farming communities, coastal communities, fishing communities, and 
of course anyone vulnerable to wildfires, droughts, and extreme 
weather. Of course, the poorer you are in this world, the more 
vulnerable you are to this peril.
  The second order of security risk from climate change is the 
consequences in human society from that physical, biological, and 
chemical damage in our environment. As farms and fisheries fail, people 
are impoverished and dislocated. Scarce resources lead to conflicts and 
confrontations. Storms and fires can make suffering acute, and people 
who are hungry or dislocated or torn from their roots can become 
desperate, radicalized, and violent. That is why the U.S. Department of 
Defense has for years called climate change a catalyst of conflict.
  Drought in Syria, for instance, has been described as a root cause of 
the conflict there, a conflict that has killed more than 400,000 
people, according to some estimates, and displaced more than 11 
million. Researchers from NASA and the University of Arizona have 
determined that drought was very likely the worst in a millennium. 
Massive crop failures and livestock losses moved farmers into stressed 
cities, where popular protests met with brutal violence from the Assad 
regime and the tide of refugees from that chaos swamped Europe.
  Nigeria, Sudan, and Central America are other areas where violence 
and flight are driven by scarce resources. So the second order of 
national security risk is the societal damage that cascades from the 
natural damage caused by climate change.
  The third order of security risk is perhaps the most dangerous for 
our country; that is, reputational damage to the keystone institutions 
of our present world order: market capitalism and democratic 
government. People around the world who have been harmed by the first-
order environmental effects of climate change, or people around the 
world who get swept up in the second-order societal effects of climate 
change will want answers, as will many who are witness to the global 
suffering and harm caused by climate change.
  When that reckoning comes, as it will, the discredit to institutions 
like capitalism and democracy which failed to act, even when loudly and 
clearly warned, could be profound. This failure of action by these 
institutions is compounded by the moral failure. Fossil fuel companies 
are knowingly causing this harm. They are aggressively fighting 
solutions to this problem. Their weapons are as disreputable as their 
conduct: professionally administered misinformation--climate denial, 
after all, is the original fake news--and massive, massive floods of 
political money.
  As a result, the Congress has shown itself utterly unable to resist 
the threats and blandishments of this industry, despite the fact that 
we know very clearly of the industry's enormous conflict of interest. 
This all stands to be a lasting blot on both democracy and capitalism, 
a blot that will worsen as the consequences of our climate failure 
worsen. If you believe, as Daniel Webster did, in the power of 
America's example, that we are, indeed, a city on a hill, then you 
should worry about this terrible example of greed, ignorance, and 
corruption triumphant.
  It is not like we have not been warned. The National Intelligence 
Council has estimated that worldwide demand for food, water, and energy 
will grow by approximately 35, 40, and 50 percent respectively in 
coming decades. This increased resource demand is on a collision course 
with those first-order harms--disrupting fisheries and agriculture 
around the globe.
  The U.S. Institute for Peace has warned that ``poor responses to 
climatic shifts create shortages of resources such as land and water. 
Shortages are followed by negative secondary impacts, such as more 
sickness, hunger and joblessness. Poor responses to these, in turn, 
open the door to conflict.''
  For those who discount this as a bunch of peaceniks' prattle, let me 
add that in 2013, our National Intelligence Council put climate change 
alongside events like nuclear war and a severe pandemic among the eight 
events with the greatest potential for global disruption--noting for 
climate change that ``dramatic and unforeseen changes are occurring at 
a faster rate than expected.'' The Department of Defense 2014 
Quadrennial Defense Review described climate change as a ``global 
threat multiplier.'' That report warned that ``the pressures caused by 
climate change will influence resource competition while placing 
additional burdens on economies, societies, and governance institutions 
around the world.''
  As head of U.S. Pacific Command, ADM Samuel Locklear warned in 2013 
that climate change was the biggest long-term security threat in his 
area of operation, noting the need to organize the military for ``when 
the effects of climate change start to impact these massive 
populations.''
  Again, I will quote him. ``If it goes bad,'' he said, ``you could 
have hundreds of thousands or millions of people displaced and then 
security will start to crumble pretty quickly.''
  Operation Free, a coalition of national security and veterans 
organizations, has continually pointed out the national security threat 
posed by climate change, as has the American Security Project, 
comprised of retired military flag officers. The Government 
Accountability Office, GAO, has warned that climate change is affecting 
defense infrastructure around the world, from sea level rise at Naval 
Station Norfolk to heavy rain and flooding at Fort Irwin, CA, to 
thawing permafrost affecting Air Force radar installations in Alaska, 
to faraway effects, even at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.
  The Coast Guard, of course, must meet entirely new demands of the 
icecap's melt in the Arctic for transportation and shipping, for new 
fishing grounds, for resource exploration, and of course the 
possibility there of conflict. In 2005, when Defense Secretary Mattis 
led Marine Corps Combat Development Command, he called on Navy 
researchers to find ways to make the military more energy efficient, to 
``unleash''--to use his words--U.S. military forces from the ``tether 
[of] fuel.''
  Ask Senator Tammy Duckworth about the casualties sustained among her 
comrades in arms defending fuel supply lines if you want to see a 
passionate conversation. The military funds research into alternative 
energy and studies how climate change affects military capability 
because in the real world, where real lives are at risk, they can't 
afford to believe the false facts peddled by the fossil fuel industry.
  The people we entrust to keep us safe, who have to deal with real 
threats in the real world, recognize the danger

[[Page S1797]]

climate change represents. The National Intelligence Council said in 
January that ``issues like . . . climate change invoke high stakes and 
will require sustained collaboration.'' Instead of that, we get a 
Congress and an administration that has deliberately let the fossil 
fuel industry occupy and sabotage the orderly operation of the 
Government of the United States to deal with this problem.
  So I am going to start to push back. When these tools of the fossil 
fuel industry, to whom we in the Senate gave advice and consent, go too 
egregiously about their dirty business of climate denial, expect that I 
may come to the floor and object to consent requests.
  Last week, Administrator Pruitt said carbon dioxide does not cause 
climate change. That is nonsense. That is somewhere between ignorant 
and fraudulent. He gets that one lie for free but no more--not next 
time with the stakes this high. It can't be free to have these fossil 
fuel tools spouting their fossil fuel nonsense from Senate-confirmed 
positions of governmental authority. Starting now, it will not be.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Flake). The Senator from Utah.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, later today, the Senate will vote on H.J. 
Res. 42, the resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review 
Act relating to a Department of Labor regulation on the drug testing of 
unemployment insurance applicants. I rise to speak in support of that 
resolution and to urge my colleagues to vote in favor of its passage.
  Let's put this resolution and the regulation it would repeal in 
proper context. In 2012, Congress passed and President Obama signed the 
Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act. Among many other things, 
that law included a number of carefully negotiated provisions relating 
to the unemployment insurance program, including a number of reforms to 
address program efficiency and integrity issues.
  One of those provisions overturned a DOL ban on drug screening for UI 
applicants. Specifically, the law allowed States to test UI applicants 
who either lost their job due to drug use or were seeking employment in 
an occupation that generally required drug tests as a condition of 
employment.
  It did not require States to begin drug testing; it only gave them 
that option. In addition, the law required DOL to issue regulations to 
define those occupations that regularly conduct drug tests. States 
would not be allowed to implement any drug testing policies pursuant to 
the law until the regulations were finalized. DOL issued its proposed 
regulation in 2014.
  At that time, Members of Congress and stakeholders at the State level 
argued that the proposal fell far short of Congress's intent. The final 
rule was issued in August of last year, about 4\1/2\ years after the 
provision was signed into law. As before, the final regulation defined 
the relevant occupations so narrowly that it basically makes it 
impossible for States to implement any meaningful drug testing policy.
  So here we are, debating a CRA resolution that would wipe this 
regulation off the books and give DOL an opportunity to put forward 
something new that better reflects Congress's intent.
  Let's talk about why this drug testing provision is important. The UI 
Program requires beneficiaries to be able and available to work and be 
actively seeking work. This is a condition of eligibility for UI 
benefits. This is what it boils down to. If a worker loses his or her 
job due to drug use, he or she cannot affirmatively establish that they 
are fully able to work. Likewise, if an unemployed individual is unable 
to accept a new job because they cannot pass a required drug test, they 
are not available for work.
  Congress intended to give States the power to withhold benefits in 
these cases because, by definition, individuals in these situations are 
not eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.
  Keep in mind that, according to recent surveys, more than half of all 
U.S. employers require prospective employees to take a drug test. It 
isn't some fringe or mean-spirited notion that there is a connection 
between the use of illegal drugs and the ability to obtain and maintain 
employment.
  Furthermore, 20 States already limit UI benefits for applicants who 
have refused to take or who fail a drug test required by an employer or 
who have previous employment issues relating to drugs. The next logical 
step really is to allow States to conduct the tests themselves in order 
to maintain program integrity and to improve the solvency of their UI 
trust funds. Once again, that was what Congress intended with the 
passage of the 2012 statute.
  Unfortunately, the Obama administration took it upon themselves to 
undo congressional intent. We have heard from a number of Governors on 
this issue--including the Governor of Utah, who will support this CRA 
resolution--who want to see new and better regulations.
  A number of organizations, including the National Association of 
State Workforce Agencies, have chimed in as well, expressing their 
strong support for State flexibility in governing their UI programs.
  Ultimately, that is what this is about--State flexibility. Do we want 
States to have the freedom to run their own programs as they see fit, 
or do we believe that bureaucrats in Washington have all the answers?
  It is probably pretty clear where I come down on this particular 
issue. The law we drafted and passed in 2012--the one that passed with 
bipartisan support--struck a careful balance on these issues. It was 
the right balance and the right approach. Hopefully, a majority of our 
colleagues will share that view and vote today to restore that balance.
  Once again, I urge all Senators to vote in favor of H.J. Res. 42.
  With that, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Will the Senator withhold?
  Mr. HATCH. I withhold that suggestion.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, the Senate has been digging into the legal 
quagmire of drug testing the unemployed. I would like to begin by 
saying that no matter where a Senator comes down on the issue of drug 
testing, my view is that this measure before us is simply bizarre.
  If, like me, you believe that drug testing is ineffective and mean-
spirited, you ought to oppose this measure because it simply vilifies 
unemployed workers who are actually less likely to use drugs than the 
general population.
  For those Senators who support drug testing, this measure blows up 
what has been a bipartisan compromise and a Labor Department rule 
allowing select testing to go forward. The result of this measure 
passing would actually be to block testing from going forward.
  The fact is that the courts have ruled that suspicionless drug 
testing violates the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable 
searches and seizures. That is why there is now actually a rule that is 
narrow.
  We have the courts expressing skepticism about this, and there is 
actually a rule that is narrow so that, in effect, States that are 
doing this drug testing have what amounts to guardrails to avoid 
running afoul of the Constitution. If you pass this measure, you will 
throw out the guardrails, opening up, in my view, the possibility of 
yet more litigation on Fourth Amendment grounds.
  Now, as I touched on in my opening comments, there isn't evidence 
that unemployment insurance recipients use drugs any more frequently 
than the general population. In fact, studies actually indicate that 
they are less likely to use illegal drugs than the general population. 
So this idea that somehow there is a presumption of irresponsible 
conduct and guilt is just baseless.
  To be eligible for unemployment insurance, workers have to have 
substantial recent work experience. They have to be unemployed through 
no fault of their own. Workers can only collect unemployment benefits 
if they are actively searching for work and available to work.
  For States that have implemented drug testing policies, there is 
evidence that the costs dwarf the potential savings. The costs of 
operating drug testing programs are charged to State health and human 
services accounts, and I think we all understand that those have been 
squeezed mightily by the effort to treat opioid addiction. In my view, 
instead of wasting money by drug testing Americans who are looking for 
jobs, the States ought to be putting those very same dollars toward

[[Page S1798]]

substance abuse treatment, given the fact that opioid addiction has hit 
our country like a wrecking ball.
  Moreover, we have said that fighting opioid addiction ought to be a 
bipartisan cause. If Republicans wanted to do everything possible to 
fight addiction, they shouldn't be going forward with TrumpCare, a bill 
that would be a disastrous setback when it comes to fighting opioid 
addiction. The fact is that colleagues on the other side of the aisle 
here in the Senate--colleagues not from my side but colleagues from the 
other side--have expressed their concern about what TrumpCare means for 
the fight against opioid addiction.
  The hard numbers are actually out now on TrumpCare, and they show 
that the majority is going into overdrive to pass a bill that strips 
millions of Americans of their access to treatment for substance abuse. 
Today Medicaid is strengthening our mental health network, expanding 
access to substance use disorder treatment, and is at the forefront of 
some promising new work to fight opioid addiction. So TrumpCare hits 
the cause of treating opioid addiction in a devastating way. It slashes 
the healthcare safety net, and, in my view, it would inflame the 
epidemic of drug abuse deaths across the country.
  At the same time, there is this partisan effort to slash funding for 
addiction treatment. Republicans have dredged up an old head-scratcher 
of an argument that drug testing Americans and denying them earned 
benefits somehow just magically helps to overcome addiction. This is an 
important point.
  Just like Social Security, unemployment insurance is an earned 
benefit. It is an earned benefit that ought to be there for workers who 
fall on hard times.
  So what the majority is pushing for in this debate looks to me like 
light years away from what was discussed last year when there was 
discussion before the election about helping Americans in every part of 
the Nation who are struggling with opioid addiction.
  You have to ask this question: What earned benefits are my colleagues 
on the other side of the aisle going to crusade against next? Is the 
drug testing crusade going to turn next to Social Security and Medicare 
recipients as an excuse to deny seniors benefits that they have 
earned--earned benefits that they worked hard for through a lifetime of 
work?
  I am going to wrap up by way of saying that, if this measure passes, 
I think States are just going to be thrown into bedlam. The current 
law, based on a compromise--a bipartisan compromise reached in 2012--
says States can drug test recipients of unemployed benefits in two 
cases: first, if the unemployment insurance recipient lost their job 
for drug-related reasons and, second, if the unemployment insurance 
recipient is applying for a type of occupation that requires drug 
testing, as defined by the rules of the Department of Labor.
  Let's say, for example, that two unemployment benefits recipients are 
specifically applying for jobs as schoolbus drivers or air traffic 
controllers. The rule that is on the books now says that States can 
drug test those individuals because they are applying for work in 
occupations that require drug testing.
  Now, as far as I can tell, my colleagues on the other side of the 
aisle want to eliminate the rule that defined those occupations. States 
would be blocked from performing any occupation-based drug testing for 
unemployment recipients, and the States would just be walking into a 
legal minefield if they wanted to go ahead with testing programs 
anyway.
  Make no mistake about it. When this passes--if it does--drug testing 
policies go on hold until the Congress passes a new law, rather than 
our continuing a carefully put together bipartisan compromise of just a 
couple of years ago.
  I have been trying to see this from my colleagues' perspective. I 
have listened to the arguments from the other side. I just find this a 
baffling, bizarre kind of analysis. All this measure does is create a 
huge amount of new uncertainty. That doesn't strike me as a good way to 
reduce bureaucracy and make government more efficient.
  If the majority decides to take another crack at this issue down the 
road, I can only guess at what kind of new ideas they might have that 
would, again, miss the point of making sure we had a narrow, defined, 
and bipartisan approach to deal with this issue.
  My view is that this is an ill-conceived campaign against working 
people built on a completely false premise. The premise is that if you 
are looking for work, you are guilty of drug use until proven innocent. 
My view is that we ought to keep trying, as I have said, on major 
issues involving health and taxes and infrastructure and trade. When 
you are dealing with important questions, we should work to find the 
common ground. It is not about taking each other's bad ideas. It is 
about taking each other's good ideas.
  My view is that what was done a few years ago was a good and narrowly 
tailored bipartisan idea. What the Senate may choose to do is basically 
to throw that in the trash can, create bedlam, and make it impossible 
for States to move because they are in a sort of legal limbo. I don't 
see how that meets the test of sound policy.
  This measure before us today sets back the cause of strengthening the 
unemployment insurance system. It sets back the cause of advocating for 
Americans struggling with addiction. I urge my colleagues to vote 
against this measure when we vote here in a little bit.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Rubio). The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


            Unanimous Consent Agreement--Executive Calendar

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that, 
notwithstanding rule XXII, following leader remarks on Wednesday, March 
15, the Senate proceed to executive session for the consideration of 
Executive Calendar No. 23, Daniel Coats to be Director of National 
Intelligence; that the time until 10 a.m. be equally divided in the 
usual form; and that at 10 a.m., the Senate vote on the motion to 
invoke cloture.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The joint resolution was ordered to a third reading and was read the 
third time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The joint resolution having been read the 
third time, the question is, Shall the joint resolution pass?
  Mr. BURR. 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. CORNYN. The following Senator is necessarily absent: The Senator 
from Georgia (Mr. Isakson).
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 51, nays 48, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 87 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
     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

[[Page S1799]]


  


                             NOT VOTING--1

       
     Isakson
       
  The joint resolution (H.J. Res. 42) was passed.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas.

                          ____________________