FEDERAL REGISTER PRINTING SAVINGS ACT OF 2017; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 13
(Senate - January 20, 2018)

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[Pages S359-S393]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will 
resume consideration of the House message to accompany H.R. 195, which 
the clerk will report.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       House message to accompany H.R. 195, a bill to amend title 
     44, United States Code, to restrict the distribution of free 
     printed copies of the Federal Register to Members of Congress 
     and other officers and employees of the United States, and 
     for other purposes.


       McConnell motion to concur in the amendment of the House to 
     the amendment of the Senate to the bill.
       McConnell motion to concur in the amendment of the House to 
     the amendment of the Senate to the bill, with McConnell 
     amendment No. 1917 (to the House amendment to the Senate 
     amendment to the bill), of a perfecting nature.
       McConnell motion to refer the message of the House on the 
     bill to the Committee on Appropriations, with instructions, 
     McConnell amendment No. 1918, to change the enactment date.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. CASEY. 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. 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for the quorum call be rescinded.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.

                   Recognition of the Majority Leader

  The majority leader is recognized.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, well, here we are. Here we are, day one 
of the Senate Democrats' government shutdown. We did everything we 
could to stop them. We put forward a noncontroversial bill that 
contains nothing--nothing--they even claim to object to. It would 
continue funding the Federal Government and secure the future of the 
State Children's Health Insurance Program for the vulnerable families 
who rely on it.
  The bill passed the House, the President said he would sign it, and a 
bipartisan majority of Democrats and Republicans voted for it. The 
votes were there, the President was ready, the solution to this 
manufactured crisis was inches away, but then the Democratic leader 
took the extraordinary step of filibustering this legislation, 
preventing it from passing, and plunging the country into this totally 
avoidable mess.
  The House of Representatives, the President, and a bipartisan 
majority of Republican and Democratic Senators all agreed on a 
compromise bill that would have prevented a shutdown. It would enable 
Congress to do the commonsense thing--keep negotiating other issues 
while also providing for our troops, our veterans, and literally 
millions of vulnerable Americans--but the Democratic leader instead 
chose to filibuster the bipartisan bill.
  So here we are, day one, and already funding is in jeopardy for our 
veterans because the Democratic leader filibustered a bipartisan 
compromise that a majority of Senators supported and chose instead to 
shut down the government. Of course, low-income families across America 
woke up today without the knowledge that their children's healthcare is 
safe, all because the Democratic leader filibustered a bipartisan 
compromise that a majority of Senators supported and chose instead a 
government shutdown.
  Yesterday, my friend the senior Senator from New York tried to insist 
a shutdown was anybody's fault but his own--anybody else but me, he 
said. He blamed President Trump because the President wouldn't resolve 
months of ongoing negotiations over massive issues in one brief meeting 
and give the Senator everything he wanted. He blamed Republicans in 
Congress, as though everybody didn't know the Senate rules allow the 
minority party, if they choose, to obstruct the American people's 
business and filibuster for their own political purposes. It is 
possible, but in this instance, foolishly done.
  These rhetorical gymnastics are simply not persuasive. The American 
people see right through all this bluster.

[[Page S360]]

They see right through all this bluster. Like the President, like the 
House, and like a bipartisan majority of Senators, the American people 
want long-term solutions on immigration policy, on government spending, 
and on all the major issues we have been discussing literally for 
months and will continue to discuss.
  Like the President, like the House, and like a bipartisan majority of 
Senators, the American people cannot begin to understand why the Senate 
Democratic leader thinks the entire government should be shut down 
until he gets his way on illegal immigration.
  The American people cannot comprehend why the senior Senator from New 
York is advising his party to keep the government shuttered for 
American troops, American veterans, American military families, and 
vulnerable American children until he gets exactly what he wants on the 
issue of illegal immigration, a situation which does not even become 
urgent until March. All these other matters are indeed urgent. They 
need to be dealt with right now. This particular issue does not become 
urgent until March.
  I hope Senate Democrats are starting to realize all this. I hope they 
are starting to realize their constituents, the President, the House, 
and the majority of the Senate are on one side of this. On the other 
side--all alone--is the Democratic leader who invented this unfortunate 
hostage situation and led his party into this untenable position.
  The solution is to end the foolishness. It is hurting millions of 
Americans who have done absolutely nothing to deserve this. I invite 
all of my colleagues across the aisle to join together and do what is 
obviously responsible and right for the people we represent. It is 
pretty clear. Let's reopen the government. Let's resume the bipartisan 
discussion on funding our troops, DACA, on government spending, and on 
all the other priorities all of us can work together to resolve.

                   Recognition of the Minority Leader

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Democratic leader is recognized.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I address you and this body in the shadow 
of a government shutdown, something that nobody wanted and almost 
everybody strived to avoid. Yet we are here.
  The CR last night barely received 50 votes, let alone the necessary 
60. Several Republicans joined Democrats in rejecting the House 
continuing resolution, which hurts our military, does nothing for 
urgent domestic priorities like opioids, veterans, and pensions, 
nothing on disaster relief, and, of course, nothing on the immigration 
issues we have a real urgency to solve. We just kicked the can down the 
road one more shameful time. I believe it was the fourth time we have 
done that.
  My Republican friends speak often of the damage done to our military 
by lurching from continuing resolution to continuing resolution. We 
Democrats agree. That is why we offered Secretary Mattis his full 
budget request, something I offered yesterday in the White House to 
President Trump as well.
  My Republican friends know that we have to stop these CRs, and it is 
time to actually do a budget and fully fund our military. We can't 
forget about urgent domestic priorities in the budget, but the military 
has to be given the certainty it needs. This is one of the main reasons 
the bipartisan coalition rejected the House CR last night--because of 
the damage that Secretary Mattis has said it has done to the military.
  Another reason they rejected it is that it was constructed with not 
an ounce of Democratic input, and I suspect very little input from many 
Republicans in the Senate. In our democracy, you have to compromise if 
you wish to govern. That is how our Founding Fathers designed our 
government to operate. Yet, time and again, the Republican leader 
believes he can drop legislation on the floor, say ``Take it or leave 
it,'' and then gear up the machines of partisan war if we decide to 
leave it.
  The leader crafts a partisan approach without consulting us and then 
tries to blame us for not going along. That kind of behavior would not 
pass in any part of civil society. It would be called bullying. We are 
happy and eager to compromise, but we will not be bullied.
  The most important point is this: The Republicans control the White 
House, the Senate, the House. That is why America and the world are 
calling this shutdown the Trump shutdown.
  It is the responsibility of the President and congressional 
Republicans to govern. It is their responsibility to keep the doors 
open and the lights on around here, but the Republican leadership can't 
get a tumultuous President on board with anything, and they don't offer 
us any compromises on their own.
  The breakdown of compromise is poisoning this Congress, and it all 
springs from President Trump. He has turned blowing up bipartisan 
agreements into an art form.
  The President can't take yes for an answer. Twice in this long 
debate, President Trump walked away from partisan deals to solve all of 
the issues before us. A week ago last Tuesday, President Trump appealed 
to Congress on national television to come up with a deal, and he said 
he would sign it; he would sign whatever Congress sent him. He said he 
would take the heat for it. But when a bipartisan group of Senators, 
led by Senator Graham and Senator Durbin, brought him that compromise, 
he blew it up in a volcanic meeting at the White House.
  The same script played out with the President and me yesterday. The 
President called me in the morning and asked that I come to the White 
House. Of course, I accepted. We had an extensive and serious 
negotiation about every single outstanding issue. We came close to a 
tentative agreement on the budget after I offered the Pentagon's full 
budget request.
  On the thorniest issue of immigration, the President said many times 
he would take a deal that included DACA in exchange for the wall. I put 
that deal on the table in the Oval Office in a sincere effort at 
compromise. I put the wall on the table in exchange for strong DACA 
protections in the Graham-Durbin compromise. It was a generous offer, 
and I believe President Trump was inclined to accept it and was willing 
to do a very short-term CR, he suggested Tuesday night, in order to get 
the deal finalized. Hours later, I got a phone call telling me that 
this was not good enough--first from the President saying: I hear it is 
3 weeks.
  I said: No one told me about that. That is not what we discussed.
  Then a few hours later: Well, we want what you have offered and four 
or five more things, which they knew were unpalatable to Democrats but 
appeased the hard right, anti-immigration wing of the Republican Party.
  The bottom line is simple. President Trump just can't take yes for an 
answer. He has rejected not one but two viable bipartisan deals, 
including one where I put his most prominent campaign pledge on the 
  What is even more frustrating than President Trump's intransigence is 
the way he seems amenable to these compromises before completely 
switching positions and backing off. Negotiating with President Trump 
is like negotiating with Jell-O. That is why this shutdown will be 
called the Trump shutdown. The President's behavior is inimical to 
compromise, which is required to getting things done in our government.
  It is impossible to negotiate with a constantly moving target. Leader 
McConnell has found that out, Speaker Ryan has found that out, and I 
have found that out. Republican leaders refuse to move ahead without 
President Trump, and President Trump is so mercurial that it has been 
impossible to get him to agree to anything.
  Again, to sum it up: The President can't make a deal, and 
congressional Republicans will not. As a result, a paralysis has 
descended on Capitol Hill.
  As Donald Trump said in 2011: ``If there is a shutdown, I think it 
would be a tremendously negative mark on the President of the United 
States. He's the one that has to get people together.'' That was 
President Trump's quote then, in 2011. Getting people together--that is 
just about the opposite of what he has done in these negotiations.
  Today, on the 1-year anniversary of President Trump's inauguration, 
his government has closed its door to the American people, and he 
hardly seems to care. Early on he said that our country could use ``a 
good `shutdown.''' Today he tweeted: ``This is the One Year Anniversary 
of my Presidency

[[Page S361]]

and the Democrats wanted to give me a nice present.''
  He called the shutdown an anniversary present--a present--which shows 
just how out of touch and how callous he can be. A government shutdown 
is no present for the country, for his party, or for him, and it is 
entirely the President's doing. The only way out of this is for the 
President to take yes for an answer and to accept the bipartisan 
compromise we bring him.
  On our side, we will keep trying. Last night I suggested that the 
four leaders and President Trump meet immediately to sort all this out. 
I still hope we can do that. Otherwise, this Trump shutdown will go on 
longer than anyone wants it to.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, the Democratic leader and the 
Democratic assistant leader know my great respect for them. In fact, I 
spent a great deal of time with the Democratic leader in 2013, 
reopening the government after the Republicans shut it down. I would 
like to say three things about where we are today.
  First, in my view, shutting down the Government of the United States 
of America should never, ever be a bargaining chip for any issue, 
period. Shutting down the Government of the United States of America 
should never, ever be used as a bargaining chip for any issue, period. 
It should be to governing as chemical warfare is to real warfare. It 
should be banned. It should be unthinkable. We should not even allow 
anybody on either side of the aisle to seriously consider it. Yet we 
are in the middle of it.
  I was sent here from Tennessee not to shut the government down but to 
make it work for taxpayers. I have worked hard to do that. I continue 
to do that, and I think my friends on the other side of the aisle know 
that I know how to work in the Senate. If you want a result, that means 
60 votes.
  I respect the fact that the minority has prerogatives. I don't think 
the Senate is a place where a bulldozer runs over the minority. So we 
work together, and we get important results that are lasting on issues 
like fixing No Child Left Behind and on 21st Century Cures.
  Senator Murray of Washington State and I are working on the first 
modifications to the Affordable Care Act to lower health insurance 
premiums. We haven't had any of those in 7 years. We can do that, and 
when we do it, it works. But we should never, ever say: If you don't do 
what I want, we are going to shut the government down because we can.
  We did that on the Republican side in 2013. We shouldn't have done 
it, but we did it. Barack Obama was the President of the United States 
then. What he did say? He said: I will not negotiate with the 
Republicans, who have shut the government down over the Affordable Care 
Act, while the government is shut down. So we went on day after day 
after day, and the government shut down.
  In my part of East Tennessee, where the Presiding Officer has 
visited, it happened to be right in the middle of the fall tourist 
season. So the little businesses that make their living off tourists 
coming to the Great Smoky Mountains to see the colors--they lost a lot 
of their livelihood. Military people weren't paid. The taxpayers lost 
hundreds of millions of dollars because we Republicans shut the 
government down in 2013.
  President Obama said: I will not negotiate with anybody over any 
issue when they use as a bargaining chip shutting the government down. 
He stuck to his guns, and we capitulated in 2 weeks. We got the blame 
for it, and we deserved it. We deserved it.
  We were not sent here to shut the government down. We were sent here 
to make the government work for taxpayers.
  Now, who is shutting the government down? It is obvious who is 
shutting the government down. The Republican House passed a continuing 
resolution to keep the government open.
  Last night, 50 Senators, including almost all Republicans and 5 
Democrats, voted to keep the government open. The President has said he 
would sign the continuing resolution to keep the government open. The 
Democrats are closing down the government because they want a result on 
an important issue, and they want it now--their way.
  I respect the issue. It is an issue I am trying to solve, too, but we 
should not be shutting the government down to resolve the issue of 
these children who were brought here years ago. I am going to talk more 
about that.
  We know who is shutting the government down. The Republicans are 
voting to keep it open, and the Democrats are voting to shut it. Nobody 
should be shutting down the government.
  Second, there is a lot of talk about what the President does and what 
the House does. One of the things I have learned about Washington is 
that we have three branches of government for a reason, and we have two 
independent Houses for a reason.
  The assistant Democratic leader and the Presiding Officer both served 
in the House of Representatives. I didn't have that privilege. 
Sometimes we have Senators who want to run over to the House and get 
them to do things our way. I have found that doesn't work very well. We 
have a lot to say over here, and usually the best thing for us to do is 
to do what the Senate can do and say ``Here it is''--say that to the 
President, and say that to the House. Often, when we do that, then they 
agree with us or modify it, and we get a result.
  So it is a pretty poor excuse to sit here and say: We can't deal with 
President Trump. We don't have to deal with President Trump. We are the 
U.S. Senate. We can make our own decisions about DACA. We can make our 
own decisions about health insurance.
  We need his signature to make it a law, but maybe it is a lot easier 
if we pass what we can pass and say: Here, Mr. President. Here is a 
solution to an important issue. You can be Nixon to China on the 
immigration issue. You have said you want to do that; do it. But first, 
here is the specific solution we have.
  As far as the House of Representatives, we can't say to Speaker Ryan: 
Now, Mr. Speaker, before we do anything in the Senate, we want you to 
write the bill and approve it and send us this, that, or the other. We 
can have a discussion with him, but that is not how the system works. 
We should do what the Senate can do, and we should do it with respect 
for the House. We should show them what we are doing; we should talk to 
them about it. There is nothing wrong with that. We should consult with 
the President of the United States. We want his signature, and we want 
the House's approval, but the main thing for us to do is to do what we 
can do.
  How does that happen? Under the current circumstances, I think there 
is one obvious way to do that, and I suggested it earlier to the 
majority leader, Senator McConnell. He didn't do that a couple of weeks 
ago, but I suggested: Look, we have a tough issue here, DACA. We have a 
lot of Republicans who would like to get a result. We want the result 
by March 5 because that is when time runs out for these people who have 
been living in the United States who were brought here illegally as 
children through no fault of their own.
  So the best way to do that--why don't we just vote on it? Why don't 
we take some time on the floor of the Senate, and rather than 
negotiating in the back rooms and saying we can't get the President, we 
can't get Paul Ryan, or we can't do this or that, why don't we just put 
up the Alexander bill or the Daines bill or the Durbin bill or the 
Schumer bill or the Graham bill, put it on the floor, let Senators 
amend it, and see if we can get 60 votes? If we can, then we can say to 
the President of the United States: Mr. President, we have solved the 
problem here; we would like your support. We can say to the House of 
Representatives: We would like you to support it, or if you have a 
better idea, let's see it, or let's put it in the bill we are going to 
send you.
  In any event, we would be in much better shape than the Senate just 
talking; we would have actually done something. I think the majority 
leader could shorten the period of time for the resolution. I think 
that would be a good gesture of faith to the Democrats.
  Second, we should say that if, during that time, a group of leaders, 
such as the whips on our side--and we could include the whips on the 
other side--if a group of Senators cannot come to an agreement on a 
bill, then we will do

[[Page S362]]

what the Senate is supposed to do: We will put the bills on the floor, 
and we will vote on them. We will vote on them, and we will do it in 
the light of day. We will let people see who is for it and who is 
against it and whose amendments work and whose don't. Lots of times, we 
come to a better result that way.
  That is my suggestion. We don't need to shout at each other. We don't 
need to go on forever. That is bad for the country. It is bad for the 
military. It is bad for us. It is bad for the government. It is 
unthinkable that we should be shutting down the Government of the 
United States of America. Let's open it back up. Let's shorten the 
period of time. Let's say that if we don't have the DACA decision 
worked out among the group of Senators who are talking today, then we 
put it on the floor and we stay here until we get it done.
  Finally, we are on the verge of doing some very important things for 
the American people in the U.S. Senate, and I think almost everybody 
knows that. I noticed the temperature in here last night. Despite the 
fact that we were in this absurd situation of shutting down the 
government, people were very respectful of one another because they 
know that we are on the verge of passing a number of important issues 
that will help our country--No. 1, a 2-year budget agreement that will 
give the military the funding it needs. At the same time, it will give 
significantly more funding for biomedical research, for national parks, 
as well as national defense and national laboratories. We are close to 
that. I am not really involved in that very much, but everyone says we 
are close to a 2-year agreement on that. We can write our 
appropriations bills in 3 weeks. We can have that done by the end of 
February. That is the first thing.
  The second thing is children's health insurance. If we don't do that 
in this bill, we should certainly do it. There is agreement on a 6-year 
extension of that, and all over the country, people want that to 
  The third is what is often called Alexander-Murray-Collins-Nelson. We 
have been in a Hatfield and McCoy mud fight over health insurance for 7 
years. We actually have some agreement on a way to bring down health 
insurance rates for self-employed people, such as farmers, small 
businessmen and women, and song writers. Senator Murray and I have 
worked on that. Senator Nelson and Senator Collins have worked on that. 
The President supports it. The House is interested in it. We haven't 
said that they have pledged allegiance to it before we pass it, but 
they do know what we are doing, we have consulted with them, and we are 
working it out here. So that is the third thing.
  So we have the 2-year budget bill, we have children's health 
insurance, we have the Alexander-Murray-Collins-Nelson bill, which is 
aimed at lowering the insurance rates for self-employed people. That is 
three things.
  We have disaster aid. After three big hurricanes that hit us, we can 
get an agreement on that in a matter of days.
  Then we have what we call DACA, the children who were brought here 
through no fault of our own. That is the toughest issue, but a lot of 
work has been done. We have to be finished by March 5. My sense is that 
everybody on the Democratic side wants to get that done, and most of us 
on the Republican side want to get it done.
  So let's get back to work. Let's don't be in a stalemate for a day or 
two or even an hour or two or a week or two when we could be taking 
five major, bipartisan steps that are good for the American people. The 
American people sent us here to make the government work for them, not 
to shut it down. That should be unthinkable. That should be like 
chemical warfare. We should never even consider that.
  So I urge my friends on the other side, let Senator McConnell and 
Senator Schumer, who are veteran Senators--they respect this 
institution, they are friends with all of us, and they are able to make 
a decision--let them sit down and find an agreement to get this 
government back open. Let's go to work on the 2-year budget agreement, 
the children's health insurance program, the Alexander-Murray-Collins-
Nelson bill to lower health insurance rates for Americans, the DACA 
bill, and disaster relief. Let's get that done in a very short period 
of time. That is my hope. That is the way I like to work in the Senate, 
and my view is, that is the way about 90 of the 100 Senators would like 
to see this resolved--sooner rather than later.
  I thank the Presiding Officer.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Democratic whip.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, let me thank my colleague from Tennessee. 
He is my friend. We have worked together on a lot of things, and I 
respect him very much. We have done some good things in areas like 
medical research and other very important issues.
  Let me say at the outset that he and I are of the same mind when it 
comes to the future of the U.S. Senate. We have seen better days in 
this Chamber. In the past year, I don't believe we have had one honest, 
open debate with amendments on the floor--not one. We maybe got close 
on a couple, but not like we remember it, when it was an open process 
and Members brought their best ideas to the floor and the Senate 
decided things, debated and decided things. We have lost that. I tell 
new Democratic colleagues: God, you would have loved the old Senate. It 
was a great place. What you see today is a shell of what it used to be.
  The second thing I would like to say is that I maybe have an old-
fashioned view of these things, but it is one I feel very strongly 
about. I do not have the right to pass anything on the floor of the 
Senate. I have the right to offer a measure on the floor of the Senate, 
to make my best argument, to convince my colleagues that it is the 
right way to go, and to ask for a fair vote on the outcome. That is 
what I have a right to do as a Senator.
  I have seen colleagues--and I would bet the Senator from Tennessee 
has too--in the past who say: I want to offer my amendment, and I want 
it to pass. Well, good. Good luck to you. Bring it to the floor, and do 
your best.
  As intensely as I feel about this issue when it comes to Dreamers and 
DACA, I am not entitled to anything. All I am entitled to do is to 
offer to the Senate what I consider to be the best, most reasonable 
approach to solve the problem, and that is what I am looking for.
  I thank the Senator from Tennessee for the litany he produced of 
things that we are close to solving. That is a significant list when we 
consider the paucity of our performance over the last--I won't go into 
specifics--over a period of time. If we could do those five things that 
my friend mentioned, it would be significant in restoring the 
confidence of the American people in what this institution can be.
  I think there is one element here that is critical. If the Republican 
leader would come to the floor within the next hour and say: All right, 
I am going to allow those who have an opinion or a view or an amendment 
on the issue of Dreamers and immigration an opportunity to offer that 
on the floor starting tomorrow--we will start the debate on Monday or 
Tuesday, whenever it might be--and we will put that work product that 
comes from that--which would require 60 votes--put that work product 
into the package of five that you mentioned--caps, health insurance, 
clinics, the great work the Senator from Tennessee has done with 
Senator Murray on healthcare--then we would know we have done our job 
as a Senate. We send that measure to the House, understanding that we 
have to get these things done, and here is the Senate offering.
  What troubles me is that we seem to be waiting for a permission slip 
from others--in the Senate. When did this start? When I was over in the 
House, spending most of my time loathing the Senate and what it did to 
the great House ideas, they didn't wait on us, they led. They did what 
they thought was right.
  Now we are in a situation where we are facing this shutdown--
something that I didn't come to Congress to deal with and never hoped I 
would be part of. We ought to cure this and solve it as quickly as 
possible, and we can.
  There are several problems we have. Let's face it. This President, at 
this point, is impossible to negotiate with. It is impossible. On 
January 9, I sat next to this President, at his suggestion, in the 
Cabinet Room of the White House. He referred to me by my first name, 
and I was flattered, I guess, because it was only the fourth time we

[[Page S363]]

had ever spoken to one another. We talked about this issue involving 
immigration. It was a good meeting. It was a surprising meeting because 
it was televised. The American people got to see it. For 55 minutes, we 
were there, with the President leading us in a discussion.
  He was very clear in what he said. I recall what he said. You send me 
a bill, and I will sign it, he said. I will take the heat. You send me 
a bill, and I will sign it.
  He went on to say: Why is this taking so much time? We ought to do 
this quickly. You want a room here in the White House, he said to 
leaders, to sit down and write this thing? Let's get it done.
  So he was looking for bipartisanship, he was looking for a sense of 
urgency, and he was willing to accept the verdict of Congress on this.
  Within 48 hours, Senator Lindsey Graham and I produced exactly what 
he asked for--at least we thought we did--and he totally rejected it. 
So on January 11, Thursday, President Trump was a heck of a lot 
different from the January 9, Tuesday, President Trump. I just threw up 
my hands. After 4 months of working on a bipartisan measure, he rejects 
it out of hand.
  We can't wait for an approval stamp from the White House to do our 
work here. We shouldn't anymore. I heard the Republican leader, Senator 
McConnell, say: We need to know what President Trump wants to do on 
this. Please. We can't wait long enough for that to happen, and we 
shouldn't continue this situation--waiting on something that is not 
likely to ever occur.
  I would just appeal to my friend from Tennessee: Let's keep this 
conversation alive. Let's not get back to it on Monday or Tuesday; 
let's do something today. Let's push this forward, as we tried to last 
night. That, to me, is the only way to move forward.
  The Senator from Tennessee is in a strong position. The Republicans 
are in control of the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. We are in 
a position that is much weaker politically. But I think if we go at 
this in good faith, and if we use commonsense, and if we look for 
common ground, we can get something done. I really believe it.

  I am not entitled to pass an amendment; I am entitled to offer an 
amendment. That is the way I see it. I am prepared to do that and ask 
my Republican friends--and you have been kind enough to express your 
support for some parts of what we have offered--to come forward. If you 
have a better idea, bring it to the floor. Let's do this. But let's not 
languish in this situation with a government shutdown and no 
conversation and no dialogue taking place.
  At this point, the President could solve this problem. He could have 
solved it yesterday with Senator Schumer when he invited him to the 
White House. Senator Schumer came back and briefed me on the 
conversation, and I will tell you, I was amazed. I thought, this is it. 
We finally found the solution with the President. Within 2 hours, 
President Trump walked away completely from what he had said to Senator 
Schumer over lunch. In 2 hours, he completely reversed his position. 
That is why this shutdown really has his fingerprints on it. As the 
sign says, this President said, and I can't imagine why, but what he 
said was that our country needs a good shutdown. It doesn't. There are 
no good shutdowns. There are those that are necessary, I guess, for a 
moment, but for goodness' sake, we ought to be solving problems and 
making this government work and moving forward. I am prepared to do 
  There are so many elements that the Senator from Tennessee just 
described that I think are so important. I can't tell you what the CHIP 
program means to all of us. I hope it means the same to the other side. 
I will just add that most of the services in my State that are provided 
by CHIP are provided in community healthcare clinics, so we have to 
make sure we authorize those and fund them properly if we truly want to 
serve the children of this country.
  And, please, you and I are both on the Appropriations Committee; 
wouldn't it be great if that were the committee we remember? Wouldn't 
it be great? I know the Senator from Vermont behind me here is our 
ranking Democrat on that committee. I was always proud to be on the 
Appropriations Committee, but now it is just a faint glimmer in the eye 
of someone of what it might have been. We don't produce appropriations 
bills. We don't have the kinds of votes on the floor that we used to 
have, exciting moments with open appropriations bills where we honestly 
debated the goodness or the shortcomings of different programs of our 
government and whether to fund them. We don't do that anymore. We do it 
in the quiet with staff in our committee rooms instead.
  There is a lot that needs to be done in the Senate. Can we use this 
moment, this challenging moment of this shutdown, to not only put this 
behind us but to really move forward in restoring this institution to 
something we can be proud of and the American people can be proud of as 
well? I think we can, and I know the Senator from Tennessee could be a 
constructive part of it because he always has been.
  I stand ready to work with the Senator from Tennessee on a bipartisan 
basis to address this issue, and the sooner the better.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I appreciate what the Senator from 
Illinois, my dear friend, just said. It is interesting when we deal 
with substance and not sound bites.
  I used to worry when I was first here and I would hear some of my 
very senior colleagues--they were all senior to me; I was the most 
junior Member of the Senate--talk about when this, that, and the other 
thing happened. I came here with President Ford was the President. I 
served with President Carter, President Reagan, President George H.W. 
Bush, President Clinton, President George W. Bush, President Obama, and 
now, of course, President Trump.
  Every one of these Presidents were different, but when we got in 
times like this, they believed in substance and not sound bites. Every 
one of them would reach a point where Republicans and Democrats could 
sit down and reach an agreement knowing, whether it was a Republican 
President or Democratic President, they would keep their word and the 
Members would keep theirs.
  I was honored to be asked to speak at the Gold Medal presentation to 
Senator Bob Dole the other day. Senator Dole was a Republican leader 
and the Republican majority leader, one of the finest Senators I ever 
served with--this, from a liberal Democrat from New England--because he 
always kept his word, because he always brought both Republicans and 
Democrats together, because he knew we would keep our word.
  Frankly, as I spoke those words at his Gold Medal presentation, I 
thought: Can't we go back to those days? Can't we have a time when our 
leaders come together and the Members across the aisle come together 
and then vote? The Senator from Illinois, Mr. Durbin, said: Let's have 
  Yes, we passed most of the appropriations bills out of committee in 
the past year, but we want time to bring them up on the floor. There 
will be amendments I will not like, there will be amendments I will 
like, but we will get to vote on them. Vote yes or vote no. That is 
what we should do.
  Months ago, when President Donald Trump called for a government 
shutdown, I thought, when I first heard that, it couldn't be. Then I 
saw what he said: ``Our country needs a good shutdown.'' Well, through 
his leadership and chaos and inability to govern or keep his word, he 
got exactly what he wanted.
  I would tell him, after 43 years' experience in this body, there is 
no such thing as a good shutdown. It hurts our Nation, it hurts our 
reputation around the world, it hurts our military, it hurts our 
civilian population, it hurts our businesspeople, it hurts our 
educators, and it hurts those who are seeking cures for every kind of 
disease there is.
  Now, I know it is the majority--and the majority is, of course, the 
Republicans who control the White House, the House, and the Senate. It 
is their responsibility to produce a bill to send to the President. If 
they can't get 60 votes because they refuse to negotiate with 
Democrats, well, that is their responsibility. All they needed was nine

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Democrats. They couldn't get it done. In fact, they lost four of their 
own Members. They could not get it done because Republicans shut 
Democrats out of their closed-door meetings. They disenfranchised more 
than half the American people. They only appealed for our support after 
they had written a bill without our input. Let me tell you, after my 
years of experience under Democratic and Republican leadership and 
Democratic and Republican Presidents, that is not the way to do it.
  On the first day of this Trump shutdown, the anniversary of his 
inauguration, we are 112 days into the fiscal year. For 112 days, the 
leadership has told us they just need more time to negotiate a 
bipartisan deal. I have yet to see the negotiations. I have yet to see 
the deal.
  They spent that time pursuing a hyper-partisan agenda over the last 
year. They stripped healthcare from millions of Americans. They rolled 
back commonsense regulations. They passed a tax bill for big 
corporations and the superwealthy on the backs of middle-class working 
people. This was not time spent negotiating in good faith on the 
budget, or the Children's Health Insurance Program, or for veterans, or 
for community health centers, or for Dreamers or for a comprehensive 
disaster relief package to address the disasters that have gone across 
our country in the past year.
  Now, last night they said let's have another month to negotiate. Come 
on, we are 112 days into the fiscal year, and now they want another 
month into the fiscal year--another month of not addressing the 
consequences of sequestration by reaching a bipartisan deal to increase 
the spending on our military and invest in our communities. Another 
month where we fail to adequately take care of our veterans.
  Our military leaders agree, we cannot govern by a continuing 
resolution. The military cannot function under sequestration, and I 
agree with them because we need a budget deal.
  I admire Defense Secretary General Mattis. He said, ``for all the 
heartache caused by the loss of our troops during these wars, no enemy 
in the field has done more to harm the readiness of our military than 
  Last night, I could not, in good conscience, support another 
continuing resolution without even the promise of a bipartisan deal.
  Democrats have been ready and willing and asking to negotiate since 
June, just as we did in April, to get the budget passed. In July, I 
offered a path forward that would have raised the budget cap set in 
place by the Budget Control Act. My plan would have increased spending 
for our military by $54 billion and increased investments in our 
domestic priorities by $54 billion. Parity has always been the path 
forward. It allows us to both strengthen our military but also invest 
in our infrastructure, improve our education, combat the opioid 
epidemic, and address the needs of our veterans. These are bipartisan 
  I know from my friends in both the Republican Party and the 
Democratic Party, we share--we share--these goals. But now, for 112 
days, the Republican leadership has kicked the can down the road and 
cast aside the basic responsibility of Congress to fund the government.
  They gave us this government shutdown. They followed what Donald 
Trump said in asking for a good shutdown, even though anybody who has 
had any experience in government knows there is no such thing, as the 
President has said, as ``a good government shutdown.'' This was done 
under the careening leadership and chaos of the President.
  He said he was for extending CHIP in the House bill, and then he was 
against it. He said he would sign any bipartisan deal we brought to his 
desk to protect the Dreamers and increase border security. Then, 
through a bipartisan deal, Republicans and Democrats came and did 
exactly what he asked for, and he scoffed at it. Now, that is not 
steady-as-he-goes leadership.

  If we can't take the word of the President, when we know he is only 
one tweet away from changing his mind, why should we trust him when he 
says he will take care of our veterans or get serious about the opioid 
epidemic? Why would we take his word when he says he wants to protect 
the Dreamers?
  After promising to treat DACA recipients with great heart, President 
Trump and the Republicans instead held our Nation's Dreamers hostage. 
They caved to the xenophobic voices within their party. President Trump 
rejected a bipartisan deal--the only bipartisan DACA deal--which 
Senators Graham, Durbin, and others specifically crafted to meet his 
  As we speak, 122 Dreamers lose their status every day; that is, 
yesterday on Friday; that is, today on Saturday; and that is tomorrow 
on Sunday. We know, on March 5, hundreds of thousands of DACA 
recipients will begin to lose their status due to President Trump's 
  Republicans now argue there is no urgency to provide protection for 
Dreamers. I wish you would sit with one of these families and listen to 
them. They are people who are pursuing great educations. They are 
pillars of our communities and taxpayers. Ask them if there is any 
urgency, when you have a medical student about to graduate from medical 
school and he worries that he will hear [knocking] at the door.
  Well, in light of the decision to end DACA, 122 Dreamers lose their 
status every day, and the administration has acknowledged to Congress 
that implementing any Dream legislation would take up to 6 months, 
during which tens of thousands more could lose their status. No 
urgency? If that were my family, I would feel the urgency every minute 
of the day and night.
  Since President Trump decided to revoke the protected status, 
hundreds of thousands of Dreamers have had to live with fear and 
anxiety every day their status has not been resolved. Imagine how they 
feel when they see the President's views seem to change constantly, 
almost daily. Talk about causing whiplash.
  Dreamers have no reason to believe President Trump would not 
prioritize them for deportation. The fact is, the administration has 
asked the Supreme Court to immediately nullify a district court 
decision--immediately nullify it--to protect DACA recipients, and they 
seem to have no sense of enforcement priorities. They detained a 10-
year-old Texas girl with cerebral palsy. They deported a Michigan 
father, with no criminal record, who came to this country as a child 30 
years ago, paid his taxes and obeyed the law.
  Even the majority leader, to his credit, is uncertain of what the 
President wants for Dreamers, or for any path forward for that matter. 
The majority leader, the Republican leader, said earlier this week, 
``As soon as we figure out what he is for, then I would be convinced 
that we were not just spinning our wheels.'' I have never heard a 
comment like that in 43 years in the Senate.
  We are spinning our wheels with a Trump shutdown. We are spinning our 
wheels because the leadership waited for guidance from the President, 
unfortunately, instead of doing their jobs working with us, sending a 
bipartisan deal to his desk.
  We are spinning our wheels because President Trump--I will give him 
at least credit for this--is very straightforward. He repeatedly called 
for a government shutdown. He is probably the only person in the 
government ever who has been foolish enough to do that, but he got 
exactly what he wanted, a government shutdown.
  So, today, medical research has ground to a halt. Today, in Vermont 
and across the Nation, hundreds of thousands of Federal workers are 
furloughed through no fault of their own. In Vermont and across the 
Nation, every additional hour of a Trump shutdown deals another blow to 
the men and women trying to recover from opioid addiction. Every hour, 
the burden of the Trump shutdown should weigh heavier on the 
President's shoulders because there is only one person in this country 
who wanted this shutdown; that is, President Trump.
  The Trump shutdown is not and was not necessary. We have always had 
the pieces. Everybody--Republicans and Democrats--want to raise the 
budget caps set in place by the Budget Control Act. We want to stop the 
devastating consequence of sequestration. We want to take care of the 
bipartisan Children's Health Insurance Program. We have a bipartisan 
agreement to protect the Dreamers.
  We have all the pieces. Let's put them together. Let's show the 
honesty and the courage to do our jobs.

[[Page S365]]

  I see other Senators on the floor wishing to speak.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Johnson). The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that after my 
remarks, the Senator from Rhode Island, Mr. Whitehouse, be recognized, 
and after that, the Senator from Arizona be recognized.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, we like to do this because on mornings 
like this, when we are supposed to be going back and forth between 
Democrats and Republicans, that is the proper way to do it, and this 
locks it in.
  It is really interesting because I have been through every shutdown 
in the last 30 years. I was in the House for 8 years and in the Senate 
for 22 years. Every other time there has been some question--there 
could be a little bit of blame on the Democrats and a little bit of 
blame on the Republicans, and the finger pointing goes on. That has 
always happened, until this time. This is the first time there can be 
no question, if you want to say whose fault it is.
  I suggest that the aids that were being used with the picture of the 
``Trump Shutdown'' were printed up long before last night even took 
place. This is the first time there can be no question. If you want to 
play the blame game, it is the Democrats in this case. I think it was 
planned that way. I am not in their heads, but there has to be some 
reason that all this came along on the first anniversary of this 
  I can't find anyone in the Nation right now who is saying that there 
is some question as to whose fault this is, even the New York Times. 
You have to keep in mind--just use logic--there was one vote that 
caused this, one vote. Ninety percent of the Democrats voted in that 
one vote last night to shut down the government. Ninety percent of the 
Republicans voted to keep the government open. It was done in a 
premeditated way, I have to say, because all of this was planned out. 
They thought that maybe this would have a good ring to people; they can 
say the ``Trump Shutdown.'' People have to remember, this happened 
because of one vote, and that one vote was almost unanimous--
Republicans versus Democrats.
  That is not why I wanted to talk. In listening to all the things that 
just happened--I think we are sympathetic to all these things. I think 
most of the reasons stated for shutting down the government by the 
Schumer group last night had to do with DACA.
  Let me tell you, I don't know of one Republican serving in the U.S. 
Senate who isn't very sympathetic to the kids, particularly those who 
had no voice in it. They were here not by their own choice. They didn't 
personally violate any laws. We want to take care of them, and we are 
going to take care of them, and our President wants to take care of 
them. But that seems to be an issue--if they can convince people that 
this is all put together by Trump to hurt little kids, then that is the 
only thing they have to hang their hats on.
  I suggest my very good friend--I do have a very good friend from 
Rhode Island who already has his picture of Trump up, so we are going 
to hear more and more of that all day long, until we finally get the 
government opened up, probably on Monday. We are sorry it happened that 
way, but it was one vote that caused it. That is behind us now.
  I agree with the things that were said by each of the Republican 
Members on the problems that come with this shutdown. Even if it gets 
opened early--and I think it will be over, maybe by Monday; I am not 
really sure. I suspect that. But I have had the privilege in the past 
of being the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, and that 
is the area that really concerns me the most.
  I have been critical of the last administration, the Obama 
administration, and what has happened to the military. They had a 
policy, and it is a stated policy, and all the Democrats agreed with 
it. It said that you can't put any money into sequestration for the 
military unless you put an equal amount of money in for social programs 
or for nondefense programs. That is saying that defending America is 
not the No. 1 concern, not the No. 1 priority of what we are supposed 
to be doing here.
  As bad as it has become over the last 8 years in terms of our 
ability--the fact that we are overworking our kids, the fact that our 
maintenance is down--all of those things are bad. But for this to 
happen right now, at this time, when we are in the middle of arguably 
two, maybe even three wars, and our defense has gone through a 
starvation diet--yesterday Secretary Mattis was very clear. At the time 
he said this, he was begging for it not to happen; he was hoping it 
wouldn't happen, but he said that a shutdown would have a ``terrible 
impact'' on the 2 million men and women and their families who serve in 
our military--a ``terrible impact.''
  There are approximately 200,000 troops currently deployed who are now 
doing their jobs without pay as a result of this. Secretary Mattis said 
that all maintenance operations for the military will cease as long as 
there is a shutdown.
  When you go through starvation, as we did over the 8 years of the 
previous administration, the first thing that is hit is always 
maintenance because that is not obvious. Maintenance and modernization 
are the two things you can starve without the public being aware of it, 
and that is what happened. Just look at our F-18s that the Marines are 
using; 62 percent of them can't be flown now because they have not been 
properly maintained. We are going through this problem already, and it 
is going to be exacerbated by the fact that we are closing things down, 
shutting things down.
  I have gotten over the part in terms of whose fault it is. I know 
they are going to desperately try to sound as though the President 
doesn't like kids and all of that. But the bottom line is, there was a 
vote; it was a partisan shutdown.
  Secretary Mattis talked about the maintenance operations for the 
military that were just starting back up and are going to have to cease 
for as long as the shutdown exists. That is all maintenance.

  In Oklahoma, we especially know what is important to our civilian 
workforce. By the way, in a shutdown, the civilian workforce is going 
to be out of business. They are going to be gone for that period of 
  Tinker Air Force Base is the depot that performs maintenance and 
overhauls our planes. They are going to be shut down. We have another 
one in McAlester, OK. It is not known as much as some of the others, 
but it is the largest Army depot in the country. It has all civilian 
employees. We have one uniformed officer in the depot in McAlester, OK, 
and that is the commander. All the rest are civilian employees. They 
are gone. They are the ones who are off work. Half of the civilian 
workforce will be sent home, and those projects will be halted. The 
impact will ripple for weeks and potentially months beyond the 
shutdown. Once we open back up, there will be a high cost of catching 
back up and getting things back on schedule.
  Secretary Mattis said that the shutdown will also shutter critical 
overseas intelligence activities until funding is restored. That is 
something I was not that familiar with until he came out with this 
  Of course, we looked at the threats we are faced with in America. I 
don't think anyone can keep a straight face and not admit that we are 
in the most threatened position we have ever been as a nation. There is 
a country, North Korea, that is run by someone who is totally 
unpredictable. That is what all of our military people say. On November 
28, he sent a missile that had the range of reaching Washington, DC, 
and anyplace in the continental United States. That is a different kind 
of threat.
  If you think about the old Cold War, that was a threat. It is nothing 
like what we are facing today. We had two superpowers. We knew what 
they had; they knew what we had. It was all predictable because 
mutually assured destruction actually meant nothing at that time--means 
nothing today.
  So this is what we are facing now. We have to recognize that we are 
in a threatened position. Many Democrats have long claimed support for 
the military, but when the rubber meets the road, they have the problem 
that was established when President Obama was

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President; that is, we are not going to do anything to rebuild the 
military unless we put an equal amount of money into the nondefense 
programs. Every single Democrat went along with the President. That is 
how we got into this mess.
  Now we are faced with the fact that we are not giving the right 
resources. Sometimes I tell people: Up until 1964, we were spending 
half of all the revenues that came into the Federal Government on 
defending America. That is what we were supposed to be doing. It was 
always over 50 percent of the revenues.
  Do you know what it is now? It is 15 percent. We are devoting only 15 
percent of our total revenues to defending America. We have gotten into 
this position over a period of time, and it is now at the point where 
we have really serious problems that need to be addressed. Our Army 
brigade teams right now are very lethal--still very effective--but only 
30 percent of them are able to get out and do battle, as it is right 
now. In our Air Force squadron, we have a shortage of pilots. We are 
1,500 pilots short; 1,300 of them are fighting pilots. While they are 
willing to do it--we will always have enough who will go on overtime, 
do whatever is necessary to get out there; nonetheless, the equipment 
is not properly maintained. The Navy is the most stressed it has been 
in the history of the Navy and the Marine Corps. That is where we are 
right now, and that is why, if there is one thing that shouldn't happen 
during this time in our history, it is a shutdown.
  I think about my State of Oklahoma. We have 663 Oklahoma Army and 
National Guard soldiers who will be sent home from a planned training. 
I was there when they planned the training. I was there to send them 
off. And, of course, that will be put on hold.
  It is not just Oklahoma. Over 100,000 National Guardsmen are being 
sent home around the country right now because of this shutdown. Our 
Reserve forces--National Guard, all of them--are going through this 
problem. As we face the threats from North Korea, Iran, Islamic 
extremists, and Russia aggression, not to mention our severe readiness 
crisis, we can't afford the negative effects of a shutdown.
  I believe this is going to be over with. I am not sure how. I am not 
in the leadership. Others are going to make the decision. But I can say 
that the Senate Democrats know all of this is true, and they know now 
that America knows. If you look at the editorials around the country, 
they know that it is being used because--legitimately, it is called the 
Democratic shutdown.
  We are going to try to get it corrected. I have talked with several 
of my Democratic friends, and hopefully that will happen in a very 
short period of time.
  My concern, of course, is for the military. I think that we will be 
able to get this thing done. I want to say it one more time. On the 
DACA issue, I don't know of one Republican in the U.S. Senate who isn't 
just as sympathetic as any Democrat in the U.S. Senate in terms of 
these individuals. The kids had nothing to do with the problem they 
find themselves in right now.
  In the meantime, let's get this over with, rebuild our military, and 
become what I see is happening now that wasn't happening before--that 
we will once again assert America as the leader of the free world.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, let me first thank my friend from 
Oklahoma. We often disagree; indeed, we often violently disagree on 
matters of environmental issues. But we have been teammates--indeed, 
close teammates on the chemical safety legislation, which has been 
passed into law; on water resources bills, which have been passed into 
law; and on the last highway bill, which was passed into law. The 
lesson I take from that is, in the Senate, we can disagree, and we can 
disagree violently, but where we agree, push the throttles forward and 
get it done.
  Mr. INHOFE. Will the Senator yield?
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. I will.
  Mr. INHOFE. There is an old document nobody reads anymore, and it is 
called the Constitution. If you look at that, it talks about what we 
are supposed to be doing here. The priorities are defending America and 
then they called it--transportation infrastructure. I would say this: 
We are a great team when we do that. We couldn't have had the 
successes--I could not have had the successes as the chairman of that 
committee without you on my side, making sure we are doing what we are 
supposed to be doing here in taking care of our infrastructure. Right 
now, we are looking at an opportunity in this administration to do the 
same thing.
  I will say right now--and predict--it is going to end up with you and 
a closely knit group of liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans 
working together to make America great in terms of our infrastructure.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. I appreciate very much the Senator's words of 
goodwill, and it aligns very well with the note of optimism that I want 
to open on after last night's vote.
  Last night's vote provoked the first real conversations--the first 
real, bipartisan conversations about this continuing resolution that I 
have seen. People all around the country watching C-SPAN saw right 
there on the Senate floor the Senators pooling about each other, the 
conversations, the back-and-forth, the intermediaries going in between 
the leaders. They saw live what the Senate should have been doing for 
weeks, which is to work in a bipartisan fashion toward a compromise. 
When starting at 20 minutes to midnight, it is hard to work it all the 
way through.
  My strong hope is that the energy and the spirit of bipartisanship 
that was evident right down here in the well last night persists 
through this weekend and as long as necessary to get a bipartisan deal 
accomplished. We have the weekend to do it, we probably even have 
Monday to do it, and we should get about our business.
  We can also be optimistic that the measures that the Democrats want 
to include are bipartisan. We are not trying to jam one-side-only 
poison pills through; we are trying to get attention to long overdue 
matters where there is a bipartisan solution.
  There is something of a backstory to where we are right now, so I 
want to mention it. I have obviously considerable sympathy for Majority 
Leader McConnell's predicament with a President who takes opposite 
positions within hours. How does one negotiate with that?
  ``Give me a bipartisan deal and I will take the heat,'' the President 
said. He has since blown up anything bipartisan that came anywhere near 
him. Majority Leader McConnell is reduced to saying: I don't know what 
the President will sign, and I can't act until I know. Well, I think 
last night shows that we actually can begin to act here in the Senate 
even if the President can't get his signals straight about where he 
wants us to come.
  I can't help but remember Senator Graham's description in our 
Judiciary Committee of President Trump's reversal on the Durbin-Graham 
proposal. He described it in 2 hours--he described the 10 o'clock Trump 
and the 12 o'clock Trump, and within 2 hours, he completely reversed 
his position. Senator Graham said ``I want that guy back'' about the 10 
o'clock Trump.
  It is very hard to negotiate with someone who doesn't know what his 
position is, so I do have sympathy, and I hope the White House sits 
down and has a negotiation with itself so that it can decide what it 
  The other problem over at the White House is that the President has 
surrounded himself with extremists, and that means that nobody knows 
how to negotiate. And the advice he is getting doesn't serve him. You 
really don't do deals--I think virtually anybody in politics knows 
this--by bringing in the most extreme elements to shout at each other; 
you do deals by bringing in people who have good faith and a common 
interest in solving the problem together. If all you have around you 
are extremists, you have dramatically crippled and shrunk your own 
capabilities--unless, of course, what you wanted all along is what the 
extremists want: ``a good shutdown.''
  There is another backstory going on that I want to discuss. This is a 
fight over maybe a dozen legislative issues, but it is also a fight 
over the institution of the Senate and how far we will let the Senate 
degrade into a partisan dead zone. In the oceans, we see more and more 
dead zones where there isn't

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enough oxygen to support life, so there aren't fish and there isn't the 
mixing and the turbulence that are necessary for the mixing of life and 
oxygen. The Senate seems to be slowly turning into that dead zone.
  We know what works around here because the majority leader has a long 
history of fighting to get it, to make sure that the minority has 
amendments and to try to block things that are exclusively partisan. 
Indeed, at various times, he has encouraged his caucus to avoid joining 
Democrats on any bills, so that they are partisan, so that he can block 
them. So we have lived the experience of the majority leader's interest 
in amendments and in opposition to purely partisan legislation. We have 
also heard it, and in the majority leader's own words, he has called 
for a Senate ``which honors and respects all the members and allows 
everybody to participate and offer their ideas, regardless of party.'' 
He went on to say: ``That's something that the majority leader can do 
and I intend to do it.''
  How do you do that? Well, he went on to say in another interview that 
the way to do that is ``to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to 
participate in some way in the passage'' of the legislation. To be 
specific, he said, ``bills should come to the floor, be thoroughly 
debated, and include a robust amendment process''--a robust amendment 
process. He went on: ``The answer is to let [the Senate] debate; to let 
the Senate work its will. And that means bringing bills to the floor. 
It means having a free and open amendment process.'' He also said: ``We 
want to engage members from both parties in the legislative process, to 
get our democracy working again the way it was designed.''
  With that background, let's look at Trump year 1. The opener 
legislatively in the year was the partisan budget reconciliation bill, 
a purely partisan measure whose only purpose was to open the door to 
further purely partisan measures under the budget reconciliation 
process. So we opened with that partisan process. Having opened that 
door, sure enough, we went on to partisan ObamaCare repeal, which 
failed, and they tried again, over and over, but always partisan, 
whatever the effort. Then we went back to partisan budget 
reconciliation 2 to tee up a partisan opening for a partisan tax bill. 
Then, of course, we had the partisan tax bill.
  There was one briefly shining light on the national defense 
authorization. Chairman McCain and Ranking Member Reed in the Armed 
Services Committee led a robust, bipartisan amendment process that 
brought the committee together and brought forward a bill that I think 
everybody in the Senate could be proud of, but when it got to the 
floor, here on the Senate floor, not one Democrat was allowed a floor 
vote on any amendment.
  So the grand total for the year for the U.S. Senate, setting aside 
the budget and vote-arama amendments, which, in my view, don't count--
that whole process is a joke. That simply tees up a reconciliation 
measure that allows further partisanship. So set those aside because 
they don't count. In real legislation, how many amendments has the 
minority been able to get on the floor? The grand total all year long, 
ever since Trump was elected last year, to this year, is a grand total 
of zero. Zero Democratic amendments considered on the Senate floor 
since Trump--not one.
  Compare that to all the things I just read that the Senate majority 
leader promised on amendments--that bills should come to the floor, be 
thoroughly debated, and include a robust amendment process; that the 
answer is to let folks debate, to let the Senate work its will, and 
that means bringing bills to the floor, and it means having a free and 
open amendment process. To paraphrase Senator Graham, I want that guy 
  When the leader shuts down the amendment process, it is not just the 
minority party that suffers. Republicans also, under Trump, have gotten 
virtually zero floor amendments voted on all year long.
  That leaves the Senate exclusively with partisan ram jobs, which is 
what we have seen a lot of, and UCs--unanimous consent agreements--
things so noncontroversial that they can avoid the dead zone of the 
McConnell Senate floor and be agreed to by everyone and passed into 
law. That is a worthy process, but it is not a process that is going to 
yield a solution to the big controversies we need to resolve here in 
this world's greatest deliberative body.
  This problem of no open process and no amendments is a problem for 
all of us. When we get all tangled up in leadership chess games, all 
Senators lose their ability to represent their States. Power gets 
concentrated in the leader.
  I remember Senator Sessions, on the floor over there--I was actually 
in the Presiding Officer's chair on some of the occasions when Senator 
Sessions was animatedly discussing his concern and irritation with what 
the masters of the universe were doing in secret rooms that he did not 
have access to. This is a bipartisan frustration. We all become cogs in 
the majority leader's leadership chess match, and we all have common 
cause in going back to a place where the leader helps the Senate work 
its will, not where leaders impose their will on the Senate.
  The Senate is broken. Over and over again that has been said on the 
Senate floor, and by no one more articulately than by Senator Durbin. 
The longer you have been around--Senators Durbin and Alexander 
particularly--when you remember what it was like, it is much more 
apparent how broken it is. And for whose benefit? For big donors, so 
they can call the shots through the leadership? For the leadership 
thrill of being a bigger player in DC's ``Game of Thrones''?
  This ought not just be a Democratic revolt against the mess we are 
in. Republican Senators are often just as neutered as their minority 
colleagues when all power moves to the majority leader. Zero 
amendments--not a single minority amendment in the entire year on real 
legislation--ought to be a symptom that concerns everyone. And I don't 
know what Republicans got--two, maybe three amendments in an entire 
year? How many Republican Senators are there who have never had an 
amendment of theirs called up and voted on on the Senate floor?
  Let me add one additional point against this looming specter of a 
shutdown. Speaker Ryan sent over a bill last night that we voted on 
last night that he knew was going to fail. I am a junior Senator here, 
and I had last night's vote predicted exactly. With all the powers of 
the Speaker of the House, with his direct line to his fellow 
Republican, the majority leader, is it plausible to think that what 
happened last night in the Senate was any kind of a surprise to the 
Speaker of the House? Of course not.
  We know from Senator Schumer and Leader Pelosi that there was not 
even consultation with Democrats about the contents of the CR last 
night--no negotiations, nothing, a partisan ram job that the Speaker 
had to know would fail when he sent it over. Imagine the cynicism. 
Imagine the cynicism, with the shutdown of the government looming, of 
sending to the Senate a partisan bill you know will fail, teeing up a 
shutdown just so you can tee up a blame war about the shutdown you 
knowingly provoked. That is ``House of Cards'' cynical stuff.
  Let me wrap up by saying that the Senate balance is about as close as 
it could be. Moreover, Democrats in the Senate represent 40 million 
more Americans than our Republican colleagues do. When the Senate 
majority is microscopic and you represent a minority of the American 
people, dictating terms to the Senate minority as if this were the 
Soviet Duma is not justifiable, and it is destroying the Senate. We on 
our side have been rolled and we have been rolled and we have been 
rolled, and there is no end in sight. The Senate of the United States 
has been turned into a dead zone--the McConnell-partisan dead 
zone. Those strategies amass power into the leader's hands, away from 
Republican and Democratic Senators alike, but that breaks all the 
promises the majority leader made about amendments and regular order, 
and that is destroying this institution--this institution that we love. 
You simply cannot have both bipartisanship and utter dominion by the 
majority leader at the same time. That just can't coexist; it is 
impossible. You cannot have an open amendment process and utter 
dominion by the majority leader at the same time.

  If the majority leader insists on being, to use Senator Sessions' 
phrase, the ``master of the universe,'' what does that leave for 
everyone else? Well, we have seen what it leaves on our

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side: zero amendments, zero consultation, no input, no bipartisanship 
  Why should the great affairs of government be worked out in private 
meetings of two or five or eight? Those rooms may not be smoke-filled 
any longer, but the atmosphere is just as unhealthy without the smoke. 
The atmosphere is just as unhealthy when so much gets done in the dark, 
and so many Senators, who are not the master of the universe, are 
reduced to begging and pleading to their leader to have favors slipped 
into the backroom deal. That is not the way the Senate should work. 
Smoke or no smoke, that is not healthy, but too many Senators, too many 
Members have never even breathed the fresh air of a healthy Senate. 
Like the pit ponies of the old coal mines, they trudge and they haul in 
darkness, trudging and hauling in the darkness so long they don't know 
what daylight looks like, but Senators like Dick Durbin and Lamar 
Alexander, who remember what daylight looks like, are here to remind us 
how healthy a process that should be.
  Remember, in a Senate in which the minority party--the barely 
minority party, I should add--is not for an entire year able to get 
even one amendment voted on, on one piece of meaningful legislation, in 
a Senate like that, everybody loses or maybe I should say virtually 
everybody loses. Unanimous consent, partisan ram job, or nothing is no 
way to govern and no way to run a Senate.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. FLAKE. Mr. President, 1 day into a government shutdown, we are in 
a hole as a body. I was just talking to one of my colleagues who said 
we ought to spend less time worrying about who threw us in this hole or 
how we ended up in this hole and more concern about getting out of it. 
I hope we can dispense with the signs--``The Trump Shutdown'' or ``The 
Schumer Shutdown''--and realize we are in a shutdown situation, now 
let's climb out of it. There are ways to do that.
  I believe we will be coming with a proposal today, and I hope we can 
vote on it today--we can with consent--to move the date from the 16th 
to the 8th. That would be significant. We don't need to go 4 weeks more 
in this CR. We can find an agreement to get out of it, to find some 
permanent solutions, some permanent funding solutions for the 
  We can also find solutions on the DACA situation. I just want to 
encourage my colleagues to not use loaded phrases as well here. I have 
heard the term that we can't deal or we shouldn't deal with the illegal 
alien situation right now. Who could honestly look at a child who was 
brought across the border--the average age when these DACA kids were 
brought across the border was the age of 6. Some of them were toddlers, 
some of them were carried by their parents. Who in the world can look 
at them and refer to them as illegal aliens? You can have a different 
description for their parents or others who brought them across, but to 
put that kind of a label on a child is just wrong, and with that kind 
of loaded language, it makes it more difficult to come to a solution.
  There is enough blame to go around for this shutdown on all of us. It 
is a pox on all of our houses. The question should be: How do we get 
out of it? I would suggest--and I think we are coming to this--that the 
best way out of this is for the Senate to be the Senate again. I know 
the majority leader--and I am glad he does--very jealously guards his 
prerogative as the majority leader to decide what comes to the floor. 
That is his right as the elected leader of the majority. I hope he will 
just as jealously guard the Senate's prerogative, the congressional 
prerogative. We are an equal branch of government, and to say we will 
not move on a particular topic until we have agreement from the 
President, when we have waited for weeks and weeks and weeks for that 
kind of agreement, for that kind of nod or signal, we can't wait 
anymore. Let's more jealously guard our prerogative here as 
legislators, and let's bring an immigration bill to the floor.
  My understanding now is, that is the agreement; that if we haven't 
reached an agreement with the White House and with the other 
negotiators by the 8th, by the time this next CR runs out--if we can 
agree to a CR that runs to the 8th--we will bring an immigration bill 
to the floor and/or we will bring a vehicle to the floor that will 
allow other immigration bills to come. I happen to have been working on 
a bipartisan bill. There are now seven Republicans and seven Democrats 
who have signed on. That is my preference. I believe some on the 
Democratic side may want to bring another one up first; that is great. 
Some on the Republican side may want to bring another version up as 
well--great. Sixty votes will be required, and I think we will probably 
settle on one we can all agree on. We will have to. We have to get 60 
votes in the Senate. I think that can be done, and that is a way 
  I hope at that time--there is no guarantee--but I hope the President 
will, as he has said in the past, agree with what the Senate passes. I 
believe we can pass a responsible measure that takes care of these DACA 
kids as well as reinforces the border where we need to and takes care 
of some other issues as well that the President and our leaders have 
outlined. I think that can be done. It can be done today. I hope we can 
have consent to move that, and I hope the President can accept that as 
the will of the House or the will of the Senate and then promote that 
  We have until March 5 before these kids are subject to deportation. 
None of these kids should be under that cloud, not knowing what they 
are going to do with regard to school or work or their legal status 
here. There is an urgency. For those who say there is no urgency, we 
have had 6 months to deal with this, and now we are just outside of a 
month before kids will start being deported. We shouldn't go further 
than February 8 to actually settle this in the Senate. We can do it. We 
have people who are working in good faith on both sides of the aisle. 
Let's just exercise our congressional prerogative to actually 
legislate. If we will do so, I am confident we can come to a solution.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I want to thank the Senator from Arizona 
who spent an awful lot of time and energy on this topic. I am committed 
to working with him and all of our colleagues to come up with a 
solution well in advance of the March 5 deadline. One thing I hope he 
will work with me to confirm is, my understanding is the March 5 
deadline means the current DACA recipients can no longer register again 
for an additional 2 years and qualify for an additional work permit. I 
think--but I could be mistaken--it doesn't mean they are subject to 
deportation. What it means is, they can't sign up again for another 2 
years, and they will potentially lose their work permit.
  Having said that, I am not diminishing the urgency of the timeline, 
and I am committed to working with him and others to try to beat that 
well in advance during the month of February. I think it does create 
enormous anxiety for these young people whom I have met, as the Senator 
from Arizona has. They don't know what their future looks like, and 
they need to get the certainty that comes along with us giving them a 
permanent solution which, again, I am committed to do. So I want to 
make sure I understand exactly what happens March 5, and I described 
what I think happens.
  I also know the administration, the Department of Homeland Security, 
does not prioritize people unless they have committed crimes or 
otherwise abused the privilege of staying in the United States. 
Peaceful, law-abiding individuals who have violated the immigration 
laws--and, of course, these young adults are not culpable in any manner 
because they came here with their parents so they are pretty blameless, 
in my book. The point is, I don't think they would be prioritized for 
deportation. I am confident they would not be, even if I am wrong about 
what happens on March 5.
  Mr. President, I yield momentarily to the Senator from Arizona so we 
could have maybe a little discussion about that. Certainly, I am 
committed to finding out what exactly does happens on March 5, but I 
have described, to the best of my knowledge, what I believe will 
  Mr. FLAKE. Mr. President, I thank the Senator for yielding.
  On the 5th, as I understand it, the DACA Program will no longer 

[[Page S369]]

Those who have already registered, that registration will continue 
until it runs out. There are some now--I think the figure is some 150 a 
day--who are losing status, and there is a question about whether they 
can renew. Courts have been trying to weigh in on that, and the 
administration has asked the courts to finalize--asked the High Court 
  The problem is, even if it is not deportation on March 5, there are 
real questions. They can't get work permits. They will not be able to 
register for school, in certain circumstances, so they are left in 
limbo, and that is not fair to them.
  I thank the Senator for working on a solution, and I thank him for 
yielding time.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I appreciate the comments of my friend 
from Arizona. He is right about the work permits. Everything else 
aside, if these young people, some 690,000, can no longer work, that is 
going to have a dramatic negative impact, not only on them but also on 
our economy and on the people who hire them, all of which is to say, we 
shouldn't play with fire here. We need to get this addressed, we need 
to get it addressed on a timely basis, and that is something I am 
committed to doing.
  What confounds me the most, though, is why we find ourselves here 
with the Senate in session and the Federal Government otherwise shut 
down. It strikes me as completely unnecessary, especially when a number 
of us--me included--are having two and three meetings a day to try and 
come up with a solution to this problem. I know people are anxious for 
the status and what happens to the future of these young adults. I am, 
too, and I am eager to come up with a solution as soon as we can, but I 
think some have had what I would view as an unrealistic view of the end 
  In other words, I know our friends have been--the Senator from 
Arizona, the Senator from South Carolina, and others have a group, 
along with the Senator from Illinois, which they think will be the seed 
of a solution here, but as they found out last week, the President 
didn't support their work product. As Senator McConnell, our majority 
leader, likes to point out, there is one indispensable person when it 
comes to legislation, and that is the person who signs it. All of us 
write the legislation, but the President ultimately is the one who 
decides whether it is going to become law. That is a serious problem in 
terms of their plan to move forward with the so-called Graham-Durbin 

  It was just I guess last week--I lose track of the days now--when we 
met at the White House, where Majority Leader McCarthy suggested that 
he and I, as the majority whip in the Senate, and the minority whip in 
the Senate, Senator Durbin, for whom this has been a long, passionate 
cause, and also the minority leader in the House, Mr. Hoyer, get 
together and schedule a group of meetings to try to work out our 
differences and to build consensus. As we all know, nothing happens 
unless consensus is achieved.
  Actually, I think the belief--in my view, the unrealistic belief--
that somehow the Graham-Durbin bill was going to be the path forward 
without the President's signature and with a doubtful future in the 
House of Representatives--hopefully, that has been set aside. I say 
that with great respect because I don't want to indicate or send any 
signal that I don't appreciate their concern or their passion or their 
effort to try to come up with a solution. It is just that I think it 
should be clear to everyone that that is not going to be the path 
forward because of the circumstances I mentioned. The President doesn't 
support it, and it won't pass in the House of Representatives and even 
get to the President's desk.
  So we find ourselves here in a completely unnecessary situation. Our 
Democratic colleagues were pretty unanimous--with four or five 
exceptions--in voting down a 4-week continuing resolution and causing 
the government to shut down. The majority leader, Senator McConnell, 
has offered them another proposal, which was a 3-week continuing 
resolution while we continue to do our other work. They objected to 
voting on that last night, but the majority leader has now filed for 
cloture, which means that will ripen here tomorrow.
  They have a choice. They can keep the government shut down for 
another day before we vote on that, or we could agree to vote on it 
today and reopen the government while we continue our good-faith 
negotiations and discussions about these other matters.
  But when the Democratic leader came to the floor and said that he 
doesn't want to hurt the military, he doesn't want to hurt people who 
are suffering from opioid addiction, he doesn't want to hurt the 
veterans, he doesn't want to hurt people who are relying on the 
government for a pension or people who are relying on the Federal 
Government for disaster relief, and so he objected to the continuing 
resolution and caused a government shutdown--I have to say, that is a 
strange way of showing your devotion and your support for the military 
or veterans or opioid addicts or people who are depending on the 
Federal Government to come up with disaster relief. Shutting down the 
government helps none of them at all. When he talks about continuing 
resolutions hurting the military, I agree with that, but the very thing 
that is hurting the military the most is the shutdown and the 
uncertainty. Our National Guard can't train, for example.
  The solution to this short term is an agreement on spending caps so 
the Appropriations Committee can come up with an appropriations bill 
that will fund the government through the end of September, through the 
end of the fiscal year. But what has really happened here, 
unfortunately, is that our colleagues across the aisle have listened to 
the most extreme elements in their political party and shut down the 
government over an unrelated immigration issue that doesn't even ripen 
until March 5. I say that just to say that it doesn't have to be 
decided today, nor can it be decided today, but that is what they are 
trying to hold--all the rest of this--hostage in order to do.
  All across the country, the headlines reflect the reality. From the 
Associated Press: ``Senate Democrats derail bill to avert shutdown.'' 
Even the New York Times headline reads ``Senate Democrats Block a Bill 
to Keep Government Open Past Midnight.''
  I can't help but share in the frustration of those who, in disgust, 
find us in a situation that we don't want to be in and that makes 
absolutely no sense to anybody because all the things in the continuing 
resolution that our colleagues across the aisle voted against last 
night are things they support. It is support for the military, support 
for opioid treatment, and support for veterans. But they voted against 
it in order to hold all of that hostage to this unrelated issue of 
  The minority leader, my friend from New York, Senator Schumer, has 
done the best he can to try to spin the story and to try to explain his 
strategy and to cast blame. I have to admire his talent. Senator 
Schumer is my friend. We have worked together on a number of items in a 
bipartisan way to come up with solutions to complicated issues. He is a 
very talented and smart person, but not even he can come up with a 
credible story here for why he chose to lead this shutdown effort for 
the Federal Government because it makes no sense whatsoever. He does 
have my sympathy. He is the leader of a tough group of Senators--
including some radical Members who are running for President--who have 
held the rest of their conference hostage and done them no good service 
in leading them down this box canyon, only to find the government shut 
  How do we know that this was their plan all along? Well, the 
Democratic whip, the senior Senator from Illinois, laid out the 
strategy in the Washington Post last November. It said: ``Senator 
Richard J. Durbin [of Illinois] . . . said he is encouraging his 
colleagues to join him in blocking spending legislation if the legal 
status of `dreamers' isn't resolved.'' That was last November, and he 
was already plotting the shutdown we find ourselves in today for this 
unrelated issue that we are committed to working on, on a bipartisan 
basis. So the minority leader can't convince us or anybody who knows 
the facts that this is somehow President Trump's fault. This was their 
plan--something they have been plotting for a long time now.
  Now they find themselves in a position where not even they can 

[[Page S370]]

how this helps the country or how this helps these young DACA 
recipients. It is not going to change anything for them to shut down 
the government. As a matter of fact, I think it just polarizes people 
and makes things worse.
  We are not going to let them hold health insurance for 9 million 
children hostage over an unrelated immigration issue. That is the 
Children's Health Insurance Program. The bill they filibustered last 
night would reauthorize this program for the most vulnerable 9 million 
children in the country. For what? They support that bill. It was voted 
out of the Senate Finance Committee on a bipartisan basis, and they 
come to the Senate floor and they kill it. Nine million vulnerable 
children. And they support it. It is a strange way of showing it. 
Clearly, the American people deserve better.
  Soon, our colleagues across the aisle will have a chance to reopen 
the Federal Government, a chance to abandon this brinkmanship which 
threatens the safety and security of the country. It threatens the very 
people we depend upon to defend us and their families. It threatens 
access to healthcare for 9 million vulnerable children. They need to 
fix this. They need to do the right thing for the American people. They 
can do that today by agreeing to vote on this 3-week continuing 
resolution that will take us to February 8 while we continue to work on 
this issue relating to DACA--deferred action for childhood arrivals--
that we talked about earlier, or they can do it tomorrow and keep the 
government shut down for another 24 hours.
  My message to them is, think about the men and women who put on the 
uniform of our country and deploy in dangerous locations around the 
globe to fight our Nation's wars and protect our homeland. Think about 
those who wake up in the morning and put on a badge and go out--
possibly into harm's way--to protect our communities. Think about those 
9 million children who depend on us for that health coverage.
  I hope that after having had a few hours of sleep last night and a 
chance to think through this fundamentally flawed strategy, our 
colleagues will reconsider. The country deserves better.
  I yield the floor.
  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. HELLER. 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. HELLER. Mr. President, once again, I think Washington, DC, has 
lost its mind. It is shameful that the minority party has engineered a 
government shutdown at the expense of our troops and their families, at 
the expense of our veterans, and at the expense of our children's 
healthcare. To me, this is politics at its very worst.
  Just like every American--the public that is out there--I am 
frustrated. I am frustrated that I have to come to the floor to talk 
about Congress once again failing the American public by not doing our 
  At the risk of sounding like a broken record, time after time, 
Congress has blown past our deadline to complete all the current fiscal 
year appropriations and has punted on our responsibilities. Now, today, 
the government has been shut down.
  For years, I have been talking about how it is Congress's most basic 
responsibility to create a budget and pass all the appropriations bills 
on time. While some things in the Senate change, others just stay the 
same. While the majority has been working to restore normal budgeting 
practices, I am disappointed that my colleagues across the aisle have 
spent their time doing everything they can to avoid deadlines and 
choose routes of not working on appropriations bills and now have shut 
down this government. Not only is this disappointing, it is also not a 
surprise, given recent history.
  I have personally never seen Congress pass all 12 appropriations 
bills on time and on its own without an omnibus.
  I have said this before, and I want to inform my colleagues that in 
recent history, Congress has been able to accomplish its regular budget 
and appropriations processes. For example, it happened under President 
Clinton with a Republican Congress. It happened under President Reagan 
with a Democratic Congress.
  I have always said Washington is a pain-free zone that faces no 
consequences if Members fail to do their jobs. Maybe it is time to 
start facing some pain around here. That is why I have reintroduced--
and have introduced for years--my No Budget, No Pay Act. Regardless of 
who is in the majority or who is in the minority, my No Budget, No Pay 
legislation says that if Members of Congress do not pass an annual 
concurrent budget resolution and all 12 spending bills on time each 
year, then they should not get paid. I want to repeat that last part: 
If Congress fails to pass all 12 spending bills on time each year, then 
they should not get paid.

  Both Chambers of Congress should pass all 12 appropriations bills on 
time every year. That is doing our job, and if you don't do your job, 
you don't get paid. So it is that simple. Most Americans sit around the 
kitchen table each night paying their bills. Why should Congress be 
different? It is time for some real responsibility and some real 
accountability in our Nation's capital.
  Since I have introduced No Budget, No Pay, I have been getting a lot 
of positive support for this idea outside of Washington, DC. Rob from 
Reno, NV, said: ``I'm fully in support of your stand on No Budget, No 
Pay . . . because our spending is outrageous, it is ridiculous, and it 
is out of control.''
  James from Henderson, NV, said: No Budget, No Pay ``is the sort of 
accountability that I expect from the nation's leaders.''
  Until No Budget, No Pay is passed into law, I don't see any other way 
to motivate Members of Congress to do their job and avoid the 
government shutdowns and the continuing resolutions in the future. We 
must pass the principles outlined in No Budget, No Pay. It will stop 
these ridiculous government shutdowns in the future, and it will stop 
Members of Congress from being right back here, year after year, making 
the same speeches and taking the exact same votes.
  I would say to any of my colleagues who are tired of this whole 
process that has unfolded, regardless of what specific issues you are 
fighting for, support my No Budget, No Pay Act. I believe Congress can 
work together again, but it will take some accountability like No 
Budget, No Pay to get us there.
  Thank you.
  I yield the floor.
  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. TESTER. 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. TESTER. Mr. President, we rise today after a long night last 
night--a night that I think could produce some fruits today or tomorrow 
or soon, I hope, because, on behalf of the just over 1 million 
Montanans and families across this country, and I believe a vast 
majority of the people in this body, we need to put this shutdown to an 
  Folks, whether it be a welder in Butte or a teacher in Billings or a 
sugar beet farmer in Sidney or a mill worker in Columbia Falls, they 
have all told me, and they will continue to tell me, that this body is 
incredibly dysfunctional and that Congress is incredibly dysfunctional. 
We ought to break that. We ought to start working together. We ought to 
start listening to one another. We shouldn't be taking off the right 
side of the Earth nor the left side of the Earth. We should work in the 
middle for policies that work for America.
  The budget may be the most important of those policies that work for 
America. It has been 112 days now since our budget ran out--the end of 
September of this year. We have responded to that budget running out by 
passing four short-term continuing resolutions, we call them--stop-gap 
measures, bandaids, if you will, kicking the can down the road; it is 
described by a lot of different methods--to fund the budget. That has 
resulted in costing the taxpayers additional dollars and incredible 
inefficiencies, and it is caused by the Members of this body not doing 
their job and leadership not doing their job.

[[Page S371]]

  Enough is enough. We need to roll up our sleeves. We need to work 
together. We need to talk. We need to listen to one another. We need to 
come to a resolution of this problem.
  We can talk about the Children's Health Insurance Program. It is an 
incredibly important program, there is no doubt about it, but it has 
been held hostage for the last 4 months. I can tell my colleagues that 
if it was put on the floor--and it could have been put on the floor at 
any time in the last 4 months--it would have passed, I believe, 
overwhelmingly by this body. Why? Because kids need it. Families need 
it. We are putting, in Montana's case alone, 24,000 kids at risk who do 
not have credible care.
  The same can be said for our healthcare centers. The same can be said 
for the opioid crisis. The same can be said for security on our 
northern and southern borders. The same can be said for our military. 
The uncertainty we have without a longer budget that goes to the end of 
the fiscal year is unacceptable. We all know it. We have been talking 
about it for months, but nothing ever comes to the floor to solve it, 
except for a continuing resolution, which is not a solution at all, it 
is a bandaid.
  Last night, I proposed a 72-hour--3-day--extension so the shutdown 
wouldn't happen until Monday night so we could work together to 
negotiate this deal, to put some pressure on the body to work together 
to come up with a deal by Monday night. It seemed reasonable enough to 
me. We have been talking about these issues for months, but the 
majority leader objected to keeping the government open and pushing 
ourselves--driving ourselves to the negotiating table to get something 
  Look, I have worked in this body with a number of folks on my side of 
the aisle and on the other side of the aisle, and we have had success. 
I bring this up often because Johnny Isakson is an incredibly good 
chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee. I happen to be the ranking 
member. Johnny Isakson and I work well together. We don't always agree, 
but from the very beginning, we have agreed to put what we disagree on 
off to the side and work on what we agree on. What has transpired is a 
record number of votes on tough issues coming out of the Veterans 
Affairs' Committee. Why? Because we are working for the veterans, and 
that is what we need to be doing here. We should not be working for a 
political party. We should not be posturing ourselves for the next 
election. We should not be putting working families and businesses at 
risk. We should be working together to make a difference for this 
country with a long-term funding bill that addresses a number of issues 
which have all been laid on the table, from healthcare to opioids, to 
pensions, to our military, to border security--the list goes on, but it 
is a list we can work with. We know what needs to be done. We need to 
quit playing games.

  One of the people I have incredible respect for in this body who has 
what I believe uncommon common sense is the Senator from Maine. Senator 
King and I visit, oftentimes off the floor, and we talk about our 
frustrations with this body because it doesn't have to be this way. We 
can get things done if we work together. I am hoping Senator King can 
explain to me why we continue to have a budget that doesn't work for 
the American people, that continues to be a patchwork of month-by-month 
or week-by-week continuing resolutions and what we need to do to fix 
  Mr. KING. Mr. President, I appreciate the question of the Senator, 
and it is one I have given a great deal of thought. I think there have 
been a lot of discussions around here about fancy changes to the budget 
process and new bills and new budget processes and new rules and 
everything. I always stop and say: Wait a minute. We could have a 
budget process written by Aristotle and Thomas Jefferson, but if we 
don't do our job, it is not going to work. That is essentially where we 
are now. That is one of the reasons I voted no last night.
  I have had it with CRs--continuing resolutions--which really means 
``can't resolve.'' We can't make decisions. I want to talk, with the 
indulgence of the Senator from Montana, a bit about this part of why we 
are where we are.
  I think this is a deeper issue because where we are today is going to 
simply be repeated 6 months from now, a year from now, 3 months from 
now, and 5 years from now. It just keeps going on. It is one of the 
reasons we can't get where we are going.
  I was a Governor of Maine in the 1990s. I remember vividly, and I can 
almost tell you where I was standing in my office when a group of 
legislators--we had a budget deadline of July 1. A group of legislators 
came to me because budgets are hard. We all know that. It is hard to 
resolve some of these issues. They came to me a week or so before the 
expiration date and said: Governor, we have never done it before here 
in Maine, but will you go along with a continuing resolution like they 
do in Washington, and we can solve this in an extra week? I said: Not 
on your life. Why did I say that? Because that is what we do here, and 
it doesn't work. That is what has gotten us into trouble. Governments 
all over the country don't do continuing resolutions. They struggle, 
they argue, they debate, and they get their budgets done. Yet here we 
have this constant escape hatch that is in the background.
  I have done a lot of reading and thinking about the Framers, who were 
geniuses--the people who wrote the Constitution. If you read the 
Federalist Papers, read Madison, read Hamilton, they understood human 
nature. That is why the Constitution has withstood the test of time for 
200 years, because it is based upon a deep understanding and perception 
of why and how people do this.
  This is a human nature question. If you are confronted with a 
difficult decision, and you have an easy way out, you will always take 
it. That is what a continuing resolution is. It is basically a 
statement that says: We can't solve this. We are just going to kick it 
down the road a few months or 6 months or a week or a couple of months, 
and maybe something will happen then. My problem is, we will not know 
anything in a month that we don't know now, and there is no reason to 
delay it.
  The problem is, this government by continuing resolution--and I will 
give you the figures in a minute; they are breathtaking--but government 
by continuing resolution is, in fact, like a slow-motion shutdown 
because the agencies--particularly the military--can't plan. They can't 
commit. They can't commit to long-term contracts. The military--I am on 
the Armed Services Committee. I don't think we have had half a dozen 
hearings in the last 5 years where we haven't talked about 
sequestration and continuing resolutions. In fact, the Secretary of 
Defense came to us just a couple of weeks ago and said: Please don't do 
another continuing resolution. It is crippling to our military.

  Yes, DACA is important. All the other issues wrapped up in this are 
important. But I think there is an underlying issue about the 
functionality of this organization we really need to address. I went 
back and looked at the last 20 years. Here is some of the data I find 
amazing: In the last 20 years, we have averaged 5.6 continuing 
resolutions a year--every year for 20 years. The average number of days 
before we got to a budget after the deadline was 137 days, approaching 
half a year.
  If we can do it 6 months late, why can't we do it on time? What did 
we know 6 months later that we didn't know when we should have done it 
in the first place? I believe this is really one of the reasons this 
place doesn't work very well. If we continue to provide this exit, this 
easy way out, we will always find ourselves in positions like this, and 
that is where the problem is.
  If you could go to your chemistry teacher and say ``The Tuesday exam 
is looking a little tough for me; I would like a continuing resolution 
until Friday,'' who is not going to do it? That is what we are doing, 
and we are going to do it as long as we keep allowing it to happen.
  Frankly, I have talked to a lot of my colleagues off the floor in the 
last few days. We need to have a peasants' revolt here where we say we 
are not going to vote for these things anymore. Then the leadership and 
the committee chairs and the President are going to have to make the 
deals and the arrangements they have to make when they have to make 
  Last fall, we blew through all kinds of deadlines. We blew through 
the CHIP

[[Page S372]]

deadline. We blew through the FQHC deadline. We blew through, of 
course, the biggest deadline of all--the budget, September 30. Oh, 
let's do a continuing resolution. And I voted for them. I voted for a 
bunch of them. But I am tired of it. This is at the core of one of the 
reasons this place doesn't work.
  All we have to do is do our job and do it now. It is not going to be 
easier 1 month or 2 months from now.
  Assuming we can find some resolution here in the next couple of 
days--and I deeply hope we can. Nobody wants to shut down the 
government. It is not good for anybody. But the deeper issue is that we 
have to get out of the continuing resolution business because as long 
as that escape hatch is there, it is going to be used. Madison would 
say that is human nature. I think we as a collective body have to weld 
that escape hatch shut so that people can't take it and we would have 
to get our job done at the time that is required. That would go a long 
way. We don't need fancy changes in the budget process; we just need to 
do the job we are assigned to do under the current system.
  As I said, I deeply hope our leadership can negotiate a solution to 
this problem. It seems to me they were very close last night. 
Hopefully, we can do it. I frankly don't understand--at the end of the 
evening last night, when the Senator made the motion for a 3-day 
continuing resolution so that we didn't have to shut down the 
government last night--we could have kept talking and found a 
solution--it was objected to. I found that very puzzling.
  I don't really understand those who are saying this side of the aisle 
shut down the government. Well, as of midnight or 10 minutes after, 
when you made your motion, it was the other side who shut down the 
government because they had before them an option that would have kept 
it open for 3 or 4 days to try to get this done.
  I appreciate the Senator raising these issues. I would like to ask 
him what is on the minds of the people of Montana. If they are like the 
people of Maine, they are just puzzled why we can't get these things 
taken care of.
  Mr. TESTER. I thank Senator King for the question.
  Last night, as we approached midnight, I got an email from one of my 
good friends in Montana who is in the business of agriculture. He is a 
rancher in North Central Montana, actually on the Rocky Mount front. He 
said: Why does this have to happen?
  My comment to him was that continuing resolutions don't work well for 
this country. They cost taxpayers a bunch of money, and they don't give 
folks the kind of predictability in their government that they elected 
us to give them.
  I am with the Senator. I voted for the continuing resolutions--the 
one that extended it to December 1 and then the next one, which went to 
I believe December 19. At that moment in time, I thought, well, 
Christmas is looming, and we will come to an agreement, and if not, we 
will just stay here throughout the Christmas break and do it because it 
is that important.
  I believe strongly in my family, and I love to be there, and I was 
there for Christmas, but the truth is, this job here is critically 
important for the whole country, and we need to do our job.
  The motion for yet another CR from December 19--to move it to January 
19 came up, and I held my nose and I voted for it. At that time, I 
said: I am not going to do this again. In that month between December 
19 through January 19, we were supposed to have worked out a deal. 
Guess what happened. There was no deal worked out. Now we are back in 
exactly the same place.
  What Senator King said is exactly correct. What are we going to know 
in February that we don't know now? The point is, nothing additional is 
going to be added to the equation. We all know what it is--deals with 
border security, the military, healthcare issues, pensions, opioids, 
and a budget that goes until the end of September, which is the end of 
the fiscal year for this country--but it is simply not going to happen 
unless we get folks working together again.
  Look, the Republicans have majorities in the House and the Senate. 
They control the Presidency and the White House. I am telling you, if 
the floor leader doesn't provide the kind of leadership that we need to 
get to a point where we address the issues that are important to this 
country, we will never address the issues, and we will continue to have 
continuing resolution after continuing resolution.

  So what I would ask is that folks from both sides lock themselves in 
a room. The two leaders, lock themselves in the room. Ultimately, that 
is what it is going to come down to, to come to an agreement that works 
for this country and gives predictability over the long haul.
  I happen to be on the Appropriations Committee. We are going to be 
starting to work on the fiscal year 2019 budget, and we are not even 
done with the 2018 budget because of these continuing resolutions.
  So I would tell Senator King that the people of Montana are 
frustrated. They want to see their government work better. What are the 
folks in Maine telling you?
  Mr. KING. The same thing. I wish we could banish the phrase 
``continuing resolution.'' I know of no business that does business 
that way. I know of no school district or very few States--I think some 
States allow 1 or 2 days if they are in really close negotiations, and 
I understand that. It would be one thing if we were right on it, and 
just give us a couple more days, and we can iron this out, or, on the 
other hand, if we had an agreement and it would take several days or 
perhaps even several weeks to actually do the writing of the bill. I 
understand that.
  I think people just scratch their heads because this is so alien to 
most people's common, everyday experience. This is one of the few 
places I know of where we have this kind of operation.
  I have a modest suggestion: no budget, no recess. If we don't get 
these things done, which is the most basic job we have, let's stay here 
until it gets done. Maybe that is another reflection of using human 
nature as an incentive, because everyone wants to have a break every 
now and then.
  I am glad we are here on this Saturday. At least we didn't shut down 
the government last night and then go home. We are going to be here 
tomorrow, as far as I am concerned and as far as I know. I am certainly 
going to be here. We have to have some discussion.
  The Senator mentioned the four leaders. I think this has to involve 
the President as well. One of the powers of the President is as a 
convener. I think the President has to be involved in this, he has to 
make some decisions, and he has to help guide the decisions--here is 
what I will take, here is what I won't take--and work with this party 
so we can get a comprehensive agreement on some of these important 
issues. I understand they have nice meeting rooms in the White House. 
They probably have sandwiches. I think they can bring the group down 
there and say: Nobody leaves this place until we get this done. As I 
say, I think the people of Maine are just scratching their heads and 
saying: Why can't we do this?
  I think another important point is that if this were a body and an 
institution that was one party, if everybody was of the same party, 
there wouldn't be any dispute--somebody would lay down the law, and 
that is what would happen. But this is an institution intended to 
represent the entire country and different views. That means that if 
you are in the majority--particularly in the Senate--you have a 
responsibility to get input from the minority, for people. In my case, 
I am in a minority of two.
  Everybody here has valid input. To just say: This is it. Here is the 
deal. Take it or leave it. And if you leave it, we are going to hammer 
you for not going along--that is no way to make good policy in the long 
  There is a lot of good thinking in this Hall. There are a lot of 
smart people. In fact, I told somebody at home that I have never been 
in an outfit that has more good people and gets less done. There is 
something about this structure. I don't think there is anything in the 
water down here, but there is something about how this structure works 
that just keeps us from getting there.
  I respect that the majority has the majority, but there also has to 
be some role to work together, and that is what the 60-vote margin is 
all about. I think this is a place where there needs to be some 

[[Page S373]]

  One of my favorite philosophers, Mick Jagger, said: ``You don't 
always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you might just find 
you get what you need.'' I think that is where we are right now. 
Everybody can't get what they want, but if we work together, if we 
listen to each other, if we respect each other, and if we quit taking 
the easy way out, we will get what we need. That is what the people of 
Maine want us to do.
  Mr. TESTER. I think that is what the whole country wants us to do.
  The Senator brought up the point that if this body were all one party 
and they all thought the same, it might be easier. But it would be a 
lot worse. The truth is, diversity of thought is important. Talking 
with people, getting compromise, and finding the middle ground is what 
built this country. That is what built America. We need to look at 
those principles when we move forward on a bill like this.
  Ten days ago, I was at the White House. Senator Durbin was there. 
There were about two dozen folks, between the House and the Senate, 
from both parties. We saw the President more focused than I have ever 
seen him before. He said: You bring us a bill on the issue of 
immigration, and I will sign it. I will be the bad guy, he said. I will 
sign it. There is a bipartisan group here who got together and did 
that, and then he said no.
  So the Senator is exactly right. The White House--the President--has 
to provide the kind of leadership and assurance to know that he is not 
just going to say no, that he will take yes for an answer. I think it 
is very, very important moving forward.
  Look, we are at a moment in time where everybody looks at us, and I 
think we have single-digit approval ratings--probably lower than that 
now after last night. America is saying: Come on, guys. It doesn't have 
to be like this. You need to work together.
  Everybody needs to work together and come together and come up with 
something that works for America, that solves the problems that are 
there. That is what I ask of this body today. We all say basically the 
same thing, so let's just do it. Let's put the bill together, let's 
bring it to the floor, and let's vote and get it done.
  Mr. KING. I thank the Senator from Montana for his clear thinking, as 
always, and his contribution to this discussion. I hope our colleagues 
will pay heed, as they always should, to the Senator from Montana.
  Mr. TESTER. Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan.

                  Unanimous Consent Request--H.R. 1301

  Ms. STABENOW. Mr. President, we are here on a Saturday on the 1-year 
anniversary of President Trump's inauguration. After a year of our 
colleagues on the other side of the aisle being in the majority in the 
House and the Senate and the White House, we are finding that rather 
than working together across the aisle to get things done, we have seen 
either nothing getting done, dysfunction, or partisanship at its worst. 
That really is not good enough.
  People in Michigan want us to work together to get things done. They 
don't want to see a situation where there is a cynical ploy of pitting 
children against each other--one group of children against another 
group of children--for some political purpose, some divisive purpose.
  There are a number of us who are here this afternoon to offer an 
amendment, which will be coming up, to address needs of children and 
families around healthcare. It is something which I care deeply about 
and which my colleagues care deeply about. It is something I have been 
coming to the floor to speak about since September 30, when we saw two 
very, very important programs for children and families in Michigan 
have their Federal funding expire--the Children's Health Insurance 
Program and community health centers. We have hospitals and ambulances 
and communities around the country that also need us to take action to 
make sure healthcare is available in their communities. That is what 
our amendment addresses as a whole.
  It is deeply concerning to me that when we look at the Children's 
Health Insurance Program--it covers 9 million children across the 
country and 100,000 children in Michigan, where many of them get their 
healthcare at health centers.
  If we really care about these children and their families and about 
the families of many people in Michigan--680,000-plus families who go 
to quality health centers in their community to see a doctor or a nurse 
to get the care they need--it is deeply concerning that those two 
pieces of healthcare for families would somehow be divided and pitted 
against each other.
  We have strong bipartisan support. It came out of committee. I see 
our distinguished ranking member from Oregon on the floor. He and the 
chairman, myself, others--all of us, working together, brought a bill 
out of committee months ago--I assumed it was going to happen 
immediately--that would extend children's health insurance.
  Senator Blunt, the senior Senator from Missouri, and I have 
bipartisan legislation, which 70 Members of the Senate have signed a 
letter supporting, extending community health center funding. We 
assumed that we would bring children's health insurance to the floor 
right away, that we would combine it with community health centers, 
which are the way children and families get their healthcare--you have 
to have both--and we assumed that we would be on our way, that we would 
pass this and that it would pass the House and go to the President for 
his signature, and we would ease the minds of millions of families, of 
parents who are concerned about taking their children to the doctor, 
dealing with their juvenile diabetes, their asthma attacks, addressing 
very serious chronic illnesses and the regular things that happen to 
kids all the time, such as broken bones, bruises, the flu, and so on.
  We are here today to stand up for those families and for an approach 
that is bipartisan. All of the items in our amendment have bipartisan 
support and can get done together, rather than the divisive underlying 
issue in front of us--the question of dividing groups of children, 
using children as pawns in some political game. We have the opportunity 
to come together and extend children's health insurance. We want to 
permanently extend it. That is what this amendment does.
  We know that, according to the budget office, because of a number of 
different things that have happened on healthcare, we can extend it for 
not 6 years, as has been proposed, but for 10 years, and it can 
actually save billions of dollars. The families across the country--
certainly the families in Michigan--deserve to know that this 
particular program will be extended permanently so it is not used as a 
political pawn in the future or some game, so that parents and children 
aren't used in some game because of other agendas.
  We can address that today as we look at the broader issues of how we 
give certainty to our military, certainty to our veterans for their 
healthcare, border security--we are a top border security State--and 
medical research and the other things that need long-term certainty 
that have not been able to get done in a very dysfunctional place now, 
as we look at what is happening here with one party in control. We need 
to be looking and working together.
  Let me say again, before turning to my other colleagues, that the 
Children's Health Insurance Program covers 9 million children at risk. 
We want to make sure this is a permanent healthcare program for the 
children of this country and for working families. We are talking about 
families whose moms and dads work but may not have health insurance at 
their work but still want to make sure the kids can go to the doctor 
and get covered. We provide a way for them to do that with children's 
health insurance.
  Secondly, they go to health centers. Thousands and thousands of 
parents use their children's health insurance to go to health centers 
in Michigan, 260 across the State. Nationally, we have 25 million 
patients, and 300,000 veterans are included in that. Some 7\1/2\ 
million children are served by health centers, which is the other piece 
of this that needs to happen.
  In addition to that, we have a number of other serious healthcare 
issues that need to be addressed in what has been dubbed in the past 
the health extenders package.

[[Page S374]]

  Funding the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting 
Program, which is critical to families and children, is part of the 
commitment. On the floor, we have heard a lot about caring about 
children. I am happy to hear that. I appreciate, for some, a newfound 
commitment to children's healthcare. Others have been committed for a 
long time. Let's come together and fund the Maternal, Infant, and Early 
Childhood Home Visiting Program for new babies and moms.

  This would permanently repeal the therapy caps. That would help make 
sure that seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare receive the 
services they need to get healthy.
  This would provide adequate funding for ambulance providers in rural 
communities. This is a big issue in Michigan. I am proud to be leading 
this effort to make sure that the small town where I grew up, Clare, 
and other small towns all across Michigan have ambulance services so 
that in an emergency, somebody will show up and show up quickly to take 
care of people and get them to the hospital.
  Funding for small rural hospitals, like the one where my mom was the 
director of nursing when I was growing up in Clare--they need to keep 
their doors open. This would make sure that happens.
  All of these things are incredibly important--funding our safety net 
hospitals, continuing the Special Diabetes Program, leading to new 
research and therapies and ultimately leading to a cure.
  In conclusion, let me just say what I have said so many times. 
Healthcare is not political. Whether it is for children, whether it is 
for seniors, whether it is for veterans, whether it is for families, 
healthcare is not political, it is personal. That is what the fight for 
a long-term budget commitment to our veterans' healthcare is about, a 
long-term commitment to tackle opioids is about, a long-term commitment 
for children and families is about, and, frankly, mental health and all 
of the issues that deal with healthcare above the neck, which needs to 
be treated the same as healthcare below the neck.
  It is time to get this done. While other issues are being sorted out, 
we should not be pitting children against children. Families are 
counting on us to do the right thing. I hope colleagues will join us in 
supporting this effort.
  I now yield. I believe this is Senator Casey, Senator Brown, and I 
who are offering this amendment. Senator Casey--a passionate, long-
term, devoted, committed supporter and champion for children--is right 
where he ought to be right now: on the floor of the U.S. Senate 
fighting for our children and families.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Sullivan). The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. CASEY. Mr. President, I thank the senior Senator from Michigan 
for her words today but also, more importantly, for her advocacy for so 
many years, and maybe especially in the last year, on the Children's 
Health Insurance Program and all of the great work she has done.
  This is a program which has been bipartisan for a generation. I speak 
from the vantage point of Pennsylvania. It has been bipartisan in my 
home State for even longer than the Federal program. In Pennsylvania, 
the program was passed in 1992 and became law in 1993, and so for 
longer than the Federal program, which many people know started in 
  It has personal connections to me. My father was the Governor who 
signed the legislation into law in 1993. Since that time, every 
Republican and Democratic Governor and, for the most part, the 
legislatures of both parties have supported it, which has been the case 
here. It is only lately that CHIP has become contentious.
  The tragic irony here--or if you wanted to use stronger language, I 
would use the word ``insult''--in this case, you had legislation to 
reauthorize--which is a fancy Washington word for ``do it again'' with 
maybe some changes--the legislation was reauthorized in the fall and 
was ready for passage on the Senate floor. The majority leader 
indicated that it had to get through committee, and it did. We had a 
unanimous vote in the Finance Committee to have children's health--to 
have that program be part of our law going forward. What happened? The 
deadline was September 30. The Republican majority had the opportunity 
to bring that bill, the KIDS Act--that was the bill--to the floor. If 
that bill were brought to the floor, it would have passed in a matter 
of hours, if not less.
  The majority decided not to bring the Children's Health Insurance 
Program reauthorization bill, the KIDS Act, to the floor before 
September 30, so the program expired September 30. Here we are, more 
than 100 days--I guess it is 112 days or something like that--since it 
expired. Republicans had the power to get children's health insurance 
done by September 30. They failed despite the fact that there was a 
bill to do that. It could have passed on the floor very quickly. They 
have all the power to do it, to get it on the floor, and they chose not 
  That is bad enough, but it gets worse. They had all of the month of 
October, and they did nothing on children's health insurance. They had 
all of the month of November, and they did nothing on children's health 
insurance. They had all of the month of December, and they did nothing 
on children's health insurance.
  Now there is this newfound urgency to make sure they criticize 
Democrats for not passing this defective piece of legislation that has 
major holes in it from the House, which was developed only by the 
Freedom Caucus in the House, and we are supposed to accept, I guess, 
whatever the Freedom Caucus in the House wants. That is the way we are 
supposed to run the U.S. Senate.
  Why would Republicans--despite their assertions that they want to 
move the children's health insurance bill forward--let all of October, 
all of November, and all of December pass after they already let it 
expire? Why would they let all that time go by? It is not a mystery. We 
don't have to hire a private investigator to find out why they let it 
go that long. One reason is, because for most of November or all of 
November but certainly all of December, until, I guess, about the 22nd 
of December, they were focused on one priority, their tax bill, a tax 
bill which is a giveaway to the superrich. The top 1 percent gets about 
$51,000 in year one. I hope everyone else is going to do that well--
sorry, they are not. What do they do in that bill in addition to 
helping the wealthy? They gave big corporations not just the kind of 
tax cuts we have never seen before--more than almost $1.5 trillion for 
corporations--but they made it permanent. So they got permanent 
corporate tax relief when they should have been figuring out a way to 
get children's health insurance done. So that is the story of how we 
got from there to here.

  We hear now that because there are changes in the cost of children's 
health that this would be a 6-year bill. Well, that is a good amount of 
time, but guess what. Guess what. Because of all that change in the 
intervening period, we could do a 10-year Children's Health Insurance 
Program and save billions of dollars in doing it, compared to what 
Republicans want to do now. So if there is this urgency to do something 
about children's health on the Republican side, I say let's join 
together and not only get children's health insurance done--today we 
could do it. We have all day today. We have all day tomorrow. We have a 
big weekend of work here. Let's get children's health insurance done 
and knock something off the list. We don't have to worry about it, but 
while we are at it, let's make it 10 years. I would argue that 
children's health insurance should be a permanent program, just like 
the tax cuts for corporations. They found a way to give corporations 
permanent tax relief. Why wouldn't you support permanent children's 
health insurance? But if they can't do that, we could at least do it 
for 10 years. That is easy to do right here today, a 10-year Children's 
Health Insurance Program so that 9 million kids and their families and 
180,000 in Pennsylvania can have the certainty to know that despite the 
fact that it is over 100 days late because of Republican failure to get 
the job done, we could get it done right now, today. So let's see what 
they do.
  Here is another issue we have to talk about because this bill that 
came over from the House didn't address this issue: community health 
centers. Eight hundred thousand people in Pennsylvania depend upon 
those community health centers. There is nothing in that bill that we 
voted on last night to address those 800,000 people in Pennsylvania and 
tens of millions across the

[[Page S375]]

country. The House bill didn't even touch that. I guess those people 
shouldn't have to worry.
  Community health centers, we know after that expired, just like the 
Children's Health Insurance Program--and the Republicans have the 
majority. They could have made sure the health centers continued, but 
they didn't. So after expiring, we know these health centers face a 
funding reduction of 60 percent to 70 percent. We also know, at least 
in my State, of the 180,000 children covered on CHIP, something on the 
order of 9,000 children enrolled in the CHIP program go to community 
health centers. So having CHIP in place is essential, but having 
community health centers in place alongside it is also essential. What 
do those 9,000 kids in Pennsylvania do if they have CHIP coverage but 
can't go to the community health center down the street because it is 
closed because it wasn't addressed by House Republicans or Senate 
  So while we are at it this weekend, why don't we get community health 
centers done. In my State, 4,915 people work there in full-time jobs--
4,915 people.
  The third issue of four--and I will be done in a minute--tax 
extenders. That is kind of another Washington phrase, right? Well, in 
this case, not getting these extenders done by the end of the year, 
which we almost always do no matter who is in charge--but guess what. 
They couldn't do it. They didn't get to tax extenders for rural 
hospitals by the end of the year because guess what. They were working 
on their tax bill for big corporations and rich people. So rural 
hospitals got pushed aside, just like children's health got pushed 
aside, just like community health centers got pushed aside because they 
had to get their tax bill done for those big corporations and rich 
people. So tax extenders for rural hospitals didn't get done. Rural 
health providers face hundreds of billions of dollars of cuts across 
the Nation.
  I represent a State that has 67 counties, but we have 48 counties of 
those 67 that are rural. In those 48 rural counties, about 279,000 
people got healthcare either through the Medicaid expansion or through 
the exchanges. In those communities where there is a rural hospital--
sometimes there is only one hospital for a long distance--those 
communities rely upon that hospital not just for healthcare but for 
jobs. Sometimes--in most places, it is the biggest employer in the 
county or the second biggest employer. In my State, there are between 
20 and 30 rural counties where the hospital is either the biggest 
employer or the second biggest. They need those tax provisions in 
place, but the majority did not get that done.
  Finally, I will end with this. The senior Senator from Michigan 
highlighted this, and I think it is important. Another thing that 
didn't get done that wasn't in this bill coming over from the House was 
an important program we don't talk about enough. It has been in place a 
couple of years. That is the Maternal Infant and Early Child Home 
Visiting Program, an evidence-based home visiting program that supports 
at-risk pregnant women and young families. That didn't get done in this 
bill. It was not in the bill. In fiscal year 2017, funding for that 
program was $400 million. It is the right thing to do to have that in 
  We know that just in Pennsylvania, for example, 3,282 families 
benefit from this program. That is another part of this bill that 
wasn't included. So if the majority is so concerned, as they professed 
last night--I wish they did this months ago, but just last night, 
breaking news, they are concerned about the Children's Health Insurance 
Program--let's pass it today. Let's get it done today and make it a 10-
year program. No one would have to worry for an entire decade about 
children's health insurance if the Republican majority wants to join us 
in that effort.
  I yield the floor, and note that the next speaker is the senior 
Senator from Ohio, a great fighter for our kids and for our families.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. BROWN. Mr. President, I thank Senator Casey and Senator Stabenow 
for their leadership. They are exactly right about this. They are right 
about maternal health, CHIP, rural hospitals, and community health 
centers that so many people depend upon, and I thank them very much for 
their work. I thank the ranking member of the Finance Committee, Mr. 
Wyden, for joining us. Mr. Carper, I believe, will be joining us too.
  It has now been 112 days since funding expired for the Children's 
Health Insurance Program. It has been 112 days of uncertainty for 
families, 112 days of mothers worrying about being able to afford their 
child's checkups, 112 days of fathers who will have to choose between 
the heating bill and medicine for their kids, and for every one of 
those 112 days, the Republican leaders in Congress have made a choice 
about extending CHIP, and we know it is something that has been 
bipartisan for two decades.
  The chairman of the Finance Committee loves to brag about the fact 
that he was there at its inception. He invented it with Senator Kennedy 
or he invented it and Senator Kennedy came along afterward or whatever 
actually happened 20 years ago, he loves to brag about it. In the 
Finance Committee, with Senators Casey, Carper, Wyden, Stabenow and 
others, we asked him about it repeatedly during the tax bill.
  Again, they were willing to pass a tax cut in December, where 81 
percent of the benefits in that tax bill went to the richest 1 percent. 
That bill will encourage more companies to shut down in Erie, PA, and 
Ashtabula, OH, or in Pittsburgh or in Cleveland and move overseas. They 
were willing to do that. We asked them over and over--Senator Hatch and 
others in the Finance Committee--let's pass CHIP. They just couldn't 
get around to it. They made a choice. They made a choice to do tax cuts 
for the rich. They made a choice to let CHIP expire. They made a choice 
not to bring a bipartisan bill passed out of the Finance Committee to 
the floor. They made a choice to spend their time and energy on other 
  They have a choice today. I am calling on my colleagues on both sides 
of the aisle--and I think Senator Stabenow will make a motion to do 
this--to pass a permanent extension of CHIP, with no strings attached, 
the policy we agree on, protecting health insurance for 9 million 
children, with an added bonus of saving $6 million in savings for the 
Federal Government because CHIP frankly doesn't cost very much.
  Children don't get sick very often and don't require a lot of medical 
care. Some children do, and that is the whole point of CHIP, so healthy 
children can stay healthy and get regular checkups and, with an 
occasional ear infection, go to the family doctor with an ear infection 
on the first day, rather than the emergency room after the child might 
experience intense pain or even, later in life, hearing loss, in some 
cases. It is there for those like Crystal's child in Columbus, OH, whom 
we talked about.
  It is a policy that doesn't just make moral sense, it makes financial 
sense. It is time for Republican leaders to stop holding CHIP hostage 
and families hostage to their failed budget process. I know they broke 
out a plan the other day, as their political talking point, to try to 
use it to pass a bill that really wasn't all that good a bill. These 
are not bargaining chips, these are kids.
  In my State--the State where the Presiding Officer grew up--209,000 
Ohio kids, and 9 million kids nationwide, roughly a number not much 
higher than that in Pennsylvania and lower than that in Michigan, in 
the 3 of our States, there are 600,000 kids who right now are getting 
insurance from CHIP. Remember, these are kids whose parents generally 
work making $8 to $10 to $12 an hour. They are not kids whose parents 
have jobs that pay insurance. They are not Congressmen and 
Congresswomen and Senators who have really good health insurance but 
for some reason think it is OK to deny it from others, from working 
families. These are working families. These are children whose parents 
have jobs but don't have insurance.
  Think about the families and the stress they are facing. Think about 
the letters I get and Senator Casey gets about the stories we get from 
Ohio and Pennsylvania families.
  Josh from Cleveland said CHIP ``helped me arrange for my family to 
get the health coverage they needed while I looked for a new job. As a 
parent . . . that peace of mind, knowing that my family is secure 
getting the

[[Page S376]]

medical help they need should something God forbid arise, is 
  The letter he sent to us underscores the fact that all kinds of 
parents over the Christmas season, over the holiday season--low-income, 
hard-working parents, in most cases, $8 to $12 an hour--they are not 
buying a lot of stuff for their kids at Christmas anyway. They are 
trying to figure out how this is going to work over the Christmas 
season, but they are anxious. They have to worry about whether they are 
going to have insurance in the new year while Congress passes the tax 
  Tiffany from Cleveland wrote:

       My son relied on CHIP. . . . Without CHIP, we would not 
     have been able to afford to get him intensive speech therapy 
     for his severe . . . diagnosis. Without this speech therapy, 
     he would not be able to speak today. CHIP gave him a voice. 
     Now I want to use my own voice to give other kids like him a 

  Linda from Johnstown wrote to me about her daughter and grandchild.

       The CHIP Program is vital to my daughter and grandchild. My 
     daughter is a hard-working, tax-paying, 26-year-old, single 
     mother with a 4-year-old son. She works over 40 hours each 
     week as a chef. They do qualify for CHIP and it is a 
     tremendous help. . . . Without the CHIP program, she would be 
     forced to find other ways to make ends meet, or perhaps even 
     to quit working, so that she would qualify for full public 

  So I remind my colleagues, all of whom have insurance paid for by 
taxpayers, if we don't pass CHIP, people like this young woman--people 
like Linda's daughter, who has a child--she might have to quit her job 
as a chef, her more than 40-hour-a-week job, so she can then go on 
Medicaid and get insurance for her child. Does that make any sense to 
  Another grandmother--it is always the grandmothers; never 
underestimate them--Suzanne from Columbus wrote to me:

       As a pediatric nurse for 40 years, I have seen firsthand 
     how . . . CHIP . . . has provided essential healthcare and 
     saved lives.
       As a grandmother, my grandchildren . . . benefited. Their 
     father is deceased and my daughter can't afford the high cost 
     of her company insurance but makes too much to qualify for 
     Medicaid. Without this program, my grandchildren would not 
     have had adequate healthcare.

  So many of these families--think about them. As Pope Francis 
admonished his priests: Go out and smell like the flock. Go out and 
listen to your constituents around the country, I beg my colleagues. I 
think, if you had, that we would have seen CHIP reauthorized months 
ago, but that is the past.
  So many of these families are just like Linda's and Suzanne's 
daughters. They work full time. They just aren't lucky enough to work 
for employers that offer health insurance. All of us are that lucky. 
Again, I don't know how we can stand here with insurance paid by 
taxpayers and not do anything about it. Make no mistake, that is what 
Republican leaders did for 112 days.
  I know that most of my colleagues wanted to pass CHIP in September 
before it expired, then in October, then in November when we begged the 
Finance chair to do it, then in December during the tax reform. I know 
my colleagues wanted to that, but for whatever reason, Senator 
McConnell, whose office, as we know, is down the hall and has lobbyists 
running in and out--CHIP families didn't really have very good 
lobbyists. I don't know why it works that way, but insurance companies 
did, and I guess that is how this town works.
  I asked Leader McConnell and Senator Hatch time and again to bring 
this bill to the floor and allow a vote. Senator Casey asked them; 
Senator Stabenow and all of us did. It was September, October, 
November, and December, but they chose to do other things. They have a 
chance to make a different choice today, a chance to stop using 
children and families as bargaining chips, a chance to choose making 
policy over playing politics. If this is really about children's 
healthcare, I challenge Leader McConnell to bring a clean, permanent 
CHIP bill to the floor right away. There is no reason to hold this up 
while we continue to fight over the budget process. Pretending that the 
two must pass together, of course, is a fallacy.
  A permanent CHIP extension that provides certainty to families and $6 
billion in savings to the Federal Government will pass overwhelmingly. 
We will be the first enthusiastic votes cast.
  Thank you.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, before he leaves the floor, I know the 
distinguished Senator from Ohio is going off to champion yet another 
cause for workers--the whole question of justice with pensions. I want 
to thank him for his eloquent remarks, as well as our colleague from 
Pennsylvania, Senator Casey, and my seatmate on the Finance Committee, 
Senator Stabenow.
  I will be making some remarks, and we may have another colleague or 
two come, and then Senator Stabenow on behalf of all of us will be 
making a motion with respect to these health programs. For my three 
colleagues on the Finance Committee, thank you for your commitment--
months and months of commitment around the proposition. As Senator 
Brown just said, this program should have become law a long, long time 
  It is heartbreaking to see these CHIP families put through the 
political ringer; there is no other way to describe it. They come up to 
us--the moms, the families--and they talk about how they are being 
told: Well, maybe this program isn't going to be around pretty soon. 
And they heard that at the end of the year there was going to be big 
slabs of tax relief for those at the top and some multinational 
corporations. What did these kids get? They got something called a 
patch. In effect, that says it all. They were given second-class 
treatment, and the powerful and the well-connected got first-class 
treatment. As my colleagues have said, you didn't hear much of a 
mention about the Children's Health Insurance Program back then.
  Our friend, the distinguished majority leader, Mitch McConnell, was 
over here last night--I think my friend from Michigan knows her well, 
but the majority leader, talking last night about the Children's Health 
Insurance Program, sounded as if he were Marian Wright Edelman, the 
founder of the Children's Defense Fund. Last night he was saying that 
this was the biggest priority to him. We had to make sure the kids got 
a fair shake.
  I looked over and I said that I thought I was listening to Senator 
Ted Kennedy, who had devoted his whole life to healthcare.
  Before we go to my colleague's important unanimous consent request, I 
just want to go through a little bit of the history on this. Back in 
the fall, on the Finance Committee, we were committed to a multiyear 
Children's Health Insurance Program, generously funded, and we wanted 
it done in early October. We had virtual unanimity in the Finance 
Committee. I think there was only one Senator who had reservation, and 
we worked with him as well. So we were ready to go in the fall. Had we 
moved then, all of those families wouldn't have had the months and 
months of heartache, and the wonderful people who run the Children's 
Health Insurance Program, who were trying to figure out if they had to 
send out a notice and tell people ``Well, maybe it is not going to be 
there,'' and how to tell them and when to tell them--we could have 
spared everybody all of that.
  People find it hard to follow what goes on here in the U.S. Senate. 
Following government is tricky under the best of circumstances, but 
this is not a complicated proposition, as my colleague from Michigan 
has stated. The Republicans in Washington, DC, with respect to the 
Children's Health Insurance Program, run all of the critical branches 
of our government that relate to these kids. The Presidency is occupied 
by a Republican, the Senate is run by Republicans, the House is run by 
Republicans. All of those institutions could have made it possible for 
us to take our bipartisan CHIP bill and enact it in October. It could 
have all happened then.
  People are trying to watch this now and are wondering why the kids 
didn't get healthcare, and it didn't have to be this way. I know 
because Chairman Hatch, whom we all admire--40 years in the proverbial 
ring; he was a boxer--is retiring. Because this storied program was so 
important to him, I spent an enormous amount of my time working both 
inside and outside the Congress to line up support for this bill, and 
one of the reasons we moved first in the Senate is that we knew we 
might have some challenges with this

[[Page S377]]

program in the other body. So I spent a lot of my time trying to line 
up support for a bill that Chairman Hatch felt particularly strongly 
about because of his history on it, and we could have moved then.
  Somehow, shortly after the Finance Committee acted in a manner that 
is really a textbook for how the Senate ought to work, things went off 
the rails, not because of Democrats but because immediately after we 
acted, the other body--the House--went forward with a bill that was 
ensnarled in partisan fighting to the point that many on our side who 
believe deeply in the Children's Health Insurance Program couldn't 
support it because it meant, for example, doing great harm to Medicare 
and other kinds of programs. That began this kind of odyssey where, for 
months, there was always something more important for the leadership of 
the three branches of government--the White House, the Senate, and the 
House--than these kids. That is the bottom line. For 3 months, there 
was always something more important.
  My eloquent colleague, Senator Stabenow, came to the floor during 
that period day after day after day, saying: Why can't we do this now? 
All the stars are aligned.
  Again, there was always a reason not to do it. I will tell you, 
because we serve on the Finance Committee, it was particularly sad to 
see in December how those who had power and clout and were well-
connected and had lots of lobbyists--their priority went lickety-split 
through the U.S. Senate. A whole tax reform bill--unlike what was done 
when Ronald Reagan got together with my friend, Bill Bradley, and they 
spent months working in a bipartisan way, the powerful and the well-
connected got what they needed in a matter of weeks. They set a land-
speed record for moving a tax reform bill. They had to borrow $1.5 
trillion, and hundreds of billions of dollars went to the most 
influential, the most well-connected, and the kids at the end of the 
year got their patch.
  That brings us to last night. I have worked with the majority leader 
on a host of issues over the years, but I will tell you that having him 
come to the floor and talk about how committed he was to the Children's 
Health Insurance Program after turning his back on it for months and 
months--that is a little much. That is a little much.
  Today, months after it ought to have been done, we are going to try 
to advance this long-delayed priority. It is a long-delayed priority, 
which has had a storied, bipartisan history which, if we had our way, 
would have been built upon back in October--a bipartisan bill with the 
lead sponsor being our distinguished retiring colleague, Chairman 
Hatch, on its way to the President's desk early in October. But for all 
of the reasons I have described, it was derailed.
  Now the hour is late, and I guess it is convenient for them to say 
``Well, it was really our priority all along,'' but I think the record 
shows something else. That is why I look forward to my colleague's 
motion to make the Children's Health Insurance Program and the other 
programs that we have fought for so hard--particularly the community 
health center program, which has been a lifeline to so many families 
who walk an economic tightrope balancing the food bill against the fuel 
bill and the fuel bill against the rent bill.
  I look forward to my colleague from Michigan closing this part of the 
debate. I want to thank her and note that the eloquent speakers on this 
topic have years and years' worth of expertise. Our colleague, Senator 
Carper, got held up. He was going to be here--another good member of 
the Finance Committee who was with Bill Clinton when they really were 
part of launching this whole effort.
  I am very grateful to my Finance Committee colleagues. I look forward 
to the motion to be made by the distinguished Senator from Michigan.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan.
  Ms. STABENOW. Mr. President, before offering a motion, I first want 
to thank our ranking member from Oregon, who is so dedicated, so 
passionate, so smart. He works tirelessly every day. It is such a 
pleasure to serve with him. He is someone who has a distinguished 
career of fighting for middle-class families, for working people, for 
the right kinds of things. He came from working with the Gray Panthers 
and senior citizens, and he brings that to work every single day, and I 
thank him for that.
  I want to stress before offering a motion that he and other 
colleagues--Senator Casey, Senator Brown, Senator Carper, whom we had 
hoped would be joining us, and I know is trying to as well--have all 
stressed the fact, first of all, that we are at the 1-year anniversary 
of this President. For the first time in a number of years, we have the 
House, the Senate, and the White House all controlled by Republicans, 
and over and over again, what has gotten the priority? What has gotten 
done? Things for the wealthiest Americans and people with really big 
lobbyists, special interest lobbyists. That is what gets done over and 
over again.
  So when, in fact, the funding ran out, not only for children's 
healthcare but also for community health centers and other important 
priorities that needed to get done for rural hospitals, ambulances, 
special diabetes programs, and other things, those have been shoved 
aside over and over and over again with people waiting and waiting and 
waiting. Why? Because the needs of the wealthiest Americans, the needs 
of the special interests, the folks with the big lobbyists have been 
the ones who have taken priority this last year over and over again.

  So now we get to a point where we are talking about children's health 
insurance. I am glad we are doing that, but it is in the context of 
pitting one group of children against another group of children and not 
recognizing that the majority of families who have children's health 
insurance need to use community health centers. That is where their 
doctor is, that is where they get their care, and that is cynically not 
included in this.
  We have an opportunity now. I am offering a unanimous consent request 
on a set of policies that have bipartisan support that we could get 
done today, not in a divisive way, not pitting children and families 
against each other but actually doing something together that would be 
in the best interests of the majority of Americans--middle-class 
families and folks trying really hard to stay in the middle class or 
get into the middle class.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the 
immediate consideration--I am being asked to hold off. I will be happy 
to do that while we have a moment where details are being worked out.
  Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Ms. STABENOW. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Flake). Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Ms. STABENOW. Mr. President, before I make a unanimous consent 
request--and we will do that as soon as it is appropriate--I just want 
to stress again why we have been on the floor this afternoon. It is 
because we know we have bipartisan support not only for the Children's 
Health Insurance Program but for the health centers where they get 
their healthcare, and we can address this without pitting children 
against children through the unanimous consent request I have and the 
amendment I am offering along with Senator Brown and Senator Casey.
  In addition to that, there are critical issues that normally get done 
before the end of the year but did not. Those issues relate to rural 
hospitals, ambulances, pregnant moms, children, and so on that normally 
have bipartisan support. So we put these together in a bipartisan 
effort that really addresses not just one piece of the Children's 
Health Insurance Program but the places where they go to get their 
  They are going to small hospitals like in the town where I grew up or 
where my mom was director of nursing, and they are going to community 
health centers. We need to address these together. These are things we 
have done together.
  Therefore, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the 
immediate consideration of Calendar No. 36, H.R. 1301; that the 

[[Page S378]]

Casey amendment, providing for a permanent extension of the Children's 
Health Insurance Program, a 5-year extension of the Community Health 
Center Program, and extensions of other expired Medicaid, Medicare, and 
health extenders, which is at the desk, be considered and agreed to; 
that the bill, as amended, be considered read a third time and passed; 
and that the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the 
table with no intervening action or debate.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, reserving the right to object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Thanks to the Democratic leader's decision, along with 
my good friend from Michigan, to filibuster an extension of the State 
Children's Health Insurance Program, low-income families are going to 
slip closer to losing health coverage for their kids. In many States, 
it is already an emergency.
  There was a carefully crafted compromise that she and every Democrat 
on the committee supported. The Senate has not reviewed this new 
proposal currently being offered today, but Members are serious about 
funding CHIP.
  There is a bill before us that reauthorizes the program for a full 6 
years and can be signed into law today. The only thing preventing 
CHIP's reauthorization from being signed into law today is the 
Democratic filibuster of the House-passed bill. Therefore, I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, the House of Representatives, the 
President, and a bipartisan majority of Republican and Democratic 
Senators all agreed on a compromise bill that would have prevented a 
shutdown. We can pass this bill today and have it signed into law so we 
can end this nonsense. There is one way to do all of this, and it is 
right in front of us--the pending measure.
  It would enable Congress to do the commonsense thing: keep 
negotiating other issues while providing for our troops, our veterans, 
and millions of vulnerable Americans, but the Democratic leader chose 
to filibuster that bipartisan bill.
  So here we are. Day one, and already funding is in jeopardy for our 
veterans and our troops. Funding for a 6-year children's health 
insurance bill is sitting here because the Democratic leader 
filibustered a bipartisan compromise that a majority of Senators 
supported and chose instead to shut down the government.
  Thanks to the Democratic leader's decision to filibuster an extension 
of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, low-income families 
will slip closer to losing healthcare coverage for their kids. In many 
States, this is already an emergency.
  Again, we can do all of this today. We have a way forward. It is 
right in front of us and ready to go.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that notwithstanding rule 
XXII, the Senate immediately vote on the motion to invoke cloture on 
the motion to concur with amendment, which funds CHIP and reopens the 
government; further, that if cloture is invoked, all postcloture time 
be considered expired and the Senate immediately vote on the motion to 
concur with further amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, and I will 
object here in a moment. I just would like to say that on our side, we 
feel so strongly about getting this resolved. We now are seeing a whole 
host of discussions between Members on both sides of the aisle in the 
Senate. We are hearing about discussions between this body and the 
other Chamber.
  It would be my hope that with the good faith we have seen since last 
night--and I know the distinguished Presiding Officer is involved in 
some of these discussions--that with those kinds of good-faith 
discussions, we would have a chance to get this resolved and address 
the concerns the American people have in a matter of days rather than 
several weeks.
  So, for that reason, I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  The Senator from Maryland.

                   Unanimous Consent Request--S. 2274

  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I take this time to propound a unanimous 
consent request concerning our Federal workforce. The reason for doing 
this is we have gone through shutdowns before. It has been our view 
that our Federal workforce should receive their pay. That has been a 
bipartisan effort after each of the shutdowns.
  I can tell my colleagues our Federal workforce is concerned. They are 
concerned as to those who are on furlough, whether they will receive 
their paychecks when the government opens up again. I was pleased to 
see a comment come out of the White House, where the White House said 
they support the pay for our Federal workforce. I think it is important 
we give them that assurance.
  I understand there is disagreement as to what has happened to date 
and how we are going to reopen government, but let's not make our 
Federal workforce have anxiety where they should not have it. Our 
Federal workforce has suffered long enough under furloughs and CRs and 
pay raises that have been less than cost of living and shutdowns, et 
  So I would hope, on a bipartisan basis, that we could do what we have 
done every shutdown; that is, to tell our Federal workforce that when 
we resolve these issues, we will make sure they are paid if they are 
furloughed today.
  I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the immediate 
consideration of Calendar No. 290, S. 2274; I further ask unanimous 
consent that the bill be read a third time and passed, and the motion 
to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no 
intervening action or debate.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, the men 
and women of our armed services should not be left to suffer at the 
hands of political obstruction. These troops are deployed in harm's 
way, and left behind are their families and colleagues training to 
replace them. It is irresponsible that their pay, to include imminent 
danger pay, would be delayed because the Democrats are insisting that 
we deal with illegal immigration exclusively on their terms.
  Let me remind the Senate that we have an All-Volunteer Force that 
doesn't ask much of us, but we are obliged to pay and support them. We 
owe them the certainty of a full-year funding bill. Therefore, I 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.

                  Unanimous Consent Request--H.R. 1301

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate 
proceed to the immediate consideration of Calendar No. 36, H.R. 1301; 
that the McConnell amendment at the desk, which provides for full 
funding for authorized activities in the National Defense Authorization 
Act, be considered and agreed to, the bill, as amended, be considered 
read a third time and passed, and the motion to reconsider be 
considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, if I might, 
what Democrats and, I hope, Republicans have been trying to do is to 
get a budget for this country. That is what we have been saying. Let's 
stay here and negotiate the budget. Let's pass a very short-term CR. 
Let's get these budget numbers done so that not only on defense but on 
nondefense we can provide the support they need.
  I came to the floor to make sure our Federal workforce knows we are 
behind them and to make sure they understand that whether they are 
furloughed or not, they are going to be paid for their services. That 
is what we have always done together.
  I take this time because I want to get a budget for the entire 
country. We are not going to be able to divide the issue and say we are 
going to take care of some but not all. That was not the purpose of my 
unanimous consent request.
  Therefore, for those reasons, I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  The Senator from Montana.
  Mr. DAINES. Mr. President, I am here to make one point crystal clear

[[Page S379]]

for those Montanans who are wondering what is going on with their 
government. There have been a lot of speeches given today and last 
night, and there have been a lot of interviews going on. Let me try to 
sum it up as succinctly as possible.
  The reason the government has shut down is because of a controversial 
illegal immigration policy that was not included in a bill that funds 
the government. If you don't know that, you are missing the facts.
  We should not hold the country hostage for a controversial 
immigration policy that impacts only .0007 percent of Montanans, but a 
minority of the U.S. Senators want to shut down the government, and now 
their leader is filibustering the U.S. Senate.
  This is a huge mistake. We need to get the government back up and 
running so the least amount of pain is felt by Montanans and the 
American people.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska.
  Mr. SULLIVAN. Mr. President, as we all know, right now the government 
is in a shutdown. It is unfortunate. I certainly don't think it should 
have happened last night.
  But I think there is some good news. Watching some of the speeches 
today, we see a lot of ideas coming to the floor, a lot of bipartisan 
ideas on a lot of key issues that hopefully our country is going to 
make some progress on. Let me give a few examples for those who have 
been watching and those who haven't.
  The Presiding Officer, my friend from Arizona--I am not trying to 
embarrass him or anything. I watched his speech a couple hours ago on 
the way forward and what we can do to break through this unfortunate 
circumstance we have right now, and he certainly has a lot of good 
ideas. I commend him and appreciate his leadership on those issues.
  My good friend, the Senator from Maine, Senator King, was down here 
talking about continuing resolutions and these huge omnibuses, and I 
would agree with him completely. As a matter of fact, Senator King and 
I had a long discussion on the floor last night about how the system is 
broken. There are a number of Senators--I think some of the newer 
Senators--who see it that way. This is no way to move forward, to fund 
our government with these continuing resolutions and huge omnibuses at 
the end of the year. So a number of us--and I think it is bipartisan--
want to look at reforms to fix this. Senator Perdue of Georgia has been 
leading efforts. I think it is very important--and I certainly am part 
of that group--to look at longer term fixes.
  The Senator from Michigan came down and talked about community health 
centers. Community health centers are incredibly important for my State 
of Alaska. Ten percent of all community health centers in the country--
160--are in my State. So I couldn't agree more about the necessity to 
move forward on more stable funding.
  A number of Senators were just down on the floor giving very 
passionate remarks about the Children's Health Insurance Program, CHIP. 
Again, it is very important in my State. A lot of people in this 
country are concerned about the reauthorization of CHIP, and there were 
some passionate statements on the floor. I would say to my colleagues 
respectfully, and I respect all of them and welcome the opportunity to 
work with all of them, they didn't actually address one issue. When 
they said that a lot of Americans have been worried about this 
happening for the last 3 months, they didn't actually say why they 
didn't vote to reauthorize it last night for a 6-year reauthorization.
  The Senator from Ohio talked about how people were worried and 
concerned. Well, guess what--last night he had the opportunity to get 
rid of their worries and concerns. And when they woke up this morning, 
they were still worried and concerned, and so are my Alaskan 
constituents, which is why I voted for the bill last night. Had they 
voted for the bill on CHIP, the worries and concerns would have gone 
  So there were a lot of passionate speeches on this issue, but not one 
of them actually said: But here is why I didn't vote for it last night. 
It would be good to know what the answer to that is.
  But I really wanted to come to the floor again to emphasize something 
I have made a few remarks on in the last couple of days on the floor 
because it is something that I am concerned about, and it is something 
I want the American people to recognize, and it is a big issue for me.
  I think the American people need to be skeptical when they hear on 
the floor the minority leader and part of his leadership team with 
their new talking points about their focus on the military and military 
spending and rebuilding our military.
  In the run-up to the shutdown, we had started to see the minority 
leader and some of the leadership team trotting out new talking points. 
They went like this: With the shutdown approaching, we are really, 
really concerned about the military and readiness and funding for our 
troops and their families and rebuilding the military.
  In fact, in the last 3 days, I think I have heard more from the 
leadership of the other side on this issue than I have in my 3 years in 
the Senate. I think the minority leader in the last 3 days is starting 
to sound like my good friend from Arizona, Senator McCain, this body's 
true champion of the military and military funding.
  I actually welcome this change of heart by the minority leader. There 
is a group of us in the Senate--many who serve on the Armed Services 
Committee, led by Senator McCain--who have been focused on increasing 
funding for our troops. A lot of it is Republicans, but it is also some 
Democrats. I see my good friend from West Virginia is on the floor. He 
is certainly one of them. He is on that committee. We talk about this 
issue a lot. Senator King was on the floor again. He is focused on this 
issue. It is an issue that a lot of us in this body have been focused 
on daily, whether on the Armed Services or in other committees. The 
Senator from West Virginia and I also serve on the Committee on 
Veterans' Affairs together. For me, it is one of the most important 
issues that we can focus on in this body--the national defense of our 

  I have had the honor of serving in the Marine Corps for almost a 
quarter of a century. For my State--the great State of Alaska--these 
issues are enormously important to my constituents. We have more 
veterans per capita than any other State in the country, thousands of 
Active Duty and Reserve troops, thousands of civilians who support 
them, and numerous bases in Alaska because of our strategic location. A 
number of us really care about these issues regarding the military and 
funding and supporting our troops.
  As I mentioned, I welcome the Democratic leader's new focus in the 
last 72 hours on military readiness and full funding as we put forward 
a national defense authorization bill that really started to rebuild 
our military and support our troops and their families. But I must 
admit that I am a little bit skeptical. As a matter of fact, I am very 
skeptical. I think the American people who are watching these debates 
and listening--whether on TV or in the Gallery--when you see these new 
talking points of concern from the Democratic leader about our troops 
and funding, you should be skeptical too. Why? What is really going on 
here? Why all this new talk?
  Again, there has been more in 72 hours than I have seen as a 
Presiding Officer and watching C-SPAN in 3 years from the Democratic 
leader on how important it is to fund our troops. I think he might be 
overcompensating. I think they might be a bit worried. I think they may 
be feeling a bit defensive. I think they might be trying to preempt 
arguments that their policies of late are actually really harmful to 
the military, our troops, and their families.
  If you look at the record, their policies of late have been really 
harmful to our military, our troops, and our families. And this is the 
most important point. Actions on this issue speak louder than words. 
Policies that are being promoted are a lot more important to look at 
than newly crafted, slick talking points.
  Let me provide a few examples. The most recent was last night. We had 
a government shutdown. We didn't need to have a government shutdown, 
but we had a government shutdown. It was driven by the Democratic 
leader. The people who are hurt the most on this, by far, are our 
troops and the civilians who support them. We all know this.

[[Page S380]]

  As of today, guess what. The lance corporal in the Marine Corps, who 
is deployed overseas in Iraq, is not getting paid. A lance corporal 
doesn't make a lot of money. Well, he is not getting paid. He is 
risking his life for his country. He is in combat, protecting our 
national interests, and he doesn't get paid. That happened last night.
  We talk about how bad a continuing resolution is. Again, the 
Democratic leader was saying: Hey, a continuing resolution is really 
bad for our troops. That is why I am so skeptical of it. I want to 
protect the troops.
  Wrong. A continuing resolution is really bad for our troops; there is 
no doubt about it. But what is worse is a government shutdown. Ask any 
military leader. Ask any military leader what the disruption that 
happened on the Senate floor last night does to our readiness and our 
ability to protect this country.
  I have served in the Reserves and on Active Duty for almost 25 years. 
I remember, in 2013, getting ready for Reserve duty training. We didn't 
even know if we were going to train or not--no emails. We had no idea 
what was going to happen when the government was shut down. It was 
chaos, just as the Democratic leader predicted it would be.
  Here is another one--survivor benefits. A survivor benefit goes to a 
spouse or child of someone who is related to one of our heroes who was 
killed in the line of duty. It is really important that we, as a 
government, take care of those families. Guess what happened last night 
when we shut down the government. Survivor benefits were stopped; they 
are not being paid.
  Again, stay skeptical on this idea that ``Hey, we really are--new 
points, we really are supporting our troops.'' Last night was a case in 
point where actions speak louder than words--not supporting the troops 
at all.
  The civilians--in my State we have hundreds, if not thousands, of 
patriotic civilian members of the military or civilians who support the 
military--many of whom are retired military--who are now not going to 
go to work on Monday, if we are still shut down, at the military bases 
to support our troops. That is not helping our troops.
  Let me give another example of where actions speak louder than words. 
We have been having very difficult discussions, and they are tough. It 
is one of the reasons we need to fix our budget process as to what 
level we should be increasing funding for the military. Those on the 
Armed Services Committee have authorized a significant increase. Again, 
it was bipartisan on the NDAA bill, but the Democratic leader has been 
demanding in these negotiations what he calls parity.
  It sounds simple. What does that mean? Let me give you a little 
background on that. From 2010 to 2016, we cut our defense spending by 
25 percent as national security threats to our country increase. There 
is nobody who disputes that. ISIS, Iran, Russia, China, North Korea--
these are all challenges facing us right now, and we have been cutting 
our spending and cutting troops, dramatically cutting troops.
  I think pretty much everybody in this body is saying: Whoa, bad idea. 
We shouldn't do that.
  In the NDAA, we dramatically increased our authorization for the 
military. That was a good step--very bipartisan. But in these 
negotiations we have been having over the last several months, the 
demand from the Democratic leaders was, any increase in the Department 
of Defense budget has to be met with an equivalent increase in domestic 
agencies. In other words, if you want to increase the budget for the 
Marine Corps, increase the budget for the EPA.
  I think most Americans don't agree with that. It certainly doesn't 
show some kind of newfound respect for supporting our troops. But that 
is what is happening right now. Again, actions speak louder than words.
  Let me provide one final example of actions that certainly don't seem 
to be supporting our military, speaking louder than words. 
Unfortunately, the other side is starting to have a practice, a regular 
practice, of filibustering spending for our troops. Let me explain 
this. In 2015, a number of us were newly elected, and we said: We need 
a better budget process. Obviously, we are seeing that it is not 
working well. Let's go through regular order. Let's get the 
Appropriations Committee to work really hard and put out 12 
appropriations bills, which they debate in the appropriations 
committee. Then, let's bring them to the floor and vote on them. That 
is a way to avoid this crazy omnibus, continuing resolution debacle 
that we find ourselves in today and most of the time. We were really 
focused on doing that. We tried.
  As a matter of fact, the Appropriations Committee did a great job. It 
was a lot of hard work--very bipartisan. They reported out 12 
appropriations bills by the spring of 2015. Most of those bills were 
very bipartisan.
  What we thought was, all right, that is a good start. Everyone seems 
to want to do that. Let's bring up the bill that is actually important. 
In 2015, with the rise of ISIS, our troops are in combat. Let's bring 
up the Defense appropriations bill, which came out of committee 
unanimously. Every Senator on the appropriations committee--Democrat 
and Republican--voted for that.
  Let's bring that to the floor. We did.
  Let's have a debate. We are going to fund our military--these new 
talking points about our supporting our troops.
  What happened that summer? The Democratic leadership filibustered the 
spending for our troops. They wouldn't let us vote on the bill. They 
wouldn't let it come to the floor. They stopped funding for our troops.
  A number of us were upset. I know some of the Democrats were upset by 
this because they didn't all support it. You need only 41 to 
filibuster, as we saw last night.
  A number of us said: Well, let's keep bringing it up. They can't be 
serious. Our troops are in combat. Everyone knows we have national 
security threats.
  The bill came out of committee unanimously. Let's bring it up again. 
I guarantee you, if their constituents back home, whatever State they 
are from, whatever party they are--Democrat, Republican--knew that 
their Senator was filibustering the spending for their national 
security, the troops, and their families, they probably wouldn't be 
very happy.
  We brought it to the floor again and again and again--five times. 
Guess what. Every time, the Democratic leadership filibustered spending 
for our troops.
  I guarantee you, there was probably 80 percent support in this 
country, or more: Hey, let's vote on that. It came out of committee 
unanimously. The troops are protecting us all over the world. Let's 
vote on that.
  We never got to vote on it.
  In conclusion, the next time the minority leader comes to the floor 
during this debate, emphasizing his concerns about our troops and their 
funding and the need to rebuild them and their well-being, 
Shakespeare's insights about protesting a bit too much should come to 
mind. Be skeptical. Be skeptical. Actions speak louder than words. This 
has not been a focus of the Democratic leadership.
  Here is what I believe is happening. Given their actions--including 
what happened last night, which really harms our military, and 
everybody knows it--the specter of the Democratic party once again 
becoming equated with America's anti-military, which occurred in the 
1970s, is haunting them.
  Again, I serve on the Armed Services Committee. I serve with 
wonderful Senators--Democrats and Republicans--who support the 
military, who support our veterans being on the Committee on Veterans' 
Affairs, and I know the vast majority in this body support our troops. 
But the actions of the leadership on the other side don't show that. 
Yet they are trotting out new talking points about their newfound focus 
of rebuilding the military and taking care of our troops and their 
  Let me make this final suggestion. The best way to actually show that 
to the American people, all of whom support it, is not through newly 
crafted, slick talking points but through actions and policies that 
truly and sincerely focus on what we all agree we need to do, which is 
rebuild our military, rebuild readiness, take care of the troops and 
their families. We can start by ending this ill-conceived government 
shutdown as soon as possible as one concrete action to actually do 

[[Page S381]]

  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from West Virginia.
  Mr. MANCHIN. Mr. President, late last night this body voted on the 
fourth short-term continuing resolution for fiscal year 2018. That 
means we are already into this by 3 or 4 months. I voted for the 
continuing resolution last night because I refuse to support a 
government shutdown in any way, shape, or form, but it doesn't mean I 
believe this should be the way this Congress works.
  To my good friend from Alaska and all of the good people here, I 
consider everyone in this body my friend. To the blame game, I got here 
in November 2010. The Democrats were the majority at that time, and I 
wondered why we weren't voting. I didn't understand the process. As I 
started learning the process, I kept wondering, why aren't we voting? 
There were filibusters and cloture and we couldn't get things done.
  I am not here to say who is at fault. I know when you are in the 
majority, you are in a leadership position, and you are supposed to 
lead. We expect leadership to lead. Leadership has to make sacrifices 
sometime to find a pathway forward. Both sides are guilty of not doing 
that as well as it should be done.
  We are in a government shutdown. It should never happen. Three 
hundred million people shouldn't be penalized for the dysfunction of 
this body. As Democrats and Republicans, I would hope we would be 
Americans first.
  I don't think of my Democratic Party before I think of what is good 
for the country or what is good for the State of West Virginia. I have 
my Democratic principles I believe in. As a West Virginia Democrat, 
perhaps they are a little different than maybe a Washington Democrat, 
and I have my Republican friends in West Virginia who believe a little 
differently than Washington Republicans. At the end of the day, we 
always try to do what is right for the State of West Virginia and, most 
importantly, what is right for the country.
  We are not going to let our troops down. There is no way, shape, or 
form. You have to be accountable and responsible. In all the things we 
are doing, I can't fathom how we have allowed so much power in two 
people's hands--both leaders of our respective caucuses--where it seems 
any negotiations are only done between two people. The only 
negotiations are with the staff of those two people, and we are 
supposed to, as a body, blindly go along. As you know, I don't do that 
all the time. My votes are pretty independent, and they will be. I 
always said if I can go home to West Virginia and I can explain what I 
am voting for and why I did it, whether they would agree or not, if I 
can explain it, I can vote for it. If I can't look a West Virginian in 
the eye and explain my vote, I made it for political reasons for myself 
or for somebody else but not for my State. I am not going to do that.
  For us to go beyond tomorrow would absolutely be a travesty. If we 
can't open this government back up and work through our differences, it 
would be a travesty. If we allow this country to suffer starting Monday 
morning--when everybody should be at work, everybody should be paid for 
the work they are doing for our great country to keep it safe, our 
military, and everybody down that line--then shame on all of us.
  I believe we can. I believe the majority leader is going to find a 
pathway forward, and he will be able to lead and accept what the 
minority, the Democratic Party, is saying. We can adjust and make some 
adjustments here. We need some votes on this. We would like to be able 
to proceed further, and we want to make sure we can come to an 
agreement that gives us a long-term solution, not every month it is 
coming back to us. That means getting a pathway forward. I truly 
believe in my heart that can be done, and it will be done.
  I have, in my State of West Virginia, 20,000-plus children depending 
on the CHIP program for their healthcare, and I know the Presiding 
Officer does too. We all do. We want to take care of that.
  We have our military, and we want our military to be funded properly 
so they can defend us. We need to make sure they have all the necessary 
equipment and armaments and all the technology they are going to need 
to be safe themselves. For us to divide ourselves between Democrats and 
Republicans about who supports the military more or less is wrong. It 
is the one thing that keeps us bipartisan. It is the one cohesive thing 
we have in this Senate is our military and our love of our veterans and 
the work of our military, what they are doing and what they have done 
for us. I have never found a Democrat or Republican who wouldn't rally 
behind a veteran or help the military to be as safe as they can. So 
that should be taken off the table. No one is against the military.
  Every time we pass another short-term funding bill, we put our 
national security at risk. We talked about that. We stall critical 
projects for our economy and our citizens. The CR means we are 
stagnant. We can't plan, we have no long projection that we can take 
care of. It basically gets us from one day to the next. If the CR is 
for 30 days, it gives you 30 days. If it is 3 days, it gets us 3 days. 
Somebody has to move the needle forward to make sure we can run in a 
consistent way. We need a 12-month budget. We need the 12 
appropriations bills the Senator from Alaska spoke about. We need those 
to be taken up and leadership must lead and make that happen. During 
the shutdown, government agencies and services will close. The people 
we are supposed to serve are going to suffer, and that is just wrong.
  The Department of Defense--we have talked about that on both sides of 
the aisle--will not be able to pay death gratuities to families. Think 
about that. We will not be able to pay the death gratuities to families 
of servicemembers killed in combat without additional legislation from 
Congress. With this dysfunctional shutdown, where we can't operate, 
that is not going to happen. Everyone wants to use something as a wedge 
and something they can hold against each other, and then they figure 
out what they can do with it: Well, I am for this or I want to take 
care of the death benefits. That is the least we can do, but so-and-so 
doesn't want to do it. That is not right. I can't fix it that way. That 
doesn't repair it.
  Yesterday, during negotiations, while government agencies were 
preparing for a shutdown, I spoke to my good friend Ken Fisher. I don't 
know if you know about the Fisher House. You may have heard of them. 
They are all over the country taking care of our military families. 
When there is someone wounded anywhere in the world, if someone needs--
if a family needs a place to stay, it is similar to the Ronald McDonald 
House that helps families in need when they want to go visit, and they 
can't afford these types of trips. They take care of that. Ken Fisher 
and his family and his foundation have always been there for them. Ken 
Fisher is making sure there is no funding gap during the time of 
unfathomable loss.
  Can you imagine, here is an individual, a private individual, a 
philanthropist, the Fisher House, they are agreeing to offer the 
families an advanced grant until the government can make reimbursements 
at the appropriate time. They will also cover the flights and hotels 
and incidentals for the family for this period of time. Here is an 
individual, an American, willing to say: Listen, we are going to put 
our family money up in support of our military families who have lost a 
loved one defending our country, making sure they are able to travel to 
be with that body of the deceased, being able to give them comfort. 
Knowing we are so dysfunctional right now that we can't make that 
happen, to have a private individual step up and do that for us is 
  You talk about the love and pride of an American putting their 
country first. Ken Fisher and his family have put their money where 
their mouth is. They put their money where they believe what is good 
about this country, what makes us better than anyplace in the world. 
Ken and his family and the Fisher House stepped up to help our soldiers 
and their families during a time of need and especially during this 
senseless shutdown.
  As I said before, this shutdown shouldn't go anymore than tomorrow. 
Tomorrow it should come to an end. This truly unacceptable silliness 
that we go through should stop.
  We have important work to do, including ensuring the military is

[[Page S382]]

equipped to protect our country, fighting the opioid epidemic, keeping 
our promise to our coal miners and their pensions. We have pension 
plans they are going to lose by 2022. The average pension a miner gets, 
you would think is, what, an exorbitant amount? It is $586, the average 
pension. That is all we are asking for. Most of them are widows 
collecting these pensions to keep their homes opened up, to be able to 
take care of themselves. We need to help there. The Children's Health 
Insurance Program, the CHIP program--there are 20,000 West Virginians 
and 9 million Americans who must be taken care of.
  Funding the government is one of our most basic constitutional 
obligations, and now because of partisan politics--and everybody in 
this room is guilty--100, guilty as charged who are not able to sit 
down and do their job, not able to work through our differences, not 
able to put your country before yourself and your politics, only 
thinking of what might benefit you or the party to which you belong, as 
if that is the only oath and alliance and allegiance you owe.
  That is not who I am and not whom I am going to be. I am going to do 
whatever I can to keep this government open and get it back open. This 
is dangerous to our national security, and it is truly embarrassing. I 
want to apologize to every citizen in West Virginia and every citizen 
across this country. We are better than this, and I am ashamed we 
haven't been able to show the true spirit of who we are and whom we 
should be and why you sent us here to do our job. I will continue to 
fight to make America what it should be and what it is, the promise of 
the world, the hope of the world. There are people all over the world 
thinking we can be better than what we are. Let's show them. Let's do 
our job.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Young). The Senator from Delaware.
  Mr. CARPER. Mr. President, as a native West Virginian, I want to say 
how proud I am of our colleague, Mr. Manchin.
  Perhaps you have heard the old saying: I am Tom Carper or I am so-
and-so, and I approve this message. We do a lot of that on political 
campaigns. Well, I approve of much of what Joe says, and today is no 
  My wife and I like to go to movies. We don't get to see much of them, 
but over the holidays we had a chance to see a couple of them. One of 
the best movies of this past year was a movie about World War II 
Britain, ``Churchill.'' I am reminded, as we wander through this 
impasse, of two things Churchill said. About democracy, he said, 
``Democracy is the worst form of government [devised by man] except for 
all the [rest].''
  Think about that. This is a hard way to govern, and we have proved it 
again. A lot of democracies around the world prove it again year after 
year after year.
  Churchill knew we saved their behinds over in Britain in World War 
II. We came to the rescue and helped turn the tide. He was always 
grateful for that, but he used to like to poke fun at our country. 
Another great Churchill quote was about America. He said this about 
America: ``You can always count on America to do the right thing in the 
end, after trying everything else.''
  Think about that. This situation we are in right now with the 
shutdown--a lot of people are calling it the Trump shutdown--whatever 
you call it, I think it cries out for leadership.
  I just want to quote comments of one person at the time, someone who 
was not in elective office, but he said these words talking about 
leadership during an earlier shutdown. This individual said:

       Well, if you say who gets fired it always has to be the 
     top. I mean, problems start from the top and they have to get 
     solved from the top and the president's the leader. And he's 
     got to get everybody in a room and he's got to lead.

  This person went on to say:

       When they talk about the government shutdown, they're going 
     to be talking about the president of the United States, who 
     the president was at that time.

  This individual goes on:

       They're not going to be talking about who was head of the 
     House, the head of the Senate, who's running things in 
     Washington. So, I really think the pressure is on the 

  The President will do what it takes to lead. Those comments were 
given in 2013 during an earlier shutdown. Those are the words of Donald 
Trump, criticizing then-President Barack Obama.
  Think about those words then and think about those words today. The 
President has ``got to get everybody in a room and he's got to lead''--
has got to get everybody in a room, and he has to lead. This was true 5 
years ago, 4 years ago, and it is true today. With this President, we 
find a willingness on the part of Senator Schumer, Senator McConnell, 
Speaker Ryan, and Leader Pelosi responding to an invitation to go to 
the President even tonight, go to the White House even tonight, and sit 
down and try to hammer things out. It ain't going to be easy, but, 
frankly, there is a lot of consensus here on what we ought to do, in 
terms of the budget priorities, defense spending, and nondefense. There 
is a lot more agreement than disagreement. We heard discussion about 
that between Senator Manchin and our colleague from Alaska.
  I think there is a fair amount of agreement, in terms of extending 
coverage--maybe not permanent but extending the Children's Health 
Insurance Program 6 to 10 years. The State and Federal partnership 
covers about 9 million kids. There is a lot of agreement on that.
  There is a lot of agreement on the Federal community health centers. 
They provide a cost-effective, affordable approach to healthcare 
coverage for primary care for people who don't have coverage, maybe 
don't have any money, and they can get coverage and have access to 
primary care, in many cases, in their own community. They are important 
in Alaska, they are important in West Virginia, they are important in 
Delaware, and they are important to the speaker from Missouri who is 
going to succeed me. There is a lot of agreement there.

  Frankly, you have a lot of agreement on what should happen to the 
Dreamers, these young people who were brought here by their parents, in 
many cases years ago. They grew up here and were educated here. In many 
cases, they are working here. In a lot of cases, they are serving in 
the military. They are teachers and police officers, and they are doing 
all kinds of things.
  It is a time in this country where we have roughly 3 million jobs 
that are going unfilled because the folks who would like to do those 
jobs in many cases don't have the education, the experience, the 
interest in doing those jobs, the willingness. They don't have the work 
ethics. In many cases, they can't pass a drug test.
  It is a time where we are in the eighth year of the longest running 
economic expansion in the history of the country. Barack Obama and Joe 
Biden took office in 2009, at the bottom of the worst recession since 
the Great Depression. They handed off to this administration a year ago 
today the longest running economic expansion in the history of the 
country, and for the past year, that expansion has continued.
  One of the keys to making sure our economy expands is to make sure 
the workforce our employers need is being provided by our schools--high 
schools, public schools, colleges, universities, community colleges. 
And at the very time when employers are saying, ``Look, when we open 
our doors for business on Monday, there are going to be 3 million jobs 
that we don't have anybody to come to work to fill,'' are we serious 
about saying that, rather than enabling 800,000 or so Dreamers who have 
the skills, who have the education, who have the work ethic, who want 
to do the job--rather than letting you do those jobs, fill those jobs, 
we are going to send you back to the country where you were born? And 
by the way, we will send about 200,000 Salvadorans who came here at a 
time of crisis in their country 10 or 20 years ago--we are going to 
send them with you. Does that make sense?
  As a former Governor who for 8 years led the State of Delaware to 
actually cut taxes 7 out of 8 years, balance our budget 8 years in a 
row, pay down debt, earn AAA credit ratings, and saw more jobs created 
in 8 years than any 8-year period in the history of the State of 
Delaware--I didn't create one of those jobs, but we sure know something 
in Delaware about creating a nurturing environment for job creation. 
That is what we do in our jobs. We don't create

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jobs; we help create that nurturing environment.
  Basically sending close to 1 million people who are able to do jobs 
that aren't getting done and wouldn't get done, sending them back to 
the country where they were born--that makes no sense, no sense at all.
  The last thing I will say is this about my little State. Delaware was 
the first State to ratify the Constitution. I am very proud of that. We 
were the first State to ratify the Constitution--on December 7, 1787. 
For 1 whole week, Delaware was the entire United States of America. We 
opened up. We let in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the rest, 
and I think for the most part it has turned out pretty well. We are 
struggling a little bit with it right now, but we will get through 
  One of the keys in Delaware more often than not is working pretty 
well--Democrats and Republicans working together, which is what is 
needed here. We have had a whole bunch of Governors who did lead; who 
were humble, not haughty; who had the heart of a servant; who believed 
that Governors unite, not divide; who build bridges, not walls; who 
don't try to tear other people down to build themselves up; who are 
aspirational and appeal to our better angels. We had a couple of good 
Republicans who did that--Michael Castle, Pete du Pont, and others. So 
it will be done on a bipartisan basis.
  Here are four reasons why Delaware continues to enjoy success, has 
enjoyed success. There has been able leadership--and not just Governors 
but legislators, Democrats and Republicans.
  We have something we call the Delaware Way. To the amazement of a lot 
of people, 2 days after the election every other year, winners and 
losers get together in Georgetown, DE. In Sussex County, DE, the 
southernmost county, the county seat, Georgetown--we have a big brunch 
hosted by our community college in Georgetown. Democrats and 
Republicans are there--the folks who ran against each other--and their 
families and supporters are there.
  When the brunch is over, we go outside and we get in these horse-
drawn carriages, and winners and losers ride together, side by side, 
with their families. There is a big parade, and thousands of people 
come. Schools are closed. When the parade is over, we all gather in the 
circle in the middle of Georgetown, and we have some speeches, some 
inspiring patriotic music, and some prayers. Then the political leaders 
of the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, and maybe the 
Libertarian Party stand in front of the masses of people. They have 
what looks like a big glass aquarium, and it is half full of sand. They 
take an ax, and the party leaders lower this ax into the aquarium. They 
fill it up with sand from Rehoboth Beach or Bethany or one of our five-
star beaches. And then we go off, and people open up their houses, and 
Democrats and Republicans spend time together. We lick our wounds and 
sort of get to like each other again, and we go on to govern our State.
  We use the four c's in Delaware.
  This is my last point, and I will yield to Senator McCaskill, who is 
ready to roll behind me.
  There are four c's. We communicate. We talk to one another in my 
  Last night when we were on the floor, there was a lot of 
communication going on. That is important. We need to continue that 
communication. But for God's sake, the President needs to invite our 
four leaders--two from the House, two from the Senate; two Democrats, 
two Republicans--and have real communication. He needs to provide air 
cover for the Republicans in the House who are willing to take up a 
reasonable compromise that I think we are willing to pass here in the 
Senate. The President has to provide that air cover.
  First of all, the first ``c'' is communication. Next is compromise.
  In a compromise, nobody wins everything they want. Senator Schumer 
was willing to put on the table what Donald Trump has been talking 
about for years; that is, a wall, actually authorizing the construction 
of a wall--not on every single inch or mile of the border with Mexico 
but a good deal of it. That is what Donald Trump is talking about more 
in terms of border security than anything else. Do I think that is a 
great idea? No, I don't. In some places, a wall makes some sense, and 
in a lot of places, it doesn't. There are a lot of other more cost-
effective options. There are other things that could be more cost-
effective that would enable our 20,000 Border Patrol folks to do their 
jobs. But Chuck Schumer put on the table the authorization for building 
the wall. That is a pretty good compromise, and that shows we are 
willing to compromise.
  So the second ``c'' is compromise. The third ``c'' is collaboration, 
to actually work together on this stuff. The last ``c'' is civility, to 
treat one another the way we would want to be treated. Communicate, 
compromise, collaborate, civility--it doesn't work just in Delaware; it 
works in States all over this country. It used to work in this place, 
in this body, and we could use it again.
  The quote that I used from Donald Trump from 4 or 5 years ago talking 
about the leadership that Barack Obama needed to show--I think he did. 
Sometimes we need to listen to our own words, look at ourselves in the 
mirror and remember our own words. Mr. President, we would do well to 
do just that.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Missouri.
  Mrs. McCASKILL. Mr. President, I would like to once again state for 
the record of this august body that the very first effort that was made 
after the vote was declared to not pass the CR was my standing at this 
podium and asking unanimous consent for us to pass my amendment that 
would pay the military and the death benefits. That was objected to by 
the majority leader. I am hopeful that this will get worked out 
quickly. The last time we had this kind of dysfunction in the 
government, we did this by unanimous consent very quickly, so there 
wasn't even a hint that anybody in this body was not 100 percent behind 
making sure our military got the pay they deserve. I am hopeful that 
this will be done yet today. I think it would be good if we could do it 
today, but certainly no later than tomorrow we need to take care of 
that because I am guessing every single Senator will support it without 
anyone objecting.

                    Remembering Frankie Muse Freeman

  Mr. President, the reason I rise today is because I had to miss a 
very, very important event in St. Louis this morning. There was a going 
home celebration for a warrior in St. Louis this morning.
  I have been blessed to have the opportunity to meet so many amazing 
people in my journey serving the public. I don't think anybody I have 
met could in many ways stand up to Frankie Freeman. Frankie Freeman was 
a woman who had a very simple goal in life. Her goal was to do 
everything she could to eliminate discrimination.
  Frankie was born in November of 1916. She was one of eight children. 
She was raised in a segregated neighborhood in Virginia, and she said 
that from the time she was a very young girl, she wanted to change the 
  She met her husband of over 50 years in New York, where he was 
attending graduate school. Why was he in New York attending graduate 
school when he was from Missouri? He was in New York attending graduate 
school because after graduating from Lincoln, a historically Black 
college in Missouri, the University of Missouri refused to admit him 
and said: Rather than allow you on our campus, we will pay to send you 
to New York for graduate school.
  Frankie was in New York, and her husband was in New York. They met, 
they fell in love, and they got married. Then they moved to the 
Washington, DC, area, and Frankie then decided she was going to law 
school. She went to Howard Law School. She was 9 months pregnant when 
it was time to sign up for her third year of law school.
  She went to the dean of the Howard Law School and said: Could you 
allow me to join a few weeks late in the term?
  He took one look at her, 9 months pregnant, and said: You are going 
to have to sit out a year.
  She said: I don't want to sit out a year. I have to get this done. I 
have work to do. I have justice to seek. I will not sit it out.
  So she went out and stood in line to sign up for her third-year 
classes literally within days of giving birth. Four

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days later, after she finished registering for her third year of law 
school, she gave birth. Did that slow her down? No. She went on to 
graduate from Howard Law School that year and was No. 2 in her class.
  Keep in mind, she graduated from law school. An African-American 
woman in America graduated from law school in 1944. That is almost 10 
years before I was born. Imagine what life was like for a young Black 
woman lawyer in America in 1944.
  She had two children--her daughter Shelby and her son, who was also 
named Shelby but called Butch. She moved to St. Louis with her husband 
and two children.
  Butch, by the way, died when he was 11. Shelby remained at her 
mother's side and helped her remain active until the last days of her 
  She moved to St. Louis as a young African-American woman lawyer, and 
you can imagine there were no law firms that wanted to hire Frankie, so 
Frankie opened her own law office. Her mission was to go after the 
institution of discrimination through the courts, and she was fearless, 
strong, kind, and polite.
  One of the most famous cases Frankie had occurred in 1952--Davis v. 
the St. Louis Housing Authority. Keep in mind that in 1952, there was 
written policy of the St. Louis Public Housing Authority that said that 
the races should not mix; it was unnatural for the races to mix. 
Frankie decided she would take that on. She won that case in 1952, and 
she went on. It was appealed, appealed, and she went on and won the 
appeal in front of the Supreme Court in 1954. I was 1 the year she won 
that appeal.
  One of the stories about Frankie's life that I think is important to 
put in context happened in 1961. You see, she was a Delta. In fact, she 
went on to be the president of the Deltas in 1967--a very important 
sorority for many accomplished African-American women in this country. 
In 1961, the Delta chapter down in Hayti in the Bootheel--right on the 
heel--asked her to come down and give a speech. She was famous for 
having won this case, and she was honored to be asked to give the 
  She didn't have anyone to drive with her, and she was worried about 
driving by herself into the Bootheel in 1961. This was a year after 
President Kennedy was elected President.
  She got on a Greyhound bus. The Greyhound bus stopped at a restaurant 
along the way so that people on the bus could use the restroom and get 
a bite to eat. Frankie walked into that restaurant in a small town 
between St. Louis and the Bootheel, and she was told by the waitress 
that she couldn't come in the front door. Keep in mind, she had been 
all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing ugly discrimination in 
public housing, and this waitress in this restaurant in this small town 
told her she could not come in the front door.
  Even worse, when Frankie ignored her and walked toward the restroom, 
a customer got up and blocked the door so she could not use the 
restroom. Frankie wrote about this in her book ``A Song of Faith and 
  I think about the strength that this woman had by herself in that 
situation, and I am filled with awe and admiration. In 1964, Frankie 
was the first woman on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and she did 
so much more than all of the famous cases and trials.
  In the midst of her landmark trials and court cases, she became the 
president of the Deltas. She later went on to travel and visit many 
African nations, serving as a U.S. representative of the United Nations 
Conference on Housing.
  In 1978, President Carter appointed her inspector general of the 
Community Services Administration. She continued to show her commitment 
to service as an active member on several boards, including the Howard 
University Board of Trustees, the Urban League of Metropolitan St. 
Louis as the board chair, and also as the board chair of the National 
Council on Aging.
  In 2007, Freeman was inducted into the International Civil Rights 
Walk of Fame at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park in 
Atlanta, GA, for her leadership in the civil rights movement. Frankie 
had a nickname among people who were touched by her passion and 
commitment to that elusive quality known as justice. She was known as 
``Frankie Freedom.''
  I had an opportunity to get to know Frankie in the last decade of her 
life. I treasured the time I had with her, the encouragement she gave 
me, the stories she told me, and the legend that she was. She would 
always say to me when I would express frustration--and Frankie said 
this throughout her life; she would quote Luke 9:62: ``No one who puts 
a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of 
  Frankie would always say: Keep your hand on the plow. Keep your hand 
on the plow. Keep your hand on the plow.
  Frankie lived 101 glorious years. She had personal tragedy and 
countless setbacks, but she never lost her attitude of love and 
commitment to justice. I was so sad to miss her coming home celebration 
this morning. She has gone home. There is no question she is reviewing 
legal briefs for the Good Lord Himself in Heaven above.
  Thank you, Frankie Freedom, for a life well lived.
  Thank you, Mr. President.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. MERKLEY. Mr. President, I thank my colleague from Missouri for 
sharing Frankie's story with us today, the fight for progress, and the 
life she lived.
  I was thinking last night as we were debating here on the floor about 
one of the ways that Martin Luther King summarized how we move forward 
toward justice. He said that it takes ``the tireless exertions and 
passionate concern of dedicated individuals.'' That is what it takes to 
move us forward, and it sounds as though she was every bit the tireless 
individual, the passionate individual, who worked to advance justice.
  I thank my colleague for sharing that story.
  Speaking of fighting and justice, we have a lot to talk about. We are 
here in the middle of the Trump shutdown. Last night was quite 
interesting. Democrats came to the floor and said that we need to keep 
the government open. We want to have a debate and a vote on a provision 
to extend the government by 24 hours so that we could really force 
leadership to get in the room and work out a resolution on multiple 
issues that are already bipartisan issues.
  It shouldn't be that hard, but the majority leader, who is in control 
of this body, proceeded to say that he objected. It takes unanimous 
consent to get to a bill, so he sealed the deal on the Trump shutdown. 
He made sure this body couldn't debate or vote on keeping the 
government open for another day.
  Senator Nelson put that forward, and then Senator Tester tried to 
say: OK, let's take a little more time. If you don't think you can do 
it in a day, how about 3 days? Senator Tester moved to proceed to 
consideration of an amendment that would provide a continuing 
resolution for 3 days--to keep the government open 3 days to force our 
leadership on both sides to sit down and work out the details on these 
bipartisan proposals.
  Again, the majority leader objected. He sealed the deal on the Trump 
shutdown. Then he had the gall to come to this floor and blame others 
when he is in charge. This blame game by those who are in charge is 
fascinating. Republicans are in control of the Presidency. Republicans 
are in control of the House. Republicans are in control of the Senate.
  The Republican leader objected to debating an extension for our 
government to stay open. Not once, but twice last night, he blocked it.
  Well, it is very clear where the responsibility lies for this 
situation, which never occurs here in the United States--no. President 
Trump, back in 2013, said that the responsibility for a shutdown--this 
was when President Obama was in office. He said that it always comes 
back to the President. Well, how true those words are today.
  In 2013, there wasn't unified control. You didn't have the same party 
in charge of the Presidency and the House and the Senate, so it was a 
little bit of a more mixed-up story. But then Citizen Trump said: It is 
all the President's fault. Now we have a different situation where the 
same party controls all three settings.
  Let me tell you that the mechanism by which the Senate operates has

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changed dramatically. You can think of the possibility of offering 
amendments on the floor of the Senate. Here is an amendment box. You 
can take and put your proposal in that box so that you can get it in 
line to be debated. But the majority leader has the ability to close 
that box and put a padlock on it. That is what Mitch McConnell did.
  The technical term here is ``filling the tree,'' but that is a little 
hard to picture, so let's talk about the amendment box. He put a 
padlock on it and said that there would be no Democratic amendments 
considered. He has that power under the rules of the Senate.
  Then he did something else, which is interesting, which really is a 
new level of obstruction of dialogue here in the Senate. He took that 
box, and he put a tarp over the top of it. That tarp is another type of 
motion that has to be resolved before you can even get to the 
amendments to propose that one be taken out of the box so another can 
be put in. In fact, if you were following the Senate last night, you 
saw this very crazy motion in which the majority leader himself took 
the tarp off the box--a resolution related to a motion to move the bill 
to committee and back--so that he could change the amendments that he 
put in the box. But that box remained completely forbidden ground for 
Democrats to be able to participate in, to be able to put a bill on 
this floor.
  So it takes particular--I don't know what the right word for it is--I 
guess ``determination'' to spin the politics for that individual who 
has locked up the amendment box, preventing Democrats from putting a 
proposal on the floor--even a bipartisan proposal supported by 
Republicans--and then to blame Democrats, whom he has locked out of the 
  Our responsibility is absolutely clear here. This Trump shutdown sits 
with the President, who made an offer a week ago Tuesday and took it 
back a week ago Thursday. He made another offer a couple of days ago. A 
few hours later, he withdrew it. Yes, I want to take on these issues. 
No, I don't. Yes, I do. No, I don't. The Democratic leader said it is 
like negotiating with Jell-O. There is just no ``there'' there to be 
able to have rational policy consideration.
  This Trump shutdown is doing a lot of damage across this country. It 
will do more damage with every succeeding day. And I say this directly 
to the President of the United States: Get engaged. Your job is to 
govern, to be part of the dialogue, not to be going off to Pennsylvania 
to campaign, not to be ignoring issues until it is only 24 hours out 
before we hit a deadline, not to be spending every weekend golfing and 
making your personal schedule off limits so that the public won't see 
that you are virtually never paying attention to governing. Mr. 
President--and I am speaking to President Trump--get engaged. You have 
a job to do. This is your shutdown, just as you said it was the 
President's responsibility in 2013.
  These issues that we are wrestling with go back to the middle of last 
year because it was in the middle of last year when we were approaching 
the deadline for the fiscal year, which ends at the end of September. 
So it was time to get a bill for children's healthcare to this floor 
and debate it and reauthorize it, renew it before we hit September 30. 
It was the time to get the bill for our community health clinics to the 
floor to be debated and reauthorized so that our community health 
clinics would stay open. It was the time to get to the floor a bill to 
take on the opioid epidemic.
  But what was the Republican Party engaged in? They weren't engaged in 
facilitating addressing healthcare problems. Oh, no. They were engaged 
in a bill to try to wipe out healthcare for 30 million Americans. We 
had five different versions of this bill here on the floor that wiped 
out healthcare for 22 million to 30 million Americans, and by a bare 
margin of a vote, we were able to block those bills. I thank my 
Republican colleagues who joined in that effort.
  They weren't interested in talking about children's healthcare, 
community healthcare clinics, or the opioid crisis. Finally, when the 
healthcare debate was sealed, what did they turn to? Not the governing 
issue of spending bills that should have been done by October 1. Oh, 
no, they had a different plan--a tax bill to deliver $1 trillion-plus 
to the richest Americans. That was more important than children's 
healthcare. Increasing wealth inequality was more important than our 
children. Increasing income inequality was more important than our 

  We, the Democrats, are saying stop--stop taking up the time of this 
body on making the situation worse in America on healthcare, making the 
deficit worse here in America, robbing the common fund to enrich the 
richest Americans. Stop all of that. Instead, let's address all these 
issues right before us.
  The members of our communities who have gone to grade school, high 
school, community colleges, colleges, who are working in our 
businesses, doing so much for our community, their immigration status 
isn't nailed down. There is bipartisan support to nail that down. That 
is just and fair and right.
  All of us have members in our communities who are contributing so 
much, and they are being left in just an incredibly stressful limbo. 
They deserve better.
  I think the Democrats and the Republicans who have sent us--here it 
is, a bipartisan deal waiting to happen, but President Trump says yes 
today and no tomorrow. He says yes in the morning and no in the 
afternoon. Quite frankly, the Republican leadership does the same 
  So quit saying yes and no and just say yes. Let's get this bipartisan 
deal done. Let's get the opioid funding done. It is an epidemic. It is 
killing more people in America than traffic accidents. Let's get help 
in the right place.
  Yes, let's get the children's healthcare bill done. Senator Stabenow 
asked unanimous consent for immediate consideration of the bill for 
permanent CHIP funding. Who said no? The Republican leader came to the 
floor and blocked it because he is in charge. He has the amendment box 
all locked up, so Democrats can't even put a bipartisan proposal before 
this body.
  I thank Senator Nelson for fiercely fighting to keep us open for 
another day for negotiations. I thank Senator Tester for fighting and 
putting forward the proposal to stay open for 3 more days while we 
force negotiations to get these important issues addressed. I thank 
Senator McCaskill, who just spoke, for working hard to get a bill 
before this body that would ensure that the pay and death benefits for 
members of the armed services are taken care of.
  Who said no in every situation? Who said: I am keeping a lock on the 
amendment lockbox? Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader of the 
Senate--complete control.
  This is no longer a deliberative body. A deliberative body debates 
issues. A deliberative body invites proposals from all Members. This is 
completely unlike the Senate I saw as a young man when I first came 
here as an intern for Senator Hatfield in 1976. Then, each side offered 
amendments, and they argued their hearts out. They voted, and a simple 
majority sent an issue forward or killed it.
  Now we can't even start a conversation, and when we do get an 
amendment, it is by a supermajority. That is a rare event. Outside of 
the reconciliation bills, which were a special provision for the 
budget, we virtually have not had a single Democratic amendment all 
through 2017. That is what has happened to the Senate, and that is why 
we are here.
  The responsibility is clear. This Trump shutdown should never have 
happened. President Trump needs to get his act together and get 
engaged. The majority needs to quit locking the amendment box so we can 
have actual dialogue and debate on the floor. Republicans have to quit 
blocking things both Democrats and Republicans have agreed to on 
children's health, on community health clinics, on opioids, and on 
legal status for our Dreamers.
  This should not be a hard deal to close. Let's open up this 
government, and let's get these issues dealt with and done for the 
benefit of the citizens of the United States of America.
  Thank you.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Hawaii.
  Mr. SCHATZ. Mr. President, here is what is happening. Last night, 
Senate Democrats asked to do a 1-day continuing resolution. They also 
asked to do a 3-day continuing resolution. What

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does that mean? That means we were at an impasse because the House-
passed continuing resolution was 4 weeks, and that was not acceptable 
to enough U.S. Senators to pass. If you subject it to a vote, and it 
doesn't get cloture, it fails.
  Under normal circumstances, then you try to find out what might be 
able to get cloture, but we were so close to the deadline that we 
needed something called a unanimous consent request. In other words, we 
needed every single U.S. Senator to accede to the idea that we should 
vote on something.
  It is not unusual for a unanimous consent request to be granted. A 
lot of times it is just perfunctory stuff, everyday stuff to kind of 
move something in a schedule, allow someone to have 10 more minutes to 
speak, or whatever it may be, but on big things, you don't always grant 
consent. I get that.
  Think about where we were. We were on the precipice of the government 
shutdown, and Senator Nelson from Florida asked for unanimous consent--
in other words, all 100 U.S. Senators agreeing--to bring up a measure 
that would have kept the government open; the idea being that is better 
than a shutdown; the idea being that everybody on the Senate floor was 
actually behaving like a Senator last night who did not want to shut 
down the government.
  There were lots of very interesting, constructive, and productive 
bipartisan conversations. We were close. We weren't that close--we 
weren't 10 minutes away--but we weren't so far apart that it wasn't 
worth trying. That is why Senator Nelson said: Why don't we buy 
ourselves another 24 hours and not shut down the government.
  The majority leader objected. It was the majority leader's 
prerogative to allow it to be voted on. Had that been subjected to a 
vote, I doubt there would have been more than a handful of people 
voting against it. Nobody wants a government shutdown. Senator Nelson 
provided the opportunity for us to avoid this.
  Then Senator Tester said: OK. Maybe 1 day is too short. Maybe we 
can't get this done in 20. My view was we should have 12-hour CRs. We 
should have absolute, burning pressure on ourselves. It should be 
physically miserable. We should be here. We should be working. We 
should be negotiating. That is my view. I think we should be on 12-hour 
  Listen, I can't go home, right? I live pretty far away, but even for 
those who live on the Eastern Seaboard, I don't think anybody should be 
comfortable this weekend--politically, physically, mentally. To 
understand what is happening to the country, you should not be 
comfortable. You should be embarrassed. I think we should be on 12-hour 
CRs. OK. A 24-hour CR, I was fine with that. That got rejected. How 
about a 3-day CR? That is what President Trump wanted to do to try to 
close the deal, but those were rejected.
  No one can explain to the public why we can't keep the government 
open for a few days to negotiate without punishing the whole country. 
Nobody wins during a shutdown. We were so close to an agreement.
  The overarching reason we didn't reach an agreement is, we have an 
erratic White House. I have been trying to dial down my rhetoric in 
this context. I am looking at the Presiding Officer, who is a 
Republican, with whom I have a constructive working relationship. If we 
are going to get out of this, we have to get out of this together. So I 
am trying to watch my tone because we are going to have to vote on 
something together at some point. The simple fact is, the White House 
has been erratic and inconsistent in this process.
  There was at least a framework for a deal on January 11, and it got 
blown up in that very famous meeting with the expletives. Then there 
was at least a framework for a deal yesterday, and it got--now very 
famously--blown up by a subsequent meeting and a subsequent phone call. 
Here we are with four continuing resolutions in 4 months.
  We haven't actually been able to work on the appropriations process. 
We haven't done great with appropriations in the past 5 years since I 
have been here, but, occasionally we will get an omnibus done. 
Occasionally, we will have proper markups. Occasionally, we will look 
at each executive agency and do our job properly.
  It is not the regular order like it used to be with my predecessor 
and many of the people of the Senate of old. It was not as bad as this. 
A CR month by month, week by week--enough is enough.
  Instead of trying to deal with this, the White House is failing to 
address these baseline issues and then creates new crises. This was a 
manufactured crisis on DACA. They didn't need to create this crisis, 
but now we have one.
  Instead of using the Executive's authority to solve problems, they 
are focusing on the wrong things. They are punishing children who were 
brought to this country through no fault of their own and now are as 
American as anyone in Congress, except in the eyes of the law, but 
there is a level of inconsistency, as a euphemism, that we have had to 
deal with in these negotiations. The White House told the Republicans 
to fund CHIP as part of a 30-day spending bill, and then the President 
tweeted we should only fund CHIP if it is part of a long-term solution.
  We had a deal on the table to help Dreamers in exchange for border 
funding only to have the White House change its mind. That happened 
once when the deal was blown up a couple weeks ago and then yesterday.
  Senate Republicans may feel comfortable; they may feel uncomfortable. 
I don't know. I think it probably depends on the Member, but they are 
in a holding pattern waiting for Presidential leadership, and they 
don't know what the White House wants. They don't want to move on 
legislation without the White House's approval, but trying to get 
clarity from the administration on this or any other issue is a fool's 
errand because it changes by the hour and certainly by the day. That is 
why we are in this position.
  It is not unusual for Congress to have disagreements between the 
parties, within the political parties, between the House and the 
Senate. That is the way the legislative process works. It is a messy 
process, but the way an executive is supposed to play that role, they 
are supposed to wield that authority, that power. Whether it is a 
Governor or a mayor or a President, when it gets close--and we are 
close--the executive is supposed to close the deal. This Executive does 
the opposite.
  This Executive has blown up every deal every time. Sometimes we are 
far apart, and it gets worse. Sometimes we are vanishingly close, and 
it gets blown up, but what an executive is supposed to do is play that 
role, play that adult in the room. Right now, we are a ship without a 
  That is why we are marking the 1-year anniversary of this 
administration with a government shutdown. That is why hundreds of 
thousands of people across the country are marching to say they are 
dissatisfied with the direction of this country.
  The year 2017 in this U.S. Senate, it was a unique year. That is 
because we had basically no bipartisanship on the Senate floor. There 
were a few things that went by unanimous consent. The process of the 
U.S. Senate is supposed to be that you submit a bill on the floor, and 
it takes a week or two. Everybody offers amendments. There is lots of 
haggling. It is kind of messy. People talk too long, people argue, but 
in the end, you move a piece of legislation. It is a bipartisan process 
by construct.
  We are supposed to be different than the House. We are not a 
majoritarian institution. We are supposed to be a moderating force on 
the country. We are supposed to be the adults in the room. The way you 
do that is through an open amendment process.
  I want everybody to know we had a couple of situations where 
Democrats were allowed to offer amendments, but that was in something 
called vote-arama. I know the Presiding Officer hates vote-arama. I 
know most people in the U.S. Senate hate vote-arama. Why? Because it is 
a farce. It is worse than student council. Everyone is just doing stuff 
to position themselves back home. None of the things we vote on in the 
vote-arama process has any force of law or is going to be enacted. 
There is nothing meaningful that happens in vote-arama.
  Other than that, not one single, solitary Democratic amendment was 
considered on the U.S. Senate floor. No Democratic Senator had their 
amendment considered on the Senate floor except inside of the process 
called vote-

[[Page S387]]

arama, which we all know is a farce. So we haven't had bipartisanship.
  I was so encouraged when the majority leader, early this year--I 
think the first week of the year right before convening--said he wants 
to do things on the basis of 60 votes, which is the way the Senate has 
always worked. I know he considers himself an institutionalist.
  I understand they felt it imperative to try to repeal the Affordable 
Care Act and do their tax cuts via the reconciliation process, which is 
a 51-vote threshold, but he basically announced: We are going to do 
bipartisan stuff this year. But what we have is an erratic 
administration that changes its position every hour, and so it is very 
difficult to get to 60. They lack the clarity, they lack the capacity, 
and it appears they lack the desire to govern in a bipartisan fashion.

  So I just want to be very clear. Democrats are ready and eager to 
talk. We are here to find a way forward, but that does require 
Presidential leadership.
  I don't understand why we couldn't have a 1-day CR, a 2-day CR, or a 
5-day CR. I don't understand why we can't negotiate with the government 
open. When Bill Nelson comes to the floor and says: Why don't we buy 
ourselves another 24 hours so that civilian DOD employees can get paid, 
so people at the Pearl Harbor Shipyard can get paid, so people who work 
for the Federal Government can get paid, so some of the people who work 
in the U.S. Congress, in security and elsewhere, parking--all of these 
wonderful civil servants are not going to get paid. All of these 
services are going to get shut down tomorrow--not tomorrow but Monday 
morning--because nobody is even going to allow Bill Nelson's proposal 
to even get a vote.
  If you guys don't want to do a 24-hour CR, vote against it, but at 
least allow us to keep the government open and keep these negotiations 
  Now is the time for Congress to conduct itself as the article I 
branch--as a separate, coequal branch of government. And we are not--I 
understand the politics. We just had 8 years of President Obama, and 
obviously Democrats were very eager to understand the administration's 
position so we could calibrate and coordinate. We didn't always do the 
same thing, but you have to keep an open ear to what a President of 
your party desires to do. But when a President of your party is either 
totally unclear or changes his mind every 12 hours, then you have to 
make a judgment that you are going to exercise your constitutional 
obligation and get the job done with his participation or over his 
objections. That is what we need to do on a bipartisan basis.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Perdue). The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Ms. DUCKWORTH. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Ms. DUCKWORTH. Mr. President, this morning Donald Trump tweeted that 
``Democrats are holding our military hostage'' in this shutdown--just 
the latest in a string of recent comments wherein he accuses Democrats 
like me of not caring about our military, and it is the latest example 
of his failing to show leadership, to take responsibility for leading 
this Nation.
  Does he even know that there are servicemembers who are in harm's way 
right now watching him, looking for the Commander in Chief to show 
leadership rather than to try to deflect blame, or that his own 
Pentagon says that the short-term funding plans he seems intent on 
pushing are actually harmful to not just the military but to our 
national security?
  I spent my entire adult life looking out for the well-being, the 
training, and the equipping of the troops for whom I was responsible--
sadly, this is something the current occupant of the Oval Office does 
not seem to care to do--and I will not be lectured about what our 
military needs by a five-deferment draft dodger.
  I have a message for Cadet Bones Spurs: If you cared about our 
military, you would stop baiting Kim Jong Un into a war that could put 
85,000 American troops and millions of innocent civilians in danger.
  Last night, after the lights had been turned out in the White House 
and the President had gone to his private quarters, I voted to better 
train and equip our troops, to stop wasting taxpayers' dollars with yet 
another CR. I voted to make sure that our military men and women--who 
are standing on the line in the DMZ, who are in Iraq and Afghanistan, 
across Africa, in Asia--get the help, the support, and the equipment 
they need.
  If the President truly cared about them, then he would stop hiding 
behind his Twitter account and stop blaming everyone else. And he can 
tell his party--a party that controls the House, the White House, and 
the Senate--to do their job, to govern, to stop allowing the most 
extreme wing of your party to prevent us from passing a long-term 
funding solution that the military itself--your own leaders whom you 
nominated and appointed--is asking for.
  At the very least, you could ask your party to guarantee military pay 
and death benefits for our servicemembers and their families so that 
the troops downrange aren't putting their lives at risk overseas while 
also worrying about whether they are going to be able to feed their 
families or if our government will take care of those families if, God 
forbid, they must make that last full measure of devotion for our 
  I am so disappointed that my Republican colleagues refused to allow 
us a vote for our troops last night, and I encourage them to please 
reconsider that vote. Let's get to a full budget. Let's move on. We can 
compromise. We can do this together. So many of the options on the 
table are bipartisan. In fact, a majority of them are Republican-
authored. Our troops know how to work together. They stand shoulder-to-
shoulder when they protect and defend this country. We surely in these 
Chambers can do the same. So let's stop blaming each other, and let's 
get to work.
  I will be here, as I was today, tomorrow and the day after until we 
get this done. Our men and women in uniform deserve nothing less.

  Thank you.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, the United States is 1 day into a 
government shutdown that Senate Democrats have forced on our country. 
Let's take a look at where we are.
  Last night, a bipartisan majority of Senators--Republicans and 
Democrats--voted to avoid this. A bipartisan majority voted to advance 
a noncontroversial bill that has already passed the House and which the 
President has already said he will sign.
  Of course, like any compromise, this funding bill cannot be all 
things to all people. But this bipartisan bill does what we need to do 
right now. It ends this pointless--pointless--irresponsible shutdown, 
funds the government for our troops, our veterans, and millions of 
vulnerable Americans, and extends health coverage for millions of 
children in low-income families.
  None of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle can point to a 
single thing in the bill that they oppose. Not one thing. That is why a 
bipartisan majority voted for it last night. It would have passed 
smoothly and been sent for the President's signature, except that the 
Democratic leader took the extraordinary step of filibustering this 
bipartisan bill and initiating his own government shutdown.
  Why? Because, he explains, the President would not give him 
everything he wants on the issue of illegal immigration in one 
afternoon in the Oval Office. That is it. That is it.
  The leaders from both parties have spent months negotiating long-term 
fixes for immigration policy, government spending, and other important 
priorities. Senators on both sides want a bipartisan solution to DACA 
and other immigration issues. Senators on both sides want long-term 
funding for our troops. Bipartisan, bicameral negotiations on these 
matters have been under way for months.
  Here is the difference between the Democratic leader and the rest of 
us tonight--the difference. He wants to keep the government shut down 
for hundreds of millions of Americans until we finish negotiating on 
the subject of illegal immigration. He wants

[[Page S388]]

to keep the government shut down until we finish a negotiation on the 
subject of illegal immigration--shutting down the government over 
illegal immigration.
  Look, those discussions on the immigration issue continue. We don't 
have to shut down funding for our veterans, military families, opioid 
centers, or anyone else who relies on the Federal Government over the 
issue of illegal immigration. The occupant of the Chair is one of the 
people involved on that very subject. There is a lot of interest here 
on both sides of the aisle in dealing with it. But it is not an 
emergency. All of these other issues, which are affected by the 
government's shutdown, are emergencies, particularly the children's 
healthcare issue.
  Look, the American people know what is going on here. They have this 
figured out. The survey this week shows that a majority of Americans 
say that funding the government is more important than passing 
legislation on DACA--legislation, by the way, that doesn't really 
exist, which the Democratic leader cannot present to us. We hear a lot 
of talk about it, but we haven't seen it.
  Fewer than half of Democrats--in this poll I am talking about--say 
that dealing with DACA is more urgent than keeping the government open. 
These numbers came in before Americans picked up their newspapers this 
morning. When they did, they read from the Associated Press exactly who 
is responsible for this chaos. From the AP: ``Democrats blocked a four-
week stopgap extension in a late-night vote, causing the fourth 
government shutdown in a quarter of a century.'' You might say that 
they pinned the tail on the donkey.
  The New York Times, not exactly a bastion of rightwing sentiment, put 
the blame exactly where it belongs. ``Senate Democrats blocked passage 
of a stopgap spending bill to keep the government open.''
  Senate Republicans remain ready and eager to end this totally 
manufactured crisis. This is not a crisis. This is a manufactured 
crisis. We voted to avoid it entirely in our bipartisan vote last 
night. We are ready to vote again. All the country needs is the 
Democratic leader to withdraw his filibuster and let a bipartisan 
majority pass this bill and reopen the U.S. Government.
  Earlier today, I asked for consent to move up a vote on this 
bipartisan solution and to end the craziness today. The Democrats 
objected. That will not work forever. If they continue to object, we 
cannot proceed to a cloture vote until 1 a.m. on Monday. But I assure 
you, we will have the vote at 1 a.m. on Monday unless there is a desire 
to have it sooner.
  In the meantime, shutdowns have consequences. The Democratic leader 
may be playing for political points. But the rest of us understand the 
readiness of our Armed Forces, health coverage for poor children, and 
survivor benefits for families of fallen servicemembers are the 
furthest thing from a game--playing with all of those lives over the 
issue of illegal immigration.
  Congress has a lot of work to do. We need to provide for our war 
fighters, secure the border, resolve the DACA issue, continue work on 
healthcare, and attend to many other key priorities. I want to move 
forward on all these issues, and we can when the Democratic leader's 
filibuster comes to an end. These talks are only being delayed--not 
advanced, but delayed--by the Democrats' filibuster and the Democratic 
shutdown it has created.
  I want to assure the American people that we will be right back at 
this tomorrow. I say again to the American people, we will be right 
back at this tomorrow and for as long as it takes. We will keep at this 
until Democrats end their extraordinary filibuster of government 
funding and children's healthcare and allow a bipartisan majority of 
Senators to reopen the Federal Government for all Americans and to get 
Congress back on track.
  The Democratic leader may put his personal political priorities ahead 
of everything else, no matter the cost, but Republicans stand with the 
American people.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Florida.
  Mr. RUBIO. Mr. President, it might surprise some people here that 
while what we are dealing with here is important, we are not the center 
of the universe. All across this country, as I was reminded this 
morning when calling home and speaking with friends and family and my 
wife and my children, life goes on.
  Most Americans, I think, are aware that there is an issue going on 
here in Washington, DC, with regard to funding the government. But I 
doubt very few of them are sitting in front of the CNN countdown clock, 
where I guess now we are on the ticker because we are into the 
shutdown, living it--some sort of reality drama. It doesn't mean it is 
not important, but it is a reality that life goes on. People aren't 
following this every single day and aren't checking their phones on a 
15-minute basis to find out how this thing is going to be fixed.
  I think a lot of people are a little bit confused about what is 
happening here. If you are just listening to it off the top, in between 
things or maybe on the radio, maybe some people have the perception 
that this is all about a disagreement regarding the budget and/or a 
disagreement solely about an issue that is of critical importance, and 
we need to deal with it right away. That is just not accurate. I will 
get to that in a moment. But it is still hard for people to understand 
how this happens.
  When I explain to people where we are and how we got here, it doesn't 
make sense to a lot of people. I want to begin by saying, the Bible 
says that there is nothing new under the Sun. It is one of the things 
that came into my mind early this morning.
  I had occasion a few weeks ago, around the New Year, to spend some 
time with my family at the wonderful national park facilities, which I 
hope are open today, in Philadelphia and in the halls where our 
Constitution, the very document that designed our system of government, 
that each of us appeals to, that each of us has sworn allegiance to, 
was debated. That debate was a contentious one. It began on the 23rd of 
May and ended on the 17th of September of the year 1787. It was 
actually contentious from the start. In fact, the New York delegation 
stayed only a few days, and the delegation from Rhode Island straight-
out boycotted it.
  What is ironic, by the way, is one of the most contentious issues in 
that Constitutional Convention was the creation of the Senate. The 
creation of this body was a heated discussion. We don't know a lot 
about the details of that discussion because they had closed the 
windows, even though it was hot. They didn't go around talking about 
it. There weren't 24-hour news cycles and Twitter, but we know it was 
contentious. We know that in the end, this Constitution that we all 
swear allegiance to and that for over two centuries has helped create 
an exceptional system of government was approved by 39 of the 55 
  There were people who voted against the Constitution. The one thing 
that was clear is that none of them got everything they wanted. At that 
time, by the end of that convention--in fact, Monday, September 17, 
1787, was the last day of that convention, and one of the delegates was 
someone named Benjamin Franklin. We all know who that is. He was 
internationally well known. He wanted to give a short speech to that 
convention before signing it. He was actually too weak to do the speech 
himself, so he had someone else deliver the speech. Based on the notes 
that Madison took, here is what we know, generally, he said. It begins 
with a line that says:

       I confess that there are several parts of this constitution 
     which I do not at present approve.

  He goes on to say:

       I agree to this Constitution with all of its faults.

  He says:

       I doubt too whether any other Convention we can obtain, may 
     be able to make a better Constitution. For when you assemble 
     a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, 
     you inevitably assemble with those men, all their prejudices, 
     their passions, their errors of opinion, their local 
     interests, and their selfish views. From such an assembly can 
     a perfect production be expected?

  So right from the very beginning in the history of this Nation, we 
have acknowledged that in order to make progress, it is virtually 
impossible for everybody in that process to get everything they want. 
Our job is to move things forward--and I don't want to read the whole 
thing--but suffice it to

[[Page S389]]

say, Franklin's point is maybe he was wrong. He is not perfect. Even 
though many of us tend to believe we are the only people who are right 
on this issue, at that stage in his life, he had learned enough to 
understand he was not the holder of all wisdom; that he had changed his 
mind on issues when he came upon new information. He also understood 
that when you bring a group of people together and ask them to come to 
agreement on something, unless they are clones of one another or unless 
they all come from the same thought process, you are going to have 
disagreement, but in order to reach a conclusion, everyone is going to 
have to get something they need even though no one is going to get 
everything they want. That was from the very beginning from our very 
Founders, and it was hard then.
  Imagine now, in the 21st century, with 50 States and several 
territories, extraordinary diversity in terms of ideology, opinion, 
geography, background, and all of it covered by 24-hour news, which 
basically covers American politics like entertainment, and Twitter 
feeds on both sides that are constantly driving narratives. Imagine if 
they had Twitter and 24-hour news during the Constitutional Convention? 
A, we would know a lot more about what they were saying to and about 
each other and, B, we may never have had a Constitution, simply because 
of exacerbating those tensions.
  I am not here to say we should not have Twitter and 24-hour news, but 
I am telling you these were factors that were always difficult. Self-
government was always hard. Imagine today, with these additional 
factors of diversity and the way politics is covered, practiced, and 
discussed. I say that because there is a growing temptation from 
American politics that largely comes from the base of both parties but 
often is fed through media narratives, but the goal is to achieve total 
  Total victory is what you want to achieve in a sporting event. You 
want to win and beat your opponent by as many points as possible, but 
in a constitutional republic, total victory is nearly impossible, 
especially in a country like America. It is impossible--impossible--for 
a President, for any party, or for a faction on any issue to get 100 
percent of what they want all the time.
  Instinctively, despite the fact that they don't work here every day, 
despite the fact that they don't sit glued in front of the television 
all day watching politics, most Americans understand this. They know 
this because it is a reality of life, and they know it instinctively 
because that is the way our system was designed. That is the way self-
government was supposed to function. It is hard. Self-government has 
never been easy, and it has only gotten harder.
  So when you talk to someone and you explain what has happened, here 
are the facts. We had a government funding deadline, meaning that if by 
midnight this morning we had not passed a bill to authorize more 
spending, we had a sort of mini-shutdown or partial shutdown of the 
government. There is a provision that was put in law by President Obama 
that gave status to young people who were brought into this country 
illegally by their parents, through no fault of their own, and that 
provision expires on the 5th of March, about 43 days away.
  We have a bill before the Senate that funds the government, that 
keeps it open for 4 weeks--initially. I think now we are down to--with 
this proposal before the Senate, I think it is going to end on the 9th, 
so about 3 weeks. There is nothing in that bill that the Democrats are 
against, but they voted against that bill last night. They are not 
letting us vote on the other bill today--right now--and intend to vote 
against it, apparently, when we do vote on it Monday morning, because 
they want to see their demands met on something that doesn't expire for 
43 days.
  So this is not about whether you are for or against doing something 
about DACA. It is not because it is not like the government funding 
expired last night and DACA expired last night and so you have to do 
both. This is the government funding expired last night and DACA 
expires in 43 days. When you explain that to people--why would--how 
does that work? Why does that make sense? Why would they do this?
  In fairness, I listened to the argument of my Democratic colleagues, 
and one of the arguments they make is they don't trust the Republican 
Party on the issue of DACA, but more particularly they don't trust the 
President to deal with it. So they need to force action now. They need 
to do something, and they need to use government funding as the 
leverage to force something to happen. Let me say at the outset that it 
is a legitimate tool in the toolbox of the legislator on a matter of 
deep principle to not vote on an important bill in order to get 
leverage for what you want. If there is something you are deeply 
principled about and you believe we need to do, it is a legitimate tool 
to say: I know you really need to do this, and I really need to do 
that, so I am not going to let you do what you need to do unless you 
let me do what I need to do. I think that is the argument they are 
making now.
  As I pointed out to you earlier, this is not kind of the same because 
this is a spending bill. In fact, the bill they voted against would 
expire even before the March 5 deadline. In essence, we would have to 
have another government funding vote even before we got to March 5, so 
it is really not a leverage argument.
  Even if it were, I would say that in order for self-government to 
work as I have described already, we have to be judicious and careful 
about how we use these tools. You can't be using them all the time. You 
have to reserve them for key moments for a lot of reasons.
  The first, frankly, is international implications. We can talk a lot 
about Russian interference that occurred. The goal of Russian 
interference above all else is to sow discord and to create conflict 
and controversy in American politics so Putin can go around the world 
saying America likes to lecture everyone about democracy, but their 
democracy is not a real democracy and their leaders are corrupt and 
their elections are rigged and all kinds of stuff. That is what he 
wanted to drive.
  There are nations like China which under our nose are rapidly working 
to change the world in our time. While we spend all these days arguing 
with each other about whatever the outrage of the day is--and every day 
it is something else--China is working underneath us and all around us 
to rebuild the world in their image and to their advantage and to our 
detriment. One of the things they tell other countries is, Americans 
have a country in decline. These people are in total decline. They are 
abandoning the world and, more importantly, they can't even govern 
themselves. So we are doing their job for them when we create these 
sorts of controversies.

  That doesn't mean we shouldn't have heated debates on tough issues, 
and that shouldn't mean that from time to time people reserve the 
right--and I reserve the right--to use leverage to achieve our goals. I 
have done it before, and I imagine I will do it again, but we have to 
be careful about it because it does impact the way the world views us. 
People watch us all over the world. They don't understand, as some of 
us do, that this stuff happens, and it all works out. They think, 
literally, some places believe we are crumbling, being ripped apart at 
the seams, and it encourages people to do things and nations to do 
things sometimes through miscalculation. That is the first reason you 
want to be careful.
  The second reason you want to be judicious about using these sorts of 
tools is because, quite frankly, it poisons the process. I would state 
that the abuse and overuse of these prerogatives of Senators over the 
last decade has done tremendous damage to the Senate, and it really has 
impacted our ability to tackle and to solve real problems. I say that 
as someone who acknowledges the Republicans have done this. Republicans 
did this kind of stuff. I would argue it was different, but it doesn't 
matter. Republicans used leverage in situations that people thought we 
shouldn't have used. Democratic activists now insist that Democrats use 
the same tool. They did it when they were in the minority, and you need 
to do it now when you are in the minority.
  I would also say we have to be careful because, the truth is, we all 
have matters of deep principle. I have matters of deep principle that 
haven't been addressed yet.
  I have a matter of deep principle, and as much as I believe we need 
to do something about DACA, I have a matter of deep principle that I 
believe is

[[Page S390]]

more urgent and requires attention right away. The people of Florida 
and the people of Puerto Rico and the people of Texas have a desperate 
need for disaster relief. Forty percent of the island of Puerto Rico 
has no electricity. This is a U.S. territory. American citizens are 
living in third-world conditions.
  In the State of Florida, our citrus growers are in critical 
condition. We may not have a U.S. citrus industry based in Florida if 
this goes on much longer. We still have people living in hotels and 
motel rooms in Florida because their homes were destroyed. That is a 
real need that doesn't have any deadline. They needed it yesterday, and 
we still haven't addressed it. I suppose if I wanted to use this tool--
and some maybe encouraged me to do that--I could come and say: I am not 
voting on any funding for the government, and I will shut down the 
government until we deal with disaster relief. The problem is, all 99 
other Senators have a principled position as well. So basically all we 
do is take hostages all day on every principled issue we have at every 
opportunity we get. Well, you get the picture, and this is happening 
more and more.
  By the way, I say all this to you, understanding that if we passed a 
long-term funding bill--let's say the bill before us funded government 
through October, and I voted for that and disaster relief hasn't 
happened yet, there is no guarantee we would get disaster relief. What 
leverage would I have? So we have to be very judicious about how we use 
it. I ultimately decided not to do it because I believe the government 
shutdown ends up hurting the people I am trying to help with disaster 
relief. There are Federal employees in Puerto Rico who got hit by a 
hurricane a few months ago and now can't go to work on Monday. If they 
go to work, they are not getting paid, and it is already difficult over 
  There are Federal services in Florida. People are going to call our 
offices around the country and in Florida on Monday, and even if I have 
essential staff there to answer the call, there may not be an employee 
at the Federal agency, where we can pick up the phone and intervene on 
their behalf. It happens all the time. One of the very common things we 
face in calls we get is someone has a loved one or relative who was 
visiting somewhere around the world, maybe in the Western Hemisphere, 
they were killed in an accident, and they want to bring their body home 
to be buried. We have to deal with all the paperwork with the Embassy 
or the consulate and the host country to bring them home. We are not 
going to be there on Monday to do it because the people we have to call 
might not even be there to answer the call. In the end, my view of it 
is, you don't cut off your nose to spite your face, and at this point, 
you don't shut down the government only to hurt them somewhere else.
  At the end of the day, this really is not about leverage. It is not. 
I say this with the highest respect. We disagree on a lot of issues, 
but the Democratic leader is someone I know understands legislation and 
understands politics. I personally do not believe this is about 
leverage. He has to know this because this is really no different than 
in December. We passed a short-term spending bill in December. 
Democratic Members voted for that, and the DACA issue was unresolved at 
the time.
  By the way, we had a chance to deal with disaster relief in December 
too. They sent a disaster relief bill over from the House to the 
Senate, and the Republican leader chose not to take it up--I believe 
because he wanted to hold it over for this debate. The more things that 
are pending, the more leverage you have to pose to them. I mean we were 
going to put additional things on the House bill and send it back. We 
knew what those things were, but suffice it to say, everything is 
unresolved, but I don't think this is purely about leverage.
  Here is what I actually think this is about, and I am here to cite 
some examples why. In December, as I said, before we got ready to leave 
for the end of the year, there were a lot of activists involved in the 
DACA issue that were really pounding on the Democrats to shut down the 
government unless DACA was handled. To their credit, a number of 
Democratic Senators didn't do so. They voted not to shut down the 
government, and the end result was they unleashed a fury of assaults, 
in terms of pressure and protests and sleep-ins and all kinds of 
things. This really started in October.
  I have a number of articles I want to cite. Let's go to October 2, 
2017. This is an article that talks about--I will quote from it. I 
underlined the key provisions. ``Democrats seeking an immigration deal 
. . . are facing resistance from immigrant activists who are rejecting 
any compromise that would tighten border security and demanding more 
extensive legislation to protect . . . immigrants from deportation.''
  It goes on to say: ``Despite Democratic leaders' declared commitment 
to help so-called Dreamers . . . they are catching sustained flak from 
immigration activists.''
  It goes on to say the minority leader in the House, Congresswoman 
Pelosi, ``faced a vociferous protest from Dreamers a few weeks ago, 
when activists shouted down her speech and called her a `liar' who 
helped create a `deportation machine.'''
  If you haven't seen the video, she did a press conference in, I 
believe, San Francisco. As she was there doing this press conference 
for Dreamers, these other Dream activist people showed up and started 
screaming at her.
  For those of us on my side of the aisle, we view her as one of the 
more liberal Members in Congress and certainly someone I have 
identified as a supporter of the Dream Act. Then you have people saying 
the Dream Act isn't enough, you have to cover other people. So they are 
under a lot of pressure.
  Here is a quote from an immigrant rights activist and a DACA 
recipient. He said: ``I think Senator Schumer crumbles under pressure 
just so he can deliver on something.''
  These are harsh words from these activists, and this started in 
October of last year.
  Now, let's go to this article of December 19. This article begins by 

       Dozens of immigration advocates rallied outside Sen. Chuck 
     Schumer's Manhattan office Tuesday.
       In both Spanish and English, speakers at the rally demanded 
     that the Senate minority leader ask his fellow Democrats to 
     refrain from supporting any legislation until a clean Dream 
     Act is passed.

  A clean Dream Act means just vote for the Dream Act, nothing else--no 
border security or, by the way, any legislation; don't vote for 
anything until that happens. That is the pressure they were under.
  The article goes on to say:

       As Congress negotiates the budget, protesters called for 
     Schumer to help shut down the government if a Dream Act isn't 
     passed by the end of the year, chanting, ``If we don't get 
     it, shut it down.''

  Those are the quotes. This was in December. So this article was 
December 19; this must have been December 18, and the chant outside his 
office in Manhattan was ``If we don't get it, shut it down.'' So the 
calls for a shutdown began as far back as December, not 43 days before 
the deadline but 60 or 70 days before the deadline.
  Finally, the spokeswoman for the minority leader put out a statement 
for, I believe, the protesters, and, I guess, the press was assembled. 
She said:

       We want to make sure nothing passes until we have the Dream 
     Act in there.

  They were already telegraphing this in December, so this is not 
something that has happened in the last 2 days or 3 days. This was 
ongoing and sustained pressure.
  There is more. On December 21, there was an article in the Washington 
Post. The headline is ``In private meeting, Schumer angrily confronted 
by Hispanic Caucus members as prospects for DACA deal slip again.'' It 

       Disagreements among Democrats over how to keep fighting to 
     enact legal protections for immigrant ``dreamers'' boiled 
     over in the office of Senate Minority Leader Charles E. 
     Schumer on Thursday as he met with members of the 
     Congressional Hispanic Caucus in what several participants 
     described as a tense and heated exchange.
       With just a few minutes' notice, they showed up in the 
     lobby of Schumer's suite across from the Senate floor in 
     hopes of pressing him to persuade more Senators to vote 
     against the GOP spending plan that was set to be approved in 
     the coming hours.
       The latest short-term spending plan was set for approval as 
     Democrats this week backed off a pledge to force a vote this 
     month over the fate of thousands of undocumented immigrants 
     brought to this country as children. The decision angered 
     immigration activists.

[[Page S391]]

  Later in the article:

       Several people who attended the meeting, granted anonymity 
     to describe what was expected to be a private exchange, said 
     the meeting with Schumer began with cordial remarks.
       Rep. Luis Gutierrez . . . unloaded on Schumer, accusing him 
     and Democratic senators of not caring about the fate of 
     dreamers and ``throwing them under the bus.''
       In response, Schumer raised his voice, telling Gutierrez 
     not to insult fellow Democrats.
       Gutierrez shot back, telling Schumer, ``Don't raise your 
       [A] few other caucus members made pointed comments toward 

  Later in the day, Gutierrez tweeted after all that: ``The fight 
continues in January . . . I think [we] are [all] on the same page.''
  Incredible pressure is being mounted the whole time.
  There is one more thing I will cite here, and this is from the New 
Yorker on January 18.

       [M]any Democratic activists are demanding that Schumer and 
     other elected Democrats vote against the G.O.P. spending bill 
     even at the risk of a government shutdown. . . . On 
     Wednesday, three protesters from the Dream Action Coalition . 
     . . were arrested while demonstrating outside Schumer's 
     office in New York City.
       Some Democratic activists and strategists are arguing that 
     the Party should take its stand now while the stench of 
     Trump's [alleged you-know-what] comment is still hanging in 
     the air.

  So this is all about political pressure. That is the leverage point, 
and that is why this is happening. It is untenable. The position they 
have established is untenable.
  Most people in America just wouldn't agree with this. If you are 
being honest with yourself--I challenge anyone to go into any diner in 
your State or call 10 people who just kind of follow politics a little 
bit but are not activists or whatever and ask them: Do you think it is 
right to shut down the government over an issue that we have until 
March 5 to fix? Ask them that. Call people and ask them: Do you think 
it is a smart thing to do to close the Federal Government over an issue 
that we have another 43 days to address? You know what the answer is 
going to be; you do. That is why the position they have adopted is 
untenable, but that tells you the amount of political pressure they are 
under to do this. This is all motivated by that. This is all motivated 
by an incredible amount of pressure brought to bear on my Democratic 
colleagues--in particular, on the Democratic leader--by activists, and 
it brings us to this point.
  By the way, I would also argue that the strategy, in addition to 
being driven by that, is counterproductive. Yesterday, there was 
supposed to be a meeting with the White House and congressional leaders 
from both parties to keep working on this issue of DACA. The Democrats 
didn't show up, probably because they were too busy dealing with the 
shutdown. So this isn't making arriving at a deal for DACA easier; it 
is making it harder.
  On this argument that they don't trust--if we don't do this, we can't 
trust the President is going to do this, I don't think that is true. I 
think there is a balance of leverage here that exists that almost 
guarantees something can happen if we want something to happen. So 
let's begin with facts.

  The President of the United States campaigned on a very specific 
promise, and we know what that promise was. He was going to build a 
wall and secure the border. The President knows that he needs 60 votes 
in the Senate. The President knows that he is not going to get a border 
wall and get increased security unless we do something about DACA. They 
are well aware of that at the White House, and I think they have said 
that openly.
  What is important to remember, as well, is that there isn't going to 
be a deal on DACA unless we have a deal on the wall. That is the way 
our system works. I say that to you as someone who supports a wall and 
supports dealing with DACA. But as I have already talked about earlier, 
in this system of government, it is not a zero-sum game. It cannot be 
``I get the wall and you get nothing,'' and it cannot be ``We get DACA 
and even more, and you don't get the wall.'' It is not going to work.
  Right now, we have a lot of wasting of time going on, entertaining 
ridiculous fantasies about what could be achieved here. A bill that 
creates permanent status under DACA but would allow some future 
Congress to stop funding the wall isn't going to pass. The President is 
not going to sign that. Think about it. If you have a wall that takes 
10 years to build and you have DACA that is permanent, the next year 
they don't fund it, DACA stays, and the wall is not there. They are not 
going to sign that.
  A bill that creates a path to citizenship under DACA but then also 
allows the recipients of that citizenship to use it to bring in their 
parents who brought them into the country illegally--the President is 
not going to sign that. That is just reality, and I say this to you as 
someone who has tremendous sympathy for the young people who were 
brought here as minors, yes, in violation of the law but through no 
fault of their own. They didn't commit a crime, and now they find 
themselves with no legal immigration status.
  It would be a mistake, in my opinion, to allow their status to expire 
without a replacement. There are practical reasons why it would be a 
mistake. We have spent years and taxpayer money educating them. We 
would be hurting their employers. These people are working somewhere 
now, and overnight they can't work there anymore. They might own a 
business, and you would be hurting the people who work for them. Maybe 
they are married to a U.S. citizen; you would be hurting a U.S. citizen 
who is their spouse. Maybe they have children who are U.S. citizens, 
and these children need those parents. You would be hurting them. These 
are the practical reasons we shouldn't let it expire.
  There are more reasons we shouldn't let it expire. It is immoral to 
have laws that punish anyone for the mistakes their parents made. It is 
immoral to deport someone to a country they have never really lived in. 
You were 2 years old when you came from Honduras, you don't even speak 
Spanish, you don't know anybody there, and they are going to send you 
there--it just doesn't feel right.
  It is my deepest belief that if DACA expires and 700,000 young adults 
who have spent the majority of their lives among us are forced to leave 
this country, I think it would be a dark stain on our history. I think 
future generations would look back at that and say that was a terrible 
thing those people did back then. I think we have more support for what 
I just said in the Republican Party than we have ever had in the 7 
years that I have been here.
  But I have to be fair and I want to be frank. It is also a mistake to 
overreach on the other side of this argument. It is fair to argue that 
we should deal with DACA because it is the moral and compassionate 
thing to do. It is fair to argue that dealing with DACA is in our 
national interest, but it is a big mistake to demand a right that does 
not exist. There is no right to illegally immigrate to any country on 
the planet. No one has a right to DACA, but dealing with DACA is the 
right thing to do.
  I think it is also overreaching to insist that not only must DACA 
recipients be accommodated, but we also have to accommodate their 
parents. Maybe because I personally know so many people under these 
circumstances, I am personally open to figuring out something that 
allows their parents to stay, especially if the children are minors. I 
understand that is not a majority position in my party, and I have to 
be honest with you that I believe that if we take the position around 
here that we are not accepting any deal unless it takes care of both 
the DACA recipient and the parent--if that is the hard position we 
adopt and people aren't willing to move off of it, I think there may be 
no deal at all, and that means that neither the recipients of DACA nor 
the parents will have anything.
  By the way, I also think it is overreach to oppose a border wall 
because you find it symbolically offensive. First, America has a right 
and, more importantly, a responsibility to protect its borders and 
enforce its laws. Second, there is not going to be a DACA deal of any 
kind without a wall, period. Donald Trump is not going to sign, cannot 
sign, and will not sign a bill that doesn't have real enforcement. That 
is a fact. That has to happen.
  So what is the way forward? Right now, the government is shut down. 
You won't really notice until Monday, but on Monday people will start 
to notice. DACA expires 6 weeks from Monday.

[[Page S392]]

So on Monday, if we haven't done anything, the government will be shut 
down, and we have 43 days to go until DACA. I think we need to fund the 
government on a short-term basis--maybe it is February 9--and then we 
spend the next 3 weeks working on an agreement on defense, an agreement 
on disaster relief, and an agreement on border security and DACA.
  For Democrats who are worried they don't have leverage, you have 
plenty of leverage without shutting down the government. For example, 
there are two Republicans who oppose short-term spending in general. 
Then you have several Republican Members who oppose any longer term 
spending without defense spending increases. In essence, this worry 
that you have that they are going to fund the government for just 6 
months and walk away from DACA--there are at least five Republicans who 
are going to vote no on that, several because of defense and two 
because of short-term spending. Then add to that, there are at least 
three other Republican Members--myself being one of them--who will have 
a lot of trouble voting for a long-term spending plan that doesn't 
include disaster relief. That alone gives you leverage to ensure that 
not only do those issues need to be dealt with, but all three of them 
would have to be dealt with in order for there to be any long-term deal 
that forecloses the leverage you want.
  You have another piece of leverage: The President needs to fulfill 
his campaign promise, which Americans supported at the ballot box: 
Build a wall. He knows he can't do that without a DACA deal. So, 
really, both sides here have leverage. But as long as the government is 
shut down, we are wasting valuable time.
  Monday could have been a day that people met and hashed out key 
details of DACA. Instead, Monday will probably be all about the 
shutdown--and maybe Tuesday and maybe Wednesday. We are wasting time we 
do not have.
  Finally, as for DACA, what is the way forward on that? There are a 
lot of ideas going around. Here is what I would say to you: The 
baseline in the core of any agreement is one that basically codifies 
DACA, in essence, deals with the President's decision to suspend the 
Executive order on it and funds in a way that can guarantee continued 
funding the President's immigration enforcement plan. That is the core. 
You codify DACA, and you do something to ensure that the wall is going 
to be built and that they can't come back and cancel the funding. Then 
the Senate can go into an open amendment process and debate any 
additional matters you want put in there. For example, maybe there is a 
deal that, instead of codifying DACA alone, it actually creates a 
pathway to citizenship under DACA, but it eliminates not just DACA 
applicants but future applicants from being able to sponsor parents. I 
am not saying that it will pass, but that might be a debate that 
  Even if you can't reach 60 votes on any of these amendments people 
are offering, even if all those amendments fail, in the end, you are at 
least left with a bill that secures our border and gives permanent 
certainty to close to 700,000 people who currently are registered under 
  As Benjamin Franklin said after he agreed to the Constitution in 
1787: We may all be left with a law in which none of us got everything 
we wanted, but everyone got something that they needed.
  The DACA recipients would have the certainty of knowing that they can 
stay in America legally for the rest of their lives, and perhaps future 
Congresses and future Presidents may build upon that, and the President 
will have achieved a signature campaign promise and achieved something 
Republicans--and many Democrats--have been promising to do but have 
failed to deliver for over 15 years; that is, to secure the border and 
build a wall.
  There is a way forward on all of these things. If we remember how our 
system works, we can start making it happen, but I think it will 
require us to accept what it takes to make progress in a constitutional 
Republic. We can't even begin to do it until we end the shutdown. And 
that is what I hope we will do sooner, rather than later.

  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Sasse). The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Mr. President, we are in the midst of the Trump 
shutdown, aptly named for him because he is the one--perhaps the only 
one in America--who thinks it is a good shutdown. In fact, his head of 
Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, gloated that it was 
``kind of cool'' that he was the one who got to shut down the 
government. ``Kind of cool,'' he said on Friday in a radio interview.
  As I speak tonight, all Americans know there is no such thing as a 
good shutdown. All of us in this body strongly believe that we must end 
this shutdown.
  We mark the first-year anniversary of the Trump Presidency with the 
Trump shutdown and his now infamously saying on May 2 that our country 
needs a ``good shutdown.'' But this shutdown has damaging, even 
potentially devastating effects on millions of Americans--our troops 
whose pay will be delayed, our families who rely on the Children's 
Health Insurance Program and who will soon be without funding, 
community health center patients whose source of healthcare will be 
closed, government workers who keep our Nation running every day, the 
disaster relief victims in Puerto Rico who will be denied relief, along 
with their fellow Americans in Texas and Florida. This shutdown is not 
a ``good shutdown,'' and it is not ``kind of cool.''
  I beg to differ with the majority leader, who has just come to the 
floor saying that Democrats agree with everything that is in the 
measure that came to us from the House, because, as damaging as a 
shutdown is, so is a continuing resolution. It is corrosive and 
destructive to good government.
  We have been through three continuing resolutions--each a month--in 
as many months, and now a fourth in the fourth month is proposed. That 
is no way to run a government. Whether it is 3 weeks or 4 weeks, at the 
end of that so-called continuing resolution--a short-term temporary 
patch--we will be in the same place as we are today.
  The good news is that we have bipartisan consensus not only that we 
must end the shutdown but also on each of those issues that are 
necessary to reach consensus on a longer term, full fiscal year 
package. That is also why a continuing resolution and the measure that 
came to us from the House are completely inadequate--because they 
continue to fund those programs at the same level as the previous year, 
2017. The Pentagon, the Secretary of Defense, and our military leaders 
have told us unequivocally and clearly that those levels are inadequate 
to our national defense.
  I hope there is bipartisan consensus among us on the Armed Services 
Committee and in the Chamber as a whole that we need a strong national 
defense--both military and nonmilitary funding--and there needs to be 
an increase in that funding, which the bill presented last night did 
not provide.
  So far from agreeing with every provision in that 4-week extension, 
it is inadequate. It would be irresponsible and reprehensible for this 
body to go along with it, and that is why four of our Republican 
colleagues joined us in opposing it.
  We are all here tonight ready to vote but waiting on one man--
President Trump--to finally be the leader that we expect and demand the 
President to be; the leader that Donald Trump himself in 2013 said that 
President Obama should be in ending or stopping the shutdown then. He 
said, in effect, that the buck would stop with President Obama--just as 
now it does with President Trump.
  In President Obama's case, his party did not control the two branches 
and Houses of the Congress. The Republicans control the House, they 
control the Senate, and they control the White House. They are in 
charge. They are responsible, and they are dysfunctional, in disarray 
and division.
  There have been weeks--indeed, months--of difficult negotiations. I 
am not here to blame my Republican colleagues. I think they have 
worked--many of them--in good faith. And that is the reason we have 
arrived at bipartisan agreements on the need for increases in defense 
spending, both military and nonmilitary; on the need for the Children's 
Health Insurance Program to be reauthorized, along with

[[Page S393]]

community health centers; the needs of veterans and pensioners and 
disaster relief to aid the victims of the recent hurricanes, Irma and 
Maria. That is why we need also to prevent the mass, draconian 
deportation of 800,000 young people brought here as infants and 
children through no choice of their own.
  Those bipartisan agreements on each of those issues can be turned 
into a package that can unite both sides of the aisle--maybe not 
everyone but a majority here and a majority in the House of 
Representatives--if they are simply put to a vote. We are here to vote 
on the substance. Give us that opportunity to vote on a package that 
embodies those bipartisan agreements.
  The President must either lead or get out of the way. These difficult 
negotiations have to be contrasted with the talks that took place just 
yesterday between the President and the minority leader, Senator 
Schumer. In a kind of microcosm, that day epitomizes the kind of 
leadership that got us to this point.
  The President and minority leader emerged from that conversation at 
midday with a conceptual framework and agreement--virtually--on a 
constructive set of principles, including a path to citizenship for the 
  To the consternation of some on our side, the minority leader put on 
the table, in effect, full funding for the wall--the wall that my 
colleague Senator Rubio just discussed as a condition for such an 
agreement. This wall was supposed to be funded by the Mexicans. It is, 
in my view, excessively costly and a waste of money. Border security is 
absolutely necessary, but it can be done more effectively and less 
expensively with surveillance, drones, sensors, more patrol officers, 
and better training. There is a set of fencing system improvements that 
we can agree on. But if Donald Trump wants that wall and it is a 
condition for literally the survival of 800,000 young people, the 
minority leader was willing to put it on the table. That flexibility 
and willingness to compromise epitomizes the approach that we have 
offered to take--and must be taken--to reach an agreement.
  Within hours, literally, the President backed away from that virtual 
agreement--maybe ``backed away,'' in fact, is inaccurate. He was pulled 
away by his far-right extremist staff and supporters. We may never know 
all of the names that spoke to him, but the fact is, the agreement fell 
  The shutdown is almost entirely the making of one man, who happens to 
be President of the United States and who today marks his 1-year 
anniversary--a year characterized by chaos and conflict, disarray and 
dysfunction, personal invective and partisan controversy. He has 
reversed himself so many times that the majority leader himself 
expressed frustration just a day or so ago because we have no idea what 
he wants to emerge from these bodies on any of these issues. The 
minority leader characterized negotiating with him as trying to deal 
with Jell-O. I think it is equally like a ping pong ball that ricochets 
back and forth, depending on who has last talked to him and what his 
mood is and what his last tweet may have been.
  So, just as many times before, the President is likely to put the 
extreme rightwing members of his party before all else--before children 
and their health, before Dreamers and their potential deportation, and 
before funding for our troops.
  One party is in charge of the Senate and the House and the White 
House. It owns this shutdown. But more important than pointing fingers 
and assigning blame is reaching an end and reaching agreement on what 
is necessary to end this shutdown. And more important than who is hurt 
politically in this body or the House or in the White House is who is 
hurt in the country by the failure of this government to function.
  We have work to do. We are here tonight. I will be here tonight and 
tomorrow. We have engaged in some very constructive conversation and 
discussion across the aisle. I think there is good will on both sides 
because ultimately we have in our hearts and minds this great Nation. 
If the President is not able to take yes for an answer, he needs to 
accept what we provide and resolve that the great dealmaker has to be a 
deal acceptor. He has repeatedly shown himself to be an erratic, 
unreliable, unpredictable, and capricious negotiator. There are a 
number of ways to resolve this shutdown that are within reach with the 
right kind of leadership on both sides.
  I went today to the Women's March here in Washington. I was impressed 
with the excitement and energy and the dedication of many of the young 
people who were there. Far from the cynicism and the partisanship that 
maybe we find all too rampant in this body, their idealism seems 
balanced. It is inspiring and exciting, their dedication to equal 
rights and equality, to women's healthcare, and engaging in the 
political process, believing that one person--one of them, one of us--
can make a difference.

  If we are impressed by the resolve and determination of those young 
people, as I was, we should fulfill those high expectations which they 
and all America have for us.
  Restoring trust in our institutions is a service we can help perform 
by ending this shutdown, coming to an agreement, and making sure we do 
what is truly in the public interest.
  Looking into their eyes, I was reminded also of the Dreamers. They 
are known as Dreamers because they believe in that same American dream.
  Many of the individuals at the Women's March on the Mall in 
Washington, DC, this morning were, in fact, Dreamers. They were not a 
majority but many. They were there because they believe in America, the 
only country they have ever known. Their communities, their schools, 
their families are intricately part of this Nation. They are Americans 
except for the papers, the documents they lack.
  I know that my Republican colleagues want to give them a path to 
citizenship. It is not so much give but afford them the opportunity for 
a path to citizenship because they have so much to give back to this 
country. They have lived here all their lives. They played by the 
rules. They are our future doctors, engineers, nurses, business owners, 
and entrepreneurs. We can fulfill the American dream for them and for 
us if we give them that path to citizenship.
  A great nation fulfills its promises. America is the greatest Nation 
in the history of the world. We need to keep our promise. We need to 
keep our promise in this body to the American people--the oath we have 
taken to uphold the law and the Constitution--and to do what is right.
  We should do what is right for the Dreamers and their American dream, 
for our military who need support, children who need health insurance, 
families who need health facilities, veterans who need programs that 
they have earned and deserve, and fellow Americans who need disaster 
relief. Every one of them should be done now, not 3 weeks from now, not 
4 weeks from now. We are already 112 days into this fiscal year. Now is 
the time to do the right thing.
  Thank you, Mr. President.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. RUBIO. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.