RAPID DNA ACT OF 2017
(Senate - January 18, 2018)

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[Congressional Record Volume 164, Number 11 (Thursday, January 18, 2018)]
[Pages S268-S269]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                         RAPID DNA ACT OF 2017

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will 
resume consideration of the motion to concur in the House amendment to 
S. 139, which the clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       House message to accompany S. 139, a bill to implement the 
     use of Rapid DNA instruments to inform decisions about 
     pretrial release or detention and their conditions, to solve 
     and prevent violent crimes and other crimes, to exonerate the 
     innocent, to prevent DNA analysis backlogs, and for other 
     purposes.

  Pending:

       McConnell motion to concur in the amendment of the House to 
     the bill.
       McConnell motion to concur in the amendment of the House to 
     the bill, with McConnell amendment No. 1870 (to the House 
     amendment to the bill), to change the enactment date.
       McConnell amendment No. 1871 (to amendment No. 1870), of a 
     perfecting nature.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the time until 12:15 
p.m. will be equally divided between the two leaders or their 
designees.
  The Senator from Kansas.
  Mr. MORAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as in 
morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                         Funding the Government

  Mr. MORAN. Mr. President, when we complete our work today on the FISA 
issue, we will be consumed by the issue of a continuing resolution and 
the need for continued appropriations to keep government functions 
available to the American people.
  I come with a suggestion that I think is based not on politics but 
upon commonsense and perhaps just the good business aspect of getting 
our work done. My suggestion to our colleagues is that we do not shut 
down government. I think the outcome of that is not good, and I can 
list the reasons. I have had constituents from time to time tell me 
``shut her down. It wouldn't matter to me,'' but I can list the 
circumstances in which it really does matter to everyday folks in 
Kansas and across the country. At the same time, we should force 
ourselves to do work that we seemingly are unwilling or unable to 
complete. There is a whole list of things that are pending, and they 
have been pending for a long time.
  The Presiding Officer and I serve on the Appropriations Committee, 
and one of the positions that I think we share is the desire to see 
that the appropriations process works. That means that we would do a 
budget. The Budget Committee would do a budget, and the Senate and the 
House would approve the budget. We would do 12 appropriations bills 
that fill in the budget space. We would be able to prioritize spending. 
We could increase, reduce, or eliminate spending. Then, we could again 
send a message to agencies, departments, and cabinets that we have the 
ability to determine how much money they have to spend and, therefore, 
have the opportunity to influence decisions that are made that affect 
the American people through the bureaucracy and through the 
administration in such significant ways.
  So the goal here is to keep government functioning--no shutdown--but 
also to have the discipline necessary to put an appropriations process 
in place to get us out of a CR.
  Immigration, from DACA to border security, is certainly a topic of 
conversation in Congress, and negotiations are apparently ongoing and 
it is an issue that needs to be resolved. If we are going to make fixes 
to our immigration system, now is better than later. If border security 
is important, now is better than later to improve border security. If 
certainty in people's lives is important, now is better than later.
  Many of us have a concern that we are not adequately funding the 
defense side. We face many threats, from China in the Pacific to Russia 
and its intrusion, from cyber issues that affect our national security 
to terrorism and the Middle East. If additional money is necessary for 
our intelligence capabilities and for our national defense, now is 
better than later.
  What may happen here is that we will pass a continuing resolution 
that takes us weeks into the future and we will operate under a 
continuing resolution, or, if that is not possible, nothing may pass 
for several days and the so-called government shutdown would occur.
  Here is what I would ask us to do. Let us do a continuing resolution 
for a day or so at a time, keeping government open, which puts the 
pressure on negotiations to occur to resolve the variety of issues that 
are out there today that, in all likelihood, will be attached to a 
final resolution. The question is, Do we do it now? Do we force those 
negotiations to occur and a resolution of those issues to happen? Do we 
force that today by being in a continuing resolution that is a very 
short period of time? Or do we give ourselves another month to allow 
the conversations to continue, and, in all likelihood, if history is 
any indication, a month from now we will be saying: Well, we need 
another CR while we continue.
  The issues are important that are before us, and Congress has the 
habit of delaying resolutions of issues until the moment of crisis 
arrives. My point is this: Keep the pressure on us today. Do not let us 
walk away from here now without keeping government open, but do not let 
us leave the Senate and the Congress until we have resolved the issues 
in front of us. Those issues include healthcare, immigration, funding 
for national defense, domestic spending, and issues related to 
disaster--the Senator who presides today is from Florida--whether or 
not we do disaster assistance, which is a need as a result of the 
hurricanes that have caused tremendous damage in Texas and Florida and 
Puerto Rico. If we need that disaster relief--if it is needed--it is 
needed now, not later.
  I have raised this topic. I have had this conversation with many of 
my colleagues.
  I encourage us to continue to resolve our differences today--they 
will not be easier tomorrow--and make certain that we have an 
opportunity for us to then deal with the important issues that are 
still ahead of us. Outside of any agreement that might be reached in 
the next several days, we need to deal with issues that are important--
what I would describe as issues that we will be dealing with that are 
normally important to us in May and June. But May and June will be 
occupied by the things we should have resolved now. So that in May and 
June, we will do the things we could have done today, and we will not 
be taking care of the July issues.
  Common sense tells me that we can find a solution to the problems if 
we work at it, but if we allow ourselves to escape from the process 
today or tomorrow--if we return home--we will be

[[Page S269]]

back in the same position next week and the week after that and the 
week after, which we are in today.
  It is just a simple plea that the Senate exhibit some common sense, 
some good business practices. Let's resolve our differences now, and 
then let's take on the next issues that are so important to the 
country.
  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. BARRASSO. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

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