(Senate - January 24, 2018)

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[Congressional Record Volume 164, Number 17 (Wednesday, January 24, 2018)]
[Pages S494-S498]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                           EXECUTIVE CALENDAR

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the nomination.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read the nomination of Samuel 
Dale Brownback, of Kansas, to be Ambassador at Large for International 
Religious Freedom.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak for 
up to 15 minutes as in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                     Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling

  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I begin today by adding a Rhode Island 
voice to the chorus of coastal communities around the country standing 
against President Trump's reckless and unwelcome choice to try to allow 
oil and gas drilling off of nearly all U.S. coasts.
  The Rhode Island ocean economy is worth over $2 billion and employs 
more than 40,000 people. For whatever potential gain of fossil fuel 
corporations, offshore drilling introduces all sorts of hazards to our 
fishing industry and people who work in tourism and recreation along 
Narragansett Bay.
  Remember how devastating the 2010 BP oilspill was in the Gulf of 
Mexico? This graphic depicts what a spill that size would look like off 
of New England.
  The administration has tossed aside a 5-year plan that underwent 
multiple revisions and involved multiple agencies over multiple years 
taking into account the input of stakeholders and literally millions of 
comments from the public.
  The final plan that had been developed after all that effort allowed 
for only 10 lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and one sale in the Cook 
Inlet program area off the Alaska coast. There were no lease sales 
allowed in the Pacific or Atlantic. Why? Because everybody hates it.
  In ruling out drilling off our Atlantic coast, the Bureau of Ocean 
Energy Management cited ``strong local opposition, conflicts with other 
ocean uses, . . . current market dynamics, . . . [and] careful 
consideration of the comments received from Governors of affected 
  None of that has changed, and the Trump administration ought to 
listen to those coastal voices, not just the occasional Republican 
Governor of a coastal State seeking a political boost.
  Rhode Island, the Ocean State, has come out strongly opposed to this 
proposal. Our Governor, Gina Raimondo, said the administration's plan 
is ``endangering the health of nearly all coastal waters in our 
country, including our 400 miles of coastline in Rhode Island, so that 
rich oil companies can get richer.''
  Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin vowed to ``continue to 
fight this latest move by the Trump administration to give the oil and 
gas industry carte blanche to destroy our environment.''
  Rhode Island is a leader in offshore wind development. It was the 
first in the Nation to have steel in the water, first in the Nation to 
have electrons flowing to the grid. We also have vibrant fisheries and 
a longstanding fishing economy. We depend on our coastal economy for 
that, for tourism, and for many other things. Also, we are especially 
susceptible to sea level rise and other consequences of climate change. 
We are not about to go back in time and endanger our coast with the 
extraction of more dirty fuels.
  Here in Washington, I led a bipartisan group of New England Senators 
seeking legislation to bar offshore drilling along our New England 
coast. My Rhode Island colleague, Representative David Cicilline, 
introduced the companion legislation in the House of Representatives. 
The Trump administration will not be following through on its rash plan 
if New England's bipartisan Members of Congress have anything to say 
about it. The value of healthy oceans and coasts is tangible and 
immediate for us.
  The larger backdrop to this conversation about offshore drilling is 
that our oceans are steadily getting sicker, even without the threat of 
additional oilspills. The oceans have absorbed approximately 30 percent 
of the excess carbon dioxide that we have added to the atmosphere since 
the industrial revolution began. That is changing the ocean's chemistry 
dramatically. The oceans have already absorbed roughly 90 percent of 
the excess heat trapped in the atmosphere by those greenhouse gases. We 
would not be living the way we have gotten used to through our 
development as a species if it weren't for the ocean absorbing so much 
of that excess heat. We owe the oceans a lot, but as a result of that 
excess carbon dioxide and excess heat, our oceans are warming, and 
because they are warming, they are rising and, as well, of course, they 
are growing more acidic, putting marine life, coastal communities, and 
ocean economies all in jeopardy.
  Oceans face another emerging problem, which is deoxygenation. Oceans 
need oxygen, and fish and other creatures that live in the ocean need 
oxygen, and we are finding that there is less and less. Low-oxygen 
zones in the ocean are nothing new. Dead zones or areas where oxygen 
levels drop too low for marine life to survive occur naturally, but 
dead zones are worsening. They are worsening near the coasts where 
agricultural runoff spurs rapid blooms of phytoplankton. When the 
phytoplankton die, their decomposition consumes large amounts of oxygen 
from the water, and fish and other marine animals suffocate. We saw 
this just a few years ago in Narragansett Bay's Greenwich Bay area.
  Now, the Gulf of Mexico routinely sees dead zones as nitrogen-rich 

[[Page S495]]

flow from farms in the heartland, down the Mississippi River, and into 
the gulf. Last year's gulf dead zone reached record levels. NOAA, which 
measures these things, estimated the dead zone to be the size of New 
Jersey--the largest ever recorded in the Gulf of Mexico. NOAA assessed 
that the cause was unusually heavy rains in the Midwest associated with 
climate change that washed large amounts of fertilizer into the river 
and down to the gulf.
  NOAA is not alone. Last year's Climate Science Special Report, the 
scientific backbone for the Federal Government's Fourth National 
Climate Assessment, discussed the growing issue of climate change-
driven ocean deoxygenation. The report did not mince words. ``Global 
ocean deoxygenation is a direct effect of warming.'' As water warms, it 
loses its capacity to absorb gases like oxygen, and warmer water 
circulates less, meaning there is less mixing of water and oxygen 
between the surface and deeper waters. The report attributes 85 percent 
of global oxygen loss to this stratification, as it is known, of the 
  Worldwide, ocean oxygen levels have declined. According to the 
Climate Science Special Report, the North Pacific, North Atlantic, 
Southern Ocean, subtropical South Pacific, and South Indian Oceans are 
all expected to experience further deoxygenation. Oxygen may drop off 
as much as 17 percent in the North Pacific by 2100 if we don't rein in 
carbon emissions.
  Not surprisingly, fish and other marine wildlife try to steer clear 
of dead zones. If they are not able to breathe in these low-oxygen 
waters, they can die. Dr. Callum Roberts, a researcher at the 
University of York, has also warned that large and fast-moving fish 
that use more oxygen, like tunas, billfish, sharks, and fish like this 
unbelievably beautiful marlin, are being relegated to shrinking high-
oxygen areas causing them to change how they hunt. A 2010 paper in 
Deep-Sea Research estimated that from 1960 to 2008, the areas in the 
ocean where oxygen levels are too low to support fish and other big 
ocean organisms have grown by over 1.7 million square miles--an added 
1.7 million square miles with oxygen levels too low for God's beautiful 
creatures like this one.

  One example of this phenomenon comes to us from former NOAA 
researcher Dr. Eric Prince, who noticed that blue marlin, a fish which 
is actually well known for its diving capabilities, would not leave the 
top hundred feet of ocean off of Costa Rica and Guatemala. Elsewhere, 
in the ocean, marlin regularly go half a mile down to hunt. The reason 
for constraining themselves to that top 100 feet of ocean? ``A deep, 
gigantic and expanding swath of water that contained too little 
oxygen.'' A 2011 study in Nature Climate Change estimated that over 50 
years the surface ocean habitat in the tropical Northeast Atlantic used 
by tunas and billfish, like the blue marlin, has shrunk by 15 percent 
due to deoxygenation.
  A study published earlier this month in the prestigious journal 
Science warned that though there may be a short-term fishing surge due 
to the crowding of fishing species into surface waters--they are easier 
to find because there is less oxygenated water that they are in--``[i]n 
the longer term, these conditions are unsustainable and may result in 
ecosystem collapses, which ultimately will cause societal and economic 
  This portends devastating effects. The World Health Organization says 
around 1 billion people rely on fish as their main source of protein. 
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates 10 to 12 percent 
of the world's population base their livelihoods on fisheries or 
aquaculture. Bringing it closer to home, commercial fish landings for 
Rhode Island for 2016 totaled 82.5 million pounds and were valued at 
nearly $94 million. In 2014, the New England ocean economy was valued 
at over $17 billion and employed nearly a quarter of a million people. 
All of that is at risk as we pull out the cornerstones of our ocean 
  Here is where it actually gets a little weird. Oxygen depletion could 
actually spur a boom in nitrogen-breathing microorganisms--tiny 
microbes that breathe nitrogen instead of oxygen. They might then 
demand enough valuable nitrogen that they crowd out other ocean species 
that also need nitrogen, and these nitrogen species exhale nitrous 
oxide, which is a greenhouse gas which creates another possible climate 
change feedback loop.
  As a recent Washington Post story put it, our growing understanding 
of ocean deoxygenation ``underscores once again that some of the most 
profound consequences of climate change are occurring in the oceans, 
rather than on land.''
  As Dr. Denise Breitburg, the lead author of the recent Science paper 
said, ``Of course, declining oxygen isn't happening in isolation. . . . 
Warming itself threatens marine food webs, as does acidification caused 
by increased carbon dioxide in the water. But the threats are worse 
when combined.''
  That is what we are seeing--deoxygenation, warming, acidification 
  We recklessly ignore the warnings that the oceans are screaming at 
us. Scientists are seeing numbers and conditions in the oceans they 
have never seen before. We ignore also the high tides that now 
regularly flood downtowns of major cities as sea levels rise. We ignore 
fish species moving northward and offshore in search of cooler waters 
away from traditional fisheries. We ignore the oyster spat dissolving 
in acidic seawater before they can grow to maturity. We ignore coral 
reefs turning white and dying in warm, acidic seas. We ignore the 
record strength of warm-water-fueled 2017 hurricanes that killed 
people, destroyed homes, and caused billions of dollars in damage.
  I wonder how long can we ignore the cries from our oceans? Truly, it 
is time to wake up.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kansas.
  Mr. MORAN. 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.

                           Order of Procedure

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that at 5 p.m. 
today, all postcloture time on the Brownback nomination be considered 
expired and that, if confirmed, the motion to reconsider be considered 
made and laid upon the table and the President be immediately notified 
of the Senate's action.
  I further ask unanimous consent that the vote on the James nomination 
occur at 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, January 25, with all other provisions 
of the previous order in effect.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Maryland.

                               BRINK Act

  Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. President, I want to start my remarks today by 
focusing on a serious threat to our national security, and that is 
North Korea's nuclear program--both its nuclear weapons program as well 
as its missile program.
  At this moment the United States must exert maximum economic pressure 
to get North Korea to engage in meaningful discussions with the goal of 
denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.
  That is why Senator Toomey and I introduced the BRINK Act. I was 
pleased to see the changing of the guard here at the desk, with the 
Senator from Pennsylvania having just been the Presiding Officer and 
the Senator from Colorado taking over, because I know the Senator from 
Colorado has also been very deeply involved in this issue to try to 
make sure that we address the threat of the North Korea program.
  The BRINK Act is bipartisan legislation passed unanimously out of the 
Banking Committee back on November 7. It imposes very tough sanctions 
on North Korea, and, just as importantly, it has enforcement mechanisms 
to make sure financial institutions anywhere in the world that are not 
cooperating with the United States and our allies to impose those 
sanctions on North Korea are penalized. It is a very simple message: 
You can do business with North Korea or you can do business with the 
United States. You cannot do business with both.
  Given that this passed unanimously out of the Banking Committee on 
November 7, and that since then North

[[Page S496]]

Korea has tested an ICBM that analysts believe is capable of reaching 
all of the United States, we should move forward on this legislation 
now. In fact, just yesterday CIA Director Pompeo said that ``North 
Korea is ever closer to being able to hold America at risk'' and that 
its nuclear weapons program had developed at a ``very rapid clip.''
  We have no time to waste. We should move forward immediately on the 
BRINK Act and move forward on other legislation that came out of the 
Foreign Relations Committee on this issue. I think we owe it to the 
American people to do this right away, without further delay.

                               DETER Act

  Mr. President, I would like to turn now to another security threat to 
our country--a threat, really, to the core of our democracy--and that 
is foreign interference in our elections.
  We all know we have great divisions and differences on lots of issues 
around our country and in this body, but one thing that should unite us 
all and one principle that should bring us all together, Democrats and 
Republicans alike--in fact, Americans, regardless of political party or 
political stripe--is that we should protect our democratic process. We 
should protect the integrity of our elections and our democratic 
  We know that our democracy has been under threat by foreign powers 
that want to interfere in our democratic process. In a declassified 
report released in January of last year, the intelligence community 
unanimously assessed that ``Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an 
influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. Presidential election.'' 
As part of that campaign, the Kremlin hacked and released emails of the 
DNC. It could be the DNC yesterday, and it could be the RNC tomorrow. 
It could be any entity that they would seek to disrupt.
  In 2016 they also breached voter registration databases of State and 
local election boards. They hacked a major voting software supplier and 
launched an extensive disinformation campaign targeting American voters 
during the 2016 election cycle. Their goal was not just to disrupt the 
candidacy of Secretary Clinton. Our intelligence community has assessed 
that Russia sought ``to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic 
process.'' Even more importantly, the unanimous consensus of the 
intelligence community was that Moscow will apply its ``lessons 
learned'' to future elections in the United States and around the 
  We know that cyber attacks on our electoral system are only going to 
get more aggressive and more sophisticated over time, and Russia is not 
the only foreign power capable of waging a cyber war on our democracy. 
We should expect that other hostile actors will seek to undermine our 
democratic system, as well.
  With this in mind--even as we assess what happened in 2016--it is 
really important that we come together to focus on what could happen in 
2018 and beyond. We need to work together urgently to prevent these 
attacks on our democracy. The question is, How do we do that? There are 
lots of things we can be doing, but one way is to make very clear to 
any foreign adversary that the costs of interfering in our elections 
far outweigh the benefits.
  In order to effect that calculation, Senator Rubio and I recently 
introduced the Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing 
Redlines, or the DETER, Act. The DETER Act is a bipartisan bill, and it 
is designed to be forward looking and to prevent foreign interference 
in our elections. It sends an unequivocal message to any foreign power: 
If you attack American candidates, campaigns, or voting infrastructure, 
you will automatically face severe consequences, and we will use the 
full range of the tools at our disposal to impose those punishments.
  To start, the DETER Act mandates regular reporting from the executive 
branch to the Congress on foreign threats to our elections. 
Specifically, it requires the Director of National Intelligence to 
issue a determination to Congress, not more than one month after every 
Federal election, on whether or not a foreign government or an agent 
acting on behalf of a foreign government has interfered in that 
  The Director of National Intelligence will talk to all of their 
colleagues in the intelligence community, make a determination about 
whether or not there has been interference in an election, and report 
to Congress as to whether that answer is yes or no.
  The DETER Act lays out four redlines--four criteria--that actors 
cannot cross without retaliation from the United States. If you go over 
this tripwire, you will face severe penalties.
  What are the tripwires?
  First, a foreign government cannot hack the infrastructure of 
elections and campaigns and leak or alter that information. This 
ensures that a foreign power would pay a stiff price for leaking 
campaign emails or breaching voter registration databases--all actions 
Russia undertook in 2016.
  Second, a foreign government could not block or disrupt access to the 
infrastructure of campaigns and emails without tripping the penalty 
provisions. This means, for instance, that a foreign adversary could 
not launch distributed denial-of-service attacks on websites providing 
voters with information on their polling locations. We have seen Russia 
employ these attacks to undermine elections in parts of Europe, and 
they could do the same here in the United States in the future.
  Third, a foreign government cannot purchase advertising intended to 
influence an election, including online ads. This is already prohibited 
by our law. So it makes sense to make this one of the redlines that 
cannot be crossed without suffering the penalties laid out in the bill. 
We know that Russia purchased more than 3,000 Facebook ads during the 
2016 cycle to sow divisions among Americans on issues like immigration, 
gun rights, the Black Lives Matter movement, and Muslim Americans. They 
targeted these ads to maximize turmoil and polarization.
  Finally, the bill sets up another redline--another tripwire--where a 
foreign government cannot use social or traditional media to spread 
significant amounts of false information to Americans. We know that 
Russia mobilized an army of bots and trolls to promote false 
information to Americans during the 2016 cycle. In fact, the Kremlin 
even established a troll farm in St. Petersburg with staff dedicated to 
spreading this false and divisive content in the United States. Under 
the bill I introduced with Senator Rubio, those actions would not go 
  So those are the tripwires. Those are the redlines that are 
established in the bill, and the Director of National Intelligence has 
to report after an election whether or not Russia or any other foreign 
power tripped over those redlines. The bill is very clear. It says that 
if Russia crosses any of those redlines in a future election, a series 
of sweeping sanctions would be triggered within 10 days of the 
determination by the Director of National Intelligence. The bill lays 
out those sanctions very clearly.

  Major sectors of Russia's economy, including finance, energy, metals, 
and mining, would be subject to automatic, mandatory sanctions. Every 
senior Russian political official or oligarch would be barred from 
entering the United States and would have their assets blocked. These 
sanctions are far, far stronger than any action taken to date with 
respect to Russia. The DETER Act conveys to Putin and others in Moscow, 
in unequivocal terms, that the United States will not tolerate attacks 
on our democracy. If it does, and the Director of National Intelligence 
reports that to Congress, then these automatic sanctions will be 
  So if you are Vladimir Putin and you are trying to decide whether you 
want to mess around in the U.S. election, you have to recognize that if 
you get caught--and they got caught in 2016; it is just that when they 
got caught, there were no automatic penalties. But if this legislation 
passes the House and the Senate and is signed by the President, this 
time, they have to consider that if they get caught, they will face 
very severe penalties. So, in my view, the costs of getting caught are 
huge and are something that would greatly deter Russia or any other 
foreign power from tripping over those redlines.
  To the extent we can, we should impose these costs in partnership 
with like-minded nations, especially our European allies, which have 
long been subject to Russia's cyber attacks on their democratic 
processes. That is

[[Page S497]]

why the DETER Act requires the administration to work with the European 
Union to take strong and collective measures against Russia for its 
cyber meddling.
  As we know, Russia is not the only adversary capable of launching 
these kinds of attacks to disrupt our democracy. Other hostile powers 
or other adversaries may look at what Russia did in 2016 and what it 
has done in Europe and they, too, may seek to exploit American 
vulnerabilities in future elections. They will certainly look at that 
possibility if they know they can get away with it without paying any 
consequences. In fact, in testimony to Congress last May, the Director 
of National Intelligence identified China, Iran, and North Korea as 
other major foreign governments that have the capability today to 
launch those kinds of cyber threats against our democracy. So this 
legislation urges the administration to present Congress with a 
deterrence strategy for each of these countries and any other foreign 
government likely to interfere in our elections going forward.
  The bill that Senator Rubio and I have introduced would have 
automatic sanctions take place against the Russian economy immediately 
upon a determination by the DNI or within 30 days of a determination by 
the DNI that they went over and crossed these redlines. It also asks 
the administration to set up a similar regime with respect to these 
other countries so they would also face automatic penalties if they 
interfered in our elections.
  Let me end with this: There is nothing more important to our 
democracy than making sure we protect the integrity of that process. 
That should be something we agree on, and I know we agree on that. I 
know we agree on it as Republicans and Democrats. In fact, stepping 
back from party labels, we all want to make sure we have free and fair 
elections that are free of interference and intrusion from any 
adversary seeking to disrupt the democratic process.
  We also know both in our gut and from our intelligence agencies that 
Russia and other foreign powers will continue to seek to interfere in 
our elections unless--unless--they are deterred from doing so. The only 
way to deter them from doing so is to make it absolutely clear in 
advance--in advance--that if they interfere and get caught, there will 
be an automatic penalty, and that is a tripwire that is automatically 
triggered upon a finding by the DNI that they have interfered in our 
  That is why it is so important to set this up right now, before the 
November 18 elections and before future U.S. elections, to put this 
regime in place, to put this structure in place that says to Vladimir 
Putin--and to develop methods to make sure we have it in place with 
respect to other countries that have a high risk of interfering in our 
elections--if you meddle, if you try to undermine our democracy, you 
will pay a penalty. Don't do it.
  I hope we will move together on a bipartisan basis to take this step 
to protect our democracy.
  Thank you.
  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. MENENDEZ. 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. MENENDEZ. Mr. President, I come to the floor to express my 
concerns over the nomination of Sam Brownback to serve as Ambassador at 
Large for International Religious Freedom at the State Department. I do 
not take my vote against a former colleague's nomination lightly nor do 
I question Governor Brownback's devotion to his own faith. Indeed, as a 
person of faith myself, I admire it.
  I firmly believe, however, that anyone seeking to represent the 
United States of America must actively champion the rights of all 
people to worship freely and without fear. The right to religious 
freedom is enshrined in our Constitution, and it is a value that we 
must champion at home and abroad.
  Having devoted my life to serving the people of New Jersey--a State 
enriched by incredible diversity--I believe religious freedom is part 
of what makes America exceptional. Even in the 21st century, we live in 
a world where governments and nonstate actors still use religion as a 
tool of oppression. They cloak their authoritarianism in the guise of 
divine inspiration, using their faith to justify the persecution of 
anyone they choose.
  The U.S. Ambassador for International Religious Freedom must commit 
to defending the rights of all religious minorities around the world--
Christians and Muslims, Jews and Sikhs, Hindus and Baha'i. 
Unfortunately, Governor Brownback's career has been defined by a lack 
of tolerance for those who do not share his own beliefs. I fear he will 
focus solely on protecting Christian minorities, while we must 
acknowledge publicly that people of all faiths are persecuted and 
demand equal representation.
  Additionally, his own personal record on important issues gives me 
concerns. Consider his troublesome record on protecting the rights of 
LGBTQ individuals. I was deeply disturbed that when pressed during his 
confirmation hearing, Governor Brownback could not even bring himself 
to muster a resounding ``no''--that it is never acceptable for a 
government to imprison or execute an individual based on their sexual 
orientation. Condemning such horrific human rights abuses should never 
be a heavy lift for anyone who seeks to represent our Nation on the 
global stage.
  I cannot in good faith support the confirmation of someone as 
Ambassador at Large for Religious Freedom who does not believe that all 
individuals are created equally in God's image.
  During his hearing, Governor Brownback also declined to say whether 
political leaders should be able to use religion to deny women access 
to healthcare and deprive them of their basic human rights. His silence 
spoke volumes.
  At a time when the Trump administration continues to expand the scope 
of the global gag rule to the effect of preventing healthcare workers 
from doing their jobs and providing lifesaving care, we need a leader 
who recognizes that women's rights are human rights and who knows that 
the oppression of women by religious zealots is a hallmark of 
  During his time as Governor and here in the Senate, Mr. Brownback 
often used religion to push policies that undermine the rights of women 
to access healthcare, control their own bodies, and determine their own 
  As much as I know the people of Kansas wish to see Governor Brownback 
sent abroad and out of their State, I cannot support his confirmation 
today. In these uncertain times, in a world rife with challenges, our 
Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom must be a 
champion for people of all faiths and a warrior for the human dignity 
of all of God's children.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. RISCH. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Lee). Without objection, it is so ordered.
  All postcloture time is expired.
  The question is, Will the Senate advise and consent to the Brownback 
  Mr. RISCH. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the 
Senator from Tennessee (Mr. Corker) and the Senator from Arizona (Mr. 
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 49, nays 49, as follows:

                       [Rollcall Vote No. 23 Ex.]



[[Page S498]]



     Cortez Masto
     Van Hollen

                             NOT VOTING--2

  The VICE PRESIDENT. On this vote, the yeas are 49, the nays are 49. 
The Senate being equally divided, the Vice President votes in the 
affirmative, and the nomination is confirmed.
  Under the previous order, the motion to reconsider is considered made 
and laid upon the table and the President will be immediately notified 
of the Senate's action.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Tillis). The majority leader.