NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2019--Continued; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 97
(Senate - June 12, 2018)

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[Pages S3739-S3754]
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  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kentucky.
  Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, one of the greatest things about our country 
is the Bill of Rights. When we passed the Constitution, many people 
were fearful that if specific rights were not enumerated, they might be 
taken away. I think other people said: We don't need a Bill of Rights. 
Who can imagine a time when we would take away the right to trial? Who 
can imagine a time when you wouldn't get a lawyer or that you could be 
held indefinitely without a trial?
  Some people opposed the Bill of Rights and said: We don't need this 
because it is so obvious that no one in their right mind would ever 
argue that an American citizen or someone apprehended or accused of a 
crime in the United States would be held without limit, would be sent 
to a camp in another country and held forever without a trial. None of 
our Founding Fathers ever imagined that could happen.
  Well, here we are at a time where just 4 or 5 years ago, this body 
passed a bill that says an American citizen can be detained forever; 
that an American citizen accused of a crime in the United States can be 
sent to a foreign camp and held forever without trial.
  When you mention this, people are incredulous. They ask: Who is the 
person who would object to the Bill of Rights? Who is it who possibly 
objects to the Fifth Amendment and the Sixth Amendment?
  You are going to hear from that person shortly because it is one 
person in the Senate who objects to the Fifth Amendment and the Sixth 
Amendment applying to those who are accused of a crime in our country--
captured in our country and accused of a crime in our country. This 
person would deny you a lawyer. This person believes the entire world 
is a battlefield, including the United States, so we need to have 
martial law in the United States. This person discounts the whole 
presumption that you are presumed to be innocent until found guilty.
  Why is this a problem? Well, after 9/11, we captured 119 people, and 
we tortured them. Our government tortured them, but, in retrospect, we 
found out that 26 out of the 119 were the wrong person.
  Does anybody remember a time in our history when Black people were 
lynched because they were presumed to be guilty? This is what this is 
about. This is about people accused of a crime--not declared guilty, 
not found guilty, but you are willing to lock them up without a trial. 
I cannot think of anything more un-American.
  You will hear today from the representative of the un-American 
position that the Fifth and the Sixth Amendments don't apply to 
  Some will say: Oh, the Fifth Amendment just applies to citizens, and 
maybe we could talk about citizens but not noncitizens. The Fifth 
Amendment says that no person shall be held or deprived of their 
liberty or due process, which is the whole idea of going to court. 
Nobody captured in this country can be deprived of that. The Sixth 
Amendment says: ``In all prosecutions, the accused''--not just American 
citizens but the accused.
  People will say: Oh, we are talking about terrorists here, and they 
are terrible people. Absolutely they are terrible people. Everybody 
would want to punish the guilty terrorists, but do you want to punish 
people who are only accused of terrorism?
  You say: Well, it is a terrible crime. We might as well just throw 
out the Constitution and throw out the Bill of Rights. Why don't we 
just lock these people up or, better yet, kill them? That is the 
mentality of lynching. That is the mentality of locking up all the 
Japanese during World War II. Is that who we are as a people?
  They will have won after 9/11 if we give up on the Bill of Rights. If 
we give up on who we are, they will have won. We presume people to be 
innocent. We don't lock up people because they are Japanese--not any 
longer--and we don't lynch people because they are Black--not any 
longer--because the Bill of Rights applies to everyone.
  If you say, well, he is accused of terrorism, and he shouldn't get a 
trial, or she shouldn't get a trial, we have had 386 people accused of 
terrorism in our country, and every one of them has been convicted.
  The man who killed 13 people in New York City the other day, if I am 
on the jury, I vote to convict, but I want to hear the evidence first. 
I want to know that they got the right person. I want to know that 
someone saw him do it, that there is evidence--not just because he has 
brown skin we are going to lock him up and lock him up forever without 
a trial.
  We have convicted everybody tried in the United States. We didn't 
give up on who we are. Yet the law currently says--thanks to several 
individuals--that you can be detained forever without a trial.
  President Obama signed this law, but even President Obama knew it was 
a terrible law. He said: This law, this power is so terrible that I 
will never use it.
  But that is not what the law is about. The law is about being so good 
that even when you get a rotten person in office someday, they don't 
have the power to do this. What happens if someday we elect someone who 
is a bigot or someone who says that gay people should be guilty or 
someone who says that Brown people or non-Christians or Christians or 
homeschoolers--you name it--you can be a minority of the color of your 
skin or a minority of your ideology, but we should never let the 
government lock you up without a trial, without a lawyer.
  The amendment I have been trying to get for 6 years simply restates 
the Constitution, restates the Bill of Rights. It says that no 
declaration of war will allow people apprehended in the United States 
to be held without a trial. We not only can't get this passed, we can't 
get a vote on it because certain individuals have such disregard for 
American tradition, disregard for the presumption of innocence, and 
disregard for the Bill of Rights that they object to even having a 
vote. So we have been trying for 6 years to have a vote on this.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that it be in order to call up 
my amendment, which would forbid indefinite detention of American 
citizens and others who are accused of a crime, amendment No. 2795 to 
amendment No. 2282.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, reserving the right to object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Carolina.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, I will try to be brief. I appreciate 
Senator Paul's passion. He has been doing this for 6 years. I think he 
has been wrong for 6 years.
  Let me say something. There is a reason I am not talking about eye 
surgery on the floor: I don't know anything about it. You are talking 
about legal concepts you clearly don't know anything about. You are 
fighting a crime; I am fighting a war. If it were up to Senator Paul, 
there would be no difference between a criminal and a warrior. Radical 
Islam in the form of ISIS is not trying to steal your car or break into 
your house; they are trying to destroy your way of life. So if you 
believe we are at war, as I do, we should apply the law of war.
  For 33 years, I was a military lawyer, a prosecutor, a defense 
attorney, and a military judge. I think I know the difference between 
fighting a crime and fighting a war. When it comes to fighting a war, 
if you capture somebody who is part of the enemy force, the last thing 
we worry about is how to try them. We want to hold them under the law 
of war to gather intelligence, to make sure we understand what this 
person knows about any enemy operations.
  We had 450,000 German and Japanese prisoners in the United States. 
Guess what. Not one of them had a lawyer. If you had said what he just 
said, in World War II, they would have run you out of town. Most 
Americans would find it odd that a Japanese or German prisoner of war 
would be entitled to a lawyer under the Bill of Rights because they are 
  We are fighting a war, and I would like to win the war sooner rather 

[[Page S3740]]

later. When it comes to killing the enemy, that is part of war. But if 
you are lucky enough, clever enough to capture one of these bad guys, 
the last thing I want them to hear is ``You have a right to a lawyer.'' 
You don't. Under military law, no enemy prisoner has a right to a 
lawyer. You are talking about fighting a crime; I am talking about 
fighting a war.

  There are 44 people in Gitmo who have been held for over a decade who 
will never see the light of day because they are part of the enemy 
force. They have had due process under the law of war, and they are too 
dangerous to let go. They are not going to be tried in Federal court 
and they are not going to be tried by military commission because they 
are too dangerous to let go. And we have no interest in a trial; we 
have an interest in keeping them off the battlefield. They will die in 
jail without a trial.
  That is what happens when you join al-Qaida or ISIS--you can get 
killed, or you can die in jail. So if you are an American citizen 
thinking about joining ISIS, don't. You are not going to be captured 
because of the color of your skin or your religion or your political 
views; you will be captured because you turned on your own country.
  In every war we have ever had, American citizens have unfortunately 
sided with the enemy. Guess what ISIS is trying to do as I speak. They 
are trying to recruit people in our own backyard. How many people have 
bought the propaganda over the internet? The two guys in Boston--one of 
them had permanent status. They bought into this crazy construct that 
you have to kill everybody in the name of religion. The guy who ran 
over the folks in New York--all these people have one thing in common: 
They were radicalized by the enemy, and they became soldiers of the 
  So here is what I am trying to say: It is not my view of the 
Constitution that I want you to look at; it is what the Supreme Court 
has said.
  Ex Parte Quirin--a 1942 case--involved capturing German saboteurs in 
Long Island. The last time I checked, Long Island, NY, is part of the 
United States. You had American citizens collaborating with the enemy. 
They were captured as a group. The American citizens were tried by 
military commission, and one of them was executed. Why? Because under 
the law of war, once you join the enemy, your American citizenship 
doesn't protect you from the consequence of your act.
  In re Quirin said: Citizenship in the United States of an enemy 
belligerent does not relieve him from the consequences of belligerency 
which is unlawful because [it is] in violation of law of war.
  In 2009, an American citizen captured in Afghanistan was fighting for 
the Taliban. There is no bar to this Nation's holding one of its own 
citizens as an enemy combatant. For those who understand the law of 
war, this is one of the timeless concepts.
  He is trying to turn the war into a crime. I agree with Senator 
Paul--if you are charged with a crime, you can't be held indefinitely 
and questioned without legal representation because you are being 
accused of a crime, and you have rights as a criminal defendant. When 
you become an enemy combatant, you have rights under the law of war, 
and there is no right for an enemy prisoner to be given a lawyer.
  Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, regular order.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, I object. I have so much more to offer, 
but I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  The Senator from Kentucky.
  Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, I think it is important to listen to what 
you heard and analyze what you heard because apparently, if you are 
defined as an enemy combatant, it would be OK not to have a trial and 
not to have a lawyer. You wouldn't be presumed innocent; you would be 
presumed guilty. But the question you have to ask is, Who gets to 
define the enemy combatant? If the government gets to define you as an 
enemy combatant, is it not conceivable that you could be an enemy 
combatant because you are a minority either of skin color or of 
ideology? Has it happened in the past? The Japanese citizens were a 
minority, but there was no evidence--no one presented any evidence that 
they were a threat or had done anything wrong.
  The Non-Detention Act attempted to fix this. There were people like 
this back in the time of World War II. There are people like this in 
every war, people who are frightened of those who would attack us, so 
they want to give up the Constitution to make it simpler to get to 
guilt. You don't have to have a trial; you just proclaim people guilty. 
If you proclaim someone an enemy combatant, there will be no trial, but 
it begs the question: Who gets to decide? Are we going to let one 
person decide, or are we going to have a jury? Imagine how important 
this is to our country. We should be alarmed that there are people 
trying to prevent a trial by jury in our country. It hasn't been used 
so far, thankfully. We have actually 386 times taken terrible, awful, 
rotten people who have tried to attack us, and we tried them in courts 
with juries. We presumed they were innocent. We found them guilty, and 
we punished them.
  See, the problem isn't about how terrible terrorists are or terrorism 
is. Murderers are equally as bad. We had somebody go in a nightclub in 
Orlando and kill 125 people. He is as evil as any terrorist out there. 
Yet he will get a trial, not because anybody condones what he did, not 
because anybody doesn't want to punish him, but we will give him a 
trial because it is part of who we are. It is part of America to have 
  You will short-circuit America, you will short-circuit American 
history if you get rid of a trial by jury, if you get rid of 
presumption of innocence. It doesn't mean we have any sympathy for the 
guilty, but we have to make sure we get the guilty. We can't just 
prosecute people because they have brown skin, because they have black 
skin, because we don't like the way they act or we don't like their 
religion. That is what becomes of a country that doesn't have trials. 
Look around the world. There are countries that don't have trials. That 
is not who we are. We cannot be so frightened of terrorism that we are 
going to presume guilt and have no trials. It will end up in tyranny.
  So I ask again and again--and I won't ask it now because the Senator 
from South Carolina has left, but I ask again and again, will this body 
not allow a vote? This isn't even about his voting no; it is about his 
objecting to even the democratic process of the Senate allowing a vote.
  So America needs to know there is one opponent in the Senate who does 
not believe in the Bill of Rights. When he declares you an enemy 
combatant, you don't get the Fifth or Sixth Amendments. That is what 
this is about. I am happy if he wants to go home and defend that, but 
this is a very important debate and should not end here.
  Thank you.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. CORKER. Mr. President, I rise to speak on the NDAA bill that is 
before us today.
  I think most people know that we have been engaged in some tariff 
discussions with other countries through the administration. We have a 
trade act of 1974 and one of 1962 that have laid out provisions as to 
how we would go about dealing with tariffs. In section 232 there is a 
place which states that the President of the United States can declare 
something a national security issue. When he does that, it keeps him 
from having to go through the normal process that one goes through in 
dealing with tariffs.
  Typically, when the President chooses a section of the trade act, he 
has to go through a process. When he decides that he wants to put a 
tariff in place on another country, he has to go to the ITC or some 
other entity to show that, somehow or another, the United States has 
been harmed as the reason that he would be putting tariffs in place.
  What our President has chosen to do in recent times is to declare 
that almost everything that he is dealing with relative to tariffs is a 
national security issue. When he does that, it means that he does not 
have to lay down grounds for having done that. He can just determine 
that it is in our national security interests to put in place tariffs 
on other countries, whether it is automobiles, whether it is steel, 
whether it is aluminum, or whether it is some other issue. He can just 
wake up one morning, without going through

[[Page S3741]]

any of those processes, and decide that, on national security grounds, 
he is going to put tariffs in place.
  Article I of the Constitution declares that Congress is the 
determiner on tariffs. Congress, per the Constitution, has been charged 
with the ability--actually, the responsibility--to deal with tariffs 
and to deal with revenues. It is the responsibility of the Congress.
  Because I have been somewhat concerned that we are using this 
national security issue just as an ordinary course of business, I have 
offered an amendment to deal with that, since this is a national 
security bill, which says that the President can continue to deal with 
these other countries and he can continue to try to work through trade 
agreements, but, at the end of the day, if he actually decides to put 
tariffs in place, he would have to come to Congress to get an up-or-
down vote.
  Because we don't want to slow the administration's ability down too 
much in this regard, we have actually put in this amendment an 
expedited process so the President would know that we are not going to 
drag this out forever, so that when he comes to a conclusion, we will 
have acted on it in a timely fashion.
  I have done this for another reason; that is, if we as a country 
begin claiming that every single item is a national security issue, 
other countries will do the same. What they can then do is to avoid the 
processes that take place generally in international organizations to 
have to prove that, somehow or another, their country has been damaged. 
If we use the national security issue to put tariffs on automobiles, 
for instance, then, all of a sudden, another country can do the same.
  My amendment, by the way, is supported by 17 Senators. It is 
supported by Senators on both sides of the aisle. Taking myself out of 
it, these are Senators who are very well respected, with a wide range 
of ideologies. As a matter of fact, this probably is the most 
cosponsored amendment that has been put forward.
  I have been really proud to be able to work with Senators who care 
deeply about the Nation. They care about us economically. They just 
want to make sure that we as a Congress perform our appropriate roles, 
making sure that if a tariff is going to be put in place under this 
very unusual waiver--which has never in the history of our country been 
used as it is now being used by this current President--then we have 
the ability to at least have a say in this.

  It is not unlike the President going to Singapore and meeting with 
Kim Jong Un. What they have told us is that they are going to negotiate 
through a process that, hopefully, will cause them to be denuclearized. 
But when they complete that process, they plan to bring that to the 
U.S. Senate to have us ratify a treaty. They have been very clear about 
it. So it is exactly that same kind of process, except in this case it 
is even more our responsibility to make sure that if we are going to 
tariff people under this unusual section, we vote up or down.
  So I am going to call up this amendment. I appreciate the way the 
chairman of the committee has worked with me. I know there has been a 
lot of resistance to our having a vote on this amendment. I don't know 
why that is the case.

                  Unanimous Consent Request--H.R. 2372

  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the 
immediate consideration of Calendar No. 301, H.R. 2372; that the text 
of H.R. 5515, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 
2019, be offered as an amendment, considered, and agreed to; that H.R. 
2372, as amended, be considered original text for the purpose of 
further amendment; that the text of Inhofe-McCain No. 2282, as 
modified, be made pending as a substitute to the text of H.R. 2372, as 
amended; that McConnell-Toomey No. 2700 be made pending to Inhofe-
McCain No. 2282, as modified; that Reed-Warren No. 2756 be made pending 
as an amendment to Toomey No. 2700 and that Toomey No. 2700 be set 
aside; that Corker amendment No. 2381, as modified with changes at the 
desk, be made pending to amendment No. 2282; that Lee No. 2366 be made 
pending as an amendment to the language proposed to be stricken by 
Inhofe-McCain No. 2282; and that the Senate vote on the Corker 
amendment at 4 p.m. today.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, we just 
heard a very lengthy explanation of an amendment that no one had seen 
until about an hour ago--at least I don't know of anyone who has.
  I think the Senator from Tennessee has every right to do what he can 
to get his amendment heard, and there are opportunities other than the 
Defense Authorization bill. One of the problems--and I have worked on 
these Defense authorization bills for years and years--decades--is that 
they know it is going to pass. It has passed for 57 consecutive years. 
So a lot of people who want to put in things that are nongermane and 
very often controversial want to put them on that because they know it 
is going to pass.
  Senator Corker's is not the only amendment that is a problem 
amendment for this. There are two other nongermane amendments, one by 
Senator Lee and one by Senator Paul. They say: If I don't get a vote on 
my amendment, then I am going to stop all other amendments from coming 
up, so nobody gets to have an amendment.
  At the same time that they are saying that about the Paul amendment 
and the Lee amendment, we have other Members, such as Senator Grassley 
and Senator Graham, who are both saying: We are going to make sure you 
don't get a vote on that. So, whatever the case is, you have opposing 
parties saying: If you get a vote on something I disagree with, I am 
going to stop all amendments from coming forth. In a way, they can do 
that, and I can see that happening right now.
  I would ask my friend--because I am going to object; I am going to 
object not just because of the underlying bill but because it is an 
amendment that changes the underlying bill.
  I have had occasion to talk to two Members of the House who will be 
part of our conference committee, who strenuously object, not so much 
to the content of the amendment but to the fact that this is being put 
on. It will force the House to go back in and reconsider their bill, 
according to our friend who just advised us of that. So I don't want to 
do anything that is going to either jeopardize or delay the passage of 
the Defense authorization bill.
  I just got back from Afghanistan, Kuwait, and places all over the 
world where our troops are, and they all know that this is the week 
that help is on its way.
  We have suffered in this Chamber for the last 10 years. During the 
Obama administration--I don't say this in a negative way about him, but 
I will say that he didn't have a strong national defense as a top 
priority, and he had a policy in which he said: We can't do anything 
about sequestration in defense unless we do the same thing for the 
nondefense programs.
  What does that tell you? It tells you there is no priority for 
defending America. That is not what our Constitution says. That should 
be a priority.
  As a result, we have a lot of systems that have gone down. As General 
Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: We are losing our 
competitive edge. We are losing it. Actually, he said that 2 years ago, 
so we have lost it in some areas.

  Artillery is a good example. Right now, artillery is measured by two 
means--one by rapid fire and one by range. Both China and Russia now 
have better artillery than we have in the United States. Most people 
don't believe that. They don't know what has happened to our military.
  Hypersonic is the new weapon that operates at five times the speed of 
sound. This is something we have been working on. We are racing against 
our peer competitors--China and Russia--and they are ahead of us. They 
are ahead of us in the area of the nuclear triad. We haven't done 
anything to our nuclear program in the last 10 years, and they are 
ahead of us.
  So all these things are happening. The troops know it is out there. 
They know their pay raise is in this bill. They know their benefits are 
in this bill. They know it is a good bill. It should pass unanimously 
in the U.S. Senate. But if you start putting something on it that, No. 
1, doesn't belong on it in terms of germaneness, and, No. 2, is going 
to cause a pause that could be detrimental to our fighting troops

[[Page S3742]]

and for getting the bill done, then I wouldn't want to do that.
  So I would like to join Senator Corker in finding another bill. I 
will do all I can to help him to get that on as an amendment, but not 
to the Defense authorization bill. I think this would cause a lot of 
damage. The House agrees with this. I can't let that happen. For that 
reason, I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. CORKER. Mr. President, I am going to make a few comments here.
  I thank Senator Inhofe through the Presiding Officer for working with 
me. I realize there is a lot happening here, and I know he is 
conducting to the best of his ability the progression of this bill. I 
will just leave it at that.
  Mr. President, I was asked to find a solution to this blue-slip 
issue, and I found one that is used as customarily as waking up in the 
morning and drinking a cup of coffee. It happens all the time. This in 
no way has any effect on our ability to pass the NDAA in a timely 
fashion, but I am in no way countering the person who just spoke. I am 
not, and he knows I am not.
  I am going to speak to a larger issue, but before I do, I want to 
point out that the NDAA usually passes each year in November or 
December. It usually doesn't pass in June. So even if there were 
something that needed to be worked out, we would be way ahead of 
schedule in dealing with this as we are between now and August.
  But if I could, the germaneness of these bills has nothing whatsoever 
to do with our ability to offer amendments--nothing. That is something 
that happens postcloture.
  For the last year and a half, under Leader McConnell, we have had one 
amendment vote--one amendment vote--and that amendment wasn't even 
really an amendment. It was a chairman who was controlling his own bill 
and asking if he could substitute his own amendment. So it really 
wasn't even a real amendment vote.
  We have been here a year and a half, and because Senators--U.S. 
Senators who are elected by the people in their States--don't want to 
cast a tough vote, they block everybody from voting. I have no idea why 
Rand Paul cannot get a vote on his amendment. It is ridiculous. He has 
been trying to get a vote on it for years--years--and we have blocked 
it. Why is that?
  For the record, I want to say that I have held amendments this 
morning until we could work out the solution. I am not holding any 
amendments--none, zero. I am holding no one's amendment. But we, as 
Senators, are worried somehow that, gosh almighty--I heard the senior 
Senator from Texas saying the other day: Gosh, we might upset the 
President. We might upset the President of the United States before the 
midterms. Gosh, we can't vote on the Corker amendment because we are 
taking--rightly so--the responsibilities that we have to deal with 
tariffs and revenues; we can't do that because we would be upsetting 
the President of the United States. I can't believe it.
  I would bet that 95 percent of the people on this side of the aisle 
intellectually support this amendment. I would bet that. I would bet it 
is higher than 95 percent, and a lot of them would vote for it if it 
came to a vote. But, no, no, no, gosh, we might poke the bear. That is 
the language I have been hearing in the hallways. We might poke the 
bear. The President might get upset with us, as U.S. Senators, if we 
vote on the Corker amendment, so we are going to do everything we can 
to block it.
  If people don't like it, they can vote up or down. But, no, the U.S. 
Senate right now, on June 12, is becoming a body that says: Well, we 
will do what we can do, but, my gosh, if the President gets upset with 
us, then we might not be in the majority. So let's not do anything that 
might upset the President.
  Look, I am in no way upset with my friend from Oklahoma. I am not. I 
understand he is doing his job, and he is actually filling in, in a 
wonderful way, for Senator McCain, who happens to be ill at home--
someone we all love.
  Look, I know there is not going to be a vote on this amendment. I 
know it. I am not about to hold up somebody else's amendment from being 
voted on. I know every ounce of power possible is going to be used to 
keep from voting on this amendment because, well, my gosh, the 
President might not like it; therefore, we as Senators might be 
offending someone, by the way, just by voting on an amendment--voting 
on an amendment, up or down, and deciding whether we, in fact, want to 
assert some responsibility over a process of tariffing, where we wake 
up, ready, fire, aim. Well, let's change this. Ready, fire, aim--that 
is the process that is under way on these tariffs.
  I haven't heard of a single Senator on our side who hasn't expressed 
concern to the President directly about what is happening with tariffs. 
Our farm folks are worried about NAFTA. Our auto manufacturers are 
worried about Canada and Mexico and what is happening in Europe. Our 
steel and aluminum folks are concerned. I haven't heard of a person who 
hasn't had some degree of concern. All my amendment would do is say: 
Look, Mr. President, you go negotiate, but when you are finished, come 
back, and as Senators and as House Members, let us vote up or down.

  I understand what is happening. If I came up with another solution, 
there would be some objection, and my friend knows that. There is going 
to be an objection. Hell, if we named this--no matter what, there is 
going to be an objection to this vote because people are concerned on 
this side of the aisle--some people, not everybody. We have some great 
cosponsors who want to assume our responsibilities. We have a lot of 
great cosponsors who understand that we are abdicating our 
responsibilities if we let the President of the United States use a 
national security section 232 on every single tariff he is putting in 
place and not have to think about why he is doing it and not have to 
justify why he is doing it. They know that is a problem, and some of 
the most respected Senators we have on both sides of the aisle have 
signed on, but I know there is a minority of people here who do not 
want us to take up issues of debate and responsibility in the U.S. 
  I know that no matter what I do, this is going to be objected to. I 
am not going to object to Rand Paul having an amendment, Mike Lee 
having an amendment, Toomey having an amendment, or people on the other 
side of the aisle.
  I am disappointed at where we are in the U.S. Senate today. We have 
had one amendment vote in a year and a half because this same cycle 
occurs every time someone wants to bring something up. I in no way take 
this out on my friend from Oklahoma. I realize he is doing a job; I 
realize he has been asked to block this.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Dakota.
  Mr. ROUNDS. Mr. President, I have been listening to the debate, and I 
wish this debate would go on, on a regular basis, in the U.S. Senate. I 
think it is healthy. I wish there were a process in place today so that 
every single amendment brought up could have this type of discussion 
and debate and those proposals could actually be amended on the floor 
of the Senate to improve them.
  I will share with you that I thought what our friend from Tennessee 
was trying to do was an honest attempt to bring back to Congress 
section 1 or article I responsibilities that we have, over a period of 
years, allowed to be delegated to the executive branch.
  I also shared with the Senator that while the debate was a very 
healthy one, I felt at this stage of the game that it probably would 
not, in its current form, be appropriate and that the President was 
already acting on these tariffs. I thought that I probably could not 
support his bill, but I thought he should have an opportunity in this 
process to have the debate.
  Let me now share that what the chairman--or the ranking member, who 
is acting as the chairman in this particular case--is doing is 
protecting the National Defense Authorization Act and making it as 
viable as possible in the long term to survive in both the House and 
the Senate.
  For those who are wondering what we are talking about in a nebulous 
sort of way, what Senator Corker had tried to do was to have a debate 
about whether the tariffs that the President had proposed for national 
defense purposes under a 1962 law were appropriately determined to be a 
national security

[[Page S3743]]

threat. That was the language Congress had delivered to the President.
  The President has made his choice, and there are a number of Members 
who feel that while they support the President, they think he has 
overstepped with regard to whether they were actually of national 
security importance. Senator Corker wanted to have that discussion, and 
I agreed he should be able to have that discussion. However, I had 
shared with him that I thought it needed to be in different order and 
that he was making it too tough for the executive branch to succeed 
with the numbers he had proposed. He wanted a 60-vote margin for the 
Senate to proceed. That is the way, though, he was going to introduce 
  I was prepared to vote on it and, hopefully, win in an honest debate 
on the floor of the U.S. Senate with those arguments, but in doing so, 
I also learned, as the chairman has shared, that the House had sent 
over a bill to us. We were on the House bill. In order to get, in this 
particular case, a vote on this particular topic, the Senator from 
Tennessee, in a very innovative way and one that normally would be used 
earlier in the process where everyone had the opportunity to recognize 
it, would have to change the underlying bill. In changing the 
underlying bill, it would have to go back to the House, and they would 
have to revote on the bill once again. Doing so puts this very 
important bill in jeopardy. As a Member who has been here only for 3 
years, I understand that is not always the easiest thing do.
  I wish to thank our Chairman for making what is a very hard decision 
and stepping up to protect the National Defense Authorization Act 
because of everything else that is in it, while at the same time I will 
commit the same as the chairman has committed, in this particular case, 
to Senator Corker that his item of discussion, which is the appropriate 
use of tariffs for national defense purposes, is a healthy debate to 
have, and it should be had in such a fashion that amendments could be 
offered on the floor of the Senate, and a very straightforward debate 
could then determine the fate of that legislation on its own and not in 
connection with the NDAA.
  For that purpose, I simply wish to say that what I think the American 
people have seen here today is, No. 1, our commitment to making certain 
that the National Defense Authorization Act moves forward because it is 
critical every single year that we improve our ability to defend our 
country, while at the same time making a very hard decision, which the 
chairman did today, to suggest that even though we all want to have a 
debate on this particular issue, unfortunately, this bill is not the 
place to do it.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, first of all, I appreciate the comments by 
the Senator from South Dakota. I think the point is, this is the most 
important bill of the year.
  I want to make only a couple of comments, and I was hoping to make 
these comments while the Senator from Tennessee was still here. One is 
that I have a disagreement because he mentioned that this bill--the 
most important bill of the year--is very often not considered until 
November or December. The absolute deadline is the end of December. I 
can remember getting within 2 or 3 days of that deadline in the past, 
and, if that happened, then our flyers wouldn't get flight pay or there 
would no longer be any hazard pay. There were a lot of things we would 
have to give up that we couldn't afford to give up.
  We made a commitment--and it wasn't just me by myself; it was with 
the Senator from Rhode Island, who is handling the bill on the 
Democratic side--that we wanted to have amendments. We preferred not to 
have nongermane amendments, and that would be my goal, if I am around 
here next year when we do this, to lay groundwork so that we don't have 
nongermane amendments. As I said, this is a bill that will pass. 
Normally, for things that don't pass any other way, if they can get 
them on as amendments, they can get them passed.
  We have the same situation happening right now, not just with Senator 
Corker but also with Senator Rand Paul and the Senator from Utah. That 
wasn't going to work either way. The problem I had with Senator 
Corker's change was it was a very long change that changed the 
underlying bill, and, as was pointed out by the Senator from South 
Dakota, that would mean we would have to go back over to the House. I 
don't feel comfortable doing that when we have all of those kids out 
there who are looking at pay raises and wondering what is really 
happening in Washington. Is there really not the support we anticipated 
that they all had?
  I am sincere when I say this; he isn't here now, but I said it when 
he was here. If Senator Corker wants to get this done, and I know he 
does, I will help him. We have a lot of time to find another bill that 
might be more germane, but it would not be on this bill that we really 
can't afford to jeopardize. I feel strongly about that. We were 
attempting to help him get a vote initially, and then, when he changed 
the underlying bill, that meant we would have to go back to everyone. 
He mentioned his coauthors, and we don't know how many of those 
coauthors would still be supporting his amendment if they knew it was 
changing the underlying bill.
  Those are the problems we have here, and I think we want to get on 
with, as rapidly as possible, getting these amendments opened up so 
that people can vote on the amendments and hopefully get the bill done 
this week. I don't know if it will be this week or not.
  Senator Corker was also implying we are doing something for this 
President with this amendment, and I wish to remind everyone of the 
fact that there are several things the President--our new President--
had in mind. He wanted to privatize air traffic control. I almost 
singlehandedly stopped that, and that was one of his main objectives. 
Also, he wanted to have a BRAC round in this bill that is on the floor 
now, and we stopped that. Many of the provisions that he wanted we have 
taken out of the bill.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Portman). The Senator from Minnesota.

                                STOP Act

  Ms. KLOBUCHAR. Mr. President, I am here to talk about net neutrality. 
First, though, I wish to commend the Presiding Officer for the 
agreement we have made on the STOP Act. He is the lead sponsor, and I 
am the lead Democrat on the bill that will really get at these drugs, 
like fentanyl, that can kill someone with just a grain-of-salt amount 
of it, which have been coming in from China and other places through 
our own Postal Service, which is outrageous for Americans. We have 
valiantly worked on this bill, and the Senator has worked out an 
agreement with Senator Hatch and Senator Wyden on the Finance 
Committee. I want to commend him for that. We are excited the bill is 
moving forward.
  Mr. President, I also want to mention another completely separate 
issue as we debate the NDAA, which is the issue of the Secure Elections 
Act that Senator Lankford and I have put on as an amendment to this 
  Let me remind my colleagues that we are approaching a different kind 
of warfare; that is, cyber warfare. It is certainly what we saw during 
the last election, but we have seen it in the area of business--in 
attacks on some of our major businesses in our own country--and, of 
course, we have seen it in elections, as well, with Russia attempting 
to hack into the election systems of 21 States.
  What this bill does is make it easier for local elected officials to 
get the information in realtime when hacks that they may not know about 
are going on in other States and to have the classified information 
they need by getting the security clearance they need to protect their 
own election system. We have worked with the secretaries of state all 
over the country on this. Senator Burr, Senator Warner, the heads of 
the Intelligence Committee, support this bill.
  I also thank Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator Kamala Harris, who 
worked with us on the bill, and we are asking to get it on as an 
amendment to the Defense Act with the simple idea that warfare isn't 
the same as it was 50 years ago or 20 years ago or 10 years ago or even 
5 years ago. Things are changing, and our laws need to be as 
sophisticated, the protection of our

[[Page S3744]]

country needs to be as sophisticated as those who are trying to do us 
harm. We are hopeful that we will be able to reach an agreement on 
this, given that the Intelligence Committee has held numerous hearings 
about election security, as has Homeland Security, as has Judiciary.

                             Net Neutrality

  Mr. President, today, I am here in opposition to the Federal 
Communications Commission's action on Monday to repeal net neutrality 
protections. Net neutrality is the bedrock of a fast, fair, open, 
global internet. It holds internet service providers accountable for 
providing the internet access consumers expect while protecting 
innovation and competition.
  These protections have worked and are part of the reason the internet 
has become one of the great American success stories, transforming not 
only how we communicate with friends and family but also the way 
companies do business, how consumers buy goods, and how we educate our 
  Earlier this year, the FCC approved Chairman Pai's plan to eliminate 
net neutrality rules. Yesterday, the final rollback of net neutrality 
went through. The FCC has now given major internet service providers 
the ability to significantly change consumers' experiences online. Big 
internet service providers now have the ability to block, slow, and 
prioritize web traffic for their own financial gain. This means they 
can sort online traffic into fast or slow lanes and charge consumers 
extra for high-speed internet. Internet service providers can even 
block content they don't want their subscribers to access. The only 
protections that are maintained are requirements for service providers 
to disclose their internet traffic policies. A lot of good that will do 
if, in like the State of Minnesota, you have significant rural areas 
where there is no real opportunity to comparison shop or find a new 
provider. If you only have one provider to go to, it has a virtual 
monopoly over your internet service.

  According to the FCC, more than 24 million Americans still lack high-
speed broadband. We should be focusing our efforts on helping these 
households get connected, not eliminating net neutrality and worsening 
the digital divide. You can always pay for high-speed access. You can 
pay for it no matter where you live. You can run lines to your house if 
you are in a remote area--lines that will cost millions of dollars. But 
that is not what they have done in other developed countries. No, they 
have seen it as a virtue, as part of a democracy, that everyone should 
have access to the internet and that it is part of what makes an 
economy work. You don't leave people behind if they don't have the 
money by themselves to afford to run lines all the way to their homes.
  This isn't only about individual internet users. It will limit 
competition, and it will hurt small business entrepreneurship and 
innovation, which has always been at the heart of the American economy. 
Without unrestricted access to the internet, entrepreneurs may be 
forced to pay to have an equal footing so as to be able to compete 
online, rather than to focus on growing their businesses.
  When you talk to small companies--to some of the startups we have 
seen out there, some of the companies that young people have started--
and you ask them: How do you break into the market when you have a big 
guy out there who has millions and millions and billions and billions 
of dollars and a multinational presence if you are trying to sell baby 
clothes or if you are trying to have a new digital service, they tell 
you: It is online. They break in because they can compete by getting 
customers online. Guess what. If they start having to pay huge amounts 
of money to get that access online in order to compete with the big 
companies that, of course, can already pay for that and can already 
afford that, you are going to have a problem, and you are going to 
defeat the very idea of entrepreneurship.
  Small businesses that are unable to pay for access to faster internet 
service may soon find themselves struggling to compete from the slow 
lane. Repealing net neutrality will hurt the very people who are 
creating jobs and keeping our economy competitive. That is why I joined 
my colleagues to force a vote last month on Senator Markey's bill to 
repeal Chairman Pai's plan and reinstate net neutrality rules. This 
bill received bipartisan support and was passed by the Senate--in this 
very room. Now it is up to the House to do the same.
  The internet should remain free and open for all who use it. So the 
fight to save net neutrality is far from over.
  I have joined Senate Democrats in urging Speaker Ryan to immediately 
schedule a vote on the bill to save net neutrality protections. They 
can do this. To keep the pressure on, it will take all of us, working 
together--private sector partners, business, small business, nonprofit 
advocates--to tell our government officials at the local, State, and 
Federal levels to take that good vote in the Senate as a sign that it 
is time to change the policy. The way you do that, of course, is with a 
vote over in the House of Representatives. At least allow a vote.
  The fight to protect net neutrality is far from over, and we need to 
make our voices heard for all of the American consumers, entrepreneurs, 
and innovators who rely on a free and open internet.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York.
  Mrs. GILLIBRAND. Mr. President, I rise to urge my colleagues to join 
me in voting for a bipartisan amendment, No. 2294, the Military Justice 
Improvement Act. It will fix our broken military justice system.
  I believe our servicemembers deserve a military justice system that 
is worthy of their sacrifice. That means one that is both professional 
and fair. I think every one of my colleagues in this Chamber agrees 
that this is a priority, no matter where you are from and no matter 
your background. Some of my newer colleagues may be less familiar with 
this issue. So I am going to tell them what I am talking about.
  We all deeply revere our servicemembers, which means it is not easy 
to talk about problems within an institution that we treasure so 
greatly in this country. The fact is that the military has a problem 
with sexual assault. It is pervasive, it is destroying lives, and it 
has been going on for years.
  Listen to these most disturbing numbers.
  Since we first introduced this bill 5 years ago, the number of cases 
that commanders have moved forward has decreased despite an increased 
number of reports. In fiscal year 2013, 484 cases proceeded to trial, 
and in fiscal year 2017, only 406 cases proceeded to trial. It is 
estimated that there were close to 15,000 cases of military sexual 
assault in 2016. That doesn't even include spouses and civilians in 
that estimate. It is just an estimate of servicemembers. In a survey of 
Afghanistan and Iraq veterans--and supported by the Department of 
Defense's own data--7 out of 10 military sexual assault survivors said 
they had experienced retaliation or other negative behaviors because 
they had reported the crimes, and 14 percent of survivors declined even 
to participate in the justice process after their reporting. That is 
how little confidence they have in this current system.
  This is after years of our committee's working with the Defense 
Department to fix this problem. I think we have passed every small-
ball, incremental reform anybody has been willing to agree on, and it 
hasn't made a difference. This is even after every Secretary of Defense 
since Dick Cheney was Secretary of Defense has said there will be zero 
tolerance for sexual assault in the military. Almost nothing has 
changed. Listen to these stories.
  In one case, a woman was raped by a servicemember. She went to the 
hospital. She told a friend. An investigation then started. During the 
investigation, two more victims came forward to tell their stories. 
They said they had been raped by the very same servicemember. The 
military investigative team--the military police--recommended that the 
case proceed to a court-martial, but because of the way our military 
justice system works today, a military commander was in charge of the 
case, not a trained military prosecutor. That commander chose just to 
discharge the perpetrator--to send him right into the civilian world 
with no trial, with no court-martial, with no record. Not only were 
those servicemembers who were violently assaulted denied justice, but

[[Page S3745]]

a serial predator was also released into the general public. That is 
not right.
  Listen to another case of a former marine who was working as an Air 
Force civilian. She was from a military family with Army and Navy 
veterans. She was proud to serve and loved to support the camaraderie, 
but she was abused by her own immediate commander, who had direct power 
over her in the chain of command. She tried to seek justice, but, once 
again, a military commander was in charge of the case, not a trained 
military prosecutor who understands these kinds of cases and 
understands criminal justice. Despite overwhelming evidence, including 
text messages, physical evidence, and eyewitnesses, the perpetrator was 
allowed to retire without bearing any financial penalty, without there 
being any charges, and with a full military pension.
  My office hears all the time from women and men who have been raped 
in the military, who have been abused, who have been stalked, who have 
been retaliated against. It is an epidemic, and it is not improving.
  Listen to the most recent headline from USA Today: ``Marine Corps 
general fired for calling sexual harassment claims `fake news.' ''
  The Navy Times reads: ``Officer accused of patronizing prostitutes 
worked in the sex assault prevention office while awaiting court-
  The Stars and Stripes reads: ``Fort Benning drill sergeants suspended 
amid sexual assault allegations.''
  USA Today reads: ``Bad Santa: Navy's top admiral kept spokesman after 
boozy party, sexual predator warning.''
  Another from the same paper reads: ``Senior military officials 
sanctioned for more than 500 cases of serious misconduct.''
  The AP reads: ``Pentagon misled lawmakers on military sexual assault 
  These are just the recent headlines. There is a pattern here.
  Our military justice system is broken, and the Pentagon is not being 
forthright about this problem. Yet Congress is still hesitating. 
Congress is still refusing to put trained military prosecutors in 
charge of these cases. This has to end. Congress has to step in. It has 
to do its job. Our job is to provide oversight and accountability over 
the administration and over the Department of Defense on this very 
issue. We have the responsibility to ensure that military justice is 
possible for survivors in the military. It shouldn't matter if the 
perpetrator has skills that the commander needs. It shouldn't matter if 
he happens to be buddies with the commander. What should matter is 
whether there is evidence that a serious crime has been committed. That 
should be the determining factor of whether these cases go forward to 
  We need to pass the Military Justice Improvement Act. This 
legislation is as bipartisan as it gets. It is supported by 
conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats alike and plenty in 
between. It has the support of some of the biggest veterans' 
organizations, women's organizations, and legal organizations. There is 
good reason for this in that the bipartisan bill we have put together 
would ensure that the survivors of these heinous crimes and the alleged 
perpetrators of these crimes will all be afforded due process--the due 
process they are entitled to under the U.S. Constitution.
  The bill in no way exceeds a commander's ability to take action for 
military-specific crimes, like when a soldier goes AWOL. What it would 
do is to take the prosecutions of sexual assault and other serious 
crimes--serious violent felonies--out of the chain of command and put 
them in the hands of trained military prosecutors, who actually 
understand how to deal with serious crimes. This would allow our 
survivors--men and women who sacrifice everything for this country--to 
have the basic right to civil liberty and justice.
  This bill would also professionalize the military. It would make sure 
that all people, every servicemember--men, women, Black, White, gay, 
straight--will not be subjected to biased judgments and will actually 
have the benefit of having trained prosecutors look at the evidence. 
Sadly, according to a report that came out recently, in all four of the 
services--Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines--Black servicemembers are more 
likely to be court-martialed than are White servicemembers. This is 
  This bill would help to alleviate some of the unfairness in the 
current system by having trained prosecutors make those judgments based 
solely on evidence. Our commanders have a tough enough job in defending 
our country. So we should let these trained prosecutors do their jobs 
and make the right decisions based on the evidence alone. We can only 
make this change if we pass this amendment.
  I urge all of my colleagues to look at this bill--to look at it 
anew--and to look at the fact that we have not improved our rate of 
cases that actually go to court-martial and our rate of convictions, 
even though more are reported. It is a huge problem. I promise you. 
Every year, we have this excuse: Let the reforms take more time to 
work. OK, well, it has been 5 years, and this has had a spotlight on 
it. If the commanders cannot put more cases forward for court-martial 
and if the cases can't result in more convictions, we are not doing it 
right. We are failing the men and women who will die for this country.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, first of all, let me state how much I 
appreciate the passion the Senator from New York has on this issue. She 
has been so outspoken on this in committee, and I think most of us 
agree that there are problems out there that need to be addressed.
  In 2014, a congressionally mandated, independent panel of experts 
determined that there is no evidence that removing the authority to 
convene courts martial from commanders would reduce the incidence of 
sexual assault, increase reporting of sexual assaults, or improve the 
quality of investigations and prosecutions in sexual assault cases in 
the Armed Forces.
  The Department of Defense opposes this amendment on the grounds that 
doing so will endanger military readiness and combat effectiveness 
without promoting the goal of eliminating sexual assault.
  I don't know what the intentions of the Senator from New York are on 
this amendment, but in all fairness, I have to state that I will be 
opposing it. We did consider this in committee, and I have never seen a 
stronger advocate for a cause or an amendment than the Senator from New 
York. For some of us who have been in military service--I do have a 
problem with taking away the authority that has always historically 
been with the commander and feel that would not be to the benefit of 
the overall system.
  Two years ago, Congress passed extensive military justice reform, 
which will come into effect next year. I think that is correct. Rather 
than imposing additional reforms, I think we ought to allow the DOD to 
work on implementing the previous legislation to see if that resolves 
some of the problems that are articulated very effectively by the 
Senator from New York.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Dakota.

                               Tax Reform

  Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, when we took up tax reform, we had one 
goal, and that was to make life better for hard-working Americans. That 
involved a couple of things. For starters, it involved putting more 
money in Americans' pockets right away by cutting their taxes, and 
Americans are already seeing the tax relief we passed in their 
  But we knew that tax cuts, as helpful as they are, were not enough. 
We wanted to make sure we created the kind of economy that would give 
American workers access to the jobs, wages, and opportunities that 
would set them up for security and prosperity in the long term. Since 
jobs and opportunities are created by businesses, that meant reforming 
our Tax Code to improve the playing field for businesses so that they 
could improve the playing field for workers, and that is what we did.
  I am proud to report that it is working. Since tax reform was passed, 
business after business has announced good news for workers: pay 
increases, bonuses, and better benefits, including increased retirement 
benefits, new and better education benefits, and enhanced parental 
leave benefits.

[[Page S3746]]

  A recent survey from the National Association of Manufacturers 
reported that 77 percent of manufacturers plan to increase hiring as a 
result of tax reform, 72 percent intend to increase wages or benefits, 
and 86 percent report that they plan to increase investments, which 
means new jobs and opportunities for workers. Meanwhile, a recent 
survey from the National Federation of Independent Business reports 
that 75 percent of small business owners think that the Tax Cuts and 
Jobs Act will have a positive effect on their businesses.
  A number of small businesses are increasing wages, and that has 
recently hit a record 35 percent. In April, for the first time since 
the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking the data, the number of 
job openings outnumbered the number of job seekers. For the first time 
since they started keeping track, the number of job openings is greater 
than the number of people who are actually seeking employment. 
Meanwhile, in May, unemployment dropped to its lowest level in 18 
years, and wage growth increased at the fastest pace since July of 
  In other words, it is a good day for American workers. There is 
nothing better than seeing opportunities improve for hard-working 
Americans. I am proud of the benefits the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is 
delivering for American workers. I look forward to seeing this law 
produce even more benefits for workers in the future.
  Mr. President, if there is one thing that we tend to automatically 
rely on, it is the strength of our military. We are accustomed to 
having the best fighting force in the world and assuming we can meet 
every threat. But military strength doesn't just spring up 
automatically; it has to be developed, and once developed, it has to be 
maintained. But in recent years, we haven't met this responsibility.
  While we have the very finest soldiers in the world, they don't 
always have the tools they need to defend our Nation. Budgetary 
impasses paired with increased operational demands have left our Armed 
Forces with manpower deficits and delayed the acquisition of 21st-
century weapons and equipment. Meanwhile, other major powers hostile to 
the United States have been building up their militaries. As a result, 
our military advantage has been steadily eroding.
  In a 1793 address to Congress, President Washington said:

       There is a rank due to the United States among nations 
     which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the 
     reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must 
     be able to repel it. If we desire to secure peace, one of the 
     most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must 
     be known that we are at all times ready for war.

  Ronald Reagan put it a little differently. He said:

       Well, to those who think strength provokes conflict, Will 
     Rogers had his own answer. He said of the world heavyweight 
     champion of his day, ``I've never seen anyone insult Jack 

  There is no better way to secure peace than to make sure the U.S. 
military is the strongest, best equipped, most capable fighting force 
in the world. If we want to protect our Nation and promote peace around 
the world, it is imperative that we rebuild our military.
  Since President Trump's election, Republicans have been working to 
reverse the underfunding of our military and to restore our Nation's 
fighting force. In March of this year, we arrived at a budget agreement 
that contained the largest year-to-year increase in defense spending in 
15 years.
  The fiscal year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which we are 
considering this week, is the next step in rebuilding our military. 
This bill invests in research and modernization to ensure that our men 
and women in uniform will be equipped to meet 21st-century threats, 
including those posed by major powers. It reforms the outdated Officer 
Personnel Management System to improve career flexibility and merit-
based advancement. It makes reforms to the civilian leadership 
structure at the Department of Defense to make it more agile, 
especially for hiring technical talent. It implements measures to deter 
additional aggression from Russia and China--two of the biggest threats 
to the security and stability of the world in the 21st century. It 
provides a 2.6-percent pay increase for our men and women in uniform--
the largest pay increase for our servicemembers in nearly 10 years.
  I have offered a number of amendments to further the bill's mission, 
including one to expedite the backlog of foreign military sales. This 
will support the administration's efforts to balance trade deficits, 
support domestic industry, and permit America's security partners to 
make greater investments in their own capabilities.
  I am also working on an amendment to allow the Air Force to 
incorporate the B-21 bomber when determining criteria for training 
airspace requirements. This will build off a report I secured in last 
year's Defense Authorization Act on how to optimize training airspaces. 
My amendment will enable the Air Force to formally incorporate this 
future aircraft into its planning.
  I know the bill managers have a host of amendments before them, and I 
am hopeful that the Senate can come to an agreement and include many of 
  If we want our Nation to be secure, if we want to promote peace and 
stability around the world, then we need to ensure that our military is 
the strongest, best equipped fighting force in the world. This year's 
National Defense Authorization Act will help our military regain its 
competitive edge and equip our men and women in uniform with the tools 
they need to meet and defeat the threats of the 21st century.
  I am grateful to Senator Inhofe for his leadership and to Senator 
McCain, who can't be with us today but whose tireless work is reflected 
throughout this bill. I look forward to working with my colleagues to 
pass this legislation this week and ultimately get this bill to the 
President so that the important work of defending this country can 
  I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Flake). The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  Mr. DURBIN. I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                            2008 Iowa Floods

  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, a very disastrous thing happened 10 
years ago in Iowa. The whims of Mother Nature tested the State of Iowa 
10 summers ago when deadly tornadoes, storms, and floods caused more 
than $10 billion in damage to communities, homes, and businesses. It 
caused a lot of distress.
  National disasters test the mettle of humanity by every measure. 
Iowans were tested in 2008. Unfortunately, parts of Iowa, like Mason 
City, are experiencing flooding once again, almost 10 years to the day.
  Ten years ago, 88 of our 99 counties were declared a natural 
disaster. Epic floods and EF5 tornadoes ripped holes through the center 
of many neighborhoods. Thanks to civic leadership and thanks to 
bootstrap mentality, tireless volunteers and members of the National 
Guard answered the call to survive and thrive from the crisis. The 
rallying cry to rebuild and recover has driven a decades-long drive to 
restore and revitalize these Iowa communities hurt 10 years ago by 
these massive natural disasters.
  It was a tough row to hoe. Orchestrating the massive cleanup is one 
thing; paying for it is another. Congress, as we often do for natural 
disasters, approved nearly $800 million in Federal block grants within 
the first year to help homeowners with restoration and buyout efforts. 
However, the wheels of the Federal bureaucracy too often are 
painstakingly restrictive to navigate. From Housing and Urban 
Development to FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers, local residents 
got a firsthand taste of the Federal alphabet soup.
  When community leaders, businesses, and homeowners got mired in 
bureaucratic molasses, I worked with our entire congressional 
delegation to take care of these immediate needs and to help develop 
long-term planning for the flood plain, such as levee improvements and 
flood protection systems to avert future catastrophes.
  In addition to directing Federal disaster assistance to recovery and 
rebuilding efforts, I wrote the Heartland

[[Page S3747]]

Disaster Tax Relief Act to give flood-ravaged homeowners and businesses 
a fresh start. Just as Congress acted to help victims from Hurricane 
Katrina in 2005, 3 years before the disaster in the Midwest, I made 
sure that midwesterners also received a much needed break similar to 
what we provided at Katrina time.
  Moving forward after a natural disaster isn't easy. Volunteers 
affirmed Iowa's treasured heritage of neighbor helping neighbor, 
rescuing residents and pets from flood-ravaged neighborhoods.
  Voters across the State voted on measures to help their communities 
rebuild, and the State legislature passed laws to help areas mitigate 
against future disasters. City planners developed a strategy to 
revitalize their cities and towns.
  Recovery efforts stumbled along the way, to be sure. It takes time to 
see sunshine and rainbows after one of the State's worst disasters in 
history. Collaborating and finding consensus isn't easy. In fact, 
governing isn't easy.

  Despite the incalculable loss of personal belongings, blended with 
the physical, emotional, and financial toll of starting over, the 
people of Iowa didn't quit, and we are more resilient and better 
prepared now than we were before these disasters. However, work remains 
to be done.
  Working alongside civic and State leaders for the last decade, we 
have identified specific needs and places where redtape gets in the way 
to improve flood protection in local communities. That is why I have 
worked with my sleeves rolled up alongside former Senator Tom Harkin 
and now Senator Joni Ernst and the rest of the Iowa delegation to 
ensure local infrastructure needs get up to snuff, including flood risk 
projects on the Cedar River and elsewhere.
  Recently, the Committee on the Environment and Public Works approved 
a bill that, once again, highlights the importance of the Cedar River 
flood protection project and includes a secondary budgetary process 
that could lead to construction funds for this project and other Iowa 
priorities in the future, cuts redtape, and also improves public input, 
transparency, and accountability.
  The people of Iowa have earned a well-deserved salute to civic 
participation. It is a good day to share pride with your fellow 
citizens. Thanks to our people's resilience and hard work, even better 
days are yet to come.
  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.
  Mrs. ERNST. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Johnson). Without objection, it is so 
  Mrs. ERNST. Mr. President, I am here to call up my amendment today so 
we can save money for our Nation and for our military. Certainly, I am 
not here to derail the National Defense Authorization Act. I am 
thankful that again this year we have a great bipartisan bill, and I am 
hopeful my bipartisan amendment can be made pending today.
  Amendment No. 2400 is the Presidential Allowance Modernization Act, 
and it has cleared committee by voice vote and cleared my colleagues on 
the Republican side on the hotline. However, my minority counterparts 
have had months to look at this bill now in amendment form, and it 
still remains blocked. This bill passed the House with unanimous 
support and has been included in the House NDAA bill.
  This amendment would establish a cap on former Presidents' monetary 
allowances, which are currently unlimited and fund resources like 
office space, staff salaries, cell phone bills, and more.
  Under this amendment, former Presidents would receive a $200,000 
annual pension and an allowance capped at $500,000--a total of $700,000 
in annual benefits. It would then reduce the allowance dollar for 
dollar by each dollar of income a former President earns in excess of 
  The national debt is over $20 trillion. We cannot afford to 
generously subsidize the perks of former Presidents to the tune of 
millions of dollars.
  With that, Mr. President, I would like to make my amendment pending. 
I ask unanimous consent that it be in order to call up amendment No. 
2400 to amendment No. 2282.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, reserving the right to object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The assistant Democratic whip.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, this is the first I am aware of this 
amendment. It was given to me this afternoon to take a look at. I don't 
have any history with it.
  It is interesting and coincidental that today is the 94th birthday of 
President George Herbert Walker Bush, the first President of the United 
States to ever live to the age of 94, a World War II decorated veteran, 
a man who served this country in so many different ways.
  This effort to eliminate the expenses--an amount that is paid to him 
as a former President--I had not seen before today. I am told this 
amendment would save the Treasury $4.3 million a year. So I would like 
to suggest to the Senator from Iowa--I am going to make an official 
request in this regard. We can do much better than $4.3 million a year 
in deficit reduction.
  I am going to ask the Senator from Iowa if she will modify her 
request to shave $404 million over 10 years by ensuring that 
millionaires across the United States--in Illinois and in Iowa--don't 
receive generous crop insurance subsidies.
  Big agribusiness in Iowa and Illinois receive government subsidies to 
the tune of nearly $600 million. A GAO study found that 4 percent of 
the most profitable farmers in America accounted for 33 percent of all 
the Federal premium support.
  My legislation that I am asking to be added to the Senator's 
amendment would reduce premium support for producers with an AGI, 
adjusted gross income, higher than $750,000 a year, and it will only 
reduce it by 15 percent.
  So I ask the Senator to modify her request so the text of her 
amendment be modified with the changes at the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Will the Senator so modify her request?
  Mrs. ERNST. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, I do think 
that is a timely request. Thankfully, the farm bill is being marked up 
tomorrow in the Agriculture Committee, and I do think that is the 
appropriate venue to discuss the caps on subsidies for crop insurance. 
I would agree that is probably a wise thing to take a look at.
  However, what we are dealing with right now is the fact that we do 
have former Presidents who are receiving substantial perks from our 
American taxpayers. So I am disappointed that my colleagues across the 
aisle continue to block this bipartisan amendment designed to save 
millions of dollars.
  Do my colleagues across the aisle think former Presidents should 
continue to receive unlimited, taxpayer-funded allowances as they make 
millions and millions of dollars per year from book deals and speaking 
engagements? It is not uncommon for a former President to command 
$400,000 per hour-long speech. The average household income in Iowa is 
about $55,000. That means that in about 8\1/2\ minutes, that former 
President is making what an Iowa family makes in a year.

  I wish my colleagues across the aisle would reconsider.
  I formally object to the modification.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  Is there objection to the original request?
  Mr. DURBIN. I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  Mrs. ERNST. 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.
  Ms. SMITH. 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. SMITH. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as in 
morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

 =========================== NOTE =========================== 

  On page S3747, June 12, 2018, near the bottom of the third 
column, the following language appears: Mrs. HYDE-SMITH. Mr. 
President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum 
call be rescinded. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is 
so ordered. Mrs. HYDE-SMITH. Mr. President, I ask unanimous 
consent to speak as in morning business.
  The online Record has been corrected to read: Ms. SMITH. 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. SMITH. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to 
speak as in morning business.

 ========================= END NOTE ========================= 

[[Page S3748]]


                        Campaign Finance Reform

  Ms. SMITH. Mr. President, last week I gave my first floor speech. I 
spoke about how important it is for women to be represented in our 
government and why it is so important to keep working so that our 
legislature reflects the views and experiences of all Americans.

 =========================== NOTE =========================== 

  On page S3748, June 12, 2018, near the top of the first column, 
the following language appears: Mrs. HYDE-SMITH. Mr. President, 
last week I gave my . . .
  The online Record has been corrected to read: Ms. SMITH. Mr. 
President, last week I gave my . . .

 ========================= END NOTE ========================= 

  While increasing the number of women in this Chamber is important, it 
won't be enough by itself. Elections cost too much, and that is a big 
problem in our country. The sharp rise of secretive, unregulated money 
in politics means that we have no idea who is spending money on 
campaigns and candidates or why, and that is a profoundly troubling 
problem for our democracy.
  While there are many causes of the rise of money in politics, perhaps 
the biggest is the 2010 Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. FEC. 
The 5-to-4 decision in Citizens United struck down key limitations on 
campaign contributions that were enacted on a bipartisan basis in 2002.
  That decision has had dire consequences for our democracy. Since 
Citizens United, there has been successively more money poured into 
each congressional campaign cycle. Much of that money has come from 
super PACs and other secretive organizations that are structured 
specifically to hide the identity of their donors. Other funds have 
come from large corporations that can afford to spend millions on 
political activities in order to further their own special interests.
  What is the upshot of all of this? Super PACs and other dark money 
organizations spent some $1.4 billion in the 2016 election. We often 
have no idea who did the spending or why.
  This kind of secretive, unlimited, corporate-driven political 
spending is unfair to voters in Minnesota and around the country. That 
is why I am fighting so hard to reform our campaign finance system.
  One of the most important things we can do is to enact a 
constitutional amendment to reverse the Citizens United decision. In my 
very first month as a Senator, I cosponsored Senator Tom Udall's 
legislation to do that. A few wealthy donors shouldn't dominate the 
political conversation in this country.
  Reversing Citizens United isn't the only thing necessary to restore 
fairness to our political process; we should also pass Senator 
Whitehouse's DISCLOSE Act, which I am proud to cosponsor. This 
legislation requires super PACs and big political spenders to disclose 
to the public exactly where their donations are going. No 
constitutional amendment is required for this key measure. In 2010, the 
DISCLOSE Act came up just one vote short in the Senate, and I urge the 
Senate to immediately take it up again so we can finally pass this 
important bill.
  We also should replace the Federal Elections Commission, which is 
mired in political squabbling and hindered with weak enforcement 
authority. The FEC should be replaced with a new campaign finance 
agency that has a strong mandate to enforce the law, with new rules to 
ensure that one political party can't shut down the agency simply for 
political gain.
  I also believe that we should enact a small donor matching funds 
program. Many Americans who aren't wealthy want to support a candidate 
they believe in, but they simply can't afford to write a check for 
thousands of dollars like the big donors do. A matching funds program 
will help amplify the donations of these smaller donors and working 
families and would be a key step toward leveling the playing field for 
working families who want to support a candidate.
  Finally, we should improve voter registration. Increasingly, some 
have sought to disenfranchise others--especially voters of color--by 
making it harder to register to vote, harder to get a ballot, or simply 
through voter intimidation. It is time that we restore the Voting 
Rights Act and crack down on discriminatory voting rules that block 
access to the polls. This includes fixing the terrible recent Supreme 
Court decision allowing States to kick voters off the rolls if they 
don't vote regularly, even without offering same-day voter registration 
for those voters to easily rejoin the rolls if they do wish to vote 
  I believe that all Americans should be represented here in the U.S. 
Senate, not just the wealthy few. Our democracy is built on the 
principle that the American people have the power in our elections, so 
I am going to keep fighting to reform our campaign finance rules.
  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 senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. REED. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                Amendment No. 2842 to Amendment No. 2366

  Mr. REED. Mr. President, I call up amendment No. 2842 to the Lee 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Rhode Island [Mr. REED] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 2842 to amendment No. 2366.

  Mr. REED. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the reading of 
the amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

(Purpose: To require the authorization of appropriation of amounts for 
          the development of new or modified nuclear weapons)

       In lieu of the matter proposed to be inserted, insert the 
       (c) Authorization by Congress.--Section 4209(a)(1) of the 
     Atomic Energy Defense Act (50 U.S.C. 2529(a)(1)) is amended--
       (1) by striking ``the Secretary shall'' and inserting the 
     following: ``the Secretary--
       ``(A) shall''; and
       (2) by striking the period at the end and inserting ``; 
     and''; and
       ``(B) may carry out such activities only if amounts are 
     authorized to be appropriated for such activities by an Act 
     of Congress consistent with section 660 of the Department of 
     Energy Organization Act (42 U.S.C. 7270).''.

  Mr. REED. Mr. President, this amendment is a technical correction to 
the previous amendment I offered, and I ask that it be accepted for 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The amendment is pending.
  Mr. REED. Mr. President, I believe the amendment is pending.
  I yield the floor and 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. WHITEHOUSE. 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. 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.

                             Climate Change

  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, a crash takes place in a system when 
conditions in that system reach a tipping point and the system rapidly 
  Climate change promises a lot of tipping points in the Earth's 
natural systems--ocean acidification, for instance, reaching a tipping 
point where foundational species, such as the pteropod, have trouble 
forming their shells, and populations of those foundation species 
crash, taking down the trophic levels above them; polar warming, for 
instance, releasing trapped frozen methane from Arctic tundra and 
hyperaccelerating the greenhouse effect. At the more local level, 
seasonally linked species, reacting to changing seasons, can get out of 
phase with one another, so the feeder and its food source no longer 
overlap in time, and then they have a crash.
  In what Pope Francis has called ``the mysterious network of relations 
between things,'' climate change promises natural disruptions, large 
and small.
  Of course, the same kind of disruption can occur in economics. 
Because we are ignoring climate change, we are hurtling toward natural 
disruptions like the kinds I mentioned. On top of that, recent warnings 
indicate that we are also hurtling toward economic disruptions--
crashes, if you will--which we could avoid or moderate if we prepared. 
But since the fossil fuel overlords of the present Congress won't let 
that preparation happen, we need to

[[Page S3749]]

expect these economic crashes. What are these economic crashes? The 
first one I will discuss is the effect of sea level rise on coastal 
real estate values.
  Sea level rise can hit you economically long before the ocean 
actually laps against your doorstep. When the prospect of coastal 
flooding begins to creep into the 30-year mortgage horizon or when the 
prospect of coastal flooding begins to darken property insurance 
horizons, there will be an effect.
  Long before your house is actually flooded, its value can crash if 
the house becomes uninsurable or if it becomes unmortgageable to the 
next buyer. Freddie Mac has described the effect of this property value 
crash on America's coastal regions as follows: ``The economic losses 
and social disruption may happen gradually, but they are likely to be 
greater in total than those experienced in the housing crisis and Great 
Recession.'' Those of us who lived through the great recession of 2008 
and forward know how serious that warning is.
  It is not just Freddie Mac; the insurance industry shares this exact 
concern. Here is what the editor of the trade publication Risk & 
Insurance had to say: ``Continually rising seas will damage coastal 
residential and commercial property values to the point that property 
owners will flee those markets in droves, thus precipitating a mortgage 
value collapse that could equal or exceed the mortgage crisis that 
rocked the global economy in 2008.'' So from government-backed housing 
corporations to private insurance industry representatives, the warning 
is clear.
  The leading edge of this predicted effect may already actually be 
upon us, as we have recently seen coastal property values begin to lag 
inland property values in a way that experts think may reflect this 
emerging coastal economic hazard. When talking about matching the 
damage done to the economy by the 2008 recession, that is a serious 
  The second economic crash we are warned of is the effect of a so-
called carbon bubble--a carbon bubble in fossil fuel companies. This 
carbon bubble collapse happens when fossil fuel reserves now claimed as 
assets by the fossil fuel companies turn out to be not actually 
developable and thus become what are called stranded assets. A recent 
publication by economists in the journal Nature Climate Change has 
described the following estimated asset reductions in fossil fuel 
reserves: ``The magnitude of . . . stranded assets of fossil fuel 
companies (in a 2 degrees C economy) has been estimated to be around 
82% of global coal reserves, 49% of global gas reserves, and 33% of 
global oil reserves.''
  That would be 82 percent of global coal reserves gone, wiped off the 
balance sheets; 49 percent of global gas reserves gone; and 33 percent 
of global oil reserves gone.
  This asset collapse ahead would explain why fossil fuel companies 
have fought so hard against shareholders who sought honest reporting of 
this risk, and it could explain why such reports as have been produced 
look like exercises in ``cooking the books'' to avoid actually 
acknowledging a risk of this scale.
  More recently, a group of economic analysts published a separate 
review of what the bursting of this carbon bubble would look like for 
fossil fuel companies. The report's analysis is pretty stark. It 
estimates that a potential $12 trillion--$12 trillion--of financial 
value ``could vanish off their balance sheets globally in the form of 
stranded assets.'' The report notes that this is over 15 percent of 
global GDP.
  This economic report posits a market scenario in which lower cost 
producers unload their fossil fuel reserves while they still can into 
this collapsing market--``selling out'' their assets, in the language 
of the report--unloading their fossil fuel assets even at fire-sale 
prices to get what value they can while they still can.
  In this analysis, the report says, ``regions with higher marginal 
costs . . . lose almost their entire oil and gas industry (for example 
. . . the United States).''
  In this environment in which there is a rapid crash in fossil fuel 
prices, as sellers saturate the market at whatever low price they can 
get to get some money for their reserves before they evaporate and get 
wiped off their balance sheets, the market moves rapidly and regions 
like ours--like the United States, with higher marginal costs--lose 
almost their entire oil and gas industry.
  Obviously, for the United States to rapidly lose almost its entire 
oil and gas industry would create a dramatic economic shock, spilling 
over into other industries and into the economy at large, making this 
what the authors of this report call a ``systemic'' economic risk.
  There is a recommended solution to avoid this shock in asset prices, 
and that is for the United States to begin decarbonizing, to invest 
more in renewables, and to broaden our national energy portfolio away 
from this asset collapse risk and into renewable energy. The paper 
concludes that ``an exposed country can mitigate the impact of 
stranding by divesting from fossil fuels as an insurance policy,'' and 
it goes on to say specifically about the United States of America that 
``the United States is worse off if it continues to promote fossil fuel 
production and consumption than if it moves away from them.''
  Let me revert to the earlier economic piece I mentioned because it 
concludes with very similar advice. I quote from the first article:

       If climate policies are implemented early on and in a 
     stable and credible framework, market participants are able 
     to smoothly anticipate the effects. In this case there would 
     not be any large shock in asset prices and there would be no 
     systemic risk. In contrast, in a scenario in which the 
     implementation of climate policy is uncertain, delayed, and 
     sudden . . . this might entail a systemic risk because price 
     adjustments are abrupt and portfolio losses from the fossil-
     fuel sector and fossil-based utilities do not have time to be 
     compensated by the increase in value of renewable-based 

  Both economic analyses agree that transitioning to renewables is a 
hedge against this fossil fuel asset collapse risk, but this earlier 
paper also notes something else. It also notes that this transition to 
renewables, away from the asset collapse risk, need not be a painful 
transition. To quote the report, ``a transition to a low-carbon economy 
could also have net positive aggregate effects.'' On one side, you have 
the risk of a major fossil fuel asset collapse creating a sufficient 
economic shock for there to be systemic risk to the economy. On the 
other side, you have the prospect of net positive aggregate effects. 
Who in their right mind would not turn toward net positive aggregate 
effects? A large and sudden economic shock affecting 15 percent of 
global GDP and precipitating systemic economic risks will, of course, 
be very painful.
  This is stark advice. Whether we can actually heed this advice 
depends on the Congress of the United States being able to put the 
interests of the United States first over the interests of the fossil 
fuel industry. Given that Congress's fossil fuel industry overlords 
will likely object and given that we seem incapable in Congress of 
either seeing through their massive conflict of interest or ever 
telling them no, it is not presently likely that Congress will heed 
these warnings or take these precautions.
  After all, the warnings of natural crashes ahead have so far been 
completely ignored due to fossil fuel industry pressure. So why expect 
that we would heed the warnings of economic crashes ahead?
  In the days when war loomed over Europe but England would not 
prepare, Winston Churchill quoted a poem. The poem's image is of a 
train bound for destruction, rushing through the night, and the 
conductor is asleep at the controls. The poem begins:

     Who is in charge of the clattering train?
     The axles creak, and the couplings strain.

  Inside the train cars, the poem describes the occupants of the doomed 

     Lull[ed into] confident drowsiness.

  But then comes the end:

     [T]he pace is hot, and the points are near,
     And Sleep hath deadened the driver's ear;
     And signals flash through the night in vain.
     Death is in charge of the clattering train!

  That is how the poem ends. Let us hope that we wake up before our 
collision, that the many warning signals nature is flashing at us do 
not flash through the night in vain, and that we do not hurtle into 
these foreseen collisions with our fossil fuel industry overlords 
having deadened the driver's ear with their money and their power.

[[Page S3750]]

  We have been lulled into confident drowsiness, and it is time to wake 
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. LEE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Rubio). Without objection, it is so 

                           Amendment No. 2366

  Mr. LEE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that there be 1 hour 
of debate on my amendment, No. 2366, equally divided between the 
opponents and proponents, and that following the use or yielding back 
of that time, the Senate vote on the amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  The Senator from South Carolina.
  Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, reserving the right to object, Senator Lee 
is a very good friend, and he is very sincere. I will object, and I 
want to let the body know that I think the best way to handle this 
issue is, if American citizens are suspected of collaborating with the 
enemy--ISIS or al-Qaida--we have the due process in place to strip them 
of their citizenship. That way, you don't have the problem of reading 
them their Miranda rights. You can hold them, without question, as 
enemy combatants.
  I will end with this. There is a court case right on point, that of 
Mr. Padilla's, who was an American citizen who was held as an enemy 
combatant. The court says that it doesn't matter the location of 
capture, he can be captured in the United States and still be held as 
an enemy combatant.
  So I object, but I really want to work with Senator Lee to see if we 
can find a compromise down the road.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  The Senator from Utah.
  Mr. LEE. Mr. President, I appreciate my colleague's opinions, the 
Senator from South Carolina. I would like to respond for a moment and 
speak for a few minutes about a bipartisan compromise that I have 
introduced, along with the senior Senator from California, Mrs. 
  The legislation I am referring to is called the Due Process Guarantee 
Act, which Senator Feinstein and I have introduced. It has also been 
offered up as an amendment to the legislation now before this body, to 
the National Defense Authorization Act.
  Alexander Hamilton, in his writing of Federalist No. 84, called 
arbitrary imprisonment one of the ``favorite and most formidable 
instruments'' of tyrants and with good reason. The Constitution 
includes safeguards against this form of tyranny, including the writ of 
habeas corpus and the guarantee that American citizens will not be 
``deprived of life, liberty, or property'' by the government ``without 
due process of law.'' If you are going to take away people's life or 
liberty or property, you have to give them due process. You can't do it 
without that. That is by mandate of the Constitution. It is made 
applicable to the Federal Government through the Fifth Amendment, and 
it is made applicable to the States through the 14th Amendment.
  Our commitment to these rights has, of course, been tested in times 
of crisis. This is what happens to our rights when crises erupt. Sadly, 
tragically, I would add, we as Americans have not always passed these 
tests. We have not always emerged unscathed from the temptation to dip 
into the well of deprivation of due process in times of crisis.
  During the Second World War, for example, President Franklin 
Roosevelt unilaterally authorized the internment of over 100,000 
Japanese Americans for fear that they would spy against the United 
States--100,000 Americans just based on the fear that they might spy 
against the United States. To be sure, the government did not--neither 
President Roosevelt nor anyone in his administration--present any kind 
of evidence that these Americans--the 100,000 Americans who were 
imprisoned at that time--posed any kind of threat to our country. There 
was not one piece of evidence--not one shred, not one scintilla--
presented to that effect. In fact, most of these Americans were 
themselves native-born citizens. They were eligible, in that respect, 
to run for President of the United States. Many had never visited Japan 
in their entire lives. Many didn't speak the language spoken in Japan.
  That episode in our Nation's history was tragic, and it remains a 
blight on our record to this very day. It is also an example that is, 
sadly, personal to the State I represent. You see, the U.S. Government 
unjustly detained thousands of Japanese Americans in Utah at the Topaz 
War Relocation Center. Japanese-American internment is, perhaps, the 
most dramatic and shameful instance of this kind of detention in our 
Nation's history. Unfortunately, it is not the only instance.
  In 1950, in a climate of intense fear about Communist infiltration of 
the government, Congress enacted the McCarran Internal Security Act and 
did so over President Harry Truman's veto. That law contained an 
emergency provision that allowed the President of the United States to 
detain any person he thought might spy on the United States.
  Think for a minute about what that means--that one person was then 
vested with this authority to delve most deeply into someone's due 
process rights without providing him with any due process at all. That 
is scary. That is the very kind of thing that the Constitution was 
designed to protect against. There is the due process clause, 
certainly, but the whole point of having a Constitution in the first 
place is to protect the people from the dangers that are inevitably 
presented by the excessive accumulation of power in the hands of the 
  Then more recently, in the post-9/11 era, there has been, of course, 
some renewed pressure to diminish our constitutional protections--our 
liberty--in the name of security. Lawmakers from both parties have 
authorized the detention of Americans who have been suspected of 
terrorism--their detention indefinitely without charge, without trial, 
and without meeting the evidentiary standard that is required for every 
other crime--potentially, for the rest of their lives.
  You see, this happened just a few years ago in this very Chamber. If 
I had not been here at the time, I might have accused whoever was 
describing this of engaging in some sort of paranoid fantasy, in some 
sort of odd hyperbole, for the purpose of making a point. No. This 
actually happened in the National Defense Authorization Act that 
President Obama signed into law for fiscal year 2012. Congress 
authorized the indefinite military detention of suspected terrorists, 
including of American citizens, who are apprehended on U.S. soil.
  These episodes--the Japanese-American internment, the McCarran 
Internal Security Act, and the 2012 NDAA--are significant. They are 
teachable moments, if you will. In all three cases, the United States 
faced real threats from formidable foes--foes that were hostile to our 
very core values as a nation, foes that were not comfortable with the 
idea that we as Americans share in common--the belief in the 
fundamental, inherent dignity of the human soul. Instead of defying our 
foes by holding fast to those core values, we jettisoned them in a 
panic. Fear and secrecy won out. The Constitution lost. Liberty lost.
  Thankfully, that is not the whole story. There have also been times 
when Americans have stood up to the Constitution even in the face of 
threats, especially in the face of threats, thus, sending a really 
strong message to the totalitarian forces arrayed against us. For 
instance, in 1971, Congress passed the Non-Detention Act, stating, ``No 
citizen shall be imprisoned or otherwise detained by the United States 
except pursuant to an act of Congress.''
  Congress can make another stand for the Constitution by allowing a 
vote on this amendment, by allowing a vote on the Due Process Guarantee 
Act amendment to the NDAA.
  What, you might ask, is the Due Process Guarantee Act?
  In short, this bill presented as an amendment would raise the bar 
that the government has to clear in order to claim and assert the right 
to detain indefinitely American citizens and lawful permanent residents 
who are apprehended on U.S. soil. It would forbid the

[[Page S3751]]

government from justifying such detentions by using general 
authorizations of military force, such as the 2001 AUMF against the 9/
11 plotters.
  Why, you might ask, would this even be necessary? Why would we even 
need to consider doing this?
  That is a very good question. It is a question that should be 
directed toward those who inserted this language into the 2012 NDAA.
  Under this legislation, under this amendment as it has been proposed, 
the government would have to obtain the explicit written 
authorization--statutory authorization--of Congress, which is the 
branch of government most accountable to the people at the most regular 
intervals, before approving the detention of Americans--without charge, 
that is--if they are captured in the United States.
  This isn't too much to ask. Some would say this is far too little to 
ask. It is something that is required both by the letter and by the 
spirit of our Constitution, by the very concept of liberty, and by the 
very concept alluded to earlier that each human soul has inherent 
dignity that needs to be respected by our government. So the Due 
Process Guarantee Act is based on a very simple premise: If the 
government wants to take the extraordinary step of apprehending 
Americans on U.S. soil without charge or trial, it should get 
extraordinary permission from Congress.

  Now, to be very clear, if my colleagues want to grant the government 
this power, that power over their own constituents, their own voters, 
the very people who elected them into office, then by all means let's 
have that debate and let's have that discussion. If they want to do 
that, let them authorize it themselves. I hope I never see the day that 
happens, but I hope we all agree that Congress should have to agree 
before any such step is taken. Members of Congress should not simply 
hide behind vague, broad authorizations so the voting public will not 
or can't know what they are doing.
  I am offering this amendment because of my faith in our law 
enforcement officers and our judges who have successfully apprehended 
and prosecuted and overseen the prosecutions of hundreds of homegrown 
terrorists. Their example proves that our security is not dependent 
upon a supercharged government and a correspondingly weakened 
Constitution. We can secure the homeland without using the formidable 
instruments of tyrants. Not only can we, but we must. This, after all, 
is our constitutional imperative.
  Each one of us, upon taking office, was required to take an oath to 
uphold and defend this document, the U.S. Constitution. I hope, I 
think, I expect, and in fact I am quite confident that the overwhelming 
majority of our constituents and voters in every State in this country, 
regardless of where they fit on the political continuum, where they 
identify themselves on the political spectrum, agree it is not too much 
to ask that if the government is going to arrest someone and detain 
them, putting them into a position of incarceration indefinitely 
without charge, without trial, is extraordinary. That kind of 
extraordinary remedy perhaps ought never be approached, but, certainly, 
if it is going to happen at all, it ought not ever happen without the 
explicit statutory authorization from Congress.
  All of this relates back to section 1021 of the 2012 National Defense 
Authorization Act, which purports to authorize the government to just 
indefinitely detain without trial American citizens and lawful 
permanent residents--both of whom would be protected by my amendment--
who are captured in the United States.
  Look, it is easy to look at this and to separate yourself from this 
if you think this measure could apply only to bad people--maybe only to 
bad people who don't look like people we ordinarily associate with. 
Perhaps they don't look like they came from our neighborhood. Perhaps 
they don't look like the kinds of people who ought to have protection, 
but this is the very folly we should always seek to avoid. Either due 
process is a thing or it is not. Either due process is a constitutional 
imperative that we should be very reluctant to depart from ever or it 
is not. Section 1021 of the 2012 NDAA represented a departure from 
  Think of it this way. Your rights as an American citizen to be 
charged in a certain way, to have access to a speedy trial, to have 
access to counsel, your right to a whole host of constitutional 
protections generally does not, and ought not ever be, something that 
should be dependent upon how you are charged. If all the government has 
to do is alter the way in which you were charged to allege that you 
have been involved in some type of offense that can be characterized as 
terrorist activity or the aiding and abetting of those who planned the 
9/11 attack, if that is all that has to happen, then you are entrusting 
an enormous amount of discretionary power to government, to a very 
small handful of decisionmakers who themselves can deprive you of 
everything that is dear to you--deprive you of those you love, of the 
place you call home, and subject you to indefinite incarceration, 
indefinite detention, without access to trial, without access to the 
ability to confront your accusers in front of a jury of your peers.
  This is a problem. It is a problem that would sound extreme if it 
weren't true because it is, in fact, extreme.
  We have gone now, for the last 6 or 7 years after this was passed 
into law, without it getting a whole lot of attention. I think this is 
unfortunate because this ought to be concerning to every single 
American. If you exist on U.S. soil lawfully or if you are a citizen or 
lawful permanent resident, this should concern you. Even if you are 
not, even if you reside outside the United States or are here 
temporarily--perhaps on a temporary visa of some sort--this should 
worry you. If you believe in the American dream, if you believe in the 
fundamental dignity of the human soul, this should bother you. The 
extent to which you are bothered by this should grow even more severe 
by virtue of the fact that we have this discussion this afternoon in 
our Nation's Capitol, within the halls of what purports to be the 
world's greatest deliberative legislative body, not in the context of 
being on the precipice of casting a vote on this--no. We are having 
this discussion of a simple request to vote up or down, yes or no, yea 
or nay, on whether we should require Congress to state explicitly when 
it is going to invoke this kind of extraordinary remedy. It defies 
reason, it defies logic, it defies the rules, the customs, and 
traditions of this great legislative body for us to refuse to cast a 
vote on this.
  By the way, about 5 years ago, a nearly identical version of the same 
amendment passed through this body with 67 votes. Not only is that more 
than a majority, but it is also more than the standard required to 
close debate, and it is also a standard that is consistent with what is 
required to overcome a Presidential veto. Yet somehow that measure 
didn't make it into the final product. Somehow it didn't survive the 
process of negotiation between the House and Senate. It didn't survive 
the final bill as produced by the conference committee. So 5 years go 
by, and we have been trying to get a vote on it ever since then. We 
have been unsuccessful in doing so.

  We are not asking for every Member to agree right now to support 
this. What we are asking for is for them to weigh in and allow us to 
cast a vote on this. You see, we have this quaint idea in this country 
that being governed requires a certain amount of consent from those 
being governed; that when the government does something, especially 
something that could so deeply impact the lives of individual 
Americans, it ought to be done with the consent of the governed through 
their elected Senators and Representatives.
  We have two people here from every State in the Union. I could say, 
with a high degree of confidence, that if you polled not just the 
American people at large, not just people within every State, but I 
would add to that people within every demographic, people within every 
political party, at least every political party that I know anything 
about, people, regardless of race, sex, national origin, religious 
affiliation, belief, or unbelief--I would bet an overwhelming majority 
of people in every single category in every State of the Union would 
say this is really troubling.
  The fact that you would have a government that would be so bold in 
the first instance as to claim the right,

[[Page S3752]]

which it did in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, to detain 
indefinitely citizens of this country apprehended on U.S. soil without 
charge, without trial, without access to counsel--and after having done 
that a few years ago, this same body would refuse even to allow a vote 
on whether future votes should be cast on whether this is appropriate.
  The Senate, I am told, used to be a place--in fact, the history books 
made clear it was, in fact, a place where extended debate and 
discussion could be heard because we as a people tend to believe more 
debate is preferable to less, more input is preferable to less input, 
and that whenever government makes a decision, especially a profound 
decision like the one we are talking about, that the people's elected 
representatives ought to have some say in it.
  It is an act of cowardice that we as a body would refuse to have 
votes on something like this. So I say to my colleagues who object to 
us even being able to cast a vote on this, what are you afraid of? What 
is it that you fear so much about the American people that you are 
unwilling to have a provision like this explored, examined, and get 
voted on by the U.S. Senate? This doesn't have to take a long time. We 
could easily have done it today. We could have done it in a matter of 
hours, perhaps a matter of minutes. Is that really too much of a 
sacrifice to ask for a few hours or a few minutes of our precious time 
to vote on whether the U.S. Government should have the power to 
indefinitely detain without charge, without trial, without counsel 
American citizens on U.S. soil? I think not.
  I inform my colleagues, with all the energy I am capable of 
communicating, to please reconsider. Look in the mirror. Examine your 
conscience. You decide whether you want to stand accountable to God and 
the American people one day if and when this power is abused.
  One thing we know about power is that when excessively accumulated in 
the hands of a few, bad things happen. Human beings are flawed. They 
are redeemable, but they are also flawed. That is why we have a 
Constitution. That is why we are here. We are here to cast votes and to 
stand accountable to the American people. I urge my colleagues to allow 
a vote on this amendment.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Georgia.


  Mr. PERDUE. Mr. President, one of the great honors in this body is to 
bring a contrasting point of view to the topic of the day. I hope to do 
that today.
  Many colleagues in this body have voiced concerns on both sides of 
the aisle, frankly, about President Trump--what President Trump is 
doing to try to create a more level playing field for our workers and 
businesses. They are nervous about his negotiating style, about things 
he says, what he is trying to do with our allies, our adversaries, and 
all around the world. People in this body worry sometimes it is going 
to create a trade war.
  Colleagues, I have worked in the trade environment internationally 
most of my career. I have sourced products all over the world. I 
shipped products all over the world. I can tell you, for a fact, that 
for the last 40 years we have been in a trade war.
  In that time, America has helped develop the Third World and reduce 
poverty largely because of an imbalanced trade agreement that we made 
with pretty much each country around the world, and we did that 
intentionally, not by accident. It was out of our good will that we set 
up trade deals that granted access to our markets while denying access 
to other markets around the world.
  Why did we do that? When China was a $1 trillion economy, that made 
sense. We wanted to help them develop economically. Now that they are a 
$12 trillion economy, it no longer makes sense. When Japan was 
rebuilding after World War II, of course we wanted to help them 
rebuild. We spent billions of dollars behind the Marshall Plan to do 
just that with Japan and all of East Asia. We set up trade deals that 
we knew would help their economy grow, and that made sense then.
  It no longer makes sense to have an unlevel playing field with the 
rest of the world just so they can develop. Let me give you a reason 
why. One of the reasons is, because of the American consumer and 
taxpayer, global poverty over the last 50 years has been reduced 
dramatically; by some estimates, over 60 percent. Let me say that 
again. Global poverty, because of the American taxpayer and the 
American worker, has been reduced over 60 percent. Unfortunately, 
during that same period of time, American poverty since 1965, when the 
Great Society was signed into law and when the great War on Poverty was 
initiated, we spent $67 trillion trying to eradicate poverty in 
  Unfortunately, today we know poverty is basically the same as it was 
in 1965. So this imbalance we have lived with for the last half decade 
that partially helped the development of the Third World, pulling 
hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, begins to not make sense 
when it damages our well-being here at home.
  Like me, President Trump is an outsider to this political process. He 
is just a business guy who spent his career successfully negotiating 
deals all over the world. For years, he has seen how America has often 
been treated unfairly when it comes to trade. He has also seen how 
previous administrations repeatedly failed to contain the growing 
threat of rogue regimes with nuclear ambitions, like North Korea and 

  Since taking office, President Trump has put America back in a 
position of power and strength when it comes to our standing with the 
rest of the world. This comes after a decade where America withdrew. We 
had redlines drawn. We had a Russia reset. The world was questioning 
what our position was. Were we going to be the leader of the free 
world? Were we going to stand up for individual sovereignty, for 
individual liberty, self-determination? I think he has made that very 
clear and that we have turned a corner.
  President Trump has, no doubt, an unconventional negotiating style--
an outsider style, if you will. Do you know what? As we have seen in 
his Presidential career just in the last 15 months--NATO, South Korea, 
and just last night, a historic summit in North Korea--President 
Trump's methodology, indeed, works.
  Remember when he was running for office? He said: Well, if NATO 
doesn't increase their military spending, we just might back out. 
Everybody panicked: Oh my goodness, it will upset the balance with our 
allies over there. This is not the time to be doing that.
  Guess what. NATO stepped up. I just met with a major ambassador from 
one of the countries in that region, and I am delighted to tell my 
colleagues tonight that we all know, basically, NATO is doubling the 
amount of money they are spending for their own national security, 
which is exactly what the President wanted.
  President Trump is working to fix problems that others would not 
address. He is moving with a sense of urgency to deliver those results. 
I am tired of Members of this body trying to undercut him at every 
turn, especially in the middle of the negotiation process.
  One of the things you learn when you deal internationally is that you 
have to have the respect of the person you are negotiating with across 
the table. President Trump has earned that. What we are beginning to do 
in this body is undercut that. I understand the article II, article I 
debate. I get that. But we are in the middle of processes now that are 
so critical. You cannot deal with trade in a one-dimensional fashion. 
It is part of the bigger geopolitical complex calculus that President 
Trump is trying to negotiate. We need a unified voice, there is no 
doubt. Right now, this body is sending mixed signals. It is time to put 
aside political self-interests and focus on what is best for the United 
States of America. As a business guy, I would think this is something 
my colleagues--especially those who come from the business community--
would understand. That is what we have to do all the time in the real 
  Last year, President Trump said that job 1 was to grow the economy. 
As a body, we all focused on regulations, energy, and taxes. As a 
result, the economy has begun to turn a corner.
  Just this year, we passed a moderate bill that modifies Dodd-Frank 
and frees up onerous regulations on small and

[[Page S3753]]

community banks and regional banks--freeing up some $6 trillion all in 
between regulations and taxes and the work in Dodd-Frank. That $6 
trillion is potentially coming back into the economy. That affects 
people who work for a living, not just the people who own the 
  Today, small business optimism hit a 30-year high. Some 31\1/2\ 
million jobs have been created, and 870 regulations have been reversed. 
Over 1,500 people in the Veterans' Administration have been let go 
because they were not concerned and did not perform their jobs 
  This year, it is all about continuing to grow the economy by focusing 
on immigration, infrastructure, and trade. Trade is a very complex 
matrix of countries and industries; it is not just a very simple thing 
of back-and-forth. I understand that the President is trying to do it 
in a bilateral way. I personally would prefer the TPP approach. But 
that is just two individuals. We are committed to this bilateral path, 
and I fully support that now. Of course, how we deal with each one 
should be thoughtful and strategic, and we need to be in a hurry to get 
that done. We need a holistic approach to trade, not the ad hoc 
approach we have seen in the past.
  Do you know what. If you want meaningful results in trade, you have 
to have the courage to have serious, tough conversations with other 
countries, regardless of how many headaches it may cause for some folks 
here in Washington. That includes some of our allies, by the way.
  The imbalance we have in trade is not just with China; it is with 
pretty much every one of our allies. The solutions are not 
controversial. They can be dealt with the right way.
  When it comes to trade, including trade with some of our closest 
allies, America isn't being treated fairly. We covered that already. We 
have been in this position for some time. It is really by our own 
making. We did this intentionally.
  President Trump is working to begin to fix this by negotiating better 
trade deals for American businesses, products, and workers. Make no 
mistake--the beneficiaries of these trade negotiations are American 
consumers and American workers. Trump is doing this from a position of 
strength, I believe. He is leveraging that strength to get a better 
deal. It is not about pending alliances; it is about telling other 
countries: We aren't going to stand for anything less than a level 
playing field. I think that is only fair when we are dealing with our 
allies or our adversaries.
  President Trump has the attention of the world and momentum to pull 
off better trade deals, so why are Members of this body trying to 
confuse and complicate the process by undermining the President's 
  Furthermore, we cannot discuss trade in a vacuum. The credibility of 
the negotiator is all-important when dealing with certain parts of the 
world. We need to take that into consideration when we are considering 
things that we have been debating here in the last 24 hours on this 
floor. We need to talk about trade from an economic and national 
security standpoint. It is, in fact, a full-blown, complex geopolitical 

  To that point, we should all share the priority of denuclearization 
in the Korean Peninsula. President Trump is also working from a 
position of strength on that topic. This President and his team have 
the momentum to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. Imagine what 
progress would be achieved compared to just 6 months ago when the worst 
was being contemplated.
  Just as President Trump has brought China to the trade table, he has 
secured their cooperation on North Korea. I can tell you personally, 
having just visited there recently, we would not be in these 
negotiations with North Korea without the help of President Xi Jinping 
and the Chinese people. President Trump's leadership on this maximum-
pressure campaign led to China's cooperation on tough sanctions, which 
helped bring North Korea to the table in the first place.
  The President made a personal commitment to another foreign leader 
about how to deal with ZTE. He should be able to follow through on his 
word. This agreement may be tied to other elements of this 
administration's national security agenda that we don't know about in 
full detail, and we need to give them the benefit of the doubt and stop 
undercutting the negotiating power of our Commander in Chief.
  This ZTE amendment, which has been thrown into the NDAA at the last 
minute and before the Commerce Department made its full ruling, could 
threaten China's cooperation in dealing with North Korea. It is 
remarkably shortsighted for politicians in this body to complicate the 
situation with the ZTE amendment, in my opinion. I believe it will 
undercut our ability to negotiate, and I think it jeopardizes our 
negotiator's credibility.
  Of course, Congress has an important role to play on all free trade 
agreements and certainly treaties. The advice-and-consent principle 
that is built into our format is absolutely critical. I am not trying 
to undermine that in the least. However, we should not be trying to 
undercut our chief negotiator in the middle of a negotiating process.
  I personally have survived some of those in my career. I understand 
that the credibility of the person doing the negotiating is absolutely 
critical. However, in our situation, in dealing with any foreign 
leader, the full breadth of the responsibility of the legislative 
branch has to be explained up front. I am fully supportive of that.
  To those who say this President is picking winners and losers, going 
back to the ZTE issue, let me say that the only winner President Trump 
is trying to pick today is America. I think it is refreshing that we 
have somebody finally standing up and fighting for us for a change, 
after decades of making sure that the Third World was developed.
  This is about making sure that America is treated fairly and that it 
is the best place to do business in the world. It is about making 
America more competitive and secure. It is about making sure that the 
people who take showers after work and not before work get treated 
fairly in dealing with the rest of the world. This is about making 
America more competitive. It is about making America more secure. It is 
about ensuring our economic and national security for the next 100 
  This body should put aside self-interest and focus on the national 
interest and give this President the room he needs to negotiate on 
everything from better trade to denuclearization in the Korean 
Peninsula. Stop the hysteria, in my opinion. This is about a much 
bigger picture. In the much bigger picture, we talk about the rise of 
China and the impact on the world.
  Let me highlight a couple of things from this past weekend. President 
Trump issued a statement that offered an olive branch to Russia on the 
G7. He felt he would support their reentering the G7. What did Putin 
say? He said: Well, no, thank you. I am more interested in other 
things, like the SCO.
  Most people in this body aren't familiar with the SCO. It is the 
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. It is basically China, Russia, 
Uzbekistan, and a few countries in that area. But India and Pakistan 
just attended their first meeting. I think this is an extremely 
dangerous development for the future of self-determining people.
  I think it is time for this body to get behind a unified approach 
with regard to what we are trying to do with trade and North Korea and 
tell the rest of the world: We want to be the strongest ally you have 
ever seen, just like we have been for the last 200 years. It is time, 
as the President said in Davos, to take care of our business so we can 
help you take care of your business.
  Thank you, Mr. President.
  I yield my time.
  Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. President, at the G-7 Summit in Charlevoix, Canada, 
on June 9, 2018, President Trump stated the following in regard to the 
Russian Federation rejoining this group of the world's seven most 
industrialized and powerful nations: ``It would be an asset to have 
Russia back in. I think it would be good for the world. I think it 
would be good for Russia. I think it would be good for the United 
States. I think it would be good for all of the countries of the 
current G-7. I think the G8 would be better.''
  Such a statement, even for this President, is stunning.
  On March 24, 2014, the current group of G-7 states suspended the 

[[Page S3754]]

Federation, in response to its illegal invasion and occupation of the 
Ukrainian territory of Crimea. Since then, the Government of the 
Russian Federation continues to illegally occupy Crimea and has utterly 
failed to fulfill its obligations under the Minsk Agreements to end its 
violent aggression in eastern Ukraine. Russia has failed to respect a 
full ceasefire; it has failed to pull back its heavy weaponry; it has 
failed to permit the monitoring and verification of a ceasefire regime; 
and it has failed to ensure access for humanitarian aid to conflict-
affected individuals.
  The story does not stop with Ukraine. Since 2014, the Government of 
the Russian Federation has greatly expanded its aggression around the 
world, including against the United States with the attack on our 2016 
election. The Kremlin continues to interfere in elections, wage cyber 
attacks, engage in corruption and political meddling, and spread lies 
and disinformation--all with the goal to divide societies, undermine 
the rules-based international order, and break up longstanding 
transatlantic alliances. Our intelligence community has repeatedly 
asserted that the Kremlin will likely target our elections again this 
fall. The very ideal of democracy as a system of government is under 
constant assault from a Kremlin bent on destroying the international 
rules-based order.
  Upon considering these facts, no observer could seriously think 
Russia deserves to be welcomed back into the G-7 club. Any such 
suggestion is ludicrous and must be dismissed out of hand.
  The United States is a country long governed by the rule of law, 
where breaking the rules has consequences. More broadly, the United 
States has helped to create the rules-based order in the international 
community that has undoubtedly served the interests of the American 
people and benefited the world since the end of WWII by fostering peace 
and prosperity. The United States is bound with other G-7 nations not 
just because of the size of our economies, but because of our shared 
values and common cause to foster societies in which our citizens can 
live freely, peacefully, and prosperously. Inviting the current 
Government of the Russian Federation to rejoin the circle of G-7 world 
leaders when President Vladimir Putin's regime poses an ongoing threat 
to our freedom, peace, and prosperity serves his interests, not ours.
  President Trump's suggestion to readmit Russia to the G-7 and his 
subsequent disavowal of the joint communique which the United States 
and other G-7 nations successfully negotiated in Charlevoix defy logic. 
More outrageously, they reflect his propensity to praise autocrats 
while attacking our allies and the democratic values and rules-based 
system they defend. Does it put America first to side with autocrats? 
This President seems to think so.
  I have submitted an amendment to the defense authorization bill 
calling on President Trump to retract his comments on readmitting 
Russia to the G-7. Absent any change in the Kremlin's efforts to 
undermine the rules-based international order or its illegal occupation 
of Crimea, the G-7 should not even consider welcoming the Russian 
Federation back into its fold, let alone with open arms. This amendment 
sends a necessary and strong message that the United States stands by 
our friends and the international rules-based order that benefits 
American workers and American national security. I am committed to 
working with my Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle to shore 
up our closest alliances and to hold the Russian government accountable 
for its aggression in Ukraine, the United States, and beyond. I urge 
adoption of this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee.