LEGISLATIVE SESSION
(Senate - August 23, 2018)

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[Congressional Record Volume 164, Number 141 (Thursday, August 23, 2018)]
[Pages S5876-S5907]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                          LEGISLATIVE SESSION

                                 ______
                                 

       DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2019--Continued

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Cloture having been invoked, the Senate will 
resume legislative session on H.R. 6157, which the clerk will report.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (H.R. 6157) making appropriations for the Department 
     of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2019, and 
     for other purposes.

  Pending:

       Shelby amendment No. 3695, in the nature of a substitute.
       McConnell (for Shelby) amendment No. 3699 (to amendment No. 
     3695), of a perfecting nature.
       Leahy amendment No. 3993 (to amendment No. 3699), of a 
     perfecting nature.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, as vice chairman of the Appropriations 
Committee, and I am sure I can also speak for the chairman of the 
Appropriations Committee, we appreciate this vote, so we can move 
forward.
  We have spent the last week on the Senate floor. But, what many 
people have not seen are the hours and hours that Senators, both 
Republicans and Democrats, have spent working together to get where we 
are today. Many people have not seen the countless of hours more being 
done by our staffs. Sometimes at 1 in the morning, they are still 
negotiating parts of this bill.
  We are just within an hour or so of doing something the Senate, as 
Senator McConnell pointed out, has not been able to do in years.
  I think we will pass a good, responsible and within-the-budget piece 
of legislation. Both Republicans and Democrats had a voice in the 
process. We held numerous votes in the Senate Appropriations Committee, 
all of them overwhelmingly bipartisan, many of them unanimous--with the 
exception of one or two votes--to get to where we are today.
  I see some of the chairs from our subcommittees who worked very hard 
to put together these bipartisan coalitions. I know a lot of people are 
anxious to get out of here, and soon they will be headed to the 
airport. Let's get this done. Let's show that the U.S. Senate is 
actually doing its work. Let's do what we were elected to do, what we 
know how to do, and what we can do.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mrs. CAPITO. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from West Virginia.
  Mrs. CAPITO. Mr. President, I am on the floor to thank the ranking 
member of the full committee for his good, hard work on this bill and 
certainly Senator Shelby and the subcommittee chairs.
  We are here to talk about some of the important issues in this bill 
and how consequential this bill will be and has the potential to be.
  We are encompassing both Defense and Labor-HHS, both of which passed 
out of our committee a few weeks ago with bipartisan support and a lot 
of input from Members in the process.
  Bills of this magnitude deserve to be debated on the Senate floor, as 
we are doing today. I will first address the defense part of this 
measure because I think it impacts not only our standing here and our 
military here but also has a global impact.
  President Trump has made rebuilding and strengthening our military 
one of his administration's primary objectives, and this bill helps him 
do exactly that.
  This legislation invests in programs, projects, technologies, and 
capabilities that will strengthen our Nation's military. More 
importantly, it invests in the people behind all of these efforts by 
including a 2.6-percent raise for all of our military. That includes 
our National Guard.
  Our National Guard's presence in West Virginia is essential not only 
to our Nation's security but to all the core values and the core 
strengths the National Guard brings to the State of West Virginia. All 
of these men and women deserve our support and our commitment to 
provide them with what they need to defend freedom both here and 
abroad.
  Of course, the legislation under consideration doesn't just focus on 
the military; it also focuses on another war being waged right here in 
our country, and that is the fight against the opioid epidemic.
  Under the leadership of Chairman Blunt--and he has been fantastic in 
the committee--the Labor-HHS Subcommittee has made this issue a top 
priority, and I could not be more grateful, more proud, and, even more 
importantly, more hopeful.
  We saw the statistics come out last week that there have been over 
70,000 deaths across the country. It is deeply troubling as to how to 
get the best handle on this very difficult problem.
  Over the past 4 years, we have increased funding for this effort of 
fighting the opioid crisis by more than 1,275 percent, but we haven't 
done this blindly. We are just not throwing money at the problem. I 
think we have been very thoughtful, as have our partners in the State 
and local areas.
  We have focused on treatment through our community health centers. We 
have focused on prevention, working with the CDC. We have focused on 
recovery through our workforce initiatives. We have focused on research 
at NIH, where, hopefully, NIH can develop a nonaddicitive opioid 
treatment, which I think will be a major breakthrough for this problem, 
and we have focused on directing funding to the States to meet the 
local challenges through their State opioid response grants. We have 
also focused on the ripple effects of this epidemic, including the 
impact on families and children in foster care. These are all important 
resources and much needed.

  I want to call special attention to our work, something that is 
extremely important to my home State of West Virginia. In the previous 
funding legislation, when we were dealing with this problem, I authored 
language with Senator Shaheen. We had language directing funds in the 
State opioid response grants to those States with the greatest needs.
  The unfortunate metric in my State, and certainly in the Presiding 
Officer's State as well, is that we have States with smaller 
populations, but we have some of the biggest impacts, the highest 
addiction, the highest overdose, and the highest death rates across the 
country. This has enabled us to focus more funding on those States that 
are more deeply affected but don't have the population to have enough 
formula funding in those States to meet our needs.
  Just a few weeks ago, our State Department of Health and Human 
Resources released the preliminary numbers. So far in West Virginia, we 
have had almost 500 opioid-related deaths. While this is the most 
devastating statistic, when it comes to West Virginia and the opioid 
epidemic, it is not the only one. It is not the only one we need to 
look at.
  We are seeing an increasing number of children in foster care. This 
has impacted the entire family. There are more grandparents and great-
grandparents who are raising their grandchildren and their great-
grandchildren.

[[Page S5877]]

  Our State has an increased need for treatment facilities. We have 
more babies who are requiring neonatal care, as well as the services as 
they grow. This has impacted our entire State very deeply. I have seen 
these needs firsthand through visits to the facilities, conversations 
with families, counselors, recovering addicts, healthcare 
professionals, and first responders.
  I can say that living in a smaller area, more rural area of our 
country, I know families personally who have been impacted by this. It 
is heartbreaking how many people need help, and I think this bill takes 
major steps to help in delivering that.
  While the opioid epidemic is a very significant focus of Labor-HHS, I 
wish to highlight some of the other valuable investments. One that is a 
personal priority of mine, and I know of Chairman Blunt's, and many of 
us, as well as Senator Collins, who is here today, is the funding we 
provide for Alzheimer's research.
  In the last 4 years, both of my parents have died with severe 
dementia and Alzheimer's. It is probably the saddest and hardest thing 
we, as a family, have ever had to face.
  I understand the emotional, physical, and financial toll it takes on 
patients, their caregivers, and families, because a lot of the 
caregivers are family members. It is a devastating disease, which is 
why I have been such a supporter of a wide range of Alzheimer's-related 
legislation.
  With this bill we have surpassed, with the help of Chairman Blunt and 
his leadership, a $2 billion milestone when it comes to Alzheimer's 
research. That isn't just for research. It is also to figure out the 
best way to help our caregivers.
  Also in this bill, we have directed help to other priorities to a lot 
of rural States like mine for community health centers, which are 
critical.
  As for apprenticeship grants, I was just with the plumbers and 
pipefitters. Apprenticeships are absolutely critical to the workforce 
that we need.
  There is the IDeA Program at NIH, which drives research dollars out 
to universities, away from the main campus of NIH. Certainly, our 
colleges and universities are taking advantage of this, in particular 
West Virginia University.
  We also fully fund--and I am very excited about this--with the help 
of Senator Reed, our bill on childhood cancer. It is called the STAR 
Act. We introduced it, and we passed it. This legislation will expand 
opportunities for childhood cancer research, improve efforts to 
identify and track childhood cancer incidences, and enhance the quality 
of life for our childhood cancer survivors. Many of them have cancer 
and have treatments in their younger years, but what happens to them as 
they enter their teenage years, their young adult years, or if they 
move into family life? There are impacts that impact our childhood 
cancer survivors all throughout their life. So I am really pleased with 
the efforts we have made there.
  In short, this legislation aims to improve the health and well-being 
of every single American.
  When it comes to the Department of Labor, very briefly, this is 
important for us in West Virginia. There is a training program there 
for displaced coal workers and coal miners. We have re-funded that. We 
have pushed more funding to that, I should say. ``Re-fund'' sounds a 
little confusing, I think.
  We have also increased the maximum amount for Pell grants.
  These are just a few highlights of this piece of legislation with a 
few critical resources that will make a big difference.
  I know this bill will benefit my State of West Virginia because it 
recognizes the needs and opportunities facing our State and Nation and 
it provides the resources we need to seize those opportunities. It also 
demonstrates, for the first time in a long time, that we have worked 
together and we have worked across the aisle. We have been able to have 
our say as Members--every single one of us--as to where and how we want 
to see both Defense and Labor-HHS, these enormously impactful agencies, 
and how they impact our lives. For me, that is a major victory, being a 
member of the Appropriations Committee.
  So I want to extend again my gratitude to the subcommittee chair, 
Senator Blunt, and the ranking member, Senator Murray, and then to our 
two major chairs, Senator Leahy and Senator Shelby. It is a good day 
here on the floor of the Senate.
  Thank you.
  I yield the floor to Senator Moran.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kansas.
  Mr. MORAN. Mr. President, it is such a privilege to be here on the 
Senate floor today on this occasion as we work our way through another 
set of appropriations bills. Today we are working on the Defense 
appropriations bill and the bill we call Labor-H, which involves the 
Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the National 
Institutes of Health, or NIH.
  The Senator from West Virginia was correct in her commentary with 
regard to this being a good day, but she was also correct in her 
commentary about the number of people, including, especially, the 
chairman of the subcommittee, Senator Blunt from Missouri, and the 
ranking member of that subcommittee, Senator Murray from Washington 
State, and I too serve on the subcommittee.
  I am also pleased to be here with the Senator from West Virginia, 
Mrs. Capito, and the Senator from Maine, Ms. Collins. It is an 
indication that there is broad support. I also notice that the ranking 
member, the vice chairman of the committee, is with us as well, Senator 
Leahy from Vermont.
  For as long as I have been in the U.S. Senate--and I have been a 
member of the Appropriations Committee since that arrival--it has been 
a mission of mine to see that we increase the amount of funding for the 
National Institutes of Health. Today we particularly highlight the 
consequences--the good things that happen--in that regard, with the 
diseases of the mind--Alzheimer's, in particular.
  Alzheimer's is a devastating disease that places such an enormous 
burden on so many people, on so many families across Kansas and around 
the country, and it has a huge impact on lives. There are currently 
more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer's and their 
combined care costs $259 billion to our healthcare system each year.
  I appreciate the opportunity to work on issues that combine the 
opportunity to help individuals and the care and compassion that come 
from one's heart to see that people's lives are improved and that 
families are changed as a result of the work. I also appreciate the 
opportunity to work on issues in which the mind kicks in and in which 
we can save significant dollars in our healthcare delivery system by 
finding the cure to Alzheimer's and delaying the onset of this horrific 
disease.
  It is estimated that by 2050, this number--the $259 billion to our 
healthcare system costs--could rise as high as 16 million people with 
Alzheimer's, or from 5 million to 16 million, and increase the cost 
from $259 billion to over $1 trillion. In fact, an individual develops 
Alzheimer's almost every single minute in our country. These 
predictions do not need to become a reality. That is what this 
Appropriations Committee report that we will discuss, debate, and vote 
on this week involves. These astronomical costs can be curbed if this 
disease can be made treatable and curable
  There is hope that progress is being made. I am hopeful, but I know 
that progress is being made. We have seen it. This past decade has 
bought a significantly increased awareness to Alzheimer's research, as 
well as important partnerships and developments at the National 
Alzheimer's Project, which is updated on an annual basis.
  NIH researchers are now able to study an increased level of small 
images of proteins, including detailed physical structures of the brain 
that are common in individuals suffering from Alzheimer's. This new 
development could be the piece that brings the research and data 
together to find a way to reverse the disease's impact on the human 
brain. What a wonderful development that would be.
  The only way to build on this progress is to solidify our commitment 
to supporting the National Institutes of Health through our annual 
funding increases. Again, I am pleased to see that we are once again 
adding significant dollars to the NIH, and particularly to NIA, for 
this research.

[[Page S5878]]

  As a cofounder of the Senate NIH caucus, I visited NIH headquarters 
last year with directors of the University of Kansas Alzheimer's 
Disease Center. It is one of 31 NIH-designated Alzheimer's disease 
centers across our country. The promising research that we see at home 
at the KU Alzheimer's Disease Center demonstrates the benefits of NIH 
utilizing partnerships to increase research capacity that yields 
results.
  It is critical to note that NIH's ability to support Alzheimer's at 
academic institutions such as KU is dependent upon stable annual 
appropriations. That stable annual appropriation is also important for 
us to be able to attract the best and the brightest researchers in this 
country, who need to know there is a stable source of research dollars 
for them to continue their efforts of finding this cure and delaying it 
at its onset.
  So many of us care for people who have been affected by Alzheimer's 
and serious illnesses. This unfortunate circumstance that many share 
should make it easy to rally around NIH in hopes of that cure and 
improving the lives of those we love.
  I am proud to say that with this proposed increase of $425 million in 
fiscal year 2019, we have now worked to nearly triple the funding for 
Alzheimer's disease research over the past 3 years.
  In addition to our work in the appropriations process, there are a 
number of legislative efforts that are under way. I will mention two of 
them: the BOLD Act and PCHETA. These are legislative initiatives 
sponsored by many of us who are speaking today about Alzheimer's that 
on the authorizing side, separate from the appropriations side, are 
deserving of the support of my colleagues here in the Senate, in the 
House of Representatives, and in our bill, which should be sent to the 
President of the United States for signature.
  As a committee and as a Congress, we must work to provide the 
necessary support to NIH to discover treatments and cures, and we will 
continue to do that with this bill today.
  I also want to take a moment to recognize a couple of people. In my 
involvement in this issue, and, as a matter of fact, in my involvement 
as a U.S. Senator with issues in general, we meet lots of interesting 
and caring people. There is a family I have met who, to the best of my 
knowledge, has nothing personally to gain from their efforts. Bob and 
Jill Thomas and brother Bill and Susan Thomas from Oklahoma have been 
relentless, tireless advocates on behalf of the Alzheimer's community. 
It is so pleasing to me to know people who have care and compassion for 
people and who spend their time and their resources making sure that 
Members of Congress, the American people, and the Alzheimer's 
Association have the resources and information necessary to accomplish 
the goal that we are all about: a better life for more Americans and 
their families, the elimination of this disease that Americans now 
face, and the opportunity for us to find the cure to this horrific 
disease that affects so many.
  So I want to use the moment to express my personal gratitude to Bob 
and Jill and to Bill and Susan and to others across the country and 
others in Kansas, who go to work, day to day, to make certain that life 
is better for their fellow Americans and for people around the globe.
  Again, it is an honor to be here with my colleagues in support of 
this legislation. There are many reasons to be supportive of the Labor-
HHS bill, but I would highlight this one as one that my colleagues can 
rally around. Republicans and Democrats of all walks of life should be 
pleased by our efforts today to see that there are more research 
dollars available for the cure.
  I appreciate the opportunity to join my colleagues.
  I now yield the floor to the Senator from Maine, Ms. Collins.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maine.
  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, what a pleasure it is to be here on the 
Senate floor with such determined advocates on behalf of the families 
all across our Nation who are dealing with this devastating disease of 
Alzheimer's.
  I spoke earlier in the week about the many terrific provisions in 
this bill on the Defense appropriations side and on the Labor, Health, 
and Human Services part of the appropriations package, but I am 
delighted to be here today to shine a spotlight on the additional 
funding for Alzheimer's disease.
  As a member of the Appropriations Committee, it has been such a 
pleasure to work with my colleagues, including Senator Moran, Senator 
Capito, and our leader, Chairman Blunt, on this shared priority year 
after year. I particularly want to recognize the extraordinary 
leadership of Chairman Blunt in making sure that adequate funding is 
provided for this devastating disease.
  Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the Nation, and it 
is increasing at unprecedented rates. Like many families, mine too has 
known the pain of its devastating consequences. Today, an estimated 5.7 
million Americans are living with Alzheimer's.
  In addition to the human suffering it causes, Alzheimer's is our most 
costly disease at $277 billion a year, with Medicare and Medicaid 
covering $186 billion. Without a change in the current trajectory, the 
number of Americans with Alzheimer's is expected to triple to as many 
as 14 million by 2050, costing more than $1.1 trillion per year and 
bankrupting the Medicaid system.
  Fortunately, Congress has taken significant actions and in this bill 
recognizes the urgent need to continue our investment full speed ahead.
  Since the 2011 signing of the National Alzheimer's Project Act, known 
as NAPA, which I coauthored with former Senator Evan Bayh, we have 
increased funding for Alzheimer's by $1.36 billion. Seven years ago, 
NIH received only $440 million for this research, compared to more than 
$5 billion for another very serious disease--cancer. Since that time, 
we have steadily boosted Federal research dollars for Alzheimer's--to 
$936 million in 2016, $1.4 billion in 2017, and $1.8 billion last 
year--but this bill before us achieves a milestone because by adding 
another $425 million for this research, the total funding for the first 
time will exceed the $2 billion mark. This is the largest increase in 
history, and it allows us to reach the level that experts have advised 
us is necessary to find a means of prevention, effective treatments, or 
ultimately a cure by the year 2025.
  This has been a bipartisan commitment. Alzheimer's doesn't care 
whether you are a Democrat, a Republican, an Independent, or a Green. 
It does not discriminate. This robust commitment promises returns such 
as we have seen for cancer, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. 
Fueled by Federal support, researchers are beginning to understand more 
clearly the complex biology of Alzheimer's with sophisticated new tools 
that are leading to better imaging agents and therapies.
  NIH research is laying the foundation for precision medicine through 
the Accelerating Medicines Partnership for Alzheimer's Disease, which 
will produce more targeted therapies that I believe will lead to a 
means of either preventing or at least delaying the onset of this 
disease. With NIH funds, scientists are also exploring possible risk 
factors, including diet, heart health, diabetes, and exposure to 
environmental toxins. Results from the Systolic Blood Pressure 
Intervention Trial released last month found that lowering blood 
pressure is associated with reducing the risk of mild cognitive 
impairment and dementia.
  Through a $25 million NIA grant, the Jackson Laboratory in Maine is 
co-leading the Alzheimer's Disease Precision Models Center with Indiana 
University--the first of its kind--to accelerate the most promising 
research into therapies from the bench to the bedside. This is exactly 
the kind of collaboration and sharing we need to make a difference.
  As chairman of the Senate Aging Committee and founder and co-chair of 
the Senate Alzheimer's Task Force and as a Senator representing the 
oldest State in the Nation by median age, I am committed to making 2020 
the dawn of light for Alzheimer's to alter the path for generations to 
come. The robust support in this bill represents a historic step 
forward that will promise dividends in the future. As glimmers of light 
seep through this door that has been shut tight for far too long, we 
must continue to push forward. We cannot let up on the accelerator of 
funding.
  We need to improve the lives of those living with Alzheimer's and 
their caregivers. How many of us have seen an elderly parent caring for 
a beloved

[[Page S5879]]

spouse with severe dementia? It takes a toll not just on the victim of 
the disease but on the entire family and particularly on the 
caregivers. That is one reason I have introduced the BOLD 
Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act with Senator Cortez Masto. This 
bipartisan bill would promote public health knowledge and awareness of 
Alzheimer's disease, cognitive decline, and brain health by supporting 
implementation of the CDC's Healthy Brain Initiative: Public Health 
Road Map. BOLD now has 48 cosponsors, I am delighted to report, and we 
are on track to consider the bill soon in the HELP Committee, led by 
Senator Alexander and Senator Murray. BOLD follows our previous 
efforts, such as NAPA, and, together with the extraordinary increase in 
NIH funding that we are providing today, these congressional actions 
are poised to usher in a whole new era in our battle against this 
devastating disease.
  I have visited research laboratories all across the United States--
the Mayo Clinic, NIH here in the Washington area, Jackson Laboratory in 
the great State of Maine, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard--and 
I have seen what is going on in the labs due to the increases in NIH 
funding we have provided. It is so exciting. I am convinced that if we 
sustain this commitment, we will be able to avoid such tragedy for so 
many American families, as well as avoid the tremendous burden of our 
Nation's most costly disease.
  Again, I salute Chairman Blunt's efforts to continue to press forward 
and thank him for his leadership and strong support of biomedical 
research.
  I yield the floor to the chairman of the subcommittee, Senator Blunt.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Missouri.
  Mr. BLUNT. Mr. President, certainly I want to thank my colleagues 
today for the credit that they have shared with me and that I am 
reluctant to accept. This is clearly an effort to establish what our 
priorities are. There are a lot of things in this bill that are goods 
things for somebody to do. In some cases over the years, we have not 
done them as well as we should have, and well-intentioned programs 
didn't work. We have gone through the process of eliminating programs 
and combining programs so we could set the priorities mentioned just 
this morning by Senator Collins, Senator Capito, and Senator Moran.
  When you think about what we are talking about here--healthcare 
research, the opioid epidemic, and what is happening in the Alzheimer's 
space--we would have never imagined these numbers in cost or family 
impact.
  There is one thing I want to mention just briefly before we end this 
part of our discussion. I think between votes and other things this 
morning--Senator Cardin is here and, like me, planned to do what I am 
doing now about an hour ago. So I am going to take just a couple 
minutes.
  I want to talk a little about the labor part of this bill. For the 
first time in the 20 years we have been keeping statistics on jobs 
available and people looking for work, this is the first time there are 
more jobs available than people looking for work. That is a big number 
and a big thing to think about.
  The other thing to think about is that the match between the people 
looking for work and the jobs available is not exact. In fact, most of 
the people looking for work don't have the skills for the jobs that 
need to be done. Recently, I was in Missouri visiting with a small 
manufacturing company. They had 20 job openings and were just waiting 
for somebody to come in the door who had the skill set for those job 
openings.
  What we do to do a better job of combining the skills people need 
with the jobs that are out there or the jobs that will be out there--
the apprenticeship programs in this bill that Senator Murray and I have 
particularly been focused on with Secretary Acosta give people new ways 
to get ready for work. They create new ways for partnering between 
people already in the workforce and someone they can mentor, an 
apprentice. We are looking at the Pell grant area for ways that the 
post-high school Pell grant can be used in different ways that allow 
not just traditional college programs but various kinds of certificated 
programs that allow people to go to work in areas where there are high 
demands. Right now, construction, energy, hospitality, healthcare, and 
manufacturing are only a few of the industries where jobs need to be 
done.
  We have around 400 registered apprenticeship programs in my State, 
with more than 13,000 apprentices working with several hundred 
employees. There are 530,000 Americans in apprenticeship programs 
nationwide--over half a million Americans--getting ready for the jobs 
that are out there.
  What the Department of Labor is doing with Job Corps--for years, the 
major Job Corps measurement has been ``Did you get some kind of 
certificate?'' Well, we are now shifting from ``Did you get some kind 
of certificate?'' to ``Did you get a job?'' It is great to have a 
certificate; it is a whole lot better to have a certificate that gets 
you a job.
  Over the next 3 years, we are moving from--of course you get the 
certificate--that is a basic part of the program--but does it lead to a 
job, and do you still have that job or a job like it a year later? That 
is how the people running these programs are going to be measured in 
the future, as opposed to whether they just got somebody through the 
program. Now it will be ``Did you get somebody through your program in 
a way that met the goal of the Job Corps?'' It is not the Certificate 
Corps; it is the Job Corps--now measuring by getting a job.
  This bill is reflective of the new efforts in our society to try to 
match people with the jobs that are out there and to do the kinds 
things in our economy that ensure that those are jobs that allow people 
to raise a family and allow people to have opportunities they wouldn't 
have otherwise.
  So I am looking forward to later today when I believe we will all 
vote for this bill--Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, 
combined with the critically important bill on defense.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, before Senator Blunt leaves the floor, let 
me thank him for his leadership in regard to the provisions in the bill 
before us that relate to Alzheimer's and the research.
  As has been pointed out, this is bipartisan. We strongly support the 
efforts in this bill. I would just like to put one face on it, if I 
might.


                        Remembering Sally Michel

  Mr. President, this past week, Sally Michel, a distinguished leader 
in our community, died after 10 years suffering from Alzheimer's. We 
lost her way too early to this disease. She was an extraordinary 
person--a professional civilian activist, advisor to Governors, mayors, 
and legislators, and she left a great legacy. She established the Parks 
and People Foundation in Baltimore and the SuperKids Camp Program. She 
helped start the Baltimore School for the Arts.
  She developed private sector partnerships, working with government to 
get things done. She was a very effective youth in our community, and 
underserved areas benefit today from the programs she started. I was 
very proud of my granddaughter, Julia, when she volunteered at one of 
these SuperKids Camps this summer in Baltimore City.
  My point is, she was taken way too early as a result of Alzheimer's. 
There are many reasons we have to make an extraordinary commitment to 
finding answers to this very challenging and cruel disease. I can 
assure my colleague from Missouri, all of us in this Chamber support 
the efforts that are being made to make sure we are full partners in 
the Senate to move forward on conquering this disease.


                               H.R. 6157

  Mr. President, I want to talk about two amendments I filed for the 
bill that is before us and the reasons I filed those amendments. One 
deals with the cost of prescription drugs. Prescription drug costs are 
out of control. Any of us who have been to any townhall meetings--I 
have been to many in my State--we hear constituents all the time talk 
about the fact that there is a serious challenge as to whether they can 
afford to take the medicines they need in order to control their 
disease, whether it is diabetes, heart, kidney, or cancer.
  So many patients have to make very tough decisions as to whether they 
can afford the prescription drugs that are necessary for their care. 
Many are going into debt. We are now seeing people going into 
bankruptcy because of

[[Page S5880]]

medical debt from prescription drugs, and many are going without the 
medicines themselves. We need to do something about it.
  According to the Federal Government's own projections of cost, the 
projected cost for prescription medicines will exceed $360 billion. A 
study in Maryland showed about $1 out of every $4 spent in healthcare 
goes to medicines and prescription drugs.
  The projected growth rate of prescription drugs is much higher than 
the projected growth rate of healthcare costs, which is much higher 
than the projected growth rate of our cost of living. The costs of 4 of 
the top 10 drugs have increased more than 100 percent since 2011.
  It is not just the exotic, expensive, or orphan drugs we are talking 
about. These are drugs that are desperately needed to deal with common 
illnesses. We all know the EpiPen story. In 8 years, a pack of two has 
gone up from $100 to $600.
  We might say, well, there is a cost issue in developing new drugs.
  When you look at what Americans pay for their prescription drugs 
versus what Canadians or individuals in the industrial nations of the 
world pay, you cannot justify the pricing in America. It is two to 
three times higher. In some cases, it is even more than what consumers 
in industrialized nations spend for the exact same medicines that are 
manufactured here.
  What can we do about it? The amendment offers us the ability to get 
the information we need, but there are three proposals I urge our 
colleagues to take up in this Congress. One is the Medicare 
Prescription Drug Negotiating Act. We should use our bargaining power, 
our market power, to bring down the cost of medicines. That is what 
every other industrial nation does. Yet we do not allow Medicare to 
negotiate a collective price for the medicines they pay for under the 
program. That is costing our taxpayers and consumers money.
  Second, there is a bill that is known as the SPIKE Act that deals 
with the exorbitant price hikes we have seen in certain medicines. The 
bill requires disclosure and explanation. The pharmaceutical industry 
should at least disclose and explain why we had the extraordinary 
increases.
  Lastly, we need to improve Medicare Part D. The out-of-pocket costs 
are not affordable. We have to put reasonable limits on what people can 
afford and cover what is beyond those reasonable limits.
  All of us support the development of new drugs to deal with the 
challenges of healthcare today. It is a cost-effective way to deal with 
the healthcare problems in our community, but we want to see fair 
pricing. Why should American consumers have to pay so much more than 
consumers in other industrial nations? In many cases, the basic 
research that went into developing that drug was paid for by U.S. 
taxpayers, the work done at NIH and research facilities in this 
country. We need to have fair pricing, and we need to act. We can no 
longer wait.
  The second amendment I wish to talk about is the amendment I filed 
that deals with the Army Futures Command. This amendment would prohibit 
funding for the establishment of the Army Futures Command headquarters 
for this fiscal year.
  The purpose of this amendment is to delay the establishment of the 
Army Futures Command's headquarters until two current GAO 
investigations looking into the Army's rationale and plans for 
establishing a new command as well as the GAO's investigation into the 
impacts a new Futures Command, might have on small business have 
concluded. It will also give the Army time to respond to the reports on 
Futures Command required by the John S. McCain NDAA for fiscal year 
2019.
  These investigations and reports will conclude by the summer of next 
year, allowing the Army time to complete their plans for the command 
during this fiscal year. Most importantly, it gives the Army additional 
time to take a deliberative approach to their acquisitions overhaul.
  Congress has asked questions about the Army's plan to establish this 
command. What are the true costs for moving personnel? How many studies 
did the Army conduct to develop this plan, and what were the options 
presented? Unfortunately, the Army has not been able to provide these 
answers. My fear is, the Army is not executing this organizational 
transformation in a deliberative and coherent manner.
  We all want the men and women of the Army to have the best technology 
in the world. However, we also have a responsibility to be good 
stewards of the taxpayers' dollars. When the Army can't provide basic 
answers, provide clarity on their plan, or even identify how this plan 
was formulated, it leads me to believe the Army is building this tank 
while it is still moving.
  History has proven this strategy has not led to the outcome for which 
we hoped. It took the Army almost a decade and multiple studies to 
establish a new physical fitness test. Surely, a new Army acquisition 
model should take more than a year to develop. How is it possible for 
the Army to establish a brandnew acquisition program in a far shorter 
amount of time without studying all the impacts and implications?
  It is important to note, this amendment does not prevent the Army 
from moving forward on its Big Six priorities. This amendment would not 
stop the current research and development initiatives in which the Army 
is currently investigating the resources and energy. However, it does 
give the Army the time to develop a feasible plan to determine if 
creating a brandnew bureaucracy with the Army for acquisition is the 
wisest approach.
  My biggest concern is, these major shifts in resources, time, and 
effort by the Army will squander and amount to another waste of $20 
billion, as we saw in the Future Combat Systems. The Army has nothing 
to show for that program, our troops were not well served by the Army's 
leadership strategy, and no one was held accountable.
  This measure guarantees the requisite accountability on the Army's 
part and congressional oversight in the matter at hand to safeguard our 
Armed Forces against another Future Combat System debacle.
  Bottom line, oversight is our responsibility. We all support our men 
and women. We want the most sufficient system possible, but we have to 
get answers to questions before we commit to this type of change. My 
amendment will allow us to have adequate information before that 
decision goes forward.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Fischer). The Senator from New Jersey.


                     Nomination of Brett Kavanaugh

  Mr. MENENDEZ. Madam President, I come to the floor because President 
Trump, his administration, and this Republican Congress are engaged in 
a heartless and deliberate plot to rip healthcare away from millions of 
Americans, and it is only going to get worse.
  It was a little over a year ago when Americans rose, made their 
voices heard, and stopped Republicans from passing TrumpCare. Ever 
since they were able to repeal the Affordable Care Act on the Senate 
floor, this administration has pursued a cynical campaign to sabotage 
the Affordable Care Act from behind closed doors. The Trump 
administration slashed the open enrollment period, leaving Americans 
with less time to get covered, and, to confuse consumers, they cut 
advertising and outreach funding. They abruptly eliminated cost-sharing 
payments, raising out-of-pocket expenses for many struggling families.
  Earlier this summer, they rolled back consumer protections and gave 
insurers permission to sell more junk health plans to consumers--plans 
that leave people more vulnerable to massive medical bills that 
bankrupt their families. They even intervened in a court case to have 
protections for preexisting conditions struck down, jeopardizing 
coverage for 3.8 million New Jerseyans who have a preexisting 
condition.
  Every act of sabotage has contributed to soaring healthcare premiums, 
fewer choices for consumers, and millions of Americans losing their 
healthcare coverage under this President's watch. Now we face President 
Trump's greatest act of sabotage yet--the nomination of a judge to the 
Supreme Court who has decried the constitutionality of the Affordable 
Care Act at the very same time this administration is arguing in court 
that protections for preexisting conditions are unconstitutional--
unconstitutional.
  As a candidate and as President, Donald Trump repeatedly pledged to

[[Page S5881]]

protect people with preexisting conditions, saying on ``60 Minutes'' 
that he would ``take care of everybody.''
  Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies could 
discriminate against any American who had a preexisting condition. What 
is that? That is some illness you acquired in your life. It is that 
heart attack or the Parkinson's disease or the birth defect you had 
when you were born that allowed an insurance company to discriminate 
against you and either deny you healthcare coverage or make the cost so 
exorbitant, it was impossible to afford. The Affordable Care Act I 
helped write ultimately eliminated that discrimination and the ability 
of insurance companies to do that.
  In New Jersey alone, which has a little over 9 million people in the 
State, 3.8 million New Jerseyans have a preexisting condition.
  The President also said he replaced the Affordable Care Act with 
``something terrific.'' There is nothing terrific about breaking a 
promise that threatens the lives and livelihoods of millions of 
families.
  I remember when President Trump promised to stand up for the so-
called forgotten men. I guess he forgot about them when he signed a 
Republican tax scam into law, handing trillion-dollar tax cuts to big 
corporations at the expense of working families and New Jersey's middle 
class, taking away or limiting significantly our State and local 
property tax deduction. He definitely forgot about the forgotten when 
he reversed his position on preexisting condition protections.
  The administration's plot to derail the Affordable Care Act and the 
nomination of Brett Kavanaugh has implications for every family in 
America, no matter whether they are covered by an employer or by their 
own insurance on the marketplace.
  People remember what it was like before we passed the Affordable Care 
Act. It wasn't so long ago that healthcare insurance companies could 
pick and choose who got covered and drop their customers the moment 
they got sick. Before the Affordable Care Act, women could be denied 
coverage for maternity care. Women in many parts of the country 
ultimately were discriminated against by being charged more than their 
male counterparts in the same age group, in the same geography, simply 
because they were women.
  Today, women no longer are considered to have a preexisting condition 
under the law simply because they are a woman.
  Before the Affordable Care Act, babies born with heart deformities 
could hit lifetime limits within days of being born. Today, families 
don't have to worry about lifetime caps.
  Before the Affordable Care Act, cancer survivors and Americans with 
chronic conditions like diabetes or asthma could be charged exorbitant 
premiums and priced out of coverage altogether. Today, those patients 
are protected from discrimination.
  This guaranteed coverage for preexisting conditions formed the very 
heart of the Affordable Care Act. But if confirmed, Judge Kavanaugh 
could drive a stake right through it. That is because this judge has a 
long history of ruling against consumers and for big corporations, and 
that doesn't bode well for the 133 million Americans who live with 
preexisting conditions in this country. That includes those 3.8 million 
people in New Jersey. For me, that is 3.8 million reasons to oppose 
Kavanaugh's nomination, and that is before we even get to his hostile 
views with respect to Roe v. Wade.
  Make no mistake, the anti-choice, anti-Affordable Care Act, and anti-
everyday American views of Judge Kavanaugh are not up for debate. 
President Trump has been crystal clear about nominating only judges 
opposed to Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose.
  So when I read reports about Judge Kavanaugh telling my colleagues 
here in the Senate that Roe v. Wade is ``settled law,'' I have to 
chuckle because, let's be clear, his hollow words mean absolutely 
nothing. The Supreme Court has the power to unsettle so-called settled 
law whenever they make a ruling, and we have seen in the Court's recent 
decisions, such as in the Janus case, where years of settled law all of 
a sudden became unsettled.
  I don't question Judge Kavanaugh's experience or his intelligence, 
but I do question his history of partisanship and impartiality. I 
question his ability to put aside his decades of work in Republican 
politics. I question his connections to far-right groups that have 
spent decades rolling back women's constitutional rights and rigging 
our courts in favor of the rich and powerful.
  The American people deserve a Supreme Court Justice who will defend 
their rights and strive for a legal system in which workers, consumers, 
patients, and families go to court on a level playing field at a time 
when powerful special interests are too often holding all the cards.
  Instead, they have been given a nominee groomed by rightwing 
organizations like the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society 
to do the bidding of their big corporate donors.
  If confirmed, Donald Trump will have replaced the only swing vote on 
the Supreme Court with a partisan who swings only to the far right, and 
Brett Kavanaugh will be in a position to cast a deciding vote, should 
the Trump administration's assault on the Affordable Care Act end up in 
the Supreme Court. That is frightening, and it is frustrating, 
especially because any one of my Republican colleagues has the power to 
make a real difference. Any one of my colleagues in the majority could 
demand we don't confirm a Supreme Court nominee until this 
administration stops its assault on the rights of patients with 
preexisting conditions. Republicans claim they support these 
protections, but this is not a time for halfhearted statements. This is 
a time for action. If Republicans truly believed in preventing 
insurance companies from discriminating against patients who have 
endured complicated pregnancies or survived cancer or have a chronic 
disease, they would do something about it.
  Instead, as the Trump administration carries out this campaign of 
sabotage against the Affordable Care Act, my Republican colleagues are 
engaged in a campaign of silence and complicity. When you have the 
power to use your voice and your vote to protect millions of patients 
and families across this Nation and you choose not to do so, you are 
indeed complicit. It is sad and shameful that not a single Republican 
in this body has put their foot down and stood up for the rights of 
patients, stood up for all of those millions of Americans who have a 
preexisting condition.
  Failing to speak up means you are part of the problem. You are 
destabilizing our insurance markets and kicking millions off of their 
coverage. You are driving higher out-of-pocket costs for families and 
skyrocketing healthcare premiums. You are leaving Americans who have 
struggled with opioid addiction or endured a sexual assault vulnerable 
to discrimination. You are enabling President Trump's worst instincts, 
which is to do whatever he pleases whenever he pleases, with no regard 
for the rule of law or the role of Congress or the havoc he is wreaking 
on people's lives.
  Most Americans can't believe we have to refight the healthcare 
battles of the past. They want their leaders to work on building them a 
brighter future.
  There are so many ways we could be working to improve our healthcare 
system and making a real difference in the lives of our constituents. 
We could be passing legislation that ensures that women have access to 
reproductive healthcare and the right to control their own bodies, no 
matter which State they live in, like the Women's Health Protection 
Act. We could be holding powerful drug companies accountable for price 
gouging consumers and playing fast and loose with the rules by passing 
commonsense bills like the CREATES Act and the SPIKE Act. We could be 
pursuing reforms to reduce healthcare costs, not by reducing access to 
care but by encouraging efficiency and becoming better at preventing 
and managing costly chronic disease. We could be creating more 
transparency so that patients headed to surgery can shop around before 
going under the knife with a wish and a prayer that they don't wake up 
to a massive medical bill. We could be pursuing solutions to reduce 
risk in the private marketplace and lower premiums for younger 
consumers, not by inflicting a punishing age tax but by letting 
Americans 55 years and older buy into Medicare.

[[Page S5882]]

  Before we make our healthcare system better, we have to stop 
President Trump from making it worse. It is time we do the responsible 
thing: Put the brake on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination. Tell the 
President his nominee will not get a hearing until he drops his legal 
assault on patients with preexisting conditions. Demand that the 
administration stop playing games with American lives and stand up for 
the right of every man, woman, and child across America to quality, 
affordable healthcare. We have that opportunity in this Senate.
  I don't hear any of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle 
raising their voice in the midst of an attack against the essence of 
the protections under the Affordable Care Act that we supposedly all 
collectively embraced, that the President heralded, but now the 
President is directing the Justice Department to attack.
  It is time to speak up. And if not, then one is complicit. If that 
ultimate attack against the Affordable Care Act is successful, then for 
130 million Americans across this country who will no longer have those 
protections, I think they will remember on election day.
  I yield the floor.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from West Virginia.


                         Preexisting Conditions

  Mr. MANCHIN. Madam President, this body is about to vote on my 
resolution to protect nearly 800,000 West Virginians and millions of 
Americans from the dangerous lawsuit that 20 U.S. attorneys general, 
including my own attorney general from West Virginia, are leading to 
once again allow insurance companies to deny coverage to those with 
preexisting conditions.
  This resolution will authorize the Senate legal counsel to intervene 
in this cruel lawsuit on behalf of the U.S. Senate to defend these men 
and women and children and fight for the right to affordable healthcare 
insurance.
  The Department of Justice has recklessly refused to defend the law, 
and as a result, the nearly 800,000 West Virginians--91,000 of those 
being children--with cancer, heart disease, asthma, diabetes, or women 
who dare to have a baby are at risk of financial jeopardy if they get 
sick.
  We have an opportunity today to stand up for the millions of 
Americans with preexisting conditions who are trusting us to protect 
their healthcare access. It is just common sense, and I encourage all 
of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle--because every one of us 
has someone in our family with a preexisting condition.
  I will continue to look for ways to work across the aisle to ensure 
that every West Virginian and every American has access to affordable 
healthcare, no matter what their health condition may be. This is the 
right thing, this is the moral thing, for all of us to do.
  I encourage each and every one of my colleagues to please vote for 
this amendment coming up.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Illinois.


                     Prescription Medication Costs

  Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, I thank my colleague from West Virginia 
and support his amendment. It is a good amendment for West Virginia and 
a good one for America, and I look forward to voting for it.
  I ask unanimous consent at this point to enter a colloquy with my 
friend, the senior Senator from Iowa.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, have you heard of a drug pricing 
proposal that is supported by both Democratic and Republican Senators, 
the American Association of Retired Persons, the American Medical 
Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, America's health 
insurance plans, 76 percent of the American people, President Donald 
Trump, and the Department of Health and Human Services? What kind of 
idea can this be that has that kind of support, bipartisan support in 
Congress, as well as in the White House?
  Well, Senator Grassley and I have a simple amendment to the spending 
bill that is before us which provides $1 million--small change by any 
Federal standard--for the Health and Human Services Department to issue 
rules regarding pricetags on direct-to-consumer ads for prescription 
drugs.
  While this underlying bill includes many important provisions that I 
support, it doesn't do anything to tackle prescription drug costs. And 
we know, American families know across the board, that it is time for 
us to act.
  If I ask you whether you have seen any commercials for prescription 
drugs on television and you answer no, then I know one thing for sure: 
You don't own a television, because they broadcast an average of nine 
drug ads that each of us see every single day--nine a day. You know 
what I am talking about. It is the ads with those unpronounceable names 
of drugs and then that long, mumbling ``Don't take it if you are 
allergic to it; this may kill you''--all the warnings they give you at 
the end of the ad, over and over and over again.
  The pharmaceutical industry spends $6 billion a year so that we get a 
steady diet of these drug ads.
  How many countries in the world have television advertising for 
prescription drugs? Two--the United States of America and New Zealand.
  Each year, $6 billion is being spent for one purpose: so that 
finally, after watching an ad for the 45th time, you can spell 
``XARELTO'' and walk into the doctor's office and ask if you can have 
XARELTO blood thinner rather than Warfarin or some other version. The 
difference, of course, is that the XARELTO prescription drug costs $560 
a month, and it may not be any better for you than the generic version 
that is a lot cheaper.
  Do you know what the No. 1 drug is that is advertised on television 
and sold in the United States of America? When I tell you, you will nod 
yes.
  Here it is: HUMIRA--HUMIRA. It was designed to help people with 
rheumatoid arthritis, and that is a terrible disease, and the people 
needed a helping hand. Then they discovered it had a positive impact on 
psoriasis. Well, psoriasis can be a terrible thing to suffer from, but 
there are a lot of us who just have a little red patch on our elbow who 
technically have psoriasis.
  What I showed you here you don't see on television, incidentally. How 
much does HUMIRA cost? It costs $5,500 a month--a month. Do you wonder 
why the cost of healthcare is spiraling out of control--$5,500 a month? 
Sadly, many of these high-priced prescription drugs are being 
prescribed by doctors when it is not necessary, and that drives up the 
cost of healthcare. It is why a major health insurance company in my 
State has told me they spend more money each year on high-cost 
prescription drugs than they spend on inpatient hospital care. Think 
about that--more money. It is going through the roof, and there is 
nothing to contain it.

  So the Senator from Iowa, with his Midwestern commonsense approach to 
legislation, has joined with the Senator from Illinois, who hopes to 
aspire to the same goal, to come up with a basic idea: If you are going 
to run a drug ad, put the price of the product on the ad. We will then 
know what it really costs, and we will also know when they start 
raising it again and again and again.
  Well, the pharmaceutical industry hates this bill and this amendment 
like the devil hates holy water. They don't want to tell you what it is 
going to cost. They want you to go into the doctor's office and say: I 
just have to have Humira. I have this little patch on my elbow, and I 
absolutely have to have it.
  Too many doctors write the prescriptions. So what Senator Grassley 
and I are trying to do is to give the American people more information 
about drugs and, particularly, their costs. We are trying to make sure 
that information gives transparency to the transaction, and we are 
trying our very best to give the American consumers a break and perhaps 
to start to slow down the cost of prescription drugs.
  This is a simple amendment--$1 million to the Department of HHS to 
issue rules requiring pricetags on ads. One Senator opposes this--one. 
We are trying our best to convince him not to oppose us. We think it is 
a good idea to move forward on this.
  I yield the floor to my friend, my colleague, and cosponsor to this 
measure, Senator Chuck Grassley.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Iowa.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Madam President, I am glad to join my friend in this 
effort

[[Page S5883]]

because this fits into a lot of things we are trying to accomplish that 
Congress has done for decades--trying to give consumers information.
  Remember maybe 40 years ago--I don't think it is 50 years ago--that 
Congress passed legislation that you had to have a window sticker on 
cars of the cost of the cars so that consumers wouldn't be bantering 
back and forth between dealers, not knowing what they were dealing 
with. You can't buy gas today without going to the filling station with 
a big sign knowing what it costs.
  Even the pharmaceutical companies themselves want to educate 
consumers with these ads. I have always supported the advertising of 
these pharmaceutical drugs. They want to educate you not only about the 
value of their drugs but down to the bottom, and then half the ad 
usually tells you, if you take this drug, what the side effects are 
going to be, maybe implying that they are even life-threatening or 
dangerous. That is a very important thing to educate the public about.
  So all we are trying to do here is to have the consumer get the 
additional information they need if they want to consider that drug, 
because everybody ought to want to consider the price, just like you 
consider the price of a car.
  I try to buy gas at the cheapest filling station I can because it is 
just common sense, right? So that is what Senator Durbin is pointing 
out. This is a Midwestern commonsense approach to educating the 
consumers. They want you to buy their product, and then they kind of 
have some question about it: Could you really afford this? A lot of 
these ads even indicate to the consumer: Well, maybe if you check with 
the company or check with somebody, you will even get some help buying 
the drug.
  So the pharmaceutical companies are already interested in consumer 
education. We just want them to take it one step further. Part of it is 
because of the high cost of prescription drugs. We have an opportunity 
now to do what we all talk about doing--doing something about the cost 
of pharmaceutical drugs. This is just a very small step in that 
direction. It directs Health and Human Services to require drug 
companies to include the list price of these drugs in their TV ads.
  The drug companies want you to know that there is a drug out there to 
help you. They want you to know the benefits of the drugs. So why don't 
they also want you to know about the price of the drug?
  By not having that information out there, it is simply not a 
transparent way of doing business. In every other way you want to be 
transparent. We are just asking you to take one little small step and 
tell people what it is going to cost--like the price of gasoline, like 
the price of cars, or if you seem to be worried a little bit about the 
high cost of the drug, maybe some people can't afford it and you might 
be criticized for that. You can get help.
  What we are up against here is a very powerful interest in this town. 
It happens to be an interest that has made life better and provided 
longevity for people, for a longer life. So we aren't here to find 
fault with the pharmaceutical companies. We are here to encourage the 
pharmaceutical companies to let the public know what they need.
  Around here it seems to me that we are running up against the big 
pharmaceutical companies all the time. The CREATES Act came out of my 
committee 15 to 6. We can't seem to get that up.
  This amendment is being offered. We know who is fighting this 
amendment that Durbin and Grassley are sponsoring. It is the same 
companies. There is a scheme out there that they will keep their patent 
drug on the market longer if they pay a generic company to keep their 
drug off the market. We call it ``pay for delay.'' The Klobuchar-
Grassley bill doesn't get very far because of these interests.
  They don't like the fact that they ought to have some competition 
from the importation of drugs. They don't like it now that the FDA's 
new Director is moving in the direction of getting generics on the 
market a little bit sooner, but we are not fighting those things now.
  What we are trying to do is pretty darn simple. Think of what is 
behind this now. How often do you get Senator Grassley and Senator 
Durbin cooperating on the same thing? Not too often. So that is 
something people ought to take into consideration. We have a very good 
chairman--a very thorough chairman--Mr. Alexander of the HELP 
Committee. He is backing this effort and has even had a colloquy on 
that point.
  We have Mr. Azar, the Secretary of HHS, who says that this is a good 
thing to do. Maybe 2 months ago now, President Trump and Secretary Azar 
had a news conference on the high cost of drugs and what they could do 
administratively to move that along. Just this very day, Mr. Azar is 
announcing some regulations going to OMB to move along some of those 
things that the President was talking about 2 months ago.

  Everybody gets irritated about Trump's tweets. Do they do any good? 
Probably, most of the time people don't think they do much good, but he 
tweeted at about the same time these big pharmaceutical companies 
announced about a whole bunch of their drugs that they were going to 
increase their prices by 35 percent and 40 percent, and he tweeted how 
outrageous that was. A week later a company said: We are not going to 
go ahead. A week later, another company said they were not going to go 
ahead. Now, whether other companies have said that, I don't know, but 
what I am trying to say is you have Chairman Grassley and Chairman 
Alexander and you have the Secretary of HHS and the President of the 
United States trying to do something about pharmaceuticals. Here we 
have just a little simple amendment that we are trying to get on this 
bill, and we are running into this obstacle that you run into all the 
time, when all we are trying to do is to educate the consumer the same 
way the pharmaceutical companies want to educate the consumers. By the 
way, 76 percent of Americans in a poll support this.
  I think Senator Durbin did better than I did about the interests, but 
I will summarize. Doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, and the AARP 
support this amendment. So, really, it is so sensible. It is right in 
line with what the pharmaceutical companies are trying to do with all 
of their TV ads to educate the public, with what Congress has tried to 
do other times to educate the public, with what we are trying to do 
through some of our education to have transparency in the prices that 
you pay when you go to the hospital or what we are trying to do through 
health savings accounts to get the consumer involved to do some 
shopping to save the consumer some money. That is what this is all 
about.
  It is so simple. I can't understand where commonsense stuff--well, 
this isn't a town for common sense, I guess, but we ought to get some 
of this commonsense stuff done.
  So I want to thank Senator Durbin because he led this effort, and I 
am glad to help him. I say thank you for doing it, and we are going to 
get this done one way or the other. If we don't get this done on this 
bill, we will get it done because it is the right thing to do.
  People, if you try long enough and if you are right, you eventually 
get something done in this town.
  Mr. DURBIN. I thank my colleague from Iowa. Patience certainly is an 
important part of this job, but the American people are impatient. They 
want to know why they elected us to office and we don't solve problems. 
This is a problem that Senator Grassley and I want to start solving: 
informing consumers about the actual costs of prescription drugs--what 
a radical idea.
  The first time you realize what a drug costs is when you stand in 
front of the cash register with your mouth wide open saying: You have 
to be kidding me. Instead, people ought to know going into this 
conversation what these drugs cost. That is not an unreasonable 
request. We do it for cars, for gas, for so many things. Why don't we 
do it for this?
  The American people want to get it. We want to get it. I hope we can 
convince one Senator who is holding us up to give us a chance to inform 
the American people on a bipartisan basis of something that will help, 
in a small way, perhaps, but it will help to bring the costs of 
healthcare down in this country.
  I thank the Senator from Iowa.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio.

[[Page S5884]]

  

  Mr. BROWN. Madam President, I join the chorus of Senators Grassley 
and Durbin about their proposal.


                          Wall Street Profits

  Madam President, I want to talk about another issue. Today, the 
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation--which is the agency that does 
such things as every quarter announcing bank profits and bank 
profitability--issued an assessment of the banking industry. Lo and 
behold, as a number of us have been saying on this floor week after 
week, month after month, year and year: It is a great time to be on 
Wall Street.
  Bank profits this second quarter of 2018--we announce it now--were 
$60 billion, with a b. That is 60,000 million dollars--$60 billion in 
bank profits. That number is fairly meaningless. It is a really big 
number. It is hard to grasp, but think about it this way. These bank 
profits this quarter were up 25 percent from 1 year ago, and it is 
typical of being able to compare quarter to quarter or year to year 
that way.
  What is fairly stunning about this is that this Congress can't do 
enough for the banks. First, it was a decade ago, when Congress bailed 
out the banks. Then, we see bank profits go up and up and up. Congress 
last year gave a huge tax cut. The financial services industry did 
better than the rest of the economy with this tax cut, and, 
interestingly, the big banks did better than the community banks with 
the tax cut in terms of percentage, per capita--and anyway you measure 
it--in the amount of money or in assets, whatever.
  Then, earlier this year, Congress passed another giveaway to the 
banks on legislation, another deregulation bill. When you hear 
``deregulation'' think that it means that Wall Street gets away with 
even more. Now we are seeing even bigger profits from the banks.
  It is like this. Congress thinks it never can do enough for Wall 
Street. Every time Wall Street asks for something, Republican 
leadership--Senator McConnell's office down the hall, Speaker Ryan's 
office way down the hall, the President of the United States, President 
Trump--always want to do more for Wall Street, with $60 billion in 
profits this quarter and 25 percent greater profits than 1 year ago.
  Why does this Congress continue to do the bidding of Wall Street at 
the expense of Main Street?
  During the 1\1/2\ years of President Trump, we have seen wages go 
down. We have seen profits go up. We have seen the stock market go up. 
We have seen executive compensation go way up. We have seen the banks 
do especially well. Yet wages, literally since President Trump has 
taken office, have declined in this country.
  So why do we continue to help Wall Street, to shovel more money to 
Wall Street--more money, Senator Grassley, to the drug companies--and 
the middle class continues to get squeezed.
  I just think it is another lesson when bank profits keep going up, 
executive compensation keeps going up, profits overall keep going up, 
but the middle class continues to get squeezed. There is a lesson 
there.
  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. MERKLEY. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                            Rohingya Crisis

  Mr. MERKLEY. Madam President, I come to the floor to talk about two 
things. The first is that this Saturday will be the 1-year anniversary 
of the beginning of a horrific genocide against the Rohingya in the 
country of Myanmar.
  This genocide was preplanned. All kinds of preparations were put in 
place, as various independent investigations have established. It is 
time for the United States to take a strong response as a statement of 
global leadership on human rights on behalf of this horrific 
circumstance. We have 350 or so villages burned, countless individuals 
slaughtered as they ran from their villages, shot from helicopters, 
systemic rape, and children tossed into burning piles. It doesn't get 
much worse anywhere in the world at any time in history.
  Now 700,000 refugees who escaped have found their way to Bangladesh, 
but there is no room in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is a country half the 
size of Oregon. Yet Oregon has 4 million individuals, and Bangladesh 
has 160 million individuals.
  Here are some things the United States should do right away on or 
before this Saturday. The State Department should release the report it 
has been compiling on the factual circumstances. Second, they should 
send this report to their legal counsel for an official determination 
if this constitutes genocide. The third thing they should do is ask the 
Senate to act quickly on the repatriation resolution that sets 
standards for the return of these refugees back to Burma, back to 
Myanmar. The fourth thing they should do is call on the Senate, 
followed by the House, to pass the Burma Human Rights and Freedom Act, 
which creates specific sanctions on those who planned and carried out 
this horrific ethnic cleansing.
  Elie Wiesel said: ``A destruction, an annihilation that only man can 
provoke, only man can prevent.'' But if we do not respond clearly and 
effectively when there is this type of ethnic cleansing, this type of 
assault, then we are failing to prevent future assaults by those 
leaders who will be so tempted to divide their country on ethnic or 
racial lines, to take brutal action against a despised minority 
community.
  The seeds of this slaughter began with a military coup in 1962, 
following which the military demonized this ethnic group year after 
year. Not only should the United States respond with a State Department 
report and a clear decision if this is genocide--and clear sanctions--
but it is time for the President of the United States to speak out 
boldly and clearly on the international stage on this issue. A year has 
passed, and we have not a single public statement from the leader of 
the United States of America. So let that change.


                     Nomination of Brett Kavanaugh

  Madam President, the second issue I am here to talk about--and I am 
going to keep this short because my colleague is here, prepared to 
speak to his amendment--is the issue of whether the Senate proceeds to 
have hearings on nominee Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme 
Court. The answer should be, by every Member in this Chamber, a 
resounding no.

  First, we have the Kagan standard that has been set by the Republican 
majority, which states, when there is a Supreme Court nomination, it is 
essential to have all of the facts, all of the records that have been 
touched on, because only then will Senators be able to exercise their 
responsibility under the Constitution for advice and consent. So, if 
individuals want to exercise their responsibility effectively under 
advice and consent on a nominee from a Democratic President, shouldn't 
the same individuals make the same argument to exercise their 
responsibility effectively when the nominee comes from a Republican 
President?
  The standard should be the standard. Let's stand up, out of the 
partisan troughs that have been dug, and fight for the vision of a fair 
and transparent and fully credible nomination process.
  No hearing should be held until we have the full set of documents. It 
escapes no one's vision in the United States of America that only a 
fraction of the documents have been delivered. It escapes no one's 
vision in the United States that even those documents have been vetted 
by a Republican lawyer, a partisan lawyer, who has worked beforehand 
for the nominee. That is not transparent; that is not fair; and that 
does not allow us to have the full scope of the record.
  Furthermore--and I will say this in just a summary format--there is 
an enormous conflict of interest here by which the President is 
attempting to print a ``get out of jail free'' card. Out of his 25 
nominees who had been put forward from the list of names that had been 
given to him from the Federalist Society, one of them had an expansive 
view of the Presidency; that being that the President of the United 
States cannot be indicted and that the President of the United States 
cannot be investigated. That is the standard that says a President is 
above and beyond the law.
  I challenge every Member in the Chamber to pull out the Constitution 
and find the provision that says our Founders established a kingdom and 
a King because I think they are going to

[[Page S5885]]

find that is not the case; that there is no clause in our Constitution 
that says the President is above and beyond the law.
  As our oath of office requires, let's exercise our responsibility 
appropriately with the advice and consent responsibility, and let's get 
the full documents and resolve this conflict of interest before any 
hearing is held.
  I thank the Presiding Officer.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.


                    Cosponsors to Amendment No. 4004

  Mr. MURPHY. Madam President, I am about to speak on an amendment to 
the underlying appropriations bill. My amendment is No. 4004. Before I 
do, I ask unanimous consent that the following Senators be added as 
cosponsors to amendment No. 4004. They are Senators Baldwin, Menendez, 
Van Hollen, Blumenthal, Reed, Feinstein, Markey, and Carper.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                           Amendment No. 4004

  Mr. MURPHY. Madam President, maybe one of the most memorable moments 
from Secretary DeVos's confirmation hearing was her response to a 
question I posed to her. I thought I was giving her a softball. I 
thought I was giving her a very easy question at the end of my 5 
minutes when I posed a simple question to her as to whether she thought 
it was a good thing to have guns in schools.
  I thought she would give me an answer about how, of course--in 
listening to teachers and parents, as she claims to have done during 
her career in education--having more guns in schools was not the right 
thing in order to protect our kids. Instead, she said yes. In fact, she 
thought that question should be largely up to the States because of 
potential ``grizzlies''--the idea that there are some schools that may 
need guns inside to protect against wild animals.
  I assume she would probably answer that question differently today, 
as it has become a butt of jokes. Yet, as it turns out, what we may be 
learning today is that the Secretary was, indeed, serious. Reports this 
morning suggest that Secretary DeVos is planning to do the bidding of 
the firearms industry and put our kids at risk by allowing Federal 
funds to be used to arm teachers, which is in direct contravention of 
Federal law.
  I have offered an amendment that will reiterate what has been the 
policy of this Congress--not of Congress in general but of this 
Congress--which is that Federal funds should not be used to arm 
teachers. Let me speak about why we have taken that position as a 
Congress, why Republicans and Democrats have voted for legislation that 
prohibits Federal dollars from being used to arm teachers.
  First, we listen to teachers when we set educational policy, and 
teachers have told us they do not want to be responsible for carrying 
firearms. Two different polls that have been taken of teachers suggest 
that three out of four definitively state they think their kids will be 
less safe, not more safe, if these teachers are armed. They tell us 
that because they know how difficult a teacher's job is.
  I have a first grader and a fourth grader in the public schools, and 
I am in awe of how many things we ask our teachers to do. We ask our 
teachers to teach earlier than ever before; we ask them to be social 
workers; we ask them to engage in conflict resolution; we ask them to 
be nurses; we ask them to teach a range of children; we ask them to 
interact with the community and show our kids a broader view of the 
world; and we, as parents, want them on call to answer our questions 
all of the time.
  Our teachers are probably the greatest multitaskers in this country, 
and they don't want an additional job description of having to be 
trained to carry a firearm at all times in order to guarantee that 
firearms stay out of the reach of little children. Earlier this year, 
we saw a series of events which showed us what happens when you do put 
guns inside classrooms.
  In one incident, a teacher accidentally discharged his gun at a high 
school in California. Ironically, it was during a class that was 
devoted to teaching public safety. Three kids were injured when that 
gun accidentally went off.
  In another incident this year, a school resource officer accidentally 
discharged his weapon while he was inside a school in Alexandria, which 
is just down the street from the U.S. Capitol. In Maplewood, MN, 
earlier this year, a third grader managed to pull the trigger on a gun 
in an officer's holster and fire a bullet into the floor. On that same 
day in Florida, a parent discovered one school resource officer's gun 
in a faculty bathroom.
  It is important to note, those last three incidences were with 
respect to school resource officers whose entire jobs are to engage in 
public safety and who, in these cases, I would assume, had serious 
training on how to handle weapons. So, if these mistakes are being made 
with school resource officers, imagine what will happen when first 
grade teachers and art teachers, whose jobs are not primarily to learn 
how to handle and store and protect firearms, are equipped with these 
weapons.
  The evidence also tells us that putting more guns into facilities--
putting more guns into the hands of civilians--does not solve the 
problem we identify.
  A comprehensive study on the effects of right-to-carry laws across 
the country has found that violent crimes had actually increased each 
additional year after right-to-carry laws had been passed. In fact, 
they had increased by 13 to 15 percent in the 10-year timeframe after 
the right-to-carry laws had been put into effect.
  Another study of 111 of the most recent gun massacres has shown that 
not a single one of them had been interrupted by an armed civilian.
  The FBI has done its own analysis in which it has shown that unarmed 
citizens--civilians--are more than 20 times more likely to end an 
active shooting than are armed citizens, excluding police officers or 
security officers.
  The data tells us this is not the way to protect our kids. Teachers 
are telling us this is not the way to protect our kids. Most 
importantly, Congress has told the Secretary this is not the way to 
protect our kids.
  Earlier this year, as part of the Omnibus appropriations bill, we 
passed the STOP School Violence Act. This is a new source of funding 
that allows for schools to engage in trying to keep their kids safe. It 
is a very important piece of legislation that is supported by 
Republicans and Democrats.
  Admittedly, this is not the source of funds Secretary DeVos is 
supposedly going to offer guidance on, but it is important to note that 
when we set up a new fund that is specifically dedicated to make 
schools safer, we wrote into the legislation this phrase within this 
new appropriated account: ``No funds To provide firearms or training--
No amounts provided as a grant under this part may be used for the 
provision to any person of a firearm or training in the use of a 
firearm.'' That is Republicans and Democrats doing that together.
  More importantly, the statute she claims to be relying on, or 
reportedly is going to offer guidance on, is title IV, which is kind of 
a grab bag of Federal dollars to be used for a variety of school 
initiatives. In that statute today, title IV offers this to the 
Secretary.
  It reads: ``[W]ith respect to violence, the promotion of school 
safety, such that students and school personnel are free from violent 
and disruptive acts . . . through the creation and maintenance of a 
school environment that is free of weapons.''
  The title IV language allows for money to be used to try to quell 
violence, but there is a specific phrase that seems to give clear 
guidance to the Secretary because you can use the grant for a school 
environment that is free of weapons. Yet, reportedly, the Secretary is 
about to issue guidance that says that money can be used to load 
schools up with weapons, which is in direct contravention of the 
statute itself and is certainly in contravention of the spirit of 
Federal education law, given the act we passed earlier this year that 
prohibits school safety dollars from being used to arm teachers.
  I understand the hour is late on the appropriations bill and that it 
is very unlikely that my amendment is going to get a vote. My amendment 
would make clear that title IV dollars cannot be used to arm teachers. 
Yet I hope, as this bill ultimately heads to conference, we will 
revisit the clear congressional intent we have expressed this year of 
keeping Federal funds away from arming teachers.

[[Page S5886]]

  I hope the Secretary, as she considers whether to issue this guidance 
to States, will look again at the statute and come to the conclusion 
that she does not have the authority to allow States to use Federal 
money in order to arm teachers.
  As it turns out, it was not a joke. It was not just a phrase she 
uttered in a congressional hearing that drew a lot of attention on the 
internet. Secretary DeVos is reportedly considering allowing Federal 
funds to be used to arm teachers. That is not what parents want. That 
is not what students want. That is not what teachers want. That is also 
not what the evidence tells us will make our schools safer. I hope she 
listens, and I hope, ultimately, this Congress acts.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Sasse). The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. FLAKE. Mr. President, have you heard the one about the three 
robots that walk into a bar? No, you haven't. It is not a joke but 
rather a project that has been paid for, in part, by the Department of 
Defense.
  These robots, called beer bots--and you will see a depiction here--
are programmed to serve cold beers to graduate students. Researchers 
say programming methods used for beer bots can be applied to other 
multi-robot systems in restaurants and bars. As you can see, the 
private sector has already developed robot bartenders, or robartenders. 
They have been mixing drinks at bars--and even on cruise ships--for 
years now.
  With our national debt now exceeding $21 trillion, taxpayers should 
not have to pick up the Pentagon's tab for beer bots and for many other 
unnecessary spending items which are in the bill that we are 
considering right now. This minibus bill provides over $800 billion in 
funding to the Departments of Defense, Labor, Health and Human 
Services, and Education. Yet, over the past 3 days, we have considered 
just four amendments to the bill, and not a single one has offered a 
reduction in spending--not a single one.
  I have introduced a handful of commonsense amendments that if 
adopted, would reduce Federal spending by nearly $500 million. One 
would limit funding for the Littoral Combat Ship Program, which has 
been plagued by cost growth, construction issues, and underperformance 
on mission effectiveness. Even though the Navy has only requested 
funding for the procurement of one of these ships, this bill has 
needlessly provided funding for two ships.
  My amendment would simply reduce the Department of Defense's budget 
by $475 million to align with the Navy's request.
  I understand that Senators are trying to protect jobs in their States 
by forcing the Navy to procure more of these unwanted ships. Sailors 
are going on longer and longer deployments because the ships that are 
actually needed to rotate them on are not ready to sail. It is 
important to remember that the priority of this bill is not the 
parochial interests of Members of Congress but, rather, the needs of 
the Armed Forces.
  I am proposing an amendment under this bill to also keep the costs of 
the military parade that the President would like to put on next year 
at a reasonable amount. Recent reports have indicated that local DC 
officials claim the parade would cost up to $92 million, which is 
significantly higher than the $10 to $30 million originally estimated 
by the White House Office of Management and Budget Director, Mick 
Mulvaney.
  I should point out that the last military parade was held in 1991 to 
celebrate the end of the gulf war. That cost about $8 million. The 
Federal Government paid $3 million, and the remainder was paid by 
private donations.
  My amendment would cap the amount of money DOD would have to allocate 
for the parade to $15 million. That is a significant growth--far more 
than inflation--over the past parade that was held in 1991, and I think 
this is reasonable, and I think most of us would.
  Another amendment I filed would prohibit the Department of Health and 
Human Services from subsidizing the construction of fast food 
franchises. You might wonder, what in the world is Health and Human 
Services doing subsidizing this? And you would be right to question it.
  A Healthy Lifestyles Initiative, funded with more than $1.1 million 
in grants from HHS, is subsidizing fast food franchises in a Kansas 
county that year after year ranks as one of the State's most unhealthy. 
This is Health and Human Services, by the way. Grants are supporting 
the construction of two buildings--a combination Wendy's and Pizza Hut 
and a stand-alone Dunkin' Donuts.
  This project contradicts the mission of HHS, which is ``to enhance 
and protect the health and well-being of all Americans.'' Federal 
nutrition guidelines recommend the consumption of about 2,500 calories 
per day for males and 2,000 calories for females. Just one Dunkin's 
doughnut contains 290 or more calories. Wendy's Dave's triple burger 
contains 1,090 calories. A side of french fries adds another 400. A 
medium-sized soda is another 300 calories. A single slice of pepperoni 
pizza from Pizza Hut contains 370 calories.
  Despite the source of funding, the executive director of the 
organization overseeing the project admits that ``this is not a health 
initiative,'' arguing that it is about ``economic health, not physical 
health.'' Why in the world is the Department of Health and Human 
Services spending money--taxpayer money--on these types of initiatives? 
It is really just corporate welfare for 3 of the top 10 most profitable 
fast food franchises in the United States, each of which earns billions 
of dollars a year in profits. Why is the Federal Government subsidizing 
it?
  I am disappointed that I am unable to call up any of my amendments 
and debate the merits of these items and the importance of addressing 
our out-of-control debt. We need to get serious about how we are 
spending taxpayer money. We need to open up the amendment process and 
allow real debate on our national priorities.
  I do appreciate the Appropriations Committee's willingness to 
consider including my amendment to prohibit further Pentagon funding of 
robot bartenders in the managers' package. I hope it stays in the 
package. At the very least, this may be the last call for the beerbots.
  I yield back.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming.


                            Economic Growth

  Mr. BARRASSO. Mr. President, we have been seeing a lot in the news 
lately about the American economy, and it is very good news.
  Last Friday, the Wall Street Journal had an article with the headline 
``Youth Unemployment Hits 52-Year Low''--a 52-year low. For people 
between the ages of 16 and 24, this is the best job market we have had 
since 1966. The article went on to say that ``more opportunities are 
available to some groups that historically have struggled to find 
jobs.'' People are getting opportunities because the American economy 
is booming. Since President Trump was elected, we have gotten more than 
4 million additional Americans working. The economy grew at a rate of 
more than 4 percent last quarter. The Atlanta branch of the Federal 
Reserve is predicting that we are going to have another 4-percent 
growth this quarter. People are seeing the effect of the booming 
economy in their paychecks and in their lives. Average wages were up 
more than 3 percent last year.
  You look at all of the good news, and it is no wonder that confidence 
is going through the roof. Small businesses are now much more 
optimistic than they have been since 1983. They are hiring, they are 
expanding, they are raising wages, and they are much more confident 
about the future.
  It is all happening because of the Republican policies and the 
Republican priorities we have been putting in place. It is what happens 
when you have a President who puts the needs of the people first 
instead of the desires of unelected, unaccountable, heavyhanded 
Washington bureaucrats.
  When President Trump took office, one of the first things he did was 
to put Washington on a regulation diet. He said that America was again 
open for business. What does all that mean? What happened? In the Trump 
administration's first year, they issued 3 new regulations and they cut 
67 regulations. Three regulatory actions and 67 deregulatory actions--
that is a ratio of 22 to 1. It is in favor of cutting redtape, 
eliminating regulations, and cutting the amount of paperwork people 
have

[[Page S5887]]

to fill out. Nobody has ever seen anything like this. Working with this 
Senate and this House, this administration has been streamlining, 
simplifying, and striking out regulations from the very beginning, and 
we are not slowing down. When you add it all up, it amounts to about 
$14 billion in savings since the start of the Trump administration.
  Republicans in Congress have been doing our part as well. We know 
that the reason America's economy had been struggling for so long was 
because it was being strangled by all of the redtape that comes out of 
Washington. So we used the authority of Congress to roll back major 
regulations that were harming our economy, burdensome to industries in 
our communities and in our States, punishing to people who are just 
trying to do their jobs. We cut 16 unnecessary, burdensome rules and 
saved Americans $36 billion in the process.
  If you combine what the President has done and what we have done in 
Congress by passing the Congressional Review Act, Republicans have 
saved Americans $50 billion and over 16 million hours of filling out 
needless paperwork.
  Of course, Republicans also passed the biggest tax cut in 36 years. 
That is the other big thing Republicans have done to get the American 
economy booming. Every Democrat in the Senate voted against the tax cut 
that Republicans passed. This tax relief bill, and now the law, gave 
people an immediate boost in their take-home pay. Millions of Americans 
also got bonuses and raises because of the law.
  Because Republicans have cut regulations and cut taxes, America has a 
strong, healthy, and growing economy today.
  The Congressional Budget Office recently came out with a new report. 
They looked at the numbers for the first 10 months of the fiscal year 
we are now in. They looked at the rising wages, the rising employment, 
and the falling unemployment--all of those things--and they said that 
those are big reasons why revenue for the Federal Government coming in 
from the workers of the country is actually $26 billion higher than it 
was at this point last year.
  More money is coming in. Well, how do you do that? By cutting taxes. 
How do you get more money to come in? Well, because more people are 
working and more people are getting higher wages. All of those things 
are leading to increased revenue coming into the government because of 
the fact that we cut taxes. When you cut taxes, you turn the economy 
loose. You turn it loose to create jobs. Good things happen. The 
economy grows. More people find work. More people get raises. More 
people get more money in their pockets--they can decide if they want to 
save it or spend it or invest it and how they want to do it--and 
revenue goes up as well.
  Republicans want to keep going with more of these policies that have 
worked so well to spur the economy. We want to do more to help the 
economy create jobs and help people keep more of what they earn. I 
think that is what the American people want as well. That is what I 
hear about in Wyoming every weekend.
  What do Democrats in Washington want? Well, they seem to want the 
exact opposite. That is the way they vote, and that is what they have 
been saying.
  Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts actually introduced 
legislation last week that would create an entirely new government 
bureaucracy. Republicans are trying to rein in the bureaucrats; 
Democrats are trying to give bureaucrats more power. This new 
Democratic plan would give Washington more power to control how 
American businesses operate. It would take away the freedom of the 
owners and the executives of these companies to create jobs, to serve 
their customers, and to grow the economy. According to this 
legislation, the government ought to make that decision. Democrats are 
clearly hoping that this will become the new and latest liberal litmus 
test. It would be an absolute disaster, just like all of the other 
plans that we heard from the Democrats that they are trying to put in 
place.
  It is like the Democrats' plan--they claim they want to raise taxes. 
I mean, that is actually what Nancy Pelosi, the former Speaker of the 
House, said Democrats would do if they took back Congress. She said: We 
would raise taxes.
  One very prominent Democratic leader and Governor of one of the major 
cities said on television: We are not going to make America great 
again. He actually went on to say that America ``was never that 
great.'' That is what the Democratic mayor of New York said last week.
  There are some very big differences between Democrats and 
Republicans. Republicans want policies that put more money in the 
pockets of hard-working people. That is what we want--more money in the 
pockets of hard-working American families. Republicans want policies 
that take more control out of Washington and let the decisions be made 
back at home in the hands of the States and the towns and families. 
Democrats seem to want to raise taxes and raise barriers to the 
economy.
  We are coming up on Labor Day, and I hope Democrats in Washington and 
around the country will embrace the policies that will actually help 
create jobs. I hope Democrats will embrace the policies that are 
helping young people find work at the highest rate in 52 years. I hope 
Democrats will embrace the policies that are actually raising wages for 
American families. I hope Democrats will recognize that America is a 
great country, and it is getting better every day.
  Thank you.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Tillis). Without objection, it is so 
ordered.


                            Hurricane Harvey

  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, this Saturday marks the 1-year anniversary 
of Hurricane Harvey making landfall on the Texas gulf coast. What began 
as a wave in the Atlantic in early August of last year morphed into a 
tropical disturbance and then strengthened into a full-blown hurricane, 
category 4.
  This is not your average hurricane by any means, dropping a few 
buckets of rain, maybe soaking through floorboards or tearing off a 
shingle or two on a roof. This was a juggernaut. First it crashed into 
the San Jose Island off the coast of Rockport, with wind gusts measured 
as high as 145 miles an hour. It is hard to know what that means until 
you see it up close and personal, or so I am told.
  Two days after landfall, I saw the wreckage firsthand with Mayor C.J. 
Wax and Governor Greg Abbott. On Broadway and North Austin Streets in 
Rockport, you could smell the natural gas in the air. Storefronts had 
been leveled. Windows had been shattered. Power lines had fallen to the 
ground. Entire boats lay upside down on the side of the road, their 
sails torn to shreds. Roughly 94 percent of the homes in Rockport were 
damaged, and 30 percent were destroyed outright.
  Keep in mind, this was just the small town of Rockport. This was only 
the beginning. Port Arthur, Beaumont, Victoria, Houston, and many other 
communities soon faced the brunt of this terrible storm. Harvey was 
relentless, dropping more than 60 inches of rain over the course of 
several days in some of those places.
  Unlike many hurricanes, it parked itself and stayed put after making 
landfall. Trapped between two high-pressure systems with nowhere to go, 
the storm went on to shatter records. Some people called it a storm 
that comes only once every 1,000 years. Others dubbed it the most 
extreme rain event in U.S. history.
  For people who don't live on the gulf coast of Texas, who didn't see 
the shelters firsthand, as I did with my friend and colleague Senator 
Cruz at the NRG Center in Houston, it is really hard to imagine what it 
looked and felt like--all the closed roads, flooded homes, and 
exhausted faces of people praying for life to return to normal.
  Over in Friendswood, which is right outside of Houston, I helped out 
what is known as Texas Rubicon, a terrific nonprofit made up of 
military veterans. We removed sheetrock and

[[Page S5888]]

hauled debris off a resident's yard. I remember having to wear a 
protective mask and gloves because of the contamination, but it was 
also in the context of intense heat and mosquitoes and the mud. All of 
this was just a small taste of what those in the community had to 
endure for days on end.
  Then there were folks like Amy, a single mother in Houston. This is a 
scene of her house after the hurricane. You can see on August 22, 2018, 
a very nice suburban neighborhood, and this was her house or what is 
left of her house and the interior of her house after the hurricane 
hit.
  I think these pictures speak to the resiliency of the Texans I got to 
know in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Their attitude was, well, we 
have been dealt a major setback, but there is no use crying about it. 
We have to dig ourselves out of this mess. And that is exactly what 
they did, with the help of tens of thousands of volunteers, donors, 
philanthropists, business leaders, and Good Samaritans across the 
country.
  We are grateful to the many rescuers, people like Dan LeBlanc from 
Port Arthur, Doug Barnes from Dallas, and Robert Bode for managing 
evacuations at the Cypress Glen Nursing Home, which was no easy task.
  Here is a picture of those three gentlemen and the great work they 
did at the Cypress Glen Nursing Home.
  These three had no special expertise in search and rescue, but they 
saved close to 100 patients, some of whom were bedridden and required 
special boats that could power their life support systems.
  Then there were the bakers at El Bolillo in Houston, who provided 
bread to flood victims.
  Then there was a man we have come to know in Houston as Mattress 
Mack, who opened his showroom for the displaced.
  There was Officer Steve Perez, a 34-year veteran of the Houston 
Police Department, who paid the ultimate sacrifice during rescue 
efforts. After the storm hit, he knew the conditions were dangerous, 
but he insisted on doing his part to help save those he was sworn to 
protect and defend. He said simply: ``We've got work to do.'' We 
remember Officer Perez today and always. And we remember all of those 
courageous first responders who swung into action.
  The outpouring of Texans helping their neighbors over and over again 
reminded me of a saying I heard years ago at another natural disaster, 
that being a Texan doesn't describe where you are from, it describes 
who your family is.
  During those tough days and long nights that followed, people were 
hurting after losing so much, not only their homes but schools that 
their kids attended, schools like Aloe Elementary in Victoria, which I 
visited with Principal Hurley and Dr. Jaklich, the district 
superintendent.
  In the wake of all this devastation, they and many others were 
wondering what was being done to recover and rebuild. The short answer 
is: a lot. First came the initial response. Unlike Noah, we didn't have 
an ark, but we had 104 boats courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard, which 
rescued more than 11,000 people.
  FEMA--the Federal Emergency Management Agency--had prepositioned 
supplies before the storm and worked to coordinate temporary housing 
after it hit. Led by Administrator Brock Long, FEMA did a good job.
  Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency worked to restore 
drinking water. The Department of Energy worked to restore power. The 
Small Business Administration approved disaster loans. The National 
Flood Insurance Program expedited claims. Gradually, ports reopened, 
schools and roads started to as well. And Governor Abbott immediately 
formed the Commission to Rebuild Texas and wisely appointed a great 
Texan, John Sharp, to chair it.
  Following the emergency response, our job here in Washington was just 
beginning. In the weeks and months following landfall, Congress passed 
three separate aid bills totaling $147 billion. Of course, this wasn't 
just for Hurricane Harvey, it was for the wildfires out West and the 
hurricanes in Puerto Rico and Florida as well as Texas.
  We also passed a new law allowing Texans to receive tax deductions 
for hurricane-related expenses and successfully encouraged FEMA to 
reverse a policy that prevented houses of worship from accessing 
disaster relief funds. Afterward, we codified this change into law.
  Meanwhile, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced 
plans to use $5 billion of the disaster funds to help homeowners 
rebuild through the Community Development Block Grant Program. These 
resources will help pay for buyouts, the construction of rental 
property, and reimbursements for repairs incurred in the wake of the 
storm. Once HUD finalizes an additional $5 billion, those funds will 
flow to Texas for mitigation purposes.
  Of course, there isn't much sense in rebuilding without ensuring the 
region can withstand another major weather event in the future. That is 
why we made sure that the third disaster aid bill, a response to 
multiple hurricanes and wildfires across the country, designated 
roughly half of the relevant U.S. Army Corps of Engineer construction 
funds for Texas-specific projects.
  The Corps, of course, is a Federal entity primarily responsible for 
flood mitigation, and after Harvey laid bare just how vulnerable the 
Houston region truly is, its expertise became an increasingly valuable 
asset.
  Thanks to the Corps, as well as State and local partners, as well as 
our colleagues here in Congress, some of the most pressing 
infrastructure improvements are underway. Across more than 4,000 square 
miles between Sabine Pass and Galveston Bay, a series of storm surge 
and flood protection measures will update levy systems, and in some 
cases, construct new ones.
  In places like Clear Creek and Brays Bayou, meanwhile, the funds will 
be used to widen channels, construct detention basins replace bridges, 
and renovate dams.
  Importantly, these projects include cost-share requirements 
reflecting the partnership between Texas, local officials, and the 
Trump administration to rebuild. Instead of a single infrastructure 
project, the result will be a new, multilayered system of improvements 
to address our most acute vulnerabilities.
  At the same time, the long-term planning with the Texas General Land 
Office, as well as the Governor's office and the entire Texas 
delegation continues.
  Adding to these efforts is the Corps' ongoing Coastal Texas Study, 
which Congress has funded and which will provide a comprehensive 
strategy for flood mitigation, which is the necessary next step toward 
coastal protection because this is not the last hurricane that will hit 
the gulf coast of Texas or the huge economic engine known as Houston.
  I am confident that having the smartest minds study our coast will 
ultimately result in recommendations that Congress can then authorize. 
Once that happens, and in coordination with State legislative and local 
officials, who, let's not forget, play a very large role, will fight to 
ensure our coastal communities flourish and are protected for 
generations to come.
  We have to face the facts: Harvey was an unthinkable catastrophe, one 
of a kind. I can't believe it has already been a year. But for some 
down there, though, I am sure it feels like a whole lot longer than 
that.
  It is my privilege to serve the people of the great State of Texas, 
and as part of my job, I have unfortunately had the occasion to see 
plenty of heartache and tragedy over the years. Few disasters, however, 
have impacted so many Texans and in such a devastating way as Hurricane 
Harvey. Over the last year, working together, Texans have begun to heal 
and rebuild, but the job isn't finished, so I pledge my efforts to work 
to ensure our State remains protected, and I appreciate the work and 
support of all of our colleagues as we have met this terrible disaster 
with an appropriate Federal response.
  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. CARPER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                             Climate Change

  Mr. CARPER. Mr. President, I rise today with a number of my 
colleagues to speak out against the Trump administration EPA's dirty 
power plan--a

[[Page S5889]]

proposal to replace the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan. This 
proposal from this administration fails in at least two aspects: First, 
it fails to address climate change, and second, it will put Americans' 
health at risk.
  Millions of American children are heading back to school in my State 
and in your State and in States across the country this week and next 
week. All three of my children are grown, but not so long ago, we were 
sending them off to school, helping them with their homework, and 
making sure they were getting good grades. As far as we know, they 
never brought home any failing grades. However, I can't say the same 
for the Trump administration with respect to this latest proposal.
  A friend of mine recently said: ``If corruption were a class, the 
Trump administration would be getting an A-plus.'' Well, in just about 
everything else--especially public health and economics--the Trump 
administration continues to fail the American people almost every day. 
It is clear this administration needs to do a little remedial work, 
maybe take some courses again, especially in basic science.
  Let's be clear. The science behind climate change is settled. It is 
over. Climate change is real. It is happening. It is a growing threat 
to America, and it is getting worse every year. Climate change is 
leading to rising global temperatures, rising sea levels, and more 
intense and frequent weather events. NOAA tells us that extreme weather 
events costing $1 billion or more have doubled in frequency over the 
past decade, with $425 billion in losses having occurred over the last 
5 years alone.
  It is now hard to find a part of our country that isn't being 
affected in some way by climate change. We see the examples almost 
everywhere. Not too far from my home in Delaware is a place called 
Ellicott City, MD.
  My wife visited there with a bunch of her friends from the DuPont 
Company. They are all retired now, and they wanted to go visit there 
and actually support the local economy in Ellicott City, the local 
people who have been through just terrible devastation. In the last 2 
years alone, two 1,000-year floods have devastated Ellicott City, MD, 
just north of Washington, DC. There have been two 1,000-year floods in 
the last 2 years.
  Forest fires fueled by extreme heat and drought continue to ravage 
States like Montana, California, and Oregon.
  Since we started keeping records, only 49 category 5 hurricanes have 
threatened the United States. That is since we started keeping records, 
and I think we have been keeping records for maybe a century. Three of 
those 49 category 5 hurricanes occurred in the last year. Think of 
that. Out of 49 category 5 hurricanes since we have been keeping 
track--and I think it has been a century--3 of those were in the last 
year. Right now, one of those is threatening the people of Hawaii.
  I can go on and on and on. Make no mistake--it is costing Americans 
in the form of lost income, lost livelihoods, and sadly, in some cases, 
lost lives.
  As someone who proudly represents the lowest lying State in the 
Nation--Delaware--climate change is not a science lecture for us; it 
affects my constituents daily. For us, this issue is intensely 
personal. That is why for my entire career in the Senate, I have fought 
to find ways to move us away from fossil fuels and reduce carbon 
pollution. It started in 2002, when I introduced one of the first bills 
in Congress to cap carbon emissions from coal-fired powerplants.
  The good news is that we have made some progress in this country. 
That is in part due to the large investments that the Obama 
administration and Congress made over the last decade in clean energy. 
It is also due in part to smart regulations, such as the Clean Power 
Plan. I proudly supported those efforts, and I still do.

  In addition, many companies across our Nation have stepped up, and 
they deserve some credit. Making real investments in clean energy has 
turned out to be the right thing and to be a wise investment, 
demonstrating that it is possible once again to do well and do good at 
the same time.
  As a result of these actions, in the last decade, our country 
rebounded from one of its greatest economic downturns in history. We 
lowered energy costs, reduced air pollution, and added 16 million new 
jobs during the Obama administration. We also launched the longest 
running economic expansion in the history of our country, which 
continues to this day.
  We have a chart here that shows that since 1970, the United States 
has cut common air pollutants by almost 75 percent, while the U.S. GDP 
has grown by over 200 percent.
  Instead of building on the Obama administration's forward-looking 
environmental standards, this administration has taken pride in tearing 
the protections apart. This administration's so-called affordable clean 
energy proposal fails to provide industry with the certainty needed to 
make clean energy investments for the future, while also providing an 
uncertain future for generations to come.
  People say, at least where I am from and maybe in North Carolina--my 
wife is from North Carolina, and she tells me they say this in North 
Carolina as well. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig. 
No matter what EPA calls this proposal, by the Agency's own account, it 
doesn't achieve affordable energy or clean energy, and it definitely 
doesn't address climate change. The EPA's proposal, which I think might 
more appropriately be called the dirty power plan, is instead another 
step by this administration to dismantle the Nation's environmental 
protections and protect polluters over the public.
  If I were to grade the EPA's proposal to replace the Clean Power 
Plan, I would not give it an A, and I would not give it a B, a C, or a 
D. I might well give it an F. I take no joy in saying that, but that is 
the way--calling balls and strikes, that is pretty much what I would 
call it.
  A friend of mine--maybe you have a friend like this, too, Mr. 
President--a friend of mine, when we ask him how he is doing, sometimes 
responds with these words: ``Compared to what?'' When compared against 
the Clean Power Plan, using EPA's own numbers, it is easy to see the 
dirty power plan's shortcomings.
  Let's start with the Clean Power Plan. We have a chart here that says 
that ``the Clean Power Plan would create $54 billion per year in public 
health and climate benefits.''
  Compare that to the dirty power plan. We have another chart. This one 
indicates--and this is EPA's own analysis. This is not my analysis, not 
the Democratic Party's analysis; this is EPA's own analysis of Trump's 
Clean Power Plan replacement. What happens to smog? It goes up. What 
happens to soot? It goes up. What happens to mercury? It goes up. What 
happens to carbon pollution? It goes up. How about premature deaths per 
year? Well, they go up. By a couple? By 100? By 1,000? No, no. Up to 
1,400 premature deaths per year.
  That is enough for me to say no thank you and to give the dirty power 
plan a failing grade, but there is more. The Clean Power Plan would 
reduce household energy prices by $85 a year through energy efficiency 
investment. The Clean Power Plan also provides long-term certainty for 
U.S. businesses, helping American companies make smart investments at 
home and compete in the global clean energy market. The dirty power 
plan does not help consumers save money on energy costs, does not 
provide businesses with certainty, and instead will likely cede clean 
energy jobs to places like--you guessed it--China.
  Let's recap. When we compare the dirty power plan over there in red 
to the Clean Power Plan here in green--cleaner air? The clear winner is 
the Clean Power Plan. Saving lives? The clear winner is the Clean Power 
Plan. Job creation? The clear winner is the Clean Power Plan. Energy 
savings? Again, the clear winner is the Clean Power Plan. Safer 
climate? Again, the Clean Power Plan. Where I come from, we call that 
running the table. That is why, in my class, if I were the teacher, if 
I were assigning grades, this dirty power plan would not get an A, B, 
C, or D; it would get a failing grade.
  Let's be honest. EPA's dirty power plan proposal is not a climate 
change replacement, it is a retreat. Let me say that again. EPA's dirty 
power plan proposal from this administration is not a climate change 
replacement; it is a retreat. It is a retreat from EPA's most basic 
responsibilities to ensure breathable air. It is a retreat as well from 
EPA's most basic responsibility to

[[Page S5890]]

usher in economic progress and tackle the greatest environmental crisis 
that I think we face on this planet of ours.

  The Clean Power Plan, with its long-term certainty and flexibility 
structure, is the Federal policy that moves us in the right direction 
and fulfills EPA's legal and scientific obligations to address climate 
pollution. Repealing the Clean Power Plan and replacing it with a 
proposal as ill-conceived as the dirty power plan will have serious 
consequences for the health of the public, our economy, and this planet 
with which we are entrusted.
  The American people deserve better than a dirty power plan, plain and 
simple. My colleagues and I are going to do everything in our power to 
make sure that happens.
  Let me close with this real quick. I see some of my colleagues are 
waiting to speak. I would say maybe 10 years or so ago, one of my 
colleagues--I think it was either George Voinovich or Lamar Alexander--
was working on legislation to address four air pollutants: sulfur 
oxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury, and carbon dioxide. We offered 
legislation in response to the George W. Bush administration's 
proposal. Those affiliated with SOx, NOX, and mercury--
sulfur oxide, nitrogen oxide, and mercury--called the Bush 
administration's proposal Clear Skies. Pretty clever. We added to that 
carbon dioxide. We called our proposal Really Clear Skies.
  I remember having a meeting in my office about a decade ago. In my 
office, we had my colleague, my Republican cosponsor, and we also had 
representatives from six, seven, eight, nine utilities from all over 
the country debating and discussing whether Clear Skies, the Bush 
proposal, or Really Clear Skies, our proposal, made more sense. I will 
never forget what one utility CEO said at the end of the discussion. He 
might have been from North Carolina. He was from someplace down South. 
He said: Senators, here is what you should do. Tell us what the rules 
are going to be, give us a reasonable amount of time, some flexibility, 
and get out of the way. That is what he said. I will never forget that: 
Tell us what the rules will be with respect to air emission, give us a 
reasonable amount of time, some flexibility, and get out of the way.
  I think that is what the Clean Power Plan did. We need to get back a 
lot closer to that proposal. I think it actually mirrors and reflects 
the advice we received a decade ago.
  My time has expired. I thank my colleagues for their patience.
  I am happy to yield to the Senator from Arizona, Mr. Flake.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.


                              South Africa

  Mr. FLAKE. Mr. President, I want to rise briefly to address something 
that happened overnight that the President tweeted with regard to South 
Africa. I serve as chairman of the Africa Subcommittee on the Foreign 
Relations Committee. The President tweeted the following:

       I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to closely study 
     the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations 
     and large scale killing of farmers. ``South African 
     Government is now seizing land from white farmers.''

  I think it is important for the President, if he is going to conduct 
foreign policy by tweet, to be more careful and to not base something 
on one news report. These things matter.
  South Africa is, in fact, the ruling party and has proposed land 
reform measures in South Africa's Parliament. I hope they think long 
and hard about some of the proposals that are coming forward and not 
mimic what happened in Zimbabwe 15 years ago that Zimbabwe is still 
recovering from. In my view, this would not be a good road to take, to 
expropriate land without compensation. Having said that, it is simply a 
proposal. It has not been implemented.
  On the second part of that, ``There is a large scale killing of 
farmers,'' there is no evidence to suggest there is a large-scale 
killing of farmers. Of course, the death of one farmer is too many, but 
it is wrong to suggest there is somehow a large-scale killing going on, 
when the evidence suggests that the number of farmers who have been 
killed over the past year is about one-third the level that was reached 
in the 1990s.
  I would encourage the President to be more careful when he tweets, to 
not conduct foreign policy by tweet, and to certainly say to our South 
African friends--a new government we are working with on a number of 
issues, with which we have a good relationship and want to remain close 
to--that we in the Congress believe we are their friends, and we want 
to move forward in ways that will bring the best to South Africans and 
a good partnership with our country.
  I yield back.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. KAINE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to enter into a 
colloquy with my colleagues Senator Wicker, Senator Warner, and Senator 
Durbin to address a pressing issue in the defense appropriations bill, 
and that is language to allow the Navy to proceed with a two-ship buy 
for aircraft carriers.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection.
  Mr. KAINE. The Navy has been working on a two-ship buy since last 
year, culminating in its release of a request for proposal, RFP, in 
April. If the Navy is able to procure the next two Ford-class carriers 
in a single contract, initial estimates point to over $2 billion in 
savings, at least 10 percent. Funds that would be saved could be 
applied to other programs within the shipbuilding account or within the 
Department of Defense generally.
  Those savings come about in part through the shipbuilding suppliers 
across the country who would be able to provide the parts and material 
needed to build an aircraft carrier in a much more efficient and cost-
effective manner. We would be giving these suppliers some degree of 
predictability. Many of these suppliers are small businesses and single 
source suppliers who need a demand signal that the country is serious 
about building up the Navy fleet.
  The military shipbuilding supply base is fragile and has shrunk 
significantly since the last Navy buildup. For nuclear shipbuilding, 
during the 20-year period between 1977 and 1996, Electric Boat, Newport 
News, and the industrial base delivered almost 90 nuclear ships in the 
Ohio-, Los Angeles-, Seawolf- and Nimitz-class programs. The industrial 
base population during that time was in excess of 17,000 suppliers. 
Today there are about 3,000 carrier suppliers. The predictability 
provided by the two-ship carrier buy would enable industry to invest in 
increasing the capacity of their facilities. This investment will 
contribute to lower shipbuilding acquisition costs and enable our 
country to build the Navy our Nation needs.
  The two-ship buy would enable the Navy to field an aircraft carrier 
at least 1 year sooner than the program of record.
  I was proud to work with my friend and partner in shipbuilding, 
Senator Roger Wicker, to cosponsor a bipartisan letter addressed to 
Secretary Mattis in December asking for the Department to support a 
two-ship buy in its fiscal year 2019 budget. In addition to Senator 
Wicker and me, 15 Senators cosigned, and a similar letter with 131 
signatures came from the House.
  I ask unanimous consent that the letter sent to Secretary Mattis by 
me and my fellow Senators be printed in the Record at the conclusion of 
this colloquy.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection.
  Mr. KAINE. When Assistant Secretary of the Navy Geurts testified 
before the Seapower subcommittee in April, he and I spoke about the 
need to get the Navy's assessment of the RFP and validation of the 
savings in time to support necessary legislation in the fiscal year 
2019 defense bills. Secretary Geurts promised an initial look in early 
May, but as the authorization and appropriations processes move 
forward, unfortunately, we are still waiting to hear from the 
Department of Defense. I must say I am very disappointed with the lack 
of urgency which the Pentagon is displaying on this initiative.
  As we wait, the great savings that this proposal would generate will 
erode as the Navy is only able to contract for one ship at a time.

[[Page S5891]]

  In the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2019, we 
included specific preconditions in authorizing the two-ship buy, 
including detail on how significant savings will be achieved and a 
commitment to full transparency to any changes to the funding profile.
  As currently written, the defense appropriations bill would not allow 
the Navy to procure two aircraft carriers in one contract, and I 
understand this is probably out of frustration with the lack of a 
proposal to the committee including complete budgetary estimates and 
funding profiles. Again, let me say I share the concern that the 
Department of Defense has been slow to complete necessary analyses and 
present the Defense committees with a plan.
  We often talk about acquisition reform and smarter buying in this 
body, and this is a perfect opportunity to innovate procurement and 
contracting. Let's not squander this chance because of bureaucratic 
inaction.
  While I will not seek to amend the appropriations bill today, I ask 
the chairman of the committee, Senator Shelby, and Ranking Members 
Leahy and Durbin to ensure that, when this bill goes to conference with 
the House, the final language be written in a way that would not 
preclude the two-ship buy from going forward in fiscal year 2019, with 
all the requisite approvals from the Defense committees being 
preserved.
  Mr. WICKER. Mr. President, I agree with my Seapower Subcommittee 
colleague, and his approach is consistent with the fiscal year 2019 
NDAA, which the Senate approved in a vote of 87-10. The President has 
signed the bill into law. I join with my colleague in asking for the 
two-ship carrier buy to be supported, as we did in the NDAA, subject to 
the requisite requirements that includes a Secretary of Defense 
certification based on significant savings and other supporting 
information.
  Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, a two-ship block buy would increase 
predictability and stability for our suppliers, including the many 
shipbuilders and shipyard workers in the Hampton Roads region. It would 
also generate significant costs savings for U.S. taxpayers. It is 
critical that the Navy has access to the next-generation of warships 
for the world's challenges, while also being responsible in how it 
procures and budgets. For some time, I have been encouraging the Navy 
to move forward with a block buy of two aircraft carriers, as it makes 
strategic sense. Estimates have found that it would be an opportunity 
to save over $2 billion in the Defense Department's budget through this 
block buy.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I thank Senator Kaine, Senator Wicker and 
Senator Warner for raising this issue. Plans for procurement of Ford-
class carriers will be debated in the upcoming conference on the 
defense appropriations bill. I look forward to the Department of 
Defense and the Navy providing more information on the proposal, and I 
will keep Senator Kaine's comments in mind as the discussion continues.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                                                  U.S. Senate,

                                Washington, DC, December 14, 2017.
     Hon. James Mattis,
     Secretary of Defense,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Secretary Mattis: As you continue preparation of the 
     Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Request for the Department of 
     Defense, we write to express our support for the block buy of 
     Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers. It is our 
     understanding that the Navy and industry have been evaluating 
     the feasibility of block-buy for CVN-80 and CVN-81, as well 
     as the potential cost savings from such a procurement 
     strategy. We applaud the Department of Defense's efforts to 
     examine smarter and more efficient acquisition approaches and 
     would actively support the Department's pursuit of a block 
     buy of Ford-class aircraft carriers in Fiscal Year 2019.
       Previous block-buys have yielded savings of several percent 
     of the total cost of the ships when compared to annual 
     procurements, which could be in excess of $1 billion for two 
     Ford-class carriers. Total savings could grow to something 
     closer to $2 billion if the procurement intervals between the 
     ships are additionally shortened from five-year centers to 
     three- or four-year centers, which would be consistent with 
     the Navy's goal of achieving and maintaining the 12-carrier 
     force called for in the Navy's 355-ship requirement.
       In light of the increased budgetary demands placed on the 
     Department, we believe that revisiting a proven acquisition 
     method, one that could be executed without reducing funding 
     for other vital shipbuilding programs, is not only warranted, 
     but a sound investment.
       As recent events in the Pacific have shown, our nation's 
     carrier fleet is under considerable demand, with 3 of 11 
     deployed and 7 of 11 carriers underway in recent weeks. A 
     block-buy of Ford-class will help the Navy achieve its 
     objective of 12 carriers that better meets combatant 
     commander requirements and readiness goals to sustain 
     worldwide operations. Additionally, a block-buy would 
     continue to signal to the shipbuilding industrial base about 
     our nation's resolve to field a 355 ship fleet. Over the past 
     25 years, our shipbuilding industrial base has undergone a 
     massive consolidation. The community, which used to tap into 
     more than 17,000 suppliers now relies on fewer than 3,000 
     across the country. These remaining suppliers would 
     significantly benefit from the predictability and stability 
     of a known future workload. We believe the stability offered 
     by a block-buy approach would enable suppliers to develop 
     greater efficiencies and invest in their own businesses which 
     would further benefit other Navy shipbuilding programs as 
     well.
       At the forefront of today's Navy is the Nimitz class 
     carrier and Virginia-class submarine, both of which are 
     successful products of block-buy type initiatives. As we look 
     to the next 50 years, we believe a wise investment of our 
     precious defense dollars would be in the time-proven 
     acquisition method of block-buy for our next generation of 
     aircraft carrier. Thank you for your consideration and 
     service to our country.
           Sincerely,
         Roger F. Wicker, U.S. Senator; Tammy Baldwin, U.S. 
           Senator; Cory Gardner, U.S. Senator; James M. Inhofe, 
           U.S. Senator; Marco Rubio, U.S. Senator; Luther 
           Strange, U.S. Senator; Sherrod Brown, U.S. Senator; Tim 
           Kaine, U.S. Senator; Tom Cotton, U.S. Senator; Mazie K. 
           Hirono, U.S. Senator; Bill Nelson, U.S. Senator; Jeanne 
           Shaheen, U.S. Senator; Mark R. Warner, U.S. Senator; 
           Thom Tillis, U.S. Senator; Patty Murray, U.S. Senator; 
           Tim Scott, U.S. Senator; Maria Cantwell, U.S. Senator.

  Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Cassidy). Without objection, it is so 
ordered.


                           Amendment No. 3967

  Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, Planned Parenthood ends the lives of 320,000 
babies each year. That is about 900 babies every day. Planned 
Parenthood receives over $400 million of taxpayer money. The 
government, with a wink and a nod, tells us that Planned Parenthood 
doesn't spend the money on abortions, but everybody knows that the 
taxpayer is really cross-subsidizing Planned Parenthood's abortion 
mills.
  My amendment would end the funding to Planned Parenthood. My 
amendment is already included in the House's version. Yet my amendment 
is now being blocked by Republicans. Why would Republicans block a vote 
on defunding Planned Parenthood? It may surprise some because so many 
Republicans go home and say they are against Planned Parenthood, but 
this vote could happen right now--right now, today--if Republicans 
don't object.
  Everybody knows that the Democrats love abortion and Planned 
Parenthood more than life itself. But Republicans? Many voters think 
Republicans actually care about the unborn. Many voters think 
Republicans are really opposed to government-funded abortions. But the 
dirty little secret is that Republican leadership is blocking my 
amendment to defund Planned Parenthood. That is right. The Republican 
leadership has filled the amendment tree to block my ``defund Planned 
Parenthood'' amendment. But how can that be? Surely, the Republican 
leadership doesn't favor abortion funding, so the answer is a curious 
one.
  The truth is that the Republican leadership favors bloated government 
spending more than it cares about Planned Parenthood. This 
appropriations bill before us exceeds the spending caps by nearly $100 
billion. Big-spending Republicans fear that blocking funding for 
Planned Parenthood would derail their plans to greatly expand the 
welfare-warfare state. So be it. The public has long known that the 
Democrats are the abortion party. Now the public will know that many 
Republicans just give lipservice to pro-life issues and are really more 
concerned with bloated government spending than with saving lives.
  Of the 320,000 babies that Planned Parenthood will abort this year, 
about 6,400 of these babies would be geniuses. They would develop into 
geniuses if

[[Page S5892]]

they would be allowed to live. Perhaps one of these potential geniuses 
would discover a cure for cancer or Lou Gehrig's disease. Of the 
320,000 babies aborted by Planned Parenthood every year, about 1,000 
would become doctors, 1,500 would become engineers, 1,200 would become 
lawyers, 3,400 would become teachers, and 400 would become pastors. Yet 
all of that potential is lost each year as a consequence of Planned 
Parenthood.
  What I would say to my Republican colleagues is to please explain to 
voters at home why they allow Planned Parenthood to continue receiving 
taxpayer funds; to explain to those at home why they purposely filled 
the amendment tree in order to block an amendment to defund Planned 
Parenthood; to please explain to voters at home why passing huge 
deficit spending bills is more important than trying to save lives; and 
to please explain to America why anyone would trust politicians who 
continue to break their promises.
  Make no mistake about it--my amendment to block funding for Planned 
Parenthood is being blocked by Republicans.
  In a moment, one of the Democratic leaders will stand up and ask for 
a vote on my amendment as well as on a Democratic amendment. We don't 
agree on the policy, but we agree that if you allow an amendment from 
each side, that we could have some comity, that we could have some 
debate, and that we could live to disagree on another day. This 
amendment is not being blocked by the Democrats; this amendment is 
being blocked by Republicans who refuse to vote on a Democratic 
amendment.
  Republican leadership has the power to unblock the amendment tree and 
allow the vote. The question is, What is more important to these 
Republicans--saving lives or spending money?
  I ask unanimous consent to set aside the pending amendment in order 
to call up my amendment, No. 3967.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  The Senator from Illinois.
  Mr. DURBIN. Reserving the right to object, Mr. President, at the 
outset, the issue of abortion is a divisive issue in America. Many 
people have different and strongly held beliefs on this particular 
issue.
  We have a law on the books now--and have for decades--that no Federal 
funds may be spent for the performance of abortion procedures, 
including at Planned Parenthood. Yet Planned Parenthood does much more 
than that. Planned Parenthood provides healthcare for millions of women 
across the United States, and Planned Parenthood provides family 
planning so that these women can avoid unplanned pregnancies, which, 
sadly, in many cases, lead to abortion. Regardless of your position on 
abortion, the position of Planned Parenthood is to counsel families so 
they can control the number of children they have and avoid unplanned 
pregnancies and the likelihood of abortion procedures to follow.
  It is for this reason that I have consistently voted against Senator 
Paul when he has stood here to defund Planned Parenthood, and I will 
today. Yet I am about to make a modification request in the hopes that 
we can have the vote that he just asked for, the vote on Planned 
Parenthood, as long as we can also have a Democratic vote--one of 
each--on an amendment that is being offered by Senator Joe Manchin of 
West Virginia, which basically states that we in the U.S. Senate will 
join in an effort to preserve those portions of the Affordable Care Act 
that protect families who have members with preexisting conditions. 
That is basically it.
  Time and again, we have heard Republicans say they don't want there 
to be discrimination against families because there is a child who is a 
cancer survivor or because there is a spouse who has diabetes. They do 
not want them discriminated against and to be charged more for health 
insurance. That is all Senator Manchin is asking for.
  So we will have a vote on the Paul amendment on Planned Parenthood 
and on the Manchin amendment, which goes to the heart of the Affordable 
Care Act's preexisting condition protection. Those two amendments can 
bring us to a close on this debate. I think that is a fair, bipartisan 
conclusion. I agree with what Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has said in 
that this is the right way to end this debate--with a Republican 
amendment and a Democratic amendment.
  I move to modify Senator Paul's request. I ask unanimous consent that 
the following amendments be called up en bloc and reported by number: 
Paul No. 3967 and Manchin No. 3865. I further ask consent that at 4 
p.m., the Senate vote in relation to the amendments in the order listed 
and that there be no second-degree amendments in order to the 
amendments prior to the votes and that each amendment be subject to a 
60-vote affirmative threshold for adoption. I further ask consent that 
following the disposition of the Paul amendment, the managers' package, 
which is at the desk, be agreed to--a bipartisan package--and that all 
postcloture time be yielded back.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there an objection to the modification?
  The Senator from Texas.
  Mr. CORNYN. Reserving the right to object, Mr. President, the Paul 
amendment is a germane amendment. It should be taken up and passed with 
a majority vote in the U.S. Senate.
  This counterproposal asks that a 60-vote threshold be set for the 
Paul amendment, which, obviously, would make it much less likely to 
actually pass. What I think makes a whole lot more sense is to have a 
vote on the Paul amendment as a stand-alone to defund Planned 
Parenthood with a majority vote of 50, but I believe that the Manchin 
amendment has problems as well.
  Firstly, this Manchin amendment inserts itself into pending 
litigation in Federal court, which is being led by my home State of 
Texas, by intervening as a party only a few weeks prior to there being 
oral arguments. This is a role that is generally reserved for the 
executive branch, and I believe that the legislature--the Senate--
should exercise caution and deference to the constitutional role of 
other branches before injecting itself into a contested lawsuit at a 
late hour.
  Secondly, the Manchin amendment asserts that the Senate should defend 
all provisions of the Affordable Care Act. While that may be the 
position of the senior Senator from West Virginia, I have a number of 
concerns and objections to ObamaCare which are well-known, as do so 
many of my Republican colleagues. There are many problematic and 
possibly illegal provisions of ObamaCare that should not be defended by 
this body, as the Manchin amendment would urge.
  Finally, I strongly believe in protecting Americans who have 
preexisting conditions and in ensuring they have access to affordable 
healthcare. Our friends across the aisle act as if the only way you can 
protect against preexisting conditions is through ObamaCare. That is 
demonstrably false. There is a much better and more reasonable way to 
protect Americans who have preexisting conditions other than to shackle 
them to ObamaCare. I believe the best way for us to address this is by 
legislating--by working together and coming up with legislation that 
will actually solve the problem--rather than by injecting ourselves 
into ongoing litigation against ObamaCare.
  While I am opposed to the extraneous amendment by the senior Senator 
from West Virginia, I am completely in support of voting on Senator 
Paul's amendment. Frankly, I am a little confused by his statement that 
Republicans oppose his amendment when, at this point, I renew the 
request of the Senator from Kentucky. Yet I ask that it be set at a 50-
vote threshold as a germane amendment to the pending legislation.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there an objection to this modification?
  Mr. DURBIN. Reserving the right to object, Mr. President, I would 
like some explanation as to where we are on the floor at this moment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Senator Paul has the floor. He has a unanimous 
consent request to which there have been two modifications sought.
  Is there an objection to the modification for the Senator from Texas?
  Mr. DURBIN. I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  Is there an objection to the modification for the Senator from 
Illinois?

[[Page S5893]]

  

  Mr. CORNYN. I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  Is there an objection to the original request by the Senator from 
Kentucky?
  Mr. DURBIN. Reserving the right to object, Mr. President, we have 
agreed that the Republican Senator from Kentucky is to offer an 
amendment to defund Planned Parenthood. I will be opposing that, but I 
believe he is entitled to a vote. On the Democratic side, we are asking 
to have an amendment, in a bipartisan nature, so that the Democratic 
amendment can be offered, which may be opposed by both of the 
Republican Senators. With that, there would be a real debate in the 
Senate, which we rarely have.
  Because Senator Paul and I agree that there should be both 
amendments--the Democratic and Republican amendments--and that we 
should move forward to close down debate on the overall bill, I will 
object until we get Senator Cornyn's agreement.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  The Senator from West Virginia.


                           Amendment No. 3865

  Mr. MANCHIN. Mr. President, I can't believe that we are getting into 
this tit-for-tat in politics and that politics always rules the day 
here. Do you know what? Whether or not you agree on the amendment that 
is up, we thought we had an agreement that both amendments would be 
voted on.
  My amendment is simply using the Senate's legal staff to intervene on 
preexisting conditions. This affects every one of us. This affects 1.8 
million Kentuckians. This affects 800,000 West Virginians. Every State 
has people who have some form of preexisting condition, and every 
family has someone with one.
  What we are asking for is to be able to fight the good fight. The 
suit that we are dealing with right now is that of Texas v. United 
States, wherein 20 attorneys general are bringing suit to basically 
take preexisting conditions away and allow insurance companies to 
decide as to whether they are going to sell you insurance or not or how 
much they are going to charge you for the insurance or whether they are 
going to put caps back on and say you are just too sick for them to 
spend more money on or for them to invest any more money in you.
  All we are asking for is to give us a vote on it. Let's see if the 
Senate wants to intervene, and let's see if we can fight to save some 
of the people's healthcare around the country. There are 800,000 West 
Virginians who are depending on this. That is all we ask for.
  Senator Paul has asked for a vote on his amendment, and I think that 
should be granted. I think it is equally right that ours should be 
granted. We thought there was an agreement earlier. I don't know why I 
would believe that politics would not be involved, but I don't know why 
it got involved at this level of giving us a vote.
  Again, all I am asking for is for common sense and cooler heads to 
prevail here and to move on. We can get this accomplished. We thought 
we had it worked out. We were talking about cancer, heart disease, 
diabetes, arthritis, asthma, and other types of illnesses that can be 
determined to be preexisting conditions.
  We have 400,000 West Virginians who have severe preexisting 
conditions who will not even be able to buy insurance because the 
insurance companies will not sell it to them as it will just be too 
costly and there will not be enough profit in it. They will be too 
sick, so they will be out. Another 400,000 will have the rates raised 
to the point at which they probably won't be able to afford it.
  I just don't know why we are going down this path again. I don't 
think there is a Democrat or Republican--this is not a political issue. 
This is not a life-or-death issue. All I am asking my colleagues on the 
Republican side to do is to please consider this. Let us vote on it. 
You can vote the way you want to and go home and explain your vote. I 
am OK with that. If you want us to vote on Planned Parenthood, whether 
people think that they should or should not, that is OK. You can go 
home and explain it. But to not let us vote and to not even talk about 
it because--I look here at Kentucky. There are 1.8 million people in 
Kentucky who have been diagnosed with preexisting conditions. I am sure 
they would like to be able to buy insurance. I am sure they would like 
to have protection and not have the insurance companies say: I am 
sorry, not for you today.
  I hope you all consider this. Let's put it up for a vote and see 
where it goes, and let's go after them in court. This happens September 
5th. I think Senator Cornyn said it is not germane, and he is using 
different terminology or different reasoning for that. But since they 
moved this court date from the 14th to the 5th, it is of urgent 
necessity for us to get in and intervene to see whether we can protect 
the people of America. I need to fight to protect the people of West 
Virginia, and I will continue to do that.
  Thank you.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Carolina.


                   Unanimous Consent Request--S. 896

  Mr. BURR. Mr. President, I rise today to talk about the Land and 
Water Conservation Fund. I talked a lot yesterday about the benefits of 
the Land and Water Conservation Fund and how it is one of the most 
popular and successful bipartisan programs that exist for conservation.
  I shared with my colleagues and with those who listened a newsletter 
from the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation that stated some of the great 
things they are doing with private sector dollars. They are taking what 
the Land and Water Conservation Fund provides--which is zero in 
taxpayer dollars but royalties off of exploration--and they are giving 
that to the States to protect treasures we have.
  In those States and localities, they use that Federal seed money to 
leverage private sector dollars to produce inholdings, edge-holdings, 
and outparcels, sometimes traded so that we protect the land that is 
most valuable to us and that leverages volunteers and private dollars. 
It is on the order of 10 to 1 private dollars to Federal dollars.
  Today, I want to give you a great example how LWCF money was used for 
acquisition of land that has made it safer for outdoor enthusiasts and 
also easier for local governments in my State of North Carolina.
  We have a falls called the Catawba Falls. It is a popular attraction 
in western North Carolina, but the trail to get to the falls is over 
private land; therefore, those who venture there for recreational 
benefits and the beauty of Catawba Falls find a circuitous route to get 
there, and in many cases, we have individuals who have gotten injured. 
This becomes very costly to local emergency services because when you 
extract somebody from an inholding that you have no public access to, 
you have to airlift those individuals.
  The Foothills Conservancy recognized the need, and this wonderful 
local land trust was able to move quickly when the landowner became 
willing to sell for public access.
  I think it is an interesting fact that this family who sold to 
Foothills was the first family in the United States to sell land to the 
U.S. Forest Service in 1911 under the Weeks Act.
  The Forest Service was eventually able to acquire the land through 
the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Now there is a road and a parking 
lot for visitors. The cost of emergency services to get to the falls to 
respond to accidents has been dramatically reduced. Visiting the 
attraction is now safer for hikers. Visitor experiences were improved 
with parking and restrooms. A beautiful trail that belongs to the 
public was made, and local government's burden was eased.
  They average one medical situation a month. Since the Presiding 
Officer is a physician by practice, I know he understands the cost that 
is incurred with an emergency of that magnitude. Because of this 
access, they have saved one hour per extraction, and McDowell County 
Emergency Management is saving $1 million annually because they don't 
have to do helicopter extractions.
  It is an economic stimulus to the town of Old Fort and protects the 
headwaters of the Catawba River, which, I might add, is the drinking 
supply for the city of Charlotte, NC.
  Talk about a win-win-win. This is one of them. This is a perfect 
example of how LWCF helps make access for the public easier by 
purchasing an edge-holding.
  As Americans, we need more outdoor recreation and access 
opportunities,

[[Page S5894]]

not fewer. The program is widely supported by outdoor recreation 
industry enthusiasts, conservationists, anglers, hunters, birdwatchers, 
and all who appreciate access to America's unparalleled lands. If I 
didn't mention it, it requires zero in taxpayer money. Let me say that 
again. There is zero taxpayer money.
  The U.S. outdoor recreation economy generates $87 billion in consumer 
spending. It generates $65 billion in tax revenue. If you don't utilize 
the outdoors as an individual and you are a budget hawk, it is a good 
program. It grows the economy. It produces revenues for the Federal 
Government.
  The program has been so successful that just a decade after its 
original enactment, in 1977, the Congress decided to triple its 
authorization to a level of $900 million--the level it remains at 
today. I might add that the first two authorizations of this bill were 
for 25 years--25 years. Eventually, the authorization level for funding 
went to $900 million. It has only been funded at $900 million one time 
in the over 50 years since it has been established.
  In our great wisdom, for some reason, 3 years ago, we authorized it 
at 3 years, and on September 30, it will expire. As of March 30, the 
Land and Water Conservation Fund had a credit in its account of $21.5 
billion because over the years Congress chose not to allocate the full 
$900 million that has been credited to the fund. This bill puts the 
money toward deferred maintenance and returns the rest to Treasury.
  Very quickly, let me just tell you about a bill that I am going to 
ask unanimous consent that this body take up and pass. The base of the 
new bill is permanent authorization of the program. It also includes a 
provision that I sprung on everybody yesterday.
  Members of the U.S. Senate have expressed a concern about a permanent 
reauthorization with no ability to go in and alter that, so what I did 
was I added a provision that allows for the Congress to take up a 
dissolution resolution every 3 years where, with a 60-vote margin, they 
can disapprove the automatic renewal.
  We have tried to address all of the concerns that have been raised. 
Since the beginning of the 115th Congress, I have tried to come down 
here and get this bill on the floor, only to hear: Not today. It needs 
to be on something else. We can't have a vote on it.
  We have never been allowed to have a vote on it. I am sympathetic to 
individuals who have raised questions on the ability to vote.
  If future Congresses believe they need to review the program, this 
provision allows them to do it by simply passing the joint resolution 
of disapproval. Every 3 years, they are given the opportunity.
  Additionally, this bill shares funds currently available to the LWCF 
program. Again, let me remind everybody of the background. Every year--
$900 million is credited on an annual basis to the Land and Water 
Conservation Fund. That is in the statute. Every year, appropriators 
determine how much money they intend to appropriate, and in only one of 
the years since 1977, when we raised the allocation to $900 million, 
has it actually been funded at $900 million. So each year, $900 million 
goes in, and appropriators dole out what they want to. It is all 
royalty money; it doesn't have anything to do with taxpayer money. That 
has left a hefty chunk of change just sitting there, waiting for 
Congress to appropriate--$21.4 billion.
  To meet my colleagues halfway, in addition to a 3-year review, with a 
vote to disapprove an automatic renewal, my bill does this. I have 
decided to put those available funds toward a program that many of my 
colleagues have been very vocally supportive of in the past year. This 
bill would reallocate $11 billion out of the LWCF trust fund, and it 
would allocate that money and dedicate it to the National Park Service 
for maintenance.
  I know many Members are anxious to get a parks maintenance bill 
through, and we have had trouble doing that. I am giving you an 
opportunity and an option that would fund it at a level we haven't even 
talked about. We are talking about somewhere right around $1 billion. 
Yet we know we have $10 billion worth of deferred maintenance. With 
just the reauthorization of this one conservation program, we would 
shift $11 billion out of the LWCF account and into the parks 
maintenance account. It doesn't take a mathematician to realize that 
the money would be available immediately. It would still require the 
appropriations process.
  There would be an additional $10 billion left in the LWCF fund, So 
what I propose in this legislation is that the bill would credit back 
to the General Treasury $10 billion to go toward paying down debt.
  I have heard a lot of my colleagues stand up here--as a matter of 
fact, many in this body voted for a rescissions package that had a $16 
million reduction in the LWCF fund. I voted against it because I got no 
help in trying to understand why we were going to cut money out of a 
program that we had yet to fund at the level at which it was 
authorized. If they were willing to cut $16 million of LWCF to pay down 
debt, I am giving them a great opportunity--I am giving them $10 
billion in this bill.
  So we are going to take $21 billion that the LWCF has accrued over 
its existence, that has been unallocated to them but is still there, 
and we are going to give $11 billion to the parks and recreation 
maintenance fund, and we are going to give $10 billion to the Treasury 
to pay down debt.
  I have been working on all aspects of LWCF for about 5 years, if not 
longer. I think that in the last 24 hours, I have addressed every 
concern that has been expressed--budget, taxpayer money, parks 
maintenance, why we should do it. Let me suggest to the Presiding 
Officer and to my colleagues why we should do it. Because Americans 
really appreciate this program because across this country, there are 
generations today who believe that their children and their 
grandchildren will be able to experience the same experience they had 
because we have been smart enough to protect some of those treasures.
  I don't want to be greedy. I would love to appropriate $21 billion, 
as I am sure my colleague from Colorado, who I see standing over there, 
would love to do. It is probably not needed all at one time, but the 
credit is there. If we are willing to reauthorize this program and to 
give them some degree of permanency, then I believe every person who is 
the beneficiary of or interested in the Land and Water Conservation 
Fund will not argue with saying: OK, we will take the $21 billion we 
built up, and we will give $11 billion to the parks maintenance program 
and we will pay $10 billion to the Treasury. And we will start over at 
accruing at $900 billion a year what the American people, through their 
Congress, in the past have said we are going to invest in these 
conservation efforts.
  It is a significant gift. There are winners and winners and winners. 
There is no difference between this and the Catawba Falls example I 
gave you where the winners were the local community, the individual who 
sold the land, and the emergency services cost to the county. This is a 
win-win for America, and we are doing all of this with zero taxpayer 
money. We are using the royalties off of exploration to fund it.
  I am going to do something that is probably a first in this body. 
There are individuals who still would like to object to this. I am 
going to ask unanimous consent, and then I will object to my own 
unanimous consent request because I understand the rights of any one 
individual in the Senate.
  I could have waited hours to speak until one of them came to object, 
but I saw it more worthy of my time to come here and to raise this 
issue, to present solutions, and to object to my own unanimous consent 
request because I respect the rights of every individual.
  But I hope through doing this those colleagues that might have an 
objection to this would alleviate that objection. If you don't like the 
program, that is one thing, but don't claim that it is because you want 
to reduce the debt. Don't claim that you don't want to use taxpayer 
money. Don't claim that you want to package this with the parks and 
maintenance program.
  I am giving it all to you in one bill. The only thing I am asking in 
return for the Land and Water Conservation Fund is to give us the 
ability to know long-term that this is in place so that we can leverage 
every private sector dollar in this country that we possibly can toward 
whatever appropriations the appropriators decide on an annual basis to 
give to the fund.

[[Page S5895]]

  So at this time, I ask unanimous consent that at a time determined by 
the majority leader, in consultation with the Democratic leader, the 
Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of my bill in relation to 
LWCF, which is at the desk, with 1 hour of debate, and the Senate then 
vote on the bill with no intervening action or debate.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. BURR. Mr. President, I reluctantly object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  The Senator from Colorado.


                             Climate Change

  Mr. BENNET. Mr. President, I would save my colleague from North 
Carolina from having to object to his own motion, but I so much believe 
in what he is trying to do that I can't object. I thank him for his 
leadership, through the Chair, on this issue over many years. This 
should be a bipartisan issue. It is a bipartisan issue. My colleague 
from Colorado, Cory Gardner, and I wrote an op-ed piece together--can 
you believe that?--in the Denver Post, supporting the work that Senator 
Burr from North Carolina is trying to do.
  It is long past time for us to stop continuing to play these 
political games and actually do some work for the American people. 
There is not a county in America that doesn't have a Land and Water 
Conservation Fund project. That is not what I am here to talk about, 
but I thank him for his leadership.
  I am here to talk about another area that should be bipartisan, and 
that is addressing the urgent matter of climate change in the United 
States of America with the leadership of our government. Instead, this 
week, President Trump made his latest assault on our country's climate 
policy by gutting the Clean Power Plan. This decision creates more 
uncertainty for coal miners by delaying for 2 years what everyone knows 
we ultimately have to do, and it creates uncertainty for everybody 
else.
  President Trump has campaigned for years on the idea that there is a 
war on coal, ignoring his own Department of Energy's observation that 
the reason why coal has fallen as a source of our energy is that 
natural gas, because of the ingenuity of the American people, has 
become so cheap. That is what displaced coal, but he is ignoring it, 
just like he ignores economic reality after economic reality.
  This is not going to help Colorado. We have added 60,000 clean energy 
jobs and 230,000 outdoor recreation jobs, and we have 170,000 
agriculture jobs that are inseparably linked to the stability of our 
climate. One of the reasons this sector is growing so rapidly is that 
Colorado does not have the luxury of operating in a fictitious economy. 
We see the threat of climate change every day, from an infestation of 
pine and spruce beetles that have destroyed our drought-stricken trees 
to wildfires that are no longer bound to a season because now they 
burn, or can burn, all year long, to shorter ski seasons and longer 
droughts that are affecting our farmers and ranchers.
  These consequences of climate change are costing Coloradans billions 
of dollars each year, and this cost is only expected to increase.
  I have said it before. My State is one-third Republican, one-third 
Democratic, and one-third Independent. We have a consensus in my State 
that climate change is real and that humans are contributing to it. 
That doesn't mean everybody agrees with what the solution should be, 
but there is a consensus that if we do not act, we will not be 
fulfilling our obligation to the next generations of Coloradans.
  In Colorado, for that reason, we have made significant progress 
transitioning to a cleaner energy mix because we are betting on the 
economy as it actually exists, not as Donald Trump imagines. So far, 
that bet has paid off. We have had $6 billion invested in clean energy. 
We have created hundreds of thousands of clean energy jobs in 
construction, maintenance, and installation that cannot be outsourced 
and cannot be sent to China.
  Wind jobs alone are expected to triple by 2020, and our largest 
utility, Xcel Energy, announced this past June that it is retiring two 
coal plants early and replacing them with wind, solar, and natural gas, 
and energy storage.
  This has nothing to do with the Environmental Protection Agency--
nothing--or regulation. It is because it is cheaper. It is cleaner for 
the environment, but it is also cheaper for the rate base. That is what 
we are accomplishing in Colorado, and I know it is true across the 
country.
  This assault by President Trump on the Clean Power Plan, which so 
many States were already complying with, is just the latest in a year-
and-a-half attack on important environmental regulations: fuel economy 
standards for cars and trucks that he got rid of that will make our 
automobiles and our trucks less competitive overseas; commonsense rules 
to decrease methane leaks from oil and gas production; opening up of 
the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and our coasts for drilling; 
attacking the Antiquities Act and the Endangered Species Act; 
appointing Scott Pruitt, a climate denier, to be the head of the EPA; 
trying to roll back the clean water rule; trying to use taxpayer 
dollars to revive retiring coal and nuclear plants on the taxpayers' 
dime; trying to delay ozone standards to limit smog to prevent our 
children and seniors from getting sick; and withdrawing from the global 
climate agreement. We now have the distinction of being the only 
country in the world not to be part of that agreement. Syria has now 
joined it, but we are by ourselves.
  I can tell you that the generation of people in this Chamber who are 
the age of the pages in this Chamber have a consensus that climate 
change is real.
  I know my colleague is here. So I am going to bring this to a close, 
but let me say that the Republican Party nationally has had a 
distinguished record on environmental matters until very recently. That 
may surprise people who have seen the debate and watched it, but it is 
true. Richard Nixon, a Republican President, signed the Clean Air Act 
and signed the Clean Water Act. He created the Environmental Protection 
Agency. Anybody who wants to remember what was going on back then only 
needs to think about the Cuyahoga River catching on fire and what that 
looked like. Anybody who remembers that knows that it is very hard to 
make the argument that net-net the Clean Air Act and the Clean Air Act 
haven't been good for our economy. That doesn't mean that it is 
perfect, but it is very hard to make that argument. People will, but I 
think it is very hard to make it convincingly.
  Ronald Reagan, one of the great conservative Republicans in the 
history of America, is the guy who was President when the ozone layer 
got a hole in it. He was a survivor of skin cancer. Kids who come to my 
meetings today don't know what the hole in the ozone layer is. They can 
thank Ronald Reagan for that.
  Both Bushes said that climate change is real and that humans are 
contributing and that we have to do something about it, and we need to 
work through multilateral organizations--in that case it was the U.N.--
to do something about this.
  Then, what changed? In 2010 the Supreme Court made a decision in 
Citizens United that opened up our entire Federal Government to 
billions of dollars of outside money, and the threat of outside money 
came with a promise to sign something called the ``climate pledge,'' 
which denied that it was real. Ever since then, we haven't been able to 
do any bipartisan work on it.
  The Supreme Court in that opinion talked about its worries about the 
corruption of action. What we have is the corruption of inaction--the 
bills that aren't written, the amendments that never get a vote, and 
the committee hearings that are never held because of a distortion in 
our political system. We have to change that together because if we are 
serious about climate, we need an enduring solution. We can't have 
something that is ripped out like the Clean Power Plan after a year and 
a half. That will not fulfill the responsibility we have for the next 
generation of Americans--or to the planet, for that matter.
  So I am very sorry to be here today under the circumstances that I am 
here, but I thought it was important to note what the President had 
done, and I will say again that I hope the time will come when we can 
make bipartisan progress on climate change.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that an article from the Wall

[[Page S5896]]

Street Journal and an article from the Washington Post be printed in 
the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

              [From the Wall Street Journal, Mar. 8, 2016]

                 Companies Go Green on Their Own Steam

                          (By Cassandra Sweet)

       U.S. companies are cutting emissions voluntarily and buying 
     clean energy at the fastest pace ever, as lower renewable 
     energy prices and easier availability of these sources makes 
     these economical options.
       Companies such as Salesforce.com Inc. have started to 
     embrace energy generated from wind, solar and other clean-
     energy sources in earnest this past year, while General 
     Motors Co. GM 1.18% , and Whole Foods Market Inc. have 
     doubled down on their renewable energy usage.
       U.S. companies, in 2015, agreed to buy 3,440 megawatts of 
     solar and wind power under long-term contracts--enough to 
     power Sacramento, Calif.--and, roughly three times the amount 
     they bought in 2014, said Herve Touati, research director at 
     the Rocky Mountain Institute, a clean-energy think tank. 
     Displacing fossil fuel energy with that amount of renewable 
     energy is roughly equivalent to taking 1.4 million cars off 
     the road, according to the institute.
       ``It's a combination of social pressure on large, visible 
     corporations to do good for the world, and the fact that 
     today you can sign deals that are attractive economically,'' 
     Mr. Touati said.
       A decline in renewable-energy prices alongside a larger 
     energy slump are playing a key part in the shift. The price 
     of wind power averaged $29 a megawatt-hour in 2015, down 27% 
     from 2012, according to research firm Bloomberg New Energy 
     Finance.
       Solar power bought under multiyear contracts also fell last 
     year to $57 a megawatt-hour on average, down by nearly one-
     fifth from 2012. One megawatt of wind energy can serve about 
     270 average U.S. homes, and the same amount of solar power 
     can serve 164 average homes, according to wind and solar 
     power industry groups.
       The price of fossil-fuel based power averaged $35 a 
     megawatt-hour in 2015, according to a Wall Street Journal 
     analysis of data compiled by the Energy Department.
       GM signed a deal last year to operate more than half its 
     assembly line in a Dallas suburb on electricity generated by 
     a West Texas wind farm. Workers at the plant in Arlington, 
     Texas, are expected to assemble 1,200 Chevrolet Suburbans, 
     GMC Yukons and Cadillac Escalades daily using a renewable 
     power source when the wind farm goes online later this year.
       GM says it has saved more than $80 million from green-
     energy purchases and investments since 1993, when it started 
     on its renewable energy initiatives, said Rob Threlkeld, the 
     company's global manager of renewable energy.
       ``Any renewable energy project has to provide a savings,'' 
     he said, adding that in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana the auto 
     maker is using electricity generated from burning landfill 
     gas and trash to power its factories.
       Mounting solar panels on the roofs of its big-box stores 
     and warehouses has helped Wal-Mart Stores Inc. trim its 
     electric bills, the company says. With nearly 350 commercial 
     solar installations on its buildings, the Bentonville, Ark.-
     based company outpaces every other corporation in America for 
     on-site solar adoption, according to the Solar Energy 
     Industries Association.
       ``The financial impact is important to us. Our customers 
     vote with their pocket books,'' said David Ozment, Wal-Mart's 
     senior director of energy.
       Wal-Mart buys enough wind, solar and other renewable energy 
     every year to power 26% of its stores, warehouses and 
     distribution centers around the world.
       By 2020, the retailer also aims to save $1 billion a year 
     by more than doubling the amount of renewable energy it uses 
     and trimming its electricity consumption at each store by 
     20%. ``Customers have said, `We love what Wal-Mart is doing 
     in this space. We want you to continue doing this. But we 
     don't want to pay a premium for our diapers for that,' '' Mr. 
     Ozment said.
       Intel Corp., as part of efforts to shrink its carbon 
     footprint, has installed a lot of solar panels. The company's 
     green efforts help attract and retain top-flight talent in 
     California's competitive hiring environment, according to a 
     study by Bain & Co.
       ``We have a variety of awards and programs that are 
     associated with sustainability objectives and actions,'' says 
     Intel spokeswoman Claudine Mangano. For example, the company 
     awards ``bonus points'' to employees who figure out ways for 
     Intel to meet its annual environmental goals, such as cutting 
     power use. The points can be converted to cash.
       Whole Foods, the chain that markets itself as a purveyor of 
     organic food, has faced obstacles in trying to establish an 
     environmentally friendly image. One of the grocery chain's 
     main initiatives--the repurposing of used cooking oil to 
     generate power in a kitchen outside Boston that made prepared 
     meals for Whole Foods stores across New England--failed. 
     Lower crude oil prices forced the cooking-oil supplier to 
     abandon the project.
       Whole Foods is going solar, and plans to install solar 
     panels at 100 stores after putting arrays on 25 others.
                                  ____


               [From the Washington Post, Nov. 17, 2017]

 The U.S. Has More Climate Skeptics Than Anywhere Else on Earth. Blame 
                                the GOP.

                          (By Amanda Erickson)

       In most of the world, climate change is settled science.
       Not so in the United States. President Trump has called 
     human-made climate change a ``hoax perpetuated by and for the 
     Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing noncompetitive.'' 
     Former House speaker Newt Gingrich has suggested that climate 
     change is the ``newest excuse to take control of our lives by 
     left-leaning intellectuals.'' Conservative broadcaster Rush 
     Limbaugh called it ``one of the most preposterous hoaxes in 
     the history of the planet.''
       In fact, the United States is home to more climate-change 
     skeptics than most other countries. Don't believe me? The 
     U.K.-based market research firm surveyed 16,000 people in 20 
     countries about their attitudes on climate change.
       More people in the United States doubt that humans are 
     responsible for climate change than just about any other 
     country. What accounts for this discrepancy?
       Our politics. Climate-change denial is a core tenet of one 
     of our two major political parties. Its skepticism is 
     unmatched around the world. A paper from researchers at the 
     University of Bergen in Norway found that among major 
     political parties--even conservative ones--the GOP stands 
     alone in its rejection of the need to tackle climate change. 
     One analysis by PolitiFact agreed that ``virtually no 
     Republican'' in Washington accepts climate-change science.
       It wasn't always this way. In 2008, Republican presidential 
     candidate John McCain produced an ad praising him as a 
     candidate who ``sounded the alarm on global warming.'' 
     According to an insightful New York Times article, the party 
     transformed itself into a party of skeptics in just a decade, 
     thanks to ``big political money, Democratic hubris in the 
     Obama years and a partisan chasm that grew over nine years 
     like a crack in the Antarctic shelf, favoring extreme 
     positions and uncompromising rhetoric over cooperation and 
     conciliation.''
       The Times explains that fossil fuel industry players, like 
     Charles D. and David H. Koch, funded a powerful campaign to 
     scare Republican lawmakers away from supporting climate-
     change legislation. Their group Americans for Prosperity 
     pushed a ``No Climate Tax'' pledge and helped unseat 
     supportive Democrats from Virginia. (When the smoke cleared 
     from the 2010 midterms, 83 of the 92 new members of Congress 
     had signed that pledge.) President Obama, frustrated by 
     Congress's inability to act, pushed executive actions to 
     combat climate change, moves that only further infuriated the 
     right. (``It fell into this notion of executive overreach,'' 
     Heather Zichal, an Obama climate adviser, told the New York 
     Times.) The tea party, too, saw fighting climate change as 
     one more big government program it wanted nothing to do with.
       That reality is reflected in our news coverage. A 2011 
     report by James Painter from the University of Oxford and the 
     Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism looked 
     specifically at how climate change was covered in newspapers 
     in six countries.
       He found that U.S. and U.K. print media quoted or mentioned 
     climate change skeptics significantly more than outlets in 
     Brazil, China, India and France. Together, outlets in the 
     United States and Great Britain accounted for about 80 
     percent of all skeptic quotes and mentions. About 40 percent 
     of those articles ran in opinion sections. American 
     publications were much more likely to quote a skeptical 
     politician than outlets in the other countries, in large part 
     because politicians in the U.K. and U.S. are more skeptical, 
     on the whole, of human-caused climate change.
       Painter also found that right-leaning outlets are much more 
     likely to publish skeptics than left-leaning outlets.
       And it's reflected in how Americans think about climate 
     change. Americans are unusually divided on climate change 
     among major democracies. A large percentage of Democrats 
     believe in human-made climate change; many Republicans don't. 
     As Painter explained to me in an email, ``the polarization of 
     attitudes towards climate change between Republicans and 
     Democrats is very acute, and this is not replicated to the 
     same extent in other countries.''
       As Pew explained in a 2015 report, this polarization 
     doesn't look so different than American divides on a lot of 
     other things like abortion and gun control.
       In other countries, climate change just isn't a partisan 
     issue. Broad majorities of people accept what scientists 
     say--that climate change is being caused by humans, who are 
     pumping carbon dioxide into the air at alarming and 
     unprecedented rates. That might be because in many places, 
     people are experiencing the impact of a changing climate 
     directly, so they're more likely to believe the science. It's 
     also true that in countries with the highest carbon emissions 
     like the United States, concern about human-created climate 
     change is lowest. Most other places, too, don't have big 
     lobby groups or think tanks with links to fossil fuel 
     companies pushing out their message into the public sphere 
     and media.

  Mr. BENNET. I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nebraska.

[[Page S5897]]

  



                         Department of Justice

  Mr. SASSE. Mr. President, I rise today to speak to the issue of the 
leadership of the Department of Justice.
  It has been a strange couple of hours around this building with lots 
of talk about firing the Attorney General. I would just like to say in 
public what I have been saying to my colleagues in a message that I 
just communicated to the President of the United States; that is, that 
it would be a very, very, very bad idea to fire the Attorney General 
because he is not executing his job as a political hack. That is not 
the job of the Attorney General. The Attorney General's job is to be 
faithful to the Constitution and to the rule of law.
  Jeff Sessions just had to issue a statement about 2 hours ago that I 
would like to read. The Attorney General says:

       While I am Attorney General, the actions of the Department 
     of Justice will not be improperly influenced by political 
     considerations. I demand the highest standards, and where 
     they are not met, I take action. However, no nation has a 
     more talented, more dedicated group of law enforcement 
     investigators and prosecutors than the United States.
       I am proud to serve with them and proud of the work we have 
     done in successfully advancing the rule of law.

  That is his job. The Attorney General is a man who, when he served in 
this body, would have policy disputes with probably all 99 of us or 100 
of us now, but the 99 people he served alongside. There are a bunch of 
issues where I agree with Jeff Sessions on policy, and there are some 
issues where I disagree with Jeff Sessions on policy.
  The Democrats disagree with Jeff Sessions on lots of policy, but I 
think everybody in this body knows that Jeff Sessions has been 
executing his job in a way faithful to his oath of office, to the 
Constitution, and to trying to defend the rule of law. I think Jeff 
Sessions' statement today that the U.S. Department of Justice is filled 
with honorable, dispassionate, career prosecutors who execute their job 
in ways that the American people should be proud of is indisputably 
true. What he said is something that basically everybody in this body 
knows and agrees with. Yet, bizarrely, there are people in this body 
now talking like the Attorney General will be fired, should be fired. I 
am not sure how to interpret the comments of the last couple of hours.
  I guess I would just like to say, as a member of the Judiciary 
Committee and as a Member of this body, that I find it really difficult 
to envision any circumstance where I would vote to confirm a successor 
to Jeff Sessions if he is fired because he is executing his job rather 
than choosing to act as a partisan hack.
  I think everybody in this body knows that Jeff Sessions is doing his 
job honorably, and the Attorney General of the United States should not 
be fired for acting honorably and for being faithful to the rule of 
law.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Colorado.
  Mr. BENNET. Mr. President, I did want to thank my colleague for his 
statement about the Attorney General. I think he is absolutely correct 
about what he said. I used to work at the Department of Justice, and 
the FBI and the DOJ are filled with honorable civil servants who are 
doing their best to enforce the law. I thank him for his remarks.
  I yield to the Senator from Oregon.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. MERKLEY. Mr. President, somebody once said: What is the use of a 
house if you don't have a tolerable planet to put it on?
  That is a question that we should all grapple with in this Chamber. 
It is a question that propels my colleagues from the Environment 
Committee to come to the floor and take note that the Trump 
administration's plan to replace the Clean Power Plan with a dirty 
power plan is one egregious step in damaging our planet. It is an 
egregious step to increase carbon pollution.
  Carbon pollution has all kinds of effects that we are seeing across 
the country, from raging forest fires in the Northwest, with my State 
covered in smoke, to the stronger, more powerful hurricanes that hit 
the city of Houston of my colleague from Texas and the cities in 
Florida of my colleague from Florida, to the impact across the country 
on agriculture, to the impact with greater droughts in some cases and 
greater floods in others. One of the single most effective steps that 
can be taken is to reduce the amount of carbon pollution from 
powerplants and transportation.

  Let's be clear. This dirty power plan from the administration 
increases the damage to the citizens of the United States, all just to 
pander to polluters. We have seen so much of this in the last year and 
a half.
  I know that we are living in an era in which the administration has 
created a parallel universe of alternative facts, where truth isn't 
necessarily truth, as the President's lawyer said this past couple of 
weeks. But let's remember that if you are outside that parallel 
universe, if you are in the real world, there are real numbers.
  By 2030, the Clean Power Plan would stop 870 million tons of 
pollution from poisoning the air that you and I, our families, our 
children, and our friends breathe. That is represented here by looking 
at this blue line in the year 2030 and the descending line of carbon 
pollution that is driven both by the fuel economy standards and the 
electricity standards. What we see under the President's dirty power 
plan is that, from here into the future, there is no further 
reduction--essentially zero reduction--then, past 2030, an increase in 
the carbon pollution that is doing all this damage across the country.
  There is damage in every one of our States. This damage doesn't just 
happen in blue States. Texas is not a blue State. Texas suffered 
horrific consequences of this carbon pollution, so certainly 
representatives from that State would want to do something about it, 
and so on, through every single State. The amount of difference in the 
carbon pollution between the Clean Power Plan and the dirty power plan 
is equivalent to the pollution from 166 million cars on the road for a 
year.
  It isn't just the impact on forest fires and the impact on hurricanes 
and the impact on drought, affecting agriculture, and the impact on 
floods. It is also the impact on human health. The estimate is that, by 
the year 2030, the difference between the Clean Power Plan and the 
dirty power plan is 4,500 premature deaths. So this decision kills 
people.
  The difference between those two lines, by the year 2030, is 90,000 
children's asthma attacks. The difference between those two lines is 
1,700 heart attacks. Picture that many children with asthma attacks 
going to the hospital, 90,000 children. Picture that many heart 
attacks. Picture that many premature deaths. Aren't we here to make 
America stronger and better, not to kill Americans, not to put 
Americans in the hospital? Yet the President's plan does exactly that.
  Those health problems result in a lot more expenses. The Clean Power 
Plan could result in $54 billion in health and climate benefits, and it 
creates a lot of jobs by driving renovation of the energy industry. 
When you renovate a house, you create a number of jobs. When you 
renovate an energy economy, you create a lot of jobs--millions of 
jobs--millions of jobs in clean and renewable energy, in wind and solar 
and geothermal.
  The dirty power plan the President is putting forward says this: 
Instead of having a plan, we will simply tell the States to develop an 
idea of what they should do. In other words, the States have the 
responsibility, but no requirements, to act.
  There is a little bit in there about improving the efficiency of 
coal-fired plants. But the idea is that if you extend the plants for a 
couple of years by making them more efficient, then you will reduce the 
adoption of renewable energy that is cheaper. So we are also talking 
about more expensive power by keeping inefficient, expensive forms of 
power, producing into the future.
  These ideas that the administration has put forward about making the 
plants work a little bit more efficiently come with the caveat that, if 
you do that, you don't have to put the additional modernization 
pollution controls on them. It means more fine particulates, it means 
more sulfur, and it means more mercury--all things that damage human 
health. So it all keeps coming back to this assault on the health of 
Americans and on ag and on forests and on fishing. All three of those 
are affected by carbon pollution and climate chaos. That is the basic 
picture we are looking at.

[[Page S5898]]

  Why don't we take a step back and just ask the simple question: What 
is the best outcome for America? Is it the adoption of cheaper 
renewable energy over more expensive fossil fuels? I would say: Yes, 
let's adopt the cheaper energy.
  Is it the adoption of cleaner energy over dirtier energy? Yes, let's 
keep our air cleaner.
  Is it doing what is right for the health of Americans? Yes, let's do 
right by the health of Americans.
  Is it taking and contributing to a strategy of driving carbon 
pollution hopefully, eventually, down to zero? We want a plan that 
drives carbon down, not a plan that drives it sideways--that is, no 
change--or works eventually upward.
  The question that David Thoreau put before us, ``What is the use of a 
house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?'' includes 
great significance for those American citizens who had their homes 
burned down this year because of carbon pollution. It would certainly 
be very relevant to those working in agriculture in America who are 
losing their farms because of drought or floods. It would certainly be 
relevant to those citizens living in Texas and Florida who have been 
deeply damaged by the hurricane storms of last year.
  So let's do right for Americans, and let's reject this dirty power 
plan that will hurt us in every way possible.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I am very happy to join my colleagues 
to express our view of how pathetic this new Clean Power Plan 
replacement rule is and how it really makes fools of huge portions of 
the American people.
  For farmers who are out there facing drought and floods like they 
have never seen before as our weather extremes expand, this makes fools 
of them. This makes losers of them. For people who live near our 
forests or work in our forests or enjoy using our forests, and for the 
people Senator Merkley just spoke of, for those downwind from our 
forests when they burn--they are made a laughing stock by this new 
rule. The wildfires that are tearing through our forests are expanding 
both in season and severity. In some States, where there used to be a 
wildfire season, there isn't a season any longer. Any time could be 
wildfire time. This is all new and unprecedented.
  For hunters, for fishermen, for skiers, for outdoor enthusiasts of 
all kinds, the changes that are happening to the species and the 
weather patterns that folks have come to rely on are damaging. This 
plan ignores all of it.
  Its harm to coastal communities is particularly important to Rhode 
Island and to the Presiding Officer's home State of Louisiana. We have 
coastal communities facing dramatic sea level rise. We are seeing new 
risks for local communities from storm surge as well as from sea level 
rise. We are seeing great American cities filled with seawater on 
bright, sunny days just because high tide and sea level rise combine to 
bring flooding into what once was dry land. All of these concerns are 
made a mockery of by this phony EPA rule.
  Even if you are not a farmer or even if you don't care about or live 
near forests, even if you have no interest in the outdoors, even if you 
don't live on or visit the coast, you are a part of the American 
economy, and the American economy is going to take a whack from our 
failure to do right by the environment and from our failure to win the 
transition to a low-carbon economy. We are all involved in this 
together, and we are all, in that sense, made losers and made a mockery 
of by this ridiculous rule.
  The only other thing I would add is that we are a country that has 
for a long time been proud of our reputation and example. One of our 
Presidents said that the power of our American example has always 
mattered more in the world than any example of our power. Well, what an 
example we are setting now, the only Nation in the world not to 
participate in the Paris Agreement. Even the Syrians got in, for Pete's 
sake, and here we are, strange outliers.
  We try to compete in the international contest for the way that 
people live, putting forward our American system of government and our 
American way of life. Our American system of government is not looking 
so good right now on this question, and as the inevitable march of 
climate change and deep climate havoc continues, our failure to act is 
going to look worse and worse. People are going to ask questions, and 
we don't have good answers for those questions. The truth is, the 
reason we are not doing anything about this is the corrupt influence of 
the fossil fuel industry, period, end of story.
  I was here during the years when we had bipartisan activity in the 
Senate on climate change. There were multiple bipartisan bills floating 
around. There were bipartisan hearings. In fact, the first climate 
change hearing in the Senate was chaired by Republican Senator John 
Chafee of Rhode Island. All of that came to a shuddering halt in 
January of 2010, when the five Republican judges on the Supreme Court 
gave to the fossil fuel industry a pearl beyond price: the Citizens 
United decision that allowed unlimited political spending by big 
special interests--unlimited--and it took the fossil fuel industry 
about 2 minutes to figure out how to make that hidden dark money 
political spending. The result has been the absolute shutdown of 
bipartisanship as the fossil fuel industry has moved to exercise full 
dominion over a once great Republican political party.
  I see the majority leader on his feet, from which I deduce that he 
may seek the floor, in which case, as a courtesy, I am most inclined to 
yield it to him.
  Is that the case, Mr. Leader? Does the leader seek the floor?
  Mr. McCONNELL. Does the Senator yield the floor?
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader is recognized.


                           Order of Procedure

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
following amendment be called up: Paul No. 3967. I further ask that at 
4:10 p.m., the Senate vote in relation to the amendment; that there be 
no second-degree amendments in order to the amendment prior to the 
vote; and that it be subject to a 60-vote affirmative threshold for 
adoption. I further ask unanimous consent that following disposition of 
the Paul amendment, the managers' package, which is at the desk, be 
agreed to and all postcloture time be yielded back; further, that 
Senator Enzi or his designee be recognized to offer a budget point of 
order and that Senator Leahy or his designee be recognized to make a 
motion to waive; finally, that following disposition of the motion to 
waive, amendment No. 3699 be withdrawn and the substitute amendment, as 
amended, be agreed to and the cloture motion on H.R. 6157 be withdrawn, 
the bill be read a third time, and the Senate vote on passage of the 
bill, as amended, with no further intervening action or debate.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, we have no objection.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will report.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Kentucky [Mr. McConnell], for Mr. Paul, 
     proposes an amendment numbered 3967 to amendment No. 3695.

  The amendment is as follows:

     (Purpose: To prohibit Federal funds being made available to a 
                           prohibited entity)

       At the appropriate place in title V of division B, insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __. (a) In General.--None of the funds made available 
     by this Act may be available directly or through a State 
     (including through managed care contracts with a State) to a 
     prohibited entity.
       (b) Prohibited Entity.--The term ``prohibited entity'' 
     means an entity, including its affiliates, subsidiaries, 
     successors, and clinics--
       (1) that, as of the date of enactment of this Act--
       (A) is an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of 
     the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt from taxation 
     under section 501(a) of such Code;
       (B) is an essential community provider described in section 
     156.235 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations (as in 
     effect on the date of enactment of this Act), that is 
     primarily engaged in family planning services, reproductive 
     health, and related medical care; and
       (C) performs, or provides any funds to any other entity 
     that performs abortions, other than an abortion performed--
       (i) in the case of a pregnancy that is the result of an act 
     of rape or incest; or
       (ii) in the case where a woman suffers from a physical 
     disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as 
     certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death

[[Page S5899]]

     unless an abortion is performed, including a life endangering 
     physical condition caused by, or arising from, the pregnancy 
     itself; and
       (2) for which the total amount of Federal grants to such 
     entity, including grants to any affiliates, subsidiaries, or 
     clinics of such entity, under title X of the Public Health 
     Service Act in fiscal year 2016 exceeded $23,000,000.
       (c) End of Prohibition.--The definition in subsection (b) 
     shall cease to apply to an entity if such entity certifies 
     that it, including its affiliates, subsidiaries, successors, 
     and clinics, will not perform, and will not provide any funds 
     to any other entity that performs, an abortion as described 
     in subsection (b)(1)(C).

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I will take a minute to conclude my 
remarks and then yield to Senator King of Maine, who I believe will be 
followed by Mr. Van Hollen of Maryland.
  The rule we are looking at is basically about 98 percent Scott 
Pruitt, if you look at the timing. Scott Pruitt had one of the most 
disgraceful tenures in any Cabinet position in the history of the 
United States. To the extent I have anything good to say about him, it 
is that he wasn't very good.
  The EPA, following the direction of the fossil fuel industry, lost 
over and over again as its phony sham activities, rulings, and 
regulations were challenged in court. What we saw over and over again 
was the process at the EPA was a sham; that the review of public 
comment was a sham; that the legal analysis they had to go through was 
a sham. As a result, they came up with rules, regulations, and policies 
that were a sham.
  Once you expose some of that stuff in court, where people have to 
tell the truth, discovery has to happen, you see documents, and you get 
judges who are not in tow to the fossil fuel industry, it doesn't look 
so good. I think probably our best hope for this phony-baloney dirty 
power plan that Pruitt 98 percent put out--and the new Administrator, I 
guess, we should give him 2 percent partial credit--is it is not likely 
to last very long. It is not likely to survive judicial scrutiny. It, 
like so much else the EPA has done in this administration, is 
completely fossil fuel-funded, phony, and a sham.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maine.
  Mr. KING. Mr. President, my colleagues have spoken eloquently about 
the weaknesses of the supposed new Clean Power Plan, which is anything 
but. I wish to speak a minute about why this is such a detrimental idea 
for the country but also for my State.
  Let's put it in very stark terms. Even by the terms of the new plan 
that has been announced, the original Clean Power Plan would have 
reduced carbon emissions by 30 percent, CO2 by 30 percent, 
and the new plan by about 1 percent. That may be being generous.
  We have clean air and water in Maine, but pollution knows no 
boundaries. That is one of the problems with this plan. It essentially 
leaves up to each State how to regulate the plants within its borders. 
That is a good idea, except the pollution from these plants does not 
stay within those borders.
  This is a representation of the way air moves in the Northeast part 
of the United States. What you can see is, the arrows are coming up 
over Massachusetts, the Gulf of Maine, and then into Maine, west 
through Vermont, New Hampshire into Maine, through Quebec, and back 
into Maine. We are literally the end of the country's tailpipe. 
Therefore, anything that weakens pollution controls to our west or 
south or, indeed, north is a direct harm to my people. That is why I 
think this plan is so ill-conceived and will not achieve meaningful 
results. By its own terms, we will see more deaths as a result of this 
plan. In the data that has been submitted with the plan, they admit 
deaths will increase.
  In my State of Maine, we already have higher than average asthma 
rates. This will only exacerbate that. What this plan is doing, 
essentially, is extending the life of dirty polluting plants and 
shortening the life of real people. I don't think that is the direction 
we should be moving in. I think this body should correct that, and I 
believe this is important to the country, to the region, and 
particularly to the State I represent.
  The word ``clean'' should not be in this plan because that is not 
what it does. A Clean Power Plan should do what it says it is. It 
should improve the environment. It should improve the air for the 
people of this country, not make them worse, which is what this plan 
would do.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor to my colleague from Maryland.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. President, I thank my colleagues from Maine and 
Rhode Island who were here today to draw attention to the Trump 
administration's very dangerous proposal that takes a wrecking ball to 
the Clean Power Plan that has been put in place. It has been put in 
place to try to reduce the costs we are facing from climate pollution 
and carbon pollution.
  What we see in the Trump administration's plan is going to drag us 
backward. In fact, an analysis was done of their plan, and it will be 
worse than doing nothing at all.
  We know, and my colleagues have talked about this, that every day the 
American people are already paying the costs of carbon pollution in 
extreme weather events, whether those are forest fires, whether they 
are droughts that are wreaking havoc on crops, whether it is flooding. 
My colleague from Maryland, Senator Cardin, and I were just in Ellicott 
City, MD, 2 days ago, where within a 2-year period they have been hit 
by what are called 1,000-year floods because there is only supposed to 
be one-tenth of 1 percent of a chance that happens. Yet we have seen 
two of them in 2 years, causing loss of human life and incredible 
property damage.
  The cost of doing nothing is huge. That is why the previous 
administration adopted the Clean Power Plan. With this administration 
taking us backward, those costs of doing nothing are going to rise 
again. As the Senator from Maine said, it is not just incredible 
property damage, but you will see loss of life and greater asthma 
deaths and other negative healthcare effects.
  I know there is a vote coming up. I wanted to say a lot more about 
this, but the main point was made by the Senator from Rhode Island, 
which is, this is not going to stand. This will not be accepted in the 
courts. We will fight this in the courts because the American people 
deserve to have a system where the American people don't pay for the 
pollution being spewed out by others. Polluters should pay, not the 
public.
  Let's defeat this new plan put forward by the Trump administration 
that takes us backward, and let's try to work together to address what 
is a very serious national and international issue.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the question is on 
agreeing to the Paul amendment No. 3967.
  Mr. LEAHY. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the 
Senator from Tennessee (Mr. Corker), the Senator from Texas (Mr. Cruz), 
the Senator from Nebraska (Mrs. Fischer), and the Senator from Arizona 
(Mr. McCain).
  Further, if present and voting, the Senator from Texas (Mr. Cruz) 
would have voted ``yea.''
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Hawaii (Ms. Hirono), the 
Senator from Washington (Mrs. Murray), and the Senator from Hawaii (Mr. 
Schatz) are necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 45, nays 48, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 191 Leg.]

                                YEAS--45

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Flake
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Hyde-Smith
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     McConnell
     Moran
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young

[[Page S5900]]


  


                                NAYS--48

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Collins
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Jones
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Murkowski
     Murphy
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Sanders
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Smith
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                             NOT VOTING--7

     Corker
     Cruz
     Fischer
     Hirono
     McCain
     Murray
     Schatz
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 45, the nays are 
48.
  Under the previous order requiring 60 votes for adoption, the 
amendment is rejected.


 Amendment Nos. 3731, 3722, 3903, 3702, 3710, 3717, 3860, 3764, 3750, 
3981, 3910, 3880, 3727, 3733, 3830, 3926, 3796, 3857, 3831, 3940, 3809, 
3835, 3841, 3707, 3721, 3751, 3759, 3763, 3765, 3810, 3812, 3825, 3853, 
3858, 3862, 3870, 3875, 3881, 3883, 3893, 3897, 3908, 3912, 3927, 3933, 
             3950, 3951, 3977, 3979, 3982, 3985, 3998, 3964

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the managers' 
package at the desk is agreed to and all postcloture time is yielded 
back.
  The amendments were agreed to en bloc as follows:


                           Amendment No. 3731

(Purpose: To make available $2,000,000 for a program to commemorate the 
                   75th anniversary of World War II)

       At the appropriate place in title VIII of division A, 
     insert the following:
       Sec. __.  Of the amount appropriated by title II of this 
     division under the heading ``Operation and Maintenance, 
     Defense-Wide'', up to $2,000,000 may be available for a 
     program to commemorate the 75th anniversary of World War II.


                           Amendment No. 3722

                     (Purpose: To improve the bill)

       At the appropriate place in title VIII of division A, 
     insert the following:
       Sec. ___.  The Secretary of Defense shall post on a public 
     Website in a searchable format awards of grants of the 
     Department of Defense that are appropriate for public notice.


                           Amendment No. 3903

   (Purpose: To require a report on the portion of the Department of 
 Defense's advertising budget that is spent on advertising and public 
relations contracts with socially and economically disadvantaged small 
                              businesses)

       At the appropriate place in title VIII of division A, 
     insert the following:
       Sec. ___.  Not later than 90 days after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall submit 
     to the congressional defense committees a report estimating 
     the portion of the Department of Defense's advertising budget 
     that is spent on advertising and public relations contracts 
     with socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses 
     and women, low-income, veteran (as that term is defined in 
     section 3(q) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632(q)), 
     and minority entrepreneurs and business owners at the prime 
     and subcontracting levels.


                           Amendment No. 3702

 (Purpose: To provide funding for the defense community infrastructure 
                             pilot program)

       At the appropriate place in title VIII of division A, 
     insert the following:
       Sec. __.  Of the amount appropriated or otherwise made 
     available by this division under the heading ``Operation and 
     Maintenance, Defense-Wide'', up to $20,000,000 may be 
     available for the defense community infrastructure pilot 
     program under section 2391(d) of title 10, United States 
     Code.


                           Amendment No. 3710

  (Purpose: To make available $4,000,000 for the Cyberspace Solarium 
                              Commission)

       At the appropriate place in title VIII of division A, 
     insert the following:
       Sec. ___.  Of the amount appropriated or otherwise made 
     available by title II of this division under the heading 
     ``Operation and Maintenance, Defense-Wide'', up to $4,000,000 
     may be available to carry out section 1652 of the John S. 
     McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 
     2019.


                           amendment no. 3717

 (Purpose: To make available funds for Operation and Maintenance, Army 
    for the sustainment of certain morale, welfare, and recreation 
                              facilities)

       At the appropriate place in title VIII of division A, 
     insert the following:
       Sec. ___.  Of the amounts appropriated or otherwise made 
     available by title II of this division under the heading 
     ``Operation and Maintenance, Army'', up to $1,000,000 may be 
     used to sustain morale, welfare, and recreation (MWR) 
     facilities that--
       (1) have been closed as a result of flooding, an 
     earthquake, a wildfire, or a volcanic event in 2018;
       (2) have furloughed or put employees on administrative 
     leave in connection with such closure; and
       (3) have used revenue or operating reserves to pay 
     operation and maintenance expenses during such closure.


                           amendment no. 3860

  (Purpose: To express the sense of the Senate on research regarding 
           blast exposure on the cellular level of the brain)

       At the appropriate place in title VIII of division A, 
     insert the following:

     SEC. ___. SENSE OF SENATE ON RESEARCH REGARDING BLAST 
                   EXPOSURE ON THE CELLULAR LEVEL OF THE BRAIN.

       It is the sense of the Senate that--
       (1) further research is necessary regarding blast exposure 
     on the cellular level of the brain;
       (2) such research is needed to develop blast protection 
     requirements for helmets and other personal protective 
     equipment; and
       (3) the Department of Defense should increase ongoing 
     efforts, to the maximum extent possible, to develop a 
     predictive traumatic brain injury model for blast, in order 
     to better understand the cellular response to blast impulses 
     and the interaction of the human brain and protective 
     equipment related to blast exposure.


                           amendment no. 3764

(Purpose: To make available from amounts appropriated for Operation and 
  Maintenance, Defense-Wide $7,000,000 for the Information Assurance 
                          Scholarship Program)

       At the appropriate place in title VIII of division A, 
     insert the following:
       Sec. ___.  Of the amount appropriated by title II of this 
     Act under the heading ``Operation and Maintenance, Defense-
     Wide'', up to $7,000,000 may be available for the Office of 
     the Secretary of Defense for the Information Assurance 
     Scholarship Program.


                           amendment no. 3750

  (Purpose: To require a report on investments of the Armed Forces in 
                        research on energetics)

       At the appropriate place in title VIII of division A, 
     insert the following:
       Sec. ___.  Not later than 120 days after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall, acting 
     through the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and 
     Engineering, submit to the congressional defense committees a 
     report on current investments of the Armed Forces in research 
     on energetics. The report shall include the following:
       (1) A comparison between current investments of the Navy in 
     research on energetics and current investments of the other 
     military departments in such research.
       (2) Recommendations for the most appropriate investments by 
     the Armed Forces in research on energetics in the future, and 
     a strategic roadmap for such investments.


                           amendment no. 3981

 (Purpose: To make available from Operation and Maintenance, Air Force 
   and Operation and Maintenance, Air National Guard $45,000,000 for 
payments to local water authorities and States for treatment of certain 
 acids in drinking water as a result of Air Force-supported activities)

       At the appropriate place in title VIII of division A, 
     insert the following:
       Sec. ___.  Of the funds appropriated to the Department of 
     Defense under the headings ``Operation and Maintenance, Air 
     Force'' and ``Operation and Maintenance, Air National 
     Guard'', not more than $45,000,000 shall be available to the 
     Secretary of the Air Force for payments to a local water 
     authority located in the vicinity of an Air Force or Air 
     National Guard base (including a base not Federally-owned), 
     or to a State in which the local water authority is located, 
     for the treatment of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid and 
     perfluorooctanoic acid in drinking water from the water 
     source and/or wells owned and operated by the local water 
     authority undertaken to attain the Environmental Protection 
     Agency Lifetime Health Advisory level for such acids: 
     Provided, That the applicable Lifetime Health Advisory shall 
     be the one in effect on the date of the enactment of this 
     Act: Provided further, That the local water authority or 
     State must have requested such a payment from the Air Force 
     or National Guard Bureau not later than the date that is 120 
     days after the date of the enactment of this Act: Provided 
     further, That the elevated levels of such acids in the water 
     was the result of activities conducted by or paid for by the 
     Department of the Air Force or the Air National Guard: 
     Provided further, That such funds may be expended without 
     regard to existing contractual provisions in agreements 
     between the Department of the Air Force or the National Guard 
     Bureau, as the case may be, and the State in which the base 
     is located relating to environmental response actions or 
     indemnification: Provided further, That, in order to be 
     eligible for payment under this section, such treatment must 
     have taken place after January 1, 2016, and the local water 
     authority or State, as the case may be, must waive all claims 
     for treatment expenses incurred before such date: Provided 
     further, That any payment under this section may not exceed 
     the actual cost of such treatment resulting from the 
     activities conducted by or paid for by the Department of the 
     Air Force: Provided further, That the Secretary may enter 
     into such agreements with the local water authority or State 
     as may be necessary to implement this section: Provided 
     further, That the Secretary may pay, utilizing the Defense 
     State

[[Page S5901]]

     Memorandum of Agreement, costs that would otherwise be 
     eligible for payment under that agreement were those costs 
     paid using funds appropriated to the Environmental 
     Restoration Account, Air Force, established under section 
     2703(a)(4) of title 10, United States Code.


                           amendment no. 3910

                (Purpose: To make a technical amendment)

       In section 8010 of division A, in the matter immediately 
     preceding the sixth proviso, insert after paragraph (5) the 
     following:
       (6) SSN Virginia Class Submarines and Government-furnished 
     equipment:


                           amendment no. 3880

  (Purpose: To prohibit payments to corporations that have delinquent 
                        federal tax liabilities)

       At the appropriate place, insert the following:
       Sec. __. (a) None of the funds made available by this or 
     any other Act may be used to enter into a contract, 
     memorandum of understanding, or cooperative agreement with, 
     make a grant to, or provide a loan or loan guarantee to any 
     corporation that has any unpaid Federal tax liability that 
     has been assessed, for which all judicial and administrative 
     remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and that is not 
     being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an agreement with 
     the authority responsible for collecting such tax liability, 
     provided that the applicable Federal agency is aware of the 
     unpaid Federal tax liability.
       (b) Subsection (a) shall not apply if the applicable 
     Federal agency has considered suspension or debarment of the 
     corporation described in such subsection and has made a 
     determination that such suspension or debarment is not 
     necessary to protect the interests of the Federal Government.


                           amendment no. 3727

 (Purpose: To prohibit the use of funds for assistance to the Islamic 
                           Republic of Iran)

       At the appropriate place in title VIII of division A, 
     insert the following:
       Sec. __.  None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made 
     available by this Act may be obligated or expended for 
     assistance to the Islamic Republic of Iran unless 
     specifically appropriated for that purpose.


                           amendment no. 3733

 (Purpose: To authorize the use of amounts to reimburse the Government 
 of the Republic of Palau for land acquisition costs for defense sites)

       At the appropriate place in title VIII of division A, 
     insert the following:
       Sec. __.  From amounts appropriated or otherwise made 
     available by title II of this division under the heading 
     ``Operation and Maintenance, Air Force'', the Secretary of 
     Defense may reimburse the Government of the Republic of Palau 
     in an amount not to exceed $9,700,000 for land acquisition 
     costs for defense sites.


                           amendment no. 3830

   (Purpose: To make available from Research, Development, Test and 
 Evaluation, Navy $2,000,000 for research on means of reducing fighter 
                  aircraft engine noise at the source)

       At the appropriate place in title VIII of division A, 
     insert the following:
       Sec. ___.  Of the amount appropriated or otherwise made 
     available by title IV of this division under the heading 
     ``Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, Navy'', up to 
     $2,000,000 may be available for research on a practical means 
     of reducing fighter aircraft engine noise (both near and far 
     noise impacts) at the source while maintaining operational 
     performance.


                           Amendment No. 3926

 (Purpose: To require the Secretary of Defense to submit to Congress a 
report on improving trauma training for trauma teams of the Department 
                              of Defense)

       At the appropriate place in title VIII of division A, 
     insert the following:
       Sec. ___. (a) Not later than 180 days after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall submit 
     to the congressional defense committees a report on improving 
     trauma training for trauma teams of the Department of 
     Defense, including through the use of the Joint Trauma 
     Education and Training Directorate established under section 
     708 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 
     2017 (Public Law 114-328; 10 U.S.C. 1071 note).
       (b) The report required by subsection (a) shall include 
     recommendations regarding how to best coordinate trauma teams 
     of the Department of Defense with trauma partners in the 
     civilian sector, including evaluating how trauma surgeons and 
     physicians of the Department can best partner with civilian 
     level 1 trauma centers verified by the American College of 
     Surgeons, including those trauma centers coupled to a burn 
     center that offers burn rotations and clinical experience, to 
     provide adequate training and readiness for the next 
     generation of medical providers to treat critically injured 
     burn patients and other military trauma victims.


                           Amendment No. 3796

 (Purpose: To increase certain funding for the Air National Guard, and 
                         to provide an offset)

       At the appropriate place in title VIII of division A, 
     insert the following:
       Sec. ___. (a)(1) The amount appropriated by title I of this 
     division under the heading ``National Guard Personnel, Air 
     Force'' is hereby increased by $450,000.
       (2) The amount appropriated by title II of this division 
     under the heading ``Operation and Maintenance, Air National 
     Guard'' is hereby increased by $50,000.
       (b)(1) The amount appropriated by title I of this division 
     under the heading ``National Guard Personnel, Army'' is 
     hereby decreased by $450,000.
       (2) The amount appropriated by title II of this division 
     under the heading ``Operation and Maintenance, Army National 
     Guard'' is hereby decreased by $50,000.


                           Amendment No. 3857

(Purpose: To require a Comptroller General of the United States report 
  on the monitoring, compliance, and remediation of lead in military 
                                housing)

       At the appropriate place in title VIII of division A, 
     insert the following:
       Sec. ___. (a) Not later than one year after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United 
     States shall, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense 
     and the Secretaries of the military departments, submit to 
     the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the 
     monitoring, compliance, and remediation by the Department of 
     Defense of lead in military housing, including the lead 
     exposure monitoring protocols of the Department for military 
     housing.
       (b) The report required by subsection (a) shall include the 
     following:
       (1) A description and assessment of the effectiveness of 
     the Department and its lead exposure monitoring protocols in 
     monitoring lead exposure in military housing.
       (2) A description and assessment of the compliance of 
     military housing with applicable lead exposure limitations.
       (3) A description and assessment of the remediation efforts 
     of the Department with respect to lead in military housing.
       (4) Such recommendations as the Comptroller General 
     considers appropriate for the expansion of blood testing for 
     lead among children who have lived in military housing.
       (c) In this section, the term ``appropriate committees of 
     Congress'' means--
       (1) the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on 
     Veterans' Affairs, and the Committee on Appropriations of the 
     Senate; and
       (2) the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on 
     Veterans' Affairs, and the Committee on Appropriations of the 
     House of Representatives.


                           Amendment No. 3831

  (Purpose: To make available from Operation and Maintenance, Defense-
Wide $20,000,000 for the Department of Defense Family Advocacy Program)

       At the appropriate place in title VIII of division A, 
     insert the following:
       Sec. ___.  Of the amount appropriated or otherwise made 
     available by title II of this division under the heading 
     ``Operation and Maintenance, Defense-Wide'', up to 
     $20,000,000 may be available for the Department of Defense 
     Family Advocacy Program to do the following:
       (1) To address allegations of juvenile problematic sexual 
     behavior occurring on military installations, including to 
     ensure that the Program has the resources necessary to ensure 
     a consistent, standardized response to allegations of 
     juvenile problematic sexual behavior across the Department of 
     Defense (including the appropriate level of staff and 
     training resources).
       (2) To maintain a centralized database with information on 
     reported incidents of juvenile problematic sexual behavior.


                           Amendment No. 3940

 (Purpose: To require the Comptroller General of the United States to 
     submit to Congress a report on maintenance of the E-8C Joint 
        Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft fleet)

       At the appropriate place in title VIII of division A, 
     insert the following:
       Sec. ___.  Not later than January 31, 2019, the Comptroller 
     General of the United States shall submit to the 
     congressional defense committees a report--
       (1) comparing the cost expenditures of organic industrial 
     depot maintenance of the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target 
     Attack Radar System aircraft fleet versus contracted or non-
     organic maintenance; and
       (2) comparing the cost variance and cost savings of 
     different programmed depot maintenance cycles or procedures 
     for the E-8C, including comparisons to such other platforms 
     as the Comptroller General considers appropriate.


                           Amendment No. 3809

(Purpose: To limit the use of funds to implement the Arms Trade Treaty)

       At the appropriate place in title VIII of division A, 
     insert the following:
       Sec. ___.  None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made 
     available by this division may be obligated or expended to 
     implement the Arms Trade Treaty until the resolution of 
     ratification of the Treaty is approved by the Senate.


                           Amendment No. 3835

(Purpose: To prohibit the use of funds for the development of beerbots 
                       or other robot bartenders)

       At the appropriate place in title VIII of division A, 
     insert the following:
       Sec. ___.  None of the amounts appropriated or otherwise 
     made available by this Act may be obligated or expended for 
     the development of a beerbot or other robot bartender.

[[Page S5902]]

  



                           Amendment No. 3841

     (Purpose: To require the Secretary of Defense to use amounts 
 appropriated or otherwise made available to the Department of Defense 
to provide testing for elevated blood lead levels at military treatment 
   facilities for babies during their 12-month and 24-month wellness 
                checks or annual physical examinations)

       At the appropriate place in division A, insert the 
     following:
       Sec. ____.  The Secretary of Defense shall use amounts 
     appropriated or otherwise made available to the Department of 
     Defense under this division to provide testing for elevated 
     blood lead levels at military treatment facilities for babies 
     during their 12-month and 24-month wellness checks or annual 
     physical examinations.


                           Amendment No. 3707

 (Purpose: To increase funding for the guidelines for investigation of 
                       potential cancer clusters)

       At the appropriate place in title II of division B insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __. (a) There are appropriated under the heading 
     ``Environmental Health'' under the heading ``Centers for 
     Disease Control and Prevention,'' in addition to any other 
     amounts made available under such heading, $1,000,000 to 
     implement section 399V-6(c) of the PHS Act.
       (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the 
     total amount appropriated under the heading ``National 
     Institute for Occupational Safety and Health'' under the 
     heading ``Centers for Disease Control and Prevention'' is 
     hereby reduced by $1,000,000.


                           Amendment No. 3721

(Purpose: To authorize student aid administration funds to be available 
  for payments for student loan servicing to an institution of higher 
       education that services outstanding Federal Perkins Loans)

       At the appropriate place in title III of division B, under 
     the heading ``Student Aid Administration'', insert the 
     following before the period: ``: Provided further, That funds 
     appropriated under this heading may be available for payments 
     for student loan servicing to an institution of higher 
     education that services outstanding Federal Perkins Loans 
     under part E of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 
     (20 U.S.C. 1087aa et seq.)''.


                           amendment no. 3751

 (Purpose: To require a report on barriers to obtaining and paying for 
        adequate medical care for survivors of childhood cancer)

       At the appropriate place in division B, insert the 
     following:
       Sec. __.  Using amounts appropriated under this division, 
     the Comptroller General of the United States shall, not later 
     than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, 
     conduct a review and submit a report to Congress on barriers 
     to obtaining and paying for adequate medical care for 
     survivors of childhood cancer. Such report shall identify 
     existing barriers to the availability of complete and 
     coordinated survivorship care for survivors of childhood 
     cancer and of expert pediatric palliative care, and 
     recommendations to provide improved access and payment plans 
     for childhood cancer survivorship programs and palliative 
     care, including psychosocial services and coverage of such 
     services.


                           amendment no. 3759

       (Purpose: To increase funding for Lyme Disease activities)

       At the appropriate place in title II of division B, insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __. (a) There are appropriated under the heading 
     ``Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases'' under the 
     heading ``Centers for Disease Control and Prevention'', in 
     addition to any other amounts made available under such 
     heading and in order to provide additional funding for Lyme 
     disease activities, $1,300,000.
       (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the 
     total amount appropriated under the heading ``Chronic Disease 
     Prevention and Health Promotion'' under the heading ``Centers 
     for Disease Control and Prevention'' is hereby reduced by 
     $1,300,000.


                           amendment no. 3763

  (Purpose: To require a report to Congress on potential barriers to 
    participation in the Coal Workers' Health Surveillance program)

       At the appropriate place in title II of division B, insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __.  Not later than 180 days after the enactment of 
     this Act, and using funds appropriated under this title, the 
     Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety 
     and Health shall submit to Congress a report that--
       (1) includes a description of those active and non-active 
     coal miner populations that are currently covered by the Coal 
     Workers' Health Surveillance program;
       (2) identifies and describes potential barriers that limit 
     active and non-active coal miner participation in such 
     program; and
       (3) describes existing or planned outreach efforts to 
     improve the participation of active and non-active coal 
     miners in periodic health surveillance.


                           amendment no. 3765

  (Purpose: To require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to 
    provide Congress a status update on rulemaking, with respect to 
   conditions of certification of health information technology and 
     information blocking, required by the 21st Century Cures Act)

       At the appropriate place in title II of division B insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __.  Not later than November 1, 2018, the Secretary 
     shall provide, to the Committees on Appropriations of the 
     Senate and the House of Representatives, the Committee on 
     Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate, and the 
     Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of 
     Representatives, a status update on the rulemaking required 
     under sections 3001(c)(5)(D), and 3022(a)(3), of the PHS Act.


                           amendment no. 3810

 (Purpose: To require the Secretary of Education to report to Congress 
    regarding coordination between the Department of Education, the 
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science 
  Foundation on STEM programs for students in grades pre-kindergarten 
                              through 12)

       At the appropriate place in title III of division B, insert 
     the following:
       Sec. ___.  Using funds appropriated under the heading 
     ``program administration'' under the heading ``Departmental 
     Management'' under the heading ``DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION'', 
     and not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of 
     this Act, the Secretary of Education shall submit, to the 
     Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Commerce, 
     Science, and Transportation, and the Committee on Health, 
     Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate and the 
     Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Science, Space, 
     and Technology, and the Committee on Education and the 
     Workforce of the House of Representatives, a report on how 
     the Department of Education is coordinating with the National 
     Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science 
     Foundation to promote science, technology, engineering, and 
     mathematics programs that benefit students in grades pre-
     kindergarten through 12.


                           AMENDMENT NO. 3812

 (Purpose: To improve section 115 of title I of division B with regard 
               to Unemployment Insurance State consortia)

       Section 115 of title I of division B is amended by striking 
     ``shall be applied in fiscal year 2019 by substituting 
     `seven' for `six' '' and inserting ``is amended by striking 
     `six' and inserting `seven' ''.


                           AMENDMENT NO. 3825

  (Purpose: To provide for the conduct of a study on the relationship 
     between intimate partner violence and traumatic brain injury)

       At the appropriate place in title II of division B, insert 
     the following:

     SEC. __. STUDY ON TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY.

       (a) Study.--The Comptroller General of the United States, 
     in meaningful consultation with experts on the intersections 
     of domestic violence, disabilities, trauma, and mental 
     health, shall conduct a study to evaluate the status of--
       (1) research on the relationship between intimate partner 
     violence and traumatic brain injury experienced by victims; 
     and
       (2) public awareness and education campaigns related to the 
     effects of intimate partner violence on victims' brain health 
     and its connection to traumatic brain injury experienced by 
     victims.
       (b) Content.--The study conducted under subsection (a) 
     shall include--
       (1) a review on the outcomes of any previous research, the 
     status of existing research activities, and efforts to 
     address knowledge gaps across agencies of the Federal 
     Government; and
       (2) recommendations to--
       (A) encourage increased research to address existing 
     knowledge gaps relating to the relationship between intimate 
     partner violence and traumatic brain injury experienced by 
     victims;
       (B) increase awareness of the effects of intimate partner 
     violence on the brain health of victims for health care and 
     other treatment providers;
       (C) increase victim service providers' awareness of the 
     effects of intimate partner violence on victims' brain 
     health, enhance their capacity to identify victims with 
     traumatic brain injuries and provide services that support 
     victims' healing and recovery; and
       (D) increase awareness of the links between intimate 
     partner violence and the brain health of victims' for the 
     general public.
       (c) Report.--Not later than one year after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit 
     to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of 
     the Senate, the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate, the 
     Committee on Appropriations of the Senate, the Committee on 
     Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives, the 
     Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, 
     and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of 
     Representatives a report on the study conducted under 
     subsection (a).


                           AMENDMENT NO. 3853

  (Purpose: To provide funds to enhance harmful algal bloom exposure 
                              activities)

       On page 201, line 2, strike the period and insert the 
     following ``: Provided, that of the funds made available 
     under this heading, $1,000,000 shall be available to enhance 
     harmful algal bloom exposure activities, including 
     surveillance, mitigation, and event response

[[Page S5903]]

     efforts, with a priority given to geographic locations 
     subject to a state of emergency designation related to toxic 
     algae blooms within the past 12 months.''.


                           AMENDMENT NO. 3858

     (Purpose: To require the Director of the NIH shall conduct a 
  comprehensive study and submit to Congress a report that includes a 
  portfolio analysis of current funding levels of the NIH related to 
               mental health and substance use disorder)

       At the appropriate place in title II of division B, insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __.  Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment 
     of this Act, and using funds appropriated under this 
     division, the Director of the NIH shall conduct a 
     comprehensive study and submit to Congress a report that--
       (1) includes a portfolio analysis of current funding levels 
     of the NIH related to mental health and substance use 
     disorder; and
       (2) identifies the process by which the NIH set funding 
     priorities for mental health and substance use disorder 
     programs, including how NIH takes into account newly 
     developed public health needs, disease burden, emerging 
     scientific opportunities, and scientific progress.


                           AMENDMENT NO. 3862

(Purpose: To provide $10,000,000 to the Department of Education to fund 
 a demonstration program to test and evaluate innovative partnerships 
between institutions of higher education and high-needs State or local 
   educational agencies to train school counselors, social workers, 
   psychologists, or other mental health professionals qualified to 
  provide school-based mental health services in order to expand the 
   employment pipeline and address employment shortages relating to 
  school-based mental health services in low-income public elementary 
                     schools and secondary schools)

       In title III of division B, under the heading ``Safe 
     Schools and Citizenship Education'', strike ``(`Project 
     SERV') program:''and insert ``(`Project Serve') program and 
     not more than $10,000,000 may be for a demonstration program 
     to test and evaluate innovative partnerships between 
     institutions of higher education and high-needs State or 
     local educational agencies to train school counselors, social 
     workers, psychologists, or other mental health professionals 
     qualified to provide school-based mental health services, 
     with the goal of expanding the pipeline of these workers into 
     low-income public elementary schools and secondary schools in 
     order to address the shortages of mental health service 
     professionals in such schools:''.


                           AMENDMENT NO. 3870

 (Purpose: To ensure youth are considered when the Substance Abuse and 
     Mental Health Services Administration follows guidance on the 
    medication-assisted treatment for prescription drug and opioid 
                           addiction program)

       At the appropriate place in title II of division B, insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __.  Not later than 180 days after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Substance 
     Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shall submit 
     to Congress a report on agency activities related to 
     medication-assisted treatment. The report submitted by the 
     Administrator under this section shall include a description 
     of how the agency is taking steps to overcome barriers to 
     medication-assisted treatment for adolescents and young 
     adults.


                           AMENDMENT NO. 3875

  (Purpose: To provide funding for the Secretary of Health and Human 
  Services to establish the Advisory Council to Support Grandparents 
                         Raising Grandchildren)

       At the appropriate place in title II of division B insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __.  Out of amounts appropriated under the heading 
     ``Administration for Community Living'', $300,000 shall be 
     available for the Secretary to establish the Advisory Council 
     to Support Grandparents Raising Grandchildren under section 3 
     of the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act 
     (Public Law 115-196).


                           AMENDMENT NO. 3881

(Purpose: To require the Secretary of Labor to provide a report to the 
   Committees on Appropriations on the implementation of the plan to 
 reduce improper payments published by the Department of Labor in the 
               fiscal year 2017 Agency Financial Report)

       At the appropriate place in title I of division B, insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __. (a) From funds appropriated under this title, not 
     later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, 
     the Secretary of Labor shall submit a report to the 
     Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives 
     and the Senate on the implementation of the plan to reduce 
     improper payments published by the Department of Labor in the 
     fiscal year 2017 Agency Financial Report.
       (b) The report submitted under subsection (a) shall 
     identify barriers to the reduction of improper payments that 
     may require Congressional action to address.


                           AMENDMENT NO. 3883

    (Purpose: To provide a sense of Congress that computer science 
 education programs, including coding academies, can provide important 
 benefits to local industries and the economy and help meet in-demand 
  workforce needs, and the Department of Education and Department of 
Labor should work together with industry to improve and expand computer 
    science education programs and opportunities, including through 
                            apprenticeships)

       At the appropriate place in title V of division B, insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __.  It is the sense of Congress that--
       (1) computer science education programs, including coding 
     academies, can provide important benefits to local industries 
     and the economy and help meet in-demand workforce needs; and
       (2) the Department of Education and Department of Labor 
     should work together with industry to improve and expand 
     computer science education programs and opportunities, 
     including through apprenticeships.


                           AMENDMENT NO. 3893

(Purpose: To provide funding for the SOAR (Stop, Observe, Ask, Respond) 
                    to Health and Wellness Program)

       At the appropriate place in title II of division B, insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __.  Of the funds appropriated under the heading 
     ``Refugee and Entrant Assistance'' for carrying out Victims 
     of Trafficking programs, the amount made available to 
     continue carrying out the SOAR (Stop, Observe, Ask, Respond) 
     to Health and Wellness Program, to train health care and 
     social service providers on how to identify, treat, and 
     respond appropriately to human trafficking, shall be not less 
     than the amount made available for such program in fiscal 
     year 2018.


                           amendment no. 3897

 (Purpose: To assess the ongoing mental health impact to the children 
    and families impacted by a volcanic eruption covered by a major 
       disaster declared by the President in calendar year 2018)

       At the appropriate place in title II of division B insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __.  Using amounts made available under this title, 
     the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use 
     shall provide technical assistance to any State or county 
     impacted by a volcanic eruption covered by a major disaster 
     declared by the President in calendar year 2018 in accordance 
     with section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief 
     and Emergency Assistance Act. Such technical assistance shall 
     be--
       (1) to conduct a needs assessment for supporting the mental 
     health of the impacted children and families; and
       (2) to develop mental health crisis recovery plans for the 
     impacted children and families.


                           amendment no. 3908

 (Purpose: To provide a sense of the Senate that dedicated funding for 
 coding courses in kindergarten through grade 12 education should be a 
                             top priority)

       At the appropriate place in title III of division B, insert 
     the following:
       Sec. ___. (a) It is the sense of the Senate that dedicated 
     funding for coding courses in kindergarten through grade 12 
     education should be a top priority.
       (b) It is the sense of the Senate that the Secretary of 
     Education should use the authority granted under section 
     114(e) of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education 
     Act of 2006, as in effect on July 1, 2019, to award 
     innovation and modernization grants. The use of such 
     innovation and modernization grant funds for coding programs 
     are especially important for rural and underserved areas that 
     don't have access to coding resources in order to close the 
     skills gap. These grants are opportunities for rural America 
     to learn to read and write code to prepare students for the 
     jobs of the future.


                           amendment no. 3912

   (Purpose: To provide additional funding for activities related to 
                     neonatal abstinence syndrome)

       At the appropriate place in title II of division B insert 
     the following:
       Sec. ___. (a) There are appropriated under the heading 
     ``Birth Defects, Developmental Disabilities, Disabilities and 
     Health'' under the heading ``Centers for Disease Control and 
     Prevention'', in addition to any other amounts made available 
     under such heading and in order to provide additional funding 
     for activities related to neonatal abstinence syndrome, 
     $2,000,000: Provided, That funds shall make use of existing 
     State biosurveillance and other surveillance tools to improve 
     voluntary, de-identified prenatal and newborn health data, 
     which may include opioid-related information during pregnancy 
     and early motherhood, to reduce risks associated with 
     neonatal abstinence syndrome and optimize care.
       (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the 
     total amount appropriated under the heading ``Chronic Disease 
     Prevention and Health Promotion'' under the heading ``Centers 
     for Disease Control and Prevention'' is hereby reduced by 
     $2,000,000.


                           amendment no. 3927

(Purpose: To provide for the establishment of the National Neurological 
                    Conditions Surveillance System)

       At the appropriate place in title II of division B, insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __.  (a) There are appropriated under the heading 
     ``Public Health Scientific Services'' under the heading 
     ``Centers for Disease

[[Page S5904]]

     Control and Prevention'', in addition to any other amounts 
     made available under such heading, $5,000,000 to be available 
     for the establishment of the National Neurological Conditions 
     Surveillance System as authorized in 21st Century Cures Act 
     (Public Law 114-255).
        (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the 
     total amount appropriated under the heading ``Substance Abuse 
     and Mental Health Services Administration'' is hereby reduced 
     by $5,000,000


                           amendment no. 3933

(Purpose: To improve obstetric care for pregnant women living in rural 
                                 areas)

       At the appropriate place in title II of division B, insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __.  From amounts appropriated under this title, under 
     the heading ``Maternal and Child Health'', up to $1,000,000 
     shall be used for awarding grants for the purchase and 
     implementation of telehealth services, including pilots and 
     demonstrations for the use of electronic health records or 
     other necessary technology and equipment (including ultra 
     sound machines or other technology and equipment that is 
     useful for caring for pregnant women) to coordinate obstetric 
     care between pregnant women living in rural areas and 
     obstetric care providers.


                           amendment No. 3950

   (Purpose: To increase funding for oversight of grant programs and 
            operations of the National Institutes of Health)

       At the appropriate place in title II of division B, insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __.  Of the funds appropriated under the heading 
     ``Office of the Director'' under the heading ``National 
     Institutes of Health'', $5,000,000 shall be transferred to 
     and merged with the appropriation for the ``Office of the 
     Inspector General'' for oversight of grant programs and 
     operations of the National Institutes of Health, including 
     agency efforts to ensure the integrity of its grant 
     application evaluation and selection processes, and shall be 
     in addition to funds otherwise made available for oversight 
     of the National Institutes of Health:  Provided, That funds 
     may be transferred from one specified activity to another 
     with 15 days prior approval of the Committees of 
     Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the 
     Senate:  Provided further, That the Inspector General shall 
     consult with the House and Senate Committees on 
     Appropriations before submitting to the Committees an audit 
     plan for fiscal years 2019 and 2020 no later than 30 days 
     after the date of enactment of this Act.


                           amendment No. 3951

   (Purpose: To authorize the use of $2,000,000 to carry out a pilot 
  program for preparing members of the Armed Forces transitioning to 
  civilian life to qualify for, and for assisting in placing them in, 
                        apprenticeship programs)

       At the appropriate place in division B, insert the 
     following:
       Sec. ___.  Of the amounts appropriated or otherwise made 
     available under paragraph (2) under the heading ``veterans 
     employment and training'' under title I, $2,000,000 may be 
     used to carry out a pilot program for preparing members of 
     the Armed Forces transitioning to civilian life to qualify 
     for, and for assisting in placing them in, apprenticeship 
     programs.


                           amendment No. 3977

    (Purpose: To require a report on Civilian Conservation Centers)

       At the appropriate place in title I of division B, insert 
     the following:
       Sec. ___.  The Secretary, prior to July 1, 2019, shall 
     prepare and submit to the Committee on Appropriations of the 
     House of Representatives and the Committee on Appropriations 
     of the Senate a report that includes--
       (1) a copy of the interagency agreement between the 
     Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Agriculture relating 
     to the Civilian Conservation Centers;
       (2) a list of all active Civilian Conservation Centers and 
     contractors administering such Centers; and
       (3) a cumulative record of the funding provided to Civilian 
     Conservation Centers during the 10 years preceding the date 
     of the report, including, for each Civilian Conservation 
     Center--
       (A) the funds allocated to the Civilian Conservation 
     Center;
       (B) the number of enrollment slots maintained, 
     disaggregated by gender and by residential or nonresidential 
     training type;
       (C) the career technical training offerings available;
       (D) the staffing levels and staffing patterns at the 
     Civilian Conservation Center; and
       ``(E) the number of Career Technical Skills Training slots 
     available.''.


                           amendment No. 3979

           (Purpose: To promote school safety in rural areas)

       On page 199, line 3, strike the period and insert the 
     following: ``: Provided further, that of the funds made 
     available under this heading, $1,000,000 shall be available 
     through the Telehealth Network grant to fund awards that use 
     evidence-based practices that promote school safety and 
     individual health, mental health, and well-being by providing 
     assessment and referrals for health, mental health, or 
     substance use disorder services to students who may be 
     struggling with behavioral or mental health issues and 
     providing training and support to teachers, school 
     counselors, administrative staff, school resource officers, 
     and other relevant staff to identify, refer, and intervene to 
     help students experiencing mental health needs or who are 
     considering harming themselves or others.''.


                           amendment No. 3982

(Purpose: To increase amounts available for the Child Abuse Prevention 
                 and Treatment Act State grant program)

       At the appropriate place in title II of division B, insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __. (a) In addition to amounts appropriated under the 
     heading ``Children and Families Services Programs'' under the 
     heading ``Administration for Children and Families'', there 
     is appropriated $10,000,000 for purposes of carrying out 
     title I of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act.
       (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the 
     total amount appropriated under the heading ``Children and 
     Families Services Programs'' is hereby reduced by 
     $10,000,000.


                           amendment no. 3985

 (Purpose: To require the Comptroller General of the United States to 
 study and report on the condition of the public school facilities of 
                           the United States)

       At the appropriate place in title III of division B, insert 
     the following:
       ``Sec. __. (a) The Comptroller General of the United States 
     shall conduct a study on the condition of the public school 
     facilities of the United States.
       ``(b) In conducting the study under subsection (a), the 
     Comptroller General shall study the following factors related 
     to supporting a 21st century education:
       ``(1) Structural integrity.
       ``(2) Plumbing.
       ``(3) Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.
       ``(4) Compliance with fire and safety codes.
       ``(5) Compliance with Federal laws, including the Americans 
     with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.).
       ``(6) Lighting.
       ``(7) Indoor air quality.
       ``(8) Environmental conditions, such as exposure to 
     asbestos, lead, and mold.
       ``(9) Physical security.
       ``(10) Sufficient space for instruction.
       ``(c) Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment 
     of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit to the 
     Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Health, 
     Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate, and the 
     Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Education 
     and the Workforce of the House of Representatives, the 
     findings of the study under this section.''.


                           amendment no. 3998

(Purpose: To require a report on circumstances in which the Centers for 
  Medicare & Medicaid Services may be providing Medicare or Medicaid 
  payments to, or otherwise funding, entities that process genome or 
exome data in the People's Republic of China or the Russian Federation)

       At the appropriate place in title II of division B, insert 
     the following:
       Sec. ___.  Not later than 90 days after the enactment of 
     this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall 
     submit a report to the Committee on Appropriations and the 
     Committee on Finance of the Senate and the Committee on 
     Appropriations and the Committee on Ways and Means of the 
     House of Representatives, detailing the circumstances in 
     which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services may be 
     providing Medicare or Medicaid payments to, or otherwise 
     funding, entities that process genome or exome data in the 
     People's Republic of China or the Russian Federation. The 
     report shall outline the extent to which payments or other 
     funding have been provided to such entities over the past 5 
     years, including amounts paid to each entity, the 
     implications of such payments, including vulnerabilities, and 
     specific recommendations on steps to ensure that payments are 
     lawful and appropriate in the future. In developing the 
     report, the Secretary shall also coordinate with other 
     relevant agencies, as determined by the Secretary, to examine 
     the potential effect of allowing beneficiaries' genome or 
     exome data to be processed in the People's Republic of China 
     or the Russian Federation on United States national security, 
     United States intellectual property protections, HIPAA 
     privacy protections, future biomedical development 
     capabilities and competitiveness, and global competitiveness 
     for United States laboratories.


                           amendment no. 3964

 (Purpose: To provide for the use of funds by the Secretary of Health 
     and Human Services to issue regulations on direct-to-consumer 
       advertising of prescription drugs and biological products)

       At the appropriate place in title II of division B, insert 
     the following:
       Sec. __.  Of the funds made available under this Act, not 
     more than $1,000,000 shall be used by the Secretary of Health 
     and Human Services to issue a regulation requiring that 
     direct-to-consumer prescription drug and biological product 
     advertisements include an appropriate disclosure of pricing 
     information with respect to such products.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming.


                         Budget Point of Order

  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, immediately following some comments I will

[[Page S5905]]

be raising a budget point of order. I find this circumstance to be 
unfortunate, given that I have filed an amendment that would have cured 
the budget violation.
  The substitute increases the maximum discretionary Pell grant award. 
Under the Pell Grant Program's complicated funding structure, this 
increase triggers a point of order for a change in mandatory spending, 
or CHIMP, which results in a net increase in spending and would 
increase mandatory spending by a total of $390 million.
  While we are unable to consider my solution--one supported by the 
National Taxpayers Union and the Committee for a Responsible Federal 
Budget--I believe the only alternative I have as Budget chairman is to 
enforce the budget rules we have agreed to. In this case, the budget 
rule being violated is bipartisan. It was first created by the Senate 
Democrats in 2008.
  If this point of order is sustained, the bill can still move forward, 
but together we will have prevented $350 million in increased direct 
mandatory spending from being rolled into the baseline where it will 
evade budget enforcement. Now is the time to enforce our budget rules. 
I urge my colleagues to support fiscal discipline and not to waive this 
point of order.
  The provision on page 270 of the pending substitute amendment in 
division B, title III, lines 7 and 8 under ``Student Financial 
Assistance'' would result in a net increase in the cost of mandatory 
programs affected by the bill.
  Therefore, I raise a point of order against that provision pursuant 
to section 314(a) of S. Con. Res. 70, the concurrent resolution on the 
budget for fiscal year 2009.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, pursuant to section 904 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and the waiver provisions of 
applicable budget resolutions, I move to waive all applicable sections 
of that Act and applicable budget resolutions for purposes of the 
pending amendment.
  I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The yeas and nays have been ordered.
  The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, the reason I did that--and I rarely 
disagree with my good friend from Wyoming; we are, after all, the only 
two Irish Italians in this body. But people are hurting. It is hard 
enough going to college, and cutting the Pell grant awards just adds to 
it. The student debt today exceeds one-half trillion dollars, and that 
is because of the erosion of Federal support.
  I am stating my point of order, standing with the middle class in 
this country, so their children and their families can be educated, and 
I am ready to vote.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on the motion.
  The Senator from Missouri.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Missouri.
  Mr. BLUNT. Mr. President, I appreciate the concern of my friend from 
Wyoming on this. I will be voting to waive the point of order.
  My colleague from Wyoming was exactly right when he said this is a 
complicated formula. It is a combination of discretionary and mandatory 
funding for the Higher Education Act. The discretionary portion of the 
maximum award is established annually in the Labor-HHS bill. We changed 
the maximum Pell for discretionary funding from $5,035 to $5,135 for 
the 2019-2020 school year. That is an additional mandatory funding of 
$1,060. Maximum Pell will be $6,195. That is in line with the kind of 
increases we have had now for the last 12 years in a row.
  I will be voting to waive and urge my colleagues to do the same.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the motion.
  The yeas and nays were previously ordered.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the 
Senator from Tennessee (Mr. Corker), the Senator from Texas (Mr. 
Cornyn), the Senator from Texas (Mr. Cruz), the Senator from Nebraska 
(Mrs. Fischer), and the Senator from Arizona (Mr. McCain).
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Hawaii (Ms. Hirono), the 
Senator from Washington (Mrs. Murray), and the Senator from Hawaii (Mr. 
Schatz) are necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 68, nays 24, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 192 Leg.]

                                YEAS--68

     Alexander
     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Blunt
     Booker
     Brown
     Burr
     Cantwell
     Capito
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Collins
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Daines
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Gardner
     Gillibrand
     Graham
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Hyde-Smith
     Jones
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     McConnell
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Murphy
     Nelson
     Peters
     Portman
     Reed
     Roberts
     Rubio
     Sanders
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Shelby
     Smith
     Stabenow
     Sullivan
     Tester
     Tillis
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wicker
     Wyden
     Young

                                NAYS--24

     Barrasso
     Boozman
     Cassidy
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Flake
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     Paul
     Perdue
     Risch
     Rounds
     Sasse
     Scott
     Thune
     Toomey

                             NOT VOTING--8

     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cruz
     Fischer
     Hirono
     McCain
     Murray
     Schatz
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 68, the nays are 
24.
  Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn having voted in 
the affirmative, the motion is agreed to.
  The point of order falls.
  The Senator from Alabama.
  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that I be given 2 
minutes before the vote and that Senator Leahy, from Vermont, be given 
2 minutes if he so desires.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I will be brief here. I just want to mark 
what we have accomplished here today and thank the many folks--Senators 
and staff--who made it possible.
  Mr. President, 1999--nearly 20 years ago--was the last time the 
Senate passed nine appropriations bills by the end of August--1999. 
Some of us are still here. This is the milestone here today that we are 
about to mark with the passage of two appropriations bills and with the 
most moneys than in any appropriations bill.
  Earlier this year, we collectively called for a return to regular 
order in the appropriations process because it was broken. The leaders 
on both sides, Senator McConnell and Senator Schumer, provided us with 
the opportunity to follow through. So I take a moment to thank both of 
them for their leadership. I believe that we, together in the Senate, 
are demonstrating that they made the right call.
  I also recognize the vice chairman of the Appropriations Committee, 
Senator Leahy, for his work in this regard. I can't say enough about 
the importance of his role in passing appropriations bills in a 
bipartisan manner, because that is the only way we are going to get 
them done. I thank Senator Leahy, the vice chairman.
  Senator Durbin, Senator Blunt, and Senator Murray also played vital 
roles in what we have been doing here today. Their diligence and 
commitment to work in a bipartisan manner have been essential in 
passing the bills that are currently before the Senate. I thank all of 
them for their work.
  Last but not least, I thank my staff on the Defense Subcommittee. I 
thank the majority clerk, Brian Potts, and his team: Jacqui Russell, 
Katy Hagan, Colleen Gaydos, Mike Clementi, Chris Hall, Hanz Heinrichs, 
Kate Kaufer, Will Todd, Carlos Elias, and Marisa Rhode. All of them 
worked day and night to make this happen. Without their dedication and 
expertise--and they have a lot of it--we would not be in a position 
today to send a Defense spending bill, on time, to the President's 
desk. I thank them for their work.
  Finally, I thank all of my colleagues here on both sides of the aisle 
for their

[[Page S5906]]

cooperation in passing these appropriations bills. I think it shows 
what the Senate can do when it works together, and I hope we will 
continue to do this. We all know it is not easy, but it works. I 
believe it is the right thing for the American people.
  Thank you.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Kennedy). The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, the Senate, and Congress as a whole, best 
serves the American people when we reach real, bipartisan solutions. 
Today, the Senate will pass its third bipartisan appropriations 
package, completing Senate consideration of 9 of the 12 appropriations 
bills reported by the Senate Appropriations Committee and accounting 
for 87 percent of all discretionary spending.
  We are proving that when we put partisan politics aside, we can do 
the work of the American people. This progress would not have been 
possible without my dear friend, the chair of the Appropriations 
Committee, Senator Richard Shelby. Senator Shelby and I made a 
commitment, along with Leader McConnell and Leader Schumer, to only 
move forward on appropriations bills that have bipartisan support, are 
at spending levels agreed to in the bipartisan budget deal, and that 
reject poison pill riders and controversial authorizing language. This 
allowed us to complete our bills committee and pass three 
appropriations packages on the Senate floor.
  I am disappointed that House Republicans have thus far rejected this 
reasonable path in favor of partisan grandstanding by producing bills 
that have no chance of passing the Senate, but I remain hopeful that 
once they return from their 5-week recess, they will be ready to work 
with the Senate on real solutions for the American people and to pass 
these bills before the end of the fiscal year.
  The Senate approach is what this bill represents: real, bipartisan 
solutions for the American people. We adopted 52 amendments in a 
bipartisan managers' package, allowing input on the floor from Members 
outside of the Appropriations Committee on matters that are important 
to them and to their constituents. We adhered to the bipartisan budget 
agreement and turned those priorities into policy solutions.
  We make good on our promise to families to invest in access to higher 
education and child care. We make a second major investment in 
addressing the opioid crisis. Everyone in this Chamber has experienced 
the opioid crisis firsthand. Whether it is a friend, a family member or 
a loved one, no one has escaped the grips of this scourge, and we put 
the force of the United States Government behind the search for cures 
to diseases like Alzheimer's, cancer, and diabetes by increasing 
funding for the National Institutes of Health.
  This bill invests in our military and their families, allowing the 
men and women in our Armed Forces to carry out their missions safely 
and effectively. By investing in both our immediate national security 
needs and our long-term domestic needs, like education and health care, 
this package recognizes the deep ties that run between defense and non-
defense priorities.
  Ask any military leader, and he will tell you an investment in 
education is an investment in national security.
  By combining these bills in one package, we increase the certainty 
that they will be enacted into law, on time, avoiding the waste and 
inefficiency produced by long-term continuing resolutions. I urge our 
House counterparts to commit, as we have, to producing a conference 
report that contains both bills so we can move swiftly toward final 
passage and address the devastating consequences of sequestration on 
both sides of the ledger.
  I remain hopeful that we can continue the bipartisan momentum we have 
built in the Senate into our conference negotiations with the House.
  I want to thank Senators Blunt, Durbin, and Murray for their hard 
work on these bills and, of course, Senator Shelby.
  I also want to thank the Majority staff, Shannon Hines, David Adkins, 
and Jonathan Graffeo, as well as the Defense and Labor-HHS subcommittee 
staffs, for their hard work and cooperation on this bill.
  And I want to thank my staff for their long hours over the last few 
weeks, Charles Kieffer, Chanda Betourney, Jessica Berry, Erik Raven, 
and Alex Keenan and all of the Defense and Labor-HHS subcommittee 
staff.
  This package, which represents 65 percent of all discretionary 
spending, will improve lives in every State, and I urge an aye vote.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that a list of all 
Appropriations Committee staff, whose hard work made this bill happen, 
be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

       Charles Kieffer
       Chanda Betourney
       Jessica Berry
       Jay Tilton
       Jean Kwon
       Erik Raven
       Alex Keenan
       David Gillies
       Brigid Houton
       John Lucio
       Andy Vanlandingham
       Mark Laisch
       Lisa Bernhardt
       Kelly Brown
       Catie Finley
       Teri Curtin
       Shannon Hines
       Jonathan Graffeo
       David Adkins
       Brian Potts
       Laura Friedel
       Mike Clementi
       Colleen Gaydos
       Katy Hagan
       Chris Hall
       Hanz Heinrichs
       Kate Kaufer
       Jacqui Russell
       Will Todd
       Carlos Elias
       Michael Gentile
       Ashley Palmer
       Jeff Reczek
       Courtney Bradford
       Jenny Winkler
       Valerie Hutton
       Bob Putnam

  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I yield back my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Missouri.
  Mr. BLUNT. Mr. President, it has been 11 years since this bill has 
been on the floor. Consequently, none of these staffers have probably 
ever been mentioned on the floor before, even though every single year 
they have made this continued, great effort.
  Senator Shelby, Senator Leahy, and Senator Durbin decided, along with 
Senator Murray and me, that we would bring this combination of bills 
together that has never been on the floor at any time--Labor-H and 
Defense.
  The Defense staff has been recognized, but let me just mention the 
Labor, HHS, and Education staff: Mike Gentile, Jeff Reczek, Ashley 
Palmer, Courtney Bradford, and Laura Friedel, our staff director. All 
of them are on our side of the aisle.
  Obviously, Senator Murray's staff played a critically important part 
in this as well: Mark Laisch, Lisa Bernhardt, Kelly Brown, Catie 
Finley, and Teri Curtin.
  Clearly, this bill would not be here today, in the condition it is 
in, or we would not have been able to have responded to all of the 
suggestions this week without both of these staffs having worked to 
have made it happen.
  I yield back.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, amendment No. 3699 
is withdrawn.
  Amendment No. 3695, as amended, is agreed to.
  The cloture motion with respect to H.R. 6157 is withdrawn.
  The amendment was ordered to be engrossed and the bill to be read a 
third time.
  The bill was read the third time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The bill having been read the third time, the 
question is, Shall the bill pass?
  Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the 
Senator from Tennessee (Mr. Corker), the Senator from Texas (Mr. 
Cornyn), the Senator from Texas (Mr. Cruz), the Senator from Nebraska 
(Mrs. Fischer), and the Senator from Arizona (Mr. McCain).

[[Page S5907]]

  Further, if present and voting, the Senator from Texas (Mr. Cruz) 
would have voted ``yea.''
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Hawaii (Ms. Hirono), the 
Senator from Washington (Mrs. Murray), and the Senator from Hawaii (Mr. 
Schatz), are necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 85, nays 7, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 193 Leg.]

                                YEAS--85

     Alexander
     Baldwin
     Barrasso
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Blunt
     Booker
     Boozman
     Brown
     Burr
     Cantwell
     Capito
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Cassidy
     Collins
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Cotton
     Daines
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Feinstein
     Gardner
     Gillibrand
     Graham
     Grassley
     Harris
     Hassan
     Hatch
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Hyde-Smith
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Jones
     Kaine
     Kennedy
     King
     Klobuchar
     Lankford
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     McConnell
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Murphy
     Nelson
     Perdue
     Peters
     Portman
     Reed
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Schumer
     Scott
     Shaheen
     Shelby
     Smith
     Stabenow
     Sullivan
     Tester
     Thune
     Tillis
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wicker
     Wyden
     Young

                                NAYS--7

     Crapo
     Flake
     Lee
     Paul
     Risch
     Sanders
     Toomey

                             NOT VOTING--8

     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cruz
     Fischer
     Hirono
     McCain
     Murray
     Schatz
  The bill (H.R. 6157), as amended, was passed.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, is it appropriate to give a speech at this 
time?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is recognized.

                          ____________________