EXECUTIVE CALENDAR--Continued; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 144
(Senate - August 28, 2018)

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[Pages S5971-S5980]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                     EXECUTIVE CALENDAR--Continued

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Carolina.

                        Remembering John McCain

  Mr. GRAHAM. Mr. President, I have been thinking about this, I have 
been dreading this, and now I am going to do this.
  To all of my colleagues who have come before me, you have done right 
by our friend Senator McCain. The family appreciates all the good 
words, the kindnesses, and the antidotes that have come their way. This 
is a tough time for the family.
  John has seven wonderful children.
  Cindy, as a devoted wife, you really did well by John.
  I am going to try to make this somewhat fun even though I don't feel 
in a funny mood right now.
  Let's start off with the tie. To anybody who may be watching on 
television, this is a Naval Academy tie.
  I wore this today, John, to honor you and to annoy you all at the 
same time.
  He would constantly tell me: Lindsey, I wish you were in my Naval 
Academy class.
  I would say: Well, that is very nice, John.
  Do you know why, Lindsey?
  No, John.
  If you would have been in my class, I would have been sixth from the 
bottom, not fifth.
  Thank you very much, John.
  Humiliation and affection were constant companions. The more he 
humiliated you, the more he liked you, and in that regard, I was well-
  To my colleagues, thank you again so much for what you have done. The 
only way I know to put this in words that maybe John can relate to is 
that after a military operation is over, after a mission is complete, 
the pilot comes back and debriefs. If there is a military operation, 
you do an after-action report. I thought to myself, what would it say? 
What would the after-action report for John McCain say? The purpose of 
these reports is for lessons learned so that we will benefit and make 
sure that we remember--remember the things that went well and the 
things that did not so that we will be better off as a unit and as a 
  The title of the operation was pretty easy--you can say a lot of 
things about me but ``clever'' is not one of them--``Operation 
Maverick.'' It began in the fall of 1954 at the Naval Academy--the year 
before I was born--and it ended August 25, 2018. And what can we learn? 
The source of the report is me, his political wingman, code named 
``Little Jerk''--you all have your names, and you earned them like I 
did--who was lucky enough to walk in his shadow and to witness history 
up close, to be in the presence of a giant at a time everything around 
us was so small.
  What did I learn? I learned that a few dumb jokes told over and over 
again actually become funny and can take you a long way in politics, 
Marco. I am going to give them to you because John liked you.
  He said: Lindsey, how hot is it in Arizona?
  John, I don't know.
  It is so hot that the trees chase the dogs.
  Well, isn't that funny, John.
  He said: What is unique about Arizona?
  I said: I don't know, John. I would imagine a lot of things.
  Barry Goldwater ran for President and lost. Mo Udall ran for 
President and lost. I ran for President and lost. Lindsey, it is the 
only place in the Nation where mothers tell their children: You can 
never grow up to be President.
  I say to the Senator from Oregon, remember that. Maybe you can break 
the string.
  He said: Lindsey, aren't you a lawyer?
  Yes, I am, John.
  Do you know the difference between a lawyer and a catfish?
  No, I don't.
  One is a bottom-dwelling, scum-sucking creature, and the other is a 
  No wonder we did so poorly with lawyers, John.
  He said: Do you know why I didn't join the Marines, Lindsey?
  My parents were married.
  I am going to miss these dumb jokes.
  What else did I learn? I learned how to fight a lot, everything and 
everybody. I learned how to forgive. And from him, I saw how to heal.
  On the fighting side, I learned that the captured warrior who was 
tortured became the statesman who forgave and healed a relationship 
between his former adversary and our Nation.
  I went to the Hanoi Hilton with John. That is one of the highlights 
of my life. It is now a museum, and we are the bad guys because they 
get to write how the museum reads. I remember being in front of his 
cell, and you could see the wheels turning and the memories coming 
back. As we walked forward, surrounded by a bunch of handlers--and John 
McCain was like Elvis in Vietnam. It was the most amazing thing in the 
world how people adored him in Vietnam. I saw a bunch of photos on the 
wall of the prisoners playing volleyball and sitting in the Sun with 
sunglasses on.
  I said: John, it must not have been that bad after all.
  With a wide smile, he said: I don't remember it this way--which 
allowed us to get out of Vietnam.
  I remember him embracing a war that nobody wanted to talk about 
because he understood what it would cost to lose it. I remember him 
supporting the surge when everybody was willing to get out of Iraq 
because they were so tired of it and saw no way forward. I remember the 
fighter. I remember the 2008 campaign when, in 2007, John McCain was 
fifth in a four-person race; written off as politically dead; no money. 
The ``Straight Talk Express'' had no wheels.
  After a visit to Iraq in July, where General Petraeus allowed him to 
talk to 600 people who were going to reenlist in a war that they did 
not have to continue to fight, and about an equal number were becoming 
citizens because they were fighting for their country and had expedited 
citizenship--there were two empty chairs in the front with boots, and 
John asked: What is that all about? Two didn't make it to the ceremony, 
but they were given their citizenship that day. I remember

[[Page S5972]]

about 2,000 soldiers wanting a photo, and every one of them got it. I 
remember it being so hot that I couldn't breathe, but we stayed anyway.
  I remember coming back and him getting the nomination, only to lose. 
I remember that night very well. He had wanted to be President, he was 
prepared to be President, but it was not his to have. I remember above 
all else the speech he made that night. John taught us how to lose.
  When you go throughout the world, people remember his concession 
speech as much as anything else. There are so many countries where you 
can't afford to lose because they would kill you. John said that night: 
President Obama is now my President. So he healed the Nation at a time 
he was hurt.
  I learned that serving a cause greater than yourself hurts. Anybody 
in the military can tell you the risk you take. He couldn't put his 
jacket on and he couldn't comb his hair because he got hurt serving a 
cause greater than himself.
  I remember how easy it is to say and how hard it is to do, how hard 
it is to tell your base ``I think you are wrong'' and how hard it is to 
solve problems that nobody else wants to talk about.
  I learned that failure and success are different sides of the same 
coin. John told me: I have become better from my failures because it 
teaches me, and I have been tempted by my success, and without my 
failures, I would have never been successful.
  So to those who are striving as a young person, remember John McCain. 
He failed a lot, but he never quit. And the reason we are talking about 
him today and the reason I am crying is because he was successful in 
spite of his failures.
  For family and friends, the after-action report would say: A 
relationship with ``Maverick'' brought joy and difficulty. Both were 
your constant companions. He was a difficult man. He could be tough. 
But the joy you received from being with him will sustain you for a 
lifetime. And I am so lucky to have been in his presence.
  He taught me that principle and compromise are not mutually exclusive 
and are the foundation of a great person, as well as a great nation. He 
taught me that immigration--as hard as it is to solve, somebody has to 
do it. He said to me, along with Ted Kennedy: You are going to learn, 
Lindsey, that the other side has to get something too. I have learned 
that lesson.
  To my friends on the other side, as long as I am here, I am going to 
remember that you have to get something too.
  He taught me that when good ignores evil, it may be convenient, but 
it seldom works.
  He talked about what would happen in Iraq if we left. He was right. 
He talked about what would happen in Syria if we didn't get involved. 
He was right. Why? Because warriors are the best, I believe, at making 
peace, and the warrior understands the difference between a false peace 
and real peace.
  To those who accused him of wanting endless wars, you had no idea 
what you were talking about. He wanted sustainable peace and understood 
the consequences of not seeing it through. The soldiers adore him.
  To those who have traveled with John, you seldom had two meals in the 
same country. You met more people than you could remember. But you were 
struck by one thing: We are going to really bad places a lot. And those 
in the military adore this man.
  He taught me that boldness and practicality must be practiced in 
equal measure.
  I say to the Senator from Rhode Island, he believes in climate 
change, and so do I. But there is a practical streak about John that I 
think made him very successful. He told me time and again: You have to 
let people catch up with you. You have to have a rhythm and a pace. 
There are 100 people in this body from different walks of life. You may 
think you are right, and if you are, it will be proven over time, but 
give your colleagues the time and the understanding to catch up with 
  He taught me that honor and imperfection are always in competition. I 
do not cry for a perfect man; I cry for a man who had honor and who was 
always willing to admit his imperfection.
  If you are thinking about getting in politics, the one thing I would 
ask you to look at when it comes to the life of John McCain is that it 
is OK to tell people: I screwed up. I got this wrong. I want to make it 
  In my view, honor is doing the right thing at your own expense, and 
he did that time and again.
  He taught me that life without passion and love is a sad life. He had 
a happy life. He had 10 lives. He was involved in five aviation 
accidents. If we sent John a bill for all the planes he crashed, he 
could never pay it off. He lived life to its fullest. He was often 
disappointed, but he was never deterred from getting back up and going 
at it again.
  ``Love''--not a word often associated with Senator McCain, but it 
should be because if you were loved by him, you knew it. You were loved 
with all of your faults. And I was lucky to have been loved by him.
  So how would I characterize ``Operation Maverick''? Wildly 
successful. It made the world a better place. It gave the Nation 
something to talk about at a time when we can't agree on anything. It 
is not universal acceptance of a life of John McCain, but it is pretty 
damn close. It is the only time that MSNBC, CNN, and FOX are saying the 
same thing.
  The only way that happened is because those of us who had the 
pleasure of being in his presence and those who covered him in the 
media business want to tell the story.
  I have been approached since his death by cab drivers, waiters, and 
cops, and they all said: Sorry for your loss.
  My name is Graham, not McCain, but I feel like a McCain. I don't know 
if I have earned that honor, but I feel like one.
  The average man and woman in this country got John McCain. What will 
it mean for the future? It means there will be generations of 
politicians coming along who will be influenced by him. The McCain 
Institute is alive and well, and its goal is to attract young leaders 
throughout the developing world, expose them to democracy, and teach 
them the art of compromise and the rule of law. What a legacy that is.
  John will inspire courage. He will reinforce the idea that nothing is 
inevitable as long as a few people are willing to fight for what they 
believe is right.
  It is going to be a lonely journey for me for a while. I am going to 
need your help. The void to be filled by John's passing is more than I 
can do. Don't look to me to replace this man. Look to me to remember 
what he was all about and try to follow in his footsteps. If you want 
to help me, join the march. If you want to help the country, be more 
like John McCain. I believe there is a little of John McCain in all of 
us, and the little of John McCain practiced by a lot of people can make 
this a really great nation.
  So, my friend, you did good. You lived in the shadow of a four-star 
father and a four-star grandfather. You always worried if you 
disappointed. You did not.
  To Cindy and the children, thank you for making me a part of the 
clan. To Team McCain, you taught me what loyalty is all about. To my 
colleagues, thank you for your kindness.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Louisiana.
  Mr. CASSIDY. Mr. President, I rise to speak about John McCain.
  As one of those rising to pay tribute, I am perhaps one of the least 
qualified to do so. I say that because although John McCain and I 
served together, it was only for the last 4 years of his storied Senate 
career, and we were not on any common committees.
  But let me say why I am qualified. In that brief period, I saw 
firsthand that of which others with many more years of acquaintance 
rise and speak. I speak of 2014, when I was running for Senate for the 
first time, and John McCain came to Louisiana to campaign on my behalf. 
It was remarkable to see how veterans responded to him. We would go--
oh, my gosh, it was the sort of schedule that is legendary for John 
McCain. We started off in Covington, LA, then went to New Orleans, then 
went to Baton Rouge, to Lafayette, drove up the length of the State to 
Shreveport, and then came back to New Orleans--all in 1 day. Others 
would have been tired. He was energized.
  He taught me about social media. Folks would come up to him and wish 
to have their picture taken. He would take a selfie, and say: Post it 
on Facebook.

[[Page S5973]]

  Sure enough, they did. In that way, his contact with people went from 
just a group meeting--always incredibly well attended--to the 
individual meeting, to everybody those folks were reaching out to 
through Facebook.
  But even that is not the story I wish to tell.
  We had an incredibly intense schedule in which we were meeting one 
person after another. In Shreveport, as we were walking out, a fellow 
handed John McCain a note. He said: Senator, this is a fellow who is a 
fellow Vietnam vet, and he is in the hospital now and cannot come. He 
would love to hear from you. Here is his phone number.
  So we get in the car, and John picks up his phone and he calls. He 
says: Hello, my friend, this is John McCain. I am sorry you are under 
the weather. Tell me about it.
  He spoke to the man as one Vietnam veteran to another, reaching 
through the wire, letting that man know he was deeply cared for and 
honored for his service to our country and his sacrifice for our 
  That tells me a measure of John McCain--in this incredibly intense 
schedule, finding that moment to reach out to an individual to let him 
know how much he was valued as an American.
  So I rise to speak briefly. I started by saying that I am probably 
among the least qualified, but, perhaps, because of my brief 
interaction and the quality of the interaction and the intensity of how 
John McCain presented himself, not just to me, not just to his fellow 
Americans, but to all of the voters of Louisiana, I might be the best 
qualified--the best qualified because, even in that glimpse, you see 
that which made John McCain a great American: bringing it all, all the 
time, for everybody who lives in this country, to represent this 
country as best as possible to the rest of the world, and in so doing 
serving not just our country but the rest of the world.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. REED. Mr. President, I rise today to honor our late colleague and 
friend, Senator John McCain.
  I want to begin by offering my deepest sympathies to John's loving 
wife, Cindy; to his children, Sidney, Meghan, Jack, Jimmy, Bridget, 
Doug, and Andy; and to that most remarkable woman who shaped his life, 
his mother, Roberta.
  Those who knew him knew that, above all else, John was a loving 
father, devoted husband, and a dedicated family man. Today we mourn 
with the entire McCain family.
  I would like at this time to take a few moments to reflect on his 
heroic legacy.
  When I think of John McCain, two words come to mind: courage and 
sacrifice. As the son and grandson of decorated naval officers, the 
desire to serve his country ran deep in John. Following in their 
footsteps, he graduated from the Naval Academy and went on to serve his 
country in Vietnam.
  The events that followed, including his bravery facing unrelenting 
anti-aircraft fire, being shot down, captured, and held in horrific 
conditions, have become military legend. His indomitable spirit carried 
him through his years of imprisonment, but his willingness to sacrifice 
for his fellow servicemembers should be a testament to all of his 
courage and sacrifice.
  As everyone knows well, John endured grueling hardship throughout his 
captivity. On courage, he so eloquently explained: ``Courage is not the 
absence of fear, but the capacity to act despite our fears.''
  At one point during his captivity, John made what I can only imagine 
to be one of the most difficult decisions of his life. He was offered 
special treatment and release due to his family's military prominence, 
but he refused. He stated that he would not accept release until all 
the prisoners of war taken before him were also released. To put his 
comrades and his country before his own welfare, especially when 
confronted with a future of uncertainty and abuse, is the most profound 
example of his willingness to sacrifice his life for others.
  John spent more than 5 years in captivity at the Hanoi Hilton, but 
rather than allowing the horrors of the experience to continue to color 
his life, he instead returned to the Navy for several years before 
beginning a career in business. Not long after, he again heeded the 
call to service and won a seat in the House of Representatives 
representing Arizona.
  The first indication that Senator McCain would be an outspoken leader 
and staunch defender of servicemembers came when, as a freshman member 
of the House, he opposed legislation supported by President Reagan to 
keep marines in Lebanon. He refused to further endanger servicemembers 
for an objective that he viewed as unattainable. It took political 
courage and conviction for John to stand up to a man he has called one 
of his heroes and oppose him on principle.
  This willingness to stand by his convictions and speak his mind, no 
matter the perception, would become a hallmark of Senator John McCain. 
First in the House, then in the Senate, and on the Presidential 
campaign trail with the aptly named ``Straight Talk Express,'' John was 
renowned for the candid expression of his thoughts and steadfast 
defense of his principles.
  While John and I served for many years together in the Senate, I was 
fortunate to work most closely with him during the past 4 years when he 
was chairman of the Armed Services Committee and I was the ranking 
member. Our pairing could be rocky at times, not because he was a 
Republican and I was a Democrat but because he went to the Naval 
Academy and I went to West Point. As John often joked, I did OK for 
someone who didn't have a college education.
  Thank you, John.
  In all seriousness, Senator McCain's leadership was vital in 
shepherding through Congress numerous National Defense Authorization 
Acts that have substantively reformed the Department of Defense, 
improved care for servicemembers, and increased the capacity of our 
military to meet the myriad national security challenges we face.
  Throughout his life, Senator McCain was a steadying force through 
turbulent times in global affairs. The threats to our national security 
and the stability of the global order are more numerous and diverse now 
than at any point in our recent history. As we grapple with these 
challenges, we should remember John's guidance: ``We live in a land 
made of ideals, not blood and soil. We are the custodians of those 
ideals at home, and their champion abroad.''
  He believed in an America that is united by values, not divided by 
manufactured distrust and animus. Most importantly, he emphasized the 
moral obligation that we, as Americans, carry to provide leadership in 
the world and serve as a beacon of hope, opportunity, and justice, both 
here and across the globe.
  As a further reflection, I was always impressed by John's respect for 
colleagues who were committed to principle but who sought principled 
compromise. This respect animated our relationship and made it possible 
to find common ground.
  Finally, what ultimately motivated John McCain, I believe, was the 
knowledge that thousands and thousands of Americans in uniform were 
protecting this Nation. He understood that we owed these men and women 
and their families more than we could ever really pay. He always kept 
faith with these valiant Americans and inspired all of us here to keep 
that faith. As our sailors, soldiers, marines, and airmen guarded our 
country and Constitution, he guarded them with a special and profound 
  I will miss Senator McCain's partnership and friendship, and this 
Chamber will be hard pressed to find a more respected voice of reason 
and bipartisanship. It is my hope that we can follow in the footsteps 
of the virtues that Senator John McCain exemplified: courage, 
sacrifice, compassion, determination, and, above all else, an 
unyielding patriotism that motivated a lifetime of service. We can best 
honor Senator McCain by living our lives by the example he set.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Dakota.
  Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, in the wake of Senator John McCain's 
passing, I was particularly moved by the announcement that, in 
accordance with his wishes, he will be buried in the cemetery at the 
U.S. Naval Academy. It is a fitting resting place for someone

[[Page S5974]]

who belonged, in a special way, to the U.S. Navy, and it is 
characteristic of him that in death he wished to rest with his comrades 
in arms.
  It was during his service in the Navy that LCDR John McCain's plane 
was shot down over North Vietnam. He ejected, breaking several bones in 
the process, and was taken into captivity.
  During World War II, ADM Chester W. Nimitz, describing the actions of 
the Marines in the battle of Iwo Jima, noted that ``uncommon valor was 
a common virtue.'' The same thing can be said about the American 
soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines in the prison camps of North 
Vietnam. John McCain joined their number in October of 1967.
  During the years of his confinement, he was regularly beaten and 
tortured. He survived thanks, in part, to the friendship of his fellow 
prisoners of war. In 1968, his captors offered the malnourished and ill 
McCain the chance to be returned home early, ahead of prisoners who 
were next in line. John McCain said no. He spent another almost 5 years 
in captivity before being released on March 14, 1973. It scarcely needs 
to be said that he remained a thorn in his captors' side the entire 
  Living in perhaps the most privileged country in the world, it is 
hard for most of us to imagine going without the internet for a few 
months, let alone something more fundamental like electricity or indoor 
plumbing. The courage and character and sheer determination required to 
undergo regular torture, malnourishment, and deplorable living 
conditions is almost impossible to fathom. Yet hundreds of U.S. 
soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines--John McCain among them--endured 
these torments and persevered.
  Amazingly, it was in the prison camps of North Vietnam that John 
McCain discovered the fierce love of country that would animate the 
rest of his life. Years later, he noted:

       I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in 
     someone else's. I loved it for its decency, for its faith in 
     the wisdom, justice, and goodness of its people. I loved it 
     because it was not just a place but an idea, a cause worth 
     fighting for. I was never the same again; I wasn't my own man 
     anymore; I was my country's.

  John McCain was his country's man. Throughout a congressional career 
that spanned 35 years, he served her faithfully. He inspired those who 
served with him, on both sides of the aisle. He always called on all of 
us to live up to all that is best and greatest about the United States 
of America.
  He was a fierce crusader for the causes close to his heart, from 
supporting our Nation's veterans to equipping our military with the 
tools it needs, to advancing liberty around the world.
  He was also a wonderful colleague and friend. Shortly after I got to 
the Senate, I read his book, ``Faith of My Fathers.'' As I am reading 
this book, I am starting to think that some of the dates and places 
sound pretty familiar. I did a little research and ended up discovering 
the Distinguished Flying Cross my father Harold Thune received had been 
awarded to him by none other than ADM John McCain--our John McCain's 
  When I shared this with John, and every time I would see him, he 
would say: ``We've got to call your dad,'' and that is exactly what we 
did one day. I cherish that special connection with a family who has 
meant so much to our country and to freedom.
  It was an honor to serve with John McCain. I will miss his sense of 
humor and the passion he brought to every battle. I admired him 
greatly. He reminded me and all of us every day that life is not about 
advancing ourselves but about serving a greater cause and that, 
paradoxically, it is in service that we find freedom.
  In his farewell message to his countrymen, John said, ``To be 
connected to America's causes--liberty, equal justice, respect for the 
dignity of all people--brings happiness more sublime than life's 
fleeting pleasures. Our identities and sense of worth are not 
circumscribed but enlarged by serving good causes that are bigger than 
  Already, the new class of midshipmen has overrun the grounds of the 
U.S. Naval Academy. In the days and years and decades to come, 
midshipmen will walk past John McCain's grave and the graves of other 
marines and sailors who have served our country. The graves will fade 
into the background of everyday life, but they will still whisper 
always of the courage and sacrifice of those who have gone before.
  Later, at that time of their testing, some of those midshipmen may 
remember the graves of those heroes and resolve to be like them, to be 
like John McCain.
  When discussing how he would like to be remembered, John McCain said, 
``I want, when I leave, that the ceremony is at the Naval Academy, and 
we just have a couple of people that stand up and say, `This guy, he 
served our country.' ''
  ``This guy, he served his country.'' I think he can be assured there 
will be more than a few people saying that on Sunday. There can be few 
finer epithets.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, the Trump administration is engulfed in 
scandal. The President has been implicated in at least one felony. His 
former campaign chief, former deputy campaign chief, longtime personal 
lawyer, and former national security adviser are all confessed or 
convicted felons. With every passing week comes a shocking new 
revelation about Russian interference in the 2016 election, another 
bombshell report detailing their infiltration of conservative circles, 
or another story about how woefully underprepared the United States is 
to defend against another attack.
  Here in Congress, Republicans have their heads buried in the sand. It 
sure seems like they are going to keep on pretending it is business as 
  A year ago, I placed a hold on a Treasury nomination--Isabel 
Patelunas to be Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis--
because of the Department's refusal to turn over documents related to 
follow-the-money issues and other key investigative questions. Since 
then, colleagues, Treasury's stonewalling has not changed. In fact, in 
light of all that has been revealed in the last year, their 
stonewalling is even more unpardonable.
  The Treasury Department is participating in the coverup of criminal 
activity. The least the Congress can do--the very least--is hold 
nominees until the administration changes its behavior. It ought to 
happen on a bipartisan basis. Republicans ought to stand up with 
Democrats and say, ``This is dangerous. This is corrosive to our 
democracy. This is wrong.''
  Leader McConnell has gone ahead, filed cloture, and called votes on 
the Patelunas nomination without doing any of that.
  For me, this started a year ago, when I asked the Treasury to provide 
the Finance Committee with key documents related to follow-the-money 
and Russia. I am the ranking Democrat on the committee, which has 
jurisdiction over the Treasury Department. We have a team of skilled 
investigators who are highly adept at digging into the kinds of 
questions that had been raised about Russian oligarchs like Alexander 
Torshin and about shell companies and other forms of money laundering 
and illicit finance. That is why I requested these documents from the 
Treasury, but the Treasury essentially blew us off.
  Russia's interference in our democracy has been thoroughly covered in 
news reports, and many of those reports get right to the heart of why I 
have called for investigators to follow the money. I will quote from an 
article in Buzzfeed about Alexander Torshin, the accused Russian spy 
Maria Butina, and her American associate Paul Erickson.
  ``[Butina's] indictment said that she was communicating with Russian 
intelligence while here and was `acting at the direction of a high-
level official in the Russian government.'
  ``That person, federal authorities told BuzzFeed News, is Alexander 
Torshin--Butina's former boss, once a member of Russia's upper house of 
parliament, and a close confidant of President Vladimir Putin.
  ``In 2015, Torshin was appointed deputy governor of the Central Bank 
of the Russian Federation and Butina was hired as his special 
assistant. Torshin is believed to have close ties to gun rights 
activists in the US, and McClatchy reported that the FBI is 
investigating whether Torshin illegally funneled money to the NRA.

[[Page S5975]]

  ``According to her indictment, Butina worked for Torshin until May 
2016, and she came to the US on a student visa later that summer. The 
same month, Spanish authorities reported that Torshin had been 
laundering money for [a] Moscow-based . . . crime syndicate.
  ``This year, Torshin was among the Russian oligarchs sanctioned by 
the US Treasury Department for playing a key role in `advancing 
Russia's malign activities.' Law enforcement sources told BuzzFeed News 
that tens of millions of dollars in his suspicious financial 
transactions were flagged by Treasury officials working on the FBI's 
counterintelligence investigation into Russian influence.
  ``These transactions included large, round-number wire transfers--a 
hallmark of money laundering--from Istanbul and Dubai, the sources 
  Elsewhere in the report, Buzzfeed outlined how anti-fraud 
investigators at a major bank flagged transactions by Erickson and 
Butina as suspicious. Again, I will quote from the article.
  ``The two also appeared to use a company, Bridges LLC, to conduct 
suspicious transactions. Bank officials said they couldn't determine 
the purpose of the company, which was incorporated in South Dakota in 
February 2016. Butina was listed as the `sole signer' on its checking 
account, but Erickson wrote and signed checks from it. He told 
McClatchy that Bridges was formed to help Butina obtain financial 
assistance for her graduate studies . . .
  ``About $89,000 passed between Erickson's US accounts and one held by 
Butina at Russia's Alfa Bank. In 2014, Erickson received $8,000 from 
Butina's Alfa account. Between June 2016 and March 2017, Erickson sent 
a dozen wires to her Alfa account totaling $27,000.
  About $93,000 was sent or received during a single four-month 
period--from May to August 2017 . . . Bank officials discovered wires, 
checks, transfers, and cash deposits totaling that amount, including 
checks made out to cash, between the duo's accounts last year.
  ``In June and July 2017, Erickson wired $45,000 to an unidentified 
law firm in Washington on Butina's behalf. It is not known why Butina 
retained an attorney at that point, and her current lawyer, Robert 
Driscoll, told BuzzFeed News that his firm was not the recipient of the 
  ``. . . Investigators from Wells Fargo flagged dozens of other 
suspicious transactions involving Butina and Erickson for FBI agents 
and the Treasury Department's financial crimes division. Bank 
investigators told Treasury officials they were suspicious about where 
the money came from and that they could find no `apparent economic, 
business, or lawful purpose' for the transactions.''
  I am not going to comment on any classified material, and I am not 
confirming these reports, but these articles are right out in the open. 
The information reported by Buzzfeed alone ought to have been enough to 
convince Senators that the administration needs to be forced to comply 
with oversight requests from the Congress--just that one report--and 
that is far from the only bombshell that has dropped in the last year 
since I announced a hold on the Patelunas nomination. Still, Treasury 
is stonewalling. They are blocking our oversight and our investigations 
at every turn.
  It is an outrage that Senate Republicans are apparently A-OK with 
this stonewalling.
  So colleagues, here is what I want to know: When does it become too 
much? How many reports detailing election interference does the Senate 
need to stand up and take action? How many stories about shell 
companies and shadowy payments from oligarchs need to come out into the 
open? Maria Butina is sitting in a jail cell in northern Virginia--how 
many other spies need to be arrested before Senate Republicans stand up 
to an administration that is hiding the facts?
  A year ago, the President's son confirmed meeting with Russians in 
Trump Tower during the campaign, at least one of them connected to 
Russian intelligence. Senate Republicans did not try to get answers.
  On the morning of Monday, July 16, Maria Butina was charged with 
being a Russian spy. It was revealed she had infiltrated a ``gun rights 
organization'' and woven herself into prominent conservative circles to 
manipulate our politics. That same day, the Trump administration 
announced a pro-dark money rule that would make it easier to get away 
with this kind of lawbreaking the next time. Republicans did nothing 
about it.
  Last Tuesday afternoon, Paul Manafort was found guilty on five counts 
of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failure to 
disclose a foreign bank account. Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to 
charges of tax evasion, bank fraud, and two felony campaign finance 
violations he said he committed at the President's direction.
  Again, Donald Trump has been implicated in a felony campaign finance 
violation. Manafort and Cohen, who are convicted and confessed felons, 
are both deeply enmeshed in the broader investigation into Russia's 
interference in our election and potential collusion with the Trump 
  The very same day, Senator Warner, as part of his questioning on the 
U.S. Senate Banking Committee, had to repeatedly press Sigal Mandelker, 
the Treasury Department's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial 
Crimes, during a hearing on the effectiveness of Russian sanctions, to 
be more responsive to bipartisan requests from the Intelligence 
Committee. Treasury is 8 months behind in their responses to some 
  To her credit, Ms. Mandelker said she would respond in a timely 
manner, though she noted she would have to consult with people back at 
her office. The problem is that, pretty much every time anyone from 
this administration has uttered such a promise, it has been broken 
faster than it takes a wildfire to spread in the arid West.
  Regardless of the promises made, the very next day, Leader McConnell 
went ahead and filed cloture on a nomination I have been holding due to 
the Treasury's stonewalling over those exact issues.
  Colleagues, the President is routinely attacking the rule of law in 
this country. He is attacking the Justice Department, which is run by 
people he appointed. He has mused about pardoning people who are 
unquestionably guilty of committing crimes. He said that perhaps it 
should be illegal for individuals to cooperate with law enforcement by 
providing information that can bring criminals and coconspirators to 
  When is enough enough?
  In my view, nobody in this body, in their heart of hearts, could 
possibly believe that the ties between the President, his associates, 
the Trump organization, and Russia do not warrant thorough 
investigation. You could not possibly have kept up with the news over 
the last 18 months and come to any other conclusion. Everybody can 
smell the smoke, but you would have to blind yourself not to see the 
  By stonewalling our investigations, the Treasury is complicit in the 
coverup. They are hiding the facts from the Congress and the American 
people. The Senate's powers of oversight and investigation are derived 
from the Constitution of the United States, and the Trump 
administration is trampling all over it. Every member of this body, 
Democrat and Republican, ought to be outraged.
  That is why it is wrong to proceed with the Patelunas nomination. I 
drew the line here, with this nominee, but Leader McConnell filed 
cloture against my known wishes, scheduling the vote to collide with 
Members' plans to attend Senator McCain's memorial.
  Furthermore, what the Treasury Department is doing to keep this 
information about follow-the-money hidden in the shadows is wrong. The 
Senate should not stand for it.
  Mr. CRAPO. Mr. President, I rise in support of the nomination of the 
Honorable Richard Clarida to be a member and Vice Chairman of the Board 
of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
  Dr. Clarida has a breadth of private sector, government, and academic 
experience involving both monetary policy and financial markets.
  At his nomination hearing in the Banking Committee, he demonstrated 
his expertise and provided members insight of how his background, 
knowledge, and experience will aid the Federal Reserve Board and the 
  This was evidenced when he received bipartisan support from members 

[[Page S5976]]

the Banking Committee with a vote of 20-5.
  Dr. Clarida currently serves as managing director and global 
strategic advisor at PIMCO, a position he has held since 2006.
  Previously, he served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for 
Economic Policy from 2002 to 2003 and as a senior staff economist with 
the Council of Economic Advisers from 1986 to 1987.
  In his academic career, he was an assistant professor at Yale 
University from 1983 to 1988 and has served as a professor of economics 
at Columbia University in various capacities since 1988.
  If confirmed, Dr. Clarida will play an important role in monetary 
policy normalization.
  Dr. Clarida has written extensively about monetary policy and, along 
with others, developed a framework for monetary policy analysis that 
has been widely cited and used by policymakers around the world.
  Such expertise will be especially important as the Fed continues to 
wind down its balance sheet and raise interest rates after years at the 
zero lower bound.
  The Fed has also begun the important work of implementing S. 2155, 
the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, 
which was signed into law on May 24 of this year.
  If confirmed as a member and Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors, 
I look forward to working with Dr. Clarida on these important issues.
  The Board of Governors currently has vacancies, with only three 
sitting members to carry out its vital work.
  I strongly support this nomination today and urge my colleagues to do 
the same.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Hoeven). The majority leader.

            Unanimous Consent Agreement--Executive Calendar

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that 
notwithstanding the provisions of rule XXII, the pending cloture 
motions on Executive Calendar Nos. 911, 783, and 720 be withdrawn, and 
that at 3:45 p.m. today, the Senate vote on the following nominations 
in the order listed with no intervening action or debate: Executive 
Calendar Nos. 910, 911, 783, and 720; that if confirmed, the motions to 
reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table and the President 
be immediately notified of the Senate's action.
  I further ask unanimous consent that the pending cloture motions on 
Executive Calendar Nos. 633, 635, 636, 674, 676, 692, 693, 731, 779, 
782, 838, and 893 be withdrawn; and that following disposition of the 
Patelunas nomination, the Senate vote on the following nominations in 
the order listed with no intervening action or debate: Executive 
Calendar Nos. 633, 635, 636, 674, 676, 692, and 837; that if confirmed, 
the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table 
and the President be immediately notified of the Senate's action.
  I further ask unanimous consent that at a time to be determined by 
the majority leader, in consultation with the Democratic leader, during 
the week of September 4, the Senate vote on the following nominations 
in the order listed: Executive Calendar Nos. 693, 731, 778, 779, 782, 
838, 839, and 893; that if confirmed, the motions to reconsider be 
considered made and laid upon the table and the President be 
immediately notified of the Senate's action.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Minnesota.

                        Remembering John McCain

  Ms. KLOBUCHAR. Mr. President, last week, we lost an incredible 
patriot, Senator, and American--our friend and colleague Senator John 
McCain. My heart goes out to his wife Cindy, his mom, his daughters, 
and family.
  In the Navy, John exemplified heroism and bravery, and in the Senate, 
he was a mentor to so many of us. He taught us how to work with leaders 
on the world stage, but then he taught us something just as important; 
that is, how to work with each other when we are here and back home.
  This past month, my husband and I got to visit John and Cindy at 
their ranch in Arizona one last time. Even while battling brain cancer, 
he continued to be engaged in the issues of our time. He continued to 
have that signature McCain humor and that grit.
  My last memory of John was, I had brought a few of his books to him, 
and he was getting tired and pointed to one sentence in one of the 
books and said to me: That, that is what matters.
  The sentence was this: ``Nothing in life is more liberating than to 
fight for a cause larger than yourself.'' No one proved that more than 
John McCain.
  Lindsey Graham just gave beautiful remarks about his best friend--his 
best friend who had taught him so much, who taught him how to pick 
yourself up and be resilient when things go wrong, who taught him how 
to always put your country first.
  I saw that resilience firsthand when John invited me to go with him 
and Lindsey on a trip to Asia. It was an incredible moment in his own 
life. It was right after he had lost that Presidential election--
something he had dreamed of attaining for so long, and it didn't work 
out. Did he just go home and not do his work? No. He dove right in and 
took a young Senator with him to Asia, along with his best friend 
Lindsey, and some of his most beloved staff.
  What I saw on that trip I will never forget. He was literally a few 
months out of losing a Presidential election, but he was still excited 
about the world around him. He was excited when the Defense Secretary 
called him with something he wanted him to work on with him.
  He had great humor when he read about President Obama's latest 
purchase of a dog and other things, and he just said it and smiled and 
put the newspaper down.
  He loved introducing me to people whom I thought I would never meet, 
and he loved sharing those stories. On every leg of the trip between 
countries, he would read books. He would read books about World War II. 
He would read books about anything in history that he thought was 
relevant to today. He loved it for the sake of history, but he also 
loved it because he believed history teaches us something; that you 
can't ignore history; that you take the lessons of history and bring 
them with you forward.
  John's own history was incredible--a Navy pilot during Vietnam. After 
being shot down, he was held and tortured as a prisoner of war for over 
5 years in that infamous Hanoi Hilton.
  On the trip to Asia, we went to that prison, and I saw the cell where 
John had been held for those 5 years--the cell in which he made the 
decision to allow other prisoners to be released before him because he 
didn't want to look like he got special treatment. That was a moment I 
will never forget. Then, we went on a tour of the rest of the prison. 
Again, with that signature wry humor and resilience, as the guide was 
showing us a new exhibit, which included happy pictures of prisoners of 
war sitting around a Christmas tree or playing table tennis, and she 
proudly showed us those pictures, he nodded his head with all the media 
behind him and then whispered to me: I don't remember any of this.
  We then went to an exhibit that was brand-new of his flight suit, and 
it was a pristine flight suit with his name embroidered on it. Next to 
it was a picture of him and the plane being shot down, and the flight 
suit was all torn up. They would show us the flight suit, and he took 
pictures and smiled. Then, as we were walking away, he said to me: That 
was not my flight suit.
  That was John McCain. When he walked around the streets of Vietnam, a 
place where he had been held prisoner for 5 years, he was like a rock 
star. Do you know why? Because he had come back there so many times, 
bringing different Americans with him, working on issues that mattered 
to them, working on trade issues, normalizing relations. They loved him 
there. That was him; that was John McCain.

  The other thing about him was there were so many Senators that he 
mentored, but I always loved how he would take some of the new women 
Senators under his wing and make sure they went on these trips. In many 
of the rooms where we met with foreign leaders, it would be, again, 
John and Lindsey and I. Of course, Senator McCain went first as the 
leader of the delegation, and then all of these male foreign leaders 
would next look at Lindsey Graham because they figured he was the next 
senior, which was correct. But John McCain would stop

[[Page S5977]]

them and say: I am sorry. Senator Klobuchar is the lead Democrat in the 
delegation, and she will be going next. At that singular moment, he 
would send a message to the foreign leaders: Yes, she is to be treated 
with respect and equally; she is the Democratic lead on our trip.
  Part of being a mentor to someone is also urging them on, and many of 
us here know what it was like to get one of those backhanded McCain 
compliments, which didn't always seem like a compliment but truly was.
  My favorite was when I would do some kind of Sunday show or something 
like that, and he would have liked what I said, I would have guessed, 
but he would call and leave a message: Well, you did a pretty good job 
on that show, talking about immigration--well, pretty good for a 
  I know some of my Republican colleagues were never called a 
Communist, but that was his word of affection for many of us on the 
Democratic side.
  I think part of this work that he did in mentoring women Members and 
staff had to do with the incredibly strong women in his own life--his 
wife, Cindy; his mother; his daughter, Meghan; and his family. That was 
a part of John McCain that I think people don't know.
  The last thing I will mention--and Lindsey talked about this--is that 
his legacy must live on; that is, what he taught us about working with 
the rest of the world.
  The last trip I took with John McCain was to Lithuania and Latvia, 
Estonia, Ukraine, and Georgia. He planned that trip right after the 
last Presidential election. The President-elect had been talking 
negatively about NATO, and there had been discussions about our 
dealings with Europe. I think he felt it was very important to show the 
world that there were people in the Senate, leaders in the Senate, who 
stood by those Baltic nations that had declared their independence, and 
that is why we went on that trip.
  Somehow we found ourselves on New Year's Eve in a blizzard in the 
middle of the night on live Ukrainian TV with President Poroshenko. The 
President of Ukraine wanted to show American support for their 
democracy and their quest to stay independent despite the foreign 
invasion by Russia. So as we stood there, the President gave Senator 
McCain a machine gun, a Ukrainian-made machine gun. They are very proud 
of their armaments there. McCain was holding it, and then he went to 
Senator Graham, and he gave Senator Graham a pistol. I was standing 
there, and McCain said to me: I wonder what you're going to get. It 
looks like you're getting a flat box.
  I opened up the box, and it had two daggers in it. Senator McCain 
decided that I was deserving of a pistol and somehow arranged to have 
one brought to me.
  But then what happened was the Navy confiscated every single weapon, 
and a year later, Senator McCain was still saying to me: What happened 
to my machine gun?
  That trip was more than just about that delightful moment. That trip 
was about his standing with us, with all of these leaders, to send that 
incredibly important message in his own words from a few years before, 
in 2013, when he spoke to that pro-democracy crowd of protestors in 
Ukraine, telling them: America is with you. And they roared ``thank 
you'' back at him. He said: ``The United States has a special 
responsibility to champion human rights--in all places, for all 
peoples, and at all times.''
  So he would send this message to our allies. He would look for those 
hot spots. He would look for those moments when it was necessary to 
show our allies and friends and those struggling for human rights and 
democracy that they had a friend in the United States.
  He knew that supporting our allies is also about supporting 
ourselves--and I will use John's words here--in supporting ``their hope 
. . . their faith . . . and their friendship.'' That was John McCain.
  So when I think about protecting the future of our country and the 
work that must be done in this Chamber and his devotion to making 
friends on both sides of the aisle, I think about the decency that he 
brought to politics, not always--not always happy every moment of his 
life in politics, but always decent. That was best reflected at a rally 
that happened in my State in the waning days of his Presidential 
campaign when a woman stood up, when he could have just embraced what 
she said, but he didn't. The woman said of then-candidate Obama: ``I 
have read about him. . . . He's . . . an Arab.''
  Without missing a beat, John shook his head and very politely said: 
``No, ma'am. He's a decent family man . . . [whom] I just happen to 
have disagreements with.''
  That is not something you plan for; that is not an arc of your career 
where you have a moment and a strategy. That was his reaction in the 
moment when he knew that his dream was slipping away from him, and he 
could have said just anything about his opponent because he was mad 
that he wasn't winning. But he didn't. He took the high road. That was 
John McCain.
  As we move forward in this Chamber, I hope we will remember his 
words, that the most liberating thing in life is ``to fight for a cause 
larger than [ourselves].'' He did that every single day, and we must 
now carry on that torch.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. President, today I want to join my colleague from 
Minnesota and other Senators in talking about our colleague, an 
American icon, who played an outsized role in our Nation's great story.
  Navy captain, Congressman, and U.S. Senator, John McCain was first 
and foremost a patriot. Throughout his whole life, a very prolific 
life, he lived the motto of his 2008 Presidential campaign, which was 
simply ``Country First.''
  I had the privilege of helping Senator McCain during that 2008 
campaign. I was in the private sector then. I took time off to spend 
about 6 weeks with him, traveling around the country. I was on the 
campaign trail with a group of his loyal friends, including the first 
friend, Lindsey Graham.
  I had known John for many years, but you really get to know somebody 
in a different way during the intensity and the pressure of a national 
campaign. I played the role of his opponent, then-Senator Barack Obama, 
to prepare him for his debates, and I took that role very seriously--
maybe too seriously on occasion. It was my job to get under his skin 
and prepare him well for the debates, and I did it.
  Many of my colleagues will tell you he was a fighter and a tough 
competitor and did not mince words. I was on the other end of that. 
After some spirited debates, I was very glad that in the real world I 
was actually on his side.
  Needless to say, he wasn't happy with me during those debate 
sessions. I think Cindy McCain still hasn't forgiven me, by the way, 
for some of the things I said during the debate preparation, playing 
the role of then-Senator Obama. Even 2 years later, after I was first 
elected and joined him here in the U.S. Senate, he would introduce me 
to reporters here in the hall by saying: That's the jerk who played 
  The John McCain I got to know through the intensity of that 
Presidential campaign was principled. He was patriotic, he was 
passionate, and his heart was in the right place.
  He also had a sense of humor that was intact. I remember when a bad 
poll would come out, he would gather us around and say: Don't worry. 
It's always darkest before it's pitch black.
  One of the memories I will never forget was during one of those 
debate preparations in a theater at the Morgan Library in New York 
City. At the start of the debate practice, I was backstage behind a 
curtain because I wanted it to be realistic; I would be coming out from 
behind the curtain and going to the podium, just as you would do in a 
Presidential debate. It was in late September 2008--I think it was 
September 24--just as the financial crisis was hitting and hitting 
hard. It is difficult to go back to that moment today, but the mindset 
at the time was that we were in a true crisis. The stock market had 
crashed, and the country was mired in financial turmoil.
  As I stood there behind the curtain, getting ready to come out, John 
McCain and two of his top campaign advisers were on the stage, getting 
into their own debate, and their debate was about whether to suspend 
the campaign, postpone the first debate that was scheduled to occur 
just a few days

[[Page S5978]]

later, and fly back to Washington, DC, to try to work out some 
legislative solution to bolster the then really shaky financial system.
  I distinctly remember one of the advisers raising concerns that 
suspending the campaign would hurt them politically. They just couldn't 
do it.
  By the way, that was a point of view that was shared by pretty much 
every political pundit and probably would be today.
  I remember John McCain pushing back. He said: It is the right thing 
to do, to suspend this campaign. If we don't fix this, there won't be a 
country left to govern.
  It is the right thing to do. If we don't fix this, there won't be a 
country left to govern.
  He suspended his campaign and he returned to Washington to jump into 
the arena--like his hero, Teddy Roosevelt--and to try to fix things. 
John McCain was less worried about the political fallout than he was 
about what was at stake for our great country. Country first.
  He didn't win that campaign, but I think he taught all of us a lesson 
about how to lose. He gave a generous concession speech that put 
country first. He was someone a lot of us looked to for counsel and 
worked with on many issues, often national security issues, in my case. 
He was an expert. I worked on some issues like Ukraine, but also on 
other matters.
  Just in the last year, he played a key role in helping us enact 
reforms here in the U.S. Senate that are making a real difference right 
now in combating online sex trafficking. This was through legislation 
that I had introduced called the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, or 
SESTA. This SESTA legislation was something he was very involved with. 
Cindy McCain has a long history in this area. She is a real expert on 
it, and she was instrumental in the legislation and these reforms, as 
was the McCain Institute.
  John had a passion for it. He was the first Republican cosponsor of 
the bill and a passionate advocate. He believed in his heart that the 
sale of women and children online was just wrong, and it should never 
happen, certainly not in this country in this century.
  About 6 months ago, this legislation, the SESTA bill, was about to be 
voted on. After getting permission from my Democratic coauthor, Senator 
Richard Blumenthal, who agreed with me, I approached John McCain, and I 
asked him if we could name this anti-sex-trafficking legislation ``the 
McCain bill,'' after him and after Cindy and all the work he had done--
his passion for it. His response was immediate and classic McCain. He 
said: No, that wouldn't be right. I strongly support the legislation, 
but you all did the work. It isn't about me; it's about getting this 
done for those women and those children. Country first.
  For me, this Chamber is never going to be the same place without him. 
It is as simple as that, and Lindsey Graham said that well earlier. For 
me, this place, the Senate, and our country, for that matter, are 
better off because of him. He dedicated his life to those liberties 
that we enjoy as Americans, and he took it upon himself to defend and 
represent them and try to spread them around the globe.
  He joined the U.S. Navy to protect our country, spent more than 5 
years as a prisoner of war, was stubbornly patriotic to his own 
detriment, and served in the House of Representatives and in the U.S. 
Senate, representing not just his Arizona constituents, which he did 
well, but as he viewed it, the entire country. Country first.
  Now, as a gesture of our Nation's gratitude for the patriotic path he 
blazed, Senator McCain will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol, draped in 
the flag that he spent his life serving.
  John McCain was a hero in the flesh right here in this century, and I 
feel blessed for having known him.
  The last conversation I remember having with John was right out here 
in the anteroom off the Senate floor. It was during his very last days 
here. He was in a wheelchair. He had a brace on his leg, necessary 
because of the chemotherapy, and his voice was faltering. We sat and we 
talked, first about the SESTA legislation and Cindy's role. John always 
had a funny line. In this case he joked, saying: Passing that 
legislation will save my marriage.
  Then he started talking about his kids. He went into detail about 
what they were doing, especially his sons in the military and what they 
were accomplishing and his daughter Meghan and her work in the media 
world, how proud he was of them. His voice strengthened, and his eyes 
shown with pride as he talked about each of them. I muttered something 
about that being another part of his legacy, and he gave me that 
crooked smile.

  Family and country first.
  My wife Jane and I send our condolences to John's amazing wife Cindy, 
to his seven proud sons and daughters, and to the entire McCain family.
  Godspeed, John McCain.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. BROWN. Mr. President, I appreciate what my colleague from Ohio 
said. I appreciate his comments about Senator McCain and Cindy McCain. 
I made remarks on the floor earlier about Senator McCain in my tribute 
to him, as my colleagues are all doing, as we should, and as people 
have done so well.
  I appreciate particularly Senator Portman's comments about the sex 
trafficking issue that Senator McCain was so interested in, and Cindy 
really led the way. I saw Cindy at a conference in Cincinnati, Senator 
Portman's hometown. I live at the other end of the State. Her passion 
about that issue clearly infected John and his passion about that issue 
especially. North of Cincinnati, along the 75 corridor and especially 
in Toledo, we see how troubling that is. He took on so many issues that 
matter. I thank Rob for mentioning that.

                     Nomination of Richard Clarida

  Mr. President, today we consider the nomination of Dr. Richard 
Clarida for two positions at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors--
Vice Chair for a term of 4 years and a member of the Board for an 
unexpired term of 14 years. That is the way the Fed works. A person is 
on the Board and then serves in some special--supervision or Vice 
Chair. Generally, those titles go along with the appointment.
  The Federal Reserve hasn't had a full Board since August 2013. Why is 
that? President Obama nominated Allan Landon--a small community bank 
owner, I believe, from Hawaii--and Professor Kathryn Dominquez, who 
both stepped up to serve their country. They put a number of their life 
activities on hold in order to serve on the Federal Reserve. Yet the 
chairman of the Banking Committee--not the present chairman, Senator 
Crapo--the former chairman of the Banking Committee simply refused to 
give a hearing on either of them.
  We have seen that on the Export-Import Bank. We saw that on a number 
of Transportation nominations. We saw it on the Federal Reserve. Time 
after time, if Obama nominated someone, the Senate Banking Committee 
and the Senate floor refused to confirm.
  Trump, as President now for only 18, 19 months, will have the ability 
to nominate six of the seven Fed Governors to 14-year terms. Think 
about that. Board members do vital work on monetary policy, and their 
work affects the financial situation of Ohio families. They set rules 
for the Nation's largest banks--the banks that caused the financial 
  You can't underestimate the collective amnesia of this body when it 
comes to financial deregulation and the financial amnesia of the 
Banking Committee, which continues to give Wall Street anything it asks 
for--more profits, more deregulation, and more tax cuts.
  As I said, the Board sets rules for the Nation's largest banks--the 
banks that caused the largest financial crises and cost millions of 
jobs and so many families their homes.
  As I have said a number of times, my wife and I live in the Cleveland 
ZIP Code 44105. In 2007, that ZIP Code had more foreclosures than any 
ZIP Code in the United States of America. You still see the residue of 
that and the results of those foreclosures. We know the pain that 
inflicted on millions of families across the country and thousands of 
families within 2 or 3 miles or 4 miles of my house. Yet we barely 
recognize anymore in this body what happened because this body didn't 
do its job, Federal regulators in the Bush administration didn't do 
their jobs, and Wall Street was so greedy.

[[Page S5979]]

  Fast-forward to this year. Board members will decide whether to 
finalize the Fed's proposal to roll back capital and leverage 
requirements. Think about that. That is the collective amnesia. The 
regulators--whether it is the OCC, the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, or 
the Treasury Department--are willing to weaken rules across the board 
that are there to protect the stability of our financial system. Yet it 
is as if we forgot what happened 10 years ago.
  If adopted, the plan that the Fed is considering right now will allow 
the eight largest banks in the country to pour $121 billion into stock 
buybacks and dividends. That is giving executives who already make 
millions of dollars in compensation--it is giving them more. Those are 
funds that could be used to pay workers, cut fees for consumers, and 
protect taxpayers from bailouts. It is never enough for Wall Street. 
Big tax cuts are never enough. More deregulation is never enough. 
Biggest profits ever are never enough. Huge compensation is never 
  Members of the Fed Board will also vote on a Fed proposal to weaken 
limits on speculative trading. These restrictions, devised by a former 
Fed Chair more than 25 years ago, protect taxpayers by preventing big 
banks from taking risks--big risks--with hard-working families' savings 
accounts. If there is any better example of the collective amnesia of 
politicians and regulators in Washington, DC, it is this. And that is 
compounded by--if you look up the street at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, 
the White House looks like a retreat for Wall Street executives. One 
Wall Street executive after another is hired by the White House.
  Governors on the Fed Board will also have a say on the Fed's stress 
test--the yearly exercise designed to prevent a big bank from being 
able to bring down our entire economy.
  Why would we want to do this? Why would we weaken these rules as 
banks are making bigger profits, bank executives are getting greater 
compensation, and when banks got such a huge tax cut? Why would we 
weaken rules so they can have more at the possible expense of the 
stability and strength of the financial system?
  We have already seen the damage this administration's Wall Street-
friendly appointees can do. In July, the Fed allowed the seven largest 
banks to plow $96 billion--any way you calculate it, that is about $14 
billion each; some a little more, some a little less--allowed them to 
plow $96 billion into dividends and buybacks so CEOs can make more 
money. They didn't put it in workers' paychecks.
  Mr. President, do you know what the average teller in this country 
makes? Go into a local branch bank. The average teller makes $12.50 an 
hour. At my 45th high school reunion in Mansfield, OH, I sat across the 
table from a woman who was working for one of the largest banks. She 
worked there for 30 years, and she makes $30,000 a year. But it is 
never enough for the CEOs, never enough for top management.
  At a time when big banks post record profits, they should be building 
capital cushions to protect themselves from tough times. They should be 
giving raises to workers who power these companies. Instead, the Fed 
undermines the lessons from the last crisis and lets the banks drain 
away their rainy-day funds.
  Three banks--Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and State Street--all had 
capital below the amount required under the stress tests, but do you 
know what happened? The Fed gave them passing grades anyway. What are 
the stress tests for? They are called tests. If you fail a test, you 
should do something to correct it. They patted them on the back: It is 
OK. You tried. You may have not have gotten a passing grade, but we 
will let you go anyway.
  What is the Fed's response, in addition to giving these three banks a 
pass? The Fed wants to make next year's stress test even easier to 
pass. Vice Chair Quarles has suggested that he wants to give bankers 
more leeway to comment on the tests before they take them. So they are 
going to make them easier. They are going to talk to the banks and say: 
How do we write it so it will be easier for you to pass it? Maybe we 
will show you ahead of time what the tests are.
  I don't remember that in eighth grade, junior high, or college, where 
the professor or teacher would say: Sherrod, come up to my desk. I will 
tell you what this test will be, and I will give you advice on how to 
pass it.
  The Fed is considering dropping the qualitative portion of the stress 
test altogether, even though Deutsche Bank, Santander, HSBC, RBS, and 
Citigroup failed on qualitative grounds before.
  Most of those banks I mentioned are foreign banks. Some had real 
problems internationally in the strength and the viability of those 
  That doesn't even include changes the Fed is working on after 
Congress passed S. 2155 to weaken Dodd-Frank more, making company-run 
stress tests for the largest banks periodic. They used to be annual, 
but now they are periodic. Guess who gets to decide how often periodic 
is. It happens to be the same Wall Street people the President 
appointed to the Fed to decide how often these tests will be.
  So we are making them weaker. We let you pass even if you don't. We 
are going to make them weaker, and then we are going to let the people 
being tested know more about them before the tests run. Then we will 
make them periodic, so they won't take them as often. This is really a 
way to make sure these banks aren't strong enough to make sure they can 
weather a storm.
  Vice Chair Quarles also made it clear that massive foreign banks can 
expect goodies too. The Fed may also weaken the Community Reinvestment 
Act, a law that ensures that low- and moderate-income communities have 
access to credit. It goes on and on.
  While Dr. Clarida is an expert in monetary policy, during his 
nomination hearing, he failed to provide the committee with meaningful 
insight into his views on the important issues that will be considered 
by the Fed. I know that a number of us on both sides asked questions, 
but I couldn't get clear answers during the hearings on leverage, on 
the Community Reinvestment Act, on taxpayer protections for the biggest 
banks, and on diversity and so many other issues that impact the people 
we serve.
  I asked him to respond to these questions in writing. Putting it 
mildly, we were disappointed. He is a distinguished professor. We asked 
him specific questions, but the answers we got were pretty much 
identical to the responses from another Federal Reserve nominee, 
Michelle Bowman. So instead of writing the answers themselves, it is 
clear that the Fed's staff wrote them and gave them to the two of them, 
so they gave identical answers. That doesn't tell us anything about 
what he actually thinks.
  When banks are making record profits, the Fed should be preparing the 
financial system for the next crisis. They should ensure that banks are 
resilient, focus on increasing employment and wages, and combat asset 
bubbles. But over the last 6 months, I have seen the Fed only moving in 
the wrong direction--weakening rules and bowing to special interests. 
Remember I said that the White House looks like a retreat for Wall 
Street executives? They are bowing to those interests and making it 
easier for big banks to cut corners. I have only become more worried 
about whether the Fed can protect taxpayers and homeowners from the 
next crisis.
  We need strong financial watchdogs, not lapdogs. We need individuals 
who have their own ideas on the causes and impacts of the financial 
crisis and who take seriously their role to protect taxpayers and 
homeowners from Wall Street abuse. I am not confident that is the case 
with this nominee.
  The Ohioans I represent need to know how the people nominated serve 
them think about these important issues. We haven't gotten that from 
this nominee. That is why I cannot support and why I plan to vote no on 
Dr. Clarida.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Missouri.

                        Remembering John McCain

  Mr. BLUNT. Mr. President, I know we have a series of votes coming up, 
and I won't stand in the way of those votes once we get over the next 
couple of minutes, but I didn't want to let the week go by without 
talking a little bit about John McCain here on the floor.
  A number of people have asked me this week--particularly members of 
the media have asked: Who is going to replace John McCain? I think the 

[[Page S5980]]

is, he will be a hard man to replace. He brought a unique background to 
this job. He was raised in the house of a man who was going to become 
an admiral. His grandfather was an admiral on the deck of the USS 
Missouri when World War II ended. John McCain grew up in a house where 
visiting Members of the House and visiting Members of the Senate was 
not unusual. I think that gave him a real capacity to have a comfort 
level to speak forcefully and truthfully with people at all levels.
  Clearly, his time as a prisoner of war had a great impact not only on 
who he was but also on what he was able to do and what he was able to 
say and how he was able to say it. He was a man of intense energy.
  There is a picture in this building of Theodore Roosevelt seated in a 
chair, and his left hand is made into a fist. I never saw that picture 
thinking it was a fist about to hit somebody but a fist trying to 
contain his own energy.
  There was a reason Theodore Roosevelt was John McCain's hero. H.W. 
Brands wrote a book about Theodore Roosevelt, which was called ``T.R.: 
The Last Romantic.'' The truth is, if there were a last romantic, it 
was John McCain, not Theodore Roosevelt. Theodore Roosevelt was who he 
was, but John McCain brought an intensity to what we do, an immediate 
willingness to engage. Certainly, I think every Member of the Senate 
experienced at least once when that immediate engagement, with no doubt 
in his mind, was there. Members of the media also saw that. He was a 
man of intensity. He was a man who believed in his country. He was a 
man who believed this country deserved to be represented well all over 
the world and that freedom should be defended.
  Somebody observed to me earlier today that when traveling with John 
McCain, he was unbelievably patient with the troops and unbelievably 
tough with the generals. I saw that, and many of us saw that. He will 
be missed, but his work was well done. His place was clearly filled. He 
made a difference in the history of the country, and he made a 
difference for all of those of us who got to know him.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the question is, 
Will the Senate advise and consent to the Clarida nomination?
  Mr. BLUNT. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the 
Senator from Texas (Mr. Cruz), the Senator from Arizona (Mr. Flake), 
and the Senator from Alaska (Ms. Murkowski).
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Vermont (Mr. Leahy) is 
necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Johnson). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 69, nays 26, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 197 Ex.]


     Van Hollen


     Cortez Masto

                             NOT VOTING--4

  The nomination was confirmed.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the motion to 
reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table, and the 
President will be immediately notified of the Senate's action.
  The Senator from South Dakota.
  Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the remaining 
votes in this series be 10 minutes in length.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.