CLOTURE MOTION; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 5
(Senate - January 10, 2019)

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[Pages S128-S133]
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                             CLOTURE MOTION

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I send a cloture motion to the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The cloture motion having been presented under 
rule XXII, the Chair directs the clerk to read the motion.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

                             Cloture Motion

       We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the 
     provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, 
     do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the motion to 
     proceed to Calendar No. 1, S. 1, a bill to make improvements 
     to certain defense and security assistance provisions and to 
     authorize the appropriation of funds to Israel, to 
     reauthorize the United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Act 
     of 2015, and to halt the wholesale slaughter of the Syrian 
     people, and for other purposes.
         Todd Young, Mike Rounds, Richard C. Shelby, James E. 
           Risch, Mike Lee, Josh Hawley, John Boozman, Shelley 
           Moore Capito, Mike Crapo, Tim Scott, Cory Gardner, Roy 
           Blunt, Steve Daines, Marco Rubio, Rob Portman, John 
           Barrasso, Mitch McConnell.

  Mr. McCONNELL. I ask unanimous consent that the mandatory quorum call 
be waived.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Carolina.

                  Civility, Fairness, and Opportunity

  Mr. SCOTT of South Carolina. Mr. President, each new year brings with 
it a range of different emotions. We look back on what we have 
accomplished in the last year, what we hope to achieve in the year to 
come, and think of ways we can better ourselves.
  Some of our objectives may include eating just a little less. For me, 

[[Page S129]]

means eating a little less sour cream pound cake or sweet potato pie, 
which is something I can completely control, and I am trying.
  As a nation, though, we need to look at some goals for the new year 
that will help us move forward together--goals that may be a little 
tougher and require all of us to work together. While we may have some 
uncomfortable conversations--and we will--we must recognize that at the 
end of the day, we are family, both inside our homes and as Americans, 
in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
  As we look to 2019, I am hopeful we can take three lessons and carry 
them forward. Those who follow me know I have focused my time in the 
Senate on an opportunity agenda that focuses on helping people rise 
from poverty in distressed communities, helping folks who are living 
paycheck to paycheck to experience the greatness that is, in fact, the 
American dream, and I will continue to focus on those issues in 2019, 
but you will also hear from me in 2019 what I believe are some missing 
keys to American progress. Those keys are civility, fairness, and 
  So when you are having dinner and a family member tries to tell you 
that the reigning Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles--lucky, of 
course, to be in the playoffs at all--are in fact the best football 
team in America, we all know the truth: It is America's team, the 
Dallas Cowboys. You will have a discussion with your family friend who 
believes otherwise, and I hope you will disagree strongly, that you 
will argue with facts, history--the history of Roger Staubach or Troy 
Aikman or Emmitt Smith or Tony Dorsett or ``Too Tall'' Jones--and you 
argue that with history and with passion, but you know, at the end of 
the day, your crazy uncle is still your crazy uncle. You will see each 
other next weekend. You will hug, and you will start the same fight all 
over again, but you see what you have done is you have agreed to 
disagree without being disagreeable. That, at its core, is the civility 
our Nation is sorely missing right now.
  Too often too many seem too focused on saying whatever they want to 
say and saying it more loudly, without any concern for the actual 
content. We need to return to civility, where the other side isn't evil 
or a traitor or trying to destroy our country, but they simply have a 
different vision for how to achieve success.
  Second, sometimes we struggle to make sure our loved ones, especially 
our kids around Christmastime, are treated fairly. So as they open 
their presents, we want to make sure everyone has a chance to play with 
everything. This is what we call trying to be fair. As a parent--or in 
my case as the giver of cool gifts--we want to make sure the kids are 
being fair with their siblings as they play with the new toys. There is 
something in each and every one of us that yearns for fairness, but too 
often, when we leave the comfort of those mornings, we tend to want 
more for ourselves than we want for others. We want people to treat us 
in a way that gives us the benefit of the doubt, but sometimes we don't 
want to give it in return. Being fair means first seeking to understand 
before being understood.
  Finally, opportunity. I want to look back at a Christmas tradition in 
my hometown of North Charleston, a place where we see amazing things 
happen around the Christmas holidays. We see police officers, 
firefighters, and community volunteers coming together about 6 a.m. on 
Christmas morning to go knock on doors, where they know definitively 
there are kids without Christmas trees, much less Christmas presents. 
These police officers, firefighters, and community volunteers join 
hands and raise a ton of dollars and bring presents to the doors. 
Anyone who has experienced this, as I have, cannot fully describe the 
joy on a child's face, the emotion and the tears of happiness for 
someone who didn't expect a single thing for the holidays, because 
opportunity is just not about ourselves and our families. While we 
certainly strive to be successful, the true meaning of the Christmas 
and the holiday season lies in what we do for others.
  For Congress, that means everything we do--everything we do--should 
be with an eye toward improving the lives of all Americans. For folks 
at home, remember, there are folks in your community who are less 
fortunate. This became the greatest Nation on Earth because of our 
hearts and our minds, the hearts and minds of the American people, the 
power and endurance of the American dream, and the graciousness and 
strength of the American spirit; in other words, American 
exceptionalism. Civility, fairness, and opportunity are three words 
that can help our Nation heal and move us forward toward a better 
  My hope this year is that we will take some time to think about what 
each of us can do to further these goals. Resolutions are good. Being 
resolute in our mission to strengthen our Nation is great. Soon I will 
speak about my vision for the future, my America 2030 plan.
  I want to say happy new year and ask everyone to remember the true 
spirit of what makes America great.

     Recognizing the Clemson Tigers' 2019 NCAA Championship Victory

  Mr. President, before I close, I would like to talk, just for a few 
minutes, about an epic celebration in a small upstate city in the great 
State of South Carolina--a celebration that is because of a game. Now, 
in South Carolina, we have real division. The divisions can be seen 
between those who support the Clemson Tigers and those like myself who 
support the Carolina Gamecocks. After the Clemson national championship 
victory, both sides of the great State of South Carolina--at least most 
of us--are celebrating the absolute overwhelming success of the Clemson 
Tigers. You can't help but appreciate and admire the amazing leadership 
at Clemson University, the leadership of Jim Clements, the President of 
Clemson University.
  Clemson has been an amazing testament to the goodwill and good effort 
of programs focused on character first. As Coach Swinney has created an 
absolute powerhouse in Clemson, it is hard to deny that he is not one 
of the best coaches in college football in America today. He has 
surrounded himself with amazing players such as Deshaun Watson, DeAndre 
Hopkins, Vic Beasley, and now Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne, and 
Christian Wilkins.
  I want to extend my congratulations to Clemson University on their 
second national championship in just the last 4 years and their third 
overall national championship. I wish I could be in Clemson on Saturday 
morning at 9 a.m. as they--they don't have to paint the streets orange 
because they are already orange--but as they blow out the great city 
they live in. I will say that not only am I heartened and excited about 
the success of Clemson University on the field, I thought, listening to 
Dabo Swinney as he talked about success in life, it reminded me of my 
civility, fairness, and opportunity agenda for 2019.
  He said something to this effect. When asked about his success and 
the greatness of his football team and the wonders of winning a 
national championship, what did he celebrate the most? He said it in 
this fashion. He said: When I think about being selfless, when I think 
about real success, it is in this order. First, it is about honoring 
the Lord Jesus Christ, his Lord and Savior; second, it is about 
honoring others; and third, finally, it comes down to self. There is 
something to learn about putting others before ourselves as we look 
toward a more civil society, filled with fairness, brimming with 
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Thank you, Senator, and if I may congratulate the 
junior Senator from South Carolina on the spectacular win that Clemson 
had and also congratulate him about being so true to the spirit of 
civility he discussed and not trash-talking the other team involved.
  It was a truly splendid victory between two extraordinarily talented 
and capable teams, and I congratulate the Senator.
  Mr. SCOTT of South Carolina. Would the Senator yield for a moment?
  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Gladly.
  Mr. SCOTT of South Carolina. I will concede that while I am exuberant 
and excited for the enthusiasm for Clemson's success this year, I am 
aware that next year Clemson and Alabama may meet again. So the more 
you celebrate this year, perhaps the more you will regret it next year.

[[Page S130]]

  Thank you, Senator.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island.

                             Climate Change

  Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Thank you, Mr. President, and happy new year. The new 
116th Congress brings new hope for the Senate to face up to the clear 
and present danger of climate change. The House of Representatives 
being in Democratic hands augments that hope.
  The Senate Republican majority has failed to address climate change. 
This is no accident. This is the Senate in the Citizens United era. I 
was here before Citizens United, and for years we saw Senate climate 
bipartisanship, before Citizens United. After Citizens United, what we 
see is immensely powerful climate-denying, dark-money front groups for 
the fossil fuel industry, all likely funded by fossil fuel interests, 
and we see no Republican Senator willing to cross them. The spending 
they do in politics--and the more silent threat of spending--is a 
blockade. It reeks.
  Here is a case study on how dark and unlimited money play in Senate 
elections. In 2016, in Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin, three Democratic 
Senate candidates stood a good early chance of winning Republican-held 
seats in 2016. All were solid, experienced candidates who had been 
Senators before. All were ahead in early polling. Then the big 
influencers came in hard, launching attack ads, in some cases, well 
more than 1 year before the election. It is a little like strafing the 
other side's planes while they are still on the airfield.
  The pile-on of so-called outside group spending against these three 
candidates came to almost $70 million. All three ultimately lost their 
races, and their losses meant Republicans kept majority control of this 
  Let's look at that $70 million that acquired the continued Republican 
majority control of this Chamber. Of that $70 million, only about $11 
million came from donors and PACs that appear unconnected to the fossil 
fuel industry. At least two-thirds of that outside spending--more than 
$46 million--can be directly traced to groups that received significant 
funding from fossil energy, and $12 million, the remainder of that 70, 
came through dark money channels. In this day and age in America, 
powerful influencers can obscure their identities by running their 
political spending through these dark money channels so it is 
impossible for us to know whether or how much of this remaining $12 
million was from polluter dollars--fossil fuel dollars. I strongly 
suspect all of it was. In any event, when one industry can deliver that 
kind of political artillery, the vast majority of a $70 million barrage 
against three specific candidates, that gives that industry remarkable 
political power with the side that is advantaged--climate action 
stopping political power, it would seem.
  As the mounting effects of climate change have grown ever more dire 
and the scientific understanding has grown ever more clear, what has 
the Senate done? Nothing. Let's look at what we learned and what we 
witnessed and what we failed to do in 2018.
  Mr. President, 2018 saw the release of two landmark climate science 
reports--one from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the 
effects of warming 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, and 
the second, the Trump administration's own ``National Climate 
Assessment.'' Together, these reports delivered the starkest warning on 
climate change to date. Damage from climate change is already 
occurring. Economies are now at risk, and we are almost out of time to 
prevent the worst consequences.
  The IPCC report told us that accounting for the costs of carbon 
pollution by charging a price for carbon emissions is the ``central'' 
policy that will allow us to hold the global temperature increase to 
1.5 degrees Celsius or less. Even this dire endorsement was not enough 
to move a single Republican colleague to join a bill to establish a 
carbon fee.
  More telling was the spectacle of the Trump administration's 
``National Climate Assessment.'' This report, written by 13 Federal 
Agencies, described the monumental damage the United States is facing 
from climate change, flatly contradicting the climate denial assertions 
of the President and his fossil fuel-flunky Cabinet. The administration 
tried to bury the report by releasing it on Black Friday during the 
Thanksgiving holiday. That cynical move happily backfired, with more 
than 140 newspapers around the country featuring the report's stark 
findings on front pages and Google searches for ``climate change'' 
hitting their highest level for the year.
  Tellingly, the fossil fuel industry and its bevy of stooges in the 
Trump administration did not contest the science in the report--an 
admission by inaction that they know their science denial campaign is 
phony. They know the real science is irrefutable. It is better to hide 
from it.
  Unfortunately, we witnessed the irrefutable contribution of climate 
change to the most devastating natural disasters of 2018.
  ``Irrefutable,'' by the way, is one way to describe climate science. 
Another way to describe it is ``incontrovertible.'' The description of 
climate science as ``incontrovertible'' was published in a New York 
Times full-page advertisement in 2009 that was signed by, among others, 
Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, and the 
Trump Organization. How things change.
  Anyway, out West, wildfires in California broke records. The 
Mendocino Complex Fire in July and August was the largest in the 
State's recorded history. The Camp Fire--this photograph--was the 
deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history, killing 
86 people. Scientists linked California's increasing wildfires to 
climate change, estimating the area burned by wildfires across the 
Western United States since 1984 at twice what would have burned 
without the human-driven changes.
  Michael Mann, the professor of atmospheric science at Penn State 
University, told PBS recently:

       It's not rocket science. . . . You warm the planet, you're 
     going to get more frequent and intense heat waves. You warm 
     the soils, you dry them out, you get worse drought. You bring 
     all that together, and those are all the ingredients for 
     unprecedented wildfires.

  Mr. President, 2018 saw the east coast slammed by hurricanes that 
were supercharged by warming oceans. Hurricanes gain strength from heat 
energy in the oceans they pass over. Warmer oceans also evaporate more 
water up into the storms, generating more storm rainfall. So stronger 
and wetter storms then ride ashore on higher and warmer seas and push 
larger storm surges ahead of them.
  Hurricane Florence intensified over water 1 to 2 degrees Celsius 
above average and dumped record rainfall and flooding on the Carolinas. 
Preliminary analysis suggests that its rainfall was more than 50 
percent higher due to climate change.
  When Hurricane Michael hit Florida, it passed over water 2 to 3 
degrees Celsius warmer than average. Passing over that heat, its winds 
spun up by 80 miles per hour in just 48 hours, becoming the strongest 
storm ever to make an October landfall in the United States and almost 
completely flattening the town of Mexico Beach, FL.
  Scientists are increasingly able to identify the role of climate 
change in extreme weather. The American Meteorological Society reported 
in December that 15 extreme weather events in 2017 were made more 
likely due to human-caused climate change, including a devastating 
marine heat wave off the coast of Australia that would have been 
``virtually impossible'' without human-induced warming. The report drew 
attention to the role of oceans in many of these extreme events. Jeff 
Rosenfeld, the Meteorological Society's editor-in-chief, said that 
``the ocean is actively playing a role in the extremes that we're 
seeing'' and that ``we're seeing the oceans as a link in a chain of 
causes that ultimately tie human causes to extreme weather events on 

  The changes occurring in the ocean are imposing an increasing threat 
to our coastal communities, from gulf communities in Louisiana to 
shoreline communities in Rhode Island.
  The Union of Concerned Scientists released a report last year finding 
that over 300,000 coastal homes, with a collective market value of over 
$130 billion, are at risk of chronic flooding by 2045. By the end of 
the century, 2.4 million homes, worth more than $1 trillion, are 
expected to be at risk.
  A 2018 report from Climate Central and Zillow found that thousands of

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homes continue to be built in risky coastal areas that are expected to 
suffer annual floods by 2050.
  Freddie Mac, the big U.S. housing corporation, has taken a look at 
this and warned of a coastal property values crash as those houses 
become uninsurable or unmortgageable to the next buyer.
  A second economic crash we face is a ``carbon bubble'' in fossil fuel 
companies. The ``carbon bubble'' collapse happens when fossil fuel 
reserves now on the books of fossil fuel companies turn out to be 
undevelopable ``stranded assets.'' Research published by economists in 
the journal Nature Climate Change estimated that in a world where we 
succeed in limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius, $12 trillion of 
financial value could vanish from balance sheets globally in the form 
of stranded fossil fuel assets. That is over 15 percent of global GDP, 
and that is why the Bank of England calls this a systemic risk--i.e., a 
risk to the entire global economy.
  Financial managers are waking up to these risks. At the recent U.N. 
climate summit in December, a group of 415 global investors, managing 
$32 trillion of investments--these are men and women who have been 
trusted with managing $32 trillion worth of investments--came together 
to warn that the world faces a financial crash worse than the 2008 
crisis unless carbon emissions are urgently cut. The group called for 
the end of fossil fuel subsidies and the introduction of substantial 
prices on carbon emissions. They understand that to limit the worst 
climate risks, including economic catastrophes, we must cut carbon 
emissions immediately and substantially.
  But back home, the Trump administration--clearly and completely 
corrupted by the fossil fuel industry--has now taken more than 90 
actions to weaken climate policies. Regrettably, after years of 
decline, U.S. carbon emissions grew 3.4 percent in 2018. Global carbon 
emissions also grew by 2.7 percent to reach a new carbon emissions 
  If the Trump administration's 2018 regulatory actions read like a 
fossil fuel industry wish list, it is because they are. Just one 
example is the fuel economy rollback for automobiles. It is a perfect 
example. The new, weaker standards were pushed by--guess who--the 
largest oil refiner in the country, Marathon Petroleum. Marathon also 
distinguished itself as a top donor to ethically challenged EPA 
Administrator Scott Pruitt during his time in political office in 
Oklahoma. Marathon worked with the creepy Koch Brothers' network and 
oil industry lobby groups to run a stealth campaign, including a 
Facebook ad campaign using a phony front group called Energy4US that 
hid its oil industry origin.
  Fossil fuel energy companies claim to be cleaning up their act. They 
issue statements voicing support for carbon pricing. Look at what they 
do when the prospect of getting a carbon price on the books becomes 
real, as it did in Washington State's carbon fee ballot initiative. The 
campaign against the carbon fee outspent the campaign supporting it by 
2 to 1, dumping more money into this ballot fight than any ballot 
initiative campaign in the State's history. And who funded the campaign 
against the initiative? Oil companies. BP, Phillips 66, and, of course, 
our friends Marathon Petroleum were the top spenders by far.
  Oil companies claim to support carbon pricing, but the giant trade 
associations they fund to go out and do their political work--the 
American Petroleum Institute, the so-called U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 
the National Association of Manufacturers--all oppose any proposals to 
reduce carbon pollution. The CEOs say one thing, and their political 
electioneering and lobbying apparatus is instructed to go out and do 
the exact opposite.
  Another telling aspect of the Washington State ballot initiative is 
who did not show up. Conspicuously absent are any of the good-guy 
corporations from the tech, financial, and food and beverage sectors 
that talk such a good game on climate change. That is telling because 
it matches what happens here in Congress. The good-guy corporations do 
not lift a political finger to advance climate legislation here in the 
Senate. In fact, these are the good guys. Set aside the fossil fuel 
pirates and what they are all up to through their front groups and 
their dark money and all the nonsense that they drive. These are the 
supposed good guys. In fact, they have a net negative presence here in 
the Senate on climate legislation because they do virtually nothing, 
and the trade associations they help to fund, like the Chamber of 
Commerce, lobby against climate action.

  So you have American corporations with good climate policies taking 
sustainability seriously within their corporate precincts. Then, those 
companies come to the Senate, and their positions, as they appear here 
in the Senate, are against the climate policies they claim to support 
because they work through these intermediary groups that have been co-
opted by fossil fuel interests and because they don't show up 
themselves. In 2019, let's hope the good-guy American corporations get 
off the bench, clean up the acts of their trade groups, and get onto 
the field on the good side of the climate policy fight.
  Let me wrap up, through all of that gloom, with the good news for the 
new year and beyond.
  Record low prices for wind and solar projects are now cheaper than 
fossil fuels in many places. Battery costs are falling rapidly. Amazing 
electric vehicles keep coming to market. New carbon capture 
technologies emerge. Xcel Energy, a Colorado-based utility that serves 
over 3 million customers, has announced a commitment to reduce carbon 
emissions 80 percent by 2030 and to have zero carbon emissions by 2050, 
which shows that players in the energy industry know to make this 
  Out of the States, California has passed a law requiring 100-percent 
zero carbon electricity by 2045--100 percent. The Governors of New York 
and Washington States recently announced 100 percent zero carbon 
electricity goals. Hawaii has a law requiring 100 percent renewable 
electricity by 2045. On the same day in late December, the District of 
Columbia passed a bill requiring 100 percent renewable electricity by 
2032, and nine Northeastern States--I am proud to say it includes my 
Rhode Island--committed to cap emissions from the transportation 
  Here in the Senate, we can expect the new Democratic House to send 
climate legislation our way. Whether my Republican colleagues like it 
or not and whether the fossil fuel industry likes it or not, this will 
be an issue in the 116th Congress.
  My new year's wish is that my Republican Senate colleagues will 
finally wake up to the damage that climate change is causing, to the 
looming threat that climate change presents, and will help us to pass 
bills addressing the huge climate risk that we face.
  This is not impossible. This is the way the Senate behaved until 
January of 2010. From when I was sworn in in 2007, through the rest of 
that year and through 2008 and 2009, we had bipartisan climate bills. 
We had bipartisan climate hearings. We had bipartisan climate 
negotiations. We had bipartisan climate discussions. It was possible to 
do that because the five Republican judges on the Supreme Court had not 
yet given the fossil fuel industry the massive, new political artillery 
they had given them in the Citizens United decision. Once the fossil 
fuel industry had that new artillery, the game changed, and it brought 
it to bear on our friends on the other side, and there has not been a 
single Republican Senator on a single serious carbon emissions bill 
since that moment. It shows what happens when you give a big special 
interest a massive, new piece of political weaponry.
  It doesn't mean it has to be this way. The good guys could show up 
and counterbalance the political hydraulics here of the fossil fuel 
industry's power. Our colleagues could say: Guys, we gave you a heck of 
a good run. For years, we did nothing, but it is time now. We have 
taken a look at where voters are. We have even taken a look at where 
Republican voters are. We have taken a look at where the science is, 
and we are going to do something.
  There are a lot of ways that we can go back to the bipartisan 
legislation, the bipartisan hearings, and the bipartisan conversations 
that characterized this issue before Citizens United. It has been too 
long that big polluter donors have had their way around here. They pay 
the fee, but our Nation pays the price. We have a responsibility here 

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protect future generations from an avoidable disaster of our own 
making. It is time for us to wake up and do our job.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.

                       Remembering Larry Weinberg

  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I come to the floor today to talk about 
Larry Weinberg, who was beloved by many Oregonians, one of the original 
owners of our wonderful basketball team, the Portland Trail Blazers--
the owner who won eternal gratitude from the people of my State as he 
guided our Trail Blazers to their first title. He passed away last week 
at the age of 92. He was a soft-spoken man who was never one to drone 
on, so in that spirit, I am going to keep these remarks brief.
  The first thing we want everybody to know about Larry is that he was 
a wonderful family man. I met him for the first time in the early 
1980s. I was a young Member of the other body, the House of 
Representatives, and Larry could have made our first conversation about 
politics. We were very interested, for example, in ways to promote a 
strong U.S.-Israel relationship. There were plenty of things we could 
have talked about with respect to politics, but he made the 
conversation about basketball, which was one of the great loves of his 
life, and I think people know around here that my great hope was to 
play in the NBA. Larry knew that.
  Because Larry was a family man, that first conversation we had was 
about family, and he had an enormous family. If you look at the family 
photo on the holiday cards that Larry and his wife Barbi sent each 
year, you would think about half of the 320 million people in our 
country were actually Weinbergs. The cards were wonderful, and they 
just seemed to go on and on and on.
  During that first conversation, Larry asked me about my family. I 
told him about my great-uncle Max, who was one of last Jews to be 
murdered in Auschwitz. I told him about my parents, who fled Nazi 
Germany as refugees and settled in America before they pitched in to 
the war effort during World War II.
  That was one of the first bonds I had with Larry Weinberg, and I 
think that was true of many of his friends. We had family who were 
veterans themselves, loved ones who had wanted to make sure the United 
States prevailed in World War II, and that was Larry. He served in 
Europe during the war and sustained serious injuries in France. 
Throughout his life, he carried that dedication to service that was so 
characteristic of so many of his generation.
  Larry Weinberg applied the lessons of the war to his leadership of 
the American Jewish community. He worked to promote understanding 
between religious groups while demonstrating a firm commitment to the 
Jewish tradition of tikkun olam--improving the world. That is something 
Jews feel very strongly about. Whether it is healthcare or foreign 
relations, whatever, we want to be part of making the world a better 
place, perfecting the world. That is what tikkun olam means.
  Larry and Barbi Weinberg supported the development of concrete 
scholarship on issues that face not only Israel but the entire Middle 
East, understanding that the difficulties affecting one's neighbors are 
really part of a shared burden, demanding a shared solution.
  Portlanders like myself know Larry for another reason. If you are a 
Portlander of my age and an ardent Blazer fan, you cheered on Bill 
Walton's Trail Blazers because they won a championship for Rip City in 
1977. If you are a young basketball fan in Portland today, you probably 
root for Dame--that is Mr. Lillard--or C.J.--that is C.J. McCollum. All 
of us in Portland and in Oregon owe Larry Weinberg a debt of gratitude 
because he brought the NBA to our State, and had he not done that, all 
of us who root for the Trail Blazers today wouldn't be able to turn out 
and see Dame and C.J. and all of our wonderful players who are really 
community leaders.
  I remember back then seeing Larry and his wife Barbi cheering at our 
home games, and they were always wearing our colors. I particularly saw 
that bright-red blazer. Whether it was back in the seventies at the 
Memorial Coliseum or even in their later years at Moda Center, when you 
looked at Barbi and Larry Weinberg, you got a sense of what it meant 
not just to be a fan, but the Weinbergs really looked at our town and 
those Trail Blazers as part of their extended family.
  With respect to sports and the intersection of sports and how sports 
fit into the world, I want to relate something that happened in the 
late 1980s when Larry approached me with a particular request, 
something he wanted me to do.
  I was traveling to the Soviet Union with a group of Jewish community 
leaders from Portland. At that time, the Trail Blazers were very 
interested in bringing a wonderfully talented center, Arvydas Sabonis, 
to Portland. There was a discussion. It was a period when the United 
States and the Soviet Union were still talking about the relationship 
being so ambiguous. Reagan and Gorbachev were trying to sort it out. 
Larry asked me to present a letter to the Soviet Sports Federation 
about Arvydas Sabonis. He had actually been drafted a few years before, 
and the idea was that the Trail Blazers hoped to bring Mr. Sabonis from 
the Soviet Union to the United States to play for the Trail Blazers in 
the NBA.
  Now, as I mentioned, relations between the United States and the 
Soviet Union were still somewhat ambiguous, but they were improving. A 
lot of people believed that a Soviet-born player coming to play 
professional basketball in my hometown in Portland would help that 
along. So on this trip to the Soviet Union, Larry asked me to meet with 
the Soviet Sports Federation. I was to, in effect, hand over a letter 
to the Soviet Sports Federation, making it clear--and this was a 
courtesy letter--that if Mr. Sabonis were permitted to come to Oregon 
to play basketball for the Trail Blazers--the letter indicated--Mr. 
Sabonis would be well treated. He would have comfortable 
accommodations, good training facilities, and there would be people to 
advise him on nutrition and get him acclimated to our country.
  Well, when I walked into this meeting in Moscow, I really felt like I 
was starring in Rocky IV. There I was--a young Congressman from the 
United States, a former basketball player myself--trying to make the 
case on behalf of my hometown and the Portland Trail Blazers to these 
men, all of whom were at least 20 or 30 years older than me. I was 
trying to make the case that if the Soviet Sports Federation were 
willing to allow Mr. Sabonis to come, he would be well treated.
  What I got from these stern looking Soviet Sports Federation 
officials were essentially monosyllabic answers, much like you heard in 
the Rocky movies--maybe somebody would say ``nyet.'' I didn't know 
everything about the language of my host, but I got the sense that 
wasn't a good thing when they said that. I could get the sense about 
their skepticism as if they believed that this young American 
Congressman in front of them was pulling some sly trick of geopolitical 
strategy as we tried to bring Arvydas Sabonis to Portland.
  I tried to make the point to these Soviet leaders that we were not 
exactly talking about arms control. We were talking about playing 
basketball, and we were talking about building bridges.
  That, if anything, is what Larry Weinberg's life was all about. He 
was about building bridges in sports. He did it in terms of housing, 
when he was trying to create housing opportunities for people of modest 
means, when he was creating opportunities for people to learn from each 
other. There he was with this young Congressman, just wanting to offer 
a guarantee that Mr. Sabonis, the best Soviet player of his time, would 
be well cared for. It took a few more years. Eventually he made it to 
Portland, where Larry and Trail Blazer fans got to watch him play and 
play well.
  I cannot find the picture, but back then there was a picture that 
ensured that Oregonians across the State were

[[Page S133]]

laughing at their breakfast tables. One day it came out that Mr. 
Sabonis and I were strolling along the waterfront in Portland. I am 6 
feet 4 inches--not as tall as Senator Cotton, but 6 feet 4 inches--and 
I was standing next to Mr. Sabonis, who was as tall as a typical 
building. I mean, we thought he might have been 7 feet 5 inches, which 
was much taller than was listed.
  It was a wonderful experience for me, and it was a chance to see what 
Larry Weinberg was all about. He always told me: It is a chance for you 
to learn a little bit more about the world, Ron, a chance for you to go 
to the Soviet Union--it was the Soviet Union at that time--and see the 
connection between reforms and what Ronald Reagan and Gorbachev were 
trying to do and the role of sports in terms of bringing people 
  I was so honored that Larry Weinberg would give me a window into that 
kind of opportunity and allow me, in a really small way, as a young 
Congressman to be part of what his life was always about, which is 
building bridges.
  So I am going to close this way. I think some of my colleagues are 
going to speak about Larry as well. When the Jewish people really want 
to compliment somebody and say somebody is really special and has 
exceptional character, what we say is that person is a mensch. What I 
am here to tell the Senate today is my friend Larry Weinberg, whom we 
lost just a few days ago, was really a super mensch, a true mensch, a 
person of enormous integrity, decent at his core. I just want to say 
that Larry and his wife Barbi were the essence of Rip City pride. He 
was a soft spoken guy, but he was Portland's loudest fan.
  Tonight, I want to say to his family and friends--all, seemingly, 100 
million of them--that we are always going to remember Larry Weinberg 
with great fun and appreciation for his enormous contributions to our 
city and for all that he did during his lifetime to be in that bridge 
building business, for working to perfect the world--tikkun olam--a 
wonderful, wonderful man.
  Our Larry Weinberg we Oregonians will always remember in our hearts.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will the call roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                           Government Funding

  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, in a few moments I am going to yield the 
floor to Senator Kaine to make a unanimous consent request that has 
been cleared by both sides, and I am very pleased about that. This is 
in regard to S. 24, legislation that I have filed with several of my 
  I particularly thank Senator Kaine, but I also want to thank my 
colleagues Senator Van Hollen and Senator Mark Warner for their work, 
as well as Senator Collins and others in this body who cosponsored that 
legislation. It is legislation very similar to what we passed in the 
last hours of the 115th Congress by unanimous consent. It does what I 
think all of us have said we want to make sure is done; that is, when 
we reopen government, those who have been working without pay and those 
who are on furlough without pay will get their backpay. I think that is 
at least some assurance to our government workforce that when we 
finally reopen government, they know they will be getting their 
paychecks. I think it is a very important point to give them at least 
that comfort.
  I don't want to minimize the risk factors that we have for the 
800,000 Federal workers who are not getting their paychecks. Just 
today, I found a letter from a constituent. I am going to read it very 
  ``Dear Senator Cardin, As an Air Traffic Controller and Maryland 
constituent, I want you to know how the partial government shutdown is 
affecting me and my family. Today, I received my Earnings and Leave 
statement from the Department of Transportation, indicating I received 
$0 for my last 2 weeks of working at the FAA-Washington Enroute Air 
Traffic Control Center in Leesburg, VA. I have proudly gone to work for 
this job that I love, and always maintain the highest level of safety. 
My husband Brad is also a controller with me at Washington Center, and 
his Earnings and Leave Statement was for $1.34. We cannot sustain our 
financial obligations on a total of $1.34 for our last two weeks of 
work! We recently were able to build a new house to try to start a 
family, and we still have increased financial obligations because of 
that and all that entails. In addition, my family, my brother and 
father, has minimal income now, and we are supporting them. My father 
is 69 years old and currently has an enlarged hernia that requires an 
operation, he has no health insurance, and no income. He lives in NH, 
and is on even more medication now. The side effects are greatly 
affecting him. He needs my help, and I don't have the resources now to 
help him. He is suffering so much, and I love him greatly. My brother 
recently had to weather a separation from his wife, and has been unable 
to find affordable housing in MD on a single income for him and my 
niece and nephew--Ayden 10 years and Ava 7 years old. They have been 
living in our basement since August 2018, and we have been supporting 
them in every way we can until he can get back on his feet. I love them 
so much, and now I can't continue to help them. This hurts so much, we 
need our pay checks to support our family now!''
  It ends by saying: ``Please help in any way you can to END THIS 
  I couldn't agree more. I urge our colleagues, hopefully in the next 
couple of days--even before that--to end the shutdown. But at least, as 
a result of the unanimous consent request that will be made very 
shortly, which has cleared both sides, we can tell them that the pay is 
  I see the distinguished majority leader is here. We had some words 
earlier. I want to thank the majority leader for accommodating this 
unanimous consent. It is consistent with what the leader has said in 
the past, that we will make sure our workers get paid when the 
government is open.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.