STRENGTHENING AMERICA'S SECURITY IN THE MIDDLE EAST ACT OF 2019--Motion to Proceed--Continued; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 8
(Senate - January 15, 2019)

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STRENGTHENING AMERICA'S SECURITY IN THE MIDDLE EAST ACT OF 2019--Motion 
                         to Proceed--Continued

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia.


                            Russia Sanctions

  Mr. WARNER. Madam President, I rise today to express my support for 
S.J. Res. 2, a resolution of disapproval on lifting sanctions against 
the energy and aluminum companies En+, RUSAL, and EuroSibEnergo.
  To start from the beginning, the United States of America has had 
very good reasons for sanctioning Oleg Deripaska. There are a number of 
significant national security risks at play. That is why repeatedly--
not just in the current administration but in prior administrations--
this individual has been denied a visa and why he has been personally 
sanctioned by the Treasury Department. As a matter of fact, the 
Treasury press release announcing the sanctions noted that Deripaska 
``has been investigated for money laundering, has been accused of 
threatening the lives of business rivals, illegally wiretapping a 
government official, and taking part in extortion and racketeering.''

[[Page S193]]

  These are not the qualifications of someone who should get relief 
from the United States. I appreciate the fact that his company, RUSAL, 
has an enormous effect upon the aluminum markets. I appreciate the 
efforts the Treasury Department has tried to make in restricting his 
control. But any businessperson knows that if you take an ownership 
position from 70 percent to 45 percent, and even with the voting power 
of 35 percent, you still control a company, particularly when this 
company was founded and the management team was all created by Mr. 
Deripaska.
  As we see continuing challenges coming out of the Russian Government, 
as we see continued efforts of Mr. Deripaska, being one of Vladimir 
Putin's closest allies and closest cronies, we would send absolutely 
the wrong signal if we in this body were to remove these sanctions.
  I know my friend the Senator from Texas wants to speak in a moment. I 
simply want to refer to the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, 
Chairman Burr, who has frequently pointed out that Deripaska and his 
associates have come up a number of times in our Senate Intelligence 
Committee's Russia investigation. All those facts can't be laid out 
here right now, but I strongly urge my colleagues to vote in favor of 
this resolution that will come up later today, that we don't send a 
signal that we are open for business with individuals who have the 
reputation of Oleg Deripaska, and that we maintain the sanctions on 
both him and his company, RUSAL.
  I yield the floor to my friend the Senator from Texas.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas.
  Mr. CORNYN. Madam President, I would say to my friend from Virginia, 
we both serve on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and of course we 
have both been intimately involved in the investigation on Russia's 
activities up to and including the 2016 election.
  I would like to point out the hypocrisy of our colleagues across the 
aisle who refused to take up any legislation whatsoever, such as S. 1, 
which is on the floor and which would take extraordinarily positive 
measures to protect our most important allies in the Middle East, 
including Israel and Jordan. They filibustered that bill and said: We 
are not going to take up any legislation until the government is back 
open--100 percent of it.
  For the past 2 weeks, the minority leader has paralyzed the work of 
the Senate, saying they would block the Senate from considering any 
legislation unrelated to government funding. A number of our colleagues 
have said--for example, the junior Senator from Virginia said: ``The 
Senate should vote on nothing else until we vote to reopen the 
government. Period.'' Senator Merkley said: ``The Senate's schedule 
cannot be business as usual if we shut down a quarter of the government 
and just leave it shut down.'' Senator Booker said that Senate 
Democrats should block consideration of all unrelated bills.
  All this comes as a result of the fact that the impetus is on the 
Democrats to come forward and negotiate a resolution of the shutdown in 
good faith. But to this point, the Speaker, Ms. Pelosi, and the 
minority leader, Senator Schumer, have simply refused to negotiate with 
the President.
  I was with the President down in Texas, down along the border, on 
Thursday. He is willing to negotiate. We know we had broad bipartisan 
support for the Secure Fence Act, for example, in 2006, authorizing up 
to 800 miles of fencing on the southern border. The Democratic leader 
voted for that, and so did Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Later, in 
2014, all Democrats voted for $40 billion in border security, including 
barriers, fencing, and tactical infrastructure along the border. Now 
they are saying, as the Speaker has said, that somehow this is 
``immoral.'' Well, this is hypocrisy at its worst.


                       Nomination of William Barr

  Madam President, on another matter, today the Senate Judiciary 
Committee is holding a hearing on the nomination of William Barr to be 
Attorney General of the United States. Mr. Barr is uniquely qualified 
for this position in large part because he held the job before. As a 
matter of fact, 27 years ago, he was nominated by George Herbert Walker 
Bush to be Attorney General of the United States. He was confirmed by a 
unanimous voice vote in the Senate. It received little fanfare at the 
time because it wasn't particularly controversial--nothing like the 
contentious, partisan confirmation battles we have seen the last 2 
years. There wasn't an attempt--at least so far, and I am keeping my 
fingers crossed--to assassinate Mr. Barr's character or try to decipher 
the notes in his high school yearbook like we saw in the Kavanaugh 
confirmation hearing. Instead, so far, and to the committee's credit, 
we have focused on his qualifications.
  He is clearly smart, articulate, and able. He has a clear 
understanding of what the role of the Attorney General is and, more 
importantly, what it is not. An Attorney General should not be a 
politician. As a matter of fact, the Attorney General has the very 
difficult job of trying to balance his responsibilities as the chief 
law enforcement officer in the country enforcing the rule of law along 
with the fact that he is a political appointee of the President's. To 
me, that is one of the most difficult positions in the Cabinet to hold. 
But Mr. Barr has done it before, and I think he can do it again. He, of 
course, has great institutional knowledge about the Department of 
Justice.
  In addition to Attorney General, he held the job of Assistant 
Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel and Deputy Attorney 
General before he was promoted to the top job
  Back in 1992, when Mr. Barr was confirmed, then-chairman of the 
Senate Judiciary, Joe Biden--President Obama's Vice President--said he 
would be a fine Attorney General.
  This morning, I heard Mr. Barr discuss the qualities that undoubtedly 
led Senators on both sides of the aisle to support his confirmation. He 
spoke of the importance of acting with professionalism and integrity. 
As a matter of fact, he said that at 68 years old, he basically had 
decided to semi-retire, only to answer the call by the President to 
return to public service. He said: I am completely independent. I will 
make the hard decisions. I will make the right decisions. I will help 
restore the reputation of the Department of Justice and the FBI to an 
apolitical, a nonpolitical department, which is exactly what we need.
  He wants to make sure that the character and reputation of the 
Department of Justice is enhanced and restored and then maintained, and 
then it could withstand even the most trying political times, including 
those in which we presently live.
  He spoke of serving with independence, providing no promises or 
assurances to anyone or anything, other than to faithfully execute and 
administer the laws of the United States of America.
  It is clear to me that he maintains the same views he held 27 years 
ago. I share his view that the Department of Justice should function 
outside of the highly politicalized times we live in. The fair and 
impartial administration of justice is the highest obligation and duty 
of this position.
  I believe Mr. Barr is an outstanding nominee and, once confirmed, 
will be an outstanding Attorney General. I look forward to voting yes 
on his nomination.


                           Government Funding

  Madam President, on the matter of the government shutdown--the 25 
percent of the government that is presently not funded--last week, I 
traveled with the President, along with my colleague Senator Cruz, to 
the Rio Grande Valley, to McAllen, TX.
  After the President held his roundtable, where he saw heroin, 
methamphetamine, and weapons, and heard about the human trafficking, 
including sex slavery involving children and girls and women, after 
that presentation--after the President left, Senator Cruz and I sat 
down with a number of our constituents--county judges, mayors, law 
enforcement officers, as well as the folks from Border Patrol and 
Customs and Border Protection. They understand the border better than 
anybody because they live there. They are deeply concerned about the 
posturing in Washington and how the political arguments seem to 
overcome logic and listening to the experts when it comes to border 
security. I was glad for them to confirm once again what they 
previously told me: that we need to strengthen those border communities

[[Page S194]]

and keep our country safe, while keeping legitimate trade and commerce 
flowing across the border.
  During our discussion, Scott Luck, Deputy Chief of the Border Patrol, 
talked about the positive impact of physical barriers and what positive 
impact they have at targeted locations along the southern border. He 
said:

       The physical barrier has worked every place I have been. I 
     have been in places where they did not have it; they put it 
     in and it worked.

  He mentioned Douglas, AZ, as one of those. He said:

       There were more people coming into the country there than 
     any other place in the country. I was there. It stopped. It 
     stopped in California. It stopped in Yuma. It stopped in El 
     Paso. It will stop wherever we put it.

  Despite what our colleagues across the aisle are saying, physical 
barriers at the border can be effective when coupled with technology 
and personnel. It doesn't do you much good to have a physical barrier 
that somebody can go over or around or through and you don't have a 
Border Patrol agent there to detain them.
  Actually, the physical border is the last place you are going to stop 
people trying to illegally enter into the United States, together with 
the narcotics and the human trafficking, but it is important to have 
those tools available to the Border Patrol, and that is what Deputy 
Chief Luck was stressing. He made the comments and observation that 
physical barriers alone are not the solution for the entire border--a 
holistic border security approach also requires technology and 
personnel.
  When we were discussing the need for building physical barriers in 
strategic locations, my friend, Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino, 
said something to Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd that I 
think encapsulates the whole debate. He was talking to the Border 
Patrol and CBP and said:

       If you tell us where you need it, I think we are all on 
     board. If the politicians tell us where we need it, I think 
     that is where we have our concern.

  In other words, what Judge Trevino was saying was, let's listen to 
the experts, the people who know how to use the right combination of 
technology, tactical infrastructure, and personnel at each given place 
along the border because it makes no sense to try to treat this like a 
one-size-fits-all. Anybody who has ever been to the border between the 
United States and Mexico knows that the geography and topography vary 
tremendously from place to place.
  Let's not try to dictate from Washington, DC, where every dollar goes 
and in so doing try to micromanage the Border Patrol and Customs and 
Border Protection and the Department of Homeland Security. Let's leave 
that to the experts--the men and women who work to protect and secure 
our border every day.
  What we continue to hear and what I continue to advocate is for a 
layered approach--barriers where they are appropriate, technology, and 
personnel. That is exactly what we have been talking about. That is 
what we voted for in 2006 with the Secure Fence Act. The Democrats 
supported that, along with Republicans. That is what law enforcement 
officers tell us they need to operate optimally. Unfortunately, it is 
what Democrats are now refusing to negotiate and provide.
  When looking at the border, it is not just physical security we need 
to be concerned about; we need to be concerned about our economic 
security as well.
  During our discussions last week with local stakeholders, we also 
focused on the importance of facilitating legitimate trade and travel 
at our ports of entry. I was shocked by this figure, but the Customs 
and Border Protection Officer there, Mr. Higgerson, mentioned that the 
trade from Texas ports alone is valued at $300 billion per year. For 
the State of Texas and border communities in particular, these ports 
fuel our economy, and we need to provide additional funding to ensure 
efficient movement across the border.
  One thing we all agree on is that most of the high-end drugs--the 
heroin, the methamphetamine, and the fentanyl--come through the ports 
of entry. So let's modernize those. Let's provide the technology that 
is needed in order to stop the flow of that poison into the United 
States. Legitimate trade and commerce is the lifeblood not only of our 
border region in my State, it is also the lifeblood of our Nation's 
economy. There are 5 million Americans whose jobs depend on binational 
trade with Mexico alone.
  Along with a number of my colleagues from Texas, we are sending a 
bipartisan letter to President Trump that thanks him for his continued 
work to secure our southern border. His advocacy for that layered 
approach, as well as for port of entry improvements, is vital to my 
State. In that letter, we also address recent rumors to the effect that 
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' funds might be used for border 
security purposes, and I have urged the President not to take that 
route. While I will continue to advocate for additional border 
security, I believe those funds were intended to support disaster 
relief and should be used for that purpose. We need both border 
security and to lend a helping hand to those who are still recovering 
from natural disasters. We don't have to rob from Peter to pay Paul. We 
need to do both.
  I am grateful for the support that has been shown from the President 
to the people of Texas both in the days following Hurricane Harvey's 
landfall and in the nearly year and a half since, and I hope he will 
continue to work with all of my Texas colleagues and me as we rebuild 
our communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey and as we work together to 
secure our border.
  Mr. CARPER. Will the Senator yield for a moment?
  Mr. CORNYN. I yield.
  Mr. CARPER. Madam President, I thank the Senator for his comments. As 
Senator Cornyn lives down at the border and as his State is on the 
border, he is well familiar with that part of the world.
  As it turns out, as the former chairman of the Homeland Security 
Committee, I have had a chance to visit the borders in the Senator's 
State and in other States along the Mexican border. Not that long ago, 
there were a whole lot of Mexicans coming into the United States, as he 
knows, and not so many Mexicans going back to Mexico. In the year 2000, 
when illegal immigration peaked, huge numbers of Mexicans came in--not 
so much today. As the Senator knows, they are coming from Honduras, 
Guatemala, and El Salvador.
  I am a huge advocate of border security. I think fencing makes sense 
in a lot of places. We have hundreds of miles of fencing, and in a lot 
of places, fences alongside roads make sense. We have very 
sophisticated surveillance equipment that can look from different 
platforms. We have drones, fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, stationary 
towers, and mobile towers that can look down 20, 25 miles into Mexico 
and pick up people who are coming up from the south. Motion detectors 
make sense, and tunnel detectors make sense. There is a lot of stuff 
that makes sense.
  I am all for investing there. I think Democrats and Republicans can 
find common ground, and I think we have. The appropriations bills that 
we have passed will actually fund that kind of stuff. They are not just 
Democratic ideas, and they are not just Republican ideas. They are good 
ideas, and a lot of them come from our Border Patrol personnel, as the 
Senator knows.
  We can do all of this and more on the southern border with Mexico, 
but if people in Honduras, in Guatemala, and in El Salvador continue to 
live lives of misery because we are complicit in our addiction to 
drugs, they are going to still want to come up here. So we need to be 
able to walk and chew gum at the same time and also provide, through 
Alliance for Prosperity, which is, really, a modern-day planned 
Colombia, a little bit of hope and opportunity so they will feel less 
compelled to come to this country to have a better life.
  Thank you.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas.
  Mr. CORNYN. Madam President, if I could respond to my friend, the 
Senator from Delaware, he speaks correctly--accurately--about some of 
the symptoms and, I think, some of the cures that we need to put in 
place to deal with this extraordinarily complex problem. We would love 
to continue to work with him on coming up with something. We may not 
want to call it ``Plan Mexico'' but ``Plan Americas'' because what we 
really have to deal with is a regional challenge.

[[Page S195]]

  He is exactly right in that most of the illegal immigration now is 
coming from Central America. Gaps in our immigration and human 
trafficking laws encourage unaccompanied children and family units to 
come up to the border because they can, essentially, get placed in the 
United States while they wait for their asylum claims to be determined 
by a court, and there is a backlog of 700,000 or 800,000 asylum claims. 
In other words, the criminal organizations that move people for money 
into the United States have cracked the code and have figured out how 
to be successful in placing people in the United States.
  Unfortunately, it also helps to enrich those organizations that move 
the poison from south of the border into the United States. They 
contributed to the deaths of some 70,000 Americans last year alone. I 
am thinking particularly about the fentanyl, along with the heroin, 
going from China to Mexico and up across the border. Of that consumed 
in the United States, 90 percent of it comes from Mexico. I agree that 
it is the demand here in the United States that enriches the cartels, 
but they are, more or less, commodity agnostic. In other words, they 
will do anything that makes them money, these criminal organizations.
  We need to have people sit down and work together, and I pledge to 
work with my colleague to try to do that. Yet we can't get a solution 
as long as the Speaker of the House calls physical infrastructure or 
barriers immoral. This is kind of a nonstarter to a conversation that 
we need to have to try to negotiate our way out of this shutdown.
  I welcome working with my friend.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Dakota.
  Mr. HOEVEN. Madam President, I extend my thoughts in regard to the 
comments made by the senior Senator from Texas in the need for border 
security. I appreciate his comments, and I, certainly, agree with them.


          North Dakota State University 2018 FCS Title Victory

  Madam President, I rise to take a minute to recognize the incredible 
achievements of the North Dakota State University Bison football team 
today.
  On January 5, it earned its record seventh national championship 
title. For 7 out of the last 8 years, it has been the national 
champion.
  In a hard-fought victory, NDSU defeated the Eastern Washington 
University Eagles by a score of 38 to 24 in Frisco, TX. With that win, 
the Bison have now won an unprecedented, as I say, seventh NCAA 
Division I football championship series championship, setting a record 
for the most FCS titles of all time. The Bison now have a total of 15 
NCAA championship titles. In addition, the team completed the 2018 
football season with a perfect record of 15 wins and zero losses, 
displaying just an extraordinary resilience and skill.
  This achievement puts the 2018 Bison in, truly, elite company as it 
has become only the fifth team to cap off an undefeated season with a 
national championship title. The 2018 team joins the 2013 NDSU team in 
accomplishing this impressive feat.
  Further, NDSU is one of only five FCS teams to have ever won back-to-
back titles. NDSU is the deserved holder of the longest title winning 
streak in FCS history, with its obtaining five titles in a row from 
2011 to 2015. It has been victorious in every FCS title game in which 
it has played.
  After the title game, NDSU quarterback Easton Stick became NDSU's 
record holder for the most passing yards, having a total of 8,693 
passing yards in his college career. He also became the NCAA record 
holder for the most all-time FCS wins by a quarterback, having a total 
of 49 career wins.
  I also recognize the impressive achievement of NDSU's head coach, 
Chris Klieman. During his 5 years as head coach, he led the Bison to an 
outstanding record of 69 wins and only six losses, winning four 
national championships in the process. Coach Klieman's achievement of 
four titles in 5 years equals the NCAA's FCS record for obtaining the 
most titles as a head coach. Coach Klieman and his entire staff 
instilled character and perseverance in the members of the NDSU Bison 
football team.
  While I know it is bittersweet, I am sure that Bison Nation will join 
me in wishing Coach Klieman the best of luck in his continued career as 
the new head coach of the Kansas State University Wildcats next season. 
We welcome Matt Entz as the new head coach, who was formerly the 
defensive coordinator. He has, certainly, been part of this great 
dynasty.
  Finally, I recognize all of Bison Nation for its vibrant and 
unwavering support of the team during another successful season.
  As they have grown accustomed to doing, the welcoming residents of 
Frisco, TX, saw a mass of Bison fans flock to their town for the FCS 
championship game. They were warm and wonderful in terms of their 
hospitality. Approximately 20,000 fans traveled from North Dakota and 
other areas to support our great team. They turned the stadium into a 
sea of green and yellow as they passionately cheered on our beloved 
Bison.
  The Bison victory was not only a victory for the NDSU football team 
but for our State as the team brought yet another trophy back home to 
North Dakota. I congratulate the team, the coaches, and our great, 
great fans on another national championship.
  Go, Bison.
  Again, I am so proud of our great team, and I appreciate the 
opportunity to take this time to recognize its achievements.
  I am pleased to yield the floor to my fellow Senator from North 
Dakota.
  Mr. CRAMER. Madam President, I thank my friend and colleague, Senator 
Hoeven.
  Before I get into my prepared comments, let me first associate myself 
with his words and his eloquent appreciation and congratulations to the 
folks at NDSU and to the football team. Let me just say that I don't 
care what President Trump says--in Bison Nation, we never get tired of 
winning.


                             March For Life

  Madam President, for the first time, I rise as a Member of this 
prestigious body, as a U.S. Senator, to talk about a critical issue 
that faces our Nation, which is every citizen's right to life.
  It is no coincidence that I rise today, the week of March for Life. 
This coming Friday is the 46th annual March for Life, during which 
citizens from across the country and hundreds from North Dakota, 
especially students from places like Shanley High School and the 
University of Mary and other institutions around our State, will unite 
to fight against the largest, deadliest, and most silent war this world 
has ever known. This, my colleagues, is the war against the unborn.
  During my time in the House of Representatives in the last 6 years 
and throughout my campaign for the Senate last year, I promised the 
people of North Dakota that I would fight for life at all stages. I 
unite, today, with those who will march this Friday, who will walk with 
heavy and hopeful hearts and who will pray for the 60 million discarded 
children who have been denied their very first breaths.
  Colleagues, I stand here to call to mind a child's right to life and 
protection within the womb of his or her mother. Since Roe v. Wade, 
which the Supreme Court decided in 1973, over 60 million children have 
been denied their right to life. There have been 60 million children 
who have been refused love, comfort, a hug, care, opportunity, and 
breath. They were torn from experiencing the beauty of the world that 
we are so fortunate to see. They were torn from family and unknown 
friends.
  To deny 60 million innocent children the right to these things is the 
highest injustice to our people and the highest offense to our God. I 
speak on behalf of the citizens of North Dakota and of all citizens who 
will gather this week to say that it is absolutely unacceptable that 
within this country, life is treated as a commodity rather than a gift 
from an omnipotent Creator.
  Some of my pro-choice colleagues and friends may say that in taking 
this stance, I am standing against women's rights--nothing could be 
further from the truth--and that this is an issue of a woman's right. 
It is an issue for the millions of women who have been denied the right 
to life. I fully support women's rights. I just began supporting them 9 
months earlier than some of my colleagues on the other side of this 
important issue.

  To my colleagues who are pro-life who are supportive of this fight, I 
remind them that abortion is a great injustice, but it is particularly 
common in situations and communities that

[[Page S196]]

have suffered other injustices. If we are going to be pro-life, I think 
we must be pro all of life and address the factors that cause women to 
decide to end the life of their unborn children.
  The United States has seen a great evil throughout its history. We 
have seen and experienced slavery, discrimination, and human 
trafficking. All of these things are illegal, and these things are 
issues on which we as a country take a moral stance. However, abortion 
is legal. Sixty million lives have been ended legally in our country.
  Here, in Washington, DC, nearly 40 percent of pregnancies end in 
abortion. In New York City, an African-American child is more likely to 
be aborted than born. As one Nation under God, we, as a country, should 
know better. We must know better, and I believe we do know better. No 
government should limit the lives of its youngest and most innocent 
citizens.
  As a Senator, I give you my promise to fight for life, and I ask my 
colleagues to join me. This is my promise to the people of North Dakota 
who have chosen me as their Senator and my promise to my fellow 
citizens, especially those who have never had the chance to speak with 
their voices.
  Within my first few weeks here, I have signed onto several pro-life 
priorities. I have signed a letter asking President Trump to veto any 
legislation that undermines the right to life. Additionally, I 
cosponsored the Protect Funding for Women's Healthcare Act, a bill that 
would end Federal funding for Planned Parenthood and shift that money 
to women's health services.
  In North Dakota, we don't have any Planned Parenthood clinics, but we 
have 16 community health centers and over 20 federally qualified health 
centers. Shifting this money toward these health centers would help the 
women in my State to receive better and more accessible healthcare. Let 
me say that again. Shifting funding away from the abortion clinics and 
toward these community health centers would provide more funds to the 
health centers that care for women across the State of North Dakota.
  Additionally, I have cosponsored the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion 
and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act and the Title X Prohibition 
Act, two bills to protect the taxpayer from funding the abortion 
industry.
  I have cosponsored the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, 
which would guarantee that a child who survives an abortion will 
receive the same medical care as a premature child of the same age, and 
the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, which protects the 
rights of parents to be notified if their child is going to have an 
abortion.
  Finally, I have cosponsored the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection 
Act, which would ban abortion after 20 weeks.
  My fellow Senators, I stand here because of the citizens of North 
Dakota and of the United States who desire to see these bills and many 
other important pro-life bills pass and signed into law. They want an 
end to this injustice.
  I recognize my responsibility to fight for the youngest, most 
vulnerable members of our society and our future generations. Today, I 
stand with my constituents and with the entire population of the United 
States, especially the men and women who have been robbed of their 
right to life. I urge my fellow Senators to take a stand on this 
pressing issue as well. With our united efforts, the killing of our 
unborn citizens will continue to diminish.
  Our work is fruitful. In every legislative session we see more and 
more laws passed at the State level to protect unborn life. From 2008 
to 2014, the abortion rate in the United States dropped by 25 percent. 
Each year, we are making great strides and giving a voice to the 
voiceless.
  This fight is not a political fight but a fight for humanity itself. 
It is a war against all of us and against all of our children, no 
matter our ideologies. We have to learn to prioritize the issues in our 
own parties and work across the aisle. We have to look at each other 
with open minds and open hearts to solve this crisis that has plagued 
our country. We must do better at reaching out and uniting with one 
another in defense of one of the most fundamental rights--the right to 
life.
  The truth is this: We must uphold this right because ``we hold these 
Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they 
are endowed''--at the time of creation--``by their Creator with certain 
unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit 
of Happiness.'' Without the first--that is the right to life--we can 
have neither liberty nor the pursuit of happiness. We have been denying 
the first for far too long. So let's join together now to give the 
future of our country, our next generations, the right to life.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Dakota.
  Mr. HOEVEN. Madam President, I would like to commend my fellow 
Senator from North Dakota on his heartfelt comments today and express 
my support and agreement with him and with those comments.
  He mentioned a number of pieces of legislation that he is 
cosponsoring. I am pleased to see that. I, again, have signed onto 
legislation to support life in this Congress, as I have in previous 
Congresses.
  We will have the March for Life at the end of this week. I look 
forward to that. Last year, my wife and her sister actually walked in 
the March for Life. I have always made a practice of greeting our 
participants in the March for Life from North Dakota, and I certainly 
look forward to seeing them again here this year.
  With that, I thank you for this time to make these comments, and, 
again, to extend a warm welcome to my colleague from North Dakota. I 
have worked with him for many years, and I very much look forward to 
working with him now here in the Senate.
  Thank you.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.


                            National Defense

  Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, in the floor speech that I gave last 
week on the ``Common Sense for Common Defense,'' I highlighted the fact 
that our competitors have increased their own military spending and 
focused on modernization and how we are going to have to do the same.
  When I talk about competitors, I am talking about China and Russia. I 
think this President did a good job of outlining our national defense 
system and putting it into different categories, because when you talk 
about China and Russia--not many people are aware of this--China and 
Russia have increased all during the years that we have decreased. They 
have actually caught up, and, in some cases, have actually passed us.
  Our men and women in uniform are outstanding representations of what 
is right in America. Their drive and determination is the reason the 
United States of America has the honor of being the leader of the free 
world. That honor, however, is the product of hard work, not 
birthright. We earned it.
  But over the last 10 years, our military supremacy has slowly 
degraded. General Dunford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 
has acknowledged that our qualitative and quantitative advantage has 
eroded. Toward the end of the Obama administration, with many of our 
systems, like our brigade combat teams, only 35 percent of them could 
be deployed because of what happened to the defense budget and our 
maintenance capabilities.
  The same thing happened to our Army aviation brigades. The same thing 
happened to our F18s. It is the Marines that fly the F18s, and we only 
had 30 percent of those that could be deployed toward the end of the 
Obama administration.
  This is something that people are not aware of. This is very 
significant. We need to pay attention to this, if there is ever any 
question. Constant dollar defense spending dropped $200 billion from 
2010 to 2015. That was in the last 5 years of the Obama administration.
  In 2010, the budget was $794 billion, and then 5 years later, it 
dropped down to $586 billion. That is unprecedented. Even after the 
Korean war, it didn't drop that much, but, nonetheless, it did. It has 
never happened before, and we have to make up for it.
  That is exactly what we are doing. Our fiscal year 2018 budget 
brought it back up to $700 billion. Our 2019 budget brought it back up 
to $716 billion, and we anticipate--and it has been mentioned several 
times--that in our 2020 budget it is going to be around $750 billion.

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  We have a slide here that puts it in a little different perspective. 
As you can see from the slide, at the end of the Cold War, we had about 
the same number of fighter aircraft as our adversaries at that time--
that was Russia and China. It is very clear on this. The orange is the 
third generation fighters, and the blue is the fourth generation 
fighters. It shows that now we are getting into the fifth generation. 
Actually, at that time, we were way ahead of them. This is a thing of 
the past now.
  While we had the same amount, we were still superior because our 
aircraft were the newest and the most capable in the world. Our fighter 
aircraft--in fact, most of our military equipment--was better, more 
modern, and more effective than the Russians or the Chinese had. Now 
that has changed. During this most recent period of time, we went 
through about 10 years of not increasing the quality, and the numbers 
stayed the same. So we got to the point where many of the things the 
Chinese and Russians had were better than what we had.
  As demonstrated on the chart, our fighter force was reduced nearly 50 
percent in total numbers over the last 25 years, and we failed to 
modernize. Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson, said our Air 
Force is too small to do what the Nation asks. Not only is it too 
small, but the average age of our aircraft is now 28 years old. How 
many of us in here drive a car that is 28 years old?
  In 1990, we brought over 500 aircraft a year--1990, 500 aircraft a 
year--but recently, that number has been reduced to 50 a year.
  When I go out and talk to people who are in my State of Oklahoma and 
anywhere around the country, there is the assumption that somehow we 
have the very best of everything. That used to be the case. That became 
the case after World War II, but then during the last 10 years is when 
things dropped down. We are going to have to do better because, at this 
rate, it would take us over 40 years to modernize a fleet that is 
already too old and too small. Meanwhile, our adversaries have 
transformed their aircraft fleets with modernization programs and have 
increased their overall size and capabilities. In fact, the Chinese and 
Russian air forces have recapitalized and are now, or soon will be, 
fielding aircraft with capability matching our own but at a much faster 
rate. If they get to the point where we are in terms of modernization, 
they are already way ahead of us in terms of numbers. According to the 
Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General Goldfein, if we take no 
action, both the Russian and Chinese forces will be bigger and more 
technologically advanced than us. We know this is true.
  Artillery is measured in terms of rapid fire and range, and that is 
where we are falling behind them.
  The problem is not just the Air Force. The Army, likewise, has gotten 
smaller and less capable in the same decade. Specifically, in terms of 
long-range fires--defined as tubed artillery and tactical missiles--you 
can see the same trend. This is our artillery system. There are three 
different types of artillery, but you can see now that as time has gone 
by, we have actually fallen behind. If you look at us over here, in 
2018, our total is 2,886, as opposed to 22,000 for the Russians and 
10,000 for the Chinese. The numbers are there, and we know that is 
happening, and we know it is taking place as we speak.
  In the last 25 years, we have kind of rested on that advantage that 
things were better than they had. While our adversaries have also 
reduced the amount of long-range fires over the same period of time, 
they have significantly modernized their force. We are now in a 
situation where both of these countries--that is, Russia and China--not 
only have more artillery than us, but theirs is better than ours.
  GEN Mark Milley, the Army Chief of Staff said: ``In terms of 
artillery, the Army is outgunned and outranged by our adversaries.'' 
Unfortunately, people don't know this, and people are going to have to 
know this to know what happened to us in the last decade.
  One can look at the devastating results from Russia's action against 
the Ukrainian army. We all remember that in 2014 they made it possible 
through the modernization of their artillery systems. The results were 
there. They were. They inflicted damage.

  Recognizing the problem is normally the first step in developing an 
acceptable solution. The fiscal year 2018 and fiscal year 2019 budgets 
got us back in the right direction, but in fiscal year 2018 we have 
gone up to $700 billion for a defense budget and in fiscal year 2019 to 
$716 billion. So we are on the road to recovery. We recognize, the 
people in this body know, what has happened to our abilities and our 
superiority in these areas that is no longer there.
  This is kind of interesting. We had a hearing on this the other day. 
Of all the presentations I have heard, the assessment and 
recommendations of the National Defense Strategy Commission--that is 
what this book is right here--was put together a few years ago. They 
have actually made these assessments and come to the conclusion that if 
we want to do something--what they have come up with in this is a 
formula as to what it is going to take right now and for the 
foreseeable future. They say all of our defense budgets coming up are 
going to have to be an increase of somewhere between 3 percent and 5 
percent above inflation. Of course, that is exactly what these 3 years 
will do, so we are making headway in that respect.
  This growth projection is also one our Secretary of Defense as well 
as our Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff say is going to be 
necessary for us to get back up even with and competitive with both 
Russia and China.
  I can remember not long ago being in the South China Sea and watching 
China actually building islands. It is not legal, but they do it 
anyway. If you look at what is on these seven islands out there, it is 
as if they are preparing for World War III. Our allies in the South 
China Sea are very much concerned about this as to whose side they are 
going to be on if this happens.
  We don't want to shortchange our national security. We fully 
implement the national defense strategy, as found in this book, in a 
timely manner by avoiding continuing resolutions and eliminating the 
threat of sequestration.
  A continuing resolution is something where, if we don't get along in 
this body, we don't pass our appropriations bills as we are supposed to 
pass, then we end up passing a continuing resolution that continues 
what we have done in the previous year. We can't continue to do that.
  The already widening gap with Russia and China will only grow faster 
if we don't change our behavior. That is exactly what we plan to do. We 
need to fix this if we are going to do it.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Blackburn). The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. CRAPO. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.


                Unanimous Consent Agreement--S.J. Res. 2

  Mr. CRAPO. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
following Senators be recognized to speak for up to 7 minutes each: 
Senator Isakson, Senator Menendez, and Senator Crapo; and finally, 
following the use or yielding back of that time, Senator Schumer be 
recognized to make a motion to proceed to S.J. Res. 2, and that 
following his remarks, Senator McConnell be recognized to make a motion 
to table the motion to proceed following his remarks.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. CRAPO. Madam President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. CRAPO. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

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