(Senate - January 16, 2019)

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[Pages S233-S247]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will 
resume consideration of S.J. Res. 2, which the clerk will report.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A joint resolution (S.J. Res. 2) disapproving the 
     President's proposal to take an action relating to the 
     application of certain sanctions with respect to the Russian 

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the time until 12:30 
p.m. will be equally divided between the two leaders or their 
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President I ask unanimous consent that the time on 
the quorum call be equally divided between the two sides.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                   Recognition of the Majority Leader

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader is recognized.

                            Border Security

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, one dollar--one dollar--that is the 
amount that the Speaker of the House said she would be willing to 
invest in physical barriers at our southern border--one dollar. Talk 
about serious, good-faith negotiations. Talk about taking borders 
  The men and women on the ground have been unambiguous about the 
crisis they are facing: the entry of criminal aliens and gang members 
into our country, the drugs that go on to infect our communities, the 
ongoing humanitarian crises that are fueled by our government's mixed 
signals and our inability to enforce our own laws.
  According to Speaker Pelosi, these urgent issues are worth about 33 
cents each--33 cents. As we all know, that is because the Speaker has 
recently defined a brandnew dogma for the Democratic Party: Actually 
enforcing our immigration laws with the help of physical barriers is 
``an immorality''--an immorality.
  That is quite the indictment of her fellow Democrats' past positions. 
Recent years have seen Democrats vote for billions--billions--of 
dollars in physical walls and fencing. Recent years have seen a 
Democratic administration build the same steel barriers--the very same 
steel barriers--that this President now wants to expand.
  But these days, it seems that Democrats are happy to take their cues 
from the gentlelady from San Francisco and her extreme, fringe position 
that walls have now become immoral. Really?
  Yesterday, President Trump issued yet another bipartisan invitation 
for Members of Congress to meet at the White House and actually 
negotiate. Yet, again, only Republicans came to the table.
  For the American people, who deserve both a functioning government as 
well as a secure border, that really is not a promising sign. For 
Federal workers who are now stretching every dollar until Democrats 
lose interest in dead-end political games, the Speaker's $1 punchline 
is not very entertaining.
  So for everyone's sake, I hope our Democratic colleagues will reverse 
course and work seriously with this White House to reach an agreement 
that can become law and fulfill our promises to our country.
  In the meantime, as the White House made clear just yesterday, 
cherry-picking continuing resolutions that fail to

[[Page S234]]

address the border crisis will not receive the President's signature. 
They are not going to.
  The only way out of this impasse is a bipartisan agreement, and as 
the Democratic leader and I have both stated here on the floor, only an 
all-corners bipartisan agreement will receive a vote here in the 

                              S.J. Res. 2

  Mr. President, on another matter, before the Senate today is a 
resolution from the Democratic leader that would overrule career civil 
servants at the Treasury Department and fire from the hip on one of the 
top foreign policy concerns of the United States.
  This is the pending business, despite the fact that the Democratic 
leader had previously proclaimed he would not let the Senate address 
any business--any--during this partial government shutdown. Apparently 
there is an exception to that.
  Remember, that was the reason the Democratic leader gave for leading 
a Democratic filibuster of a bipartisan package that would have 
reaffirmed our commitment to defend our allies in Israel, stand 
alongside Jordan, and unlock justice for the victims of Assad's rogue 
  On one day, they insist we shouldn't do any business; on another, it 
is time to bring up an unrelated resolution of their own. At the end of 
the last Congress, they said they would support bipartisan legislation 
to shore up our allies in the Middle East and deliver justice for 
victims of unspeakable violence in Syria. Now they are filibustering 
the bill and have voted against it three times--three times against 
this potential bill that benefits our allies Israel and Jordan and 
deals with the victims of cruelty in Syria.
  These twists and turns are pretty hard to follow, confusing, until 
you remember the one key to our Democratic colleagues' thinking these 
days--political spite for the President comes first, ahead of 
everything else.
  You see, the administration isn't opposed to these bipartisan, urgent 
bills to back Israel, Jordan, and the Syrian people. President Trump, 
we expect, would sign these bills. We might actually make a law, which 
is what people sent us here to do, presumably.
  Naturally, the Democratic leader isn't interested. Democrats in 
Congress don't think working with the President to accomplish things 
suits their political brand these days.
  The Democratic leader's new resolution, which he has been happy to 
prioritize ahead of Israel and the Syrian people, offers him a chance 
to make a political splash. It overrules the careful actions of career 
civil servants at Treasury and blows up a nuanced decision the current 
law actually requires. Current law actually requires what they do.
  Supporting Israel? It is not too interesting to my friends across the 
aisle, but picking a political fight with the President, boy, they are 
up for that one every day.
  This is the key to understanding this unusual moment. This is the 
central principle. Democrats have made a marketing decision to obstruct 
President Trump at all costs, even if it hurts substantive priorities 
they used to support. That is why we are in day 26 of this partial 
government shutdown, with Democrats refusing to even show up and 
negotiate on funds for border security, which they used to brag about 
supporting. That is why Senate Democrats have decided that aid for 
Israel and help for the people of Syria are not worthy of this body's 
time but are happy to spend more time trying to blow up a highly 
technical Treasury Department decision that current law actually 
  Let me say that again. They are happy to spend floor time trying to 
blow up a highly technical Treasury Department decision that current 
law actually requires. Political obstruction is their top priority. 
Everything else follows from that.

                       Nomination of William Barr

  Mr. President, on a final matter, even in the midst of this political 
climate, the President's nominee for Attorney General delivered an 
impressive performance during the first day of his hearings before the 
Judiciary Committee. Senators were reminded exactly why he won 
bipartisan admiration for this body in 1991 and was confirmed as 
President Bush 41's Attorney General with no opposition--none.
  Now, as Mr. Barr himself acknowledged in his testimony yesterday, 
times have changed, but the core principles that our Nation's Attorney 
General must uphold haven't changed. As the nominee testified 
yesterday, ``the American people have to know that there are places in 
the government where the rule of law--not politics--holds sway . . . 
the Department of Justice must be such a place.''
  Those are the words of the right man for this job. His testimony made 
clear what he sees as key priorities for the Department of Justice: 
building on past progress in preventing violent crime, enforcing and 
improving our Nation's immigration laws, and protecting the integrity 
of our electoral system.
  He stated definitively where his loyalties lie: with ``the rule of 
law, the Constitution, and the American people. That is how it should 
be. That is how it must be. And, if you confirm me, that is how it will 
  Experience, integrity, and total commitment--the President has made 
an outstanding choice. The Judiciary Committee continues its hearings 
today. I look forward to their continuing review of this nomination 
and, then, to its being reported here to the floor. The American people 
deserve the very best. That is just what Attorney General Bill Barr 
will be
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                   Recognition of the Minority Leader

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Democratic leader is recognized.

                           Government Funding

  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I just heard Leader McConnell, my good 
friend, rail on and on. First, he doesn't agree with Nancy Pelosi on 
the wall. That is a surprise. Second, he doesn't like the fact that we 
want to get a vote to open up the government before we move forward on 
S. 1. We know that. His arguments are getting kind of old and stale.
  I will say to the leader, very simply--you may disagree with us: Open 
the government. Open the government. You can do it, Leader McConnell. 
All your blaming and flailing isn't going to open the government. We 
all know Donald Trump is the obstacle here. You know it. I know it. We 
all know it. The only way to help all the folks who need help is to 
open the government.
  There are a good number of Republicans on your side who have 
advocated that already. To hold the government hostage, you are losing 
the argument. You are losing it with the public. An overwhelming 
majority of Americans think the government should not be shut down over 
a wall. Even a substantial number of people who support the wall say: 
Don't shut down the government to get the wall.
  We have problems on the border. A lot of Americans don't think it is 
a crisis that demands hurting our economy and our government.
  Leader McConnell, we know you disagree with Leader Pelosi and me on 
what should be border security. We know you think we should pass S. 1 
before we open up the government. Leader, you--you--can open the 
government. That is what the American people want, and I dare say that 
is what most of your colleagues want, at least if they talk to you 
  It seems that every day the Trump shutdown drags on, we read another 
story about a new way it is hurting our economy. Eight hundred thousand 
public servants have been without pay, including thousands of veterans 
who work for the Federal Government. Each one of those Americans has a 
different story about how the shutdown is hurting them and their 
families. As nine essential Cabinet Departments remain shuttered, we 
are learning that the effects of the shutdown are even more widespread 
and continue to worsen. Yesterday, President Trump's own White House 
Council of Economic Advisers doubled their projections of how much 
economic growth is being lost each week during the shutdown.
  Let me repeat that. The Trump administration's own economic advisers 
have just said that the Trump shutdown will substantially hurt our 
economy--twice as much as they originally

[[Page S235]]

predicted. Growth is down. Economic and consumer confidence is down. 
Billions of dollars have been pulled out of our economy. Some of the 
leading financial leaders in the country are now saying we might even 
go into contraction in the first part of this year if this shutdown 
  Do you think, Leader McConnell, that is benefiting Donald Trump? Do 
you think, Leader McConnell, that is benefiting the Republican Party, 
who the Americans know own the shutdown? No. Let's open the government 
and then debate our differences on border security and whatever else.
  Why is our country suffering self-inflicted damage? Because President 
Trump is using the American government as leverage in an attempt to 
extract taxpayer money for a border wall he promised Mexico would pay 
  He says: You know, I hear Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity: He promised 
this in the campaign.
  No, he didn't. He promised a wall that Mexico would pay for. He never 
said once, that I can recall, in the campaign: But if Mexico doesn't 
pay for it, we will pay for it.
  Of course people voted for it--or some, not that many. This is 
ridiculous. The President makes a campaign promise. He twists the 
campaign promise around and now shuts down the government so he can 
show he is keeping not the promise he made but a different one. It 
would sound ridiculous and absurd if it weren't the reality.
  The fact of the matter is that eight Cabinet Departments not named 
Homeland Security have absolutely nothing--nothing--to do with our 
disagreements over border security. That is why Democrats have offered, 
and continue to offer, to reopen the government while we debate border 
  Again, three words for Leader McConnell again: Open the government.
  Three words to my Republican colleagues: Open the government.
  Three words to President Trump: Open the government.
  Then, we can have all the discussion and debating, as we are supposed 
to do, on these issues where we don't agree.
  Democrats have made entirely reasonable proposals. We proposed to 
open the government by passing Republican spending bills from the last 
Congress so there would be no controversy. These are not bills the 
Democrats put together. These are bills the Republicans put together 
with some Democratic input. Leader McConnell voted for every one of 
them--every one of them.
  As for this idea that he will not move unless Trump agrees, that may 
have made sense in the first week or two. It makes no sense now because 
President Trump is adamant, all over the lot, and seems unwilling and 
unable to tie himself out of his own knots to get the government open. 
Someone should step in. On our side, we are willing to step in. Where 
is Leader McConnell? Where are the Republicans?
  The American people support passing our bills--bills that we have 
asked unanimous consent for by wide margins--two to one, including 
nearly 40 percent of Republicans. Forty percent of Republicans support 
passing our bills and then debating.
  So, Mr. President, even your prized base--a good chunk of it, about a 
third--is turning away from you on this issue.
  When will the President and my Republican colleagues wake up to the 
hardship being inflicted on so many people across the country? It is 
time that the Senate act on House-passed bills to open the government.
  The President, we know, is inflexible. He is ``proud,'' as he said, 
to have shut down the government. He is, amazingly--never seen a 
President like this--impervious to the pain and suffering of Federal 
workers and the American people. He makes stuff up: Oh, the Federal 
workers want the wall. Who? Two people who are on FOX News all the time 
who are part of a Border Patrol union? That is it, not the average 
  The President has refused all entreaties to open up the government by 
Democrats and Republicans, like my friend Senator Graham--one of the 
President's biggest allies in this Chamber.
  His deputies are hardly even empowered to negotiate with the Hill 
since President Trump retracts their offers almost as soon as they are 
made. Everyone--everyone--can see how fruitless it is to try and 
negotiate with this President at the moment.
  My friend Leader McConnell is the one who can break the impasse. He 
has declared before that ``he is the guy who gets us out of 
shutdowns.'' He was proud of that. I wish he were still proud of it.
  I think we are all ready for that, Leader McConnell, because so long 
as Leader McConnell hides behind the President and the President's 
absurd and destructive shutdown strategy, the Senate will be unable to 
vote on broadly popular legislation to reopen the government.
  The longer Leader McConnell allows this to continue, the more he and 
Republican Senators will be tied to the President and the President's 
disgraceful tactic of government by extortion.


  Mr. President, last night, the Senate voted to proceed to the 
resolution to disapprove the Treasury Department's plans to relax 
sanctions on Russia, and 11 Republicans--I am proud of that, proud of 
them--joined with every Democrat to advance the resolution, which will 
face a cloture vote today. Two or three more Republican votes will 
ensure cloture is invoked and the passage of the resolution achieved. 
So I would like to make a direct appeal to my Republican friends who 
are wondering about this.
  This resolution is about a very simple thing. Do you believe America 
should take a tough line on Putin or do you think we should go easy on 
Putin and his cronies? From where I am standing, that is an easy 
  The past half decade has seen Putin expand his malign activities 
around the world, from invading Ukraine and Georgia to annexing Crimea, 
to propping up the brutal Assad regime in Syria, to directing nerve 
agent attacks on foreign soil.
  Russian intelligence has tried to destabilize Western democracies at 
every opportunity--France, England, many other European countries, and 
most obviously here in the United States. As proof positive, they go 
online, they try to sow dissension in America, this beautiful country.
  As Leader McConnell said yesterday--confusingly, before voting 
against the resolution--``We have long seen Vladimir Putin for the KGB 
thug that he is.'' Those are strong words but accurate.
  In the face of this global assault on Western democracies, of course 
we have seen that the Trump administration has been shamefully and 
suspiciously weak on President Putin. The President has avoided 
criticizing Putin at every turn. When asked about President Putin's 
brutal tactics against his opponents, President Trump demurs.
  When this body, near unanimously, passed the Russian sanction 
legislation, President Trump contemplated vetoing it.
  When President Putin told President Trump he didn't interfere in our 
2016 elections, the President reportedly said: I believe you.
  Last weekend, we learned that President Trump has expressed a desire 
to withdraw from NATO this summer--the past summer is when he expressed 
the desire. That is Putin's dream--Putin's dream. All the advice of our 
military and diplomatic leaders were against it. Somehow, the President 
wants to do it, and who benefits the most? Putin. Who loses the most? 
The West.
  Now, with this proposed sanctions relief, we have another example of 
President Trump trying to lighten the burden on Putin's oligarchs. We 
should not allow it.
  For a very long time, the Republican Party predicated its foreign 
policy on taking a tougher line against Russia and Putin. In so many 
campaigns for President, we Democrats were accused of not being tough 
enough on the Russians. I have always felt we have to be tough on the 
Russians, but it seems acquiescence to the President, a fear of 
breaking with the President, has held back too many of my Republican 
colleagues from supporting this resolution.
  The resolution, just to repeat, is sort of--I know Treasury made an 
effort, although I don't have much faith in the strength. I think the 
Secretary of Treasury is an intelligent man, but he never stands up to 
Trump, and I don't have any faith in his strength in standing up this 
time. So if Trump wanted a

[[Page S236]]

weakened resolution because maybe Putin or the Russians wanted it, that 
is what we have here.
  Forty-five percent control is not--45 percent ownership, which is 
what this does, takes Deripaska out of this? Forget it. Then add to his 
45 percent the 7 percent the in-laws own, that the large percentage 
that Russian banks--controlled by Putin--own, the control is just as 
tight as it was before. The people who were put in charge have close 
relationships with Russia. This is not a strong resolution. It is 
slightly less than a joke--slightly less than a joke.
  So I hope some of our colleagues will come around. This is all about 
America, the West, the stability of our Nation, and if Putin thinks he 
can manipulate our country and manipulate the President and too many of 
my colleagues who have always been strong against Russia go along, what 
is he going to do next? What is he going to ask President Trump to do 
next, and what will President Trump do?
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The minority whip.

                           Government Funding

  Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, to quote the great Yogi Berra, ``It's deja 
vu all over again.''
  It is the 26th day of the shutdown, and for the 26th day in a row, 
Democrats are refusing to seriously engage with the President to get 
the government reopened. Democrats have spent a lot of time talking 
about their desire to get the hundreds of thousands of furloughed 
Federal workers back to work, but their actions contradict their words.
  The only way for the government to reopen is for both sides to come 
to the table and compromise. The Democrats are absolutely refusing to 
consider any concession. Their position is, my way or the highway. 
Unfortunately, that is not the way things work in the real world. When 
you have two groups with diametrically opposed positions, both sides 
have to give a little if they are ever going to get anything done.
  The White House has a strongly held position on this issue, but it 
has also made it clear that it is willing to be flexible and to 
negotiate with Democrats. The Democrats don't share that willingness, 
and their refusal to negotiate is victimizing the very workers they 
claim they want to protect.
  Senate Democrats' latest attempt to distract from Democrats' refusal 
to negotiate is to push for votes on House-passed legislation on 
reopening the government, but as Democrats know very well, these votes 
would be meaningless because this is not legislation the President is 
going to sign.
  Indeed, before Christmas, the Democratic leader in the Senate stated: 
``The President must publicly support and say he will sign an agreement 
before it gets a vote in either Chamber''; that from the Democratic 
leader as recently as just a few weeks ago.
  Well, there is no point in spending time taking up a bill that hasn't 
received agreement from all parties. We know that, and the Democrats 
know that as well, but apparently they are willing to flip-flop on this 
issue if they think it will suit their political purposes. Kind of like 
how they were for a border fence before they were against it. That is 
  In 2006, the Democratic leader and the ranking member of the Senate 
Judiciary Committee voted for legislation to authorize a border fence. 
They were joined in that vote by then-Senator Biden, then-Senator 
Clinton, and then-Senator Obama. In 2013, every Senate Democrat--every 
Senate Democrat--supported legislation requiring the completion of a 
700-mile fence along our southern border. In 2009, the Democratic 
leader praised border fencing as a border security accomplishment.
  So what has changed? The need to secure our borders hasn't changed. 
The effectiveness of barriers hasn't changed. That has been well 
  The House majority leader, Steny Hoyer, was asked about the 
Democrats' flip-flop, whether there is any real difference between what 
they supported previously and what they are opposing now. Here is what 
he said: ``I don't have an answer that I think is a really good 
  Well, that is an honest reply. Democrats don't have a good answer 
because there is no real difference between what they supported a few 
years ago and what they are opposing now. Democrats have flip-flopped 
on the issue because they are afraid to oppose the radical far-left 
wing of their party and because they are committed to obstructing this 
President no matter what.
  If Democrats weren't hurting anybody, their refusal to play ball 
wouldn't be a problem, but every single day that they refuse to engage 
in serious negotiations is a day that families aren't getting paid, 
national priorities aren't getting funded, and important border 
security is being postponed.
  That is where we are. I urge my colleagues to rethink their 
obstruction and to work with the President to get the government 
reopened and Federal workers back to work and funding for that critical 
and important priority of ensuring that we have a secure southern 

                             March for Life

  Mr. President, this Friday, as they do every year, individuals from 
every corner of the United States will come to Washington, DC, to 
participate in the national March for Life.
  As usual, South Dakotans will be among them. Tens of thousands of 
individuals will march from the National Mall to the Supreme Court to 
bear witness to a simple truth; that unborn babies are human beings and 
that they deserve to be protected.
  It can be easy sometimes for human beings to turn their backs on 
injustice. Maybe because we don't want to get involved, we are 
reluctant to speak out.
  It is particularly easy to turn our backs in the case of abortion 
because the injustice of abortion is hidden. It happens out of the 
public view behind closed doors, but we must not forget that every day 
in the United States, unborn babies are being killed.
  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which compiles data 
on the number of U.S. abortions, reports that there were more than 
638,000 legal abortions in 2015--638,000. That is roughly equivalent to 
three-quarters of the population of South Dakota. That is an incredible 
number of lives lost, an incredible amount of joy lost, an incredible 
amount of love lost, and it is all too easy to forget because we don't 
see it happening. We can't forget. We can't forget injustice. We can't 
let fear or discomfort stop us from speaking up for those who cannot 
speak for themselves.
  Fortunately, there are tens of thousands of men and women and young 
people around this country who are committed to speaking up for the 
unborn and who travel to Washington, DC, every year to remind us of the 
truth about abortion, to remind us that abortion is the destruction of 
an innocent human life, that every abortion kills an innocent human 
being with her own DNA and her own, distinct identity.
  I can think of few greater things than to defend the defenseless, to 
stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves, and I am 
grateful for all those who will march through the streets of 
Washington, DC, on Friday to speak up for the innocent unborn. I thank 
them for reminding us of this great injustice, and I join them in 
praying that one day every child will be safe from abortion.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.
  Mr. LEE. Mr. President, this coming Friday, tens of thousands of 
Americans will take to the snowy streets of Washington, DC, to exercise 
their fundamental rights on behalf of millions of others who cannot. 
They will come from every State in the Union, including the State of 
Utah, to march to the U.S. Supreme Court. Fittingly, they will be 
marching down Constitution Avenue in the name of justice and in defense 
of the innocent.
  The March for Life is a spectacular tradition in American politics, a 
mass demonstration of joy. Despite its size and the diversity of its 
participants--sometimes north of 100,000 souls, born and unborn--the 
march is typically ignored by the mainstream media.
  The marchers also know that the Supreme Court, rightly, is not 
supposed to be swayed by public opinion one way or another. Yet they 
march January after January after January, cheerfully, prayerfully, 
happily, peacefully, bundled up against the cold, with babies in their 
strollers, and wearing smiles on their faces.

[[Page S237]]

  I have been, and I can confirm that the March for Life is the 
happiest protest you can see because they march not principally in 
outrage over the lives lost to the scourge of abortion but in abiding 
hope for the lives yet to be saved.
  The March for Life is often seen as the pro-life movement's response 
to the Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. In truth, it is a 
continuation of the march of human dignity and equality that has 
defined American history since we first declared ``that all men are 
Created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain 
inalienable Rights, that among these are Life''--yes, life--``Liberty, 
and the pursuit of Happiness.''
  Raised from the crib on the Declaration of Independence, Americans 
can sometimes take its lofty and inspiring words for granted, but these 
truths, however self-evident, remain as revolutionary today as they 
were when they were penned in 1776.
  From the dawn of time, powerful men have dehumanized women, the poor, 
the sick, the disabled, the young and the old, those who thought 
differently, looked differently, loved differently, or worshipped 
  Whether enforced by tribal taboos, corrupted science, or judicial 
fiat, these experiments in dehumanization are the darkest chapters in 
human history--including the original sin of our Republic, the 
monstrous evil of slavery.
  The story of American history is the story of our Nation standing up 
to oppression, of our coming to the defense of the vulnerable in our 
laws and with our very lives. From Independence Hall to the Bill of 
Rights, from the abolition of slavery to universal suffrage, to the 
civil rights movement, to the triumph over nazism, fascism, and 
communism, the American people have fought through prejudice and pride 
to assert and to defend the equal dignity of every single member of the 
human family.
  For all the powerful forces arrayed against it, the right to life 
remains a part of who we are--a common heritage and, I believe history 
will prove, a common destiny. That is precisely why the march grows 
every single year not only here in Washington but in solidarity marches 
in State capitals all around the country.
  In Salt Lake City on Friday, Utah will host its annual March for Life 
at the Utah State Capitol building. The same group of people will also 
be organizing the annual diaper drive for the Pregnancy Resource 
Center, a nonprofit organization that provides free healthcare services 
to pregnant mothers in need. They know that to love is to serve, and to 
be pro-life is to be pro every life and not just some lives. Our duty 
to justice and equality extends beyond the unborn child in the womb; it 
extends to her mother and to her father, to her siblings and her 
friends, her neighborhood, her church, and her school--to her whole 
  Abortion is evil, but so is indifference. Human dignity impels us to 
transcend both, not merely by changing laws but by changing hearts, 
starting, of course, with our own. It is not enough to restore a legal 
regime of life; we must also endeavor to forge a new culture of life 
that is broader and runs deeper than the law.
  Those of us who call ourselves pro-life have a particular duty to 
exercise the very right we fight to win back for the unborn: the right 
to live, the right to grow, to strive every day to become more fully 
the person God made us to be. A culture of life can be built only one 
hopeful soul at a time, one by one. We have a long way to go, of 
course, but the work is well underway. To see what it looks like, stop 
by the march.
  The struggle for life is just the latest battle in America's long, 
noble crusade for justice, for equality, for freedom and liberty, and, 
of course, for dignity. It is another fight worth having, another fight 
most worthy of our heritage, another fight worthy of our children. One 
day soon, we are going to win this fight. We are going to win this 
fight, too, just as we have won others. Until that day, America will 
continue to march.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President--and I welcome the distinguished Presiding 
Officer, who has probably presided before, but this is the first time I 
have been on the floor and have seen him preside. I realize he cannot 
respond, but I welcome him to the Senate.

                           Government Funding

  Mr. President, for 26 days, President Trump has held funding for our 
Federal Government hostage, using it as leverage to force Congress to 
provide $5.7 billion to build his ill-conceived, expensive, and 
unfortunately totally ineffective wall on the southern border. We knew 
this was coming because for months during the campaign, he riled up his 
base with chants of ``Build the wall. Build the wall.'' He invented a 
crisis at the southern border and then told supporters that only he 
could solve it. He gave his word over and over again that Mexico would 
pay for the wall so American taxpayers would not have to.
  That was over 2 years ago, and I think he is feeling the pressure now 
as he shutters himself in the White House. Having failed to convince 
both Republicans and Democrats in Congress that the campaign slogan was 
actually good policy and having failed, as we all knew, to get Mexico 
to pay for the wall, he turns to a negotiation tactic that he seems to 
have mastered--bullying. He has shut down the government of the most 
powerful Nation in the world, making us a laughing stock around the 
rest of the world, and he says he will keep us shut down until he gets 
what he wants. It is the height of irresponsibility. It certainly 
destroys our effectiveness in other parts of the world.
  He is the President of this country. We all--Democrats and 
Republicans--accept that he is the President. But that also means he is 
supposed to lead the Nation, not run it into the ground like so many of 
his businesses that had to declare bankruptcy. But he sits in the White 
House tweeting and watching television all day, ignoring the damaging 
effect his actions are having on millions of Americans of whatever 
political persuasion around the country.
  The shutdown not only hurts our Federal workers, it is hurting 
America's economy. The President's own Chair of the White House Council 
of Economic Advisers estimates that gross domestic product will slow by 
.1 percent for every 2 weeks the government is shut down. Today, there 
are reports that this estimate is too low and that the impact could be 
.1 percent for every week the government is shuttered.
  Those are numbers, but let me tell you a story and give an example. 
Small businesses employ more than 59 million people in this country. 
Small businesses in this country are one of the main drivers of 
economic growth, but every day the government is closed is a day small 
businesses can't get Small Business Administration-backed loans to 
invest and grow their companies.
  Last week, I heard from a woman who runs a small sign company in 
Essex Junction, VT. Essex Junction is in Chittenden County outside of 
Burlington, VT. It is a beautiful community. It survives by small 
businesses that expand. She is trying to grow her business, and she is 
trying to acquire another one, but the SBA backs the space she is 
trying to purchase, and so she can't bring the sale to finality during 
the shutdown. As a result, the seller is threatening to just move on. 
He can't get an answer from the SBA. And, of course, that would throw 
her expansion plans into jeopardy.
  We have many excellent craft breweries in Vermont. They bring in a 
lot of revenue. They hire a lot of people. They are a key part of our 
tourism. I heard from one of the head brewers from one of these major 
craft breweries. He depends upon the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade 
Bureau to approve his license applications, formulas, and the labels he 
puts on his beer. He has been brewing the beer and it is ready to be 
labeled, but the office is closed due to the government shutdown. They 
are not processing applications. He wrote:

       I am one of the millions of voters whose livelihood depends 
     on the government operating. . . . Every day that passes 
     without the

[[Page S238]]

     ATTB up and running is another potential day of lost sales.

  Farmers across the country and in Vermont are also feeling the pain 
of the shutdown. Just a few weeks ago, we passed the bipartisan farm 
bill. I was one of the conferees on that bill. I praised Senator Pat 
Roberts, Republican from Kansas, and Debbie Stabenow, Democrat from 
Michigan. They put together this bipartisan bill, and the President 
took credit when he signed it.
  Well, it is a 5-year farm bill, and now the President, right after 
signing the farm bill, has shut the U.S. Department of Agriculture 
field offices that help farmers implement the law. Farmers need 
information now as the new planting and growing season looms. How long 
will it affect operations heading into the planting year? Most of the 
staff are on furlough. If you are a farmer in the Midwest and you are 
preparing your crops, you can't say: Well, you know, we can wait a few 
months--maybe past the growing season--to find out what the rules are 
going to be, and then we will plant. The decisions have to be made now.
  It also means that farmers can't apply for much needed loans. They 
need these loans because the drop in commodity prices brought on by the 
President's tariffs has hit many farmers hard. They need loans to help 
pay their bills. Many banks are not willing to lend on them, so they 
have to rely on the Department of Agriculture as a lender of last 
  Guess what happens in these multiple whammies. Offices that issue 
these loans are closed due to the shutdown. They need the loans because 
of the President's tariffs and the President's shutdown, but these 
offices can't give them the loans.
  For those farmers who have better credit, who can access other 
lending options, many of their loans are also delayed by the shutdown 
since the lenders are unable to confirm that the farmer has other 
outstanding loans from the USDA. They could just connect to the USDA 
office to ask, but it is closed.
  Just this week at the Farm Bureau convention, the President loudly 
proclaimed that he is providing assistance to the Market Facilitation 
Program to have farmers mitigate the financial losses caused by the 
Trump tariffs. But as of December 28, there is no one left in the USDA 
accounting offices to process any new applications for these much 
needed payments.
  I recently heard from a dairy farmer in what we call the Northeast 
Kingdom in Vermont. She milks 80 cows, and she is proud of her 
operation, but she has been hit hard by the President's trade policies, 
which have led to retaliatory tariffs against U.S. dairy exports, and 
she is now behind in her electric bill. The electric company is 
threatening to turn off the power to her home, to her barn, to her milk 
parlor, to her milking machines. She received one installment from the 
American Facilitation Program to help mitigate the effects of the Trump 
tariffs, but she hasn't received the second installment because of the 
Trump shutdown. The second installment is needed to help pay her bills.
  She says that she will be in much better shape when the new Dairy 
Margin Coverage Program from the new farm bill is implemented. Again, I 
applaud Senator Pat Roberts and Senator Debbie Stabenow for ushering 
that through in an almost unanimous vote. Unfortunately, no work is 
being done to get the program up and running because of the government 
shutdown. She is frustrated. She is worried about her future. She is 
looking for help. She is an honest, hard-working person, and she is 
stymied. I don't blame her.
  Implementation of the farm bill, which I spent more than a year 
working on--I was on the committee conference working hard to deliver 
for our Nation's farmers on a wide range of key priorities, especially 
our struggling dairy farmers. It is now on hold during the shutdown 
with nearly every USDA Agency furloughed. This is life in the age of 
the Trump shutdown.
  The President says that shutting down the government, paralyzing our 
country, is necessary to address a growing crisis on our southern 
border. The only crisis we have in our country right now is the one 
caused by the Trump shutdown. The crisis we face is not at our southern 
border but at kitchen tables, on family farms, and in small businesses 
across the country as families hurt by the Trump shutdown try to figure 
out how to make ends meet.
  The President talks of hordes of illegal immigrants rushing across 
our borders, but border apprehensions have dropped 75 percent since 
2000, and the majority of people apprehended at borders today are 
families--women and children--fleeing violence in their own country. 
They deserve our compassion, not vitriol.
  More people are in this country illegally as a result of visa 
overstays than from illegal border crossings. This wall does nothing to 
address that. To address our complex immigration issues, we need 
comprehensive legislation based on facts, not bumper sticker slogans.
  We all support strong border security--every Democrat, every 
Republican does. By working on a bipartisan basis in the last fiscal 
year, Democrats and Republicans supported $21.1 billion for border 
security and immigration enforcement. This followed a similar 
investment we made in fiscal year 2017.
  As vice chairman of the Appropriations Committee, I know that we 
invested in our ports of entry, including the purchase of nonintrusive 
inspection equipment to detect illegal and illicit contraband. We 
invested in aircraft to monitor our sprawling border from above and 
quickly respond to emergencies. We invested in video surveillance, 
radar systems to detect movement in remote locations. These are 
solutions that work. These are smart uses of taxpayer dollars. A 30-
foot wall that Mexico will not pay for is not a good solution.
  This shutdown is not about border security. If this were about border 
security, we would be done with it today. The Trump shutdown is the 
President trying to distract America from his failures as a leader and 
shore up the support of his base. It is shameful.
  It is clear that President Trump will not do the right thing on his 
own, so it is time for Senate Republicans to step up. Just yesterday 
morning, Democrats asked unanimous consent to take up two bills that 
would get this government back open--a six-bill minibus that has 
bipartisan support, including four bills that passed the Republican-
controlled Senate 92 to 6--virtually every Republican voted for it--and 
a continuing resolution for the Homeland Security Department through 
February 8. Even though virtually every Republican has voted for this, 
the Republican leader objected to going forward.
  If they continue to object to opening the government, this shutdown 
is as much on them as it is on the President. We have bipartisan bills 
before us that could reopen the government. We could vote on them 
today, and they would pass with veto-proof margins.
  Leader McConnell, bring up these bills. Let's vote to end this 
national nightmare.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. McSally). The Senator from Washington.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as in 
morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Madam President, I come to the floor today with a number 
of my colleagues on the 26th day of this deeply damaging and completely 
unnecessary Trump shutdown. We are here today to lift up the voices and 
stories of the people who are being hurt by President Trump and his 
Senate Republican allies and to once again call on Republican leaders 
here in the Senate to finally allow a vote and work with us to end this 
manufactured crisis. While President Trump is very focused on his 
political game, actual people, their families, and their communities 
are paying the price.
  People we represent--moms and dads, workers, small business owners, 
people who did not do anything wrong, who just want to work, do their 
job, serve their communities--all of them have been pulled into 
President Trump's chaos and dysfunction, and it needs to end.
  I am very proud to kick off another effort here in the Senate by 
those who want to make sure that President Trump and Senate Republican 

[[Page S239]]

don't forget whom this is about and understand who is being impacted by 
their refusal to act.
  I want to start with a few from my home State of Washington, where 
there are nearly 13,000 workers who have been caught up in this Trump 
  Lauren is a furloughed FAA employee who shared her story with me 
through my website. She told me she supports her family with one 
income, and now that paycheck has been frozen. She said she has been 
losing sleep trying to figure out how to cut her own expenses and pay 
her bills since the Federal Government isn't meeting its obligation to 
pay her.
  I heard from Adam, also from my home State, who is buying his first 
home with his fiance. What should be a very exciting time is now filled 
with unnecessary stress because Federal loans through USDA and FHA are 
held up. As if closing a home isn't stressful enough, now they don't 
know when or even if a loan is going to come through. As Adam described 
to me, home buyers are now caught in the middle, and that is just 
  One Federal employee I met with while I was home last week is a 
scientist at one of the impacted Agencies, and he told me about the 
stress that he and his family have endured since the start of the 
shutdown, having to cover their childcare expenses and mortgage while 
he is not being paid--expenses that total up to $1,700 each month. 
Right now, he said he is able to tap into his family emergency fund to 
make ends meet, but he doesn't think they can hang on much longer.
  I am not the only one, by the way, who is hearing from people in 
Washington State about how President Trump's unnecessary shutdown is 
impacting their lives. These stories are everywhere.
  Earlier this week, the wife of a furloughed TSA employee with a 6-
year-old daughter told the Seattle Times about how the shutdown has 
thrown her family into an economic tailspin. Their family is currently 
living off of money she makes from babysitting and with the help from 
her retired father, who has taken now a minimum-wage job to help with 
the family's finances. She worries how they are ever going to make it 
if this shutdown continues.
  This is a small number of the countless stories coming out of my 
State and from around the country about how President Trump's reckless 
government shutdown is hurting real people. They are people in every 
one of our States in the country. They are people on every side of the 
border debate. They are people who heard President Trump say he would 
be ``proud'' to shut down the government. They are people who simply do 
not understand why they are being asked to bear the burden, to pay the 
price because President Trump and Republican leaders here in the Senate 
have boxed themselves into a political corner.
  They are people who are getting angrier and angrier, more and more 
desperate with every day that goes by, who are going to make their 
voices heard, and we are going to make their voices heard. We are 
fighting by their side to end this shutdown. I am going to keep making 
sure they have a voice in the Senate.
  I am proud to be with a number of my Democratic colleagues today. We 
are going to lift up their stories until President Trump and 
Republicans here in the Senate agree to end this crisis they started.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from California.
  Ms. HARRIS. We are now 26 days into the longest government shutdown 
in American history, and 800,000 workers--800,000 Americans--are going 
without pay. Half of them are working anyway.
  Let's be very clear about how we got into this mess. The Senate 
unanimously passed a bill to open the government right before the 
holidays. The vote was 100 to 0. There was such jubilance on this floor 
that, literally, Members of the Senate were singing Christmas carols.
  Yet 2 weeks ago, the House, doing its job, then passed a bill to 
reopen the government. They sent six bills over to the Senate. This 
body needs to hold a vote on that legislation and send it to the 
President and ask him to sign it.
  The real obstacle to ending this shutdown is in the White House. The 
President is holding the American people hostage over his vanity 
project on the southern border and peddling his usual propaganda to 
distract from a crisis of his own making.
  The President has said that ``most of the workers not getting paid 
are Democrats,'' as if that is true or if that should matter. He has 
said that ``many of the people that we're talking about . . . agree 
with what we're doing.'' It has been said that the workers have said to 
``stay out until you get the funding for the wall.''
  Well, that is contrary to what we have been hearing and what I have 
been hearing. Last week, for example, I heard from a woman by the name 
of Trisha. Trisha and her husband are both air traffic controllers with 
nearly 40 years of Federal service combined. Trisha's husband served in 
the Navy. He now has to work long hours of overtime to compensate for 
the workers who are absent because they have been furloughed, and he is 
not being paid.
  Trisha's job was deemed nonessential, so she is also not being paid. 
Neither parent in this family is being paid. They have three young 
children, and this is on top of the fact that Trisha and her family 
have already endured hardship these past few months as victims of the 
Thomas fire.
  As she wrote me:

       On December 5th of last year, our home was completely 
     destroyed in the Thomas fire and we have used every resource 
     available to us to work towards rebuilding our home.

  While their home is being rebuilt, Trisha's family moved into a 
rental home, and they are currently evacuated from that rental home due 
to the flood and mudslide risks that are currently an issue in 
  Trisha said:

       We have small children that we are most concerned about 
     (with the uncertainty of our careers as Federal employees and 
     the incredibly long road ahead in rebuilding our home but 
     most importantly our livelihood).

  She writes:

       We will continue to stand with our NATCA Brothers and 
     Sisters in ensuring the safety of the National Airspace 
     System, but without the support staff working, it is a 
     daunting task.

  Trisha's message is one of nearly 20,000 phone calls, emails, and 
letters my office has received since the shutdown started 26 days ago--
all pleading with us to reopen the U.S. Government.
  They are 2 of the 42,300 workers who are currently being furloughed 
in California. I don't know which of them are Democrats or Republicans, 
and it doesn't matter. What matters is the people who are being hurt 
and the critical government functions that are going undone. They are 
the TSA agents who protect our flights and the air traffic controllers 
who help to land our planes. They are park rangers and FBI agents and 
Coast Guard members. They inspect our food and provide loans to our 
farmers. They conduct lifesaving research. Right now, though, they are 
being told to pay their bills by babysitting or selling their 
belongings on craigslist.
  These Americans need their government to do its job. They don't need 
a wall. They need paychecks. Congress is a coequal branch of 
government. We don't need a permission slip before we can vote on a 
  On behalf of Trisha and hundreds of thousands of Americans like her, 
let's take up the legislation that we have already approved. Let's send 
it to the President, and let's end this pointless shutdown as soon as 
possible--right away, now.
  I yield back my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. CARDIN. Madam President, I thank Senator Murray, Senator Harris, 
and my colleagues who are on the floor.
  I point out that we are now on day 26 of this outrageous and 
dangerous partial shutdown that was totally avoidable. It has been 
caused by one person--President Trump--and is now being assisted by the 
Republican leadership in this body by its not allowing the U.S. Senate, 
which is a coequal branch of government, to take up legislation that 
would reopen government--legislation that has previously passed this 
body and would, clearly, pass on a vote if the majority leader would 
allow us to have that vote. We could then reopen the government.
  The unanimous consent request that I offered yesterday with my 

[[Page S240]]

from Maryland, Senator Van Hollen, would allow the appropriations bills 
that have nothing to do with this current dispute with the President to 
be fully functional, and it would allow for a continuing resolution for 
the Department of Homeland Security. We could then work, as we should 
work, to deal with border security and immigration issues. Yet the 
majority leader objected to the Senate's taking up that legislation, 
and the shutdown continues.
  There are 800,000-plus citizens who work for the Federal Government 
who are being denied the ability to either get paychecks for the work 
that they do or are being furloughed without pay. In each one of those 
cases, there is a hardship that is having an impact that goes well 
beyond just the 800,000.
  There are businesses in Baltimore that are wondering whether they can 
keep their doors open because they depend on Federal workers to come in 
and use their services. Whether it is a laundry, a cleaner, a 
restaurant, or a supply store, they know their sales depend on people 
having checks to pay their bills. The Federal workforce does not. So it 
is affecting secondary employment. There have also been a lot of 
layoffs by those who depend on the contract services of the Federal 
  There are many individual stories, and Senator Van Hollen and I have 
traveled throughout our State and have met with government workers. We 
have heard the account of one person who was supposed to close on a new 
home, his first home. He is not going to be able to do that because he 
doesn't have a paycheck that shows the wages necessary in order to 
support the mortgage because his most recent paycheck is zero.
  We have heard from a person in my office who is an air traffic 
controller. Her husband is also an air traffic controller. They are 
responsible for relatives who are dependent on them. One needs a 
medical procedure, but they are not going to be able to move forward 
with that medical procedure because they don't have the out-of-pocket 
costs that are going to be necessary to pay for that. The list goes on 
and on and on of hardship--of people wondering whether their credit 
scores are going to be affected, which could affect their employment 
because they are going to be late in paying their mortgage payments. 
That is assuming they get paychecks in the next couple of months 
because, then, their homes could well be foreclosed on.
  I could put a face on each one of these 800,000, but let me just 
share an account by Lamar Cobb, who is a lead transportation security 
officer at BWI Marshall Airport. I was there earlier this week, meeting 
with the government workers who are keeping our airports and our air 
traffic safe. These are dedicated people who are working without pay. 
He came forward.
  One of the reporters there asked: Can you give us an individual 
hardship that you have actually confronted?
  He explained that he has a 10-year-old daughter whom he describes as 
his heart and pride and joy. He had to take her out of cheerleading 
because he could not pay for it while he works at BWI without receiving 
a paycheck. Then he said something that, I think, really hit us all. He 
said at the press conference: It may not seem like the end of the 
world, but to a 10-year-old, it is pretty close.
  These are the circumstances in which we are putting our fellow 
citizens by saying: Work without pay or be furloughed without pay.
  It makes no sense at all. We should never have had the shutdown. We 
could end it now by the Senate's carrying out its constitutional 
responsibility as a coequal branch of government. Let's vote on the 
legislation that can reopen government. Let's do what we are 
responsible to do--let's end this shutdown.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wisconsin.
  Ms. BALDWIN. Madam President, I rise to address the Trump shutdown 
and the real consequences that have occurred since 800,000 Federal 
workers, including nearly 3,000 Wisconsinites, have been furloughed or 
forced to work without pay.
  The President said this week that his administration is setting 
records. It is true that he now holds the record for the longest 
government shutdown in our Nation's history, but every day that it 
continues, the Trump shutdown is causing real pain for hard-working 
people in my State.
  I recently read the heartbreaking story of Mallory Lorge. Mallory 
lives in River Falls, WI, and works for the Department of the Interior. 
On Friday, Mallory, along with thousands of other Federal workers, did 
not receive a paycheck. Mallory has type 1 diabetes. Without her 
paycheck, she can't afford her $300 copay to get the insulin she needs 
to manage her diabetes and stay alive. Mallory said she is rationing 
the two vials of insulin she has left. Her blood sugar rose to a high 
level last week, but she said she felt forced to ignore it. Instead, 
she said, I just went to bed and hoped I would wake up.
  Think about that for a minute. Because President Trump and the 
Republicans in Congress refuse to support bipartisan legislation to end 
this shutdown and reopen the government, Mallory can't afford to get 
the insulin she needs to live. The House has done its job in passing 
bipartisan legislation to end the shutdown. Now it is time for Senate 
Majority Leader McConnell to stop blocking a vote in the Senate so that 
we can fund the government.
  We are 26 days into the Trump shutdown. It is not just hurting 
Federal workers and contractors. It is also hurting small businesses 
and entrepreneurs across the country. In Wisconsin, we make things--
cheese, brats, and, yes, beer. Milwaukee is often called Brew City, but 
thanks to the government shutdown, there are craft brewers across our 
State that can't make or sell new beer.
  Russ Klisch is the President of Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee. 
Lakefront has been making beer in Wisconsin for more than 30 years. The 
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approves licenses for new 
beers and new breweries as well as labels for beers that are sent out 
of State, but the Agency is not currently serving craft brewers due to 
the Trump shutdown.
  Lakefront Brewery has plans to introduce a brand-new beer in mid-
February, but those plans are now on hold. This government shutdown 
threatens to cut its beer sales and hurt its ability to grow its 
business and support the economy. Other breweries across Wisconsin are 
impacted as well.
  Mosinee Brewing Company opened its doors just last November, but it 
can't get approval to start making and selling its new beer until the 
government reopens. New ``Made in Wisconsin'' beer is also on hold 
until we reopen the government.
  President Trump and Majority Leader McConnell can and should end this 
shutdown today and ensure that Federal workers like Mallory can finally 
get paid and so that small business owners like Russ can keep growing 
their businesses.
  We should vote in the Senate today on House-passed legislation, and 
the President should sign it so we can finally end this useless 
shutdown that is preventing our country from moving forward.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Hampshire.
  Mrs. SHAHEEN. Madam President, I join my colleagues this morning to 
share the stories of the people in New Hampshire who are currently 
enduring hardships because of this Trump shutdown--a shutdown that has 
been termed by a number of my colleagues as the longest government 
shutdown in U.S. history.
  I have here a picture of Andre and his wife Maria and their three 
beautiful children, from Derry, NH. Andre is an air traffic controller 
who works at the Boston Terminal Radar Approach Control facility in 
Merrimack, NH. It is sounds like it would be in Boston, but it is not. 
It is in New Hampshire, where we have hundreds of air traffic 
controllers and FAA personnel.
  Andre works at the center to keep the airways safe for passengers who 
are flying over the Granite State. He also represents and talks to a 
number of other air traffic controllers in the New England region to 
hear what they have to say.
  With what he is hearing right now regarding the shutdown, Andre 

       Air traffic controllers have remained on the job, dedicated 
     to the safety of every flight, but we don't know when we will 
     receive our next paycheck. My colleagues and

[[Page S241]]

     I have suffered the sudden loss of our income due to the 
     government shutdown. It's going to be hard for me to meet all 
     of my financial obligations.

  What I am most impressed by with regard to the Federal workers with 
whom I have met is their dedication to their jobs. All of those air 
traffic controllers understand that the safety of the skies in the 
United States depends on them, and they are there. They are not getting 
paid. They are experiencing hardships like Andre is talking about, but 
they are there and are doing everything they can to make sure that the 
American public can fly safely.
  In addition to Andre's story, I have heard from nearly 100 other air 
traffic controllers in New Hampshire who are all calling for an end to 
the shutdown--air traffic controllers who are protecting our safety and 
who are working without pay.
  I want to read an excerpt from a letter that I received from Jamie in 
Auburn, NH, because I think it so exemplifies where we are and how the 
American people are feeling about this government shutdown.
  Jamie writes:

       Dear Senator Shaheen, there are many stories to be told 
     regarding the effects of the government shutdown on Federal 
     employees--the stress of financial uncertainty, the inability 
     to take necessary time from work to care for our families, 
     and the continued degradation of FAA resources. . . . These 
     are but a few examples shared amongst us, but there is 
     something that tears at the very fabric of who we are. We 
     take deep pride in serving our country and providing the 
     safest and most efficient air traffic control system in the 
     world. We do so with an unwavering sense of duty and a deep 
     understanding of the trust bestowed on us by the American 
     people. To be used as pawns in a political chess match not 
     only disrespects us as dedicated Federal employees, but it 
     serves to weaken our democracy. A government that must hold 
     hostage the livelihood of its citizens is the very definition 
     of a failed democracy.

  Sadly, that is what President Donald Trump is doing. He is holding 
hostage hundreds of thousands of Federal workers, and he is being 
enabled in this effort by the Republican leadership in this Senate who 
is unwilling to bring forward the bills that would open the government 
today. We could pass them today.
  These are just two examples that I think articulate the very real 
impact this shutdown is having on many hard-working Americans and their 
  Madam President, I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the 
Record these letters that I have received from air traffic controllers.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

       Dear Senator: I'm writing to you today because of the 
     effects of the government shutdown on my profession and 
     family. My coworkers and I have remained on the job dedicated 
     to the safety of every flight despite the concern of when our 
     next paycheck will come. The government shutdown has effected 
     me professionally and personally.
       My husband and I are both air traffic controllers and we 
     have 6-month-old twins. We go to work normally like any other 
     day and we pay for childcare. It is going to be hard to meet 
     all of my family's financial obligations without knowing when 
     our next paychecks will be. My family has no income while the 
     government remains shutdown.
       The shutdown affects us all in many ways, but the other 
     major way it is effecting me is professionally. This 
     government shutdown is setting back air traffic control 
     staffing numbers.
       The FAA Academy is closed during the shutdown which is 
     where all of our new trainees train initially.
       There are controllers being forced to retire because of 
     age, but with the shutdown new replacements cannot be 
     trained. We are at a 30-year low in staffing and every day 
     the FAA Academy is closed the more set back staffing becomes. 
     New trainees that are unable to train due to the Academy 
     closure may lead to fewer new hires for 2019. Many 
     controllers are working 6-day work weeks and these new hires 
     will help.
       This career has been all I wanted to do since I was little. 
     Like my coworkers I perform my duties professionally and to 
     the highest safety standards despite not knowing when my next 
     paycheck is. We will all continue to do so, but with 
     financial concerns until the shutdown ends. Please End the 
     government shutdown. Thank you for your time.
     Kristen (Milford, NH).

       Dear Senator Shaheen: I write today to urge you to end the 
     current partial government shutdown caused by a lapse in 
     annual appropriations. As a federal air traffic controller 
     and constituent, I want you to know how the shutdown is 
     affecting me.
       Since air traffic control specialists perform life and 
     safety excepted activities as defined by the Antideficiency 
     Act, controllers like me have remained on the job, dedicated 
     to the safety of every flight, since the beginning of the 
     partial shutdown on December 22nd. However, my family will be 
     placed under significant financial stress if the shutdown 
     lasts beyond the current pay period. We don't know when we 
     will receive our next paycheck.
       The Federal Aviation Administration has closed its training 
     academy in Oklahoma City, where new controllers arrive to 
     begin their careers, as I did ten years ago this week. 
     Classes have been cancelled, which will invariably lead to 
     fewer new hires in 2019. Stopping the hiring and training 
     pipeline exacerbates the current controller staffing crisis. 
     The number of fully certified air traffic controllers is now 
     at a 30-year low.
       Please do whatever you can to end the government shutdown 
     without delay.
     Aaron (Milford, NH).

       Dear Senator Shaheen: There are many stories to be told 
     regarding the effects of the government shutdown on federal 
     employees. The stress of financial uncertainty, the inability 
     to take necessary time from work to care for our families, 
     and the continued degradation of FAA resources. . . These 
     are but a few examples shared amongst us. But, this is 
     something that tears at the very fabric of who we are. We 
     take deep pride in serving our country, providing the 
     safest and most efficient air traffic control system in 
     the world. We do so with an unwavering sense of duty and a 
     deep understanding of the trust bestowed upon us by the 
     American people. To be used as pawns in a political chess 
     match not only disrespects us as dedicated federal 
     employees but it serves to weaken our democracy. A 
     government that must hold hostage the livelihood of its 
     citizens is the very definition of a failed democracy.
       The Congress, Senate, and The White House has once again 
     tarnished what was once considered the beacon of democracy. . 
     . The image of the United States of America.
       Yes, I and my family need this government open. I need to 
     be paid for my continued dedication. . . for my work. . . 
     But, the American people need the practice of government 
     shutdowns to end. The way for political agendas to be 
     advanced is through diplomatic compromise not party-lined 
       Please free my family, my colleagues, and the American 
     people from this governmental siege of our livelihoods and 
     open our government. Restore the faith of the American 
     Jamie (Auburn, NH).

       Dear Senator Shaheen: I am writing to you today because of 
     the partial government shutdown that is causing 800,000 
     federal employees to go without the certainty of their 
     paychecks. This uncertainty is adding undue stress to 
     ourselves and our jobs because of financial obligations.
       As an air traffic controller and constituent, I want you to 
     know how the partial government shutdown is affecting me. For 
     the last TWO weeks, other controllers and I have remained on 
     the job, dedicated to the safety of every flight. Even 
     without knowing when we will get paid, or even if we will get 
       As my husband and I do not know when or if I will receive 
     my paycheck, we are having to stretch every last penny to 
     meet all our financial obligations. If this shutdown 
     continues for much longer, we do not know how or if some of 
     our bills will be paid.
       We ask you to end this shutdown immediately!
     Caitlin (Amherst, NH).

       Dear Senator Jeanne Shaheen: As an air traffic controller 
     and constituent, I want you to know how the partial 
     government shutdown is affecting me. For the last two weeks, 
     air traffic controllers have remained on the job, dedicated 
     to the safety of every flight. Yet, we don't know when we 
     will receive our next paycheck. My colleagues and I have 
     suffered the sudden loss of our income due to the government 
     shutdown. I am a college graduate and have numerous student 
     loans to pay as well as trying to provide for my family.
       Please, we as air traffic controllers beg, end the 
     government shutdown.
           Very Respectfully,
     Adam (Hudson, NH).

       Dear Senator Shaheen: As an air traffic controller and 
     constituent, I want you to know how the partial government 
     shutdown is affecting me. For the last couple weeks, air 
     traffic controllers have remained on the job, dedicated to 
     the safety of every flight. Yet, we don't know when our next 
     paycheck will come. This has placed an immense amount of 
     stress and financial burden on me and my family. We are 
     having to make choices on whether or not to pay certain bills 
     or buy groceries.
       Please end the government shutdown immediately!
     Joshua (New Boston, NH).

       Dear Senator Shaheen: I am writing to let you know that the 
     government shutdown is negatively impacting me, my wife and 
       As the shutdown continues my wife and I are having to make 
     some difficult financial decisions. We have two daughters, 
     one just out of college and the other in her senior

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     year at UVM. Along with all of our regular monthly bills we 
     have student loan payments and tuition due.
       Not knowing when to expect our next paycheck is causing 
     undue stress on me, my wife and family.
       I would like to see you help end the shutdown as soon as 
     Ronald (Brookline, NH).

       Dear Jeanne Shaheen: First, thank you for all that you do 
     for our state and country. I am writing you today with regard 
     to the government shutdown. As an air traffic control 
     trainee, my job security is something I have to worry about 
     until I certify. Unfortunately, the shutdown has me worrying 
     about my income and financial obligations as well. Morale is 
     notably down at work, and the staffing only gets worse as the 
     more senior controllers approach retirement. Anything you can 
     do to assist in the swift cease of this shutdown would be 
     greatly appreciated by air traffic controllers nationwide. 
     Thank you for your time.
     Andre (Nashua, NH).

       Dear Jeanne Shaheen: I'm writing to you in regards to the 
     government shutdown. If this shutdown continues it will put a 
     huge financial burden on my family. At this time I am the 
     sole provider for my household. My husband is a small 
     business owner in New Hampshire and is currently not 
     collecting income to keep his business going. We have two 
     children. A two-year-old boy and a five-month-old daughter. 
     Since there is currently no paid maternity leave I had to 
     live off of my savings while out with my new born, which is 
     why I have no money saved up to cover all of our expenses 
     during this shutdown. Going into debt because I can't pay for 
     the childcare I use (while still working) is not an option. 
     Please find a way to stop this shut down.
     Lanna (Nashua, NH).

       Dear Senator Shaheen: Please, put an end to the government 
     shutdown. I soon will have used my entire savings to pay my 
     current bills. I now, don't have the down payment for a house 
     that I was ready to buy. I've had to pass up on a vacation 
     this month, skiing in NH, in fear that I won't get paid.
       Please Senator Shaheen, put an end to this government shut 
     down. After 30 years of service in the USAF and FAA, this is 
     a slap in the face.
     James (Manchester, NH).

       The Honorable Jeanne Shaheen: Please- end the shutdown!
       I am a 30-year controller, and I don't think I will be 
     employed at the end of January.
       The financial impact of the shutdown is a burden that I 
     should not have to deal with at this stage in my career.
       Staffing is the worst it has ever been and a continued 
     shutdown will have negative effects on the air traffic system 
     for years!
       Please work to end the shutdown!!!
     Maurice (Derry, NH).

       Dear Honorable Shaheen: I am writing to you today to inform 
     you of the impact the partial government shutdown is having 
     on me, as an air traffic controller, and my family. For the 
     last two weeks, I have worked air traffic, not knowing when 
     I'd be paid next. I am dedicated to the safety of every 
     flight. This sudden loss of income as well as paid leave is 
     impacting my life multiple ways. First, I missed paid time 
     off that was prescheduled, around the holiday with my family. 
     With one child, a patient at Mass General, and another at 
     Boston Children's Hospital, I have had to miss out on paid/
     earned sick leave for both their appointments. Lastly, as a 
     support for the training department, I am seeing a direct 
     impact on future controllers.
       Please end the government shutdown immediately!
     Kristine (Nashua, NH).

       Dear Senator Shaheen As an air traffic controller and 
     constituent, I want you to know how the partial government 
     shutdown has affected me. As an air traffic controller I work 
     a job that is 24/7, 365 days a year.
       We plan and bid our vacations 15 months in advance. 
     However, because I am an excepted employee engaged in life-
     saving activities, my vacation time during Christmas and New 
     Year's was canceled. I had to work over the holidays and 
     missed this time spent with family. This combined with 
     uncertainty of when my next paycheck will come is adding 
     stress that is not needed.
                                                Seth (Hollis, NH).

  Mrs. SHAHEEN. I know every Member of the Senate has heard from 
constituents who are facing significant hardships as a result of the 
shutdown. I know every Member wants this shutdown to end. 
Unfortunately, President Trump doesn't seem to want this shutdown to 
  The House has already passed appropriations bills that would reopen 
the government. This appropriations legislation is not partisan. In 
fact, they are bills that have already had bipartisan support in the 
Senate. So I urge President Trump, Majority Leader McConnell, and our 
Republican colleagues to take up these bills to reopen the government. 
I believe we should reopen the government. Let's do our jobs so the 
rest of America can do theirs.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Washington.

                      Unanimous Consent Agreement

  Mrs. MURRAY. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that Democrats 
control the time until 12 noon, with Senators permitted to speak 
therein for up to 3 minutes each, and the Republicans control the time 
from 12 noon to 12:30 p.m.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Jersey.
  Mr. MENENDEZ. Madam President, I rise to give voice to the more than 
5,000 Federal employees across New Jersey who aren't getting paid due 
to President Trump's pointless government shutdown. Make no mistake. 
This shutdown is the result of a Presidential temper tantrum.
  Democrats have voted for border security funding, for new technology 
to scan vehicles for drugs, for more port-of-entry infrastructure 
personnel, and for new drones to detect unauthorized crossings. Yet 
President Trump is holding 800,000 Federal workers hostage all because 
he wants $5.7 billion for a border wall that he promised Mexico would 
pay for.
  We have long known that something is broken inside this President 
that makes him incapable of caring about anyone other than himself. 
Clearly, he does not see Federal workers as real people with real bills 
to pay--people like Emily Nering of Basking Ridge, NJ.
  Emily has worked at the EPA's Edison field office for 8 years. She 
coordinates water quality research and is in the midst of a major 
survey of the New Jersey-New York Harbor, and she assisted in emergency 
efforts to deliver clean drinking water to Puerto Rico and the Virgin 
Islands after Hurricane Maria. She said:

       I took an oath of office too. I want to get back to doing 
     the important work that the EPA conducts and to continue to 
     serve this great nation. I saved up to contribute to an IRA 
     this year and to start saving for a down payment on a home, 
     but those funds will now be used to help me pay rent and 
     other bills, pushing my financial and life goals further out 
     of reach. . . . I urge the President and Congress to put us 
     back to work so we can continue to serve the American people!

  In recent days, I have heard from Coast Guard members, TSA agents, 
IRS workers--patriots who have built their careers on serving their 
fellow Americans. Their work is important, and they deserve to be paid. 
If President Trump wants to discuss issues like border security and 
comprehensive immigration reform, then he should end the shutdown, 
reopen all of those elements of the government that have nothing to do 
with his desired border wall, release his hostages, and reopen the 
government, but if he continues to bury his head in the sand, then it 
is time for the Senate to act.
  We could likely pass legislation to reopen the government with a 
veto-proof majority if only the majority leader would hold a vote. 
Let's do the right thing for Federal employees like Emily. Let's vote 
and end this shutdown now.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada.
  Ms. CORTEZ MASTO. Madam President, on Friday, the day that thousands 
of Federal workers in Nevada and across the country missed their first 
paycheck of the Trump shutdown, I was in Reno meeting with two dozen 
affected workers and families who work for our Federal Government. 
These hard-working Nevadans who serve the American people in the U.S. 
Coast Guard, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Geological Survey, 
the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Forest Service, and 
government contractors told me about the struggles they are having, 
their fears, and the very human consequences of the President's 
decision to hold our government hostage.
  These Nevadans shared how their finances and their whole lives have 
been thrown into chaos by this reckless shutdown. Person after person 
told me that without the promise of a paycheck, they are struggling to 
pay their

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mortgage or rent, keep up with their other bills, and even put food on 
the table for their families. Some are even cashing out their savings 
while others consider taking out high-interest payday loans, risking 
their good credit just to stay afloat.
  It is not just Federal workers who were suffering. Entire families 
have had the rug pulled out from under them because of this reckless 
  While I was in Reno, I had the opportunity to meet Brianna. She 
talked to me about her family. She is a stay-at-home mom. She has two 
beautiful daughters--as you can see--and her husband works in the Coast 
Guard. He is a coastguardsman. Right now, he is reporting to work 
without pay for the duration of this shutdown.
  Brianna told me that without their sole source of income, her family 
would struggle to make ends meet. She told me they are weighing the 
decision to pull her oldest daughter out of school and to move in with 
her parents until the shutdown is over. That is outrageous.
  I can't tell you how many letters and emails I have also received in 
the office. This is one from a veteran in Reno. He said:

       I applaud you for standing up to Trump and not wasting 
     taxpayer money on a stupid wall that he promised Mexico would 
     pay for. However, as a Federal employee who is also a 
     disabled vet, I am asking that you support legislation to 
     assure that we do not lose pay and benefits because of this 
     shutdown. We are currently scheduled to receive our normal 
     pay on December 31, but after that, we have no more checks 
     coming until the shutdown is over. Despite what others on the 
     Hill have said, many Federal employees depend on those checks 
     and face real economic impacts when the government shuts 
     down. We are tired of being demonized by the right as 
     parasites and bureaucrats, and it is ridiculous that the 
     President wants to freeze our pay and stop all of our pay 
     raises. The Federal Government is the largest employer of 
     veterans, and we continue supporting our country throughout 
     our Federal service.

  No family or individual in the United States of America should have 
their life upended like this. So we ask that the Federal Government 
reopen and that the majority leader bring the bill to the floor so we 
can open this government on behalf of Federal workers not only in 
Nevada but across the country.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Thank you, Madam President.
  I join my colleagues today in calling for a simple, commonsense 
solution to one of the most vexing, unnecessary, and avoidable crises 
in recent history.
  The present paralysis of Agencies' essential governmental functions 
is intolerable and unacceptable. It is shameful and embarrassing to 
every Member of this body, but it should be most shameful and 
embarrassing to the Chief Executive of the United States, who is 
singularly responsible for it by insisting on a wall and agreement to 
it as a condition for reopening the government.
  President Trump is singlehandedly blocking progress toward providing 
the American people with the services and the essential public 
functions they need and deserve.
  The impact is on the consumers of those functions. We are all 
consumers. We all fly and depend on the air traffic controllers and the 
TSA. We all eat food and depend on inspections by the FDA. We all 
consume drugs, and the approvals of essential pharmaceutical medicines 
are vital to all of us. We all need and deserve the protection provided 
by the U.S. Coast Guard, whose brave men and women are receiving no 
  Many of those 800,000 workers going without pay are also working 
without pay. I have sponsored a measure that will enable them to avoid 
foreclosures and repossessions of their cars and other financial crises 
through measures similar to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. I have 
sponsored and supported calls for providing them with unemployment 
compensation. The ones who work need the compensation and the benefits 
to put food on the table and make sure they stay in their homes.
  These 800,000 workers are experiencing real pain. They are real 
people with real lives going through financial hardships.
  On Monday, I met with many of them at Bradley International Airport 
in Windsor Locks. I heard them share their personal stories about how 
the shutdown is causing them real harm. I also heard about their 
dedication to doing their job and how the air controllers and----
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time is expired.
  Mr. BLUMENTHAL. The TSA are overtired and need that help.
  I ask unanimous consent for 1 more minute.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mrs. MURRAY. Madam President, I respect the rights of the Senator. We 
have a number of Senators and a limited amount of time. So if he could 
finish quickly, we would all appreciate it. Thank you.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Let me just finish by citing Adrian Pellot, one of 
those workers whom I met on Monday. Adrian is a behavior detection 
officer. He has done it for more than a decade. He is one of those 
workers going without pay. I will just leave you with this thought. He 
told me:

       We have no income right now. We're bleeding money. Just 
     day-to-day things. Food. I still have to pay the bills.

  So do all of those 800,000 workers.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, let me tell you about the impact the 
Trump shutdown is having on one couple from my home State of Vermont.
  Kelly and Ricky Klein own Groennfell Meadery in Colchester, VT. In 
fact, this is Kelly with her very pretty little daughter, Nora.
  Groennfell Meadery is part of a growing industry in Vermont. We are a 
small State. We have the most craft breweries per capita in the Nation, 
and they create jobs. They support small businesses. They bring people 
to Vermont from all over the country. Business has been good. Kelly and 
Ricky have been planning an expansion. Recently, they were approved for 
a $1.3 million Small Business Administration loan. They were going to 
buy three new stainless steel fermenter tanks. They were going to move 
to a bigger facility, double their production, hire additional people, 
and bought additional supplies in anticipation of it. What happened? 
Their loan from the SBA is now on hold because of the Trump shutdown. 
It is not clear if it will ever come through. So instead of expanding, 
they have to use their own money. They have to use their stockpiles of 
mead. They have to take out a loan to make payroll. They are really 
hurting, but they told me one thing, even in this difficult time.
  Even in this difficult time, they said they were more concerned for 
people who have lost paychecks and lifesaving benefits and with others 
in their industry who have been harder hit. It is a sense of community 
and empathy. I wish President Trump had that same sense of empathy and 
caring that they do.
  We have to end this shutdown. I call on the majority leader--the 
Republican leader--to bring up the bills, which we have already passed 
by an overwhelming majority, that would reopen this government. 
Democrats and Republicans have voted for them. All we need is for the 
Republican leader to bring them up.
  Stop the shutdown. Let people go back to their businesses.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico.
  Mr. UDALL. Madam President, I rise today to talk about a New Mexico 
family who is severely impacted by the shutdown, and I think there are 
probably hundreds of thousands of families like this across the 
  This is Leah Teresa Ornelas, her husband Ervie, and their sons Ian 
and Zachary. They are all from Carlsbad, NM. Zachary, their youngest--
in the middle--had a brain tumor and has undergone two surgeries. 
Zachary is now disabled and requires constant care. Ervie, his 
stepfather, reduced his work as a daycare teacher by 75 percent to take 
care of Zachary. Leah is a public nurse, and her paycheck goes to their 
high insurance costs and medical bills. The family moved back in 
together to save on expenses. Their older son, Ian, is now the main 
provider for the family. Ian works for the Department of

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the Interior, has been furloughed for 26 days, and has now missed a 
  The Ornelas family is scared to death that Ian will miss another 
check and another check. They simply cannot make it without Ian being 
paid. The Ornelas family has made tremendous sacrifices as a family. 
They can make no more adjustments, as the President callously advised.
  This Trump shutdown must end now. The President and Senate majority 
must do the right thing for the Ornelas family--and for hundreds of 
thousands of families across the Nation--and open our government now.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan.
  Ms. STABENOW. Madam President, as my colleagues have said, it has now 
been 26 days since President Trump shut down the government and began 
holding Federal workers and their families hostage to force funding for 
an expensive, ineffective, and unpopular border wall.
  That is 26 days of working without pay for hundreds of TSA and 
Customs and Border Patrol officers in my State of Michigan and across 
the country. That is 26 days of our Federal workers wondering how they 
will pay their mortgage and keep their lights on. That is 26 days of 
grocery stores, restaurants, and other local businesses watching their 
sales dry up.
  This shutdown is also hard on Michigan farmers, including Jessica 
Youngblood, whom I want to take a moment to talk about.
  She and her husband David, who is a veteran, are raising their three 
young children on their farm in Macomb County. Like many farmers, 
Jessica is also a small business owner; the Youngbloods are launching a 
winery. For 3 years, they have poured all of their time and they have 
poured all their money into their 25 acres of wine grapes. I have had 
the opportunity to walk with Jessica and her children through the rows 
of grapevines, and I have seen how hard they are working as a family 
every single day.
  This year, they finally had grapes to harvest so that they could 
launch their small business. They planned to open their winery on their 
farm and start selling their wine on Memorial Day weekend. 
Unfortunately, the government shutdown threw a huge roadblock in front 
of this homegrown Michigan business.
  The Tax and Trade Bureau at the Department of the Treasury approves 
their labels--when they are open. Jessica needs to bottle her wine in 
March, but that can't happen without labels being approved and printed. 
As Jessica said:

       We are 100% dependent on the grapes we grow on our family 
     vineyard. . . . We are farmers! We need the government to 
     open so we can run our business.

  It is time to end this shutdown. Let Jessica and her family benefit 
from all of their hard work. So I say: Leader McConnell, open the 
government so that the Youngblood family can open their small business.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Montana.
  Mr. TESTER. Madam President, approximately 635,000 veterans work for 
the Federal Government, and the hardships of the shutdown on these men 
and women are multifold.
  First, furloughed veterans who are Federal workers are missing 
paychecks. They are having a hard time paying their mortgages and 
paying their bills overall. Veterans with VA-guaranteed home loans are 
at risk of being evicted by mortgage companies because they can't make 
their payments.
  Second, veterans are not getting the benefits they have earned from 
several Federal Departments, other than the VA. For instance, Native 
American veterans, who already face unique challenges with healthcare, 
are unable to rely on the Indian Health Service to provide their 
healthcare because it is closed down. Homeless veterans rely on the 
Department of Housing and Urban Development's housing vouchers, which 
are not going out because of the shutdown.
  That is not all. Other benefits and protections are at risk. The VA 
is currently implementing major reform bills like the Appeals and 
Modernization Act and the VA MISSION Act. To roll out these new 
initiatives, the Federal Register must publish new rules and 
regulations. Guess what. The Federal Register isn't operational because 
of the shutdown, so the implementation of these wide-sweeping, 
bipartisan VA reforms is shut down.
  On top of this, we know that those stationed at the borders and at 
airports--many of whom are veterans--are among those hurting the most 
because of this President's shutdown.
  There are many more veterans suffering. Colin, from Billings, wrote 
me and said: ``I am a federal employee and a veteran, and this standoff 
is placing a great deal of stress on me and my family.''
  His wife is pregnant, he has a 2-year-old son, and he has no 
paycheck. He spent his career in public service. After he got out of 
the service, he could have made a lot more money in the private sector.
  Unfortunately, because of the fact that the President and Leader 
McConnell will not bring the bills to the floor, we are in a shutdown. 
This is the human cost of the President's shutdown. These are men and 
women who have volunteered to serve our Nation and put themselves in 
harm's way and continue serving our Nation as civilians, and this is 
how the President says thank you--putting them out of a job, out of a 
paycheck, and out of the benefits that they have earned. He belittles 
the financial hardship that his actions are causing, and he turns their 
service in the military and as civilians into a political football.
  The President has turned his back on the veterans of this Nation. It 
is time to put these men and women back to work. I call, and continue 
to call, on the majority to put an end to this real crisis--because 
they can--and reopen the government.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia.
  Mr. KAINE. Madam President, I stand to tell the story of a great 
Virginian named Vidisha. This is a picture of Vidisha and her son Ayan, 
who came to a Federal employee roundtable that I did last Friday 
  I have told stories on the floor about Virginians who are affected 
personally--worrying about missing mortgage payments, having to 
reschedule medical appointments, having to draw money out of an IRA and 
pay a tax penalty because of the shutdown. But I thought it was 
interesting that Vidisha came in and talked just a little bit about her 
own anxiety and the anxiety of everybody she works with. But what she 
really wanted to talk about was how the shutdown hurts the American 
  She works for probably the smallest Agency in the Federal Government, 
the Chemical Safety Board, with 40 employees and a budget of $11 
million or $12 million. This is a small Agency, and they have one job: 
Investigate chemical spills--not to find fault, not to help a lawyer, 
but investigate chemical spills so that they can determine what went 
wrong, to prevent future chemical spills that are going to hurt 
Americans. Because of the shutdown, she and her colleagues--those 40--
are not doing that job.
  President Trump tweeted last weekend that the reason he is forcing 
the shutdown is he promised to protect the safety and security of the 
American public. He is hurting the safety and security of the American 
  Vidisha said that during the shutdown there has been a major chemical 
spill in Houston, TX. Normally, the investigators would be on it 
immediately to do the investigation, to give recommendations, and to 
reduce the risk of a spill at that facility or any other. But because 
of the shutdown, Vidisha and her staff are not investigating. How does 
this protect the safety and security of the American public--by leaving 
a major chemical spill with potentially life-threatening consequences 
uninvestigated and unresponded to?
  This President's claim that he is helping the safety and security of 
the American people is a flat-out lie. You are hurting the security of 
the American people when you disable people like Vidisha and her 
colleagues from investigating chemical spills, from interdicting drugs 
if you are a Coast Guard, ATF, or DEA agent, or from doing law 
enforcement investigations if you are an FBI agent.
  The President is hurting the security of this country. It is time to 
reopen government and put the security of Americans first.

[[Page S245]]

  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Hawaii.
  Mr. SCHATZ. Madam President, I have a simple request for my 
Republican colleagues, and that is this: Open the government. Open the 
government. There have been too many people suffering for too long for 
this to go on any further.
  One of those people is named Scott Pekalib. He lives in Hilo, HI, and 
works for the U.S. Geological Survey. He has had a rough few months.
  In October, his husband Jay went into the hospital for a routine 
surgery that went horribly wrong. He went into cardiac arrest and was 
in an induced coma for several days. He had to be flown to another 
island to receive the care that was necessary. Scott and Jay spent all 
of their savings to get through this ordeal. After paying for medicine, 
hotels, and airfare, they were living paycheck to paycheck.
  Now, because of this government shutdown, Scott's paycheck reads 
zero. He doesn't know how he is going to buy gas to take his husband to 
the doctor or how they are going to pay the bills that are due. Scott 
is making impossible choices between buying the prescription drugs he 
needs and the ones that his husband needs. All of this pain and 
suffering is because the Senate will not vote to reopen the government.
  So I ask my Republican friends to call for a vote, and if the 
President vetoes the bill, let's act like a separate, coequal branch of 
government and override that veto. That is our prerogative in the 
United States, and that is our obligation in the U.S. Senate--to do 
what is best for the Nation, for the health, safety, and economic 
security of all of our constituents.
  Let's reopen the government.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Washington.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Madam President, we have heard from a number of our 
colleagues today about personal stories that are happening to real live 
people in their home States--people who have not received a paycheck 
and are facing fear about what they are going to do in the coming days.
  We have a responsibility--and I think I speak on behalf of 
Republicans and Democrats both here. We need to open government. We 
have disagreements all the time in Congress over different issues. 
Certainly, we cannot put these people's lives at risk and leave them as 
pawns in our States. Open up government, and then have a discussion 
about the issues we disagree on.
  I know the Senator from Minnesota expected to be here, but I also see 
on the floor the Senator from Georgia, who would like to speak. I ask 
unanimous consent that the Senator from Georgia be allowed to speak and 
the Senator from Minnesota, when she returns.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Lankford). Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. ISAKSON. Madam President, I thank the Senator from Washington 
very much for her courtesy. I will be brief, and I will be very 
succinct. In fact, I will be responding to some of the things that 
Senator Schatz from Hawaii and others have said on the floor.
  I am going to respond to myself. I made a speech here only yesterday, 
about 2:30, in which I talked about the frustration that I have and 
that most Georgians have with the fact that the government is shut 
down, and I talked about who is losing.
  We are losing. The government loses more money when it shuts down 
than it makes any other time. Shutting down is a losing proposition all 
the way around, and we are exemplifying the best way to lose because we 
are not doing anything to solve the problem.
  I have a solution I am going to propose, specifically, right now. I 
am not going to put my name on it to be the lead name. I don't care who 
gets the credit. I am ready for some solutions. I am going to talk 
about some very serious things right now and some very difficult 
things, but we are in a serious, difficult problem. We have serious 
problems, and we need serious people to solve them.
  In the United States today, at our ports, our airports, and our 
highways--every way you can cross the border to come into the United 
States of America--we charge fees for all kinds of things, and we have 
for years. We have trust funds, like Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund and 
things like that. People come across our borders all the time. In 
Smuggler's Gulch in San Diego, they come in on an eight-lane highway, 
flooding into America in the morning to go to work and flooding out of 
America in the afternoon to go home to bed, and we charge for that.
  A constituent of mine called me last night, a gentleman I know very 
well, who is a very successful businessperson. He said: Johnny, you all 
are fighting over this border wall or how you fund it or who gets 
credit for it. I saw your speech. Have you ever thought of this?
  I listened. I listened, I thought, and I said: You know, I haven't.
  I got my staff to get me the information, and it all works. It makes 
sense, and I think it would make sense to the American people. I think 
it would make sense to the President of the United States, the 
Democratic Party, and the Republican Party as well. If we all start 
tonight, even, and decide whether we want to sign it or not, we can do 
it together. Who gets the credit for it stops, and we fight over 
something that makes more sense fighting over than having a border that 
leaks and an immigration program that doesn't work.
  Here is the idea. We establish a fee in the United States of America 
through our ports, through our airports, through all the different ways 
you come here. You create a trust fund for that money to go into, and 
it is designated for the security of our borders--our Canadian border 
and our Mexican border.
  That is it. They charge. Someone entering the country pays. If it is 
a bus that comes in 10 times a day, you know they don't pay 10 times 
the amount that somebody comes in once a day. We will figure that out, 
but create a mechanism.
  If you use the current mechanisms that are being used to collect 
moneys today in our Departments, we would raise $2.5 billion a year 
doing that. Did you hear me? $2.5 billion. If we had $2.5 billion, we 
wouldn't have a problem anymore.
  You could argue over what you build. That doesn't matter when we have 
security. Security is what we want. This Senate and House can get 
together at the White House, we get in a room, and we say: What do we 
want to charge? To whom do we want to give the responsibility? What is 
the goal?
  The goal is to secure the border--a mechanism to fund securing the 
border--and to get off this argument of who is right, whether it is 
Democrats or Republicans. We are just arguing about something that 
doesn't matter. What matters is the American people. What matters is 
how their Representatives are handling their problems. What matters is 
what you and I are doing to get this whole argument that is going on 
and put it aside.
  I am here to tell you, I am throwing an idea out that I think is a 
good idea. A very smart man gave it to me. I didn't think of it. I 
thought about it all last night. I couldn't think of anything wrong 
with it. I am sure somebody will be able to come up with something that 
is wrong with it.
  It pays for it. We decide where the money goes, and it goes for 
security. We don't argue over what type of security because that is not 
the issue. The issue is we want it secure.
  What we have had is that we have had a couple of leaders who argued 
about how you secure it, not whether or not you can secure it. You can 
always argue about how. I like pink better than purple, but I don't let 
that stop me from buying a black shirt if it is the only shirt I can 
  It is time we decide what it is we want. We want security. We want to 
put the government back to work. We want the American people to get the 
benefits they deserve, and we want a mechanism to do it--that is, a 
simple mechanism to do it. We already do it everywhere. We do the 
passenger facility charge.
  The distinguished speaker sitting in the Chair today knows that. He 
flies here every week and pays $7.50, I think, per ticket here and per 
ticket out. It pays for the security of airports. We do this all over 
the place. Let's do it here.
  When you ask anybody what is probably the biggest problem in America, 
they say the biggest problem is that the American Senate and the 

[[Page S246]]

House will not sit down and get the work done.
  After that, we haven't even opened the door to see if we can find a 
solution. This opens the door to a solution. I am telling you, as a 
representative from the State of Georgia, representing 10.5 million 
people in this Senate, we can solve our problem today--not tomorrow, 
but today--with the action of our Finance Committee and our leadership 
and the President of the United States, by not deciding who gets credit 
or who gets blame but deciding it is time enough for funding games to 
be over with. It is time for us to get down to business.
  We all took an oath a few months ago when we were sworn in, saying 
that is what we wanted to do, and now we are avoiding it every single 
  I will not take any more time. I know the Senator from Texas is here, 
and the lovely Senator from Minnesota is here, and they are two very 
good representatives in the Senate of the United States of America.
  Don't forget about this idea. I am going to talk about it a lot. I 
don't want it to be the Isakson amendment or the Isakson idea. I want 
it to be our idea, America's idea. I want to fund it with Americans' 
money, to solve America's borders and get our immigration system solved 
and get us off of dead center and talking about nothing and mainly down 
center lane.
  I want to end with what Zell Miller told me. Zell was a Senator at 
one time. He beat me for Governor of Georgia in 1990. In our last 
debate in that Senate race--it was a pretty good race. I had gotten 
pretty close. In fact, if my grandchildren had been old enough, it 
would have almost been won by me, if I could embellish the stories a 
little more.
  At the end of the story, we had a minute each to close our speech. I 
closed my remarks with a 1-minute statement. I thought it was pretty 
good. Zell leaned back, with that twang of Zell's and said: You know, 
ladies and gentlemen, if you see a turtle sitting on a fence post on a 
country road, there is one thing you know for sure: He did not get 
there by himself.
  I know for sure right now we are going nowhere because we are not 
talking about the problem. I know for sure that it is time for us to do 
the simple thing; that is, to solve it. It is not the hard thing, and 
that is to think of other reasons why we can't solve it. I, for one, 
will do everything I can do to let the people I am representing here 
know I am doing everything I can to get it open. I don't care what we 
have done. I am not going to call anybody a name. I am not going to do 
anything like that. I am not going to claim it for my idea. I hope 
nobody will steal it and claim it for theirs and cause us problems.
  Let's just get to work. There is no problem we can't solve that we 
don't want to, and there is no problem we can solve if we don't want to 
solve it.
  God bless you, Mr. President, for presiding today, and God bless the 
United States of America.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Minnesota.
  Ms. KLOBUCHAR. Mr. President, I appreciate the sentiment of the 
Senator from Georgia, and I remember earlier last year when we were 
both part of discussions to try to resolve an earlier shutdown issue 
and an earlier issue related to immigration reform. We put together a 
bipartisan bill involving the Dreamers, and we got some broad support 
on our side. Unfortunately, the White House, in the end, was not 
supportive of that agreement, even though the Senator from Georgia had 
worked so hard.
  I think we can't rule out, as much as we have tried and will continue 
to try, to come up with bipartisan solutions like the majority and the 
minority leader did in December that we all supported and would have 
prevented this shutdown. We can't take out the element of the fact that 
a number of times we have been gut-punched, basically, when we have 
tried to do that. That doesn't mean that the discussion shouldn't 
continue, and I appreciate his good work on that.
  I want to discuss one Minnesotan, Kathleen DeMaster, who has been 
affected by this and her family. She works for the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture in Minneapolis. She is currently furloughed. This is 
Kathleen and her daughter. She says:

       My situation is becoming desperate. . . . I accepted my 
     position with the federal government only a few months ago 
     because it is a fantastic way for me to better myself and my 
     career. I am passionate about public service and have enjoyed 
     my job very much since I started. While accepting this 
     position improved my situation, I have lived paycheck to 
     paycheck. . . . This has not changed unfortunately. I am a 
     single mother and a homeowner. And while I am college 
     educated . . . I have struggled to get where I am now. It has 
     never been easy, and unfortunately, this has only made life 
     more difficult. My funds are exhausted. At this point in 
     time, I don't have the money to pay for my mortgage or for 
     childcare for my daughter. The money I will receive for 
     unemployment insurance will not cover everything I need [it 
       Unfortunately this has put me in an untenable situation. Do 
     I risk losing my home or do I risk having my daughter lose 
     her daycare and being unable to work when I am recalled?

  In other words, she can maybe lose the daycare because she is at home 
now, but she is not going to be able to have the daycare when she goes 
back to work, when she can.

       These are the choices I (and many others, I am sure) are 
     facing right now.
       This may be a story you have heard before, but I felt it 
     needs to be shared until it is heard by the right ears.

  These are this woman's words--``the right ears.''

       I am at a loss for what else to do, and I'm terrified for 
     what it means for my daughter and myself.

  Kathleen is doing everything she can do to provide for her daughter. 
She recently started picking up shifts with Instacart, the grocery 
delivery service, just to make ends meet. If this shutdown drags on--in 
her words--she is simply at a loss about how she and her daughter will 
get by.
  In my State there are 6,100 other Federal workers with these stories. 
They are not being paid, and each of these workers has a face and a 
name. It is time to end the shutdown and reopen the government.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas.

                        Tribute to Joyce Sibley

  Mr. CRUZ. Mr. President, I rise today to give tribute to a great 
American, a great Texan, and a 32-year veteran of this institution who 
has dedicated her career to serving the needs of her fellow citizens. 
Her name is Joyce Sibley.
  She has led my team of caseworkers in Texas for the last 6 years, and 
she is now retiring. Joyce started working in the U.S. Senate in 1971, 
working for John Tower of Texas, answering the phones at his Austin 
  Since then, Joyce has become a living legend among Texas caseworkers 
because she simply doesn't take no for an answer, and she always goes 
the extra mile and more to help someone in need. Indeed, her work has 
extended so many extra miles beyond our State boundaries that it is 
difficult to comprehend.
  ``To move mountains'' is a figurative expression, but when I say 
Joyce has moved battleships, I mean it literally. During the Albanian 
civil war of 1997, Joyce got the 6th Fleet to come ashore and help 
rescue nearly 100 Americans on a beach, including several Texans.
  The office of my predecessor, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, was in 
communication with the Texans throughout that scary night in which the 
American evacuees were huddled at the Port of Durres in Albania, having 
been sent there by the U.S. embassy. The Albanian Task Force at the 
State Department reported that everyone had been evacuated, but the 
Americans still trapped there disagreed and started calling offices in 
Houston and Austin.
  Joyce and her team had to give up on the State Department's part and, 
instead, they transferred a cell phone call from that beach in Albania 
directly to a Pentagon duty officer who contacted the Texans and 
connected them with the 6th Fleet. Together, they coordinated a Zodiac 
evacuation in the early morning hours.
  Joyce was instrumental in organizing their escape.
  There was another occasion, when a soldier was wrongfully convicted 
of counterfeiting in South Korea, after copying and printing Korean 
currency in order to test the quality of his new printer. There was no 
intent and no evidence of any attempt to distribute fake Korean 
  After being convicted and imprisoned for months, largely abandoned by 
his command, the Texas office asked the

[[Page S247]]

Korean Government to take another look at the case, and the conviction 
was reversed. The airman returned to serve with distinction in San 
Antonio, thanks in part to the amazing casework skills of Joyce Sibley.
  Likewise, when the earthquake hit Haiti, there were several Texans 
buried in the rubble at one of the local hotels. Joyce and others 
stayed in touch with the family members, set up regular briefings with 
the State Department, and kept the family closely informed until all 
were found and accounted for.
  The Haitian Government even arrested a group of Texas missionaries 
and charged them with kidnapping for providing relief and housing to 
orphaned Haitian children. A few tense weeks followed, but they were 
all freed once Joyce helped to turn up the heat.
  There are too many stories to list about Joyce's helping families 
with heartbreaking international adoption situations in Romania, 
Russia, Haiti, China, Korea, Guatemala, and Ethiopia.
  Here is one of my favorite stories. Last fall, a heart surgeon 
contacted our office on a Thursday evening. He had been traveling out 
of the country. When he was coming back to Houston, he realized he had 
lost his passport. He was supposed to travel to Houston overnight and 
go straight to the hospital to perform several surgeries. Joyce, 
working with other members of our staff, was able to get a government 
official to meet his plane to confirm his identity and to get him 
through customs at 6 a.m. on Friday morning.
  He called me when he was on the way to the hospital and said that 
thanks to our office, thanks to Joyce, he was able to make it there on 
time to perform lifesaving surgeries.
  There are quite literally thousands of Texans whose lives have been 
made better by Joyce's decision to stay in Texas and to devote her 
professional time to helping families who needed help, often in times 
of great stress. Dealing with the Federal Government, the often 
maddening leviathan of Federal bureaucracy, Joyce was an expert at 
getting that leviathan to move and helping Texans who were frustrated 
and needed relief.
  Whether it has been handling an international crisis or ensuring that 
a veteran gets his or her paycheck, Joyce has been tireless on behalf 
of Texans in need of help and guidance. The hallmark of a great 
caseworker is knowing the system, having great contacts at the 
multitude of Federal Agencies, and pushing back whenever she heard the 
word ``no.'' Instead, she would ask, isn't there something else we 
could do to help this soldier, to help this veteran, to help this 
Texan? So many times, thinking of the ``something else we can do'' was 
exactly what was needed.
  Joyce has been an irreplaceable asset to the U.S. Senate and to the 
people of Texas. The good news is that everyone who has worked with her 
has her spirit in their blood now, has been trained directly, hands-on, 
by Joyce. It is in their DNA now to go that extra mile and to try to 
get to yes, no matter the obstacles, when they are looking out for and 
fighting for Texans. That is her legacy--a team inspired by her 
leadership. And I know that legacy will endure.
  Joyce starts a new adventure at the end of this month as she begins 
her well-earned retirement. My team will be a little bit poorer for 
having lost her, but the Senate, the people of Texas, and thousands of 
families she has assisted over the course of nearly five decades are 
much richer for having had her on their team.
  Thank you, Joyce, for your work, your passion, your patriotism, and 
most of all, your shining heart. It has been a pleasure, an honor, and 
a privilege to serve the people of Texas alongside you. God bless.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mrs. SHAHEEN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                             Cloture Motion

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Pursuant to rule XXII, the Chair lays before 
the Senate the pending cloture motion, which the clerk will state.
  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 S.J. Res. 2, a 
     joint resolution disapproving the President's proposal to 
     take an action relating to the application of certain 
     sanctions with respect to the Russian Federation.
         John Thune, Mike Crapo, Tom Cotton, Todd Young, John 
           Cornyn, Jerry Moran, John Boozman, Deb Fischer, John 
           Hoeven, Susan M. Collins, Cory Gardner, Dan Sullivan, 
           Marco Rubio, Richard Burr, John Barrasso, Pat Roberts, 
           Roger F. Wicker, Thom Tillis, Shelley Moore Capito, 
           Mitch McConnell.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. By unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum 
call has been waived.
  The question is, Is it the sense of the Senate that debate on S.J. 
Res 2, a joint resolution disapproving the President's proposal to take 
an action relating to the application of certain sanctions with respect 
to the Russian Federation, shall be brought to a close?
  The yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Vermont (Mr. Sanders) is 
necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Romney). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber wishing to vote or to change their vote?
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 57, nays 42, as follows:

                       [Rollcall Vote No. 6 Leg.]


     Cortez Masto
     Van Hollen


     Scott (FL)
     Scott (SC)

                             NOT VOTING--1

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 57, the nays are 
  Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted 
in the affirmative, the motion is rejected.
  Under the previous order, cloture not having been invoked, S.J. Res. 
2 is returned to the calendar.
  The Chair recognizes the majority leader.